Tag Archives: witches

Author Interview: Manner Hall

Author Manner Hall is a young upcoming fantasy author from Los Angeles. It is always my pleasure to feature local authors on my blog. Please welcome her to No Wasted Ink.

Author Manner HallMy name is Manner Hall, I am twenty-five years old. I am a published author, as well as a sword and vape collector. I also happen to be a muscle car fanatic. Alongside those pastimes, I enjoy spreading joy and happiness via my social media pages and in daily life. I have five loving fur babies, three dogs, and two cats. In recent months I have also been exploring the world of good health and a centered well being. I enjoy meeting new people, I feel that a person can learn valid things from almost anybody. Which is why I am so excited to do this interview and share some of my knowledge with other upcoming writers. Perhaps if I am lucky enough, I will be able to connect with more people and hear their experiences.

When and why did you start writing?

I began writing at the age of thirteen. At the time I suffered from nearly debilitating night terrors. You know, the kind that wakes you up in a bed of sweat gasping for air. Often times I would wake up terrified because my nightmares felt so real. I was told by various family members, mainly my grandmother, that if I told someone what they were about they would go away. Sadly, that did not happen. So instead every night I began going to sleep with an open mind rather than fear. I kept a journal by my bed and when I would have a dream I would wake up and jot down what I saw and heard. Over the course of the next few months, I realized that the dreams had begun to link together much like a puzzle. I began to get to know and feel the emotions of the characters, people, and creatures that came to visit me in the realm of sleep. I was always the bystander, my dreams seemed like a movie playing before my eyes. As I see it, I am the voice of my dreams, I bring them to life through my writing. It was that pain and terror that gave birth to my book series Amulet of the Elements.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I came to acknowledge myself as a writer by the time I turned fifteen. Between balancing my studies at school and other various activities, I forced myself to find time to write. If I went to long without pumping out a chapter or two a week, I found that my night terrors would return with a vengeance. The more I slept, the more I got to know characters from my series, Tonisa, Reanon the Red etc. The expansive universe my mind had come to subconsciously build, making me realize this was my calling and my gift. The more I wrote, the more mature and eccentric my writing style became, it was then that I labeled myself as a writer.

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

The book that I would enjoy sharing with everyone would be, Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone. It is a dark epic fantasy novel that I began writing, what seems forever ago. It takes place in medieval times and has races, planets, and languages that I have created myself. It is set around the story of three main characters. Zacura Bloodclaw, a hellhound who claims the breed of the Trivouchion Red Horn. She is what many believe is the next chosen Keeper of the Elements, of chosen of the stone. Zacura is the main protagonist in my series. Another character of note would be Tonisa Tyliquin. She is the main antagonist in the series, with her secret lover Calira Draconvieh or as he is commonly known, The Dark Dragon King, being the supporting antagonist.

In short, my book and its series are about the greater good. So many characters that many think would never clash do in unthinkable ways. The main focus is a battle for the planet of Evernia. It has been subjected to a noxious and plague-like cloud of darkness known as the Raxonian Bane. No one knows where or how it started, but some view it as the gods’ way of washing sin from a world they never meant to create. The secondary focus is a battle between the dragons of Evernia and the witches known as the Tyliquin race. It is a legendary war that has been going on for over ten thousand years. I would say it is a civil war, one that began with the sin of a goddess in the form of pre-marital sex with a demon. It is a battle for control, rights, and wealth in the form of land. One side wishes to regain dominion over what they feel was stolen from them, while the other wishes to see magic vanquished. This is often times found to be unreasonable in my series to most characters, as magic is what freed the draconic races from their chains and slavery to the human race in the Embryonic Era.

What inspired you to write this book?

I would have to say that my brain’s creativity inspired me to write this book and all six others that will follow. I always tell people who ask me this question, that my brain is in a way, my master. It shows me things that I never thought possible and allows me to connect mentally and somewhat physically to my characters and their stories. There are so many ideas and tales in my head that I feel it would be a disservice to my gift to never see them in print. I want to share my stories with the world. My hope is that everyone can find something in this book to relate to.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I do. I believe I would fall under both the descriptive and narrative columns of writing styles. I have had many of my readers tell me that my writing could be compared to a song. I found that quite flattering honestly. I am very descriptive, I enjoy explaining things like feelings, sounds and clothing textures in comparison to other items or things. I feel it gives the reader a much more realistic depiction of the text. For example, when I express something like a dragon roaring I would say something like the following.

