Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

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Author Spotlight: Sunbow Pendragon

May 21, 2017

This month’s feature is Sunbow Pendragon, because she caught my attention with her imaginative historic fantasies, generally involving sagas like King Arthur or Medusa. She dedicates a great deal of time and effort to researching her material so that she can intricately weave her novels as though they were tales of old.

 

The Ruby Phoenix Chronicles, Book 1, Warrior Daughter front book cover 1.jpg

 

Pendragon was born in the summer of 1957, the middle child of five. As a result, she was inclined towards shyness and daydreaming. Once discovering the tales of Greek and Roman mythologies, and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, she knew she had found something special. She would play at knights and ladies for hours behind her parents house, until she was sought out for her chores.

As time went on, she realized she was fascinated by the story; almost obsessed, reading anything she could relating to the matter of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot. The more books she read that revealed to her more of the legends, she became interested in the mysteries behind them, as in the tales of Merlin and the Ladies of Avalon. This lead her to the captivating writing of The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Throughout her travels in literature, she became enchanted with the Black Knight. She was married, and was raising two home birthed children until one night, she had a ‘startling’ dream. In her own words, Pendragon says, ” In this dream, I was given an overview of the time of Camelot through the eyes of the Black Knight, the champion of Ceridwen. At the time, I had only a vague knowledge of the White Goddess and so was taken aback by Her dominance in the dream. When I awoke, I knew I must write down this story and so I began with pen and paper. I read the story every night to my mate when he returned from his labours of the day; every day I wrote until my fingers were sore and numb, so powerful was the impulse. Finally, I finished the first segment of the story and began the next, and onto the next. At last, some three years later, I finished the entire story and began my revisions.

Now over twenty-five years later, due to financial setbacks and other obstacles, all seven books in the series have been published. I hope it speaks to you as it did to me; however, as you read, I beg you to remember that it is only a story. I make no claims to it’s being a true representation of history. It is meant merely as a source of entertainment. And also, remember that the story was inspired by a very vivid dream. Who knows where dreams come from?”

 

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Interview time! (again, still working on formatting!)

 

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?

 

I have been writing actively for most of my life, but I count the beginning of my professional career from when I first experienced the dream that led to my first series, 26 years ago.

 

  1. Who do you most identify with (living, dead, real or fictional)?

 

Wow…that is an interesting question, I have lots of heros who inspire me, but I think I identify most with The Storyteller character in some of my books. She knows more stories than most people have forgotten, and she tells them with passion and depth.

 

  1. Tell us a fun and interesting fact about one of your projects?

 

My Original Fantasy Series, “The Natanleods” started out as a novelette, a short story. The tale in my head seemed to be only a few pages, but it has grown in to five published books, and I just started number six recently.

 

  1. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?

 

I would be completely excited if ANY of my books became well-known. But of everything I have written so far, I think the “The Black Knight of Avalon Chronicles,” is still my best work.

 

  1. If you could, who would you ask to look at your work?

 

It is a thrill to have a person purchase one of my books, because I never thought I would get this far. But, if I could have someone like Peter Jackson, or Ron Howard look at my books as a movie, that would be the ultimate thrill, I think.

 

  1. What is your main inspiration? Where do you get your ideas?

 

My first series was inspired by a very vivid dream I experienced 26 years ago. I was shown a version of the tale of Camelot unlike anything I had ever heard or read before. The colors were vibrant, I could hear, smell, feel and taste things as well as seeing them, as if I were there, but no one could see me. After that, I found that the words seem to just flow out, so that now, I just sit in front of the computer and try not to hold back. The hardest thing for me is not to self-edit too much.

 

  1. How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?

 

I walk away from it, or start another project, or go outside and garden…anything to break whatever tension is causing the blockage. I find that if I just let go of the pressure, remind myself this is supposed to be fun and do something else for a few days, the wall breaks and the words flow out again.

 

  1. In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?

 

I love Historical Fantasy, it is so liberating to be able to work a tale into the fabric of time, using enough actual history to make it believable.

 

  1. How long does it take you to complete a project?

 

It depends on the project, I am currently working on a retelling of the tale of Medusa, and it has already taken over three months just to get sixty pages. When I am writing a new book in “The Natanleods,” it seems to flow out much quicker and takes less editing. I am not sure why that happens.

 

  1. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

 

Keep writing, don’t lose your inspiration even if you are having a hard time selling it. I finally chose self-publishing as my best option, but there are many houses out there now who accept authors without agents. It’s an exciting time to be a writer!

 

  1. Who is your favorite independent writer/artist?

 

Too many to choose…

 

  1. Who is your favorite mainstream writer/artist?

 

WAY too many to choose…

 

  1. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your writing sessions?

 

I try to relax as much as possible. I start when I am in a good mood, when I feel settled and grounded, I never write when I feel anxious or angry. I try to snack throughout the writing session, it helps me take breaks and walk around a bit throughout the day. I find that if I exercise a bit, the writing goes a little better, so I plan my housekeeping around the session. By the end of the day, I usually have a good bit done, and my house is cleaner too.

 

  1. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I like to start with coffee, black with a little sweetener in it, then after my husband leaves for work, I have a small bite and proceed with water for the rest of the day. I sometimes enjoy a glass of good wine while I am editing, but never while I am actually constructing the tale.

 

 

 

 

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If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the author, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors/artists you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy than i would stephen king or tim burton. although, how marvelous would that be?

Take care butterflies! }|{

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Artist Spotlight: Heather Davies- DeVoe

April 8, 2017

Forgive the delay- I had somehow managed to misplace my notes so this interview was a little postponed- an absolute special thank you to our guest for her unending patience with me. Please join me in welcoming our month’s interviewee, and be on the lookout for next month’s… when I finally find my notes!

 

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A personal favorite of Davies- DeVoe’s: Angel of Dance, 2017            (I am using this gif with express consent of the artist, please respect the integrity of her work and buy it- admiring is free, but don’t steal!)

Davies- DeVoe is an artist whose work is often quite eye-catching. I find myself loving the evolution of each piece she creates, and the finished product is never anything to scoff at! She uses an amazing array of colors and has a style that’s breath-taking. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

Connect:

Society6

Twitch

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

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1. How long have you been a writer/artist?


Oh goodness. I would say since I could hold a crayon? My mom had me watching a lot of Bob Ross growing up, so had the Happy Little Trees in daycare when everyone else had their triangles. It’s just always been something I’ve done.


2. Who do you most identify with (living, dead, real or fictional)?


Actually a couple of web comic characters; specifically Faye from Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, and Vanessa from Something Positive by Randall Keith Milholland. I’ve had several people ask me if either of those writers knew me in some way, and neither do (although I am friends on facebook with Milholland and senpai has noticed me on occasion.)


3. Tell us a fun and interesting fact about one of your projects?


In every single one of my pieces, I wind up writing notes on them in white charcoal (it wipes off) and some of them are apparently hilarious. A friend comes over every now and then and sees I’ve written “flowery bullshit here”, or “Wingy shit here”.  When I can’t get a face to work out right, I have a printed picture of Hugh Jackman with googly eyes that I glued on to hang over it so I don’t zone in and focus too much on how bad it looks.


4. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?


My Angels series, without a doubt. On one hand I’ve funneled a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into them, and also the whole idea behind them was to show how the world isn’t always terrible.


5. If you could, who would you ask to look at your work?


Misha Collins. I credit him and my husband for getting me to start creating again, and I’d kind of like to tell him that this is all his fault. I get to tell my husband every day.


6. What is your main inspiration?


Gag alert here, but I’d have to say my husband and my home. We’ve worked very hard to surround ourselves with love, and I like to think I can funnel that into my work and share it.


7. Where do you get your ideas?


Basically everywhere. I did a drawing once based off of a whorl in the  wood on my closet door. Sometimes it’s a shape, sometimes it’s a color, sometimes I’m just dozing off and a picture builds itself in my head and can’t wait for me to get itself out.


8. How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?


I inhale.
After a while with the output you do, you have to stop and give yourself a little something. It’s breathing. You inhale by looking, by reading, by learning. You exhale, and you create. You have to have both or you will die.


9. In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?


I love this nearly cartoonish realism I’ve been working on. I have enough flexibility that I don’t have to focus on absolute perfection, but I have this definite something to work from.


10. How long does it take you to complete a project?


It depends. Sometimes it interrupts everything else I do and I can work quickly- I did the first Angel in less than a week. But sometimes they want to take a little longer- sometimes months. Since I work in acrylics for the most part I don’t have to worry so much about drying times and I can move right on to the next part.


11. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?


Do not ever stop. Do something, anything. Just do everything. Do everything, feel everything, know everything. This work is important.


12. Who is your favorite independent writer/artist?


Honestly, I can’t have one. I love everything I see. I have so many artists whose work I follow, and so many that I know personally and love. I guess if you twisted my arm and made me spit out a name I’d say Samantha Darr, but only because she tells everyone she won me in her divorce.


13. Who is your favorite mainstream writer/artist?


Frida Kahlo. Her colors and imagery have struck me since the first time I saw her work. Also, the only painting that literally made me cry was Leonardo’s Lady with an Ermine, which I had the extreme pleasure of seeing in person in Houston more than a decade ago. Note to whoever set up the lighting for the piece in the Museum of Fine Art Houston- the glare was horrible, and the guards were eyeballing me when I had to lean over the barrier to see the brush marks on the face.


14. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your painting sessions?


Same as I guess everyone does. I get all my supplies in order, make sure my stuff is clean and everything is ready, make sure I’m not wearing anything I don’t want coated in paint, and get something to drink and to listen to. The only sort of special thing I do is light one of those white glass pillar candles from the dollar store. It’s more of a superstition thing for me anymore.


15. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?


That depends on the season, really. During the summer I’ll nurse a pitcher of sweet tea and work on tomato sandwiches from my garden. During the winter I live on milk and dry frosted wheat cereal.

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If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the guest, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors/artists you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy than i would stephen king or tim burton. although, how marvelous would that be?

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Author Spotlight: Linda M. Crate

February 17, 2017

This will be the last weekly spotlight- I have had such a great response from those i’ve reached out to that I’d like to make it a monthly thing. However, as Crate was quite prompt in her response time, I decided to go ahead and do this one.

Next month around this time, I will be featuring artist Heather Davies-DeVoe; keep an eye out for that.

Now, onto the spotlight of the day! Crate is known for her love of fantasy and poetry and is the author of such books as: Centaurs and Magic , Blood and Magic (a personal favorite!), and Dragons and Magic. Her poetry can be found on websites and in magazines like The Horror Zine, and Moon and Sun.

2007

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press – June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon – January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novels Corvids & Magic and Phoenix Tears are forthcoming.

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Interview (I apologize for the blocky formatting- not sure what happened and I couldn’t fix it!):

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?                                                                                                 I have written since I was a child so my whole life, really. I didn’t really get into writing as an everday thing until I was about thirteen, though.
  2. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?              I write a lot of different pieces in a lot of different mediums. I would love to be known for my novels or my poetry which are the things I frequently work on the most.
  3.  Where do you get your ideas?                                                                                                                     I am inspired by everything and anything: other poets, authors, and writers; the weather, music, events in my own life, phrases that my friends or strangers (maybe even myself) say, a single phrase that just won’t let me rest until it’s written that rattles around my head, movies, television, etc.
  4.   How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?                                                                                         I take nature walks, listen to music, watch anime, talk to someone be it a friend or family member, take a shower, leave the project for a while and come back later essentially. Sometimes you have to just walk away for the day and come back to it with fresh eyes the next day – sometimes it’s just an hour or two before my mind kicks it into high gear and decides to cooperate with me.
  5.    In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?                       Poetry and fantasy, it seems, are my favorites. However, I try not to limit myself to one genre. I generally have fragments of each genre in my fantasy novels, but they’re usually considered young adult. I don’t go for a certain genre. I just start writing and see where it takes me. I am also fond of finding the beautiful in mysterious and dark things so horror is sometimes very prevalent on my mind ironically enough usually not around Halloween but in the middle of winter or sometimes even spring.
  6.   How long does it take you to complete a project?                                                                                   It really depends on the project and how motivated I am to complete it. Novels can take anywhere from a few months to a year depending on my muse. Lately, novels have been written mostly in a few months.

Poetry, essays, reviews, and short stories  take a significantly shorter amount of time given their  format.  Those can take anywhere from minutes (generally poetry only) to a few hours. Although, I like writing essays for 10 in ten minutes. I think it’s helping with my speed writing, and that’s always a good thing for a girl who always has too many ideas in her head. I always have something to be working on.

7. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

Never give up on your dream. Follow your heart. Keep pushing, keep going; swallow down your fear and your pride and face negativity head on. But never stop. Keep going no matter what. One day I got nineteen rejections in one day – after wiping the tears from my face, I got back to writing. This happened a couple of years ago before my first novel was published. If you are dedicated and hard-working then you can make your dreams come true. Don’t let anyone discourage you from your craft. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

8. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your writing sessions?

Not usually. Sometimes I write better without music. Sometimes I need music to inspire my muse to wake up.

9. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?

I don’t have to have anything whilst writing, but I do sometimes venture over for a snack of cookies (my favorite – especially sugar cookies) or fruit. As for drinks it’s usually water; tea, hot chocolate, iced tea, or juice. Sometimes lemonade – as it’s my favorite.

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If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the author, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors/artists you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy than i would stephen king or tim burton. although, how marvelous would that be?

Take care butterflies! }|{

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Author Spotlight: Jessica Marie Baumgartner

February 13, 2017

Second Spotlight, butterflies!

Our guest today is Jessica Marie Baumgartner, author of  By the Stars (Book One of the Embracing Entropy series) and My Family is Different, a children’s book illustrated by Laura Winship-Fanae. Baumgartner has written several more, but these are the ones which stand out to me. I am embarrassed to say that I have not read the entire Embracing Entropy series, but I will have you know it is on my to read list!

Baumgartner is fearless, and I hope to one day be as brave!

bw

Jessica’s motto is: Adventure first, then write! When not running around exploring nature and chasing after two smaller versions of herself, she also feeds the bunny. Somehow in there she has found the time to author the Embracing Entropy Series, Siren’s Snare, Tale of Two Bookends, and My Family Is different. She is a currently member of the Missouri Writers Guild and SCBWI. Her articles and stories have been featured in a wide variety of publications such as Outposts of beyond, Circle Magazine, Everyday Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, and many more. 

Find her at-

jessicamariebaumgartner

Facebook

@jessmbaum:

youtube

amazon

goodreads.com

And, right on into the questions!

  1. How long have you been a writer/artist?

I want to give the poetic, “since I could remember” answer, because I’ve always been getting into trouble for daydreaming and making up stories (It took me a while to learn the difference between fantasy and reality as a child). But in terms of professional writing, I got my first paying gig back in 2011, so about 6 years.

  1. Who do you most identify with (living, dead, real or fictional)?

Holy hell! I love this question. I can think of people living, dead, real, and fictional, but if I can only pick one, probably…this is so hard. Haha How about I go with fictional? Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) comes to mind, so does Matilda (Roald Dahl) and Kaeldra (Susan Fletcher). I am not nearly as talented as these characters, or as cool, and though my life has been rough-it wasn’t as bad as theirs, but they share a lot of feelings I have often harbored. A love of reading and art, being a weird greenish eyed chick, having known the cruelty of others and learning to forgive.

  1. Tell us a fun and interesting fact about one of your projects?

My first novel, the one I finished first and have actually shed tears over is STILL unpublished. I threw it in my duds folder ages ago and had given up on it. Now that I’ve grown my editing skills, I wish to revive her, but it’s going to take a few years probably. haha

  1. Of your own work, which specific piece would you be excited to be known best for?

Probably my upcoming children’s book: The Golden Rule. It’s a simple story about a girl who learns the golden rules from many different religions and philosophies around the globe. My first children’s book: My Family is Different has been very popular and I constantly get thanked for writing it. So many people express their shock at the fact that we don’t have more books about acceptance and diversity.

  1. If you could, who would you ask to look at your work?

I honestly don’t know. Every literary agent that exists? Haha I can’t fathom asking any famous author to do it because they have their own work to do. Maybe Dave Grohl or Betty White? haha

  1. What is your main inspiration?

My kids. I’ve always written, but I never honestly thought it was a viable career choice. I kind of fell into getting published after my first daughter was born. From there both girls have been super encouraging. They have unconditional faith in my stories.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?

Beats me. haha They’re constantly attacking my brain. I have notebooks full of ideas for projects I want to start on once I wrap up the ones I’m currently shaping.

  1. How do you overcome writer’s/artist’s block?

What is this “writer’s block” that you speak of, and where do I get it? I could use some because I find myself constantly itching to write.

  1. In which genre do you enjoy working the most (horror, mystery, abstract, etc.)?

It depends on the day. Most often I would say that writing for children is one of the most gratifying storytelling routes. They really listen and haven’t already heard everything. That just might be me being lazy. I also astound myself with how my non-fiction pieces turn out.

  1. How long does it take you to complete a project?

If only there was a set number. Unfortunately my work is always all over the place. I recently finished a short fantasy story in one night, but I’ve also had works that took over a year to finish.

  1. What would you tell aspiring writers/artists?

Writing is NOT a get rich quick scheme. If you wouldn’t dedicate yourself to it without the prospect of being paid, get out now.

  1. Who is your favorite independent writer/artist?

Richard Smyth. I stumbled on his first novel by accident and been hooked ever since. He does nature pieces in addition to fiction and that offers a broader scope to appreciate.

  1. Who is your favorite mainstream writer/artist?

Damn. How do you pick one? That’s like asking my favorite color-rainbow, or my favorite song-which genre, era, and tempo? I love Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Susan Fletcher, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and a bajillion others.

  1. Do you do anything in order to prepare for your writing sessions?

Different writing sessions call for different practices. Some nights I just need some wine or rum, others I have to go outside and hike or swim to get my head right. Jumping up and down or dancing is often needed. (I don’t sit still well.) Writing by candlelight gets my gears turning at times too.

  1. And, most importantly, do you have a favorite hot or cold beverage and/or snack that you like to have with you while working?

In winter, there is nothing like hot green tea. Spring is more about the void of food but lots of rum and wine. In summer and fall, jerky and trail mix are my best friends.

 

*****

If there is anything else you’d like to know, feel free to ask what you like in the comments.  When I give the option to ask questions and to connect with the author, I expect a modicum of respect. I will delete any attempts to be a horrid troll.

If there are other authors you would like to learn about, or if you would like to be featured, let me know- but  be realistic. i’ll have an easier time trying to contact an indy author than i would stephen king.

Take care butterflies! }|{

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Sneak Peek of Bleeding Heart

December 5, 2016

Will be available in Paperback and Kindle versions by mid-week. Enjoy, butterflies!

 

bleeding-heart-adgs

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Good news, Folks!

June 22, 2016

I have had a tremendous amount of mental (and physical!) energy lately, so i have been taking advantage of it.

I finished Legend of the Crystal Dragons (should be available in the next week), and have been making a few YouTube videos (lfa turppa). i have also thought about what my next project might be. Hmm. might actually be a semi-autobiographical thing. i can do that.

 

i hope you are all well, and just be aware of the coming updates!

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News! 6/21/2016

June 21, 2016

i started typing and editing my recent project, only to find that i had named it something different than in my notes. i had made a folder that would contain all things regarding the project, and named it Legend of the Crystal Dragons. I have decided that i like it better because it doesn’t seem as clunky as Clan of the Crystal Dragons. to be fair, they are both a little cumbersome.

in other news, i have been debating whether or not to continue my YouTube readings and creating my novel previews- i think i just might do so. I need more things to take up my time, and now that i can focus a little better, perhaps that’s just the thing.

would anybody be interested if i started working on that again? and should i even worry about that? i suppose it may be a necessary evil of ‘building a brand’.

which of my novels would you be interested in hearing readings from?