Author Interview: Paul Mouchet

Today we interview fantasy author Paul Mouchet who’s new book was released yesterday!


  • Hi Paul Mouchet tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

I have always enjoyed writing, but I didn’t really start writing in earnest until about five years ago.  I started writing stories for a PC-based Gamebook I was developing, which I loved, but because a game-based story needs to be succinct, I couldn’t really explore the narrative the way I wanted.  So, last year, I paused the game development to concentrate entirely on novel writing.

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

From both a reading and writing perspective, I like the idea of limitless possibilities that the genre can offer.  That being said, the story still needs to be grounded in reality and have logical consistency to it.

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

My current project is the Priest of Titan series, a nonology: a trilogy of trilogies.  Eyes of Titan, Book 4 in the series, was released on March 29.  Daemon of Titan, Book 5 in the series, is in the works and will be released on May 10.  I’m currently releasing the books on a 6-week cycle, which is working well for me.

I think my biggest challenge in writing the series is that I want to write spin-off novels about the major characters who come and go from the story, telling what they’ve been doing while Kit (the main character) is going about the business of self-discovery and saving the world.  I’ve nearly finished writing one of those spin-offs and it may be released in concert with Book 5 in the series.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I’m not sure if I have a preferred character type, but after some soul searching, I think I like to write characters who are outwardly strong, but inwardly frightened or at least unsure of themselves – which is totally me.  I think it goes much deeper than that though, with how Kit deals with things that go against what she’s been taught, wanting to learn the truth for herself and not necessarily take everything at face value.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

If you want to have fun writing, write for you – and nobody else.  If you want to be good at it, take the time to learn the trade and read voraciously.  Examine the books you like and those you don’t.  Try to use what you learn from other authors’ styles to make your own stories the best they can be (for your pleasure.)

If you want to write to make money, you need to learn so much more than just being a good writer that can tell great stories.  You need to write to market and you need to be able to market yourself and your books like a pro.  Writing for profit is a business and you need to treat it that way.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

I don’t have any tricks, but I make a point of writing or editing every day, without exception.  On the days when my mind is too preoccupied with the world around me, I might not write much, but I write something – even if it’s just notes about thoughts I’ve got, ideas of where the stories may go, etc.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I started off as a pantser.  I knew exactly where I wanted my story to start and how it was going to end, but everything in the middle took on a life of its own.  I find that, especially when writing dialogue, things start to get pretty fluid as I try to act and react in character.  Sometimes, that means the characters end up pushing the story in unexpected directions.

When I started Book 5, I knew I needed to map out the rest of the story because there were so many different wheels spinning, I had to make sure they all went in the right direction.  So, each book has a planned start, middle and end – but how they’re going to flow is still totally by the seat of my pants.  I love writing this way.  Each day is a surprise.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I’m undecided.  I really enjoy a lot of different genres, except for pure romance type novels.  I really enjoy police procedurals, but I don’t know enough about the subject matter to write them.  I will likely continue in the fantasy genre for quite a while, but I think I’d like to work in a few mystery/suspense and/or dark-fantasy/horror stories into my world, so long as I can keep them YA appropriate.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I think the world’s affairs shapes us in unexpected ways and it shows up unintentionally in my writing.  I like stories where good triumphs over evil.  I love the idea of happily ever afters.  I like love stories where people find each other and find happiness together.  But, the realist in me says that the world can be a really crappy place.  So, unless you’re a world-class-hero type, I like the idea of stories where the heroes make good things happen in their own small piece of the world, where they live and the people with whom they interact

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

Dang, that’s a particularly tough question for me because I really like all these stories (but to be fair, I’ve never read a Star Wars novel.)  I think that it’s tough to say which is best because they all have very different settings.  But, if I have to pick one, I’ll say Lord of the Rings, because it has likely triggered my love of the epic fantasy genre.  I had to read the books several times before I was able to keep all the people straight in my head, but then again, I think I was 10 or 11 the first time I read them.

Follow Paul –

Website: https://mouchetsoftware.ca

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/VeilOfEntropy

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/944377969011690

Discord: http://discord.veilofentropy.com


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Author Interview: Nils Odlund

This weeks author interview is with fantasy author Nils Odlund whose new book will be released at the end of this month!


Hi Nils tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

To begin with, I’m originally Swedish, but since 2007 live in Cork, Ireland, and I write in English.

About ten years ago, I stumbled onto writing, as a hobby, almost by accident. At the time, I was applying for game design jobs, but had no actual experience making games, and I wanted to change that. Only, I had no idea how to get started making a computer game, so instead I decided to create a setting for a Pen & Paper RPG.

