I’m Glad You’re Dead (The Preternatural Chronicles Book 1) (Author Interview)

I’m Glad You’re Dead looks like a great urban fantasy book.  What was your inspiration for your series, the Preternatural Chronicles?   

The books are dedicated to, and starring, my best friend and doppelgänger, John. He always enjoyed my writing and one day made me promise to write a book about him. We grew up reading authors like Anne Rice, so when asked what he wanted to be, he told me he wanted to be a vampire. I promised — then he pulled a party foul and died, leaving me with no choice but to honor his memory, so I wrote I’m Glad You’re Dead.

After I finished book one, my brain raced and was already coming up with ideas for its follow up. I had no choice but to continue.

Why is your first book titled I’m Glad You’re Dead?    

This is the question I get the most when I tell people the story behind the series. Seems kind of odd to dedicate a book titled I’m Glad You’re Dead to your dead best friend, doesn’t it?

I’m Glad You’re Dead plays on a few levels. First: it’s a direct quote from the 1989 Batman from the man, the myth, the legend: Jack Nicholson. Batman is my — and was John’s — favorite movie of all time. We used to say it all the time to each other at random times. Honestly, our entire friendship was built on the foundation of movie quotes; and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Well, except…you know… the being dead part. I’d probably change that.

And B: John is a vampire in the series and he had to die to become immortal. But mostly that first thing I said.

How is your take on vampires different than what we have seen before?

Being urban fantasy, I wanted to do a different take on vampires. I was tired of the “hiss hiss bite bite” theatrics that have been played out. Instead, I gave John the ability to infuse his blood with his preternatural energy and create blood manifestations, like weapons and even armor. For example; instead of him biting someone’s neck for every kill, he can will a blood-dagger into his hand and stab the bad guy in their blood soaked liver to exsanguinate them. I also try to explain most supernatural abilities in a scientific way for the reader, to make it more believable. Why do vampires need blood to survive? What’s the difference between supernatural and preternatural? Did I leave the oven on? All this will be explained, and more, if you exchange your paper with words on it for my paper with words on it.

How many books do you plan for the series?    

There will be 13 novels in the series with a novella or two thrown in for good measure. I have all the books planned out, which is seriously a lot of fun because it allows me to sprinkle in breadcrumbs here and there. That seemingly inconspicuous action that happened several books ago surely won’t have consequences later in the series…right?

When did you decide to become a writer?

One does not just “decide” to be a writer. The Ghost of Halloween Past chooses you from one of those rotating cages that bingo players use — the name escapes me. You perform a series of quests with increasing difficulty, only to face your final task. Write a book. Then bam! You’re a writer.

When writing I’m Glad You’re Dead did anything stand out as particularly challenging?   

I suck at editing, and I’ve had terrible luck with editors; but enough is enough. I recently hired five editors to tear my novella, Deliverance, apart. I paid their fees and told them they will be competing for my love. I’m calling it the Editor Games. Five enter; only one leaves. The rest will be executed by firing squad…or never used again. Definitely one or the other.

How did you come up with the story in I’m Glad You’re Dead?   

I have listened to over 200 books on Audible from amazing authors like Stephen King, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Dennis E. Taylor, Richard Kadrey, Neil Gaiman, Keith C. Blackmore, and Craig Alanson. I pay attention to story structure and dissect things that make me go “holy sh*t! I loved that!” I’ve also watched hours of YouTube and Masterclass videos from authors who describe their entire process from story ideas to publishing. Over the past few years, I have tried several different methods before finding what works for me.

Magdenia (Author Interview)


Magdenia looks like a great fantasy book.  Any plans to make it a series?

Well, because of the long storyline it would have been  difficult for me to cover it all in one book,so I decided to make it a series. Dont know how many though just yet.

What will readers get out of your book?  

The storyline is all about family and sticking together during hardships. Especially about mothers, who sometimes can be overprotective to keep their children safe and would go against anything and anyone who would hurt them.

What inspired you when writing Magdenia?

I was always into fantasy books and movies with fiction heroes. So, I would say that I actually wrote something that I would be interested in reading.

When did you decide to become a writer? 

Well, I was always fond of writing and when I was asked to help a friend with some ideas for his book, he convinced me to give it a try   as he believed I was imaginative. So, with his encouragement I started  writing Magdenia.

When writing Magdenia did anything stand out as particularly challenging?   

The most difficult part was trying to put together the storyline correctly without missing parts so as not to confuse the readers and at the same time trying to make it unpredictable.

How did you come up with the story in Magdenia?   

The Angels of Resistance (Publication Review)

The Angels of Resistance
HUGEOrange Publication Review

The Angels of Resistance is a fantasy novel set in a once prosperous world now devastated and at war with demons from hell. They are determined to destroy mankind and also retrieve those who are unwittingly demons like themselves. I found the world well-conceived and easy to imagine, and wow, it’s a vast one. The humans must band together despite ancient conflicts and current animosities if they have any chance of defeating the Demon Plague. The story opens with the battle that began in the city of Pommel moving on to the city of Tinaria where the king and queen reside. After an almost complete ruin of the city during the hellish night of attacks from flying demons, shadow demons, and other really terrifying entities, the heroes realize that this evil army can only fight at night. They strive to stay alive until daylight when they can regroup and figure out a plan.
The fighting went on, but Tinaria never surrendered. As fate would have it, the most beautiful and treasured light appeared like a lost hero returning to his children. With hell invading Tinaria, the wonderful glow upon the horizon slowly rose above the trees. Slight rays of light began to cover parts of the kingdom.  The light colored the towns beginning from the east and gradually draped the west. A natural occurrence, often taken for granted, became profoundly cherished.
There is a hero (of course!), Michael, who works to unite everyone, humans and magic users. He has some close allies, in particular, Predella, a huntress with a cool magical ability, and legendary hero Maxim, who has been revived from death to help save the world. They leave the town with some soldiers and others who have keys roles in the disaster. Thus, begins the quest to rid the world of the monsters and discover why it is all happening in the first place. The book is divided into two parts. Between the parts, the author offers a ‘Poetic Intermission’ which I found unique and pleasing. Here’s part:
Amidst the sea of courageous hope,
the wind did carry sail and rope.
As one, they embarked, friend and foe,
to challenge an evil born ages ago.

On the vessel was time for understanding—
to brake the hate long withstanding.
Over the days, no land in sight,
but angst and fear wrenched in the night.

The author, David V. Mammina, has done a good job of making the characters relatable through their personalities and flaws. He excels at action scenes, fights and close encounters. Those are sometimes mesmerizing in their detail and realism. The book is a long one, with many characters, many events and a very busy plot. It would be easy to get into this story and not put the book down for hours. A book like this deserves to be read in an unstoppable flow.

Finding Sgt Kent (Publication Review)

Finding Sgt. Kent
HUGEOrange Publication Review, Five Stars

Finding Sgt. Kent is a story about Robert Kent who finds that leaving military service in war-torn Afghanistan is not quite the relief and new beginning it should have been.  The book opens with him spending pointless days in a VA inpatient unit for soldiers with PTSD and other issues. After fruitless sessions with the doctor trying to help him, he finally agrees to discover how his life has led up to his dissatisfaction and angst. He sets out to discover who his father was, a man he never met and never discussed much with his late mother. The doctor feels that discovering more about himself and his origins may help him adjust better into regular civilian life. But he emerges from the hospital with a changed vision of life, country and himself.
I didn’t trust the scan codes in the grocery store, the few people on the bus at night who looked at their shoes, people who wouldn’t look you in the eye. The headline on the magazines at the checkout, the stories about Afghanistan on the radio, all full of spin that the country was growing ever more democratic, ready to sit at the table with the grownups. Every day the Taliban murdered more people. If you couldn’t hold a truth in your hand, like a bullet, it didn’t exist. You couldn’t trust anything.
Although PTSD drives the story, it is not the full story. Robert has to confront his past and accept who his father was to move forward with his life. He encounters some truly awful people who just reinforce his outlook and hone his anti-social viewpoint further. And his self-preservation and defensive instincts are always at the surface, influencing and flavoring his every move.

The Choice (Author Interview)

The Choice looks like a great inspirational work of fiction.  Any plans to make it into a series?

I don’t want to write never-ending series without a profound message, that’s why I'd rather put everything into one book that is well worth the wait. As I have been working on it for years, I am sure that I’ve done my work properly. On the other hand, I didn’t feel that the subject in The Choice was closed for me. Because of that I have been working for the last six years on my third book called Revolution which will provide a similar subject, but with a new concept, style of writing and characters. One thing remains the same – you will feel that you are there, you will think that you are the main character. I may not win any Nobel prizes for literature this year, but I can promise you that you won’t stop thinking about this story long afterwards.

What do you think makes a great inspirational work of fiction?

If you want to inspire others you need to squeeze everything out of yourself. They have to feel that you truly gave them your all at that time. You need to dig deep into your own personality, fight your biggest fears and show your biggest dreams. People just have to feel that you are there with them, and they are actually having a conversation with you.

You became a full-time writer just seven months ago. What are your next plans?

I want to introduce The Choice to the rest of the world. There is a beautiful message which can help lots of people out there in the same way as it did in my country. We all deserve to be happy. Of course, I am writing new stories. I can’t imagine my life without that. This year I will be starting my fourth book.

When did you decide to become a writer?

When I was a child, I loved stories, always was dreaming about something and wanted to share it with others, but I didn’t know at that time how to do it. When I grew up, I started to read books about personal growth, spirituality and happiness, and I realized that my parents didn’t tell me a lot of things. After school I started my blog, where I wrote 100+ articles in five years. In 2011 the inspiration for my first novel came to me. It was a very strong and strange feeling, so many ideas, that I had to start writing The Choice immediately. Now I know that writing is the best way to connect to my soul and share it with others. I am sure that everyone has their own unique way to communicate like this.

Tails Of Sanctuary: The Dark Sentinel (Author Interview)

Tails of Sanctuary looks like a great fantasy adventure.  Any plans to make it into a series?
         Thank you and yes. I am currently working on the second book, Tails of Sanctuary: The Rescue, which is planned to come out later this year. You can follow us on Facebook (Tails of Sanctuary) for more details as well as exclusive content.

What do you think makes a great young adult book?
         With any book, the ability to relate to your audience is key. So, writing characters who are believable and remind individuals they are not alone, no matter what they are feeling or going through, can really set any book apart — regardless of genre.

What inspired you when writing Tails of Sanctuary?
         I work with dogs for a living. So, the inspiration came from the dogs I work with on a daily basis. While they may or may not be getting into fantastical adventures, the thought of what they might do helps the time pass on slower days.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full-time? Part-time?
         The greatest thing I could achieve from my career as a writer would be to change someone’s life. While I would love to do this as a full-time job, I would much rather be able to help someone get through a hard time or find it helped bring a family together.

When did you decide to become a writer?
         I’ve wanted to be a writer since high school. In fact, when I was in high school I would write short stories for my friends and family for their Christmas presents.

When writing Tails of Sanctuary did anything stand out as particularly challenging?
         Time. Time is always a challenge. I was (and still am) working full-time. So, dedicating time to sit down and write can be a tedious task. Though, it is always rewarding to do so.

How did you come up with the story in Tails of Sanctuary?
         I really like to think that I didn’t come up with the story. The story was always there, and I just discovered it.

What do you like to do when not writing?
         I find no matter what I end up trying to do I always find myself telling stories or listening to stories or reading them. If it’s not working on a stand-up routine, it’s listening to podcasts (Everyone should check out King Falls AM), or re-watching The Office for the hundredth time.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

         They can find us on Facebook (Tails of Sanctuary), Twitter (@SanctuaryTails) or on our blog (TailsofSanctuary.blogspot.com) they can also find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu.com

Caroline Dance (Author Interview)

Caroline Dance looks like a great start to a new thriller series.  How far along is book two?

The second novel is in the beginning stages of the first draft. There are also three Orlando Black short stories that will be published between the first and second novels. The first, Queen City Ruby is already published and the other two are not far behind.

What do you think makes a great action/crime/thriller book?

I think its story, character, and action, but not necessarily in that order.

What inspired you when writing Caroline Dance?

Well, there are a lot of issues that plague our society. Carolina Dance and the stories that follow tackle some of these issues. Knowing this gave me inspiration.

Also, there are many action-thriller heroes who fight bad guys and correct wrongs, but not many of them are black men. I’m a black man and an action-junky, so creating a protagonist who looks like me and is able to kick butt and save the day is inspiring too.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?

Right now I’m just enjoying creating, and being a creative is always full-time.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed creating stories, and have written, drawn, and acted out stories all my life. But to actually put a story on paper with the purpose of publishing it is something I started roughly three years ago.

Reality Cheque (Author Interview)

Reality Cheque looks like a great fiction story.  You have a unique way of displaying it chapter by chapter on your blog. Do you plan to make it available in any other formats?
I’m not sure. It’s something I’ve debated quite a bit but I really enjoy the freedom of my website. When a project is completed it’s done for me. The idea of having to pitch something for 6-18 months and then promote it for another 6-18 months is very challenging and that’s without even accounting for the writing process itself. All I want to do is write and nothing interests me enough to hold my undivided attention for that long.
What do you think makes a great story?
Characters and dialogue. I’m not really bothered by plot. If the protagonists are interesting enough and what they are saying is true to the character then the rest all falls into place.
What inspired you when writing Reality Cheque?
I’ve always been obsessed with pop culture and reality tv in particular. I know that it’s complete garbage yet find myself completely compelled, entertained and ultimately disgusted with myself. It’s kind of a weird microcosm of society in that each “character” has to deal with who the are, who they want people to think there are and who they want to be. And if that’s not difficult enough you generally have to deal with 12 other strangers with 3 split personalities each competing for one prize, all usually under the influence of alcohol or even worse who are on “a hero’s journey”.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?
Unfortunately, I now write part-time having been badly burnt as a full-time writer. I always knew writing would never make me rich, I just had no idea how financially crippled I’d be. I think a mixture of naivety and arrogance probably made the transition a lot more painful than necessary but then the novel isn’t as culturally relevant as it once was, making it very difficult for publishing houses to take the sort of risks they were accustomed to.

Secrets the Walkers Keep (Author Interview)

Secrets the Walkers Keep looks like a great urban fantasy. How far along is book two?

The next book in the series, currently titled “Inside the Imperium Files” is slated to launch in October 2019.  Secrets The Walkers Keep is the first in a planned eleven book series.

In the meantime, I’m publishing a series of short stories.  One will launch in-between each of the novels, and they focus on non-Walker characters in the series.  Currently available for email subscribers is Chaos Theory, which follows Cooper Ambrose as he fights to contain his powers and save a young Caster from destruction.

What do you think makes a fantasy book?

There’s probably a good definition of this somewhere, but for me, fantasy is building a story that isn’t real in a way that the reader gets so deep in it that they feel it could be real.

What inspired you when writing Secrets the Walkers Keep?

My family, first of all.  The main character, Hat Walker, has a lot (no really…a LOT) of family.  Every family member in his life is modeled somewhat off of one in my own life, even if names were changed to protect the ridiculous.

Music was also, and continues to be, a huge inspiration for me.  You see it in the writing, with several characters who have musical abilities, and several scenes with a musical backdrop.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?

In a perfect world, I’d have the option to do nothing but write.  Whether or not I’d choose to do it full-time is still in question.  I like to be busy, and busy with a variety of things, so I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy only writing.

Salomé: Daughter or Demon (Publication Review)

Salomé: Daughter or Demon

By William Freeman
HUGEOrange.com Publication Review

Salomé: Daughter or Demon is a lively vampire romp about a teenage girl destined to become a daughter of the night. Salome is a headstrong and stubborn typical teenager who doesn’t change much after she is turned into a blood-sucker. The story shows her early days of adjustment and learning how to survive as a vampire. She is mentored by two very old immortals, Master Kajika and Leslie, who have extreme patience with her teenager mouth and impulses.
“To take a life is no easy undertaking. The conflict between your old life and your present one lingers until you make this kill. Salomé, remember we’re hunters, not killers,” Kajika said, in a distant voice.
“My pleasure.” I had enough of people consoling me. I’m no child. No misunderstandings exist of what I must do tonight.
She gets to exact revenge on some bad guys early on and then she gets involved in a Vatican cover up and mysterious cult that could be the end to her new life. She’s a quick learner and masters the rough protocols required for fighting and killing.
Salome maintains a friendship with her high school friend Theodore, who has gone into the priesthood and can offer insight into much of the disruption with the church and vampires. She also has new friends of a supernatural nature she didn’t know existed. This includes discovering who her biological father really is as well as lifetime friends.
The book is written from Salome’s viewpoint. Her dialogue is written in a short, abbreviated style that is typical for the young, cell phone generation. She’s sarcastic and sometimes naïve. Although not always likeable, she sometimes is and can grow on you. It’s clear she mainly has good intentions and is fiercely loyal to those she considers deserve it. She still enjoys food, reading, writing, and exercising. Like everyone, she’s doing the best with the cards dealt to her.
Imagine a vampire who misses their workout. Stiff joints creak. They could end up in an old horror movie, as a sound effect for creaky floorboards.

I enjoyed this book and can recommend it for vampire/fantasy fans. It’s a fun story that has humor and action, plus it’s left open for a sequel!