Author Interview: Ravin Tija Maurice

RebirthCoverTitle: Rebirth (The Afflicted)
Author: Ravin Tija Maurice
Ebook: 351 pages

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of Rebirth! Tell me a little about it what’s your pitch?

Ravin Tija Maurice: Thanks for talking to me! Rebirth is my debut novel, the first in my young adult paranormal/historical series, The Afflicted.

Katrine only ever had thoughts of a normal life. One fateful night all of that changes. Her life is torn apart when she learns she is related to the famed Countess Erzsebet Bathory, and that the events of that fateful night have turned her into something she could never have imagined. Who is Countess Bathory? She is believed to be one of the world’s most prolific female serial killers, rumoured to have bathed in the blood of virgin girls, and suspected of being both a vampire and a werewolf.

Rebirth is currently available in ebook from most ebook retailers including Kindle, Smashwords, B&N and Kobo.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Ravin Tija Maurice: My road to publication was full of dips and turns. Rebirth was originally published under a different title by a small niche press (I won’t name any names, the past is the past!). Things did not work out, and I found myself with a book that needed a home and readers that I did not want to disappoint. So, after some soul searching and unsuccessful agent pitches I decided to put the book out myself. I wanted to get back to my readers and get back to what I love to do so it made sense.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I’ve always been interested in history, and historical fiction is one of my favourite genres. The idea of writing something historical was always in the back of my mind, but I needed the right idea. Queen Mary I of England, Henry VIII’s oldest daughter, has been a bit of an obsession for many years and because of her I became fascinated with the label of ‘bastard’ and what it could do to a person’s life. I am also a huge lover and supporter of vampire fiction. Vlad the Impaler had always fascinated me, and when you read into some of the cultural history of vampires the name Elizabeth Bathory is side by side with Vlad. So, when I found out that Bathory was believed to have had a ‘bastard’ daughter before her marriage, the idea came into my head almost fully formed. Finding out that you were the ‘bastard’ child of someone so infamous is a story in itself but add in the possibility that she was in fact a vampire and to me, that’s just amazing.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I am quite actively wrapped up in writing other books in The Afflicted series. I wrote Rebirth and the second, Ikon, back to back and I am editing it now while I am working on the third and trying to plan the fourth.

BAB: Your current novel, Rebirth, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I did not set out to write a young adult novel, and in some ways I don’t feel like Rebirth is entirely young adult. I think it’s a lot of things, and trying to give it a genre label was very hard for me. But I love the young adult genre and I am pleased to be involved in it. I started writing Rebirth thinking that I wanted it to be the sort of book that I would want to read, combining elements that I love. I wasn’t really concerned about genre, and I hope that people from all walks of life can enjoy it.

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for writing about the Bathory family?

Ravin Tija Maurice: For years Countess Bathory had come up in my research about vampires, along with the legend that she bathed in the blood of virgins. I’d toyed with other ideas for stories about her, and some may come up in later books, but the real story came together when I found out she’d had a secret child before her marriage. I hope that I can tell more of her story, I find her so fascinating.

When I began writing Rebirth I had originally not thought much about putting other members of the Bathory family in my stories. As I kept writing I had this ‘future vision’, where I saw what could happen to Katrine and some of the other characters in our time. Gabor Bathory was there, along with some other members of the family who’s names I won’t mention because I don’t want to spoil anything. This future vision is where I would like to end up with the series, so I made sure that all of those who were present ended up in the story. It wasn’t forced, they fit quite well into the natural flow.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Ravin Tija Maurice: That is a complicated question! I have so many favourites for so many different reasons. I know this may seem kind of cliché but I do feel quite deeply for my main character, Katrine. She and I have been through a lot together and her story is very close to my heart. I hope that I can do it justice.

With the other characters I love Vincenzo Amori and Grisela Delphine. Vincenzo has such a deep and complex story that I haven’t been able to really get into yet that I am quite excited for, and Grisela has so much history that even as I do research I find things that tie to the back story I have built for her and to me that’s exciting.

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I knew I wanted to be a writer very young, around six years old. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. When I was little I used to write myself into classic stories. I recently found my retelling of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with myself in Charlie’s place that I wrote in the fourth grade…it was pretty funny!

BAB: In writing, Rebirth, what was your most surprising discovery?

Ravin Tija Maurice: The whole premise behind my series, The Afflicted, is that there was all sorts of paranormal things going on in history that no one knows about. I was surprised when I would do some research on a time period, a person, or some other historical detail how easily I was able to incorporate paranormal elements throughout. It’s always amazing, and sometimes surprising, when you have an idea and it really works.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Ravin Tija Maurice: It’s generally when the mood strikes me but that seems to happen at night. I do my first draft the old fashioned way, writing it out by hand, and I can do that pretty much anywhere but I find I am the most productive sitting outside in the sun.
I started writing things out by hand when I was in college, because on more than one occasion inspiration would strike during class and it was easy to pull out a piece of paper and just start writing and it really worked for me so I kept doing that and now its turned into a habit.

BAB: You write many wonderful and graphic scenes that makes the reader feel as though they are actually participating in the scene. One of my favorite scenes in the novel is; When Anastasia is tied to the tree and changes into the beast. What are your favourite scenes?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I have several, but some of my favourites are when Katrine meets Countess Bathory and the events surrounding the Countess’s arrests in 1610. Because of the fact that the Countess was a real person and the events are such a key part to her story I was concerned about not only keeping it consistent and truthful but I wanted my representation of the Countess to ring true for those who love her. I tried to show a bit of who I thought she would be, and how she would sound.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?

Ravin Tija Maurice: Since the book is self published this is a totally new experience for me. Ebook distribution sites like Kindle and Smashwords make it incredibly easy to do, but also incredibly easy to screw up. Making my own cover has probably been the most out of the box experience for me but I really enjoyed it. It’s been an interesting process but at the same time fun and exciting so I would say good.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I have so many I’m not sure I can pick just one! For vampire fiction, Laurell K Hamilton and Charlaine Harris are my favourites. For historical fiction, its between Philippa Gregory, Susan Fraser King and Sandra Gulland. For young adult its Ally Carter. I am also a huge fan of Lisa Lutz.
But my favourite author of all time would have to be Stephen King.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Ravin Tija Maurice: For my fans, thank you for reading. Thank you for sticking with me when things got rough, and thank you for your support. I greatly appreciate it, and I look forward to sharing more of my work with you. There are some exciting things on the horizon!

Rebirth is available for the places places:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany
Amazon Spain
Amazon France
Amazon Italy
Amazon Japan
Amazon Brazil

Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
WHSmith

To check out what is happening next for Ravin you can visit her at the following places. Facebook, Twitter & Blog.

Author Interview: Barbara Winkes

Autumn Leaves coverTitle: Autumn Leaves
Author: Barbara Winkes
Publisher: Eternal Press (November 7, 2012)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1615727973
ISBN-13: 978-1615727971

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Autumn Leaves”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?

Barbara Winkes: It’s the story about women with a very different background who become friends and eventually develop feelings for each other that go far beyond that. Rebecca is a married mother of two, Callie an out lesbian writer who came to town to finish her latest work. Their curiosity and discoveries lead to changes not only for them, but in the social dynamics of the small town Autumn Leaves. Not everyone is accepting of these changes, and while help comes from unexpected sources, they have to question whom they can trust.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Barbara Winkes: It was always a dream of mine to get there eventually, but I got more serious about it when I started writing in English and sharing stories online. The internet made a big difference, too, enabling me to connect with other writers all over the world, hear about their experiences. I had established a writing routine before I even started thinking about submitting. When I was ready, I was lucky to hear that Eternal Press was actively looking for lesbian-themed books, and I thought “Autumn Leaves” would qualify. I’m glad it was accepted.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Barbara Winkes: I wanted to explore the world of someone who has adopted stereotypes without meaning to, and their reaction to being confronted with a different reality. For some, it can cause unease and even fear, and it depends on many factors how they handle those emotions. Rebecca doesn’t just have to correct some preconceived notions, she has to re-evaluate everything she thought was for certain in her life. It’s a turning point where people either move forward or stagnate, laying the blame on someone else.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Barbara Winkes: Yes. While Autumn Leaves works fine as a standalone novel for the reader, the concept is for a series, and I’m on to book three at the moment. For the upcoming year, there’s also a mystery on the schedule, taking place in a fictional town in the province of Québec.

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for your characters?

Barbara Winkes: Rebecca and Callie in particular evolved from following the discussion about marriage equality in various parts of the world. Why would anybody be against it, or uncomfortable with it? How would stereotypes influence a person and hinder them in living their lives authentically? I’m looking for answers as a psychologist, but also as someone who was able to get legally married in my wife’s country of origin, and I like to explore them with my characters. What’s important for me to show is that individual stories differ as much as they do with straight people, and they can have happy endings.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Barbara Winkes: I’d say Rebecca, because she has to go through so many changes and comes out stronger on the other side.

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Barbara Winkes: I’ve always been writing–poems, short stories, longer ones. I got serious about attempting to get published in the past few years. There were some big changes in my private life: I got married, and moved to another country, circumstances that allowed me to concentrate on this goal more. Instead of squeezing in some writing time after work and on the weekends, I can do it fulltime.

BAB: In writing “Autumn Leaves” what was your most surprising discovery?

Barbara Winkes: I was taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time back then, in 2010, working two jobs. It was a great experience to have that I could actually do it, no excuses, and there were some unexpected turns in the story. It’s always fun when the characters seem to take it out of your hands and tell you what happens. Your only job is to type fast enough.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Barbara Winkes: I try to do an average of 2,000 words a day, with a little leeway on the weekends (when it’s not NaNoWriMo time). Ideally, I start at about 8 a.m. When I get to 2,000 depends on where I am in the story–at the beginning, it’s faster. I keep a notebook around for when the mood strikes.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?

Barbara Winkes: Very good! Since this was my first time getting published, I had no idea what to expect. It’s been exciting to learn about the process of a manuscript becoming an actual book, and great to work with people who care about the outcome as much as you do. It mattered to me to have a publisher who has a GLBT section and would bring out a print copy along with the e-book. I’m old-fashioned that way, and it was always the dream to actually have a book of my own to hold.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Barbara Winkes: Do I really have to pick just one? J.M.Redmann, Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, Stieg Larsson, Karin Slaughter and Ken Follett have all created incredible female characters. That is what I go for as a reader and admire most as a writer, when you care so much about characters that you almost forget they are not real. It’s the ultimate goal.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Barbara Winkes: Thank you! I’m grateful for this opportunity to live my dream and everyone who shares the world of Callie and Rebecca with me, and you’re welcome to come by to chat on my blog any time! www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca

Autumn Leaves is available at Amazon in Kindle & Paperback and at Amazon UK in Kindle & Paperback.

A video trailer for Autumn Leaves can be found on Barbara’s Amazon author page.

Author Interview: Lee Chambers

Title: The Pineville Heist
Author: Lee Chambers
Publisher: MISFP Publishing (Pineville Heist Inc.)
Hardcover: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 0986494313
ISBN-13: 978-0986494313

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “The Pineville Heist”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?

Lee Chambers: Thank you and thank you for having me on Books and Bites.

Okay well, The Pineville Heist is a good fun, fast paced thriller with twists and turns and on-the-edge-of-your-seat action.

It is about 17 year old Aaron, an everyday high school teenager, facing the everyday challenges of growing up and fitting in, with the added pressure of being the rich kid in town. He and his father share a fractious relationship, especially after the death of his mother.

Trying to prove himself to his father, Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a $5m bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron witnesses the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos that ensues he escapes with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to his drama teacher, Amanda Becker. However it doesn’t take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up and in the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Lee Chambers: What is an unusual approach, The Pineville Heist commenced life as a screenplay I co-wrote with Todd Gordon and is currently in the funding stages of being developed into a major movie, with Booboo Stewart (Seth Clearwater from the Twilight series) having signed on to play the lead role of Aaron Stevens.

As the movie process can take a considerable amount of time, I decided to adapt the screenplay into a novel. As a filmmaker it has kept be energised and passionate about the story and also allows me to share the story and build a fan base with readers, rather than having it collect dust.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Lee Chambers: The idea came about from a time when I was about 10 years old. I was at an elementary school summer camp and we were playing hide and seek. I hid under a canoe and could see all the action going on from underneath my hiding spot. I was never found.

I am a notorious note writer and came across the note several years back and thought, “What if a kid witnessed a murder while hiding underneath a canoe”, that is how the idea came about and I developed it from there.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Lee Chambers: My second novel, The Sum of Random Chance was published in July of this year. The story was developed from a script I co-wrote with Kris Ketonen and is more of a magical mystery story, with a touch of romance.

I am also in the process of adapting another screenplay I worked on about 10 years ago with Olly Perkin and Ra-ey Saleh into novel. This one is a comedy and good fun, which will be a good change of pace and genre for me.

BAB: Your current novel, “The Pineville Heist”, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?

Lee Chambers: The original screenplay had quite a bit of swearing in, so we made the conscious decision to tone it down so that the story could be marketed to both the Young Adult market and the New Adult market. There is violence, although not gratuitous, and there is sexual tension, which doesn’t cross the line, so the story appeals to all markets.

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for Aaron/Amanda/Mike/Chief Tremblay/Gordie/etc?

Lee Chambers: What about Carl and Chuck? I just love Chuck!

The inspiration for Aaron came first, the story started off as a short story, a long time ago, of someone being murdered and him witnessing it. The other characters then developed from there, each with their own uniqueness and also their different relationships between each other; such as the relationship between Tremblay and Aaron, or the relationship between Carl and Amanda, they each have their own defining relationship and character.

Each character is kept as separate as possible, but the closeness of the relationship between them all and how the effect of a $5 million robbery has on them is developed. As a writer, poof you invent something powerful, an event to give each their own voice and their own motivation and their own life.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Lee Chambers: You’ve gotta give the edge to Aaron. He’s the main character who goes through the most growth. He goes from a kid who can’t stomach hunting deer with his father to having to fight for his survival and that of his teacher. He’s also on that journey of growing up, a journey we can all relate to, no matter how old we are, as we are currently experience it or have experienced it. He’s the living breathing piece.

We all love our villains too, they are always fun and we need them to give dimension to the story and the other characters.

But Chuck well he is a favourite!

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Lee Chambers: I have always loved telling stories, it’s my passion. There are always different stories and ideas going through my head. Although as a director, and having created many award winning short films, I portray stories visually and tend to see them in screenplay format, which is more like an architect’s blueprint or plan. It was quite a challenge for me to get my head around the craft of novel writing as it was a format I hadn’t experienced before, but am enjoying the challenge.

BAB: In writing “The Pineville Heist”, what was your most surprising discovery?

Lee Chambers: I’m not sure if there was quite a surprise discovery, but maybe some advice for other writers; write what they like, so as a writer you have something good, maybe not great to start with. Then rewrite, redraft, make the story better by polishing and filling in potholes, times and events. Listen to advice, but don’t necessarily accept all advice. Spend time making your draft remarkable; it is time consuming, it takes energy but embrace the challenge in order to finalise your story and make it go from good to great.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Lee Chambers: When it comes to writing, I can definitely be a procrastinator, it’s a bit like doing housework, it’s to easy to put off if you let it. So I have a strict routine in that I set myself a target to write so many pages a day and before I know it, the novel is completed.

BAB: There are many beautifully written scenes in the novel; one that I particularly liked was when Aaron was running for his life back to the school, with the image of Steve preying on his mind. Would you care to share any of your favorite scenes from the novel?

Lee Chambers: All of them! I’m biased, l can’t have just one, I want all of them.

One thing about The Pineville Heist is it isn’t like most books, the scenes are action packed, it is also a quick, concise story that doesn’t deviate or go off tangent or track, everything is there in the scenes.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?

Lee Chambers: Ahhh well I would have to say good… I published through my spinoff company MISFP Publishing.

While I would have loved to have gone traditional publisher, I received dozens of regret letters after submitting The Pineville Heist, and then I was finally accepted by a publisher…. Cool beans! Except then I was told there would be a four year wait… huh? That wasn’t going to work for me, so I decided to go down the self-publish road.

Interestingly, when I was presenting at a Canadian lit festival back in June, I got talking to two of the writers there that have traditional deals, and they admit the advances are getting smaller and both were quite envious that I am able to control my books 100%. There are pros and cons with being both published and self-published, although having a publisher would be good!

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Lee Chambers: I would say Betty Woodcock, she wrote a book called The Pram. She is also my Aunt, from the UK and I’m really proud of her.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Lee Chambers: Live long and prosper…. No wait that’s been taken… hmmmm…

Enjoy reading, brush your teeth and get a good night sleep!

(Oh and if you are after a good fun thriller, get yourself a copy of The Pineville Heist)

The Pineville Heist is available at Amazon in Kindle, Paperback & audio book and at Amazon UK in Kindle, Paperback & audio book.

It is also available at Barnes & Noble and on the Nook.

Also available from Lee Chambers:

Title: The Sum of Random Chance
Author: Lee Chambers
Publisher: MISFP Publishing
Hardcover: 192 pages
ISBN-10: 0986494356
ISBN-13: 978-0986494356

Available from Amazon & Amazon UK. Also available through Kindle & Kindle UK.

Author Interview: Anna Kyss

Title: Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)
Author: Anna Kyss
Publisher: Kyss Publishing

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?
Anna Kyss: Wings of Shadow is the tale of two twins, who were separated at a very young age. While there is adventure, humor, and a love story, I also tried to weave in mythology and social Darwinism. The underlying theme goes further than the typical “good” versus “evil.” It really questions what lengths a society should take in order to survive.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
Anna Kyss: I love how you phrased this because my writing journey began while on an actual journey. My other love in life is travel. I am rather talented at procuring great travel deals and I stumbled upon ridiculously cheap airfare to London from the United States. We are talking $200 roundtrip, so I impulsively booked a ticket in the middle of the night. There was no planning or consulting with anyone, just a quick click to the purchase button. It turned out to be the best impulsive click I have ever made!

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
Anna Kyss: While traveling through England, the story just told itself. I spent time in the Cotswolds and within London; as the trip progressed, the novel became clearer and clearer in my mind. I found that I am very inspired by locations. I try to only write about places I have been to. I want the full sensory experience that my characters feel, so I can really bring the novel to life.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
Anna Kyss: Yes, my dystopian novella will be released in late November. Cerulean has a unique premise, in comparison to much of the YA dystopians on the market. I cannot wait to share it.
I am also about 20% finished with the sequel to Wings of Shadow. The second book in the Underground Trilogy takes place in a completely different location and is told from a different character’s perspective.

BAB: Your current novel, “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?
Anna Kyss: I am a huge fan of YA lit. This was my favorite genre to read, so it seemed only natural to want to write it. YA literature often has strong themes. I love how the characters are finding themselves, expanding their boundaries, and coming into their own powers (both literally and emotionally).

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for Meghan/Kiernan/Wish/Avery/etc?
Anna Kyss: There’s this magical faerie festival held in Eugene every year. People from all over the country come dressed like Fae and other magical folk. Years of faerie-watching helped to inspire many of my characters. Meghan emerged from the values I sought in a main character. I wanted a character who learns to be strong and discover herself throughout her journey. Too many stories have the rote formula of: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl gives up everything for boy. Meghan takes a more balanced approach. While there is some great romance, she is just as focused on developing her own confidence, determining career choices, and honing her judgment. My hope is she will be a realistic role model for other teens.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
Anna Kyss: I feel like a parent being asked to choose her favorite child! How can I possibly choose between Avery’s honesty and genuineness, Selena’s wisdom, and Wish’s whimsicalness?
Secret confession: the sequel will be told from Kiernan’s perspective. You can interpret that anyway you would like. It doesn’t have to mean I favor tortured, irresistible, bad boys, does it?

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Anna Kyss: After I wrote this novel! I always loved reading. I was that kid/teen/adult surrounded by an enormous pile of books. Writing my first novel was more of a challenge to myself. I really just wanted to see if I could do it. At some point along the way, this passion for writing emerged. Now, I cannot imagine not being able to tell my stories.

BAB: In writing, “Wings of Shadow (The Underground Trilogy)”, what was your most surprising discovery?
Anna Kyss: At times, the characters completely took over the story. They steered the novel in unplanned directions. Since this was my first novel, I wasn’t expecting how much they would guide the direction of the story.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
Anna Kyss: Much of my writing was done late at night. When I could power through my exhaustion, there seemed to be a few hours of magical creativity where some of WOS’s best scenes would unfold.

BAB: My favorite scenes in the novel are; when Meghan attempts to escape by going up the chimney and “movie night” near the end with Kiernan. What are your favorite scenes?
Anna Kyss: My favorite character interaction scenes: I love the Sky Tree picnic and had tons of fun writing the Truth-or-Dare scene. But I also really enjoyed some of the scenes which wove in mythology and ritual, as well as Lord Killian’s conversations about Darwinism.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?
Anna Kyss: I went the indie route (publishing my novel myself). For the most part, it has been a great experience. I love the degree of control: being able to choose my own cover artist, having the final say editing-wise, and staying true to the story I envisioned. I would say the one negative is the amount of time spent on marketing. In some ways, that has kept me from completing the sequel to Wings of Shadow as quickly I would have liked.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
Anna Kyss: This might sound cliché, but I really enjoyed J.K. Rowling’s work. As an author, I am a little in awe at how she could slip in subtle clues that would (books later) be revealed as major plot points. As an author of a series, I find that level of planning rather amazing.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
Anna Kyss: I would love to give a huge thank you for making this dream of writing into my new reality. Each positive review and kind word means so much.

Available from Amazon & Amazon UK. To check out what is happening next for Anna just go here or click on her link in the writers links.

Author Interview: Marcia Colette

Title: BitterSweet
Author: Marcia Colette
Publisher: Various

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Bittersweet”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?

Marcia: Thank you! As for Bittersweet, life wouldn’t be so bad for seventeen-year-old Phaedra Thorne if schizophrenia and psychokinesis didn’t run in the family. With her supernaturally insane mother locked away in the attic and Phae left to take care of her six-year-old sister, things couldn’t get any worse, right? Tell that to her estranged, older brother who decides to return home with an incubus for a cure.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Marcia: Mine started about six years ago. My agent decided to specialize in only nonfiction, meaning all of us fiction writers were getting dumped. At one point, I had heard about a small ebook company called Double Dragon Publishing, but ebooks were about as mysterious to me as the identity of Jack the Ripper. Still, I decided to give them a shot with my half-werewolf urban fantasy, since they had a new imprint that was looking for stuff like that. Next thing I knew, they had sent me an email wanting to publish my book. Ever since then, it’s been bumpy, but every book got me closer to my ultimate goal–or so I thought. To land a NY contract. Then, this self-publishing thing came along. I wasn’t quick to jump on the bandwagon because I wanted more data. At the same time, there were so many agent and
editor requests for fulls of Bittersweet that I had lost track.
Unfortunately, those who liked it didn’t know how to market it and those who claimed they loved it still found reasons to say no. So, I decided to stop submitting it and self-publish it. I *so* don’t regret the decision. I would’ve regretted it more had I let Bittersweet fester under my cyber bed.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Marcia: I wanted to write a YA, but had no clue about where to start. I knew there had to be telekinesis involved because I’ve always been fascinated by stories like that. Then, I started to think about my teenage years. There had been many times I wanted to lock my mother in the attic or the basement, but for me to do that, it would have to be a really good reason. If Mom was a danger to everyone, then that would be enough. From there, Bittersweet unfolded.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Marcia: Yes. It’s an urban fantasy called *The Spider Inside Her* and that will be released next month. It’s about a curse that causes a demon spirit to in habit my heroine’s body and turn her into an avenging human spider who’s more like the *Terminator *once her prey has been targeted.

BAB: Your current novel, Bittersweet, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?

Marcia: Yes. My teenage nieces talked me into it.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Marcia: I think Phaedra is awesome. I’d love to have her powers, though I’d prefer a little more control. I love Nadia, her six-year-old sister, too. Nadia is so innocent in all this, but she knows exactly what’s going on, even if everything thinks she’s too young or doesn’t notice. In fact, she’s been around Phaedra for so long that knows when her sister’s powers are about to slip out of control. If there were a hard hat in sight, she’d be the first one to grab it and wait out her older sister’s telekinetic storm.

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Marcia: After I had read everything I could get my hands on by Laurell K. Hamilton. At the time, The Laughing Corpse was the latest thing on the shelves.

BAB: In writing, Bittersweet, what was your most surprising discovery?

Marcia: That Phaedra would ask for Mason’s help. The main guy she wanted to throw under the bus and use as a speed bump, he was the only one available who knew her family secret and who could help her mom.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Marcia: I write whenever I have time. Some times I’ll use my lunch break to write and other times, I’ll write after my one-year old has gone to bed. My favorite writing time is about 6am on the weekends when I get the bulk of my work done.

BAB: What experience did you have with publishing to the Kindle? Good? Bad?

Marcia: It wasn’t too bad. The part I hate the most is when you update something as simple as a tag, your book goes into this 24-48 hour holding pattern. Although, it feels more like 72-hours. I’m about the release the print version of Bittersweet, and I have to say, CreateSpace was less agonizing.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Marcia: Kelley Armstrong hand’s down. She is my favorite adult urban fantasy author. If I had to choose YA urban fantasy, they Richelle Mead in a heartbeat.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Marcia: Be on the lookout for DISAPPEARANCE HALL, which I hope to put out this summer. This will be my first foray into the New Adult arena, and I’m looking forward to it.

Available from Kindle (US), Kindle (UK) & Barnes & Nobel.

You can find more info on Marcia at her website or Blog.

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