Friday, October 17, 2014

Writing The Book From A Child's Perspective - 'Little Dead Riding Hood' by Bethanie Borst

As promised we're back with round two! This time we've got Bethanie's side of the story. But first a little about our book, LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD!


You know things are going to suck when you’re the new kid. But when you’re the new kid and a vampire… well, it bites!
 
Unlike most kids, Scarlet Small’s problems go far beyond just trying to fit in. She would settle for a normal life, but being twelve years old for an entire century is a real pain in the neck. Plus, her appetite for security guards, house pets and bloody toms (tomato juice) is out of control. So in order to keep their vampire-secret, her parents, Mort and Drac, resort to moving for the hundredth time, despite Scarlet being dead-set against it. Things couldn’t be worse at her new school, either. Not only does she have a strange skeleton-girl as a classmate, but a smelly werewolf is intent on revealing her secret. When she meets Granny—who fills her with cookies, goodies, and treats, and seems to understand her more than anyone—she’s sure things will be different. But with a fork-stabbing incident, a cherry pie massacre, and a town full of crazy people, Scarlet’s O-positive she’ll never live to see another undead day.
 
Not even her Vampire Rule Book can save her from the mess she’s in. Why can’t she ever just follow the rules?

Add Little Dead Riding Hood to your Goodreads to-read list here Purchase LDRH at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite Indie bookstore!
***
Why do you write? I write because my mom told me to. "You came up with this idea when you were 9 years old and now you're dedicated to it!" Which is kind of true. Yeah. I guess.

Why do you write humor? Humor is the easiest thing to write. It's not some lame, stupid, love-sick story.

Where do you get your inspiration? My inspiration comes from real-life events and my incredible weird dreams.

How is it to work as a team? It's good because if I don't want to write my mom can do it for me.
About us:
Amie Borst is a PAL member of SCBWI. She believes in Unicorns, uses glitter whenever the opportunity arises, accessories in pink and eats too much chocolate. 
Bethanie Borst is a spunky 14 year old who loves archery, long bike rides and studying edible plant-life. She was only 9 when she came up with the idea for Cinderskella!
Little Dead Riding Hood is their second book in the Scarily Ever Laughter series. Their first book, Cinderskella, released in October 2013.
You can find them on facebook. Amie can be found on twitter, pinterest, and her blog

***

We're having two great giveaways as part of our blog tour! The first is for a copy of LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD! So be sure to enter the giveaway by following the steps on the rafflecopter form below.

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THEN - as soon as you finish that, be sure to stop by my blog for a second contest! I'm having a SCAVENGER HUNT that you won't want to miss with lots of extra great prizes! All you have to do is make sure you enter the contest below first then hopping over to my blog and filling out the rafflecopter form there! Super easy! Here's the rafflecopter form for my blog just in case you missed it!   

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See you soon! 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

From Bones To Vampires - Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie and Bethanie Borst

Today, I am pleased to welcome Amie Borst, co-author of CINDERSKELLA and the soon-to-be-released LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD, the first two books in the Scarily Ever Laughter series.


Hi Ann Marie! Thanks for having us here today on your blog. I'm so excited about the upcoming release of my second book, co-authored by my daughter, Bethanie. LITTLE DEAD RIDING HOOD is available Tuesday, October 14th, 2014!


You know things are going to suck when you’re the new kid. But when you’re the new kid and a vampire… well, it bites!

Unlike most kids, Scarlet Small’s problems go far beyond just trying to fit in. She would settle for a normal life, but being twelve years old for an entire century is a real pain in the neck. Plus, her appetite for security guards, house pets and bloody toms (tomato juice) is out of control. So in order to keep their vampire-secret, her parents, Mort and Drac, resort to moving for the hundredth time, despite Scarlet being dead-set against it. Things couldn’t be worse at her new school, either. Not only does she have a strange skeleton-girl as a classmate, but a smelly werewolf is intent on revealing her secret. When she meets Granny—who fills her with cookies, goodies, and treats, and seems to understand her more than anyone—she’s sure things will be different. But with a fork-stabbing incident, a cherry pie massacre, and a town full of crazy people, Scarlet’s O-positive she’ll never live to see another undead day.

Not even her Vampire Rule Book can save her from the mess she’s in. Why can’t she ever just follow the rules?

Add Little Dead Riding Hood to your Goodreads to-read list here Purchase LDRH at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite Indie bookstore!
We thought it would be fun to do something a little different here on Ann Marie's blog. So today's post is the first of a two part series. Since there are two sides to every story, we wanted to give our readers just that! Consider it a he said/she said sort of thing. We have each given our answers for a few commonly asked questions. Today is Amie's side.
Why do you write?  One of the things I love most about writing is how freeing it is. It allows me an opportunity to release emotions, stress, and express myself when I might not otherwise be able to do so.
Why do you write humor?  I've always loved darker stories (I was pretty obsessed with Edgar Allen Poe as a teen. Was? Pft. Still am!) but with all the obligations and stress of parenting (and life in general), I've found the best way to deal with it is to laugh. So that's one of the reasons I enjoy writing funny stories. Life is filled with enough strife. We all need time to decompress. There's no better stress relief than laughter!
Where do you get your inspiration? I've found that inspiration can come from the most unexpected, and sometimes mundane, things. Something as small as the rustle of fall leaves as the wind pushes them along the pavement. The smell of cotton candy at my local county fair. The way my daughter laughs and brushes a strand of hair out of her eyes. The sound of waves crashing against the shore. They're all inspiration. Sometimes dreams -the odd, unexplained dreams- are the best for creating stories. Inside jokes, family time, and happenstance are also some of my greatest moments of inspiration.
How is it to work as a team? We're asked this question the most, I think. Perhaps people are enamored by the idea of a mother/daughter team, or maybe they just don't get along with their own children and can't believe we don't tear each other's eyes out! I don't know why people ask this question the most but I do know that I love writing with Bethanie. She's creative, hard-working, insightful, and funny.  I don't think we've ever fought during our writing sessions. If anything, I have a hard time accepting that as a child, Bethanie's usually right when it comes to our stories. That's when I take a break, mull over her ideas, then say the dreaded words, "You were right." To which she replies, "I told you so."
Thanks for having letting me chat with your audience today, Ann Marie. Stay tuned for Bethanie's side of the story next week, on Friday, October 17th! In the meantime, be sure to enter the giveaway by following the steps on the rafflecopter form below. 
About us:
Amie Borst is a PAL member of SCBWI. She believes in Unicorns, uses glitter whenever the opportunity arises, accessories in pink and eats too much chocolate. 
Bethanie Borst is a spunky 14 year old who loves archery, long bike rides and studying edible plant-life. She was only 9 when she came up with the idea for Cinderskella!
Little Dead Riding Hood is their second book in the Scarily Ever Laughter series. Their first book, Cinderskella, released in October 2013.
You can find them on facebook. Amie can be found on twitter, pinterest, and her blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Paranormal and Such – as perceived by Matt Carter, author of ‘Splinters’


Have you ever wondered if any aspect of the paranormal, as portrayed in books, is real? Matt Carter, co-author of Splinters gives his take on the subject. And, by the way, he and F.J.R. Titchenell, his co-author in crime, are giving away 3 ARCs of their book to 3 lucky winners, so see below for details. 



Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he's an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she's a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. Inorder to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.








AMM: Welcome, Matt. Thanks for dropping in.  I have to ask What got you interested in the paranormal? Do you believe that shapeshifters and other paranormal ‘creatures’ actually exist?

MC: Ooh, this question's always been a favorite of mine. What got me interested? A morbid mix of fear and fascination. Fear because I grew up one of those kids who was scared of pretty much everything. The world was full of unseen dangers and monsters and I didn't want any of them near me. A couple bad experiences seeing glimpses of scary movies combined with my dad's general disdain for the modern horror genre kept it a kind of taboo subject that even further scared the hell out of me. And yet, despite all that, he kept me interested by feeding me a fairly constant line of old horror classics, mostly of the Universal monster and 50's B-movie variety, that never kept the subject far away. I ate up every book I could find on monsters in film, myth and legend and watched every TV show and documentary on the subject that I could.

Fast forward to my teenage and adult years when I finally had the time (and money) to get into the subject on my own, and I was hooked on all things horror, spooky and bump-in-the-night.

Now, do I believe in shapeshifters and other paranormal creatures? I leave open the possibility that ghosts might exist in one form or another, and I definitively believe in life on planets other than our own, though I think the odds that they have both visited us and picked up a bunch of people for their high school science experiments pretty slim. We live in a big universe and it seems unlikely at best that they would have found our tiny little speck in it.

As for shapeshifters, I'll give a definitive no. While vampires and werewolves and their ilk make for great fiction, their historical reality tend to come more from a variety of prejudices and superstitions based around persecuted minorities and real medical conditions that I can't really support. As for believing in other paranormal creatures... ouch. This is the part that's really heartbreaking to get into.

The long and the short of it is, I'd love to believe that creatures like these could exist. I really would. I just love the idea of living in a world where cryptids like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster live just out of our sight, hiding to one day be discovered, or perhaps befriended by a young boy with a troubled family life and/or disability it will help him overcome like in every third 80's movie. I'd love to think there's still some romantic unknown in the world, and that we haven't pillaged this fine planet of all its mystery and wonder.

While I'd love to believe this is possible, I can't, mostly because of that buzzkill I love ever-so-much: science. We've spent countless years filling in all the holes on the map and have scanning technology and satellites up the wazoo enough that it seems pretty unlikely that we wouldn't have seen them by now.

Which is a pity, really, because if Harry and the Hendersons ever taught me anything, it's that Bigfoot is really nice once you get to know them.



     F.J.R TITCHENELL and MATT CARTER met and fell in love in a
                   musical theatre class at Pasadena City College and have been
inseparable ever since. Though they have both dreamed of being
writers from a very young age, they both truly hit their stride after they
met, bouncing ideas off of one another, forcing each other to strive to be
better writers, and mingling Matt's lifelong love of monsters with Fiona's
equally disturbing inability to let go of high school. They were married in
2011 in a ceremony that involved kilts, Star Wars music, and a cake
topped by figurines of them fighting a zombified wedding party.
Titchenell and Carter live in San Gabriel, California.



Links for   F.J.R. Titchenell:
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Links for Matt Carter:

Other Links:
amazon

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Challenges and Joys of Co-Authoring – by Berk and Andy Washburn, co-authors of ‘Mojave Green’

            Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write a book with someone else? I imagine it would be great to brainstorm as needed. I wouldn't be 'alone'. I'd be able to consult with the person who would best understand where I'm coming from. Well, to test my theory, I figured I’d go to the source and ask some experts on the subject.

             The Washburn brothers, Berk and Andy, have written two books together thus far, Pitch Green and the sequel, Mojave Green, to be released October 7, 2014.


The call from her best friend, Cal, brings news Camm had hoped never to hear. Children are again disappearing from Trona. Has the unnatural creature they killed last year returned to life or has the ancient Searles Mansion spawned a new menace? Ignoring dire warnings from federal agents, the pair take a road trip home with unsuspecting school friends in tow and discover the situation has gotten worse. With monstrous predators seemingly coming out of nowhere, enigmatic forces tear the friends apart, pulling Cal into another world, where his chances of survival are slim. Finally coming to terms with her feelings for Cal, Camm desperately seeks help where she can, even from the dead, but can a rogue agent and other wary misfits help her uncover the long-lost secrets that she needs to rescue Cal and stop the inter-dimensional attacks? The destiny of her own world now lies in Camm’s young hands.



            Here are their thoughts on co-authoring? [Oh, and they’re giving away ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) of Mojave Green to three lucky winners. See below for details.]


         Pitch Green and Mojave Green are the first two books in The Dimensions in Death young adult horror series. Based on a scary story we used to tell as kids to our siblings and friends, these books combine horror, suspense and mystery at a breathtaking pace, as our protagonists battle to stay alive against an evil presence hiding in and around an old, deserted mansion in a small mining town in the Mojave Desert. (See a summary of the second book, Mojave Green, and a picture of the authors attached.)
        So far, we have enjoyed working together as co-authors. As brothers, we get along well, and have a healthy level of mutual self-respect, so we can freely share ideas and challenge each other without worrying about egos. We are more creative when we are bouncing ideas off each other and discussing a broad storyline, but we brainstorm only in a very general way. We actually write separately, and then confer later on what we have been doing, including any plot shifts. Though we sometimes disagree on specific wording, there is usually some friendly give and take as we consider alternatives, then we quickly agree on the final wording. We both appreciate the different perspective and skills that the other brings to the joint writing process.
We are different in how we approach a story. Andy used to be a planner (a habit that came from writing as a lawyer), but in fiction writing, he no longer likes to plan ahead. He likes to develop his characters, and then let them take the story wherever it is going to go. On the other hand, Berk is definitely still a planner. He is always making lists and outlines, not only for the current story, but for future stories as well. In addition to our young adult horror series, we also have written the first two books in a young adult science-fiction series.
Andy doesn’t like having other people around him when he is writing, especially when he is creating new material. There is no real reason for this, just sometimes people bug him. Berk has to organize his surrounding work environment. Once everything around him is in order, then he can detach from the real world and write.
If Andy hits a tough spot in the story development, it is almost always because of outside distractions. If he can get rid of the distractions around him, he can keep writing. If Berk hits a tough spot, he doesn’t try to force it. He stops, leaves the house, picks up some fast food, and then he can come back refreshed and ready to move the story forward. He finds that fresh ideas come naturally when he is eating.
We both find that once we start telling a horror or sci-fi story, the bounds of the story are limited only by our combined creativity and imagination, and that no matter how mature we get in the real world, we are both still just kids in our worlds of horror and fantasy.


BERK AND ANDY WASHBURN, aka “The Brothers Washburn,” are
both lawyers by profession and writers at heart. They grew up together
roaming the wastelands of the Mojave Desert, where most of the series
is set. Both brothers returned from lengthy and successful careers in the
wastelands of the law to write YA horror stories based on the
wastelands of their youth. Berk lives in St. George, Utah, and Andy lives
in Henderson, Colorado.



Find the Brothers Washburn on:


Mojave Green can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes and Noble







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