T.R. Tells

December 20th, 2019

I asked Tarea where she would like to interview:

The sky turned a bright crimson red and a large black portal opens from the sky as long gangly arms are seen coming from the portal. The demons pull themselves out of the dark abyss from where they had been trapped for an eternity and now they have come to wreak havoc on the realm. I look around wildly on the battlefield, the snowy grounds are stained with red, and the bodies of fallen comrades lay face down in the snow others are torn apart. The strong and rancid smell of blood travels up the length of my nose but I am far too used to the smell of battle. I curse to myself as I hurriedly tried to find Laura.

“Laura!” I call out at the top of my lungs. A gust of cold, blizzard wind rushes across my face but press on across the battlefield, stepping over the bodies of my fallen comrades. “Laura Mae!” I call out again, but the commotion has alerted a demon and it charges at me as it runs on four legs. Its large mouth is agape, revealing many razor-sharp teeth.

However, it doesn’t get a chance to sink its teeth into me because I raise my sword in the air and slice the silver blade across the demon’s neck. Black blood explodes from the flesh and some end up on the already blood-ridden snow and my armor.

That is when I heard the sounds of grunting and what could be a battle cry.

I run to the noise and see Laura surrounded by demons. She has her shield out, blocking oncoming demons from taking a chomp out of her and slamming the crest shield into the demon’s torso, sending it flying. Another demon came rushing toward her but she was prepared for it and with her sword she stabbed it cleanly through its chest. Another demon came from the side of her and she quickly pulled her sword out of the demon’s torso and sliced it through the air, cutting the other demon’s head off.

I noticed a demon was approaching her from the air. I quickly sprinted and with as much force as I could muster, jumped in the air, with my sword held above my head. I plunged the sword through the demon and cut it down as it split completely in two.

Black blood completely covered my face now, like a mask.

I landed on my feet and slowly stood up. I turned around to smile, “Looks like you could use my help.”

She shook her head at my antics and chuckled. “Took you long enough.”


Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?

T.R. Tells: Since I was a child I always wrote and read. When I was in the first grade my mother found a ‘short story’ that I wrote about my everyday home life, my friends, family, and my dog (mind you, I never had a dog lol). But as I got older, I was inspired by the things I watched on television and the things I read. As I got older, it was my perfect way to escape and imagine anything I wanted.

L: How long have you been writing for?

T: Since I could write and I never stopped, I don’t think I could stop because writing is a part of me and I would generally feel something missing without it.

L: What are you currently working on?

T: I am working on the second book of my Dark Epic Fantasy (the Final Destiny Trilogy; which the first book is available for free on Kindle Unlimited). The second book takes place immediately after book one and it begins, where book one alluded, a world of apocalyptic ruin with many featured characters people read from book one but also new characters that I hope people will love.

L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?

T: I do have, at least, two authors who inspired my trilogy: George R.R. Martin and Brent Weeks. There are a few series that also inspired my works as well as these authors, Castlevania and Berserk. I love the epic span world combined with dark themes. 

L: What are you currently reading?

T: I read whatever interest me but right now I have quite a few in my TBR list: Dune, Good Omens, American Gods, and War and Peace.

L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?

T: I wouldn’t say need but I have specific people who I do listen to on my Pandora that I would listen to on repeat: Ruelle (one of her songs, Game of Survival, is how I was inspired by my first books title), Hidden Citizens, Two Steps From hell, just to name a few.

L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?

T: So far, the most challenging has been making sure that the story is concise, engaging, and entertaining. Especially since I don’t have a co-writer or anyone to “read over my shoulder” I have to rely on my gut instincts at the start and hope that everything panes out. In the end, I try not letting fear and guilt (writers block and that imposter syndrome, get to me).

L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?

T: Besides writing, I love to binge watch my favorite television shows (right now I’m binge-watching Supernatural) but I also love brainstorming about other ideas, listening to music, and reading books.

L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?

T: I have to say the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead. I’ve read all of them in the series and I’ve found that her take on Vampires was different and original. I love the bad ass female characters, the romances between certain characters, and the plot – as well as the sequels that tie in with it, that featured characters from Vampire Academy that starred in their sequel.

L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?

T: There not so much as regrets as they are that I wish I finished a lot of my unpublished manuscripts and I wish I would have put myself on a strict writing regime.

L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?

T: I am a self-published author. At the moment, I am just trying to sell my book, nothing fancy but I hope in the near future people will buy my books (ebook and paperback).

L: What genre do you read?

T: I used to read Urban Fantasy to Paranormal but lately, given the genre I write, I’ve been checking out works that are in the fantasy category.

L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?

T: Sit, stare at my computer, and hope one day words will appear (haha). I don’t stress when writing – or I try not too – and I put on something that I like to watch or read to get me “started”. Sometimes I’ll look at old works that I have written prior that generate interest in my current writing or future writing.

L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?

T: I get most of my inspiration from things around and things that I watch. It might be the simplest detail but my brain generates entire story lines (or small plots) that I could work with or simple have fun imagining them.

L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?

T: Don’t give up, even when it gets hard because someday someone will want to read whatever you created but they can’t do that if you don’t write it. Writing is hard and it can make you want to tear your hair out but remember why you love writing and what it means to you. Never, Never, give up.


T.R. Tells (Also known as Tarea Mallard) chose the pen name created as a play on words “T.R “TELLS a story”. She lives in upstate New York working toward her Bachelors at Southern New Hampshire University in Fiction and Creative writing. When she isn’t writing novels, ideas, short stories, or finished with her classes; she’s usually scrolling through one of her streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Funimation etc). She’s a fan of Anime, RPG, and JRPG games; anything historical or fantasy (books or T.V. shows) – she can go on for hours talking about it or really anything that she is passionate about. That’s including being a writer and author, Tarea (T.R. Tells) feels a passion towards it and hopes that (even if it’s just one person) feels the amount of effort, love, and determination that is expressed in her writing.

You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and her website.

.

Game of Survival – A GAME OF SURVIVAL IS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE FINAL DESTINY TRILOGY in a series of sin, destruction, and negativity. In the Fractured Realm, evil and discrimination plague the land and sin harbors and festers through the hearts of Mundanes. The King of Middilgard is told of a vision that will end him and his reign. In King Godfrey’s state of fear, he rids the city of any possible magic to protect his kingdom. In Kingsland, a Roma descendant named Thea must survive in a world where right and wrong don’t exist and magic is not understood but feared. Where countless visions of a grim future speak of death and destruction, demons that inhabit not only the mind but the body as well. Here is a tale of an assassin trained in the arts of shadow and killing to protect the weak, a black swordsman who seeks to find a love once lost, a prince determined to make peace in a ruined kingdom; a bastard prince who tries to find a place in the world and a woman determined to fight through the patriarchal society to find her purpose.Their paths will be relentless and harsh just as the evil that festers through the hearts of man. All the while, a war of wars between the gods may very well spell future for Middilgard and the Realm itself. Will the souls of the damned be free of their impurity or will they be ravaged by the evil that lingers inside of their hearts? In the Game of Survival, there are no winners, only survivors.

Buy it here!


Are you an indie writer or author? Contact me to be featured in the Indie Go Interviews!

Patricia Correll

December 13th, 2019

I asked Patricia where she would like to chat:

The onsen is nestled in the depths of the Japanese mountains. Snow frosts the pine trees all around, but the water we’re sitting in is blessedly hot, and you can feel your muscles slowly relaxing beneath it. The water smells faintly sweet, like green tea. The onsen is old, very old, but well cared-for; the boards of the floors and walkways are worn smooth by years of sandaled feet. The only sounds are water trickling into the baths and the forest breathing all around us.


Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?

Patricia Correll: I can’t recall any particular moment where I said, “I want to be a writer.” I’ve always been a storyteller, since I was little and pretending with my stuffed animals. I began to write stories as soon as I knew how, and have kept it up ever since. It wasn’t until college, however, that I looked at this hobby and realized I could make a career (more or less!) out of it.

L: How long have you been writing for?

P: My mom has stories I wrote when I was 6 years old (and I’m 40 now so…a long time!). I remember ‘writing’ a story before then, but I couldn’t spell or write real words yet so it was a string of letters on a sheet of paper that made no sense. I had a plot and characters and everything in my head, though!

L: What are you currently working on?

P: I have a novel in the works (probably the first in a trilogy). It’s a fantasy based in Iron Age Britain. I am also laboring away on a new novella, a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale ‘The Juniper Tree’ from a different perspective. Before now much of my published work has been based in Japanese mythology, so I’m not sure how my readers will react to this change of inspiration. We’ll see!

L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?

P: So many! I think the most obvious influences are Robin McKinley and Ursula K. Leguin. More than one person has actually compared my style to Leguin’s, which left me equal parts flattered and horrified. She’s a goddess of the genre and I’m just…me.

L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?

P: Learning the other aspects of being a published author. I am not an extrovert, so self-promotion has been a struggle. I feel like I’m constantly trying to get a handle on the changing face of marketing.

L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?

P: I love the angry, bitter man who is secretly tormented and has a soft spot, usually for a woman, child, or pet. Usually a cop or detective, but not always. Examples are Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, the Hound from A Song of Ice and Fire, and John Wick and Leon from The Professional.

L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?

P: I’ve always been a maker. I do loads of crafts and experiments with my kids, I love building with Lego, I doodle -mostly cartoon dinosaurs- and in the past few years I’ve become enamored of Perler beads. I try to make useful things with them like bookmarks, key chains, coasters and pins. Also the Porg Adventures. When ‘The Last Jedi’ came out I bought a little stuffed Porg (a birdlike creature from the movie). As a joke I took her places and did photoshoots. Before long it took off and now I make her little outfits and we go everywhere together. I post pictures of her adventures for my friends and family. It’s a totally normal hobby, of course.

L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?

P: Ow. Um, The Persian Boy by Mary Renault is a perpetual favorite. But the book of my heart is Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Much of my life’s wisdom was absorbed from that book.

L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?

P: How much of writing, especially indie writing, isn’t actually writing. If I’d known that I would have taken classes in marketing and graphic design in college. Instead I learned It myself, on the fly, and there were tears involved. I think I’m getting better at it all, though.

L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?

P: I have done it both ways. There are pros and cons to each. With a traditional publisher you have a professional editor and a cover artist, people who write your blurb, etc. With indie publishing, that’s all on you (though, to be frank, with a small press most of the marketing at least will still be your responsibility). But with indie publishing there are no submissions, no months-long wait for a response, you get a bigger cut of the profits and have complete creative control. It’s a lot of work. But I enjoy doing it. I’m certainly not averse to pursuing traditional publishing in the future but right now I’m having fun with my indie work.

L: What are you currently reading?

P: I have a Kindle Paperwhite but an also in love with physical books (to a fault, according to my husband). I am usually reading one physical book and one e-book. Right now the e-book is N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which has a lot of elements I like in my fantasy. The physical book is actually a library book (because I don’t have enough unread books of my own, apparently) of Ellis Peters’ A Morbid Taste for Bones. I really love the Cadfael TV series with Derek Jacobi and it was high time I tried the original novels.

L: What genre do you read?

P: I will read any genre, but not equally. I’ve read Westerns, self-help and romances but I don’t usually seek them out unless they are recommended to me. I love mysteries, SF and fantasy, horror, nonfiction. Short stories, novellas, novels, series…I don’t have any particular preference for length.

L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?

P: I am lucky at the moment to be a stay-at-home mother with two kids in school. One is half-day, so between 9-11 a.m. I get more or less uninterrupted writing time. I usually go to the local library, since there are fewer distractions: no chores to be done, no cat nagging me for attention. Next year when they’re both in school full-time I’ll be seeking gainful employment again, so that will cut my writing time considerably.

L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?

P: This is bizarre; I love true crime and paranormal podcasts. But most of it isn’t appropriate for my kids to hear, so I have to listen to it when they’re at school, which is also my writing time. So when I am writing I am usually hearing some gruesome story in the background, murders or cults or cryptid.

L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?

P: ‘Irregardless’ and the ‘misuse’ of ‘literally’. I read an article that made me feel better about the evolution of ‘literally’, but in the moment it makes my blood boil. Also, ‘I could care less’ means you DO care. It’s ‘couldn’t care less’. COULDN’T. And now I sound like a pedant so I’ll stop there.

L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

P: Ouch again. I love Mary Renault’s version of Alexander the Great, and Molly Grue from The Last Unicorn, and Tenar from the Earthsea Cycle, and Lady Dedlock from Bleak House, and… they’re all well-drawn characters who share some aspect of my personality, I think. Something draws me to them.

L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?

P: I tap into world mythology and folklore a lot. The old stories speak to us in a deep, primal way and can be adapted to any time period I like twisting them a bit, or giving a voice to characters who don’t have one in the original tales.

L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?

P: Sit down and do it. You’re going to suck at first. The only way to stop sucking is to keep doing it.


Patricia Correll lives in Alabama with her family and one elderly cat. She writes fantasy and horror; her work is available on Amazon. She likes Hello Kitty and world mythology, and she loves Matcha Kit-Kats.

You can find Patricia on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Peony Lanterns – Mitsu has been Shiro’s personal servant and best friend since they were both six years old, and he’s been in love with him for nearly that long. While Shiro takes lovers of both sexes, the gulf between their social classes is so vast that Mitsu has never spoken his feelings aloud.

When Shiro meets the beautiful Lady Keiko, he’s instantly infatuated. His affection soon turns to obsession, and Mitsu resigns himself to a life of unrequited love.

But as Mitsu looks deeper into Keiko and her motives, he realizes that Shiro is in grave danger. He will need all his courage– and some help from a master of the occult– to save the life of the man he loves.

Buy it here!

.

.


Are you an indie writer or author? Contact me to be featured in the Indie-Go Interviews!

Terry Melia

December 6th, 2019

I asked Terry where he would like to interview:

It’s August 1962 and we meet in a packed nightclub – the Cavern in Mathew Street, Liverpool.  We are cramped inside a bouncing basement that stinks of joy, live music and damp. The arched brick walls drip with sweat and hundreds of teenagers twist and shout as they jostle to get near the stage. 

We struggle to hear each other because a local band named The Beatles are performing Twist and Shout and the sound drives the crowd into a frenzy.  John Lennon keeps pointing at Ringo for some reason. Smiling, we decide to postpone and just get up to enjoy the fun…


Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?

Terry Melia: From an early age, I’ve always enjoyed the magic of great fiction.  Reading the CS Lewis Narnia series as a child was always a special treat for me.  I wanted to try and recreate a part of that magic for my own readers.

L: What are you currently working on?

T: Part 2 of the Tales from the Greenhills trilogy. I’ve got the bullet points created for part 3 and would be almost done with part 2 (20K words on paper) if the characters didn’t go off on an unplanned tangent. This freaked me out a bit when writing the published part one, but I’ve gotten used to it. You know your writing is in a good zone when the characters seem to come alive off the page with a will of their own and with a logic that you hadn’t thought of.

L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?

T: Too many to mention. Early inspiration came from CS Lewis as I’ve mentioned, others range from PG Wodehouse, DH Lawrence, Dennis Wheatley and James Herbert. I could go on forever with this.

L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?

T: A few years ago, my daughter moved from UK Liverpool to go and live in Queenstown NZ. Our two grandsons – then aged 7 and 3 had practically lived with us for every weekend since newborn. I know they are now in one of the most beautiful places on earth with a fantastic lifestyle, but the wrench was almost unbearable. To fill the gap, I immersed myself with completion of the Tales from The Greenhills novel which had mulled around in my head for over a decade. 

L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?

T: Reading. If there isn’t a book at hand, I’ll happily read the ingredients printed on a box of cornflakes. Football, I love to watch and support Liverpool FC. Since the Anfield stadium was expanded a couple of years ago, I can hear the Kop in full voice from my back garden. I Never Walk Alone.

L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?

T: That’s the easiest question so for me. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Even though I’ve read it dozens of times, I’ll always find a new passage of writing that will make me laugh out loud. The wordplay is genius.

L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?

T: Self-published – initially with Create Space, now with Amazon.  The Print On Demand has revolutionised the publishing industry. Writers are no longer in the thrall of gatekeeper Literary Agents and Publishing Houses. If the writing is decent quality and compelling, the public can decide for themselves on whether or not to make it a success.

L: What are you currently reading?

T: Two novels by powerful and gifted writers with the same theme of evil and loathsome child sex trafficking.  Sacrificing Starlight by David Pipe and Asylum by Carly Rheilan.

L: What genre do you read?

T: Any genre suits me as long as the writing is compelling. Glancing at my bookshelves, Detective Thrillers dominate. Michael Connelly (Detective Bosch), John Connolly (Charlie Parker) and Lee Child (Jack Reacher) – these take up most shelf space.

L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?

T: At weekends, when I get in the zone, I’ll write from 8am to 8pm. Although, for the past 6 months that I’ve been using Twitter, I’ll break off for about 15 minutes each hour to feed my addiction in Liking and Following posts and people. Weeknights, I’ll edit and tidy up messes from 6pm to 8pm.

L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you? 

T: I used to hate the word Absolutely instead of a simple Yes. Now, I only get hacked off with anyone effing and jeffing swearing when I’m in polite company.

L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

T: Milo Mindbender from Catch 22 – I’m with the MC Yossarian on this ‘…Yossarian still didn’t understand either how Milo could buy eggs in Malta for seven cents apiece and sell them at a profit in Pianosa for five cents…’

L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?

T: From reading a wide genre of fiction. Plus, I always carry a notebook when out and about to jot down ideas. I’m pretty quiet when in a group and don’t say that much, but my imagination basks like a shark capturing people moments.

L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write? 

T: Beatles music is always near to hand. My favourite single piece of music is The Flower Duet for soprano from Les Delibes opera Lakme. I’m playing it right now. I dare anyone to listen to this and NOT get inspired.

L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?

T: So many people say to me ‘I could write a novel!’ Get it down on paper that you can tap a desk with and savour the thud. You cannot do that with an idea in your head.


30 years working in IT. Also worked as a gardener, barman, painter and decorator, building site labourer, waiter, fork-lift driver etc… Married for 42 years. 3 beautiful children. 5 wonderful grandchildren. Part time actor. Qualified Librarian. MA in Screenwriting. Novelist with an audiobook due out soon.

Find Terry on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Tales from the Greenhills – During the sizzling hot summer of 1976 in Liverpool, teenager Tommy Dwyer is rapidly approaching adulthood and dealing with the usual coming of age issues: temptation, gang violence, murder and helping to prevent the flooding of the streets with illegal drugs.

Buy it here! (US version)

Buy it here! (UK version)

.

.

.

.

.


Are you an indie writer or author? Contact me to be featured in the Indie Go Interviews!