Down Under Author Showcase – N.J. Nielsen

Standard

STRW down Under Banner sm Hearts

 

N.J. Nielsen

Meet N.J.  Nielsen

N J. Nielsen is the author of many series and novels (listed below).

To get to know N.J. Nielsen a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt question and clue found somewhere within.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Author Bio 1

NJ needs to write like she needs to breathe. It’s an addiction that she never intends to find a cure for. When you don’t find NJ arguing with Vlad, her muse or writing about the wonderful men in her stories, you’ll find her reading work by other authors she greatly admires. NJ lives in the SE of Qld, Australia with her family who all encourage her writing career even if she does occasionally call them by her character’s names. NJ thinks that anyone taking the time to read her stuff is totally awesome.

Author Contacts

Contact/Follow N.J. Nielsen at:

Website: http://normanielsen.blogspot.com/
Blog: http://normanielsen.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NJ-Nielsen/793520884042153
Twitter: NJNielsen1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/njnielsen
Linkin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-j-nielsen/34/1a9/9ba
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108478475874292907770/posts

****************************************

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

(MLR) TB 1- Angels on Top(MLR) TB 2- Hunting for Clay(MLR) TB 3 Dancing With DemonsWhen Souls Collide cover

Author’s Books, Series, and Stories:Available at MLRPress

EXPERIMENTALS
2013—Blessed With A Curse (fey/demon/human)
2015—Running Into Zero Tolerance (fey/demon/human)
(This Book is waiting to hear about contract)

LANCASTER’S WAY
2011—When Souls Collide (cowboy set in USA/Father’s Day)
2014—A Different Way Of Seeing (cowboy set in USA)

SONS OF EVENMORE
2013—The Crimson Grimoire (paranormal)
2014—Blood To Blood (paranormal)

THE LINES OF MARSDEN
2011—Rules Are Meant To Be Broken (paranormal)
2014—Living In Shadows (paranormal)
2015—You Make Me Die In Pieces (paranormal)
(This book is waiting to hear about contract)

TOOWOOMBA BOYS
2010—Angels On Top (contemporary)
2011—Hunting For Clay (contemporary)
2014—Dancing With Demons (contemporary)

SINGLES
2012—Christmastime At Papa Lee’s (contemporary/holiday)
2013—Bush Bashin’ (contemporary/Australia Day)
2015—Storming Love: Flash Flood—Adrian & Lockie (contemporary) Coming in April

Available at Totally Bound Publishing
THE CONNELLY CHRONICLES
2014—Family Connections (contemporary)

Available at Fireborn Publishing
MOON RUNNERS
2014—Heart-mate, Mine! (paranormal)

THE DIAMOND ROSE
Gateway To Kalethia (paranormal)
(This book is subbed and waiting to hear about contract)
Available at GOODREADS
FREE READS
2010—Shadows on the Heart (paranormal)
2013—By The Way (contemporary)
2014—Trying Not To Love You (contemporary)

Genre(s):
I added the info above

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Gay And Lesbian

(MLR) LW 2 A Different Way of Seeing(MLR) SOE 2 -Blood To Blood(GR) MOT 1- Shadows on the Heart(FP) MR 2 - Heart-mate, Mine![1]

********************************************************

 

 

 

 

Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you,N.J. Nielsen) is an eBook copy of any of her stories from her backlist. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Question or “Word”. Collect all the words/clues from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

N.J. Nielsen’s  Scavenger Hunt Question: Q: What is the name of my muse who keeps track of everything inside of my head?Find the answer somewhere on this post!

 

Author Qand A

******************************************Now on to our Interview with N.J. Nielsen….

Q• When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was 12 years old so a very long time ago. Though my first attempt at getting published was back in 2010 when I wrote my free story for GoodReads—don’t read in the closet. My contribution was Shadows On The Heart. Then not long after Angels on Top, and then The Lines of Marsden 1: Rules are Meant to be Broken

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Yes—my favourite book was called Beautiful Girl by Elisabeth Ogilvie. In fact I still have it.

Q• What books as a child has the most impact on you?

Paul Zindel’s: The Pigman.

Q• Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?

It always made me want to try my hand at writing YA—I totally suck at it and it frustrates me to no end.

Q• Where do you draw inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from song lyrics… people I see in the street… family—they are always a good source for borrowing antics from.

Q• Favorite genres to write in and why?

Paranormal—because I can make stuff up… I know everyone has a thought as to what a species should be like, but I like throwing people for a loop or having a species so out of character…plus less reference checking and research.

Q• Title or characters or plot?

Which comes first? Title—I’m not a plotter and I hate writing blurbs & synopsis.

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

Doyle Kerwin from The Lines of Marsden… I don’t know why I like him so much—all I know is that I changed my whole story to make him on of the main characters in books 2-6 in that series.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source).

I can only please one person a day… Today is not your day & tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult.

David Eddings his two series that revolve around the character Sparhawk (1) The Elenium, (2) The Tamuli.

Q• Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

None I sit down and write whatever falls out of my head that day—sometimes I even surprise myself.

Q• What inspired you to write your first book?

Bored out of my brains and an overprotective mother who hated me going far from home (my dad had just died). My first planned published works TLOM my daughter was in hospital more than not (she has ITP) we were again bored and she got me to write her a vampire story. So Michael Marsden was born… in case you’re wondering Gypsy Marsden is totally based on my daughter.

Q• Do you have a specific writing style?

I usually work on three or more books at the same time so I don’t get bored and just write whichever one I feel like on any particular day.

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Writing the synopsis for subbing – I suck at them.

Q• If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

Good God yes, I would so make Doyle the main guy right from the get go… I just didn’t realise how good he was until I started writing book two.

Q• If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor or has the biggest influence on you?

Carol Lynne—I asked her to read the first version of TLOM and she did and was great in talking publishers with me… she might not know it, but it’s true… If I could aspire to write like someone other than Carol it would be David Eddings.

Q• What book are you reading now?

At the moment I’m reading the entire works of Lynn Hagen.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

To be honest I think we are more laid back as a people and our writing reflects that… sometimes I have to explain to my editors why I need to keep a certain phrase or word (especially if it’s slang).

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee!  There are so many out there.  What is your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

A Town Like Alice. I remember watching that over and over when it came out. And another favourite is Pricilla Queen of The Desert.

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

I personally would tell them to go to Port Arthur I’ve only been once but loved it. Actually Tassie (Tasmania) as a whole was a pretty awesome place to tour. So many beautiful sights and interesting places like The Penguin MarketsGunns Plains CavesThe Nut.

Q• What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Melbourne… I don’t know why I like it… it could be the shopping.

Q• What are your current projects?

I’m finishing off the 3rd book in TLOM: You Make Me Die In Pieces.

Q• What’s next up for you?

The Connelly Chronicles 2: Beautiful Goodbyes… also Sons of Evenmore 3: Fear The Scarlet Moon… Moon Runners 2: I Won’t Let You Go… Lancatser’s Way 3: Pre-Loved.

Down Under Showcase Author – Anne Barwell

Standard

 STRW down Under Banner sm Hearts

Meet Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell  is the author of four series and 2 stand alone novels (listed below).

To get to know Anne Barwell a little better, she agreed to an interview. Look for her guest post below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

Kairangi-Awards_zps125df5ca

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Author Bio 1

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

Author Contacts

Website: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Blog: http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
Dreamspinner Author Page:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_426

****************************************

KnighttoRemember[A]SMMagicsMuseSMOnWingsofSongSMSlowDreamingSM

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

All published by Dreamspinner Press:

Hidden Places series:
• Cat’s Quill
• Magic’s Muse
Echoes series:
• Shadowboxing
• Winter Duet
Dragons of Astria series:
• A Knight to Remember
The Sleepless City series:
• Shades of Sepia
Standalones:
• Slow Dreaming
• On Wings of Song

Genre(s):ShadesofSepiaAUDSMCatsQuillSm
Hidden Places is contemporary fantasy
Echoes is historical (WWII)
Dragons of Astria is high fantasy
The Sleepless City is urban fantasy
Slow Dreaming is SF
On Wings of Song is historical (WWI)

Contests and Giveaways:

1. Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Anne Barwell) is an eBook copy chosen from Anne Barwell’s backlist. Enter using this Rafflecopter link here. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2. Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Anne Barwell’s Hunt “Word“. Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 1st. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 5 people selected, from 1st place to 5th! Happy Hunting.

******************************************

 

Anne Barwell on The Kiwi Connection!

The Kiwi Connection

Thanks for hosting me today J

As a Kiwi writer, my books often have New Zealand references or characters although sometimes this isn’t possible, as it needs to work with the story I’m telling. So far, I only have one story set in New Zealand, but I’m planning to do something about that.

Slow Dreaming is set very close to home to me as it takes place in Petone where I grew up. Sean’s a songwriter who works in a café in Jackson Street, and one of his favourite places to go and think is the Petone foreshore. I’ve spent many hours on that same beach, and the café is based on one I visit regularly. It was fun writing something set locally, and I had a few comments from local readers who recognised the places I was writing about. It made the research so much easier too and I was able to use some Kiwi idioms.

In Winter Duet, book two of my WWII Echoes series, Kristopher, Michel and the team meet a downed RAF pilot, Leo. During WWII many NZ pilots flew with the RAF. Leo is from Wellington and his uncle has a farm in the Wairarapa, which is several km from here. I remember my dad talking about a big earthquake that took place during the war, which was centred in the Wairarapa. Leo references it in the book, and also mentions the sheep on his uncle’s farm. After all, a New Zealand reference needs sheep in there somewhere, right?

Shades of Sepia, the first book in The Sleepless City series I’m writing with Elizabeth Noble, introduces Ben Leyton. Ben’s a Kiwi on his OE (overseas experience) in Flint, Ohio, a city in the States. It’s the little things that take Ben by surprise as he adjusts to life in the U.S. Here, a flat white refers to coffee with milk; there he’s asked why he’s talking about house paint. He doesn’t like creamer, being used to milk in his tea and coffee. Creamer here is powdered stuff used in coffee machines. We’re an agricultural country, so dairy products are a biggie. Milk is available as full cream, homogenised, trim (low fat) and calci trim (added calcium), and it comes in various flavours such as chocolate, strawberry, lime etc. On a side note, I had a friend visit the U.S after I wrote Shades of Sepia. He was waiting at a dentist and was offered tea with creamer. His reaction was the same as Ben’s.

With the Sleepless City being a series, and contemporary, I’ve been able to explore a lot more of the differences between here and the U.S than in other stories, through Ben’s reactions and speech. Although we all speak English we have different names for different things eg garbage/rubbish, sidewalk/footpath. Ben’s use of slang often leads to questions too, especially when he refers to something as ‘sweet as’. There isn’t a word missing—the point of it is that there is no comparison. We also refer to something as ‘cold as’, ‘hot as’ etc.

In book three of the series, Family and Reflection, Ben’s friend, Ange, comes to visit. I had several betas (non-Kiwis) who asked me if her saying she was going to find a ‘park’ was a typo and whether it should be a parking spot. Neither of my Kiwi betas commented at all, as that’s what we say here, and how Ange, a Kiwi, would say it. It’s the little things that show our origins.

I’m looking forward to setting my new series Outliers in Wellington—once I’ve finished my current series. Ben and his vampire partner, Simon, will also be visiting Wellington, and interacting with some of those characters, in book three of the spin off series Opus: Tales of

the Sleepless City. After all, Ben’s had fun trying to adjust to a culture that isn’t his own so it’s only fair that his partner gets to do the same in reverse.

Down Under Showcase Author – Christian Baines

Standard

STRW down Under Banner sm Hearts

Down Under Showcase Author of the Day

Meet Christian Baines

CRBaines

Christian Baines is the author of The Beast Without, The Prince and the Practitioner,  and, coming in 2015, Puppet Boy.

To get to know Christian Baines a little better, he agreed to an interview.  Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍✍

Author Bio 1

Christian Baines was born in Toowoomba, Australia. He has since lived in Brisbane, Sydney, and Toronto, earning an MA in creative writing at University of Technology, Sydney along the way. His musings on travel, theater, and gay life have appeared in numerous publications in Australia and Canada. Dual passions for travel and mythology (both of which he attributes to growing up in Australia’s bible belt) have sent him chasing some of the world’s most feared monsters, including vampires in New Orleans, asuras in Bangkok, and theater critics in New York.

Author Contacts

Blog: https://christianbaines.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Xtianbaines
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christianbainesauthor
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/christianbaines

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

The Prince and the Practitioner cover

The Beast Without cover

Novel Length:

Puppet Boy (TBR 2015, Bold Strokes Books)
The Beast Without (2013, Interactive Publications)

Short Stories:
The Prince and the Practitioner (2014, Wilde City Press)

Genres:

• Black comedy/satire
• Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

********************************************

Contests and Giveaways:

1.  Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Christian Baines) is an eBook copy of The Beast Without.  Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.  Must be 18  years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.  Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Christian Baines Hunt “Word“.  Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 2nd, 2015. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 7 people selected, from 1st place to 7th!  Happy Hunting.

******************************************

Author Qand A

Now Our Q & A which uses in part AUS spelling (don’t forget to search for Christian’s Scavenger Hunt Clue:

Q • When did you start writing?

Excluding Star Trek fan fic in my mid teens (don’t judge me), I started my first novel at 18. It’s still in the bottom of a virtual drawer somewhere.

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Yes.

Q• What books as a child has the most impact on you?

A lot of fantasy and sci-fi. My family were quite religious and so they were a little bit anti-horror. But they’d encourage me to read classic gothic fiction and such. That meant a lot of Sherlock Holmes, and things like Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera and so on. I started reading more contemporary, commercial horror eventually, but I don’t think anything had quite as strong an effect on me as those stories. I’d say Hound of the Baskervilles and Frankenstein fascinated me the most.

Q• Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?

The themes in those stories are timeless, so yes. I read a more even spread of genres as an adult, and of course I read more gay fiction. It all started to blend in and play its part.

Q• Where do you draw inspiration from?

It depends on the story. Interesting people I meet, places I visit, cities, buildings, clubs… I’m slightly travel obsessed so that helps a lot. Some places will spill a story, some won’t. Interestingly, it has very little to do with how much or how little I like the place.

Q• Favourite genres to write in and why?

I go through phases. If I’m excited enough about a story to finish a novel, then that was probably my favourite genre to write at the time.

Q• Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?

Usually character, if the story is going to work out. I have to be a little obsessed with a protagonist to finish their story.

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

There’s one in Puppet Boy who excites me a lot. Of the characters who are already published, probably Reylan. I’m also insanely jealous of the life and times he’s lived.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?

“Resentments are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

Probably either Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas or Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. Both underrated books. They’re tough to read in parts, but very original, exciting and subversively queer in an unselfconscious way.

Q• Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

If there’s one that works, let me know. I try to sit down and focus on it at least once a day. Either it works that day or it doesn’t.

Q• What inspired you to write your first book?

The Beast Without started as an erotic short piece I wrote during an Anne Rice phase. It was something different for me to try while I was still trying to get my first, unpublished manuscript out there. I wasn’t really aware of how big urban fantasy or paranormal was at the time. I just really liked this character and voice, so I ended up expanding on it.

Q• Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. Maybe if I’m lucky, others might recognise it as such. I try to keep a consistent voice that balances humour with cynicism. Maybe it’s a bit bleak, but I try to put a smile under it. I’m hesitant to publish anything that doesn’t make me laugh in some way. I’m one of those kids who grew up listening to alt rock and watching Daria. Now we’re writing in the age of Taylor Swift and Glee, so there’s always that sly sense of irony there. Some people get it and others don’t, but that would be the case no matter how or what I chose to write, so…

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Keeping it simple! I’m a sucker for a complicated story I don’t necessarily understand or like the first time around. I think I handle large casts pretty well, but I’m always fighting to keep the story straightforward.

Q• If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

No.

Q• What book are you reading now?

Drama Queens and Love Scenes by another Sydney author, Kevin Klehr.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

I think to a certain degree it’s inevitable that your background will inform your work. Sometimes it can be just the spark it needs. That was certainly the case with The Beast Without. Once it had the Sydney setting, it really had a unique voice, culture and history to explore. In general terms, I think there’s a down-to-Earth quality to Australian fiction, plus maybe an irreverence, which I think the New Zealanders take even further. I think the successful authors stay true to their own voices, rather than earnestly trying to represent. What frustrates me about this idea of a ‘Great Australian (insert Canadian, Kiwi, or even American as you will) Novel,’ like we’re supposed to hold our breath, waiting for somebody to distil the essence of the country into 90,000 words. How about we just get on with writing good books?

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee! There are so many out there. What are your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

Yikes! I think I’d rather spend a night at Wolf Creek than endure Crocodile Dundee II again! My favourites would be Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Muriel’s Wedding. I mentioned Dead Europe before. One of the reasons I love it is because it delves into everything Australian stories shy away from. The supernatural, grisly content, a promiscuous gay protagonist… and ties it into this insecurity we have about being such a young country and how we’ve always got one eye looking back to where we came from, without really understanding what that means. The film version cuts a lot, but it’s still worth a look. Australian movies just have a terrible time trying to find a local audience. It’s that insecurity again. Most Australians don’t have high expectations of their local industry, which is sad.

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

There’s an amazing indoor/outdoor lifestyle balance in Sydney, so I try to make sure visitors get to experience that. It’s the kind of place where you can mix up your sightseeing with amazing beaches, museums, architecture, gardens, boutique bars, cruising on the harbour… okay, now I sound like a tour guide! A lot of the attractions are also cheap or free, which amazes me because it’s such an expensive city to live in.

Q• What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

It’s a cliché, but Melbourne. It’s not as pretty, but it’s a lot darker, bolder and more creative than Sydney in a lot of ways. It’s also less obsessed with money and property, which makes it more fun. Having said that, it’s yet to reveal a story I want to write.

Q• What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the follow-up to The Beast Without. There’ll be some edits on Puppet Boy to come, but until then, I’m focused on Reylan’s world.

Q• What’s next up for you?

Midsumma, which is Melbourne’s big LGBTI festival. Adelaide author Margaret Merrilees, Kevin Klehr and I will be reading at the Hare Hole (Hares & Hyenas bookshop) in Fitzroy on January 20 as part of their Word is Out program. It’s a fantastic store and space, plus there should also be one or two other Aussie authors joining us, so it should be a fun evening. Maybe that Melbourne story will come to me!