"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A lot of Hope & a bit of Faith with Lily Oak and Book Giveaway

Today we welcome Lily Oak,  owner of Hedge-Witchery Books and author.  This magnificent young lady has the biggest heart I've ever seen.  Not once,  but twice she has put together books to raise money for a cause.  Her fist book,  Hope Moon was put together in just 3 days for the Haiti Appeal,  and Hope Ocean was put together in just 7 days to help with the Mexican Gulf disaster.  Please give Lily a warm welcome as we chat with her about her writing,  and be sure to check out the giveaway,  as one lucky winner will win a copy of her book,  Hope Ocean.  Thank you so much for being with us today Lily.

Please tell us a little about yourself.....

I write articles on paganism and witchcraft for e-zines and magazines. I write creatively and am currently working on my first full length fiction project. I run Hedge-Witchery.com which is the site I use to house all the pagan and witchcraft related writing I do as well as provide moon phase and seasonal information. I also do Oracle Card & Stone readings. I also run  Hedge Witchery Books which is my new publishing and writer promotion venture, and edit Incantation e-zine.

What do you see as your influences on your writing?
Wow lot's of  things! I think if I'm really honest with myself I always things I offer up the best of myself in my written work, and that's the bit I want to leave behind.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time and focus. I'm always doing a million things at once and love living in chaos so working on the novel is very challenging.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
I would like to do more novels and novellas though at the minute it seems my poetry work is getting more noticed.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set

I start  with the characters, put them in a situation and the plot is built from how the characters I envision would respond. Apparently this is slightly backwards as a lot of writers tell me they start with plot and write characters to suit.

What drew you to write about paranormal fiction?
It's the kind of thing I like to read myself. Also it's a genre that really allows your imagination to run wild.

How do you keep your writing different from the vast variety of
 stories (in your genre) out there today?

I don't think it really takes a huge effort, like I said previously there really isn't anywhere a story can't go within this genre. There's such a massive scope that covers paranormal fiction.

How did your title come into play?
Well the books I'm promoting at the minute, I didn't actually write ha ha ha! ok I wrote contribution for them but they are both short anthology's that were put together on ridiculous deadlines for charity.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?
Hope Ocean is a mystical, magical, slightly occult anthology, themed around the ocean.This small collection, by a wide variety of writers, was put together in just 7 days. Their aim was to raise money and awareness to aid wildlife charities dealing with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Hope Moon is a collection of short stories, poetry and articles inspired by the moon and its influence over us. This pagan-esque anthology was put together in just 3 days in order to help raise money for the Haiti earthquake appeal, and for every copy in sold a donation is made.

What were your feelings when you first novel was accepted for publication?
Technically it hasn't yet... but as I run a publishing company I'm not sweating it too much! ha ha ha

Who is your favorite author?
I hate this question but if I had to pick just one I'd have to go with Jean M Auel

If you could leave readers with one legacy, what would you want it to

To notice the magic in the everyday, I think if my writing has any agenda other than just entertaining people, thats it, to make them notice the little details that hold the magic in life.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in this genre?
Don't be influenced by trends!

Is there a website that readers may find you at?

Facebook,  Twitter,  or Myspace?
All on the 'Keeping in touch' page on www.hedge-witchery.com

Thank you so much for stopping in Lily.  It has been a grand pleasure.  So now let's get to the giveaway.
For anyone that leaves a comment for Lily,  with your email address you will be entered to win a copy of Hope Ocean.  Please be sure to leave your email address so I have a way to contact you :).  Winner will be drawn July 5.

Extra Entries:

  • Become a follower of my blog by clicking follow on Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs (+3 entries)
  • Become a follower on Twitter (+2)
  • Become a fan on Facebook (+2)
  • Repost this giveaway - and let me know where you have posted it (+1)

Don't forget for everyone that purchases Hope Moon or Hope Ocean,  the proceeds go to help support a charity.  Both are available in paperback and as electronic download. Thanks for stopping in and good luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

VBT Pit Stop with Lorrie Struiff

Hi Brandi,

It’s such a pleasure to appear on your blog. Thank you for hosting me.

You asked if I had to do a lot of studying on gypsies for my novella.

Let me answer the question this way. Other than the study of gypsies, much more research was required other than that of the Romani people. But let me address the Roma first.

There are a lot of wonderful sites and books pertaining to the origins, the beliefs and the lore of the Roma clans. Once I began the research, I found so many interesting facts, so many stories about the culture; I think I became lost for about three days, at least. I was enrapt, held spellbound by all the fascinating material.

Items about how many Roma still live in the U.S.A. today—over a million. How their talents and beliefs are romanticized in movies, TV, and novels. They are stereotyped with gazing into a crystal ball or reading tarot cards and palms. The Roma men are always playing a romantic melody on a violin. Then we jump to the evil curse side or the potions they mix for different ailments. Love potions, bad luck potions, etc.

I found their origins are tied to nature itself. They protect the land, not harm it, and hold nature foremost in their way of life. And it is in their ethnic nature to decipher signs and omens from their surroundings. Oh what spine chilling stories can be garnered from their folklore, like werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters.

For instance, Romanian gypsy villages believe that cemeteries are occupied by werewolves, the natural enemy of the vampire. The werewolves enter the cemeteries for the sole purpose of viciously destroying vampires wherever they find them. It’s believed that because of this, the world of the living people are kept safe from complete takeover of the world by the “world of the dead.”

Who wouldn’t be fascinated with the Roma?

Of course I took liberties with the crystal amulet my main character, Rita, wears in the novella. Er, to be honest, I took many liberties which I’m swearing to, is creative license.

The other research I did involved delving into some police procedure. Rita is a homicide detective in her town of Keyport, PA. She is hunting a serial killer targeting prostitutes.

Then, Rita’s love interest is FBI agent, Matt Boulet. Now this manly hunk comes to us from New Orleans, known for its voodoo. So, I dug into a bit of voodoo to make his background beliefs in the paranormal legit and easier for him to trust Rita and her family’s psychic powers.

So, all in all, the research was quite extensive as it is with any author who needs credibility for a story line. I didn’t use all the information I found while being held entranced, but just enough to clue the readers, bring them into the story for the wild ride, and to make the readers feel like, “Hey, this could happen!”

Everyone has secrets.

Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that shows her the last image a victim had seen before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped.

FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.

When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.

Rita swims through a whirlpool of confusion as the investigation continues. Can Rita deny the lore of the ancients? Can she deny her growing feelings for Matt Boulet?


