WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Bud Sparhawk

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

32264184_10215034093500230_4187142610185355264_nBud Sparhawk has been a three-time novella finalist for SFWA’s Nebula award and has appeared in two Year’s Best anthologies.  His short work was recently published in the BEST OF DEFENDING THE FUTURE and MAN and MACHINE anthologies, both by eSpec Books. He has also published a collection of twenty of his “best” short stories published in the last decade as NON-PARALLEL UNIVERSES. His new novel SHATTERED DREAMS will be released this summer. He has previously produced two novels DISTANT SEAS and VIXEN.  He has published two collections SAM BOONE: FRONT TO BACK, and DANCING WITH DRAGONS.  These and other novels and collections are available on Amazon.

His most recent stories will appear in Analog and Intergalactic Medicine Show later this year.

A complete bibliography can be found in WIKI and at: http://budsparhawk.com. Bud also writes an occasional blog on the pain of writing at http://budsparhawk.blogspot.com

Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

Bud: Babble fish, just because.

Wolf: That would make communications easier when you travel. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Bud: Put them out of their misery, but in a good way.

Wolf: I can see that. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Bud: Prolong their agony as long as possible before revealing the resolution. Readers enjoy watching someone else twist in the wind. The trick is to keep them spinning but only for so long, then put both the character in the reader out of their misery.

Wolf: I think writers are part torturers. We’re really nasty to our characters. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Bud: I’ve lived with both and loved them all despite knowing that they will eventually die and leave me heartsick.

Wolf: I know what you mean. I can’t imagine life without pets. While walking in the woods you come across…

Bud: An anomaly that establishes time, place, character and plot. From there who knows what will happen and where the story will go.

Wolf: I like that. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Bud: Writing well and more often.

Wolf: I’d like that one as well. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Bud: Wish I hadn’t eaten that big burrito and hoping this is the door to the toilet.

Wolf: 😊 The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Bud: Proofread the announcement and make a few changes to make it scan better, after all, writers must have standards.

Wolf: I like your sense of humor. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

Bud: Chocolate, wine, a good book, and two friends.

Wolf: Your cataclysm is much more relaxed than mine. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Bud: The character of Sweeney, an angry grunt who rises above himself and spans the galaxy in his millions. He is the strongest and most interesting of the three protagonists in SHATTERED DREAMS, my new novel coming out this summer from eSpec books.

Wolf: Sounds like an interesting person. What is your favorite body of water and why?

Bud: The Chesapeake Bay, which has the finest sailing in the world. (And the crabs ain’t bad either.)

Wolf: What story are you working on now?

Bud: Currently I’m trying to get two of my novels finished and working on three short stories, one of which looks like it will be a novella.

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?shattered dreams

Bud: Reading anything I can get my hands on, but mostly science-fiction.

Wolf: You can connect with Bud at http://budsparhawk.com and http://budsparhawk.blogspot.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out the Epic Science Fiction Adventures Kickstarter campaign which includes Bud’s book, Shattered Dreams, and Christopher Bennett’s book, Among the Wild Cybers. http://tiny.cc/scifi

 

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My Balticon Schedule

Balticon 52 is right around the corner.

May 25-28 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
Check out the program on the website.
Four days of non-stop fun. Great panels and workshops.
Broad Universe Logo-300x95
Fifi and I will be hanging out at the Broad Universe table in the dealers room this year.  We’ll also be at these panels and reading. Stop by and say hi. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Star Touched.
Saturday, May 26
11am
Readings: A.L. Kaplan, Christie Meierz, Bud Sparhawk
St. George
Track: Readings
Type: Reading

Authors A.L. Kaplan, Christie Meierz, and Bud Sparhawk read from their work.


1pm
Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading
Kent
Track: Readings
Type: Reading

The authors of the Broad Universe writing organization share excerpts from their upcoming works.

Sunday, May 27
2pm
As You Know, Bob…
Kent
Track: Literary
Type: Panel

Informing the reader without breaking narrative often results in characters telling each other things they already know. How do we convey information to the reader without looking like we’re doing so?

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Andrew McDowell

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

Andrew 2Andrew McDowell wanted to be a writer since he was a teenager. He has studied History and English at St. Mary’s College, and Library and Information Science at the University of Maryland. He is a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association. He is an associate nonfiction editor with the literary journal JMWW. He has had poetry published in the anthology Pen in Hand, and he won second place in the creative nonfiction category of the MWA Literary Contest in 2015 for his essay on his experiences with Asperger syndrome. His YA fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood was published by Mockingbird Lane Press and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To learn more about him and his writing, visit his website and blog at andrewmcdowellauthor.com.

Wolf: Welcome to Wolf Notes, Andrew. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Andrew: I would definitely go with a sword. I did some fencing in college, and I’ve always been fascinated by warriors who fight with swords since childhood, from knights in shining armor to ninjas and samurai.

Wolf: Swords are definitely cool. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Andrew: I made one of them a slave to evil and kill another character (neither of which happened in the earlier drafts), and it isn’t the story’s villain. But I won’t say who so as to not to spoil the story.

Wolf: That is mean. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Andrew: I’m definitely a dog person. That’s not to say I don’t get along well with cats and enjoy their company, but I’ve grown up with dogs and for a time when there wasn’t a dog in the house, there was a void that needed filling.

Wolf: I know exactly what you are talking about. A dogless house feels empty. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Andrew: The ability to shape-shift into any animal I want and back at will.

Wolf: That could be a lot of fun. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Andrew: That would be a tie between Dermot and Saershe. Dermot is the protagonist and the spiritual nature-lover side of me. Saershe is essentially Mother Nature herself, warm but powerful.

Wolf: What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

Andrew: That would also be a tie, this time between oceans and rivers. As a child I loved reading and learning about marine life. I went to St. Mary’s College of Maryland, which was on the St. Mary’s River. I enjoyed many afternoons going out and walking by the water or just sitting down to observe it.

Wolf: I’d love to go for a river walk myself. What story are you working on now?

Andrew: I’m currently working on the sequel to Mystical Greenwood, and also a mystery novel about neglected and abused pets, set in the real world.

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Andrew: I enjoy walking, working out, and watching movies and television. I’m also a bit of a coin collector.

Wolf: Thank you for visiting. You can connect with Andrew through these links:

Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Tumblr

 

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – J.L. Smith

081

Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

2017 photoJ. L. Smith lives in Odenton, Maryland. Her works have appeared in many literary journals and magazines, including Cirque, Alaska Women Speak, The Avatar Review, Five 2 One Magazine, Fourth & Sycamore, and more. She is an author of two poetry collections. Her book, Medusa, The Lost Daughter, is a narrative series of poems based on the Medusa myth. Her most recent collection is Weathered Fragments, Weathered Souls, which features previous published poems and a few new ones.

 

Wolf: What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

J.L.: Easily, it was this Vietnamese soup I had while I was living in South Korea. I cannot remember the name of it, but I remember what was in it: full, head-on prawns, baby crabs cut in half, completely intact baby octopus the size of a thumb, and more, in a spicy lemongrass broth. I love hot foods, but this one did make me cry! It was so spicy. I actually got cuts on my hand from deshelling the seafood. I called it the “soup that fought back,” and yes, I ordered it again the next time!

Wolf: That sounds good. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

J.L.: I would choose the bow and arrow. Not because it is practical–because I have no idea how to use one–but because it is quiet, quick, and graceful in its own way.

Wolf: I’ve always loved bows as well. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

J.L.: I gave a supporting character a lead role. A character in my work-in-progress novel, The Fleeting Lights, was originally written as the lead’s romantic interest, but had little else going on. It took me some time, but I went into his psyche (I know, weird, but writers understand!), found out more about him, and now he has been brought to life as a full character with his own backstory. What more can character ask for?

Wolf: Indeed. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

J.L.: I made Phorena (Medusa, The Lost Daughter) responsible for setting up Medusa’s downfall. Having watched the whole attack, Phorena just led Medusa to her sentence. I had misgivings about that, because how can Phorena be redeemed after that? Yet, given Phorena’s and Medusa’s relationship, all actions led up to that very scene, making it seem natural for Phorena to be there at Medusa’s downfall.

Wolf: It’s still harsh, but I understand. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

J.L.: Cat person all the way. The little box is a wonderful thing.

Wolf: But that little box needs to be emptied. What five items would you want to have in a post-cataclysmic world?

