Time Burrito needs your help!

timeburrito_kindleFor those of you who’ve been following this blog since I’ve been writing silly irreverent humor essays, this book is for you. I finally found a story that’s a perfect marriage of my love of humor and Science Fiction. The good news is that you are going to get a copy of it for free, but I’m going to need your help. Time Burrito is in the running for a publishing deal with Amazon, but it needs nominations to do it.

Nominating doesn’t take much time, and you’ll get a free kindle copy of the book if it’s selected. You can nominate by clicking the link below or the picture of the cat on a burrito flying through space. Be sure to check out the excerpt before you do.

Nominate Time Burrito here.

Here’s a short description of the book: Pete’s food truck at the University of New Mexico isn’t going well. Seniors dare freshman to eat his burritos. Frats use them for pledges and pranks. Rumors fly around campus that they are chupacabra ground up with rat. Pete needs a change, and it comes in the form of a physics experiment gone awry. After being sucked into the past, he stumbles across an ingredient that goes great in one of his creations. First, there was Marty McFly. Then there was Bill and Ted. And now Pete—

My Dystopian Valentine

My dystopian novel, Atmospheric Pressure, was selected to be in a 6 book bundle for Valentine’s day. Check it out:

dystopiancover

Exclusive 6 Book Bundle That Will Break Your Heart

This limited release 6 book bundle is perfect for Valentine’s Day, at least if you want to delve into heartbreak and action that will leave you yearning for more. It includes Sundown Apocalypse by Leo Nix, Simulation by M. Black, Lily of the Valley by Ruth White, Atmospheric Pressure by Aaron Frale, Planet Fall 1799 by Chogan Swan, and Stories from the War by Autumn Birt. You can grab a copy by clicking the link below:

Get This Limited Time Release for only 99¢

I’m also participating in a free download extravaganza for Science Fiction and Fantasy YA Authors. You can get a free copy of the first Teristaque Chronicles story Kal’s Fall along with many other great books. Check them out over here.

Author Spotlight – Me!

I’m assuming that if you’re on my blog you probably wanted to see how I answered the questions too. If you missed the other authors please go back and check them out!

Bio: Aaron Frale co-wrote a no-budget comedy flick called Hamlet the Vampire Slayer. His first novel is Playlist of the Ancient Dead. The University of New Mexico gave him a MFA in Dramatic Writing. He also screams and plays guitar for the prog/metal band Spiral. He lives with his wife Felicia, two cats, and a small dog who thinks he’s a large dog in Columbia Heights, MN.

Questions:

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write?

Aaron: Patience. It takes time to write a good story and takes time to build an audience.

How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?

Aaron: I rarely plan. I just write and see what happens.

Of all your characters, do you have a favorite?

Aaron: I have a soft some for wierdos with irreverent humor.

How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Aaron: It takes about six months to a year depending on my life outside of writing.

What motivated you to write your novel?

Aaron: I used to write screenplays and I realized that a lot of things had to fall into place to get a movie I wrote on the screen. Whereas books, I could do it myself.

Name three favorite authors and why they impress you.

Aaron: Douglas Adams – For pioneering comedy science fiction

Joss Whedon – For pioneering horror comedy

Neil Gaimen – For being an awesome human being

Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting?

Aaron: I like making up my own settings.

Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack.

Aaron: Not really. I wish I had more time to do it.

How do you own experiences influence what you write?

Aaron: Some of the humorous stories in the character’s backgrounds have really happened. My first book had a talking dog character that was an ongoing anthropomorphizing joke my and I have about our dog.

If you were a ninja with a vendetta to whom would it be? OR If you had to throw something into mount Doom to save the world, what would it be? OR If you had a group of celebrities to plan the perfect heist who would they be and what would you be after? (If you couldn’t already tell, these were the questions I added to the pot 🙂 )

Aaron: As a ninja, I would strike at the heart of climate change deniers. I would through income inequality into Mount Doom and now that the world is fixed, I would round up the cast of Star Trek Voyager to raid the prop room of Star Trek Discovery.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Aaron: I work on something different. It helps to have several going at once.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Aaron: First draft. It’s always the most fun.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book, what would it be? (Ominbuses,  complete works, and how to books are forbidden!) (Laura)

Aaron: Hitchhiker’s Guide (because you’ll need the towel).

Links: At the top of this page. Books. Go ahead click there. They won’t bite.

 

Author Spotlight – KAY L. LING

Bio: Kay L. Ling began writing fiction at an early age. In grade school, her stories evidenced a sense of wonder and love of adventure. In one, mythical creatures lived and traveled inside a rainbow, and in another, a bored sixth-grader turned her teacher into a maroon sofa and then teleported herself to London. As she grew up, Kay never lost her ability to imagine strange and wondrous peoples and places, and now she would like to share her unique fantasy adventures with others.

