Friday, July 26, 2013

Jennifer Parr visits my attic.

I was doing a little rearranging up here in the attic when Jennifer Parr came knocking on my door. I'll put her to work but first, ice tea and Cheez-Its.

Who are you and where did you come from?
My name is Jennifer Parr and I am a proud military brat. I was born in England, moving around the UK before coming to the US at the age of three. Following tradition, I too joined the military, then my husband did as well. Right now, I live in California, but even as we speak I am in the process of moving. To Utah.

Obviously you’re a writer, what is the name of your book and the general plot?
The first book in my Avalon Valley trilogy is Tortuous Shadows, in which outcast Aria Morgan is faced with the grim reality that if she does not find love and bear a child, she will soon die. She has accepted this fate many times over, but she doesn’t expect village newcomer Liam Trey to walk into her life and turn her world, and her future, upside down.

Where did you come up with the idea?
Unable to fall asleep, of course - isn’t that just the way it is? So as I lay there I wondered what the world would be like if there had never been a set of twins before, and what their lives would be like – would they be cherished, or hated? – and the concept grew from there. Halfway into it, I decided there had to be something special in place of the word twin, and after some research, I chose to go with Dviinu (which is simply twin in Latvian).

Which of your characters do you like the most and why?
All of my characters, even the mean and nasty ones, hold a place in my heart, but I’ve always identified with Aria the most, from not having a father to feeling invisible to wishing for a future so bright it rivals the sun. My brother actually had to stop reading my book because I reminded him too much of Aria that it made certain scenes a bit…awkward.-- I bet!

Which one do you hate the most and why?
There’s a particularly menacing character, Everett, that is just plain creepy. He’s not so much a presence in the story as an idea, and the idea of him is chilling all on its own.

You’re stranded on an island and you are granted three things;
An IPod with only one song loaded, what is it?
Really, anything from Mumford and Sons and I’d be a happy little islander.

A book with the last chapter missing, what is it and who wrote it?
The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, that way I can keep the story going in my head and it never has to end. (Read it if you haven’t)

And a lunchbox with a sandwich and a full thermos, yummy, what kind of sandwich and drink would you appreciate?
I’ve always said I can’t live without milk, so what’s better with milk than PB&J?

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your life? Not writing or publishing mistake – any mistake. Even if it happened in 3rd grade, I wanna know about it.
Don’t laugh…Are you ready for this? I didn’t learn how to drive until I was almost thirty. I know, it’s crazy, but something always kept me from learning and I really regret that I waited so long. (If my husband were here, he’d be nodding his head in that I-told-you-so sort of way)
Thirty? Really? Wow, after all those years of studying I sure hope you got 100% on the test.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Why does wrestling a polar bear come to mind? But seriously, I’ve never had one, so I can’t say I’d necessarily go to any extremes for one.

You’re still stranded on that island and two people show up, the character you love the most, and the one you hate the most, and they both know what you said about them. What do you do?
Grab Aria’s hand and run!
That's a scary answer - you're on an island, there are only so many places you can hide.

Flash round favorites:
Color: RED  Yeah, I just thought I'd mess with ya.

Sound: RAIN

Season: FALL

Animal: HORSE

Smell: RAIN


Place to visit: AUSTRALIA



Alien: JAR JAR BINKS --- To all my readers/Star wars fans, I don't want hate mail about this. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion

Number: 7 or 28




And last of all, favorite memory:
My wedding day, nearly fifteen years ago. Awwwwww.

Anything else you would like to add?

This is a bit random, but I am terribly claustrophobic. Once, I was locked in a walk-in freezer at work. It wasn’t fun. Also, I love horses. I used to ride in gymkhanas (barrel racing, pole bending, that sort of thing). And that’s it for my facts of randomness. Unless you want to hear more… 
We always want more but you ate all my Cheez-Its so I'm kicking you out!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


All writers need support. We find it in many different ways. Whether it comes from family or coworkers, maybe friends online, even from your cat, every writer needs support. The communities online are hugely beneficial. We all understand the highs and lows of writing. We have our own jokes, hates, likes and frustrations. I belong to several pages online that have been built up properly to support and not tear down.
But somehow all of that love can break apart when the few people we want support from don't give it. 

