Category Archives: Quick Five

Blog Tour Interview | Quickish w. Julie Kagawa

Via Goodreads

Name: Julie Kagawa

Who is Julie?  One of Tanya’s favorite fantasy authors (so I am bias)

Books: Shadow of the Fox series, Iron Fey series, Talon series, Blood of Eden series

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles

As I mentioned, I am bias. My first introduction to Julie Kagawa was her Iron Fey series. And I recently heard, she is coming back to that series and I am extremely excited. To be able to interview her and be part of the book tour makes my 16 year old self smile in glee.

I highly recommend reading her books. All of them. Enjoy this interview!

What were your biggest influences when creating this world in story, whether they be legends, folklore, anime, manga or other novels?

Anime, Manga and video games have been my biggest influences when writing the world of Shadow of the Fox, but also the works of Akira Kurosawa like The Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon.   

The Iron Fey series was your first large published success. How did you feel as a writer when you reflect upon those books? How did/do you feel as a reader when you read or re-read those books?

The Iron Fey series holds a very special place in my heart as my first published series. I know I’ve grown since then, and when I re-read the Iron Fey I know I’ve come a long way as an author. But I also know that I wrote the best books I could at the time, so even though I wouldn’t write them the same way now, I’m happy with them.

What is it about fantasy that draws you to it?

Is everything a good answer? I love myths and legends, other worlds, magic, swords, wizards, dragons, evil gods, epic quests, and the battle between good and evil.  I read to escape, but also to travel to far away places and encounter creatures and beings I would never meet in real life. Who hasn’t daydreamed about flying on the back of a dragon?  I read fantasy for the same reason.  

How much research goes into your books and at what point do you stop using research and build off it?

It depends on how much I already know about certain aspects of the book.  For example, from the amount of anime and manga I’d consumed over the years, I knew a lot about kitsune, oni, tanuki, and various other Japanese monsters.  I still did a fair amount of research, though it was more about the samurai and the Sengoku Jidai, the era I was basing the book off of. I never really stop researching, though most of it goes into book one, which is where much of the world building takes place.

Would you ever write adult fantasy? If so, what would it look like?

I certainly have considered it, though it would look a lot like my YA books, just with older protagonists.   When I write, I don’t think “This is for teens,” I just write how I would always write. Really, the only thing that differentiates YA from adult is the age of the heroes and the lack of graphic sex in YA.  And even that is changing.

Out of all the books you have written, which has your favorite world and why?

Probably the Iron Fey series, though Shadow of the Fox is a close second.  I love fantasy and all the fantastic creatures that populate it, so the Nevernever is my favorite world for that alone.  Even though I wouldn’t last a day there without getting eaten by an ogre, a redcap or a kelpie. Maybe if I could find a big gray cat…    

Finally, what do you hope people remember about Night of the Dragon?

I hope people come away with a new appreciation of Japanese myth and folklore, particularly all the wonderfully bizarre yokai, yurei and bakemono that populate these stories.  From kitsune and tanuki to oni and kirin, I hope it inspires readers to learn more about the world of Japanese myth and legend. And I hope people remember how much they cried at the end of the story.

 

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Twitter: @Jkagawa

Website: http://juliekagawa.com/

 

 

Quick Five© with Ben Galley

          Courtesy of Ben Galley

Name: Ben Galley

Who is Ben?  An author of dark and epic fantasy with a musical past.

Books: Emaneska Series, The Scarlet Star Trilogy, The Chasing Graves Trilogy, Heart of Stone

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles

If you haven’t heard of The Write Reads, you are missing out. They have introduced book bloggers to new book bloggers and almost most importantly, they have introduced readers to new authors. Take Ben Galley, for instance.

The Ultimate Blog Tour has introduced me to a Canadian author who is leaving a stamp not only on dark and epic fantasy but also the self-publishing world. His books, which are detailed and full of world building, will leave you waiting more.

Enjoy this insight to an author you should become familiar with.

When writing a book, how do you balance being a reader and being a writer?

Most days, the bulk of my time is devoted to writing, however, I think it’s highly important for a writer to be a reader, and so I try to sneak in at least half an hour of reading. I believe reading keeps a writer’s mind sharp, as well as subtly teaching language, new ideas, and of course, adding a great deal of enjoyment and escapism!

Why did you choose to write epic and dark fantasy? What lead you to that genre?

I’ve always been a fantasy fan. The first book I ever read was The Hobbit and shortly after that, Lord of The Rings. From there I devoured any fantastical fiction I could find, and I’ve developed a huge passion for the genre. It was only natural that I started writing in the same genre, and I haven’t looked back since! I’ve dabbled in subgenres here and there, from military fiction to weird west, but there’s always been a strong fantasy streak in what I write.