J.L.: Abundance of clean water, a sustainable food source, shelter, soap, and a picture of my daughter.

Wolf: All good choices. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

J.L.: I always preferred the ocean. It is boundless and deep, begging to be explored.

Wolf: Don’t forget waves. Waves are fun. What story are you working on now?

J.L.: I am working on a follow up to the Medusa, The Lost Daughter. Medusa: War and Punishment (working title) will focus on Medusa’s exile, the war in Olympus, and the war on the mortal world.

Wolf: Sounds interesting. Want to learn more about J.L.? Check out the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/jennifersmithak/

http://www.jlsmithwrites.com

Twitter: @jennifersmithak

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I LIKED THAT BOOK. NOW WHAT?

thank an author

Why post a review? Not only does it tell other readers that it is something they might enjoy, it’s also a way of saying thanks to the author.

You don’t have to write a three-page document to review a book and you don’t need a blog. It can be as simple as saying “I loved this book” on Facebook or Twitter. Amazon is a great place for reviews, even if you didn’t buy the book from them, as well as Goodreads.com. All it takes is a few minutes.

Here’s an example:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful story with intriguing characters.

So next time to finish reading a book, take a moment to let the world know what you thought.

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Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population. Her power to heal may be overshadowed by more destructive abilities. Fleeing the persecution of those like her, Tatiana seeks refuge in a small town she once visited. But this civil haven, in a world where society has broken down, is beginning to crumble. Will Tatiana flee or stay and fight for the new life she has built? Only by harnessing the very forces that haunt her can Tatiana save her friends…and herself.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Complex and Captivating
Tatiana wants more than anything to be normal. Instead, she has to deal with the loss of family, home, and belonging. Worse, her new abilities after the cataclysm frighten her more so than anyone she encounters. It will take a whole community to help Tatiana confront her fears, powers, and anger. It’s a story about accepting who you are and learning the importance of forgiving yourself.

5.0 out of 5 stars 
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Star Touched
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Star Touched. It captured my interest right away and kept it throughout the story. Well developed characters and exciting plot kept me turning pages. I recommend this book to people of all ages.

5.0 out of 5 stars 
A great accomplishment for a new writer
A captivating novel. The character development was very complex and compelling; a great accomplishment for a new writer. Each time that I felt that I had figured out an angle, two more surprised me.

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Meg Eden

081Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.

megMeg Eden’s work is published or forthcoming in magazines including Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO and CV2. She teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She has five poetry chapbooks, and her novel “Post-High School Reality Quest” is published with California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Find her online at http://www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal

 

Wolf: If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

Meg: A bird. I’ve always wanted to fly.

Wolf: I like the idea of flying as well. At least as long as I’m not actually flying. (Ask my kids about me on a plane.) What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

Meg: Coagulated pig’s blood soup in Thailand.

Wolf: Can’t say as though I’ve tried that one. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Meg: I always pick archers in my strategy games, so probably a bow and arrow. I love long range weapons and the idea of being able to hide in a tree instead of being in close combat.

Wolf: That’s my pick too. I love archery. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Meg: I don’t know if I’ve done much of anything nice for my characters… >_>

Wolf: Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Meg: I used to be all the way a dog person, anti-cat and all too, until I got married and we got a cat. Now I’m a non-discriminating animal lover J

Wolf: While walking in the woods you come across…

Meg: An abandoned theme park!

Wolf: Fun. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Meg: Time travel! Writing is the closest I get to this, but I’d love to go back in time and watch history happen.

Wolf: The world is about to end. What is the first thing you do?

Meg: I feel like my instinct would be to pack my bag full of non-perishables like crackers and power bars. Old habits die hard.

Wolf: Which of your characters is your favorite?

Meg: Whichever MC I’m currently writing. J

Wolf: What story are you working on now?

Meg: I’m currently rewriting the novel that got me my first agent! It’s an old project that needs a lot of work, but it’s fun to see how much it’s changing and how I read it differently after all this time!

Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Meg: Playing video games and watching game playthroughs, doodling, scrollsawing, walking.

Wolf: Thanks for stopping by. You can learn more about Meg Eden at these link:

Facebook: Meg Eden Writes Poems

Twitter: @ConfusedNarwhal

www.megedenbooks.com

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RavenCon: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

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