Author interviews

Meet J.L Bond and Val Richards.

 

Eleventh Elementum1) Hi Ladies! First, tell us a little about Eleventh Elementum.

J.L.- Oh, there’s a question close to our hearts.

Val- It sure is. Eleventh Elementum is the first book in The Primortus Chronicles. It’s a YA futuristic, fantasy adventure set in New Zealand. We wrote it with teens in mind but it’s a story that could appeal to readers of all ages.

J.L.- That’s right. It begins fifteen years after a catastrophic event and follows a girl named Skylee, who discovers the truth about her magical heritage. I like to think that if Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen were siblings their little sister would be Skylee Porter, our main character.

2)   J. and Val, your protagonist in EE has a destiny. If destiny smacked you upside the head and demanded you save New Zealand, what special powers would she give you? Fess up.

Val- Well, since destiny and I have bumped heads more than once on what has been brought to my door in the way of real life, I feel that she would be obligated to do this request especially well.

J.L.- Yeah, she kind of owes you one.

Val- Ha, right! Smirks cheekily. So I’d say destiny would grant me power over all the elements and the special power of popping in and out of places much like some of magical beings in our Primortus Chronicles. Then she would really step up to the platform and give me the ability to heal fast like Wolverine. And when the situation called for it, I would miraculously be able to fight hand to hand using all the martial art skills known to this world and perhaps other worlds. And as a reward for saving New Zealand, I would be given Thor as my mate. I’m due.

J.L.- UH…mouth hangs open. Can I just ask destiny not to smite my writing partner? I could never get books two and three finished without her. Giggles softly. As for the power I’d be given, it would probably be mind control. That way, I could make the bad guys do good.

3)   Let’s talk about inspiration (because we are all about the Muse here). What inspired you to write Eleventh Elementum?

Val- Desperation! Let me explain. I had just graduated with my teaching degree right at the same time that teachers were being laid off (Thus the reason the Destiny payback mentioned in question two). The job I had also laid me off thinking I would have a teaching job. I was four weeks away from moving my annoying cat and myself into my car, which would have been a disaster, when J.L. (best friend) called and said, “Hey, let’s write a book.” I am of the belief that she saved me with this new mind overloading project from drowning in…wait for it…desperation.

J.L. Little did I know that those five little words would take us on a journey where we would both discover our passion for writing…as destiny would have it.

4)   What’s it like working as a writing team? What do you enjoy about working with a partner? Are you plotters, or both pantsers? Or, do you drive each other nuts as one crashes headlong into the story (possibly still wearing their pj’s) while the other plans down to last sentence?

Val- For me, working with J.L. on this book series has been one roller coaster of a ride.

J.L.- Yippee! Raises hands above head. I love roller coasters!

Val- Rolls eyes. Of course, there are bumps and bruises along the way, but the overall feeling is euphoria. J.L. and I actually have had a brain-melding thing, which is great because we think along the same line but problems arise if we both try using it at the same time. I am most likely the writing partner that can get carried away, getting caught up in the story. J.L., quite often, has to reel me in back to storyline that we have outlined. It’s an adventure that I am glad to be a part of.

J.L.- Me too…there goes that mind-melding thing.

5) Is there any part of the writing process you dread?

Val- Rewrites! Or the infamous line, “Do we really need that?”

J.L.- I do say that a lot.

Val- Well, yeah. At first, deleting pages of writing and then turn around and write something else was really a challenge for me. It was like hours of work being flushed down the toilet. Now, since it happens to me on a regular basis, I have built up a wall around me to keep the pain of putting to death my words at a distance.

J.L.- I’m an extremely detailed person. So, I find it difficult to stop editing our work—thus all the rewrites.

6) Shameless plug time. You have a new book coming out soon! Any secrets you’d like to give away about Hollowed Humusara?

J.L.- Thanks for asking! We’re super excited about it. This second book is faster paced and chocked full of surprises. One of which involves a big secret one of our characters has been keeping from Skylee.

Val- Yes, so many twists and turns and the reader will not know who is actually on Sky’s side and who isn’t. And there is a SECRET clue in our books about the true identity of our bad guy, Brinfrost.

J.L.- Shhh! No spoilers! You’ll have to read it to find out.

We are honoured to have Renay interview us about our writing and we’re thankful for her support and interest. She is truly a muse inspiring us to write on.

*Blush. Thanks girls!

 

Janet & Val combo

J.L. Bond Bio

J.L. Bond is an author, blogger, wife and mother. She grew up in a military family and developed her love for adventurous travel early in life. She’s lived in five states, Germany and Hong Kong. J. L. began blogging in 2005 while on an “around the world” trip. She has visited twenty-one countries and counting. Contrary to popular belief, she is not related to that other J. Bond, nor is she an international woman of intrigue. Currently, she finds inspiration for her adventure stories from the tropical setting of her home in Florida.

Bond’s debut novel, ELEVENTH ELEMENTUM, co-authored with Val Richards, was published in 2012. Book Two, HOLLOWED HUMUSARA is coming in 2014. J.L. thinks it will hit the presses by late summer, but don’t tell Val she told you that!

Val Richards Bio

Val Richards is an author, administrative assistant, mother, teacher without a classroom, and a space traveler wanna be. Because of her busy lifestyle, Val just cannot find the time to become an astronaut. Hence, she travels to other worlds through her imagination. She lived most of her life in the rolling hills of Tennessee but decided she needed majestic oceans to fuel her inspiration. She now resides in sunny Florida where creativity abounds.

Val Richards’ 2012 debut novel, ELEVENTH ELEMENTUM of The Primortus Chronicles, co-authored with J.L. Bond, is first book in the YA Adventure Trilogy.

 

Where to find J.L. and Val online

Our website: http://jlbond-valrichards.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThePrimortusChronicles

J.L. on Twitter: https://twitter.com/primortus

First published: 28 August 2014

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Meet Lisa Medley.

I’ve been fortunate to stumble across some great people. I met Lisa online a few months ago (she lives on the other side of the world! *waves). Since then we’ve hit it off – a shared interest in old cemeteries and the like. Don’t you love meeting people as kooky as you? Lisa’s most excellent kookiness comes with chapters of soul-cropping heart-throb…

1) Lisa, start us off with a little known fact about you. And possibly a diabolical photo.

I secretly long to be Michonne on The Walking Dead. I don’t own a katana (yet), but I do have a mate willing to teach me how to wield one. I carry a machete in my zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in my car trunk. Just. In. Case.

You don’t need to reload a machete.

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2) On to Reap and Repent… I just finished reading it recently, and I’ve got to say, it’s lots of fun. Be honest… from the author’s mouth, who is your favourite character?

Kylen is my absolute favourite character. I love the villains and dark heroes most. They are just so much…more. Kylen gets his story in book two, Reap & Redeem.

3) Let’s talk about inspiration (because we are all about the Muse here). What inspired you to write about reapers?

I had never really even thought about writing reapers because let’s face it, cloaked skeletons are not sexy. But then of course the wheels started spinning as writer’s wheels are want to do and I started asking the two questions that propel every story…

What if?
What then?

That was enough to get me firmly onto the writing track.

Once I had begun, I started spending an inordinate amount of time in cemeteries, thinking about how reapers might travel and what their limitations and motivations might be. I have resisted delving into others’ reaper worlds until mine was firmly established but I can’t wait to read Darynda Jones, Lori Sjorberg and Angela Roquet’s reaper series to see how much we may or may not think alike. 😀

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. Wouldn’t it be fun if one day the worlds intersected?

4) I’m completely intrigued by Nate. You obviously have lots in store for him. If Nate were to whisper a secret to readers of Reap and Repent, what would it be?

“Family is what you make it.”

Nate was a pleasant surprise to me and continued to develop throughout the stories. Reap & Reveal (#3) out in January, is his book. You’ll have lots of Nate goodness in store.

5) Shameless plug time. You have a new book coming out soon! Anything you’d like to tell us about Reap and Redeem?

Reap & Redeem is a darker book than Reap & Repent because after being possessed by a demon for more than a century, Kylen has…issues. Still, he happens across the perfect person to help him resolve them: a dying woman. It’s not rainbows and unicorns but hope that redemption is within reach for us all.

Lisa Medley BW2 Sml

Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.

She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page

 

Want to read more? AMAZON | B&N | KOBO
Reap & Repent FNL SmlReap & Repent blurb

They see death. Can they share a life?
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound power.

 

Prologue from Reap & Repent:

Prologue

What does a guy have to do around here to get some service? Deacon Walker marveled as he glared at the undulating queue of grotesque reapers in front of him.

For all that’s holy, move the hell along already.

It had been a long week, and it wasn’t over yet. He needed to make at least one more pass through the hospital circuit before he could call it a day. He could already feel the tug of a freshly departed soul. Again. People were dropping like flies lately.

He massaged his brow, trying to soothe his exhausted patience as the line inched forward at a snail’s pace.

He was worn thin. Over the past few weeks, three demon soul poachers had popped up in his fair city of Meridian like poisonous mushrooms after a hard rain. While it wasn’t unheard of for one to slip out from Hell every now and then, three was a nightmare.

When it got topside, a demon’s M.O. was to steal a human body, poach a few souls from the dead and dying, and then make its merry way back to Hell, taking its host’s soul along for the ride. The only way to save the souls a poacher was carrying was to behead the host with a scythe. Not a pretty thing to do, but the poor suckers were too far gone by then to survive anyway. No human could withstand the pressures of being ridden by a demon. And it was worth it to save a handful of souls, not to mention inconveniencing the demon.

Deacon refused to lose any souls from his territory. At all.

So far the score was Deacon, 3. Demons, 0.

As a reaper, carrying souls to Purgatory for judgment was his job and he wasn’t about to cede his territory to poachers who used up their hosts like they were disposable Tupperware. So now, in addition to his normal day job, he also had to keep an eye out for more demon invaders.

While demons burned through most human hosts in a matter of days, some in a matter of hours, they had discovered long ago that under the right circumstances they could ride a reaper. Of course, they couldn’t just worm their way in like they did with humans—they had to be invited. But once a deal was struck? They were in.

And reapers? Yeah, they could hang on for decades inside a reaper. Deacon knew that fact firsthand.

His stomach twisted at the thought, but he shook it off, looking ahead with a heavy sigh.

Seriously, this line? Still. Not. Moving?

God, he needed a freakin’ vacation. Extended. He dragged a hand through his hair in frustration as his mind flipped through postcard-esque locations of reapings past. He snarled at the thought of New Orleans in summer. He would definitely want to go someplace cool—cool as in frigid, not hip. He was sick of the heat, and it was only the beginning of summer in the semitropical Midwest.

Come to think of it, he was sick of a lot of things.

This place was high on the list. It was as hot as…well, Hell actually. Or at least what he imagined Hell to be, although he’d never actually been there. Thank God.

Steam rose from random cracks in the stone floor of the underground station, veiling the place in a humid sulfur stench.

He pushed forward, finally making his way to the front to deposit his cargo of souls. He didn’t bother chatting. In. Out. Move on. It was a motto that served him well.

Mission completed, he hustled through the crowd, forgoing the bar-side frivolity of some of the more socially inclined reapers and their small talk about their glory days in the field or—even better—the missteps of the newest reapers. Newbies often tested their limits to humorous if not disastrous effect at least once in their early careers. That was exactly why new reapers had mentors or at least worked in teams. From all the laughter, he could tell that the stories were good ones. It didn’t tempt him.

He slapped his palm against the black granite monolith and flashed out of Purgatory to what he prayed was his last stop of the day.

First published: 14 August 2014

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Meet Lilo Abernathy.

She’s an Amazon best selling author and all around good woman. If you’re like me, and don’t eat books so much as inhale them (this also applies to chocolate BTW), Lilo is an author to get to know, and watch in the future. I had a great time chatting to Lilo and reading The Light Who Shines.

1) Firstly, congrats on becoming an Amazon best seller. How does it feel to know your work is getting out there and being enjoyed by readers?

DSC_0663PP26PPC1C-yP2B-3000 for WebsitesThank you so much Renay. I have to tell you, I’m thrilled that people are reading about Blue, Varg, Jack, and their world. But I have even more exciting news that I want to share. Not only are people reading it, but they seem to be loving it. I totally know I’m bragging, but I have to share that I just moved up to 4.9 stars on Amazon. That had me practically doing flips. Frankly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t know already, since I’ve been slathering the news all over the internet.

Please keep in mind that when I published this book, like every other first time author, the questions going through my head were, “Is anyone going to like it?” and “Is it good enough?”

Now, just so you don’t think I’m egotistical, please know that I know the book isn’t perfect, nor am I perfect. I’m a terrible editor and had to hire out for that. Still, the consensus so far is that it is a great fun read. It also has some moral depth, so it isn’t just fluff.

But perhaps the biggest surprise has been how much people love Blue’s wolf Varg. She ran into him in an alley and he immediately decided to become her protector. He has absolutely zero script and is easily the best loved side character. People have started bugging me for Varg t-shirts. There is even a Varg T-shirt hashtag, I kid you not. OMG, I so wish I had time to create a Varg t-shirt for my fans. I will get to it eventually.

2) If you saw someone on the bus reading The Light Who Shines, would you go and introduce yourself? Do you read reviews?

I’m pondering this scene and I can’t decide if it is more unlikely that I’d run into someone reading my book or if it is more unlikely to actually find a bus in the Smoky Mountains! But let’s go with it. I would totally go up to them and introduce myself. I try to connect with my readers as much as possible. In fact, if there were a contest for Most Accessible Author, I’d be in the running.

Oh My God! Yes! I read reviews. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s an addiction. If I don’t get a review for a couple of days, I start jonesing for one. I’m also mad at Amazon for not allowing me to “friend” my readers on their site. I also read reviews on Goodreads, and let me tell you, they have some rating calculation problems. They show three different numbers of reviews and ratings for my book in three different places. I would write them a letter, but I’m pretty sure they don’t care.

3) Let’s talk about inspiration (because we are all about the Muse here). What prompted Bluebell’s beginning, and what do you enjoy most about her?

Blue is a compilation of the best of all of us. Her parents were killed by Dark Vampires and she was subjected to much abuse and neglect at the orphanage she landed in. As an adult she is reviled by the breedists (like racists) for being Gifted. With every reason to hate, instead she chose the heavy burden of fighting for interbreed peace and security as a life career. She works in the Homicide Unit of the Supernatural Investigation Bureau and uses her empathic and sensitive abilities to solve hate murders. She’s practically a walking lie detector, and she can also sense souls…

I most enjoy Blue’s intelligence, integrity, and determination. She isn’t exceptionally strong or skilled at fighting, yet! But she walks straight into the most dangerous situations with her fierce desire to see justice done and makes it happen. She isn’t putting up with anyone’s crap either. Watch out!

4) TLWS has some dark edges – underlying themes that highlight a lack of compassion between peoples. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes. Prejudice, or in this case breedism sucks. It is destructive to individuals and society. These are false lines we create to identify one another. They do a poor job. The story also deals with the two faces of religion; the helpful humane side, and the righteous, judgemental, and hateful side. This story reminds you that good exists in every race and every religion, or lack thereof. The same can be said for evil. In the end, it is your actions and your intentions that define who you are, not your race or religion.

The moral of this story is artfully interwoven with the primary plot to allow the message to be enjoyably absorbed. It is best described as an underlying theme, while the plot deals with tracking a murderer and side plots delve into romance.

5) Juggling full time work, family, writing and you know, everything else can be a challenge. How do you manage the competing interests in your life?

Seriously? I’m writing this at one a.m. after having had four hours of sleep last night. I was up till three a.m. working on book stuff. I don’t know that “managing” is the right word. I think “getting by” might be more appropriate.

As a reader, I somehow imagined that all authors wrote in a cabin in the woods and had the luxury of free time. So not true. So, SO not true. That is all I’m going to say about that, before I start bawling at my exhaustion. Okay, I wouldn’t really bawl, as I’m not the bawling sort. Still, it is wise not to linger over this issue.

6) Is there any part of the writing process that goes into the yuk bucket for you?

Writing the first draft. Totally yuck! The first draft is so two dimensional that I hate it. The magic doesn’t start happening until the first revision. Afterwards, I get to stare at my book and ask questions like: “Do I have enough sexual tension?” “Do I have enough action?” “Should I add a fight here?” “Should I add a prank there?” I will actually tag my chapters with labels like: sex, fight, fun, etc. Then I check to make sure I don’t have any dry spells without one of those elements. How can you not love that?
P.S. I’m totally doing great with gaining followers on all my social media, except for my blog. I’m not too proud to accept pity follows. Hint, hint!

Blog: http://lilojabernathy.blogspot.com/

Author BiographyLilo Abernathy - Photo - Web
Lilo Abernathy is a somewhat eccentric, deep-thinking, warm-hearted young woman of at least 43 years. She started out as a restaurant chain hostess and worked her way up to the exciting world of global mergers and acquisitions. She has enjoyed an on again/off again relationship with formal education and has been affectionately referred to as information hound. In the evenings, she fills her writing breaks by scanning the internet for answers to provocative questions, such as: “What causes diamonds to be formed in different colors?” or “How many welfare recipients are employed?” As she suspected, the answer is not what you would think and she encourages you to look it up yourself.

One thing that never changes is Lilo’s ongoing love affair with books. A born bibliophile, at age ten she had finished all the children’s books in the house and started devouring the wall of books in her parents’ library. By age 15, she was working her way through grocery store book aisles and libraries. Just as Picasso had his blue period, Lilo had her own periods of readership–urban fantasy, historical romance, self-help, business skills improvement, Encyclopaedia Brown, etc. She has always known she would become a writer but deliberately delayed it until after her daughter came of age. She has recently released her debut novel,‘The Light Who Shines.’

 

First published: 31 July 2014

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Interview with Aderyn Wood – 17 July 2014

The lovely Aderyn Wood has recently released The Borderlands (Book One) Journey. Yay Aderyn! Not only have you gifted us with a new story, you are my first interview for Community Muse! Officially brilliant!   *waves to Aderyn. Right. Now, how about we get down to it?

1) Aderyn, you’re a proud Indie author. What do you like best about going indie?The-Borderlands---E-Book-Cover-small

Yes I am proud to be an Indie author! And I love this question, Renay.

I was 38 when I first decided to become a self-published author. I had a few friends who had decided to try traditional publishing, two of those friends are now published with small publishing houses, but most of them are still getting rejection letters. Sadly one of them has given up writing altogether. When I was trying to decide how I was going to approach publishing I started reading a few blogs and books on the subject. I eventually decided on self-publishing because, on the one hand, I was 38 and I didn’t want to spend the next twenty years getting rejection letters. And on the other hand, I took everything I learnt from my reading and made a pledge to myself to ensure I have ‘quality control’ in my writing. The biggest criticism Indie authors receive is that their work is substandard, often full of typos and in need of further development and edits. Without the editing team that a publishing house provides, I decided I needed to put into place my own ‘filters’ to ensure quality. All my novels are workshopped, sent to beta readers and professionally edited. I’ve also done a lot of work on accepting feedback and criticism, always with the aim of getting the best from the story. I know that perfection is an impossible goal, but I strive to get close!

So now that I’ve published two books with a third on the way later in the year, what do I like best about going Indie? Freedom. Every decision is mine. This includes the authorial, editorial, artistic and marketing decisions. At times it makes the mind boggle and takes up a lot of precious time that I could be putting into writing – which is my passion after all. But I like being the one that makes decisions about the book I created, rather than someone who perhaps doesn’t have the same level of interest or passion in my story.

2) Let’s talk about inspiration (because we are all about the Muse here). The Borderlands (Book One) Journey is quite a different read to ‘The Viscount’s Son’. What prompted this novel’s beginning?

I’ve written four novels (only two are published) so far and they’re all different!

I was inspired to write Borderlands from a few different threads that converged to become the one idea. I was keen to write a coming of age novel in which we see a young protagonist grow into someone formidable – and that’s what I have in store for Dale. But, the idea that sparked the whole thing was the life situation of a man my partner Peter had met. This man was in his seventies, and had been through a pretty difficult divorce that left him with nothing except his boat. So he lived (somewhat illegally) on this old ramshackle boat, drifting from town to town. He invited us onto the boat one day and to me it seemed like a setting straight out of a book. After meeting him I couldn’t stop thinking about vagrancy and homelessness and what on earth it would be like to drift through life on a boat. That is the main seed that started Borderlands. But now that I think about it, perhaps that old man was the inspiration for ‘Old Man Gareth’ – one of the important characters in the book.

3) What’s your favourite genre and why?

I try not to restrict myself too much as I love a good story no matter what the genre. But, my number one favourite is fantasy. I also enjoy historical fiction and murder mysteries.

4) If you saw someone on the bus reading Borderlands, would you go and introduce yourself?

Another great question! I think I’d be a little frightened to in case they weren’t enjoying it 😉 But yeah, I think I would!

5) Is there any part of the writing process you fight with?

I love the entire process. But the very final edits I find a bit of a drag. You know, those tiny yet important adjustments at the very end before you publish? I think I can smell the finish line then and I just want it to be published already!

6) Borderlands has a very evocative cover. Did you have a hand in the design process? What would you say to other Indie authors about cover design?

Thank you for the compliment, Renay! I absolutely love the cover design and I cannot thank the artist Taire Morrigan enough for her hard work. I think the process that I underwent to end up with this cover is a reflection of my answer for your first question. As an Indie author I had complete control over this decision, whereas most traditionally published authors don’t.

I had a specific image in mind that I wanted to use to depict the sense of adventure that is the spirit of the protagonist Dale. It took me a long time to get the cover I wanted. First, I had to research numerous designers, then I had to contact them and match prices and working terms. Mind you, all that went out the window when I came across the artist I chose in the end – Taire Morrigan. As soon as I saw her work I knew she could create the perfect image for my book. And she did, but not before a lot of emails back and forth and then looking for stock images that would meet my demands – you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to find an image of a small boat! But Taire managed it, she was very easy to work with.

So, I did have a ‘hand’ in the cover design in so far as I sent Taire a brief of what I had in mind. I also sent her a key scene from the novel that had much of the imagery that you see in the cover. BUT, what she produced was far superior to anything that I could invent in my mind. So I’m still ecstatic about it, and I would recommend that all Indie authors seek an artist to do the cover work for them, rather than trying to do it themselves.

Thanks for spending time with me Aderyn. As a final spot, here’s Aderyn’s official bio and website. Find Aderyn’s books on Amazon.

Aderyn Wood became serious about writing five years ago when she gave up short story writing and sat down to punch out a full length novel. Since then she has published a novella, ‘The Viscount’s Son’ and a novel, ‘The Borderlands: Journey.’ Both are the first of a trilogy. Aderyn will release her third publication later in the year. Aderyn lives in a small cottage in the country with her number one beta reader – her partner Peter. Aside from writing and reading she enjoys managing her small herd of chickens, ducks and quail.

First published: 17 July 2014

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