Posted in Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post by Author Leah Hamrick

It’s my pleasure to feature the following guest post by my fellow Solstice Publishing author, Leah Hamrick, who shares some information about herself and her writing.

Hello, everyone! My name is Leah Hamrick, and I’m the author of Frost on my Pillow, numerous short stories of all genres…amongst other unpublished novels that I have yet to grace the world with. (He-he)

I live in Michigan with my husband, daughter, and plethora or turtles, fish, and a spoiled tree frog named Sticky.

I decided to start writing one day because I was bored… yes, I had nothing better to do than sit at the computer all day and type off of this nonsense that was spilling out of my little mind.

 Well, I’m going to tell you about my novel, Frost on my Pillow, book one of the Fire Bringer series.

The story is about a girl named Lyla Hall who lives an abusive life in her home, the Summer Solstice. Everyone in her little town is blessed with the ability to use Fire.

After she gets beat for the last time by her stupid step-dad, she makes a run for it, leaving her home, the only place she has ever known, behind.

She then finds herself in the real world, Toledo Ohio.

A young man named Rylan finds her and takes her into his home for her safety.

When she starts school, she finds a book about her kind in her new school’s library, and she steals it. When she finally gets around to reading it, she discovers that her necklace holds the power to end the world if fallen into the wrong hands.

When she meets Ethan Killman, an Ice Bringer, things are going to change… forever.

 Demons start harassing them, and they will stop at nothing to get the necklace and the power it holds.

 When secrets from the ones she loves come out, nothing will ever be the same again.

I know that is a bad description, but me trying to explain something? Yeah, right. You’d get a better explanation from a dog watching you throw away that cheese wrapper… I mean, I am so bad at descriptions that it’s a struggle for me to even get a blurb put together that even tells the reader half of what they will be reading…

Okay, I’ve taken up enough of your time… maybe you will join Lyla and Ethan in their adventures…?

Thank you♥

Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post: Finding the Time to Write with a Busy Schedule by K.A. Meng

It’s my pleasure to feature a guest post by fellow author, K.A. Meng on a very difficult topic – Finding time to write with a busy schedule. As an author who also works a full-time day job (and some nights and weekends), I look forward to K.A.’s tips. Here they are:

                profile1Thank you for letting me take over your blog today. It’s been a great pleasure to be a part of the Solstice Author Winter Blog Tour. I want to talk today about finding the time to write with a busy schedule, but I’ll start by telling everyone about myself first. You can see how crazy my schedule it.

My name is K. A. Meng. I live in the frozen tundra of North Dakota with my teenage son and our two cats and two dogs. I write paranormal, urban fantasy, mysteries, and sci fi. Sometimes I add in a hint of romance to the stories. I work full time as an administrative assistant.

My job is from Monday thru Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. When I get off work, I have (if I’m lucky) thirty minutes to myself before my son is demanding food or the dogs want to go for a walk. Yes, my shelties want to walk until it reaches a certain temperature then they stop whining, usually way under zero degrees F. Between working, having a son, pets, owning a home, and trying to market my book, I don’t have a lot of time to write.

The first thing you need to do is squeeze your writing in whenever you can. One of the first books I wrote took me ten months to write. I won’t speak to much about it since I need to edit it. I’ll jump into my third novel, I’ve written which took about six months. It happens to be published.

superior-species-001My first published novel, Superior Species is though Solstice Publishing – Solstice Shadows. You can find it here:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/SuperiorSpecies

Superior Species is about a girl named Ivory Ames. She has caught the attention of four gorgeous guys. At Los Roshano University this isn’t normal, even when all the upperclassmen have perfect physiques, flawless complexions, and hypnotic looks. That’s not even the weirdest part. The town has a strict sunset curfew because of wild animals attacking.

To keep her friends and herself safe, Ivory must figure out the truth behind the town’s mysteries before it’s too late.

To find the time to write, you need to want to write. Find your motivation. The Superior Species book series sprang to life after I asked myself, “What would I do if I met a monster?” I asked this question after the sudden rise in popular vampire and werewolf novels in which they made the monsters into something not scary at all. I do enjoy those type of novels, but I grew up on where you shouldn’t befriend the beasts. They are scary and want to kill you. You should run away. Of course, I’m asked this a lot:

                But the monsters are still good-looking in your novel how can they be scary?

My character Ivory Ames will explain it soon best. A white tiger is beautiful, but that doesn’t mean she wants to for a pet. They are dangerous and could kill you without warning.

I’m pleased to announce my second novel in the Superior Species world will be released this year by Solstice Publishing – Solstice Shadows. I wrote it in four months. I don’t have a release date since it is under editing. If you want to know when it will be released keep checking out my website, www.kamengauthor.com, and scroll down to the Books section where I’ll post anything coming out soon. I plan for a lot this year.

The third novel in Superior Species, I wrote it in two and a half months. As you can see, I’ve been getting faster and faster at completing novels sooner. I wrote this one during NaNoWriMo in November 2016. For those who don’t know, its National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. You should check it out. I pushed myself to write 60,000 words this time and will from now on. My novels tend to be longer so I set a bigger goal. You should join and find people on there to talk to. Support helps when you want to write. I tell everyone I am not available for the month of November. If I’m lucky, people will listen.

Another good way to gain words is doing word sprints. They are easy to do. Set a time frame with someone and write. It’s a good way to challenge yourself to get more words done. You can find people on twitter under #wordsprints. You can ask your writing friends or find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012856366750&fref=ts and send me a message. I’ll let you know if I can or not. I will be on in November to write again. July is camp NaNoWriMo. I may be writing then I don’ know. My plan is to be on for June doing my own NaNoWriMo.

One big thing that has helped me write more is set a goal. My current one is small, 1,000 words a day. I do this by writing at my break for work, one hour a day Monday thru Friday. And at night. I write in 250 word sprints. I start supper or help my kid by telling him what to cook while I write. Eat. Write. Do a chore. Write. Do another chore. Write. And before I know it my goal is met. Most nights I write more and on the weekends a heck of a lot more. Think of it like this in 20 days, I have a short story done.

I hope some of these tips will help you. If you want to know more about me, you can find me on here:

Website – www.kamengauthor.com

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/KAMengAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KAMengAuthor

Blog – https://kamengauthor.com/blog

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kamengauthor/

Thank you for having me. -K.A.

Posted in Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post by Author Geoff Nelder

Today, in my continuing support of the Solstice Publishing Winter Blog Tour, I have author Geoff Nelder here to talk about his writing experience and how he knew he wanted to become a writer.

Oops, there I go again, barging in on someone else’s blog, grasping for an unsuspecting new audience. No one is more demanding than Mrs. N. in more ways than two and this piece is inspired by one of her more painful questions.

chaosofmokii-1Writers’ Delusions by Geoff Nelder

This is the question Mrs. Nelder stabbed me with when she once peeped over my shoulder at my list of story rejections being three times longer than the acceptances.

W”hat on Earth made you think you could be a writer?”

Answer: I didn’t  know I was okay at writing until a teacher made me stand in front of the class and stumble through an essay I’d scribbled. A silly tale about a red squirrel scrambling on the gnarled boughs of the village’s oldest oak tree, stealing an acorn from a tree spirit to bury under a pupil’s desk. Imagine my surprise when every kid sneaked a peep under their desk.

Yes, those words held power and I liked it. Through my teens, I wrote jokes. Sold some to British comedians and my first was published in a magazine in 1969. At university, I became a co-editor of the rag-mag, a dreadful collection of very funny, awful smutty and politically-incorrect gags. We’d gather in the bar and brainstorm until the beer ran out. That was nearly half a century ago and I still see those jokes. Uncredited, no royalties. It was for charities then, still is. During that time I studied geography, mathematics. and literature. Struck dumb, me, when the lecturer read out loud William Langland’s Vision of a Fair Field full of Folk. This is a wondrous sample of that early medieval poem:

‘In a somer sesoun, whan softe was the sonne,
I shope me into shroudes, as I a shep were,
In abite as an heremite, unholy of werkes,
Wente forth in the world wondres to here,
And saw many selles and selcouthe thynges.
Ac on a May mornyng on Malverne hulles
Me biful for to slepe, for werynesse of walkyng;’

malverns2I learnt it by heart, while hiking on those actual Malvern Hills, a short bike ride from my house. I took my son on those hills a few years ago and the ‘sonne’ softly warmed our backs. I learnt the energy in words of sensual Show. Engaging the reader via all their five senses in every story. I read the great writers and they all do it. Even those science fiction and thriller books that the literati often overlook. Consider these two words from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: ‘She gave him a perfumed hug.’ You know which two words. Did you experience that hug? You were there, right?

After graduating, twice, I taught high school where writing lies takes over. Not really, but all teachers have to write masses of words. We talk about a target of 2000 words a day on our novels but teachers often achieve that when writing lesson notes, worksheets and above all, end-of-term reports. Most teachers hate that but writerly ones love it. It gives us the opportunity to be creative with an otherwise tedious activity. (assuming the school isn’t using computerized multi-guess reporting). One of my favourites: ‘The dawn of legibility in John’s writing revealed his utter incapacity to spell.’ Such chores honed my writing decades ago.

Not that I’ve stopped learning the craft. I’m with Pablo Casals – the famous cellist on why he continued to practise at 90: ‘Because I think I’m making progress.’

I remain fascinated enough by gnarled oak trees and squirrels to write them into my stories. This 2017 year sees publication of my ‘Girl in a Wandering Wood’ in The Horror Zine. I’d overheard the phrase wandering wood and thought what if a wood actually wandered? So, a botanist is trapped in a copse, animated by a spirit trying to stop her escaping. A squirrel helps her out, kind of. The same squirrel I wrote about in 1957.

A sample flash story. First published in Bobbing Around:  (2004)Vol 3 No.6  A newsletter by psychiatrist Dr Bob Rich.

Nothing Upstairs

By Geoff Nelder         

He should take advantage of the perspective from the top floor of a bus. Forrister’s car lingered in Foley’s Vehicular Care Centre for its annual medical but he had to put in a work appearance.

Green vinyl seats as opposed to his red leather but not bad. His nose expected sour milk odours—a foolish bias, so his eyebrows arched with surprise as fresh air slapped his face from the open top windows. Even so, those reasons for individual travel, cocooned in his Ford, came to him—personal space, sublime solitude listening to opera. He sought the least offensive fellow traveller. The beard looked normal enough: its owner gazing through a demisted circle on the window as London glided past.

An uncomfortable moment passed as Forrister obliged the window-side occupant to move a corner of his coat and shuffle up. In his car, Forrister would by now have tuned into Classic FM talking back, unheard, to the presenter, so he turned to his companion.

“Cold, today.”

No response. Could be his new friend had defective hearing but more likely incredulous anyone had the temerity to strike up a conversation. Twenty minutes before disembarking—he had to give it another shot.

“Hey, there’s Putney Cinema. Don’t go in Screen Three, it’s squeezed in between One and Two—you only hear the other two films and at the same time!”

“Grooten!”

“Pardon?”

“For—is that all?” Beard conversed all right but in gibberish and to the window. Suddenly, Forrister’s head received a blow from behind as a robust woman thrust her elbow over the seat.

She treated Forrister to a cloud of gardenia fragrance.

“Grooten?” She barked. Beard turned, looked at her and nodded.

What? He hadn’t appreciated the rapidity of language development since he last used public transport. Contorted out of recognition. Forrister couldn’t participate. The woman had slumped back into her seat and the beard brushed again at the condensation. Forrister had to try again.

“Full today then,” Forrister said, sketching a wave at the one empty seat.

Nothing.

Then: “Jaffa. Man…”

“I have an orange. Would you like a piece?”

Before the Beard could reply, the elbow dented Forrister’s head again.

“Grooten?” she asked. He shook. She re-slumped.

Dejected, Forrister re-bagged the orange, stood and weaved his way to the winding stairs, three stops early. Before the descent he glanced back.

The woman took Forrister’s seat. Beard took an ear-piece out of his left ear.

And shared the cricket.

About the Author

Geoff Nelder is a professional liar, badass editor, and fiction competition judge. He was awarded Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society for his research into air pollution and microclimates and used his students as unpaid researchers to discover urban heat islands in Yorkshire towns and villages. He taught now-out-of-date Geography and IT to the ungrateful alive but escaped on his bike to write.

His publications include science fiction novels Exit, Pursued by Bee and the ARIA trilogy; and thrillers: Escaping Reality, and Hot Air. Many of his short stories have found homes in mags such as The Horror Zine, Perihelion, Ether Books, Encounters, Jimston Journal, Delivered, Screaming Dreams and many anthologies such as Monk Punk, Science Fiction Writers’ Sampler (with Gregory Benford and David Brin), Twisted Tails, and Zombified.

His non-fiction include books on climate and he co-wrote How to Win Short Story Competitions.

Latest is an experimental science fiction short story, The Chaos of Mokii, published as an ebook by Solstice Publishing at http://mybook.to/ChaosOM

Links:

Where can we buy the books?

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

How can we follow you on Facebook?

http://www.facebook.com/geoffnelder

http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy

Twitter Handle?  @geoffnelder

GoodReads? As Geoff Nelder

Website: http://geoffnelder.com

Are there any other sites we should know about?

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/nelder_geoff

That’s it, thanks for reaching this far, if you did. May the rest of your life be deliriously wicked in the best possible way.

Posted in Authors, Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post by Author Christopher Davis

It’s my pleasure to share the following guest post by my fellow Solstice Publishing author, Christopher Davis.

Good Morning and thank you for having me.

I’ve two novels on tap so far for 2017—one short and one full length—and both will be published by the good folks at Solstice publishing.

41oqgurj9ql-2Walking to Babylon—the first up and released February 2nd—is the longer version of a story that I wrote for the Multiple Myeloma Research charity anthology Paladins. My story in the anthology was titled Low and Outside and as you could guess takes both its title and story line from the game of baseball, as the story is told over a couple of beers at a farm team game in Las Vegas.

The collection was published in England and is stocked with some of the best indie crime writers on the scene today from both sides of the pond. Paladins was put together for a crime writer friend—Craig Furchtenicht and his wife—Henrietta—who at the time—was fighting a valiant battle against Multiple Myeloma. She has since lost that battle and writing the longer story was my way of remembering the smiles posted from a hospital room on Facebook as she struggled to keep those of us writers participating, in the game.

Walking to Babylon is not for the faint of heart as it follows a pair of unlikely Vegas mob types—Sammy Soriano and Tommy Two Guns Viglierchio—as they grow up busting balls for the old man.

 Vigleirchio has cancer and Soriano knows it, but there is really nothing that he can do except be a friend. After a hard life of drug use, fast living and even faster women, Viglierchio chooses to end it all one night in the desert outside of Las Vegas under a silver summer moon.

15380474_992590437512238_5384982518763232614_nAin’t No Law in California is a much longer post-apocalyptic, western that has lived on the hard drive of my computer for six or seven years. The original story was slated to be a traditional western and written as three stories, in the hope of gaining the attention of the shorter e-book publishers of the time.

After two complete re-writes and another in first person, I scrapped the idea and the story took on a more SCI-FI, Steam-Punk, Dystopian feel. A couple of folks read through it—after having read the original version—and it seemed that the Dan Bardwell series of odd westerns would get off the ground.

An untitled follow up is nearly complete and both are written as traditional as can be with the exception that they take place a hundred and fifty years in the future after a nuclear war has nearly wiped humanity out.

Walking to Babylon was just released on the 2nd of February and Ain’t No Law in California is making the various rounds of editing and should be out before spring and available through Amazon or Solstice Publishing?

***

Christopher Davis is a central California native and grandfather of three rambunctious little ones. When not tending herd, he can be found trying his hand at writing Crime, Western and Horror fiction. Chris lives with his wife and a little dog that has nearly lost his mind.

Find out more at www.christopherdaviswrites.com

Posted in Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post on Mystery Thriller Week

It’s my pleasure to participate in Mystery Thriller Week by sharing a post about myself, my books, and my feelings about writing and publishing. As a librarian, reader, and author, books and the written word have been very important in my life. I can’t imagine a world without them. Writing transports people to places they’ve […]

via The Librarian Author by Debbie DeLouise — Mystery Thriller Week

Posted in Blog Tour, Guest Post, Solstice Publishing

Guest Post: When Writing All Those Little Details by Rachael Tamayo

downloadIt’s my pleasure to feature fellow Solstice publishing author, Rachael Tamayo, on the third week of the Solstice Publishing Author’s Winter Blog Tour. Rachael addresses the all important details that make writing come alive in a reader’s mind. With no further ado, here’s Rachael:

As a reader, or a writer, have you ever read something that just seemed to be….missing something? Can’t put your finger on it? Grammar looks good, plot seems okay….but…..just not quite feeling it?

This has happened to me when I’m working on my own books or reading the unfinished manuscripts of others. Occasionally I’ll see it happen in published works as well.  So, what on earth am I talking about?

Those missing details. That’s what I’m talking about. The things that give the scene life.  They make the blood flow in the veins of your characters and the heart beat in your plot. Don’t ever underestimate a well placed little nugget, even something simple.

Example one: He swerved to avoid the car that veered into his lane.

OK, it’s to the point. Nothing really wrong here, tells us what is happening, right? But does it draw you in? Does it make you feel what the driver is feeling? If you can make you reader feel what the character does…you’ve succeeded.  You will have a reader that will turn the page to see what happens.

