I I have had the pleasure of interviewing my publishing family for their new release from CH&BB: Beyond The Never!!! Written by Madison Daniel (Ember), Alexia Pudry (Ever Shade), Jenna Key (Mark Of The Seer), Linna Drehmel (H.E.A.R.T. Saga) and Kyani Swanigan (Ever Life)!!!! This Anthology is a must see and must own!! Don't try to cut in line I must insist I am first but y'all form a line...
1) Who came up with the idea for Beyond The Never? And what were everyone else's thoughts.
K: The brilliant mind behind BTN was Madison Daniel. He presented the idea to Alexia, Linna, Jenna and I around the time when we were all getting acquainted. We all agreed that it would be a great opportunity to get to know each other. Who knew that it would be such an amazing learning experience! And so much fun as well!
J: Madison Daniel is the brain behind this. When we started we didn't know it would turn into an anthology, but after awhile we got into the groove, so to speak, and thought, wow, this would be awesome. And viola, out August tenth. I'm very, very humbled to be a part of this group of writers. We all are different and have different styles, and in Beyond the Never we definitely brought it!
A: But of course Mr. Genius Madison Daniel harassed us to cooperate with his fabulous idea. No, He did come up with it though and I was excited to participate and create stories with this talented bunch. I think we all were excited, and willing of course.
MD: Beyond grew from a simple idea and writing exercise I started with my literary sisters. We had all (Alexia, Linna, Jenna, Kyani) just been signed with Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing and I wanted to get to know my fellow authors. So, I wrote one chapter in a story (ALL FALL DOWN) and sent it to one of the other authors. She then wrote the next chapter and passed it to the next person. This continued until we had a short story with 5 distinct and original chapters. I couldn’t believe how well the short turned out. My writing sisters enjoyed it so much, that they each started their own shorts and passed them around. Four more shorts were quickly completed by us. (SNAKE DANCE, FORBIDDEN, MERCILESS, VAPOR) The idea of a unique anthology was born. We each added another full short (written as solo pieces) to finish the anthology with 10 dark, moody, sexy short stories. It was amazing. It was a blast. I can’t wait for the public to read this book. I am completely proud of my sisters. I crush on them!
L: That would be Madison Daniel. He approached us with this wild idea he had for an anthology. I loved it right off.
2) Now that each of you is published is there any advice you can give aspiring writers?
K: I would advise aspiring writers to follow their dreams. I know that it sounds like a cliché, but seriously, if writing and becoming an author/journalist or whatever is your craft, go for it!
J: The only advice I can give is to never give up. You will have days where you ask yourself if the work you're doing is worth it, and I can tell you, it is. Write from your heart and you will touch people's lives.
A: Just keep writing, keep at it, keep posting about your work, reach out and network with other writers, readers, bloggers. It's a constant job that can suck up a lot of time but it's all worth it.
MD: Write what you love. Surround yourself with smart, caring people. Don’t be afraid to fail. Edit, edit, edit!!!
L: Learn the industry standard for formatting.
3) What has this past few months been like for y'all? Is it surreal or overwhelming?
K: At first everything was surreal, I couldn’t believe that I had become a published author. It was so cool to find people that are interested in my work and so eager to read more; it really feels like a blessing and it’s still very exciting to get feedback.
J: Busy busy busy!! Mark of the Seer has being doing well and I'm overwhelmed at the people that are anxiously waiting for Broken to come out (11/23/12). I also started a new series called The Gracen Chronicles. The first book in this series is called Silver Mortal and will be published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.
A: It's been a bit surreal and plenty overwhelming for me. It's super hard to balance work, writing, promoting, family etc. I haven't found the perfect balance yet but I strive for it everyday.
MD: My literary world has been a blast. So many exciting doors are opening for me because of the past few months. I thank my Queen, Sarah Jane for believing in my series Ember. An international campaign has already begun for Ember and I hope to start rattling Hollywood’s cages soon too. I want that movie or TV contract.
L: WORK! WORK! WORK! and the ideas for stories just keep coming.
4) Ok music? What do you listen to? Who should I be buying for my iPhone? And Madison where is my cd of you? Lol
K: OMG where could I even start? Lol, I have come across so many new artists. My faves right now are Kito & Reija Lee, Nicole Atkins, Bad Boy Bill, Air, Flight Facilities... a ton! Oh and I’ve been waiting on the song from Madison too Carly, ha!
J: Before I answer let me ask Madison that same question: Where's my music, MD?! LOL!Anyway, I listen mostly to rock, some metal, which shocks parents at my three kids school. To name a few: Disciple, The Veer Union, Vast, SuperChick, Flyleaf, Red, Three Days Grace, Seether, Thousand Foot Crutch, Shinedown, Skillet, Switchfoot, Ashes Divide, Fireflight, Powerman 5000, Within Temptation, Lifehouse, Icon For Hire, Newsboys...I'll stop right there. This could go on and on and on...
A: MUSIC!!! I listen to everything. My favorites change for each book I write and I must have a playlist to write too. Right now my constant favorites include Anna Nalick, William Control, Evanescence, Lisa Hannigan, Ingrid Michaelson, Warpaint, Linkin Park, 3 doors down, Train. A whole bunch really.
MD: 80’s & 90’s hair metal!!! Don’t deny yourself!!! Embrace the power of hairspray and spandex...
L: I think all of FaceBook knows I listen to William Control. I have also fallen in love with these three new British bands. Ashestoangels, Fearless Vampire Killers, and Obscure pleasures. Go find them! Not only is their music awesome but they are some really friendly as well as kind men.
5) What do you do in your down time? No Facebook, or family, just you alone for an entire 24 hours. What would yo do??
K: I listen to a lot of music. I’m always writing or brainstorming, and music really helps me gather ideas. I also have to admit that Pinterest is my guilty pleasure, now that I’ve found it I can never stray.
J: Hmm...I'm usually never alone, but if I am I try to clean my house, though the times I have been alone I write until my eyes cross and then take a nap.
A: I read a lot, I review books too so I tend to read a lot of indie authors/self published works. LOVE them!! Otherwise I sleep, which is not that often.
MD: Sleep!!! I never get time to do that anymore. Ha! I would bury my head in a pile of pillows, sheets and dreams. Mad Dan VS the Sandman!!! BOOM!!!
L: Down...what? Down time? I am not sure what that is. I think if I had nothing to do I would read, listen to music and walk write down story ideas I get....wait I do that now!