Tag: Thriller

Interview – SJ Hermann’s SPLINTERED LOVE

Interview – SJ Hermann’s SPLINTERED LOVE

Please welcome SJ Hermann, Author of  the MORIUM Trilogy and SPLINTERED LOVE –

 

SPLINTERED LOVE

Thank you, SJ, for joining us. The anthology Splintered Love is brilliant, but quite different from your Morium Trilogy with its focus on school bullying, I’m wondering where the concept for your collection of short stories came from?

Thank you, Ingrid, for having me on your blog.

I wrote Splintered Love after I finished the book of the Morium Trilogy, Dark Horizons. I wanted to try my writing skills on something more mature. Something that everyone deals with at some point in their life, and that is love. Most romance novels today all end in happy endings. I wanted to turn that around. All but one of the stories in Splintered Love have a happy ending.

As far as the concepts for each story, I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing, not really knowing where each one would go. All I knew was that they would have a supernatural / paranormal theme. I wrote them by the seat of my pants and wanted them to each leave a questions for the readers or having moral questions.

Leap of Faith – Could one find true love again and if you can, what if it came from an unusual place.

Inner Beauty – Today’s society is based on a person’s looks and not what they carry on the inside.

Desperate Souls – What would you be willing to give up for love?

Reckless Thoughts – You find your true love, then you carelessly throw it away.

Forever Love – Love is eternal.

I was lucky enough to have a great group of romance writers help me through my first stint as a romance writer. It’s their quotes you see at the beginning of each story.

Thanks, SJ, you answered another question I’ve had for the longest time. “What about those quotes?”

So, did the writers read your short stories before writing their quotes?

Yes. They were an important part in bringing each story together.

You certainly seem to have a knack for writing the darker side of love. I enjoyed them all, each so different and every one with surprise twists and turns.

Thank you.

I also noted what you said about moral questions, this seems to be an ongoing theme for you. May I ask where that comes from?

I have no idea, lol. When I start writing, I don’t have the idea to toss in morals into my stories, they just seem to evolve with the story. I shouldn’t say that. Inner Beauty was written for anyone who sees only what’s on the outside, and not the beauty of a person within. The other four in Splintered Love just came to be morality tales by the time I finished writing them.

Well, this formula definitely seems to work for you! I sincerely hope to see more of the same in the future. Speaking of which, haven’t you just put out a new book based on one of your Splintered Love stories?

Yes, it’s called Eventus and it follows the same formula as, Reckless Thoughts. Actually, Eventus came before Reckless Thoughts. I reworked the ending to follow the romance theme of the anthology. To go further, the book I am currently working on titled, Perfect, is about a teen who is born nearly omnipotent. As he gets older, he gains more abilities. He suppresses his powers until a tragic event happens. After that, he doesn’t give a damn about anything and he uses the powers for his own amusement. It goes into depth about the main character in Eventus / Reckless Thoughts as we watch him grow from an innocent child into a monster.

It’s something about having godlike abilities that can make one hell of a story and that’s why I’m drawn to it.

THE MORIUM TRILOGY

Speaking of topics you’re drawn to, I recently got a chance to listen to your interview with Laney Smith on BlogTalkRadio from October of last year. Such an emotionally powerful interview.

I especially enjoyed the discussion on the Morium Trilogy and how you’ve used it to encourage a focus on bullying. As someone who was bullied most of her school years, I must ask, how do you feel being bullied has changed you?

Thank you for listening. I thought really hard if I should bring out my demons for all to hear. Laney is such a fantastic host it made it easier. For the longest time, even after the bullying had stopped, I would say my Junior year, the emotional scars stayed with me. My self-esteem was in the toilet. I had no confidence in anything I did. Thirty years later, I still suffer from depression and anxiety with bouts of self-harm. Writing has become a tool for me to release some of what I’ve kept locked away, which is probably why my writing is dark in nature.

In what ways do you feel your writing has helped you?

It’s an outlet to convey how one (myself) deals with emotional problems. I can write about it and yet, I hope, don’t come across as being preachy. Devin is Desperate Souls was/is essentially me. Living in darkness waiting for a glimmer of light to shine through the darkened skies. Now, in the story, it was Moira that’s the glimmer of light. Where in me, it’s the writing.

And what reactions have received to your “bringing out your demons”? I hope supportive!

They have been positive. The main reason I decided to come out was to show that men do suffer from depression and self-harm and not solely focused on women.

