All posts by Wendy Van Camp

Writer. Artisan Jeweler.

Author Interview: Tiger Hebert

When I asked Author Tiger Hebert to describe his writing, he replied, “I write dark, epic fantasy that dares to hope.”  Don’t we need more hope in the world?  I think so!  Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author Tiger HebertHello, my name is Tiger Hebert. I am a Christian, husband, father of three children, and a veteran. I have a BA in Communications, and I work in the Quality and Training fields. I was born and raised in Maine, but I now live in North Carolina with my family. I love the outdoors and I am passionate about football, food, family, and faith.

When and why did you begin writing?

When I was a kid, I guess I had a knack for creative writing. The teachers really encouraged it, but I never did anything with it outside of school assignments. As I went through middles school and high school, I started getting into a variety of gaming ranging from Magic TCG to Hero Quest to Diablo. This really piqued my interest in writing fantasy, and I knew that one day I wanted to write something, but I never did anything about it.

Several years later, when I was in the military I began writing poetry and lyrics as an outlet. I didn’t really think I’d do much of anything with it until a friend told me that it was actually good. I dabbled in that type of writing for a few years, but never took the plunge into attempting fiction. Until one day, right around Christmas of 2011, I couldn’t wait anymore. So I created a blog for my “dragon” story, and I just began writing. I didn’t outline, plot, or worldbuild. I just started writing. After a few weeks, I realized I had something, and I needed to take it more seriously. That pet project turned out to be my first published novel, Dragon’s Fire.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I had written my sixth or seventh chapter of Dragon’s Fire, I was kind of blown away at how quickly it was coming together. The early reader feedback on those raw, and unedited chapters was incredible, and it gave me the encouragement I needed to finish the project. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I felt that it was actually something that I could, and should do.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I am currently working on The Halls of the Fallen King. It is my third book and is the next book in the series. I am hoping to finish up the 2nd draft and get it to beta readers sometime in May. The book follows our heroes from Dragon’s Fire, into the subterranean ruins of mysteriously abandoned dwarven ruins.

No one truly knows how or why an entire civilization just disappeared, but as waves of magical energy continue to radiate out from the ruins, it’s time to investigate.

What inspired you to write this book?

When I wrote Dragon’s Fire, I thought it would be a standalone tale, and it does stand on its own two feet quite well. However, there was so much more in the world to explore, including a much large story arc.

Then as I wrote Dragon’s Fire, I just really fell in love with the dwarfs and their culture, and I wanted to explore it further. The idea of diving deep, literally, underground into a mysterious dwarven kingdom sounded too fun to pass up.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m sure I do, and maybe someone else can articulate it better than me. I don’t have any fancy ten dollar words to describe their style. I generally say that I write dark, epic fantasy that dares to hope. I really strive to provide vivid imagery to really help the reader immerse themselves. I also work hard to maintain a healthy balance when it comes to the pacing because I’m not a huge fan of books that are slow.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The Halls of the Fallen King sort of fell into my lap if you will. It was a line from Dragon’s Fire describing the forgotten kingdom in a tiny dose of foreshadowing. Which interestingly enough, happened without me being the wiser. The line itself is based on the speculation of the Dwarven King’s fate and that connection to his kingdom’s sudden abandonment (or so it seems). Did the king die, did he go mad?

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I can’t say too much, but one of the themes that deal with a combination of guilt, sorrow, and depression.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Tolkien and CS Lewis are huge to me. I was exposed to the splendor of Middle-Earth as a child, and the wonder never left me. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are timeless classics that never have never lost their luster to me. Ironically, I didn’t become familiar with CS Lewis’ works until I was an adult, despite them being children’s tales. Now, even as an adult, I can really appreciate the stories and all the messages they convey.

Among our contemporaries, I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and Steven Erikson. There are a great number of things that each of them does quite well. They are both fantastic world builders. They touch on everything from history to religion to art to society. The depth that they bring to their fictional worlds is unparalleled in my opinion.

I also have an immense respect for Brandon Sanderson’s work ethic. His product is off the charts. I would love to churn out books at the same rate he does, while still maintaining such a high standard of quality.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

No, and perhaps that is silly of me. I find that I try to learn from a wide variety of other writers. I have found value from reading articles and blogs of bestselling, traditional authors. I’ve found value in learning from other self-published authors who have carved out a nice little spot for themselves, but I’ve also found tremendous value in learning from other people who have not yet had success. I think learning from each other’s experiences is invaluable.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

(This cover is not yet finished released, but it should be in the next couple weeks)
Stefan Celic did the cover art for The Halls of the Fallen King. I started looking for a new cover artist well over a year ago, and a few people mention working with Stefan. The style of their covers was slightly different from what I was looking for, but when I looked through his portfolio, I saw that he had a diverse array of skill and style.