I understand some of our novels won't please everyone. I don't write erotica but I'm sure getting love from those author's parents might be a bit of a struggle, but that's not the point. Just because you don't agree with what's in the book doesn't mean you should withdraw support. It's like not going to your son's wedding just because you hate the bride.

I know there are plenty of family members that do this which is a shame. But then again maybe it's not too bad. The way we were raised has a lot to do with why we write the things we write. And although our books may not be tell-alls, there is always truth in fiction.

Personal experience is the basis of all real literature --  George Henry Lewis

After all this, what we really need is one. One person to draw from. One person to push us to finish the book. One friend to remind us of why we started writing in the first place.

That one person is my husband. He's my best friend and my confidant. He's supported me when everyone else told me to quit. He's taken on extra work to support the family so I could stay at home and follow my dreams.

Who is it for you? Please leave a comment and a little 'thank you' for them, even if it is your cat.

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Hello? Is anyone in here?" Brandice Snowden cautious and curious, enters my attic.
"Come on in, sit, sit. I just finished vacuuming the chair, not because I think it needs it, but only because the last visiting author, R. Holland, had to leave after an allergic reaction to my dust. So, now that you're comfortable let's get started.

Who are you and where did you come from? 
If you talk to my immediate family they would tell you I’m some changeling dropped off from the nether realms in place of the child that should have been theirs.  If my family legends are to be believe I am the descendant of a human/fairy folk hybrid from what is now known as Ireland.
More mundanely, I’m Brandice Snowden and I am from Texas.

Obviously you’re a writer, what is the name of your book and the general plot? 
My book is titled Demon’s Veil, it is the first book in a planned trilogy.  In it I have a witch, Marie Leveau, who reluctantly has to work for a government agency that deals with the things that go bump in the night.  She has recently been assigned a new team of soldiers.  While they work together she introduces them not only to the paranormal world but non-human races as well.  While trying to do their jobs they stumble upon a prophecy that could mean the end of the world if they can’t band together to save it.

Where did you come up with the idea?
I had a dream….no seriously, one night I had a nightmare that had me waking up sobbing.  The central image was a child crumbling to dust in my arms.  It had me so emotionally tore up that I ended up writing it down as a short story.  My husband and friends begged me to turn it into a book.  So the short story started what is now Demon’s Veil.

Which of your characters do you like the most and why?
 I’d have to say my favorite character is Keiron.  He’s got a chip on his shoulder but a heart of gold.  He can also be kind of funny.  I’ve always like a man with a sense of humor.

Which one do you hate the most and why?
Darnell would be the one I hate most.  He is one of those guys who thinks he is entitled when he is actually weak.  He allows himself to be manipulated into betraying everything.

You’re stranded on an island and you are granted three things;
An IPod with only one song loaded, what is it? A book with the last chapter missing, what is it and who wrote it? And a lunchbox with a sandwich and a full thermos, nom nom…
First the song.
Oh god! Only one song? I’m going to go crazy if I only have one song.  I can’t even choose a favorite genre because it changes based on my mood.  So just to let you know this answer will be wrong tomorrow because my mood will have changed; but since I have had kind of a rough day today I’m going to go for my go to bad mood song “Kiss my Irish Ass” by the Flogging Molly

The book?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (yes my literature degree is showing).  I always wanted to rewrite the ending to this book because I thought Lucie chose the wrong man.  I mean seriously, He literally died for her.

Your lunchbox?
Yummy, what kind of sandwich and drink would you appreciate? Salmon BLT on focaccia and water.  I really don’t drink anything other than water, unless it involves alcohol.

Alcoholic drinks while alone on an island sounds like a sunburn waiting to happen.
Next question.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your life? Not writing or publishing mistake – any mistake. Even if it happened in 3rd grade, I wanna know about it.
 Wow, that’s a serious question.  I’d have to say that I let other people decide the kind of person I should be for too long.  But on the up side, I have discovered the kind of person I don’t want to be and have found the strength to discover who I want to be in the future.  Life is a journey not a destination and I am hoping to arrive at the end sliding across the pavement on a Harley yelling, “That was fun. Let’s do it again.”

What would you do for a Klondike bar? 
What haven’t I done? I live in North Texas where a cool day in the summer is still in the triple digits.  Ice cream is serious business around here.
Funny and embarrassing at the same time.

Okay, you’re still stranded on that island and two people show up, the character you love the most, and the one you hate the most, and they both know what you said about them. What do you do?  Flirt with Keiron and knock Darnell out so he can’t try his Jedi mind tricks on me.  Probably in reverse of that order though.

Flash round favorites:

Pretty much any jewel tone

Rain on the roof

Fall, Halloween is my favorite holiday

Cats…I could easily become the crazy cat lady if left to my own devices

Wood burning in a campfire

Sushi.  I even got my five year old eating it.
I just had Sushi last night. Yummy

Place to visit
New Orleans.  It just fits my personality.
I don’t know how to take that.

Place to live
I haven’t figured this one out yet

Labyrinth with David Bowie.  I will attend the Masquerade of Jareth at some point it is on my bucket list.

Lwaxana Troy from Star Trek. I imagine myself being forward and bawdy like her as I get older.


Writing spot
My favorite is my local 8th Street Coffee Shop.  However I do the majority of my writing on my lunch break at my day job.
We won't tell your boss. Secrets are safe up in my attic.

Velvet. I could pet that all day.
When I was growing up my dad had a velvet painting of a nude lady. I think it's up here somewhere.  If I find it I'll let you take it home to pet if you want. No? Okay, I'll stop digging.

Go on, favorite planet
Pluto, even though they say that technically it isn’t a planet anymore.  When I was growing up it was a planet and I am stubborn.

And last of all, favorite memory-
Sitting on the counter in the kitchen baking with my grandmother.

Anything else you would like to add?
 I’m an odd ball.
I think we've figured that out from this interview, but go on.
 I sword fight for fun (rapier).  Yes, I use real swords.  I participate in the Society for Creative Anachronism.  I also have actually been publicly shamed by a Southern Baptist preacher as the hand of the devil because of my novel.  You don’t have to add that last bit, I just think it is kind of funny that it happened in this day in age.
Being a person of faith myself I know where he's coming from and I'd hate for him to see what I wrote, but the Lord works in mysterious ways. All things work for good right? At least it wasn't a Catholic school nun, when those rulers hit your knuckles it hurts.
I think I have that ruler here somewhere also.
Hey, I found the velvet painting!  Brandice, you want it?

*Cough, cough* Well thank you Brandice Snowden for your taking time out to visit my attic. And after looking at this painting I feel like running away and slamming the door also.
Until next time, all you beautiful peoples, thanks for visiting my Attic.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sticktuitiveness - the ability to stick with a situation that seems to go nowhere, only to have a positive outcome decades later.

Sticktuitiveness - stick-tu-it-tive-ness - the ability to stick with a situation that seems to go nowhere only to have a positive outcome decades later. Requires patience on a methodical level, hope on an impossible level, and drive on an all in or bust level.

I have sticktuitiveness. Many members of my family give up on trying to make me give up. I have friends that after many years have told me it's never going to happen, save yourself the heartache, then they leave me because my sticktuitiveness bothers them.

My patience has been diagnosed as methodical and since I do not get upset, frustrated, or mad easily, sticktuitiveness has been a label I am happy to wear. I would rather wait decades for something and not get it than to move on to something else. 

As an avid reader I have a hard time when it comes to books. I am not picky but I cannot-not finish a book. It may take me years to read through a horribly written novel but I will finish it. I will not let things go. I give up on no one. 

As a writer this has been my motto. God is my saving grace and hope. My sticktuitiveness is my disease that prevents me from breaking down and throwing my laptop into the Ohio River. 

