Saturday, December 31, 2016

Author Interview: Christina Feindel

Hi there and welcome to this month's Blog World Tour interview! Today I'm interviewing Christina Feindel, author of The Revenant!

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With its advanced weaponry, the ghost ship Revenant was supposed to turn the tide of the war… but went missing instead. Ten years later, the Federation’s hold on the three suns is firmly cemented and corrupt in every way, and any Separatist hopes or dreams seem to have gone the way of Old Earth and its dinosaurs.

Grayson Delamere was still a child when the war ended and she doesn’t much care why it was fought in the first place. In the cold, dark vac of space, most lives are short and brutal with or without the Federation’s interference. She’s worked hard and kept her head down, making her living as a mechanic on any ship that’d have her. If she’s broken a few laws and made a few enemies along the way, well, that’s just the way life is on the fringe of the Trisolar System.

But now, someone has discovered all of her dirty little secrets... and will hold them hostage to ensure Grayson’s help in the most dangerous job of her life: To recover the Revenant and rekindle the fires of rebellion.

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Tabitha: Hi Christina! Thanks for joining me! To start things off, what motivated you to self-publish your book?

Christina: When self-publishing first became an option many, many years ago, the benefit of going the traditional route was professional help with editing, design, marketing, and distribution–but these days, it’s getting easier and more affordable to do all of those things yourself. A lot of publishers won’t even consider you if you don’t already have a large social media following; they expect you to do most of your own marketing, anyway. So self-publishing just made the most sense to me. I felt like I’d have more freedom and flexibility, and still wind up doing about the same amount of work. So far, I don’t have any regrets.

T: How long did it take you to write The Revenant?

C: I started toying around with the idea of writing The Revenant in early 2015 and got about fifty thousand words of a rough draft out, but didn’t really start taking the project seriously for another year. I spent all of 2016 writing, rewriting, editing, rewriting again–trying to fit all the pieces together and give them a good polish. So from start to finish, it was almost two years.

T: What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

C: I don’t really structure my time in that way. I’d probably be more successful if I did. I get on my website and social media and talk about The Revenant any time I have news to share. I’ll send out review copies and do interviews and host giveaways when the opportunities present themselves. But my main goal, each and every day, is to write. I want to finish the sequel, and then the next project, and then the next. That’s what excites me the most, so that’s what I do the most. I know I’m lucky to be able to do that.

T: Who are your favorite authors?

C: I don’t read as much as I did in school, because I’m writing more. You have to be careful not to let someone else’s story influence the way you write in the middle of a project. Some writer’s tones are infectious. But I love clever, suspenseful, and full of intrigue. I’ve been really looking forward to Scott Lynch’s next book, and I’ve always enjoyed Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, Stieg Larsson, Douglas Adams, and Hugh Howey. I recently got into Justin Cronin and Jeff VanderMeer, and I still reread the Harry Potter books every couple of years, too.

T: Do you prefer e-books or printed books?

C: I made the switch to e-books in college when I didn’t have the storage space for even a modest book collection. I miss having a well-stocked bookshelf, but e-books are just so much more convenient. I’ve always got the book with me, I never lose my place, and reading is now something I can do just before bed without the lights keeping anyone else up. I also really like being able to easily bookmark or search the book to go back to a favorite passage. I could never bring myself to dogear or make notes in a traditional book, it felt somehow sacrilegious!
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 Readers! You can find out more about Christina and The Revenant here!
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Christina Feindel resides in central Texas with her multi-talented husband, Noah. While traversing academia, civil service, and chronic illness in early adulthood, she founded the whole-foods blog ACleanPlate.com and now works as a cook, photographer, and educator. She pens fiction in her spare time, with a particular passion for character development and genre-blending.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Author Interview: Zeta Lordes

Welcome to another Blog World Tour Author Interview! Today, I'm interviewing author and fellow Scribophiler, Zeta Lordes!

Tabitha: Hi, Zeta! Thanks for joining me! We're gonna jump into some fun questions today. To start off, besides reading and writing, what other hobbies or pastimes are you passionate about?
 

Zeta: I love gaming! Card games or board games with friends and family—duplicate bridge, backgammon, rummy, just about any word game. RPG (Role Playing Games) Video games—am looking forward to the new release of Mass Effect. Unfortunately games are time sucks, so I don’t play nearly as much as I used to. But still love those rare opportunities.

Since I started writing (with the intent of self-publishing), I’ve also become enthralled with learning about designing book covers. I can, and do, spend hours playing with photos for ideas and inspiration.


T: I also can't wait for the new Mass Effect! Back into the writing world, what are your favorite books and why?
 

Z: Life is profound enough, I read novels almost strictly for entertainment and escapism.  I’m a series reader. Always have been. When I fall in love with characters, I want to follow their adventures beyond just one book. So hook me with characters and I’m a fan for life!

Hard to choose a favorite series, but could probably say Robert B. Parker’s Spenser crime novels. The humor and moral compass of his protagonist (Spenser) appealed to me from the first and I never wavered in that. Even his FMC, Susan, was a delight and very much aligned with my concept of a strong female character. Additionally his gray character, Hawk, was always mysterious and fascinating. A wonderful and diverse character series.


T: What about your favorite movies and TV shows?


Z: I’m pretty much an action junkie, but don’t watch a lot of movies. Keeping with my series theme, I could probably put Die Hard, The Godfather, Lethal Weapon, Star Wars, and Star Trek movies on that list.


I don’t have a TV connection, but I stream from Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Lots of favorite TV: Most all the comic stuff (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Daredevil, Gotham, etc). Older stuff (Farscape, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, etc).
Just fun stuff (The Originals, Blacklist, The Walking Dead, Empire, etc).


T: Okay, you're winning a lot of points with me with the Mass Effect and Star Wars love. What are your favorite motivational writing quotes?


Z: Another tough one… so many and so little space.
 

“Why are you telling the reader this?” 
- Anon

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

- Ernest Hemingway
 

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or poorly written. That is all." 
- Oscar Wilde

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” 

- Alfred Hitchcock

T: What other favorite quotes tend to reflect your general philosophies?


Z: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."  

- Eleanor Roosevelt

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

(Obviously a pattern here. Eleanor Roosevelt was a very wise woman!)


T: Very true.

Z: “My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it's very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.”

- Ani DiFranco

T: Awesome! Thank you for sharing those with us, and for the interview!
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Readers! Interested in learning more about Zeta and her writing? You can check out her blog or follow her on facebook!
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Zeta Lordes is an author of Science Fiction and Paranormal Fantasy flavored with plenty of suspense and romance.  When she’s not writing, she’s often playing with photo projects, including book covers for herself and other author friends. She lives alone in a rambling house littered with three generations of passed down books and three cats—who have their own litter.