author interview

Meet Lorna Brown!

Lorna Brown, author of Debris (available in Spring 2018), has been writing for at least 13 years whenever she gets the chance. She earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and her stories have been published in numerous magazines. She lives in Massachusetts and goes back to her hometown in Ireland when she’s working on a story. She loves getting up at 5:30am-6:00am when the house is quiet to get work done (although she can’t stand it if there are no bananas!), or after her daughters go to sleep. And even when she’s not physically writing, she’s always thinking about her stories.

Regarding Debris specifically, the final draft is actually a rewrite of a story she wrote years ago. The story changed a lot from the rough draft to the final cut, so she essentially had to start over. She only spent four months (on the rewrite, when everything was all said and done) writing Debris, but she learned a lot of lessons along the way. Writing this book has helped her figure out her writing style and method, such as wanting to have a more detailed outline for her plots and subplots, as well as character development.

She has three daughters who she loves immensely and says they’ve made her a “big softie”- so much so she cries easily when she watches movies and shows, like The Voice. She loves to go hiking with her family and their dog and sees life as an adventure. She’s traveled extensively and finds it hard to stay in one place.

She is very excited for Debris to be available to the public. The release date for this fiction piece is Spring 2018 under the pen name L.M. Brown.

 

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Q and A with Alec Arbogast!

Inksmith Publishing would like to offer a warm welcome to our new author Alec Arbogast, author of The Last Odinian! Below are some questions he has answered for us to help get to know him better!

Message from Alec: Hello! It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for reading, and let us share in our love of storytelling together.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Even though they aren’t single stories, my favorites would be The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, and also The Great American Short Story Collection. They have both had a great impact on me. Regarding single, full-length stories, I first read The Shining by Stephen King when I was a teenager. It became a sort of catalyst for my creative mind, introducing me to the immense world of storytelling, the concept of tasteful, imaginative horror. It made me aware and reflect on the struggle between good and evil, and the grey area between the two.

Q: What is your favorite food? Favorite color?

A: My favorite color is blue, and I love Thai food.

Q: What/whom is your favorite mythical creature?

A: This is a hard answer to narrow down. Recently, I’ve been drawn to Slavic and Norse mythology. However, Medusa from Greek mythology is my overall favorite. She’s a singular, terrifying creature, who can make quick work of almost anything or anyone- even the Titans.

Q: Can you share a little of any of your current work(s) with us?

A: I have three writing projects I’m currently working on. One is an action-adventure novel revolving around an elite group of soldiers; one is a story that blends elements of time travel, mystery, and horror; and the other is a gangster drama set in post-Civil War America.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A:  I find quite a few aspects of writing challenging, but it’s always a good challenge. I’m drawn to historical fiction, and in these stories it’s a challenge to make sure I’m accurately representing the event while also molding it to fit my narrative. Pacing is another struggle as well, as I find it tends to do one of two things: the narrative flow develops naturally or can be hard to keep on track. Almost like an intractable horse, I feel like sometimes I have to nudge it in the right direction while it wanders off.

Q: Did you learn anything from your book(s)?

A: I learned the forbearance and discipline it takes to finish a full-length book, which can be equally an exhilarating and daunting process. I stretched myself intellectually at the same time as discovering who I was as an artist and what message I’d like to be sending. I also learned the worlds you create are a tenable space in your mind and can leave a mark on your soul.

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

A: The Last Odinian originally came to me on a whim, to be honest. I started writing it knowing the setting and atmosphere I wanted—the haunting forests of the Pacific Northwest–and developed a narrative around that (almost similar to The Twilight Zone).

Q: Do you remember how your interest in writing began?

A:  I’ve always been interested in the function of stories, and produced some short films in school with a few friends. I didn’t discover the writing form of stories until a few years ago.

Q: Do you have a specific writing style?

A: My style varies from story to story, actually. I try to find a voice that feels right with each individual story, and the characters within. I think my prose tends to have a grounding in the contemporary style while borrowing from romanticism and transcendentalism.

Q: Who is your favorite author? What really strikes you about their work?

A: I have many favorites, but I’ll try and narrow it down. On the classic side, I admire Edgar Allan Poe’s complex prose. He tackles haunting subjects, like the inescapable reality of death, in a truly singular way. Edith Wharton made me a lifetime fan based on just one of her short stories, Afterward, due to her unique style. On the contemporary side, Stephen King has influenced me with his unending creativity, and I respect his voracious need to tell stories. His characters are always vivid and three-dimensional, and he has a pragmatic approach I admire. Craig Johnson has a sort of straight-forward and laconic approach to his prose, but it’s riddled with sardonic insight.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A: Find a writing process that speaks to you. Some people prefer a meticulous preparation: a diligent outline, layers of notes detailing each character, the narrative mapped out beforehand, etc. Others prefer a more organic process wherein the narrative, characters, subplot, and all the other details just flow naturally. And these are just two examples of the compositional process- everyone develops their own process. Another tip is to be true to your story. Don’t let your own moral standards and ideologies overly influence your characters or narrative. It’s important to realize the difference between who you are and what you create within your writing. On a similar note, don’t be too concerned with your audience or their opinion of you based on your writing. Write how you want and what you want, and your creations will be truer. Finally, your final story will likely be quite different from how you originally wanted it to be, and that’s okay.

 

An Excerpt from The Last Odinian

 Seeing him in plain sight was an abhorrently different experience than through the peephole of his hotel room. Light and shadow played across Kendric’s mutilated face like a symphony of horror as he stood under the bar lights. Koenig forced the coffee down his throat and exhaled. Like a boxer caught off guard, he didn’t know whether to swing a punch or duck for cover. For a moment he just stared at the decrepit man, and the man stared right back, his one working eye fixed on Koenig. Words came to him at last, and he steadied his voice… “Any final thoughts?”

Have you met Dawn Napier, yet?

Our author, Dawn Napier, author of Star Pack, has a few more writing projects in the works. Check out Star Pack on our website! We took some time to ask her a few questions about her writing, her inspiration, and some other fun questions. Check out her interview below!

 

Dawn’s favorite color is red – so we decided to add a little color to our interview!

 

 

Ink Smith: What are your current projects?
Dawn: I’m currently writing a sequel to Star Pack, and I’m finishing a last coat of polish on a recently completed fantasy novel called Vellichor.

Ink Smith: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Dawn: It’s called Sea Pack, and it’s the continuing adventures of the space-faring werewolves I wrote about in Star Pack. They have moved on to explore the rest of our solar system, and they’re currently about to make contact with life on Europa.

Ink Smith: What is your favorite book?
Dawn: Watership Down by Richard Adams

Ink Smith: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Dawn: Science fiction is hard. My last couple of books have been fantasy, and in a fantasy novel if something’s not working you can just change the rules. But even with extragalactic werewolves I have to at least try to follow the laws of physics. NASA is finding out new things about our local planets every day, and I have to try to keep up with their discoveries so my book stays current while I’m writing it.

Ink Smith: Did you learn anything from writing your book(s) and what was it?
Dawn: I learned that you can’t world-build by the seat of your pants. I had to learn how to plot in order to finish it.

Ink Smith: What inspired you to write your first book?
Dawn: I don’t have any idea. It never occurred to be NOT to write it.

Ink Smith: What is your favorite food?
Dawn: Shrimp Fried Rice

Ink Smith: Do you have a specific writing style?
Dawn: I guess you could call it Stephen King meets Piers Anthony and their love child collaborates with HP Lovecraft.

Ink Smith: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Dawn: I had a few themes and symbols in the back of my mind when I wrote it, but I’d rather people read it and enjoy it on their own terms. I’d love to hear from people who have found messages of their own in it.

Ink Smith: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Dawn: I have no idea. I think I was about six.

Ink Smith: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Dawn: Don’t TRY while you’re writing. Don’t try to sound like anyone else, but also don’t try too hard to be original. Don’t try to make the story follow a certain path, and don’t try to guide your characters’ fates. You’ll find your own voice organically the more you write, but you have to sit back and let the muse do her thing.

Ink Smith: If you had to do it all over again, what would you change, if anything, in your latest book?
Dawn: I would have made the character’s names have meanings.

Ink Smith: Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?
Dawn: Stephen King. I started reading his books when I was 12, and I loved how he wrote about kids. My parents divorced when I was 11, and during that turbulent time, I often felt that I was at the mercy of the four winds. In King’s books, the kids are the smart ones, the ones who understand what’s going on. And they’re the ones who have the power to stop the monsters. I found that deeply reassuring. I still read his books and feel soothed by his familiar voice. He probably wouldn’t appreciate me saying that I find his books soothing. But compared to the real world, sometimes…

Ink Smith: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Dawn: If you don’t have a library card go get one now. Libraries are a magical place where anyone can learn anything for free. They’re staunch defenders of the Constitution, and they will help you learn whatever you need to know without checking your credit or health history. Everyone needs to use and love their libraries, so they stay with us forever.

Ink Smith: Final thoughts?
Dawn: Just keep writing, just keep writing…

 

About Dawn Napier

Dawn Napier grew up in Waukegan IL, and upstate New York. She has a husband, three children, and a ridiculous number of pets. She grew up reading Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, Mercedes Lackey, and Piers Anthony. When she’s not reading and writing, she is hiking with her dogs, napping with her cat, or cleaning up after her herd of adopted guinea pigs.
Visit her online on Facebook and her website dawnsdarktreasures.com!

Meet Jean Knight Pace

Jean Knight Pace

Jean Knight Pace joined the Ink Smith Family with her book Grey Stone, with her co-writer Jacob Kennedy, after they won the 2015 ISP Book Award. She has had essays and short stories published in Puerto del Sol, The Lakeview Review, and other literary magazines. She lives in Indiana with her husband, four children, 6 ducks, and a cat. You can find more about her at jeanknightpace.com. Or writing about food at tastycheapskate.blogspot.com.

In addition to her website you can follow Jean on Facebook, Twitter @jeanknightpace, Goodreads and even Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts with Ashley Townsend

Fact 1: I’m actually pretty uninteresting, so this might be a difficult list.

Fact 2: I have a fear of clowns, but I considered going to clown college as a kid.

Fact 3: I enjoy doing some things the old-fashioned way because I have an intense fascination with history and the past—take my series, for example—and have a growing collection of records. Music is an event to be enjoyed! Much like cookies.

Fact 4: One day you WILL find me writing in my little cottage in Ireland with my dog, Shadow, and my cat, Sir Arthur Doyle.

Fact 5: I’m also bad at math, which is why there are only four items on this list. . . . Though I guess this makes it five, so yay!

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Author Interview with Evelyn Allen Harper

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Evelyn: The view out of the picture window by my desk is a small lake called Pearl. No matter the season, the view is always beautiful. I write at no special time as I have been fortunate to survive well into retirement and all the free time that brings. How I write is another story. I don’t know too many writers, so I don’t know if anyone else writes the way I do. When I start a book, I invent characters and a setting, and then sit back and watch them. I just record what I see and what I hear. I’ve written nine books using this method, so it works for me.

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Evelyn: What I like to read depends on my mood and what is going on in my life. Sometimes I like to read thrillers, and other times when I pick up a book and terrible things are happening, I can’t read it. Deep dark complex writing that I have to reread several times to figure out what could have been said in simpler terms doesn’t appeal to me at any time. There are so many books out there to read that if a book hasn’t captured my attention in the first couple of chapters, I don’t finish the book. In my younger years I used to read to the bitter end, no matter what. Old age has taught me that I don’t have to finish the book if I don’t like it. So who is my favorite author? Any writer who gets my attention and keeps my attention.


Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea for Sweet Adeline? How long did it take you to write it?Sweet Adeline Cover

Evelyn: Knowing several couples who reunited with their old love at a school
reunion, I used that information to begin my story. I would say it took me about a year and a half to complete the book. I have sung with Sweet Adeline International for twenty-five years and for that reason I named my character Adeline. When her boyfriend harmonized with three other guys to sing the chorus of “Sweet Adeline”, it was just natural to title the book, “Sweet Adeline”.

 

 Ink Smith: When did the “writing bug” as you call it, bite?

Evelyn: The writing bug didn’t bite me until I was well into retirement. But once it bit, it became an obsession. To me, a day without writing is a day without sunshine. I had never written, not even a short story, but once I started, I couldn’t stop. The first venture into my new hobby was writing six books in The Accidental Mystery Series, followed by a two book series, The Coat and The Collar.

I write every day.

 

Meet the Author

Online Image
Evelyn Allen Harper was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of a coal miner. She earned her undergraduate degree from Anderson College, and later a master’s degree from Wayne State University. She taught school until the birth of her two children and after they were old enough for her to work outside the home, Evelyn sold residential real estate for the next fifteen years. Evelyn and her husband, Barry, retired to Traverse City, Michigan, and ten years into retirement, she started writing. Sweet Adeline is her 9th published book, and her third with Ink Smith Publishing. Her other two books, The Coat and The Collarare available for purchase on the Ink Smith website.

Fun Facts with Rod Baker

  • I play 2nd base and pitch for an over-50 traveling softball team.
  • I also played 3rd base for one of the over-50 USA teams.
  • We won the Pacific Rim Championship Games in Las Vegas in 2015.
  • I like to play classic rock ‘n roll tunes on my guitar.
  • I produce, write and direct short dramatic films and commercial/industrial/marketing films for businesses.
  • I play golf and love to hike.

 

Meet the Author
Rod BakerRod Baker is an Emmy Nominated, NAACP Image Award and Youth in Film Award winning television writer (with Glen Olson). Rod also co-authored the 10 book children’s series The Adventures of Gabby Bear.  He has a BA in Radio, Television and Film and lives in Thousand Oaks, CA with his wife. Rod is a member of the Writers Guild of America, west. His most recent work Devil’s Scribe is now available for purchase!

Author Interview with Rod Baker

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Rod: I write on my computer in a large room on the ground level of our home. I use two monitors–one screen for the manuscript, the other for research.
 

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of this book? How long did it take you to write?

Rod: I am a big horror film fan. I love the A-Horror films as well as the B Horror Devil's Scribefilms. In the past, I wrote many TV police shows. I wanted to mix a police story with horror and paranormal activity. This triggered the “idea bank” in my head I guess. The idea started small and singular but then branched out as I outlined it until it became the complete Devil’s Scribe. I was busy in life with other things when I started jotting down notes for the book before I could start writing it. I would say actual writing time was 12-18 months.

 

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Rod: When I started my writing career, I read everything that William Goldman and Richard Matheson ever wrote. I love the way they write, their style. I also read Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I like Clive Cussler—the way he uses a historic event as the catalyst for his stories and the big adventure that results. But what attracts me to a book is usually not the author. It’s the story. If the story grabs my attention, I will read the book no matter who wrote it. Good stories always have the best characters in my opinion.

 

Meet the Author

Rod BRod Bakeraker is an Emmy Nominated, NAACP Image Award and Youth in Film Award winning television writer (with Glen Olson). Rod also co-authored the 10 book children’s series The Adventures of Gabby Bear.  He has a BA in Radio, Television and Film and lives in Thousand Oaks, CA with his wife. Rod is a member of the Writers Guild of America, west.

Fun Facts with Julie Flanders

  1. I have been a regular visitor to Martha’s Vineyard since I was a child as my family owns a cottage there, so this book serves as my love letter to the island.
  2. I love animals of all kinds and got started with writing by volunteering to write features for Best Friends Animal Society.
  3. I have a dog named Clancy and a cat named Nate.
  4. I’m a little obsessed with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones
  5. I’m more than a little obsessed with Ohio State football. Don’t bother me in the fall when my Buckeyes are on! 🙂

 

Meet the Author

Julie FlandersJulie Flanders is an academic librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. Julie is a television addict, an avid walker, and an obsessive fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although a lifelong Ohio resident, Julie nevertheless has an ongoing love affair with the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Julie’s novels include the paranormal thrillers Polar Night and Polar Day as well as the historical love story The Ghosts of Aquinnah.  Julie is a history buff who loves incorporating history into her stories, which she affectionately calls “mysteries untethered by time.”

Find Julie at www.julieflanders.net or visit her blog at julieflanders.blogspot.com. Also visit her on Twitter at @JulesFlanders or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julesflanders/.

Author Interview with Wade Beauchamp

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea for Scream If You Wanna Go Faster? How long did it take you to write?

Wade: A few years ago I wrote a story called “Triggers” about a Gold Star mother whose son didn’t make it back from Vietnam, and how she struggled to ignore all the daily things that reminded her of him. Chief among those being his abandoned Ford Galaxie 500 sitting in the shed behind their house, waiting for its owner to come home. I had written that one just for myself, really, to try to work out some feelings I had about someone I was missing. A while later I went back and wrote a story called “American Butterflies,” told from the son’s perspective, and how his memories of the Galaxie and his best girl kept him going when things got particularly bad over there. Not long after that I wrote “Nowhere Fast,” a story that tried to capture the feelings of freedom and potential and excitement I had felt cruising the Strip every weekend with brother and best friend when we were in high school.

Scream if you wanna go fasterI realized that all of those stories shared a common thread of the automobile and I began to wonder how many lives one particular car could affect from assembly line to junkyard. I wrote about the man who bolted on the bumpers at the factory, the greasy salesman who sold it to its first owner, a woman who chased down her independence in it, the mechanic who busted his knuckles on it, the father and son who restored it. Before long I had a pretty complete portrait of this car as seen through its drivers and passengers. All told it took about four years to put it together, but a few of the scenes and ideas have been floating around in my head for the better part of a decade.

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Wade: I actually do most of my writing in my head, daydreaming while driving and listening to music, or trying to fall asleep or wake up, or when I’m supposed to doing my day job. I spend a lot of time scribbling notes down on paper, or putting notes in my phone, and trying to decipher them and somehow turn them into semi-coherent sentences later on. My family is my top priority in the evenings, so sometimes it’s pretty tricky to devote time to write. Most days that time comes late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Wade: I’m a big comic book junkie and love Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Matt Fraction, and Kurt Busiek. But actually my biggest writing influences are usually lyricists. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Jay Farrar of Son Volt, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell. I’m always blown away by what they can do, the complete pictures they can paint with just a few carefully chosen words. Perfect example, the very first line of “Cass” by Lucero (written by Ben Nichols): “Five sisters and she’s the one.” Just like that you’ve got an idea of this girl and her story in your head.

One of the coolest things that happened to me while writing Scream If You Wanna Go Faster was getting Mike Cooley’s permission to use one of his lyrics from “Zip City” for the epigraph: “I get ten miles to the gallon. I ain’t got no good intentions.” He did in one sentence what I struggled to do in 200 pages.

 

Meet the Author

Wade Beauchamp bioWade Beauchamp is from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He and his wife, Ronda, have one daughter. His writing is heavily influenced by fellow Southerners Junior Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Devil.

Visit Wade and Scream If You Wanna Go Faster on Facebook!