Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interview with Yicheng, author of The Remains of Civilization

Thanks for joining us today. Lets get started.

Where did the idea for your novel come from?

You would be surprised at how weird dreams and insomnia can affect your creativity. I never tried drugs before, but sometimes, dreaming for me is about as inspiring as opium is for Mary Shelley(yes, the Frankenstein writer). I had an illogical leap in the train of thoughts. Scribbled down some weird ideas and revisited them when I am not fighting battles with sleep, stress, and my life.

How did you start writing?

The same way as everyone else does. With a pencil. No one starts writing with a pen or a blackberry. With few exceptions, like fifty shades of grey. Seriously, that book made me serious question life. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that there is no magic in writing. Sit down and write if you got a good idea. If you are an aspiring writer, then you better make sure you are properly inspired hen. No, I think I made my stance with sex dungeons pretty clear.

What does your writing process look like?

Polite, organized chaos. Since that is the wonder of being a writer. You stare into the abyss and get to laugh at it. Hard. I usually start with an idea. Since that is always a good place to start, then I would ake sure it's original, or at least not twilight or Divergent. Then I would move on to drafting. Take a break and do a bit of world building in a scrapbook, make up maps of the locations in the book, interior layout, etc. Get as much details out as possible, then I would ask myself on the best way to insert them in there with as many immature jokes and one liners as possible. Granted, I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to writing, so much of my drafting involves pencils, erasers, and paper(*gasp). With a glue-stick nearby just in case I suddenly turned into a kindergartner again. After 'the end'. I would brag a bit. Get laid. Then go ahead and get it reviewed, edited, and sent to a publishing company. Unfortunately, I'm joking about my sex life. I don't have one.

Where is your book set?

So yeah. When someone asks me where is my book 'the remains of civilization' is set. I would just glaze over and tell that it is set in the modern word. No dates, because that's the way I write. It could be set in any time the reader assume it is set in. If the book is read by someone 25 years in the future(provided there is still PHYSICAL copies of the book lying around) and be able to assume it is happening right now.

Are your characters based on real people?

More or less. You see, if you are going to write a fictional story with your friends in it. It is REALLY hard to not lose your self-control and subtly mock the, throughout the entire story. Believe me, it's hard. But I managed to make them into sensible, realistic—oh who am I kidding, the main character has to have their friends/family/SO die before they turn into a cape wearing ass-kicker. Just ask batman, superman, spider-man, and a whole slew of other superheroes and good guys.

Though the main characters isn't like that and the good guy don't die until the very end(did I just spoil my own books ending? Unacceptable!), but I will still try my best to tear down the stereotypes surrounding good and evil. Because seriously? I swear some writer aren't even trying.

Did you always want to write?

Kind of. It depends on what you define as 'writing'. The everyday kind where you get to send spam emails to unsuspecting innocent people(I have no idea what normal people actually do)? Or the kind of writing where I hide in my secret bat-cave and come up with ass-kicking stories of sir ass-kickeroths? It really depends. If it's the first one, then yes, of course I had always wanted to write pen*s enlargement emails templates. Who wouldn't ? The second more or less came as a surprise. But just not the neighbors-just-let-their-dogs-poop-in-my-mailbox kind of surprise.

Which character is your favorite and why?

I try not have a favorite character. Because my judgement for that character might end up biased and might accidentally make him/her into the main character.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?

Any writer, really. I give all genres an equal try(look where erotic fan fiction got me), and I generally read every book that got a good enough blurb. Then I would try and finish it, if it's good, then it's Goodreads I go to leave a review.  There had lots of good books recently, it's pretty awesome how authors these days know how to tell a good story.

What are you reading right now?

Well, I read books by the dozens, by the time this got posted, there is a high chance I either moved onto a new book or I went back to reread an old book. I still couldn't get over some tear- jerking series that presented the solution to a dilemma logically, instead of just random plot devices. Or flying winged creatures.

Seriously, every Rick Riordan book HAS to have at least one flying winged creature I wanted to punch in the face. That is why I can't get over Rick Riordan's books, man.

Dog or Cats?

Probably more of a cat person.

What’s next for you?

 Writing more science fiction books. There is already another science fiction book in the works. opefully this one will an improvement from this one. I would like to think that I am improving, not getting more clich├ęd with writing sci-fi. I can't really say what it will be about yet, as I am still fleshing out some bits. But hopefully, it will look cool.

Some doors are best left closed. Or some day, you might find the corpse of your wife behind a door you opened. Or you might find your best friend stabbing someone to death instead. Curiosity killed the cat, but can it kill you too? Left with no choices, two guys scavenge the internet for odd jobs stumbled into a conspiracy. Dragged into a whirlpool of conspiracy, action, and aliens. They now hold the fate of society in their hands, can they save the world?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Interview with Natalie O'Neil, author of Guardian House

Thanks for joining us today. First question

Can you tell us a little about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it?
Guardian House, the 1st in the Curious Adventures series, follows a curious young woman forced to uncover her past in order to pave the way for adventures in her future. This urban fantasy mashup follows Alice as she learns she's involved in much more drama than whether or not her crush likes her back. With the support of her bestie, Dorothy, and her clique of misfit orphans-with-excess-baggage, she ventures beyond her comfort zone to unlock the mysteries surrounding Guardian House, the legend of the Red Queen, and her connection to the world she doesn't remember. Peppered with magic and mystery,Guardian House is full of snark & sass, and will leave readers curious for more!
​It is available on Amazon on August 14 in print and digital copies.​

So, what inspired you to write your book? How did you get into writing urban fantasy?
​              As​ a child, I loved hearing stories about Alice in Wonderland & Dorothy in Oz, but as I got older, wondered what they would be like in modern times, or if they were a little older. I also felt that since they had similar experiences, they could probably connect well. I know how difficult it is for teenage girls to fit in and find a true friend, and decided that Alice and Dorothy would be a perfect platonic match!

What, do you feel, sets this book apart from other books in the genre?
​              Guardian ​House uses 21st Century teenage issues such as fashion, flirting, and frivolity to attract young adult readers. But it is also grounded in the myths and legends that today's adults remember and love. This version of Alice and Dorothy combined with magic, fantasy and mystery entice readers of all ages to follow them on their adventures into adulthood, friendship, first loves, and the fears that have since been dormant in Guardian House. 

I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?

​I'd love finish up the sequel to Guardian House. And after that, who knows where the Curious Adventure series may go!?​

Curious. That’s the one word Alice uses to describe herself in her Group Therapy sessions. She thinks it has a nicer ring to it than the crazy her parents called her before they abandoned her at Guardian House with other unwanted misfits. Thanks to a childhood incident, Alice can’t remember if she actually visited the fantasy land that appears in pieces of her memory. But she knows her instincts are trying to tell her something is up at Guardian House, and she is too curious to avoid it. 

After years of struggling to find her own kind of normal, Alice has found a sense of sanity with some of the patients, especially her best-friend-she’s-basically-family Dorothy, and her hunky crush Tim. Alice’s goal, aside from finding the courage to let Tim know how she feels, is to be discharged and leave Guardian House. That is, until mad Hattie reminds them of the legend of the evil Red Queen. Aided by quirky Therapy friends, secrets of the mysterious Dr. Wize, and a little magic, Alice must fight to save her friend’s lives – even if it means betraying the only thing she has grown to rely on.

Author Bio: Natalie O’Neil is proud to announce the publication of her first novel, Guardian House, an urban fantasy mash-up of her favorite childhood mischief-makers. Enticed by the bizarre, Natalie’s unconventional predilections have been know to lead her down more than one path not frequently taken, and she’s always up for the adventure.

Natalie is fascinated by the Victorian Era, Steampunk, and alternate realities, allowing her to often romanticize about a time and place that never actually existed, except for in her mind. This magical, whimsical, and sometimes frightening imaginary world inspires both her writing and her real life.

A graduate of Rutgers University, Natalie taught high school English & Creative Writing for many years before becoming an innovator in educational technology. As a Technology Coordinator, Google Certified Teacher and Trainer, Raspberry Pi Certified Teacher, and Adjunct Professor, Natalie is passionate about sharing the benefits of technology and the arts with educators around the world.

When she isn’t traveling, Natalie can be found at home in New Jersey with her husband, often spoiling her American Eskimo pup, refinishing shabby chic home furnishings, or finding creative ways to entertain and educate.