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Featured Author: Daniel Arenson June 27, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Books, Featured Authors.
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I’d like to welcome back author Daniel Arenson! Last year I was lucky enough to have Daniel here on Juniper Grove and we learned all about his book, Flaming Dove, and all of his writing habits. Well, Daniel is back and this time he is sharing with us about his newest fantasy novel Blood of Requiem, Song of Dragons Book 1!!

If this is your first time meeting Daniel, let me take a moment to share his bio with you:

Born in 1980, Daniel Arenson is an author of fantasy fiction, from epic to dark and surreal.

He began his career writing short stories. He sold his first story, “Worms Believe in God”, in 1998. Since then, dozens of his stories and poems have appeared in various magazines, among them Flesh & Blood, Chizine, and Orson Scott Card’s Strong Verse.

Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale, published Arenson’s fantasy novel Firefly Island in 2007. Since then, he’s written the fantasy novels The Gods of Dream, Flaming Dove, Eye of the Wizard, and Blood of Requiem.

~*~*~*~

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Blood of Requiem is about?

Song of Dragons, a new fantasy series, tells a story of blood, steel, and dragonfire.

BOOK ONE: BLOOD OF REQUIEM

Long ago stood the kingdom of Requiem, a land of men who could grow wings and scales, breathe fire, and take flight as dragons. Requiem ruled the sky.

But Dies Irae, a tyrant leading an army of griffins, hunted Requiem’s people, burned their forests, and shattered their temples. Requiem fell. This ancient land now lies in ruin, its halls crumbled, its cries silenced, its skeletons littering the burned earth.

In the wilderness, a scattering of survivors lives in hiding. The griffins still hunt them, and every day promises death. Will Requiem’s last children perish in exile… or once more become dragons and fly to war?

How long did it take you to write this book?

I’m not sure.  I wrote Blood of Requiem off and on, while marketing other books, working a day job, and following various other pursuits.  I estimate that the rough draft took about 100-200 hours to write.  I probably spent another 300 hours editing and revising it.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

Mozart’s Requiem.  While listening to the music, I tried to imagine creatures among the notes, like seeing shapes in clouds.  Being a fantasy author, I heard dragons.  I wrote the novel while listening to the Requiem, and named my characters and places after lyrics from it.

Which character in this book was the most enjoyable for you to write?

Gloriae, a huntress of dragons.  She’s beautiful, imperial, and fully evil.  She’s fire encased with ice, angry inside and impossibly cold on the surface.  And yet, she’s not a caricature; she has a haunting past, an identity crisis, and many challenges to overcome.  Her story is a sad one, but she’s so over the top, and so villainous, she was a pleasure to write.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

If you love epic fantasy like A Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll love Blood of Requiem.

How many books have you written so far?

Blood of Requiem is my fifth fantasy novel.  I’m also the author of Firefly Island, Flaming Dove, The Gods of Dream, and Eye of the Wizard.

Out of all the characters you have written, is there a certain one that you are closer too then the rest? If so, why?

My favorite character is Romy, a demon girl from Eye of the Wizard.  She’s a klutz.  She’s a ditz.  She’s the dumb blonde from Hell – literally.  She’s annoying, clumsy, childish, and destructive… but it’s hard not to love her.

What is the last book you read?

Silas by Robert Duperre.

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

I’m working on Tears of Requiem (Song of Dragons, Book 2).

Do you have a favorite method for writing, getting ideas, working out plots, etc?

I think of an idea.  I plan an outline.  I write one word at a time.  Nothing too mysterious, really.

What is your least favorite movie that came from a book?

The Dragonlance movie.  Great books, horrible, horrible movie.

How many books do you read a week/month?

Not as many as I’d like to.  I wish I had more time to read!

What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

I’ve had books published both ways.  I know it’s a big debate among authors.  I try not to worry about it.  Readers just want a great story; they don’t care how it’s published.  So that’s what I focus on… just telling great stories, and sharing them with readers.  Currently, the best way for me to do this is by releasing indie ebooks.  In the future that might change.

