Saturday, 22 July 2017

Q & A with...Russ Colchamiro

Book @ Goodreads
Today I welcome Russ Colchamiro to the Broomstick.

Q: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
A: To become a multiple best-selling author who can retire to a private island.  And, of course, to continue to write the best books I know how to write at the time that I write them. I want readers to have a great time with my books, eager to read the next one. I’d like to spin off into other mediums as well, getting back into comic books, and writing for TV. I’m working on it.

Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A:  Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob!

Q: Give us an insight into your protagonist.
A:  My story is “The Hardwicke Files: The Case of My Old New Life and the One I Never Knew.” It centers on Angela Hardwicke, a private eye in that classic Sam Spade style, fedora, pinstripe suit, knows the angles. She’s appeared in two of my books already—first as a drop-in character in Genius de Milo, and then as being more substantial in Astropalooza—and I plan to write an entire series based on her. But I wanted to experiment first, getting a better feel for who she is, and her rhythms, with her in the lead. I also know her origin story, which I’ll write at some point, and I know where her personal arc is headed. I’m really into crime fiction these days and plan to stick with it for quite a while.

Q: Where do the ideas come from?
A:  Anywhere and everywhere. They usually just pop into my head when I least expect them. Sometimes I know the kind of story I want to write, so I’ll do some research, or just play around with the concept, but more often than not, one minute there’s no story, and the next minute there is.

Q: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
A:  The longer I’m at this the more I do a lot of ‘pre-writing’ and outlining. I usually take 2-4 weeks working out the plot, and putting the basics to paper, including dialogue, setting, and key elements, and then go back when I’m done and follow my own blueprint. It allows me to write with more assertiveness, but also leaves room for inspiration—where the magic happens.

Q: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
A:  Movement. Get up from your desk. Go into another room. Take a walk. Exercise. Just physically move around and change your physical perspective. I do some of my best writing while out walking my dog. I’m also a big believer in talking things out loud – to myself. The more I talk it through the more likely it is that I’ll figure out why I’m stuck. I’ll actually hear the problem. I’ll go through my story or scene and then go, “I really need … wait! Oh. THAT’S why it doesn’t work! I need to do this.” Motion is a remarkable catalyst.

Q: What can we expect from you down the line?
A:  I’ll be sitting down soon to write my first full-length Hardwicke book, and I’m currently about two-thirds done with a top secret project I can’t talk about yet. After that … I have about a half dozen projects in my queue; it’s just a matter of deciding which one to write next.

About the Editor: Russ Colchamiro
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space adventure, Crossline, the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy series, Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the new anthology, Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, and Altered States of the Union, and TV Gods 2. He is now at work on a top-secret project, and a Finders Keepers spin-off.
As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

COVER REVEAL: Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer

~ Cover Reveal ~
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer
12th July, 2017


Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to overwhelm and invade Ashtagani, Avishi rises to protect her settlement. But peril pursues her everywhere.
Separated from her love, her settlement broken, with a brutal injury needing amputation of her leg, can Avishi overcome Khela?

About the Author:
Saiswaroopa is an IITian and a former investment analyst turned author. Her keen interest in ancient Indian history, literature and culture made her take to writing. Her debut novel Abhaya, set in the times of Mahabharata was published in 2015. Avishi, her second novel set in Vedic India explores the legend of India’s first mentioned female warrior queen Vishpala.
She holds a certificate in Puranas from Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. She is also trained in Carnatic Classical music and has won a state level gold medal from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. 


This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Book Review Tours



Monday, 10 July 2017

Me, myself and the war zone in my mouth

See www.campnanowrimo.org 
Yep, it's been a while, but hey things have been moving fast around here.
First off - I was in and out of a day clinic today. For the mountainous operation to remove my wisdom teeth. Amazingly enough, I don't look that blown up, only wish I could say the same for the inside of my mouth!
So it's soup and water, liquidy and soft foods for me for this week, but I am not complaining. Too much. That is until Francois gets home, pizza box under the arm and I am like - go away!
On the real stuff - my Live in Balance Goals, I am stuck at the same weight for more than a month now. Ha, maybe the liquid diet this week will help to kickstart it once more.
Writing has slowed a little, but editing has gone into high gear. All I can say? Thank you, Camp NaNoWriMo!

And it has been a real ride too. It is the 10th of July today, and in these 10 days, I have edited more chapters in my next novel, than the 10 weeks before July. If all goes well, there are only 3 more chapters (maybe four, since I have to make a big change at the end) to go and then voilá.

Oh, and in two days' there will be a cover reveal here - again. How exciting is that? Pop over and have a look.

