Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

Blessing of Luna (Wolfgods Book 1) by Blaise Ramsay

J is for character Jillian Styles in Blessing of Luna

1- What got you to start the writing journey?

I’d been working in the conceptual and character design industry and freelancing for fifteen years. Eventually I worked in the Indie gaming industry doing what I thought I loved at the time. The problem was, I started noticing that artwork just wasn’t filling a hole somewhere inside. Everything I designed seemed to be hollow in one way or another. I didn’t understand what it was so I opened up Word on my Mac and started writing short stories. The first one I published on the art site, DeviantARt was given Daily Deviation status. Simply meaning it was given an award. I decided to start writing short stories until I found the work of A.E. Fisher. I fell in love with her biker romance novels and decided to write my own. The first book I wrote had to be set aside. I nearly called it quits. Then I learned of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and decided to participate in it. This event gave birth to Blessing of Luna, my debut title which spawned three other books in the series. It was this book that gave me the passion for writing and got me involved in the book blogger and indie communities. I am glad I decided to start.
J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge

2- Reviews or Views: Some people shy away from writing book reviews because they feel others won't share their taste in books. What do you tell them?
Thank a writer by writing a review
I would tell them what I told myself when working on Luna. Fear is a liar. It will stop your passion in its tracks if you let it. I would let them know we all have different tastes and more often than not, the author wants to hear what they have to say even if they don’t want to make it public. They can always email the author and let them know. Not all of us want to publicly say anything. People are going to feel differently. Just as we all don’t share the same tastes in movies or food, so it’s the same with books. If someone says something on an author’s Amazon or Goodreads or where ever the book is posted for review, let the author deal with it. We usually are more kind than most people tend to think. I know, me personally, I like to learn what people did or didn’t like in a book. It lets me know the “air of the market” as it were.

3- How's NaNo camp going?

It is going swell! I’m thoroughly enjoying the story, Eve of Ragnarok because it’s something closer to what I want to write. It’s still a romance but it doesn’t focus primarily on the romantic aspect. The story follows a subject I’ve long held close. Norse Mythology. I like how Camp isn’t as demanding. You can work on what you want to, edit, write short stories, etc. Not the same as regular NaNo where 50K words is your goal and it has to be a novel. I must say i will definitely be returning to both this year and the next.
nanwrimo 2017 winner

4- What five words represent your most notable characteristic or values? #In5Words

  1. Loyalty
  2. Friendly
  3. Loving
  4. Caring
  5. Nurturing

*I’m a mom and a wife. Pretty sure that’s why they are what they are. XD

5- What ignited your passion for writing?

The first nail in the horseshoe was winning the Daily Deviation status. I’d never won it in all of my years of drawing. Second I think it was definitely A.E. Fisher. Reading her books sent me into researching self-publishing where I found Kristen Martin. This lovely lady has had such an impact on me. I can honestly call her my hero. Through her I met Kim Chance and starting reading her blog and watching her youtube videos. The more I learned the more I knew. I’d found my passion. I’d found a supportive and caring community who isn’t competitive like it was in art. No one latched onto their favorites and attacked others. The community has been nothing but supportive. As we call ourselves: “We aren’t a competition. We’re a network.”

J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge

6- Would you share a picture with us of you, your book, and your husband?

J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge

7- What are some of your short and long term writing goals?

For now, I’m still working on building an author platform, raising awareness to FyreSyde and helping new and upcoming authors in any way I can. In the near future, I will be releasing three other books in the upcoming year. For long term, I want to continue to build FyreSyde as a publishing company and offer the blog as a chance for networking. I also have plans to start a podcast where I will offer tips based on my own journey and what I’ve learned. Short term, it’s to finish Camp NaNo and release another book at the end of this year.

8- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

Umm, I really have to say that would be the mom of my daughter’s best friend. She about bounced out of her car and wanted to find out how she could get involved with FyreSyde and wanted my book now. Otherwise, I don’t know. XD From what my betas have told me, they have a great affinity for Alexander Kain. The mentor of the main protagonist of Blessing of Luna. Far as I can tell, he has some real fans and anticipators who want his book released.

9- What's your favorite flavor and way to have your coffee?

coffee. J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge
Oo, reaching for achilles heel huh? ;D Well I have a saying, I tend to like candy rather than coffee. During the year I usually prefer the more nutty flavors like Hazelnut, Toffee Nut, etc. If I’m feeling more laid back, I’ll settle for the old cream and sugar. This is especially good at good old mom and pop shops. Sometimes I visit my bank instead of using the atm just to nab their coffee. Otherwise, it’s mostly homebrewed Maxwell House with Hazelnut creamer. That is until Pumpkin spice season, then it’s binging Pumpkin spice iced coffee with tons of cream.

10- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I want to immerse the reader into the scene. Almost like they were there. I want to invoke emotions based upon what the characters are feeling. In Blessing of Luna, I did what I could to make the world feel as real as possible. It’s something I try to do with all of my writing. If the character is in pain, I want the reader to feel that. If they are happy, I want to the reader to feel happy. I want them to wonder, anticipate, ask questions and in some cruel instances, leave cliff-hangars. One scene in Luna that truly touched me was when Damien loses his childhood friend. It’s a dark scene with great emotion that leads him into a deep sense of doubt that Kain has to get him out of. Then there’s the death of the main villain. Damien doesn’t react with a sense of victory, rather a sense of sadness and defeat.

11- What is your favorite book (by someone else), and what do you love most about that book?

Wolf & Hunter by A.E. Fisher and Keeper by Kim Chance are my absolute favorite reads right now. I’ve been through Hunter and Wolf at least five times a piece and Keeper once (with plans to binge it again as soon as I can). These are all stunning books I would recommend to anyone.

12- What most helped you to improve your writing craft?

Reading and writing. Those are my two main weapons of choice. Even if it’s not a laptop or computer, I carry a journal or a book with me everywhere I go. I was once told that I needed to avoid reading to avoid taking and let me tell you, from what I’ve learned that’s so far from the truth. Pablo Picasso once stated “Steal like an artist”. What does this mean? It means everyone who has a craft, has a mentor. Even if they don’t know the person, personally. The more I read, the more I learn and evolve my own writing. Stephen King has been known to state, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that”. We learn from each other. It’s what makes us better.

13- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

To begin, what separates Blessing of Luna from another “werewolf” novel, in my opinion is the simple fact I separated the term “werewolf” from the actual “lycanthrope”. Extensive research was done to find a differentiation between the two. A werewolf is actually much different from a lycanthrope. For the character Jillian Styles in Blessing of Luna, it is the fact she is an immortal lycanthrope. She can’t die no matter how much silver is pumped into her veins. She also has silver nails which severely hurts the vampires of the novel’s world. For Damien, it is the fact that he is what is known as a Purifier. A paladin sent to keep the peace as it were. For Kain, it’s the mysterious gashes and slashes all over his body. The reason for these is not known in Blessing of Luna but does become more understood in Bane of Tenebris.

14- How did you come up with the name FyreSyde?

J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge FyreSyde
There are a couple of things that served as inspiration for the name FyreSyde. First, it was Christmas time and my kids were watching Charlie Brown and the song playing had the lyrics “Yuletide by the fireside”. This got me thinking, “What do I enjoy? I enjoy being wrapped in a blanket on a cold winter night with a coffee and a good book.” From this, the name FireSide came to mind but then i got thinking again. “How can I make this more, Blaise? Oh, I know, I’ll replace the ‘i’ with ‘y’. Then, FyreSyde Publishing was born.

15- The diverse book movement recognizes all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Well, with this one I’m going to be honest. I won’t ever make literature a reason to become political, period. In Blessing of Luna, Damien has PTSD and Detachment Disorder from a sexually abusive mother. It’s something I wanted to raise awareness to because both are close to me. They’re serious afflictions and too often, I think they get swept under the rug or written off.
“We’ve switched from a culture that was interested in manufacturing, economics, politics – trying to play a serious part in the world – to a culture that’s really entertainment-based”. -Stephen King

16- Which character has your favorite Personality Contradiction?

I think this would be Damien. At times he can appear really shy, timid and maybe weak compared to Jillian but therein lies the great internal conflict. He is suffering from Detachment Disorder. He feels numb to everyone around him until Jillian really chisels into the rock. Then he opens up and becomes a much stronger character. Throughout the series, the reader will find that Damien becomes the epicenter of the neighboring packs. He and Kain become the leaders everyone looks to. Even the last prince of the royal line has to seek their guidance. It’s a wonderful little trick screenwriters and author’s love to call “Shift”.

17- Does your book hold a mirror up to society, and in what way?

Nope. I write fiction to escape reality. XD

18- Can you think of any small change in the world you could make to benefit hundreds of other authors or readers potentially?

In a way I think I already am. I get contacted via email, social media and at the live events from authors who want to know how they can move from being hobbyists to professionals. Leaving the laptop and going out, meeting people and connecting is a small change that can have a big impact.

19- As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?

The cover plays a key role in my first choice of books. Then as any prospect would, I flip the sucker over (if it’s a physical copy of course) and read the synopsis. If it’s an eBook and the cover and synopsis appeal to me, I’ll often get a free sample and read the chapters offered. If I find it interesting, I’ll go ahead and buy it. No matter what though, I’ll always leave a review to the author. It’s the least I can do.

20- How will you measure your publishing performance?

J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge manage measure
I don’t. I’m not an author who runs off and checks sales and reviews everyday. Nowadays, it’s great to have a best-seller! However, authors who attend live events who don’t get the same number of reviews or feedback because sometimes life just gets busy and folks forget but still get sales who bond with their readers are still best sellers. I will always tell anyone and this is from personal experience - Numbers do NOT matter. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on Instagram, Twitter, etc. What matters is who sees your work and when they see it. It is why I am an advocate for offline marketing. With the black hole that is social media, it is easy to get lost and let’s face it. No one goes to your store while browsing through twitter. Most of the time they’re not in a position to. If I have one fan who comes back time and again, I’ve succeeded. That being said, authors love book sales, who doesn’t? But how much work you put into marketing your book with often reflect itself.

21- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I decided to self-publish because I had a really bad experience with traditional publishing. I also like to keep control of the process and the revenue. It gives me the feel of putting in more input than a traditional publisher. True it is a ton of work but in the end I think I’ve benefited more. As a mom of two young children, I feel it gives them an example to see me doing my own work. It proves that hard work is what makes success. If this experience has done anything, I would want it to show a good model of “leading forward”.

22- What's the best book marketing strategy you've come across?

Live events. I have seen more growth in my email list, getting interviews, exposure, etc just from the few events I’ve experienced this year. I’ve networked with some amazing people and learned more from other authors than I feel I could online. It’s what pushed me into a movement of “Budgeting Social Media; Invest in Live Events”. Our readers are not behind a laptop, they’re out there working at Cracker Barrel, attending All-con, going to Book Festivals and asking questions at libraries. Don’t get me wrong. Social media is amazing for keeping in contact but it should never be used as a primary marketing tool. Reaching out and touching, even in email is worth more than just posting Amazon links on Facebook.

23- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

I don’t really have any one question in particular. They’re welcome to ask or comment on what they want. I love to get quizzed. Heck I’m a pretty open book and look forward to any question. Ask me please!

24- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

I would like to express my thanks to you for interviewing me and asking the questions you did. They were all important in my own personal growth as an author.


J is for the character Jillian Styles by Blaise Ramsay in this Debut Author Spotlight #AtoZchallenge
FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay worked over fifteen years in the graphic design industry, with some experience in indie gaming. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature with her debut paranormal romance series, Wolf gods.The debut title, Blessing of Luna is set to release in 2018. She currently lives in North Texas with her two children, her husband and pets. A UTD graduate with a Bachelor's in History with an intention on teaching, Blaise decided that the world of teaching just wasn't for her. A stay at home mother of two, business owner and self-publisher, Blaise loves to meet new people and encourage others to follow their dreams through weekly posts to her instagram, twitter, facebook and blog. Feel free to contact Blaise for an author interview, guest blog opportunities and book reviews. Visit our affiliates' page for a chance to see how you can get a hold on some of the books we have reviewed.



Blessing of Luna (Wolfgods Book 1) by Blaise Ramsay


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