Tag Archives: author interviews

Read MTM’s Interview: Win Stuff.

Yes everyone, today is the day when I am interviewed in the Brain to Books blog tour. And it’s a long, long, long interview so if you like to read me wittering on, do head over and say hello. You can find my spot in the Brain to Books blog tour here: http://www.angelabchrysler.com/m-t-mcguire/

If you would like a chance to win a free paperback copy of Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Series: Part 1 there is still time for you to enter the draw to win one on Goodreads. The giveaway ends on 2nd September. To enter go here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/150964-few-are-chosen

Finally, there is absolutely loads of literary bling to be won in a whole host of giveaways from a bunch of the authors taking part in the Brain to Books blog tour. To have a look at what’s on offer, go here: http://goo.gl/VtFLrP

Thank you, I’m a little teapot* and good morning.

Eh... have you heard about the Brain to Books giveaway?

Eh… have you heard about the Brain to Books giveaway?                                            You bet I have! Sure as there’s a bag of spare eyes behind me.

*In joke for anyone who has read the book I’m giving away.

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Meet M T and A F E at the Darkhaven Facebook Launch Party.

Blog_tour_banner_DARKHAVEN_AFE_Smith

Just a quick update, this Thursday, 2nd, as ever is, I am taking part in the ongoing celebrations to launch the book, Darkhaven by my cyber buddy A.F.E. Smith. See my previous post. The giveaway and scavenger hunt are still on and she will be letting me loose at her facebook event where we will be shooting the breeze together, for an hour, at 10.00 am, BST. Anyone who’s up by then is welcome to join me, along with any insomniacs in the States and Australasia.

You can join in the fun by clicking this link: A.F.E. Smith’s Facebook Event

You can also find out more about the tour and Darkhaven here:

Tour homepage
A.F.E. Smith’s Rafflecopter giveaway
Where to find A.F.E. Smith’s Facebook Event on 2nd July

 

 

 

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Turning the kaleidoscope

Blog_tour_banner_DARKHAVEN_AFE_Smith

Scavenger_day04.

orning all.

Today I bring you a guest post from my cyber buddy, A.F.E. Smith, fellow member of the Guild of Writers Who go By Mysterious Initials, who is dropping in to say hello to you part of a blog tour to launch her first book. Darkhaven is out soon with Harper Voyager (Yeh, I know big few trad pubbed! She is my ritziest guest ever). In fact, it will be released in ebook format on 2nd July for £1.99 or $US3.99.  As well as the blog tour there’s a giveaway and a scavinger hunt and a big launch event on Facebook today, Thursday 2nd July! Oh yes, it’s all go. More on that story … later.

But first, without more ado, let’s welcome A.F.E. Smith…

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations.” – Mark Twain

People often want to know where writers get their ideas from. The answer is, of course, that inspiration can come from anywhere. But given that most writers are also compulsive readers, I’d guess many of their ideas actually come from other books.

I’d better add at this point that I’m very definitely not talking about plagiarism. Taking an entire storyline, unique concept or specific wording from someone else’s work is stealing, not inspiration (though even here the line is blurred; think of fairytale retellings or modernisations of Austen, neither of which are forms of plagiarism). My point is that writers are sponges, absorbing everything they come across. And as a result, when they create a book, there are often echoes of other books to be found alongside the rest of the influences.

Take Darkhaven. As it happens, I can actually figure out the literary inspirations for some of its ideas. When I started writing it, I’d recently reread I Am David by Anne Holm and so I wanted to write something that also began with that atmospheric kind of escape (indeed, Ayla’s flight from her home is still the very first scene in the book). The structure of Arkannen, the city in which the novel is set, may well have drawn on both Tolkien’s Minas Tirith and the game from Albion’s Dream by Roger Norman. And the idea of the Nightshade family and their ability to change into different creatures owes more than a little to Stephen Donaldson’s short story Daughter of Regals.

It’s not that Darkhaven as a whole has anything significant in common with these works, or they with each other. I don’t think a reader would have identified any of these influences without me pointing them out. It’s simply that bits and pieces of other books have added their flavour, just as bits and pieces of the real world have (the British industrial revolution, Western and Chinese ‘elements’, a little bit of steampunk, a little bit of murder). Reading is, after all, as much of a genuine experience as anything that happens in the physical world – so it’s hardly surprising that the books I read combine with everything else in my head.

Of course, there are also plenty of ideas in Darkhaven that belong to me alone. I’m not aware of any other city, fictional or otherwise, where the streets are paved with stripes of different colours – like a life-size underground map – to help you find your way to the right place. And I’m pretty sure the actual plot holds a few surprises. But in reality, the only difference between those aspects and the ones I mentioned above is that it’s harder to trace back through the thought process to the seed of the idea. Because sometimes, that seed can be as simple as I don’t want to do it that way. Consciously seeking to be different puts more distance between yourself and the original, but it still leaves you with a debt to another book.

