Introducing Author Sarah Buchynski

Posted on February 25, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

sarah_1Please help me welcome a young up and coming author this week who I’m sure we’ll see more of.  Her name is Sarah Buchynski and her book reads like a video game – action, plot and characters that pop.  If you’d like to read my review of her book, The Awakening (Before True Light) click here.  And, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the interview to see Sarah’s free offer!

Interview with Author Sarah Buchynski

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

My favourite pastime, other than writing, would be playing video games.  More specifically RPGs such as games from the Final Fantasy series are really enjoyable to me.  I like them since they convey a story and you can really immerse yourself into the world through the visuals, music, and interactions.  Even though it is entertaining for me, sometimes the emotions that the music creates with the different scenarios gives me a burst of inspiration, which can lead me to go write or compose music.

Who are you as a writer?

My identity as a writer is simple.  I only try to create works that will entertain readers and make them laugh, cry, be angry, get excited, etc…

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think it is great.  However, it is still a small movement in comparison to other indie movements such as music.  Hopefully it will continue to grow, so truly talented authors can be more easily discovered.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

I have not ghostwritten.  However, if I had the opportunity, I probably would.  If you are ghostwriting for certain people, it can lead to other writing opportunities since you are networking your writing skills.  Although, not getting a credit for the public to see is disheartening, but inside the industry can discover you through word of mouth.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Probably The Horse and his Boy by CS Lewis.  That was the first book that I got so addicted to that I could not put it down.  Before I read that, I was not really into reading and now I read a variety of things like books, manga, articles, etc…

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

Absolutely not! For fiction, I believe that a degree cannot teach a person to be creative to create a captivating story.  In my opinion, a degree would only help to teach a person to have proper grammar skills so they can convey their story in a written format.  The story is the most important element of a book and an editor can help with the technical aspect for the writer if they lack the skill.  The grammar is not what captives an audience, it is the story.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

I pinch myself and then I wake up from a terrifying dream.  In reality I am safe in my bed at home.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

I suppose my greatest asset as an independent author would be the business skills/knowledge I’ve been learning in post secondary.  This knowledge helps me to find ways to market and promote myself as well as understand any contracts I need to so there is a lesser chance I get ripped off.

What do you treasure most on earth?

The human brain because it is an amazing thing that it can do so much and create so much.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pasttimes, friends, etc.

To be honest, most of my childhood memories are of me doing homework.  However, I really enjoyed the traveling that I was able to do.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Probably getting my book published and actually finding out complete strangers are reading my book.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

It is not very important, however, it would be nice.  All I really want is for people to read and enjoy my book.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

An isolated tropical island, a movie deal for my book where I get to work on the post production for it, and a wish for more wishes since at the time I could not come up with a last one.

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

I’m not really sure what I would do.  Any day where I do not have to worry about anything school related is a great day.  I would probably end up going to a music store and getting new and high quality instruments, equipment and software for music production and post production so I can go out and record anything from field recordings to a full band.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

Writing is not really my career.  I do it because I enjoy it.  However, I put enough effort into that it could be my career.  I mainly got into writing because someone once told me that I was good at it.  From that I tried writing poetry and had some publishing success with that then moved into the world of writing novels.  People seemed to enjoy reading my work so that’s what makes me keep writing.

So when I’m not writing and promoting my work, I am a full time student of audio engineering (soon to be graduated).  I have already recorded a few indie bands.  In the near future I may be doing the audio for an indie film.  I also want to branch out to doing audio for book trailers plus create original music for them either contemporary, orchestrated or a combination of both.   My ultimate career goal with that is to be a foley artist and eventually get into composing music for film.  Writing is what keeps me sane trying to accomplish these goals.

People have told me that my book, Before True Light: The Awakening is very unique, but in a good way.  The system of abilities comes from the science of ancient alchemy, but also the fantasy side of it.  So it is not 100% magic and not 100% science.  The storyline is more than just a story too.  I want to entertain people, but also make them think about the world around us.  However, I would like to think that I’ve done this in a way that if a person does not understand the metaphors, it will not hinder the storyline in any way for them – it’s more like bonus material if you catch on to it.

Thanks for stopping by – leave a comment for Sarah and let her know you came.  Check below for her generous offer to five lucky readers.

Beforetruelight_1Points of Purchase:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/269067

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/before-true-light/id591634024?mt=11

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=Before+True+Light

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-true-light-sarah-buchynski/1114142585

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BeforeTrueLight

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FantasyFanatic7

Bio:

Sarah Buchynski is a young author that showed a passion for writing even as a child. In her grade school years, she placed second in an essay writing contest for the Royal Canadian Legion and has two poems published in a student anthology with Creative Communications and several works in school-based anthologies. Now she has expanded her writing ambitions with her first fantasy series, Before True Light.

As a writer, one of Sarah’s main techniques is to paint a vivid picture into the reader’s mind through carefully constructed imagery. In addition to the embedded metaphors which older audiences can enjoy along with the story.

Sarah’s other technique is research. Almost every name of places and characters have been carefully researched so that it is relevant to the storyline. Sarah believes that everything in a story should have a purpose to an extend,so that makes research even more important even for works of fiction.

Giveaway: the first 5 people to like Before True Light on facebook will receive a free copy of the ebook.

 

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Introducing Author Karen A. Wyle

Posted on January 21, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wyle author photo number 2Author Karen A. Wyle is my guest this week on the blog.  She’s a very interesting author and you can read my review of her book Wander Home here.  I can’t wait to read Karen’s take on Scrivener (see the second question in her interview) as I recently purchased it and haven’t had much time to learn to use the program.  So grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy our chat.  Please feel free to leave a comment!

Interview with Author Karen A. Wyle

by L.Leander

Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I usually write on my desktop computer, which sits on a maybe-antique desk too high for good ergonomics, so I’m constantly courting carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s in a very messy room we call an office, with what might be a nice view if we ever opened the blinds. Hmmm. Maybe this setup needs work . . . .

What is your favorite writing tool?

Scrivener!!! I recently posted a paean to this program on my blog, at http://looking-around.blogspot.com/2012/12/in-praise-of-scrivener.html. Another and more detailed article showing what Scrivener can do for writers: http://www.livehacked.com/writing-2/scrivener-an-introduction-to-novel-writing/.

What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I don’t know whether she counts as a star, nor whether she’s done anything with the requisite emotional depth, but Lake Bell looks the part. With the right hair adjustment, Anna Paquin or Bryce Dallas Howard might fit the bill.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a novelist! I gave up on that dream sometime in college, and came back to it after a decades-long detour, at just the right time, with self-publishing now a viable option.

Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner? 

I’m mostly a pantser. I never do a full outline. Usually, I start with an opening situation and a handful of characters, and then come up with a list of scenes I may want to include. The rest of the story unfolds as I write, and invariably surprises me. The only time I thought I knew the ending ahead of time, it turned out I didn’t.

If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?horse_1

Assuming I had the resources to take care of a horse, I’d prefer a horse — if it would be so kind as to pull a covered carriage to protect me from the elements. I’d be particularly gratified if the horse would learn the way home from various places I’d be likely to go, so I could relax and nap during the journey.

Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

I sometimes dream stories that, in the dream, I believe I’ve been writing — but at least as far as I can remember, they aren’t my actual stories. I believe I have come up with one or two story ideas in dreams, but I haven’t written about them yet — I’ve just noted them down in my “Ideas” folder.

What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

I was one of the “smart” kids, and on the fringes of  (tolerated by) the “smart-but-popular” set. I had three friends with whom I spent most of my time (as a foursome or in smaller sub-sets).

What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which disone would you like to visit and why?)

The only one I’ve visited is Disneyland, which I enjoy more than I can explain. There’s something about the surrounding energy that delights me.

Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I’m a compulsive reader. If I’m sitting down, awake, and not in active conversation with anyone, I’m reading. (That’s a slight overstatement: when I’m watching TV or a movie, I don’t always read. But often I do.)

I have been reading science fiction most of my life, although I seem to read less of it these days. I have been reading increasing amounts of historical fiction, including historical mysteries, which I read for the setting and characters rather than the mystery itself. One of my favorite authors is Mary Doria Russell, whose science fiction novel The Sparrow may be my favorite novel in any genre and from any time period, and who also writes historical fiction.

What led you to write your latest book, Wander Home?

I’ve always been interested in different speculations and imaginings about life after death — and I am drawn to themes of family communication, unfinished business, and reconciliation. I don’t remember exactly when or how the setting for Wander Home came to me, but it fit my interests and preoccupations to dream up an afterlife with features suitable for celebrating one’s life and addressing lingering issues. Once I had the setting, I found a family-based story that grew out of it.

Is Wander Home your first novel? If not, what was your first novel about?

