Tag 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© with Joanna White

Courtesy of Joanna White

Name: Joanna White

Who is Joanna?  A lover of Stars Wars and a fan girl at heart.

Books: Hunter (Valiant #1), Forgotten (Valiant #0.5) and Shifter

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Nobles

Sometimes great things just happen to fall into your hand. Such as an interview you didn’t know you wanted to do. Meet Joanna White, Christian author of the Valiant series. 

Joanna has been an author all her life and wrote her first book at 10 years old. Impressive work that only foreshadowed her career in writing.

When did you learned that language, specifically the written word had some

Ambassador International
Published April 30th, 2019
260 Pages

power?

I don’t know if there was ever one specific moment, really. I used to write as a hobby for fun, but other than a few friends here and there, I was the only one enjoying them, and then it was more fun writing than reading them. It wasn’t until after high school that I learned how important my writing could be, that I could use it to encourage, inspire, and uplift people and give them good, clean books to delve into without worrying about bad things being involved.

Shifter is your third book. How has your mind set and/or writing style evolved since your first book?

Technically, even though Shifter is second in the Valiant Series, I actually wrote a few books before that, ones that became prequels to the series, so it wasn’t my third written. Plus, I had been writing many novels before that, ever since I was ten. My first book, when I was ten, was really good for my age, but it’s cringe-worthy now. My writing has matured a lot (we hope so anyway, haha) and my stories have obviously gotten deeper and filled with more meaning. I started off writing what I called Modern Christian Dramas where God helped a character through a real life issue, but the Valiant Series was my first Christian Fantasy. Ever since then, I started world and race building and I loved it and from there, I decided to try to branch into other genres for experience. Just recently, I wrote a Christian Biblical fiction romance, and Biblical fiction and romance were two genres I had never really written before.

Ambassador International
Published Feb. 19th, 2019
37 Pages

What does success in the book industry look to you? With your definition, are you successful?

I think it has many definitions. First and foremost, success comes from God. As long as I rely on God and use this gift, talent, and passion He gave me for Him, then I’m successful. Second, there’s my dream which is to become a best selling author with a lot of fans who love my books and were inspired and encouraged by them and enjoyed them. I have a few, but I still have a ways to go before I achieve that one. Then there’s the human definition of success which is money—still a ways to go before I hit that one, haha. And lastly, there’s how much I’m actually writing. When I first started the Valiant Series, I was young but I wanted to make an epic franchise like Star Wars only in book form. I didn’t think I could do it. In the end, I wrote a 17 book series and that in itself was a huge accomplishment. If you take into account all the other books I’ve written since I started—55 I believe, according to my last count—then, I’m definitely successful with that definition.

This is a bit of a controversial topic, but do you read your book reviews? If so, how do you handle bad reviews?

Ugh, I read carefully and nervously. I’m always excited for more book reviews because it means someone read my book, but there’s always going to be negative ones. When Hunter, Book One of the Valiant Series was self published, I had a troll come on and rate it a one star. Hunter was the only book this person had reviewed and they had a bunch of one star ratings on a ton of other products. They said it was a piece of crap and not worth reading. Even though I knew it was a spammer/troll, it broke my heart. I think a bad review will always hurt a writer, but you have to learn to take it and appreciate the positive ones or the ones that are sincerely trying to help you improve as a writer.

Finally, other of all the genres, why did you choose to write fantasy?

Create Space
Published August 1st, 2017
126 Pages

It’s not as boring as real life, haha. Honestly, I love that you can make anything happen that you want to, and in fantasy in makes sense. Even with sci-fi, you have to come up with all this technical or scientific stuff that I don’t really know or understand, but with fantasy, boom, magical explanation. Even that does have to make sense and fit into its own rules, but most of the times, it’s rules you invent yourself, so it makes it so much easier to understand. I just love making up worlds of my own and that fits better into a fantasy context. I would love sci-fi and I do love the whole traveling the galaxy thing, but I had to invent magical spaceships so I knew how they worked. Which gave me an excuse to build my own galaxy.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannamwhite

Website: https://joannamariewhite.wixsite.com/mywebsite

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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