Today we’re getting to know about eco-fantasy author, Terra Harmony.


 

terraWhat was the first book you wrote? Published?


The first book I wrote and published was The Kindred Curse Anthology, a New Adult vampire set of connected short stories, each subsequent story a prequel to the prior. I don’t advertise this one too much, it was more of a guilty pleasure than anything to get vampires out of my system!

Which author do you most look up to?


I really look up to authors (self-published or traditionally published) that take the time to mentor and coach the rest of us. I definitely would not be where I am today without these selfless, talented people.

What is your ultimate goal as an author?


Depends on which day you ask me! Sometimes I think I’m not sure I event want to write anymore. Sometimes I want writing to be my full time thing. Sometimes I start delving into how to write screenplays. Overall, I believe life is all about balance and I’m in a good place right now where I can balance my career, my writing, and my family. I’d be content maintaining status quo – though there will always be a part of me that wants something more for my novels.img_1186

Do you have any go to snacks while writing?

Eating and writing is hard! So it is coffee, tea, water, or soda for me.

 

If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?


A stay at home mom. 🙂  Between crafts, the gym, volunteering at the schools and neighborhood, and being a Girl Scouts leader I would stay plenty busy.

How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?


Six months, give or take. I am generally able to publish two books per year.

Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!

I recently got into coloring.  I use fancy markers and intricate coloring books, and have ‘coloring’ parties with a fun group of ladies. It is an amazing stress relief!


Learn more about Terra online!

 

We’re kicking off this week by getting to know the one and only Janna Jennings who writes the always amazing Grimm Legacy books.


 

What was the first book you wrote? Published?

A Grimm Legacy, which started out as four character sketches, and grew from there. I entered the manuscript with all it’s many flaws into a contest on NaNoWriMo. That’s how I got hooked up PWP… and the rest is history

janna1Which author do you most look up to?

This could be a long answer. I’ve always loved C.S. Lewis, and think he’s an author who could easily be considered timeless. Kids enjoy his books as much fifty years ago as they do today. Jerry Spinelli’s language and descriptions create these amazing visuals that drag you right into the heart of the matter. Newer author Shannon Messenger really knows how to build a world and twist a tale right on its ear. Honestly, there is so much good writing out there, one is never out of things to read.

What is your ultimate goal as an author?

To connect with readers. To have them enjoy a story, to love the simple act of reading and being satisfied and a little sad when they flip to the last page of the book. To leave them wanting more.

Which of your characters do you most connect with?

I think there is always little pieces of me and my experiences in each character I write. But the troublemakers seem to flow from my pen a little too readily to deny a strong connection with them.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why?

I’m on the fence between historical fiction and fantasy. The historical fiction always seems so fascinating to me, and it’s the only way I enjoy history. Wading past the dates and facts and getting to the human heart of the story. What was this person’s experience, hopes, dreams? And fantasy is always fun, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, one great big ‘what if?’

What is the most challenging part of your writing process?

Consistently finding time to write, and probably because it is a fresh would… formatting!

Do you have any go to snacks while writing?

9781927940518I’m a tea drinker 🙂

What is your all-time favorite novel to read?

I think I’m going to have to go back to Lewis on this one. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?

Being able to absorb advice and apply it to my writing.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

The importance of having a plan before you start writing.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The power words have. Twenty-six simple letter, when strung together can elicit unanticipated emotions, thoughts, and dreams from anyone they come in contact with.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?

Librarian, and fortunately, I get to live it!

How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?

A year. It would be nice to cut that down.

What is your favorite place to write?

Surrounded by books, usually a book store or library.

Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!

I recently started my dream job of being a librarian at an elementary school. I get to spend all day surrounded by books and get kids as enthralled about books and reading as I am. And just how excited would you be if your employer had a substantial budget for you to buy books every year?


Learn more about Janna on her website!

 

We still have a lot of amazing authors to get to know. Let’s jump in today with Angela Shelley!


angela

What was the first book you wrote? Published?efd_ebook-cover
The first book I wrote was in the second grade. I co-wrote a story about some kids who found a tunnel that went into a secret world. A friend from church illustrated it, and we had big plans! I wish I still had that book.

Which author do you most look up to?
This is a difficult question, just because there are so many wonderful authors out there. I have a deep respect for any artist who commits to their art to the point that they spend decades on it, and use the medium as a means for personal growth. I’d list many authors that I’ve read since childhood, or even some newer ones who, you can tell from the story, were dedicated to it. They worked hard, and I respect that. And then there’s the unpublished authors who study craft, enter contests and break their brains learning their artform. There are so many, too many to list.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
It changes often, but currently I’m reading a lot of fantasy. I love the symbolism.Angela Shelley Book of Shadows

What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Finding time to write with two preschoolers is definitely my biggest challenge. And yet, they are my biggest loves, too.

What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
Patience, perhaps. Understanding that being a writers is being an artist. Just like a painter, not every painting is going to reach everyone. And being okay with that.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write every day.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I love that as a writer, I’m both an artist and a business person. It’s the one career that allows me to exercise both halves of my brain!

What is your favorite place to write?
My office. I know, it’s kind of boring, but I’ve set it up nicely and actually rarely get to write there, oddly. I suppose the second favorite is this quiet little cafe I go to sometimes, MacLean’s Coffeehouse.

Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!
I love making and decorating cakes for my family. I’m currently making a Lightning McQueen cake and My Little Pony cake for my kids birthday. I’ll send pics when they are done!

 

Angela's cakes

Finished cakes!

 


Learn more about Angela online!

Let’s continue getting to know our authors, shall we? Up next, the always wonderful Majanka Verstraete.

stacksWhat was the first book you wrote? Published?
The first book I wrote was “Fractured”. I first called it “Mirror, Mirror”, but my publisher decided the other title fit better, and I agree. It’s a YA dark fantasy. The sequel, “Reflected”, released last year.

Which author do you most look up to?
J.K. Rowling. I’m absolutely in love with the Harry Potter series, and to think she came up with all of it, and it has captured so many readers’ hearts.

What is your ultimate goal as an author?
I want people to read my books. Becoming a bestseller author is of course one of my dreams, but just getting books out there and having people read them and enjoy them, that’s my ultimate goal. I want my books to mean something to my readers.

Which of your characters do you most connect with?
Riley Scott. She’s the main character of The Angel of Death Series, my YA paranormal series. I love her, and I can connect with her in so many ways. She’s the person I’ve always wanted to be.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Horror. I love horror, always have. Even when I was a kid, my favorite series was Goosebumps, hehe. Nowadays I still love that genre the most.

What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Editing. I don’t like editing my own books at all. I don’t mind when I get them back from the editor and have to work on them, but self-editing after I’ve written the first draft? No, I don’t enjoy that part of writing at all.

Do you have any go to snacks while writing?
Not really. I don’t usually eat when I’m writing.

What is your all-time favorite novel to read?
What a tough question! Probably “In The Forests of the Night” by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. It’s about vampires, and made me fall in love with the supernatural. I’ve read the book like fifty times at least.

What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
Storytelling. I think that’s my greatest strength, I can tell a good story.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?majanka
Don’t give up. Keep on writing, no matter what. And I have.

If you could have a literary tea party with five of your favorite characters and five of your favorite authors, alive or dead, who would they be?
Five favorite characters: Bellatrix Lestrange (from Harry Potter), Risika (from In The Forests of the Night), Arya (from Song of Ice and Fire), Rose (from Vampire Academy) and Damon Salvatore (from The Vampire Diaries). That would be an amazing literary party! Two vampires, one evil witch, a dhampir, and Arya! J

Five favorite authors: Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, Richelle Mead, George R.R. Martin and Mary Shelley.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Connecting with your fans! I love it when fans mail me telling me they enjoyed the book. Even if they didn’t love all of it, or had some comments about some of it, I still love talking to them about my books and characters.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?
I studied law, and now I’m studying criminology. So once I finish that, I’ll also start working as a lawyer, which is my second dream job. Ideally, I want to be part-time lawyer, part-time author.

