Interview with J. B. Garner

Hey Legendary readers! So, we’ve been doing author interviews lately and this week I am glad to share my interview with author J. B. Garner!! Here ya go!!

Last week you were talking about balancing the description and plot in your book. Your post held some great advice! How long did it take you to learn how to balance and how did you know when you went too far to one side or the other?

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It took a while before I got everything just right, and to be honest, that kind of balance is a constant work in progress. Every new book and genre calls for shifts in that balance. A modern drama, for instance, might need a little less raw description, as you are dealing with real-world elements people already know, while a full blown epic fantasy might need more description, as you have to evoke the imagery of this fantastical new world to the reader.

As for knowing when you go too far, beta readers, test readers, and editors are the best way to know if you’ve gone too far. But if you have to judge it on your own, you know you’ve gone too far over on description when you reread a section and you start to get bored with it, as excessive description throws off the pacing of the plot. And you know when you’ve gone too far towards plot when you lose the ability to picture the scene and characters in your mind.

In Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire, your main character is not your typical sexy leading lady. What on earth made you think of writing Mary Stone the way you did? Do you want to tell our readers what’s so unique about our heroine?

I guess a few things inspired me. First and maybe most of all, I wanted to break the mold for both a romantic tale and an adventure tale. The fact is that anyone can find love with someone else, and I’ve seen plenty of odd couples and pairings in real life. And as for the adventure bit, far stranger people have been heroes. Why not a four-foot tall bearded Dwarf lady?

Second, I think dwarves as a fantasy race don’t get the same attention as your usual elves and dragons and all of that. I personally find many variations of dwarves to be really cool, and they speak to me. So, honestly I wanted to make a dwarf the heroine of a piece, just to celebrate that coolness.

What books or authors do you think inspired you most?

The funny thing is that I feel like any list I would write would be a horrible disservice, as I have read so many books and absorbed so much media that my inspirations are everywhere. I’d leave critical people out if I tried to make that list.

BUT for Rune Service, I can give some definite inspirations. My biggest sparks for it were Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files, for the urban fantasy elements, and the MythAdventures books by Robert Aspirin and Jody Lynn Nye, for the humorous fantasy bits. Oh, and I have to credit the movie Clerks from Kevin Smith for the idea of the convenience store setting.

What’s your favorite aspect of writing and what part do you have to fight to make yourself do because it’s just draining?

My favorite part is the middle part of each book, where I’m just writing and going and don’t have to worry about getting the initial hook of the first chapter right or finding a good way to stick the landing satisfyingly. As for the draining part, that’s definitely the first chapter! I wind up usually having to rewrite every one of my first chapters three to five times to get it just right and that just takes it out of me.

Okay, I know there’s a sequel to Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire, but are there more tales in store for Mary Stone and what is next on your list to be published?

For sure! Dwarf for Hire is meant to be a fun, on-going tale, with each book being their own individual story, so I have plenty of ideas for the future as we learn more about Mary’s past and her bizarre group of friends. My hope is to have a third book out later this year.

As for what’s next, well, I’m catching my breath at the moment, but I just put out a superhero reverse harem romance, The Miracle Touch, alongside my long-time collaborator, J. A. Cipriano, that I think is a heck of a lot of fun for those looking for action, adventure, and a bit of more adult romance.

Final request. Recommend one of your books, other than Rune Service, that you would want people to read.

Only one? Spoil sport! Okay, well, if I am limited to one, I am going to plug the oddest of my book series, one that was a true passion project. It might not be for everyone, but so far, even the person who bought it on accident and reviewed it wound up liking it.

Check out Three Seconds to Legend, starting with The Opening Bell. It’s a series I can best describe as a mix of family drama, martial arts action-adventure, and coming of age with some sprinkles of LGBT romance and Greek myth, all set in the world of modern professional wrestling. It’s odd, it’s strange, but those who do read it have always found it satisfying.

Thank you SO much for letting me interview you. I really am excited about checking out more of your stuff!

Well, until next time guys!

Interview With Carrie Dalby

Hey readers! Today we’ll be talking with Carrie Dalby and I am taking full advantage. I have some major questions for her to answer! Since I’m super excited, we’ll just jump right in.

Hello Carrie!

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Carrie Dalby: Hello Meleesa and Legendary readers!

A few days ago, I reviewed your book Fortitude. Great job by the way! I loved the story! Okay, on with the question. Fortitude read very vividly. How much research went into this novel? Or are you like, a history major who knew everything?

Carrie Dalby: I’m open about admitting I failed my AP U.S. History test in high school. History wasn’t my thing—it was for old men, right? It wasn’t until I developed a love for historical fiction in early adulthood that the past came alive for me. Authors like Katherine Paterson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Avi, and Richard Peck wrote such amazing historical novels that I fell in love with the genre. How do you make a history buff out of an AP failure? Vivid characters!
(And yes, all those authors write middle grade-young adult historical fiction, among other things. But as a children’s literature geek, that’s what I turn to first.)

You’ll get no smirk from me about reading middle grade or young adult. I love the genre! And I agree about the vivid characters creating a love for the genre. Your characters did the same for me. So, in Fortitude who did you love writing the most?

Carrie Dalby: As it’s told from Claire’s point of view, I of course liked telling her story, but Loretta was fun. Her personality tends to steal the scenes she’s in. (I have a reccurring problem with secondary characters who take on a life of their own and become main characters.) And Auntie’s snappy dialog was entertaining. And on the opposite spectrum, I hated Joe Walker from when I first wrote those opening chapters. It wasn’t until the end of the first draft, when I was struggling with where his character was going, that I finally released my hatred and accepted him as a Gilbert Blythe. (Please tell me you understand that reference!)

Duh!! I had a crush on Gilbert Blythe! Ha ha ha! But I also have a crush on Joe Walker, so that makes complete sense! Okay. I know secrets that have yet to be released onto the world. I know that some of these characters continue on in your new series. Could we talk about that for a moment?

Carrie Dalby: Gladly! My project of the last two years has been crafting a multi-generation Gothic family saga for adults titled The Possession Chronicles. The eight book series spans 1904-1929 and takes place in the Mobile Bay area. A few of the characters live on/are from Dauphin Island, which sits at the mouth of the bay, so some of the characters in Fortitude have cameos in this series. Those wishing to know what happens to Claire should be satisfied. I’m in the process of querying publishers with the first book, Perilous Confessions, and hope to have news to share soon.

Well, I’ll definitely be watching out for that news. Gothic is a new genre to add to your list of writing styles. What have you found you enjoy the most? Where is your literary home?

Carrie Dalby: Historical for sure, though given the right characters I’d write a story set in any time. I do love to read and write coming-of-age stories, which can span anything from preteen to adults out in the world for the first time, which most of my stories encompass. Along those lines, I also have a contemporary middle grade novel in the process of revisions.

Wow! You are one busy woman! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today.

Carrie Dalby: No problem. Thanks for having me and thanks for chatting with me today. I always enjoy dishing about books and writing.

Thanks for joining us readers! I hope you enjoyed meeting author Carrie Dalby. To find out more about her and stay updated on her progress, click here.

Stay Legendary!

Guest Blog – Carrie Dalby

 

Hey guys! Today we have author Carrie Dalby guesting on the site. Yay! Carrie is a good friend of mine and amazing writer. I’ll be talking more about her book Fortitude later this week. For now, say hi to Carrie!

Thanks for having me and hello, Legendary Readers. I’m happy to share a bit about my search for visual writing inspiration with you all today.

Seeking Inspiration

For a person who deals with words, I’m extremely visually oriented. From finding photographs of settings to collecting character images, I’m always on the lookout for pictures that represent my stories. My two published novels (so far) have somewhat abstract titles but they embody the theme of each book. In daily life I look for examples of Fortitude and Corroded (young adult books available from the Surge imprint of Anaiah Press.) When found, I feel an instant connection to these stories through the visuals representing them.

Nature is a great place to find fortitude. Check out this tree in my backyard that didn’t let a fence stand in its way.

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What could have halted progression became woven into its life, making the core stronger—it’s survived several hurricanes. Not only is the tree still growing, its providing a craggy surface for other living things.

 

 

I find the patina of corroded metal beautiful. The trials and weather of life turns bland metal into a gorgeous display of colors and textures, like this retro playground slide.

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Sometimes it takes looking closer to the world around you to find your inspiration. It can be as large as a rusted roof or as small as a nail.

 

 

 

 

 

Where will you find inspiration today?

 

Thanks Carrie for guesting today! If you guys want to learn more about this awesome author, just click here!

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While experiencing the typical adventures of growing up, Carrie Dalby called several places in both San Diego and Santa Cruz counties home and has lived on the Alabama Gulf Coast since 1996. Her two young adult novels, Fortitude and Corroded, released in 2015 and 2016 by the Surge imprint of Anaiah Press.
Currently she is writing a Gothic family saga for adults.
When Carrie isn’t reading, writing, browsing bookstores/libraries, or homeschooling, she can often be found knitting, volunteering, or attending concerts.

A Sit-Down With Lilian Oake

Good morning, readers! Today we are going to interview Lilian Oake!!!

Hey, Lilian. Could you tell the readers a little about yourself?

lilian oakeHey MeLeesa! Thanks for having me!

I am an author of adventure fantasy, which is pretty much for all ages. I do have one book that I would say is more YA. I’ve been writing for 10 years, and published for 8. John Flanagan of The Ranger’s Apprentice is the writer I want to be when I grow up. Figuratively. I live in North Carolina with my husband, Joshua Robertson, who is an award-winning author of dark fantasy. We have nine kids between the two of us, and work full time in the writing bizz.

What first drew you to writing? Are there any instances that stand out where you’ve pulled from your real life?

My very first line in my very first book was written in my biology class in ninth grade. I was reading a lot of random books at the time—nothing that comes to mind specifically, besides Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville. I spent a lot of my time daydreaming about dragons.

I spent most of my middle grade years and early high school years feeling very lonely, as I wasn’t one of the kids many others wanted to talk to. I was socially awkward, likely from growing up semi-isolated within a strict, religious community. Most of my young life was spent coming up with story lines about how I came from another world, and that’s why I felt left out all the time. Surprise, surprise, that’s the premise of my coming series! Minus religion.

What’s the number one thing you hear from your fans?

I hear a lot of things from my fans, but most of it has to do with how apparently “crazy” I am. But they assure me they mean it in a positive sense. I’m outgoing—odd, considering the kind of kid I was.

Outside of personality, I am often told that I write along the lines of the Grimm Brothers fairytales.

You have a new project coming out, can you tell us a little about that? I hear it takes place in the same world as some of your other work: Bounty of the Everdark, An Ogre’s Tale, and Nahtaia.

Yes, The Chronicles of Jaydür is a portal fantasy that takes place partially within our modern day world, and partially within the fantasy world called Jaydür which is the same world the other stories take place in.

The four Voices of Jaydür are four goddesses who were created as the mediators between the many races of Jaydür, among other things. When the Voices of Jaydür are found slaughtered, Caia, a she-elf, is called upon by the Elders to take the place as the esteemed Voice of Apan (or, water). Glim’Ruk, the one who killed the Voices, wants the entire lineage dead, and threatens to absorb Caia’s godly essence—and she’s the last in that line. Against her will, Caia is hurled by the Elders through a portal to another realm, having her memories and powers shielded in a desperate attempt to keep her safe. Now, without any knowledge of her true nature and purpose, her bodyguard and mentor from Jaydür has sought her out to help her rediscover her lineage as a Voice to return home and help restore peace among the people who are torn by Glim’Ruk.

Wow! That sounds awesome!!! In your new project, who is your favorite character?

Archai. He’s as old as the original Voices, and has a very cynical view of life. He’s spent his eternity essentially “beyond the veil,” so he knows what life is and should be about, and finds the emotions and aspirations of people living on Jaydür (and in earth) completely ridiculous.

Who has been the most fun to write?

Again, Archai. I love being able to delve into his mind, and really stretch my imagination to the point of grasping eternity—or trying to, at least! It makes me feel all twisted and small in the world.

If you could be any character in your stories, who would you choose?

Probably Kieren, a large, white panther who is basically the gatekeeper between the worlds. He has more faith in Caia as a Voice, and always has some wise words to offer. He gets to help her when she needs help, and watch her as she matures into the Voice of Apan. Plus, he has access to both worlds and all the existing traveling mirrors! Who wouldn’t want that?

I so can’t wait to check it out! Any idea when it will be available?

I should be releasing at the end of April.

Thank you so much for letting me interview you! Good luck with your new project. I can’t wait to read more of your work!

Thank you so much for having me again! I had fun! I’ll be sure to announce to the world when it’s ready for you all!

Well readers, keep an eye out for that announcement and look back next week for a new author interview. But don’t worry, later this week I’ll have a personal post to let you know how I’ve been doing!

Hugs guys!