Questions:

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write?

Kay: Become a more observant reader. Study your favorite authors and note the writing skills that set their books apart. See if you need improvement in those areas.

How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?

Kay: When I begin a novel I know the opening, the overall plot, and the resolution. From there, each chapter builds organically upon the last. As the story progresses, plot points often fit together in surprising ways. I’m motivated to keep writing to see what happens!

Of all your characters, do you have a favorite?

Kay: Lana, the lead character in Beyond the Forest is my favorite, but I enjoy some of my non-human characters almost as much.

How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)? (Joy)

I spent at least two years rewriting and polishing Beyond the Forest, a novel I wrote and then abandoned in the 1980s due to my time-consuming career. So, I suppose I could say it took me three decades to write it!

What motivated you to write your novel?

Kay: The setting of my novel is loosely based on a local forest preserve. While hiking the trails and enjoying the solitude, I imagined strange beings hiding among the trees, watching me. Those beings became the woodland gnomes in my story, and I created a plot that involved our world and theirs.

Name three favorite authors and why they impress you.

Kay: 1: J. R. R. Tolkien. He created entire races with diverse cultures, and placed them in Middle Earth–a world that felt as real as our own.

2: J. K. Rowling. While reading the Harry Potter series I asked myself countless times, where does she come up with this stuff?!! Writing courses can’t give you a great imagination. Either you have one or you don’t.

3: Brandon Sanderson. His magic systems are always unique, and he provides enough details to make it all seem completely plausible.

Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting?

Kay: Neither, actually. I like to take readers on an adventure and give them experiences they’d never have in real life. Fantasy novels allow me to do that. Creating a unique world has its own challenges, but minimal research is required.

Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack.

Kay: Generally, a cup of good, strong coffee is all I need, since I usually begin writing in the morning.

How do your own experiences influence what you write?

Kay: I’ve always loved to travel, so I like to invent new worlds to explore. Other interests, such as gems and their folklore, worked their way into my book as well. Writing that includes personal experiences or themes that touch the author can be very powerful.

If you had to throw something into Mount Doom to save the world, what would it be?

Kay: I wish an object could be thrown into Mount Doom to save the world. The ring, which was consumed by fire and destroyed, is a focal part of the story, but the ring bearer’s unwillingness to give up the ring and cast it into the fire teaches us an important lesson. It’s not easy to break evil’s hold on us.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Kay: I rarely experience writer’s block. It helps to stop writing in the middle of a scene, or at a point where you know what happens next and you’re anxious to finish it. That makes it easy to pick up next time where you left off.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Kay: I enjoy writing the first draft and living the adventure as I write it. If I’m totally caught up in the story myself, there’s little chance the reader will be bored.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book, what would it be?

Kay: The Bible! Not only would I need God’s help to survive, the Bible is full of fascinating stories.

Novel Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6AIPYX

Web link:

https://www.facebook.com/KayLLing.author

Author Spolight – BILL HIATT

Bio: As far back as he can remember, Bill Hiatt had a love for reading so intense that he eventually ended up owning over eight thousand books–not counting e-books! He has also loved to write for almost that long. As an English teacher, he had little time to write, though he always felt there were stories within him that longed to get out, and he did manage to publish a few books near the end of his teaching career. Now that he is retired from teaching, the stories are even more anxious to get out into the world, and they will not be denied!

 

Novel Links: Living with Your Past Selves: http://viewbook.at/B00987M4CI  Different Lee: http://viewbook.at/differentlee  I think the third was either The Devil Hath the Power: http://viewbook.at/devilhathpower or We Walk in Darkness: http://viewbook.at/wewalk.

Questions:

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write?

Bill: Be persistent. Getting the recognition you deserve will be difficult at best. Success comes to those who are willing to “hang in” no matter what. Occasionally someone’s first novel will take the world by storm, but most of the time success in this field, as in most creative fields, comes from painstaking ongoing content creation, accompanied by brand-building efforts.

How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person? (Steve)
I’m both. I have a general idea of where I want to go and how I want to get there, but nothing is set in stone. I try to let the nature of the characters and the situations drive the plot. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of something and say, “No, it wouldn’t happen this way.” I’d like to think my novels look meticulously planned, but in fact what readers see is a combination of planning and spontaneity.

Of all your characters, do you have a favorite? (Luke)
I feel an attachment to all of them, but I suppose my favorite is Taliesin Weaver, my first main character. In some ways, he’s the one who got me started. I had him in mind initially for a completely different project, which I scrapped. However, I became so interested in him that I ended up building my first novel around his problems. If not for him, I might never have ended up being a writer.

How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?
Bill: Full-length novels typically take three to six months, depending on their length and complexity, as well as upon how many other demands on my time there are while I’m writing.

What motivated you to write your novel?

Bill: As long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in writing, but for most of my career as an English teacher, I couldn’t find the time. The breakthrough occurred when I was trying to write a grammar test, which I normally hated doing. On a whim, I decided to take a more narrative approach and asked students if I could use them as characters. I sat down to write a grammar test in the form of a mild horror story (it was Halloween week) with the students as characters. I ended up staying up almost all night writing it, at which point I realized I had not really given up on writing. After that I tried to make a little time for writing, and when I retired, I devoted much more time to it. (The students in that class not only loved the narrative grammar test but demanded more. They scored better on the grammar final exam than any class I’ve ever had.)

Name three favorite authors and why they impress you.

Bill: That’s a hard question, considering how many authors I love. I’d say Italo Calvino, Tim Powers, and John M. Ford, all three for the compelling richness of their imaginations. Calvino, if not for his untimely death, might have won a Nobel Prize. The other two are less well-known, and Ford is out of print, but they are all well worth reading.

Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting?

Bill: I’m somewhere in the middle. As a fantasy writer, my works are often a combination of the familiar with the imaginary. For instance, my first was set partly in Santa Barbara and partly in Annwn, the Welsh Otherworld. I have also researched real-world settings with which I was not familiar.

Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack.

Bill: I don’t really have a particular writing ritual, but I do have a ritual for when I’m too tired but must go on. I play seventies music and keep telling myself I’m sixteen. Amazingly, that boosts my energy—for awhile.

If you had to throw something into mount Doom to save the world, what would it be?

Bill: What would I not throw into Mount Doom to save the world? After all, it’s the world, and therefore less replaceable than anything I might throw in. That said, I couldn’t bring myself to throw another person in. Aside from that, anything would be fair game.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Bill: I find that doing something less and letting my subconscious roll the problem around usually does the trick. I’ve never really stayed blocked for that long.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? (i.e. first draft, editing, etc…) (Greg)
The initial creative process, though I like polishing the material too. That said, does anyone actually like that last, tedious edit.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with only one book, what would it be?

Bill: Being a fantasy writer, I’d have to say Merlin’s grimoire r something similar, so I could learn how to open a gateway into another world and escape from the island.

Novel Links:

Novel Links: Living with Your Past Selves: http://viewbook.at/B00987M4CI

Different Lee: http://viewbook.at/differentlee

I think the third was either The Devil Hath the Power: http://viewbook.at/devilhathpower or We Walk in Darkness: http://viewbook.at/wewalk

Author Spotlight: LAURA GREENWOOD

Hello all. I’m doing a group promotion with some other authors this week. I’ll be sharing a few on my blog and will be sending a few tweets with the complete list. Please check them all.

Bio: I like to write whichever weird and wonderful tale comes into my head, which makes identifying the genre difficult even for me! My first series, Alventia, are novellas centred around Keira, aka Sleeping Beauty, and her Prince Philip, along with their allies Hansel and Gretel. It’s a tale that very much told itself as I started to write it!
While I’m not writing, I work in Catering and am also an Assistant Brownie Guide Leader in the Midlands (UK). I like to bake and I love to read, and like with my writing, I read an eclectic mix of genres, and love every minute of it!

Questions:

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to write?

Laura: Just go for it! Write whatever crazy story comes into your head, because chances are that if you want to write it, someone somewhere will want to read it! Besides, if you don’t get  the story out of your head, the voices will just get stronger!

How do you approach your stories; do you plan everything out before starting, or are you more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of a person?

Laura: I am most definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person! My first novella, Awakening, started off with the intention of the Sleeping Beauty character (Keira) basically becoming a bloodthirsty vampire (it was based on a couple of short stories I’d written to that effect). Did that happen when I wrote it? Of course not! With its sequel, Cloaked, I wrote the final chapter first and it is hands down one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write because I had to get it to that point. However, I am now attempting a planned approached so we’ll see how that goes!

Of all your characters, do you have a favorite?

Laura: I think I have two (am I allowed to say that? I’m not sure!) The first is Annabelle from What Lies Beneath the Mask. Not many people would be able to tell, but there was a lot of me that went in to her. Including some of the bad parts. Writing her was kind of therapeutic. But also, the book had a lot of my best friend in too (she encouraged me to write it and broach the subject of abusive relationships in the first place), and that will always make that book, and it’s narrator, special to me.

The other is Gretel from my Alventia Series. I only really saw her from the main characters POV in the first book, and that was coloured by jealousy, but the second book gave Gretel her own POV and I really grew to like her. I think she’s the best character in that series!

How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Laura: My most recent published is What Lies Beneath the Mask, which I started in late January and published on the 1st December. It took me about 2 1/2 months to write the first draft, around my day job and other commitments.

However, the last novel I wrote, Siren’s Storm, took just under a month (I had a slow start to NaNo!) So that’s pretty much the benchmark now!

What motivated you to write your novel?

Laura: What Lies Beneath the Mask sprung to life because I love Phantom of the Opera and was listening to the soundtrack in the car (yes I’m just that cool!) It was originally going to be a retelling, but, while it does retain some parts of that, it morphed and changed due to the influence of my best friend, Anna. It was that that moved me away from the love triangle element (because at heart I am most definitely a Raoul advocate) and moved more towards a dark past for Annabelle. But, if I’m honest with myself, the main motivator I had in writing the book was the realisation that I wanted what I was giving my character; a reason to get past a bad relationship.

Name three favorite authors and why they impress you. (Kay)

JK Rowling! She just can’t be missed from my list! I’m from the Harry Potter generation and can remember the excitement of waiting for the next book to come out (and I recently learned that my Mum was the same, and she’d wait until I was asleep so that she could nick the book and read it too!) But also, because JKR does so much good. She genuinely seems to want to make the world a better place.

Brandon Sanderson. His Mistborn trilogy is the reason I got back into reading big time. Each book I pick up has such a unique world, with so many different nuances that I can’t help but be drawn in. And as a wannabe Fantasy author, such unique magic systems have to be admired!

JA Huss. Because there does need to be an Indie on the list! But also her books are so on the edge of your seat, and really twisted. I’ve read a book of hers that I wasn’t sure I’d like because of the subject matter; I ended up giving it 5 stars.

Would you rather set your story in a place and time you are familiar with, or would you rather research a totally different setting? (Ruth) I’ll be honest, I love the idea of historical fiction but I don’t have the patience, or the time, to do the research for it. So I either make up a setting (for Fantasy),  or I stick to somewhere I know but don’t actually say where it is. For example, in my head, What Lies Beneath the Mask is set in York, a city in Northern England, but I never once said that. There are clues that the book is set in the UK (mainly because I’d do that without realising it!) but I don’t want to impose a setting on readers who want it to look different!

Do you have any little writing rituals or quirks? E.g. an object you have to have on your desk, a particular drink or snack.

Laura: I actually do! I like to watch murder programs (like Snapped and Fatal Attraction) while I write. My Mum’s a big fan of them and I think it’s rubbed off!

How do you own experiences influence what you write? (Bill) Most of the time, not that much. Other than places I’ve been inspiring me in some way (like visiting the Red Light district in Amsterdam, that was the main influence behind a dystopia I’m writing, though maybe not in the obvious way).

But with What Lies Beneath the Mask, there’s much more of my life experience in it. There’s a couple of in – jokes for my best friend in there (masquerading as in jokes between Hayley and Annabelle! And one of the stage hands, Susan). Also some of the issues that Annabelle has trusting Jack and moving forward in their relationship have roots in my own experiences (though I put Annabelle through far worse than I experienced).

If you were a ninja with a vendetta to whom would it be? OR If you had to throw something into mount Doom to save the world, what would it be? OR If you had a group of celebrities to plan the perfect heist who would they be and what would you be after?

Laura: Vendetta question! The man who literally just dented my car! Well no, probably not! My vendetta would probably be against the optician clerk that once made me cry (I was 13, maybe 14 at the time) who accused me of sitting on my glasses (they’d broken during a maths lesson) despite the fact that I need them in order to see mere centremetres in front of me. He then wanted to charge me £150 to fix it. FYI I did get a free replacement pair after the waterworks, but it was still a traumatic experience!

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Laura: I’ll be honest, I don’t. I’ll literally just sit there staring at the page. Eventually it goes away (sometimes after a few days!) Or, I’ll plot out something for a different project and then get annoyed with myself that I can’t write that straight away!

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Laura: My favourite part is when everything slots together.  The “oh yeah” moment where you realise the perfect ending or scene for later. I’ve learnt my lesson not to write that scene or ending until it’s chronologically time though! My most recent moment involved a dragon, that wasn’t going to appear in the book originally but just popped in and now it makes perfect sense it being there!

You can keep up to date with any of my writing progress by signing up to my Newsletter here: https://goo.gl/A3tI1s

Author Links:

http://www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk

http://facebook.com/authorlauragreenwood/

http://twitter.com/lauramg_tdir

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7788024.Laura_Greenwood

 

Even More Free Books!

I’m giving away Kal’s Fall (The First Teristaque Chronicles story) away for free on instaFreebie. The best part is that there are over 20 Space Opera stories that you can get during the promotion. So head over to the link below and get them all!

20 Free Space Operas

If you want the first five stories of the Teristaque Chronicles in one collection, go here.

instafreebanner