Meet An Indie Author Monday–#MAIAM with Azaaa Davis, urban fantasy writer

MAIAM came late this month, but it seems appropriate after ringing in the new year. But what better way to start a new year than by discovering a new indie author. Azaaa Davis writes urban fantasy and her Demon Hunter series has already begun.

 

this-time-ebook-cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

This Time is my debut fantasy novel and it was published on 10/01/2018.

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

I’m the worst at coming up with book titles! The titles I’ve brainstormed sound like they belong in the contemporary romance or erotica section. Unfortunately, I write fantasy.

 

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?

My husband is the only person I know that says, “Outstanding!” sincerely. I think it’s cute. Reading the word can make me think of him and smile.

 

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I’m a night owl and this was reinforced when I was waking up to nurse my baby girl throughout the night. It wrote This Time at night when my family was blissfully asleep.

 

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

I have a unique name. Azaaa is Arabic and means “to console.” To show appreciation to the many names that Americans might consider “different,” “weird,” or “foreign,” I think of the meaning first and then I find a name to match. I like knowing that my characters have names that hint at their personality or fate.

 

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

I reward myself all the time for victories big and small. Because my family eats home-cooked meals regularly, I like dining out to celebrate big moments in life. For the smaller ones, like finishing a scene or chapter, I simply tell my husband and he kisses me.

 

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

I’ve developed a deeper understanding about what motivates people. I’ll admit that my background in social work helps because many of my college courses were about human behavior. Putting yourself in the mind of all of the characters you create really forces you to think about the goals and motivations that can influence each person’s actions and words. As a writer, I’ve reconnected with my more empathetic side.

 

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

I rarely use the notebooks and journals that I own. I mainly type up my thoughts since paper is so easily damaged or lost in my house.

 

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

How people say goodnight to each other says a lot about the closeness of their relationship. Is it a distracted, “okay, later,” or is it a softly whispered “sweet dreams” said with a smile? I’m trying to include little actions that speak loudly into my stories as much as possible.

 

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

I watch way too much Gordon Ramsay tv shows when I should be writing. I think it will simply be background noise but I get sucked into the drama, even the reruns.

 

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I’ve placed your book, A Smuggler’s Path, at the top of my to-be-read pile! I’ve also recently read and reviewed the young adult, fantasy novel Dreg by Bethany Hoeflich.

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Thanks for participating in MAIAM day and a special thanks for adding my book to your TBR pile! I hope we can have you back for a follow-up interview when the next book in your Demon Hunter series. It was great learning more about you!

MAIAM–Ari Meghlen: Writer, Blogger, Bad Card Player

It’s one of my favorite days on Books by I.L. Cruz (the other being #FourthFridaysforFantasyFoodies)–MAIAM, Meet An Indie Author Monday.

Today, I’m happy to introduce an amazing blogger and writer (I’ve never played cards with her, so can’t comment there!), Ari Meghlen. One of the things I love about Ari is how supportive she is of other bloggers and writers, so show her some love and visit her blog.

Aesthetics - The Blessed[3023]

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

I’m currently writing book one of a fantasy trilogy called The Blessed, and as yet this book does not have its own title.

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

Actually, I never have titles before I have the story.  I have a lot of stories without titles or ones that have working titles.  I usually need the story to be completed before I have a fitting title for it.

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?

I love the word ‘Bizarre’.  It just always makes me smile 😊

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I used to write mostly at night as I had less distractionsbut that’s changed as I’ve got older.  Now I prefer writing in the day, preferably starting in the morning when I have the most amount of energy.

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

My main go-to for picking character names is movie credits.  I am a serious movie lover so whenever I’m watching one, I always scan over the names of the crew who worked on it.  I always get several great names.

I then add these to my Master List of Names so I always have plenty to pick from when I need them.

Place names are different, I usually look at street names for inspiration.

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

Cake!  I always celebrate with cake 😊 When I finish my first draft, I treat myself to a mini carrot cake.  For smaller victories, I treat myself to a movie with my partner.

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

 

Beta-readers are our first fans and critics. If you could pick any writer, past or present, to be your beta-reader, who would you pick?

I would have loved Terry Pratchett to be my beta-reader and visit my worlds.  He had such a rich flavor to his novels, you truly were transported to these incredible locations, to walk with the Watch, to argue around a Cauldron, to see the edge of the world…

But since I’m a natural nervous wreck even when my loving and incredibly supportive partner reads my work… I think if Terry Pratchett had been my beta-reader.  I’d have ended up curled in the corner having a full-blown panic attack!

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

*Nervous laughter* Hello.  My name is Ari, and I have a notebook addiction.

Currently 80% of my possessions are packed because we are in temporary location while we are buying our house.  Even due to this, I have about 27 notebooks out.  I have even more packed away.  I wouldn’t like to think how many I have.

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

Nature is my inspiration.  Watching the garden birds, or the butterflies gives me great joy.  Even the wildlife that few people like to watch, such as snails and wasps, I find fascinating.  They are all beautiful in their own way.

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

Youtube.  I originally would go on to find interesting tips and tricks for things like Marketing or Outlining.  Now I am addicted to watching crime documentaries and can just lose hours in a day, if I’m not careful.  That’s the problem with YouTube, you can start off with videos that are specific to helping you…and end up on something totally different.

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I love Indie Writers and am always looking out for new books.  I have a number of Indie writers (not yet published but whose books I’ll be jumping to get when they are).

Some of the published writers currently on my radar are I.L Cruz, S.R. Severn and Suzanne Rogerson.

Thanks again for participating in #MAIAM. It’s been great getting to know you better and I’m looking forward to The Blessed! Happy MAIAM everyone!

MAIAM–Rebecca Howie, The Sam Beckett Mysteries

The days are definitely getting colder and darker. That’s the best time to curl up with a good book–especially a mystery. This month’s featured indie author is Rebecca Howie, writer and blogger of For The Love of Fiction. Definitely check out her website.

 

A Woman Scorned

 

First things first, what’s the name of your current book?

It’s called A Woman Scorned, and it’s the second instalment in the Sam Beckett Mysteries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New ideas are always cropping up. Give me your best book title that doesn’t have a story.

I actually have loads of titles which don’t have stories yet, but two of my favourites are ‘Retribution’ and ‘Trial by Fire’. I have no idea if I’ll ever use them, but I liked the sound of them when I thought them up, so I might try and write a story for each.

 

Words are kind of our thing. What’s your favorite word?

I like ‘mellifluous’ and ‘ethereal’ and ‘denouement’ because they sound nice, but my favourite word is ‘defenestration’ because I never expected its meaning to be what it is.

 

Some people need the light of day to function and others prefer the quiet of night. When do you write?

I used to write whenever I had the time, but since I found it difficult to get focussed on A Woman Scorned, I made myself write for a few hours every morning, and that’s become my routine.

 

Names really help set a mood. What’s your process for picking people and place names?

Character names have to feel right for me, and I can waste a lot of time trying to pick one. They need to suit the character, and they also have to fit in with the story’s setting, so it takes me a while to name new characters.

Luckily I didn’t have to spend too much time naming the main characters in The Game Begins and A Woman Scorned, because I’d already written them in other projects, or their names just came to me while I was writing.

 

Even finishing a scene feels like a reason to throw a party. Have a favorite way to celebrate finishing a project?

The first thing I do as soon as I finish a project is to switch my laptop off, and I’ll either watch a film, or go out a walk. I like just being able to take a break and getting to clear my head, although when I finished writing A Woman Scorned, my break took about three months, and I didn’t go near my computer once during that time.

 

We know writing is primarily a creative endeavor. Tell me something you never expected to get from writing.

I never planned to publish anything I’d written, so seeing my books being for sale on Amazon and Waterstones was unexpected. It’s still strange, and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the fact that I’ve written two books and that other people have read them and enjoyed them, although it’s almost been three years since I started writing The Game Begins.

 

Beta-readers are our first fans and critics. If you could pick any writer, past or present, to be your beta-reader, who would you pick?

I’d quite like to know what James Oswald thinks of my writing, or Ian Rankin. I love their writing, so it would be amazing if they even knew of my existence, although I’d be terrified if I thought they were reading my books.

 

Tell the truth. How many notebooks and journals do you own?

Too many to count, and I don’t think I want to ever attempt it. You can’t move in my room for notepads and stationary.

 

Writers keep their eyes open for inspiration, which makes us notice a lot more than most. What random piece of everyday beauty do you love?

I love watching life happening around me, whether it’s people going about their day, or just nature running its course. Overheard conversations on public transport are a great source of inspiration for me, as are local newspapers, and living in the countryside means I get to see lots of birds of prey and wild animals in their element, which is always calming to see.

 

As much as we love to write, some parts of being a writer can be a chore. What’s your most tempting distraction?

The internet. I spent a lot of time researching things for my writing, and I can fritter away hours Googling things which only have the faintest relevance to my writing projects.

 

We indies need to stick together. Any indie writers on your radar right now?

I made it a resolution in January to try reading more indie novels, and I’ve read a few including K.J. Chapman’s Evo Nation trilogy, Suzanne Rogerson’s Visions of Zarua, and Ian Gregoire’s Exercise of Vital Powers.

The great thing I love about trying new authors is that I’m reading books in other genres, so I plan to keep finding more indie authors with even more stories to pass my time with.

 

It was great getting to know you better as a person and a writer, Rebecca! Thanks for participating in MAIAM.

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