Saturday, January 30, 2016

Guest post: "Promotion is the Key to Success!" by Robert V Baynes, author of 'The Day the Dollar Died'

Writing a book is a great accomplishment and now you are an author! This puts you in a unique class. Getting your book published is both easier and harder than it has ever been. First of all, you can self publish and get your book in print for very little cost or effort. This is the easy way. However, if you want a publisher to print your book, you have a lot more competition than there used to be.

Now, if you have gotten your book in print, you’ve come to the hard pert of this process. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, it won’t go anywhere unless it is promoted! Let me clarify, if your book is going to be successful, it does have to be very good, and not just in you and your relatives opinions. It has to be good enough that other people will recommend it to others!

There are things you can do to promote your book that don’t cost anything. However, unless you have all day to do nothing but promote your book, plan on spending a little money. Amazon has some tools to help promote your book. I have had some success in running my book for free on Kindle. This will only work if you do what you can to promote your free days. The more you do to promote those free days, the more you will get out of it.

I have found that running my book for free may boost sales a little, but the greatest benefit, I have gotten from it is I get more reviews. The more reviews you have, the more credible your book is.

Another way to promote your book is to read it as a podcast and then post the chapters for free on Itunes and Stitcher. I have had surprising success at getting people to download my book.

Other ways to promote a book are on social media like facebook and twitter. You could also do a blog on your own website or do guest blogs on other’s sites. Basically, promotion is just getting people to be aware of your book.

If you are willing to spend a little more money and want to move up the ladder on promotion, you could hire a book publicist. The thing you need to realize is that none of us are experts at everything. So if you want to have your book promoted successfully, you need to use people who are experts at that. Otherwise, you can end up just wondering around and hoping you will stumble on the best way to promote your book.

The biggest thing about promotion is that you need to do a lot of things and do them consistently to get the kind of results you want.  You need to set aside a little time every week or every day to promote your book. No one else cares about the success of your book the way you do.

My book publicist told me that promoting a book is like starting a camp fire. First of all, you need to get the kindling started and then it can catch the rest of the wood on fire. I think this is a great lesson for all authors to learn.

Promoting a book doesn’t happen overnight. You start with where you are and by learning from others and being consistent, you can have a book that becomes successful!

Title: The Day the Dollar Died
Genre: Political/ Christian  Fiction
Author: Robert V Baynes
This is a novel about an ordinary farmer who finds that his country is changing and it affects his own life. He loses more than he ever imagined and has to make some hard choices to save his family.
The main character is John Birch and he has a pretty good life. He has a great wife and children and is doing pretty well financially. He gets to do a job he loves and still spends time with his family. He finds that circumstances beyond his control change his world so that he ends up losing the financial security he worked so hard to build up. All he has left is his family and now he has to risk everything to try to save them from an ever growing government.
This book is very realistic and follows a line of thinking  that many find very logical and possibly inevitable.
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Robert V Baynes is concerned about the direction America is headed and wants to share his concerns with others who care about their freedom. In his spare time, he likes to fish, cook and read.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Interview with Linda Seger, author of Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success

Title: Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success
Author: Linda Seger, Th.D.
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Haven Books
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Format: Ebook/Paperback
Dr. Linda Seger provides key advice for creating personal success based on core spiritual values. Sharing experiences and insights gained through her own spiritually based and highly successful career, she shows both how general opinion and world thought would tend to pull us into a success paradigm based on succeeding at the expense of others. Instead, she shows how we can gain our goals with even greater success by adhering to spiritual values, step by step.
Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success is available for order at  
amazon   add-to-goodreads-button3  

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Linda Seger. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I started writing when I was 10 after reading Nancy Drew books for several years. I thought I wanted to be a detective, but then had an epiphany at age 10 when I realized I didn't really want to be a detective but wanted to write Nancy Drew-type books. I never did write mysteries, but loved to write all sorts of other stories and books. I wrote my first novel when I was 13 (a modernization of Little Women - spent 3 months writing a few pages every day after school, bound it up with a blue ribbon and my friend read it and said she cried when the one sister died - of a horse-back riding accident.) I wrote short stories all through high school, essays and poems in college and graduate school, and my first non-fiction book came out when I was in my 40's. I fell in love with writing non-fiction books. Recently I have written some short stories just for fun. 

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success was motivated by the experiences I had and challenges I confronted when I became successful in my business as a script consultant, seminar leader in the area of screenwriting, and author of 9 books on screenwriting. I discovered the spiritual issues with success are quite different the the ones I confronted when struggling to find my way in a career. In spite of 3 M.A. degrees and a Th.D. in Drama and Theology (sometimes considered the least marketable degree one could have), I wasn't getting hired. I finally began my own business in 1981 - it started out as a last resort and then I learned I loved being an entrepreneur.  I was the first script consultant - I made up the job. The business began to be successful in 1985, and then I began traveling internationally, teaching screenwriting and consulting, in 1988. All these experiences inform the book. 

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: I was determined to go deeply into my own experience, but also I wanted to interview other spiritual people from the areas of art, science, and business as well as talk to people from all over the world to see if their spiritual challenges when successful echoed with mine. I was excited to find an aborigine from Australia, a scientist from England, businessmen from Singapore to round out the interviews. It wasn't easy finding all these people. 

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: The information about my book is on my website of 

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Yes. I have spoken to church groups and university groups about the book. I'll be talking at Colorado College on January 26th for their Alumni Association.  I'll be on KVOR radio in Colorado Springs and possibly KRCC. I was on the Sarah Zink Plaid for Women radio show. I have been on television as a guest a number of times for other books (including CNN Power Lunch, The Bill O'Reilly Show, All Things Considered, etc.) but not yet for this book. Two feature articles have been written about me and the book: The Ute Pass Courier, the newspaper that represents the mountain area outside of Colorado Springs where I live, featured me and my career. The Colorado Springs Gazette did an article about me and my book  in their Faith and Values section. 

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I have had 5 agents - 2 were very good and unfortunately, they retired. 

I wish it weren't necessary to have one, since they don't seem to have a high success rate with the projects they take on. But I think you need an agent, if you can get one. The difficulty is finding an agent who can sell your book and will work hard at it and who understands your own writer's voice and your readership. It is a need but it would be great if it weren't so essential.

The whole book selling business is still a mystery to me after 13. The frustration is not in the writing; it's everything else after the book is written.  I don't think I'm alone in this. Like many authors, I am frustrated with the slow process of selling and the little publicity publishers do when they publish a book. Many of us authors are burdened with the marketing that falls on our shoulders even though we are not experts in this area. More and more, authors are asked to come up with very complete a marketing plan by the people who are supposed to be expert at marketing - such as agents and publishers.

Our eyes glaze over. We stare at the wall. We spend weeks asking advice from friends and colleagues who then tell us things like, "You should be on the Oprah show,"  forgetting that Oprah no longer has a show, nor is it an easy matter to get on any of those type of shows. We all have an idea of those who should be interested in us from agents to TV and radio hosts - but the reality is that marketing has us pulling out our hair and pleading to have the time to simply write.

I love the writing discipline - the search for the right word, the process of going more deeply into feelings and ideas, and being committed to not skimming the surface. I want to write The Truth and even though it's difficult, it's always pleasurable for me. 

We give our babies to the world - and wish the world embraced them like we do - as good parents of their Sweet Presence. We love our books and want the world to love them also. 

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: Nope. I guess they should have. 

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I have 7 proposals with my agent. Nothing really keeps me from forging ahead. I write because I have to and because I have many ideas I want to explore.  I am working with a small independent publisher in Colorado Springs (Haven Books) and we plan to revise several books this year - From Script to Screen and When Women Call the Shots - both related to the film industry, and a 2016 edition of Jesus Rode a Donkey: why millions of Christians are Democrats. I also have several books which are almost completed which Haven Books, or another publisher, will publish in the future. 
Q: Thank you for your interview, Linda Seger.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: and The books are on,, and at some bookstores, perhaps Barnes and Noble. 


Linda Seger Dr. Linda Seger has a background in both drama and theology. She has focused her career as an international script consultant, seminar leader in the area of screenwriting, and author of books on screenwriting. In the last eight years, she has also been writing books on spirituality. Her two newest, in their second editions, are Jesus Rode a Donkey: Why Millions of Christians Are Democrats, which is a kind and non-polarizing look at how spirituality and politics intersect, and the highly acclaimed, Spiritual Steps on the Road to Success: Gaining the Goal Without Losing Your Soul. Wm. Paul Young (author of The Shack) says: As an elder in the art of life, Linda Seger brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to help us understand true success and how to navigate its adventures. She is the author of 12 books, 9 on screenwriting and 3 on spirituality. Her web site is For More Information Visit Linda at his website

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Interview with Patricia Yager Delagrange, author of 'Moon Over Alcatraz'

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Her latest book is the romantic women’s fiction, Moon Over Alcatraz.

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About the Book:

Title: Moon Over Alcatraz
Author: Patricia Yager Delagrange
Publisher: Ravenswood Publishing/Black Hawk
Pages: 308
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.

But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.

Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I have two children. I think anyone who has kids knows what it’s like to feel the fear of losing them, especially during pregnancy. My own experience at 42 years old and pregnant with my son was without incident. However that’s often not the case with many women. As an aside, the ideas for my books generally come from my mental meanderings, wondering “how would I feel if” such and such happened to me. Thus, I explored and dug deep and asked myself what my emotions would be if I were to carry a baby to term yet lose him/her in childbirth.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was hard to write this book because I hadn’t had such an experience, thank goodness. But that’s what writing fiction is to me - writing a story that didn’t necessarily happen to me, which would make it an autobiography, but writing a story that could happen or happened to someone else, in my own voice.

My tip for other writers would be, don’t be afraid to put into words what your gut and your heart tell you for fear of exposing yourself. I believe a reader appreciates feelings and emotions because it makes them emote, pure and simple.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Ravenswood Publishing, run by Kitty Bullard. I was looking for a small publishing house because I’d heard an author has more hands-on help and guidance at a smaller house. I’ve found that to be true with Kitty. If I write her an e-mail asking any question, whether important or just a simple query, she gets back to me within a couple of hours. I already feel like a guppy in the ocean of authors, and I don’t want to feel the same with my publisher.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I think many authors would agree that to be published at all is a dream often thought of as unachievable. Somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 books are published each year, so I feel privileged to have my book picked up by a small publisher who’s interested  in my work.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’ve written five books. Taken Away was published in June 2015. Moon Over Alcatraz will come out November 15, 2015. Passing Through Brandiss will be published in 2016. I just started writing my sixth novel. I’m sure it will be published in 2017, if not sooner.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I like Facebook because I’m able to see photos of my family and friends. I read about what they’re doing because most of them live far away from me. Also, I/m enamored with elephants and I follow numerous elephant rescue and sanctuary groups on Facebook.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I always, no matter what time it is, read a book before falling asleep. If I don’t have my Kindle in my hands, I can’t shut off the night light.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The message I want to get across with Moon Over Alcatraz is: no matter how tragic your situation or experience, it’s possible to find happiness again, or for the first time.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you for hosting me. Final words? Every subject has been written about. What’s important is how you write about it -in your voice. Just do it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Cover Reveal! What She Wanted by Julie Anne Lindsey

What She Wanted Book Banner

Inside the Book:

What She Wanted
Title: What She Wanted 
Author: Julie Anne Lindsey 
Publisher: Lyrical Press 
Genre: Young Adult 
Format: Ecopy

It seems Katy has been waiting for her eighteenth birthday all her life. Raised by a grandfather who never got over losing Katy’s mother to cancer at a young age, she’s dreamed of a life free of the burdens of her family’s tragedies. But just before her birthday, she learns tragedy isn’t finished telling its story . . .

Before she can begin her new life, Katy’s grandfather suffers a heart attack, a box of her mother’s keepsakes, including a journal written to Katy while she was in her mother’s womb, at his side. Believing the only thing her grandpa loves enough to live for is her mother’s memory, Katy reads to him from the journal every night at the hospital. Night after night, line after line, Katy begins to see herself as her mother saw her in her dreams. Buoyed by her mother’s undying love and conviction, Katy vows to make her mother’s sacrifice mean something and promises to fulfill all her mother’s requests. Even the hard ones. Especially those . . .

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Meet the Author

  Julie Anne Lindsey
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you'll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cover Reveal! Emerald Fire by Monica McCabe

Emerald Fire Book Banner

Inside the Book:

Title: Emerald Fire 
Author: Monica McCabe 
Publisher: Lyrical Press 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Format: Ecopy

Chloe Larson is a historian obsessed with clearing the name of her grandfather, eight generations back. After his heroic exploits during the Prussian Wars his life slid sadly into oblivion and madness, taking with him the location of a queen’s priceless emerald jewels. But the discovery of a cryptic two-hundred year old journal written by a man history declared insane might offer a clue. Finnegan Kane is a top-notch marine bounty hunter on the hunt for the Emerald Fire, a 120-foot Sunseeker yacht stolen by ruthless Caribbean pirates. It’s the kind of dirty work that keeps his antique ship restoration business afloat, but that doesn’t mean he has to put up with the fiery demands of an admittedly gorgeous historian. But when Chloe offers the one thing that practically guarantees success—the GPS coordinates of the Fire’s location—he has no choice but to forge into uncharted waters. With danger at every turn, Chloe and Finnegan must battle against the odds to decipher a historical legacy and settle a score against a family gone mad.
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Meet the Author

  Monica McCabe
Do you like stories set in unusual or exotic locations? How about unique or interesting occupations? Combine both, wrap them around romance and adventure, and that’s the kind of reading that takes you places!

It’s also a style of writing for Monica McCabe. Always a bit of an adventuress, she’s lived in and explored places like Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Florida, Mexico, California, Maine, Washington, Canada, and yes, even Las Vegas. At every location she seized the opportunity to explore, hike, camp, raft, canoe, fly, ski, scuba-dive, or zip-line. She’s climbed glaciers and ancient Mayan pyramids, dived shipwrecks and reef caves, camped in sasquatch country, drove across the USA three times, and is now working on gathering as many official stamps in her National Park passport as she can. So far, nineteen and counting.

Also an avid reader, the writing bug bit her hard somewhere between Alaska and Montana. Slowing down enough to actually put words on paper took a while longer. She scribbled notes, played at writing a historical romance (her favorite reading), but it wasn’t until she landed in Tennessee that writing became a passion.

Now that she’s sprouted roots alongside her husband of seventeen years, tossed in two lazy cats and two happy dogs, she’s finally turned that wanderlust into crafting stories of adventure and romance. And all that travel and exploration lends realistic detail to her writing. Plus she’s been known to sneak in a bit of her own experience, and a pet or two, because they like the fame.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Cover Reveal! Opposites Distract by Judi Lynn

Opposites Distract Banner

Inside the Book:

Opposites Distract
Title: Opposites Distract 
Author: Judi Lynn 
Publisher: Lyrical Shine 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Format: Ecopy

In small-town Mill Pond, Indiana, living the good life means kicking back country-style, opening your home to friends—and opening your heart to sweet surprises…

Harmony Meyer arrives in Mill Pond focused on one thing—finishing her novel in peace and quiet while her apartment building undergoes renovations. A month at her friend Tessa McGregor’s rural resort is exactly what she needs—until she discovers that Tessa’s brother-in-law, Brody McGregor, is another guest. Tall, dark, and handsome is a distraction she can’t afford. Especially when it’s clear from the start they have nothing in common…

Brody’s a rugged yet polished and punctual businessman. Harmony’s a sassy, down-to-earth artist who makes her own hours. He likes kids, she doesn’t even want a pet. Still, when circumstances conspire to throw them together in Tessa’s warm kitchen every evening, the heat between them begins to simmer. Is there a future for two such opposites? Harmony’s not sure, but the more time she spends with Brody, the easier it is to cast him in the role of her romantic hero—and to wonder if love might be the perfect exception to every one of her rules…

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Meet the Author

All of my works are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, smashwords, Scrib’d, Kobo, and more. I’m a member of Goodreads and my author page can be found at:

I’m lucky enough to be represented by Lauren Abramo at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. I’ve been a member of Summit City Scribes for more years than I care to remember, and they’ve made me a better writer.  Thanks, guys!  

Guest post: "A Journey to Financial Drama," by Georges Ugeux, author of 'The Flying Dragon'

I was raised with Agatha Christie and my compatriot Hercule Poirot and the challenge of finding out what the characters had planned was always irresistible. It was primarily the motivations and personalities of the characters that I tried to guess and understand. I have a passion for people.

I began writing the novel without knowing exactly what would happen. It was breathtaking – the story unfolding and the joy of creating a character. I chose an unusual protagonist: a young Chinese woman. To my knowledge, most fictional detectives (except for Miss Marple) have been older Caucasian males (until now!). I thought it would be interesting to create a detective that, at least at first glance, appeared to be the opposite. I wanted to see how Victoria Leung would handle her investigations. I have worked with many Chinese women in the last several decades and was inspired by their strength.

I am proud to have created Victoria Leung and will continue to develop her character in future books. Victoria loves to travel and will soon be working in the city of London. Having (almost) complete creative freedom to develop the story and its actors is a fascinating journey. The Flying Dragon also draws from my extensive personal and professional experience in international travel and the financial services industry. Many of my opinions about the world of finance transpire in the book as well.

Being a fiction writer is also a personal journey. I wrote several “serious” books about finance, which required sources and analytics. Fiction writing stems entirely from imagination, experience and existing relationships. For this reason, I chose to launch a personal website - it truly depicts who I am as a person.


Author:  Georges Ugeux                   
Publisher:  Archway Books

Find out more on Amazon

About the Book: 

Celebrated non-fiction author Georges Ugeux delivers an intense, imaginative and intriguing financial thriller in his debut novel, The Flying Dragon.  Set against the backdrop of the high-energy, high-tension world of global finance, The Flying Dragon plunges readers deep into a world where power, greed, money, and passion can intersect in a most dangerous way.

The Flying Dragon introduces protagonist Victoria Leung, a beautiful, brilliant, fearless, and highly accomplished financial fraud investigator.  Responsible for taking down Sun Hung Kai Properties’ Kwok Brothers, a real estate empire, Victoria not only established herself as a formidable talent, but earned the nickname “The Flying Dragon” in the process. When she leaves the fraud department of the Hong Kong Police, Victoria accepts a position as a senior detective at Pegasus, an international security firm based in London.  The Pegasus job affords Victoria much-needed freedom, but that calm is shattered when Victoria receives an urgent message from her close friend Diana Yu. It seems Diana’s ex- boyfriend Henry Chang is in danger.  Henry’s co-worker, Bertrand Wilmington, head of the derivative trading desk of a global bank, has fallen from a window of the twenty-second floor trading room. The Hong Kong Police Force quickly concludes that the death was a suicide, but is there more to this story than meets the eye? Henry Chang thinks so—and knows that if anyone can find answers, it’s Victoria, the Flying Dragon herself. Hong Kong and Mainland authorities are unsuccessful in cracking the case, but Victoria uses her expertise to discover key clues. And Victoria, a dogged, tough, tenacious investigator, won’t back down until she gets answers. As she races to piece together the puzzle of what really happened, Victoria is swept up in a world of danger, deception, and deadly consequences.   Can she extricate herself from this perilous web of arrogance, power, money and greed? Will she expose the corruption and bring down a financial giant?  Or will time run out? The clock is ticking….

A Belgian and U.S. national, Georges Ugeux is the Chairman and CEO of Galileo Global Advisors LLC, an investment banking advisory boutique.  Ugeux joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1996, as Group Executive Vice President, International. An adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, Ugeux is the author of a numerous nonfiction books about finance.  The Flying Dragon is his first work of fiction

Interview with Trillian Anderson, author of The Dawn of Dae

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thanks for having me! The beginning is a funny place. One week about four months before I finished the Dawn of Dae, I had a pretty random idea pop into my head. I’m a big fan of journals, and I happened to have a blank one handy. (It’s pretty cool; it’s a circa journal made by Levenger, and you can yank the pages out and put them back into the book, like a 3 ring binder without the hassle of opening and closing the rings.)

Anyway, I started writing down the ideas, and books popped out one after another. A week later, I had the notes for twenty-four different novels and a complete series worked out.

At the time, I was working on a different book. (I somehow, miraculously, met my deadlines for that novel despite losing an entire week of my life to the Dae Portals series.)

I fell in love with Alexa, Colby, and Rob immediately—those three characters were the constant in the whole series. Turns out there are a lot of really fun and interesting characters in this series.

As for where the idea came from, I’d like to say there was a crystal clear moment where a light bulb turned on for me, but there isn’t. In actuality, I like writing science fiction, I like writing fantasy, and I like twisting reality into something new, different, and strange. I love speculating.

The Dae Portals series touches on the extremes of our lives, here and now, and twists them. What if the good intentions of some became truly terrible things for those forced to endure under their new rule? How would things change?

How would people change, and how would they remain the same? What would life be like if we took core beliefs, turned them to the extreme, and had no opposition to question the moralities of the popular cause?

These sort of things formed the foundation of the Dae Portals series.

After that, I removed the bridles from my creativity and let the horses run. I created a world where the rules are as fluid as the people who create them, and that nothing is absolute.

What if is a powerful question, and whenever I sit down to work on this series, I wonder what would happen if…?

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I guess this is confession time. Trillian Anderson is the figment of someone’s imagination—that part of my bio is completely true! I write for a living, and the books that are my bread and butter are… safer. Saner. Normal.

Dae Portals is bizarre. It takes weird, flips it around, adds on a layer of even more weird, and covers it all in a thin veneer of normality.

My other books are far closer to reality than Dae Portals will ever be. To write these books, I had to step out of all of my comfort zones—yes, all of them—and do things differently. I had to go down rabbit holes. These rabbit holes involved mish mashing stereotypes, creating new races, and changing how I think about the world in general.

This was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever written. First, I had to accept that people just will not love my special brand of crazy. It’s always a risk when I write something outside of the comfort zones of our reality.

Dae Portals is all about leaving comfort zones and exploring brave, new worlds—worlds we won’t get to experience for ourselves.

This book, this series, has been a huge challenge to write. It’s been hard. Every time I work on it, I have to think outside of the box. I have to leave my happy, safe space in my head and go down a rabbit hole.

There will be a lot of people who won’t appreciate such a sharp left turn from reality, and that’s one of the hardest things to accept about writing this series.

But, there are those who understand the humor, who see beneath the thin veneer of silliness to the underlying issues beneath, and these people are the ones who make the difficult journey of going against the flow worth it.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’m self-published, although my writing and editorial process isn’t all that different from a publisher. I enjoy the freedom to control every element of my novel.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

While the Dawn of Dae is Trillian Anderson’s first title, I had already published eight full-length novels under a different name. I will say one thing about working on the Dawn of Dae, which is technically my ninth title.

The process, the fear, the uncertainty, and the hope readers love the book as much as I do hasn’t changed.

I hope it never does. I love writing books, and I love that each and every one of them feels new and different.

Publishing a book is terrifying, and I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone who values their sanity. It’s hard work, it’s often thankless work, and it’s never gotten any less scary over the years.

But I still love it.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Unawakened, the second book of the Dae Portals series, releases in late January. I’ll begin work on The Hound and the Chameleon soon—likely in February.

I have two other novels in the works for the other facet of my personality, who I fondly call “Real Me.”

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but facebook. My editor uses it, so we’re chatting a lot, and I get to keep in touch with a lot of friends that way.

That said, I usually ignore my actual stream because the amount of stupid and prejudice is tiresome.

I also love my instant messenger client, as I get to talk to my husband during the day while I’m writing novels. He makes my work day so much nicer.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

This is hard, because normally, I’m an action-adventure sort of girl. I don’t usually try to add messages to stories. Sometimes they are there, although often not intentionally.

Why? Messages are only as strong as the readers walking away with them, and no matter what I mean to write, readers always manage to surprise me with what they actually take away from a book.

As such, I try to write my characters as real people, people who could be someone you meet on a bus or walking on the street, and I try to imagine how these real people would react to the things happening in the story—and the problems they cause for themselves and are caused by others.

That, in itself, is a message, I guess. Most of all, I’d like people to step away looking around the real world and asking ‘What if…?
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

You’re welcome! I had a lot of fun with this interview. Keep reading, book lovers. You’re the reason us authors write. (The paycheck is nice, too, but nothing quite compares to when a reader loves a book. That’s a special sort of magic in our plain and ordinary world.)

About The Book

Title: The Dawn of Dae
Series: Dae Portals Book 1
Author: Trillian Anderson
Publisher: Bright Day Publishing
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Format:  eBook  / ePub / PDF - 222 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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Book Description:
The chance to attend college is just what Alexa Daegberht needs to break out the mold of her caste. If she can become a Bach, she can escape the poverty she’s endured ever since her parents died when she was five. Only through education can she rise above her birth caste–and she knows it.

All of her plans fall to dust when she opens a portal within her refrigerator, turning her macaroni and cheese casserole into a sentient being. By dawn the next day, the mysterious dae have come to Earth to stay. Hundreds of thousands of people vanish into thin air, and as the days pass, the total of the missing number in the millions. Some say it’s the rapture of the Christian faith.

Alexa knows better: their dae ate them, leaving behind nothing more than dust as evidence of their hunger.

As one of the unawakened, she doesn’t have a dae, nor can she manifest any forms of magical powers. She’s lacking the innate knowledge of what the dae are and what they mean for the world. Now more than ever, she is an outsider. Her survival hinges on her ability to adapt to a world she no longer understands.

Unfortunately, one of the dae has taken notice of her, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. Alexa’s problems pile up as she’s forced to pick her allegiances. Will she submit to the new ways of the world? Will she become some monster’s pawn? Or, against all odds, can she forge her own path and prove normal humans can thrive among those gifted with powers once the domain of fantasies and nightmares?

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

My first real memory of my parents was also my last.
It was the refrigerator’s fault I remembered. I should’ve known better than to expect new appliances in my new apartment; I was lucky to have appliances at all. I sure as hell couldn’t afford to buy new ones.
The refrigerator, however, was a problem. Every time I looked at it, I remembered—and my first memory of my parents was how I, Alexa Zoe Daegberht, had killed them with a wish.
It was the same refrigerator, right down to its smoke-stained, pebbled surface and its loose handle. The years hadn’t done the damned thing any favors, and I wondered if the door would fall off its hinges when I opened it. Then again, they had built things better when I had been a child.
It was too bad I hadn’t been built a bit better. A lot of things would have been different. It wasn’t my father’s fault no one could touch me without irritating my sensitive skin. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t kiss my cheek like other fathers could with their daughters.
It was his fault he had forgotten; if he hadn’t, my face wouldn’t have been itching and burning. If he hadn’t forgotten, I wouldn’t have run to the fridge, using it as a shield against his touch. If he hadn’t forgotten, I wouldn’t have parroted what he too often said while fighting with my mother:
If you walk out that door, don’t you ever come back.
Because I had believed it, had wanted it, and had prayed for it, wishing on a shooting star that night, I had gotten exactly what I wanted. My parents had walked out the door and left me behind, never to return.
The ocean didn’t like giving up its dead, and planes smacking into the water didn’t leave a whole lot to salvage.
I dropped my bags on the kitchen floor, spat curses, and kicked the refrigerator.
It won; beneath the plastic was metal, and it refused to bend. All I did was crunch my toes, and howling, I hopped around on one foot. Through tear-blurred eyes, I glared at the offensive appliance.
“I’ll end you,” I swore.
Maybe I could spray paint the damned thing pink; it’d be at least four years before I earned my degree and rank as a Bach, and until then, I was stuck with it. Once I became a Bach, I’d be elevated to a better caste—a caste with a future, and a bright one at that. Once I was a Bach, I could afford to buy my own appliances, and I’d never have to see that make or model of refrigerator ever again. If I scored well enough on the exit exams, I had the slim chance of being accepted for Master training.
I had my entire life ahead of me, and it would be a good one. There was no way I’d let a stupid refrigerator take that from me.
I kept telling myself that, but I didn’t believe it.
I gave up and went for my last ditch resort; if macaroni and cheese couldn’t make things better, nothing could.

I left my apartment to explore my new neighborhood and find work, leaving behind the devil-spawned refrigerator with a week’s worth of macaroni and cheese casserole cooling inside. If any of the other students found out I was surviving on pasta flavored with neon-orange powder, I’d be the laughing stock of the college.
I wanted to create the illusion of having come from somewhere other than the poorest district in the city, and to do that, I needed money. Merit-based students like me paid off tuition and housing in labor; I was doomed to at least four years serving as some professor’s slave. At least I had ranked high enough to have an apartment instead of a closet in the shared dorms, but unlike on-campus students, I was on my own for the basics.
There was one place I knew I could find a job in a hurry: the Inner Harbor. If I had come from any other district, if I had belonged to any other caste, I wouldn’t have needed to turn to Kenneth Smith for work. But Kenneth took in those others wouldn’t and made them do his dirty work.
Unfortunately for me, I was good at doing his dirty work. Sighing, I ducked my head, adopted a brisk stride, and headed towards the water.
Baltimore was a big place, and it took me an hour to navigate my way through the city’s heart, skirting around the fringe I had once called home. On the surface, it was a clean, quiet place with carefully trimmed lawns, neatly pruned trees, and flowers contained in concrete planters.
The scars of rebellion pockmarked the brick buildings, a reminder of the violence Kenneth Smith and his cohorts had stamped out years ago, turning a slum into the elite’s paradise.
Once upon a time, the Inner Harbor had been the entertainment district of Baltimore, a place prone to rioting, a place everyone, no matter what caste, could go and gamble away their money or find other pursuits, many of them illegal. Sporting events were popular—if you could afford the entry fee.
I couldn’t, and Kenneth Smith counted on that. He didn’t want me as a client, anyway.
He wanted me as one of his hounds, a dog of his endless drug war, hunting down his non-paying clients, sniffing out dirt on them, and either luring them into one of his little traps or otherwise acquiring his money. The method didn’t matter; the money did, and that was that.
I hated the Inner Harbor; if I had a pack of matches, I wouldn’t have hesitated to light one up in the hope of burning the whole place to the ground. My temper soured the closer I got to the little townhouse located where the fringe began and the elite’s playground ended.
No one in their right mind would have believed, not even for a moment, that Baltimore’s charming, ruthless, and despicable criminal mastermind lived in such a dingy place, and that was exactly the way Kenneth Smith liked it.
I knocked four times, paused, and because I was in a bad mood, I gave the dark-painted door a solid kick, jamming my already aching toes. I didn’t hop around as I had in my apartment.
One of Smith’s bitches didn’t do something so undignified, not in public.
The pain I wanted; it served to focus my attention and remind me of the misery my boss would inflict if I screwed up. Clenching my teeth to keep quiet, I waited. I heard the thump of someone coming down the stairs, and several moments later, the lock clicked. The door opened, and Smith’s favorite dog answered, glaring at me through narrowed eyes.
“You again?”
I smiled at Lily because I knew it would piss her off. “What do you know? It is! Astonishing. Can I come in, or are we going to put on a show for everyone in the neighborhood? I didn’t dress the part. I left my lacy panties at home.”
I didn’t own any lacy panties, but all things considered, I was going to die a virgin anyway. A kiss on the cheek was enough to give me hives. What would happen if someone tried to kiss me on the mouth—or do something far more interesting with me?
I’d probably die.
Lily snarled something incomprehensible under her breath, stepping back to let me in. “Prissy bitch.”
Blond-haired, blue-eyed, pasty-skinned Lily belonged in a doll shop, but instead of telling her to go back to selling herself on the street like I wanted, I asked, “Where’s the boss?”
“Down in the den. He’s with a guest. Wait in the parlor. He’ll come for you himself, I’m sure.” Lily glared at me, slammed the door, and stomped her way up the staircase to the second floor, leaving me to mind my own business in the entry.
I waited by the door.
The parlor always reeked of drugs, but I had kicked my various habits years ago. As always, the parlor made me want a hit so I could forget everything, right down to who I was and what I had done to get by.
I had changed. I wasn’t going to let anyone forget it, myself included.

When the boss came upstairs from the basement alone, I worried. Waiting the hour for him to finish wasn’t unusual, but the fact he hadn’t brought his client along meant one of two things: the client had either left through the tunnels, a conceit of the elite, or I was about to be introduced to them.
Nothing good happened when my boss introduced me to his clients. Nothing good came out of meeting with Kenneth right after an audience with one of the elite.
His fellow elite had a way of pissing him off, especially when they thought themselves above paying back their debts.
I examined the shining hardwood, wondering if Kenneth made Lily get on her hands and knees to polish it to perfection. I doubted it; if he had, neither one of them would have gotten any real work done, and that would hurt his bottom line.
“It’s not like you to come around here without a summons,” my boss said, and his soft-spoken words warned me of trouble.
Kenneth was a lot of things, and passionate was one of them. If he was moderating his voice, it was because he had graduated from annoyed to murderous, and he didn’t feel like killing me today.
I should’ve been grateful for that.
“You always need another nose to the ground, sir,” I murmured, keeping still despite my desire to fidget.
Lily really had done a stellar job with the floors. While I couldn’t make out the details, the wood reflected my dark hair and bronzed skin. My heritage remained a mystery, dying along with my parents.
Some folks said German because of my last name, but none of the German-descents I knew had such bronzed skin. I rivaled an Italian, but no self-respecting Italian I knew had a last name like mine.
I decided it was a good thing I wasn’t all that pretty. I didn’t want to end up just like Lily, serving the boss to keep him from killing the rest of us when he had a bad day. I had too many scars, and not all of them marked my skin.
If he found out about my inability to handle human contact, he’d probably enjoy knowing he could hurt me with his touch alone. When I left, I’d have to thank Lily and offer to run errands for her. It was wise to pay back debts, in advance whenever possible.
The silence stretched on. I gave into my restlessness, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. My toes still throbbed from their introduction to his door and the devil-spawned refrigerator in my apartment.
“Fine. Come on, then,” he snapped, pivoting on a heel to head back in the direction of the basement stairwell.
I followed him, keeping my gaze fixed on his black oxfords, which had been polished almost as shiny as his prized floors. He took the stairs two at a time while I took the more cautious approach. With my luck, I’d snap my neck tumbling down the steps.
“Sit,” he ordered as soon as I crossed over the threshold into his den.
His den was larger than my apartment, although that wasn’t much of a feat. Someone had been smoking something recently, and the fumes were strong enough to make my nose sting. I took a cautious sniff.
Cigar smoke.
At least my standing at college wouldn’t be risked by inhaling residue from one of Kenneth’s cocktails. If they ever found out I was one of his associates, though, I was screwed. I relaxed and, without looking up from his floor, made my way around the couch closest to the door and plopped down on it. I heard him sit on his armchair, which squeaked as he leaned back.
“I’m not in the mood for your bullshit tonight, my little collie.” My boss lit up, and the stench of his cigar choked off my breath. I knew better than to cough, though. All I’d do was piss him off even more.
I chose to ignore the fact he was calling me by a dog breed instead of my name and nodded my agreement. At least he hadn’t called me Lassie.
If I followed the rules, I’d be okay. I’d leave his house just fine—and Lily wouldn’t have any extra reasons to hate me. Speaking only when spoken to, nodding when appropriate, and always, always addressing him by sir would get me through the meeting.
If the boss had a job for me and paid up, maybe I’d buy Lily a pair of lace panties—in silk. I could get them now, as long as I had the cash for them. All I had to do was survive the meeting with Kenneth and do one last job for him.
“You’re a freshman now, aren’t you?”
Kenneth’s voice was still soft, quiet, and utterly devoid of emotion, so I drew a deep breath, nodded my head obediently, and whispered, “Yes, sir.”
“Full-merit,” he commented, and his tone took on a rueful edge.
“Yes, sir.”
“Now how the hell did a little mutt like you get into Bach studies on full-merit?” he demanded, thumping his fist on the arm of his chair. He smacked it several more times before sighing gustily. “You’re something else, that’s what you are. I obviously wasn’t keeping you busy enough. I am to blame.”
I flinched.
Whoever had been meeting with him before I had arrived had left Kenneth in a bad mood, and his ire was directed at me. Any other day, I would have told him to go cry a river and fill the Chesapeake. I wanted to tell him to stuff it, but I needed the work, and he needed me.
I could go to the places he couldn’t, and he knew it.
“I studied, sir.”
“You studied. No shit, Collie. What I want to know is how you got through the application process right under my nose without me knowing a thing until Lily went out earlier to summon you. Your pad’s already been taken over, if you weren’t aware.”
The vultures had likely swooped in the minute I had left, but I kept my mouth shut. If I said a word, it would be something I’d regret. Granted, I likely wouldn’t regret it for long, but that was a different matter entirely.
I nodded and resumed studying the floor. Lily had missed a spot, and I’d been around Kenneth Smith long enough to recognize dried blood when I saw it.
At least it wasn’t fresh.
“Cat’s got your tongue? Fine. Maybe for the better. You’d open your mouth and make me want to shoot you. You’re right. I want your nose. Son of a bitch elite backed out on his debt. He’s in Bach studies just like you. Sniff the bastard out for me. He’s got a taste for crystals and a head for scents. He also seems to believe he can back out on his debts to me. Get close to him, learn his haunts, and report to me. I want to know who or what can be used against him, where he lives, and any significant people in his life—preferably women. Better yet, make yourself a significant woman to him. You need to relax.”
