Monthly Archives: April 2016

Author Sarah Noffke

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April 30, 2016

CTC –Today I’m fortunate to have Sarah Noffke, author of The Lucidites Series, The Revarians Series, The Ren Series, and The Vagabond Circus Series.

 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for my readers. Let’s begin, shall we?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

SN – I used to sit in my treehouse and write plays and poetry. I loved to write from an early age, but I never really thought I’d go into business doing it. For most of my life it was an obsessive hobby. However, when I was working in college administration I used to go to the library on my lunch break. I would browse books, not knowing what I was looking for. I felt really lost at that time in my life. Almost every day I would run my fingers over the spines of the books in the library and stop randomly, thinking I’d find the book I was looking for. For some reason I just knew I needed to find a certain book. And then one day I heard the voice of intuition in my head. It said, “You can’t find the book because you need to write it.” And that’s the day I decided I needed to become a writer.

CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?

SN – Most of my books have taken around six weeks to write. The first book in the Ren series was written in about two weeks, which was exhausting and awesome. And the second book in the Reverian series I really didn’t want to finish so that one took around eight weeks. My productivity really is centered on how I feel about the book.

CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

SN – Sporadic. I usually wake up around 3 am with an idea and make myself get up and write it down. This may take a minute or three hours. I keep the worst hours when writing, but after I finish a book I always take a break and recharge.

CTC – What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

SN – I do most of my writing on the treadmill. I struggled with output for a while because I take care of my four year old daughter full time and teach college classes. So I decided to start multitasking. It totally works.

CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

SN – I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. For six years I trained every single day for four to five hours. I held onto that dream until I was thirteen when I realized that I really liked boys and wanted to free up my schedule.

CTC – When did you write your first book and how old were you?

SN – When I was twenty-four I wrote a middle grade novel called One Day Hill. It’s a really fun book about the idea of time and how adding a single day to the end of your life can change it. However, I never found the right ending for it, so it’s sitting in the bottom drawer of my desk.

CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

SN – I’m an avid hiker. I love being outdoors and exploring. Connecting with nature is one way I keep the creative vault full.

CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

SN – That I become my characters during my time with them. If they’re depressed then so am I. If they’re confused and in the dark, then that’s how the story is for me. I have feelings of heart-stopping crushes, anger at the slightest irritations, or the urge to save humanity. It’s the oddest thing and really makes me feel like a schizophrenic.

CTC – How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

SN – Currently, I have eleven published novels and I’m working on the twelfth. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite because they are all so different. However, I think that Ren: The Man Behind the Monster is the book I enjoy most. I write YA mostly, so to be able to take off the gloves and get dirty with that book was fun. Ren is bad and censored in the other books where he appears. But in his own novel, which is NA, he says it how he thinks it.

CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

SN – Meditate. I don’t do it like I used to, but that’s what really helped me to connect with my writer’s voice.

CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

SN – Every day and I hope they never stop. I hear all sorts of things. They tell me what they love or what surprised them in my books. It’s not uncommon for them to tell me how heartbreaking something was that they read. And they share. Their lives, their struggles, their ideas. Many of them want to be a writer and share those goals with me. They ask for advice. And some just pop up to say hi and thanks. It’s really so much fun.

Thank you so much for the interview and the support of my books. I really can’t do this author thing without people like you.

CTC – Thank you so much, Sarah. It’s been a pleasure.

You can find Sarah’s book on Amazon.

And, you can keep in touch with Sarah here:

Personal webpage: http://www.sarahnoffke.com/

Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/Sarah-Noffke/e/B00QQC5PFQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialsarahnoffke/?fref=ts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9830676.Sarah_Noffke?from_search=true&search_version=service

Twitter: @RealSarahNoffke

Sarah Noffke     Born with the power to control minds, hypnotize others, and read thoughts, Ren Lewis, is certain of one thing: God made a mistake.

Laughed so hard I peed my pants!

