Saturday, August 30, 2014

Special interview feature: Trista Vaporblade

Great news, folks! I am pleased to host my second author interview on here and introduce to all of you another firend of mine and talented author, Trista Vaporblade! She is an avid reader, writer, actress, and Follower of the Way. She has been writing stories since she was in 1st grade and has finally gotten around to publishing her first finished work, Quest for the Swords of Healing. It is said that she can be found in a land far from here, a place not many people discover and even fewer understand; the land of her own imagination. Trista can also be seen roaming the halls of the Underground , blogging about her world of wonder A blog of writing and music, or simply dancing in the bright summer sun outside in her backyard. When you pick up a book of Trista's you pick up a book of epic adventures and heroic character in which the good triumphs over evil, but sometimes the cost is far greater then you could ever imagine...

Trista has just released her second major novel, Ranger. For all you fantasy fans like me out there, you'll be pleased to know that the author is giving away a copy of each of her books in a giveaway she is hosting, the link to which will be at the bottom of the post. Here is the summary of her latest release, Ranger:

“ Kimberly Ranger is daughter to the wealthy governor of a small, dry western town. Disaster befalls her and her family one night as they ride through the shadow cloaked forest paths and all of them are thought to be dead. Several years later a young stranger appears in the town’s saloon, asking questions about that night. But as time ticks on, respected members of the town disappear without a trace, animals are slaughtered in herds, and a tale as old as time is brought to light. The greatest adventures are not always the ones that are passed down in fables, sometimes the ones that really mean something are the ones that never get told…” - Ranger

Trista has agreed to an interview with me, so let us begin.


Trista, welcome to A Dark Wolf’s Haunt and thank you for joining us here! So to start things off, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? What are your favorite hobbies and how would you describe your personality? 

Trista: Thank you, Dark Wolf! I’m excited to be here and thank you so much for the invite! 

More or less about me: Okay well, most importantly I’m a Bible believing Christian and as an author that mind-set and perspective flows into my works. I’m a high school graduate whose dream is to go out into the world and minister Christ’s love through music.  A few of my random hobbies are reading, writing (of course), acting, drawing on occasion, and anything that has to do with being outside.  And my personality? Bleh, I’m not good at describing myself. Some of the things other people have called me: Random, Adventurous, Strange, Hard-working, Willing to listen, Unpredictable, Godly, Weird, Tenacious, Loyal, and other such things...Sorry, I’m bad at that =P 

What inspired you to get into writing? How did you start your journey to getting published?

Trista: Hmm, what inspired me to get into it indeed. I really can’t recall exactly how it all began, for I was writing “stories” since I could make a sloppy sentence. Its just something I’ve always done. I remember I had pages of notebooks filled with prospective book “titles” and I had many pieces of other paper with drawings for the said books. Though none of those ever made it into much more than ideas and a few random sentences here and there.

What really kick-started me into the process of self publication was NaNoWriMo. The young writer’s program, which I did my first year of NaNo, teams with Createspace so that if you finish the 50k (or less or more) words of your novel, you get five free copies of your novel from Createspace. I did finish my novel’s 50k, but the book wasn’t finished yet. So I decided to edit through my other book that was finished (Quest for the Swords of Healing) and go ahead and self-publish that. And that’s how I started the journey, with writing 50k in one month in a crazy challenge I never thought I’d end up doing.

What provides the inspiration for your stories, and what source would you say is the biggest influence on your writing?

Trista: I get inspiration everywhere almost all the time. Sometimes I laugh at myself for it, but in the end it’s helpful. It used to come mostly from reading, but since I began seriously writing I’ve bordered my scope of inspiration, as it were. Pictures inspire characters a lot for me, or some plot pieces. What family and friends say sparks my imagination at times, places I visit, songs and music do a lot to inspire me as well. I think, though, my biggest inspiration is the places I’ve been or will go. The new and amazing world that ignites my curiosity and the old wonderful trails I still find pleasure in walking. I love being outdoors and everything about it inspires me to write. I wish that when I go out for a trip to the woods or walk in the corn field I could just talk my thoughts and when I come back to my room, a novel will be waiting for me with the words I said. X) 

Which author’s work do you admire the most and why?

Trista: Hmm, I have many author’s whose works I admire. But I have to say that Christopher Hopper’s The White Lion Chronicles are still my favorite books. At first they were rather slow and I got a little disenchanted with all the description. But as I got into them and read more, I loved them! They speak a deeper truth and have those little hidden stories in there that you can read between the lines if you look close enough, I like that in books; especially Christian books.  I liked all the characters, the setting, the plot, and how it ended. So I appreciate these three novels and their author greatly.

Of the entire writing process, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?

Trista: Hmm, there’s so much I enjoy. I love it when you get on a roll and you can write like 10k in less than an hour, that’s a great part. I enjoy working with plot  development off of my computer, that can be an adventure in and of itself. I also like going back through things I’ve already written and reading here and there. Sometimes I surprise myself when I do that. X) And, ask almost any author, the least favorite part is the editing process of the second -or more - draft. Arg. =P  

Could you tell us about some of your earlier works?

Trista: Well, like I was saying earlier on, I’ve been working on writing for a while. But I never really finished a story until just five or six years ago. Before that I had been working on a story called Storm; it was about a horse and her journeys to find her herd after she was separated from them. That one hung on for a while but never made it very far. Then I wrote Battle of the Dragons, my first (and far) short story inspired by Redwall and a dream I had.  That was the first book I actually finished.

So, what we all have been eagerly wanting to know, tell us about Ranger. How long did it take you to develop the story, and did you encounter any challenges with writing it?

Trista:  Oh yes, Ranger. *grin* Okay, well this story was inspired by my older brother to begin with and sorta took off on its own. My brother and I were talking about the new Lone Ranger movie they had just made(even thought we hadn’t seen it nor care to now) and he mentioned a few things that set my mind cogs to whirling. 

I wrote Ranger for NaNoWriMo last year, and as I went on with it the basic idea I had took off in a completely new direction. I do like the way the story came out, though. And I even tried something I thought I’d never do; I wrote in first person. 

I did struggle a little bit here and there when it came to writer’s block, but because it was NaNo and I needed to press on, I did. This novel wrote pretty well and easily all things considered. However, when I came to the editing process I do have to admit it took me longer than it should have to finish it.   

Of all the characters in Ranger, which one, if any, do you think best matches your own personality? 

Trista: Oh my, characters are so interesting, you know? Because there’s something about you in each one of them: a personality trait, a nervous habit, their appearance, something large or super small. In some ways it’s pretty cool, in other ways it can be kinda scary. Cause your villains also, in some way, have something of yours. That’s what makes all characters unique, because no one else has the same traits as you to put into them. That was a rabbit trail a bit there, but I think the character that is most like me in the book, putting all of them aside, would be Tonto.    

What story are you actively working on now?

Trista: I have so many projects I want to see to completion, but right now I’m working on The Guardian Elf Scrolls Book 2, The Nameless. The sequel to Quest for the Swords of Healing. 

For our enjoyment, would you mind sharing a piece from Ranger with us? 

TristaOh sure, why not? Alrighty, a small except from the (almost) end of Chapter 2:

From Ranger

Kimberly sat in silence as the last words faded away, curling upward with the hazy air. She distrusted this boy. Why would he bother to weave such a tale? Was it to cause her confusion so that in this fragile state they could impose their savage ways on her? Something stirred deep within, and Kim knew his story was not meant for illusion. Her hand waveringly rose to her bandage again. She cringed. ‘How have I changed?’ Her heart picked up speed. Eyes darting she saw sorrow pictured on the lad’s face. “What has happened to me? What have you done?” Kim lurched backward and stood as swiftly as possible. “What has changed?” Her feet felt unusual, clumsy and awkward.
  Tonto looked on with grief lacing his features. “Nothing that can be altered now.” He spoke steadily, trying to ease her panic. “The people of this village, my kin, see you only as you are, not as you have been. They will accept you for what you are, which I cannot say for the people who used to know you.”
Kimberly stepped away from the fire stones, her heels knocking into an iron kettle. “And what am I? What is wrong with me?” she breathed, scarcely above a whisper. 
Tonto rose from his place near the coals, a solitary hand stretched out in a gesture for her to follow. “Come, I will show you.” 


