Popular Posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Rose of Prophecy


by Hope Ann

She is afraid. Not because she is alone. Not because thick roiling clouds obscure the moon. Not because the wind rushes through the forest like a wild dragon. She is afraid because she is late. And to be late means death.
Her life had been happy once. 
Despite the destruction wreaked by Tauscher, traitor to the King... Despite the distant war led by the Prince and fought with the help of her three brothers... Despite her own poorly-chosen nickname... Despite the absence of the luxuries she grew up with, Beauty enjoyed life. 
Of course, that was also before her father left home on a hopeful errand but returned weary and ill, bearing a velvety scarlet rose which he claimed would never wither. But even life in the ancient hall, tucked away in the center of Mosswood, surrounded by roses of every description, overshadowed with mystery and home to a scarred figure who was more beast than man, wasn't too bad after a time. 
But now...now, in a flash of light, Beauty finally glimpses the truth. And the cost. The price which must be paid, or the sacrifice which must be made.
It is a curse which even love alone may not be able to break.


My Review

This is going to be a tough one to review without spoilers ... but I'll try. 
First off, I think this book toyed with my expectations a bit ... or maybe my expectations toyed with me. The fairy tale retelling genre seems to be very dependent on "twists" and "new takes" and this is (at least at first) a very straightforward retelling of the original tale. It wasn't until near the end that the author introduced a few elements I hadn't seen before. 
However, the writing was dang good. Strong voice, really potent, nice mix of descriptions ... just good. I think that drew me in and kept me reading past when my jaded brain would otherwise have given up for "lack of novelty" (because I admit, as a reader, I'm very into the "shiny.") which might've been created by how closely this follows the original tale. 
The book isn't preachy. There is definitely an allegorical element that could've been preachy, but wasn't and it is overall a satisfying read I would recommend (definitely a short story rather than a full novel. Not a bad thing, in my book. I like short reads, but I know some people really like to spend days in a book, and this is an "afternoon" book, not a "days" book). 
My only beef: some elements of the allegory didn't work for me. It wasn't as clean and straight forward as say Narnia where "oh yeah, I get how this works with Aslan being a divine figure and also an "actively in the story figure." ... some of the allegorical elements felt like they needed more explanation for me (like how "magic" works generally in this world. If their King is literally a God figure is He immortal and all powerful or is He not exactly God just sort of an "image" of God that stands in for this world? Just little "world building" things I didn't get a sense of ... admittedly, a long explanation of how it works would probably be out of place in this short tale which kept a pretty decent pace and really never had a place to stop and "explain" itself). 






Saturday, September 24, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! Kristen Kooistra

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

We hear a jingle of many silver bells and a sleigh appears on the horizon, pulling our next author, Kristen Kooistra!


Kristen Kooistra

Congratulations! You are now president of this blog post. What's your first executive order?

A: I’d like a poofy pillow and some gooshy food delivered for my fluffy counterpart, Kota. What’s that? Meooooooowwwww. Okay, she says she also wants the little girl sneaking cookies in the corner to spend the rest of the interview petting her. She also wants some of the cookies.


Who is your fictional best friend and what activities do you choose to do together?

A: I have no fictional best friend. I live a solitary fictional existence where there’s nothing but me and the quiet emptiness. Kind of like being in Narnia before Aslan’s song. It’s nice here . . . peaceful. There’s a decided lack of children demanding attention and cats insisting on pett—OW! I take it back. This place is horrible without Kota.


Can you simply walk into Mordor?

A: Definitely not. Haven’t you heard? There’s not just orcs there. Some freaky eye thing is watching everything and I’m pretty sure you’d need at least 10,001 men to even attempt it. It’d be folly otherwise.


Describe your life (or writing) as a film genre.

A: I’m calling dibs on family comedy. Little kids give me the best stories to share. And that’s not even taking into consideration my siblings or my inlaws *looks around nervously* They’re not watching, right?


If you had a store, what would you sell?

A: Sanity for parents who have to deal with their kids, other people’s kids, and other adults who are in need of the second item my store sells—Manners.


If you had to get stuck inside a television show, what would it be?

A: My Little Pony(assuming I could take my oldest with me). She’d go crazy. We could take some selfies with all of the ponies. Maybe she could even get a ride if our animated selves were the right size. And nothing would kill us. Living is a good thing.



Where’s my supersuit!?!?!?!?

A: Frogsticks. I knew I forgot something. *leaves for a minute* Kota clicks her claws on the floor. *rushes back in with a big gaudy hot pink and lime green wrapped box* Found it! The supersuit of your dreams, just as you ordered. Customized special and everything.


During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?

A: Is this a real question? Because I’m sure lightsaber is the only valid answer any SANE person would make.


If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?

A: A whale in a unicorn! *Kota waves paw and gives a cryptic meow* Wait, what are you-- *a giant plume of purple smoke flashes in the center of the blog post* Holy fudge and pumpernickel! When did you learn magic? *smoke fades and there in all of its glory is my dream creature*



YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! THAT’S INSANE!!!


If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?

A: If this question were any question in the world, it would be, “What question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?” BAM! Didn’t see that coming, did you?




Social Media







Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao

When Sparks Fly

Ines Bautista-Yao

Twenty-four-year-old photographer's apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana's heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too? 

When Sparks Fly can be read as a standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to Ines Bautista-Yao's other book Only A Kiss.

My Review

Romance isn't typically my thing. I try it from time to time, but it tends to be a little too formulaic and center around characters who aren't necessarily people I find interesting ... however, I'll read this series in a heart beat (I think this is the third from this "universe" that I've read ... I think it's more a universe than a "series" because while characters from other book show up as side characters, the stories are self-contained) because of a few points.
1. the writing is clean. It has a strong voice that carries you along.
2. the characters are well thought out and interesting, with a good mix of positive and negative traits and things they care about besides mooning over each other ... there's also a limit to the stupid drama. People fight about reasonable things, rather than contrived things ... and even the sort of over the top side character Lana manages to be likable while she's kind of doing the things that sometimes turn me off from romance heroines (helps that she's a secondary character and the more level headed lead is the one we're supposed to root for).
3. I like that these are set in the Philippines. It makes me feel like I'm taking a vacation. There's a hearty sprinkle of culture that manages to ground me the location, and I really like that.
Honestly, the only small quibble was I could've done without the side story about the friend from college. It had some small plot influence, and it wasn't annoying to read by any means, but it didn't strike me as essential to the story or characterization. But it wasn't a huge distraction and it did make the book take about twenty minutes longer to read (I will admit to being an impatient reader and I don't think I'm necessarily the norm in this). 

I received an ARC in return for my honest review. 




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! H. A. Titus

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

With a flash of lightning and the roll of thunder, H. A. Titus appears among us, carrying a dusty, leather-bound tome filled with awesome answers to our random questions.



Author bio:

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. She first fell in love with speculative fiction when she was twelve and her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young sons, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world, usually for some kind of adventure. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, mountain biking, or skiing. She is the author of the Celtic urban fantasy Forged Steel.

The Interview


What weather is your writing? A dark and stormy night? A sunshiny day?
It's one of those cloudy, stormy days that still has speckles of sunshine breaking through. Plenty of thunder and lightning though. 

 Congratulations! You are now president of this blog post. What's your first executive order?
It would be that people found my answers enormously clever and funny. (I think that would scoot me closer to the line of dictator though.) :P

If you could live inside a theme park ride, which would it be?
Probably the Rip Ride Rockit in Universal Studios. (My pick of old classic rock? Yes!) Or the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride (also in Universal). My husband might not be too pleased with that last choice though, as that ride made him feel pretty ill for a couple of hours. 

You're the next Disney princess. What fairy tale is your full length movie and how would you use your new ability to control woodland creatures?
East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon. No contest, that's my favorite. As for controlling woodland creatures, I suppose they would come in handy for helping me find the witch's castle. (Or...you know...eating if I was starving in said woodlands. But this is family friendly so we should probably skip that part.)

If you had to get stuck inside a television show, what would it be?
Leverage. I'd get along famously with everyone, I think. Plus it's one of the very few tv shows where I think I'd actually survive more than a few hours. 

We sometimes hear stories about lottery winners who still choose to man their tollbooths or drive their buses in spite of being able to afford to quit. What job (or jobs), to you, would be worth working even if you didn't need the financial pay?
I would so be a librarian for fun. Yes, it would mean dealing with people (something I'm not exactly good at), but the ability to help people chose new books to read, and recommending my favorites...it's basically what I do at my church already, so it would be awesome! :) 

During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?
Anything I could get to quickly, is easy to handle, and wouldn't require ammunition or replacement parts. Hmm. Kinda rules out a lot of stuff. So...I guess a baseball bat?

