The Black Bag

Fantasy Authors Unplugged: Meeting Authors from Brain to Books Blog Tour Pt. 5

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today continues sharing fantasy authors from the Brain to Books Blog Tour.

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AuthorAshley Capes

Fast Facts

Author: Ashley Capes

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Book: City of Masks from The Bone Mask Trilogy

Official Site

Bio

Ashley is a poet, novelist and teacher living in Australia. He’s the author of five poetry collections and two novels and was poetry editor for Page Seventeen from issues 8-10. He also moderates online renku group Issa’s Snail. Ashley teaches English, Media and Music Production, has played in a metal band, worked in an art gallery and slaved away at music retail. Aside from reading and writing, Ashley loves volleyball and Studio Ghibli – and Magnum PI, easily one of the greatest television shows ever made.

See poetry at http://www.ashleycapes.com and fiction at http://www.cityofmasks.com

CoverBlurb

Waking in Anaskar Prison, covered in blood and accused of murder, nobody will listen to Notch’s claims of innocence until he meets the future Protector of the Monarchy, Sofia Falco.

But Sofia has her own burdens. The first female Protector in a hundred years, her House is under threat from enemies within, the prince has made it clear he does not want her services and worst of all, she cannot communicate with her father’s sentient mask of bone, the centuries-old Argeon. Without the bone mask she cannot help anyone — not herself, and certainly not a mercenary with no powerful House to protect him.

Meanwhile, far across the western desert, Ain, a young Pathfinder, is thrust into the role of Seeker. Before winter storms close the way, he must leave his home on a quest to locate the Sea Shrine and take revenge on the people who drove his ancestors from Anaskar. But Ain’s path is paved with dangers, and threatens the very city that Notch and Sofia are sworn protect.

Read more about City of Masks here…

AuthorC.L. Schneider

Fast Facts

Author: C.L. Schneider

Genre: Fantasy

Books:

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars

Official Site

Bio

Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, I grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. When I was sixteen I wrote my first, full-length novel on a typewriter in my parent’s living room. My main focus is adult epic fantasy, but I also write urban fantasy, and the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.

I am proud to be a self-published author and a member of the #indiebooksbeseen community. My goal as a writer is to stir emotion and make the reader feel, whether it be good or bad. I believe in writing fearless, and that telling a story as it is meant to be told, is far more important than word count.

The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price is my first published novel. The second book in the trilogy, Magic-Scars, was released earlier this year.

CoverMagic Price

Blurb

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.

Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.

A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.

With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones trilogy.

Read the excerpt here…

If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

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8 More Ways Scrivener Aids My Writing

LeftHandScrivener is a powerful writing tool. I write about it weekly with tips and usage ideas. To read more of my posts click the Scrivener tag or category at the end of the page.

 

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There are so many ways that Scrivener helps me as a writer and it’s hard to narrow down the most important. I’ve already shared 8 ways it improves my writing experience on a daily basis. But since the time I wrote that post I’ve begun using Scrivener more heavily. Here are 8 features of Scrivener that have dramatically impacted my writing.

1. The Binder – it’s an obvious choice but the Binder is so incredibly effective a feature in Scrivener. The ability to re-structure a large project is huge. Just grasping this in other software like Word used to be monumental, if no monolithic. Now I just drag as many folders or document-scenes around to a new location as necessary within a few minutes. Then I only have to do some re-writing to smooth out the changes.

2. The Inspector bar is laden with so many useful tools it’s hard to cover them all in one blog post. The list is long for the all the tasks that can be addressed in this feature. They are all meant to help a writer track, document, reference and enhance the writing process.

3. Snapshots – this is actually part of the Inspector but I single it out as an important way to manage different versions of content. Do a snapshot before you make major changes and you can easily revert back to another version you prefer or need. I recommend using it before making any large-scale change in a project in case you make mistakes or delete something.

Scriv Collection Save Search Tab4. Collections – I recently wrote a series of posts on this multi-function tool. It has been a useful aspect of Scrivener for making structural changes where I need to write more scenes or edit for style. I can select specific folder or documents to add to the collection, work with it and remove each part as I complete them until I’m done with the mini-project. Very handy, especially when you consider you can use it in other ways – like compiling a manuscript.

5. Document templates – I find this most useful for my year-long blog project. I have different types of posts so I have a different templates to use for each one. I can update each template as changes occur throughout the year and all my new posts will have that without having to add the content by other means (by typing it out or doing a copy paste).

6. Project Templates – I can create a template for projects like short stories, my year-long blogging, a book, book reviews, newsletters, my blog tours and promotions as well as managing my overall writing. Each template is specialized to what the project is and they can be updated as necessary to reflect my changing needs.

7. The Layout Manager – this is really a cool feature to me. I can setup specific layouts for different types of writing tasks based on the stage of my project. If the project is new and in development, then I can have certain features turned on. Once I move to a new stage all I have to do is change to a different layout that I’ve created and transition into the new phase seamlessly where some parts of Scrivener are turned off and others are visible.

Scriv Scratch Pad8. The Scratchpad – you don’t hear a lot about this feature but I’ve written about it before. It’s found on the Tools menu and lets you write notes and insert the test to other parts of the project within which you are working or even to another project you may have open. For instance, I often have several projects open at a time and I may come up with an idea for another in which I’m not currently working. I can use the Scratchpad to write the note and insert it into a specific folder or document in the same project or another open project. I especially do this while journaling since that’s where I may generate a variety of ideas. I can journal it and then transfer the notion elsewhere using the Scratchpad.

That’s all for this list but I think these cover the bases well. Everything in Scrivener is designed to help writers write intuitively, fluidly and effectively. There’s no wasted effort once you’ve learned the software to any degree. You don’t waste time creating all the environment you need to write – you set it up and then you are able to start writing without worrying about all the details – and that’s the best feature of all.

Just as a reminder – my Scrivener posting schedule is changing to Friday’s to accommodate several writing events during September as well as the release – most of which occur on a Mondays. So I’ll be back next Friday with more Scrivener goodness. Until then, you are welcome to check back on other posts here as well as my writing news.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

 The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7

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Just as a note: I am not affiliated with Scrivener in any official capacity. For support questions, pricing and other concerns please contact the vendor. However, I am working on becoming an affiliate for Scrivener ads since I like the product so much. I’m not required to write about Scrivener to be an affiliate; I just like it that much. For more about my FTC statement see my sidebar.

 

How Did I Get Here?

Going In CirclesHow did you get here? That’s a loaded question. But it is one that I got on my recent blog talk radio interview on Beyond the Cover – just in different words.

I was asked by host, Beem Weeks, how I started writing. That is a loaded question. If you aren’t prepared for it then you may freeze. But I think I handled the question well. But it did get me thinking about how I really got here. No, I got here the usual way everyone else did. I mean as a writer – how did I get to this time and place?

Well, I covered some of the details in the interview but it’s much more complex for me than just a few minutes of discussion in an interview. Why am I writing? Why am I doing it now? There are any number of questions that can be asked and answered as part of the whole notion.

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Ultimately, what a writer puts out for anyone to see is an extension of themselves. So life experiences become important. I’m not saying just go build up a bunch of memories from a bucket list so you can write good prose. No, it’s much more complex than that. It’s also the experiences that were unpleasant. The good and the bad, the highs and lows, are all aspects of character and plot that provide a writer with a wealth of important resources for fleshing out the elements of a novel.

My own story – thirty years of writing this one book covers a lot of events. I finished the original novel in 1995 and was offered a contract. The terms were vague so I backed away. I tried my hand at short stories and let the manuscript lie for a few years. I started a few re-writes all around career changes and the arrival of a child.

After some time, health issues affected me though I didn’t know how much. I struggled with hypothyroidism and faded into sleep apnea. I didn’t know how much it affected me until these and a few other things were treated effectively. Then I woke up to what was going on. It was like being Rip van Winkle. Oh, I knew things had changed but I never really put it together until that time. I saw the opportunity and started writing again.

winding roadSome people might say I should have moved on and that may be well an good. But I had a finished book and it was salable years ago so I wanted to cut my teeth on it. I looked at the manuscript and held me nose at a mess that had gone quite putrid in the intervening years. So, I re-wrote it and began the journey afresh with more insights while learning some new techniques as I went.

It’s been a winding road – sometimes through the middle of nowhere – to actually publishing this upcoming book. When I started, the internet wasn’t even a daily reality and now you can learn more about writing in a month just off blogs than what used to be available in a few books. E-books weren’t even a thought back in those days and Amazon didn’t even exist. A lot has changed in the intervening years and the world of publishing has changed at an accelerated rate over the last decade with all the changes in technology.

Right now is an exciting time. It’s a time of rapid change. It’s an interesting time. I’m glad I waited but I wish I had spent more time just writing along the way. I missed years of skill development and now I’m pushing daily to grow as a writer. However, these are amazing days to do so and I’m thankful for making it this far.

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a FREE coupon for my short story e-book, The Black Bag which contains a sample chapter of The Bow of Destiny. You’ll also be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available for pre-release orders on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks (via the iTunes app) & NOW Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, August’s free e-book: Trading Knives is now available on Kobo, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble & Amazon.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Bow of Destiny Trading Knives 1 What Is Needed 4 Black Bag Cover 7