Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Author Dana Fredsti of the Ashley Parker Series

If Ashley Parker was not a 'wildcard', how would she have reacted to the outbreak?

Short answer?  She'd be dead or a zombie because she was bitten at the beginning of the outbreak.

  Longer answer: when first confronted by a zombie picnic crasher while out with her boyfriend, Ash reacts by killing it with a bread knife. Then, when she and her boyfriend realize there are a bunch more zombies heading their way, she keeps a level head, taking charge while said boyfriend freaks out. She's bitten through no fault or mistake on her part, but if she'd made it to safety unscathed, Ash is still the type of person who'd try to do something proactive.  Becoming a wild card didn't change her basic character; it did, however, probably accelerate her natural leadership qualities.  

Why do you feel zombies are so popular in fiction these days?

Because they don't sparkle.  

Okay, sort of serious here now (I say 'sort of' because this question is one gets so many long-winded and painfully serious answers), I think WWZ (the book), the remake of Dawn of the Dead, The Walking Dead, and a couple other really good zombie books created a perfect storm of quality products for those of us who've been waiting for someone to kick the vampires and werewolves to the wings for a while and let zombies have their chance to shine (but not sparkle).  And yes, I suppose that it might have something to do with zombies being the perfect blank slates on which people can impose their fears. . I could even dip my toe into a slightly deeper portion of the answer pool and add that the polarization of our country between political parties and the "Us versus Them" mentality that's taken hold makes zombies that much more appealing because what better example of "Us versus Them" could you ask for?  And in zombie fiction you have to kill Them in order to survive whereas in real life you can't shoot your neighbor in the head because he has opposing political views.  

What do you find more challenging, acting or writing a book?

Writing a book wins by a landslide. Yes, acting can be challenging, especially if you've got a really lousy script and don't want to completely suck in whatever the project is... and sometimes it's hard to summon up the necessary emotions (y'know, like Tara Reid when she got her hand bitten off in Sharknado 2), but I personally find it a lot easier than writing.  I love writing, but there are definitely days/weeks/months when it's a love/hate relationship.  

In Plague World, the outbreak has spread throughout the world, how likely do you feel a scenario such as in your story could occur in today's world?

I really have no clue. I'd like to say it's totally impossible, but given some of the scary diseases lurking in the Amazon and the Congo and other places that until recently were pretty much left alone by modern society, who knows what might happen?  Mankind may be more equipped to handle a pandemic what with modern medicine and all, but we're also better equipped to spread a plague what with our ability to jet from one side of the planet to the other within the space of a day.  And given the antibiotic resistant infections, the talk of a Super Bug, and yeah, I'm pretty sure the various governments have developed some pretty nasty ass biological weapons....  I'd say it's possible we might see a pandemic within our lifetime.  I hope not  (and I am going to go out on a limb and say I don't think the dead are going to reanimate any time soon), but ...  ya never know.  

Ashley seems like a tough character, not typical of female characters in horror stories. Where did you come up with the idea for her?

Well, first of all, there are a lot more tough female characters emerging in horror, urban fantasy and the paranormal genres than you think.  And more authors are crossing/mixing genres, but you can bet those written by women are generally gonna get the babe in black leather with a tramp stamp on the cover (which tend to scream  half-fae/one quarter dragon/one quarter demon hunter vampire thingee in love with a quarter werewolf/three-quarters merman type of story), which don't always reflect just how far some of these books cross into horror.  That being said, I was contacted by Lori Perkins, then with Ravenous Romance, to develop a series that would be "Buffy, but with zombies. But different. Name her Ashley."  I was told I could take the story and character any way I wanted.  I started writing and Ash's voice pretty much made itself known after the first few pages.  I also like the fact that Ash is not just "tough" in the kick-ass sense of the word, but she's also able to deal with what's thrown at her, make decisions on her feet, and continue to fight without losing her empathy.  And that's a kind of strength that makes her more interesting to me than if she was just all about the ass-kicking.  

J.T. is a very likable character. What did you feel it was important to include when writing this character?

