Author Interviews: S. L. Lewis

Author S.L. Lewis

Author S.L. Lewis

Oh my goodness, we have a great author interview lined up for today. S. L. Lewis, or Sunny, is a new author planning her career a bit differently. She’s writing, re-writing and editing a number of books all to be released very close together. Nothing is available yet but when it is, you won’t have to wait long for her next one.

With that said, let me introduce, Sunny!

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby. Well then, I have a lot. I love to write (obviously), and I love to play my Pokemon games, which are Pearl and FireRed. I kind of inherited them from a man I called brother, actually. And they’re the only ones that I currently have.

Let’s see, I also love to read. I read constantly. Embroidery, sewing, painting, sculpting, and going for walks while listening to music are more hobbies that I love to do.

As long as I can actually afford to buy supplies for my artsy crafts.

 

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

If I had the opportunity I would actually love to meet the Lady of Manners herself, Jillian Venters. She’s what’s known as an ElderGoth and is the author of Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love them.

I once showed my more Gothic nature (having grown up with the literature instead of the music) and I would love to speak with her face to face about so many things. Luckily her site works just as well for me for the time being. But I hope to at least buy her book one day and get her to sign it.

Call it a fangirl moment if you will.

(Her site: http://www.gothic-charm-school.com/

And her book: http://www.amazon.com/Gothic-Charm-School-Essential-Guide/dp/0061669164/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1247078045&sr=8-1 )

 

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Ah, such a choice. Tea most often than not, either iced or cold, and usually a flavor of some kind. I’m a lover of a good chai or vanilla tea. I do like a good chocolate tea too, most particularly Stashes White Chocolate Mocha Tea. I do drink coffee too, either Folgers or Maxwell house, but rarely.

More so during National Novel Writing Month than other times.

Same with soda. Sometimes but not quite so often. And of course I drink a lot of water. Must stay hydrated after all.

 

4. What are you working on right now?

Warning: this is kind of long. So I’ll just condense it down into a small list.

A: Book Zero (yes, you read that right, zero as in the number) of the “Don’t Look” series called Thread the Needle, and book 1 called “A Delicate Thread”. The second book is mostly rewriting and fiddling since I need to write Thread first.

B: “Black Veiled Saviour”. And yes…I spelled that last word wrong and because it connects to the book itself, so no grief over that. It is a murder mystery that will be filled with drugs, sex, murder, action, and intrigue. All the good things a noir needs yes?

C: Book 1 of my “Crimson Series” called “Crimson Shadows” and plotting book 2 called something along the lines of “Drips of *something*”. Haven’t decided on that last word.

Yes, I’m TRYING to keep this short.

D: A couple of stand-alones. One is called “Follow Me Down”, which I’m thinking is called a horror noir fantasy, and a paranormal horror that I haven’t figured out what to call yet.

E: I have a couple of duologys actually in the works, too, but I’m not working on them very hard since I barely know where I’m going with them. One is a Zombie fic that I’ve quite literally labeled “Zombie with a Brain”. You can blame one J.A. Marlow for that one. The other is a kind of post-apocalyptic that spawned from my entry into the latest Forward Motion anthology.

F: I’m doing a complete rewrite and overhaul of two shorter stories that will be more filler between actual novels than anything. One is a basic “Suburban happenings” kind of book and isn’t titled currently. The other is called “All You Need” and is set in the future, a romance.

G: And finally an 8 book superhero story that revolves more around the characters instead of the action. You’ll get to see them grow up, find out what shapes their lives and get more in-depth with who they are. Book 1 is actually 17 chapters into a 36-chapter outline. Not too far from the end of the first draft.

All of my books have a mix of pan/bi/gay/straight characters with a variety of genders mind you. I write M/M best apparently.

 

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My writing style? Hmm, goodness, what to say about that. I’ve been told a few times my first drafts tend to sound like an overly detailed outline but my final drafts tend to take a more poetic bent depending on the genre I’m writing.

