Tag Archives: pets

Make Believe anthology (part three) : an interview with J. Keller Ford

The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller Ford
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.
After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales.  She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives.  Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading.  Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs.  The pets have trained her well.

J. Keller Ford will now take your questions:

Q. Awesome to have you with us today Jen, can you tell us about your story?

In my own words, it’s a New Adult kick-butt romantic fantasy of a guy (Elton Fletcher) who returns home from war to discover his brother, Cayden, is possessed by a magical amulet that drives the wearer into insanity and eventually into death.  Determined to rid the object from his brother, Elton finds himself in another battle where the price of failure could the loss of his own life.

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

Geez, sometimes I can’t really pinpoint where I ideas come from.  I stared at the photo prompt for weeks not knowing what I was going to write about.  Then one day I got a picture in my mind of a rider on horseback, racing toward his castle in the dark and sleet, and I sat down at the computer and started typing.  Next thing I knew, Amulet was born.

Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Elton Fletcher is a caring, loving person who would do anything to defend his family and homeland.  He is also a warrior and keeps his heartaches and feelings very close to him, rarely letting anyone see the pain he carries inside.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing.  I am always editing.  I never can seem to find a place where I’m happy with what I’ve written.  I always have to keep tweaking, re-writing. At this rate, I’ll be 100 years old before my novel is printed.  I really must learn to let go.
Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

What is your favorite Disney animated magic moment?  – I get tingles every time when Cinderella’s fairy godmother turns Cinderella’s tattered dress into that beautiful, sparkly ball gown.

Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I’m working on several things at the moment.  My big project is what I hope to be the final edit of my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King.  I am also working on the two follow up books in the trilogy as well as a few short stories I hope to polish and send out within a couple of weeks.

Q. What is your favorite line from this book (short story)?

Elton Fletcher urged his horse through the wind and sleet toward the enormous shadow rising from the moors against the darkness.

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, ever since I was a little girl.  I was always a talker (still am when you get to know me).and I always had such stories to tell.  Some of those stories got me into trouble when I was a wee lass.  My mom and I had many disagreements over what ‘stretching the truth’ meant.  Around the age of 8, I finally learned to contain my vivid imagination to the stories I wrote, and not involve real life people in my tales.

Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

Self esteem is and always has been a huge issue for me.  I can’t seem to make myself believe that my writing is good enough.  I always cut myself down, thinking my stories are awful and no one else will want to read them.  I’m always comparing my writing to other published authors and wonder how I can compete with their works.  It takes a lot of pep talks to convince me to keep writing.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

Right now I’m reading Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian.  I LOVE the Artemis Fowl books. So much fun.  I recently finished BLUE MOON by J.A. Belfield (sooo good), Reaper, by L.S. Murphy (really enjoyed this one), and Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (I found a new favorite author in this one).

Do I re-read books?  You betcha.  I’ve read CRUX, twice since it’s release (no kidding, missy.  Love your novel!   It belongs at the top alongside Cassandra Clare’s books).  I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books more than once.  The Order of the Phoenix I’ve read seven times.  Great Expectations, The Hobbit, The Bible and numerous Raymond Feist books have been read so much the bindings are cracked.  As a kid and teen, I read Heidi, all the Hardy Boy books, and the Chronicles of Narnia series until I could pretty quote them by heart.  I love re-reading books.  They’re like movies in the sense that sometimes you miss something that you didn’t see before.  I’ve also found that some books I once enjoyed I don’t care for anymore, and other books I hated I grew to love as I got older.  Books are magical to me and I will never tire of reading something I love over and over again.

I totally paid her for that compliment, guys. 😉

Q. Okay, so what do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

What?  Not write?  Ok, ok.  Next to writing I love to read, travel, hang out at the beach, collect sea shells, swim, ride roller coasters, go camping and ride my bicycle.  I also love hanging out with my kids and my adorable grand-daughter.

Q. What was your favorite book/who was your favorite writer as a teen?

I know this is going to sound weird but I didn’t have a favorite author as a kid.  I devoured everything.  If I had to pick anyone, I’d say it would be Charles Dickens.  Loved Great Expectations.  When I was younger, I devoured the Hardy Boy series and secretly had a crush on Frank Hardy.

Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

Casssandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and John Green top my favorite author list right now.
Q, What is the best young adult book you’ve read so far in 2012?

Without a doubt, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  There have been a lot of great reads, but this one sank its teeth into my soul.
Q. What do you see emerging as the next big trend in young adult literature?

I hear a lot about LGBT novels for teens becoming a big trend.  Of course, graphic novels, dystopians, steampunk and fantasy I think will continue to be a big draw for teens.  I have noticed, however, vampires seem to be fading from view.
Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

All the time.  Sometimes, I really think my writing sucks.  Sometimes my brain can’t string two coherent sentences together.  Sometimes I let life take over and my writing takes a backseat.  What keeps me going?  I’m a writer.  To not write would be the same as not breathing.  I’d go insane if I didn’t write something every day.  It may be gibberish, but it’s writing.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

I’d love to be a singer, more in the classical/operatic style, like Sarah Brightman.  Unfortunately, I can’t carry a tune and animals run for cover when I try to sing, but that’s what I’d love to do if I could.

Along with our readers, we love animals here! Do you have any pets at home?

Aren’t they cute?

For more info on this author and where to buy her book:

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/17

http://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Keller-Ford/401662286529674?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/jkellerford

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832198.J_Keller_Ford

Thanks for putting up with my questions, Jen! You are a great writer and a good sport 🙂 So let’s take a page from Jen … ‘What is your favorite Disney animated magic moment?’ Leave us a comment and tell us yours!

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Interview with Aimee Laine, author of Surrender

Surrender — Mimics of Rune #2

Surrender (Mimics of Rune, #2)

Face the past or look to the future? Both will hurt. One could kill her.

All her life, Lily Crane has supressed her childhood memories, masking the signs of abuse with a variety of looks. From brunette to blonde, tall to short — as a Mimic, changing shape is her gift. Her right. Her achilles heel.

It’s Lily’s latest likeness, chosen simply by accident, which threatens to repeat a history she’s desperate to forget. Worse, she must do so without the one man who takes all her pain away: Cael Aldridge.

Cael has no intention of leaving Lily on her own. He never has. Now, with the woman he loves in the hands of a predator who wants Lily for her genetics, Cael will do everything he can to bring her home.

Alive.

He can only pray he isn’t too late.

Aimee Laine

About this author:

Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she’s produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.
With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there’s absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn’t need a calculator to add two numbers, either … but she does.

Ms. Laine will now take your questions:

 Q. Hello and welcome! Can you tell us about your book?

My book? 🙂 What do you want to know about it? I mean, it’s a romance (with some good steam to coat your glasses but not too much) and it’s a mystery (because someone is always doing something they shouldn’t) and it’s suspenseful (because who knows if the outcome will be good!) and it’s the 2nd one in the series, which is super cool because I got to write about characters I fell in love with in book one!

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

It came to me. Really. It did. I don’t come up with anything. 🙂 Ultimately, though, the idea came while writing Little White Lies because Lily and Cael are in that story and being able to dive into their lives was a big part of what I wanted to do so once I started writing, I couldn’t stop!

 Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Lily’s greatest strength is what she deems the weakest … it’s her ability to empathize. That truly defeats all.

Cael’s greatest strength is his fierce loyalty to his family and especially to Lily.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Facebook. Twitter. The Internet. My middle name is distracto-girl. I swear, if those things didn’t exist, I’d get a lot more done!

Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

Um … I’m pretty sure THIS is a question an interviewer has never asked. LOL Now for wishing for a question … well … hmmm… I have no idea!

 Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I’m always working on multiples. One in editing, one in draft, one in final. Right now I’m finishing Silent Echoes to deliver to my editor. I’m writing Perry Road,  YA trilogy and I’m writing Redeemed, book 3 in the Mimics of Rune series.