Thank you very much, Trista, for that exciting piece of work. All of us are definitely looking forward to future works from you. And if any of you folks wish to snag Trista's amazing reads for free, just click on the link below.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Special interview feature: Kate Elizabeth Stoneacre

So after procrastinating for months, I finally got around to interviewing my very first author! It is my pleasure to introduce all of you to a friend of mine, Kate Elizabeth Stoneacre, author of the fantasy novel, The Lost Princess. And if you love fantasy, you'll be excited to know that you can grab Kate's book in a giveaway being hosted, the link to which will be at the bottom of the post. Here is the summary of the book:

Laurel is a fourteen year old homeschooler with a seemingly perfect life. However, when her grandmother goes delusional and starts speaking utter nonsense, Laurel’s world flip-flops. Questions are raised, and she finds herself thrown into Tranquility, to the kingdom of Calma where she must confront a tyrannical king. Samuel is the twelve year old prince of Calma. His father is the king, and tries to make Samuel into the same kind of prince as he is a king. However, Samuel’s mother Elizabeth taught him in the ways of Elohim, and to do the right thing. Can Laurel set right the kingdom of Calma? Can Samuel find the courage of Elohim to stand up to his father? Can a young elf named Soddriel find in his heart to forgive his enemies? With courage in their hearts, and the words of Elohim on their tongues, goodness is sure to triumph. Revolution is at hand.” - The Lost Princess

 Kate has graciously agreed to my request to interview her, so without any further ado, here we go. :)


Kate, welcome to A Dark Wolf’s Haunt and thank you for joining us here! So to start things off, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? What are your favorite hobbies and how would you describe your personality?

Kate: Hi, JM, and thank you for having me! My favorite hobbies, aside from writing, are reading, singing, acting in musicals, and dancing! I love to have a good time, and I love being around people.

What inspired you to get into writing? How did you start your journey to getting published?

Kate: The first person who inspired me to write was Mr. Dewalt. Over the summer one year, he taught a short class to all the kids about writing, and it piqued my interest. However, I didn’t finish my first novel until NaNoWriMo 2013. After I finished The Lost Princess, I contacted a friend of mine who helped edit my novel, and I self-published through Createspace. 

What provides the inspiration for your stories, and what source would you say is the biggest influence on your writing?

Kate: I get a lot of my inspiration from my own crazy dreams, and other novels I’ve read. I guess listening to soundtracks really influences my writing, as well as suggestions from my friends and family. :)

Which author’s work do you admire the most and why?

Kate: I really admire the works of C.S. Lewis. All of his books are well written. And have theological truths in them without sounding ridiculous and preachy. 

Of the entire writing process, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?

Kate: My favorite part is coming up with fun characters, and an interesting plot. My least favorite part is midway through the story because I’m way past point A, but I don’t know quite how to make it to point B.

So, what we all have been eagerly wanting to know, tell us about The Lost Princess. How long did it take you to develop the story, and did you encounter any challenges with writing it?

Kate: I actually started developing the main story idea for The Lost Princess May of 2013. It was the third novel I had started writing, but this time I was determined to see it through till the end. I searched writing templates, and write the first two chapters. In August, I tossed everything but the Prologue, and the main character and started over, with help from a few of my best friends. Once the story idea was developed, and characters outlined, I decided to stop working on The Lost Princess, and save it for my first eve NaNoWriMo.  It wasn’t always easy, and often you would find me up at 3am, racking my brain for a good subplot, or asking my mother “What lies beyond the Glas sea” but after a lot of hard work, supportive friends and family, and way more coffee than any human being should consume in their lifetime, The Lost Princess was finished… Until editing began, which I will not go into now.