This turned out to be a lot more fun than I’d expected, and I put countless hours into it, coming up with all kinds of more or less relevant little details. At one point, a friend of mine suggested that maybe I could write a short story about someone living in the world I’d created, as an example of what life there could be like.

That’s how it started. One short story became another, and another, and another…

There’s a bunch of them, and then there’s an unfinished novel. Somewhere along the way, the world-building faded away, and I spent all my time writing stories. Eventually, I decided it was time to get serious, to stop messing about with exciting ideas and promising beginnings, and to actually finish something.

What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

The escapism. The fantastic worlds that can’t be real, but that we can still travel to in our imagination. Why limit yourself to the real world?

Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

My latest project is the Lost Dogs series, which I’ve been working on for the last three years. The tenth book in the series is almost ready to publish, and it should be available before the end of March.

The series tells the story of two people. One is a middle-aged man (Roy) who gets the chance to make amends for a mistake that’s plagued him for half his life. The other is a young woman (Alene) trying to come to terms with who she is, and to find her place in the world.

It’s fantasy, but much of the challenge has been in coming to terms with how the fantastic aspects are just the backdrop against which the story takes place. It’s not a typical fantasy story with magic to discover and monsters to defeat. Rather, Lost Dogs is much more about internal conflict and personal struggles.

This wasn’t something I planned for, and I didn’t consider it when I started writing. It made it difficult for me to find people who wanted to read the story I’m telling. As soon as I mention that one of the main characters is a werewolf and a superstar wrestler, people get the impression that the story will have a lot of brutal, furry action (and possibly a fair bit of kinky sex), and that’s not at all what the story is about.

It eventually went to the point where the tag line I used for the series was “A Story of Werewolves, for people who don’t like Werewolf Stories,” but I’m moving away even from that now.

What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I have this idea that I want to write about everyday characters in fantastic worlds. Characters that just live ordinary lives there, and who don’t become heroes or go away on fantastic adventures to save the world. I believe there’s room for stories like that within the fantasy genre, and I don’t see much of it written.

When you contrast the fantastic with the mundane, you can make it seem even more amazing, than if you just throw tons of awesome things onto the reader.

Then again, once you start writing about a person, even an ordinary everyday Joe, you’ll get to know them, and you’ll realise that they aren’t so ordinary after all.

For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

One of the hardest and most difficult lessons I had to learn was that no one is going to care about my story just because I write it. I need to make the reader care, and I need to make the reader want to keep reading.

It’s not enough that find the story fascinating.

It’s not enough that I love my characters.

It’s not enough that I know the ending is amazing and will blow your socks off.

If I don’t give the reader a reason to care, they’ll toss the book and go read something else.

What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

For a long time, I wrote my books with a three-month deadline, because that’s how far in advance you could set up a pre-order on Amazon (this has changed now). It made sure I had a deadline and pushed me to get the story done.

I also make sure not to strive for perfection. Good enough doesn’t mean something is bad, it really does mean good enough. Also, it’s achievable.

With my first book, the novella Emma’s Story, I tried to polish it to a shine, fix every little detail and address every ounce of feedback. It took me a few months to write the first draft, and another two years of tweaks and adjustments before it was done. Even then, the final version wasn’t all that different from the first draft.

The trick, as such, is to learn when something is good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I’m a plotter. Much of the reason I was able to keep up a three month per book release schedule was that I’d already outlined the books in advance – the entire series. I aimed for an outline that’s detailed enough that actually writing the first draft is akin to filling in the colours in a paint by numbers colouring book.

With my next project, I’m stepping back a little from this, because even with such a detailed outline, I wasn’t able to stick to it. Partly, because the story still took my by surprise from time to time, and partly because I changed as a writer. I’ve learned and improved a lot since I started writing the Lost Dogs series, and I eventually got to a point where I realised that the outline I had for the series just wasn’t good enough for me anymore. I’m going to keep the bare bones, but the details all need to be redone.

What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

My next book, Nothing Left to Lose, is the tenth in the Lost Dogs series, and it will be the last book of that series. However, it is not the end of the story.

Like I mentioned above, I’ve come a long way since I started the series, and I feel like the last few books are significantly better than the earlier ones. I’m going to be revising the first books in the series to clean up language and content issues, and that will bridge some of the quality gap, but it won’t fix everything.

It feels like it’d be a waste of time and effort to add books to the end of a long series, when most readers won’t get past the second book. Instead, what I’ll do is I’ll start a new series, with a new name, that begins where Lost Dogs ends. That way, the people who have read Lost Dogs will get the continuation of the story, and new readers will be able to hop into a new story without having to go through a huge number of books, where the first ones aren’t representative of the latter ones.

With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

Lately, I’ve taken a liking to noblebright. Positive cheerful stories, with less doom and gloom. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but I feel like it’s not just this last year. The world’s become increasingly dark and hostile for a long time, and more and more often, I feel like I need to get away from that.

What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

Star Wars. It’s basically space fantasy with lasers.

Follow Nils via:

FB: https://www.facebook.com/svrtnsse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/svrtnsse

IG: https://www.instagram.com/nilsdlnd/

Website: https://nilsodlund.com/


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Announcing Heroes of the Sundered Crown Book 5 in the Sundered Crown

Hi all I’m delighted to announce book 5 in the Sundered Crown Saga- Heroes of the Sundered Crown. I’m working away on the book and am hoping for a release sometime in the Autumn of this year.
The fleet of Yundol longships powered through the water towards the shore. On the clifftop, beacons burst into life as the approaching invasion force was sighted by the enemy. Standing proud at the bow of the lead Yundol ship was Ricard of Champia. His greying hair and beard blew in the wind, and his green cape fluttered wildly behind him. His eyes were fixed on the beach. 
For too long he’d been exiled from the Kingdom that was rightfully his. After his defeat and escape from Bison, he’d spent six months overseas seeking aid to strike back at Danon. He had travelled across the continent of Yundol, the home of Delfinnia’s once most feared foes to find support for his war. Most of the Yundol chieftains had scoffed at him; some had even threatened to kill him. Many of the Yundol warlords bitterly remembered the defeats Ricard had inflicted during their failed invasion decades earlier. Despite that, the promise of gold had proven too appealing for some, and before long, he’d mustered a formidable force of mercenaries. 
The cost made him wince; his treasury was now empty; he’d gambled everything on taking the Sundered Crown for himself. Yundol horns blared across the choppy black waters, and the warriors that had once spilt blood across Delfinnia prepared to do so again. The warriors roared, their savage voices carrying in the wind. A thousand men to take the Marble Shore, a thousand of the most dangerous men alive. He adjusted his sword belt and took the helmet offered to him by his squire. He looked back down the row of burly oarsmen and nodded to his trusted lieutenant the elderly Vizar. The fighting men of Champia were packed onto the ship’s deck and bristled as they sighted the stunning white beaches ahead Marble cliffs shining in the early spring sunshine. It was the first time many of them had seen the mainland in months and signalled that they were returning home. Vizar caught his eye and gave Ricard a reassuring smile. The older warrior walked over to him.
 “The men are eager for battle my lord. Let us hope these Yundols are just as good at killing as I remember.”
Ricard nodded before putting on his helmet.
 “Today we take the Marble shore, tomorrow the Kingdom.”
 The horns sounded again signalling for the fleet to increase speed. The warriors hastily strapped on their armour and prepared their weapons. With every oar stroke, the Yundol warriors shouted their battle cry.
 “Death! Death! Death!”
The longship surged forward, and Ricard drew his sword from its scabbard. Behind him, his warriors prepared themselves. Ricard frowned as he spotted figures appear on the clifftops. There were thousands of them!
Arrows suddenly lashed down like hail onto the vulnerable ships. Ricard swore. As they drew closer, the figures became more apparent. All wore black armour, and each was armed with the lethal Sarpi composite bow and barbed arrows. The deadly projectiles struck the ship eliciting screams from warriors and oarsmen unlucky enough to be struck. Just as quickly as it had begun the arrow storm stopped. Then, with a sudden jolt, the ship struck the beach using the furiously rowing oarsmen’s momentum to skid high up the sand. It was the favourite tactic of the Yundols and one that often took a foe by surprise. Ricard leapt over the side of the ship, raised his shield, and roared for his men to follow. The sand was deep and challenging to traverse. Warriors disgorged from the beaching ships, and the Sarpi unleashed another arrow storm.  Dozens of warriors fell to the Sarpi arrows. Ricard’s eyes widened. On the cliff tops, he could see catapults being rolled into place. He watched in horror as the Sarpi quickly loaded the weapons and launched pots of burning pitch down onto the beaching ships. One Yundol longship took a direct hit, erupting in flames that engulfed the warriors on board. Burning men fell screaming over the sides only for their heavy armour to drag them down into the churning sea. 
Ricard rallied his men, and they rushed to him to form a shield wall. He crouched under his shield as another volley of arrows struck. His arm shook under the impact. All around the air was filled with the screams of the wounded and dying, but the Yundol warriors pressed on up the beach. They continued their war chant using their shields as cover from the maelstrom raining down on them. A horn blared from the cliffs causing Ricard to lower his shield. His eyes widened and a knot of dread wormed in his guts. Massing at the top of the steep incline at the top of the beach were hundreds of heavily armoured horses. Their thick black armour covered the animals from head to hoof and sat astride them were Sarpi warriors clad in thick plate armour the colour of darkest night. 
“Spears!” Ricard bellowed.
The Yundols sheathed their swords and axes and hastily formed a phalanx of spear points. With expert skill drilled into them by Ricard, the warriors grouped together until they were three lines deep. Each wielded a long spear and lapped their shields over their neighbours. The Sarpi cavalry surged forward like a black tide to sweep down the dunes. Sand sprayed in all directions, and the ground shook. 
 “Brace!”
The first of the horsemen thundered closer, lowering their long lances, and picking targets to slay. 
With devastating impact, they hit, the Yundol spears having little effect on the charging enemy’s thick armour. Men were skewered on lance points by the dozen, Vizar among them. Ricard was battered to the ground, but he quickly rolled to escape the stamping iron shod hooves of a Sarpi horse. He came up from the roll, threw his shattered spear aside and drew his sword. Despair filled him. All along the beach, the cavalry swept aside the army he’d spent months and the last of his fortune gathering. The dead lay in the now blood soaked sand and bodies floated on the grisly tide. Several of the longships were ablaze to send smoke drifting high into the sky. The lucky ones had managed to force their way back into the sea and were now desperately turning tail to flee back into open water.
 “Niveren no,” Ricard despaired. More horns sounded, this time from across the water. Ricard spun to see a small fleet of Sarpi warships round the headland and move to cut off his forces. The Yundols were trapped. He watched in horror as fire arrows launched into the dull sky and fell like rain on the beleaguered Yundol vessels. The ships caught alight, the screams of the doom sailors drifting on the breeze. All around him, his men were being butchered the cavalry charge having smashed any semblance of disciplined resistance. All of his hopes and dreams of liberating Delfinnia and taking the crown had been extinguished within moments. 
In his heart, he had always known it had been a fool’s dream but seeing his men cut down the realisation of all he had done dawned on him. The thunder of hooves came from behind him, he closed his eyes. A broken man. 

