The Other Inside with JM White

There’s something evil inside me trying to get out. That premise is as old as mankind and has served as the basis of a lot of dark fantasy and horror stories. Hell, it’s why I have a thing for werewolves and what inspired the character of Johnny Lycan in my new book. It’s also the idea behind JM White’s new novel, The Other Inside.

J M, great to talk to another Black Rose Writing author. Besides the fact we share a publisher, what should we know about you?

My love affair with horror started when I was a kid. I was never much into reading. In fact, I hated it. One day I stumbled across the Goosebump series at the library, and my life changed. I went from dreading library days to stuffing three or four Goosebumps books into my backpack at a time. I realized then I didn’t hate reading—I just hadn’t found my genre. It just so happens my genre involves monsters, ghosts, and lots of blood and guts. As I got older, I graduated from R. L. Stine to Stephen King, and so on. 

When I’m not working on fiction, I am a freelance writer. I specialize in video game news and other entertainment topics like film and TV. It’s a fun gig that allows me to flex my pop culture nerdiness. My background is in psychology. I don’t do much with my degree but enjoy using it in my novels. 

What is the story about?

The Other Inside is a psychological horror novel. It follows Billie. He doesn’t have a family. Eleven years ago, his mother was murdered, and his stepfather was locked up for the crime. Because of this trauma, he fled to a small New Hampshire town to start a new life.

But Billie isn’t like everyone else. He struggles to control an animalistic thing inside him that needs blood. His affliction becomes harder to hide when his childhood best friend shows up. As Billie reconnects with her, secrets of his past unravel. He is left wondering if his stepfather really did kill his mother. And if he didn’t, who did? 

For me, the idea of having something creepy inside an otherwise normal person creeps me out. What are the roots of this story?

Despite Billie’s affliction, he is relatable. The reader knows from the get-go that Billie is a killer, but they are still rooting for him. I wanted to explore a character that viciously kills but would be the type of person to back down in a fight because they know it’s wrong. That required me to create a vampire-inspired story with a character that broke stereotypes, so no seductive good looks and sparkling skin. In fact, vampire lore is left out of the book almost entirely. Instead, I focus on a disorder I learned about in my undergrad called Renfield syndrome or Clinical Vampirism, which involves an obsession with drinking blood. Although Renfield Syndrome is not acknowledged by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it’s an interesting disorder documented by psychologists for over a hundred years. 

The Other Inside is a horror story with elements of mystery and the tiniest bit of romance. My main goal was to keep readers guessing. Is Billie an actual vampire, or is he afflicted with this disorder? While writing, I also kept in mind that there is a large “vampire” community. People that engage in the vampire lifestyle are not synonymous with having Renfield Syndrome. As I say in my Note From the Author—this book is vampire friendly, and I have no intentions to offend. 

Good luck with that- I have found there’s always someone who will be miffed, but that’s half the fun. Who did you read that inspired you?

Well, as I mentioned before, my framework started with R. L. Stine and Stephen King. I’m not sure you’ll ever meet a horror author who doesn’t pay tribute to King. It’s almost a cliché at this point.

Other than those legends, I enjoy classics like Thomas Harris (he is a must-read), Robert Bloch, Jack Ketchum, Shirley Jackson, and Nathaniel Hawthorn. I also really like Grady Hendrix, Josh Malerman, Kealan Patrick Burke, Ania Ahlborn, Gillian Flynn, and Riley Sager for some fresher names. 

It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t give a shout out to the vampire man himself—Bram Stoker—whose novel Dracula I’ve read probably five times thanks to school. If it weren’t for him, I might never have thought up Billie. 

Shameless plug time. Where can people find out more about you?

The Other Inside and my debut novel Shattered can both be found on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Links to all my books and socials can be found on my website jmwhitefiction.com. 

While on my website, check out my blog, Thirst for Thrillers, where I pair books with cocktail recipes.  

Instagram is where I am most active thanks to the lovely people of the #bookstagram community. I always post book updates, sales, giveaways, and, of course, the results of my somewhat artistic book photoshoots. Follow me on IG @jmwhitefiction

Hey everyone, just a note that we are a month and a half from the launch of Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk. If you are a blogger or reviewer on Goodreads or anywhere else and want a review copy, drop a brother a line. Preorders for EBook and on Amazon and other places start in early October!

