Today’s interview, which should have been yesterday’s post, is with horror writer Guido Henkel. Grace took a look at all of his books and picked the one about angels, HEAVENS ON FIRE, as her favorite. Here’s a little about the book:
When our world becomes a mere pawn in an epic battle between Heaven and Hell, Jason Dark faces a challenge that threatens to shatter the very fabric of reality. As immortal angels die and harbingers of death and destruction escape the fiery pits of hell itself, the Geisterjäger and his companions receive a desperate call for help! Will they be able to save mankind in the face of an onslaught of demons or will our fate burn as brightly as the streets of London?
I’ve read the sample for this book and the writing is very evocative of setting and mood, gothic in an old-school sense, which makes it distinctive for the horror genre.
Okay, turning things over to Grace…
Hiya, Guido. I love those wings on your cover, *whispers* even if the blood is a teeny bit troubling. So your your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
After finishing “Fu Man Chu’s Vampire,” I have actually decided to write another game, as opposed to writing another book. I am originally coming from a computer games background and I just felt the desire again to create a new casual game for mobile devices. Usually flip-flopping between disciplines helps me to keep me creative juices flowing.
Cool! I’m a big fan of Bubble Town, but that’s probably not what you’re talking about. *sighs* it’s not very adventure-y. Say, which of your characters are you most like? One of the game ones?
I am not sure I am anything like any of them.
Not even a teeny bit?
Hmm…. A while ago I started writing a thriller/adventure – a project I have abandoned since – and the main character had a lot in common with myself. Other than that, I think I share certain facets with each of the characters that I write. I’m a bit Jason Dark, a bit Dr. Prometheus, a bit Fu Man Chu, and a bit of my re-imagined H.G. Wells. After all, we write what we know…
That makes sense. A lot of authors—mine included—say that there’s a piece of them in a most of their characters, and yours have very interesting names. So, what’s your favorite book? Is it scary too?
Mark Frost’s “The List of Seven” is my all-time favorite. It is a book I re-read every other year, and it is the book that has influenced me tremendously in the creation of my own Jason Dark series of supernatural mysteries. It is the book I wish I had written.
Ah! All writers have one of those! Now, I’m gonna ask you something and it might seem strange, but in your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?
I have no idea, hahaha. Being a guy makes it a little hard for me to think of guys as being swoony-worthy. Now, women, that’s a different story entirely…
Oh well, it was worth a try, because I’m still trying to figure the whole thing out myself. I promise to clue you in once I have a better handle on things. This next question is probably a better one. If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)
I’d love to see Jimi Hendrix. I was too young to have had the chance to ever see him perform, but his influence on rock music can still be felt in almost every rock guitar player. I would have loved to see the emotional magic he did with his guitar every time he entered the stage.
Awesome! I know all kinds of random stuff about him…like he couldn’t read music and was left-handed so he had to play his guitar upside down. Over in Paradise he’s setting his guitar on fire every night, but it’s not anything like your book. Anyway, It’s pretty cool. If you want to see him…way down the road, that is, you need to do the confession thing. So, what’s your biggest writing sin?
That I do not take my writing seriously enough. I know fellow authors who sweat over every word. Some of them would rather give a limb than change a word they wrote. I am usually not in love with my writing. If an editor suggests a change, and I agree with the reason, it is easy for me to simply make the change. I’ve never seen myself as the ultimate authority – not even when it comes to my own work.
That doesn’t sound very bad, Guido! Now, are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?
Until recently I didn’t even care about the three-act structure in writing. It was something I left to others. I have embraced it a bit more these days, but still, I prefer to write the way I feel the story should unfold and flow and not the way the academic rules try to impose on me. So, call me a rebel.
Hurray for rebels! They’re the humans who change the world and it wouldn’t be good if the world had never changed and evolved at all.
What — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?
My creativity lives off cross-pollination. I can get inspired by anything, an image, a mood, music, a line of lyrics, a word someone says, the list is endless. I find other people’s enthusiasm endlessly inspiring, too, though. Every time I come back from a writer conference, I usually just want to sit down and write, write, write.
I love that so many different things inspire you! What themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books.
Most of my books are horror-themed. Not the all-out grossfest kind of horror, though, but the moody atmospheric style, like old black and white Universal monster movies. I usually do not approach a story with an agenda. It is usually more a case of “What if…” that develops into something bigger. What if demons actually managed to force their way into Heaven and began to kill angels, as in “Heavens of Fire?” What if good ambition is becoming perverted by fanaticism, as in “Dr. Prometheus?” What if love were so strong that it turns into a curse, as in “From a Watery Grave?” What if dying is more an act of paying dues than a physical state, as in “Dead by Dawn”
I simply love to toy with these thoughts and ideas, spin a story around them and in the end I hope reader will simply have a fun read. A diversion.
Those are awesome “what ifs…”, but I must confess the one about the demons in heaven scares me…hmm…but, that’s the point, I suppose. Finally, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel?
I was wondering if he or she could, perhaps, explain this karma thing to me again, because it doesn’t seem to work…
Oh, Guido! There are a lot of humans in Paradise who would tell you otherwise. It does work, I promise. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like it takes too long. Keeping being good. J I’ll say “hi” to your Guardian for you.
Thanks, Grace and Guido. If you’re a fan of scary stories check out Guido’s books on Amazon here.
Way, way, way back in April and May, Grace, the flighty Angel in Training main character from Winging It!, interviewed a whole bunch of authors. But there were two particular favorites of mine who were left out: Kai Strand and Guido Henkel. So, we’re going to resurrect (please excuse the pun) the interviews. Today, you’ll have the chance to get to know Kai a little better. And on Monday, please look for Guido’s interview.
Okay, time to turn the reins over to Grace.
Hey Kai! It’s really great to meet you, especially since I already got to know your MC earlier this year over at your blog. Let’s get started. Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
I’ve been tapping into my teenage muse’s mind recently to work on a new young adult novel. A boy, a girl, lots of sweaty palms and palpitating hearts. It’s fun.
Well, palpitating hearts sounds good, although sweaty palms just sounds, I don’t know… sweaty. Can you tell me which of your characters you are most like? Please don’t say the sweaty one.
I’m an incurable priss, so is Natalie, the main character in my new tween novel, SAVE THE LEMMINGS! I’m not intelligent like she is, though. Luckily for me I had great friends growing up, who managed to overlook my need to not only follow rules but also enforce them. Natalie’s friends are the same. They tease her a bit, but truly it’s why they love her.
I get that. Natalie kind of grew on me, too, by the end of the interview in April.
Um, my author makes me ask this next question. You don’t have to answer it, but you probably will if you’re a by-the-book gal.
Do you have a favorite book? Of all time?
I don’t do favorites because they change with my moods or the weather or life’s circumstances. But I have a healthy appreciation for Harry Potter, Goblet of Fire. Emotional, epic, harrowing, sweet, heartbreaking and there’s a dragon. It is such a complete tale.
And it’s soooo long, too.
Okay, changing topics. In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?
It’s the little things; hands touching, lingering look, barely there smile. Oh and really good hair.
Good hair grooming is a plus. I just love Victor’s sun-streaked…um, sorry for the digression, but you are so right about the little things. Now, if Mr. Good Hair were to say…take you to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)
I know, dude. He looks like a lady and has good hair!
Seriously, even though I am a rocker, I’d actually want to see Mozart. What I wouldn’t give to see him in action. To watch him be transported into his own music would be the ultimate. I’d really love to watch him compose. But I would need his thoughts to play out loud. Does he hear the full symphony or each individual instrument?
Huh. I don’t know, but if I ever run into him, I’ll ask. Ready for another 180 degree change in direction? Don’t answer. You’ll get used to me hopping all over the place. (I hope)
It’s confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
Remember that admission about me being an incurable priss?
Not being able to break rules?
I believe I said I remembered.
Yeah, I’m not one to have big confessions. I’d say my biggest ‘sin’ is lack of writing discipline. Since that is so boring, I’ll move on to the next question.
Okay, and sorry if I seemed a little rude there. We actually have a group of undisciplined writers from the first set of interviews. (If you missed them the first time they started here., but please finish Kai’s interview before you go linking off.) They call themselves procrastinators and my author is guilty as sin.
Now, I think I know the answer to this one. Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?
As previously stated – rule follower.
HA! You got me. But, why?
I have no idea why. I have a son who is like me and I always feel a bit sorry for him because I know he’ll never be able to truly relax – unless it is written into the rules somewhere.
Aww…that makes me kinda sad, too. Okay, I’m going to write one for him, and you too.
Kai and her son, I command you to relax.
*whispers* This doesn’t carry the same weight as if it came from The Big Guy, himself, but I am an Angel in Training, y’know? Besides, it’s such a priviledge to be able to help you Humans out. Now, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?
Music, nature, children, joy, reading, necessity.
I love that! Especially the thing about necessity!
And, what do you want readers to take from your books.
I want readers to know that the choices life presents are sometimes really flippin’ hard to decide on and even harder to act on. It’s important to pull up the proverbial bootstraps and do the hard work. My middle grade novel, The Weaver, is about a girl who can’t get better at telling stories until she applies some hard work and persistence. My upcoming novel, SAVE THE LEMMINGS!, is about a girl who has to restore her reputation after being the recipient of media bashing.
But I said sometimes. When the choices aren’t hard, readers should enjoy their life, their love and their blessings, which both girls do in my books.
That is really awesome, Kai. Life isn’t easy, even for Angels. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to yours? I mean your Guardian Angel. ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
Can you please tell him or her what a rock star I think they are? I’ve never broken a bone and have only a few gray hairs. I stay calm during a crisis and only fall apart after safety is restored. The only thing I’d ask is if they see my metabolism (which died and went to heaven a few years back), could they somehow restore it to me so I can eat all the pizza I want again? Those days I miss.
That’s really nice. It sounds like you have a Guardian that works as hard as you do, and, I’ll see what I can do about the metabolism-pizza request.
You are very welcome, Kai and I’ll turn you back over to Shel now.
Kai, thanks so much for mentioning where you are on the web and I’d like everyone to know they can find SAVE THE LEMMINGS here. And your second new release—you’ve been very busy this summer— THE WISHING WELL here. I haven’t had a chance to read either of these yet, but I did read THE WEAVER and it was beautifully written.
So, check ‘em out and then come back on Monday for my friend, Guido.
So this seems a little kooky, but Grace the main character of my novel Winging It!, wants to interview me. If you’ve been following along with the series you know she can be a real PIA, but I’ve agreed to go along, because…well…she probably won’t leave me alone if I don’t.
Before we get started, here’s a little description of the book:
Ever decided to do something that seemed like a good idea and in the second before there’s no turning back think, I musta been totally mental when I came up with this? And, then, Oh, well, here goes.
That’s how Angel-In-Training Grace Lightbourne felt right before she asked the Big Kahuna to go straight to Earth on a mission as a Guardian Angel. The problem? She never was a great student and now she won’t even finish her last three years of school. To make matters worse, Archangel Michael isn’t happy about her special assignment, but Grace is convinced she’s on a fast track to her wings. How hard can it be? She’s working with humans, after all.
Winging It!, the first book in the Angel-in-Training series, is an irreverent, light hearted take on Angels, Heaven and everything else that’s divine.
Hey! That’s a picture of me on the cover.
I was having a good hair day dontcha think?
Okay, right, so I guess we ought to start.
Probably a good idea.
So Shel, you have two books—one starring moi—which means your Muse is hard at work. What is she helping you on at the moment?
I’m finishing up a book which isn’t titled yet, but might be called My Wishful Thinking about two best friends who end up sharing a geeky genie. After that’s done, I’ll be jumping back into the second book about you and working through some of the gnarly pieces.
Don’t you think it would be better to work on the book about me now?
I really don’t, because the genie book is so close to complete and after it’s done you can have my full attention.
If you say so. I’m curious, especially since I’m one of your characters, which one are you most like? *whispers behind cupped hand*and please don’t say that whiny artist in Dolphin Girl.
I heard that, and Jane is not that whiny. But, to answer your question, there’s a little bit of me in all the characters. Even you, I’m afraid.
But who are you most like?
Hmm…probably Aisha. She was your GA, after all.
Really? She makes me crazy, but, I guess I like her all right.
That’s good because she’s going to be your roomie in the next book.
Oh, God!! Nooooooo!
Yep. What’s your next question?
Can we talk about changing the Aisha thing?
Fine. You came up with this next question, so don’t act like you didn’t. What’s your favorite book of all time.
I love lots of books, but my absolute favorite is To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read and re-read and re-read and only love it more each time.
You know that was one of Sibel Hodge’s favorites. Now let’s talk swoony-worthy guys. What in your opinion makes a guy swoon-worthy? And specifically how did you come up with Victor for me?
Well emotionally, I love a little verbal banter and a sense of humor is great. Physically, I have to get a picture of the character in mind and for you I used this picture of William Levy. This was a couple years before his Dancing with the Stars fame, but I knew I had the right look when one of my critique partners said, “Now that’s a Victor I can get on board with.”
That does look a lot like Victor. Thanks for that!
Haha! No problem.
*Ahem* Maybe we should get back to the interview. If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?
I wouldn’t want to miss any concerts because I love music, especially rock, but if I had to pick one it’d be George Harrison. It’d be something to see Give Me Love in Heaven.
Wow, I really expected you to pick something with a harder sound.
Well, Jimi would be awesome, too.
Gonna change topics on you. It’s *drum roll* Confession Time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
I think you’ve already told everyone it’s procrastination, remember? We’ve got the support group going and I’m working on it. But today, for example, I’m doing this interview with you instead of working the genie story.
*huffs* Don’t blame me. We’re almost done, and then you can get back to that other book.
Next question: Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?
Rebel with a cause.
I’m okay with bending or breaking any rules as long as there’s an excellent reason for doing it.
Hmmm…so is that one of the ways you’re like me?
So, what inspires you to bend or break rules?
I can’t think of any situation or rule that isn’t trumped by love. And I hope that’s what inspires my writing, too.
Aww….that’s so true. I hope it inspires you, too. So, what message do you want readers to take from your books?
This is really the hardest question you’ve asked me! I’ll try to explain using my *other* book, Dolphin Girl, okay?
Dolphin Girl is about being true to yourself and being happy with that. It’s about losing any expectations of perfection. It’s about empathy and forgiveness. That’s a lot of themes flying around. Whenever I think about my readers, I don’t think I want them to “get” this. Instead, I think I hope this book makes it to readers who can find something useful in it.
Oh. Makes sense to me.
Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
I know you do! Please let her know how grateful I am for everything. And…um…if she could help me figure out the housekeeping thing, that’d be great!
Will do and—ssh—you have to promise not to tell, but I heard there’s some help on that coming soon.
Hey there! Shel’s book Winging It! features me and that Victor guy up above. So, you should probably check it out here:
And follow her on the web:
Or sign up for her mailing list, which will only go out once or twice a year, because she does procrastinate. She’ll let you know what’s going on with her books, like the new one with me.
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/j29Vv
Have a great weekend, all! See you soon.
Grace was supposed to come back on Monday to finish up the author interviews. She didn’t. Then, she was supposed to come back on Tuesday.
My calendar says it Wednesday and thank heaven she’s back.
Today we have Joelle McClure, author of the newly released YA novel, Puck Bunny. Here’s a little about Joelle’s novel before Grace gets back to her interviews.
After her mother’s death, Sammi will do anything to get her father’s affections, including quitting figure skating to take up hockey. Dad’s the head coach of the Devils, an AHL hockey team. But when a brutal hit during a high school playoff game puts Sammi’s goalie career on ice, she embarks on a reckless plan to regain her father’s attention. One that will either destroy or piece back together her tattered family.
Get rid of Dad’s new fiancee? Check. Lose weight and become a stylish fashionista? Check. Make friends with the daughter of Dad’s boss? Check. But Sammi’s new frenemy sucks her into the world of puck bunnies, while Sammi’s own world spins out of control.
After Dad skips Sammi’s first art show at a local gallery, Sammi decides to up the stakes to get her dad’s attention. She hatches a plot to seduce the team’s star forward. But can she go through with it? Sammi isn’t so sure she’s fighting for Dad’s affections anymore. It’s starting to feel like she’s struggling to save herself.
That sounds incredibly original, Joelle! I haven’t seen very many books with hiockey at the center of them and I’m a fan of the sport. Okay I’m handing you off to Grace. Sorry.
Hey, Joelle. Like Shel said Puck Bunny sounds very original. Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What are you working on now?
I will actually be doing a revision of a novel I completed awhile ago. It is YA historical fiction. I got a banging idea on how to revise and set it apart from the pack of other novels set during that time period. I’m excited to get back to it!
Wow! That’s very different from this one, which makes me wonder are you more like a character from your first book or your second?
I am definitely most like Sammi, the protagonist of PUCK BUNNY.
You’re not a goalie, though, right? You’re a writer, which means you must like books at least as much as hockey. So, what is your favorite book of all time?
My favorite book is Charlotte’s Web.
Oh! I don’t even read and I loved the part where she puts words into the web. It’s so sweet.
Okay we’re gonna do a 180 degree topic change. Lets get back to those hockey players. In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony.
Big muscles, long flowing locks, a smoldering gaze. You get the picture!
I definitely get the picture. And you know who else likes smolder—Dalya Moon, the author who kicked off this series.
Okay, now other than getting all dreamy about smolder guy, what’s your biggest writing sin?
I procrastinate. A lot. Then a little more.
Psst…if you promise not to tell—hold on, my author is saying I already missed two days for this interview. Sheesh, she’s a pain.
I guess we should just stop procrastinating and move along. Would you say you’re more of a rebel or rule follower?
Total rebel. I gotta be me!
Excellent! Now what kinds of rebel things inspire you?
People and their life experiences and how it affects them.
That’s a pretty big category—lots of inspiration there. And, how about themes? Any special ones?
I write about forgiveness in probably every book.
Aww…that’s very, very, very important. And I hope that means you’ll forgive me for procrastinating on this interview.
Last question. Can I pass something along to your Guardian Angel?
Yes, tell her I said thank you!
I sure will. GAs love to hear that.
Okay everyone, if you like hockey, forgiveness and smolder check out Joelle’s book, Puck Bunny here:
And, here’s Shel again with housekeeping stuff.
Hey there, we have one more author interview in the series and I hope to be able to bring that to you next week. In the meantime, Grace suggested she interview me, and I *reluctantly* agreed. It should go up on Friday, because to be completely honest about this she hasn’t even given me the questions yet. See you then.
Grace was called away on a SPECIAL mission. She’ll be back on Monday with a new author interview.
So…here we go. Today we have Rachel Donnelly and she’s written a pirate story, which is cool since I’m a fan of those Johnny Depp movies. But before I ask her questions, you should read this description of her novel.
Evelina Crimm just wants to be normal. She has her life planned, until she spends summer vacation with two crazy Aunts and discovers she’s a Water Witch. Soon things get a little freaky and she’s living a double life, slinging hash during the week and dodging black magic spells every weekend. Not to mention a certain mysterious warlock she can’t seem to stay away from.
Frankie Holler is on a mission to catch a Time Pirate and he isn’t above bending a few rules to do it, but teaming up with a Novice Witch isn’t part of the plan. Time Keepers work alone. At least, that’s what he’s been told, and he agrees, until he meets Evelina. He’s not much of a talker, but it sure is hard to keep secrets with her around.
Rachel! Witches and Time Keepers. It sounds like you have a great imagination and your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
I’m busy working on the next Evelina novel.
Awesome. So are you more like Eveline? Or Frankie? Or another character from the book?
Wow! Tough question. But probably Evelina, though with different magic. Ha!
You know on my first Mission, this little kid thought that I was magic when I did something nice. I hope your magic is good magic. Evelina’s, too.
Don’t get upset about this next question. *whispers behind a cupped hand* My author came up with it. Ready? What’s your favorite book of all time?
The complete works of William Shakespeare. Yeah, I was the weird kid in English class.
Yeah, but it’s okay to be weird. I only know a little Shakespeare: Romeo, Romeo, where’s the art Romeo?
I never got it. Why was she looking for art when she had this swoony guy? Did you think Romeo was swoony?
I like alpha males with a great sense of humor.
Hmmm…Romeo wasn’t very funny.
Okay, now for this question we’re going to use your fantastic imagination. If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)
Another tough one. Geez. It’s a toss up, between Janis Joplin and Freddy Mercury– two amazing voices.
Rachel I hope you’re ready to for confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
Obsessive editing when I should be just spewing out the rough copy.
Yep. You sound a little like my roomie, Mercy. Here’s my best angelic advice: spew, baby, spew.
I’m gonna guess that you’re a rule follower with all that obsessive editing. But I’m required to ask this question–are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?
I’m a rebel I guess.
Really? I got that wrong.
Are you sure? Why would you say that?
I’m a follow your heart kinda girl.
Oh, I get it and yeah, sometimes following your heart means breaking the rules. Good for you!
Other than your heart, what inspires you?
Wow these questions just keep getting harder don’t they.
I’m glad it’s you having to answer them instead of me.
I think there’s beauty and magic everywhere. You can’t buy the good things in life. People with the courage to stand up for what is right inspire me.
All of those things are very inspirational to me, too. So, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books.
Friendship and courage. I believe standing up for what is right despite how it affects you is true courage. We all have magic within us, and it’s important to support each other on our journeys toward our dreams.
I love that! And, it’s so truly true.
Before we go, is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
Cool. I could totally use some contacts.
I’d just like to thank my Guardian Angels for getting me this far. And, to thank you so much for having me here today.
Aww…Rachel, that’s really sweet. It’s been great getting to know you and thank you for the interview. I’ll be sure to pass along the message to your GA, too.
If you’re into beauty and magic and friendship and courage (and if you aren’t you should be.) check out Rachel’s book here:
And you can find her at her blog or Facebook, too:
Today I’m excited to have YA author Brina Courtney on the blog. Her Cryptid Tales are a blend of sci-fi, paranormal and a little romance, too. Before I turn her over to Grace, here’s a little bit about the first book in the series, Reveal.
Shay Tafford’s childhood has been fatherless, filled instead with memories of speaking to those who have passed on. She does this while hiding her unique ability from those living around her. She can’t tell her best friend, or her brother, and she definitely can’t confide in her psychologist mother for fear of her mom locking her up.That’s why it’s been comforting to have Jeremy, a seventy year old child ghost, as her confidante. But recently he’s been absent, perhaps lost as her father is. When Shay meets Hugh, the boy she’s had a crush on for weeks, and finds he can speak to ghosts too she’s just starting to find a normalcy in her life. But as Hugh reveals the truth to Shay, about who she really is and about what it is she can do, he erases all chances she had at a normal existence. Turns out talking to ghosts is just scratching the surface of her genetically engineered gifts. Shay learns she may be part of an age old prophecy that could save an entire race of beings. But can she?
Now there is the threat of an attack from a dark force with unlimited power and she must decide if she accepts her fate as a part of the prophecy. Can Shay and Hugh defeat this evil and save the people they love, before they too are lost forever?
Okay, Grace, take it away.
Wow, Brina! That sounds pretty scary and the cover is spooky, too. Your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
Well my Muse being Adele I feel like it should be some angsty break up novel, but instead it’s a short story collection all about horrible dating, and kids throwing stuff. Like poop. Yep it’s a book about poop.
Adele the singer? My author <3 her. And how cool that you’re writing short stories. They’re perfect for take it anywhere Kindle reading.
So are you like one of your new poop throwing characters or one of the characters from your Cryptid Tales?
I would like to pretend Shay is the kick butt version of myself, but I’d be lying. However there is definitely a little bit of me in her.
Sssh. Never admit that you’re not kick butt. Let it be your mantra: I, Brina Courtney am kickbutt. Like that, okay?
Now don’t kick my butt over this next question, because nobody likes it. What’s your favorite book of all time?
Harry Potter. I am such a potterhead.
Excellent! And it didn’t even throw you for a sec. Now, in your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy? (in HP for me it was Cedric Diggory)
He respects a woman, for her beauty both in and out. And I was a beauty queen so I feel like I get to say that. And if he has an accent or uniform, major brownie points.
Yep, especially a British accent – like Cedric. Or better yet Prince Harry (not Potter).
Now if you could go to a concert with the uniformed, accented one who respects your inside and outside beauty—yes, we’re talking Heaven—who would you see?
Hmmmm… tough. How about not a rock concert?
I think seeing Beethoven play would be pretty epic and life changing. Do I get to come back after?
Back to Earth? Well, no. But it can still be life changing—roll over Beethoven.
Can you imagine that twitpic? “Hey it’s just me with B, we’re bffs now.”
Ha! That would be cool. Hey, anything is possible in Paradise. So, gonna change topics on you. It’s *drum roll* Confession Time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
I eat, a lot. A lot of chocolate, actually. I need to stop writing, and start walking a bit more. And stop eating. I can tell you right now two of those things won’t happen.
Haha! Great confession. My author does these high-stepping marching things to try to combat writer’s butt and I can’t even tell if it’s working or not.
So, chocoholic isn’t a horribly sinful. Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?
I’m a teacher so I have to enforce the rules and I realize how important they are. Especially for kids, we make rules to keep them safe. They’re important. I am also a goodie goodie.
Hmmm…I’ve never had much success with teachers, or rules for that matter, but I’m a goodie goodie, too. Now, I’m curious about how you get inspired. Adele…yes. Chocolate…probably. Exercise…not so much. What else?
Other books, teenagers, the weather, flowers, my dogs, friends, family, chocolate… cheerleading. A lot of stuff, oh syfy channel, movies, TV shows, music, art.
Ah, so chocolate is a definite. And, I love your list Brina! Especially that teenagers inspire you, since you’re writing for them. Ideally, what would you like them to take from your books?
The author’s note in my next novel, Capture, is all about how it’s ok to be different. I’m different and I turned out just fine.
I’m different too and, you’re right, it is 100 percent fine. .
Okay, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
Ummm… yeah, let’s get to work on that whole pony thing. I’ve been asking the big man upstairs about that for a while. He’s related to Santa right? I mean they have to have each other on speed dial by now. K? Thanks!
Sssh…don’t tell, but I recently learned it’s actually the same guy, like the Clark Kent/Superman secret identity thing. But, anyway, yeah—one pony comin’ up.
Hey there! Brina’s Cryptid Tales have great reviews on Amazon. Here’s where you can go to check them out.
And follow her on the web, especially on Twitter in case she gets that pic of Beethoven.
Thanks Brina and thanks Grace. We’ve only got a few handful of interviews left, so stop back tomorrow for Rachel Donnelly.
If you’re just joining the blog, Grace Lightbourne, the teen angel main character from my novel Winging It! Has been interviewing authors since April 12th. Today I’m excited to have popular chick-lit author Dee Ernst. Before she becomes the latest of Grace’s victims, here’s a little about her novel Better Off Without Him.
Mona Berman is an expert at Happily Ever After – after all, she’s a best-selling Romance writer and happy endings are what she does best. So when her husband of twenty years leaves her for somebody 15 years younger, 20 pounds lighter, and French, she’s got a lot of adjusting to do, both personally and professionally. Lucky for her she’s got three savvy teen daughters, a few good friends, and Ben, the world’s sexiest plumber, to help her along the way.
First she decides that her next book will be the anti-romance – her heroine finds the best part of her life AFTER getting dumped. Next her daughters tell her she needs to start practice dating, and summer at the Jersey shore is the perfect place for that. She’s also juggling her soon-to-be-ex, a loony aunt, and a match-making neighbor, while Ben is sending her romance-driven imagination into overdrive. Can Mona’s life imitate art? Can she write her own happy ending?
This sounds great Dee! And fair warning: I’m turning you over to Grace now.
Hi Dee! I love your cover. It’s pink like mine and very fashionable. So, your muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
My next project is a YA – two sisters and the supernatural (of course). But I’m also playing around with another comedy – this time about a woman whose adult children all move back in with her.
Does supernatural mean super powers? ‘Cause I have those and that gives us even more in common than just pink covers. Do you think I’m like any of your characters? Maybe? Hmmm…that makes me wonder…which of your characters are you most like?
I am a lot like Mona in Better Off Without Him. Except that I’m not nearly as rich or successful. On the plus side, I’m still happily married and she’s not.
Bummer on the rich thing. It seems to be important to a lot of Humans.
Don’t shoot me on this next question, okay? What’s your favorite book of all time?
Favorite book? OF ALL TIME??? Impossible.
Put down the gun, Dee.
In the top ten are – To Kill A Mockingbird, The Moonspinners, and Random Harvest.
Great answer! Thank you and, whew, I’m glad we made it through that one. Okay, now I know Mona has a thing for Ben, so in your opinion what a guy swoony-worthy?
For a guy to be swoon-worthy, even a fictional one, he has to be smarter than I am. He also better have a sense of humor.
Aww…I really love that. Now if you could go to a concert in Heaven with the smart, funny guy, who would you go see?
I’d love to see John Denver. He was a favorite of mine for a long time, and I still miss him.
Yeah, he’s great and I can see how you’d miss him, me too, but I think of it this way–he has sunshine on his shoulders all the time now.
Let’s switch gears here. Confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
My biggest writing sin?
Yep. Think big. Gigantic even.
I can’t type. Seriously. I still have to look at the keys, and even then I make tons of mistakes. I’m waiting for the affordable voice/type whatever so I can just tell the computer what I mean and it types it for me.
That’s really not a very big sin, Dee, and you know what? My author wants one of those pens so you can handwrite and it becomes a typed manuscript. I’m thinking since your writing sin is so small, you must be follow the rules, right? Or are you a rebel?
I’m probably more of a rebel because I really don’t care what people think of me. I believe in rules. I think they are necessary for a civilized society. But I don’t follow them because I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I don’t.
Yeah, I totally get this! Like even though all the other Angels look down on Guardians—so what. I gotta be me and all that junk. You go, Dee!
What inspires you to stay true to yourself in your writing (and life)?
I am blessed with great friends – wise and funny women who lead interesting lives. It’s amazing what I can get from them.
Friends are definitely a blessing! You sound like a fortunate woman.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Better Off Without Him was about re-inventing yourself. Women do that all the time, I think. It’s possible, no matter what happens to you, to build something bigger and better, as long as you keep trying. Having friends and family behind you is a huge plus, of course.
Last question, Dee. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
You can mention to my Guardian Angel that Florida property values are still low, and if she works fast and gets me on the Bestsellers List, I can still get a great beach house for a steal!
The “stealing” thing is kinda a no-no for Guardians, but I’ll let her know about the Bestseller list!
If you’d like to help Dee buy (not steal) a beach house in Florida, you can find her book here:
Amazon – http://amzn.to/td0KeM
In Paperback – http://bit.ly/sCcrLH
And she’s also on the web, like here:
My Blog – http://dernst2010.wordpress.com/
Twitter – @Dernst1
And I’ll be back tomorrow with *flips through papers* YA author Brina Courtney. So come back then!
Kicking off another week of interviews with ME Purfield. It’s gonna be a short intro today because my to-do list is more monstrous than normal. So here’s a description of ME’s book Party Girl Crashes the Rapture. From the description it sounds like an interesting older YA read.
It’s Lorelei’s last year of school and she has no plans for the future. Well, she does plan to drink, smoke weed, bang boys, and get as far away from her abusive mother as possible. What else is there to do in a small New Jersey town?
But when the seizures start, Lorelei enters a Technicolor dream world where she meets a pink-eyed little girl named Darby. She has something important to tell Lorelei. Something about a murder.
Lorelei doesn’t want to deal with Darby and does all she can to forget about her. She even goes as far as finding love and a possible future. But Darby is persistent, so persistent that she starts breaking into Lorelei’s reality.
Now she must solve a murder and face a dark secret in her past that could reveal a truth so horrifying that death could be the only way to forget it.
Okay, Grace. I gotta run. Sorry about the quick hand-off.
Sheesh! That’s like the lousiest intro ever.
Hiya, ME! I promise it’ll get better from here. It sure can’t get any worse, right? Now your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?
Muse? What Muse? The only Muse I know is Throwing Muses, kid. Anyway *sideway glance* I’m writing a second book in my Miki Radicci series. The first one will be out in May this year. Just another adventure of a 16 year old girl who’s a famous artists and also has the psychic ability to experience other’s pain and death. And you know, she solves mysteries. *yawn*
Omigosh, why are you yawning? Psychic abilities and mystery sound exciting to me. And I’m curious too—are you like Miki or one of your other characters?
What? Listen, if you are writing your characters as yourself, then you better be writing a memoir or something. But since you’re looking at me like (yeah baby) then I’ll say Joni Corso, the lesbian No Wave guitarist who is the protagonist in Breaking Fellini. Except I’m not a girl, or a lesbian, or a guitarist. I think.
Hmmm…I’m one of those; two tops. But I also feel compelled to point out to you that I’m not a writer. I AM A CHARACTER. Sorry for yelling.
Okay with that cleared up, let’s move on, shall we? What’s your favorite book of all time?
You’re killing me.
I can’t do that. I’m an Angel.
Let me see here. I would have to say Robert McCammon’s Swan Song. It just fills me with awe and hope and tells the ultimate story of good and evil with all it’s oniony layers.
The onion-y part sounds kinda interesting. I’m not a reader, but will let my author know.
So ME, we’re gonna change directions. In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?
Er, um. A guy who reads comics? Yeah. chicks love that in a guy.
Ha! Now I’m beginning to understand how you’re like Joni. If you and your character could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)
Hmm, I guess Elvis and Kurt Cobain don’t count. They were seen last week.
Elvis and Kurt are in Paradise, silly.
You know, I would love to see The Cramps. Although Lux Interior is the dead one in the group, the band is no more. He was such a showman and really brought feminism to no wave, rockabilly punk.
Well it is Heaven, so Lux can have a back-up band. But before you can see Lux, it’s confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
Writing main characters that scare people, using words LOOK and SIGH too many times, er, and maybe cursing too much. But the writing devil loves me for these things.
The writing devil loves you for the scaring and cursing bits, however I’m pretty sure he’s not too fond of the LOOK and SIGH thing either. Just guessin’, though, as I haven’t actually met him.
Which makes me wonder — are you more of a rule follower or a rebel?
Because why would I want to spend my life retreading what others are doing? Plus, there’s a thrill in taking risks and people enjoying those risks.
Hurray! We have something in common, ME. I knew I would find it if we looked hard enough. It’s inspiring to me! Oh, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?
Oh, life. Experimental fiction. People. Music. Current events. I guess I’m a sensitive person.
Even more in common! Yay! So, what themes do you write about or what do you want readers to take from your books?
I would hope that readers hate my main characters in some way in the beginning, but by the end find some kind of connection and respect towards them for what they went through. People should be like books. We should work past first impressions and really dig into getting to know and understand them over time.
100% agree. And, that’s sort of how this interview has gone, ME. Last question, now that we are respecting each other and everything. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel?
Yeah. Tell her to get off my back and give me my monkey. I miss that little guy.
Sorry, she’s not gonna do that, but maybe if you dig in and really get to know her….
Hey Everyone, ME is an onion-y kind of guy (the layer thing) and I bet his book Party Girl Crashes the Rapture is like that too! Here’s where you can find it:
And if you’re into peeling back the layers, you can find him at:
My author is nowhere to be found, so signing off for her ‘til tomorrow.
Grace has been MIA this morning, so we’re getting a bit of a late start with her interview of Christiana Miller. So, quickly, here’s the description of Christiana’s Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead, a paranormal chick-lit novel for adults.
A little magic can go a long way — to really screwing up a girl’s life!
Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that’s what her cards tell her and they’ve never been wrong. She’s evicted from her apartment, loses her job and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.
Suddenly, an aunt she’s never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She’s still one pissed-off old lady, even post-mortem, and she blames Mara’s magical meddling for her death.
When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie’s ready to kill her — literally. It’s the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara’s body!
Now, without further delay, here’s Grace and Christiana.
Hey there! Your novel sounds like so much fun, but it’s probably off-limits for teens. And Angels. And especially teen angels. Still, your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project she’s helping you out on?
My muse and I are currently arguing over the next book. She wants me to work on the Tillie sequel, I want her to help me finish the Gospel of Ruth. So, she’s been dragging her twinkle-toed shoes. I may need to bribe her with a trip to Disneyland.
That’d probably work! Muses are so finicky sometimes. And sometimes they just need new ideas for the characters. Which of your characters are you most like?
I’m most like Mara. I’m always leaping headfirst into new situations and figuring things out as I go along.
Hmmm…*whispers behind a cupped hand* Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a little like that.
Let’s move along to the next question if that’s all right with you. What’s your favorite book of all time?
Wow. Just one?
*sighs* Yes. Just one. Everyone keeps asking me that. Will you pick one?
That kinda changes by the day. I’m always finding new favorites. And I love to re-read old favorites. But my most favorite YA series is The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper. The books rock. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for them.
That is very, very, very nice that you want to share with your daughter. When she gets older she’ll probably start dating, too. If you could pick a swoony-worthy guy for her, what would he be like?
If he’s fun to be with, he has a great sense of humor, he’s smart and he’s romantic. And loyal. Nothing beats a guy who’s intelligent, who makes you laugh, who always has your back and who has a streak of romance in his soul.
Oooh…you’d pick a good one for her!!
Next question. If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see?
Only one? That’s a tough one.
No….you can create something all your own.
There’s Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elvis… Actually, I’d want a ticket to a Dead Rockstars Review, featuring all the dead rock stars. Kind of like an otherworldly Oz-fest. And I’d definitely throw in some jazz and blues. But if I could only go to one concert, of any genre, I’d pick Billie Holiday.
You picked a lot of the same people as Marie Symeou and there are a bunch who want to see Elvis. The Dead Rockstars Review is an excellent idea. I’m gonna put that in the Paradise Suggestion Box.
Okay, but before I do that. Confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?
Procrastination. It’s too easy to get your time sucked away by everything else that comes up — whether it’s writing-related (like marketing or research) or life-related. There just never seems to be enough time to get everything done.
You’re in good company. We’ve already decided to form a support group for this.
As an Angel, I’m required to ask: Are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?
LOL! Well, I’m an indie author, so I’m going to go for rebel. I’ve learned that mindlessly following the rules and limiting your path to how things are supposed to be done, or how they’ve always been done in the past, can literally eat up years of your life and give you nothing to show for it. Figure out what you want and forge your own path.
Awesomesauce, Christiana! It’s great to meet a fellow rebel and fellow procrastinator! Now, other than picking your own path, inspires you?
My daughters — my grown-up girl and my baby girl. When I grow up, I want to be just like them.
Aww…that is incredibly sweet and really you shouldn’t ever grow up. Being childlike is such a nice quality to have. Truly.
Do you have any special themes you want readers to take from your books.
I’m a big fan of escapist entertainment. So, if readers get to forget about their own lives for a few hours and get caught up in the lives of the characters, then I think the book is a success. If they learn something they didn’t know to begin with, it’s a bonus. And if they leave feeling empowered to take charge of their own lives… that would be awesome.
Sounds like we have a lot in common. I’m a big fan of escaping, since I escaped to earth and a big fan of empowering, since I have so many powers.
Thanks for being so patient with my delay (procrastination?) this morning! And, one last thing. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? ‘Cause I totally have contacts.
Hmmm. Let me think… Tell her I said great job so far, but she may want to hire help. I’ve gained some weight, so I think I weigh about two angels-worth right now.
Aww, Christiana...I’m sure one Angel is enough. And I’m going to pass along compliment, because she’ll love to hear that!
Hey, All! Isn’t Christiana great? If you’re old enough check out her book on Amazon.
Or look for her on the web:
And now I get to go on break! See you Monday!