Buy the Sundered Crown Saga

The Nightblade (Prequel)

Heir to the Sundered Crown

War for the Sundered Crown

Quest for the Sundered Crown

Voyage for the Sundered Crown


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Author Interview – Darian Smith

Today I’m joined by another New Zealander! Darian Smith is the author of the Agents of Kalanon series.


  • Hi Darian, tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

I’m a fantasy author from New Zealand and writing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I used to enjoy writing stories for school and then as a teenager I embarked on my first novel attempt.  Before writing, there was reading and I suspect one grew into the other.  Our local library, when I was a child, had a limit of six books to be checked out at any one time.  Every week we would go and I would check out the maximum six books and read them all.  Sports wasn’t high on my agenda but reading was a game I could win!

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

The great thing about fantasy is that it can be anything.  There’s the escapism of it, of course – and who wouldn’t want magic powers?  But there are often also themes and meaning layered in just as much as the most literary of works yet delivered in a fun way.  I like that.  And I want magic powers!

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

My most recent project was the third book in the Agents of Kalanon series, Battle’s Legacy.  The series is essentially murder mysteries in a fantasy world – kind of like CSI but with swords and magic.  It was good to revisit the characters and see the story continue.  It took me a little longer than expected – life can throw some curveballs sometimes – but I’m glad to say it was released on December 1st.  I’m working on the planning phase of the next book in the series and another stand alone novel as well.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I think there’s a piece of myself in all my characters.  I probably enjoy the smart-mouthed ones most.  There’s a lot of fun to be had in the interaction between flawed characters who like to needle each other.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

To practice your craft and learn what you can from others.  There’s no reason to have to take time figuring out everything yourself.  Writer organisations and craft books can be an excellent way to improve your skill quickly.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

Sadly, I’m not sure there are many tricks for meeting deadlines beyond what’s known as BICHOK – Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard.  That said, I have found it helpful to have an ipad with me at all times so I can write at least a little any time and anywhere.  All those little pieces of writing add up over time.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

Definitely a plotter.  It doesn’t come naturally to me but it definitely helps reduce the need for drastic rewriting later on.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I have plans for more of the Agents of Kalanon books but also for a stand alone YA book and an urban fantasy series.  There are more ideas floating about in my head and in my notebooks but those are the ones on the schedule next.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I’m a hopeful sort of guy so I prefer stories where the good guys win.  Which isn’t to say they all make it to the end in one piece, but there’s enough darkness in the world already.  It doesn’t always happen in the real world so I like my fiction to give that satisfying ending where good wins out in the end. 

