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Character Interview: Arkas from K. Madill’s YA Fantasy Novel ‘The Stolen Herd’ – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

We’re thrilled to be talking to Arkas from Green Forest, Deep Forest, The Silver City, Harshlands, Azure Caves, Elphinstone Mountains…hey, he has wings – he gets around.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]Thank you so much for this interview, Arkas.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Arkas: It was moderately accurate. She (the author) missed how utterly terrified Mandamus and Luco were when we first met. It was their own fault. They blundered into my territory, so I attacked them. It was written a little more comically than it actually was. Those two were scared out of their minds.  I thought that human, Luco, was going to cry and Mandamus may look like a big, tough horse but he was shaking in his hooves.  

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

Arkas: My strength, agility, wingspan, and fighting skills.  Not to mention …I can breathe fire!

Worse trait?

Arkas: Well, I have been called short tempered. But I don’t see that as a bad thing at all.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Arkas: Probably… Christian Bale. He was a pretty darn good Batman…and seeing as I’m an actual bat, I feel the transition would go smoothly.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out? 

Arkas: I must admit, I did get a little worried when we were attached by Aicha, that dirty slug of a water imp. I wasn’t sure I could take him by myself, he’s pretty quick.  Just in the nick of time, Gideon showed up and helped me out, thank goodness.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Arkas: I definitely would not want to be Luco.  Alright, granted, for a human he’s not that bad…but he has only two legs and can’t fly.  He also doesn’t have the nerve to tell that naiad, Lethe, that he likes her. Even after he built her that glass room at the Gates to the Underworld!  He just hangs around mooning over her until Mandamus’ hoof heals, then we leave. Pathetic, if you ask me. I might have to do a little matchmaking there.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Arkas: Hey, Luco may be complaining because he’s afraid of getting eaten, but I’m full on ready to journey to the Azure Caves to see King Farzad and the rest of the Snowbreth tribe.  They’re supposedly man-eating monsters, but Gideon wouldn’t have sent us there if that was the case. I will tell you this though – if they do try anything, they’ll be sorry!

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Arkas: If? I’m one of the three main characters of this story so she’d BETTER have me in it.  Hmm…words of wisdom….well, I would like to get back to Luco’s village for more cherry stars and fire whiskey though that’s more of a suggestion, I guess.

Thank you for this interview, Arkas. Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Arkas: Of course. Those two (Mandamus and Luco) couldn’t last a day without me. Why, you should see what those dunderheads got themselves into just last week. Only, you’ll have to wait for the 2nd book to find out – ha!

Purchase on AMAZON

Karai MadillA chronic “head in the cloudser” K. Madill lives in a rickety house on a well treed street in British Columbia, Canada.  When she’s not hanging out with her best equine friend in the woods she can be found trying to stay upright on her roller skates or mediating the affairs of her various furred and feathered friends that rule the aforementioned rickety house. 

K. Madill’s website: kmadill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-Madill/161159890706088

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraiMadill1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643483-the-stolen-herd

Pump Up Your Book and K. Madill are teaming up to give away

a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Character Interview: Amy Benson from Ray East & Sam D’s ‘Voluspa’

We’re thrilled to have here today Amy Benson from Ray East and Sam D’s new YA fantasy romance, Voluspa: A Magical World. Amy is a 15-year-old empath from New York.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Amy. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I think my character has been portrayed fairly well. However there is this small thing that I’d like to clarify. In the book I am portrayed as someone with an aversion to shopping. In truth I love shopping and hanging out in the mall.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

I think the author did a good job of capturing all the nuances of my character. My insecurities, moments of self-doubt, my needs to find affection and all my other traits have been accurately presented.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I would say my perseverance. Life has always thrown me a few hard curves but I never give up. My friends tell me that I am just plain stubborn.

Worse trait?

I am very emotional. I think and feel very strongly.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. His name is Drake Mc Grizzle and he is the most amazing boyfriend a girl could ever wish for.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I didn’t really get nervous about the outcome of the book because I had faith in my authors.  To be honest, I have to admit that there is one part in the book, where I start feeling an attraction of sorts for a very disagreeable boy. That had me worried. Besides I was so engrossed in Drake, I found it hard to genuinely understand my attraction for another boy.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I would hate to be Lord Vali. He has no redeeming quality and is just plain evil.He is cruel, greedy, ambitious, blood thirsty and completely merciless. In short, he is despicable. But I also think he is pitiable. His evilness stems from the turns and twists his life has taken – to some extent he is a product of difficult circumstances as well as possessing a natural proclivity towards violence.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I think the ending of the book is pretty great. If you have connected with the young lovers i.e. me and Drake then the ending is going to fill you with anticipation. You’ll be eager to know what happens next.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

I would just ask the author to keep in mind all the things that have changed about me in the past several months. I am no longer the same person that I was when I first arrived in Voluspa. My trials and triumphs have caused me t change. I am so much stronger as a person; more confident. Also finding Drake, falling in love with him has changed me. Now I am at peace with the person I am.

Thank you for this interview, Amy.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Absolutely! The adventure is nowhere near done. I want my happily ever after with Drake.

Ray East and Sam D has moved to Voluspa and live in the Forest of Skotos with their 5 year old daughter and a pet Typhon.  They visit Earth with the help of an Empath from time to time. Ray East did her masters in Phsychology from Univeristy of Sussex and has worked as a counselor for adolescents. Sam D used to teach at a SPJC before he moved to Voluspa.

Their latest book is Voluspa: A Magical World.

To get your copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D & Ray East at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/VOLUSPA-A-Magical-World-Sam-D/dp/0985681608/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1

To get your e-copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D & Ray East for your Kindle at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Voluspa-A-Magical-World-ebook/dp/B008BCZBTE/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Order your copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D. & Ray East at B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voluspa-a-magical-world-sam-d/1111523622?ean=2940014770675

To learn more about Sam D and Ray East, visit their website: www.magicalworldofvoluspa.com

Visit Sam D & Ray East on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voluspa

Like Sam D & Ray East on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldofvoluspa

Follow Sam D & Ray East at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15592516-voluspa

Centuries ago, war between aliens and humans almost destroyed the world. To prevent such a war from happening again, a mighty ruler then formed a secret society of nine powerful humans and aliens called the Bramhas. These Bramhas each wrote a book imparting ancient wisdom and knowledge. The possession of these books could bring about untold power and success. The nine books were hidden but the desire to possess those books, still cause men to fight wars and turn against each other. One such war was fought in the realm of Voluspa decades back; the consequences of that war still resonate in this magical land. Two young lovers get caught in this tussle and it changes their destinies forever.

Amy’s humdrum life takes a complete 180’ turn with the death of her stepfather. She goes to live with her grandmother – her only living relative, though she hasn’t seen her in the last five years. Among her mother’s childhood memorabilia, she finds a book ‘Legends of Voluspa’ that captures her imagination. She becomes so engrossed in the book that she starts dreaming  about the places in the book till one night she finds herself inexplicably transported to the new world – Voluspa, as described in the book. Here she meets Drake, who unknown to her is a shape shifter.  Chemistry cackles between the two from the very first and as they discover that they share a lot in common, a tenuous bond forms between the two. ‘I’ll keep you safe’ vows Drake and he remains true to his word as he befriends her and saves her from various troubles that befall her over the next couple of months.

In Voluspa, Amy discovers a new way of life. It’s a magical world inhabited by primarily four clans – Empaths, Morphus, Mendens and the Pulchrous. The Empaths have the power of mind, the Morphus are the shape shifters, Mendens are the healers while the Pulchrous possess physical perfection and strength. With the help of an old family friend, Amy takes her rightful place in the Empath clan. This marks a new chapter in Amy’s life. She realizes her own powers and subsequently starts going to a school to enhance the same. With Drake by her side, she makes some wonderful friends. However, her life is not all smooth sailing; trouble comes when she learns the truth about her biological parents. She realizes that her very existence is against Voluspan law which forbids the union between individuals belonging to two different clans. History threatens to repeat itself as she realizes that her predicament was not that different from what her mother had faced, decades back. She is totally in love with Drake, who belongs to the Morphus clan.

The enchanting world of Voluspa is far from Utopic; it has barely recovered from a devastating war fought twenty years back when the peace of the land is once again threatened by Gangrels, the evil army of aliens.  The two young lovers soon realize that besides contending with forbidden love, they have to deal with other impediments. Ancient enmities, a past war, a much coveted book, all conspire against the two lovers. Gangrels reappear in Voluspa and Drake falls in the clutches of one such evil being who would stop at nothing to realize his fiendish ambitions. Amy and her friends cross realms, face enemies, deal with challenges, solve riddles and brave possible destruction, as they set off on an adventure to rescue Drake.  The ‘Force of Sutra’ clashes with the ‘Elemental Force’ of the Gangrels as Amy and her friends are faced with an indomitable enemy. They use strategic warfare, pit adversaries among themselves and use every last drop of strength, skill and courage as they take on warriors far more ruthless and skilled than themselves.

As Amy embarks upon a quest to save Drake, her love for him is tested at every turn but she never wavers from her objective. Braving imminent death she manages to reach Drake – only to find a changed person. Gone is the man she is in love with, instead a dangerous stranger stood in his place. This Drake was teetering at the edge between becoming completely evil and retaining his own soul. He almost harms Amy but stops himself at the very last minute. His love for Amy proves to be stronger than the evil entity threatening to overpower him.  However when chips are down, Drake comes through. He sets aside his personal well-being in order to save Amy, one last time. Drake is perhaps lost forever but hope dies last – Amy is determined to get back Drake, no matter what the cost.

 

IF YOU’D LIKE TO WIN A  FREE KINDLE FIRE HD, LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TELLING US IF YOU’D LIKE TO LIVE IN VOLUSPA, THEN CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE KINDLE FIRE HD GIVEAWAY!

Interview with Herbert Howard Jones, author of young adult fantasy novel, THE PYEWIZ AND THE AMAZING MOBILE PHONE

hh-jonesHerbert Howard Jones was born in London in 1955, and went to Eccles Hall, a boarding school in Norfolk. He left after a couple of years and attended IIford County High School in Barkingside where he where he met Bram Tovey, now conductor of the Vancouver Symphony orchestra, and pianist Derek Smith who later played with the Johhny Dankworth ensemble. They inspired Jones to take up music, which he still practices today.

Jones attended Lisburn college in Ireland and then worked in a wide variety of occupations. These included in law, as a porter at the BBC, in jewellery manufacture, publishing, and commercial art. As a BBC porter he was required to hump equipment between studios and could be spotted riding shotgun around London in the old green BBC vans of that time. He was eventually sacked for lateness!

the-pyewiz-and-the-amazing-mobile-phoneHe then found a job in a Hatton Garden jewellery firm in London. As an apprentice jeweller he was required to assemble twenty-two 14 carat gold gate bracelets a day. In the two years he spent in the business he had personally made nearly 12000 bracelets, which was quite a feat, but was mind numbing work, and not something he wanted to do with the rest of his life. At this stage he didn’t know what avenue to go down next.

But the clue lay in his early life. As a young boy, he showed an early interest in the arts, particularly writing, musical composition and painting, and has pursued them as interests ever since. At this time he met the daughter of the captain of the Titanic, which sank in 1912, and consequently became obsessed with the myth which surrounded the subject. Jones remembers handling Titantic artifacts in the lady’s cottage country, and thinking that they made beautiful art ornaments! They inspired Jones to start creating collages using old bric-a brac, attaching small objects to canvas and applying paint to them.

In his teens, Jones lived with the family of author Julian Branston, whose mother was a close confidant of British comic Kenneth Williams. They introduced Jones to writer and poet John Pudney, famed as the author of wartime poem ‘For Johnny’. As busy as he was, Pudney would give kindly critiques of Jones’ earlier writings, urging Jones to say ‘more with less’. Jones described his writing efforts at this time as pretentious and undisciplined, and was frankly lucky, that ‘Pudney gave him the time of day,’

Jones found John Pudney fascinating as, among other things, he knew Pablo Picasso personally, having met him as a reporter during the war. To the aspiring and awe struck Jones, this was all glamorous grist for this artistic mill. At this time he became fascinated by celebrity, which was hardly surprising considering that his benefactors frequently had prominent people down to dinner, including the Bishop of Liverpool and others.

When Jones worked for a firm of ‘showbiz’ solicitors in London, he ran errands for screen star John Mills, and composer Tony Hatch, but felt that life as a London commuter just wasn’t for him, and so he ‘dropped’ out and went to live in Deptford. Jones justified this to himself by saying this was his ‘down and out in Paris and London period’.

