Author Interview: M. B. Weston

OOTS Front Dark OakDark Oak Press author, M. B. Weston, gave us an interview about not only her current fantasy series, The Elysian Chronicles, but also on her writing style and other things she has going on.

What genres do you enjoy writing? I started out with fantasy, but I’m also enjoying writing paranormal, suspense, urban fantasy, Steampunk, and I’m working on some pulp now. I also see a bit of mystery writing in my future.

Tell us about your latest book: My latest book is Out of the Shadows, the second book in the Elysian Chronicles series. The Elysian Chronicles is military fantasy about guardian angel warfare and treason with a lot of action. In the first book, A Prophecy Forgotten, my hero Davian must keep a young boy prophesied to save the world safe while at the same time stop a conspiracy of his fellow soldiers from taking over his home government. In Out of the Shadows, the scoundrels have successfully taken over, and Davian must do everything he can to bring them down, despite the fact he only has a few soldiers at his disposal.

What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration? Out of the Shadows is a sequel to A Prophecy Forgotten, and I have to admit that it was quite easy to come up with the idea for it since I knew what would happen once I started developing APF. It all began when I was imagining a scene with little boy drowning in a river. A young woman rescued him, but she ended up hitting her head on a rock and getting amnesia. When she woke, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this boy thought she was actually his guardian angel?” Then I thought, “What if she was?” At that moment, the entire story changed into epic fantasy, and the angels–cherubians, I call them–became the central culture instead of the humans.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Davian is a special operative in the guardian angel military who excels at leading black ops against the angel’s greatest enemies–mornachts. (If I’ve got angels, I’ve go to have some demons, right?) He’s a hard core soldier with a tremendous amount of focus on his mission–often at the expense of other aspects of his social life. I think my favorite thing about him is that he would really just rather live in peace in the country with a vegetable garden. In Out of the Shadows, Davian is imprisoned for 10 years and then finds himself with a chance at a new life when he escapes. Unfortunately, his loyalty to his country overcomes his desire for peace. He decides–with prodding–to free his country from the new dictator who rules it.

How about your least favorite character? I don’t have a least favorite character because all of them are vital to the story. However, most of my readers seem to hate Loraine, Tommy’s mother, the most.

How much research did you have to do for this book? Any travel involved? I did a lot of research on Delta Force, Green Berets, and Navy Seals to come up with the culture for my special ops team. I tried to blend the idea of navy-seals meets Roman soldiers with wings. The earth sections of Out of the Shadows take place at the United States Naval Academy. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel there for a weekend, and it really influenced my writing.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Trying to coordinate the battle going on in Heaven’s Realm (the name I have for the dimension the guardian angels live in) and the battle on earth. I had to make sure the timing fit into the appropriate parts of the Naval Academy’s academic schedule. (I used their 2006 calendar.) I also ended up dealing with two sets of characters on both earth and in Heaven’s Realm, and that meant I had to track each one’s development and make sure each was given his or her fair amount of time.

Which writers inspire you? Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and in this one I used a lot of Tom Clancy.

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m a modified pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants–mostly. I start out with a story idea. I do a bit of brain work to give myself a big picture concept of where I want the story to end up. Then I just start writing it. I’ve tried an outline, but using an outline takes me double the time because the story always changes once I get into the scene and into the characters. To keep from writing too much that might be deleted during the editing process, I write in layers. My first draft is really more of a rushed, bare-boned pre-draft with dialog and stage directions. I go back in and fill in the details, which means that if I delete a scene or change things around, I’m messing with something that only took me five minutes to jot down instead of a highly edited bit of writing that took a day.

What are you working on at the minute? In order of timing:

  • The Lodestone Series: This is an urban-fantasy, pulp novella series for ProSe Press about an immortal wizard named Michael Lodestone who sets out to free the world from his nine, more evil immortal counterparts who are bent on taking over. Basically, he knows he has to kill them, and the process of killing an immortal wizard is quite complex. I’m going to deal with one wizard or witch in each novella. In this first story, he faces off with the evil queen from the Snow White tales. I based it on a short story I wrote called, “The Witch Hunter,” which is featured in The Big Bad II short story anthology.
  • Unleashed (Working Title): A paranormal suspense thriller about a woman who discovers the person stalking her is 1) responsible for 90% of the world’s unsolved serial killings and 2) isn’t human. I’ve got the rough draft done and I’m in the middle of the 2nd. I was asked for a pulp novella, so I put this one on hold in order to finish the fist Lodestone book.
  • The Elysian Chronicles: The Sword of the Vanir (working title): I need to get this done before I start getting death threats from readers. I have some reasons it has taken a while, but I have to keep those to myself.

 

Why do you write? Because I have to. I know, silly answer, but it’s true. I have stories in my head, and I need to get them out.

Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere. Anything can spark an idea. That’s why its so important for writers to pay attention to everything.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Making sure the plot feels organic instead of contrived. The plot needs to feel seamless and real, and as odd as it seems it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes organizational work to make the story feel like it’s just unfolding effortlessly in front of you.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Well, most of the advice we all hear all the time is pretty relevant: don’t give up, keep writing, etc. I guess to be different, I would say to learn how to really edit. Learn the craft of writing. Don’t just think that because you’ve got a great story you can rush through and be done. Learn about style and grammar. Make your manuscript sparkle before you turn it in to a publisher. There is no such thing as good writers, just good editors. The ones who make it to the top are the ones who edit their own work the best.

Michelle-021 MediumFind out more about M. B. Weston at these sites:

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Enjoy Halloween With a Dark Oak’s Newest Vampire Series by Trisha Baker!

This Halloween Dark Oak invites you to discover our newest vampire series with by acclaimed author Trisha Baker  and her first two books: Crimson Kiss and Crimson Night

CRIMSON KISS

Crimson Kiss

Meet Meghann O’Neill, a psychologist specializing in the treatment of victims of abusive relationships and a vampire!

Meghann O’Neil is an expert in abusive relationships. She knows exactly how her clients feel. She has also been seduced into a relationship of pleasure and pain, excitement and torture. Unlike her clients, her lover turned her into an immortal creature of the night, a vampire.

Handsome, dashing, and sophisticated Simon Baldevar claimed to love her body and soul. He enslaved her in an endless cycle of passion and punishment, caresses and cruelty. A dark soul of shifting moods, he seduced her, dominated her, and damned her with nocturnal immortality. Over thirty years ago, Meghann finally freed herself by staking him out on a roof for the dawn to finish off.

Not only did he survive, Simon is back and murdering the people Meghann has sworn to help. This time, Meghann has no intention of bending to his sadistic will. This time, Simon will find that his former servant is now a master in her own right!

For Adult readers. Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Click here to read a sample chapter: Prologue.

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CRIMSON NIGHT

Crimson NightMeghann O’Neill – A psychologist, vampire, and mother of the legendary living Philosopher’s Stone!

Meghann O’Neill once dreamed of having a child, but that was a long time ago. It was before she had been seduced into a relationship of pleasure and pain, excitement and torture. It was before she had been transformed into a vampire by Lord Simon Baldevar, the cruel sadistic creature that made her cater to his every dark whim and desire. It was before she managed to escape Simon’s clutches leaving him staked out for dead. It was before he returned forty years later to exact his revenge by killing Meghann’s mentor and kidnapping her human lover. It was before Simon held Meghann captive for one fateful night and forced her to conceive his child.

Now, Meghann is on the run not only from Simon, but any vampire that finds out she’s conceived the living Philosopher’s Stone. For centuries, vampires have believed the bred offspring of two vampires will not only enjoy eternal life, but have the ability to walk in daylight.

Meghann, determined to fight to the death, will let no one take her baby from her-especially its treacherous, dangerous father.

For Adult readers. Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

Click here for a sample chapter: Prologue.

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Enjoy Halloween With a Dark Oak’s Award-Winning Paul Isaac Vampire Series by James C. Gillen

With Halloween approaching, get into the holiday spirit by slipping into the Dark Oak Paul Isaac vampire series by James C. Gillen with its first two books: Tortured Skin and Crimson Madness! Be sure to keep the wooden stakes handy.

TORTURED SKIN

Tortured SkinBuckle up for a white knuckle ride in a world where vampires not only exist, but are protected as historical artifacts, own businesses, and can be your next door neighbor. But be careful not to be out too late at night. They still need to feed just like the ones you’ve always been warned about.

Set in Orlando, Florida, Tortured Skin features vampire executioner Paul Isaac, who finds his way of making a living outdated now that the laws protect the vampires from being hunted and killed. After finding a third prostitute victim with a common theme of bites, amputated limbs and a similar tattoo, Paul must help detectives Ezekial Kansas and Frank Price hunt down the monster responsible.

When Paul Isaac is confronted by the master vampire of the city and poisoned with a virus that will not only kill him, but cause him to rise as one of the undead, he must decide whether to do the bidding of the powerful vampire to save his own life, or stop the sadistic killer that threatens to leave the city with more unfortunate victims. Packed with crucifixes, stakes, and a Magnum filled with ultra-violet bullets, Paul uncovers a sinister club that caters to the dark side of pleasure and pain that might not only be the key to his survival, but also push him closer to the killer’s identity. In order to stay alive, he must learn to face his inner darkness and trust in things that just might be less monstrous than himself.

AWARDS:

  • Finalist in the Fiction: Horror category of the 2010 International Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
  • Finalist in the Fiction & Literature: Horror category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
  • Winner of the 2007 Florida Writer’s Conference Award

For Mature readers. Genre: Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

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CRIMSON MADNESS

Crimson MadnessPaul Isaac is back and has found himself between a rock and a hard place. Someone or something is killing the human supporters of vampire rights, known as the Knights of the Night. An ancient master vampire has been targeted as the killer. But when Paul discovers the vampire may be innocent, he is forced to confront the police and their possible cover up or turn his back on the monster that may hold the only clues to the deaths.

In order to protect the humans being targeted, Paul must set aside his fears and prejudices and walk through the doors of a new vogue vampire art gallery known as Crimson Madness. What he finds there might just be more frightening than anything with fangs.

Click here to read a sample chapter: Chapter One.

For Mature readers. Genre: Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

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Enjoy Halloween With a Dark Oak’s Award-Winning Galen Vampire Series by Allan Gilbreath!

This Halloween Dark Oak invites you to a delightful dinner with Galen. Warning: You just might be the meal. Take a bite into Allan Gilbreath’s  award-winning vampire series and its first two books: Galen and Dark Chances! No sunglasses needed, folks, because we guarantee that Mr. Gilbreath’s vampires don’t sparkle.

GALEN 

GalenGalen is the story of an ancient vampire and the two women who enter his life. The first, Maggie, is determined to destroy him in the name of revenge. The second, Brenda, is seduced into the life of the living vampire. Their interactions make for a suspenseful and erotic ride through Galen’s dark world.

Allan Gilbreath takes the classic vampire motif to a whole new level. He spins the familiar legends into a distinctive shape. What really makes this novel work is Gilbreath’s astounding attention to detail. Even the most mundane scenes shimmer with a luxurious light, and the entire story overflows with sensual imagery.

Allan Gilbreath links fantasy with danger and satisfaction with death to excellent effect, and the plot tension between the various characters sets a wonderful stage for the little details that bring it all to life. Galen holds great interest for fans of horror and romance, especially with the kinky edge that characterizes the best vampire erotica.

Click here for a sample chapter: Chapter One.

For Mature readers. Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

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DARK CHANCES

Dark ChancesBrenda never meant to become a living vampire. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even know that they existed. Her only mistake had been to cross paths with an ancient vampire named Galen. He was charming, educated, and irresistible. In the end, she has been seduced, fed on, transformed, and deceived.

Left for dead, Brenda has to learn to survive in the modern world by herself. At war with her new murderous instincts, she has to earn a living, feed, and not wind up in jail or worse. As she navigates through the strip clubs, muggers, and other dark aspects of her new life, Brenda accidently finds herself pursued by bounty hunters that specialize in hunting down her kind.

As she struggles to remain free, Brenda winds up entangled in a growing conflict between other vampires. Now that she has discovered that she is not alone, is she the predator or the prey?

Dark Chances is the second book in Galen Vampire series. Allan Gilbreath continues to drive the classic vampire motif to a whole new level. New characters and situations set a fast pace in this novel without the familiar legends losing the distinctive shape that they took in Galen. Gilbreath’s astounding attention to detail adds an air of intensity and mystery while keeping the sensual imagery his works are famous for providing to the reader.

Allan Gilbreath is known for his ability to link fantasy with danger. He takes the reader into Brenda’s struggle to survive and overcome the tremendous obstacles of just living day-to-day. Gaining control of her murderous blood lust is just the first step in her attempts to adjust to the deadly lifestyle forced upon her. Dark Chances holds great interest for fans of dark fantasy, horror, and paranormal romance.

Click here to read a sample chapter: Preface – Dark Chances.

For Mature readers. Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

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