WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Beth Woodword

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.

Woodward PhotoBeth Woodward is the author of the Dale Highland series of urban fantasy novels. The second book, Embracing the Demon, released on June 19. (Purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.) She lives in the Washington, DC, area with her husband and the three cats who own them.

Wolf: The universe can be dangerous at times. If you had to pick a weapon, what would it be and why?

Beth: Well, that would very much depend on what I needed the weapon for. Am I aiming for maximum destruction or just self-defense? (Or maybe self-offense. I could see that being a thing.)

I “invented” a type of gun in my books called the “Intelli-Target,” which corrects your aim so that you always hit your target. I think if I were looking for personal defense (or offense), I’d probably go with that, because my hand-eye coordination sucks and otherwise I’d probably shoot my eye out.

As for maximum destruction…I’d probably want something that wouldn’t damage the environment or hurt animals. I can’t see any scenario, even as a fictitious destroyer of things, where I’d be okay with that.

Wolf: Ah, an environmentally protective destroyer. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Beth: My protagonist is someone who doesn’t trust easily and hasn’t made a lot of connections in her life. So naturally, I had her learn to trust someone and make a deep connection with that person…and then that person betrayed her.

I mean, pretty much all of my fiction could be summarized as, “Beth does mean things to her characters.” But the story would be pretty boring otherwise.

Wolf: That is very cruel. I hope you gave your protagonist a chance to recover before throwing another brick at them. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?

Beth: My husband and I have three cats, whom we dote on excessively, and I volunteer at an animal shelter doing personality evaluations on the adoptable cats. (Yes, it is a thing.) So while I like dogs, I am very much a committed crazy cat lady.

Wolf: Achoo. Sorry, my cat allergy is acting up. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Beth: Time travel. I’m a big history geek, and I would love to experience what it was like to live in other times…but only if I can come back home to running water and electricity when I’m done!

Wolf: That’s a good one. Be careful not to step on any butterflies. There is a door at the end of a dark, damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Beth: I run as fast as I can, as far away as possible. I’m a hard-core Ravenclaw. I have no need for heroics, and I’m very aware of my own limitations. If you need someone to stay calm and call 911 after those crazy Gryffindors have rushed headlong into danger and gotten their arms chewed off, I’m your girl. But I’m not going to be the person who rushes into a dark corridor without a flashlight. Or, you know, at all.

Wolf: Smart. The world is about to end. (Maybe it was all those crazy Gryffindors.) What is the first thing you do?

Beth: My first thought was, “I would drop everything, find my husband, and spend the remaining time with him.” If there was time, I’d try to get to my brother, and there’s some other friends and family I’d like to say goodbye to. But I suspect that my first instinct would override everything else. If existence is about to end, he’s the person I’d want to spend the rest of the world with.

Wolf: I’m with you. Describe a meal you would be served while visiting another world.

Beth: I’m a horribly picky eater, so having a meal on another world would not go well for me. The aliens would serve me some delicacy of their world, and then I’d feign a stomach flu because I couldn’t bring myself to try the unidentifiable dish of gray mushy stuff with chunks. (Chunks, as any picky eater knows, are the bane of our existence.) And then I’d go to bed hungry and cursing my phone and my existence—because obviously you can’t get GPS signal on an alien world—and desperately wanting to know if there’s a Pizza Hut on Alpha Centauri.

Wolf: I’ll make a note not to have you over after the next hunt. What is your favorite body of water and why? (river, ocean, waterfall, puddle, bottle…)

Beth: Dolphin Cay at Atlantis Beach Resort in the Bahamas. We did a “Dolphin Trainer for a Day” experience, so we got to feed the stingrays, swim with the dolphins, snorkel with all kinds of fish, and spend eight hours learning about all the marine life they have at Atlantis. I was really impressed with how invested they are in the conservation of our oceans and aquatic life.

Wolf: That sounds cool. What story are you working on now?Embracing the Demon front cover

Beth: I’m in the very, very early stages of planning book 3 in the Dale Highland series. It’s still mostly index cards at this point, but I’m super excited about it. Big things will happen. And Beth will do even more mean things to her characters.

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

Beth: I love to travel! Even short weekend trips are great, but we do as many longer trips as we can manage, too. We just went to Italy and Spain in March, and it was amazing! I try to find a ghost tour in every place we visit; I love learning about spooky history. I’m a huge Doctor Who geek, and I’m so excited that we’ll finally have a female Doctor this fall. I read constantly, which is probably not a surprise. I would also move to Disney World and live there forever if I could.

Wolf: I’m looking forward to the new Doctor as well. You can keep the ghost tours. I don’t do well with spooky.

Connect with Beth through these sites:
Website: http://beth-woodward.com
Twitter: @beththewoodward
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethwoodwardwriter/

While you’re checking out Beth’s books, take a look at Star Touched.

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The Day of Reckoning Has Arrived

View the Star Touched Book Trailer Here

For those of you who are really into the science in science fiction, here is what happened. If those kinds of details don’t interest you, just skip the rest of this paragraph. The meteor that hit earth in Star Touched was smaller than the nearly six-mile-wide meteor that scientist believe caused the dinosaur’s extinction, but not by much. Hitting in the Atlantic near the conjunction of three tectonic plates, this impact triggered massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Basically, it really shook things up in nearly the worst possible way. All those earthquakes caused numerous tsunamis, one of which smacked into the eastern America. Volcanic eruptions spewed tons of junk into the atmosphere.

The Day of Reckoning and the days following devastated earth’s population, changed the coastline, and altered the climate. Were it not for clear sky day, it is unlikely life would have continued as we know it. It also created the star-touched, people capable of accessing incredible power.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/dinosaurs-extinction-asteroid-chicxulub-soot-earth-science/

https://www.psi.edu/epo/ktimpact/ktimpact.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicxulub_crater

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39922998

 

 Startouched front cover2

STAR TOUCHED

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.

 

 

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Countdown to the Day of Reckoning – 1 Days – Meteors and Tsunami

foam-2We’ve all seen the movies of giant tsunami hitting the coast, but how accurate are they? The devastating wave that hit Indonesia in 2004 was caused by a 9.1 earthquake in the Indian ocean.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/12/ten-years-since-the-2004-indian-ocean-tsunami/100878/

Could a meteor cause this kind of phenomena? Probably not by itself, but location is key, and the amount of water vapor tossed up into the atmosphere would drastically effect climate.

 

https://www.space.com/35081-asteroid-impact-ocean-computer-simulations-solar-system.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4034648/Stunning-visualization-reveals-REALLY-happen-asteroid-slammed-ocean.html

https://mashable.com/2018/07/01/nasa-meteorite-pacific-ocean-exploration/#.w4Ht5hh9aq9

https://www.space.com/35081-asteroid-impact-ocean-computer-simulations-solar-system.html

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/38-our-solar-system/the-earth/impacts/51-what-would-happen-if-an-asteroid-10-kilometers-across-hit-the-earth-beginner

Startouched front cover2

STAR TOUCHED

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Countdown to the Day of Reckoning – 2 Days – Survival of The Apocalypse

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If the unimaginable were to happen, are you prepared?

It’s time to start packing.

What 5 items would you definitely want to have to survive a cataclysm?

 

If you want to bring a copy of STAR TOUCHED,

you can pack a 6th item!

Startouched front cover2

Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her

star-touched powers eight years after a meteor devastates earth’s population.

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Countdown to the Day of Reckoning – 3 Days – An Interview of Tatiana from Star Touched

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Here is an interview of Tatiana, the main character in Star Touched, that The Wolf did a while back.

Wolf: Welcome to Wolf Notes, Tatiana. If you could be any animal in the universe, what would it be and why?

Tatiana: Thank you, Wolf. I’d love to be a bird. That way I could fly anywhere I wanted, feel the wind in my feathers as I soared through the air. I’d be free, with no worries.

Wolf: That sounds nice. Any particular kind of bird?

Tatiana: Swallows are pretty and graceful. I love the way they glide.

Wolf: Sweet. Swallows are cool to watch. Would you consider yourself a cat person or a dog person?

Tatiana: I love all animals, but I suppose I’m partial to dogs right now. Fifi is very important to me.

Wolf: You mean that tiny poodle you’re bonded to?

Tatiana: I’d rather not talk about her. Please ask a different question.

Wolf: Sure. While walking through the woods you come upon…

Tatiana: Wild blueberries, a whole field of them. There are also wild carrots, dandelions, cat tails, and all sorts of other yummy foods.

Wolf: That sounds more like a grocery store. What is the strangest food you ever had?

Tatiana: Food is food these days. Although I did see someone else eat, well… something I really don’t want to talk about. I mean I’ll eat almost anything, but not…that. I’d rather starve. Not that I would. I’m pretty good at finding food in the wild.

Wolf: I’m not sure you really answered that one. Let’s try another. What do you do for fun?

Tatiana: Surviving is very time consuming, so I don’t have much free time, but when I do, I love to read. Doesn’t matter what. Fiction, history, science… I just love books. When I read I can be anyone and go anywhere. It’s a wonderful escape and I learn things.

Wolf: I agree. Books are pretty awesome. You’ve just been turned into a plant. Describe yourself.

Tatiana: That’s a tough one. I don’t like the idea of staying in one place. My roots would need to be movable. More like legs.

Wolf: A walking plant?

Tatiana: Yes. With a forest green stem and bright-green heart-shaped leaves with a splash of blue. They could be made into a tea that would cure any disease. I’d also grow clusters of tasty and nutritious berries. Each would be enough to fill your belly for a day.

Wolf: That sounds fantastic. Aren’t you worried people would hunt you down for those berries and leaves?

Tatiana: Oh. I didn’t think of that. Can I change my answer to a small inedible red flower with no useful purpose?

Wolf: Sorry. No take backs. There is a door at the end of a dark damp corridor. You hear rumbling. What do you do?

Tatiana: Open the door and try to fix whatever machine is malfunctioning.

Wolf: Are you a mechanic?

Tatiana: No, but I’ve read lots of books on fixing things.

Wolf: If you could choose any weapon, what would it be?

Tatiana: Knowledge. I don’t like weapons or fighting.

Wolf: If you could pick any super power, what would it be and why?

Tatiana: None!

Wolf: Really?

Tatiana: I don’t want ANY special powers. I just want to be a normal person. I need to go now.

Wolf: Wow, Tatiana ran out of here fast. If you want to know more about her, you’ll have to read Star Touched.

Don’t forget to get your copy of Star Touched so you can learn more about Tatiana an her friends.

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Countdown to the Day of Reckoning – 4 Days – Perseid Meteor Shower

stars2There are several meteor showers throughout the year, but the Perseid meteor shower is one of my favorites. It’s one of the reasons I used is as a base for some of the events in my novel, Star Touched. This annual show is caused by the dust and debris left behind by the 1992 passing of the Swift-Tuttle Comet. It’s going on now, but peak is between August 11-13th, where you could see as many as 60-70 meteors an hour. That’s a lot of space junk. The little crescent moon will set before the shower starts after midnight.

Look north toward the Perseus constellation. (just below Cassiopeia)

Pull out a chair.

Slather on some bug spray.

Camp out under the night sky.

Enjoy the show.

While you’re there, keep an eye out for Mars and Saturn. Both will be visible.

But don’t worry, none of the meteors are big enough to cause a cataclysm.

 

Here are some links for more information:

https://www.space.com/32868-perseid-meteor-shower-guide.html

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/perseid.html?hc_location=ufi

STAR TOUCHED

Startouched front cover2

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WOLF NOTES: An Uncommon Interview – Robert Waters

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.

 

REWatersRobert E Waters is a technical writer by trade but has been a science fiction/fantasy fan all his life. He’s worked in the gaming industry since 1994 as a designer, producer, and writer. In the late 90’s, he tried his hand as writing fiction and since 2003, has sold over 50 stories to various on-line and print magazines and anthologies, including the Grantville Gazette, Eric Flint’s online magazine dedicated to publishing stories set in the 1632/Ring of Fire series.

He has also written in several tabletop gaming universes, including Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy series and in the Wild West Exodus weird tech/steampunk universe. He has also dabbled a bit in Warlord Games’ Beyond the Gates of Antares milieu, writing about assassins and rescue missions.

Robert currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their precocious little cat Buzz.

 

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

Robert: I’ve actually given this some thought, believe it or not. There are many animals that I’m quite fond of, but the one I’d like to be the most is a jaguar. Pound for pound, the jaguar has the strongest bite of any wild cat in the world. The jaguar was also one of the most important animal symbols in Mesoamerican and South American culture. In Mayan mythology, the jaguar was seen as the ruler of the Underworld. I have no interest in ruling the Underworld, you understand, but the jaguar symbolized power, ferocity, and valor. That sounds pretty good to me.

Wolf: No kidding. I wrote a short story with a jaguar called Mark of the Goddess.  It’s in an anthology called In a Cat’s Eye. You should check it out. What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?CatsEye_Final-72dpi

Robert: Probably alligator. When I worked for AutoZone at their corporate office in Memphis, Tennessee, we would do these so-called “travel weekends,” where diverse groups from the corporate office would go out into the field and visit stores (the purpose of which was to give us pencil-pushers a better understanding of how the stores were functioning in the real world). One such weekend was conducted in the New Orleans area. I ate a lot of “first time” foods that weekend, including sucking cayenne pepper juice from crawfish. But alligator takes the cake. A very greasy, rubbery meat. Not bad, but very different from your typical hamburger at McDonalds.

Wolf: I’ve had alligator before. Tastes like chicken. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?

Robert: Probably every author would say that the nicest thing that they have ever done for their characters is to allow them to achieve their goals. I’m no different. Whether those goals be marriage, or gold, or sheer survival, allowing your characters to overcome adversity is the nicest thing you can do. Because if you can imagine that your characters are real people, would they not feel the same satisfaction and joy in beating the odds that we do?

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

Robert: Both, actually. I grew up with dogs. My family had a dog (or dogs) from the time I was born to the time I graduated high school. Since then, however, I’ve gravitated toward cats. Someday, however, I may go back to owning a dog.

Wolf: I’m definitely a dog person. Do you have a favorite character?

Robert: Sonata Diamante. She is the protagonist in my upcoming fantasy novel, THE MASKS OF MIRADA (slated for publication a little later this year from Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire Press). Sonata works for her nefarious wizard uncle, Borshen Galo, as a thief and swordsmaster. She’s the toughest character I’ve ever created, and perhaps the crudest too in many ways. She’s willing to kill when necessary, but she can be funny, vulnerable, and compassionate when required. I’m excited about introducing her to the world.

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

Robert: Well, if I can pick a non-earthen body of water, I’d pick the vast ocean beneath the ice of Europa. There are depths within our own oceans that we have yet to explore, but for me, the idea of drilling down into that water, and then discovering life there, excites me. One of these days, perhaps we will, and I hope I’m alive to see it.

Wolf: I never thought about water on other worlds. Love it. What story are you working on now?

Robert: I have a number of projects in the works right now. Most of them are novels, which is rare for me. Usually, the bulk of my projects is short stories, but I’m reaching a point in my writing career where novels are beginning to take up most of my time. A good problem to have, so no complaints. I’m working on three novels right now.

The first is a sequel to my recent publication, The Cross of Saint Boniface, called THE SWORDS OF EL CID. It should be released in 2019.

The second is a media tie-in novel in Mantic Games’ Warpath SF universe, and its working title is THE LAST HURRAH. The novel is based on their game Dreadball, and it too should be out late 2019.

And third, I’m collaborating on a novel with Charles E Gannon which is set in Eric Flint’s 1632/Ring of Fire universe. The title of the book will be 1636: CALABAR’S WAR, and it’s set in the New World (Brazil and the Caribbean). It will probably be published late 2019 or 2020.

Wolf: That’s a lot to keep track of. I look forward to reading them. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Robert: I’m a gamer, miniatures, board, card, video, you name it. I like to play games, so when I’m not writing, I’m playing games. Or reading. I’m an avid reader.

Wolf: I’m a gamer as well, but not the video kind. Connect with Robert on his website: www.roberternestwaters.com

 

Startouched front cover2

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of STAR TOUCHED

Can you be who you are meant to be?

Eighteen-year-old Tatiana is running from her past and her star-touched powers.

 

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