I risked lifting my head and stared at Kenneth Smith.
It amazed me I didn’t break out in a rash just from looking at him. In so many ways, he was an average man; not too tall, not too short, not too anything, which conspired to make him right in all the wrong ways. My brown eyes were too dark for any sort of warmth, while his were melted chocolate, tempting and sensual.
Despite the annoyance of his tone, the corners of his mouth quirked up in a smile.
I hated Kenneth Smith. Every time I saw him, I wondered what it would be like to kiss someone. It was his damned mouth, which could flatten to a line or curve into a ripe smile, shifting with his mood. I could always tell his mood from the movements of his lips.
His voice said angry, but his mouth promised all of those interesting things I couldn’t do and Lily could—and would, probably as soon as I left the house.
“What’s his name?” I asked, reminding myself Kenneth was a dangerous, foul man. A smart girl didn’t deal with the devil or take him to her bedroom.
I’d already struck out once in the smart department. I’d probably punch my own ticket if I tried anything with him. If I didn’t die from an allergic reaction to him, he wouldn’t appreciate me throwing up on him.
Men had that effect on me.
Kenneth sighed, and I echoed him.
I wondered if he realized we were probably sighing for the same reason. He had already slept with all of his other bitches, leaving me as the one who always got away.
If he found out about my allergy, I’d never live it down.
Silence wasn’t like Kenneth. He chomped on his cigar, grunting his acknowledgment of my question. I waited, lowering my gaze to the floor to stare at the brown splotch marring the hardwood.
“Terry Moore. His father runs the stadium. He got hooked six months back, paid for three months worth of supplies, and decided he was above paying the rest of the balance.”
I did some mental math, clucking my tongue as I ran through the various costs of crystals and scents. Crystals appealed to those who enjoyed tasting their drugs, slowly dissolving on the tongue, while scents came as either incenses or other forms of inhaled narcotics. Big league players often spend thousands a week for the good stuff.
The elite settled for nothing less.
If Terry was studying for his Bach like me, he had friends—elite friends. Buying friendships through drugs wasn’t uncommon, especially among those who were supposed to be too good for the trade.
“A hundred and fifty thou,” I said, straightening my back and lifting my chin, defying my boss with my glare. “Small change for you. There’s gotta be more to it than that. You don’t move against the elite for pennies.” I paused, sucked in a breath as I remembered I wasn’t supposed to piss him off, and added, “Sir.”
Kenneth’s smile widened to a grin. “Can’t let anything slip by you, can I? You’re right. It is small change. Under normal circumstances, I’d let it get up to at least half a mil. But, he made off with some of my new stuff, and I want it back.”
Reaching down beside his chair, he lifted up a metal cage containing a variety of test tubes. They were filled with a red liquid with the same viscosity as blood. He lifted one out, sloshing it around. “Little Bachs don’t want to get caught on the tests, so he wanted something for school-year use. This baby doesn’t register on any of the current tests. You can dry it into a powder. You can inject it, and you can even drink it if you want. It’s mellow enough, long-lasting, gives one hell of a nice high, and doesn’t impair function too much. Best of all, it doesn’t seem to cause much damage when it wears off.”
If he was speaking the truth, he had likely found the Holy Grail of the drug world.
“How many uses in one of those vials?”
“A few,” he evaded.
I narrowed my eyes, considered the few clues he had given me, and shrugged. “How many vials did he make off with?”
“A dozen.”
“And you haven’t killed him yet?” I blurted.
Kenneth arched a brow at me. “He can’t pay me if he’s dead. After he’s paid, I’ll think about it.”
I grimaced. One day I would learn to keep my mouth shut. “Get the info and retrieve the drugs if possible. Anything else, sir?”
“I wouldn’t say no to you bringing me my money along with the info and the drugs.”
Somehow, I kept from saying even one of the hundreds of snarky, sarcastic comments flitting through my head. Any one of them would piss him off even more, and there was only so far I could push him before he decided to go for his gun. “I don’t think I can carry that much cash, sir, and I really doubt he’ll give me his bank account details.”
“You could always sniff them out for me. You’re good at sneaking off to places you shouldn’t go—like college.”
I scowled. “I said I would sniff, not bite, sir. Biting is Lily’s job.”
“One of these days, Collie, you’re going to piss me off.”
I widened my eyes, raising my hand to cover my mouth. “You mean I haven’t already?”
“Every day. Get out of here, bitch. I don’t want to see your face at my house until you have his info and my drugs. And don’t you even think about forgetting my money.”
I escaped while I could and risked taking the steps two at a time.

About The Author

Opener of Portals. Urban Fantasy Author. Mistress of Giggles. Warped Sense of Humor.

Trillian Anderson is, like so many of us, a figment of someone's imagination. She was born somewhere in the United States, loves to travel, and has no scruples about moving to new and interesting places around the world. She loves fantasy fiction of all types, but holds a special fondness for urban fantasies, epic fantasies, and stories capable of capturing her imagine.

Most of all, she enjoys grabbing a flashlight, hiding under the blankets, and pretending she's asleep when she's, in actuality, reading a beloved book.

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