Friday, September 28, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Caterina Torres


Welcome to another Blog Ring of Power, today we have my friend from the great AQC. Thanks for joining us Cat, let's learn a bit about your Creative Process.


Cat: I am in my mid-twenties and I graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Humanities. The name I go by is Cat and I love to write about the apocalypse, but not in the biblical sense of the word. Any sort of dystopian, end of the world stories seriously interest me. I guess it has a lot to do with being part of the rat race of life, trying to climb the great ladder of success.

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?
Cat: Driving to and from work. You wouldn't believe how much I can think when I have to commute two hours a day.

BRoP:  Do you have a specific writing style?
Cat:  I don't outline anything, except the timeline, and I write from the beginning to end. I don't jump around the story.

BRoP:  How do you deal with writer’s block?
Cat:  Write another book. Seriously, when I was blocked with writing Biohazard Tattoo (book #2 in my Zombie Trilogy), I wrote another manuscript titled Death's List.

BRoP:  How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Cat:  No. I usually stick to strong female characters and female villains, and sprinkle in some romance/love. My plots usually come to me while I'm writing.

BRoP:  Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
Cat:  I'm a panster all the way.

BRoP: Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
Cat:  I used critique partners because having another set of eyes look over my manuscript is the most valuable tool any author can have.

BRoP:  How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
Cat:  I spend as much as I need on research, whether that be five minutes or five hours. The type of research I do depends on the type of story I'm writing. If I write about viruses, I better understand their mechanics.

BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?
Cat:  Historical pieces. It's almost as if I cannot stick myself back in time. And when I write, I like to picture myself in my story, doing the same actions so I can write it as believable as possible.

For the rest of this interview don't forget to join the other hosts of The Blog Ring of Power:

Part 3: with me
Part 5: Dean 

Here's where you can find Cat:


Website: http://caterinatorres.com/
Blog: http://caterinatorres.com/blog/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Caterina-Torres/340181086022992
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5620895.Caterina_Torres
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaterinaTorres
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Caterina-D-Torres/e/B0086O514C/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
e-book and print.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Barbara Ann Wright

It's Friday!

Wait for it...

You know what Friday means.  Ok ok there's the whole "The weekend is here." but it also means that it's Blog Ring of Power time!


Barbara Ann Wright writes fantasy and science fiction novels and short stories when not adding to her enormous book collection or ranting on her blog. Her short fiction has appeared twice in Crossed Genres Magazine and once made Tangent Online's recommended reading list. She is a member of Broad Universe and the Outer Alliance and helped create Writer's Ink in Houston. The Pyramid Waltz is her first novel.

She is married, has an army of pets, and lives in Texas. Her writing career can be boiled down to two points: when her mother bought her a typewriter in the sixth grade and when she took second place in the Isaac Asimov Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing in 2004. One gave her the means to write and the other gave her the confidence to keep going. Believing in oneself, in her opinion, is the most important thing a person can do.


Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?

BAW:  For me, stories can start anywhere. I've written a short story starring a passenger from the Mary Celeste and another that evolved from my half-assed Star Trek fan fiction. I wrote a science fiction novel after seeing a fragment of sign that read, "Very sharp teeth." I couldn't get the image out of my mind.

For The Pyramid Waltz, the characters had to come first: Katya, the blade-wielding, sarcastic princess; and Starbride, the studious, warm-hearted courtier. Then the story grew around them: secret identities, family in danger, evil conspiracies. I throw everything in but the kitchen sink, see what works, and ditch what doesn't.

BRoP:  How do you deal with writer’s block?

BAW:  The first thing I do is change my environment. That's the ol' blame-everything-else solution. Really, though, sometimes I find that my creativity flows better in a different setting. If that doesn't work, I try and work on anything I can rather than my current project. I'll do writing prompts or bounce ideas around with friends.

BRoP:  Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

BAW:  I've always called myself half-plotter, half-pantser. I make initial notes about character and plot and lay out the first half of the book, but by the middle on, I'm writing by the seat of my pants.

In the end, there's a lot I have to throw away. I see writing like a river, and if I take a tributary down to a dead-end, I have to back up, ditch what I've written and start from the place where I branched off. The seat of the pants approach works well for me as I write pretty quickly, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to delete a lot of what they've done and start again.


BRoP:  Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?

BAW:  I absolutely use critique partners and beta readers. I love critique groups and think that joining one is one of the most important steps a writer will take in their entire career. My advice to writers is to seek out the best group you can, and if they're not doing anything for you, find another. If there isn't a good face-to-face group near you, make one, and don't stop dragging your writer friends out of their caves until you've got about five or six good writers to work with.

BRoP:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?

Expository scenes are probably hardest for me. At heart, I'm a romantic who loves action scenes, so they are where I feel the most comfortable. Any long passages of exposition usually get cut in my stories until enough people suggest I put them in.

Book blurb for The Pyramid Waltz:
To most, Princess Katya Nar Umbriel is a rogue and a layabout; she parties, she hunts and she breaks women's hearts. But when the festival lights go down and the palace slumbers, Katya chases traitors to the crown and protects the kingdom's greatest secret: the royal Umbriels are part Fiend. When Katya thwarts an attempt to expose the king's monstrous side, she uncovers a plot to let the Fiends out to play.

Starbride has no interest in being a courtier. Ignoring her mother's order to snare an influential spouse, she comes to court only to study law. But a flirtatious rake of a princess proves hard to resist, and Starbride is pulled into a world of secrets that leaves little room for honesty or love, a world neither woman may survive.




Thanks so much for joining me and the other Blog Ring of Power hosts! To find the rest of this interview, please visit: 

Part 1 @ Terri (www.terribruce.net) - Wednesday, September 19th
Part 2 @ Teresa (http://twfendley.com), Thursday, September 20th
Part 3 @ Emily (http://emlabonte.blogspot.com), Friday, September 21st
Part 4 @ Sandra (http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com), Monday, September 24th
Part 5 @ Dean (http://deanswritingtime.blogspot.com), Tuesday, September 25th

Where can we find you Barbara?

Website: www.barbaraannwright.com          
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/BarbaraAnnWright
Twitter: @zendragandt
Amazon: amazon.com/author/barbaraannwright

What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)
It is available in print now and will be available in e-book form on September 18, 2012.




Friday, September 14, 2012

Blog Ring of Power Presents: Cornelia Amiri


Yes, we come to another Blog Ring of Power Friday, please welcome Cornelia. 

Don't forget to check out the other parts of this interview
Part 3 guess who

Cornelia Amiri is the author of 16 romance books, including the Steampunk/romance she writes under the name Maeve Alpin. She lives in Houston, TX with her wonderful son and granddaughter. 


Section #3: The Creative Process

BRoP: Where do you get your story ideas?
CA: The ideas come from everywhere, a historical event, a dream, or something someone said. Once I have my idea (my premise), I pick a plot to go with it. Then I work up character charts on the hero and heroine, which include information on their family history and their likes and dislikes. Then, with a fairly good idea about the beginning and ending in my head, I begin the rough draft. Once I have a strong image in my head of the characters the dialogue starts flowing. Once my characters start talking there is no shutting them up.

BRoP: Do you have a specific writing style?
CA: So far in my StemapunkRomances my love of history comes through as at least one of my main characters, hero or heroine, is from ancient times. My Celtic/romances draw from history as they are all set in the dark ages, iron ages, or bronze ages. I draw strongly from Celtic mythology. I want to make the druid teachings of the times come alive to the readers. So in my books, people can shapeshift, there are selkies, dead ancestors cross over to speak with you and help you out, gods fall in love with humans, and, from time to time, dragons visit from their alternate dimension and Celitc/fey/vampires roam the modern world looking for men to seduce.

3.   BRoP: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?

CA:  I’m a bit in between a plotter and a panster. Once I have my idea (my premise), I pick a plot to go with it. Then I work up character charts on the hero and heroine, which include information on their family history and their likes and dislikes. Then, with a fairly good idea about the beginning and ending in my head, I begin the rough draft.

4.      BRoP:  Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?

CA:  I’ve never used a beta reader, I would like to though if any beta readers are out there who would be interested. I had two fantastic critique partners, for a long time when I lost them I was on my own for a while but I have a great critique partner now.  I find the critiquing process absolutely invaluable to me. The things I learned from my critique partners and even more from critiquing their work are incredible.

BRoP: How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
CA: I have researched the ancient Celts for over 15 years. I’ve read a lot of non-fiction books about them  as well as a lot of archeology reports, and through the internet, mainly Megalithic Portal,(  http://www.megalithic.co.uk/ ) I keep up to date on the latest finds. I love history as much as I love writing. I love the research process. Since I have a good base in that history I mainly just look things up as needed now, I don’t have to spend that much time on it anymore. 


Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
Website: http://CelticromanceQueen.com
Blog: I’m one of the Steamed writers - http://ageofsteam.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaeveAlpin


What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.) print and eBook

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Pine Grove

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The forest seemed to darken with each step.  Voices sounded all around me, birds and something else.  I couldn't understand the words that floated just beyond the trees.  My heart fluttered and I wrung my hands together.  It wasn't a good idea to cross that bridge but the damage had been done.  I would have to see this through.  Cursing my curiosity I kept walking.  The canopy held back most of the sun's rays, leaving a constant twilight to press on my shoulders.

I stepped into a pine grove.  The sun broke through the towering trees, bringing the daylight back.  I sighed and moved forward with quick steps.  A hush fell around me.  No birds, no voices, I would think my ears had been filled with cotton, if it weren't for the sound of my own foot steps.  I slowed, my heart pounding in my chest.

The light of the sun grew brighter.  I closed my eyes against the blaze.  Black spots against my lids blinked in and out of my vision.

"Welcome Mundane." The voice came.  This time I could hear her better.  I opened my eyes slowly, blinking against the glaring light surrounding me.  I got a glimpse of wings and a face with flowing white hair.  Tears streamed down my face. So much beauty, it was painful to behold. "You have crossed into the land of magic."

"M... Magic? I just crossed a bridge." I said.

"The Bridge of Worlds my dear.  You have entered the land that none can leave. You have chosen to remain as you are."

"I chose? What?" I turned from one side to the other.  The light was too fierce against my eyes.  I saw nothing but white feathers and eyes. "When?"

"Your test on the path.  My guard has deemed you worthy to choose your form for the rest of eternity."

A dream, this must be a dream.  What was I thinking to cross that bridge?  No one had ever returned.  Why did I think I was different? I closed my eyes, only to open them again to the face.  Ever changing, her features remained indistinguishable, even as she kept her wondrous visage.   

The voice seemed closer.  It whispered into my ear. "Do you still wish to be Mundane, or will you join the fae in everlasting magic? It is your choice. You gave my guard no reason to call you unworthy."

My choice.  Well I chose the only thing I could think of.  I mean, what would you choose? "Magic."

The world turned into a million colors.  Lights and diamonds sparkled before me, around me.  It was warm, soft, like comforting blankets wrapping around me.

When I could see again, the light was gone.  The pine grove was again as it was when I walked into it.  The sounds returned around me. Birds sang and the voices had words to go with them. "Welcome mistress. Welcome!"

I had become one of them and I was home.