Saturday, August 30, 2014

Take a few moments to meet Bob Freeman...

I am thrilled to introduce Bob Freeman as he promotes Shadows over Somerset.  He was kind enough to take a few moments to sit down with me and answer a few questions in spite of his incredibly busy schedule! So, grab a chair, a good drink, and sit back to enjoy the show....

Do you listen to music when you write? Have a completely silent space?
I listen to classical music and movie soundtracks. Anything with words I find too distracting.

What is your favorite book (or who is your favorite author) and why?
Ask me tomorrow and my answer may be different, but today (and on several other days previous as well) I must nod toward The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea.
It is funny and ridiculous and full of knowing winks and nudges throughout, with nearly ever word written with the authors' tongues firmly in their cheeks, and yet I believe nearly every word, because to not do so is utter folly.
Your reality tunnel may skew differently.

Do you have another job and if so what is it?
I manage a technical support office for a small ISP in north-central Indiana.

Tell about your first book and how long it took you to write the first draft?
Shadows Over Somerset was my first novel. It was written over the course of three months, shortly after I was first married, while I was between jobs. It was my wife's idea for me to do the work. While she toiled at a local bookstore, I spent the time she was gone writing. When she got home,she read what I'd written and it was something we shared. It was very inspiring for me, because it gave me the conviction to press on and see it through to the end. Without my wife's encouragement, I wouldn't be the novelist I am today.

Who is your favorite character? Why?
My favorite character I've created is Landon Connors, an occult detective who is the focus of several short stories I've written. He also has a sneaky way of showing up in novels when you least expect him.
I like him because he has a little bit of a noir edge to him, but he has a sensitive soul, a hunger for psychedelics, and a tendency to run afoul of various dark forces and unseen spirits.

Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Only the good looking ones ;)

Indie pub or trad pub?
In the end, I don't think it matters. Life is short. If you can find happiness through self publishing or in the small press then who the hell am I to rain on your parade? Landing a contract with a traditional house isn't the be all/end all these days, especially for a genre writer. Lightning still strikes, but it's a lottery where the odds are stacked against you. You have to examine yourself in the mirror and know what kind of writer you are. Will I ever find mainstream success? Probably not. I predominately write occult detective fiction, which is a sub-sub-genre at best. It's what I like to read, and it's what I prefer to write. And I'm good with that, because I'm happy and I enjoy the publishers I work with.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I think I'll stick with the dead, because with the living there's still a chance, no? Anyway, the dead person I'd most like to meet is E. Gary Gygax. Recently I've rediscovered my fondness for role-playing games and it would be nice to chew the ear off of the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons for a spell. D&D was an important part of my childhood and taught me all I ever really needed to know about storytelling.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do?
Scotland, without a doubt. My wife and I spent a week in Edinburgh back in 2001 and we've been dying to get back ever since. It's a beautiful country with a rich history and we've both got strong ancestral ties there.
I'd fancy a castle tour and some time spent at Boleskine, the one time residence of Aleister Crowley.

What is your favorite TV show/movie from your childhood?  What is it now?
Favorite show as a kid was probably Dark Shadows. Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches, zombies... It had it all.
These days, it's a toss up between Game of Thrones and Vikings.

Shadows Over Somerset Book Synopsis:  Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. He soon finds himself drawn into a strange and esoteric world filled with werewolves, vampires, witches… and a family curse that dates back to fourteenth century Scotland.
In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance… and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.

Shadows Over Somerset is the first Cairnwood Manor Novel.

Author Links:
Twitter: @OccultDetective

Friday, August 29, 2014

Immortal's almost about a teaser?

You know how sometimes things don't turn out quite how you want them to? How you just can't make the world fit into your parameters? Well, that's been the past few years for me and it has had more than a tiny impact on my writing. I'm getting it all together and with that comes Immortal Machinations: the Arc of Transformation. I am incredibly excited to share this book with you because  it has allowed me to move in new directions! The release date is still slated for September 19th as I move off to IMAGINARIUM in Louisville, Kentucky for the weekend - where else would be better to release my new book than an awesome new convention??

Now, without further delay, another small teaser....

“Do not leave my side, Katerina.”  Francis whispered as he guided her toward the stairs.  Her heels clicked on the stairs sending echoes behind them. 

“I would not dream of it, Francis.”  She whispered back and nudged him gently in the side.  “Remember, do not speak to me.”

“That’s going to be difficult.”  Francis paused at the top of the stairs.

“You will be fine.”  Katerina nudged him again.  “Let’s go.”

