T.J. Blake ~ Author Interview

Today I’d like to welcome T.J. Blake to my site. He says his friends call him Tom or Blake, I think I’ll stick with Blake. Blake is the author of Familiar a new paranormal mystery thriller!

First lets get to know you a little…

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you like what you do?

I do, I’m a content marketing specialist. I’m a Content Marketer at the UK’s leading online trade directory managing a team of writers. I also own a content marketing business called TJ Creative, and I’m currently working on a new app called TipSpend.

I really enjoy what I do. I’m able to merge my love for writing with marketing. Although my content writing is different to my fiction stories, there are a lot of similarities – there is still storytelling in everything I do. There’s a lot of psychology involved in what I do too, which is an element I really enjoy.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

I prefer a physical book when reading. However, I love Kindle because instead of lugging around one physical copy, you’re holding fifty books in your e-book!

I have been producing an audiobook and listened to a couple too. I do like them, they’re great for if you’re on a long drive, whack on an audiobook.

What is your favorite film based on a book?

There’s too many to choose from; The Harry Potter films, Lord of The Rings, The Avengers (I think that counts!), any adapted Stephen King novel!

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ is the next one on my list. I’ll be reading it on my Kindle.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

Familiar” is my new paranormal mystery thriller book.

To describe it in 20 words: a murder mystery with a paranormal twist. The Conjuring meets True Detective.

How did you come up with the title for “Familiar”?

The title relied on the story. Once you have read the book it should make sense. There’s more to the title than Arabella’s anniversary show being called “Familiar”.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?

In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about her?

Arabella is a famous psychic medium who communicates with those who exist only in memory. She has been speaking to her ‘friends’ for as long as she can remember. Arabella is committed to using her ability to help people connect once more by giving the deceased a voice.

Her ability and reputation has made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

In the book, Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

What is your character’s greatest strengths?

Quite simply, she’s tough. She has to be. Communicating with spirits is not easy and it’s absolutely terrifying. Arabella doesn’t get a second to herself, but she reasons with her ‘friends’ and makes sure they have a chance to be heard.

Does your character have any weaknesses?

There’s a big weakness to Arabella… but I can’t tell you! You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Arabella has a habit for getting too close with her ‘friends’, but she must distance herself. All ‘friends’ want one thing, to feel alive again.

You’ll have to read to find out more!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

I think readers will like Arabella, she’s kind and truly cares about people. But there is a hardness to her.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book?

It was the character Arabella who came to me first; strangely after having gone to see a live Derren Brown stage show.

It was a segment in Derren’s show that impressed me – he was outing psychic mediums and their ‘ability’. In fact, he was more convincing than any psychic medium I had ever seen. It was incredible. He revealed the most personal details about members of the audience. I was jealous – and I actually went up on stage to see if he could speak to my grandfather. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Derren’s work really inspired me. It made me consider all the things that could happen to a psychic medium – I had a lot of interesting thoughts, a lot of dark ones too.

The different scenarios that unfolded really excited me. I soon had a huge collection of situations that would create an interesting plot. I didn’t rush these ideas – I let them sit in my brain for a bit.

These ideas of mine loitered for a year I’d say. There was huge potential and a lot of different paths to explore.

One plot really stuck out to me. One that I thought, “now that would make an awesome Netflix show.” More like it would make another great T. J. Blake novel!

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I’m a huge plotter. It’s all about the plot for me!

My aim is to create a world where you are entertained and trying to guess what’s going to happen. Most of the time, you won’t guess mwahaha!

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Show don’t tell!

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?

Keep going.

It’s tough writing a book, but actually it’s the editing and marketing that’s hardest. It’s quite draining, marketing your book; encouraging people to read your books. It takes time though, and you have to keep going.

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Instagram – www.instagram.com/tjblake93

Twitter – www.twitter.com/tjblake93 (@TJBlake93)

Facebook – www.facebook.com/tjblakeauthor

Blog – tjblakeauthor.com


For the living, it’s closure. For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the center of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

“Blake has the unerring skill on how to tell a good story… This is an author to watch. His talent is remarkable” Michelle Willms – Amazon.com

“Clever writing. Genuinely smart. It tells me we’re in the hands of an author who knows what he’s doing” Damien Seaman – Amazon.co.uk

“T. J. Blake has real talent and I am definitely looking forward to more novels from him in the future” Jaron Vail – Amazon.com

“Blake knows how to keep you glued to the story” Karen O – Amazon.com


(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)


C. L. Schneider ~ Author Interview

We have a very special guest today, C.L. Schneider is the multi-award-winning author of the urban fantasy series, Nite Fire.

Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, Cindy Schneider grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape while she was still in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. While her main focus is adult epic and urban fantasy, she also pens the occasional thriller or post-apocalyptic story.

Though she has been writing all of her life, Magic-Price (the first installment in The Crown of Stones Trilogy) was her first published novel. With the completion of The Crown of Stones Trilogy, she is embarking on a new path with her multi-award-winning urban fantasy series, Nite Fire.

Check out a few of Cindy’s books below!

(Click on the image to order your copy)

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Follow her on Social Media here:


Bloodshed Academy by Jen L. Grey (plus a giveaway)

USA Today Bestselling Author

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, even as a little girl. When I was a toddler, my parents would read stories to me over and over. I would hear them so often that I had the books memorized and could recite the story word by word.

My favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance. So of course that’s what I’m inclined to write.

I have a husband, two young daughters, and a mini Australian Shepherd. I’ve lived in Tennessee the majority of my life and love the state.