We all have our demons. Without my going into specifics and as one who has revealed his demons, what advice would you offer people like me? People who’ve been buried under this crap, afraid of their “shadows” so to speak?

Find a creative way to step out from the shadows. For me, it’s not only through writing, but with art as well. I understand how difficult it is to express your inner feelings for fear of being called weak, especially if you’re a male. There are so many great resources to turn to for help.

Thank you, SJ. I appreciate your advice.

 

DIGITAL ARTISTRY

Before this interview I did get a chance to check out your artwork on your website and FineArtAmerica.com . I really enjoyed your digital art pieces, especially Spring Serenity and Calm and your use of color in By Dawns Early Light is amazing. Just briefly, because are running out time, how did you get started in digital art?

Thank you. I actually started art back in, I would say, sixth grade when I started drawing hockey logos. From there my drawings became of cartoon and animated characters. It was during those times that my eye got trained to draw what I saw. I slowly drifted into landscapes with charcoal and graphite, then to pastels. It wasn’t until the last few years that I moved into digital art. Some say that digital art is not truly art. I beg to differ. It’s using your creativity to create a painting. The same rules apply whether it’s by traditional, or digital.

One last question, aside from your next novel, Perfect, are there any other upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

I am currently working on the screenplay for the first book in the Morium trilogy. Once that is complete, I send it off to my producer and the long process of having it turned into a movie begins.

A movie? How exciting for you, SJ! I think it’s every author’s dream to see their “baby” on the big screen.

In closing, Thank you, SJ Hermann, for joining us.

Thank you, Ingrid,  for having me.

Readers, to learn more about Author SJ Hermann, please check out the links below.

Also, as a special treat, SJ has given us an excerpt from his short story, “Leap of Faith.” One of my favorites from his book, SPLINTERED LOVE.

 

LINKS FOR SJ HERMANN

Website: www.authorsjhermann.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Writing_Novel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJ-Hermann-250758318466659/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.hermannwriter/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SJHermann

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9784255.S_J_Hermann

 

 

 

An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s anthology, SPLINTERED LOVE

An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s anthology, SPLINTERED LOVE

From the short story, “Leap of Faith” –

Forever Love – A couple discovers that true love will last forever
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013Z0XVBG

Months passed. Lisa still kept it barricaded inside her, not displaying any type of emotion, not even allowing Michael to kiss her. Yet with the lack of affection, he still hung with her; a noble feat that she admired. Either he was tough as nails or as dumb as a rock, but the pieces started to fall in to place. They had so much in common, and they went to the same college at the same time. She repeated in her head, why.

They sat in a crowded seafood restaurant, the salty scent of fish filling their noses with every intake of breath. They discussed their pasts—well, he was the one doing most of the talking. Lisa held back her messed up disaster of past relationships and the emotional hell she had been through. He did not pry anything personal out of her, nor did he try.

“I was an only child,” he said, wiping the white napkin on the side of his mouth. I couldn’t have asked for better parents. What about you? What about your parents?”

She knew that this question would come to see the light of day. She filled her mouth in an attempt to avoid bringing it up. She wasn’t ashamed, but now was not the time to feel that knot of pain tightening over her losses.

Michael noticed she had no interest in talking about the subject so he continued. “Anyway, just a couple of month’s into college, I met this wonderful girl.”

Why the hell is he telling me about his old girlfriend on the first date? She thought to herself.

“We weren’t party goers like half the other students were. We never went to Fort Lauderdale for spring break like everyone else. We preferred to be alone together. ”He paused, and changed the subject. “If you don’t mind me asking, what happened between you and your ex-girlfriend?”

****

Russell kneeled on one knee before her, the aroma of the scented candles, vanilla to be exact, filled her nose. His hand trembled as he took hers. Lisa’s emotions collapsed, shaking as bad as he was. Her eyes opened and the flow of tears tickled out as they trailed down her face. She didn’t ponder much as to what her answer would be before the words left his mouth.

“From the first day I met you, I knew that there was no one in this world as special as you. Every day, since I first looked into your beautiful eyes, I have thought of you. Your lovely smile, but more importantly, the person on the inside. You stole my heart, and the only way I can be with it again, is to have you by my side.”

He reached under the bed and took out a small silver box graced with a darker shade of a silver band just above the opening. For a fleeting moment, she pondered how many times he had rehearsed this scene in his head, but as soon as he flipped the lid open the thoughts vanished. Wishing she could see the ring through the tears, she fell to one knee.

