Friday, November 18, 2011

Author Interview with V. Lucien Maier




I've been having fun with this blog and getting to know books and their authors. I've also run across different ways of publishing than the main stream of big publishing houses. V. Lucien Maier is a writer friend of mine who does things differently. Currently he has a Christmas story out that he produces as an audio book. By donating to the Charity or organization he picks the story for, you get a code to hear his story and see artwork that goes with it.

Go HERE to see three different Christmas stories and donate to a worthy cause.


ME: What makes you stand out as an author/storyteller?
V.Lucien Maier: Not sure that I am much different. But I do try to push the way we envision publishing. I have two things that are my main goals with my work. One is like most authors which is to get my experiences out so other may benefit from it.
And the second is to show that the old methods of publishing are not the only choices anymore. I love all my fans, but the best fan mail I get is from other writers saying that I opened their mind to other ways to get their messages and stories out.

ME: This is the first time I’ve been exposed to storytelling like this. It’s fun and different. Why do you do your stories this way?
V.Lucien Maier: There many many benefits from working this way that I would be hard pressed to list them all. But mostly its the freedom. I have been in the paper world and if you want to be successful YOU WILL have to change parts of your stories. You will be forced into corners, and you will be underpaid. (At very least to start with, but most author throughout their entire career.)
I write and publish what I want and when I want.
Let me give an example, I have a good friend that is a Best Selling author, more than ten times over. But when he submitted a mystery to his publishing house they said no. Now this is bad enough for a author of his caliber but to insult it even worse because he is under contract he can't take the novel anywhere else....
And the most important reason. When I started writing I really had one big issue. If my silly little stories were ever really successful it would take a lot of trees to get them out there. with this method I don't have to harm any trees. I wrote a piece about it.
The Price of our Aspirations http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1GFNeMmNmI



ME: The one I watched was about Zion’s National Park. What types of organizations have you supported through your stories?
V.Lucien Maier: Well Christmas with Wet Fur is the newest and for Zion National Park .
I also have Woof which is done for the Utah Animal Adoption Center
and Lights out done for the Tooele Children s Justice Center. They are all on storiestohelp.com
and of course I have a novel on my site "OF The Wolf" (for free) and a ton of free stories and poems on my site LucienMaier.com. My other three novels The In The Blood series which I was most well known for have been taken down for now.

ME: Where do you get your ideas from?
V.Lucien Maier: Everything. I strongly believe that if you go to one well for your ideas you will always write the same story. I do love to take a very tired and used genre and breath a new concept into it. In fact when you open your mind you will never run out of ideas, and you like me will not be plagued by what do I write, but what do I write today???? I wrote a piece on that too.
Idle Pursuits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yNWGcFfm4I


ME: Can your stories be listened to over and over?
V.Lucien Maier: If you can stand my voice... sure :D

ME: Who does the reading? How about the artwork? Is the format the same for each of your stories?
V.Lucien Maier: In the past I did it all, but as I keep going I have tried to expand into using others. I use friends to do voices in "Wet Fur" I wrote the story with Wendy's vocie in my head saying it. So when I convinced her to do the narration for me it worked out perfect. I try to use artists that have not been discovered so I can help with their exposure. But I do a project at a time so I can constantly work with new people. Feel free to contact me if you have a skill and want to be involved.
As for the format. I like to use audio, but for my free stories I use youtube. and for my novels they are just mp3 so you can throw em on your ipod or phone and listen everywhere. and For the charity stories I do it through a Flash so i can have a payment gateway to collect the moneys for the causes.

ME: What would you like new fans to know about you?

V.Lucien Maier: Nothing! I am hermit Get OFF MY LAWN! hahah
Because my first big outing was "In The Blood" a vampire series iT sure stirred a pot of very interesting fans. That first year or two I was sent some very.... strange questions. So I have shied away from my fans much more than I was before. However, over the years as my other more main line stories have taken hold I really enjoy talking to my fans.
I think fans are a double edged sword, they make you feel warm and fuzzy but it can also feel like they are taking a can opener to your head to try to figure out whats going on in there.
and believe me, no one should be digging around in there. (Talk about scary!)

