B2CyCon might be over, but the fun doesn’t stop!

I just got done with a huge online event (#b2bcycon2017), which I use for networking with readers and authors every year. I’m a three year veteran at The Brain to Books Cyber Convention, and I’m always trying new things.

Trying New Things

My latest experiment was a Fantasy themed scavenger hunt, where I challenge participants to match the first lines of books to their covers. It uses the Amazon “Look Inside” feature to encourage people to actually look at the books featured, and explore the first few pages.

What Were The Results?

It’s proved to be an interesting experiment, because a lot of the participants have agreed to sign up for author mailing lists, and indicated they would do similar quizzes in future.

The event can be found here, for those interested in having a look, and will be available until Saturday 15th April, when I draw the winners

B2BCyCon Fantasy Genre Tour: Behind The Scenes Showcase – Stop #4

 Fantasy “Behind The Scenes” Tour – Stop #4

“The Occult and Magic” by Stephen Morris

I first became interested in the occult and magic when I was very VERY young and saw The Wizard of Oz on television for the first and second times. The first time, my mom says I was terrified of the Wicked Witch’s appearance in Munchkin Land amidst smoke and flames and ran straight to bed! (I must have been 5 years old or so.) The next year I began watching the movie again and made myself stick with it past the appearance of the Witch and after that — I was hooked!

The Wicked Witch of the West became my favorite character because not only is she the most interesting but she is the only one who wields any real power in the movie. She became my idol for years and years! (When a major storm recently struck Manhattan, I made a comment on FaceBook about the wind picking up our house and depositing it atop someone wearing peppermint stripped stockings and glittering red shoes and my cousin responded: “You’ve been chasing those shoes for YEARS!” LoL!)

But the Wicked Witch of the West was my favorite not just because she was powerful. She was also struggling to achieve something, the same way Dorothy was struggling to achieve something. Dorothy wanted to get home to Kansas and the Wicked Witch wanted the shoes of her sister. Were the shoes a sentimental memento? Or were they dangerous weapons? We don’t know. We only know that the Witch wanted those shoes more than anything and was willing to go to any lengths to get them. Just as Dorothy was willing to do anything to get back to Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on the farm in Kansas. The struggles of both the Witch and Dorothy were familiar because they were the same basic struggle. Their struggle was the fundamental human struggle familiar to anyone who desperately wants something—a job, an education, artistic expression, survival or a new life—and will do anything to achieve it.

As an author of contemporary and historical fantasy, I try to introduce readers to characters that are fascinating and powerful yet familiar in basic, fundamentally human ways. No one is perfect. They struggle to achieve their goals. Their experiences with the supernatural ring true because all the magical or fantastic elements in my books are rooted in authentic folklore, legend, or medieval-Renaissance occult beliefs and practices; the experiences of my characters ring true—I hope!—because they engage with the world in the same ways that our grandparents and ancestors did as they struggled to achieve whatever goals they had.

I listen to the characters and help them to discover who they are and what journeys they are on. I share aspects of myself with each of them and they share themselves with me; if I am quiet and listen, I can share not only their joys and frustrations and despair myself but communicate their experience to my readers. My characters interact with those authentic pre-modern beliefs and practices, retelling and reshaping them for modern audiences. I introduce characters to each other that might not have met in their original settings but that have stories and experiences to share with each other. By sharing their experiences, they enrich each other and the readers who can eavesdrop on their conversations or thoughts.

In writing, I try to be my truest self and attempt to build bridges between cultures and histories, practices and experiences, characters and readers.

Find Out More

Website, Amazon

Previous Stop | Next Stop | Tour Index | Genre Index

B2BCyCon Fantasy Genre Tour: Behind The Scenes Index

Welcome to the Fantasy Behind The Scenes Showcase

(Brought to you by the Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo)

As part of the Fantasy Genre Tour, many of the authors were kind enough to give us some insights into why they love writing, and reading fantasy. Others gave us insights into what goes into putting a fantasy story together. So dive into the tour, and get a sneak peek into the minds of some great authors.

(Links coming as I get them back from the hosting bloggers)

  1. TOUR INDEX
  2. “World Building: It’s Not Just About Drawing A Map” by Stephen Pearl
  3. “Urban Fantasy, Vampires and Anti-Heroes” by Rosemary Johns
  4. “The Occult and Magic” by Stephen Morris
  5. “Fantasy: The Great Escape” by Andy Peloquin
  6. “Behind the Scenes: Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter” by C.A. Verstraete
  7. “Why I Love Fantasy” by Toi Thomas
  8. “Realistic Fantasy” by Suzanna Linton
  9. “Fantasy Made Real” by Alex Carey
  10. “Making Magic 101” by C.L. Schneider

3rd Annual Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo

I’m Timothy Bateson, and this is my third time doing the Brain to Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo. Every year, this event has just got bigger and better organized, and I’ve gone from a participating author to Fantasy Genre Manager. What makes this year different is that I’m more excited than ever, because there are so many great authors coming on board this year, as well as some old friends returning from previous years.

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the honor of helping over 70 fantasy authors prepare themselves for the CyCon, as well as getting ready myself.

So, what have we got going one?

  • Fantasy Blog Hop – Your chance to take a tour of some of the authors websites and learn more about them. Discover additional materials, uncover great books, sign-up for exclusive offers/news. The blog hop is separated into three groups, and will go live on April 6th at 9pm EST:
    • Tour #1starts here – featuring: Aaron-Michael Hall, Alexandra Carey, Alexis Kennedy, Amanda Mabry, Andy Peloquin, Angel M., Angela B. Chrysler
    • Tour #2starts here – featuring: Angela J. Ford, Assaph Mehr, C.T. Callahan, D. Thourson Palmer, Ilana Maletz, Jack Massa, Jodie Pierce
    • Tour #3starts here – featuring: Logan Miehl, Mackenzie Flohr, Sarah Kennedy, Stephen Morris, Toi Thomas, Zachary Chopchinski, Mary R. Woldering
  • Fantasy Genre Tour – This is where we give the authors the spotlight, and let them take the floor. You’ll find book expos, articles, and giveaways inside:
    • Tour #1“Showcase & Giveaways” – A showcase of books, series, and giveaways. Follow it all the way through for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
    • Tour #2“Behind The Scenes” – See what goes on in the minds of fantasy authors,
  • First Lines Scavenger Hunt – Match the first lines of the stories to the books they came from, and be entered for a chance to win some amazing prizes. The participating authors have offered up everything from books to gift cards.
  • Fantasy Author Showcase – Drop in on the authors over at Goodreads, where you can find out more about over 30 great fantasy authors. We’re the largest group in the expo, with some of the most diverse readers. Come find out why!

What I’ll Be Doing

I’m taking part in many of the events that are listed above, as well as overseeing several  things happening on Facebook, running some discussion panels, and much more.

So head over to the Brain to Books website, and save the dates for this amazing event, and discover some fantastic books and writers.

Author Spotlight – Heidi Angell

You’re going to see this lady’s name pop up a couple of times in the next few days, because I’m a great fan of her work. Because of that, I couldn’t help but jump on board when she announced she wanted to do book tour for the release of her latest book “The Hunted”.

Heidi was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, for today’s slot. And then on the 28th, come back to read her take on “The History Of Werewolves”, a topic we both love discussing…

At the end of the interview is a big banner image, which when clicked will take you to Heidi’s website, where you can check out the other stops on the tour. And don’t forget to check out the books, which I’ve linked to at the very bottom of the post.

Introducing Heidi Angell

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Saga, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire.

When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her lovely family camping, hiking, swimming, or watching movies.

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

Goodness, what is there to say? I am a closet introvert, who loves to fangirl over books, movies and anime. We just introduced our teen boys to Firefly and it was AWESOME! I love helping others, sometimes to my own detriment, which is why I have started partnering with other groups (Like Brain to Books and Our Write Side) so that I have other volunteers to help make sure I don’t get burned out.
I am eclectic in my interests, and so my books tend to be pretty eclectic as well.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest book is The Hunted, the second book in The Hunters Saga. This is an urban fantasy/ horror series for those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed. The Hunted releases February 18th.

Who is your intended readership?

Well, beyond those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed, the book tends to appeal to fans of action, gratuitous violence (my vampires explode) and who like the idea of vampires, werewolves, immortals, and other supernatural beings as scary. They aren’t necessarily monsters, per se, but they are dangerous! Also, I deal in werewolves, not shifters. This isn’t PNR.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It really feels like forever. I have always wanted to be a storyteller. My mom has pictures of me when I was no more than 2 or 3, on stage “telling a story”. I could read before I started school, and was a voracious reader, but it wasn’t until my 1st grade teacher used “publishing” a book to teach us about the different components. From then, I was hooked. I wrote my first full-length novel in fourth grade (it was horrible and will NEVER see the light of day!) and have just kept going from there, dabbling in different forms of story-telling, from poetry, to screenplays, to music, and beyond.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Nope, I cannot pick one. I couldn’t even pick 15! I find inspiration in every story I read, see, hear. That is part of why I started my bookish blog, to share these awesome authors that I am reading and meeting. Also, the fangirling thing. Yeah. Totally the fangirling thing!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Start networking now. You need a strong tribe to make it as a writer. And that doesn’t mean just networking with readers (though, you definitely should!) You also need to connect with other authors. They will be there to answer questions, to offer support, to read and critique. My top favorite networking groups right now are OWS– run by Amanda Mabry and Stephanie Ayers, B2B CyCon– Headed up by Angela B. Chrysler and run by some incredible volunteers! (like you!), Sci-fan Society – run by Richard M. Mulder, Support Indie Authors, and Beta Readers and Critique Partners–  run by Dianne Wolfden.

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

Fun fact, though I do not recommend taking NyQuil recreationally, you would be surprised the crazy things one writes when one is powering through the soporific effects. As many great writers were known to abuse drugs of one form or another, this is the closest I have ever come to that.  And it only happened about a month ago. But I also learned that one cannot edit when in the same condition. True Story.

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

I actually really enjoy marketing my books. Sometimes more than writing. Now that I am writing full time, I actually have to schedule in writing time because I would just spend all my time marketing if I didn’t. And I LOVE marketing, because to me it is just another form of story telling!

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

Well, I was working on an Infection story, but I have this little novelette in Romance (GASPS! I know, I can’t believe it either!)that is kind of demanding my immediate attention. You can learn more here.

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The Hunters Saga

#1 The Hunters: For those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed.

What would you do if you found your town had been infested with vampires? For Chris and his brother Lucas, the answer was simple enough: you fight back. Gathering a small band of other people in their town who have been affected by the vampires, they begin a resistance. But after a year of fighting, they have only managed to kill a handful, while the vampire leader has turned five times that many.

Then two enigmatic strangers appear, changing the group’s lives even further.

Fury and Havoc. They call themselves hunters, and want no part in this little band of heroes. Ordering them to lay low, the duo vow to rid their town of vampires. When Fury is injured, Chris aides these strangers, entwining his future with theirs.

Now that the vampires know the hunters are here, and that Chris and his friends have helped them, the group is in more danger than ever before. Lucas is torn between protecting his new family from the vampires, and protecting them from these seemingly inhuman beings who say they are there to help.

After all, what beings could be so powerful as to scare a vampire?

The Hunted: Now The Hunters become the hunted.

The highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunters Saga. Follow Fury, Havoc and Screvin as they track down the Werewolf who turned Screvin and try to help her come to terms with what she is. Things are going better than expected with Avie, then the Counsel comes after them. Now the hunters have become the hunted.

Buy Your Copies Of “The Hunters” and “The Hunted” NOW!

Where to find Heidi Angell:

Learn more at her website www.heidiangell.com

Want to get to know Heidi better? Follow her on Goodreads, Instagram, or join her e-newsletter to get weekly emails that show Heidi’s reader side with author interviews, book reviews, and other awesome bookish fun!

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, Smashwords

Author Spotlight – J.N. Sheats

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Introducing J.N. Sheats

I’m a paranormal author, but before I published my first book I was a freelance illustrator and designer. Today I do all three. I love creating covers and new graphics for not only myself, but other authors as well.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Sure, my latest book was released in October 2016, and it’s titled Lineage, the first in the J.J. Morris mysteries.

The book centers on the small town of Portstown, and Joey Morris. A teenager that has lived a unique life moving around ever since she was eleven. Now that’s back in her family’s hometown she has settled into a nice flow of life, until mysterious wild dog attacks start.

This book is full of paranormal goodies, everything from murderous hounds, to wandering spirits.

Who is your intended readership?

While the book itself focuses on characters in their mid teens, my readership is more adult. My books tend to be rather dark, haunting, and violent with adult themes for a more grownup audience.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

8th grade, I had a dream which I thought would be an awesome book, and from that day forward I was writing in notebooks. Never thought it would ever go anywhere, and for a while it went onto the back burner but not anymore.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I have too many favorite authors to list them all; as for inspiration I pull it from all over. From movies, watching people interact, or family drama. I never know where the idea for my next book is going to show up.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write, just write. Don’t worry about genres, or fitting into this type of writing style or following this outlining process. Just write whatever you want, be true to yourself and your characters.

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

I do have a quote I love. I stumbled upon it when I was studying animation, but I feel it applies to writing or any creative art.

“As an artist you have 10,000 bad drawings given to you at birth. Now spend your lifetime getting them out!” ~Sheldon Borenstein

Change the drawings to drafts and it rings true for writers.

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

I have too many hobbies. Aside from writing I illustrate/draw, garden, make jewelry, cook, read, and watch tons of brain rotting television.

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

I have a lot of little projects in the works, including a short fantasy series that will be released monthly in a special newsletter, called Divine Legacy. As far as my next big project, that would have to be Dreamscape, JJ Morris #2.

I always have goodies to tease people with. How about a look at the new character coming in Dreamscape?

Riann

A shy college student that comes face to face with the Dream Conductor and lives to tell about it. Frightened by the Conductor’s plans for her and others like her, Riann seeks out Joey for help. But the Dream Conductor is known for manipulating people, and using them for their own evil deeds. Can Riann trust herself and her judgment or is she putting Joey and the others in danger?

Catch the first 5 raw unedited chapters of Lineage on my blog:

Inside the Insanity

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5

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About The Author:

J.N. Sheats is an artist turned author. Living in Maryland with six wild cats, and her husband, J.N. spends her days designing covers and teasers for other authors. At night she is at the mercy of her demanding characters, and their wild fantasies.

Dark Paranormal Fantasy is her preferred genre of writing, but anything is game. Maybe even a lovely romance novel or two in the near future.

When not writing, designing, or drawing, J.N. spends her time doing a host of other activities. Including: gardening, jewelry making, cooking, and watching far too much television.

Catch what’s up in J.N. Sheats’ crazy life with the links below. Stalkers welcomed. 😉

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Blog : Newsletter

Get exclusive sneak-peeks and more of Dreamscape, JJ Morris #2, on my patreon.

BECOME MY PATRON

Follow the progress of Dreamscape and all writing/art projects. Plus, first looks at raw chapters, prizes, deleted scenes, and much more!

“A dream is but a lie humanity embraces with eager submission—longing for it’s devious reality.”

~The Dream Conductor, Dreamscape~

 

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Enter To Win A $100 Amazon Gift Card – Check Out This Cyber Convention Sampler

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So You’ve Seen My Post About The 2017 Brain To Books Cyber Convention & Book Expo – Confused?

Well, here’s your chance to get an sample of what you can expect from the main event.

Angela has collected together authors from a number of genres, to bring you some amazing books and events.

I’d love to list all the events and giveaways, but the nice thing about how this is all set up, is that you can go from one event to another, just as you would in a regular convention. So… Here’s how to get everything!

Get Access To All The Events & Giveaways

Enjoy three days of fun, games, and prizes

Click Here!