Author Interview with Phillip Kessler

Wow its the weekend already? I can’t believe this week went so fast. To help you through the weekend I got multi-genre author Phillip Kessler to sit down with me for an interview. Hope you enjoy getting to know him. Happy reading :).

The Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m originally from a rural community on the High Plains of Northeastern Colorado, but I spent much of my youth in small towns in Southeastern Nebraska. Not much of a difference, really. Growing up in the country and in small towns gave me plenty of time to read books of all sorts. I actually learned how to read and write through books that were published in the UK. Made things fun in school when I was told I was spelling colour wrong.
My young adult life took me to Iowa and Minnesota with side trips to Nevada, California, and Florida. I’m not well-traveled, but I have read books that have put me into different parts of the world, the universe, or somewhere outside the realm of reality.
I’m still in Southeast Nebraska, living a stone’s throw from the capitol building in Lincoln. An area filled with ghost stories and a unique history. Going under the streets of this part of the city (several small towns that were later incorporated, are deep tunnels that were built by the Masons that go from the capitol to the governor’s mansion to the various Masonic Lodges, and even to the Regional Center (a facility for the criminally insane) and the medium security prison on the edge of Lincoln.
All great fodder for my main series Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings.

What genre do you write in? Why?

I’m a multi-genre author. I spend most of my time in the broad genre of fantasy – urban fantasy, paranormal fantasy, sci-fi fantasy, and more. I have two fiction pen names that dabble in historical fiction, romance, mystery, and erotica, but I’ll leave those for another time.
I love the idea of being able to pick up a book (or an ereader) and escape into a world that isn’t like our own, or maybe just a little different from our own. Diving into the crystal caves of Mary Stewart’s interpretation of the Authurian legends or snuggling up with a smexy vampire from the Vampire Academy are great ways to put aside the duldrums and stresses of everyday life. If I can help another reader do the same, then I have reached that part of my writing goal.

What inspired you to become an author?

All these stories floating around in my head. That’s the simple answer. I have characters nagging me to tell their tales, to make them come to life. And, oh the stories they have to tell! Elaine and Sandra from DotMNB are constantly vying for my time and get unhappy when I spend time with the futuristic Romans and Greeks of Station Zeta or the multi-cultural crew of the R.S. Pinnacle. Then there are the demons and angels plotting to overthrow the status quo (first installment just released in Feathers & Fiends from Stained Glass Publishing, “Principia Bellum”).
Needless to say, the characters living inside my head provide plenty of inspiration. But they aren’t the only ones. My real life Muse throws plenty of fuel on the fire. Rare is the conversation we have that doesn’t spawn another story or article idea – I also write spiritual nonfiction under yet another pen name.
If I could just live with the characters and ideas in my head and be successful enough to not work for “the man,” I would be set.

B-W-L togetherWhat is your writing process like?

There’s a process? No, really?
In all seriousness,,, When the characters of a particular story battle their way through the morass of my cluttered mind and demand loudly that I write their stories, then I write. I clean the desk of whatever else I have been doing and set to it.
Strong coffee and ice cold water at hand, a source of nicotine (I’ve been vaping in an attempt to quit smoking – no lectures please), a good soundtrack, and my furbabies contentedly sleeping nearby. Then, I am ready to write. How often do all those things fall into the perfect place? Almost never.
So, then I will push things aside, guzzle a pot of coffee, and barrel through without sleep to bring the characters to life on the screen. The sacrifices that authors will make for their characters and their stories!

Do you have any strange quirks you do while you write a book?

Non-authors think most authors are strange and quirky. If I had to say something I do while writing is a quirk, strange or not, I would have to say that my ability to shut out almost everything around me – save for the cats – is one of them. I can ignore the phone, Facebook, even the herd of elephants (children) running around in the upstairs apartment.
Unlike many authors I know, I often write with a TV series or movie playing in the background. I can filter the “distraction” of the story on the TV into a compartment of my mind while the words flow out through my fingers to relate the story of the character(s) that are most vocal in the rest of my mind.
Oh, and speaking of the cats! The youngest, my mostly black tuxedo male named Jonathan Renfield Bedlam (gee, wonder where I came up with those names), demands attention when I am glued to the computer writing. He’ll drag his favorite toy up onto the desk and drop it on the keyboard or push the mouse from under my hand while I am editing. To entertain him, and give myself something to chuckle about, I will stick that favorite toy under me and let the streamers hang to the floor. He’s happy to play with the streamers and I am able to work. We’re both happy – for a time. And then he’ll be back up on the desk flopping onto the keyboard. “Pay attention to me!”

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?

Backfire, the first book in the Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings series started out as a short story for a Pagan fiction collection. I admittedly missed my deadline (I’d write a book on procrastination, but I’d never get around to finishing it) and shelved it for almost entire year. I found myself suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed. A friend suggested that I finish the story – an allegorical tale of what can happen when someone does magick for another without their permission. The two page sketch of a story quickly turned into a short novel – in three weeks!
Sandra and Elaine came to life for me. On the screen and in my head. They became nearly as real to me as the people around me (wait, I was hermitting in my apartment and not being around real people). That short novel went live on Amazon on April 1, 2017. One month later, the second book was published.
Yes, that’s right. Only a month later. It took a few months to write the third book, but I was feeling really good about my creativity and ability to tell a story by the end of August 2017. Three novels in six months! Wow!
Book four is still in process, two years after the third one went live. Why? So many other ideas! But Sandra and Elaine’s story will continue! There is so much still in store for them and their motley crew of friends and allies.

What authors inspired you to write your own book?

My friend who encouraged me to finish Backfire. She’s a published author as well. We may no longer be in contact (long story that doesn’t deserve being told here), but if it weren’t for her push, I doubt I would have ever finished that first story in Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings.
Fellow small-trad and indie authors like Asaph Mehr, Diane Morrison, Andy Peloquin, and so many more. All of those who I met prior to publishing Backfire and all those I have met since. They are all inspirations in their own way. Some of them, not just those named, have become good friends.
And my Muse. Without her, I would have become discouraged in the process. She reminds me that writing is more than a job, it is a calling for some. And for me, that is what it is. A calling.

Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?

My Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings series is technically indie published – originally. I moved into the publishing world myself shortly after the third book was launched. I have published short stories for others and am in negotiations with other authors to publish their books under my publishing house of Saturn Returns Publishing. I’ve also had more traditional publishing experience with my spiritual nonfiction projects. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Moon Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing in the UK (full circle, eh?).
I chose to self publish because I didn’t feel that a mainstream publisher would be interested in my stuff. But I knew there was a market for it. That, and I don’t have the patience to work with big named publishers who drag the process out much longer than I feel it needs to be. I guess I made a good choice. Though the advertising budget is almost nothing, I enjoy doing the legwork to get my works out there and in front of the readers. I enjoy the one on one with fellow small and indie authors. There may be drama from time to time, but I have built some strong relationships with my fellow authors and even other small publishers.

Backfire teaser graphic - Teresa HurstWhat should we expect from you in the coming months?

As an author, I have several short stories due out by the end of this year. Including some horror and paranormal romance. I hope to complete book four in DotMNB in time for the holidays and finish that part of the story before diving into more new adventures for the ladies and their cohort.
The collaborative RP novel “Legacy of a Corrupted Mind” is due out October 7th. Legacy is a role-play novel collaboration between myself and nine other authors, including the mastermind behind the project Lianne Willowmoon. We’re gearing up for a big release celebration in Baltimore, MD at the gravesite of Edgar Allan Poe, who inspired all the characters in the two volume novel. Legacy is on pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your favorite online ebook retailers and will be available in paperback in early October with a special limited edition hardcover edition.
As a publisher, a number of anthologies are scheduled to come out by the end of the year. A merfolk collection, queer horror stories, and more.

What is the one thing you want to say to your readers?

