Interview with Ela Lourenco, author of Awakening

Sirens Call Publications recently released Awakening, the third book in the Dragon Born series. The Dragon Born books are set in a fantasy world, great for both YA and adult readers!

 

Lee: To start, tell us about your latest book, Awakening: Dragon Born Book Three:

Ela: Awakening is the middle book in the Dragon Born series – in many ways it is my favourite of the collection as everything is coming together towards a crossroads and the suspense is rising.

 

Lee: What was your inspiration behind the Dragon Born series?

Ela: My daughter Larissa! She is dyslexic and although she loves stories she found reading very tiring so she asked me to write her books about Dragons and magic that was fast-paced enough for her to really get stuck in.

 

Lee: Do you have any favorite characters from the book? Which character has been the most fun to write?

Ela: Ooh, my favourite characters are Lara, Asena, Sofia and Leyla… they are completely based on my two daughters and nieces! I loved turning their very real personalities into characters for my books — quirks and all!

 

Lee: What made you decide to become a writer? Was it something you always wanted to do?

Ela: I have been writing poetry and stories since I can remember. My mother infected me with her own love of books from birth, I just want to create stories so that others can feel the same wonder I did reading as a child.

 

Lee: What book or story would you say inspired you the most as a writer?

Ela: There are way too many for me to pick just one! I devoured Ursula Leguin’s books, I love dark fairytales like Baba Yaga and folktales, Asimov, Shakespeare… I am an equal genres offender!

 

Lee: What three things, if any, do you need to have on hand to write?

Ela: Coffee, notebook and biro.

 

Lee: Awakening is the third book in the series. When you first had the idea for Dragon Born, did you have it planned out as a series? Or did it develop naturally?

Ela: I always knew the story would not fit into one book – I do have a love of series when I am reading myself. I just feel that it gives the author time to really develop the characters and plots.

 

Lee: What do you like to read? Who are some of your favorite authors?

Ela: I love everything from Shakespeare, Tolstoy to YA fantasy and horror. I love all genres! I really can’t pick! Although I will admit to having devoured every Tess Gerritsen book ever written – I do enjoy crime novels enormously!

 

Lee: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

Ela: Reading! And running creative writing workshops for children and young adults. I love watching their imaginations take over and the wonder they feel when they create their own stories — they inspire me tremendously.

 

Lee: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first novel?

Ela: I don’t think there is a right or wrong way of doing this, but what you must do is enjoy the process. I believe that if you write something you enjoy yourself it will translate. Don’t pick a genre or story because it seems to be what you think the market wants. Forget the market, leave everything aside and just focus on what you want to write about!

 

Get Awakening: Dragon Born Book Three on Amazon and Kindle!

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The Royal tournament, the Karnac, is fully underway. But there is deception and betrayal at every turn. Unseen dark forces are at play, both within the school grounds and out with. Even the Gods are unable to help when a new threat looms over them all.

The very existence of Azmantium depends on Lara fully becoming the Child of Fire and casting aside the Shadows lurking in every corner of her beloved planet.

Can she overcome the challenges that await? Will the Shadows cover the world in darkness? Only Lara and her friends can change the fate of Azmantium.

 

About Ela Lourenco:

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Ela Lourenco is a lover of all things fantasy, magic and mystery and loves nothing better than cooking up new tales – that is when she isn’t nose deep in a book herself! Nomadic by nature, she has now settled down in Scotland with her hubby, two daughters and two cats.

Ela also runs creative writing workshops for children and is passionate about helping those with learning difficulties to get ‘back to enjoying stories’.

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Still Dark by D.W. Gillespie – Creepy Roads, Take Me Home…

Today I’ll be hosting D.W. Gillespie on my blog in celebration of his novel, Still Dark. I personally read this book and fell in love with it immediately. That’s why I’m here to share this novel with you, and show the author support for this great story. I promise you’d be missing out not adding this to your to-read list!

Now for a few words by the author:

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Creepy Roads, Take Me Home…

by D.W. Gillespie

With the release of my first novel, Still Dark, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different sources of inspiration over the years. I keep coming back to how important my environment has been in shaping my work. It’s not just the metaphorical environment, such as my family, friends, social status and all that. It’s the literal environment too.

Still Dark is set in and around Gatlinburg Tennessee, a few hours away from where I grew up. It’s a place that’s a ripe setting for horror stories. The mountains, the empty, quiet woods, the abandoned barns set in wide open fields. There are ghosts everywhere in those parts, whether you believe in ghosts or not.

I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s farm when I was a kid. The road was, well into the 90’s, still gravel, and I can still remember the feel of it as a kid, under my shoes, under the tires as I nodded off to sleep. At night, the trees seemed to meet over the top of the road, making a roof that stars or moon couldn’t quite shine through. All you had was the headlights marking the road just in front of you, and beyond that, well, there could be anything.

My imagination would run wild at the moonlight rippling on top of a pond. Of the sounds of an owl, lonesome and terrifying. The kids would play around the yard at night, and that seemed to help, the sounds of our voices almost chasing back the darkness. But it was all just a trick of the mind. The dark was still there, and if you walked over to the barbed wire fence, you could hear things out in the woods, pawing and hooting.

Things sort of changed when the sun wasn’t around. Way out in the darkness, there were trees so wide that a dozen people couldn’t reach all the way around it. There was a family cemetery, some of the stones hundreds of years old. There were dead ponds so thick with algae that you couldn’t even see the water. During the day, in the light, these were all curiosities worthy of study and exploration, but at night… only a fool would venture out there at night.

Now, I’m a grown man, and I know woods aren’t all that different at night as they are during the day. That sort of thinking, it’s for kids, isn’t it? And yet… I can still remember that feeling, how small and helpless I felt alone in the dark. I see it on my own kid’s faces from time to time.

That’s my environment, the land that helped make me. That open country world that still holds secrets to this day. It’s all over my writing, but especially in Still Dark.

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Still Dark

D.W. Gillespie

When a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Amazon Digital and Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico| Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Kobo | Barnes & Noble (Digital or Print) | iTunes | Smashwords

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.

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#Horror #Paranormal #MindControl

A Writer’s Bucket List

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I was inspired by a few authors who recently wrote bucket lists for what they want to achieve as writers. I enjoyed reading about their goals and aspirations, many of which matched my own. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon and do one myself.

  1. Publish my first novel

I’ve had a lot of work published since I decided to take writing seriously. But it’s all been short fiction. I have a novel which is so close to being finished it often surprises me how far I’ve gotten. But I always felt like it was taking too long to complete. The possibility that I might never finish it plagued my thoughts daily. And to make this fit my bucket list even more, I was literally afraid that I would die before it ever saw the light of day. But with it being so close to completion, I feel like I might just live to see it happen!

2. Have a table at a horror or book convention

This comes second, as I need to actually have something to sell at my table. I see authors selling their books at conventions, their table set up nicely with posters and themes that go with their book. I’d imagine myself in that situation, dream of doing that very thing for my own book. I kind of romanticized it in a way. The prospect of doing that for myself seems invigorating and even if I didn’t sell too many books, I’d go home happy just for having been there.

3. Write something amazing

I’m a horror writer. It’s what I’m best at. I’ve been obsessed with the genre for as long as I can remember. And I love writing it. But I hope to produce something that somehow transcends the creatures and gore. And while many of my stories do have a message or serious element behind the story, I want to write something where that aspect stands out and the piece is recognized for that quality.

4. Create a successful writing blog

Yes, I have a website, and I do write a blog post every now and then. My most successful ones are mostly about horror movies and other things about the genre in general. But I’d love to start creating posts about writing, offering tips and advice for new writers. I suppose I worry that I’m not qualified to give advice to new writers. What do I know? I’m not some hot-shot success story. But as I’ve traveled the path of a writer, I’ve come a long way and learned quite a bit. Maybe someday I’ll build the confidence to start giving advice to others.

5. Write an autobiography

I’d love to write about the journey that led me to where I am. The path I’ve followed in life has been arduous to say the least. It’s been full of tragedy and hardship. But I don’t complain. It’s brought me here, typing these very words you’re reading. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. The difficult life I’ve lived more than likely adds a quality to my work that probably wouldn’t be there otherwise. So I’m thankful for the good experiences as well as the bad.

6. Write a book about my family history

I’m a descendant of survivors of the Armenian Genocide. My family history is appalling and tragic, and would make a damn interesting story. I’ve been gathering information about it for years, putting all in a file in the hopes that I’ll eventually get around to putting it together. It’s amazing that I’m even here after the events of the Genocide, considering my ancestors survived by a fine thread.

7. Have a novel in my local library

Doesn’t seem like a huge deal, and it’s probably not. But my love for reading was born in my local library, taking out three books at a time and plowing through them like there was no tomorrow. I’d love to have something of my own on their shelves. I want to be one of the names on the spine of one of those many books. To contribute to the huge number of titles for readers to discover.

9. Write Poetry

I recently had my first piece of poetry published. I’d never written a good poem before, and certainly never tried to have any published. But I was so satisfied with the results, it made me want to write more, and try to get them out into the world.

I guess that’s all for now. Who knows what the future will add or take away from this list. Only the words I produce will tell. I hope you enjoyed this little trip into my mind. If so, please like this post and follow my blog! It’s greatly appreciated!

 

skullandquill