Talia is now 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time -- get your copy today
Thank you, Jennifer Ponce, for the nomination. The Liebster Award is a way to give blogs more exposure and a greater audience. It’s passed from blogger to blogger and it’s a cool way to find new blogs to follow. Be sure to check out the nominees on nominated blogs to see if there are any you haven’t followed yet.
A little bit about author Jen Ponce:
Jennifer "Jen" Ponce writes about strong women who don’t wait to be rescued and the oogy monsters that bask in the glow of those heroines. I couldn’t love her work more and she makes every single character pop off the pages. In real life, she is a heroine in her own right, rescuing those who need a superhero and teaching them how to save themselves the next time. Yet, she still spends quality time with the family and draws emotive pieces of artwork. One of her talents that would surprise you -- she weaves intricate hairstyles and loves to try new ones out on herself. Check her out at www.JenniferPonce.com
These are the questions Jen Ponce asked me:
Mistakes are embarrassing and ego-busting, but they are necessary to grow and transform your art and your life. If we never made mistakes, we would never figure out how to be as awesome as we can be. So, I have to accept the fact that I've made a mistake, decide how to handle it gracefully (not so easy sometimes) and make a plan to avoid it in the future. But, you know ... some mistakes I don’t want to avoid again because they turn out to be better than what I had planned.
2. Do you play video games and, if so, what’s your favorite? If you don’t play, what types of games do you like?
I don’t play video games and I am more of an observer than a player in other types of games. I enjoy watching other people enjoy themselves. But, I do enjoy playing games on my phone. My favorite one right now is Juice Jam.
3. What kind of character would you be in a horror movie? The screamer? The cool one? The first to get murdered? The bad guy?
In real life, I would be hiding in the closet. But, in my head, I'm the one who would save everyone and defeat the monster. That’s who I am when I'm writing books. That’s the cool thing about being a writer, you can be the person you wish you were and you can vent about the person you wish you weren’t.
4. What are your favorite types of stories?
I love tragic loss countered by an emergence of strength followed by romance at great odds. It makes me even happier when there are fairytale elements or paranormal creatures of some sort involved. I'm not big on happy endings, but rather happiness at a great price or bittersweet.
5. What’s your favorite fairy tale and what makes it so?
Beauty and the Beast because it's intriguing for the beauty to fall for the unlovable person, thereby transforming them into someone others could love. It also demonstrates my affinity for the woman being the rescuer.
6. Do you like books that make you cry or ones that make you laugh and why?
Books that make me cry serve a couple of roles for me. It releases all of my drama and frustration so I don’t let it spill on my family and coworkers all the time, plus I don’t feel like my problems are so bad when these characters are tortured with horrible situations. Yeah, I guess that sounds a bit weird ... that’s okay, I've learned to accept my weirdness and embrace it.
7. You’ve just stumbled upon a portal to another world. What would that world be like and what would happen to you there?
While in my head I would love to land in a world of paranormal creatures where I'm a demon hunter or slayer of monsters, the reality of it would be painful and terrifying. So, I'd have to say it would be a place of warm, sunny days and cold, thunderstormy nights (I think I just made up a new word) where I would be ridiculously happy and never know frustration or disappointment. Boring? I don’t know, I've never had anything resembling that, so I'm pretty sure I could suffer through such a place. One day I would start complaining about too much sun and what once made me happy would become ho-hum. Maybe my first instinct would be better ...
8. Dragon or unicorn?
I choose neither. Werewolf!
9. Would you rather make a lot of money doing what you hate or make a pittance doing what you love?
When you decide to be an author, you already decide to make a pittance doing what you love. Done and done. I can do the money and the hate for a short time, but once I've decided I've had it, there is no going back.
10. If you ever got arrested, what would it be for?
Would you believe me if I said it was for being too wonderful? No? Okay, now I'm wondering what I can say without incriminating myself ... in print ... on the internet. Ummmm. No, not that. Oh no no, not that, either. Nope, I got nothing.
That was bunches of fun! You should try it, too. Even if I don’t nominate you, you can join in the fun and just do this on your own blog. There are other bloggers out there you need to see. Here are the rules, my nominations, and my questions for the nominees.
Here are my nominees:
Ron Shaw http://ronshawmedia.com/
Susan Jean Ricci http://www.susanjeanricci.com/
Lizabeth Scott http://www.lizabethscottbooks.com/
Christina Paul http://christinapaulbooks.blogspot.com/
CA Hocking http://cahocking.com/
S Marshall Wilson http://smarshallwilson.com/
Kathy Campbell https://katehhc.wordpress.com/
Ika Koeck https://ikakoeck84.wordpress.com/
Donna Keevers Driver http://donnakeeversdriverauthor.weebly.com/
Far Side Travel http://farsidetravel.net/
Skye Hegyes http://skyehegyes.com/
Nominated bloggers, and/or anyone else who wants to participate, here are your questions from me:
1. What would you do if you went back in time and ended up as yourself at 16 years old again?
2. Who is your real-life superhero and why?
3. If you could be any of your own book characters (or someone else's) who would it be and why?
4. Puppies or kittens?
5. What would retirement look like for you and what would you do?
6. If you have books published, which one do you wish you'd written differently and how would you change it. If not, what would your best of the best novel look like?
7. Happily ever after or happily never after?
8. Do your day job coworkers end up as characters in your novels?
9. If you could live in a TV show, which show would it be?
10. How many books are in your to-be-read pile and which one is up next to read?
Desert Breeze Publishing (DBP): Where do you draw your inspiration from? Is it dreams? Things you see on television or in movies. Books? People you meet?
Christy: Inspiration comes to me from stories that I tell myself as I'm trying to fall asleep at night. I used to suffer from horrible insomnia. I didn’t want to get up and do anything, I just wanted to fall asleep, so I would stare in the dark and wait. Eventually, I got so bored I would imagine myself on a vacation to pass the time. Once it became monotonous, I moved on to telling myself fantasy stories complete with detailed dialogue. Each night I would refine the plot and characters until they drove me to get up and write it all down. At that point, I was writing the entire night and working a full time job during the day, every day for four months straight. A novel was finished and I had a month of blissful sleep with no insomnia, until the next novel wormed its way into my sleep pattern. Nowadays, the stories don’t keep me up all night, but they do form and edit themselves the first couple of hours as I try to fall asleep each and every night. My books are edited several times in my head before they even realize the light of day.
DBP: Are you a full-out plotter? Are you a "let's see what happens" pantser? Or do you think you fall somewhere in between? Describe your process in coming up with and executing a story idea.
Christy: I call myself a pantser. The only planning I do is when I am forming the story in my head as I try to fall asleep at night, but even that is quite linear in nature and just spills out as it happens. Otherwise, the characters tell me where things are going and although we argue about whether those ideas are the right way to go, I've learned I should always listen to the characters because they have always known what was right for themselves. When I don’t listen to them, they get rowdy and I usually give in to have some peace.
As I write, I use maps and tourism websites to determine where the warehouse district is, what streets are there, where houses and businesses are located and anything else that I need to place a character in that environment. I also check weather, snowfall, rain and which months would have how much of each weather event to make it as realistic as I can. Just because it isn’t real doesn’t mean it is lies.
DBP: Do you work any reality from your own life into your novels? If so, do you change it to make it more or less dramatic? How and why?
Christy: All of my novels have real events and real people in them, based on my life or the lives of people I know. I also use people I know for characters and give them different names or I name them for a family member or friend
Most events or situations don’t need to be more dramatic, just putting them in a fantasy setting can add drama and magic to it all. Mixing reality and fantasy is the best formula for success in my world.
DBP: How do you choose the names of your characters?
Christy: If I am writing a fantasy world that isn’t Earth, I use one name of someone I have known and create unusual names for all other characters. In an urban setting, I use names of people I know, usually family and friends so they feel like a part of my writing. I also use places I have lived or visited so I know the setting well.
One name is a requirement in any novel I write. I promised my husband that I would name something or someone after him in each novel. At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be when immersed in a pure fantasy world. Sometimes he is a secondary character, sometimes a villain, sometimes a tertiary character, and once he was an octopus. He said he didn’t care what it was, even a business name or a horse, as long as he was in there somewhere. If it is difficult to work his name in the novel, he may be killed off for my own amusement, but he doesn’t mind that, either.
DBP: Did you ever write a novel with a message to the readers, or at least, a message you hope your readers garnered from it? What was the book, and what was the message. Why did you want to express it?
Christy: My Talia series is a Young Adult Dark Fantasy series that has a clear and intended message for readers. The idea is that no matter how damaged you are, mentally or physically, you can find a new normal for you and you can find happiness after searing defeat. I am a damaged person and I work at finding a new normal for myself all the time, so the message is one that I take to heart. It's okay to be different and no one is normal, so you find what is normal for you and learn to live in that place and be happy there, no matter what other people think. I have embraced my weirdness and no longer try to hide behind a façade.
DBP: Who is your biggest supporter? Tell us about them, and why they are such an amazing person.
Christy: My husband, Rodney, is amazing! We have been married for 23 years and are still glued to the hip. There are no arguments. If we go out somewhere it is always together and we can be together 24 hours a day with no ill effects. For 8 years, we lived in a tiny RV and never got tired of each other. We've worked at the same job together before and never argued or wished to have time apart. He has fully supported my writing from day one and pushed me to get published the first time. Unlike some spouses, he loves reading my books and gets frustrated if he has to wait long for the next chapter. While I'm writing, he takes care of any household chores and cooking and cleaning, anything to keep me writing. What more could anyone ask for?
One day we were in the car, in traffic, and it was silent. All of a sudden Rodney gets frustrated and says, "I hate Boone so much. I wish you would just kill him already. He makes me so angry." Boone is the bad guy in one of my novel series. That’s when I know I've done a good job, when a character simmers with someone and invades their thoughts at odd times.
DBP: Consider the main character in the last book you had published with DBP. What was different or special about him or her?
Christy: In the novel Dirty Deeds, Cameron James is a justice dealer. When the court system gets it wrong, she helps balance the scales of justice. Although she works hard to stay fair and just, the line is a thin one to balance and being immersed in an illegal world can wear your ideals down. In the course of the novel, Cameron learns the real reason she has chosen the job she loves and the stakes are higher than she could’ve ever imagined.
I enjoy Cameron so much because she is strong in her belief that what she does is the right thing to do, even though society would say otherwise. Instead, she is held to a higher calling and a higher rule for her actions.
Fall arrives and I have signed a contract with my new publisher, Desert Breeze Publishing http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/, for my newest manuscript "Dirty Deeds".
It's always an exciting time with a new book emerging into the world. I enjoy being an Indie Author and being with a publishing house. The best of both worlds! So, the Talia series will continue to be Indie published while "Dirty Deeds" goes the traditional route.
My new publisher has been wonderful and I have made new friends with fellow DBP authors and we are looking at an April 1st release date. I know, April 1st ... but this is no joke. In fact, I have been busy making edits, writing up cover art suggestions, filling out paperwork for the website, signing up for interviews and blog posts for the DBP website in the coming months. In fact, I need to work on my blog topic for April, which will be called "My Book Boyfriend is an Oogy Monster". Once DBP has published it on their website in April I will post it here, also.
As you can tell by my super-infrequent blog posts, I'm a horrible blogger. I can feel bad about it and chastise myself, but I choose to accept that I'm not good at blogging and do it whenever I can and move on with writing books. I'm just not as entertaining and funny as I wish I were.
Instead, here is the back of the book blurb for "Dirty Deeds" and you can see if it interests you. I can't wait for it to be released! It is my absolute favorite of all of my books.
"Cameron James is a justice dealer. Unhappy with the decision of the court system? Dirty Deeds will balance the scales of justice. However, Cameron soon learns that her illegal business dealings are the least of her concerns. With a best friend hiding secrets and her mentor declaring war on her, Cameron must navigate the worlds of Witness Protection and the human slave market. A single misstep plunges her into a supernatural miasma with eternal implications."
Sounds awesome sauce, right? Yeah!
YA Fantasy Author Christy King Releases "Ancestral Blood: Book Two of the Talia Series"
PRLog - March 22, 2015 - BASTROP, Texas -- Teenage queen Talia has secured her realm and married the love of her life. Just when everything seems idyllic, Camon decides that he needs to hunt down the vampire Arden for performing experiments on Talia to learn the limits of her powers. The quest sets into motion devastating events, causing the rulers to enlist the aid of the realm of Sollon. Family secrets are revealed and Talia discovers that she is far more than what she believed. Can she resist the lure of a power greater than any known in their world? Will the ones she loves be able to cope with the knowledge that she is far less human than they knew?
Now available at Amazon:
Ancestral Blood takes readers on an epic journey with vivid, memorable characters in a fantastic new world. Prepare for an extraordinary tale that keeps you craving more.
Available formats: E-book
Page Count: 305
For media inquiries, appearances, reviews, or other publicity, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Author:
Christy King currently lives in Bastrop, Texas, a small town outside of Austin where an unlikely pine forest grows. With no children, she shares her home with her husband of twenty-three years, Rodney, two cats, and three Chihuahuas. Storylines and dialogue play through her head at all hours of the night until she gives them release and lets them form into a novel. The characters write the story for her, sometimes leading where she never thought they would go.
Guest Blogger - Rodney King
I have never done a blog before. I want to talk to the spouses and significant others of authors. Let me start by saying, SUPPORT YOUR AUTHOR!
My wife Christy got her first book published in November of 2013 and it has been a journey not only for her, but for me, too. It all started when she kept hearing voices in her head (from my understanding, all authors hear those voices). I remember one of the first times, it was about 2 am and she couldn't sleep because she had a story in her head that she couldn't stop thinking about. Being the supportive husband (and wanting to go back to sleep), I told her she needed to write down what was going on inside of her head. She did, and it kept up from there.
Night after night she would write the story that kept her up ALL hours of the night. Once, I went to bed at 10 pm and Christy couldn't sleep, so I told her to go write, well she did. Eight am the next morning, the alarm goes off and I am in bed by myself. She stayed up all night writing what her characters told her to write (the whole book is on legal pads). What came from that was a book call "Beyond the Veil". While she was writing the first book she was also writing a couple other books all at the same time.
The cool thing about living with a writer, is you get to read it before anyone else does. After I read that first book, I suggested she try to publish it. We had no clue how to get anything published. She did research and they said you had to have an agent. Almost 100 agents rejected her. Where do you find an agent, you ask, after everyone else rejected you? You call a dear friend that has no clue what she is doing, either, and convince her to become an agent and create her own literary agency. She told her husband what we were trying to do and he didn't think she could get the book published. Christy and I had full faith in her (once again you need to support your spouse), and four months later we were signing a contract with a publishing company. It was really hard for Christy during the rejection process, but I told her every day it was going to be picked up by someone, because it was that good.
Nowadays, she sleeps better, but work interferes with writing. So I choose to clean house, do laundry, dishes, marketing, whatever it takes for her to just concentrate on her talents, because I want her to keep creating. I need to know how these stories end.
When you get involved with what your writer is doing it is such a fun time. We have been able to do comic cons, book signings, radio interviews and here is so much more to come. I am actually looking forward to the movie premiere one day.
Read your spouse's book,whether you like that kind of book or not. You will get a view of what is in their heads and their hearts. You will know their feelings and their struggles, especially the ones they would never voice otherwise. If you are lucky like me, you will see your name in every single story they write, whether you are an octopus in one story, a vampire that gets killed off, or you have to drive a Subaru Forester in another.
Do whatever it takes, they may not make a ton of money, but your goal is to get their name out to the public. Call the radio stations, the books stores to schedule events, rent the tables at comic cons (heck, go to comic cons. I went recently and met Summer Glau, Manu Bennett and some other celebs, they each had the privilege of receiving one of Christy's book cover postcards),whatever you have to do, do it, because you don't know who will read their book. It doesn't matter if you make money at these events or even break even. That's not the point, the point is to get to a new group of readers. You have to spend money to make money. Even if we never recoup those expenses, we have had great life experiences just living them.
So, since last November things have really changed. Due to circumstances, Christy had to part ways with her publishing company. It was kind of a shock to the system. She was worried about starting from scratch, again. I reassured her all was going to turn out great, because it is. She is so strong, focused and has great friends and family. I would like to thank everyone that helped her along the way, all of her family and Facebook friends are so supportive. I wish I could name all of them but I would not be able to name them all. Thank you.
So spouses, even if your writer stays at home, help with the house work, bathe the kids, put them to bed, make dinner, READ YOUR WRITER'S BOOK (it's so important), be there for them, that's all they want. Just remember all of the times they had to support you. You needed them to be there for you, now it's your turn. It is so important that you are their biggest fan, no questions asked. They have a talent that most people wish they could have, if you are not sharing in it, you are missing out. So be engaged in all ways.
In my experience, I have found that many creative people are tortured souls. But did they become creative due to inner demons? Or did they gain inner demons due to their creativity?
The reason that I started writing was to give my demons a place to play other than in my head. I gave them new worlds, new friends, and landscapes where they could be themselves. Since then, I have been relatively demon-free in my thoughts. They are happy and I am happy. It's a win-win!
Before I started writing, I had trouble with insomnia. It would take a minimum of three hours to fall asleep once the light was off. Some nights, I wouldn't sleep a wink. So I started telling myself stories in my head to pass the time. Those stories and characters became strong and insistent. They wouldn't give me peace until I wrote down their dialogue and plots. I would stay awake all night to get these stories out, sometimes not sleeping at all and then getting dressed to go to work all day. Honestly, it wasn't all that different than before because I hadn't been sleeping anyway.
Once that first book was finished and out of my head ... there was peace, and sleep. I still have to tell myself stories to fall asleep each night, but I'm only up for about an hour after lights-out nowadays. I also have less bouts of depression. Less feelings of inadequacy. I'm in charge of my demons and they know who's boss. I give them an outlet and they leave me alone.
Writing has saved my life, made me a better person, and given me joy. I couldn't be more grateful.
I just wanted to let you know that we have a booth at the Armadillo Con 36. It is a sci-fi / fantasy con in Austin, TX. Some of the featured authors are, Ian McDonald, Ted Chiang and Joe R. Lansdale. It will be held on July 25th, 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, 26th,10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and 27th, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. It will be held at the Omni Southpark. The address to the Omni is, 4140 Governor’s Row, Austin, Texas 78744.
Here is the link to get to the Armadillo Con web-site,http://www.armadillocon.org/index.shtml
Also, we have a booth at Texas Comicon on June 20th, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm, 21st,10:00 am to 9:00 pm, 22nd, 10:00am to 6:00pm. It will be held at the Norris Conference Center in San Antonio, at 4522 Fredricksburg Rd. Some of the special guests will be from NBC's hit series Grimm, David Giuntoli, Bitsie Tullock; from Star Trek DS9, Jeffrey Combs; and from the Transformer movies and animated series, the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen. Here is the link for Texas Comicon,
Talia has been optioned to become an audiobook and a paperback! Great news in the continuation and growth of the novel.
Not only that, but I will have a table to sell those new paperbooks at Texas Comicon in San Antonio, TX June 20th - 22nd, 2014. It will be held at the Norris Conference Center.
Hope to see you there!
The sequel to Talia is with the submissions manager at the publisher. Waiting to hear on whether it will earn a contract. Exciting ... and nerve wracking!
In the meantime, I have been tightening up all of the other books that are ready to be submitted. They are awaiting their turn at stardom. So, the idea is to submit one after each contract signing. I thought that was a better option than bombarding my publisher with multiple manuscripts. I held them back until after I saw how Talia would do and I wanted to make sure that Silver Knight Publishing and I were a good fit. We fit great! I love them.