Saturday, October 20, 2018

Books: Interview with Houston writer Carrie Pulkinen

Just in time for Halloween, we have the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful Carrie Pulkinen, who writes paranormal romance (not the scary Halloween horror but the hot, sexy, alpha werewolves!) - so keep reading to find out more about her and her books!

Where are you from and what's your background?

I live in Houston, Texas, with my husband, two kids, and two dogs. Professionally, I started out as a marketing coordinator for a computer company before quitting my desk job to become a high school teacher. I taught high school journalism/photojournalism for eleven years, and then I became a full-time writer.

That's fantastic! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I was in eighth grade the first time I realized I was good at writing. I was selected to write a short, weekly column about my school in the local newspaper, but I didn't start writing fiction until I was much older. I was at a Twilight convention with some friends (diehard Twilight fan here) and, like all conventions, we spent A LOT of time waiting in lines. To pass the time, I made up stories and told them to my friends. They were impressed with my ability to make things up on the spot (I thought everyone told themselves stories in their heads to pass the time!) and they told me I should write a book. I thought there was no way I'd be able to do it, but I sat at my computer when I got home and tried. Six weeks later, I had my first first draft of a novel!


What a fun way to start your writing career! What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

I write paranormal romance. While I do have one young adult novel published, my primary target audience is women who like a little magic with their romance.

Sounds great. How did you come up with the idea for your newest release? Tell us about it!

My idea for Werewolves Only, and the Crescent City Wolf Pack Series, came to me when I was at a
bar in New Orleans. They had a cardboard sign on the door that led to the kitchen, and it read "Employees and Werewolves Only" written in black marker. I asked the bartender what was up with the sign, and he said an employee made it as a joke because customers said that the bar owner looked like a werewolf. As soon as he told me that, the gears started turning, and the ideas began to flow. I borrowed a pen and scribbled out my plans for the story on a napkin for the next half hour, while my dear husband sat patiently, waiting for me to stop playing with the people in my head.

That's what I'd call getting your creative juices totally flowing! What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”  ~Paulo Coelho

He's one of my favorite Brazilian writers. Do you have a favorite author? Who? Has this author or his book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

I have several favorite authors, and I think they've all influenced my writing in one way or another: Dean Koontz, Heather Graham, Charlaine Harris, and Lara Adrian are just a few.

Wonderful influences. If you could be a character from any book, who would you like to be and why?

I wouldn't mind being the heroine of any romance novel, because I'd be guaranteed a happily ever after! I've always wanted to go to Oz, so I wouldn't mind being Dorothy either!



I hadn't thought about that, and I love your thinking! Happily ever after. What are you working on now?

I am doing the final edits on Bound by Blood, book 3 of the Crescent City Wolf Pack series, and then I'll be starting on book 4!
 
How exciting! Where can we find out more about you and your writing?

All of my books are listed on my website. To get to know me and be the first to hear about my new releases and promotions, you can sign up for my VIP Reader Group (you'll also get a FREE short story as a thank you!)

You can also find me in the following places:
 

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

I love connecting with readers, so please don't be afraid to say hello!

Thank you so much for your time telling us a little more about you and your books. Wishing you great success in your writing career and your next release! 


 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Books: Interview with talented fantasy author DL Jordan


We've met with talented author DL Jordan, who has written a great fantasy series. Read below to find out more about him and his writing.

Where are you from and what's your background?

I am from a small town called Swainsboro, Georgia. However, I currently live in Atlanta. I am a graduate of East Georgia State College and Georgia Southern University. My entire life has been filled with a love for writing and reading. I’ve been enthralled with books ever since I can remember, and that is why I chose to pursue degrees in both English/Language Arts and Communications. I have worked in public education as well and I currently work as an analyst for the state of Georgia.

That’s great. Although you already said your entire life has been filled with a love for writing and reading, when did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I first started writing when I was just seven years-old when my parents gave me a journal as a gift. I had always loved to read books, so the sight of one that was completely filled with empty pages confused me. I was so perplexed about what to do with this small, empty book in my hands that I didn’t know what to do with it. That’s when they told me that I should just write down everything I saw and everything that happened. So, that’s just what I did. I wrote down everything that happened around me in my neighborhood — kids playing in the street, our neighbor’s dog running and barking after every car that passed by, and even the smell of the freshly cut grass under the marvelous blue sky. Everything around me was a source of inspiration.

But eventually, like most kids who get something new, I eventually lost interest in writing and didn’t really regain that interest until I was 14.

At the age of 14, I was in high school and my English class was given an assignment to write a story about a boy who finds a pebble. That evening, as I pondered on what to write about, my mind instantly became flooded with ideas about the boy and the pebble. I began thinking, “Could it be a magical pebble? What if someone had lost it and was desperately trying to retrieve it? Maybe it leads to a wondrous underwater metropolis completely unseen by humans?” I eventually finished my assignment, going along with the latter idea and turning it in to my teacher the next day. But I couldn’t get the idea of the boy and this unrevealed metropolis out of my head. I then began to scribble ideas about the boy’s background and certain things he liked to do. I would also write about the history of the civilization he would visit. Within a few months, these ideas became my first completed manuscript. I was so proud of myself and I wanted others to share in my joy. That was the defining moment for me. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer.



I love this – what a great defining moment indeed. What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

So far, I’ve published a children’s book and I’ve even written a few screenplays. However, I’ve mostly published books in the Fantasy genre. That’s the genre I like the most. My The Erlonan Tales series is a Fantasy series and it’s the series that’s been the most fun to write. My target audiences are young people, but I like the fact that even some adults have come to me and said that they like my writing. That’s always delightful to hear and it brings me immense joy. So, to be honest, I would have to say that my target audiences are readers Middle Grade and up. 

Fantastic! What do you expect to accomplish with your writing?

Through my writing, I hope my words can take the reader to a place they’ve never seen before. I want them to escape to a place that’s so extraordinary, so unprecedented, that they never want to leave. I grew up reading great writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Patrick Carmen. Their books transported me to worlds that really challenged my imagination. That’s the feeling I want to bring to the reader. Matsuo Basho said, “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” In other words, you must follow your own path and create an experience that will benefit you on your journey, whatever that journey may be. Through my writings, I hope the reader attains a sense of pride that they are reading something they enjoy -  like I did when I was young.

Great answer, I’m sure your readers will appreciate discovering your worlds. What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?


My favorite quote is by Terence, who was born in northern Africa and brought to Rome as a slave around 170–160 BC. He was eventually freed and, because he had a passion for words and writing, later became one of the most well-known and celebrated playwrights at that time. He’s been celebrated throughout the years by great writers like William Shakespeare, Phillis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, and even Maya Angelou, yet hardly anyone outside of academia even knows his name. These writers were greatly influenced by his works and it can be seen in their writings. Terence said many things in his plays throughout his life, but one quote of his has stood out above the rest. This quote is at the center of my creative process and I try to keep it in mind every time I write. It’s from his play Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor). The most famous quote from the play is, “I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.” I consider this quote to be a great line because it lets me know that life is about helping and accepting others, no matter who they are or where they come from. At the end of the day, we are all each other’s people. Nothing that is human should be strange to us. Other people have felt the same emotions we have felt because we are all human beings. This helps when it comes to storytelling because, as writers, we can convey an emotion on the page and make it relatable to the reader – no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, etc. In our hearts, we are all the same.

What a meaningful quote. Thanks for sharing! You already mentioned about some authors you grew up reading, but do you have a favorite? Who? Has this author or their book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. Her world-building and character construction are superb. She’s greatly influenced my writing in many ways and she never stops creating.

She’s truly an amazing writer. If you could be a character from any book who would you like to be, and why?
 
This may sound silly, but if I could be any character from any book it would have to be one of my all-time favorite characters from childhood – Winnie-the-Pooh. He’s so generous and lives such a simple life thinking about honey all day. For just one day, I would like to be, as A.A. Milne himself described, “a bear of very little brain”.

That’s a cute answer! What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on the fourth book in my Erlonan Tales series called The Erlonan Tales: The Golden Trinket.

And where can we find out more about you and your writing?

People can check out my website at www.DLJordanBooks.com

I’m also on Twitter: @DLJordan90

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

Never give up on yourself or your writing! I’d like to leave a piece of advice to, not just writers, but to anyone who is pursuing their dream. My advice would be to not procrastinate and to have a sense of discipline when it comes to your work. No one else can bring your ideas to the world like you can. So, never bury your talent!  

That’s great advice. Thank you so much for your time sharing your talent with our readers. Wishing you much success in your writing career!

To check DL Jordan’s books, click on the link below: