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Today is the best of times and the worst of times for writers. Yes, the publishing industry faces intense pressure. Yes, fewer people are buying books. BUT…. people ARE actually reading more than ever, just in different formats. That presents we authors with a whole new array of choices, small press, self-pub, traditional, blogging, hybrid publishing, you name it- new roads to traverse should we choose.

So hats off to the fabulous author, Yvonne Carder! She employed a different strategy by turning to a Kickstarter Campaign, a very successful Kickstarter Campaign, to finance the publication of her first novel, Luminata.

Yvonne is also the author of the short story “Star Flame.” A fantasy writer on the rise!

StarFlame

Thanks so much to the lovely Ms. Carder for stopping by my blog to chat- be sure to check her out. She’s a delight and talented force to be reckoned with. Here’s our interview:

  • Let’s start at the beginning… Are you a hugger? Kiss both cheeks? A hearty handshake or maybe a distant nod across the room?
    1. How do I greet people? It depends on the situation. If it’s social, I usually start with a handshake and sometimes get pulled into the girl hug. If I’m in a more professional setting, I usually start with eye contact, smile, and then the handshake (but I try to not have the handshake be too whimpy). I’m actually an introvert by nature, so I have to push myself out of my comfort zone to make sure I don’t miss out on connections with the cool people I run acrosss.
  • When and how did you know you were a writer? Did any books help you along the way?
    1. I remember my first short story was in elementary school and I won an award for it. I was so proud of those 4 or 5 pages. They were really simple and on those pages with the giant spaces with the dotted lines in the middle, but I wrote a story and shared it with the world.
    2. Then in high school I wrote poetry to get through the entire emotional whirlwind that tries to destroy us. But I was lucky, I let my thoughts flow on the page and I found myself. Of course, the teenage angst poured out onto the page too, and far less damage was inflicted on the world. =)
    3. I found fantasy fiction in high school and that is when my love for creating different views of the world we live in took off. Anne Rice was the first author that I devoured and she remains the matron of my author influences.
    4. I’ve since read books to help with my author journey and the ones that have been the greatest influences are Stephen King’s “On Writing”, Christopher Vogler’s “The Writer’s Journey; Mythic Structure for Writers”, and James V. Smith, Jr’s “You Can Write a Novel”. King’s book is about an authors journey and helped me realize that we are all human and can share our thoughts and dreams with other people. Vogler’s book helped with understanding why some books resonate with me while learning about story arch, and understanding the archetypes for characters. And Smith’s book was the best at breaking down for me how to keep myself organized, how to structure writing and the story. Before I read that book I felt overwhelmed and unsure how to even start, it was the tool I really needed to get started. Apparently I’m a Plotter and not a Pantster.
  • Is there another genre that you enjoy- just as a pure fan? What is it?
    1. My reading guilty pleasure is urban fantasy books, both young adult and adult. I love the idea of magic in the world all around us that not everyone knows about. It gives me hope for the world I live in.
  • Can you share one resource: website, marketing strategy, social media medium that you feel has most helped you and could help other writers on their way?
    1. Hands down the most influential person that I found on this journey is  JoannaPenn, from The Creative Penn. She is a genius and has the most generous spirit. She is an Author Entrepreneur and has been in the Indie Publishing scene since around 2008. She shares everything she learns very openly and wants to empower as many people as she can in the industry. She has a website with amazing resources and has the best podcast out there for authors. Check her out at thecreativepenn.com
  • What do you wish your readers could know about you?
    1. Vacations as a kid included visiting my grandparents in the Eifel in Germany and exploring all around the small town they live in. I fell in love with castles, both the ones meticulously maintained to explore, and the beautiful ruins that echoed those long ago lives lost to time. My spirit would soar in the wild forests where your imagination runs free picturing magical creatures hiding just out of sight. The Eifel is a huge inspiration for my novel Luminata. I can see Jessica in the forests that I’ve walked through and see the beams of filtered light strike her hair and make the forest floor look like autumn colored gemstones were thrown everywhere. Oh, have I mentioned? I definitely have an active imagination.
  • We’re just beginning the summer season- if you could give EVERYONE a gift, vacation, mojito, whatever… and expense or transportation was no object- what would you give them?
    1. I would give everyone a month vacation to explore the Eifel and check out the castles, like my favorite Burg Eltz, the forests where we could go mushroom hunting, and have lunch in an ancient Roman tavern that just so happens to be under a department store!
  • Denim versus leather- compare and contrast. It’s an argument that may never be settled. What’s your preference and why?
    1. Hands down: Leather. It’s way more versatile and feels great when you put it on. The biggest turn off? It’s from animals, so that could sway me to denim, but it doesn’t.
  • If you had to choose… Vegas or New York… where would you go? Why does your choice speak to you?
    1. 100% New York! I would love to see all the architecture and history, but the biggest reason: Broadway! I’m a sucker for Broadway musicals. I have an annual membership to SHN in San Francisco so that I can be dazzled by those fantastical creations. I’m constantly blown away by what artists can create on a small stage. It’s right up there with reading for me.
  • What is your favorite reward after a long day of writing—that little treat you give yourself?
    1. My favorite reward is reading some good book candy. You know: those stories that you don’t have to think too hard about, but you’re immersed in the world and you forget your cares. It lets my brain relax and just let loose.
  • And lastly, how do you say good-bye?
    1. How well do we know each other by now? Cuz if you know this much about me know I’d probably just say: Peace out home skillet!

