Author Interviews, Fiction Blog

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour: Ben Y. Faroe

Wrapping up week two of The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour (co-hosted by Kate Evans and myself) is Ben Y. Faroe. Over to Ben:

Ben Y. Faroe Author Pic 2I live in Baltimore with my wife and two lovely daughters (aged 2 years and 2 months, respectively).

While I’m technically from New Jersey, I grew up overseas in Turkey, then met my Californian wife in Minnesota before whisking her off to South Carolina for a couple years.

I studied Greek and Latin in college and Bible teaching in seminary, so naturally I’m a data analyst for a health insurance company. I’ve founded a prayer room in the past and a publishing company in the present, and I expect to be writing and adventuring full-time within a few years.

Here’s a bit about his contemporary fiction/humor novel, The Dream World Collective:

The Dream World Collective is the story of five friends who decide to quit their jobs to chase what they love.

Sushi and her roommate Summer are tired of working dead-end jobs for corporate drone bosses. So when their friend Alex quits his job and his roommate Zen proposes a grand experiment, they rope in their geeky friend Otto and move in together to build a life of art and freedom and tea and scheming.

Of course, living each day to the full still takes hard work, especially when, technically speaking, rent still exists.

Sushi, a Japanispanglo firestorm of punches and creativity, pegs her hopes on the prize money from a local art contest. That gets complicated when she discovers that one of her competitors is brilliant, uncannily insightful, and, to make matters worse, gorgeous.

Zen would be dealing with romantic entanglements of his own, if he could only find any. But between his writing, his schemes for a philosophical restaurant, and his admittedly tenuous connection to the real world, he’s at least got enough to stay occupied until the right girl discovers his secret message. Hopefully the right girl.

Alex, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what the good life of freedom and human connection looks like when it turns out what you’re wired for is organizational management. And there’s always the question of how far he’s willing to go to bail out his less responsible friends.

Summer is eager to live out her dreams of communal living and gardening and neighborhood improvement, but gardening doesn’t pay the bills, especially in Minnesota in the winter, and communal living—even with your best friends and great intentions—inevitably has its emotional ups and downs. Especially when you’ve secretly got a huge crush on one of them.

As for Otto, he really wasn’t planning to be in on this at all, but with a new basement lair and all the Shasta he can drink, he’s ready to make it work. But soon the outside world starts worming its way in, and Otto finds himself under the tutelage—or possibly in the servitude—of an eccentric British gallery owner, a tutelage-or-servitude whose results will push him to greater heights than he’s ever achieved in a non-virtual world.

And there’s the evil next door neighbor, and the ninja party, and the garage incident, and the other garage incident. But that’s the great thing about living with your best friends. Whatever goes wrong, at least you’ve got each other. And usually pie.

Prequels/Sequels:

None yet, but there’s still lots to explore in this story and I’m planning to extend it into a series.

In the meantime, if you like The Dream World Collective, you’ll probably also enjoy my comedy series, Hubris Towers.

In fact, Zen from The Dream World Collective is a dead ringer for Jimmy Acorn from Hubris Towers. And both Otto and Jimmy have comforting foreign middle-aged salt-and-pepper chef confidantes. Hmm. I sense an impending fan theory…

Now, here’s our interview with Ben:

What was the inspiration behind your book?

This book was a sandbox where I played out some risky dreams and ideas. I wrote it because I wanted to see what happens when you quit your job to have adventures, only without actually quitting my job. At the time I was quite seriously thinking about starting some sort of communal living situation with my friends, but I was newly married and working as a delivery driver and it didn’t seem like a good idea to suddenly stop having an income.

So I started writing to explore what could happen if a few friends lived simply, worked together to make ends meet, and spent the rest of their time doing whatever meaningful, interesting, adventurous things they wanted.

And I was intrigued by what I found. They weren’t automatically happy because they quit their jobs, though it opened up interesting opportunities. They struggled with having to focus even more on money than before, since they didn’t have any reliable source of income. And they had to deal with the fact that relationships are always going to have ups and downs, even with people you love, even—maybe especially—when you can do whatever you want.

As for me, I still have a day job, but since I started writing this book several good friends and I have bought houses within a few blocks of each other. We eat meals together and watch each other’s kids and help each other pursue our dreams and make the world a better place. So it can be done, even if it looks different in every life.

Who is your favorite character?

If I had to pick just one, it would be Otto, the Collective’s geeky, pudgy, massively repressed technomage.* He’s such a cute combination of shy, grandiose, silly, and sweet, and I think he grows the most over the course of the book. I don’t want to spoiler anything, but by the end he’s actually expressing an emotion and everything.

He also, at various points, dons a griffin costume, encounters the Mario, mistakes a Brit for Edward Scissorhands, and teaches a five-year-old about Ninja Santa (or Saito Kurusawa, as he is more properly known). Can’t argue with that.

* (Not actually a thing.)

What is one thing you want readers to know or “get” about your book?

It’s a cozy and immersive read in its own right, but you can also read this book as a live experiment in community living. The main characters are intentionally quite different from each other, and they won’t necessarily always agree with each other, me, or you. That said, you don’t always have to agree with people to care deeply about them. Reading The Dream World Collective is a fun way to test out the highs and lows of full-time close quarters with real people.

Which, let’s be honest, is just a fancy way of getting you ready for the fact that Otto has imaginary gremlinoid friends, Zen talks with God, and Sushi punches everybody all the time. But they’re cool.

Who is your ideal reader? Or, who will enjoy your book?

If you’ve dreamed of quitting your day job, I wrote this for you. Alternately, if you know there’s more out there and you want to find it, if you’re into baking or tea or books, or if you care about creativity and quality and fun, you’ll enjoy The Dream World Collective.

Or we can really drill down. This book’s for you if:

  • you’re idealistic, optimistic, and/or visionary
  • you enjoy (or fantasize about) talking to strangers or leaving mysterious notes in public
  • you enjoy both Star Trek (or similar) and Jane Austen (or similar)
  • you care about making the world a better place, but not in a boring way
  • you don’t mind quirky humor and the occasional big (or made-up) word
  • you want to live like Amelie

What three writing tips do you have for aspiring authors?

Write more words. The best way to improve your writing is to write more. The best way to build good writing habits is to write regularly. Marketing works better when you’ve got more books. Do make friends, read books, build your platform, and learn new things, but mainly write a lot.

Find good writing friends. If you can find a few people who can give you genuine encouragement and also useful, objective feedback, you’ve struck gold. Value those relationships and make good use of them. If you don’t have writing friends, try checking the internet for local meetups or online communities. Or I can be your writing friend – drop me a line at byfaroe@gmail.com.

Google like the dickens. A year ago I was unpublished with no platform. Now I’ve published a novel, co-authored a series, hit Amazon Top 10 in Humor and in Fairy Tales, built a mailing list and a blog, started a company, built a website, published other peoples’ books, and made some awesome friends. I learned most of what I needed by searching the web and then trying stuff. This is a good time to be alive.

DWC-Ebook-Cover-1.0-196x300Where can readers buy your book? 

Clickworks Press

Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Apple iBooks
Goodreads

Where can readers learn more about you? 

The best way to get in touch (and try my books for free) is to join my list at byfaroe.com/updates. I also love hearing from people at byfaroe@gmail.com.

I’m terrible at social media, but if you still want to find me online, I’m byfaroe everywhere:

byfaroe.com

clickworkspress.com/byfaroe

facebook.com/byfaroe

@byfaroe

Author Interviews, Fiction Blog

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour: Samantha Bryant

Hello, everyone! Thanks for following the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour so far. For the second half, I’ll be your host. If you missed the first set of interviews, make sure to check them out on Kate Evans’s website, www.writingourselveswell.co.uk.

authorshot-BRYANTFirst up on my half of the blog tour is Samantha Bryant. Samantha is a middle school Spanish teacher by day and a mom and novelist by night. That makes her a superhero all the time. Her secret superpower is finding the things her family members have misplaced—and the ability to operate on very little sleep. When she’s not writing or working, Samantha watches old movies, reads, listens to audiobooks, bakes, walks in the woods, and wishes she was writing.

Here, she introduces her superhero/women’s fiction novel Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel:

In this lighthearted, nontraditional superhero novel, four menopausal women in the same town start to exhibit strange abilities: incredible strength, the ability to wield fire, to fly (sort of), and armor-plated skin. Each woman struggles to deal with her changes in her own way, until life throws them together. When the women start to talk, they find out that they have more in common than they knew–one person has touched all their lives. The hunt for answers is on.

Sequels: Book 2: Change of Life will be released April 20, 2016; a novella bridging between Book 1 and Book 2 will be included in The Indomitable Ten anthology, which will be released on March 5, 2016.

Now, here’s our interview with Samantha:

What was the inspiration behind your book?

The origin story behind Going Through the Change is a conversation with my husband. One evening, we were out walking the dog, one of the few ways folks like us (with two kids) can get to finish some sentences. We were talking about a recent superhero movie we had seen together and lamenting how all the heroes seem to be angst-ridden teenagers these days (even the adult ones). My husband said something like, “It’s like puberty causes superpowers.” I laughed and said, “With great hormones, come great power. Wait! If that’s true, menopausal women should have the corner on that market!” He laughed and told me to write it down. I did, and a series of novels was born.

Who is your favorite character?

I love them all, but Patricia is my favorite one to write. She’s all hard edges protecting her secret marshmallow insides. She’s driven and a force to be reckoned with. Since I’m a marshmallow inside and out, I enjoy writing a woman so different from myself.

What is one thing you want readers to know or “get” about your book?

That women heroes come in many shapes. As I sign my books: we are, all of us, heroes.

Who is your ideal reader? Or, who will enjoy your book?

Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That’s what I did. I imagined my readers being other women like me. Geeky grown-ups, with lives (children, careers, partners, responsibilities), who still enjoy a bit of “what if?” imagining. I’ve found that younger readers and male readers have also enjoyed the book, too.

What three writing tips do you have for aspiring authors?

1. Finish things. The worst book you ever finished writing is better than the best one that only exists in your imagination. The revision process is where you’ll smooth out the rough places.

2. Don’t worry about selling it while you’re writing it. There’s plenty of time to figure that out once you have something to sell.

3. Writing is a very individual process. You have to learn what works for you. For me, that’s a daily writing habit and tracking word count on spreadsheets, and keeping myself accountable through writing groups. What’s important is respecting your own process. Don’t worry about how anyone else does it. They’re not you.

CHANGE-cover-BRYANTWhere can readers buy your book?

Amazon: http://bitly.com/face-the-change

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23504114-going-through-the-change

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/going-through-the-change-samantha-bryant/1121690928?ean=9781620078419

 

 

Where can readers learn more about you? 

Blog: http://samanthabryant.com

Amazon author: http://amazon.com/author/samanthabryant

Publisher page: https://curiosityquills.com/authors/samantha-bryant

Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/samanthadunawaybryant

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mirymom1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/mirymom

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SamanthaDunawayBryant/posts

Author Interviews, Fiction Blog

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour: Kate M. Colby

Today is my day to be interviewed on the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Read about my steampunk dystopian novel, The Cogsmith’s Daughter on Kate Evans’s site, then come back HERE, where I’ll be hosting the second half of the tour, starting tomorrow.

Source: Indie Author: Kate M Colby

Fiction Blog, The Desertera Series

The Cogsmith’s Daughter Book Launch Blog Tour Recap

Here’s a listing of all the posts from the blog tour. Thank you again to all of my wonderful hosts. Make sure you check out their websites if you haven’t already – they are full of great insights, wit, and of course, fantastic writing of their own!

Monday, October 12 | What the Heck is Steampunk Dystopian, Anyway?

In this post, hosted by the wonderful Kate Evans, I explain the basics of both the steampunk and dystopian genres, as well as what attracted me to a “steampunk dystopian” mash up.

Tuesday, October 13 | The Evolution of The Cogsmith’s Daughter: From First Draft to Final Product

Here, I’m hosted by Ula, and I share how I went about writing my first draft as well as some “trivia” about how the final book differs from my first draft.

Wednesday, October 14Desertera: Conception and Construction

Zach asked me how I came up with the idea for Desertera, my novel’s world, as well as how I went about building it. In this post, all is revealed!

Thursday, October 15 | How I “Became” a Writer (and Stumbled Upon the Idea for My Novel)

Charles wanted to know more about my background as a writer and how I came up with the idea for The Cogsmith’s Daughter. This one goes way back, folks.

Friday, October 16 | Author Hall of Fame Introduction

Chris the Story Reading Ape was kind enough to add me to his Author Hall of Fame. As my introduction, I talk about how my sociology background influences the purpose behind my writing.

Monday, October 19 | New Author Alert

A video interview, hosted by young adult science fiction author, Jonas Lee. Insights into my writing process, future plans, and general shenanigans.

Tuesday, October 20 | Take a Tour of Desertera

Because Helen crafted such an enchanting world in her own fiction, I wanted to take her and her readers on a tour of my world, Desertera – an old steam ship surrounded by villages.

Wednesday, October 21 | What It “Really” Takes to Write and Publish a Novel

I give Amanda the straight truth about writing a novel – both the intangible traits it takes and the hard facts and figures on stages, time, and personal cost.

Thursday, October 22 | The Religion of Desertera

Have you been wondering how the heck a steampunk world ended up in a desert wasteland? I tell all with Teri’s readers – including an excerpt from the novel.

Friday, October 23 | The Pros and Cons of Using Invented Words in Your Book Title

What exactly is a cogsmith? In this post on Kev’s Great Indie Authors, I explain – and describe the pros and cons of slapping such a word on your book cover.


Don’t forget! The blog tour Goodreads giveaway ends TODAY. Enter HERE for your chance to win one of three signed copies of The Cogsmith’s Daughter!