A Discovery of Writers – 3

Terry Harrington – Broken Karma

Q. Did any of your previous work influence the story you wrote for the anthology? If not, what was your inspiration – If so – how?

I haven’t written anything like ‘Broken Karma’ in the past. My inspiration for this story partially came from my own life and going through a separation after being married for 27 years. I reflected on the path I have taken over the past year and captured some of the emotions I felt during that journey.
Although it is a work of fiction, I think everyone has felt at one time in their life that their karma was broken. Deep down, they know they are a good person, but everything in their life is working against them – Their home life, their work life, their social life, nothing seems to go right.
In the end, my character discovered that it wasn’t his karma that was broken, but the people around him and their choices were not working toward his goals. He made some changes to better his life and became a stronger person.
My main message came at the end of the story where he invited to a party all the people in his life, good or bad, to share in the success of his new life. He didn’t hold any anger or animosity toward them. He discovered that they each helped him become stronger and achieve this point in his life.
Once I reached this point in my own life, things started turning for the better. I forgave, but understood the role others played in my life. I fit them in, even with their deceit. I quit my job and found a place to work where I am happier. And, I found a group of friends that support me for who I am.
I felt that was worth sharing with the world.

Gary Little – Ring Around the Rosie

Q. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

My answer to that question is a palette of multiple characters. I chose a little bit from my wife, some from my sister (she always thinks she’s smarter than me) and wives I have known through Barbershop. I do have to admit I may tend towards the masculine, though. Oh yeah, and there is this author I know that I may use to add an accent to a character. 🙂

D.A. Steen – Praenuntia

Q.     Do you hide any secrets in your books/ stories that only a few people will find?

Killing Lee
My best friend growing up (and still), is a guy named Lee. For fun, (and with his enthusiastic approval) I try to find a new way to kill off a “Lee” character in most of my projects. Let me add here that I don’t use gratuitous violence in my stories, but if, in writing my preferred genres of fantasy, sci-fi, and suspense, the plot requires a dark turn here or there, I usually try to kill off a version of Lee. I’ve used the names Lee, Leeman, Leland, Liam, Leo, and Lenny and have so far had the pleasure of drowning him, shooting him, pushing him off a cliff, burying him in the sand, and sending him forever tumbling through a rip in deep space. Good times, right? It sounds a little dark but it’s all in fun and has served as a long-running source of entertainment and laughter between my friend and me.  

As for the novel I’ve been writing, The Tumultu, I’m on the 3rd to 4th draft. After four years, it is a heckuva tale. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the value of outlining. I wish I’d planned better from the beginning. 

My website is https://www.dasteen.com/

On facebook I am http://www.facebook.com/thewriterdasteen

Ryan Benson – Death, My First and Last Friend

Q. What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on a few short stories, as I figure out the story to my novel. One of the stories I’m working on a horror story about a person trapped in a town, and the other is a sci-fi short story about a society of clones.

Twitter – @RyanWBenson

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A Discovery of Writers – 2

Edmund Stone – Audrey’s Discovery

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I love fishing almost as much as I do writing. I feel like Ernest Hemingway catching marlins and giant tunas in the Caribbean. Now, back to the question. I remember when I was about five years old, I pronounced a large word. It was transcontinental. I read it from over my mom’s shoulder and she was ecstatic. My mom has always been an avid reader and encouraged me to read at a young age. After this encounter, I knew words carried weight and I would choose my words carefully so they would have the biggest impact. I wasn’t the best speaker so writing became a way for me to express those words. It became my language of expression to the world. Thanks for the opportunity.

WEBSITE

Sarah Gribble – Careful What You Wish For.

Q. In a nut shell, how did your story of discovery show it self to you?

This story was a fun one for me. For weeks I ruminated on the theme and honestly had no idea what I wanted to write for it. Then I picked up a new book, read about three paragraphs, and the opening lines for my story just popped into my head. I always have a notebook nearby, so I jotted the lines down and went back to reading. I wasn’t sure where I was going with the story yet. But I couldn’t concentrate on reading; the story kept popping in my head with new lines. About an hour and a half later, I’d scribbled the entire thing in one mad frenzy of writing. I could barely move my hand afterward, but I didn’t care. I love it when stories take over me like that! It happens rarely, but when it does it makes all the hard days of writing worth it.

Instagram  is probably the best way to connect with me right now. There’s also my site for email sign-ups WEBSITE.

Theresa Jacobs – Josie and the Muse.

Q. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

This is the hardest question for me to answer because though I’m a voracious reader, I’ve never been a socializer. Those two things go hand in hand- don’t you think? Until I began writing, only five short years ago, I did not connect with people about books or writing. Therefore, other then the most obvious famous books, I have no inkling as to what might be an underappreciated book. I will tell you one of my all time favorite books is: Dreams Of Leaving by Rupert Thomson. So if you’ve never heard of it grab a copy and we’ll talk. 

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Cathy Ryan – A Gentle Sort of Love.

Q. What about story telling and writing is the most important for you?

I do think fiction stories must entertain first, but then, when that entertainment contract, that promise made by the writer to the reader is filled so that there is a degree of trust, there is an opportunity for the writer to inspire or to challenge the reader to look at the world differently, perhaps to understand another more deeply, perhaps to endure more patiently in hope of a better tomorrow, perhaps to love more honestly, perhaps to risk more, to change or to affirm something within themselves. (That’s a terribly long sentence, isn’t it?) So in addition to entertainment, it’s important to me that my stories resonate with readers and inspire them in a positive way.

I’ve noticed a growing societal disdain for men so that women seem to feel emboldened to treat them with contempt and rudeness, even those they profess to love. It’s not cute or clever and I don’t want my sons treated that way. A particularly egregious demonstration of this behavior (and a litter of stray puppies in the road one day) came together in the story ‘A Gentle Sort of Love.’

WEBSITE

J. H. O’Rourke – Urban Legend.

Q. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? 

Oh my, just one?  Haha.  Okay.  The ONE thing holding me back from becoming a better writer more than any other is Perfectionism.  I re-read and edit as I go, checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos.  I spend nearly as much time seeking a ‘better’ verb or adjective on an online thesaurus as I do actually writing my stories.  I feel strongly that procrastination is part of my own ‘special’ type of perfectionism.  For me, they are one and the same: checking, re-checking, scolding myself, second-guessing my word choices, and changing sentence structure as I write.   When I force myself to ‘just write’ whatever is in my head without reviewing what I’ve written, I feel as if I’m doing something wrong or forgetting something important or even vital to my story.  This is something I have to work on.  Logically I know this is what drafts are all about, but tell that to my writer’s brain!

WEBSITE

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Matthew Hart – Grace at the Intermission

Q. What inspired my story for the theme of discovery?

My story Grace at the intermission is actually an amalgamation of two stories I had started.Well, actually one was more just the diner scene and interactions. I pictured that particular one as a mystery in which the protagonist i.e. Kevin was searching for his sister. The discovery aspect was in finding romance/attraction with Genevieve. The other story was a supernatural angel and demon battle. The difference between the original version and the finished version the protagonist was truly a demon who had been supplanted by the other demon. The angle was an ally of necessity. As I was searching through my notes and unfinished work trying to find something to work on and submit it struck me as a good fit if the two were combined. The reader would discover that the people in the diner were not human and Galadriel and Genevieve would discover they were pair bonded from times inception. 

The Write Practice BookBaybZ MC D'Alton

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A Discovery of Writers – 1

Over the next week The BookBaybZ will be chatting with the Authors of this awesome anthology of short stories all based on the theme of Discovery.

Here’s a little about each of them.

W. E. Pearson – The Caul

Q. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Because I belong to a writing forum and help moderate the site for over 4 years, I am friends with many, many writers/authors. They all write in many different genres and some specifically write in a targeted genre. This alone has stretched me as a writer because I have gone out of my comfort zone to read horror stories/novels in particular. It’s given me an appreciation for psychological fears expressed in stories.
These writer/author friends help me write better because many of them have read everything I’ve ever written. Their consistent interest and readership support has given me the needed feedback I require to not only get my first draft down but even multiple edits (second drafts). I also reciprocate and follow their stories/novels and critique their work.

