Thursday 17 December 2020

Interview With Author Michael James

Today I have another author interview, this time with Michael James who is here to talk about his writing and urban fantasy. Enjoy.

Interview With Michael James

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

My name is Michael James, and I’m an indie author. I started writing when I realized my dream of becoming a billionaire crime fighting ninja detective was probably not feasible and I needed a fallback plan. My first book, "Trapped," was nominated for the Michael James award for outstanding books written by Michael James and placed second. I’m still quite proud of that.

I live in Canada with my family. When I’m not writing, I do Canadian things - saying sorry a lot, being polite, talking about the weather, you know how it goes.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

My latest book is called The Hotel at the End of Time. It’s like if Jason Bourne and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a baby and then that baby was raised by Dr. Who. It’s about a woman who escaped the Hotel and their efforts to get her back. 

It’s not your typical Urban Fantasy novel. There are no werewolves or vampires or monsters. It’s a very real story that happens to have some light-to-medium amounts of magic. But even the magic system is flawed and problematic; there are no easy solutions in this book.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I’ve been at this for a few years. I think I started in 2017 or so. This is my second book, my first is a horror-thriller called “Trapped”, about a group of people trapped inside their houses after an alien attack. 

I like putting normal, non-heroic people in extraordinary situations. None of my characters are good at fighting, or have impressive powers, or anything like that. They’re people doing the best they can in terrible situations.

What did you find most challenging about writing your book?

I am a big believer that any element introduced in a book has to tie into the central narrative, but I’m also an exploratory writer. I usually have a couple of big set pieces planned, but not the clear path between them. Because I believe everything needs a purpose, this can result in a lot of rewriting to make it all seamless for the reader.

I end up backtracking a lot. Like something will show up in the third act and I realize I haven’t done the work to make that thing land, so I need to go back and add elements.

What is the hardest part of writing Urban Fantasy fiction? 

Inventing, and then sticking to, the rules of the fictional universe. I find it so frustrating when writers cheat and break their own rules. You see this in some stories where the author will introduce a plot-solving McGuffin and then never reference it again (I’m looking directly at you, Time Turner from Harry Potter). 

Most readers in this genre are obviously willing to suspend disbelief, but as a writer, I need to respect their time and make sure I don’t break any of the rules I invented. This can lead to some pretty challenging spots when I realize I’ve written my characters into circumstances that are awful to get out of. 

But hey, that’s the fun. Figuring out how my characters can exist in this fictional world and the implications of living there.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

It’s so trite and I get so tired of hearing this. But it’s true. Write. Do ever wonder why this is always the advice everyone gives? Let me tell you why.

The truth is, it can take forever to find your voice, and your voice is the most important part of your writing. Only you can sound like you and once you do, you’ll have unlocked your potential. But when you start, you don’t really sound like you. Not yet. You sound like a mash-up of all your favorite authors that you’re trying to emulate. And that’s great! But you need to write long enough that you figure out your own unique quirks, your own flourishes that let people know they’re reading your book. 

The only way to get through this is to write. There’s no shortcuts in this career, no list of bullet points you can follow. You have to put in the hours and write.

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

I got a little tired of the “smirking, quirky female-MC” trope, where it seemed like every book in this genre was quip-happy protagonists who loved werewolves. To be clear, I’ve read a ton of books that follow that pattern, and I mostly love them, but I was looking for something a little more grounded. I couldn’t find anything, so why not write one? 

Vain, my main character, is not perfect. She’s got serious scars leftover from the Hotel, and she’s exhausted from being hunted. I tried to make her as human as possible. She makes a lot of mistakes. Half the other characters in the book hate her. She’s filled with self-doubt. 

So mostly, this book is a great alternative if you’re looking for something a little different in the Urban Fantasy genre, something that doesn’t include hot, sexy vampires or hot, sexy werewolves.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

I know I’m not supposed to laugh at my own jokes, but I think this book is incredibly funny, and writing the jokes was my favorite part of the process. I love writing that can make me laugh, and even though I alternate between comedic and darkly serious, I try to make sure the reader will get at least one full laugh from each chapter.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal? 

The sequel to The Hotel at the End of Time, tentatively titled “The Elevator to Everywhere.” I’m about halfway through it and hope to have it released this year. My goal is to complete this three-book series by the end of the year, although we’ll see if I’m able to pull this off. Fingers crossed!

For more on the author check out his website:

The Hotel at the End of Time

Vain is the only person to ever escape from the Hotel at the end of time. On her way out, she took their prized possession: A Padlock that grants immortality.

They will do anything to get it back.

The forces of the Hotel are aligned against her: mundane items turned into weapons; a group of multi-dimensional felons collectively named The Wyatts; and their leader, Trick, a mild-to-medium psychopath with a fondness for impractical jokes.

Everything changes when Vain meets Emma, a timid grad student with impossible and terrifying powers. Together, they are propelled into an adventure that will see them battle the Wyatts, blow up several objects of significant value, and quite by accident, discover a way to stop the Hotel.

Even with Emma, Vain has a lot of problems to deal with.

She’s exhausted from being hunted.
Stopping the Hotel might kill them.
She has a hangnail.

But Vain is resourceful. Vain is clever.

And she always has a plan.

You can find The Hotel at the End of Time at Amazon 

Saturday 5 December 2020

Book Spotlight: The Sigil: A Novel

Today I have a book spotlight for you on the upcoming LGBTQ and dark urban fantasy novel, The Sigil by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville. The book is currently on preorder and will be released this coming March. Enjoy.

The Sigil: A Novel by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville

Lake’s brother Devlin was murdered right in front of him. Simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or was he? Why, then, does Lake think Devlin knew he was going to die before they ever set foot in the gas station that night? As he obsesses over his brother’s death, Lake begins to uncover a hidden world full of forbidden magic and growing danger. Now he’s stuck, caught between the world that his brother was meant for and his own. Lake is beginning to realize that no one and nowhere is safe.

Nova Rathers may not be especially powerful in the Mage world but she makes up for it with a magical bag of snacks and a body constructed by the Gods to slay. Desperate to be more than her lineage, she finds herself teamed up with a group of misfits and, in her mind, the weakest creature of all - a gida...a powerless human. Together, they start to unravel the lies that built their world and continue to hold it hostage. Nova’s last year at Breyburn Academe was never going to be easy but she had no idea that it could ever get this bad.

Lake, Nova, and their newfound friends are about to find the truth behind what has been hunting them. But knowing is only half the battle. Even if they survive, will the rest of the world remain standing?

You can preorder it on Amazon
Or from the publisher, Three Furies Press

About the Author

Shakeil Kanish loves to write, which, considering you’re holding his book, makes perfect sense. The Sigil is his debut novel and he’s super excited about being an openly gay author and getting the chance to write about an openly gay protagonist. He feels it’s something sorely missing from the writing world, and he wants underrepresented kids everywhere to be able to root for a new type of hero. He loves playing video games and enjoys snacking down on apple pie, as any sane person should. You can become his best friend by asking him to duet any song from the Greatest Showman. No, seriously, please do it.

Thursday 29 October 2020

Book Spotlight: Plank Children

Today I have a book spotlight on the horror novel, Plank Children by Michael Schutz, plus an excerpt. Enjoy.

Plank Children by Michael Schutz

Miles Baumgartner lost his boyfriend. His house. His job. Worst of all, he lost his nephew when Ian—his almost-son—died, crushed to death in a car accident nine months ago.

So how is there a recent photo of Ian on Facebook?

A series of lies and half-truths leads Miles far north to a long-abandoned orphanage. Secrets slink within St. Hamelin’s shadowed halls, and when Miles starts piecing the truth together, the horrors that walk within its rooms tighten their grip.