I have a rather good vocabulary, so if I can use one word instead of another in its proper context, I shall. Especially if the word is saving me from the ever dreaded “repeating” word. I am well known for being rather…graphic when it comes to certain scenes.

 

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Advice. What to say that I would have loved to hear when I was first learning?

Research is your best friend. I’m not joking you! You know the old saying “Write What You Know”? Well, how do you know anything if you don’t sit there and learn about it first? That’s where the research comes in.

Go to a library and look up things. You want to write paranormal novels? Find all the books that you can that deal with ghosts, spirits, various cultural stories about the spiritual and supernatural worlds. Pull out movies on the paranormal and watch them. Study how they build the story up.

You want to write a romance? Get online, Google “Best Selling Romances” and if you can, read them. Ebooks are cheap now days. It won’t hurt to buy a new book if you can get away with it.

You want to write a horror story? Figure out what kind of horror you want to write. Do you want to write one where a ghost torments the inhabitants of a house? Research ghosts and hauntings.

Do you want to write about vampires? Research the types of vampires. And yes, there are many types of vampires out there. It’s not hard to Google “Types of Vampires”, dearies. Same with were’s and creatures of the night.

And of course there is also just going and watching a movie or show that has what you want to write about. You can glen a wealth of knowledge just from watching a show and studying how they build the action up, how they hint at this and that, before coming to the climax. It’s amazing what you can learn by watching.

Like I said, research is your best friend and having several methods of research is a good idea. My research bookmarks have their own folder with folders within folders. It takes time and a lot of trial and error to figure out the best way to research for yourself, but once you get it down, it’ll be just as easy as sitting down and surfing the net for hours on end.

Oh, and invest in a good chair or a really good butt cushion. They’ll be your best friends in the long run.

 

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

Luckily, to a point, they come to me in my day-to-day life. I have a mildish case of hypergraphia, which is the need to write. It’s not just an urge, it’s an itch that needed to be fulfilled. It can be tied to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and even Bi-Polar Disorder.

For me, it’s connected to my OCD. But I do get ideas by watching movies, reading books, and talking with friends. See the zombie fic ala Marlow. I just look around and take everything in.

Even some interesting posts on Tumblr and Twitter sometimes. Depends on what I’m looking at.

 

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Where can you find me? So many places.

On Twitter as @SLStrailo. https://twitter.com/SLStrailo

On my writer’s Facebook Page called S.L. Lewis Writing https://www.facebook.com/sllewiswriting/

I even have a writer’s Tumblr called A Peek Into a Creative Mind. http://apeekintoacreativemind.tumblr.com/

And I even have a blog called A Peek Into a Creative Mind on Blogger. Though I am thinking of moving to WordPress so we’ll see what happens in a year’s time. http://apeekintoacreativemine.blogspot.com/

 

Thank you to Connie for having me here. I hope you all find my answers interesting and that you guys have a good day.

Thank you so much for coming onto my blog and visiting with us. So, dear readers, you don’t have to wait to hear about what Sunny is doing. Check out her social media sites and enjoy!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Mistral Dawn Publishes Rainbow Dreams

An author friend of mine, Mistral Dawn, has just released her fantastic new book, Rainbow Dreams and I wanted to share this new Science Fiction book with all of you. I’m going to let Mistral speak for herself.

RD Teaser 3

Hey Everyone!!! 🙂

 

Guess what? It’s finally here!! Rainbow Dreams is now out! What’s it about?  I’m glad you asked!  Here’s the blurb:

 

Have you ever had a terrible secret you didn’t want anyone to know? Petri does and it may get her killed. Life is hard on Upworld, especially for the residents of Under City, and it’s even harder for those who don’t fit in. Petri has always been different and now those differences may cost her life. Her one hope is to leave the only home she’s ever known while evading the mob that’s calling for her blood. But Petri has never been outside of her sector of Under City, never mind off the planet. And the laws of Upworld forbid people like her from leaving. Will Petri overcome the odds and make good her escape? Maybe…with a little help from her friends.

