Q&A with Karla Tipton, Author of Dangerous Reflections

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000448_00060]Dangerous Reflections is an Edwardian London-based story about a graduate student who travels through time to help save her dying grandmother. What inspired you to write a time travel book that features mystery and magic?

I’ve always written stories with time travel and paranormal elements since elementary school. The time travel element was most likely inspired by watching the gothic TV soap, Dark Shadows, and Christopher Lee vampire movies. My mother handed me a collection of Edgar Allen Poe short stories when I was about 10. She hoped I would learn the dangers of keeping secrets from The Tale-Tell Heart. But what really caught my attention was the plot device of having a dismembered murder victim buried under the floorboards.

Dangerous Reflections came about after I discovered the Harry Potter books in the early 2000s, when J.K. Rowling was still writing book 5 out of 7...

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Science in Fiction – Faster Than Light Travel

science in fictionFaster than Light Travel (FTL) has always bothered me.  As a scientist, it makes no sense to me, but it has become a popular trope in science fiction.  Scientifically and mathematically, it doesn’t make sense.

I’ll start with some simpler concepts…

Speeds approaching the Speed of Light

So, according to various laws, theories and principles in physics, as a mass approaches the speed of light, it’s energy increases.  Meaning, the amount of energy required to maintain that speed increases.  At the speed of light, that energy reaches infinity, which of course, is impossible.  And because that energy requirement has already reached infinity, and there is nothing higher than infinity, no amount of energy could possibly cause a mass to move faster than the speed of light.

In other words, based on the laws of physics as we see them now, no engine would be able to allow something with mass, like a ship, to reach the speed of light.  There just isn’t enough fuel to accomplish it.

The T...

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Book Excerpt: Bright Fire by M.J. Austin @mjaustinbooks

Bright Fire_small

Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess.
She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades.
Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?
*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, Everneath, etc.*
Bright Fire

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Excerpt:

Mondays are the epitome of all evil. It’s just a fact.

Do you ever get those feelings deep in the pit of your stomach? The ones that make you feel all queasy and anxious? Well, that’s how I feel right now...

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Character POV – Mila – On the Run

Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine.  She told me she blogs.  I asked about what, and she told me she blogs in the POV of a zombie.  I thought it was an awesome idea, and so I thought I would try something similar.  Every once in a while, I’m going to blog in the POV of one of my characters from my stories.  It’ll probably be stuff that wouldn’t ordinarily be in the books, stuff that I think about, and helps me with character development, but the details never actually get divulged to the readers.  Hope you enjoy.

-Danielle Forrest

When I ran, I didn’t really think it through.  I just panicked.  One day, I was living my dream, well on my way to becoming a pilot.  Then it all changed.  I went from my only worry being whether I would pass a qualification or test to where I would find shelter… water… food…

It was scary at first, but somehow I feel like that fear had more to do with what I was running from...

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Book Review Request Queue

I am slowly but surely plowing through my queue of book review requests.  There are hundreds.  I’ve dropped it down under 200 now, and will hopefully be sending out requests for ebooks soon.

That being said, I have changed the form for Book Review Requests.  It is simpler, so it’ll take less time for authors to submit requests.  I am also hoping that it will make it faster for me to weed out a good deal of the review requests of people who didn’t bother to read my criteria, as many of the requests are for books that are not the correct genres.

I just finished clearing out by genre.  Nearly a third of requests were set aside due to being the wrong genres.  It has taken me hours just to get this far.  It took more time than I would even care to consider to just add all the book review requests to Goodreads.  I was up until nearly 2am that night.

As always, I encourage authors to submit listings to IndieGalley as well.  IndieGalley takes all genres while I do not.

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What I’ve been up to…

So, I know I’ve been a little lost lately, but I’m getting better.  I’ve finally started writing in Seize again. No more writer’s block, and I know how the rest of the book will go, so I suspect it won’t be long before I’ve finished the first draft.  Soon I’ll be posting the rest of the story on Wattpad.  You can find it, Mila’s Shift, and other stories on my Wattpad profile.

I’ve gotten enough reader comments for Mila’s Shift, so I’m going to be started the next draft soon.  Got a lot of useful comments, and I look forward to working out all the issues that were presented.  Mila’s Shift will soon be better than ever.

I plan on Mila’s Shift being the first book I publish now.  I’m hoping to publish it this year, budget allowing.  I made a new Wattpad cover for Mila’s Shift.  Isn’t it pretty?  I would love to be able to publish it in time to be a part of this year’s Comicon in Durham, but my life has been so crazy, I’m not sure if I can put together the funds by then.

I’ve lear...

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Chapter Length: What length is the RIGHT length?

book-91058_640It might seem like on odd question, and one most people wouldn’t even consider when writing a book, but it a surprisingly important one.  Of course, this isn’t a first draft sort of consideration.  All you should be worrying about at that time is the story itself.  But in later drafts, you should seriously be considering it.

Are your chapter lengths too long?

Are they too short?

You might find this as a bit of a surprise, but frequently, the answer depends on the types of scenes you’re writing.  So, if your scenes are full of suspense, tension, and mystery, where the readers are on the edges of their seats, longer chapter lengths are just fine.  But if your story is going through a slow period, or maybe the entire story is a little slow to build, then you might want to reconsider how long your chapters and scenes are.

Why does it matter?

Did you know that the average person’s attention span is only about six minutes?  That means if you don’t somehow reset their attention in tha...

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NaNoWriMo is officially over! #nanowrimo2014

Participant-2014-Web-BannerIt’s December 1st, and many of us (me included) are coming off that month-long frenetic obsession called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, FYI).  My goal had been to write 50k by Thanksgiving (which was the same goal as last year), since family has this way of absorbing all your time.  Alas, I didn’t reach my 50k until November 30th, but I made it!

NaNo was really kicking my butt this year.  Between family who don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “No” to other commitments that just happened to decide to start in November rather than being good and starting in December (cough-bowling league), it was certainly a challenge. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I managed to write 10k the first weekend, even though I had to visit my parents.  And I managed to write quite a bit while at work on some days, which probably had something to do with my success.  I had a lot of slow days, though...

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Writing a Blurb

In the past, I’ve had trouble writing blurbs or book descriptions.  When writing one for Forever After, I had the hardest time, finding myself completely stumped.

Sure, I’ve found plenty of resources giving suggestions on how to write effective blurbs, but that was never the problem.  The problem seemed to lie in trying to describe my book.  I couldn’t do it.  Not to save my life.  I’ve frequently found I couldn’t summarize my book if asked.  My mind just comes up blank.  There’s too much going on.  Where do I start?

It wasn’t until I think last year’s NaNoWriMo that I actually came to a sort of epiphany.  I am actually quite good at writing blurbs–when I have no idea what the book is actually going to be about!  I wrote the blurb for Mila’s Shift before I’d even gotten halfway through the outline, maybe much much less.  I barely had any clue what the story was about, but I managed to write a fairly good blurb.

I realized that that was the perfect time to write a blurb for...

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Patreon – Another Form of Crowd Funding

Recently, I’ve been rather intrigued by a site called Patreon.  The site, like with IndieGoGo and KickStarter, are intended to crowd fund, only Patreon works on a smaller scale.  Patreon is intended for content creators like web comic artists, musicians, writers, etc that create regular content.  Patrons, the content consumers, pay either per piece or per month, depending on how the content creator set up their page.  Like I said, I was intrigued and it seems rather promising.

So, I made myself a Patreon page.  The setup process was fairly simple, relatively easy to understand, but I felt it was decidedly lacking in “How To’s”  I found an FAQ, but that didn’t answer my questions entirely.  For the most part, the site seems to be pretty straight forward, though I did have a challenge with one of my “creations.”  When I tried to add an attachment to a creation, I ended up with this weird page with nothing on it.  I’ve emailed Patreon, and hopefully they can tell me what I did wrong...

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