Fantasy and SciFi from Bangladesh- Saad Hossain

I love my Kindle. It allows me to consume books like jelly beans; the price is low and if I don’t enjoy it there’s another book waiting. An advantage of this is to try Urban Fantasy from unlikely sources. On the more well-known side, there’s Nigerian author Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s David Mogo, God Killer. It was great fun, but he’s been getting a lot of love in the press. One of the more pleasant surprises was an author from Bangladesh (and if you didn’t know they had sci-fi fans in Bangladesh you’re a stupid Westerner like me.)

Saad Hossain lives in Dhaka, and writes in English. His novel, The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, leans on South Asian fantasy- Djinn (Genies to most of us) and Gurkhas (the fierce soldiers made famous during the British Colonial times) and yet has great science fiction elements. Killer AI, the city of Kathmandu, Nepal, is one of the last bastions of civilization after a worldwide disaster… there’s a lot going on. It was crazy, inspired, and completely unexpected. I needed to ask him a few questions…

Please introduce yourself to the readers, Saad.

I think I’m pretty much an accidental writer. I live in Bangladesh, I write in English, there’s a very small readership at home, and when I started out, no publishers who wanted English fiction. The odds of anyone outside Bangladesh wanting genre fiction from me was slim to none, so it really took a series of lucky breaks and accidents to even get published. I feel like I get to write with a lot of freedom because I have no target markets to deal with or any expectations. For example, my first novel was about two Iraqi black marketeers in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam, and my next one was about Djinns in modern-day Dhaka. Gurkha of course, is about djinns in the future. Other than writing I have a full-time job. I inherited a factory from my dad, so I basically manufacture yarn and export it to various places around the world. It’s not as fun as writing but it definitely pays the bills. 

I was taken by surprise by the book. You can probably describe what it’s about better than I can…

This story is about a djinn who wakes up and finds the world wholly different to how he left it. In a way, its like leaping from a fantasy setting to a science fiction one. I enjoyed writing this one. The djinn is bombastic, he talks a great game and he is in fact very powerful but he’s actually not ambitious at all and if left alone he would be quite satisfied eating, drinking and carousing somewhere. 

It’s the humans around him who goad him into action, forcing him to escalate the situation until he ends up changing the very nature of the City he’s trying to rule. This is part of the djinn universe I’m working on, so some of the characters are recurring from my earlier novel Djinn City, as well as the sequel to it which I am currently working on. 

What is it about that magic or the story that drew you to it?

I always start with a character first. I have no idea what kind of story it will turn out to be, I never outline, and I very consciously avoid thinking about the ending because I find that plotting out everything kills my motivation to actually write the damn thing. So for me, the first step is always the main character and the story sort of accretes around them. The Djinn’s nature, his predicament, his dire threats against everyone he comes across, his bewilderment that force alone is not enough to dominate his environment–all these things were interesting to me, and everything else just kind of fell into place. For example, it was natural for him to meet a Gurkha as he was coming down the mountain, but other than general background information on the legendary soldiers, I did not really have a role for in mind. It kind of developed organically, that the main story hinged on this old retired Gurkha eventually, that the human element of the story is what forced the djinn into taking part in life. 

Growing up in another part of the world, who are the authors that inspire you?

Neal Stephenson, the Baroque Cycle, as well as Snow Crash, pretty much everything he wrote.

William Gibson: I love the older stuff, Pattern Recognition is my favorite, but again, I’ll read anything by him.

Terry Prattchett: Love the guard sequence, but all of discworld is amazing. If i had to live in a fantasy world I’d take discworld.

Iain Banks: Culture series. Love the utopian thing, and the ship names.

I love rereading the Count of Monte Cristo every few years, and also Jane Austen. My favorite is Persuasion, but normally I’ll read Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion in a row. 

Where can we find you?

The easiest way is on Goodreads

And my Amazon Author Page

Not to crash the party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

The Glass Star Trilogy with Elle Lewis

One of the great things about writing fantasy and horror is worldbuilding. Unlike historical fiction, where you need to be faithful to the 1920s or make the Crusades feel like the Crusades, when you’re creating a world, you make the rules. Whether it’s an almost-regular Chicago with some magical elements, like in the Johnny Lycan stories, or you’re starting almost from scratch, like this week’s author Elle Lewis.

Elle is a fellow Black Rose Writing Author, and the creator of The Glass Star trilogy, beginning with the first book, Dark Touch and the latest installment, Genesis Rising.

Okay, so let’s start at the beginning. What’s your story?

I am a nurse by profession, but my heart belongs to monsters and imagination. While I enjoy the medical field, my true passion lies in the literary world. I began reading SF/F at a young age and was utterly captivated. These days I try to balance my career and my passion, but it is extremely difficult. I always want to be writing or collaborating with other authors on projects. I would like to go back to school soon, to obtain my masters in English/Creative Writing, so that I can spend my days talking about books and helping others create stories. 

What is the Dark Touch and your trilogy about?

The Glass Star Trilogy takes place in an alternate reality, similar to ours but also vastly different. The nature of the Universe is based on original lore that I created for the series. Readers will be introduced to many sentient beings, all powerful and complex. The main character Sloan, crosses paths with one of them- Darrow, a Dark One. Her interaction with him sets off a catalyst of events of cosmic proportion. Sloan is drawn deeper into their world with each book. As the story progresses, she learns the significance of her own power and also her true role within the Universe. Each book is a fast-paced read. The series is filled with action, suspense, and a touch of romance. 

What is it about the magic and world you write about that appeals to you?

Despite the cosmic scale of the series, the roots of the story are very human and relatable. Sloan has a tangled past, one that is painful and complicated. She is a character that is strong yet vulnerable. So while these big events are happening around her, internally she is struggling. Healing. Growing. Her character arch is inspiring and remarkable. But that’s what draws us in to SF/F isn’t it? The characters. Watching their journey. Recognizing something in them that is in us. It’s that moment that gives you goosebumps, when a character you love is beaten down, pressed into the dirt, and all hope is lost.

But yet…their eyes raise, their chin lifts, and determination makes them get back up and continue fighting. That was my greatest goal with this story. To reach out to readers that have a similar past to Sloan. To encourage them and root for them, and whisper through the pages that they are not alone. Our future is not our past. And we can change our stars. 

Who are you reading, or have read that corrupted you and made you what you are?

Of course the fantasy greats- Tolkein and Lewis. Orson Scott Card is also an author I greatly admire- Ender’s Game is one of my all time favorite books. Simply phenomenal. I have discovered some really outstanding authors recently. First and foremost- Martha Wells, the author of the Murderbot series. WOW. I’m so in love with every book in this series. To me it is SF perfection.

I have also been branching out to Horror lately, and I adore Grady Hendrix. His book- The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is one of the best books I have read this year. I also LOVED Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I gushed over every single page of this book. It is so wonderfully gothic and the ending was excellent!  

Small world! I just finished Mexican Gothic this weekend. The first 2/3 was just another haunted house novel with some fun Mexican twists, but the last hundred pages kicked my butt. Where can people learn more about you and your work?

My books are available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble. Dark Touch is the first in the series. The second is Genesis Rising. The third-Warrior of The Stars-releases 12/30/20! If you would like to follow me on social media, my Facebook Author page is- Elle Lewis@glass.star.trilogy.

Twitter @Elle_Lewis2 

IG ElleLewis5. You can follow my author page on both Amazon and Goodreads by searching Elle Lewis. And also my blog authorellelewis.blogspot.com – I post a lot of short stories here as well as some fun author/reader interviews! 

Not to crash the party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

In which the author pleads for bloggers, reviewers, and podcasters

Great oogly woogly, the publication date for Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is only 3 months away. This means I’m in that horrible limbo between relief that the damned thing is finished, and awaiting its emergence into the world.

Because I want the book to hit the ground running, I’m beginning to line up reviewers, bloggers, and other folks who can help spread the (hopefully positive) word. One of the ways Amazon deems a book worthy of promotion is if there are a lot of reviews early on.

Unlike all my other books, I’ve hired a publicist to help with this process. The talented Stephanie Caruso at Paste Creative and Frolic Blog Tours is organizing the blog tour (sounds fancy, doesn’t it?)

Here’s what you need to know:

We have PDF copies of the book available right now

Epub and Mobi copies are available probably October 1

Paperback ARCs are available now in very limited supply. First choice will go to those with established blogs, reviewers for magazines and press, especially in the Urban Fantasy/Horror area, or who are prominent reviewers on Amazon or Goodreads.

Sign up to get your review copies and be part of the blog tour which will run Noveber 12-26th By clicking here and going to the Paste Creative site. Or just drop me a line and request a copy.

You can pre-order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. The Paperback is available for pre-order at Amazon with Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

A Creepy New Tale About the Fountain of Youth- Maybe

A while back I really enjoyed a sort-of Urban Fantasy book called Markus, by an author I didn’t know, but share a publisher with. (Peace be upon Black Rose Writing.) I reached out to David Odle, and while nothing happened initially, he has a new book out and we arranged this interview. (Pro hint… if you want to get a response from an author, catch them in a pre-launch panic.)

This was a chance to talk to David about his newest effort, more of a horror/thriller thing called Kate’s Lake. Enjoy.

David, tell us about you.

Tell you about me? Whenever I’m asked this question, I always feel like there’s shockingly little to tell. Perhaps that’s why I write stories; to create fantastical characters who provide a vicarious escape into other worlds and interesting circumstances. But if it’s just me, my main love beyond family and friends (and craft beer), is simply a good story. Whether it’s a book, an article, a movie, or a TV show, a story well-told is what I find most satisfying.

I really enjoyed Markus, and was a bit surprised you shifted gears a bit. Tell me about Kate’s Lake.

I’m super-stoked about newest novel, Kate’s Lake, (released at the end of June)! I loved writing it and it may very well be the story that contains the most of my own personal characterization due to the military background of the character. The story is about a former Marine named Mick Smith, a recovering alcoholic and Iraqi combat veteran, who discovers what he believes may be the Fountain of Youth. While attending the funeral of an old friend, Mick’s dark past catches up with him as strange events spark a cascade of horrible circumstances that ultimately lead Mick to Kate’s Lake, where he discovers the horrific truth about its healing water.

You shifted away from Urban Fantasy a bit. I thought you’d be setting up a sequel to Markus, since the book ended as it did. What about this story attracted you?

Different than my debut novel, Markus, which is an Urban Fantasy, Kate’s Lake is a horror novel written in first person which allowed me to create Mick in my own image. The story is based loosely on one of my oldest friendships from the Marine Corps and was sparked one morning when I thought, what if I suddenly received a phone call that JT had died. Would I go to his funeral? And what if I decided to go and then learned that something strange was happening there. What if he wasn’t really dead? And the story began to unfold from there. I actually wrote the opening chapter several years before adding the story after it. 

The “what if” game has sent a lot of us in weird directions. It’s where Johnny Lycan came from after 3 historical novels. Who do you read?

My literary hero is Stephen King. I became hooked on books after reading Cujo when I was thirteen and from then on, I couldn’t get enough of Stephen King. I wanted to be just like him! But since then, I’ve grown more diverse and discovered a huge world of wonderful writers. Over the past year, I’ve really enjoyed Paul Tremblay, Alma Katsu, Brian Keene, Delia Owens, Pierce Brown, and Erik Larson (I love reading history). 

Besides ordering your books directly from Black Rose, where can people find your work and more about you?

Yes, I’m still learning to navigate this cyber-world, but I’m trying to establish multiple ways people can connect with me. Folks can find me at:

www.davidodle.com

Facebook – David Odle (@DavidOdleBooks)

Twitter – (@d.leroy1970)

Instagram – David Odle (@Odle.author)

Linkedin – David Odle

Not to crash the party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

The Orc is the Hero? James Jakins

One of my favorite things is when history writers take a minor character and make them the hero… or a person usually thought of as the villain is the good guy. So I was really surprised and unexpectedly amused by James Jakins, “Jack Bloodfist: Fixer” in which an Orc plays a kind of PI.

I shouldn’t be that shocked, after all I’ve made a werewolf the hero of Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk, but this was the first time I’d read something where an Orc was ever anything but a snarling bad guy. So, here’s my chat with James Jakins.

James, what’s your deal?

I’m honestly just a giant nerd. I run a weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons(or whatever system we feel like) I play video games, and I try to read as many books as my schedule allows. And I take all that stuff I love and I try to use it to make fun books for other people to enjoy.

Tell us about your book. It smells like the first in a possible series, and it’s unique to be sure.

My novel, Jack Bloodfist: Fixer, is about an orc in a suit who likes to think of himself as a Fixer. He does his part to help his orc and goblin cousins integrate into human society in a small city in Virginia. But he finds himself in over his head when an old enemy of his family shows up seeking justice for past crimes with a whole army of paladins and his angry god along for the ride.

I love that the Orc is trying to hard to be a good guy. What about that whole fantasy trope intrigued you?

In a lot of ways this series is my love letter to tabletop roleplaying games. And that’s really the appeal for me. I enjoy playing with the tropes and taking familiar character types and shaping them into a new but still recognizable shape.

I’d originally set out to just write a more traditional thriller novel. It had been meant as a way to teach myself pacing and outlining. Not as something I planned on releasing. But as I worked on it the fantasy elements started creeping in. I’d also pitched another story idea to a writer friend of mine. A book that would feature goblins. He told me he only liked the idea if I actually made the goblins the heroes of the story. With that thought in my head this particular story started to morph until it was the orcs and goblins, and other traditionally “evil” characters that were the heroes, and the holy knights of a god of justice became the villains.

Yeah, and there’s a hot Kelpie in the mix, but I don’t want to give too much away. You don’t sound like most UF writers. Who inspired you? Who do you read that others might need to know about?

This is a very long list… But to name a few: Michael McClung, Robert Jackson Bennett, Josiah Bancroft, RJ Barker, Rachel Aaron, Robert Jordan, and on and on. I have found as I get older I’m actually more inclined to venture out of my comfort zone, so I’m hoping soon that list can include more than just fantasy authors. Recommendations are always welcome.

Where can we learn more about Jack the Fixer and some of your other work?

I’m not very active on social media, but you can find my books on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14441255.James_Jakins,

Amazon: amazon.com/author/jamesjakins,

Or you can sign up for my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bHromb,

And there’s also my rarely updated blog: jamesjakins.com

Not to crash James’ party, but Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk is coming in November. Order now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November. And look to the side of the page to sign up for my newsletter.

Johnny Lycan is Available for Pre-Order

‘Utterly original, beguiling in every sense of the word and as funny as hell – Turmel’s wit and visionary prowess is a force to be reckoned with; not since American Werewolf In London has the werewolf genre had it so good!’

Ross Jeffery – author of Juniper & Tethered

I’m very pleased that my new novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk, is now available for pre-order through my publisher, Black Rose Writing.

It starts like nothing you’ve ever read from me, and I’m betting you’ll enjoy it:

“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.”

Official publication date is November 19, but you can order your paperback copy now by clicking here and going to Black Rose Writing. Use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible coming in November.

Cover Reveal: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk

While there are far more consequential things going on in the world, I have news: Johnny Lycan & the Anubis Disk has a cover. If you WERE to judge the book by the cover, you might think this book is pretty cool.

Johnny Lupul is riding high. He’s got a PI license, a concealed carry permit, his first big payday and a monster of a secret. After rescuing a bookie’s daughter from Russian mobsters, the newly-minted PI catches the attention of a rich, mysterious client.

At first, it’s easy money. After all, magic isn’t real and those “occult” objects have to be fakes. But while chasing an Egyptian relic, an obsessed enemy from his past emerges. Johnny learns that the world is much stranger—and more dangerous—than he ever suspected.

Being a werewolf may be the most normal thing he has to face on this case.

This baby is out November 19 from Black Rose Writing, preorders available soon.

Sarah Tasz- You Think Dead Malls Are Creepy? You Don’t Even Know

I’ve said before that there is a surprising amount of writing talent here in Las Vegas. One of the more prolific and involved folks is Sara Tasz. We met through Sin City Writers, which is a growing and eclectic group. She heads up the efforts on the Tuesday night group (Check Meetup for details) and heads up the online critique group that’s gotten us through this time we can’t meet in person. I’m a Thursday person, so I don’t get to see her or read her stuff in utero as I’d like. But, she has a new installment in her Dead Mawl novellas, so this was a good time to introduce her to all of you. BTW You can pre-order it here.

Sarah, tell the nice people about yourself and what you do.

