Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One Word Interview with Sarah E. Seeley

Today, we have Sarah E. Seeley, author of Maladaptive Bind for a Halloween-themed One Word Interview. Welcome, Sarah!

Trapped in a monster movie! Which character are you?
I would be Evelyn from The Mummy. She's honest, smart, a little bit clumsy, and she totally cracks me up.

Heehee. Good choice.

What quality do you have in common with your main character? 
I'd like to think I have Angela's determination to face and overcome my inherent character weaknesses for the sake of my (future) children.

 That is an excellent quality to possess.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
I'd love to have lunch with Charles Darwin. I think we'd be good friends. 

Interesting! I'll bet you two would have a great conversation.

The little goblins are coming Trick-or-Treating. What candy are you handing out?
Mwahaha. Probably the first thing I'd hand out are the full-sized boxes of Jr. Mints that have gotten hard since we bought them as movie contraband a year ago. Then I'll hand out the good stuff (gotta save the best for last, right? Make sure there's enough bite-sized Twix and Snickers left over as an excuse to eat them myself). You can blame my dad for these tactics, haha. Just kidding. I'll probably mix a couple of NEW random bags of goodies of no particular preference. That just sounded way too boring by itself, so I thought I'd make it a little more intriguing. Although, I'll probably still swipe a few treats for myself... ;-)

That was more than one word, but I'll let it slide. I always swipe a few treats for myself. How else am I going to get any?

Alone in a haunted house! What's your must-have item?
I feel I must have my cello. Nothing keeps the ghosts and ghouls at bay like good music.

I never would have thought of that, but it's perfect!

Thanks so much for joining us in the writing chair today, Sarah. Have a happy Halloween!

Sarah E. Seeley is a speculative fiction writer who worked with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her BS degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.

Angela Thornley doesn’t know why she’s still alive. When park rangers found her, she couldn’t speak or move, let alone remember what the serial killer, “The Man,” did to her and her husband before he buried them alive. At least, not until she hears the social workers talk about putting her five-year-old son, Blake, in a foster home and she feels his little fingers slip from her hand.

Determined to function so she can protect and care for her son, Angela works hard to unlock and heal the dark memories of her kidnapping buried deep in her subconscious. But her journey leads to unsettling discoveries about the darkness she harbors in her own soul. Due to an unknown combination of genetic and traumatic triggers, Angela is beginning a rapid, painful transformation. The anger that kept Angela alive is also driving her to dangerous thoughts of retribution on the man that killed her husband and broke her spirit.

Soon, Angela begins attacking innocent victims she believes are “The Man.” As she struggles to cope with her transformation, she must determine how far she is willing to go to protect her son and avenge her wounded psyche before she becomes the very sort of monster that bit her.

Maladaptive Bind, is an LDS psychological thriller with a speculative twist, available as of October 3, 2013 in paperback on Amazon and electronically just about anywhere ebooks are sold.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Goals: Good or Bad?

Last week I set a goal for myself to write 5 pages a day, six days a week. I posted my intentions publicly in several Facebook groups and committed myself to report my progress each day. I didn't meet my goal every day, but I did write 25 pages, which was 25 more than I wrote the week before. So, that's awesome. Goals are great motivators and can help keep us focused on important things.

But I noticed something else too. As soon as I sat down and actually made a goal, the guilt set in. I went to bed almost every night feeling like a failure. Like I could never do enough. Either I wrote, but the housework didn't get done, or I went grocery shopping and made sure homework got finished, but didn't get the writing in. And so on, and so on... I began to feel again like I was never good enough. (A feeling that had largely left me when I wasn't so concerned about writing a certain amount each day or week. Of course, I wasn't writing anything!) I felt this way despite the fact that by and large I was successful in meeting my goals and taking care of the family.

Goals can be a two-edged sword.

So, while I think it's important to have goals and be accountable for reaching them, it is also helpful to realize that they are just goals. Not laws. Not life or death. Not living  up to a goal does not make me a failure. After all, I'm getting more done than I would otherwise. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can't do it all. I can do what I can. And that's okay.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Word Interview with Kevin Crouch (and a giveaway!)

Today we welcome author Kevin Crouch, author of Borrowed Lives.

Stranded on a desert island! What's your must-have item?
My wife—I would want someone interesting to talk to.

Aw. That's sweet. :)

What period in history would you most like to visit?
1755—I want to know what life was really like in the court of Louis XV.

That sounds fascinating.

Which of your characters is most like you?
Idella Pinson— but perhaps not in a positive way.

It is amazing what our characters can teach us about ourselves, isn't it?

We're having a banquet in honor of your awesomeness. What are we serving for dessert?
Crème Brulee—is an explanation really necessary?

Mmmm. Sounds wonderful.

Which historical figure would you most like to have lunch with?
Josephine Beauharnaise— she witnessed the most transformative events of 18th and 19th Century history.

What an interesting woman. I would like to meet her too!

Thanks for being joining us in the writing chair today, Kevin!  

Kevin has graciously agreed to give a copy of his novel, Borrowed Lives, to a reader of the blog. Just leave a comment, and you'll be entered! Leave your email address, so I can reach you. Drawing will be held on Wed. October 23.

About Kevin Crouch
I grew up in a beautiful Northern California village that was entirely too small for my big imagination. Nearly every free hour was spent at the local library, reading about distant places I could only dream of visiting, and people whose lives were far more interesting than my own. At night, I would fall asleep imagining myself occupying the lives of the people that I came to know on paper.

Eventually, I escaped and was able to see some of the world that I had read about and have adventures of my own. As I continued to read, I became fascinated by the coincidences of history that cut across time: how people and places and dates intersect in unexpected ways, although sometimes separated by thousands of years. Along the way, I acquired a wife and best friend, a degree in fashion design, and a son, in that order.

More years passed. Careers came and went; some glamorous and some not. Over time, I found that the thing I most enjoyed doing was helping others to discover and develop their own talents. Thus, about ten years ago, I became a professor of fashion at a design college on the outer fringes of Nashville, Tennessee. I love the work, I love the creativity, and I love the freedom to dream.

I have co-authored two non-fiction books, at the request of my wife’s editor, The Gospel According to Elvis and Sun King: The Life and Times of Sam Phillips, the Man Behind Sun Records. Before my tenure as a professor, I designed professionally for Vogue, Nevada Ballet Theatre, and Disney. My wife says I have a dry sense of humor, which you will come to appreciate if you sign me to be a client. As a writer, I want to have a body of work, not just one novel. I’m looking for an agent I can form a relationship with to advise and help me achieve that goal.

Borrowed Lives by Kevin Crouch
Reclusive literary researcher Ray Haddon is on the verge of a breakdown. The carefully crafted cyber wall that was created to keep the outside world at bay became a prison after the death of trusted mentor Ruth Meredith. It appears that the only way out of this self-inflicted fortress of solitude is to retreat into the past to figure out how life got so complicated. But this is not solely a mental exercise. The secret behind Ray’s successful career is the ability to travel back in time to gather research first-hand from the borrowed lives of others. So two weeks are set aside for quiet soul-searching in the ancient past.

What should have been a straightforward journey turns to confusion when Ray is unexpectedly trapped in Edwardian London, in the host body of an individual whose troubled life eerily mirrors Ray’s own. Quick to embrace the distraction of fixing this host’s problems, Ray gets embroiled in a chance encounter that offers the possibility of romance. Along the way, Ray’s interference becomes the intersection point for a variety of real life historical personages whose lives intertwine in surprising ways. But what is ignored tends to fester, and before long Ray’s problems seize control. What follows is a disaster that leaves everyone involved worse off than before.

Angry and hurt, Ray finally arrives in 12th Dynasty Egypt, where the calamity of London is almost repeated. Recognizing the mistake in time, Ray is able to work the issues through in tandem with the new host body, coming to the realization that life must be lived in the present, not the past. An attempt to right the chaos left behind in London proves only partly successful, but sets Ray up for the biggest adventure of all: living one’s own life.

Borrowed Lives is the first book in a series about Ray Haddon. There is also a short story, Idella Pinson, about one of the characters from the book.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


You've probably noticed that all I've been posting here lately are One Word Interviews. I really love those. I hope you do to. I think it's a fun way to introduce you to authors and their books.

My original intent was to post an interview every other week and my own posts every other week. That hasn't worked out so great. I'm keeping up with the interviews, but not with my own posts.

So, I am committing myself to posting on this blog every week, either an interview or some other post. I can do it!

Some important things have happened since I sort of fell of the blogging bandwagon.

I finished the second first draft of my third Defenders novel, Shattered Skies, at the end of June! (I call it the second first draft because I wrote it once, then wrote the whole thing over again from scratch. Sometimes it's just better that way.) I wrote it in only 6.5 months, compared with 15 months for my previous two books, so I felt good about that.

Unfortunately, my publisher decided to pass on my second Defenders novel, The Ransomed Returning. That was a rather hard blow. I have been waffling about what to do with it and Shattered Skies, but in the same sense of commitment I am taking with this blog, I am going to have The Ransomed Returning out by the end of November, and Shattered Skies by next summer. So watch for more information on that!

I published a collection of short stories, Ripped and Other Adventures. It contains nine previously published shorts and one all new novella, Sofie and the Night Eagle. It's gotten some great reviews so far. Check it out!

I also started to work on the first draft of a new LDS science fiction novel, tentatively title The Glory of the Stars.

So my writing goals for the next few months:

  • Publish The Ransomed Returning
  • Read-through and edit Shattered Skies for beta readers
  • Finish first draft of The Glory of the Stars
  • Keep up with blogging

No problem, right?

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One Word Interview with Karey White

Today we have Karey White, author of  My Own Mr. Darcy. Welcome to the writing chair, Karey!

You've been set down in the middle of a fairy tale. What character are you?

Awesome! I would love to be the matchmaker too and find everyone their true love! 

What's one trait you share in common with your MC? 

People talk about stubborn like it's a bad thing. I don't think so. Way to be!

You're having your favorite author for dinner. What will you serve
for dessert?


Yum. Just yum. That is all.

What historical figure would you most like to have lunch with? 

Wonderful choice! That would be quite the lunch. I wonder if it would be like lunch with a favorite grandmother. :) 

What is your dream romantic getaway spot? 

I've never thought of Norway as romantic, but now that you mention it, sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much for being here today, Karey!

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.