Author Interview & Guest Post – Elise Abram

  THE REVENANT

Elise Abram 

 

YA Paranormal

(click cover for purchase link)
He wears neither cape nor cowl, but Zulu is a superhero, nevertheless.Raised from the dead as a revenant more than a hundred years ago, Zulu possesses Spiderman’s stealth, Superman’s speed, and Batman’s keen intellect. His only companion is Morgan the Seer, an old man cursed with longevity and the ability to see the future in his dreams. Zulu has spent the last century training with Morgan in order to save the people in his nightmares from certain and violent death. Branded a vigilante by the Media, Zulu must live his life in the shadows, travelling by night or in the city’s underground unless his quest demands otherwise.

Kat is an empath, someone who sees emotions as colourful auras. Relentlessly bullied by her peers, and believing her life amounts to nothing but a huge cosmic mistake, she finds purpose in her abilities when she is recruited to help Zulu and Morgan complete their missions.

Malchus is Morgan’s long dead twin brother. A powerful necromancer, Malchus manages to find a way to return to the living, and he has a score to settle with Morgan. Believing Morgan responsible for his death and out to seek revenge, Malchus begins to raise an army of undead minions and use them to hunt Morgan down. As Malchus closes in on Morgan and his charges, the trio soon realizes the people most in need of saving are themselves.

  ~*~ 

Guest Post

The author’s inspiration for this book

I’ve always been intrigued with vampire lore in popular culture, and I don’t know why. Most sources will tell you it’s the romance, the association of blood with other bodily fluids, and the parallel of tooth penetration with…well, you get the idea.

I just like a good story. Vampires (and other supernatural creatures) live by a set of rules they can’t escape–like not going out in the daytime, or having to be invited into a residence–and there’s something comforting and familiar about that.

I’m a teacher, and I was introduced to peer mediation around the same time I started writing seriously. Peer mediation is when students are trained to mediate problems between other students. As the teacher liason for the program, I did a lot of reading around the mediation process, and that’s when the idea struck: write the story of a mediation between a vampire and a hunter. I knew all there was about the characters, their histories and how they got to the point of mediation, I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to end it.

My cure for writer’s block is to read around the subject, so I went to the Internet and started researching vampires. I knew the vampire would probably kill the hunter in a fit of rage. I also knew the hunter would not be satisfied unless he’d killed the vampire. Maybe I could find some other sort of happy medium for the two? It was while searching I came upon the idea of revenants.

So little has been done about revenants–the odd B-movie or novel or video game–that there are no rules compelling their actions. That was one of the reasons I started thinking about using one in my story. If no one really knew what they were or how they had to live their lives, I could create the lore myself. The general definition of a revenant is someone who returns after a long absence. In history, this grew to include people presumed dead, like soldiers lost in the war, who eventually came home. They are associated with vampires, because like vampires, they are associated with death and rebirth.

I realized that I couldn’t build a whole novel around a single character, but my other characters couldn’t be the usual werewolves, ghosts, and witches associated with stereotypical vampires. I made my other protagonist female to appeal to female readers (I had the male angle covered with Zulu, the revenant in my story), thought of other superpowers I could give her that were different from the norm and settled on seeing auras and feeling feelings.

The necromancer/zombie angle came from Zulu’s origin story and the simple reason that there had to be an explanation for his rising from the dead.

To learn more about Zulu, Kat and how the necromancy/zombie angle fits into their story, read The Revenant. In The Revenant, Zulu and Kat join a seer to help save people from catastrophe, mostly as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The real catastrophe begins when they learn theSeer’s brother, Malchus, once a powerful necromancer, has returned from the grave seeking revenge, for he believes the Seer responsible for his death.

  ~*~ 

Interview

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing stories ever since I learned how to write. I remember winning an award for my version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” in grade two. I think that’s what encouraged me to continue writing growing up. I didn’t start writing with a serious goal to publish my work until about 2000. That was the year I was given a Writer’s Craft class to teach. That summer I realized I knew next to nothing about conventions of writing and the writing process. The more I researched to form my lessons, the more I learned. I’d kept my stories alive in my head for decades, imagining them when I was bored or couldn’t fall asleep. The turning point for me was coming out of the theatre after seeing “The Mummy II” and saying to my husband, “I wish I could write like that.” He told me that I could. That was all the encouragement I needed to set my writing “career” into motion.

2. Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If you have, how did you get past it? If you haven’t, how do you keep yourself from getting to that point?

I get writer’s block regularly, mostly because at the end of a day of teaching, after maybe going to the gym or grocery shopping and cooking and cleaning up afterward, I have no energy left. Getting a good night’s sleep is one way to get past that kind of writer’s block. If the writer’s block is with respect to an idea that I can’t work out then I put it away and return to that point in the story in my mind throughout the day, trying to work it out by imagining different scenarios. Eventually something clicks and the next time I sit down the scene practically writes itself. I think the trick is in never giving up, putting it away physically but not mentally.

3. Is there a particular person that helps motivate you to write or someone you strive to be like?

There are a lot of writers I look to and aspire to the same level of success, like Kathy Reichs (Bones/Temperance Brennan series), Charlaine Harris (True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse series) or Jeff Lindsay (Dexter), but no one person in particular. I sometimes cast my characters in roles and when I watch the actors I’ve chosen on television or in a movie it inspires me to write further. One current example is Robert Carlyle. I’ve imagined him as everything from Palmer Richardson, in Phase Shift to Nigel Trumble, the villain in the next novel I plan to work on, Chicken or Egg: a Love Story. I also cast him in the role of Father Paul in The Revenant, which helped me make the character come to life. I’d love to see Mr. Carlyle play that role on television or in a movie one day, because it’s sort of tailor-made for him.

  ~*~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Elise Abram

Teacher of English and Computer Studies by day, wife and mother by night
and author whenever she can steal some time, Elise Abram is the proud
author of Phase Shift, The Mummy Wore Combat Boots, and Throwaway Child,
available on Amazon and KoboBooks. She pens a blog about literature,
popular culture and the human condition whenever the muse moves her.Elise’s fourth book, a young adult paranormal thriller entitled The Revenant was released in July 2014.

Website | Twitter | Facebook Book Page | Facebook Author Page | Goodreads Author Page | Amazon Author Page

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Day One (Sept 1st, 2014): Review w/ Interview Questions

- Tome Tender -

tometender.blogspot.com
Day Two (Sept 2nd, 2014): Author Interview & Guest Post

– Vampires, Crime and Angels…Eclectic Me -

ellelainey.wordpress.com
Day Three (Sept 3rd, 2014): Excerpt #1 & Graphic #1

– Fundamental -

www.fundinmental.com
Day Three (Sept 3rd, 2014): Promo

- Monique @Mo_Books -

moniquesmobooks.blogspot.ca
Day Four (Sept 4th, 2014): Author Interview & Character Bios

– Fire & Ice Book Reviews -

fireandicebookreviews.blogspot.co.uk
Day Five (Sept 5th, 2014): Review

– Book List Of Books -

booklistofbooks.blogspot.com
Day Six (Sept 6th, 2014): Author Interview & Graphic #2

– Sunshine Book Promotions -

sunshinebookpromos.blogspot.com

Day Six (Sept 6th, 2014): Promo

- Marisa Oldham Author of Love Stories -

thefallingseries.blogspot.com
Day Seven (Sept 7th, 2014): Review w/ Interview Questions

– The Hellvis Compendium -

thehellviscompendium.com
Day Eight (Sept 8th, 2014): Guest Post & Excerpt #2

– The Consulting Writer -

www.elizabethlos.com
Day Nine (Sept 9th, 2014): Review w/ Interview Questions

– The La La Land Of Books -

http://saaratis.wordpress.com/

Day Nine (Sept 9th, 2014): Guest Post

– Moonbeams Over Atlanta -

blog.eloreenmoon.com
Day Ten (Sept 10th, 2014): Author Interview & Graphic #3

– Bit’N -

bitnbookpromoters.blogspot.com 

 
 
 
 

Murder Beneath the Midnight Sun

Cover

22740780

~

Blurb

When a huge meteorite slams into the earth and moves the planet closer to the sun, a new age of wide spread drought and chaos ensues. Over a third of the planet’s population is wiped out in what becomes known as The Great Splash, and mankind is thrust backward into a new ice age.

Out of the rubble arises a city, the greatest city of the new world. Gongnam City. Gongnam is filled with people driven to the brink of sanity with the heat of a sun that never sets for ten months out of the year. Electricity is scarce, crime is plentiful, and a group of highly trained detectives known as The Force is tasked with maintaining order in the city. When Michael Parkers, the most highly decorated amongst The Force’s detectives, takes an indefinite hiatus after a botched investigation, a new kind of criminal element begins to rise in Gongnam. A new element that threatens to bring the fledging civilization of Gongnam to its knees before it’s even begun. Now it’s a race against time as John Mesan, Parkers long time partner and friend, searches desperately for a way to lure Parkers back to the city and to the badge. But, will Parkers return in time to prove his mettle yet again, or will it be too late to combat this rising menace?

~

Excerpt

He watched in horror as the arms and legs of the corpse flailed in every awkward direction and snapped like dry twigs against the face of the mountain. The sharp edges of the larger rocks plunged into and out of the ribcage, the back, even the head of the dead man, leaving great gaping holes that became more indistinct as the body continued to drop from view. The plummeting, brutalized body soon disappeared completely, and as he forced his eyes upward the last sight Mesan saw before he blacked out was the pretty face of Tammy looking back at him, smiling. She blew him a kiss. “You’re next,” she mouthed silently.

~

Character Cast

When asked who he would cast as his main characters, Author Steven Spellman said this:
“A character casting for “Murder…” huh? That’s a very interesting…and very difficult question. I didn’t have any specific actors in mind when I wrote the parts but I think I would like Forest Whitaker to play furloughed detective Michael Parkers, the singer Rihanna as femme fatale, Tammy, and sadly I would’ve loved to have the late Philip Seymour Hoffman play the supporting role of John Mesan.”

  Philip Seymour Hoffman  Forest Whitaker   Rihanna

~

About the Author

Steven S

Steven Spellman doesn’t have a history of degrees in literature, but while attending college for computer science, he was praised for his writing ability. One of his professors even assumed he had copied an assignment, saying, “Usually, when we see anything like this, it’s plagiarized.” Whether reading or writing virtually anything, Steven finds great solace in the ideas and imageries expressed in books. After a nearly fatal accident, Steven was paralyzed for quite some time. Unfortunately, he will never fully recover, but he is now an ardent advocate for the disabled. Having been forced to sit down, Steven took the opportunity to revive his affinity for writing and has since written more than twelve fiction novels Throughout his early twenties he continued to write, but i wasn’t until many years later than his wife finally convinced him that writing was his path in life. Three years after than, and dozens of submissions later, he could call himself a published author when three of his short stories were published all in the same month. 

If there is any absolute goal Steven has for his life, it is that his reader may find something in his work interesting and whimsical enough to give them a momentary escape from the grating reality of life. This is the greatest compliment that can be paid to him as a writer. 

Steven Spellman is thirty four year old career writer who lives in North Carolina with his beautiful wife and two gorgeous daughters, one of whom only recently arrived into his clan. The only thing that comes close to being as important to him as his family is his passion for writing.

~

Contact

Amazon US

Blog

Goodreads

Website

Facebook – Book Page

Facebook Page

Characters

** THIS IS A REPOST OF A VERY EARLY BLOG POST **

~

For me Characters are the best and most exciting part of writing.  Without good characters, your story goes nowhere.  Mine drive the story forward all on their own.

When I first come up with the idea for a story, I usually jot it down, in the first instance, as boy 1, girl 1, boy 2 etc., not giving names to anyone until I figure out who is doing what.  I write everything out in as much detail as comes to me but I don’t sit and look for ideas, I just write what instantly comes into my head.  That includes what characters do and say.  My notes normally don’t have a lot of talking in them, but they have the basic idea of conversations I want my characters to have.

Once my basic plan is in order, I don’t sit and plan out my characters; hair colour, eye colour, first and last name, brothers/sisters, past lives, future life, personality traits.  None of that exists until I start writing the story properly.  Even then, all I usually have is the basics of their appearance.  This is because characters grow when you’re not looking.  There was one story I wrote, a long time ago where the main character was a young girl.  I had planned on her being a tall brunette but she ended up a dainty blonde because it suited her.  I decided she needed a big, overprotective brother; he turned out to be in Iraq with the army and introduced another three characters I hadn’t expected.

And that is why the characters make the story.  Some are planned, some appear out of nowhere, and others force their way into stories whether you like it or not.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been writing a story and have felt that it was either too short or too focused on two particular characters.  What I do is come up with ‘filler’ storylines that will put in a little tension and suspense.  When I did this with my The Devereaux Casefiles, a crime series, I ended up creating six new characters who were either spies or criminals.  It added in a little excitement between the romance and recurring characters.

It is always the story that begins with characters.  I never plot out their existence but I adapt the characters to the storylines.  In one of my books, I started a book and was on chapter three before I decided that I didn’t like the beginning, it just didn’t draw the reader in as much as it should have.  So I went back and created an all new first chapter; my main character is kidnapped after waiting up to tell her husband a secret.  I didn’t know what the secret was at the time, that part didn’t come until the end of the chapter where I suddenly thought ‘hmm…what is the secret, how did she find out about it and what importance will it have to the story?’  Pretty soon, I had it.  She was going to be pregnant.  It wouldn’t interfere with the story too much, it would add character and tension to an already complicated situation and would allow her to take a back seat during certain events later to come, if I needed her to.  I could make her a hormonal wreck which would help with a few problems that occurred later on, and I could make her husband overprotective of her to the point of being dangerous.  That would add another dimension to the story, without having to change the plot.  It worked.  But I had never planned it.

I have recently finished my vampire series Secrets of Avelina, the same thing happened there.  I had originally planned on having two books in the series, I ended up with six.  All because the story didn’t seem complete and because I loved my characters too much to let them go.  They had grown into something wonderful and I wanted them to have a longer run, to do more exciting things.  But I didn’t know how.  I had no plan of how I was going to add more books or storylines to the series.  Then I found an old story, originally about ghosts in an old house on an Island, it turned into Vairi’s Revenge, the third book, and all I had to do was change the ghosts to vampires and I had a story.  Which was a good thing or else it might never have been written.  My plans for the ghost version were about a paragraph long, consisting only of :

A woman buys a house on an island that everyone thinks is cursed.  A lot of strange things happen and it turns out there are ghosts.  She invites the locals to stay with her to prove the house isn’t haunted and they all die.

Not much of a storyline.  But as soon as it was a part of the Secrets of Avelina series, I suddenly found all these ideas forming as to what my vampire characters could do, how Vairi and her mysterious house on the island would fit in.  By the time the notes were finished I had eight pages of rough ideas.  But the series still wasn’t finished.  I decided I needed something different and one of the characters in Vairi’s Revenge gave me that idea.  He was a lycanthrope; a werewolf.  I suddenly thought that, with everything that had happened in the series previously, it seemed only natural for the lycanthrope community to have its share of the glory.  My next two books were about lycans, with some minor stories from the previous Secrets of Avelina characters.  The last book was to be something special but it would never have got there if the characters hadn’t led me there.  The lycanthrope characters were different to the vampires.  With the vampire characters I had a clear idea of where I wanted them to end up, but there were multiple ways of getting them there and each held big differences to the others.  With the lycans I instantly knew what struggles they would have, what adventures they would encounter and where that would lead them.  My characters knew themselves well.

With the series complete, I went back and read each book from beginning to end, as a rough edit to check for mistakes, confusions, grammar etc.  I fell in love with my characters all over again.  And that is where I really see the best of them.  Writing characters is exciting when they walk away from where you want them to go, but reading them, complete and happy, is quite another.  You see them struggle and grow and change, and love and hate.  You see their development, if they became strong or weak or how certain events changed them.  You get to the end of a chapter or page and suddenly the focus goes from one characters minor cliff-hanger to a completely different character and you feel short changed and frustrated that you don’t get to find out what happens yet.  So you have to read on.  I feel it all the time with books I read for leisure…Game of Thrones, Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters…but it’s something else entirely when it’s one of your own stories and you still feel the tension and excitement the characters bring to a story.

When my characters stop surprising me, exciting me and giving that tension then I’ll stop writing.  Thankfully, I’ve got many, many more ideas to come yet and I always finish one of my stories with a smile on my face.

The problem with characters comes when you get into the nitty gritty.  I’ve discovered, now that Runaway Girl is published, that I have a mountain of characters, in various finished and note stories that are all called by the same name!  That’s a big no no.  I’ve only gone through 3 books, since I noticed, trying to separate them and organise them out and I’ve already discovered an Eric in every book, 2 Megans and 3 Williams.

That is the problem with having a preference for names, or writing similar versions of the one story.  I don’t know how many times that, being unsatisfied with a beginning or ending, or needing to find a new way to switch a story up, I’ve written multiple choices for where it could go.  Then, later, I decide to incorporate a few stories together.  Those multiple choices get renamed, mixed up and separated until I forget that I’ve got three old plots for one story, with the characters all having the same names, and I’ve never noticed.  Suddenly, I’ve got three complete novels with the same character names, the same events taking place and sometimes identical conversations going on.  It’s a disaster.

Thankfully, disasters can be overcome.  Like I say…the character drives the story.  But character’s names and appearances and conversations can change.  So, my aim in the next few days, or weeks, however long it takes, is to identify all the names I’ve used in completed stories, keep them logged in a file that I can turn to later for comparison, and make sure there are no repetitions.

This is where I have to do all the work.  Characters can’t just jump out the screen and complain that they and another person are identical.  I’ve got to spot it, I’ve got to fix it and I am so thankful for computers.  Just add a list of names, with the books they’re mentioned in to a spreadsheet and sort it by name, and I can instantly see the problems jumping out at me.

So, I better get at it.  Books might write themselves, but I am occasionally needed :-)