*Author Interview- Ashley O’Melia*

Its that time again! Grab a cuppa and sit back and read on 🙂

 

Tell us a bit about your book

In a Sky Full of Stars is a story about a girl in a fictional feudal village.  Her mother is a laundress and not very well liked by the rest of the townsfolk.  Her father had been the village storyteller, but he has been gone for several years.  As Perspica helps her grandmother prepare for their a special event the day of the solar eclipse, she finds that her entire life can change in a matter of minutes.

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What would say is the genre for your book

Fantasy, for sure, but not the kind of epic fantasy that you see on the bookstore shelves.  My favourite stories are the ones that bring a little bit of magic into someone’s real life.  The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping was the first one I wrote along those lines, and I haven’t been able to stop since!

 

Where did the inspiration come from?

Where I live in Southern Illinois is currently known as the “Eclipse Crossroads of America.”  This will be the primary viewing point for the solar eclipse next month as well as another one in 2024.  Like people have been for thousands of years, I’ve always been fascinated by eclipses and I wanted to do something special for it.  This story was the final product.

 

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I went through a few titles before I settled on one I liked.  It’s a line from the book itself, and I think it suits the overall theme of the story very well.

 

How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total?

I want to say it was a few months.  It’s not a long book, but I wrote it all by hand.  I feel that I write better this way, and it was worth it take a few snippets of time late at night or early in the morning to do it the way I wanted.  I was pleased with the first draft, but of course there have been several small revisions along the way.  Other than some edits for consistency and word choice, it’s not very different from my first draft at all.

 

Are there any characters in the book based on people you know?

Not this time! Sometimes I do pull from real life, but Perspica and all the people around her are completely fictional.

 

How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party?

I’ve got a launch party going on right now on Facebook with some fun giveaways.  I also finally got that bearded dragon I’ve always wanted!  She’s too young to tell the gender yet, but once I can she will likely be named after one of the dragons in my books.

 

Would you care to give us an extract?

Perspica sat at the edge of the firelight, only allowing her knees out of the darkness. Her eyes darted around, examining the crowd to find children and older folks. She was painfully aware that the others her age were slipping off into the night. Their whispers slithered against the back of her neck and drew her attention to their receding footsteps.

The storyteller raised her arms, the sleeves of her robe falling back to reveal her veiny, wrinkled skin. “Every night,” she chanted, “the Great Dragon leaps out of the mountains in the east, hungry for his dinner. He arcs through the sky, searching for the one thing that will satisfy him.” She gestured with her wooden staff at the smattering of stars overhead which made up the outline of the big beast: a long, slithery body, outspread wings, and open jaws. “He weaves in and out of the stars through the night, snapping desperately at the moon when he reaches his apex.”

“Grandmother Graystone? Will he eat the moon tonight?” The little girl who had piped up at the front of the crowd wrapped her arms around her knees and leaned forward with wide eyes.

“No, child,” the old woman responded quickly. “The Great Dragon only gets his meal once every few months. He will go hungry tonight when he falls into the ocean in the west. But,” she raised a crooked finger in warning, “he will eat again very soon.”

“Won’t it get dark?” The little girl’s shoulders hunched up around her ears as though the gesture could keep the darkness from creeping in around her. Perspica remembered fearing such things once, before real life had become more of a worry than Grandmother Graystone’s fairytales.

The old woman bobbed her head, the shifting shadows emphasizing the hollows in her cheeks and around her eyes. Perspica wondered when she had become little more than skin stretched over bone. “Yes, it will be very dark,” the storyteller affirmed. “You must hold tight to your mother’s hand so you don’t get lost.”

For a moment, Perspica was sucked away from the firelight and into the darkness of her mind. She was only a tiny child, her thin arms not yet able to lift the heavy baskets of laundry which her mother was always hoisting around on her hip. It was dark, so dark. The Dragon had swallowed the moon and had left the village bathed in blackness. Perspica, unaware that such a terrifying thing could happen, had let go of Mother’s hand to explore. She had searched frantically to find that hand again, the one that could smack her one minute and soothe the next. Soon enough, strong arms had scooped her up, pinning her in place while a torch was lit. Mother had found her.

“But, when the Great Dragon has finally eaten, he will be so happy that he will look down upon our village with grace and benevolence. He will ensure that our crops will grow, giving us just the right amount of rain and sunshine. We will be safe underneath his rule.”

“When will he eat next?” shouted a voice from the back of the crowd.

A tap on Perspica’s shoulder yanked her attention away from Grandmother’s stories. She turned to see Maggie’s wide face and dark eyes floating out of the shadows. Instead of the numb tranquility she’d felt while listening to the storyteller, she was once again aware of the heat of the fire on her face and the coolness of the night on her back.

 

How do you beat writers block? Any tips?

I do a lot of freelance writing, so I don’t have time for writer’s block!  But it does happen, unfortunately.  My best advice is to walk away.  Go take a shower, do the dishes, or take the dog for a walk.  Even switching to a different story or project can be helpful.  Also, I think grabbing a pen and generating ideas by hand is a good way to break through.

 

Do you have any hobbies apart from writing?

I love to cross stitch, a hobby I’ve enjoyed off and on for the last twenty years.  I also spend a lot of time with my kids, husband, and numerous pets.  We love to hike, camp, and try new foods.

 

When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a plotter!  I like to know at least the general idea of where my story is going before I start.  Lots of things change along the way, of course, but there’s still at least a basic outline.

When I first knew that I wanted to write (way back in junior high), I didn’t know anything about plotting or character backgrounds.  I would start to write and get stuck, and I thought that made me a bad writer.  I just hadn’t found my style yet.

 

Do you have any advice for fellow writers?

Don’t stop.  Even when it gets hard, when your friends or family think it’s a waste of time, or you think your writing is terrible, don’t stop.  It is hard, and sometimes you have to waste a lot of time making that terrible writing into something good.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it, and it feel so good to finish a story.  Also, educate yourself.  There are plenty of people out there who write poorly, and you don’t have to be one of them.

 

If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?

That’s too hard!  I read a lot, but I don’t keep up with who all the actors and actresses are these days.

 

I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it?

I have two, actually!

I have had plans for a long time to release the third book in the Dragon Keeping Chronicles.  There just hasn’t been time to write it!

I have also started another book that, surprisingly, doesn’t have any dragons in it.  It’s about time travel, which is something I’ve always loved.  I can’t say much about it right now without giving too much away, but I’m excited about it.

 

Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?

 

My website:  http://ashleyomelia.com/

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ashley.omelia.author

 

My Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-OMelia/e/B00FMHT9T4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AshleyOMelia

 

Thankyou so much Ashley- Lov your bearded dragon – so cute!!! Good luck with the party- I for one am there! 😀 Love the cover its so pretty!

 

Ashley is a freelance writer in Murphysboro, IL. In fiction, she loves to write children’s books, poetry, and modern fiction. 1012380_690564537632842_15822436_n

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Big catchup!

HELLO BLOG! HELLO EVERYONE! Gosh I keep neglecting this blog poor site 😦 dont mean to but life gets other plans! So whats new?

 

Where do I begin?

 

So I finished my BSL course (waiting on results) so I now have my Monday evenings free! It was tough but glad I done it 🙂

Last Saturday was (for me) the start of summer holidays (my school packed up a week early then jess and matt) and it was my hen do! We all went on a spa day (never been to one before!)

It was AMAZING!

It was much needed relaxation and took all the stress from last term (and the last week with everyone getting ill) away- never felt so relaxed in my life! I had a treatment (back massage) and we also had afternoon tea!

I didnt want it to end 😦

Monday I had a wedding hair trial (love the style) Tuesday it was my birthday!!!! It was nice and quiet- then Wednesday it was Williams 1st birthday!!!  How he is one already I dont know! He can stand up by himself without pulling or grabbing anything- scary! We went to the town on his birthday with Nanny and had pancakes 😛

The rest of the week was blood tests and writing- Jess last day of foundation year yesterday- how time goes so quick its been a year already! EMOTIONAL! oh and starting up my new Usborne business!

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I thought would join as can get many lovely books for Jess and William – plus some for me!