Before Rita had time to get her fingers on the gun, the man had shot out of the door, yanked her forward, and somehow shoved her headfirst onto the front seat. She skidded over the vinyl bench seat, her nose and cheek hitting hard, blocking her breath for a moment. Rita yelled; the door slammed shut. She scrambled to sit upright, gagging when she inhaled the dank, moldy scent of the interior. A metal object, hanging from the roof above the mirror, clunked heavy against her head. She swallowed the acrid taste in her throat.

The driver’s door opened and the man slipped inside. One corner of her mind wondered how he could have possibly run around the front of the van so fast.

Rita rubbed her bruised temple and twisted the door handle. It was stuck. She rammed her shoulder into the door. It didn’t budge. The window was up. Her purse with the gun lay on the sidewalk. She worked the lock button and slammed into the door again. The impact sent shock waves down her arm to her fingertips. Shit. The van was rigged. Rita looked at the serial killer, her heart banging against her ribs, her breathing short and shallow. Tapping the mic with frantic fingers, all she could do was pray.

The man grinned.

Gypsy Crystal is available in PRINT and Multiple E-book formats at Amazon


Visit my website to read the reviews and more info


Thank you for stopping in.  It's been a pleasure.

At The Round Table with Kristin Roisin

Today I'd like to welcome Kristin Roisin.  Kristin is the author of NyteBeauti,  a fantastic fantasy novel.  Welcome Kristin.  Please take a seat at the round table,  and let's talk books.

Thank you so much for taking time out to chat with us today. Your favorite drink me friend? Tantalizing Tea, Captivating Coffee, Irish Brew, or Magical Mist? 
I would have to say Irish Brew… but I’m biased.

Certainly...Here's a nice frothy Guiness :)....

This ought to be mighty refreshing on such a hot day.  Enjoy.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself...

This is the one question I have the hardest time with. Any other topic, and I can talk for hours.
Haha! Well.. I’m a stay at home, of two beautiful little boys. I’m married to my best friend, and
The love of my life, who is patient (Most of the time) and loving, who allows me to recluse into
My imagination when I need to, at any hour of the day or night, for as long as I need to, to get
The next chapter on paper.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?

I used to role play online, on a few different forums. It was the stories that we came up with as a group, that inspired me to put pen to paper.    

Role playing?  Now that is very interesting.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I think so. Writing became a very powerful outlet for me, in my early teens, when I didn’t
Otherwise have a voice of my own. It wasn’t long before I realized that I not only had a
Knack for it, but I really loved it as well.

Tell us a little about NyteBeauti...
NyteBeauti was the culmination of many years of role play, dreams, fantasies, and even one or
Two personal heartbreaks, all combined together to create the story of Desta, and her search for Identity, acceptance, and eventually, true love.

How did you come up with your characters?

Most of the characters were created using a Role play character sheet, to give them their basic
Attributes, weakness, abilities, etc. Some I came up based on that. Others were inspired by a
Picture, or a piece of art I saw online. (Usually Luis Royo or other Fantasy Artists.) Morrigan was actually “born” first. She was to be completely different from who she turned out to be. The strong , feisty Irish woman, was never meant to become a vampire, and yet she’s become the break out character, because of what, and who, she is.

The rest, were characters I ran into, or created for atmosphere purposes. Some I fell in love with
Enough to create their histories and give them a future. Other’s remained ‘eye candy’ with a
Specific purpose of propelling a storyline along.

How did Desta come to be?

Desta, believe it or not, was simply meant to be an expendable, gateway character. She started
Out as nothing more than a dying body, at the bottom of the stairs. She was created for the sole
Purpose and nothing more, than to pass a message to Logan. Haha. But the scene was just so
Heartbreaking, and so emotional, I had to keep her. So, I rewrote her a bit, and reinvented her
History, and thus, Lady Desta was born.

I am so glad you didn't off her,  so to speak.  Even though Morrigan tends to be the one I lean to more as a favorite character,  Desta definitely helps make the story.

How did you develop your plot?

Through the role play of the characters, I was able to tweak and adjust different aspects of each
Character. Once they were complete, it was a pretty easy process. They told their own stories. I
Was simply their voice.

Was there a lot of research involved?

There was, actually. Between time periods, to accurately describe their attire, maps to
Accurately describe villages or regions. Even vampire lore, so that I didn’t cross ‘too many’ lines
In trying to keep some originality with my own breed of vampires. I wanted them to be familiar,
So that my readers could identify and say, “Oh yeah, I knew that.” But at the same time, not
Give them a churned up, mulchified version of something they’ve already read.

Why Vampires?  What draws you to write in this genre?

Honestly? Obsession. I love all things vampire, supernatural and preternatural. It started with
Anne Rice, and my initial mental image of Louis. After that, I was hooked. I loved how Louis,
Lestat, Claudia and Armand could bring out so many different emotions all in the course of
A half hour, and how I could releate to each one, in their own little way. Vampires also opened up
The door to allow me to explore different time periods, without being locked into a “Historical
Romance’ genre writer.

How do you keep your writing different from all the other novels in this particular genre?

I stick to what I know. My Characters. It’s starting to become apparent to everyone who’s
Been able to read bits and pieces that this isn’t first and foremost, a Vampire Story. It’s a
Story about people, who just happen to be vampires. Instead of focusing on their vampirism,
I focus on what motivates them, what moves them, what propels them forward, and that
Seems to work for my little ragtag bunch of vampires. 

What was the hardest part about writing this particular novel?

Wow. I think the hardest part for me, was remembering to not go off on tangents, or commentary
About the individual characters, and their behaviors. In otherwords, trying to keep in my role as pure storyteller, without my own emotion and thoughts embedded in the story. I am simply here To tell their story, not comment on it.

What dreams have been realized as a result of writing NyteBeauti?

I have an actual and honest to God real book in my hand, that has MY words on the pages. I
Have something that I can pass to my boys, something tangible, that I can say to them, “Look,
I had a dream, and with hard work, and perseverance, I made it come true. So can you.” 

What a wonderful thing to be able to pass on and prove that you can do anything you put your mind to.

If you could possess any Vampire power,  what would it be?

Oh my. My husband and I have had this discussion many times. Haha! I’m currently at a toss up
Between two lesser known disciplines. Melpominee and Temporis. 

