Finding the Spark for Guest Blogger- Author Jessica Ozment

Hello Friends and Fans!

I wanted to introduce everyone to my partner in crime, my artist with the mostest, my talented co-author and creative master, Jessica Ozment. She’s agreed to jump on the crazy train with me some more and create a podcast. We recorded our first show this week. Right afterward, yes cause I know you’ll love what she brought to the show so much, I wanted to have her put her portion of the show into words for the blog. Below she touches on why she wanted to create a podcast and shares her own experiences that led her to write in the fantasy genre.

You can also listen to the full podcast below. Be gentle, it’s our first time.

Lit Musings’ Podcast Episode 1


 

Welcome Author Jessica Ozment

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Most who know me know that I’m guilty of writing and devouring fantasy novels like there’s no tomorrow and that I’m a graphic designer who enjoys building my business, The Magic Quill Graphics…but there’s actually another side to the indie book world I haven’t tapped into yet, which is odd for me because I’ve dipped my feet into just about everything to do with books. I’ve made it my mission to try my hand at anything I can to make connections with readers who might enjoy the things I not only have to say about the books I read and review, but also the projects I put my blood, sweat, and tears into creating from the ground up.

Expanding our reach

For me, establishing Lit Musings, alongside my incredibly talented co-host, Parker Sinclair, was about allowing me to keep up with my amazing readers in a different way, about gaining those crucial new connections in our community that are geared toward the fantasy genre, and to push the work I’ve stolen countless hours from my family time to create. I like the idea of us not only speaking about books here at Lit Musings, but also many other topics that pop up in the indie world we see from day to day.

Growing community

I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes the indie community is oversaturated with politics, vague booking, and childish conflicts… for this very reason, it is my goal to steer our listeners into more positive issues that actually have something to do with our profession. I’m looking forward to meeting new fantasy and paranormal authors and having them on the show to speak about what drove them into the Indie pool, and how they’ve grown since then. You’ll also find that I will be doing my best to collect trade tips to help you guys on the road to publishing so that we can grow as a team in this community, rather than every man for himself.

A mother’s lasting gift

The last reason I really want to go this direction with pushing myself to be more transparent in the community is because I lost my mother at a very early age, 14. She always nudged me to put my best foot forward and to develop the creative side of my brain that was always trying to take over anyway. She taught me to read, to write and to love myself.  She introduced me to my favorite writer, Stephen King…and through that small action, I was able to connect with her even now, with her being long gone. This show, for me, is dedicated to her memory because without it, I wouldn’t be here today.

Igniting a love for fantasy

Mermaid

THE LITTLE MERMAID

I chose to talk about The Little Mermaid in our first podcast. The biggest reason for this is, I’m a water lover. Anything that has to do with underwater worlds and magic really just draws me in, no matter what it’s about. I think I have probably over 50 fish in my house right now that can attest to this fact! I find it interesting that we still have yet to explore most of the oceans, and that we may find so much more if we just put our minds to it and show a little initiative.  I love the story behind the little mermaid because it teaches us to love who we are, to not change who we are because we love, and that there are so many people out there that will take what you love away from you to gain the upper hand. It’s such a strong coming of age movie that I think every girl should watch, young and old.

1.) Did you know that the original story about Ariel actually took off the coast of Denmark, where it is said Arendelle (from the movie Frozen, is set to be closely located.)

2,) Unlike most people I’m sure, I haven’t seen the second movie… which apparently explains that Captain Hook is the one who killed Ariel’s mother…

3.) When designing Ariel, artists used Alyssa Milano’s body as inspiration!

4.) Animating a film is a lot of work, and Disney didn’t have the manpower available. Disney hired the Chinese animation studio Pacific Rim to draw over one million bubbles by hand. Wow!

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HARRY POTTER

Another amazingly written series I easily fell in love with is the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter. Yes, I’m a nerd, haha! There are so many factors that pushed me to read the books and watch all of the movies, like the fact that a 10-year-old boy who had no idea he was magical suddenly has an entire world at his fingertips. A world which opened its doors to a misguided boy as if he never left. His struggles to gain acceptance from his peers and learn the truth of his past hit home with me, and from there, my love of fantasy first bloomed.

Fun facts:

1.) J.K Rowling came up with the names of the Hogwarts Houses on the back of a barf bag, yikes!

2.) Dementors actually represented Rowling’s struggle with depression.

3.) Apparently, Stephen King thought Dolores Umbridge was the perfect villain.

4.) And Rowling wrote the final chapter early on while writing the books.

Thanks for letting me jump in and guest blog today. Be sure to check out my latest publication featured in, Where There’s Murder, There’s Mystery: A Suspense Thriller Anthology. Now available for pre-order at the low price of .99 cents! Click here to pre-order today!

Jessica

Listen to our first Lit Musings podcast right here!

The Best Powerhouse Female Fantasy Writers in Urban Fantasy Romance: Part 1

Dear Fans & Friends:

I hope everyone is finally warming up in your neck of the woods. I think we’ve gone straight from winter to summer in Eastern Virginia. I’m sorry that I’ve been off of my blog for a while. Changing careers, writing, focusing on re-branding my urban fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Alex Conner Chronicles, and the reorganization my life (does this really ever end) have interrupted my blogging plans. My plan for the next few months is to highlight some of the authors who have inspired me in the fantasy genre. So let’s get to it!

Amazing Female Authors

It still shocks me when I think back to the books I’ve read. I don’t think I noticed that mainly men wrote the fantasy books I poured over, but, maybe I did. Perhaps subconsciously I thought about it, and it’s why I never believed I could do it. Then I found Robin McKinley, Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Patricia McKillip, and Cecy Robson. I watched True Blood on HBO and had to pick up Charlaine Harris’ books and started to feel like; you know what, I can do this. I had been writing all of my life, my mind created worlds, characters and creatures non-stop. I just had to do it.

Motivation

The sassy, strong, powerful female leads in these novels are alive and kicking ass in these contemporary, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal novels. All my genres of interest had light touches on my first three, and very messy, chapters that I had put together. These female authors continue to motivate me to do and to get better at my craft,  so I wanted to highlight the ones I feel have brought me to where I am now. Though many of them may have a newer series and books out, I am focusing on the books that moved me, that set my butt into gear, and brought my stories to life.

May’s highlighted author is: Kim Harrison.

Kim Harrison: The Hallows Series
I own most of the paperback and hardbacks for this series, and I’m on my 2nd read-through. Yes, they are that good.  Rachel Morgan is an earth witch and a runner, think paranormal bounty hunter. The series starts out with Rachel leaving a government agency where she’s being treated like to crap to work on her own. Little does she know she’ll soon have two partners, a smart-mouthed pixy and a vampire who loathes herself.

Magic and Action

You’ll immerse in a world that exists after humanity was nearly wiped out by a virus, and the supernatural species came out of hiding. This series packs loads of action, humor, some romance, and magic. The books introduce more and more details about the other species as you move through it, and lots of baddies for Rachel to face off against in ever novel. There’s something for every paranormal lover with witches, demons, werewolves, pixies, vampires, fairies, elves, trolls, and others.

Below are only some of the books, but I wanted you to see her first one, Dead Witch Walking, and then the progression. There are 14 books in all, one of them is a prequel. Rachel also pops up in Kim’s new series about Peri Reed.

Kim has been truly inspirational in my writing and was the first writer to show me all the badass main character can be, strong, weak, clumsy, and unstoppable. Don’t miss this series, Rachel Mariana Morgan is one of the best Urban Fantasy characters out there.

June’s author highlight and another author who has strongly impacted me and my writing will be, Jeanine Frost, and her “The Night Huntress Series.”

Thank you for taking the time to read over my blog.  I love hearing from fans, so please contact me at any time!

For free books and samples, join my newsletter today by clicking here.

NEW NEWSLETTER PARKER

Parker

Webpage: http://www.parkersinclair.net

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Instagram: @ParkerSinclairauthor
Twitter: @Parker_Sinclair

How It All Began

I’m often asked when and how I started writing. When I think back, most of my writings were either journal entries or poems and lyrics. I love music, something my family ingrained in me from birth. Perhaps that’s why my writing often has a lyrical tone. I enjoyed poetry, still do, and I have used my previously written poetry books in my newest novel, Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three, using entire or partial poems to begin each chapter. It was incredible to go back in time by using writings that both brought back memories and reawakened raw emotions.

When I released Eve of the Exceptionals, I was able to go into local middle and high schools to speak to students about my journey to becoming a writer and to read from the new YA epic fantasy adventure/happily ever after romance. After working in education in some capacity since I was eighteen years old, it was nice to come back to the schools and have left a lasting impression. From book clubs with fifteen students to multiple class filling an auditorium, each presentation carried a special message about chasing your dreams, following your heart, overcoming even the toughest of roadblocks, and finding your way back.

At the end of each program I took questions, and nearly every time I was asked what guidance I can give to anyone hoping to write a book. The best advice I provided, and still choose to today, is just to let your inhibitions or any feelings of perfection go, and just write. Don’t get stuck on finding the right word, or describing a scene as descriptively as possible. Get it all down first. The story is in your head and I’ve found the process is very organic, so you will get to where your going, and even make some fascinating detours along the way.

The other common question was about how I deal with writer’s block. I’ve found that the more agitated I got with myself for not writing, the worse my wrier’s block became. I think the block can sometimes be our mind telling us to take a break. After the block had gone away, I found my ideas and creativity was overflowing. Other times, I switched to another story idea, or blog, and then came back to where I was stuck–that also seemed to shake things loose.

Whether you are a writer, or dreaming of becoming one, I think we are happiest when we are writing in some capacity. That can be in a journal, writing poems and songs, working on a book, or writing a blog. Just as with the students I visited in my city, I hope sharing my story can help you write yours!

Peace and love always!

Parker

Don’t forget to check out my newsletter link with contest, pre-order info, sales, new authors, and much more! http://mailchi.mp/f48bb531145a/parker-sinclairs-new-updates-contests-more-for-may-900833 

Check out the teaser for the cover of Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three.

Now available for pre-order on parkersinclair.net/buy-a-great-book .

Cover release is June 30th!!

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Eve of the Exceptionals Sale! 99 pennies the whole month of June!!

Eve 99 cent sale image

Parker Sinclair is the Author of Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book OneTruth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, & Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicle Novella adult contemporary fantasy novels and my first YA Epic Fantasy novel: Eve of the Exceptionals. Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three available now for pre-order. Official release date is July 14th! Check out samples for all of my books on Amazon, Smashwords, BN, Kobo, & iBooks.

PSST…The Alex Conner Chronicles Crew Is Coming

As promised, here is part two of the adventures of a newbie author, and it’s all about–Street Teams.

What is a Street Team?:

  • You may already have your team set-up and you don’t even know it.
  • Your team is comprised of your die-hard fans who like and share all of your social media           posts.
  • They pass out info to people about you, and your books.
  • They’ve read everything you have written, some of them may have been your beta readers, and they write awesome reviews!
  • They attend your events passing out swag, wearing your gear (t-shirts, buttons, stickers),           and talking to future fans.
  • They get lots of free stuff!  Books and other cool swag.
  • They truly go above and beyond to help spread the word about you and your books.

How do I make my Street Team Legit?

  • I’m so glad you asked!  That is what I am doing, right now!
  • First: Come up with a catchy name! Mine is PSST! The Alex Conner Chornicles Crew
  • The name should reflect your books or a certain series. Since I am going to write a wide             range of books, I made this one Alex Conner Specific under the larger umbrella of PSST             (Parker Sinclair Street Team).  My new book, The Eve of the Exceptionals will have the Eve’s       Ryzing Stars.
  • It’s all in the name! These are the loyal fans who help you get to the top, don’t the deserve a     sweet name?  Exactly!
  • Once you have the name and you’ve spoken to some members, blog about the new Team         so you can get even more members.
  • Share the blog with everyone and to everyone.

What to send your team:

  • I am currently working on a lot of cool swag for me team: t-shirts, I’ve had buttons made,         and I plan on making stickers and     buttons to provide each member.
  • I have lots of cards to pass out, and codes for discounted books.
  • Before a major event that they will be attending with you,  stock them up on all of the swag       items.  Maybe you pre-make goody bags for them to hand out, or let them do their thing.
  • Free books!  Whether its eBooks or paperback, your team gets them when they first come         out, sometimes even earlier!

So there it is, in a nutshell.  I love my Street Team! You know who you are, and if anyone would like to join The Alex Conner Chronicles Crew, please comment below or message me.

Parker

Author of TrustThe Alex Conner Chronicles Book One, TruthThe Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two, &Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicles Novella adult contemporary fantasy under the name Parker Sinclair.

My Webpage: http://www.parkersinclair.net
Purchase &Sample my bookshttp://www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book
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Blog: https://parkersinclairbooks.wordpress.com

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