Example two:  The headlights shone into his face on the too dark country road. Is this car in my lane?  Gripping the wheel with two large hands, his knuckles went white as he swallowed and jerked his car to the left. Gravel flying as his heart slammed into his ribs.  The vehicle speed by, oblivious to the fact that they were in the wrong lane.  Picking up the phone, he dialed 911.

See the difference? Details. Add a couple of sentences and suddenly you are there, in the car. Your heart is pounding and your mouth is dry. The detail of the headlights, his internal thought coupled with the action puts you in the scene, in his head.

This is where you want your reader.

I’ve heard writers say that they have trouble with this.  Personally, this is what I do. I sit and imagine myself watching this happen…or maybe it’s happening to me. What’s the first thing you might notice? How is your body reacting? What is your thought? What sounds do you hear? Is there a smell?

Of course, then there is the issue of character development.  The same method applies. In order to create people that are real living breathing beings in your books, you have to think this way. What kind of personality does he have? How does he react in an emergency, or when he’s angry? How does this play off of the other characters?  What flaws does he have? Writing the perfect man or woman won’t get you far. People want to read about people that make mistakes because they are real. They want to relate to your story. They want to see themselves in your characters.

However, remember one thing. Don’t take it to far.  Being overly descriptive of every little nuance gets old.  Page after page of little details just won’t due. You must trust your reader to use their imagination. Be descriptive, but vague. Let them carry themselves there in their minds, TRUST THEM!  Otherwise, they will find themselves skimming and flipping pages to get past this never-ending description of a bedroom and back to the plot.

And there you have it. Now that you know what’s missing…take a breath and open that laptop.

Rachael Tamayo is the author of the Friend-Zone series and several short stories all available on Amazon. Her Newest release, Claim me (Finale to the Friend-Zone trilogy) will be available February 14th.

Website: www.Rachaeltamayowrites.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/RachaelTamayo

Twitter https://twitter.com/rtamayo2004

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tamayorachael

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rachael-Tamayo

 

Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post by Speculative Writer Nicole Luttrell

nicoleedited

It’s my pleasure to feature fellow Solstice publishing author and speculative feature writer, Nicole Luttrell, with a great guest post about writing. 

Hi, my name’s Nicole. I’m a writer. I kind of make a big deal out of that. Specifically, I’m a speculative fiction writer. That means I write horror, science fiction and fantasy. I wrote a book called Broken Patterns, and I sort of think it’s the best fantasy book since Dragonriders of Pern.

Am I a little full of myself? Yeah, I’ll admit it. Calling myself a speculative fiction writer a hell of a mouthful.

I also happen to be a professional author.

I love the hilarity of that sentence, you know? A professional author? I can’t think of anything less professional, you know? I mean, think about it.

brokenpatternsWe make up stories and tell them to people for a living. We have imaginary friends and they talk to us. Lots of writers, like myself, write in our pajamas, on our couches, with a cup of coffee. We are the last people you’d think of as professional. We’re really just big kids, playing with our imaginary toys.

Well, except that we don’t just write in our pjs. We also write in waiting rooms, at red lights, during our lunch breaks. We write before our kids get up and after they go to bed. We write while other people go to the movies and go to bars and, you know, sleep.

We have to write in all of these times because most of us, including me, have day jobs. I have a full time day job, in fact. We write around jobs, school and families. In fact, a lot of us write around all three of those things at the same time. (Not me, though. I just have a full time job and two kids. Oh, and also a husband and too many pets.)

We weep over our writing, did you know that? We kill of your favorite characters, yes. But they were our favorite characters long before you ever heard of them. Characters don’t just exist for us, they live inside our minds. Killing one is gut wrenching.

Of course, the rough draft is only half of it. Once it’s done we start in editing. We edit, edit and edit some more. We edit our work until it glows. Until we could repeat the stories from memory. And sometimes we feel like we do that.

Usually, that whole repeating it from memory comes when we start promoting our work to everyone. Have you ever worked in sales? Imagine that, but all the time. The thing that makes it better and worse at the same time is that you feel like you’re selling a part of yourself. So you really believe that everyone needs what you’re selling, but you’re also taking every rejection hugely personally.

Finally, when we’re done with a book, we start all over again. Because writing’s an obsession, one that we cannot escape.

So professional writer is kind of a ridiculous thing to call us. It’s better to call us what we really are.

Addicts.

Connect with Nicole: