authors, books, contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, dark romance

FanGirl Friday: H.Q. Frost

This week’s Fangirl Friday goes to none other that H.Q. Frost. I was introduced to this author and her work during my first-ever release party. Her debut novel, Destructive Gods was totally unconventional and I loved every minute of it. I devoured the Luxe series as quickly as she could write them. There were so many twists and turns that I never saw coming… And that is a staple of her work. I’m still reeling over Little Love, a spinoff from her Immure Diaries series and I read that over a month ago.

Her characters more than come off the page. They truly come alive. Even in their greatest beauty they are inherently flawed. They are more real than the faces a lot of us put out for the public to see, and thus, they become like friends.

cover-reveal-profile-pic

She’s not your average romance writer. There’s no boy meets girl, they fall in love, happily ever after. No, these characters she creates have to work for their happily-ever-after. There’s darkness in her light, and light in her darkness. There is no formula to the stories she pens. She pushes the envelope on what her characters and her readers can endure. Anytime you pick up a Frost book, you can expect the unexpected.

meganfrontcover.jpg

She doesn’t just write solo books, either. Together with her co-author M. Piper, both authors showcase such amazing talent. If one didn’t know the books were written by two different people, you would never guess. Their books are that seamless and that takes an ungodly amount of talent.

I will forever fangirl over this author and her work.

Advertisements
authors, books, fiction, interviews, kids books, murder-mystery, mystery, New Release

In the Words of an Author: An Interview with Robyn Washington

 

Patricia blackwell.png

Author Biography

Starting out in Seattle in a military family, Robyn’s family moved to North Carolina where she was raised in a family of six siblings. Being the oldest child, she had to learn how to make up stories to survive in a competitive family. Storytelling became easy for Robyn, and she started to pen romantic stories, children’s books and mystery novels at an early age. She progressed to writing journals and blogs, and later to novellas, plays, skits and her first published book. Graduating with a B.S. in Biology, an M.B.A in Business Administration, she has worked in the business world most of her life, but her passion is to excel in writing and brand her next series featuring stories on Children’s Books.

 

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

 

My favorite authors are the following: Nora Roberts, John Grisham, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Mark Twain, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steele. I can’t even mention all the authors I’ve read. Some are unknown, and I read just about anything to learn and for pleasure. I’ve been known just to get a biology book down and start reading From plays to history, science to romance novels, reading has been a favorite hobby of mine for years.

 

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

My favorite character was Jade, a CIA agent. Trying to write from a federal agent’s perspective and one who has been shafted was extremely hard. Penning emotions and fleshing out the character can be hard when tagging them with specific characteristics.

 

What are the most difficult scenes for you to write?

The most difficult scenes to write were the action scenes where confrontations occurred. I have two new books coming out soon in the month of February 2018, Deception, Love & Lies Part 2 and New Beginnings that have scenes that I had to rewrite so many times until it stressed me out. I had to teach myself how to write with continuity and make the topic interesting for readers. Romance novels are my favorite to read, but I don’t write steamy punk love scenes. Although I may read one occasionally, I like a story with a learning curve and a romance linked to the storyline.

New Beginnings - wrap (2) jpf

What is the most rewarding part of being an author for you?

 

The most rewarding part of being an author is that I get to create, design, draw, imagine, deliver, and make-up stories as I go along. I have a very wild imagination and can step out of my mind at any time and write what I feel. The hardest part is when you come back and edit your words, change it around, and forget what you were trying to say. I want a reaction out of my readers, and I’ve got to master the art. I understand now why movie directors try to get a rise out of the audience, it makes sales.

 

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

A good story needs to be adequately researched, so the facts match what you’re writing about. Mysteries need to have a good twist, romance novels need to be unique, murder scenes need to be fleshed out, and the facts need to be as real as possible. Inadequate info can turn readers off. Don’t get trapped by criticism, learn from what others say about your work. Visit author’s groups and participate, create a blog, create and tweet, become friends with colleagues, and ask questions whenever you can. As a previous science teacher, asking questions always helps to increase the learning experience.

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I have a room with crazy colors and designs to set the mood for me to write with a large desk, a comfortable chair, a tv, a bright light, and then I try to write every day. There is no set time, but when I enter my space, I spend time researching, reading, writing, or creating an outline for a book. I carry a notebook and pen in my pocketbook at all times, and sometimes use my iPhone to capture ideas or thoughts. Explosions can occur everywhere. The first process for me in writing a book is to create an outline, jot down thoughts, ideas, and create a plot for the story.

 

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

No, I wanted to be a doctor, but I changed my major, so many times in college it was funny. I have worked in management and business most of my life and even taught school for a short while. My interest in science and animals has been a focal point in my life and lead me to start publishing my work.

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

My father. He died when I was a child and knowing him would have been the highlight of my life. People don’t know what they’re missing when they miss out on knowing their parents.

 

Where can readers go to find out about you and your books?

Coming soon a Pinterest link, but below are my Facebook and Twitter accounts for Robyn Washington.

https://twitter.com/RobynSeattle

https://www.facebook.com/RobynSeattle/

 

Deception Love and Lies - ebook (1) first book.jpg

Synopsis:

After a lifetime of a broken marriage, zoo owner, Barry Weinstein is persuaded by his longtime friend, Chad Everette, an MI6, to buy two Amur Leopards for the zoo. The Leopards become the featured attraction at the zoo and a baby cub, Malachi is born.

Life begins to change for Barry, and he must face his attraction to his new office administrator at his zoo, the curvy petite Gloria Peterson. But love is not that simple for Barry, and he runs. Tragedy strikes and Barry must face the battle from within himself to empty the darkness out of his soul.

Endowed with bad investments and massive debts, Chad falls in love with what he hates the most, an American CIA agent, the classy blonde Jade Ayers. Back in the USA, Jade is heading up an investigation involving six CIA agents that have been murdered in the last year in Afghanistan. When she finds out who’s involved, she becomes a suspect in her own investigation from London to all parts of the world. Love, adoption, greed, kidnapping, pain, torment, and endurance will be best experienced when everyone realizes what they’ve been chasing was right at their back door.

 

authors, books, interviews, nonfiction

In the Words of An Author: An Interview With Atif A K, PhD

3d_2

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Well I started my fascination of reading with Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming but with the passage I also recognized my fancy for non-fiction so I would say if you keep aside the marketing/strategy/branding on the more personal side I like Eckhart Tolle. He is definitely not only an author but his works amplified because of his books. I also like Dr. Daniel Amen whose works with brain rewiring has really mesmerized me. Of course, Shakespeare is always there to provide a framework to anyones comprehension. I also like the Lebanese great Khalil Jibran and his works Broken Wings and Madman very inspiring. There is also a Pakistani writer Ashfaq Ahmed- whose philosophical works transcend universalism into humanism.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

My inspiration to writing particularly screen-writing because thats where I write most of my characters- is totally driven from the unusual faces that I see. They all tell me a story and their mental ambience. The environments from where they are hailing. I understand these faces make my task easier to dramatize both as a writer and director. So before I even met them when I use them on screen- I have a fatal portrait in my head with a reference point of someone that I saw in the train or at the bank or merely hanging at my favorite bar or local cinema. The inspire me to tell their metaphysical tales that they never told me.  

For instance, I saw a homeless guy who could have been a body double of Gregory Pack- I saw him talking to himself, he was probably unwell. But that drove me to write the street actor character on my short film Do You Know Me? where his acting rehearsal/monologue was considered talking-to-himself by many strangers around.

