Holly Martin, author of The Sentinel, chats about heroines and scary films

20131002-1-1-1After reading Holly’s breathtaking book, The Sentinel (I can only liken the experience to a literary version of Speed where if you stopped reading at a million miles an hour your brain might explode!) I was keen to know more about what makes Holly (and Eve, for that matter) tick. So I decided to treat Holly to my infamous, Paxman-style author questions, which I haven’t done for a while now, and here’s what she had to say…

The Sentinel features Eve, a girl with super powers tasked with saving the earth. If you were suddenly thrust into Eve’s place, how do you think you’d react to being told this was your future? Would your reaction be like Eve’s or do you think you’d be different and if, so, how?
I think Eve handles it quite well considering she has just found out everything in her life was a lie and that everybody in her life including her friends and family were in on this big facade. I don’t think I would handle it all that well, I think I’d be in a corner crying. To be told that you are responsible for saving the world is huge, how does anyone cope with that amount of responsibility. I think Eve’s reaction to that would be very similar to mine, all those worries about whether she is good enough and not wanting to let people down, I would totally think like that. To find out I had all this amazing power though, I don’t think I would be quite so restrained as Eve was, I’d have great fun trying to find out what I could and couldn’t do. Eve seems to be more sensible in trying to learn her powers so she will be ready to save the world.
What sort of TV/ films do you like watching? Are they the same as Eve likes?
Eve wasn’t allowed to watch TV too often, there was always martial arts, learning how to shoot and lots of other kind of training that she never knew what it was all for. She longed for a normal life so i think to fit in she would watch things like X-factor or Britain’s Got Talent so she could talk about it with the other kids. Personally, I don’t watch a lot of TV, there never seems to be a lot of time around writing, seeing friends and family and a full time job, especially something that requires a weekly commitment. But I love films, love them, pretty much any genre is great for me, love the mindless action, big stunts and cool special effects, love sci fi and thrillers that mess with your head, love a laugh out loud comedy or a sweet romance. I generally avoid scary films, I live alone so there’s nothing worse than lying in your bed listening to the noises of the house and wondering if its ghosts coming to get you and no one can hear you scream. After watching Signs, (I was living with my parents at the time but they were away) I lay in bed all night listening to the floorboards settling and absolutely convinced myself that aliens were outside the door. Signs wasn’t even that scary. Blair Witch Project messed me up spectacularly, I still think about that film now, a film that is about what you can’t see and the fear comes purely from your imagination, that’s a clever film.
What book is open on your bedside table at the moment? Would this be a book that Eve would read?
Ha, how very appropriate that you asked me that question, last night I started reading The Young Moon, book 2 of the Sky Song Trilogy. I absolutely loved the first one in the series and I’ve been dying to get into book 2. Eve would love that story and I think she could definitely relate to the decisions and responsibilities that Jacob has to face. (Ed: I approve wholeheartedly of this choice!)
 If you can tell us without spoiling, what’s next for Eve?
She meets the Oraculum, those that created her, in book 2. They don’t exactly hit it off. We also meet The Reaper’s, the ones that do living autopsies on those with powers, we meet one of the animal hybrids and Seth’s half brother. There’s loads more action and as Eve becomes stronger in her powers, she can achieve bigger and better things.
 Name 3 things that are within reach of where you’re sitting right now. Can you tell me if there is any significance to them and what that significance is?
My notepad, I always have this within reach, so I can write in it whenever inspiration strikes. I write scenes, ideas, conversations, characters. Sometimes they turn into something, sometimes they don’t. I also use it to keep track of dates or events so I don’t forget.
A half eaten bar of chocolate, its my carrot on a stick, write 2000 words and you can eat the rest. I’ll invariably eat it anyway as a reward for trying but it helps to have something to work towards.
My photos. I have a big collage frame that has 15 photos in one frame. I have ones of a snowy forest, deserted beaches, ruined castles, flowered fields and incredible sunsets. They’re from my travels. It was never supposed to be a mood board but it became one, now I can use these to help me write detailed descriptive scenes or help to remind me what it was like in a particular country

If you want to find out more about Holly and Eve, you can visit Holly’s spanking new website or you can add The Sentinel to your Goodreads shelf of just get on Amazon and ruddy well buy it…. you know you want to!

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Sky Song Trilogy

A fab post by an actual YA reader about my YA books!

The Great World of Geek!

At the moment I am reading the Sky Song Trilogy by Sharon Sant and I though it would be interesting to show how I saw some of the characters for example, this is how I see Jacob LightFoot:

I know this is Dougie out of McFly but that is how I see Jacob. I tend to make random connections when I hear a description of a certain character for example Luca reminds me of Tom out of Wizards vs Aliens:

 

 

 

Well Ellen is a completely different story as I see her as one of the little girls that are on some of Gorjuss products.

 

 

 

 

 

Now Alex is introduced in the 2nd book, the young moon. Alex took a while to be associated with a person that I know off but in the end my brain decided that she was going to look like Abby…

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Off the Beaten Path blog tour – day 6

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of featuring Jason T Graves, editor of Off the Beaten Path and author of Blood Roses and Morning Stars on the blog as part of a combined indie author event.  To celebrate the release of Off the Beaten Path, I thought I’d give readers a second chance to get acquainted with this self-professed mad scientist of fiction and hat lover extraordinaire.  Here’s a selection of the questions I put to Jason in that original interview:

Have you ever written a character that you’ve disliked so much you’ve scrapped them from a work?

A few times; Some of the people in Blood Roses are annoying enough to me that they die in the sequel.

Which of your characters would frighten you if you met them in real life?

Corelis and the undead Godek.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Dashingly normal and audaciously humble.

Do you ever consult friends when you’re stuck with a plot?

In addition to my wife, I have circle of writer friends and beta readers who I consult with about issues that I have with my stories. I don’t usually get stuck on a point to that degree, though. If I have problems with a story, I set it aside and work on another story until the problem with the first unblocks and a solution presents itself.

What’s your personal kryptonite?

Doughnuts… they are the Dr. Horrible of pastries, and I cannot leave them be.  

If you could converse, a la Dr Dolittle, with one type of animal, which would it be and why?

Cetaceans (dolphins and whales). I would ask them why they keep forgiving us despite our slaughter of them, and what they dream about.

 Tea or coffee?

Tea… Chai. Rooibos. White. Green. Herbal.

You can find out more about Jason and his books at the following locations:

Jason’s blogOff the Beaten Path_front_96 dpijason graves

Jason’s Website

Facebook

Goodreads

Shelfari

Amazon (author)

And don’t forget that you have two more days to enter the giveaway to win a bound copy of Off the Beaten Path and Amazon gift cards.

Off the Beaten Path – blog tour day 5, Debra R Johnson is in the hot seat

IMG430highbwToday I’m pleased to welcome a new friend to the blog, Debra R Johnson, one of my Off the Beaten Path fellow contributors. Debra’s story, ‘To Darkness I Fall’ is a ‘different spin on seething romance…. a darker, bloodier tale’.

Debra answered a few questions about her story and her other current writing projects, so it’s over to Debra…

What other works do you have available?

Currently, my only other book out right now is the first installment  of The Phoenix Curse: After – Part One. You can download it for free on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble,  and a few other sites as well.

Here is the link to Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/After-Part-Phoenix-Curse-ebook/dp/B00D3B1C6Y

What other projects or events do you have coming up?

I am releasing After – Part Two later this month. Very  exciting for me. I actually pushed back the release date a couple weeks  due to the release of OTBP so I could fully dedicate myself to promoting  both books without crossing my wires.

What was your inspiration  for ‘To Darkness I Fall’?

‘To Darkness I Fall’, was not premeditated  at all. I had a vivid dream one Friday night, woke up Saturday morning  and started writing it down. I do this a lot with my dreams – get down  a sketch so I can have a story prompt for later – but Darkness became a full story that weekend.  I just couldn’t let it go.

Also, the main character got her name because my husband was playing  the latest Tomb Raider that weekend, and I kept hearing that name over  and over. It stuck!

Why do  you write? Do you have any encouraging words for other indies?

I have always had a very active imagination and have been able to  weave a story quite quickly out of nothing at all. When I was young,  I thought I wanted to be a writer someday, but I never received much  support from my friends and family, so the dream was intangible.

Then, years later, my daughter started writing. I supported her and  decided to start editing her work and, in doing so, it revived something  inside me. The indie author boom had just happened, so I started doing  some internet searches and stumbled across NaNoWriMo.

50k words in one month? Me? I took me a decade to write 20k on one  story. There’s no way I could possibly accomplish 50k in one month!

But it was still mid-October when all that was going through my mind,  so I pulled out an old file, dusted it off and got to writing. It was  a short story I had started nearly 20 years ago and it only had 5k words.  Within those last 2 weeks of October, I finished the story at a little  over 20k. Not the longest story ever, but it was just a test to see  if I could do it. And I passed.

When I wrote the final words to that story, I actually cried. Now,  looking back, it seems like such a little thing, but it was life-changing  at the time. That happened one year ago this October.

I entered NaNoWriMo the following month and also won that with 5 whole  days to spare. Not only that, but I actually finished that book I started  then and it became my first published novel.

So much has changed in this past year; the way I look at things and  what I can accomplish if I put my mind to it. I’m hoping this is just  the tip of the iceberg and I can’t wait to see where I’m at next  year in my budding writing career!

My advice to fellow indies and NaNoWriMos, don’t give up! Just keep  writing. You owe the story that much. Also, not to scare anyone, but  writing is the easy part. It’s the editing that’s  the bitch!

Find Debra at these places:

Facebook

Twitter

The Pheonix Curse website

Goodreads

Website

 

 

Off the Beaten Path Blog tour day 2

Urban Fantasy Author Angela Roquet lives in Sedalia, Missouri, with her husband and son. When she’s not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. Visit Angela’s official website at www.angelaroquet.comangela1

Angela Roquet, my fellow contributor, is the author of the story ‘Dearly Departed’, a fascinating, imaginative  and humorous take on the afterlife that features in Off the Beaten Path. She has also penned the critically acclaimed Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc series of novels and has just released her first YA book, Crazy Ex-Ghoulfriend .

Off the Beaten Path_front_96 dpi

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find Angela across the interweb:

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win great prizes, including  copies of Off the Beaten Path and Amazon gift cards!