Writing Portal Fantasy with Kate Seger: Authors in Focus Episode 130

Kate Seger

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new first book series, The Storm Below, is out a complete Box Set! Five Books in one amazing collection!

Today, I’m joined by Kate Seger! She is the author of the Wood’s Witch Daughter: An Ethereal Realms Novel! Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! Join her Facebook Group and check out her books on Amazon!

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Interview with William Tchatchou

William Tchatchou

FSF: Hi William, how are you doing? How have the last couple of years of global insanity been treating you?

WT: Well.  Surprisingly well actually, I feel like introverts were enjoying the pandemic more than they probably should have 

FSF: I’m totally with you. I’ve really enjoyed having my family at home as well. I feel for those that have suffered and you can’t help but look outward but on my end it hasn’t affected me.

WT: Same here, I tried my best to keep my family safe or at least well informed but thats everyones job I suppose.

FSF: When did you know you wanted to be a writer, and describe the journey that led to your first publishers work?

WT: Well I dont quite consider myself a writer yet. I’m more like a one punchman, a part timer at best. But for me I’ve always been drawn to world building, and eventually a friend of mine convinced me that my detailed universes and scenarios are really books and not just backdrops to video games I wanted to design.

FSF: So give our audience some background on Hotel of Madness, and let them know why it should be their next purchase.

WT: Well Hotel of a Madness started out as a joke. If you’ve been to Comic Con or Pax West you know that nerds will go to a con no matter how sick they are, a term we call con plague because everyone gets terribly sick after attending one.

But I didn’t want to just write a “what if con plague was the zombie virus story” so I leaned into writing about a guy who just needed extra cash after a long year of dealing with occult bullshit, and I figured it would be even funnier if that guy tried to sell a copy of the soul eating necronomicon and that copy was promptly lost inside a typical anime convention.

So it’s a mix match of the weirdness one gets to when the book of the dead is involved and the beginning of a zombie apocalypse.

FSF: Sounds awesome . Now you’ve decided to self publish your work. What’s been the biggest joy to you about the process, and what do you find have been the biggest obstacles?

WT: I Probably had more fun writing than publishing. Almost as stressful as buying a house… But i do have to say working with the editor was the most fun. I think me and her went through like 5 different versions and borderline rewrites. Getting the perfect cover is not for the faint of heart and if it wasn’t for my diverse group of friends not sure how that would turn out.

Actually seeing the final, formatted version was probably the 3rd best thing I’ve witnessed besides getting married and watching my dogs get big.

FSF: Yea it’s definitely amazing to hold a physical copy of your own book in your hands. Do you write with a particular audience or market in mind or do you write for yourself and hope that others will come along for the ride?

WT: Definitely for myself in a wouldn’t this be cool kinda fashion. I don’t like forcing things or self-censoring  if i can help it and a lot of what I write is me putting the current version of myself on paper.

FSF: I do that as well. That was actually my next question. How much of yourself goes into your characters and do you draw inspiration from others in your personal life and how, if so do you employ that tactic in your work?

WT: Im afraid i put a lot of myself into my main characters or at least channeling a version of me… for example Arthur Curry is basically pulling on my attitude when I work IT for good and for bad, while other times i subconsciously draw on people I know without realizing it.

FSF: What are some of your biggest influences? Draw not only from authors and books, but other media forms like film, television etc.

WT: Pssh long list, I have big love for the Buffyverse, Digimon Digital Monster, Spawn, Blade, Bersek, K.A Applegate, H.P lovecraft, and the Laundry Files, Warhammer 40k and Yugioh.

FSF: What takes up your time when you’re not writing?

WT: Work and being bad at video games, and my puppies.

FSF: How important is reader interaction to you as an indie author? What’s your favorite way to network with readers?

WT: It is important but I have no clue how to do it. I’m an old man so if anyone wants to chat message me on Facebook!

FSF: So what’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from you in the next year?

WT: Well there is two books from The Bot King Series coming up and a project code named David that’s staying in the shadows for the time being.

FSF: I like to end all of my interviews with this question. If you could offer one piece of advice to new and aspiring authors what would it be?

WT: Besides run? I’d say don’t hold back when you’re writing, at the end of the day this is probably the best opportunity to be yourself. But don’t use that as an excuse not to challenge yourself either.

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What Makes a Good Horror Story? with PD Alleva: Authors in Focus Episode 129

PD Alleva

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new first book series, The Storm Below, is out a complete Box Set! Five Books in one amazing collection!

Today, I’m joined by PD Alleva! He is the author of the horror novel Golem! Check him out on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Website. Sign up to his newsletter! See his Goodreads page, Bookbub, and his Amazon Author Page!

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Interview with C. F. Welburn

C. F. Welburn

FSF: Hey Craig! How’s it going? How have these last couple of years of unprecedented global insanity been treating you?

CFW: Hi Mike, not too bad thanks. These last couple of years have been two of the craziest in my life. Not only for the lockdown’s but having become a dad, whilst trying to get another book together! It’s been a blur!

FSF: Congratulations on the leap to parenthood. I remember what that feels like. Sleep schedules all messed up and trying to still function normally. At the very least you have something else to celebrate with the imminent release of your new novel “I Shall Return With Winter.” Thoughts and feelings in these last pre-launch days?

CFW: I’m pretty excited! The last couple of weeks has been crossing the t’s, dotting the i’s, editing, formatting… all the back-end gruelling stuff. So, now I’m just ready to send it packing out into the big wide world. Looking forward to seeing what people think, and then wiping the slate clean and getting on with my next project!!!

FSF: I’m reading it now and I’m really enjoying it. Definitely a dark read, often bleak at times, and less whimsical than your previous work with The Ashen Levels. How did you feel jumping into Grimdark terrain?

CFW: I’m not quite sure how it happened to be honest. I was just about to start writing another series that has been on the back burner for ages, when the idea of a standalone revenge short story popped into my head. Of course, it ended up not being short, or a standalone! It really just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I read a lot of grimdark stuff, so it was pretty cool to go full on grimdark myself… That said, there are supernatural/almost-fairytale like elements at play, and a certain type of humour which are both present in the ashen levels.

FSF: I’m looking forward to reading on! Let’s backtrack a bit. When did you know you wanted to be a writer and can you tell me about the journey that led to your first published work?

CFW: I guess almost my whole life. My parents read to me at an early age, and I remember when I was seven or eight getting encouraging comments from a teacher about a story I had written, and it just sparked something in me. Then I got into fantasy and the rest was history! I wrote loads of stuff before I actually published anything. Got shoeboxes of bad bad writing hidden away somewhere. Then in about 2013 I attended a writer’s workshop and heard a lot about self-publishing and decided to give it a go. In 2015 I published my first novella, The Linguist. It’s been a wild ride since then.

FSF: Well the Ashen Levels was an amazing accomplishment as a highly literary work, that I’d say stands out among other books in the genre. I’ve always called it GameLit without the game. What inspired you to write it?

CFW: Thanks Mike, that means a lot. I studied literature at university, and I guess some of the classics rubbed off on me! And it’s actually a funny story, because I had never read any gamelit or litrpg before writing the book. But I did (and do) play A LOT of videogames. When I was thinking about the magic system of the book, I thought it would be cool to use videogame mechanics as its base. It was a lot of fun, as I could poke fun at many things, the levelling up, the fetch quests, the way he can fast travel and summon his horse etc, was all inspired by playing open world rpgs. Of course, the ashen levels is epic fantasy, not some computer generated world, so I had to put rules in place for why he could do these things. What would drive him to level up etc, and that’s where the whole addiction to the smoke came about, and various consequences to stop them abusing the laws of the world… I could go on about it for ages, but I’ll stop now!

FSF: That’s awesome. I’m not a gamer and my Max & The Captain series is a satirical GameLit series so it pokes fun at my lack of gaming knowledge.

CFW: haha. that’s great. yeah, there are plenty of easter eggs in the book, that gamers might notice, but I’ve always maintained that you don’t need to play or even like videogames to enjoy the book, because everything is explained and has a reason for being the way it is… no spoliers.

FSF: So since the new one is out next week, can you give our readers some info about it and why it should be their click of choice?

CFW: My elevator pitch is: It’s an epic, grimdark adventure with a twist on the revenge and chosen-one/farmboy tropes! Oben might go seeking revenge, but what he finds is something completely different. I think (well, I hope!) that the plot is unpredictable, because when I started out, even I didn’t see the end coming the way it did.

FSF: Awesome! Do you write with a particular audience or market in mind or do you write for yourself and hope that others will come along for the ride?

CFW: Honestly, I write what I want to write. If I’m not 100% into the story, then I would never finish it. And I’m my own worst critic. When I’m considering the next step in the story, I often think what would I expect to happen next if it was a film or another book. Good, not bad. So let’s not do that, because someone else might have seen it coming like I did! Obviously when it comes to the marketing side of things I then have to consider the audience. For example, this is more grimdark/epic, so I’ve had to find comparable titles/authors to target.

FSF: Now you’ve chosen to self publish your work so I’m curious: what have you enjoyed most about the process and what have you found to be the biggest obstacle?

CFW: I love writing! The whole creative process, letting my imagination take over, daydreaming and coming up with random stuff whilst taking long walks… that is what I have always enjoyed! Everything else, however, has been a struggle! Since I started in 2015 it has been a massive learning curve regarding marketing, social media, advertising… so yeah, that’s been difficult! But hopefully I’m getting there. Hearing positive feedback for the new book makes everything worthwhile!

FSF: Hmm, not consciously, but I guess every character I write-in order to be believable-has to be based upon my knowledge of people I’ve had dealings with in real life, (or seen in films!) Especially for the dialogue and how people would react naturally/realistically…

CFW: When I had the characters written for ISRWW, I googled some images to see if I could find people who looked like I had in mind. Then sometimes I’d refer to that picture when writing physical descriptions. All that being said, I wish I was more like Balagir from The Ashen Levels, as he always has a way of outsmarting his opponent, or escaping from some impossible situation! Oben from ISRWW is much greyer. He does things we might not necessarily agree with, but under similar circumstances, maybe we would do the same.

FSF: Who are some of your biggest influences as an author? Draw not only from books but other media forms as well if you’d like.

CFW: Some of the early books I read that got me into fantasy have surely have had an impact on me, like Tolkien, Tad Williams, Feist… Recently some of my favourite trad published books have been by Jack Vance, Mervyn Peake, Guy Gavriel Kay and Ursula K. Le Guin. I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music and playing video games, too. Some of the writing in games these days is exceptional. It’s kind of weird, because the title from my latest book came from a misheard lyric. I was out walking listening to a song by Bathory called Ring of Gold, and I heard a line that I thought said, i shall return with winter… and I thought, yeah that kind of sums up my story… A few months later I found out it actually said i shall return with the wind, the day!

FSF: Recommend some indie fantasy or science fiction to our community.

CFW: Ooof, this is tough because I’ve just finished taking part in a summer reading challenge and discovered so many great new authors. Some highlights of this summer have been The Lost War by Justin lee Anderson, A Ritual of Flesh by Lee Conley, Power of Conviction by Catrin Russell, Og Grim Dog by Jamie Edmundson, Call of Titan by Paul Mouchet, In Solitude’s Shadow by David Green, The Dark Oak by Jacob Sannox, The Skald’s Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short, Paternus by Dyrk Ashton and We Men of Ash and Shadow by HL Tinsley… I could go on, and these are just some I’ve read in the last few months so they are fresher in my mind!

FSF: What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to down the line?

CFW: First thing is getting the launch out of the way, then I can look ahead. Obviously the sequel to ISRWW is a priority and I aim to have that out middle of next year all being well. I am also involved in an anthology which is due out after Christmas. Something quite exciting for me is I’m writing the narrative for a videogame based on a short story from the world of the Ashen Levels (Ythinar). My brother-in-law is an indie games developer, so I’m doing the narrative, game design, puzzle design, sound effects, voices (with an AI programme, not my own!), music and testing. He is doing all the complicated programming and modelling stuff… It’s early days and will be a short, narrative based puzzle game with dark, fairytale vibes. Hopefully I’ll be able to say more in the new year.

FSF: I always end every interview with this question. What one piece of advice can you offer to new and aspiring authors?

CFW: Have fun! Simple as that. If you’re having fun writing something, it will show, and someone will have fun reading it. It’s yours, own it, slay it, bend it, smash it! If you’re bored, or finding it a slog, something’s not right and it’s time to step back and remember what you love so much about the craft of writing in the first place

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On Writing Death’s PR Agent with EG Stone: Authors in Focus Episode 128

E.G. Stone

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m Michael Evan, a satirical author, editor, and author promoter. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My first box set it out! Check out the Cider and Ale Chronicles Box Set!

Today, I’m joined by EG Stone! She is the author of the urban fantasy novel The Innocence of Death (On Behalf of Death 1)! Check out all her links to connect with EG Stone at Link Tree and her books on Amazon!

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What is the Modern Fantasy Genre? with Crystal Cherie: Authors in Focus Episode 127

Crystal Cherie

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new first book series, The Storm Below, is out a complete Box Set! Five Books in one amazing collection!

Today, I’m joined by Crystal Cherie! She is the author of the new adult supernatural novel House of Pluto (The Divine House Book 1)! Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Check out her website, her Wattpad stories, and her books on Amazon!

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Putting Together a Great Anthology with A.A. Warne: Authors in Focus Episode 126

A. A. Warne

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new first book series, The Storm Below, is out a complete Box Set! Five Books in one amazing collection!

Today, I’m joined by A.A. Warne! She is the author of The Reluctant Wizard! You can follow her on FacebookTwitterLinked-In, and Instagram. Join her Facebook Reader Group, check out her website, her blog, and her books on Amazon!

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COVER REVEAL: The Ruined Man by Jason DeGray

Victor Wolf and Frank Barber, detectives for the Albuquerque Police Department, get the biggest case of their careers when a dozen people turn up dead. But everything in their worlds gets flipped upside down when they run afoul of a demon named the Lord of Murder. Victor is horribly scarred and mutilated, turning him into a Ruined Man, while Barber is left to pick up the pieces and solve a mystery which grows increasingly darker as it implicates the rich and powerful of Duke City.

With their lives and souls on the line, the partners must face a host of monsters, spirits, and demons in their attempt to stop the Lord of Murder from getting its hands on a mysterious book with no title. It’s a race against time in the Land of Enchantment, one whose stakes could go beyond what Wolf and Barber are willing to pay.

Will the dark rituals of the evil Purple Gates Group be the ruin of the entire world or just Victor Wolf?

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The Power of Inspiration with Alexzander Christion: Authors in Focus Episode 125

Alexzander Christion

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m Michael Evan, a satirical author, editor, and author promoter. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My first box set it out! Check out the Cider and Ale Chronicles Box Set!

Today, I’m joined by Alexander Christion! He is the author of By the Hand of Dragon: Scales! Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And check out his website and his books on Amazon!

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COVER REVEAL: The Beckoning Void by Patrick LeClerc

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Emelia DuMond is an actress, climbing  from her humble beginnings to success on the stage of Victorian London.  And to the attention of the Ghost Society, a secret organization who seek to defend the world from threats of the paranormal. After centuries of seeking, the sinister Disciples of the Void seek an arcane book of great power. A power that could tear the veil between dimensions and plunge the world into a dark, unspeakable future.

Now Emelia has recruited an aging soldier of fortune burdened by a conscience, the sword wielding daughter of an Afghan brigand and an airship whose captain escaped slavery in the Civil War by stealing a Confederate vessel.

Can Emelia and her band of plucky outcasts save the world from a cult of fanatics intent on unleashing an ancient horror?

“The Beckoning Void” is a tale of cunning plots, flashing swords, skillful piloting, witty repartee and eldritch dread. 

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