Friday, 8 April 2016

Brain to Books Cyber Convention

~ Hello and welcome to Just Books ~
~Stop #5 on the Brains to Book Cyber Convention Blog Tour ~

Whether you've arrived here from Joshua Blum's site, from a link on Facebook or Twitter, or simply stumbled upon this post by accident, then you're in the right place. ;)

Some of the wonderful authors taking part in this years Brain to Books Cyber Convention dropped in earlier to answer a few questions, and many of them stayed for a much longer interview!

Take a look at the Q's & A's  below and while you're there, click on the author's name to check out the full interview.

Learn more about your favourite authors and their books.
Discover some new authors.
Find some new books to read 

Ashley Capes

Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
My main character Never tends to use his humour as both a weapon and a shield and I relate to that, I suspect – though I don’t think I’m actually very funny in real life. But it’s my hope that Never does give readers a few laughs – he certainly tried to keep things light, especially when he’s in trouble.
Tell us about your favorite book/movie (any genre and/or non-fiction) and how did it inspire/change you? How did this book/movie influence your book/writing/you?
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic example of what inspired me with The Amber Isle. The thrill of discovering lost civilisations with a character really sucked me in as a kid and I’ve held on to that feeling when I write; I love the sorts of scenes that reveal a mysterious city or mythical place.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Very! They not only add consistency and depth to the cultural aspects of the world-building but names can be a lot of fun – they can reveal something about the characters themselves. My chief example from The Amber Isle is obviously ‘Never’ my main character.
He has a name that’s reasonably unusual, which I hope makes it memorable, but there is a reason behind it – in that Never’s brother named him when they were boys. And that name, that search for identity, is a key part of the story. Why wouldn’t Never’s mother or father name him? It’s a question I plan to reveal only in the fullness of time!

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into your characters?
Hopefully the good traits (any and all enmity, predatory behaviour, and zealotry is purely fictional). I’d say we share perseverance and loyalty, and the character of Eldren is a good (and patient) researcher, so there’s that.
 Who is your favourite actor of your own gender?
There are many wonderful actresses out there that I admire, but I think Gillian Anderson would be at the top of my list. There’s the X-files of course, but her recent turn as a police officer in the British series The Fall was outstanding. One memorable scene from season one of that series is the phone call between her character and the killer (played by Jamie Dornan). Her character stayed calm, cool and professional, but Ms. Anderson played the emotion underneath perfectly.
Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
I found writing the story of Trading Day difficult and frustrating. Possibly because it stepped outside the narrative a bit, and showed the city and its curse from an outside perspective. I think switching my mind set made the story more challenging to write. I believe the story is a necessary part of Ruined City, but it’s still my least favourite part of the book.

Marco Marek

What motivates you to write?
My motivation is to create fantasy stories and to be inside of it while I'm writing. I would need a day with 72 hours to have the time to write all the ideas I have in mind.
Do you like to get up early or stay up late?
I like to wake up early and stay up late because I don't like to sleep all the morning. There are many things to do and I don't want waste time sleeping. Sometimes I don't feel going to sleep, even if it is late at night, thinking I have a lot to do.
How important to you are character names in your books? Do you choose them based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Well, I think they are important at least for the main characters. Sometimes they have a meaning, like Mary in honor of my grandmother and Martina is a dear friend of mine, Danni is an English model that I like, for the others I thought the names just fit their personality.

Adam Dreece

What story has recently inspired/moved you?
While for many, this would be a fictional story, I feel like I take the real world (past and present) and transform it into my fictional stories. One is Syria. The situation there really hits me hard, maybe because I have Moroccan heritage, or maybe because the post-apocalyptic nature of what they're dealing with just bothers me to my core. When I wrote Book 2 of The Yellow Hoods, I created a civil war situation in a Spain/Northern Africe (like Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria type countries) and a young, amputee heroin by the name of Mounira. It was before the whole Syria situation went horrific, and my intent was to return to that worn torn area. As the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated, it has become even more important to me to revisit there and show the small heroics that can inspire a nation.
The other story that really inspires me are the scientific discoveries, like gravitational waves, and how it contrasts with the continued rise of arrogant ignorance (aka anti-science). That's part of what's gone into my Man of Cloud 9 world.
Characters begin with their strengths and weaknesses. Many authors reflect their own strengths and weaknesses in their characters. What are some strengths and weaknesses that you relate to, and how have these traits influenced your characters?
I believe great characters can only come from a great connection, and as much as possible, I mine myself for high emotion or high intense elements that can be part of a character. Take Niko Rafaelo, the genius at the heart of the Man of Cloud 9 (to be released in September). He's a nice guy and cares about people in general. We see some of the things he's done, places where he's made a difference without disempowering people from what they are doing. And he's deeply passionate about being in that creative zone, it's his safe place and he's happy place. He's capable of being a big shot CEO, but he doesn't want it, he's the reluctant leader. But even more than he's deep passion for discovery, is his love for someone... but you'll have to read the book to find out.
On the other side, let's take Mounira, whom I mentioned in question 1, she's the eleven-year-old refugee who's a recent amputee (arm). I took my experience of having had horrible abdominal scar pain for 15 months, and having chronic pain since, and channeled that through her. I showed her transition from fighting against the pain, to pulling it into her and using it to give her strength.
What did story mean to you as a child?
Story was transformative for me. I started experimenting with personality elements when playing Dungeons and Dragons, and then bringing the ones I liked into myself. It was a psychological incubator for me. It's where I originated a sense that I could lead, seeded the idea of being confident, and learned that I could reprogram who I was, even with only a rudimentary understanding of my own mind.
Story also allowed me to go beyond the limits that were constantly put on me, as I was told that I was average and nothing special. I was able to bring entire universes to life, and the kids in the neighbourhood would tell their friends about the epic adventures I'd created. This actually got to the point that when I was hanging out at a Gamers Lounge at junior college (think grade 12/13), I heard complete strangers telling the tale of one of my adventures. It was the first time that I ever thought of myself as truly being part of the truly human tradition of creating legends and stories.
Unfortunately, Adam couldn't stay for a longer interview, but I think you'll agree that he gave us some in-depth and interesting answers.
Thank you very much, Adam.

Find Adam here:
Website | Goodreads | Amazon |  Facebook | Twitter

Aldrea Alien

Which, if any, of your personality traits did you write into your characters?
A fair bit of my characters have a fondness for reading or general studying. I'll admit to having a bit of weak spot for people who enjoy reading. If you were to show me your personal library and I'll admit to some attraction for you; a lot of my characters have that in them.
Which country would you most like to visit?
Egypt. I've always felt a deep connection to the history there. In some ways, it feels like home even though I've never been. To just be able to step foot there would completely overwhelming.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Honestly, for some of the characters, I just bashed keys until I got a combo, or part of one, that I liked. For characters like Laccindy and Jarend, their names practically leapt from my mouth.

What motivates you to write?
I enjoy writing and it is the same escape for me that it was when I was a child, but more than that I love it when my fans enjoy my stories. To know that I wrote something that made people happy and created a world that they could escape into – that’s the biggest motivation of all.
Do you like to get up early or stay up late?
Early, I’m a morning person. Due to health issues I tire easily and late nights really “knock the stuffing” out of me and I take a while to recover. I’ve always got the most energy in the morning.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are incredibly important to me in my books. I almost always choose names based upon their meanings first and then think about how the name sounds – but the meaning is paramount. I use the Oxford Dictionary of Names as it is comprehensive and has an appendix that breaks names down by country. 

V.S. Holmes

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I always wrote as a kid, but I first realized it was something I wanted to do in high school. I started to actually get my book edited and beta-read at that point, and seriously studied the craft of writing.
Which country would you most like to visit?
I’d love to visit Mongolia. I’m a nomad at heart and I’d love to see the stark beauty of the landscape and learn more about the people.
Please give us an insight into your main character.
I’ve got three MCs in the first two books of Reforged, however I wrote from Alea’s POV most. She’s a naive and idealistic young woman who loses her family in a massacre. She suffers from depression and survivor’s guilt, as well as the above mentioned psychological issues. Through the story she comes to understand herself better, becoming stronger and more insightful as she gets experiences more of the world.

Angela B. Chrysler

What story has recently inspired/moved you?
This one is hard for me to answer because, at the moment, I have more than seven stories all crammed in my head. Each one has its own inspiration. In short, I would have to say the story of unrealized love. Broken heart. This has done the most to inspire all of my current projects. Even my fantasy has a bit of a broken heart where Bergen is concerned. Oops. Did I say too much *wink*
Characters begin with their strengths and weaknesses. Many authors reflect their own strengths and weaknesses in their characters. What are some strengths and weaknesses that you relate to, and how have these traits influenced your characters?
I love my girls: Kallan and Dagny. Kallan is very much the woman I wish I was. I gave her all the traits I wish I had, right down to being able to throw fire and wield swords. But Kallan also got my struggle with death and my struggle with grief. But mostly, Kallan’s greatest weakness—to recognize and accept her limitations and weaknesses—is my own weakness.
Dagny is the woman I really view myself as. Dagny is introduced in Fire and Lies due to release 2016 and… well… I really want to hold off on revealing too much about Dagny just yet. But yes, as much as Kallan is the woman I wish I could be. Dagny is how I really see myself. She is the face in the mirror looking back at me. And I hate what I see. Hence my need and love for Kallan.
What did story mean to you as a child?
This question hits home. For me, story was my salvation. There were days, it was all I had and I clung to it with such a desperation. I found my sanity in story. I found hope and strength to go on.
As the organiser of the Brain to Books Cyber Convention, Angela is exceedingly busy and was unable to stay for a longer interview.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Angela for all the hard work she has put in to bring this event together, and for dropping in.

Find Angela here:

Susanne Leist

Where did the idea for The Dead Game come from?
The Dead Game was going to be a murder mystery with the usual dead bodies, clues, and suspects. Somehow along the way it metamorhosized into a vampire suspense. Many of the characters live in the dark forest behind the town of Oasis, Florida. They hide during the day to come out at night. This became a ripe setting for vampires. They look like people, act like people, but just happen to be undead.
Who is your favourite actor of your own gender?
I love Angela Lansbury. She was Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. For years I wanted to be Jessica Fletcher slaving away on my typewriter.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
After I created my characters and their personality traits, I picked their names based upon people they reminded me of. These people could be from my past or even TV shows.

How did the idea for your book come to be what it is today?
I have been crafting the world for the Thrice Nine Legends saga since 1999, but it was not until December of 2013 that I started the series. I was inspired by a dream I had about a dagger that brought demons back from the dead. It was such an engaging dream that I started writing immediately, and finished Melkorka within a month. Dyndaer is the continuation of that tale.
Tell us about your favorite book/movie (any genre and/or non-fiction) and how did it inspire/change you? How did this book/movie influence your book/writing/you?
My fandom is Lord of the Rings. I have likely read almost every story written by Tolkien and spent years studying his life. I have heard from some of my own fans that I write like Tolkien. When I hear this exceptional praise, I recognize it is not my writing that is reflective of the great fantasy legend, but the themes in my story, which are similar to J.R.R. Tolkien.
Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?
I enjoy exploring my ancestral roots in my stories by focusing on Slavic mythology. Because of the few historic documents relating to the early Slavic people, I had an interesting journey in researching their foremost beliefs and practices.

A. Claire Everward

Before you leave for the next stop on the tour, please take a look at
The First - a debut novel by A. Claire Everward

Have you seen everything there is to see here?

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