Author Spotlight – Felicity Banks

Today sees the first of my new Author Spotlights, and I’m proud to introduce a new author to the Steampunk scene.
Felicity Banks is an Australian author who just released her first book, “Heart of Brass”, which I featured here on Saturday.

Introducing Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including several Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories that take place in the same magical steampunk universe as Heart of Brass. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” at http://ifdb.tads.org/ and most of her interactive fiction can be read as an app.

Heart of Brass is her thirteenth completed novel, her third novel accepted for publication, and her first novel to be published.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I’m an Australian fantasy writer, which is why my book is set mainly in Australia. If I had a superpower (other than flying, because who wouldn’t pick flying?) I’d like the ability to pause or speed up time as required. And to never get sick. Super strength might be nice too. Did I mention flying?

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.
She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.
She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.
Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.
The only metal that really matters is gold.

Who is your intended readership?

Theoretically it’s for young adults, since it’s fast-paced and the main character is barely an adult herself. I happen to like reading young adult fantasy books, so that’s what I write.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was seven years old the first time I attempted to write a novel. It featured cats, naturally. I have two children of my own now, which has given me a new perspective on the many illegal activities of my heroines. My daughter is four, and an excellent storyteller. She once told me she couldn’t go and wash her hands because there was a bear in the hallway. That was the beginning of many hours of free entertainment for me. My son is two, and loves the absurd and fantastic. He once drew a picture of me with wings, so I could fly.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I adore Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, Pamela Freeman’s Castings series, Philip Reeve’s Larklight trilogy, anything by Gail Carriger, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, the Narnia series by CS Lewis, the Samurai Kids series by Sandy Fussell, anything by Naomi Novik, the Quarters series by Tanya Huff, the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, the Woodcutter Sisters series by Alethea Kontis, the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente, the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson, and so on!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

One word: Don’t. If you’re writing as a hobby for you own amusement, that’s fine. But it’s a terrible job to have, especially if you ever want to move out of home or support a family.
A lot of people will reject your work, too—probably for many years. If the word “No” doesn’t make you want to write more than ever, then any artistic career is going to hurt you badly.
Of course I don’t expect you to listen to advice like that—I certainly wouldn’t.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

I have a friend with insomnia. I like to email him questions at 3am like, “If you had to convince a medieval army to surrender using only an ipad and speakers, what song would you choose?” or “How long would it take to turn an adult male body into an edible stew?”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Do children count as a hobby?

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

My next project to be released is an interactive steampunk tale set in 1837 Europe (especially the UK), set in the same universe as HEART OF BRASS but a different time and place. It’s a subscription story, with a section released each week until the end. The reader has to make choices along the way that change their experience and ability. It will be an app released through itunes and Android by the Australian company Tin Man Games, and it’s called “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten”. If all goes well it’ll be released on August 17. I’m still working on it, which means I can incorporate some reader feedback into the story.

The Antipodean Queen:

Heart of Brass

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.

She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.

She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.

Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.

The only metal that really matters is gold.

Amazon, Kobo, Odyssey Books

Where to find Felicity Banks:

Blog, Twitter, Email, Facebook (for the official book launch)

Interactive Fiction

Book Spotlight – “Heart of Brass” by Felicity Banks

Overview

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.The only metal that really matters is gold.

Where To Buy:

Amazon, Kobo, Odyssey Books (publisher)

From the Author

Felicity Banks - Author PicI’m an Australian fantasy writer, which is why my book is set mainly in Australia. If I had a superpower (other than flying, because who wouldn’t pick flying?) I’d like the ability to pause or speed up time as required. And to never get sick. Super strength might be nice too. Did I mention flying?

Watch for the upcoming Author Spotlight on Monday August 29th, for a more in-depth interview with Felicity.

Subscribe to updates from Felicity by emailing her with the subject line “Subscribe”.

Links

Blog, Facebook (for the official book launch)

Interactive Fiction

GoIndieNow Presents: A Live Panel Discussion on Book Covers

On Saturday August 20th, I sat down and took part in a panel discussion for GoIndieNow. The subject was Book Covers, and there was a great group of folks on the discussion panel. Now I’m not shy about cover design, and it’s importance in selling a book, so this was a panel I really looked forward to. Everyone had different experiences, and came from different backgrounds, so it was not only interesting, but informative.

Note: This is a long discussion panel, so you may want to grab a drink before you start watching.

Why Is Cover Design Important?

While it is one element of the process, it is an important one.

It’s the first thing that catches your eyes. A good book cover can bring someone in and while it doesn’t tell whether the book is good or not, it is that first impression that an author should be seeking.

It also shows a level of professionalism and care that can be unmatched in even the writing. A good book cover can sell someone something they never knew about. A good book is what they will tell their friends about.

It surprising how much it is overlooked or sometimes overthought. So where do you find the balance? What are some of the key elements to a winning book cover? Join our panel as they discuss.

Panelists:

Joshua Robertson (Owner of Crimson Edge Publishing and Best Selling Author Of Melkorka, book 1 in The Kaelandur Series, and Author of the Thrice Nine Legends Saga)

Heidi Angell (Author of The Hunters Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire.)

Rebekah Jonesy (Romance/Erotica Writer of 8 Romance novels including Melissa’s Men and Safely Begun)

Timothy Bateson (Author of Under A Hunter’s Moon and Expert Blogger of Ramblings of An Author)

Michael J Elliot (Author of Short Stories Collections Portrait of Dread and Choice Cuts and Book Cover Designer).

Hosted By:

Jin Okubo (Romance Author of Love and Kaoru: In Loves Shadow and the Fantasy book Memories, and GoIndieNow Contributor)

Book Spotlight – “Emely’s Destiny” (Releasing August 20th) by Ariel Marie

Overview

Norrix Buchner’s loyalty knew no boundaries. As a king’s guard and one of the deadliest vampires, he was sworn to remain true to his king. In the absence of his king, he led the king’s guard in protecting and providing a safe refuge for displaced vampires. Now that the vampire king had returned, negotiations between vampires and humans have commenced. Norrix was assigned the task to ensure that the humans maintained their part of the treaty. Destiny led him to discover an imprisoned female vampire with large gray eyes and it just about broke him.

Two years had passed since her capture. Life as a lab rat, subjected to inhumane experiments was not how Emely Winter imagined she would spend the rest of her days. She prayed for the day that she would be free, but was beginning to lose all hope. Never in a million years, would she have believed that her rescuer would be the infamous Norrix Buchner, king’s guard and champion for vampires everywhere.

Their meeting was unconventional but love was instant. Emely and Norrix’s passion burned bright in their darkened world. Destiny may have led them to each other but will Norrix and Emely be able to secure their future, together?

From the Author

Ariel Marie

Ariel Marie fell in love with books at an early age. She can remember her first favorite book. She read the book so many times that it fell apart and she was devastated! Fast-forward thirty years later, Ariel now writes books she hopes readers will fall in love with and read over and over. Paranormal romance is her favorite genre. Who doesn’t love Shifters, Witches, Faes and all the other paranormals? She just loves writing about couple’s first meeting, the magnetism of when their eyes first meet and the first kiss! Her favorite part of writing paranormals is creating the world that the characters live in.

Links

Instagram, Bookbub, Website, TwitterFacebook, Google+, Goodreads, Amazon

Ariel Marie’s Newsletter

Ariel Marie loves connecting with her readers. Once a month she personally writes her newsletter for her readers. They are one of the first to learn about book releases, contest and events that she is participating in.

Sign Up Here!

Open Call To Authors: Author Spotlights Opening Up

Open Invitation - Author Spotlight(1)There’s a little something that I’ve been bouncing around in my head for a while now.

Back in April, I did an author spotlight post, for Lydia Sheerer, and it proved to be a reasonably popular post in terms of retweets, and shares on Facebook. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to revisit for a while now, since I’ve met some amazing authors through the online groups, and want to help them reach new readers.

Mondays Are Becoming “Author Spotlight” Day!

I’m reaching out to all the authors who subscribe to my blog, who are interested in sending me the answers to a few short questions (see the bottom of the post). Feel free to answer as many, or as few of the questions as you want.

E-Mail Me Your Submissions Now!

Some Ideas Of What I’m Looking For

  • Since I am primarily a sci-fi, fantasy and urban fantasy writer, that’s the type of thing I usually like to promote on this blog.
  • I promote the kind of material, I personally would want to read, and those are the fields I know best.
  • However, that’s not to say your material won’t be considered.
  • I’ve featured books that were not in my usual fields, because I either read them, or had them recommended by people who’s opinions I trust.

Some Guidelines For Submission

  • If you have several books in a series, I reserve the right to provide the blurbs for the first one, or two, in the series, and then just link to the rest.
  • Also, please consider that the more books you include, the more people will have to scroll down to find the details, so please provide any preferences to the order they are displayed.
  • If you have a release date, or an event that you want the Author Spotlight to coincide with, please let me know, so I can try and coordinate with your plans.

Open Invitation

If you know of any authors who would be interested in getting a little extra exposure, please feel free to send them the information.

Author Spotlight Questions

  • Introducing [Insert Name]
    • Author picture
    • 100 word bio
  • Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
  • Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
  • Who is your intended readership?
  • When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
  • Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
  • What advice would you give beginning writers?
  • Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
  • What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
  • Book Links
    • Book covers
    • Blurbs
    • Buying links
  • Where to find [Insert Name]
    • Social media links
    • Author pages
    • Email (if interested)

 

Watch The Trailer For Ron Howard’s ‘Mars’ | Popular Science

The People Behind “Mars”

Ron Howard has a long history of making exciting films come to life.

“Apollo 13” showed us that he was not just a director, but one with an intimate understanding of the risks an thrills of space travel, and he’s about to excite us even more. He is teaming up with National Geographic, to produce a sci-fi mini-series which blends documentary footage, and dramatized plot of missions to mars in the near future.

Why I’m Excited By This

“Apollo 13” showed that Ron Howard is very capable of taking the facts, and making them dramatic enough to hold the audiences attention. Sure he had an amazing team behind the scenes, but that doesn’t detract from the achievement.

Now he’s taking footage of interviews and discussions with some of the leading minds in mars exploration, and creating a possible future based on their speculations about where things might go in the near future.

More importantly, in my mind, is that films like this excite people about the possibilities for our future. Young people start dreaming of living on other planets, and some of them might just be the ones to get us there.

Watch The Trailer

via Watch The Trailer For Ron Howard’s ‘Mars’ | Popular Science