They turned left and just as Katerina said there were two hulking sentries flanking the largest doorway Francis had ever seen.  Even the massive sentries were dwarfed by the stone columns bracing the door frame.  As they approached the guards, Francis was awed by their size.  He was not a small man, one of the tallest in his village, but these men were more than a head taller than Francis and thrice as broad.  Each wore a long black robe with wide hoods covering all but the tips of their noses.  In their hands, the men held longswords, blade down and palms resting on the hilts.  They nodded at Francis as he approached the threshold, their ragged breathing the only sound until they stepped into the room.

Easily as large as the work room he’d seen earlier but twice as tall.  The ceiling was rounded and covered in paintings depicting a night sky.  It seemed to move, to swirl and pulse with the beat of the music.  Francis tried to take it all in, eyes flitting from one thing to the next, fountains at either side and an enormous black marble hearth at the far end of the room.  Square tables were set about the room, each with plush chairs and extravagant place settings.  People were milling about in small groups, laughing and talking with such gaiety.  At the far end of the room some people were dancing near a set of instruments that seemed to be playing themselves.  Francis chanced a glance at Katerina but she remained stoic, glancing about as if not seeing a thing though he knew she was seeing everything. 

“They are enchanted.”  Katerina’s lips barely moved as she breathed the answer to his unspoken question. 

“Ah, Francis, you have made it.” The cool baritone set Francis’ teeth on edge.

Katerina pressed his arm lightly giving the appearance that they were turning in unison.  Francis immediately recognized Edward as the silent half of the pair in front of him.  A head shorter than his apparent partner, Edward seemed nothing more than an ornament this evening.  The taller man spoke again, his words measured and precise.  “Please, allow me to introduce myself, I am Constantine.  It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person.”  Constantine inclined his head slightly.  He wore gold brocade and fur with heavy jewelry offsetting his deeply tanned skin and jet black hair. 

On instinct, Francis bowed his head slightly lower before responding, “Thank you for your invitation, this evening.”

Constantine cracked a half smile and arched one very defined eyebrow.  His eyes flashed golden as if reflecting his robes.  “You have either been taught some manners or you are more adaptable than we thought.  Which is it?”

“I could not say, my lord.  I was not certain that my response was appropriate.”  Francis spoke honestly as if he could not lie if he’d wanted to. 

A chilling laugh broke from Constantine’s mouth.  “Truly, you are a delight, Francis.  I look forward to watching you evolve.”  He waved a hand toward the festivities, “Please, enjoy yourself this evening and we will talk again soon.”  Constantine offered one last grin before drifting away with Edward in tow.

“Well done, Francis.”  Katerina’s whispers barely just registered in Francis’ ear before Constantine’s place was taken by a short, squat, balding man.

“Greetings, Francis.”  The man bobbed his head though it was difficult to notice given the girth of his neck and chins.  “I am Lord Reginald and this,” he gestured with fat, heavily jeweled, sausage-like fingers toward a young woman less than half his age standing just behind him, “is my wife, Lady Isolde.”  The young woman curtseyed and it was then that Francis noticed her to be in a delicate state.  Though she attempted to hide it with the folds of her elaborate emerald robes, Lady Isolde was clearly well into her confinement period.  Francis had delivered enough babes into this world to know how close the Lady was to term and that at her size it would not likely be an easy delivery.  Still, the lovely young girl glowed, cheeks rouged to a lovely pink offsetting a pair of brilliant sapphire eyes and golden blonde hair.  Lord Reginald was very wealthy to have such a bride.  Katerina squeezed his elbow lightly spurring Francis to respond.

“A pleasure to meet you, my Lord.”  He bowed formally to Lady Isolde, “and my Lady.  You are ravishing.”

Lord Reginald beamed even wider, his pudgy face flaring red.  “We expect great things from you, Francis, great things indeed.  I understand you were somewhat of a physician for your village for a time.”

Francis nodded, “I was called upon at times, my Lord.  But I was never formally educated in medicine.”

“Would you wish to be educated in medicine?”  Lady Isolde’s voice was little more than a whisper but her eyes shone brightly and with such curiosity that Francis realized she was a bright girl, far brighter than her husband.

“Aye, my lady.  If it were possible, I would be educated in all manners of science.”  Francis tipped his head toward her. 

Lady Isolde tugged at her husband’s arm, “My Lord, can we see that Francis be granted a tutor so that he may master the practice of medicine?”  She spoke so sweetly, batting her eyes at Lord Reginald.
The plump Lord patted his wife’s hand, “would that please you, my Lady?”  He did not wait for her response but turned his face toward Francis, “I will see to it that you be given everything necessary to study medicine provided you continue to do what is asked of you.  Do you accept?”

