Indie Author Friday: D. Wallace Peach #IndieAuthor #scifi #fantasy

I had the great pleasure of participating in a short interview over at Teri’s blog. Some new questions that I hadn’t pondered before made it extra fun. I’ll be lounging over there today if you want to stop by and say hi.

Books and Such

Today’s Indie Author is an incredibly talented writer and poet and I also have to mention her stunning book covers – so vibrant and eye-catching.  Catling’s Bane is the Book of the Month at KC Books & Music and will be free on Amazon this weekend.  Welcome, D. Wallace Peach!

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

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Guest Author Friday – Diana Wallace Peach and Kari’s Reckoning

Debby Gies over at D. G. Kaye Writer was kind enough to feature “yours truly” over at her place. Debby is a proficient blogger and her site is full of interviews, reviews, wonderful tips on writing and blogging, and shared articles of interest. If you enjoy memoirs, her books win high praise – I’ve given her a few 5-star reviews myself! 

She also puts together a wonderful feature, and I’m delighted to be hanging out at her kitchen table with a big cup of coffee. If you can spare a moment, stop by for a visit and say hi! On to the interview:

Who Has a New Book?

I’m thrilled to welcome today’s featured author, friend and guest, Diana Wallace Peach. Diana is a dynamo author who writes and produces books at lightning speed these days. She has disciplined herself well with the time she commits to her writing, yet manages to make time to blog about all things writing on her blog Myths of the Mirror.

Today we’re going to get to know Diana and learn about what inspires her writing, and I’m going to be asking her about the ‘book writing break’ she is threatening to take, to find out if that can actually happen… (Continue to Debby’s site).

 

#SciFi Women Interview: D. Wallace Peach

scifiwomen-interviews-2

Back in August, I had the great honor of being featured on Natacha Guyot’s blog as part of her series SciFi Women Interviews. Thank you, Natacha! I love talking about writing, and when it’s scifi and fantasy, it’s particularly fun. Here it is!

#SciFi Women Interview: D. Wallace Peach

It is a pleasure to introduce July 2016’s guest for Sci-Fi Women Interviews: D. Wallace Peach. I met her through WordPress and/or Twitter when networking with fellow writers. I am glad she accepted the invitation to join fellow authors and Science Fiction enthusiasts in this series.

I will let her introduce herself in her own words:

I didn’t start writing until later in life, once the kids had moved out and the temporary relocation of my husband’s job left me unemployed. The hubby suggested that I write a book (I hadn’t written anything since college). I took him up on the offer, and that, shall we say, was the end of that.

I love writing and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, playing with tense, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem unfocused in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

 


NG: How were you first introduced to Science Fiction?

PEACH: First of all, thank you, Natacha, for inviting me to participate in the Sci-Fi Women Interviews. It’s an honor!

My family loved camping. We had a rustic 10’ x 16’ cabin in Vermont without electricity but loaded with hundreds of books, most of them purchased used by my father and many from the local church attic where we bought them for a nickel each. He was and still is a voracious reader and loves science fiction. When we weren’t fishing, hiking, and playing board games, we were reading sci-fi.

(Continued on Natacha Guyot’s blog)

Interview: Sheron McCartha, Sci-fi Author and Book Reviewer

book+picture1Sheron Wood McCartha is the author of the Alysian Universe Series that now totals seven books. Sheron also hosts the Sci-fi Book Review, offering weekly book recommendations and articles about writing and the publishing industry.

 DWP: Welcome Sheron. Thanks for joining me today. I’d like to kick off this interview with the old stand by…what inspired you to pick up a pen and start writing?

41vXdaY81RLSWM: Science fiction has been one of my passions for a long time thanks to my father. There were times my mother would go hunting for him only to find him hiding out in the bathroom, avidly reading some science fiction book as if it were a forbidden treat. I now understand this behavior. Sometimes I read in out-of-the-way places too, feeling as if I’m partaking of some guilty pleasure. He always talked about how he planned to write the great science fiction novel. Later, he stated that he’d write it after he retired. Then he retired and started on his novel. One day he came to me and shook his head. “I love to read it,” he said, “but I can’t write it.” When he threw up his hands in defeat, I saw the torch arcing my way and caught it.

