Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Books: Book Blog Tour for Hook, by K.R. Thompson - new release

Today we interview writer K.R. Thompson, who has just released her newest book, Hook: The Untold Stories of Neverland. 
"Archie Jameson sat in the dark corners of the print shop, dreaming of adventure.
Today, it found him.
Caught in a chilly October storm, he ducked into a tavern, hoping to escape the rain. What he found, was a room teeming with pirates. Shanghaied by the most elderly of the lot, Archie found himself serving on a ship captained by the fiercest pirate ever to sail the seven seas--the man known as Blackbeard.
Through a series of thrilling twists, Archie finds himself captain of another of Blackbeard's ships, the Jolig Roger. In an attempt to flee danger, his ship becomes lost under stars never before seen.
Determined to save both his crew and the woman he loves, Archie will make decisions that will forever seal his fate.
Discover the untold story of the man who became Captain Hook."
Kim, tell us where are you from and what's your background?
I am from a small town in Virginia called Tazewell, which is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. I've lived close by for my entire life. I love it!

That must be a beautiful place! When did you realize you are a writer and when did you start writing?
I actually began writing about 5 years ago following a miscarriage. It was therapeutic. There is something about building your own worlds and characters that is soothing, yet very addictive. I think the realization that I was a writer hit me after I held my first book in print.

It's a great feeling holding your first book in print, right? And what genre do you write and what's your target audience?
My first series was strictly YA paranormal. I was targeting a younger audience, but I've attracted the attention of everyone from 10-68 years old. The majority of my fans seem to be in their late twenties and early thirties, though.
With Hook, I can't really tell you what genre it is as it falls into so many categories and is so cross-genre. With it, I'm hoping that anyone who loves fairytales will enjoy it.

Hook is your latest release, so how many books have you published? Do you have a favorite?
Hook is my fourth published book. I've enjoyed writing every one of them, but Hook is my favorite (so far. ;) )

It sounds like a very interesting story! How did you have the idea of writing a book based on Peter Pan? What was your motivation?
I've always had a soft spot for the villains in fairytales and cartoons. Even as a child I kept hoping that Tom would eventually catch Jerry and that the poor coyote would somehow find the right ACME equipment to capture the roadrunner. The tale of Peter Pan was always my favorite, though. I've always wondered why Captain Hook hated Peter Pan so, and why he didn't just sail away from Neverland. So I decided that I would write his story. It was my own personal salute to my childhood.
Do you have a favorite author? Who? What's your favorite book? Has this author or book influenced your writing in any way?
Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author of all time. And her first book, Outlander, is the best! I had the wonderful fortune of meeting her as I was writing my first book. Her advice to aspiring authors during her lecture was to never give up. And I haven't. :)

That's the best advice, never give up. Are you optimistic/hopeful/romantic?
I'm hopefully optimistic, but I believe that you should have to work for your happy ending. Needless to say, I put my characters through a lot!

What are you working on now?
I am currently writing the last installment of my first series, The Keeper Saga. I'm hoping to have it out in the late spring of this year. After that, I'll be working on the book to follow Hook. Nerida will be out in the fall.

We can't wait! The Keeper Saga is an exciting read! Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Facebook is the best place to keep up with me, though you can also see what I'm into on my website and Twitter.
Twitter: @TheKeeperSaga
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'd like to thank Andrea for featuring Hook on her beautiful blog. :)
Thank you so much for your time and wishing you much success!

Don't forget to check Hook on Amazon, now for only 99 cents special release price!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Music: Interview with Indie alternative pop band Eat Crepes

We have new music to start the year with great vibration! Introducing the awesome Eat Crepes! Yes, that's the band's name, not a restaurant! And since you're very curious to find out about the great sound they produce, let's hear them out! By the way, make sure to give them a like on their Facebook page:

First, introduce yourselves, let us know a bit about each of you and your background! 

Dane Granja - Lead singer. Dane is the voice of the band, as well as its visuals; he draws all the album art and promotional posters for the group. He went to high school in Warwick, RI with...
Matt Haronian - Keyboardist. Matt is trained in piano and self-taught in electronic music production. The initial concept behind the band came from the application of both of those skills around Dane's vocals. He, too, is a Warwick resident.
Sherry Romanzi - Guitarist/Ukulele-ist. Although the latest in joining the group, Sherry adds a new dimension, a rock band vibe, to its sound. She came into the band by way of Matt, in a gesture that was simultaneously a recognition of talent and an excuse to ask her out. Sherry resides in Providence, RI.
Currently, all three members attend different universities. Technology makes the creative process feasible, which is appropriate considering that technology is a prominent theme in Eat Crepes's output.

A lot of creative talent here! Talking about creative, when did you start the band, and most importantly, what's the story behind the band's name? I'm sure we're all curious to find out!

Eat Crepes started two years ago, in the members' junior year of high school. It was an electronic duo of Matt and Dane at its inception. That phase produced some demo recordings and little more, but it began the process of creating a sound. It became a full-fledged band with the addition of Sherry later that year.
The name came from musings on the rockstar lifestyle. One day, after eating crepes, and in homage to Notorious B.I.G, a spontaneous moment of inspiration led us to conclude that the essential tenets of being a rockstar were as follows: "f--k b-tches, eat crepes." But we're a family friendly bunch, so we just used the second half.

Now we know! And who is the talent who writes the lyrics and composes the songs?

All three members of the band contribute songs. It usually happens that each individual will write a complete song, rather than all three members helping to create one together. This is a limitation imposed by the lack of physical proximity or a common schedule.

That's great for collaboration. Team work. And what genre do you consider yourselves and who is your greatest influence?

We have always had trouble classifying ourselves into a genre, as most of the labels that fit are loaded with connotations. Our music is pop, but not of the Britney Spears variety. It's "indie," but that's not really a genre per se. It's synthpop, but not all of it has the 80's style that the word connotes. Synthpop or alternative pop comes the closest.
Similarly, we don't exactly have one greatest influence. We lovingly steal from actual synthpop groups like Depeche Mode and The Cure as much as modern groups like Owl City and Foster the People.

Great bands to be influenced by! Depeche Mode and The Cure are some of our 80's favorites, and we actually can feel the synthpop influence especially in your song Technophobic Ghost Boy. When was the first time you performed live and how did you feel?

Our first ever performance was a high school talent show/music showcase. We wish we had something juicier to say, but that was really it.

You have to start somewhere! And is there a specific performance you feel was your best ever? If so, where and why?

Our best performance ever was very recent (January 2nd, 2015). It was our first paid gig, at a Providence venue with some other local bands, one of which Sherry and Matt had adored for a long time. It was fantastic to see our friends and family come out, and even more fantastic to see people who were there for the other bands enjoying our music. 

Congratulations! That's great to hear! So what do you enjoy the most between the interaction with your fans?
Genuine enjoyment is the greatest thing to see in a fan. It’s about connecting with people. When people are actually feeling what we do, on more than just a cursory level, it’s satisfactory on such a fundamental level. It’s a huge part of being artists.

That's true, I hope you're having lots of fun! And what are your plans for this year?

This year we’re promoting our recently released EP, Amaroq. There is a possibility of performing in the summer. If not, we have plans for expanding our sound; we’re semi-constantly writing new music for the future.

Great, I'm sure you'll find lots of venues to perform, especially in the summer! So where can we buy your music?

We’re on iTunes here:

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

If you haven’t had crepes or it’s been a while, seriously, they’re delicious.

They sure are! Thank you so much for your time participating in this interview, and we wish you a lot of success and sales!  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Books: New Year New Genre - the NaNoWriMo challenge

Done! I wrote 50,000 words in one month. The NaNoWriMo challenge (National Novel Writing Month - November) and was, therefore, a 2014 winner. Challenge accepted and challenge overcome, task accomplished! Now back to the writing board to edit, edit, edit and publish. The challenge was two fold: first, to write 50K words in a month was no walk in the park. Second, I set myself up to write a romance. Erotic romance, to be more precise. Going from poetry and literary fiction to erotic romance was indeed, a challenge. And now I feel very accomplished, and I'm enjoying the ride. So I'd like to share with you the first chapter of my new novel, which I hope to publish by February 2015 or soon afterwards. Under pen name Andrya Bailey, you will find the first chapter on Jukepop. Please vote, comment, leave your opinion, I'd love to know what you think about my foray into this uncharted territory: erotic romance.

Happy 2015 to everyone! Keep reading, keep challenging yourself and keep writing! Thank you for your continued support! More interviews and reviews coming up soon!

Read and vote for the first chapter of Olympian Passion here: