So I wanted to give a quick update as to what is happening in regards with Limerence, and the new books, and well… everything else!
At the moment I am in the dark and murky depths of editing Limerence. Man it gets lonely down here ;0(
I’ve also been searching out book reviewers. I’ve listed the ones that so far have agreed to do one for me, so that you can go check out their sites for some good book recommendations’.
Platinum book reviews - http://www.platinumbookreviews.com
Beckstar reviews - http://beckstarreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
I heart books - http://iheartsbooks.wordpress.com/
Paranormal book club - http://paranormal-bookclub.com/
Also, Elodie Parks - http://paranormal-bookclub.com/ Is going to be doing a feature on me.
And finally, LionheART galleries, who I have previously done an interview with, have said that they will be doing another feature on me. http://www.lionheartgalleries.co.uk/LionheART-Gallery.html
Limerence looks set for publication on or around the 22nd March. Wooooo, go me! I’m initially going to go with KDP and KDP select. Whilst the KDP select is a great way to reach more people it does have its drawbacks in that I had always wanted to share Limerence in eBook format for free with you. At least for a certain amount of time. With KDP select I can only do this for 5 days within a 90 day period. I am going to keep the price as low as possible though. My aim isn’t so much to make money, but to share a story with you. The same goes for the paperback copy. I will be keeping the price as physically low as I can, in the hopes that you all have a little part of me sat on your bookshelf for years to come!
(For those of you that have ‘liked’ my Facebook page, remember that your name will be in the acknowledgements section of Limerence, as without you I wouldn’t be doing this.)
I’m also currently working on a new cover for Limerence. I love the cover, the eye and the colouring for me is what it has always been about, but there are a lot of books with eyes on them. I want my book to stand out amongst others and not blend in, so although it saddens me to see my big beautiful eye go, it has to be done ;0(
I’ll keep you up to date with everything as it happens.
So, for those of you that filled in my ‘Zombie 101’ questionnaire. You might be wondering what is happening with it. Well, there’s been a little of this and a little of that, but mainly I’ve been working on an awesome plot, and of course, as promised, planning out your characters’ lives… and deaths!
The book is tentatively named, ODIUM.
Odium means to have an intense hatred or dislike, especially toward a person or thing regarded as contemptible, despicable, or repugnant. So with all the zombies, I thought it was quite fitting.
Once Limerence is published and is getting in some great reviews, I will be giving it my full attention. Well, as full as my attention span ever gets with three children, one husband, one dog, and a job, but you know what I mean.
One last thing for all of you Limerence lovers… and zombie haters, I’ve also been working on the outline for the sequel to Limerence…
In the meantime, it would be great if you could keep recommending me, sharing my page and introducing me and my book to anyone you think would be interested. It means so much to me to know that you love Limerence as much as I do. Truly.
I hope that you have been enjoying the interviews that I have been doing. I know that I have had a great time doing them. I’ve listed the books and their authors below just to give you a reminder. I try not to stick to just one genre, as me myself, well I like a bit of everything!
Fugitives from Northwoods – Chris Bostic (I’ll be doing an update later this week with this lovely guy. His book is doing so well)
Dead Trees- Eli Constant.
Try Not To Burn- Michael Matula
Well, I hope to speak to you all soon. Probably just before publication to give you all a big reminder. Eeeeeeeeeek! Nervous much!!
I know that you have read Limerence, but I truly hope that you will buy a copy, or at least try and get a copy on one of the FREE days. The book has changed quite a bit since it was first wrote, mainly thanks to you lot.
Keep posting your fantastic pictures and poems on my Facebook page, and get in touch with me any time.
Ps. Please remember that a book is only as good as the reviews that the readers leave. So if you buy something, be sure to leave reviews for the writers. You won’t believe how much it means to us.
Michael Matula Interview
Name: Michael Matula.
I used to hate my blogspot page, but I did a full redesign recently, and it’s looking much better than it did before, though that might not be saying a lot!
Other contacts/social media sites:
Link to Amazon page:
And in the UK and Canada:
Where did you grow up?
Just outside of Chicago. _
What school did you go to?
Glenbard North High School. In two of my books, Try Not to Burn and Arrival of the Ageless, I’ve used the Glenbard North team mascot for the schools that appear or get mentioned. (I’ll leave it up to readers or googlers to find out what it is).
When did you start writing?
In high school. I wrote a fantasy book in Junior year, and another one in senior year. I’d be super embarrassed if anyone read any of them today, as they don’t hold up very well, but they helped shape my writing today, and I often go back to my earlier stories and rewrite them, to see if I can get them up to my current standards. Sometimes I still can’t quite get there, but other times, it really pays off, and I get a book that I can be proud of.
What made you start writing?
I originally wanted to be a comic book artist, and drew whenever I could find the time, including during classes. I made a couple of full comic books, though the art was rather rough, to say the least. Eventually, I got to the point where I couldn’t draw fast enough to keep up with the stories I wanted to tell, so I wrote a few down as a script. Then, I wrote a story based on a character of mine, and I just kept going.
Is it something that you have always wanted to do?
I wanted to be an artist first, but my talent didn’t keep up with my aspirations in that regard. Writing was the next best thing, though now I enjoy it way more than drawing. I hardly ever draw anymore, and I only miss it every now and then.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Horror, mostly, though I’ve discovered that if a book can make me feel what a character is feeling, and relate to them on an emotional level, I will probably love that book, whatever genre it’s in.
What about to write?
I like to mix genres, but almost everything I’ve written, from an urban fantasy novel about elves, to a Speculative sci-fi story, always seems to journey into horror at some point. I can’t seem to resist throwing it in, so I imagine that would mean it’s my favourite.
Do you write full time?
That’s the dream. I’m not quite there yet.
Who are your favourite authors and or books?
My favourite authors growing up were C.S. Lewis and Lloyd Alexander. I still remember my mother reading The Black Cauldron to me as a child, and it filling my head with a sense of wonder. As a teenager, I gravitated towards fantasy and horror, and Nancy A. Collins and Robert Jordan became two of my all-time faves. I haven’t been a huge reader since then, as once I became a writer, it became difficult for me to read books without trying to edit them at the same time, so some of the joy was removed. Which probably explains the fact that all of my favourites are still from when I was a kid.
I was a pretty big comic book fan as a kid, as well, and Chris Claremont’s run on the X-men is still very near and dear to my heart. I went back to it somewhat recently, and I still think there are some terrific stories in that run.
Currently, some of my favourite authors are on Authonomy. It helps that I’ve gotten to know a lot of them, and the fact that they’re amazing people doesn’t exactly hurt.
About your books.
Thank you for asking, Claire! I love talking about my books.
Title/plot, and who it’s signed with?
Try Not to Burn is a horror novel set in purgatory, following a newly-deceased rookie cop named Brandon Morales, a female bank robber named Sam Reiss, and Jane Calrin, a teenage girl who ate a bullet to cap off a tear-stained murder-suicide.
All these three strangers have to do to survive is pass a series of tests, avoid the wanton clutches of their fellow inmates, brave nightmares made flesh, and keep from being swallowed by the constantly evolving mass of purgatory itself.
If they lose the test, they'll Burn forever. If they win, they might just earn themselves a second chance.
The book was published late in 2012 by Post Mortem Press, a steadily-growing indie publisher from Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s currently available on paperback and Kindle in the US and the UK, though last I checked, only the Kindle version was available in Canada.
It’s the first of two books in the series. The first draft of the sequel has been completed, and I’m hoping to have it published in the near future. The better Try Not to Burn does, the faster I think the sequel will be released, so I’m trying to get the word out about the first book as much as I can, and I’m hoping people who like it will help spread the word as well, both by writing Amazon reviews, and telling friends about it.
Did Post Mortem Press contact you, or did you query them?
I sent PMP and one other publisher a query letter in late 2011. Eric Beebe, the top guy at PMP, sent me an email a couple of weeks after that, telling me to send a reminder if I didn’t hear back from him in over a month. Well, a month went by, and the other publisher rejected the book, and I started to lose confidence, so I didn’t remind Eric about the submission. I was worried it wasn’t good enough, and that I should go back to pushing my other books instead. These were only the first two publishers I’d submitted to, but previous drafts of Try Not to Burn had been passed on by a number of agents. This was a newer version, with a newly added section with a pair of reporters at the start of the book, but I still wasn’t confident in it, as I hadn’t gotten much feedback on it.
And then in late January 2012, Eric sent me an email. I almost didn’t want to open it, since I was so sure it would just be another rejection. Then I popped it open, and I couldn’t believe that it was an actual acceptance email. In the summer, he paired me up with a fantastic editor named Felicia A. Sullivan. She told me how much she liked the book, and that “I’ve never read another book like it, and I’ve read EVERYTHING,” which was a huge boost in confidence. We went through about four or five drafts of the book, sending it back and forth, and in fall of 2012, the book was released on paperback. The ebook version followed a bit later.
You have two titles on Authonomy at the moment, tell me a little bit about them.
Arrival of the Ageless.
A Young Adult horror comedy set in the zombie apocalypse. In this story, though, even the zombies have something that they fear, and it’s not the humans.
Title of the second one.
What, the Elf?
It’s a Middle Grade urban fantasy adventure about an elf pickpocket in Manhattan. He’s named Whatrigal Madugal, so everyone calls him “What,” for short. I’ve heard him described as “bad-ass” a couple of times, which I always love to hear, especially since there aren’t nearly enough bad-ass elves out there, especially in books for this age group.
What made you decide to upload them onto Authonomy?
Ageless was the first book I’d uploaded. It was the one I was most uncertain about, as while I’d gotten a few requests for full manuscripts from agents for What, I hadn’t been getting any requests for Ageless. I often wasn’t getting any response at all, so I loaded it up to see what I’d been doing wrong, and get some feedback on it. I’m quite glad I did, as I’ve already found a number of my writing blind-spots (things I constantly do that I never even noticed before), and both books have greatly improved in the time I’ve been on the site.
What are your hopes for them?
My biggest hope is to improve the books and my pitches enough so that the next time I send off queries to agents, I can get better results than I have already. If an agent or a movie producer were to find one of the books and want to offer a contract, that would be cool also, but I’m not exactly holding my breath, of course.
How long did they take you to write?
Arrival of the Ageless took me exactly 29 days, from the moment I thought up the idea, to the moment I finished it. Yeah, I’m not usually quite that fast, but I basically just wrote non-stop for that entire stretch. That was back in March and April of 2012. What the Elf has taken significantly longer, as I originally wrote the first draft in 2005. After getting feedback from a couple of editors, I’ve rewritten it a few times since then. This is one of the first times where I feel confident with the book, as it’s far more polished now that it ever has been before.
What gave you the idea?
For What the Elf, I thought up the title first, when I was thinking of short stories to write. Then I got the idea of writing Oliver Twist as an elf, and went from there. For Ageless, I’ve always loved zombies, and liked the challenge of writing one without any real gore. I haven’t really seen any movies where the zombies weren’t disgusting, and I thought that perfectly-preserved zombies (which probably aren’t technically zombies, as they’re not really dead, they’re immortal), would set me apart, and appeal to even the most squeamish of YA readers.
Who is your favourite character?
It’s a bit difficult to choose, as they’re all quite personal to me (even the bad guys – most of my characters are drawn from aspects of myself, or from people I’ve known), but I’d probably say that Nik Newton is my personal favourite. She’s a motor-mouth thief with a penchant for mischief and a heart of gold. There are a few characters that I think just write themselves. You put them in the right situations, put your fingers on the keyboard, and just let them play, and she’s definitely one of them for me. She’s the kind of friend that would do anything for you, but gets you in trouble all at the same time.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing?
From JC Michael, author of Discoredia: (such a great guy with such a great book- Claire C Riley)
He told me: “Stick with it, work at it, listen to your comments but write your story your way.”
Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been at it for years, I’d say these are words that could apply to just about any writer.
The Eli Constant Interview
I live outside Fredericksburg, VA. Our lake community is flanked by historic battlefields and farms – making the area very peaceful and family-friendly. I have two daughters, one fifteen years and the other seventeen months. My husband contracts for the government and is the most hardworking person I’ve ever met- leaving our home at four AM every day to travel the 1.5 hours to work. On the bright side, he comes home to us by three PM every day – leaving us ample family time before bed. Few things are more important to me than family. Having said that, writing books are a birthing process and the characters I write become like family.
Name: Eli Constant. My full name is actually Elizabeth Constantopoulos, but try putting that on a book cover. It either has to be a small font or broken into two lines. Not pretty formatting-wise. I find I really love my ‘pen name.’
Other contacts/social media sites: firstname.lastname@example.org , Twitter: @Author_EliC
Link to Amazon page and or any other place it can be purchased:
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Dead Trees is available at other lesser known retailers also.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Florida. My father was in the military so we moved rather frequently. I spent the majority of my formative years in Washington State and South Carolina.
What school did you go to? Out of high school, I headed to Columbia College – a small women’s establishment in Columbia, SC. I quite enjoyed it there, but eventually, found the all-girl environment a bit limiting. Summer after Sophomore year, I completed a research fellowship at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, TX. I fell in love with, not only the beach-y feel of thecollege, but also the well-funded science program. Senior year, I moved to Virginia outside DC to be near my family. After marrying my husband, I attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. I began my college career focusing on pre-medical. With each transfer, I found myself changing majors – struggling to figure out who I was and what I was meant to contribute to the world. Eventually, I settled on Biology. It was logical as I had the most credits in the sciences. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be ‘finished’ with schooling.
When did you start writing? Years and years ago, when I was quite young. My grandmother has all my scribbling somewhere. I actually attended an art school and majored in creative writing the year before high school. Being a military family though, I was unable to go to the school long. This was probably a good thing as I had a creative writing teacher that lived for red ink on paper. I sometimes wonder if I would have written a book sooner if not for the discouragement of that teacher. In high school, I won the top award for a creative short story at a regional competition day. I don’t remember what the story was about exactly, but do remember it involved alien space-ducks, a little boy, and a lost yellow umbrella.
What made you start writing? I'm not sure… maybe I was just born with the ‘itch.’
Is it something that you have always wanted to do? Yes, but I don’t think I admitted it to myself until about a year ago. I worked my hodgepodge of jobs post-college, staying the longest at a pathology lab in Sterling, VA. I took a short sabbatical from pathology and then back to it – I think after that break from the sciences, I began to realize that maybe I was walking the wrong path. Having my daughter and having the ability to stay home while she is young, has afforded me the opportunity to really dive into writing. Now I find, I can’t seem to stop.
What is your favourite genre to read, and do you have any favourite books or authors you would like to recommend? I’ve always been an avid Science Fiction fan, but I also have a great love for classics and historical fictions. I’ll never turn down and Orson Scott Card read – his work is fantastic, especially the Ender’s Game series and Alvin Maker series. Although Magic Street ranks up there too. I also quite love author Libba Bray. She has a trilogy that feels very Victorian, but beautifully weaves in the supernatural (the first book is A Great and Terrible Beauty).
What about to write? So far, I’m finding I like to write in varied genres. Dead Trees is a dark thriller with SciFi elements. Tears of Chios is an urban fantasy with mystery elements. DRAG.N. is a political semi-satire. I honestly think genre definitions are objective and sometimes unnecessary. More often than not, a book will be multi-genre and that’s what makes it so successful, layered, and dynamic.
Do you write full time? I mother full-time right now; I write secondary to that.
About your book
Your latest book is Dead Tress, tell us all about the story/plot. What’s it about?
Here’s the pitch for Dead Trees:
A scientist mommy battling beasties better be handy with a scalpel.
Elise Swanson is trying to give her daughters a decent childhood. This should be a simple task, but the invading undergrounders – subterranean humanoids that have existed since the dawn of mankind – make outdoor playtime a tad tricky.
After fleeing Georgia and surviving six months of bumbling self-sufficiency, Elise and her daughters meet Jason. He's tough and nature-savvy. Pit stop fights with beasties define the survival-road that the four companions navigate. The bloody pavement finally ends in Washington State at a government safe zone where the trekkers hope to build a stationary life.
A little rest and rehab would be nice, but Elise is quickly led down a path of research and deception where humanity's future isn't a priority. She becomes leader of a secret plan and long nights in the lab keep her busy. She strives to destroy the undergrounders and the life of an underhuman crossbreed hangs in the balance.
Haphazardly conceived and manufactured, the H2H (Humanoid-to-Human) chromosome-targeting nanotech has a small probability of success, but Elise has to believe it will work. Hour by hour, she becomes less confident and more emotionally compromised by the rapidly growing, stunning underhuman. Her maternal nature leads to a late-night escapade resulting in a platinum-haired, third daughter and a million uncertainties.
Fleeing her home, Elise had two loved ones to shelter. That number has risen. When the not-so-safe zone is invaded by beasties, she will save her family... no matter the consequences.
DEAD TREES is a 111k word, mature-reader Dystopian that weaves horror, levity, and science. Underneath the layers of storyline, a simple core exists – the limitless distance a mother will go to protect her children, both physically and mentally
What gave you the idea for Dead Trees? It all started driving home from visiting my parents. My dad had about half a dozen large, white sealable paint buckets in his basement – each were filled with a dry foods product. Next thing I knew, I had my recorder out and I was dictating the first chapter to what would become Dead Trees.
Who is your favourite character? That’s a bit of a tossup. I quite like Elise – finding she is, in my opinion, a very real character with very understandable worries and challenges. Then again, I’m also quite in love with Sheila-2 / Meg. The challenges she will face in the world are impossible to predict or quantify.
What made you decide to upload it onto authonomy? I don’t really care for the rat-race premise of Authonomy (i.e. get enough supporters, get to the editor’s desk, maybe you’ll get published), but I do love it as a tool to gain feedback during the early stages of writing. I actually have three or four more works up on the site now.
You recently self-published. What made you decide to go down this route instead of the traditional way? Oh… about eight rejections! Also, I find self-publishing gives me a certain sense of control.
What are your hopes for Dead Trees? I hope Dead Trees will continue to be well-received and my number of readers will slowly increase. As a debut, I’m quite happy with it. I must confess though, self-editing was a very difficult task. Even after publishing, it took me a month to work out all the kinks. Now though, I am confident that when someone purchases Dead Trees, the will be getting a put-together product. Having said that, I’m sure there’s a misplaced comma or two - they are tricky little buggers after all.
What’s the next project that you’re working on? DRAG.N. – A Novella, will publish next month. It’s a brief, (~20k word) imaginative look at the future of America – paying special attention to a stylized viewpoint of National Healthcare. It’s been quite fun to write and was spawned during a writing contest hosted by the Kernel Magazine of London. After DRAG.N., I’ll be hard at work preparing Tears of Chios for a late Summer release.
What’s the best piece of advice that you have been given in regards to your writing? Go with your gut. Just like with childrearing, a book is best ‘raised’ by its parent.
At the end when the beasties are screeching, does that mean they are near the camp? Ah, spoiler-alert! Guess it doesn’t ruin too much though. Yes, at the end of the book, wild-beasties have been attracted to the camp by the military helicopters. That’s all I’m saying though.
When is the sequel out? Dark Wombs: The Underground, Book Two has been planned out to the last detail. I’m hoping to tackle it after Tears of Chios is out. I wouldn’t expect it until end of this year or beginning of 2014 though.
Bone-popping sound of Undergrounder joints ?: I supposed I was a bit sick of the overly-used norm for sounds in regards to monsters/humanoids/alien antagonists. I felt like it was always hissing- reptilian like. I do take some inspiration from reptiles in the jerking of the heads back and forth. Anyway, it dawned on me that as the undergrounders adapted and became 'more humane-esque' that the legs (originally inverted) were moving forward and that would bring with it some bone-on-bone contact and deterioration of cartilage. So I envisioned these changing joints rubbing together- thus, the sound. Hope that makes sense.
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