Introducing Author J.E. Feldman

16508392_1278902058861358_3026992066910160423_nDragon Soul Press proudly announces author J.E. Feldman has joined the ranks. Though primarily a Fantasy author, she writes in a plethora of other genres as well. Her novel Quest of Angels will be the first to publish with DSP.

Here is a brief introduction interview with the author and we request you follow her at the following for updates: Website, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, BookBub, Blog.

 

Introduce yourself. What is your experience with writing?

My name is Jade Feldman and I’m an author of multiple genres; my favorites consisting of everything Fantasy and Horror. I currently reside in the humidified state of Florida with my random assortment of rescued animals.

I have been in the writing world for a very long time. After searching for publishers who would be willing to take on an eight-year-old went awry, the dream of becoming an author was put on the back-burner for a while. Being an avid reader helped launch me into the community and I was receiving paperbacks via mail to R&R personally for amazing authors at a very young age. When an offer to translate and coauthor with someone was made, I was underage and unable to accept. The missed opportunity had me reconsidering how I would become known in the world.

It was then I decided my debut novel would be the first in a trilogy. By fourteen, I had already written hundreds of short stories, novels, songs, poems, and other snippets. With my improving skills, I considered none of these prodigious enough to be my introduction to the world. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I began writing The Dragonscale in the back of my 9th grade World History class after completing a test early.

Illness had me graduating high school early and tackling college directly after. I threw myself into writing, building a safe haven in a Fantasy Writers group on Facebook, and on expanding my knowledge. Even with so much knowledge under my belt, I still hesitated publishing my debut novel. The universe tossed someone amazing into my path to help push me through the final step.

And here I am today. Working multiple jobs in the writing industry and answering interview questions on a website that has been years in the making. Stop hesitating. Take the leap.

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

Yes and no. We do the same activities as everyone else for the most part. The only difference is we have entire worlds in our heads filled with characters grumbling throughout the day to be written. It can get crowded in there.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

Since I was little, my mom always read stories to me and would keep me entertained with some of her own. I remember being three-years-old and getting asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. My older cousin said “a princess.” My answer was “author.”

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

A combination. It depends on which story and how far along it is. As I begin to wrap up the story, I prefer having loose outlines to lead the way so I don’t forget any important details. I have given up doing detailed outlines because the characters are extremely rebellious the entire journey.

Do you read much? If so, who are your favorite authors?

As mentioned prior, I’m an avid reader. To list all of my favorite authors would probably take an eternity. The ones that stand out off the top of my head who also inspired some of my own writing are as follows: R.A. Salvatore, Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory, Margaret Weis, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin, James Patterson, Kristin Cashore, Sarah J. Maas, Audrey Grey, Adrienne Woods, A.W. Exley, Neal Shusterman, Brian Jacques, Philippa Gregory, L.M. Montgomery, etc.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Keep moving forward. Always thoroughly do research, have an open mind, and set a list of goals. As you accomplish the goals, create more. Always keep improving and do not allow anyone to hold you back. If this is something you truly want, you can make it possible.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

Absolutely! Fans are the backing to one’s entire career. It would be unfair to them to receive a response back from a personal assistant. I fiercely believe in staying levelheaded and keeping in touch with everyone.

Do you mentor?

Over the years, I have taken many authors under my wing. We have all grown together into an amazing community. Networking is the best way to meet incredible people from all over the world. I highly recommend finding a group early on to create roots.

Have you ever turned a dream or a nightmare into a written piece?

Yes. I had such a lucid dream about zombies and aliens that it turned into my short story called Hazardous. Some of the events in my other books are loosely based on dreams, such as The Faerikyn Apocalypse, but most are from random ideas and daydreams.

What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?

My goal is to help as many authors as possible to realize and achieve their dreams. The writing community is so hushed with how to properly navigate the aspects of publishing that it becomes hard for people just starting out to successfully get past the hurdles. It can become frustrating and many give up before they’ve really begun.

Introducing Author Simon Dillon

Simon DillonDragon Soul Press proudly announces author Simon Dillon has joined the ranks! His horror novel titled The Spectre of Springwell Forest will be released this December!

Here is a brief introduction interview with the author and we request you follow him for updates: Facebook, Website.

 

  1. How important is research to you when writing a book?

Every book I write involves research, which can mean multiple trips to the library, scouting of potential locations (many of my novels are set locally, where I live in the south-west of England), and even interviews where required. Of course, Google makes research a lot easier these days, and I refuse to be snobby about using it, as some authors are.

  1. When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

I think I had an inkling in school, when teachers became concerned about some of the dark subject matter in my stories. Still, I didn’t know for certain immediately, and my first ambition was to be a farmer, oddly enough. After that I wanted to be a journalist, then a film critic, then a film director, then a screenwriter, and eventually I realised that what I really wanted was to be a successful novelist. I’ve been working towards that goal ever since, but from around the age of about sixteen I’ve always been writing something, whether articles, reviews, short stories, screenplays, or novels.

  1. What inspires you to write?

The voices in my head. I’m joking. Sort of.

I have ideas for stories almost every day. Most of them never become more than a sentence or two in an ideas file. Some get developed into a few paragraphs of story treatment. Then an elite few go beyond that. Those are the ideas that nag and pester me until I have no choice but to silence them by putting them on paper.

I honestly can’t imagine a life where I don’t write. It would be akin to not breathing.

  1. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I am a control freak when it comes to writing, so I always have to know the ending and work backwards from that. I will only write a story if I discover an ending which (in my mind at least) is so thrilling, exhilarating, moving, traumatic, unexpected, profound or perhaps simply hilarious, that it absolutely has to be written. From there, I develop character profiles, do research, and plan the narrative. I don’t plan so rigidly that my plots can’t take unexpected detours in the writing stage, but whatever route the plot ends up taking, it will arrive at the finale I originally foresaw.

I know some authors dislike this approach, viewing it as restrictive and perhaps preferring to create a character, start a story and see where their protagonist takes them. I couldn’t do that. I have to know my ending first.

  1. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

You are going to wish you never asked this question… Yes, I read loads, in many different genres. I enjoy established classics – Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Dracula, Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, In Cold Blood, Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Pride and Prejudice, Birdsong, The Remains of the Day, Life of Pi, Far from the Madding Crowd (and the poetry of Thomas Hardy in general), not to mention books about the Arthur legends (The Once and Future King for instance) or Greek legends (I recently read Stephen Fry’s Mythos)… Really, I could go on and on.

I have a particular soft spot for classic children’s stories – everything from AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories and Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. More recently, I’ve loved Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books. That brings me neatly into the “young adult” bracket, and there’s much to be enjoyed there too – everything from Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games.

I also love murder mysteries by Agatha Christie (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Sleeping Murder are two absolute gems), Michael Crichton’s thrillers, Stephen King’s horror stories, and of course Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. Oh, and anything by Daphne Du Maurier, especially Rebecca and some of her short stories, such as Don’t Look Now. I love the ghost stories of MR James too. In fact, pretty much anything that falls under the banner of “gothic mystery” is a must-read for me.

As far as fantasy is concerned, sorry to sound like a cliché, but my favourites are the usual suspects – Tolkien, CS Lewis, JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and so on. Oh, and my all-time favourite science fiction novel is Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Sorry for the length of that answer. Now I bet you wish you hadn’t asked.

  1. Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

I asked my wife this question, and she said that these days, my characters don’t all sound like me. I also like to think there is less unnecessary description in my writing. I don’t believe that all adverbs are the work of Satan (some writers cling to that particular orthodoxy), but they are like ice-cream. Too much will make you sick.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

If by that you mean what throws a spanner in my writing process, then two things come to mind immediately:

  1. The internet and social media (incredibly distracting).
  2. What I call “George McFly Syndrome”. Remember George McFly in Back to the Future? He would always say “What if people say I’m no good? I just can’t take that kind of rejection!” Typically, when I start a novel I think it’s going to be the greatest book ever written. Then somewhere in the middle of act two, George McFly Syndrome kicks in. I ignore it and soldier on, and by the time I finish the book I think it’s a disaster. Then I leave it on the shelf for a few months, review it with a fresh eye, and most of the time think it’s not bad but not brilliant, thus finally arriving at a sober assessment of my work.

These days, my bouts of George McFly Syndrome are a lot less severe, but they still crop up from time to time.

  1. What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

An entertaining story, first and foremost. I dislike any novel that comes off as condescending, sanctimonious or preachy, even if I agree with the message. I believe writing a story with the specific intent of delivering a social, political or spiritual message is a mistake, and patronises the reader. Instead, I try to simply write a good story with no conscious agenda. Then, what is important to me is inherent in the text in any case.

  1. Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

Stop worrying about people thinking you are anti-social. Spend less time going out drinking and more time reading books and watching films. Think of all the money you’ll save. As a general point, learn not to give a damn about what other people think. It will save you a lot of aggravation. Also, stop feeling the need to argue with idiots. As the saying goes, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Introducing Author Abigail Linhardt

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Dragon Soul Press proudly announces author Abigail Linhardt has joined the ranks. We will proudly be releasing her Fantasy LitRPG titled Revary in January 2019.

Here is a brief introduction interview with the author and we request you follow her at the following for updates: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch.

 

Introduce yourself and what you write.

My name is Abigail Linhardt and I write primarily fantasy! Every year I do the National Novel Writing Contest and try to expand my writing genres by choosing something different every year. I have written fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, romance, and I’m going to try a mystery novel.