And in fact, there’s nothing wrong with that.

There are so many books in the world now that it’s impossible to be completely new. People have been around too long for that. We have entire websites dedicated to tropes. Our creative process is always going to be one of synthesis rather than wholesale creation: selecting and rejecting the experiences we’ve already had in an attempt to build something new. And that’s fine. Because old bits of glass arranged in a new configuration can become something different enough to be interesting. The key is to keep turning the kaleidoscope until you find it.


 

Wise and true words. Thank you very much A.F.E. Smith, it’s been an honour to have you with us. Now, I promised to give you some more information about Darkhaven, A.F.E. Smith, the blog tour and the facebook event so here is some more info.

Cover_image_DARKHAVEN_AFE_SmithDarkhaven

Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.

.

Buy links

HarperCollins
Amazon (global link)
Barnes & Noble
Google play
iBooks
Kobo

Author biography

A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.

What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.

Author social media links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
DARKHAVEN on Goodreads

The main points again:

Tour homepage
A.F.E. Smith’s Rafflecopter giveaway
Where to find A.F.E. Smith’s Facebook Event on 2nd July

 

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MTM Talks… and talks… and talks…

The lovely peps at Authors Talk About bravely interviewed me this morning. I suspect they didn’t realise just how well I can go on, and on, and on. It is an unfortunate reality that there are many donkeys around my neck of the woods with no hind legs. That’s right, I’ve talked them all off. It was great fun though and they have done some really cracking interviews on there so, as usual, it’s well worth checking out the other authors on the show even if you would prefer to skip mine!

Lovely links are here:

Find my interview: http://authorstalkaboutit.com/parallel-universe/

It can also be found (and downloaded from) here:  authorstalkaboutit.podbean.com
It is on iTunes here:

US:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/authors-talk-about-it/id951364411?mt=2

OZ: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/authors-talk-about-it/id951364411?mt=2

UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gn/podcast/authors-talk-about-it/id951364411?mt=2you click

You can also follow Authors Talk About It at twitter here:

https://twitter.com/AuthorsTalk

And on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/authorstalkaboutit

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What’s in a book cover? A change gives a different perspective on an established series.

Today I am delighted to share Tahlia Newland’s new, super-duper, improved covers along with some info on the why, the how and the wherefore of covers, cover changes and the reasons she made her changes.

One of the great things about indie publishing is that, thanks to ebooks and Print on Demand technology, covers can be changed at any time. But why would you want to? What’s in a book cover?

Changing covers after publication is not limited to indie books, either; mainstream books with a long shelf life often get new covers and some even have different versions available at the same time. Why? Are the publishers not happy with the original covers?

No. Looking at young adult titles, the original Twilight covers were stunning, but after the movie came out, those covers were replaced by ones with photos of the movie characters. The new covers appealed to a different (possibly younger) audience, and changing the covers opened the book up to a new market, those who had seen the movie but not read the book. They also highlighted the human element in the book and communicated more about the content of the books.

The Harry Potter series also had different covers, and each new look appealed to a different kind of reader, thus giving a boost to the established series. And now, Tahlia Newland’s Diamond Peak series has a brand new set of covers for the same kinds of reasons. The previous covers were graphic, symbolic and sophisticated, aimed at an older market; the new covers are dramatic and sexy and say more about the series in one glance.
Diamond Peak Series3

The use of faces and a Photo-shopped style of artwork is the more traditional style of young adult cover, and though many young adult books have moved away from this look, the style existed and was used for so long because it appealed to the target audience. The fact that it is less in use today will make these ones stand out all the more.

The covers highlight the action, the romance, and the strong female character at the centre of the series. Those elements have always been there, this cover merely emphasises them. The only thing the covers don’t hint at is the humour. The mysticism is there in the sparkle on the cover for Eternal Destiny.

Here are the previous covers – graphic, symbolic and sophisticated – though fabulous covers, they say little about the content, even if you take the time to read the symbolism. These will remain the paperback covers, at least for the foreseeable future.
Diamond Peak Series2
Which covers do you like best?
Find out about the AIA Seal of Excellence award-winning Diamond Peak series on the author’s website. http://tahlianewland.com/my-books/diamond-peak-series/ or visit her Amazon Author page.

All covers by Velvet Wings Design. What’s in a book cover? A change gives a different perspective on an established series.

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Are you talking to me pal?

Is staring at something you’re trying to find for ages, without seeing it, a super power? I don’t know but it’s probably the closest I’ll get.

Does he have a better short-term memory than I do? Very probably.

You can read some wittering about that and other ideas in this week’s bit of light fluff. It’s an interview  over at Katherine’s Corner. Yes, I’ve been bending someone’s ear again. This one is part of an ongoing series of author interviews comprising two sets of questions; one frivolous and one sensible. The author being interviewed has to answer both, although in my case, there’s not really much difference between the two. You can find some witty and interesting answers from other authors on the blog here and you can read my attempts at the end of the links below.

Sensible

Frivilous

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Box 010: Number 12, Angela Burkhead

Well hello, and after a bit of a hiatus, welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, except in the holidays when I turn into Mumzilla and everything goes a bit mental, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Angela Burkhead. She has just published Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea, a young adult fantasy novel.

Hello Angela and welcome to Box 010. Before we get started, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, yes I would. I’m a full time writer and a full time mom. Of the two jobs, I cannot decide which is more difficult and time consuming, but both bring the joys of fulfillment and accomplishment.

My son and I currently reside in Richmond, Ky, just north of Kentucky’s arts and crafts capital, Berea, Ky, where I was born and raised.

Ah a fellow author combining the rigours or writing and motherhood. Right then, let’s get onto your rant. What is the first thing that you would like to see expunged from existence for ever?

The first on my list I wish to ban from existence is Auto Correct. Let’s face it, we have all been victim to Auto Corrects evils in which the sentence: “I’m hanging out with Mary Anne” has become “I’m hanging out with Marijuana” causing a parent or two to inflict unnecessary punishment. D@$! you Auto Correct! It needs to be unmade.

Heavens yes, Auto Correct is the Devil’s tool. Good plan. So, onto your second item.

Commercial Duct Tape Products is on the top of my list.

Well, technically, it’s at number two.

Pedant!

I know, I’m sorry please carry on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Red Green who is always welcome to invade my tv with his quirky duct tape repair ideas, but people actually pay a company for something made out of duct tape? There are so many duct tape patterns out there, go on Pinterest and make it yourself! At least that way when someone asks you why you have a duct tape wallet you can say, “Oh, because I’m poor and couldn’t afford a real one.” People may be so impressed they’ll tell you how special you are. Just remember to take it as a compliment….

Oh my giddy aunt! Do people do that? Is there a whole duct tape subculture thing going on, here, that has passed me by? Mwah ha hhahargh! How did I miss it, or am I going to be grinding my teeth in a year’s time, when it hits good old Blighty. Hmm. That’s a worrying thought! Wow… so what’s your item number 3?

The use of more than one exclamation mark to express excitement. Nothing can ever be that exciting. Plus, the people reading the overly-exaggerated exclamation tend to need to express the same, if not more, enthusiasm which leads to a small army of exclamation marks that, if they were truly an army, could probably take over a small town whose inhabitants would tweet about the invasion with more exclamation marks… At this rate, the Army of Exclamations could take over the world in less than a week. One exclamation mark is enough!

Yes, oh yes, oh yes. Phnark.  Vote it in. Please… Er hem. Sorry what was I thinking of, I’m supposed to be impartial. Right then, please can you tell us what your fourth item is Angela?

Space Chimps. Not actual chimps in space, I mean the movie Space Chimps. I worked at a theater the year it came out. I’m pretty sure the children lost IQ points during the film and I still wish I could get back the 10 minutes of my life I spent watching the film during my work break.

Tell me about it. We have a kids programme on TV called Waybaloo and I swear I used to feel my brain turning to mush as I watched with my boy. Although, I confess I’ve never heard of Space Chimps – clearly I’ve lived a sheltered life.  This has been an education. OK, then, what is your fifth and final item?

Best for last, Disney’s rights to Star Wars. Oh, George, what have you done? Lucas may be frighteningly awful at romantic scenes, and I think deep down he knows he should never have filmed movies 1-3, but handing the rights over to Disney does not make up for his mistakes. It actually made things worse. I will never be able to forgive the destruction of my beloved Star Wars and I have only one thing to say; Live Long and Prosper.

Yeh and the first thing they did was stop making Clone Troopers, which my boy loves and which is brilliant.

Right then, Angela Burkhead, thank you very much for joining me today. Now it’s time to vote. You can find more information about Angela’s latest release, Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea – along with details of where you can stalk her on the interweb below the poll. Join us in a couple of weeks when we find out how many of Angela’s pet hates you have voted into the oblivion forever.

Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea

Rather than spending one more day amongst the humiliating remarks to the amusement of her fellow peers, Emily Fickeltin runs away. Or, rather, walks away. Emily is misunderstood and disliked by what seems to be every other child her age and on top of it all, she is overweight.

Her attempt to escape her pain leads her to discover a hidden place with new hope for friends and acceptance, though she cannot stay long. In this magical garden, Emily meets Phea and finds that she is not the only one looking for an escape.

Together they battle their inner most demons. Will they ever discover peace and acceptance? These two lost and disheartened souls must find who they are before they are both lost forever.

You can stalk Angela Burkhead on the internet in the following places:

https://www.facebook.com/AngelaBurkheadAuthor?ref=hl
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7824929.Angela_Burkhead
https://twitter.com/TheMsBurkhead
http://themsburkhead.tumblr.com
http://angelaburkhead.blogspot.com

 

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