91CAFU9EHLL._SL1500_DWP: I’m sorry he didn’t reach his goal, but what a gift he gave to you. You clearly ran with it.

SWM: I was determined to accomplish his dream, but it didn’t happen for many years. Then, one night, during a long, boring drive home with my husband from a vacation weekend, we passed a billboard with the name Penryn on it. That one brief glance sparked my imagination. A whole world and generations of exotic characters, places, and events came into being, giving me years of writing. No wonder I focus on time and its effect in my books.

41kRHSE61vLDWP: The Alysian Universe Series has time travel as a major element. Tell us about that.

SWM: When I started writing, a book on time travel appealed to me. I began to explore the many ways time might be manipulated, first by traveling into the past…then into the future. In my first book Caught in Time, Rowyna Grae travels back into a medieval past. In subsequent books, Arwoyn Telluria (and then his clone Kayse) travels into the future and has to adapt to an advanced society.

More ideas popped into my mind. What if one of my characters could stop time? Rewind time? Jump from one timeline to another? My mind began to whirl with the possibilities, and I realized that I needed a genetic line of time manipulators. So I created the Telluran line that carries a time Talent gene, and I had fun with it.

81y2ok-1dALDWP: Caught in Time kicks off the series. Would you tell us a bit more about it?

SWM: Caught In Time is a time travel, science fiction adventure and romance that takes place on Alysia, an alien planet. It’s the story of Rowyna Grae who always thought she was human until the day that Arwoyn Telluria, the last dying time traveler, tells her that she was created using bits of his DNA…specifically the gene for time travel. It doesn’t take long for things to go awry. Arwoyn dies and the new regime wants to send her back to medieval times to assassinate a king. The inexperienced lab assistant, Richard Steele, frantically sends her to the wrong place and loses her.

The reader is plunged into a world of the past with a heroine who struggles to survive and deal with a self-absorbed king that she finds herself falling in love with against all better judgment. The dialog is fun and the action continuous. As she meets new situations, she creates havoc in the past that changes the future. Poor Richard Steele has to deal with the consequences…and most often, they are not the pleasant kind. He is thrown into various timelines because of her actions. He finds himself on the whip end of events and he becomes desperate to get her back…if he can locate her, if the time machine is still working, and if she even wants to come back at all.

81W+wJ8I3sL._SL1500_DWP: Sounds like a fun read. How do you come up with your story ideas?

SWM: At one point, years ago, I questioned whether there weren’t better things to occupy my busy life than writing about time traveling, world saving, and wise-cracking characters that seemed to decide what they were going to do in my books regardless of my wishes. I thought I was done with them…

BUT, they would sneak into my head while I was trying to get to sleep and suggest that it would be fun to have Hieronymous’ mother be a time traveling clone. Okay I can do that book. Then an alien probe crash-lands on Alysia and what are we going to do about it? Next book guys. How about we build a space ship and check out its origins? Now we’re at three, or is it four?

Then, when Arwoyn was experimenting with cloning Rowena, his first two attempts produced male clones. Whatever happened to them? What if one didn’t know that he was a clone or that he could time travel, but others knew? And tried to kill him? Yipes! I really wanted to get my beauty rest, but these questions kept me awake. So I finished his book. Done.

Then I found out that I liked to get even, and I put my characters in impossible situations to see how they would wriggle out. How about their two moons colliding? How about an alien invasion with a twist. Meeting aliens in space? What would they look like? What would they do? How about…

91WHkfkGfrL._SL1500_DWP: Wow…that’s an imagination on the loose! So much for the beauty rest. Tell me, what will readers like the most about your books?

SWM: My readers will like the fun of the read. There is no deep message, no critical information that will change your life, or show you how to lose weight, or make more money. It’s like a bar of good chocolate that you savor, but lasts longer. It costs less than a cup of coffee but has the same stimulating effect.

DWP: In addition to writing books, you host a weekly Scifi Book Review blog. What can someone expect to find there?

SWM: My weekly blog, wwwscifibookreview.com discusses a variety of things pertaining to the realm of science fiction or fantasy. I always share at least one book that I think my readers would enjoy. It’s not an in-depth review, but a suggestion on a book I find worth mentioning. Word-of-mouth in a blog, so to speak.

I sprinkle in my experiences as a self-published author, and recently I’ve discussed what works and doesn’t work in the realm of marketing my books. This is currently a hot topic and it’s evolving. I don’t tell anyone how to write as I’m perfecting that skill myself. From time to time, I include a startling new science discovery or celestial happening. I’m open to ideas on what my readers want to hear about.

81RUV76sgIL._SL1500_DWP: What do you think the future holds for you?

SWM: This is a watershed time for publishing and writing. Everything is changing. And fast. People are scrambling. The traditional publishers are in trouble. No longer are they the gatekeepers of what gets published; anyone can publish. It’s up to readers to decide what they want to read. The problem for the writer is connecting with readers. The creative writer has to do it all and become a businessperson.

My next book, number eight, is coming out in the Fall of 2015. It still only has a working title. Check out my Author’s Page on Amazon. My goal for the next six months is to get the writing in this next book polished and submitted without losing my mind. I am an edit fanatic and can’t leave well enough alone. I’m excited and challenged and I love what I do. I encourage my husband to go ahead and travel in his job, or play golf when he wants to, because I am fine, and busy and happy. I’m getting published, and my father is in heaven hiding out, reading it all.

DWP: And I’m sure he’s loving every word.

>><<

Sheron McCartha’s books are available in paperback and ebook. Find her on Amazon by clicking Here! 

Her Books (in chronological order):

Caught in Time

A Dangerous Talent for Time

Cosmic Entanglement

Past the Event Horizon

Space Song

Touching Crystal

Someone’s Clone

For more in-depth information about her books and writing, visit the Alysian Universe.

Check out her Sci-fi Book Reviews at by clicking  Here! 

Follow her on Facebook or Twitter @Sheronwriting.

Grant Handgis, Interview with a Memoirist

Grant Handgis

Grant Handgis

Exactly a year ago, I had the opportunity to swap books with author Grant Handgis. Though never a reader of memoirs, I was instantly mesmerized by the humor and honesty with which he shared his personal story. Perhaps it happens all the time, but at the end of that literary peek into his life, I felt as though I’d met a friend. As it turns out, I had.

Sleeping Under the Bandstand

Sleeping Under the Bandstand

I recently finished reading Handgis’s latest work, Sleeping Under the Bandstand, a compilation of stories his mother wrote about her life while growing up in Kansas. It’s a captivating account of a complex human journey, of a woman’s intrepid spirit, rich in determination, honesty, and insight.

I’m delighted to share the author and his books with you.

DWP: I’m fascinated by an author’s decision to write a memoir. What was the impetus behind your choice?

I have mine...Show me Yours

I have mine…Show me Yours

GMH: Up until the time I had made the decision to make the plunge into writing a book as personal as a memoir, the books I had written were rather eclectic, including two books of poetry, a children’s fairytale and a book about Mexico. All had been previously written some years beforehand; before digital publishing became available. I had just completed getting those books in print and was contemplating the next book project. I hadn’t yet waded into fiction, so was working out how I wanted to begin. I was also reading new authors at the time, garnering ideas and observing their writing styles.

My daughter handed me a book by David Sedaris one afternoon and I began reading “Naked”. I enjoyed his style and his approach to the memoir, which led me to pick up Augustine Burroughs’ book “Running With Scissors”. I was about halfway through that book when all of a sudden it became quite clear to me that I could do that. Up until that time I had always thought that no one in their right mind would want to read a book about my life. That mental battle only lasted a few days, until I sat down to see what might happen if I should make that attempt. The reason I decided to divide the memoir into two parts, two books, was simply that my life story was basically divided into two parts. It seemed like a good idea at the time anyway.

DWP: I imagine that writing about real people can push against a few boundaries. Some memoirists go straight for the truth of their experiences, regardless of the impact on others. What factors did you consider when writing about others, including family members?

