Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday's Author Spotlight Interview, Author M.T. Dismuke...

Think you've read the best in Science Fiction and Horror?  No? Well then you haven't experienced the awesome talent of our Thursday's Spotlight Author,  M.T. Dismuke

About the Author      
Michael T Dismuke is an American Thriller Author born in Vicenza Italy. He's now lived in Colorado for over 35 years and has studied Electronics, Software and Industrial Engineering. He began writing at a very young age which included interactive stories, computer games, campfire tales, and short stories. After receiving his college degree, he focused more on writing. In 2003 he wrote his first novel The Necro Device which later would become his first published novel. He prefers to write in present tense and leads with action over narrative. He offers his readers an intense reading experience that's not only thrilling and exciting, but is layered with subplots and complex story mechanics. He uses his knowledge in technology to inspire and drive his stories and push them to their limits.
"The only freedom you truly have is in your mind, so use it." - M.T. Dismuke

TCM: Why do you write your particular genre?
M.T.D: I don’t set out to write a specific genre. Instead, I set out to write original stories. I like them to be thrilling in order to keep the reader’s attention. I tend to stick to horror and science fiction with a lot of suspense and mystery tied into it, but I have written a satire and non-fiction story in the past. Most of my ideas hit me out of the blue, and if it’s good or interesting enough, I jot it down and begin building on it. Once this has happened, the story tends to take on a life of its own and genre, at this point, becomes nothing more than a byproduct of the story being told.

TCM: How did you develop your writing?
MTD: I started programing games, text based games, on the computer at a very young age. They basically were interactive stories similar to pick-your-path books. That was my first attempt at writing; however, I began creating worlds at a much younger age. I drew maps, landscapes, monsters, and made up stories to go along with it. They were truly interactive worlds which is probably why I attempted to program them later on. In my twenties, I began writing massive campaigns about vampires for Raven Loft. They took me months to build starting with the region, then moving on to creating a dynamic environment filled with towns and people – each with their own story. It was an amazing feat for me, and to share it with others was even better. It wasn’t until my early thirties when I decided to switch gears and turn my stories into novels. That is when I began work on The Necro Device.
TCM: Do you have a specific writing style?
MTD: Yes, I prefer to write in the Present Tense and to lead with action. When I began work on my first novel I was struggling with it quite a bit. It wasn't until my English Professor pointed out my faults when I was able to zero in on the past/present tense conflicts I was having. I was trying to tell the story in the present, but was writing it in the past/present. It was awkward to say the least, but I rewrote the entire story in the present tense without the conflicts which really helped me sharpen my writing skills. By the time I began work on INVASION it had become second nature to me. I was able to explore more and even ended up re-inventing it so that it worked best for me, but first, I had to force myself to break out of the mold. I realized that chapter style writing alone was the single biggest restraint holding me and the story back, so I removed it. I replaced chapters with events and something magical happened. It allowed me to be free for the first time. The world became dynamic. I could reveal information from multiple resources, deepening the story – it was limitless. The story was no longer just a ride, it was an experience. No more did I have to write in the now. No more did I have to follow this narrow, strict, one-way path from beginning to end. It opened so many doors that I’m still overwhelmed by the format. It has so much potential that I can’t wait to explore it further and push it to its limits.
TCM: Could you tell us a bit about event writing used in Invasion?

MTD: Sure, but let me point out the key difference. The traditional chapter style way of writing tells a story sequentially from beginning to end – much like programming was back in the last century. Basically, information is read in order, building on the previous, until reaching the end. Events, however, are similar to programming in today’s world. Each event contains sections or packets of information that combine together to create a story. Each event follows the same structure by combining information and building on it. This method of storytelling creates a dynamic atmosphere because the source of information is always changing. For instance, an individual event may contain three sections. The source of information contained within each section will be different. Some of the information may be presented in the form of a short story, but a lot of it may come from documents, recordings, or even raw data. One section may contain the main storyline while another section tells a completely different story which reinforces, builds, and completes the other. For present tense writers this concept is limitless because it allows the story to break the sequential mold.

TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
MTD: I pull my inspiration from the world around me. I watch and listen. I try to imagine things beyond what is presented to me. Technology is one of my main subject matters. I disguise it very well within my stories because to me, the story is the most important aspect of my work. However, the story typically originates from something I’ve seen or heard such as the concept of Panopticism. I did a report on it many years ago while in college, and it will be one of the governing themes in my upcoming novel, Cult of Tattoo. I tend to take an idea and run with it, sculpting, bending and twisting it into something exciting and different. The idea may become part of the story itself or just an overlying thought or background. I pull a lot of information from my surrounding environment from topics and themes to names and locations.

TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?
MTD: My current project is a novel titled Cult of Tattoo which I hope to have published late summer or early fall. It’s a futuristic SciFi Thriller based on current day technology spun forward over 100 years and branches off from the singularity – a day when Artificial Intelligence surpasses human intelligence. It is about love, life, and the evolution of mankind. It is a world of advanced robotics, spatial 3D optics, and advancements in artificial intelligence that greatly exceed our own. What makes the story unique is that it revolves around three main characters, two of which are from this century that had undergone cryonic freezing and brought back to life when the technology exists. This allows the readers to experience the world as they do. The third character is a mysterious AI unit, and each of them in their own way will unlock the many secrets hidden throughout the story. Cult of Tattoo, just like all my work, will be riddled with twists and deception at every turn of the page.

TCM: Thank you M.T. for taking the time to meet our readers! 

You can learn more about M.T. Dismuke at:


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Author The One and Only Jaq Hawkins!

 Our awesome Author today on The Creative Muses is the Multi-Talented Jaq Hawkins...

Hello Jaq, tells us what going on in your part of the universe...

TCM: What inspired you to become a writer? Why do you write your particular genre?

JH:  I started writing at age six. It was something that I just felt the need to do. I wrote my first few books in an area of non-fiction in which I was knowledgeable because I was asked to, but I write Fantasy and Science Fiction because they are the genres I most like to read.

TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?

JH: Being completely objective about that would be difficult, but from a practical point of view, I would say patience. I finish projects or keep at the ones that get done more slowly and will put the time into proper editing. From a creative point of view, I seem to have a natural sense of pace and timing. I also have a tendency to think about what would be the obvious thing to happen next, then do something different. Unpredictability can keep a story interesting.

TCM: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?

That varies from one story to another. In my first novel, I really struggled to find an ending. I would say that is most often the part I have to work for, yet there are exceptions. I'm working on a Science Fiction story at present that had the ending decided on the first creative session. I had a premise with a perfect ending and had to decide how to do the beginning, which is usually the part that rolls out of my brain at the outset of starting a new story.

TCM: As an Author, what do you consider your most difficult obstacle?

JH: Real life and filmmaking. There are never enough hours to sit and write as much as I feel the need to do. Eventually the filmmaking will reach a point where I've done what I set out to do and can retire from it to write more.

TCM: What advice would you give new authors that have been newly published?

JH: Don't be in a hurry. Take the time to get it right before releasing. Ideally, put any manuscript you finish aside for six months and read it again with fresh eyes, after any editing process. You'll see things, including editing mistakes you missed that you just can't believe.

TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?

JH: I plan to release some new Mind, Body, Spirit books during 2014 as well as hopefully the SciFi I've got simmering. Updates and news will happen periodically on my blog at

Information about all my books can be found on my main website at

All new books will be released on Amazon, Smashwords (which distributes to all major online outlets) and Lulu, which distributes to Ingram. Paperback and ebook versions will be available for all titles.

from Echoes of Ganesha:
"What many people don't realise when they set up a decorative image of Ganesha and begin to surround it with flowers and coin offerings, is that Ganesha is a trickster god. In his own benevolent way, he can be as devious as Loki in the Norse pantheon. Ganesha is commonly petitioned in his guise as Remover of Obstacles and rightly so, but a good sense of humour is advised. When you think about it, removing obstacles is a disruptive activity. The most resilient obstacles will result in the most chaos if they are suddenly shattered. You can almost see the Ganesha images smirk as you get just what you wished for."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednsday's Author: V.L. Dreyer, Imagination at it's best.

Victoria L. Dreyer (preferred name Vic) was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She grew up in a home that valued literacy above all else, and she learned her love of books during childhood.

 At the age of 14, she penned her first novel in the form of the original draft of the yet-to-be-published “The Gyrath’s Gate Chronicles”, which is in the process of being adapted to graphic novel format. Since then, she has written and illustrated five graphic novels, dozens of short stories, and goodness knows how many discarded manuscripts.

Shortly after high school, she co-founded the graphic novel publisher Blue Scar Productions with the aid of Alexandra “Blue” Saunders. Between the two of them, they recruited sixteen volunteers united by their love of comic books. Although Blue Scar Productions ceased to operate as a commercial entity in November 2011, Ms Dreyer has since gone on to pen numerous novels under her own name, and her pen name Abigail Hawk. Her preferred genres are science fiction, post-apocalyptic survival and romance – and sometimes all three at once.

Due to a medical condition that has made it impossible for her to work her day job, Ms Dreyer has pushed through to release her first two novels, The Survivors Book I: Summer and The Immortality Clause.  Never one to let something like a little hearing loss get her down, she is now focused on her writing, some freelance work, and maintaining  the Goodreads group “Some Like It Hot”.

She enjoys talking to her readers, and actively encourages all authors to be receptive to feedback, both good and bad, because it’s the only way that they’ll learn their craft.  She enjoys helping new writers join the community, and through “Some Like It Hot” has been working hard to develop a safe, interactive community between writers at all stages of their careers, and the readers that are their life-blood.

We would like to welcome V.L. Dreyer to The Creative Muses...

This is imagination at it's best!  Thank you for taking the time to join us V.L.

TCM: What inspired you to become a writer? Why do you write your particular genre?

