Monday, January 6, 2014

From Mustangs to Tales from the Darkside The 131 Preview Review has a snortingly good time with T.J. Loveless

The 131 Preview Review is pleased to Welcome Author T.J.Loveless

Born in Anchorage, I've lived ... well ... everywhere. From the Arctic Circle to a block from the beaches in Florida. I speak fluent Arkansas Hillbilly, make a mean gumbo, can sew when necessary and am a whiz at packing. 

Life's unexpected twists and turns have led me down paths from shoveling water to build roads, correctional officer at a men's maximum security unit, to helping do the research and co-authoring the scientific paper regarding dyslexia and genetic inheritance. I've met a lot of wonderful people along the way, and a few I'd prefer to forget. But always grateful for what I learned.

I'm also a copy/content editor, and found I love helping a story idea turn into a book, ready to be distributed to those that need the story. I enjoy helping others in their journey, even as I continue on mine. So many things to learn!

You'll generally find a Muse snuggled to my hip, the other one laying across my shoulders and Editor Kitty staring at the screen, waiting for the red ink to make an appearance. Once it does, he lays across the keyboard purring.

The family brags about the latest compromising position I've been found in, trying to figure out how to truly describe "legs all akimbo" or if falling on the couch could truly land a body in a certain position. They ignore my yelling at characters on the computer screen, and are forgiving when I accidentally write past the time for them to eat. It's one way of teaching the teenager to cook ...

TJ. I'm late!

That makes two of us hunni!!
Wow, feels like it has taken a Looong time to get to this interview! LOL

TJ. LOL It definitely has LOL Somedays it's like time goes so fast I forget half the stuff I was supposed to do!

I hear ya! Do forgive me if I murder the spelling of anything tonight, my nails are curently way too long and I have been hitting messed up keys lately.. Of course now that i've said something there won't be a problem.. LOL but just in case I thought I'd mention it.. So anyhow this is pretty simple we just have ourselves a chitty chat, about your work, and anything you would like to share with your and my readers. I don't have any actual rules, and my blog is labeled for adult content so no need to reign in anything I can sometimes swear like a sailor, so I'll ask your pardons now befoer we start if I should go off on any tangents.. LOL... So with that laid out, let me welcome you to the 131 Preview Review interview!!!

TJ. LMAO! Good, we can swear together! And thank you! I'm happy you agreed to review 

You're quite welcome and it has been a pleasure reading your works, Thru Hell and Lucky Number Six.
Thru Hell was a rather fascinating tale, tell me where did it spin out from?

TJ. That is one interesting part LOL....
We used to live in Rock Springs, WY ... and there is a trail called Wild Horse Loop. You can drive over White Mountain and watch the bands of mustangs that call the mesa home.
We got to know a couple of the bands, my fav filled with red and blue roans.
Anyway, at one point, an old stallion died, leaving a medium sized band of mares without a stallion. Meaning every bachelor stallion within a 20 mile radius trying for it
Well, most don't know, but it isn't the stallion that actually runs the band, it's the lead mare. This particular band had a red roan mare, who'd just foaled a blue roan colt. I mean the umbilical hadn't even completely dried out.

A big bay stallion wanted to take over the band, but he tried to kill the new colt first. It isn't unusual by any means.

The lead mare fought for that colt.
They battled for well over an hour. Both horses were torn up, bleeding. The lead mare took a hit to her front leg, and she was limping, breathing hard, sweating, but still protecting her colt.
She finally landed a kick, and broke the stallion's jaw, and he left.
We went back a month later, to find a young gray stallion, probably no more than four, with the band. He was gentle, protective, and we watched him keep the blue roan colt with the band.
That was the beginning 

So the battle for Riot was formed by the events you witnessed, very cool. Could you give us a little more understanding of the Braiding? Where did the Braiding idea come from?

TJ. I have this ENORMOUS family, and one of my cousins is a astrophysicist. We'd been discussing string theory, etc. One of the first, and basic, string theories is labeled string theory 1(a). It says that all things in the universe are connected by invisible strings and create a kind of braid, and recent mathematics indicate it braids into alternate universes. I'd also just re-read A Wrinkle in Time, and an idea formed. What if a woman, who is fighting for her son, could change time, by braiding those strings? Creating different outcomes? What would the consequences be? 
I'd always shrugged off the use of "great power" in books which apparently didn't need fuel ... so what is a great source of power, especially for something as power sucking as changing what has already happened ... and the ability to Braid Time was formed 

You are very fortunate to have resources like That!! I want an astrophysicist in my family!!!!!!! WHAAAAAA>>>>> *Sniggers..


I have to do all of my own research with no one to mull it over with.. I'm jealous. 

TJ. Luckily, if I need any kind of resource, I've got a cousin somewhere LOL!


TJ. *snicker*

Kylie deals with a lot of Gods and Goddesses, What made you take on the array of Pantheons that you did? Were there any that you avoided for any specific reason?
Likewise were you drawn to Certain ones for specific reasons?

TJ. Well, if there were going to be wars, I needed an array, but had to keep it to the familiar. With the exception of Tiamat and Anahita, most are familiar with Greek and Norse to some extent. Plus I just fuckin' love the Norse pantheon LOL 
At the same time, I didn't want to use the same old, same old. And when it comes to Anahita and Tiamat, two of my absolute, downright favorites ... I could stretch the truth on them a bit more and most wouldn't know the difference. 
I avoided current pantheons, it could be perceived wrong.

I left alone a lot of Wiccan, although I researched it. I didn't want to bring in Christianity, etc. Too controversial. But with the ones I chose, it worked really well.
I could use their known propensity for arguments and wars to a great extent and that some really did see any human as a slave to what they wanted

Yes I think that you did manage to bring across their more belligerent sides, and who doesn't love the Norse Pantheon?? Personally I'm a sticker for a Dragon any day so I thoroughly enjoyed your take on Tiamat... Loved Bru and the Valkyries as well.

TJ. I tried not to make it TOO belligerent ... especially Modi - he's a little arrogant, but he did love Kylie in his own way. I think that came across
And Tiamat - who really is embroiled in a shit storm of debate - is awesome ...

I would have liked to see a little more history on Modi and Kylie ... and Tiamat... Any chance you got a prequel in you?? 

TJ.  Afraid not  She was kind of boring, on purpose, for most of her life ...
Kylie saw Modi as a mistake, but never Riot. One of the reasons she put up with his arrogance ...

Although it doesn't actually go down in the tale, his coming for her, I took as the booty call type of call... I can't help but wonder if I was correct.

TJ. Ahh ... no LOL

No? Must have been my mind set from all the tension between Kylie and Aki then.. LOL

TJ. I do believe so LOL! But Modi is an ex ... and remains that way. He does come for her, but not in the way you are thinking *G*
Modi has a good heart, but doesn't always make the right choices ... he is immortal after all ....

At one point he makes reference to their being married, was Elvis there?? I couldn't help but imagine a vegas wedding!!  
*Smiles teasingly

TJ. ROFL!! I wouldn't be a bit surprised ...
Knowing Modi, he pulled her to Vegas to try and get her as quickly as possible ...

*Love me tender.... Love me true....* HAhaha.. What was the scene that was the most fun for you to write?

TJ. Can't you just see Miracai singing that in the background?!
Um, when Aki tried to pry answers out of her, and she answered questions with a question. I do that to people who are being too nosy LOL

YEs.!! With Verna playing a banjo!

TJ. OMG That is funny!!

Too nosy.. Is there really such a thing!!

TJ. You'd be surprised LOL

Now as for Miracai... He is the Rainbow farting Unicorn from Lucky Number Six. The second tale I read from you... I'm afraid to read fortune cookies now thanks to you!!

TJ. ROFLMAO!!! Join the crowd! I can't afford any kitchen fires, or paint peeling off the walls.
I adore Miracai ... he was a BLAST to write
He's a blast now, writing Odd Number Five.

I nearly pissed my self when Tiffy earned her Mardi Gras Beads because of him!!!
She was soooo gracious!

TJ. That might, or might not, be based on something that happened to me ...

Really?? Do tell!! Pictures or it didn't happen!!

TJ. I was raised in southwest Little Rock, AR, and one year, my friends and I snuck off to NOLA for Mardi Gras one year. It was hot and humid, so I had on my nice, frilly, cute bra that barely held me in place, and this thin tank top.
Well ... LOL ... I was bent over to pick up something (I have long forgotten what) and some dude had this stick and was play fencing
it slid right down my back, under that one hook, and he jerked ... I weighed an extra 20lbs from the Mardi Gras beads LOL

OH Boy!

TJ. One man handed over his windbreaker, and his number ....

Nice!! I'm planning a trip to NOLA for sometime early next fall... Don't want to deal with too many out of towners.
Figure I have to see the places I write about at least once in my life.

TJ. You'l still deal with them, but not as badly as Mardi Gras in Nola  If you want to see a great MG - go to the small towns, those are a hoot and a holler.

I'll keep it under advisement!!
So you mentioned that you are currently working on the next book in the fortune cookie series, Odd Number Five, how many will there be, and where do you come up with this stuff? I was snorting through most of number 6

TJ.  There is a total of six books, each with some new kind of myth. IN this one there is a leprechaun named Kieran who looks like Gerard Butler and a secret creature. For Unlucky Number Four - it's all about Murphy (from Murphy's Laws) ... which I'm hoping to have out by summer. And I have no bloody idea! Okay, that isn't strictly true. A lot of the stuff is from my own mishaps in some form or another. I really am a klutz in every sense of the word, and have had some very interesting friends and critters in my life ...
I just wrote a scene in Odd NUmber Five that I spent laughing through tears and trying to type ... THAT was interesting
Let me clarify - I was laughing so hard I was crying ...

Was Lucky number 6 the first one or just the first one I've read?

TJ. That is the first one, and is free everywhere. It goes down in number. Each one gets closer as to why this is happening to Tiffy & Co ...
There really is a plot arc through all the novellas
So the titles are kind of a countdown 

So the cast keeps being added to? Tiffy and Janet and Mark<-? Stay the same throughout, and you are going to keep adding more crazy critters?

TJ. Yep! More myth plays a role, although they don't all stay at the poor townhouse.
I don't think Tiffy can take much more of her kitchen getting destroyed ... and man, her poor coffee table. I cried during one scene when that beautiful, wooden Enterprise coffee table is destroyed

Oh I Should hope not!! It can barely handle the girls!!
Will we learn more about Verna and her true form that Mark caught a glimpse of?

TJ. Plus Mark and Tiffy have their little romance, and it's very possible Verna and Janet have a little romance in their future ...
Yes, yes you will, in Odd Number Five, actually.
Her true form is on full display, and is impossible for her to conceal when she's pissed.

*Broad Smile!! * YAY!! I love it when characters get more complicated!!!

TJ. Well, if you are going to do a series, there has to be character growth, even in humor 
But the point of views never change from the three humans ...

I Can't agree with you more!
So no tunneling into the mythical creatures heads then.. *nods.. It would be presumptuous to try and declare what those bubs are thinking when they're not shouting it out or trying to spin plates on their horns

TJ. Yep, I don't like series without complications and character growth, it's boring.
I don't WANT to know what Miracai is really thinking LOL!!
I'm not sure I could survive that one ... I mean laughter is good and all, but a person has to breathe once in awhile ...

Yes in deed we do!! And I read it while I was at work.. It should come with a content warning!!! "Warning may cause fits of uncontrollable snorts... Do not read on a full bladder!"

TJ. LOL You are not the first to say that. One fan said they'd ruined their Kindle, but thought it was worth it for all the laughs they got out of it LOL
Talk about pressure for Odd Number FIve ...

I wouldn't worry about it, if you can keep the momentum where it is, you're gonna do just fine!

TJ. Odd Number Five is full of hijinks too ... Kieran the leprechaun is rather mischievous and gets into a lot of trouble ...

So I understand you have a day job as a copy/content editor.. What's that like and does it inspire you in your own work?

TJ. I actually have more than that now LOL As of January 15th, a business partner and I are officially opening up Cliffhanger Press, LLC, as well as still doing Cliffhanger Editing.
Editing can be tough. It's hard to read books, especially if you start editing on the first page.
And turning off the editor to write can take a long time.
To be honest, no, it doesn't. It's a very critical type of thinking, and it can kill creativity if you aren't careful.
So not only will I be editing, but going through my own slushpile to help other authors publish ... 2014 is going to be interesting and very very busy

I can understand that. I do some editing on the side and it is hard to point out the obvious to another writer, especially of you like the work over all and not sound like a nitpicky cunt.

TJ .I know right? I'm very careful with the emails, and often send chapter summaries as I go along to help prep them for what they will see. But I also ALWAYS tell the author - Hey, I make these mistakes too, and know what it's like to have your MS all covered in red ink.

If only they all could understand... With two books under your belt, the newly emerging Cliffhanger Press and a blog, just how many cups of coffee are you drinking to have enough hours in the day to write??

TJ.Cups of coffee? Don't you mean gallons?! I think I sweat coffee at this point LOL
Plus Dr Pepper, and if I can't find my sanity soon, I may have to invest in caskets of wine so I can pretend to have a good reason ...

Haha....You could always just take out shares with Jack Daniels... Your characters drink enough if it!!!

TJ.Well, I have plenty of Jack around the house LOL I have a teenager ...
And she didn't inherit a brain-mouth filter. Proof she's my kid LOL

I've always believed the brain/mouth filter was an Urban Legend anyhow!
If they do exist they haven't created one big enough for my mouth yet, so I figue why try squeezzzing into something that just won't fit!

TJ.My sister has one. LOL
I'm afraid my brain rejects such foreign matter.
I look like Sheldon Cooper when he can't finish something ...

You're a Big Bang Theory Fan and a Dr. Who fan, I noticed that in your writing.. You make quick reference to both in your works.

TJ. Well, yeah! I found TBBT in its second season, and have been an addict ever since. Hubby is British and intro'd DW when we first got married 11 years ago ... the UK version, anyway.
I want a Tardis house ...

Not really familiar with either... I know bad Sci fi writer.. *smacks self on hand..* I'm more of a Twilight Zone, Night Gallery kid. lol

TJ. Old school or new?
I don't watch the new DW - they've changed it up a bit because of the newfound American fame ...

Prefer old school. All the newer stuff is pretty lame.  Also Loved Tales from The Darkside

You are so forgiven for not watching TBBT or DW ...

TJ.Old school is the best.
My favorite is where the guy is lost and stops at a house ... and the little girl is in complete control ...

Yeah but it's hard when most people your own age have no clue!! But such is my debacle.. 'm 31, and Got Brothers 10 and 12 years older than me who were good about trying to scare the crap out of me!! I always liked the Black Widow one from TFTDS and The TZ with the Alien with the third eye

TJ. Holy crap on a cracker! I remember those ...

They were Epic!

TJ. No argument there. It's one of the few types of horror I watched ... don't watch horror movies/slasher movies
as a general rule.

Oh? I'm a horror fan, hugely!! Saw the Exorcist @ 5... Like I said Big Brothers !! Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday The 13th, <-Originals only.. New ones suck... And NO TWILIGHT...
Closest I got to it was seeing Vampires Suck! I figured i got the jist from that...

TJ. I'm not a Twiglit fan ... sorry, Twilight. I have way too many issues with it. I had to ask someone who love it why they did, and their answer was very surprising. They loved that Bella was a weak character and could connect with her because of it.

Liked the HP films, couldn't do the woman's writing though... I tried, I really did... but i couldn't get through the first chapter... Same thing with Stephen King.. Love the Films, but can't stomach the writing.. Well nothing written after Carrie at least.   I Don't DO Weak FEMALES Either... Probably why I can't do Twilight! Well other than the sparkling.... Uggghh

TJ. I absolutely ADORE King, but very few films LOL Green Mile is the only one I liked, to be honest.
And I couldn't get through the first two pages of Twiglit.
The first five minutes of the movie and I was walking away LOL
I can understand the weak character - in the beginning. But she remained that way ... and I can't connect to characters like that.
However, I can understand why some would connect, especially if they are super shy, or very introverted
I take that back, Shawshank Redemption ...

I suppose, that may be true. Being the exact opposite of that, at least when out and about, I have a hard time connecting with real people who are like that, especially in person. So I imagine that it is why I can not connect with them in the written world. I honestly have a very hard time even writing a female who can't take care of herself, or at least talk her way out of most situations. I think it was one of the draws to your work for me. Once I started reading Your characters were strong, even to the point of sheer stubbornness.  I liked that

TJ. You would probably like Karen, from Fractured Steel then. She is strong, but finds her breaking point.
All of my female characters are strong, although I try to write them with realistic flaws. Being stubborn can be a major flaw - I'm very stubborn/willful, and it's gotten me into trouble at times.

I know the feeling. I have a tendency to need to be right. If I think I'm right you have to actually prove to me that I am wrong with facts and diagrams!! LOL
And even then I'm probably gonna need to have the last word!

TJ.LOL Exactly. And while it can come in handy, it can also hinder a person. Hubby and Filly (teenager) always tell me when I'm getting to that point.

It's hard when your a talker!! And when you get more than one in a room you suddenly get puled in and the next time you look at a clock you find it's been 2 & 1/2 hours since you sat down!!!

TJ. LMAO I'm not much of a talker until I know you simply because i don't always think before I speak. People who don't know me think I'm a quiet person. Those who do know me laugh until they cry when someone says, "Wow, she's quiet and polite ..."

*tears streaming!

TJ. Yes, that LOL
I caught up with a friend from Jr High/Sr High about five years ago. She met with some people I worked with, and one of them said that. I don't think she laughed that hard in ages ...

Well, the hours have flown by tonight with you!! So I'm happy to think that we're doing pretty good!! But alas, our night must come to a very regretful close... When can we hope to see you're next installment? And do you have anything else that youi'd like to mention, perhaps about Cliffhanger Press?

TJ. Make sure to visit on our official opening, January 15th  
Odd Number Five is due out this month, and Fractured Steel is going to be released on Feb 15th. 
Thanks, m'dear, for a great interview!!! I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

Oh you are so welcome!! And without sounding obvious I'd love to check out your next pieces... ARC's anyone!!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and my readers!!!

TJ. I will definitely send you ARCs 

I post to amazon, Goodreads an my blog... Is there somewhere else you need them as well, Shelfari? Or anything like that if so let me know! I'll be siure to do what i can whre I can!

TJ. I have GTH on KDP at the moment  Lucky Number Six is everywhere, but if you could do Amazon, Goodreads and B&N, that'd be great 
I know GTH is on Shelfari, but I don't know Shelfari that well ...

THat makes two of us.. LOL And so we end as we began!! Full Circle!! Have a great night and I will be looking forward to the ARC's!!

Check out author T.J. Loveless at the venues below

Until next time Happy Reading!! 

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The In Dreams... Series, The Roads Trilogy, is the accumulation of almost eight years of writing. Begun in 2006 after a D&D campaign

ended S.I.Hayes took the world and created the Unavoidable Road. It took five years as

Shannon spent many months at a time in an undiagnosed Bi-Polar fog.

In 2010, she finally found the help she needed and she has been writing feverishly ever since

The first book wast over 130,000 words, so she decided that it needed to be smaller if only tonot scare readers away form an unknown book that was so thick.

Thus the first trilogy was born.

In between she became the CoAuthor to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother Meets The Real World, of the Preternatural, Several blogs and her own website.