If you had to trade lives with someone for an entire week, who would you trade with? Keep in mind that they would be living your life as well.

Falcor from The Neverending Story, so I can fly around.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

In high school, I was learning how to drive a manual Subaro.  When I faced a narrow, winding, uphill street in heavy traffic, I said, “This is hard to do.”  My driving instructor said, “Yes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for it.”  I think that applies to most challenges in life.

One food you would never eat?

Balut.  You probably don’t want to look that up.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

People who eat balut, of course.  (Trust me… don’t look it up!)

~*~*~*~*~

Thank you Daniel for allowing me to interview you….and for making me look up balut *turns green*

*cough*

Here are some ways that you can follow Daniel

His Website

Facebook

Get your own copy of Blood of Requiem (Song of Dragons, Book 1) on Amazon!

You can check out his interview about Flaming Dove and his writing habits HERE

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

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With All My Might – Winner! June 26, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Books, Giveaways.
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Thank you to everyone that came out and entered the giveaway for a Signed Printed copy of With All My Might by Gabriella van Rij! There was an amazing turn out! Thank you Gabriella for generously allowing me to giveaway a copy of your book here on Juniper Grove :)

Random.org was used to select the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. And the winner is…….

*Karen P.

Congrats! An email has been sent your way :)

Thank you again to all who entered and learned about this inspiring book!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

 

 

The MPire: Death Cometh Giveaway – Winner! June 23, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Giveaways.
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Thank you everyone who came out and entered my giveaway for a Print copy of The MPire: Death Cometh by TL James! I’d also like to give a big Thanks to Ms. James for allowing me to give a copy of her awesome book away :)

Random.org was used to select the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. And the winner is…

* Nicole S.

Congrats! An email has been sent your way :)

Thank you again to everyone who entered!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Tour with Giveaway – With All My Might by Gabriella van Rij June 21, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Book Tours, Books, Nurture Your Books.
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Gabriella van Rij has developed a unique experience in the field of communication during the last two decades with a huge capacity to adjust to different cultures while moving through many countries and many different communities.

She speaks fluently 3 languages (English, Dutch and French) and has worked with large multinationals as well as Small Businesses. She knows better than anyone the secrets of negotiations between individuals and groups.

She is a born leader able to develop real team spirit, but she is also committed to volunteer work to give her best to people in need.

She looks happy, she is happy and she can make you happier in your life by providing the ultimate gift.

The will to achieve and the joy to do it!

With All My Might

One Woman’s Cross-Cultural Journey by Gabriella van Rij

Born Muslim, raised Catholic…
From an orphanage to diplomatic family…
From humble meals to three course dinners with silver cutlery…
Born in Pakistan, raised in Europe…

Every day having to defend myself at the school yard: “Is that blond, tall, gorgeous-looking woman picking you up really your mother?”

All of us have been spoon-fed or pressured into conforming by the people closest to us. Out of the conformity, our adversities are often born. You can overcome both, become free of constraints, and become proud of your own diversity.

This book talks about conformity, adversity and diversity.

Stay true to who you are!

Be YOU and PLEASE don’t apologize for being you!

With All My Might (WAMM): One Woman’s Cross-Cultural Journey
Author: Gabriella van Rij
Genre: Non-Fiction – Autobiography
Published by: We Open Doors Inc. (November 5th, 2010)
Age Recommendation: 18+ years of age – mature themes
Format(s): eBook, perfect paperback, audio book
ISBN 13: 978-0-9866533-0-8
Number of pages: approx. 220

I want to take a moment to share some of the thoughts about With All My Might that I didn’t share in my book review. There are so many issues in this autobiography that I think people can relate too, especially that I can relate to personally. I think we have all went through a time where we were outcasts, where we just didn’t fit in no matter how hard we tried. I know for me personally, I struggled with this issue several times as I was uprooted and moved around a lot as a child. I was automatically the new kid and nobody could see past that label to who I really was. Now I haven’t traveled the distance that Gabriella has, but I have experienced being born on one side of the United States and being moved to the other and living in the North and moving to the South. It’s a completely different experience and one that has shaped the person I am today, for better or worse.

Children can sometimes be mean growing up, especially during the teen years. The pressure to conform to others expectations is intense and I think we all have experience with this. The harder I tried to fit in, the less it seemed like I did. Even though I perfected my skills of being a Chameleon and blending in, I was never truly happy. Whether people were bullying me because I talked to fast and proper, because my accent made me stand out, or because I was always day dreaming, I always felt like an outsider. I still remember vividly the day that I was told “to go kill myself because everyone would be better off” and I’m sure that phrase will continue to both haunt and inspire me for the rest of my days. This is the reason I turned to writing; as a way to escape the reality and bullying, if only for a short while.

For years I kept my writing locked away because to me it was just a therapy session, a way to create a world that operated how I thought it should and where I always fit in, but I never allowed anyone else into my world. I wasn’t confident enough to do so. Then several months back I had a revelation. It suddenly didn’t matter what people thought of me or my writing, I accepted myself, just as Gabriella is encouraging others to do. So I took the plunge and sent off a short story for publication. You can imagine my complete surprise the moment I read the acceptance letter in my inbox. What a feeling! To take such a large, uncertain step and be rewarded with acceptance :)

You can read my review of With All My Might Here

You can find the complete list of book tour stops Here. Be sure to visit each blog to learn more about the remarkable Gabriella van Rij! As you may have noticed, my post went up a little early, along with other hosts on this tour. This is because there is such a large, diverse audience for this book and we wanted to make sure that everyone, no matter your time zone, had the chance to get to know this amazing autobiography.

Places you can find Gabriella:

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

Gabriella has generously offered up one (1) Signed Print copy of With All My Might to one of my readers! Giveaway is open Globally and will end at 11:59 PM EST on June 24th, 2011. You do not have to be a follower to enter, but it is greatly appreciated :)

This giveaway has ENDED. Congrats to the winner!

I strongly recommend that you all read With All My Might. It is a truly remarkable story and I thank Gabriella van Rij for sharing her journey with us!

To purchase your copy of With All My Might, visit Gabriella’s Website

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: With All My Might June 21, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 5 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Jaidis Shaw Reviews, Nurture Your Books.
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1 comment so far

Get your copy of With All My Might from author Gabriella van Rij’s website!

Description:

Born Muslim, raised Catholic…
From an orphanage to diplomatic family…
From humble meals to three course dinners with silver cutlery…

Born in Pakistan, raised in Europe…
Every day having to defend myself at the school yard: “Is that blond, tall, gorgeous-looking woman picking you up really your mother?”

All of us have been spoon-fed or pressured into conforming by the people closest to us. Out of the conformity, our adversities are often born. You can overcome both, become free of constraints, and become proud of your own diversity.

This book talks about conformity, adversity and diversity.

Stay true to who you are!

Be YOU and PLEASE don’t apologize for being you!

My Thoughts:

With All My Might by Gabriella van Rij is one of the most remarkable books I have had the pleasure of reading lately. In this autobiography of her life, she talks about some of the issues that have shaped her into the strong woman she is today. Born in Pakistan and later adopted by a Dutch family, Gabriella was forced to experience life as an outsider, yet expected to conform into her new life.

There are many aspects covered in With All My Might that we can all relate to, even though Gabriella’s story is truly unique. Whether we are adopted or not, no matter our race or skin color, we are all human and we need to embrace that fact. If we all accept each other and more importantly, accept ourselves, then we can finally be happy. One of the inspiring things Gabriella said in her book  that I completely agree with is “Whether I am the black sheep in the family or not, I decided to embrace it. Every family has one, even if they are not adopted. I realized that no matter what, there is always one person in a family who is somehow different and does not properly integrate within the group. I was like that. I did everything differently, but that did not mean I was bad, just unique.” (pg. 105)

Another one of the things that Gabriella talks about in her book is being a mother. She says “I am not sure how other expectant mothers feel. I can only tell you that from the day I was pregnant, an enormous ‘awe’ was with me until the birth of my beautiful daughter, an awe that surpasses everything. I felt such serenity and peace and joy.” (pg. 109) I think this is something that most mothers feel, I know I did. I still feel that ‘awe’ each time I watch the face of my 3-year-old daughter while she sleeps peacefully. As I sit here and think about Gabriella’s story, I can honestly say that I do not believe that I would be as strong as she was when dealing with the issues that arose with her in-laws over her daughter.

I am honored that I was given the opportunity to read With All My Might by Gabriella van Rij. The reader will be taken along on Gabriella’s journey as she struggles to find herself in the world and will hopefully listen to the important message that Gabriella is trying to share. It’s okay to be unique, it’s okay to be different. You will be so much happier once you accept yourself and others will soon accept you as well. “Stay true to who you are! Be YOU and PLEASE don’t apologize for being you!” (Back cover of With All My Might)

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: Consumed by Love June 17, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Get your copy of Consumed by Love on Kindle!!

Description:

Consumed by Love is the story of a couple who must face one partner’s supernatural transformation. This short piece is written in the style of a classic horror story with a dark take on the addictive nature of love.

My Review:

Consumed by Love by Pavarti Devi is a wickedly twisted short story filled with perverse love and sadistic carnal desires. What’s happening to Hugo isn’t natural, yet his lust for flesh, for blood, seeps from his very core. He has always known this change would take place and with the passing of his father, an Abenaki chief, he expected it. Though he wasn’t quite prepared for what was stirring inside of him and the hunger it brought forth.

As the days passed after Hugo’s father’s death, Bree watched her husband fading away. He didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, and barely said a word. As hard as Bree tried, Hugo was spiraling down into a black hole she couldn’t help him out of. That is, until she gave him what he so desperately wanted…her flesh and her blood. How far will Bree go in order to keep her true love satisfied? A nibble here and a chunk of meat there, won’t be enough to keep the beast satiated.

Pavarti Devi was very creative in writing this aberrant and unique tale. I enjoyed the premise of the story, but felt it was a bit hurried. I realize it’s a short story but it moved along rather quickly, sometimes bouncing from one situation on to the next without any connection or segue. I also had a problem with the dialog at times. As it was hard to distinguish who was speaking, simply because of the placement and structure of the lines being exchanged between characters.

I do recommend giving this a read, for it’s very different and entertaining! There are sexual situations and violent themes not suited for younger readers.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Hazel O’Shea

Book Tour with Giveaway – The MPire: Death Cometh by T.L. James June 15, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Book Tours, Nurture Your Books.
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2 comments

TL James graduated with an MBA from LeTourneau University. At LETU, James cultivated an interest in biblical studies and research. Little did James know, but her love for research would become an integral thread in her writing style.

After many sleepless nights, James began writing her first speculative fictional book, with her newly born son tucked comfortably at her side. She developed the family drama storyline that showcases her love of research, biblical studies and literary classics (i.e., Chaucer, Shakespeare and Mythology). The MPire Trilogy was born.

In 2008, TL James revived PHE Ink, a Writing Solutions Firm, after discovering a number of gaps in the publishing industry. James works with aspiring writers, one-on-one, to develop their literary voice. PHE Ink, also, assists entrepreneurs with transforming their business dreams into defined objectives and business plans.

TL James currently resides in Houston, Texas with her son and immediate family.

The MPire: Death Cometh by T.L James

A Necessary Evil… Mallory Towneson Haulm, financial wizard and consummate ladies man, brings the four horsemen to completion as he reluctantly embraces his destined charge as Death.  While struggling to maintain his lavish façade, Mallory witnesses bits of his glamorous world slipping through his hands.  How can he balance his earthly paradise with his diabolical calling of the earth’s fate?

There Can Only Be One… Death Cometh divulges life shattering secrets that move Heaven and Earth as Mallory’s true destined charge transforms him, requiring him to take his rightful place.  However, his father, Malcolm is not quite ready to relinquish control.

The battle lines have been drawn and the most consecrated ritual will allow only one to be Death.  Who will survive?

The MPire: Death Cometh (Book 2)
Author:  T.L. James
Genre: Fiction – Sci-Fi/Thriller/Drama
Published by: PHE Ink (June 1, 2009)
Age Recommendation: 19+, Erotic/Adult Content – m/m content
Format(s): eBook, Perfect Paperback, Trade Paperback
ISBN 13: 978-0-9824475-2-9
Number of pages: 300

You can check out my review of The MPire: Death Cometh HERE

You can find a complete list of tour stops HERE but there is another stop today over at:

* June 16th – A.O. @ aobibliosphere

Places you can find Ms. James include:

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review – The MPire: Death Cometh June 15, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 4 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Book Tours, Jaidis Shaw Reviews, Nurture Your Books.
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3 comments

Get your copy of The MPire: Death Cometh on Kindle!

Description:

Mallory Towneson Haulm, financial wizard and consummate ladies man, brings the four horsemen to completion as he reluctantly embraces his destined charge as Death. While struggling to maintain his lavish façade, Mallory witnesses bits of his glamorous world slipping through his hands. How can he balance his earthly paradise with his diabolical calling of the earth’s fate?

And then there was one…

Death Cometh divulges life shattering secrets that move Heaven and Earth as Mallory’s true destined charge transforms him, requiring him to take his rightful place. However, his father, Malcolm is not quite ready to relinquish control.

The battle lines have been drawn and the most consecrated ritual will allow only one to be Death. Who will survive?

My Review:

The controversy returns in The MPire: Death Cometh by T.L. James. In book one, The MPire: In Search of the Lost, we were first introduced to Mallory Towneson Haulm. Just as everything was looking up, Mallory was forced back into the family business where he was expected to take on his role as the Fourth Horseman, Death. In book two, The MPire: Death Cometh, Mallory is struggling as he tries to learn about his new future.

Malcolm is not only Mallory’s father but holds the current position of Death. There is a severe lack of communication and a never-ending power struggle between Malcolm and Mallory. Mallory just wants his father to teach him what he is suppose to do. Malcolm has a fear that Mallory will take over and eliminate him. This makes Malcolm more stubborn than ever as he refuses to pass the position over to Mallory.

As with all secrets, they always have a way of coming out. The Haulms family must decide as a unit whether they are able to accept these secrets or if it will ruin everything. I must admit that even I was shocked with some of the twists and turns throughout The MPire: Death Cometh. With the tense cliffhanger at the end, I’m left wondering what is in store for Mallory in book three, The MPire: Trinity.

This book contains very strong sexual themes in both M/F and M/M scenarios, strong language and violence and should only be read by mature adult audiences with open minds.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Book Review: The Advice Girl June 15, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in 3 Tree Reviews, Book Reviews, Hazel O'Shea Reviews.
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Get your copy of The Advice Girl (The Dalara Series, Book One) on Kindle!

Description:

“Kira has been best friends with Sophia since Kindergarten. When her friend is presumed dead, Kira goes into a downward spiral of depression until she finds a hidden note.

Sophia knows there is something different about her. When a man she met on the internet comes to the house and saves her from an assassin, she knows he is her destiny.

Ethan is aware that he should not fall for Sophia, but he cannot help himself. She brings forth feelings of completion and love whenever she is around him.

After the attempt on her life, Sophia finds out that some vile members of a secret cult, who go by the name Vindicated Saints, are trying to stop her from learning about her powers. Ethan is a member of the Guild of Aurora and it is his job to protect her at any cost and help her get the training she needs so her powers can be fully hers. Will Sophia be able to come into her powers before it is too late?”

– Coffee Time Romance

My Review:

The Advice Girl is the first book written by author L.A. Shaw. Ms. Shaw weaves a tale of secret societies and supernatural powers, entwined in a centuries old battle to set things right and bring about peace to this tired and weary world. The Guild is an organization set out to find carriers of “The Light”, the pure and loving energy that each one of our souls possess, in hopes of fusing together our world with one that was ripped from us ages ago. In doing so, they will create a realm free of pain and suffering. The Vindicated Saints will never allow that to happen, for their existence is based on greed, fear, and above all, power. They have, and will, continue to hunt down the Guild’s prospective “talents”.

Sophia has always known she was different. Hell, her whole family seemed as if they came fresh out of the twilight zone, but Sophia made sure no one was aware of this. She was able to hide all of her pain away and instead, helped others with their struggles offering up a shoulder to cry on and wise advice to help them through their situations. The only one who came close to knowing the real Sophia was her roommate and life-long best friend Kira. The two were kindred spirits and at 25, had their whole lives ahead of them. Until the unthinkable happened and Sophia died. Kira was left lost and alone with a mountain of questions brought on by the unusual circumstances surrounding Sophia’s death. Now with very little to go on Kira is left to wonder, was Sophia murdered or was there a possibility her best friend was still alive? Her questions would soon be answered and her life put in horrible danger.

The storyline was interesting and most certainly had potential but it felt rushed and vaguely written. In my opinion, both the plot and the characters needed more depth and build up in order for the reader to become fully absorbed in the story. There were grammatical and structural errors that at times caused me to re-read a sentence multiple times before continuing on reading. This was not a terrible book by any means and I recommend reading this to anyone who is a fan of theological thrillers and mysteries. Aside from the aforementioned hitches, this was a pleasant read.

My Rating:

Happy Reading,

Hazel O’Shea

Featured Author – Matthew Plourde June 14, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Books, Featured Authors.
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Today I want to shine the Author Spotlight on the author of Eden….Matthew Plourde! Mr. Plourde has generously allowed me to interview him to find out all about his book Eden and his writing habits.

Welcome Matthew!

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what your book is about?

Eden explores redemption and self-discovery with the backdrop of our world ruined. Set in the fictional near-future, one woman struggles for survival in her new world. Guided by a mysterious, scarred man she attempts to piece together the puzzle in the wake of a massive earthquake. As the story unfolds, we learn there is much more happening than our heroine first assumed.

Alexandra’s journey to mankind’s mythical birthplace will leave the reader guessing, grieving, hoping and cheering.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Ten long, interrupted and uncertain years.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

My fascination with a particular personality from the Bible (no, I cannot tell you who that is – it would ruin the surprise!). I wanted to write a contemporary story about him/her, but I wasn’t happy with how it was developing. Then, an Avril Lavigne song pulled it all together for me. Eden is as much about this “forgotten hero” as it is Alexandra Contreras, our pov character.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Without crossing into “religious preachy fiction” territory, Eden explores some Biblical concepts from a not-so-common platform: what if most of the Old Testament was more than mere myth?

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

Like the moment I met my wife, that memory is lost to the dark alleyways of my brain. However, I do remember always writing little stories as a kid and giving them to my mom to read. I was first published in high school, by a school distribution.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I cannot write fast enough. When I’m in my groove (which is often now that Eden is finished), I feel like a runner tripping over my feet. My thoughts are too quick for my fingers, and for the time I have to write.

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

Spend time with my family and friends… and play as many games as I can! Like Jane McGonigal, I believe the world can be saved by playing games.

What does your family think of your writing?

They love it, but they are obligated to! My wife is my #1 fan and she gets to read everything before y’all. If you ever pass her on the street, be sure to thank her for that. She has saved everyone from some of my garbage!

How many books have you written so far?

Two books. Eden was my first novel. My second book, a sci-fi yarn called “The Antaran Legacy” is also available everywhere online.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Did a little personal dance in my computer chair and then resumed whatever I was doing (probably playing a game).

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Become an expert query letter writer. Read the self-help books, digest samples and get involved in writer communities. For as much as I am a revolutionary, I urge every new writer to try things the traditional route first. If that doesn’t work, come talk to me! Seriously. I’ve helped other self-published authors take the first few steps and I’m more than happy to help anyone else as well.

Do you hear from your readers much?

Not yet – still building that audience. With over 1,500 copies of Eden out there to strangers, I was hoping for a little more action in my inbox. I think, perhaps, post-apoc fans are the quiet type…

What do you think makes a good story?

This is my favorite question to answer! A good story flows naturally from the characters and never relies on plot crutches or “dumb character”. Good story also pours from the writer’s heart, not his/her mind. When you start concerning yourself with money, the phantom reader or your outline (you shouldn’t have one), then I believe your story suffers. Let it come naturally, and from a place of pure joy.

I actually blog about the topic of “story” quite a bit… more than is healthy to be sure.

What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?

Comedy. I have supreme respect for writers who can make their audience laugh on end. It takes rare talent and a natural gift (I believe) to write humor. Just like I don’t understand musical concepts, I’m not sure I’ll ever grasp the art of writing comedy.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?

Just recently I survived my first bout with writer’s block. Since this was new for me, I had to discover my own resolution methods. In the end, I found that leaving the manuscript alone for a few weeks solved the problem.

What is the last book you read?

The First Lensman by EE “Doc” Smith

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

Oh yes! Always! I just finished the graphic novel script for Eden – we’re building that over the next few months. I’m also working on the next book in the Eden saga: Babylon. Look for a late 2011 release date for that title.

How many books do you read a week/month?

Sadly, my days are too full of work/family/writing/games to wedge too many books in there. All my reading happens over my week-long summer camping trip each year. During that binge, I read 1 book every 2 days, roughly.

If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Plato. He knew something about our holographic universe and I want to pick his brain on that topic. That, and he believes in an enlightened utopia – another topic of which I am vastly interested.

If you had to compare yourself to an animal, which one would it be and why?

I am the coyote (you’ll see some of this in Babylon). While researching Eden, I learned all about coyotes. They are oblivious to their own limitations and will sometimes jump from a cliff if they witness a bird do the same. After all, if a bird can fly, why can’t a coyote?

That’s me: reality be damned, I’m gonna do it my way.

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

Don’t be a jerk.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

While struggling to survive the massive doses of radiation my doctors heaped on my head/neck, my visiting nurse urged me to remember: “this is temporary.” Now, when things aren’t going so well, I recall those words and find the strength to persevere.

One food you would never eat?

Anything that guy eats on that ‘Bizarre Foods’ travel channel show. Some sick stuff there.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

People who buy lottery tickets in front of me at the convenience store. Seriously? I need to wait five minutes while you tell the cashier your losing numbers and/or scan in the few scratch tickets that got you $1 each? All I want to do is buy this gallon of milk and loaf of bread… why must I wait in utter hell for you to prove you have no grasp of mathematics? Step aside and just let me be on my way already!

/opens pill bottle with shaky hands

~*~*~*~*~

I’d like to thank Mr. Plourde for the insightful interview!

Please be sure to visit Matthew over at his BLOG and let him know how much you enjoyed his interview!

Get your own copy of Eden on Kindle!

The amazing Hazel O’Shea recently had the pleasure of reading Eden! Her complete review can be found HERE but here is a snippet:

“I absolutely loved this book! The story does focus on biblical theories and beliefs, but in no way preaches to the reader. Whether you’re Christian or not, you will enjoy this book and walk away with a feeling of love and hope! I had the most difficult time putting this book down because every page brought something new to the story! Mr. Plourde does not tell you this story, he shows you the story. Creating an attachment between you and the characters allowing you to be right there with them, in every moment. Eden is now on my list of favorites and I highly recommend reading this to everyone looking for an inspiring and adventuresome read!”

Happy Reading,

Jaidis