I find talking to ones self extremely romantic and I have used it in my upcoming film The Disowned where Kay Gamaldi (the female lead/central character) talks to herself about her affair and where she stands in the relationship. I may say that all these characters are my favorite and are inter-related to my innate fair of never talking to myself. They are linked with my inner obscurities and social phobias. In terms of writing technique in The Disowned our male protagonist (Gil Gilead) is also antagonist and it will lot of fun unleashing and cheating the audience with his character and histrionic role.  A small glimpse into it can be seen here.

https://youtu.be/4DX4xp-AM0E

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

I like to write scenes in which there are less dialogues and more non-verbal communication. The actors use their expressions, emotions and body language to communicate the sub-text of what’s being seen. It’s like a person who can’t hear or understands the language- even who cannot read closed captions would still understand where the scene is going.

Fortunately, we are writing in an age where new media and mainstream is too much reliant on independent artists- who take liberty to approaching subject matter from brand new angles. The other versions- so to say. Just last night I saw Shape of Water and I was fascinated how in a fantasy world Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor have tricked the audience while developing a plot by building it up. Fine lining the outcasts of the previous eras while legitimizing the beauty and beast concept in a distorted, spectacular and unusual way. Sort of breaking a taboo but at the same time leaving an untouched impression of a story strangely told by unusual characters.

So these kind of scenarios may be hard to depict by the book but surely leave a stellar impression and are easier to write- if you are immune to writing things from the unprecedented angles.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Clarity of thought is the most prized possession for any writer. The ability to think through the storm and to be able to come out survivor is so much gratifying at least for me being a writer. If I write good couple of pages every morning as I wake up- 50% of task has been achieved for me for the rest of the day. Writing is cathartic, it is therapeutic- and like Ozzy Osborne once said- he would actually pay his audience if he had to, just to let him perform. So thats the most rewarding part- I would write for free. It is sort of confessional, and letting it off your chest or sharing the fire in your belly. After that there is calm, like after a tempest. But thats not easy being able to find that poise in the way you compose your writing. Apart from commercial writing, self-indulgent writing needs lot of discourse, contemplation and self conflicts. Yes, all the questions have to be answered before they are put on paper- and sometimes, these answers dont come easy. And sometimes they take lot of time. Its like a secret watch-tower in the writers head that leads the sail in the dark. This phenomenon is much more gratifying than any other feeling. When the sail reaches the shore. And of course, financial and other accolades follow the suit. Because this is a diamond that the writer brings from a distant mine that no body knows as it exists in the clumsy minds.   

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

Get solitary confinement in a hotel and start dreaming without being buffered by anyone or anything. Of course when you read 100 pages, you are then able to write one good page. Our brains are receptive when we have lot of reference memory and observation material around. You have to be compulsive thinker. Free-thinking has always worked for me and to be able to avoid any intellectual conflict or cognitive dissonance so to say is the way out as an artist and as an author.

Unfortunately, writing prospered when it was the only mode of entertainment. In the cross media age- writing is done for various platforms. But having said that every product and entertainment starts and ends with good writing. It cannot begin without someone sitting down and composing the ideas. So in a way the scope of writing has even widened. Although there has been tremendous development in new wave media and platforms but the enhancement is not that remarkable when it comes to writing technique. We are hooked on Stephen Kings and Rowlings along with Grishams. There is more to it- in terms of substance beyond genre. And that is the reason we see some of very predictable stories emerging to be huge like Twilight and Shades of Grey. Although it is essentially recycled material in a new setting- much like Shakespeare in a standard format. But when Romeo and Juliet or Midsummer Nights Dream or even Tempest was written there was no sign of screen and a bunch of actors will play it out on theater. In that sense such intricate content was hard to be communicated so easily. So we as writers who are just started out- must start thinking out of the box while not forgetting that we are slave to the comprehension of others so whatever we may tell should not be safe but it must fit the meter as we call it when we rhyme or create an even flow in writing.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

No writing comes to me instead of the other way around. When I feel desperate to put it on screen or note it in my iPhone pad that’s when the magic starts churning. I have no idea what I am about to write- unless it keeps lingering in my subconscious and just flushes out at a point where I cannot hold it anymore. Like a secret hard to carry around, or like being a witness to some crime. You need to tell, you can’t keep it to yourself. Because the self-contemplation and no being able to share the burden and experience will ultimately leave you with immense guilt. Which if not told on time and in time will stick like a dirty deed in my psychology forever.

