Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Author Interview: Darby Karchut

 Another Author Interview this time with Griffin Rising's Author Darby Karchut!

A little blurb about Darby Karchut:
Darby Karchut is a writer, a teacher, and a compulsive dawn greeter. She lives in Colorado with her husband and owns more running shoes than high heels. Griffin Rising is her first novel. She is currently working on the next book in the series: Griffin’s Fire.

1. What inspired you to write?  

I actually never wanted to be a writer. I have never written a thing until I wrote Griffin Rising. But one day, I came across a legend from the Middle Ages about a lowly caste of angels who were said to control the elements of Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water. The idea of a story about a warrior angel and his apprentice was born a few days later. Griffin entered my life and changed it forever.

2. How long did it take you to write Griffin Rising?  

About four months. (Naj's Note: Woah)

3. What particular place do you write in? Coffee Shop? Home?   

Wherever and whenever I have a fifteen minute block of time or more. My laptop is permanently glued to my hip.

3. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first? 

The YA section. Then the coffee shop, if they have one. Personally, I think the YA section should be in the coffee shop. I’m just saying.

4. What are you currently reading?  

An ARC of The Power of Six. (Naj's Note: Oh Oh! I can't wait to start this series)

5. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why? 

I have to say it’s a toss-up between Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings and Halt from the Ranger’s Apprentice. They are both sterling examples of the stoic warrior. Although I do love Mangus Bane from the Mortal Instruments – the guy cracks me up!  (Naj's Note: I love Aragorn. He's too awesome for his own good!)
6. What is your weakness? Books, Food, etc.  

Books, then coffee, followed by bookstores with coffee shops. Do we see a pattern here?

7. State 5 random facts about yourself. 

I can read classical Latin fluently, I am an accomplished equestrian (English and Western), I have memorized all the poems in the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, I teach junior high social studies (and love that age group!), and I would rather run uphill than downhill. (Naj's Note: Okay, the Latin thing is super cool)
8. Paperback or Hardback? Why?  

Both/either. I’m an equal opportunity book lover.

9. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?  

Dozens and dozens of times. I love editing. I really do. My best work will always be with the next edit.

10. Your favorite Genre?  

YA and Middle Grade fantasy

11. How many books in a month do you tend to read?  

Between four to five. Although my reading has slowed a bit the closer I get to launch date.

12. Do you prefer reading Adult or Young Adult paranormal books?  

YA, to be sure!

13. Have you read something completely out of your comfort zone? For Example, You only read cute romance novels then you decide to read a horror book.  

No, not really. I tend to read a wide variety of books, although my focus is on YA.

14. Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe your book(s) and why readers should pick them/it up?

For centuries, rumors have abounded of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors secretly serve as guardians for mortals in danger.
But for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever.
Taking on the identity of father and son, Griffin and Basil forge a special bond where honesty and trust go hand in hand to secure Griffin’s destiny as a Terrae Angeli. Griffin’s belief in himself and the love of a mortal girl are the perfect combination in overcoming the darkest days of his life. But will it be enough for him to succeed?
For Griffin, it’s time to angel up.
Readers should pick up my book because it explores the rarely celebrated bond between father/son or master/apprentice while chronicling the trials and tribulations of a boy on his journey to manhood.
Thank you, Naj, for letting me visit with you today. I had a terrific time!

No, Thank YOU Darby! :D 
Hope to have you again! 

Hope everyone enjoyed our litter interview! Do check out her blog and website!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick Review: Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Title: Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5)
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Started: 21/6/2011
Finished: 27/6/2011
Goodreads | Review List


After 5 books Laurell K. Hamilton manages to wow me with her consistent chain of events in each Anita Blake book. It wowed me but for some odd reason my fav book of the series is still Circus of the Damned. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books to check if any one of them would change my mind.

Hamilton manages to write so beautifully and realistically that I immediately get drawn into the scene. Though some parts had too much gore or in other words ewe scenes. I still enjoyed the stuff around that. I loved how the story is mixed with detective moments where Anita has to solve some murders and identify COD (Cause of Death) 's. AND still Anita is a character I always manage to connect with continuously from the 1st book till now.

Overall, a literal mind blowing book. Only recommended to audiences 18+. 5/5 stars.
5 books down 15 more to go. :D


Its Monday! What are you reading? #23

This is a weekly meme hosted by One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

What I'm reading:

What I've read:
What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comment section below! :D


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me! :D + IMM #17 (Birthday Edition)

For most of my teenage years I spent my life trying to achieve something big and awesome. Now, at 19, I've gone through amazing career opportunities, running for Summa Cumm Laude and made this wonderful blog and met so many great bloggers and authors! Though my early lunch and dinner did not contain all the people I wanted to see and enjoy my birthday with. I'm still grateful for the people who were there and the people who greeted me with smiles and waves! You guys rock!

 Which ones me? I'm in black. :D My younger sister is on the left and our lovely friend in between. 

A weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we post all books we have received where in the mail, bought or got from the library.

Books - Love you to Death and High Stakes by Meg Cabot (from :heart:)
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (from :heart:)
Passion by Lauren Kate (from lovely cousins)
Why Pandas do Handstands by Augustus Brown (from awesome journalist friend)

Extras - Chick Lubie (from lovely cousins)
H&M bag (from younger sister)
Minnie Hair tie, Shoes, Nailpolish and earrings (from older sister)
Cards from all of the above. :D 
Thanks guys for the gifts! I'll have to add in one more once the "delivery" man comes and gives me that one present yet to be given by a certain F to the L. :D

Whats in your mailbox this week? Leave me a link! :D


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Re-Cover Me Friday #5

Re-Cover Me Friday, is a new feature only featured on my blog. It is a feature where I basically take a book cover and redesign it completely in my own way. This is something I can do that incorporates both my hobby and my job (I'm a designer :D if you don't know already). I'm very excited about this! I hope everyone will find this enjoyable.

I skipped another week I know. -.- I've been so busy.
Hopefully, I'll keep on going with this one. Haha. Here's Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton redesigned.

I'm thinking of making matching illustrations for the next books as well. O.O But dunno how I'll do that.

Stock Used: 
Moon: Dimitri-c
Textures: Laflaneuse
Background: dlockeretz, ayla87
Graves: Redster, raflowers

What do you guys think? :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J. K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Started: 13/6/2011
Finished: 21/6/2011
Goodreads | Review List


I never thought I would be reading this series. I disliked the movies a lot because they were over-rated and I was the type who doesn't like to follow trends. But then I grew up and everything changed for me. I didn't mind the movies much anymore nor did the books.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is written in a way to make it easy for younger readers to read but it still had me engaged with the story even when I knew what would happen next. Reading the book was enjoyable enough for 4 stars! I enjoyed reading about Harry's friendship with Ron and Hermione in more detail. I was always amazed at how strong their friendship was. But then again its a book. :D Haha.

I liked this book and will continue to read the rest of the series. Hopefully, before the last movie comes out.

4/5 stars!


I've finally started reading this series. :D


Monday, June 20, 2011

Author Interview: L. David Hesler

Time for another Author Interview! This time its with Sci Fi/Horror author L. David Hesler!

1. What inspired you to write?

When I was a kid, I never went anywhere without a book and a sketchpad. My dream was to be a comic book artist. At some point, my imagination outgrew my ability to draw, so I found myself desperately trying to record these stories in writing. I originally imitated what I had always been fond of; mainly, this included some flavors of Stephen King, a dash of Marvel Comics (circa 1992) and reruns of Tales from the Crypt. I was also blessed with two supportive parents, a handful of creative friends, and a few influential English teachers who encouraged me to explore fiction throughout high school. I won a writing contest my senior year and was fortunate enough to have a short story featured in a literary magazine. And I was hooked. 

2. Have you ever had writers block while writing? If so how'd you get over it?

I think I may be suffering from it right now. But I don’t like to think of it as writer’s block. Instead, when I start to feel that numbness take hold of my mind, I try something else. I might write some poetry or maybe I’ll do some character sketches or draw a comic strip. My best method for dealing with writer’s block is to pick up the guitar; I’ve been a guitarist for nearly fifteen years and I compose original music all the time. When I get stuck with writing, I go to the guitar and normally compose a full song before I’m ready to jump back into the fiction. So when one creative outlet gets clogged, I try another. And if they all get clogged? I go for a walk or read a book. (Naj's Note: I might use your ways to get over writers block! Great stuff!)

3. How long does it usually take you to write a book?

One book took me nearly seven years to finish. That’s the longest period of time I’ve spent on a writing project and I hope it never happens again. The others normally take a year to a year and a half. If I could write full time, I think I could produce at least two or three books a year, along with some short stories. Unfortunately, that’s not my world right now. I have work, family, all the stuff that comes with being a grown up (ugh). So I have to steal my writing time. Most often, this means I stay up too late and wake up too early. Time is at once a writer’s closest companion and worst enemy.

4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?


I immediately check the bargain bins. And when I find nothing but cookbooks and historical biographies, I make a mad dash to the speculative fiction aisles. I browse the science fiction and horror sections, then I check out the YA section. This portion of the store was always boring when I was younger; it was all Goosebumps and Babysitter’s Club. Now, I think it’s one of the most vibrant sections of the store. YA readers are living the dream these days.

