Author interview, John Tucker

Hey Peeps!

 Today I’d like to introduce you to John Tucker author and generally all round good guy! He’s written numerous books in many genres, and I’m sure you’d all like to welcome him here to LS and learn a little more about him.

Thanks for joining us, John. My first question is why do you write?

 I write to exercise my mind in a way that will enthrall and entertain people I know and most I’ve never met. It’s a challenge to come up with the nucleus of a story, toil through it, and complete each individual piece that includes part of my fantasies, dreams, or a little shard of my life.

 You mentioned you’re in the IWW, (Internet Writers Workshop) For those of us that don’t know what that is, tell us what you do there.

 It’s a critique group where established and aspiring authors meet up to read and share opinions on the others work – how to make it better, how to make it suck less, and exchanging general tips and ideas about writing. You submit a chapter per week (or up to 3000 words if you have small ones) and as people read and edit yours, you’re required to return the favor. Like in real life, there are different personalities involved but the majority of senior members know what they’re doing. You may not agree with their opinions, but they do come from a good place.

Here’s the link —- http://internetwritingworkshop.blogspot.com/

 You have a number of novels in your collection; let’s talk a little about some of your favorites. In your novel, Splits in the Skin, you have a bounty hunter searching for his target in a secluded town in the north Georgia Mountains. The felon is the religious leader of the village that has been inbreeding since the Civil War. How on earth did you come up with that concept?

 I saw the movie Deliverance as a ten-year-old, which scarred me a bit with the rape scene. While the town of New Eden only has consensual sex, novels before me have maybe a couple of people who engage in incest. I figured writing about an entire town that practices it would be thinking outside the box. All the while I was writing it, I knew a publisher would never touch it, and it would undoubtedly get several nasty reviews on the content. Surprisingly, it hasn’t, but I have had over ten copies returned on Amazon – so it evens out.

For the first 8 chapters, the novel alternates with the hero (Ellis Hardigree) and the villain (Moses Bailey). You get to know the protagonist and catch the start of his romance with a woman from a nearby town who agrees to help him when the law refuses to. The ones that focus on Moses and his New Eden relatives deal with their religious beliefs and their truly peaceful outlook on life. The complaints I get about the book in reviews mostly deal with that moral juxtaposition instead of the incestuous relationships, which means I did my job right.

 It’s always good to have people talking about your novels, and debates regarding ethics or religion is a sure way to start the conversation! LOL. The way Ellis and his love interest meet and interact with each other over the course of the book is compelling stuff. Did you have to make their relationship so sad?

 The romance between Ellis and Smitty (Smithfield) is both innocent, sweet, and bittersweet at the same time. The fact that her father raped her, and her brother tried to, brings out the moral differences between forced and consensual incest in the novel. Ellis is coming off a bad divorce and despite the baggage he learns about Smitty, it bonds them closer as they seek to capture Moses and take him back to Atlanta.

 In Divisive the main antagonist is Dennis Rask, a sociopath who insinuates himself in single-mother dysfunctional families, heals their strife, then tears them apart with lies, manipulations, and jealousy. How did you come up with the character?

 Rask was based on Ted Bundy (the charming serial killer) and Robert Mitchum’s performance as the lethal preacher in the old movie Night of the Hunter.  Rask is a genial guy who knows how to sweet talk females and, once they’re entangled in his web of deceptions, turns the family against each other in ways that suit their personalities. During the novel, readers will also find a couple of characters that rival Rask with their evilness – a child-beater and a pedophile – two people that provide a gray area between my story’s secondary (amateur) villains and the real one.

 Rask has destroyed three families before he meets the Connors in Divisive – the mother Carolyn, seventeen-year-old Elizabeth, and twelve-year-old Emily. Could you tell the reader the different ways he seduces the three women and prepares them for their destruction?

 Rask comes to Carolyn as a knight in shining armor, her Mr. Right. He dotes on her, spoils her with gifts, and supplies her with the sex she’s went too long without. With Elizabeth, he keeps away from her for most of the book, waiting for the opportunity to ingratiate himself with her. She eventually gets jealous of how he treats her mom, and her own failures with boyfriends, and sets out to seduce him to get back at her mother.  With Emily, he’s a father figure to her. His genuinely sweet attentions, thoughtful gifts, and the quality time he spends with her are the most touching scenes in the book.

 Once Rask has won their hearts, he uses Carolyn’s hatred of her daughters and her drug abuse to create jealousy in the household. When he starts a secretive relationship with Elizabeth, he manipulates her emotions to fuel the old fires that used to consume her feelings toward her mother. With Emily, he uses her desires to win her mother’s heart in a way that puts the little girl in a dangerous situation.

