Renee Writes

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Author Spotlight: Beautiful Nightmare by Ashley Marie Nestler

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Ashley Marie Nestler visiting with her standalone novel, Beautiful Nightmare. Ashley has also taken the time to answer a few questions about herself, which we’ll get to later. First, an introduction:

Ashley Nestler is a published author as well as an educator on writing and the publishing experience. She is also the CEO of Literary Vacation Club (a monthly subscription that sends out lesser known novels and items to tantalize all 5 senses) and Hedren’s Chest (a monthly subscription that sends out lesser known horror novels and small business horror accessories). She works hard to help small authors be seen, and she loves to read all things horror, crime, fantasy, and science fiction.

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About the Book

What if your true love was only present in your dreams? In the dystopian town of Lunamoon, everything is structured. Humans are created by science and everyone is programmed to follow certain regulations; but one girl, Shawneleigh, never lived up to the Council’s regulations. Shawneleigh has the disorder of narcolepsy, a disorder that causes her to fall asleep at random times without warning. Because of her illness, the Council banned her to life in a hospital since she cannot be counted on fulfill other duties.

Lunamoonians all receive prophecies for their lives through dreams that the Dream Maker sends to them, but Shawneleigh hadn’t received a dream in years until she found herself falling into a dream during her sleeping spells. It is during these spells that she meets a man named August who claims to be the Dream Maker himself. He also lives in solitude outside of Lunamoon, and they begin to form a bond; however, Shawneleigh cannot control when she falls asleep, and soon August finds a way to manipulate her illness. The only problem is that when he manipulates her sleeping disorder, she continues to grow sicker. But no matter how hard they try, they can’t stay away from one another.

“Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality” is novel about love, life, and the importance of those who care about you. Love, above all else, is the best thing that we have to give.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I suppose I never decided to be a writer. I have always felt as though writing was my calling. I remember writing in journals since I was a child, and my imaginary worlds always brought me comfort. Being a writer just comes naturally for me!

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?

I did have a very hard time sharing my work with the public. For as long as I can remember, my stories have always been for me. I never wrote so that others would read my work, and I was afraid of losing my passion by releasing to the public. But once I published my first novel, Beautiful Nightmare, I found that I liked sharing what I had created with the world. Sharing the written world is so important, and I believe that all writers should be able to share their work without fear.

Do you have a “day job”?

I do have a day job! I own and run two subscription businesses: Literary Vacation Club and Hedren’s Chest. Through Literary Vacation Club is send out monthly book boxes that are based on a different destination. I mainly feature indie novels in the box to help other indie authors out, and I create different items to go with the book that relate to the 5 senses. This experience brings the book to life! I also own Hedren’s Chest, which is a horror book subscription service. I also frequently feature indie horror authors through this box to help market them.

What genres do you write?

I am a bit of an eclectic author because I write across the board. I write young adult fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, horror, and contemporary. I just tend to write whatever comes to mind, and I take it from there!

Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?

I would love to try writing science fiction. I love the imagination that goes into writing science fiction, and creating futuristic worlds is so intriguing to me! I hope to experience with this genre soon.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires me the most to write is seeing the injustice that is present in our world. I love sending messages through my writing, and I believe that strong writing can help and teach others.

What authors have most influenced you?

My favorite author of all time is Jodi Picoult. I love the messages that she sends through her writing, and how she always hits on hard topics without sugar coating anything. Her novel, The Pact, has impacted me the most. Teenage suicide is horrific, but she paints the issue in a careful, thoughtful manner. As someone with a personal connection to this subject, I appreciated the care that she put into writing about it. The Pact gave me the courage to address bullying and suicide in my own novel, “Behind Broken Glass Walls”.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

I suppose I first considered myself an author when I was 15. It was this year that my first poem was published in an anthology, and my writing career just took off from there!

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

Oh man, marketing myself has got to be the biggest obstacle that I have faced. It is hard to be seen in this broad, literary world, but I have worked a lot on my social media and engagement and it has helped me to be seen!

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

Someone once told me that my novel “Beautiful Nightmare” is destined to be a classic. That just astounded me!

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

The best writing advice I ever received was from a publisher that I worked with. They said that you need to make sure that your characters don’t run away with your story, meaning that you shouldn’t create such a big cast of characters in a broad universe so that it overwhelms you. Sometimes as authors we try to create such a big setting and plot that it becomes too much, so it is better to remember that simpler is better!

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Always remember that you are writing for yourself. Don’t let the critics get you down. Your work isn’t for other people, it is for you, and as long as it brings you enjoyment that is all that matters!

Author Spotlight: The Shadow of Narwyrm: The Complete Trilogy by Tom Fallwell

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Tom Fallwell joining us with his complete trilogy, The Shadow of Narwyrm. He’ll also be answering some questions later on. But first…

Tom Fallwell, early in his life, found a love for the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of through books of Fantasy and Science-Fiction. Weaned on some of the greats, like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom’s imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called Chainmail, by Gary Gygax, and found a new love. The love of creating adventures and stories of his own. Chainmail evolved into Dungeons & Dragons, and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM). Such activities developed his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that seem to constantly fill his mind and share them with the world.

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About the Books

The Rangers of Laerean are the protectors of the people, the heroes of Hir. Their exploits are legendary and their great deeds recounted in tales across the ages. These are the stories that will be told for generations.

Baric is a Ranger, a true leader, whose destiny lies before him. It’s a journey that starts out small, with but a whisper, and leads him on a quest to save his world from total annihilation and destruction. A journey fraught with obstacles, mystery, love and loss. A journey that tests him and drives him ever closer to the destiny that awaits him.

The forces of shadow conspire against the Rangers and the land to bring about total chaos and destruction. Baric finds himself embroiled in a dark plot to put an end to all civilized races and must find a way to stop the terror. Finding new friends along the way, Baric learns about the past Eras of Hir and the about the creatures called, the Mythica. He soon realizes he is battling forces that have been in contention since the beginning of time, and it will take all his strength and willpower to overcome against the Shadow of Narwyrm.

Get it Today!

Amazon | Smashwords | Other Retailers

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

It wasn’t so much of a decision as an opportunity. I’d always loved creating stories and adventures, but never had much time to do much with my ideas and all the characters I created, until I retired from my software developer career. I then found I have lot of time and just sat down and started writing. I haven’t stopped yet.

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?

I didn’t really mind sharing, though I did have that fear of rejection that I’m sure we all go through at times. But my faith is my shield, and I simply put my trust in God. If I see a bad review or rating, I don’t allow it to tear me down. I write for me, and not anyone else. It is a special bonus to know someone else enjoys what I write.

What genres do you write?

As far as published works, so far it has been Fantasy, and Science-Fantasy. Although I’ve many ideas and notes which cover Science-Fiction, Mystery, Thriller and other genres. I must admit I favor Fantasy, but I won’t limit myself.

Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?

I’ve actually been experimenting with a story idea that could be classified as a Thriller/Mystery. I have a lot going on, so I’m not sure when that one will get completely written, though I do a little work on it from time to time. I also have a couple of Science-Fiction stories I’m developing, though I can’t put a lot of time into them at the moment.

How often do you write?

Every day. Occasionally I may take a day or two off, but pretty much every day.

How long does it take you to write a novel?

I don’t write fast. I’m more focused on quality, perhaps a holdover from my computer programming days. Generally, about 4-6 months, though that varies.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

It would definitely be the Ranger Baric. Baric is a character that was created a long time ago, and has been with me for many decades. I know him better than any of my characters, and he has always been the epitome of a hero to me.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

J.R.R. Tolkien is my greatest influence, hands down, though not the only author whom I admire. There are so many. On top of my list is C.S. Lewis, Robert E. Howard and Frank Herbert. For books it is, of course, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, the Conan series and Dune.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

J.R.R. Tokien. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be taught storytelling by the master storyteller. 🙂

When did you first consider yourself an author?

When I started writing. As far as I’m concerned, the term ‘author’ is not a title that someone bequeaths to you, it is what you do. Being an author does not require anyone’s approval or permission. Also, success at being an author is a relative thing. Your own success is however you wish to define it. It’s not always monetary.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

For me, it was when my father (who never reads books) read my book and liked it. I’ve never received a better compliment. 🙂

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

If you don’t write simply because you love writing, then maybe you should consider another profession or pastime. Your attitude and love of writing will be reflected in what you write. So be sure you’re writing for yourself first.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I like having full control over my work. Just that plain and simple. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can or can’t write, when I can write, or how much my work should sell for.

Author Spotlight: Showdown (Wyrd West Chronicles #1) by Diane Morrison

 

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight. Today I have Diane Morrison visiting to tell us about the first book in her Wyrd West Chronicles series, Showdown. One of the characters from the book, Graeme Walsh, will be paying us a visit as well, but first more about the author.

Diane Morrison lives with her partners and works part-time in a bookstore in Vernon, BC, where she was born and raised. An avid National Novel Writing Month participant, she is proudly Canadian and proudly LGBTQ. Under her pen name “Sable Aradia” she is a successful Pagan author, a musician, and a professional blogger. After a lifetime of putting the needs of her family first, she is striking out to become what she always wanted to be; a speculative fiction writer.

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About the Book

In Queenstown, an untried youth is the only one who can face down a notorious Desperado. But Graeme Walsh is not a Gunslinger: not yet. Will his training and his secret sorcerer’s powers be enough to get the drop on the Outlaw, before the Outlaw gets the drop on him?

Welcome to the Wyrd West, the world next door, where Western meets high fantasy, apocalyptica and a dash of steampunk. This novelette serial will be published bimonthly in e-format, with collections published in print format once a year.

 

 

 

Get it Today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with Graeme Walsh, Apprentice Gunslinger, from Showdown:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

Well, I was born on my folks’ horse ranch, ’bout a day’s ride outside of Queenstown. It’s a region we call the Windpan. Guess they used to call it Saskatchewan? A province in Canada? That was before the Cataclysm, of course. Ancient times now. I guess my upbringin’ was pretty typical of a rancher’s son, except of course that I’m half-sidhe, which ain’t common ’round these parts, and I’ve been trainin’ to be a Gunslinger like my father.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?

Sure I do! I’d say we’re a real close lot. My folks are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Unless you’re a Desperado, of course.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Listenin’ to my momma play piano and sing. She’s sidhe and she has a beautiful voice.

Who was your best friend growing up?

I guess that’d be my little sister Piper. She’s still my best friend, really. But if I had to pick one outside the family, that’d be Jessie Williams. His folks own the cattle ranch just north of us. Sometimes our folks would take us in to town together to do their business, and we’d chum around.

Who is your enemy?

Any right-thinkin’ Slinger has got to regard the Desperados as our enemies.

What makes you enemies?

They’re our dark reflections, so to speak. We Gunslingers try to defend the common folk, and the Powers of Light are kind enough to grant us some abilities to help do that. Desperados make deals with the Powers of Darkness for selfish reasons, mostly power. We got to stand against ’em.

Who do you most admire in your world?

My father.

Why?

I wish I were half so brave. I’m not quite so naive as to think he’s perfect, but he’s got some mighty big boots to fill.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

Well, there ain’t nearly as many people as you have in your time! I guess the Cataclysm took care of that. Like I said, long time ago now, ancient history; we keep findin’ ruins of the Ancients but we ain’t entirely sure what they all were for. I guess lots of them nuclear power plants blew up when it happened, so some areas you still can’t go or the air and the ground’ll poison you. Most of that’s far to the south and the east, though.

The rest of us mostly live in cities like Queenstown, but there’s still lots of frontier folk like ourselves. Big exodus from the south when the Cataclysm happened, so I guess our ancestors came from both Canada and the United States? Except I know you ain’t got no elves, dwarves or gnomes in your time. Or trolls, or Mantis-folk, or intelligent equines like the Gunslinger horses and the Nightmares.

And I know our technology ain’t what yours is. See, the laws of physics don’t work the same in all places these days, so you can’t rely on them. We’ve started to figure out ways to make tech work in some places, though, like steam engines and dirigibles and telegraphs. So I guess we’re catchin’ up!

There’s Cree in the Qu’Appelle Valley, and we get on fine with them. Respect them and they’ll respect you. Spirit Bear, he’s their shaman, and he’s a friend and a mentor of mine. But the local Mantis-folk can get violent. Inter-tribal warfare bleeds over and truces between tribes change with their chieftains. And someone just got lynched recently. Piper and Henry — that’s our lead ranch hand and a family friend, kind of like an uncle to us — and I found a body on the way into Queenstown to ship the latest young horses off to the Order.

As to “my place in it” . . . well, our family raises Gunslinger horses for the Order. My dad’s semi-retired since he married my momma and he’s been teaching me how to be a Slinger since I was knee-high to the Mantis-folk. He don’t want to, but all the signs say it’s my fate, so he figured I ought to be ready. And I help out with the ranchin’ of course. Me and Momma and Piper too. We’re responsible for the ranch hands and Queenstown is our Protectorate. The local folk tithe us a share of their harvest so we can concentrate on their defense.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

Aw, shucks, I get tongue-tied when I try to do public speakin’. My tongue trips over itself and I sound like a fool.

What are your goals?

To do justice to the Gunslinger legacy. To honour my predecessors. Maybe to make a difference in the world, and protect people as best I can.

What is your greatest fear?

I’m afraid of lettin’ people down.

How will you overcome it?

I don’t rightly know how to overcome it; I just keep tryin’ to do my best and hope it’s enough.

 

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