I want to say “buy my books!” Every author wants to say that. But in all seriousness, after you buy AND read my book, leave a review, share your thoughts with your friends, tell me what you liked or didn’t like. And keep coming back for more! I write as a calling, but part of that calling is sharing my thoughts, my stories, my ideas, with those who want to read them.


The Author

cosplay DWho4 - Tom Ulrick photographerPhilipp J. Kessler is an author, blogger, and radio/podcast personality. His Dark of the Moon, New Beginnings series launched his fiction career in 2017. He’s been published in several nonfiction and fiction anthologies including Feathers & Fiends from Stained Glass Publishing and Technology Gone Mad from Saturn Returns Publishing and the Pagan Leadership Anthology from Immanion Press/MegaLithica Books. He can be heard on KZUM-Lincoln 89.3FM Sunday mornings from 9am to noon Central and on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel. He resides in Lincoln, NE with his two cats and a horde of books and music. He also runs his own publishing label and editing services through Saturn Returns Publishing. Find out more about him by searching RevKess on your favorite browser or most social networks.

Connect with the Author

FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Dark of the Moon Circle Fan Page | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub | BookSprout | ARC Sign-up | Patreon Page


The Book

BACKFIREIt was a simple protection spell, what could possibly go wrong? Everything and then some!

Sandra Blackwell wants to help her friend find peace and protection after a nasty break up. Little did she know that Elaine’s home was already under protection – if you call flickering lights and depression protection. After the bulbs begin to blow and they realize something has backfired, they battle their own mental and emotional demons to fix what Sandra did. Two Egyptian Gods play with Sandra’s understanding of who she is and Elaine is floating in her own personal limbo after the blow up of her relationship and the backfire of a well intentioned spell. Can they fix things without it all blow up in their faces?

The first in a series of stories following Sandra and Elaine, Backfire introduces the characters and establishes their life together. Friends since middle school, the two are now getting established in their careers. Magick, love, and unexpected happenings follow them all over the place.

Purchase Today for 99¢!

Join the Awesome Events & Promos!

Today I am participating in a Facebook Take-Over event over on Tyffani Clark’s Facebook page. I will be co-hosting at 8pm CST. Just because that is my time slot doesn’t mean you can’t go enjoy the fun beforehand. There are dozens of authors participating of all genres. What does this mean for you? Glad you ask, it means their are multiple sales, giveaways and awesome content for you to enjoy.

STOP BY AND CHECK IT OUT!

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The weekend is pretty quiet for me this time around. However, on Monday I will be co-hosting another Facebook Take-over event for author Tanya L. Harris at 4pm CST. Come join us celebrate the 4th & 5th for Tanya’s newest release “Unbound”.

CHECK THINGS OUT AND HAVE SOME FUN!

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Even though I am participating in several events throughout the month doesn’t mean that is all I have to share. Below you will find all the current Book Promos I have my books Signed-Up for throughout this month. I will be adding another when the day gets closer but till then enjoy all these free books!

FREE EBOOK EVENTS FOR NOVEMBER! GET ACCESS TO OVER 100 AUTHOR FANTASY/SCI-FI READS!!!
Science Fiction and Fantasy magnet share Dragon Hoard November Extravaganza

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DG Lamb: Guest Post

Please welcome, my special guest Sci-fi Author DG Lamb to my blog for this special Friday Author Spotlight. He has prepared an awesome guest post! Hope you all enjoy :).

~ World Building ~
The Bridge between Author and Reader

In fantasy and sci fi, world building is all about answering the question: What if? It is the answers to these questions of what if that are the girders of the bridge the reader must cross to enter the author’s imagined world. If there are too few girders or if they are poorly assembled, the bridge’s roadway, the surface on which the reader walks, will be shaky or uneven. The need to sufficiently think out and consistently apply the details of how a futuristic or magical world works creates one of the greatest challenges for the fantasy/sci fi writer. Why? Because the foundational answers to these what if questions are rarely directly referenced in the writing. Or, to continue the analogy, the structure of the bridge is mostly unseen.

