Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Conversation with Moonlight, or, What Goes on in My Head; Plus a bonus blog

So the Cardonian Chronicles continue, this time zeroing in more on Moonlight and her quest to put an end to Barnabas's villainous plans. Joining me today is the woman herself. The Baroness Tumero and her husband are also here, though not sure why since I didn't actually invite them. Anyway, let's get started. 

KL: Moonlight, it's a pleasure to have you here. I really admire the way you stepped up to help Cardonia.

M: Yeah, well, don't think we're friends or anything.

KL: Of course not. So, at the end of The Dream Traveler, you went running off after Barnabas, who had captured Ren and Becca, and was on his way to take over the Steeple Basin. You insisted the others stay behind, and only agreed to let Tilda join you because she said she knew the path that Barnabas was taking.

M: There was no sense in putting the others in danger. Tilda was the best choice, and she brought me straight to Barnabas as promised.

KL: Now, I don't want to give any spoilers, but I'm guessing things didn't go as smoothly as you hoped once you found him.

M: (gritting her teeth) Let's just say things got interesting.

KL: Meanwhile, you had no way of knowing what was happening in the Fortress Basin with Raven and the others.

M: No, casting messages back and forth was too risky, so I had to hope they were making progress in breaking through the Persuasion Barnabas had used on everyone.

Baroness: I beg your pardon? I never believed a word that man uttered. Now, the Baron on the other hand-

KL: Here, Baroness, have a glass of wine. Anyways, it seems that more than once, Moonlight, you had to choose between taking on dangerous tasks alone and allowing others to help you. Would you say you're more of a lone wolf?

M: I just don't want to be the cause of anyone getting hurt.

KL: I see, and- 

M: I have to be getting back now.

KL: Oh, but I just had a couple more questions.

M: I really don't have any more to say.

Baroness: Oh, aren't we guarded?

Baron: Quiet, Mirella.

Baroness: You there, can't you see my glass is empty?

KL: Sorry, your ladyship. Did anyone see Moonlight leave? I really wanted to get a selfie with her.

Baroness: These chocolates are quite good. We'll just take the box with us, and the wine.

KL: Sure, go ahead.

Baron: Best be going, Mirella.

Baroness: My hands were just starting to warm up. The fires in our sector are never hot enough. They're all smoke, and it always blows directly into my face. This is a lovely chair. Baron, this is the perfect chair for our shelter. We'll take it with us.

KL: Um, actually, I need that chair. Here, you can have this little blanket.

Baroness: Are those animal hairs on that blanket?

Baron: I'm leaving. Take the blanket and let's go.

KL: OK, well, safe journey back to Cardonia. Enjoy the chocolates. 

Thanks for joining us, everyone, and to find out more about the struggle to defeat Barnabas, pick up a copy of Moonlight Hunting, book two of the Cardonian Chronicles.

Bonus Blog
Author and Blogger Bonnie Ferrante Interviews Cheryl Johnson About Her Picture Books

Author Cheryl Johnson:
I started making up characters and little monsters and aliens from eight years old. I loved reading non-fiction and historical novels, like Caddie Woodlawn and Little House on the Prairie as a child, but the realm of fantasy was my chosen place to dwell. Fairy tales and science fiction were what kept me enthralled and reading every day.
Nowadays I like making up environments and characters that a reader can still identify with but feel entertained by it... read more

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What's In Your Tool Belt? Plus a Bonus Blog Teaser

MacGyver was a master of being resourceful, using everyday objects to get himself out of life threatening situations. My life isn't threatened on a weekly basis, but I like to pretend I'm a flexible thinker, using whatever resources I have at hand, especially when it comes to the grueling climb towards getting noticed as an author.

Photo of metaphorical author mountain courtesy of Castlelass/

Now I can thank my mother for not allowing Ken dolls in the house and refusing to buy fancy Barbie clothes. My sisters and I learned to make do with other dolls as romantic partners for our Barbies. We also got pretty good at turning old baby clothes and fabric scraps into couture for our shapely heroines, so I do have some experience with ingenuity.

I know it's not unheard of for indie authors to make it to bestseller status. Sure, I could whine about how those lucky ducks had entrepreneurial backgrounds, or friends in high places, or a budget close to my yearly salary, but that would only leave me bitter and stuck in the same place, while time ticks away.

Taking stock of my resources at hand, I find internet access, persistence, stubbornness, an ability to learn, and a willingness to put in some time and effort. Let's not forget friends and family. Valuable stuff, but not exactly out of the ordinary. Until my inner MacGyver takes over, and finds a way to use these resources in a jaw-droppingly inventive and effective way. 

I'm still working on the ultimate trick that will send my books soaring into Amazon's top 100, but I'm nowhere near ready to throw in the towel.

Bonnie Ferrante interviews Lucia Greene, author of A Tunnel in the Pines

Ferrante: What is the most important thing you have learned about writing?
Greene: Writing as a journalist was challenging, but writing creative fiction presents the ultimate challenge. Being an author means you get to create a world, and a story, that’s your own work. At its best, your characters take control and the dialogue and story spin forth according to their direction. That’s the sweet spot. But facing a blank computer page and coming up with that first sentence? That’s the hard part.
Read more to learn cool stuff about worms and Darwin, and to get Greene's response to Three Random Questions.