For those unsure of the terms Kristin used,  Melpominee is the ability to speak to the soul as well as to the ears,  sort of like throwing your voice,  it can enlighten or damage.
Temporis is about controlling time,  which may come in handy when a Vampire is seducing one or trying to feed without the donor remembering what happened.   A day can last forever,  or fly by.

What do you hope your readers will take away from your book?

My greatest hope, is that they walk away, having as deep a love for these characters, as I do.
I hope that they finish the last chapter, wishing to know more about a particular character that I
Didn’t expand on. My last hope, is that there is a character out there for everyone. That everyone
Finds a single character that they can relate to, and say, “I know just how s/he feels!”

I know I love your characters,  so from my point of view you are well on your way to getting your hope.

What advice can you give to new aspiring writers?

Write what you know, not what is popular. Readers can tell if you’re passionate in what you write
About, or if you’re simply writing to jump on a bandwagon. And never let anyone tell you that
Your dreams are silly, or worthless.

Are you working on any projects right now?

Book Two, Echoes of Rayne is in the works right now. It continues with Desta’s tale, and
Introduces a couple of new characters, that I think my readers will REALLY love.

Where can your readers connect with you?  Facebook,  Myspace,  Twitter, Website, Blog?


Any upcoming events you'd like to share?

We’re currently in the process of setting up some local book signings, though no dates have been
Set as of yet. We are also in the midst of planning the Official book release party for this October.
It will be a few months “late” but everything has happened in such a whirlwind, that we’ve had no
Time to plan anything until now.

Any parting comments?

Thank you to all of my friends, family and fans. Without all of them, this roller coaster ride of
A dream would never have gotten out of the gate.

I also want to say thank you for your support, and your advice. Everything you’ve done for me,
To help promote my book, has been just absolutely amazing, and I will never forget it!

Thank you so much for chatting with us today.  It has been such a pleasure chatting with you.  Please be sure to let us know when the next book is out.  You can come back to the round table to tell us about it.  I wish you much success and I will be waiting to hear about Echoes of Rayne.  


If you would like to purchase NyteBeauti,  you can buy it directly from Publish America.  It should soon be available on Amazon as well.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

**** Review of NyteBeauti by Kristin Roisin

NyteBeauti by Kristin Roisin was a fantastic read.  A great plot with enthralling characters,  you will be anxious to find out what Desta must endure next.

Desta awakens with no memories of her past.  Each night the only thing she knows is an unexplainable hunger.  Her memories show men with evil eyes and it only causes her an increased sense of fear with each remembering.

Lucky enough to have found a sanctuary in the basement of a church,  a priest offers her a wine that helps to quench her hunger.  Each night after her meal,  she wanders out into the night,  hoping to find the answers to her past.

She finds herself at the same tavern each night,  and is surprised that it offers her a sense of safety.  She ventures to the back of the tavern where she finds a beautiful lake,  which gives her a sense of peace.  She realizes it is the lake they call "Vampire Lake".  She remembers the tale that a great priest blessed the lake and it was where many of the vampire kind,  her kind,  would meet their demise.

Her thoughts are suddenly interrupted when a man approaches her from her behind telling her that all of her kind should be dead.  Startled at first,  she slowly uses her finger to remove the sword at her throat.  The problem is this vampire slayer feels a strong connection to her,  and instantly resolves not to kill her,  but protect her.

Sensing a trust in Cyrus,  the slayer,  she tells of her memories.  He swears to keep her safe,  and with each night her search continues.  That is until one night,  she meets a pair of the eyes from her memories.

Scared and without thinking,  she runs away.  She runs into Cyrus and tells him of her encounter.  He takes her to a safe place where they sleep until dusk. 

At dusk she ventures out again,  only to find herself in a very compromised situation.  Beaten and near death,  Logan saves her.  Is this the first time her and Logan have met?  As time goes on you will learn that Logan is actually her maker,  without me giving too much away.

Roisin did a fantastic job with this title.  NyteBeauti has the perfect plot,  with a lot of the vampire lore we are used to with some fantastic originality.  Her characters are ones that you will find yourself loving one and angry with the other.  I especially liked Morrigan.  She is a feisty Irish woman with a definite boldness you are sure to fall in love with.  I do hope to see much more of Kristin Roisin.

I give NyteBeauti **** (4) Stars,  BK Walker.  http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com

Learn more about this author - Kristin Roisin

BK Walker Books - All Rights Reserved


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Romance and Vampires? Interview with Susan Hanniford Crowley

Please give a warm welcome to Susan Hanniford Crowley.  Thank you so much for being with us today.

Please tell us a little about yourself.....

I'm a paranormal romance author, originally a crossover author from science fiction and fantasty.  I expanded into paranormal romance which combines everything I love from science fiction and fantasy with romance.  I've been married to the same romantic guy for 31 years and have two grown daughters and a dog named Pete.  Recently we added two kittens Bella and Buffy to our family.

What do you see as your influences on your writing?

I've been influenced by some classics like Marion Zimmer Bradley (who had been my editor when I wrote fantasy) and Charlaine Harris.  Right now I'm more influenced by up and coming authors like Bianca D'Arc,  Stella and Audra Price, and a.c. Mason.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time.  I'm an author who still has a day job.  I write every possible moment I have, and I usually think that's still not enough.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I would like have writing as my sole job.  I would like to make enough money to travel and do some more research.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I dream all my plots and characters.  Sometimes I get it all in one dream or dreaming over a weeks.  Sometimes it takes months.  I have no set formula.  The story is what happens.

What drew you to write about vampires/paranormal romance?

I write about vampires and a variety of rare supernaturals.  The attraction to vampires has been since my childhood.  I loved Dracula and was a big Dark Shadows fan.  When I dreamt about Laura and David in THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS, their story was so compelling and so passionate I had to write it.

Here's a little taste:

"It's a funny thing." She paused, one hand resting on her breast. "When you're
near me, my heart feels full. It never felt that way when I was mortal." Laura tangled her hands in his hair. "I feel like I have always known you. I've missed you forever."

He smiled. It was such odd thing to say, but it felt true. "I've loved you forever."
He didn't know how she'd take that admission. How could you love someone you hadn't met yet? But in the darkness of his life, he had loved the thought of her, the hope of her, and the dream of her. Her expression was so enigmatic. Then she smiled and pulled him down to her face. They kissed tenderly at first. Then each breathless caress of the lips became frantic and hungry. He pressed his mouth against hers and his tongue invaded. She moaned. Her hands moved down to his shoulders. He ripped the buttons off the shirt, and his tongue lavished one breast and then the other. Tiny pants shuddered throughout her body. He kissed her stomach and she giggled. He did it again. She giggled like it hurt. David couldn't help but add his tongue.

"No." Laura pulled his hair. "You're breaking the mood."

He tickled her again, and she giggled. But her eyes smoldered begging him to
continue. Please. He loved hearing her voice in his head.

Pulling off her panties, he flung them to who knows where. She gasped, as his
head disappeared between her legs. Each sweet taste of her led to another. Laura cried and whimpered. Please, I need you.

THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS (part of The Vampires in Manhattan series) is available at: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thestormylovelifeoflauracordelais-374695-139.html

In Kindle at Amazon Books and I'm awaiting the print date any time now.

The other books in the series are:


How do you keep your writing different from the vast variety of stories (in your genre) out there today?

It's the interplay of rare supernaturals that make my plots unique.  Plus I've centered my vampires around the secret society in New York called the Arnhem Society.  The Arnhem Knights, the society's police arm, are dedicated to preventing human deaths by vampires and aiding other supernaturals in trouble.  I love have a supernatural world that exists when our contemporary world.

How did your title come into play?

The title of THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS is sort of an inside joke between myself and my readers.  To understand the nature of Laura Cordelais and her powers is to get the title. LOL

Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?

Laura is in a desperate way and ends up clinging to the railing of the Brooklyn Bridge.  David has just asked God to take pity on his loneliness.  When Laura changes her mind, she slips and falls into the East River.  David has a vision of her falling and jumps into the river to save her.  But she is mortally injured and he only has one choice.

When David falls in love with Laura, he doesn't know he's doomed them both to an underworld of sorcery and voodoo from which no one escapes.  Is he willing to die to save her?

What were your feelings when you first novel was accepted for publication?

I was so excited I cried.  THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS is my debut novel.  After years of writing short fiction, writing a full length novel and getting it published was a dream fulfilled.

I absolutely love working with the staff at Tease Publishing LLC.

Who is your favorite author? What genre of books do you read?
Are you working on any projects right now?

I have several favorite authors, so it wouldn't be fair to say one.  I read paranormal romance, urban fantasy.

I'm working on a steampunk story and a Greek God story.  Neither are part of the Vampires in Manhattan series.

If you could leave readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

Never give up on a dream, no matter how long it takes.  If you truly believe in something and you work at it everyday, don't give up.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in this genre?

Do your homework.  Read your genre like a maniac so you know what's been done.   Get Leslie Wainger's book Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies.  Join the RWA and a local chapter.  The education in RWA is the tops.

Any last comments you would like to add?

My next ebook release will be VAMPIRE IN THE BASEMENT—tentative release date July 15.

I will be participating in the Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, September 16-19.  There 's still time to register.  There will be tons of fun events, panels, workshops, parties, and giveaways.  Here's the link:

Is there a website that readers may find you at?
Readers can always find me at http://susanhannifordcrowley.com
My romance blog:  http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/SHCrowley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Hanniford-Crowley/629298868

 Thank you so much for chatting with us today Susan.  I absolutely love the covers of all of your books.  Susan is also on virtual book tour,  so please be sure to leave her a comment here today for your chance to win a copy of one of her fantastic books.

Thank you for having me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Am I Dreaming???....Interview with Cate Masters

Cate Masters has an amazing writing style,  as you will see from the excerpt she is sharing with us below.  She writes fantasy/dark fantasy, contemporary and speculative fiction,  as well as historical novels.  She is one that will surely leave you wanting more.  Please give her a warm welcome as she takes time out to chat with us today.

Welcome Cate,  thank you so much for stopping in.  Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks so much for having me at the Immortal Cafe! Love that title, btw.
Poetry was an early passion, from about age ten. In high school, I wrote for the school newspaper, and later freelanced for our local newspaper. So I love to write anything, but mostly fiction. Though I do have a day job, I consider writing my main job.

What do you see as your influences on your writing?

I grew up in a very artsy community, and my friends were all artists and poets. From grade school on, we nurtured each other and are still close friends, so the initial imprint was strong. Although I didn’t know it until my mom’s funeral, she once won an award in a writing contest. My dad loved to write, too. So in addition to a nurturing atmosphere, I credit good genes. :)

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Revisions are sometimes a challenge, but I know that’s where the real story shines through, so I go through three or four edits on my own before sending out to critique partners, after which I’ll go through at least another round. So by the time I submit it somewhere, it’s as polished and shiny as I can make it.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

As far as I can. My aim is to keep learning and growing, and pushing my writing to its limit.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

I usually start out with a basic idea and take off from there. Once I begin, I keep a running outline to map where I’ve been, and sometimes rough out where I’m headed. But basically the characters know better than me!

What drew you to write about fantasy romance?

I actually write across a variety of genres: fantasy/ dark fantasy to speculative, contemporary to historical, sweet to erotic romance.

I’m not quite sure into what category Fever Dreams fits. It’s a mix of contemporary with fantasy dream sequences. I wrote it almost twenty years ago, and it began as a much shorter story but through revisions, I fleshed out the characters and scenes until it became a short novel. The novel contains many fantasy dream sequences that allowed me to delve into the subconscious of the heroine, Diana, in a unique way. Through her dreams, she recognizes her feelings for Cal overwhelm her reason and better judgment. She knows the relationship has wonderful elements, but in almost a sensory overload way.

How do you keep your writing different from the vast variety of stories (in your genre) out there today?

I like to experiment, so I don’t consciously think about genre, or other stories, while I’m writing. The story and its characters dictate where it will go, independent of any other.

How did your title come into play?

Fever Dreams incorporates several layers of meaning – dreams of following your goals to achieve happiness, as well as dreams of finding the person who’s right for you, in addition to the literal fantasy dreams that haunt Diana after meeting Cal.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?

Ah, well – Cal is very sexy. :)  He’s also very moody, as poets can be, but the poetry he writes for Diana melts her heart. And he helps Diana realize her own talents as a photographer. She’s very talented but has no self-confidence until she meets Cal. She also learns to recognize what’s best for her, what’s detrimental and most importantly, how to stand up for herself. Diana and Cal are both flawed characters who become stronger after meeting. They challenge and encourage each other, as the best relationships will. Their feelings grow so strong, both become overwhelmed and have to step away, but that, too, is a good thing in the end.

What were your feelings when you first novel was accepted for publication?

Delight, of course, and probably a little shock. In less than two years, I’ve had 17 acceptances! I like to joke it’s to make up for all those years when I had zero, aside from the few literary magazines and web zines here and there. Those are linked to my web site, if anyone wants a free read, and range from speculative to fantasy to contemporary and literary.

Who is your favorite author? What genre of books do you read?

Wow. I love so many. For their incredible imagination and excellent writing, T.C. Boyle, Margaret Atwood and Michael Chabon definitely rank as my top three. Neil Gaiman and Alice Hoffman follow close on their heels. For jaw-dropping writing, Charles D’Ambrosio and Richard Russo. I’m also trying to catch up on a slew of fellow authors, too many to name. As you can tell from these authors, I read literary, fantasy/urban fantasy, magic realism, contemporary, and any mashup of these.

Are you working on any projects right now?

About a dozen stories are vying for my attention. I’ve nearly finished a first draft of a contemporary fantasy, possibly the beginning of a series. I’m very excited about it.

If you could leave readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

Most of my stories center on the idea of following your bliss, and doing what you love. It’s what makes life worthwhile. That’s the positive message I hope my readers take away from my stories.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in this genre?

The old joke about how to get to Carnegie Hall comes to mind: practice! I once asked bestselling author Ian McEwan the same thing at a booksigning, and he said: keep writing. At the time I thought it was his way of disposing of me to move the line along, but it’s true. The more you write, the better writer you will be. Along with writing books, workshops help, and critique partners are essential.

Any last comments you would like to add?.....(upcoming events,  titles, etc. )

I am incredibly psyched about this year’s releases. The Wild Rose Press just released Design for Life, a short contemporary. In August, Whiskey Creek Press is set to release Surfacing, a contemporary fantasy novel about a mermaid and an indie rocker, and contracted The Bridge Between, a contemporary women’s fiction novel. On May 7, Eternal Press released Fever Dreams, and on July 7, will release Winning, a short with elements of magical realism, and on Aug. 7, will release Follow the Stars Home, a historical centered on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. I’m still waiting for a release date from Freya’s Bower for Angels, Sinners and Madmen, the historical set in Key West, Florida. And because I felt I should give something back to celebrate my good fortune, I contributed a speculative short story, Love and War, to an XOXO Publishing anthology which will benefit charity, and a poem to an anthology Little Episodes released in February, which aims to destigmatize addiction, depression and mental illness through the arts.

I’m also excited to be on my first blog tour, and will be part of the first annual Harrisburg Book Fair the weekend of June 25-26, in Harrisburg, PA. Watch my web site and blog for more details!

Is there a website where readers may find you?

My web site: http://www.catemasters.com and blog: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Facebook,  Twitter,  or Myspace?

My Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CateMasters

My contemporary novel, Fever Dreams, was released May 7, 2010 from Eternal Press: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615720910
Book blurb:
When Diana Taylor changes jobs, she doesn’t expect it to change her life. Meeting Cal opens up a new world of passion. He encourages her to pursue her passion for photography. Her love overwhelms her, blurs the line between reality and dreams. But is it love or obsession?

And here’s an excerpt:

She stood by the bed. “The light switch is to your right.”
He lingered by the door. “We don’t need it. The moon’s still bright.”
Her breath quickened as he stepped toward her out of the shadows. He stopped and took a deep breath. “I have to be careful.”
She tensed. “What do you mean?”
He looked her over inch by inch. “You said you wanted to go slow.” He reached to move her hair from her shoulder, then traced his finger along her collar bone. “That’s going to be very difficult.” His fingers slid down her sweater between her breasts. As he circled around her breast, his palm brushed against her nipple.
Her heart raced and she let out a breath. “I see what you mean.” She touched his chest, ran her hands down his waist and thighs.
He inched her sweater up over her head. She raised her arms and her hair cascaded down her back as he dropped the sweater to the floor.
She unfastened the rest of his buttons and slid his shirt from his shoulders and arms. With a ragged breath, she ran her hands along his smooth chest, resisting the urge to pull him close, to feel his skin against hers. Instead she kissed his nipples, one by one, her tongue teasing them to hardness.
His hands cupped her head, his fingers tangled in her hair. He pulled her away. “You don’t play fair,” he growled. He leaned toward her and she reached her lips to his, but he smiled, holding her inches away. “Not yet,” he whispered.
He undid her bra and slid it away. His tongue traveled down her cleavage to her belly button as he unsnapped her jeans, pulling the zipper down tooth by tooth. She ran her fingers through the waves of his hair as he pushed her jeans from her hips and down her legs and over one foot then the next, kissing her thigh as he steadied her.
He knelt before her, his breath hot through her panties. She clenched his hair as he lightly ran his fingers from back to front, then slowly tugged her panties away, his tongue following the clearing path.
She widened her stance and bit back a moan. His tongue teased her to near bursting. Her breath quivered as she shuddered, then grabbed his head as spasms shook her body as never before. Her knees gave way and she nearly doubled over.
His arms slid behind her knees and back, and he lifted her to the bed. He kissed her, and she tasted herself on his lips. Her legs instinctively wrapped around his to pull him closer. Feeling fabric instead of skin, she reached for his buckle and undid it as fast as she could; she’d had enough of going slow. She tugged them down, pushed them down his legs with her feet.
He stood to take them off, then took a deep breath as he looked at her. He smiled, kissed her bent knee and ran his hands along her legs. “I’m going to make sure,” he said, putting one knee on the bed, then the other, “you won’t miss even one second of this.” He arched over her. “Are you ready for me?”
She had to have him. Now—or she’d go crazy. “Come here.”
He whispered, “Diana, Diana,” the same as he had in her dreams. She tightened her arms around him, and held him until after the moonlight slid away from her bed.

I love the excerpt.  You already know it's on my TBR,  as with most of your books.  Thank you so much for stopping in Cate.  It has been such a pleasure chatting with you.  

Please be sure to leave a comment for Cate for your chance to win a copy of her book, Fever Dreams.  Follow her along her tour,  leaving a comment at her various pit stops for extra chances to win.

Wishing you much success Cate!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Bit of Romance - Paranormal Style with Margaret West

Thank you so much for being with us today.

Please tell us a little about yourself.....

I was Born in England and moved to the Kent countryside five years ago to get away from the busy life of London. I’m married with two grown up children and am a Clairknowing medium, Crystal Therapist, Parapsychologist and Psychic Development tutor.
I’ve been writing over 20 years and has numerous short stories, novels and articles published. I write romance and paranormals. Incorporating my spiritual experiences, into my books.

What do you see as your influences on your writing?

I think everything in life influences me. My mediumistic work is incorporated into my novels and situations, that I’m tend to find myself in, offer me other inspirations.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes. Finding the time to write. I love to write full time and envy those who can.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

Like every writer I’d love to write a blockbuster or have a book turned into a film. Wouldn’t that be a blast!

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set

I don’t really. I do have an idea of how the storyline will go. A beginning, middle and end, but the fleshy parts tend to appear on their own as I write. The characters grow from a single idea, or a person I’ve met, even for an instant. It fascinates me sometimes how they do become so real to me by the time the book ends.LOL

What drew you to write about paranormal/ romance?

I am a true romantic at heart. I love a good love story with lots of twists and turned. As I spend a good part of my talking to spirit people, I thought incorporating that with romance seemed a great combination.

How did your title come into play?

The Heart of a Warrior is a bit bizarre really. It started off a non fiction, full of facts and information. Then one day a Navajo name I found by accident when I was researching, suddenly became a real man in my mind and the book started to change. It became more of a romance than a narration. Yuma had a huge heart and fought hard for the rights of his people and because of this, the book got a name.
Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?
Yuma is a chief of a fading reservation. To keep his people’s traditions and beliefs alive he decides to close it to the outside world. But when he falls in love with Belinda, a nurse from the UK, he suddenly finds he is questioning his beliefs. The traditions he lives by are now preventing him from being with the woman he loves. When a drugs farm is found on the reservation he is in danger of losing not only his people, but everything he’s ever loved. Can love really survive when two opposite worlds collide? Not all romances end happy, some are bittersweet. But I’ll leave that for the reader to find out for themselves.

What were your feelings when you first novel was accepted for

Awe struck. I never really thought I was ever good enough to be published. That feeling has never gone away.

What genre of books do you read?

I love historical, paranormals. My favourite author was Catherine Cookson. I loved all her books and have seen everyone of the movies they were made into.

Are you working on any projects right now?

I’ve just finished Spirit intervention. A comedy romance that has all sort of ghostly happenings going on.

Any last comments you would like to add?....

Yes. Follow my writers blog  http://margaret-paranormalromanceauthor.blogspot.com/ for loads of authors tours, contests and free gifts.
Follow my paranormal blog http://magsx.blogspot.com/ for all types of ghostly goings on.

Is there a website that readers may find you at?

Facebook, Margaret West
Twitter, mwest1962

Thank you so much for stopping in and chatting with us today Margaret.  I always enjoy talking with you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stepping into the future with Lloyd Kaneko

Please give a warm welcome to my guest today, Lloyd Kaneko, author of Kami Jin. I had the pleasure of reading this book, and let me tell you it will get you thinking. Sometimes we go through life and just don't think of the possibilities that could be out there, such as time travel.

Thank you so much for being with us today.

Please tell us a little about yourself.....

I was born on the east side of Los Angeles in the Latino/Jewish dominant district of Boyle Heights.  As I grew a little older, my family moved to the suburbs in a city called Monterey Park.  There I went to middle school and graduated high school in neighboring Montebello.  I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and eventually received a graduate degree in Training and Human Resources Development from UCLA.

I was always artistically inclined either in writing, art and music.  I never was a genius in mathematics and science.  That’s probably why I never became the lawyer, doctor, engineer, or scientist that was expected of a typical Asian male.

Throughout most of my professional experiences, writing has had a predominant influence on everything I did.  While in college, I learned the art of screenwriting through the Writers Guild of America, West.  Just after I graduated from college, I spent a few years as a journalist writing columns for trade newspapers.  Then for the next thirty years, most of my writing was concentrated on technical matters pertaining to computer systems training, maintenance, management development, and human resources.

Occasionally, I would write and publish white papers for trade conferences and appear as guest clinician during workshops and seminars.  During these times, I would try to work on my creative works, but would always be interrupted by other matters.  Only until after I was laid off and unemployed for over four years did my creative writing life come into full fruition.

What do you see as your influences on your writing?

Practically everything.  As I said before, I am very interested in art.  I took art classes in high school and I loved molding things with clay or carving things out of wood.  I like to take any subject and try to mold it into words.  Not like a poet, who probably does it more skillfully than I do.  I’m more of the “painter” or “illustrator” that likes to create pictures from and idea or subject.

I would probably say, things that influence me the most are politics and social issues.  I do like the mystery and fantasies of science fiction.  When you blend the elements together, you get science fiction with social commentary.  Once in a while, I find myself getting very opinionated even though I consider myself to be rather shy and reserved.  But as the slogan says on one of our historical flags, “Don’t tread on me.”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Sometimes I’ll write about something or work with an idea and it would go absolutely no where – a dead end.  Yet, there would be other ideas where there would be no ending.  One of my greatest challenges as a writer is wearing two hats – one as a novelist, the other as a screenwriter.  The challenge is adapting the novel to the screen where I would frequently wear the wrong hat and have difficulties determining only what elements of the novel would be necessary for the script.  As a novelist, you’d love to see the entire work in the screenplay.  As a screenwriter,  only some parts of the novel would provide good dramatics for the movie – not the entire book!  So as a novelist, I would use a paintbrush.  As a screenwriter, I would use an chisel and an X-acto knife.

Another challenge in my writing is when I get a terrific brainstorm during the night causing me to lose sleep.  Yet, not reacting to the event by not writing down or recording my ideas for the book, then losing the entire thought over some dream or nightmare.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I’ve always been fascinated with live theatre.  Now that the screenplay is almost completed, I would like to see that produced as a movie eventually.  Then, adapt Kami Jin for the stage.  If not this story; then its prequel, Legend of the Crescent Eagle.  This story traces the protagonist’s ancestors’ migration to the United States through Mexico from their native homeland of Napajan.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Really, no set formula here – they just come into my head.  I would have a character in mind, a visual image, not really modeled after anyone in particular, then just run with it.  Mainly, just for the fun of it.  If I see that the character is not going anywhere, then I would backtrack and remodel the character, and/or just eliminate the character all together.  Or, shelve the character for another story.

I do have a methodological way of selecting my characters, however.  I “interview” each character and create a “character profile” including likes, dislikes, race, color, nationality, height, weight, personal data, relationships – in short, a complete background check on the character.  It is good to know the behavioral patterns of your characters.

Then, audition your characters as if you were casting for a movie or live event.  Are the characters well suited for your story?