For me, the original what if was: What if I was creating a Skinner Box in the future, having all of that advanced technology at my disposal, what would it be like? So, harkening back to your Intro to Psychology class, recall that B F Skinner was a behavioral psychologist who created an operant conditioning chamber in which rats would learn to press a lever to receive a food reward. I began thinking of all of the ways a futuristic room could supply positive and negative responses to the occupant’s behavior: varied lighting levels, colors, temperature, smells, the firmness of the floor – all sorts of ways to shape the person’s behavior. And thus, The Womb was born! But, so what? I had a fantastic room that could do all sorts of neat stuff, but it was just a single girder. So, I needed to answer some more what if questions.

I had to know what kind of society would want to create such a room. Well, we already know it has to be set in the future. But, what if there was a secret order of assassins who kidnapped children and molded them to fill their ranks of covert operators? Hmmm, seems unlikely that people wouldn’t notice that their children were disappearing. OK, what if Earth societies continued their competitive ways and after the discovery of FTL (faster than light) space travel, they so rapidly expanded outward that the space frontier became much like the old Wild West in America? What if law enforcement and governmental oversight lagged far behind this expansion, particularly in the American Sector, where private enterprises were allowed to establish settlements to support capitalist ventures? What if some of these “company colonies” were a bit more relaxed about funding social institutions, such as orphanages, and a significant number of children were left to fend for themselves? Who would notice if a few choice candidates were plucked from this planet or that colony? Wow! Now I have the beginnings of a system of connecting girders that supports the creation of The Womb.

Most of these elements of Joshua’s world are only indirectly referenced, if at all. For example, the fact that a Swedish ex-patriot in Norway discovered FTL travel is not even hinted at until well into the Driven to the Hilt series – the fifth book, in fact. But this girder permits the placement of a tiny tasty detail in The Deepest Cut (Book 1), as the topic for a paper Joshua had to write for his mother. For me, such details are the small sprinkling of spice that brings more flavor to the world, helping the story sparkle with life. Sometimes the need for girders is obvious. I knew I had to support the idea that someone as young as Joshua could survive what was to come. So I tried to establish a strong foundation with the core values instilled by his parents, his obvious intellect, his mother’s loving but unrelenting expectations that he do his best, his greater maturity secondary to being an only child, and his physical prowess and leadership skills by way of the stickball game, among other things. However, sometimes the missing girders wake me up in a cold sweat. For example, after I first wrote about Joshua retrieving Mom’s Fang from Muldavy, I just had him continuing on his way, fighting to survive the malignant attentions of the underbelly of New Cincinnati. But then it struck me, are you serious? Some kid is seen walking into town holding a creature in his hand that is so deadly, the fear of it has kept the colony out of The Swamp since its founding. And this would not get out? This would not make the news? Of course it would. But if such an issue is not addressed, perhaps the reader will not realize exactly what is wrong, but most will hear a hollow thump to their footsteps as they cross the bridge, an untruth that echoes from beneath, causing a dissatisfaction that lingers to the end of the book. And then they will say, “Yeah, that was a pretty good book, I guess.” They will not say, “Now that was a great read! I have to tell my friends about this.”

And so, the unheralded process of writing speculative fiction is supporting the world you create with a sufficient number of properly placed girders. I did this with a wide variety of topics: the weather that produces the permanent overcast of New Cincinnati, the extensive use of lab created foods, the way in which the bottom-line priorities of the sponsoring corporation shaped the colony. And the impact of each of these elements must be taken into account when writing about the people of the settlement. If you have considered all of these things, it will come through in both obvious and subtle aspects of your writing. The logical application of the rules of your world and the glimmers of fine details that you create provides that extra dimension, that rounding of the edges, that filling out of the characters, that makes a good story great.


DG LAMB

DG Lamb is the Clinical Director of a comprehensive neurorehabilitation program. In addition to a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, he has a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. He has also worked with law enforcement officers suffering from PTSD after critical incidents. While recovering from prostate cancer surgery, his son suggested he try his hand at creative writing.

