Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Author Melanie Kerr

Follies PAst

Stephanie: Hello, Melanie! I am so delighted to chat today with you about your book, Follies Past, which has been awarded the prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion. First, I would like to ask you how you discovered indieBRAG and what would you like to say about this company?

Melanie: I have so much to say about this subject that I am sure would test the bounds of this interview. Quality control is the missing link in the self-publishing world, and IndieBRAG is really stepping up to fill that void. They are providing precisely the service that I, as an independent author, need in order to get the attention of readers, booksellers, media, even agents and potential publishers. I can only imagine that they will grow in notoriety and importance in the publishing world as self-publishing becomes larger and it becomes even more important for readers to be able to identify the really good books from among the myriads.

Stephanie: I am completely thrilled about your book. I love anything Jane Austen and when I read your book description, I knew that I need to read this story as soon as I can. Please tell your audience a little about this book and what sets it apart from the other.

Melanie: Follies Past is a book I wanted to read, but hadn’t been written, so I wrote it. It is a story entirely grounded in Pride and Prejudice, and designed after the style of Jane Austen’s novels in general. The essentials of the story are taken from the letter that Darcy gives to Lizzy, setting out his history with Mr. Wickham. I used every bit of information that Austen gave us, about the characters, the facts, the circumstances, etc. and I applied my linguistics training to imitate the language that she wrote in, which is quite different from our own in terms of vocabulary, structure and style. My intention was just to give Austen fans more of what they love, to allow them to linger a bit longer with her characters, her world, as she wrote it. I have also fleshed out the story with characters of my own invention, so that the plot would hang on something that resembled a Jane Austen style love story. And there are a few surprises with respect to some minor P&P characters, which I hope readers will enjoy.

Stephanie: I am so delighted you decided to write a story of Georgiana and Wickham. I have to admit Georgiana is one of my favorite Austen characters and I’ve always wanted to read more about her. Please tell me a little about what her relationship with her best friend Clare is like. How do they complement each other and what is their favorite past times together?

Melanie: The story is about Georgiana, but it is Clare who is the heroine. Georgiana is very shy, very unsure of herself though she has a very tender heart. It is suggested in P&P that she comes off as a snob, but in fact is just reserved. This makes it difficult for her at school. She is rich, to be sure, but she doesn’t make friends easily. Clare is not rich. She is an admiral’s daughter and has no dowry. She has a high moral character and is very caring. She and Georgiana are drawn to each other because they both feel they don’t fit in. Clare takes care of Georgiana in a way, and Georgiana, with her sweet sincerity, gives Clare permission to go easy on herself. I imagine Georgiana showing Clare how pretty she is by doing her hair for her and lending her jewels, and Clare making Georgiana sing in public, and not taking ‘no’ for an answer. They encourage each other, and they really do admire each other and think that the other is everything they wish they could be.

Stephanie: Please tell me about Lord Ashwell. His weaknesses and strengths and what is an example of his part in the story?

Melanie: Lord Ashwell is Georgiana’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s elder brother and heir to an Earldom. He is refined and charming and sickly and he may or may not be a rogue of the worst kind. It is very easy to fall in love with him, but the reader does not know whether to heed the scandalous stories about his past. He lives very near to where Georgiana lives in London, and they meet quite often. He is instrumental to several points in the plot, but it would be giving away too much to tell you what they are!

Stephanie: I’ve always considered Caroline a bit devious. What is one of the ways she tries to get in Darcy good graces to marry her? Though I must say he probably has never given thought to marry her. Or am I wrong? And in what you have told me about her in the questionnaire I sent you-without giving the main conflict away, do we see her in a false light? Is she really different then she comes across? I think many people will be surprised about her in your book and that is one of the things I look forward to reading about in your story.

Melanie: Caroline is quite awful. Let us make no mistake. I do not pretend otherwise in my book. The first part of the book does really focus on her story though, and for reasons I cannot explain, that propels the rest of the story in a way. I will say that she experiences real love for the first time in my book, and that this softens her a little, as it does with so many people. Her ambition makes her detestable, and when she is distracted and buoyed by her mutual affection for another, she becomes much more likeable. I noticed when I was studying P&P for character descriptions, that Caroline and Lizzy are often described in the same terms. Both are witty, light in their form, confident and playful. When you take away Caroline’s mean-spiritedness, she is surprisingly like our favourite Miss Bennett. Of course, this is only fleeting, and all the more tragic for being so. We see the possibility of her character, which is lost forever by the time P&P opens.

Stephanie: I see that Mrs. Young is in Follies Past. Does she have the same characteristic traits in this story as we all know her to have?

Melanie: She is in cahoots with Mr. Wickham, and in fact is the one behind the scheme to marry him off to Georgiana. She is perhaps the most evil character in the story, but she is also a victim of her circumstances. She reminds me a bit of Becky Sharp, from Vanity Fair. She is intelligent and driven, but as a woman, she is limited in her means of advancement and she does what she must to reach her own aims.

Stephanie: Will you write other stories like this?

Melanie: I hope to. I plan to write a prequel to Sense and Sensibility next. It is all planned in my head. I just have to find the time to sit down and type it out, which is no small task in my life. I work full time and have 2 small boys, so my time with my word processor is limited.

Stephanie: How long did it take to write, Follies Past and what was your process?

Melanie: I worked the whole thing out in my head before I started. I travel a lot for work, so driving is my thinking time, and I figure out how the plot is all going to fit together. It took me just under 2 years to get a final draft.

Stephanie: Who designed your book cover?

Melanie: Alberta artist Angela Rout did the art work. We discussed the design together, and came up with the concept. It is a paper cutting, which is an old art form. I liked that it was both graphic and traditional. I didn’t want something that looked like a romance novel, or the usual floral imagery. I wanted it to stand out from other Fan Fiction.

Stephanie: What advice would you give to a beginner writer?

Melanie: Listen to criticism. It is hard to take, but you have to swallow it. You have to assess objectively whether there is anything you really should change. Sometimes people are wrong, but often they have identified something that could improve your writing, and you should genuinely try and figure out what it is, even if the way they have articulated it doesn’t resonate with you.

Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?

Melanie: eBooks can be downloaded on Amazon. The Paperback is also available from CreateSpace. I would also love it if people would check out and share my book trailers on YouTube. They were a lot of fun to watch and have some great eye candy in the form of Mr. Wickham. My channel is called Follies Past, and the link is on youtube.

Stephanie: Thank you, Melanie! It was a pleasure chatting with you. Please visit with me again soon!

About Author:

Melanie Kerr

Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English and theatre at the University of British Columbia and law at the University of Alberta. She is a regular attendee at meetings of her local chapter of JASNA, and has numerous times arranged for large groups of Canadians to join her in attending the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her two sons, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world and occasionally practices law. Follies Past is her first novel.

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A message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Melanie Kerr, who is the author of, Follies Past, our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Follies Past, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

 

 

 

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Split at the Root by Cantana Tully

Split at the Root by Cantana Tully

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

In this memoir, the author explores questions of race, adoption, and identity, not as the professor of cultural studies she became, but as the Black child of German settlers in Guatemala. Her journey into the mystery that shrouded her early years begins in the US when she realized it was not just her foreign accent that alienated her from Blacks. Under layers of privilege (private schools, international travel, the life of a fashion model and actress in Europe) she discovered that her most important story is one of disinheritance. The author’s determination to find out who her parents really were and why she was taken from them, tests the love of her White husband and their son, and returns her to Guatemala to find a family that kept her memory alive as legend. In the end, she learns truths about the women who were her mothers, and the disrespect committed long ago against a birthmother and her child in the name of love.

His Promise True by Greta Marlow

His Promise True

B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

It wasn’t Maggie Boon’s idea to come to the barn-raising, dressed in her ma’s faded calico with a bulging bosom made of rags. But her pa is determined to find her a husband, tonight, and he doesn’t care who, so long as the man has something to give in return. If Maggie doesn’t act quickly, she’ll be stuck for life with a two-time widower with a passel of kids. When John David McKellar, the young, handsome—and slightly drunk—son of a rich farmer in the valley, offers to marry her instead, she takes the gamble to escape Pine Mountain for what has to be a better life.

Back to his senses the next morning, John David hatches a plan to end the hasty marriage and still give Maggie her escape—they’ll get an annulment, and he’ll help her find work in town, far from the mountain. But nothing goes as planned, especially once they begin to fancy each other. When John David proposes they should stay married, Maggie happily agrees. He promises they’ll leave Tennessee to start a new life together on a grant of the free land the Mexicans are giving out in Texas. And he promises if ever Maggie is miserable with him, he’ll still give her that annulment.

Promises made in a cozy loft prove hard to keep on the rough frontier trail. Bad luck and bad choices beset them, both on the trail and in love. They end up broke and stranded in desolate Arkansas Territory, where Maggie takes another gamble that will either give them one last good chance to get to Texas or cost them the only thing they have left—each other.

 

Interview with Award Winning Author Ginger Scott

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Ginger Scott is a writer and journalist from Peoria, Arizona. Her debut novel, “Waiting on the Sidelines,” is a coming-of-age love story that explores the real heartbreak we all feel as we become adults throughout our high school years. The story follows two characters, Nolan (a Tomboy with a boy’s name) and Reed (the quarterback she wishes would notice her) as they struggle with peer-pressure, underage drinking, bullying and finding a balance between what your heart wants and what society says you should want — even if you aren’t ready. The sequel, “Going Long,” follows these characters through their college years. You can buy both now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords and more. Her newest novel, “Blindness,”is a new-adult romance that follows two broken souls who are barely living and dealing with tragedies of their own, until they meet and their hearts come alive. “Blindness” is also available on all platforms.

Scott has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns.

 When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her 10-year-old field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Scott is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Stephanie: Hello, Ginger! Thank you for chatting with me today and congrats on the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your book, “Waiting on the Sidelines”. Please tell me about your book.

 Ginger: Thank you for hosting me! It’s an honor.

“Waiting on the Sidelines” is told through the eyes of an average teenage girl with a boy’s name. My protagonist, Nolan, is a tomboy who’s comfortable in her own skin until she enters high school. On her first day, she meets the boy—quarterback Reed Johnson—the one everyone, including herself, wants. But then she overhears him talking with some other girls, making fun of her, and suddenly she’s thrust into this awful adolescent rite of passage—where you no longer want to be yourself, but you’re mad at yourself for giving in. The book follows Nolan through her four years of high school, and readers get to feel everything right along with her—her first love, first kiss, her first heartbreak, the cruel things girls do to one another and her triumphs. Through it all, Nolan continues to listen to her heart, and a real, though not always easy, love begins to grow between her and Reed. The question in the end: Is true love enough?

Ginger Scott's book cover

Stephanie: What age group is your story written for and is there a message in your story you hope readers will grasp?

Ginger: I have heard from readers of all ages, and I think it’s a story that any woman, no matter her age, can identify with. I have heard from several mothers and daughters who have read it together, and hearing that is the greatest compliment. There are a lot of lessons to take away, but at it’s core, “Waiting” really highlights how girls treat one another, and I hope it tips the scales a little, encouraging us to support rather than tear down. It’s also one heck of an angst, swoon-worthy romance, so anyone who has ever sighed at a John Hughes movie should be pleased.

Stephanie: Being a teenager is tough. What are Nolan Lennox weaknesses and strengths and how does this affect her life?

Ginger: Being a teenager is tough. It’s a wonder we all survive! I think Nolan’s strength probably starts with her connection to her family. She has parents that are present in the book, and she talks to them—not always, but when it counts. She also has a backbone and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. But as much as she puts on a strong face, underneath she still has doubts, and she battles anxiety and low self-esteem. I really wanted to make Nolan feel real and honest, so I focused on her flaws and her anxiety, because I think even the most popular girl in school gets her feelings hurt sometimes, and girls that read this need to see themselves and know it’s okay.

Stephanie: What is one of the examples in this story that explores, “young love to the fullest”?

Ginger: Your first love is a powerful one, and those feelings are so raw and new and uncharted. Because this story follows the main characters through four years, readers get a unique perspective on a real high school romance. It’s not an instant-love story, but one that starts with friendship and makes a stop at every emotion along the way—jealousy, rivalry, lust and adoration. There’s a scene where the main characters, Reed and Nolan, are a little bit older, but they still don’t know how to just say what they feel. So instead, Reed tries to evoke a reaction from Nolan, making her jealous by being affectionate with another girl in front of her. Of course Nolan reacts, and they yell and fight and say hurtful things to each other—but they also chip through that armor we all wear in high school, and this scene is the first time we see them start to be honest. It was one of my favorite to write.

Stephanie: What inspired you to write this story and is this your first published work?

Ginger: “Waiting on the Sidelines” was my debut, and it is the story I always wanted to write. I still remember the first time I read Judy Blume’s “Forever.” I had never read a book that felt exactly like me before—anxiety, shame, fear, desire. That book is probably the reason I wanted to be an author, but I took a detour through journalism to get here. After years of reporting real stories, I finally felt brave enough to get the one out of my head onto paper (e-book paper in some cases). I was inspired by my reaction to “Forever” many years ago, and I also was inspired by the young girls in my life, goddaughters, who have faced adversity in high school through bullying and broken hearts. I wanted to write a fairy tale that was also a tribute to their strength, and I think this is it.

Stephanie: What are the challenges to writing in this genre and with this particular content?

Ginger: I love romance, and I love coming-of-age stories, so I think for me, the biggest challenge was to add something I was truly proud of to a larger body of work I admire so very much. Personally, though, the biggest challenge was writing real. What I mean by that is that I didn’t want to tell a story that felt like it couldn’t really happen. I wanted readers to picture every feeling and detail, smell the same air and want to have the same friends. And I also wanted my characters to sound like real teenagers, which meant that sometimes Reed—my prince charming—was a real jerk. Sometimes the cute boy isn’t nice, because he’s still learning how to be a man, and it was a challenge to make Reed say and do some things that I made him do. But I’m glad I did, because he’s very real to me.
Stephanie: When did you first began to write?

Ginger: I know this isn’t a unique answer, but I really have been writing since I was a kid. I picked journalism as my course of study when I was maybe 10 or 11. I wanted to see my byline in a magazine and a newspaper, so I wrote fiction, poems and reported on real people every chance I got until someone started to pay me for it. I went to ASU’s Cronkite School of Journalism, and I was a reporter for the Arizona Republic and several magazines and newspapers in Arizona. I think every story I ever wrote on a real person has helped me to better tell the make believe ones aching to get out of my head.

Stephanie: How has writing affect your life and what advice would you give to someone who is inspired to write their first story?

Ginger: “Waiting on the Sidelines” is my first of now three titles—one a follow up to “Waiting” called “Going Long” and the other a stand-alone romance called “Blindness.” I was always afraid to put myself out there—afraid no one would notice or care, and terrified of rejection. But finally doing it is one of the greatest achievements of my life, and I regret letting fear hold me back for so long. My advice is to not be afraid—write without abandon. Just write. Your heart will thank you later.

Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?

Ginger: I was looking for other independent reads to add to my reading list, and someone had posted a Medallion book on Twitter. I followed the links back to the indieBRAG site and was impressed with the list of titles. Then I saw a call for books for consideration, and I decided to send in “Waiting on the Sidelines” and try (again, a huge step for me as I fear rejection—seriously, it terrifies me). When I heard from indieBRAG that “Waiting” was a medallion honoree, I was thrilled. The honor is tremendous, and I’m so touched.

Stephanie: Is there a message you would like to give to your readers?

Ginger: Just, thank you. Thank you for reading my stories. I do not take the time you give to me, and my words, lightly, and I will always work my tail of to write heartfelt stories that make you feel something. And I hope you continue to like how my stories make you feel. Because writing for you is the greatest joy of my life…well, second greatest. Being the baseball mom is always number one.

Stephanie: Here can readers buy your book?

Ginger: “Waiting on the Sidelines” is available for Kindle and print on Amazon. It is also available as an e-book on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Sony and more.

Amazon

B&N

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Author Website

Facebook

Twitter – @TheGingerScott

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A message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Ginger Scott, who is the author of “Waiting on the Sidelines”, one of our medallion at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, “Waiting on the Sidelines” merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.

indiebrag-team-member

 

Serpents in the Garden by Anna Belfrage

Serpents-in-the-Garden

Publication Date: March 1, 2014 SilverWood Books Formats: Ebook, Paperback

After years of hard work, Matthew and Alex Graham have created a thriving home in the Colony of Maryland. About time, in Alex’s opinion, after far too many adventures she is really looking forward to some well-deserved peace and quiet.

A futile hope, as it turns out. Things start to heat up when Jacob, the third Graham son, absconds from his apprenticeship to see the world – especially as Jacob leaves behind a girl whom he has wed in a most irregular fashion.

Then there’s the infected matter of the fellow time traveller Alex feels obliged to help – no matter the risk. Worst of all, one day Philip Burley and his brothers resurface after years of absence. As determined as ever to make Matthew pay for every perceived wrong – starting with the death of their youngest brother – the Burleys play out a complicated cat and mouse game, and Alex is thrown back into an existence where her heart is constantly in her mouth, convinced as she is that one day the Burleys will achieve their purpose.

Will the Burleys succeed? And if they do, will the Graham family survive the exacted price?

Serpents in the Garden is the fifth book in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Author Bio:

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Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing and time-consuming interests, namely British History and writing. These days, Anna spends almost as much time writing and researching as she does working, which leaves little time for other important pursuits such as cooking and baking.

Anna Belfrage is the author of The Graham Saga – so far five of the total eight books have been published. Set in seventeenth century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, The Graham Saga tell the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him.

Links:

Serpents in the Garden

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Silverwood Books

A Newfound Land

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Silverwood Books

Kobo

Smashwords

Links to Anna’s websites

www.annabelfrage.com

http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com

Interview with Author C.M.J. Wallace

Sing the Midnight Stars

C.M.J. Wallace is the author of the Rift series and is also a medical editor. She graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and, being a lover of language and not laboratories, promptly transitioned from lab wretch to editor. In 2001, she took a medical editing course taught by the Journal of the American Medical Association’s director of manuscript editing, who then recruited her. She is now a freelance medical editor.

In 1992, she created the rudiments of the Rift series, which she began writing in 2008.

She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and is currently working on another novel in the series.

Her web page can be found here

Stephanie: Hello C.M.J.! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G. Medallion for your book, “Sing the Midnight Stars”. Please tell me about your story.

C.M.J.: Thanks, Stephanie!

First, allow me to return the sentiment and give you an accolade. The B.R.A.G. Medallion award is a wonderful service for self-published authors and their readers. There’s a groundswell of demand for some type of indie-book gatekeeper, and indieBRAG is at the forefront of this movement.

And now for my book…

In 1992, I came up with the rudiments of the series, many of the characters, all of the unique magic elements, and the history of Carvel and Torvia, which are the primary country and city in my books, respectively. When I started writing Sing the Midnight Stars in 2008 (yep, I’m a slow starter!), I hadn’t yet created some of my main characters, including my protagonist, Andrin Sethuel. He developed as a result of my asking the question, who is the killer and why? The answer demanded that someone be searching for the murderer, which led to my needing a detective of sorts; Andrin was the result.

I thought it would be interesting to make him flawed. I think it’s more believable to readers and allows them to readily empathize with characters, love them, despise them, etc. Andrin is a drug addict, but not by choice. When he was a child, he was kidnapped by slavers who brutally murdered his parents in front of him. The slavers’ modus operandi is to snatch village children, kill the adults, and immediately dose the kids with mordizánte, a drug that’s instantly and irrevocably addictive. But Andrin is different. His body doesn’t react the way every other addict’s does.

As an adult, he battles with hostility, prejudice, and suspicion on every front, and even though the addiction wasn’t his doing, it leaves him entrenched in self-loathing. Despite everything, he becomes head of the Torvian kingdom’s criminal investigative forces. The story opens with a murder related to others he’s been investigating and follows his hunt for the killer, who scythes magic from his victims to reap power. In theory that’s impossible. But the murderer is growing more powerful with each successive killing, leading him to believe that he’s right about the killer’s motives.

For added fun, someone’s trying to kill him as well, and one of his subordinates is keeping a secret that might be the key to solving the murders.

While all this is going on, Carvel’s ancient enemy is bringing war to the very gates of Torvia, and her king is sinking into madness and is on the verge of betraying his country.

A major plot line involves the rise of unfettered magic (enchantment that isn’t bound by any prosaic means) simultaneously in disparate settings. I carry this theme of magic being freed of its catalysts of stone and sigil throughout the first and second books, but I can’t elaborate because it would entail spoilers!

Stephanie: I love the title of your book. Tell me how it blends in with your story.

C.M.J.: Astromancy is among the types of sorcery that are becoming unfettered, and the way it happens was my inspiration for the book’s title. One of the main characters is an astromancer who has just been granted the gift of unfettered magic. The book cover shows her joining with and learning from the enchantment in the form of a star bolt from the constellation she worships.

Stephanie: I noticed your book falls under the Fantasy genre. Does this story take place in the present time or future and please tell me about why you chose to write in the genre.

C.M.J.: The story takes place in the present.

I love fantasy because it was the first genre to transport me to other worlds through the sorcerous portal of words on paper. I’ve been a reader since I was four years old and was exposed to the likes of Roald Dahl and A. A. Milne.

Fantasy is my preferred genre because it gives me the freedom to make implausible things happen, and I can envision them just as I did when I was a child entering the realms of the improbable. I really like suspense and intrigue, but genres such as thrillers and horror are constraining to me as a writer and often not as interesting as fantasy. With the latter, I can take any elements I choose, such as intrigue, and blend them with my story (which I do!) any way I like.

With fantasy, I’m also free to use beautiful imagery, which you can’t often find in other genres and which seems to be rare in books published now.

Stephanie: Tell me a little about Andrin and his strengths and weaknesses.

C.M.J.: As I said earlier, Andrin is a drug addict, and he views himself as part of the dregs of society. Because of his addiction, he feels constrained to uphold truth. He sticks to his principles, but to the point of rigidity and blindness in regard to the shortcomings of doing so. He’s a loyal friend, but his unrelenting demand that nothing violate his ethics costs him greatly. He’s an excellent detective, loathes liars, and protects underdogs.

Stephanie: Was there any research involved for your book?

C.M.J.: I’m a medical editor, which means I edit articles written by physicians and other health care professionals for medical journals, so I already had a good understanding of disease, wounds, and violent death before I started writing. But I didn’t have the same expertise with medieval terminology and customs, so yes, I had to do research on weaponry, clothing, typical architecture, and the like, although the setting is early enlightenment rather than traditional medieval (Torvia is a huge city).

Stephanie: Is this your first published book and are you currently working on another?

C.M.J.: Sing the Midnight Stars is my first published work. I’ve published two others since, the sequels Flight of Shadows and This Darkling Magic, and am about to publish the fourth, This Strange Magic, which completes all the arcs of the first four books in the Rift series.

Stephanie: Do you work with an outline or do you just write?

C.M.J.: Because my books have many layers of intrigue and several primary plot lines, before I start writing I outline the plot and each chapter. Both outlines are fluid; by the time I’m done tweaking them and writing notes, it looks as if I sacrificed some hapless chicken over them.

Stephanie: Is there a particular writer who has influenced your own writing?

C.M.J.: Stephen R. Donaldson is my favorite writer. I used his Mordant’s Need series to create my writing style, dissecting the books and then emulating what made me love them. Pat Conroy is another author who uses rich prose. And although Thomas Harris’s writing isn’t exactly beautiful, it has the ability to draw the reader right into the story, and his characters are well rounded.

Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?

C.M.J.: I found out about indieBRAG on a Goodreads thread, probably in the Goodreads Authors/Readers group. It includes a lively bunch who discuss many, many issues pertinent to indie authors.

Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?

C.M.J.: Sing the Midnight Stars, book 1 of the Rift series

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Flight of Shadows, book 2 of the Rift series

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

This Darkling Magic, book 3 of the Rift series

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

A message from BRAG:

We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview C.M.J. Wallace, who is the author of, Sing the Midnight Stars, one of our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Sing the Midnight Stars merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.