So that’s how I write. I may be doing laundry, or swimming, or practicing Yoga, listening to a song or just searching on Google where I parked my car. While I might later realize that I took Uber instead of my car on the way back home- I have a great idea with me, that prompts me to write. So before I go back to the mall and find my lost car- I need to put it in Word. That’s my ritual- I need a solid excuse to prefer it over any other task in my life. And that has kept my flame alive and made people pay me for this dedication to this art form.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Absolutely. I wanted to be an astronaut but then I found writing, as I was stuck on an Executive Floor of Marriott for 8 months. It was like solitary confinement, I was left with nothing but weird life concepts buzzing through my day- in and out. I had this urge to reflect on things the way they are and the way they should or can be. I think solitude is the excellent time, when one can find their calling. This is the reason of all the prisons- around the world. To give people time to reflect and fix. I am sure without solitude; one cannot acquire a set of skills to offer the world. There is no contribution, if you are not by yourself. After that bout, I spent another couple of years as my creative pilgrimage in a downtown hotel. There I used to watch movies, sleep, eat and repeat. Strum guitar once in a while, work online and order food through room service. 

This kept on, until I was left with nothing else to do but write. I was also fortunate enough to be able to write couple of books as ghostwriter, to understand the challenges and review the process from inception to cover design. The research, statistics and reference studies all proved to be the honing ground for my creative maturity.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

William Peter Bletty writer of Exorcist as to what was going through his mind when he wrote this. This has remained to be a timeless classic and masterpiece. Ahead of time and will always be- to the point when humans can develop the technology to reach out to another dimension and communicate with dead souls. I know there was some case in Germany little similar to what was depicted in the book. But the way it was written in a passive manner was both shocking, extremely dramatic and urges you to revisit your faith or school of thought. Thats the power of writing, its like a punch on your face. His later works didnt strike the right note with the masses but thats what writing is- once the world discovers you, you are lost as a writer.   

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

Couple of pages from the book that are published on EZine Articles. Feel free to check them out.

http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Atif_A_K/2465019  

11401202_10206919320202717_8395023801683745857_n_1

Curious to know more? Check out these links:

http://a.co/0d8IEBM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=1IHKY0Rv01g
authors, books, children's literature, interviews, kids books

In the Words of an Author: An Interview With Elijah & Isaiah Smith

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Our mom (LaDonna Smith- author of the award winning children’s book “The Money Tree”) is a children’s book author and she is our biggest influence. Our mom helped us publish our book Pick Me, Pick Me! through her publishing company, Follow Your Dreams Publishing.

 

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Pick Me, Pick Me! is our first book. Cree is our favorite character because we used ourselves as the inspiration for his character.

 

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The most rewarding part about being a kid author is being able to go to schools to read our book and talk to other kids. Kids are usually inspired to start their own businesses after they meet us and it makes us feel good that we are inspiring other kids to do something good for themselves.

 

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

I would tell other kid authors to follow their dreams and not give up. Once your book is finally done you will be proud of all of your hard work.

 

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

Sometimes we write a story together and other times we do what our mom calls tag team writing. With tag team writing, one of us will start writing the story and wherever we stop we tag the other in and he continues writing until our story is done.

flipped.jpg

 

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Yes. When our mom published her first book a few years ago we decided we wanted to follow in her footsteps and be authors too.

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

We would want to talk to our grandmother (our moms mother). She passed away when were only 1 and 2 years old so we never really got to know her.

 

To find out more about the Smith brothers, find them on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/ballingwiththesmithbrothers
authors, books, New Release, young adult fiction

NewRelease From A.D. Johnson

Wonders: A Wanderer’s Journey (The Wonders Series, Book One)

Wonders text at bottom cover book one(1)

Author Bio:

AD Johnson specializes in young adult fantasy adventures. She has a long-standing love for series such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and The Maze Runner. Between aliens, gods, and denizens of the land of the dead, AD Johnson will give you characters and tales to keep readers of all ages fascinated for years to come!

Story Synopsis:

It has been 400 years since the Wonders established themselves here on Earth. Shortly after they arrived, the walls were erected, the protected Cities were established, and the first deadly wave of the Pox swept the world. Now, the Lord Proctor, Draven Lucere, rules what remains of the once-free nation. His lineage has sought to cripple the population in more ways than one; some apparent and some despicable and underhanded.

While humanity has atrophied in the Cities, the Wonders have evolved and adapted to their new home. They live among us and sometimes even combine forms with earthborn creatures.

In this world of Wonders, Maia and those who accompany her must learn to adapt and survive, as they take the fight for freedom to the ruling elite who have held it from the rest of the population for generations.

Facebook and Amazon Author Pages:

https://www.facebook.com/adjohnsonswonders/

https://www.amazon.com/AD-Johnson/e/B075MP8M71/ 

Twitter:

@AshleiDaylen

Instagram:

@AuthorAshlei
authors, books, horror

FanGirl Friday: Stephen King

This week’s author is one who oozes creativity out of every pore. It’s because of this creativity you will often see me mention him in interviews as an author I admire. In my opinion, there is no match for Stephen King- never has been; never will be. All contradictory opinions will be rejected.

I won’t deny there are others with talent equal to, or even greater than, Mr. King’s, but he has a way of making the unbelievable, believable.

Sk2

I’m still waiting for a psychically-powered typewriter (that doesn’t run off the energy of a poor, old dog), and I’d love to walk down the beach by Big Pink and hear the seashells whisper to me at night. It would be fascinating to stand in The Overlook hotel with just a touch of the shine and see what can’t be seen. Or, maybe, just step into MidWorld where Mr. King brought so many of his characters and concepts together. I’d definitely take a ride on Blaine and play a game of riddles.

Over and over again, Mr. King amazes me with his story-telling ability. I won’t claim to have read everything he’s ever written, but some day maybe I’ll get close to that goal.

sk3

As with all authors, he didn’t start out at the front of the game. He struggled in the early years of his writing career, but he endured. He gives me hope that some day I won’t be the author who is struggling to put my work in front of readers.

While the term “idol” is one that makes me uncomfortable, Stephen King would be mine within the writing world. The man is a machine built to put incredible stories out for consumption. His fan base has extended passed those who read with many of his concepts turning to TV or film. He doesn’t need commercials threatening to kill off beloved characters; he just needs to finish that next book and watch them fly off the shelves. He is the King of Horror, plain and simple.

SK1

authors, books, interviews

In the Words of An Author: An Interview with faturoti Kayode Fattkay

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

Yes I do. Neil Patel.

 

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

Seeing people get results from your guide is the fulfilling part

 

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

I advise they keep at it. Building a writing career is a gradual process, continue doing it.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I have my own way of putting words together which seems quite different from the norm. I believe in making contents not too serious and inserting comic reliefs in my books.

ebook pix

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

Not really. It just happens subconsciously.

 

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Neil Patel.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

The book is all about making money online with social media marketing. it talks about hints, tips, tactics and best of techniques when it comes to marketing on social media. Not just that, it also talks about how you can leverage this social media skill to help clients online and get paid for it in the world of Fiverr freelancing or any other freelancing platform. This is in a view to help every young person out there looking for a way to make a living off freelancing on Fiverr, or any other platform, with no prior skill or specific knowledge.

Find out more here:


Links : http://fiverrsocial.hustle.ng, http://hustle.ng, and http://fattkay.me.