Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

There’s nothing better than when a fabulous author is also a lovely person and friend. I’ve been hooked on Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing since I first read Bite Somebody, and her darker work is just as enticing. Today, I picked her brain about her latest release, Escaping Exile.


Escaping ExileABOUT THE BOOK

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

Amazon | Nine Star Press | Goodreads


Writing fiction set in a historical time period always requires research. What’s the coolest thing you learned while researching for Escaping Exile, whether or not that detail made it into the text?

This is going to sound so geeky, but… the clothes. Escaping Exile takes place in the years between 1820 and 1830. It was a time when fashion for men was changing, so some men still wore breeches while others wore trousers (basically Capri pants versus pants that went all the way to the floor). Although there aren’t many clothes in the first book of The Escape Trilogy (that may or may not be a sex joke), clothes become a thing later when Edmund wears more modern attire and Andrew, as an ancient vampire, is more old school. Edmund even goes so far as to avoid cravats! It was quite scandalous for a man to show so much neck … especially when he hangs out with vampires all the time.  Continue reading

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July Wrap-Up & August Goals

helper cat

Let me help you do crunches, Mom.

Another summer month has flown by. I’m going to be honest — my production on the creative side has been crap. Even the unbuilt LEGO sets calling my name from my guest room haven’t been motivation enough to get work done. I’m not going to stop working on the Steel Empires series. But after 4 years of cranking out a book a year, I think I’m going to…not take it easy on the next one, but write with more intention. That’s going to mean fewer words a month, and more months to write the book. But my physical health also needs to starting taking a higher priority as I get older, and I’d rather build good habits now.

So my monthly goals are going to look less challenging, but the hope is that those of you reading at the other end won’t actually notice a drop in production. This may or may not make sense. I’m only on my first cup of coffee for the day.

July Wrap-Up

  • Revisions to Steel Shadows are not complete, and have not been sent to my editor.
  • The book 6 outline has not been completed, though there’s lots of fun ideas rattling around in my brain.
  • I did attend Confluence in Pittsburgh last weekend! Being around other authors is always a great shot of creative juice. Check out my full con report.
  • I came up with some great ideas for how to launch Steel Time in September. Now I just have to implement them.

See, I told you this month was a wash. I did get lots of reading done, however, which I will never regret.

July Book Reviews

July Speculative Chic Contributions

August Goals

  1. Seriously: Steel Shadows revisions to my editor.
  2. So that I can build a LEGO set!
  3. And also complete a first draft of the outline to book 6 and send it out for review.

That should be do-able, right? I’m not traveling this month, though I do have a bunch of things planned on the weekends. But today is Friday, so tonight I’m going to put on some music and bury myself in Steel Shadows. Wish me luck!

Con Report: Confluence 2018

Confluence 2018I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since my first visit to Confluence as a professional writer. In 2013, I was promoting a speculative fiction anthology I had edited and announcing my contract with Dog Star Books to publish my first novel the next year. Now, my fourth novel comes out next month, and Confluence has become one of my favorite conventions. A weekend where I can relax, have fun with friends, and meet awesome new authors.

FRIDAY

Got a later start than usual because I had to get some day-job work done in the morning, but I hit the road by 11 AM. Considering I drive to western Pennsylvania a few times a year now, I have my routine down to a science. I arrived at the convention hotel in mid-afternoon, immediately got to hug some friends, and had plenty of time to check into my room before my first programming event.  Continue reading

Confluence 2018 Schedule

Confluence 2018

For my second annual trip to western Pennsylvania this summer, I’ll be headed for Confluence, the speculative fiction literary convention hosted by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s science-fiction and fantasy society. I have a great time there every year, and I’m excited to head back this upcoming weekend.

Due to miscommunications in a few different fronts, my schedule for the weekend is lighter than normal. That means more time to hang out with people and have fun! Let me know if you’ll be around and want to grab a meal, a drink, or a coffee (I like all of the above).

FRIDAY

6:00 PM: Bring On the Bad Guys (panel)
What makes a good villain? What makes great villains so memorable? With R. K. Thorne, Joshua Bellin, Frederic S. Durbin, and Stephen C. Fisher

SATURDAY

11:00 AM: Blurring the Lines: Writing Across Genres (panel)
How we blend SF, fantasy, horror, romance, mystery, and other genres. With Brian Koscienski and Larry Ivkovich

12:00 PM: Reading from the Steel Empires series

SUNDAY

12:00 PM: Autograph session with S. C. Butler and Barbara Doran

Author Interview with Matthew Warner

While it wasn’t quite up my alley, Matthew Warner’s Cursed by Christ book seemed intriguing enough that I had to pick the author’s brain about it. Maybe you’ll find yourself interested in my stead.


Cursed by ChristABOUT THE BOOK

CURSED . . .

Living at her family’s rice plantation, Alice Wharton learns some disturbing news from her mother: their bloodline has been cursed. Jesus Christ punishes them for having psychic powers allegedly stolen from a Heavenly angel. He exacts penance in the form of the mother’s adulterous “communion” trysts with their reverend.

FORGOTTEN . . .

Escaping from the predatory reverend, Alice marries Major Thorne Norwick at his Georgian cotton plantation. She also meets the slave cooks, Jonah and Eliza, who show her how to telepathically eject troubling memories. When Thorne returns from fighting in the War of Northern Aggression, Alice uses this skill to hide from herself the devastating revelation that her husband now seems to serve Christ. After all, he aids a secret society—the Ku Klux Klan—that uses the symbols of her tormentor.

JUDGED.

Everywhere she looks, the specter of Christ stands in judgment. What’s more, a mysterious presence stalks her, its mind echoing with thoughts that feel all too familiar. When it reaches her, there will be hell to pay.

Amazon | Audio Book


First of all, how would you categorize the genre or genres that this book fits under?

Cursed by Christ is a Southern gothic horror novel for an adult audience.  It’s also historical since it takes place during 1860-1868.  Continue reading

Review: Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot by Jane K. Cleland

Mastering Suspense Structure PlotTo continue preparing to write the next book in my series, I chose a craft book dedicated to plot structure with an emphasis on suspense and twists. Rather than being targeted to one genre, the book ensures that all of the writing advice can be applied to any genre, from political thrillers to nonfiction memoirs.

Cleland doesn’t just “lecture” about the proper way to do things. The book includes activities, case studies, and suggestions for ways to create a tight story from character development and plot structure down to the individual sentence level.

This book is accessible to new authors while still being helpful to those who are more experienced, with multiple projects under their belts. I look forward to using some of the recommended exercises and suggestions to craft my next story.  Continue reading

Review: Writing Mysteries edited by Sue Grafton

Writing MysteriesSo far I’ve written a female coming-of-age novel, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, a time-travel book…and those are all in the same series. What’s next? I think a murder mystery is on the horizon, and as a newcomer to this genre, I needed to get back to basics.

Writing Mysteries is a solid book for any new writer, though I ended up skimming certain sections that either didn’t apply to me as an experience writer or didn’t apply to me because I’m won’t be writing, say, a medical mystery or true crime novel. Note also that this book was released in 2002, so plenty of the seasoned veterans contributing chapters make frequent mentions of typewriters and that new-fangled Internet (I might exaggerate a bit, there). Despite the dated technology and submission issues, the writing advice is fairly solid, and I do recommend this as a basic craft book to new writers who know they’ll be specializing in the mystery genre.  Continue reading