Q&A with Award-Winning author Dana Claire

Dana Claire is a YA and fantasy author of 5 novels, with more on the way. She describes herself as “a hopeless romantic and an action junkie who’s been building creative worlds since” childhood. Living in Los Angeles, CA, Dana has worked as a trainer for celebrities, professional athletes, and fitness enthusiasts in addition to writing.

Dana’s most recent book, Hunterland was picked up by CamCat Books. Check out the Summary here:

Liam Hunter has warded off hungry vampires, slayed monstrous beasts, and put agonized spirits to rest since he could hold a stake. When trouble comes through the Hunterland message board, alerting them that nurses are dying at high schools across Wisconsin in a string of fishy “suicides,” the Hunter family hits the road to save the day.

The trail leads to Falkville Falls, where Liam clashes with Olivia Davis, whose maddening family seems inexplicably embroiled in this haunting mess. Olivia has always mothered her little sister, Pepper. But when the Hunter family opens her eyes to the hidden underworld of real monsters prowling the dark, she realizes she can’t protect Pepper from this newest threat by herself. Can the two families work together to uncover who or what is responsible before the next murder, or will this vicious death cycle have no end?

Without further adieu, check out my conversation with the incredibly talented Dana Claire!

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GUEST POST: Jordan H. Bartlett

How Character Belief Shapes Your Fantasy World

Creating your own world to set your story within is a lot like attacking a blank canvas with a paintbrush. The canvas itself can end up looking like anything, but if you want it to look good, it can’t look like everything. So you pick and choose what colors you use, you decide on the subject, and hopefully, after several hours, you have a finished masterpiece. Now imagine that you know what your masterpiece looks like, but your next task is to describe it to someone else who cannot see it.

It can feel overwhelming. You have a complete picture in your mind of what your world is. You know what its people are like, what the societal rules and social beliefs and narratives that keep the world running are; you’ve fine-tuned all the details down to what fashions are trending and what slang is popular. But you can’t unload that information on your reader all at once. Or you can, but I know nothing makes me put a book down faster than an info-dumping first chapter.

So how do you share your masterpiece with your readers in a way that keeps them engaged with the plot and your characters?

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Interview with fantasy author Brandie June

Brandie June is a fantasy author of the beautiful Gold Spun duology, a retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale. She studied study acting at UCLA, and eventually branched out into costume design, playwriting, prose writing, and received her MBA in Entertainment Marketing.

Gold Spun is “an enchanting retelling with memorable characters that will appeal to a broad range of fantasy readers,” and its sequel, Curse Undone, is out TOMORROW, October 4th!

Curse Undone, the sequel to your first book, Gold Spun, is coming out in just a few days! That’s so exciting! How was writing Curse Undone compared to Gold Spun? Was it more difficult writing a sequel?

I had an unusual time writing Curse Undone. When I initially wrote the manuscript, it was before I had even sold Gold Spun to a publisher. I imagined this series would be a trilogy. Once I signed with CamCat Books, I had several discussions with my editor. We eventually decided that a duology made more sense than a trilogy. I then had to cut half of my draft before writing the ending. It was a strange process, but I’m really happy with how Curse Undone turned out.

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Interview with Mystery Author Emily Whitson

I knew too much. On that island, on that godforsaken singles’ retreat. I knew too much…

Playing on our universal fascination with reality TV, Beneath the Marigolds is the Bachelor(ette) gone terribly wrong.

The debut novel from Emily C. Whitson is a thriller exploring the dark side of love and the ultimately redemptive power of friendship.

AVAILABLE NOW

Emily is a mystery and thriller author with a focus on contemporary pop culture. Her work explores the intersection of suspense and entertainment, the dark side of celebrity and Hollywood glamour.

A former marketing copywriter and a graduate with a major in journalism, she is now pursuing a Master of Education with a specialization in English Literature at Vanderbilt University.

Emily is particularly passionate about women’s education and female stories. When she isn’t writing or in the classroom, she can usually be found with her dog, Hoss.

