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Biography: Sai Marie is an author, creative writer, and concept creator. She resides in the Great Pacific Northwest where she enjoys the flora, fauna, action and adventure that bred the Pioneer Spirit. With a heart for advocacy, animals, the environment, and great imagination she is sure to capture your attention with something for everyone.

 Sai

Martin: Hello Sai, I understand that you have some important and exciting news?

 SJ: Hello Martin, yes that is true. I’m excited to announce that I have a new book releasing, Forbidden Fantasies; which is my 15th published title. It will be out on Halloween.

 Martin: Tell me a bit about your writing to date including any genre specifics.

 SJ: Well, each of my titles have been very different; however, I’ve learned that contemporary romantic thrillers and paranormal or urban fantasy seem to be my niche markets.

 Martin: What inspired you to write?

 SJ: I’ve been telling stories since I was a child and began penning them in grammar school. I decided to become an author in my later years, however, and only decided to pursue my career after many other people pointed out that I had great concepts that others would enjoy. At that time, I chose to take a leap of faith, enrolled in college and the rest is relative history.

 Martin: Do you think book covers are important? Can you tell me about yours?

 SJ: As sad as it is to admit, imagery is what we pay most attention to and while it is wrong to judge a book by a cover most consumers are guilty of doing so at some point in their lives. Because of this, yes, a book cover is paramount to your success just as much as a quality blurb is. My cover for my newest release is a self-designed cover and I am quite proud of it as it shows some of my own graphic skills and talents and allows me to enjoy all aspects of the creative process when designing, marketing, and selling my story.

Forbidden

 Martin: What projects are you working on at the moment?

 SJ: I am working on a new story for NaNoWriMo entitled Swiped, it is a contemporary romantic thriller that takes place in Eugene, Oregon around the U of O campus.

Martin: Do you experience any challenges when writing?

 SJ: Finding the proper balance between writing, marketing and creating all the content and materials needed to bring exposure to my work.

 Martin: Do any authors inspire you?

 SJ: Oh, yes. Several actually, some names recently are Alta Hensley, Ashley Jade and Haylee Thorne. Each of these women are incredibly talented and their success had lead me to believe mine is not too far off.

 Martin: Does anyone outside of the writing world inspire you?

 SJ: My parents and children both inspire me. However, I find most of my inspiration doesn’t come from other people but from being in nature and left to my own wandering mind’s devices.

Martin: I was once asked in an interview if I preferred The Beatles or The Monkees? How about you? Also do you like music and does that ever inspire your work?

 SJ: Music is important to world building and I believe it helps immerse both author and reader into the world backdrop a creator is making when considering the songs and music listened to while creating. I would have to say that for myself, it would be the Beatles.

 Martin: What angers you/makes you cry?

 SJ: Giving away one’s emotional responses is usually a bad idea, isn’t it? I jest, but in all honesty the usual things. A loved one dying or becoming sick, the loss of a pet, seeing a family’s home burn down and people suffering from the loss of having a home, knowing people are homeless and veterans are without medical care. Lots of things about the world outside me disturb and anger me as well as cause me tears and sadness and joy alike.

 Martin: What makes you laugh?

 SJ: I like witty puns that others may not get unless they are intellectual. I’m odd and have a dark sense of humour at times. For instance, the scene of Joe Black being run over in Meet Joe Black, I admit I laughed at first when seeing it and it was an awful depiction honestly. However, I could not help but laugh because of how ridiculous the flying body in the air appeared. Some might think this is a bit appalling but, like I said, dark humoured at times.

 Martin: Do you have a favourite quote?

 SJ: Yes, my favorite quote is by Mark Twain: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Martin: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

 SJ: Yes, I expect to have another release very soon upon completing Swiped and hope that others will check out my social networks to learn more about that book.

Martin: Where can we learn even more about you?

 SJ: You may learn more about me from the following:

 Want Author Sai Marie’s Autograph?

Check out her Author page on Authorgraph.com:

http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/LadySai

 FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/saimariejohnson

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/author/saimariejohnson

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/LadySai

WEBSITE: http://www.saimariejohnson.wordpress.com

BLOG: http://www.saimariejohnson.blogspot.com

 Forbidden

 

 FORBIDDEN FANTASIES on #Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KZ6LCV/

FORBIDDEN FANTASIES BOOK TRAILER

https://vimeo.com/239055539

BLURB

Araceli Nativa

Sheltered and yet looking to expand beyond her small-town Alabama raising, Araceli’s attending Vanderbilt University in Nashville but so far, she hasn’t broadened her horizons in the least. A pretty and successful student, Araceli spends all her days studying, attending class and living a fairly boring existence. That is until her dorm mate peer pressures her to attend the biggest frat and Halloween party on campus and when Araceli finally breaks out of her closed up shell, the consequences might just be devastating.

Abel Slaine

For centuries, he has scoured the earth searching for her, the demonic queen who stole his beloved before they ever had the chance to thrive. She and all of her dark daughters have been his target for millennia and now there is a new one who will find her death at the end of his hands one way or another but putting plan to action may prove more difficult than Abel has bargained for when his prey becomes more than a deathly pursuit.

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It is my great pleasure to feature an interview on my blog of the talented and refreshing author Rachael H Dixon. Rachael is the author of Slippery Souls, the first instalment of the Sunray Bay Series, featuring vampires and werewolves by the seaside. How fantastic and intriguing! If you are having a sleepy Sunday this interview will certainly get you moving . Let’s see what Rachael has to tell us:

Biography

Rachael H Dixon lives in the cold and windy northeast of England. She craves sunlight and warmth, and as such her skin is so white it’s almost translucent.

She’s been writing ever since she could hold, albeit strangely, a pen. Her love for the macabre stems from reading James Herbert novels and watching Vincent Price films when she was small.

As well as writing, Rachael loves reading, walking the legs off her dog, drinking red wine and Gil Elvgren art work. And she often wonders whether she’s the only writer in the whole world who doesn’t like coffee.

Tell me a bit about your writing to date.

I’ve felt the need to write ever since I was small – but I didn’t take it seriously until about three and a half years ago when I started a home study writing course. The course covered all aspects of writing, beginning with non-fiction. I’ve always felt more drawn to fiction, but during the first modules of the course I did enjoy working on non-fiction travel pieces – and a few of my features were even published.

When the course shifted over to fiction, I rekindled my love for storytelling and making stuff up – and so I began to write short stories. I experimented with all kinds of genres to test my abilities and to push my boundaries – but essentially I kept coming back to horror. Dark psychological stories and tales of big-toothed creatures that want to rip your throat out seemed to be my thing. I won a few competitions with my short stories and some have been published in e-zines and anthologies.

In 2010 I was made redundant for the second time in just over a year. Sick of job-chasing, that’s when I decided to pursue writing as a career – but on a much bigger scale to anything I’d ever tried before. I decided I’d try my hand at writing a full length novel – and this is the path I’m still on now, as I focus on the rest of the Sunray Bay Series. My husband has been incredibly supportive throughout, and I doubt Slippery Souls would have come to fruition if it weren’t for him.

Slippery Souls was shortlisted for the Writing Magazine’s Self-publishing Award earlier this year – which was an extremely proud moment for me. It was the confidence boost I needed, telling me I must be doing something right.

What inspired you to write?

I’d say the film The Bucketlist kick-started my writing aspirations. As I said, I’d always enjoyed writing (stories, poems and diaries) from being very small – yet, for so many years during adulthood, life got in the way and my writing fell by the wayside.

When I saw the Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman film, it urged me to write my own list of things I want to do before I kick the proverbial bucket – and I realised that writing a novel was number one on my list! So from then I knew it was something I absolutely needed to do.

Did you design your own book cover/covers?

I have a degree in Graphic Design so I decided to put it to use by designing my own cover and marketing bits and pieces for Slippery Souls. I wanted to create something vibrant and quirky. There’s an overall sense of fun to the book, therefore I wanted the main illustration to be hand-rendered with a bit of a comic-style essence going on. I’ll be continuing in the same style for the rest of the Sunray Bay Series too.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just completed the first draft of book two in the Sunray Bay Series – The Forgotten Ones. I’m also working on the book cover design for it. It’ll take me quite some time yet to go through all of the editing, reworking, proofreading and formatting processes – but, for the most part, I can sort of see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s a good feeling.

I’m also trying to plan ahead for the third book in the series – Tattooed Gods. In fact I’ve written the final chapter for that already – I like to know where it’s all headed. I’m a maniac for planning!

Slippery Souls is part of the Sunray Bay series, can you tell us a bit more about this series and what we have to look forward to?

Slippery Souls came about, essentially, because of a dream I had quite a few years ago about the two main characters Libby and Grim. That original idea grew and morphed in my head over the years until it reached the point that it’s at now.

Funnily enough, the story wasn’t initially located at the seaside – it began life in a city setting. But I soon got bored with it – something about it just didn’t feel right for me. And so I decided that I needed to set the story somewhere that I could get excited about, somewhere that appealed to me – and that’s when I thought, why not at the beach? This idea conjured images of stripy deckchairs, wonderfully coloured beach huts, donkeys, ice-creams – all the things that aren’t typically associated with vampires and werewolves. It seemed like a wonderful contrast – darkness lurking in an otherwise carefree environment. I knew I could have great fun with it!

Slippery Souls was originally planned to be a complete standalone – but when I reached the end, I felt like I couldn’t say goodbye to some of the characters. I liked them all so much, and admittedly I’m perhaps a teeny bit in love with Grim. So I knew then that it would be a series. At the moment I have three planned – Slippery Souls, The Forgotten Ones & Tattooed Gods. If there’s demand for even more, I’m sure I could be easily talked into exploring Sunray Bay even further.

How do you feel about self publishing now that you have experienced the process?

I think it’s losing some of the negative stigma that was attached to it once upon a time, and I think it’s a very exciting time to be self-publishing right now. There are so many opportunities available. That’s not to say that it’s easy though – far from it! Marketing and self-promotion can be even harder than writing the book in the first place. Self-publishing takes an enormous amount of persistence, perseverance, self-belief – and an element of luck!

I’m still happy about my choice to self-publish – but that’s not to say it’s for everyone. I’ll keep on keeping on at it though, and I just keep telling myself, one day

Do you experience any challenges when writing?

Absolutely. I’m the kind of writer who needs to have a concrete plan before I can sit down to write the novel. I can’t just start writing and then see where it takes me – I’d be too worried about waffling, going off on a tangent, or forgetting what my point was in the first place (or whether there even was a point) – I constantly fret about stuff like that. So I need to have a beginning and ending mapped out first and foremost – and then I have to sit down and strategically plan each and every chapter to make sure something is happening in the middle bits. This in itself I find very challenging – when beginning a new project I just want to jump right in and start writing, but first I need to iron out all the faffy details. I perhaps find this the most challenging aspect of writing, getting the story right- especially when the timeline jumps all over the place like it did in Slippery Souls. Man, that was head busting at times!

I was recently asked in an interview if I preferred The Beatles or The Monkees? How about you? Also do you like music and does that ever inspire your work?

If I’m completely honest, off the top of my head, I’m not really familiar with what The Monkees actually sang – is that bad? But then, I’m not a massive 60s fan – it was before my time, and growing up I was brought up with 50s music – my dad was a teddy boy. So I guess the 60s era managed to pass me by completely. If I had to choose though, I’d say The Beatles – because I at least know who they were.

I love all kinds of music – depending what mood I’m in. I’m bit of a rock chick at heart, I suppose – I love bands such as Metallica, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Aerosmith. But I also enjoy chill-out music when I’m writing – I can’t really do music with vocals when writing, I find it distracts me too much.

When I was writing Slippery Souls I was influenced by Mumford & Sons – they’re sort of folk-rock perhaps. I listened to their album Sigh No More an awful lot around the time I was working on Slippery Souls – not when I was actually writing though. Their lyrics are absolutely stunning – poetic and soulful. And now when I hear the song Roll Away Your Stone, it kind of reminds me of Libby and Grim.

Do you have a favourite quote?

It’s probably a bit cheesy, but I love the quote ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. I find it very fitting in the world of self-publishing.

What authors inspire you?

Horror writer James Herbert has been my biggest inspiration throughout my life – he was the reason I decided, when I was a little girl, that I wanted to be an author. His book Fluke won me over and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is amazing. This is what I want to do.”

I’m also inspired by all the indie writers out there who take the profession seriously and who go on to make a living from their writing – proving that it can be done. I’m not necessarily talking about the size and scale of Amanda Hocking’s or E L James’ fame and fortune either – I’m talking about the people who have a loyal fan base and monthly royalty cheques that cover the bills. It’s the most we can all hope for – anything else is a bonus.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Yes! I’m currently running a competition where one winner will be selected at random to have one of the main vampire characters in The Forgotten Ones named after them.

So, if you fancy being a vampire – just send me an email to say so at rachaelhdixon@gmail.com

Oh and thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog Martin, it’s been great!

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Rachael-H-Dixon/125424854223752

Twitter: @RachaelHD

Slippery Souls Blog: www.rhdixon.blogspot.com

 

Amazon (Kindle version): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Slippery-Souls-Sunray-Series-ebook/dp/B007A451OE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347530943&sr=8-2

Amazon (paperback version): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Slippery-Souls-Rachael-H-Dixon/dp/1908481218/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347530943&sr=8-1

 

 

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I express a big thank you to Laurie who has featured me and my book Beneath the Floodlights on her first class blog:

http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/beneath-floodlights-by-martin-tracey.html

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