The Steel Dragon and a Vegas Publisher- Michael Anderle

One of the most surprising things about living in Las Vegas is the depth of writing talent that spends at least part of their year here. I was surprised, when reading a new series called Steel Dragon, to learn that it’s co-author and head of LMBPN Publishing is a Vegas-ite. (Still looking for the right word. I’m guessing Las Vegan is wrong, it sounds like a Mexican vegetarian taco stand)

Another surprising thing since jumping deep into the Urban Fantasy waters is that the business model is different from most other publishing–this is all about series and shorter books. Given that, I thought I should learn a bit more about Michael and his work…

You are a busy dude. I really enjoyed the first Steel Dragon book and the series is getting stronger as it goes (I’m 3/4 of the way through book 3.) What’s your deal?

I’m both an author, CEO of LMBPN Publishing, and creator of the indie author group 20Booksto50k(R). My first series did amazingly well and now LMBPN has over 700 titles out, with over 200 audio titles produced by LMBPN and about 300 or so licensed to other audio companies. One of our stories is presently being shopped for possible video consideration. We typically release the equivalent of about 24-28 60,000 word titles a month.

For most authors, What’s your book about?” is a simple question. For you not so much…

Which one?  LOL  Let’s go with Steel Dragons.  This book is a collaboration between Kevin McLaughlin and myself. We decided to consider what would have happened in the present day if a shapeshifting super-government of dragons ran Earth. While the dragons didn’t get into the fiddly-bits of human politics (the United States Government still exists for example), they do scheme amongst themselves and have to deal with the occasional uprising of powerful humans who seek to overthrow their power.  In comes a unique dragon, born as a human…
This is a unique story, what is it that appealed to you? Besides, you know, dragons.

In this story, our main character slowly learns about her powers and how they help her protect her ‘people.’  As a dragon (which is new to her) she has an overwhelming sense of being protective and it makes her go a tad berserk upon occasion.  She must learn how to deal with the extra emotions while growing up in the SWAT job right out of Law Enforcement college. She is getting an extra leg up, and no one in her group knows why, yet.

It is a unique take on the tropes to be sure. Who are you reading?

I enjoy John Conroe (I recently interviewed him for our podcast – fanboy moment). Others outside of LMBPN include John Ringo (some series), Dakota Krout, C.R. Daems, Christopher G. Nuttall, Laurence E. Dahners, David Weber, Elliot Kay and many many others.

I look forward to attending 20 Books in November. Where can we learn more about you and your work?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Anderle/e/B017J2WANQ 

LMBPN: http://www.lmbpn.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LMBPNPublishing/ Kurtherian Gambit: https://www.facebook.com/TheKurtherianGambitBooks/

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

A Modern Soldier in Ancient Rome- Jackie Anders

When you write historical fiction AND fantasy, as I do, finding others who mix the two is always fun. Add to that Jackie Anders is also a Black Rose author (Black Rose will be publishing my new novel in November,) and I knew I had to speak to her.

Jackie, welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere.

I am glad to be featured on this blog! I am a mother of three, teacher, writers’ podcast co-host, and an author. So why am I an author? I have always loved to write. However, my journey began when I was five. I began by writing music and lyrics. After a few years of staying up until two in the morning reading books, I decided to start writing books instead of music. My first book was Phoenix: Field of Mars that I queried for over a year until I finally got a publishing contract with it releasing in Dec. 2018. Now, I have Phoenix 2: By the Sword which released in Feb. 2020 and Arion Rising that released in Sept. 2019.

What is Phoenix: Field of Mars and the rest of the series about?

Phoenix: Field of Mars and Phoenix: By the Sword are the first two books in the Phoenix Trilogy. Phoenix begins with a young career woman that expectantly falls into a U.N. Special Ops mission that takes her from 2018 to First Century Ancient Rome. After learning her new reality, she discovers that the team’s mission is to stop a biochemical scientist from unleashing a deadly virus on the unsuspecting 1st Century people in order to change history.

As Kyla encounters hostility and strife on her journey, she is surprisingly protected by the team’s leader, Capt. Christopher Eriksen. Even though Eriksen has many internal struggles from what he’s seen and done, he inspires her to trust in something bigger than herself. But as Kyla and the team race to stop the impending genocide, Kyla’s biggest fear is no longer the known threat. It is the not knowing if she will ever be able to get back home.

What is it about the story or the magic system that appealed to you? Why this story?

The huge appeal in my stories is ‘hope’! Yes, I have adventure, action, historical fiction, romance, military, and spiritual undertones, but overall my stories about hope!

Who are the authors who influenced you and who do you like to read?

If you enjoyed the Twilight Zone, then you know who Richard Matheson is. He was one of my favorites. One of his novels became a movie, I Am Legend. I also enjoy Ayn Rand, H. G. Wells, Diana Galbadon, and Francine Rivers.

Where can we learn more about everything you’re up to?

I am on Twitter: @jandersbooks,  Instagram: jandersbooks,  Website: jandersbooks.com, Facebook: Jackie Anders – Author, and Goodreads: Jackie Anders

You can also tune into our writer’s podcast that I co-host called By the Moonlight Writers Podcast!

And if you haven’t already joined my email list, you should do it and get a FREE story that few have ever seen, and is available on my site only to those who subscribe. Signup is on the left side of this page. You’ll have links to cool interviews with other authors and learn all about my upcoming book (a werewolf detective, no Zombies!) Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. it’s coming November 19 from Black Rose Writing.

Demons & Being In the Wrong World at the Wrong Time with Amanda Fleet

Not to make this all about me, but I am incredibly nervous about my first Urban Fantasy novel coming out in November. After all, up til now, most of my work has been nonfiction/business-y stuff or Historical Fiction. This week’s guest, Amanda Fleet, has gone through a similar journey, what with the launch of her new Guardians of the Realm series. The second book comes out March 7.

I know you’re a bit of an over-achiever. Tell us about yourself.

Oh, toughest question first! I’m not good at talking about me!

I’m a writer, living in Scotland. I used to be a university lecturer, teaching physiology to medical students (and science students in the early days). At the start, teaching the students was fun and the non-teaching bits were okay too. But after a couple of decades and a series of terrible managers, although the students were still great fun, the job was literally almost killing me (serious arrhythmia and a breakdown), so I left. I now write as my ‘job’ though the pay and conditions suck. 😊

I’d like to say “When I’m not writing, I like to…” but I’m always writing. Or thinking about writing. But I can multitask, so I can think about writing while walking, running, or gardening, all of which I enjoy. Living in Scotland, we have some amazing countryside, right on the doorstep. You’d have to be spectacularly unimaginative, not to be inspired by it.

What is your current series about?

The current book – Aegyir Rises – is about a life-stealing demon who’s accidentally freed from his prison on Earth. He’s determined to have revenge on the people who put him there and is convinced that a local woman, Reagan Bennett, is his nemesis Aeron. She thinks she’s Reagan Bennett, although she is plagued with dreams of a different world where she’s called Aeron. And someone keeps leaving her odd things on her kitchen table – things that only she can read, or things that could be used to defeat the demon – if she is Aeron. Can she defeat the demon before he kills everyone she loves?

What is it about that form of magic or character that appealed to you? What are the roots of the story?

There’s not actually any magic in it, per se. I’ve always loved the idea that the antagonist is the hero in his/her story. Aegyir – the demon – thinks he’s absolutely in the right. And for a long time, I’ve played with the ideas of parallel worlds and people being in the wrong place. These all came together to some extent in the Guardians of The Realm trilogy. Aegyir Rises is the first book in the trilogy. The second book, Aeron Returns, comes out next week!

As someone who has written in other genres first, and now has branched into this crazy world of UF, what has been your biggest fear and what has surprised you?

I’ve written in a number of different genres now, from medical thriller, through women’s literature, crime, and now urban fantasy. There’s not really been a plan to it. I write the stories that are burning a hole in my head. So, in many ways, the only fear has been the normal one of “Will anyone ever buy these books?” And as ever, the surprise is that, yes, some people do!

I suppose the biggest difference moving from crime-writing to urban fantasy is the level of description. My crime publisher pared most descriptions back and just wanted plot and action. My fantasy editor wanted much more detail – of characters, surroundings etc. That was a difficult shift in some ways.

Which writers inspired you?

As a child, I was obsessed with Gerald Durrell’s books, and a series of books written by a vet – James Herriot. After that came an Agatha Christie phase, interspersed with Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Bronte sisters. By the time I was at university, I’d shifted towards Terry Pratchett, and an author whose name I wish I could remember – she wrote fantasy books about a parallel world accessed via specific portals, and the books were humorous.

More recently, I’ve devoured pretty much anything written by Patrick Ness, and a lot of Neil Gaiman’s stuff. Crime-wise I would read anything by Harry Bingham – his Fiona Griffiths character is fantastic. Chris Brookmyre is great, as is C.L. Taylor. I’m currently impatiently waiting for Hilary Mantel’s third book about Thomas Cromwell “The Mirror and The Light” (the final part of the Wolf Hall trilogy) to come out in paperback.

Where can folks learn more about your work?

Website: https://www.amandafleet.co.uk/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amanda_fleet1

Book Bub: @AmandaFleet

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/amandafleet

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandafleet/ (though yet to post anything!)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/amandafleet (though I don’t like Goodreads and am never on there…)

NOTE FROM WAYNE: In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And if this is your first introduction to me and my work, check out my novels on Amazon.

Born of Metal with A L Knorr (and AD Schneider)

One of the Urban Fantasy series I’m really digging is Born of Metal by AL Knorr and Aaron D Schneider. First, it’s an exciting series with cool magic and a Sudanese-British protagonist, which isn’t something you see every day. It’s also a good example of something you see a lot in Urban Fantasy: the team up in order to get books in a series into the world quickly. Since Johnny Lycan is going to be a trilogy, I’m intrigued and a bit intimidated.

I spoke to Abby Knorr, who was most insistent her co-author, AD Schneider got some love too. (A thousand blessings upon her. I’ve been the B side of a book. It can be lonely.) Here’s the interview.

Tell us about yourself, and give your co-author some love while you’re at it.

I’m a textbook introvert with a serious problem: my imagination is a runaway train and I’m just a panicked passenger along for the ride. I’m a Canadian living in the UK who married a brilliant cook which has saved my life more than once because while I’m working (which is almost every day including weekends) I often forget to eat. I force my arse to the gym or to the yoga studio or dance studio to try and remember how to socialize with people and move my body but as many writers can attest, getting away from my computer is a real challenge. I love the ocean and all things in it both living and … well, not, such as shipwrecks and ancient cities. It was this first love of nautical history and marine biology which spawned my first series (Elemental Origins). People often ask me if I ever run out of ideas but a more likely problem is that I’ll never get to write them all. My mom taught me to read when I was three (I was put ahead a grade because of this), and unbeknownst to her, she created a monster with an insatiable appetite for stories and storytelling. Life is storytelling, and don’t you forget it.

Aaron is a storyteller posing as a writer. If he’d been born in the days of nifty new longboats and mead halls he’d have been trying desperately to make it as a skald or bard, illiteracy be damned! He loves tales, legends, myths, and epics, modern or ancient, sacred or sinister. They’ve shaped him so much it seems only natural he’d want to shape his own. So here he is trying to scratch his mark on time’s edifice, and finding himself perpetually grateful for the people who give him a chance. He’s also the brains behind the Warring Realm trilogy.

What’s Born of Metal and the Inconquo series about?

Born of Metal is about a young Sudanese-Brit named Ibukun who is descended from a line of supernaturals (metal elementals, in case the title didn’t give you a clue) called Inconquo guardians. It’s an origin story that follows Ibby as she discovers her heritage while interning at the British Museum and finds a hidden, magical artifact which unlocks her abilities. Born of Metal is as adventure story but its also a ghost story and a coming of age tale. Ibby first appeared in my book Born of Air as a secondary character but I loved her so much that I knew she needed her own series. Working with Aaron D. Schneider to bring her story to life was a brilliant choice because Aaron has amazing writing skills, especially in combat, which Ibby ends up in a lot as an iron-slinging, metal-warping guardian and the only supernatural who stands between the destruction of London and the original Inconquo, a terrifying demi-god from Sumerian myth named Ninurta.

What is it about that form of magic or the story that intrigued you?

Elemental magic has always appealed to me because magic rooted in nature seems somehow more believable than other forms and we tried to make Ibby’s story as believable as possible. Her series could actually cross over into Sci fi but we didn’t categorize it there because it is shy on technology. The Inconquo mythology sprang from Sumerian myths and gods and is also connected to the story of the Euroklydon from the bible (where Born of Air sprang from). The original Elemental Origins series touched on the major elemental magics (water, earth, fire, air, and aether) but Ibby’s story as a metal elemental was dying to be told so I created a subcategory of Earth elemental for the metal elementals to sit in. Aaron had a lot to do with helping expand the metal elemental mythology and Ibby’s trilogy is truly a joint creation.

Abby, who are the authors you enjoy?

There are so many. Off the top of my head my favorites and the authors who have influenced me are Kelley Armstrong, Stephen King, Ken Follett, JK Rowling, Anne Rice, Frank McCourt, Arthur Golden, and Laure Eve, to name a few.

Where is the best place to learn about your work and your insane number of books?

Amazon is the best place to look since everything is all linked and in one place. My website is another good resource (subscribers can get free fiction there), and for Facebook or Instagram users, I have accounts there as well.

NOTE FROM WAYNE: In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And if this is your first introduction to me and my work, check out my novels on Amazon.

Living Forever is the Best Revenge- Craig Zerf

I have had my share of people who don’t like my work, but the idea of turning that negative feedback into a 7-book series has never ocurred to me. That is, until I discovered Craig Zerf’s work. The first of his works I read was Dead Declan, which is a concept so bonkers I had to read more. Here he talks to me about his popular “Forever Man,” series.

So what’s your deal? Your personal story is unique.

I grew up in South Africa. Got married there, had a son, left and moved to England almost twenty years ago. I only started to write when I got to the UK. And, because I have always been a huge fantasy fan, that’s the genre I went for.

How did you settle on fantasy and where did The Forever Man come from?

My first series, Plob, was an attempt at humour. It was okay, I suppose. You always look back at your first books and say, I could have done better. But it got me started and, for one brief week, it actually topped the charts in both the UK and Germany and was voted the year’s best read by BBC Radio 4 listeners.  It was around this time I learned an important lesson… there are some seriously strange folk out there!

I had one, fan? Stalker? Arch enemy? Not sure what to call them. They purchased and read every one of my books and then proceeded to give them one-star reviews with comments like… This one is even worse than the last. Finally, they left a review that simply read ‘Every day I scour the obituaries for Craig Zerf’s name in the vain hope that he has died. Even if I live forever, I will never recover the time I have wasted reading his books.

It was then that I came up with the idea of writing a series where the main character is immortal. I know it’s been done before. Dracula, various mages and fae types. But I wanted to portray a normal man, a reluctant hero, who gets gifted, or cursed, with immortality and supernatural powers.

How would he react? Would he be good? Bad? Indifferent?

What if it turned out that the very world was in trouble and he was the only one who could save it? What would he do?

I called the series The Forever Man and it’s been described as a genre-bending fantasy series with post-apocalyptic heroes, battles against mythical creatures, and wild temporal jumps.

Writing a whole series to piss off one critic seems extreme, but it worked. How would you sum up The Foreverman in a couple of lines?

I suppose one could say, Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max and Game of Thrones. It’s available on Kindle, paperback and audio. There are six books at the moment but I’m ready to release seven and eight in a couple of weeks.

What writers influenced you?

Obviously, whatever I write has been influenced by my favorite authors. My early reads, when I was five, six, seven years old, were Enid Blyton books. Especially the Magic Faraway Tree.

Next stage, and I’m talking nine or ten here, were books like Biggles, Willard Price and the Hardy Boys.

As I hit my teens I graduated to Wilbur Smith (I love his earlier novels. Gritty, over the top, verging on heroic fantasy). And I discovered David Eddings. The Belgariad. Well…talk about life-changing. This was proper fantasy. Epic stuff.

After that came David Gemmell. To this day, David remains my favorite author. Clearly, Terry Pratchett also has to be taken into account.

And, finally, Michael Marshall. His books like Only Forward, and Spares are proper modern classics. He is truly one of the writers that I stand in awe of. Genius.

Where can people learn more about your work?

The best place to see all my work is my Amazon Author Page.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

It’s Official: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is Coming November 19

The Russian tasted like borscht and cheap cigarettes. Well, his blood did. It’s not like I actually ate him—I wasn’t that far gone. But with that much blood flying around, some of it got into my mouth and as nasty as it tasted, I licked my lips and felt it fuel my anger.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk Chapter 1

Intrigued?

I hope so, because that’s how my new book opens and I’m thrilled to announce that my latest novel is coming November 19th from the good folks at Black Rose Writing.

Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is an urban fantasy detective thriller. Okay, that’s a fancy way of saying the lead character is a Chicago PI with a concealed carry permit, a rich new client, and a case that gets so weird being a werewolf is the most normal thing he has to deal with.

Yes, you heard it. Johnny Lupul has issues. The book is exciting, scary, funny, and there may or may not be werewolf sex.

It might not be historical fiction, but it’s full of the same exciting action, unique plots, and humor in dark places you’re used to if you’ve enjoyed my other work. Come join me. I promise it won’t be dull.

Do you like free reading? Of course you do, so listen up.

In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!

           

When Magic Betrays with Anne Marie Lutz

Not too long ago I came across the novel “Taylenor.” Not knowing anything about the author, I took a chance and enjoyed the way it upended a familiar fantasy trope. Sure, there’s a young, idealistic female mage. But what happens when she learns the system she’s been faithfully supporting is actually corrupt and killing people? It was intriguing enough to want to talk to the author, Anne Marie Lutz.

So, who are you and what’s your deal?

I’m an author of fantasy novels and short stories. My novels are epic fantasy, and my short stories all have a touch of the supernatural about them – fantasy or even a touch of horror.

For some reason, I’ve never been interested in writing fiction set in the real world. I remember my early attempts at building a fantasy world — all the complex interactions that go into making a world that seems real. I was so excited when I went to a convention where there were panels on worldbuilding, and people actually talked about fantasy maps, the realities of long-distance travel on horseback, what to consider when describing an alien planet, and similar topics. I was in my element!

I was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, leaving to go to Ohio State and major in journalism. A few years later I went back to school for my MBA, and worked as an office manager and an operations analyst. I left that world years ago, and I’ve fulfilled a lifetime goal by writing fantasy novels. My Color Mage novels, Black Tide and Sword of Jashan, were recently reissued, and my newest stand-alone novel is Taylenor. I’ve always wanted to write a space opera, so maybe that will be next!

What’s the story behind Taylenor?

Taylenor is a fantasy novel about Jaena, a young traveling priest of her peaceful goddess, Imn-ashu. Jaena finds a boy with a rare mage talent that is linked to a terrible illness. She takes him to the city to try to save his life, only to find that she has delivered him into the hands of the Mage Defender, who rules by stealing the magic — and the lives — of children. 

Desperate to right the wrong she has done, Jaena races for aid to save Wiel and destroy the Mage Defender. At stake are the lives of the last remaining taylenor as well as Jaena’s own survival – and the destruction of an ancient scourge that has reawakened to threaten all the people of Cassahn.

What is it about that form of magic or the story that intrigued you?

This is such a good question! Since I’m a discovery writer (EDITOR’S NOTE: MUCH NICER WORD THAN PANTSER!) who finds out what my novel is about while I’m writing it, the roots of Taylenor developed slowly.

Jaena, my main character, is a strong woman in spite of being a priest of a peaceful goddess. She discovers that she has unknowingly led someone into great danger, and takes it as her duty to rescue him and others who have fallen into the Mage Defender’s trap.

I was fascinated by the kind of heroism so many ordinary people show in real life – not swinging swords in battle (though there are a few battles in Taylenor), but fighting in her own way, out of a sense of duty and love. Although it turns out that Jaena has her own special ways of fighting.

As for the details of the magic – it’s a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll leave that for those who choose to read the novel!

Who do you read in this field that people should know about?

I’ve read and enjoyed many authors’ work – in and out of my favorite genres. I’ll have to pick only a few, because I could go on and on.

I started with the classics: Bradbury, Heinlein, C.S. Lewis. “The Mote in God’s Eye” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle was a favorite, a great first-contact novel. I also loved Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books are addictive space-opera reading with complex characters, and some of my favorites.

More recently, I’ve enjoyed N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, as well as Martha Wells’ All Systems Red. I always laugh a lot when reading one of Jasper Fforde’s humorous novels featuring literary detective Thursday Next. I am watching, but haven’t yet read, The Expanse series, which I think is some of the best science fiction I’ve seen on television. I appreciated George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books as well – would recommend them to anyone as essential epic fantasy.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I’ve enjoyed your questions. Readers can follow me and check out reviews and events at any of the places below. Also, I occasionally post a free short story on my Facebook author page and my blog.

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Marie-Lutz/e/B00CF67TEM/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

My blog: https://annemariesblog.wordpress.com/about/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorannemarielutz/

Twitter: @color_mage

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6569602.Anne_Marie_Lutz

Speaking of free stories. In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!