Francis nodded but before he could say more, a rather voluptuous woman pushed in front of Lord Reginald, “You are taking too much time with our guest, my Lord.  You must share with the rest of us.”  The new arrival towered over Lord Reginald and Lady Isolde, her curves seemingly poured into her shimmering scarlet ball gown. Truly, Francis had never seen so many raucous colors in his life. It seemed to be the way of things for these people, none of them spared Katerina a second glance. Indeed, they seemed quite focused on him.  This lady was no exception, her shrewd gaze trained on Francis, nearly standing eye to eye with him, “welcome to our family, Francis.  I am Rohesia but you may call me Lady Ro.  This is my consort, Galen.”  Lady Ro pulled her partner close to her, edging Lord Reginald and his wife completely out of Francis’ vantage point.  Galen inclined his head stiffly toward Francis, his eyes flicking about the room never seeming to stop on anything for more than a moment.  “Darling, you are simply stunning.” Lady Ro purred at him and Francis noted that her eyes had a very feline appearance that was exaggerated by thick charcoal lining her lids and extending to points at the corners.  She leaned in close to him, “We supernaturals must stay close; I am not like them anymore than you are, my friend.  They seek to own us, to keep us all leashed like beasts.  Do what you must but be wary of gifts; they seldom come without strings attached and at times, heavy iron manacles.”  Lady Rohesia backed away, speaking in an exaggerated voice once more, “Come, Galen, I need wine.”  She winked at Francis and almost imperceptibly dipped her head in acknowledgement of Katerina. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Please give a warm Emerald Seer welcome to the exceptional Crymsyn Hart...

I am SO thrilled to bring you this interview with Crymsyn Hart as she promotes Death's Dance. Don't miss out!!

VP: What is your inspiration? What helps you get through writer's block?
Crymsyn: My inspiration for writing is really the world around me. I think every author can say that too. I get a lot of my ideas from dreams or see something interesting on the news that my brain weaves into a plot line. I even get ideas based on new words that I learn.
Writer’s block is a pain. Mostly I clean, wait it out, read a book, or just get away from the writing altogether.

VP: Do you listen to music when you write? Have a completely silent space?
Crymsyn: I do listen to music when I write. I don’t listen to anything specific just a lot of many different bands. Sometimes I have silence, but mostly I need to listen to something to drown up the noise around me.

VP: When did you first start writing? What genre do you prefer?
Crymsyn: I started writing early on. The first thing that I started writing was a fantasy story about unicorns with the friends of mine. I was in fifth grade. I prefer writing in both the paranormal romance and horror genres.

VP:  What is your favorite book (or who is your favorite author) and why?
Crymsyn: My favorite book is called The Making of A Monster by Gail Petersen. I remember picking it up when I was a teenager and I’m not on my third copy of it. It’s a vampire novel about a woman who gets more than she bargained for when she meets a man she has fallen in love for. I love it because it’s an anti-love story. Something about it just resonates with it.

VP:  Do you have another job and if so what is it?
Crymsyn: I do have another full time job. I work in the insurance industry. I am lucky to be able to work from home most of the week so I can spend the time with my dogs.

VP: Who is your favorite character? Why?
Crymsyn: My most favorite character is Azrael, the angel of Death. He appears in at least half of my books. Because he is a grim reaper at heart, he can move between dimensions so with each book being a different universe he can pop in whenever he likes. Plus, I also made him into a vampire, so that makes me happy. Normally when he pops in, he reveals something more about his past that I never knew.

VP: What scenes are most difficult to write?
Crymsyn: These days the most difficult scenes to write are the sex scenes when it comes to my paranormal romance books only because I’ve written so much of it. After a while it gets boring trying to come up with new ideas where to put what where. Although in horror, I find trying to balance scenes with being scary enough and not going over the top of the scare difficult.

VP: Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Crymsyn: I do see myself in many of my characters. Not in all of them, but the ones that I see myself in I tend to be my most favorite.

VP: Indie pub or trad pub?
Crymsyn: Indie all the way. I love all my indie publishers. Most have treated me fairly and I am involved in the publishing process.

VP: If you could take the place of one of your characters, which one would you choose and why?
Crymsyn: I would like to take the place of my character Brenna in my Soul Reaper series. She’s also a grim reaper, a psychic, and a vampire. Also she’s the character that is most like me. (Because I’m secretly a vampire…shhh) Brenna lives in a world where I had molded many of the characters with people I worked with at the time and used the place I worked with as the main setting for the novel.

VP: What is your favorite TV show/movie from your childhood?  What is it now?
Crymsyn: As a child my favorite movie was Poltergeist. I have a tossup now between two movies: It and Rose Red. I watch them the most when I am writing.

About Crymsyn Hart:  Crymsyn Hart is a national bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

Death’s Dance Book Synopsis:  Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.
Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.
From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.
From there things went from bad to worse.
Death's Dance is Book One of the Deathly Encounters Series

Author Links: