Author Interview: Alex Hughes

Alex Hughes is the author of the Mindspace Investigations series. Her latest books is Marked.

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ahughesWhat’s this I hear about a potential Mindspace Investigations TV show?

We sold TV rights last year, and Fox decided to renew this year, which is very exciting. I’m told the most common thing in the industry is for them to buy the rights and nothing happen. It’s less likely that a pilot will get made and even less likely still that it will become a TV show. But I’ve got my fingers crossed—I’d love to see the series on TV!  🙂

Do you have any plans for books outside the Mindspace world?

Oh, yes. I have tons of ideas for characters and worlds outside of Mindspace Investigations, and I’m working on several Super Secret project ideas right now, as well as drafting a suspense project about a hotel ghost with friend and critique partner Kerry Schafer. It’s going to be awesome, I think.

Review for Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1)

Who are a couple of authors you’d suggest your fans read while they await your next book?

I love Rachel Bach and DD Barant, as well as Jennifer Estep, Lois McMaster Bujold, David Weber, Meljean Brook, and I just found a new mystery series by Karen Sandler I think my fans will really like. (It starts with Clean Burn.) And CJ Lyons’ Lucy Guardino Thrillers are rather awesome as well, though not for the faint of heart.

cleanWhat did you want to be when you were growing up?

A hyperspace pilot. My dad suggested I become a space shuttle pilot instead, but I said that wasn’t the same thing at all.

Who’s your hero?

A question that changes depending on the day you ask me. Today, it’s Anne McCaffrey, who wrote for decades and overcame a lot of barriers to women in the field by publishing (and bestselling) under her own name.

What are you currently reading?

I’m beta reading a couple of projects for friends, and working my way through Joel Shepherd’s Crossover. It’s good, but requires some thought because of the in-depth world building. On a night I’m feeling

What’s the most bizarre question you’ve been asked about yourself or your books?

By far: Are vampires real? It’s a very strange question to begin with, but it’s weirder because I don’t actually have any vampires in my books.

Review for Sharp (Mindspace Investigations #2)

What question(s) do you wish people would stop asking you?

Where do you get your ideas? I get ideas all the time, from everywhere, sometimes by thinking intentionally and sometimes because they just come to me. It’s not something I can teach.

Do you have a dream festival, conference, bookstore etc that you’d like to be invited to?

I’d love to do a signing at Powell’s in Portland, Oregon (the big one downtown). I’d also love to do a full day of panels at one of the big Comic Cons.

What writer, alive or dead, do you wish you could share a bottle of wine with?

Mercades Lackey, and also C.J. Cherryh. They’re awesome ladies who have published a lot of different things over a lot of years, and I’d love to learn from their experience.

sharpWhat exotic animal would you like to have as a pet?

I’m thinking of getting a small dragon. You know, bread box sized. Also a miniature giraffe. Having trouble locating either for sale, however.

White, milk, or dark chocolate?

Yes. Though more of the latter two. I also like “chocolate with” as in chocolate with sea salt caramel, chocolate with gingerbread toffee, chocolate with bourbon cream and cherries, chocolate with ganache, chocolate with almonds. Just, chocolate.

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I’d like to thank Alex for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’re interested in Alex’s writing, head on over to her website: http://www.ahugheswriter.com/

Do you have any questions for Alex, or do you have any suggestions for future author interviews? Hit the comments!

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Author Interview: Ann Hite

Ann Hite
Ann Hite

In this week’s author interview, I talk with Ann Hite, author of Ghost on Black Mountain and The Storycatcher. Her stories are steeped in Appalachian tradition, incorporating the rich folklore of both the mountains and the southern coast. I highly suggest all of her titles, and eagerly await her third novel which is coming out next year!


At the Dahlonega Literary Festival you announced the that you’ll have a third book coming out. Can you give us a short preview?

In my first novel, Ghost on Black Mountain, there is a villain of the worst kind, Hobbs Pritchard. Without spoiling the novel for those who haven’t read it, Hobbs links five women and their stories together.  My new novel, Where the Souls Go, tells the story of AzLeigh Pritchard, Hobbs’s sister. This book begins with Annie Todd, AzLeigh’s granddaughter, in 1964 and works backwards. Readers will see why Hobbs became such a villain. All my books begin with a question. The question for this book is much the same as the question for my first novel. What happens when a family keeps secrets?  Where The Souls Go will be released in 2015 by Mercer University Press.

What sort of research have you done while writing your books?

I often visit the places where I want to set the book. Setting in my novels becomes a character. Black Mountain is a real place but my Black Mountain is the actual mountains that surround the village of Black Mountain, North Carolina. I use a lot of my granny and great aunt’s stories about living in the Appalachia. I use old photographs to look. So if you were to come into my workroom nearing the end of a project, you would find maps, photos, ideas, and music from the period tacked to the walls. I’ve even been known to cook some of the dishes that my granny cooked during the Depression.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was ten, I told ghost stories I made up to my younger brother, who became terrified and ratted me out to my mother. So I began to write them. I have a high threshold for fear. But around the fifth grade I thought I wanted to be a famous singer. I loved music—still do—with a passion. I performed in a school talent show, where I was promptly told by friends that my voice lacked beauty. Then I thought I’d be an actress because I loved the thought of acting out stories. This too was a flop when I had a severe case of stage fright. When I entered jr. high, I had a teacher that noticed my storytelling skill. She asked me if I ever thought about being a writer. It was at that moment I realized all along I was a writer. I never turned back.

Lowcountry Spirit Review

What are you currently reading?

I am reading two books at the same time. I often do this. One is fiction: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. The second is nonfiction: 10% Happier by Dan Harris.  Nice balance.

What’s the most bizarre question you’ve been asked about yourself or your books?

I don’t think questions are bizarre but I did have a woman at a book club ask me if I thought one of my characters in my book was really a good person, morally, as if she were real. This flattered me. This woman was so drawn into my work she saw the characters in a real way. Nothing wrong with that.

Do you have a question that you wish people would stop asking you?

I love for people to ask me questions, so the answer is no. Ask away.  If I don’t have an answer, I’ll tell you.

Do you have a dream festival, conference, bookstore etc that you’d like to be invited to?

I would love to be invited to the Savannah Book Festival. That is one of my bucket list items.

What writer, alive or dead, do you wish you could share a bottle of wine with?

Well neither I nor the author probably would partake of wine but I’d bet we’d have a nice cold coke and watch the peacocks she raised walk around the yard. I wish I had been born early enough to have a good long talk with Flannery O’Connor.  Her work has influenced me my writing since the day an English teacher placed a copy of a Good Man Is Hard To Find. Amazing.

The Storycatcher Review

Who are a couple of authors you’d suggest your fans read while they await your next book?

A couple, are you kidding? I am a self-confessed book junkie. But I will narrow it down to two.  You must read Amy Greene’s books and if you haven’t read Sue Monk Kidd, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Who’s your hero?

The photo of Ann Hite's granny and grandfather
The photo of Ann Hite’s granny and grandfather

I keep a photo of Granny and my grandfather above my desk. The time is 1925 . Granny is fifteen and my grandfather is 17. It is their wedding day. Of course I only found out a few years ago that Granny was 15 when she married. That is a secret she kept from me for obvious reasons. She inspired me to write from a mountain girl’s point of view. I’m not saying she gave me permission. No way. She would say I was giving all the secrets away, but her story of a hardscrabble life inspires me to live my best life ever. Part of that is writing books that touch the readers. She was an amazing woman and not one day goes by that I don’t talk with her. If she could speak right now, she would say she escaped Appalachia. She would also say all this writing about the past was a waste of time. She was a firm believer in not looking back. Granny died in October 1993. Only hours before she died, I stood by her hospital bed and talked with her as she lay in a comma. When I told her she could let go that I would be a strong woman and have a good life, she tried to talk to me by grunting and waving her arm around. Our bond was so intense. She was and is my hero.

What exotic animal would you like to have as a pet?

I’m a cat lover. So that’s exotic as I get.

White, milk, or dark chocolate?

I spent a good part of my childhood living in Germany. Dark chocolate. There is no substitute.

Purchase Ghost on Black Mountain

I’d like to thank Ann for taking the time to answer these questions. If you have any questions you’d like to ask Ann, or if you have suggestions for future author interviews, post in the comments!

Purchase The Storycatcher

Author Interview: Christopher Moore

SerpentFor this week’s author interview, I sat down with the author of the upcoming book, The Serpent of Venice (Release date: April 22), Christopher Moore. And by sat down with, I mean I sat down in front of my computer and emailed him the questions, to which I assume he sat down in front of his computer to answer. I’m sure at some point we were sitting down at the same time. Anyhoo! Chris graciously agreed to answer my questions. So without further ado…

Read my Review of The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice is being released soon, but it’s been finished on your end for a while. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m still working on the stage play of Fool, as well as a new novel, which is the sequel to A Dirty Job. I don’t have title for it yet, but I’m open to suggestions.

Any chance of future Pine Cove books?

Not likely. Pine Cove was my “go to” location for a book because it was based on the town I lived in, Cambria, California. When I was up against deadline and I didn’t have either the money or the time for research, I’d set a book in Pine Cove. I left Cambria ten years ago, now, so I think San Francisco has become my “go to” location.

Which of your books was the most fun to research/write?

The most fun to research was Fluke, I think. I got to spend most of a season working with whale researchers in Maui, out on the boats with them, dining with them. I met a lot of cool people in the marine mammal sciences and got to see a lot of cool animals. Being in the water with singing humpbacks was one of the most amazing moments I’ve had in life. Sometimes, the ones that are really fun to research, however, are really hard to write, which both Fluke and Sacre Bleu were. Fun to research, tough to write, because there was so much source material to take into account.

The vampire books were the most fun to write because they weren’t the vehicles for big themes or big concepts provided by research. They were just funny characters in a great setting and GO! Especially the first one, Bloodsucking Fiends. Great fun to write. Like hanging out with your funny imaginary friends.

 What did you want to be when you were growing up?

That changed over the years. When I was little I wanted to be a sailor (my dad and uncles were Navy guys), then a football player, then an actor, a writer, a photographer, an anthropologist, and finally back to writer.

 What are you currently reading?

I’m reading, Nation, by Terry Pratchett. It’s a kids book set on a Pacific Island in the mid 1800s. I’d just finished his book Dodger, which is the continuing adventures of the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, and I liked it so much that my editor sent me Nation. As usual I’m about half-way through a couple of other books. A Place More Kind that Home, by Wiley Cash (I loved his second book, This Long Road to Mercy, so I’m catching up), and an Irish satire called Jude In London, by Julian Gough.

What’s the most bizarre question you’ve been asked about yourself or your books?

Someone once asked me if I was related to Michael Moore, the film director, and when I asked them why they would ask (since Moore is like the 9th most common name in the U.S.) they said, “The baseball cap,” because I was wearing a Giants hat and Michael Moore often wears a baseball cap. As if baseball caps were passed through the genome or something. I just thought it was very weird.

Do you have a question that you wish people would stop asking you?

Yes: “Are any movies being made of your books?”  Because I’ve been telling people no for 25 years, even though most of them have been purchased or optioned for film. And I don’t know why people pay for them but then don’t make them into movies. Also, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a stupid question. But you know what they say, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

Do you have a dream festival, conference, bookstore etc that you’d like to be invited to?

Not really. I don’t think much about that sort of thing. I get invited to festivals in Italy and Spain all the time, even in Germany, but never in France. I wouldn’t mind going to France more often on someone else’s dime.

What writer, alive or dead, do you wish you could take to an amusement park?

Jeeze. Maybe Jane Austin, because standing in line for her would probably feel like exciting action.

Who are a couple of authors you’d suggest your fans read while they await your next book?

Well, if you haven’t read all of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, do that first. After that, you’re always good with an Elmore Leonard. Nick Hornby, too.

Who’s your hero?

Odysseus

What exotic animal would you like to have as a pet?

A pygmy marmoset. They’re cool.

Pre-order The Serpent of Venice

I’d like to thank Christopher Moore for taking the time out of his busy schedule to  answer these questions for my little space here in the blog-o-sphere. It’s been a great honor! You can find out more about Chris, his books, and his tour dates at http://www.chrismoore.com. If you plan on coming to see Chris at his appearance in Atlanta (Sunday, May 4 /Decatur, GA Alfred Uhry Auditorium, Druid Hills High School [2 PM] 1798 Haygood Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30307), then come find me and say ‘hi!’

What’s your favorite Christopher Moore book? Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Chris, or do you have any suggestions for future author interviews? Hit the comments!

 

 

Author Interview: Delilah S. Dawson

I’m starting up a new feature on loebick.com–author interviews. Each Sunday, I will post a Q & A session with a spiffy author. I already have a few lined up. Up first is the fabulous Delilah S. Dawson, author of the Blud series of books and of the upcoming YA novel, Servants of the Storm (Release date: August 5, 2014).

Click here to read my review for Wicked After Midnight

Your Blud series recently came to an end, and it seems like it was only yesterday Wicked as They Come was just being released. How do you feel now that it’s over?

LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA. Ahem. I don’t actually think it’s over. I mean, Pocket [publisher of the Blud books] hasn’t bought any more books, but I certainly left the world wide open and will continue writing in it. I have two short stories set in Sang coming out this year, and my recent self-publishing of “The Lumberfox” is basically a trial run to figure out the ins and outs of self-pub so that I can finish Tish and Crim’s story, as readers of Wicked as They Come will note it was left a HEA… with a caveat. At first, I was sad, but then I remembered that, as with writing itself, a series isn’t over until the author stops writing it.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Whatever my parents told me to be at the time. 😉 I knew I was an artist, so when they told me I should go into advertising, I told people that. Basically, I was raised with the understanding that no one would pay you to create your art, so you got a real job and paid your dues and did art on the side. I wanted to be a vet for a while, too, until a vet had to put down my sick cat and I realized I didn’t have what it takes to tell a kid that her best friend was dead. Outside of being an artist, I never felt like I had a calling or knew what I wanted to be when I grew up… until I was 32 and wrote my first book. Then I knew.

Who’s your hero?

Um, all the Avengers? I mean, I’m in a unique position such that I’m doing what my biggest heroes do, and yet I still look up to so many writers whose careers have gone in amazing directions. Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, and Charlaine Harris, for example, give me great hope. I would love to see my stories on the big screen. If this was meant as a straight up geek question, though, the list gets long: Malcolm Reynolds, River, Buffy, Iron Man, Thor, Cap…

What are you currently reading?

I tend to read several books at the same time, so I’ve got City of Jasmine by friend and hero Deanna Raybourn by my bedside; How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling on my iPad; and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss in my car, plus a couple of non-fiction research books dog-eared by my laptop.

What’s the most bizarre question you’ve been asked about yourself or your books?

Someone in a panel once asked who inspired my sex scenes. And I’ve been happily married for 12 years to the guy I started dating in 1997, so it seemed a little weird. All I could say—all I can say—is that just like any “what inspired” question, I take in a ton of media and have a very active imagination. But, yeah, my husband’s pretty hot, too.

What question(s) do you wish people would stop asking you?

I don’t have any questions that drive me crazy, but it does make me wince when people who aren’t involved in publishing ask questions like, “Why don’t you write a picture book and sell it tomorrow for a million dollars?” or “Why aren’t your books movies yet?” Until you’re in the publishing world, you just don’t understand how random and difficult it is, how long it takes for anything to happen. Believe me, if I could, I would have forty books out, be making a million dollars, and be watching Criminy in a submarine at the movies.

Do you have a dream festival, conference, bookstore etc that you’d like to be invited to?

I love seeing new places and hanging out with the writers and readers I’ve met on Twitter, so any event that invites me is a dream. 🙂 Of course, I’d love to be at SDCC [San Diego Comic Con]or NYCC [New York Comic Con] or BEA [Book Expo America] or ALA [American Library Association Annual Conference], all of which you have to be invited to get in. Last year, I got my first invite to Phoenix Comicon, and it was amazing. I can’t wait to go back this year! What I always say is that I’ll go almost anywhere someone pays me to go—and I’d go to even more events if I had a bigger travel budget of my own.

What writer, alive or dead, do you wish you could share a bottle of wine with?

Ah, see, that’s one thing I’ve learned, having met a couple of authors I idolize: they’re just people, and I’d rather hang with someone I know and like than stare at someone who really intimidates and awes me. Right this moment, I’d just take a great dinner with all my friends who are coming to Phoenix Comicon: Kevin Hearne, Sam Sykes, Leanna Renee Hieber, Chuck Wendig, Myke Cole, Seanan McGuire, Mike Woods, Kristin Sullivan, Jamie Wyman, Peter Orullian, Shawn Speakman, and, if we could force them to join us, John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton. I would have duck and a French 75.

Who are a couple of authors you’d suggest your fans read while they await your next book?

Depends on what they like, but I always feel safe recommending Deanna Raybourn’s books. If someone likes steampunk, I suggest Meljean Brook, Gail Carriger, and Karina Cooper. If they like deep worldbuilding and an adventure, Cassandra Clare. And the book that most recently knocked me off my butt was Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, whose Winger was also amazing.

What exotic animal would you like to have as a pet?

Nothing too exotic, as I don’t like doing much work. 😉 But I would like to have a Rosy Boa. Small, shy snake, very pretty. And they never get big enough to eat rats. I still want a marine aquarium one day, too, as author Susan Spann’s posts about her aquarium’s denizens are some of my favorite things I see on Facebook.

White, milk, or dark chocolate?

Dark—although lately, I’m into weird chocolate. My husband got me this amazing exotic truffle box from Vosges for Christmas, with flavors that included absinthe and cayenne and curry. They were unbelievable! I’ve basically concluded that tasting new things is one of my chief joys in life. Oh, and a very kind reader overseas sent me two boxes of chocolate sea salt caramel hippos, which were UNBELIEVABLE. Thanks, Anamuk!

And thanks for having me, April!

Pre-order Servants of the Storm

A special thank you to Delilah for being my first author interview! If you haven’t read her Blud books, you definitely should. You can find out more about Delilah S. Dawson and her books at http://www.whimsydark.com.

Please stop by next week when I’ll be interviewing Christopher Moore, author of the upcoming Serpent of Venice, and we’ll found out why he’d like to take Jane Austen to an amusement park.

Purchase Wicked as They Come (Blud #1)

Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Delilah S. Dawson or Christopher Moore? Post in the comments!