Today I am very happy to come back with one more installment of my series "Meet the Author". Why? Because today I am introducing here one of the most helpful and charismatic Indie authors I have ever been lucky to meet: Elise Stokes. Tireless promoter of fellow authors and awesome leader of the FB group Art Knows No Boundaries, she is one of a kind. Get to know more about her and her books, the "Cassidy Jones Adventures" series, amazing YA books that are enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike. Enjoy this interview and check out her books and links!
- Describe yourself.
LOL! I’m stuck already ;) I’ve been married for twenty years and have four children ranging from ages 9 to 18. I’m a bit quirky, rather determined, loyal, and have a tendency to see things through rose-colored glasses, yet can be a tad pessimistic (guess those traits cancel one another out). I’m a fan of The Walking Dead, though I watch most of it peeking over a blanket, and I’m more reclusive than I would have ever imagined being in my social younger days (it’s the writing’s fault :))
- What is your favourite fruit flavour? Blackberry
- What is your favourite day of the week? Saturday
- Which is your favourite time of the day? Evening
- Are you a morning person or a night person? I’m neither, but I’m forced to be both.
- What is your favourite breakfast meal? My husband’s gluten-free blueberry muffins with an almond milk latte.
- What is your favourite colour and why? Green, and I don’t know why. It’s just always the first color to come to mind.
- Which is your most favourite book ever? East Of Eden by John Steinbeck
- What kind of music do you like? It depends on my mood. If I’m being nostalgic, it’s the 80s hits. If I’m being extremely nostalgic, it’s hits from the 70s. I also listen to what my kids listen to. They have good taste, though. They hate anything overly “autotuned.”
- Which is your favourite genre of films? Probably Action. I’m not one for chick flicks.
- Which is your most favourite place in this Earth? From what I have seen of the Earth, Maui.
- Which animal would you want to be and why? A Grizzly bear, because who messes with a Grizzly bear?
- If you could have a luncheon with any 3 people (real or fictitious), who would you choose and why? Since I only have interest in people I know and like, I’ll choose indie authors whom I’ve come to think highly of, and our luncheon is expanding: David C. Cassidy, Kathy Hall, C.R. Hiatt, D.G. Torrens, Patricia Paris, Carmen DeSousa, Alan McDermott, Seb Kirby, Zach Fortier, Javier Robayo, Scott Bury, Gary Henry, Monica LaPorta, Vered Ehansi, Michael Lorde, Zoe Saadia, G.A. Albrethsen, you, of course, dear Cinta, and all of the other awesome indies in Art Knows No Boundaries—Names keep popping in my head, but I’ll refrain from listing them. What can I say? I have met a lot of cool writers.
- If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you ask for? The ability to manipulate time and space (I would be soooooo prolific), the ability to heal and heal others by touch— actually, can I ask for an infinite number of wishes?
- If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the 5 things that you would want to survive? I just want one thing: an infinite number of wishes.
- If you could be anyone, who would you be? Me, because choosing anyone else would give me a different spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.
- What is the one thing you wish you could change in yourself? The self-doubt that crops up from time to time.
- What is the one thing you wish you could do if given the chance? Become a New York Times Bestselling author.
- What would you do if you won the lottery? How much did I win?
- If you knew that this was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it? I’d spend it with family and shoveling all the naughty, delicious foods I could get my hands on into my mouth.
- Were you a naughty kid or a nice kid? Nice, very nice. Just don’t ask my sister @deevinehammer.
- What was the happiest moment in your life? My wedding day and the first time I held each of my children. Cliche, but true.
- Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? I only see myself as 49, unless the ability to reverse aging has been discovered, preferably in a convinient pill form that a filthy rich New York Times Bestselling author, such as myself, can afford, then I see myself as 29.
- What is the weirdest/craziest thing you have ever done? I’m going to steal Ben Ditmars’ answer to this question since I don’t have anything interesting to share: I licked a complete stranger once.
- What is your definition of an incredible weekend? One where I can sleep in, enjoy a cup of coffee and goody with my family when I wake up, and not have to drive anyone anywhere, go grocery shopping, clean house, do laundry, or make a meal, and can carve out time to write before going on a date with my husband. Oh, and we have dinner at the great Thai restaurant Monica La Porta and her husband introduced us to.
- Which is the best holidays you have ever had? Disneyland, The Happiest Place On Earth.
- Have you got a phobia you want to share? I have none, other than not caring for snakes much. Spiders, I’m cool with.
- What makes you angry? Crimes against the innocent. Good thing I’m not God.
- What do you do when you feel sad? If my sadness is over something trivial, I wallow a bit before telling myself to stop being lame. If my sadness is over something significant and weighty, which would most likely affect others, I pray.
- Who or what inspires you? I must be cliche again: my kids.
The Cassidy Jones Adventures seriesCassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, Book One:
- Congratulations! Now you can freely rant about your book(s) and/or projects.
One Girl. One Accident. One Incredible Superhero.
Cassidy Jones is your typical fourteen-year-old— that is, until a seemingly harmless accident in the laboratory of a world-renowned geneticist turns her world upside down. Discovering incredible strength, speed, and enhanced physical senses that defy logic, Cassidy embarks on an action-packed adventure that has her fighting for answers…and for her very life.
Cassidy Jones and Vulcan’s Gift, Book Two:
An Ancient Secret Has Come To Life, And Everyone On The Planet Is At Risk…
Two months after being infected with a strange retrovirus, Cassidy Jones continues to live a double life while she struggles to master her newly gained superpowers. High school has become the only normal thing left in her life—except for tall, dark, and handsome Emery Phillips, who shadows her every move, making sure she doesn’t reveal her secret. But when a sleepover at Catamount Mountain Zoo takes a menacing turn, all bets are off as Cassidy is drawn into another riveting and perilous mystery that threatens the planet.
Cassidy Jones and the Seventh Attendant, Book Three: Coming Spring 2013
Some secrets are better left buried…
When the mysterious Gavin Phillips returns to Seattle after a prolonged and unexplained absence, he threatens to expose fifteen-year-old Cassidy Jones’s incredible secret: she is a superhero. But his presence is far more sinister than she realizes, for it soon becomes apparent that his hidden agenda holds a dark and dangerous intent that will unleash an unparalleled evil upon an unsuspecting world. Can Cassidy stop him before all is lost?
It has been a long time since the last time I wrote a "Meet the Author" post, but today I am introducing here another Indie author that I recently met via FB. A really supportive fellow, apart from writing, he is also creating a website where authors can be featured and have a place to promote themselves and their books. But enough from me. Meet author Ade Hawkins.
- Describe yourself.
I’m slightly mad in an entirely harmless way, but I hear that’s common in high-IQ folks… on a serious note, I don’t talk about my high IQ much. It can often leave me feeling isolated when I can’t engage those around me in the kind of conversation I find genuinely interesting, so for me writing is a great outlet to explore the conversations and ideas I can’t have in real life.
- What is your favourite fruit flavour?
- What is your favourite day of the week?
Thursday. It’s the closest I get to a real day off, though my mind is often still lost in a haze of fatigue from working nights, so I do most of my writing at work.
- Which is your favourite time of the day?
Early morning, around 9-10 am. Everything is open but hardly anyone is around. Bliss.
- Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning due to my job, but a night person when working days. My hours never work for me!
- What is your favourite breakfast meal?
Warm croissants with grilled sweetcure bacon and melted gruyere cheese.
- What is your favourite colour and why?
Black. It goes with anything.
- Which is your most favourite book ever?
The Hitchhikers’ Guide To The Galaxy. Perfection.
- What kind of music do you like?
Rock ‘n’ roll mostly, but I listen to Aerosmith, Offspring, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Foo Fighters, Michael Jackson, Pink, Garbage… I especially love movie soundtracks. Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit & Batman (Nolan trilogy) ones are my favourites.
- Which is your favourite genre of films?
Fantasy. It encompasses a broader range than people might initially think.
- Which is your most favourite place on this Earth?
I plan on travelling all over the world as much as possible, so I haven’t really found it yet, but I’m sure me and my wife-to-be will find it one day.
- Which animal would you want to be and why?
A cat. They can wreck a place and purr, and all is forgiven. Plus they just sleep all day.
- If you could have a luncheon with any 3 people (real or fictitious), who would you choose and why?
George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams, to beg to write Episode VIII or IX, or perhaps a spin-off Star Wars movie.
- If you were granted 3 wishes, what would you ask for?
1. Write a Star Wars flick! 2. For my book series to find its audience. 3. To have the money to be free to write and travel the world.
- If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the 5 things that you would want to survive?
1. Notebooks. 2. Pens. 3. My fiancee. 4. My cats. 5. Plentiful vegetation to eat.
- If you could be anyone, who would you be?
I’ll have to go with George Lucas. To have a franchise so embedded within the cultural consciousness…
- What is the one thing you wish you could change in yourself?
I wish I could be more awake and alert so I can write more on my nights off.
- What is the one thing you wish you could do if given the chance?
Make a series out of my own novels.
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
If enough, fund the series myself. Failing that, travel.
- If you knew that this was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it?
Saying goodbye to everyone then gorging on the biggest Chinese feast imaginable.
- Were you a naughty kid or a nice kid?
Nice until someone pissed me off! I was accused of being naughty, but I never caused havoc or got into trouble at school.
- What was the happiest moment in your life?
When I met my fiancee! Mushy but true.
- Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hopefully writing for a living.
- What is the weirdest/craziest thing you have ever done?
Asked my fiancee if she wants to get married in Vegas.
- What is your definition of an incredible weekend?
Going away to somewhere like Venice.
- Which is the best holidays you have ever had?
Appropriately enough, a weekend in Venice with friends!
- Have you got a phobia you want to share?
Arachnophobia, but very mild. I can kill spiders, but the nippy ones bother me. Lightning reflexes to the rescue!
- What makes you angry?
People who are arseholes for no reason, especially ones who can’t do their own jobs but like to point out the mistakes of others. Why do they have to be like that?
- What do you do when you feel sad?
Not much. Watch TV or play games, try to distract myself. I don’t really get sad as much as mad.
- Who or what inspires you?
Life. Pretty much everything gets my brain going. The hard part is making it stop sometimes!
- Congratulations! Now you can freely rant about your book(s) and/or projects.
I wrote a trilogy of screenplays in 2000-2001 called Dark Nemesis
. It was my first real foray into writing, with very mixed results. Later I was astonished to find it wasn’t all bad!
I tried time and again to adapt them into novels, but either the enthusiasm to rewrite them wasn’t there or I just wasn’t capable. I think it was a little of both.
I started writing many things, but got nowhere. I spent years coming up with characters, locations and scenarios, but there was no glue to stick them all together.
Then I had an epiphany, and Spirits & Shards was born. It’s a high-concept dark science-fantasy drama that focuses closely on the characters.
Falling, the first side-novel that sets up the story for the upcoming Firebrand, wasn’t going to be set in that universe originally, then I realised how much more I could do with it if it was. Not only that, it gave the S&S series the starting point it sorely lacked at that stage, and it just flowed… though it took ten drafts to get it done! I knew what the core idea was, but there was so much more to figure out along the way.
I self-published Falling in June last year, and intend to release Firebrand by the end of this year (depending on how long it takes to write, edit and copy-check).
Synopsis for Falling (A Spirits & Shards Novel):
Many say love will get you through the toughest times, but sometimes it just isn’t enough to pull you free of a black hole.
Despite the love Jerin found in Juli, their union placed him on a path that would ultimately lead to isolation and despair via a very unfortunate sequence of events.
As the headaches that once blighted Jerin’s otherwise care-free existence return, he is offered a new wonder-drug, never pausing to consider how strangely perfect it sounds.
Jerin soon discovers that these new capsules have a most unexpected side effect, allowing him a glimpse into the secret life of the partner he now rarely sees. Falling
is a story of love, loss and self-discovery, set in a high-concept universe.
Whereas Falling was very much a love story, Firebrand is much larger in scope, and is what I consider to be “Volume One”. It will be around 700 - 800 pages and will chronicle the interweaving tales of three protagonists and multiple antagonists. It’s about those who fight for good, those who abuse their positions of power, and those innocents who get caught in the middle. I just hope the final product matches my vision! These first two novels form what I call “Season One” of the Spirits & Shards series, and I will release an omnibus edition on Kindle for those who have not yet read Falling.
After that comes another side-story that sets up “Volume Two”, but that’s a way away yet.
In the meantime, I have a spy short called The Golden Years
being published in The COBRAS Files
anthology, co-edited by the illustrious Paul Bishop. This will be released in the spring.
I’m also in the midst of building a website so that authors can learn from other authors, to encourage established writers and budding up-and-comers to share material and take note of what works for them and what doesn’t. No one’s perfect no matter how many books they’ve read or written; we can all learn from one another.