All that being said, I offer hope to you all. I am going to be building my blog slowly and steadily. I want to do it right. I want a place where authors can have a good time and not feel the need to be stuffy and proper. This is an attic after all. I will be sticking by you whether or not you stick by me and either way I'll be happy. 

If you want to come and hang out let me know and I'll yank the sheets off the ole rocking chair. Once a month I'll have a party and you're invited to that too. Send me a message, IM, text, pigeon air mail and I'll open my vent to sneak you in.

Atthalia Eve Spikenard -- Atty

Sunday, July 14, 2013

R. Holland visits

Please welcome to my attic author R. Holland. 
R. Holland has a series called Ana Be Still which you all should definitely check out, especially since it's on sale. I have dusted off an old rocker and sprayed for spiders so we're all set.

So, tell me R. Holland, what is the name of your book and the general plot?
The name of my book/series is Ana Be Still. It has three books total and I'm considering a fourth.
In the first book of the series, it begins introducing this vampire name Simon. I wanted him to be the typical lustful vampire, but he actually has standards and rules. He likes to keep to himself but realized the benefits of having a pack around. The girls hunt for him, and there is a young vamp named Soloman that Simon keeps around just because. So it kinds of lets us know that Simon has a heart after all. After finding out that his pack is out of control, he leaves heading North and stumbles upon a group of seekers who capture him, taking them to their compound. Simon hates seekers and has vowed to kill every single one of them.
Seekers aren’t our typical humans. Seekers have special powers, making them a fair opponent for the vampires.
And then we meet the wonderful Analisa Slayter which very soon we are told she is really Analisa Still. Analisa is a nineteen year old, who wakes up Christmas morning and notices she has changed. Suddenly she can hear thoughts and sense fear. Her parents tell her they have to take her somewhere, which is really the compound, but the way they do it is all wrong. They blindfold her and tell her to keep it on until they arrive. As they arrive to their destination, things go sour in the car as she tries to take off the blindfold. Her mother gives her something in a needle and she wakes up in one of the rooms in the compound. Then a tall, young and handsome named Eric comes to her room to take her to the elders so they can inform her of everything that’s going on. They tell her of her sister's real death and her parents want her to avenge her sister's death. She doesn’t like the truth and starts making plans to escape. She stumbles upon the dying vampire Simon and his cell mate, and feeds Simon her blood to help him stay alive. They find her in the basement with them but isn’t aware of the crime she committed. The next day her training starts, and she passes everything with flying colors even though someone at the compound removed all weapons and ordered a group of South African seekers to kill her. That night the compound is attacked and she finds herself back in the basement with the vampires. She frees them with the agreement that they won’t kill her once they are free, and they must help her escape.

Will the two vampires keep their promise? Who or what attacked the compound and who wanted her dead? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Where did you come up with the idea?
I'm not sure what made me come up with the idea? I remember reading an excellent book (okay a bunch of excellent books) and I realized I had no one to discuss books with. My family, friends and co-workers confessed to me that they didn't read. And my coworkers are teachers! In fact they hated it. Some said they never had the time to read (which I totally understood) but I felt so sorry for them. I couldn't imagine not being able to get into a good book. So when I wrote Ana Be Still: Book One, I wanted to make sure it was a book that was short, but still would peak their interests. I found myself cutting a lot out because I had to remind myself who I was writing this for. It was about 32,000 words and I told myself surely this would work. Surprisingly it did! They all read it, proud that I had written a book and published it on Amazon. They said they couldn't put it down. I wrote the second and third each time trying to go up on the word count. They read all three. Now they have purchased ereaders or have Amazon accounts and buy and read books. So I achieved a goal. I did have a family member say she had to pray after the first one and most of them said it wasn't their type of genre but they were surprised it held their interest. I realized then how much I enjoyed writing, staying up till 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning. I still don't remember how I came up with the idea. I just typed and let the story tell itself. I think music played a huge important role because I would hear a song on the radio and I would imagine a scene happening in the story. So I'll have to give music all the credit for the story.

Which of your characters do you like the most and why?
I love Ana, Simon and Eric. Of course why wouldn't I like all my characters? But the main character is Ana, so I choose her. Life put her in a very bad position and I think she handled it pretty well. Overall she has a very forgiving heart which you'll see and tries to see the good in everything. She has faced a lot of death and loss but still tries to focus on the task ahead.

Which one do you hate the most and why?
I would have to say I hate Callie. She was jealous of Ana and Eric's relationship blossoming and tries to kill her in the second book. She is a seeker and has broken their rules by trying to kill one of their own. But she doesn't see Ana as one of their own because Ana has something else in her blood.

You’re stranded on an island and you are granted three things;
An IPod with only one song loaded, what is it?
Right now it would be Lana del Rey's :This is What Makes Us Girls. I listen to that often when writing and I envision a woman staying strong.

A book with the last chapter missing, what is it and who wrote it?
Right now it would be The Hunger Games Mockingjay (last Book) by Suzanne Collins. It would give me some survival tips and I could do without the ending. I cried for two days after reading the ending.

And a lunchbox with a sandwich and a full thermos, yummy, what kind of sandwich and drink would you appreciate?
Probably a Turkey BLT on whole wheat with avocado and tomato. The drink would have to be an ice cold coca-cola.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your life? Not writing mistake – any mistake. Even if it happened in 3rd grade, I wanna know about it.
Not being so self-conscious and probably being more outgoing. It is a handicap of mine that I am not really a people person. I know how to socialize but I have to be in the mood for it. Other than that I don't talk much and I'm perfectly content with being the silent type.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Nothing. Cold Foods hurt my teeth. Probably need to see a dentist about that?

You’re still stranded on that island and two people show up, the character you love the most, and the one you hate the most, and they both know what you said about them. What do you do?
I'd get the one I love the most to kick the other one's a**! She could do it too. She's half vampire.

Love it! Okay, now it's time for the flash favorites. Focus on me, not the creepy mannequin in the corner. Ready? Here we go!

Flash favorites:
Purple (lavender to be exact)


Season's too hot and too many bugs in the summer time

Dog Akita

Peppermint, Chamomile and Tea Tree Oil

Really? A salad? Okay.

Place to visit

Place to live
Deep in the heart of Texas *clap-clap-clap*
Please, no clapping, it stirs up the dust.
It's okay, moving on.

Writing spot
Anywhere that has a plug outlet nearby



And last of all, memory-
Seeing the largest spider I had ever seen in my life in my kitchen!

Anything else you would like to add?
Ana Be Still is on sale for .99 and it is a very short novella. The second book is about 43,000 words and the third book is about 55,000 words. Thanks for having me and I look forward to working with you again!

No, no, thank you! Please everyone check out her series on Amazon while the sale lasts.
And since I'm still new at this blog thing and am having trouble posting links, please go to Amazon and find her because I don't think this thing is working right.

R. Holland

Ana Be Still

Ana Be Still #2

Ana Be Still #3

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I have a follower! Yeah! I'm moving on up. 

I am a writer and avid reader. I am not one to give writing advice - that's what my editor is for. This blog is for fun only and maybe a serious topic here and there. So on that note, I am thinking of asking some of my favorite authors to do a guest spot on here. If any of my follower - hehe - or anyone just lurking wants to be a guest here are the rules.

1) You have to have a book published or if it is your debut, it must be edited and ready to go live within 30 days.

2) Your word count must be 50K or more, unless you're writing for Middle grade or younger. Please no novellas unless you have a series that adds up to 50K or more.

2) You have to be willing to post an excerpt of your work. A page or two will do

3).You must be willing to post your interview on your Facebook page, or Twitter or Google+ or Linkedin. If you're ashamed of me, then I'm ashamed of you and you can't be on my blog so there!

4) You have to be kind to other authors who post, we're all in this together. 

If you want to make a pit stop here on your blog tours, then please let me know and I will send you a list of questions and we'll set up a date for you to be on.

     Atty Eve Spikenard