“Lisa Fielding. My devotion. My love. My soul is yours, and I would be honored if you take my hand in marriage and be my wife.”

He squeezed her trembling hand to hold it steady, and slid the diamond ring on. She nodded as quickly as possible; the word “yes” stammered out of her quivering mouth.

She embraced him and then raced back to slam the door shut with a heavy thud.

****

A veil of sadness covered Michael as he swirled the remaining wine in the glass before setting it back on the table. The sorrow in his eyes as they met drained the happiness from her. She braced for the worst; but she hoped for the best.

“There was an accident,” he said.

“I’m so sorry,” she replied.

“So was I. We were torn away from each other when we reached the highest peak of love. I cherished her. I treated her like royalty because that is what she was to me. The beauty of the universe could not compare to hers. When we were apart, there was a piece of me missing and when we were together, I never wanted to let her go.” His voice cracked as the passion for his girlfriend grew. A tear began to fall as he continued. “I never thought I would see her again, but in my heart, there would be nothing that could keep me away. The moment I saw that flash of light, I witnessed her elegance; her absolute magnificence within that light. My soul was determined to get back to her.”

Author Barbara Wood, Historical Thrillers!

Author Barbara Wood, Historical Thrillers!

Like most writers, I’m an avid reader and when I’m lucky, I stumble upon an author who has not only written an enjoyable story but has also inspired me. Some books are just to meant to touch your life, as if by fate. For me, two books by Author Barbara Wood have done just that. First, The Prophetess which I read back in the in the early years of this century and now, The Divining.

If you enjoyed Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code and prefer stories about strong woman, Barbara Wood’s The Prophetess, is the perfect book for you. I first read The Prophetess back in 2001 and it immediately became a favorite.

The story centers around a young archeologist who finds a series of papyrus scrolls in what may be the Well of Miriam, the Prophet Moses’ sister. For me, the story ignited the idea that the women in the Bible, though for the most part supporting characters in the male-dominated Word of God, had truly made more of an impact upon our history than what we are led to believe.

There’s so much more to this historical thriller that I enjoyed reading long before I’d ever heard of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. But if you enjoyed Dan Brown’s amazing thriller, you’ll love The Prophetess with it’s non-stop action, adventure, and conspiracies!

From BarbaraWood.com:

The Divining

While doing research for my Esme Bohlin Suspense Series, I developed an insatiable appetite for all things Germania. It was then by a stroke of good fortune that I found The Divining by Barbara Wood.

The Divining takes place during the 1st century AD when the western world was ruled by Rome and trade with China was still a dream. The main character is Ulrika, a young, amazing but naive woman who, through trying to find herself, leaves the security of Rome to learn more about her mysterious and absent father in Germania. From page one, I was absorbed into a different time and place in history. A time when the early Christian Church was a small group of Christ’s followers meeting in secret and healers and seers were still esteemed by the rich and powerful.

About The Divining (Amazon): And that, dear readers, is my author focus for this week. Thanks for reading!

Next week, I will be focusing on another favorite author from my bookshelf, Clea Simon.

A HOME FOR ROSE – A Dark Desert Tale

A HOME FOR ROSE – A Dark Desert Tale

One of the things that attracted us to moving to the desert, was the lack of grass to mow. But, likewise, we also quickly noted that with no grass or ground cover, everything living or buried within the sandy earth was hard to hide.

So, as we began our gardening adventures, we found things that the desert had long ago claimed. In my office, I have a lion and a small dragon. Both are made of brass and both were found buried in the crusted dirt around our home.

But when my husband presented me with the dragon, it occurred to me, “What if he found something that was actually best left buried?” What if the object he unearthed only appeared to be treasure, but was actually so much worse?

And so, in the tradition of creepy stories everywhere, I wrote my second dark desert tale, “A HOME FOR ROSE.”

FRESH MEAT – A Dark Desert Tale

FRESH MEAT – A Dark Desert Tale

While living in a small town in southern Arizona a few years back, I was out walking my dog around our apartment complex when I spotted, high in the sky, a flock of large black birds. They were circling a grove of cottonwood trees.

My imagination, being a sometimes strange and dark place, began to wander, to form the “what ifs.”

What if someone lived in that grove of cottonwood trees? And what if that someone were to feed those large black birds much like one might feed the wrens and cardinals? 

…and so, Fresh Meat came into being…

“Do you want to feed my birds?” A soft voice broke through Timmy’s thoughts as the old woman turned toward him. – Copyright – Ingrid Foster 2015

 

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