VLD: My mother. I was an only child for the first seven years of my life, and she used to read to me constantly. By the time I reached school, I was already a better reader than most adults. I knew even then that I wanted to tell stories, and my love of the written word grew from there.

I write two genres at the current moment. The Survivors series is a post-apocalyptic survival story, set in New Zealand. When I originally started writing that, I intended it to be a post-apoc romance novel, but… that didn't work out. Mostly because it takes ten chapters for the heroine to even meet her love interest! Still, post-apoc is my favourite genre to read, watch, and write. There's something appealing about casting off the shackles of modern society, and returning to the wilds, where the only person you can depend on is yourself – and perhaps, if you're lucky, your mate.

The other genre I write is paranormal romance, under the pen name Abigail Hawk. I decided to write paranormal romance to distract myself from the depression that writing The Survivors brought on. The Survivors is very dark; The Immortelle series is quite the opposite. While it does have violence in it, the core of each book is a love story in some way, plus each book is different so I can tell a different type of story, with a different hero and heroine, and use each book to expand a different part of the world.

So, The Survivors is my roast chicken dinner, while The Immortelle series is my saucy dessert. And now I'm hungry. Damn.

TCM: What’s your strongest point as a writer?

VLD:Flexibility. I'm the kind of person that will take on a course, or write an essay voluntarily, just because learning is fun. This translates well for me as a writer, because it means that I can explore different genres and writing styles without feeling too out of my element. Recently, I've been working on an alternate history novella, set in The Survivors universe. Paranormal mystery. Not really my thing, but it certainly was a break from the ordinary!

TCM: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?

VLD: Proof reading and editing. I love my editor, Holly Simmons, but I hate the actual act of proofing and editing. I'm quite impulsive, and sometimes have trouble paying attention for long periods of time. This is the perfect example: right now, I'm supposed to be finishing the final edit of The Survivors Book II: Autumn, which is due out in two weeks. Am I doing that? No, of course not. I'm doing an interview, working on a freelance project, and playing video games – and yes, I'm doing that simultaneously. But, I'm not editing. Holly's going to kill me.

TCM: What advice would you give new authors that have been newly published?

VLD: Even if you have a contract with a traditional publishing house (and congratulations, if you do!), market, market, market. You can't rely on anyone else to do it for you, and if you go into publishing thinking "I'm on Amazon, I'm sure I'll make sales with no effort from myself", then you're going to be sadly disappointed. There is money out there to be made, but you're going to need to work for it, just like everyone else. A good rule that I read somewhere is that for every 45 minutes you spend writing, spend 15 minutes marketing yourself – but no more than that. After all, the best thing you can do to advance your career is to release a second book! And a third! And a fortieth!

TCM: What new projects can we look forward to from you and where, when will they be available?

VLD: I'm very excited about what 2014 has in store for me. In 2013, I released three novels. This year, I hope to release five. Maybe I'm a little bit hopeful, but it's good to have goals!

My first release of the new year is the much-anticipated second book in The Survivors series. After the cliff-hanger at the end of the first book (sorry, guys!), I've had people begging me to release the book early. I wish I could, but I can't. It's not perfect yet! I'm still proof reading it! The pressure got so great that I ended up releasing the first three chapters, unedited, on my website so that people had a chance of resolving the cliff-hanger before they go crazy. I get it, I really do.

Later in the year, we have the third Survivors book due out. Current release date is the 1st of August, though I really hope I can make that deadline – I might have bitten off more than I can chew.

In addition to that book, I also plan to release #3, #4 & #5 of the Immortelle series, but there's no fixed date on those yet. #3 is written, and #4 is almost done, but I still have to write #5. Why am I waiting, you ask? Well, unlike the first two Immortelle books, these three feature the same cast of characters in an ongoing arc, and I don't want to make people wait longer than they have to in order to get their hands on the rest of the story. I hope to release them either simultaneously, or in rapid succession. We'll see when the time comes.

Upcoming Releases: The Survivors Book II: Autumn is due for release on the 1st of February.

Blurb: The worst has happened. Humanity has fallen. There is no future. There is no hope. A virus has wiped out our species, with the exception of a lucky few that are immune, the survivors. But now, vicious new enemies have begun to rise from the ruins of our old world, enemies that threaten to tear apart those of us that are left.

In its darkest hour, humanity needs a hero. I will be that hero. If I have to die in the process, I can accept that, but I cannot go to my grave without knowing that I have done everything possible to save my species and those people that I care about.

We cannot – no, we will not! – let this virus become our extinction event. We will endure. We will rebuild. It may take us generations, but the world we leave for our children will not be the one that our parents left for us. When humanity needs a hero, it is up to ordinary men and women to step forward and perform extraordinary deeds in the name of the greater good.

My name is Sandrine McDermott. I was named to honour my grandmother, and I will make her proud. I am no longer just a survivor. I will bring hope to my family.

We must have hope.

Find More on V.L. Dreyer and her work at :

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