Author Interview – Michael J. Webb @mjwebbbooks

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Why did you choose to write this particular book?

I regularly drive long distances and have a great deal of time to think.  One morning, as I was headed to an appointment, the opening lines from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities scrolled through my mind unexpectedly:  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

As I meditated on those powerful words in terms of the present condition of our fallen world, a fascinating thought popped into my head.  What would happen if my wife and I were on a commercial airliner that crashed within a few minutes of takeoff killing everyone on board—except us!  We awaken exactly 24 hours later, at home, in our bed, dressed in the same clothes we’d worn to the airport.  How would we explain what happened to us?

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

Finding a way to successfully integrate multiple points of view from my various key characters.  I started out with only two primary characters, Ethan Freeman and Sam Weaver.  The other characters were supposed to be supporting actors and actress.  Well, a funny thing happened along the way to the final cut.  My supporting characters took on fascinating lives of their own.  They also began to take over my story!

I found myself inundated with demands from them to give each of them more screen time.  Not to mention, I fell in love with every one of them. It was very hard to say no.  I knew I was treading on thin ice, not to mention breaking a number of key writing “rules,” but they were relentless.  I struggled to keep them in their place until I decided that the best way was to try and mimic stylistically what Tolkien did with his characters.

Not surprisingly, it was a daunting task. The jury is still out on whether or not I even

came close to achieving my goal.  In my own mind, I know I have a long way to go as a writer before I can even think about being mentioned in the same breath as Tolkien, but it’s not a bad goal to set.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Most of us, sadly, see the world three-dimensionally.  But, as Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone was fond of saying: There is another dimension–a fourth dimension. A dimension not of sight or sound, or taste or touch, or hearing, but one that overlays the one we accept as the “real” world. A parallel universe layered over the terrestrial realm like a gossamer veil. In order to “see” into this realm and interact with it we must use gifts given to us by God that transcend our fleshly bodies—and our souls.

The realm of Spirit.

I’m inspired by God to write about this realm and explore the consequences of ignoring, denigrating, or misrepresenting its power to impact our lives for all eternity.  There is a quote from one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament, Hosea, in which God says: My people perish for lack of knowledge.  People perish every day because they are ignorant of the things of the spirit and live only in the dimension of what their five senses tell them is real.  We were created to achieve far more than most of us realize.  We seek answers to our questions from an intellectual perspective, believing the disciplines of science, psychology, sociology, law, etc. can provide them.  While they can, in measure, we should not neglect to ask the One who created those disciplines, and everything else. He has ALL the answers and gives them freely to us of we simply knock at His door and keep on knocking until He responds.

Infernal Gates

Ethan Freeman, ex-Special Forces Ranger, wakes up to discover he is the sole survivor of a fiery commercial airline crash that killed his entire family. His nightmare is only beginning when he becomes the FBI’s prime suspect. Only Ethan knows he’s not a cold-hearted murderer, but he has no idea what happened to him–and why he alone survived.

He finds an unlikely ally in Sam Weaver, the NTSB Chief Investigator. An ex-military pilot, Sam senses Ethan is innocent. She tries to remain dispassionate in her investigation of the crash even as she finds herself attracted to the man who may be America=s worst homegrown mass-murderer.

Neither Ethan nor Sam realize that shadowy spiritual forces are at work which will alter their lives forever.

A monstrous evil, imprisoned since the time of the Pharaohs, has been released by The Nine, a sinister group of powerful men and women who believe they are the direct descendants of the Anunnaki, ancient Sumerian gods. The demon they have unleashed intends to free The Destroyer from The Abyss, the angelic prison referred to in the Book of Revelation, and unleash a worldwide reign of terror and annihilation.

Facing impossible odds, time is running out for Ethan and all of humanity as he is drawn into an ever-deeper conspiracy–millennia in the making–and learns that he is the key to stopping The Nine. Will he overcome his deepest fears and find reserves of strength he never knew he had as he confronts pure evil in order to save himself and an unsuspecting world?

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Genre – Christian Thriller, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Michael J. Webb on Facebook & G+ & Twitter

Website http://www.michaeljwebbfiction.com/

GIVEAWAY

The author is giving away the following prizes — mailed directly to the winner’s email address from Amazon.com.

PRIZES:

5 Kindle copies of Infernal Gates http://amzn.to/18HrDjY

5 Kindle copies of The Oldest Enemy http://amzn.to/RWyv4c

5 Kindle copies of The Master’s Quilt http://amzn.to/Z2SJQS

Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Getting to Know #Author James Shipman @jshipman_author #Historical

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Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

In my mind, success is rising to the level you can control.  I make analogy to a music band.  A serious group of musicians who work very hard in a consistent manner over time will ultimately reach a level locally or regionally where they have some recognition.  They are selling some albums, they are booking some venues, they are making some money (perhaps turning a profit, perhaps not).  That is a level I know I can achieve and I am in the process of achieving.  Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

I have a number of followers on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  I communicate with them regularly and with my author friends.  I do some light advertising and I do local presentations and book signings.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?

Ghandi, Julius and Augustus Caesar, Louis XIV, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Suleiman the Great, Constantine XI, George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Abraham Lincoln . . . yeah history people.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

I love to read, go out on my boat, walk, go to the theater, dining, travel, watching shoddy tv.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

I typically write three or four days a week.  I write after work for an hour or so and then usually for longer periods on the weekend.  When I’m writing a novel, I try to write 7,000 words a week, I hit that mark 80% of the time.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About James D. Shipman

  1. The day job.  James D. Shipman is a full time family law attorney in Everett, Washington.  He started his practice in 1998.  He also serves as a mediator assisting other attorneys and their clients in resolving their family law cases through settlement rather than trial.
  2. Fantasy novel.  Although James Shipman writes historical novels, he did write a fantasy comedy novel in 1998 titled “Willie-Washer’s Local No. 38.”  WWL follows the adventures of Solomon Khash as he parties with gelatinous cubes, chases the beautiful Princess Jenny, and saves the Irth from the evil Ug Slugs.
  3. Kids.  James Shipman has three kids aged 15, 13, and 10.  They attend school north of Seattle and are involved in soccer, baseball, and generally getting in mild trouble.
  4. Red Cross.  James has been involved for many years volunteering for Red Cross.  In 2006 he was the Chair of the National Committee on Resolutions, one of two national committees for the American Red Cross.
  5. Fish.  James has a saltwater reef tank in his office.  He speaks German randomly to his fish, although they don’t typically respond.
  6. Comicon.  James has appeared at the Rose City Comicon and Emerald City Comicon at an author table for the past two years.
  7. Next book.  James’s next title is “Going Home,” a civil war historical novel based on a true story.  “Going Home” will be released in July, 2014.
  8. Istanbul.  James was able to visit Istanbul this past year as part of the final research for Constantinopolis.  Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to view from the water, and has a rich Greek and Turkish history.
  9. History.  James has a history degree from the University of Washington.
  10. Gonzaga.  James completed his law degree in 1998 from Gonzaga University.

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In 1453 Constantinople is the impregnable jewel of the East. It has stood as the greatest Christian city for a millennium as hordes have crashed fruitlessly against its walls.

But Mehmet II, the youthful Sultan of the Ottoman Turks, has besieged the city. His opponent is Constantine XI, the wise and capable ruler of the crumbling Eastern Roman Empire. Mehmet, distrusted by his people and hated by his Grand Vizer, must accomplish what all those before him have failed to do: capture Constantinople. To prove that he deserves the throne that his father once took from him, Mehmet, against all advice, storms the city. If he fails, he will not only have failed himself and his people, but he will surely lose his life.

On the other side of the city walls, the emperor Constantine must find a way to stop the greatest army in the medieval world. To finance his defenses, he becomes a beggar to the Pope, the Italian city-states, and the Hungarians. But the price for aid is high: The Pope demands the Greeks reunite the Eastern and Western churches and accept the Latin faith. If Constantine wants aid for his people he must choose between their lives and their souls.

Two leaders, two peoples, two faiths battle for their future before the mighty walls of Constantinople.

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  James Shipman on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://james-shipman.com

Author Interview – T.G. Ayer @TGAyerAuthor

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

It depends on where I am and what I have available. If I’m caught out its pen and notebook that I always have in my handbag. Mostly its my PC during the day, and my iPad at night if I’m writing in bed. If I do get away for the weekend or am away from the house for a few days it’s the laptop.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

I try to write every day. I think creativity in writing is like a muscle and if you stop using it it tends to get lazy. I try to do 3k a day and sometimes when I do want to push I do 5k a day. It’s a rush and can sometimes get crazy if I have edits happening at the same time but I love it more so because I hate the feeling when I can barely write 500 words in a day. Then I feel a little useless because I know I can do more.

I usually write first thing in the morning until lunchtime and sometimes I may come back to write a little more late at night when the household is asleep.

Do you find the time to read?

As a writer you must find time to read. I think reading is inspiration and most writers need the creative input of reading to boost their own creativity. At least it works that way for me. I find I’m most prolific in terms of plotting and writing when I make the time to read.

What inspires you to write and why?

Everything inspires me, especially people and culture. I’ve always been fascinated with the way the mind works so that’s something that I question a lot when I’m working on a project.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Definitely paranormal/fantasy. I love mythology and fables. I love the mystery of the possibility of the impossible J

Fire

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Genre – YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating – PG13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with T.G. Ayer on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://tgayer.wordpress.com

Book Review Status

Author Interview – Sarah Daltry @SarahDaltry

Can you tell us about your main character?

Lily is almost 19 and a freshman in college. She’s always had a crush on Derek, her brother’s best friend. When she was a senior in high school, she got her chance with them and they’ve been dating since. However, now that she is going off to school (not the same school as Derek), she can’t seem to figure out what she wants. She feels disconnected from her new friends, but there doesn’t seem to be much left at home for her, either. Lily hopes Derek will remain her one constant, but he’s changing, too.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

I wonder if people will really care about the angsty problems of college relationships!

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s extremely realistic. Although Lily has a very different experience than my own college experiences, she’s still similar in the way that she’s just trying to make sense of everything. The relationship drama (and melodrama), the black and white emotional distinctions, the raging sex drives – all of these are typical of college for many people.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?

Outside of the fact that I went to college, not really. I used elements of things in my own life and characteristics of people I know, but no – reading this would not give a person any insight into my actual life.

How important do you think villains are in a story?

In this book, there are no real villains. However, I like this question. I think villains are important in books where the conflict is external. I also think that they need to be sympathetic in some way. I don’t like villains who are just bad – unless they are side characters. I like being able to understand where the villain is coming from, even if I disagree. It’s far more engaging that way.

4Get Me Not

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Genre – New Adult Erotic Romance

Rating – X

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  Sarah Daltry on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://sarahdaltry.tumblr.com/

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