I wrote my first (what I would consider) “professional” piece when I was in the eleventh grade. It was a one-act comedy play for my community theatre group. When I saw people interacting with the story I’d written, both the actors putting their own spin on the words and the audience laughing and smiling as they watched, I knew that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to tell stories that people wanted to engage with and experience. I did a fair amount of scriptwriting through college and shortly after, both for stage and film, but fiction is the one place I can make anything happen regardless of time or budget—both of which are pretty big roadblocks when you’re writing in fantastical genres, like I tend to do. Maybe I’ll return to scriptwriting at some point, but I think that would only be for the fun and collaboration. But novels, novellas, etc give me the freedom to tell the stories I really want to tell.

Your new book is “The Mourning Sun.” What’s the deal there?

The Mourning Sun, will be the fourth book in the Dead Mawl novella series (technically, it’s the fifth, but only if you count the prequel/origin story released in the omnibus and just recently as a standalone). The series is about a group of blue-collar workers—custodians and security guards—who strive to vanquish the evil entities lurking in the partially-abandoned Edensgate Shopping Center. The town they live in was once a prosperous mining city, but it was wrecked by these entities. Our heroes managed to trap the creatures (somewhat) in Edensgate, but they still try to escape again pretty much nightly.

It’s an ensemble cast—it jumps around into a few different heads depending on the installment—but it mostly focuses teenager Cari Hembert who stumbles onto the secret in the first novella and who we follow continue to follow in some capacity throughout the series. The Mourning Sun picks up right where the third book left off, and without giving too much away, on the morning after a very intense night that culminated in Cari arriving home to see her mother being attacked by a monster.

I love that your heroes are janitors and regular Joes. I mostly deal with the same kind of folks. What is it that inspired you to write this?

The heroes in Dead Mawl don’t really have magic powers in the traditional sense—they are more like D&D fighter class heroes, if that means anything to you. They each have a weapon proficiency that gives them extra skills in combat (accuracy, strength, etc), and the longer they work at the mall they gain higher endurance, faster healing, and even the ability to go for a long time without sleep. The villains, on the other hand, have a lot of magical abilities–summoning monsters and creating illusions are the big two we have seen so far—so there’s an element of research and experience that affects our heroes’ chances of being successful too. I think I like that part the most. I really don’t favor stories that have a superpowered badass just show up and fix things immediately (or they could fix things if his/her personality didn’t get in the way somehow). I like uneven matchups where the good guys must rely partially on knowledge and grit to get through it. And these heroes get hurt, even with the healing—I think every installment has seen at least one injury to a major character—so the stakes are personal as well as metaphysical.

As far as roots—the quick answer is that back in 2014 I wrote a couple pieces of Army of Darkness fan fiction. They were just for fun, but I liked the characters I created so much I cut out all the borrowed IP, reconfigured the plot, changed the setting from an S-Mart in Michigan to a semi-abandoned mall in Nevada, and here we are.

The longer answer is that I worked several blue-collar jobs when I was in high school and into college, including cashier and custodian, and I’ve had it in my head to do a hero story about characters in those fields ever since. These jobs are physically demanding, they are often boring and repetitive, they are looked down on as unskilled, and yet without people in these roles we would be lost. With everything that has happened over the past few months I think people are starting to get it, which is nice. Hopefully, it translates into higher wages, but we will see.

I’m going to smile, nod, and pretend I know what a D &D Fighter Class whatever is, but I get it. And Fan Fiction has started the careers of a lot of writers. Who do you read that people should know about?

This is always a tough question for me because I’m pretty all over the place. As far as writers in and adjacent to my genre, I’m a big fan of Grady Hendrix, Drew Magary, Jim Butcher and Stephen King (of course). I also enjoy some of the more delicate contemporary fantasies that have come out in recent years, like The Night Circus, An Unkindness of Magicians, and The Rook. Currently, however, I’m reading through James Ellroy’s L.A. Quarter series—I just finished The Big Nowhere and will move on to L.A. Confidential next–and I’m loving pretty much every minute despite having no magic at all. There’s very little genre-wise that I won’t try, except for maybe straight-up romance—and even then I might roll the dice if the premise sounds interesting enough.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

ou can preorder The Mourning Sun on Amazon or buy my books on my website: www.sgtasz.com. That’s where I have my blog, which I try to keep up with once a week or so. I also have a Medium publication (https://medium.com/the-uglycat) where I exclusively feature pieces about Vegas/by Vegas writers.

And here is my social media:

Twitter: @ugylcat24

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sgtasz/

Amazon Author Profile link: http://amzn.to/2EvT4oV

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18849380.S_G_Tasz

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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.