Author Interview: Amanda McColgan

189417616-176-k549527The town of New Winslow is a small community in the grip of a strange curse. While life tends to go on as normal, residents or visitors will occasionally find themselves unable to move past the town limits. You never when it’ll hit you or how long it will last. But the rent is cheap and the people are nice. So if you can ignore the occasional paranormal phenomenon, New Winslow is a great place to live.

Part One begins when an impulsive promise and family obligations bring two friends back to New Winslow years after they left. Meanwhile, the town psychic looks for answers, the lone bartender quietly mourns, a young mother tries to hold things together, and the pizzeria owner just wants to be left in peace. As all their stories come together, mysteries are pursued, long-buried feelings resurface, and, as always, life carries on.

Trigger warnings for New Winslow include: alcoholism, postpartum depression, mild violence, blood


If you’re looking for a deep dive into friend dynamics, found family, and facing your demons, New Winslow is for you! I enjoyed seasons 1 and 2 so much I binge-read them over the course of 2 days. The story deals with some heavy topics (see TWs above), the characters are wonderfully real and messy, and the specter of something ghostly hangs over it all. I highly recommend New Winslow.

And onto the interview!


Hi, Amanda, welcome to the blog! Tell us a bit about yourself!

I live a pretty quiet life in Massachusetts. Back in another life, I worked in libraries but I’ve been a stay at home/work at home mom for several years now. So a lot of my life revolves around my home and family, which I love. I also spend a lot of time studying local history/folklore, experimenting with cooking and gardening, and hanging out with my sisters and mother.

I can definitely feel the love for your state in your work. What was the inspiration behind New Winslow?

A large part of it was that local history and folklore I mentioned before. Several years ago I got absolutely obsessed with the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir, a local man made reservoir that established safe drinking water for Boston at the cost of four flooded towns eighty miles away. It was eighty years ago and these communities just disappeared, yet surprisingly few people in the rest of the state seem to even be aware of that fact. So a lot of the stories of the reservoir and the surrounding communities made their way into New Winslow. This region is often overlooked when people talk about Massachusetts, but I wanted to celebrate both it and the people who live here.

Drowning towns is super spooky. No wonder that played a bit part in setting the scene in the stories! Speaking of, season 2 ends on a really intriguing cliff-hanger. What can we expect for these characters in season 3?

Yeah, I got in a lot of trouble for that cliff-hanger with some family members haha. Season 3 is going to see a lot of the cast having no choice but to face down their worst fears. For some it might be in the form of literal demons while others are facing their more metaphorical demons. So there’s going to be some painful moments, some reckonings, changed relationships. But there’s also the possibility of redemption and strengthened bonds among the families in New Winslow, both blood and found. And some new characters that I’m really looking forward to having everybody meet.

When it comes to individual characters, I obviously can’t get into many specifics. But I will say I’m excited for Olivia’s development in particular. She’s been stuck in a bit of a holding pattern between her job and her postpartum depression. Season 2 saw her taking a few steps down her own path, but I’m really excited for that to expand in this coming season.

I really love Olivia, so I’m really excited to see her story arc! Switching gears a bit, can you talk about serialized fiction and how it’s working for you? Are you enjoying it?

So I never actually considered doing serialized fiction when I first came up with the idea for New Winslow. But now I honestly can’t picture it in any other format. (Though, Netflix, if you want to call, I’m here haha). I absolutely love it. Originally New Winslow was going to be an audio drama. I actually wrote the first season in script format during Nanowrimo 2018, entirely on my phone and usually while my kid was in his playgroup. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t have the skills or the resources to do the story justice as a podcast, so I decided to change it into a novel.

But then I realized it was far too episodic to be a satisfying novel. I considered changing it around, but felt that the story just worked best in that style. Which led me to serials. I’d only ever read fan fiction in a serialized format like that, but after discussing it with several friends, I decided to give it a try. And it worked out better than I could have imagined.

I truly enjoy writing serialized fiction. I feel like you get the best of both worlds with it, where you can write a novel-length work and get the satisfaction of writing an ongoing story, but also get the immediate thrill of releasing it publicly. New Winslow still has a ways to go before it wraps up, but I will absolutely be writing more serialized fiction in the future as well.

It’s always an amazing feeling when you find the perfect format for your project. I would have a hard time seeing New Winslow in any other format, too. What advice would you give other authors thinking about trying their hand at serialized fiction?

Finish your story before you release it. I know it seems to go against the idea of releasing the story in parts, but it makes things so much less stressful if you are done before releasing Episode One. Sure, you might have a few little changes to make as you publish, things like word choice or grammatical errors. But writing everything first means that you have so much more freedom with your story decisions. If you release episode 2, then have a great idea for episode 10 that goes against what happened in episode 2, you can simply go back and edit episode 2. But if you’re releasing episodes as you write them, then you’ve written yourself into a corner. And it’s not fair to your readers for you to go back and retcon episode 2 in order to make it work.

So focus on pre-production, finish your writing in advance, and then all you have to worry about is releasing and promoting episodes.

Also, I would suggest having your story on as many platforms as you can feasibly promote and keep track of. I come from podcasting, which is very centralized. If you upload your show to Apple and Spotify, you’re accessible for the majority of podcast audiences. It’s not the same with publishing online. So I publish on Patreon, along with several other free websites and my own site. And at the end of the season, I also publish complete novel-style ebooks and paperbacks. The downside is that tracking readership is completely impossible. But the upside is that you’re getting your work out to a much wider audience than you would have by just focusing on, say, Patreon and your website.

That’s really great advice. Thank you! I always love hearing about other writers’ habits, so before we go: what’s your favorite place to write?

Currently, my kitchen table. I can spread out all my notes and have plenty of room for snacks. But I’m hoping to have an office area in my next home because I’ve had that before and loved it!

And one last question! Where can we find you and your projects online?

You can find me at EnfieldArts.com or enfieldarts@gmail.com. For social media, I’m mostly on Twitter and Tumblr and I’m working on getting better at consistently posting on Instagram.

My projects are on a few different sites. The primary one is my Patreon. That’s the most popular choice and it’s free, though patrons get perks as well. Beyond that, New Winslow is available on the Enfield Arts website, Medium, Tumblr, and Wattpad. And full season collections are available on Gumroad and Amazon.



6v7zLdxv.jpg small

Amanda McColgan is a writer, performer, and lifelong Massachusetts resident. In a past life, she was a librarian in both public libraries and private research institutions. This led to a passion for research and writing which, combined with her love of New England’s history and culture, formed the foundation for Enfield Arts. She loves getting lost on the back roads of Massachusetts, chocolate chip cookies, and a good slow-burn romance story. She hates pears and driving in Boston. You can usually find her at home with a cup of coffee in hand and at least three pens stuck in her hair for safekeeping. You can contact Amanda at enfieldarts@gmail.com.

Author Interview: Kat Caulberg

I had the pleasure of reading an advanced reader copy of Kat Caulberg’s latest book Black Dog Rising, and I’m very excited to welcome her to the blog for an interview today! Her book was an entertaining paranormal romp through the English countryside, complete with shapeshifters and Fairie courts and lots and lots of chemistry between Emma and her love interest, Toby.


51+FxaU2umL._SY346_Since arriving in England, nothing has made sense for Emma Aubrey. Forced to flee her ex-boyfriend and the vengeful ghost of his dead wife, she seeks refuge in Ninestone Downs, a sleepy country village where people still whisper of fairies and a hellish phantom canine prowls its streets.

Toby Deering has no more room in his life for the paranormal. He’s got secrets of his own, including a four-hundred-year-old curse and a past he can’t escape. The last thing he wants is a quirky American woman on his doorstep in desperate need of shelter, or the accidental touch that awakens a bond between them neither can ignore.

But ancient forces are stirring. When Emma finds herself the target of a shadowy stalker, will her bond with Toby be enough to withstand the evil Fae Court and the hellhound on her heels?

Sound interesting? Get your copy here!

Content warnings for the book include: sexual assault (side character), abuse, violence, blood, gore, forced amnesia, mind control, and explicit sex.


Hi, Kat, and welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

There’s not too much to tell! I’m a woman of obsessions, mostly; history, folklore, anything creepy. If it’s weird, obscure, and old, I’ll probably be interested in it. I’m a novelist living in North Carolina with a couple of cats and an Englishman at the moment.

What was the inspiration for the story?

Ah, the dreaded inspiration question! 🙂 Kidding. The inspirations for Black Dog Rising are far, far too many to count. I’ve loved pretty much everything that went into Black Dog Rising since I was a child. At seven, I was reading about the Shuck and the haunted UK, and I haven’t stopped since. I wanted to do something that included all of these loves, and from it sprang Black Dog Rising.

I think the first scene that popped into my head was the barrow scene. I visited the Neolithic burial mound Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales in around 2010, and it stuck with me in my memory. I knew I wanted to do a scene between two characters in some form using that imagery, and nine years later, I started writing Black Dog Rising. It had to go in.

Ohh, the barrow scene. It was really sexy and powerful, and will stay with me for a long time! Your answer explains why there’s so much rich mythology in the book. What drew you to those particular legends?

The folklore in Black Dog Rising is specifically locale-related. I knew I wanted to write a story about the Black Shuck, which is an East Anglian creature, and so some of the other odds and ends popped up around it (like the growing stone) due to research on the area.

All of your characters are intriguing and always left me wanting to know more of their stories. Who’s your favorite character and who was the most fun to write?

Jack is most definitely my favorite character. There have been few characters who I’ve loved to write so much. He’s a tricky one, and so a challenge, and I do love a broken soul.

I really loved Jack, too. He was such a tragic figure, I just wanted to sweep him up in a blanket and feed him cocoa. Changing tracks a bit, what does your writing routine look like?

Normally, my writing routine is a late-night one, and confined also to weekends. I work a 32+hr job, so I squeeze writing in when I can.

Writing while working full time is a commitment! That’s awesome you’ve figured out what works best for you. Switching tracks again, what media are you enjoying at the moment?

I’m reading a lot of short stories right now. Bradbury, Gaiman, and Murakami. As I don’t have any form of steaming shows, I’m always watching anything on PBS or stuff like Sanford & Son, The Brady Bunch, or Unsolved Mysteries on digital TV.

And finally: where can we find you online?

You can find me on twitter, facebook, my too-neglected website, and GoodReads!

Thanks so much for joining us today! I really enjoyed your book, and I hope other folks do, too! You can get your copy of Black Dog Rising here!


5G0DYZfb.jpg smallFor as long as she can remember, Kat Caulberg has been obsessed with history and the paranormal. Somewhat to the dismay of her parents, her interests led her into both museums and graveyards as a child, a trend which has continued into her adulthood. This has influenced her reading tastes and her writing, whether it be a good ghost story, thrilling tales of time-travel, or devouring endless volumes of ancient warfare.

She enjoys writing strong, quirky heroines, and has a weakness for cheeky heroes who have as much compassion as they have flaws.

Interview–Lana Wood Johnson

Hi everyone! I’m super excited to welcome author Lana Wood Johnson to my blog today! Her debut YA book, TECHNICALLY YOU STARTED IT, comes out June 25th from Scholastic.

9781338335460


When a guy named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II texts you, it should be obvious who you’re talking to. Except there’s two of them (it’s a long story), and Haley thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate.

A question about a class project rapidly evolves into an all-consuming conversation. Haley finds that Martin is actually willing to listen to her weird facts and unusual obsessions, and Martin feels like Haley is the first person to really see who he is. Haley and Martin might be too awkward to hang out in real life, but over text, they’re becoming addicted to each other.

There’s just one problem: Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know. But they better figure it out fast before their meet-cute becomes an epic meet-disaster


Hi Lana! Thanks for joining me on the blog today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Lana and I’m a giant nerd! People sometimes don’t entirely get how deep it goes when I say it, but I’ve got the cred: my first memory is Star Wars A New Hope in theaters, I met my best friend 24 years ago in an online roleplaying game, and I initially flirted with my husband by shouting a meme at him in the year 2000.

Wow, your nerd cred is impressive! Your debut novel, TECHNICALLY YOU STARTED IT, comes out this summer. Can you tell us a bit about the project?

Haley and Martin are also just as nerdy in their own way as I am, (although Martin’s a bit cooler than either of us.) Told entirely through their text messages, it’s Haley’s story of falling in love with someone whose physical body she doesn’t really recognize but who she knows better than anyone else around her.

What inspired you to write this story?

After a hefty round of full rejections on my second book, I found myself volunteering on a crisis line for a local youth shelter. That’s where I discovered my skill of connecting with people via text messages is actually kind of special. I realized that like the youth I was talking to, I used the internet to connect with people and I decided to channel that into a story.

