Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A Flaming Choice

 As the holiday season draws nearer, I don't know about you, but I am researching books I might want to buy for my friends as gifts or to read myself as the cold days keep me inside. Today's guest, in My Writing Corner has a new book that sounds like it might be perfect to give to one of my long time buddies. Joining me today is Author AK Nevermore and she is introducing us to her new book, Flame & Shadow that was just published.

AK says she enjoys operating heavy machinery, freebaseing coffee, and gives up sarcasm for Lent every year. A Jane-of-all-trades, she’s a certified chef and restores antiques when she’s not running down the dream in her beat-up camo Chucks.

Unable to ignore the voices in her head, and unwilling to become medicated, she says she decided to write Science Fiction and Fantasy full time.

Along with books, AK tells us she writes copious amounts of copy and a column on SFF. She belongs to the Authors Guild and is an RWA chapter board member. According to AK, she volunteers for far too many committees, while also teaching creative writing. She does admit to sleeping on rare occasions. In other words, AK is one busy woman!

Her first novel, Flame & Shadow, debuted November 13th and will be featured here today.  Her second in the Dae Diaries series, Air & Darkness, is slated for release late 2024.  Let's find out more about AK and her new book.

What do you enjoy about being an author?

Reading something I’ve written and having it surprise me. There’s no better feeling than turning a page and spitting out your drink, belly laughing. Like, did I seriously write that? Yup. Yup, I did! That always gives me the warm fuzzies.

What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

The route to publication and trusting yourself to make the best decisions for your career. There’s so much of what “you should do and how you should do it”—and yes, that was totally finger quoted. It feeds all of the self doubt authors so often suffer from. At some point you have to pull up your big girl pants, just say “Screw it!” and go get yours. Finding the courage to do that is super hard, and I don’t think that ever goes away. At least, it hasn’t for me yet.

How do you develop characters?

I write them. Hah! I say that like it’s easy, but I’m a pantser, so it’s a lot of literal writing and then going back and solidifying what comes out of my characters being in situations. That’s one of my favorite parts because I never know what they’re going to do until they do it. It definitely keeps things exciting!

Tell us about your road to publication.

Flame & Shadow is published by The Wild Rose Press. I hooked up with them through the RWA’s Romance Authors Mentorship Program, so it wasn’t a conscious decision to send them my stuff, but it worked out. I wish I had some grand plan, but that’s usually how I fall into things. The important take-away is just to put yourself out there.

What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it? 

The Dae Diaries is my newest series, and I’m currently working on book 3. But honestly, the first book, Flame & Shadow, was written entirely out of angst. I had been in the querying trenches for way longer than was healthy and the amount of conflicting advice you get is ridiculous. One day I just decided to follow all of it.

And I don’t mean in a studious, “hmm, I’ll take that into consideration,” kind of way, I mean in a, “That’s what you want? Well, watch out because here it comes,” passive aggressive throw down that came out just ridiculous. Everything I implemented was tongue in cheek and had a sarcastic spin to it. I literally wrote the book laughing, and at that point, I really needed that. It was super cathartic and pretty shameless. Writing Envy and the gang is a ton of fun.

Whuie Flame & Shadow,was just released, the second book in the Dae Diaries series, Air & Darkness is slated for release late 2024. For a free prequel, you can visit: https://aknevermore.com/books/one-night-in-bliss/

Let's get a blurb:

Half-daemon Envy Starr is destined to die on Midsummer's Eve, still a virgin, on some crappy cult's live-stream feed. With thirty days left to live, the chance to escape her fate and get some action compels her into her absentee father's world of beautifully cultured cruelty. 

Once there, she's the object of a deadly game, slated to alter the Fae realm's power structure. Worse, the rules keep changing, and everyone has an ulterior motive, including her dae-licious guide, Brennan. Under a geas he's desperate to break, she can't trust him, or herself. Stupid Stockholm syndrome. 

But unless she can come to terms with what lies in her heart, her unlikely survival will be a fate worse than death. For her, and the rest of Fae.

How about an excerpt?

I scrabbled at the pitted metal. How was it even possible? It had no keyhole, just two thin lines like the halves had been snapped together and the ring for his leash.

I started hyperventilating.

“Pet...” The sing-song whisper almost made me piss myself it was so close. I jammed my fist in my mouth, keeping still. A twig snapped to my right, and I screwed my eyes shut. 

A massive crash followed it, and I took off. In retrospect, that was my first mistake. I mean, my first mistake since I’d tried to knee him in the nuts. I was racking them up like student loans otherwise.

The forest floor quickly smoothed out and become easier to navigate, but the trees here were spiky, twisty things crowded close together. They didn’t look, I don’t know, earthly. I had a bad feeling that I’d somehow wandered into Fae.

It doesn’t happen often, but there are some places where the veil is thin enough to walk right across. Usually it corrects itself, but I’d told you this whole thing with Mica felt scripted. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was holding a way open, funneling me exactly where he wanted me to go. I thought about it, but stopping and waiting for him to show up with his rifle

seemed worse.

I stayed on the stupid path. Through narrow gaps in the trees I could see patches of mire and bracken, some clusters of stone, but getting to them would be a bitch. Mica ’s howl in the not-so-distant distance took that off the table.

I kept running.

What is your next project?

I’m currently working on getting book 2, Air & Darkness, through production, and fiddling around with the so far unnamed book 3 in the series. I also have a dark SFF romance series I’m getting geared up to rapid release next year, and another project has recently popped up that I’m pretty excited about, but keeping quiet on until it pans out, so there are a lot of irons in the fire.

How do you come up with your plots?

Usually by accident. See my above answer. Generally I’ll have a scene in mind, or sometimes just a concept for a world. My characters will come in, populate it, and then what they do there determines where the plot goes. Usually around the halfway point I’m like “Oohhh… that’s what this is about…” and then I'll go back and seed the ending, or what I think is the ending. That usually changes at some point near the actual end, and then I have to write the beginning again, but being surprised is totally worth it.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Just write. Forget about all of the so-called rules and just get your idea down on paper. It will suck and that’s ok. The first draft is your discovery draft, telling yourself the story. Once you do that, celebrate! OMG you wrote a frickin’ book!! Don’t worry about making it good until after the morning after hangover fades.

Here are the Buy Links and Social contacts for AK:

Amazon: Flame & Shadow  

Apple BooksFlame & Shadow 

Barnes & Noble:  Flame & Shadow 

How to get in touch:

Website:  www.aknevermore.com

Facebook: @AK Nevermore

Twitter: @AkNevermore

Instagram: @AKNevermore

TikTok: @AK.Nevermore

Email: ak@aknevermore.com

Thank you for being my guest today, AK. Any questions for AK?

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