Kade Cook update on CALICO, rafting and Kobo

Update on the world of Kade Cook. Kobo, CALICO Writing, beta readers, white water rafting and cheese in a can.

Have fun and enjoy your world. Peace.

Kade

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Inside A Beautiful Mind – Rose Montague

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday

Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.

Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we get comfy and have a chat with the marvelous Rose Montague.

Good Morning Rose, thank you for agreeing to hang out with me this morning and being a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.

So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.
My Goal: To have fun writing fun books to read.

My Writing Style: Not much pretty prose or flowery fluffiness, pretty much non-stop action and fun.

My Dream: To be able to write full time.

Reading Order: The chronological order is Jade, Jane, & Jill followed by the Norma Jean’sImage may contain: text School of Witchery series, Jewel and Ghost School. Jill bridges the gap between the Three J’Amigos and Norma Jean’s School of Witchery. The way I have written these books you can however, start with Jewel & Ghost School and then read the Three J’amigos series to get the back story on Jewel’s adoptive parents, Jade & Jane as well as her Godmother, Jill.

Tea or coffee?

Starting with the most important question! I start my day with hot coffee with cream and just a hint of chocolate. I end my day with iced tea and I prefer unsweetened green tea with lemon.

Through your writing career, what has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism has also been the best compliment! My main character has been called a Mary Sue. I have responded with a blog post called Embracing my Mary Sue. It’s who I am. It’s how I write. They are the characters I love.
http://fantasyfunreads.blogspot.com/…/embracing-my-mary-sue…

When you sit down to write, do you have any unique or quirky habits?

I have a bad back and it’s normal for me to wake up in the middle of the night. I find that quiet time to be the best time to write. My first book, Jade, was almost entirely written in the wee hours of the night.
Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?

The book I am working on now is a blend of urban fantasy and science fiction. It has magic and is also futuristic. I’m hoping for a summer release. Here’s the blurb:

“Hello. My name is Wiznewski James. I’m a real person but that’s not my real
name. My real name is GEM (Genetically Engineered Modification) Set 231
Batch 31,390. My sister is called Kate and she’s not a real person but that is the
real name I gave her. She’s an AI (Artificial Intelligence). She rides around with me
in my brain. Together we are on the run and hiding in plain sight. It was only a
matter of time before we ran into ConGlom again.

I’ve got the Genesis Egg and ComGlom wants it. I’m going to make sure they
don’t get their greedy hands on it. When they find out who I really am, they will want
me almost as bad as they want the device. I’ve decided to take a stand. It’s going
to be a real fight and they have no idea what they are getting into. They made me
and I will make them regret it. “

Would you mind telling us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

My first two books were published through a small press by the name of Eternal Press. They gave me my start and I will be forever grateful for that. Eventually they sold out to Image may contain: 2 people, texta new publisher and I eventually got the rights back to those two books. By that time I had self-published two other books so I ended up publishing new versions of the two originally traditional published books.

As an experienced writer, do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Be prepared to sell and market your book. Make connections before publishing. Grow your base of friends and followers and be ready to sell right out the gate. Getting a few people to buy your book is a lot harder than you think, even if you go with a publisher.

How about sharing some of your book with us. Maybe a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built.

Excerpt from Norma jean’s School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel
“This a friend of yours, Wyatt?” his Mom shouted, looking like she was about to lose it.
“Yes, Mom,” he said, but he didn’t sound too happy about it. Nothing I could do, things were about to get worse.
I reached the house and went around the side of it, still flying, with the truck bouncing up and down and hit the edge of the woods, turning the lights off at the same time as I jerked the truck left, right, and left again, weaving between the trees I knew were there only from my gift. It was pitch-black dark in the woods. The only lights came from the dashboard. Limbs were slapping against the truck on both sides and the sound of small bushes we were running over scraped against the bottom of the truck. A loud snap and a crack appeared in the front window on the passenger side.
“Trust me, Wyatt,” I shouted above the noise and his Mom’s now also sobbing, pleading demands for me to stop.
“Her eyes are closed,” screamed his Mom. “We’re going to die!”

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Teaser

A presidential election. A witch with a target on her back and a magical arrow. A shadowy government agency made up of witches with unusual abilities. A game called Witch Pong. The Mighty Thor?

See how it all comes together in a school you will never forget.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

I got my love of reading from my mother. I read what she read which was mostly suspense and romance. I discovered science fiction and fantasy on my own and fell in love with those genres. When I was young I wrote a few short stories and I had wanted to be a writer for a long time. Life interrupted and it would be four decades later when I wrote my first novel.

If any of you want to see what Rose is up to just follow these links:

https://www.amazon.com/Rose-Montague/e/B00GL9UPH2
https://twitter.com/RoseMontague/status/872000707439755266
https://books.pronoun.com/norma-jeans-school-of-witchery/
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000712227923Image may contain: 1 person, text

 

Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Rose Montague for allowing us to see what she does and spend some time in her world today.

Also, I would like to say a big thank you to the lovely readers out there for joining in and taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind, please send me a message.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!

CALICO (Book two of The Covenant of Shadows) in Beta mode

So after 2 ink cartridges and being rescued by my neighbor and her printer to print off the final 20 pages that my printer failed to do, CALICO is now on paper and out to my beautiful and talented graphic artist for the first read through. 18766802_1850105355310711_2744120594972578550_o

I am terrified but curious as to how she will react. Mostly terrified.

Then step two, it will be off to the next Beta reader for their input.  A scary but necessary measure in order to make sure I didn’t miss anything important in the manuscript before sending it off to my wonderful editor.

Anywho, it is a huge accomplishment for me to get it out of my head and onto paper. AND I just like holding it in my hands…cause it feels AWESOME.  haha

Alright.. that is it for updates. Big hugs and bigger dreams 🙂

Inside A Beautiful Mind – E.P. Wyck

 

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday

Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.

Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we get comfy and have a chat with the talented E.P Wyck.

Good Morning, thank you for agreeing to hang out with me and wanting to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.

So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.untitled.png

I am writing under the Pen Name, E.P. Wyck. I decided to use a pen name in order to maintain the privacy of my family as I hopefully rise to meteoric fame. The E does stand for my first name Evan, so please call me Evan. I am budding author in Sci-Fi. My current series has some elements of fantasy and space opera. I know what you’re thinking. Those genres do go well together. I thought so too.
I’ve recently moved from upstate New York to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. I have been married for nearly 12 years. My wife and I have two children, two dogs, and two fish. I am sure I could go on, but I think a lot of what I’d say will be answered below.
What are your tastes: Sweet or Salty?
Yes please!
Tea or coffee?
I don’t drink either.
Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?
I mentioned the book is Sci-Fi with some fantasy and space opera elements. To elaborate the series follows a species of winged beings through a tumultuous time where the main character set out on a journey to a black hole to determine if they can manipulate time.
How about sharing some of your book with us. Maybe a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built.
This passage follows two characters on their way into Tresopolis, the Capitol city of the Trinity Space Alliance: Ryn and Kali flew the rest of way taking in the city. An ancient Ascendant city which became the new Capitol of the alliance after the signing of the treaty. New construction overshadowed old stone buildings. They landed at the entrance of the Capitol building, a gigantic obelisk that dwarfed every other building on the planet.
A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?
I think that authors often time may not have a strong working knowledge of grammar when they set out to be authors. Over time they develop that knowledge either by research or repetition while working with an editor. I believe it is the editor’s responsibility to be the grammar police.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
H.G. Wells and his work The Time Machine. I believe that his idea of time truly defied then scientific standards. He put together a work of fiction that not only captivated audiences in his time, but has continued to define a genre today.
How important is research to you when writing a book?
Paramount. I think especially in Sci-Fi, readers want the story to be as believable as possible. All readers want to be enveloped by the story they’re reading. However, with Sci-Fi, you have technology or laws of physics that are outside the realm of what we scientifically know to be possible. So when I develop a method to manipulate time, travel faster than light speed, or teleport; I have to do that as realistically as possible. Sure there is some stretching of the truth or strategic use of make believe to blend science fact with science fiction, but I think the better versed I am in whatever I am trying to make up the better the story is for it.
What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
I am completely digital. I use a MacBook, an iPad Pro and my iPhone. I mostly use Ulysses to write. For planning I use Aeon Timeline.
When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
About four years ago I got this idea that something would make a cool story. I decided to open the notes app on my iPhone and entered the idea. Next thing I know every time I had another idea I put it in the note. After several years I had this amalgamation of plot twists, character names, story ideas, technology ideas, weapons, settings, and more. For a few years I had been mulling over a career change. While talking with a friend of mine I mentioned that among other things I had thought about writing a book. I explained I knew it would take time to develop a platform to rely on writing as my sole source of income. My friend said, why not start now? He said you have a job, your bills are paid and you can work on it without having to worry where your next meal will come from. That was the moment I decided to start writing.
What inspires you to write?
Ideas. So many ideas I want to see transformed into stories.
How often do you write?
As often as possible.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
If you only write when you’re inspired you’re doing it wrong. Sure, everybody has a bad day. However, if you want to be successful you need to write when you’re happy, sad, in love, broken hearted, well rested, tired, and everything else. Why? Because you will probably be able to harness some of that. Maybe you won’t be able to use it that day, but you’ll learn something about yourself. You’ll tap into something and learn how to get back there. One day you’re going to have a hard time writing a scene and if you write enough, chances are you will write something that you can use when you come to that difficult scene.
How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?
The hardest part was writing and not going, “that sucks!” Then immediately giving up. Thankfully, I took a little time to research writing/authoring before I started working on my novel. I knew that no matter what I wrote I would think it was terrible. It didn’t matter if it was my first draft or my millionth. Once I came to terms with that, I found putting the words down to be rather easy.
Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
Daily goals are so relative. During NaNoWriMo they say you should write 1,667 words per day. What if you want to write 100,000 words? 1,667 words per day will not do. For me I set my goals based on my deadlines. For example if I want to write 10,000 words by Sunday and it is Friday, I will write my heart out Friday and then take what is left and divide it between Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I am editing so I don’t have a daily goal of writing in mind.
Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
Normal is so relative. In the 1980s they made a move about nerds and how they were so uncool. Now it is rather chic to be a nerd or geek. I believe if an author is doing it right, they have a schedule and they stick to it. They write when the need to write, the relax when they need to relax, and so on.
Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Pantser or plotter, I’d say almost every author is a hybrid of the two. Some lean more towards pantsing and others more to plotting, but every author will chase the story as it is flowing out of them. Some reign it in more and keep to that outline others change their outline and keep going. Also even pantsers will plan some stuff even if it is just an idea in their head. For me I am very plot heavy but I often find myself going, “Ooooooh, it’d be so epic if….”.
What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing? 18318614_284306232013334_1922912156_o
Killing my darlings, those things that as an author I think they’re crucial to the story but in fact they may not even be relevant. It could be a prologue, a character, some exposition. However the darling appears it is always a tough thing for me cut.
Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year? – The longest time I let a novel rest was 45 days.
How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?
That hopefully they’re too busy reading to attend.
Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?
As often as possible.
Does a bad review affect your writing?
Bad is so relative. If a reviewer says something isn’t up to par and provide me with a way to enhance my writing then that isn’t a bad review. I believe everything is a learning experience.
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t wait. Start writing now.
Which book inspired you to begin writing?
Not so much a book as a series. The Spinward Fringe Series by Randolph Lalonde. Fantastic series and Mr. Lalonde’s own journey from writer to author inspired me as well.
It is often believed that almost all writers have had their hearts broken at some point in time, does that remain true for you as well?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
Without question my wife. She is often like my writing boss. She will ask, “What is that?” I’ll respond, “It is (whatever).” Then she says, “That’s not writing your book. Write!” Without her I don’t think I’d ever get anywhere with my manuscripts.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Scope. The sheer scope of it. I put a lot of effort into timeline of the book to make sure that over multiple books I had precise continuity. I couldn’t let the book just meander about. I needed to know where it started, where it went and how it got there. Additionally, I have a very large cast of characters. I’ve created a whole brand new universe, this further expands the scope.
Writers are often believed to have a Muse, your thoughts on that?
I think everybody regardless if they write or not have a muse in someway. It may be a child that keeps a tired parent going to work day in and day out. It could be the new shiny gadget somebody is saving for. Or it could be the inspiration to a story.
Poets and writers in general, have a reputation of committing suicide; in your opinion, why is that the case?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
Another misconception is that all writers are independently wealthy, how true is that?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
Is it true that anyone can be a writer?
I believe that anybody who wants to put the work in could achieve anything they way. However, that doesn’t mean they will. The world is a tough place. Not everybody is going to be an author. Just like not everybody will be a doctor. If you want to be a writer, then write. Congratulations you’re a writer.
People believe that being a published author is glamorous, is that true?
I think published is so relative. Today anyone can put their words into a file and send it to Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, et al and your work is published. If you mean a traditionally published author who queried an agent, then publishers, then signed contracts and have agreed to exclusively publish through a single publisher, then no. I believe authors give up a lot freedom when they do that. If I want to write only one book this year but it is going to be the best book of the century, then I want the freedom to slow my schedule down and put the effort in. However, a publisher may want me to write at least three books a year. Also, what if I want to publish ten books this year but the publisher isn’t willing to publish so many they want to milk the market and release them slower. ….
Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying indoors?
I do love traveling, but truth be told I am a homebody.
Is it true that authors write word-perfect first drafts?
No. I don’t think any writer, no matter how skilled writes a perfect first draft. By definition perfect means nothing about it could be improved. However, everything can always be improved. Truth be told, every first draft sucks. That’s ok though. It is our job as authors to get the story on the page. From there we polish into the best version of that story of which we are capable. I like to think of it like this, aim for perfection but settle for excellence along the way.
Did any of your books get rejected by publishers?
I plan to stay Independent.
How does it feel when you don’t get the recognition you deserve?
Deserve? Who said I deserve anything? If I write my heart out and put the best book I can out, and somebody else writes a better story then they deserve the recognition.
Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?
Of course.
They say books die every time they are turned into a movie; what do you think?
I think it depends, different adaptations have more/less success being “true to the book”.
Whose work do you enjoy reading the most?
Without question, Randolph Lalonde.
Have you ever taken any help from other writers?
Absolutely. I am on a few Facebook groups which are authors helping authors. I also have a Skype group chat that is several authors and we always kick ideas around or help patch plot holes.
Do you make your own vocabulary words in your book or resort to the existing ones?
I have created a completely new universe and I definitely have some made up words.
What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about your specific genre?
I think most people don’t read Sci-Fi because they think it is all technobabble and nerdy stuff, which is completely untrue. Great Sci-Fi, just like any great book will transport you to a wonderful world in your imagination. Maybe it doesn’t have erotica, or werewolves, but chances are if you’ve watched a movie set in the future or space and you enjoyed it, you may like Sci-Fi. Give it a chance.
Is writing book series more challenging?
Honestly, I think trying to write a single book would be harder because I’d be limited. Working on this series I constantly come up with new ideas. If I had to limit my work to a single book I’d probably have to cut some of those great ideas.
Writers are permanently depressed; how true is that?
I have noticed that a lot of your questions talk about stereotypes and writing. I am not sure why we should perpetuate them. Often times stereotypes are what lead to those misconceptions. Someone will see a prominent person do something and think all of whoever they’re associated with is like that. Which is rarely case.
Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?
Yes. I was around 50,000 words into writing and I wasn’t happy with where it was going. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with the book. I know statistically speaking my chance of being the next celebrity author is slim to none. I figured why keep putting so much effort into something that will yield so little fruit. Long story short I shared my feelings with some friends and they encouraged me. I held onto the idea of quitting it for a few weeks, maybe a month. Finally, I got back into it and I haven’t looked back since.
What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?
There are a lot of articles, blog posts and etc about this. I ask you this: Did you give up the first time you tried to walk, speak your native language, etc No. So don’t give up.
Do you think you still have a story to tell to the readers?
Remember the answer about “scope”? I have lots of story to tell. Ask me again in a few years.
Do writers become narcissists once their book starts to sell?
I think success does different things to different people. Some people are born humble and stay humble, others are born humble and become arrogant.
Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?
I try to.
Although all books say that all the characters in the book aren’t real or related, but are they really all fictional and made up?
I think inspiration comes in many forms and they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… For my books inspiration came from many places. I hope if anybody ever correctly deduces they were my inspiration they find my imitation very flattering.
Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?
Oh yeah. I can’t tell you which one though…
Can you tell us about your current projects?
I initially started working on what is now book 3 of this series. When I set down to write it I hoped it would blossom into a series. Before I could finish it I knew I needed to nail down the background of the story because I wanted the continuity. I decided to go back and write what is now Book 1. With that being said the books are set in the Empyrean Universe. A research scientist is on the brink of discovering the key to manipulating time. However, he discovers the leadership of his government may not have their citizens’ best interest in mind.
When can the readers expect your next book in print?
I don’t know if I will ever print a book. I know some readers enjoy having a printed copy in their hands, but I don’t know if the revenue would be worth the cost of production for an independent author.
Did you ever change sentences more than five times just because it didn’t hit the right notes?
When I first started writing I’d mull over every word I wrote. I didn’t understand that my first draft is just putting sand in the sandbox. During revision and editing that is when I will turn that sand into beautiful sand castles.
Ever learned anything thing from a negative review and incorporated it in your writing?
From the question about a bad review: If a reviewer says something isn’t up to par and provide me with a way to enhance my writing then that isn’t a bad review. I believe everything is a learning experience. I have found that writing is a lot like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. There is too hot (much), too cold (little) and just right while writing description, exposition, and many other elements of a story. I have dubbed this process as finding the Goldilocks Zone.
Did you ever have a rough patch in writing, where nothing in the story seemed to fit or make sense?
See the question about quitting above: Yes. I was around 50,000 words into writing and I wasn’t happy with where it was going. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with the book. I know statistically speaking my chance of being the next celebrity author is slim to none. I figured why keep putting so much effort into something that will yield so little fruit. Long story short I shared my feelings with some friends and they encouraged me. I held onto the idea of quitting it for a few weeks, maybe a month. Finally, I got back into it and I haven’t looked back since.
You don’t have to be a writer in order to be an author – how true is that?
I think it may be the other way around. You don’t have to be an author to be a writer. What I mean is to put your thoughts, stories, or ideas to paper you don’t have to have a degree in English or creative writing. You don’t need an agent or publisher. You just need something write with. It could be a pen, pencil, computer, typewriter, or something else. If you want to write, or even publish something, you only need to start.
Are you friends with any of your contemporaries? If yes, do you discuss your current projects with each other?
During NaNoWriMo2016 (National Novel Writing Month) I took to Twitter to do word sprints or word wars. A group of people started banding together and cheering each other on. After a few days all of the names in the message made it all but impossible to communicate anything. We decided to start a Skype group chat. On more than one occasion the members of that chat, myself included, have asked for help. Maybe a character needs developed, or a plot hole filled. Any number of things really. In addition to that I have three people I turn to all the time to ask questions about my story. It could be a plot twist I am thinking of or a new piece of made up tech. I believe when authors help each other they’re investing their craft.
How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone”?
I prefer to write in silence. Most of the time my family is around. In that case I use a nice pair of wireless headphones playing loud music to drown out any possible distractors. Additionally, I have curated playlists to help adjust my mood for particular scenes. I would say that music is very important to my writing.
Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?
I have taken over my wife’s old desk. She used to be big into scrapbooking and digital photography. However she has moved on from that hobby. Her desk became a catch all for, well, all. After writing on the couch for about two months I decided to clean up the desk and use it. Since then I have done most of my writing at the desk. However, I have been known to take my iPad or Mac with me and write anywhere.
Writers usually have a particular Muse, but some also have a different Muse which inspired different books – does that apply in your case?
I touched on this in another answer. I would say muses can inspire something as little as a name, to as much as the whole series. I personally, have multiple muses that influence lots of aspects of my series.
What advice would you like to pass on to young writers of today that is unconventional but true?
Don’t accept the status quo. So many people will tell you that writing isn’t a “real career” and that writers don’t make money. When they tell you that remind them that they told you to be anything you wanted. Of course, be a functioning member of society, but also chase that dream.
Which genre of book do you think should be most adopted for kids in school? – A big push in most schools is STEM programs. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are all cornerstones of Sci-Fi. Sure, don’t teach kids fiction but give them something to enjoy learning. Like I said, I aim for my books to be as close to the truth as possible. I am sure there could be fiction books which cover STEM topics in a realistic and engaging way.
Is today’s generation more aware of the literary art or less?
I think much less. I think with few exceptions today most children don’t read anything they’re not required to read by a school’s curriculum and that is probably stretching it. Go to a busy mall on the weekend. Look at kids, they’re not reading books. They’re playing games. They’re taking selfies. Even just a decade ago you could go to a coffee shop and half of the people there were curled up with a book. Now you just see people come and go. If they stay they’re only there to use free wifi to connect on social media.
If you’re writing about a city/country/culture you haven’t physically visited, how much research do you conduct before you start writing?
I am writing about a whole universe that is completely make believe. However, this universe has a lot of the same laws of physics as ours. So I have done tons of research to make it believable as possible.
What are your views about elaborate synopsis of books at the back of the cover? Do you think they reveal too much?
I think that largely depends. Sometimes books are complex and you need to peel the onion back to really pique that interest. Other times you could say everything a prospective readers needs to know in a few words.

How possessive are you about your work?
I am very possessive. I worry constantly that somebody will take an idea I had and try to one up my book. Also, I don’t trust many people with the macro elements of my plot. However, I am rather willing to get the book into the wild and let the world enjoy the story.
Do you encourage your children to read?
Absolutely. My daughter loves to read. She only asks for books for presents. My son however, he doesn’t read as much but we do our best to find books that engage him. We insist he reads every day.
Do you enjoy discussing upcoming ideas with your partner? If yes, how much do you value their inputs?
My wife is a voracious reader, however she doesn’t particularly like Sci-Fi. With that being said I have a few people I’ve grown close to that I really enjoy going through my ideas with. We discuss plot holes, or continuity, or what if so-and-so did such-and-such…
Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?
What writer hasn’t? I tend to dream more about my made up world when I have been writing for days on end. This is usually when I will get an interesting plot twist. Also, I have had dreams that weren’t related to my book that I thought would be interesting.
How long do you take to write a book?
I haven’t quite normalized my process yet. For my first book it took me about four months to write 57,000 words. My most recent book I wrote 65,000 words in 13 days. The biggest difference I planned my writing for about three weeks on my most recent book. I think that really sped up the process. I am hoping to get into a rhythm where I can write a book in about six to eight weeks.
Do you blog?
Yes, please have a look www.epwyck.wordpress.com
How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?
I try to be very active but I think that can often cause issues with focus while trying to write. I am regularly on Facebook and Twitter. I have an Instagram and Pinterest.

Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to E.P. Wyck for allowing us to see what makes him tick.
Also, I would like to say a big thank you to the lovely readers out there for joining in and taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind, please send me a message.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!

EP Wyck, E.P. Wyck, NaNoWriMo, #NaNoWriMo, Writing, Author, SciFi, Space Opera
epwyck.wordpress.com
 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XG7YJ77

 

SO…I HAVE SOME BIG NEWS!!

So I entered a contest a few months back thinking, hey why the heck not? I have nothing to lose. All they can do is pass me over, no harm, no foul. Right? Right!

But something wonderful has happened.

I received an email this morning:

Congrats!

Please see the news release about this year’s Kobo Emerging Writer Prize shortlist here: http://news.kobo.com/press/releases/third-annual-kobo-emerging-writer-prize-shortlist-announced

We will be hosting a winners’ event in Toronto on June 27 – please let us know if you’ll be in the area that evening. We would love for you to attend.

Thanks and have a great rest of the day.

So if you think that I might be over the moon right now? Well, you might just be right on the money!!!E-book cover

Totally excited about my beautiful GREY standing up against some other amazing writers. Wish me luck folks!!!

Super Big hugs and Cheers from the Shadows,

Kade

 

 

The Heroine’s Journey of Kade Cook

Just wanted to share this wonderful interview I did with Peter de Kuster​.
Thank you for asking me to be a part, Big hugs.

The Heroine's Journey

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

Without any doubt it would be the freedom of it all. Being able to write exactly what is meant to be written is so freeing and most days completely exhilarating.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

My idea of perfect happiness is loving who I am, inside and out. Happiness begins within.

What is my greatest fear?

Of being cremated. No so much the cremation part but waking up just before they light the furnace. I scares me to pieces.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I would have to say second guessing myself and worrying about failing. I guess in one way my insecurities push me to continue on, when it would be easier to just quit. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try to do to the best of my…

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Writing: A Dance of Fear and Courage

My post as guest blogger on Desert Muse today. 🙂

The Desert Muses

by Kade Cook, guest blogger

Becoming a writer was not exactly on my to-do-list.

The only real daydream of something of the sort was in a creative burst long ago, an idea that came to me in my early twenties over a cup of Earl Grey, sitting in front of a fireplace after I had put my little one to bed for the night.

Somehow, after only a matter of minutes, I had managed to outline an entire novel from start to finish before my tea even got cold.

