Interview with David Temrick - Daughter of Vengeance

Can you tell us a little about your books and yourself?

Daughter of Vengeance is my latest book, and I believe the market is begging for a female lead in a fantasy novel that isn't an Amazonian woman or a weakling. Michelle is just an average girl growing up while being trained to be an assassin and spy for the King. She had been kidnapped and forced to be a concubine for a rather sick man and was rescued by a woman who later becomes her closest friend. Ultimately Michelle discovers there's a plot to overthrow the King and destroy the world as she knows it and she has to overcome adversity, set aside the failings of her family's history and rise to the occasion.

Draconis' Bane and Deadly Intentions are my previous novels and at one time were one larger novel. Due to their size though, they were broken down into two separate stories about a spoiled Prince who was brutally attacked by a cult of magicians who want to see the dragon race wiped out. Tristan, the Prince, is the child of a half-dragon and although he looks perfectly normal, there is power inside of him that is released upon his attack. The magical curse placed him in a coma where he lived a life of torture and abuse. When he recovers, he is no longer the spoiled young man he once was. In fact, he has no memories of this world at all. His entire frame of reference is that of an abused human child in our world. Eventually, with the help of his friends and family, he begins to remember who he was...though the lessons he learned while under the power of the curse remain with him. He takes it upon himself to root out the cult who attacked him and threaten his family.

I've been telling stories and writing for most of my life, though up until a few years ago my writing was primarily for my own enjoyment as a hobby. I also love to read, though most of the books I read these days are fables to my three-year-old daughter.

What inspired you to write your books?

What inspired me to write were the authors that I love to read. Robert Louis Stevenson, Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle were my childhood heroes of literature. I eventually, as it seems most fantasy authors do, discovered J.R.R. Tolkien. My modern inspiration came from Raymond E. Feist though. I discovered his novels when I was in college and really enjoyed the range of characters he delivers, each with their own distinct personalities.

However, the inspiration for writing a book came from my wife, who sagely advised "if for nothing else than the experience".

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I shared Draconis' Bane, as I was writing it, with some friends and they insisted that I try to get the book published. While writing Deadly Intentions I began shopping Draconis' Bane around for an agent or a publisher. After two years, I gave up having it published at all and finished Deadly Intentions.

I'd meant to sell them together, but a writer friend of mine pointed out that typically novels of that length are Epic Fantasy and could I see myself writing 150,000+ word books routinely. I took the advice and decided to make Deadly Intentions a sequel to Draconis' Bane. As I shopped them around as a pair, I began working on Daughter of Vengeance. Eventually, I stumbled upon self-publishing and after a lot of research decided on a company and released Draconis' Bane, having no luck with traditional agents and publishers.

I would say the most important lesson I learned though was self-reliance. Even in the traditional publishing world, writing is very much a solitary proposition and sometimes it's very easy to get discouraged. If you work hard, release professional and original material, you will find an audience. As a self-published author, finding that audience took time and a lot of patience. Despite what a lot of the self-help books and website tell us, there are no rules anymore. Audiences are everywhere and all you can do is make your book and yourself available to them.

What are some challenges that you faced while writing?

Remaining motivated. I'll be honest, there were times when I was collecting rejections from agents, publishers and even reviewers and I began to question my own abilities. I've never been at a loss for ideas, concepts or directions for my stories, nor have I struggled with characters or what to do with them. I spent a lot of time learning how to weave a solid story and I have my fundamentals in place. Sometimes though, it's hard to keep that in perspective when you can't seem to get anyone to say "yes".

Marketing. I'm horrible at it. I have trouble talking myself up and I feel silly trying to sell myself. However, as a self-published author I had to learn as I went and I've wasted time and money marketing to the wrong people, paying for silly gimmicks and giving away my work. I've learned a lot from my mistakes. The biggest mistake for me was freebie week. You can climb into the top 100 of your genre on Amazon, or even the top 100 fiction, as I did...but if you can't sell copies of your book afterwards, what's the point? I'm sure it's worked for others, but it didn't for me. Out of over 5,000 copies of Draconis' Bane, I got money for each copy. Out of the 12,000 copies of Deadly Intentions, which was my freebie week book, I got money for 4,500. I did manage to sell a further 100 copies of Draconis' Bane during that week, which was fantastic. But I still view freebies as lost profit and 7,400 copies of lost profit stings. I've had much more success with Facebook, Twitter and my own website than I ever had giving away my work.