So I put out some feelers, seeing if he felt he could pull off the vision I had. He was not only confident he could, but he actually sounded excited to take on the project. My progress on the book hit a few snags so everything was delayed, so we never moved forward. Fast forward to this year, I reached out to him again to see if he was still interested. He was, so once his schedule opened up, I commissioned him.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write now, and write often. I think those are the two things that the best and most successful authors have in common. They don’t wait for “someday” to write that book, they just get started. Then they develop good writing habits, to make consistent progress.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! Thank you for your time and your patience. It will be rewarded.

hall of the fallen kingTiger Hebert
Whitsett, NC

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The Halls of the Fallen King

Cover Artist: Stefan Celic
Publisher: Brightblade Press

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No Wasted Ink Writers Links

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I felt it was time for a Monday link day with mainly writing tips.  Sometimes I go off on a tangent featuring fountain pens or whatnot and get away from what I feel everyone comes to the Monday post for quality writing links about the craft.  So here we go!  I hope you like this week’s selection.

Where Do You Place Your Inciting Incident?

How to Manage a Blog While Parenting Full-Time

3 Reasons Why Good Ideas Are a Real Threat to Good Writing

GENIUSES NEED NOT APPLY: ON CREATIVE WRITING COURSES

Autism Misconceptions in Fiction

PULP AND SEXISM

Don’t Let Anybody Tell You How to Write (or 8 Tips for Learning Responsibly)

Editing and Working With an Editor

The Importance of Creativity Time

The Evolution & Devolution of Sales: Why Your Books Aren’t Selling

How to Deal with Writer’s Block by DG Kaye

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

A common problem many writers encounter is the dreaded writer’s block. It can hit us smack in the middle of our writing. We’re happily writing along until, boom! The creative well runs dry.

Because our craft is guided by mental focus and inspiration, it’s not difficult to imagine that sometimes we might get shut out from our creative energies. When life issues get in the way, I know I’ve certainly fallen victim to this freeze out of creativity while life is testing me with unforeseen circumstances that can take the wind right out of my writing sails.

When we implement self-imposed deadlines for our work, the mental pressure we put upon ourselves to accomplish our goals often have us scrambling to force our creative abilities.

Many writers have found their secret formulas for helping to get the creative juices, or their muses and mojos flowing, but many others struggle when the well of creativity begins to evaporate. So, what’s a writer to do?

Don’t change course by slacking off completely. Keep your imaginations open. There are many things we can do to re-ignite our creativity, often when we least expect it.

Read
Get newly inspired by reading a book or an interesting article or blog post. If you’ve allotted this time for writing, do something else to keep your mind in the creative realm. You will be surprised to find the ideas that float into mind while our concentrating efforts are focused on something else.

Write

Yes, you may get stumped on your current WIP, but working on another writing project will often summon up some new ideas for exactly the project you’re taking a breather from. If you don’t have another project to work on, use writing prompts to get the juices flowing again. Writing of any sort is a stimulant to our creative centers. Often, writing about a completely different topic will spark an idea for something else we’re working on.

Walk Away

You heard me correctly. When our heads are crammed with worry, doubts or blanks, forcing ourselves to remain at our keyboards staring into space looking for words to further our stories, it becomes an indicator that a timeout is warranted. Walking away doesn’t mean we don’t have to be thinking about our WIP; we’re merely changing the scenery and focusing on something else. If our WIP remains on the back burner in our minds while busying ourselves with a different task, something is going to give and eventually the flow of ideas will come back when we alleviate the pressure off ourselves.

Go Outside
Taking a walk while taking in the sights of people and nature surrounding us is a good way to calm the mind, which inadvertently allows creativity to brew again. Driving has the same effect for me, especially if I’m listening to music. Just be prepared to make notes about your new ideas or they may disappear into the ethers as quickly as they’ve sprung up.

