Friday, June 24, 2011
Cross-genre Author, Lakisha Spletzer
Today, my guest is cross-genre author, Lakisha Spletzer talking about her writing and latest release.
Please tell us about yourself?
I'm proud to say that I'm an indie author with a cross-genre writing style. Now what that means, *smiles *, is that my writing doesn't fall solidly within one genre. For example, my Werelove series is classified as dark paranormal romance/urban fantasy/with science fiction elements. I know that's a bit of a mouthful, but it's true.
Tell us your latest news?
My first children's novel, “The Tempo”, will be coming out in August. I'm writing it for my daughter because she wanted to read something of mine. So far I've written mainly YA or adult fiction, so there's nothing really she can read of mine. That's why I decided to write one for her.
When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing since the age of 8, but I didn't start writing to get published until I was 25.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There's a funny story to that one. I always equated being a “writer” with being “published.” My really good friend and fellow writer, Elissa Malcohn, told me one day that as long as I'm putting my words to paper, I'm a writer. That I should always remember that and be proud of that fact. That really helped me look at things in a new light.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write a story about my life in high school and some of the things I experienced growing up. I didn't want to do a contemporary time so I placed it in the genres that I like which are science fiction and fantasy.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are too many to count! Some of them are gaining your self-esteem and self-confidence to pursue your goals and dreams. Also that true friends are hard to find and when you do, make sure you're a great friend to that person as well because you never know when you'll need that love and support.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are two. The first one is Dianne Dykstra who I met online in 2003. She had lots of knowledge about the publishing industry that she shared with me. And also, Elissa Malcohn, who I mentioned earlier. She was in a writer's workshop group I joined when I moved to Florida in 2004. From her I learned about things like query letters, dealing with a publisher once you got one, and a lot of information about ebooks and self-publishing.
What are your current projects?
I have my children's novel, “The Tempo”, which is coming out in August. I have scheduled and/or currently writing the sequel to my debut novel, “Jewels”, the third novel in my Werelove series, and a new science-fiction novel which will have my first male character as the main character.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think my biggest challenges always come in the grammar and punctuation. I tend to use repetitive words/phrases and I'm a comma phobe. At least that's what my editor calls me. I've gotten a little bit better but I still have moments when I kick myself for not catching it.
Do you ever have problems with writers block? If so how do you get through it?
I used to get writer's block all the time. I would go read a book, listening to music, work a crossword puzzle—anything to remove me from what I was writing until my mind was able to focus on the storyline again.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I like to read. I also teach dance at a local dance studio. It gives me another avenue to be creative.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I wish I could say that I have just one author who I love the most, but I can't. I have a few who inspired and hold my interest:
1) Piers Anthony for his humor and wit, no matter what type of story it is.
2) Anne McCaffrey because of descriptions and emotions. I always feel invested in her characters.
3) Andre Norton for making alien worlds be really cool.
4) Mercedes Lackey for making fantasy intriguing and not always having a clear cut answer.
5) Elissa Malcohn for always making me think while giving great emotional impact.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing a sequel is to keep the momentum going from the first book. You don't want to lose it because that is the quickest way to make readers leave you. I constantly fretted while writing this book because I wanted to make it good, if not better, than the first. So I was constantly asking my beta readers what they thought. I think I drove them nuts, * lol *, but in the end, I was proud of what I accomplished.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be open-minded. The writing industry is in flux. Always consider all your options and don't be quick to dismiss something without doing your homework about it first.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
That for those who are keeping up with the series, thank you. I hope you enjoy this one as much as the first one. If you're new to my work, I hope you enjoy the ride.
Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I will be attending Necronomicon, October 21-23, in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm excited about this convention because award-winning science-fiction writer, Ben Bova, is going to be there. If you're interested in the convention the website is: www.stonehill.org/necro.htm
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
AUTHOR: Lakisha Spletzer
BOOK TITLE: Werelove: Midnight Revelations
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Lakisha-Spletzer/e/B0039SXOE4\
::Good-bye, my dream prince.::
He froze at the sound of Laylah’s voice in his mind. Never had he heard such despair and loss.
::Laylah!:: His telepathic yell went unanswered.
Donil whirled around and saw Stefan’s amazed expression. “You heard it too?”
“Yes, but it’s not possible though. She shouldn’t…never mind. Go, two doors down to the right. That’s where she is. I’ll be coming behind you to watch your back. Be careful, Kitty.”
Donil smirked. “I will.” He broke into a jog. ::I’m coming, Beautiful. Hold on a little longer.::
He headed in the direction Stefan had pointed, all the while opening his senses and casting them out in a wide area. He felt her fear and he growled low and menacing. He took out two more of Zina’s people and sniffed the air.
He could smell Laylah, that welcoming, pure scent. And then there was Zina’s stench. He sneezed, shook his head and then slowly opened the door.
From his spot, he saw Zina’s back and Laylah bound to a chair. This was his chance. He easily squeezed inside the door without a sound and inched his way left so that he could sneak up on Zina.
Laylah’s scream of pain almost ripped a roar of challenge from him but, at the last moment, he stopped himself. He couldn’t quite make his tremor of rage disappear as he fought to remain controlled like Grandpa Hans had taught him. Zina was hurting his mate. This could not, would not continue.