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you the most?

I spent most of my life pointing out my father's failings and completely missing the landslide of good advice he gave me while he was alive. Most of what he taught me I still use today. It's hard to say if he would be proud of what I've done over the last few years, but he was an avid reader so I would have had another set of eyes for beta-reading. I know a lot of people have loftier heroes, people they never meet or meet once and then they are forgotten. For me it's the little things. Getting an email from a reader my work has touched in some way fills me with a greater sense of accomplishment than a glowing review.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?

I have a couple of internet radio shows, I curl in the winter and play paintball in the summer. I also like playing video games when I can carve out the time.

What do you get passionate about?

Writing. Seems pretty obvious for a writer to get passionate about writing, but I really am. I love putting words to paper and evoking a response.

What does “success”  mean to you?

If I could replace the income I get from my current job with my writing, I would consider that success. Anything beyond that is a dream.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently working on the next novel in Michelle's world called "Edge of Reckoning". In it Michelle's world will continue to evolve as a new conflict has broken out and I'm introducing a new continent and race to my readers. Michelle herself will also continue to evolve as she's given birth to a daughter of her own and must balance that responsibility against the safety of her nation.

I also spend time updating my fanpage and posting short stories or blog posts to my websites.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Always put out the best product you can. The market, especially on Amazon, iBooks and Smashwords, is saturated with authors who want to make money. They throw a novel every 2-3 months trying to generate as many impulse buys as possible. If you're serious about writing, serious about your work being appreciated and serious about making a career out of it...take your time. Anything worth having is worth putting effort into.

This includes the construction of the novel as well. There are artists for every budget, hunt high and low and get an artist or photographer to do your cover artwork. If you don't feel you can do a cover page yourself, there are plenty of low-cost options out there including most self-publishing services. Edit your work yourself at least twice, more if you think it's needed. Then get it edited by someone else. If you can't afford an editor, find an English major who will do it for pizza or beer. Just make sure you get the editing done before giving them the beer.

Be available. Have a twitter, a facebook fanpage and a website at least.

Chose appropriate marketing. By that I mean, if you're writing a Twilight-style vampire novel...don't try to sell it to Anne Rice fans. Market it to young adults, there are podcasts and radio shows hosted by teenagers for teenagers. Get in touch with them about "sponsoring" a show for 5 bucks. Get creative. Remember that the market is saturated with self-published authors, you need to stand out in a positive way.

Keep writing. Whether you're waiting for your latest rejection letter, or hoping that your latest marketing scheme will pay off...keep writing. Short stories, blog posts, tweets, facebook updates, chapter stories, novellas, a full length novel, it doesn't matter as long as you're writing. Studies have shown that you need to invest 10,000 hours to master something. If you spend 10 hours a day writing, that's still almost 3 years.


Books (newest to oldest)

Daughter of Vengeance

Deadly Intentions

Draconis' Bane

Interview with Ingrid Hicks - Author of Among The Undead (Escape to KP)

Can you tell us a little about your books and yourself?

I started writing Among the Undead about 2 years ago, I wrote the first two
chapters, got busy with life and work so I left it aside to pick it up later.The concept of the story was conceived basically while driving. With my business I have to travel some distance and the only thing that keeps me awake is music. Music helps me creatively, always has and I started creating
these scenarios with characters in my head which now I've turned into books.

My background is quite far from writing actually. I'm a fashion designer by
trade, later I went to school for graphic design and eventually started my own
uniform company. I've always been a creative person, I've done everything
from fashion, uniforms, websites, designed logos, photography and nowputting
these thoughts in my head on paper.

What inspired you to write your books?
There was a time when my husband and I pretty much watched every zombie
movie ever made out there, it was a weekly ritual and I think that's where
the inspiration came from. But aside from the gore which we've all come
accustomed to watching zombie flicks, I wanted an actual story, a story of
survival, the possibility that if you do lose it all you can indeed  get it
back, second chances, the ability to coexist with strangers and make a
family out of it while trying to survive chaos and uncertainty. Also it was
very important to me to have a story set in my hometown of Toronto. I can't
write about places I don't know because I can't relate to them.
One thing I can tell you is that I like to make the impossible, possible. My
characters, especially in Among the Undead are almost superheroes but
they're not, they are just really good at survival.

Among the Undead (Escape to KP)

Miss-Fortunate Reality

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
How challenging it is to successfully put visuals into words. Attention to
detail with every character while keeping the reader engaged. I wanted strong personalities for my main characters, and they needed to be different because they needed to clash but yet madly love each other. It was easy with "Lauren" but putting myself in a male perspective of "Tyler" was
quite the challenge, especially with part 2  of Among the Undead (to be
released spring 2014).

What are some challenges that you faced while writing?
Finding time, I have two young boys and I finished Among the Undead over the
summer of 2013 while they were both at home.With Among the Undead I had to learn a lot about weapons; guns, swords,knifes, etc. I've never used any of it but I do have a keen interest in guns
so it wasn't hard to do the research in the different types the characters

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you the most?
One of my favorite writers was/is Edgar Allan Poe, and all the film
adaptations of his books with the late Vincent Price was my obsession for a
very long time.Horror and movies about the occult pretty much shaped my childhood,
adolescence and adulthood. I think that was a great influence for Among the
Undead.I also write romance novels and that comes from me. My stories are not your
average boy meets girl, they are about betrayal, adultery and finding that
impossible love.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?
Work takes much of my time, so writing is my hobby. But on my off time I
like to spend it with my family and my best friends.

What do you get passionate about?
I love music, and I have to create new  playlists all the time to suit my
mood for that period of time. This gets my creative juices flowing and I
start thinking of things to do or in this instance possible stories. I'm
also very passionate about changing my body and I love to work out, eat
right and spread the word. I like to motivate others to do the same.

What does "success" mean to you?
I've been very lucky to be successful at almost everything I've done and I
say almost because I have failed miserably at some things as well.
I think "Success" is not only what it looks like on paper or what others see
or even a monetary thing but it's what you can accomplish and see it through
to the end. I feel very successful to have completed three books, and
although I may never be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, I've written
and published and some have even read my books which is more than I could
have ever imagined. I'm thrilled.

What are your current projects?
I'm polishing up Among the Undead - Part 2 and I'm working on two other
romance novels at the moment.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
If you have a great idea for a book, don't get discouraged because you have
no writing experience or background. You'll never know until you try.

Interview with Adrian Schäfer - Author of Greenland Games

Can you tell us a little about your books and yourself?

Greenland Games it’s a story that took me about two years to put together. It’s an environmental fictional  story, where two different worlds are seen from the perspective of human eye, on the Macro world in one hand, and  the point of view of the Micro cosmos world in the other hand. A story that reveals true facts about the human sustainability on the earth and the human and corporative affairs that rolls under the carpet.

I am a very extrovert individual, with a very multifaceted approach to life and a playfull character. I work as a professional car designer in Europe, spend my free time writing about diverse topics that concerns my perception of the world. Traveling plays a fundamental role on this creative process and of course my relation and interaction with friends and strangers. A week out having fun, refresh my thoughts as well.

What inspired you to write your books?
My books are inspired from different sources, mostly from the themes that concerns me, the environment makes priority at this stage, but also my personal experiences and the ones collected from people around me. I have lived in three different continents and that gives you an edge for a wider view of what’s going on many social stratus, life styles and in the political, financial and the environmental arena, all these elements influence my view and what I do.

Greenland Games
Flying Heroes

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes writing it’s a very time consuming and enjoyable activity. It helps you to discover things in yourself, such as your attention to detail, and the reasons why you are observe things in a way that other people find it weird.Observation it’s a key element on the writers skills.

What are some challenges that you faced while writing?
Keeping on the structure of your characters and the timing of certain events in the novel, which are related to a branch of events, could be sometimes a quite big challenge for your mental concentration.

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you the most?
One icon who took my admiration from the very early age was Leonardo Da vinci, and his multitalented approach to life. Later was Mr Tesla, which I consider the most incredible inventor of the 20th century. In literature Mr Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his magic style, gave me another view of the world. Another thing of course was, my childhood, and my experiences as Teenager.  I did a lot of naughty things as a kid, which could have end up in a sudden death; but I was lucky enough to survive. So, nowadays, I do not take things for granted, everything in life needs to put up a big effort to reach a final goal. In this process, I always have very present the fact, that life itself its very fragile, so you have to watch your steps. Every day its a gift and we should make good use of it.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?
 I do support human rights campaigns , have a blog for the bees and create music as well to balance out my creative universe. Design new ideas to create new products and have a few world patented inventions. Have done some painting exhibitions as well. I do also practice beach volleyball in the summer, scuba diving and love snowboard in winter.

What do you get passionate about?
 I am passionate about many things, but one takes the most of it. Love and the people who are close to me.

What does “success” mean to you?
 Success could mean two things: It could mean and immediate positive result on the performance of one task or a breathtaking process that takes years of experience and can sum up in good or bad results. Both are positive, because from the good results you profit and improve. From the bad experiences, you must learn to avoid makingthe same mistakes of the past.

What are your current projects?
I am writing at this stage a new drama novel to be release soon 2014 base in 60% in real facts, but will have to make it also into the fictional territory to protect the identity of the players.  In the drawer, have three film scripts, one of them, already in development. One drama, one adventure and one comedy.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Work hard and don’t look back at your mistakes. Every day is a life opportunity, and you are the only one who can control what happen next.

Interview with Ryan McInally - Author of The Carpenter's Son

Can you tell us a little about your books and yourself?

My name's Ryan and I am a bit of the following, Technology Enthusiast, Writer, Educator, Perpetual Student, Politically Interested, Whiskey Drinker, and lover of Cinema and Art. Mostly I enjoy writing. I'm from the GTA (General Toronto Area). During the day I work in a school with various students, mainly supporting their academic and social needs. I have a formal education in Broadcast Journalism, with a specific focus in Video Editing, Writing, and Cinematography. I like the color green, and the number three.

The Carpenter's Son is something I have been toying with for a couple of years now. It's fiction; however, a lot of the stories in it are drawn from conversations with my family. All good fiction has elements of truth in it.  
What inspired you to write your books?

I wanted to understand the push and pull factors of immigration at the time. My dad's family immigrated to Canada from Scotland. My grandfather served in the Navy as an Electrician during WWII. My grandfather was injured during the war and blown off the back of a merchant ship. Luckily he survived. Writing the book was as much about expressing a story that was personal, as it was about learning about my own families history.

What are some challenges that you faced while writing?

One of the biggest challenges was the process of getting interested than losing focus. I mapped out what I wanted to write, and how I wanted to tell the story. I had the plot laid out from the early beginning. I felt it hard to fill it in as time went by. I felt like I didn't leave myself a lot of options to steer the story in a different direction if I wanted or needed to. The vignettes helped. I was able to explore secondary characters to help give context to the main story. Writing the vignettes was the most enjoyable part of writing the story. I was able to help mold and shape the story from the sidelines.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?

I enjoy reading, playing video games, watching movies, traveling, and learning. I'm interested in current events and politics. During the summer I try to spend a fair amount of time outdoors. During the winter I'm usually limited in terms of outdoor activities.

What are your current projects?

I recently completed, edited, and submitted a 1400 word non-fiction short story to CBC's Canada Writes Competition. I haven't really written a whole lot of non-fiction stories, and felt that it would be a great opportunity for me to explore a new avenue of creative writing. The story is called Tuesdays with Tim, which is a reflective piece about a student I worked with last year. There will be a total of four runner ups and one grand prize winner, all of which will have their content posted online at The first prize winner will have their content published in Air Canada's enRoute magazine.

In terms of writing another novel, that's currently not in the works. I felt like I had a hard time finishing The Carpenter's Son. I think what I may be interested in doing is writing a handful of short stories and trying to either combine them into an eBook collection or potentially looking to get some of them published. I won't say I will never write another novel or novella again, but I would like to take some time to explore some other avenues of creative writing. Writing a book is like having a long term relationship with someone, it's not healthy to jump out and into one so quickly

Posting on my blog, at fills my immediate needs to express myself.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I don't think I'm at a point where I should be giving advice to be honest. I'm still learning through my mistakes and successes. I think this entire process has been a learning experience. I would say that the biggest barrier I've faced is the one that comes after I finished writing my book.
There's a ton of options and routes one can take when trying to publish, advertise, and share their content. The market for eBooks is saturated and ultra competitive. I do things because I love to do them. I think I wrote the book for the right reasons. I think it's important to remember that the process reaps its own rewards, not just the end result.

Want to connect with me?

Want to know where to buy my book?
The Carpenter's Son  
Barnes & Noble
The Carpenter's Son
The Carpenter's Son

Interview with Cora Cuba - Author of Small Town Charms: Mystery of the White Witch

Can you tell us a little about your books and yourself?

Yes thank you. My name is Cora Cuba and I’m just the happiest lady you’ll ever meet. You’d never think just looking at me that I obsess 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on dark magic and sexy witches and magical murder. My paranormal romance series Small Town Charms reflects that. On the surface the small mountain town in question, Big Bear, is just cute as a bug, full of super markets and hard working families and friendly gossip and tiny snowy lanes. But just under the surface is a life-or-death struggle between dark and white magic, between a psychopathic witch and her prey, that is toying with the lives of every person on that mountain. And that is what I get into in Small Town Charms: Mystery of the White Witch.

What inspired you to write your books?

Oh my lands where to start? Well I always loved Charlaine Harris’ True Blood but she seriously did us dirty with that last book. I mean, spoiler alert, but that ending came at me like a slap in the face! I get so tired of investing my time and my heart in a series and then having the author punish me for it.  I wanted to write a series where fans would thank the Good Lord they’d found it. Where readers would care about the characters, have some real thrills, and think about it fondly when it was over. And luckily I have (not to brag but facts is facts) years and years of study in arcane witchcraft and the occult so that helped lay a foundation for my world.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned there is nothing as seductive and useless as a comma!

What are some challenges that you faced while writing?

Well I am a proud mom and my daughter Christine is in Cheer and my boy Tyler can’t drive yet, and obviously they come first. Not to mention we just got a puppy named Angelo when I started writing, so I had my hands full! I have recently developed an expertise at stain removal that would flabbergast forensic scientists. But no matter what else I was doing I was always thinking about my story and mentally writing, so in the precious hours I could sit down in front of my Dell everything was waiting in my head to be written down.

Who or what in your life would you say influenced you the most?

Definitely Stephen King. Not like I know him personally but I respect that he is not afraid to terrify people on and off the page. I go to some extremely Dark places in Small Town Charms 2: Growing Darkness and having ENJOYED thrills and violence in Stephen King gave me the permission to be scary.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?

I am a painter and I am very spiritual and I enjoy hiking and being out in nature. I dabble in crystals, in manipulating their subtle and potent energies. And being a mom, have I said that? Obsessed with my kids, no doubt about it!

What do you get passionate about?

I enjoy cooking and eating and you can pick that up in a detail about my world in Small Town Charms: to work magick takes a TON of calories for my witches, so they’re constantly eating candy bars and pancakes and mac & cheese and just swallowing Snickers as fast as they can just to keep from shrinking. It was seriously cathartic to write all that food porn!

What does “success” mean to you?

Success means my kids are proud of me. That’s really it for me. And maybe a couple more Twitter followers, fair enough. My tech wiz son set me up with an account! ( )

What are your current projects?

Small Town Charms, Book Three! “Snowbound”: when a professional snowboarder is killed up at a grand hotel in Big Bear, Mandy has to use her witch powers to find the killer, who lashes out again just as a massive storm blows through and cuts the town off from the rest of the world. It’s more a classic murder mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie and I’m having so much fun with it! There’s also a twist in Brick and Mandy’s relationship that will make fans very anxious for book Four.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Oh hon I’m no one to be giving advice, except just start already. There’s a phrase architects use, they say “Better built than perfect.” That doesn't mean to be sloppy, it means stop making excuses! Stop noodling over your 6th and 7th drafts and commit to your voice. You got a story inside you and you’re the only one who can tell it, don’t let yourself forget it, ever.