Jones moved around South London and finally settled in some lodgings in Lewisham which were also being occupied by the now international artist David Mabb, presently Head of Masters at Goldsmith’s college, from whom he acquired wonderful discarded art pieces. Mabb’s charismatic and confident personality had an inspiring effect on Jones who began to look at art in a new light. In Jones’ eyes, David Mabb was ‘one of the solid group of British artists who are exponents of a new kind of socially responsible art, which is dynamic and very much at the cutting edge.’ In Jones’ view, Mabb’s art not only succeeds powerfully as a room decoration, but it invokes a strong visceral response in the viewer. If Jones was going to paint, he wanted his art to be as eloquent as Mabb’s! At the time of writing, Jones is still struggling to achieve this goal. Jones cites US artist Ron English, as his other influence.

Meeting well known people and those active in the arts and entertainment industries had the effect of shaping Jones’ view of the world, and he vowed that one day, he too would make a contribution. It was only in his fifties that Jones has seriously sought publication. The Pyewiz and The Amazing Mobile Phone is his first book.

At the present time Jones is busily writing his second book and is painting. He hopes to have his first exhibition of art in London in the near future.

Jones’ most thrilling life moment: ‘being six feet away from Frank Sinatra when he came to the London Palladium!’

You can visit his website at www.science-fiction-fantasy.com.

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Herbert. Can you tell us whether you are published for the first time or multi-published? Can you give us the title(s) of your book(s)?

The Pyewiz and the Amazing Mobile Phone is my first published work for YA.

What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

My first book was’Moofus the Mandog’ which I wrote at the age of sixteen, and was briefly represented by The Marc McCormack Agency in the seventies. They tried everyone they knew, but were not able to place it.

For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I received six rejections, primarily from agents, and then I heard about the British Arts Council offering a grant to help new authors get their works published. So I signed up with Youwriteon.com in conjunction with Legend Press who were running the offer.

How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

I

felt rejected as an artist and a human being. I turned to self-hypnosis tapes for help and now believe that one day I’m going to really make the grade as an author. (Well I have to believe that, don’t I?)

When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

I chose them for the reasons mentioned above. It was a case of, they were offering my fragile ego a chance to redeem itself in its own eyes!

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

For me it was short lived elation, long term angst! I now realise that book publishing is all about promotion, promotion, promotion! And where’s the fun in that? (Although I have to say that under Dorothy Thompson’s guidance it has been fun!)

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I Created a website. Currently I get an average of between 3 and 10 hits a day!

If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

In my case all roads seemed to lead to this particular publisher who is the nicest and most intelligent guy you could meet.(And I haven’t even met him yet!) He’s the ship and I’m the barnacle. But I don’t know how I’ll fare in stormy weathers though.

Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

No, but I have certainly grown as an author. I am now trying to master the art of the ‘brilliant first three chapters’. It is upon this foundation that my future career will be based.

Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

There is no substitute for the ultra-thorough edit. And I mean utra ultra. Also, I think that you have to put a spin on everything you write otherwise agents will think you haven’t got any talent. So instead of writing, ‘She drank her coffee thoughtfully,’ you have to write, ‘She drained the boiling hot java, impervious to its heat, her mind grappling with inner demons.’

What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

Discovering what I believe I truly want to write, which are occult thrillers like the ones by deceased author Dennis Wheatley. I was once the personal friend of his housekeeper, and she portrayed an amazing life. I still like fantasy, but only see its application in a juvenile market context (sneakily read by adults) .

If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I’d like to be a fine artist like Ron English or David Mabb, who to my mind are among the most exhilerating artists of their generation.

Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I’d combine the best of both worlds. See, I have to write. It’s like an obsession. Can’t not. Must. Am driven. Same with art. Must paint. It’s my hands see, they just love paintbrushes and keyboards.

How do you see yourself in ten years?

I see myself involved with film production. I only say this because a clairvoyant told me I’d be doing tv work. But don’t knock clairvoyants, they said Archie Leach would be famous. And they were right.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

I truly believe that success or failure is determined by what you put into your subconscious mind. But you have to program yourself in a systematic way. So get hold of some self-suggestion CDs and keep listening to them until your dream materialises! The trick is to keep playing the CDs, over and over again, hundreds of times until your deeper mind accepts the statements on them. A suggestion takes a minimum of a year to really take root in your subconscious! I have found that this has worked for me in other areas of my life also.

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