He willed Laylah to be strong as he took a step forward. Zina was babbling and Laylah screamed again before she fell silent as Zina’s little speech continued. He saw Laylah’s eyes widen and knew she’d spotted him. Now if he could just take Zina out….
Without turning Zina spoke. “Donil, my dear old friend. If you don't wish me to gut her, stop moving. Why you thought you could sneak up on me is laughable. Besides, her eyes gave you away. All that hope replacing my well cultivated fear.”
Donil gritted his teeth. Man, he hated that Wolf Bitch. He watched as Zina moved behind Laylah's chair and draped herself over Laylah's shoulders making sure to place the knife against his mate’s throat.
He snarled but didn't move from his spot. Laylah's gaze stayed on him. His heart ached when he saw the faith in her eyes and he almost came undone when she mouthed, “I trust you, Donil.”
“Well, Boy, I have a proposition for you. Why don't we both enjoy the prey?”
Laylah stiffened and Donil glared at Zina.
“I'm not like you, Zina. I don't hurt and kill innocents,” he retorted.
Zina laughed and nuzzled Laylah. “So high and mighty. Too bad the snot-nosed, fawning kid grew up. Such a waste. Did you know, Donil, that I've tasted her blood?”
He growled and took a step toward them.
“Uh, uh. Wrong move,” Zina taunted and nicked Laylah's neck. “Oh, lookie! The prey bleeds.”
Laylah gasped. Donil, enraged by Zina’s evil, glowered and shifted into a battle stance.
“Stop hurting her, Zina!” He ordered and opened his mouth to speak when he felt Stefan’s mind touch his. He snapped his mouth closed and listened to what the older male had to say.
::Boy, get her away from my niece. I’ll free Laylah. You concentrate on your opponent.::
::Don’t tell me how to fight, Stefan, but you are right. I can’t do anything with Laylah captive. Get ready.::
Donil blinked and spoke in a reasonable tone hoping to catch the crazed Alpha off-guard. “Do you think, Zina, that if you injure the girl, it will bring him to you? Perhaps even make him beg for your love?”
Zina tensed behind Laylah, the knife moving closer to her skin.
Donil didn’t stop speaking. “He's incapable of loving anyone except himself and his money. C'mon, you're better than that! Find a male who wants you, for you.”
Zina's mocking laughter filled the quiet room. “Ah, to be young again and so incredibly naive. You know those with power don't have the luxury of fairy tale endings. And if I can't have one, no one can. Enough talking. Come, take me if you're able. Look, I'll even make it easy for you.” She leaned in closer to Laylah's neck and murmured, “Pain is a great incentive.”
“What? Ow!” Laylah shrieked as Zina sank her teeth into her neck.
Donil couldn’t keep his composure and let out an enraged bellow that mixed with Zina's maniacal giggles. He charged and Zina moved from behind the chair to meet him. They slammed into each other and went careening in opposite directions.
“Stupid move, Cat Boy! Do you think you can take out a Wolf?” Zina taunted as she circled.
He didn’t respond, but kept her in his sight. He watched her movements and was able to bear the brunt of her next charge that would have knocked him off his feet. She was even stronger than normal in this maddened state. They continued to feint and attack back and forth. Donil would have loved to shift and show her who was superior, feline or lupine, but he couldn’t. Not with Laylah in the room. And so he and Zina continued their deadly dance.
Stefan informed him telepathically that Laylah was almost free. It was that one moment of inattentiveness that cost him. Zina did a spinning kick and knocked him backward. Donil hissed and fought to breathe. He was pretty sure she’d broken one of his ribs.
He heard the familiar pop and cracking of shifting and swung his gaze over to Zina.
“Crap!” he snapped as he watched her shift to her Werehum form.
:Change, Alpha!:: Stefan roared at Donil.
::Be quiet, Old Man! Besides, I can't.::
::What do you mean, you can't? Are you mad? Zina will kill you if you don't!::
::Laylah doesn't know I'm Were. And I don't want her to find out this way. Get her out of here, Stefan!::
::Of all the idiotic...! Fine, I'll get my niece out of here.::
Stefan’s anger vibrated in their telepathic link but Donil didn’t have time to placate the older man. Zina was charging.
He dodged, sidestepped and aimed a kick at her knees. If he could break a kneecap, they could all escape.
At most he was hoping to slow Zina down. He knew the moment Laylah was free as her joy washed over him through their bond. He smiled and missed Zina’s feint and reversal.
“Die, Boy!” Zina shouted triumphantly and slid her claws home inside his abdomen. Zina retracted her claws and pushed Donil backwards.
He heard Stefan’s mental yell of denial. Donil staggered and went down, writhing in pain. The fire racing from his stomach to the rest of his body was debilitating.
“Never send a boy to do a man's job,” Zina taunted and kicked his leg. “And you, Stefan, did you really think I wouldn't recognize your scent? You're such a naughty boy, trying to steal my prey. I'm going to kill you, Stefan. But first, I need to get rid of this runt of a problem.” Zina giggled and stabbed her claws downward toward Donil. “Yes! Die, Boy!”
Donil’s last thoughts were of Laylah. If he died, she would truly be alone.