google-site-verification: google935433b691795853.html KRISTY BERRIDGE: 2013-04-21

Saturday, 27 April 2013

An Interview with John Hundley

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr John Hundley, a sublime indie author with vast talent. I've read both of John's books to date, and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed both of them, ploughing through each page with gusto.
Usually indie authors display potential but often fall short with their editing techniques, but it is more than clear that John has taken the time to smother his manuscript with love but cut the 'unnecessary' with brutal efficiency, thus drawing parallels between himself and other quality writers of his genre such as, Richelle Mead and Karen Chance.
Needless to say, adding John Hundley's books to your 'to-be-read pile' is a must - you won't regret it! 
So now let the twenty questions commence, and apologies to John for my warped sense of humour. You were a good sport!

Describe your novel in twenty words or less.
Turned into a werewolf to fulfil a prophecy, Clifford Crane must discover what it is and why. (Damn, that was hard!)

Edgar Rice Burroughs
What were some of the biggest obstacles that you had to overcome while writing?
The Draculata Nest was my first novel. I struggled with verbosity (hence the struggle with your first question) and pace. My editor suggested I cut 100,000 words from the first draft, but I could only bring myself to get rid of half that. I think I did better in the second book, The Dragon of Doughton Park, both with pace and word count.

Are you also a reader, and if so, what’s your preferred genre?
Since I’m writing a paranormal fantasy series, that’s mostly what’s on my kindle at the moment, but it’s a toss-up between that and science fiction.

Isaac Asimov
If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Oh, that’s easy. Edgar Rice Burroughs. No, he might have been too British-y (probably wouldn’t want to eat the same stuff as me, you know?) Isaac Asimov! No, he’d probably be too smart. You know, I’d really like to ask Taylor Swift a few questions. No, wait, forget that – no privacy. Maybe Richelle Mead. Yeah, her. I’d love to pick her brain about some of her writing and characters and she knows so much about different religions and cultures. As long as we didn’t have to talk about music and fashion. Wow, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Maybe Kristy Berridge?

Taylor Swift
Do you have any weird little habits that get you in the writing mood—downing a bottle of wine, eating an entire bar of chocolate, fornicating on a porch swing?
None of those would work. I’d just want more of the same. I dedicated my first book to the baristas at my favourite coffee shop, so that should tell you something. Most of my writing is done in coffee shops. I have too many distractions at home, although pictures of your writing cubby have inspired me to try and set up something similar for myself. I always play a game of FreeCell before I start, but I play a game of FreeCell before I do anything. I have to keep my kindle and a little notebook on the left side of my laptop.

What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?
Good question! All the marketing gurus say I need to promote that aspect of my books. But what is it? There is so much in this genre right now. How can there be anything new and different? But I think the thing that stands out most is the perspective of a character who’s been around the block a few times. I really enjoy exploring the dynamics of relationships between old and young, especially romance-wise. And supernatural characters that live for a thousand years or more get to carry around a lot of emotional baggage. It’s fun to speculate how that works out.

Okay, so I bet you secretly hate one of the characters in your novel. Who is it and why?
Hate is a strong word, Kristy. But the character that’s giving me a lot of grief right now is Cynthia Lamelle, best friend of Heather Felton, Clifford Crane’s current romantic interest. I made her Cajun and although I love the accent and I hear it in my mind so clearly when she speaks, I cannot translate it to the page. I have a Cajun blogger friend, Maghon Thomas (Happy Tails and Tales Blog), who is trying to help me, but... argh! It’s frustrating.

Kristy: Haha! I knew it.

You’re on death row and it’s your last meal. What will you choose to eat?
There’s a little barbecue restaurant in Salisbury, North Carolina, that has the best barbecued chicken... ever! I’d have to order a half chicken plate from Hendrix BBQ, with creamy cole slaw and hushpuppies (not fries). Damn the heartburn. I’m gonna be dead anyway, right?

Tell us three crazy things about yourself that you wish no one else knew (I promise I won’t post this … but I lie).
One of my all-time favourite movies is an old Disney B-grade with Michelle Trachtenberg and Hayden Panettiere called Ice Princess. I have the DVD, and I’ve watched it maybe 50 times. I cry at the end every time. I’m a sucker for that sappy shit.

Kristy: Okay, I've seen this movie a few times, I get where you're coming from, but I laughed myself stupid when I read this. Oh John ...

I have an old hiking stick with a wood-spirit face carved into the handle. I like to twirl it when I’m on the trail by myself, and I keep hitting myself in the head. It really hurts, and I know it’s going to happen every time, but...

Kristy: Still laughing ...

I like to sit around the house naked. No, it’s not a pretty sight, but I live alone, so... Anyway, I enjoy it so much that I have this recurring vision of the future, when senility sets in big-time, and I start wandering around the neighbourhood. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna happen eventually. Sigh.

Kristy: Really laughing now, but I suspect this could be me very soon.

Are you a scruncher or a folder? (Yes, this is a toilet paper question)
It depends. There are times when you need to conserve, like when backpacking in the woods, where folding is the best way to achieve a consistent, even ply. But there are other times, like... uh, why are we talking about this again?

If you had to pick one song to be the soundtrack to your novel, what would it be and why?
Oh, I’m determined to write my own theme, and I have a number of local singers and musicians in mind to assemble as the perfect band to perform it. But, if that doesn’t work out, well... naw, I’m drawing a blank here. That’s going to require a lot of research.

Do you have any future projects lined up that you want to tell us about?
I’m writing the third book in the Red Wolf of Prophecy series right now, Red Wolf Rising, which will complete what was originally conceived to be a trilogy. But Clifford’s story, and the overall struggle among the Fae over the fate of humanity goes on for at least another thousand years. I’m outlining something with the working title of Half Human Enterprises that picks up three or four hundred years into the future. I also have a short story in progress with a sword-and-sorcery-type character who’s vying for a novella... or more.

E-book or paperback, what’s your preference?
I vaguely miss poking my nose into print and paper and always being able to flip the book over and look at the cover, but I’m head over heels in love with my Kindle. And if it weren’t for ebooks I couldn’t afford to publish. I feel so fortunate to live in an age when I can hone my craft to a real audience rather than having to write just to please a publisher before I can even get my books in front of a real, honest-to-god reader. E-book power, yeah!

What books or authors have most influenced your writing style?
My greatest writing influence has to be Stephen King, although I doubt you could tell by reading my work. But the books he’s written in the third person, shifting character perspective, are what I’m trying hardest to emulate.

15.          If you were stuck on a deserted Island would you choose:
a)            A total hottie to keep you company over the lonely nights ahead.
b)            A solar powered Kindle with limitless reading potential.
c)            Tom Hanks and Wilson to help get your ass off the Island.
No way I’m leaving the island with Tom and Wilson. Me, I’m staying. Are you sure I can’t have the total hottie and the Kindle? Sigh. In that case, I’d probably be better off with the Kindle. Tom would probably end up with the hottie anyway.

Where can we find you?
Alas, I still don’t have an official website. Soon, I promise. In the meantime, I try to post once or twice a week on my blog, and I include links to all my books at the bottom of each post (you know, for your convenience J). I also have a Red Wolf Novels page on Facebook, feel free to go ‘like’ it or send me a friend request.

Who has been your biggest support on your writing journey, and please, feel free to add my name here …
You know, Kristy? I was really surprised when some of my close friends embraced this unexpected writing path I embarked upon. I can’t thank them enough. But the first author group I joined on Facebook, one of the administrators sent me this lengthy email with all kinds of wonderful advice and immediately hooked me up with other bloggers and writers who were willing to read, review, and network. That led me to connect with you (my favourite, of course) eventually, but I’ve been completely blown away by the helpfulness and camaraderie of this global writing community from the beginning. It’s one of those debts you can’t repay to one individual. You just have to keep passing it on.

Kristy: You know what, John? I couldn't agree more. Supporting others enriches your own life in so many ways.

What is one of your favourite scenes from your novel? Feel free to provide a small excerpt to entice the readers.
Clifford’s vampire friend, Kent, was based on a real friend of my own from days gone by. *Spoiler alert* I can’t believe I killed him off in the first book, because Clifford could really use a friend right now, but I loved some of the scenes between the two in the first book. Here’s a little quickie that shows their interaction, just driving in the car...

No one said anything further until Clifford came to a stop at the intersection of Seventh Street and King’s Drive, signaling for a left turn.
“Where are you going?” Kent challenged.
“I’m going to go up Trade and cut over on whatever-the-f@#$k street so I can park on Third.”
“Why don’t you just continue on Seventh and cut over on Whatever-the-F@#$k Street?”
“Don’t give me any shit. I’m going this way.”
“Seventh would be faster. Well, it would have been. Too late now.” Clifford had made the left turn and was halfway down the block.
“Let me drive,” Clifford said. “We’ll get there this way just fine.”
“Eventually,” Kent retorted. “You got two extra lights this way, and you had the sequence going Seventh. It would have been green all the way.”
“F@#$k you. We’re going this way.”
Clifford turned on Trade, heading uptown. Sure enough, he had to stop for the red light at McDowell. Kent sighed. They caught another red light at the next intersection. Kent sighed again.
“F@#$k you,” Clifford reiterated, chuckling.
“I didn’t say a damn thing,” Kent deadpanned. “Oh look, here it is, Whatever-the-F@#$k Street.”

If you had to cast your characters, who would you reconcile to play their parts?
It’s funny, because every movie I watch these days, I go, “Wow, she’s perfect for Danielle,” or “He should play Kendall.” I’m afraid I’m too wishy washy, so I’d have to leave the casting up to the director. However, I’m definitely holding out for Natalie Portman as Nicole. We have to hurry, though, because like all of us, she’s getting older. No matter, I love her, and she’d have no trouble pulling it off.

Any last words? (feel free to write Kristy Berridge is super awesome right here)
You are super awesome, Kristy! You know I’m a fan of your writing, and I hardly ever miss one of your blog posts. Your reviews of my books have been a big help both in getting the word out and for the constructive criticism. It’s a huge delight to be featured here! Thanks so much. Keep up the great work and, dammit, get The Damned ready for my Kindle, hear? I need to find out what Elena’s up to.

Okay, so that's the illustrious John Hundley who I now can't stop thinking about sitting in the buff, banging his head with a spirit stick LOL!
Anyway, head over to Goodreads and add his fabulous books to your TBR pile, I promise you won't regret it. Or, just go straight to Amazon and buy these fantastic books!
Have a good one,

Kristy :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Book Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses is the first book in the Morganville Vampires series, a fabulous introduction to this intriguing town filled with rabid vampires and bullying teens.
The town of Morganville is the black-hole of chilling alliances and underhanded deals. Regular blood donations act as town taxes and the local college students are fodder for the blue collar fang-bearers. Anyone who tries to leave finds their memories replaced by a fog of uncertainty and anyone who may remember even a hint of their existence in this shady town often find themselves, or their family, six feet under. 
When Claire Danvers comes to Morganville it's for advanced placement in the local college. Smart and seemingly persecuted for this quality, Claire finds herself the victim of brutal and unwarranted attacks. Pushed down stairs, beaten bloody and hosed down with acidic chemicals, it's understandable why she moves out of the dormitory and into the Glass House.
Claire doesn't realise that certain humans in the town are under vampiric protection, others offering their duplicitous services in exchange for immunity. No one in the Glass house is anything but genuine and honest. Though reluctant to aide a minor, they understand the dangers this town presents and are not nearly as surprised as they should have been when Claire draws unending trouble their way.
With endless bouts of bullying, vampiric intrigue and the final chapters dripping with enough mystery to sink a ship, I simply could not put the book down. Hesitant in my initial approach, I'm almost sorry I waited so long to read the start of this dynamite little series. With gently erupting romance, intense and gritty action teamed with a real, evolving story, and this well written novel is a winner. I happily rate Glass Houses four and half fangs out of five.
I will definitely be back for seconds!

It’s a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows—one that will spill out into the bright light of day.
Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks on the school’s social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections—to the undead who run the town.
When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Hew new roommates don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...