If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?
Oh, I did this in high school! (I realize I should add, not literally. I'm not a Doctor Frankenstein in training. Yet. It's on my bucket list.) Back then I hybridized a lion and a scorpion. Don't remember what I called it. 

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
Question: "What's at the top of your bucket list?" Answer: "It will very likely never, ever be possible in this world, but...I would still LOVE to ride a dragon."


Connect with H. A. Titus




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Christmas is Coming: Goodreads Giveaway!




I'm sick of waiting to release this book! So I'm putting it out NOW! It's currently 99 cents so grab a copy while you can!
Click here to order on Amazon.


Also, if you prefer to read paperback, you can enter to win a copy via Goodreads (click below).


 
 


    Goodreads Book Giveaway
 

   

        Nyssa Glass's Clockwork Christmas by H.L. Burke
   

   

     


          Nyssa Glass's Clockwork Christmas
     
     


          by H.L. Burke
     

     

         
            Giveaway ends September 25, 2016.
         
         
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.
         
     
   
   



    Enter Giveaway



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Controversial Stand: Higher Education Isn't For Everyone


My Controversial Stand: Higher Education isn't for Everyone



Generally, as a writer, I'm not very controversial. I write about things that don't exist, so I can pretty much say whatever I want about them. I write in Fantasy worlds, so I can choose which of "our world's" problems to bring into them, and most of the time, I'd rather leave the controversial ones behind because I don't consider myself someone who has answers to them. I write escapist fantasy.
But I did make a subtle stand at the end of Cora and the Nurse Dragon that most readers didn't notice, but at least one reviewer called me out on, in the end Cora determines that college isn't for her and chooses to forge her own path. One reviewer felt this was a bad message that would encourage kids not to pursue a better life.
But that message was totally intentional.

I honestly don't believe college is the only path to a "better life." I don't plan to pressure my kids towards degrees. I really don't plan to encourage them to go into debt to get them. I don't have a degree, and I've been able to find what I consider to be success in life.

To start with, as mentioned above, I don't have a degree. I did spend about a year in community college,  kind of fumbling around, getting good grades but only taking selective classes because I was bored with it and I only wanted to take classes I could assign "value" to (Like I took Spanish because I really believe speaking a second language would help me. Some office orientated computer classes because I thought they'd make me more employable, and writing because I wanted to be a writer). And honestly, if I could trade the time spent in college for the savings that I depleted paying for books and courses, I'd do it in a heart beat.

I feel like I did what courses I did because of pressure from well-meaning people who thought it was be "good" for me, but that was one of the most miserable periods of my life. I felt lost and directionless. I felt like what I wanted was "wrong" but that I'd never be happy if I pursued what other people wanted for me (the relatives/friends who thought I'd be a good nurse or a great teacher or just felt that I needed a degree if I wanted to amount to anything).

And for a while, as a writer, I kind of hid the fact that I didn't finish college because I think as a society we've come to assign a ridiculous amount of value to it. Enough value that it's worth going into crazy amounts of debt and shaming people who don't pursue the same goals.

People told me I needed the degree to get a good job, but the only job I'd ever really dreamed of (being a fiction writer) didn't have a "yes, if you get this degree you are guaranteed a publishing contract" path, and to me, the cost of a degree was too much of a gamble.

People told me that it was about the experience, but the experience they described always seemed to be about partying and drinking which have never been my thing.

When I ran out of savings and scholarships (I still wish I had those savings back.), I told my mom and dad I was going to work for a bit instead.
I found out I really liked working. I've always been a little competitive and good at figuring out "systems," so being a good employee was second nature to me.

After a bit in a food services job, my family got worried again because I would soon age out of their health insurance. I said, "Okay, I'll get a job with health insurance then." So  I did.
Again, I was good at this job too. I made enough that, if I'd been smart about it and lived reasonably, I probably could've lived off of it (at this point I was 20 and still living at home), and I'd still write in my spare time. I read a LOT. Like on my break I'd walk either down to the local bookstores or up to the library and get a book and read it. I still didn't feel I was doing something I could do for the rest of my life. It was still a place holder job.

Then came Matt. Then came marriage. Then came kids.
Then came a day I realized that I could self-publish.

I'm a learn by doer. I taught myself formatting. I learned editing tricks. I learned everything I could about improving my craft, and now I'm doing what I love and making decent money at it. My college experience ... I still look back on it as a depressing waste of time I really wish I could somehow refund.

Now my experience isn't everyone's, obviously. Some people loved college. Some people pursued careers that would only be available to them if they had college under their belt (anything in medicine, engineering, certain financing and business degrees), but if you don't know what you want to be, I don't think college is a magic cure all for lack of direction.

And college isn't the only way to success.
There's a skilled labor shortage. We need more people who can work with their hands.
In this internet age, there are a lot of options for people who are creative to pursue goals online, from selling art to making videos.
Some trades offer apprenticeships and on the job training.

Yes, most of the best paying jobs are college educated jobs ... but why is "best paying" the main measurement of value or success? What about happiness? And in observing my generation and the generation immediately following, college education isn't really what separates those who are doing well from those who are struggling. In fact, a lot of them are struggling because of their college debt while working jobs that the average high school graduate is decently qualified for.


So yeah, I'm making a stand that if you are a young person trying to decide what to do with your life, it's okay not to do college.

Work with your hands. Learn about the real world. Find out what you value. Don't try to please people or make your guidance counselor happy.


As a writer, I've included some characters who are driven by a love of learning and academia and books ... and some who love the scent of earth and feel that classrooms are stifling. Both types exist, and neither is wrong.











Saturday, September 10, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! Parker J. Cole

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

DRUM ROLL! FLASH! BOOM!
It's Parker J. Cole!
Let her WOW us!

The Interview

What weather is your writing? A dark and stormy night? A sunshiny day?
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

If you favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like?
Vanilla bean flavored with Mountain Dew and marshmallows

Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you’ll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It’s considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
Trees have sap

You're the next Disney princess. What fairy tale is your full length movie and how would you use your new ability to control woodland creatures?
The Little Mermaid and I would use my power of song to bring woodland creatures to their death under the sea.

What’s the most important lesson you ever learned from a cartoon?
Make sure you have lots of anvils to get rid of people.

We sometimes hear stories about lottery winners who still choose to man their tollbooths or drive their buses in spite of being able to afford to quit. What job (or jobs), to you, would be worth working even if you didn't need the financial pay?
Cooking and knitting

Can you simply walk into Mordor?
Can I take the bus ride to Mars?

If you could combine any two animals to make a hybrid, what would they be?
A Tiger and a humming bird.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
The question would be, "What part of forest did Hansel and Gretel get lost in?"

The answer would be: The part where the bread crumbs ended.


Parker J. Cole
Author of Dark Cherub, Many Strange Women, The Other Man, and the upcoming release Vengeful Vows
www.parkerjcole.com

Host of The Write Stuff and the Parker J Cole Show
www.blogtalkradio.com/pjcmedia
Show phone line: 646-668-8485
writestuffradio@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Social Media Mistakes I Wish New Authors Would Stop Making



Social Media Mistakes 

I Wish New Authors Would Stop Making



I'll start out with this: Marketing is one of the hardest things about being a self-published author. There's a fine line between not doing enough and doing too much and different readers (and authors) have different burn out points where they'll "unfollow" or "unfriend."

However, there are some mistakes I see repeatedly that are actually pretty easy to avoid, so I thought I'd make a quick list. I may have done some of these in the beginning. Most aren't going to ruin you, but they also won't necessarily help you, and they can use up your energy which could be much better spent writing new books.

Marketing doesn't have to be all consuming. These are some ways new authors often make it harder than it has to be (or harder for their followers than it has to be).

1. Making a new profile for every single book.

I think this happens because of a misconception that it takes one book to "make it." All you need is one best seller, right? Or maybe the author assumes that their creative energy was all expended in that one single book ... so they make a social media profile and instead of naming it after their author name, they name it after their book (or a main character in their book because that seems like a creative marketing tool, right?). They put all their energy into getting followers for that book (or sometimes a series), but then a year later, they have another book ... so they make a new social media profile for that book. They beg all their followers from the first profile to also follow their second profile ... and sometimes the followers oblige, sometimes they don't. 

If they are a prolific author, this can get really annoying really fast. There's a limit to how many social media accounts I want to follow per friend, personally. 
It also makes it a lot more work because you have to try and keep each account active or else, what's the point?
It's much easier to use your author name (pen or otherwise), make one page, and then you can market all your books from one place. This takes less time and makes it easier for readers to find more content from you. 

Now the "social media account run by a character" can be kind of cool and doable ... but I'd only suggest this if you ALSO have an author profile and have the time needed to successfully run both pages. Remember, time spent marketing is time spent not writing. You do need to do both, but don't take on more than you can handle. 

2. Using a "personal profile" rather than a "page."

I know some authors who swear by this, and will argue up and down why it is preferable. There are some points (Facebook does restrict views on "business" pages in an attempt to make their "boosting" system more appealing.), but there are a few things to consider ...
1. Most people keep business and personal separate for a reason. If you have never had a personal profile on said site and are planning to keep your page completely business, great, but if this personal profile is also where you talk about your day, your kids, and what you eat for dinner ... you're probably going to bore readers. You risk becoming a victim of social engineering scams as people find out stuff about you, and it ups your chances of being trolled because you've let readers get very close ... it's nice to build a relationship with anyone you do business with, but if you wouldn't invite someone into your house, you probably shouldn't invite them to your personal profile.
2. A lot of readers don't want to "friend" you because friending goes both ways. Once you friend an author, not only can you see the author's pages and pictures, but the author can see yours. The reader may be uncomfortable with this. Now there is an option to "follow" a personal page, but many readers prefer the simplicity of the "like this page" system, and I'm not sure if you'll necessarily get the exposure you want this way. 
3. A lot of authors use double accounts to create a "personal" page for their author persona while still maintaining a "real" personal page for themselves. Seems slick and easy, right? Totally against Facebook's rules at this time and can get your accounts shut down, in which case you lose your followers. Now a lot of writers (and other business personas) do get away with this because Facebook is really inconsistent about what rules they enforce and when ... however, all it takes is one vindictive person getting it into their head to report you, and KABLAM! It all blows up in your face and you end up having to basically start from scratch. You can use different email addresses and programs that mask your ip address to maintain the charade of being two separate people rather than one maintaining two accounts, but it really doesn't make sense to build your presence on a social media platform while actively breaking said platform's rules. 
Note: this really only applies to Facebook. Most other social media sites lack Facebook's strict division between personal and business and are less "up in your business" about it. This may be why a lot of brands/authors/businesses are switching their focus to other sites.

3. Advertising instead of interacting.

A lot of authors simply don't know what to do online besides spam links, copy reviews, and make ads. However, most readers do not necessarily want to see ads. You need to have a decent ratio of content to advertising or else people unfollow pretty quickly. 
My least favorite is when I follow an author and immediately get an automated message advertising their latest book or begging me to download something or follow a second account. It's a major turn off ... though wait .. that's my second to least favorite ... my LEAST LEAST favorite is when the author follows me and when I return the favor they immediately send me an advertisement. 
To me that spells total disinterest in me as a person rather than as a potential customer. 
Other examples of this are:
1. Following a BUNCH of accounts then posting on their walls begging for reciprocity or posting advertisements on the Facebook wall of the author you just followed. 
2. Joining forums or groups to post about your book and then leaving never to be seen or heard from again ... (note, Facebook has some groups that are specifically for post and run advertisements ... I'm not sure how effective they are, but they at least won't tick people off when you use them as intended).
3. Hijacking unrelated discussions to talk about your book. 
So basically, you have to earn your right to sell to people. Try to post something people will like (funny pictures, jokes, samples from your work in progress ... content) and then, after you've given them a reason to hang out with you, share a link.
Also, you should have you account set up so that people can see where your books are available just by clicking on it. You shouldn't have to message people to let them know. The information should just be there (in your profile description ... in your pinned post ... etc). 

4. Spreading yourself too thin.

I think a lot of the reason authors get overwhelmed with social media is because of the over-abundance of options. It seems like every few months someone somewhere rolls out "the next big thing" and if you don't jump on that, you'll be a rotten egg or something ... however, it is very very hard to be active on so many social media outlets without it becoming a full time job. There are some options to automate (or to simul-post to multiple pages at once ... like post to your blog, immediately click the links beneath the post to share on Facebook, Twitter, and G+. Use Roundteam to follow certain hashtags on Twitter. Schedule all your posts a head of time on Facebook and have them go out automatically while you are sleeping), but generally speaking, I'd pick two or three social media streams to focus on while sort of just setting up the rest and letting them link to your more active ones so people can "find you" but don't stress if you don't do a lot there. 
How to decide which?
1. Find out where your readers are. It's good to know your target demographic anyway, and you can find breakdowns of what ages and genders are most active on which social media channels just with a little google searching. 
2. Do the ones you can do well. If you are good at something, if you find it easier to interact in a specific format (like pictures on Instagram, quick quips on Twitter, or sharing funny stories on Facebook), then nurture that. Don't force yourself to interact in a way that doesn't come naturally. Take the road that fits your style the best. 
3. Do the ones you enjoy. I am on Pinterest not because I necessarily see sales results from Pinterest, but because I can find pictures of dragons and cats wearing top hats there. Fortunately, a lot of my readers like dragons and cats wearing top hats.

5. Neglecting basic set up.

This isn't by any means a complete or comprehensive list, but here are some things writers don't do that can make a difference:
Not using shortlinks. It seems a simple thing, but too many authors copy the whole dang search bar for their book's Amazon product page. It looks messy and takes up a lot of the character limit in a tweet. You can use sites like bit.ly and booklinker.net to create shortlinks for you tweets. 
Not setting up an Author Central or Goodreads page. It takes a few minutes and it helps readers find you and your books. Also, double check that all your books are linked to your profiles correctly. 
Not setting up a mailing list. These take time to build and nurture, but when the earlier you start building an email list the better. You can use mailchimp or similar free programs. 

So those are just some basic things you can do (or not do) to get started on social media in the right direction. Hopefully these help you out. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Random Interview Saturday! Kat Heckenbach

DISCLAIMER
The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.

Today we rub the lamp and summon a magical Kat Heckenbach. Do you think she will grant us three wishes? Or just answer nine random questions?
Kat Heckenbach

Author bio:

Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated from college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing, with multiple stories published online and in print. Her YA fantasy series Toch Island Chronicles is available in print and ebook. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com.

The Interview


Congratulations! You are now president of this blog post. What's your first executive order?
There shall henceforth be no more unnecessary remakes of hit movies—at least not until someone has the sense to finally remake Logan’s Run.
Describe your life as a film genre.
Well, judging by the number of wands and dragons in our house, I’d say fantasy. But if you go by the sonic screwdrivers and TARDISes lying around, then science fiction.
Can you simply walk into Mordor?
Of course not. Flying in with a magic carpet, though….
What is the best dream you ever had? Alternately, what is the worst nightmare you’ve ever experienced?
When I was a kid I dreamed there was magic chocolate that gave you the ability to fly, and I got to try it inside an incredible mansion! (That would be the best dream, btw.) As for the nightmare…I actually can’t even bring myself to type it. But I did have a freaky dream as a kid about discovering a cave with a bunch of bones that suddenly began to gather together into skeletons that came to life.
What’s the most important lesson you ever learned from a cartoon?
Taking over the world is something you have to try over and over every day, Pinky.
If you could live inside a theme park ride, which would it be?
Oh, this is the easiest question EVER. The Forbidden Journey inside Hogwarts at Universal Studios. Actually, I’ve spent many an hour devising how I could, for real, find a way to live there.

Write me some Vogon Poetry (for those not in the know, Vogon poetry is so awful you’ll want to rip your ears off and eat them. It’s considered a method of torture in many corners of the galaxy. So give us your worst).
Arthur was just a plain guy,
Whose planet was blown from the sky.
He followed a man
With two heads and three hands,
And a robot who wanted to die.


Their spaceship was one in a bill-i-on.
Their girlfriend was one in a Trill-i-an.
Ford was a Prefect
Zaphod, a defect.
And the Vogons were pretty lame…vill-i-ans?

(Um, yeah, sorry…you say “bad poetry” and my limerick gene kicks in….)

Are you the sort who sticks with the bird in hand? Or goes for what's behind door number two?
Depends—does the bird bite? Actually, it really does depend on the situation. I’m equally right-brained and left-brained. I am also an INTJ/INFJ. So, I’m equally logical and gut-instinct. Sometimes I’m all about keeping the bird and playing it safe. Other times, I set the bird free and go for the door.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
Question: “We would like to offer you a bazillion dollar publishing contract with Scholastic. Where shall we deposit the money?”
Answer: *faints*

Links:

Blog/websites:

Facebook:
Goodreads:
Twitter:
Amazon Author Page: