Author Interview with Candace Osmond

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I’m thrilled to say that Candace Osmond, author of the bestselling novel The Devil’s Heart, sat down with an interview with me! This is also my first author interview here at The Geeky Book Lady! Hopefully the first of many! 🙂

Hey Candace! Thanks for being here. So, The Devil’s Heart became a best seller! Congrats by the way! How exciting is that!?

It’s very exciting! As an author, when you publish a new title, especially the first in a new series, it’s hard to imagine how readers will take to it. I’m still blown away by the success of The Devil’s Heart launch, and extremely grateful to all my readers.

That’s great! So The Pirate Queen is coming out soon. I have already pre-ordered it! Can you give us a little tidbit of what readers can expect?

Thank you! I hope you like it! Let’s just say…a LOT happens. At the end of book one (spoiler alert!!!) Dianna is accidentally sent back to her own time. So, book two follows her journey of dealing with the loss of Henry, adjusting to her old life, and then an unhealthy obsession with finding a way back to the past. A new character is introduced, and I absolutely love her! Can’t wait to see what readers think.

Oh I am sure I will love it! After the cliffhanger in book one, I am dying to get my hands on book two! So, if you were thrust into the past, what 3 items would you take with you?

Oh, this is a hard one. A lighter, bottle of rubbing alcohol, and a Diva Cup lol.

All great things to have on hand! Was there any one thing that inspired you to write the Dark Tide series?

Just one? Haha! The main thing that inspired me was my love for the pirate history that surrounds my home province of Newfoundland. The second would be my love for fantasy and romance.

That’s awesome. I absolutely loved The Devil’s Heart and the characters in it. As a fan I need to know: how many books do you plan to write? Will the Dark Tides series be a trilogy? Or do you have hopes/plans to go beyond it?

I love that you’re a fan! Thank you so much! Well, I originally planned to do three books in this series. But, after finishing book two and opening up so many more doors within the story line, I’m aiming for five books. Four for certain.

That is wicked! I am super excited! *fangirl squee*

As a fellow writer, I’m curious: what does your writing area look like?

I’m lucky enough to write full-time. So, I have a nice office with big windows, a comfy leather couch, and music constantly playing. But the best part is that I get to share it with my amazing husband who’s also a writer and graphic designer.

That sounds lovely! So I know that picking a favorite book is hard, but can you tell us your top 3?

That IS hard! Haha! But I would say Ironside by Holly Black, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

I will have to add those on my to-read list! Many writers have other creative projects. Do you have any? Like photography, painting?

Yes! Actually, it’s just another form of writing. I’m a screenplay writer. One day, I hope to turn that hobby into a big part of my career because I’m very passionate about film production. But if I had to pick something totally removed from writing altogether it would be….diaper cakes haha I absolutely LOVE creating those really cool, uniquely themed diaper cakes. I just do them for friends and family, but I’ve created ones that look like sushi, a motorcycle, a bookshelf, etc. Super fun!

That would be amazing if you could turn screenplay writing into part of your career. And I love those cakes, super cute!! I have seen some super creative ones online. So what do you do when you’re not writing?

 Read (duh!), watch and study movies/TV shows, Mom stuff, Wife stuff, and travel to conventions and book signings with my author bestie JJ King!

Awesome! Well Candace thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me!

No problem! Thank you so much for having me! Enjoy book two, The Pirate Queen on April. 23rd!

If you want more info on where to get these books and others by Candace, and to get updates, you can find her on Facebook at Author Candace Osmond and you can also check out her blog here: Candace Osmond.
 

 

 

 

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How To Have Fun at Comic Con When You’re Broke

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If it is one place geeks love to be at, it’s a comic con. It is one of the very places when I am surrounded by people who get my passion for Star Wars or collecting Pop figures.

I went to Toronto Comic Con last weekend with my hubby. He timed my visit so that we could hit the convention together. I was super excited to go. In the weeks leading up to it  I was planning my fun on a limited budget. A lot of people were asking me about conventions and the cost of them. While I have gone to them and spent a lot of money, you don’t need a ton of cash to go to one.

I won’t go into to much about travel and tickets, but I will say this: If you are heading out of town for a con, there are a few ways to save cash. If you are staying at a hotel, check to see which hotels have a deal running with the convention. Hal-con usually has one with Delta, so we stay there. Also, if you can’t afford a three day pass or VIP, so what? Pick a day best for you and get a day ticket. (I suggest Saturday. It’s the busiest day but will have the most going on).

Celebs: Meeting actors is one of my favorite things to do. In Toronto, I didn’t have much cash to work with. So, I made a list of who I wanted to meet. Manu Bennett was my main priority. My husband met a bunch, so I tagged along with him. If you want to meet a celeb but have no cash, wait til their line up is empty or close to it. You’re allowed to go say hello to them. Just check with the volunteer running the line.

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Me and Manu. He was super sweet. I hate how I look here but who cares, I’m with Manu! 😉 

Celebs: Part 2 During the weekend, there are Q&A’s happening with the actors and sometimes with authors. These are FREE! Check the schedule for when these are happening. They are super fun and you can get a chance to ask a question. The best q&a I ever went to was John Rhys Davies. He was entertaining the entire time and even went full Gimli when asked a Lord of the Rings question.

*Note: There are some big cons that charge for certain q&a’s, which in my opinion is stupid. This is rare though. The few I seen that you needed a ticket was a Doctor Who event as well as a duo q&a with William Shatner and Patrick Stewart.

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Me and Mr. C with ‘Hodor’! I tagged along with hubby to meet him. He was so cool and chatty! Loved him!

Authors: They don’t charge to meet them. So if you are a book nerd, go say hi, maybe buy a book and get some swag. Many have free bookmarks and such to give out.

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Author Sherry D. Ramsey at Caper Con a couple years ago. I am interviewing her soon!

Shopping: The downfall of  nerds. So much geekery, so little money! The bigger the con, the more vendors and artists there selling their wares. I *try* to roam around a bit first before I shopp. If I see something a vendor, artist or author is selling and I have no cash, I always ask for a business card. That way when I have money for fun stuff, I can order from them. I should add, that on the last day of a convention some sellers will have sales. So you might be able to score some good loot at a cheaper price.

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I love business cards. This is some of my geeky ones. 

Cosplay: While I don’t normally dress up, I love checking out costumes, taking photos and talking to cosplayers. It all adds to the fun when half the crowd is dressed up. Sometimes certain groups dress up, like the Steampunk Society and the 501st Legion. If you like a costume, ask the person for a pic or get one with them. Just remember to be respectful!

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Me hanging out with the dark side. 😉

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Kick ass white walker costume.

Panels: There are often various panels running during the weekend. I have gone to writing themed panels, author talks, debates, and other fun things. These are all FREE. If you go to a craft session, you might need to pay a small fee for materials. I went to a plushie making panel once. It was only $5 to go.

Con Food: I can’t stress this enough: TAKE WATER WITH YOU! At least one bottle. Not only is it cheaper, but lines can be long. And you will get thirsty. On day one of Toronto Comic con, I ignored my own advice. Tsk tsk. We ended up paying six bucks for two small waters. Also, carry a bag or backpack and take some snacks. Eating at a con can get pricey. We ate their once this time, and paid $20 for just two hot dogs and two cans of pop. Usually the best deal is a piece of pizza and pop.

The main thing is to have fun when you go. Sometimes you find something priceless, like a new best friend.

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Me and Laura. Met her in 2013 in line for Dean Cain. Instant friends. Love this lady ❤ I see her every time I am in Toronto for a con. 

I’m sure I missed a tidbit or two. How do you save money at comic con? What are your favorite things to do?

 

Something for Short Story Lovers

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I have been working on a short story for an anthology my writers group that my writers group is putting together. While brainstorming last night, I realized I never really touched base on my work and the anthologies I am in. (Yes, there is a little self promotion going on here too, haha).

When I was a kid, I didn’t think that having my very own story in print would happen. When three of my writing friends started Third Person Press, I worked my butt off and crossed my fingers that I would get a letter saying they liked and wanted my story.

They did!

