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Interview with Author Tiana Warner on Ice Crypt – A #YA Fantasy #ReleaseDay

July 25, 2016

Today, I have Amazon Kindle best-selling author Tiana Warner on my blog to talk about her new young adult fantasy, Ice Crypt, where a teenage girl and a mermaid must unearth a legendary weapon in order to stop the war between humans and merpeople.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

Tiana also shares where she got her inspiration for Ice Crypt,  some words of wisdom about writing, and the joys of being a successful self-published author.

About Tiana Warner

Tiana Warner is the best-selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been recognized by Writer’s Digest, Foreword’s Top 10 Indie YA Books of 2014, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. She enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.

 

TianaWarner

Welcome Tiana! I’m going to get right down to business here….

You’ve had a lot of success self-publishing your books, and on your blog you’ve written an excellent post on how to self-publish. What are some of the best things you’ve found about being self-published? 

Having total control over your career as an author. More than writing a story, you determine what the cover looks like, when and where the book is published, how much it costs, how many copies you can donate. Being an indie author means running a business, one with huge potential for growth. It means taking charge of your platform and keeping your rights and royalties. It’s an incredibly exciting journey!

What are some of the worst?

Because there are no gatekeepers, you have to prove your worth when you self-publish. Tell someone you’re published and they go, “Wow, that’s amazing! Who’s your publisher?” and when you say “Me. I self-published,” they’re like, “Oh,” and maybe it’s just me being insecure, but I get the vibe that there’s a moment where they think, “So your book wasn’t good enough?” Of course, it’s not like that. In today’s competitive book market, self-publishing is a business strategy.

Your first book in the series, Ice Massacre, recently was a First Place Winner: Dante Rossetti Awards 2014 from Chanticleer Book reviews. Congratulations! Has that opened doors for you?

Thank you! It’s hard to measure exactly what prompts readers to buy a book, but yes, I think awards and professional reviews build credibility. It helps me get reviews by other professional reviewers, which in turn helps in other ways… It’s about building momentum. When someone is deciding what to read next, they go with a book that their peers say is good. Official praise helps, but the absolute best sales tool is word-of-mouth. It’s so important for readers to leave reviews and recommend books they like. That’s the only way a book becomes popular.

Who is your favorite character in Ice Crypt and why?

Picking one character over another feels like comparing mermaids and unicorns. They’re all my favourites in different ways. They all bring something essential and unique to the story. I guess Meela, as my protagonist, will always have a special place in my heart — but then, so will Lysi, and all of their friends. I do like the boys in this book. Ice Massacre was 99% female so I didn’t get to explore male characters that much. I loved writing Spio and Tanuu in this one.

What is the theme of Ice Crypt? Is it an extension of Ice Massacre, or a new one? 

Secrets and personal struggles lead Ice Crypt to be more LGBT than Ice Massacre. Where Ice Massacre is about Meela trusting her feelings, Ice Crypt is about whether she can accept those feelings and share her true self with others.

What did you enjoy most about writing Ice Crypt?

Getting to dive deeper into Meela and Lysi’s worlds. Literally, in Lysi’s case. I watched hours of oceans documentaries and spent hours researching sea life online. It was so much fun. For Meela’s world, I loved exploring the history of Eriana Kwai and coming up with the legends that shape their culture. Eriana Kwai is a fictionalized version of Haida Gwaii, so I actually went there last summer to do a research trip. My best friend and I went hiking and explored ancient Haida villages and I took a notebook with me. It was incredible, inspiring, and helped give life to my fictional world.

As a writer, I’m always interested in where other authors get their ideas. From where did you get your inspiration for the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai series?

Disneyland. I was on a trip with my sister when I decided to write a book about mermaids. But I didn’t want to do the Ariel kind – I wanted to do the real legend. The one where they use their beauty to lure sailors to their deaths. From there, it was a series of “what if” questions that led me to the warriors of Eriana Kwai fighting for freedom from these vicious sea demons.

Do you have any words of advice/wisdom for other authors?

Sometimes writing and publishing gets stressful when you’re trying to meet deadlines, and you’re worried what people will think, and someone leaves a bad review, and you need to revise AGAIN, and AHHH!!! Always remember why you started writing in the first place. Remember that you love writing. Take a break if you need to. After the ramp-up to Ice Crypt’s publication, I’m pretty exhausted, so I’m taking a break to write a fanfiction. Really. And I’m having a blast.

Ice Crypt (the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, Book 2)

Book_02

From award-winning author Tiana Warner comes the sequel to Ice Massacre, the #1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller.

Meela has just returned from the Massacre—the annual attempt to wipe out the mermaids threatening her people’s survival. After forming an unlikely connection with Lysi, a mermaid she was trained to kill, Meela is determined to stop the war between humans and merpeople for good. She knows of a legendary weapon that could bring peace if she uses it against King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. But her people have plans for future Massacres and refuse to help her uncover it.

While Meela works in secret to unearth the Host of Eriana, Lysi is held captive under Adaro’s tyranny. Sent to the battlefront, Lysi joins forces with a band of rebels that could either bring her freedom—or have her executed for treason.

Separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, Meela and Lysi must find a way to defeat King Adaro and end the war that has been keeping them apart.

Ice Massacre (the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, Book 1)

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death. Meela, a warrior of Eriana Kwai, must fight for her people’s freedom on the ocean’s deadliest battleground.
IceMassacre

Praise for Ice Massacre

★ “… thought provoking and intelligent … fresh and thoroughly entertaining … Warner does a fantastic job creating a tight plot and masterfully creates a sense of atmosphere through subtle yet potent descriptions … Ice Massacre is a truly exceptional book.”
– Foreword Clarion Reviews,
5-star review

★ “Fascinating, unique, scary and written with a beautiful economy of words…”
– 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards,
Perfect score; Honorable Mention

#1 Amazon Kindle Best Seller
First Place Winner: Dante Rossetti Awards 2014
Foreword 10 Best Indie YA novels of 2014
Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist

Get caught up with this Special Promo: Ice Massacre is on sale for 99c until July 31st (https://tianawarner.com/novels/ice-massacre/).

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS

GIVEAWAYS

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

Goodreads Giveaway:
There is also a giveaway for a signed copy of Ice Crypt on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/193484

Interview with Author Susan V Vaughn #books #YA @susanvaughn1124

June 27, 2016

Today, I have romance author, Susan V. Vaughn on my blog today talking about her new YA Fantasy Romance: The Pixie Queen.

And now, without further ado, please help me wlecome Susan V. Vaughn.

Hello Susan, happy release day for The Pixie Queen! Thank you for spending some time with me today on my blog. Many of my followers are als writers, so I wanted to start off by asking you a few questions about writing.

What is your writing process? i.e., Do you write as you go (panster) or do you outline and know what’s going to happen prior to writing? (plotter)

I am such a classic panster. I always outline as I go. Usually a story strikes me, via dream, or daydream. Then I’m off to the races. A lot of time I will write whole chapters of just dialogue, and then go back through and add the action. I find that the characters tell me which way they want to go, not the other way around.

As a writer, I’m always interested in where other authors get their ideas. From where did you get your inspiration for The Pixie Queen?

I love fantasy, and Earth magic. I thought what would be better than combining those two worlds. I also really wanted a strong female lead. We have so many great YA books with a young male hero. But what about our girls? We need to represent females in a positive way in this culture.

Your other books are contemporary romance, whereas The Pixie Queen is a YA Fantasy romance. What has been different about writing fantasy versus contemporary romance?

I found writing Fantasy to be so much more challenging. In fantasy you have to keep your magical rules straight. The world you create has to be air tight, and believable. With Contemporary you have more wiggle room, because the setting for the book is real life. We already know the rules and understand them.

Who are some of your favourite authors? What impact (if any) did they have on your writing?

I absolutely love Krensley Cole. I think she is a genius when it comes to creating a magical world you want to live in, and characters you want to hang out with. Her books are always funny, and a good time. With her books, I know I’m going to be up all night reading until it’s done!

The Pixie Queen is your sixth published book. What do you know now as a writer that you wished you knew when you wrote your first book?

So many things! I have a lot of editing tricks I have learned in the last two years that I wished I would have known to start with. Editing is the key to having your book reading smooth. It’s the only way to keep your readers engaged. I have learned to key in on dialogue, and make it strong. And to reread a manuscript over and over until it flows.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

Jane is my favorite hands down. She is not an ordinary teenage girl, she is magical, and because of that she has to find a way to fit into regular society. Naturally she’s an introvert, which I can completely relate to. I think what’s wonderful about Jane is that she was underestimated by so many people in her life, including herself. But through the journey of this book, she becomes strong, and unstoppable.

What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a published author?

How supportive other authors are. It’s wonderful.

I totally agree! There’s such a wonderful community of writers out there. Do you have any words of advice/wisdom for other authors?

I live my life by a Dr. Seuss quote. It goes: Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

I think this relates to all writers. For one, your writing styles is completely your own. You have to be yourself, or your books will not connect to anyone. If you write from the heart, there will be people out there who love it, and people who hate it. When I first started writing I always said if my book makes one person in this world smile, then I have done my job.

Reading is so important. It’s is like giving your brain a big old hug. I think if you can help one person to read in this world, then you are successful as a writer. In this digital age it is too easy to get lost in the world of negative reviews, and likes. In that way, we clump all of society together, and forget individual human relations. I wish more authors would measure their success by individuals who read their book and fell in love with the world they created. Even if it is one person, what a priceless gift to give someone.

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About The Pixie Queen

In the small town of Caseville strange things have occurred…

From the time Jane Hensley was little, she knew she was different. Instead of hanging out with friends, she was often in the woods, alone, chanting magical words that filled her with power and effected the environment around her. A sudden summer storm on a perfectly sunny day. Monster waves crashing into the shores of Lake Huron. Strange things happening in nature with no rhyme or reason. Residents are mystified by these occurrences, but would never dream they could come from Plain Jane Hensley, the girl that was so quiet, it was like she wasn’t there at all.

But David Reynolds, the town’s football star, has noticed Jane. In fact he has been secretly in love with the strange girl for years. And on the morning of her sixteenth birthday, he is determined to finally reveal his heart to her. Instead David discovers Jane’s powerful secret. A secret that has brought a magical stranger to their town. One who claims to be a Pixie King, and entices Jane on a quest.

Now David must choose whether to allow the girl of his dreams to disappear forever. Or follow her on a journey that defies logic.

Buy it here:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B01DPP14RO

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1099229689

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-pixie-queen-1

About Susan V. Vaughn

Romance Author, Susan V. Vaughn understood the meaning of sarcasm before she could walk.  Her childhood in the suburbs of Detroit was spent mainly trying to outwit her six creative siblings.  When she wasn’t working on the next soul crushing jab, she sharpened her imagination on romantic literature and day dreamed about her knight in shining armor.

It didn’t take long for Susan to take her passion for reading romances into writing her own unique love stories.  Susan lives her life finding laughter in all situations, and delights in marrying sarcasm with romance to create realistic falling-in-love stories in the unlikeliest of scenarios.

Susan lives on the shores of Lake Huron with her real life knight in shining armor and enjoys watching their three children learn the art of sarcasm and wit.

Website: http://www.susanvvaughn.com

Twitter: @susanvaughn1124

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Susan-V-Vaughn-123758787958942/

 

Inspiration Behind The Warrior Prophet

May 30, 2016

Today, I’m going to talk about the inspiration behind The Warrior Prophet. Because it’s the third and final book in The Watcher saga, I can’t talk about what inspired one without a little background on the others.

Inspiration for the series came from an idea I had for a story almost a decade ago about a boy who wakes up to discover he’s an angel. But telling it from his perspective seemed too much like a Spiderman tale, and though Spiderman is a great story, it’s not the one I wanted to tell. So it wasn’t until the character of Mia came to me, a girl whom he’d loved in a past life and had to face now in order to recover from his own past, did their story come to life.

After writing The Watcher, I didn’t know at first if I’d be able to write a sequel, but when my publisher suggested one, I knew right away what I would do for the third book: a journey through Hell. But I had to give Mia a reason to go, so The Angel Killer grew from that.

The Warrior Prophet takes Mia and the reader on a journey through Hell. Inspiration came from many places. I’d studied meditation and metaphysics for years and know that negative thoughts and actions affect not only our mood, but it can seem to ensnare us into patterns in our lives. I wanted to look at that in an archetypal way. What if demons were responsible for those negative thoughts? What would the world look like if they were here? I liked the idea of the world looking pretty much the way it does now, but with an overlay that only few can see, like Mia who’s a prophet.

The journey through hell had its own inspiration. I was a big fan of Milton’s Paradise Lost. I loved the epic good versus evil theme, the descriptions of hell. I also like the idea that there were many layers of hell, as Dante had in the Inferno. Thirdly, ever since I’d watched the movie What Dreams May Come I wondered about the idea of hell being subjective. After all, life is subjective. What if the afterlife were too?

If hell were subjective, then Mia might see a very different version of it and might get lost. This isn’t Wonderland. She’d make no friends in hell. In order to survive the trip, she’d need a guide. And from there, I knew that the guide needed to be unreliable, the way that Gollum was to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings.

I’m not much of a planner, but for The Warrior Prophet, I planned elements and characters. And from there, the pieces came together and the story came to life as I wrote it. As dark and scary as some of the places were, it was the most fun I’ve had writing a novel. I only hope it’s as much fun for the reader as it was for me to write.

 

Release Day: The Warrior Prophet

April 13, 2016

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the release of The Warrior Prophet (Book 3 of The Watcher Saga). After where I left off at the end of The Angel Killer, I know a few of you have been waiting to see what happens to Mia and Michael next.

I hope you find this book is full of surprises…

TheWarriorProphet.v4 (1)

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How far would you go to save the one you love?

Mia Crawford is a prophet.

She can see angels. She also sees demons. Everywhere.

The angels are preparing for war to get her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael, back.

A war that could take years.

Haunted by visions of Michael’s soul being tortured, Mia can’t rest until she knows he’s safe.

To save him, she must make an impossible journey through Hell with the one person she prayed she’d never see again.

I know you

Buy it here:

Amazon: Kindle | Amazon Print | Kobo (ePub) | Barnes and Noble | iTunes

Add it on Goodreads

There is a Book Blitz on April 11-17th. Some wonderful participating blogs will be sporting this image. Go say Hi and spread the love! You’ll get a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card too!

thewarriorprophetblitzbanner

For those of you who haven’t read The Watcher (Book 1 in The Watcher Saga) yet, it’s available on Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon Kindle for 99 cents (US) all week. 

99cents copy

And before your read The Warrior Prophet, be sure to read The Angel Killer.

 

Join the Spring YA Scavenger Hunt with Special Content from @melaniehoo #YASH #TeamSilver

March 29, 2016

This hunt is now over. Congratulations to the winners. 

Hello and Welcome to my leg of the the Spring YA Scavenger Hunt.

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

I am Lisa Voisin, your hostess for this leg of the hunt.

Lisa

This is me
(once I’ve had my hair straightened)

I’m a city girl who loves nature and lives beside a temperate rain forest at the base of a mountain.

I love coffee, but I have over two dozen different kinds of tea in my cupboard. (It’s a compulsion).

On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until noon PST on Sunday, April 3rd!

