Author Interview: LD Whitney

Author L.D. Whitney was born on the plains, but calls the Southwest his home. He believes that adventure is around every corner. Please welcome him to No Wasted Ink.

Author LD WhitneyWell, I suppose I should start with my name. I’m Logan, though I publish under L.D.Whitney. I’m a history teacher in New Mexico, though my first career was as an archeologist. I grew up in Nebraska, but I’ve lived and traveled all over. I’m a big hiker, and try do as much “adventuring” as I can. I also co-host a podcast called “Rogues in the House”, where my fellow rogues and I discuss the Sword & Sorcery genre. I like with my fiance, dog Franklin, and a lionhead rabbit named Hopps.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved reading since and early age, but I am kind of slow about it and need something that keeps my interest. When I couldn’t find it consistently, I just decided to write it myself.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Definitely after my first short story was published. I was still writing my novel, but took a break to do a few short stories. I felt that if someone was willing to pay me for my writing, I could consider myself a writer. Now have got about half a dozen floating shorts out there.

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

“Remnant” is my first novel, and the brainchild of many of my interests. I wanted to write something that combined exotic adventure and the good old-fashioned creature feature. Throw in a bit of Tarzan and a bit of Indiana Jones, and you’ve got “Remnant”.

What inspired you to write this book?

I was watching the Ray Harryhausen film “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad”, actually. Near the end of the film Centaur and a Griffin duke it out. I knew wanted to write something where two creatures had an epic fight.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I describe myself as a “Pulp Author”. I write in a style very much inspired by Robert E. Howard, and H. P. Lovecraft.

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

The title was originally “Existence” though when my book was picked up by Primal Publishing, we decided on “Remnant” as it better reflected its place as a Prehistoric Thriller.

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

Oh man. I guess of I had to have a message, it would be “the natural world is a precious resource”. Despite much of the danger stemming from nature, the protagonists are conservationists at heart.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Haha! I wish! No, no they are not. Id like to say they are based a little on me, but that might be stretching it.

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

Oh man, that’s tough! A lot of my favorite authors are from the early 1900s and as such, have views and opinions I don’t really aspire to, despite my love of their fiction. What really inspires me about the Pulp Era was the imagination displayed by these people who were writing to basically meet deadlines and sell stories for one cent a word or whatever. Took a lot of hard work and dedication to craft k out fiction like that.

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

I wouldn’t really say I have a mentor, though Matt, one of my podcast co-hosts is also a writer and I kind of consider him a friendly rival in a way. His success really kicked me in the butt to work hard on my writing.

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

The illustrator, Stephen Moore, was actually picked by the lead editor at Primal Publishing. He is a really talented Paleo-artist specializes in Prehistoric animals, so someone familiar with that kind of thing was a natural choice.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

For novels, write what you want to read. That’s important in getting you to the end. For short stories, read the submission guidelines and the read them again! Stick to word counts, and sub styles. And write to the market. Don’t just submit something you haven’t sold already. Create something fresh specifically for the publication in question.

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

Go out there and find adventure.

Remnant Book CoverL.D. Whitney
Albuquerque, NM

FACEBOOK
TWITTER
INSTAGRAM

Remnant

Cover Artist: Stephen Moore
Publisher: Primal Publishing

AMAZON

 

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Happy Monday! Welcome back to another writers links post where I curate ten writing related articles to recommend. This week I have a hodgepodge of articles with general writing tips, help for fantasy authors, and a good one about using Scrivener. Enjoy!

Basic Plots: Vonnegut’s Cinderella


The internet as we know it is doomed


How to Create a Convincing Fictional Technology


A Beginner’s Guide to Structuring Your Novel: Don’t Use a Plot Template


Writing Realistic Horses: Horse Psychology 101


Some Thoughts On Horror


A Different Way To Work With Revision


Writing to Escape


Ten Justifications for Oppressed Mages and Why They Fail


How to Find Anything in Scrivener 3

How a Writing Planner Saved Me Last Year by Loren Rhoads

Image by Semisvetik04 from Pixabay

I am a planner junkie. For years I kept searching for a system that would help me organize all the information I need, track all my submissions, make space for my to-do lists, and keep my calendar. I would hear one of my writer friends rave about a system they were excited to try or see an ad that promised to get me organized and snatch it up. I ended up with a cupboard full of half-used planners.

I am also an inveterate list-maker. Often, when I sit down with my notebook for a day’s writing, I begin with a to-do list to clear my head. I had to-dos in my in-box, my notebook, my diary, on scraps of paper on my desk, in my unanswered emails. I had folders full of notes from conferences, tear sheets from writer’s magazines, articles I’d printed out from the internet. The weight of everything I thought I should do made me freeze.

Last year, when all my anchors were suddenly gone — no more writing in the cafe after dropping my kid off at school, no more writing in the car before I picked her up in the afternoon — I really struggled to focus and get anything done. What saved me was my planner stash. I took the planners apart and pulled out all my favorite charts: what were my goals for the year? What writing projects had I started and drifted away from? What markets did I want to pitch articles to? When were my favorite magazines open for story submissions?

Armed with that information, I made a master to-do list. Everything went on it, no matter how big or small. Which social media did I enjoy using and what was my theory behind my presence there? What were my goals for my newsletter and how could I better connect with my readers there? Since I couldn’t attend the conventions I’d looked forward to, how else could I get my books into the hands of readers?

Once I finally had EVERYTHING noted down, I could see that it was clearly too much for one person to accomplish RIGHT NOW. I used my planner sheets to pull out the little things that I could finish easily. Once I crossed those off my list, I got a jolt of pride that carried me forward to tackle bigger projects.

I made writing dates with friends over Zoom. A writer I knew set up a Tuesday morning chat for her writer friends. I joined Shut Up & Write sessions. I organized Happy Hours and went to writer’s group meetings online. Slowly, my weeks took on some structure. I needed a calendar to keep track of when everything was happening.

I’d published a novel in February (then saw all the conventions I’d planned to attend get postponed or canceled), so with my planner’s help, I managed to put together a blog tour and list of reviewers. After I attended the Bram Stoker Awards online, I was inspired to assemble a collection of my short stories, using what I’d learned from the first blog tour to promote it. Cross that goal off my list!

Inspired by my planner, I also did some major reorganization projects in my office, emptying all my file drawers and consolidating my research. I (finally!) assembled a binder of all the contracts I’d signed over my writing career. I made another binder of unfinished stories, so I could see the work ahead of me.

Having projects waiting for my attention made it much easier to deal with the discovery that the nonfiction book I’d been researching didn’t match the book the publisher wanted, one I was unable to write because of a previous contractual obligation. In another time, I would have been spun by the rejection. I would have been lost for months. Instead, because I’d been doing all this work on goals, I quickly shifted gears and began work on what became the third book I published last year. It’s no exaggeration to say that my cobbled-together planner was a lifesaver.

The upshot of this is: there are many planners for writers out there. Some focus on logging your daily word count. Others track the business aspects of being a writer: your income and expenses. Still others concentrate on calculating your available writing time and how to make best use of it. Some combine inspiration with goal-setting. Finding the right planner for yourself may take a couple of tries, but if you find a planner that supports the kind of writer you are and the work you want to do, it can change your life. It is definitely worth the effort.


Author Loren RhoadsLoren Rhoads is the author of a space opera trilogy, a succubus/angel duet, and a collection of stories called Unsafe Words. She’s the co-author of the brand-new Spooky Writer’s Planner, an undated 13-month planner designed to inspire and support writers of dark fantasy, paranormal romance, horror, and morbid nonfiction with weekly calendars, goal tracking, submission logs, and more. It’s available as a digital download on ETSY and as a paperback on AMAZON.  The book trailer is available on YOUTUBE.

Author Interview: Stacy Cox

Stacy Cox – StaceMeister0 is an Independent Author and Poet.  She publishes frequently.  Ms. Cox  is a big advocate for Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Mystery, Crime, and Thriller, and all things extreme, strange and bizarre.  Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Stacy CoxMy name is Stacy Cox. I live in Cleveland, OH. I have two daughters. I work part-time as a home health aide. My other job is writing. I love watching movies. Horror is my main go-to genre, but I also enjoy psychological, mysteries, comedies, fantasy, science-fiction, and action.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in my freshman year of high school. At that time, it was a way to channel an awkward anger phase that I was experiencing. The principal of the school suggested I write whenever I was feeling angry and needed to vent out my frustrations. As time progressed, I realized I enjoyed writing, and it turned into a passion.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when I wrote my very first novel in high school (in my senior year, I believe). It was a romance, drama, suspense novel, and more of an experimental novel to see if I had it in me to write full length novels.

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

The Monster Pack: The Wasteland is the first in a Horror, Fantasy, Adventure series that follows a group of young misfits, who band together and battle criminals and monsters.

What inspired you to write this book?

The Monster Pack was inspired by two different things. First, the concept of it was inspired by my own personal struggles in love, romance and relationships. Battling different obstacles while constantly dreaming of utopia. Second, the story of it was inspired by the movie Hobo With A Shotgun, directed by Jason Eisener. The whole concept of a law-abiding citizen who’s tired of all the crime and nonsense that goes on in his community, and he decides to make a stand.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have not adapted any specific writing style that I commit to. I tend to freestyle my books, especially my standalone books. If they are part of a series, such as The Monster Pack, I brainstorm and map out the series. But it depends on the concept of the story at hand, as it changes with me. My two main writing styles interchange between Descriptive and Narrative.

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

The title for The Monster Pack as the title for the overall series just rolled off my tongue, really, and came instantly as I thought about the concept and story. I knew the story was going to be about a group of young kids, who were going to become little vigilantes, and they were going to fight criminals in the real world, and escape to a dream world and fight monsters there. The sub-title of The Wasteland for the first installment came about as I started writing the story and drafted up ‘Grotesque’ as my first monster in the fictional town, where he reigns in an abandoned, toxic domain called ‘The Wasteland’.

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

This message is no secret or surprise, really, but The Monster Pack revolves around the crime and bad things that go on in the world and in society. A lot of people are aware of crimes, such as bullying, abuse, prostitution and human trafficking, and towards minors. The underlying message is that “one doesn’t have to be a victim of their circumstances forever, and there is hope”. Hence, the group of kids that are targeted and victimized by their loved ones, their peers, and by society, and they become fed up and decide ‘enough is enough’, and they take a stand and fight back.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The experiences in this book are not based on anyone or anything I know personally. Rather, it is a voice and a cry out for anyone that is battling these nightmares. We hear about these events every day, whether it be on the News or in social media. There are always news or blog articles posted and conversations about these things.

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

In my early years, I enjoyed reading a lot of Disney books, and Disney is a huge inspiration to me as far as imagination and creativity. I think Disney is a big motivator for me and makes me reach deep into my imagination. I am still a child at heart when it comes to Disney. I love my horror and mysteries, but I still like to watch Disney cartoons, especially the old classics that I grew up watching.

In my early teen years, I enjoyed reading a lot of love and romance books and found them inspiring when dealing with my own personal struggles in romantic relationships. They provided hope that, one day, that dream would come true for myself. The authors that have influenced me then are Omar Tyree (author of Flyy Girl, which still remains my favorite book), Sharon M. Draper (author of Romiette and Julio), and Sister Souljah (author of The Coldest Winter Ever).

Around mid-to-late teens is when I shifted over to reading horror and mystery books. Stephen King is a huge inspiration to me. He has outstanding penmanship and storytelling skills that I aspire to reach, myself.

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

It goes without saying that Stephen King is definitely high on that list. As I’ve mentioned, his penmanship and storytelling skills are amazing. His ability to reach deep into his imagination and create otherworldly stories, creatures, and characters. Reading his work, and even watching cinematic adaptations of his works, makes me want to dig deeper and go above and beyond to create. It makes me want to think outside the box and take down the borders of any restriction or taboo.

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

The cover of The Wasteland was designed by Onur Burc. I found him on Fiverr. I selected him because he was very responsive and nice. He was also good at working with you as a client and working harder than the average person to give you what you were looking for and meet your expectations. I liked that he generated several options to choose from based on your thought process, and he generated professional quality covers. I had decided to give someone else a try with one of my books, and his service was not as good. The cover was a mess and not professional-looking or of decent quality.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice for other writers would be to “Just do it”. That’s first and foremost. There are some writers out there that imprison themselves with their own personal restrictions and repressions, thinking that they can’t get their work out there because they have this preconceived notion that they’re not any good, or that they’re afraid of releasing their work because they’re afraid of people reading it and judging it and failing. One, there is no such thing as perfection. There will always be improvements to be made. Two, you will never reach everyone, and everyone will not like your work. That’s why you need to figure out the demographics of your audience, and you focus on that audience alone. Three, just write. Don’t beat yourself down with dreams of perfection that you struggle to write and get your work out there. “Perfection” comes with practice and consistency. You get better as you progress. You don’t progress by sitting in a corner or by staring at a blank screen and not writing anything. You don’t progress with procrastination. You don’t get noticed by hiding behind a computer screen and not putting yourself out there.

Another trend I see a lot of, is aspiring writers constantly comparing themselves to other writers, or giving in to negative advice. They ask experienced writers for advice, and the experienced writers, instead of providing inspiring advice that would motivate inexperienced writers, they’d be “negative Nancies”. Do not give in to any negative “advice” that doesn’t motivate or inspire you to reach your goals and dreams and make them a reality. Do not give in to anything that can hold you back instead of motivating you to get out there. Take any positive constructive criticism that’s going to aid in you honing your craft and becoming better at it.

When it comes to your work and you want to reap success, you have to engage and promote almost 24/7. It is a full-time job, regardless of how you get published, whether it be traditionally with a publishing agent, or self-publishing. Just because you publish with an agent does not mean your work is done. I’ve learned this through research from someone who published with an agent first and decided to do self-publishing with a new book for this very reason. He still had to do all of the engagement and promotion, otherwise he wasn’t getting an audience, and he wasn’t getting any sales. Meanwhile, any sale his book made; his agent still collected his percentage. Not to mention, he sold some of the rights to his book when signing with the agent.

I personally choose the self-publishing route, and I always will because, for one, the cost of traditional publishing. Even if I did have hundreds to thousands of dollars to invest in an agent, I wouldn’t because, for one, I want all of my time and hard work and efforts I invested into creating my book to be 100% my own. I want to keep 100% rights to my own work all the time. I want to have independence and be able to do what I want when I want with my work, and not be bound by contract to an agent, restricting me on what I can or can’t do. Two, I want any money I make for my work to be 100% mine, aside from global distribution fees. I don’t want my hard-earned money to be basically taken from me after service charges and agent fees, leaving me with pocket change.

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

Some of my books have been revised and redesigned (The Monster Pack: The Wasteland included), and some are still going through the global distribution check and have not yet been made available on some platforms. To ensure you get the most up-to-date version right now, please check out my Author’s Spotlight at Lulu.


The Monster Pack Book CoverStacy Cox
Cleveland, OH

FACEBOOK 
INSTAGRAM 
TWITTER 
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LINKEDIN  

The Monster Pack: The Wasteland

Cover artist: Onur Burc
Publisher: Lulu

*Author’s Spotlight at Lulu 
AMAZON 
Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

Part of being an active writer is learning your craft. Every month, I surf the web to find new and interesting articles to read to help me be a better science fiction and fantasy author. These are the top ten picks of the week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Fantasy-Themed Cookbooks


Reasons to Publicize Your Award-Eligible Works


Five SF Empires That Seemed Too Big to Fail


The Best Free and Low-Cost Ways To Sell Books


How To Animate Book Covers


Five Useless Powers in Popular Stories


History for Fantasy Writers: Medieval Mining


How to Evoke Emotions with Book Cover Design


How to Sneak Flashbacks into Your Novel


Writing Through the Pain

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays * Writer's Links * Scifaiku

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