 Q. What is your favorite line from this book?

Well, it’s not one line, but one statement from Maggie …

“But you do everything for her. Or you say you will. You’re always there for her. She needs some room to grow some balls, Cael.”

 Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Nope. 🙂

 Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

Not avoided, but struggled with … I rewrote 25,000 words in the story when I realize I was going down a path I didn’t like at all. That’s the hard part – determining that what you wrote sucks and you HAVE to fix it.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

I’ve just recently read Shadowborn by the uber fabulous Jocelyn Adams!

> Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Hobbies? With my crazy life? 😉 I am taxi-mom to my boy and my girls. I work full time (which bleeds into more than full-time) and I’m a professional photographer though I haven’t been shooting much because I’ve been writing and working and being taxi-mom! 😉

 Q. What was your favorite book/who was your favorite writer as a teen?

Hmmm… as a teen? I’m not sure. I read a lot of literary fiction. Maybe Judy Blume. 🙂

 Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

Me! Oh, you meant someone else. You! No? Emi Gayle? That’s cheating. Hmmm… I like a LOT of writers and their work. I just don’t have ‘a favorite’ because those I like are all great!

Q,. What is the best young adult book you’ve read so far in 1012?

After Dark? 😉 Crux? 🙂 I’m going to go with those. I have read Touch, too. Liked that a lot.

 Q. What do you see emerging  as the next big trend in young adult literature?

In YA? Hmmm … trend-wise, not sure exactly, but I’m thinking New Adult instead of YA because teens ‘read up’ and the age group from 19-23 seems to be missing their books. I think that’s the next place. The kids in college that the teens ascribe to be.

Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

Yes. Some days I think it’s a pointless endeavor because I don’t get enough time to do it! But, at the same time, I can’t stop. I’m addicted.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

I have a career I love. I’m a Program Manager for an eLearning company. I write. I manage people. I work with great people. I educate people. And it’s software related. It’s an awesome job, just really, really busy right now.

Q. We love animals! Do you have any pets at home?

For some reason, we have a menagerie of black and white animals. From oldest to youngest …

Dizzle, the SOLID black cat …

Sprinkles – a cat that came to us just this year with a freaky history and past! But a good one!

Oreo – Guinea pig number one who came with Squirrel, ‘delivered’ on Christmas by Santa. 🙂 This is post-bath.

And, not to be forgotten, but 8 month old Rascal. Yup. Totally fits his name.

We love ’em all!!

 I guess so … the cute factor of these little guys is a ten!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Aimee. It was great to have you here. 🙂

For more info on this author and where to buy her books:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4767490.Aimee_Laine

http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog/

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/12

So … what about you guys? Books, Cats, and Guinea Rats (that’s what we call those little guys at our house) … Aimee’s pretty neat, isn’t she? I think her book looks fantastic, what about you?

P.S. I really want to know how a cat can have a “past”, come on Sprinkles … dish!  🙂


When I say we…

I mean me, well, but not really.  Meet my crew…

Hugo (Hurley) was named after the LOST character. He’s a 25 pound, eleven-year-old Maine Coon rescue. He pretends to be a high brow book snob, but I totally see him reading over my shoulder at my cheesy, mushy, paranormal YA romance reads. He’s not fooling anybody.

Loofah Sponge (yes, his full name is Loofah Sponge, it’s on his chart at the vet’s) is a two-year-old, blue point exotic shorthair rescue. He’s a complete romantic (who I’ve seen cry on occasion at the end of a good book) and loves a fast paced urban fastasy or dystopian.

These are my friends. They help me write by keeping me company, providing important inspiration and much needed breaks when my head is about to explode from editing, block or too many ideas at once. Do you have a writing/reading buddy? Who or what is your muse? Do you believe in them? I love my pets and am passionate about animals. Are you? Tell me about them, and what they mean to you. I’d love to hear! 🙂

Next time you can meet my dog Scout and my horse Tucker, but that’s for another day …