Guest Post: Steven Moore

This week I’d like to welcome my friend and fellow Inscribable, Steven Moore.
He’s the superhero artist behind this masterpiece.
(See below for more information about our super group.)

Science Fiction, Fantasy & History—Hand In Hand

I’m currently writing my next Gnome Legends™ Downtime Read™—The Timeless Crystal and have found myself fascinated by how easily science fiction and fantasy can blend with historical events and characters. Though much of the story takes place in my usual fantasy world filled with gnomes and elves, it includes an element of time travel. I wanted to give the future part of the story a bit of a steampunk feel, so I put the “future” characters in the late 1800s. With that I realized there were people perfect in real history for a time travel story—enter Nikola Tesla and his good friend Samuel Clemens. I already had a slight fascination with these men, but a little research showed me that they were ideal for a retro science fiction addition to Gnome Legends.

Fiction is fiction. Once you have an idea and begin to outline it, the story usually writes itself (of course your skills determine how well it writes itself). Though the story uses the crystals which had already been a part of my world as its focus point, it was the “timeless” aspect that quickly took over the story. The time travel element brought in characters that really added a nice layer of reality to my world and gave me a handful of rich characters to enhance the story.

As a reader or a writer, never be afraid to venture a little outside of what you’re comfortable with. If you decide you don’t like what you’re reading/writing, then move onto the next thing. But along the way you’ll most likely find the variety to be refreshing.

Dear reader—thank you for sharing your time with me. And Carrie, thank you very much for letting me be a part of your blog. 

Here’s a little sample of the Timeless Crystal: http://www.grimtrojan.com/timeless.htm

Please feel free to visit my website: http://www.grimtrojan.com. I’d love to have you stop by and share your thoughts.

 

Born in Frankfurt Germany on a U.S. Army base, artist/writer Steven Moore has traveled to several countries and been to numerous states within the U.S., but has lived most of his life near the Gulf Coast of Alabama. He currently resides in Loxley, Alabama with his wife and daughter.

Downtime Reads™ are books written for the entire family to enjoy during their downtimes and specifically written to motivate mid-grade readers and reluctant teen readers to read.

Steven is a proud member of The INSCRIBABLES: a group of successful writers and artists who have teamed up to educate, inform and inspire the creative young. 

Blog Hopping

I’ve been all over different websites lately and posting/sharing the links on my social media pages, but in case you’ve missed them, here’s the latest.

 

Book Review:

This post is a review of my historical novel, Fortitude, by MeLeesa Swann, a newcomer in the world of Middle Grade fantasy.

 

Guest Blog Spots:

This one is about seeking inspiration in the world around you, on MeLeesa’s site, including examples I find of Fortitude and Corroded in the world around me.

Then newest is a feature on some of my favorite books featuring Autism Spectrum Disorders on Stephanie Lawton’s blog. (Enjoy contemporary upper YA and New Adult novels, she’s your lady!)

 

Q&A Posts:

Steven Moore hosted me last weekend with some great questions. Check out his website while you’re there. He’s a fantastic artist (“Mr. Illustrator” from The Inscribables, who drew my “Word Rocker” avatar.) If you love fantasy books, games, etc. be sure to browse his offerings.

And I had another stop with MeLeesa Swann (she’s been great to me) to answer her burning questions.

 

Thanks for following my  blog journey and  checking out my literary friends.

P.S.

Be sure to signup for my newsletter because BIG NEWS is coming soon!

Happy Autumn

Yes, it’s that magical time of the year when the weather cools and spirits invigorate from the break of summer heat! Though months have passed since I last posted, I’ve been productive in other avenues, like writing a new manuscript and working on edits on the multi-book Gothic Horror.

Now that I’m in between projects, I’m taking a week or two to catch up on long over-due things like blogging, cleaning, and organizing. This year has been one of creativity and my living spaces showcase that artistic chaos. The next few posts will feature some highlights from this past year, like new tidbits about Fortitude and Corroded. To start things off, here’s the newest item: a photo from my recent book signing at Christmas Jubilee market hosted by Mobile’s Junior League at the Mobile Convention Center.

author-signing-nov20162016-convention-center

Autism Awareness Month

No matter where you stand, education about something that touches the lives of one out of every sixty-eight people (or more) is important.