 

Links:

‘Star Flame: A Story from the Meclauks Kingdom’: FREE copy through BookFunnel https://dl.bookfunnel.com/c8qg8ajc2o
 
Where to find Yvonne:

Facebook: YvonneCarder

Twitter:  YvonneCarder

Patreon: YvonneCarder

Blog:  www.YvonneCarder.com/blog

Instagram: YvonneCarderAuthor
Pinterest: YvonneCarder

LinkedIn: YvonneCarderAuthor

 

Yvonne Carder Author

Author Bio:

Yvonne Carder is a Young Adult Fantasy Author that has written a short story called ‘Star Flame: A Story from the Meclauks Kingdom’, and she is currently editing her first in a series novel ‘Luminata: A Meclauks Kingdom Novel’. With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Luminata is planned for release in August of 2017.Yvonne Carder lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Kevin, and her three cats, Princess Pumpkin Doodle, Nichademus, and Barracuda Bob. Yvonne has a love for animals that she strives to show in her work. 
She has lived in California since 1982 when she and her parents emigrated from Germany. Most of her family is still in Germany with the exception of some of her Dad’s family in the Midwest. Her roots in Germany are something that she is very proud of and it influences her writing. Yvonne has been involved in the arts since a young child when she joined the school bands, choir, poetry club, and the art club at her high school. She has had poems published including ‘tHE wORLD uP-sIDE dOWN’ in Behind the Eye Las Positas College Anthology Number 16, ‘The Black Trail’ in Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans 1995 edition, and ‘Wilderness Pond’ in The Garden of Life by the National Library of Poetry. Yvonne also won a scholarship for her fine art paintings. When she’s not creating visual arts you can find her singing loudly in her car, or with a local choir and performing at their concerts.

Yvonne is a proud member of the California Writer’s Club: Tri-Valley Branch, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

 

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This post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian. If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on www.erikagardner.com   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog. Erika’s debut novel, The Dragon in The Garden can be found at Tirgearr Publishing.

 

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This week’s post is about two kinds of ghosts. The first relates to my creative process. The second refers to the ghosts my characters may be dealing with. I spent the past weekend at the Dallas-Fort Worth Writers’ Conference in Dallas with two dear writing friends: Kimberly Emerson and M. Pepper Langlinais. (I affectionately refer to this great city as Fresno, TX. It’s flat, super-hot, and a temple to the gods of urban sprawl. But, I digress.) Naturally when you get a bunch of writers together, we start talking shop and comparing notes. One topic cropped up again and again- yep, our creative process. Where do we get our ideas? What inspires us?

United in writing: Kimberly, Erika & Manda

United in writing: Kimberly, Erika & Manda

I hear voices. It’s as simple as that.

No, seriously. And no need to fetch the guys/gals in white coats. I’m perfectly sane. It’s just I’m never alone.

Before I start typing out a story I dream about it. People kind of appear, like ghosts haunting me. The characters begin to flesh themselves out in my head, and I overhear snippets of conversation. Next I see the actions: a laugh, a sword fight, the fall of a blossom on a grave. The details depend on the type of story. Finally, these elements coalesce into a complete picture and then I have to get it on paper or my laptop before they begin to disintegrate once more and fade from view.

I do a great deal of journaling- never travel without one in case the ghosts appear. Once the outlines of the story are set then comes more daydreaming, usually when I am running or working out. Story arch, motifs, themes, those get worked out through sweat. After that, it’s pedal to the metal writing. Music helps with the heavy lifting section of the writing. I run with music and write to it. When I wrote The Dragon in The Garden I listened to Yes’s Learning to Fly. Sea Strand came to life with various Nightwish albums as its soundtrack. Those North Atlantic rhythms blended perfectly with the cadence of the story’s ocean currents.

This summer I am working on the finishing touches to a novel whose title has not been firmly set. The music has been Iron Maiden. The darkness of some of their songs creates a great mood against the combination of noir and snark I want for this urban fantasy centered around a female P.I. named Charlie Watts.

Right now I am haunted by unfamiliar ghosts. Not a dragon, selkie, ogre, or banshee in sight. Nope, just everyday people living everyday lives. There’s a short story building in my brain which has nothing to do with the fantastical. Odd.

For a long time it’s struck me that social media is doing funky things to our personal interactions. Take FaceBook or Twitter for example.  Someone can post “Yippee! Financial security at last!” Obviously, their friends will “retweet” or “like” this good news while making lots of supportive, affirming comments. Yet, what if said financial security came from defrauding the elderly of their pensions? Would that person’s Friends or Followers be so quick to join the party? My point being that the Internet has always allowed us to show slivers of our true selves, choosing and editing our personae as we see fit. We do this every day in our real world lives, but it’s more extreme online.

In the beginning three ghosts haunted me. A husband who left his wife and kids, the wife he abandoned, and the mistress he goes to. Naturally, and sadly, there’s a fair bit of overlap to the two relationships. I wanted to tell the story from three viewpoints and largely through FaceBook posts. Few people consciously set out to behave like complete asses. Each of these characters would possess their own hopes, dreams, and motivations. Each would seek to justify their actions.

Over time though, I’ve had a difficult time with the husband. He’s not as strong a presence in my mind. Probably because as a woman, it’s far easier for me to imagine their thoughts than his. The haunting is reaching the tipping point and it’s time to start writing. I’ll be using the two women’s points of view. Simpler, cleaner for a short story. Though the philandering husband has exited the story, wisps of him linger in my mind.

How can one person go from a marriage to an affair and a rapid engagement? Wouldn’t they be haunted? No time to process, to figure out where the train jumped the tracks? How would that lack of introspection and self-awareness affect the second marriage? Maybe I’m over thinking it or feminizing the process. People do jump into relationships all the time. A hasty remarriage is not uncommon. Of course, the success rates of these later marriages resonate with failure, so there’s that. I would imagine that over time the person would develop their own ghosts. Memories, regrets, and questions swirling through their head. Makes you wonder not if but how quickly the second marriage would unravel.

Hmm, maybe there is a second story there for another day? In the meantime, this week’s song springs from one of my ghosts about his ghosts. It’s My Heart is a Ghost Town by Adam Lambert. A bit pop for my usual taste, but the sentiments fit here. Enjoy.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix8ocFEMa1o

 

This post was written by Erika Gardner.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on this blog.  Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner or “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller.  Check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.

Erika Gardner

Erika Gardner

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