Monday, December 22, 2014

Interview: Greg Spry

          Greg Spry has immersed himself in science fiction since he was old enough to obliterate Lego star ships with Lincoln Log photon torpedoes. He writes fast-paced yet thought-provoking science fiction with thoughtful, tortured characters caught up in ethical dilemmas where the fate of the universe hangs in the balance. He's a forward-thinking person who always has an eye on the future, although he yearns for the good old days when there were nine planets in the Solar System (props to you, Pluto).
           Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2001, Greg has worked in the IT and computer programming industry. During that time, he's learned web design, search engine marketing, entrepreneurship, and other skills which help aid him in developing his author platform. He's also participated in multiple writing and critique groups, honing his craft while helping others to do the same. An M.S. Space Systems degree from the Florida Institute of Technology helps him craft sci-fi that's as realistic as possible.

 Favorite reads?
           My favorite authors include Arthur C. Clarke, Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Orson Scott Card, and Jack McKinney (I read the Robotech book series from start to finish at least three times in middle school and high school). I also think books by Dan Brown and Suzanne Collins's live up to the hype. As you might've guessed from my list of authors, I tend to read books that fall into the genres in which I write: hard sci-fi, space opera, and other science fiction.

 Inspirations for the book?
           My chief inspirations for Beyond Cloud Nine (BC9) came from the Anime I watched growing up: Robotech, SDF Macross, Macross II, and Macross Plus. Thanks to Star Trek: TNG and Captain Picard, my main protagonists will always face a moral conundrum. I've also pulled plot and character elements from the books/authors I've read (see above) and video games. There was a game I used to play as a kid for the Sega Genesis called Target Earth. I started with the plot of that game and twisted the overdone alien invasion angle to my advantage in order to create the story for BC9.
           I've written many more details about the background behind the creation of BC9 at

 Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
           Yes, I wrote my first novel, Crystalia, in late elementary/early middle school. The book filled two five-subject notebooks, if you remember those thick beasts from back in the day. My novel Destalis, which remains a work in progress, is loosely based on Crystalia. I also wrote the first couple chapters of the first draft of BC9 in high school, so I've been going strong since I was fairly young.
           I've written a little more about this at and

 Any Pet Peeves?
           Too many to list. Let's stay positive.

 Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
           Both! Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are delicious, although I don't eat candy very often.

 The weirdest thing you've ever done?
           I once shook and thanked someone I didn't know very well when a random thing they said gave me a great plot idea. There's also a scene from the Simpsons where Homer runs/twirls in a circle yelling "woohoo" while on the floor. I reenacted this scene upon publishing my first novel.
Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
          Ha, this is an awesome question. BC9 doesn't have an official soundtrack and probably won't until JJ Abrams, James Cameron, or Steven Spielberg produce the movie. While my musical bread and butter has always been alternative (most poetic/abstract lyrics), I often listen to techno/trance, electronic, and sci-fi scores when writing. From those genres, I've compiled a play list of songs that I think would work well in the background of the movie.
           There's a song I randomly stumbled across on SoundCloud titled "Twisted (Mac & Taylor Remix) by Amy Rose." To me, the song feels very dystopian, sets the mood of the main character and story, and would work perfectly when zooming in on the planet Jupiter to open the movie. I also tend to imagine the song "Distant Worlds (Carl B Remix) by Amex and Saint Rush" playing at the end of BC9 as the main protagonist realizes where she is and into the end credits.
           Overall, if I had the opportunity to produce or direct the movie, the score would consist of electronic and modern classical elements blended together. The straightforward classical scores found in Star Wars and Star Trek movies are kind of "been there, done that" (as much as I love them). Personally, I believe the most sci-fi sounding music can be found in 80's flicks like Terminator. Synthesizers sound more futuristic. I'm also a huge fan of the musical composition done by Yoko Kanno in Anime works like Macross Plus and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. She manages to seamlessly blend classical and electronic in cool and unique ways.

 Do you need anything to write?  
          Just my desktop computer and large chunks of time. I'm most comfortable on a desktop PC with a full keyword and monitor. I can't work as fast on a laptop. It also takes me a little while to get into writing mode, and I'm a slow writer, so unless I have an hour or more available at once, it's hard to get much done. Getting "in the zone" is huge for me. If I'm focused and "in the zone," the words flow and hours can pass without my noticing it. When I'm not "in the zone," it might take me hours just to write a page.
           I sometimes listen to music and sometimes need to turn it off to get focused. It depends on my mood at the time.