J.T. is based on a friend of mine (other than the Parkour skills - I added those), who is just as quirky, friendly and manic as the J.T. in my books.  I have to confess that I never sat there and thought about what would be important to include when writing his character. I'm more of an organic writer (grass fed and everything!) than a plotter, so I don't have things mapped out as to 'well, I have a nasty character and now I need someone more likable here to balance things out.'  I knew I wanted someone with mad free-running skills somewhere in the trilogy because seriously, that kind of ability to scale walls and navigate one's surroundings would come in as handy as marksmanship ability as far as staying alive.  So when I decided to include my friend as a character in the books, given his personality and manic energy, he seemed the perfect person to be assigned the parkour skills.  

You have two other books in the Ashley Parker series, Plague Nation and Plague Town, will there be any more stories with her in them?

I'm in discussion with Titan about the possibility of more Ashley Parker books. There are definitely still more stories I could tell in that world.  

Is there any upcoming projects you wish to share with the readers?

I'm excited to be included in the fourth V-Wars anthology, edited by Jonathan Maberry.  Not sure what the release date is, but the story has been really fun to write. I've got several other projects in development (outlining, writing the first 50 pages) while waiting to see what happens with Titan, all of them within the horror/urban fantasy/Sci-Fi genres.  We shall see!  

Where can people find out more about you?

Well, I have a website that's in dire need of updating, but it does have a lot of info about me and my eclectic history:, and I'm always happy to be meet people via Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for taking the time to interview me!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jennifer Hillier author of The Butcher

What do you figure people are obsessed with learning about serial killers?

Serial killers don't possess the same moral compass that we do, and that’s what makes them both fascinating and terrifying. If you were a fan of DEXTER, you might remember that his adopted father saw Dexter’s tendencies very early in his childhood and made a point to teach him a “code” that he should live by, so that he could exist as a functioning member of society. That’s what made Dexter unique, because most serial killers (real or fictional) will never have that. I think what intrigues people about serial killers is that they can say and do whatever they want without being weighed down by a conscience. They feel no remorse or guilt, and as twisted as that is, I imagine it’s also very freeing.

In The Butcher, you have Matt who realizes someone who is close to him is actually a serial killer. How important do you feel it was to look at the family aspect of the serial killer and not just the victim's perspective?

When writing a thriller starring a serial killer, it’s natural to focus on the victims to an extent. Their fear becomes the readers’ fear, and it helps readers to see what’s happening inside the mind of the villain. But what about the families of the serial killers? They’re victims too, and while they may not always get murdered, they’re forced to live with the aftermath of what their serial-killing relative has done. It's this conflict that drove THE BUTCHER forward. What would Matt do when he realizes his grandfather is a serial killer? Does he turn the old man in? Or does he keep the secret? He has a lot to lose himself if the secret ever comes out. I wanted to explore the answers to these questions.

When working on The Butcher were there specific things you felt needed to be included in learning about this specific type of serial killer?

What makes Edward Shank different from other serial killers is that he’s 80 years old, so the brunt of what I researched had to do with him being elderly. What physical limitations would he have? What was his life like in the retirement home? How would he spend his remaining days? But he was so much fun to write, because at his age, he said whatever he wanted, and did whatever he wanted, which gave me a lot of freedom as a writer.

Some believe that a tendency to be a serial killer is learned and not inherited, do you think based on any research you have done that maybe the case?

I think it’s a combination of both, and I know that’s the easy answer. But I think there are just some people who, no matter how they grew up and no matter what they’ve experienced, will never possess the ability to kill someone else. At the same time, there are people who were raised “normally” who will, no matter what they’ve been taught, hurt others. The rest fall somewhere in between, and have experiences that may bring out their inherited tendencies.

How do you feel The Butcher is different than your previous two books, Freak and Creep?

THE BUTCHER is a standalone, though set in the same Seattle world as CREEP and FREAK. The story is truly villain-centered. Everything stems from Edward, and what he’s done, and what he continues to do. It’s his world, and everybody else revolves around him.

If there was anything you wished readers to get from reading The Butcher what would it be? 

All I hope is that readers are entertained! That’s the only goal I ever have when writing a novel. If I can pull you out of your everyday life and entertain you with a fun story, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. 

Do you have any future writings in the works you can share with readers?

I’m currently working on a new standalone thriller, also set in Seattle, starring a new female villain… but that’s all I can say right now without jinxing myself! 

Where can people find out more about you?
My blog: www.
Twitter: @JenniferHillier
Facebook: JenniferHillierAuthor

Monday, August 25, 2014

Guest author Bob Freeman and His book Shadows over Somerset

Shadows, Long and Dark
by Bob Freeman

goth·ic - Pronunciation: 'gä-thik - Date: 1591: (often not capitalized) of or relating to a style of fiction characterized by the use of desolate or remote settings and macabre, mysterious, or violent incidents

ro·mance - Pronunciation: rO-'man(t)s - Date: 14th century: (1) : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2) : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3) : a love story b : a class of such literature

In an interview some time back, I was asked to describe my novel, Shadows Over Somerset, in a single sentence and I referred to it as a “Gothic Romance with testosterone”. I could tell immediately that the interviewer was put off by this description, but I stand by it, and proudly so.
I’ve never understood the disdain most people feel for the Gothic Romance sub-genre. It has been the redheaded stepchild of horror since before I was born. Truth be told, some of the greatest horror novels I’ve ever read fall under the Gothic Romance umbrella… The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is a prime example. The Gothic Romance flourished in the late 18th and early 19th century in Great Britain. Focusing on mysteries that often involved the supernatural, the Gothic Romance was heavily tinged with horror, and they were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted castles.

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole was the forerunner of the type, which included the works of Ann Radcliffe , Matthew Gregory Lewis , and Charles R. Maturin , not to mention the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley . These works usually concerned themselves with spirited young women, either governesses or new brides, who go to live in large gloomy mansions populated by peculiar servants and precocious children and presided over by darkly handsome men with mysterious pasts, but look to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and its decidedly gothic overtones on how the themes could be explored with even more vigor…

As a kid, reading my way through the stacks of our small town's public library, I discovered writers like Mary Stewart and Virginia Holt, Anya Seton and Phyllis Whitney. They, and others like them, were very influential and inspiring, and they filled my imagination with a sense of wonder and enchantment... and a sense of dread whenever a fog settled in and the wind howled in a particular way.

But more importantly, to me anyway, was Dan Curtis, who explored the genre in the late-sixties and seventies, and was quite successful with it, in television. Dark Shadows and his masterful retelling of Dracula, with the spectacular Jack Palance as the cursed Prince Vlad, were cornerstones of what Gothic Romance could be.

A wealth of beautiful prose and horrifying verse have been penned within this proud genre, and I would be proud to have Shadows Over Somerset considered among their ranks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Guest Author Crymsyn Hart of Death's Dance (Deathly Encounters Book 1)

A Conversation with the Angel of Death
         Let me introduce myself. I’m sure you’re expecting my friend Crymsyn to be writing this, but I figured I would let her take a break from writing. Her fingers do get worn out these days. Sometimes I wonder how it is that she is able to keep up the pace she has going. Forgive me, my name is Azrael, I am The Angel of Death. Crymsyn and I first met when she was in college, working as a psychic at the Tremont Tearoom in Boston. I’m not sure what it was that drew me to her, but there was something distinctive about her energy that called out to me. Please note, it is a very rare thing for me to speak to the living. I spend most of my time racing throughout the universes, worlds, dimensions, and wherever it is that death touches, gathering souls to bring them to the other side.  And yet there was Crymsyn, or as I knew her first as Raven, the name she did her psychic readings under.

In the beginning, she was a tad frightened of me, but that gave way to curiosity the more we conversed. As we learned of one another, I realized she was something of kindred spirit and understood the rigors of my position and I felt comfortable sharing part of my world. As time passed, she became aligned with my energy and I found she had a direct glimpse into my life. It was disconcerting at first, but I got used to it. When I confronted her about it, I found she had transcribed many of my adventures and somehow had also tapped into that of the woman I loved, Brenna. How Crymsyn did that is a mystery, but it has worked for her benefit as she has penned many a novel that people assume to be fiction when in reality, they are all true.

She has extracted incidents that I have been involved with and spun them into books of their own. It is quite a remarkable feat. Over the course of the years I've known her, her awareness of my duties and those I manage, other grim reapers, has expanded. She has been able to cull friendships with other reapers and learn about their lives also. It doesn't seem to matter in what universe they are doing their duties, Crymsyn is able to record their lives.

All these years, it is good to say I have a friend among the mortal coil. However, she understands that one day; I’ll be there to collect her soul. And then maybe in time, someone will be able to write her story.

It has been a pleasure talking with you, but I have duties I must attend to. Souls are screaming to be released and I have more time to waste.  I bid you all farewell.

Death’s Dance Blurb:
Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.

Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.
From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.

Death’s Dance Buy Links:
Amazon           Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn:

Twitter: @crymsynhart

Monday, July 7, 2014

Guest Author Michael West on tour with his new book Hades Disciples

Michael West is now on tour with his new book Hades Disciples, book two in The Legacy of The Gods. He has stopped by Shells Interviews on his first date of the tour with an exclusive 1st chapter from Hades Disciples. 

The Legacy of the Gods Book Two: Hades’ Disciples
Jagged Himalayan crests lined the horizon like dragon’s teeth.  Dawn dared to peek out between them; its light banished frigid darkness, burned through a haze of gray-white clouds, revealing a frozen world beneath.  There were patches where thick snows had slipped down these slopes, exposing naked rock, creating splashes of bluish-gray color to dot the panorama, but overall, the vistas remained a vast, white, inhospitable territory; an alien landscape--a place man entered at his own peril.
Makalu’s summit lorded over these drifting snows, stabbing the blood-red sky.  Even in the harsh light of day, it remained a place of darkness.  Its name meant “Big Black,” and at 8,481 meters, it was quite large indeed.  In fact, it held the distinction of being Earth’s fifth highest peak, living forever in the shadow of its taller brother, Everest.  “Black” was also fitting, as the shadow of death often fell on those who dared to scale its ragged face.  This deadly reputation had earned it another, more notable distinction: one of the least explored mountains in all the world.  And it was this veil of mystery that now drew Dr. Walter Hannigan to make this climb in spite of the many dangers.  That and those expensive Russian satellite photos -- the ones which clearly showed the Ark.
Hannigan found it hard to catch his breath.  He stopped dead in his tracks, determined not to be the mountain’s next victim.  No.  He couldn’t die, not now.  Not here.  Not when he was so close to realizing his life-long dream. 
He glanced up and saw the neon-yellow safety helmet and red mountaineering suit of his Sherpa, Pa-sang, silhouetted against the bright white void ahead.  Hannigan watched as the man turned to look back at him.  The wind whistled and roared, blowing clouds of snow between them.  If not for the neon rope that bound them together, Hannigan knew he would be lost. 
“I’m fine,” Hannigan shouted, though he doubted Pa-sang could hear him; the archeologist held up his gloved hand and gave the “OK” sign with his thumb and forefinger to make his message clear.  
How much farther? Hannigan wondered, not knowing if he really wanted an answer.  He breathed in more oxygen from his tank, then took another step forward.  Got to go on...  Must go on...
     The satellite photos were safely tucked away inside his backpack, protected from the elements; taken over a month ago, they catalogued an increased rate of glacial melt on this, the world’s tallest mountain range.  Ice formations shrank, thick snows melted, their forced retreat revealing features that had remained hidden from the world for centuries, perhaps millennia.  And one of those features, poking out from the summit of Makalu as if waving for the camera lens high overhead, was a dark triangle -- a triangle that, when magnified, appeared to be the bow of a great ship.
     A man-made vessel, beached and buried beneath ancient ice, on a peak that just might have formed a link in a chain of islands during a vast, global deluge... What else could it be?
The dream of finding Noah’s Ark had smoldered in Walter Hannigan since childhood, but unlike most youthful fantasies whose embers darkened and died out over time, the longing to look upon the Ark, to actually touch it, had burned brighter with each passing year, and no amount of skepticism could ever hope to extinguish that flame.  True, after fifty years of fruitless research, of countless political roadblocks and professional heckling from his fellow archeologists, Hannigan had begun to doubt that he would see it during his lifetime, but he never lost faith that it was out there, waiting.  The only question was... where?
According to scripture, as the flood waters subsided, the great ship came to rest on Mount Ararat, in what was now the Şırnak Province, Southeastern Anatolia Region, of modern Turkey.  But like most tales penned by men, the Book of Genesis was a product of the time in which it was written.  The author simply wrote what he knew, and to him, Ararat was the tallest mountain on the face of the Earth.
But that legendary peak was dwarfed by the incredible heights of Makalu.
And you won’t get to the top just standing here, now will you?  Hannigan nodded.  He took another deep breath from his oxygen tank, then a determined step forward, followed by another, his boots eaten whole by the snow.  When the rope grew slack once more, Pa-Sang moved on up the slope as well, the rifle he kept slung over his shoulder swinging in the wind.
“Protection,” the Sherpa had told him.  “Just in case.”
Despite the exorbitant fee Hannigan had offered to pay for an experienced guide, Pa-sang was the only Sherpa who would agree to take him on this journey.  The men had all seemed educated, and they’d spoken English well, but they’d been filled with superstitious fear.  Crippled by it.
“What are they so frightened of?” Hannigan asked.
“Yeti,” Pa-sang replied; the cloud of breath that carried the word hung ominously in the chilly air between them. 
Yeti?  The so-called Abominable Snowman?  Hannigan cleared his throat to kill a rising laugh. 
The Sherpa’s face and voice remained deadly serious.  “Spirits of the mountain,” he went on to explain.  “Many have seen them.  More and more with each climb.  They gather here on Makalu for months.  Now, no one will go up there.”