IT’S STALKER TIME! IF YOU’RE NOT STALKING DG LAMB YOU CAN START HERE:
WEBSITE | FB | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

DG LAMB’S AUTHOR PAGES:
AMAZON | INDEPENDENT AUTHOR NETWORK


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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY TO WIN ALL 3 BOOKS BELOW!

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FINALDriven to the Hilt Book 1DRIVEN TO THE HILT
THE DEEPEST CUT

Already a social outcast because of his father’s alleged betrayal, young Joshua finds himself trapped outside the mining colony on the planet of Cypress Grove. He faces a dark rainforest infested with a creature so deadly, it has kept all humans confined inside their only settlement for decades. If he can manage to escape these alien wilds, he will then have to brave the even darker dangers of the colony’s criminal underworld.

In this original coming of age tale, debut author DG Lamb lays the foundation for the Driven to the Hilt series with plenty of action, unique style, and a richly crafted young hero.

GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

Halloween Mega Multi-Author #Giveaway With #FREE #Ebooks For All Readers!

 

MEGAHALLOWEENGIVEAWAY_2018_PROMOIMAGEThe month of October is full of awesome giveaways and free books. The Halloween Mega Giveaway started today and is featuring over 30+ authors. This event is hosted through myBookCave.org and to make things even better there will be a Facebook event set up for the 26th including even more authors with giveaways. Make sure to grab your spooky books of Horror, Fantasy and PNR before the event ends.

I have my short story, A Father’s Protection in this promotion. Keep you eyes peeled because on the 15th another awesome giveaway will be going and I will be announcing it here.

This promotion starts today Oct. 5th and runs till Nov. 5th. Make sure to grab your free books before the time runs out.

CLICK HERE TO PICK YOUR FREE EBOOKS!

October Spectacular Speculative Fiction Event! Multi-Author #FREE #Ebooks

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The month of October is a big month for promotions and events for this girl. One of the first starting off is the October Spectacular. It’s a book funnel promotions featuring over 120+ authors that write within the genres of Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror. If you love reading books within these awesome genres then get ready to fill your reading list.

I have my short story, An Elf, a Dragon, and a God’s Intervention in this promotion. Look for a few days to pass before I announce the beginning of another big October giveaway event that will be run through Book Cave.

This promotion starts today Oct. 1st and runs till Oct. 31st. Make sure to grab your free books before the time runs out.

CLICK HERE TO PICK YOUR FREE EBOOKS!

#ArtoftheArcane ~Autumn Sci-fi & Fantasy Fiction Giveaway!

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It’s September 20th, and it’s my day to share my link to this special event. What is this event? It is an event put together by AOTA that gathers Sci-Fi and Fantasy fiction authors together to offer readers FREE ebooks.

The purpose of the event is to help readers find more authors that write awesome content. Ebooks are offered in multiple ways in this giveaway, it depends on how the author agreed to set it up. The different ways to get the ebooks is by either signing up for the authors mailing list, get it a part of a FREE special the author is running through Amazon/Smashwords, or it could be a PermaFree ebook. Either way, it will be worth checking out with over thirty author books to choose from you defiantly will find an awesome read.

YES, I WANT FREE EBOOKS!

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Calling all #PNR, #DARKFANTASY, #FANTASY & #HORROR #AUTHORS ~ Sign-up for this Halloween Mega Giveaway!

Are you a Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Horror Author or one that writes among the sub-categories? You won’t want to miss this newsletter swap event! Join in on this Halloween Mega Giveaway to build your mailing list and give readers a chance to find you.

Genres accepted:

Horror, Thriller, PNR, Dark Fantasy, SCIFI, Dystopian, Apocalypse and Fantasy

Or your book or story can include one of the following:

Ghost, Vampire, End of World, demons, Death, murder, zombies, plague, curse, devil, evil, shifters, and angels

Do you want to get in on this FREE Author Promotional Event? Just join this Facebook Group and sign-up for the Halloween Mega Giveaway by the link provided in the group.

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