Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Oracle

It's Summer time again. Most of us will plan a trip to the beach or maybe the mountains. Some of us may even be gearing up for smores and endless rounds of kumbaya around the campfire. That's right, it's time for Summer camp. That's where we find Darcy Penington and her friends in The Oracle, the exciting and fresh sequel to KB Hoyle's The Six.
While waiting for their chance to pass through the gateway they have some strange interactions with Colin Mackaby the teenager from the previous summer. Colin knows more than he should about Darcy's interactions with Tselloch.
When they arrive in Alithiea things seem better than the year before but quickly take a turn for the worse. The dark shadow seems to arrive when the six friends do.
Darcy and Tellius, concerned with the prophecy and their upcoming marriage, question the interpretation of the prophecy. While Darcy is investigating , she summons the Oracle, which seems like a good idea at the time, but turns out to be a very bad choice.
This book is the second in the series The Gateway Chronicles by KB Hoyle. Fast paced and just as much of a page turner as the first book. Hoyle writes with a theatrical eye for detail and a great imagination

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My interview with William j Barry, author of "Sebastian and the Afterlife"

If you've been following my blog, I am sure that you've noticed that I am totally into "Sebastian and the Afterlife".  The series is aimed towards middle grades and young adults but, it is fun for adults too!  Parents- this is a great read for your middle school/high school aged child.  There is nothing that I have found to be inappropriate and everything is perfect (pacing, excitement, puppy love) for this age group.  For adults, I would recommend this book because Barry has a unique writing style that draws you in.  His creative and vivid descriptions allow the book to play like a movie in your mind.
If you are interested in my reviews, please have a peek at the rest of my blog.

Don't forget to leave a comment on this post... One lucky commenter will win a copy of the book!!
After reading both books and singing it's praises to anyone that would listen,  I was extremely excited to have the chance to pick the brain of author William j Barry.   Here's what I found out:

1. How long did it take you to write your first 2 books?

The first draft of Sebastian and the Afterlife took me about six months. In the beginning I started very casually, writing every once in a while. In the last month or so I was writing almost every day to finish it. Agents of the Reaper I wrote over a span of five months. I also started that writing slow, but picked my pace up to an average of 1,000 to 2,000 words a day for the final couple of months to meet my deadline.  I am in the middle of the third Sebastian book, which I started in February, and my deadline is much earlier this time (June 1st), so I will have four months to spend on this book. Needless to say I am writing at full speed already.   

2.  What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Besides writing, I really enjoy some other creative hobbies. I like to write and record original songs. I’ve done a lot of music over the years, including self-releasing a couple albums and playing some live shows. I was hoping 2012 would be my return to music. I have a new project in the works, with three songs recorded so far. I’m hoping to release it later this year, but that depends on how much time I can spend on it. Everything takes a back seat to writing these days. Besides music, I am a huge movie fan.  I wrote a few screenplays before I wrote my first book (and another screenplay after the first book). I have been an extra in a couple of movies. I really love film, and I’d like to do more with that in the future.

3.  Do you get much chance to read?  Are you reading anything now?

Sad to say I’ve been really busy lately and I haven’t gotten much chance to read at all. Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’ has been sitting next to my bed for a while. It’s great so far; I should get back to it. The books are getting backed up though, a few months ago I bought the entire Percy Jackson series. I intend to read them after my current book (That is, if I don’t get distracted by something else). I tend to gravitate toward fantastical adventures geared for a younger (teen) audience. I’ve heard people say to write what you’d like to read, so I guess that’s why I write middle-grades/teen adventure stories. But mostly these days, with reading, I have to live vicariously through my wife. She always has her nose in a book.      

4.  Halloween is your favorite holiday, who is your favorite horror character and movie?

Though it may be more ‘Halloween-ish’ than scary, my favorite horror character and movie are Jack Skellington and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The movie is definitely in my top three overall. A few years ago my wife and I made our own Jack and Sally costumes for Halloween; that was fun. I also like Freddy Krueger a lot, he is my favorite slasher, but I really enjoy the Scream movies too. I guess Wes Craven gets me.  I like wise-cracking villains. I am a big fan of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow and The Shining with Jack Nicholson as well.  I think I should stop rambling now, you only asked for one answer after all.

5.  What is your favorite day of the week?

Currently, my favorite day of the week would have to be Monday. I still bartend a few nights a week to supplement my income (the same job that saw me through college). So Fridays and Saturdays are busy for me, and I enjoy relaxing and spending time with my wife on Sunday, but Mondays I am always off. She is working during the day, and I have plenty of quiet time to sit and write or work on other projects. Then I get to see her that evening. It’s a nice balance of everything.

Currently the book is being sold in ebook format as well as paperback on The Writer's Coffee Shop website.

I asked for William to send a picture of himself to post with this interview.  Here's what he sent...
As you can see, he does have a sense of humor!