“The thunderous ballad of serpentine vocals trampled through the open air like a drum of thunder.”

I just personally enjoy having common things to refer to when I read, especially in a fantasy novel. Authors of the fantasy genre build worlds we know nothing about. It is for this reason I enjoy adding a bit of realism to derive a scene from. Something to give the reader a painting of something that is familiar to them.

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

Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone is a second edition of the first book. The original title was Amulet of the Elements Keeper of the Elements.  Over time as my skills evolved and I left my previous publishing company, I found it to be redundant. It felt more like a title for a children’s book or teen novel. Which my book is in no way marketed for, so I changed it having then been in my twenties. Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone was born basically out of having more maturity and the ability to think deeper into my work. The title symbolizes that someone is the chosen being, and has been elected by a powerful and ethereal like stone, rather than by their peers or another being in the line of succession.

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

Yes! There are so many that I could never explain them all in one sitting so I will focus on pointing out the main ones. While writing AOTE, I wanted to spread what I feel is peace and wisdom in an exciting landscape. The fantasy genre is huge, so much so that some even cosplay, or live by the creed or lifestyle of some very popular books. We as people tend to be more open to make a stand or accept something if someone we look up to agrees with it. Writing is a valuable tool to see such things happen.

One of my messages would be on racism. Even today in 2018 we still face issues with judgmental opinions and prejudice. I happen to be in an interracial relationship, my boyfriend and I get looks all the time because I am African/German American and he is Caucasian/ White. Even answering this question ruffles my feathers a bit. I do not enjoy claiming a race, I am human as are we all.

To sum up this particular message I will say this. In my series, hellhounds represent the poor and middle class. In comparison to our world, they are the African Americans, the Latino, the Muslim or any race or religion that is currently or has always been frowned upon.

The dragons represent the rich and influent, they are often times prejudice and feel that anyone who is not like them are beneath them. Now I am not saying that every rich person is cruel or a racist or anything like that. There is good and evil in everyone, such is true with certain dragons in my books.

Take Calira and Tonisa for example. Calira is what is known as a hidden drake. Meaning he is a dragon but he can walk as a human. Tonisa is a Tyliquin witch, a race of human magical beings. It is illegal for a dragon to marry or mate with a witch. And in some countries as a dragon, you can be killed if you hold a Tyliquin as anything more than a slave. This couple has lived through segregation and torment. Even still, they persevere and fight for their right to love no matter the blood they claim.

The second I will share today is greed. In my books, it shows how greed can be enjoyed, but also how it can damage an ecosystem, a class of people and or creatures as a whole. My other messages are hidden here and there. I am sure everyone who reads my books will find them.

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

No, they are not. This book and all those that will come to follow, just bloom as I go. I know how the story began and I know how it will end. Everything else is up to whatever direction my imagination forces me to take.

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

I would have to say the authors who have influenced my life would be, J.K. Rowling and Steven Erickson to name a couple. I would even say a sprinkle of J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin. J.K. Rowling was my very first introduction into Fantasy followed by Tolkien, Martin, and Erickson. What I find most inspiring about them all is the originality of their work and how they never gave up on their dreams of becoming a well known and best-selling author.

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

I would have to say J.K. Rowling for sure. She is an amazing person. She created a world and story both adults and children could enjoy. Gave messages of love and war and the good side, at last, gaining the upper hand. I hope to one day be like her. She is extremely rich and famous but still remains humble and caring to others. She is not greedy nor has she ever forgotten how far she has come, I admire that.

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

I design all the covers to my books from my AOTE series to my short stories and novels. However, A wonderful man by the name of Sukrit, known as Doomguy26 on Deviantart illustrated them for me and brought my ideas to life. I chose him because he had the exact drawing style I was looking for. A realistic feel with the ability to keep the wonders of fantasy and myth in the art.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My best advice would be to do your research and take your time. Never give up on your dream of becoming an author. It has been one of the most time consuming yet rewarding activities in my life thus far. I have had the experience of meeting new people from around the globe. I would also suggest that they look into self-publishing through Amazon if they run into issues or far too many denial letters from traditional publishers. I left my old publishing company Tate Publishing back in early 2016. They were not at all what they seemed. I have since then had much more exposure networking myself than I ever had with them. Research, talk to people, explore the vast world or the internet and educate yourself before you dive in. You can also build up your followers and popularity for free while you work on your book or series. That way you can grow as you go. I began on Wattpad and just expanded from there.

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

I just want to thank all my followers and readers for their support and opinions throughout the years. I would be nothing without all you guys. To all the followers I may gain from this interview, I wish to extend my thanks in advance to you and hope you enjoy this as well as my book and those coming in the near future. And of course, let’s spread love not hate.

Amulet of the Elements Chosen of the Stone Book CoverManner Hall
Los Angeles California

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Author Interview: SL Perrine

Please welcome Author S.L. Perrine to No Wasted Ink.

Author SL PerrineMy name is S.L. Perrine, some people know me as Shannon. I am a wife, a mother, a medical assistant, and on more than an occasion, I write Paranormal books.
I grew up in Central NY, and have gotten many degrees. Some I’ve used for a short while trying to find the ‘practical’ career. Others I knew right away were not going to work for me. However, my Criminal Justice Degree and Psychology Degree, as well as my medical experience have helped tremendously with some of my stories.

When and why did you begin writing?

I am Shannon. Although, I’ve never felt like a Shannon. Mostly because I’ve been a mom for eighteen years. I have a wonderful husband. I am a licensed Cosmetologist, Medical Assistant, and have an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

I would prefer to spend most of my time at home, other than work, that is. I try to make time to visit my friends and my parents at least, but I hate leaving my house, so nobody else sees me. That’s put a strain on my relationship with my siblings (I have nine). I’m trying to change that.

I like to read. I know, big shocker. I also enjoy crocheting, painting, drawing, and writing. I’m a huge fan of camping. If you follow my Instagram you would have seen lots of camping pictures last summer. This summer will be crazy, we’ve got a seasonal site and are buying a camper. Love to fish, and I bait my own hook. A country girl never leaves the mind, even if the body now lives in the city.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t know that I have, or that I ever will. I think of myself as a creator. I create worlds and characters. I create stories and art. While most of my art is in the form of the written word, I do create graphics as well. I am also a web designer. So, with that said, I am neither. I’m a creator.
To me, a writer is someone who only writes. Maybe a poet or a journalist. I create.

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

Blood Rites begins the journey into the Crawford witch line. It tells the story of a young Seraphina Crawford, corrupted by anger and fueled by blood. She will do anything to keep her friends safe because they are the only family she has left. She goes against everything she’s been taught. The biggest betrayal, Do No Harm.

She kills, and with each kill, she gains powers to do what she thinks is justice, but is really revenge. When she finally realizes she may have gone too far, it might be too late for her. She may lose all that she worked so hard to protect. Her best friend, the love of two boys who compete for her affections, and the people she chose to lead.

What inspired you to write this book?

My love of everything Wiccan, and the paranormal. I started the original story a few years ago and decided my readers needed to know how that tale came about. The original is a YA series, but The Blood Rites Trilogy is NA.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I enjoy showing my readers my stories. If Someone is going to lean against a wall suggestively, then that what I type. I like being descriptive, allowing the readers to imagine a scene in their mind as they go because that’s how I write it. I visualize everything as I write it out. I never plot a story or come up with an outline beforehand. I just sit, let the images come to me and type it out as they do. That way I’m just as surprised by the outcome as my readers are.

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

Blood Rites is named after the blood rite ritual my characters in The Crawford Witch Chronicles have to go through to get their full strength of powers and bind their coven. It’s a ritual that takes place after each of the members of the coven turns eighteen, during the winter solstice.

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

We are all human, and thus we make mistakes. Seraphina is just a child when she decides to take on the world. She goes about it the wrong way, but for the right reasons, and eventually makes amends for those mistakes.
We all make mistakes in life, but it’s never too late to make amends.

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

I’ve studied Wicca and witchcraft for most of my adult life. I have used what I’ve learned, and what I practice keeping the stories as accurate as possible.

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

Before I became a member of the indie world, being published and whatnot, I found Nora Roberts very inspiring. Though I was tired of the same old same old. Somebody found out something, meets someone, falls in love but fights it, gives in, finds out something that separated them, then eventually they made up and happily ever after was the ending.
Life and stories are not all the same. They should have a different makeup, or flow, making each one independent from the rest.

When I became published I found two women to be influential in my writing. The first, my publisher and fellow Author, Kindra Sowder at Burning Willow Press. She is a powerhouse. She has a full-time job and all the duties of running a company, but all those titles she has out is so impressive. I have strived to have the work ethic she has.
The other is my good friend, fellow Author and once a publisher, Nikki Yager AKA the Dragon Queen or The Dragon’s Rocketship. She has been my sounding board, my supporter and my friend over the last few years. I don’t know what I would do without her. Both, the Crawford Witch Chronicles and Blood Rites were the results of very long conversations. She let me bounce ideas off her for weeks when these series were just crawling into my mind.

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

I would say, Chad Dennis. He’s my imaginary friend. In 2012, we met playing an online war game. He told me he was a writer, and when I told him I was starting a book, he kept on me every day to write. Even a little bit. We both finished our books that year, but life got in the way for him. I know he’s back at it again, and hope one day I get to see the next masterpiece.

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

Aurelia Fray at Pretty AFDesigns. My publisher at Vamptasy and CHBB Publishing assigned her to me, and I must say I was blown away by her concept. I gave her a few key points, and with a few minor tweaks, because I’m anal, she nailed it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write. Don’t say there is no time. Make time. Don’t say you can’t come up with an idea, just sit and let it flow. The idea will come to you. Even if the first thing you write is absolute garbage, and maybe the second will be too. However, if you want it bad enough, then the idea will come and the words will flow.

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

Without my readers, I would be doing this for the same reason I started, to just put the stories somewhere that others can see it. Now, I write for another reason. To entertain those who don’t have the imagination to entertain others. To give people hopes and dreams, love and loss, and above all else…Art. Writing is just another art form. A means of expression. I enjoy expressing myself for all of you, so thank you!

blood rites book coverSL Perrine
Saratoga Springs, New York

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Author Interview: Che Gilson

Author Che Gilson likes to make the small epic and the epic small.  She is a YA fantasy author from the Pacific Northwest.  Please welcome her on No Wasted Ink.

Che Gilson- Black OpalHello! My name is Che Gilson and I write things and draw things. Some of those things get published which is really, really nice. I also love to draw and paint. I mostly work in watercolor and who knows- perhaps you’ll see my work in the art show of a fantasy convention you go to! I’m also quite the nerd. I love TV, movies, manga, anime, and reading. I collect Asian Ball Jointed Dolls and one of my current goals is buying a smart phone so I can play Pokémon GO… and also so I can get a credit card reader for conventions… but mostly Pokémon…

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been creating stories since I was a child. I loved the writing prompts in English class and I loved to read. My original goal was to write and draw my own comics but in art school, I discovered my attention span for comics lasts about 12 pages. I then wrote some graphic novels but unfortunately had difficulty finding an artist to work with consistently. It didn’t help when Tokyopop shut down either. So I began to write more and more prose. It was something I’d done all along, but I finally really decided to work at it because it was the only way I was going to be able to tell MY stories, no artist required.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure. I think I felt ‘officially’ like a writer when I wrote Avigon my first graphic novel, illustrated by Jimmie Robinson. I finally had my name on something and that something was in stores. That was the first real success I had getting my words out in more than a zine.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Aside from my usual line about Tea Times Three being a book about tea, witches, yummy food, and small towns. I really consider it a book about a town. I made up a fictional Maine town called Midswich. I picked Maine because it’s not a populace state and because I have an obsession with the East Coast even though I’ve only been to New York city once in high school. But the East Coast looks as close to Europe as you can get and originally I had wanted Tea Times Three to be set in England. I made Midswich a tourist town that had designed itself to look like a British village. I got the idea from Solvang, a Swedish styled town in California. There are multiple POV characters, magic, and a hint of romance.

What inspired you to write this book?

FOOD! This book is my ode to all the food I can’t eat anymore because I am allergic to everything! Other ideas went into it as well. I love what I like to call “Eccentric British Village Comedies” though all my examples of this ‘genre’ are American or Canadian. TV shows like Northern Exposure and Corner Gas. Things that revolve around small towns and shenanigans where everyone pretty much knows everyone. I also adore witches. I joke that my default mode is “witch”. And tea which aside from water, is my favorite beverage on earth. It’s pretty much the only thing besides water that I drink. So I put into Tea Times Three all the things I love, food, small town shenanigans, tea and witches.

Originally I had planned Tea Times Three as a comic book set in a little English village and the witches were much younger. I was aiming for a Middle Grade audience of kids 9-12 and maybe some shojo fans. But then Tokyopop folded and I had to re-imagine it as something else entirely. It took several years and some sage advice before the novel version clicked in my head and I started writing it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I strive for clarity in my writing. I’m not sure that’s a style, but that’s the approach I take. I want the writing to be clear, I want the characters to be interesting, I want to express myself in a way that is easily understood. I hope it’s interesting and I hope people enjoy it and that’s really what I want.

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

That was really simple. I used the name of the tea shop the three witches open in the town. Tea Times Three. And if I’m being utterly honest the name of the tea shop is a nod to Charmed the TV show. Piper opens a club named P3 which was a reference to the sister’s “power of three”, and their names which all began with “P”. This is actually the super nerd origin of the title I’ve never told anyone else!

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

One of the major themes in Tea Times Three is tolerance and intolerance. The majority of the town is nervous when witches move in and it takes a few people standing up for them for people to start changing their minds.

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

Not especially. Though I put a lot of myself into my books. I tend to give my characters all my worst personality traits and then make them bigger (the traits, not the characters). Or I give them personality traits I WISH I had, like optimism! Though I do know what it’s like to move into a new town and to live in small towns. All the food in Tea Times Three is either based on things I’ve eaten, or things I’ve seen on TV. One of my beta readers pointed out that I had described the flavor of Earl Grey tea wrong and in fact I had never drunk Earl Grey before. So I went to the grocery store and bought some. Turns out I LOVE Earl Grey and it’s become one of my favorite teas. I also rewrote my description of the flavor.

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

In college I took a creative writing class and the teacher kept telling us to read Raymond Carver. So I went to the book store grabbed a collection of Raymond Carver off the shelf, sat down and read. It blew my mind. The diamond clarity of the prose, the sense of so much going unspoken, the stories of small intimate, painful moments, took my breath away. After that I wanted to write like Raymond Carver. I did too, in as much as my smaller talents could manage. but It was another writer friend of mine who took a look at my prose and said “You need to describe things more, what the hell is this?” (I paraphrase). So for love of Raymond Carver I stripped my prose down to the bones, then after talking with that writer friend I started to build it back up again.

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

Yes! Suzanne McLeod. She’s a British urban fantasy author and you should go check out the Spellcrackers series! I met her through a Live Journal group for UF authors called Fangs Fur Fey. She posted that she was having trouble with her book and was looking for a cheer partner to swap snippets with. I had been working on Tea Times Three for awhile and was stuck on that manuscript as well. So I replied to her and we began exchanging bits of our books. We still email back and forth and encourage each other to this day! She has provided the most ridiculously good edits on some of my shorter works and has encouraged me to keep writing for years.

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

I designed the book cover for Tea Times Three, and my earlier urban fantasy novella Carmine Rojas: Dog Fight. Though for Tea Times Three I commissioned the hand lettering you see on the cover. The lettering was drawn by Courtney Kilpatrick of Typecast Lettering. I found her on Etsy. I had a very strong vision of the Tea Times Three cover, I even had the clip art picked out years before it was published. I thought I might have to self-publish and I wanted to be ready. Having the title handwritten was inspired by Bookcoverarchive.com which showcases the covers of literary novels and has an extensive gallery of beautifully designed cover work.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up. But be ready to go with small presses and Indie publishing. Write what you want, what inspires you. If you love it chances are others do too.

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

You’ve probably heard this from other authors, but if you like a book leave a review! It doesn’t have to be brilliantly written. A simple “I liked it.” is great. Small press and Indie authors live and die by the kindness of readers.

Tx3 cover flat smallerChe Gilson
Salem Oregon

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Tea Times Three

Cover artist:  Courtney Kilpatrick
Publisher: Black Opal Books

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BARNES & NOBLE