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LGBT + Urban Fantasy Meets Heavy Metal – Meet Amir Lane

Amir Lane is a genderfluid supernatural and urban fantasy writer from Sudbury, Ontario. Engineer by trade, they spend most of their writing time in a small home office on the cargo pants of desks, or in front of the TV watching every cop procedural or cooking competition on Netflix. They live in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence, and they strive to bring that world to paper. Their short story, Scrap Metal and Circuitry, was published by Indestructible magazine in April 2016.

Amir is set to launch Gift of Shadows, the first book in The Barrier Witch Trilogy in August 2018. A big thank you to Amir for taking a moment to Q&A with me and giving us a little peek into their writing life!

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

The first time I actually finished a book was in 10th or 11th grade. I never published it, because it was kind of a mess, but I finished it. I finished the second one the summer before I started university, and it was also a mess but I hung onto the characters for future reference. I have no idea what inspired the first one. I think I just heard a name I liked and built a character around it, then the story. The second one, I had a scene in my head and I wrote the story so that I could have some context for that scene. I’m usually really inspired by, like, how people got to where they are, how they became this way. Origin stories, basically.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

The biggest change is that I can’t really spend time on ideas that I’m not going to follow-through on. I used to pick up an idea, write two chapters, and get bored. Now that I have a schedule to maintain, that I am literally always behind on, I can’t chase every idea. I do a lot of short stories, and I have a lot of unfinished short stories, and that’s not so bad because I usually do short stories, like, if I’m on a bus or something where I don’t necessarily have time to get into a bigger project or when I need a break, which I’m okay with, but I don’t feel like I can do that with books. Which kind of sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. I keep a running ‘concepts’ list in case one of those ideas speaks to me on a deeper level, but in the meantime, I have more than enough to keep me busy.

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I think it’s a bit of both. Planning energizes me, but the actual act of writing is exhausting. It’s work. Work is exhausting. But I feel good after, even though I’m tired. So, I don’t mind it so much. It’s like going to the gym. Totally worth it at the end of the day.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Endings. I hate endings. I always just want to be like, okay here’s all the loose ends, story’s over, let’s move on with our lives. Because the fun part is over. But nooo, people want endings.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Good covers. I don’t necessarily move many copies of my books, because I’d rather be writing than marketing, but I think my covers do a lot of the legwork themselves. It also gives me something nice to look at to remind myself that, yes, I am actually getting something out of all this.

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I don’t see why not. Writing emotions is just like writing anything: If you don’t know it, study it. Even for me, I’m a very emotional person, I look up ways to describe emotions and emotional markers all the time. To me, there’s no major difference between looking up what an emotion feels like and what, say, being stabbed feels like. We don’t all have the same skills or the same experiences. That shouldn’t be a barrier.

  1. What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on a book called Gift of Shadows, which will be launched in August in The Shadow Files box set. It’s book one in my new Barrier Witch trilogy. The book stars a Lebanese immigrant, Fairuz Arshad, who has the ability to create barriers and works for the Toronto Police’s Special Crimes division. In the first book, she stumbles onto a string of murders where all the victims are supernaturals missing organs, except nobody seems to be willing to admit there’s a serial killer out there. It’s a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to see the end product.

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me straight-up bawl was actually the last Anne of Green Gables book, Rilla of Ingleside. I know a lot of people didn’t read it because it’s one of the only ones not about Anne herself so I’m not going to spoil it, but it takes place during WWI. I was reading it during my lunch breaks, and my co-worker got a little concerned that I spent the entire afternoon trying to hide that I was sobbing. It was at least a week before I could think about it without bursting into tears.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

You know what, I don’t think I would tell myself anything. I was dedicated and persistent and weirdly confident in my writing from day one. If anything, I’d tell myself to just keep doing what I’m doing.

Stalk Amir Lane:

Amazon ~ Facebook ~ Website 

About the Book:

Gift of Shadows is available for pre-order now exclusively through The Shadow Files Box Set!

“If nobody else is going to say it, I will: Our victim has no eyes.”
A murder victim with no eyes is only slightly out of the ordinary for Toronto Special Crimes Detective Fairuz Arshad. When that murder victim turns out to be a phoenix, all her evidence goes up in flames — literally. As more bodies start piling up, and as the Toronto Police refuse to let her investigate, she and her dryad partner take matters into their own hands. But the deeper she digs, the more Fairuz starts to wonder who — and what — she can trust.

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Q & A with Andrew Q. Gordon

Champion of the Gods series fantasy author Andrew Q. Gordon talks about writing in The Land of Make Believe. You won’t want to miss out on his wonderful world of fantasy – But first Andrew answers some very interesting questions! Visit Andrew’s website for his complete title list here.

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

 Depending on how one defines book, I wrote my first one in college. I still have it in a drawer, on the yellow legal pad it was written on. It was for a creative writing class. Fast forward a couple of decades, my husband knew I enjoyed writing, so he encouraged me to start again once we’d gotten settled. That is when I co-wrote my first book (Un)Masked, with Anyta Sunday.

 

2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

 I wish I could say it changed for the better, but I’m not sure I can go there. ;) Working with an editor and a publisher changed my understanding of the process. Editing helped me become a better writer. Working with a publisher helped me understand the importance of word counts, tropes, cliff hangers or no cliffs, etc.  Overall publishing the first book taught me it was a lot more work than just sitting down and writing.

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 In general. writing energizes me. I like when the words flow and the pages get full. Editing and deadlines exhaust me. Those feel more like work than art. Necessary of course, but it is more business side of things.

 

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Sex- scenes and all out-battle royals.  I don’t like reading or writing sex-scenes so I don’t do them well and I dread writing them. I suspect there is a correlation to be had. I struggle to find a balance between dragging it on too long and not enough details. For me some things are best left to the readers imagination.

The battle of large armies also flummoxes me, but for different reasons. I know what I want to happen and I think I know how it should go, but the ebb and flow of pitched battle is difficult for me to get down on paper in a way that is realistic and enjoyable to the reader.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

 Hiring the click farm to vault my book to the top of the charts. (JK).  There are a lot of good things to choose from, but I’d have to say it was taking Mark Dawson’s Advertising for Authors course. Not only did it help me rethink my marketing plan from the ground up, Mark and his team totally over deliver for what they charge. They are constantly updating and upgrading the content and never ask for you to pay for new add-ons to the course.  It’s not cheap, but it was worth the money.

 

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about creating others worlds?

 Back stories for people and places. The better an author knows their world, the better the reader can relate to it. Since the world and people don’t exist, I need to make it up from nothing.  I spent a considerable amount of time in the Champion of the Gods writing back stories for characters, world history, religion etc. I’m sure I could have done a lot more, but it certainly helped that I could refer back to something when needed.

 

  1. What draws you to writing fantasy?

Magic. I’ve always wanted to be a wizard (or a really cool super hero like the Silver Surfer or Green Lantern). Writing about wizards and magic is the next closest thing to being one myself. (and it is a lot less dangerous. J )

 

  1. What are you working on now?

I’m finishing up the last few pages of When Heroes Fall, the last book in the Champion of the Gods series. From there, it will depend. I’ve been talking to a friend to co-write a series and then I want to work on one of two different series that are more urban fantasy than high or epic fantasy.  We’ll see what shakes out once I finish book 5.

 

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

 Old Yeller. Still makes me cry today.

 

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

 Write more, care less that it be perfect out of the block, and don’t wait so long to get started. Following your dream is hard when everyone around you is settling into traditional careers. Any old career won’t make you happy unless you have a passion for it. So find what you’re passionate about and do it.

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Discover Andrew Q. Gordon on Amazon

Let’s Chat: Beth Prentice

Today I am delighted to bring you a special guest; She is talented author to 6 fabulous mystery novels, due to release 2 more great books this year and a USA Today Best Selling Author. She is a pleasure to know and has wonderfully agreed to answer a few questions: Beth Prentice!

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

I wrote my first book 5 years ago.  My mum used to tell me stories of how she grew up in London in World War 2.  My Grandma was a funny quirky lady and the stories Mum would tell me were scary as they all involved her house being bombed, but the things my Grandma did in those situations was often hysterical.  I knew that those stories needed to be written.  I haven’t got that far yet as I got a little bit distracted with the fiction that I’m writing, but my Grandma and her crazy ways has definitely made it into my stories 

 

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I now have deadlines to meet, lol. Which in all honesty is a good thing for me as I tend to procrastinate for way to long!

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 

It can do both.  If I have a new idea or story that comes to me it will energize me, but if my deadline is looming and I’m nowhere near where I need to be, then it can be a little bit exhausting.

 

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

The pressure of my To Do list! I need to cross things off that list before I can even begin to start writing.  But prioritising is important, otherwise I’d never get any writing done, lol.

 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The fee I paid to my proofreader/editor.  They’re all totally underrated as far as I’m concerned 

 

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Understanding their thought patterns.  It’s really easy to make them stereotypical.

 

  1. When you discovered Killer Unleashed made the USA Today Best Selling Author list, how did you celebrate?

I ran around the house screaming happily 

 

  1. What are you working on now?

 

I’ve just finished the edits on two books.  Deadly Tails is the sequel to Killer Unleashed, and Lethal Tide is the sequel to Deadly Wipeout.  I’m now starting a new novel about Tilly, who inherits a farm from an aunt she never knew she had.

 

  1. What is the first book that made you cry? PS I Love you – not the one by Cecilia Ahearn (even though that made me cry also!).  This one was part of a series of teenage romance books called Sweet Dreams.  The male lead died and I was heart broken 

 

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Start writing at an earlier age.  I never realized how much I would love it!

 

Want to know more about Beth? Visit her website here

 

DeadlyWipeout_USA

Visit Beth at Amazon