Broken Bargain pre-release tour – featured author Deb Howell

tour_bannerAs part of a pre-release book tour organised by the lovely Clare Davidson for her new book Broken Bargain (book two of the Reaper’s Rhythm series) today I’m delighted to welcome Deb Howell to the blog. Sounds confusing? Clare thought that a bunch of us all talking about each other was far more interesting than Clare herself just appearing on lots of blogs talking about herself. But, of course, there is a chance to find out about Clare’s books too if you head over to her website, and also a chance to enter the Broken Bargain Rafflecopter giveaway

..  Deb E Howell is the author of Healer’s Touch, a very cool fantasy Western steampunk novel which is available on Amazon. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my diabolical author interrogations, so I’m looking forward to this… *cracks knuckles* over to Deb!

Eep. Now I’m a little bit worried… just a little bit… [keeps one eye looking over shoulder]

Which of your characters is most like you?

Unfortunately, more often than not, Llew, I think. Unfortunately? Yeah. I think she’s my pessimistic side, so that can get a little unfun. I much prefer my Anya-esque side… (bubbly, optimistic, shiny-shiny happy world).

If you could be friends in real life with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Another hard one. Probably Jonas because if he would accept me as a friend then I know he’d be a friend for life.

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

Not so far. I’m reluctantly scrapping one/combining a favourite with another, but I haven’t disliked anyone that much. I mean, of course I dislike my antagonists, but I try to write them sympathetically, so I guess I hold a slight soft-spot for them… well, Braph, anyway. He’s despicable, and yet…

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

Braph, definitely. He’s so smart, and understands the human condition, so he knows how to manipulate to achieve what he wants. Knowing what I know, I’d be wary of anything he did. If I didn’t know what I know… I’d probably be screwed.

Describe your latest book in one word.

Headache.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Tired.

Mummy.

Writer (of course).

Zoophilic.

Dancer

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

Oh my gosh, yes… if I can. The problem I have is that most of my friends aren’t writers and they don’t want to hear about my story until it is complete. The writer friends I know are all busy writing their own tales, so it’s challenging finding someone willing and with the time to help… Usually I have to muddle through until I have something ready for beta-readers. I understand. It’s difficult reading something that’s still in the moulding phase. But, sometimes these tales can get crazy complicated and it helps immensely to be able to chat it out with someone.

What’s your personal kryptonite?

Sleep, or lack thereof.

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

Duh! Horses, of course! I’m a horsey-type from way back…

Tea or coffee?

Coffee.

Describe a typical writing day – where does it fit for you? Are you an owl or a lark? Do you write in short bursts or intense sessions?  Do you write quickly and edit to death afterwards or write with more care in the first place?

As a mum of a three year old, my writing fits around my family. Because I go to bed too late, I can’t do those early mornings like I probably should… And so, I enforce afternoon sleeps for my son. It’s not perfect, writing with the after-lunch brain, but it’s time, and it’s a good 1.5-2hrs, usually. Then I write again most evenings, after the child is in bed. While the husband plays with his band or his hockey team, I’m writin’…

Which genre are you most comfortable writing? Is there any genre you haven’t yet written that you’d like to try?  What’s your favourite age group to write for?

For long fiction, I enjoy fantasy. I love the scope of the genre. Also, because you’re not setting the story in any particular place, and you can use all sort of new races and species, you’re that much more open to explore…. people. Strip away all the reality and you’re left with the core.

For short fiction, I struggle to establish a fantasy world, so I have tended to dabble in romance, contemporary (black humour), and mild erotica. Just for fun.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I’m working on the follow-up to my debut, HEALER’S TOUCH, which I’m planning on calling WARRIOR’S TOUCH. Sounds like I’m writing erotica right there, doesn’t it? I’m not, although I think there may be a Healer’s Touch out there that does lean more towards romance/erotica, if that’s your cup of tea (or coffee, or hot choc).

For me, HT was an ironic title, because my Healer (Llew) also kills with her touch. In fact, to heal one thing (or person), she must hurt something (one) else.

A warrior’s touch is also pretty deadly, but this time around it probably is more of a romantic touch… when I let them get there.

