Tag Archives: interview

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© with Farah Oomerbhoy

Courtesy of Farah Oomerbhoy

Name: Farah Oomerbhoy

Twitter: @FarahOomerbhoy

Website: http://farahoomerbhoy.com/

Books: The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles #1) and The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes

I would like to first off begin saying that this author knows how to write a story. This is not to say other authors I read don’t but Ms. Farah turned a simple story into a beautifully crafted series.

 

What makes your style of writing different from other YA fantasy writers?

Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Published Aug 15, 2015
488 Pages

At first glance, this story can be seen as a traditional YA fantasy story, and I have had people wondering if it is a basic Cinderella, Harry Potter type story that is so commonly seen; the evil queen, magical schools, the lost orphan who turns out to be a princess. But what makes The Avalonia Chronicles truly unique is the character of Aurora Firedrake. 

All literature is an amalgamation of past stories and although there are parallels between Aurora and other protagonists throughout literature, that is where the similarities end.

These stories may appeal to the same audience, but I think readers will find an exciting new adventure with Aurora.

Where did Aurora come from? What inspired you to write her?

I started thinking about this story nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia, whenever I got time. The actual world creation started with a tapestry in my grandmother’s house. One day I stood before it and wondered, what if I could step into the tapestry, where would I end up? 

And so the world of Avalonia sprang into existence.

From then on, the person who stepped into the tapestry was a young 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and this is her story.

 

Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Published April 2017

I wanted my main character to be one whom young teenage girls could relate to. But at the same time I wanted her to be strong-willed, capable and someone whom they could look up to as well.
Aurora is 16 years old; she’s an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. But when she is thrust into a magical world unprepared, that’s when her character starts her journey of discovery. It is not only a journey of learning about the world of Avalonia and its many societies, cultures, and magic. It is also an inner journey for Aurora, a journey of life.

In essence this is a coming of age story, and revolves around a time in Aurora’s life when she has to learn to grow up and face life’s responsibilities on her own. She’s very naive in at first and she is brave and curious too, not always the best combination.
She ends up making mistakes and gets into trouble just like a regular teenager would. It is only in book 2, The Rise of the Dawnstar, that we get to see the change in her character. It is a gradual process, and takes time but she will eventually adapt to her situation and grow up in the process, becoming the warrior queen she was always destined to be.

How do you feel about love triangles in fantasy novels? Are they a necessity to keep a book going or do you consider them spice to the main story? 

 That’s a good question. I don’t particularly like reading about love triangles, but I do think that sometimes they can be vital to the plot of the story and cannot be avoided.

Book 1, The Last of the Firedrakes, didn’t have a love triangle, and I did try and avoid it altogether, but not for long…

Book 2, The Rise of the Dawnstar, does have one. 

Will you always write fantasy or are you interesting in trying other genres?

 My main love has always been fantasy, in all it’s variations. So I might try my hand at contemporary, steampunk, fairytale retellings, dystopias etc. But every story I write will always have some element of magic. 

Finally, any spin offs in the Avalonia Chronicles? Will Aurora have a happy ending? :)

 I think spinoffs are definitely possible. Aurora’s story is vast and complicated. I think she will be around for a while.  :)

 

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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 Laura McNeill

Courtesy of Laura McNeill
Courtesy of Laura McNeill

Name: Laura McNeill

Twitter: @LauraMcNeillBks

Website; http://www.lauramcneill.com/

Books: Center of Gravity and Sister Dear (TBP: April 19, 2016)

Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Shoutout to Netgalley for introducing me to Ms. Laura McNeill. I have had the most amazing pleasure to read her to be released book (April 19 2016), Sister Dear and I am officially a fan. So to say I was not excited when Ms. McNeill agreed to an interview with Motif by Tanya, is an understatement.

Enjoy my fellow readers because I had a blast talking with Ms. Laura McNeill.

Thomas Nelson To Be Published April 19, 2016 336 Pages
Thomas Nelson
To Be Published April 19, 2016
336 Pages

Your career originally started off as an anchor for CBS Affiliates. During this time were you writing or did the idea/drive to become a writer come after you left to raise your family?

When I began working as an anchor and reporter, my older son had just been born, so I was juggling new motherhood with the demands of a fast-paced job in a newsroom. To top it off, the latter part of my career was spent working overnights (2 am – 10 am) in order to prepare and anchor the morning news, so that schedule left little time for anything extra!

After six years, I decided that I wanted to spend more time with my children, and it was then that I gave up TV news and began writing.

How did you career as an anchor help you write books? 

My experience as a journalist certainly came in handy when I started writing novels! In the television business, you can’t miss deadlines, so I learned to work fast and smart. I became quite adept at completing assignments in the news van (going over bumps in the road), dreaming up story ideas on slow news days, and generating creative and compelling stories, most of which were no longer than a minute and thirty seconds.
On the flip side, adjusting to life as novelist took a shift in mindset. I wasn’t used to working on a single project for longer than a day or two, so sitting down at a computer keyboard and working on the same story day after day was a challenge. For me, outlining helped tremendously and gave me a “roadmap” to follow!
Thomas Nelson Published July 4, 2015 320 Pages
Thomas Nelson
Published July 4, 2015
320 Pages

What inspired “Sister Dear”? Why did you decide to write within the genre of suspense and thriller?

A close friend of mine, years ago, was caught with some illegal drugs in her car. When she, as a teenager, went in front of the judge in her small hometown, she refused to give up the name of the dealer. The judge decided to make an example of her, and sent her to jail for six months. To this day, my lovely, wonderful friend, who is one of the kindest people in the world, is still a convicted felon. It affects everything in her life — her jobs, her relationships, her future plans.
Her situation got me thinking “What If” something terrible happened to a single mother of a five year old girl. “What if” the woman stumbled on a dying man, tried to revive him, and was held responsible for the man’s death? Then, what if after going to prison for a crime she didn’t commit and being paroled after ten years, the woman attempts to reconnect with a daughter who doesn’t know or trust her? Worse yet, the woman discovers that the person she trusts most in the world held the key to her freedom all along.
In terms of genre, I started out writing fun, frothy women’s fiction under the pen name Lauren Clark. I published 4 books before changing genres and tackling the deeper, darker side of domestic suspense. The decision to switch gears was two-fold: I love reading suspense and thrillers, and I had gone through some personal adversity and writing seemed a logical way to put some of my thoughts, ideas, and experiences down on “paper” to share with the world–in the hopes that other people might connect with my stories.

Where do you see yourself as a writer, let’s say a year from now? 

Camellia Press Published Aug. 10, 2014 295 Pages
Camellia Press
Published Aug. 10, 2014
295 Pages
In a year from now, I would feel very fortunate to continue to have a successful career as a writer and continue to connect with readers. I would love to have enough success to quit my “day job” as an instructional designer and stay home and write full time!
Of course, everyone wants the NY Times bestseller list, or an appearance on Oprah, but I truly write for the love of writing.
Finally, how do you want the reader to feel once they have completed one of your books?
It is my hope that readers feel like they’ve been given a rich experience, a story that has compelled them to keep reading and turning pages, and one in which they’ve found characters they care about and root for. I also strive hard to deliver a satisfying, but not perfect ending. I want the reader to feel he or she has come full circle when he or she finishes the last page. In addition, I would like the reader to feel that the main character has grown and changed, has learned, has overcome significant adversity, and changed his or her world for the better.
I love hearing from readers, by the way, and have made some amazing friends over the years just connecting over books! Readers mean the world to me, and I value each and every thought, comment, and opinion that is shared with 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