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I Like You cover

I rarely read nonfiction, but in this case I’m truly glad I did. This book is frickin’ hilarious!!! Amy Sedaris’s coffee table book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is full of tips, recipes, helpful strategies, and a ton of adult wise-cracking humor. Think Martha Stewart (but better!) meets George Carlin.

No topic is spared and each contains some pretty good advice. There are plenty of photos scattered throughout. Not everything discussed is laced with humor, some things are much more somber. You can read it from front to back or open it up at any point that interests you. I guarantee that you will find something that will have you laughing so hard you’ll pee your pants!

5 out of 5 stars

A Path of Ashes

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Path of Ashes Cover

Aeric Gaines and his roommate, Tyler Nordgren, are typical college freshman at the University of Texas in Austin. Justin Rustwood, a disillusioned hacker who has crossed the line between genius and crazy, is also living in Austin. When Justin’s group, the Vultures, take over the nation’s nuclear defenses setting off a global war Aeric and Tyler find themselves in a struggle to survive.

Parker’s first novel in The Path of Ashes series, A Path of Ashes, tells the story of Aeric and Tyler as a history lesson to Aeric’s great-great grandchildren. It is a well-paced book with true to life characters. There is some violence and sexual content. I only found one minor plot hole – if you are afraid of being found and you blow out all of the candles to kill the light, then you can’t have a fire burning in the fireplace.

It is a good book and I enjoyed reading it. I look forward to the next installment.

4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

 

WOW! Ren, a superhero!

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Ren GLM

This book will be available for purchase on May 15, 2016.

Ren, who would have thought you to be a superhero? Yes, that is exactly what he is, albeit a reluctant one. He goes around the world trying to prevent folks, mostly Middlings, from destroying themselves or all of mankind. It’s this work with the Lucidites that helps keep the monster within at bay. Everything is mostly as it should be in his world until it is tuned upside down by a visitor from his past.

Noffke’s second installment in the Ren series, Ren: God’s Little Monster, delivers everything we’ve come to expect from Ren. The story is intense and full of emotion. It is a fast read and leaves you wanting much, much more. Ren’s character evolves into something more human with him fighting and kicking to stop it from happening. His self-discovery is masterfully woven throughout this beautiful tapestry of a novel.

It is no secret that I love Ren. He is the most unique character I’ve ever read. And, I am ever so grateful that his story is unfinished. Bravo, Sarah, bravo!

5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from the author for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

W

Vintage Disaster Story

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Lucifers Hammer cover

A newly discovered comet calves and some of the splinters hit earth changing the landscape forever. Coastal regions are flooded or are completely swept away. Dangerous weather patterns are formed. A new ice age approaches. For those that have survived civilization is setback over a hundred years. Will they have what it takes to survive the new old way of life? And, what about the lawless?

Niven and Pournelle came together in the late 1970s to give us Lucifer’s Hammer, a story about survival before and after a major disaster. Because I am a fan of dystopia and post-apocalyptic novels everyone told me that I should read the original that started it all. I had such high expectations for this book. And, it was only okay. Not bad, but not great.

First, it is a long book – over 600 pages. At times I had to force myself to keep reading due to the slow pacing. Second, it had a couple of plot inconsistencies that could have been easily fixed. Either your neighbor lives next door or across the street. And, no one I know has their pregnancy show at two to three months. Third, some of the subplots were not believable. Fathers do not abandon their fourteen year old sons during a disaster just because the kid says I am not going with you. Finally, there were too many characters too keep up with and some with similar names – Hardy, Harvey, and Harry.

3 out of 5 stars.

V     #AtoZChallenge

The World Upended -No Electricity, No Food, No Law

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The Walking in the Rain series, books 1 – 4, were quick reads and I apologize to the author, William Allen, for not reviewing them individually.