They say that time heals all wounds, but time is running out for Miles. How can he start his life over now, knowing what really happened to Ian and the children of that unholy place? To have any chance, he must escape before dark forces curse him to walk eternally with the evils inhabiting St. Hamelin’s.

You can check out Plank Children on

Amazon or Three Furies Press


The door whisked shut, sealing Miles into a dark cavern of a room. On the one side, ten metal bathtubs ran the entire length on dappled vinyl flooring, each one growing less distinct farther down the line. At the nearest tub, he bluffed. “I see you guys.”
His voice evaporated into the high ceiling.
What looked like high-sided, steel kiddie pools stood in the gloom on the other side. Goose-neck faucets.
Why did an orphanage or reformatory need a hydrotherapy room?
In the shadows at the far end, indistinct shapes rose and fell—the kids climbing into tubs and scooching down.
He summoned his teacher voice. “Stop fooling around.”
But what if they weren’t just messing around? Starting toward them, his stomach flopped with that sinking feeling he always got whenever stepping over that little gap from a jet bridge onto a plane.
“I mean it.”
That didn’t even convince himself. He passed empty tubs and tanks, and his teeth chattered as the temperature dropped. A figure slumped in the steel tank next to him, and Miles jerked backward, cursing. A shirtless boy stared with hollow eyes; shuddery breaths shook the slats of his ribcage.
“Are you okay? Kid?”
From the front of the room came a squeak like a shoe on a gym floor.
The tubs he’d passed had been empty, but now another emaciated boy stood inside of one, watching him. Across the aisle, a youngster with skin the color of sour milk planted his hands on the lip of a high-sided tank. As he pulled himself up to climb out he slipped, and again that squeal as his feet skidded on the smooth inner sides.
How had he missed these kids?
Both the others swung their legs over and out from the tubs. Their skin had a grainy quality like old Seventies’ films. The boy with struggling breath lurched away from his tub, his hips and legs misshapen as if they’d been broken and put back together wrong.
Beastly thing: and he looked as if he was wet all over: and I’m not at all sure that he was alive.
Three new boys in strappy tee shirts and boxer shorts emerged from between tanks, and limped on malformed legs toward him. Some weird interplay between light and shadow gave the illusion of transparency as they advanced, dripping on the floor.
Overtired, that’s all. He wasn’t actually seeing through them.
Except he was. Right through the boys’ bodies to the walls.
Will-o’-the-wisp flickered over the remaining tubs, the tanks, and through that spectral light incorporeal boys sat up, stood up, climbed out. A waif two tubs away turned his tousle-haired head.
Miles froze. “That’s a really good trick, guys.” He sounded stupid. This wasn’t a trick.
A kid in the tank next to him blinked rapidly. Dark bags under the boy’s eyes distorted his face into a skull with gaping empty sockets. His voice croaked. “Tear us apart.”

About the Author

Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy. He is the author of the novels Plank ChildrenEdging, and Blood Vengeance. His short fiction has been featured in Crossroads in the Dark II, III, and IV, Ravenwood Quarterly, Dark Moon Digest, and Sanitarium. He lives with his naughty cat-children in northern California. You can keep tabs on him at

Tuesday 27 October 2020

A Fireside Chat with Jared from The Valiant Series

Today we return to the world of my fictional interviewer, Richard Dale, as he chats with the character of Jared from Joanna White's novel Hunter, book one in her Valiant series.

A Fireside Chat with Jared

“Welcome everyone, to another Fireside Chat. I’m Richard Dale, your host. Today, our guest is Jared, a genetically enhanced assassin from the prison Zagerah.” Richard nods politely to the man fidgeting in the chair opposite to him. “Welcome, Jared. Let’s begin with you telling our audience a bit about yourself.” 

Jared crossed his arms, not at all interested in doing this particular interview. “I’m a Hunter in Zagerah. My task is to track down and kill the prisoners inside it.” 

“So, what’s it like to be an assassin? Do you have doubts about what you do, or do you feel this is a calling?” 

Jared shrugged—such a simple movement, but there was a lot of weight to it. “It’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t remember a life outside of this.” 

“Fascinating.  Now how do you deal with your telepathic abilities?  I understand you’ve had some recent issues with one of the new prisoners?” Richard leans forward. “Have these unusual circumstances made you distrust your abilities?” 

“I know my abilities and have confidence in them. But this new prisoner is just…” Jared sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “Frustrating. I can read the minds of every Hunter and prisoner inside Zagerah, except the new one’s and I don’t know why. That’s the most annoying part.” He frowned. 

“Interesting.” Richard taps a finger on his chair. “What is the oddest thing that has ever happened to you?” 

“Probably the situation with the new prisoner. I’ve never had a prisoner whose mind I couldn’t read. That, and having to pretend to be one of them. I’ve never done that before, either. It’s usually just track them and kill them, then move on to the next ones.” 

As Richard is about to reply, they are interrupted by a gentleman carrying a tea tray. “Oh, I believe it’s time for our break. Thank you, Jenkins.” Richard nods as Jenkins sets the tray down. “What do we have today?” 

Jenkins clears his throat slightly. “We have a nice Chai blend today, sir, and some lemon cake.” He looks at the guest. “Would you care for a cup and a slice of cake, Mr. Jared?” 

Jared lifted an eyebrow and stared at it with a look of distaste. “No.” 

Richard suppresses a sigh and tries to smile. “I’ll take a cup and two slices of cake, please.”

Jenkins pours one cup and serves the tea and cake to Richard before retreating.  

Richard Dale takes a sip from his cup, and asks, “What is your idea of perfect happiness?” 

Jared stared blankly at first, unsure how to respond. In honesty, he wasn’t even sure what happiness was—in definition, maybe, but not actuality. “I’m a Hunter and always have been. What else is there?” 

Richard raises an eyebrow, but does not reply, continuing with the interview. “What would you consider your greatest character flaw?” Richard taps his finger again, adding, “And what would be your most virtuous trait?” 

“I guess I’m loyal, but then again, all the Hunters are. We follow Hindah’s orders without hesitation. The others… they sometimes like to toy with the prisoners first… cause them unnecessary pain. I don’t. I’d rather just kill them and be done with it. If you can consider that a virtue.” 

Richard leans back in his chair, biting the edge of his lip. “Do you have a prized possession? And if so, why do you value it so much?” 

“My Inquiri blade. Hands down. Anyone who touches it, dies.” 

“I see.” Richard nods. “One last question. What would you consider the best quality of human nature?” 

Jared scoffed. “From what I’ve seen—which is pretty much only Zagerah—human nature doesn’t have a best quality.”

“Well thank you, Jared, for agreeing to this interview.”

For more on Jared and the Valiant series, check out Joanna White's website:

A reckless young woman named Averella does what no woman has ever done.

She disguises herself as a man and purposefully gets herself arrested and thrown into Zagerah. Her brother Gabriel was taken, and with his disease, he will not survive on his own. She has no idea what to expect inside the prison; all she knows is that once men get taken, they never come back.

The Hunters will find her.

Genetically altered to be faster and stronger than humans, the Hunters use their powers to find and kill every prisoner who enters Zagerah. The only ones who can defeat them, are in fact, themselves.

Jared is a Hunter. It’s all he’s known, all he remembers. He kills ruthlessly and without regret, one prisoner after another. When a new prisoner Dalex shows up, everything begins to change. Jared goes undercover to make Dalex and the other prisoners believe he is one of them, a prisoner himself.

No one knows the truth.

He will trick them.

Toy with them.

Then, he will kill them.

Hunter is available on Amazon.


Tuesday 20 October 2020

Interview With Author Alex Apostol

 Another interview today, this time with supernatural author Alex Apostol, who chats about her dark fiction (just in time for Halloween). Enjoy.

Interview With Alex Apostol

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

My name is Alexandra Sandbach but I write under my maiden name, Alex Apostol. I have been self-publishing Fantasy, Supernatural Thrillers, and Horror fiction for the last eight years. I currently have ten books in print and am always working on something new. I have a BA in English Literature and a MA in Business Admin and Marketing, which has really opened my eyes to the world of social networking and marketing. I also design guided journals for authors, horse enthusiasts, women, and self-discovery, which has been an interesting journey. Right now I live in Northwest Indiana with my husband, daughter, and our black cat Bob, but I spent the last ten years traveling all over the country including Hawaii, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and California.

Why did you decide to write in the Fantasy/Supernatural/Horror genres? 

I have always been an avid reader of those types of books. I grew up with the Harry Potter series (I was actually 11 when the first book came out!) and have gravitated toward those types of fantasy books, for adults and children. As I got older I started to read more Supernatural Thrillers and Horror books. I love books that feel like real life but add a bit of magic to it and bring mythology and folklore to life.

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

It's hard to pick which one is my favorite. The majority of my books are either fantasy or zombie horror and I love both for their own reasons. Zombie horror is the most popular of my books right now and I enjoy putting everyday people in extraordinary situations where they really have to tap into their unused potential to survive. It makes me think what I would do if a horde of zombies ever came knocking at my door and would I have what it takes to make it through the day. But Fantasy fiction is where my heart is. I grew up on it and I love that it blends real life with a touch of whimsy and the supernatural.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest release is called "Wayfare Angel" and it is the fourth book in my Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman series. It follows a young woman, Kamlyn Paige, as she suffers a substantial loss which opens her up to the supernatural world. She joins a secret society called The Chamber of Darkness and it's there she learns to fight the creatures of the darkness that threaten the human race. Her biggest motivation is seeking revenge on the mysterious being that murdered her son in the night. As she travels the country looking for vengeance, she realizes there are things about her that are extraordinary and not-so-human as well. Coming to terms with who she is and what she's capable of, she vows to use her powers for good and to protect humans from suffering as she has. In the fourth book, she is traveling between worlds to gather supporters for the coming supernatural war. Her first stop is the land of witches where she hopes to form a fortuitous alliance. The series is great for those who love mythology and folklore. Kamlyn faces many creatures, from werewolves to witches to demons, and even a few you've probably never heard of. Readers have said that it's reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural on the CW, which is high praise because I love both shows.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?  

For me, marketing is still my biggest challenge. I can knock out a story pretty quickly because there are always a few queued up in my head at a time. I can go through and do a thorough edit and rewrite. I have even started designing my own covers recently. But marketing has always remained my biggest struggle. I am on all the social media sites I feel are prevalent for writers and I keep up with my posts. I don't blast my followers with the advertisement of my books but like to include posts about my research in mythology and history, what's going on in my life, my writing process, and more. I have gained followers organically, but getting people to follow through by clicking the links to my website or buying the book is a challenge. It has to go beyond hitting the like button, which is not a science.

You can find me on social media at: 
And you can learn more about my books from my website:

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

Kamlyn Paige of my Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman is my favorite character by far. She is the very first character I ever developed. She is so incredibly human with her stumbling over her words and mistakes she makes in life, but then she is also extraordinary because of her interesting and unique lineage. She's a very strong female protagonist and I feel she can be a great inspiration to readers. I know she is to me.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?  

For Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman, my favorite part of writing the book was the folklore research in finding the many beasts and creatures that haunt nightmares around the world and then bringing them to life. The supernatural has always been an interest of mine, not that I believe in werewolves and vampires but I think it's interesting how those legends were formed so long ago. For my Dead Soil zombie series, which is my bestselling series to date, I enjoyed creating very real and human characters who were not experts in martial arts or shooting or survival and putting them in a world where they had to learn those skills quickly in order to survive. I also love going into detail of a disgusting zombie's features. They are all unique in their grossness which makes for a good Halloween read.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?  

I have been writing stories here and there since I was twelve years old. Creative writing was always an interest of mine and enjoyed studying it during my BA in English Literature. All my life I've been an avid reader, devouring whatever I could get my hands on, but it wasn't until I finished college that I started to really consider being an author as a career path. I self-published my first book in the Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman series in 2012 and have never looked back. 

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I am stepping outside my comfort zone with my next book, which I have just recently started writing. It is a fairy tale/historical fiction mashup that I am super excited about. It is loosely based on the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, with the main character resembling Belle. The historical twist is that her story takes place during the horrific years of the French Revolution. It will tackle social injustices such as slavery and equality for women which were both hot issues even then. There will be many historical figures like Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de LaFayette and his wife, King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette of course, Thomas Paine, Robespierre, and more. The beast makes his appearances as well, though there is something mysterious and unique about him that has yet to be seen in a Beauty and the Beast retelling. This one I am going to seek traditional publishing for, so it might be a while before it can be found on the shelves.

About the Author
Alex Apostol is an independently published Amazon bestselling author of mythology and folklore for her Chronicles of a Supernatural Huntsman series. She was born and raised in Northwest Indiana where she currently resides with her husband, daughter, and black cat, Bob, but she spent her 20's traveling the country. She has lived in Hawaii, Virginia, California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida. She has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Business Admin and Marketing and is a veteran of the United States Navy. When she's not writing her next novel, she likes to spend time with her family hiking, reading, and watching movies.

You can follow Alex Apostol on Instagram @writer_alex_apostol
or visit her website at

Sunday 18 October 2020

Interview With Author Alene Nation

Today I have an interview, with fantasy and sci-fi author Alene Nation who stops by to chat about her books and writing. Enjoy.

Interview With Alene Nation

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

I’m retired. For a long time, I have worked in health insurance offices due to my degree in Computer Information Systems. Twenty years ago, I owned and ran a small screen print and embroidery shop. This is where I learned how to use my design talents on my covers. I have always read fiction and non-fiction books for the past 60 years. My genre is realistic science fiction and urban fantasy. I have also added a travel mystery series and wrote a non-fiction true story.


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

My latest book is the fifth urban fantasy about a thirtyish aged woman who is a widow, called The Magic Within. She sees little people and ghosts that no one else can see. Her unusual friends are the ones who lead her into trouble or save her life. In this story, she has to save her boyfriend’s daughter from a kidnapper. One day she steps into a hidden library and enlists the help from a wizard.


How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date? 

I always wanted to write but never knew how to publish until I found an excellent writing club in 2011. Since 2013, I have published 16 novels and several novellas and short stories. I attach the short stories to my monthly newsletters.


Of all the books you've written, do you have a favourite? 

It depends on my mood. They are all mysteries, some cozy and some thrillers. I love writing and exploring what could be in our quest of space. So, this is fun and examining how we might live on Mars or the Moon.

I wrote my first urban fantasy as a NaNoWriMo test. Which means I had to write 50K words in 30 days. After finishing the story in 11 days, I knew I had a talent for writing. Since the character lives in a little town not far from my home, I know the people so well and what they would do.

After I took a fantastic trip to Europe, I met my next character and wrote two stories about her (my) experiences.

My only nonfiction is based on a true story in northern Idaho in 1971 where I grew up.

What is my favorite book? That’s like asking who is my favorite child?

I’ll pick Fatal Error because it’s based on actual occurrences and a lot about robots in the future. The danger is real.


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

I’ll have to choose Detective Alex Blackhawk because he’s strong, smart, and won’t give up in his search for his suspect. I would say my favorite female character would be Alice Morgan who worked on the Moon and Mars. Next in the UF series, it would be Hobnobby, the gnome. Now he’s not the MC, but he uses magic to benefit others and he’s a little sneaky. 

Why did you decide to write in the urban fantasy & science fiction genre?

I have always liked mysteries and spooky stories. Just as I’m about to end writing one of my books, I discover a twist that has to be told. I’m interested in science and the progress our country has made. I’m a deep Star Trek fan since 1960.


What is the hardest part of writing science fiction? 

Getting the scene times in order. On the whole, I find writing it quite easy.


What do you enjoy most about writing in the urban fantasy genre? 

It’s easy and relatable to people I know.


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

It depends on what I want to express. If I want to continue my SF series to explain the galaxy beyond, then I’ll do that one. If I think my character has to have an unusual encounter with the fantasy world, I’ll write that one. For example, my character, Susan Edwards and her friend Hobnobby had just trapped a terrible witch inside an old mirror. Done and settled? No, I had to write the next book about the witch’s escape and what Susan was going to do. Like life, my stories go on.


Who is your intended readership? 

Probably 30-70 age group. I do have a couple of YA and NA SF books for the 16-22 age group as well.


Are there particular challenges in writing for your core readership? 

I don’t see one, I remember what I expected at those ages. It helps too when I watch shows or read about that age range.


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

The first science fiction book was a test for my writing class. It was a story I had continually thought about. The same happened when I wrote the first urban fantasy. I had every scene memorized before I began NaNoWriMo.


What did you enjoy most about writing your book? 

Finishing, re-editing where I change scenes around, and that final sale.


What did you find most challenging about writing your book?

If I need to know how a machine works. I had to research tunnel digging, a grain mill operation, and the unique surface formations on Mars.


Did anything surprise you about the process of writing your book? 

In the beginning, it was the formatting and the publishing, but I have that down pat now.


What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book? 

Entertain and make people think


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? 

After a year in my writing class.


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

As I said above, I’m retired and have lots of time on my hands. If I don’t have any appointments to keep, I sit down after breakfast and write until Lunch. After Lunch, I pick up the mail, and do a few house chores, and write until 4:00pm. I don’t do any writing at night. That’s my time off to watch mystery shows or Forensic Files for ideas. On Saturday, I’ll set my promos on Facebook.


What is your greatest challenge as a writer? 

To remind my hubby not to test the fire alarm during NaNoWriMo. He did one year and since then I remind him before November 1st. Once in a while between hitting the stores and housework, I need more time.


Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration? 

I loved reading Agatha Christie ad Isaac Asimov. Georgette Heyer is another favorite with her beautiful long sentences. I was told not to do long sentences for today’s readers, so I don’t. I have read all of Rita Mae Brown’s books, which gave me the inspiration to write what my SF animals are saying.


How do you research your books? 

Google for details listed above. When I’m sitting in the doctor’s office or at the airport, I watch people and decide what type of character they could become. After 60+ years of living, I have seen a lot.


What advice would you give beginning writers? 

Read, read, read as much as you can. Books will always help you with your grammar. As for publishing, use KDP as Amazon sells 75+% of all the books in the world. Use Grammarly and ProWriting Aid before you let anyone else read your book. Try to find beta readers after you have read your manuscript over ten times or more. Give them a free book and ask them to help correcting your errors. Start with ebook, the formatting is easier than print. Ebooks are the fastest sellers on the publishing market today.


Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share? 

Several odd things that I have experienced have found their way into my books. I had a small Corelle dish break in front of my eyes. If you own some, then you know they aren’t supposed to break. Then I read in the newspaper that Peru had an earthquake at the same time. That scene went into my UF book. Another time, I lost my ship card while in Europe. Talk about panic. The stewards were kind and replaced it for me. That scene went into my travel book.


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

I did commercial embroidery for many years. I still do totes and shirts once in a while, but writing has taken up most of my time. My husband and I used to travel a lot before covid happened. So, before I send out my newsletter, I write and attach a new short story each month. After a year, I put all of the short stories into one book.


How did you become interested in science fiction/urban fantasy? 

Movies, TV shows, and books I have watched and read.


Are you working on another book? 

I will for NaNoWriMo this November 2020. I may write one novel, a novella, and a few short stories. Last year, I wrote over 80,000 words in 30 days using this writing system.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal? 

My next projects are the books I start in NaNoWriMo. The SF book will be first.

I just discovered They are the best for sales. Just use the bargain offer. In that one day, I had more downloads than I have had from that one book in years. I keep a section on my blog for writing tips that anyone can look over –

The average fiction book is sized 6x9” but I have tried 5x8” and I like that one better. For the series, keep all of them the same size.

Write a lot of novellas and put them into kindle unlimited. I use the free days with great success.


You can find more about Alene Nation and her books at these sites.




Thursday 15 October 2020

October Frights Day 6: Past Legends

Welcome to the last day of the October Frights Blog Hop. To end it all, I have a spotlight on my new release, Past Legends. This is the first book in my Camelot Immortals series and is a dark fantasy based on Arthurian myth, full of witches and magic. Enjoy!

Past Legends

An immortal witch of Camelot. A looming magical crisis. A destiny she’s willing to reject.

All Nimue wants is a peaceful life, but her past won’t leave her alone. And when her friend Iseult brings news that her old rival Morgawse has been abducted, an impending catastrophe lands on her doorstep. And worse, the wizard responsible is Nimue’s ex, Nostradamus.

Dragged into another adventure, Nimue confronts her former flame as he wages a desperate quest, only to be thrust deeper into an escalating crisis. As Nimue struggles to unravel what is happening, she discovers dark secrets that threaten the heart of magical energy. Now it’s her fate to rescue magic for every witch and wizard, including her friends. Trouble is, she wants no part of being magic’s saviour.

Will Nimue step up as a champion? Or will she let the magical world die?

Past Legends: The Camelot Immortals Book One, is a contemporary Arthurian fantasy inspired by the tales we all know and love. If you like strong snarky heroines, wizards and witches, and copious amounts of alcohol, then you’ll love the adventures of Nimue and her friends.

Warning: this book contains offensive language.

The book launches on Oct 28th (and will be in Kindle Unlimited)
but is available for pre-order now for 99 cents.

Find it on Amazon

Here's a taste of the book:

ONCE UPON a myth, or legend, or tall tale, or whatever you want to call it, there existed a wondrous place called Camelot. Full of knights and wizards, magic and quests, a beautiful land of enchantment, fair maidens and ruled by a just king.

Not quite.

Camelot was more akin to a Dark Ages lunatic asylum. I should know, I lived there.

Let me introduce myself. I’m Nimue. I’m a witch and I’ve been alive for fifteen hundred years, give or take a few decades. These days I live in Cumbria, England, in the Lake District, but a long time ago, I lived in the aforementioned Camelot, that mysterious land of magic and legend. Also a place with no running water, no modern medicine, and where basic hygiene could be iffy. Warriors in leather jerkins and dented helms roamed its dusty roads, not knights in armour, and usually held a drink in one hand while the other groped a woman’s—well you get the idea.

I never meant to get involved, with either Camelot or magic, but one day a handsome stranger walked into my father’s tavern.

Merlin, the grand wizard of Camelot.

I should have stayed in the tavern.

In addition, I'm offering the Camelot Immortals two story prequel, Eternal Myths, for free to anyone who preorders Past Legends or purchases it during launch week. Just message me at my Facebook author page with a Past Legends proof of purchase for the prequel download link.

And I have some more myths and legends for you with this great giveaway!

C.L. Cannon’s Myths & Legends Reader Giveaway

And don’t forget our group giveaway with 23 great books available. 

Ends October 31st.

The October Frights Giveaway

Well, that's it for this year.
Be sure to check out the rest of the hoppers for their last day offerings.

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