Check out Dark Roast Press!

30 04 2008

I found this new GBLT publisher that is showcasing the darker side of GBLT and erotica. So without further ado, I introduce you to one of their authors, Jesse Fox and her brand spanking new book, Shadows Beneath.

Tell us about your new book and what inspired it?

        Shadows Beneath is a GBLT-erotic/paranormal story set in the fictional town of Bauman’s Creek. The central character is grad-student and historian Tristan Pryce who volunteers for as a member of a group led by a retired professor. Their job is to catalogue the inventory of a home that was left to the State of Illinois by the final member of Evans family. It’s a professional opportunity for all the members and when Tristan comes into town, he fights his instincts to back out after he meets Jake Bauman the sexy, bad boy grandson of the professor in charge with a dark past.

Throughout the story, Tristan fights both his attraction to Jake who he deems dangerous and the supernatural forces that have inhabited Evans House for over a century. It’s a story of lost love, reincarnation, and possession. However, it’s also a story about the strength and endurance of the human soul that crosses gender lines. It gives a glimpse into how small communities have the ability to ignore the skeletons in their closets no matter how horrifying they may be.


The initial idea for the story was inspired by a true ghost story from the Columbia, Missouri area that I read over a decade ago in a collection of ghost stories from the Mid-west.


How did you name the characters? Were they after friends, other people you knew or just pure imagination?


Some of the names such as Tristan I just love, others are names of people that have touched my life in some way. I named one of the characters after my father who passed away 15 years ago.


How much research was done for this book?


I couldn’t begin to tell you to be honest—definitely hours. I actually live in St. Louis and travelled along the Great River Road on the Illinois side of the Mississippi. It’s a beautiful, scenic place with tons of small river towns along it. Growing up in a town of 400 in Missouri gave me first-hand experience when it comes to small town America. As far as the paranormal/paganism aspects go, I’ve got a huge collection of reference books on the subject. Since I was a child, I’ve been obsessed with the paranormal. I grew up in a haunted house and I think that’s part of the reason the subject fascinates me. I’m a solitary practitioner of Paganism that focuses on my Celtic/Gaelic roots and that came in handy when creating the character of Jake.


What do you do to relax when not writing?


Writing is my relaxation actually. It’s always been my escape that and reading. I also adore horror movies and spend time torturing my friends with them. LOL


Finally, where are you published and what do you have coming next?


Dark Roast Press is my publisher and you can check them out at


I’m working on my next GBLT/Paranormal novel entitled Le Jardin de la Lumière. I’m actually working my proverbial and literal butt off because it was originally a short story. My publisher and I are aiming for a May 2008 release date. Wish me luck and keep your fingers cross.

Sneak peek into Shadows Beneath:

Tristan stood, walking to the kitchen sink, where he emptied his barely touched cup down the drain, and watched the dark liquid swirl away. His gaze lifted to the window above the sink, his thoughts muddled as he studied the garden beyond. He wasn’t even really seeing anything. “Do you believe the dead can speak to the living?” He refused to look at Jake, ashamed of the warm tears that threatened to fall.

            “I know they do, Tristan. I’ve heard them often when I’m alone at night.” He moved behind Tristan and wrapped his arms around his waist, causing him to flinch as if the touch had burned him. Beneath his embrace, Jake could feel Tristan’s stomach convulse as he tried to swallow back his tears, and fought the urge to pull away from the intimacy of the embrace. “Is that what happened in the attic, Tristan? Did she speak through me?’

            “Who the hell is she?” Tristan turned and pulled away from Jake’s embrace.

“I told you something was here, but you refused to believe. Why is that so hard for you? Why can’t you believe? Deep inside I know you believe what I’m saying is the truth.” Anger tinged Jake’s words.

            “I’ll lose myself.” Tristan turned away, eyes glazed over. “Don’t you understand? For just a moment, I felt myself slipping. She took my control away!” Swinging his arm out, Tristan sent everything clattering from the counter to the floor. Shattering glass and the tinkling of metal echoed in the kitchen, then faded, leaving only Tristan’s harsh breathing audible in the silence. Fists clenched he fell to his knees as he tried to catch a breath.        

            With a soft sigh, Jake knelt next to him among the broken glasses and scattered silverware. He hesitantly wrapped his arms around Tristan’s trembling body again and rested his chin on his slumped shoulder. Lifting his head, Tristan looked straight into the eyes of the man who had terrified him less than an hour ago. That was when he realized it. He wasn’t alone in this nightmare; he never had been.

