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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Lauren Lynch

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 open up a book. There is an explosion of glitter and a burst of butterflies and suddenly our next author has arrived! Lauren Lynch!

Author Bio

Lauren Lynch is a passionate believer, book lover, artist, and indie author. She is also a wife, mom and church communications director (all of which seem to involve being the only female in the crowd, therefore, she deems herself a princess). To learn more about her, visit www.laurenlynch.com

The Interview

Which of the following potions would you like to possess: a Love Potion, a Sleeping Potion, an Invisibility Potion, or Coffee? I honestly believed I had powers of invisibility as a child. Seriously. I've always had "fly on the wall" observation skills and "fly under the radar" powers that could make me a Survivor show finalist. This has served me well as both an artist and a writer. I love to people-watch and most people don't notice me noticing them ;) There are nights, however, when I might trade it for a sleeping potion (for myself). I have NO trouble falling asleep, but can't seem to stay asleep. I'm often up for a few hours between midnight and 3 a.m. But this also serves me well as a writer. While the rest of my household sleeps, the kingdom is ALL MINE. And it's very, very quiet. And writing happens! It's almost magical. Can you simply walk into Mordor? Possibly. Because of the invisibility powers. But you'd have to force me out of the Shire kicking and screaming first. If you had to board yourself up in a store to wait out the apocalypse, what store would you choose? I'd probably load up on foodstuffs at the Cheesecake Factory and then head over to the ThinkGeek Store where survival gear consists of ping pong ball launchers, stormtrooper costumes and canned unicorn meat. I've never been that practical … but then I could go out laughing maniacally. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, if a woodchuck could chuck wood. If your favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like? My head has been stuck in the first century for several years now where they think dormice and peacock tongues and sea urchins are delicacies. Any dessert would have been Honey Nut something or other (take your pick for the Crunch), but we'd have to give it a silly name like Rocky Roman Road or maybe Dormice Tracks. Who wrote the book of love? I wonder, wonder … hmmm … either Jane Austen or zombies? (In my case, it was probably a joint effort.) You have to trade places with one of your characters for a day. Which and why? I'd love to trade places with Elena from book three in the TimeDrifter series, The Tower of Refuge (to release soon!). Elena's got spunk. She lives a pretty carefree, adventurous life, changes hair color with her mood and her animal guardian is a horse who takes her on wild rides but is also always there to help her out of predicaments. You have superpowers. What are they and what do you do with them? I do have superpowers. Thank you for noticing :) One is empathy. I can feel my characters' thoughts, motivations and feelings as they come to life – almost painfully so. They almost always appreciate that I "get" them. Most of them are very close friends now. Even so, they can pester me at the most inopportune times if they feel I've written them improperly … like when I finally fall asleep, or when I'm driving and can't jot down what they're telling me … even in the shower. It's a problematic superpower, but I really couldn't write well without it now, could I? If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it? Random question 968: What inspires your stories? (Mayans and koalas and orphans. Oh, my.) The world is such a fascinating and mysterious place. Ancient history and exotic locations really intrigue me … lost cities, archaic cultures, dead languages. In my opinion learning is one of the most enjoyable parts of life. I also have a tendency to be curious about the unusual, quirky or misunderstood. Whether we want to admit it or not, humans are very spiritual beings, always searching for greater meaning in life. We each develop a distinct worldview based in our unique experiences. I enjoy examining that journey of growth and enlightenment. I love digging into recorded historical events and filling in the blanks in my mind—imagining the unique perceptions of those involved. Weaving in fantasy elements entertains me. It’s like an extra dollop of icing on the cake of reality.

Website: laurenlynch.com
Connect with me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LaurenRLynch
Connect with me on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/readlaurenlynch

Connect with me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LaurenLynchWriting

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spellsmith & Carver: Pre-order and Giveaway

It feels like forever since I put out a new book, but I'm really excited about this one! You can pre-order it now for 99 cents, but it will be released sometime next month (price will go up to $3.99 after release so get your copy reserved now!).

Spellsmith & Carver: Magicians' Rivalry is what I'm calling a magical buddy cop story, not because the characters are cops, but because it is centered around two opposites who start out as rivals who become at first unwilling teammates then an unstoppable magical duo.

And yeah, I'm kind of excited about it!

If you think you'd like a paperback copy, you can enter to win one on Goodreads below.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Spellsmith & Carver by H.L. Burke



          Spellsmith & Carver

          by H.L. Burke


            Giveaway ends May 15, 2017.
            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.

    Enter Giveaway

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Destyni Shirley

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.
A coach pulled my majestic turkeys pulls into the courtyard! Who is it? Well, it's our next author: Destiny Shirley!

Destyni Shirley

Author Bio:

  Destyni Shirley is a budding entrepreneur and writer, having founded her own publishing business at the age of nineteen. She loves animals of all shapes and sizes. Currently, she is the proud mommy of a dog, a cat, five turkeys, and a little house mouse she rescued from a trap. She is a voracious reader and writer of both epic fantasy and science fiction. Have a book with complicated plots? Growth and development of real characters? She's game. Her favourite written works to date include The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Well At World's End by William Morris.

The Interview

Tree House or Cave? And why?

Cave-house in a tree. Because mud daubers. Seriously, have you seen the insides of their cute little nests? They're like churros you can live in. They look so cosy. And also spiders are crunchy. 

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).

Herk! Me sprekenth the lastermost yurdle cond. 
Alacken thou to me a smuggened foip! 
Zelch! Zond! Gastree! An ill ferggerten;
Cometh the ballagard hitherto alon the ziggermoink. 
Though all's for zilch, blithe be the pebble stomps.

...I could go on for another eighteen or twenty hundred verses, but I would not want to subject anyone to that kind of torture for longer than is absolutely necessary.

Did you bring me anything?

*ahem* Why yes, yes I did. It was carefully selected from my Hoard of Interesting-Things-Which-Somehow-Ended-Up-In-My-Pocket. For a long while I was torn between the pink jellybean and the spring, then I thought maybe you would like one of the keys to lost doors, but ultimately I decided on the tiny carousel horse. It is a splendiferous treasure. But if you would prefer either of the prior treasures, do let me know.

Vs movies seem to be all the rage. If you had to put one together, what on screen match up would you like to see?

Sherlock Holmes vs Doctor Who (any Doctor, really). The battle of wits and debonair sarcasm would please me deeply.

What film era do you feel best represents your day to day life?

Silent Films. The ones that are supposed to be super dramatic but the message is lost over the next generation and you actually end up just busting a gut watching them today.

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?

You know, The Yellow Dwarf would make a pretty good full length movie if a few brilliant Disney minds would mould it from the random putty it is now into an actual story with a point and a happy ending. I wouldn't be the princess though. I'd be the crazy faerie lady with pet turkeys (link to blog chronicling my turkey misadventures) and emotional mood swings. 

The Flying Dutchman is offering you three wishes. How do you maximize your wish potential?

I'm a very easy creature to please. Just grant me a large plot of land with water, water rights, and a homestead to live in. I can work with that. I'll make the rest of my wishes come true on that.

In your opinion, which is the best space ship?

Ack, I can't remember it's name, or if they even gave it a name. Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, the last scene where the people are all hiding in the wreckage of this ship before the Great Warrior is released and the Ohmu descend upon them. The one that Kurotowa mentions is said to have navigated the stars? That one. Its crumbling remains stir the core of my imagination. How did it get there? Where did it come from before? Why did it hold such significance to the people, thousands of years later? I seem to recall doing a little bit of research on it and what it was based on, but myeh, it all escapes me now. Anyway, the essence of what intrigued me about that ship inspired quite a history in my own stories.

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

I feel as though I have just been given limitless power, and I have no idea what to do with it. Maybe I'll let those aforementioned pet turkeys poke at it. Hum, no, let's see... how about if the question were, "If your book is finished, why have you decided to launch it in monthly installments on a website rather than publish it outright?" My answer would then be, well, a smile and a shrug. And then I would put a little more thought into it and say, While it is and always has been a goal of mine to publish SJORIA "for real" as a solid paperback and as an ebook, I'm an explorer at heart. I always have been. I want to try new things, or even old things in new ways. So I took my little odd duck of a story and I'm putting it together as a web novel for the experience of trying something new and seeing what happens with it. It's been a great experience for me, so far. Since most of my readers at this time are busy-busy college students, I've been releasing each chapter a month apart so that they can keep up with the story without falling behind in their studies. Due to this, I have had to look at each chapter as it stands on its own merit, without the rest of the book to bear it up. As far as the editorial process goes, this new perspective for me has been invaluable.

Right now SJORIA is heavily in the "art" phase. I am... errr ...splashing paint on a canvas and then setting it on fire to see what effects it can make, I guess you could say. I haven't even begun to crack the "business" phase where I would try to sell to someone. I do still plan to publish SJORIA "for real" eventually. Probably some time towards the end of next year. All future installments in the SJORIA series after The Silence Before The Song will also be published "for real". But, for right here and now, I'm enjoying tinkering with my pet project... and setting her on fire from time to time ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Navigating the Facebook Minefield as an Indie Author

Authors have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.

First off, I know that social media can be a overwhelming for a lot of authors, and I've seen several burn out in an attempt to have a presence across ALL the various social media platforms. My usual advice is to pick one or two to do well rather than attempt to do all of them, so if Facebook isn't your speed, there is no shame in letting it languish a bit while you focus on your Twitter and Instagram game instead.

That said, a lot of authors tend to give up early on Facebook. I see a lot of "Facebook hides your posts so it isn't worth it... I post to my page all the time but only like 10% of my audience actually sees it in their feeds... I get no sales from Facebook... It's better to have a personal profile than a business page."

And there is some truth to Facebook being really annoying at times. Facebook is a business, and if they consider you a business, they want you to pay to reach your followers. They want you to use their ads (which a lot of people swear by but I'm not an expert and that isn't the subject of this post). They want you to "boost" your posts. 

Now the page vs personal profile is a big debate. I'm honestly strongly on the side of page (I detail why in this post), but that's not the topic of this post, and I'm going to be talking purely about pages here, not personal profiles. 

It is very possible to train Facebook's algorithms to show your posts to more of your followers without paying to boost or buying ads (not that you shouldn't be buying ads, but again, whole other post) ... and the way to do it is to train your followers. 

So without further ado, these are my eight easy steps/rules/guidelines/suggestions/ideas for training Facebook and your Followers: 

1. Learn what Facebook likes and doesn't like.

Facebook has preferences. They like image and video posts more than they like text posts, for instance, and you can get a lot further simply by including an image along with your text post. They DON'T like anything that links off their site. In fact, they are extremely needy about it, and if you click a link on Facebook while on your mobile app, you get this whiny, "Are you sure you want to leave Facebook? Facebook loves you!" message slowing your progress. So if the majority of content you are posting to Facebook includes links off Facebook, Facebook will do a "nananana can't hear you" game and not show as many people those links. This includes things like links to your books on Amazon or your blog on whatever blogging platform you like to use. 

Some tricks if you have something you want to share that is a link outside Facebook: 
  • Put it in the comments rather than in the first post. 
  • Include an image you upload directly to Facebook along with the link. 
  • Just post the link but don't make this the majority of your posts. Make it a once in a while thing after you've already trained your followers to see your posts using the remaining seven steps. 

2. Train your readers by providing consistent content they want to see.

Facebook notices people's habits. If someone clicks on your post, Facebook remembers it and is more likely to show them your next post. Because of this, the easiest way to get people to see your page is by providing them things they want to see with frequency. 
Depending on your author brand, it can be hard to figure out what your followers want to see (other than, of course, links to your books so that they will buy them, and you will be rich, mu ha ha ha). 

As a Fantasy author, I share a lot of dragon pictures (linking back to the artist and being careful about copyright law, of course, but that, again, is a whole other post. Just use common sense and don't steal pictures, all right?) and fantasy related memes. I chat pleasantly about stuff related to my process, things that inspire me, and sometimes my cat or my kids if they are being particularly hilarious. 

If you are a cozy mystery writer whose books have a food theme, recipes and food pictures might be your thing. If you write historical romance, period gowns and historical facts. Science fiction? Interesting tech and science news. Find what your readers like (here's a hint, if you are writing in a particular genre, there's a good chance what readers of that genre like is what you like) and give them that.

3. If you need a boost, consider sharing the post to your personal page/groups.

Facebook shows people stuff that it thinks people want to see. If you share one of your own posts (in a group related to the post's content or even on your personal page) it will be seen more than the same exact post if you didn't do that. It seems odd that Facebook would care about your sharing your own post, but for whatever reason, they do. 

4. Look for content that encourages/requires interaction.

On a similar note to item 3 on this list, posts that actively encourage like/share/comment will get more notice as people like share comment. You post, "Chocolate ice cream is my favorite!" you might get some likes. You post, "Chocolate ice cream is my favorite! What's yours?" you'll likely get likes and comments. Ask a question. Encourage your readers to talk about themselves. 

Shareable memes/jokes/images can also do this, but take a little bit more effort (a really great quote, a really funny joke, an image people just go "wow" over, those are your best bets.). 

5. Take advantage of hashtags to invent a "daily feature" readers can look forward to and easily search out.

Honestly, I am not sure WHY Facebook introduced hashtags, and I'd be leery of over using them. However connecting themed posts with a relevant hashtag does make it easier for readers to find a beloved daily feature. 

On my personal page I do this with #DailyDragon, a dragon themed post (normally an image) that I post sometimes more than once a day because there are SO MANY cool dragon pictures out there. 

With my group's Fellowship of Fantasy page we do #fantasticfind. Both hashtags provide something that when readers see it, they know what to expect, and if they search for it, they can find even more awesome. 

6. Talk about things you are interested in, not your books, not your sales, not the constant struggles of a creative genius.

Similar to #2 on this list, #6 is all about providing stuff people want to see. If all you are sharing are sales posts or "HAPPY DAY! I got a new review" posts or "It is so hard to be an author ... authory author sadness" stuff, the readers will tune out. Give them things that they can relate to. A little bit of author humor isn't bad. Some of my best received posts have involved some of the silliness authors go through in an attempt to create a readable project. However, a lot of authors seem to use their Facebook pages as personal "support groups" where they post a lot of humble brag "I can't believe someone gave me this review on my new book. I feel so flattered and special" sort of things for back pats and/or comfort when things go poorly. Try to make your page about your readers, not about you. I know that seems odd considering it is your page, but it is also essentially your store front. 

Imagine you went into a coffee shop for a coffee and to get to it you had to listen to the barista unload all her day to day struggles on you? Yeah, it's kind of like that. 

And sometimes that may happen. Over time you might befriend your barista to where you are sharing your highs and lows, but if you want your readership to be built up more of readers than friends (and once you get higher in your numbers for followers/readers it can be very hard/exhausting to become familiar enough with all of them to have this sort of relationship), so make sure you are providing something for the readers, not just baring your soul and trading on friendship. 

7. Provide exclusive content that they either get first ... or are the only ones to get. 

Another trick is to provide exclusive content. I mentioned above how Facebook does not prefer you to link off of Facebook, so if you write a blog post and link to it on your Facebook page, you might not get a lot of views. If you post a video to Youtube then link to it, also maybe not seen by as many folks as you'd like ... some writers try to fix this by essentially copy pasting/uploading the same content onto multiple social media streams. It can work for a while, but if you have readers who are following you on more than one platform, they are going to start tuning out the repeated information and maybe unfollow you in one or more places. 

Things like providing "fun quotes" from your book as you write can get them excited and also provide a reason for them to follow you there as opposed to just on your blog or Twitter (Facebook has an advantage over Twitter in length. You can share lines on Twitter, but I often share decently long "sneak peeks" on Facebook and they often get decent response). 

8. Concentrating on getting quality followers, not quantity followers.

It's easy to get caught up in the number of Facebook followers you have, but honestly, it is better to have 10 followers who are excited about you than 10,000 who clicked like and then never came back to your page ever again. 

Because of this, I really recommend concentrating on "real" followers. Resist the urge to join "You like my page, I'll like yours" follow chains in author groups. If you make a giveaway in an attempt to attract new followers, try to make it a prize that appeals to your reader base rather than just something everyone and their grandmother wants, whether they like to read or not (books by a similar author, something on theme if you have a specific theme, like for me, Fantasy stuff). 

Never buy followers. Never draw followers in using "hooks" that don't apply. It doesn't make a lot of sense to get new followers sharing recipes if recipes aren't in someway related to your brand. That's when it becomes a "bait and switch." It may take longer to build up your numbers, but in the long run you'll be better off

So those are my tips for making the most of Facebook and "beating" their algorithms. Do you have any suggestions? What sort of posts get the best interaction for you on Facebook?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Heather L. L. FitzGerald

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's author may or may not have simply walked in from Mordor. Introducing Heather L. L. FitzGerad.
Heather LL FitzGerald

Author Biography

Heather L.L. FitzGerald writes from her home in Texas, while dreaming ofbeing back in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up. When her four kids were young, she enjoyed reading aloud until her voice gave out. (Her son, who is autistic, would just move on to his favorite audiobook).

Certain stories became good friendsthe kind you want to revisit. The kind you wish never needed to say goodbye. Those are the kind of stories Heather aspires to write. Stories worthy of delicious coffee. Stories difficult to leave. Her YA Fantasy trilogy The Tethered World Chronicles will be complete when her third book, The Genesis Tree, releases June 1st. Her other books, TheTethered World, and The Flaming Sword,are available on Amazon or can be ordered at any book retailer.

Heather is a member of the North Texas Christian Writer's group, ACFW, CAN, and helps with the Manet Writer's group in Fort Worth, Texas. You can connect with Heather on her website/blog, Facebook,Pinterest,(Belongs to her main character, Sadie), Character blog: (Sadies mother has a blog pertaining to legendary creatures), Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.

The Interview

You receive a contract that allows you to have any pet you want (mythical or real) but in return you have to spend a week AS a pet to a mythical creature of your choice (dragon, giant, sphinx?). Do you take it or do you decline?
Assuming I could choose to be a pet to the Egyptian sphinx (of the inanimate-hunk-of-rock variety) then I’d give an enthusiastic thumbs up to this proposition! Otherwise, I’m not entirely confident in my ability to survive being a pet in order to possess the pet of my dreams. And since I can’t even decide what my dream-pet is (I mean, how does one choose between a faery, a phoenix, or a pegasus?), I’d have to give this more thought…Ugh! The pressure. Next question!

Fill in the blanks: I am a were___, but I only turn when ____.
I am a were-latte, but I only turn when the Starbucks is closed.

Congratulations! You are now president of this blog post. What's your first executive order?
Flash Mob at the Barnes and Nobles in the Spec-fiction aisle! We’ll be dancing to a mash up of American Author’s hit “Best Day of My Life”, Imagine Dragons’s “On Top of the World” and Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”. (Oh, we reeeaaally should do this…)

If you could live inside a theme park ride, which would it be?
The teacup ride in the kiddy park because…1) I’m a big chicken when it comes to rides and if I’m going to be stuck on one I don’t want to live the rest of my life in terror, and 2) I could probably find a way to make them coffee cups instead, and what could be better than a cup of coffee I could submerse myself in?

Which natural element (earth, wind, fire, water) do you feel the greatest kinship with?
Definitely water, though I am inspired by it more from a distance. Though I have enjoyed SCUBA diving and snorkeling, I’m in awe of a violent, lashing coast on a rocky shore. Give me a windowed room overlooking the Oregon coast and I’ll write a best seller!

During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?
Since the pen is mightier than the sword, I would like to have a quill and parchment with magical powers to bring to pass whatever is written with/on them. Id write a happy ending to the invasion involving butterflies and kittens. Or maybe geckos and mermaids. YeahTHAT.

Which of the following potions would you like to possess: a Love Potion, a Sleeping Potion, an Invisibility Potion, or Coffee?
Since, as you may have surmised, I possess coffee in great quantities (and own a mokka pot, a French press, an espresso machine, and a boring old coffee pot), I’ll take an Invisibility Potion, pah-leese! Harry’s got the cloak. I’ll take the potion.

Can you simply walk into Mordor?
One does not simply walk into Mordor. Unless youre working on the movie set of The Lord of the Rings. Then, yeah, I guess you can.

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

Well…treating this like the age old quandary, “If you had three wishes, what would they be?’ I would want to know how I could get my book into the hands of Narnia/Gregor/Wingfeather/Potter/Artemis/Percy Jackson fans…?

And the answer would be: By answering these random questions on Heidi’s blog your books are materializing in their hands and on their Kindles at this very moment!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review: The Midsummer Captives

A sorcerer's fortress. A lost heir. A determined princess.

Princess Gwen, second in line to the throne of Ituria, has given up on happy endings. After a neighboring kingdom's heir stole her heart and then disappeared four years ago, she buried her heartache and vowed to serve her eleven sisters. Her most recent mission: to arrange a match with her sister Hazel and the lost heir's youngest brother.

But when her traveling party is ambushed, her flight from danger leads her into the path of a blindfolded man with a familiar smile. Imprisoned with him deep in the forest, Gwen and her fellow captives are at the mercy of a treacherous beauty on a mission of her own. Contending with her schemes—and a love potion gone awry—they must find a way past enchanted guardians, who are capable of crushing not only their bodies but also their dreams.

The Midsummer Captives, inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, is the second novel in The Firethorn Chronicles, a series drawn from fairy tales and other classic stories. Follow the sisters on their adventures in a land where sorcery is feared, women can rule, and dragons fly.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review

I honestly felt this was better than the first book in the series. Getting away from the palace and all the other princesses upped the focus and it was easier to pin down the story ... plus to me Gwen is a more interesting character than Lily, better motivation, her conflicts felt natural to me, just generally a stronger girl.
The story moves at a good clip and Sissi is dang creepy/weird. Honestly, she's the Lady Gaga of the fantasy fashion world and I was just sitting there waiting for her to show up wearing a meat dress ... which she didn't, but she came pretty dang close a couple of times.
There was one "shout at the characters for being stupid" moment but the character figured it out like two pages later and I was like, "Good, now I don't have to hate you."
I'm excited to see where the other princesses end up.

Available on Amazon

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Sarah Delena White

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 howling in a distance. Over the snow rush a pack of snow white wolves and among them runs our next author: Sarah Delena White!

Sarah Delena White
Author bio:

Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is also the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

The Interview!

What mythical creature do you most wish to be real?
Firebirds (not to be confused with phoenixes) - the sassy glowy ones from the Slavic folktales that fly around tricking bad dudes and knocking people unconscious with magical songs. Either that, or griffons with the size and personality of housecats (totally going to be a thing in one of my future books!).

During an alien invasion, what would be your weapon of choice?
My magical powers of diplomacy. I’ll arrange a kumbaya session where we all come together and eat cookies and realize it was just a big misunderstanding and convince the aliens that invading earth would be a terrible decision.

If that fails, I’ll find some everyday Earth substance they’re deathly allergic to, like hairspray or ranch dressing, and weaponize it.

Who is your favorite superhero and why?
*whines* Just one? But I want ALL of them! Okay, if I have to pick just one--does Magneto count? He’s a fascinating character, and I love a good antihero/conflicted villain!

Heads or Tails?

Hmmm, depends on the context. If someone’s flipping a coin, I’ll probably call “heads” because it’s the first option on the list and I’m lazy like that. On the other hand, if I have to choose between fighting a dragon with multiple heads or one with multiple tails, I’ll definitely go with “tails.”

You find a talking animal. What sort of animal is it and what’s the first thing you do?
It’s a chicken. I take her home, and we have lengthy conversations about philosophy and the state of the world. My attic becomes her secret fortress as she learns ancient martial arts and becomes a vigilante in her quest to free her oppressed kindred. Her journey is a tragic story of idealism and heroism turning to vengeance, and our friendship is gradually destroyed as Superhen wreaks havoc on humanity. At last, we meet again on the field of battle for the ultimate showdown. After defeating Superhen with my magic kumbaya-and-ranch-dressing powers, I immortalize her cautionary tale in a 47-verse-long ballad.

What is your ideal writing space?
A cozy coffee shop that will let me hang around for hours at a time and and give me free refills on caramel lattes. Bonus points if the coffee shop is located on a space station with a scenic view of Saturn.

If I were to invite you over, what snacks would you bring, keeping in mind that fruit and dried fruit are not snacks?
If this were a perfect world in which I had time to make food for fun, I’d bring gluten-free brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and bacon-wrapped dates! In this universe, I’d probably just show up with a bag of potato chips in some wonky flavor.

You can time travel in an oddly specific way that only allows you to visit other authors. Where do you go and what do you do?
Hunt down Shakespeare and find out what happened to his missing plays! Then I’d drop in on Tolkien and get the definitive word on whether elves actually have pointy ears.

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 “Would you like a latte?” And I would answer “Yes, duh!” And then you would give me a latte.