Category Archives: Indie Author Spotlight

Meet the Characters of SINGULARITY| The Man

My dear readers we are getting closer and closer to the SINGULARITY‘S release party on Facebook and Aug. 4th release date. I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I’m endorsing it, because I love it. I’m enthralled with these characters and creeped out by Jessica. And I want you to fall down the rabbit hole with all of us. It’s creepy, but it’s one hell of a ride. Did I mention it’s available for pre-order?
SINGULARITY was written by Helena Hann Basquiat with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers, and Hannah Sears. It’s a companion piece to JESSICA, which was released last year. (It’s not required reading, but I urge you to pick it up.) Jessica B. Bell is the brain child of Helena Hann-Basquiat, but she’s somehow pushing beyond just the stretches of the imagination. She wants to be more.
SINGULARITY asks us the question:
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator? How far will Jessica go to be real? 
http://penpaperpad.com
SINGULARITY description:
An unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead — torn apart.
There is only one survivor…A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real. It seems that Jessica has taken on a life of her own, and so I’m going to do what I should
have done a while ago. 
I am going to kill Jessica B. Bell.
The Man
Today we have Sara Litchfield discussing her character, The Man. My questions will be in purple.

 

Alright, so first question
Were you involved with the Jessica novel?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYI wasn’t – but I *loved* reading it. It was creepy and compelling and such a departure from Helena’s semi-autobiographical writing that it blew me away

I was totally blown away by Jessica. She’s such an oddly freakish character. She reminds me of the demon that takes over the girl in The Exorcist.

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYYes – and there were shades of Penny Dreadful in there -gothically familiar whileexotically out there at the same time

*shudder* she’s so terribly enthralling. How did you become a part of the SINGULARITY journey?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYWell I’d been following Helena’s blogging adventures for some time and we’d becomepally in the comments down there – then she ordered a physical copy of my book, The Night Butterflies, when it came out and loved it – her review just sent me over the rainbow… She got in touch about a Jessica project soon after that

That’s awesome! Your character in the novel is the mysteriously sinister guy known as “The Man.” Where did he come from? How did you create his background?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYHelena gave me a cue for that – she was after something dystopian and the idea of a suicide cult gave me the starter for ten… a twist on the main relationship of The Road and The Man was born

Your depiction of those scenes were absolutely chilling. When you saw all of the pieces collected together– each writer’s bits–were you surprised? Did you have any expectations going in?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYI didn’t know what to expect but I was really wondering how it would come together – such different writers with different styles.. I wondered how it would sew up into a coherent whole – I think it’s amazing the way it’s been done! The way the themes in the different characters’ tales resonate with each other was a delightful surprise – they don’t seem disparate but integrated parts of an overarching story – which, of course, they are!

I absolutely agree. That is what made it incredibly interesting to read. If I didn’t know, I would’ve thought this was all from one person’s twisted imagination.
Why doesn’t The Man have an actual name?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYI think the idea of being the last person left alive on earth had me wondering if that wouldn’t be a secret deep-rooted fear of everyone’s… I didn’t give him too much character depth or development (other characters comment on it in the course of Singularity’s events) because I wanted the idea of the experience to take people away and have them putting themselves in his place – this ‘everyman’ left alone… He’s almost purposefully generic so he can be more easily identified with

The Man can be any man or every man. I see how that works and there are hints of that within the story. [Note: If you look at the file above, his features are a bit blurred] I feel like we’re getting close to spoiler territory. Gah, I want to ask all the questions about him and Jessica! But I’ll refrain.

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYLol yes do! That shocked me too wink emoticon

Well, let’s pull back a little. What genre do you normally write or is horror an old hat for you?
 

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYI adore horror. Stephen King is one of my idols. And Dean Koontz. And anyone who can make things go bump in the night. I lap it up. Everything I write at the moment is tinged with horror – The Night Butterflies is dystopian, and my current WIP is dark fantasy.. It’s definitely a genre I want to grow fully into!

As someone who likes to look at the darker things…what is your writing process like? How do you tap into the dark side?

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYConsidering my life is pretty muchblueskies and fluffy kittens, it’s surprisingly easy for me to go into the dark places, find things lurking in the shadows and form them into words.. I think I’m just fascinated by the darker side to life – humanity, the universe, everything… I just sit down and start writing and it comes.. I don’t tend to think too much about what’s going to happen or who it’s going to happen to – definitely apantser over a plotter!

I think those dark spaces have fertile grounds in those happy places. It’s like taking a quick peak under the bed or in the closet when you’re a kid. You know nothing’s in there…but something could be in there…
 
You just look in the closet a bit longer.

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYAbsolutely – the world lurking in the dark corners

 

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYYES!

Excellent! I’ll be there as well and hopefully my dear readers will stop by.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you Sara and for following down the Jessica rabbit hole.

She discusses her character from this summer's thriller SINGULARITYI can’t wait! Thanks so much for having me here!

Sara is a summer writer excited to throw her fiction at the world and see where it sticks. She is the author of dystopian thriller The Night Butterflies and blogs on happiness and hope at www.rightinkonthewall.com, which is also home to her editing business and publishing division, RIW Press – all aim to make the right mark on the wall of the world.

Links:
http://authorsaralitchfield.com/books/
https://www.facebook.com/rightinkonthewallbysaralitchfield
https://twitter.com/saralitchfield
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8729036.Sara_Litchfield

Here’s the next trailer in our SINGULARITY lineup. Is The Man the monster in his own story?

Add SINGULARITY to your Goodreads want to read list. Is available for PREORDER now!

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Meet the Characters of SINGULARITY | Bren

I’m glad you’ve come back for another installment of Meet the Characters. This week we’re meeting, Bren, Sandy Ramsey’s character in the psychological thriller SINGULARITY‘S due out on Aug. 4th. I’ve read it y’all and it is creepy, strange and utterly enthralling. It’s available for preorder and you can receive get signed copies, bundles with JESSICA, posters and more. I loved this book and that’s why I’m taking you down the rabbit hole that is Jessica B.Bell. If this is all new to you, start here at the beginning. Don’t forget to stay for the trailer at the end. It’s hauntingly good.

SINGULARITY was written by Helena Hann Basquiat with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers, and Hannah Sears. It’s a companion piece to JESSICA, which was released last year. (It’s not required reading, but I urge you to pick it up.) Jessica B. Bell is the brain child of Helena Hann-Basquiat, but she’s somehow pushing beyond just the stretches of the imagination. She wants to be more.

SINGULARITY asks us the question:
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator? How far will Jessica go to be real? 

http://penpaperpad.com

INGULARITY description:
An unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead — torn apart.
There is only one survivor…A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real. It seems that Jessica has taken on a life of her own, and so I’m going to do what I should
have done a while ago. 
I am going to kill Jessica B. Bel

A character from the soon to be released novel- SINGULARITY

Today we have Sandy Ramsey discussing her character- Bren. My questions and comments are in purple.

Were you involved with the writing of Jessica?

No. I wasn’t. I only had the pleasure of reading it in all its creepiness.

Spine tingling, wasn’t it? Why did you decide to venture down Jessica’s rabbit hole…so to speak.
 
I love horror and Jessica’s brand reminds me very much of the no holds barred style of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King. I ventured into a little fiction piece, which was totally new to me, last Halloween and Ken (who was still Helena to me at the time) read it and helped me tweak it. That started a friendship and a collaboration of sorts. When Ken asked me to join the gifted writers he chose for Singularity I was flattered and found it a perfect opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and stretch my writing legs a little.
Had you written horror stories before?
 

Just the one last Halloween…Living Is the Best Revenge. I enjoyed it. It’s fun and a little empowering to find out you can make your mind go to strange places.

Speaking of going to strange places…Bren’s story is so delightfully strange. How did you create her? What did you draw from?

