Monday, February 18, 2013

Author Interview - Introducing R E Sheahan

R.E. Sheahan

       With boots crunching in the snow, the sweet scent of pine lingers among the trees...Deanna stops, shades her eyes and looks around. "I love the smell of pine trees! Louise, I think this is the spot where we meet R E Sheahan but I'm not sure."
     Louise shivers and zips her quilted, flannel jacket up to the collar. "Dang, it's cold out here." 
     A twig snaps behind them. Louise and Deanna turn to see R E walking easily through the snow towards them. "Hello Louise and Deanna! Thank you for taking the time for an interview with me. This is so much fun!"
    Deanna opens her backpack, pulls out a thermos and then three large mugs. "I have hot cocoa and baileys, ladies, to warm us up! Hey, look! All the readers found us and want to meet you, too!
      "Readers, come join us as we welcome R E Sheahan to our blog this week. And there's a giveaway at the end! Check the details below. Come on, there's a covered shelter with blazing fire over there for us."

Reader's Haven: Hi R E! Before we start the interview, we wanted to let everyone know R E Sheahan's book is featured on our main site! Now R E tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

R E: I love to dance! I started Zumba about year and a half ago and loved it. About five months ago, I started Line Dancing. Great fun!
      Three weeks ago, I joined a Flash Mob dance group.
    I will participate in my first Flash Mob on Valentine’s Day, in front of the Courthouse, with a crowd of people, and cameras. Eek!

Reader's Haven: Sounds exciting and fun. What made you want to become a writer?

R E: I’ve always liked to write. To use words to convey emotion, to right a wrong or stand up for a worthy cause.
     I also have a wildly inventive imagination.
    A few years ago, the two ganged up on me. Out of necessity to keep my sanity, I wrote about characters, worlds, and the issues facing those places. I got their story down on paper, so to speak, and found I truly enjoyed the entire process. That creative release is very satisfying.

Reader's Haven: Please share a bit about your new release, Storm of Arranon-Fire and Ice, without giving away any spoilers.

R E: Fire and Ice is the continuing story of Erynn Yager. In this second book of the series, Erynn learns more about the mystical world of Arranon, above and below the surface, while continuing to understand her growing abilities.
      Things aren’t always as they seem.
     She finds this is true with love, also, as Jaer has some past secrets of his own that return to haunt them both.
     Speaking of haunting, there are ghosts, and some of these spirits are out to stop Erynn from completing her mission.
     Erynn’s biggest lesson in this book is that she doesn’t have to carry out these tasks on her own.
     Or does she?

Reader's Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

R E: No. R E Sheahan is what I write under, R E being Robynn Elisabeth. I chose my initials because I felt shorter was better and both Robynn and Elisabeth are uncommon spellings.

Reader's Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

R E: Hmmm. Okay. I recently read a Dean Koontz book, (an author I love), but was disappointed with his female protagonist in this story. She was whiney, weak, and came across less intelligent than she actually was. The worse part, she really didn’t change much by the end of the book.
     So, I guess I like stronger heroes and heroines. Not arrogant or perfect, but I want them to stand up for themselves and others. When they make mistakes, I want to see them take responsibility and do the right thing even if it’s difficult.

Reader's Haven: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

R E: First, I check e-mails, FB, Twitter, and Goodreads. You know, get caught up on what’s happening!
      Lately, it’s been on to editing and formatting.
      I try to read everyday and do reviews of books I’ve finished.
     In the next day or two, I’ll be back to writing the third book in my Storm of Arranon series. Well, I did a very rough draft in NaNoWriMo, but it needs filling in and expanding!

Reader's Haven: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

R E: Since the Storm of Arranon books are a series, yes, they are the same.
     I do have more ideas for books, waiting their turn, that will be different in they will be more contemporary, but still have that paranormal or fantasy edge.

Reader's Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

R E: I wrote books two, three, and four during NaNoWriMo the last three years. Fifty thousand words in thirty days. So I guess I can write the first draft in a month.
     I then spend about two to three months expanding, describing, and making the story presentable to my beta readers.
     When the manuscript is back from the beta readers, I edit. This whole process can take a month or more.
      Next, the book goes to my editor. This process takes the longest, another month or two. My editor is tough, but she gets the best story out of me!
      The book now goes to the proofreader and when it has been returned,
I read and edit once more.
     Adding up the time, I would say it takes about seven months to have a finished book.

Reader's Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

R E: I can write either way. I finished book one while Parker, six years old at the time, watched Disney Channel in the family room where I was writing. I like that low level background noise.

Reader's Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

R E: Sometimes names come in dreams, or they’ve just been in my head for a while from who knows where! (There’s that imagination again!) I also use a Gaelic dictionary, or a Gaelic names guide to fashion a name for a character.

Reader's Haven: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write, or do you write then find character pictures?

R E: Good question! I don’t have a visual image of my characters in mind as I begin to develop them. As we get to know each other better, and I learn more about who they are, and why they are, they take on their own characteristics. Then I see them in my mind as I write. The best way I can describe this is—It’s like a movie in my mind. I can slow it down, speed it up, rewind, and change dialog or action until I’m satisfied with a particular scene and the characters. At this point, I may insert an actor I have seen and like for one of my characters. It just helps me visualize.

Reader's Haven: How do you pick locations for your stories?

R E: I grew up around forests, lakes, streams, and mountains. As a kid, my friends and I played in the woods all day. We rode our horses through meadows and along mountain trails and played imaginary games as we went. I became familiar with the forest, the land, and the animals. So anything to do with forests, I feel comfortable writing about.

Reader's Haven: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?

R E: Yipee! I hope to have book three, tentatively titled Storm of Arranon-Allies and Enemies, ready to publish by late this summer! Book four, no title yet, is in rough draft, (NaNoWriMo), format and I will be shooting for a release date about this time next year. Book five is rattling around in my head, waiting for NaNo this year.
       I had planned at first to have only four books in the series. Hmmm. Now there are five.
    Several readers who enjoyed the first book have questioned about a certain character possibly having his own book(s).

Reader's Haven: Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

R E: Readers can find me and my books on the following sites:

Twitter @RESheahan
Amazon - Storm of Arranon

      One Ecopy and one print copy of each book, Storm of Arranon and Storm of Arranon-Fire and Ice to one lucky commenter! Enter the drawing by leaving a comment. Let R E know you stopped by and remember to include your email address so we can easily contact the winner. Thanks!

        Please note Storm of Arranon is in print and Fire and Ice is eBook.

Excerpt from Fire and Ice

Chapter 1...

     A HIGH PIERCING SCREAM RIPPED through icy air and echoed along the dark intersecting tunnels. The shrieking faded and died.
     Possession was a painful adjustment.
     For the one being possessed.
     Dhoran smiled. He felt the corners of the host’s lips jerk in a reluctant response.
     Resistance is useless.
   The cowering consciousness slid into a dark recess of their now shared mind, making room for the new, dominant one.
      Destiny was on Dhoran’s side. This healthy athletic body suited him. It hadn’t been necessary to go through numerous candidates before finding an appropriate match, raising suspicion. The Shifter sent to lure an inhabitable being to where Dhoran’s spirit-self waited had done well. He’d found the perfect vessel on his first attempt.
      I will reward him. Allow him to . . . play with these surface dwellers.
      The host’s memories swirled, mingling with Dhoran’s. A short life so far, but full. Intelligence, pride, and a fierce drive to be of service propelled an unselfish soul. His knowledge remained for Dhoran to draw on, providing necessary information on these foreign surroundings.
      Dhoran stared down at his new body. Sensations dead for nearly two decades rushed through him. A strong, regular heartbeat pounded in his chest, radiating warmth to his extremities. Beads of sweat tickled his smooth skin. Cool air moved in and out of his lungs. He trembled at the simple yet intricate workings of life he’d taken for granted, and inhaled deeply. The familiar scent of damp, musty soil permeated his nostrils. A light sweetness lingered in his mouth, and he licked full lips, finding more of this spicy syrupiness. His tongue darted across even teeth blunted with flat surfaces for grinding. He frowned.
      There will be no rip and tear to this bite.
      Dhoran raised his hands and glared down at the shape and size of them. Static popped. Blue currents snapped and wound around his fingers. His abilities seemed to be intact. But he missed the thick claws and taut muscles that had rippled under the glossy red-gold scales of his body. He recalled how his naked skin had glowed and shimmered in the firelight. With an unsteady reach, Dhoran touched the back of his neck. Long hair clasped in a metal clip replaced the heavy mane that had grown on his head and along his spine. He closed his eyes and growled, angered at the loss.
     Dhoran’s true form had been exotically handsome to females from the surface and his underworld. His body had exuded a singular power and grace, evident in the reverence and fear of those subservient to him. His large gold-green eyes had missed nothing, and his notched ears had discerned even the slightest resonance. When he smiled, thin lips slid over sharp teeth.
      I would have won the girl over in my previous form.
      An icy wind whistled through the warrens.
       I must be near an access to the outside world.
    Dhoran shivered. He’d forgotten how bitterly frigid the surface of Arranon could get. He preferred the comfort of his underground kingdom. He sighed and nodded, the motion stiff and halting. The temporary sacrifice of warmth would be worth the results.
      When Zander Tourani’s daughter joins me, enhancing my power, I will inspire fear throughout the galaxy. No one will dare attack Arranon again. With help from the daughter of my only equal and one true enemy, Arranon will be mine. Forever.
      Tourani’s daughter was young, little more than a child. Her inexperience would make her pliable to Dhoran’s will and unwise to the wiles he possessed. He would convince her of the importance of forming a . . . merger with him. For the good of Arranon, she would agree to a union. The recent invasion of a marauding alien society would add credence to his proposal. He offered the means to keep her home world safe.
      First, he had to find her.
      A similar ploy to join forces for the safety of Arranon had nearly worked on her father.
     Or had Tourani’s compliant manner been a ruse within a trap? Yes. Tourani would consider self-sacrifice a noble end.
     Tourani’s deception had triggered his own death, as well as Dhoran’s.
    Foolish. Tourani knew I would return. My spirit remains strong. My power will never die. Will there still be those eager to do my bidding awaiting my . . . re-birth?
     Black, oily shadow shapes slithered toward him, silent in their fluid advance. Shifters hissed and bowed their submissiveness. These creatures would obey him without question.
      Dhoran tried his voice. “Camorra nah.” The timbre pleased him. He held up his hand, the movement uneven. He growled deep in his throat at the host’s continued resistance. “I will use the predominate language of the surface.” He had no difficulty controlling speech. The tone coming from him was deep and soft, appealing to his ear.
      The assembled Shifters deepened their bows and trembled at the sound of their master’s voice.
    “Return to our underworld. Advise your brothers to find the girl.” Dhoran’s command demanded fulfillment. “The one who does so will gain my approval and an ample reward.” He chuckled, the rumbling more growl than mirth.
      Without a scuff or scrape of flesh on stone, the Shifters disappeared, blending into yawning shadows and leaving the faint stench of putrefying flesh hanging in the chilled air.
      Dhoran took a step forward, the action unyielding. He fought for control of this body, arching his back and rolling his head. His arms flexed and extended in a convulsive twitch. A low snarl issued from deep in his chest. “Obey me. You have no choice.” He bit down, slicing the tip of his tongue. The salty, metallic taste of blood filled his mouth. His muscles burned with resistance. He increased the pressure, an internal struggle against the possessed being’s last push of opposition. “I will command this body. When I have accomplished my goal, I may return it to you. If you behave.” A final snap of determination resonated, vibrating through his core.
       The fight was over.
      Dhoran walked with long easy strides through dim corridors, warrens chiseled by time, elements, and natural cataclysm in the primeval granite. His shadow glided from behind to ahead in the spaced lighting centered at the tunnel’s apex. The click of his boots against stone was music. Icy air caressed his cheeks. The unfamiliar but recognizable scent of trees, spicy and sharp, assaulted his senses. His heart rate increased, nerves tingled. He slowed and stopped.
     I am close to the surface. How long has it been since I set foot in that hostile environment?
      Dhoran’s musings took him to the moments before his premature end. He had steadily rebuilt the forces needed to begin a final battle and seize what he believed was rightfully his.
      Years of careful preparation had his armies in place, ready to attack the world above. Then Tourani interfered, overthrowing Dhoran and ruining his strategy for domination.
    Dhoran’s breath hitched in with the comprehension of precious time wasted, passed in a temporary death. Anger flared. Lights above him popped, extinguishing in a crackle and whiff of scorched wiring. Electric tendrils snapped and pulsed outward, wrapping Dhoran in a deep- purple glow that reflected off uneven stone walls. He closed his eyes and pulled in the throbbing current. The cavern went black, but the quiet buzz of static remained.
     Calm. Breathe. Calm.
     The snapping hum quieted, and a preternatural stillness filled the dark. Dhoran’s eyes opened and he smiled. With planning and patience, a most gratifying revenge would be his.
     He continued to an alcove with tunnels leading off in several directions. His murk-accustomed eyes detected a faint natural light seeping in from an opening to the cold, sun-bright realm. The soft glow chased away thick slices of darkness. The way to proceed from this intersection was clear to him.
      Go to the left.
      This was the direction of the possessed one’s work and he was due there soon. The route led him to a daylight-filled bay. Dhoran squinted, turned his gaze away from the cursed brightness, and grimaced when his vision cleared.
      Snow. Cold. Wet.
    He didn’t know which was worse, blinding white snow or brilliant sunlight. Warm firelight suited him. The way a fire’s warmth encircled him and muted flames danced against the dark.
      Large flakes swirled in three massive openings behind . . .
      Interceptors. Fighters.
     This information took a moment to filter through a shared mind, a side effect of the recent possession that would soon pass.
    Dhoran nodded. The knowledge that these sleek, white forms were warring aircraft, accompanied by a feeling of awe and respect, came from the buried psyche locked away in a prison of flesh. He stopped and stared at the cold deadly force before him. His thoughts turned to Tourani’s daughter. He was anxious to find the girl and begin his conquest of her and Arranon.
     From around the closest fighter, a petite female in a heavy white jacket, pants, and boots emerged. Long, curly red hair surrounded her face and draped her shoulders. Dhoran tipped his head and studied her.
     Odd, she doesn’t wear her hair in the traditional style of Arranon, clasped at the back of her neck. The color. The curls. This too is unusual.
     Recognition of the female caused a flow of admiration and gratitude from the host’s mind.
      Ah, she is not Arranon. She is from Korin. Erynn Yager. She is important to Arranon, though. A pilot?
    “She’s only a child. And an outsider,” Dhoran scoffed in a low, menacing voice. He remained unimpressed as he studied her.
     How could one so young be this accomplished, this distinguished? Why is she here?
     Turned in profile to Dhoran, Erynn gazed up from the green glow of the device she held. Ice-blue eyes brightened under long lashes. She smiled at a dark, powerful young man approaching her from the far side of the hangar.
     More information surged from a collective base of knowledge.
     Jaer. An Anbas Warrior. One of Arranon’s elite.
     Dhoran’s attention returned to Erynn.
     There is something familiar—
     He spun toward the exit.
     I must find out more about her.
     For now, he was due at his duty station.
     Being late may bring up difficult questions, and that is no way to start my first day as a human surface dweller.

About the Author:
     When R E Sheahan was a kid, she often imagined 'what if' on how the TV shows and book plots could be rewritten and the whole story could be changed.  
    Once upon a time, during adulthood, R E was a paramedic/firefighter. Still pondering this ordeal, during down time on her job, she daydreamed and started writing down her ideas. 
     That was three years ago
   Now R E has two published books and many more in notes waiting to come alive.
     R E Sheahan lives in Northern Oregon among the breathtaking Cascade Mountains.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Join us in the jungle with author Paty Jager!

Paty Jager
Romance Author

This is a special treat this week as we visit with Paty on location in the gorgeous, yet danergous, Guatemalan Jungle - the setting of her new series. To us, it looks like it could  be filled with alligators, spiders and snakes so let's stay close. Paty's doing a giveaway at the end!

RH:  Paty, I have to admit, this jungle setting is definitely different. Too bad we hate spiders and snakes because we do love the jungles. Let's get comfy  beneath the canopy of trees here. Deanna brought bug spray if anyone needs it. Okay Paty, thank you for taking the time to chat with us in the midst of writing more books! What else do you do along with your writing?

Paty:  Deanna and Louise, thank you for having me this week. My husband and I own 350 acres in two different areas. On 70 acres where we live, we raise beef cattle and on the other 280 in another area (where I spend a good part of my summer) we raise alfalfa for hay.  Our goal is to sell the 70 acres and be set up to raise alfalfa and have more months out of the year where we can travel. But I enjoy the summer at the “cabin” when I irrigate and help with the haying. There are less domestic chores to do and more time to write.

RH:  That sounds like a lot of work! What do you do to relax?

Paty: It depends on the relaxation. I like to ride my horse, go for walks, and visit with family and friends. I also like to sew.

RH:  As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

Paty: Oh my! Now there’s a loaded question! ;0) I’m sure my husband would say I have four: The vixen, the loyal wife, the mother bear, and the b*#@*. LOL I am a hormone driven personality so he gets hit with all of these every month. Now if you ask me… diva, hermit/recluse, best friend, vixen, adventure seeker, and on my bad days, old lady!

RH:  We all have bad days but here's hoping the vixen wins out more often! What is your strongest area in writing: plotting, character personality, dialogue, etc?

Paty: I believe my strongest area is character personality. I finaled in a contest years ago with my second historical romance because the editor loved my character, but I still hadn’t grasped GMC(Goals, motivation, and conflict). And usually in reviews it is my characters that get the accolades.

RH:  Can you work on more than one book at a time?

Paty: I kind of do. I don’t actually write on two books but while I’m writing one, I’m always working up the idea and characters for the next one I’m going to write. It’s like an assembly line in my head. One I’m working on, one I’m discovering the characters, another I’m conjuring up the idea.  And there is always one book in edits, while another is being written.

RH:  That's a great way to describe the process! How long does it take you to write a book?

Paty: Without family and life interruptions I can write a book in three months. That’s having it already figured out in my head and doing a good part of the research.

RH:  What is your editing process?

Paty: When I started I had a strenuous editing process, but now, after having written over twenty books (13 published),  I begin writing, write a chapter, review it the next day and write the next chapter, review it the next day and write a new chapter. Start at the beginning a couple times before I get to about chapter five, then I start sending chapters to two critique partners and by the time I finish writing the book and they read the last chapters, I only have one more run through before I send it to a critique partner/editor who goes through it and I’m done.  For self publishing then it goes through a beta/ proof reader before I publish the book.

RH: Many readers like these interviews that show them more of the authors they're interested in. What is your favorite way to connect with readers?
Paty: I enjoy connecting with readers anywhere. Either in person at events or online via email and chats.

RH:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Paty: A typical day would be getting up at 6am, feed my husband and send him off to work by 6:30. I get on the computer and answer e-mails, do promotion, hit some blogs to comment until 8am. Then I dress, have breakfast and do chores. This time of year it’s break the ice on the water tanks and feed the animals hay and grain. I come back in and write or do promotion until noon. I take an hour lunch break. In warm weather I go for a walk. I sit back down and write until 4pm then I go out and feed again and when my husband gets home we feed hay off a trailer to the cows. We have dinner and I may get back on the compute for another hour or two of promotion related things.

RH:  Hardly the life of a glamorous Hollywood author is it? You put in more than a full day's work, woman! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Paty: The common theme in my books is justice prevailing or showing an injustice.

RH: We love your books but we're curious - what prompted you to sway from western romance to the action adventure?

Paty: I’d read a book dubbed “a female Indiana Jones” and was disappointed in the fact the first and last chapters were the only chapters set outside the U.S. So, after complaining to several people and having them tell me to write what I think one should be, I took them up on it after brainstorming with another writer. Through that brainstorming Doctor Isabella Mumphrey and DEA agent Augustino Constantine a.k.a. Tino Kostas emerged to be partnered in Secrets of a Mayan Moon.

RH: oooooo - I like the way you think! Take on a challenge and know you can accomplish what you set out to do! What setting outside the U.S. did you pick and why?

Paty: Having a DEA agent as the hero, I needed a country rife with drug trafficking and one that would have an ancient civilization for my anthropologist heroine to specialize in.  With this knowledge and research, I came up with Guatemala. It has rain forests, drug trafficking, and the Maya.

RH: Is this the only action adventure you’ll write?

Paty: No, it’s actually the first of a trilogy with Isabella Mumphrey and Tino Constantine. The second book, Secrets of an Aztec Temple, will be available later this month. If the three books go over well and readers want more of Isabella and Tino, I could write more books.


      What happens when a brilliant anthropologist is lured to the jungle to be used as a human sacrifice? 
      Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.
       DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.
      Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords

 Bio:  Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children & grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. You can learn more about Paty at her blog  her website or on Facebook and Twitter - @patyjag. 
CONTEST:  One lucky commenter will win an e-copy of Secrets of a Mayan Moon! You can earn more than one entry!

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