Posted in author, author interview, Book Tour, ebook, Indie Author

An Author Interview with Sarah King

I am pleased to have Sarah King do an author interview in celebration of her new book Of Ash and Shadow. A young adult fantasy that dives into the world of the Fae.

Here are some amazing things she has to say about the new book, her writing process, and herself. Check out the interview below.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book and what makes it unique?

The Fae stole everything from Wyn. Her home. Her family. Her soul. Now they want Her help. A murderer for hire, but this mission––kill the Shadow Queen, the boogeyman of the realm––is a suicide mission. At best! If she doesn’t say yes, they’ll steal more of the small family she’s piecemealed together since dragging her ass out of Faerie three years ago. Guided by a vaguely familiar dark elf, Wyn must traverse the Shadow Court, a barren wasteland with toxic air populated by nightmarish creatures. Faerie warps everything it touches. And helping them? Means giving them the last part of herself. Her humanity.

I think what makes Of Ash & Shadow unique is the voice. It seems to be what others, who have read it so far, have commented on the most aside from certain plot points (not gonna spoil them haha). It’s something that came about with this book after I got a revise and resubmit from a publisher.

The R&R prompted me to learn more about voice and writing in general, with some more in-depth courses provided by the Margie Lawson Academy. After I’d worked through all the lecture packets available, I rewrote the entire book incorporating both what I learned and the suggestions given in the R&R. I ended up producing almost the story as it is today––obviously, there were still edits to be done at the time – which has, I think, a very unique voice.

My brother calls it Noir, I just call it gritty and dark. The closest thing I can compare my voice to is a deep beat, as if someone were banging their fist on their chest in a harsh and unnerving rhythm. The anthem for this book, the song I listened to the most while writing, was In the End by Black Veil Brides. It has a similar backbeat.

The resonance from the beat playing in my chest/head while writing, became this amalgamation of staccato sentences and then a very lyrical viewpoint which is a mix of Wyn and me, seeing as voice within a story is always a mixture of the character and the writer. I ended up really enjoying the juxtaposition of those different kinds of sentences and then filtering them all through my desire to make the world and the characters as real as possible.

It ended up becoming Dark Fantasy, because, in my opinion, to show the world as realistically as possible, I didn’t want to shy away from the true horror and despair of what happened to Earth and Faerie when the barrier fell. The same went for Wyn’s background. I felt like it would be an injustice to her character to water her story down in any way.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

My stories always tend to spring into my mind as the first chapter of the novel. Whatever scene I see, that’s how the book begins. So, this story came to life as what is still the opening chapter, however, it originally began with Wyn driving her dagger through a fae’s heart. After my R&R, I pushed the scene back just a bit to settle the reader into the world more. Once I had the opening chapter written, I thought about where the story was going––unfortunately I didn’t plot it out, like I normally would, and got about five chapters in before I got super stuck.

I think what kept me writing was Wyn. I loved her voice and I liked how flawed she was at the beginning of the book. I felt for her, but I also sort of recognized some of the issues she was going through. Not because she and I have suffered the same, but living with anxiety, I felt like I had a little more comprehension of her attitude and what was upsetting her so much.

I also found I was inspired by the thread that was showing up in the book about choices. About the choices we make, the choices we have taken away, and sometimes how we can be blinded by pain or fear or the situation and make the wrong choices.

At the time that I was writing this story, I had just started taking medication to help with my own anxiety and I realized many of the choices I made pre-medication were fueled by my anxiety. They weren’t choices at all. I needed to reevaluate a lot of the things that scared me to decide whether I was actually afraid of those things or if I had been misled/prejudiced against things by my own mind. Part of me recognized that Wyn was going through the same issues, in her own way, and so I think for me and for her, writing her story was a bit of a catharsis.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?

Continue reading “An Author Interview with Sarah King”
Posted in blog tour, book series, Book Tour, ebook

Blog Post Tour: Power Divided By S. Behr

A runaway princess with elemental powers stumbles upon a thousands-year-old archive of ancient tech that will forever change her utopian kingdom.

The citizens of Amera are blessed with a range of extraordinary powers ­– from telepathy and healing to growing plants and breathing under water. As descendants of genetically modified humans desperate to survive an ice age, Amerans have built a peaceful, prosperous kingdom uniting nine realms, each with their own king and queen.

Violet is a princess of Neyr, the third of the nine realms of Amera, living in the transformed ruins of ancient New York City, high up in the reborn Chrysler building. Born into Neyr’s talented ruling family, she struggles to show evidence of any special power herself. Raised by one of the most powerful healers in Ameran history, Violet wants more than anything to pass her Criterion, a test all citizens must take to prove they are worthy and to find their place in society. But when her powers explode to catastrophic effect in front of her entire court, she runs from the unthinkable damage and misery she has caused.

In her desperate escape, Violet stumbles upon an incredible archive of ancient knowledge and awakens Hailey, an artificial intelligence relic who reveals hidden truths that could be the key to her return home.

But when the sanctuary of the Amera is threatened by humans, old enemies of Amera who live in violent colonies beyond Amera’s borders, Violet must master her burgeoning powers and find a way to protect her idyllic kingdom from the outside world.

A thrilling, action-packed blend of Young Adult fantasy and post-apocalyptic science fiction. Perfect for fans of the Lunar Chronicles and Shatter Me series.

Genre Categories: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Power Divided can be purchased at Amazon for Kindle on in paperback.

Author Bio: I love a good story, in all artforms. I have been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years and I had to learn to tell a story with a click of a button and capture the layers of emotion in a single image. Little did I know it was boot camp for writing.
Being an author was a childhood dream and as I got older it seemed to be a dream that grew further out of reach with each passing year. But with encouragement from a lot of friends, new and old, my husband being my biggest cheerleader, The Evolutionaries series has begun with Power Divided.

To keep me company during my writing bubbles are my husband and our fur babies. They love whatever I write, even if they can’t read it but they don’t always love the music I write to. We all have to make sacrifices! And I am still pinching myself ever since I found out, that, recently I became a Featured Author. Power Divided will be in the Feb 15th Issue of Kirkus Magazine.

You can connect with S. Behr through her website, on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Download and read the first chapter of Power Divided

You can also learn more about this book and the author by following Power Divided Blog Book tour. See dates and blogs below.

Posted in blog, blog tour, guest post

Guest Post By Anna Mocikat: Are Book Trailers Useful or a Waste of Money?

Trailers have been around forever in the movie and TV industry. The big studios spend a lot of money on their creation, and even indie films have to come with trailers if they want to succeed in their niche markets. Video game studios also put a lot of effort into the production of trailers, which often show scenes exclusively shot for them.

With the rise of YouTube and social media, trailers have become even more important for the entertainment industry than they used to be in earlier decades.

So, why are book trailers still such a rare phenomenon? And why are many of them so poorly made?

Many indie authors consider the (often costly) option of a trailer for a marketing tool as a waste of money––which is understandable. A good custom-made trailer can cost $300-$500, but of course, there’s no limit on how much can be spent on them. Big publishers often hire marketing companies specialized in TV commercials and easily pay between 10k-50k to advertise the latest books of their bestselling authors.

Others argue that a trailer makes no sense for a book, because, after all, you’re supposed to want to read the book, not watch it like a movie.

I have to admit that ten years ago when book trailers were still a new phenomenon, I thought the same and was therefore surprised when my publisher asked me to have a trailer produced for my book.

However, I completely changed my mind on making trailers since then because of the success of mine.

I have come to believe that book trailers are a valid marketing tool for various reasons.

First of all, our daily life has become much more visual-oriented than ever before. More people are watching YouTube videos nowadays than reading books (sadly). To convince such an audience to give a book a chance, it’s a good move to offer them visual impulses they understand. This is only possible with a trailer. Marketing experts know that moving images are way more powerful than single images, which is why we see short clips as ads for all kinds of products in our feeds on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Secondly, if big publishers are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a single trailer for a single book, then it must be worth it. Big publishers never spend money on anything for no reason. They have stone-cold marketing experts who constantly evaluate which strategy is useful and which isn’t. So if it works for the big publishers, then it can also work for Indie and small press authors.

All that being said, I would strongly advise keeping away from making a trailer yourself if your only experience with videography is shooting little videos with your phone and posting them on Facebook.

It’s the same as with book covers. Every book marketing guru will advise you to hire a skilled cover designer instead of trying to photoshop something by yourself. Don’t. Just don’t.

It’s similar with trailers. A bad trailer is counterproductive. It quickly can turn out boring or look amateurish, which will likely scare potential readers off instead of convincing them to buy your book.

The same can be said about so-called “generic” trailers. If you do some research, you will quickly find people willing to make you a trailer for $50-$100. As so often in life, you will experience a simple truth: you get what you pay for. Your trailer will turn out dull, soulless, and/or feature footage and images everyone has seen a hundred times.

If you decide to have a trailer for your book, find someone who will put effort and creativity into it, and who is willing to create something unique for you––as unique as your book, and transporting its essence visually.

There are two kinds of trailers I would recommend:

Continue reading “Guest Post By Anna Mocikat: Are Book Trailers Useful or a Waste of Money?”
Posted in blog tour, Book Tour, books, ebook, Indie Author

Blog Tour Post: For The Lost Time By Heather Blair

When Diego Delgado closed his eyes it was 2020. When he awoke, he was one-hundred years in the past. Thrust into the dawn of the Jazz Age with no money and nowhere to go, Diego encounters a veritable bouquet of acquaintances including a kind-hearted factory owner, a free-spirited flapper, a worldly-wise mystic, and a strong-willed heir named Thomas Greely. Diego, desperate to return to the future and reunite with his young daughter, must blend in with the roaring twenties lifestyle while searching for answers. But distractions are all around him, especially Thomas who is both beautiful and charismatic, and Diego must grapple with the reality that even if he succeeds in returning home, half of his heart will stay behind.

Genre Categories: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, LGBTQIA, New Adult, Romance

For The Lost Time can be purchased at Amazon for Kindle.

Heather Blair is the author of new adult romance novels including “Lucid Dreaming” and “Wide Awake.” She was born and raised in Vermont and has spent much of her adult life in New York and Los Angeles. She currently resides in Connecticut with her two cats. You can find more out about her at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Here’s an exert from the book…

The restaurant Diego soon found himself in was far classier than the art deco diner where he usually ate lunch. After almost a month in 1920, he’d finally begun to understand what prices constituted as “high” and he knew that the eighty-five cent lunch specials at Caroline’s would have been too pricey for his blood. Incensed, he slapped the menu down on the table.

“Are you trying to rub it in my face?”

“Am I trying to what?

“Where do you get off taking me to a nice place like this when you know that I…” He trailed off. Thomas’s mouth parted as he realized what Diego was trying to say. When you know that I’m homeless.

“I meant no insult. I simply have a thing for the creamed chicken on toast they serve here. Jeepers, friend, do you really think I would do such a pig-headed thing?”

“Yes,” Diego answered simply. “And why do you keep calling me friend?”

A solitary laugh puffed from Thomas’s lungs.

“You don’t consider me a friend?”

“I consider you a spoiled rich kid who’s never been told no in his life and wouldn’t know how to handle it.” Diego hadn’t meant to be so harsh. He was like a cornered animal, lashing out on instinct.

“Wrong on all accounts,” Thomas replied coolly. “I’m not rich, my parents are. I’m not a kid, I’m twenty-one years of age, and I’ve been told no plenty of times and I handle it by simply choosing to ignore it.”

You can also learn more about this book and the author by following For The Lost Time Blog Book tour. See dates and blogs below.