 The Wisdom of Solomon starts out with a mysterious stranger holding a housewife hostage in her own home. Most of the book takes place in the dining room where he’s tied her up. Despite the same surroundings, you keep the reader occupied with their conversations. Could you tell me how you decided on the questions and answers posed by the captor and captive?

 The intruder has been sent to retrieve something from the house but refuses to tell Maritza van Lyle what it is. Instead, he torments her with sexually provocative questions and forces her to answer them with threats to her daughter Alexandra – who’s at school for most of the book. The man also reveals the many skeleton’s in Maritza and her husband’s closet over the course of the book and, eventually, the two former enemies bond with each other . . . or do they?

 Maritza doesn’t behave like the usual hostage in books or movies. She’s profane, abusive, and belligerent to her captor. Why did you write her as such?

 She’s in an unhappy marriage, she hates her life in general, and she doesn’t give a crap whether he kills her or not. She curses him, struggles to get away despite his warnings, and refused to play his little games with her. It’s only until the man threatens her child when Maritza calms down and starts to turn the tables on the hired assassin. That’s when The Wisdom of Solomon turns into a cat and mouse game where the reader is unsure who’s the cat and who’s the mouse.

 Would you say your novels are quite complex, but still easy to read?

 Some like Divisive and Romancing the Fox are complex. Divisive opens with the aftermath of Rask’s influence on the Connors family and, through past and present time lines that alternate throughout the book, compels the reader to find out how the characters ended up like they did and how. Romancing the Fox is a complex read because of the character roster. I have 2 main protagonists, 3 main antagonists, and nine secondary personalities, all of them crucial to the entire story – but in different ways.

Others, like Terpsichore in Love and Twelve Doors to Ecstasy feature light, frothy story lines that have the reader laughing at the snarky interactions inside and gasping at the characters various actions for and against each other.

 All in all, every one of my novels have a main plot and one to two subplots that keep the reader hooked. Each of my novels have some sort of romance, lots of drama, and tinges of intrigue and danger. Bottom line – My readers won’t be bored.

 I should think not! And we all love a good, entertaining read that keeps up glued to the pages! There is a massive influx of indie writers at the moment. Do you have any views on that? Do you believe it’s a good thing?

 It’s a great thing. For the last 100 years tradition publishers have held all the cards. They controlled the market, the authors, and held the purse-strings. The internet – including Amazon, Nook, Kindle, and Smashwords – have opened the literary world to everyone.

And it’s a not-so-good thing. I’ve seen so many novels that, for a better word, are a waste of words. No editing, incoherent sentences, underdeveloped characters, and idiotic plots. That’s tainted the words ‘self-published-author’ to a degree that casts a pallor of ineptitude on the movement as a whole.

Another thing that’s killing an author’s chances of making some coin on their books is the ‘Freebie’ route. While there’s pro’s to giving your books away, I think of my novels as my children, and I don’t know too many ‘parents’ that make an effort to give their kids away. (Well…maybe for a few hours.  LOL)  Brass tacks, if you give your books away, you set a precedent for any potential followers of your work. If you give one title away, they’ll wait until you give the others away. Not a mindset you want to give your followers or the reading public.

 I agree with that last part having made my first novel available for free download, managed 1600 and while it’s still selling, people always expect more freebies! lol

You’re a successful writer, have a publisher and obviously have a huge following. What encouragement, or words of advice can you give to new writers, hoping to share their first novel?

 I wouldn’t call me successful or popular. I’m growing with every month but I’m still years away from being where I want to be. My advice to new writers is this — Always be promoting, post in groups daily, start blogs to exchange pieces with like-minded authors, start/join author events on Facebook, have local book signings at book store or library venues and, most importantly, don’t publish a book unless it’s the best you can possibly make it.

 Excellent advise! Thank you for that!

I have one final question for you, John. What can your followers look forward to in 2015? What are you working on?

 I’m almost done with an erotic-thriller called Vergene and a paranormal erotica offering called Violetta’s Voyeur. I’m also 2/3rds of the way through an adult contemporary romance called eTernalMates. When those are done, I’m contemplating sequels to Romancing the Fox (Chasing the Fox), The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight (The Little Girl Who Cried at Midnight), and Divisive (The Eighth Family).

 Thank you for a great interview, John. I’d like to wish you every success for 2015!

 If you’d like to read any of Mr. Tucker’s novels, you can find them at the links below, and connect with him on Facebook or twitter.

 Links

 Facebook Author Page 

 Amazon Author Page

 Twitter 

 Blog 

 You Tube Book Trailers 

 Facebook Group  

Indie Author Mistral Dawn joins us at LS!

Hey peeps,

I know how you love a good romance book with saucy bits (Erotica & BDSM), so I thought you might like to meet with Mistral Dawn, author of “Taken by the Huntsman.”

TakenbytheHuntsmanBoundByTheSummerPrince (1)

Hi Mistral,  Thank you for joining us here at LS! It’s good to meet with you!

Hi Julie!!! Thank you so much for inviting me to your awesome blog! 🙂

I thought we could start by introducing you, so with that in mind, I’m sure we would like to know, Who is Mistral Dawn?

I am a thirty-something gal, living in the SE US at the moment; though, I have lived on both coasts of the US during my life.  Somehow never in the middle though, odd. 😉 I have three kitty-children and a varying number of rescues at any given time (please spay or neuter your pets! 😉 ). Currently, I’m in grad school, but one day I’ll grow up and be a romance novelist. 😉

Thank you for letting us know a little about yourself. Your book, Taken by the Huntsman, is your first novel. Where did you get the inspiration to write it?

Wow! The answer to this question is a little strange. I had never really written any non-school assignment fiction before, except for a dreadful fanfiction piece I wrote in middle school.  Last June (2014), I had a pretty heated debate with an online friend about the nature of consent, and what society should and should not accept in terms of private behavior among consenting adults.  We had a very serious difference of opinion about this, and I went to bed that night thinking about the debate.

At the time, I was also doing some research into European mythology and legends (just because I’m a nerd that way), and somehow this information got jumbled in my head while I was asleep with the debate I’d had earlier.  I had a dream that night (the details of which I’ll leave to your imagination 😉 ), and woke with the idea for Taken By The Huntsman.

A friend of mine was kind enough to say that she was intrigued by the idea, when I texted her the details, and said she’d be interested in knowing more.  I wrote the first couple of chapters and emailed them to her, asking if she was bored yet, and she kindly said she wasn’t bored and wanted to read the rest of the book; so I wrote it. 😉

As I was writing, various other characters came to wake me up at night (what is it with people not respecting sleep around here?!? 😉 ) to tell me they also had stories that need to be told. So I’ll write those too. 🙂

So it’s part of a series?

  Yes, I published Taken By The Huntsman in September 2014, and I intend to release my second novel, Bound By The Summer Prince, in February 2015.  I also have three additional books and two short stories planned for this series, but the number keeps growing as I continue to lose sleep. 😉  Each book will be about a different couple, but some old friends will pop up now and again. 😉

 Hell’s bells woman! You need sleep! However, it appears nighttime is when we have our best idea’s, and as long as you don’t forget when you wake up, it’s all good! Do you wait until you rise or do you have a pen and paper on the nightstand?

I sleep with my Kindle next to my bed, and if I wake up with an idea I email it to myself so I don’t lose. ;-

Smart cookie! 

What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?  

Writing the sex scenes is both hard and easy.  It’s a total blast to let my imagination run away with me! I mean think about it, hot Fae males with thousands of years of experience?  The possibilities are endless! 😉

But at the time it’s really hard to figure out what it would be like from a man’s perspective.  What’s it like to make love to a woman?  What does sex feel like to a man?  What do men think about during sex? These are things my own personal experience can’t tell me, and has anyone ever noticed that a lot of men have trouble putting feelings into words? 😉  Oh well, practice makes perfect, right? 😉

YES!! Practice!! That’s actually a good question indeed, what do men think about during sex? lol.  Okay, so what’s the best part about being an author?  

Getting to talk to the people who read my book!! I can’t even describe what a thrill it is to hear that someone liked my work, and I’ve met some totally awesome people this way! 🙂  Even when people tell me they think my writing needs work, I still value their feedback and appreciate that they took the time to let me know their thoughts.  It’s just a total rush meeting all of these new and wonderful people. 🙂

I agree, feedback is vital for us newbie writers, and we need to positively encourage our readers to continue!

What’s the hardest part?  What do you have planned for the future with regards to where this series is going?

The hardest part is definitely the marketing/promotion.  No one knows who I am, so it doesn’t matter how good or bad my stories are; if people don’t know about them, then they won’t read them, right?  Trying to get my name out there, and my books in front of people takes a lot of time and effort, especially since, as an indie author, I have to do most of the work myself.  No publishing house marketing machine here. 😉

I don’t want to say too much about where the series is going, because I’d like it to be a surprise. 🙂  Each book is a standalone story and can be read (and hopefully enjoyed 😉 ) all by itself, but there will be an overall theme that will develop more as the series progresses.  You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what it is. 🙂


Would you say it’s difficult for an indie author to get noticed? What, in your opinion, is the best way to self promote?

Oh yes!  There are a huge number of totally amazing books by extremely talented authors that are not represented by traditional publishing agencies.  Trying to get one little lone book, or series, by a completely unknown author with no famous connections noticed is really difficult.

So far, the best way I’ve found to self-promote is to network with, and promote, other authors.  As I said, one voice in a cacophony gets drowned out, but if we all start speaking as one, then our collective message is both louder and clearer.  Mark Shaw, who started the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement, understands this and has been working hard to make it a reality.

Many, many, many people read, and a lot of those people also have very diverse interests.  It “costs” nothing to tell someone who enjoyed your book about a book by another author they might like.  Doing so takes nothing away from you (a person can certainly read books by more than one author), and it might help someone else.  Working together, more of us can succeed in a market where it’s likely we’d all fail working separately.  It’s a collaboration, not a competition.

You’re absolutely right, we’re not in competition, we just want people to have a bigger choice, and hats off to Mark Shaw for creating that hashtag for us indie writers!

Read a snippet from Taken by the Hunstsman

     He leaned down to look into her face as she passed and it hit him: the Siorghra, literally, ‘eternal love,’ the bond between Fae who were Anamchara (soul mates).  He’d heard of it, of course, all Fae knew of the Siorghra and hoped one day to feel its sweet sting, but after so long?  And with a human?  Impossible!  He had never heard of a Fae finding their Anamchara in a human, not in all the millennia of his existence.  Long ago some of the Fae had kidnapped humans and brought them to Fairie as mates or as servants, but even in the cases when the Fae and the human had felt the deepest of love for each other he had never heard of them forming the Siorghra.  And yet it was unmistakable.

     The Erlking looked into the human woman’s eyes, blue eyes that sparkled like the darkest sapphires, and felt a devotion unlike any he had ever felt in his very long life.  His connection to this woman, who he had never even spoken to, was stronger even than his connection to the Wild Hunt.  He hadn’t even thought that possible!  He thought to wonder if this was some sort of spell cast by Griogal to distract him from the hunt, but no, Griogal was Sidhe and it was Pixies who had power for love and lust charms.  No Pixie would aid one who had slain one of their children and even if they would, no love charm could be mistaken for the Siorghra.  Dea Matrona (the great mother goddess) had created the Siorghra so that the Fae would always know when they had found their perfect match; she had made it so that all Fae would instantly know what it was when they felt it.  She would never allow a cretin like Griogal to pervert such a magic for his own petty uses.  No, this woman must truly be his Anamchara.

        There was no question in the Erlking’s mind about what must be done next.  All Fae only ever received one Anamchara; he could not possibly leave her in the human world.  Aside from all of the perils she would face as part of her human existence, just being his Anamchara would make her a target for his enemies…and he had many enemies.  Several hundred thousand years as the final arbiter of Fairie had resulted in more than one Fae holding a grudge against him; and along with their very long lives Fae had very long memories.  .

        He would need to immediately take her and bring her to his fortress in Fairie.  There only those who were oath bound to him would have access to her.  It was possible for a Fae to break an oath, of course, but if they did so they were subject to vengeance from the Wild Hunt.  Thus far none had ever broken an oath to the Erlking.

That’s awesome! Thank you Mistral, I’m sure everyone will want to wish you the very best of luck for your current book, Taken by the Huntsman, and also,  Bound by the Summer Prince.

It’s been a pleasure to find out more about you, and I hope you’ll return when Bound by the Summer Prince is released to tell us about it a little more!

Thank you Julie!! I really appreciate it and I’ll definitely keep you posted! 🙂

You can purchase “Taken by the Huntsman” via these links…

Amazon, B & N, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo

If you’d like to connect with Mistral Dawn, check out her blog,

Mistral Dawn’s musings

Twitter

Facebook 

Amazon Tweet Book Tweet Two:  This is a group of authors who share reciprocal tweeting, as well as advice, information, and encouragement. LINK

#IndieBooksBeSeen:  This is a movement to help independently published authors effectively compete in a market that is traditionally dominated by large publishing houses.

IndieBooksBeSeen on Facebook, Group

IndieBooksBeSeen.com

Author interview, Metaphor Publications

Hi peeps,

I’d like to thank Metaphor Publications for the author interview, you can check it out here

Here’s just one of the questions,

Give us some idea of what readers may anticipate from the climax of your trilogy, Angel Within.

  • It’s going to be a happy ever after! But as usual, there’s always some smart arse who wants to mess up the day, isn’t there? We’ve got a witch to sort out, another fallen angel, and a few other “baddies” before that can happen though, and of course, relationship issues, babies, and hell, there might even be a dragon! Kidding! No dragons, but it won’t be boring. I promise.

 

 

Author Interview – Julie Nicholls

Check out this interview with Julie Nicholls…author of Demon Within, Her Alpha, and Not for Sale.

If you’ve not read Demon Within yet, you should give it a try. It’s a great fantasy, romance with twists, plots, secrets, hot sexy barbarians and steamy sex.

You won’t be disappointed.

Check out the author interview here

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