Posts Tagged ‘interview’

getpart

It’s been a while, but I’ve got a great interview for you guys. Today’s guest is all the way from the land down under. And no, it’s not Mad Max. This one’s way more interesting. No, she’s a fantasy writer originally from New Jersey who’s been writing since college, and making up stories well before then. Her current series is the critically acclaimed Shadow Stalker series, with three books out currently. She’s also a friend to other writers, helping them showcase and advertise their work on her websites. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Renee Scattergood!

RU: Welcome Renee. First question: tell us how you got into writing, and what draws you to your current genre.

RS: That’s an interesting story. I’ve always loved making up and telling stories for as long as I can remember, but it never occurred to me to write them down. Probably because I was terrible in English and thought you had to be good in English to be a writer. It wasn’t until I was in college, and my English instructor told me I should consider getting some of my work published that I started considering writing as a viable career. Still, it took me several years to build up the courage to do it.

As far as my draw to fantasy: well, as a kid I loved fantasy because it was an escape from the real world. What kid isn’t drawn in by magic and the possibility of the existence of fantastical creatures and worlds? As a writer, I love being able to create those worlds and allow my characters to explore in them. It’s a great outlet for my very overactive imagination.

RU: The Shadow Stalker series is about a girl who is destined to enslave the people of her world. How did you come up with that story idea?

RS: I wanted to do something different and write a story about someone who was a “good guy”, but had the potential to become the bad guy. This was long before I came up with the idea for Shadow Stalker. When I started developing the story for Shadow Stalker, the idea just popped into my head. Most prophecies are about a hero that will save the world. What if there was one about someone who was meant to destroy it? How would that person try to prevent that from happening…and is it possible?

RU: You have this main character named Auren. Tell us a bit about her?

RS: Hmmm… what can I say about her without giving too much away? She is very stubborn and determined. She is a free-spirit and doesn’t like to be contained. But she is in a position where these traits could lead her to do something she doesn’t want to do. Her determination makes her strong, though.

shadow-stalker-part-1-resized-large-72-dpi

RU: Where do you see the Shadow Stalker series going? How long do you think it’ll be in the end?

RS: Well, I don’t want to give away the ending. That would just ruin it for everyone. I can tell you the entire serial is a total of 24 episodes that are about the length of a short story. It’s further broken down into four parts of six episodes. I’m currently writing Part 4, which is episodes 19 through 24.

RU: If you’re lucky enough to be read hundreds of years from now, what would you like people to take away from the Shadow Stalker series?

RS: That no matter what, each one of us carves our own paths in life and choose our own fates. Even if we’re meant to do something, even if it’s something we don’t really want to do, we can choose how we do it and how we will affect the world around us.

RU: Tell us how you approach writing. Do you have a routine or any ritual you follow to write?

RS: I have a daughter with ASD and ADHD, so routines as far as writing are non-existent. I essentially write when I have time to do it. I try to write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph.

RU: Who would you say your influences are?

RS: This is always a hard question for me to answer because I’m influenced in some way by every author I read. As far as my biggest influence, I guess you can say George Lucas is the one who sparked my imagination and love for storytelling when I was eight. After seeing Star Wars for the first time, I was hooked on the idea of creating my own worlds and characters.

RU: What do you enjoy reading when you’re not writing?

RS: I read mainly fantasy, and in the last couple of years I’ve read mostly self-published books. I’ve found that I have an easier time finding a good book written by an indie author than something that is traditionally published.

RU: What is some advice you would give to other writers, regardless of experience or background?

RS: No matter what happens, don’t give up. The only way you can fail as a writer (or at anything in life) is if you stop trying. If you have a bad experience, learn from it and move on. You can only get better, and eventually you will succeed.

RU: Finally, if you were stuck on a desert island for a while and could only bring three books with you, which would you take?

RS: Wow, that would be hard. I love so many books. Maybe the first three books in the Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. I can read those again and again and never get sick of them.

RU: Well, thanks for stopping by, Renee. Great to have you here.

If you would like to check out Renee’s stuff, you can head over to her website at www.reneescattergood.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.  And if you would like to be interviewed, head to my Interviews page and leave a comment. I’m normally very happy to interview any author with a book or two out there.

RC cover

So my friend and colleague Ruth Ann Nordin (check out her blog here) emailed me at some point last night, saying that she had read Reborn City and had posted a review on Amazon. Obviously, this got me excited, as I love getting feedback from readers, and I especially like hearing it from authors I respect and admire (which reminds me: Ruth, thanks for reading RC! I hope you enjoy Video Rage when you get to it!). So I was eager to see what she posted online. As I hoped, the review had only nice things to say.

Now if you don’t know what Reborn City is, it’s the first book in a science fiction trilogy I started writing in high school. It follows the trials of a street gang called the Hydras living in the titular city, the leaders of which have strange powers. The story has a lot of themes that are relevant to today’s world, including Islamaphobia, racism, drug addiction, gang violence, and, perhaps most importantly, overcoming what you think of yourself and what others think of you. Reborn City‘s sequel, Video Rage, was released this past June, and I hope to start on the final book, Full Circle, later this year.

Now back to Ruth’s review. I was very happy to see that she gave RC a five-star review (bringing the book’s total rating to a 4.8 out of 5), and titled her review Read like a movie. Here’s what she had to say on the book (and I’m warning you now, her review does have a couple of spoilers! So be aware before proceeding):

I decided to read this book because I know the author and have enjoyed his other works. I’m not a fan of books about gangs, so I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy this story, to be honest. But I felt an immediate connection to the main characters right away, and this compelled me to keep reading.

SPOILER ALERT: This book took an unexpected turn. About halfway into it, it became apparent that the main gang members were special, and it was the unusual interest a shady government operation was showing in them that really pulled me in. There is an awesome genetic engineering component that I love in books and movies. The gang’s backstory was one of the best I’d ever read. This is a book that didn’t disappoint the sci-fi thriller lover in me. In my opinion, this would make a great movie.

As a warning, there is a lot of cussing. The violence wasn’t all that bad (maybe a PG-13).

Funnily enough, I usually write my books like a movie in my head, so the movie comparison is pretty on the spot. Not only that, but I think a Reborn City movie would be pretty awesome. Especially if we get Tyler Posey from Teen Wolf to play male lead Rip and Samuel L. Jackson from to play main antagonist Jason Price.

If anyone here knows those guys and can get them to read the book, please do so! I’d love for them to read it, and maybe like it enough to help produce a movie version. Let’s make that happen, okay?!

Anyway, this review matches what a lot of other people have said about RC in their reviews:

This is an extremely commendable effort by a new young writer, whom I believe we will see much more of in the years ahead. Rami Ungar’s vision of a frightening dystopian future is peppered with those elements that make us all human. There are quite a few surprises in the book, and I am anxious for the next volume in the series to be released.

Marc M. Neiwirth

This is not a genre I typically delve into, but I took this book on vacation and couldn’t put it down. The plot had me turning pages at quite the clip. The characters were unique and interesting and the imagery had me creating my own visual of what Rami’s interpretation of the future looked like. For first time novelist, Rami Ungar, this was an outstanding showing of talent and commitment to his passion of writing. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Michele Kurland

Gangland violence, superhero-like enhancements, a futuristic setting, and social commentary that stems from a semi-post-apocalyptic theme. And then there’s a story where people come together as a family to deal with mutual loss and tragedy. What’s not to like?

Matthew Williams, author of Whiskey Delta and Papa Zulu

VR CS front cover

If any of this has made you want to check out Reborn City, I’ll provide the links below, as well as for its sequel, Video Rage. And if you do end up reading the book(s), I hope you’ll let me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love and appreciate getting feedback from readers, and it makes me a better writer when you folks tell me what works and what doesn’t.

Well, tomorrow’s Friday, so you know what that means. While I prepare for that, I’m also posting the link to an interview with Awesome Book Promotions that came out yesterday. So check that out, if you so desire. It’s pretty awesome, as the title suggests.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

Reborn City: Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & NobleiBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

Video Rage: Amazon, Kindle, CreatespaceBarnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo

Hey Followers of Fear. I actually have some bad news to dispense today. Yeah, I know, bad news. That’s not something I usually put out on this blog. I prefer to keep things upbeat and kind of funny here, because I’m a naturally upbeat and kind of funny guy. But occasionally I have to dispense with some bad news, and this is one of those times.

The fact of the matter is (this is not the bad news. That comes later), I’m writing slower than I used to. And I mean much slower: I started working on the third draft of Rose back in June. It’s August, and I’m still working through Chapter Five! Usually at this point of a draft I should be finishing up the edits, but I’m still in the early stages!

What’s to cause this slow-down of work? Well, the main reason is that I’m working a full-time job now, and that’s pretty time-consuming in itself. And unlike other jobs I’ve held in the past, there aren’t as many moments where there’s not a lot to do and I can sit back and write. Even Germany had more than a few of those moments. But in my current position, there’s always plenty to do, so I don’t exactly have that many moments to get out the laptop and work on a manuscript.

And when I get home, I don’t exactly have that much time either. I have to eat dinner, take a shower, make my lunch for tomorrow, and go to sleep at an earlier time so that I can get up early and be at work on time. That leaves only a few hours to write in the evening. Sometimes less, if I have errands to run after work.

With that in mind, I’m cutting a few things out of my life to make more time for writing. I’m cutting out the number of shows I watch so that when the fall television season starts, I’m not spending hours and hours streaming what I missed (I don’t have a TV or Cable yet). I’m also cutting back on the amount of time I spend on YouTube, because as fun as those videos can be, some of them can be pretty time-consuming (especially those videos of gamers playing horror games that I like so much). And–and here’s where the bad news really comes in–starting in September, I’m cutting myself back to two blog posts a month.

Now, I’m sure one or two of you are saying, “But Rami, we like seeing at least two blog posts a week from you!” Well, I like blogging around 2-3 times a week as well. But blogging also takes up time. Depending on the post, it can take quite a bit of time to write. Time I could spend getting through whatever story I happen to be writing or editing. I’m taking up time just writing this post! And because of that, I feel that I need to spend less time on this blog and more on the stories that I love writing and I love people reading.

So, unless something special comes up–a new review or interview, an important update on the projects I’m doing, or I’m pissed off at a recent tragedy in the world and need to vent my frustrations–you’ll be seeing much fewer posts here than before. This also means that I’ll stop doing #FirstLineFriday after August 26th. Not permanently, I may do one or two on occasion for an upcoming book or some other special occasion. But I won’t be doing one week after week. It’s just too time-consuming. I may try to come up with some other tag or meme where I do something similar to #FirstLineFriday (I know a lot of you enjoy those posts, and I do too), but at the moment I really can’t afford to keep doing this week in and week out if I want to get more writing and editing done.

On the bright side, I’ll have the opportunity to do more Reflections posts about the writing craft or about my own work. I used to do those quite a lot, and people really enjoyed them. However, I don’t do those much anymore, mostly because they’re the most time-consuming of blog posts. Now though, with hopefully a bit more time, I can write at least one a month and share my thoughts or have interesting discussions on writing and daily life.

I hope no one decides to stop following me because of this (I know some people stop following YouTubers if they don’t constantly put out new videos, so I assume the same can apply for blogs), or that they leave me because #FirstLineFriday was their favorite thing ever. It’s not because of you guys, it’s just hat I need to write, and if I don’t write, nothing gets done, and I get angry at myself. And that’s not something anyone wants.

Have you ever reduced the amount of blogging you do so you could focus on other things? What were the results of that?

One of those interviews I’ve promised has come out.

Same DiNamics Books, a blog that does book reviews and interviews authors, has been kind enough to spread the word about me and my writing a little. I answer questions about writing, about the books I have available, and what sort of stories I like to write. Check them out if you have the time.

I’ll post again soon, my Followers of Fear. After all, tomorrow’s Friday. So you know what that means!

I just got an interview published on BookGoodies.com. I got the chance to talk to them about the usual stuff, though I did enjoy that they took my author photo and put it horizontal. Definitely check it out.

Also, I’ve had eight ideas for stories today, starting with a dream I had this morning. Talk about a creative day.

See you Friday!

What’s better than one character interview in one day? Two! While Rip’s getting interviewed on the blog, Zahara’s getting interviewed by another fictional character on the blog Creative Barbwire, hosted by fellow novelist Barbara G. Tarn. Definitely check it out, especially if you haven’t read Reborn City yet.

creative barbwire (or the many lives of a creator)

Hi guys,

I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

RC coverWelcome, guest! Tell me a little about yourself!

Hi, my name is Zahara Bakur. I’m fifteen years old, and I’m from New York City. I’m a Sunni Muslim, and I’m supposed to be entering my senior year of high school, but…well, things are complicated right now.

I don’t know why, but things on Earth are always complicated… *snort* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Average height and weight, light-brown skin, blonde hair (it used to be brown). Sorry, that’s longer…

View original post 653 more words

VR CS front cover

Last time I visited with Zahara Bakur, the protagonist of Video Rage, to talk about what’s been happening since she left Reborn City. This weekend though, I’m visiting with the Reborn City series’s male lead, the quiet and gruff Rip. I’m a little nervous, because the last time I met Rip he tried to kill me, but I’m sure we’ll get along this time.

If not, I left my will underneath one of the couch cushions, and I want my instructions for the funeral followed to the letter! We’re doing that procession New Orleans-style, with lots of jazz and fanfare! And if that doesn’t happen, my ghost WILL HAUNT YOU!

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Notes and Stats:
Sex: Male
Age: Unknown (believed to be between ages 16-18)
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian
Birthday: Unknown
Eye color: Grey
Hair color: Dyed brown (grey prior to dyeing, brown prior to turning grey).
Religion: Agnostic bordering on atheist.
Affiliation: West Reborn Hydras
Special Powers/Abilities: Able to create neon-green claws using specialized glands in his knuckles capable of cutting through most substances. Skilled fighter in street and military combat. Average hoverbike rider.
Notes from the Author: In fiction, characters often go on a journey of emotional and psychological growth as well as on a physical journey from Point A to Point B. In Reborn City, Rip’s journey involved his relationship with Zahara. In Video Rage, Rip’s journey is a bit more complicated. Although he’s very tough and strong, in many ways he’s still immature and has room to grow. In this book, he’ll have to make some very tough decisions and learn from some mistakes that have far-reaching consequences. I’m looking forward to seeing how people react to this aspect of the story.

RU: Hey Rip! Long time no see.

Rip: Oh no, not you again.

RU: Happy to see you too. So Rip, these days you and the other Hydras are still on the run from Parthenon. What has that been like for you?

Rip: It’s a fuckin’ pain in the ass.

RU: Care to elaborate on that?

Rip: Not really.

RU: Why not?

Rip: Because I’m fuckin’ tired an’ stressed.

RU: Dude, that’s your life every day.

Rip: Well, it’s worse these days.

RU: I bet. Top of the Most Wanted list. Every law enforcement agency on the North American continent looking for you. Most are being encouraged to kill rather than capture.

Rip: All while sittin’ on a fuckin’ hoverbike an av’rij of twelve hours a day.

RU: Here, have this.

Rip: What’s this?

RU: Pre-war soda. Trust me, they don’t make them like this anymore.

Rip: They barely make ’em at all. Mm. Not bad.

RU: Look Rip, I know you’re a busy guy–

Rip: That’s an understatement.

RU: So just answer me one question and I’ll let you go. What do you hope to happen if you manage to get away from Parthenon and all your pursuers?

Rip: I doan know. I guess I just want us all to live in peace. ‘Specially Zahara. She puts up a strong front an’ she’s braver than she used to be, but a girl like that doan deserve a gangsta’s life. She deserves a quiet life. An’ I’m gonna try to give it to her.

RU: I wish you luck with that. Hoka hey, Rip.

Rip: Ho-what now?

RU: You’ll find out soon enough.

Remember folks, Video Rage is available from all retailers June 1st (that’s Wednesday if you don’t have a calendar). Right now, it’s available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo. And you can still get the first book, Reborn City, from those same sites.

All for now. If anything comes up, I’ll make sure to let you know. Until next time, my Followers of Fear!