Sci-Fi/Fantasy Featured Author – Linda Acaster

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Interview with Linda Acaster

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a born and bred Brit, living in a sleepy seaside English town sitting atop clay cliffs. That may sound beyond dull, but Stone Age spear and axe heads occasionally get washed from the cliffs, there’s an Anglo-Saxon burial ground just off my street, not far from the town is a motte and bailey earthwork from a 1068 Norman castle, and within an hour’s drive there is medieval York (once Jorvik, the Viking capital of northern England, and Roman Eboracum built by the Ninth Legion before they faded into historic obscurity and from where Emperor Constantine decreed the Empire would embrace Christianity), the sites of Celtic chariot burials, and the tallest Neolithic monolith in the country. If you gain the impression that landscape and history might impact my fiction, you could be right.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I don’t have any. Yes, I know that’s odd, but there is no single author whose new books I rabidly devour. I pick and choose not on the strength of the author’s name but on the content of their fiction. I enjoy reading Stephen King, as long as he’s not being too wordy, for the way he develops the ordinary into the extraordinary; the late Robert Holdstock for the believable way he ran with British myths; Ian Rankin for his contemporary Scottish noir Crime; Lindsey Davies for her accessible Roman lifestyles; Martin Cruz Smith in particular for the thriller “Wolves Eat Dogs”, the late Tony Hillerman for his accessible depiction of modern Navajo life; the ghost stories of MR James and Charles Dickens… and on it goes. When I’m not reading for research I like to dip into the work of indie authors. Occasionally I’m disappointed, but very often I’m not.  That’s the beauty of “Read Inside” as a taster.

  1. Tell us a little about your books. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

Maybe my answer to (2) is the reason – LOL! I started by writing short fiction, for women’s magazines to help pay the bills, for SF/F/Horror start-ups for the enjoyment. I’ve always liked history (yeah, tell ’em something they don’t know…) and won a competition which needed to be loosely in the Women’s Historical sub-genre. That gained a publisher for what became the medieval Hostage of the Heart. Unfortunately it also pigeonholed me beneath the Romance umbrella.

Publishers at the time held their authors in what I can only describe as The Vulcan Death Grip. We compromised with the Native American Beneath The Shining Mountains under an appalling title of the publisher’s choosing – I was a Northern Plains re-enactor at the time; the Brits are nothing if not eccentric. The publisher wanted more panting bosoms (oh pleez...) and less historical detail, but the title remains my biggest seller, mostly because of the historical detail and the multi-viewpoints. I disengaged myself by gaining a contract for a Fantasy, which the new publisher reneged on, and my agent wouldn’t fight for, but that’s life.

When indie authoring via ebooks finally opened to the UK I grasped it with both hands; a sharp learning curve but a worthwhile one. I decided to write for myself at last and the Torc of Moonlight script, which had gained great comments but no contract, was revived and re-written as *I* wanted it to appear. There is nothing so demoralizing for an author as re-writing to a publisher’s agenda and then having that publisher go meh…

The trilogy is themed on the resurrection of a Celtic water deity – my part of England has more natural springs named Lady Well than anywhere in the UK – and I follow through the Celtic marker number Three with a contemporary storyline over-arcing the novels, another placing each novel, and a historical storyline mirroring the individual novel’s theme. Book 1 is Celtic, Book 2 is Roman set in York/Eboracum, Book 3, still being written, is set in and around medieval monastic life in Durham. All the places mentioned in the historical sections can still be walked, as can the contemporary. The books could be used as guides in their university cities. History – all of it – isn’t just inches beneath our feet, it’s the backbeat to our lives. Even in the USA.

My latest, The Paintings, is as different as it could be: first person, female protagonist, a ghost story without the ghost. After all, what is a ghost? It’s an essence, and an essence can be… I enjoy thinking aspects through and turning them on their head. Writing a captivating story is all about the prep.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

You want a list? Celt, Roman, Norse… but in truth I think I’d chicken out. People can have a starry-eyed view of history. Can you really imagine yourself in a shield-wall? Watch swellings rise on your lover’s skin and know that you, too, are soon going to end in an agonizing death? Be carried off into slavery, or abused by those supposed to protect you? I’d be terrified I couldn’t get back. To say, nothing of the smell and being sozzled all the time from drinking ale because the water’s foul. Yes, it’s all very well studying history, but actually being there…! Perhaps my imagination is locked too closely into the reality.

  1. What attracts you to writing in your various genres?

The prep. Asking endless questions of a scenario and not accepting the first answer, studying those answers from an oblique angle. Very often it is at this stage that the genre, and sub-genre, become apparent.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

I re-started writing short fiction a few months ago after a long lay off. Contribution to Mankind and other stories of the Dark is currently being revitalized (I needed to up the cover, but why stop there?) One story I was going to add to it I’ve instead offered to an anthology and I’m currently waiting to hear. It’s a creeping Horror centred on a 19th century explorer. Using first-person viewpoint I could convey the arrogance and short-sightedness of the age. My readers tend to have to work, at least a little; I don’t lay it all out on a plate, they need to read between the lines and pick up inferences.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

Reading mostly, and most of that is research material. When I just want to flop I go for the TV. Don’t start thinking Soaps. In the UK our television companies do some cracking documentaries, so I go for titles like ‘Digging for Britain’ (latest archaeological finds), ‘Medieval Dead’ (never opt for being buried; in the future some fresh-faced child with a college degree and a trowel will upset your expected rest), or one of the host of non-ancient history programs available. It’s amazing what odd piece of information can spark an idea for a story or a character or research. I choose my movies: too often I’m picking holes in the plot.

  1. What are you currently working on?

A series of blogposts on a recent trip to Orkney and Faroe, archipelagos in the Atlantic north of the UK. If at all possible I like to walk landscapes I’m going to write about, and next year I may well try my hand at an adventure aimed at early teen boys. There’s nothing like setting myself a challenge, and why would anyone want to write the same sort of fiction all the time? Speculative, certainly; Horror, it’ll have its moments. Which young lad doesn’t like to be frightened? I have on the go a speculative short about an auction find: I used to go to a lot of auctions and it’s amazing what can be picked up. And to bring the final in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy to fruition.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I’d welcome them!

Website: http://www.lindaacaster.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindaacasterUK

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaAcaster

Amazon.com page: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Acaster/e/B002TNCOQE/

or for world-wide stores: http://Author.to/LindaAcaster

Thanks for the chat; I’ve enjoyed it. I hope your readers have, too.

New Release – Murder on Wheels (Paperback) by Ramona DeFelice Long

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Murder on Wheels Paperback – April 14, 2015

Another New Release by Cleve Sylcox – Bedeviled – The Innocent: Damned if you Do

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Bedeviled – The Innocent: Damned if you Do [Kindle Edition]

Cleve Sylcox

A Short Story

Strong Language
A plane lands at LAX on a cool November morning. GI’s returning home after fighting in Vietnam. They look forward to home cooked meals, seeing love ones, and sleeping on a soft mattress. To some though, returning home is nothing more than a continuation of a war they hate.
Take Ruben Weston for instance. He served his country well for his enlistment in Nov. 1966 to his discharge in Nov. 1969. In that stretch he was wounded three times, rose to Platoon Sergeant, saved countless lives, and was well respected among the troops despite his rough and tough attitude. This story could very well be titled, “In the wrong place at the wrong time.” For Sergeant Weston, it is just that. Caution: Strong Language

Featured Author of the Week – George Wier

George Weir - Featured Author the week of 11/30/2014

George Wier – Featured Author the week of 11/30/2014

George Wier in his own Words

I was born in East Texas and spent most of my life there, principally around the Bryan and College Station area. I moved to Austin, Texas, in 2002 andshortlythereafter began writing The Bill Travis Mystery series.Icurrently live in Austin with my lovely wife, Sallie, along with two cats and two dogs.Writing is both my avocation and my vocation, but to add to these I play both classical violin and country fiddle, and I dabble in art (mostly drawing and painting), photography, and book cover design.I began writing in earnest in 1986, although I have been creatively writing far longer than that, practically since I could read (at a very formative age.) I find that I have far more ideas than I could ever write down, and so I pick and choose only the best story ideas. I write what I, myself, like to read, and nothing more.

I am always happy to talk to a reader and would dearly love to hear your comments. Please visit my website at http://www.georgewier.com or my series website at http://www.billtravismysteries.com. There you will find free short stories, anecdotes, and links to other books and writers.

Thanks for reading!

Best,

George Wier

***Recent PUBLISHERS WEEKLY review of LONG FALL FROM HEAVEN:

“This pleasingly moody noir from Wier (Longnecks & Twisted Hearts) and Burton (These Mortal Remains) introduces a promising duo with C.C. “Cueball” Boland and Micah Lanscomb, owner and employee, respectively, of NiteWise Security in 1987 Galveston, Tex. After one of the company’s guards is beaten to death at a warehouse owned by the “Old Island Money” DeMour family, the duo, not trusting headstrong investigating detective Lt. Leland Morgan, try to determine if more motivated the crime than simple robbery. Cueball suspects a recently paroled sociopath, Harrison Lynch, he encountered years before as a rookie Dallas cop. Flashbacks, meanwhile, trace the crime back to 1943, when a serial killer linked to the Manhattan Project arrived in the raucous port town…
Readers should welcome future outings for the appealingly world-weary Boland and Lanscomb from Wier (Burton died in 2011).”***

“Enter our world of faery tale therapy. The Doctor will see you now.”

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Pick Your Poison: A Faery Tale Therapy Anthology [Kindle Edition]

Desiree Scott , Kerry E.B. Black , Joi Miner , D.K. Cassidy , Joanne Eskreis , Michelle Boske , Cleve Sylcox , Dara Ratner Rochlin

“Enter our world of faery tale therapy.
The Doctor will see you now.”

Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the characters in fairy tales— But did you ever wonder what happened when the story ended and you closed the book? Come along and in this new anthology, you’ll find your favorite and some new favorite faery-tale characters on the psychiatrists couch as they work through their trauma.

Curl up and read about : Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, The Big Bad Wolf, The Wolf from Red Riding Hood, Baba Yaga, Goldilocks, Snow White, The Gingerbread Man, Rapunzel, The Kings’ Man from Humpty Dumpty, The Dish & Spoon, Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Dorothy from Oz, including the Wicked Witch from Oz, All the Jacks (be nimble, beanstalk, hanging with Jill), Sandman, Old Mother Hubbard, Alice from Wonderland, The Princess and the Pea, and the tale told from the Pea’s perspective, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, and what about all those beastly bridegrooms that get dumped at the altar ?

****

Contents:

The Faery Tale Prompt that Started it All
Twelve Step Tales – A Poem by Carina Bissett
Mother of Fairy Tales by Kerry E.B. Black
Zuri by Joi Miner
Heel Toe by D.K. Cassidy
Cindy’s Deep Hidden Trauma by Joanne Eskreis
Iced by Michelle Boske
Snow White and the Psychologist by Cleve Sylcox
Old Sleepman by Kerry E. B. Black
The Princess, the Prince, the Queen, the King and the Pea by T.D Harvey
A Pea’s Lot in Life by T.D. Harvey
Glutton for Punishment by Rebekah Dodson
Unhinged by Matt Lovell
Red’s Wolf by Desiree L. Scott
Blow Your House Down by Michael Mill
The Tragedy at the Castle by C.H. Kelly
Off the Wall by Debbie Manber Kupfer
Benjamin Hubbard by Jason Derr
Hey Diddle Diddle by Debbie Manber Kupfer
Baba Yaga No More by Laura K. Cowan
OZ by Shannon McLoud
Chatterpillar by Matt Lovell
We’re All Mad Down Here by Rebekah Dodson
Beastly Bridegrooms Anonymous by Carina Bissett
To Hell with Cinderella – A Poem by Joi Miner

AUTHOR NOTE: This anthology is NOT for children. It’s a novella of twisted tales that begins and ends in therapy.

Please enjoy! ALL proceeds go to the Izzy Foundation, an organization that provides services and support to those families with children who have debilitating diseases, based in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Didn’t get you scare for halloween…this will definitely cure that!

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Dead Harvest: A Collection of Dark Tales (Volume 1) Paperback – October 28, 2014

Historical Anthology – I never knew the past was this Scary…

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Sins of the Past [Kindle Edition]

Chasity Nicole , Debbie Manber Kupfer , Sunila Vig , Matt Lovell , Kerry Black , Laura Cowan , Don Miskel , N.M. Scuri , Kristin Roahrig , J. Kendall

Sins of the Past is a collection of seventeen historical horror short stories. Each story occurs within a different time period and is based off of factual events that have occurred in the past, only with a few changes to what actually happened.