Thanks for the interview
V. Lucien Maier


His website is HERE www.lucienmaier.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

An Author Interview with C. K. Bryant



I had a chance to do an interview with Author C. K. Bryant. Author of Bound. To see my review of her book either explore my blog and check out the previous post, OR GO HERE. You can also click on the little button to the side about Dark C.A.R.M.A. Check it out.




Me: How do you pick the names for the characters in your book?

C.K. Bryant: It's so cliche, but this story started as a very vivid dream. Lydia and Octavion were in the dream, as was Toran, so their names came easily. As for Kira, her character was my friend, Kris, in the dream. I let her pick the name and I really liked it. As for Altaria, well. Here's a little trivia for my fans out there. Her original name was Alvataria, but I had so many people say it was too hard to pronounce, including the publisher I originally had a contract with. So I shortened it to Altaria. Even though I lost the contract, I kept that version of her name. I think it suits her. Shandira was a version of Shandra, a good friend of mine. She so wanted to be the antagonist in my book, so I added the "i" and a villain was born. Unfortunately, she passed away before getting to read it. The other names I found through searches online. Names have to resonate with me. They have to truly fit the character's personality.

Me: Do you draw on real life experiences you’ve had and incorporate them into your story?

C.K. Bryant: Sometimes. I think it depends on the situation. For the most part I draw on my crazy imagination. You'd be amazed at the places my warped mind has been.


Me: Have you ever made yourself cry or laugh out loud as you’ve read your work, or while in the process of writing it? How about uncontrolled giggling?

C.K. Bryant: Absolutely! If my writing doesn't move me when I create it, how can I hope to move my target audience. I like to call it my ZONE. It's when I have no idea what's going on around me and I'm totally into what's happening in my book. I think the scene I laughed the hardest was when Kira was shooting her bow. I love that scene. I giggled when she lost her apple. And I totally cried my eyes out at the end when Octavion . . . OOPS! I guess I shouldn't give that part away.


Me: What is the hardest part about coming up with a story line?

C.K. Bryant: Nothing. Seriously. I have so many ideas in my head that I have a hard time settling on one. The hardest part for me is getting the creative half of my brain to shut down at night so I can sleep. I keep a notebook by my bed so I can jot things down if my muse wakes me in the middle of the night. She's pretty insistent on getting her way.


Me: What is your favorite fruit?

C.K. Bryant: ROFL!! Great question. And totally caught me off guard. Hmmm. Let me think. I love all kinds of fruit, but I think I'd have to pick the apple as my favorite. I love sliced apples dipped in caramel. Also like apple pie and apple sauce and . . . you get the idea. Oh great, now I'm hungry.


Me: What is the most painful experience you’ve had as an author? Massive paper cuts from opening a pack of printer paper? Printers that have fallen off the desk and onto your toes? Writers cramp in all fingers except the pinky as you’ve torn through a story?

C.K. Bryant: So you're talking physical pain, not emotional? I guess it would have to be when I participated in a writing marathon with some writing buddies of mine. We were supposed to write from noon to midnight (12 hours) and the plan was to take scheduled breaks every so often. But I was stupid and pushed through so I'd get more done. About 8:00pm my back was on fire. I tried everything. I ended up having to take a 30 minute power nap and put ice on my back along with pillows to brace me up when I got back to writing. I made it to midnight, but barely. Took me a couple days to recover from that one. But I had fun and got a lot of writing done.


Me: What is something you’d like future readers to know about you?

C.K. Bryant: Ha! I have a whole list of things I DON'T want them to know about me.

Let's see. I guess it would have to be that I'm very approachable. I never want to be one of those authors who let their success go to their head and refuses to mingle with their fans. I love making friends and can't wait to meet new people who have enjoyed reading my books.


Hey, thanks for letting me hang out on your blog today. I've had a blast answering your questions and getting to know you better.

Christine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Book Review of BOUND



This book is fun! I had a chance to read this book early to give a review of it and here it goes.
BOUND by C.K. Bryant

Here is what the book has to say about itself.
BOUND (#1 in THE CRYSTOR Series)
by C.K. Bryant

YA Paranormal Romance

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love.

Here is what I have to say about it.

Kira is a normal girl with a best friend who turns out to be something not quite normal in this world. She discovers her friend Lydia is a Royal from another world. Her stepbrother is here with her, and they are trying to fit in and live a normal life away from their older sister who wants them dead. Though they try to fit in, they just can't do it. The brother is a shape-shifter who craves human flesh since he is part animal. He has found himself a cave in the mountains to live in while watching over his sister through magical means. When the older sister sends her scouts to find Lydia things really get going. Kira gets dragged into the fight as Lydia shifts to protect herself and the truth comes out. She gets really involved when the only way to save Lydia's life is to be bound to her through magic. Kira discovers she's able to heal people, and herself with the help of the Crystor. Though the healing causes her pain, and her death is possible, Kira still does it to help her friend. Once she's bound to them, she can't get away from the situation.
Though older brother/bodyguard tries to stay away from Kira to keep her safe, he is still drawn to her. She learns about his secret, and accepts it, but is strong enough to call him on it when he crosses the line.

The fight scenes, the danger, the intrigue, the romance, and the secrets are all placed so perfectly it keeps you turning page after page to find out what happens next.

I really enjoyed it. It was new and refreshing. A clean romance with just the right amount of steam.

I would totally recommend this book to people who like Stephanie Myers Twilight books, and even to those who don't. C.K.Bryant has the talent to take something far fetched like space travel, magic, shapeshifting, healing, and telepathy seem real and believable.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm really looking forward to the sequel. Can't wait.


Go HERE to find information about the giveaways on the blog.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo!

What is that you ask?

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. For the month of November, thousands of writers sit before their laptop, or desktop or whatever and write write write. The goal is to reach 50,000 words starting on November 1st at 12 am and make it to the goal by Nov 30 by 11:59. To do this, they are supposed to write at least 1,667 words per day.

I got an email since I signed up for them through the NaNoWriMo website and this is some advice given.

1. Don't edit.
2. Do everything you absolutely can to make the minimum words, 1,667, for each day. Falling behind makes this task seem so much more daunting when you realize you're 5,000 words behind.
3. Don't try to force your imagination to bend (completely) to your will. Sometimes your story will go off in a completely different direction; don't worry about it. The entire thing will come together in the end.
4. Don't edit.
5. If you're halfway through and realize you just killed your main character don't panic. Pick minor character that you've grown attached to and run with them.
6. Don't edit.
7. Even if you decide to start over don't delete the words you already have. Add a few enter spaces and just keep going.
8. There is no such thing as the perfect novel and it definitely won't be what you wrote in 30 days. It's called a 'rough draft' for a reason. Just remember you can't edit the draft that doesn't exist.
9. Don't edit.
10. Seriously, don't edit.

I've just gotten off a long edit of my most recent manuscript, and so it has been a little difficult to not go back through and edit what I just wrote. I know the whole goal of writing that many words a day will mean alot of those words are just ready to be cut and are really embarrassing showing that I don't have any writing skills at all. But that is what a rough draft is for.

Once you get the story out onto the screen you can go back and fix it all later.
So here is to a fun and enjoyable month of writing, (or as my husband might say... "here's to a month where nothing else gets done")

But I sure am having fun already. I've only been at it for one day and I already have 3,724 words. With many more to come.

Hope you all have a great month, and if you are nano-ing, let me know how you like it.

Laura