Interview with K.M Herkes

1. What are you working on at the moment?

A sequel to the sequel for Novices. For some reason, I can’t write Chronicles #2 without writing #3 first. In my Rough Passages superpowers world, I’m poking at a fifth novelette while firming up an outline for a novel to follow. And a third novel in the Restoration Adventures series. It has a title (Safe Landing) I know it stars Kaylie and Justin and Serena, and I know it deals with the two big loose ends from Controlled Descent & Flight Plan, namely Nicole Avon & Pete Hamil. Beyond that…we’ll see. That’s 2017 at the earliest, but I never stop thinking.

2. How did you get into writing in the first place?

Through table-top gaming. I played for years, and after I started a group, I learned that I loved wearing the ringmaster’s hat. I got to create tons of characters instead of one, and I had a blast shaping plots naturally from the players’ actions. From there it was a short leap to making up plots for my own characters and exploring the craft side of writing.

3. Do you have a routine or any quirks for when you sit down to write? Tell us what a day of writing looks like for you.

My foundation routine is that I sit down to write something, somewhere for at least two hours every day. If I can chisel a decent block of time out of my variable work schedule—at least a couple of hours—I settle at the desk (or on the couch, or the floor) brew tea, put on headphones, and open the word processor. Sometimes I never drink the tea, and I forget to start music, but the ritual itself settles my brain.

4. You publish great work pretty regularly. Is there a goal that you stick to, or is it just as and when?

I always have multiple projects going. I can lead the muse to the table, but I can’t make her sit down. The bigger the buffet, the more likely she’ll see something she likes. The main goal I have is to “count” all writing. If the day job exhausts me, I might only create promotional materials, but I put in my two hours. That way, when inspiration strikes and I can sit for twelve straight, I revel in it. Concentrating on productivity is the one sure way to destroy mine. So I don’t.

5. What was your favourite of all of your projects to work on?

So far, Flight Plan. I got to introduce my survivors from Controlled Descent to new characters and drop them into even crazier adventures. I liked the challenge of developing conflicts on a bigger stage while still keeping the story itself intimate and personal.

6. Do you have a favourite character that you’ve written?

Justin. Absolutely Justin. He’s smart and socially impatient, and that’s enough to endear him to me. He’s also short, dark and scruffy, and I have a weakness for scruffy guys with dreamy eyes. (one look at Spouseman proves this.)

I started writing Controlled Descent with no idea what would happen once I stripped him of every advantage in the world. The more the story developed, the more he delighted me. He’s a rather good person at heart. I sometimes feel guilty about everything I put him through.

7. Do you have any literary heroes, any other authors you aspire to be like?

Lois McMaster Bujold and Patricia C. Wrede. I’d love to be the next JK Rowling, of course, but I don’t look at Harry Potter and see anything I want to emulate. In contrast, I can see the storytelling elements and stylistic touches I’ve unconsciously absorbed from Bujold & Wrede every time I re-read their books. Except they do it all so much better.

8. What are your plans for the future?

Keep writing, work on promoting my stories better, get myself back out in the world a bit more. I got blindsided by some crippling panic/anxiety the last few years, but I’ve recently figured out the root cause and am developing better coping techniques.

9. Do you have any advice for all the newbie writers out there?

Neil Gaiman’s advice: write. That’s it. It’s simple, and simple things are never easy, but if you want to be a writer, then write and write and never stop. That’s the only One True Method I see being broad enough to cover the infinite diversity of human creativity. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.


Want to know more about K.M Herkes? Here is a little something from the author herself:

I write and publish stories that dance in the open spaces between genres. I like to play in the literary traffic, dodging between science and culture, fantasy and reality, devotion and divided loyalties. Damaged souls, triumphs of the spirit, and dialogue loaded with sarcasm are the house specialties. My plot lines linger in the quiet times between big explosions of action and drama. I know I’m striking my storytelling target when reviews start with, “This isn’t my usual read, but I took a chance,” and end with “I loved it and told all my friends to try it too.”

Professional development has included classroom teaching, animal training, aquaculture, horticulture, retail operations, and customer service. Personal development is ongoing. Cats are involved. I live in the Midwest, where I work in a library, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. When the weather is fine, I can be found in my garden instead of the office, and at least once a year I disappear into the woods for a week to disconnect from the modern world.

Follow my author page on Amazon to receive the latest new on new releases, and visit my author page at storysculpting.blogspot.com to load up on extras like story-inspired art, extended excerpts, and free fiction. You’ll also get my random musings on life, the universe and writing. If you’re inclined to social media, you can find my assorted blatherings on Twitter under @dawnrigger and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dawnriggersden

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Book Review: “Controlled Descent: A Story of the Restoration” by KM Herkes

Title: Controlled Descent: A Story of the Restoration (Adventures, book one)

Author: KM Herkes

Genre: Techno-Adventure

Rating: ****

 

Controlled Descent was a fantastic read, and one I’m glad I already own the sequel to so that I can dive right back in again soon. This isn’t the first book I’ve read by the excellent KM Herkes –a few months ago I picked up her novella, “Extraordinary”- so I already knew that this was going to be good. Needless to say I wasn’t at all disappointed.

Her prose is always so beautifully written, with a lingering darkness that adds a weight you don’t often get to read these days. It flows so easily, and with such a fantastic pace that you genuinely won’t want to stop until you’re done. It makes me want to pack nothing but her books and go off on a reading holiday for a few weeks, because being brought back to reality while reading her work isn’t dissimilar from a hard kick in the chops. Her writing never fails to draw me in, to sweep me up and deposit me right in the middle of the story as though I were really there. It doesn’t feel forced or contrived in any way, and you don’t even realise that you’ve been dragged in so deep until you have to come back out again. It’s truly masterful.

The world-building is fantastic, too. It’s an almost dystopian society, but still very closely aligned with the “real world” that sometimes the line between blurs and you feel like it’s all very possible. I think that’s very clever, myself. So many writers try so hard to distance themselves from current society, probably to make things seem scarier, but the world created by the KM Herkes’ Restoration is probably more frightening precisely because you can see such a close resemblance between our world and the fictional one depicted.

For all this praise, however, the highlight of the whole book is definitely the characters. The life that has been breathed into each and every one of them, their distinctive voices, their quirks and flaws, and their motivations are all so spot on. Even the side characters, the ones who don’t get very much page time all seem so very alive. You can tell that a great deal of effort went into constructing these characters, and I really think it was this aspect of the story that made it so very easy to become part of the story as a reader, too. Everyone seemed so very human, so very alive that you can easily get lost in the web of their lives and become incredibly invested in them emotionally.

All in all the book is one I think everyone should read. It’s got everything you could ever want from a story and it’s beautifully crafted, too. Trust me: Read it. And go check out KM Herkes on facebook (Here: https://www.facebook.com/dawnriggersden) or twitter (Here: https://twitter.com/Dawnrigger)

Author Interview With Fiona Skye

When you steal from faerie queens, the consequences are painful and sometimes deadly.

Were-jaguar and TV personality, Riley O’Rourke, has been looking over her shoulder ever since she stole from the Dark Queen of the Unseelie faeries. When Riley is contacted by an informant with knowledge that can blow the lid off the story of the year, she can’t pass up the opportunity to investigate. What she finds instead is something that puts her at the mercy of the Dark Queen, who is not known for her compassion.

When Riley’s boyfriend, David, realizes she’s missing, he’ll do whatever it takes to get her back, including starting a war with the Unseelie. The balance of power among the Fae courts is shifting, and if David makes one wrong move, Riley could end up crushed in the struggle. But after being the subject of the Queens’s legendary cruelty, will there even be anything left of Riley to save?

The second book in the Revelations Trilogy continues the story of Riley O’Rourke, David Lo, and Neve MacAlpin. Buy it here.

Taming Shadows is the first book in the Revelations Trilogy and introduces us to Riley, David, and Neve. Buy it here.


An Interview With Fiona Skye

The first book of the Revelations series, Taming Shadows, is a big favourite of mine, which make me certain that the sequel will be spectacular as well, but how do you think the two compare? Will we get to see a wider expansion on Riley and the events of book one, or is Silver Shackles going to open up all new doors for the readers to explore?

Silver Shackles is much darker, as most second books and films in a trilogy tend to be. Riley really isn’t in this book much, though her presence definitely drives the actions and decisions of the other characters. David is the main character in this second one and we get to see a lot more of him and learn a bit more about his background and his history. Plus some other major characters are introduced and we get a feeling of where the action is going and what might happen in the third and final book.

From my own experience with writers, I know there are a lot of very different ways to go about things. Specifically there seems to be a divergence between the organised “plotters” and the less-organised “pantsers”. Which would you say best applied to you?

For most of my writing career, I’ve been a pantser. But after taking two years to write this book–mostly because I was bogged down in the Great Swampy Middle–I’ve decided to try outlining. I’m currently auditioning several different ways of outlining and hopefully, I’ll find one that works well for me.

Do you have a routine for your writing each day? Any secret regimen that helps you while you’re weaving stories?

I like to write early in the morning, just after breakfast, when my mind is sharpest and clearest. That only works when my kids are in school, though. During the summer, not much writing gets done during the day. After supper, though, the children are banished to their rooms with books of their own, and I do a little writing then.

After Silver Shackles, there is only one book left for the Revelations series. Is that it for Riley, or will we get to see her again elsewhere? Do you think you’ll ever write a spin off?

There is one book left in the trilogy and I’ve been playing with the idea of an anthology of short stories about some minor characters (Orla, Onyx, and Baron) and their lives before the Revelations. I’ve also been thinking of a novella or two about David and Riley after the end of the trilogy, something that has to do with David’s past in San Francisco.

Living in Tucson, Arizona, yourself, which is also the location that the Revelations series is set, do you find yourself going about your business and planning scenes for certain places? Do you ever smile to yourself in certain areas as you realise something or other took place just around the corner from where you are?

There is a certain house on a road I travel occasionally, and I think of it as Riley’s house. And whenever I get the opportunity to go to the coffee shop downtown where David and Riley had their first date, I always picture them sitting there and talking.

What are your plans for the future? Are you going to focus on writing more about Riley and her exploits, or do you have other projects in the works for us to get excited for?

I have two other books in the first draft phase. One is a young adult, sci-fi, dystopian thing about a computer that takes over the Earth, and the other is another urban fantasy about a cop in Denver who investigates a series of gem heists with a suspect that can vanish into thin air. Hopefully those will be out soon–I’m sort of shooting for the urban fantasy to come out in the winter.


About Fiona Skye:

Fiona Skye is a fantasy author, currently living in the deserts of Southern Arizona. She shares a home with her husband, two kids, three cats, two rats, a betta fish, and a Border Collie.

Fiona’s passion for story telling began early in life. She loved playing make-believe and inventing elaborate fantasy worlds for her friends and her to play in. At age twelve, she wrote her first short story, which was based on a song by a 1980s hair band. After giving it to her English teacher for editing and rewrites, she learned to love the entire writing process, and has dedicated her life since then to writing, only to be occasionally distracted by her insatiable love of yarn and crochet, and the dogged pursuit of the perfect plate of cheese enchiladas.

She counts Diana Gabaldon and Jim Butcher as her favorite authors and biggest influences. Joining these two on the list of people she would wait in queue for a week to have a coffee with are Neil Peart, Kevin Hearne, and Brandon Sanderson.

Fiona is online –
Website & Blog: http://fiona-skye.com/

Blog Tour: “The Darkling Chronicles” by Tricia Zoella


Young Adult/New Adult series
The Darkling Chronicles
Ebooks:
Shadow Blues, Shadow Fire, and Shadow Thief
Paperback
collection:
The Darkling Chronicles,
Shadows 1
 
PURCHASE
LINKS:
 
 
 
 
AUTHOR
BIO:
 
Tricia Zoeller writes fantasy stories filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem. After a
decade of working as a speech-language pathologist, she succumbed and wrote her first book, urban fantasy FIRST BORN, published in
May 2013. FIRST BORN is a paranormal mystery about a shapeshifter in Atlanta.
It is the first book in the Lily Moore Series.
THE DARKLING CHRONICLES is her young adult series that delves into alternate
planes, portals, and mystical creatures.
She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Lou, her little yappy dog, Lola
Belle, and her big orange mutant cat, George. Her two stepsons, Joseph and
Robert, make stopovers as well, making sure to keep life an adventure.
Writing has always been a part of her life—like breathing and chocolate. For more
information about Tricia and her books, visit:
Facebook: Tricia Zoeller, Author
Twitter: @tzoellerwriter