Be prepared for those glorious moments when inspiration returns. Have journals or notebooks handy to write down those precious newly inspired ideas because if you’re anything like me, they’ll be forever gone if we don’t write them down. Nothing to write with? Keep your mobile phones handy. With the various apps available, such as Voice Note, you can record your ideas, so they are there when you’re ready to go back to your stalled WIP. Heck, I’ve even whipped out a lipstick and wrote on a napkin a few times while out at a restaurant. Whatever works!

I like to think of the blank out moments while writing as merely a delay rather than a block. Where there is a will to write, sometimes a diversion is all it takes to bring us back to inspiration.


Debbie GilesDebby Gies is a Canadian memoir/nonfiction writer who writes under the pen name D.G. Kaye. She writes about real life experiences and matters of the heart sharing life lessons in hopes to empower others.

Connect with D.G. on her social sites:

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook

AboutMe | LinkedIn | Google+ | Instagram | Pinterest

Come join our Literary Diva’s Library Facebook group for writers and authors.
Visit D.G.’s books at her Amazon Author Page

DG Kaye Books

Memoir: Berlin Wall

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I stood in the late afternoon sun surrounded by blooms in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. It is the home to astonishing exhibits. Including Reagan’s Air Force One airliner and a massive piece of the Berlin Wall that stands as a sentinel in the center of the rose garden. Covered in graffiti and moss, it is a symbol of the fall of the old Soviet Union.

I had fought against this barrier between the United States and the Soviet Union during the cold war. But, instead of bringing down the Berlin Wall, as President Reagan did, I had found a way to leap across it. Placing my hand on the warm stone of the monolith, I felt a sense of completion.

I had been a serious young woman, recently graduated from college, enjoying her first media industry position. I landed a job as the Unit Production Manager of a nationally syndicated radio news program on NPR. My main duties were being an assistant and liaison to the news editors and other departments of the parent production company.

One morning, I had finished writing the promo for our business news radio program, when the head of accounting walked up. She placed a file on my desk and gave me a stern look. I sensed her frustration, but felt that it was not directed at me, but more at the problem she was bringing to my doorstep.

“We’ve been trying to pay this reporter in Poland for over six months, but every time we reach the Berlin Wall, the money stops. He is your reporter and your responsibility. You will have to figure out a way to pay him.” She went back to her office without looking back.

I stared at that file without opening it for a good five minutes. What did I know about accounting and payroll? Nothing. I knew that we had dozens of freelance reporters scattered all around the globe, but they spoke directly to the editors, not to me. Accounting had always handled the processing of their checks in the past. It was not part of my regular duties.

My next task of the morning was to check the paper supply of the UPI and Reuter’s news feeds. There was no internet to search for information, back then as there is today. The news came to our newsroom via these wire services. The large printers connected to the world via phone line. It was where our editors obtained the news of the day. As I put new rolls of paper into the machines, resetting them to start printing out fresh batches of stories, I asked one of the nearby editors if he knew about this Polish reporter and his situation.

He did. The situation had been common knowledge among the program’s four editors for quite some time. It was a matter of the government officials opening the reporter’s mail when it reached the Communist Block. No letter from our company to this reporter could pass through the Berlin Wall. That was always where the paper trail ended. The editor worried about losing this reporter if we could not pay him.

I walked back to my desk, thinking about this man in Poland. He had been a stranger to me before, a name on the top of a file, but after this conversation, he was now a real person in need. I could not fault the man for considering leaving due to lack of payment, and that he had chosen not to do so spoke of his dedication. I admired this and I wanted to help him.

I sat at my desk and stared at the wall. Both the physical drywall before my eyes, and at the same time, the Berlin Wall that had become a barrier. I needed to bring down this wall, to find a means of connection between our American company and Communist Poland in a legal manner. I dismissed idle visions of cold war spies and mail drops over transoms.

I had not opened the file on my desk, but in this case, I did not feel that anything in it would be of help to me. If the information in the file had stymied an entire accounting department for half a year, what use could it be to me now? What I needed to know was a means to get money through the gatekeepers of the Berlin Wall and into Poland. It was a matter of connections across international lines, not accounting.

As I sat there, an idea popped into my mind. Why not call the United Nations? Were they not people who worked to solve international situations? At the very least, they could direct me to someone to whom I could ask questions.

I called information and got the number for the United Nations building in New York City. Once connected, I told the operator that I was the Unit Production Manager of a national radio program and needed to pay a reporter in Poland. Was there anyone who could help me?

“Of course, Madam,” the operator said, “I will connect you with the Polish Ambassador. One moment, please.”