Until next time!
LinzéB

Monday, 19 June 2017

Special Book Feature and Guest Post: HEIR OF VENGEANCE by Fiona Tarr

Fiona's 5 Top Tips for Marketing
It’s been three years since I released my first fantasy book and now, as my 4th book Heir of Vengeance is released I can honestly say, I’ve learnt a lot since then. I naively wrote my first book and released it into the wilds of Amazon with high hopes, but quickly discovered there is so much more to publishing, than simply writing a good story.
With an estimated twenty million books for sale on Amazon, how on earth is anyone supposed to find, read and review my novels? I have spoken with authors who have up to seven books published, but have seen little or no sales and no reviews on their hard and heartfelt stories. So what’s the secret?
Marketing! Marketing is the secret. Not that sleazy spammy ‘buy my book’ kind of marketing, but solid long term marketing. There are some exceptionally solid sources of marketing for authors out in the wide world of the internet and I have spent the last three years piecing them together into a strategy I use and have found to be successful.
By success I mean, I am selling books, I am getting reviews and I am building a network of readers and like-minded authors to network with. That doesn’t mean I have a big publishing contract on the horizon, or expect to hit the top seller list any time soon, but I am making progress.
So what are my 5 tips for marketing?
  1. Marketing is a long-term strategy towards long-term readers and sales.
  2. Write more books. It’s very difficult to build a reader database or fan base with only one published book.
  3. Ensure your work is the best it can be. No one wants to read or review a poorly edited book. Get your work professionally edited.
  4. Be prepared to give away short stories, part of your book or all of your first book to gain email addresses and new readers. It’s just like applying for a job. Your work is your resume and you need to get it into as many hands as possible to gain interest and credibility for the long-term.
  5. Network with other authors and work hard to help them as much as they help you.

Heir of Vengeance is the 4th and final book in my current series, although I do have a Novella coming out as a prequel before Christmas. Buy it now for 99 cents – Limited Time Only!
Available on Amazon or all other digital retailers here.

To celebrate the release of Heir of Vengeance I am offering a chance to win the entire series. All 4 e-books to be won.
To enter you can either LIKE my Facebook page here.
Join my Facebook Blog Tour Event here.
Or download my first book Destiny of Kings FREE here.
Or, you can do ‘all of the above’  for 3 chances to win!

Find me on
Twitter: @fionatarr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fionatarr.atime2write/
Website: atime2write.com.au

In case you missed the buy link above. Grab Heir of Vengeance here.


About the Author
My fantasy novels are fast paced, character driven historical stories with strong mystical, spiritual and theological themes mixed with elements of the classic heroic/epic fantasy genre. My writing was first inspired by the heroic fantasy style of David Gemmell, but I have most recently been compared to Traci Harding.
It turns out writing is in the blood. My Great Uncle was George Johnston (My Brother Jack) and although I don't claim to have his renowned literary style, I do write a mean fantasy novel.
I find culture, faith, philosophy and sociology intriguing and these topics are at the heart of my fantasy.
I live in Noosa, Australia with my husband and two sons and I run a small business involving tourism and watersports. Occasionally I dabble in advocacy, mentoring and spend time on my personal entrepreneurial pursuits. When I am not writing I am either kitesurfing, stand up paddle surfing, travelling or volunteering in some capacity. I love cheese, chocolate and living a creative life.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Live in Balance: What do you think?

The last time I blinked it was my brother and sister-in-law's birthday (they were born on the same date), and that was the 21st of May and like yesterday, wasn't it? The next thing there is an email to remind me to register for Camp NaNoWriMo.
My idea for Camp in July
Seriously? But that's in July and a long time to go yet! And yet, the month of July is only another 26 days away.

Winter has arrived in full force in my part of the country. The days are short (just over ten hours of sunlight) and the nights are cold.  While some parts of South Africa have warm days, we are praying for the rains to come in the Western Cape. The province is caught in a severe drought and receives the majority of its rainfall in the short winter months. Their rainy season is really cold and often accompanied by dangerously high winds. Let's hope the weather forecasters have their predictions in a row and the rain will arrive this coming week.
Where summer is a time for action and partaking in the enjoyments of life, winter seems to be a time for reflection and quiet. At least, that is how to experience this time of year. With the email from Camp NaNoWriMo, I was reminded that my Live in Balance goals for the year needs to be reassessed and perhaps adjusted.
Tempted as I am to simply delete one or two from my list, I decided to take a step back and have a good look at myself. These goals are mine. They are choices I made; commitments I made to myself. If I delete just one, what does that say about me and my commitment to myself to live the life I want? To Live in Balance and be a better, healthier version of myself. Should I just delete those goals where my performance was less than stellar, or worse where I have not performed at all?
I don't have an answer yet, but I will need to spend some time to reconsider my list of Live in Balance goals for this year. What you can be sure of is that I won't just give up. This is not a competition with anyone else. This list is about me, and my goals. Giving up because something turned out to be more challenging than I thought, is damn sure not an excuse in my book.
Have I given up on things in the past? Of course, I have as I am sure you have as well. Trying to milk the proverbial dead cow, is a waste of time. Life is way too short to worry about things where I cannot change the outcome, no matter how much effort I put in. Was it a complete waste? I considered it a learning experience that fortunately, did not cost me a lot of time, nor much money.
As we approach the halfway point of this year, I will spend some time to assess my progress towards my goals, and at the same time consider my goals for next year. Call it my first draft of 2018 if you like.
As with all first drafts, it will require time to sit before the editing/updating process gets underway. This is not a book; it is the next year my life we are talking about after all.
Maybe that is the reason so many people fail at their resolutions. They make impulsive choices that are not properly thought through.
What do you think? Do I stand a better chance of success because I spend the time to think about and plan my goals for the next year?