Author Blog Chain Hop-- Helping Authors Help Themselves

I try to be the kind of a friend that a friend would like to have, and I try to have that reflect in my professional life as well.  Honest, loyal, helpful.  As a writer, I believe I have the power to influence others.  It probably helps that my mother had this knack for convincing anyone that frozen ketchup on a stick is a cherry popsicle-- I surely picked up a few tricks from her, including DNA ;)
That said, I also believe in supporting fellow indie authors and friends in their righteous endeavors.  So when I was invited to participate in an author blog chain hop, I jumped at the chance.  It serves my need to help other indie authors, as well as potentially bringing more readers to this blog (and perpetuating the cycle).  I'm all about the good mojo/karma.  I firmly believe I am on the earth for a purpose, and writing is it.  It empowers me to empower others.

So about this author blog hop chain hoobie-doo.  The idea is to answer a few questions and tag four other authors.  If you would like to participate, copy the questions below, answer them, then tag four other authors (hopefully myself as one of them, since you got this here), and encourage the chain to keep going!

Now on to the Q&A that you're surely dying to know.

What am I working on?
Right now I'm working on Fallen.  The anti-hero is none other than Sylas Mortas, villain of The Subtle Beauty & Moonlight.  Sylas has informed me he is a fallen frog prince.  We all know the story of the frog prince, but we don't often hear how he was turned into a frog.  Sylas has shared that information with me.  Ciatlllait & Crwys make an appearance too.
I'm also in the process of brainstorming In The Mean While, which I'll be writing with a special 6-year-old over the summer.  It's highly imaginative and full of adventure.  I can't wait.
The other book that's currently in the works is The Rose in the Briar.  It's a twisted retelling of Sleeping Beauty told through the prince and Rose's wicked father.  It's also a backstory for Glory's (MC of The Subtle Beauty) ancestors.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When asked what I write, I usually just tell the person "Young Adult".  I don't like to limit myself to just one sub genre.  I write what excites  me, whether it be sword & sorcery, horse racing, or flamingos that fly backwards.  I don't want to say I'm original, but I am a little twisted, and I think that reflects in my writing.  I try to keep it clean, however, which I'm told is hard to find these days.

Why do I write what I do? 
I like to think I did my best writing as a teenager.  I was on fire.  I cranked out 20 books in 5 years (which, I feel, is rather impressive when you stop to consider all the other things you're doing as a teenager: school, extracurricular activities, having a social life....)  So that leaves me convinced that I'm perpetually in the mindset of a 14-year-old, which means I can't imagine writing anything other than YA.  If I do, it's not a conscious decision.  I just write what I write, however I write it, and continually seek to improve my skills.

How does my writing process work?
Usually my books come to me as an idea, an image, a sound. I feel it.  Often it's a character speaking to me.  For instance, the idea of In The Mean While came to me when I heard the voice of a little boy: "My name is Acorn.  I am nine.  I live in a swamp.  I don't remember my parents."
I mean how can you resist exploring that?
And when I say "hear" I really do mean it.  I hear my characters speak as though they are sitting beside me.  Their voices are quiet, but unique.  I also see what's going on as though I'm watching a movie.  I just write what I see on the screen.  I believe there's a veil between many worlds, and that veil is thin.  Who's to say these aren't real spirits wishing for their tales to be told in our world to help and uplift others?  We authors are but vassals and can only hope to be worthy to express what those characters cannot without help.
Also I sometimes see/sense color when I hear certain musical notes.  But that's a different blog post for another day ;)

Thanks for reading.  I hope you continue the chain.  Here's my bio if you decide to:

Ann Hunter
Ann Hunter wrote her first multi-award winning story before age 13. She is the author of the young adult fantasy novels The Subtle Beauty, Moonlight, Fallen, The Rose In The Briar, and Ashes. She likes cherry soda with chocolate ice cream, is a mom first and a writer second, has a secret identity, and thinks the Twilight movies are cheesier than cheez whiz (which is why they are her guilty pleasure!)
She lives in a cozy Utah home with her two awesome kids and epic husband.
She is the author of The Subtle Beauty & Moonlight, with Fallen expected in May, and The Rose in the Briar in July, and two others by January 2015.

Amazon URL:
Blog URL:
Facebook URL:
Twitter URL:
Goodreads URL:

And now to feature my fellow authors!

Leo Featherstone
Born in 1984, Leo Featherstone earned a BA in English and an MA in museum communication. He works as a freelance bookkeeper and archivist in addition to writing dark fantasy. The conception of his first book occurred when he arbitrarily sketched a vampire character in art class one day in his junior year of high school. This initial drawing led him to write a rough outline for his first story. It wasn't until he graduated from college that he finally sat down and fleshed his story out into a full novel.

Ebon City: Death and the Maiden is his debut novel and he's currently working on his second, Ebon City: Bloodline.

Goodreads Blog:

E. M. Epps
E. M. Epps writes science fiction and fantasy. When not writing, she sells other people's books at Pegasus Book Exchange in West Seattle. She hates writing bios about herself.
So far she has three works published: To Hell and Back Again...With a Little White Dog, a humorous novella with influences from Greek mythology; The Portrait of Geraldine Germaine, a feel-good romance novelette about a female author in 1890's Paris (with a touch of magic as well, of course!); and You Made My Heart a Hunter, a fantasy novella with a focus on spirituality, nature, and the conflict between an individual and society's expectations. All three stories are available on Amazon. ( She is currently at work on a novel.
E. M. Epps's website
E. M. Epps's personal blog
E. M. Epps's Facebook page

Crystal Cierlak
Crystal Cierlak is an American author with a penchant for dramatic romance and a touch of sci-fi. Her first published book, “Zoe Thanatos”, is the first in a trilogy of stories about a young woman who discovers she’s from an alternate universe, and has an entire life she was meant to live but hasn’t. The author recently published a short story that accompanies “Zoe” and takes place in the same world but bridges a gap between the end of the first book and the forthcoming sequel. 

Crystal also writes a series called “The Romance of Nick and Layla” about a famous pop star, the love of his life (whom he married in secret) and their tumultuous relationship that spans more than a decade. Can Nick and Layla ever get to a place where they’re ready to love and be committed to each other? The sixth and final (maybe?) installment is due to be published later this year.

Crystal resides in Bakersfield with her soon-to-be husband, and recently graduated with a Master’s of Art in Media Psychology. She also has a Bachelor’s of Art in Art with an emphasis in art history, a passion. Most of her stories take place along the Central Coast of California, where the author grew up and spent the majority of her life. 

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