Check out my conversation with Emily below!

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Death Makes Great TV: Interview With Bryan R. Johnston

I recently read a surprisingly funny thriller that I seriously could NOT put down: Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston.

I tore my way through this book and was constantly on the edge of my seat, laughing out loud, or being in awe of Bryan’s writing. The way he describes people and situations is so unique and imaginative; I really felt like I was in the world with Frankie.

Speaking of Frankie, I ADORED her. I loved her view of the world, her humor, her love of movies, and her brilliance. The inner workings of Frankie’s job and the Death Warrant show were scary realistic and well researched. Bryan brought this world together seamlessly, there was NEVER a moment I was pulled from the story, and there wasn’t a single character that I didn’t like.

Death Warrant is thought-provoking, captivating, entertaining, absorbing, fast-paced, and emotional. Plus, the ending took me by surprise! It was an all-around satisfying end after a well-paced, fun novel.

Read about Death Warrant and check out my interview with the extremely talented author below!

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Review of Death Warrant

Death Makes Great TV.

Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie—a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big—agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the planet: Death Warrant. Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment.

After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last.

She could be a star, if only she lives that long.

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Explore the Queendom with Jordan H. Bartlett

In a Queendom divided, can one girl unite the realms?

To save her people, Lower-born Jacs must infiltrate the Upper Realm and earn her place to compete in the Contest of Queens. In a story about friendship, love, bravery, and defying gravity, Jacs will strive to prove that a Queendom is strongest when united.

Jordan H. Bartlett delivers a beautiful masterpiece that masterfully uses fantasy elements and preaches the importance of kindness and bravery.

Jodan has devoured literature her entire life and spent the last three years working on her debut novel, Contest of Queens to add to the world’s library. Learn more about Jordan and her work at https://jordanhbartlett.com/

Without further adieu, here is my conversation with Jordan:

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Writing, cooking, and reading with Author Joanna Elm!

Joanna Elm is an author, journalist, blogger, and attorney. Before the publication of her first two suspense novels (Scandal, Tor/Forge 1996); (Delusion, Tor/Forge/1997), she was an investigative journalist on the London Evening News on Fleet Street in the U.K. She also wrote for British magazines like Woman’s Own.

Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like A Current Affair. She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award-winning documentary Irish Eyes. In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.

After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam, and worked as a principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department.

This year, Joanna is gracing the world with her newest suspense novel, Fool Her Once, published on March 1st by CamCat publishing. Order the book here!

Without further ado, enjoy my conversation with Joanna Elm!

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Q&A with Spy Thriller Author Susan Ouellette

Susan Ouellette’s smart, fast-paced political thrillers plunge readers into the post-9/11 world of politics and espionage. Maggie Jenkins, the novels’ unstoppable CIA-analyst heroine, searches for the next terrorist threat even as she battles corrupt politicians, inept bureaucrats, and her own self-doubt. In an uncertain world filled with ever-changing threats, Maggie faces a choice between caution and courage, reason and prescience, inertia and action

Maggie’s decisions affect not only national security but also the lives of ordinary Americans.

Susan Ouellette’s novels will leave you breathless and guessing until the final pages. The Wayward Spy and The Wayward Assassin are thrillers for those who understand today’s security threats and the consequences of inaction.

Check out my interview with her below:

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Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorders

Everyone feels anxious from time to time, like before an exam of a big event. If you’re in a stressful time of life, such as college or wedding planning (or the middle of a pandemic) stress and anxiety can be even more common.

This is why it can be tough to tell the difference between typical anxiety and a condition like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

WHAT IS IT?

Typical anxious feelings

A temporary and expected response to a stressful situation but not an ongoing problem. This is an appropriate reaction to the situation. It doesn’t interfere with other areas of life but can actually be a good and helpful thing. Can act as a motivator to accomplish assignments or warn you about dangerous situations. Can also activate the fight, flight, or freeze response.

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