            “Our secret, Tristan, our secret, and no one else will ever know.” He hummed softly, fingers sliding up along his back. “Together we’ll discover what she wants.” Jake’s fingers lifted and tangled in his hair, pulling him close.

            “She wants me…” Tristan whimpered as their eyes met.

            “Well, she can’t have you.” His lips lowered to Tristan’s in a whisper of a kiss.

            Sweeter than any taste that had ever touched these lips before, Tristan thought.

            “You belong to me now, Tristan.” Something flashed in Jake’s eyes, something Tristan wasn’t sure he could put a name to.

            His arms moved to surround Jake, their kiss intensifying, lips parting with a faint sigh. In his embrace, the fear began to melt and Tristan’s body shivered with need. Jake’s touch was addictive, yet still terrifying. Tristan knew that he was right, that he belonged to him now, even if that scared him like nothing else.






In the Spotlight today: J. M. Snyder

29 04 2008

J.M. Snyder writes gay erotic/romantic fiction and publishes with Amber Quill, Aspen Mountain, and Torquere Presses, as well as self-publishes through Lulu Press.  Snyder’s short fiction has been published online at Ruthie’s Club, Tit-Elation, and Amazon Shorts, and has also appeared in anthologies by Aspen Mountain Press, Cleis Press, and Alyson Books.  Free fiction, book excerpts, and monthly contests can be found online at the author’s website:


Getting to know JM Snyder:


Tell us about your latest book and what you think readers will get out of it.

My latest book is Conflict of Interest, released in e-book format by Torquere Press on April 26th (and in print format through Lulu Press in May).  When Alex Hitchner signs up to volunteer at a local youth shelter, he is not prepared to be introduced to Jamie Owens, an 18 year old boy with a bad attitude. Just two years younger than Alex, Jamie is nervy, precocious, and damn sexy, to boot.

But Alex sees himself as a mentor to Jamie, someone to look up to, someone to prove to the kid that being a gay man does not mean casual sex in crowded clubs. He tries to keep his distance, both physically and emotionally, but Jamie becomes a part of his life in a way Alex doesn’t expect. Alex must choose between giving into his desires or leaving the program—and Jamie—behind.

I hope that readers will enjoy the characters’ relationship as it blossoms into romance, despite Alex’s best efforts to keep Jamie at bay.  I think that there is a level of budding eroticism throughout the story, a newfound excitement in falling in love for the first time, that readers will enjoy.


Can you describe your characters to us? Do you pattern them after anyone you know or is it pure imagination?


My characters are an amalgam of people I’ve met or have known throughout my life as well as my own traits and characteristics.  There isn’t any one person who has inspired a particular character; rather, they are a combination of so many different aspects that they become their own unique people.  I think that using people you know as a building block to start creating a character helps make that character “real,” but there comes a point when the character takes on a life of his own and becomes his own entity.


What genre have you not done but want to in the future?


Well, all my books revolve around gay characters.  I wouldn’t necessarily call them romance or erotica (particularly my longer stories), but homosexuality is present in every story I write.  My favorite genres are contemporary and futuristic, but I would love to write more epic fantasy (with magic and knights and kings) or outer space sci-fi (with aliens and spaceships).  I’ve done some but nothing really involved.  I would also like to write more historical stories, particularly those set during wars (the American Revolution or Civil War, World Wars I & II, etc).  Those are the kinds of stories I’d like to read, so I want to try my hand at them some day.


Tell us about your most erotic romantic fantasy. If you could have a 24-hour romantic fling with anyone you wanted, anywhere you wanted, where would you go, what would you do and with whom would you do it?

I would really prefer to skip this question, as my erotic fantasies all involve gay men and not myself.  Even in my daydreams, I play the role of author.  My fantasies are written out in my books; I spend a lot of time playing out my stories in my mind, which is just one of the ways I write.  By the time I’m ready to put pen to paper, the gist of the tale is already in place and I just have to write down what I see on the screen in my mind’s eye.

If you could have one special super or magical power, what would it be?

I would like to have telekinesis (the ability to move objects with my mind).  That would allow me to write while I mentally clean the house, or better yet, I could be asleep and mentally typing on the computer, working on my next story, at the same time.  Actually if I could do that, I’d invest in an old-fashioned typewriter, so I’d be able to listen to the keys clack clack clack continually as I went about my other daily chores.

If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why?

I’m a huge history buff, and would love to be able to visit Colonial America.  Either during the Revolutionary War or the Civil War—those had to be exciting times in which to live, times of tumultuous change, when a person had to take a stand and fight for their beliefs.

Who’s more fun to write about, bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?

Bad boys, definitely.  Even my “perfect gentlemen” have hidden secrets and flaws.  That’s what makes a character memorable, what allows readers to connect with them: their imperfections, their insecurities, their human nature.  I think perfect characters are boring. 

Do you watch reality TV? If so, what is one of your guilty pleasures? If not, then what do you prefer to watch?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I love American Idol.  Sometimes I will also watch America’s Next Top Model, but that’s the extent of my reality TV fix.  Otherwise I watch the History Channel.

VIN Diesel or Gerard Butler?

They’re both attractive in different ways, but neither really my speed.  I’m more of a River Phoenix type, I think.  Not so much action hero as tortured artist.

Where can readers reach you?

Yahoo! Group:

Where are you published?

Aspen Mountain Press:
Amber Quill Press:
Torquere Press: 
Lulu Press:
Ruthie’s Club:

Thanks for stopping in and I hope you enjoy yourself. J








24 04 2008


Joyfully Reviewed’s 2008 Bunny Hunt is still open!!  Tons of prizes to be had!

The contest closes late Friday, April 25.  There’s still time to enter!
If you are interested the how-to is here or here. 

With books (Print and E-Book) and many more prizes from…

and more????

or if you’d like to see the participating authors & prizes.

Happy Earth Day 2008!

22 04 2008
Go to fullsize image
Happy Earth Day to you! I hope you have a wonderful day and that you can celebrate the goal of saving our planet.
Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet.
What you can do at home to help the earth:
Save Energy:

Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room. Use the microwave to cook small meals. (It uses less power than an oven.) Purchase “Green Power” for your home’s electricity. (Contact your power supplier to see where and if it is available.) Have leaky air conditioning and refrigeration systems repaired. Cut back on air conditioning and heating use if you can. Insulate your home, water heater and pipes. Keep in mind that every trip adds to air pollution. Learn more at It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air ( Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star qualified Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL). If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a CFL, it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road. ( Use the Energy Star program ( to find energy efficient products for your home. The right choices can save families about 30% ($400 a year) while reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases. Whether you are looking to replace old appliances, remodel, or buy a new house, ENERGY STAR can help. ENERGY STAR is the government backed symbol for energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR label makes it easy to know which products to buy without sacrificing features, style or comfort that today’s consumers expect.

Use less water:

Don’t let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Take short showers instead of tub baths. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads. Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine. Buy high-efficient plumbing fixtures & appliances. Repair all leaks (a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day). Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best).


Practice the three R’s: first reduce how much you use, then reuse what you can, and then recycle the rest. Then, dispose of what’s left in the most environmentally friendly way. Read the tips below and explore the Consumer’s Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste (

More tips and other information is at
On the anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, the federal government is cleaning the air, promoting land conservation, and improving water quality.


In the Spotlight: Nikki Leigh

22 04 2008

Nikki Leigh began as an idea in a teenager’s mind. At 14, she wanted to be an author who wrote under the name Nikki Leigh. It took over 20 years, but Nikki Leigh eventually got her chance. She is from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


     Her love of the coast, history and lighthouses is apparent in her stories. On a trip to Cape Ann with her brother, Chris, she found the location for the Misty Cove series. The rugged land, hard working people and rich history were too compelling to ignore. Cape Ann and Gloucester, Massachusetts are featured in Stormy View, Widow’s Walk (Book One), Lady Lightkeeper (Book Two) and Stormy Shores.


     “My first mystery, Lilah and the Locket, is set along the Outer Banks of NC and literally at the base of Cape Hatteras. There is extensive local history and color woven into the story. I did that to help convey the time and place to readers. Other local events will be featured in upcoming books in the Outer Banks series.”


      She has 21 years of business management and 15 years of marketing experience. This knowledge was used to create books and articles for business managers. This experience is valuable to her business and promotional clients. She has four business and restaurant books in print.

 Visit for full details. Her business website is

      Book Promo 101 – Basics of Book Promotion is Nikki’s latest book. She created it to share her promotional background with authors. It includes tips and suggestions to help the beginning book promoter or the more experienced promoter. There are review questions at the end of each chapter to help the author to learn more. For additional information about promotion and Book Promo 101 feel free to visit Nikki blog – Muze’s Musings. The link is:


      Coming Soon – Book Promo 201 – Learn the Basics of Online Promotion is a work in progress. In 2008, she hopes to complete the sequel to Lilah and the Locket, the contemporary Misty Cove book – Stormy Shores and possibly a couple of Misty Cove short stories. For updates on new books, new short stories, upcoming character and promotional classes, new promotional opportunities and much more, visit

For more information:


Nikki Leigh website –

Muze’s Musings Blog –

 Promotional Services for Author –

 Virtual Blog Tour Blog –

Free Promotional Blogs for Published Authors –

 To Contact Nikki Leigh – (and to join Nikki’s mailing list)


I’m located many other places online, but these contain the most up to date information.


Getting to know Nikki:

 Tell us about your latest book and what you think readers will get out of it.

My latest book is based on over 15 years of promotional experience and the last 4 years of honing those skills to learn how to promote my books. I have 2 fiction series, but I had to shift gears for a time to begin my author promotional series. The book is geared toward authors, but there is a lot of great promotional information in the book that would help anyone who wants to learn to promote. It starts at the beginning to figure out what promotion is and how it works. I hope to take some of the mystery out of promotional work. I hope that readers will learn more about how to promote their books and the book starts even before the book is contracted. No one needs to wait until the book is in their hand to start promoting.

 Can you describe your characters to us? Do you pattern them after anyone you know or is it pure imagination?  I have four novels in print and they all feature strong female characters. They are a bit head strong and they get in hot water from time to time, especially my heroine in the historic Misty Cove books. An independent woman was a bit out of place in 1841. Several of my villains are also women and they are very strong minded. The villain in the historic Misty Cove books has some similarities to Mrs Oleson from Little House on the Prairie – but more ruthless. The independent spirit and determination to face life’s problems head is much like I am. Otherwise my characters are all unique and came from my imagination. I like my characters to come from my imagination – that gives them individuality and no chance that another person’s personality or qualities infringe on them.

 What genre have you not done but want to in the future? I’ve only written one mystery (to date) and I want to delve into more mysteries. The Misty Cove books are all “coastal suspense with a touch of romance”. The Cape Hatteras series are planned to be mysteries, but not all murder mysteries. I’m starting to research a future series that will be mysteries and it might lend itself to humor – but I’m still working on that. Lately a story idea has been nagging at me and it will be the darkest book I’ve tackled because of the subject matter. I can’t release information about that one yet, but the idea is taking shape. I’ve written 6 non fiction books and there will be 2 or 3 more books in my author promotion series, so I’m covering quite a few genres and topics. Of course, I never know what idea may hit me tomorrow J


Tell us about your most erotic romantic fantasy. If you could have a 24-hour romantic fling with anyone you wanted, anywhere you wanted, where would you go, what would you do and with whom would you do it? That sounds like a question several old boyfriends ask me on a pretty regular basis – and they want plenty of details.  A 24 hour fling – would take place near the ocean in a secluded area. It would be nice if the guy looked like Brad Pitt or Matthew McConaughey. I love that scruffy look that Matthew does so well although he cleans up nice too J I don’t think I’d want to choreograph the day – instead we would both know that we have 24 hours of uninterrupted time together to do anything and just see where that takes us. Clothing would be optional and it would be very good to take some sunscreen – maybe flavored J


If you could have one special super or magical power, what would it be?  

The ability to help people see potential hazards before they are in too deep.

VIN Diesel or Gerard Butler? The muscles are nice, but Gerard Butler – love the eyes.

If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why?There are far too many answers to that, but it would be times and places in the past. I have many things in the past that I want to know more about. I’d rather let the future play itself out on a day to day basis.

Who’s more fun to write about: Bad Boys or Perfect Gentlemen and why?There are great points about both. Its fun to write about the sweet hero that treats the heroine great. But, its also fun to tell about the bad boy or to get into his head. I really enjoy writing my villains too – it’s a great chance to be mean and get away with it.

Do you watch Reality TV? If so, what is one of your guilty pleasures? If not, what do you prefer to watch?I like to watch all the Law & Order, CSI and very few comedies. The Sopranos was a guilty pleasure, but its off the air. I enjoy The Amazing Race and The Apprentice – although the backstabbing does get on my nerve.  Imagine if there was a business oriented show that didn’t promote Trump  (although it has gotten better) and that rewarded people for hard work, creativity, high work ethics and that penalized people for being like Omarosa and Piers. It could be entertaining and educational.

Where can readers reach you?

Where are you published? My business books were published by Atlantic Publishing. My novels and the Book Promo series were released by Write Words, Inc. There are three series that have been released by Write Words ( and I plan to release the remaining books in the series with her and probably other future books too J










In the Spotlight: CJ England

17 04 2008


CJ England credits her passion for writing to her second grade sweetheart, Steven, a blond haired cutie with dimples, who dumped her for a girl who could swing on the monkey bars. She wrote her first story about love and loss after that tragic episode.

 In her life she has modeled, competed in rodeos as a barrel racer and trick rider, taught preschool, performed as an actress and singer, served cocktails at Disneyworld, specialized in production work, and got carried away by Spiderman when she worked with him at Universal Studios.

She is a gypsy, due to her curiosity and “itchy feet”, spending time in fourteen countries, and has visited forty-two states in our own.  Even raising three kids didn’t slow her down. Married to her own personal hottie, Jonathon, who is her inspiration, lover and bestest friend, she plans to travel the world, writing about all the places they visit.

 She is known on the internet as a bestselling, award winning author who can bring sensuality and romance together in ways that require you keep a fire extinguisher and a box of Kleenex handy. Described as having ‘innovative story lines’, ‘a whiz at character development’ and ‘quite simply a genius!’, CJ wants her books to spark the imaginations of her readers. So they will begin to believe anything can happen if you…Follow Your Dreams.

 For more information on CJ and her other work, visit her website at or check out her other hangouts…

Chat Group…

Newsletter Group…

Very Important Reader Group… CJ_England/


My Chat Blog…

My Space…



Getting to know CJ:

Tell us about your upcoming release and what you hope readers will enjoy about it.

 Go Beyond the Faerie Mist


The Mylari Chronicles: Eyes of Fire


Coming May 2nd to Samhain Publishing 

An ancient prophecy comes to life in an erotic tale of forbidden love.


Talia’s visit home turns upside down when dark, frightening creatures appear seemingly from nowhere and transport her to another world. The faerie world. In this mystical paradise, she finds her life and honor threatened for reasons she does not understand.


When Calion Sáralondë, Prince of the Calen’taur Elves, rescues the human female from an orcan stronghold, his attraction to her is immediate and strong. And the feeling is mutual. Though their love is sardai—taboo—Calion can’t bring himself to send her back to her world. Her presence sets a fire in his soul only mating with her can tame.


And their passion could be the answer to an ancient prophecy that saves his world.


Read more about this series by Award Winning Author, CJ England, by going to


This book was the first one I ever submitted for publication and I was ecstatic when my editor at Samhain (the lovely Jennifer) chose it to publish.  The story is very special to me because 1) it was my first attempt at getting published and 2) it has a lot of ME in it.  As the reader enjoys the story, they will also get to know CJ in a very special way.   


 What do you like to do when you’re not working?   I have several activities I enjoy when I’m not writing.  Number One I love reading.  Right now I’ve set aside my Sundays just to enjoy a good book.  I find if I don’t set time aside for it, I’m so busy writing and working I don’t get to do what brought me into the business in the first place. I am also an outdoor’s nut.  I love riding the motorcycle on back roads we’ve (Jonathon, my hunky husband and I) have discovered.  I walk as much as possible and enjoy a good meal when we are out.

And travel.  My favorite activity of all.  I love to explore places I haven’t yet seen.  We’ve lived and visited cities all over the world and it just whets my appetite for more.  Where we live next is up for grabs.  It all depends on which way the wind blows.

What season is your favorite and why?  Depends where I’m living.  If I’m living up north, I love the summertime.  Warm beautiful days and nights where you can sleep on the deck and enjoy the sunset.  But if I’m in the south, I love the spring.  Seeing the plants bloom so quickly and watching all the new babies start to swim, fly and skitter.  And I have to admit, knowing I’m nice and warm when everyone else is being snowed on is kinda fun.  LOL


What would we find on your bookcase if we looked? What is one of your favorite authors?   Everything!  LOL  I am a very eclectic reader.  I love romance stories, mystery stories and some fantasy/sci-fi as well as hundreds of non-fictions.  I have so many books Jonathon complains about them when we move.  When I told him about ebooks he cheered.   But still I have almost 20 large boxes of “friend books” I have to have wherever I go.


 My favorite romance author over all is Nora Roberts, followed closely by Elizabeth Lowell, Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard.  Favorite mystery authors include Dame Christe, Lilian Jackson Braun, and Ellis Peters.


I enjoy Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Frank Peretti and Anne McCaffrey whose books have given me hours of pleasure over the years.


 What was the last book you read (e or print) and did you like it? The last new book I read was the latest series by Jayne Ann Krentz / Amanda Quick.  The Arcane Society.  It goes back and forth between the Victorian era and today and follows a group of people who have paranormal abilities.  I love the premise and since she is one of my favorite authors, I really enjoyed them. 

Right now, I’m rereading the Death series by J.D. Robb.  It is my favorite Nora Roberts series over all and I’ve read them over and over again


What makes a good book?  IMHO, the best book has these ingredients.  Great characters, vivid world building, emotion that makes you feel along with the people in the book, and a plotline that you can’t put down.  In fact whenever I get a letter from a fan mentioning any of these things, I’m jazzed.  Tell me I nailed it with all of them and I break out the champagne.  <smile>


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?  Wow!  That’s a hard one.  I feel I am really lucky to have had so many great experiences in my life.  I’ve lived well and been able to do so many things.


 If I had to choose one experience, I guess it would be all the traveling I’ve been able to do.  The times I’ve spent in other countries like England, Australia and Mexico were a dream come true and I can’t wait to do more.  Next up?  The Far East and Ireland!  I’ll let you know how it goes!


Boxers or briefs? Call me a problem child.  LOL  I choose boxer-briefs.  Much more sexy.  Love having the best of both worlds.


Ben Affleck or Matt Damon to save the world? Lord, another tough one.  I enjoy both actors, but I have to admit a special pit-pat of my heart for Matt Damon.  Love him in the Bourne series, adore him in the Oceans movies and even laughed myself sick whenever his puppet appeared in Team America, even though it wasn’t him doing it.


If he’s in a movie, I know I’ll take the time to see it.  <grin>


Where are you published?   I am right now published at Samhain, Aspen Mountain, New Concepts, Whiskey Creek Torrid, Under the Moon (Print), and Amber Quill Heat.  Check out my website for all the links!


 What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?   I am an old fashioned romantic.  While I write sensual romance and enjoy a little heat in my stories, I’m really a traditionalist at heart.


 In my stories you’ll find true love between committed couples that will make you laugh, weep and reach for a fire extinguisher. 

And I want my readers to know that true love does exist, both in real life and my stories.  And all you have to do to find it is…Follow Your Dreams.








In the Spotlight: Kristin Battestella

15 04 2008

 Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper in New Jersey and has been writing science fiction and horror for fifteen years.  She enjoys being at home with her family, collecting records, and creating web pages in her spare time.  Along with various sports articles in local magazines and online reviews for Firefox News,  Creative Singularity, and Flames Rising; Kristin’s first e-book The Adventures of Pave was published in 2005.  In 2007, Kristin’s serial Blood Type: V   ran with Gothic Revue, and The Vampire Family was re-released with Eternal Press this past March.  Currently Kristin is working on her next horror short story.


Getting to know Kristin:

Tell us about your latest book and what you think readers will get out of it.

 The Vampire Family is not a horror tale, per se.  It has a gothic, period piece feel with angst and drama and tragic love story to it.  The book begins  with medieval poverty and strife, then travels to modern consequences.  I hope readers can enjoy the story for all the vampire goodness, but also look for the food for thought.  People aren’t moved by books anymore.  We barely read or read because we have to. I seek to inform, inspire, and entertain.  I hope The Vampire Family  gets people thinking about the path they may or may not take in their own lives.  We tend to glorify darkness and sensationalism.  The characters in this book struggle with the world passing them and their selfish ways.


Can you describe your characters to us? Do you pattern them after anyone you know or is it pure imagination?  Characters, plot ideas, story twists, I get ideas from everything and nothing.  Sometimes I see people in a store and wonder what’s going on in their lives.  The scenarios  that I conjure up sometimes come out in story.  I think a good author needs to observe the human condition and kick it up a notch.  I’d like to think my characters are well rounded.  In  The Vampire Family the Welshire family may be vampires, but they’re people, too!  They struggle with the everyday and then some.  This is why I love genre.  You can give aliens and folks in far off times and places the same problems that we have.  Characters can say what we often cannot.  The Vampire Family’s patriarch Antiono is the best   type of character, because he doesn’t realize how corrupted he is  He thinks there is nothing wrong with his doings, in fact he started out with the best of intentions.   I love imperfect characters that serve as a mirror to the audience.


 What genre have you not done but want to in the future?  Hmm…I’ve written a little of everything.  It’s important to have a niche you do and love the most, but exploring new creative venues is always good.  I’d like to do more high fantasy.  It takes a lot of time and research to build your world and learn how to do something different in the genre.  I consider The Vampire Family a dark styled fantasy.  I’d love to return to my space opera work.  Again, these types are so vast!  You work on it for a few years, put it away, then return to it and expand.  It’s fascinating to see older material you wrote when you were a younger author  How have you changed? Has your writing change?  Where can you take this manuscript next?  I love possibility!  


 Tell us about your most erotic romantic fantasy. If you could have a 24-hour romantic fling with anyone you wanted, anywhere you wanted, where would you go, what would you do and with whom would you do it?  Well, I suppose there’s no shame in admitting I’m currently obsessed with Sean Bean.  I’ve been reading, watching, and reviewing Sharpe  amid his other, risqué films.  If you know who he his, then you know what I mean! My husband won’t like that answer!  I don’ t think my husband and I are romantic-we’re a bit unconventional.  We like to sit in the hammock and read or watch documentaries and go to museums or faires.  We’d love to go to Italy.  Rent a villa for 24 hours.  Hmm…When I get naughty actor thoughts I usually turn them into scenes for a story.  Picture an actor as one of the characters, let things play out and change.  Again my husband doesn’t like  it, but fanciful imagination has its purpose for an author!


 If you could have one special super or magical power, what would it be?  I really like helping people.  It sounds hokey, but I’d love to return to school and become a minister.  I’d like to be able to know a person’ s pain and lift it from them, or in the very least share it with them.  That experience of being utterly connected to a stranger and know exactly where they are coming from.  It’ s a very emotional experience and it brings such peace of mind.  Yeah, that’s the superpower I want.  Peace of mind!


 VIN Diesel or Gerard Butler?  Gerard Butler.  I liked Vin Diesel in Pitch Black, but not a lot since.  I liked Butler way back when he first came to America with Attila   Now everyone loves him because of 300.  I actually just bought The Phantom of the Opera, too.  Gerard Butler and Sean Bean could be in a movie together…


 Where can readers reach you?  My Yahoo group is a pretty busy place.  We chat there and host contests for a bit of fun and prizes.   I also answer comments left on my livejournal page, the Vampfam blog, or my new Reviews blog.  We’ve had a few tawdry discussions on that one! I’m pretty streaky about visiting other forums.  I’ ll be on one for a month then switch to another.  Mostly, I converse on the Absolute Write Forum.


 What is more fun to write about: Bad Boys or Perfect Gentlemen and why? Each has their purpose.  I’m not overtly romantic so sometimes too fine a gentleman can seem weak or boring after awhile, but with  the right level of sensitivity, a gentle guy is perfect and a lot of fun to read.  Bad boys can be much more interesting from the get go.  Why are they the way they are? What’s the level of bad?  Are they truly  evil or just rebelling?  I find questions that are answered or unanswered more fun to think about.  Maybe as women, we all think on ‘fixing’ the bad boy.  Making him good!


Do you watch Reality TV and if so, what is one of your guilty pleasures? If not, then what do  you prefer to watch?  I don’t care for reality shows. They seem so mindless to me. Although I’ll pretty much watch anything. Action, fantasy, historicals.  I’m into Sharpe now, but I was hooked on Homicideon the Streets before that. Lord of the Rings, horror and lots of science fiction. I waver between film obsessions and book obsessions.


 If you could visit any place and time, where and what would it be and why?  Well, I ‘d have to really think on it more , but I’d have to say the Garden of Gethsemane. I’m a very spiritual person, so to see where Jesus in his moment of doubt before his arrst and crucification would be amazing. Christ saying ‘I’m scared but I’ll do it for them anyways.’ Very Heavy Stuff.


 Where are you published?  Locally I can be found in my county newspaper, The Reminder.  I do my township newsbeat, photos, and the young person’s opinion column. A lot of e  houses have been closing unfortunately.  The Vampire Family was out last year with Mardi Gras Publishing.  When that company ended badly, we were wonderfully taken in with Eternal Press.  I’ve got two other books in the submission phase now.  Wish me luck!