My jaw must have dropped when I heard those words. I was a kid right out of college who had not even left her hometown for her first industry job. Now, I was about to speak with the Polish Ambassador in New York City. I gripped the phone and reminded myself that I was calling with legitimate business. I thought again about that reporter and steadied my nerves.

The Ambassador picked up the line and gave me a cheerful greeting. He sounded like one of my old world uncles, speaking with impeccable English, but with a slight accent. “And how might I help you?” He finished after we exchanged a few simple pleasantries.

I gave a brief description of how our accounting department had been trying to pay our reporter in Poland for six months. How the money always stopped at the Berlin Wall. The Ambassador immediately knew what the problem was. He explained that even he did not send money to Poland in this manner.

“Then how do you send money to Poland across the Iron Curtain?” I asked.

The Ambassador explained if we deposited the money to an account in a Polish bank that had a branch in New York City, from there it could transfer the funds to a sister bank in Warsaw. Since both were branches of the same Polish bank, this removed the international mail element. An account could be set up in the reporter’s name and he could withdraw the money in Warsaw. The Ambassador said that he would personally speak to both branches and make sure that the transfer would happen. It was the least he could do to help one of his countrymen.

The Ambassador also apologized that he could not get the money closer to the reporter. Warsaw was one hundred miles away from the reporter’s address, but legally that was the best he could do. I thanked the Ambassador for his time. I told him that I would confer with our accounting department and the reporter to make sure that his solution would be acceptable to everyone. If they were, our people would talk to his people and get the job done.

Next, I called the reporter in Poland and explained about the long distance that he would have to drive to get his paycheck. The reporter was grateful that he would finally be receiving his money and would have a method of getting his checks on a regular basis in the future. He assured me that this method of payment was acceptable to him. His sincere thank you and the sound of relief in his voice touched me.

I leaned back in my chair. According to the clock overhead, two hours had passed since the head of the accounting department had come and left that file on my desk. I picked up the unopened, thick file, and walked through the building to the accounting department.

I knocked on the door frame of the head accountant’s office and asked, “Might I come in?”

She glanced at the file in my hands and said, “Look, I told you that paying that reporter is your responsibility…”

I interrupted her and explained the method of how the Polish Ambassador would set up the connection between the two banks, setting up a pipeline that she could use to pay the polish reporter, now and in the future.

“You called the United Nations?” She seemed flabbergasted by the idea. The annoyance that my appearance had generated vanished from her expression as she said, more to herself than to me, “Why didn’t we think of that?” She called for her assistant as I set the file and the contact information onto her desk.  She smiled at me.

That afternoon, as word of my success spread throughout the company, I received informal congratulations from reporters in our Boston NPR office and from an associate editor who called in from South America. I seldom had contact with people outside our branch of the operation. It was the first time I realized how far our radio program went in the world. I was part of something larger than myself, yet I realized how small the journalistic community was too.

As the sun beat down on my shoulders, in present-day Southern California, I gave the monolith one last pat. Having that piece of stone under my fingers made the events of that long ago day seem more real to me. It was not bits of information I had been dealing with, mere pieces of papers I shuffled. It was real places and people that I had made a difference with. The solid stone of the Berlin Wall under my hand proved that.


Berlin Wall first published in a small literary magazine called Shadows Express Magazine in 2013.  It was the second short story I had ever published.  The story is based on true events of my life.   This version has been cleaned up a little for typos and grammar but is otherwise very close to the original tale that appeared in the literary magazine.

If you enjoyed reading Berlin Wall, please consider viewing it on Medium in the publication “The Junction” where it enjoys a reprint. Clapping for it there to shows your support for the story and the magazine.  This helps boost the story in the algorithms.

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

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Welcome back to another Monday of No Wasted Ink Writers Links.  This week  I have a few intensive articles about book marketing, a fun one about typewriters, and of course, an obituary on the late, great Harlan Ellison who we lost recently.  His work stands the test of time and is worth seeking out if you want to understand the science fiction genre better.

The Authors Who Love Amazon

Help: my eBook business model is broken

How to write interesting characters for your fiction writing

5 Things Only Serious Writers Do

How to type an interrobang on a typewriter, and some reasons why we should. Much easy, so wild!

Can You Use MRUs Everywhere?

THE WINDING PATH TO PUBLICATION

Space Law and Lowering the Cost of Space Travel

HARLAN ELLISON RIP

Judge Yourself Less, Trust Yourself More, and Write Better Stories