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Interview, Cover Reveal & Giveaway with Fantasy Author, Melissa McPhail


Interview, Cover Reveal & Giveaway with Fantasy Author, Melissa McPhail

  1. How important do you think cover art is to selling your books?

I think cover art is essential to book sales. A well-crafted cover will tell the reader in which genre the book is classified, represent in some way the story’s theme, and give an overall impression of the world. Fantasy book covers are vital to presenting a sense and feeling of the world. In many cases, the cover is the only visual representation a reader gets.

And of course, we all know that a book cover done well will catch a potential reader’s attention. It’s your best and sometimes only chance to make that memorable first impression.

  1. For self-published and small house published authors, what do think is important to remember when deciding on the final cover for your work?

I stand firmly on the side advocating book covers that support the central themes of the story they contain. For literary fiction, you can get away with more creative (or minimalist) covers that don’t have much to do with the story itself but are artful and visually compelling.

But for fantasy and other genre fiction, covers should capture a particular feeling that’s prevalent in the story (loneliness, peril, mystery, love, longing…) and give the reader some sense of the world.

No matter your genre, ensure your cover communicates the things you need and want it to communicate, and don’t settle for anything less. The cover is your first communication to a potential reader. Make sure the communication you want is what gets across to them.

  1. Who did you choose to use for cover art, and why? What was your process for deciding on who to use?

With the original covers for Cephrael’s Hand and The Dagger of Adendigaeth, I used an independent digital artist, Kentaro Kanamoto, to create the artwork, and then I designed the covers around the artwork.

The new covers were produced by Damonza.com. I really liked their approach to cover design and was attracted to them originally when I saw a cover they produced for another independent author. They ask for a lot of information about the story and its central themes up front, and then they get busy creating. They worked with me through a number of revisions until I was happy with the covers.

  1. How does the new cover better relate to the book and its characters?

It was important to me to ensure that the new covers give a sense of the world as well as some of the story’s key thematic elements. All three of the new book covers give a visual representation of more themes that are central to their part of the story.

Cephrael’s Hand is the name of a constellation that features prominently in book one, so of course those stars are represented on the cover.

Patterning is the name of the magic system in the world, and some representation of Patterning is included on all of my new covers.

For the cover of Cephrael’s Hand, the most central character in the story is working a pattern. This was important to me, as I feel having that image there helps establish a visual concept of Patterning for the reader early on in the series. The new Cephrael’s Hand cover also gives a sense of the time period and setting of the story.

  1. Can we expect similar covers for the rest of the series?

Yes. I decided to rebrand the entire series with new covers. Having all of the books similarly branded as part of the same series is important for continuity and will help readers from becoming confused. The covers also help establish a growing concept of the world as the story grows.

Interestingly, I debated rebranding the earlier books, since ideally once your readers are heading into the second or third books, they’re already committed to your series. It brooked the question if book covers were still that important later in a series. But as I looked at this topic, I saw that you never know at what point a reader will come across your books. Too, it isn’t always the first book that grabs their attention. So great covers are a must for every book.

  1. Speaking of the series, when will books 2 and 3 be available?

Book two, The Dagger of Adendigaeth, was released in 2012, and book three, Paths of Alir, will be available in October 2014.

 

The Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Are you ready for the reveal of the new Cephrael’s Hand cover? Because here it is! What do you think? Does it do a good job conveying the fantasy genre? Is it a book you’d be attracted to in the store? Does it make you want to learn more?

Cephrael's Hand - NEW COVER

Thank you for helping us celebrate! If you’d like to see the new covers for books 2 and 3 in the series stop by www.MelissaMcPhail.com, and check them out.

Guess what else? The author is offering a special giveaway as part of this grand event. Check out the Rafflecopter form below (it’s also available at www.novelpublicity.com/cephrael-cover-reveal/) to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire. Hooray!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oh, and don’t miss learning more about Cephrael’s Hand and where you can pick up a copy—that’s below too.

“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:

In Alorin… three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.

In the kingdom of Dannym… the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.

Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or wherever awesome eBooks are sold!