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

It depends what I’m in the mood for.  Weirdly, for a New Zealander who loves fantasy, Lord of the Rings isn’t the top of my list.  I like it and respect it but it’s a harder read for a modern audience than the other two.  I read for enjoyment so tend towards lighter reads.

Website: www.darian-smith.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DarianSmithAuthor

Twitter: @DarianWordSmith

Instagram: @DarianWordSmith


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Author Interview – Sean Valiente

Joining me around the campfire today is new fantasy author Sean Valiente. I’ve been writing fantasy since 2014 and know how daunting launching yourself into the genre can be. We learn more about Sean and what makes him take.


  • Hi Sean tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

Hello! I’m Sean and I am a fantasy author. It feels good to say that. I’ve recently self-published my first book, The Lighting Knight. I’ve always had stories in my head that I thought might be fun to put to paper, and after explaining the ideas to my friends for the millionth time, my best friend finally forced me to sit down and start typing. A few years later I have a real book and it’s amazing!

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

I like the escapism and the allegory of it all. I think there’s something fantastical about being in a different world but still relating it to our world. Plus you get to break some of the rules of physics and readers are like, “cool”, and that makes things much more interesting!

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

My latest book, The Lightning Knight, was the first in my planned series. It was a tough cookie to bake, but after a lot of late nights and driving myself crazy, it finally came out! It’s available wherever you get your books online. The biggest challenge with this book was not redrafting it for the fourth time! Every time I went to tinker with it, things would change, which seemed like a never ending cycle of will this book ever see the light of day.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I like a diverse set of characters, not just in ethnicity or type but personality. However, my first book is from the perspective of one character, so the other characters are really a reflection of how he sees them. They have a lot more depth and intricacies beneath the surface, but to Oliver, they just are who they are. I’d say the main character has a lot of shades of myself, but ultimately he’s his own person.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

Write! It’s the hardest part, especially for “wannabe writers” which is what I was for about 10 years. It’s so hard to finally start, but once you do, it’s like the Ents have broken the damn and flooded Isengard.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

I’m a big fan of google docs and google sheets. I’m a finance and accounting professional so everything in my life is a spreadsheet haha. But really, you find something that your comfortable with, whether it’s Scrivner, Gdocs, Word, a pen and a napkin, and you go with it. Just remember to save your files (or napkins) to a cloud drive (one reason I love gdocs). Dropbox, box, gdocs, OneDrive, whatever. External USB or harddrives are cool, but even they have failure rates (or you can physically lose them.) Autosave and save often. The netherworld of lost manuscripts is littered with amazing stories that are gone forever!

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I’m a bit of both. I have points I want to get to, but I don’t know how to get there. That’s when I let the characters drive the plot, and it’s pretty great as a writer, because I get to watch it for the first time!

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I have two things going on: one is continuing my series with book two (I’ve already written five chapters). The second is I have an idea for a middle-grade fantasy book series that I might start in a few months.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I’ve always been a heroes triumph kind of guy, but I love a good bittersweet ending as well. I’m not a grimdark kind of person or writer, but I do like to have some darker emotional strings from time to time.

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

They’re actually all very different and important for their respective reasons. Star Wars showed what sci-fi and fantasy could be on screen, and developed an amazing multi-media empire of content. Lord of the Rings is basically the Godfather of fantasy and showed that books could be turned into movies and other content if handled with care (we won’t talk about the beloved animated movies). And Harry Potter brought a love of reading to many people who fell away, and opened up fantasy to the masses on a popular scale. I love Star Wars with all my heart, Lord of the Rings is my fantasy bible, and Harry Potter is my treat-yo-self dessert. They’re all great.

Follow Sean on –

https://www.instagram.com/theknightsofnine/

https://www.facebook.com/seanpvaliente

Currently the kindle edition of Sean’s book is $.99 and will be that way probably through feb or march.


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Excellent Reviews for Voyage for the Sundered Crown

Voyage for the Sundered Crown has been out for almost 1 month already and it’s been getting some excellent feedback! A huge thank you to everyone that has been kind enough to post a review. Here’s just a few below. Oh, and get your copy of the book from Amazon or other retailers. The book is also now available in paperback format which you get HERE

I’ve recently been working on some new maps for the world in which my fantasy books are set. The map above is Esperia, the setting for the Sundered Crown Saga and the Empowered Ones. I have a tonne of ideas for more tales and stories in this world and I am planning an entirely new series set on the continent of Somnio. Take a guess as to the theme (there’s a clue in Voyage for the Sundered Crown). My ultimate aim is to eventually do a massive cross over but that’s a long ways away. 

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Author Interview – J. Elizabeth Vincent

Joining me around the campfire today is fantasy author J. Elizabeth Vincent.


  • Hi J tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

I’ve enjoyed writing since I can remember. The great way a book can provide you with entertainment, escape, and education (sometimes all at once!) is plenty of inspiration for me. I love making up new, idealistic (and not so idealistic) characters and new worlds and learning stuff as I do it.

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

The fact that literally anything can happen and that, as the author, I get to decide the rules of my own worlds.

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

I’m currently writing Rise of the Ceo San, the third book in my Legends of the Ceo San series. It should be coming out early next year at this rate. It’s been fun but also challenging because the deeper you get into a series, the more details and subplots there are to keep track of. Plus, there is always that part of me that wants to try something new … like, all the time. So, staying focused can be a challenge as well.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I like to write characters that feel real, that have genuine everyday kinds of problems in addition to the big story problems. They need to be different, just like real people are, so some are generally somber, some are funny, some are snarky, and they all have a mix of moods.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

Write what you love, even if that changes. That will provide you with the best motivation to keep going, even when things get tough.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

Um … I’m not hard and fast with writing deadlines, and it’s probably because I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire with work, writing, and family. Sometimes, when it seems like I am having trouble getting the writing in, I will get up early (say 5 or 5:30) and work on writing first. That way, I’ve accomplished something early in the day before I can procrastinate myself out of doing it at all.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

Both. I have little patience for plotting, as much as I think it’s a good idea, so I plot until I can’t take it anymore and then start writing.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

Legends of the Ceo San is planned to be four books long, so I need to finish the third book and write the fourth. Outside of that, I am currently plotting a new book (fantasy romance or romantic fantasy) with a challenge another author friend is doing (Write a Romance in 30 Days). Even if I don’t publish it, I think it will be fun and a great learning experience.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I’ve always preferred the stories where good triumphs or the hero/heroine gets what they want. I don’t mind darkness in stories, but not to the point that I can no longer sympathize with the main character(s). The great thing about the triumph stories is knowing that no matter how dark or difficult it gets, your main character is going to come through. Much better than real life.

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

They’re all excellent series, but as a writer, I’ve got to go with Lord of the Rings. The sheer complexity alone left me staggering at the end, saying to myself, “How can this world not be real?” Tolkien obviously didn’t have my tendency to want to jump around between projects. He took the time to build Middle Earth in grand detail. Not a lot of authors do that.

Website: https://jelizabethvincent.com

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Author Interviews – Scott Kimak

Joining me today is history teacher, Kung Fu master and fantasy author Scott Kimak!


  • Hi Scott tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

Hi, my name is Scott Kimak and I’m a history teacher and Kung Fu master. I came up with the story “I call him HIM” when I was a teenager but failed miserably to put pen to paper. It took me nearly forty years to make a second attempt. This time the words flowed unrestrained. I live in Harlingen Texas with the love of my life Diana, our four children, and our four annoying dogs.

As a child I was fascinated with the amazing stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs. There was a forest next to my house that I would wander into and pretend that I was Tarzan. There weren’t any other kids my age in the neighborhood, so I had to use my imagination quite a bit. Eventually, I started creating my own obstacles for Tarzan to overcome and my writing career had begun.

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

That there are no limits. Whatever worlds, creatures, languages, or cultures you can imagine can be found in the pages of a great writer.

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

I’m finishing up the “I call him HIM” trilogy. The first book has already been released and the second book is also finished and available for preorder. Here’s the blurb from book one…

In a post-apocalyptic world, a warrior and his family are driven underground, fighting for their very survival. 

When they do emerge, the futuristic planet they discover is very different from the one they left behind. Ruled by an evil presence which dominates and controls what is left of mankind, Earth has been reduced to a violent place of darkness, grief and destruction.

I call him HIM follows the journey of this unnamed warrior as he loses both his family and his mind. As he hits rock bottom, all he can think of is his insatiable yearning for revenge until he meets a young girl called Angelica who shows him the true power of faith. Her youth, innocence and strength of character reminds him of everything he has lost and the things which really matter.

But as the armies of the world rise up for the ultimate battle of good versus evil, can Angelica help him regain his sanity and rediscover himself before it is too late?

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I like my characters to be flawed and vulnerable, but also someone who can really kick some ass. “HIM” is really based on me. I tried to imagine what would happen to myself is someone murdered my family. How would that impact me?

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

Learn about marketing your book and build up a following before you publish.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

I don’t use any tricks and I’m not worried about deadlines. I waited forty years to write these books, so it doesn’t matter how long it takes. The important thing is the quality of the story.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I guess I’m a little bit of both. I have the main idea planned out, but as I start writing something weird happens. I become the characters and they dictate where the story is going. I truly feel their emotions, and this can lead me in all kinds of different directions.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I have a ton of ideas. When the trilogy is finished, I want to do a prequel of stories. I would also like to take some of the side characters and branch off into solo novels with them.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I’ve played a Paladin for the last forty years in my weekly D&D game with my kids, so I’m definitely taking the side of good. But my character “HIM” is very controversial and without some help, he could easily slip into darkness.

  • What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

Honestly, I never got into Harry Potter. I love Star Wars but LOTR was one of the first books I read, so I’m going to have to go with that one.

Follow Scott via –

https://twitter.com/ScottKimak

https://www.instagram.com/scottkimak/

https://www.facebook.com/scott.kimak/

Links for “I call him HIM”

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-call-him-him-scott-kimak/1137473710?ean=9781663548320

https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1540316466

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=9781005847623

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1050311

 Part two of the trilogy is available for preorder but won’t officially launch until 5/6/21.


January 2021 Update

It’s finally over, the year that felt like it would never end! I hope you all had a great holiday season and ate and drank your fill. 

2020 was a crazy year for all of us and I’m sure 2021 will be rough for many and just as mad, but there is hope on the horizon that one day life will return to normal thanks to the vaccines. (I hate all this talk of a new normal) I for one don’t want to have to wear masks forever and never be free to go to the pub with my mates again. 

Last year may have been tough but I am proud to say that I managed to get book 4 in my Sundered Crown Saga written and released. I hope those of you who have picked up a copy are enjoying it (please leave reviews!).

Anyway, enough of 2020 (boo, hiss), 2021 will be another busy year for me in terms of writing. So far I have achieved my goal of releasing 1 new book a year and in 2021 that will be the sequel to my historical fiction novel Unconquered: Blood of Kings. Book 2 covers the aftermath of the bloody Battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings and will see Osfrid become a rebel fighting to liberate his homeland. 

Other things I’ll be working on are –

  • Book 5 in the Sundered Crown Saga (Aiming for a 2021 release)
  • Book 3 in the Empowered Ones series (Aiming for a 2022 release)
  • Book 2 in the Unconquered Series (Aiming for a 2021 release)
  • A rewrite and relaunch of Terran Defenders: Genesis 
  • Planning for 2 new fantasy novels and a new sci-fi series

Also, I’ve set the Sundered Crown prequel novel The NightBlade to just 0.99p/c on Amazon and have now released it on other retailers. I’ve also republished my Terran Defender stories on wider retailers and Amazon. 

Both are now available on Kindle and other retailers. TDG Amazon – mybook.to/TDG2TDG other retailers – https://books2read.com/u/bzaVyGTDR Amazon – mybook.to/TDRBTDR other retailers – https://books2read.com/u/4EyG9e

Phew! 2021 promises to be another busy year. I hope it will be a great one for all of you as well. 


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Author Interview: C.T Phipps

Welcome back to the campfire. Pull up a seat and warm yourself against the cold, dark winter. Today I’m joined by prolific American author C.T Phipps.


  • Hi, C.T. Phipps, tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?

Hi, back! I am 39 years old and from Ashland, Ky. I’ve been writing since I was a child but eventually I got decent around college. I’ve always wanted to tell stories and whether it was table top gaming or fanfic, I was always honing my craft. I eventually decided to write two separate series: The United States of Monsters and The Supervillainy Saga.

The United States of Monsters is now composed of multiple trilogies (Bright Falls Mysteries, Morgan Detective Agency, Red Room Saga, Straight Outta Fangton, and Psycho Killers in Love). It’s set in an urban fantasy universe where the supernatural came out in 2008 and deals with various heroes trying to make the adjustment.

The Supervillainy Saga is a six book (so far) series about a self-styled supervillain named Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM. It’s a comedic series with a serious core about a guy who wants to be the bad guy but isn’t quite evil enough to pull it off. It’s an homage to all the wonderful comic book media I’ve consumed over my life and utterly zany.

  • What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?

I believe what I like most about the fantasy genre is the fact that it is limited only by your imagination. I just don’t feel the same connection to historical or “realistic” settings and I feel like fiction allows you to test the limits of reality far better than something that must stay within the boundaries of the plausible. Despite this, I admit I am fonder of urban fantasy than I am high fantasy or grimdark (low fantasy). Heck, even science fiction, though I have dabbled in that genre too.

One of the reasons I decided to do a superhero universe was because almost anything can happen in them. The Supervillainy Saga was based on the idea of setting it in a world with magic, super-science, gods, demons, wizards, aliens, and more. It’s the ultimate genre mash-up and I feel like you only get to really enjoy a superhero universe if you completely go gonzo with it.

  • Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?

My most recently released work is PSYCHO-KILLERS IN LOVE for the United States of Monsters universe. It’s set in 2000 before the 2008 reveal and is a story that homages 80s slasher movies as well as the 90s reinterpretations of them like Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

William and his sister Carrie are the children of an infamous holiday-themed slasher, Billy the Undying. After a Final Girl took Billy down, they were imprisoned for years in an asylum for their father’s crimes. Escaping, they’ve tried to stay one step ahead of the authorities while dealing with their father’s ghost as well as rising supernatural urge to kill. Arriving in a haunted small town with a mysterious cult, they discover a slasher hunter named Nancy that has her eyes set on wiping their kind out. However, William has eyes for her and hopes they can cross all lines of good sense to be together. Can the family that slays together, stay together?

I’m currently working on The Horror of Supervillainy, which is the 7th book in the Supervillainy Saga. I’ve had a real blast writing these and I’m very glad that my fans have continued to follow me through these. This volume has Gary struggling with his recent attempt to go straight and getting lured into a haunted swamp to rescue the President’s daughter from Dracula. It turns out to be a trap and he’s soon confronted with an entire host of past sins coming back to bite him.

  • What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?

I confess, I absolutely love snarky and sarcastic pop-culture spewing protagonists. A lot of my characters follow the Buffy, Harry Dresden, Iron Man, Mercy Thompson, and Spider-Man mold. Gary is certainly in that vein and I absolutely love how he reacts as a bundle of weird comic energy through your typical superhero universe. Mostly because if the reader is entertained every second of reading a page then they’ve more than gotten their money’s worth. As for how much of myself I put into books? Well, every one of my characters has a part of me in them. I hope I’m not a budding supervillain or serial killer (of killers), though.

  • For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?

Patience. A lot of authors think that they’re going to be an immediate success if they release their book as quickly as possible. They don’t realize they’re going to be part of an ocean of millions. As such, they need to adjust their expectations and build a strong social media presence as well as a following. Completing a book is already an enormous task and that also will require massive amounts of editing, beta-reading, and revising. Basically, this is a marathon not a sprint.

  • What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?

I like to immerse myself in the genre of the work I’m writing. If I’m going to be writing the Supervillainy Saga, for instance, I want to immerse myself in comic books and superhero movies in order to make sure that’s where my mind is presently at. Stephen King said that writing was like milk in the fridge, “It tastes like whatever it is left against.” Aside from questioning what exactly is in King’s fridge, it inspired me to keep that in mind.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?

I go for a hybrid. I love to plot out a basic idea of where I want things to go. However, I love letting the characters decide how to get there. Plenty of times I’ve decided to handle things going one way, only for my characters to completely change where I was going to go next.

  • What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?

I’m currently planning on continuing to finish off my existing trilogies and works before moving onto new projects. I got a little big for my britches by starting a half-dozen series at the start of my career before focusing on one at the start. Still, this worked out for me as the Supervillainy Saga proved to be the most successful one by far. I have plans for twelve books in that story and that should keep me occupied for some time.

  • With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?

I’m a definite fan of antiheroes. People who have their own selfish motivations that may triumph over their better natures but who still have limits they won’t cross.

  1. What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

Star Wars remains my universe from beginning to end. I grew up on the movies, loved the Expanded Universe in high school to college, and still manage to pick up the occasional canon work.

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Author Page: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13434447.C_T_Phipps


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