I am pleased and intrigued to welcome fellow Solstice Publishing author Kristal McKerrington, and her co-author, Joe E Legend, today to talk about their upcoming projects. The first question that came to my mind after hearing about this duo is, how does a writer manage to partner up with a professional wrestler? To answer this question and discuss her many projects, take it away Kristal and Joe . . .
Joe E Legends and myself, Kristal McKerrington are honoured Dan Springer, has given us the chance to speak to you all. We are on a wild promotional media tour at the moment for our new book Charlie’s Journal: A Man’s Desperation and Dragon. We are looking to talk to you about these wonderful books with you today. Joe will also share with you some of his movie news he has.
First before we get dug into the books promotional stuff and the heart of the projects we are working on. I often get asked how I met or ended up co-authoring with Joe E Legends. Its a very simple story, one that might make you want to go awe.
Joe E Legends and myself were working on a TV show together, we are actually still working on bringing it to life. When I started to tell him about the books I was writing for the series with FireFly & Wisp Publishing. Marie’s World, the first one is out on June 27th. We were getting on so well with writing Layla’s World, we went on and started to write books together. Before I knew it we had 2 publishing contracts and another pile waiting for us to finish books, send sample chapters.
Dragon is our first Fantasy novel with Media Aria CDM LTD, its due out in 2015. Here is the upcoming blurb for the novel: Dragon’s being hunted by the dark magic shifters. She’s got one hope. Knox’s school of shape shifting, only she’s setup to be far more. She might have lost everything, but she has the chance to set everything right. Can she?
Media Aria CDM LTD link: http://www.mediaaria-cdm.com/author-profiles/
Charlie’s Journal: A Man’s Desperation is our first wrestling romance book together. Its being published by Firefly & Wisp publishing. Scheduled release is September 2013. Here is a taster of this wonderful book: “My wife died, daughters are going off the rails and everyone is looking to me to fix everything. A betrayedfriends set to destroy me. I’ll do anything for my daughters, but in the end will it end the world I know?”
Firefly & Wisp Publishing link: http://www.fireflyandwispbooks.com/charlies-journal.htm
Kristal McKerrington is preparing to release her first book with Solstice Publishing called “Calling You Home” here is a taster of the book coming very soon.
“Jason finds out May is back in town. The woman he let got all those years ago has returned. Now they could have the future they dreamt of. She carried a secret away from him. Now she’s back and her secrets come home to roost. Follow Jason and May on their adventures through their complicated love affair. These small Ebooks will make lunchtimes fun again. We will bring you a country experience unlike any you’ve ever experienced before.”
Solstice Publishing’s Website Link: http://www.solsticepublishing.com/
Joe E Legend is going to be appearing in the following films on his own. Vampire Soul – Hidden in Plain Sight (Seattle, Washington, USA/ American Production), Salvatus (England/Scotland/ UK Production), Broken Nation (England/ UK Production), 4) Pandemonium (Carribean/ Eastern Europe/ USA/ American Production), Untitled Horror/Slasher Film (Canada/ Canadian/American/Japanese Production) , The Second Chance (Italy/ Italian Production, English language)
Further, Joe E Legend’s and myself have signed on to star in a reality series to shoot around the USA, following me and a series of wrestlers and dancers as we make efforts to get our other TV series (a drama) signed while still pursuing our wrestling and dancing careers.
Joe will be wrestling, a lot over the next year. He’s scheduled to tour India for some large stadium shows shortly which are meant to be broadcast across all of India and other parts of Asia. With the same company, he’s scheduled to be shooting their TV tapings (several months of content) for broadcast in more than 20+ countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He has appeared for several years now for this promotion and is a writer for them.
He is also the head writer for a promotion in Turkey where our TV product is watched by 1,500,000 fans per episode according to the last ratings. Further, Joe is scheduled for a tour of Pakistan in the Summer which will get big media attention in this country, and also scheduled to return to Canada for a huge Heavy Metal festival called “Heavy TO” which draws a live crowd of over 25,000 per day over 2 days and has been given a writing job there as well.
Joe’s in negotiations to return to Japan (he’s toured there 14 times) and have a strong fan base there. He is also the “World Heavyweight Champion” for a promotion in Russia and have a strong fan base there as well as Switzerland where I’m champ as well.
Please follow us on our intense Media tour which is currently going on. We are scheduled to appear on the following places:
May 20th- UK Radio with Mike George- Joe E Legend
May 21st– Spotlight @ Passion for Romance – Kristal McKerrington
May 21- Ken Reedy Show- Joe E Legend
May 25th – Skype Interview with Patricia Ann Show- Joe and Kristal
May 26th- Skype Interview with Novel Idea Live- Joe and Kristal
June 5th- Romance blog- Kristal with mentions of Joe
June 6th- Calling Spots Magazine for Print and Online interview- Joe E Legends
June 13th- Romance Radio Station with a Bestseller- Joe E Legends and Kristal McKerrington
July 23rd- Night Owl Reviews- Joe E Legend and Kristal McKerrington
Thank you for stopping by and we hope to see your reviews, thoughts on the following social media pages relating to this tour:
Joe E Legend’s Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joe-E-Legend/264168323626571?fref=ts
Dragon’s Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dragon/247850565354682
Charlie’s Journal Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-Journal/244619552343379
Kristal McKerrington’s Fan Page:https://www.facebook.com/kristalsmckerringtonsfanpage
Kristal’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/K_McKerrington
Joe E Legend’s Twitter: twitter.com/TheJoeELegend
I am honored to have fellow Solstice author, KateMarie Collins, guest posting today as she kicks off her blog tour starting right here! KateMarie wrote a wonderful debut novel, DAUGHTER OF HAUK, which I enjoyed immensely–see my review here. I can’t wait for the release of her new book, MARK OF THE SUCCESSOR. Take it away . . .
I’d like to thank Dan for giving me the chance to stop by today. He’s the kick off point for my blog tour! The tour will continue through May 16th, with the grand finale being the release of my second novel, ‘Mark of the Successor’.
Dan and I met via our mutual publisher, Solstice Publishing. Hopefully, all of you are prodding him to do a follow up to ‘The Wilco Project’! It was hands down one of the best books I read last year.
I write fantasy. Okay, it’s more like I obsess over fantasy. After all, my favorite books and movies are all sci-fi/fantasy and I participate in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The short explanation of the SCA is we spend weekends re-creating the Middle Ages as they should’ve been. Basically, I’m 45 and still love to play dress up. LOL
For me, there was a huge difference between writing the two novels. Take away some of the standard reasons, like new characters/worlds/situations, and why is both easy and hard to understand.
With ‘DoH’, my muse woke up. I’d been so afraid of even trying to write something that anyone else would want to read that I’d convinced myself everything I could come up with was crap. Right up until the day I got the proverbial cosmic slap alongside my head. And I was scared out of my mind when the story started. This was new territory for me. I’d never had this overwhelming urge to write as soon as I got out of bed in the morning before. My fingers were filled with this NEED to type, to take the images out of my head and put them down on paper. One of these days I’ll head back to my old high school, find my typing instructor for two years, and thank her. Because my mind can create images easier with my eyes closed, and my fingers know where to go to translate those images into words.
Yup, you read that right. I type with my eyes closed.
With ‘MOTS’, the process was much the same. Get an idea, sit at my computer, crank the stereo, close my eyes, and let my fingers do what they do best. The huge difference, though, is in me. I’m still critical of my own work. I think most authors are. But I’m more confident in being able to find those words, insert my voice, help the reader discover the story like I do as it plays out in my mind.
Finding that confidence in yourself as an author is amazing. I had one friend tell me she thought I’d blossomed and really came into the potential she always saw in me over the last year. It’s that sense of confidence, that I really can write a story worth being published and that others will want to read, that made the most difference.
So, what are you waiting for? Go find your muse and listen!
Coming soon: Mark of the Successor
Dominated and controlled by an abusive mother, Lily does what she can to enjoy fleeting moments of normality. When a break from school only provides the opportunity for more abuse at home, the sudden appearance of a stranger turns her world even bleaker. Disappearing without a trace, he has left a lingering fear in Lily. His parting words to her mother, “Have her ready to travel tomorrow,” is something her mind refuses to accept.
Running away is the only answer. But before Lily can execute her plan, a shimmering portal appears in her room. Along with two strangers who promise to help keep her safe. With time running out, she accepts their offer for escape and accompanies them into a brand new world. A world in which she is
the kidnapped daughter of a Queen, and the heir to the throne of Tiadar.
Can she find her own strength to overcome both an abusive past and avoid those who would use her as a means to power?
KateMarie Collins is the author of two books, wife to her hubby of 17 years, mom to their two daughters, and herder of three cats . She resides in Seattle Suburbia, finding time to write while keeping the dust bunnies at bay.
Disclaimer: Just a few facts you should know before you read my review of this book. First, I know the author, Maria DeVivo–she had my daughter in class (she is Madison’s favorite teach of all time) and, a couple of years ago I spoke to Maria’s class as part of “The Great American Teach-In.” Next, I did not receive a free review copy of this book–in fact, I purchased both the Kindle version and the print version with my own money and the author did not ask me to review this book. Lastly, despite knowing the author, I believe this review is completely objective.
The teenage protagonist of Maria DeVivo’s debut novel, The Coal Elf, published by Twilight Times Books, November 2012, got screwed by “the Boss” of the North Pole. Imagine having your wonderful life and future destroyed when, instead of receiving the job assignment to make toys or bake cookies for a living, you were thrust into a gloomy, underground life of mining coal for the children on the naughty list. Ember Skye stole my heart from the first page as DeVivo describes her life as a Coal Elf and sets up the conflict and her epic battle with the antagonist, Sturd, a despicable, nasty elf who embodies evil.
Throw this conflict, these and a handful of other memorable characters into an incredibly creative North Pole setting, and you have a story that I could not put down. What I particularly enjoyed was DeVivo’s portrayal and extension of Christmas with her creation of a detailed fantasy world where we learn how the North Pole might actually work. This awesome setting is expertly woven into the story so that I was transported into this amazing world as I read.
Do yourself a favor and read The Coal Elf–I highly recommend it. This is one of those books that should be made into a movie (Tim Burton are you listening?). Great characters, engaging plot, believable dialog, wonderful setting and, above all, writing that compelled me to keep turning the pages (that’s what we all really want as readers, right?).
About the author: Maria DeVivo is a New York native who has had a lifelong love affair with “the pen” and a passion for all things mystical and mythological. She now lives in Florida with her husband, Joe, and daughter, Morgan, where she teaches 7th grade English and cries whenever Santa appears at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
I woke up yesterday to find a new five-star review posted for THE WILCO PROJECT. It turns out this review was posted by none other than fellow Solstice Publishing author KC Sprayberry. As I have mentioned before, receiving a great review is one of the most rewarding parts of writing. For me, this reward is amplified when the review comes from another author because that person has endured the rigorous process it takes to become published.
Here is the 5-star review as posted on Amazon.com:
Steven Archer, dot-com millionaire turned college professor, is on top of his world. His interactive cell phone game is succeeding far beyond his wildest dreams. The students running the project have some issues, but they’re working just as hard to make the game a winner. Then a phone call early one Saturday morning turns everything upside down. Archer can’t believe how fast things are tumbling down after the discovery of a body, of a female student participating in the game trials. The evidence points at the project manager, a student on track to be named to a fabulous job once the game goes public. But Archer has a hard time believing this particular person would ever do something like, until a second body is found.
Daniel Springer’s concept of a techno-thriller where the focus is on the characters rather than the technology works extremely well. The reader is captured on the first page and can’t stop until they get to the end. The reader has difficulty figuring out exactly who the villain is, and will be surprised at not only the motive but also the person when it’s announced after a chase with the game running. Springer’s talent for using a few words to get his point across paints a breathtaking picture of gamers going for a hot new game where they play in the out of doors rather than from behind a computer screen. The dialogue is quite believable, as are the reactions of those involved. The Wilco Project whetted my appetite for more works by this talented author.
Thanks KC for the kind words. KC didn’t ask me to do this, but I here is bit about her:
KC Sprayberry juggles her writing between a son in the band, a loving husband, a reformed barn cat, and an excitable Black Lab puppy determined to play all day long. She lives in Northwest Georgia, and often uses local settings, such as the one in An Ordinary House, in her stories. Her first love in writing is for young adults, be it historical, contemporary, sci-fi, or fantasy, a short story or a full length novel.
Here is the blurb on her book, SOFTLY SAY GOODBYE:
Erin Sellers, an eighteen-year-old high school senior, hates teen drinking. She and her three friends – Bill, her guy, Shari and Jake – decide to use Twitter to stop a group, the Kewl Krew, from using their high school as the local bar. But the members of this group are just as determined to stop anyone from messing up their fun. Despite veiled threats to her safety, Erin continues her crusade.
To make matters worse for her, the stress of school and extra curricular work mounts and suddenly, shockingly, booze-fuelled tragedy strikes. Erin is now under greater pressure as she spends all hours to produce a mural and other work to commemorate the death of a teen friend. Bill, Jake and Shari support her in all this…
But more tragedy lurks nearby… until it’s time to softly say goodbye.
Find more about KC:
Nancy is the author of the mystery Due Date available now! I want to thank Nancy appearing in this blog–you will find links to her web site, FB, and Twitter at the end of the article.
Where do ideas come from?
by Nancy Wood
There was a fascinating post recently on our Solstice Authors Facebook page about where ideas for books come from. Some authors said they loved to people-watch and all their ideas came from observing human nature. Others said their ideas came from real-world events or events they experienced in high school. One author said she liked to think of all the things she couldn’t do or places she couldn’t visit in the real world and translate that to paper.
It’s the eternal question about creativity. There’s a great Ted Talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert on the nature of creativity and how every person has a “genius” that is often ruined as we go through life. (http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html) What I’ve found through the author interviews on my website (http://nancywood-books.com/author-interviews.html) is that ideas come from everywhere and are as varied as people’s interests: Dan Springer, my host, always loved mysteries and is a gadget geek, so writing a mystery where technology played a major role made perfect sense to him. Another author, Joyce Strand, a Corporate Communications director, and decided to build a new career that would take advantage of her writing skills. Nancy Curteman loves to travel – her mysteries are based on areas in the world that she’s travelled to. Colleen Collins is a PI in real life, so she is writing what she knows. Author Kelly Abell was inspired by an event she heard on the news. And Carl Brush has always been interested in California history and social justice, so writing a historical novel set in 1910 in San Francisco gave him an opportunity to explore these themes in fiction.
Some well-known authors are quite open about where their ideas come from. Gillian Flynn, author of the blockbuster GONE GIRL, said she wanted to write a dark psychological thriller about two people who know each other really, really well. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gone-girl-author-gillian-flynn-395337) Tana French got the idea for her first book, INTO THE WOODS, when she was working as a temp on an architectural dig near a Dublin forest. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/books/tana-french-finds-her-niche-in-dark-themes.html?_r=0) Agatha Christie scribbled in notebooks; the notes show that her ideas came from the ordinary: an overheard conversation, a newspaper story, a trip to the theater. (http://agathachristie.com/about-christie/how-christie-wrote/plotting-and-notebooks/)
Ideas are as varied as we are. If you’re a writer or author, leave a comment! Where do your ideas come from? If you’re a reader, have you ever thought of an idea that would make a great story? Tell us about it!
2012 has been an interesting for me and certainly an upgrade from the preceding year (where I lost a close friend to cancer and my mother-in-law was diagnosed with “stage-4″ cancer).
I have much to be thankful for, including: my mother-in-law is now cancer-free and back to her old self! My daughter is flourishing academically and my son earned a letter as a freshman for swimming. I am personally in great physical shape as fitness was a priority for me last year.
I look forward to a prosperous 2013 for myself, I and I wish the same to you and yours!
Have and safe new year!
It is that time of year again, and with my own son starting high school, it reminded me of a very cool project my sister and I did two years ago to support the release of my novel, THE WILCO PROJECT.
In June of 2010 I signed a contract with Solstice Publishing, and after a couple of months of editing, the publisher announced a release date of October 31–I know, Halloween, very cool, right?
I really wanted to make a book trailer in preparation for the launch. I came to the conclusion I wanted my book trailer to be like a movie trailer (as opposed to a group of still pictures linked together). The problem was that I had no experience in shooting video and no access actors and equipment. Then it came to me, see if the local high school drama department might be interested in producing the book trailer.
I contacted my sister, Teri Locke, a teacher and the head of drama club at Strawberry Crest High School, and she agreed to let me pitch the idea at the first drama club meeting. At the meeting when I asked the kids if anyone would be interested, almost every hand in the group shot up.
In the end, a group of very talented high school drama students wrote, shot, and produced an incredible, Hollywood movie-style trailer for my book. Take a look:
So with the new school year picking up again, any cool projects on the horizon?
Unlike movies, TV, and video games, books don’t have a rating system to label the “appropriateness” of their content for readers. As an author I shudder at the thought of some panel slapping a label on my book and potentially limiting my audience as a result of their opinion on the suitability of my work for a particular group of readers. On the other hand, I just purchased a Kindle for my thirteen-year-old and I certainly would not want her downloading a title like Fifty Shades of Grey, either on purpose or by accident! For the record I have yet to allow my teenage son and daughter to read my book because it contains adult language and a couple of “mature situations” that I believe they are not ready to handle.
Why do some authors put bad language and sex in their books? I can only speak for myself–I write adult fiction and, like it or not, many adults use bad language and have sex! It is a matter of authenticity and making my stories ring true to the reader. The way I generally write is to simply document the movie playing in my head–if a character in the movie happens to curse, then that’s what I type on the keyboard.
Is this type of content required to sell books? Obviously not! Look at the massively successful young adult works, the Harry Potter series and more recently The Hunger Games. I also just finished an adult fantasy that very much enjoyed and can’t recall reading a single swear word. Most commercial, adult fiction–especially the kind I like to read, mystery/thrillers–have intense characters, both good and bad that say things and do things I don’t want to expose my teenagers to.
Prior to publication, I remember submitting an excerpt of The WILCO Project to a panel of three folks who provided feedback on my work. All three gave me good reviews and comments, but one made the observation that using the f-word in the dialog was unnecessary. If all three had made the same comment, I might have changed it, but I left it in because that what the character said. Everyone has their own tastes and I have figured out that, as an writer, you are never going to please everyone all the time.
When it comes to books and judging if their content is appropriate for children, I am happy there isn’t a rating system. Parents need to monitor what their kids are reading and watching because one size will never fit all.
I am blown away and humbled by a new 5-star review on Amazon! As I have mentioned before, nothing gives me a better sense of accomplishment and validation as a writer than an excellent reader review.
In today’s turbulent world of book publishing, author’s like me who have yet to breakout as a big-time bestseller certainly don’t write for the money. Sure, it would be wonderful to live off the royalties from books I write, and I do believe I have the ability to reach that goal someday, but with my current book priced at $1.99 for the eBook version, I have to sell an incredible amount of books to pay my mortgage.
So, as I work on my next book in an effort to make writing my main profession, getting feedback from readers is essentially how I get paid. Reading this Amazon review made for a fantastic payday!
Ron writes the following review titled: IMPOSSIBLE . . . to put down
This book is impossible to put down. Extremely well written; kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. A classic, who-done-it murder mystery mixed with a modern high-tech plot, reflecting the big-brother privacy concerns that have been debated at length in our new mobile world. The characters are very believable; I found myself in the story with them throughout the book. Would make an awesome movie! Encore Mr. Springer!
My thanks to all my readers who have taken the time to review The WILCO Project–it means so much to me and provides motivation to complete the next book.
The Fun Stuff!
BEA 2012 is winding down–what a jam packed three days in NYC! For the first time in the show’s history, 1000 non-industry folks, “Power Readers” were able to attend the event today. So, today I got the opportunity to sign and give my books away. Book signings are so much fun for me–the whole idea that someone is interested in reading my novel still gives me goosebumps. These people are big time readers and book fans and seem to genuinely appreciate the effort involved in writing and publishing a novel.
The other neat part of the show for me is meeting other authors. I made friends with a couple of Romance Writers of America authors, Leann Harris and Patricia Davis, who write “inspirational romance” for Love Inspired, an imprint Harlequin. These ladies are wonderful and very successful, and they were sweet enough to sign a couple of books for me.
I have to thank Solstice Publishing again for allowing me to participate again this year. I see great things for the new company in the future–stay tuned!