Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview with Fantasy Author Brian Rathbone


A former horse trainer, avid reader, and eventual technology junkie, Brian Rathbone began chasing the dream of writing for a living in 2005. Now working on his sixth and seventh novels, Rathbone's goal of full-time writing is coming to fruition. When he's not writing, Rathbone helps people in rural areas get increased access to broadband Internet; this is work he plans to continue in the future, since the need is so great. In the time that remains, he helps his wife care for the spoiled rotten cats they've rescued.

Welcome back to my blog, Brian. So…you have “spoiled rotten cats,” eh? Haha. Please tell us about your fantasy book, Regent.

REGENT is book one of The Balance of Power trilogy, which continues the story that began with The Dawning of Power trilogy. Catrin Volker's tenuous ties with the regent dragons, as well as with her own people, will be tested. Black ships of unknown origin come with feral dragons as escorts, and Catrin will be forced to choose between her loyalty to the dragons and the loyalty to her own people. The fates of entire species hang on the choices she must make.

This is part of a series called Godsland Series. Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

A deep love for books and reading, especially speculative fiction, combined with a knack for telling stories developed a belief within me that I would write my own stories one day. Training horses professionally for so many years gave me insight into a number of old world skills and realities, which helped me connect with so much fantasy fiction books and series. I had lived something of an old world life in the new world, and then I left it behind. I decided to chase after my passion for technology, and I did things that I would never have dreamed possible. It was stressful, though, and I found myself having trouble sleeping. After writing code all day, I would continue to do so in my dreams. While occasionally productive (I somehow successfully debugged code in my sleep), it was exhausting. I solved the problem by spending the moments, between wakefulness and sleep, dreaming up my plot and characters and world. My dreams were a lot more fun and, as it turns out, still very productive. When I finally got the chance to write, I couldn't type fast enough. Still can't.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I can't claim to have done a massive amount of research above and beyond my experience as a horseman and farmer. I did, however, do good bit of reading on seamanship. This was an area where I had almost no experience and my preconceptions were clich├ęd. I had to put some effort into accurately portraying my characters' time at sea. There are also a number of fantastic elements in my books that are based on real science and physics, even if dramatized. I did some additional research on these ideas that stemmed from my experiences.

I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. I remember how you added your own experiences about horses in book one. Have you done this with Regent as well?

Bits of real life have a tendency of finding their way into my books. My wife occasionally accuses me of using her for material, which is true of course. I have a very close connection with animals; there are animals and animal behaviors in my books that are drawn directly from real life. It was also a special thing for my mother when her experience outsmarting my father, uncle, grandfather, and an uncatchable horse made it into the first book. Life is the best inspiration I know, and I expect real events and characters to show up in my future works as well.

Thank you, Brian, for this wonderful interview. I have learned a lot about you, your books, that your sweet wife helps you with material for your books… and your love for cats. Otherwise, why are they spoiled rotten? Right?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Anne Patrick

Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith. Anne looks at the dark side of life while her alter ego writes Inspirational Romance. Anne’s books may be darker in subject matter, but they all carry messages of hope and faith. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.

Anne Patrick’s heroines are usually strong willed, witty, and often very opinionated … combinations that usually land them in situations where death seems imminent.”

Welcome back to my blog, Anne. You’re known for writing “Stories of Romance, Mayhem & Faith.” Please tell us about your book, Fire Creek.

Thanks for having me, Linda. Here is the blurb for Fire Creek: Kasey Montgomery has returned to her hometown of Fire Creek Montana after the apparent suicide of her cousin. Within days of Beth's funeral, Kasey begins to find inconsistencies in her death. The local sheriff is quick to dismiss the allegations as figments of a writer's imagination. Kasey is determined to prove otherwise. Does the bronzed skinned stranger from Beth's funeral hold the answers?

Local park ranger, Jimmy Little Raven suspects foul play too. Beth was engaged to his best friend who died months earlier from a mysterious accident. Risking his heart and his job, he teams up with the famous mystery writer to find the answers to both deaths.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

Initially, back in the nineties when I first came up with the idea, this story was titled DEADLY VISIONS and it was going to be a paranormal. When I went back and finished the story last year I decided to take out the paranormal aspect because, let's face it, the market is flooded with these type of books and I'm really out of my element writing one. As to what inspired it, I was a huge fan of Murder She Wrote. This story/series is based very loosely on that premise. Kasey is a lot younger though, and she has a handsome sidekick, or partner in crime, in Jimmy Little Raven.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I did a lot of research on the Blackfoot tribe, the area of Montana where I wanted to place my fictional town of Fire Creek, and the laws concerning real estate and executorship.

Thanks. I enjoy finding out what kind of research an author does. I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

I sometimes do. For instance, for a little over five years, I worked for a security transport agency where I was part of a two-person team, a retired cop and myself. We transported prisoners to and from court or to correctional facilities. We also did extradition work. One trip we went on we visited seven different states in two weeks, transporting over twenty inmates. Now that was interesting! Two of the most scariest places I've visited was the Fulton County jail in Atlanta GA, and the Dade County jail in Miami, Florida. I've met lots of interesting (and sometimes very dangerous) characters and I've had some pretty exciting times doing this work. I sometimes miss it but not often ;).

Oh my gosh! I can't even imagine going into a facility like a prison. That must have been interesting.

It was an interesting job. Being inside one when there is a lock down is the worst. That happened my first time out. We were at a women's prison in Tulsa and had just arrived.  I never will forget the sound of those metal doors closing and locking and not knowing what was going on. It sent shivers down my spine that's for sure.

Wow! I love finding out the background of an author. Very interesting! Thanks for the great interview. I learned a lot.

Fire Creek can be purchased at Amazon or at Christianbook.com and other online bookstores.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Jewel Adams

Jewel Adams has written several books in different genres, mainly romance, and is also a motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. She and her husband Sean are the parents of eight children and grandparents to five and counting. In her spare time (when she has any) she likes to curl up with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs.

Welcome back to my blog, Jewel. I love your book cover. Please tell us about this sweet romance: Beautiful In My Eyes.

This is a novella about a beautiful woman who is completely happy with her life, but soon deals with a trial that makes her begin to doubt her worth. She has a loving husband that loves her unconditionally and is determined to prove to her that her value to him is priceless.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel? Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Well, Giselle's trial is one I have been dealing with for years, not to the same extreme, but enough that I can understand exactly how she feels. Fortunately, I also have an amazing husband whose love is also unconditional, and despite my insecurities, he tells me I'm beautiful every day, and shows me as well.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I really didn't have to do much. Since the heroine's trial is hair loss, I just looked up the various forms of Alopecia, from mild to extreme, and I looked up the symptoms, as well as treatment options. Sadly, in most cases, once you have reached a point, nothing can be done to stop it and the hair loss continues its course. Emotionally, it is devastating.

That is so interesting. Your writing style is fun. Most authors write in past tense, but you write in present tense. How does this affect your writing or story?

I just love writing in present tense because it kind of puts the reader right there in the moment. At least, that’s what they tell me:-)

Thank you, Jewel, for a wonderful interview. I love your book cover. I’ve been told that book covers really help to sell the book.