What drew you to write about science fiction?

The Star Trek android character “Data” always fascinated me as being so life-like, yet the character was built on the premise that he was a highly intelligent robot capable of doing everything humans could do.  In Star Wars, C-3PO wasn’t quite as sophisticated, but walked and talked, and behaved like a human.

In reality, Honda developed a robot called “Asimo.”  A crude robot that could talk and walk like a human.  Is this just the beginning of what is yet to come?  Will there, in reality, be androids like Data among us?

Presently, millions of people are out of work in America through corporate downsizing and globalization.  Many jobs that were once plentiful here in the United States have been exported overseas in favor of cheap labor.  As a result, many have been displaced from their dwellings, forced to live out of their cars or on the streets.

Look a Detroit, for example.  In the automobile factories, many jobs that were once manned by humans were replaced by robots.

Why in the future?

Magnify the desire to maximize profits and take this lust for greed to the extreme.  What if human labor became too expensive all over the world?  Enter, androids like Data into the workforce.  Things that can operate 24/7 without a break.  You don’t have to pay them salaries or benefits.  If they break down, you just replace them with another unit.  And, they can do everything that humans used to do, far less than the cheapest laborer in the world.  Not only would this be very appealing for the money hungry executive, but many more people are going to be disadvantaged.  And, if trends continue, the government will continue to serve corporate executives more than they will its own people.

Isn’t it time we think about our future now?  Not only do we need to look at the path that we are headed on, we need to seriously question our government or the lack of it.

How do you keep your writing different from the vast variety of stories (in your genre) out there today?

I belong to a excellent writer’s group and I am very receptive to comments and suggestions.  However, I try not to let my mind become convoluted with ideas and suggestions that may be acquired from writing conferences and guest speakers who have “prescribed” or “fixed” ways of being successful.  I think this is good for them, but as for the individual author should assert his or her own unique voice into the work and not mold the work based on a prescription or guidelines.  A work of art should be the artist’s identity.  Otherwise, the product becomes the same as everything else – as if, it came off an assembly line or out of a fabricated kit.

A work of art, whether it be a painting, novel or screenplay, should be fluent and flowing – not created by a fixed formula as if you are “painting by the numbers.”  The problem in this world is that we condition ourselves to do things in a certain way, that we cannot breakout of our habits, nor consider alternate ways of doing things.  The alternatives may be better ways of doing things.  But we’ve become so fixated on our habits, that we often close our minds to other possibilities.

Take the world’s financial crisis, for example.  We are so fixated on the current world’s monetary system, that everyone in authority refuses to consider alternative currency models – some which may be more equitable and fairer to the whole world.  Some models may actually solve the world’s problem of poverty and homelessness.

How did your title come into play?

My family uses a lot of paper disposable plates at dinner time.  We have been doing this for a very long time.  One day, I was at a park and the wind blew some paper plates out of a full trash can.  The disposables went flying all over the lawn.  It reminded me about the mass amounts of litter that fill some of our streets in downtown Los Angeles.

Then, as I was reading the news about massive layoffs and people losing their homes, it was almost like they were being “discarded” onto the streets.  Workers in these companies were no longer an asset to the company – they were literally valueless, paid a paltry severance, losing their pensions, and expected to survive on their own.  Like people cut out from society.

“Kami” in Japanese translates one way into “paper.”  “Jin” means “people.”  Hence, the first interpretation, “paper people.”  However, “kami” could also mean “godly” while “jin” could also translate into “person.”  So the second interpretation “godly person” also holds true in this book as the protagonist, Gordon Sakata, is looked upon as a savior when he rescues the homeless from planet Earth and takes them to a land of paradise on a distant planet.

Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?

The main characters:
A. Gordon Sakata II – Protagonist
Kami Jin is based on Gordon’s life as recorded in his diary mounted on a memory chip in his bionic arm.  Gordon’s nationality is Napajanese-American who becomes victimized by massive layoffs in the workplace as droids takeover practically everything that humans once performed – including teaching college courses.  Gordon wears a mystical ring, a family heirloom which has a crescent eagle.  According to legend, the ring is supposed to have magical powers.  Gordon thinks these magical powers are all folklore until he marries his wife, Wendy (aka Princess Katherine Kusumatsu of Xycrhon

Wendy (aka Princess Katherine “Kathy” Kusumatsu)
Wendy is introduced a little way from the beginning of the story as Gordon’s fiancée.  As the couple elope to Las Vegas to get married, we find that Wendy has some special gifts of being able to communicate with droids.  Initially, we’re not really too sure of Wendy’s family other than her family resides in a “distant land.”  Why is she in the country?  To find a husband.

The Plot
Kami Jin is a tale of two worlds.  Gordon describes a difficult life on Earth as he tries to survive homeless; how society treats those who are out of a job; the miserable living conditions of displaced people in Los Angeles in the 23rd Century.  To add to his frustrations, the country enters into a war against his home country of Napajan, a tiny Pacific island country, that sits on top of the only remaining large pocket of oil.

Gordon is separated from his family, detained, declared as an enemy combatant and sent to a concentration camp in Manzanar.  After camp officials discover that he is wearing a bionic arm that is capable of recording camp details of the secret facility, he is removed from the camp and taken to the freezing cold Sierra Nevada Mountains nearby to die.

Left alone near a secluded lake in the mountains, he uses the skills he learned as a Boy Scout to survive for several months.  During this time, he gains valuable insights to solving the problem of world poverty and homelessness and making wars obsolete.

Eventually, he is rescued by his wife, Wendy, who now becomes known as Princess Kathy, an alien visitor to Earth from the planet Xycrhon.  As they prepare to depart Earth’s orbit, the planet commits self-nuclear destruction and is demolished.  Through time travel, Earth magically is put back together as Gordon travels back to the 21st Century to deliver his story to writer Jason Shohara, hoping that his story will be able to divert the course of history and avert ultimate disaster in the 23rd Century.

On Xychron, Gordon discovers that he is true heir to the Emperor’s throne by possession of the crescent eagle ring.  He learns that he is a direct descendant of the Monarch of Napajan who established the civilization on Xychron.  When he inherits the throne, he returns to Earth to rescue the people in despair and take them to a land of paradise on another planet in a distant galaxy.  Earth is left in ruins after the rescue expedition leaves their “calling card.”

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted for publication?

Since this is my first novel, my feelings were mixed because it was published in two stages.  The first stage was published in September 2009 through Smashwords as an e-book.  I was a little excited then, but didn’t know what to expect – especially in the format of an electronic book.  After all, I also did not actively market the book.  So, as expected, sales were very low.  It was almost as if the book didn’t exist on the market.

Then the second phase was came in March 2010 when the book was published through Wordclay as a trade paperback,  Then, I realized that I really had published something.  Somehow, the virual book didn’t really seem like a real publication – although it may have been saving trees initially.  But when I received my copies of the book, I discovered that it contained the wrong edition of the novel – it contained an edition that included uncorrected typographical errors which I thought were uploaded to the publisher in March.  However, an earlier September version was used instead.  So, you might say, it was like having a baby with multiple birth defects?

I finally got the editorial matters straightened out with the publisher and a new release of the book will be coming out at the end of the week of May 10, I’m happy to say.  This edition has all the editorial corrections.  At least, the ones that really stood out in the September issue.

Who is your favorite author? What genre of books do you read?
Are you working on any projects right now?

My favorite author is Edgar Allan Poe.  Mr. Poe, perhaps noted more for his poetry, wrote a wonderful novel entitled, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.  It was required reading in a college English class, but it was the first novel that held my attention from cover to cover.  I never was an avid reader until then.  Then, the world of literature really opened up since then.

As for the genre of books I read.  It depends on my mood.  Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for a good thriller.  Then, other occasions, I would look for something spiritual such as the Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsh.  On other occasions, I would be motivated to read political commentary.  I love cookbooks, however, and I have quite a collection of them.  I love to cook.  There is a chef whom I absolutely admire:  Ferran Adria.  He has taken the culinary arts to new heights and practically tossed out all the rules of cooking and has created his own unique creations.  I think this is what writers should aspire to.

If you could leave readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

Throughout history, there has always been a divide among peoples, not only of the world, but also within nations.  In the world, there is poverty, homelessness and hunger.  We share the same problems here in the United States.  Historically, the divide has caused misery to a lot of groups of people.  While some live in lavish luxuries, the majority struggle to make ends meet – yet, many cannot even do just that.  It’s like asking the question, “Why does there need to be a hierarchy of people?  Who gave special entitlements to certain people while the majority is left to survive on scraps – bits and pieces?”

The whole world is currently in an economic turmoil.  Is Greece the flashpoint of what is yet to come?  Will this be the start of a domino effect that will ultimately consume all nations?  Is there a way out?

The legacy I hope to leave with my readers is, yes, there is a way out.  I hope that through my book and with the insights that I have learned while writing the book, that peace in the world can ultimately be attained and wars be made obsolete.  And, we can find a solution to poverty and homelessness.  But, the solutions start here at home first.  It starts in each one of our homes.  Mother Teresa once said:

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

In essence, the way out of this worldly mess is to change our focus and priorities on profit, money, and corporations to people and love.  Not only in the United States, but the entire world.  It is my hope that the world will come together as one.  This is also why I have joined efforts with the Humanity’s Team to encourage the United Nations to create a Oneness Day.  For more information, visit their website at http://www.humanitysteam.org/ and join this effort.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in this genre?

Practice the art of writing.  Refine your skills and don’t hesitate to join a local writers group in your local area.  Working amongst your peers can be very invaluable – especially for networking and feedback.  But also, expand your interest in other genres and other forms of arts.  By being exposed to other art forms, you just might run across a bolt of lightning that will strike out of unexpected places and give you an idea for a really good story.

Develop business skills, especially in project planning, budgeting and marketing.  This knowledge will come in useful should you decide to set out on your own by self-publishing.  But more importantly, develop relationships.  Especially, develop a long term relationship with a good mentor that will help and guide you through your career.

Develop entrepreneurial skills.  Don’t quit your current job now.  But learn to develop multiple streams of income – especially those that require very little or no start up costs.

Any last comments you would like to add? (upcoming events, titles, etc. )

If you are in the San Francisco area on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, stop by Bastet’s Kindle at 1501 Irving Street (located between 16th Ave. and 17th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94122.  I will be spraking and signing books at this unique, eclectic shop.  Store hours on the weekend are from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m.  For more information, call (415) 731-2723.

Is there a website that readers may find you at?

People may find me at my website at www.lloydkaneko.com
I am also hosting an art contest there where participants can win prizes based on voter popularity.  The contest runs through July 31.

Artists can join me on my networking site at www.creativeartistskettle.ning.com.  I invite artists of all types (illustrators, singers, performing artists, screenwriters, etc.) to join us there.  I also have a sister blog to that where people can follow my showcase at www.creativeartists.blogspot.com.

Facebook,  Twitter,  or Myspace?

I guess you might say, I’m all over the internet:

I invite people to join my fan page on Facebook:
or become my friend at:

I’m also on Twitter as:

And, I cannot forget MySpace at:

Also, I’m also at the following other places:
LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/lkaneko
Plaxo:  http://www.plaxo.com
Digg:  http://www.digg.com/users/kamijin1951
Bebo:  http://www.bebo.com/LloydK161
Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/people/46050752@N08/
Book Marketing Network:  http://www.bookmarket.ning.com/profile/Lloydkaneko
Authors Supporting Authors:  http://www.authorsnetworking.ning.com/profile/LloydKaneko
Storylink:  http://www.storylink.com/9445

And finally, not to forget about where to find my book:
The paperback edition may be purchased through Wordclay at:

The e-book edition may be purchased through Smashwords at:

The book is also available through:

and other international online outlets.

Thank you again for visiting with us today Lloyd.  It has been a wonderful pleasure chatting with you.  Don't forget to leave Lloyd a comment here today for your chance to win a copy of Kami Jin.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Remake of The Crow?

 Picture From Popcrunch.com

A remake of The Crow?  This is one of my all time favorite movies.  Will it be the same without Brandon Lee?  Well it looks like the remake is scheduled to start later this year.  Read what Castina has to say here:  PopCrunch

I think I have mixed feelings about this.  I just don't know if it can get any better than Brandon Lee.   Who will they cast as Draven?  It's going to be some tough shoes to fill!  I hope they pick someone good,  Wow.  I'm just so shocked.  There is talk too that the crow won't be just a bird,  but a creature.  A creature?

I think you will see a lot of controversy surrounding this remake.  Who do you think they should cast as Draven?

Believe it or not he is rumored to be in the running for the part of Eric Draven.

How about Christian Bale?

Warren Peace?

Who do you think they should cast as Eric Draven?