Twin-Bred ebook cover sized for SpotlightIf we (mercifully) don’t count the book I wrote at age ten about a boy and his dragon, my first novel was Twin-Bred, published in paperback and ebook formats in October 2011.

This science fiction novel addresses the question: can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? Humans have lived on Tofarn, planet of creeks and rivers, for seventy years, but they still don’t understand the Tofa. The Tofa are an enigma, from their featureless faces to the four arms that sometimes seem to be five. They take arbitrary umbrage at the simplest human activities, while annoying their human neighbors in seemingly pointless ways. The next infuriating, inexplicable incident may explode into war.

Scientist Mara Cadell has a radical proposal: that host mothers carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, who might understand each other better. Mara knows about the bond between twins: her own twin Levi died in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

The human Council approves the project. The Tofa agree to cooperate, although no one is sure they understand the project’s purpose. In fact, the Tofa have their own agenda. And so does one member of the Council, who believes the human colonists should have wiped out the Tofa before setting foot on Tofarn. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred project through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely? . . .

What’s next?

I just finished (via NaNo) the rough draft of a science fiction novel tentatively titled Division, involving conjoined twins. While I let it cool off in the virtual desk drawer, I’m editing the sequel to Twin-Bred, with the working title Reach. I hope to publish the latter by late Spring of 2013.

Here are some other places you can find author Karen A. Wyle and her books.  Scroll down to read her bio.

Karen’s Website:

www.KarenAWyle.net

Karen Wyle Facebook page

www.facebook.com/KarenAWyle

Facebook pages for Karen A. Wyle Books:

www.facebook.com/WanderHome

www.facebook.com/TwinBred

Karen’s Blog (Looking Around):

http://looking-around.blogspot.com/

Follow Karen on Twitter: @WordsmithWyle

Purchase Karen Wyle’s books here:

Twin-Bred:

Twin-Bred ebook cover sized for SpotlightAmazon (Kindle):

http://amzn.to/u2OtVP

Amazon (paperback):

http://amzn.to/JYyGeG

Nook Store:

http://bit.ly/Ji0wxT

B&N online (paperback):

http://bit.ly/xsyzwL

Smashwords (various ebook formats):  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/94490

Wander Home:

wanderAmazon (Kindle):

http://amzn.to/WeIrf9

(Nook):

http://bit.ly/TymtxO

Smashwords (various ebook formats): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/239628

Karen A. Wyle Bio:

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence.  After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A.  They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.

Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist.  While writing her first novel at age ten, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine.

Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember.  Do not strand this woman on a plane without reading matter!  Wyle was an English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it.  Her most useful preparation for writing novels, besides reading them, has been the practice of appellate law — in other words, writing large quantities of persuasive prose, on deadline, year after year. 

Wyle and her husband have two intensely creative daughters, the older of whom introduced Wyle to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for which she will be forever grateful.

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Introducing Author Angella Graff

Posted on December 31, 2012. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

angella

It’s my pleasure to introduce author Angella Graff in this weeks feature.  She is definitely going places.  I think you’ll agree when you read her book “The Awakening (The Judas Curse)” that this author is cut from a different mold.  Not many are able or willing to tackle the subject matter she does.  She’s a mix of Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, and she makes the reader want more.  You can read my review of  Angella’s gripping novel, The Awakening (The Judas Curse) here.  The idea of using ancient gods and Biblical characters is not new, but in Ms. Graff’s capable hands they take on a life of their own and the reader is hooked from the first page.  This is urban fantasy at its best!

Interview of Angella Graff

by L.Leander

  1. Where do you write?  What’s your creative space like?

I almost always write in my room.  I have a laptop, but I write more comfortably on my desktop computer.  I find myself envious of people who write long-hand, and I miss it from time to time, but my brain moves so quickly that when I attempt to write it out with pen and paper I get frustrated.  My room is quiet, though, and a place I consider my own space.

  1. What is your favorite writing tool?

Probably my computer!  That, and conversations with other people, if you want to call that a ‘tool’.  I find myself constantly inspired by the stories of people around me, and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate that into my story.  Whether it’s an event, a personality trait, or even someone’s habit.  I don’t think I would be able to write as much as I do without experiencing life and the people around me.

  1. What movie star would you pick as one of the characters in your book and why?

I want to say Benedict Cumberbatch, because let’s face it, I’m mad for him.  It’s a problem, haha!  Honestly though, my husband and I have fun trying to “cast” actors into my book.  I did actually write a character after an actor, though.  The character of Greg/Asclepius was somewhat modeled after Harry Groener.  He played the Mayor in the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I just adored the way he could swap between good-old-fashioned guy and evil trying-to-take-over-the-world guy.  I absolutely LOVE him.

  1. What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you realize that dream?

I wanted to be a lot of things when I grew up.  Egyptologist, Archaeologist, Marine Biologist (until I learned it required biology, go figure haha!) but the one thing I always wanted to be, and the one thing I always came back to was writer.  And though I’m not famous or well-known (yet, haha) I have realized that dream.  I’m on my second published novel, and working myself into a series, so I’d say that if my dream hasn’t been officially “realized” yet, I’m definitely on my way!

  1. Explain your creative process.  Pantser?  Outliner?

Truthfully I don’t have a specific process to speak of.  Outlines distract me from what I want to say.  I’m a big fan of letting my writing grow organically.  I feel that it makes for more realistic characterizations of people, at least for me.  When I try and outline someone or something, it sort of gets this forced feel to it, and so I rely heavily on beta-readers (and my husband) to make sure that I’m keeping the story in line.  I tend to write a few pages of the beginning, then I start with the meat of the story in the middle and write to the end.  When I get there, I head to the beginning and patch it up, bit like quilting, actually.  I find it works well for me.

  1. If you could only have one mode of transportation what would it be, a horse or a bicycle?  Why?

Probably a bicycle.  I may get flamed for this, but I’m not really an animal person haha.  Although oddly, horses love my husband, and I have pictures of a horse giving him kisses to prove it!!  I had one pretty bad injury, a concussion, on a bicycle when I was young, so I was afraid to get on one for years.  Then last year while my husband and I were at the beach for our anniversary we rented bicycles and rode up and down the boardwalk for hours.  I realized how much I missed biking and would love to get one… once we live in an area that isn’t hazardous to cyclists!

  1. Do you dream about your stories?  Ever written about a dream?

Yes to both.  I’ve been inspired by dreams before, mainly for short stories.  When I’m in full on writing mode, when my characters and plot have a monopoly on my consciousness, I tend to dream about them.  It helps from time to time when I feel stuck.

  1. What were you like in high school?  Class clown?  Nerd?  Cheerleader type?

Oh dear.  Hah.  Uh… well… I was more the Marilyn Manson type.  Eh heh.  I wore a huge black faux-fur coat, torn fishnets, black skirts, Doc Martin’s and my hair was usually some combo of blue, pink, bleach-white and black.  I did the crazy eye make-up and black lipstick.  The whole deal.  Please don’t tell my kids, haha, I want to have some leverage when I want to tell them they aren’t leaving the house dressed like THAT.

  1. What’s your favorite theme park?  Why?  (If you’ve never been, which one would you like to visit and why?)

I’m not a big theme park girl.  I don’t like rides, or carnival games much.  I used to, but it’s just not my favorite.  I’d love to visit the Harry Potter theme park because I’m a huge Potter nerd.  And last year my hubby and I went to Sea World which was fun, but not nearly as fun as I remembered from when I was a kid.

  1. Are you a reader?  What types of books do you like best?  What author(s)?

I am a reader.  I read literally anything for my book review blog, and have found some really fantastic books… like Miss Leander’s INZARED, which I plan to re-read here in the near future.  When I’m choosing for myself, I almost always go with non-fiction Theology.  I studied theology in school, and I always go back that route.  My favorite theology author is Elaine Pagels, who writes some fantastic pieces about the Gnostic Gospels and some of the other Gnostic traditions.  It’s part of what influences me in my series.

Angella Graff’s Bio: Angella Graff lives in sunny Tucson, Az with her husband, three kids, two cats and one beta fish.  When she’s not writing or book editing, she’s either at a kid scouting event, yoga class, or tearing through some BBC show on Netflix, and possibly simultaneously and repeatedly pinning pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston on her pinterest boards.

Thank you Angella for your candid interview and the nice words about  my book.  (I promise, readers, I didn’t pay her to say that!  lol).  If you haven’t read The Awakening it’s something you’ll definitely want to put on your list for 2013.  The book is very different, with memorable characters and a subject matter that not many people tackle today.  I found it engrossing – couldn’t put it down.  That, in my mind, is a great read!

If you’d like to find out more about Angella Graff here are some places you can find her.

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