Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Feature Interview: Author Rissa Blakeley

Rissa Blakeley is a new author from Atlanta Georgia. She has just finished her first novel, BROKEN DREAMS, the first book in her SHATTERED LIVES series. Here's a blurb from her first book: 

Author, Rissa Blakeley
Elaina Cooper's world was turned upside down on her wedding day. She was about to marry Henry Daniels, the man of her dreams or so she thought. Just as she was to walk down the aisle, screams pierced the air and with that, the apocalypse had begun.

Elaina felt something was wrong; Henry knew far too much about the undead roaming the street and she was determined to get to the bottom of it no matter what it took. Henry's haunted past catches up to him in more ways than one. He must face his demons and Elaina must learn to accept him and his past. Henry is determined to fight to the very end to make their sexy, mercurial relationship work no matter what staggers in their path.

Broken Dreams
Along with their thrown together band of survivors, they must travel south to face Henry's haunted past. There will be joys and loss but in the end, can love hold them together?

Ms. Blakeley was kind enough to give this humble blogger an interview.

KARMA GIRL: Please be aware that this interview may cause itching, vertigo, dizziness, tingling in extremities, loss of balance or coordination, loss of control of bowls, slurred speech, temporary blindness, profuse sweating, heart palpitations, impotence, strained occipital muscles from continual eyebrow raising, and migraines from wondering what the hell is wrong with the interviewer.

RISSA BLAKELY: I'm already experiencing all of those symptoms just from the pure fear of self publishing alone.

KG: Yeah, I've been there. Stock up on Pepto and antacids now. Trust me on this. But I digress...

Thanks, Rissa for agreeing to this interview, in spite of the warning. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, and what got you into writing?

RISSA: I have my antacids and I'm ready. Thanks for asking to interview me! This is only my second interview, so be easy on me. *grins*

There isn't a whole lot to tell about myself. I'm pretty much a hermit. Some of my neighbors have stopped waving at me because I don't think they realize its me anymore. Just a quick list for you, I suppose:

I tend to not have a filter.
If you see me anything other than a tee shirt and jeans, think the worst because I'm probably going to a funeral.
My natural tone is sarcasm, which you may see some of me through my female protagonist. 
I have terrible grammar skills.
Its no secret that I love to indulge in the adult beverage.
I love hockey, especially the fights.
I'm originally from New York, but we live in Georgia now. I never really intended to write anything ever. I had an idea one day and just went with it. I needed to get it out of my head. I was like how hard could this writing thing be? Yeah. I never realized how difficult and consuming it was, but I love it.

KG: Funeral or job interview. You could be my doppelganger.

Can you tell us about this sarcastic female protagonist and your current book? What kind of wacky hijinks does she find herself in?

RISSA: I really do need a clone of some sort. I have spread myself thin. My only requirement would be that the clone does all the stuff that I dislike.

Where should I start... how about her name? Elaina Cooper. She is in her early twenties and can't seem to leave a conversation without weaseling in a smart ass comment. She tends to have a potty mouth and cannot seem to filter herself. She is immature, but grows as the story goes forward. She is madly (obsessed... addicted) in love with Henry Daniels who she thinks is the man of her dreams.

Elaina tends to go into things full force without thinking at all. There are several incidents through out my book where she gets herself into some trouble and has to be rescued.

KG: What genre is this book, and what drew you to this genre?

RISSA: It's a paranormal romance with a little twist. There are also some steamy scenes. No soft core here.

I originally refused to read anything from this genre. I was ignorant and thought all things that weren't 'normal' were boring. Then someone talked me into reading Twilight and I loved it. Stop judging me. There was just something about the integration of the paranormal with society that drew me in. I love the idea of it. It really is truth behind what society is. There are so many people who are different or weird or awkward that hide themselves to spare themselves from the criticisms and side glances from the 'normals' out there. I feel like its a parallel of my own personal feelings about my life.

KG: I promise not to judge you about the Twilight thing if you promise not to judge me for my articles about Stephenie Meyer. And anyway, some of my best friends are Twi-heads. (Insert grin here)

You’re a first time author. What would you say has been the most difficult part about the self-publishing process, and how have you dealt with it?

RISSA: No judging from this side of the table. Twi-heads... always a funny reference.

Yes, I'm definitely a virgin author. You can tell by my constant nail biting, twitching, tweaking out, mumbling, and intense staring at the flashing cursor on my screen. Then again, this might be the norm.

The most difficult part is taking on so much, but I don't have a choice. I don't have people to promote me, so I spend a small portion of my day trying to get the word out. I eat, sleep and breathe this book series. I'm always working on it in some way every minute that I am awake. I never realized how much it would consume my life. Then the criticisms that roll in through beta reading. I had one person cut my characters apart. I can't even explain how much that hurt me. I was so upset and angry, I needed to be by myself for a few minutes. It was like the person was stabbing me right through the heart. I never realized how much that would hurt. All in all, I love my beta readers. I just need a thicker skin, I suppose.

KG: If you had any advice for first-time writers, what would it be?

RISSA: I would say just to be yourself. Don't build up a facade that you have to live behind and keep up with. No one likes a fake person. Accept yourself for who you are and move forward. The way I look at it... you either love me or hate me. It's your choice. I will not apologize for who I am anymore nor will I plead my case.

Also, I would like to advise never forget where you came from and who was there for you from very beginning. Always, take time to throw out a 'thanks' or 'I appreciate it'. No one would be where they are without a solid platform of support even if your support is only from one person.

KG: That’s some good advice.

Now, onward to a little segment I like to call The Serious Three! This is the part of the interview where I ask the victim…I mean, interviewee…three incredibly serious questions. Are you ready Rissa?

RISSA: Okay... I have belted myself in and I'm ready for the bumpy ride.

KG: Excellent! (Insert evil Mr. Burns grin here)

Question #1: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

RISSA: Oh Team Edward all the way. Who wouldn't love a sparkly vampire?

KG: ...

Question #2: Why the hell IS a raven like a writing desk? Seriously?

RISSA: I'm not much of a riddle person, so I will go with a literal answer. It seems to be a near impossible task to write on a raven and it tends to be a near impossible task to write at a writing desk... unless you are creative and own duct tape.

KG: Well played, Madam. Well played.

Question #3: When and where will your book be available, and where can my readers stalk you (Facebook, twitter, blog, Mars, etc.)?

RISSA: I tip my hat to the interviewer for springing a question like that.

BROKEN DREAMS (SHATTERED LIVES, BOOK ONE) will be available on October 25th. I plan on publishing on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. I am also working towards paperbacks as well. I won't say a release date for those yet because I am clueless on that.

I'm part of the dinosaur age and don't have a twitter or a blog. Mostly because I just don't have the time. But I am all up for more Facebook stalkers.

FB link:

And let's not forget Goodreads. Feel free to add my book to you TBR and add me as a friend!

I'd prefer Jupiter. I prefer to do things on a larger scale.

KG: Thank you, Rissa, for putting up with my migraine inducing questions, and good luck with your future writing career!

RISSA: Thank you and thanks for asking the migraine inducing questions! It was quite fun.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Computer Is a Dirty, Dirty Whore

When I got off of work Friday night, I received a call from my boyfriend informing me that our child had come down with something nasty-our child being the computer in the back room, something nasty being nine viruses. Nine. How the hell does something like that happen? Porn, apparently, because it was the first thing he asked me when I walked through the door.

"You haven't been downloading porn on this computer, have you?" he said, serious as a heart attack. "I'm not mad at you if you did. You just gotta be more careful, is all I'm saying."

We have that kind of relationship. Sigh.

"You're asking ME?" I said, incredulous. "How often do you see me downloading that crap?"

"Well, I figured you might be doing it, you know, because of your...stories."

Yes, he said it in italics. I gave him a blank stare for all of five seconds before I remembered. I hadn't been downloading porn. I had been uploading it. I know what you're thinking, and if what you're thinking is an image of me naked in a kiddie pool full of Jello, doing the backstroke while the web cameras roll, you have a stronger stomach than I do. Excuse me while I hurl...

Okay. Better now.

No, I haven't become a porn star. I've been writing erotic literature. Which is to say, I've been writing porn. I'd like to say I did it because I was young and foolish and needed the money, but I'm not young. I am a huge fool, however, and I do indeed need the money, so there you go. I don't write under my real name or even my usual pen name, so don't bother searching for it. That secret will be buried with me, along with my Terry Pratchett collection-you know, just in case there's no free library in the afterlife.

I don't think my ho' literature has anything to do with the nine viruses on my computer, however. I publish through Smashwords, a site for all kinds of indie publishing, not just the bowchickabowwow type. No, I think my computer has been a naughty, naughty boy. I think he's been sneaking around in other people's hard drives, terabyting other diseased computers, messing around with slutty zip files he shouldn't be messing around with. I have no idea what a zip file is or a terabyte for that matter, but it sounds mildly erotic, which tells you all you need to know about how lucrative my porn writing career has been.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feature Interview: Author/Editor Patti Geesey

Author, Patti Geesey

Patti Geesey, author and editor at J. Ellington Ashton Press, is a contributing author of the horror anthology ALL THAT REMAINS with her short story, "The Barren Blaze”. She may also be a pyromaniac and a R'lyeh priestess awaiting the awakening of the Great and Mighty Cthulhu, but the jury’s still out on that. She was gracious enough to sit down for an interview with this humble blogger, and I, for one, welcome our new multiple tentacled overlord.

KARMA GIRL: Okay. Let's start with the Unusual Disclaimer: Please repeat after me (you may say this out loud, no need to type):
I, Patti Geesey, being of sound mind and body, do agree to this interview, in spite of considerable misgivings regarding the interviewer’s aptitude and sanity, and will promise not to beat said interviewer about the head for annoying me with her silly questions.

PATTI GEESEY: *hides baseball bat*

KG: Excellent! Now, according to your profile, you are an author and editor at J. Ellington Ashton Press. Can you tell my readers a little bit about what you do?

PATTI: Yes, that is correct. I am an author and editor for JEA. I write in the horror genre, mostly supernatural. As an editor I get to read some amazing stories by top notch JEA authors!

KG: What kind of stories does the JEA accept? Is it just horror, or do they accept other genres?

PATTI: We take submissions for horror, mystery, erotica, sci-fi, and more!

KG: What does a writer have to do to get published? Does the supplicant have to perform three trials and read an Enochian spell, or is it much simpler than that?

PATTI: Haha... they have to write something that captivates us! Although, an Enochian spell might come in handy....

KG: Cool! All those hours of binge watching Supernatural will finally come in handy.
What would you say is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to editing?

PATTI: My biggest pet peeve in general has always been "than and then" mix-ups.  As an editor, I don't really have a pet peeve, besides that.

KG: I can safely say, I have never done that...(insert sneaky eyes here)...
Has someone ever submitted a story to your publishing company that just freaked you the hell out so much, you didn’t know whether to publish it or call the FBI? And if so, will it be available for Kindle and Nook?

PATTI: Well, to be honest, before I became an editor for JEA, I was a beta reader (still am) for the almighty Paul Flewitt.  His story, "Paradise Park", is already out in one of our anthologies.  His novel Poor Jeffrey is another to watch out for.

All That Remains
KG: I've read "Paradise Park". It was good stuff, and I'm eagerly anticipating his upcoming novel.
You wrote a story for that same anthology—All That Remains—entitled "The Barren Blaze". It was incredibly creepy. I mean that as a compliment. Can you tell us about it? What inspired you to write it?

PATTI: "The Barren Blaze" was originally intended as a flash fiction piece for a contest. I showed it to Catt Dahman, CEO of JEA and asked her personal opinion on it, and she basically said she wanted it for her anthology. An hour later I signed the contract. 
Yes, "The Barren Blaze" was inspired by several things in my life. I cannot go into details, for my own safety.  But, it is about a young girl who starts fires in the town of Hillsville, just to hide a secret from the town save her boyfriend.

KG: So...if I asked you if you ever burned a town down to save your'd have to kill me?

PATTI: Well.... I never did burn a town down, so you are safe. Let's just say, "The Barren Blaze" was my way of putting a bad the grave.
Horror writing is best when using reality, I feel.

KG: Yeah. And it usually involves a man doing something stupid to release the horror.

PATTI: Exactly.

KG: Was there a book that influenced you to get into horror and supernatural fiction, and if so, was it the Necronomicon? And do you still hear the voices of the damned? Seriously, that story you wrote really was creepy.

PATTI: Up until I wrote "The Barren Blaze", I never really knew I wrote horror.  Now, looking over all the stories I have sitting here, and in the process of writing, I realize they all are horror/supernatural in nature. 
Was there a specific book? No, not really... but Stephen King's The Shining is one of my favorites. Maybe because I can associate with the character Jack Torrence.  I work in a somewhat secluded hotel at night, I write, and I keep looking for those darn twins and a big wheel in the hallway!

KG: OMG! I do too every time I stay at a hotel. Never read King when you're going to do any of the following: stay at a hotel, go to the prom, buy a classic car, or breathe.
What are you currently working on, and when will it be available to the reading public?

PATTI: I am currently working on several short stories that take place in the southern Appalachia (Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina).  I am unsure when they will be available, but trust me... they will come at some point in the near future.
Ghosts, fires, etc.

KG: I'm looking forward to them.
Now it’s time for THE SERIOUS THREE. This is the part of the interview where I ask the interviewee three incredibly serious questions. Please try to answer these questions as honestly as possible. You may not invoke your 5th amendment rights. Are you ready?

PATTI: Ready as ever...

KG: Okay.

Question #1: Is it true that editors like the first page of a manuscript to have so much empty space at the top so they have room to place their coffee mugs?

PATTI: Is that why they do that? I've been laying my candy bars there.

KG: I've always suspected as much, but placing candy there is quite clever too. You have earned my respect, Madam.
Question #2: What’s up with the semi-colon; really?

PATTI: The semi-colon?  Well, it is the cousin of the comma, and really is a slacker. It likes to show up, and make long pauses in spots; it really makes things more creepy.

KG: I see what you did there; quite excellent.

Question #3: Where can your adoring fans follow you (Facebook, twitter, blog, conventions, etc.)?

PATTI: I have an author/editor page here on Facebook.  I share things on it about other authors that I feel deserve to be mentioned, and I write about my own writing endeavors.

KG: Great! Thank you, Ms. Geesey, for a lovely interview, and please try not to invoke the great Cthulhu in any of your future writings!

PATTI: I will try not to, but can never promise.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, indeed.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Facebook PM Mating Call

I have never considered myself particularly attractive, but recently I’ve found myself to be the object of lust by a multitude of people-men and woman both-who think I’m all that and a bag of Doritos. Where do these guys find me? Facebook, that’s where. Someone will send me a friend request and then instantly private message me with what is usually a veiled attempt at getting into my pants. How they would do this through my modem is beyond me, but they do it, and I’m at a loss as to why. It took me over an hour to get my profile pic just the right angle to hide the fact that most of my face is nose, and even then, I feel I came out looking like the Progressive Insurance chick’s older, uglier sister. People must be really hard up if they’re coming to me for some cyber lovin’.

My latest Facebook Don Juan is a guy going by the name of Clark Thompson. Yes, that is his real name. If you’re looking for love, be sure to hit
him up. Just be aware that all seven of his Facebook “friends” are women. Normally I would have changed his name to protect the innocent, but how innocent can a man be when you tell him you’re already seeing someone and his response is, and I quote: “we can start with friend no one knows.” Hmmm.

But perhaps I’m being hasty. Perhaps he’s just looking for a platonic friendship where we can share our hopes, our dreams, and maybe bitch about our menstrual cycles over Pinkberry smoothies. Yeah, that could totally be it. But just in case it’s not, I’ve decided to blog our entire conversation for the world to see. Possibly this will teach Mr. Thompson a lesson. That lesson being that while I find his attentions flattering, trying to get me to go behind my boyfriend’s back is akin to saying I’m an untrustworthy slut. And that shit won’t fly.

Clark Thompson: hi dear
Clark Thompson: I just viewed your page here and decided to write you a few lines to say hello. Am a new member here and I liked your profile as i believe it to be good Match. i would like to know more about you. please kindly accept my expression of Interest. lets pursue this further for a better communication.
Karen Griffin: Match in what sense? Are you looking for a
blog interview or collaboration? Can't do a collab but I can put you on the books for an author interview if that's what you're looking for.
Clark Thompson: just want to get to know you dear
Karen Griffin: If you mean a love match, I'm afraid my heart is already taken by another. But I'm flattered.
Clark Thompson: we can start with friend no one knows
Karen Griffin: Actually, I'm pretty certain I'm with the man of my dreams. He tells me he's God's A #1 guy and I have to believe him. Because, you know, God and stuff. But feel free to post on my page.
Clark Thompson: okay dear

Instead of taking the hint, he comes back the next day for try #2. Because there’s nothing more sexy than desperate persistence mixed with bad grammar and spelling:

Clark Thompson: Hi
Clark Thompson: Hi dear
Karen Griffin: Hello.
Clark Thompson: How are you ,am clark
Karen Griffin: I'm fine. And I kind of figured you am clark. It says so right above the message box.
Clark Thompson: Are you married
Karen Griffin: I am not married, but I'm in a long term relationship with a wonderful man of whom, you should be made aware, I did share the contents of our last discussion. He was quite amused.
Clark Thompson: Really
Clark Thompson: What did he say
Karen Griffin: He said, "Yeah, dude's definitely hitting on you." This isn't word for word, but basically that was what he said. I also noticed when I clicked under your name and took a look at your friends list, every single one of them was a woman. Doesn't exactly make me feel special. In fact, it makes me think the only reason you joined Facebook was to hit on anonymous women. Is that what you're doing Clark? You can tell me.
Clark Thompson: No
Karen Griffin: That's good. Then you won't mind that I've just sent them all friend requests. It's always good to be connected to people, wouldn't you say?

He never came back with a reply to that last message. Funny that.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Walk To End Alzheimer’s

My sister Tammy signed up for a walkathon to end Alzheimer’s. Want to join in the fun or—if you’re allergic to sweat like I am—make a donation, sign up here.