 

Sound interesting?  You can download it in seconds from the following merchants:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E1INIQE/

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rainbow-dreams-mistral-dawn/1123649619?ean=2940152964004

 

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rainbow-dreams/id1101890767?mt=11

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/628561

 

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/rainbow-dreams-2

Rainbow Dreams Fullsize

Now allow me to take a moment to draw attention to that amazing cover. The wonderful and talented Julie Nicholls created it, and I think she did a fantastic job of capturing Petri’s likeness. If you’d like to see more of her incredible work, check out her website here:

 

Artwork by Julie Nicholls

 

Okay, okay, I know, enough stalling.  If you’re as excited as I am about this story, I know you’re all ready for a peek:

Rainbow Dreams Chapter One

Lightning bolts of fire and ice shot up and down Petri’s spine as she moved over the human man on the bed. Her short, slender body bowed with the sensations that washed over her. His lust was like a fountain of cold water on a hot day, and she was parched. It had been too long; she needed this. Desperately.

Looking down at him as she slid her body onto his straining cock, she smiled. This client had wanted to be blindfolded; he said he enjoyed the mystery. There was more mystery in Petri than most humans would know what to do with, so that was fine with her. With him blindfolded, she didn’t need to be careful to keep her own eyes shut. This was going to be a good feed, and there was no way she could have kept her eyes from glowing.

The man moaned in pleasure. Being fed upon felt as good for humans as feeding did for Petri. None of her clients knew she sipped from their energy, their life force, when she fucked them. All they knew was that she was one hell of a talented dolly. A win-win for all involved.

This client was a regular; Petri had shown him many times how good it could be with her. Some of her regulars came to crave her, almost like the dream dust that was sold in the club below. They were guaranteed repeat business, and she always made sure to show them a good time. After all, that was her job.

The energy of the man’s lust filled Petri as she glided up and down on top of him. She shivered. It was renewing, rejuvenating. She couldn’t get enough. A few grains of dust remained on his upper lip as evidence of his earlier indulgence in some of the chemical delights that were available at Abracadabra.

It was clear her client was high long before Petri started feeding. Before she blindfolded him, she had noted the man’s dilated pupils and the flush of pleasure on his face. She had no doubt the management of Abracadabra would go to great lengths to make sure he received the maximum enjoyment possible during his visit. There was a reason it was the hottest nightclub in this part of Under City.

The club specialized in hedonism in all its forms. Drugs of every description, games, gambling, and other, darker pleasures could be found within its walls. House dollies, little more than sex slaves, waited to fulfill the customers’ every desire. Freelance dollies, like Petri, rented space to ply their trade as well. The house allowed it because the dollies offered the club’s clientele more variety and were motivated to attract business. Once a patron had satisfied their lust, they often wandered downstairs in search of other entertainments.

Leaning down, Petri pressed her cat-like mouth to her client’s lips in a sizzling kiss. Their tongues tangled as he responded, and she undulated her hips against his, faster and faster. The drugs he had consumed tainted his energy, giving Petri a pleasant buzz. She never took dust herself since it interfered with her ability to control her power, but she enjoyed the effect when one of her johns indulged. As their sex intensified, Petri drank deeper, swallowing down the man’s whimpers and sighs of ecstasy as she swallowed his desire.

Lost in the haze of feeding for the first time in days, Petri didn’t realize it at first when the man suddenly went still underneath her. His penis remained stiff and eager inside her, and she continued to ride it, draining his energy. It was only when the cold, clamminess of his skin penetrated the pleasurable trance she often sank into when feeding that she realized that she had gone too far. Her heart skipped a beat.

Swinging her leg over him, she clambered off his body and knelt beside him on the bed. She grabbed his shoulder, shaking him, but there was no response. He was as still and cold as death.

