Author Spotlight – JK Allen

JK Allen

Introducing JK Allen

JK Allen began writing the day after she learned to write and hasn’t looked back since. Her work is featured in several anthologies and Angelborn is her debut novel. She loves all genres, but especially loves YA and fantasy, and can often be found lost in a book. Or on Facebook.

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

I received my degree in Creative Writing in 2010 and got really serious about my writing. It’s been a dream of mine to be an author and I’ve been working hard to make my dreams come true ever since. Common themes in my writing include identity, everyday magic, and the kind of courage found in ordinary people.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl discovers she’s half angel at least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst. Ginny gets caught up in a world she never knew about after getting a demon mark. Now she needs to figure out who she is and how to stay out of the hands of a powerful half demon hell-bent on using her for his own plans. Can she keep herself and her loved ones safe?

Who is your intended readership?

Anyone who loves YA and urban fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first story when I first learned how to write and never stopped. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was older, but I was always writing something. Poems, songs, short stories, I always had a pen in my hand. Writing has always been such a big part of me.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I love such a wide array of authors from Jane Austen to JK Rowling. I feel there’s so much to learn from everyone.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write first, edit later. It’s so important to just create first before putting on the more critical hat of editor. Just get the draft down. You can perfect it later.

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

I love drawing and painting when I’m not writing. Being creative really fuels me. I also adore reading.

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

The sequel to Angelborn, Heavenfire, is slated for an April release. Right now it’s with the publisher waiting to get edited. I’m excited to keep the story of Ginny going.

Angelborn

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.

Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.

With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find JK Allen:

Website (Facebook), Twitter, Instagram, Blog (Hijinks blog), Facebook

Advertisements

Confucious – Slow

Note: I’m experimenting a little with the post scheduling, so please bear with me while I try to figure out what works best.

Confucious - Stopping

Author Spotlight – Assaph Mehr

Author Spotlight - Assaph Mehr

Introducing Assaph Mehr

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.

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

G’day!
I read voraciously and eclectically, but I grew up of classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I also read a lot of mysteries, and was joyous when I found the sub-genre of historical mysteries.
I always dreamt of seeing my name in print, but that seemed something for retirement. Until one day, rather randomly, that I started to write. And haven’t stopped.
Considering my reading tastes, I write what I want to read – a mash-up of Ancient Rome detective and Urban fantasy.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

This is the second Story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic. It tells of Felix’s second big case, where he was hired by a rich landlord who found tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.

Felix, dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, he’s hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.

The stories are set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. They are the cases of a cynical, hard-boiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

Who is your intended readership?

If you like Urban Fantasy such as Harry Dresden and are curious about historical settings, or – conversely – if you love works of Roman detectives such Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor and are open to supernatural and fantasy elements – this is the book for you!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Pretty soon after starting reading, which was before the official age to get a library card. I did end up getting my very own library card, reading voraciously, borrowing my sister’s card so I can start reading the adult fantasy shelf, and reading even more.

I haven’t planned on being a writer, until – decades later – my wife said she ran out of things to read. So that evening I started writing a story that has been kicking around in the back of my head. Thus Murder In Absentia was born. By that point I was fairly certain I not only want to, but am, a writer.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I don’t think there’s enough space to list them all here…

On the Roman historical fiction side, probably Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis stand out. The last two also cover historical mystery novels, and I will only add the amazing Boris Akunin for his incredible Erast Fandorin series.

On the fantasy side too many to mention, from classics like JRR Tolkein and Fritz Leiber, to modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.

There are other historical fantasy detectives out there too… I’ll mention Barry Hughart, with Bridge of Birds – one of my all-time favourite books!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

If you want to write, write.
Unless you park your ass in a chair and put words on a page, you won’t get anywhere.

If you want to write well, read.
Read voraciously, in and out of your genres. Read anything that catches your fancy (and thing why). Read about writing. And then go and write.

If you want to publish, persevere.
If you’re going the trad route, it takes a lot of submissions, a lot of rejections, and a lot of time. So take a deep breath, keep writing, and keep submitting.
If you’re going indie, do it properly. Get yourself proper editors, proper cover designers, and proper book producers. Play to your strength, and pay for professionals to cover gaps.

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

My wife is too scared to read my books, so she reads them only during daylight hours.
Also, Felix (my cat) is responsible for Felix (my protagonist). Because he walked into the room and sat behind my computer when I was thinking what to name him.

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

Family, martial arts (30 years of practicing various arts), reading, avoiding yard-work, dealing with invading Australian wildlife. You know – life.

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

Currently writing a novella in the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, and then it’s on to the third full-length book! Titled In Victrix, the novel sends Felix into the lives of gladiators and women in the republic.

In Numina

This is the second story of Togas, daggers, and Magic – for lovers of Ancient Rome, Hardboiled detectives, and Urban Fantasy.

A rich landlord finds tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.

Enter Felix, a professional fox. Dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, Felix is hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.

In Numina is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

Praise for the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series:
“Mehr creates a vivid cast and an equally vivid setting in which magic just seems to fit in perfectly.”
— Richard Knaak, NYT best-selling fantasy author of Legends of Huma

“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike.”
— Ruth Downie, NYT best-selling author of the acclaimed Medicus series of Roman mysteries

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Assaph Mehr:

Website (Felix the Fox Mysteries), Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook

Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy Author

Seattle News Headline Meets Urban Fantasy AuthorSometimes when you’re a writer, you come across a news article that you’re sure would fit right into one of your stories.

I setup Google Alerts this week, and asked it to produce alerts for articles, news and events in Seattle, Washington. And the top item on day one was something amazing…

From KIRO 7 came this headline:

Woman arrested after trying to break into Seattle family’s home through a dog door

My Thoughts…

  • This headline has story written all over it
  • As an urban fantasy writer, this sounds like something that would fit in my stories easily
  • Since I write about shapeshifters, I’m thinking I missed the boat when it came to drunk shapeshifters
  • I may well have myself a new character to feature at some point
  • It’s a shame this headline wasn’t about a guy caught doing the same thing, I could have used it as a promo for “The Lupine’s Call”

So… Who Was This Woman?

I didn’t see a lot of information about the would-be burglar, so that got my thoughts churning. And yeah, this is pretty much the order I wrote my notes down…

  • In the Seattle of the “Shadows Over Seattle” stories she would likely be a member of the Lupine breed of shapeshifters.
  • Since the supernatural creatures keep a low profile she’s probably an outsider to the city who’s visiting family.
  • She was probably drinking because of a loss in the family (the reason for her visit).
  • Having mistaken the house for her family member’s she’d tried to open the door but found she’d lost the key, or left it behind when she went out.
  • She’d tried under the doormat for a spare key, and couldn’t find one.
  • The dog door was her drunken solution to not wanting to wake sleeping family members.

And that’s how my brain works sometimes…