I’m extremely addicted to caffeine and enjoy drinking coffee and lattes.

Website * Facebook * FB Group * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Year One (Bloodshed Academy Book 1) by Jen L. Grey ~ Genre: Paranormal Academy Romance

Only the strongest survive … most of the time

Raven may be a shifter, but she’s always felt separate from her wolf. She never knew it should be different. Then, a stranger showed up in her hometown, turning her world upside down and recruiting her for the elite Bloodshed Academy.

Everything she’s ever known gets challenged, and Raven found herself in impossible situations. Making matters worse was the fact that one of the strongest alphas at school caught her eye. And he made her feel things she didn’t understand.

The school may only recruit the best of the best, the strongest in their world, but there was something more about Raven. When push comes to shove, she had to decide if she’s willing to fight for what she’s come to love … or run from a life she couldn’t quite accept.

Vampire Diaries meets Daughter of the Moon in YEAR ONE, a steamy academy romance story for readers that love snark and strong alphas.

Goodreads * Amazon


Year Two (Bloodshed Academy Book 2) by Jen L. Grey ~ Genre: Paranormal Academy Romance

Some secrets kill … others bring a fate worse than death

Barely dealing with her shifter abilities, Raven had to navigate college. Her journey so far has uncovered a world beyond her wildest expectations.

Not only did she constantly have to prove her worth to the students and faculty at Bloodshed, but she also had to balance her love life, a secret society with a hidden agenda, and three of the most elite guys at school.

When all the secrets around her are exposed, and everything Raven’s facing comes to a head … she has to pick what’s worth fighting for. Her life and her choices, or her place in the world around her.

Vampire Diaries meets Daughter of the Moon in YEAR TWO, a steamy academy romance story for readers that love snark and strong alphas.

Please note that the story is not reverse harem and there are instances of bullying.

Goodreads * Amazon


Year Three (Bloodshed Academy Book 3) by Jen L. Grey ~ Genre: Paranormal Academy Romance

A society that you can’t escape… or you can die trying

Embracing her wolf, Raven became stronger than she ever imagined, but the next challenges she must face could break her.

The culling was coming. Only the strongest survive, and with it, the potential to change everything and everyone around her.

Now Raven and her friends must make decisions unlike anything they ever could have imagined. Their choices would set the course of a war. Their enemies were many, and even unknown. Once again, Raven was left with no other options. If she doesn’t take a stand, she would lose everything she held close.

Vampire Diaries meets Daughter of the Moon in YEAR ONE, a steamy academy romance story for readers that love snark and strong alphas.

Please note that the story is not reverse harem and there are instances of bullying.

Goodreads * Amazon

I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Bloodshed Academy by Jen L. Grey.

Supernatural – Paranormal – Preternatural, OH MY!

YA Fiction

As a YA Author of novels that contain vampires, shape-shifters, witches, fairies (not the Tinkerbell type), and so many other un-natural beings I have often been asked the following questions:

‘What is the difference between supernatural, paranormal, and preternatural?’ and ‘Which of these categories do you write in?’

Well the simple answer is this: They are pretty much interchangeable! OR ARE THEY?

 

Below are the “official” definitions – followed by some examples of character types I, as an author, would put into each category.

___________________________________________________________

Supernatural… Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature

Super: above; over; beyond     |     natural: existing in, or caused by nature

* Angels * Vampires * Werewolves (and other were-animals) * Witches * Warlocks * Wizards *

___________________________________________________________

Paranormal… Denoting events or phenomena such as telekinesis or clairvoyance that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding

Para: beyond     |     normal: usual; typical; standard

* Zombies * Vampires * Necromancers * Time travelers *

___________________________________________________________

Preternatural… Beyond what is normal or natural – existing outside of nature (very unusual in a way that doesn’t seem natural)

Preter: This is not a prefixe that I could find a definition for, but it seems it means: beyond   |     natural: existing in, or caused by nature

* Zombies * Werewolves (and other were-animals) * Vampires * Witches * Necromancers *

___________________________________________________________

OK, so maybe that didn’t help sort out the difference after all. A lot of the examples tend to fall into multiple categories, at least for me.

Click here to read a previous post I had re-blogged about a similar topic: Brass Tacks: Supernatural vs Paranormal; Vampire vs Zombie

So, what are your thoughts? Comment below and tell me what you think the differences are and what types of unnatural beings fall into each of the categories!

 

Sector C Book 1 Front 3.25.15 Awaken - Cover Beginnings_-_Cover Revenge_-_ResizeCover

COMING SOON: SECTOR C ~ The Chosen

COMING SOON

Sector C Bk 1 - FRONT

Set in a futuristic Dystopian where society is governed by a council of vampires and lycanthropes, selection students are sheltered and raised in a deceptively Utopian world. Strict rules are imposed to control population growth, education, and even personal interactions with other members of the sector, all in the name of safety.

When ‘A’ comes of age she, like all youth throughout Sector C, and her selection classmates aren’t sent out into the world to find jobs, make money and lead happy carefree lives. They are forced to endure the rigorous physical and mental testing of Selection Week before choosing their destiny or being forced into a fate far worse. Those that make it out alive are announced as sector residence, given a position within the society, and allotted all the privileges of their chosen “culture.” However, when your only choices are vampirism, lycanthropy, breeder, blood donor, or banishment to the Wastelands, what choice do you really have?

Suspenseful, intense, passionate, and awash in paranormal delights, SECTOR C ~ THE CHOSEN captures the enchantment and mysteries of the supernatural world and the power of friendship.

______________________________________________________________

Estimated release date: March/April 2015