BADASS Tour Begins with Guest Shiv Ramdas


Welcome to the kickoff post for my

Bodacious Author Discussion And Spotlight Summer!

badass tour

Yeah it’s a long name,  go for the acronym.

Periodically, from now until the end of summer I will be hosting authors to discuss, share excerpts from their books, and/ or interviews.  There are some amazing authors in my writing community. I wanted to share their work with my readers.  If it’s not your genre, that’s cool too.  Maybe you’ll like the next one. If you’re looking for something new, maybe you’ll see one that sparks your interest!

I  love when I get to do author interviews.  I have the privilege to be friends with some interesting authors that write in various genres. I have rather eclectic taste,  not always sticking to the same thing.  I read or have read across the genres as I’m sure most of you have as well.

My guest today is Shiv Ramdas, author of Domechild.  A dystopian futuristic science fiction treat.

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Welcome Shiv, to my little corner of the world.  I read that you are a former radio host. Care to talk about that at all?

Well, it’s something I sort of dropped into and found that I quite enjoyed, because music has always  been something that’s really important to me.  It’s also a great learning experience from a writing point of view, because the one thing radio does teach you and fairly quickly is to have a healthy respect for the imagination of your listener. I found it to be an excellent signpost while writing too.  One mistake writers often make is over-describing everything from people, settings and even internal monologues and gestures.

Christopher Paolini is an example that springs to mind.  In radio, you learn pretty quickly that one of the tools available to you as a writer is your listener’s imagination. It takes a bit of a leap of faith to do it, I understand, but once you do, you’ll realise not doing it is essentially abjuring a very powerful tool in the creative process.

In short, I see it as a trade-off. As writers, we ask the reader for willing suspension of disbelief.  If in return we give them new places to explore – explore as distinguished from merely being told about  – well, that’s one way of making the whole greater than the sum of the parts, in my opinion.

 How have you found the traditional publishing experience? (Things you didn’t know that were surprising to you, things you didn’t like – whatever stood out in your mind.)

It’s been interesting to say the least. The one thing you learn, and very quickly, is finding a publisher, whether it’s a small one or a Big 5 as I was fortunate enough to manage, is not the end of the story as one tends to imagine in the days of pounding away at the keyboard, it’s just about the beginning. Whether you’re Indie or trad,  that’s one constant thing.

I’d say that if you do go trad, always keep in mind that your publisher is there to help you and even provide certain resources but at the end of the day, it’s still your book. A large publisher will do perhaps 250 books a year – you’ll do one or 2.

Own it.

I’ve seen a lot of writers just sort of get detached from their own books because a publisher signed them – which is a terrible mistake,  in my opinion.  At the end of the day, an editor may well believe in you and your book with a passion, but it’s still your baby. Your child may have great teachers at school, but that doesn’t absolve you from your responsibility as a parent. That seems like the most appropriate analogy I can think of at the moment.

 What inspired your idea for this book?

A conversation I had with a friend actually. It began in a workspace cubicle over a running joke about how his computer hated him because it hated his job. That was when I first started thinking about free will in the context of AI,  whether artificial life had inalienable rights too, as we tend to believe intelligent life does, and perhaps most crucially to the story, what would happen if humans were to face a Gandhi in an AI context  – a machine that  not only wanted freedom but was prepared to use unflinching non violent resistance to get there. It was a thought that really moved me – and eventually led me to write Domechild.

Can you explain a bit of your development process – how it comes to you. Like do you see the characters, you created them to suit your story, or a combination or something else? 

The best way to describe it that I can think of is the glasses with several different lenses that the optician makes you wear during an eye test. First it’s all blurry, and then as lenses get added or taken away, more and more of the letters on the screen come into focus and the clarity improves till you reach a point of optimum visibility where you can see everything you need to. That in a nutshell, is my process.

What do you think is the most important element in great writing?

Great is a very abused word these days, in my opinion, along with genius.  As for writing, can one isolate elements in great writing? I’m not sure. Would a cake with fantastic icing be a great cake or just one with great icing? Great writing is about several distinct elements that come together and somehow manage to form a whole that’s better than each of them, or even all of them together. Characters, plot, turn of phrase and many other things, they all play a part, but in my opinion for something to be truly great, it has to actually supersede the building blocks that make it so. The Taj Mahal is not great because it has a great dome, or great proportions – it has something else too, that’s a bit undefinable , but stands out so strongly it’s the first thing that hits you.

That is a “great” analogy. I would have to agree that great writing for me,  is the combination of all the parts that work together like an orchestra. Where do you write? Do you have a designated spot – a desk, or an office?

I have a desk, which I don’t use as much as I’d like. What I always need though, is a bit of space around my desk to pace – I do most of my thinking and plotting while walking.

What things inspire you and how does that inspiration manifest?

Anything and everything. It’s hard to say.  Something one sees, hears, notices, or even randomly thinks about with no context whatsoever. But in my opinion, the single greatest harbinger of inspiration is the two simple words “what if…”

Have you been reading my blog?  I can’t count how many posts I’ve made about  “what if”.  I would have to agree with you on that one, it’s  the best inspiration for me as well.  What would you say was your worst bad habit with your writing?

Editing while I write. I know one shouldn’t, but 2 books in, I still haven’t figured out how to manage not doing it.

Which is more daunting, beginning or the perseverance to finish, or cutting the “umbilical cord”?

Well, all three, actually. It’s as James Scott Bell said – the point of block varies from case to case (I’d say book to book) and it’s not a block, it’s The Wall. One must find a way to get over, under, around or through, but get past one must whether one prefers a ladder or a sledgehammer.

*laughs loudly* Thanks for that image.  Now I have this image of Shiv with a sledge-hammer running towards the dome screaming. Do you struggle with discouragement, distractions, or lack of motivation?

Discouragement, not so much. I’ve been tremendously lucky in my first book, both with what happened and how it’s been received. There are times you doubt your output in terms of quality but I’ve realized the best thing to do is plug on. I’ve discovered that when one goes back, separating the good days from the bad is harder than one realizes.

What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?

Never believe the people who say you aren’t good. Never believe the ones who say you are. Keep writing.

Have you ever jotted down your idea on a napkin, torn bag, wrapper, or sketched a quick drawing of an item on any of the above?

Quite the opposite. I rarely jot down ideas. I always have a ton in my head, and I use the ability of an idea to break through the clutter as the first filter of quality, so to speak.

Is there a celebrity that has inspired one of your characters? If so who?  

No, not really. I tend not to base my characters on real people, at least not consciously.

 

Are you up for the Fast & Furious Challenge? You answer with the first thing that pops into your head.

 Ready?

Plotter or Pantser? Plotting Pantser.

Favorite author? Herbert, Le Guin, Tolkien, Philip K Dick, Douglas Adams, Pratchett, Wodehouse. You can pick one because I can’t 😀

Always the rule breaker! GAH –  it’s ok though because I couldn’t pick just one either, 

Favorite book? The Mahabharata or Dune. Both are eons ahead of their time and tell these vast, overarching stories with ramifications far beyond just the journeys of the characters.

Hobby? (ies?) Reading, music,  and  a bit of gaming too. It’s a fantastic way both to play out certain scenarios as well as just let thoughts settle in the back of your mind and cook themselves.

Favorite drink: When I’m working, tea or coffee – I’m equally fond of both. When I’m not, anything with chocolate in it.

Favorite snack while writing: I tend not to eat when I’m working, actually.

That’s good,  it avoids crumbs in the keyboard. Favorite celebration meal:  Seafood.

What music do you listen to while writing or do you: I always work in silence, actually.

Name two foods you cannot stand: Kale and bitter gourd. They are proof that everything about this planet is not good.

What is bitter gourd? Funniest moment online:   Probably the time when I woke up to 3 friend requests from random people called Shiv Ram Das and variations thereof.  Or the time I first discovered “Stick win everytime” or any of the other hilarious things the internet is so good at providing out of the blue.

Best day in the past year: Easy. Day I finished the first draft of the sequel. Yesterday.

Wow that must be an awesome feeling! There you have it folks, the down and dirty on Shiv!   Isn’t he awesome to play along?

 

DOMECHILD

A SUICIDAL MACHINE.  A CHILD WITH A SECRET THAT CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

THE MAN TRAPPED BETWEEN THEM.
In the City, where machines take care of everything, lives Albert, an ordinary citizen with an extraordinary problem: He’s being blackmailed into becoming the first person in living memory to actually do something.
What begins as a chance encounter with an outlaw child swiftly spirals out of control as Albert is trapped between the authorities and the demands of his unusual blackmailer. Forced to go on the run for his life, he finds himself in a shadow world of cyber-junkies, radicals and rebels, where he discovers the horrifying truth behind the City, a truth that will make him question everything he has ever known.

 

Author Bio: – Shiv Ramdas has hosted radio shows, sold advertising space, helped design sets and worked in both print and online media. He has also written advertisements, radio jingles, and numerous resignation letters. Domechild is his first novel.

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Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Man Advantage


I love it when I can get together with my writing friends!

I think I’ve mentioned before about my morning writing group, they are anawesome group of women. Seriously if not for these ladies I would have given up numerous times by now.  Although we operate on different schedules, we are there for each other. Some mornings it is all about the words – coffee and wordage.  Whether the sprint is 30 minutes or 60 minutes, we have focused time to write, edit, blog – whatever we are working on.

Regardless of anyone’s pace,  it’s the daily practice that improves our craft and helps us to get to the finish line. In between sprints we bear each other up on our shoulders, moms united! Sometimes it’s the drama of teens,  or it’s family issues or furbabies, maybe it’s health matters, and sometimes it’s the emotional fall apart after a stressful time.

I know I can count on my Chatty Chicks Writing Group to be there through thick and thin!   I also know I can count on them to let me cry on their shoulder then when I’ve done that for long enough to jerk the slack out of me and tell me to buck up. Real world, real friends, real moms!

My guest today is one of these ladies from my Chatty Chicks group. I loved her sense of humor in Of Gods & Goats, and Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse.  I absolutely adored Pink Pucks! There is always a bit of her underlying sense of humor even though the pages are scorched.  She has another one out now, Two Man Advantage!

I’m going to turn it over to her now as I go pound away on the keyboard to reach my goal of THE END today before I go on a road trip to bring my daughter back from college for the summer.  A friend that rescues you in your time of need – every woman should be so lucky!

Please welcome  back the wonderful V. L. Locey!

Why I Write Hockey Romance

Over the years I have had tons of people ask me why I write hockey romance, and more specifically, why gay hockey romance. I’ll address with two responses:

One is that I don`t choose my genres, my genres choose me. When a story idea blossoms, it comes to me with my couple predetermined either M/F or M/M, but always the couple comes first. The plot comes afterward. There is no arguing with my muse because she knows what she wants and will become quite bitter if I try to change the leads in any way.

My second reply is why not write gay hockey romance? Who says love can only find straight couples who play the game? It’s time for professional gay athletes to stop having to hide who they are. As they say in ads for one of my favorite organizations “If you can play, you can play.” The folks at You Can Play Foundation are so right. Who cares who you sleep with as long as you can play the game? Let’s start eradicating homophobia in sports. As an ally and an author, I feel that one way to start whittling at the hatred is to spread love via my books.

So that`s why I write both M/F and M/M hockey romances. I love to spread love, and hip checks. Why do you read the genres that you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey

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Two Man Avantage

4 Flame Gay Erotic Hockey Romance

*~*

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.

Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.

But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.

Inside Scoop:  This book contains scorching gay sex and a heaping helping of no-holds-barred snark between hot hockey heroes who don’t pull their punches.

A Romantica® gay erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

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Excerpts

 PG-13 (Mature Language):

One short little shit got my attention when Lambert told them to try again. He was a dark-haired little scrapper with a light-sienna complexion, who got into the corners, putting elbow to nose and lumber to teeth with no remorse until he got the puck free. I liked his grit. And the way his dark hair hung out from under his lid, flipping up at the ends. The man had some good flow going on.

His style was good, his eyes sharp, his stick handling above par and his ankles strong. He was the only one who had a grasp of what he was supposed to be doing, if you asked me. When he skated past in pursuit of the puck, I got a glimpse of a round, cute face with a button nose and lapis lazuli eyes. He executed a perfect side-stop, his plump mouth drawing up as he looked at me.

“Holy shit, it’s the big bad boy of Beantown,” he yelled to be heard over the shouts of his teammates. There was a noticeable Canadian accent when he spoke. He was probably no older than my twenty-four, if that. He wore the big A on his shoulder, so I knew he was an alternate captain. Shit, but he had a sexy Elvis Presley mouth. “What’s your expert opinion on how we’re looking, Kalinski?”

“To quote Reggie Dunlop as played by Paul Newman in Slapshot, ‘Jesus Christ, what a *#*#* nightmare.”

He chuckled then skated down ice. His said his last name was spelled A-R-O-U.

Coach Lambert skated into my line of sight. I smiled pleasantly.

“What kind of fresh holy *#*#* hell is this?” Coach asked, coming through the gate and stalking past me. “Did you think I was kidding when I told you never to darken my door again, Kalinski?” he asked, throwing the door to his office open.

“You’re going to *#*# the shit out of those blades,” I pointed out as I lingered in the doorway. Coach Lambert threw me a blistering look. I didn’t remember him hating me quite this badly. “But hey, it’s your nutsack Carl will roast over an open fire, not mine.”

“Shut the door, sit down and keep that toxic *#*#* mouth of yours closed.”

I did as he asked. Lambert fell into a rolling office chair to unlace his skates. The plastic wheels whimpered at the abuse. His gray eyes drilled into mine as he untied his laces with short, jerky motions. One skate sailed across the room, hitting the wall with a sickening thud.

“I can’t believe this is how the *#*#* repay me for fourteen years of coaching expertise,” Coach snarled, yanking violently on a hellacious knot in his laces.

“Your team has come in last for the past two years. I’m not sure you can call that expertise.”

Lambert nearly ripped his foot off. The skate flew past my left ear and embedded itself a good four inches into the sheetrock behind me. Slowly shifting my attention from the skate of doom to Lambert, I gifted him with one of my “I was only kidding” smirks. It had little to no effect. If anything, the vein right above his left eye thumped faster.

 

Buy Links:

Ellora`s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/two-man-advantage.html

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pgm5zk4

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-man-advantage-vl-locey/1121702094?ean=9781419993664

Kobo:https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/two-man-advantage-2

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Author Bio:

 V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and  two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

tsú – https://www.tsu.co/vllocey

 

Secret Cravings Backlist Books and Upcoming Releases

Pink Pucks & Power Plays (Book One of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

A Most Unlikely Countess (Book Two of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

O Captain! My Captain! (Book Three of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Reality Check (Book Four of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Language of Love (Book Five of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Final Shifts (Book Six of the To Love a Wildcat Series)

Tumble Dry

Coming in August 2015 – Clean Sweep (Book One of the Venom Series)

 

Torquere Press Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology)

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 2: It Came From Birmingham

Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He’s a Lumberjack and He`s Undead

Love of the Hunter

Goaltender`s Penalty

All I Want for Christmas – A Toms & Tabbies Tale

Early to Rise – A Toms & Tabbies Tale

 Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology)

 Night of the Jackal

An Erie Halloween

An Erie Operetta

Back to the Garden (Also part of the Mythologically Torqued Anthology)

 

Ellora`s Cave Backlist and Upcoming Releases

Bound, Boarded and Bagged

Coming soon . . . Long Change and Shutdown Pair

 

Write on my friends, write on! 

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The Last Leg


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I’ve been buried in the trenches, pounding away at the keyboard.  For those that think the writing life is glamorous they have obviously never engaged in the act of writing. There is nothing glamorous about stale coffee breath in the afternoon.  Nor is it glamorous wearing your hair in a ponytail day in and day out.  I don’t think the yoga pants and tees fit into glamorous either.

Somewhere in the recesses of our minds we imagine a writer’s life as . . . what? Agatha Christie with a proper Cambridge accent, boarding a train for an exotic location?  The rich lifestyle portrayed by Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle? There are obvious success stories,  but they didn’t get there overnight.  They didn’t achieve stardom with their first book or even their second.  All of them have their badges of honor filed away in some drawer: the rejection slips, the empty coffee cans, stacks of dirty dishes on the counter, the crumpled cigarette packs.

I’m an extrovert, a very social creature yet I spend hours in solitude creating fictional worlds, fictional people, and fictional scenarios. It’s the one place where all those ‘what if’s’ play out, often for the worst case scenarios that so many  worry over.

What  would happen if the girl he thought he loved dumped him? What will happen when your best friend betrays you? What will happen when tragedy strikes?  One moment can change your life forever.

Last time I shared  my revelation, that in a few short weeks my daily routine will change dramatically. I calculated to finish the day my daughter will come home from college. I had it all laid out and a goal to shoot for.  I work well with goals, if I don’t have them I tend to wander aimlessly accomplishing nothing.

I set my goal at 50000 because well,  . . . because the minimum for a romance novel for trade paperbacks is 50000.  That is a pretty small book to be honest, but it’s  the number that NANOWRIMO uses so I went with it.  A decision had to be made and it was a good round number.  Don’t argue with me about the number – I had my reasons!  Anyway,  I stated that on May 15th I should reach my goal of 50000, needing an addition 7500 words to get there.  Considering that I don’t  write on the weekends,  unless I get a few minutes with a pen and paper. I’ve exceeded the 50000, by about 1300 words and still have  five chapters to go.

Shoot for the stars  and you may at least clear the trees. Right? So now comes  the nail-biting  time –  I will be ready to send this out to beta readers next week!  Relax,  this is not a first draft.  I’ve edited all but the last six chapters,  and I will go through that before sending it out.

If this one goes well, I may even dust off some of those other manuscripts that I’ve filed away after receiving rejections from  previous publishers.  I have several amazing friends that have been encouraging me to get my work out there.  It’s a daunting thing for me, because I know there will be critics.

I’m anxious to hear from my beta readers about their emotional responses.  I shared a chapter  that I was particularly proud of with my daughter.  She laughed, then cried, then was angry with me for making the character’s life harsh.  Wil my reader’s feel the pain?  Will they rejoice with the triumphs?  Will they ride the emotional roller coaster and be thrilled or despise me forever?

I also know that as soon as I quit fiddling with it, quit editing myself, put it out there that I will be cringing at  mistakes that I find. It’s inevitable.  It’s the bane of being a perfectionist and performance oriented.  This may require more trips to  the counselor’s office.

Never the less, I have achieved a goal –  reaching 50000. ( yeah, I’ve done it before during NANO,  but the story wasn’t complete to my satisfaction.) Time to plunge into the final chapters and tackle the last leg of this marathon!

Write on my friends,  write on!

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