Hannigan had grown accustomed to guides using local legends as a negotiating tool, exploiting indigenous fears to up their price, especially when they knew that time was of the essence.  And in this case, it most certainly was.  Soon, summer would be over and the winter winds and driving snows would make this climb all but impossible.  In this instance, however, Hannigan got the distinct impression that the Sherpas’ anxiety was quite real, that no matter how much he offered, they were not going to set foot on Makalu.
Sherpas worshiped the mountain as the embodiment of their vengeful deity, Shankar, and so it would indeed form a fitting home for the Yeti. 
A long time ago, so they said, Yetis numbered in the hundreds, and they would attack humans without provocation, terrorizing entire villages.  But according to legend, the elders of one such frightened village concocted a plan to finally rid themselves of the menacing Yeti.  They asked every man, woman, and child to gather in a high, green pasture, and for each to bring with them two things: a large kettle of the maize beer they called chāng, and some form of weaponry.  The villagers complied, and when they were all together, when they were certain the Yeti were watching them, they put on a show.  First, they pretended to drink from their kettles, to get drunk on their chāng.  Then, they picked up their weapons and staged inebriated fights with one another.  Soon, the sun began to set, and the villagers laughed; they dropped their axes, their spears and their swords, and went home happy, leaving behind a large amount of chāng.
The Yeti, who’d spent much of the day watching this mock battle from high in the mountains, thought what they had seen looked like great fun.  They came down into the abandoned pasture, got drunk on the villagers’ remaining chāng, picked up the discarded weapons, and started fighting amongst themselves for real--stabbing and hacking at one another until most lay dead or dying.  The few Yeti who survived that day, the young and the less intoxicated, took their now-bloodied weapons and retreated to high mountain caves--dark, hidden places where they knew they would be safe--and there, they plotted their revenge against the humans who had tricked them. 
Even now, centuries later, the people who made their home in these mountains lived in fear of the Yeti’s revenge.
“But you will still go?” Hannigan asked.  “You will take me to Makalu’s summit?”
     Pa-sang nodded.  “Yes.  I will take you up the mountain.”
“Why you and no one else?”
The sherpa shrugged, and when he spoke, his tone was one of resigned realism.  “Always difficult work, this mountain.  Cold, snow, ice, sheer cliffs, thinning air... If, indeed, there are Yeti up there, they are just one more obstacle for us to overcome.”  He began to walk away, then turned and added, “Besides, the money you offer is too good.  Even if I wanted to, for the sake of my family, I cannot afford to say no.”
Now, they pressed onward, toward the summit, toward the Ark.  A lifetime of dreams, finally realized.  Photographic evidence was no longer enough in this age of Photoshop and digital trickery.  When he had some scrapings from the hull, perhaps a piece of wood that had fallen off the frame... When they’d done chemical tests and carbon dating, then, and only then, would Hannigan be vindicated. 
They would have to believe him.  They would have no choice but to accept his evidence, the Ark, as an undeniable fact.  Even his own daughter could not deny him then.
Kari.  How long has it been since I’ve spoken to my little girl?
Of course, she wasn’t so little anymore.  Kari hoped her own work would be seen as legitimate science, and her father’s “crackpot obsession” with the Ark had not done her reputation any favors.  She’d begged him to give up this quest more times than he could remember, but he never could, not even for her.  Hannigan would find the great ship, or he would die trying.
Oh, Kari... If only you could see that this wasn’t all a fantasy, the-- How had she put it?  Oh yes! --“the crazy religious obsession of an old, naive fool.”  If only you could...
A howl echoed down the mountainside, giving Hannigan a start.  Just the wind, he thought, whistling through rocky crags up ahead.  When it came again, however, he quickly reconsidered; an unnatural sound, predatory, disorientating, betraying nothing of its owner’s identity or location. 
We’re not alone up here.
Pa-Sang heard it too.  The Sherpa stopped, unslung his rifle, and pressed himself against the rocks ahead.  His face, hidden behind a thick mask and goggles, was unreadable, and yet Hannigan clearly sensed the man’s fear.
Another howl. 
Hannigan staggered forward through the deepening drifts.  The metal crampons he’d strapped to his boots clawed and dug for purchase as he tried to reach Pa-Sang and the safety of the rocks.  He scrambled and fell forward, somehow managing to catch himself before his face hit the snow.  
Another howl, this time followed by the loud crack of a gunshot.  Hannigan pushed himself upright to look at Pa-Sang, who had been standing near the blue-gray rocks above. The Sherpa had vanished, however, and the rocks had been painted a deep, dark red.
Something rolled across the snow, a yellow-red blur; it struck Hannigan’s leg like a soccer ball.  Pa-Sang’s head.  The Sherpa’s neon safety helmet was still strapped to his chin, making it top-heavy; it tipped so that the ragged stump pointed upward--still-warm blood steaming in the frigid mountain air.
Before Hannigan could even scream, the thing that killed his Sherpa towered over him.  It was nearly seven feet tall, covered from head to toe in white, matted fur that rendered it nearly invisible against the snowy terrain.  In one clawed hand, it held a bloody axe.
Jade battle axe! The archeologist’s mind was as astonished as it was terrified.  Fourth to third millennium B.C.  So, so common from the Shang to Western Zhou period in China.
     The creature lifted its weapon.  Thick, rosy droplets formed along its blade and rained down onto the snow.  And when it opened its mouth, revealing the jutting fangs and yellowed teeth of a thousand-pound gorilla, it actually spoke, “Kha-leh shu.
It took Hannigan a moment to recognize the language, and as the beast brought its axe crashing down through his skull, he realized it was Tibetan for “good-bye.” 

