Author Interviews Alphabetical by Last Name

1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

Answer: I’m currently working on my second novel in The Wayward Series, titled The Four Revenants. Keeping in tradition with my first novel, the sequel continues the story and centres on ghosts, hauntings, war, tragic pasts, and star-crossed lovers. It’s a YA dark fantasy with elements of horror. I’m having a blast writing the story. I’m very structured with my writing and have the entire plot listed from scenes and chapters, but sometimes new ideas just pop in my head as I’m writing. Incredibly, they seem to work with this novel. I’m able to weave the new idea right into the scene I’m writing, enhancing the mystery and adventure. It’s like its meant to be and it’s very exciting. I’m about half way through The Four Revenants. So far, I’m on schedule to have the first draft completed by April 2021.

2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

Answer: My first book in The Wayward Series, titled The Wayward Haunt, was published on June 20th, 2020. It’s set in a war-torn world where teenage prisoner, Zaya Wayward, is conscripted into the Haxsan Guard. When malevolent forces start to haunt her, she suspects her ability to see the dead is the key in a sinister plot to annihilate human existence. Throughout the story, she is drawn to Captain Jad Arden. Together the pair are propelled into a breakneck chase across haunted wastelands, desolate ruins, and ravaged cities. But Jad has secrets, and Zaya’s feelings for him could be her undoing. My second novel, The Four Revenants, is the sequel to The Wayward Haunt. There will be four books in the series altogether, but I won’t be revealing book three’s and four’s titles just yet.

3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Answer: At this stage, marketing is my least favourite part. As a new self-published author, it is difficult to get a name for yourself out there. Writing a novel is hard work. I’ve found marketing to be triple the work. You have to make people want to read your book and constantly find creative ways to get their interest and ensure them reading your novel is going to be worth their time. Building this trust with potential readers is something that I am still learning to do. I am trying to make the process fun, but I’ve accepted this is something that may take years to accomplish. I believe it will be an ongoing learning experience.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

Answer: Sometimes I do become self-conscious about my writing. I wonder if it good enough or if it needs more work. Of course, first drafts always need more work. The thing that makes me realise I am onto something good in my writing, that gets my brain all wired up to continue, is sharing scenes or chapters with other authors in my writing group. If there is something wrong with the work, they point it out. If they love what I have written, they tell me. If there is something that I may be stuck on or can’t work out, it’s their feedback and ideas that resolve the issue. Discussing your work with other writers, and sharing your own feedback and opinions on their writing, is a rewarding experience. It gives you the confidence you need to continue on your writing marathon.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Answer: I have learnt so many writing techniques from reading great authors’ works. One thing I am absolutely hopeless at though is poetry. I do not possess that talent, so if I could steal an author’s ability to write poetry and adapt it into my own work, I would. I’d also steal Terry Pratchett’s humour, because that would just be an awesome talent to have. I write dark fantasy and horror, but a little bit of comic relief would help take the edge off.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Answer: That is truly a frightening scenario. My main character, Zaya Wayward, is sarcastic, impulsive, afraid, and angry most of the time, which is understandable. I’ve put her in through some very frightening ordeals. When she kidnaps me, she wouldn’t be thinking about what she’s doing or how it would pan out. She’d only want to know the reason why I’m putting her through such a nightmare. Honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to answer her. I could assure Zaya it’s all for a greater cause. But letting her know that what I’m doing is for own best interest, well, I can’t guarantee that. I guess we’d end up stuck in the same room, broody and irritated at each other.

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

Answer: So, I am playing, Zaya Wayward is playing, and McKenna Brady from Zoe Aarsen’s novel Light as a Feather is playing. McKenna and I are definitely screwed. Zaya will have all the right cards. She’ll win. She’s too damned determined to lose. And she’s clever. She’s had to be to survive this long.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

Answer: I’ve met writers delving into the horror genre for the first time. They put too much emphasis on explaining everything, afraid that the reader will not understand if they don’t elaborate on what is going on, how things work in the supernatural world, etc. They toss a large information dump about their main characters as their introduced. These are all common traps writers fall into. I did too when I first started. My advice is to do the opposite. Horror is scary because of the unknown—because nothing is explained and nothing makes sense. I try to give clues every so often in my chapters, just enough to entice the reader to continue. I keep my characters mysterious, even my main character. Their motivation is not always clear.

Nothing in horror is what it seems. I think the key to writing a good horror novel is to keep your reader wanting to know more, even if makes them afraid. They’re on this journey now, and the only way they will feel safe again is to finish the story and learn the truth. Tiny details and small clues are one way to set up the intrigue, followed by shocking plot twists that tap into common human fears of death, loneliness, and abandonment. That’s what I try to achieve in my writing.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

Website: www.casecrowe.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/casecroweauthor/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/casecroweauthor/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/20457182.Cas_E_Crowe

The Four Revenants expected release – early 2022.

About Alan J Hesse

Alan J. Hesse

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’m working on a lot of different things, but I guess my main activity is to finish the 4th book in my educational comic book series about climate change and the environmental crisis. I’m also spending a lot of time promoting and marketing all my books, and always learning through webinars, courses, etc.

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

I write and illustrate educational comic books, all with an environmental theme and usually with a message about getting involved and taking better care of nature. It all started about 10 years ago when I was still active as a field biologist living in eastern Bolivia, which corresponds to the southern Amazon basin. One of my mentors, friends and colleagues is a renown ecologist called Louise Emmons. She was doing a lot of research in my neck of the woods and I was always involved. Louise was a big fan of my cartoons, and we decided to write up her research as a comic book. She wrote the stories and I did the artwork. This led to my self-publishing my first comic book, Fables of the Amazon, which is a book of short stories as comic strips, all with an ecology lesson drawn from Louise’s own research, and some from my own. Years later I got my foot in the door for a consultancy with the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos Islands, and one of the products was my second comic book, all about Darwin and his legacy. I didn’t get back to being an author until about 7 years later, when my publisher asked me to do a comic book about climate change. This was a subject that was not yet mainstream at the time, it was about 2015, and I was myself facing a challenge in my conservation job trying to understand climate change, so I jumped at the chance to create a comic about it. With a full-time job and family life, it took me about 3 years to finish that book, an 88 page comic. I did all the research first, and that took months because it involved consulting experts, interviewing them, reading papers, trawling the news and a whole lot more. It was finally published in December 2018, and I’ve been promoting and marketing it ever since. Around mid-2019 I converted the paperback book to 3 ebooks, thus making a series. Just getting it from paperback to ebook was in itself a huge challenge and I learned a lot in the process. The book is all about climate change obviously, as seen through the eyes of the main character, Captain Polo, aka Polo the bear. Polo is an anthropomorphic polar bear with a gift for human languages, sailing and use of cash. These skills enable him to get around the world and meet many colourful human and non-human characters who range from Colombian guerrilla fighters to the Yeti! All have a story to tell that relates to the global environmental and climate crisis, and in this way Polo gradually teaches the reader more and more about the various ways global warming is impacting all life on Earth. The book also covers many climate solutions that are already underway, thus giving a sense of hope and positivity. It ends with Polo’s climate classroom, where the reader is taken through a glossary of technical terms and a somewhat deeper explanation of the more technical aspects of climate change, in illustrated prose rather than comic strip format. Book 4 that I am now working on is the sequel to this story, and sees Polo once again globe-trotting to different countries. This book has an even more playful feel to it, since I am inserting fictional characters and sequences for pure fun, that have nothing to do with anything technical or serious. For example Polo gets mixed up with a Russian nuclear sub, and spends half the book escaping from a crazy fisherman and his motley crew of ruffians. This book will be produced in two editions: one in full colour as usual, and one in black and white as a colouring book.

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Marketing! This is an area that does not come naturally to me, and I found by bitter experience that I actually do have to do it myself; not even my publisher does it, which is why I have actually terminated my agreement with them. I am now 100% self-published, and I have no choice but to learn how to market my books.

  1. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I love researching my locations and settings, which I do using Google images. It’s like travelling around the world right in my office.

  1. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

I would steal Albert Uderzo’s artistic ability (he was the illustrator of the Asterix comics, which are legendary in Europe and many parts of the world, if not in the US), and the textual wit of Goscinny, Uderzo’s script writer and co-creator of Asterix. I would also steal Hergé’s, creator of Tintin, story-crafting genius. Lastly I would steal the marketing savviness of Dav Pilkey, the creator of the cartoon Captain Underpants and Dog Man books that are always topping the best seller charts in Amazon.

  1. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

In my case this would mean that I’ve been kidnapped by Captain Polo the polar bear. The only way I would have ruined his life is either by setting him up to be a globe-trotting hero whose books don’t sell, or by coaxing him out of his traditional existence hunting seals in the Arctic. I would plead to him that my intention was only ever to draw him out of his harsh existence in a melting Arctic with ever fewer things to hunt (this is a climate-related reality) to actually transform him into a messenger for positive climate action, make him a celebrity and set him up so that he will always have as many seals to eat as he wants!

  1. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

So I’m playing poker with Captain Polo, his arch enemies Conor O Connor the crazy fisherman, Tex Greadyman the oil tycoon (a character from my next book), and Marine Private Riley from Jeff Shaara’s The Frozen Hours. The stakes are my career as an author versus Polo’s precious cap, Conor’s old tub of a fishing boat, Greadyman’s 250 million dollar yacht, and Riley’s combat boots. Naturally I will win because I’m the one who made this whole poker game up, and therefore I can do whatever I want!

  1. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

A big challenge I face is getting that equation right between education and entertainment. Because I write educational comic books that also need to be fun to read, this is something of a pet subject of mine. My comics have to be great to read, full of action, humour, adventure. But they also have to deliver their message, achieve their higher purpose, without overloading the speech bubbles. Large speech bubbles take up space, and so the more text the less cartoon graphic artwork is visible. How do you explain something as complex as climate finance or the relationship between climate and war refugees to 9 year olds in a comic book without losing all sense of fun? I also struggle to define my genre, and indeed my audience. Many adults who have read my books find them hilarious, as well as informative. Most kids nowadays don’t read at all if they can avoid it. Yet comic books like the ones I make are traditionally classed as children’s books. Another trap I often fall into is stereotype. Humour is by definition the use of stereotype, in my opinion. All the stand-up comedians use it heavily. Look at Monty Python, dated yes, but nevertheless heavily oriented to using stereotypes. I get a lot of flak for this, but as I always explain, if I make use of cultural stereotypes I’m not doing it to make fun of anyone in particular; everyone gets hammered, and in any case this use of stereotypes for me is actually a celebration of diversity.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

My Captain Polo character also stars in related books and products, like my climate change calendar, and my short picture book stories and activity books about Halloween and Christmas, all of which feature Polo and have a climate message. I’ll probably soon start making Polo merchandise as well. Another thing to note is that I had to change Polo’s name, which risks causing confusion. At first he was Polo the Bear, but then I found out that the clothing company Ralph Lauren have a product, a teddy bear, called Polo Bear. To avoid potential problems down the line I changed my character’s name to Captain Polo. I hope that will do the trick, but it’s very annoying to have to do that kind of thing.

Aaron Hodges

Author picture

1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I am currently finishing off the third book in my Descendants of the Fall series, titled Age of Gods. I’m really enjoying how the two main characters in the story have developed since I first conceived of them back in March during quarantine, although they’ve definitely made life tricky for me at this book! I just hope I’ve done them justice for my readers!

2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

Well this series I’m currently working on is about a fallen world where two species of human exist, one that takes after our own peoples, and another called the Tangata who possess inhuman strength and speed. And the two species are in the middle of a decade long war—one which humanity is losing. They will need a miracle to emerge victorious, or perhaps some divine intervention from the mysterious Gods who rule this world.

3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Haha is this not editing for everyone? I certainly find it exhausting, but also very rewarding as my first drafts are usually VERY rough, so its nice to see how polished and complete the final product is afterwards.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I actually really like outlining. I generally spend a week brainstorming different scenes and characters that will feature in the story, and while I don’t use every idea that pops into my head, its still my favourite part, probably because it really gets the imagination flowing.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Hmmm, I’d probably say Ian Irvine’s world building skills. I really enjoy creating backstories and geographical features in my books—I’m an environmental scientist by trade so I generally have a good understanding of that sort of thing. But the Ian Irvine takes it to another level, his maps are down to the minutest detail, and his histories make you believe this world actually exists!

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Haha considering some of the stuff I put my poor characters through, I’m not sure I’ll get out of this one alive. I guess I’d pull the whole God card and say there’s a reason behind everything that happens!

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

Haha the main character would be Erika, princess of the broken kingdom of Calafe, and Archivist to the Queen of Flumeer. She’s extremely shrewd and cunning, and up against her is Jon Snow (I’ve been rereading GoT this week), who might be a great swordsman but lets face it, probably not the greatest poker player! As for what we’ll win…I’d say both would be pretty happy with a dragon, don’t you think?

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I think probably my number one advice for any writer is not to get held up in the early details/editing of your manuscript. Until you finish the first draft, you don’t even know whether you’ll be able to finish and it is so easy to get bogged down reediting what you’ve written before you even reach the end. So my advice is always: finish, then edit. At least for your first book.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

I wrote a dystopian in 2016 titled ‘The Evolution Gene’ (originally the Praegressus project). It ah…predicted a civil war after the 2020 election, plus a plague. I’m a little concerned how closely its mirroring real life at this point…


Poppy Kuroki

1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’m working on origin stories for the assassin characters from Oath. Each short story will tell readers how each character came to be a Black Diamond assassin. I’m also working on a “coming out” Steampunk novel, but that’s going on the backburner for now. I’m aiming to get the first draft done by January.

2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

A Bard’s Lament, my debut, came out in August 2020. It tells the story of a bard named Ella who hides codes in her music for spies. Oath: A Black Diamond novel came out in November 2020 and it’s about a homeless woman who’s forced to become an assassin. Both are character-driven dark fantasy stories that you’ll love if you enjoy sad stories!

3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Doing the final check. By then I’m tired of the story and just want to get it out there – and it’s impossible to find all the errors in your own work anyway.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I love that moment when it all falls into place. You know what you want to happen, but you haven’t been able to make it plausible. Then that final jigsaw piece fits perfectly into place and you know you have a good story.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Jay Kristoff’s amazing prose. Every one of his sentences sings and he has wit to boot.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

I wouldn’t really blame the protagonist of Oath, Colette, for me ruining her life. She thought she’d find her fortune when she sneaked aboard that ship to Ranigh, but things didn’t go quite as planned.

I’d tell her that what she was looking for isn’t so far away, and maybe read between the lines of the rules keeping her in place.

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

A pregnant teenager from London? I’d floor her! I’ve never played poker, though, so I’d distract her with a cookie and snatch up the chips.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I don’t know if I really have an area I’m good at, so I’ll give generic writing advice. Read a lot, especially in your genre. Always know that you can improve. Don’t worry about getting the first draft perfect. Take feedback with an open mind and try not to take it personally. Three-star reviews are a good thing. Drop the adverbs and read about writing; there’s a lot of good (and free) advice out there.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

I also have a travel blog about life in Japan, poppyinjapan.com. I do love chocolate cake; Godiva has been selling their cakes at convenience stores and it’s dangerously good. Looking forward to winter – you can’t beat a blanket, hot drinks, and a nice long gaming session.


Chris Lodwig

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’m currently working on a short story that has to do with transferring emotion and empathy to other people via a social network. I just sent that off to the editor the other day.

I’m about 200 pages into the sequel to Systemic. There are three main story lines, the first of which picks up Lem and Eryn’s story where Systemic left off. I’m starting to suspect it might actually be two books.

2. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

I only have the one book so far, Systemic.

Systemic is somewhere between a eutopia and dystopia depending on who you ask. It takes place several generations in the future. We’ve created a massive AI and for years, it’s been solving all of society’s problems. Of course, now the issue becomes, what happens to us when we don’t have any problems left to solve?

The story itself focuses on three strangers who are each making a pilgrimage to a small town in the middle of the Sagelands called Prower. Maik is hoping to find the woman he loves, Eryn wants to make it home, and Lem is out for revenge against the AI hosted in the town’s data center.

Without giving too much away, no one knows the real reasons they’re headed to Prower, but it has something to do with solving the problem of us not having any more problems.

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Showing what I wrote to my wife. She always tells me the truth, and that’s pretty terrifying. I’m also pretty uncomfortable selling myself like I’m doing right now.

  1. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

So many bits! I love the spilling out, when you let your mind follow its own whims and construct something it finds interesting. Today, I was writing a conversation between 4 kids sitting around the kid table at a banquet. I just got to let them talk and their relationships and personalities just appeared out of nowhere. Those kids, who I hadn’t even known existed two days ago, made my story take an unexpected turn. Totally unplanned. That’s a lot of fun. I also love editing because it feels very tactile to me, sort of like moulding or sculpting.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Neil Gaiman’s ability to write in a million different genres and make all of them interesting, or funny, or clever, or beautiful. All of his work feels so imaginative and rich. Witches in Startdust travelled by candle. That’s a crazy pile of creativity right there.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

An interesting proposition. I have four main characters in Systemic (my recent book) and—as it turns out—I ruined their lives for the better…So, which to choose?

Lem’s life is already ruined by his own hand, he doesn’t need any help from me.

Maik is tortured enough as it is. I’d feel bad messing with him.

The global AI already knows anything I might want to do, so if I ruined its life, it would have manipulated me into doing it. My time in captivity would consist of the System explaining why my ruining of its life was for my own good.

Which just leaves Eryn. The two things she loves in life are being outdoors and her mother. In fact, she’s been planning to call in sick and play hooky from work so she can hike home through the Prower Valley. So, I imagine I’ve ruined her life by telling her boss that she wasn’t really sick. Now I find myself tied to a wooden chair in her tiny apartment. She’s asking why her boss just called her and offered to send a physician over to check on her. As the author, I’m the only one who could have possibly known her plan. Now she wants to know why I screwed everything up for her.

I do feel bad. I know how much the trip meant to her. Work has been tough, and she’s been feeling inexplicably antsy and unsettled of late. But I try, “Trust me when I tell you it was for your own good.” She just scowls at me. Doesn’t say a word. I know her well enough to know she’s struggling to master her anger and think of a way to salvage her trip. Given time, she’ll definitely come up with something. That would be a disaster, “There’s something you don’t know.”

About why you screwed up my vacation?”

No. I mean—in a way—yes. But I didn’t do it because I’m angry or jealous or worried about the old hermit who lives along the trail.”

She wants to appear calm, but she’s breathing heavy through her nose. She’s furious. But she doesn’t interrupt. She just raises an eyebrow in an expression that insists, “This had better be good.”

You’re happy, right?” She doesn’t answer. “Your happiness is rooted in who you suppose you are, and how you understand the past to be. If you go on that hike; if you find your way to Prower, you’ll learn things—about your past, about your memories—and once you know them, you’re understanding of that past will collapse. And once you lose your past, you’ll lose yourself, and once you’ve lost yourself, you’ll lose your joy. Stay here, delay your trip by a few days. A few days is not too much to ask. A few days will provide you a lifetime of happiness.”

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

That would be Horza from Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas. From my book I would choose Lem. Lem is certainly smarter than me, so he’d probably be a better poker player, but as soon as he thought he was going to lose, he’d fold. He’d probably say something like, “This is stupid,” and toss his cards on the table and storm away.

As far as Horza is concerned. I’m pretty sure he’d beat me. He’s gone to at least one Damage game and so he’s familiar with emotional stress, plus as a shape-changer he has precise control of every aspect of his body, so I bet he as an impressive poker face. I’d get my ass handed to me.

As far as what we’d play for, not money. Aside from the fact that none of our money would be compatible, both Horza and Lem come from post-scarcity societies, so anything I could ante wouldn’t matter much to them. So, I guess just bragging rights.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I have two things that are both dangerous for me for the exact same reason. I love imagery and descriptive writing, and I like to geek out on ideas. Induing in either—or worse, both—of these runs the risk of going too deep for the sake of my own entertainment, and at that point I’ll lose the audience.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

I have no plots to take over the world that would not be totally ruined by telling the world about them. So…no. Instead, here is my favourite home brew beer recipe.

Recipe Name: Take 5 IPA – Pliny the Younger

Beer Type: IPA

Ingredients

Grains:

  • 0.6 lb (272 g) Crystal 45 malt
  • 0.6 lb (272 g) Carapils (Dextrin) Malt

Extract Sugars:

  • 3 lbs Golden Iight dry malt extract
  • 3.5 lbs of Pilsen Light dry malt extract
  • 0.75 lb (340 g) Table sugar

Water Agents

  • Calcium Chloride – 1 tsp
  • Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) – 1 tsp
  • Epsom Salt (MgSO4) – .4 tsp
  • Irish Moss (Need amount!)

Hops

  • Bittering:
    • 3.50 oz (99 g) Columbus 13.90% A.A. 90 min.
  • Flavoring:
    • 0.75 oz (21 g) Columbus 13.90% A.A. 45 min.
  • Aroma #1:
    • 1.00 oz (28 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. 30 min.
  • Aroma #2:
    • 1.00 oz (28 g) Centennial 8.00% A.A. 0 min.
    • 2.50 oz (71 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. 0 min.
  • Dry: #1
    • 1.00 oz (28 g) Columbus 13.90% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
    • 1.00 oz (28 g) Centennial 9.10% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
    • 1.00 oz (28 g) Simcoe 12.30% A.A. Dry Hop (12 to 14 days total)
  • Dry #2
    • 0.25 oz (7 g) Columbus 13.90% A.A. Dry Hop (5 days to go in dry hop)
    • 0.5 oz (7 g) Centennial 9.10% A.A. Dry Hop (5 days to go in dry hop)

Yeast:

  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast

Quick sheet

Done

Event

Sugars

Hops

Instructions

Notes

 

heat water

  
  • 1 Gal of water to 165

 
 

165f

  
  • maintain heat at 165

  • Add Steeping Grains

 
 

30 min steep

  
  • Remove and rinse grains with hot water

  • top up kettle (as much as possible)

  • Heat to boil

 
 

(boil) 200 f

Add Malt

 
  • water additives

  • add Malt Extract

  • Add Dextrose

  • Bring to boil

 
 

t- 90

 

Bittering:

3.5 oz Columbus

  • Add bittering hops

  • Set 45 min timer

 
 

t – 45

 

Flavoring:

.75 Columbus

  • Add Flavoring Hops

  • Set 15 min timer

 
 

t – 30

 

Aroma #1:

1 oz Simcoe

  • Add Aroma #1

  • Set 30 min timer

  • Add Irish Moss

 
 

t – 0

 

Aroma #2:

1 Centennial

2.50 oz Simcoe

  • Add Aroma Hops #2

 
 

t – 0

  
  • Cool to 67f

 
 

67f

  
  • Remove all hops

  • move to fermenter

  • Oxygenate

  • top off to 5 gal

  • pitch yeast

 
 

Fermenting stops

 

Dry:

1 oz Columbus

1 oz Centennial

1 oz Simcoe

  • Rack beer

  • Dry Hop #1

 
   

Dry:

0.25 oz Columbus

0.5 oz Centennial

Dry Hop #2

 
 

Rack + 14 days

Priming

 

Bottle

 
 

bottle + 4 weeks

  

Drink

 

A. R. Meyering

A.R. Meyering

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

Currently I am working on a philosophy paper on determinism for my PhD applications. On the creative side of things, I recently finished the final edit on a manuscript about a shamed king who flies around his country in a hot air balloon looking for redemption and a way to stop a massive celestial body from crashing down and destroying everything. It’s got sky whales!

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

My new book, The Resurrectionist, is about a 19th century surgeon who suffers a curse that will corrode both his body and soul. It’s also a story that solves the mystery of what happened to the infamous murderer William Hare. The Burke and Hare murders were a series of killings that happened in Scotland—the two criminals sold the bodies of their victims as cadavers for dissection. After they were caught, Hare sold Burke out and escaped into obscurity. No one knows what happened to him.

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

Oof, starting a book is the hardest part! There is so much anxiety leading up to that first chapter, no matter how much outlining I’ve done.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

This might sound strange, but I really love research. I find history so fascinating that I love following rabbit holes when I read an interesting fact. So many of the crazy things I find while researching shapes my writing. I also love writing the scary scenes in my horror books, that’s just pure fun.

  1. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Neil Gaiman’s sharp sense of wit, for sure. That man can sure turn a phrase. That or the poetic prose of David Mitchell. Some of his stuff makes my heart ache to read it.

  1. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

“You’ll like this life much better than the one you would’ve had, trust me. Now, for goodness’ sake, put that scalpel down!”

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

I recently read The Last Unicorn, so I suppose I’d be up against the titular unicorn and Edgar, my surgeon from The Resurrectionist. It’d be tough to win without opposable thumbs, so the unicorn is probably out of luck. Edgar’s way smarter and more logical than I am, so he’d probably have me beat! Drinks are on me.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I’d say, in horror, know how to use gore and violence in the right way. It can be tempting for writers of horror to go totally wild and let the blood flow with abandon, but I think you need to plan for what you’re saying with violence in your book. It needs to be used as a storytelling tool instead of a shock tactic. Better to use it as a necessary part of the plot and your story’s overall thesis, not just grotesque window dressing.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

My new novel The Resurrectionist is available on Halloween of 2020! The audiobook was just completed, too, and the narrator, Alan R Gron, did an absolutely phenomenal job, so please check it out. If you like the book and want to see more content from that world, I do some (very amateur) drawings of my characters on my Instagram.

Links to my books on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/A-R-Meyering/e/B00HONLSRA

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/armeyering?lang=en

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/_tanpoponoko_/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AlexandraMeyering/

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

I’m working on a fantasy series called The Big Fairy Adventures. It centres around a slightly overweight fairy called Tinker Tanker (she likes her nectar too much!) but she is brave and has a heart of gold. It is generally set in the huge fairy queendom called Layleamonee.

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

The first two are already published on Amazon. Book 1: How It All Began, really puts the whole of the adventure series in order for you, hints of what is coming up. So a case of forewarned is also forearmed. This is also a freebie.

Then Book two is the start of the series proper: The Golden Quandrill. This is the most powerful wand in the cosmos, no charmed piece of stick, no way, here we have a sentient being that incorporates biologically with the person used the wand.

We are introduced to Orcs, Craggs, Grobs, humans, Trolls and of course humans, or specifically so far, one human, a humourist who is Chinese and called Ding Ling.

Half-way through the 3rd Book called Maldranan the fairy witch. Not someone you would invite to your dinner party. Plus an Orc that has a partial lobotomy, but the surgeon hiccupped during the procedure and removed the ‘male’ sense part of his miniscule brain, so now we have a hulk male Orc who likes to wear pink slacks and false eyelashes. Things do not bode well for him. I suspect he comes from the same mould as ex-president Trump!

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

It has to be the very last little bit, from marketing to money coming into the bank. A realist realizes it is rare to become a millionaire to just write books. Why is it that marketer’s will say ‘Pay me lots of money, and I can’t guarantee any success!” Might as well burn my money on a bonfire! Don’t you think I am right? (I’m breaking into song now…) All I want to do is write, and not bother with the other stuff

  1. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I’m a pantser and write by the seat of my pants. My last big project, The Wand Chronicles, an epic fantasy, there are 400,000 words, all happened when I sat down and let my imagination run riot. But is my writing good? Well, so say professional reviewers and readers seem to rave about them

  1. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Well, you only have to read some of the very dark passages of Tolkein to make you want to jump off the river bridge, so I like Terry Pratchett..I like humor, fantasy humor. I also love Jane Austin, the command of the English language, in for example, Pride & prejudice. How the written language can illustrate all manners of emotion so perfectly well

  1. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Well, for me, that is a fairy called Tinker Tanker, she is a little overweight. But she stands at 8” tall. Very tall for a fairy , but her wand packs a powerful fun, and for some reason thinks it is fun to creep up behind a human and touch her wand on the buttocks of that human, and watch them jump in the air with the shock of it all. I will try to explain that I am trying to convince people to love fairies, and that they are real

  1. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

So myself, Tinker Tanker and an elvish sorceress called Elfistra is sat around the table. Not good. She will never trust a human, and has enough magic in one snap of her fingers to cause havoc. She would win, she likes winning. Tinker Tanker is too nice to notice anything untoward. The stakes are the use of the most powerful wand in the cosmos, Elvina. Elfistra will win it, in any case, it will only integrate into her body.

  1. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

Sitting down to write, for characters to pop up, to plot out a line of action, to construct a chapter with a beginning, middle and an end, is not a problem, so far, for me. Period. It is all the other paraphernalia, the promotion, the marketing that I abhor. All I want to do as an author is write

  1. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

I created a board game to accompany my Wand Chronicles Trilogy, with all the main characters in the book. It went on to be voted in the top ten of best board games in the UK.

I also constructed a fairy garden to inspire my writing for The Big Fairy Adventures, I now get visitors who travel great distances to see it.

I will be adding to it and in January have another Grand Opening. Of course I will be proving free fairy cakes!