Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Interviewing Fantasy Author Leona Wisoker


Today I am interviewing fantasy Author Leona Wisoker, whose first book comes out March 30th.
Book Blurb:
Idisio cuts the wrong purse and finds himself bound to serve a desert lord who just gave up his wealth, his lands, and his name to wander. His new master is the lone survivor of a massacred family and might be insane, but serving him is better than life on the streets.

Lady Alyea accepts the king’s mission to assume stewardship of the desert lord’s abandoned fortress. But the southern desert is a harsh world of violence, suspicion, and politically tangled family clans who worship the old gods. All her courtly manners are useless as she struggles to gain status in a deadly race for a prize she doesn’t fully understand.

Out on the sands, the harsh glare of the sun reveals more about the world―and themselves―than they ever wanted to know.
1.) -Please tell us about your latest book.
Secrets of the Sands, my debut novel, is set in a world that has never known King Arthur nor the concepts of Christianity. Throughout the series, the world--and characters--struggle to emerge from their own version of the Dark Ages; although, naturally, that isn’t what the characters have in mind when they start out! The main characters in this novel, Idisio and Alyea, are more concerned about getting what they want, without any thought to the larger consequences involved; it’s quite a shock to them when they realize they’re now part of a much larger game.

2.) -What can we expect from you in the future?
I have multiple other books in this setting already written; the publisher, Mercury Retrograde Press, has offered a contract for books two (already written) and three (just over halfway complete) of this first series (Children of the Desert). I have the first book of the next series already finished, and extensive notes for book two of that series, as well as two books for a prequel series already in finished draft form and resting. All of which is to say: I’ll be playing in this field for a while yet, after which I will probably pick up a couple of my languishing science-fiction novels and see if I can jump-start them again.

3.) -How do we find out about you and your books?
My web site is always a good resource, as I keep it updated with the latest news and events:
http://www.leonawisoker.com. I also have a blog that covers topics such as networking at conventions, my recent research results, and miscellaneous writing and creativity related items. My publisher, Mercury Retrograde Press, is also great about posting regular updates via their blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.

4.) -How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing? Realistic Fantasy, meaning no mages or faeries and a strong emphasis on political intrigue, world-building, and character development.

5.) What motivated you to start writing?
What motivates me to breathe? I have to write. I get moodier than a woman with permanent PMS if I can’t write every day. Just ask my husband – who, by the way, has EARNED a sainthood several times over!

6.) -What kind of research do you do?
I try to find supporting detail for specific questions, such as: when was hard liquor developed, and where, and how? How about corks? It’s no good having an early medieval setting with modern details—unless those items are deliberate and have a reason for existing. I also research the geographical areas I’m using as a guideline; for example, I used Africa as a rough guide for the southlands, Florida for the Bright Bay area, and in later books I used New England and Canada as a baseline for the northland settings. I also read lists that mock fantasy writing cliches to make sure I don’t fall into predictable patterns.
7.) -Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
I try to write every morning, but that’s variable. A lot of times I wind up writing until one in the morning, just because I get an idea before bedtime and don’t want to wait to work it out. As long as I get some form of writing in every day, I’m happy. Even answering interview questions counts, on busy days!

8.) -Where do your ideas come from?
Oh boy, if I knew that well enough to bottle it, I’d be SO rich. . . . A few guesses: dreams. My own life observations. Watching people around me. Weak elements in other people’s work; alternately, reading something really excellent. (The last book to do that to me was Terry Dowling’s Amberjack, a fantastic collection of short horror stories that sent me straight to the keyboard.)

9.) -Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
Silverberg. Mary Gentle. Asimov. Heinlein. Herbert. Cherryh. Huff. I would probably go A to Z and find a dozen authors under each letter. I’m not a bookworm; I’m a book addict. Load me up, boys, there’s a strong vein left around here somewhere. . . .

10.) -Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I wrote two full novels in high school; they were dreadful. A few years back I went through my files and shredded every bit of my early writing that I could find, and felt vastly relieved, as though I’d started over fresh; I certainly reclaimed a lot of file cabinet and floor space!

11.) -What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Being able to get away with weird behavior and uncoordinated clothing styles.

12.) Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
I love two of the books that are written but not yet published: book two of this series and book one of the next. My favorite characters (I won’t say heroes) are Deiq, who is introduced in Secrets but comes into his own in later books, and Tanavin, who isn’t directly mentioned in Secrets but figures heavily in the rest of the series. They’re both men with strong internal conflicts and a sense of right vs. wrong that may not always line up with mine, but they fight passionately for what they believe in, and I always respect that.

