Author Spotlight Frank Morin

Author Spotlight Frank Morin

Author Spotlight

Frank Morin


Author Interview Questions


1: Hi, and thanks for joining today. In your own words tell us about yourself, not you the author, but just you!

A: I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast, a devoted family man, and my life is guided by my faith. I try to smile as often as possible, and I am a firm believer that ice cream is one of the best medicines ever invented.

2: Why did you decide to become an author and what’s the best part? Yeah, it’s a double-whammy of a question. So unexpected!

A: I’m a storyteller. I love good stories, and I see the world and people as an immense library of stories I haven’t yet experienced. If I lived in earlier times, I’d probably be a minstrel (although my family will attest to how badly I sing – so maybe just a roving storyteller). I tell stories that I love to read, and I’m my own biggest fan.

The best part about writing is connecting with people. I love knowing that my stories make a positive impact, even if it’s just to entertain or help someone forget about a difficult day.

3: So, tell us about your work. Sell us on it! Why should we read it and why it will capture us?

A: I write big, exciting stories, with lots of action and big casts of unique characters, who I push to the uttermost limits. I write YA fantasy and sci-fi/fantasy time travel thrillers.

My YA fantasy series is Big Magic, Big Adventure, and Lots of Humor. It’s growing in popularity, and it’s a blast to read. Book three in the series – No Stone Unturned – is already out as an ebook, and we’re holding the launch party for the paperback and hardcover release on Friday, December 16th.

For my time travel thrillers, think Mission Impossible meets Assassin’s Creed. These are world-spanning adventures that travel back in time with shadowy groups fueled by soul-based powers, who battle for control over pivotal moments in history in order to command the power necessary to reshape the future. Sarah is the strong female lead, supported by a deep cast of unique characters. History is not what the books claim it is, and I love exploring history, then giving it a twist. Many fascinating historical characters are woven into the books. Spartacus is my favorite, and there’s a reason his body was never found.

4: Why did you choose the genre you write in over others to start your publishing career? Did others appeal to you more and you chose this? Was there a bit of choice weighing or was it rather simple?

A: Many genres fascinate me, and I have also begun an epic fantasy series, which I hope to begin releasing next year. I decided to go YA first and release Set in Stone, book one of The Petralist because it’s such an exciting and fun read. People love the humor and they are fascinated by the complex, unique magic system based on rocks. Pure fun.

5: So far, what would you say has been the hardest part of being an author?

A: It’s tough balancing all the different demands on my time, and like many new authors, I was shocked by how much work needs to be done, even after completing a solid first draft. Now that I’ve released six novels, I’m getting the hang of it, and the challenge is to manage my time, wear all the different hats I need to, without losing my focus on writing great stories and loving the process.

6: Now for the ever-so-shocking follow-up question. What’s the best/easiest part, if there is one?

A: I love holding my books in my hand. There’s a magic moment when the first book arrives in the mail and I open the box. Readers love books, but only authors understand how much that book really cost, or how much of a victory it is to see it in print. Besides that, I love talking with readers about my stories, learning about how they touched lives, and laughing over our favorite jokes or most powerful moments.

7: Tell us about what your experiences in the author life have been like. I don’t mean the writing aspects. I mean the daily human life. Tell us what it’s like to live the day life you do and be an author at the same time. What’s it like when people in your life and, the people you come across, find out you’re an author?

A: Many new writers get discouraged when they learn that writing is actually a job – as in, some days it’s hard to sit down and get to work. People love the concept of a mystical Muse hovering over their shoulder, whispering deeper truths that they as the Artist are privileged to write. Some author struggle with the fact that some days, the Muse doesn’t want to focus. Reality is, if the Muse isn’t working, she’s fired. I write every day, and writers must develop a ton of self-discipline or they’ll never get anything done.

With that said, I love being a writer! Balancing my writing with my day job is a challenge, but I’ve been writing for about a dozen years, so I’m getting pretty good at that balancing act. On days when I get discouraged, I remind myself that if I wasn’t writing, I’d have to be working at some other job, and why would I want to do that when I love what I do so much?

The other big challenge is learning to turn it off, to focus on family, church, or whatever else. It’s all too easy to become a workaholic or lose touch with the people around me that I love the most. Gotta find that balance.

8: Writing is a hard craft and a harder career. What are the things that keep you going, both in improving the craft and enduring the downs/lows of the career?

A: You’re right. It can be tough. It’s a journey, so I try to take the long-term view. Like any career, it takes years to become an acknowledged expert. When I get discouraged, I remind myself that if I was trying to become a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer, I’d be investing at least 8 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in getting started. As a writer, I need to be willing to invest just as much – in thousands of hours of writing, in perhaps millions of words of practice and first drafts that may just get thrown away in order to rewrite yet again.

But a good story is worth it. Writing and sacrificing and bleeding our souls onto the page is worthless if we’re not willing to do the work to rewrite, edit, polish, and produce professional-quality products that readers can enjoy.

9: What do you love about the genre you write and what others appeal to you?

A: I write more fantasy than anything, and I love its flexibility, breadth, and scope. I can explore deep and meaningful topics with fantasy that might be difficult in other genres. Fantasy, and fiction in general, allow us to go where ‘reality’ might be too painful, to discuss topics that should be discussed, in ways that are fun and engaging. Some readers don’t get the deeper meanings of stories, and that’s fine – the story must first and foremost entertain. If we can do more than that, all the better.

For example, in my YA fantasy series, readers love the magic, the amazing adventures, the cool characters, and the ever-present humor. But I also get to explore questions of loyalty, among other things. I have characters who must face off across battlefields against people they respect or even love, who happen to live on the other side of a political boundary and are therefore classified as enemies. I have characters who must decide which loyalty trumps others. Is it loyalty to family, to community, to nation, or to the one you love? And what happens when those conflict? Or if someone you care about is driven by their loyalties to make choices that place them in opposition?

In my time travel thrillers – The Facetakers – the series is named after a group who have the ability to extract human souls by pulling their faces off. They can then place those souls in other bodies. So I get to explore all sorts of fascinating aspects of identity, body image, and questions of what makes a person who they are. It’s a lot of fun.

10: What can we expect from you next? Tell us about the plans for your series and body of work.

A: Now that No Stone Unturned is released, I’ll be focusing on releasing the final novel in my Facetakers series early in 2017. It’s going to be awesome – with the threat of a new world war, while also traveling back to ancient China and ancient Egypt.

Next year, I’ll be working on writing drafts of all three of the remaining Petralist novels. The story line is growing very complex, with lots of epic and humorous adventures still to come.  I plan to release at least one more of those novels next year, with the last two following as closely behind as possible. I’ll probably release some short stories and/or novellas set in that same world.

I hope to begin releasing novels in my epic fantasy series as well, and who knows what else? Should be a really good year!

11: The writing and publishing world has changed a lot. Self-publishing, small to medium presses popping up, and things like becoming a hybrid between indie pubbing and traditional. What are your thoughts on that? Any predictions on what the future might hold? What would you like to see, both as an author yourself, and, as a consumer/reader?

A: I think the only thing we can say for sure is that the publishing industry is undergoing fundamental changes. So I expect to see the market continue to evolve, and hope to be a part of whatever shape it ends up in.

The great thing about today’s world is that anyone can publish a book. The biggest challenge about today’s world is that anyone can publish a book. There’s a daunting percentage of self-published books out there that are honestly terrible. Or more accurately – not yet complete.

New writers sometimes begin releasing novels before they’re ready, without investing in editing, rewriting, and other aspects of producing a polished, professional product. I hope that tendency wanes and more new writers make the transition to professional quality, but how we’ll get there, I’m not sure.

I love being an indy author, although even as prepared as I was to jump into this world, I’ve been a little overwhelmed at times by how many hats we have to wear. I’d be happy to sign the right deal with a traditional publisher for some of my next books and become a hybrid author. I think there are pros and cons to every approach, but I think that route is perhaps the best option ultimately.

12: The always done and asked question. Who are your favorite authors? What are you favorite books? What are you reading now? Tell us. Tell us!
A: I love to read! I wish I had more time to read for pleasure. Current favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Larry Correia, and Jim butcher. I also know a ton of new writers, and am eager to pick up some of their books over the holidays. Near the top of the list is Grave Beginnings (Yup – shameless plug for your books – can’t wait to read them!)

13: I’ve got to know…what’s your favorite word to use. Every author has one. What’s the word you catch yourself using a lot? We’ve all got those as well. What’s your favorite word just to say? Something where you like the way it sounds. What’s your favorite curse worse, if you’ve got one and or use them?

A: I think I over-use the word Awesome, although I try to limit that in my writing. I’ve caught myself using quite a few words too much, but I think I’m getting better at catching those errors.

I tend to avoid cursing, as I see too many people use that as a crutch. I prefer laughing at myself and the craziness life tends to throw at us. I find it keeps me more positive than cursing or crying would.

14: Lastly, where can we find you? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Links to your material. Go on, don’t be shy. Share!

A: I’m pretty much everywhere (in a non-creepy way).

My website is www.frankmorin.org and it’s got a lot of cool materials including my newsletter sign-up page, my books, blog, and large gallery of cool photos I’ve gathered.

I’m also on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Morin/e/B00LYQCQH4 and you can find all my books there. Most of my novels are on sale as ebooks right now, so it’s a great time to try them out.

And my books are on Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and all the other retailer sites.

My Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/authorfrankmorin

On Twitter, I’m @MorinWrites

My newsletter sign-up page is: http://smarturl.it/f704r6

Thanks for having me on, Ronnie. It’s been a pleasure!

Frank


 

Author bio:

Frank Morin loves good stories in every form.  When not writing or trying to keep up with his active family, he’s often found hiking, camping, Scuba diving, or traveling to research new books.  Frank lives in Oregon with his lovely wife and four kids, who are all brutal critics, but die-hard fans. For updates on his sci-fi time travel thrillers, his popular YA fantasy novels, or other upcoming book releases, check his website:  www.frankmorin.org


 

Author Spotlight E.A. Copen

Author Spotlight E.A. Copen

Author Spotlight

E.A. Copen


Author Interview Questions.


1: Hi, and thanks for joining today. In your own words tell us about yourself, not you the author, but just you!

A: Hi! I’m afraid I’m not that interesting. I’m a mom of three, a big movie buff, and an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronisms, which is a historical re-creationist group.

2: Why did you decide to become an author and what’s the best part? Yeah, it’s a double-whammy of a question. So unexpected!

A: I became an author after failing at a lot of other things first. I published some poetry when I was 7 and got selected to go to a young writer’s retreat. The guest author was Brian Selznick who wrote a book called The Houdini Box, which is about a kid who met Harry Houdini and became a magician himself. After trying to become a magician and failing, I thought maybe I just loved stories and pursued my next obsession, which became film. I flunked out of film school after figuring out I hated it and spent a long time working retail, trying to figure out where I went wrong. All that time, I never stopped writing. In college, I fell into a creative writing workshop to fill an empty slot. I literally added it last minute because nothing else was open. The class changed everything for me and the professor convinced me to change my major to creative writing. I proceeded to hate every minute of it but finished out, convinced I was going to go to grad school and become a professor. That didn’t happen and I almost gave up after receiving a number of rejections. I only decided to self-publish as a sort of dare to myself. I was seeing other people do it and thought, if they can do it, so can I. What’ve I got left to lose?

Publishing was the best decision of my life. And the best part of it has been the people you met. Other authors, fans…It’s like walking into a new world. Really changed my outlook on life.
3: So, tell us about your work. Sell us on it! Why should we read it (for those of us that haven’t, 😉 ) and why it will capture us?

A: I primarily write about women, parents specifically. There are a lot of women heroines in the urban fantasy genre, but so few who have to balance a career with family. Judah Black still has to worry about what to make for dinner and watch out for her rebellious teenage son while trying to figure out how to kill monsters. She’s got a jerk boss. She’s got male co-workers who thinks she can’t do her job. She’s an everywoman in a crazy world, just trying to make it through life like the rest of us. Her life just happens to include wendigos, ice giants, zombies and ghosts.

4: Now, you write primarily under the urban fantasy umbrella of genres. Why did you choose this over others to start your publishing career? Did others appeal to you more and you chose this? Was there a bit of choice weighing or was it rather simple?

A:  My pre-teen daughter was obsessed with Twilight back in 2009 and I used to joke I could write a better vampire story. So, one day, I gave it a try. It was a lot harder than I thought and I wound up shelving it. A couple years later, I found The Dresden Files and fell in love. Wizards in modern day? What in the world? This is a thing? I kind of stumbled into the genre and realized I could revamp (pun intended) my old 2009 book with urban fantasy in mind. I jumped into it because I liked it and because it was the first one I had finished.

5: So far, what would you say has been the hardest part of being an author?

A: The hardest part for me has always been talking to people. I’m very shy and quiet. I don’t like to be the center of attention and would much rather hide behind my books. Publishing has forced me out of a very comfortable hiding place and sort of into the public eye. It’s scary, but exciting.
6: Now for the ever-so-shocking follow-up question. What’s the best/easiest part, if there is one?

A: Of course there is one! The best part has been all the people I’ve met and the new opportunities. It goes hand in hand with the scariest part. A year ago, if you’d asked me if I would ever dream of attending a pop culture convention, I would have laughed and then had to go breathe into a paper bag just thinking about it. Now, I’m planning on going to several and looking forward to it.

7: Tell us about what your experiences in the author life have been like. I don’t mean the writing aspects. I mean the daily human life. Tell us what it’s like to live the day life you do and be an author at the same time. What’s it like when people in your life and, the people you come across, find out you’re an author?

A: People ask if I’ve ever killed them in one of my books. It’s usually the first question they always ask. You have to learn really quickly how to answer the other most common question. “Oh, you’re a writer? What do you write?” After a few months, the answer is automatic. It’s hard finding that balance between casual conversation and salesman. Being an author means getting on a strict schedule for me. I have working hours posted on my door. I have special headphones I wear when I’m working that are soundproof. It’s a necessity when you have kids. My family always knows when I get close to publishing, even if I don’t tell them. We order a lot of pizza so mommy can meet her deadlines. I’m very blessed to have a husband who supports me and picks up the slack when I can’t get to all the housework. I couldn’t do this without support from my family.

8: Writing is a hard craft and a harder career. What are the things that keep you going, both in improving the craft and enduring the downs/lows of the career?

A: A lot of times, it’s the small things like a mention on Facebook from a fan, an e-mail from someone, a new review. One of those things always seems to roll in when I need it most. As for improving my writing, it’s like any other skill. It gets better with practice. I pull out my old writing books from college and try the exercises or get a new book on the craft. Believe it or not, writing poetry helps a lot. It teaches you to be more selective with your words.

9: What do you love about the genre you write and what others appeal to you?

A: The little kid in me has always loved magic. Magic is all about tricking the audience, making them believe something that isn’t true. Once your audience has figured out they’ve been duped, that it’s just a trick, they try to figure out how the trick was performed. Awe turns into mystery. Urban fantasy is a place where magic and mystery are so flawlessly married that you can’t have one without the other. It’s fantastic without being unrealistic, but also totally ridiculous at the same time. I think that’s what I like about it.

I like other genres where characters can be larger than life. Weird West, which is kind of a sister genre to urban fantasy in some ways, is a lot of fun. And science fiction just replaces magic with technology. Anywhere that you can blend reality with fantasy is a place I want to be.

 
10: What can we expect from you next? Tell us about the plans for your series and body of work.

A: I’ve called the Judah Black series a paranormal dystopia. I don’t know if that’s a real genre or not, but the term will apply more and more as that series goes on. It was originally conceived to be a sort of X-Files meets X-Men with magic and evolved from there. Things are going to get worse before they get better.
I also have a weird west series in the works. The main character in that, Anastasia Thorne, is my answer to Eastwood’s Man With No Name, except female. Expect anti-heroes and for monsters in that series to be the bad guys. I also have a science fiction epic that’s sort of Star Wars meets Game of Thrones with a slower burning, heavily political plot. All the stories focus on underdogs pushed to their limits and forced to evolve and change when given power and fame.

11: The writing and publishing world has changed a lot. Self-publishing, small to medium presses popping up, and things like becoming a hybrid between indie pubbing and traditional. What are your thoughts on that? Any predictions on what the future might hold? What would you like to see, both as an author yourself, and, as a consumer/reader?

A: I don’t think traditional publishing will ever go away. I do think that indie authors will drive the market in a lot of important ways over the next decade. Consumers consume and traditional publishers and authors can only produce so fast. Big publishers can’t afford to take the risks that indie authors take, which means they inevitably pass on good manuscripts just because they’re risky. Those risky manuscripts get self-published and they’re what’s going to change the industry. People are hungry for something different, the next thing. I believe indie authors can offer that, but there has to be a strong focus on quality over quantity. I expect that indie publishing is only going to get stronger over the next decade or so.

12: The always done and asked question. Who are your favorite authors? What are you favorite books? What are you reading now? Tell us. Tell us!
 

A: Favorites are always difficult. How about a top five? Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, R.R. Virdi (you), James Baldwin, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood…That’s more than five, isn’t it?
I’m currently reading the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs.

13: I’ve got to know…what’s your favorite word to use. Every author has one. What’s the word you catch yourself using a lot? We’ve all got those as well. What’s your favorite word just to say? Something where you like the way it sounds. What’s your favorite curse words, if you’ve got one and or use them?

A: Well, fuck is an all-purpose word. It’s especially fun if you say it with different accents. I’m bad about writing like I speak, using phrases like “of course” and “pretty much” or “sort of”. I try to leave out the ya’ll I get from being from southern Ohio.

My favorite word isn’t in English. It’s the Latin verb facere. Means to make or do. You can get a lot of grade school chuckles throwing it around and, if you know how to use it right, you can always tell who the Latin and classical scholars are in the room.

14: Lastly, where can we find you? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Links to your material. Go on, don’t be shy. Share!

A:  My website: http://www.ea-copen.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoreacopen


 

 


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Kiss of Vengeance



E.A. Copen
E.A. Copen is the author of the Judah Black novels and the forthcoming space opera, Broken Empire. She’s an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy and other genre fiction. When she’s not chained to her keyboard, she may be found time traveling on the weekends with her SCA friends. She lives in beautiful southeast Ohio with her husband and two kids, at least until she saves up enough to leave the shire and become a Jedi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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