Writing wise I am finally on the editing stage for the fairytale mashup story- and with 8 days to go to submit im cutting it fine! But have fell in love with what I have wrote again as I went through the writers fog/block but can now see the end of it 😀 many sprints later helped me with this 🙂

So that is just last week- in 9 days time we get to say I Do! So its mixed with all the tiny bits of prep between now and then with my final dress fitting tomorrow! 😀

There is always something going on eh? But I do have an author interview to put up (yes I know I keep saying I will -but this time I will :P)

So just an update from me and to say im still here and so is the blog (hard when I cant use wordpress on my phone- would be so handy)

Thankyou for sticking with me!

I hope you all been good and busy? Tell me what last week was for you!

Chat later! (Not to long this time)

xx

 

 

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Cover Reveal- “little Grey dress” by Aimee Brown

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What a gorgeous front cover! This book will be released on the 2nd August 2017 🙂

What is the book about?

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.
 
From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.
 
When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!
 
Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?
Pre-Order the Book in early July.
This book is Aimee’s first published novel . She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She has announced that there will be a book tour 2-12th August to kick start her launch of Little Grey Dress- follow Aimee on facebook https://www.facebook.com/authoraimeebrown/ or check out her website here: http://authoraimeebrown.com/ for more updates!
Cant wait to read this 🙂 well done!
x
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Fairytale Snippet!

Hello everyone!

So im back working on my fairytale mashup story and thought would give you a raw unedited snippet!

Enjoy 🙂

Cinderella remembered that day and each time she went to sleep she wanted to wake up. She only held her for a few minutes and being young herself she felt for that minute she matured- but her step father had other plans, snatched the little bundle she spent hours getting her into the world -out of her welcoming arms. She knew the girl would bring shame on the family- she felt foolish in how it led to that day but he was handsome and fell for his ways- not knowing what happened to him or where he went- not even a name but left her with a scar and a haunting past.

She wondered what happened to her daughter -where she is now and what did she look like? Did she have blonde hair like herself or aubern like her dad?  Did she even know of her?

Shaking her head from her thoughts she turned and mopped the floor. Soon after she walked out into the fresh air and chucked the bucket that became dirty from all the muddy walks her step father went on. The sun was blazing down and it was the only warmth she was use to as she hardly saw her step sister. Taking her shoes off so her feet can also feel the freedom she went to the chickens humming as she went along.

 

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What do you think? (I love the new cinderella film- great for helping my inspiration)

I have set a goal to write at least 100 words a day to get me back on track for the deadline 🙂

Writers block will be beaten!

Hope everyone is having a great bank holiday weekend! 😀 Any plans?

xx

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*Author Interview* -Lenny Montgomery

Hello everyone- its that time again for another fantastic author interview, this time with the lovely Lenny!

Here we go…..

Tell us a bit about your book

In Ignato is set in the 30th century, about 800 years from now.  It is a tale of space exploration with the underlying theme of a son searching for the truth of his father’s death.  The story opens with the culmination of the events that lead up to the MC’s father’s death, 30 years previously

 

What would say is the genre for your book 

Science fiction

 

Where did the inspiration come from? 

My inspiration comes from my love of Star Trek, and other classic science fiction shows and books, but predominantly Star Trek.

 

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I love how Latin looks, and how, for some reason, Latin has a sci-fi look to it which is bizarre if you think about how Latin is one of the oldest languages there has been.  I wanted a snappy one or two word title that covered the whole theme of the novel, which is the unknown.  Whether this is the unknown being that they are on a new ship, going further into space than before, or the unknown of what happened to the MC’s father and his ship.  It is a voyage of discovery in all senses.  In Ignato means “into the unknown” but the English does not sound like a book-title to me.

 

How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total? 

I have not finished the book yet.  So far it has taken me longer than I intended as I had to put it on hold twice, once to finish my thesis for my first degree, and then because of a job where I had no spare time…what time there was I had to spend sleeping.  I may have to put it on hold a couple more times due to exams for my second degree, but I intend to finish it this summer; if all goes according to plan I will edit three to four times.

 

Are there any characters in the book based on people you know? 

There is definitely one – my arch villain has aspects gleaned from a younger sister.

 

How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party? 

I will have a launch party when I publish.  It will be a celebration of a dream come true.

 

Would you care to give us an extract? 

Sure, I would love to.  Here is an extract from the beginning…

‘Keep her steady!’

‘I cannot, Captain!  It’s not answering – we’ve lost power to the helm!’

‘Try it!  Everyone, this is your Captain speaking – we are under attack.  I repeat, we are under attack – go to your battle stations.’  He stopped for a moment and drew a breath before he went on.  ‘Good luck.’  Slowly, he thumbed off the intercom and turned back to his chair.  He noticed that the Bridge Crew were looking at him and he nodded.  ‘You heard me, we don’t stand a chance.’

At that precise moment, a double salvo shook the ship again.  It seemed as though the enemy knew they were unable to return fire, and used every ounce of their power against them.

‘Captain…?’

It seemed the Captain knew what the Helm was trying to say and he turned to her and shook his head.  ‘I am not considering surrender at all.  That is not an option.’  He turned to the Communications Officer.  ‘Send a signal to headquarters!’

‘Aye, Captain.’  His hands moved swiftly over his control panel.  ‘I can’t raise them…on any frequency!’  He paused for a moment, listening intently through his ear-receiver.  ‘Captain!  The alien ship is signalling us!’

‘Answer them – put them on the screen.’  He turned to the screen…at last face to face with their attackers.  ‘My name is Captain MacAlpin, of the Starship Venture.  We are on a peaceful mission…’

‘You are out of time…in a moment you will be boarded.  I am waiting, Captain MacAlpin – give me your unconditional surrender and I will not destroy you.’

The Captain’s voice was quiet when he replied, but everyone on the Bridge heard every word.  ‘I will never give you that!’

‘You will all die!  You have but one of your earth minutes left…what do you say, Captain?’

Keeping his eyes on the screen, Captain MacAlpin spoke clearly.  ‘Computer, begin Auto-Destruct sequence.  Everyone, this is the Captain speaking – for the last time.  In one minute, this vessel will self-destruct.  I am sorry, but you all know our orders.  Good luck.’

The explosion lit up space for what seemed an eternity and then all that was left was darkness and silence, and debris hanging on nothingness.

 

How do you beat writers block? Any tips? 

I have never had writer’s block, I am very fortunate that way.  When asked to give tips to beat writer’s block I would say walk away from your writing for a bit, go and watch TV or go for a walk, or even write something else.  Don’t sit and stare at a blank screen, or a blank page…that will never beat the block.

 

Do you have any hobbies apart from writing? 

I run a Star Trek fan group in Edinburgh, and I collect Star Trek memorabilia, and also collect books of all genres, fiction and non-fiction

 

When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser? 

I hate the term pantser, but I am not a plotter.  It is hard to explain to people how I write but it is not what pantser describes.  When I write I am not just writing anything that comes to me, but I am seeing the story unfolding in front of me like a movie.  I write what I see and hear

 

Do you have any advice for fellow writers? 

Yes.  Don’t listen to advice, and break all the “rules”.  Don’t waste time asking questions about how or what you should write; just go for it

 

If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters? 

A difficult question.  I would probably need to go back in time to find anyone I would consider good looking enough to play my main characters.  A young version of James McAvoy could perhaps play the MC, but I would be hard pushed to find someone enough like Gregory Peck to play the secondary MC, he is kind of inspired by him.  I would need to do a lot of research!

  

 Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet? 

My book is not available yet, but I have a Facebook page: Lenny Montgomery https://www.facebook.com/lenny.montgomery.author

And my website is: http://lennymontgomeryaut.wixsite.com/lennymontgomery

18554495_10212247928656425_1287539599_n.jpgMany thanks Lenny for your snippet and info! Good luck with the degree and got to love abit of star trek 😛

xx

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New balloons!

I have not twisted in a while so I thought do some the last few days. 1st time I twisted a flower- need to practise the petals and 2nd time parrot in a cage (defo improvement from first one timewise) and i also attempted another bunny….

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This morning I wanted to try twisting a monkey up a tree- another new thing for me as the technique to get the tree through the legs took a while! I can make a monkey but not done both 🙂

Last night I twisted a bear- got to the legs and it popped! Here is the face though!

 

So many new techniques learnt 🙂 Really having fun but want to add more to my list of models! 🙂

🙂

What one is your favourite? What would you like me to make next??

 

x

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Book Review- Hurrah for Gin by Katie Kirby

51CZbuCt6VLBook Description:

This book is not a how-to-guide. It won’t tell you how to get your baby to sleep, how to deal with toddler tantrums, how to be a good parent, a cool parent or even a renegade parent. It is a book about parenting that contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever.

Instead it shares beautifully honest anecdotes and illustrations from the parenting frontline that demonstrate it is perfectly possible to love your children with the whole of your heart whilst finding them incredibly irritating at the same time.

From pregnancy to starting school, Hurrah For Gin takes you through the exciting, frustrating, infuriating and wonderful whirlwind of parenthood, offering solidarity and a friendly hug after a tough day.

Best served with gin. (Backcover)

 

Review:

What can I say- this book should be given out with the bounty packs we all receive and will come in use instead of most of the stuff given! Its a real account of parenting with a “tells it as it is”  humour- making sure your not alone in what you are feeling. This book should also be on prescription if suffering with PND.

I loved how every situation in there I can relate too and the simple drawings made it even more funny. Each chapter I laughed and re-read again.

I didnt realise this book was made from her blog posts (which I now follow) and its very lighthearted and quick to read as each section is not to much where you can read bits of it when you have time- a great instant pick me up.

My favourite chapters were growing a human (such obvious observations but never thought about it until second time around), bedtime f***wittery (getting this alot now from eldest) and the starting school (nearly finished foundation year).  I also loved the competition bit at the end where blog readers sent in funny moments.

Really recommend everyone who has kids/in a childcare setting/future parents to read.

Good job Katie

10/10

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“Tattered” Cover Reveal

 

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So a few weeks ago I attended Lianne Kays Book cover reveal facebook event for her first book Tattered.

What is Tattered- The bond between us book all about? Its a part of a series and this will be book 1 of a 4 book series! It’s a fantasy/ historical/ romance set in the medieval time period. Books 1-3 with a prequel. And 2-3 novellas and it’s told from 2 povs in book 1. Alba & Kallias. From opposing kingdoms. The release will be this summer!

Here is the blub 🙂

Two kingdoms divided by years of feuding. One desires peace while the other thirsts for revenge.

Princess Alba will do anything to protect her family and her people, even enter an arranged marriage with a prince from Versillius, the enemy kingdom. But unity may already be a lost dream. Even as she pursues peace, forces work to destroy every hope she has.

Prince Kallias just wants to go home, for the war to end and life to return to normal. He never expected his father to betroth him to the Hunturion princess. Or that his life would alter in more ways than one.

Kingdoms will be divided. Homes will be ripped apart. The bonds between friends and family will be shaken. War is coming, and it will tear everything Alba knows about herself and her world to tatters.

Featured guests included Lyman Rate, E. J. Willis, C.M. Ross & Arielle Lynn, Alizabeth Lynn, Layne Calry, Elaine Milton , Angel Blackwood, Angie Grigaliunas and E.H. Demeter
🙂

It was a lovely gathering- Congrats again and cannot wait for release date!

 

x

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Camp Nano time!

Hello everyone- Happy Easter Sunday to you all 🙂 🙂

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So I took the plunge 13 days late and joined camp nano to help finish off my fairytale story (or at least nearly finish it) I have set a word count of 5k so fingers crossed will get near to that this time as not as tough as nanowrimo limit :s

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Also I have unpacked my big A2 paper and drew a tiara shopkin for Jess to put on her wall (she drew cookie while I was drawing tiara was a nice crafty session) – Anyone else have a lil shopkin fan?

Here is the drawing- took roughly an hour 🙂

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Now to type up a book cover reveal party to post on here tomorrow!

 

Thanks for reading!

Linking up with Sunday Sketches blog hop over at http://alexandramacvean.blogspot.co.uk 🙂

xxx

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