Blog Tour – Interview with Melissa Barker-Simpson

 

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INTERVIEW WITH MELISSA BARKER-SIMPSON

 The day has finally come for our Launch Week-Blog Tour to begin with Melissa Barker-Simpson and her novel, Hands of Evil. Readers’ Corner is the second stop on the week-long tour…so their will be plenty more fun items like excerpts, book trailers, interviews of all kinds, and best of all their will be one lucky winner at the end of it all.

Make sure to enter for your chance to win a signed edition of Melissa Barker-Simpson’s novel, Hands of Evil. Plus, if you sign up for her newsletter you could even win a surprise by being entered into a drawing for a one of a kind story…featuring your favorite characters.

But, let’s get the party started with getting to know our author. After all, you’re not reading this to stay pretty. So, for further-or-to here is our lovely author now…all ready for the grilling to begin :)

What inspired you to become a writer? I used to write plays and perform them for my family when I was a child, usually roping my sister in and a group of friends. As soon as I could write I would get lost in a story or, in this case, script. My mum likes to say I started talking when I was ten months old and I haven’t stopped since!

I don’t know when I began to think of myself as a writer, but I do remember the numerous short stories I wrote growing up. I would read them to my friends (a slow form of torture) and then move onto the next adventure. I wrote my first novel when I was a teenager but nobody would ever want to read it!

I had a few really inspiring English teachers, who took my passion and encouraged me to run with it. But I think I was born to write. I haven’t always been very good at it, but I’ve always put my heart and soul into it. I was certainly born with stories in my head and when I wasn’t jabbering about them, I was writing them!

You have shared with your readers that you have written stories since you were very young. Can you tell us what you felt when you finished your first writing project? I felt pride and great affection for my characters (despite the fact I’d put them through every disaster known to man). I wanted to share it, to introduce those characters to others. I also felt a little surprised, because although I could see them vividly in my head, sometimes (especially back then), I didn’t know where they would take me.

You have been writing online for some time with several different projects. The concept behind Writing Room 101 and Featured Fiction, for example, is wonderful! Can you tell us a bit about the websites and what prompted you to create these sites? I created both of those sites because I enjoy collaborating with others. I love being part of a writing community and I wanted to give back in some way. Personally when I’m struggling to focus or just need a quick fix, I turn to writing prompts. There are so many characters in my head it can get a little busy and since I can’t give them all my attention, I allow them to come out and play for a while!

Really, I wanted to create a safe environment, one where writers could come together, learn from each other and experiment a little. It’s a win win, because readers can access a mixed variety of stories, but also learn more about their favourite writers and how the process works for them.

Could you entertain us momentarily by telling us about the clever character blog of Lance Legion? Lance has been in my head for a long time. I could see him, see all his personalities; his alter egos, and I thought – he’s a legion of ‘one’! That’s where his name came from. I wanted to devote some time to him, but I have so many projects on the go, or waiting to happen, I knew it would be quite some time. That’s why I decided to give him his own site. It means I can develop him over time, let him journey wherever he decides and share him with others. I mean, who doesn’t love a good superhero; regardless of his flaws!

As a full-time employee and mother, I imagine you discover new ideas for stories each day-your books definitely have captivating storylines. Can you tell us about what inspires your stories? Inspiration can strike at any time, sometimes at the worse possible moments! I might be working and something pops into my head and it won’t go away until I’ve got it down on paper. Whether it’s something I see, overhear, or a feeling I get, the next thing I know there’s a strong character in my head! It can be fun when the unconscious part of my mind makes associations and the details come out in a story.

I work in a variety of environments, meet so many rich and interesting people who I can’t help but dream up new adventures in my head. Sometimes when I get a look of extreme concentration on my face, it’s not that I’m working hard to process between two different languages (I’m a sign language interpreter), it’s the characters vying for attention!

You have written both action (mystery/suspense) and romance novels. Which genre do you prefer to write and why? I’m a romantic at heart so I really enjoy writing in that genre. But there’s something special about starting a good mystery; taking people on a journey and using my characters to tie up all those loose ends. Suspense gets the blood pumping and the heart racing and it’s so easy to get caught up in it all.