You can connect with Wendy on Twitter

@wendypearson777

David Ratledge – Microfictions

Q. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction? Did this influence your story?

I began, as many often do, reading a lot of books about the craft of writing. Two books in particular that made me think differently about writing fiction were Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story. They made me understand for the first time that there is no magic recipe for writing fiction, yet there is so much to learn in order to be able to write fiction well. For example, while there are plenty of nuts and bolts kinds of things that need to be  learned and skillfully applied, there is so much more beyond that. These other more hard-to-define things are perhaps impossible to teach and have to be learned by each writer in their own way and in their own time. The experience is different for everyone, and the path each writer takes is highly individual and personal. 
While I have only just begun my journey to become a writer, without the understanding I gained from reading these two books I doubt I could have created the stories I did. They gave me both the confidence to write the stories and the courage to offer them up for publication. 

The best way to connect with me at this time is on Twitter

Joslyn Chase – Something Wonderful

Q. How do you select the names of your characters?

When I choose a character’s name, I slide into the zone and let myself think about who he or she is and all the little parts that go into making them that way. And I pay attention to what comes into my mind. When I’ve found something that I think sounds right, I type it into Google to make sure I haven’t unintentionally put together the name of a well-known person.
Sometimes I find that my subconscious chooses a name with significance I didn’t realize. For instance, I have a book coming out in November called Steadman’s Blind. The protagonist is loosely based on a Chief Deputy from our local Sheriff’s department whose initials are R.S. so I decided to keep those initials and I came up with the name Randall Steadman, seemingly at random. I just liked the sound of the name. However, as I wrote the book, I began to recognize the sturdy character I was dealing with, truly a steady man.
In another instance, I had a character who was out for some vigilante payback. I named her Adalet, which is the Turkish word for justice. I think names are important, and I try to choose them well.

My new book is up for pre-order and I’ve got an awesome deal going, allowing readers to pick up a free copy of my full-length thriller Nocturne In Ashes which ties in with Steadman’s Blind, plus a video virtual tour of the book’s setting, plus a bonus short story featuring Steadman and his partner, Frost. All for a special price of $2.99. If you’d like to link to the pre-order bonus package, I wouldn’t complain!

Joslyn Chase’s most recent book, Double Eclipse, packs twice the suspense, with one mystery and one thriller intertwined beneath a total eclipse of the sun. Her novella, The Tower, is a Romantic Suspense set for release in November 2018. What Leads A Man To Murder, her collection of short suspense, is available for free at joslynchase.com. When she’s not reading or writing, Joslyn loves traveling, teaching, and playing the piano.

Joe Arcara – The Tunnel

Q. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The idea of a spirit animal gave me pause, as I don’t believe I’ve ever thought along those lines before your email. Upon reflection, I suppose most men would choose a bear, wolf or other strong, virile animal. Having the advantage of seventy years of life, I think my spirit animal is most definitely a turtle. Hard shell, but soft inside. Moves slowly, but with purpose and persistence. Yup. It’s a turtle.
My website is josepharcara.com

Justin Boote – Discovering Monsters

Q. What did you edit out of this book/story?

As founding member and instigator of the anthology, my main concern was general editing for all stories, from first to second, and in some cases, third drafts, removing or changing any profanity and ensuring each story flowed smoothly with no plotholes or questions left unexplained or answered, occasionally rewriting the odd scene to flow better.

You can find out more about Justin HERE

John King – Beware the Sea Dragon

Q. Do you have any expectations of your readers?

To answer your question, I’m hoping for my readers to get invested in the characters. 
It may only be a short story, but Sam and the Sea Dragon are part of a much larger, if still fictional world; a world that I’m hoping to expand upon with my own fantasy book series The Three Tails Legends. My first book, Three Tails Legend: The White Wolf, should be out by Winter of 2020, and hopefully, more will follow, some featuring the Sea Dragons and expanding on their culture, their creation and their role in the world.