Luke is in Chicago on a fieldtrip from Texas to attend a science fair in hopes of earning a scholarship. He is stranded there when the pulse hits. Luke wants to get home, to what he perceives as a safe haven. Northeast Texas is a long walk from Chicago, especially for a sixteen year old boy on his own in a world turned upside down. There is no electricity, no food unless you scavenge for it, and most of all, no law.

The first four books in this series follow Luke as he grows into a man during his horrific journey. These books are riddles with typographical errors which were distracting. Even with the events of the time and the struggles for life and death it was hard to believe that Luke was only sixteen. The story is told firsthand from his point of view and his language skills are on par with a college graduate, not a sophomore in high school.

The story itself is a good one and the characters are well developed. The pace is fast and not for the faint of heart.

3-1/2 stars out of 5.

U  #AtoZChallenge

 

Alaska Musings Episode 4

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Alaska Fall 2

September 6, 2008 Sourdough Tales

1. We have been living here 6 months now and just discovered recently that we can see the Knik Glacier from most anywhere around Palmer and Wasilla. I asked the question why that valley always had snow even though it appears to be a lower elevation than Pioneer’s Peak & voila! the glacier appeared right before our eyes. It’s about 25 miles up the Knik River from our house to the glacier. We hope to take a tour up to it next summer.

2. In case you haven’t heard Sarah Palin is the Republican VP Nominee. She is from Wasilla. She used to be a Council Member and Mayor of Wasilla. I work for the City of Wasilla. You can’t imagine the world-wide notoriety this place is getting now. Our website went from having 25k to over 500k hits per day since August 29th.

3. The trees are changing colors rather quick and are quite dramatic. And, it all started this week. Last week there were no golds or yellows anywhere. I’m guessing since we have cottonwood and birch trees that we won’t see many reds. Right now though the bright contrasts between the greens and the yellow hues are fantastic.

4. Football season is almost over. Yep, it is only 8 weeks long due to the fact the kids can’t play on frozen ground or in the snow. So, by the end of September they even complete the championship games with all their playoffs. Basketball up here is big though and, of course, hockey.

5. The days are getting shorter by large leaps of 5 and 6 minutes each day. I can finally leave my master bedroom curtains open all the time and have darkness before 10 p.m. and as late as 6:30 a.m. The shortest day here in the Palmer area is 5 hours 18 minutes sometime around December 20th – from around 10:15 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. But, with the predawn and dusk light we have a little over 7 hours of actual light.

6. Neighbors help each other up here a LOT. Employees don’t feel entitled to their jobs – they come to work on time and put in a full days’ worth of work without someone monitoring them. What novel concepts! It is so refreshing and delightful. I am amazed by both of these aspects of Alaskan life on a weekly basis.

7. More and more windmills are popping up around the valley with the cost of fuel oil and energy going up. We’ve learned that windmills only need 8 mph winds to work but shutdown in 50 mph winds or higher. And, the Chinooks coming down off the glacier during the winter get speeds upwards of and over category 1 hurricanes.

8. Gas has finally dropped down to $4.19 per gallon this week. We had a significant lag behind the rest of the country when prices started to drop. So much so that the State is having an investigation into why. I think we have two refineries in the state but am not up on them to say much more.

9. The State fair was awesome. It wasn’t any bigger than some of the larger county fairs I have been to. But, it did have different activities. There was the midway with all the rides and carnival games. There were the many vendors of food. There were the buildings full of crafts, foods, and animals on display. What was different were the multitude of vendors selling their wares. Everything from windmills to chainsaw carvings. And, the veggies were much, much bigger than anything I’ve ever seen. They had lumberjack demos, concert after concert, fireworks 3 of the 11 days, yarn spinning demos, political booths, and so much more. The Alaska State Troopers wrote over 1,700 traffic tickets around the event. We were lucky that we live just around the corner from the fair. We only had to step outside each night to see the fireworks.

10. The permanent fund dividend or PFD is a whopping $3,269 per Alaskan – man, woman and child. $1,200 of it is a fuel cost payment to help folks pay their bills this winter. And, wouldn’t you know it, we aren’t eligible yet. In fact, we won’t be eligible until calendar year 2010. That’s right we won’t be getting the $6,538 this year. You have to live here for one full year and then you are eligible the next calendar year. So, since we didn’t move up here until the end of February we won’t have been here a year until February of 2009 making 2010 the next calendar year. Bummer.

January 4, 2009

Boy! Am I behind in these (over 2 months now! for shame). Well, blame it on the audit, the state conferences, the holidays and the 20+ degrees below zero that we have been in for a week now. Anyway, I’m back! So, here goes:

1. I know I’ve mentioned before how big the ravens are. But, I didn’t appreciate that fact until I went back to Georgia over the Christmas holidays. I grew up thinking that crows were big birds. Ha! It would take 4 crows (2 side-by-side with another 2 on their shoulders) to equal the size of a raven. It’s a BIG bird. They are everywhere and vocal. They cluck like turkeys and imitate other birds. I’m fascinated by them.

2. At -23° even our 5-star energy rated home has ice around the bottoms of our windows. The snow froze to some extent where the sun shines on it. And, there’s hoar frost on everything. It’s pretty. Emlee still hates to wear her boots but they do keep her feet from freezing.

3. The sun is now low on the horizon each day now. And, it is behind Pioneer’s Peak most of the day when it’s up. So, we don’t get direct sunlight at our house until after noon. But, we are now gaining daylight at a rapid pace just as we lost it this fall. Daylight starts creeping in around 8:30 a.m. though the sun doesn’t come up until just after 10 a.m. And, it is dark by 5 p.m. with the sun setting just before 4 p.m.

4. Gary is learning the adventures of using a snowblower. The first time he ran it the wind was blowing and he got covered from head to toe in snow. Since then he has learned to wear a raincoat over his jacket. And, with the snow over a foot deep Miss Emlee has to have snowtrails made for her in the backyard. She is only 14 inches high.

5. Everyone should get the man in their life (husband, father, brother, whomever) a wireless weather station that uploads data to Weather Underground. If I had only known one would bring so much joy I would have bought my husband one long before now. He is just tickled to death that the temperature outside is off the scale which I think goes down to minus 21 degrees.

6. Most of you know that I wear skirts, dresses or skirt suites to work most days. I have several long skirts with wool that are just fine for these cold days. But, I don’t have enough of them to wear day in and day out. So, I’ve resorted to wearing tights. Pantyhose don’t cut it at -23°. I also have some kicking snow boots that I wear until I get to the office. Those pretty shoes that most women love to wear will kill your ass if you try to walk in the snow and ice here.

7. My staff are trying to save me from myself. So far they have given me gloves, a scarf and warm footie things as well as tons of advice. They call me crazy when I walk in each morning with only a sweater on over my clothes. They don’t seem to notice that I am carrying my heavy coat which I put on when I leave. Why would I put a coat on when going from my kitchen into my heated garage? My Trailblazer is warm and it’s only a 50 ft. walk to the building from where I park. Going home though is a different story.

8. When it’s friggin cold outside like it is now and you sit in your automobile waiting for it to warm up before you head home from work the windows on the inside frost over from the condensation in your breath. I don’t mean fog over, I mean frost over. Ice. I try to go out at lunch to warm my Trailblazer up so that it doesn’t sit for 10 hours in below zero temps.

9. Our vehicles are filthy. It hasn’t warmed up above zero since the last snowfall and mud from sanding of the roads covered our vehicles. The nearest carwash is about 3 miles away but I wouldn’t chance my vehicle freezing up on the drive back home. So, we wait with dirty cars until the temps at least stay above zero for a few days.

10. When there’s lots of snow on the ground and the wind is blowing at near hurricane strength you end up with a ground snow storm blowing sideways. It isn’t snowing – the snow is so dry that the wind is picking it up off the ground. It can get near whiteout conditions as you drive by the lakes.

More Winter Wonderland 007

 

Author Talk with A. S. Winchester

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April 23, 2016

NOTE: My sincerest apologies to Author Winchester. This interview was originally scheduled to be posted on April 16, 2016.

CTC – My interview today is with A. S. Winchester, author of Terra: Genesis and soon to be published Terra: Identity.

Terra Genesis Book Cover

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for my readers. Let’s begin, shall we?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

ASW – It wasn’t really a realization. I was born to be a writer just as I was born female. It’s ingrained in me. 

CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?

ASW – That really depends on my schedule, the length of the book, and so many other factors I can’t begin to label. “Terra: Genesis” was a two year project. “Terra: Identity” is (hopefully) going to be considerably less if I can get it off the ground in April as planned. It really just depends. I have a project with a friend of mine called “Hunters”… it’s going on 9 years to write, re-write, re-plot, write, adjust, edit, re-write again.. you get the point. I can’t put a timeline to it since every project is different.

CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

ASW – Chaotic. I work full time and then some to support myself financially because writing is just a side thing. So usually it’s work all day, write on breaks or jot down notes when I can, and write at night. I usually have to force myself to write through the rough patches of just wanting to sleep or relax.

CTC – What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

ASW – I’m not entirely sure if I’m understanding this, but I’ll give it a shot. Physically, I really get into my writing… walking, pacing, hands waving, looking around… I really try to see and feel what it is I’m putting my characters through. As a result, I don’t write outside of my personal space much. I often forget where I am and continue doing ridiculous things.

Another writing quirk, which may be more writing style, is that I go into every project with the idea of one goal:I want to see how far I can push my character before they break and rise again or can’t take anymore. It’s my philosophy and I think it comes from me having gone through a lot in my life and rising above all that to the best of my ability.

CTC – Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

ASW – Internet searches mostly. I do a lot of science websites, articles, and so on. I also collect resource books as I find them in the B&N Bargain section. It all depends on what I’m looking for.

CTC – When did you write your first book and how old were you?

ASW – I was five. My mom typed it up for me. It was a story about a kitten who ran away from wolves, got stuck in a tree, and made friend with another kitten who helped it escape. 

CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

ASW – I work a lot. That’s kind of how most people define me… “oh, you’re always working”. However, I have big dreams for my future and I’m building on that. Outside of that, I like to go out to zoos, museums, for walks, that sort of thing. I love to read, collect books, binge netflix when I can, do photography, and see my friends. 

CTC – What does your family think of your writing?

ASW – They definitely support my adventure and are proud of me. They have my book and my sister has sent me snapchats on her shock at certain things. It’s nice to be able to share it with them. 

CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

ASW – I’ve turned into a conscientious Earth person. I was incredibly unaware of the state of our planet until I started plotting how the Earth would “end” in Terra. The hardest realization came to be just how not far off I am when we look at birth rates, death rates, and usage of resources trends. Predicting the end of the world and not being far off if we don’t start doing something about it kind of hit me in the gut. Now I go out of my way to. 

CTC – How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

ASW – Fully written and published? One. Written in general? Half a dozen or less. So far “Terra: Identity” is my favorite, which comes out in April so I’m super excited to share that. I have another brewing project that I think will end up blowing that out of the water, but I have no idea when it will happen. That’s a co-op project that’s just being done over time.

CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

ASW – Write every day even if it’s just 100 words. Don’t give up. And explore genres even when you’re struggling. I never thought I could write science fiction. It was never something I was interested in. I was always on paranormal fiction or chick lits. However, after failing at completing numerous projects, Terra formed in my head. It started out as a romance novel with a little science fiction undertone. The science fiction and plausible fiction hit me hard in a good way and I haven’t looked back since. I haven’t been able to. I found my niche without meaning to. 

CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

ASW – I love talking to my readers. I’ve made friends with a lot of them and have just this tiny network of helping these young adults become stronger writers simply because we connected over “Terra: Genesis”. 

CTC – Do you like to create books for adults?

ASW – I love it. Granted I haven’t much dabbled in anything other than writing for adults, but I do love it. There’s an ability to add darker content, more sexualized ideas, and push the story further than you could while sensoring for a young audience. My favorite example is actually in a WIP I have called “Hunters”. One of the characters, Andrea, has a mouth on her. She literally says the “f” word every few sentences. It may seem excessive just when talked about here, but as you see her, watch her interact, learn of her… reading a chapter where she never swears is the most uncomfortable thing. She’s not right without it. If it was written for a younger audience, she’d be sensored up the wazoo and be just a wrong character.

CTC – What do you think makes a good story?

ASW – The author has to write for the author and not the audience. It’s kind of like the way of selling your soul. As soon as you’re telling the story for someone else, you stop moving yourself and the entire story is affected. It doesn’t have the same resonating effect as it should. 

I’m also huge proponent in strong characters can carry a weak plot, but weak characters can’t carry a strong plot. You need some part of your story that’s relateable to your readers and the only part they’re going to connect to is the connection to a thinking, feeling thing… your characters. Make a character real with flaws and strengths, doubts and confidences and suddenly your readers will see some part of themselves in the character and they will carry through to the end. 

CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

ASW – A vet, a doctor, a teacher, a theater teacher, a pet orphanage owner, an English teacher, in the Army (which I actually tried for, but my vision is too bad for), an artist, an actor, an architect… I’m multi-talented in both creative and logical minded things so I’ve always had a hard time pinning down just one kind of career that I want to do. Heck, I’m 27 and I’m still struggling with this. 

CTC – Is there anything else that you would like for the audience to know?

ASW – Support indie authors by leaving reviews and spreading the word by mouth. It’s hard doing the author thing all alone and even with a few friends and supporters, it gets way easier. I don’t care about the money… every person has told me “Terra” is a story that needs to be heard and I agree. Just trying to get it out there to be shared is easier said than done.

CTC – You can follow A. S. Winchester on

Amazon – http://smile.amazon.com/A.-S.-Winchester/e/B012Q93B2G/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/aswinchester

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/ASWinchester3

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/a.winchester7688/?fref=ts

And, you can find her books on Amazon here:

http://smile.amazon.com/Terra-Genesis-S-Winchester/dp/1514848856/ref=la_B012Q93B2G_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461436749&sr=1-1

 

ASWinchesterCala is not special. Cala is Exceptional. A young woman possessing a rare kind of intelligence . . .

 

T #AtoZChallenge

 

Author Huddle with D.L. Young

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My interview for today is with D.L. Young, author of Juarez Square and Soledad (due out May 23, 2016), and contributing author in several anthologies.

Juarez Square cover                Soledad Cover

CTC – Welcome, David, and thank you for taking time to answer questions for my readers today.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

DLY – I wrote Speed Racer fan fiction in elementary school.

CTC – How long does it take you to write a book?

DLY – My first novel’s in the finishing stages now. It’ll end up taking eight months start to finish.

CTC – What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

DLY – Monday through Friday I write from 5AM until 7AM. With two grade school-aged kids and a demanding day job, it’s about the only time I have to myself.

CTC – What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

DLY – Probably that I don’t have quirks. I take a fairly workmanlike approach to writing. Sit down and do it, no excuses. I don’t believe in writer’s block.

CTC – Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

DLY – News stories, history, non-fiction books on topics that interest me. There’s no shortage of great ideas for stories if you keep your eyes open and stay curious about the world around you.

CTC – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

DLY – I have a lot of friends in the fashion industry, so I travel to New York as often as I can to hang out with them. I also like to rock climb, skydive, and spend time at my vineyard. Wait, that’s my fantasy life. The reality is pretty domestic. I like to hang out with my wife and kids. Cook. Read. Watch movies and soccer matches. Manchester United forever!

CTC – What does your family think of your writing?

DLY – Most of what I write is R-rated (some of it NC-17), so my kids are still too young to read my stuff. My wife reads just about everything I write and she’s a great sounding board, but she’d like me to write happier stories with more upbeat endings. I always answer her by saying things like, “How dramatic would it have been if Hamlet would have lived or if Romeo and Juliet would have ridden off into the sunset together?”

CTC – What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

DLY – My books are indie-published, so for me the BIG learning curve was around production and marketing. I hate the term ‘self-publishing’ because–if you’re doing it right–independent publishing is anything but a solitary effort. It’s total project management. You have to hire a cover artist, editor, proofreader. You need to recruit beta readers and reach out to potential reviewers. And that’s just the production side. Marketing is another monster altogether. Events, advertising, giveaways, and so on. You’re always juggling several balls at once. Traditionally published authors don’t have most of these headaches, but for me the trade off is worth it. I like having the autonomy to make my own business decisions (what I sell, where I sell it, at what price, etc.) and the freedom to work with the professionals I choose. Indie publishing isn’t for everyone, but it’s a good fit for me.

CTC – Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

DLY – Write, write, write. Sounds ridiculously simple, I know, but writing’s like any other skill. Repetition builds expertise. Also, having a regular writing routine and sticking to it has helped me tremendously. And don’t suffer in silence! Seek out writers in your community, meet with them, share notes, join a critique group.

CTC – Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

DLY – I keep close contact with readers via social media and, to a lesser extent, email. 99% of their comments are nice and complimentary, though occasionally I do get the ‘I hated that you killed that guy’ kind of feedback. But good feedback or otherwise, I always love hearing from readers. It never fails to make my day.

CTC – Do you like to create books for adults?

DLY – I only create books for adults. My days of Speed Racer fan fiction are far behind me. 🙂

CTC – What do you think makes a good story?

DLY – For me, a great story has an engaging, page-turning plot AND a high degree of literary style. VERY FEW authors ever pull this off. Most competent writers can do one or the other. It’s a lofty goal, but I aspire to both.

CTC – As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

DLY – I wanted to be Charles Schulz. I devoured Peanuts books and made my own comic strips. To this day I can still draw a pretty good Snoopy.

CTC – Is there anything else that you would like for the audience to know?

DLY – [Insert shameless marketing here] Anyone who joins my news and update list gets a free copy of my book Juarez Square and Other Stories, which now includes the first chapter of my forthcoming novel Soledad, a dystopian thriller coming out in May. I’m very excited about Soledad. Early readers have really loved it. You can sign up at http://www.dlyoungfiction.com

CTC – You can also follower David on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/DLYoungWriter

And, on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/DLYoungWriter

You can purchase his books on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, iTunes, and Kobo.

DLYoung photo     In the squalid aftermath of a collapsed nation, rival factions wage vicious battles over territory and precious resources, killer drones fly overhead in search of prey, and everyday life is a desperate scramble for survival.

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Erratically Written

Standard

Flotilla Cover

Present day, Jim Westfield is dictating his story while running to save his and his sister’s lives. They are in a boat headed for Puget Sound after a virus has broken out and someone bombed the USA. He starts his tale when he was fourteen with his probation officer agreeing to release him from rehab. In exchange he goes to live with his father at a mariculture facility 120 miles off the shore of California where he must work and maintain his sobriety.

Daniel Haight’s first novel in The Pac Fish Series, Flotilla, has an interesting concept. I liked the description of the floating facility and the characters that worked upon it. That is all.

The copy I received from NetGalley has multiple typos and is in desperate need of editing. The storytelling was much like a group of folks sitting around a BBQ swapping childhood stories. It was more a collections of short stories than a flowing novel. I did not enjoy reading it at all and found it boring. 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from NetGalley for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

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