I loved the way in the “Hands of Evil” you blended a heated romance into a mystery/thriller. Can you tell us some of the writing techniques you used in blending the two? If I’m completely honest it was more of a mystery/thriller first. There was an attraction between JJ and Grace but, at least for the first draft, I wanted to allow my characters to explore the situation they were in. I then took them through each scene again and let them react to it in their own individual way – the attraction built from there and the romance blossomed.

Since your first book was published in 2008, how have you evolved creatively in your writing style? I think the experience of being exposed to so many other writers, and exploring my strengths and weaknesses in a safe and productive way, has been invaluable in terms of my evolution. The actual process of writing a novel can be an isolating experience, but gaining support from my peers, especially the advice and encouragement, has meant that I am never truly alone.

It is commendable that you have pursued learning new tools of the trade through your writing career. Are there any tidbits that you would share with upcoming writers? I would say that however you write, whether you’re a planner, or not, you should explore different techniques and push your boundaries. Having a strong community, one you can share and collaborate with, is vital. It seems obvious, but it’s also important to write as often as possible, even if you would never show what you’ve written to another living soul! Everything we write is valuable in some way, and we learn and grow because of it.

Where did you get the idea for your Morgan and Fairchild Series? My brother inspired the Morgan and Fairchild Series. He’s a soldier and always has a funny tale to tell. The camaraderie he speaks of, and humour in those stories influences the team I created.

Your latest book, Hands of Evil, is the second book in the Morgan and Fairchild Series. Should we expect a third installment? If so, what is the time frame you are expecting before release? Absolutely, I love the team and I can’t wait to spend more time with them. I’ll be publishing the first in a new series in November, entitled Worlds Apart. I’m also currently writing a story that will form part of an anthology, but I have set aside time for the next Morgan and Fairchild novel. I aim to publish book three in the summer of 2015.

How many books do you have planned for the Morgan and Fairchild Series? I have three more planned, but I’m sure that’s just the beginning! I know people are anxious to read Justin’s story and I’ll certainly give him his own adventure. The next book though, will be about Andrew Butcher.

The cover of, Hands of Evil, is engaging and somewhat telling of the suspense of the story to come. Please share who designed the cover and how you developed the design. I designed the cover. Initially, I got advice from colleagues and then began to research images that matched the theme of the novel. Unfortunately none of the images fit with the idea I had in my head so, as I didn’t have the budget to employ a designer, I decided to sketch out a few ideas. I knew I wanted hands to play a part, and as Grace is an integral part of the book I wanted a representation of her too. So I grabbed my camera and persuaded my sister to strike a pose! I experimented with photo editing programs and developed it from there.

How can readers discover more about you and your work? They can visit my website, where I have details of my novels, and a blog. I also post short-stories and have a link to the other sites already mentioned. My website can be found at http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk and my blog can be found at http://www.mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Tumblr. All links to my social media accounts can be found on my blog.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

With being a full-time employee, mother and now an author. Do you ever find time to relax? What do you do to let off the steam? How do you manage to balance it all? I’d like to say I’ve found a good balance, but I spend far too much time on my computer. My daughters are teenagers now so they ignore me most of the time! We do manage to fit in our ‘girly nights’ though, and enjoy the cinema when there’s a movie we can agree on. I also spend a lot of time with my family, and they keep me grounded.

Book Blurb:

Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ’s past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the centre of it all.

Purchasing Link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hands-Evil-Morgan-Fairchild-Series/dp/1500258202/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407871219&sr=8-1&keywords=Hands+of+Evil+by+Melissa+Barker-Simpson

About Melissa:

Melissa Barker-Simpson image for website

I’ve been writing since, well…since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I often look back on those earlier stories, and apart from laughing at the heavy-handed drama, or cringing at my inexperience, I am reminded that I have always lived in other worlds.

My first novel was published in 2008, and I love nothing more than working on a new project. The voices inside my head invariably pull me in different directions, so although I try to work on one thing at a time, those who know me would tell you it doesn’t always work!

I have a full-time job which, though does not involve writing per se, incorporates my love of language. As a British Sign Language Interpreter, I get to translate information between two languages which is (mostly) fun.

I have two beautiful daughters who bring me great joy. They also keep me grounded, because otherwise I would have my head in the clouds permanently!

How to Connect:

Blog: http://www.mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk

Like Me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melissabarkersimpson

Tweet Me @: http://twitter.com/mbarkersimpson

Look Me up on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/mbarkersimpson

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Interview Done by: Joshua Robertson and D.B. Mauldin

(DKC Team Members)

Media Kit

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http://dkcreaderscorner.wordpress.com/interview-w-melissa-barker-simpson/

 

Hands of Evil – A Book Review – Blog Tour

Melissa Barker-Simpson

Melissa Barker-Simpson

SUMMARY

Jonathan Jukes is accustomed to working alongside the police within his role as close protection officer at Morgan and Fairchild. But when Detective Sergeant Charles Macavoy requests the team’s help, JJ finds it’s his toughest case yet.

A serial killer, whose calling card is to remove the hands of his victims, is targeting interpreters. When lines begin to blur and JJ’s past comes back to haunt him, he soon discovers the biggest threat comes from a woman who stands at the center of it all.

BOOK REVIEW

In ‘Hands of Evil’ Morgan and Fairchild Book 2, author Melissa Barker-Simpson writes, yet another, action packed, mystery/suspense/thriller/romance. In ‘Book 2′ we learn more about Morgan and Fairchild, and their close protection officer, JJ. JJ is a strong character and played a large role in ‘Book 1′.

I love the fact that author, Melissa Barker-Simpson writes strong women characters. Grace is no exception. She has been through a lot of abuse, but has come out stronger. Paired with JJ, it seems that nothing could get by the two of them. However, JJ has some personal problems to deal with while he is protecting Grace.

‘Hands of Evil’ is well written and the story flows well. I found it another page-turner and a fast paced read. I loved the book and highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to Book 3.

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Purchasing Link:
Author’s Links:

http://www.mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com 

http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/melissabarkersimpson

http://twitter.com/mbarkersimpson 

http://www.goodreads.com/mbarkersimpson

Video Link:

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXGNZbW0vdE&w=560&h=315

Media Kit

Media Kit

Dragon Knight Chronicles – Prompt – September 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014

1 Dragon Judge

Dragon Knight Chronicles

Bi-Monthly Writing Contests

Prompt: Underworld and Dark Fantasy

September 1 – October 31, 2014

The time for scary stories has come again. In honor of Halloween and all the gooly goolies out there. We will open the doors to the darkest pits of your imagination. The thought is Dark Fantasy, with a pinch of Underworld horror.

The plot is to scare us with a chilling story that is rated PG13. You can give us Banshees, Demons, or pretty much any creature that you wish. The story is in your hands…chill our spines to the bitter cold and make the readers feel the grasping hands of the Underworld.

We look forward to seeing what your stories will bring. Make sure to stop by our guidelines page to make sure your word count and format is perfect for submission. Here is the Link: http://wp.me/P35gCm-dG

Visit http://dkchronicles2013.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/underworld-and-dark-fantasy-prompt/ for more information.

Book Blitz – Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood – Character Interviews

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Auren Trask

Character Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

 

Q: Tell us a little about you and the world you reside in?

A: The Serpent Isles are an island chain in the far north of my world. There are other land masses, mostly islands, around the world, but we are far from any of them. We are the most advanced culture on our world as well. Some of the other islands have primitive cultures, but the other islands are not very hospitable places to live. The wildlife is much too dangerous to coexist with on some, and the climates are too harsh on others. We are not sure why our culture seemed to thrive and advance, while others that remain are so primitive, but there are legends that suggest shadow stalkers played a role in that, if you believe in such things.

Q: What is it like to be a kid growing up among the Serpent Isles?

A: Boring…at least on Appolia. I think I live in the most boring town on the coldest island in the Serpent Isles. We only get about a month of warm weather, and it never gets warm enough to swim here. There’s lots of skiing and snow related activities, but I’ve never been into that sort of thing. I don’t really like the cold. I like rock climbing, rappelling, and caving, though. Kado takes me camping on a different island every summer, and we do all kinds of stuff like that. On Appolia, I spend most of my time studying and trying not to get myself into too much trouble. Kado keeps me busy studying a lot of different things outside of school as well, so I don’t have much time for my friends.

Q: You have a very protective foster father. Do you ever get the urge to rip your hair out, when it comes to dealing with him?

A: Well, no. I like my hair right where it is. I might consider ripping his out on occasion, though. Wait, never mind…that would not end well. We do butt heads a lot, though, and quite often I let my friend, Jade, talk me into breaking the rules. It’s great fun, until I get caught, which with Kado doesn’t take very long. Sometimes I swear he can read my mind.

Q: In episode one you have two very unique friends. Can you tell us about them and how you met each?

A: I met Jade Tobin and Deakan Nix on my first day of school when I was six years old. We connected right away and have been inseparable since. Sometimes I think with the way the two of them bicker, they might like each other, but I’ll never tell them that. It might take a cataclysmic event to get them to admit they have feelings for each other.

Jade is generally quiet and reserved, but at the same time very mischievous. She is someone you can trust with your innermost secrets, and she is a lot of fun to be around. She has very laid back parents, except that they tend to shelter her from the harsh realities of the world. She tends to be too trusting, and she can’t understand cruel people. Violence terrifies her.

Deakan is the exact opposite. You can always count on him to be running his mouth, except when he’s around his father. He’s very obedient and well behaved around his dad. It’s like he has two different personalities, but I’d bet any amount of money that the person he is away from his dad is the real Deakan. He always seems to have something to prove and has a tendency to really dislike authority figures.

Q: Your foster father spent many years training you. Do you feel glad after your experiences about having this training?

A: I would say I feel relieved more than glad. I don’t know what I would have done without the training to fall back on when my friends and I were in trouble. But the training itself has always been very difficult and limiting to my social life. So it’s really been a blessing and a curse.

Kado

Character Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

 

Q: Hi Kado, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

A: I am a shadow stalker who was chosen at birth to be trained by our Foramar to replace him upon his death. Auren believes I am a courier, but I have spent the last eighteen years acting as a liaison between the shadow stalkers and the Coalition, the current government of the northern territory of the Serpent Isles. It has been my cover for keeping Auren’s secret. Shadow stalkers do not live among the people of the Serpent Isles, and it was the only way to legitimize my reason for being here. I am very recognizable as a shadow stalker to those who have fought beside us in the war with the Galvadi Empire, which helped the Coalition win their independence. Auren’s presence with me is not unusual because many people who know of us know that we foster our children out to be raised by others.

Q: How did you come to be Auren’s foster father?

A: As I mentioned, the Foramar fostered and trained me throughout my childhood. When his wife became pregnant, he asked me to foster his child. Auren was born prematurely when the Dark Isle was attacked by the Galvadi. The stress of the attack caused the Foramar’s wife to go into labor. She died in childbirth, and I left the Dark Isle with Auren minutes after her birth.

Q: Its obvious many find you bizarre and hard on Auren. Do you think you’re hard on her?

A: Absolutely, I have to be, although sometimes I don’t think I’m hard enough on her. Being a shadow stalker is not easy at the best of times. Traveling to and from the shadow world is dangerous, and becomes more so when we start using our powers while partially within the shadow world and partially in the physical one. Auren, more than any other shadow stalker, has other dangers she will have to face in her life, and she needs to be prepared or she will not survive.

Q: What is your purpose for training Auren on the skills you decided to show her?

A: She needs to be able to survive in no matter what situation she may find herself in. She will need to be able to go to places other people can’t go and hide herself for days, weeks or more if necessary. She needs to be able to survive off the land, making her own tools if necessary. And she needs to know the islands better than anyone else, so she can accomplish all this. Her training will go above and beyond what a shadow stalker would normally endure, because she will face things that the average shadow stalker will never have to face. I believe her father chose me to foster her because I have the foresight to know what she will need to learn.

Q: You have so much experience and knowledge about many things in your time. Can you tell us more about shadow stalkers?

A: The only thing I can share with you about the shadow stalkers at present is that we were created by the shadow people for a very specific purpose, although it’s not clear to us yet what that purpose is. Many cultures have their gods, mysterious beings who guide civilizations with a purpose that might not be apparent to the people. However, the people will trust in their gods’ will knowing that the gods have more knowledge and power than they do. While the shadow people are not gods, this is the power they have over us. We follow their will without question. In exchange for our obedience, we are given power that goes far beyond the power of any other mortal, which includes an extended lifespan. We will not live forever, but we will live at least twice as long as the average human.

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Book Blitz – Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood – Book Interview

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Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth (E:1)

Book Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

 

Q: Your first publication, Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth is being released August 30, 2014. What can you tell us about your book without giving anything away?

A: Without giving anything away, all I can say is that it’s about a girl who learns a startling truth about her past, which ultimately puts her life in danger. As the series progresses, she learns that she has more enemies than friends, and finds that she has to rely on herself for survival.

Q: Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth, is a part of an interesting publishing design that has begun to become popular for young writers. Can you tell us about the process of doing a serialized book over the traditional route?

A: It took me a little over a year to work out how I would be able to do the serialization of the series effectively. I was in a ‘novel’ mindset, and these types of stories can’t be written in the same way. They are much shorter than a novel, and each one not only has to be part of the larger story, but has to contain a story within itself. It’s much like the episodes of a TV series, which is how I came up with the idea of writing episodes. I had to plan the overall storyline first, and then start coming up with subplots that I could put into each episode that would drive the main plot. I’m only planning about 3 or 4 episodes ahead at any given time, though. I want to leave the story open to evolve on its own, as long as that evolution doesn’t deviate from the main plot.

Q: Who are your main characters that will be featured throughout episode one? Can you also tell us about each?

A: The main character is Auren. She is raised in the Serpent Isle to believe that she is as normal as any other person, but then she has to cope with the reality of who she is and what that might mean. She is a good person and doesn’t like hurting people, but she is often easily influenced to do the wrong thing. She has a bit of a stubborn streak as well.

Another important character is Kado. He is Auren’s guardian and has raised her since she was a baby, but he is much more than just a father figure to her. He’s very reserved and doesn’t really show much affection at all. He likes to just get right to the point, and is very logical in how he solves issues. It’s not often that he lets emotions dictate his actions, but on very rare occasion it does happen, which is not a good thing for the person who angers him.

Q: How is your book important to your readers? And what type of entertainment will it provide for them?

A: I believe it’s important for my readers because it’s really going to get them to look at people and situations from a different perspective. Not everyone who is good does the right thing, and not everyone who is bad does the wrong thing. In many stories the lines between good and evil are clearly drawn, but in Shadow Stalker, that will not always be the case. It will be an exciting and sometimes very suspenseful story, though. I think people who love fantasy mixed with a bit of thrill and suspense will get a lot of enjoyment from the series.

Q: What are shadow stalkers and what are their purpose throughout your serialized novel?

A: Shadow stalkers are a very shamanic-like race of people. They come from an island that is far from the Serpent Isles, but they have a tie with the people of the Serpent Isles and that as well as their true purpose will become clearer as the series progresses. They are very powerful, but their power and their purpose is governed by beings that exist in their version of the afterlife, known as shadow people. There are rules and codes that they have to follow or they can lose their power and/or be banished from the shadow stalker’s society. They are very feared by the people of the Serpent Isles who tend to shun the shadow stalkers until they need their help for something.

Q: Does Shadow Stalkers: The Hidden Truth, have an interesting background in its creation?

A: I have actually wanted to write a story with a shamanic type of race for a long time, but I wanted the story to be something that might change the way a person looks at the world. I was actually inspired to write Shadow Stalker after reading The Celestine Prophecy back in 2007, but all I had was a concept. It took a few years for the characters and the story to start developing.

I had an entire novel completed where the main character was a guy, but a friend of mine, who is a published author, encouraged me to change it to a female. I’m glad I took her advice. It was also originally written in the 3rd person, but I decided it would be better told from the main character’s point of view, as though she was telling the story herself. The serialized version that I’m writing now is actually the start of my third rewrite of the series.

Q: Who designed your cover and how did you come up with its concept?

A: My cover was designed by a friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous). At first I wanted to design a simple cover that had the symbol of the shadow world on it. Then I decided I wanted some kind of image of what it might look like in the shadow world. I attempted some of my own graphic design work for it (which really wasn’t all that bad for someone who knows nothing about graphic design), and showed it to my friend. She asked if she could play around with it, so I told her to go ahead, and she came back with a similar version to what the cover is now. I loved it because it represented what it looks like in my mind for a shadow stalker to enter the shadow world, leaving the physical world behind.

Q: Would you say that each episode of Shadow Stalker, can be a stand alone book? Or is it depended on the whole work to make sense?

A: No, I thought about doing this, but it would have been too difficult. So it will need to be read from start to finish to make sense.

Q: After finishing your first episode are you happy with the direction you took?

A: I am extremely happy with how it is going. As I said, this is my third attempt at writing the series, so I’m definitely ready for the story to be told. I think I’ve been very successful in working out all of the kinks, and even after all these years I’m still coming up with ideas. If the series does well, I’m considering writing a prequel novel that explains the events leading up to the series. Also, at my daughter’s request, I’m considering a series of chapter books for junior readers that will be based on the world, but with new characters and new adventures.

Q: What is the hardest part about writing Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth, in a serialized book? What advice would you give other writers that wish to use this publishing model?

A: The hardest part is being consistent. I think this is an issue for any writer, but once one of the episodes is published, I can’t deviate from the concepts and storyline I’ve already established. So even if I come up with a great idea in the future, if it contradicts what I’ve already written, I can’t use it. So making sure you know the story well enough before you start publishing each segment is very important. I’ve been writing and planning this story for about seven years, so it is firmly imprinted on my brain by now. Planning is very important for serialized fiction.

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Book Blitz – Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood

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Renee Scattergood

Author Interview

By: Kathryn Jenkins

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember the exact moment you made the decision and why?

A: In 1995 I was going to college for film and video production, and one of the required courses was an English course that required us to do some creative writing. My instructor was so impressed with my work that he had me read it in front of the class on a couple of occasions (which I have to admit was quite horrifying for me). One day he called me up after class was over and asked me if I had ever considered getting any of my work published. I had always loved making up stories, but I never considered writing them down, and I certainly never considered I could be good enough to have something published. He got me thinking about it, though, and I started writing for fun after that. It wasn’t until a few years later that I started to consider writing more seriously.

Q: The hardest obstacle every author faces is trying to find the time to write. How do you manage your time with being a mother and a wife?

A: It’s really not easy. My daughter is autistic and has ADHD as well, so she requires a lot of my attention. I tend to write in bits and pieces throughout the day when I can find time. I volunteer in her school’s library, so I tend to do most of my writing then, or when she is occupied with something at home. Keeping a regular writing schedule is not something I can do, though, so I have to just take advantage of every opportunity.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration for your stories/books?

A: A lot of it comes from my personal experiences and interesting people that I meet. I also read a lot of fantasy novels, and that tends to get my creative juices flowing.

Q: Your first novel is in a serialized format. Can you tell us why you chose this direction with publishing your work?

A: I was originally planning to write it as a series of novels, but I decided I wanted to try something different since so many authors are doing them these days. I had read about how some authors will publish their novels one chapter at a time and charge $1 a chapter. I thought this was a bit excessive since most novels are close to about 30 chapters. That’s a lot of money to charge for a novel in digital format and most ebook distributors won’t charge less than $0.99. So I came up with the idea of writing episodes, based on the concept of a TV series, but in the form of a short novella. I thought it would be a great way to get my story out there and see if there was an interest before investing several months of work in writing a complete novel. Plus, it will be fun to be able to give my readers something new to read every month.

Q: With having a serialized novel in the process. Do you have chapters written already for the next episode or are you writing as you go?

A: Episodes 2 and 3 are nearly ready for editing and I’ve just started writing Episode 4. Readers can track my progress from my website where I post word count widgets in the side bar. I like to keep at least a few episodes ahead because quite often I will get ideas that will need to be introduced in an earlier episode. This gives me the latitude to make changes before publishing.

Q: While you are in the process of your serialized novel are you working on other projects? Can you tell us about them?

A: I am working on a novel called The Four. It will be a standalone novel with the potential for a sequel. The only thing I can say about it right now is that it’s about shape shifters with the ability to control people’s minds. It will be a sort of fantasy thriller.

Q: What background do you have that shows up frequently in your writing?

A: I have been into shamanism for many years, and my stories tend to have a very shamanic theme, although very loosely based in reality. I also prefer to write fantasy that takes place in a modern or futuristic world compared to ours.

Q: What are your goals as a writer? Where do you see yourself in five years after starting your journey with, Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth?

A: I’m not really big on the idea of fame and popularity. I just want to be successful at what I do and make a good living at it. If in five years I can travel with my family anywhere we want to go, be able to live in a nice house and own a nice car, and do things we want to do without worrying about our finances, I will consider myself successful. Then I might consider some new goals, although, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be tickled if one of my novels were to be made into a movie that was produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. To work with those two men would be a dream come true for me.

Q: What challenges do you face with writing your serialized novel that other writers don’t?

A: The biggest challenge, I would say, is meeting a monthly deadline to write, edit, publish and promote each episode. Also, once an episode is published, it’s cannon. I have to be very careful that I don’t do anything in future episodes that will contradict something that had been previously written.

Q: Since, this is your first time being published. Can you tell us about your experiences? What advice would you give to another author just starting out also?

A: Most of my experience over the years has been overcoming my fears. First, I had to get over the fear of having people read my work. I really didn’t believe I was very good until I had strangers emailing me to praise my writing skills. That was a big confidence booster for me and prompted me to start writing more seriously. I’m a perfectionist, though, and I will not publish something if I can’t read it over and over and still love it. I spent the last ten years working on my writing skills and learning about the industry and marketing because I knew I wanted to self-publish. Making the decision to finally write and publish Shadow Stalker is a big step for me because I’m facing my biggest fear of all…fear of the unknown. If I was to give any advice at all, it would be to know your craft and your industry. Don’t just jump into things blind. You should have a plan, and you should know exactly how you will put that plan into action. Then when you have done all that, get to work! Don’t let your fears stop you from achieving your dreams.

Shadow Stalker

The Hidden Truth (E:1)

Review

By: Kathryn Jenkins

Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth, written by Renee Scattergood is by far a compelling read. This is the first time I sat down to read a serialized novel, and I had no idea what to expect.

The tail of a young girl finally graduating and becoming an adult in front of the community. The only problem Auren seems to have is trying to get her step father, Kado on the same page.

Auren plays the typical rebellious teenager bulking out to have her freedom. This leads her and her friends, Jade and Deakan into a situation that is going to change everything forever. She finds herself a witness to an event that leads Kado to the rescue. With her friends and herself on the brink of discovery Kado will reveal a part of Auren’s past that she never knew about.

The young woman just stepping into the role of an adult will come to realize, that everything she knew is wrong. That something far more dreadful is coming and her world is now upside down.

The first episode is the bread and butter to this serialized novel. I am hooked and will be following Shadow Stalker, to the bitter end. I won’t give away the ending but Scattergood’s characters have me hungry for more.

The details she puts into her novel is by far extraordinary. I am dyeing for the count down to begin for episode two. I am looking forward to reading more and getting to the characters in each and every episode.

Scattergood, has shown her hand with this piece of work. The shamanic background brings a new life to this book, that many wouldn’t anticipate. I usually get angry with cliff hangers at the end. But, then I remember one key thing about her novel. That it is a serialized work and instead of waiting two years for the next episode I only have to wait till next month.

Get your fingers typing Mrs. Scattergood, we are dyeing to see what happens next.

Rating: 5/5

Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood is the author of the YA Fantasy series, Shadow Stalker. She lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, their daughter, Taiya, and their four furry friends. She prefers to spend her free time with her family and reading fantasy novels.

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