Monday, October 21, 2013

Crossroads Blog Tour: Day 2 did you make out on Day 1 of the The Crossroads Blog Tour?  Told you it was going to be a monster of a big deal!

Today on the tour, we're thrilled to host FOUR paranormal powerhouses: PJ Hoover, Lucienne Diver, Carrie Harris and Patrice Lyle.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour for your chance to WIN a Kindle preloaded with more than 20 creeptastic reads. After you check out the posts from each of the participating bloggershead to Crossroads headquarters where you'll find a "daily clue." It's a fangtastic scavenger hunt with a potentially monster pay-off.

We’re loving your Latter-Day Olympian series. What’s the trick to making history or historical characters relevant to today’s young adult readers?

Oh, thank you so much!  The Latter-Day Olympians isn't meant for YA readers in the way the Vamped series is, though older young adults can certainly enjoy it, at least up until book 4, which might get a bit racier.  (I’m writing it now, so we’ll see!)  I think the trick to making historical or mythological characters relevant is to update their stories.  For example, Hephaestus, god of the forge, was known for making amazing machines.  Modern-day I can easily see him working his special talents for ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) doing special effects.  Of course Hermes would run a worldwide messenger service and Atlas would own a gym franchise.  Apollo, though, is especially fascinating to me, since mythologically he seemed to take on or be given the attributes of many other gods, eclipsing them in prominence until he was nearly one-stop shopping as god of the sun, prophecy, artistic inspiration, music, poetry, archery, and even healing.  Among his children were Asclepius, god of medicine, and Panacea, goddess of the universal cure.  He had a sort of undeniable appeal.  And yet his loves were always so tragic.  He's so complex that I had to make him a main character to explore all his angles.  As the series begins, he's an actor, leading man material, who's tangled up with the woman—very likely a famed enchantress—killed as book 1 opens.

Two successful series on the go, and a full-time agent with a (very) active client list – that sounds like a recipe for creative overload. What are your top three strategies for maintaining balance?

Wow, thank you.  I'm glad you give me that much credit!  Some days I feel like a performance artist balancing the spinning plates.  If I let one slide, it's going to crash to the ground.  So I'm always going, going, going.  This is actually easier for me than taking breaks.  (I'm a textbook Type A personality with time urgency issues and the Whole Nine Yards…which was a great movie, BTW…but I digress.)  Strategies, hmmm.  #1) I don't have time to waste and consequently I don't waste time.  When I sit down to write I don't allow myself to do anything else, like check my social media feeds.  #2) Gotta Keep 'Em Separated.  I have an agent who isn't me or associated with me to handle my work so that submissions and all are at a remove.  During work hours I focus on my clients' work, knowing that someone else is focusing on the business aspects of mine. #3) Sanity is overrated.  I realized awhile ago that on those rare occasions where things have slowed down and I have a moment to breathe that I'm not any calmer.  I'm so used to being in full-on scurry mode that I don't know what to do with downtime.  It stresses me out because I always feel like there's something I should be doing.  So, I've accepted that I'm a stress pup, that I'll always be a stress pup.  As a result, crazy with a side order of frantic is my normal state.  I've embraced it.

Newest Upcoming Release: Fangtabulous
Twitter: @LucienneDiver

A roller derby demon hunter – pretty sure Casey is living the dream! Before writing Demon Derby, what was your experience with the sport that seems to be making a resurgence?

No kidding! When my high school guidance counselor talked to me about possible professions, derby demon hunting was NOT on the list, or I would have snapped it up immediately! Sadly, all of my derby experience so far has been as a fan. Visitors to my website may have seen the part where I claim to have fallen off a cliff. Not a joke. My knees still aren’t quite the same, and that makes skating tough. Luckily, I’ve got a few local teams, and one of my friends has recently started a junior derby team! I just think that’s one of the coolest things ever.

I do dream about joining a derby team someday. I have a name picked out: Cthulhu Lulu. Although admittedly, that keeps changing as I come up with new ones, so please don’t hold me to it.

If we attended one of your cool zombie science talks, what two things might we learn to better prepare us for the impending undead apocalypse? 

You’d learn that there are zombie ants. Really! National Geographic reported on them and everything! Now you know something to talk about at your next party—there’s a fungus that turns ants into zombies. I have pictures of them. I couldn’t resist the urge to write BRAAAAAAINS! on the bottom.

Newest/Upcoming release: Demon Derby
Twitter: @carrharr

From electrical engineer to writer – quite the switch. How has your past career helped to shape your current one? 

People tend to think engineering and writing are different, but I don’t agree. Getting through engineering school requires discipline and organization. Writing a book requires discipline and organization. Designing computer chips takes quite a bit of creativity. And yes, writing a book takes creativity, too. Computer code is a lot like a book. You write. You test. You revise. You test some more, and you keep on revising until you get it right. Sure, you might find bugs, but no computer chip is perfect. And neither is any book.

We read the excerpt from Solstice. Great world building! What do you think are the key elements for effective world building?

Thank you! To me, the key elements are:

  1. Keeping the general world the same. Realizing that even though some amount of time has gone by, the world will change in bits and pieces, not in giant cataclysmic chunks. 
  2. Remembering that no matter what side you are on, nothing is perfect. 
  3. Defying clichés. Just because you’ve always heard something should be a certain way does not mean that is has to be. Let your creativity take over.
  4. Having something with which to compare the world. For the case of Solstice, the global warming world and the Underworld serve each other in this way.
Newest/Upcoming release: Solstice
Twitter: @pj_hoover

In your case, it seems “write what you love” is more true than “write what you know” – why is this important to you?

For me, writing is all about passion because that’s what inspires me to fill the pages! Two things I’m passionate about are wellness and the paranormal world. In terms of paranormal, I grew up hearing stories about my psychic great grandmother, which sparked my love of all things “otherworldly.” So Lethally Blonde and Poison Ivy were definitely inspired by my interest in that subject.

When talking about Glisten, I discovered natural health at age nineteen, when I was living in England. I had a sore throat and went to a drug store where I noticed the homeopathic section. I’d never heard of homeopathy before. I bought a remedy for sore throat and it worked. I’ve been hooked ever since. I have a PhD in Holistic Nutrition, I’m certified in Traditional Naturopathy, and I worked at a wellness center for three years. I live a wellness lifestyle and love it! So Glisten is both what I love and what I know. I’m working on the sequel now, which will be released next spring.

Holistic Medical Suspense – it’s a whole new genre! What key points would you use to sell us on why it should be added to our TBR pile?

I wrote Glisten to enlighten people about the power of holistic health in the form of a fast paced suspense novel. I own tons of fabulous non-fiction health books (and I love them all!) but I wanted to write something where people could “learn health through fiction.” Two of my beta readers loved reading the characters’ journeys into wellness, along with the suspense elements, and they were both inspired to try holistic modalities. I hope Glisten will inspire readers to realize how much power we have over our own health, and, at the same time, entertain readers with a fast-paced suspense story.

Affaire de Coeur magazine said Glisten “…could be the next best suspense movie to rock the world.” An exciting review and possibility, but hearing from readers who are inspired health-wise is what I love to hear and why I wrote the book. You can read the entire review here:

Newest/Upcoming Release: Glisten


  1. Thanks for hosting us today, Dawn & Judith! And thank you, Judith, for organizing this fab spooktacular event!!

  2. No worries, Patrice - it's one of our favourite events of the year!