One of my favorite autism shirts.

One of my favorite autism shirts.

As a spectrum disorder, no two journeys are the same. The more stories the world hears, the better.

Share your journey or the story of someone you love whenever possible.

Awareness lead to acceptance.

To read more about autism, check out the different categories of my posts in the sidebar of my website, or start here.

Besides writing about autism-related topics on this blog from time to time, I wrote Corroded, which releases April 12, 2016. Corroded tells the story of neuro-typical Mary and Ben, who is on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum. I hope the book will entertain, as well as enlighten people about living with–and loving someone with–autism.

Who do you love with autism?

Guest Post: Jaded Love Tour

Today I’m pleased to host fellow Anaiah Press authors, Kara Leigh Miller and Jody Holdford. Last year I enjoyed the first book in The Mending Hearts series, Dangerous Love, and now they are celebrating the release of book two: Jaded Love.
JadedLove_Holford-Miller_KINDLE-NOOK

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

by

Kara Leigh Miller & Jody Holford

 

“A Picture is worth a thousand words” is a phrase originally credited to Frederick R. Barnard in reference to the effectiveness of graphics in advertising. Later, he then attributed it to a Chinese proverb. Regardless of who first said it, this is really a very powerful sentiment, even for writers.

 

As authors, words are our currency. We spend our days, nights, weekends, (every spare moment) make our living by playing with words. We string them together to create new worlds and people, to create situations and invoke emotions that will (hopefully) resonate with readers. We agonize over each word choice, each sentence, each paragraph until we feel it’s the absolute best it can be. But what people might not realize is that readers are also very visual people. We have the ability to visualize our characters, our settings, our books! They often play out like movies in our minds.

 

Sometimes, seeing an image can spark an idea for a new scene or some new dialogue. So, to help keep us motivated, to stave off writer’s block, and to assist in our promotional efforts, we utilized a lot of visual aids — namely, stock photos of our characters and our settings. It helped us solidify them in our minds and they worked wonders in keeping us both on the same page as far as writing descriptions. Jody even created a Pinterest board for Jaded Love, which you can visit here: https://www.pinterest.com/jholford/jl/

 

Today, we’re sharing some of these pictures with all of you so that you can see how we’ve always envisioned Jackson, Kristy, and the world that is Jaded Love. Hopefully they’ll resonate with you as they did with us.

 

Meet Jackson Reed… We always imagined him as this tall, somewhat imposing, closed off tough guy detective. He’s generally sporting some days’ old stubble because he’s a workaholic, but deep down, he’s got a heart of gold. The snippet is Kristy’s first impression of him.

 

Jackson darker

This is Jackson and Kristy’s first kiss, which takes place during a singles dance hosted by Pastor Ethan and his church. When the evening started, neither of them expected a kiss, so it certainly took them by surprise, but as soon as it happened, they knew there was no going back.

 

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An important part of Jaded Love is the group therapy sessions that Jackson and Kristy attend in the basement of the church. Even though it’s an emotionally intense thing that they go through, we’d always envisioned it as a small, close-knit, supportive group.

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Even though we deal in words, pictures are often just as important, and to us, they really do speak a thousand words.

Jody Holford_ Author Pic

Jody Holford

 

Kara Leigh Miller

Kara Leigh Miller

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! I loved visuals, too. As a bonus, this tour is hosting a giveaway. ENTER TO WIN A $25 Amazon Gift Card: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/527093932/

Find Jaded Love on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jaded-Love-Mending-Hearts-Book-ebook/dp/B018HS72VG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453766083&sr=1-2&keywords=jaded+love

And on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28378045-jaded-love?from_search=true&search_version=service

To see more posts about Jaded Love check out the full tour: https://anaiahpress.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/follow-the-jaded-love-blog-tour/

Spotlight on Jacqueline

Today I’m happy to share a Question and Answer session I had with another Anaiah Press author, Jackie Minniti. Her middle grade historical novel, Jacqueline, was one of my favorite reads in 2015. It’s now available in print as well as e-formats.

JacquelineWere you nervous about how family/friends would feel about reading a fictionalized account of a treasured family tale?

No, not at all! In fact, my dad, a 99-year-old WWII veteran whose experience inspired the story, had been asking me to write a book about Jacqueline for years. It was the only war story he was willing to share, and it became part of our family lore. I tried to explain to him that although our family loved the story, there wasn’t enough material for a book and no general audience for it. Then a chance encounter with a guest at my son’s wedding sparked a “Eureka!” moment. A man who’d been sitting with my dad came up to me. “I hear you’re a writer,” he said. “Your father’s been telling me the most amazing story. You should write a book about it.” I began to tell him why it couldn’t be done, but he interrupted me. “I have a daughter in 6th grade. She doesn’t know anything about WWII. She’d love to read a book like this, and it would help her learn history.” To this day, I don’t know why it never occurred to me to write the story for younger readers, especially since I’d taught middle school reading for so many years and Jacqueline was the same age as my students. But once I started looking at the story from that perspective,the plot began to form and I couldn’t wait to start writing.

 

Which character was the hardest to write about? Why?

I’d have to say that it was Yvonne Jamet, the young French “collaborateur” who was keeping company with the Nazi soldier. She was a controversial character because she was considered a traitor and was hated by Maman and the adults in the story, but Jacqueline saw her softer, more vulnerable side and had conflicted feelings about her. Since younger readers tend to see characters as either good or bad, I tried to present Yvonne as more of a “gray” character so they’d have to make their own decisions about her. It was a real effort to keep my personal feelings about Yvonne from leaking into my writing.

 

What are some of the most interesting historical tidbits you came across in your research?

As a Baby Boomer, just one generation removed from WWII, I was surprised at how little I really knew about this historical period. I’d read a lot about the Holocaust and the plight of the Jews in Germany, Poland, and Austria, but there wasn’t as much written about France during that time. I learned that there was a sizable Jewish population in Rennes, and that many French Jews were sent to Drancy, a “transit camp” outside Paris that was actually a temporary stop on the way to the death camps in Auschwitz and Buchenwald. I was also amazed at the hardships the French endured under the occupation – food rationing, curfews, censorship, air raids, constant surveillance. It renewed my appreciation for the freedom we enjoy here in America. And I can’t express the depth of my admiration for the bravery and sacrifice of the American troops who fought so valiantly to defeat the evil that was Nazi Germany. Most of them were mere boys, many away from home for the first time, and yet they transformed history and secured freedom for millions of people. They truly were the Greatest Generation.

 Jackie

Did the story go as planned or did you write some surprises?

Since Jacqueline is based on a true story, most of it went as planned. But some of the characters took unexpected turns. The biggest change from my original vision was the fate of the Bergiers. Since I don’t want to spoil the ending, I’ll just say that I originally planned something more catastrophic but decided it might be too intense for the younger readers.

 

What’s been the most rewarding part of Jacqueline being published?

I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author for as long as I can remember. The submission process was difficult and stressful, but it was all worth it when I was offered the contract from Anaiah Press. They’ve been extremely professional and a pleasure to work with. But the most rewarding part of the entire experience was putting that first copy of Jacqueline in my father’s hands. It was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life.

 

Ready for more?

Check out http://www.jackieminniti.com/

and

For More Stops On The Tour, Click Here.

Christmas Blessings

Christmas cheer goes a long way, especially when unpacking from a trip the day before Christmas. While off on a magical vacation this past week I received equally exciting news: Fortitude is an official nominee for the Whitney Awards!

Whitney Nominee 1

Finalists will be announced in February, so if there is any more Whitney Awards news to share, that’s the next time it will happen.

Keep in mind the paperback edition of Fortitude will be released in eleven days. I know some of you have been holding out for a print copy–thank you for your patience. Once you’ve read it (either digital or print), please leave a short review online where you purchased it or at a book review site. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads are the most viewed locations but any place is great. Reviews go a long way, and even just one sentence is wonderful. Word of mouth goes a long way, too. Please recommend it to your book-loving friends and family.

Happy Christmas to all!

P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a link to the complete listing of all the stops on Fortitude‘s blog tour over the past two weeks. Lots of insight and tidbit about the book and why/how I wrote it.