A few attempts at starting that first chapter, were fun exciting but unfortunately that is as far as my ‘writing life’ had gone. Even though I knew the story, the characters the plot, the entire world I had manifested, I was too afraid to go any further and I panicked—setting down the pencil for nearly twenty years because I didn’t know…

View original post 617 more words

Inside A Beautiful Mind – Christina Hoag

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday
Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.
Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we get comfy and have a chat with the marvelous Christina Hoag.
Good Morning Christina, thank you for agreeing to hang out with me and wanting to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.
So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.
I won a prize for writing interesting stories when I was six years old and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since as a journalist and novelist. I’m the author of two novels Girl on the Brink, a YA romantic thriller (Fire and Ice YA/Melange Books, 2016) and Skin of 15555071_10211475936482132_1667084592_nTattoos, a gangland thriller (Martin Brown, 2016), and co-authored Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence (Turner Publishing, 2014), which is about gang intervention. I live in Los Angeles currently, but I’ve lived in numerous countries as a child and adult.
Can you tell us about your books?
One is a literary thriller called “Skin of Tattoos,” in which the main character, Mags, comes out of prison wanting to get out of gang life but finds himself trapped in it by various circumstances. It’s a story of revenge and rivalry, but there are also other layers: Mags’s quest for his father’s approval, the hardships faced by a poor immigrant family, and the larger picture of the factors that drive gangs in our society.
“Girl on the Brink is a YA romantic thriller about a 17-year-old girl who gets involved with the wrong guy. At first, she thinks Kieran’s the one. He sweeps her off her feet, to use an old cliché. Slowly, however, he reveals a dark side of his character – he’s manipulative, abusive, violent, possessive. Chloe wants to help him, but Kieran’s not that keen on being helped. He pulls a huge move to harm her, and Chloe must use all her smarts, strength and courage to defeat him.
What inspired you to write your first book “Skin of Tattoos”?
I was sent to El Salvador back in 2000 to do a magazine story on gang members deported from Los Angeles to San Salvador, which most of them really didn’t know because their families had emigrated when they were infants. It was a classic “fish out of water” story. They neither belonged in El Salvador or in the United States. Some barely spoke Spanish. It’s really a strange take on the immigrant experience. Their story resonated with me. I could relate to them because I had moved around the world as a child, so I also feel I 15608771_10211475939282202_462019073_odon’t really belong anywhere. Although my novel is not about deported gang members; it’s the tale of rival homeboys in L.A., the book was inspired by those interviews in El Salvador.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
“Skin of Tattoos” is basically from my imagination although I did a lot of research for it, including interviews with former gang members. “Girl on the Brink” was inspired by a personal experience and I felt strongly that I wanted to write about it to show girls the red flags of an abusive relationship. I’ve had very good feedback from it so I’m glad I wrote it.
What was your favorite parts to write and why?
In “Skin of Tattoos,” I really liked writing Mags’s resolution of his rocky relationship with his dad and of his betrayal of his homie, Blueboy. Those bits come near the end but I felt very satisfied that he had grown enough to confront those issues in his life. In “Girl on the Brink,” I liked writing Chloe and Kieran’s fun relationship, when Kieran was still quirky before turning abusive. The abusive bits were hard to write.
How did you come up with the titles?
Basically brainstorming. I needed strong edgy titles for both books. Tattoos were a big symbol in the gang novel—Mags is haunted by his tattoos, which signify his gang membership that he cannot get out from under, while books with “girl” in the title seem to do well so I decided the YA book needed a “girl.” I think both have worked well.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism I got was from agents who rejected “Girl on the Brink” because they said I didn’t have the teen voice right. It was tough because I didn’t quite know how to remedy it, although eventually I gave up trying and just wrote from my heart. It seemed to work. It’s interesting to note that no reader has mentioned any problem with “voice.” The best compliment is from readers who really like my lyrical, literary style of writing and from those who say my characters are well formed and deep.
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I sit in this weird way with one leg folded to the side and the other leg crossed over it, angled to the other side so basically my legs are going in opposite directions. It looks odd and I’m sure an ergonomic specialist would have a heart attack but I find it very comfortable!
What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
Murder methods. I won’t give anything away about my forthcoming thriller, tentatively called “Jungle,” but I came up with a cool way to kill someone. Eek, that sounds so creepy!
Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
“Skin of Tattoos” started life as a YA novel, but that genre proved too limiting for the character and story. I upped Mags’s age a couple years and voila, I had an adult book that granted me full rein over story without having to think of teenager-ish things like parental control, school, etc. It was far better.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
A bit of both. I like to know where I’m going so I have a loose outline. I’ve found knowing your ending from the getgo really helps to avoid writing yourself into corners, or into a wall. That said, I change stuff as I go all the time. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. Sometimes I do detailed mini-outlines covering just the next chapter or two. It also helps to get you started when you sit down at the computer every day so you avoid wasting time wondering what comes next.
Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?
It was a long and rocky road to publication that took years, even after I finished writing the books, which took years in of itself. I eventually got an agent after sending out about 90 queries, but frankly, she was a lousy agent who gave up quickly. I did not. I rewrote and rewrote and got another agent, who was a real pro. She did not, however, succeed in selling my book (this was “Skin of Tattoos”). I kept at it. I knew it was good, and I knew “Girl on the Brink” was good, too. I kept rewriting, but I switched from seeking agents to 15556451_10211475940602235_574194989_oseeking publishers who took unagented subs. I kept searching the Internet for publishers and submitting. My persistence paid off in the end.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I won a prize for “writing interesting stories” when I was six years old so I think writing was something I was born with. I always wanted to write books. I discovered journalism in high school – a career that would pay me to write! I wrote short stories on and off until I really focused on my childhood goal of writing novels about a dozen years ago. I wrote an outline for ‘Skin of Tattoos” in 2006, started writing it in 2008, finished it in 2013.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
It really chose me. I naturally gravitated toward dark crime stuff, particularly thrillers. I’ve always liked reading about the seedy side of life and human nature, ever since I was a teenager.
Where do you get your ideas?
Really anywhere. Some have come from my own experience, some from people I’ve interviewed and things I’ve written about as a journalist, things I read about or that people just tell me about their own lives. It kind of all gets poured into a funnel in my brain and mashed up.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I have a list of must-read books, but I’ve always been partial to Graham Greene. Many of his books are about the concept of being a foreigner, an outsider, which I relate to since I’ve lived in many countries both as a child and as an adult. That influence comes through in my novel “Skin of Tattoos,” where the protagonist Mags was born in El Salvador but left with his family fleeing the civil war when he was a child so he doesn’t really feel Salvadoran, doesn’t remember anything about the place, yet that is his identity. He’s an outsider to El Salvador, yet as an immigrant an outsider to mainstream American society, as well. He finds his home in a gang with others from similar backgrounds. As a reader, I love immersing myself in foreign cultures and settings because you always learn something new. As a writer, Greene’s work made me see how key setting can be. It can almost become almost like another character with a personality all of its own.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and that you have something to say. That’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. Just keep going no matter what anyone tells you, no matter how many rejections you get.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
Never, never, never give up—Winston Churchill. I think it underscores the fact that a lot of success in this game is simply perseverance. Plus, the more you write, the better you get at it.
Tea or coffee?
Two cups of Cuban café con leche in the morning and tea (PG Tips from Britain always!) thereafter if I need a pickmeup. Herbal tea at night.
Sweet or salty?
I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I don’t like things really sweet. I prefer European-style sweet, which is sort of medium on the sweetness scale.
Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
Here’s a passage from “Skin of Tattoos.”
“Ay yo, homes!” A familiar voice sliced through the bustle. “Mags!”
I twirled faster than a ballet dancer, my stomach clenching. It was him. Rico. Slashing across the street aiming the shopping bag in his hand at me. His baggy shorts slung so low the waistband of his boxers showed. Socks, white as fluorescent light, pulled neatly to his knees. Ink flowing out of the arms and neck of his plaid shirt. Exactly how he looked the last time I saw him.
The memory of that day bore down on me. We were kicking it at a street corner, and Rico was bragging about how he shot a trey-eight into the ceiling of a liquor store he was jacking, and the storeowner pissed his pants. As he was talking, he took the .38 out of his waistband in a live re-enactment, and I just had to take the piece, feeling its cold weight in my hand for just a second or two before handing it back to Rico. That second or two cost me twenty-six months of my freedom.
Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Christina Hoag for allowing us to see what she does and spend some time in her world today.
Also, I would like to say a big thank you to the lovely readers out there for joining in and taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind, please send me a message.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!

 

Inside A Beautiful Mind – Paul J. Coggins

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Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday

Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.

Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we take a moment to chat with the talented Paul J. Coggins.

Good Morning Paul, thank you for agreeing to hang out with me and wanting to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.

So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Paul John Coggins, I write under the name Paul J Coggins. I live in Gloucester England, been here all my life. I’m a hydraulic engineer by day and an AuthorPCoggins1[8375].jpg by night.

Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?

This was more luck than intent, but my book is about a government agency hacking into the public’s electrical devices to spy on people. In the news at the moment there is a scandal where it is actually happening in real life. So it actually came true. I am not saying it is a good thing, it was just funny that it happened at the same time as my book coming out.

Would you mind telling us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

This is my debut novel coming out at the moment. I knew I wanted to go self-publishing for my first novel, as it is easier to get a book out there on the market. The whole thing has been a bigger challenge than I first thought. Most people think it ends when you have written the story, but that is only the beginning. I had to a lot of advertising, even website designing when I first set up pauljcoggins.com.
Once I chose my publisher, I had to format my files and choose the front cover and get a copyright to it. Create a US dollar trading account and set up my taxes and get an accountant. Its been more involving than I first thought.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

It was at an early age, maybe 13 years old. I remember at school, writing stories as homework and finishing entire text books. The teacher even extended the time i had to hand it in to allow me to finish. That’s when I knew I wanted to write. To create adventures from my imagination.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I did try the plot everything out to the last detail on one of my projects, but once i started to write I got bored as i knew the story already. I prefer to see where the idea takes me. At the start of Vengeance i just had the simple idea, two people meeting on the internet and going on the run. The rest i made up as i went.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

This is VERY important. It is the first thing people see when searching for a book. You must have something that stops someone walking or scrolling passed and thinks, wow i want to read that. Something simple yet eye catching.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

Ever since i finished my first draft of Vengeance, I had an idea of what book cover i wanted. So i had to copyright an image of my own and passed it onto my publisher. Telling them what I wanted on the cover and spine. I think it does give it a more personal feel.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

One word, advertisement. When I knew I had an intent to get published, I started to collect followers on social media as early as I could. You need to get your name out there before your book it out, not afterwards. Also use as many social media sites as you can. If you are going self-publishing, this is a must as you are the one that controls your media exposure. You could have the best story in the world, but no one would know it. Also do not be scared to ask other Authors and writers for help of advice.

Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?

I know people throw around the phrase action-packed a lot in films and other novels. I tried to make it as action orientated as I could, without losing the story to mindless violence. Keeping descriptions short so the reader can make the images themselves, rather than spend two pages on what a room looks like (as an example) rather than the story of what is going to happen in that room.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

I do this a lot with my novels. For example, with Rylan Jones, one of the main Characters in Vengeance. I put that he has depression and social anxiety. Both of which I suffer from and could at least write from some experience. I also did study a little martial arts and Ninjutsu when I was younger and put that in for Rylan as well.

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?

I think anyone can be a writer as long as you work hard at it. I have had no training in writing and here I am about to release my published novel. The main thing is that the person has to believe in themselves and have a great passion to tell a story, whatever that might be.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?

I have been doing this ever since I finished the second or third chapter of my book, when I knew I wanted to go all the way and get it published. Back near the start though, it was more just my Authors name. As I never had a definitive book title. I think, no matter what route you go down, traditional or self published. Marketing is of huge importance and an Author/Writer has to take responsibility for this.

Have you ever taken any help from other writers?

I have reached out and asked other writers and Authors for help and advice. They have been in the business and know some of the things to avoid or can offer advice on many things. Everyone I have talked too have been kind and helpful. Some people think its a dog eat dog world in the publishing world. That maybe true for the publishing houses or the shops selling the books, but not for the Authors and writers, who are always happy to help each other.

Is writing book series more challenging?

For my style of writing it is very challenging. I write as I go with little to no forward planning. I did originally start with the idea to only write a single book, but as the story progressed and I developed as a writer it will become three. I think some planning is necessary when you write a series. That I will do in my next series of novels after the Dark Agents.

It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?

I totally agree with that. Even if it is fiction or sci-fi, you still have to believe what you are writing. The world you create with words has to be so real to the reader that they can picture it. If you do not believe your own world you create, how can the reader?

Does it get frustrating if you are unable to recall an idea you had in your mind some time earlier?

This happens a lot to me, sometimes I am at my normal job or even out shopping, sometimes in bed as I am about to fall asleep and I get an idea for a great scene and as I get distracted or fall to sleep, its gone. Very frustrating indeed. Which leads to the question below.

Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?

I try to if I can, I do not always have a pen and paper handy when I am out. So I got an app on my phone that takes notes. Admittedly I do have notepads all around the house that I use and try to find one if an idea hits me.

Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?

I said before about Rylan Jones in Vengeance in some part as me with the depression and 60023185_High Resolution Front Cover_6889733such. But what I tried to do is not just make a few things the same. As he went through these action-packed scenes, I tried to think how would I react if it was me. So in a strange way, Rylan is very much how I perceive myself. Even though I do not know if I could be as brave in reality.

Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

I will do just that in the third instalment of the series of Dark Agents. I had a dream of me running in a field and a passenger plane flew close over my head as it got struck by a missile. Very odd dream, but true. So when I woke up I quickly wrote down the dream on paper and thought it was so massive that I wanted to write it in the Dark Agents series.

How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?

I try and use social media daily. I never used it much before becoming a writer, now I use it as a great publicity tool. I found other writers and sent bits of my work off to them and got feedback. As an example, another Writer had a great idea for a plot twist in Vengeance, can’t say what for obvious reasons. But it was good enough for me to alter bits to put that plot twist in.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I have already written the second instalment of the Dark Agents series, it’s going to be called, Sovereignty. I am currently editing it at the moment and once that is done, I still have to write the third and final book. So its all go at the moment. Even after the Dark Agents series is completed I already have my next project in mind, one that will span more than three books.

Here is a little bit about Paul’s book:

Every day, computers increasingly control our personal and professional lives. But what if someone began using them against us?

This is precisely the Dark Agents’ plan. This shadowy organization is scheming to take control of humanity through advanced technology and artificial intelligence. Only one person can stop them.

Rylan would never believe he could take down a government conspiracy. He spends his days struggling with depression and mental trauma stemming from childhood abuse. To ward off his loneliness, he tries to connect with others over the Internet.

Then Rylan meets Sophie. Sophie is a hacker who tried to access government secrets from across the globe, prompting the Dark Agents and their AI to try and stop her. She needs his help to save her life. Rylan agrees, and suddenly, he finds himself an international fugitive on the run from the Agents. He and Sophie agree to meet up in Japan. When he arrives, Rylan discover that Sophie has a secret of her own.

In this fast-paced thriller about the dangers of modern technology, Rylan and Sophie team up to take down the conspiracy and reclaim their autonomy. pauljcoggins.com

Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Paul J. Coggins for letting us spend some time with him today and see inside his creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.

If you or any of you know of someone who would like to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind, please send me a message.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!