INTERVIEW WITH DAWN HAWKS, AUTHOR OF WHERE DARKNESS WALKS

Donna Hawks Where Darkness Walks Donna Hawks

This is L.M. David doing a blog interview and spotlight on Donna Hawks, author of Where Darkness Walks. I would also like to add I have been authorized to giveaway an eBook copy of the book, which is good for today 5/30/2013, only. For those interested, please leave a comment below for a chance to win, include your email address. One lucky blogger will be selected at the end of the day. Best of luck to you.

Let’s start the interview.

Q. Tell me about yourself.

A. I am a retired Middle School teacher. I have always loved reading and writing. Most of my teaching years were teaching Literature. I loved finding books that I thought my students would enjoy. I had the best book collection in the whole school.

I love getting outside and riding my bike or walking. I’m an avid photographer.

Q. Your book, Where Darkness Walks (Mortgatha Trilogy Book 1), tell me about it.

A. Clarie has had her heart broken, and at the age of 16, she thinks her life if over. But she meets Patrick and knows they have a connection. While Clarie is refinishing an old armoire, she discovers it has a secret compartment where she finds a relic from another world—the shadow realm of Mortgatha. She doesn’t know anything about this other world until she is accidentally pushed through the dark, magic doors that lead there. Now she can’t find her way home, even with Patrick’s help.

Q. Describe the character Clarie.

A. Clarie is a very good girl, loves her dad, always tries to do the right thing. She is devastated when she gets caught in Mortgatha. She works very hard to keep her spirits up as she tries to find her way back to her home, but it’s difficult. She discovers she is far braver than she ever thought.

Q. What is the character Patrick like?

A. He wants nothing more than to help Clarie. He is crazy about her, even at the beginning. He’s strong, confident, loving, and protective. More than once in the story, however, he is “rescued” by Clarie due to circumstances beyond his control.

Q. How would you describe the world of Mortgatha?

A. It is a shadow world, overrun by the Darkness. There is a story within the story of how the Darkness got so much power and how the Light was extinguished from Mortgatha. Clarie is caught up in the myth as much as she is in the world itself. Evil characters and spirits are everywhere, and things aren’t always the way they seem.

Q. Would you describe Where Darkness Walks as a YA book or can it be put in the new category of New Adult?

A. Yes and yes. It is an adventure, a love story, a mystery, a thriller. It was written with younger readers in mind, in that the characters are in their teens and there is little language or situations that would be inappropriate for teens. However, the story is exciting and I can’t think anyone under the age of 116 wouldn’t love it. It has a multi-generational appreciation…

Q. What inspired you to write Where Darkness Walks?

A. My sister. I was thinking about what kind of book I like to read and teach. I knew I wanted to write a book like that. When my sister, Diana, suggested the basic idea to this one, I knew immediately I would run with the idea! That’s why I dedicated the book to her.

Q. This is the first in a trilogy. Can you give an insight into the next in this series?

A. Yes, the next book is titled Tattered Heart. It isn’t about Clarie and Patrick, but about another character in Where Darkness Walks. The third book continues with all the characters.

Q. What about Where Darkness Walks will attract readers to it?

A. I think they’ll like Mortgatha, even while they’re afraid of being there. I think Clarie and Patrick are truly good people, just thrown together in a bad situation. There’s never “helplessness” to them, only the ability to try to understand their situation and figure out how to overcome it. It has everything: romance, mystery, supernatural, relics (that I personally would like to own) and closure.

Q. What is your favorite part of the book and why?

A. Oh, tough question. Probably the last part because, if you read carefully, you may have a question or two that will lead you into the next book.

Q. Who is your favorite character in the book?

A. I love Clarie. But Patrick would be any girl’s dream.

Q. What was the hardest character to write in Where Darkness Walks?

A. Bulldog. He is a foul human being. My first draft was so foul-mouthed that I had to completely scrap it and try to write it so the reader would understand how he is, but not have to read a string of four-letter words.

Q. Will Clarie be in all three books or will each focus on new characters?

A. Yes, she is in all three books, but the second book is not about her, nor is it ever told from her point of view. In the second book, you get to know a different character much better.

Q. What genre is your favorite and why?

A. Young Adult fantasy, by far. I think I love it because the stories are usually more about the situation than strictly about the relationship. I love romance in a story, but I really like substance to the story along with the romance. Once the girl has her man, there has to be more to pull them together.

L.M. David: That concludes this interview. Remember, if you want a free copy of Where Darkness Walks, leave a comment and your email address. The winner will be contacted by Aoife Sheridan, Saskia Book Tours.

Book Blurb from Where Darkness Walks:

Clarie’s world is about to change for the darker. Rand broke up with her at the prom, she uncovers a secret in the hidden back of an armoire, and she meets Patrick, who is determined to help her forget her broken heart.
As Clarie evades classmate Bulldog’s stalking, she and Patrick explore the dark halls of an abandoned cement plant. After following Clarie and Patrick deep inside, Bulldog confronts Clarie as he fights with Patrick. When she is accidentally pushed against a set of dark doors into the shadow realm of Mortgatha, everything she fears is set into motion to keep her away from her beloved Earth world.

Even with Patrick’s help, the doorway home moves randomly, evil characters beset them at every turn, and the way home seems farther away than ever.
Author Links:

http://donnahawk.net/

https://www.facebook.com/Donna.Hawk.Author?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4344451.Donna_Hawk

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/donnahawkregehr

https://twitter.com/byDonnaHawk

http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Hawk/e/B00C0KNYI8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1367953455&sr=1-2-ent

INTERVIEW WITH STACEY BROWN, AUTHOR OF DARKNESS OF LIGHT

StaceyDarkofLightbookcover

Hello, this is L.M. David and today I am interviewing Stacey Brown, author of Darkness of Light. Usually I start these interviews off with a “Preston” moment but he’s been on his best behavior since I created a new vampyre whose sole purpose is to keep the uncontrollable vampyre under wraps. Now that I mention that, I’ve not seen her either. I wonder…

Let’s start the interview. Welcome Stacey to my corner.

Q.  Tell me about yourself.

A.  Currently, I am living back in San Francisco, CA after living for a while in Los Angeles and Boston and many years abroad in London, Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand. I loved living abroad, but deep down I guess I am a Northern California girl at heart. I did some acting, set/interior design, and now split my time between staging homes and being an author. Writing and traveling are my two biggest passions. Other than that I am preparing to be the freaky cat lady down the street. Just need the cats.

Q. What is Darkness of Light about?

A.  While the synopsis covers what happens in the book, I feel Darkness of Light is basically about someone who doesn’t feel she fits in the world. Feeling different, insecure, and treated like a freak is a something a lot of people feel at all ages. This story is how Ember figures out who she really is and learns to be happy with herself, no matter what other people say or think. A lot of people never feel like they “fit” in with what the society says they should be. Ember goes against that and finds her place.

Q. Ember Brycin is the main character. Tell us about her.

A. Ember has had some very tragic events happen in her life. The loss of her mother has caused her to cut herself off from most people, but then she has never felt like she belonged anyway. Strange things happen to her. She sees things no one else can, hears voices no one else hears, all this in addition to her two different colored eyes and hair makes people treat her like an outcast. But, Ember is a strong person. She doesn’t just sit back and take it. She’s not “good” girl but spunky and fierce.

Q.  Ember connects with Eli Dragen. What is he like?

A.  Eli is a conundrum wrapped in mystery. He is frustrating, aggravating, sarcastic, and seriously hot! He is definitely more of the “bad-boy.” He is a leader of an infamous motorcycle gang and constantly in trouble with the law. His character and what has happened in the past have caused him to be cold and cruel—not the nice guy. But, when he loves, he loves fiercely and he is extremely loyal. There are so many layers to Eli, but I can’t say a lot without giving too much away. He’s another one where nothing is ever what is seems!

Q. What distinguishes Darkness of Light as a New Adult paranormal romance versus a Young Adult romance?

A.  Darkness of Light could actually be more in the mature YA, but the overall series is more in the NA. As people do, the series grows and the characters develop. Each book will contain more adult content as Ember continues to mature.

Q.  What was the hardest part of Darkness of Light to write?

A.  Action seemed to be my least favorite part to write. It is a different style of writing than dialogue. Action and fighting scenes have to be written to keep and build the tension, but be explained well enough so people can picture it in their heads. I don’t like when a fight scene will go on and on for pages. So it is a balance of length and the building of tension and description. I will sometimes leave the action scenes and come back when I am in the mood to really get in and write them. I guess I don’t mind writing the love scenes! The action scenes actually aren’t much different than my “love scenes,” but for some reason I don’t struggle with those as much as the action. I thank my character inspiration board for that!

Q.  Who was your favorite character?

A.  This is like asking a mother to pick which child of hers is her favorite! Can’t deny, though, I have a soft (hot) spot for Eli! But I really do love them all.

Q.  Who was your least favorite character?

A.  Again, a mother can’t choose! I really don’t have one. They are all in the story for a reason and make the story progress . . . even the sheriff.

Q. What aspect of Darkness of Light will attract readers to your book?

A.  I’d like to say it would be the unique story and writing, but it’s probably the insane chemistry between Ember and Eli. I think the story has lots of twists and turns that will keep you reading, where you never quite know what’s going on. And just when you think you do . . . it’s not always what it seems. There is romance, action, mystery, intrigue, and lots of humor. For some girls, Eli will be enough!

Q.  What about the paranormal genre do you like most?

A.  I love the magic of fantasy—the what-if’s and the possibilities. I don’t know if I could write a book without some elements of fantasy. When I was a kid I would make-believe these elaborate fantasy/Goonie kind of stories. I haven’t lost that and I still want to live in that world.

Q. What about good versus evil attracts readers to it?

A.  Funny, people keep thinking it’s about good versus evil, but it’s actually not. There really is no good or bad. Light and Dark do not mean good and bad in my book. The best stories I’ve found is where even the “evil” person has a reason for why they are “evil.” My characters don’t think they are evil and what they do makes perfect sense. My series is FULL of grey. Even the most docile person could kill or do something bad if placed in different circumstances.

Q.  Will there be a sequel to Darkness of Light?

A.  There are four books in the series. I have just finished Book Two of the Darkness Series, Fire in the Darkness, which I am hoping will come out in Fall, 2013. It’s at the editors now. And as we speak, I am beginning Book Three. It’s never ending for authors!

Q.  If your book were being made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead roles?

A.  I have my character ideas on my Pinterest Board. Most aren’t celebrities because I prefer having more unknowns in my head. My characters are so precise and real to me. The secondary characters I could probably cast. For example, I’ve always pictured Josh Holloway as West. But I feel no celebrities could fit the leads just right. I am willing to sit through the casting though! Especially the male leads!

Q.  What advice do you have for writers just getting started at writing a novel?

A.  Seek therapy it’s quicker and cheaper…

Kidding! My advice is that if you enjoy doing it for fun or want to do it as your job, don’t give up. It is a LONG, grueling process. There are a lot of rejections and times you’ll want to give up, but push through and keep writing. You also have to learn that not every word you write is worth keeping. You have to get thick skin and know people’s critiques are to better your book and you as a writer.

L.M. David: Thanks again, Stacey, for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck with your Darkness series!

Book Blurb:

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

Author Bio:

Stacey Marie Brown works by day as an Interior/Set Designer and by night a writer of paranormal fantasy, adventure, and literary fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

Author Links:

WEBSITE:
www.staceymariebrown.com

AMAZON:
www.amazon.com/dp/B00BFKOEY2

GOODREADS:
www.goodreads.com/staceymariebrown

PINTEREST:

http://pinterest.com/smariebrown/darkness-of-light-character-inspiration-book-1/

BARNES&NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/darkness-of-light-stacey-marie-brown/1114560138?ean=2940016368832

SMASHWORDS:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/staceymariebrown

INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER SHARPE, AUTHOR OF FINDING FLIGHT

HeatherSharpeFindingFlight

Hello, this is L.M. David and today I am interviewing Heather Sharpe, author of Finding Flight. Before we begin, I just want to say duct tape is the most versatile stuff on the market. I thought there were 1000 uses for it. Preston raised that number to 1001. I am not saying what he taped up except to say breathing through straws in one’s nose does wonders for clogged sinuses.

Okay, let’s get started. Heather, welcome to my utility closet of a room.

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.

A. I am a 30 year old mom of the most wonderful almost 2 year old you will ever meet! I married my high school sweetheart at 19, and we’re happier today than we were then. I taught 4th grade for six years before I decided to stay home with my little one, and I haven’t regretted the decision since.

Q. Briefly describe what Finding Flight is about.

A. Finding Flight is about Ledger Arnau, an Enforcer for a secret society of shape-shifters, who is assigned to bring his errant brother back to face the Council after he disappears. Ledger enlists the help of Corinne Winters, who has the ability to locate missing objects. Instead of solving all Ledger’s problems, locating Lynn only multiplies his troubles.

Q. What do you find fascinating about the paranormal genre?

A.  I love the magic involved with paranormal creatures–especially shape-shifters. For me, reading is an escape into another world, and with the paranormal genre, it really can be a different world.

Q.  The main character, Ledger Arnau, what is he like?

A.  Ledger is fiercely loyal and dedicated. When their mother was killed, he swore to look out for his younger brother, and that oath shaped him into the protective man he is today.

Q. How would you describe Corinne’s character?

A. Corinne is quirky, and also very loyal and protective. Many of Corinne’s idiosyncrasies were borrowed from my own life–like her disliking water, and inability to keep track of her own possessions. One of the reasons Ledger and Corinne make such a great couple is because they are both dedicated to their family.

Q. Why does Ledger’s brother Lynn become the problem for the Council in Finding Flight?

A. Lynn broke his oath to the Council and fled his responsibility. Then, when they couldn’t rein him in, other boys in the community began to test the control of the Council. They need to bring him in and make an example of him in order to maintain their control of the people of Ernehale.

Q. What is Corinne’s talent?

A. Corinne is able to locate an object by concentrating on it. She has dreamed of using this ability to help police locate missing people, but until she met Ledger, she was never able to locate a person or her own missing objects. The more time she spends with Ledger, the more her ability grows.

Q.  Why would Corinne reject Ledger since she, herself, is different from an average human?

A.  Because Corinne and her sisters have gifts different from the average human, she has come to take it for granted somewhat. When she is confronted with Ledger’s other half, it is during a high stress situation, and it is more than she is ready to accept at the time.

Q.  What inspired you to write Finding Flight?

A.  A dream. I knew I wanted to write a shape-shifter novel (because they are my favorite to read), but I didn’t want to write about wolves or cats, because they are so common in the market. I wanted to write something I hadn’t come across, and I dreamed about an eagle large enough to swoop down and carry me out of the branches of a tree. Actually, I rewrote that dream into the end of Finding Flight.

Q.  I love reading paranormal stories. What about Finding Flight will draw readers to it?

A.  The shape-shifters, of course! 🙂 Also, the comic banter between Corinne and Ledger.

Q. Which character did you enjoy writing the most?

A.  I enjoyed writing Corinne quite a bit because many of her mannerisms were based upon my own idiosyncrasies. One of the minor characters, though, was my favorite to write. Another Enforcer, Cedric, will eventually get his own book because I enjoyed writing his part so much!

Q. Which character was your least favorite, and why?

A. Ironically, Cedric ended up frustrating me the most, because I had to cut out or rewrite many of my favorite scenes because he took them over, and this isn’t his story.

Q.  What is your current work in progress?

A.   I’m working on the sequel to Finding Flight, tentatively titled Trusting Flight, that will feature Lynn. And since Cedric butted his head into both stories almost uninvited, I’ve started outlining a third book in the series for him.

Q.  What advice to you have for writers just starting into the publishing arena?

A.  Keep writing, don’t give up, and make connections with other writers. I received 69 rejections before I was offered my first contract, and if I hadn’t connected with a wonderful critique partner, I wouldn’t have met the people responsible for offering me the contract.

L.M. David: Well that concludes this interview. Thank you again, Heather, for stopping by. I wish you the best with Finding Flight.

Author’s bio:

Heather M. Sharpe lives on six acres in Central Kansas with her husband, perfect baby boy, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. In case the house isn’t full enough, it also includes four noisy dogs, one cat who inspired For the love of a Sphynx, another who torments him, and a lizard.  At night, all of them think they need room on the bed (except the lizard, thankfully).

Up until the birth of her son, Heather taught elementary school.  Now she chases around her toddler and writes whenever he naps long enough to turn on the laptop.  When not writing or chasing the baby, Heather enjoys hanging at the lake, waking up early to tear up the water on the wakeboard or wakesurf board, and making s’mores.

Make sure to check out Heather’s website and Facebook page to keep informed of all her newest projects.

Blurb:

As an Enforcer for a secret society of shape-shifters, Ledger Arneau is offered a chance to retrieve his wayward brother before The Council puts out a warrant for his arrest. When the trail goes cold, he is willing to try anything to pick it up again, even if it means bringing in an outsider.

Corinne Winters is able to find any missing object, except her own, by concentrating on it. She’s always dreamed of using her skills to help locate missing people. After an embarrassing setback with the local police department, she jumps on the opportunity to use her skills to help Ledger.

Corinne finds a love she didn’t know she was looking for with Ledger, and discovers a new depth to her talent when they are together. When her new love and his brother disappear back into the secret society, Corinne must stretch her talent beyond anything she ever imagined to bring them home. Unaware of the circumstances surrounding Ledger’s disappearance, Corinne races across the country on his trail. When she finally locates the brothers, she witnesses the unbelievable, and flees in terror. In order to claim the love of her life, she must find a way to accept him and his secret.

Author Links:

www.heathermsharpe.webstarts.com

www.facebook.com/heathermsharpe

www.twitter.com/heathermsharpe

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Flight-ebook/dp/B00CB5JJCC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368451740&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+flight

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-flight-heather-m-sharpe/1115091588?ean=2940016720999

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

TRIVIA ANSWERS(1)

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Here are the answers to the trivia(1)  questions.

1. George Burns.

2. Joan Rivers.

3. Rodney Dangerfield.

4. Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo.

5. Curly.

6. George Burns.

7. Telephone operator (played by Lily Tomlin on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in)

8. Jerry Lewis.

9. Bill Cosby.

10. Jack Benny.

11. With Chevy Chase falling down.

12. Red.

13. Egon.

14. Majel Barrett, who also played Nurse Chapel.

15. A baseball field.

16. Jack Ritter, Suzanne Summers and Joyce DeWitt.

17. Linda Carter.

18. Lindsey Wagner.

19. Bob Simmons could arguably be called the first official James Bond actor, and he was in fact the first person to portray 007 in a cinema-released Bond film. Bob’s scene was reused up until Goldfinger, before being reshot with Sean Connery.

20. Captain America, made in 1944.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS (1)

thought bubble

Here is a bit of trivia for you. The answers are posted under Interesting Facts, section entitled Trivia Answers(1)

1. Who used to say, “Goodnight, Gracie?”

2. Who asks the question, “Can we talk?”

3. Which comedian “Got no respect?”

4. Can you name the five original Marx Brothers?

5. Which of the Three Stooges had the shortest hair?

6. He played God in two movies.

7. What was Earnestine’s occupation?

8. Who originated the nutty-professor?

9. Fat Albert is associated with who?

10. What was radio’s celebrated tightwad?

11. How did the original Saturday Night Live show always begin?

12. On Star Trek, what color did security officer’s wear?

13. In Ghostbusters, who said “He says he’s Othos, the key master.”

14. Who did the voice of the computer on the original Star Trek series?

15. In the original movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, where did Klatu land his ship?

16. Name the original three actors who played in the show “Three’s Company”.

17. Which actress played Wonder Woman on television.

18. Lee Majors played the Six Million Dollar Man. Who played the bionic Woman?

19. What actor first played James Bond in the movie franchise?

20. What was the first Marvel comic book to be made into a movie?

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING

reading book

For me, writing is both easy and hard. If a storyline is mapped out correctly, the story flows. But if I try to mix and match, it’s a recipe for disaster. So, here are some things I do when preparing to write:

1. Get reference material on the subject. That would include dictionaries, a thesaurus, and books that specialize on the theme of your book. This helps eliminate the desire to “make” things up and avoid lengthy explanations in order to explain your concept to readers.

2. Expand your vocabulary. This doesn’t mean you should use words one can barely pronounce or that looks really great on paper. Expanding your vocabulary beyond the obvious clichés, street lingo or one syllable. Stop and think about other possibilities when you write. Eventually they will come so fast you won’t be able to stop them from popping up.  Use your vocabulary to make it more accessible. If you want short but interesting words, then move those words to the front of your brain before you need them.  Pause before you speak. Then insert some of those good but neglected words. Look at things and pick out synonyms: example house…which could be an abode, a building, a castle, a dwelling, etc.

3. Improve spelling.

FIFTY OF THE MOST COMMONLY MISSPELLED WORDS:

acceptable                   fascinate                      orchestra

apology                       grateful                        potatoes

appetite                       hygiene                        professor

architect                      imaginable                   pseudonym

assassinate                 immediately                quarrelsome

autumn                       irrelevant                     religious

calendar                     jewelry                           reservoir

changeable                  judgment                     rhythmic

conscious                    lovable                         scissors

correspondence        miscellaneous              syllable

criticism                     mischievous                 tragedy

deceive                        mortgage                     umbrella

discernible                necessarily                   vanilla

embarrass                 occasionally                 vengeance

eminent                     occurrence                   weird

existence                   omission                      wholesome

youthful

zealot

4. Read. If you prefer paranormal or romance books, reading books in those genres will help build your understanding of how other writer’s communicate the subject matter. Listen to what you read. And find the things that fail, too. Listen to how two similar sounds close together can cause a disturbing noise in your head. Hear how the use of the wrong word wakes you from your reading spell. Be a critical reader, and look at what you read as a lesson in good reading.

5. If possible, take a writing class specifically geared to writing novels and not journalistic or business writing courses. Remember: (1) With  a partner, you will be better able to learn what your particular faults and strengths are. (2) Knowing others are going to read your work, you are more likely to try harder to impress them. (3) Your own writing mistakes are invisible to you, but others are able to see them.

6. Listen. When surrounded by people, pay attention to their conversations. You never know when something they  say inspires you to write a novel.

7. Research. Have you been at a keyboard and just sat there staring at the monitor? It could be because you don’t have enough information to work with. Try (1) Looking up facts on the subject you’re writing about. (2) Ask someone knowledgeable on the subject your writing about. (3) Observe.

8. Write in your head. Sometimes daydreaming will help the creative juices flowing.

9. Sit down and write. Pick a time and place. Lock yourself in a place where there will be no interruptions.

Writing can be exasperating at times but if you love doing it, finding the right pattern to make things easier will make the process better.