Sunday, 19 April 2015

PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT & GUEST POST - TO THE STARS BY TIAAN LUBBE

Title: To The Stars
Author: Tiaan Lubbe
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: 23rd September 2014

BLURB supplied by the author
When  the world finds out its inevitable end will come in sixty years, it seems like all hope is lost. Until a man steps from the darkness. He offers salvation, but demands total control. The world accepts.
Sixty years later, the old saviour’s son is leader and watches over the last proceedings of his father’s plans – Seven Ark ships called the Astrum Portas.
Noah is the next leader. He doesn’t want to be.
Zara is the girl he’s in love with. She doesn’t know it.
Three lives become complicatedly intertwined when a bomb on the Astrum Porta unexpectedly throws them into a whirlwind of secrets, forbidden love and violent clashes all while the looming apocalypse approaches rapidly.

The final adventure awaits...


PURCHASE LINKS


GUEST POST

I always say that writing is the only thing in the world that simultaneously kills me and keeps me alive. A lot of people frown when they hear this, probably writing me off in their heads as just another crazy, ‘creative’, writer. This is what I say when they, albeit seldom, ask me to explain myself:
Writing, to me, has always been like having an ambiguous mistress. It’s both physically and emotionally exhausting and can cause a lot of stress and frustration. However, there are moments of such immense pleasure, such indescribable joy and such pure satisfaction that it makes it all worth the while. The act of writing might kill me, but those wondrous moments are all that keeps me alive. I cannot live without it, but it might just be the thing that destroys me in the end. A beautiful problem, isn’t it?
Writing To the Stars was exactly this experience. Though since it was my first, a lot of this knowledge I now have at the end of it, was all muddled up confusion, doubt, frustration and all those other words writers dread so much. But, it was all worth it and I think that what came out of that dark birth canal is something beautiful. At least to me.
It took me nine months to write the first draft and another four to edit, proofread, edit and proofread again. The idea of the book came much easier. I was watching those set of channels that everyone uses to lull themselves to sleep, and I use to make myself feel smart.  A documentary came on about all the different possibilities in which Earth could meet its doom and how humanity could go about saving themselves or at least the species. And there, BOOOM! The idea of To the Stars exploded into my head like the Big Bang! Less dramatic, though.
I’ve always read books in the genres of Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy. My bookshelves overflow with books like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, Christopher Poalini’s Inheritance series, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and all the like. I absolutely love them. So naturally, the first book I would attempt would end up being in that genre. And, I fear, a lot of my books that follow will also be.
The idea for the dystopian world of the book came as I fleshed out my initial idea over a good few weeks. Writing little notebooks to their deaths. Though I think that my fascination with the notion of a single man or group controlling the masses for the ‘good of them all’ was what prompted me in this direction. History is full of examples of how this could go badly, but my interest lie in the questions: Is it always a bad idea? Or are there scenarios and moments in humanities existence (past or future) that would need this?
The title came as part of the book’s story. It is derived from the slogan of the Last Empire of Earth in the book. Ad Astra Imus, which is Latin for To the Stars we go. See?
The characters, like I think is the same for most writers, drew their traits and personalities from the people in my life. From my sister and my father to a third grade teacher with a permanent nasty mood. There are even traits of myself embedded in one of the lead characters, Noah. A son with a lot of pressure on his shoulders from his father. I think that’s maybe why he might just be my favorite, if I could choose favorites. He reminds me of myself, which is also why he irritates me the most.
Though it has been a hard process writing my first novel and a huge, and I mean ginormous, learning curve, it has also been immensely satisfying. My next endeavor will then of course be another book. I’m currently almost done with the first book in a three-part series. The title is still a heart’s secret, but it will also be in the young adult realm, mixing science fiction with fantasy adventure and throwing in a little bit of Greek mythology for good luck. I can’t wait for it to see the light of day beyond my cramped little office. Also, one of my dystopian flash fiction pieces is going to be published in a spectacular anthology called Baby Shoes: a flash fiction anthology.
This might be cliché beyond apology, but I have to say it: Watch this space. There’s a lot more words in this ‘creative’ person. 


PROMOTION - SERIES REALM OF DARKNESS BY R.S. BROADHEAD

Title: Unveiled
Series: Realms Of Darkness
Author: R.S. Broadhead
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: 9th May 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Twenty-one-year-old Reese Salt and her best friends like to party, flirt with boys, and stare at her super hot mysterious neighbor who keeps trying to tell her something in cryptic messages. She doesn't believe him, wanting to continue living her carefree life. But then things get weird when they're at a party and someone--or something--laces the party favors. Suddenly Reese is surrounded by hot guys in tactical gear, looking for one of her boyfriend's childhood friends, who they say isn't human.

After that night, everything changes. The safe world Reese thought she lived in isn't so safe anymore. To take her mind off it, and to apologize for being a jealous jerk, her boyfriend Wheeler takes her on what's supposed to be a romantic getaway--until his jealous tendencies turn violent and he smashes her face, knocking her out. As if things couldn't get any worse, they wake up under attack by what Reese can only describe as monsters. Only caring about his own survival, Wheeler smashes her leg, leaving her for dead. Big mistake. Something inside her awakens, and her body goes on autopilot, literally. She finds a helicopter, and instinct takes over, flying her battered body home, and leaving Wheeler to die at the mouths of the monsters.

Reese and her friends then seek out the help of her hot neighbor, who is the leader of a training program that fights the things that go bump in the night. Reese goes to the facility in search of answers, but she ends up finding so much more. Reese learns about weapons, fighting, monsters, and most of all, herself. Then there's Oliver Steele, her trainer who becomes much more. Reese is scared to open up, afraid she'll only get hurt again.

Can Reese save the world, learn to trust her heart, and find the strength to learn about who she really is? She better. Her life depends on it.
 


PURCHASE LINKS

Title: Reckoning
Series: Realms Of Darkness
Author: R.S. Broadhead
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Reese Salt has had a strenuous past year. Being introduced into a world of monsters, training non stop, fighting against a growing force that terrifies her, and falling in love with her trainer has drained her. Things are not getting better. In fact, they seem to be out of control. 

After discovering she isn’t entirely human, Reese is afraid to open up to those around her. She sees herself hunted and locked away in a cage. Someone close to her in the group is manipulated by Derek and abandons them to join forces with those they are fighting against. Once finding out that Derek has plans for Sim, Reese brings him to the training camp. This sets things on a downward spiral for her. Feeling lost, she leaves in search of answers. 

She is a part of something much greater than she knows. All things keep leading her back to a truth that is just out of her reach. What will it take for her to openly learn what her role is against Derek? 

Can Reese accept who she really is? A fight is coming for her, a fight she can’t escape.


PURCHASE LINK


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



R. S. Broadhead lives in Jackson, Alabama with her husband of ten years, their two little girls, and a pug named Wednesday Love the Duchess, or Winnie for short. She has a bachelor's in psychology and a master's in business administration. She loves to snowboard, travel (Australia is her favorite place so far), and dance (not professionally, just whenever she feels like it). When she was sixteen-years-old, her and her friends would take pictures and make up funny stories about them. Fourteen years later, UNVEILED was born. UNVEILED, her first novel, is the first book in a four book series.





Saturday, 18 April 2015

REVIEW - THE QUEEN - THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS

Title: The Queen
Series: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen Impulse
Release Date: 2nd December 2014

BLURB from Goodreads

Before America Singer's story began, another girl came to the palace to compete for the hand of a different prince….
Don't miss this digital original novella set in the captivating world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series. This prequel story takes place before the events of The Selection and is told from the point of view of Prince Maxon's mother, Amberly. Discover a whole new Selection with this inside look at how Maxon's parents met—and how an ordinary girl named Amberly became a beloved queen.



PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
(no link at time of posting)

INITIAL THOUGHTS
This is a series I have really enjoyed. I admit I didn't always used to read the novella's in series as sometimes they can be priced quite expensively or occasionally not even available to UK readers. This series is one that I was so addicted to that I wanted to read everything available to read within it. 


MY REVIEW
I purchased this one from Amazon UK as I am totally addicted to this series (lol, it's the truth!). So the cover is in a cool green/blue tone that I like and I'd say would catch the eye on a book store shelf too. The main item on the cover is a tiara. So would the book catch my eye on a shelf? Yes, I love the cover and I would certainly take notice of any book written by this author.
So as I said above I purchased this novella for 99p, I'll be honest I don't pay more than 99p for a novella and then it's usually only novella's by authors I already know or as part of series I have already begun reading. As I love this series I just had to read all of it! And this novella sort of makes the wait for The Heir more bearable lol.
This novella is all about the Queen, and what her Selection was like, and her friendships with the other girls that were part of her Selection. I liked the extra insight into the whole process and rules and regulations of the Selection process. I also enjoyed becoming more acquainted with the Queen, you learn more about her personality, though I totally admit to really liking the character of the Queen. We also see a slightly softer and even romantic side to the King too.
So did I enjoy the novella? Yes, I really did. Would I recommend the novella? I would though it's not totally vital to read this as part of the Selection Series, it does show different sides to the characters which certainly add's even more enjoyment to the reading of the series. Would I want to read more of this series? Yes definitely, I am highly anticipating The Heir. Would I want to read other books by this author? Oh yes, I love Kiera's writing style and descriptions. I love that she can combine the fluffiness of fine dresses and glittering ceremonies with the harshness of the civil war, and the political tactics being played out during the Selection too.



Friday, 17 April 2015

COVER REVEAL - DOWNCAST BY CAIT REYNOLDS

Title: Downcast
Author: Cait Reynolds
Publisher: Booktrope
Release Date: 28th May 2015

BLURB supplied by Patchwork Press
It’s the start of Stephanie Starr’s senior year of high school, but sadly, this is no life of the prom queen. Stuck at the bottom of the high school social totem pole, Stephanie is forced by her domineering mother to wear lumpy linen dresses and eat organic tofu for lunch in a world of mini-skirts and pizza. 

What Stephanie doesn’t anticipate is gorgeous and cocky Haley Smith who breaks social convention and pursues her with a determination that is both terrifying and flattering. Afraid that Haley is simply trying to set her up for massive humiliation, Stephanie does her best to push him away. But the more attention he pays to her, the more she runs, and the more everyone else begins to notice.

Instead of a loving family to support her as the mean girls make their play, Stephanie’s mother begins to unravel mentally, her possessiveness of Stephanie spiraling to new and frightening extremes. Stephanie is forced to grow up, find herself, and learn the truth about her past in order to save her mother, her friends, and her town. When the truth is revealed, nothing can prepare her for the outrageous reality of her existence…and nothing can save her from her fate.


Except Haley.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cait Reynolds hails from the Boston area where she lives with her husband and 4-legged fur child. She discovered her passion for writing and has already published four novels under various pen names. Downcast is her first foray into the world of paranormal young adult. When she isn’t cooking delicious meals, running around the city, rock climbing like a boss, or enjoying the rooftop deck that brings her closer to the stars, she writes. Downcast is book one in a three book series coming from Booktrope Editions. Reynolds is able to pull from real life experiences such as her kidney transplant and a bout with cancer and her writing reflects her passion for life from having to stare the dark places in the face.

AUTHOR LINKS




SERIES PROMOTION - THE EMPYREAN SERIES BY C.M. COX

Title: Dyad A Rider
Series: The Empyrean Series
Author: C.M. Cox
Release Date: 3rd November 2014

BLURB supplied by the author
Evi is forced to leave her life behind as she flees from threatening consequences. Hoping the stories of hating humans are wrong, she seeks the land of fairies for refuge.


PURCHASE LINKS

Title: Sortilege
Series: The Empyrean Series
Author: C.M. Cox
Release Date: 27th November 2014

BLURB supplied by the author
Struggling against a female-dominated society, twin assassins convince their human queen to hunt for the missing Star Queen. On a neighboring planet, an elf searches for meaning in the strange signs that have suddenly appeared to her. Traveling with her companion - tall, green and part plant - their scholarly goals quickly become a riskier gamble. Sortilege is an epic fantasy novel about interplanetary alliances, magic, betrayal and an unimaginable possession.

Goodreads Links


PURCHASE LINKS

Title: Adumbrate
Series: The Empyrean Series
Author: C.M. Cox
Release Date: 16th February 2015

BLURB supplied by the author
The High King and Queen of the Elves have received terrible news regarding their future. Before they can recover, they are visited by their planet's guardian with word that a prominent figure in interplanetary peace has gone missing.

Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Courtney Cox (like the actress!) but I publish under C.M. Cox. I was born in Round Rock, Texas but now I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I did not expect to find myself living in the South. I like the desert, so I could have foreseen living in the west, but I went and married a man from Tennessee so here I am. 

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer! From the beginning of my life, I have always known.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I always thought of myself as a 'writer', as a person who expressed themselves through words. The real change for me came when I began to think of myself as an 'author'. I once read an article on Christopher Paolini's book, Eragon. In the interview, Paolini said that he was home schooled and had begun writing the novel when he was 15. At the time, I was 14 and also home schooled, and I thought "If he can do it, I can do it!" After that, I began writing my first novel, Sortilege

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
From start to finish, almost 11 years. This is because I began the novel in middle school. For the record, I do not recommend working on any one novel that long... 

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
At this point, no. I do some freelance writing and my husband works. 

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self publish. 

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I chose the title by scrolling through dictionary.com's 'Word of the Day' for the last 2 years, writing down words of interest until 'Sortilege' stuck. The cover art for all of the books in 'The Empyrean Series' was done by the extremely talented portrait artist, Liz Lindstrom. I am very lucky to have her on board for the covers of my series. I also have the canvases of the original oil paintings in my house, which is beyond cool.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I definitely write the book first. For 'The Empyrean Series' I wanted single-word titles that were true English words but were often unused. The words I selected all have meanings that are relevant to the stories. 

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I write out a lot of information on the setting and the characters, and then I write out my general idea for the characters, such as 3 things they need to accomplish in the novel. Then, for the most part, I let the book plan itself! Writing the rough draft is a lot of fun for me, whereas editing is more dry and stressful. When I write with less planning is when my best ideas come out!

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I like to unwind with a glass of red wine. My hobbies include crocheting, going on adventures, making my dog bark, eating something particularly delicious, and preparing for our next travel plans.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I have! All of my characters have a little bit of me in them, and I have also relied on people I know to help me flesh out characters with personalities that are different from mine (not everyone is type-a and anti-hugging). Some of the scenes and dialogue also include things I have heard real people say or seen them do. 

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so J.K. Rowling has definitely influenced me. I've read the series many, many times and there's no way it hasn't affected me somehow. 

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I showed up at kindergarten on the first day with a completed story about 3 bunnies that lived on a hill. It actually has all the story necessities - beginning, middle, end, conflict, and resolution. I was also extremely opposed to my bed time and would stay up late into the night to read. Definitely not new. 

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do not currently use a pen name -  C.M. Cox is my real initials and name - but I have definitely considered it.

Goodreads author page: www.goodreads.com/cmcox 
Twitter: @cmcoxwrites
Instagram: @cmcoxwrites





SERIES PROMOTION - THE FLICKER EFFECT BY MELANIE HOOYENA

Title: Flicker
Series: The Flicker Effect
Author: Melanie Hooyenga
Release Date: 13th November 2012

BLURB from Goodreads
Biz is a perfectly normal teenager except for one minor detail: she uses sunlight to jump back to yesterday. She takes advantage of flickering by retaking Trig tests, fixing fights with her boyfriend (or reliving the making up), and repeating pretty much anything that could be done better. Trouble is, flickering makes her head explode from the inside. Or feel like it anyway.

No one knows about her freakish ability and she’s content to keep it that way. Guys don’t stick around because she refuses to let them in, but all that changes when Cameron, her best friend, starts looking oh-so-yummy. Suddenly she’s noticing his biceps, his smile, and the cute way his eyes crinkle when he—gah! This is her friend!

But the butterflies come to a screeching halt when little girls start disappearing, then take a nosedive when the police link the kidnappings to Cameron’s sister, who vanished years earlier. As the police grasp for clues, Biz photographs a strange man lurking in the shadows and realizes that her flickering can help more than just herself.


Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS


Title: Fracture
Series: The Flicker Effect
Author: Melanie Hooyenga
Release Date: 24th June 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
When seventeen-year old Biz wakes up from surgery after helping catch a kidnapper, she thinks she’s lost her ability to flicker—travel back in time eighteen hours—but she soon discovers her ability is stronger than ever. And so are the mind-blowing headaches.

But flickering isn’t the only thing giving Biz headaches. Her newly shaved head brings out the bullies, her boyfriend Cameron is getting a little too chummy with a girl from the kidnap support group, and Cameron’s formerly kidnapped sister is having some serious adjustment issues. 

When her dad’s health takes a turn for the worse, she turns to her neurosurgeon who operated on her. If she tells him the truth, he could figure out why she and her dad flicker and save her before her entire world—and her own health—crumbles. But can Biz trust him with her secret?


Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS

Title: Faded
Series: The Flicker Effect
Author: Melanie Hooyenga
Release Date: 9th June 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Biz didn’t think life could get worse after the tragic events that surrounded her last flicker, but when she accidentally flickers on her eighteenth birthday after doing shots of vodka—she’s forced to face the consequences of her actions in a way she never imagined. 

When an anonymous email threatens to reveal her secret, Biz must decide if flickering is all it’s cracked up to be, or if she needs to stop. Forever.



PURCHASE PREORDER LINKS


AUTHOR INTERVIEW
What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
 Hi! My name is Melanie Swiftney, but I write under my maiden name, Melanie Hooyenga. I was born and raised in Michigan, but have lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico. Now I live in Grand Haven, Michigan, an adorable town on the coast of Lake Michigan.
                         
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I started writing stories in elementary school, then added poetry, song lyrics, and  short stories in middle and high school. I was rather boy crazy at that age and wrote a lot of romances—I often joke I supplied PG-smut to my friends. After college I didn’t start writing again until my mid-thirties; since then I’ve written five novels and am currently working on my sixth.
                         
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
 Not until I published my second novel, Fracture. Because I self-published the first book in my series, Flicker, I struggled with feeling like I still wasn’t a real writer. But by 2014, self-publishing had become more mainstream and I figured two novels definitely made me a legitimate writer.
                         
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
 Yes, because I attempted the traditional route first. Over eighteen months, half a dozen agents read my full manuscript, but they all eventually passed. I’d only ever received good feedback so I decided my options were to let it stay in my computer, or self-publish and let others read it. Once I decided on the latter, it only took a couple months to make it happen.
                         
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
 Yes, I’ve been a graphic designer for almost 20 years. I also have a book cover design business called Ink Slinger Designs. I’m not currently designing covers (because I’m focusing on my writing) but someday I hope to start it back up again.
                         
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Flicker tells the story of Biz, a 17-year old girl who uses sunlight to travel back to yesterday.
                         
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Because I have a full-time day job, my average for a first draft is about six months. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several times, which definitely helps with a faster output, but I credit my progress on a fairly detailed outline.
                         
What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
 I don’t see myself straying from YA, but the book I’m currently working on is lighter than the Flicker Effect series. It’s more of a romance with (what I hope is) a lot of humor.
                         
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
 Encouragement from my writing friends! My first two novels (which are safely tucked away in my computer) were for an adult audience, but both had teenage protagonists. It took a gentle suggestion from a beta reader that maybe I should rewrite the second novel as young adult for me to even consider it, and once I started writing Flicker I knew I’d found my genre.
                         
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
 I really struggle with ideas. I’m very analytical and need to know how a book ends before I can even consider writing it, something my more carefree writer friends tease me about. Flicker came to me while driving to see my grandmother in the hospital. The sunlight was flickering through the trees, making a strobe-light effect, and I thought ‘what if there’s a girl and when this happens, she goes back in time 18 hours?’. My current MS is focused on skiing. Michigan had a ridiculous amount of snow in the winter of 2014, plus I watched a lot of the Olympics, and an idea was born.
                         
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
 I believe it’s crucial to get feedback on your writing, and I’ve established a solid base of beta readers. My friend Nadine and my mom always get my first draft. My mom is a master proofreader and catches all my silly inconsistencies, while Nadine points out where I need to expand or cut. Next is my editor, who REALLY tears it apart. For the third draft I have a small group of writers, plus a teenager or two, who I rely on for additional perspective. Then my mom does a final proofread and it’s off to the presses!
                         
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
 As writers, there’s a rule that you don’t respond to bad reviews, no matter how ridiculous or cruel they are. I’ve been fortunate that the majority of my reviews have been positive, but I did have one reader give it a low rating on Amazon because she didn’t like “all the murders.” The funny thing is, no one dies in the book. She clearly didn’t read the entire thing—plus I know not everyone will like what I write—so I look at that as another accomplishment in the writing process. Bad review: check!
                         
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
 Flicker was an easy decision because that’s what I call how my main character time travels. Coming up with the titles for the rest of the trilogy (Fracture and Faded) took a lot more effort. I had several criterion: they had to be one-word, two-syllable F-word titles, they needed to sound somewhat similar to each other, and they had to reflect what happens in the story. No problem, right?
                         
 As for the covers, I designed them myself (as well as did the book formatting—being a designer is very helpful when you self-publish!). Once I finished the cover for Flicker, I knew the other two would have the same look. 

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
 It varies. I never say where the Flicker Effect takes place, but a lot of the places are based off areas in west Michigan, while my current book takes place outside of Denver. As for character names, most of them just pop into my head. Biz was originally named Luz, the Spanish word for light, but I decided it didn’t work with the story. My niece has a friend named Biz so I borrowed her name. Cameron and Katie were named after Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, who had recently starred in The Holiday, but usually I just clear my mind and whichever name comes to me is what I go with.
                         
Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
 In my first novel, I had to go through and change a lot of names after the first draft because I’d given EVERYONE names that began with either M or R. That’s way too confusing for readers, so I got cozy with Word’s Find & Replace function.
                         
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
 I try to determine basic characteristics before I start writing—that’s one benefit to doing an outline ahead of time—but there are always things that sneak up on you while you’re writing. In the Flicker Effect, Biz is pretty reserved, so I knew her best friend (Amelia) would be very outgoing to balance her out.
                         
How do you market/promote your books?
My husband and I joke that when I make a million dollars he’ll be my full-time business manager, but for now, as a self-published author, marketing falls completely on my shoulders. I’m very active on social media, but that can only take you so far, so I declared 2015 my year for “breaking out of my circle,” meaning I need to focus on getting myself in front of people who I don’t already know (like this interview!). I’ve planned events at libraries and a couple expos, and I hope to continue with interviews and book signings.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
 I have ALL the hobbies! I have a hard time sitting still, so unless I’m reading or writing, I’m off doing something. I’ve always played sports (currently softball, dodgeball, golf, bowling, skiing, biking, soccer and volleyball) and living in Michigan, there are always opportunities to do things outside (hiking, boating, and kayaking are my favorite). I’ve salsa danced since 1999, but haven’t been able to find places to go in west Michigan. I also love doing crafty things, so I usually have a project or twelve going on (currently building a desk for my office and decorating the house we bought at the end of last year).
                         
Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
 Yes! When I wrote Flicker I wasn’t planning a trilogy, and I really wish I’d made one of the characters two years older. There was a lot of finagling in Fracture to make her age work.
                         
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
 There are two things I tell writers who are just starting out: try to write every day and set very low word-count goals. When I wrote my first novel I was in a group that had to write 100 words per day. 100 words is nothing. It’s barely a paragraph. Because it’s so short, it’s really hard to make excuses not to write it, and more times than not, once you’ve started, you keep going. And if you don’t, you’ve written 100 words and progressed the story. The worst thing for me is to go several days knowing I’m STILL on the same passage where I last left off.
                       
As you write more, you’ll learn what works best for you. NaNo taught me that I can write 1000 words in about an hour, and after that I need to stop. Some days I’ll get more, but that’s a good average for me. I don’t always reach that goal, but it’s what I strive for.
                         
Finally, just keep writing! This is a very solitary endeavor and it’s easy to let self-doubt take over, but there’s nothing like the feeling when you type ‘The End’.
                         
 Where can readers follow you?