While HT introduced us to Llew and her power and her new friends and romantic interest (Jonas), WT switches focus to Jonas as he learns that the world isn’t as he has been led to believe. And all the while the world is in peril…

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You can catch up with Deb at the following places: DebE_Pub

Website

Facebook

Twitter

G+

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords Final ebook CoverSmIndieBook

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Reaper’s Rhythm blog tour – author Clare Davidson talks about her inspiration and juggling demands

blogtoursmallI recently got a very exciting offer that I couldn’t refuse, and that was to host Clare on the blog tour for her new book release, Reaper’s Rhythm.  As I was lucky enough to read this book in advance of its release, I was only too happy to oblige.  So, without further ado, here’s the transcript of our little virtual chat…

Hi Sharon, thanks for letting me stop by for a chat.

Q. I have my magical pink writing cardigan. Do you have any writing rituals or things that you like to have around you to help focus you when you sit down to a WIP?

A pink writing cardigan sounds lovely and comfortable.

I’m not sure I have any rituals exactly, but I always sit in the same chair (from Ikea) and I’ll often have the TV on for background noise. I love distractions and hate silence. Obviously I always have my laptop. If I have a reference picture for a character or scene, I’ll make sure that’s visible somewhere too.

Q. I know that you have an incredibly demanding home life with your day job and family, how do you balance that with your life as a writer?

By neglecting my husband? Actually at the moment it helps that my husband is working away during the week. Yes, I miss him like crazy, but it means that for three evenings every week I’m home alone (I have friends over on the fourth), which gives me time to write, edit, format, or work on marketing/promotion.  My daughter also gets three free pre-school hours each day, so on my two days off a week, I get that block of time for writing and related stuff, too.  I’m not quite sure how I’m going to juggle things quite as well over the summer holidays, though!

Q. The premise for Reaper’s Rhythm is a highly original one. Can you remember the exact moment when the initial idea came to you?  Where were you and what were you doing?

I’m glad you like the premise. I was at home, sitting in my chair, feeling pretty down about writing. I’d been waiting for feedback on another WIP (which never came. To be honest, I don’t blame the critique either), which was a mid-grade urban fantasy. I decided I needed a “for fun” project to get myself out of my writing funk, so challenged myself to write a darker version of the story, in first person present tense. As it was a fun project, I just started writing about two sisters, walking home on a dark winter night. The story evolved from there.  For ages, I referred to the two stories as “light Kim” and “dark Kim”. As you’ve probably guessed, “dark Kim” won and became Reaper’s Rhythm.

Q. Your covers are quite striking, almost vintage in feel. How closely do you work with your designer to realise your vision?

Thanks! I love both my book covers too, which is why I’ve continued to work with the same illustrator and I’ve commissioned extra bits of artwork for both Reaper’s Rhythm and Trinity.  With both books, I gave him the blurb, some character details and my own vision of the cover. For Reaper’s Rhythm, I also gave him reference photos for Kim and Matthew. He then works with that to produce a pencil sketch for me to approve (or not).  He sends me several “in progress” versions, so I can make suggestions or ask for any changes along the way.  I’m really lucky that my illustrator, Bramasta Aji, is great at realising my vision, from just a small bit of information. He’s surpassed my expectations and my original vision both times.

Q. Reaper’s Rhythm has a contemporary setting, where your previous novel, Trinity, was more of an epic fantasy.  Was it a conscious decision to make the new one so different?

I’m not sure it was so much a conscious decision, as a subconscious one. The idea for “light Kim” popped into my head while I was on holiday in August 2011 and I just ran with it.

Some quick fire to shake things up!

Tea or coffee?

Neither. The only hot drink I like is hot chocolate.

Twitter or facebook?

Both? I used to spend more time on Twitter, but lately I’ve been using Facebook more.

Heels or flatties?

Flatties. How does anyone walk in heels?

A dinner party with six guests of your choice, living or dead, who’s on your invite list?

Edward I, Eleanor of  Castille (his wife and my daughter’s namesake), Edward III, River Phoenix, Jonathan Brandis, Tamora Pierce. Spot the history theme in that list!

What book do you wish you had written?

I’ve been asked this before and gave a boring answer then – my own!

If the devil offered to take your soul in return for JK Rowling type success, would you strike the deal?

No.

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Thanks so much to Clare for stopping by.  You can find out more or get your copy of Reaper’s Rhythm at the following places:

America:
UK:
Paperback: 
Throughout the tour there’s also a giveaway, which you can enter here (which is also where you can visit Clare’s website) or you can find her on Twitter for more chat.

Cover Reveal for Reaper’s Rhythm by Clare Davidson

I’m so excited to share with you one of two cover reveals on my blog this week, both for books I’ve been lucky enough to read pre-release and both fantastic stories. Enjoy!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00100]

Author Bio:

Clare Davidson is an independent writer, based in Lancaster. Clare is a high school teacher, mother and character-driven fantasy writer. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter, a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten.

She published her first novel, Trinity in July 2012. Trinity is a young adult, fantasy novel, which currently has seventeen five star reviews on Amazon UK.

Her second novel, Reaper’s Rhythm, is due to be released on the 26th July 2013. Also aimed at a young adult audience, Reaper’s Rhythm is an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.

Reaper’s Rhythm

When everyone thinks your sister committed suicide, it’s hard to prove she was murdered.

Kim is unable to accept Charley’s sudden death. Crippled by an unnatural amnesia, her questions are met with wall after wall. As she doubts her sanity, she realises her investigation is putting those around her in danger.

The only person who seems to know anything is Matthew, an elusive stranger who would rather vanish than talk. Despite his friendly smile, Kim isn’t sure she can trust him. But if she wants to protect her family from further danger, Kim must work with Matthew to discover how Charley died – before it’s too late.

Ways to connect with Clare Davidson:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

New releases mailing list

Clare Davidson, author of Trinity, gives us a peek into the world of Kiana

Today Clare Davidson, author of Trinity, another great book up for grabs in the great indie author giveaway, guests on my site with something a little bit different.

Kiana: The Girl Longing for Freedom

Yesterday was a hard day. Sometimes, especially in summer, my apartments can feel so small. I couldn’t concentrate on my lessons which annoyed Ducarius. Before he stormed out, he suggested that I remember everything that’s wonderful about my life and why it is I’m stuck here, in Blackoak Tower. Although he might not have phrased it quite like that.So… why am I here? I’m the incarnation of Miale. The soul of a god is stuck in my body. If… when I die, Gettryne will be plunged into the time of Thanatos. People will go insane and hurt themselves and their loved ones. When Miale is reborn, it will end. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to wake up one day and realise you’ve done something so terrible it’s ripped your family apart. I know my Guardians have all experienced a time of Thanatos. They don’t talk about it, but most of them carry around the weight of sadness.

I’m here so they can protect me and make sure I live as long as possible. But I am surrounded by wonderful people–even Ducarius! Where do I start?

kianaWith Marcas, who else? I’ve known Marcas longer than anyone. When I was a girl he would spend hours playing with me. Hide and seek was our favourite game. You wouldn’t believe how many places there are to hide in only three rooms. One game could last for hours, especially if Erynn joined in as well.

He used to carry me around on his shoulders, while he galloped around like a horse. Once, I managed to catch a glimpse of the forest outside the tower. I reached my hand out and, even though the leaves were so far away, I imagined I could touch them and feel their texture between my fingertips–soft, like velvet. It was only a brief glimpse.

Then there’s Erynn, my handmaid. She arrived at the tower when I was six summers old. We’re friends, but she’s always a little wary around me, like she can’t get over how important I am. Marcas often jokes that Erynn and I could be sisters, we look so similar. Surely my sister would be able to see me for who I am, rather than shy away from the god within me?

Ducarius is my long suffering tutor. I think he spends more time telling me to stop daydreaming and drawing, rather than actually teaching me. That’s not true. I’ve learnt a lot from him: how to read and write; the history of Gettryne; knowledge of the gods and the banners of each of the twelve ruling lords.

He’s shown me drawings and paintings of a world I’ll never see: waterfalls, rivers, lakes, fields, mountains, animals, cities, villages and towns… even the sea. And sometimes, when he’s in a really good mood, he even encourages me to draw the things I dream of.

I shouldn’t complain, but some days I forget that everyone around me only wants what’s best for me. Some days, all I want is to be like everyone else–free. Trinity

Find out more about Clare and her books:

Goodreads

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter @ClareMDavidson