I started writing as a child and was always working on something up until I realized I could major in creative writing in college. I was able to work on my craft through those many years and love nothing more than creating stories and worlds for people to escape to.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would say “Don’t worry! You feel like a fraud but you are not. You think you will never make it but you have to keep going. Even if no one reads what you have written, it’s important for you to put the words on paper!”

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am a big fan of standalone novels and those are the ones I enjoy reading most. I also enjoy writing them because then I get to dabble in a little bit of everything. But I do have a couple projects where I am trying to work on creating one huge shared world that will span centuries and we will see magic turn to technology and generations of characters have adventures.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I have a favorite author whose name is DeAnna Cameron. She writes novels about belly dancers, and as a belly dancer myself, I greatly appreciate her stories! She is also a dancer so she understands the life and what it feels like to dance to that amazing music. That makes her books extremely personal to me and I can relate to them on a whole different level. She writes very vividly, her historical context is right on, and her romance is dream worthy!

What does literary success look like to you?

Holding my book in my hands! Beyond that anything else is a plus. I want people to read my stories and I want them not to only be entertained, but I want them to learn a little something about themselves and the world they live in. I want them to have a question at the end of each adventure. If I have done that, then I have succeeded.

How many hours a day do you write?

Like most other people, it really depends on how many papers I have to grade and how many hours I am working at other jobs. However, I sacrifice exercise time for writing any day! I try to write a number of words or to complete an idea rather than clock how many hours it takes. But with literary success will come more hours for writing! That’s the goal and the dream, right?

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Writing without “completing“ the book is totally different. If I am writing in November for NaNoWriMo Then it takes me just a month to write a book. I have done it several years in a row and have finished every time. So sometimes it takes me a month! Other times it can take me a year or years. But I am learning to discipline myself into getting things done. For example, I have one novel that will turn into a series that has been haunting me for 10 years. Probably because it’s the first thing I ever wrote. But I need to get it done, it deserves to live.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Intimate scenes are always difficult. But once you get going with those they tend to flow and become natural. Fight scenes, on the other hand, require so much editing they are no doubt most difficult. You think they are going well but then when you read it back you realize you use the same phrase or motion a dozen times! And you have to go back and edit it out. Then you read it again and it is still not flowing and everything is choppy and what was once an exciting fight scene is now boring, descriptive, motions. It can be very difficult!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have completed seven novels and have 10 short stories finished in a serial I have been writing. I have a handful of short stories and poetry (that will never see the light of day!) and an entire trunk full of plot and novel ideas that I have gathered up and written over the years. Sometimes, when I can’t write on the story I want to, I use a story generator and create a plot outline. So I should never have writer’s block!

Introducing Author Rowan Thalia

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Dragon Soul Press proudly announces author Rowan Thalia has joined the ranks. The first book of her Paranormal Reverse Harem trilogy named Keepers of the Talisman will be published in February 2019.

We present a brief introduction interview with the author and request you follow her at the following for updates: Website, Facebook, Reader group.

 

Introduce yourself and what you write.

Hi, my name is Rowan Thalia. I am a teacher and a mother of two small humans. My first series is a Paranormal Reverse Harem romance. I have also written a myriad of poems that I sometimes share on my Facebook page.

What is your writing kryptonite?

My writing kryptonite would probably be time. Being a teacher and a mom, I find I really have to schedule my time well in order to leave room for myself and writing. It is easy to get caught up doing “all of the things” for everyone else and forget about myself.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Writing characters from the opposite sex can be fun, but the first time I wrote a steamy scene from the male POV, I was very nervous! I made a few of my guy friends read it and give me their feedback. The responses I got from them helped me build my confidence. I find the more I write from that perspective, the more fun I have writing. Writing is about pushing your limits and writing from another viewpoint definitely does the job!

How do you select the names of your characters?

Fun fact: my main character’s name is a hybrid of my and my best friend’s middle names (Raye and Shane = Rayne). For my harem, first I thought about who they were and where they were from, then researched names based on their heritage.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not intentionally. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the small, yet important details feel that way.

Now that you have asked me this question, my answer may change for books 2 and 3!

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

One thing I would give up to become a better writer would have to be, oh gosh, coffee? I don’t really have a lot of things that I could give up!

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

For research, I use a lot of encyclopedia and other historical websites. For the beginning of this series, I also bought a few books on magic and wicca just to get a frame of reference. I read around five books before starting and have continued to research here and there when the need arises.

Pantser or plotter? Explain.

Why choose? Just kidding. I am a hybrid. I work with a series outline. Then for each book, I wrote a simple chapter by chapter outline that had sections for beginning, middle and end. However, I must admit that book two strayed off the plan for a few chapters before I was able to realign. One of the characters decided to cause some shenanigans, so when I am actually writing the content, I sometimes become a pantser.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

As a writer, I would choose a white tiger. Like a tiger, the writer in me has raw emotions that are waiting to be translated. My writing is often unpredictable (when my characters decide to take over my plotline). My storytelling can also be sleek and powerful, like a tiger stalking its prey. Rawr!

 

 

How to Begin and End a Chapter

Now that we’ve discussed the length of chapters, here’s some basic advice on how to begin and end those chapters.

Hook. From the moment your reader begins to read, they are expecting to be dragged into the world headfirst. In other words, they need something of interest to keep them reading. This happens on the first couple of pages. Whether it’s a question that has to be answered or an action scene, make it brief but do it well before diving into the story.

Line. The middle of the chapter.

Sinker. By this time, you have answered the question or come to a conclusion for the action from the first two pages. Now that you’ve given them some relief, you need to plant another hook to make it impossible to resist continuing on to the next chapter.

By using this process repeatedly throughout your books, you’ll ensure that your readers will be leaving reviews claiming to be “unable to put the book down.”

How Long Should a Chapter Be?

A common debate amongst authors is how long should a chapter be? James Patterson has chapters literally one page in length while J.R.R. Tolkien’s are dozens. Both are great authors. Both are infamous. But in the matter of chapter lengths, which one is right? The answer is they both are.

Let’s look at the definition of a chapter before going any further.

Chapter (Noun) – 1. A main division of a book, typically with a number or title. 2. A local branch of a society. 3. The governing body of a religious community, especially a cathedral or a knightly order. 4. A period of time or an episode in a person’s life, a nation’s history, etc.

We know it’s a main division of a book without even having to look at the definition, but look at the last example they give. A period of time or an episode in a person’s life, a nation’s history, etc. This is literally telling you, within the definition itself, that it does not matter how long the length of the chapter is as long as the scene within it is completed. You can still have a cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter, even if it is a page long.

Still not satisfied that the chapter can be any length? Let’s talk about lengthy chapters.

Do you remember seeing those fancy designs in between the text in some books? Those are called divider vectors. They are a visual ending of a scene for the reader. Vectors help to break up longer chapters so the reader is able to find a stopping point, because the reality is we always get interrupted by something while reading. It leaves an easier place to come back to.

Looking back at the definition of chapter again: A period of time or an episode in a person’s life. Your personal life is not cut into perfectly timed portions. An example — you only meant to stay at that Halloween party for two hours, but time whisked away and you found yourself there for five hours. The same goes with writing. One minute your character is behaving themselves and following the script. The next minute, they’re gallivanting across the countryside with a bunch of Dwarves and a wizard.

Do not restrict yourself or your characters on the fairytale ideals of perfect chapter lengths. Of course for young readers, you should make sure the chapters are easily comprehensible. But you still are not limited to a certain word count or a certain page-length for chapters. This is one of the steps that prevents many authors from simply writing.

So, sit down at the keyboard and just write.

How Many Characters Are Too Many?

So you’ve started writing your book. When writing our stories, we can sometimes get carried away with ourselves. We overcompensate in some areas and completely skimp over others. This is something that can be fixed with lots of practice and constructive criticism.

You have the main character set in your mind, you’ve added in their cohorts, you have a set enemy and their cohorts. Before you know it, you end up having too many people to keep track of. If you look closely, most of them are either hollow shells or the exact replica of another character. These are the characters you need to remove from the story altogether. If they are absolutely necessary, make them a fleetingly passing nobody character and move on without them.

Here are some things to look at when deciding whether you need the character or not.

  1. Do they have a personality? Are they around enough for their personality to shine out to the readers through their actions? Or do you find yourself calling them “noble, vindictive, or cruel” in the text?
  2. Are they the one who always magically comes to save the day for the other characters, but then continues their way out of the story?
  3. Are they truly necessary? Do they have a purpose besides coming in for a one-liner or lurking around a group of important characters?

These are just a few ways to tell if you have too many characters lingering around. If they don’t accelerate the story, your supporting cast doesn’t need them. If you can delete them without feeling like you’re cutting off an arm, you don’t need them. Point blank. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they’ll be extremely important in one more scene in Book Four when Book One isn’t even finished. Trust me, the reader will forget they ever even existed by the time that character appears again.

For those who came to this article perhaps looking for an exact number to abide by like a bible, there is no perfect number of characters to have within your cast. There is no precise limit either. As long as you only keep in the characters necessary to write the story, you’ll not only have an easier time writing it, but your readers will have a better time reading it as well.

Do not restrict yourself or your characters on the fairytale ideals of the perfect amount of characters to have in a story. Sit down at the keyboard and just write.