Introducing: Helen Boswell

I am excited to bring to you this lovely lady! Helen Boswell has written a few of my most favorite books! I can even say I have some signed copies! So sit back and relax and find out all about Helen today!  There is also a surprise at the end. Helen is giving away one signed copy of Losing Enough! I LOVED that book!  So what I would like you to do, is be the first to comment, and say why you wold want to read her book. Then Share this post on twitter. and tag me in it.  Now to the interview!

Helen Boswell
Helen Boswell
Website:

http://www.helenboswell.com
Social media links:
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Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
Helen: I’m currently writing a story called SCARS RUN DEEP. This has been a WIP for over a year now (I put it aside to finish a trilogy last year) and is a romance that is also about working through the pain from past lives.

C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
H. That’s a difficult question…. All of the scenes have been agony to write for some reason (haha). But I think my favorite one is when the main characters Jase and Elle go out to the desert to a place that Jase escapes when he needs to heal. It’s a great scene that ends with a kiss. 🙂

C. Who or what has inspired your writing?
H. A few inspirations come to mind. For Jase, I have a friend who used to fight amateur fights because of something that happened in his past — it’s a bit different from Jase’s backstory, but still a similar motivation to why Jase used to fight. Elle is inspired by all of the strong women that I know. ❤

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C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?
H. I look to each project as a way to get better at something. With my urban fantasy/paranormal romance trilogy, I wanted to develop great fight scenes, worlds, and of course kissing scenes. With this one, I’m working mostly on the emotional development of characters, which is very challenging but also a lot of fun.

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We know that is not REALLY True!
C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
H. Not really. I pop in my earphones and go for it whenever I have distraction-free time (like at 4 a.m. – ha!)

C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
H. Probably on the top tower of a giant playground structure. I have two sons, 4 and 8, and I try to get writing done when we’re out and about.

C. How do you handle writer’s block?
H. Not too well. Ha. It’s taken me a while to accept that I can’t force it. If I feel blocked, I need to step away and go back to it later. I’ll read and watch movies instead until I feel drawn back by my characters.

C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
H. I’ve interviewed a few people so far for this one. A former boxer, a hospital volunteer, a police officer. I meet a lot of people through my job and also live in a small-town community where everyone knows everyone else. I have no problem approaching someone and asking them questions for my books. They know I’m a crazy writer 🙂

C. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
H. Pantser, though for this one I’ve had to stop a couple of times and outline. It’s been an interesting experience. I like pantsing a lot better 🙂

C.What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
H. To enjoy it and to enjoy others’ successes. I am not in this to get a NYT bestseller’s ranking (though I wouldn’t complain if that happened), but I’m in this because I love writing, love my characters, and love the writing community as well. I learned this the hard way when a book I had high expectations for in terms of sales really didn’t do anything after I released it. It’s still a book that is true to me and I’m very proud of though, and that’s important to me.

C.  Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
H. I knew nothing about publishing before I started, and I had to learn a lot of the steps all by myself. One thing I wish I was told is to always take my time. It’s a huge publishing world, and it’s okay if you don’t crank out a book every few months or even one a year. You have to love what you do and be happy with what you’ve written, because that’s what goes out there with your name.

C. What’s next for you?
Writing and more writing? I am really looking forward to working on an adult/new adult urban fantasy featuring Davis, the brother of my character Hope, from the Mythology series. Witches and magic and curses, oh my!

THANKS HELEN!
THANKS HELEN!
NOW……. TO WIN the Signed Copy of Losing Enough, Comment Below, with WHY you want it. Be FIRST!!  Then Tweet this post 🙂  Thats it.  Then I will get your info to Helen to send you the book!

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Introducing: SC Harrison

Happy Wednesday All! Today I have for you the lovely SC Harrison. We have gotten to talk a bit and I am excited to share her interview with you today! 🙂 Sit back…. grab a drink or a kitty and enjoy.  Also at the end of the post you will be able to get her book for free! I did!

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SC Harrison

Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
SC. Harrison: It’s a bit stalled at the moment but I’m trying my hand at a non-science-fiction, future-based nation-building scenario with a cult twist. Think Sim City on an extremely micro level. My characters are struggling against all sorts of darkness in their lives in the midst of this massive upheaval, and then they just… stop. This story is what happens when people become dark.
C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
SCH. Near the beginning my hard, female main character is working in her yard and she experiences the unmistakeable feeling of being watched, although the population density at the time is less than ten people per square mile. She runs through all the usual possibilities in her head before bolting inside and crying on the floor for an hour. This scene illustrates her “before” personality and highlights for the first time her humanity and vulnerability, as well as introduces fear into her new life. It’s a creeping, primal atmosphere, and was delicious to write. I felt like I could chew it.
C. Who or what has inspired your writing?
SCH. A bunch of shitty YA I read when I worked at a library. I knew I could do better. Five years later and it turns out I can’t.
C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?
SCH. I want to transport my reader, if only for a moment. If I can distract someone in the doctor’s waiting room or make someone smile while waiting on an important phone call, then I’ve succeeded as a person.

C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
SCH. I have to be in a certain mindset and so when that happens, I jump on it.

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C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
SCH.A police station
C. How do you handle writer’s block?
Time. I don’t rush things. I’ve got nowhere to be.
C.How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
SCH. For this question I’ll use my pride and joy, Some Loser Named Chamomile, which dug into severe mental illness. I did a lot of reading into the various schizotypal disorders and then, most fascinatingly, read accounts written by schizophrenics themselves. You come away a different person.
C. Are you a planner or a pantser?
SCH. Oh, I plan. I plan and plan and plan, but the story inevitably breathes on its own and I let it. My early outlines are always so cute. They never happen.
C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
SCH. That I don’t have a writing career. I have a writing facet of my personality and I’m not hot shit. That took a lot of pressure off myself.
C. Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
SCH.Don’t give up querying. Whatever you do, see it the fuck through.
C. What’s next for you?
SCH. All I care about is finishing the next story. 🙂
C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.
SCH. A few in college. Sometimes I consider going back to get another bachelor’s in English, since I’m just a few credits away, but then I’m like, “But I don’t want to die broke.” My Creative Writing class was a joke, though. It was taught by a tired old hippie who, after years of yearning to be published, was so excited to announce that she had accepted a publishing deal from… CreateSpace. And she had us make effing collages out of magazine cutouts. I prefer macaroni pictures.
C.Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing process/publishing process?
SCh. I wish I had thicker skin.
C. Have your parents read your work?
SCH. My mom has. One day I came downstairs with 500 printed pages in a binder and said, “Hey, I wrote a book. Wanna read it?” And she did. And she’s my biggest fan. Because she’s the best momma.
C. What made you decide to self-publish?

SCH.At the time I cited a lot of reasons, but in reality I had just given up. I wish I never had. I wish I had stayed in the traditional game. Something might have happened if I did.

C. When writing sexy scenes, do you need to be completely alone or does it not matter?
SCH. Oh, it totally doesn’t matter. I’ve written erotica sitting on the sofa with my family while watching TV. It’s a persona you slip into. Once you learn how to turn it on and off, the whole world is your four-poster.
C. What scares you the most?
SCH. Before I had a child, being alone. Now, everything.

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C. When did you start to feel like an author?
SCH. The first time I cried when I got a rejection.
C. Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked?
SCH. Yes, it was a make-out scene and I felt like I didn’t know how to position their arms and legs so I ended up bending my husband around like Gumby. I recommend it.
WOOHOO thanks girlie for talking with me.  Now you know you all want to go get her book!  It’s FREEEEEE!!

book: http://www.amazon.com/Some-Loser-Named-Chamomile-Harrison-ebook/dp/B00KEINKOG
twitter: @vcrbrigade

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Introducing: May B.B.

Super Tuesday to you all! Today I am happy to bring you an awesome interview and a person who inspires me to keep going no matter what.  I was lucky enough to beta May’s current book. So sit back, grab a drink, food, whichever and enjoy!

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May B. B.
May B. B.

Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.

May: I have three! My #PitchWars MS, Killing June, is a contemporary romantic thriller. It has a noir vibe, is high on the heat scale, and hopefully it will keep your heart pounding. You can check out the agent round for #PitchWars November 3rd to see a short pitch for it and the opening page. http://www.brenda-drake.com/

I have two works in progress.

A F/F upmarket contemporary. Right now I’m calling it Requiem for a Dream meets Pretty Woman gone wrong.

When Naomi moved to Hollywood, the city of glitz and glam, it wasn’t the rundown, roach infested apartment she shares with her girlfriend, Becca, she’d been dreaming of. She had Hollywood stars in her eyes. Now, as the newest girl on Elite Escort’s payroll, she knows she’s way off track.

Naomi wants to make it in Hollywood, but more than that she believes in Becca’s dreams. Becca, a promising young artist, spends days covered in paint and nights supplying the local junkies. She isn’t used to a life where others are invested in her dreams, but Naomi’s love and encouragement have her thinking she just might make something out of this art thing.

They are on a new high when money from escorting starts coming in and drug sales are up, but that leaves farther to fall. They’ve promised to make this journey together but it’s leading to places neither wanted to go, the morgue.

Becca sells drugs, Naomi sells herself, and one of them may end up selling their soul to make it in the city of lights.

The third is another contemporary romantic thriller, currently titled Holding out for Home. I am in love with Gwen and Jackson’s story.

Gwen wants nothing more than to prove she’s fine so she can leave the half-way house she was sent to after breaking down over the murder of her father, and go home. There’s nothing left there, no family, but the house is the last connection she has to her dad.

When Jackson, a man she recognizes from the night her dad was murdered, turns out to be the benefactor of the half-way house she was placed in, and his aunt the caregiver, life gets more complicated than just making it home.

She’ll risk getting close to Jackson to find out who murdered her dad and why. And he will challenge her idea of what “home” means: the house of the man that loved her all her life, or a life with the man that says he’ll love her for the rest of it.

 C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?

M: I have a soft spot for scenes that allow characters to bare their soul. Those scenes where a character is stripped down and raw emotion is what you’re left with. In my books those scenes are usually brutal and gut wrenching. Something magical happens when you feel like you know your characters in an intimate way after a scene.

That being said, I love to write kink. The three projects I currently have all have varying levels of heat. Everything from intense, heavy scenes with canes and whips, to tender first touches.

C. Who or what has inspired your writing?

M. I don’t know that anyone in particular did. I’ve loved writing since I was a little girl, when I still hated reading. Creating, whether writing or drawing, has always been freeing for me.   

 C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?

M. I would love to make writing a fulltime career someday. It is a very lofty goal. My immediate goal, and more attainable, is always to keep improving. I hope that each book I write is better than the last.

 C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

M . Pee! Go pee it is important. Assess my hunger level, and get something to drink. I try to give myself as few reasons to take a break as possible.

If I am writing at home I fill my fish tanks. I have a few large ones—I love my fish—but unlike most people, I don’t like the sound water makes. I make sure they are too full to make noise.

C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?

M. I don’t know that I’ve written in many weird ones. I tend to take my laptop with me everywhere I go, in case I find time to write. I end up parking in random places and writing in my car quite a bit.

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C. How do you handle writer’s block?

M.  I find that for me writer’s block is one of two things: burnout or physical exhaustion. If I’m feeling burnt out and lacking interest in a project I take a break. Not a long one. Usually a few days to a week. I use that time to read. Reading refuels my desire to write. When I read beautiful words and gripping plots from some of my favorite authors, and remember all of the feelings a writer can give a reader, it inspires me to make my own writing shine.

If it is physical exhaustion, well, the cure is the same. A few days off with an earlier bedtime and some relaxing reading.

C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?

M. Killing June is set in Dallas, TX. I was born there and lived not too far away until I was 12. That was many years ago, so most of my research was about the area. I needed to know the good and bad parts of town, and really acquaint myself with the map of the area.

Lucky for me I have a lot of family still there. My sister-in law was a great resource. So I bugged the crap out of people regularly for a month or so.   
C. Are you a pantser or a plotter?

M. I learned the pantser lesson when I was writing fantasy. I learned it through ungodly numbers of re-writes and edits. I am a plotter. I write a rough pitch, and a loose chapter outline before starting.

 C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?

M. Wear your big girl panties. Find beta readers and/or editors whose opinions you trust, but make sure they are not close enough to you personally to worry about your feelings much. And then have thick skin. You will be rejected. People will hate your ideas. Editors will rip apart your beautiful words. But if they are trusted, knowledgeable people, it will be to make your MS better. It’s not personal.   

 C.What’s next for you?

M. Pitch slapping some people in the agent round of Pitch Wars! And then into the querying trenches. Killing June has been my baby for the last year. I am very proud of this MS and cannot wait until I can query it.

After that it’s more writing. Always more writing.

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 C.  When writing sexy scenes, do you need to be completely alone or does it not matter?

M. It doesn’t matter to me. I can write the most depraved things in a crowded room and grin internally about it. I can’t, however, write them if my daughter is sitting on the same couch as me. Not because it’s awkward, but because at 13 if she looked over and picked out a naughty word on my screen I’d really hate having to explain why it was there.  

 

C. Have your parents read your work?

M. My mother read a steamy Christmas short I wrote. That was bad enough.

My father is NEVER allowed to read anything I write. I am trying to uphold the image that I’m a virgin and I know nothing about boy’s wee wees. My daughter was a miracle conception and I would never say the word cock.

Oh great, now he can’t read this either.

 

 

C. Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?

M.  I don’t think there is a particular skill. Dyslexia and dysgraphia still make some things harder, so I guess, if anything, I wish those struggles would go away.

C. Which poets or authors have influenced you in your own writing?

M. Every single one I’ve read. I try to learn something from every work I read. Whether it is something they are far better at than I, and I want to work to reach their level, or if it’s something that really puts me off their writing and I work to avoid it in my own, I try to learn from them all.  

 

C. When writing a poem, do you have a set word count you aim for or do you wing it?

M. Wing it. Poetry is about the only time I wing it. It is about emotions, conveying a feeling or moment, and I write as few or as many words as it takes.

 

C. Have any life experiences landed into one of your novels?

M.  A few. And that is all you’re getting.

C. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

M. I went through phases. First was a nun. Thing is, I’m not catholic. I saw a nun in a store when I was very young. I thought it was awesome that she went out in those clothes and decided that’s what I wanted to be too.

Then came the heart surgeon phase. Not a clue why, but that one lasted for a good while.

For a time I didn’t care, as long as I got wear business suites and heels. The women on TV in pencil skirts and blazers, walking briskly down a hall with the sound of her heels echoing around her, always made me feel like they were important.

Last was anything involving art and design. I had a dream of living the single life in New York City. I was going to wear trendy clothes and live in a cool loft space somewhere. Then I got old enough to understand the “term cost of living”.  

 

C. Have you pushed yourself to write in a genre outside of your comfort zone?

M. Honestly, no. I write what I enjoy writing. For a time it was fantasy. I learned that though I really enjoy reading it, I focused way too much on the romantic aspects and not enough on world building. I might come back to it someday.

Since then it has been romance, women’s fiction, and upmarket contemporary. I’m sure if needed I could write in other genres, there’s just never been a need to do it.   

 

C.  What scares you the most?

 M. About writing? Not much. About life? Moths, but we aren’t talking about that.

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C.  When did you start to feel like an author?

M. I don’t really know if it was my first or second book, but it was during the editing process. Something about taking this story and really working to tailor it and make it shine. That process is what makes me feel like an author, not first drafts.

 

C. Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked? Share a funny or embarrassing story about acting it out.

M. Not exactly.  I am a vivid day dreamer. I sit and day dream out a lot of my scenes. On occasion I catch myself making odd gestures—tilting my head this way, moving a hand that way—as I try to imagine if a physical scene would work. I’m sure it earns me some stares from people who have no clue what I am doing.

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Find and Follow May on social media :

You can catch me tweeting, posting, blogging, and blabbing at:

Twitter @MaybBooks https://twitter.com/MayBbooks

Site maybbooks.com http://maybbooks.com/

Goodreads MaybBooks  https://www.goodreads.com/MayBbooks

Facebook facebook.com/MayBbooks

THANKS MAY FOR BEING MY GUEST TODAY!! 🙂  *cue the music*

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Introducing: Kari Ann

Hello Monday peeps!  I have a new person for you to meet today! I have just recently started talking to Kari Ann, and she graciously agreed to do an interview with me! So sit back and learn a bit about her with me!

Kari Ann
Kari Ann

http://heykariann.com/
Kari Ann is a Seattle space nut, creativity junkie, and science enthusiast. Cloudy days and rainy evenings suit her, so the Pacific Northwest may be her permanent home. She spends many a-day in an elementary school library. Book enthusiasm is a virus that spreads from one host to another, without much care that the infecting agent may be a many century-dead author. Kari Ann is a school librarian by day and cares for aging horses in her off-hours. We don’t talk about the black cats in her home.

She has written short stories for Robot Cowgirl, 444 Project, and is author of the Olivia’s Field urban fantasy series, and will soon release the Trojan War space opera cycle.

Now for our interview!

Christina:  What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
Kari Ann: Rock Hopper is set in a future a few hundred years from now where people have left Earth and are establishing governments as well as social customs out in the solar system. We all know that people will go into space, but we will take everything that we are with us. We have our ways of governing and our religions coded into our behavior. I believe that when we leave Earth, we hug tight to the things we’ll miss when we leave so much of our lives and families behind.

Like a lot of writers, I have a several works in rotation. It helps to take some time off and work on a different project while the last one (or the book from two books ago) percolates. I’ve spent three years editing Rock Hopper and just as I was about to release it in a flurry of sci-fi wonderment, I received a new submission opportunity. To that end, the other books in that universe are underway and should be able to release this much closer to the Rock Hopper eventual release date for that publishing delay.

My sequel to Olivia’s Field is written! This urban fantasy story followed Olivia from her ordinary life into her life with the faeries. The new story is in the revisions stage, and may be for another half year. Olivia returned to her parent’s home, but what happens when you learn that there’s another world out there, effecting our own daily lives? Just wait and see.

C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
KA: I love writing snark. It’s safe to say that there’s a special place in my heart for Vits from Rock Hopper. He’s never so much my character as when he’s telling the truth and making you question it.

C.  Who or what has inspired your writing?
KA. I read prolifically, but for the longest time it never occurred to me that my day dreams could be written down for other people to read. I even spent hours talking about book plots and what I would do in that situation. I think we’ve all been there. It took a step to go from thinking about plots to writing them. The “epublishing revolution” made me realize that I can write, and submit my writing to publishers, too.

I want to reiterate: seeing other people, regular people who aren’t official writers, publish made a huge impact on me. “I, too, can write.”

C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?
KA. I want to find my people. There might be only ten of us out there, or there might be more. But we like a good story and want to talk about what makes it good. That’s my goal. Finding my people.

I’m hoping that the short story “We the People,” will impact society’s view of the Bureau of Land Managements’ horse and wild burro supervision programs. I’d love to see animals treated with more respect and horses given the space they have come to occupy in our ecosystem, rather than having the horses removed and the grasslands given to free-range cattle at pitiable prices. Don’t get me wrong. Better prices aren’t the issue.

C. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
KA. I need a really long stretch of time to focus on writing. It’s not a ritual, just a sure knowledge that I can choose my end-time.
C. What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
KA. I write and edit in my kids’ after school classes and in hallways between lectures. If we’re writing short stories, we can outline anywhere.

C.  How do you handle writer’s block?
KA. If I can’t dream, I can’t write. After large projects, I get drained. The ideas are still there, but the ability to follow through leaves me. It’s hard to ad might that I need a recharge, but sometimes, that’s what it takes. I need to get excited about something, anything again before I can write.

C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
KA. Writing is the best job ever. I get to read about so many things and use that new knowledge to create something that no one’s ever seen before. I love research. Most recently I did a short story where I needed to know the conductivity of gemstones.

C. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
KA. I’m a big-time plotter. The plots are layered over one another, just as the textures and tones are multidimensional. Characters still take off and do their own thing, but it rarely changes the central plot.

C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
KA. Getting edited by professional editor creates a huge difference in my work. It takes some scrimping and saving, but it’s amazing to see what a few tweaks can do! There are professional editors out there who can guide you in how to make a difference to your next manuscript before you send it to them. Don’t simply send to an author who is giving advice, find a professional you can work with.

C.  Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
KA. Patience isn’t enough. Try, try again isn’t enough. Push through the rejections, and know that there is an audience out there but it will take a lot of open minded listening to criticism and applying what works for your piece and your audience.

C. What’s next for you?
KA. I hope to get a positive response from the group reviewing Rock Hopper, but the responses from my pre-readers have given me the strength to believe that my people are out there. I’m going to work on the other books in this universe. I can’t begin to express how much the world means to me. After this, I will build the framework for a new story while revising the next Olivia book.

C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.
KA. I’ve watched a number of online writing lectures and received valuable feedback from editors and traditionally published authors. I’ve taken very specific writing classes I’ve taken beyond the freshman comp from way back when, but those classes were “how to teach to write.” I took classes that were intended to teach a teacher how to open up a student to let them write their first drafts or memoirs. I’ve taken a good number of grammar classes beyond this.

C. What’s your favorite part about writing science fiction?
KA. I love finding out what is possible now, what is probable in the near future and then extrapolating how we might use that information or habit as people. The humans in Rock Hopper are using a propulsion system that I’d read about in some technical papers my husband brought home from work. Sure, humans would be squished to jelly using it, but imagine what we could do if we found a way around that!

C. Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?
KA. Most of us wish we could sell ourselves better. We sit in rooms by ourselves for hours on end, writing about other worlds or lives. Sometimes I think, “If I could write a better blurb, I could reach my agent.” Or “I wish I could see my own messed-up grammar.”

In the end, it all comes down to sitting in front of the computer and putting your dreams onto the screen. I wish I had the ability to focus for extended periods of time and not care about the dishes or the barn or some more tactile form of ar.

C. Which poets or authors have influenced you in your own writing?
KA. I read certain books once every five to seven years. I just need to feel that texture in my brain. Annie Proulx’s short stories, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels, and a decade and a half of watching anime in minute detail had huge impacts on my writing. I can’t pass up a new version of a Jane Austen novel. I can’t say that I’m an “old classics” type reader all the time, but I really do consume tremendous quantities of media every year.

C. When writing a poem, do you have a set word count you aim for or do you wing it?
KA. Only in a haiku. When I write poems, I ensure that the feel and the story are there. That’s the end goal. If I want to make a deep impact, the poem is velvet on your cheek. If it’s funny, the poem should be dandelions in sunlight: something you appreciate if you stop to look at it without judgement.

C.  Has any life experiences landed into one of your novels?
KA. I take being told I can’t do something as a challenge. I had been turned away from studying sun spots in high school, but I’ve discovered I can synthesize information and turn it into a consumable, relatable experience. That’s what my experience has brought to my writing.

C. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
KA. A writer or a veterinarian. I assumed we would be living in space stations by now. I like to think I’ve achieved or contributed to many of these goals, in my own way.

C. Have you pushed yourself to write in a genre outside of your comfort zone?
KA. I have! Off and on I read for an amazingly talented woman who writes slice-of-life short stories. She can take a glance on the bus and turn it into 2,500 words of longing. I truly want to do that and have made an effort to bring the same qualities to my writing. I still need magic or to talk about my inventions, but that’s part of what I hope to achieve.

C. What scares you the most?
KA. Confinement in all forms. I don’t like being told what I am or where I should be. I don’t like small spaces or high peaks that I can’t navigate away. I don’t need to be in control, in fact, I dislike taking charge, but I want to have the opportunity to find my options and the sure knowledge that I can follow any one that I chose, and that I can determine my own restrictions.

C.  When did you start to feel like an author?
KA. There are special milestones in a writer’s life that I’ve experienced:
The first submission.
The first rejection.
The first contract.
The first piece of fan art.
The first professional request for a re-write.
Writing still isn’t my day job, though. I expect to “feel like an author” when I prioritize my writing above my other jobs. I’ll get there. Just wait. ^_~

C. Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked? Share a funny or embarrassing story about acting it out.
KA. A long, long time ago, I wrote a judo scene and wasn’t sure about how a character would get up after being defeated by a throw. I was in good shape and needed to know how to push myself off the tatami like I was hurt. I’m sure it was hilarious, but only the cats will tell.
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Thank you Kari Ann! It was great getting to know you and learn about writing.

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Introducing: Christopher Waltz

TGIF Everyone! 🙂 Today I have an awesome guy and cool author, Christopher Waltz for you to check out.  Sit back and Enjoy!

Christopher Waltz. I call him Toph ;)
Christopher Waltz. I call him Toph 😉

Christina: What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.

Christopher Waltz: I have a couple of projects in the works. First, my second novel Old Habits released on October 20th, so I’m doing a lot of promoting with that. I’m really proud of it, so it’s all I can do not to just shove it in people’s faces constantly. The paperback is available on Amazon, and the Ebook is FREE through Smashwords.

I also have a serializes horror/comedy novel being released every two weeks on http://www.channillo.com. It is called Hellbound, and it is about a small town where everyone begins acting out their most prominent of the seven deadly sins. One guy, kind of a big nobody who grew up in the town, but doesn’t feel like he belongs, figures out that the world is coming to and end and he has to try to stop it. It’s wacky, and funny, and a little scary sometimes. I love it.

I also just released the first episode of a horror podcast I’ve been working on. It’s based on a few short stories I’ve written over the past few years, and I’ve been really happy to see how it has evolved and turned into something of a completely different medium than it began. It’s called Dead Oaks and you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/bronzecast

I also just started writing the final book in the Ivy League Trilogy, Loose Ends. So, I’ve been pretty busy!

C.  What has been your favorite scene to write so far?

CW. There is a scene in Old Habits where a pretty placid character basically snaps and gets to beat the tar out of his not-so-placid partner in crime. Jamie is this laid back guy who normally wouldn’t resort to violence, but he just has all this emotional stress pent up, and he lets loose on Gabe, a very violent character. The fun part about the scene to write is that Gabe could completely stop Jamie from whaling on him, but he chooses not to. I like writing violent scenes, because as a person, I’m very non-violent, and it really challenges me as a writer.

C. Who or what has inspired your writing?

CW. So many things have inspired me, but it always comes back to a couple of different teachers I had in high school. I had an English teacher named Mr. Gaylord, and he basically let me work as his teaching assistant so I could work on my writing during school. I also had a journalism adviser named Mrs. Green who, outside of my parents and close friends, has been one of the most supportive people in my life.

C. What is your biggest goal with your writing?

CW. My goal is to write something people can relate to or feel some kind of emotion towards. Nobody wants to read a book that doesn’t make them feel anything, so I want to be the author they read when they want that emotional experience.

C.  Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

CW. I don’t know if it’s a ritual or not, but while I write, I always listen to the same two or three bands on repeat. It took me about a year to write Old Habits, and I swear I’ve only listened to the same three bands over the course of that whole year. I’m also very meticulous about how I layout each and every chapter of what I’m writing. I have to know every detail about these characters and what happens to them, even if it doesn’t make it onto the pages of the story.

C.  What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?

CW. I can’t think of any weird places I’ve written, but I do write at Starbucks a lot. I kind of have this setup where I go in and have my own little table in the corner, and the baristas always know what I’m going to drink. I swear, one of these days they’re going to kick me out!

C. How do you handle writer’s block?

CW. Basically, I don’t. If I have writer’s block, then I just don’t write until it goes away. I always hear a lot of advice about “just power through it,” and that’s totally cool if it works for you, but I’d much rather take a break and not write something I’m going to hate just to be writing when maybe I shouldn’t be writing. To me, writer’s block is my brain’s way of saying “take a vacation!”

C.  How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?

CW. I’ve had to do a lot of research for the horror/comedy serial, Hellbound, because it focuses a lot on stories and characters in the Bible. I’ve had to read a lot more of the Bible than I ever have in my life and make connections to characters in those stories. I feel like the biggest amount of research I’ve done there is taking the story of Samson and Delilah and updating it to a modern setting for Hellbound.

C. Are you a planner or a plotter?

All of the above.

C. What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?

CW. My biggest learning experience has been to kind of take a “who cares?” attitude about some things. With indie publishing, it’s so easy to get discouraged or feel like you’re wasting your time, so I’ve had to just push everything back and say “Who cares? I’m happy and doing what I love.”

C. Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?

Yes, that formatting Ebooks is terrible and it’s definitely worth the money to have it professionally done.

C.  What’s next for you?

CW. I’ll be at a horror writer’s retreat in Colorado when this interview goes online, so hopefully I’ll be learning a lot and getting a lot accomplished. I also hope to finish Loose Ends within a year, so I can have it published by the end of 2016. I’m also planning a new novel, and really the only thing I know about it is that it’s called The Don’t Get Killed Club, and it’s basically a mix between The Breakfast Club and Fight Club and The Lost Boys, so that should be interesting…

C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.

CW. I have not taken any writing classes outside of run-of-the-mill college courses.

C. Is there any talent or skill you wish you were better at within the writing/publishing process?

CW. I feel like I wish I was better at editing my own writing as I write it. I have a bad habit of writing in passive voice, and then my editor has to fix it, so I can fix it, so I don’t look like an idiot when people read my writing! But, writing is a learning process, and it wouldn’t be any fun if I was perfect and had nothing to learn.

C. Have your parents read your work?

CW. My mom read my first novella, Come As You Are, and I think she said it “blew her away.” I don’t know if she has read Ivy League, and I definitely don’t want her to read Hellbound, because it’s kind of more risque than anything else I’ve ever written. My parents are always supportive of my writing, but I’m not sure if they want to experience some of the subject matter I write about, and that’s understandable.

C. What made you decide to self-publish?

CW. In all honesty, I have no patience, and the traditional publishing route takes a lot of patience! You send out hundreds of queries, and you hear back from maybe ten percent of those, if you’re lucky. With self-publishing, I have the ability to take things at my own pace, and I don’t have to wait for anyone to accept or reject my writing (which can be traumatizing).

AWESOME interview. Thanks Christopher.  Now….. Where you can Find Christopher Waltz’s work.

blog: http://cpwaltz.blogspot.com/
twitter: @Christoph_waltz
Channillo (Hellbound): http://channillo.com/series/hellbound/

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Soundcloud (Dead Oaks Podcast): https://soundcloud.com/bronzecast
Old Habits Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Old-Habits-Part-Trilogy-League/dp/1517756499/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445282585&sr=1-1&keywords=old+habits+christopher+waltz

Old Habits smashwords (FREE!): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/584876

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Check out The Super Awesome Geek Show

So today, I decided to do something different.  I wanted to interview the awesome dudes of The Super Awesome Geek Show.  John Adams was awesome to answer all my questions and provide some great pictures!

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Hi Christina and thanx for the interview! It means a lot to us to be here with you and we are honored to be on your site along-side such awesome people!
What gave you guys the idea for The Super Awesome Geek Show?

It was Jason, really – Just like it says in the intro theme, he came to me one day and said “I want to do a podcast!”. When I asked him what about, he replied “A geek show.”. I took that as comic-geek and went ahead thinking along those lines and that we would geek out each week about toys, comics, games, movies and everything else in geek culture. It was only later that I found out he meant tech geek. heheh. But, we ran with it, since we were already geeking out about toys, movies and comic books. The name is also a story. It was almost “The Super Awesome Number One Geek Show”, but then we thought how would people enter the phrase “Number One”? Is it No.1, #1, Number 1, Number One? … you can see why we let that part go and became just The Super Awesome Geek Show!
Tell us a little or a lot about what you do?

We are one of Seattle’s best Geek Culture Podcasts. As a Geek-based Podcast, we have news of all things geeky – from comic-books to movies and film to games and sports. We geek out about anything! We also do interviews and commentary from a local perspective, covering all aspects of geekdom. We are open, positive and inclusive. All our episodes are family friendly (I bleep out any f-bombs that slip through with a meow noise)
We have special guests on, from time to time, that are in the industry and have interviewed many people from television and movie stars, record producers, comic book writers and artists, game designers, people in the space industry and more! We geek out about it all – from Star Wars to Duck Tales!
We post new episodes on a regular schedule. We will have two episodes in a row on each Friday of each week, then take one week off to rest, then we post two more episodes each Friday and so on – so generally, you get three episodes per month. We have found that we all need a break once in a while to stay sane. Unless of course, some important new news comes out and we feel it is necessary to record and post and episode right away, then you may find 4 episodes in a given month. We also have a YouTube channel where we post videos on a semi-regular basis. Sometimes daily, and other times more sporadically. These are mainly unboxing videos and reviews of the toys I get or have in my collection, so we do those when inspiration strikes, we have new toys to open, or I just need something to do on an otherwise uneventful night … heheh.
What has been your favorite podcast and which are you looking forward to the most?

I really enjoyed the one we did with IDW Comics Transformers artist Livio Ramondelli. Being a huge Transformers fan (my second love under Star Wars), I was crazy happy to have him on to geek out with us. I also enjoyed the one with Larry Nemecek and Lynne Zelinsky from the EIS space program and the NSS Enterprise. It’s so kool to be a small part of something that will orbit the Earth. I can’t wait to see it launch when we are invited to go watch in 2018! Our names are on the space-craft for helping them out!! I have also enjoyed talking to actors such as Rowdy Roddy Piper and Chris Sarandon from The Princess Bride. The Artist BROM is also awesome – an amazing guy! Wow – there are so many, they are all awesome! I can go on and on, but I will stop there. I just want to say thank you to all those who have come on our show and all those that are coming on in the future. It is such a pleasure and a privilege to geek out with all these amazing people!

I am currently looking forward to talking to Chris Pirillo on the show. He is such an internet sensation that I just can’t wait to pick his brain and geek out with him for a while. I also enjoy talking to local authors such as Dean E. S. Richard and Micheal G. Munz. There are a few others that we are working on getting on the show, some HUGE big names through some connections we just made, but I should not say who these folks are until we actually nail some of this down and I am absolutely sure they will be joining us to geek out! you will not believe some of the people we will have on in 2016! The Super Awesome Geek Show is going big-time!
What event have you been too, that you left going… “Wow this was awesome!!” ?

Star Wars Celebration VII. Hands down, the best event I have ever been to. We met so many great people there that are now life-long friends and fellow Friends in The Force and in the geek community. That show really made us have world wide reach and now we are listened to everywhere. heheh. It is a bit odd, though, knowing some people in the UK, Brazil, Australia (and who knows where else!?), are listening to our voices!
Tell us a little, again or a lot, about yourselves.

You can learn all about us at this link: http://www.superawesomegeekshow.com/about-the-hosts
– but I will also go into details here …

John
John

I am John Adams @AwesomeGeekShow, the primary host of the show (or Wookie Impersonator). I produce the show and set up special guests and contacts and all that. Plus, now, I am editing each show and creating the files and running the content on the website and on Twitter. I am more of a Marvel Comics guy and a huge Vintage Geek (even have a shirt to prove it) – a collector of vintage toys, comics, games and video games that my brother and I had as children. I am kind of going through and getting a sampling of all the things we cherished as kids and keeping a representative sample of each toy-line that we played with. I do not have the room or the money to be a completest, so I pick and choose what to buy and if I run out of room, then something has to go. So I am very careful with what I collect these days. I try to stay very disciplined with my vintage toy and video game collection.
I own an eBay business called Kingdom Of The Geeks and it is my dream to one day turn that into a super-mega store – a HUGE retail outlet the size of a mall or warehouse store, but with all geek-related things. Imagine something the size of a Target or Wal-Mart but filled only with comics,books, movies, board games, table-top games, video games, arcades, pinball, toys, a geek-related art gallery and more!? I think it can be done…
I am an artist (under the name of Smada Nhoj or J. Edward Adams) of acrylics, water colors and photography and have been shown in galleries around the Seattle area. @Smada_Nhoj on Twitter, I have had three shows in art galleries so far and hope to do more soon. The last one had some photography I had done of my vintage action figures. I was not sure if it would go over well, but people really resonated with it and I was told by the gallery curator that folks would come in and spend hours lost in nostalgia looking and discussing my work. That really brings joy to my heart knowing people can connect to my art and photography on a very personal level. I put my heart and soul and my person into my art, so I am glad to see it connects with people in the same way.
I also co-own and run the business-side of Mowith.net LLC – a software company that Jason and I started. We are still in the process of getting that off the ground, so i wont say much there – other than Jason is one of the other Hosts of the podcast show.

Jason – @Mr_Rigden – He is a regular host of the show and the tech side of things. He got the website going and set-up so all I have to do is create content. He does all the HTML and programming for the web-apps and all the things you see on the website such as the Seattle Area Geek Map and all. Jason loves shows like Duck Tales and Transformers and other cartons we grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s and he still loves animated television shows and films to this day! Jason is also big into the DC universe and all the new Televisions shows along-side that such as The Flash and Arrow – the Arrow-verse as it is now being called.

Rob
Rob

Rob Cifford – @Cyrinnic – He is another regular host of the podcast and he is a HUGE comic-book nerd – yes nerd. I say the difference between a nerd and a geek is that a geek just has fun and sometimes doesn’t know all the details of what he/she is talking about. And sometimes (most of the time) get things wrong. Geeks just like to geek out and speculate and have a blast talking about things. Nerds, on the other-hand know the hard true facts about the things they geek out about. One can be a geek and a nerd at the same time, and Rob is definitely that character. Rob is also an accomplished artist and sculptor and he shows his work at a TON of conventions and shows around Seattle and now Portland. Rob really likes DC over Marvel, but he can geek out about either in equal parts. Being form the land of Giant Robots, otherwise known as Japan, he is also a HUGE Transformers fan along-side Jason and I. This is a theme you will see popping up again with Mad Bee.

Mad Bee – @AngrySpaceBee – She is one of the rotating co-hosts on our show is the video game guru in our bunch and also a gigantic Transformers fan. Probably the biggest fan of Transformers in our group, and quite possibly the world! She works for a video game company in Edmonton Alberta Canada as a production artist and is a fantastic artist. Her stuff just sells out at shows faster than she can produce. She is an amazing person full of personality and charm. A great addition to the show and always a pleasure to geek out with.

Lee Grooms – @Grooms – He has recently joined us more and more often as a rotating co-host. Lee is into comics big-time and all the television that comes along with it. he just loves to geek out movies and TV. He is a solid foundation among us and always has a perspective that comes from deep thought and range. He is kid of the philosopher of the group and usually has some bone to throw at us that none of us had ever thought of before and brings with it, a great discussion. Lee is also a Star Wars fan and big into geek culture in general. He is currently running through all kinds of geek-related names for his soon to be born, twins boys .. such as Moonboy and Devil Dinosaur, Barry and jay and others of the ilk. I really don’t think Devil Dinosaur Grooms works all that well for a boys name!?

Tyler Brown is also about to join us as a rotating co-host and is a big comic-book geek and into all the shows and movies we love. not much to say on him yet, but by the time this is on the web, i bet you will hear his introduction to the podcast!

I should also give a shout out to Eric Locke and Jacob Bielecki. They started the podcast with us and have since left due to outside things going on in their lives, but they helped us build the foundation of this show and will always be recognized as founding members and a big help to getting this adventure off the ground.
What is your favorite topic to “geek out” on?

Star Wars and Transformers – hands down! It always seems to come back to one of those two topics or both! heheh. I also love to meet and geek out with all of our special guests and whatever they bring to the table to geek out about. I feel so privileged to be in a conversation with the creators and those that work in the industry. I feel it is an honor to talk to all these wonderful people who helped shape our lives in such important ways. We are all touched in some way by what these guys create today and by what has been created for us in the past. Some of us learned all our life lessons from Optimus Prime of the Transformers and Duke from G.I. Joe, and it is a pleasure to talk with the people who made things like that happen. I have an attitude that is like a Musketeer .. “One for All And All For One!” I truly believe that if we all work together and help each other – stay true to ourselves and just be nice to one another – that we can all achieve greatness and reach our goals. I see it like here is no competition between any of us and we should all work together. Regardless of what the 1% want us to believe, there IS room at the top for us all!
Ok here’s my geek moment. What are you most looking forward to in the new Star Wars movie?

Seeing old friends and making new ones. I was 4 when Star Wars: A New Hope hit the big screen and it has been a part of my life ever since. It is like an old friend. All of my firsts were because of Star Wars. I will just cut and paste something I wrote about Star Wars from an article that I am submitting to Star Wars Insider and other websites soon .. “Star Wars was responsible for meeting some of my best friends in life. It encouraged me to open my own business. It helped me bond with my brother and in our later years, my father, as well. Star Wars gave focus to my art and photography and through that, it helped me connect to the world in a way no other film has. Like an old friend, Star Wars has been there as something I always went back to, through the good times and the bad. It is the one solid thing that has always been there and now, with all this new material, I am sure it will be there for the rest of my life and bring that same joy and excitement to many, many generations to come.”
For the new movies, it is my hope that we see many Sith with Red Lightsabers and many new Jedi or Force sensitives with Green and Blue Lightsabers battling it out. I want to see what we saw in the games like Knights of the Old Republic on the big screen in live action. Many Sith vs Many Jedi!! I also can’t wait for more ship battles. I am a big fan of the ships of Star Wars and cannot wait to see more space battles! Some of those battles were my favorite parts of the classic trilogy. The battle of Hoth, both Death Star battles, and even the battle at the start of Revenge of the Sith, holds a place in my heart now as one of the great space battles of Star Wars. I was not a prequel lover, but also not entirely a prequel hater, I do have a lot of issues with The Phantom Menace still, but Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith have grown on me in the last few years and now I watch them as a regular part of my weekly watching. Yes, I do actually watch all 5 of the Star Wars films each and every week. (I throw Phantom Menace in only when I have some real spare time) – and well, when I say watch, I mean it is on in the background while I work on things – like the podcast, YouTube videos or art. That’s how much I love Star Wars – it is always on and always has been since I got the VHS tapes way back in the day. I wore out around 10-15 copies of those VHS tapes. I am so glad they are now on permanent media .. heheh.
Tell everyone how they can best support you.

Visit the website regularly http://www.SuperAwesomeGeekShow.com
Get on Twitter and follow us! @AwesomeGeekShow
Go to Facebook and like our page! Facebook.com/SuperAwesomeGeekShow
Subscribe to us on iTunes and please leave a review! The more reviews we get, the better, and the more we will stand out when people search for geeky podcasts. Thank You in advance for that!
We have a Patreon page – Patreon.com/SuperAwesomeGeekShow – that is the most direct way to support us, by helping us with the costs of running the show. We have really small goals and very low pledges – some as low as $.50/month! Spare change can really add up over time and it all helps. Plus, you can be a guest on the show and geek out with us by being a supporter. So, pledge with us and let’s get you on and have some fun geeking out!

Hey – Thanx a lot for doing this interview. it is an honor and a privileged to be asked to share a bit of ourselves with you and your readers!

-John; The Vintage Geek and Host of The Super Awesome Geek Show!

Thanks John! May The Force be with you! 🙂

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Introducing : Kendall Jaye Collard

Happy Wednesday Folks! Today I have the AWESOME Kendall Jaye Collard for you to meet!  I am so excited for this post and I hope you enjoy our interview! And look for the surprise at the end!

The Fabulous Kendall Jay Collard!
The Fabulous Kendall Jay Collard!

In our interview you will find her the links to her sites were you can read her work. Trust me you will want to! 🙂 

Christina. What’s your current project? Tell us a little about it.
KJC : I’m currently submitting to Daily Picspiration (www.picspiration.blogspot.com) and have several shorts submitted to anthologies. And of course you can find my poetry, shorts, and serials at The Darker Playground (www.thedarkerplayground.blogspot.com).

C. What has been your favorite scene to write so far?
KJC: I think I enjoy writing my TwitterShort challenges most. I’ll put out a call on Twitter for followers to give me an item. I’ll sit down over a lunch hour and create flash fiction with the items I’m given and make it as seamless as possible. If I had to pick a favorite of those, it would be TwitterShort Challenge 5. (http://www.thedarkerplayground.blogspot.com/2014/12/twittershort-challenge-5.html)
C.  Who or what has inspired your writing?
KJC: I’ve always been a big fan of Anne Rice. Her ability to make scenes come alive has always impressed me.

C.  What is your biggest goal with your writing?
KJC: Right now, it’s still to GET PUBLISHED 🙂
C.  Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
KJC. Not really. Since inspiration is like lightning for me, I wouldn’t have time to prepare anyway.

C.  What is the weirdest location you’ve ever written at?
KJC . I can’t recall any place odd. Most exotic location I’ve written is my in-law’s basement.

C. How do you handle writer’s block?
KJC. I stop writing and wait for my muse to return. I can’t push through like some people. The words come across as clearly forced.

C. How much research was involved in your latest piece and how did you tackle it?
KJC. So far nothing I’ve written has needed research.

C.  Are you a planner or a plotter?
KJC . I definitely fly by the seat of my pants. When I’ve tried outlining and structuring in the past, my characters laugh at me and then hold my hand as they go the direction they want.

C.  What has been your biggest learning experience so far in your career?
KJC. NSFW postings must have flawless editing, because typos kill ‘the mood’.

C.  Is there anything you wish you were told prior to writing or publishing?
KJC. Be patient. Don’t stress out about negative reviews; it means someone was reading your work.

C.  What’s next for you?
KJC. I’m not sure. Hopefully the anthologies get published so I can have hold my “Introducing KJC Party”.

C. Have you taken any writing classes? If so, share those experiences.
KJC. I took a creative writing class in high school. My teacher was Mrs. Bishop. She wrote on one of my papers that I would be published someday. Although she passed away several years ago, I’m still working to turn that prophecy into fact.

C. Have your parents read your work?
KJC. I think so. They haven’t commented.

C.  What made you decide to self-publish?
KJC . I haven’t yet, and I’m terrified to make that leap!

C.  When writing a poem, do you have a set word count you aim for or do you wing it?
KJC. Nope. No word counts. Just let feelings out and let the words sort themselves.

C. What scares you the most?
KJC. Having someone compliment my work when they don’t mean it. Because I’ll believe them.

C. When did you start to feel like an author?
KJC. I don’t. Not yet. Maybe once I’m published I’ll make the word jump from ‘writer’ to ‘author’.

C. Have you ever acted out a scene to see if it worked? Share a funny or embarrassing story about acting it out.
KJC. I’ve never acted anything out. I’d hate to ruin the illusion of how it looks in my head. 🙂

C. Which poets or authors have influenced you in your own writing?
KJC. I’ve definitely been influenced by the big guns: King, Koontz, Rice. But there are a few people I’ve met through social media that end up being unintentional muses, too. I think I’m drawn to the dark and dangerous that everyone carries inside them, whether they know it or not.

ENJOY! 😀
of course I can be found on Twitter @KJCollard. Links to my blog can be found @drkerplayground. 

Thank you for the interview!! and now here’s a little something for Kendall if I can get it to work! 🙂

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Thank you Kendall this was awesome! :)
Thank you Kendall this was awesome! 🙂