13.) -Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I have a husband, two stepdaughters, and three grandchildren; my two dogs are an Irish Wolfhound mix and a lab-beagle mix. Most of my family lives in Florida, but I ran away from the cockroaches a few years ago and landed in Virginia, where I am very happy with the aid of a regular pest control program. I have two Associates Degrees from Indian River State College in Florida, one a general Arts and the other in Drafting and Design Technology. In spite of that, I quickly became a certified massage therapist and reiki master. The whole time, of course, I was writing, and when the writing finally began to take off, I dropped all the other stuff I was juggling and devoted myself to the keyboard. For a while. Then I started juggling multiple commitments again, but writing is primary for me at the moment, and I think that from now on, it always will be.

14.) -Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Two thoughts come to mind: First, be willing to admit you suck at writing. Go cry about it, then get over it, get up off your ass and get writing again. Everyone’s writing stinks at first. Keep writing anyway. You’ll only get better if you don’t give up. And second: For heaven’s sake, learn the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling! These are not optional items for someone else to fix later; this is your work, your baby, your responsibility. Yeah, it’s boring. Learn it anyway (refer back to point one).

15.) Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.
My web site is
http://www.leonawisoker.com – updated once a week or so. I also have my longer articles and ebooks available on my web site, and try to keep the posts on my blog a lot shorter: http://leonawisoker.wordpress.com ... I’m on Facebook more than anything else (I have a personal page for friends and an author page for fans); I pop in to make sure the world hasn’t ended lately and then go back to work. For information on my awesome publisher (and the sample first chapter of my debut novel) please visit: http://www.mercuryretrogradepress.com

16.) Now for something fun:

Chocolate or vanilla?
Twist

Erotic or inspirational?
Isn’t good erotica always inspirational?

Favorite color?
Purple

Favorite paranormal being?
Vampires, but only if they don’t glitter

Favorite mythological being?
It’s a tie between dragons and centaurs.

Do you like science fiction, fantasy or horror?
Yes.

All time favorite actor?
Robin Williams

Actress?
Julia Roberts

All time favorite book?
Oh, come on . . . ONE? you’re kidding, right? OK, OK . . . I’ll admit it: Jonathan Sebastian Seagull.

Favorite TV show?
Saving Grace, and I’m TICKED that it was canned.

Favorite Movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean; Jack Sparrow is AWESOME.

What makes you laugh out loud?
The world is full of absurdities, silliness, and wonders. There’s something to laugh about in almost every moment of life, if you know how to see it.

If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be?
In the real universe? Probably a newly discovered inhabitable planet, so I can explore and see all sorts of new things. Failing that, any country I’ve never visited (there are quite a few of those), so I can explore and see all sorts of new things.

A secret fetish?
I’ll go with the definition of fetish as “an object of ... obsessive devotion” (Merriam-Webster.com). I actually change fetishes with every book. The second book in this series led me through several tubs of Ukrops buttercream frosting. (I’m still working that one off!) Then it was binder clips – I have dozens, all colors and sizes. And post-its, of course. I bought stacks of index cards at one point. Right now I seem to be between fetishes, but I’m sure something else will show up soon....
Author Bio:
Leona Wisoker got her start as a writer when she was eight, with a story about all the vacuum cleaners in the world breaking down at the same time. Ever since then she has successfully used the excuse of writing to avoid housework, even going so far as writing poetry (which is then safely locked away in a lead-lined box) when nothing else will save her from chores.

Leona’s work is fueled equally by coffee and conviction; she has been known to take over the entire dining room to deconstruct a difficult novel-in-progress. Addicted to eclectic research and reading since childhood, she often chooses reading material alphabetically rather than by subject or author. This has led her to read about aardvarks, birds, child-warriors, dragons, eggs, faeries, ghosts, horses, and many other random subjects.

Leona's short stories have appeared in Futures: Fire to Fly, Alienskin, and Anotherealm; she is a regular reviewer for Green Man Review. She has lived in Florida, Connecticut, Oregon, New Hampshire, Nevada, Alaska, California, and Virginia; has experienced the alternate realities of Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Long Island, and Italy; and believes that "home is wherever my coffee cup is filled."

She currently lives in Virginia with an extraordinarily patient husband and two large dogs, and she almost never vacuums.

