Tag Archives: fantasy

Author interview with Erin Albert

I’m so happy to welcome author Erin Albert to Saturday Coffee with Authors. Her debut novel comes out later this fall and it sounds really interesting. Plus, we both love Percy Jackson, so… there ya go!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a bona fide dreamer at the core.  For my “job,” I am a fitness trainer for runners.  Before doing that, I worked as a recruiter in a staffing agency and as an eye doctor’s assistant.  I think I would have gotten a degree in nursing if I had my schooling to do over again.  My passion lies with running, acting, reading, and writing. 

When did you start writing and what made you start?

I wrote my first poem at the age of four. When my family freaked out over it, I realized the power of the written word.  I’ve been writing since then.  😉

Tell us a little bit about your latest books.

My debut novel, The Prophecy, comes out in November 2013.  It’s the story of a girl who is kidnapped by religious fanatics and proclaimed the fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy.  You can get a sneak peek of the characters and the world here.

Where did you come up with this idea?

I was literally watching a movie and the idea hit me out of nowhere.  I jotted down some notes, contacted my friends to see if the story sounded interesting, and started writing. 

Who did the cover art for your book?

No cover yet.  Eep!!

Who do find to be a huge inspiration for your writing? And why is that?

I am in awe of Rick Riordan, Richelle Mead, George R. R. Martin, and Cassandra Clare.  They build such vivid worlds and complex characters.  I’d consider myself a success if I turn out to be half that awesome.  😉

Which one of your characters would be the best to meet in real life?

I can’t tell you yet… LOL! 

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading an ARC of Charmed Memories by Mary Waibel.

What is the one thing that seems to always get in the way of writing time?

Life!  LOL!  If I could just hole up in a cave, daydreaming and writing, that would be ideal.  But other responsibilities encroach…

Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those?

Oh yes, I am always working on something.  Right now, I am revising the sequel to The Prophecy (working title–The Outlanders).  I wrote the whole trilogy at once, but I made some changes to The Prophecy that now must be filtered down to the other two.  I’m also putting the finishing touches on a speculative fiction short story to enter into a contest.  And finally, I’m in the process of revising a futuristic thriller tentatively called Number 25598.  Like The Prophecy’s sequel, it’s already written, but I’m doing some major rewrites. 

You’re throwing a fiction character party.  What fictional characters would you like to invite (name and where they are from (book/TV/Movie/etc.) and why?

1) Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson and The Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus series.  He is HYSTERICAL.  He would bring life to the party. 

2) Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampires Academy series and Bloodlines series.  I adore him and would fangirl so hard over the opportunity to meet him.

3) Jem Carstairs and Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices series.  These boys live in the hearts of all my friends, so they would be a BIG hit at the party. 

4) Alcide from True Blood.  He’d be my own personal eye candy.  Seriously, he’s gorgeous.

5) I guess I should invite a girl, huh?  LOL!  No, I’d invite all my friends and fangirls, so there would be plenty of girls.  😉

Feel free to add any of these this/that questions to the end of the interview:

Coke/Pepsi – Coke for regular, Diet Pepsi for diet

Cat/Dog – Cat

Vampires/Zombies – Vampires

Marvel/DC – Marvel

Thor/Loki – Thor, the Chris Hemsworth variety, please

Hero/Villain – Either, depending on the character

Car/Plane – Car

London/Paris – Either!  Gosh, I’d happily go to either.  😉

Ice cream/Chips – Chips, specifically Doritos


Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing. 









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Author Interview with Leeland Artra

I’m so excited to welcome fantasy author Leeland Artra to Saturday Coffee with Authors! We are in a marketing group together, use the same cover artist, and his debut novel, Thread Slivers, is one of my favorite indie reads ever. I can’t wait for Thread Strands!


Tell us about yourself.  When did you start writing and what made you start?

I started writing in 1973 because the nuns said I had to. Then I learned to spell. After that I kinda lost interest mostly due to boring school assignments. But, that didn’t stop from doing weird things like waiting till all my over achieving classmates finished their assignments earlier, offering to proofread them, and proceed to use them as source material with full citations. My English teachers got a real kick out of that and I usually got higher scores than most.

Of course when I started roll playing in the early 1980s I found I enjoyed being the game master more than the player. I would build very complex puzzling scenarios with lots of background data. It never bothered me the players rarely discovered everything that was happening. I had fun with my stories and worlds. I was often told I should publish, but aside from making some custom stuff for friends I never did. But that didn’t stop me from continuing to expand my gaming world and writing deep complex histories.

In 2012 I decided it was time to try something new for fun. I started pulling my notes together and turning them into a real book. I had to pick something that could end, and there was one scenario that my players never succeeded in solving. I resolved to finally play that scenario out myself and thus was created my debut novel.

Tell us a little bit about your latest books.

Thread Slivers is my debut novel and the first of a trilogy, it was published in January 2013. What shocked me was that it jumped to bestseller status in only two weeks. It has remained a top selling book for six months now while I have been working hard on the second book in the trilogy Thread Strands.

Thread Strands is just about to come out (sometime around the middle of August 2013). Thread Strands picks up all the loose filaments and begins pulling them together revealing much of what is really going on. Of course knowing what is happening doesn’t mean the heroes know how to save the world.

What makes these books fun is that the real heroes are not what they seem. The bad guys are not your typical bad guys. Many readers have pointed out they actually like the bad guys. Essentially the world has differing groups who are just trying to grow and live. Yet, this is causing a massive conflict. Well there is one bad guy who, although not really bad to start with, has let grief take him too far.

This leaves the outcome a bit gray, as some of my readers are rooting for the “bad guys.”

Where did you come up with this idea?

I have often heard that there is nothing more dangerous than an intelligent good person who just decides to be bad. This is played out in many movies such as The Shawshank Redemption for one. In that movie (which I love) the main character says “I had to come to prison to be a crook.” I love that theme. So I built a scenario where if people failed everyone lost. Oddly enough many players tried, many times, some of the players even tried multiple times, yet no one solved it before it was too late. I thought that would be fun to finally play it out. I so I had one of the really powerful wizards in the world realize he had to come at the problem sideways instead of head on. So he secretly arranged for many possibly powerful people to be in key places early and then he lit the fuse, so to speak.

Many of the other ideas in my books come from other sources, like the learning the elven fighting and hunting styles in one night is loosely based on the Matrix where the heroes really are not fully prepared. Yes they have the potential but they need the skills too. So in the Matrix the solution was “direct tape download into the brain.” In my books the solution is “strange secret entity teaches the skills overnight in a very special way.”

Who did the cover art for your book?

01-Thread-Slivers-533x800-Cover Ticca Dagger

Streetlight Graphics, Glendon Haddix and Steve Dotty are my real life art heroes they are amazing! I love working with them. Steve took my imagined world and drew it sometimes better than I originally imagined it. Then Glendon made photo realistic images based on the sketches. WOW that is talent!

Did you learn anything about yourself or your writing while working on this book?

I learned I still love fiction. I find it hard to think about anything else other than possible new stories, better character profiles. I love foreshadowing and I find I do it almost like breathing.

Who do you find to be a huge inspiration for your writing? And why is that?

Babylon 5, Firefly, Dr. Who, anything by Roger Zelazny or Lois McMaster Bujold. The worlds, the characters, the story telling. I love it all. That the world moves and shifts even when not being observed is what I love about the stories there.

Which one of your characters would be the best to meet in real life?

Duke, I mean really who wouldn’t want to meet that old wolf?

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Decrypted by Lindsay Buroker and before that I read Fargoer by Petteri Hannila. I highly recommend both (although Decrypted is the second book, you should start with Encrypted).

Besides the genre you write, what genres do you like to read?

I read and write science-fiction and fantasy. I love the fantastic possibilities and nothing is better than a fun romp in someone else’s amazing world.

What is the most embarrassing mistake you’ve made as a writer?

I dare not say… Well OK, I misspelled a major country in my debut novel. I did a search and replace and got it backwards. It was published that way. I’m correcting it finally with the release of an updated version with some other typos fixed as part of the release for the second book in the series.

If you had to pick one trait that makes you a better writer, what would it be?

I’m a bit analytical (after all I’m a professional software engineer in my day job). I make sure all the parts fit and I double and triple check things like timelines, events, physics, and possibilities. I want my worlds to be totally possible.

What is the one thing that seems to always get in the way of writing time?

I get sucked into things like books and TV series. Netflix streaming is both my nemesis and dear friend. Nothing is worse than running into a series that is awesome where I can lose hours a night. The same goes for books. I have often stayed up to 4 A.M. reading a novel because I just didn’t want to put it down. This can really make me sleepy.

When you are not writing, what are you doing?

I wish I could say exercising. But, truth is I am almost always on the computer doing something if I’m not grudgingly doing some chore.

What is one of your favorite places to write?

I have taken over the dining room table and I kinda like it. I can watch my son play with his stuff and my wife can read her book across from me. It makes life very nice.

What is one of your favorite places in the world?

Hawaii, I never got there as a kid. I finally got there a few years back and have been there three times now. Not once have I regretted the trip or left there happy to be going home finally.

What is one thing about you most people find interesting (or unusual etc.)?

My sense of humor. I’m often cracking jokes and making stuff up. For example I’ll spin you a story about the origin of a particular dish in a restaurant that everyone loves until someone pulls out a phone and checks Google to see if made it up.

Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those?

Certainly, Thread Strands is only weeks from rolling out to the public. After that is Thread Skein book three and the conclusion to the series. After that I have already started a couple of backstory novels that will be one book only items. I might do anther trilogy after that.

What is your favorite quote?

I’m a professional writer. I tell lies to total strangers for money.

What secrets would you share with aspiring authors?

Write the books you want to read. There will be an audience out there, and you’ll be happier.

Name one author you’d love to meet and tell us why.

Oh that is hard. Um, I think I’d love to meet Lois McMaster Bujold and Timothy Zahn. Oh and Lindsay Buroker … wait you said one. Um, well I’m too much of a fan boy. I want to meet with Lois Bujold because dang I want to confirm some suspicions I have about the sharing knife series. Timothy Zahn is just cause his stories are so fun, I bet he is a lot of fun to chat with. And of course Lindsay Buroker because I love her writing style.

You’re throwing a fiction character party.  What fictional characters would you like to invite (name and where they are from (book/TV/Movie/etc.) and why?

Dr. Who, all of the main characters from Firefly, and I’d love to meet Miles & Ekaterin Vorkosigan from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga. Naturally I’d invite Ticca, Lebuin, Ditani, Duke, Elades, Illa, Risy, Nigan, heck everyone from my own books. It would be a heck of a party!

Now for a little This or That:

Hot/Cold                               Cold

Summer/Winter                  Summer

Coke/Pepsi                           Soda bad – Make mine a Diet Dr. Pepper please

Cat/Dog                                Dog no Cat… a heck I like both and would love either

Water skiing/snow skiing         Snow skiing

Beach/Mountains                 Beach

Romance/Action                  Action with some romance is nice

Convertible/SUV                 Convertible 4×4

Flip Flops/Dress shoes         Sneakers

Vampires/Zombies               Neither I really don’t get into the monster genres

Historical/Futuristic             Fantasy any day, any time

Lara Croft/Jason Bourne       Oooo Dang… um… I haven’t got a chance with Lara so Jason

Marvel/DC                              DC

Thor/Loki                               Thor

Hero/Villain                            Villain (they get all the cool stuff and I think I make it work)

Car/Plane                                Plane

London/Paris                          London (I love pasties and shepherd’s pie)

Africa/Asia                              neither I prefer Hawaii

Mexico/Canada                       Canada

Ice cream/Chips                      Is it Nutty Coconut?

Hot dog/Hamburger               Hamburger with dill pickles and cheddar

Beer/Wine                                Amaretto, neat

Skittles/Hershey Bar               Skittles

Leeland-Author-180 You can find Leeland here:

BLOG / Website




I can’t believe it! I’m a bestselling author. You can find all my books on Amazon!

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Author interview with Matt Posner

Today we have New York school teacher Matt Posner, who has a great fantasy series called School of the Ages. Get your coffee and a scone – it’s time for a great interview!

ghost in the crystal US

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Matt Posner. I’m a public school teacher from New York City. My ambition from early teen years was to be a novelist, and I have finally achieved it. Widely-read, well-heeled novelist remains an ambition that fate holds in abeyance, but of course this appearance is the next of many steps toward that goal.

When did you start writing and what made you start?

When I was in elementary school I wrote for fun on typewriters supplied me for the purpose.  It was a consequence of my voracity as a reader, I suppose. When you want more of something you enjoyed reading, you may have to write it yourself. If you think of a cool idea and no one has written it yet, you may have to write it yourself. I guess that is what I was up to even as a little kid. I committed to being a novelist when I was twelve.

Tell us a little bit about your latest books.

Since 2010 my focus has been books in the School of the Ages series, about America’s greatest magic school, featuring real places in New York and the world, realistic magic, humor clashing with darkness and tragedy, and a huge cast of well-developed characters.

I have just finished School of the Ages 4:  Simon Myth. It features allies and enemies from Indian mythology, one as a menace in the 21st-century world, and others as elements of my protagonist Simon’s time-lost adventures in India’s distant past. Also, the books’ heroine, Goldberry, gets a chance to adventure without him for a while, and Yakov Mermelstein, Simon’s counterpart in the cabala school, gets to build a golem. And there are evil adult versions of some of the kids showing up at the school, and there’s some romance, too.

Where did you come up with this idea?

I have written about magic since I was a kid, and in 2002 I was thinking about a novel series with an elder magician and two to three child apprentices, but that changed. The genesis of School of the Ages was that I was working in a mesivta (Jewish high school) and learning about the subculture of Mishnaic Judaism and I wanted to write about it. So I developed the idea of a New York City magic school that is half cabala students and half traditional hermetic magic students.

Who did the cover art for your book?

I started out with covers by my cousin, Mike Cohen.  Mike did a great job, but he is very busy with his work as a videographer, so I decided to switch to a full-time cover designer. Starting with book 3, I have been using Mande Matthews, who has a beautiful way with color and background. She is also a great fantasy author.

Who do find to be a huge inspiration for your writing? And why is that?

I am inspired by history and culture. I read about both ancient events and places and people, and contemporary news, and I get story ideas. I want to put my cast of characters into these situations.

Which one of your characters would be the best to meet in real life?

I love all my characters, but for this occasion, I will select Devi Moore, Simon’s 90-year-old grandmother from Mumbai, whose combination of wisdom, courage, and sassy attitude make her entertaining company. Devi first appears in book 3 and stars in several chapters of book 4. She’s a scene-stealer.

What are you reading right now?

I always read a lot of books at once. My main focus now is Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, which I want to review for my website.

What is the one thing that seems to always get in the way of writing time?

My job eats away the writing time, drains my creative energy, makes me tired in general, gives me stress (since teachers are in the crosshairs of politicians and the media these days), and of course is entirely necessary, not just to pay bills and sustain life, but to keep me connected to young people and to give me a chance to make a difference in the lives of others.

Are there any more projects you are currently working on? Do you know when we might get to see those?

I hope to get out a writer’s technique manual, How to Write Dialogue, in September. In October, Jess C. Scott and I will team up to work on another Teen Guide book to follow our successful Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships. I also have a novel for adults as a WIP, which will be in the “harsh realism” genre.

You’re throwing a fiction character party.  What fictional characters would you like to invite (name and where they are from (book/TV/Movie/etc.) and why?

Gimli from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin; Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; Benjamin Grimm (The Thing) from Marvel Comics, created by Stan Lee; Alice Parker from Alice Parker’s Adventures by Nicola Palmer.

I might have a chance at Alice someday since I know Nicola. 🙂


Now for the this or that:

Coke/Pepsi –   Diet Coke

Cat/Dog –   Cat

Vampires/Zombies –   Both

Marvel/DC –  Marvel

Thor/Loki –  Thor

Hero/Villain –  Villain to write, Hero to be

Car/Plane – car

London/Paris – I’ve been to London three times, and will certainly go again, but I need to spend more time in Paris. This list knocks me out:  Tour Eiffel; Louvre; Musee D’Orsay; Notre Dame de Paris… OMG!

Ice cream/Chips –  Fritos, unfortunately for my health. If ice cream, then with some crushed peanut butter cups mixed in.

Matt Posner 

Connect with Matt Posner

Matt says:  I am reader-friendly.





Teen Guide site for relationship and sex questions (collaborative with Jess C. Scott)


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It’s Release Day!! IXEOS: Rebellion now available!

It’s finally here! IXEOS: Rebellion, book 2 of the IXEOS Trilogy, is now available on Amazon! Pick up your copy of both books today – great summer reading, now that summer’s finally here. Just click on the photos to be taken to the Kindle links.


IXEOS 800 Cover reveal and Promotional

Ixeos Rebellion 800 Cover Reveal and Promotional


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IXEOS is featured today on Young Adult Promo Central!


You can check out IXEOS today, and then IXEOS: Rebellion on Saturday!! The launch date is TOMORROW – watch for links on Twitter and Facebook!!

IXEOS 800 Cover reveal and Promotional

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