Author Interview with Dexter Morgenstern

Today I had the honor of being able to interview the very talented author Dexter Morgenstern!

Dexter Morgenstern was born in North Carolina and has been home-schooled most of his life in part due to being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at an early age which led to being somewhat socially outcast. Over time, Dexter developed a vivid imagination and love for chemistry and biology. This led him to delve into the world of science fiction and begin writing at the age of fifteen. Dexter combined his imagination with his appreciation for science, and competed in the NaNoWriMo contest in 2011 at the age of seventeen.  He successfully finished the contest and finally drafted his first complete novel “Felix Faust” as part of the Arcane Insurrection series.

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Hi Dexter! Thanks so much for joining me today! This is even more exciting since you just released your newest book, The Slender Man, today! So let’s just get right into since I’m very excited to hear about it. Can you tell us more about The Slender Man and where the inspiration for the story came from?

Well The Slender Man has been around for a while. He and similar variants are known to appear in nightmares and hallucinations, and a lot of people associate sleep paralysis with him. I’ve personally had sleep paralysis fits and nightmares where he appeared and I know I’m not the only one. Recently, a different variant of The Slender Man picked up and has become a fad. So I figured if people are really this interested in The Slender Man that I should write a book about him. Except in my book, I used the version people hallucinate about; the kind that people might relate to.

That sounds really interesting and I cannot wait to read it! Is the main character designed after anyone you know in real life and would they be someone you could, or would, want to be friends with?

Alyssa’s not designed after anyone I know, consciously at least. I created the story around The Slender Man himself so naturally I needed characters to convey the story. Now when I was working Alyssa, the main character, I did give her a few aspects that I can relate to, but I also made her the kind of person who mostly keeps to herself outside of her very close friends and family. So we could be friends, and that the very least we wouldn’t be enemies.

Cool! That makes sense. So is this going to be the start of a new series?

No, it won’t be, at least not currently. I designed the outline to be a stand-alone novel. That might change later on, but I don’t expect it to.

Alrighty then. What do you think is the song that best fits the mood/theme of the story?

Well we have a paranormal horror story set in a small community. This has been done a lot, but I don’t have any songs I know that come to mind, at least not any that fit in 100%. However, I did find myself listening to Akira Yamaoka’s music while writing this book. He composes a lot of dark-themed music for franchises like Silent Hill and I think some of his more melancholy themes like “Homecoming” or “Witchcraft” set in well to the overall mood of the book.

I can see those fitting. Definitely won’t be listening to anything or staying in a dark room while reading it then! Well since my curiosity has been a bit sated let’s get into the rest of the interview. Can you tell us what is one thing that none of your fans probably know about you?

That I want to build robots. I want a degree in robotic engineering, now that may not seem like a writer’s goal, but as a science-fiction author it helps to know the actual science behind what you’re talking about.

Yea it does and that would be really cool! And good luck if you do go for that 🙂 Do you like to create your own world for your characters or do you like to keep them in the “real world”.

That depends on the plot. Most of my projects and future project outlines do take place in the real world. After all, that gives you a vast setting. You can choose what period your story takes place, whether it’s past, present, and –to an extent- future. Plus there’s no rule against creating fictional settings as needed in the real world. Now I also love the idea of creating one, because then you literally control everything about that environment, so your flexibility is only limited by your creativity! However, the benefits of a fictional world have proven unnecessary in my current work, so mostly I go with real world.

Sure, I understand. And I guess it does always make it feel more real or like it might be able to happen/have happened. So what is one, non-writing related, thing that you like to do in your spare time?

Well I do enjoy gaming, in fact there are some points when my parents think I’ve given up writing because I’ll spend so much time on one game, but outside of that I like to swim for both exercise and recreation, and I’m teaching myself to play the bass.

Awesome! I’m obsessed with gaming too. More than likely you are currently working on a book – or even multiple books – can you tell us a bit about you current WIP and if you know when it will be available?

Right now I’m working on a young adult paranormal thriller called The Slender Man. It’s undergoing editing and beta reading but I anticipate it will be available in October. Hopefully for Halloween.

And there’s also “Byron Bishop” to look forward to! Now you can only pick one. Tell us who is your favorite character out of all of the books you’ve written or are working on and why.

I’ll go with Sebastian Roy from Byron Bishop. He’s one of the bad guys, and often comes off as enigmatic, but his motivation is very simple and right there in front of you. On top of that, I love how he is cold-blooded, but not in any way malicious. He just does what he has to do. He’s a neutral antagonist.

That’s really interesting! I never hear anyone liking their villains best. When do you like to read? (certain seasons/time of day/weather conditions)

I don’t use a particular time or setting to read. I choose to read after I have reached that in my queue of daily to-do tasks. So usually after I finish my day’s quota of writing, be it morning, afternoon, or night, I will set up some time to read. So in short my favorite reading time falls between writing and gaming.

Awesome! Do you outline everything that you write?

I mostly get the beginning and end figured out, and then outline each chapter to get from point A to point B. I will often detour from the outline with a new spontaneous twist, but I always know what I want to happen. Having a chapter by chapter outline, no matter how outdated it gets, is always very helpful for anticipating your next move.

Good points. Do you like giving visual ideas of what your characters look like? Or do you like to leave it up to the reader’s interpretation from whatever you write about them?

For my main characters such as the narrator and primary antagonists, I like to put my own description in, and for supporting characters I will also add a description, but not as much. Compare the description of Randy to the description of Maurice from Felix Faust and you’ll get my point.

Yea, I see what you mean. Do you view writing as a career or a hobby or something else?

It’s a hobby that I’d like to be a career, so I treat it like a part time job. I have a certain daily quota of writing or editing to fill and I make myself do it. Now that doesn’t mean it comes off as a chore. I go at a pace where I enjoy it, but still make steady progress. I bet famous singers didn’t get where they are solely by singing in the shower.

Very true! Well, good luck and I really do hope that it pans out for you! When you write, do you try to appeal to a certain demographic?

Well science fiction fans for one, but do far all of my writing has also appealed to the young adult group. That wasn’t intentional, but it’s not something I’m against. I want to write to whoever will read it and enjoy it, but it turns out that young adult sci-fi readers are the ones who respond most positively to sci-fi books written by a young adult. How weird is that?

Lol. I guess being able to the relate to the author might be a draw for them as well then. Do you have any closing comments?

Yes, thanks for having me! It’s fun getting to work with other authors and bloggers and I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me.

You’re very welcome and thank you! I love being able to learn more and get to know the other authors out there! Especially when I already love their books!

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Want to know more about Dexter and stay up on news? Check out his Facebook and Blog!

Also be sure to check out his brand new book, The Slender Man, just released today!

 In Murphy, North Carolina, a tragic accident occurs claiming the lives of several elementary school children. Alyssa’s brother Adam is the only child spared, and what seems like a tragic ending is merely invitation to an ancient horror as the town’s remaining children begin disappearing. Alyssa realizes that she and her brother are among those suffering from a mysterious ailment and haunted by sinister apparitions. Alyssa sees a sometimes amorphous, sometimes man-like shadow. Her peers see their deceased loved ones, and then disappear. As each day passes, more children are taken, and Alyssa knows that the ominous figure is responsible. Now if Alyssa wants to save herself and her brother from becoming the next victims, she has to figure out what it is and how to fight it, before it’s too late.

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Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year once again… Now, I grew up never knowing a single Halloween. It was a forbidden “holiday” in my family – the Devil’s day. Every year we would be forced to keep all of the lights turned off and all of the windows closed when the kids were out trick-or-treating. We weren’t allowed to look outside and see the evilness that was going on. If the parents took us to a store any time that the Halloween costumes and decorations were up we would have to keep our eyes on the ground and definitely not be seen by the parents even unconsciously looking at something for fear of getting in trouble.

I look back at it now and laugh. I’ve still to this day never done anything for Halloween outside of dressing up my cats, but it’s only because of the fact the it’s always way too cold!
Seriously, it was snowing outside this morning! That’s not supposed to happen for another month at least!

The thing that makes me excited though is that there’s only one day between me and November! That means Nanowrimo begins, but more importantly, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! That will be followed closely by – my birthday! – and of course Christmas and New Years! Just so very exciting 🙂 I love the holidays more than any other time of year.

I’m just going to start rambling so I’ll say good-evening. I have an author interview for y’all tomorrow as well as an exciting book release that I’ve been looking forward to!

Cheers!

Website :)

Hey, sorry no book recommendation today. I didn’t even stop to think what I would want to recommend today so I doubt there will be one at all this week..

Anyway I wanted to share that I made a website for my upcoming book series Guardians of Ferrum!

You can check it out here!
Yea, I know it’s one of those free sites and made off templates etc… I just thought why not – I’m still holding off on my author site until I can get my boyfriend to code it for me.

I like it anyway. So go ahead and spread the word! – I’m shooting for it to be out in time for Thanksgiving or Christmas! (probably Christmas since it’s so close to November and I am going to participate in Nanowrimo. Eek! two days left!)

 

Oh, and I’m wanting to host a YA Christmas giveaway! I would have one of my books (maybe other stuff) and I was wanting to get together with some other authors to make it a bigger event. So, if you’re an author and are interested let me know 🙂 It doesn’t have to be a book – just whatever you want. I was thinking along the lines of a bookmark/postcard/poster/ebook/print book just basically any stuff that will get your name out there!

Ok… I need to get stuff done.

 

Cheers!

So in need of the weekend

Yesterday was… interesting.

My boyfriend had a job interview an hour away from home so he somehow convinced me to go with him. While he was doing the interview I sat in the car and waited, and then of course had the hour drive to get home. I did get quite a bit of reading completed. But sitting in a car for over 4 hours was not very thrilling.

After getting home we decided to go to the mall. We should have just gone home after we messed up getting off the right exit two different times. A twenty minute drive turned into an hour by the time we finally got there 😛

We still had a nice time and my boyfriend bought me an adorable winter hat and a book!

Well, on the way home we got into a bit of a car accident. We were stopped at a red light and some guy slammed his car into the back of ours. Thankfully, no one was hurt but the car and our nerves.

Now I’ve already had a tiring morning and I just want to relax the rest of the weekend.

So cheers and I wish you all nice weekends as well 🙂

Author Interview with Joy Ann Coll!

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing the talented author Mrs. Joy Ann Coll!

For more than a decade, Joy Ann Coll has been writing romance novels. She graduated from the University of Delaware and went on to pursue a successful twenty-five year career at DuPont. After leaving the corporate world, she moved to coastal Florida and began working on her writing career by taking part in conventions and contests held by Romance Writers of America. Her debut novel, A King’s Ransom, was published in July 2012. Her second novel, a romantic suspense titled Invisible Among Us, is due out early 2013. Joy lives in Vero Beach, Florida, with Bernard, her husband of twenty-two years.

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Hi Joy, thanks so much for joining me today! So I was wondering, do you like writing series? Or do you like to create stand alone books and write a sequel only if you feel like it?

I’m definitely a single-title romance writer. In that format, I can research a unique location and subject matter for each story that keeps my interest and hopefully intrigues my readers. I would only write a sequel if requested.

Yea, I understand. Now this would probably be impossible for me to answer, but you can only pick one. Tell us who is your favorite character out of all of the books you’ve written or are working on and why.

I enjoy exploring wounded characters who overcome adversity. Developing characters with handicaps is much more challenging and interesting for me and hopefully inspires handicapped readers. My favorite character, Rayhan, is a mute man in my debut novel, A King’s Ransom, who overcomes unspeakable cruelty to live a productive and happy life.

That’s awesome! Who is your biggest supporter in your writing?

My husband, Bernie, encourages and praises me when he likes my writing and gives me blunt criticism when he doesn’t. It’s not always easy to hear but I know he has my best interests at heart.

That’s wonderful. It’s always great to know that you’ll receive honest feedback. Where is your favorite place to write and do you need something (or lack of something) to write your best?

I set up a writer’s den in a spare bedroom of my home which I use as my sanctuary for writing and creating. A love seat, recliner, writing desk and lots of cork boards help me create my “masterpieces”.

I need one of those rooms! Now one of my favorite questions. Do you have any pets?

Yes, I have one cat named Checkers. Like most cats, she likes to walk on my keyboard when I’m working or curl up on my lap when I’m creating in the recliner.

Lol. I think they’re just trying to show their support 😉 So what is your favorite book?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I’ve actually never taken the time to read that one, though I have heard it’s good. Do you give your characters experiences that you’ve had in your own life?

I enjoy exploring new places, new things, new hobbies… I give my characters hobbies that are opposite of anything I’ve ever done; but at times, I do write scenes that come from my own personal experiences. I live vicariously through them so I send them on adventures that excite me.

Cool! That’s mostly what I do as well. How do you pick the names for your characters?

During character development, I determine the age of each one, then research baby names for the year they were born and select names that fit the personalities I’m visualizing in my mind.

Very interesting! Definitely makes sense, I’m sure that helps create the feel for that time frame even better. Do you ever write your stories on paper then type them up, or do you do everything on the computer?

During the creative process (plot development) sometimes I am so consumed with the story that I have to grab a pen and pad of paper and scribble while the words are flowing out of me. Most of the time, I write on a laptop but on these occasions when I’m overflowing with muse energy, I have to re-type what I scribbled on a legal pad or a napkin, whatever’s handy.

I completely understand those moments. My problem is trying to decipher what I scribbled down afterwards! Now lets say you can only eat one thing for the rest of your life. What is it?

A hot fudge sundae … yum!

Mmm sounds good! Do you have any closing comments?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing. I’ve enjoyed the writer’s journey and look forward to becoming a better writer and interacting with my readers using social media.

Awesome and thank you so much for being here!

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Want to know more about Joy or stay up on news check out her Website, Twitter, Facebook (book page), Facebook (author page) or you can always send her an email at romancebyjoy@aol.com!

Also check out her book A King’s Ransom. Available now!

 In a culture clash as sexy as it is dangerous, a sovereign sheikh and a beautiful American woman fall in love even as she remains his captive. Megan Wentworth heads to the deserts and modern cities of the Middle East only to find herself arrested by the mysterious and powerful Sheikh Mikal al-Shareef. In this romantic adventure, a woman must balance her duty to family with her passion for an unlikely lover in a foreign land.
During her confinement, the captor and victim soon become deeply attracted to each other. The sheikh is utterly captivated by Megan’s inner strength and beauty, and against her better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with this mysterious man.
Back in the states, Megan’s younger sister faces a prison sentence if Megan and her blackmailer don’t return home soon. Megan struggles between her devotion to her sister and the man she comes to love. Will she betray Mikal and return home or will she remain in Turkistan?
Meanwhile Mikal doesn’t trust Megan. As a leader, he must first ensure the security of his country before following his heart. As a virile man who knows what he wants, however, the sheikh wants Megan to fulfill his destiny to produce a male heir. When Megan is used as a pawn during an attempt to overthrow the sheikh’s rule, Megan and Mikal must confront their conflicted desires. A story of forbidden love, this high-wire romance shimmers amidst the exotic landscape of the Middle East.

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This week’s book recommendation: Born in Flames

Ok, so I was able to finish the book that I wanted to use for Monday’s book recommendation. Just been doing so much that I didn’t get as much time to sit and read like I wanted.

Anyway, this week I recommend the book Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel.

First I love the cover – it is gorgeous! Now I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since it came out and I finally was able to buy a copy for my Kindle. The wait was definitely worth it and I was not disappointed!

The story is told from the perspective of Aurora Megalos. She is part mage and part dragon. She lives in another world that is partially connected to ours, but when she was a child some of The Fates (the gods) wanted to kill her. In an effort to save her life and keep her protected she was sent through a portal and ended up in Hawaii without any memories of her past.

She grows up on the small island with her foster mom and a boy named Fenn. He also has no memory of his past and it brings them together. Years have passed and Fenn and Aurora are living in a motel and working at a restaurant hoping to save up enough money so that they can start searching for their birth parents. But things happen when Aurora’s around – strange things that they can’t explain.

She can control flames and things that would burn a normal person do not faze her. Then a creepy guy starts following her around, giving her cryptic prophecies and having information about their past.

Things pick up from there and it’s just one thing after another. They find out that they have to find three keys before the full moon if they want to return home and get all of their memories – and powers – back. Problems arise and Fenn has to leave, abandoning Aurora. But after he leaves a girl comes, Alexis, wielding magic and there to help Aurora find her way back as well as protect her from the danger that could kill her.

There’s plenty of magic, fantasy, adventure, a dash of romance, and danger that keeps you intrigued and wondering what’s going to happen next. The characters are likable and you’re able to get a good feel for their personalities. I loved the descriptions and was able to get a really good visual of the places they would go to. It just draws you in and leaves you wanting more after you turn the last page.

I greatly enjoyed it and definitely am looking forward to the next books. If magic and adventure are your cup of tea then you should definitely give this book a try!

Interview with a Cat #4: Ichigo Roman

The newest addition to the family, Ichigo, decided to join me for an interview today!

Ichigo is about 5 months old. His full name is Ichigo Oliver Roman. Ichigo is Japanese for he who protects or strawberry. Oliver is Latin for olive tree. His nicknames include “Ichi”, “Taco”, “Cutie”, and “Chunky”. He’s adorable and sweeter than anything. He loves to cuddle and will purr non stop.

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Hi Ichigo, thanks for stopping in and letting me interview you today.

Uh huh. Yep.

I’m sure people are curious about your life before you were adopted. Is there anything you would like to share about it?

What are you talking about? I was born here. This has always been my home.

I think you’re confused… You used to live in the wild with your mom and siblings. It was boiling hot and you were covered in fleas and you couldn’t even meow since you had no water. You were also absolutely filthy and nothing but bones since you had no food.

Nope. That never happened. My mom told me it was a nightmare.

But you don’t have a mom here…

Yes, I do. Just like I have two brothers and a crazy aunt. Now, are you going to ask me real questions or shall I go play with that dust bunny?

Fine. Fine… Um… Why don’t you tell us what your favorite pastime is.

FOOD! I love to eat. I will eat anything and steal all of my families’ food as well. I’m a growing kitten after all.

Of course. So I know that you’re really close to your “brothers”, Terra and Ventus.

Of course. They like me and I like them. We love to play together or cuddle and nap away the day.

Sounds like fun… I’ve seen that you like to sit in front of the tv and watch it – no matter what’s on. I’ve heard you’ve been compared to Lucky from the 101 Dalmatians cartoon.

Huh? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I like sitting in front of that black box because it makes funny noises and things are always moving around. I love to play. Look there’s my yarn ball!

Um… are you going to finish the interview?

We can interview this yarn ball!

The yarn isn’t alive.

Sure it is! Why do you think it runs away when I hit it?

It’s not running away… Oh, never mind. Go on and play with your toys. Is there anything you would like to say before you leave?

Nope! I love yarn and food!

Ok… Thank you for coming.

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You can also check out Ichigo’s Facebook!

 

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