BUY LINK

Friday, March 26, 2010

FOUR QUESTIONS FRIDAY

It's Four Questions Friday, and I like to ask questions about spring and writing. Leave your answers in the comments.

1. Spring brings to mind flowers, so if you could write a book or do write, what kind of genre book would you write concerning spring?

2. Would spring do you think make writing even flow more better for a writer than winter, summer or fall?

3. Spring makes you think of what?

4. Pollen reminds you of writing as what?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WEIRD WEDNESDAY



Easter is coming in couple of weeks. Check out this ghost bunny thing. Very strange.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Join Me at Galacticon 2010 this Saturday in Virginia Beach























I'll be at Galacticon 2010 this Saturday, March 27th at the Virginia Beach Central Library Virginian Beach Blvd. in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I think the one-day mini science fiction/fantasy/horror convention will be held 9:00am to 4:30pm. There'll be panels, lightsaber duels, and tables manned by other authors, artitsts and fan groups, besides me. The website for the con is http://www.thetidewateralliance.net/galacticon

The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guest on Inside Paranormal Colorado Springs Radio Show Tonight

I am doing another paranormal radio show tonight, 9pm Mountain time/11pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/colospgsparanorm . Come listen. Call in phone number for them is 347-857-4054.

Message to Those Who Keep Sending Ads to My Blog

My blog gets hits and you want to advertise stuff I can tell you I doubt my readers or even I want to see. I have this blog on comment moderation for people like you, so please stop it. I have getting a big rush lately of these kind of comments and they will keep being rejected. Thank you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

FOUR QUESTIONS FRIDAY

I plan to be at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, helping out at the Virginia Romance Writers table (besides selling and signing some of my books) and checking out couple panels. I decided to ask questions today about book festivals. Leave your answers in the comments.


1. Have you ever been to a book festival?

2. If have, what did you do there?

3. What was one author you met there that you were excited to meet?

4. What is the next book festival you plan to attend?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weird Wednesday


The wierdest leprechaun photo I could find that was G-rated. Is this the Leprechaunator? Happy St. Paddy's to all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Very Paranormal Weekend at EPIC at the Cavalier on the Hill





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Finally able to post about my four days at EPICcon at the Cavalier on the Hill (the haunted hotel). First, please know that any pictures uploaded here are mine and may be later on used in a book I like to write. That means copyrighted, so do enjoy them but don't copy and paste elsewhere. Thanks.
















































I checked in Thursday the 11th at the Cavalier on the Oceanfront as they hadn't got enough people to do Thursday night to open up the Cavalier on the Hill. Of course, I stopped at the Boxwood Inn Bed and Breakfast on the way down, since this will be in the ghost book I am currently working on. Since what happened there and the interview will be in the book, I won't go into what happened. No spoilers please! LOL




























I got to the hotel around 3pm, checked in, and got some of my stuff up to my room on the second floor. Not long after, I decided to walk down the beach to find some place that was open to grab dinner. I ended up getting a gyro and cheese garlic bread at North Bend Pizza. Someone who worked there mentioned he had been a plumber at one time and had been in the Cavalier on the Hill to work on the pipes during off season. He had an experience, as it was empty at the time, and he heard children running through the halls and knocking on the doors. No children in the hotel as rooms are not rented until summer.
















































I ambled back to the hotel and my room. Ate my dinner and uploaded the pictures I took at Boxwood. Watched some TV. After a while, bored silly, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. My destination was the Cavalier on the Hill across the street. I figured I would get some outdoor pictures of the place and the grounds before everyone arrived tomorrow. Besides the fact, the threat of rain for the weekend might make outdoor photos hard to get.





























I did run into a paranormal investigator from Maryland taking photographs too. He and his wife had arrived a day early and were staying in the Oceanfront hotel, same as me. We parted, and I climbed up the hill to take photos. I walked around the whole hotel, snapping here and there. Lights were on, showing workers were inside the place. But most of the place was dark. I sense other eyes watching me from windows and on the grounds. And I am not talking about the human kind. But I trudged on, refusing to let fear in. After all, there'd not been any instances of anyone being hurt by the spirits that make the Cavalier home.
















































Done, I headed back to my room and uploaded the pictures. Studied them. Found a lot of blurring that shouldn't happen, but I suspected it was the supernatural that affected my camera (which did in many ways all weekend when I stayed there). Found an orb outside the front entrance in one. A weird white mass rising from a garden in another. Kind of an outline of what might be a person inside the pool room area that I noticed when I zoomed in close enough to the door that had the plaque, Fallout Shelter on the wall next to it. By the way, the fallout shelter is the room with the pool, one of the most haunted places in the hotel.
















































After watching Supernatural, I crawled into bed and went to sleep. Now you would think I had a good night's sleep, wouldn't you? The bed was comfortable and I woke without bed pains. But I kept waking up all night. Toward morning, I had what I thought was a dream at first. I was lying in the hotel bed and this African-American man appeared, standing over me. He sat down on the bed beside me. I woke up, sitting up with a gasp. it was five o'clock. I didn't go back to bed. Told myself it was a dream. Except I admited to myself later that I never dreamed myself lying in a bed, especially that of a hotel I stayed at--it would have been the bed at home. A ghost? I learned later that this hotel was part of the land to the beach that was all part of the Cavalier on the Hill's grounds. That they even had someone have a heart attack and die there the first year it was open. Reasons for even the Oceanfront one to be haunted.
















































After breakfast, I found that the staff could get into the Cavalier on the Hill at 9am and I rushed to get my stuff back in the car and checked out. They said that the bill would be sent over there. I drove up to the driveway that led to the front of the hotel (where I got the orb) and parked in a space near by. Then I strolled inside and gasped in amazement at the beautiful place. Stairs led up to the lobby. Statues and paintings decorated the area. I found Registration and learned that the Pocohontas Room was where the guests' tables would be. A bit later they let me take the first table by the doorway. When people entered, I would be the first table they would see. I set up what books I wanted on the table, the ceremic skull full of candy, plus flyers and business cards.
















































At noon we were able to check into the hotel. I was first in line and got my key cards for Room 466. I took my luggage and other stuff up to the room by elevator. The fourth floor was quiet. I had two beds, but since no roommate, put most of the stuff on the bed by the door. I stuck my cokes and coffee creamer in the refrigerator and went back downstairs. Now the public were allowed in free from 1pm to 10pm on Friday. Some people didn't let the rain deterr them from attending.
















































At 6pm they closed the room and I ran upstairs to grave a friend's book that just came out to be signed, but when I got back downstairs, the room was locked. The guests were to be taken out for dinner (which was the Jewish Mother), so I went back upstairs to my room to drop off the book and grab my jacket. Upon opening the door, I got a face full of fresh flowers odors. Like my room had bouquets of flowers everywhere.
















































Okay. I thanked whoever it was for the nice smell and left. When we got back from the restaurant, the fragrance was gone. I dressed in my pirate costume and went the ballroom where the party was to be held. Many people dressed in different costumes. I took pictures. Ten o'clock came way too soon and I tramped upstairs to undress and put back on street clothes to do some paranormal investigating with some others. Had a blast. But it drew close to 1pm and I felt it was time for bed. After all, Saturday would be a long day. I just slipped on my pajama top and turned around to my bed when I saw something red appeared and move on top of the covers by the foot of it. All right, I wasn't wearing contacts or my glasses, but dang it, I could see the movement. I picked it up and saw it was a red petal of a artifical rose. I remembered that the girls in room 366 had found a petal just like it in their room on the floor, even though all day they hadn't. I bolted out of the place and found them still downstairs. Now, theirs could have come from under one fo the beds (which they did find some beneath it the next day) as on Valentine's Day the staff admitted these petals were strewn all over the lobby asnd maybe some rooms due to some function they had. But when yours appears on top of the bed and is moving, well, I figured the ghost wanted to leave me one, same as the flower smell earlier.
















































I had a ghostly stalker. Later, I learned other women found other petals like this. No doubt one of the spirtis had been a lady killer in life. But when you're sleeping alone in a room, you don't want to wake up to someone staring at you while sleeping or watching you in the shower. I felt someone touching my hair while I lay in bed until I said a prayer and asked it to go away for the night. I fell asleep finally but woke up a lot during the night.
















































At 6am the next morning, I woke up tired, took a quick shower, and got dressed. I went to my bookbag where I stored the rose petal, but couldn't find it. It was no where in the room! The ghost had taken it back. . Got breakfast at the restaurant in the Cavalier Oceanfront across the street. Spent the day when the conferenc opened, selling and signing books and talking to the other guests. That night was the awards dinner. Afterwards, I trudged back to my room and got out my camcorder to do some filming. Then used my camera for a few shots. Knowing I needed to get more sleep as was driving home the next day and this was daylight time change, I went to bed at midnight. This time, I said my Iprayer and asked to be left alone. I slept through the night and woke up at 7am. Got all of my stuff out to the car and checked out. Sold more books and gave my talk at 2:30-3:30pm, leaving not long afterwards. I got home by 5:45pm.
















































