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13 May 2017

Hero Lost Anthology | Meet The Authors, Pt 2

Editor's Note: In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday about our eccentric adventures on our sailboat and as my random thoughts and musings about life, I've decided to have the occasional blog post on Saturdays where I focus on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, interviews with authors etc. So if you're into all things related to books, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

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This is the second in a series where I get to introduce you to my co-authors of the IWSG anthology <<Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life>>.

I decided to ask them a series of questions about what they're passionate about, lessons learned about writing, the most adventurous thing they've done and, of course the most important question, what their favorite cookie is.

Grab a comfy chair, a cup of cocoa and a handful of your favorite cookies and get to know these wonderfully talented folks.
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Tyrean Martinson >> Blog | Twitter | Facebook <<

1 - Other than writing, what's your biggest passion in life?

My family and my faith. Plus, I love to read to the point that I kind of inhale books. I love the idea of adventure - although I like quiet, just walking down the neighborhood street adventures as well as traveling to new places adventures.

2 - What has been your biggest lesson learned in your writing career to date?

The biggest lesson I've learned is that loads of readers are not going to just show up. It's tough, but I have had to explore the whole scary "marketing" thing. I love to read and I pick up books at the library and bookstores, searching for new authors. However, not all readers do that. Plus, those that do search for their next favorite author or next favorite book have a multitude of titles to peruse. I have to tackle the "how can I make my books" stand out question. I'm still working on it. I don't like the idea of branding into just one genre or platform, but I am considering how to buid trust with an audience and how to gain excited readers. I may need to use a pen name for certain a certain genre shift or I may need to have separate platforms for each style of writing, which is daunting to me.

3 - What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

Ooh, this is the fun question! The most adventurous thing I've ever done is snorkeling with Kona Manta Rays at night off the coast of Big Island in Hawai'i with my family. We went snorkeling three times on our Hawai'i adventure, but we started with the scariest one first - going out at sunset, donning the gear and slipping into dark water. Thankfully, the guides were awesome and they helped my youngest daughter get her mask on correctly (she was ten at the time) while I took slow, deep breaths and tried to remain calm. We all held onto a floating ring which we swam over a light that had been turned on by a scuba diver group to attract the manta rays favorite food source. The rays swooped in somersaulting circles through the rays of light to capture the tiny fish. We ended up just a few inches apart from them, belly to belly. It was the wildest, scariest, and most awesome adventure I've ever had and one that is way out of my comfort zone. I'm okay with kayaking with sea life and mammals who spend most of their lives in the water (seals, small whales - okay, admittedly, the one time with orcas was a bit scary), but getting "in" the water with sea creatures/fish hits my Jaws-inspired panic buttons.

I was brave for my daughters and ended up enjoying it. I tried really hard not to think about what other fish/sea creatures were out there with us.

We also snorkeled with sharks on that trip but since we were inside a protected cage and it was daytime, it wasn't quite as scary plus I had to be brave for my kids again since it was my oldest daughter's big dream to swim with sharks.

Why can't I have kids who want to swim with Nemo? or maybe dolphins?

4 - What's your favorite kind of cookie? If you don't eat cookies, why not?

My favorite kind of cookie is ... white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies. I make them with a gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free twist with extra vanilla in either cookie bars or cookies. I kind of like the bars better because they are gooier and it's faster to make the whole batch that way. :) 



Renee Cheung >> Web | Blog | Twitter | Facebook <<

1 - Other than writing, what's your biggest passion in life?

This is going to sound odd but I love creating. I suppose writing is a part of that. But I also enjoy making pretty and functional things. Perhaps that’s why it makes me jack of all trades and master of none. I knit, I bake and I design, whether it be graphic and web design. Lately I have started obsessing over making book images and covers, thanks to the publishing whirlwind that getting into this anthology has started. Even my day job as a user experience manager is in line with this passion. There’s a certain beauty to making experiences usable and even enjoyable for their intended audiences, whether it be a piece of software, or a customer’s experience on a phone line.

I suppose I can blame it on being a Taurus (who is said to enjoy beautiful and comfortable things) but with the recent astrology changes, I don’t even have that excuse. To be honest, I never really looked too deeply into the why’s. It’s just how I am built, I suppose.  

2 - What has been your biggest lesson learned in your writing career to date?

I have to admit, I’ve had only a very short career so far, but if the last few days have taught me anything, it’s that writing, or even editing, is only a part of the actual process, especially if you want to make a career, rather than a hobby, out of it. I’ve been spending the last few weeks promoting, making graphics, formatting for ebooks, and generally, just not writing. The ironic part of it is that I absolutely love it. It’s feeding that other part of me I mentioned above, so much I’m actually considering offering to make graphics for other writers. Another idea to toy with for now.

3 - What's the most adventurous thing you've done?

I am not an adventurous person by nature. In fact, I’m the very cautious couch potato, probably due to my upbringing. So this story may be a tad boring.

I once took a beginner’s ski class with an aunt who was visiting from Hong Kong and had never skied before. (If you have never been to Whistler and you love snow sports, I highly recommend it!)  I wasn’t a beginner myself but I wanted to accompany my aunt. We were doing quite well until towards end of the day when the threat of a snow storm seemed to be looming close. So the two instructors called up snow mobiles and asked them to take the students down to the base. Well, I wasn’t a beginner, I thought! So instead of taking a ride on the snowmobiles (which would have been really cool), I decided to ski down with the instructors. The storm hit of course on our way down so we picked up speed and soldiered on. We made it to the base, no skin off our backs. Of course, my parents at that time were not too happy with me.

Really, I was in no danger the entire time. I was skiing with two skilled instructors, staying well on the routes. 

Hey, I did warn you it would be a boring story!

 4 - What's your favorite kind of cookie? If you don't eat cookies, why not?

Oh that’s a very hard one. I do so love cookies, so to pick one is a challenge. I love triple chocolate cookies and it’s what I’ll order at any coffee shop. However, I also tend to end up having these home-baked oatmeal raisin cookies for breakfast. Guilty pleasure.

Oh and if you try this recipe out, mine tends to get a bit wet and so I tend to add a bit more flour than what the recipe calls for. Just a FYI if you decide to try it!


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If you're interested in picking up a copy of <<Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life>>, you can find it at these online retailers:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble (print book)
Barnes & Noble (ebook)
iTunes
Kobo

Fantasy (FIC009000) Freedom Fox Press
Print ISBN 9781939844361 eBook ISBN 9781939844378

You can also find out more about the book and my co-authors over at our website and blog.

Now over to you - what's the most adventurous thing you've done?

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17 comments:

  1. I love these questions Ellen. And Tyrean, my phoebia is right there with yours...swimming with the big fish might send me in a panic attack. I am proud you braved it up for your family. Honestly, I am not sure if I could. I know I would try. Renee, that's cool about exploring cover designs now too. I am sure it won't be long until you publish something again :)

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    1. Thanks! I have a short novel out with some critique partners right now so hopefully something will come out soon!

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    2. For some reason I can be in a boat - even a tiny one - and feel safe. The minute I'm in the water ... oooh.

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  2. Great interview, ladies! Tyrean, i went snorkeling with sting rays in the Cayman Islands. It was during the day but still a little intimidating. But it was so much fun to be in the ocean with such magnificent creatures. Renee, you've been amazing at helping with marketing and I'm glad you're able to stretch out and enjoy the design aspect of it.

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    1. Thank you very much! This has been a great learning experience for me.

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  3. Riding a snowmobile would've been fun.
    Those snorkeling experiences sound wild, Tyrean! Especially the night one. Jaws would've been playing in my head as well.

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    1. I think that there's a generation of swimmers who have a tough time getting that "duh-duh" sound out of their heads. :)

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  4. Loved these insights! Thanks for sharing them.

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  5. OMG, I would love to swim with the sharks! I have a fascination with Great Whites. One of my Four in Darkness stories is about a Great White.

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    1. Someday, my oldest might have to snorkel with you. She still would like to swim with sharks without a cage - and we considered letting her swim with the whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium - but it was a bit spendy.

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  6. What a great group of writers! One of my many terrors is skiing (doesn't it seem cold and like you are going to break a leg or hit your head)? so to be skiing and in a snow storm would be really terrifying.

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    1. I have tried skiing and snowboarding and both felt very terrifying at first until you find your balance. I used to mutter "I am a leaf on the wind, watch me soar" everytime I go down a steep slope, nevermind what happened to Walsh in Firefly right after he said the phrase in the show lol

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  7. It's neat to get to know the Hero Lost authors better. :)

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  8. Fun questions. I especially like the question of what they've learned in their publishing journeys. And surely no one dislikes cookies!

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  9. Renee - I think your ski adventure was adventurous. I happen to be related to several ski instructors and I don't think of them as being especially responsible. I would say that my father-in-law who has been both a ski instructor and a ski patrolman has skied in some of the most crazy, dangerous areas and weather conditions. His idea of "safe" is not always mine ... so I would guess that you are a far more adventurous skier than I am.

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  10. Thanks for hosting us, Ellen! I'm sorry I'm so slow to see this

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  11. Another great insight into some of you co-writers, Ellen. Skiing would freak me out a bit, since I tried it once and felt so insecure and unsteady, I never tried again.

    The most adventurous thing I have ever done? Where to start? I'd say it was either backpacking in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia by myself for a year, or every time I hitchhiked, or crossing the South Pacific Ocean in a 35' sailing catamaran, ignoring the fact that I get seasick. Did ask say most adventurous or most stupid? :-)

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

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