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From Third Person Press website:

A Cape Breton Anthology of Speculative Fiction (The Speculative Elements, Vol. 1)
The fourteen stories in Undercurrents ply the literary oceans of time and space, possibility and imagination. And while you may find familiar themes in these pages-love, change, greed, spirituality-you will discover that they take on a new perspective when viewed through the lens of the speculative. Inside are stories that ripple and swell with the unusual: fiddle-playing ghosts, malevolent cats, urbane vampires, and ordinary folks who have drifted into the realms of the extraordinary. Set your oars in these unusual waters and see for yourself what swirls in the undercurrents.

The urban vampires? That’s me. 😉

What I love about anthologies, are that short stories are a quick read. Also, while you may not enjoy every story, you are bound to love and like most of the book.

Third Person Press went on to publish a total of four stories in the Elements collection. (There is also Airborne, Unearthed and Flashpoint). I was lucky enough to be accepted into the rest of the books. My stories are all set in the same world, with new supernatural creatures and problems being added in the mix. I love writing the Lily and Quinn series, and have no plans to stop writing with them. (I will talk about them more in a future post).

I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far. When I re-read my stories, I can see where I grew as a writer, as each one went on.

They have also published a couple of other anthologies, one being Christmas themed and the other is ghost stories. And last year they published ‘Rise of the Mudmen’ by James FW Thompson. I have that on my book pile and plan to read that soon! 🙂

If you are interested adding to your short story collection, you can check out Third Person Press site and see what would be up your alley!

 

 

 

 

Why Every Writer Needs A Writers Group

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No matter if it is an online group or an in-person meeting, being in a writers group can help you out a lot. Joining my group was one of the best things I have ever done. I joined The Story Forge about fifteen years ago.

My group is laid back. We get that life happens and you can’t make it to every meeting or that you can’t get so many chapters written. There are also groups out there with more structure.

A Mixed Bag.  Our group has everyone from those who write for fun and for themselves, as well as published authors who are busy in the writing community. (Writers in schools programs, signings, readings etc…) We bounce around ideas and talk about various topics. We all also have different genres that interest us, from poetry to sci-fi and mainstream. Everyone has something to offer.

Support and Encouragement. I have left more than one meeting feeling inspired and ready to concur my current writing project. And on days I have felt like I want to give up, my friends help me realize that I am being crazy. If one of us is in the middle of something big or crazy, like NaNoWrimo, we encourage each other to keep going. Not every one in our daily life understands what a writer is feeling, but your writing friends always do and are there to back you up or give you a kick in the pants if needed.

You Learn A lot. My writing and editing skills have improved immensely since I started going to The Story Forge.  I also feel more confident when I critique someones work. While I am far from perfect, I enjoy helping others and feel I can help.

Brainstorming. Stuck with a plot? Need advice on a topic? Or maybe you are unsure if killing a character will help or hinder your story? Ask your writing buddies. They will give you feedback that you can mull over and help you figure out where to go next. Sometimes more brains are better than one.

Feedback. Finished a piece and need a second pair of eyes? Odds are someone will offer to read your work for you. The great thing about this is that they may see something you missed. When you read your own work umpteen times, you are going to miss the little things, or a problem you didn’t realized you had.

A Night Out. Writers tend to be solitary. Not always, but I am one of them. When I am not at work or out with friends, my favorite night in is curled up with hubby watching tv or with a book. It’s good to get out and talk with people who share your interests.

 

Where to find a group: Check your local library and ask a librarian. That’s how I learned about The Story Forge. You can also find them online like on Facebook. I belong to online groups as well, but meeting up in person gets you out of the house for an evening out, and you can make real life friends you can meet up with in between times. One of my friends is coming over tomorrow, for a coffee and a mini writing session. When all else fails, start your own! Put up a flyer at a local library or start your own online group.

How I have changed and benefited since joining my group: I have been published four times. (Soon to be a fifth…our group is putting an anthology together and the money made will go to our local library.) I have learned a lot about writing and improved so much. I have made some great friends; one of which was my matron of honor. I have become more confident and learned how to turn my inner critic off.

That’s just my take on it. I love my group so much and think every writer can benefit from having one.

Do you belong to a group? What is your favorite thing about it?

 

Vacation Countdown: Geeking out with Hubby

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Mine and Mr. C’s wedding anniversary is just around the corner. It will be year one of survival. 😉

Just kidding! While he gets under my skin sometimes (and I know I bug him from time to time), he is my partner in crime and lucky for me he is a big geek too. We had a big geeky wedding, and now we are planning our nerdy honeymoon/anniversary.

Because my job is very busy during the summer months, I almost always wait until September or October to take a few vacation days.

In just under five weeks, we will be headed to Halifax and attending Hal-con for most of our days there! If you live in the Maritimes and have never been, I highly suggest checking it out this comic con. I have been there several times. There is something for every nerd. They have some actors, famous cosplayers, gaming, authors, comic artists, etc…If you want to see more about what Hal-con is all about, check em out over here. I wasn’t able to go the year Hodor was DJ at the dance. 😦 I heard it was epic.

While we are in Halifax, we will check out the city and hit the comic book stores. I am really excited. I am well overdue for a vacation and I need to be where my people are. 😉

Have you been to a comic con this year? Or are you planning to go to one?

International Women’s Day

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For once I am actually on top of things, and not worrying about being late like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Today is International Women’s Day, and I have chosen to honor it with my favorite thing in the world: books.

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Books written by my favorite female authors, which include some of my most favorite female characters.

I could have picked a bigger stack of books for this, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get them all in one photo. So I narrowed it down to my top faves.

‘Lover Eternal’ is my favorite book written in J.R Wards ‘The Blackdagger Brotherhood’ series, which features Mary Madonna Luce, who is compassionate, kind, and has a heart made from gold.

‘One’s Aspect to the Sun’ is written by Sherry D. Ramsey. Sherry’s novels and short stories always feature strong and interesting characters. I love Captain Luta Paixon, and her secret. (Wouldn’t it be nice to never look older then your thirties?!)

I’ve loved Jodi Picoult since I read ’19 Minutes’, which is a heartbreaking story that hits too close to home for some. I love how she shows the story for everyone’s aspect, and not just one or two POV’s. In stories such as ’19 Minutes’, seeing those extra POV’s adds depth to the story. Bonus Points: I wrote to her and she signed my card I sent. 😀

Jane Austen. If I could have picked an era to live in, it would have been hers. ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is the novel that made me fall in love with her. I’m a sucker for romance, and I have watched the movie and read the book countless times. The Dashwood sisters remain near and dear to my heart. Although sometimes I have wanted to kick Marianne right in the caboose.

Being the sucker I am for vampires, the supernatural and romance, my guilty pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Although one of her books, towards the last of the series had me irked at the fantastic author, I have still loved each and one of these books. Charlaine has been one of the authors who inspired me to write dark fantasy/paranormal romance, and Sookie will always be one of my favorite female characters. (I’m a book or two behind. Don’t tell me if Sookie did something to fuck shit up.)

J.K Rowling inspired the world and our imaginations with Harry Potter. And what better female to honor today in the fictional world then Hermoine Granger, the bookworm/book smart/street smart lady full of sass who kept Ron and Harry in line. I am happy that someone had the sense to pull her manuscript out of the trash and seen it for what it was and is: pure gold.

Sophie Kinsella has always made me laugh with Becky Bloomwood’s antics, and made me cry in ‘Remember Me.’ No matter what book of hers I am reading, she never fails to entertain me and leaves me wanting more.

Another author that fills my love of dark fantasy is Karen Marie Moning. I started out reading her Highlander series when a client of mine recommended it to me. I devoured them quickly and moved on to her Fever series. The Fever series features MacKayla Lane aka Mac. She’s a girly girl who loves pink, who is thrown into the world of the supernatural and discovers she has a rare talent. I loved watching her transform from Mac 1.0, to the killer mac 5.0.

These are some of the ladies and characters who have inspired me and continue to do so. Aside from my mom of coarse 😉 Where would we be without those women who loved us no matter what and stuck by our side?

What female authors/ characters have inspired you?