Nashville, Tennessee. What an experience. I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of so many wonderful authors and indie creators, and KT Webb was one of those lovely people. I've been following her social media platforms and she's got a lot going on...ladies and gents, KT Webb :)
1. So, your new romance series is set in Chicago. Tell us what you love about that city? Favorite places there...
I love the buildings. The last time I visited Chicago, I felt like I was at home just staring at the skyline. I also really enjoy Grant Park, and visiting Buckingham Fountain. [I have to agree with KT. Chicago looks like an amazing city!!! #chicago
2. Loved your blog on how writing is hard! What are your current struggles with your WIP? And what do you have planned this coming 2017?
Thank you! I think so many people think it's easy to just "sit down and write", but they really don't understand how much of yourself you pour into your books. My current WIP is The Last Coven: Awakening; the first book in my new series. I think the biggest struggle I've faced with this one so far is how to translate all my ideas and research into story form. I'm about 13,000 words into it, but I have to keep stopping and refocusing myself to make sure I am staying on track. [You go girl!! <3] In 2017, I plan to release the final novella in the Chicago Love Story collection, and the full-length novel featuring the couples from the novellas, The Last Coven: Awakening, and I also plan to release a stand alone fantasy.
3. You’ve been diligently recording your getting health journey. KUDOS! What keeps you motivated? Do you have any fitness inspirations? What are your healthy go to meals and snacks? And how do you find the time?
I've always struggled with my weight. My doctor had brought up the possibility of weight loss surgery a few years ago and I shot her down. After trying multiple different weight loss programs, I started doing some research. I finally talked to my doctor and made the decision to move forward with surgery. In July, I had the Gastric Sleeve procedure done and I don't regret it in the least. I have now lost 68lbs since beginning this journey. [Congrats!! That is an accomplishment :)]
My go to meals are different than most people would think because of the procedure I had. Protein is key to the success with this life change. My "go-to" is deli meat, deli cheese and crackers.
4. If you were stranded on an island for a month, who would you want to keep you company?
Do I just get one? If I only get one person, I think it would be my best friend, Madee. We always have a blast and I know I'd never get bored. [BFFs are the best thing since chocolate.]
5. What is your favorite classic book? And why did it become your favorite?
Jane Eyre. It actually became my favorite after I read the book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I went back and re-read Jane Eyre and fell in love all over again. That Rochester..... [I am personally thanking you for making me look up this gif. Holy Cow!!!]
6. Do you have a favorite series on television? or film? Do tell.
Television series: Once Upon a Time and Supernatural.
Film: Pitch Perfect 1 & 2
7. How do you balance being a writer, work life and family?
I have learned to write while watching television, with children on my lap, on my lunch break...you name it, I have to be very flexible to make everything work. There are definitely days when I don't think I'm doing a very good job, but I wouldn't trade any of it for anything.
8. How would you describe your writing style? Your process?
I'm a reformed pantser. [Someone who writes by the seat of their pants.] I used to just sit down and write. Now, I write chapter summaries and put important notes on a cork board that hangs in my writing cave. I still write by the seat of my pants sometimes, I have to or my characters won't get to do their own thing.
9. What are you top three mythological/supernatural beasts/beings? [STOP!!... and pause for the loveliness of these creatures.]
10. At the end of all things, what’s the only thing that’s real?
Just kidding! Love (and maybe cake).
I went a little GIFY on this interview :) haha
Pretty and prolific in a tiara...
I can't remember when I started following and chatting with Cameo on Facebook...it's been a while. She has always been a positive voice in the writing world. She's approachable, funny, and #damndaniel is she a prolific writer! She recently went to PennedCon and won YA Author of the Year 2016! A huge congrats to you Cameo. So without further delay, here is Cameo:
1. You moved from Maui, Hawaii to Alaska. That is quite a move. What is it like in Alaska? Is it really like the movies...wildlife running around? How do you sleep when it's light? Or wake up when it's dark?
I did, and a lot of people ask me...WHY? I actually LOVE Alaska. The scenery is gorgeous and I feel like I can breathe here. Don't get me wrong, Maui is gorgeous as well, but I was getting rock fever. I mean, you can only travel around the island so much before it gets boring, and I spent most of my life there. Plus, it was hot all the time and there are no seasonal changes. That's one thing I love about Alaska. I love watching landscapes change with the seasons. We do get to see moose, squirrels, and the occasional porcupine squished on the road, but I still haven't seen a bear. That's a good thing, but one of these days I'd like to see one from a safe distance, and get a photo for proof! haha!! As far as sleeping, I have no problem. We have black-out curtains for the summer, and during the winter...well it's really hard to wake up.
2. I see you like the 1980s. What's the draw? What's your favorite movie and song from the 80s?
I was in middle and high school in the 80's. I did the whole break-dancing thing...or at least tried. I had the crazy hair and crazy clothes with accessories. I really don't like to look back at those pictures because I know I look completely ridiculous. As far as songs...gosh, there were so many good ones. I listened to a lot of Def Leppard. Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi...etc.
3. You've got 2 really cool series: The Hidden Wings and After Light Saga. What inspired your vision of each world you created?
Well, thanks! I love both of those worlds. The Hidden Wings world was inspired after I wrote In My Dreams. I loved the idea of having guardian angels, and knew there were some that had a story to tell. I was surprised at how easy the world building was, and how loud the characters were. It seemed to flow for me. I really miss the characters now that the series is over, but I might go back and revisit them with a few spin-offs in the future.
As for the After Light Saga...my husband and I love to watch those survival and prepping shows, so I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could create a post-apocalyptic world with survivors. I wasn't expecting it to really go anywhere, but it's turned into something larger than I expected. It's been a lot of fun to write Abi's story, but the world building is a lot harder! Because there are scenarios, which could actually happen, I had to do a lot more research. I wanted suspense, but didn't want zombies, so I created the Arvy's - genetically mutated humans that survived the radiation, but are still smart. They also have a burning hatred for the survivors, who left them on the topside to suffer all those years. So now, those returning to the topside not only have to survive the planet, they have to survive the mutants who are dead set on killing them. [...like smart zombies!!! Holy crap!]
4. What are your writing rituals? You're a mom, too. How do you write and balance your family life?
Balancing writing and family is hard, but I always make sure that my family comes first...unless I'm on a deadline. Then everyone has to fend for themselves. haha!! I usually write at night, when everyone is quiet and asleep. I NEED my headphones on with music, and coffee and peppermints are a must! I don't know what it is, but they help. [She's a woman after my own heart! The coffee...]
5. OOH!!! You have a short film coming out based on ARV-3. I'm excited about this!! Tell us all about this project?
YES! Well, I was lucky to have a cousin who is married to an independent film-maker. (Timid Monster) After she read ARV-3 she told her husband that he should do something with it. It started with talks of creating a book trailer, but as it started progressing, it turned into something bigger. I was lucky to have been able to be a part of it. They're still working on perfecting the short-film, but I'm so excited to share it once it's finished!!! It's AWESOME!!!
6. What is it you like about the dystopian genre? Is there a message about humanity in there you'd like to share?
The dystopian genre is pretty oppressive, but also exciting. Because of the world we live in, survival shows have become a "thing". It's exciting to watch someone being thrown into a situation, with no food or water (and sometimes naked), and watch them survive. I try to instill hope and love into all of my stories. If we all stick together, helping each other, working through the differences while surviving, there is hope for a better future.
7. So, you've just begun writing your first contemporary romance. How's that going? How is writing this different from your usual genre work? Tell us all about it. Who are you collaborating with for the anthology?
Oh boy. I was scared at first because there is really nothing to hold up the story besides the romance and whatever revolves around that romance. Writing paranormal or sci-fi, you can do whatever you want with the world and it's okay. Like throwing in mutants, or angels, or demons, or scary made-up creatures. But as I started writing this contemporary romance, I began falling in love with the two main characters and their story. It's going to be part of the Love in the 80's Anthology.
Here is the info:
Love in the 80s: A New Adult Mix is a collection of ten contemporary romance, new adult, stand-alone novellas set in the 1980s. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, one digital novella will be released on the last Friday of each month January - October in 2016.
The title of each love story will be a hit song from the year that the novella represents. The totally awesome authors include: Casey L. Bond, Lindy Zart, Cambria Hebert, Amber Lynn Natusch, Misty Provencher, Rebecca Yarros, Rachel Higginson, RK Ryals, Cameo Renae and Chelsea Fine.
Love in the 80s: A New Adult Mix was created by UTOPiAcon founder, Janet Wallace, and is co-produced with award-winning book cover designer, Regina Wamba (together they are WaWa Productions).
8. Who has influenced you as a writer? And if you could only have one book on a deserted island for a year, which book would it be?
I would have to say C.S. Lewis was my first huge influence. The Chronicles of Narnia swept me away into an imaginary world that I was lost in. I was with the children on all their adventures and never wanted it to end.
And...yikes! If I could have one book on a deserted island for a year, it would have to be something long that I haven't read yet. I have Stephen King's Under the Dome sitting on my shelf. It's huge, so I would probably take that.
9. Recently, you celebrated your 25 wedding anniversary. CONGRATS!! Can you tell us your "how we met" story? And what's the secret to love?
THANK YOU! Yeah, 25 years is a long time!!! We actually grew up in the same church together, but he was 11 years older than me. It's actually funny, because while I was in children's choir, he was the president of the sanctuary choir. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that we connected. His sister took a few of us over to his house, and I remember thinking...HOLY CRAP, he's so handsome! Months later, he and another guy started a youth ministry at my Grandma's house. It was fate. It was pretty obvious I had a crush on him, and was later shocked that the feeling was mutual.Whenever I saw him, those crazy butterflies would go wild in my stomach, We would talk on the phone (a real phone) for hours. I remember falling asleep and waking up with him still on the other line. He'd say "good morning" before he left for work, and I couldn't wait until the end of each day to talk to him again.
We ended up eloping, which didn't go well with my family, but we made it work and now they LOVE him. I think the secret to staying love is making sure it's unconditional. Never take the other person for granted and never take things too seriously, because that's when things start to fall apart. Be silly. Laugh a lot. Make time for each other. Remind each other how much you love them, even if it's in the littlest ways. When I'm in the writing cave, on a deadline and tired, he'll sometimes bring me coffee or my favorite snack. My husband is my best friend and my biggest fan. We stay up late and watch movies together, talk about our future, and try and get through this crazy adventure called life. But through the trials and fires, and ups and downs, we both know that when all else fails...we still have each other.
10. At the end of all things, when light fades to darkness, what's the only thing that's real?
Love. It transforms and transcends. And knowing that you loved deeply, and were loved as deeply...makes it all worth it.
Find Cameo Renae at all these media spots :)
I first came across B.C. Morin's work from her FB page and the artwork she was posting. I came to find out it was her husband doing the designing. We struck up the usual virtual conversations, leading to years of mutual postings. And here we are. B.C. Morin writes in the YA paranormal world of faeries and magic in her The Kingdom Chronicles. So, let's make some noise for B.C. Morin. Her links are below so you can stalk her pages and like some cool stuff.
The Big Questions
1. What is the first thing you remember writing that made you realize you were a writer/author?
I used to write poetry all the time in high school, along with a few short stories. It was such a release for me.
2. What sparked your muse for your Mark of the Princess series? and the new novel White Witch?
My sister in law was having her Quincenera (Sweet 15) and it was in a Renaissance/Fairy theme. As we were helping with the decorations and looking at some of the things she was putting together for it, I said; “Wouldn’t it be cool, if there was a world like this?” And my husband said; “Yeah, it would. You should create it and make a story with it.” I thought he was joking, but a couple of weeks later I was napping on the couch one day and he created this amazing drawing based on me and my love of fairies. And there was such a lure to the way he did her eyes that I thought, yeah, I need to create a story for this.The White Witch was inspired by some artwork my husband did. (He seems to be notorious for that, huh?) He does absolutely amazing graphic design and he did the picture with the eyes and showed it to me and said: “Wouldn’t this make a cool cover?” And within minutes we were bouncing around story ideas!
3. Do you have any rituals when you’re writing and book designing?
Sometimes I will put my headphones on and listen to soundtrack music, classical, or epic music, anything that will inspire the story so long as it doesn’t have lyrics. I have a bad habit of singing along with everything so it throws off the focus of the writing.
4. What inspires your cover designs?
Tell us everything you want us to know about it. Honestly, my husband is the mastermind behind my covers and all my art and banners. I tell him about the story and my main characters and he runs with it! We are so in sync creatively, that he knocks out covers beyond what I am thinking.
5. I noticed you posted for World Autism Awareness Day. Is this something that you feel passionately about?
Are there other charity or causes that you feel strongly about? What would you like people to know? I do, my best friend Sylvia’s son is Autistic as well as my husband’s cousin. Parents of Autistic kids go through more than most of us could ever imagine, especially so with the actions and discriminations of people. So I think it’s very important for more research, education and awareness to be put toward it. I also feel very strongly about epilepsy research and support for spinal injuries. I recently underwent a spinal fusion in December of 2014 for stage 4 Spondylolisthesis.
6. What fascinates you about life?
The way I see God’s hand in everything.
7. Why do you write?
Because I have to. It flows from me. When I have an idea it will eat at me until I release it onto paper or my laptop.
8. If you could bring ONE character to life from any of your novels, who would it be? What would you talk about? Why that character?
It would probably be my main character from the story I am working on right now. She’s kind of introverted and geeky and ends up getting tossed into this world where her only option is to be a bad-ass, so she takes what life hands her and kicks some ass!
9. If you could only read one book over and over again stranded on a desert island, which book would you choose?
Why? Oh my gosh, just one??? HHmmmmm….. Honestly, it would likely be the Bible. If I’m going to be on a deserted island with no one but my creator to talk to, I’m going to get to know him the best way I can and that’s through is word.
10. At the end of all days, what do you think is the only thing that’s real?
Faith in God and his son. And as my husband says, the legacy you leave behind. And I don’t mean businesses or financial things like that. What will people say when you are gone? How did you make them feel? Did you share the love you were given?
Twitter : @BC_Morin
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BCMorinAuthor?ref=bookmarks
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5427981.B_C_Morin
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/bcmorin/
Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/B.C.-Morin/e/B00AK4RF18/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Years ago when I first started writing, I came across Amanda's story and her work as an indie author. I thought, "WOW!" what a cool chick she is. She was working hard on her dream of publishing her stories. I really love it when people follow their dreams and encourage others at the same time. Amanda has a fantastic grasp on storytelling and an imagination that truly engages her readers :) When she agreed to do the Big Ten, I was stoked to say the least. She's an animal lover and advocate for all things Batman. Ladies and gents...it's Amanda Hocking :)
1. What is the first thing you remember about writing that made you realize you were a writer?
I have a cassette tape of me at about two or three telling this long elaborate story to my grandma about the Muppets and werewolves and giant monster bugs, and I think almost as soon as I could talk, I knew I wanted to be a storyteller. About the time I started kindergarten, it became apparent that writing would be the most efficient way for me to tell stories, and I knew I wanted to be a writer.
2. What sparked your muse for your Kanin Chronicles? I love this world you’ve created. And the covers are so beautiful. Do you have sticky notes all over your desk or on the wall? Who is your favorite character? Who speaks loudest in year ear?
The base of the Kanin Chronicles is based on the Trylle series which it’s spun off of, but the specific set up of this book came from two places – a trip I took to Alaska, and the movie Haywire. I actually didn’t care for the movie that much, but I absolutely fell in love with Gina Carano, and I thought, “I want to write about someone as tough and strong as her.” So that’s where Bryn came from, and the rest of the story fell in around it.
I actually do have sticky notes all over my desk! I’m crazy about Post-Its and I’m meticulous about note taking and outlining.
My favorite character from the Kanin Chronicles is probably Bryn, but I also have soft spots for Ember and Tilda and Konstantin and Ridley. I’m also really quite fond of Linnea. She grew on me.
I don’t know who speaks the loudest in my ear. Maybe Bryn, because she’s so demanding.
3. I notice you like Game of Thrones...This show makes me crazy and I could talk about it for hours, so...Who is your favorite character? What are your predictions for next season? What has been your favorite scene so far?
Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother Olenna Tyrell are my absolute favorites. I love everything about them. I love Varys and Tyrion, especially when they’re together, and I like Sansa a lot. I especially liked her turn as dark Sansa toward the end of season four, and I hope to see more of that in the future. And Ser Pounce. We need more Ser Pounce.
I’m putting SPOILER ALERT, just in case people aren’t all caught up on Game of Thrones, because I’m talking about it now.
I didn’t like Jon Snow for about three-and-a-half seasons, because he was boring. But now I’m quite fond of him, and I also do no for a second believe that he is dead and gone for good. Will he come back as the Jon Snow we knew and loved, or more like a Mountainstein creation? Probably somewhere in between, but he’ll definitely be back.
I doubt they’ll do it, but I would also like if Khal Drogo came back somehow. Or maybe it turned out he had a twin brother so Jason Momoa has to come back. I don’t know. The writers can work on the logic. I’d just like to see Jason Momoa again.
And I would like lots more Dark Sansa. Even Darker Sansa would be better.
4. You recently got married and congratulations! Can you tell us your “How you met story?” And how has married life been integrated with your writing? What’s been your biggest adjustment? What has been your greatest joy so far?
We met a mutual friend’s birthday party, and one of my now-husband’s friends told me that he was a total cad and lady chaser before I really talked to him, so my first impressions weren’t good. He tried to ask me out a few months later, but I still wasn’t interested. Finally, after knowing him for over two years, he asked me out again, and I said yes, and it was wonderful, and six months later were engaged.
The biggest change in my writing routine is when I write. I used to start writing late at night, like six or seven, and I’d writing until the early morning hours. My husband is a morning person, and he has a seven-year-old son. So me staying up all night and sleeping all day wasn’t very conducive to being part of a family, so I’ve started writing during the day, usually from about ten in the morning to five or six at night.
I don’t know what my greatest joy has been so far. My husband makes me laugh a lot, and when I get stuck in a video game, he can always get me past the part I’m stuck at. He really is always surprising me. My greatest joy is just getting to hang out with him.
5. I noticed you posted a lot about Batman. When and how did you come to dig this man in black? Any thoughts about the new Batman movie? Who’s your favorite Batman? Favorite Batman scene?
When I was seven, my dad took me to see “Batman Returns,” and I think I was smitten at that moment. I love Batman because he’s just a guy. Yes, a super rich genius with lots of toys, but he’s not endowed with special abilities from another planet or spider bite. He just made a decision to be the most badass man on the planet, and then he followed through.
I think Ben Affleck will do a fine job as Batman. My problem with it is that I don’t feel like we need another Batman movie right now. I would’ve loved to see a Nightwing movie (perhaps Joseph Gordon Levitt carrying on the torch from the Christopher Nolan movies), or other characters brought to life from the DC cannon.
With that said, I am SUPER psyched for Jason Momoa as Aquaman.
My favorite Batman is Christian Bale, but he’s only very slightly above Michael Keaton, Adam West, and Kevin Conroy. They’re all excellent Batmans.
6. What fascinates you about life?
Everything. The great thing is that there’s the internet, so when I decide I need to know something, like what’s the largest butterfly in the world or how come rivers aren’t salty, I can look it up.
I would say that I am most fascinated by human nature. We’re fascinating creatures, because we’re just animals with basic animal instincts, but because of language skills and our ability to be self-aware, it changes everything.
7. Why do you write?
I definitely write as an escape, but I also think I write to solve something for myself. I don’t always know what it is when I start writing, but something is nagging me, and I need to create a fictional scenario to work my way through it.
With the Kanin Chronicles, for example, I think the biggest themes involve love, guilt, redemption, and death. I think those are emotions that I struggle with, and my ways of handling them and working through them were changing, and the Kanin Chronicles helped me redefine those terms for myself.
8. If you could bring ONE character to life from any of your novels, who would it be? What would you talk about? Why that character?
That is so, so tough. Marcy from Watersong is the character I’d like to most hang out with, but if I’m going through all the trouble of bringing a character to life, I feel like it should be more substantial than “I just like her.”
So I guess I would pick Ezra from My Blood Approves, because he’s so old and he’s seen so much. I think he would have a really interesting perspective on life, and it would be fun to pick his brain.
9. If you could only read one book over and over again stranded on a desert island, which book would you choose? Why?
Something by Kurt Vonnegut. Probably Cat’s Cradle, but maybe Slaughterhouse-Five. Or Mother Night. I really love Vonnegut, and I’ve re-read his books so many times already. I’m also a big WWII buff, so two of the three books are about WWII.
10. At the end of all days, what do you think is the only thing that’s real?
This moment and only this moment. I know that what’s happened can’t ever unhappen – a tree falls in the woods no matter if anyone hears it or not. But your perception is often distorted, your memories fade, your mind can fail you, and eventually your body gives out. So the only thing you ever really have, that you can ever really be sure of, is the moment that you’re in. Everything else is entirely intangible and could disappear in an instant.
Looking for Amanda...
Book Shop: www.hockingbooks.com/all-books
Because Amanda loves Game of Thrones too :)