You can touch base with John HERE

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You can purchase your very own Ebook or paper back copy of A Discovery of Writers HERE AND REMEMBER – all proceeds go to charity!

New Beginnings

DEALT IN SIN

by

Sasha Hanton

Morgan wants power so she makes a deal. What she doesn’t account for is deals with a demon always come with a hidden cost.

New Beginnings Anthology BookBaybZ Author interviews

Sasha Hanton grew up in the tropics of Darwin, Northern Territory. From a young age, she devoured books and iced coffee, both of which she continues to intake on an almost daily basis. Now living on beautiful Bribie Island in Queensland her time is split between writing and spoiling her puppy Miley.

Sasha, who has a Bachelor of Journalism from Bond University, has dabbled in the journalistic profession but finds fiction far more fascinating. Her first published work The Short Story Press Collection draws on her love for a diverse range of genres and passion for short stories.

Throughout her life, she has been a lover of history and mythology, and at any time will find some way to weave one or the other into her storytelling. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found walking her dog and volunteering.

Q.   Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

I have an ebook called Customerpocalypse which was pretty draining on me to write. Mostly it left me empty because I wrote it during a difficult stage in my life, I was working in a tiresome job and coming home dead tired but forced myself to write it for NaNoWriMo. The subject material and genre were also very outside my normal zone; it’s more of a comedy and handles working in customer service and living in a post-apocalyptic society.

Q.   Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters? If no, why, if yes…why?

Yes because I was very dissatisfied with a plot development that was occurring so I peeked at the ending to see if I was interested in finishing the book (it was the first in a series)—I wasn’t.

@aaronburden

Q.       Who is the best villain you have written to date?

To date probably the only overtly villainous character I’ve written is Celtic, a malevolent spirit in my manuscript It’s All Magic to Me (which I’m currently sending out to publishers).

Q.    Best closing scene, you have written?

I actually really like the closing scene I wrote for Customerpocalypse, both the original closer I wrote for it and the epilogue closer I added later. For a book that completely drained me I’m really satisfied with how I ended it.

Excerpt from your story.

The heady smell of lavender choked the air. Shadows danced across the walls, twisting with the flicker of candlelight. Morgan sat in the centre of the room, her burgundy hair tumbling over her shoulders and creating a veil over her face.

She had agonised over every little detail in her preparation and it had taken days of planning to acquire the resources for the ritual. The thick white chalk lines alone had taken over a day to correctly mark on the cement floor. Twisted words rolled off her tongue as she started with a whisper, slowly raising her voice. Her eyes were closed, the strain of keeping them that way but a small price to pay if this worked. She felt a breeze surrounding her, heard the low whistle piercing the silence and sensed—deep in her gut—the pull of magic, fear and anxiousness.

“Who summons me?” The voice assailed her ears, its words creeping inside her and writhing beneath her skin. Biting her bottom lip and clenching her nails into her palms, Morgan struggled to keep her eyes closed.

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The Teacup

BEGINNINGS

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

16 stories.

16 Australian authors.

One theme.

Beginnings.

Austin P. Sheehan BookBaybZ

Austin P. Sheehan is a writer of speculative fiction, a lover of language, literature and ’90s TV.

Armed with a psychology degree, he went out into the world to further study humanity, and now prefers the company of his wife and their greyhounds.

He grew up in the valleys of Victoria’s high country, and despite living in Melbourne for the past decade, he always feels at home amongst the mountains. In fact you’ll often find mountains in his stories, whether they’re sci-fi, fantasy or alternative history.

Austin has also been getting coffees and doing photocopying as the work experience kid at the Aussie Speculative Fiction group.

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

“Two possibilities exist; either we’re alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

Q.   Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

My novel tentatively titled ‘Emma and the Madhouse Kids’ was the first book I’d written, it was a bizarre feeling of elation and exhaustion when i finally wrote ‘the end.’  I thought I’d finally be able to return to a normal life and see my friends and family again. 

 

Q.  What don’t you want to see in a well-written villain that happens frequently?

Usually if they’re written well, they aren’t one-dimensional stereotypes. or completely flawless except for one glaring weakness.

Q. Best closing scene, you have written?

The ending of ‘Emma and the Madhouse Kids’ still brings tears to my eyes, but people have also reacted rather strongly to the end of ‘A Song for Ganymede’ so I can’t wait to share those with the world.

 

@heftiba

‘The Teacup’ is a story set in an alternate-history Germany, where something particularly nasty is hiding in the mountains near Rettenberg.  It focuses on Franz Kessler, the village repairman, his wife Marguerite, and their daughter Astrid, who enjoys reading Franz’s tea leaves.

EXCERPT FROM THE TEACUP

Franz Kessler gave his teacup to Astrid, who smiled back at him before examining its contents. This was their ritual. Every morning she would whisper a word to him, over breakfast he would consider it while he sipped at his tea, and pass the teacup back to her when it was almost empty. Today he was meant to focus on the future, but his thoughts kept returning to his work.

While Astrid had a keen interest in reading tea leaves and fortune telling, Franz just did it to make her happy. The older he got, the more important his bond with his daughter became. His wife Marguerite, on the other hand, wouldn’t have a bar of “that silly hocus-pocus,” as she called it. She wanted Astrid to focus on finding a full-time job and a decent partner, both of which were in short supply in their village.

Seeing the exchange, Marguerite picked up her sudoku book with a huff and shuffled out of the room, shaking her head with disdain. Franz watched his wife leave, perplexed as usual by her deep-seated dislike of Astrid’s harmless hobby. When Franz looked back at his daughter, her free hand covered her mouth and her face was ashen. His eyes caught hers, deep green and full of fear. Turning to the sink with trembling hands she emptied and washed the teacup. Franz joined his daughter to dry the remaining breakfast dishes, looking out the window which offered a view of their small yet well-kept front garden. A faint frost still covered the grass, the warmth of the day’s sun hadn’t reached them yet.

 

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

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TWITTER – @AustinPSheehan

FACEBOOK – @APSheehanAu

 

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Break The Spell

BEGINNINGS

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

Australian Speculative Fiction Anthology Vol 1

 Belinda Brady – Author of ‘Break the Spell’

Belinda is passionate about stories and after years of procrastinating, has finally turned her hand to writing them, with a preference for supernatural and thriller themes; her love of both often competing for her attention. She has had several stories published in a variety of publications, both online and in anthologies. Belinda lives in Australia with her family and has been known to enjoy the company of cats over people.

 

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

Way too many to choose from. I adore so many authors and they each have their own talent and unique way of writing that I simply can’t point at one sentence and state it changed my life. If I had to mention one sentence, and this I remember from one of my childhood favourites, is from R.L. Stine’s thriller titled Beach House. 

He slid the glass door shut, closing out the sound of Amy’s last terrified screams.” 

That line gave me such chills, and I loved this book so much that I still have my original copy, all these years later.

@aaronburden

Q. Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters?

Reading the end of a book is a weakness of mine, especially if the book comes highly recommended, and I can’t help but spoil things for myself. One book I couldn’t stop myself from reading the ending of was, ‘Gone Girl’, by Gillian Flynn. I was already hooked on the storyline and wanted to see how it ended, but of course I still read the entire book after that little spoiler.

Q. Who is the best villain you have written to date?

My villain in my story, ‘Break the Spell’. I have a fondness for all my villains, but this one really stands out. You’ll have to read my story to find out why!

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Q. Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

Though I am yet to write a book, a short story I wrote titled, ‘A Quick Minute’, which can be found in Issue 7 of The Ginger Collect publication, left me feeling empty for what I had done to my main character. Even though I knew her fate when I first thought of this story, it still hurt to write it. I think the normalcy of her situation, before it all goes to hell, is what really hit home for me

Q. Best closing scene, you have written?

I’m really fond of the closing scene I wrote for my story, ‘Break the Spell’, in this anthology. It’s a wicked little twist and one I thoroughly enjoyed writing. 

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybzBUY BOOK HERE

CONNECT WITH BELINDA ON INSTA – @witchy___woman

 

Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book.