Author Interviews!

Author Interview – Justin MacCormack

Today we have an Author Interview, which are always fun!

Recently I read Twilight of the Faerie (Book 1: Spring) by Justin MacCormack. He has graciously agreed to do an interview with me. In a few days check back here and you will be able to see link to my answers to his questions!


TotF

CB: What was the spark for you? What made you decide to start writing novels?
Justin: I’ve been writing stories for as long as I remember. But by your teenage years, it’s not an especially ‘cool’ hobby, so I lost a lot of confidence in it. I continued to write, but didn’t share my work. That all changed when one day, while very bored at a new job, I penned a short horror story about the 80s Disney film “Return to Oz” and shared it with a coworker. He was so impressed with it that I had the confidence to post it online. A short while later, a popular YouTuber had posted a very dramatic reading of it on their YouTube channel, and it received very high praise. That gave me the confidence to push forward with making my work public. That story, and others I had written before I gained the confidence, are now part of my horror anthology “Return to ‘Return to Oz'”.

CB: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Justin: The sleepless nights, the blood sweats, the tears, and emotional tantrums and the frequent bouts of gathering up drafts that just aren’t up to snuff and purging them in a giant fire. In all seriousness though, the doubts are definitely the hardest part. I’m never too sure if my work is up to the level of quality that I want, and even if it is I’m almost always in a state of near-panic as to if the audience will like it.

CB: How about the easiest? What part of writing do you just take like a pro?
Justin: Writing characters. People the world over have the same worries, the same hopes, the same fears. We fear not being good enough, we fear letting down those who are close to us. We hope for better things, we dream of adventure. Those are the things that make us all alike, no matter what our background is and what world we live in. That’s the part I love making the most. In my book “Diary of a Gay Teenage Zombie”, I take a character who very few people could relate to (on account of him being, y’know, undead and all) and turn him into a character that the audience should love. Because if you can love a zombie, maybe people can love each other as well for a change?

CB: What feelings do you have deep down upon seeing Twilight of the Faerie published?
Justin: Utterly nerve-wracking! I’ve never attempted anything as big as this before. It’s a four-part epic. Hell, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and not be able to finish this! Yeesh! I think that each time I’m going to finish writing a book, I’m going to give a sigh of relief. So no, I don’t really have the chance to feel anything about it yet, not until the full series is completed and I can have a nice holiday!

CB: Can you tell us a little bit about Twilight of the Faerie?
Justin: Twilight of the Faerie is a four-part epic set in the land of the Fae, which is created from the dreams of humanity. It’s a land of endless possibilities, but also a land of infinite dangers. It is a land which is struggling to recover from a war to overthrow the chill forces of winter. It is a war that has been repeated many times before, each season overthrowing the previous and taking their time to rule.
But all of that is now at risk. Something alien is invading the realm, something utterly horrifying and impossible. The realm isn’t ready to defend itself from this threat. The only thing that can act to protect the lands of Fae are a group of four, each born of a different season, who have no reason to trust one another. Only together can these four prevent the force of eternal darkness that threatens to bring around the great twilight of the faerie.
Dramatic enough for ya?

CB: Is there a message you would like to convey with this story?
Justin: Sharp contrast and duality. The world of the Fae is the world of mortal dreaming, so it is rather different from most fantasy settings. Some parts are beautiful and breath-taking, other parts are grim and nightmarish. The reader will encounter chapters like this, which steer into the dark paths of the nightmare, or to the heights of blissful contented dreams. This, likewise, extends to the ruling courts who vie for control of the land. It even extends to the Fae themselves, who are torn between their noble and more cut-throat nature (their ‘seelie’ and ‘unseelie’ sides, if you will). The characters, likewise, struggle with duel loyalties and schemes.

CB: Tell us a little about Niamh. (I know she wasn’t the protagonist of the book, but she was my favourite.) What makes her unique?
Justin: She is awesome, isn’t she? I’d think that she’s certainly one of the protagonists, one of the main four at very least. But yes, Niamh is the youngest of three sisters, and the one who is the most gifted in the magical arts. She is utterly loyal to the winter court, a faction who most of the Fae consider to be ‘evil’. Her loyalty and dedication to her duty are genuinely noble, and it’s through her that the reader come to realise that the battle-lines drawn around the Fae realms are not as clear-cut as they first appear. As a character herself, Niamh is extremely resourceful. In some ways she is very naive, but in other ways she is extremely wise. Her background has made her very much a survivor, and I think that’s something that makes her stand out to the reader. Each fae embodies a different aspect, and is the embodiment of the cold chill of winter, the breath that clouds as it leaves your lips – see if you can find out why.

CB: Besides Twilight of the Faerie, you have published a number of books. Would you like to tell us about your other novels?
Justin: I have several collections of short dark fantasy and horror stories. If you like the grim and grizzly, I’m especially proud of my first one of these, “Return to ‘Return to Oz'”.
In addition, I have a young adult LGBT coming-of-age comedy “Diary of a Gay Teenage Zombie”, which is… well, you can probably guess from the title.
Lastly, there’s the book I’m working on at the moment. “Scrolls of Etheria” is a comical fantasy epic set inside an MMORPG, with a great cast of characters who I’ve grown to love. This book is dedicated to the memory of Terry Pratchett, and profits raised will be donated to fight Alzheimers. More details on that one later, so stay tuned.

CB: Okay, it is time to come clean: Twilight of the Faerie has lesbian fae in it doesn’t it?
Justin: Correction – it has TWO lesbian fae! The first book in this series is very much a journey of self-discovery. I want to write about characters who are true to themselves, and when I realised that the two characters that you’re discussing were a perfect couple, I couldn’t let anything stand between them.

CB: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Justin: Write something that you love. But for the love of whatever respective deity is present, don’t just write the same thing as everyone else. Don’t just write another of the same as everyone else has made. Find what makes your story unique and play with that! Most of all, love your work.


That is it for the interview! thank you for participating Justin!

Justin’s latest Book can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Faerie-Book-1-Spring-ebook/dp/B00ZGK1YWW/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1G3EA1HBPY4VJY6190VZ

His website is here: http://justinwriter.blogspot.ca/

Be sure and check out Twilight of the Faerie and Justin’s other books! Be sure and stay turned by my interview reply!


My interview with Justin is now up on his blog! (Well it has been for a bit actually, but I sort of forgot the internet existed for a few weeks or so! Bad CB!)

http://justinwriter.blogspot.ca/2015/10/an-interview-with-cb-archer_23.html

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Author Interview: Jenycka Wolfe

Today we have my second author interview. This time there is a slight twist on the interview, as it is an interview of another naughty author! Making the questions 100% more naughty!

Jenycka Wolfe is the author of The Wildlanders Series, which I will admit are pretty sexy, even if they include girl bits! 😀


CB: What was the naughty spark for you? What made you decide to start writing sexy novels?

I always knew I wanted to write. I used to tell my sisters stories at night before we went to sleep. I acted out plays with my Barbie dolls. I scrawled out angst-ridden teenage poetry during high school math class (barely passed). I went to school for literature and then creative writing. Since university ended, I’ve done a lot of different stuff, trying to make a living, and in my spare time I experimented with different genres, waiting for what would click and move things forward. Then I realized that I was ignoring the most basic advice of all: write what you read. Yeah, I have two degrees, but the fact is, I like reading about sex. Who doesn’t? So I started to write about it. And it clicked. Ava’s story (Wildlander’s Woman) fell together incredibly quickly.

CB: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

I want to move too quickly sometimes. I wrote Wildlander’s Womanin less than three months. I regret that now, and I wish I’d have taken longer and worked out more details of the world-building ahead of time. I get so absorbed in the story I want to pound it out without thinking too much about details. I’m forcing myself to take a LOT more time with the next one in the Wildlands series, Arcadian’s Balm. I’m not giving a release date until I’m in the very final edits.

CB: How about the easiest? What part of writing do you just take like a pro?

Writing the sex. Just kidding. Well, maybe that is the easiest. Sex is fun to write. Day-to-day interactions between the characters are fun to write. I usually write a lot more scenes than end up in the finished novel.

CB: What feelings do you have deep down upon seeing your project published?

The first one was a lot of fear. Am I really doing this? I grew up in a very conservative part of the country, a very conservative family, and I’m doing something that would shock the hell out of most of the people who know me (hence the pseudonym… yeah, my mom didn’t name me Jenycka). But I was proud, too. I’m doing what I love to do. Taking a step into the world I’ve always wanted to be a part of. And we’ll see where it takes me.

CB: Tell us a little about Ava. What makes her unique?

Ava’s the woman who doesn’t quite belong in the world she grew up in. She’s too big, not pretty enough, too opinionated, and doesn’t feel or think the right things. So when she has a chance encounter with the Wildlander warrior Blaise, who is the polar opposite of the conservative, by-the-book, prim-and-proper types in her world, she’s incredibly drawn to him. He represents her longing for something that she doesn’t really understand. It’s freedom from the constraints of her society. But her society is all she knows, so it hurts like hell when she’s banished. The fact that she gets to go to Blaise is certainly a balm to her wounds, though her happiness is short-lived when she realizes exactly how different the Wildlands are from her own Arcadian society. Blaise won’t be her only husband. She’ll have four. And, as we can understand, she doesn’t always react well. She gets angry. She gets frustrated. She gets frightened. She turns to substance abuse to try and deal with her emotional turmoil. She makes some really stupid decisions. But in the end, she comes to embrace this new life, and she realizes that she really does belong here. In Arcadian’s Balm, we’ll see a lot more of Ava, and we’ll find out that she has an incredibly important role to play in the future of the Wildlands.

CB: So I understand that there is not only girls kissing boys in your novels, but also boys kissing boys. Care to explain yourself? (In detail if possible.)

So here we get to the good stuff, huh? I wanted to portray a world where sexual binaries aren’t set in stone. Sexuality is a fluid thing (Kinsey scale), and even though our own society is coming to embrace this at least a little more, we still have a long ways to go. And we always have to label it. You’re ‘straight’. Or ‘gay’. Or ‘bisexual’. Or ‘pansexual’. Have I missed any? I wanted to show a world where people (consenting adults) love one another, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be labelled. It’s not a free-for-all. Since this is a world where not enough female babies are born, there is a strict system of family groups (Clans) of usually 2-5 people (usually one female, the rest males), and once you’ve joined one, that’s it. You keep your naughty activities to those folks only. So it’s smart to join a Clan where you love the people in it. But gender is not important when it comes to sex within the Clan. And I’ve read menage stories before where a bunch of dudes are all doing the same woman, sometimes at the same time, and they’re all ok with their balls pretty much touching but somehow they’re not at all attracted to each other? Yeah, no. Let’s just be honest here.
CB: What made you decide to write about a woman’s journey through a sea of man muscles?

Um… I’m female and I like man muscles. Fantasy fulfillment. I chose those four particular characters as Ava’s four mates because each of them represents something to her that she needs. Blaise is her leader, and he leads/pushes her into the places she needed, but was afraid, to go. Jodah makes her feel safe, and he’s the first one to make her really believe she’s loved. Daven brings laughter and levity to her life. He teaches her to relax and just enjoy. And Killian brings gentleness and compassion. Through the novel, and through the subsequent novels, we do and will see what they bring to one another as well. These aren’t just stories about one woman and her hunky men. There’s also strong elements of those hunky men with one another, because, well, YUMMY!

CB: Is there a message you would like to convey with this story?

I have a pretty strong anti-capitalist bent going in there. But that’s not really the message I’m concerned about. I want readers to understand that there’s a greater good in their lives beyond themselves, and fight for that. Like, there’s a point where Ava realizes that Blaise won’t give up everything for her, because he loves his people and his community and he has a duty to them as well. And that’s the moment that she finds her place and knows she’s home.

CB: Seriously, there are boys kissing in this, so can you tell us who is the best kisser?

Yes, there are boys kissing. And fucking, because I know that’s what you’re looking for. I don’t know who the best kisser is. Daven was probably the biggest slut back in the day, if that helps. I make a point of showing individual relationships within the Clans themselves. For instance, in Ava’s Clan, the two youngest members, Daven and Killian, were lovers for years before they joined the Clan. Even after Ava, they have a bond between the two of them that nobody else can touch. In Arcadian’s Balm, I delve even further into the relationships between male members of the Clan. There will be more sex just between guys, because it’s awesome and hot. Guys are lucky… they have more stuff to play with. So there’s more variety in writing gay sex. And the lucky bastards always get off. In Arcadian’s Balm, Ava’s sister Lorien shows up in the Wildlands, and she joins a Clan that is newly formed. Tomis and Gevaril were lovers once, until Gevaril’s selfishness drove them apart. Now circumstances have forced them to Clan, and they have to sort out their differences for the sake of Lorien, as well as their other mate, Cale. So the focus of Arcadian’s Balm is as much on the relationship between Tomis and Gevaril as it is on that of Lorien with the men. Tomis is bitterly angry. Gevaril is very contrite, but getting damned sick of Tomis’s recriminations, and knows that there’s still enough love there for them to get past things and be really happy if Tomis would just accept his apologies and work to move on. Lorien, devastated by her own losses, is desperate for everyone to get along so they can try to heal together. Cale sees a chance for Gevaril and Tomis to become better men, if they can learn from their mistakes, but knows that they’re both incredibly stubborn. So there’s a lot of hurt there, and a lot of complicated relationship dynamics at play. Add in a few terrifying Dark creatures, a journey through the mountains, and some seriously hot sex in the woods, and we have ourselves a pretty good time.

CB: What advice would you give aspiring authors? (It can be advice about kissing boys if you wish.)

Write what you like to read. Write the book you want to read. If something turns you on, it’s likely that there’s someone else who also likes it. Also, don’t be afraid of new directions. I never expected to develop a gay fan base. But I have. And I love it! So yeah, I’m tooling my work a bit to appeal more to those who enjoy reading about boys kissing one another. And yeah, I know that it’s not just boys who like to read about boys kissing. Girls like to read that too. I love to read about boys kissing. And watch boys kissing. (Oh, if only there were a place where I could find pictures of boys kissing….) And write about boys kissing. And kiss boys myself.


Thanks for reading and a special thanks to Jenycka. You can read all about her fantastic novels or contact her here. – Be sure and check out her site (just in general) and in a few days to read my naughty interview answers!

http://jenyckawolfe.blogspot.com

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/jenyckawolfe

https://twitter.com/jenyckawolfe

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8437120.Jenycka_Wolfe

Author Interview: Hayden D. Linder

In a shocking turn of events I have decided to start doing Author Interviews! I put out a call to arms for anyone who was brave enough to post an author interview on my blog.

A simple ten questions to help spread the word of another wonderful author.


My first ever author interview is for Hayden Linder, author of The Hand of Death. While Hayden does not write in the Elfrotica Genre, (because I am the only one thus far that actually does) let’s give him a big hand for being brave enough to be here anyways! 🙂 For appearing on my blog he has received a special gift! Fan Art! My original description of this book from Hayden was ‘Wizards & Ninjas’, so naturally I needed to draw the ‘Wizard Ninja’ whom I imagine is in this book at some point!

I have read the first few chapters so far and I quite like where it is going so far! This would be a book I would read if my time wasn’t currently taken up by sexy elf boys!


First some Book info.

The Hand of Death – by Hayden D. Linder

The hand of death

In the mythical land of Giapan, most young boys dream of becoming brave samurai or great masters of magic, the Onmyoji, who can heal as well as engulf cities in flame with but a gesture. But not Shotoku Hiro. Hiro only wanted to see the city outside the walls of the castle. To see what went on somewhere, anywhere other than the samurai district of Shiro Goemon. And once he worked up the courage to actually do that… no one could have guessed where it would take him.

The Hand of Death is a Fantasy novel set in a land not unlike feudal Japan. The story follows a young boy’s journey as the only son of a distinguished samurai who is pushed onto the path of Ninjutsu. A path that, in the golden land of Giapan, can lead to some very frightening places. And Giapan is nothing if not frightening.


Sounds good right?

Now, onward to some questions!

CB: What was the spark for you? What made you start to write?

Hayden: You know, I don’t think I’d call it a “spark.” It was so slow to manifest that “shambling sloth sleepwalking towards the fire” is probably a better description. I have always been a daydreamer. It’s how I decompress from the work day or any other stressful situation. At some point I realized I had been daydreaming about the same stuff  for months and had bumbled across enough dialogue, settings, and action scenes that I could probably make a book out of them.

CB: What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Hayden: “Writing” is the hardest part of writing.:)

CB: How about the easiest? What part of being a writer do you excel at?

Hayden: Dreaming it up. That part is cake. But I excel at continuity. Part of being a dreamer is that I like to play the same scenes over and over again in my head. It’s part of why I am NOT a fast reader. If I come across a particularly good part of a book I have to go back and read it two or three times. I do the same thing with the scenes in my stories and one of the nice bonuses from this is that I pick up on storyline errors I missed earlier.

CB: What feelings do you have upon seeing your project published?

Hayden: Mostly a desire to rest. There was the feeling of accomplishment but only because I knew I had put in the work to make it a legitimate piece of literature.

CB: Tell us a little about your main character. What makes them unique?

Hayden: The main character, Hiro, is very dangerous though he is not as deep as the rest of the cast. He is just the window through which you view his world. And “The Cast” of the story is quite large. The setting is dark and so many of the cast have a dark sense of humor.

CB: I understand that there are both Wizards and Ninjas in The Hand of Death, but what I think everyone wants to know is this: Are there any Ninja Wizards in this novel, or alternately Wizard Ninjas? 

Hayden: No. Sorry. It is a feudal setting and the lords of the great Houses decide who gets what for training. They would never allow a child with the ability to do magic, risk their lives in the Ninja school.

CB: What made you decide to write about feudal Japan?

Hayden: It was actually just the dreams that I had stuck in my head at the time. I grew up on ninja flicks back in the 80’s and so, me running around as the scary SUPERNINJA has always been one of my favorite daydreams. Nothing says “stress relief” like chocking your boss to death with a gusari chain.

CB: Is there a message you would like to convey with this story?

Hayden: Yes. Stand for something more than yourself.

CB: What authors do you feel inspire/inspired you to write?

Hayden: That’s always a tough question. There are so many. I very fond of Dostoyevsky. His character depth blows everyone else away. In “The Brothers Karamazov” he would have people do things that would make you say, “No one would do that!” and then a few pages later you would learn more about them and say, “Oh. Yeah. I guess I can see that.”

CB: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Hayden: Be sure you write for yourself. Then any success you have is just gravy.

That is all the questions I have, I was a little upset to find out there where no hybrid Ninja/Wizards but I am still holding onto the dream of there being a super boss Ninja Wizard antagonist in this novel. (Spoilers after all)


You can find Hayden’s book over at his website:

https://bookseriesthehandofdeath.wordpress.com/

Hayden is holding a contest right now to go with his Blog Tour that might let you win The Hand of Death! Be sure to check it out!

Or at the Amazon Page listed below.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VC1408Y/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d1_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=03MZZHVJ52P5ZC6E5JT4&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2079475242&pf_rd_i=desktop

Also be sure to check out my answers to Hayden’s questions on his website in a few days! I will post the link when it is up!


Hayden Linder and Family

Hayden D. Linder and children.

From left to right; Vivian, Hayden, Felix, Lee and my eldest, Chuy.