Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Nova Sparks

Author Interview ~ james crawford


We’ve had two interviews here with Nova Sparks and Nova just happens to be the wife of james crawford ( yes, no capitals in his name :-) plus both Nova and james originally published on the same day!

~~~~~~~~~

james, tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in a small town north of Pittsburgh (in the USA). I moved south to Mississippi weeks after I graduated from school.  I know, boring right. Well, I am an author so that means my life is spent in front of a computer, typing. My life is only interesting because I live out the life of my characters in my head.

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

I didn’t really decide I wanted to be an author until my book, Caleo, was in its second draft. Before that, I just wanted to write down the story that was running through my head. It wasn’t until after I had the basics of the story complete that I thought that I actually had something that other people might enjoy reading and made my decision to publish my work.

Please, james, tell us about your series.

The Leech Series is a trilogy I am working on, the first book in the series being Caleo.  The series is about an outcast who finds out he is next in line to rule a magical race of people known as Leeches. Unfortunately for him, the Leeches have been in a civil war since before he was born and now both sides want to get their hands on him. Book 1 follows the title character, Caleo, as he discovers who he is and learns to use his new found powers while running for his life.

Would you share where your inspiration comes from?

The inspiration for my stories comes from my dreams. No, seriously, I’m not kidding. Caleo came directly out of a series of dreams I had about the main character. I am sure the dreams were probably inspired by TV, movies, and books that I am always overly geeking on.

Are there genres besides sci-fi that you may try writing within?

I love sci-fi and I am sorry to say that most other genres don’t appeal to me at all. I don’t have enough emotional range for Chic-lit, I suck at comedy, and my erotica attempts… well… let’s just say it was more like ice water to the face than hot and steamy. Sci-fi is where I belong. It’s a genre where we can dream up as many things as we want and they can all fit into one book/movie. Example: Sharktopus

Who’s your favorite character in the Leech series and who is your least favorite character?

My favorite character is definitely Jack. He is sweet, smart, always singing, but can kick butt when needed. My least favorite has got to be Steve. He is a ruthless mastermind and it’s hard for me to get into his head as I am writing about his character.  We are complete opposites, me and Steve, and I think that is why it’s so rough.

So, what’s next after this series is done?

I’m not actually sure. I have a few dreams that I have written down but nothing has really struck me like Caleo’s story. There is a modern day gladiator story that I have been playing with and also a zombie survival story. None of those has made it too far into the outline stage so we will have to see if they survive.

Where can we find you on the ‘Net, james?

Well, my good friend over at Wayward Things has designed me a website where you can find all the links to my books on Amazon, Nook, and Smashwords as well as find me on Facebook and Twitter. Please, do check out the site.

james, thanks for taking the time to let us know about your first series; and, come back for another interview when all the books are published :-)

~~~~~~~~~

So, dear readers, now’s your chance to ask questions in the Comments of a writer who’s close to publishing a series
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

Advertisements

Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks, Part Two


I’ve conducted 25 author interviews and each one was an adventure. Being an author myself makes each interview a journey to another world in the writing-universe—another chance to understand that I’m not alone in being afflicted with the dis-ease of stories that must be written

Back in June, I interviewed Nova Sparks, shortly after her first novel, of a trilogy, was published.

Today, with book two nearing publication, Nova is back :-)

Nova, give us a short introduction for the folks who didn’t meet you in June.

I’m a sci-fi urban fantasy romance author from New York City. I’m self-published and I’m really happy about it!

Self published, eh? Tell us a little about your experience with that process.

Self-publishing is very liberating, and I mean that literally. It gives the author the freedom to decide every single detail of their book without someone deciding things for you. We can decide our price, how long the book is, the content, the genre, the format, everything! That’s the best thing. It also allows for you to keep a bigger chunk of your profits when compared to traditional publishers. One thing that people do need to know is that self-publishing should NOT be considered the EASY way into publishing your novel or short story. It is definitely much much harder. You have to do all the editing yourself. All the marketing, All the converting. EVERYTHING is on YOU! Many people see that as a bad thing, and I can totally understand that, but for me, it’s definitely something that is worth getting into. If for some reason I get a contract with a traditional publishing house, I’d know many of the ins and outs of how things go. I wouldn’t be completely oblivious. I guess you can say I’m a stronger author because of my experience self-publishing.

Nova, back in June, you spoke at length about the DOME, first in your trilogy, which follows an all American family who are part of thousands of people that have been “rescued” from a crumbling Earth and taken by a race of aliens to a distant planet and made to live in a DOME that simulates life on Earth… Please tell us about the forthcoming second book.

DOMErevelation basically picks up right where book 1 left off. In the first book we were introduced to some great characters like Emma, Sam, Kris, Mark, and Ked. In the DOMErevelation one of these characters is no longer with us and that starts a crusade to find out what these aliens really want from humans. I had a lot of fun writing this novel. Don’t get me wrong, part two’s are always harder than the rest of the series. I felt like I had to make this book better than the first.

These book covers are fascinating. Would you give us some insight into why you went with this look?

Well, I wanted the whole universe and outer space look. I chose that photo of the Carina Nebula from NASA. because the blue and calm colors inside this chaotic and almost violent looking space-gas seemed like it represented exactly what the DOME trilogy is about, especially the start of the series which is why its on book 1’s cover. The DOMErevelation‘s cover image is also from NASA and it is a rose shaped galaxy. As soon as I saw it I was totally and completely in love with it. It was the perfect image for this book which is really romantic and sweet, but still has the violent and sci-fi twist to it.

How long did it take to finish the second book?

To complete the DOMErevelation‘s actual story was very fast, like two months when taking into account all the things that held me up, like life and such. When including things like editing, formatting, file conversion, and just plain old indecisiveness, it took much longer than two months.

Nova, since you’re self-determined and self-published, what’s your average day like?

Hmm… Well, I can’t speak for every self-publisher, but I can speak for myself. A good chunk of my day is spent on the popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. I network with other authors and other bloggers, not so much about my book but just making friends. I try to stay in close relations with as many people in the “self-pub world” as possible. Support between us is really important. Other parts of my day are spent sending out review requests to as many book bloggers as possible. These people are SUPER important to the career of a self-publisher. They can make or break you with their book reviews. Much of my day is also spent posting about my book, giving links and discount coupons for my book so people can read it and spread the word. I also blog! That’s also a great thing to do so people can get to know you as a person. You wouldn’t believe how many people want to support your work based on who you are as a person. So that is what I do all day, everyday. And this is all happening WHILE working a day job, so you can just imagine what that’s like. And I didn’t even mention actually working on a novel while doing all this.

People just don’t understand the dedication and determination it takes………

Final words, Nova?

Yes! Please check out the DOME (the DOME trilogy, #1) on Smashwords! It’s now on sale for $0.99! And also, the DOMErevelation (the DOME trilogy, #2) will be available NOVEMBER 30th, 2011! Save the date!

Thank you soooo much, Alexander, for giving me another opportunity to be interviewed on your blog!

My pleasure, Nova. I think I should close the post out with your synopses:

Synopsis for the DOME

What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do? Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth’s demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family, and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam’s mind can’t seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth’s sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding?

Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.

Told from the point of view of both Sam and Emma, readers venture on a journey to discover love, fate, faith, truth and the mystery of the DOME!

Synopsis for the DOMErevelation

Sam Tucker thought he was saving the lives of his fellow Coloradans when he rushed them and his family into an alien spaceship and away from a crumbling Earth. But given recent events…he was DEAD WRONG! With the brutal murder of his best friend and the equally mysterious series of events that preceded, he is absolutely sure that the race of aliens that have given the humans a home on their planet, are hostile. The Syrions want something from the humans and Sam is sure of it. Emma Tucker didn’t expect to fall in love with a Syrion boy and she definitely didn’t expect for her life to be ruined because of it. After a group of dangerous Syrions found out about her involvement with one of their own, they made sure that she got the message to stay away. Living in fear inside of the Dome, Emma finds herself in the company of a human, Jason—a young man who seems to be everything Emma should want. But the more she tries to distance herself from a life she craves, the more the affects start to take their toll on her. Emma’s changing and she doesn’t know why. Working together with her father to discover the intentions of the Syrions, Emma realizes that the only way she can get answers about the fate of the humans is to risk everything.

The DOMErevelation is a heart pounding adventure of love, trust and self-discovery.
Continue the journey…Invade the truth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Author Interview ~ Nova Sparks


I’m registered with a site called Blog Tour which has the slogan: “Authors need to be seen. Blogs need content.”

I met Nova Sparks on the site and we set up an interview for her. Let’s get it going :-)

Nova, where are you from and how old are you?

I’m from the Bronx in NYC. My age is a secret. But, I will say I’m in my twenties. I’m twenty-something.

When did you begin writing and can you remember how it felt inside back then?

The farthest back I can remember starting to write was when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old. My mom bought me a diary because that was the cool thing back then. Instead of writing about the things that happened to me, I made everything up. My mother snuck into my room and found it and read it. She yelled at me for being a liar but realized that I had a knack for story-telling.

Wonderful!

Was there any certain date or time you remember when you began to either think of yourself as or call yourself a “writer”?

Ever since I can remember, everyone has been calling me a writer but I never believed it myself. I’ve always been writing. Even when I was in high school, I wrote my friend’s papers for school so they could get a good grade. The thing about me is that I hate doing what people expect of me. Everyone wanted me to be a writer and I tried to pretend I wasn’t interested in it. Everyone thought I was going to be a musician and wanted me to go to college for music, I went for Urban Planning. I pissed everyone off all my life, all while secretly writing TV shows and movie treatments hoping to be a screen or TV writer. I read somewhere that people should be willing to do what they love doing for free. I realized I’ve been writing all my life, every chance I got. When I finally let a few family members read my treatments, they thought the story was really great. And they are brutally honest so I had no choice but to believe them. I thought I’d give it a shot. It took a while to realize that I was good at writing and an even longer time to start calling myself a writer. I think when I finally say it out loud, my family will say “We told you so” and I hate when people say that.

:-)

What are your hopes, or dreams, or goals for your writing?

My biggest goal is to see my book series turned into a movie. I started off trying desperately to get my first story the DOME on HBO and that failed. Now that the first book is out and I changed it up a bit, I realize that I would love to see it on the big screen instead of the little screen. That is my BIG dream. My small dream is just to be known. I want my stories to be interesting and innovative and I want people to read my stories and know my stories. I don’t even care if they know my name. As long as they know my stories, I’ll be fine. I wouldn’t mind at all if someone says, “I love the DOME trilogy by that girl.” I would love that!

Sounds like a very healthy attitude to me

Have you had any “formal” training in the art of writing?

The only thing I can say is that I took one creative writing class in high school. My strong suit is story creation. I’m pretty good at spelling and formulating a clear sentence, but no one is perfect. I make mistakes sometimes. I edited my first novel because I was on a $0 budget and some people have spotted a few grammatical errors. But I’m human and I’m woMAN enough to admit those mistakes. I’m just happy it’s a few and not a TON.

Hey, with my recently published book, even after me and the editor and a number of other authors had gone over the manuscript a number of times, the printed book still came out with a few typos

What do you feel has taught you the most about “how to write”?

Definitely reading other stories. I try my best not to read a lot of books in my own genre because I strongly believe that, no matter what, you can’t ignore what you’ve read and you may just unknowingly copy a concept from another writer all while really believing you made it up on your own. I’ve read a few urban fantasy romance novels and I’ve learned from them. I try not to write the usual story. I know for a fact that there are a gazillion vampire books out there and it’s really difficult to come up with a new concept for a vampire novel. I’m going to try to stay away from that. I decided my first book should be in the sci-fi genre because that’s my first love. I’m definitely not into Hard sci-fi and my book isn’t Hard sci-fi. I like to watch a lot of movies but I do think I’m a little weird. I love sci-fi but don’t ask me anything about it because I try not to learn other writer’s styles. I love the paranormal and I watch a lot of paranormal films and TV shows but I try not to read a lot of paranormal books because I don’t want the concept to be in my subconscious and write a whole book on a stolen idea.
Believe it or not, I learn the most from romance novels and mystery novels. Even though my books are mostly sci-fi/paranormal urban fantasy, there is always a mystery and romance. I’m a huge sucker for romance.

:-)

Who are your favorite writers and why are they favorites?

I can say that my favorite writer is Emily Giffin. I’ve read all of her books and I love how well she can pull you in and make you beg for more. My other favorite author is super new. He has only published the first book in his Leech series. It’s called Caleo and its book 1. It’s gay YA fantasy. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads and I can’t wait for book 2. Really…

Hmmm… Maybe you’ll mention his name in the comments, eh? :-)

Where and/or how do you get your ideas for your writing?

I always think of what I would love to see or read. I try my best not to take any ideas from any other author or screenwriter. I’m a huge advocate for original ideas. It is a little difficult to do because who in their right mind wouldn’t jump on a popular concept? If the whole world was going witch crazy, why not write a book about witches? For me it’s a little different. I look at the popular concept and think of what can I do that is totally different from that, without knocking myself out of the box.

I find that attitude very refreshing, Nova…

What is your normal revision or editing routine?

Lol. Because I edit my books, it’s hard for me to find mistakes I’ve made if I’ve been looking at it for weeks at a time. Because of that, I force myself not to look at my book for about 5-10 days and when I finally look at it, I find a lot of mistakes I’ve missed. I recommend that for a lot of self-publishing writers who have a very small budget. BUT I also recommend getting a professional editor to look at your work as well. Someone affordable but good at what they do. It is impossible to find all the mistakes in your own work. Believe me, when I first published I thought I weeded out all my mistakes. I was wrong. But I will say that I weeded out A LOT of the mistakes.

I traded an English Grad student an acknowledgement in the book for editing; still… those typos showed up…

So, you indicated you’re published……

YES!!! I am published and it’s soooo surreal! I’ve been secretly dreaming of this day all of my life and it’s here. I published my first book the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1) in the beginning of May and it has been getting some really positive reviews so far. I never thought I’d see the day. Book 2 in the DOME trilogy is called the DOME revelation and it is scheduled to be released mid to late July for Kindle and Nook. Paperback will be released soon after.

Please, Nova, tell us about your books…

My first book series the DOME trilogy is my baby. It is the first TV show treatment I wrote and is the one I pushed the most when trying to get it picked up. Here is the synopsis:

What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do? Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth’s demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family, and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam’s mind can’t seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth’s sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding?

Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.

Told from the point of view of both Sam and Emma, I take readers on a journey to discover love, fate, faith, truth, and the mystery of the DOME!

Seems you got that originality rule of yours woven tightly into the book :-)

Can you go into the “purpose” of the series?

I wanted to write stories where humans are taken out of their comfort zone and forced to recreate what it means to be human. Too many times have I’ve read a book or seen a movie or TV show where aliens come to Earth and invade or there is a UFO sighting. I wanted to write a story where humans are taken from Earth and have to live on an alien planet with nothing but their memories to start over with. It really forces humans to figure out what really makes them human; and, is it all worth fighting for? It really makes us look at ourselves through the eyes of another species.

I really hope this trilogy shines light on the human potential and the human purpose. I really believe that we are a ridiculously cocky and arrogant race of people and we are never really shown how small and insignificant we are in the larger spectrum of things. But at the same time, I want this book to show how rare and precious we are as well. I thought of this whole concept while staring up at the night sky outside my window which I do for 2 hrs straight every night before going to sleep. The night sky really reminds us of how small we are and how much world there is out there that we haven’t even touched yet. The morning sky doesn’t have the same effect as the night sky. The night sky is the open window to the universe.

A nightly deep-sky meditation… How cool!

Thank you, so much, Nova, for taking the time for this interview!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Folks, here are some links for Nova :-)

Her Blog

The DOME for Kindle

The DOME for Nook
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now it’s time to leave a few comments for Nova :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And, do check out Nova’s Second Interview here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
Take Part In Our Reader Survey
Follow the “co-author” of Notes from An Alien, Sena Quaren:
On Facebook
On Twitter
AND, Get A Free Copy of Our Book