I like to say, I did enjoy my paranormal experiences for the most part and enjoyed meeting and making friends with Steven LaChance and his charming son (who inspired Sixth Sense), Al Chewning and Mark Nesbitt. Talking to L. B. Taylor again. Seeing Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Listening to Belinda talk about Ferry Plantation. Meeting Lisa Foster Moss for the first time and knowing how sweet she was. How both she and Teddy Skyler had put on a great conference. They're planning 2011, so I heartily enorsed doing it. I also want to appologized. If the paragraphs are spread out, it's blogspot. *sigh*
















































































































































Thursday, March 11, 2010

FOUR QUESTIONS FRIDAY Early

Four Questions Friday is early as I am leaving for a paranormal conference and will not have Internet connection.Do leave your answers in the comments and I will approve Monday. :)

1. If you were to be locked all night in a haunted hotel or house alone, what three three would you want with you?

2. If you were to go where there were reputed sightings of UFOs, what three things would you take?

3. Have you ever wanted one piece of equipment for paranormal investigating? What is it?

4. What place would you love to investigate (can be anywhere in the world)?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Catch Me at EPICCon-Paranormal Conference in Virginia Beach March 12-14th


I'll be one of the speakers, plus selling and signing my books at my table, this upcoming weekend at Eastern Paranormal Investigators Co-Op paranormal conference at the Cavalier Hotel 4201 Atlantic Ave. Virginia Beach, Virginia. The event starts 1:00pm on Friday the 12th. It goes onto 10PM that night and
If you can't afford the conference fee at the door, I heard that Friday will be open to the public and free. This includes that costume party that night. For more infomation and the schedule, check out their website:
Do you dare?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Interesting Paranormal Saturday at Richmond Pump House


















































































































































































































































































Saturday, March 6, 2010, I drove to the Richmond Pump House to watch Robert Bess, an paranormal investigator from Richmond use his machine to see if he could capture a spirit. He was the one on Ghost Adventures show on Halloween night.
First, I will say I do not believe anyone can "capture" a ghost-anything that is incorpeal and able to walk through walls and locked doors is something I have doubts of this ever happening. But this was an experience I couldn't pass up and I had a free Saturday morning. It was also a nice day--no snow or rain and nothing else going on for me. I parked my car on the street at about 9:45 am. I walked down to the place down some steps, and entered, my trusty camera, digital recorder and KII meter in a book bag hanging off my shoulder. I managed to get close enough to where the action would happen. I even ran into a paranormal investigator, Laura, who I knew, and someone who is a MySpace friend. I was excited as I got to view the inside of the Pump House, something many people haven't. It was hard to imagine that bakc when it was first built, just above where we were, the rich of Richmond danced away. So not only was it a place to pump water and make electricity, but people had used it for social functions.
By the time 10:30 rolled around, when things were to begin, the place was jammed packed and up on the balcony above us. Robert Bess stood next to his machine and told us about it, that it was something he replicated from what had been used in the late 1800s. Then it was turned on. We all kept taking pictures with our camera and others recorded the hour and half event by camcorders. I also turned on my recorder several times to see if I could catch anything else other than the sounds from the machines or anyone talking. It will be uploaded tonight and I will listen to it. One odd thing happened to the machine--the clock on top had 10:30 and switched to 3:00.
I used my KII and at first two lights joined the first one, with off and on of the fourth, all due to the machine's noise. But later, I used it again and got odd results. The fourth light came on strong and when I turn my KII toward the machine, it went off though the first three remained on. But when I pointed it toward the water, the fourth came back on. Then I walked to the water and the third and fourth lights disappeared. Stepping back to where I had been standing, the third light came back on, but not the fourth. What that means, I am not sure?

I did captured orbs on my photos, and some are in the ones posted here on the blog. But not at anytime did I capture any inside the machine. Around it and all, but not inside. Bess admitted, that he never did captured any. Said was because of too many.
Anyway, enjoy the photos, and if you live in the area, do check out the Pump House, even if out from the outside as on a nice day, on one of the wooden seats by the water, it is worth just for that.