Monthly Archives: November 2014

Feeling Basically Blasé

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I’ve been in kind of a funk lately, when it comes to my fantasy and science fiction writing. That’s not to say that I’m not writing at all; in fact, I’m writing more now than ever before. I just happen to be writing under a different pen name in a completely different genre (romance). I eke out about 200 words a day on the sequel to Journey To Landaran, but I know that’s pretty pathetic. And yet I can’t seem to make myself go faster.

I write my fantasy novels very, very slowly. I always have. It took me five years to write Heart of the Witch. It took me a similar time to write Journey To Landaran. (Actually it was longer, but I also took a few years off while raising a small child on my own.)

And up until about June I continued to write shorter pieces as well, like the next installment of Cathy Pembroke, Ogres At Alcatraz Isle. That one is currently submitted to Tor.com, but I don’t really have high hopes for it. I feel kind of like a failure in what was originally my first love, fantasy.

This may change, of course. There’s some icky stuff going on in my personal life that isn’t helping, and my daughter is still struggling daily with depression and having the courage to be herself. I may get a little quiet on this blog in the meantime. I’ve scheduled some free days for Journey To Landaran next week, Dec. 3-5, mostly because it’s the end of the time that I plan to have the book in Kindle Select. Then I’m opening it up for distribution everywhere in ebook form.

I have two projects to publish for next year, both short. I’ll slowly keep writing Fall of the Guardians so that people can continue to follow Aidah and Tavish’s journey.

And I’ll just hope and pray for a brighter tomorrow.

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Author Interview: Wesley Robert Lowe

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So yeah, I know I’ve been quiet lately. Been writing a lot, been dealing with family things, and haven’t had much to say. But hey, it’s Thursday!  That means another author interview. Today I have Wesley Robert Lowe, writer of thrillers with an Asian flare. You can find out more about Wesley at his author page on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Wesley-Robert-Lowe/e/B00GMQDWYW/

1. What made you want to write?

I have been writing since I was in elementary school and in fact completed my first novel in Grade Five. Sadly, I lost it and nothing I’ve written since then has measured up to it.   Seriously, I love to tell stories and communicate – and not simply with words. I played in an R & B band for years and have a Masters of Music and have many film and TV credits as a composer including four seasons on Sesame St. However, in the last dozen years or so, I’ve felt more desire to show how ethnic minorities are becoming more part of the mainstream. I’ve made a feature film about a Russian defector and several documentaries about the Chinese North American experience. It is this desire to show a broader perspective of the world and my take on it that makes me want to write.

2.  You’ve recently published books 4 and 5 of your Shaolin Darkness Thrillers. Tell me about the series.

I love big action movies and stories and wanted to put into words some of that electric thrill.  I travel for a month or two a year and always like to inject myself into the lives of the locals and wanted to put some of that personal flavor in as well.  That being said, my personal world is rich spiritually – brought up in both Christianity and Chinese folk religions, further exploration of each in subsequent years.  East meets West. East versus West. East with West.

3.  Did you have knowledge about Kung Fu and martial arts before writing the series? If so, what?

I have a good friend who is a Shaolin Kung Fu Grandmaster. He and I have traveled together, I spent much time at his school before he retired and he went through extensively TIGER, the first in the series and gave it his blessing in terms of authenticity – recognizing of course that this is still a work of fiction where “creative license” is required. In fact the character of Chin is based on his looks. Tough, lithe, angular… with the ability to kick the ass of people a third his age.

4.  What is your background?  How has it influenced you in your writing?

I am a fourth generation Chinese Canadian with deep roots in the community. For the first hundred years that we were in North America, we suffered incredible discrimination and while we are now much more fully accepted and integrated, we are not quite there yet. Much of my writing features Chinese in prominent roles as part of a multicultural society. However, I’m not a “flag waving ethnic.” My main interest is to tell a great story regardless of ethnicity.

5.  What are you working on next?

A few things. I am writing a couple of paranormal thriller series based in Vancouver’s Chinatown which will be launched quite shortly. I am also sketching out another action thriller series which I will launch in 2015.

6.  Who is your favorite writer, and why?

I don’t have any one favorite writer. This is not a copout answer, although it may seem like one. The reason is that I like and learn from many writers from a huge variety of genres. Russell Blake, Amy Tan, Mario Puzo are just a few.

7.  What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research?

I do a lot of research into religious/spiritual/paranormal realms. It is quite strange in how there are many similarities in beliefs but it’s the differences that cause so much tension.

8.  What advice do you have for other writers?

I was once invited to an arts conference to speak on writing. During the Q & A, most of the questions were about how to make money or get a grant to support their writing. My answer was, “Don’t even think about it. If you want to write, then write. And one more thing. Seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.”

I was never invited back to speak again.

Author Interview: M. A. Niles

Yeah, I know, I’ve been a little quieter than usual lately. Never fear; I’ve been busy writing. Meanwhile, it’s Thursday! Today I have fantasy writer M.A. Niles, here to talk about her series and the writer experience. You can find out more about M.A. Niles on Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_2?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Melanie%20Nilles&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

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1. So what made you decide you wanted to write?

–I always loved stories and wanted to tell my own, especially when I’d go into the bookstores and not find anything that really intrigued me enough to pick it up. I started writing so I could experience the kinds of stories I wanted to read but that weren’t available at that time. I just have never figured out how to stop writing, even when I find stories I like by other authors.

2.  Who were the greatest influencers for you growing up?

–I grew up on ST:TOS and ST:TNG, Doctor Who (classic), Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and a variety of books, most of them written by Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry. Growing up, I mostly was into science fiction or horses. It wasn’t until I was in college that I really started liking fantasy more.

3.  I understand you have a fantasy series out. Tell me about that.

–I have two fantasy series. One is the Legend of the White Dragon, which is one HUGE story told in five books, each with their own contained stories but pieces of the overall story. That one is a story about the prophesied return of a legendary white dragon meant to save the world who was killed but returns in a way unexpected and is threatened by the forces of darkness that seek to destroy the world. The other is the Demon Age series, which is only two books at this time, each completely self-contained. This is a world where monsters are connected to magic. Demonlords, the immortal shapeshifters, rule the world. Humans can only hope to survive.

4.  Serials require a strong character who can carry things. Tell me more about Nadia.

–Nadia is the main character of the second Demon Age novel, Spirit Blade. She was introduced in Tiger Born but is more fully realized in her own story. She’s a woman and a fighter, strong but sensitive, and it’s something that her ex doesn’t realize fully, as most men assume she’s weak. One man believes in her, a demonlord who knows the truth about her potential, but he knows far more than anyone realizes. Nadia doesn’t even know her full strength until she’s forced to face a threat that no one can stop.

5.  What are you working on now?

–I have a couple projects that I’m jumping between. One is another book in my more popular Starfire Angels: Revelations series and another is the first of a whole new series that I can’t yet discuss.

6.  Who is your favorite writer and why?

–Growing up, I loved Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series and the romantic notion of the connection between a human and a horse. For a while, I enjoyed Timothy Zahn’s military science fiction, especially his Thrawn books in the Star Wars Extended Universe novels. Usually, however, I read by book and not necessarily by author, which is why I use two different pen names. Not everyone likes my different types of writing between my fantasy and young adult.

7.  What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research for your writing?

–I don’t know about the strangest thing. There have lots of things I’ve come across in researching for different stories. Research is always a part of world building and you never know what you’ll learn.

8.  What advice do you have for other writers?

–Write for yourself first. If you don’t love writing, why do it?