Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nathyn Masters interview

We have a second timer with us today. Nathyn Masters is an author, filmmaker and comic book writer and artist. He’s slated to be at the 2012 Wizard World Comic Convention. Today he’s back with us with his second book in the controversial “Blackrayne” series “Midrash Express”. Good to have you back. What have you been doing in the year’s time since this book was announced?

I’ve been busy with the “Epitaph: Bread and Salt” film and the “Epitaph” comic line from Night Phoenix Press. I’m writing all the books and drawing one of the limited series so I’m constantly working. But I never really announced the book. It was listed on Amazon, but it was considered “out of print” because I staggered it while I went back over it. The editing process takes longer than writing and I still found mistakes and things that just didn’t sound right, so I had to go back over it a few more times. On top of that “One in the Flesh 2: More Bedtime Stories for Married Couples” just came out.

Your first book “Blackrayne” was pretty controversial. How did that affect you work on this one?

I don’t think it did. I think the issue for me was coming from comics where everything is accepted without question and then coming here where people can actually feel attacked by what they read. It’s kind of crazy. There’s a lot of stuff going on and I got accused of a lot of things. The reviews are still there, you can read what people were saying. Some people already didn’t really like me at the time and some of them made up stuff about what was stated in the book. I won’t say they were lying, but I did eventually prove their perception was off, by actually printing the text from the book. But in the end it didn’t matter because people had made up their minds. So the lesson for me was don’t fight the readers even if they are wrong, they have the right to perceive as they see fit, it’s just sad it hurts the writer sometimes because people come into it with preconceived notions.

Certainly if you have any kind of Christian ideology in your book it has to be made known or some people will accuse you of stealth proselytizing, because of Christian publishing companies that are actually publishing Christian fiction and not labeling them as such. So people like me, get caught up in it because I love working with Heaven and Hell stories and Biblical themes, but my books are secular in nature. In comic books Heaven and Hell stories used to be so prominent no one batted an eye, especially over at Image Comics. But here it’s very different and people are very specific. It’s really not your average reader, but people on the forums and such are very picky and they will come after you.

Well what would you consider your work?

Occult fiction is what it is, but if it’s a Heaven and Hell story there has to be a theme of Godly and Un-Godly. There is a very strong anti-Christian and anti-God backlash in America right now, so people are bit on edge and they’re angry. They feel God is the enemy. But the love of money is the root of all evil and is behind everything happening now and much of what has happened in the past. Novels, movies and the like fall into a genres. “Christian” is not a genre. It’s made up (by Christians writers I assume), but no matter what your “Christian” story will fall into one of these genres. It doesn’t make the work special or better than anything else. People slap a “Christian” label on things to market them better. Many times it’s profit motivated. That’s the reality no one wants to face. Before the Christian labeling, books, movies, records, etc were simply of whatever genre the writer or artist was working in. If Christianity was in there it was simply a part of the whole, hence the “Narnia” books and other works of fiction that reached both secular and religious heights, but those books were simply labeled fantasy, or whatever because Christian lit didn’t come about until the 60’s or 70’s.  I feel the same about “African American” literature and any other sub-genre. What it actually does is marginalizes the writer of such work, but this may help the writer make a quick buck marketing to a group, particularly if the writer isn’t that good. 

Tell us about your second book. Jason Blackrayne is back?

Yep. Jason left Chicago, fearing Evelyn DeVille would try to kill him. He resettled in Chicago after after she moved to LA. He wrote a book about what happened to him. He named names and made a lot of money from that, but is trying to live low key. But the book made DeVille famous. One day, out of the blue, Jason gets a letter that Evelyn is dead. He’s invited to the funeral and it turns out he’s in her will.

Evelyn was a multi-millionaire and she gave people very lavish gifts that all turned out to be cursed. Only Jason’s stuff wasn’t cursed. Her fiance did get the estate, but Jason got the money to take care of the estate as well as some of her mystical items. This will make sense in book three which I’m writing now.

While it all seems like a Cinderella story there’s a problem and it presents itself in the form of a tall, beautiful, violent and hyper sexual, up and coming pop icon named Catherine Faust. She wants a particular book and from the collection, but is unsure which one. She smacks Jason around  a bit and takes what she wants. Jason has a bit of an idea which book it is and he checks it out. Turns out one of the books is written like a Jewish Midrash, but is actually a book of demonology. This is the one Catherine will stop at nothing to get. There’s a lot going on in this one and it bleeds over into the third book even though Midrash Express is a standalone story.

How did this story come about?

I wanted to throw a curve ball in there somewhere. When I write I like to think of what is the unexpected thing. When you get into the world of the occult it’s not always easy to escape, especially when your enemies are both human and spiritual. Jason wants to escape, but gets sucked back in. He would stay away, if he could. I think he’s kind of deciding to take the bull by the horn in this one. And I wanted him and Catherine to really butt heads.

Who is Catherine? And why does she hate Jason?

I don’t know that she hates him. She wants something from him and he’s not willing to give it. Catherine is very strong physically and mentally, the kind of woman to kick doors off hinges and who has no qualms about physical violence. I wanted to create someone that would be beyond magic, but at the same time mystical in nature. Catherine is like Lady GaGa if she did steroids and had a meaner disposition. Catherine promotes the current “Do as thou wilt” attitude that’s going around in the mainstream media and has dealt in “ethereal goods” cheating people out of their souls. Her fame is a means to an end and that end is power.

There’s a very strong Jewish presence in this one, why’d you go in that direction, versus the Christian angle of the first?

I didn’t really change “angles” nor did the first have a Christian angle. Phoebe was the source of the controversy in the first book, because she was a very conservative Christian and spoke on it. She converted Jason, so people said that in itself was preaching, but the book was about Jason not Phoebe. Phoebe was the Heaven part of a Heaven and Hell story. In this book one of her friends is a Messianic Jewish minister whose married to one of the last Orthodox female Rabbis. He understands Midrash writings and his wife has knowledge of Kabbalah and Jewish demonology which is how they get sucked in. I’ve always wanted to do something involving Jewish Midrash writings and this way Phoebe doesn’t become the catch all when it comes to such matters. Catherine wants to know how to control the demons found in the fake Midrash, but the Rabbi certainly isn’t going to tell her.

Do you think that will be controversial?

A lot of things I do are pretty basic until people pick something out they want to fight about. They perceive something the way they want it to be then say any array of negative things, but those who take the story for what it is will not have this problem. An author shouldn’t have to write their intention in the story and modern readers shouldn’t be so quick to have knee jerk reactions. We teach people to be offended now days so they don’t think. And we teach people to not comprehend.

Where did the “soul” stealing or “ethereal goods” dealer concept come from?

I started watching these documentaries on youtube about celebrities and the occult and after doing some research I believe a lot of celebrities in the past and currently are connected with it in some way. So I had Catherine be this person who somehow traded things, (money, fame, power) for souls. The question is did Catherine sell her soul for riches and fame and why was she doing it to others. Book three has a few more answers about “ethereal goods” and the first book touched on it.

What’s next for Jason Blackrayne?

Well, it’s hard to say without giving anything away. I can say in book three Jason and Phoebe find themselves in a hunted house and some other insanity goes down, but he will come face to face with some actual soul dealers. I do have a short story coming about him and another cult situation, but it’s not a full length novel.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Read my new short story DRAGGING HOOKS, vote and win $20 GC

Over on my friends blob KindleObsessed she is running a Short Story contest and you can head on over  and read my new Dark, Murky, Romance "DRAGGING HOOKS" for free and when you vote, you have a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vanessa Morgan's new book Drowned Sorrow

I found an interesting post from Vanessa Morgan about her new book Drowned Sorrow talking about a subject I am very interested in. Memory of Water please stop by and checkout some very interesting facts that will make you think.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New cover for THE ROT

Experimenting with creating a new cover for my book THE ROT

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Lorax- Dr. Seuss App Review

5.0 out of 5 stars This an entertaining read every Kindle Fire will Need

What an amazing fun App, Art and graphics are top notch very vivid colors to please the eye and truly light up you Kindle Fire screen. The Auto play reads the words as it shifts your view of the pictures in the book. The voice fits the art excellently and the sound effects of the wind and the animals take you further into the story. The auto play last for 20 minutes of engaging interest.

The story is also a classic taking on industrial progress over nature. You can also read it without the auto play and interact with the art that announces the object you press on and also will read any word you press on.

I bought it for my grandson for when he gets a little older and will enjoy it. If this is what children books are becoming I think it will create plenty of hours of enjoyment for the little ones as they learn the wonder of books.

More Dr. Seuss AppsMore Dr. Seuss Apps

My Kindle Fire review

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice in Print and on the FireMarch 4, 2012

The photos and info are well organized in both formats of the book in print and digital. High quality Photos in color and the book is a nice size you can carry around if you need some quick tips on working your new Kindle Fire.

Some of the info was stuff I already knew, but I am a bit of a tech head and stuff like tablets and computers come natural to me. There is also some nice little short cuts I never really came across until I read about them in the book. So I think the book is worth it, for some reason I get emails, and messages from friends whenever they have a problem with their Kindles (instead of them calling customer support) so this will help in finding the best way to explain how to fix their problems. And yes I have instructed then to get the book also.

The Kindle Fire is an amazing portable media experience and this book gives you some nice tips to get the most out of it.


4.0 out of 5 stars One moment in time devastating resultsMarch 4, 2012
Within one moment many lives are affected in this tragic true crime story. A brutal senseless killing of a young man working a convenient store at night. The story gives you a first person perspective of being what the girlfriend of the shooter went through.

The writing style is done in a journal like sense giving you insight of the fear she went through, the fear of her life and the unborn child she was carrying, and the anger she felt for the for the father of that baby for putting them in the situation they were in.

Also included is some of the write ups form the local paper giving the scoop on how the local population viewed the case. The author gives a uninterrupted time line of what she went through from watching the young man die and his last moments of life, her struggle to escape from the monster she at one time thought was going to be part of a her happy family.

Then after the law finally starts looking at them as a person of interest and she go to them for help she finds herself a victim again of the justice system trying to use her to close the case.

A dark, and interesting look into being a victim of abuse and fear, she has found her way to better time and I hope others who read this will realize what situations you can find yourself in if you are not careful.

A True Crime book i'm glad to have in my library and will have me thinking about it for a while.

I Witnessed A Killing

Liz Grace Davis interview

Interview with Liz Grace Davis

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

I’m a night person. Many times the creative part of my brain just doesn’t seem to function during the day. I have tried waking up early before work, in order to get some writing done. For a while it worked, but then I decided that the last few hours of sleep in the mornings were just too delicious to give up. I get a lot done at night but unfortunately, as a result, I end up going to bed very late.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

It varies. Sometimes I start writing on paper but when I reach the stage where pens are running out of ink or I can’t find my writing pad. It all gets on my nerves and I pull out my laptop. In order to be able to write on paper, I need lots of writing pads lying around and a pen that doesn’t leak or doesn’t slow me down. There are some pens that are just too hard to write fast with. But I have to say, when I’m stuck at a certain point in my writing, I make notes on paper and usually it helps me get unstuck.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

Anything and everything. The world we live in is such a great source of inspiration; magazines, a thunderstorm, music, my life…anything. For me, inspiration can strike anytime. I don’t go looking for it. I just start writing and when inspiration finds me, it’s such a gift.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

No, never, because I never meet my goals. I tend to get more done when I don’t have any goals hovering over my head, intimidating me. Maybe if I had deadlines, I would. As long as that isn’t the case, my only goal when I sit down to write is to just write as much as I can.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I’m self published and my cover art is done by my wonderful cover artist, Tamra Westberry. She designed the covers of both my novels; Tangi’s Teardrops which is already published and my upcoming novel, Chocolate Aftertaste.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

The career chose me. Writing is just a part of who I am and has been for years. If I fall off the writing bandwagon for a while, I reach a point where I’m just not myself and feel almost a little depressed. When I start writing again, it’s always like having a refreshing glass of cold water on a hot summer day.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

If the kindle app on my iphone counts, then yes. For now, that’s all I use to read ebooks. But a kindle is at the top of my wish list.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

There are a lot of authors I like but in the list you’ll find Lesley Pearse, Jodi Picoult, Louise Bagshawe, and Jane Green. I’m currently reading Flawless (A pretty little liars novel) by Sara Shepard and Jodi Picoult’s Sing you home.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I love book trailers. I can’t say for sure whether they influence buying behavior, but I do love watching them and creating them. That’s why I’ve created book trailers for both my novels.
Here are the links if you’d like to see them.

Tangi’s Teardrops (A YA fantasy novel):
Chocolate Aftertaste (A contemporary Romance):

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

Chocolate Aftertaste is the title of my upcoming contemporary romance novel. The chocolate symbolizes the small town my main characters escapes to in order to find herself. The town is well known for having a large chocolate factory that produces great chocolate. Aftertaste symbolizes the consequences or traces left behind by the choices she comes to make while living in that particular town.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I’m currently finishing up with the edits of Chocolate Aftertaste. The novel will be available for purchase in March. In a nutshell, Chocolate Aftertaste is a story of choices and how they impact our lives. For years, Nora, my main character has allowed her controlling father to be the man behind the steering wheel of her life until one day she realizes he isn’t always right. She then decides she wants the control of her life back in her own hands. As a result, she risks losing the only family she has but stands to gain her freedom and hopefully find love.

Thank you so much, Kipp for featuring me on your blog today. I’m really honored to be here.

Amazon links


Friday, March 2, 2012

JM Winspear interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

Anytime when there is some peace and quiet; which is rare to be honest. With young kids in the house I find I crash down in front of the keyboard at about 8pm and struggle on until exhaustion takes over (about 8.50pm).

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

I do all of my writing on the computer. What does go in notebooks, are the little pieces of storyline that come to you at strange moments. I also write a lot of dialogue passages in notebook form; these also come at odd times, usually when I am in the woods with the dog. Where they come from I don’t know, but am thankful all the same. Having read all of this, it does seem to cancel my initial statement! I’ll amend it and admit that I do an awful lot of scribbling in notebooks.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

I was looking inside a John Connolly novel the other day to see how he manages to move between his protagonist’s first person voice and the third person voice of everyone else and not get at all lost with who knows what and still manage to be frightening. The answer is that he does it quite naturally and brilliantly. That’s inspiring to me. Fantasy wise, I revisit the works of Conan’s creator Robert E Howard and marvel at the darkness and strangeness of his worlds.
Closer to home, I think of my late aunt, Violet Winspear, who wrote like a demon for Mills and Boon Romance (Harlequin) right up to her untimely death;  a  real writer who just got on with the job every single day, even when very poorly.   

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

No, my only goal is that I sit down and do something every day. I rarely get beyond 2500 words with 1000 being the norm. I must add that this is done in the two hours of writing time that I might get in a day.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

I’m self published through Amazon KDP.
 Artwork wise, I’m a bit of a tight wad with no money at all for art or marketing. I knew my sister was doing an art degree course so I decided to offer her some work to practice on. I let her do the cover of Aelfric – Bloodied Spears in return for 10% of any profits that might accrue. At the time this seemed quite generous; she now realizes that I still only owe her about two Dime bars.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

The dream of not getting in the car at 0600 or 2200 and driving to work for a long day’s drudge, but just to walk out to my studio and crack on with some writing.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

Hell yes, I couldn’t be without my Kindle keyboard 3G!

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

I love all of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker books, they are fantastically written, exciting, and sometimes downright creepy - The Lovers gave me chills big time. Fantasy wise I read and read again all of R E Howard’s stories, especially Conan; I don’t think anyone has written with such skill and scope and lonely darkness as Howard did.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know much about them, my marketing is not brilliant. It’s something I’d certainly look into if the cash started coming in.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

I originally wrote the story in answer to a website’s request for some old fashioned pulp fiction. Its original title was something pretentious and not at all pulpy, so I changed it to something bloody. Of course I then found out about KDP and went for that instead.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

I’ve just finished the follow up to Aelfric – Bloodied Spears, and am awaiting artwork. I’m actually writing something more contemporary at the moment; I think I needed a break from the fantasy world, and sometimes characters speak to you from nowhere and you just have start writing before they disappear. A friend asked me what it was about and I mumbled that it was crime or something. I then settled on ‘Essex Noir’ or ‘Contemporary Gloom’. Maybe when it is finished it will be a new genre, you never know.