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¢!

New Release Spotlight: Disillusioned

Hard to believe it is Saturday already. Pretty soon it will be Monday again. But, lets not dwell on the negative and think positive. Let me ask you do you have a book yet to read this weekend? If not then I got the perfect book for your. Author Krys Fenner just released her second book in her urban fantasy series. This does mean you have to pick up book 1 but that just means there are two awesome books for you to loose yourself in. Check out book 2 below. Snatch book 1 here. Did I mention they are both on Kindle Unlimited for FREE or you can grab them both for 99 pennies each.

Excerpt

Finishing the braid, Niamh stared at herself in the mirror. She looked more like her mother every day. The freckles peppered across her nose hadn’t changed any in the last three years. Her hair had lightened some from all the time she’d spent out in the sun. It was closer to a fiery red than the crimson she had as a child. The rest of her body had filled out as she’d gotten older and taller.

She was now the same height as her mother had been; a solid five-foot-seven-inches.

That was where the similarities ended. Her legs, arms, and abdomen had more muscle than she ever recalled on her mother. Her father had been the one with all the muscle. It had been the physical labor he’d endured working in the pub. Not to mention the training he had gone through as a teenager.

It was the same training she’d received regularly over the last few years. Most days she spent at the cabin or at Ainsley’s desperately working to improve her physical prowess and control her powers. Nearly three years and she hardly felt as if she’d learned anything at all.

Probably a good thing she hadn’t found that black wolf yet.

She didn’t have to focus on that today. She had work at the pub this evening. Niamh inhaled a deep breath and eyed the reflection of the green t-shirt Rhea had elected for the employees to wear a couple of years ago. She hated it, but only because it made her emerald green eyes stand out more. If she could’ve changed her eye color, she would, except she didn’t want to distance herself from one of the few remaining links she had to her parents.

Niamh shook the thought from her head, grabbed her driver’s license off the dresser and tucked it into the back pocket of her jeans. She spun around on the ball of her boot and eyeballed the room. Even after all these years, she still hadn’t grown accustomed to the extravagance surrounding her most days. Di’Lacia, she couldn’t wait until she turned eighteen and could leave the house.

She extracted some cash from the top drawer of the antique nightstand beside her bed. She placed the cash in the back pocket of her jeans with her driver’s license and then snagged her purple helmet off the back of the door on her way out. She stepped into the hallway—

“Niamh, I was just coming to see ye,” Séamus said.

Shite. She hadn’t left fast enough. A good chunk of the time she usually escaped the house without crossing his path, but some days … there was no avoiding him. She plastered a smile to her mouth and turned around to face him. “I was just on ‘mai way to work. What can I do for ye?”

“I wanted to ensure ye made time for Briana this weekend. She’ll be here to work on your dress.”

“Dress?” She tilted her head to the side and pursed her lips. The question had popped out before she could stop it. If she had to be there for a fitting, it could only mean he was demanding her presence at some event he was hosting. This past year she’d been forced to play the part of his date on several occasions. Talk about a test of control.

“Dinnae tell me ye forgot about ‘mai birthday party next weekend.”

Sure she had. He was the furthest thing from her mind, unless it included getting away from him. Inwardly, she groaned. She hated dressing up and having to hang on his arm. It was like she was a prized fox he had to show off to his friends. Too bad she couldn’t say any of that to him. Instead, she had to pretend she was perfectly okay with it all and simply watch his aura carefully.

“Of course not. How could I forget?”

“That’s ‘mai good girl.” He caressed her cheek.

Niamh swallowed the bile that crawled up the back of her throat and her eyebrows pinched together. The sensation of his sausage fingers against her skin grossed her out. Never mind the disturbing idea of being his anything. His intentions had become quite clear over the last few months as the red in his aura intensified each passing day.

“I, uh, I need to go. Ye know how, uh, how Rhea hates tardiness.”

“Ye know how much I despise ye working there, especially with ye behind the bar now. All those men … I could send Rooney there to watch over ye.” Séamus stroked his chin.

Her eyes widened. Oh, hell no! She had already been subjected to living there in that house. She refused to let him take the little bit of freedom she had away.

“Ye know Rhea wouldn’t tolerate ‘em hanging out all evening. Plus, I’m capable of taking care of ‘mai self.”

Séamus brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. “While I’m sure ye can, I always protect what’s mine.”

Her nose wrinkled as she tensed and tightened the hold she had on her helmet. Don’t use your powers, she reminded herself. Yeah, he was a bad man, but he was still a normal. One she had to get away from, now. Slowly, Niamh stepped back.

“I have to go.”

As she turned away, he grabbed her wrist and squeezed. “Ye just remember who ye belong to.”

Niamh narrowed her eyes and grinded her jaw. There were other places she could go; she didn’t have to stay there. Screw her parents’ will. Screw the law. It might be the best thing for her if she told him right then and there she belonged to no man.

Except just past Séamus’s shoulder she caught a glimpse of the one and only reason she stayed: her brother. Quinlan paused outside his bedroom door, glanced in their direction and disappeared down the hallway away from them.

She hadn’t figured out yet what was wrong with him. And he was the only thing keeping her there. As soon as she knew what was wrong, she’d get them both out of that awful house. Niamh bit her tongue and returned her attention to Séamus. “I do. Now, I really do have to get to work.”

“All right, ye can go. We only have another year of this and then we make it all official.” He released his hold on her. With a wink, he walked off.

She shuddered at the thought of that man any closer to her than he had been. Not that she’d ever let him get that far. At least she knew his timeframe now. It just meant she had to figure out what was wrong with her brother and get them out of there—soon. Until then, she’d tolerate that disgusting, red-headed tool.

Wiping off the imprint Séamus left on her face, Niamh headed toward the front of the house and left.


The Book

DisillusionedebookIt’s been three years. Three years since her world flipped upside down. Three years since the worst day of her life became her reality. Three years of learning how far her magick goes so she can find out what really happened. Just when Niamh thinks she’s finally discovered the truth behind that tragedy, she finds herself thrown into another realm. Can she find a way out before her own realm suffers? Or is she predestined to be stuck in this realm forever?

FREE on KU or $0.99



The Author

ProfilePicKrys Fenner has been infinitely passionate about writing and helping people for as long as she can remember. Having already published five books, she avidly continues working on her Dark Road series and is in the process of releasing an urban fantasy series. Krys received an Associate of Arts in Psychology, recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and continues working on a Master’s degree. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her three fur babies, Bones, Luna and Lola.

Connect with Krys Fenner:

Website | FB | FB Group | Twitter | Pinterest | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads

Book Spotlight: Awakened

It’s hump day. That means the weekend is almost here. What do you plan on reading this weekend? If you haven’t found your book yet check out this one titled, Awakened. This book is by fantasy author Krys Fenner. And it is FREE on KU, don’t have KU then snatch this book up for 99 pennies.

Excerpt

The howling wind pierced Niamh’s ears as she lie sprawled out on the ground. Her fire-red hair whipped all around her face. As she snapped back into consciousness, she groaned and slowly rolled to her side. She reached up to the corner of her mouth and wiped at the blood trickling down her chin and then lifted her gaze to the noise no more than ten feet away. She blinked at the sight before her.
Not far from where she laid two men battled one another. Neither of her blades could cut the aggression given off by the two of them. To make matters worse, her brother appeared to be winning.
A dark flare shone brightly in his once green eyes as his opponent’s blade pierced just beneath his collarbone on the right side. He laughed … with no gusto, no heart. There was nothing that reflected amusement in his laugh. It was closer to the cackle of a hyena than anything else. Blood began to soak through his clean white pressed cotton shirt. In a gruff voice, he yelled, “Is that the best ye can do?”
Her brother’s fist connected with his opponent’s broad chin. Despite their height and weight difference, the tank of a guy, Jarrett, stumbled back a few steps and his sienna brown hair fell out of place.
There had to be something she could do. She had power. She knew how to wield it. This was the fight that would alter her future forever. Getting to her feet, Niamh focused on collecting a shockwave in her hands. She had to time the release perfectly; otherwise she chanced harming the wrong person.
Her brother’s lips curled fiercely into a deep grin as he yanked the blade from his shoulder. No sound escaped his mouth. A breath of air could hardly be noticed as he removed the twelve-inch, double-edged dagger from his body. It seemed to cause him no pain or perhaps he merely reveled in it. Taking advantage of the tank’s stumbling he stepped forward with a full grip on the hilt of the blade and swiped at him.
Jarrett jerked his face back and barely avoided getting cut with his own blade. The swipe missed by less than an inch.
Her brother was shorter than the tank. He found the momentum needed to gather his footing and spun around, striking her brother with an elbow jab to the throat.
She needed more time. This shockwave had to be the most powerful she had ever dispersed. Niamh watched on as the fight progressed and continued to focus the gathering ball of energy through her entire body.
Her brother used the force of the tank’s steps and shoved the double-edged dagger with full strength into the back of his shoulder. He cackled with glee as his opponent cried out from the pain. “Come on! Ye were supposed to be this high an’ mighty warrior! I thought this would be a challenge!”
Backing away, a wrinkle settled upon the bridge of his nose and beads of sweat formed on his brow. Gritting his teeth, he placed his hand on the hilt and yanked the blade from his shoulder. He threw his head back and howled, then faltered and fell to his knees.
“No!” Niamh screamed.
He couldn’t die! The agony in his outcry provided her the necessary strength to charge the strongest force of shockwave she’d ever managed. A blue current crackled all over her body. Her normal emerald green irises changed to a deep aqua blue.
She was ready.
It was time to end this.
Her brother’s eyes twitched. With a Cheshire grin he planted his feet firmly against the ground. He shook his arms out, then went completely rigid. His eyes were the same shade of green as hers. At least they had been. Midnight black replaced the once emerald green that filled his eyes.
Niamh unleashed the full weight of the shockwave that had consumed her entire body. Blue electricity shot out from her arms, her legs, her fingers. The shockwave surged from every part of her toward her brother.
The energy pushed him back and tore at his skin, but it didn’t knock him down. Hardly any skin ripped open. Wait … no, it was healing, repairing itself before her very eyes! It hadn’t been strong enough. It hadn’t been the right call. The right power. The one she needed to defeat him once and for all.
Her brother lunged at her and wrapped his gangly hand tightly around her neck. Lifting her off the ground, he grinned. “See, I was just going to kill ye, but now I get to kill both o’ye.”
The air to her lungs constricted.
“Ye … don’t … want … to … do … this,” she managed to muster out between tiny breaths.
Tightening his hold around her neck, he pulled her face closer to his. He locked his gaze with her green eyes. “Súil na Éireannach.”
The grin on his lips broadened as his other hand reached out and stroked her sultry red hair. His grip tightened again. Color drained from her face as she struggled to breathe.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
She was the one who was supposed to be victorious.
She was supposed to save them all.
“Killin’ ye first an’ making ‘em watch will be my pleasure.”
Slowly Jarrett stood. Jumping into action, he ran toward them like a bull charging its handler. “Niamh!”

Abruptly Niamh sat up gasping for air. Wiping the beads of sweat from her brow, she looked around. She half expected to find her brother hovering over her with his hands wrapped tightly around her neck. That wasn’t the case.
She was at home, in her room. There was no movement from the Horslips or the Phil Lynott posters that hung on the wall. Both her dresser and desk were completely still. Not even the sound of wind could be heard bustling against her bedroom window. There was no movement from her closet; her clothes hung just as she had left them.


The Book

KFP9.1Niamh has always known she was a little different. Perhaps not as unique as her brother, but definitely not normal. Before she understands what’s happening, she begins seeing things she has never seen before and speaking with creatures she always assumed were regular house pets. Just as her powers are awakening, her parents find themselves in trouble. With only her catalync as a guide, can she learn how to use her new-found abilities to save her parents from the darkness trying to steal them away? Or is she doomed to fail and lose them forever?

FREE on KU or $0.99!


The Author

ProfilePicKrys Fenner has been infinitely passionate about writing and helping people for as long as she can remember. Having already published five books, she avidly continues working on her Dark Road series and is in the process of releasing an urban fantasy series. Krys received an Associate of Arts in Psychology, recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and continues working on a Master’s degree. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her three fur babies, Bones, Luna and Lola.

Connect with Krys Fenner:

Website | FB | FB Group | Twitter | Pinterest | Bookbub | Amazon | Goodreads