Very cool! In addition to the nerdiness, this book is also really queer. I’m super excited to see it hit mainstream shelves. Can you tell us a little about those themes and what you’re hoping people will take away from them?

My biggest hope is that people will take away that even though it’s m/f it’s two queer characters connecting in their own ways. And while it’s not about their identity, and the coming out they do is incidental and contextual to the situations, the story wouldn’t be remotely the same if they were straight characters.

As I started revising, I realized how important it was to me that the story stay in their text messages. By keeping it there, it made Haley’s perspective on the relationship the center and I realized showed better what it was like to fall in love with the person inside the skin.

What media (books, movies, podcasts, etc) are you enjoying right now?

I’ve just started drafting again which means my tendency is to go back to old, familiar stories. That said, I just discovered My Favorite Murder and as the completionist I am, I’m working my way through their archives. There’s a LOT of archives tho!

Any favorite writing snacks or drinks?

I don’t need anything to write, but I love writing at a fancy bakery nearby my house. They have miel lattes which is made with honey and the FANCIEST pastries. I think one of their bakers also watches Great British Bake Off so I get to taste some of the weird things they make on the show. That’s where I first had a kougin amann which is an excellent writing food.

That sounds delicious, and I’m hungry now. That’s a good place to leave this conversation. In closing, where can people find you online?

I am on Twitter and Instagram, and on my website.


TECHNICALLY YOU STARTED IT will be released on June 25th. You can preorder it from Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, Target, or Book Depository!


Lana_Wood_Johnson_websize_YA_Contemp_100x100

Lana Wood Johnson was born and raised in Iowa in the time before the internet but has spent the rest of her life making up for that. After years working in wireless communication for companies of all sizes, she now works doing the same for a local youth shelter. Lana lives in Minnesota with her husband and their English bulldog. TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT is her debut novel.

 

Happy New Year and Author Interview (Jeremy Martin)

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a great holiday season and a very happy new year! I know I’m excited for the upcoming year and all the amazing books that are being released.

Today, I’m pleased to welcome my friend and fellow writer Jeremy Martin to the blog to talk about his upcoming debut FOREIGN TO YOU. Jeremy and I first met at a Madcap workshop back in 2016. How time flies!

41732287The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shape-shifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent.

Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest.

As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.


Q: Welcome, Jeremy, and thanks for joining me on the blog today! Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

A: *waves* Hello! I am 24 years old and living in Pennsylvania. I work full-time as a residential and commercial estimator and I get to use highlighters a lot. Which is fun. When I’m not working, I’m normally playing an obscene amount of video games, rewatching the Office for the millionth time, or writing about people dying and sadness.

Q: Your upcoming release, FOREIGN TO YOU, has a darkly whimsical feel to it. What was your inspiration for the story?

A: FOREIGN TO YOU was birthed from this darker theory that sometimes ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ can’t be broken or rewritten. I’ve read plenty of stories that have the main characters battling the gods, higher powers, etc, to change the world around them and defying everything. I’ve always wondered, ‘Well…what if that didn’t work out? What if fate is set up for a reason?’

Another large part of FOREIGN TO YOU is my perception of the world and my own battles with certain viewpoints or ideas. While there might be shape-shifting deer in the story, there are some real-world issues being snuck in there.

Q : Yeah, those shape-shifting deer really surprised me. I’m used to shifters usually being werewolves, so this was really different and unique. How did you come up with having deer shifters?

A: I grew up in a family of hunters. Every November they’d go to our cabin during rifle season. I used to go, when I was younger, but didn’t find much joy in actually killing the deer. I used to love sitting in the tree stands and watching as the deer came and went, almost mystically.

One time, my grandpa had told me, “Deer come and go through the forest like magic. One second they’re there and the next they’re gone,” and that has always stuck with me. I love the duality of animal and human residing in one form, but I didn’t want to use shifters that I felt like were overdone or already mapped out. I liked the idea of exploring a new species and, hopefully, adding a breath of fresh air to the shifter genre!

Q: It definitely is a breath of fresh air! I’m about 5 chapters into the ARC I received, and I’ve been enjoying how different it is.
Can you talk a little about your journey to being published?

A: As a writer, there are a million drafts of various stories and ideas chilling on my flash drive. FOREIGN TO YOU is an accumulation of all those ideas that didn’t work out, that just weren’t ready yet. Each time one idea doesn’t work, the plot doesn’t feel right, or you get a rejection from an agent you take it mega personal. You doubt your worth as a creator, as a story teller. You think, ‘what’s the point?’

But there is always hope. I’m literally getting a book about deer becoming humans published. If I can succeed, your chances are that much greater.

I participated in PitMad on Twitter and then queried Nine Star Press who later offered me a publishing deal. I had actually never considered going with a small publisher before. The stigma that the writing/reading world has about small presses is suffocating and scary at times, but I don’t think I would change a single thing that has happened in this journey.

I’m also TERRIBLE at being patient and waiting. And from my experience so far, it’s a lot of hurry up and then waitttt.

Q: What is your writing process like? Any favorite snacks or drinks for writing?

A: My writing process is a lot like a flamingo that wasn’t born with good balance and thinks it can run. I often joke that I’m a part-time writer and a full-time mess, because really I am. I want to be able to look someone in the eyes and tell them I map out every single action my characters take and each plot point, but I just don’t. It kind of scares me how each time I edited FOREIGN TO YOU, I added something new and crucial to the story.

My biggest ‘writing tool’ is probably Pinterest. I create a board for each idea and get visuals on characters, places, aesthetics, etc.

So, I drink coffee when I’m drafting because I think it makes me look smart and sophisticated. When I’m editing, I drink wine so I can slowly stop feeling the pain of fixing how many times I used “you ass” in my story.

I don’t eat much though. If I do, I try to reward myself. Oh, you finished a paragraph? Eat a cookie!

Q: Cookies are always a good reward!
What media (tv/books/podcast/etc) are you enjoying right now?

A: I am always looking for stories and strong narratives in all forms of media. I love playing video games for that reason. Sure, they are entertaining as heck, but some of the plots and characters that come out of games these days is wild. Play the Last of Us. That game tore me open and left me broken. Oh, and I started watching the Great British Baking Show and my life hasn’t been the same ever since.

PS: I will marry Steven one day.

Q :Where can people find you online?

A: Probably on America’s Most Wanted.

But if not there, I frequent Instagram so I can share photos of my dogs and feel only slightly judged for my lack of life. I also have Twitter (have a twitter?) where I take a full day to craft up something witty and funny that ends up getting 1 like (shout out to Sabina for those pity likes.)


You can find FOREIGN TO YOU at Nine Star Press on February 4, 2019! I know it feels far away, but the book will be released before you know it! Thanks for joining us today!

 

Guest Post-Ceillie Simkiss

LearningCurves

Hey everyone, I’m really excited to welcome Ceillie Simkiss to my blog today! Her new novella LEARNING CURVES is available for pre-order now and will be released on August 16.

Keep reading for a guest post where Ceillie talks about her inspiration for the novella!


LearningCurvesCoverElena Mendez has always been career-first; with only two semesters of law school to go, her dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions. She doesn’t have time for love.

And she has no idea how much her life will change, the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin.

A freelance writer and MBA student, Cora is just as career-driven as Elena. But over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other–even a surprise visit from Elena’s family.

From solitude to sweetness, there’s nothing like falling in love. College may be strict…but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.


INSPIRATION FOR LEARNING CURVES
BY CEILLIE SIMKISS

My first burst of inspiration for Learning Curves came from the place that almost all of my best ideas came from: my dreams.

I regularly have absolutely ridiculous dreams, from murders to romances to entirely implausible science fiction. Once, I dreamed that my dad decided to run for President, and I got so mad because he would be a terrible President. In the dream, I was so upset I decided to run against him and hold a press conference on our front porch. I never learned how that election turned out, but it couldn’t have been any worse than 2016’s.

This dream was a little bit different. I dreamed about a girl driving from Chatham, Virginia to Greensboro, North Carolina, and talking to her girlfriend the whole way there about the new family member she’d discovered she had, and the store she’d inherited. I woke up with a pretty good handle on who Elena and Cora were, what they looked like, all of that, and started writing it.

Now, even if you’ve read learning curves, you won’t know anything about what I’m talking about with that dream. See, I started writing the story that became Learning Curves in October 2016, but it was a novel that I lovingly called “The Gift”.

About midway through the month of working on it, I wanted to write a flashback scene of when Elena and Cora met. And then one thing led to another, and instead of finishing the novel that I had intended to write, I wound up with a mostly finished draft of Learning Curves by July.

I still haven’t finished that novel, and now that I’ve written Learning Curves, I’d have to rewrite probably two thirds of the 15,000 words that I had written. It turned into something completely different, and I love it for what it is.

The other two pieces of main inspiration for this story were my friend Taylor, and my family. Taylor graduated with her Master’s degree in Social Work from NC A&T this spring, and I’m incredibly proud of her for all the work she put into getting there. I knew full well that if I had ever tried to get my Masters in social work, I would’ve flunked out after the first internship.

Much like Elena turned out in the book, I get way too attached way too easily to be an effective social worker, and that’s okay. But I built on that knowledge that there were other ways to help kids that are just as important as social work is to get Elena to where she was.

And of course, I would not be anywhere near the same person if I had a different family. My family is a lot like Elena’s, except the extended family tends to be much less accepting of anyone other than themselves. My mom is one of nine kids, and I have so many cousins that I lost count around 20. Until a few years ago, all of my maternal family lived within a 3 hour radius of my grandmothers house. I grew up at my grandparents’ kitchen table surrounded by people and noise and joy. I wanted to share that joy with Elena, but also allow her to have the supportive extended family that I wish I had.

All of that put together help me create Learning Curves. I’m incredibly proud of the novella that I’ve put into the world. I hope that you will love all of these pieces that I have cobbled together into the happy, fluffy romance that is Learning Curves.


IMG_1705Ceillie Simkiss is a queer writer of all stripes based in southern Virginia. She is also a blogger, public relations professional, and freelance writer. She has bylines at sites like Culturess, Global Comment, and Let’s Fox About It, in addition to her self-published novella Learning Curves

She started writing fiction as an escape from her day job as a small town journalist, and has been at it ever since, with the support of her partner, her dog and her cats.

Author Interview– Claudie Arseneault

Hi Claudie, welcome to my blog! Can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?

Sure thing. I’m a fantasy writer, with the very occasional dip into science fiction. I tend towards longer stories, large casts of characters, but smaller scales and domestic scenes. I’m also both asexual and aromantic, and that’s reflected in my writing—in the characters, but also in how I gravitate towards non-romantic relationships as the center of my stories.

Your books are really fun and super queer. Where do you get your inspiration from?

A bit of everywhere, really. Sometimes it’s something I’ve read, or a trope in a video game I play. Sometimes it’s a tweet, or a long discussion with other writers on twitter. I tend to absorb a lot of ideas and want to write everything, so I try to cobble several inspirations together in a single, cohesive story. I find that with time, my brain has become used to coming up with new ideas, and anything from a Youtube video about glassblowing to panels brainstorming alien stories can send me into plot-bunny land. Usually, the moment I step into character creation process, it gets queered up.

Can you tell us about your new project, BAKER THIEF?

Adèle has only one goal: catch the purple-haired thief who broke into her home and stole her exocore, thus proving herself to her new police team. Little does she know, her thief is also the local baker.Baker Thief_cover

Claire owns the Croissant-toi, but while her days are filled with pastries and customers, her nights are dedicated to stealing exocores. These new red gems are heralded as the energy of the future, but she knows the truth: they are made of
witches’ souls.

When her twin—a powerful witch and prime exocore material—disappears, Claire redoubles in her efforts to investigate. She keeps running into Adèle, however, and whether or not she can save her sister might depend on their conflicted, unstable, but deepening relationship.

 

Baker Thief is the first book of a series which will always have at least one aromantic MC, and which reapplies classic romance tropes but to platonic relationships. In this one, it’s Enemies to Lovers which becomes Enemies to Queerplatonic Partners, but I’m looking at things like Mutual Pinning but for friends, for example.

I set it in a created city that’s kind of a mix of Quebec City, my home, and Siena, which I was visiting while drafting. I love how familiar it is, while still having unique elements like the quartiers (neighbourhoods) and an annual wintry city-wide tournament.

BAKER THIEF is available for pre-order now, and will be released on June 25! You can find it on Gumroad or at any of these other stores.

I love hearing about other writers’ processes, so can you tell us what your writing process looks like?

I’m the kind of writer who needs an outline to start. Not knowing where a story is going will block me. But that outline can be only a handful of scenes ahead, and a few key points later down the line. I’m also very prompt to veer completely off route while I write my first drafts haha. Whatever feels right is what I roll with when drafting. I believe it helps me keep the heart of the novel alive and gives me better tools to make it shine after. Edits can take several rounds, and I tend to rewrite everything from start to finish at least once, after I’ve let the novel rest and considered what big changes I want to bring.

Any favorite snacks for while you write?

Coffee!! Or sake, if I feel like alcohol. I tend not to snack much otherwise, in big parts because most of my writing time is during evening, after dinner. When I’m home more (on weekend of vacations) I’ll go for pretty much anything in the fridge.

What media are you loving right now (books, shows, etc)?

I watch almost no TV shows, mostly because I have super limited leisure time, and I would rather have a book in my hands. I love discovering new indie writers and will devour anything from my favs there. Recent loves include Tone of Voice, the second book of Kaia Sonderby’s wonderful Xandri Corelel series, Revenant Gun, the last of Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire trilogy, and Death Masquerade, RoAnna Sylver’s queer vampires in Venice series.

And where can people find you? 

The best way to get the regular, important news from me is to sign up to my newsletter. It goes out every month! You can also find me on social media on twitter, or check out my website for all useful information.


Claudie_AuthorPic_MediumClaudie Arseneault is an asexual and aromantic spectrum writer hailing from Quebec City.

Her love for sprawling casts invariably turns her novels into multi-storylined wonders
centered on aromantic and asexual characters. Her high fantasy series, City of Spires,
started in February 2017. Her next book, Baker Thief, features a bigender aromantic baker and is full of delicious bread, French puns, and magic.

Claudie is a founding member of The Kraken Collective and is well-known for her
involvement in solarpunk, her database of aro and ace characters in speculative fiction, and her unending love of squids. Find out more on her website!

 

Author Interview–Leigh Landry

I’m incredibly excited to welcome my friend and writing buddy, Leigh Landry, to my blog! Hi Leigh! Can you tell my readers a bit about yourself?
*waves* I’m a former musician and English teacher, and I now write and homeschool my two kids. We’ve got a house full of animals, and we foster cats and volunteer at our local animal rescue center. I like to keep things interesting here!
Can you tell us about your first novella, SECOND FIDDLE FLIRT?
Novella #1 Cover (variation 3)
Lauren’s in the middle of clearing out her recently deceased sister’s room and prepping for a rehearsal/audition with an all-female Cajun band when her sister’s sexy, ex-soldier best friend arrives to help. Freshly out of a controlling relationship coupled with a heaping side of shared grief between them, Lauren has to learn how to trust herself again and fight for what she wants: her dream gig and Tyler.
SECOND FIDDLE FLIRT, is simultaneously fun and heavy. Where did you get your inspiration from?
I really wanted to write a fun, flirty series as a tribute to the music and modern Cajun culture of this area. But everything I write ends up tackling serious, weighty themes and issues, whether or not I intend to from the beginning. I am perpetually fluffy-dark, in writing and personality, hehe.
I love hearing about other writers’ processes, so can you tell us what your writing process looks like?
No matter how many books I write, I always feel like I’m still figuring out my process with each new project! I do plan more now than I used to, but my initial outlines are still very sparse and flexible. The further I get in this series, though, the more structured my outlines get, because I’m starting to know how I need the series to shape up. I always begin with my main characters and what they want, then put my couple together and see what happens!
Any favorite snacks for while you write?
As much as I love snacks, I don’t usually eat while I write. I do almost always have something hot nearby, coffee with a little sugar or herbal tea with honey.
What media are you loving right now (books, shows, etc)?
I’ve been in a reading slump lately. Other than critique partner manuscripts (which I am BEYOND excited about the things I read last year!!!), my brain seems incapable of finishing stories the last few months. Looking forward to enjoying more books again this year! I always love listening to the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast, because their enthusiasm for books is absolutely contagious. OH! And I just finished season 1 of The Good Place, and I am completely smitten with that show. ❤ ❤ ❤
And where can people find you?
I mostly hang out on Twitter (@LeighLAuthor), but I do have a Facebook page (LeighLandryAuthor) where I post writing updates, songs on my writing playlists, and occasional kitty pics. I’ve also started a blog (https://leighlandry.blogspot.com) that has all of my book & contact info.

You can find Leigh’s first novella here, and you can preorder her second one, SIX STRING SASS, set for release on February 8, here! Happy reading!