Friday, April 27, 2012

On Author Interview with Desiree Finkbeiner

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing author and artist Desire Finkbeiner about her new novel Ethos: Morning Star.

Thank you for making Fictzophrenic Musings a stop on your Blog Tour. :)

R.S.: Being and artist as well as an author, how much of an influence did your art have on your story, Ethos: Morning Star?

D.F.: It was originally the idea of the dragonfly that influenced the story. Dragonflies are popular and highly marketable, so once the idea for the story came to mind, I began to think of ways I could also capitalize off of merchandise to accompany the book. Dragonflies would look good on virtually anything, so I knew I had to incorporate them into the book.

R.S.: When you first started writing Ethos: Morning Star, did you know it would be a series?

D.F.: Yes, I plotted it for a series. The story was far to complex to fit into only one book, and generally series seem to do better than stand alone novels. Readers become involved with the characters they fall in love with, and they don’t like to let go once they fall in love. So an effective author will give readers what they want; more to love.

R.S.: What was your favorite scene to write in Ethos: Morning Star?

D.F.: Ohhh that’s a hard one. There are so many aspects to this book: Romance, action, fantasy adventure, mystery… so many scenes come to mind as being my favorites. So I will break it down like this: My favorite action scene is the epic battle towards the end of the book, during the dragonfly chase between the two queen dragonflies. Kalen is captured and Brianna is trying to save him from certain death. My favorite romance scene is when Kalen rebinds himself to Brianna, they have gone through so much at this point, so their renewed commitment carries more impact. And my favorite ‘mysterious’ scene would have to be the trance extraction ceremony that takes place while they are held captive by the lost tribe.

R.S.: How did you come up with the little details that made Ethos what it was?

D.F.: Most of it just came as inspiration while I wrote. Some of it came in dreams, and some of it came from my art.

R.S.: I’ve heard there might be a special edition of Ethos: Morning Star coming soon, what can you tell us about it?

D.F.: The kindle version is just the literary novel, but the special edition print version will contain 20+ detailed illustrations- so the reader can see how I envisioned Ethos in my own mind. That is something readers never get to see from authors who are not artists. Their interpretation is only in words, for the reader to visualize in their own minds. But with an illustrated version, the reader will get to see how it played out in my mind first hand. I hope reader enjoy seeing how I see the world I created both in word and images.

Connect with Desiree:

Author website:

Author facebook fanpage:

Author G+:

Author twitter:

Buy Me!
It started with a mushroom, from another world... never before touched by a human hand, until Brianna... but life continued as normal... until a near fatal accident almost a decade later, reveals to Brianna... she's... different...

Unexplained lab results, unusually fast healing, and recent sightings of Jurassic sized dragonflies... What is happening to her?

When a peculiar man delivers her from a violent assault, she becomes enchanted by his heroism and inhuman abilities. Her rescuer, Kalen, is sworn to protect the powerful secret she has yet to realize, from an ancient foe with evil designs...

With the secret exposed, our world is no longer safe. Kalen takes Brianna to Ethos, his home, unprepared for what happens next... An ancient prophecy unfolds and they must make make a choice... Give into their forbidden love, or sacrifice their heart's desire for a chance to save their worlds.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On My Sailing Adventure

I hung over the side of the boat to get this shot.
While in Maui, my BFF and I signed up for a sailing and snorkeling adventure that left from the public dock in Lahaina.

The day was beautiful and warm, and the water was smooth and clear. At least it was until it was time to head back from Lanai.

Captain Ray made sure to tell everyone there was some choppiness, and we might get a few splashes and a little wet.

That was an understatement.

We hadn't even made it out of the harbor when a huge wave came up over the two trampolines on the catamaran, and not only soaked us (good thing I was in a swimsuit beneath my cover-up), but sent my body flying into the middle of the boat--where I landed on someone. I'm still not sure who it was. In hindsight I choose to believe I looked a lot more graceful than I felt.

For the next two hours the sun hid behind clouds, the water continued to throw waves at us, and the breeze chilled us to the bone. Most of the passengers turned to alcohol--though I can't see how that was a smart idea. Huge waves, bucking sailboat, and drunk people without life vests. Sounds like a whole bunch of bad ideas.

All in all, we laughed a lot, saw amazing reefs and fish (when I wasn't panicking from a lack of air--apparently I'm claustrophobic even while snorkeling,) took pictures, and scratched another Hawaiian Island off my list of places to visit.

I recommend anyone who makes a trip to Maui experiencing the joys of sailing and snorkeling. You won't forget it.

Have you ever been sailing or snorkeling? What were your experiences? I'd love to know.

Also, I'm on tour for Purrfect Storm, and I'm giving away a free digital copy today. So leave a comment below and one reader will be randomly chosen! Let's get our read on! R.S.

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Blog Stop Number One

Today is the first day of my Purrfect Storm Blog Tour. The wonderful author, Eve Lopez agreed to be my first victim...I mean stop.

Take a few minutes to stop over there and read my Author Interview with her. She's an amazing writer as well, so while you're there take a few moments to read all about her adventures.


Friday, April 20, 2012

On Guest Post From Author Eve Lopez

I have the pleasure today to host Eve Lopez on her blog tour for her novel, Sex, Drugs and  Psychiatric Wards. I love her writing style, and I'm sure you will too. So, without further delay, I give you Eve! 

How Editing My Book Nearly Killed Me 

Writing can be thrilling. When the right words flow from your fingertips like hot molten lava from the mountains of the writing gods, it's like being on a high. Chemicals fire off in your brain; you're filled with a type of euphoria and that's when you think to yourself: Ah, now I know why I write. 

Editing one's own work is an exercise in torture. Even after you've done the heavy-duty editing where you find inconsistencies and plot holes, there is still the copyedit and the line edit and the proofing to be done. 

Doing those first edits on your book were HORRIBLE! A character walks into a bar wearing jeans. She walks out of the bar wearing a dress. The horror! The horror! 

And even after fixing all of that horrible stuff, there you are, in front of your computer, finding typos even after you've proofed and line-edited, and had other people also proof it. 

Every time you find ANOTHER typo, you wonder if some sick and twisted soul is actually sneaking in and putting them there on purpose. Some dark and evil being who is hell-bent on destroying you via misspellings. 

Editing is dangerous to one's health. 

For example, let's just say you're holed up in some dank hotel room in a godforsaken Southeast Asian country, and you have SWORN to yourself that your novel will be finished by the time your flight leaves and you go back home. You've been backpacking for four months and simultaneously finishing your first novel. 

You have just a few days left before your flight back to the U.S. 

And then you find another typo in your manuscript. 

You consider your options, and they look like this:

1. Bash your head against the wall. 
2. Bash your head against your laptop. 
3. Fling yourself off the fifth-floor balcony. 

Eventually, you reject all of these options because the fact is, each of them is going to impede your ability to finish editing your manuscript. 

That's when your mind wanders to your frenemy Alcohol. 

You know that writing while drunk can actually lead to some pretty good stuff. Bukowski did it! Hemingway did it! You're pretty sure that Candace Bushnell did it, and you LOVE her work. 

"Writing While Drunk" is okay. 

But editing -- that's got to be done sober. You know this because you have been a professional editor for various companies for 10 years. There is NO way anyone can edit while intoxicated. Editing requires complete concentration and zero distractions.

And so you grit your teeth and splash cold water over your face. You take deep breaths and try to do something that Elizabeth Gilbert would do. 

What would Liz do? She would meditate, first off. She would sit in the garden with a peaceful, zen-like smile on her face. Then she'd go and have hot sex with her hot husband. 

And then she'd probably go into the center of the capital city of the godforsaken country you yourself are in, and she'd make friends with Buddhists and children, and the light of the universe would fall over her lovely face and the golden locks of hair. 

And then she'd go back and finish editing her book, with nary a drop of alcohol in sight. 

You, however, are not Elizabeth Gilbert. 

And so after you've finished YET ANOTHER edit, you get drunk and you lose precious hours that could have been spent editing (you have a self-imposed deadline and your flight leaves in just a couple of days). 

The next day, you wake up hungover and you take a bath. You drink some coffee. 

You open up your computer again. 

And you do what must be done, because you have no other choice. 

You start another line edit from the very beginning, stone cold sober. 

About the Novel:
This is a graphic coming-of-age tale of a fragile young woman entering a notorious party college in California and encountering a world of drug-fueled parties, obsessive bar-hopping, and countless encounters with the opposite sex. After a series of events involving drugs, alcohol, and men, the young woman descends into a series of mental breakdowns.

About the Author:
Eve Lopez was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Chico State University in California. Her first novel, Sex, Drugs, and Psychiatric Wards was edited while sober. Some chapters, however, were written while the author was drunk off her ass. 

Enter the Goodreads giveaway contest (ending on April 25, 2012) to win an autographed paperback copy of the novel. 

You can stalk Eve on Twitter @eveoverseas or visit her at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Arriving on Maui

Those were sneaky waves. I didn't trust them. 
After several hours of flying (plus a few more than we were actually scheduled for) we arrived on the Island of Maui. We were exhausted, starving, and excited to begin our vacation.

The drive from the airport to our hotel took a while-- not because it was that far away, but because the speed limit topped out at 45. As we meandered our way toward the resort, we noticed that much of the area was dry and brown. Not at all what we were expecting.

Once we'd settled into our suite and filled our stomachs with Chinese food, our first stop was the beach. It'd been too long since I'd been on a beach, and I admit to running straight to the waves.

They were colder than I remembered from when I lived on Oahu.

Maybe the desert just makes everything seem cold.

Regardless, we stayed on the beach, goofed off with pictures, ran into and away from the waves, and just enjoyed our time as the sun set on our first day on Maui.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Purrfect Storm: Free Today!

For those of you not in the know, my novelette, Purrfect Storm is available on Amazon today for FREE!

That's right, I said free.

How cool is that?

Pretty cool, right?

I thought so.

What could be better than a free story on the day taxes would normally be due?

Here's a helpful link to get you to where you need to be.

What are you waiting for? This offer ends at midnight PST.

Yikes, now I feel like car salesman.

I'm A Free Digital Download!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Flying

Many of you know I recently went on a trip--a friendaversary-- to Maui. What better way to pass the time until the Marine returns than to fly to a tropical island with my BFF?

The problem with this?

I hate flying.

Yes, I've done more than my fair share of it in the last decade, but that doesn't mean I enjoy it.

In fact, while everyone else is stretched out with their eyes closed, taking a respite from their worries, I'm staring out the window expecting at any moment for some demonic creature to appear on the wing and joyfully tear it apart while I'm hopelessly and helplessly stuck inside the flying death trap.

Thank you Twilight Zone for that wonderful thought.

Never mind that airplanes are one of the safest ways to travel.

When my mind isn't conjuring up demonic critters it runs through all the more realistic and likely things that could go wrong.

Birds could fly into the engines causing them to stall or catch on fire.

The propellers can fly off and tear the airplane in half. (Okay, maybe not that likely, but there is a chance).

The landing gear could malfunction.

We could crash due to bad weather (Since I was little I always reflect back on the deaths of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens).

Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't drive myself crazy or require large quantities of alcohol.

Especially when my first flight was delayed because of mechanical problems.

Glad I'm done with flying for a while. I think my next trip will be done via car, train, or ship.

What are your feelings or experiences with flying?