Well, how do I do this without giving anything away? It started with my own thoughts on the one thing that would drive me to the brink of madness, or totally over the edge. That was it.Ihaveto be honest and say I completely flew by the seat of my pants. I promised myself that I wouldn’t hold back. Her story is my nightmare.

Having read it, I think that it would be a nightmare for any mother. I was definitely surprised by her story. I wasn’t expecting where it went to. I’d felt sympathy for Liza’s character…but Bren, she didn’t feel as—powerless as Liza did.

Bren actually felt weak to me in the beginning. I have a great love for strong female characters and in the end I decided she would be,evenifshewas broken in the process.

How did you feel about her once you read her in the entire work?
 

Nothing really changed the way I felt about her.I think Helena/Ken did a great job putting all the pieces together. I will say this….Jessica casts a largeshadowsoIwas worried Bren would get lost. That didn’t happen. At all.

No, oddly enough it didn’t. Each character takes the stage and has a voice. This collaboration is really powerful reading material. Have you ever done a collection quite like this one?

Never.Iwas intimidated.Itwasquite a task and when you write a story that you pour your guts intoyoucertainlyhopewhenallis said and done the work still translates well. I think it does.

In my humble opinion, I think it does as well. In Hannah’s interview, she referred to Ken as a “puppet master” in saying he was the driving force behind the stories and keeping these characters in line. I love that your voices are distinctive, but there’s little touches that keeps the work cohesive.
 
Did the story end in a way that you expected it to?

Ha! Does any story Ken writes end the way you expect it to?

LOL, so true!
 
Can we talk quickly about your writing process?

Sure. But it will be a short conversation. I open the laptop, I start typing. The end.

I rarely plan anything I write and most people might call bullshit, but that is the truth.

Can I say bullshit?

You can say whatever you want. I think my readers can handle it.
 

Oh, good.

In case my readers haven’t met you before, what do you typically write?
 

Philosophy. Just kidding. I write life stuff. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic so most ofwhatIwriteis centered around the subject. I’ve been sober 18 years and learned a thing or two along the way. All I really do is share my experiences and try to offer hope. I write without a net. Fiction is a side project that I’m hoping to dive into a bit deeper.

I bet there’s a little philosophical ideas that peep in every now and again. I don’t see how you can’t. Living through being and addict and then recovery, I’m guessing you’ve learned a lot about yourself and life. I hope you do delve more into it. The world needs more good fiction, she said with total bias.
Thank you Sandy for spending time with me and giving us a little incite into Bren. Will you be at the Facebook pre-release event on July 31 and Aug. 1st?
Of course! I wouldn’t miss it!
Awesome, then I’ll see you there! And hopefully my readers will come as well.
 

I hope so! Thank you, T.A.

My pleasure!

Sandy is a writer. She is also a wife and a mother, a daughter and a friend. At the end of the day if she can lay her head on the pillow and feels that she has done her best, knows she tried to do the next right thing, then it is has been a good day. Learning when to hold on and when to let go will always be her challenge, but, Lord love her, she tries. She is the author of An Honest Sinner, where she writes about her addiction and other character flaws as well as the things that make her life unexpectedly amazing. Actually, you never really know what she’ll write about. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Here is the next step in our SINGULARITY character meet. Learn a little bit more about Bren’s haunting.

Add SINGULARITY to your Goodreads want to read list. Is available for PREORDER now!

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Meet the Characters of SINGULARITY | Liza

Dear readers with each of these interviews, it feels like the stakes get a little higher as we get closer to SINGULARITY‘S Aug. 1st release date. It’s time to meet a new-to-you character from SINGULARITY, a psychological thriller that I can’t stop talking to you about. I’ve read it my dears, and it’s that kind of creepy that makes you re-read pages–just to get that shiver down your spine. I loved this book and that’s why I’m taking you down the rabbit hole that is Jessica B.Bell. If this is all new to you, start here at the beginning. And remember to stay for the trailer at the end. It keeps the fires going.

SINGULARITY was written by Helena Hann Basquiat with Sara Litchfield, Sandy Ramsey, Lizzi Rogers, and Hannah Sears. It’s a companion piece to JESSICA, which was released last year. (It’s not required reading, but I urge you to pick it up.) Jessica B. Bell is the brain child of Helena Hann-Basquiat, but she’s somehow pushing beyond just the stretches of the imagination. She wants to be more.

SINGULARITY asks us the question:
What happens when the creation surpasses the creator? How far will Jessica go to be real? 
http://penpaperpad.com
SINGULARITY description:
An unspeakable act of violence leaves the residents of Ward C, home of a secret experiment, dead — torn apart.
There is only one survivor…A couple of years ago I started writing horror stories and Jessica was born. I had fun creating a twisted and ominous biography for her, painting a picture of some crazy hermit who lived in my basement and wrote stories on old parchment using her own blood for ink.
But she was never real. It seems that Jessica has taken on a life of her own, and so I’m going to do what I should
have done a while ago. 
I am going to kill Jessica B. Bell.
Liza
Today we have Lizzi Rogers discussing her character, Liza. My questions will be in purple.
Alright, let’s dig into this. It’s a bit hard to talk about these characters without getting too spoilery, but we’ll manage I think.

Lizzi

I should think so, after all, we *are* meant to be wordsmiths of epic propor…wait, do you really think we will?

Lizzi

We’ll need to channel some of Jessica’s tricksiness

 

I’m going to add “wordsmith of epic proportions” to something.

 

You wrote Liza didn’t you?

Lizzi

I did write Liza, though I didn’t know her name was Liza until I got a sneak preview of the whole OHMIGOSH YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT [censored – spoilers] and then discovered she’d been rechristened

OH! What was her original name?
 

Lizzi

I don’t recall that she had one, in all honesty. Ken, in the mysterious way that he does, gave me a very vague brief and outline for what he was hoping for, and then let me write free, before taking my rough-and-ready ideas and transforming them into something TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY [censored – spoilers].

You’ve been along for the Jessica ride since the beginning, haven’t you? How did you end up down her rabbit hole?

LizziI fell, face first into her…no, wait, that was the OTHER thing we…NVM! All down to Ken. Or Helena. One way or another she got caught up in my world, that beautiful, crazy Darkling, and somewhere between the poison pen letters and my determined application of duct tape, she decided to let me stay

And with good reason, I think. SINGULARITY was such a crazy ride to read. I’m excited that it’s available for preorder now. What was your method for writing Liza?

LizziOh geez, now you’re asking!
 Wait…this is an interview…of *course* you’re asking

LizziI took an event from fiction which really affected me (the accident at the beginning of The Horse Whisperer) and I imagined what could have happened if it had gone worse. That chapter is so transfixingly, powerfully awful that it’s stayed with me, and the horror I felt reading it for the first time still lingers at the edges of my mind

LizziThen I decided what could make it worse – and made it happen to poor Liza.

I mixed in some experiences I’ve heard recounted by survivors of terrible accidents, and bless her, she copped the lot. Then Jessica twisted my words and somehow managed to make them macabrely humourous as well as disgusting

LizziAnd then in the end, I wanted to almost Stockholm Liza to the thing which had damaged her so much – it had become a central part of her world and she was both completely terrified of it, and utterly addicted to it until in the end she [censored – spoilers: pre-order it and you get it ASAP]

When I was initially introduced to Liza, I felt so sorry for her. After writing her and then reading her in the context of this amazing book–how do you feel toward Liza?

LizziOh gosh, she’s a precious little thing, isn’t she? The other reason I wrote her how I did is because I struggle so much with body image, and have often wondered whether if the outside were utterly disfigured, it would be easier to focus on inner beauty – or whatever – and I’m not sure whether in the end this came out in Liza, but I wanted the readers to be equally enchanted and repulsed by her, and to experience some of that dichotomy of dysmorphia.

Lizzi*whispers* if I use lots of big words with plenty of syl…slyll…sil…those things…will people fink oi’m clevah and that oi’m werf reading or sumfink?

Lizzi*channeling Penny*

I can’t say for sure, I’m pretty sure my readers just tolerate me to meet other writers like yourself. **thanks guys!**

Lizzi
Well, darling, I hope they’re all lined up ready to trample me half to death from love and admiration, for I do so adore to be validated…

Tell me a little about your writing process, Lizzi. How do you find those gorgeous words?
 
LizziAhhhh now that all lies in my inspiration, sweetness. My very favourite author in the world, whose writing is rich as dragon’s blood and packed with visuals which could make a photographer weep, is Gerald Durrell, whose writing I’ve consumed since I was very small
He’s not big into emotional language, like I am, and I love to explore the inner landscape, but the sensory impact of his writing is incomparable, and I try my best to emulate it

He sounds like a must read author.

LizziHe is. He’s possibly rather niche, because his books are autobiographical, and the ones I cut my teeth on were recountings of his childhood in Corfu, and how his love of animals caused some crazy, mixed-up, HILARIOUS situations, and perhaps for a fiction writer, they aren’t the most obvious muse
But to be fair, most styles of writing are grist to my mill, and I’ve used my sensory capability in erotic poetry, recently, to great effect

Fantastic! What would you say is your go-to to in the writing world? What are you most comfortable in writing?
 

Lizzi

Oh, myself. I’m known (in very small circles) for coining the ‘egocentric writing’ niche – most of what I write is about me, because I’m what I know best. Most of the time. Yaknow?
I get that.

Lizzi

I’m not the sort to box myself in. And I don’t watch the news, so there’s little point in trying to run social commentary on current events

LizziI don’t go out much and I don’t have a whole lot of ‘living’ under my belt – very few raucous anecdotes, but my brain is a fascinating playground and I love what I end up thinking and I just sort of assume (with the arrogance which comes with being an egocentric blogger) that other people will be similarly fascinated…

Well, I’m glad you stepped outside of the egocentric writing niche to add to SINGULARITY. What’s one thing you think the reader’s should keep in mind when delving into this rich landscape?

Lizzi
Thank you. I’m glad too – because when it comes to brains which are fascinating playgrounds, then I have encountered none better than that of our wonderful Dilettante. I want to lick Helena’s brain. And then Ken’s. And then I want to lick Jessica’s NVM! Where were we? What to keep in mind? For readers? Oooooooh, take NOTHING for granted, darlings. Not even the book in your hands (seriously – available for pre-order. Don’t get the e-version unless you have to, because the cover art is SU-FUCKING-BLIME and you are going to WANT to hold it in your hands. And smell it. And maybe rub it on you..NVM!)

With that dear readers, I think you have had a completely fun and fascinating look into the Liza and the author behind her. Thank you so much Lizzi for stopping by and telling us about her.
 
Lizzi *doffs cap and bows low* You’re very welcome – thank you for having me over to play smile emoticon

P.S. Dear Tamara (or Tata, as Facebook prefers to call her)’s readers – PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK – I just want to take a teeny tiny moment at the – PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK – end of my lovely interview to say what a thoroughly wonderful – PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK – and fascinating crowd you are. And I wonder if – PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK – any of you were astute enough to pick up on the – PRE-ORDER THIS BOOK – fact I’ve been sending you subliminal messages? 

 

(Did she mention it’s available for pre-order?)

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever she can.Lizzi is a founder member of Sisterwives and #1000Speak, and hosts the Ten Things of Thankfulbloghop each weekend.Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * Pintrest

 

Here’s the next trailer in our SINGULARITY lineup. This gives you a peak into Liza’s fiery obsession.

 

Add SINGULARITY to your Goodreads want to read list. Is available for PREORDER now!

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