5. Paperback or Hardback? Why? 

Hardback. It makes a much better weapon if someone tries to mug you while you’re reading on the bus. Also, there’s something sacred about owning a hardback book by an author you love, isn’t there? I found a hardcover edition of Stephen King’s “The Eyes of The Dragon” in a tiny bookstore in Oklahoma. It’s one of my most cherished books! (Naj's Note: HAHAHAHAHA. I love your answer.)

6. Your favorite Genre?

I dwell in the realm of the weird. Mainly, I’m a fan of dark speculative fiction, whether it’s horror, fantasy, or science fiction. You have to understand that I was watching old horror movies and crazy science fiction flicks when I was five years old. I cut my teeth on Flash Gordon, X-Men comics, Dracula, and Star Wars. I love the strange and unexplainable. I enjoy watching paranormal videos on the internet. I get a kick out of being perplexed by the universe and its workings, scientific or metaphysical. Literary books or movies bore me to tears. I want the odd and unusual. I want to be confused.

7. What is your weakness? Books, Food, etc.

I’ll buy any book with a clearance tag on its cover. I’m pretty sure there’s a self-help group for that particular affliction. I go crazy for sliders. Any kind, really. And I love pomegranate juice.

8. State 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I like hard alternative rock music, but I write fiction to cinematic scores.
2. For years, I could never remember the correct spelling of the word “necessary”.
3. I broke both of my femurs in a car accident when I was eleven years old.
4. I am a Cubs fan even though I’m originally from Texas and have only been to Chicago once.
5. I am the guitarist and song composer in an online band called DeepSkyTraveler. (Naj's Note: How cool is that! You can play and sing!)

9. What are you currently reading? 

I read multiple books at once. Right now, I’m working on “Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest, “Under The Dome” by Stephen King, and I’m about to start “Diary” by Chuck Palahniuk. Also, I am slowly reading “Origin” by JA Konrath on my phone.

10. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot? 

I try not to rewrite while I’m working on the first draft; an author can get lost in the story this way, constantly rewriting those first few chapters without ever moving the story forward. The rewrite comes towards the end, if not after the last sentence. I used to fear that part of the process. It felt like I was wasting my time going back and reworking the book. But one day, I realized that the rewrite is really just a writer’s way of finding the true story. It’s like digging for fossils. You can’t stop when you’ve only barely scratched the surface. You have to keep digging until you get the whole thing uncovered and out of the dirt.

11. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?

Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series stands out in my mind. He is at once noble and common, an amalgamation of old standards and post-apocalyptic desperation. If I had to be trapped on an island with any fictional character, it would definitely be the gunslinger himself. And speaking of being trapped on an island, my second favorite character is Simon from Golding’s “The Lord of the Flies”. His fate in that book shook me to my core when I was in high school. And finally, there’s Arthur Dent from Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Through him, I learned the importance of always knowing the location of my towel. And he was such a lovable loser… a cosmic underdog. (Naj's Note: I can't believe I haven't read any of the books mentioned. -.- I'm so disappointed in myself)

12. How many books in a month do you tend to read? 

I used to read about two books a month. Now, I’m lucky if I read an entire book in one month. There’s a fine line writers have to walk when balancing writing and reading time.

13. Heres your chance to market any of your book. Describe the books and why readers should pick it up?

“Prismatica” is a collection of short stories that reads more like a novella. It is one part dark fantasy, one part horror. Read as a whole, the stories detail the life of father and police officer Michael Duncan as he is plucked out of the time stream by forces unknown, only to be returned with amnesia and an important quest to accomplish. This book has action, horror, humor, and sorrow. As one reviewer suggested, it is an example of what might happen if Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino collaborated on a book. If that doesn’t get you excited, you might need to see a doctor.

My other published piece is “Lane 8: A Tale of Death & Bowling”. This is a short story that was originally inspired by the legend of Stull, Kansas and the supposed gateway to hell that can be found there. Urban legends (or rural, in this case) provide wonderful inspiration for writers like myself. Though there is no mention of a gateway to hell in my story, I do explore what an encounter with a demon might be like in my neck of the woods (that is, middle America). As it turns out, demons enjoy bowling.

I’m also working on the final edit of a full length YA fantasy novel that will be available within the next two months. It is the first in a planned series. At the same time, I’m working on a few serialized stories to turn into podcasts through a nifty website called Podiobooks. I’m also doing a serialized piece through the virtual world of Second Life, streaming concerts and readings to my blog. Beyond those projects, I’ve been planning another YA series that draws some heavy influences from the short-lived TV show “Erie, Indiana” and my favorite series of books, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy”.

Thanks David for being part of this feature! I totally loved all your answers some even cracked me up. 

Hope you guys enjoyed reading the interview! I know I did! :D