You state that you used your knowledge of the music industry and being an independent artist to help with your route to self-publish your book. Can you explain a little bit of how?

During my time at the Academy of Contemporary Music, I was taught a wide range of methods for being self-sufficient as an artist as well as an entrepreneur. That included developing marketing and business skills, as well as learning how to produce and sell media directly to the consumer. When I switched from music to the books, I saw a large amount of parallels in the industry, and realised I could apply my knowledge to being an indie author. That was one of the reasons I chose to go self-published.

What does literary success look like to you and with that definition in mind, are you successful?

I’ve always been driven to achieve the highest levels of success possible, perhaps to my own detriment, but it’s just how my brain works! For me, that success looks like being a household name in fantasy, and it’s a goal I’m still aiming for, and writing towards. I’m very proud to be making a full-time living from my books, and that is a benchmark that I deem to be successful. I’m just looking forward to what the future brings!

Final and random question, you own an acre of the moon?

I do! Or at least, a company sold me an acre. I’ve always hoped it was legitimate, and I guess I’ll find out whenever I get up there to colonise it! I know one thing, and that is I’m using it to open the first lunar bookstore.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BenGalley

Website: https://www.bengalley.com/

Quick Five© Roshani Chokshi Star-Touched Stories Blog Tour Edition

Via goodread

 

Name: Roshani Chokshi

Twitter: @Roshani_Chokshi 

Website: http://www.roshanichokshi.com

Genre: Fantasy

Books: The Star-Touched Queen series, The Glided Wolves, The Star-Touched Stories,

Where to Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and other online and brick and mortar stores

I have had the pleasure of participating in the Blog Tour for Roshani Chokshi new collection of short stories: Star-Touched Stories. The Star-Touched Stories are part of the world of the Star-Touched Queen universe, so you do not need to read the original series, to get into these short stories. However, I recommend it.

Beautifully woven words, that even without the romance have a very romantic and poetic nature to them. So to be able to be granted the opportunity to post a quick interview from Roshani Chokshi is, for the lack of a more refined term, cool lol

Please enjoy :)

What inspired you to create this fictional world? Were there anyRomo mythologies that particularly inspired you? 

I was really inspired by the childhood stories that my grandmother told me. To me, they were so rich with details and texture that it really shocked me how these worlds and mythologies were never explored in mainstream literature. I was particularly inspired by Greek and Hindu mythology.

Favorite myth and how has it inspired your writing? What was your inspiration for these stories?

I think my favorite myth is Hades and Persephone. I love the atmosphere, the goth undercurrent, the power dynamic. I love the movement of princess to Queen.

Why did you feel it was important to add Star-Touched Stories to this world you’ve created?  What do you want readers to gain from the stories? Do you think there are any more stories to tell from the Star-Touched world, and if so, who you most like to write about next?

For me, this collection of stories is my farewell to the world that I created. It was extremely cathartic to write these three stories. I want readers to gain a sense of closure. I want readers to feel as much as I did when I with the stories. Who can say whether or not there are more stories left to tell in this world? ;)

How is writing short stories different than writing a full-length book? How different is it to write YA and MG? How has your writing evolved?

Writing short stories is really different from writing a full-length book because you’re ultimately writing to a punchline in a shorter amount of space. There is less space to explore so the language must be very deliberate. I think my writing has evolved to become a lot more character focused than I once was. I still love gorgeous, decadent prose, but I believe that the best kind of language is that which is emotionally filtered through the feelings of a character.

What do you want readers to take from your writings?

I want readers to take away a sense of wonder and adventure. I hope I made you feel something. I hope you feel like you traveled somewhere else for a while. And I hope you leave hungry because I work very hard on my food descriptions…

 

 

Quick Five© Patsy Jawo

Courtesy of Patsy Jawo
Courtesy of Patsy Jawo

Name: Patsy Jawo

Twitter: @patsyjawo

Website: www.vewbooks.com

Book: For The Love of I: Inspirational Poetry

Buy: www.vewbooks.com

Poetry is an acquired taste; some people either love it or hate. I am one of those who love it. It is intense emotion in a few lines and for me poetry makes me feel human.

Pasty Jawo is one of those writers, who is able to convey connecting emotions with ease. It is my pleasure to not only introduce her to poetry lovers but also haters because she will make a lover out of you.

Enjoy.

Out of all the genres in the writing world, why did you choose poetry as a way to express yourself and your ideas?

A great question Tanya, poetry chose me and I am forever humbled and grateful.

What or who inspired you to write? 

Inspiration dictates and I scribe.

Was there anything you were doing, such as a job or schooling before you published your first work? Has writing always been a part of your life?

Vew Publishing Published Jan. 5, 2016
Vew Publishing
Published Jan. 5, 2016

I owned a consulting firm within the financial services industry. Yes, writing has always been a part of my life and I started writing poetry around 10 years ago.

What was your thought process when you was writing this book?

There was no thinking. This book is pure inspiration from start to finish and there were many times I woke up during the night to capture the inspiration that went into For The Love Of I. I only write when inspired because as soon as I start thinking the flow of inspiration is blocked and nothing comes.

Finally, what do you want the reader to know about you after reading your book?

That I am grateful for all our worlds colliding.

Also that For The Love Of I is a reference book that can be picked up at any time and you can be inspired to open any random page where hopefully the right and perfect thing for you will be presented.

And lastly that For The Love Of I encompasses who I am on so many levels so having read some or all of it you will have an idea about what lives in my heart which is a very special place for me.

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Quick Five© with Tendai Huchu

Courtesy of Tendai Huchu
      Courtesy of Tendai Huchu

 

Name: Tendai Huchu

Twitter: @TendaiHuchu

Website: http://www.tendaihuchu.com

Books: The Hairdresser of Harare & The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician 

Buy: Amazon & Barnes and Noble  

Reading books written by men is a completely different experience from reading a book written by a women. Not to say that one is greater than the other but reading books by the opposite sex is an experience in its own.

I love when I have the opportunity to interview male authors. So I welcome all my readers to this wonderful interview with Tendai Huchu; an author who writes easily through his heart.

Enjoy.

What inspired your first novel “The Hairdresser of Harare”?

Weaver Press Published Oct. 12, 2010 190 Pages
                Weaver Press
       Published Oct. 12, 2010
                  190 Pages

I can probably better describe the process of writing the book than pinpoint the “inspiration”. It was Christmas day 2009 and I was at a friend’s place, sponging a free meal, when I heard Vimbai’s voice in my head. I borrowed her laptop and began banging away – fourteen days later, red-eyed, weary and under threat of eviction from her couch, I emerged with the first draft. It was a spontaneous event.

Why did you feel you needed to write this book? Was it because the story was missing in the world of literature or because you had a need to let it out?

I am sure some would argue that writers all circle the same few universal themes so there is nothing really missing in the WoL. Part of me thinks the reason I do this is the same reason dogs pee on lampposts, I just can’t help it.

Do you feel that it is more pressure on you as a writer for accuracy to write about a female main character? If so, why? If not, why not?

   Amabooks Publishers    Published Dec. 1, 2014               284 Pages
Amabooks Publishers
Published Dec. 1, 2014
284 Pages

I had a crutch when I wrote the story. I used Sarah Ladipo-Manyika’s wonderful book In Dependence as my metronome, so I would write a chapter of my book, read a chapter of her’s and alternate all the way through, that way she tempered my voice. Luckily, we have become friends and Sarah has not sued me, yet. I am very aware that I don’t do female characters well (like most male writers) but the solution isn’t to write navel gazing Bro Lit.  Instead one should read more female authors, try to figure out what they are doing, and you really are spoilt for choice there, then maybe compare that to some of the crap male authors are writing and figure out what the potential pitfalls are. I can’t say I felt pressure, but I am very aware that if your characters are not believable, if they lack a soul, then the whole project collapses, so it was essential to get Vimbai right. Luckily, I also had a female editor, so that second pair of eyes caught some of my errors and helped me iron them out.

As an author of color do you feel it is your duty to write diverse books? Specifically to have main characters who are non-white?

I’m Zimbabwean, and within that literary tradition, this question doesn’t even factor. Small as it may be, our canon is mostly of books by black writers writing about black experiences and characters.   However I live in Scotland now and am aware that there is a lack of representation in this society (across many different media) of non-white characters, which is not healthy for art and society at large. This opens up a very interesting and rewarding space for writers to mine and I think, to an extent, this is happening today. I don’t think one can approach this ideologically as a “duty”, rather it is an organic and necessary exploration of our common humanity, which literature as an art form does so well.

Finally, how would you describe your success? What makes you feel that your books are a success?

I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly successful. What drives me on is the hope that if I work just a little bit harder, study the craft with a little more diligence, then maybe one day I will become a better writer. Perhaps this is beyond me, I don’t know, but it is that hope that keeps me going. I’m not sure what matrix one can use to gauge success in literature – sales, critical acclaim, longevity? – but my job is to wake up each morning, stare at the white blank page and shed blood on it. Outside of that, nothing else really matters.

 

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Quick Five© with Jaime Lee Moyer

Goodreads

Name: Jaime Lee Moyer

Books: Delia’s Shadow, A Barricade in Hell, Against a Brightening Sky (Delia Martin Series 1-3) 

Buy: Barnes & Noble, Amazon

I love a good mystery book and I love it even more when the author is a bit of a mystery as well :)

Ladies and Gentleman, meet Jaime Lee Moyer, whose name and email is constantly misspelled and yet can still laugh about it.

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? Most importantly, have you always known you wanted to write about murder, betrayal and magic?

Tor Books Published Sept. 17, 2013 336 Pages
Tor Books
Published Sept. 17, 2013
336 Pages

The first story I wrote down was when I was about eleven years old. I’d made up stories as long as I could remember; even going so far as to act them out and narrate them to myself.  I’d probably have put them on paper sooner, but there was the small issue of learning to write and being able to form coherent sentences.

Murder and betrayal are a grownup addition to my storytelling. Magic or some fantastic element, on the other hand, has always been a part of the stories I told.  A world without magic seemed lackluster. In a lot of ways magic is a part of me.

Why did you choose to write within the Young Adult genre?

While I’m thrilled that the Gabe and Delia books have found a YA crossover audience, I didn’t write them as YA. They were always meant to be adult novels, with adult protags.

Tor Books Published June 3, 2014 331 Pages
Tor Books
Published June 3, 2014
331 Pages

What is your process when you are writing a book? How do you keep the ideas flowing on to the paper?

I daydream, a lot. I ask myself what if questions, think of alternatives to my first idea and how each choice will change the course of the story.  Most important of all, I make sure from the start that I know my characters inside and out.  Characters drive the story for me.

What matters most when you are writing stories? The setting, the characters . . . etc Why does it matter the most?

The characters are always what matter most.  I try never to think of characters as puppets I can move around at will. In order for me to write them as believable people—and someone that readers will like and relate to—I have to think of them as people.

Think of some of the books you love the most. Did you love them for the cool buildings in the background, or did you remember the characters? I do my best to keep that in mind while I’m writing.

Tor Books To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015 336 Pages
Tor Books
To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015
336 Pages

Finally, if you can have dinner with one author dead or alive who would it be and why?

Only one?  Ursula K. LeGuin. I fell in love with her writing from the very first page. She paints incredible pictures with words, builds worlds I can get lost in, and still tells amazing stories. That’s a standard I can only aspire to.

 

Twitter: @jaimeleemoyer

Website: http://www.jaimeleemoyer.com

 

Quick Five© With Kim Liggett

Courtesy of Kim Liggett
Courtesy of Kim Liggett

Name: Kim Liggett

Who is Kim?  Love of music and all things creative

Books: Blood & Salt (To Be Published September 22, 2015), The Last Harvest (Still Under Production)

Buy:  Barnes & Noble, Amazon

You got to love a author with a colorful background. You can almost bet that whatever they write will be the most amazing read you have had in a long time. Take author Kim Liggett, a former musician and actress who decided to keep her love of creativity by starting businesses and by writing a book (that has nothing to do with music).  I for one, look forward to Ms. Liggett’s new chapter. You should too.

You have businesses in the arts as well as music, why decide to write a Young Adult novel?

I’ve always been involved in the arts, one way or another. I just see this as an extension of my interests. I will always create, whether it’s books, businesses, or music…or maybe a beautiful garden someday. The future’s wide open.

 G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015 352 Pages
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
To Be Published Sept. 22, 2015
352 Pages

Your book “Blood and Salt” is being described as Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the corn. How accurate is that statement? Why did you choose to write a romantic horror?

I’d say it’s extremely accurate. A lot of people probably think it’s some kind of gimmick comp, but it’s pretty dead-on. I’m dyslexic, so reading was hard. It had to be pretty damn compelling to get me to finish a book—I gravitated toward the naughtier bits of horror and romance novels to get me through.

What do you want readers to get out of reading your novels?

I hope they’re swept up. I hope there’s enough interest to keep even the most reluctant reader flipping the pages until the very end. Because the end is so worth it. ; )

How has the current popularity in Young Adult novels influenced your writing? If there is any influence at all?

I love the pacing of YA novels. I find that aspect really addictive. I’m a new writer—I can still read a book for sheer pleasure without analyzing the prose. I’m grateful for that—because above all else, I consider myself a fan of the genre.

Finally… who were the biggest rock bands you sang backup for in the 80s’ ( I’m dying to know)?

Haha! Blast from the past. Duran Duran, The Eurythmics, Eddie Money…I did a lot of studio work and some touring in the mid to late 80’s. It was a crazy way to grow up—to be a teen. And yes, someday, that will work its way into a book. : )

Twitter: @kim_liggett

Website: http://www.kimliggett.com