You can purchase Hades Disciples at:

About Michael West:
Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, The Wide Game, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series.  A graduate of Indiana University, with a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory,  West has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications.  He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.
His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Classic Interview: Shells interviews Piers Anthony

Has technology hindered or helped the writing community today?

I think technology has helped, with pen and paper, then the typewriter, and now word processing on the computer. It makes it easier to do, and harder to lose.

There is a lot of work you have done to help new authors get their footing. What is the one thing based on your experience is the most important thing authors should know?

That publishers are not interested in the writer's welfare of his art. They are in it for the money.

For yourself as an author, what has been the most challenging aspect of the process?

Marketing my books. I can write what I choose to write, but if I don't cater to the publishers I won't get it published. Now however, self publishing is coming into its own, and that should help.

You have had a long career as an author. Has there ever been a time where you thought about giving it up or have just 'had enough?'

No. I wanted to be a writer ever since college, and I never wanted to stop. I am still writing, and will until I die.

Some readers might not know you write Erotica and where can adult readers find that work?

I don't liker censorship, and erotica can get censored. Now that there's a market for it, I write it. But it's hardly all I write, just one type. It can be found at Mundania Press, Phaze, Cobblestone, eXcessica, and soon my erotic romance novel Eroma should be published online in all electronic formats including Kindle.

How do you keep motivated to write the long running series of Xanth?

Readers keep begging me to keep Xanth going.

Can you tell us a bit about the latest in the Xanth series Knot Gneiss?

Knot Gneiss is Xanth #34. I have written two more after it, and am planning the next. It's a sort of half-sequel to Jumper Cable, where Jumper Spider was the main character. This time it is his closest friend Wenda Woodwife. She speaks the forest dialect, saying things like "I wood knot dew that to yew." I love her accent. She has to transport a 150 pound lump of petrified reverse wood that naturally terrifies everyone else; she can handle it because she understands wood of any kind.

If you had to pick one moment out of your writing career that was your favorite, what would it be?

When I made my first sale. It was only a story, paid only $20. But it was the confirmation that I could do it, and all else followed, in due course.

You can find out more about Piers Anthony at his website: