Friday 30 June 2017

Interview with Author Marie Kammerer Franke

Today I have a wonderful interview with science fiction and fantasy author Marie Kammerer Franke, who chats about her writing and her book, A Charming Nightmare. Enjoy!

Interview with Marie Kammerer Franke

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Sure! I’m originally from St. Paul MN, but I grew up all over; Chicago ILL, St. Louis MO, St. Petersburg FL, finally settling in Upstate NY.  I have 2 boys (which any parent of boys knows that if you have one, you have about a thousand adoptive children…so I tell people I have 6 boys).  And have been disgustingly happily married for 15 years.  We live in the country, farmland as far as the eye can see (yes NY has grass, and trees, and farms, and mountains…and SNOW, holy mother of everything do we have SNOW)

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

A Charming Nightmare is a science-fiction book.  It is book 1 in a series of 4.  It follows Aylin through time and space (a taken against her will from the present day).
40,000 years after Earth’s demise we are still trying to settle. That’s what the survivors are called now, settlers. Survivor, by the way, is derogatory word. So are words like gadget, computer, and machine. Those are people. We evolve into them, and something in the mechanics that make up a human is killing. That’s where I come in, not intentionally mind you, but forcibly by our distant descendants. They could be a little more hospitable, and offer a tissue when telling you that your family, job, hairdresser, and newspaper boy are all dust. But they don’t. So you compromise; you translate children’s books for scientists who cannot read or write its written language in hopes of curing their diseased parts, and in return they back you up when you start a war to end all wars on their front lawn. Sounds fair, right??

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

I adore Aylin, the way she sees the world in front of her.  She is snarky and never steady on her feet, everything is new to her and she’s looking for a way to connect, something that is familiar.  It just happens that you, the reader, are all that she has, and she spends time talking to you as if you are right there next to her.

Why did you decide to write in the science-fiction genre?

Scifi is what I grew up on, my father used to watch carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ every weekend, he would fill in quiet moments with facts and discussions on things that are so much bigger than us.  I grew up in a house filled with Nova, Doctor Who, and Star Trek.  Which was perfect for a child whose hobbies included daydreaming, and all things make believe. When I was an adult raising my own children there was no other lifestyle than a fandom and books for me to use as a parenting tool.  My boys would listen to their mom read A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as their bedtime story, or make them sit through Neil Degrasse Tyson’s ‘Star Talk’.  Don’t even get me started on the day they published the first pictures of Jupiter Cassini took!

What is the hardest part of writing science-fiction?

I would have to say the hardest things about science fiction is knowing when to stop.  When writing A Charming Nightmare I kept going until it was over 1500 pages long (and if I hadn’t forced myself to walk away it would probably be close to 8000 pages by now).  There are so many ways that the story can turn, so many possibilities, people, planets, things…and in a science fiction world NONE of them are wrong.
I physically had to divide the book into 4 complete novels, stand up, send book 1 to my editor and cover artist, and then walk away.  Even today, running through book 2 I have to sit on my hands so not to add, or take the story in a completely new direction, because science has new discoveries.

Who is your intended readership?

ACN (as we fondly nicknamed it), covers a wide variety of readers; it is first of all science-fiction with a side of fantasy, but it is also Aylin’s story of finding herself-a coming of age, so it could fit into NA, it is also a fandom based off of everything I grew up watching, and has a side of romance.  I can tell you it’s not intended for children, or even YA, Aylin is very brazen, she likes her four letter words.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

On my page I talk a ton about starting out, the process to see what’s the right fit for you; traditional or indie. I went with being an indie writer, solely because I have a hard time giving someone else control.  Too many times I have been told by big agencies to change my book, or a character.  I have been asked to take my scifi novel and turn it into scifi erotica…ummm…no thank you.
As an indie a lot of truthful advice is hard to hear; things like ‘I can’t wait to get a copy’ is just another way to congratulate someone-don’t over order your own product just because the bank teller said she couldn’t wait for it to come out.  Grandma is your only true sale.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?

When I’m not writing you can find me hiking; my husband and I have a thing for hiking waterfalls,  and eating tacos…ok, that last part about tacos is more my thing. 
I also took on being the head costumer for a local high school, who just wrapped up an AMAZING showing of Les Miserables.  They are now diving head first into the world of Shakespeare with A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
And when I have a free weekend or to you can find me judging robotics for some NYS FIRST Lego League competitions.

Are you working on another book?

While all 4 books in ACN are finished, my editor seems to think grammar counts.  So I’m taking her notes and going back through Sister’s Lament.  Sister’s Lament is darker, more out of my comfort zone in characters and situations, so much so that grandma has been warned; she can own it, but she’s not allowed to read it.  Sister’s Lament is scheduled to be released March 2018.

You can find A Charming Nightmare on

Author Bio

Originally from St. Paul MN, Marie moved a lot growing up allowing her to see some amazing places, which for a child who loved to daydream was heaven on earth!  After settling, she missed traveling and would come up with her own ideas of what a place would look like, taste like, smell like.  She would create the people living there in her mind, carry on conversations with them, learn their traditions, fumble through their make believe languages, until one day the US or earth as a whole wasn't enough (she blames her father and his Doctor Who obsession.). She started fantasizing about entire new worlds and galaxies, the aliens that lived there, the entire "what if they use ice cream as soap instead of dessert" ideas of a new races' comprehension of items we take for granted.  

From this and the bedtime antics of her children, she started writing, and writing, and creating until everything that was a daydream became suddenly very very real.  That is how A Charming Nightmare (The ACN series) was born.

For more on the author, check out her Website

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Interview with Author Bailey Ordiway

Today I have an excellent interview with multi-genre author Bailey Ordiway, who chats about his writing and his books. Enjoy.

Interview with Bailey Ordiway

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I was born in Michigan and spent a great deal of my life there. I grew up on farms and in small towns, going to small schools. After I dropped out of high school I got my GED and went to college. My major changed a dozen times throughout, but, it was a great experience. After that I joined the Army, that was cut short very quickly though. I'm now married and live in South Dakota where I own my own business and write daily.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
American Holdovers is my third published novel and chronicles not only my time, but, also my many friends and fellow holdovers during our time as a holdover at Ft. Jackson during a hurricane and the consequences and events that transpired because of this a couple years back.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

I actually don't, no. I try to write in multiple genres to not get stuck in a niche and expand my writing horizons. I'd also like to have something for everyone.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

Well I thought that it was a story that needed to be told. Not very many people know that holdovers are even a thing, and it's wildly undocumented. On top of that I believed it was a good story, a series of unfortunate events occurred one after another that just makes for a good read.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

It was nice to relieve some of the better experiences I had with my friends and keep the experience alive for us all.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very young. I would always look at my mothers bookshelf as a child and just think "one day I will have my name up there".

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

I find it difficult to focus. So, because of that everything I write is meticulously outlined. Before I ever even open a word document I fill up multiple binders on my book. Everything from minor characters to a step by step progression of each chapter. When I do eventually write however I sit at the same desk, listen to the same music, drink the same coffee, and light the same candle.

Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?

John Green is by far my favorite author. Being a fan of his is rather torturous though since he releases a book about every five years at this point.

Are you working on another book?

I will be, soon. I have been working on this one for nearly two years now though and would like to focus a bit on my blog. I enjoy writing movie reviews and it has gone to the back burner a bit while writing this book.

You can find Bailey Ordiway's latest book, American Holdovers, on Amazon.

And you can check out the rest of his books at his Amazon page.

For more on the author check out these sites.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Drabble Wednesday: The Silent Bride

Today on Drabble Wednesday, a story in three parts as we walk down a terrifying aisle into a strange world of repression and anarchy...


He signed the contract with a shaking hand. Finally to be wed at five and twenty. Most gentlemen his age had several matrimonial years under their belt, plus heirs. And here he must resort to a disreputable matchmaking service.
Quite the ignominy for his noble house.
“Are you certain she’ll be as I requested? Properly compliant?”
“Yes sir. She’ll never talk back to you.”
“Bring her in then.”
The ringing of a small bell ushered in his bride-to-be.
“Smile for your betrothed, girl.”
She did as bid, her mouth opening wide enough to show where they cut out her tongue.


Wedding Night

“She won’t say a word. Can’t, milord.” The constable cast his eyes downward in apology. “She’s mute. One of those brides from Conformist Matchmaking.”
“So, he went through with it. Now dead on his wedding night.” He strode to the woman sitting quietly in a corner, avoiding the corpse on the bed.
He knelt down, whispering. “You’ll hang for his murder.”
She smiled, her tongueless mouth in a gaping grin. She held up a bloodied left hand and slipped a dagger from beneath her skirt. In one quick motion she stabbed, and the grand Lord joined his son in death.



The boy at the newsstand held up the latest edition, and screamed out the headlines to attract customers, “Conformist Bride Killer linked to Death Cult! Killing of Lord Everett and his son one of several dozen murders! Conformist Matchmaking under investigation!”
Nearby, two women listened, the older one whispering to her companion. “Our soldiers succeeded admirably. We achieved victory.”
“At a cost. Those women will hang.”
“Some will. Others...” She shrugged. “But many more were never detected. All the key men are dead. No one suspects our revolution. By year’s end the kingdom will be ours, and women will rule.”

 © A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved 

Saturday 10 June 2017

Book Spotlight: Wages of Sin: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Today I bring to book spotlight on the horror/paranormal novel Wages of Sin: Blood, Sweat, and Tears by Laurencia Hoffman (and Sophie Smith). This is the third book in the Wages of Sin series.

Wages of Sin: Blood, Sweat, and Tears by Laurencia Hoffman and Sophie Smith

Time is running out for Izzy with Darien breathing down her neck, and she is convinced that she will live out the remainder of her days in misery. Yet, in her despair, she finds hope and love. But those things are difficult to keep for anyone with the surname of Auckley.
When Melina becomes impregnated with the child of a vampire – something that was thought to be impossible – those around her know that she is in grave danger. A foe from long ago resurfaces to stake his claim, not only on Melina but her unborn child as well.
While Blake struggles with the reality of Melina's predicament, new revelations, old secrets, and fresh betrayals unfold before their very eyes.

Wages of Sin: Blood, Sweat, and Tears is available on Amazon

Book Trailer

Author Bio:

Laurencia Hoffman is the author of Casting Stones, Bittersweet, A Wish for Remembrance, Life and Death, No Love Lost, Star Crossed: Worlds Apart (published under her legal name: Jolene Poole), and co-author of The Wages of Sin series.
Laurencia lives with her family in Michigan. When she's not writing she also enjoys making her own line of natural products, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.

For more on her books, check out her Amazon Page

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Drabble Wednesday: Ashen

Today on Drabble Wednesday, come explore the world of the pale, the cold, the stark and white...

The Pale Tree

It stood apart from the rest of the grove, growing tall from a small hummock. The rough bark of the tree glinted snow white with streaks of silver, its branches bare save for one month a year when it sprouted greyish buds. The only colour it showed came from a green vine twining around its trunk, and even it bloomed flowers of white in season.
Underneath the tree, entangled in its roots rested another layer of white. Slowly seeping into soil, nurturing it, those rotted corpses and bones of the poor victims buried alive.
To the Tree of Death.


Under the Frozen Earth

The sun sets on silence, and a vast frozen wasteland. No wind blows, no birds fly, not a sound breaks the settling of dusk on the world. Only the cold, the snow, and the deep frozen expanse that ever tightens its grip exist.
The cold and frost run deep. Down, down to the Old World, the world that once existed. A place of faraway dreams and summer. A realm that died in its own hubris, swallowed by the endless winter. A domain that yet whispers, locked in its prison of ice. Where the dead stare upward, frozen in their screams.


White Petals and Lace

Remains of the past.
One white rose and a scrap of ivory-coloured lace.
Resting next to a small silver box.
The pale kitchen curtains flutter in the breeze, and the sweet smell of summer grasses wafts through the window. If you listen, you can almost hear the laughter drifting across time. When the family gathered for picnics in the yard, when the aroma of potato salad and mayonnaise filled the room.
But those days are long gone.
Only the dead are left, with the last body now crumpled on the kitchen tile.
The poison from the silver box works quickly.

© A. F. Stewart 2017 All Rights Reserved

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