You can start right here or you can also go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage to find out all about the hunt. There are NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or ALL of them! I am a part of the SILVER TEAM but there is also a  whole bunch more teams and if you do those hunts too you’ll have a chance to win a plethora of signed books!

Team Silver

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, see the full list of prizes up for grabs, or if you get lost along the way, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt homepage.

Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching. Somewhere on this blog hop, I’ve hidden a dream cast for my upcoming book, The Warrior Prophet, but I may just give away a few cool things about the much anticipated conclusion to the Watcher Saga as well. Before you go on though, check out the amazing author I’m hosting. But, first, a few rules.

YASH World

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the SILVER team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!). Hint: the secret number is highlighted in SILVER.

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form to officially qualify for the prizes. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally. Anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

If you’re stuck, go here.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.

I am super excited to be hosting… Melanie Hooyenga

Melanie is the author of the YA trilogy, the Flicker Effect, about a teen who uses sunlight to travel back to yesterday. The first book, FLICKER, won first place for Middle Grade/Young Adult in the Writer’s Digest 2015 Self-Published eBook awards. When not at her day job as Communications Director at a local nonprofit, you can find her wrangling her 6-year old Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.

Here’s where you can find Melanie online (Social Media Links)
melaniehooyenga(at)gmail(dot)com
http://www.melaniehoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/MelanieHooyenga
https://twitter.com/MelanieHoo
https://instagram.com/melaniehoo/

Melanie is showcasing her book, FLICKER

Biz is a perfectly normal teenager except for one minor detail: she uses sunlight to jump back to yesterday. She takes advantage of flickering by retaking Trig tests, fixing fights with her boyfriend (or reliving the making up), and repeating pretty much anything that could be done better. Trouble is, flickering makes her head explode from the inside. Or feel like it anyway.

No one knows about her freakish ability and she’s content to keep it that way. Guys don’t stick around because she refuses to let them in, but all that changes when Cameron, her best friend, starts looking oh-so-yummy. Suddenly she’s noticing his biceps, his smile, and the cute way his eyes crinkle when he—gah! This is her friend!

But the butterflies come to a screeching halt when little girls start disappearing, then take a nosedive when the police link the kidnappings to Cameron’s sister, who vanished years earlier. As the police grasp for clues, Biz photographs a strange man lurking in the shadows and realizes that her flickering can help more than just herself.

You can buy it here:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Melanie-Hooyenga/e/B00AHNSQCO/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/melanie-hooyenga

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=Melanie%20Hooyenga&fcsearchfield=Author

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MelanieHooyenga

Exclusive Content

And here is Melanie’s content. The Pinterest board that inspired Flicker:  https://www.pinterest.com/melaniehoo/the-flicker-effect/

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Lisa here with a random fact: The number 13 (that’s THIRTEEN) was once considered the number of the goddess. It also happens to be the day I was born on, and April 13th happens to be the day The Warrior Prophet releases.

___

SPECIAL BONUS: I’ll be giving away ebook copies of YOUR CHOICE of ONE of the first two books in The Watcher Saga:  The Watcher and The Angel Killer. All you need to do is Tweet about this page (it’s easy to use the tweet button) AND leave a comment below.

You could also copy and paste one of these tweets:

Are you #TeamSilver? With over 180 #YA books given away, don’t miss the @YAScavengerHunt!  http://wp.me/pHo2r-Mv via @lvoisin #YASH

Enter the #YA Scavenger Hunt for a chance to #win tons of great books. Join #TeamSilver here: http://wp.me/pHo2r-Mv  via @lvoisin #YASH

If you’re looking for something to comment about, it can be anything. But if you’re stuck, tell me what you’re reading or what your favorite spring activity is.

Hey! Thanks for stopping by! 

I’m a bit of a Doctor Who fan….

So… Ready to move on to the next link in the hunt? Then head on over to visit author Dierdre Mapstone’s page.

Happy Hunting!

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