 

INTERVIEW WITH ELLE CASEY: INDIE AUTHOR


Here it is Ladies and Gentlemen, the much anticipated interview with Elle Casey. She is the author of so many great books and has many more coming out this year. She is responsible for the awesomeness (I think Jason is rubbing off on me lol) of the ‘War of the Fae’ series, ‘Vampire Seasons’, ‘Desperate Measures’, ‘Apocalypsis’, and ‘Wrecked’. She is also cranking out books left and right for the rest of the year. I am so looking forward to the spin-off series of ‘The War of the Fae’, which is called ‘Clash of the Otherworlds’. I will quit being a fan girl though, and let Elle Casey speak for herself. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Please share it everywhere it can be shared, you can reblog it, facebook it, tweet it…whatever floats your boat. Also, please like this page at the bottom if you liked this interview. I am also sure Elle would LOVE reader comments. Lets show some support for the Indie authors we ♥

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Elle, I love your books. What made you decide you wanted to write? Why YA novels?

I read an article about Amanda Hocking last December and the success she had being an indie (self-published author).  It inspired me to finish the novel Wrecked, which I’d been working on for years, on and off.  I never finished it before because I’m a very impatient person by nature, and the idea of hounding agents to represent me and waiting for an agent to find a publisher just seemed like it could never happen – like winning the lottery.  I had a life, a family, work … better things to do with my time, essentially.  But when I found out I could publish the book myself, that changed the whole deal for me.  I finished the book in about 6 weeks or so, had it edited, and published it. (And the rest, as they say, is history. lol)  — I write YA simply because it’s my favorite genre to read.  I’ve written one adult novel so far and enjoyed the process, and I will write more of it, but my heart is still with YA.

What made you move to France? How is life different living in a foreign country?

I needed more adventure in my life, and France was perfect for that.  I crave what I call “controlled adventure”.  Safe but awesome stuff.  You won’t find me in the Amazonian jungle, but a country with wine that flows like water and over 4,000 cheeses?  Sign me up.  I also wanted my kids to experience another culture and become bi-lingual.  I feared that as Americans who had never lived anywhere else, they were getting a somewhat skewed view of the world.  France’s language, culture, and people have been near to my heart since I was young.  My mom majored in French in college and was always throwing French phrases around at our house.  Then I took French in high school.  As an adult I visited a few times.  I guess I could never get it out of my system.  We were originally only going to stay here for a year – but we’ve decided to stay indefinitely because we love it so much.  And now that I write for a living, it’s possible for me to live anywhere in the world that I have an internet connection.

The first book I read of yours was ‘Wrecked’. I loved the characters. It reminded me of the dynamics of high school. Do you have a hard time writing from a teenagers point of view?

No, I think I find it easy for two reasons: First, I have two of them at home; and second, because I’m very immature – practically still a teenager myself sometimes.  🙂

What do you think of sex in YA novels?

I think if an author is writing for older YA audiences (teens 15+) it’s perfectly okay.  Why?  Because that’s when most teens become sexually active (or their friends do), so it’s real; it’s a realistic world the author creates when it reflects the realities of a teen’s life.  I wouldn’t use it in Middle-Grade YA, though.  And I do have a middle-grade YA series coming out next year, so my 8-year-old can have something of mine to read.  I have one chapter done, just because I had to get it out of my head, and it has the word poop in it a lot (I did mention earlier that I’m immature, right?) —  I know some readers don’t agree that YA should ever have sex, violence, drugs, or any of the things some find “inappropriate” for teens who aren’t yet married adults.  But those people, in my opinion, want authors to create unrealistic fantasy worlds; and even in fantasy worlds, I like to keep it real, if you know what I mean.  I manage reader expectations by warning them there is foul language or sex or whatever in the books – then they can make an informed decision about whether to read it or not.  And if I forget to warn about it in the blurb, my readers mention it in reviews, so it’s not a secret what’s in my books.

Most of your books have bad language in them. I, for one, think it makes them hilarious and more realistic. Teenagers have bad mouths lol, and that is just a fact. What do you say to people that do not approve of bad language in YA books? Where do you come up with some of the stuff your characters say?

I tell anyone who doesn’t like the swearing in my books to go to H.E. double hockey sticks.  JUST KIDDING!!  Seriously.  I never say that to reader.  I adore my readers, even the ones like my Uncle Doug who think cussing is the devil’s work.  When a reader complains (which has happened twice in an email to me, and has been negatively mentioned in a handful of reviews) I tell them that I write in what I consider to be a realistic style and suggest they seek out middle-grade YA for more tame language or even traditionally published YA, because publishers tend to eliminate most cuss words from their books  — Everything my characters say comes from the voices in my head, so I guess that tells you a lot about me, doesn’t it?  🙂

I absolutely loved Jayne in the ‘War of the Fae’ series. Is her character based on anyone you know?

Hell yes.  Me.

Which do you like better: writing fantasy books like the ‘War of the Fae’ series or more realistic books such as ‘Wrecked’? I also know that you have written a chick lit book. I still need to read it! How was that different from writing YA?

I prefer fantasy and science fiction because believe it or not, it’s easier for me to write.  I don’t have the same boundaries – if I can dream it and find a way to make is seem ‘possible’, it works in the story.  Readers of realistic work (like Action/Adventure) have a problem when you portray things unrealistically; and of course, if you portray it too realistically, you get accused of writing things that are too cliché.  Makes me crazy.  I like the freedom of writing fantasy where readers are mentally prepared to play in my world, and I can build it how I want.  — Chick lit is different in that I have to move out of the teen realm and move into grown-up realm.  Everything’s different from clothes, to language, to habits, to behaviors …  I have to make a big shift mentally to go into chick lit, but since I enjoy reading in that genre too, it’s not too big a stretch for me.  Plus sometimes I actually have to act like an adult, so I know how to write it realistically, I think.

Why did you write your chick/lit book under the Kat Lee pen name, but immediately out yourself as Elle Casey?

The reason for using the different pen name was twofold: First, I am doing that project and any chick lit books I write with my mom.  We’re business partners, I guess you could say.  She’s handling the promotion for me and giving me lots of beta reading along the way as I write.  Second, it’s not young adult, and the sex is a lot more grown-up and explicit, so I didn’t want to risk a young adult reader who actually is a young adult (I have mostly adult readers, even for the YA books) to pick it up thinking it’s young adult and have their parents get all up in my grill over it (I already get enough grief over the very vanilla sex scene in Wrecked).  So a different name made it easier to say, “Hey!  This is a sexy book!  Maybe not for your fourteen-year-old!”  But, on the other hand, I wanted readers who enjoy my writing style – many of whom ask me on a regular basis when I’m going to have new stuff to read – to have access to it without having to hunt for it too hard.  The majority of my readers are adults, so I figured if they read chick lit and liked my YA stuff, maybe they’d enjoy that too.

Who is your favorite character, besides Jayne, in the ‘War of the Fae’ and why?

Tim the pixie.  He’s hilarious and has lots of secrets I’m dying to know.  Plus, I’m a sucker for a misunderstood guy.

Which book is your favorite out of all the books you wrote?

I honestly like them all.  Wrecked was my first, and I think as I continued to write, each book got better.  So if you want to know which one I think is the best from a technical standpoint, I’d say whatever the most recent one is.  I become more skilled with each attempt.  But my favorite world so far is the War of the Fae world.  And that series is my most popular with readers, too.

If you could be any type of paranormal creature/person, what would you be?

And elemental of course.  Mother Fucking Nature, baby.  [Quote from War of the Fae, people.  Don’t email me that you’re offended by my language.  It wasn’t me!  I swear!]

I just finished your new book, Apocalypsis. Where did the idea from that book come from?

I have been intrigued by the idea of kids living without parents since I was very young.  I was always dreaming up scenarios like that and read books with those themes whenever I could find them.  I even left home when I was 17, frustrated with the adults in my life.  All of my books in the YA world have an element of teens surviving without adults or living more independently.  I guess I just love the concept.  As a teen I was depressed a lot and felt very lost and misunderstood, which caused me to want to live away from the adult influences in my life. The memories of those times have never left me and I want to write for people who also might have felt that way before.  In my stories, you can escape for a little while and live that “what if” fantasy.

Do you really think that teenagers could survive without adults in a post-apocalyptic world?

Of course.  Kids can be very resourceful when left to their own devices.  Plus we’re hard-wired to survive.

What is one piece of advice you would give your kids if they were in the situation the characters of Apocalypsis are in?

Stick together, don’t give up, kick ass when you need to, and don’t forget to be kind to each other.

I also have to know because it was just a few days ago that you posted that the first draft of Apocalypsis was finished, and yet the second book comes out in a month…how do you write books so fast? What is your secret?

I’m a cyborg.  Shhh.  Don’t tell.

What is coming up for you after the Apocalypsis books?

Here’s my schedule for the rest of 2012: Apocalypsis 2 (July), Apocalypsis 3 (August), Clash of the Otherworlds [COTOW] 1 (September), COTOW 2 (October), COTOW 3 (November), Vampire Seasons 2 (November), Reckless, [sequel to Wrecked] (December), Desperate Measures 2 (December).  And in 2013:  Desperate Measures 3 (January), joint project with Jason “Dead Muskrat on His Head” Brant (February), and then, who knows?  More YA series, including a middle-grade one starring an 8-year-old girl named Goo and her 2-year-old brother Looshie. I might also take a vacation for a couple weeks at some point.

Jason Brant told me to ask you why you were such a douche and how do you deal with his awesomeness lol, but you don’t have to answer that, if you don’t want to

Well.  You can tell Jason from me that … no.  Wait.  Let me start over.  A-hem.  The reason why Jason calls me a douche is because the word douche means ‘shower’ in French (and I live in France, so he’s always being cute and using French words with me), so it’s his sneaky way of ‘showering’ me with affection.  It’s a cute little thing he does while guzzling cheap beer and huffing glue over his keyboard.  I deal with Jason’s awesomeness by writing ten times as many books as he does in a year.  BOOYAH, JASON!  Why don’t you spread that on your toast and eat it, Muskrat Head!  … wait … did I actually just write that?

Thank you so much for answering my questions! I cannot wait to read whatever is coming next from you. I am also so excited by the prospect of a Elle/Jason book. It is going to be one wild ride!

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I hope you enjoyed that interview. Please do not forget to share this anyway you like, facebook, twitter, blog…anywhere you can. I am also sure Elle would enjoy reader comments/questions. Elle is also on facebook and Twitter, as well as has her own website. I am sure that she would love to connect with you on these. Please also ‘like’ my facebook page and/or follow my blog for more great reviews and interviews that will be coming soon.

(Elle’s website) http://ellecasey.com/ 

(Elle’s Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/ellecaseytheauthor 

(My Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp 

Links to some of Elle’s Books! I hope you give them all a chance.

Apocalypsis: Book 1 (Kahayatle)

Wrecked

The Changelings (War of the Fae: Book 1)

Call to Arms (War of the Fae: Book 2)

Darkness & Light (War of the Fae: Book 3)

New World Order (War of the Fae: Book 4)

My Vampire Summer (Vampire Seasons)

Full Measure (Desperate Measures Trilogy: Book 1)

INTERVIEW with ELLE CASEY, author of the ‘WAR OF THE FAE’ series TOMORROW! 6/27/12


I am so excited to be announcing this! Tomorrow I will post an interview with Elle Casey. You will not want to miss this. She is the Indie author of the ‘War of the Fae’ series, ‘Wrecked’, ‘Vampire Seasons’, ‘Desperate Measures’ (pen name Kat Lee), and most recently ‘Apocalypsis Book 1-Kahayatle’. She has a boatload of new books coming out this year. I do not know how she does it! She is a wonderful and hilarious author and person. I hope you tune in for this event. You will learn so much about her and her writing. Something will be revealed that I think is just SO cool!!

I also have reviews up for the ‘War of the Fae’ series and for ‘Apocalypsis’ here on my blog. I would love for you to check those out!

I hope that if you do tune in that you will share the interview everywhere that you can think of…Facebook, your blog…everywhere. I would also love it if you would ‘like’ my Facebook page and follow my blog. I have so much more great stuff coming up soon. I know that Elle Casey would love for you to check out her website and Facebook page as well!

http://www.ellecasey.com

http://www.facebook.com/ellecaseytheauthor

http://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp

Let’s show some support for the Indie Authors we l♥ve by tuning in and sharing this news and the interview tomorrow!

I am going to post a few links to some of her books here and tomorrow at the interview. I hope you check them out if you have not already! They are mostly YA and oh so good!


Apocalypsis: Book 1 (Kahayatle)


The Changelings (War of the Fae: Book 1)

 


My Vampire Summer (Vampire Seasons)

Interview with Jason Brant, author of Echoes and Gehenna


For the last week I have been talking about this great interview with Jason Brant that I am going to post today. Today is finally here and it was worth the wait! Jason Brant is the self-published author of two wonderful books, Echoes and Gehenna. I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing them both, and I cannot wait for the next book of his to come out. I have gotten to know Jason a little bit in this interview process and I hope that you enjoy his wit and sense of humor as much as I do. I will post links to his books after the interview and I hope that you all will take a chance on at least one of his books today. You cannot go wrong with either one! Please leave your comments below for Jason, or the interview, or my bad questions lol. Show some support for Indie authors and make him feel welcomed on this page.  I will stop my blathering now and let Jason take the stage. This was Jason’s first EVER interview and I am so excited that I am the one that got to do it. =)

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Jason, I love your books but I know you just recently started writing. What did you do before you decided to become an author?

I did contract work as a Digital Forensic Analyst for the Department of Defense.  It sounds more important than it actually is.  Basically I broke into computers and looked for naughty things.  I’ve also done IT work, and home theater installations.  I tried to become a porn star after I quit, but for whatever reason my wife didn’t like that idea.

I asked around to a few different authors for interview advice and Elle Casey suggested asking “Why do you write?” So Jason, why do you write?

After the porn career idea was shot down I had to come up with something else.  Writing seemed like a natural transition from pornography, so here I am.  Actually, I have a degree in film and television production and was all set to move to L.A. (not for porn, really!), but I met my wife a few months before graduation.  I decided to forgo that career to stay back East with her.  Though I didn’t go into the business, I have a serious passion for movies and books that never went away.  Writing novels isn’t too far from writing screenplays, and with the digital book revolution ongoing, I decided to throw my hat on the pile.

I read on an advice for interviews blog that most authors hate to be asked how they get their ideas…why do you think that is?

If I had to guess, it’s probably because most authors are turds, e.g. Elle Casey.  Writers are like anyone else, and most people happen to be turds.  Look at me – I’m an author, and I’m a turd.  That question might bother some people, because they don’t know how to answer it.  Sometimes ideas just pop in there, which is usually the case with me.

Lol…where do you get your ideas?

I have no clue.  I wish I could say it was from all the cocaine I do, but I typically just blackout after a few lines.  Honestly, I’m not sure.  I’ve had ideas hit me while sitting in traffic, from dreams, people watching, and pretty much any other random thing you can think of.

The first book I read of yours was Echoes. My favorite character in that book was Nami. Is her character based on anyone you know? How about Ash and Sammy?

Yup.  Nami is based on a friend and former co-worker of mine.  If you can imagine hanging out with Nami for a day, then you know what my life was like for several years.  My friend isn’t a secret agent, and doesn’t shoot Desert Eagle’s, but everything else is very close.  She’s a blast to have around, and was gracious enough to allow me to use her likeness in Echoes. The back and forth relationship that Ash and Nami have is very similar to our friendship.  And yes, she swears that goddamn much.

Ash is an amalgamation (I’m smrt!) of the experiences of several people.  My brother has a purple heart from one of his tours in Iraq, and I used quite a bit of the shit he went through to form Ash’s personality, angst, and opinions.  My own experiences working with the government were also thrown in there.  Because you read my blog, you’ve probably figured out that his smart ass attitude is from me.

Sammy isn’t really based on anyone in particular.  A few of the ridiculous things she said are based on conversations I had with people, but that’s about it.

I have to know because I just died laughing during Echoes: Where did you come up with some of the sayings in the book, such as ‘Holy F*** Balls’ and ‘Kicked in the fart box’?

I say ludicrous crap all the time.  Taking two unrelated vulgarities and combing them into one is something I do quite a bit.  And balls works with just about anything.  Add that to a character like Nami, and hilarity ensues.  I’m sure that I picked up on some of the crazy things that the real life “Nami” says too.

The paranormal twist in Echoes was unique in a sea of all the paranormal out there, especially as this book is listed as an action/thriller. Do you consider Echoes in the paranormal genre? What made you want to write a book (Gehenna) in the paranormal genre? Are your following books going to stay in that genre or are you planning to branch out?

I struggled with how to categorize Echoes when I released it.  Ultimately, I decided not to list it in any paranormal genres because it just didn’t seem to fit.  Ash does have a special ability, but that doesn’t really define the book.  I was also concerned that people tend to link the paranormal with ghosts and vampires more than something like telepathy.  Most of the story is Ash being confused, and getting his ass kicked, so I went with the Action and Thriller categories.

Having said that, most of my books will have a paranormal angle to them, because that’s what I enjoy to read.  I’ve said many times that Stephen King could wipe his ass with some paper, and I’d read it.  The Twilight Zone, Tales From the Crypt, and MonsterVision with Joe Bob Briggs are all shows I grew up with, and I still love to watch them.

Do you relate more with the hero of a book or the villain?

In general I probably relate to the hero more.  However, if the villain isn’t stronger, or more interesting, than the hero, then what’s the point?  I love watching people overcome adversity.

Let’s move on to a question I am dying to ask. In Echoes, the lead female character, Sammy, was portrayed as dumb with big boobs and yet the lead female in Gehenna, Karen, is strong-willed and kicks ass. Which one are you fonder of? (and yes, this is a trick question lol)

I’m a huge fan of tough women.  All too often they’re underplayed in books and movies, or they’re taken too far over the top and it almost becomes self-mockery.  I’ll take Sigourney Weaver in Aliens any day of the week over Angelina Jolie in, well, anything.  Having said that, who doesn’t like big boobs?  Come on, what’s more American than giant boobs?

Let’s talk about Gehenna. This book is about cowboys, prostitutes and zombies, or as you call them, Moaners, in the old west. This is certainly a unique storyline. I know I have never read a book anything like it. Where did you come up with an old west setting for a zombie book?

I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone a couple of months ago, right after I finished Echoes, and he asked me what I planned on writing next.  Somewhere in that conversation, the initial idea for Gehenna popped in.  Originally it was going to be called Zomboys, and it would be strictly a comedy.  After about five pages, the tone shifted and it ended up being much more serious than I had planned.  Of course a lot of the humor remained, because that’s my style, but it definitely morphed into a wild zombie ride.

The old west setting added a different layer of danger to the survivors.  Their crude weapons and lifestyles made it much more difficult for them to prevail.  Placing the story in the 1800’s also explained why they had no idea what a zombie was, and I’m not sure if you noticed this, but the word ‘zombie’ is never used throughout the entire book.  If the dead were to rise today, we would all know what they were, but the zombie mythology hadn’t been created yet for the characters in Gehenna.

I tried to eat while reading Gehenna and found I could not do it. You write insanely (in a good way!) descriptive scenes about munching on flesh. Some places in the book, my skin actually crawled. Does writing scenes like that bother you or are you just sitting back, grinning and waiting for audience reaction?

After the first zombie scene I actually sat back and asked myself what the hell I was doing.  Then I figured, it’s a zombie/western, if that doesn’t necessitate going full bore, nothing does.  So I let it rip, and when I finished I felt that it fit the story.  Outside of another book about zombies, nothing else I write will have this level of violence.

Did you do any research on Zombies before writing Gehenna, maybe watch a few zombie movies? If so, which ones would you call inspirations?

I didn’t, but being a massive zombie fan I already have all of the greats memorized by heart.  It was a very conscious decision to make the zombies of Gehenna the old school, meandering variety as opposed to the Olympic sprinters used today.  If I had to pick the two movies that most influenced my book, I would probably pick Night of the Living Dead, and Return of the Living Dead.  Night because of the claustrophobic atmosphere of being trapped in a house while surrounded by the dead, and Return for the quirky characters.

I just realized I’ve been entirely too serious over my last few answers.  Balls.

I noticed that there was a lot of God talk in Gehenna. The main character, McCall, says he relies more on guns than God. What is your stance on God and however did you find that bible verse you included in Gehenna, Leviticus 26:28, that makes it sound like God is going to make zombies of us all?

And now we’re talking about religion.  Shit just got real.  Despite the biblical overtones of Gehenna, I’m not a religious man.  I was raised a Christian, but no longer follow any kind of belief system.

I’d heard about the various Bible verses discussing the dead rising for a couple of years now.  When I started writing Gehenna I hit up Google and was shocked at what I found.  There are even more in there than the ones I used.  And the zombie Jesus jokes go without saying.

As an avid reader of your blog, I am curious. Why do you call your wife ‘The Tall One’?

She’s six feet tall, which constitutes being huge in my book.  When she wears heels she’s actually taller than I am, which just isn’t cool.  I never called her The Tall One before a couple of weeks when I blogged about her.  It kind of stuck after that, so I use it when referring to her on the blog now.

(Reader Questions) What about your writing environment? Any must have items on hand while you write? What are your top favorite books?

I just bought a laptop, so right now I’m writing on my couch and deck.  We have an office upstairs, which is where I spent the winter and spring, but it gets too hot there in the summer.  I don’t really have any staples with me when I write, like coffee or energy drinks, I just go with the flow.

My favorite books:  IT, The Stand, Hell House, The Shining, The Hellbound Heart, At the Mountains of Madness, Dracula, The Mist, Lord of the Flies, Harry Potter (yeah, that doesn’t fit with the rest, but whatever, it’s my list!), Ender’s Game, Fahrenheit 451, A Wrinkle In Time, and so on.

What do you do after you finish a book? Any ritual or celebration?

There is a microbrewery about a mile from us that I always go to when I finish a book.  Granted, I’d go there anyway, but it does give me a convenient excuse to start drinking at 3 in the afternoon.

I am not going to take anymore of your time, but I have to know, what are you working on now? Maybe a sequel to Echoes?

My current work in progress is about two college students who win a contest to be interns on a “Ghost Hunters” type of TV show.  When they arrive at a church in Appalachia to shoot a new episode, they end up finding more than they ever thought possible.

After that I’m hoping to start sequels to both Echoes and Gehenna.  I’m kicking around ideas for both, and should settle on them soon.  After that, I have some interesting stuff coming on the horizon, particularly next year.

Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to answer my interview questions. I cannot wait to read your next book! I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did through this whole process.

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I hope you enjoyed the interview. Please leave comments or questions below for Jason or for me. I am sure Jason will be checking this throughout the day. Everyone knows authors are a little vain lol, but of course they have great reason to be =) I am also placing links for his books below.
Kindle Version Links:

Echoes

Gehenna

Paperback Links:
Gehenna
Echoes

Interview Opinions and a Chance to…


I am sitting here trying to work on interview questions for when I interview author Jason Brant. This is the first time I have ever done anything like this. I am a little nervous so I would love some reader and author responses. Let me ask everyone a few questions. If you could interview Jason Brant, what would you ask him? I will pick my favorite to include in the interview! Please have questions in by Wed at 9:00 am Central Time to be included in this chance.

Authors, when you are being interviewed what are some questions you would want to be asked? What are your least favorite questions to be asked? I am curious to know!

Please let me know your opinions and questions! Comment and Share =)

I would also love it if you would “like” my facebook page!
http://www.facebook.com/cynthiashepp

Interview with Jason Brant, author of Gehenna and Echoes, coming Monday! (6/18)


I have been lucky enough to procure an interview with Jason Brant! He is the self-published author of two great books, Echoes and Gehenna. I have reviewed Echoes here on my site and will have the review of Gehenna posted on Wednesday at the latest. This will be the first interview that Jason Brant has ever done, (I am so lucky!). This will also be my first author interview, (Yikes!) so I am a little nervous. I hope everyone comes by Monday to check out what Jason has to say, and I am sure, rate me on my interview skills.

If you have never read anything by Jason Brant, you are missing out. His books are fresh, funny and have a paranormal twist. If you like zombie books, you will love Gehenna. He is an original. You can check out Jason’s blog at:
http://www.jasonbrant.blogspot.com

You will not be sorry that you did. He is just as funny in real life as he is in his books.

If you have not read anything by Jason Brant, this would be the time to give a new author a chance. I guarantee you that by the end of the interview, you will be lining up to read his books. Echoes has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and Gehenna has 4.9 out of 5 stars. Can’t beat those odds!

I would love if you would share this on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you would like. Reblog it, like it, comment on it…share any way you like to show your support of Jason Brant.

Looking forward to hearing your comments! Thanks =)
Links to his books below…


Gehenna


Echoes