Waking Up Naked

Waking Up Naked

GMH: The reason it took several days before I began actually putting anything on paper, well, computer, had to do with this question. How much do I tell, and what would be acceptable to readers. Considerations to topic and language were fairly quickly tempered after considering what I had read of Sedaris and Burroughs. They laid it out in brutal detail, even sexual escapes and adult situations. Most of my life story was devoid of much of that excellent sexual history so that became a minor issue. The more important element was using names of real people, and characters involved to keep things real. I queried the family members who would be named in the book for their feelings for my using their names, and no one complained.

Being that it would have been impossible to contact the other historical characters in the book, I only named those which were integral to the story, and then only wrote about them in a humorously positive fashion. I never denigrate or demean, or put a character in a bad light. I was writing satire. I even apologetically explained my having sued someone I worked with for breach of verbal contract, and regretted it afterwards. The final consideration was how much of me I was willing to expose, being there was so much potential for satire directed at myself, my past cluelessness. And that became the basis of the story’s theme; learning to think. I wrote into the story the process I used for that process.

DWP: I recently finished your latest book, Sleeping Under the Bandstand, a compilation of stories your mother wrote about her life. You state in the prolog that you made an artistic choice to limit your editing. Tell me what you hoped to accomplish.

Sleeping Under the Bandstand

Sleeping Under the Bandstand

GMH: That project was over two years in the making. After reading the stories as they were handed to me, in folded dot matrix printouts, it became clear that my mother had her own voice, relaying the stories in the oral tradition. My mother grew up in the mid-west, in Topeka, Kansas, and she framed a good deal of her speech from the regional dialect and period use of slang words. I didn’t want to alter that in any way. It was her voice and for me, made the stories all the more personal and real.

The only additions I made to the work were adding commas, to make it more readable from the page, instead of listening to the stories verbally. I will confess to one small addition to the story itself. I added five words at the end of the next to the last chapter. My mother had passed before I was able to complete the book, so there were to be no additions or revisions by her. Being there were dozens and dozens of stories in the original collection, I had yet to fully organize them all, and therefore had no way of seeing how they would all fit together. The ending story of that chapter, just ended, describing a rebuke from her then husband on her being a lady. To finish the ending of that chapter, and account for the ensuing years of her life with my step-father, I added five words; “for the next twenty years”. I believe she will forgive me for that.

DWP: You also wrote a children’s book that your talented wife, Christine Mach-Handgis, illustrated. Do you have any more children’s books in your future?

Teeny Tiny Tammy

Teeny Tiny Tammy

GMH: I am still out on that one. With my wife supporting my writing in general, and children’s books in particular, I know she would illustrate whatever children’s book I wrote. Being a serial confessor of sorts, the children’s book I wrote didn’t start out as a book idea, but a poem written for my daughter, when she was about eight. Being in the right frame of mind at the time the words continued to flow after that, and the poem became the open page to the larger story behind it. I had written the first five pages of the story in one sitting at that time, yet simply could not work out the point of the story, let alone any moral to the story. That didn’t happen for thirty years. At this time I have over a dozen books outlined and awaiting my attention, so another children’s book will likely be somewhere near the bottom of the list, although inspiration may step in and change that without notice.

DWP: Now that your planned memoirs are complete (at least for the time being), you’ve started writing in the realm of fiction. Tell us about your current project.

Living on Dreams

Living on Dreams

GMH: Without original design, I have ended up connecting my books by using a technique that came to me upon finishing the first memoir. The final line of the book became the title to the subsequent book. From that, the next book in line was to be “Marinating In Dream Sauce”, my first fictional novel. I have the opening and the ending, and know the characters and the thrust of the story. Being it will be my first work of fiction, I’m feeling some headwinds on that front.

There were a few things I did leave out of the memoir, with but a mention. One of those things was my experience in Vietnam in 1967. I have never talked about that. So many books have been written on that subject and that time. Mostly blood and guts material. I tend to write satire, and I just never felt there was anything particularly funny to write about those experiences, or that war. Some months ago surviving marines I served with found me through social media and contacted me. One of them asked me that very question, and I gave him the same answer.

Over the months I have put way too many hours into pondering that decision and have come to believe that writing about it may be as cleansing as writing a memoir, which was indeed a cleansing experience. I have begun working on that project, although my intention is to focus on the psychological aspects of warfare, through irony. Something akin to the storyline of Catch-22. Unless things change, the title will be “The Irony of War”, and it will be non-fiction.

DWP: What have you noticed about the transition from non-fiction to fiction? What do you enjoy most about fiction? What do you find the most challenging? Any surprises?

In the Age of Youth

In the Age of Youth

GMH: The first thing I notice is something akin to fear. It is an entirely new area of writing I have yet to experience. Non-fiction is fairly easy. It entails getting all the details correct and in place. Fiction, on the other hand, is made up entirely, and one needs believable characters in believable situations, even though it is all fabricated. It has to seem realistic. My writing instincts indicate I will make that happen as I do enjoy description and embellishment. I just don’t know how credible I will be when I begin. I can only imagine that talent comes with time, and lots and lots of practice.

The part of fiction I would likely enjoy is fabricating situations that tell a larger story through the characters personality, and their foibles. I like to weave philosophical meaning into the story, sort of an application of vicarious learning. That attracts me more than anything else. The most challenging aspect of writing fiction for me is simply the unknowns. I will likely overdo things until I find the right voice and flow of the story, and settle into letting things unfold naturally.

DWP: Can you give us a brief rundown on your books with links?

A Gringo's Tour of Mexico

A Gringo’s Tour of Mexico

GMH: So the reader knows, I offer a 20% discount on any book purchased from my website, Brother Coyote Publications where all my books are listed. The discount code is on the site. Click on any book to get to the check out page where the code is (copy/pasted) in the code window during check out.

 

Shop at Amazon: Grant Handgis Books

Shop at Barnes & Noble: Grant Handgis Books

My list of books; in order of publication:

  • “In The Age of Youth” (poetry)
  • “Living On Dreams” (poetry)
  • “The Story of Teeny Tiny Tammy” (children’s)
  • “A Gringo’s Tour of Mexico” (travel)
  • “I Have Mine…Show Me Yours (memoir)
  • “Waking Up Naked” (memoir)
  • “Sleeping Under The Bandstand” (memoir)

I want to thank you for inviting me to do this interview. I am honored. I have read your books and am enthralled with your writing ability, and your stories. They are beautifully crafted and so enjoyable to read. You have set the mark for me.

Iraq Vet, RPG Game Master turns Sci-Fi Author

Clayton Callahan

Clayton Callahan

Clayton J. Callahan is one of my writer’s critique group buds. Every other week, we scour each other’s chapters, make suggestions, call out problems, and cheer for those perfect paragraphs. I love talking with authors about writing, learning how the creative spark ignited, exploring their choices, and seeing how they work through the creative and occasionally grueling process of bringing a story to life.

When Clayton offered to give away a war-game on my blog, I suggested an interview. Below you get both. Enjoy.

DWP: Welcome to my blog, Clayton. You only started writing only a few years ago. What was the motivation?

CJC: Boredom. I’ve always enjoyed doing creative things. I met my wife in a medieval reenactment troop (the SCA), I’ve painted models, and played role playing games all my life. My last tour in Iraq was in 2011 and, to be frank, there wasn’t much to do at the end of the drawdown. But I had a laptop my daughter gave me and a story idea I always wanted to try. The rest is history…or mythology…or whatever.

StarTrekTOSDWP: What drew you to science fiction as a starting place?

CJC: Are you kidding? I was ten years old when Star Wars came out (1977). People forget what passed for entertainment in the 1970s. Action movies with happy endings were considered passé and you only need watch one Planet Of The Apes film to see what I mean. My dad took me to the vintage theater so I could watch old Errol Flynn films and get something out of a movie besides popcorn and soda. Then Star Wars came out and suddenly there was this fun and exciting world to play in. When I had my fill of Star Wars, I flipped the channels to find Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek re-runs. My father’s generation had swashbucklers, I had space ships.

DWP: Science fiction is a broad genre. How would you describe your books to a potential reader?

CJC: I’d call it “space opera.” First and foremost, I write entertainment. I’m working on the assumption that people don’t have a lot of time, and when they pick up a novel, they want to enjoy themselves. My work features lovable characters, bar fights and space battles. After that, I tackle politics, religion and ethics. But I truly believe you’ve got to entertain folks first or they’ll donate your book to the church thrift sale before they finish chapter one.

star-run-physical-copy-e1413446087963DWP: You created role-playing games before you began writing. How has your experience with RPG’s translated to writing?

CJC: Very well actually. In a role playing game, you sit around a table with friends and engage in a mutual storytelling exercise. I started with Dungeons & Dragons back in the 1980s but soon moved on to science fiction games like Traveler.  Funny thing, I often found myself in the position of “Game Master,” meaning it was my job to create the setting and the plot for the game. I must have been good at it because at 16 I was running standing room only games for players in their 20s and 30s. Again, it’s about engaging with an audience that makes it fun for all involved.

DWP: Your most recent book, Red Coat Running, is a completely different genre. Why the change?

CJC: As you mentioned at the beginning, I’m new to writing. That being said, I’m still in the process of learning how to craft a story. For my first book I wrote a series of interconnected short stories (a framed novel). My second book was a chapter by chapter space adventure and my third book a non-fiction.

For my fourth book, I wanted to try something completely different just to see if I could pull it off. In the army I served as a counterintelligence agent, and I thought that experience could translate well into a spy novel. I set the book in 1948 so I wouldn’t have to cover any aspect of modern electronic surveillance (and so I wouldn’t slip out anything classified). Frankly, I think it’s my best work yet. We’ll see how the public reacts when it’s released in the fall of 2015.

DWP: As a new writer, what advice do you have for other new writers?

CJC: I get that question a lot. Co-workers will congratulate me on my books and then mention that they have always wanted to try it. Honestly, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t. There is no special magic to writing. You just have to be willing to put in the work and learn from your mistakes. In college I used to say, “I let the red pen guide me.” I’d write a paper, and when it came back all marked up, I’d learn what to do and not do next time. Writing fiction is no different for me.

2nd-edition-coverDWP: You’re offering a free miniatures war game as part of this interview. Tell me about it.

CJC: I’ve also always loved modeling and history. The hobby that puts the two together is war-gaming. The first set of rules were written by (no kidding) H.G. Wells and involved model soldiers being moved across model terrain to simulate a battle.

It’s a great hobby and I’ve had a lot of fun with it over the years, however two recent trends in the hobby tick me off. First is that the model soldiers are getting very expensive; and second the rules are often too cumbersome and slow moving. So I wrote a game especially for the cheapest (and most widely available) model soldiers with a set of easy to learn, fast moving rules.

The soldiers are known as HO or 1/72nd scale and they come in every historical period from the 300 Spartans to the modern US Army. I wrote the rules to cover every conceivable historical era (it’s much easier to do than you’d think). Since that went so well I added rules for fantasy armies (orcs vs. elves), post-apocalyptic survivors and even zombies (why not?).

Download the full PDF here: From Broadswords to Bullets

cover-screaming-eagleDWP: Finally, give us a run down on your books.

CJC: Here you go.

  • Tales of The Screaming Eagle is available as an e-book on Amazon, Books-a-Million and Barns & Noble’s sites. Paperback copies are available through Double Dragon Publishing.
  • Beer Today Gone Tomorrow is a sci-fi short story, available on Amazon.
  • The Adventures of Crazy Liddy will be released by Double Dragon this summer (June?)
  • Red Coat Running, the spy thriller, will be released by World Castle this fall.
  • A Writer’s Guide to Adventurous Professions sold well, but is currently seeking a new publisher and hopefully will be available later this year. It’s a long story…
  • If folks are interested in my games, they can visit my blog wordpress.com or buy them from Indie Press Revolution.