How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?
Usually two or three months. Shorter books (kids books) don’t take as long.

What is your favorite place to write?
On the train. With no internet connection, I can’t do anything but write, and it helps! I can usually write 5k words when travelling to university by train.

Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!
My favorite food in the whole world is spaghetti.


Find more about Majanka online at majankaverstraete.com

Today we’re kicking off a new series to help you get to know our authors! We’ve asked them all a series of questions and will be releasing their answers between now and the end of the year. We already learned a little about Erica Crouch, and today we get to learn more about Pauline!


 

paulineWhat was the first book you wrote? Published?
The first actual book-length piece of fiction I ever wrote was a book called The Secrets of Evelyn Taylor. It’s a middle grade, science fiction, mystery. It’s also the first book I published, but I was thirteen so it’s not all that great. Hopefully my books now are much better.

Which author do you most look up to?
I love Veronica Roth. Her writing is amazing and she’s also a pretty young author – she wrote Divergent in college – which makes her really inspirational.

What is your ultimate goal as an author?
My ultimate goal would be to create books that people enjoy reading. The best thing ever is to receive emails from readers telling you how much they loved your book. To me, that’s the best reason to write. So my goal is to keep writing better and better books that readers will continue to love.

Which of your characters do you most connect with?Puppet
That would be James from my Pinocchio retelling, Puppet. He’s basically the guy version of me. He’s quiet, reserved, thinks things through…very much like me.

What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
I’m a hardcore science fiction fan and I always will be. I grew up with Star Trek and Robert Heinlein so anything set in space is my cup of tea. It’ll always have a special place in my heart.

What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Finding time in my crazy college schedule. It’s so frustrating because I have all the ideas and inspiration but I need to go study for that test I have instead of sitting down to write.

Do you have any go to snacks while writing?
Mostly just tea. Food tends to distract me.

What is your all-time favorite novel to read?
I don’t reread novels very often, but the only series I’ve read multiple times is the Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson. It’s the series that inspired me to be a writer, so I love it to death.

What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
I think (or at least hope) I have a way of capturing the reader’s attention and pulling them through the whole story.

pauline2What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write like no one’s reading. This made a huge difference in my writing life. Instead of thinking, “Oh god, what’s my mom going to think of this?” I just started writing what felt risky and awesome and stuff just got so much better.


If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?

I’d love to be an astronaut. Basically just so I could say I’m an astronaut and totally win the “I have the coolest job” competition in any group gathering. But realistically (because honestly being an astronaut looks too hard) I’d love to be an editor of some type.

How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?
Usually about a year. It only takes me about a month to write the book but I take a while to edit it to perfection.

Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!
I have two goats. They don’t anything, they’re just cute.


 

Learn more about Pauline at Pauline.Patchwork-Press.com

 

Today we’re kicking off a new series to help you get to know our authors! We’ve asked them all a series of questions and will be releasing their answers between now and the end of the year. First up, Erica Crouch!

erica
What was the first book you wrote? Published?
The first real book I wrote was a story about an orphanage for witches. I still love the idea, but its execution was horrendous (because I was very young and super unaware of all of the terrible cliches I was employing). I may revisit this idea some day and see if I can give it new life!
 
The first book I published was Ignite (June 2013). It is a young adult paranormal and the first of five books in the Ignite series. And it’s also free on all platforms now — a great way to jump into the series!
 
Which author do you most look up to?
I really love Libba Bray (which I think I’ve said a thousand times before). I am always in awe of her world building and the way she can weave multiple characters’ storylines together to create an incredible story!
 
Sarah J Maas is also really high up on my list! She just has an incredible way with words and crafting really dynamic characters.
 
What is your ultimate goal as an author?Madly Deeply
To write stories people will remember, with characters they can relate to. And maybe make people laugh (or cry) ((or both)).
 
Which of your characters do you most connect with?
Typical author answer, but I think I connect a little bit with all of my characters, even the dark ones. Otherwise, they’d be too difficult to write! If I couldn’t relate to them/understand their motives, it’d be near impossible to get into their head and believe in what I was writing. The character I wish I was most like is probably Kalaziel (Ignite series). She’s a freaking treat and I wish I was half as upbeat/unfailingly positive as she is!
 
What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Fantasy. There are such high stakes in fantasy, and most fantasy books I pick up I find difficult to set back down again. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good contemporary, and scifi is also one of my favorites, but fantasy books are always the ones that have me thinking the most interesting thoughts as I read them!
 
What is the most challenging part of your writing process?
Starting! I think first drafts are the hardest leg of the writing/publishing process (see: Surviving First Drafts) because there’s so much ahead of you that it can get a little intimidating to actually start writing. And then, once I start writing, I always struggle to keep up my momentum and word count. Life gets hectic, and I have to remind myself not to let my writing fall by the wayside sometimes.
 
Do you have any go to snacks while writing?
Anything I can grab a handful of and shove in my mouth without getting grease/butter/etc. on my hands. I wish I could eat popcorn or chips while writing, but then I spend all my time cleaning my fingers before typing again. So I usually stick to candy, or a breakfast bar. And water — or when it gets cold, hot chocolate or apple cider! Not a big coffee/tea drinker.
 
EnticeWhat is your all-time favorite novel to read?
The Diviners by Libba Bray. Murder, mystery, ghosts, the 1920s — all of my favorite things!
 
What do you consider your greatest strength as an author?
I’d like to answer something specific about my writing itself, but I’d probably have to say revisions is actually my greatest strength. That’s where I take the mess of my first draft and really make it shine. It’s the time when I can work on my story at a really detailed level, and it’s where I come up with some of my favorite lines.
 
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Never look back.
 
If you could have a literary tea party with five of your favorite characters and five of your favorite authors, alive or dead, who would they be?
Five characters: Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Celaena Sardothian (Throne of Glass), Gemma Doyle (A Great and Terrible Beauty), Feyre (A Court of Thorns and Roses), Johanna Mason (The Hunger Games). Probably less tea party and more girl-powered kickass brunch with endless bacon and pancakes. 
 
Five authors: Libba Bray, Sarah J Maas, Edgar Allan Poe, JK Rowling, F Scott Fitzgerald. It’d be an eclectic bunch!
 
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Hearing from readers who were able to connect with something I’ve written. I could get a thousand bad reviews and they mean nothing when compared to one positive comment from a reader.
 
If you couldn’t be an author, what would be your next choice for a dream job?
I have no idea! When I was in high school and thinking “practically” about my life, I imagined I’d end up working in journalism in some capacity. I think I wanted to go into print journalism, and I think it would have been a lot of fun to go into investigative journalism. 
My first semester of college, I was studying Forensic Anthropology (you know that show Bones? Yeah — that). I also wanted to become an Egyptologist or an archeologist or anthropologist for a while, and still do in my wildest dreams. Not necessarily the most traditional of jobs, but then again neither is being a writer. 
 
I think I’d still want to be involved in telling stories of some kind, obviously — whether they were about history, or culture, or crime.
 
How long does it usually take you to write a book from plotting to publishing?
If my brain is behaving and I’m actually on schedule? Around 3 months. The first month is writing, the second month is revising, and the third month is all of the publishing (formatting, blog tour, etc). Sometimes — many times — it takes a little longer than that. But once I hit my stride, the writing happens pretty quickly!
 
What is your favorite place to write?11412214_10203693908223186_8044098458315904319_n
At home, alone. I can’t write very well with other people around; it’s distracting. I need to completely unplug myself from the real world so I can get some serious work done. To do that, I sit at my desk, turn on whatever playlist I’ve put together for the manuscript I’m working on, and then zone out and get words on the page.
 
Tell us something fun about yourself, completely unrelated to writing!

Part of me has always secretly wanted to move way out of the city to live in the middle of nowhere on a huge plot of land so I can get a dozen dogs and a pack of pygmy goats. And the videos of goats wearing onesie pajamas that keep going around Facebook are not helping to dissuade this ridiculous fantasy.

Find more about Erica online at Erica.Patchwork-Press.com

As promised, after last week’s announcement of Amy McNulty joining toe Patchwork Press family, we’ve got a new addition. Next up! Majanka Verstraete! I (Kellie) have known Majanka for several months now and promise you, she is all kinds of incredible! And now we all get to look forward to working with her in the future.


majanka

Majanka Verstraete studies law and criminology by day and writes speculative fiction by night. All her books include monsters of some kind: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her first books were the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series, a children’s picture book series featuring a little vampire girl. She also worked on the Weirdville series, a series of scary lower grade chapter books ideal for fans of R.L. Stine. She also has some young adult series in progress, Mirrorland, a YA dark fantasy with two books out, “Fractured” and “Reflected”. The first book in her other YA paranormal series, The Angel of Death Series, “The Soul Thief” released in November 2014. The second book in that series, “Demonic Pact”, is scheduled for late 2015.  Her upcoming YA paranormal mystery series is called Allegro Academy. When she’s not writing, she’s probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

A note from Majanka…

My name is Majanka, and I’m thrilled to meet you. I’ve been writing for a long time, but my first book was published in 2013. Since then, I’ve written over a dozen books, and I have many more in progress. When I’m not writing, I’m probably busy studying (I studied law, and am now studying criminology), reading ghost stories, playing World of Warcraft or watching Netflix. If you want to know more about me, please ask! I love chatting with authors and readers.

Today Patchwork Press is EXTREMELY excited to welcome the first of our newest authors. Our family is growing quickly, and we couldn’t be more excited! So, first up! Amy McNulty! We’ve actually worked with Amy a little before, when she wrote a pep talk for Write All Year earlier this year. And now we couldn’t be more pumped that she’s on board to join our publishing family. She’s got a lot of exciting things on the horizon, and we can’t wait to share them all with you!


 

amyAmy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing for web content producers to anime for Anime News Network. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings, although she’s been known to try a contemporary or historical manuscript on occasion. She’s the author of the Never Veil Series (Nobody’s Goddess, book one, released in April 2015), and she’s excited to bring her even darker YA fantasy, Fall Far From the Tree, to Patchwork Press. One part Marvel Comics’ Runaways, one part Game of Thrones and with four first person points of view, Fall Far From the Tree examines how four progeny of villainous figures cope with their parents’ nefarious deeds in drastically different ways.

A note from Amy…

Hello, YA readers, daydreamers and lovers of all things fantastical! I’m so excited about working with Patchwork Press to release my next YA fantasy, Fall Far From the Tree. I’ve always been drawn to villains and antiheroes in fiction, and I think medieval-like fantasy settings are among the safest ways to examine them. Evildoers feel several steps removed from our everyday life in a fantasy world, so their villainy is a little easier to swallow. Even so, I care about the dark heroes with a little bit of good in them far more than the outright evil types, and that’s why I chose to focus on the teenage children of villains in this book. Not all of them are innocent themselves–far from it–but they were raised to believe in their parents’ good intentions, so it’s no easy task for them to recognize that vileness in the people they love the most for what it is. I hope you’ll check out the book to see how these four drastically different young adults peel back the layers of the personas their parents crafted for them to discover who they truly are.

And thank you, Patchwork Press and my fellow authors, for being so welcoming and providing this book with a home!