 How long do you write on any average day?
           I tend to write in spurts. I can't say I've ever been able to stick to the whole "write X words a day" advice we've all heard. Typically, I reserve one day a week as my writing day and try to get in a full afternoon, evening, and night's worth, which allows me to bust out the better part of a chapter. I'll write throughout the rest of the week as time permits.
           It's also worth defining the terms "write" or "writing" in this context. When people think of writing, I think most of us envision typing the prose of the chapters in Word. However, I would also classify brainstorming and outlining as writing, too. On any given day, I may not add to my chapter word count, but I might still come up with a great plot idea in my head or work out what's going to happen in what order in an outline in OneNote.
Give us the number one reason to read your book.
           I'd like to think there are dozens of good reasons to read Beyond Cloud Nine: a real main protagonist with a compelling goal, a plot that's not your typical alien invasion, page-turning action, etc. Choosing one is tough, but the top reason would have to be because of my definition of what separates good from great. Good books entertain, but you don’t just enjoy great books. Great books make you think and reflect on your own life. I'd like to think the main theme of Beyond Cloud Nine--would you rather be miserable knowing the truth or happy living a lie--leaves readers considering that question for themselves.

Author Info:

Author Website:

Ace star fighter pilot Brooke Davis lives for pushing hundreds of gees in orbital combat, but she’d give it all up in a moment to become the first human to fly faster than light. When Brooke stumbles upon a conspiracy involving terrorists, aliens, and the highest levels of government, she finds their goals seductive but their methods abhorrent. With the moral core of human civilization hanging in the balance, she must risk her shot at history, her family, and her life to prevent the schemers from forcing their nefarious brand of salvation upon the solar system.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: J. R. Boles

J.R. Boles is a fantasy and fiction writer currently hanging her hat in the Heartland with her husband where they spend their free time chasing after their fearless daughter. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a degree in English and American University Washington College of Law.

Favorite reads?
          I am a fantasy genre junkie. I've read Lord of the Rings more times than I care to admit. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword, and Brandon
Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy are a few of my favorites. I love stories that leave me daydreaming about the characters and the worlds in which they exist.

Inspirations for the book?
          I dreamed one of the main scenes in Bringer of Light. I watched a warrior woman
scream out blinding white light, heard her enemies hit the ground, and saw the eyes of
her fellow warriors on her before her light faded out. The rest of the novel was sort of built around that moment.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
        No, when I was little was going to be a veterinarian or She Ra, Princess of Power. It wasn't until high school that I discovered my love of writing.

Any Pet Peeves?
        I would have to say weak female characters, improper comma usage, and people who can't get "to" and "too" straight.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
          Reese's peanut butter cups?

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
        I married my high school debate partner.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
        I listened to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks a fair amount and this song called First Cup by the Three Dollar Band.

Do you need anything to write? 

How long do you write on any average day?
        As long as a toddler nap lasts, I can usually get one to two hours of writing done if I’m not procrastinating. I just finished my second year of NaNoWriMo, so that average was a little higher this past month.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
        Bringer of Light will leave you daydreaming at the end. It’s a lovely place to disappear into for a while. I vacation there quite often.

Author Info:

For generations, the kingdom of Arten has stood alone against the ancient dark mage Mercer, a man no longer bound by time. But when King Wern is kidnapped, Queen Arin will risk everything to get him back.

Lynden Trenadin is chosen to join the ranks of the elite Queen's Champions both for her prowess as a warrior and her remarkable resemblance to the queen. She has spent her life battling at Arten's borders, but now she must defend the queen with her life as they journey to their enemy's castle. When the tide of battle goes against them, Lynden unleashes a magical power she didn't know she possessed. Even though she saved hundreds of warriors, Lynden is forced to flee in shame for her use of forbidden magic.

Now on the run, Lynden must raise a rebellion to free her country from the tyranny of the enemy she thought she'd destroyed. A band of loyalists and an enclave of ancient mages aid her in her efforts, but with a dark mage bent on her destruction, Lynden must discover a way to harness her new magic before it is too late.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Erec Stebbins

I am a biomedical researcher who writes political and international thrillers, science fiction, narrated storybooks, and more. I was born in the Midwest. My mother worked as a clinical psychologist, and my father was a professor of romance languages at the University Nebraska in Lincoln. In fact, his specialty, old romance languages and their literature, is the source of the strange spelling of my middle name: "Erec". It is an Old French spelling, taken from an Arthurian romance by Chrétien de Troyes written around 1170: Érec et Énide. Had my brother been a girl, he would have been named Enide. Instead, he's Michael! I have pursued diverse interests over the course of my life, including science, music, drama, and writing. My academic path focused on science, and I received a degree in physics from Oberlin College in 1992, and a PhD in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1999.

Favorite reads?
          Tolkien’s LOTRs & The Silmarillion, Hyperion/Endymion series, Dune series, Starmaker, several (real) Ludlum novels, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, From a Buick 8, Illusions, The Gitanjali, Cosmos (Sagan)

Inspirations for the book?
          This is a hard one to answer, due to the somewhat meta-recursive nature of the narrative. A conceit of the books is that a being of the future is writing her story through me, so that, in this sense, SHE is the inspiration. Assuming that this is just a figment of my imagination, then I would say that the story grew on the sands of Greece when I wanted to write a “super heroine” novel for my (then) middle school-aged daughters. By the time I had finished book 1 (READER), they were much older, had outgrown the original novel (which necessitated several major rewrites), and the book took a somewhat darker turn as it was remodeled. I had never intended any sort of a series for the first book, but the strong reactions to the first novel convinced me that there was a group of people who wanted to hear more about this story.

          My inspirations included a host of science fiction stories I had loved as a young man, strongly influenced by ideas in Olaf Stapledon’s “Starmaker” and Frank Herbert’s “Dune” books, as well as some ideas in modern physics and cosmology, as filtered through the lens of a biophysicist. The next two novels extended some of those ideas and then ran in transcendental/tangential directions with them, while then tying in my own idiosyncratic ideas of how we might conceptualize “creation” given our modern scientific mythology. My love of thrillers led me to try and take these often esoteric ideas and ground them in a narrative structure that would still be exciting and interesting, and thereby avoid drowning in metaphysics.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
          I never thought of it as a vocation. I knew I wanted to create. As I matured, that took on a spectrum of meanings from building protein models as a scientist, writing stories, and even making musical instruments.

Any Pet Peeves?
          Metaphysical certainty. In fact, certainty of any kind. Cruelty. Indifference. Ice in whiskey.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
          I don’t understand the question.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
                 For me, reading and listening to music are orthogonal activities. Music is all consuming for me, nearly like a psychotropic drug, so that I cannot imagine doing anything else meaningful, anything that required any other significant cognitive input, when experiencing music. More power to those that find these activities compatible! If I were to pick music that I thought matched the emotions and ideas I had while writing the novels, I would point to the book video trailers I made where I tried to find (affordable) music that reflected what I felt was the essence of the novels.

Do you need anything to write? 

          Chunks of uninterrupted (by events or thoughts) time. Emotional involvement in the narrative.

How long do you write on any average day?
           I have two modes: writing a book mode and not writing. The latter is obviously nothing. When writing a book, I tend to churn out 1-2K words a day.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
           Speculative fiction with time travel, alien armageddon, metaphysical mysteries, action, adventure, cosmology, cybernetics, religion, and romance!

Author Info:

Amazon page:

From the future, a final plea. Out of the past, a last hope.
A young girl, born to die in freakish disregard. A doomed world, enslaved to forces unseen. A final hope beyond imagining. Become a Reader, because in the end, the most unbelievable step in the adventure - will be your own

From hatred, Love. From many, One.
Book 2 in the Daughter of Time trilogy: A love story and sci-fi epic about the beautiful and terrible destiny of profoundly star-crossed lovers with a galaxy's fate in their hands.

Until all is lost, nothing is found.
Conclude the epic story of Ambra Dawn in the final installment of the trilogy. A story in which the one that was lost will be found. Where a thief will guide through chaos and time. Where all that was held dear will perish. And in that final and utter destructionthere will be a Creation.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Sarah Daltry

          Sarah Daltry is an extreme introvert who writes a variety of fiction, all character-driven and blending lyrical imagery with philosophical questions about belonging and defining yourself. She lives in New England. 

Favorite reads?
 The Book Thief, The Catcher in the Rye, The Lovely Bones, The Sun Also Rises, Nineteen Minutes.

Inspirations for the book?
         Nothing really - it just came to me one morning

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
          Yes and no. I always wrote because books were the only place I felt okay, but I didn't know what authors were to be honest. I'm not sure I do now, either, because I'm still more interested in giving readers a place to feel safe and comfortable with characters like themselves than I am about marketing. 

Any Pet Peeves?
          I try not to be negative, but I don't like the way the world is in many ways. 

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
          Peanut Butter

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
          I have done many weird things, since I can't remember ever being "normal."

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?

Do you need anything to write? 

How long do you write on any average day?
          It depends - I go many days when I don't write at all and others when I write for 10 hours. 

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
          It's a blend of philosophy and traditional epic fantasy and the story could really take place in our contemporary world as much as in a magical land. It's about accepting even the darkest parts of yourself as strength.

Author Info:

In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people.
When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty.
But her parents have other plans; they have a Kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed?
As lies, illusions and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday Snatch & Giveaway: A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain



Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm. 

When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.

Chapter 1
Don’t Follow Me: I’m Lost, Too

The interview was a catastrophe. It started out fine—better than fine. Kyle, the sales manager for the bumper sticker company, Illumination Studios, met me in the warm confines of a nearby Starbucks, purchased me a grande green tea, and selected a table in the corner, away from the door and the cold blast of November air every customer brought in with them. Soft music, cappuccino-machine clacks and whirs, and the murmur of conversation created a cocoon of privacy.
I handed Kyle a copy of my resume, determined to prove myself the mandatory employee for the boring junior sales associate position. I wasn’t particularly qualified and I would normally have rather peeled hangnails than perform cold calls—which is what I strongly suspected the position was—but four weeks of unemployment, seven failed interviews, and escalating credit card bills proved very strong motivators.
Strong enough for me to ignore the desperate reason I’d applied for the job in the first place. Never trust your soul-sight, I told myself for the thousandth time. But my imminent eviction trumped mistrust of my bizarre, mutant vision.
Kyle dropped my resume to the table without glancing at it. He scrutinized me over the top of his dry cappuccino. Kyle exuded salesman, from his maroon button-up shirt and khaki trousers to his thinning brown hair with its frosted tips. His face was pinched, as if someone had pressed his baby flesh between their hands and pulled, extending his nose and pulling his lips and eyes in tight. He couldn’t have been much older than me, despite the sullen brackets around his mouth and deep grooves between his eyebrows. Maybe his expression fell into disapproving lines naturally.
“How many years’ experience do you have, Madison?” Kyle asked.
“Specifically in the bumper sticker business, none, but I believe my time at Catchall Advertising will—”
“I don’t care about the bumper sticker crap. I care about your experience in the field.”
My weirdo radar, dulled by the overpowering mix of desperation and determination, flickered to life now.
“I honed my sales skills while working as a saleswoman at Sundage Cars. My experience there taught me how to connect with people from all walks of life.” Though it hadn’t taught me how to sell a car. In the six months of my employment as a used-car saleswoman, I sold a grand total of zero cars, which is why David Sundage, my cousin-in-law and owner of Sundage Cars, had fired me at the beginning of September. But I wasn’t going to concern Kyle with that minor detail.
Kyle set his cappuccino down on the table and leaned back in his chair. “How old are you?” he asked.
“I’m not sure I understand the relevance—”
“What regions have you worked in before this?”
Regions? “I’ve worked mainly in Roseville since I—”
“With who? Not with Brad or Isabel.” Kyle leaned forward, his dark eyes intense.
Who? I eased my tea to the table and ran my palms down the sides of my black knee-length skirt, telling myself it was only nerves that were making Kyle seem so volatile.
“Um, most recently with David Sundage,” I said.
“Where are his headquarters?”
Headquarters? What is this, the FBI? Hadn’t he bothered to read my resume?
“Down Douglas,” I answered, pointing vaguely west toward Douglas Boulevard and the car lot.
“Before that?”
“Also in Roseville, at Catchall—”
“Look, we can both stop playing this game. I don’t care about what jobs you’ve had to take between IE positions.” Kyle deflated into his chair with a gusty sigh. “To be honest, you’re the only qualified person to apply for the job—my job. I’ve been ready to transfer for months now, so I’m not going to make this interview hard on you. I want you to take this job as much as you want it. I just need to make this interview look good so Brad signs my walking papers, okay?”
I nodded and tried to look like I understood more than the English words he used. I didn’t know what he meant by “IE positions” and I knew I wasn’t qualified for his sales manager position. I wasn’t even qualified to be a junior sales associate, but who was I to argue? Managers probably didn’t have to make cold calls, which automatically made the job more appealing. Plus, a management position would pay better, and I was pretty sure I could fake it until I got caught up on my bills. By then, I could find a more suitable job. Something more Indiana Jones and less Bridget Jones.
“Okay, let me make this perfectly clear,” Kyle continued. “Which wardens have you worked with?”
“Wardens?” As in prison?
Kyle leaned forward, placing his hands on the table. “What’s the largest evil you’ve ever tackled? A wraith? A pissed-off dryad?”
I cast a quick glance around for a candid camera, noting the nearest exit in case I needed to make a run for it. I’d been nervous on interviews before, but never because of a mentally unstable interviewer. Was that why Kyle had insisted we meet away from the company office? Did he even work for Illumination Studios?
I eased my hand through the strap of my purse and slid it onto my shoulder, careful not to make any sudden movements that might spook the deranged man. “I don’t think I’m the right person for the job, after all,” I said, and pushed away from the table.
This is why I never used my soul-sight, never followed its false leads. I shouldn’t have made an exception for this job. To the marrow of my bones, I knew soul-sight was untrustworthy.
“Hang on, Madison,” Kyle said, grabbing my arm as I started to stand. I froze. “You’re definitely the right person for the job. You’re the first enforcer to walk through that door in nearly two weeks.”
“I don’t even know what that means. I’m going to save us both some time and leave now.” I tugged to free my arm.
“Holy crap! You’re a rogue.”

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Check out these links for more info!


             Rebecca Chastain is the author the fantasy novella MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES and the urban fantasy A FISTFUL OF EVIL, an Amazon Fantasy Top 100 bestseller in the United States, Canada, and Australia. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. She has been employed as a VHS sales clerk, bookshelf straightener, government pseudo-employee, professional finder of lost sporting goods, and strategy guide wrangler in the video game industry. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: K. Ferrin

          During the daylight hours K. Ferrin lives in a world filled with satellites, windowless buildings filled with humming machinery and robust HVAC systems, and networks spanning half the globe.  When the working-day ends magic, myth and adventure come out to play.  Her heart lives here, along with her blog and writing.  She lives at the foot of the Rockies with her husband and two pooches.

Favorite reads?
           I love the Mad Ship books from Robin Hobb.  Of course Lord of the Rings is on the list, as are the Song of Ice and Fire books. More recently I really enjoyed The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. 

Inspirations for the book?
         Magicless started live a very long time ago as a character sketch of a small but square whisky swilling chain smoking Irishman who investigated the paranormal. Of course he himself had no magic, so things were a bit hard on him. This character was shelved in favor of other books but when my nephew started having trouble with bullies in his neighborhood Magicless reappeared.
          Bullying is often about punishing those who are somewhat different than others. For reasons I don’t understand humans seem to seek out uniformity, but our real strength lies in diversity. I started thinking about  a story that explored these ideas, where differences were not only interesting and fun but essential. 
          Magicless himself changed quite a bit in this process I’m sure you can imagine! 

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
          I have always written stories. In fact I recently stumbled on a story I wrote when I was in second grade called Goast (actually about a ghost). Fortunately my spelling has improved over time!
          While I’ve always written stories I didn’t really think seriously about being an author until High School. Like many others, I shelved my passion for words and began working on a more acceptable career in technology, but I always wrote.  Then last year something just clicked and I decided no more waiting. Since then I’ve published two books and am finishing up on a third. I’ve got ideas for future stories coming out my ears and I can’t write them fast enough!

Any Pet Peeves?
          I have a strong distaste for close mindedness and uniformity. I really do believe our greatest asset is diversity. I try to embody this in my writing and in my life.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
          No no... you are mistaken.  It’s chocolate AND peanut butter. :)

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
          Hmm... Well, I love to travel and I’ve had many amazing adventures over the years. Perhaps one of the most uncommon things I’ve done is spending six weeks living in a tent working on an archaeological excavation. That was so much fun! I also took a two month solo backpacking trip to Europe in my twenties. I camped my way around France and Spain. I loved every minute of it. My mother, however, was not so enthused about it!

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
          I am sometimes inspired by a certain song, album or artist in my writing. While writing my second book I listed to one specific song over and over again as I wrote - it really inspired the story. Magicless was driven more by my nephew and his experiences, there really wasn’t any musical inspiration that went along with it.

Do you need anything to write?
          I need at least a couple of hours in order to write. I’m not someone who can sit down for ten minutes at a stretch and hammer out words. I’m also far more productive in the morning than I am in the evenings.

How long do you write on any average day?
          I write for three or four hours on average. My all time record was eight hours and just over 8,000 words - my muse was on fire that day!

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
          Because it is awesome, of course! ;)  
          If you enjoy fantasy and love an adventure I think you’ll enjoy Magicless. My readers seem to really love the characters in the book and love that it is a character driven adventure, rather than just a series of plot points strung together. When you read it please leave a review or shoot me an email and let me know what you thought, I’d love to hear the feedback!

Author Info: 
You can find me at, I’m very active on Twitter: @ScrivK, and I pop onto Facebook pretty regularly as well:

Deep in the Oakwood, a boy is born without magic.  

In a land where powers flow through one’s veins as naturally as water down a mountain stream, Micah is an aberration detested by everyone—everyone except Alekka, a gifted but solitary mage who understands the price of isolation. Her sensitivity to the thoughts of others drives her to seek solace in the forests surrounding Aclay, a small village that has been living under a malevolent shadow for hundreds of years. 

As fear and loss ravage the countryside, the two outcasts form an unlikely bond forged in loneliness and surrounded by the flickering silhouettes of destiny. When their home is destroyed, the outcasts must join a volatile group of their peers on a journey that threatens to strip them of everything they cherish, imperil everything they’ve ever known, even force them to question the nature of reality itself. Can they find the key to stemming the tide of darkness without losing themselves along the way?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Geoffrey Saign

          Geoffrey Saign can often be found looking for interesting critters, and magic, while swimming, snorkeling, sailing, or hiking in the woods. His passion for nature and wildlife inspired his novel, WhipEye, and led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as African Cats and Great Apes. He has a background in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to self-awareness and novel writing. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Favorite reads?
          Sabriel by Garth Nix, Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, The Hobbit by Tolkein, the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson..and many more…

Inspirations for the book? 
          My love for nature and wildlife inspired WhipEye, along with the desire to create a great, unique fantasy thriller that explained the presence of all magical creatures in all mythologies and fairy tales worldwide.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
          I came home from the library every week with an armful of books in grade school, and thought about writing. But it wasn’t until my teacher in a creative writing class in high school, Mrs. Stifter, said one day, “I’m going to read a piece of writing from a writer that comes around once in seventeen years,” that I got inspired to be a writer. She shocked me when she read my piece.

Any Pet Peeves? 
          Not really, but crazy drivers in a hurry to get somewhere make me wonder why they would risk lives to do it.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter? 
          I always loved Reeses cups! But peanut butter would have to win out. Almond butter is actually my favorite.

The weirdest thing you've ever done? 
          I took $500 and went to the South Pacific and told people that I had no idea if I was coming back. I didn’t return until a year and a half later.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music? 
          Yes, it’s in the WhipEye book trailer on You Tube!

Do you need anything to write?
          No, but PJs are great when I’m writing.

How long do you write on any average day? 
         I try for 3 hours. In summer I don’t teach, and then that can go to 6 or 8. But last summer I was marketing WhipEye and writing went in spurts.

Give us the number one reason to read your book. 
          A great fantasy thriller with heart and substance. (Oops! That might be more than 1!)

Author Info:

Teacher resources for writing on my website:
My book trailer on You Tube:

This debut thriller novel from St. Paul author Geoffrey Saign portrays twelve-year-old Samantha, who is in love with wildlife, suffering from loss, and trying to find her way again in an unsteady world. Samantha must overcome huge obstacles and challenges, while repairing her relationship with her father and finding her way back to her mother’s love. Her guide is a thousand-year-old parrot who imparts his wisdom with wisecracks. 
Her friend Jake is also missing his absentee father. The two children and parrot have twenty-four hours to save two worlds, by figuring out how to use a supernatural staff, WhipEye, while facing their greatest fears.