Petri’s breath froze in her chest as she tried to suppress her rising panic. She slapped him, hard, across his face, trying to provoke a response. There was nothing. Leaning down, she put her ear against his chest, listening for something, anything. Any sign that a spark of life remained in the man. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she might have heard a faint fluttering within.

Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and put her hands on his chest, fingers splayed. She had never done this before, but her instincts said it might work. The process of drawing energy from others had come automatically when she reached physical maturity. It was as natural as breathing to her. But reversing the flow of energy… That was something else altogether. She forced herself to focus; all she could do was try.

Reaching down into the well of energy within her, Petri tried to snag a wisp of it. It was like trying to catch fog. Gritting her teeth, she concentrated and managed to grab a small piece of the mist and tease it up, out of herself and back into the man. It flowed at a slow trickle, but it did flow. The man took a deep breath and Petri slumped in relief.

Before she could stop him, or even turn away, the man reached up and snatched the blindfold from his face. When he saw her glowing eyes, he shrieked, “Mgeni!”

Petri swore. She knew she didn’t have much time. Sitting up, she sucker-punched her client hard in his stomach. The man folded over, clutching his gut, just like she knew he would. As her former client coughed and wheezed, Petri scrambled into her tight, red mini-dress and stiletto pumps and clambered out the window. She couldn’t risk trying to make it through the crowded club below; she needed to be gone before the man recovered enough to sound the alarm.

As she scurried down the fire escape, Petri cursed herself. She should have known she needed to be more careful. After having gone without feeding for several days, she shouldn’t have broken her fast in such a public place. At least he wasn’t dead. That was the one thing that might save her. If she had killed an Upworld client in Under City, the houses would have banded together and hunted her no matter where she went.

The funny thing about Under City was it could be a wild, crazy place, but only within certain parameters. In some ways, it was as restrictive as the world above. Upworld citizens were fair game for cons, beatings, muggings, pick-pocketing, and many other crimes. As long as the citizens left Under City breathing, the houses would look the other way. After all, most people from Upworld came to Under City for the thrill of danger, so, in many ways, the underworlders were just giving them what they paid for.

But too many deaths were bad for business and that the houses would not allow. The only reason an Upworld citizen could be killed in Under City with the blessing of the houses was if the citizen killed an underworlder without paying for it first. Life was cheap in Under City, but it wasn’t free. And no one left Under City without paying their bill. No one.

Even though the man was alive, Petri’s life was still in danger. She had survived thus far in Under City because everyone thought she was a Human/Paka hybrid. Half-breeds weren’t especially loved, even among the generally open-minded underworlders, but they were tolerated. Arcanum, on the other hand, were universally despised, and the glowing eyes and energy draining power were unmistakable. Petri was now a marked woman, and it wouldn’t be long before half the underworlders in the Southern sector were howling for her blood. She needed to get away.

The problem was where could she go? Each sector of Under City was isolated from the other sectors, and the only way to get from one sector to another was to travel through Upworld. And the only way underworlders were allowed into Upworld was if they had a pass. Even if she did manage to get to another sector, that would only be a temporary reprieve. Word would travel and her appearance was too distinctive for her to be able to disappear into a crowd of strangers.

No, the only possible way for her to survive was for her to find passage off-world. Petri grimaced. She might as well wish for the planetary presidency.

The moment she reached the ground, Petri looked both ways down the alleyway she was in. Everything seemed normal. The bass from club Abracadabra throbbed through the street, lending the night a syncopated heartbeat. The fast food dollies who worked the crowd outside the club seemed to be doing a brisk business. The groans and gasps of pleasure from their johns blended with the music.

Other than the regular street activity, nothing was happening. Maybe the hottest club in the sector wasn’t the worst place this could have happened. At least, she was central. It wouldn’t be hard to get anywhere in the sector from here; if she could only decide where it was she should go.

Hiding and lying low were out of the question. There were too many people in Under City who would be thrilled to earn a couple of easy creds by informing on her. Which also made going home impossible; that was the first place they would look for her. The distant rumble of a subway broke through her temporary paralysis and got Petri moving.

But she didn’t run. Running in Under City was never a good idea. Running meant trouble and attracted attention. Predators chased those who ran, and Under City was full of predators.

Neon signs glittered in the night, advertising the wares to be found in the many businesses in this central part of Southern sector. Outlines of naked men and women, frothing drinks and steaming food, new hairstyles, and more had been recreated out of glowing lights and buzzing bulbs. Abracadabra wasn’t the only purveyor of pleasures in the area; there were others, though each was smaller and had a narrower focus than the popular club. Brothels, restaurants, bars, dust dens, casinos, gaming establishments, salons, and chop shops abounded. This part of Under City existed to cater to the whims of the rich, and there was nothing subtle about the offerings that were available to those with money.

Shops of all kinds welcomed customers from Upworld with open arms. Clothing, children’s toys, vehicles, sex aids, personal electronics, game programs, jewelry, and domicile furnishings could be purchased right next to each other at any time of the day or night. “Come In!” flashed their advertisements. “Good Deals!” “Low Prices!” “Rare Merchandise!” A constant siren song of the consumerism that ruled the underworld.

There were also businesses with darker, less obvious entryways. The snuff industry was alive and well in Under City. Upworld citizens who had the creds could indulge their most twisted and violent fantasies, and there were snuff houses that specialized in providing those services. Fights, snuff porn, torture, cannibalism—it was all available for the asking. And no matter if a citizen wanted to watch, participate, or direct, their most hidden desires could be satisfied by the snuff houses. Customers were only limited by their bank accounts, and the grinders waited to clean up the mess afterwards.

Petri ignored all the enticements and offerings and tried to keep her mind away from where she might end up if she failed in her escape attempt. A short, brisk walk brought her to the transit station just as a train pulled up to the stop. It wasn’t a perfect solution, it wasn’t even a good solution, but at least it was a stopgap that might give her the time she needed to formulate a plan. Being a moving target was better than being a stationary one.

She hopped on the train and found an empty car. As she dropped into a seat at the back of the car, she sighed. It had started out as such a good night.

 

Looks like Petri’s night has taken a bad turn, huh? Want to find out what happens next? Head to your favorite online merchant and download your copy now! 😉 Thank you all for stopping by today and for checking out my first sci-fi novel!! Happy reading! 🙂

 

Thanks Mistral. I’m so happy to help you spread the word about your new book.

 

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Author Interviews: Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

Author Arlene Hittle

I want to introduce one of my fav authors, Arlene Hittle. Arlene writes romance and does it very well indeed! She lives not too far from me so every once in awhile we get to actually meet in person to talk about writing and giggle. Here’s a little bit about Arlene.

Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan, but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them since she’s about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching band required more exertion than golf.

Arlene_Ogling the Outfielder300dpi750x1200

Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

Lately, I’ve gotten back into crochet. On Jan. 1, I started a “temperature afghan” — one row to record each day’s temperature through 2016. (Saw the idea on Facebook.) I’ve also started quilting and have a fun quilt planned with some fabric I spotted that reminded me of Diva in the Dugout, my first book.

Arlene's Temperature Afghan

Arlene’s Temperature Afghan

 

If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Well, if Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt are busy, I’d like to spend another day with my mother. She died in 2003 before I sold my first novel. I’d like her to know I’m finally succeeding at what I always wanted to do.

 

Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I should say water. But most days, I drink a combination of coffee, tea, and Diet Dr. Pepper. More coffee on the days I write at Starbucks; more Diet Dr. Pepper to power through long hours at the day job and iced tea or diet soda when I’m relaxing at home. I’ve recently started making sun tea in a Mason jar on my front porch. Yum!

 

What are you working on right now?

The next book in my All’s Fair in Love & Baseball series, Ogling the Outfielder, comes out March 4. I’m still writing pitcher Luis’ story, and I have a couple other projects in various stages of completion.

 

How would you describe your writing style?

Breezy romantic comedy. My books are plain fun to read.

 

Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Perseverance pays. I wrote my first manuscript in the mid-1990s and joined RWA sometime in 2002-03. Beauty and the Ballplayer finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest in 2011, and I sold Diva in the Dugout in July 2013 … close to 20 years after I started. Success might not come easily or quickly, but it will come to those who stick with it.

 

Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

More day-to-day life. I get inspiration from weird newspaper articles, snippets of things I see on TV … although I’d love to have experiences that I can then turn into story fodder — like riding in a hot air balloon.

 

Where can we find you on the interwebs?

My website, arlenehittle.com, is under construction. I spend more time than I should on Twitter (@arlenehittle) and Facebook (Arlene Hittle, Author). I’m on Pinterest mainly to pin recipes that I’ll probably never get around to trying, and I’m on Instagram and  Goodreads.

 

I’d like to thank Arlene for stopping by the blog and chatting with us. I love the idea of that temperature afghan! Good luck with your newest release.

Want to know more about Arlene? Trek on over to her Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads social media pages or scope out her website. She’ll be happy to say hi!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr

Guest Post from Brandon Scott at Coolerbs.com

Flowers from 2015

Flowers from February 2015

Happy Leap Year! Can’t you just feel the universe expanding?

I am so excited today to have my first guest post ever! Brandon Scott is a favorite blogger of mine and I’m super glad he had the time to come over here and talk to all of you. I won’t delay, take it away, Brandon!

Let me start out by saying thank you, thank you, thank you, Connie, for allowing me to post on your blog. It really is an honor. I hope I do it justice.

Now, as Connie’s Monday posts are a way for you, the reader, to get to know her, I thought I’d do the same with me.

So, where to begin? Well…I’m Brandon Scott. I’m a freelance writer and a blogger. I run a personal blog called Coolerbs Writes where I mostly go over topics related to writing: theory, tips, tricks, funny articles, stuff I’ve learned–you know, fairly typical things.

But, I also write fiction, a lot of short stuff. I’m also working on some longer projects, which I hope to be able to say more about in the coming year. And when it comes to my genre of choice, I am under the broad umbrella of “Speculative Fiction,” and I specialize in dark. Super dark.

In fact, my devotion to dark and horrific tales is the basis of my genre choices. If it can support satire, and it’s not odd for there to be a monstrous thing with claws, I’ll write in that genre. Horror, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. It’s what I do.

But, since a writer is not just a writer, I suppose I should talk a bit about my hobbies and that sort of thing. First and foremost, I am a Nerd. Self-proclaimed, happy to call myself one. I wear it like a badge of honor. I watch, read, listen to, and play nerdy things. With my absolute favorites being (*sucks in breath*) BioShock, Sherlock, Doctor Who, John Green’s novels, Magic The Gathering, Brave New World, Anime, and Welcome to Night Vale. And that’s just scratching the surface.

I also, mainly because all those things involve copious amounts of sitting, like to go on long walks. Though, it is getting a bit hot for that in grand old Florida as of late.

So, that, in a shortened nutshell, is a primer on me. It’s nice to meet you guys. And thank you again, Connie, for letting me introduce myself to your lovely readers, and giving me the opportunity to feature an article by you on my blog.

And if any of you guys are interested in reading some of my stuff over at Coolerbs Writes, I post every Wednesday and Saturday, and it would be a delight to have you. I write my blog in no small part to entertain. And I’d love a chance to do that for you.

And there might, just maybe, be surprises in store for this year. So come take a look.

Exit Brandon, stage left.

Thank you so much for visiting us today, Brandon. It was so much fun to have you on ConniesRandomThoughts.

If you are all about dark tales, You can find Brandon at Coolerbs.com. Go on, it’s not too scary over there. You’ll have fun!

Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr
Share this:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblr