Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Questions with Writer Frederick Lee Brooke (@frederickbrooke)


This Author Spotlight features novelist Frederick Lee Brooke, author of ZOMBIE CANDY.




Born and raised in the Chicago area, Frederick Lee Brooke graduated from Amherst College and studied writing at the University of Montana. He has worked as an English teacher, language school manager and small business owner. Having lived in Germany, France and Switzerland, he has also travelled extensively in Tuscany, the setting of part of Zombie Candy. The first book in the Annie Ogden series, Doing Max Vinyl, appeared in 2011 to wide acclaim. 




1. How did you get into writing?

Through reading -- I always loved reading so much, and then I started writing my own stories. On long car rides my sister and I would write stories and then read each other's work. Our parents were happy if we were quiet, I guess.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?

The Turkish author of Snow and My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk, said that to write fiction is to take a journey inward into the depths of your mind. This is unexplored territory, and when I go there I feel the excitement of an explorer. This is addictive.

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?

I make a pretty detailed plan before starting to write. I want to know where I'm going, who the main characters are, the main plot points. I don't want to get two-thirds of the way through my first draft only to find out there's some logical error. But I also find that I can plan all I want, and strange things will start happening between the characters that I didn't plan at all. When the sparks are flying, I follow the characters where they lead me.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

Well Orhan Pamuk is one of them. Another one is Vikram Seth, who wrote A Suitable Boy. I just read a book by Christine Nolfi called Treasure Me that was an absolute stunner. There is no shortage of great books. As an author, I also read a lot. Can you imagine a better job than reading books?

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?

I'm lucky enough to have a professional editor. Can I get back to you on that one?

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Ryan, some things are just not open to negotiation. Grammar and punctuation rules exist for clarity. When authors decide to make up their own rules, meanings become unclear. Nobody's perfect. That's why it's so important to pay a professional editor to look at your work.

7. What is your book ZOMBIE CANDY about and how did it come to fruition?

Zombie Candy (Annie Ogden Mystery 2) is the second book in a three-book series revolving around an Iraq War vet named Annie Ogden who comes home to Chicago and becomes a private investigator. Annie is a smart, stubborn, and slightly mixed-up woman due to all of her experiences. (Did you like that use of the Oxford comma?)

8. What’s your current writing project?

I'm working on the third and last Annie Ogden mystery, in which Annie will play the starring role.

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?

Right now I'm reading Mark of the Loon, by Molly Greene, a marvelous book.

10. Who or what inspires your writing?

I feel inspired every time I read a good book. Writing a book is like running a marathon that goes on for months or years. I read a lot in the evening, to relax. Sometimes you discover a new gem. Often, in fact.

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

Thank you for the interview!

My website links everywhere for more information about my books:


My Amazon US link is here:

My Facebook author page is here:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

10 Questions with Fantasy Writer Chris A. Jackson (@ChrisAJackson1)



This Author Spotlight features Fantasy author Chris A. Jackson. Chris has six independently published novels of fantasy: A Soul for Tsing


Deathmask (Florida Writers Association, 2005, Second Place Novel of the Year) 


Weapon of Flesh (USA Book News Best Books Awards 2005, First Place)


and The Cornerstones Trilogy: Zellohar


Nekdukarr


and Jundag


co-authored with Anne L. McMillen-Jackson.  The first two of Chris's Scimitar Seas novels, Scimitar Moon,


published by Dragon Moon Press, have won sequential ForeWord Book of the Year Gold Medals in Fantasy, and made the finalist lists for the USA Book News Best Books awards.  Chris also has three audiobooks of science fiction-satire, Cheese Runners, Cheese Rustlers and Cheese Lords available for download at www.jaxbooks.com.




1. How did you get into writing?
My first attempt at authoring a novel came about from game-mastering a role playing game campaign.  The game lasted two years, and the novel turned into a trilogy.  It is finally in print (after many rewrites and help from my wife and coauthor, Anne L. McMillen-Jackson), as the Cornerstones Trilogy.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
Best: Writing allows me to be creative and earn a living at it.  What could be better… 
Least: Marketing has become such a huge part of being an author in the current marketplace that it takes up far too much of my time and effort.  I love going to conventions (I live for my fans), bookstores and signings, but the day to day online effort is taxing.

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I write from an outline, but the outline, and the novel, never fail to evolve during the writing process.  My fiction is primarily character driven, and sometimes these characters come to life to such a degree that they begin to evolve into people I did not expect.  This is good, for the more real they are, the more the reader will love, hate, and identify with them.  I do try to write every day, but it is not always possible.  I average anywhere from one to five thousand words a day, but I don’t set a word count as a goal.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
Jaqueline Carey, Elizabeth Moon, Joe Haldeman, George R.R. Martin, Steven Brust… 

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
Inside, but I would turf that one to my editor… 

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Kill them all!  Once again, I bow to my editor.

7. What is your latest book about and how did it come to  fruition?
My most recently competed novel is the fourth in a series of pirate fantasy (The Scimitar Seas novels), and will be coming out in September of 2012 at Dragon*Con, from Dragon Moon Press. 

8. What’s your current writing project?
I am currently in the midst of another pirate story for Paizo Publishing, in their Pathfinder Tales label.  The working title is Star Crossed, and its tentative release is April 2013.

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Elizabeth Moon and George R. R. Martin.

10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Sailing, dreams, insomnia and lots and lots of coffee…

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.

All of my work can be previewed on my website: www.jaxbooks.com.  They are available through the publishers, and, of course, Amazon.com.