Of all the characters in The Lost Princess, which one, if any, do you think best matches your own personality?

Kate: I fashioned most of Laurel’s personality after my own, although I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do all the things she did. However, I also find that I am a lot like Aidan, who actually happens to be my favorite character in my novel.

What story are you actively working on now?

Kate: I am currently writing Forgotten Dream, which is my second ever novel. However, I have already begun planning for my NaNo14 novel, False Light, both under the pseudonym Katie Kessler.

For our enjoyment, would you mind sharing a piece from The Lost Princess with us? 

Kate: Absolutely! Here is one of my favorite parts of the novel.

From The Lost Princess

“Laurel, get up. I need you to free me.” Aidan said urgently. I stood up and pulled my knife, cutting the ropes that bound Aidan. As soon as he was freed, I fell to my knees again. 
“Laurel, we have to go.” Aidan said. 
“What about the others?” There is nothing we can do about them now,” He said, his voice choking up. “They’re dead.” He lifted me to my feet. “Come, we have to go quickly, they’ll be back soon.” 
“Who?” I asked, walking quickly with Aidan. 
“The men who did this.” 
“Why did they leave me?” I asked. 
“We were the bait. They wanted you, but first they wanted to break your heart. They left me alive knowing I would call to you.” I stopped
“Then why did you call?” 
“Simple. I knew you couldn’t escape without my help. Much less find the cure for your brother.” 
“How do you know?” Aidan looked me in the eyes. 
“Laurel. Do you trust me?” He asked. 
“Yes,” I replied. 
“Then trust me to know that you couldn’t have done it alone.” We heard shout behind us, and we started to run. “Get back here you scum!” a voice yelled behind us. I tripped and fell, hitting my head. I began to pass out, “Laurel, you can’t pass out.” Aidan said. “Laurel, Laurel, LAUREL!”


Thank you so much, Kate, for sharing that exciting piece with us! Definitely we are looking forward to seeing more of your work in the future.
So folks, if you are looking for some exciting fantasy, head on over to the link below to enter the giveaway for the chance to win this amazing story. 

The Lost Princess

Monday, August 25, 2014

Super Fantasy Giveaway!!!

Great news, folks! If you're a fantasy lover or simply looking for a new read to add to your bookshelf, then this is for you. A friend of mine is having a book giveaway to promote her newest release, and due to her gracious invitation, I also will be participating in it (the first giveaway I've ever taken part in :) ) and my book, The Dark Wolf, is one of the prizes. For the giveaway, my friend is giving not one, not two, but four books of amazing epicness! Add in mine plus another book by another author (also another friend of mine), and that makes a grand total of six beauties being given away for FREE. So if you are looking for some great reading material of adventures, epicness, and a stirring story, click the link below to head on over to my friend's blog! The giveaway starts today and ends at 12:00AM on September 1st. (EST)


Friday, August 15, 2014

The Saga Continues....

And the writing process begins once more. Or finishes up, actually. With a lot less stress and definitely more enthusiasm, God and I have put out what I think to be the next best chapter in The Heart of Light saga. Currently the book is in the process of being edited, two thirds of which is already done, and I have not only gotten the artwork and cover design done for it, but also revamped the design of The Dark Wolf and created new art for it as well. 
As for the story of Crown of Ravens, I don’t want to give away spoilers (hard though it is) so I’ll just say that everything in it is darker, deeper, and more emotional than the previous installment. Redemption, hope, and learning to trust even when it looks darkest are elements that are explored in depth in the story.
New characters will be introduced, and mysteries left unsolved in The Dark Wolf are revealed in Crown of Ravens while a few more are introduced. 
I’m really excited about the characters and the direction of the story, and I can’t wait until all of you can share in it. If you want detailed stats on the book’s progress towards publication as well as art clippings I post (some of which are experiments that may or may not make you wince), feel free to drop by and visit my Facebook page: