Genre: Epic Urban Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal Fantasy Adventure Romance with horror/ Thriller undertones
Another world war has happened and everything we knew is now gone. There are no more countries. No more government of old... only survivors who have created a new world made up of small colonies. It has been thirteen years and the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains. The settlement is making ready to host the fall Gathering, a time where every six months the other colonies from various parts of what was once Southern California visit for ten days of fun and reminiscence. The Gathering begins as any other party. A time for new loves, old friends, family, dancing and fun, but all too soon that changes. The people in Lia Fail begin to notice strange things they can't explain, several are attacked by unseen forces and friends begin to distrust friends. When they receive news of a horrific massacre, they realize they must face an impending dark evil that threatens to descend on the tranquil village. Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this darkness. But she will face the evil along side her oldest and dearest friends, as well as an incredible new ally. The fate of her people, the lives of her children and freedom itself rests in her hands. Will she have the courage to do what must be done? This is the beginning of a journey that will change all of their lives forever.
The morning sun bore down on the busy revelries of Lia Fail. Molly Creegan stood at her post trying to ignore the heady scents of cinnamon and sugar cakes. She could hear the oils from the deer being roasted on a spit with the biggest of Gordon Hutton's hogs on another spit right next to it. She could smell the chicken being roasted on the giant rotisserie.
She had been on that parapet for almost fourteen hours and she was hungry and tired, but it would all be worth it. She had pulled a double shift so she could have the opening night of the Gathering off. She had only ten minutes to go before the next shift was on duty. She would have cakes and bacon for breakfast and lots of milk. Her eyes felt heavy under the sun, but she shook her head and looked to the distance. Riders approached. She pulled her eyeglass from her belt and peered through it to the south. The banner waved happily in the rays of the sun. The fish was swimming joyously through the blue of the material. Molly put her eyeglass back on her belt, took a deep breath and exhaled. She walked to the edge of the railing and leaned over. Looking down she saw Todd and Quinn playing cards next to the main gate.
"Hey, Dork twins!"
They looked up in unison and she smiled at the sight.
"We've got Crystals on the horizon. One of you better get the captain and the other better get the gates open. They'll be here in thirty."
Todd and Quinn looked at each other and back at the gate in perfect time. Then they dropped their cards and Todd took off towards the barracks while Quinn jumped up and started barking orders to open the gates.
Todd ran as fast as his bulky legs could carry him through the bustling courtyard to the barracks. He burst in the door and looked around, trying to catch his breath. The soldiers in the room glanced up at him.
A new recruit smiled and pointed to the showers. Todd nodded and took off. He jumped from the steps of the barracks and almost knocked over Vivian Shorely as she arranged cakes on a table.
"Corporal Tucker! Do watch where you are going!"
Todd stopped and stood at attention.
"Sorry, Ma'am, just received word that the first guests are arriving. Trying to find Captain Lantry."
She stood and narrowed her eyes as she folded her thin arms in front of her.
"Well" she said. "Who is it?"
He closed his eyes and cringed slightly just as she shrieked and ran to the center of the food booths.
"Listen to me everyone, this is not a drill. The Crystals are here. I repeat... the Crystals are here! Come on everyone, let's go!"
People began to bustle as Vivian continued to bark orders. Todd turned, about to run to the showers, when he found himself nose to nose with Captain Lantry. He stood before Todd with a towel wrapped around his waist. His long wavy hair was dripping and he appeared more than upset.
"Did you have to tell her that the Crystals were here? I thought we were under attack with all that shrieking!"
"All right, go get those replacements out on the bridge and the ledges. They should have been out there ten minutes ago. Creegan and several others have been up there for fourteen hours or more and they need sleep."
Vivian turned and shrieked.
Sean turned and looked at her.
Sean smiled and stepped forward.
"Not yet, Sweetheart, but maybe later."
Vivian frowned and lifted her hand, but Sean, now laughing, had moved towards the barracks. Vivian let her frown waver a little until she saw several bakers trying to lift the grand cake onto a table that was ready to tip over, forgetting Sean as she dashed over to help them.
Todd ran back towards the barracks and emerged with about fifteen young men and women, gathering themselves together and running towards several areas of the settlement.
About the Author
The first thing you have to do is write. Get it out and down, then when it's done, step away from it and then come back and re-write it. Do your own edits, then have someone you trust read it... and listen to them. If you trust them, then they want what's good for you. They want to help you be better. Then, get an editor, and that doesn't mean someone who will cut your work to ribbons, but someone who will help with grammar, punctuation, repetitive words and context. ultimately, you need to write... and I would tell every writer to write short stories. Good short Stories are the best teacher, You have to create and engaging scenario, with characters in a short period of time. Just go for it... in order to be a writer, you have to write. Make friends, join in the community, forge ahead.
When did you start writing?
I guess I've been writing my whole life. I wrote my first book when I was 5 years old. A Mother's Day book, with illustrations from your's truly. Over the years, I have explored poetry, screenwriting, short stories and subsequently the novel, which I started writing in 2002 and finished in 2010.
What made you decide to publish your first book?
I knew I wanted to publish from the moment I decided to write the book. I spent all 8 years researching whether or not to go the traditional route and try to find an agent or would I want to go Indie. I chose indie, and did so because I didn't want Traditional publishing and I would have had a hell of a time trying to find an agent. But I always knew I wanted to publish.
What motivates you to write?
I write the stuff I want to read. I have stories to tell. I consider myself a storyteller, so I just want to tell my stories and hope that people enjoy them.
Do you ever feel frustrated with your work?
Oh yeah! Of course I do. Especially when I'm blocked or my characters aren't speaking to me... very frustrating.
What makes you keep writing when you get frustrated?
I know that the story will come, and I know I want to read it. And I know that other's are interested... so I keep trying to get it out. That, and I know from past experiences, you can always break through.
How do you get over writer's block?
Lots and lots of music, and trying to engage my characters. I just keep trying :)
How do you handle negative reviews of your books?
Well, the hardest thing is the hurt. but then you have to look a the review. If it's a legitimate review, they will tell you what they had a problem with and I try to see what they said. Keeping an open mind about the negative review can make you a better writer. Some negative reviews are just mean, or unnecessary and I ignore them.
There's a lot of distractions around, especially with social media, how do you block it all out and write?
I'm not sure I do ;)
What do you enjoy, outside of writing?
Spending time with my family and friends, Movies, dining out...
What's something about you that most people don't know?
Ummmm, I absolutely adore Comic books and I'm a big Nerd... but a lot of people know this already...
Have you ever had to rewrite portions of a book because the characters decided to be someone else than you intended?
No, not yet, but it could happen.
Where do you come up with the names for your stories?
The Gathering was the title from the beginning. As far as the shorts, they come to me as I'm writing usually. I very rarely have a title when I begin.
Did you ever think you'd be a published author?
Not until I decided I wanted to be... but I didn't break down until a friend of mine and her husband got me a copy of my book in Hardcover. I totally lost it and started crying.
What are you working on currently?
-Title - The Bridging - Book 2 of the lia Fail Chronicles
-Date of Release - Summer maybe
-Where did you get the idea for it? - Part of the Lia Fail Series, natural progression and my characters tell me... I had an idea, but I had to write my short stories for the omnibus, then the story really took off.
-When is the cover reveal? - Not sure... Summer maybe
Were there any scenes in it that were difficult for you to write?
Yes, there was a specific scene in The Gathering that was horrible. I was a big mess and it was something I didn't want to write... it was one of the last things I wrote in regards to that book.
Do you have a favorite genre to write?
I love writing all genres.
Is there a type of genre you refuse to write?
Not sure if there is... well, fetish erotica that involves incest or bestiality, I would not write that.
Do you prefer your books in print or e-book format?
I prefer print, but I appreciate the convenience of ebooks
What is your favorite book?
Hmm, The Stand by Stephen King, The Bad Place by Dean Koontz, Immortal Heart Series by Magen McMinimy, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Do you have any excerpts from any of your books (published and WIPs) that you'd like to share with us?
How about from The Storm -
Vivian Shorely walked quickly through the dirt-covered streets of The Fail. The grey haze of the early June morning hung heavy in the chilly air. As she passed by a set of houses, she heard the music. She slowed as she approached the dwelling from which it came, stopping and closing her eyes. This was her favorite part of the day. Every morning on her way to the castle she would stop and listen to the music that James Tippen played in the quiet of his home. It was always a surprise as to which instrument he would play. She found it hard to choose a favorite between the pulsing resonance of the reeds, the ethereal pitch of the flutes, the gentle lilting of the strings or the soulful pull of the brass instruments. This morning it was a saxophone; the gentle vibrato of the reed with the deep tenor of the brass, drawing Vivian into a trance-like state, as her body lightly rocked to the song James Tippen played.
As the last note vibrated through the muffled walls of James’ small home, Vivian stood for a moment, letting the last strains of the song fall over her like snowflakes, cold fractals landing on her warm skin and melting into nothingness. Her eyes were still closed when the door opened and James stepped out to see Vivian standing there. She dreamily opened her eyes and turned her head to look at him; a smile crept across her face.
“Simply delightful, Mr. Tippen.”
James beamed back at Vivian, turning bright pink at the compliment.
“Why, thank you, Chancellor. I didn’t know you were out here. I hope I wasn’t disturbing anyone.”
“Oh, I doubt that, Mr. Tippen. You are so very talented. I listen every morning on my way to the castle. Your aptitude in music is truly remarkable.”
“You listen each morning, Chancellor?”
“Indeed, Mr. Tippen. It is my favorite part of the day.”
James noticed that Vivian’s face flushed as she admitted to his music as being her favorite part of the day. He also observed that Vivian’s normally pinched face was soft and relaxed, something he was not used to seeing very often. James nervously put his hands in his pockets, and looked around him, clearing his throat.
“May I walk you to the castle, Chancellor?”
Vivian’s eyes widened and her cheeks became a deeper shade of pink as she smiled, then nodded. James motioned that they should walk, his hands now clasped behind his back.
“Has there been any song you like best of all, Chancellor?”
“I have always had a propensity for baroque, despite the snobbery of classical hierarchy.”
James laughed and nodded his head, then placed a finger to his lips, making a shooshing sound.
“Please don’t tell anyone, but I, too, adore baroque.”
Vivian laughed softly, and James thought to himself he would like to hear that sound more often.
“I suppose,” Vivian continued, “that I like the Adagios best.”
“They are quite lovely. Do you favor any particular instrument?”
Vivian smiled and shook her head. “No, I do love them all. They are all so different and so beautiful… I couldn’t choose one.”
They continued to wander through the foggy streets until they reached the steps of the castle, where they stopped. Vivian smiled and nodded.
“Well, thank you for walking with me, Mr. Tippen. I have very much enjoyed our conversation.”
“As have I, Chancellor, as have I… perhaps if you are not busy later today, you might be available to join me for lunch or dinner.”
“I would be quite amenable to that, Mr. Tippen.”
James grinned broadly. “Excellent. I shall call on you later, Chancellor.”
Vivian beamed as she nodded, then turned and walked up the steps to the castle.