LiteraryCO Spotlight: Cara Allen

Hello, everybody! My name is Cara Allen and I am an aspiring novelist. I’ve lived in Colorado for about five years now, before that I lived in Spokane, Washington. I’ve been writing since I was about twelve when I had a dream that had me waking up and putting pen to paper for hours until the words stopped flowing. Have had some poems and short stories published in my high school and college literary publications that have made me just as eager to share my words with others. I write primarily Young Adult of the urban fantasy type and still love getting lost in the worlds that I create.

I have a blog, though it hasn’t been updated in a while, and you can also find me on Twitter.

What is your favorite color?

I think my favorite colors change as the day changes. I’m a mood ring. But my current favorite colors are blue and silver.

If you had one super power what would it be?

If I could have a super power I think it would be the ability to slow down time when I need to do something. Especially when it comes to writing because I always feel like I don’t have enough time to get a good chunk done at a time.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

I don’t think I could choose one! I think it would be kind of fun to jump around into all the worlds in the books that I read and experience them all. I especially would love to jump into those worlds where authors just tease you with basic information and leave the rest of it up to your imagination, just so I can see if what I imagined matched what the author was putting out.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

I love the writing world. For a long time writing for me was a private affair and I never really gave myself the chance to experience the world so I am diving into it with arms wide open. I love going to signings, hearing and learning from Q&As that they have during them. I’ve gone to a conference once (due for my second one this year, yay!) and I love workshops and learning more about the craft and the industry. I’ve learned to push myself and take my writing seriously instead of a casual thing just from putting myself in to this world. And the snazzy swag is great, too.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

What books are my guilty pleasures? Hmm I think the ones that I can read and reread, ones that give me comfort to go back in to, are any of the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton, any books by Nora Roberts/JD Robb if I need an easy romance or mystery read. As for TV, I love DIY shows especially since we just bought a house (Yay!) and have been taking on projects. I could go on and on about movies, so I think I’ll put a button on that.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

I would definitely pick the chilling out by a mountain lake, especially if I can have a pen and paper with me. I’m not much of a sportsy or outdoorsy person but relaxing by a lake and writing sounds like heaven to me.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Pinterest is up there on the list of procrastination causers. Also Facebook games, because I’m a dork to the core.

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Stephanie Blake

Stephanie Blake

Stephanie Blake is the author of The Marble Queen (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012). Learn more on stephaniejblake.com.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I spend a lot of my time with my kids and my husband. The boys are in sports. We are always on-the-go. We watch movies. My husband and I play a lot of Rumikub.

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

My favorite book of all time is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?

I wish I had written the Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker. The way she gets into a little kid’s head is just magical.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

I love to fish, so I love to chill out by a mountain lake.

What is next on your reading list?

I’m currently reading Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster. It’s so-so, but I’m trying to stick with it.

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Staci Hart

Staci Hart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom; she has three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife; even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f, ends with k, and there a uc in there.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | PinterestGoodreads

If you had one super power what would it be?

Ability to freeze time. I’d be so well rested and productive!

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

The Fountainhead. It was the first book that I read that made me feel small and powerful, all at once.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

Probably Harry Potter! I adore that world.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse. They’re so bad, but so good.

What kind of books do you wish there were more of (ie, books with love triangles, social commentary, zombies, etc…)? And conversely, what type of books do you wish were just done?

Greek Mythology! Luckily that’s what I write. The genre is completely untapped. I’m over Vampires and love triangles. Ugh.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Twitter. When the tab says there are 2 new tweets, I refresh my feed. It’s a problem.

Do you have any writing quirks, whether it’s a book or a review?

I’m borderline obsessive about my outlines. It’s a sick compulsion! 

What is next on your reading list?

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Neale Orinick

Neale Orinick

Neale Orinick is a Colorado native, single mother to three boys, endurance sport junkie, and will be re-releasing her debut novel with a new publisher in April. Learn more at http://www.nealeorinick.com.

If you had one super power what would it be?

I would have the ability to clone myself at will so I can run errands, watch my son’s football game, have lunch with my friends, write and go for a bike ride all at the same time. At the end of each day I would absorb all of the clones and have all their memories like I was actually everywhere all at once.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I am a recreational triathlete and endurance sport junkie. I will be doing Ironman Arizona in November.

Ski condo, mountain cabin or downtown loft?

All of the above. I am a great lover of the outdoors and solitude, but I also yearn for the busy ebb and flow of the city sometimes.

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

Beloved, by Toni Morrison. I was captivated, horrified, moved to tears and euphoric as I read it for the first time. I have probably finished the entire novel four times and have re-read certain parts of it a dozen times. I aspire to write such a powerful piece of literary art one day.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?

I love Anne Rice and want to create rich, multi-layered characters that draw you into their world so completely. Lestat is an arrogant, bloodthirsty killer, but we feel his spiritual angst, sympathize with his relentless loneliness, and despair of his ever being destroyed.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

Go for a loooong run or bike ride, then chill out on the couch with a burger and a Diet Coke to watch the Bronco game.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Nature porn. I can’t resist watching a python swallow a pygmy goat or a giant spider attack a snake.

Where do you see the book industry in the next ten years?

Traditional publishing is a dying entity and e-books will dominate the market for all ages and genres. The big publishing houses will be gone and the most successful authors will be those who are firmly in command of the technology to format and distribute books, social media and international distribution.

What is next on your reading list?

Cracking The Code Of The Twentieth Century’s Biggest Best Sellers by James W.Hall

 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: A.G. Henley

A.G. Henley

A.G. Henley is the author of the young adult series, THE SCOURGE. She is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Connect with AG Henley on www.aghenley.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

What Colorado tourist traps do you take your out of town guest to, even though you would typically never go there yourself?

Casa Bonita. It is such a spectacle, and really, the food isn’t that bad …

If you had one super power what would it be?

Writing faster. It would seriously come in handy these days. But what would my alter ego name be? Fleet Fingers, perhaps?

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

I play soccer twice a week, and love to ski and snowboard in the winter and hike in the summer. Does sleeping count as a hobby?

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

There were two: The Count of Monte Cristo, and Pride and Prejudice.

I decided to read The Count of Monte Cristo on my own while in high school. As I look back on it, that decision was the first step to my becoming a writer; I began to study, through reading, what made great books great. I read a ton of classics in high school and college, although I didn’t major in anything particularly literary. I didn’t begin to write for publication for many more years, but I’ve always had that base of classic literature to pull from.

Pride and Prejudice was the first book I truly loved with all my heart. I had many favorites as a child and teen, but there was just something about Jane Austen that spoke to me as a young adult (even though I had already found my Mr. Darcy, my husband, Ryan). I whipped through her novels after reading Persuasion for a college course. P and P was my favorite.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

This is probably so unoriginal, but I’d totally live in Harry Potter’s world. Set me up at Hogwarts with a wand and a butter beer, and I’d be happy.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

Definitely writing. It’s hard work, but it’s also so much fun. I’m really enjoying my current WIP – creating new characters and a new world is a blast. Each time I do it I try to stretch my wings a little further, and experiment.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

It has been The Vampire Diaries for a while, but I tend to lose interest in series – novels or TV shows – after about three or four books/seasons. So I’m ready for a new one.

What is next on your reading list?

I’m reading Oliver Twist right now. It’s been a while since I read a classic—I tend to read mainly in my genre (young adult) these days—but now’s the time to revisit Dickens. I’d forgotten how funny his writing was, and how he used humor as a weapon of social commentary. He’s a fantastic muse.

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Stuck in Books

Stuck in Books

Valerie runs the book blog, StuckInBooks.com. You can find her on TwitterFacebookGoogle +, and Goodreads.

 

If you had one super power what would it be?

I’ve always thought I like to read thoughts.  Could be a tough one but I think I’d like it.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

Are there non-book related hobbies?  Really. Interesting.  No, I’m a techy girl.  Love the computer…stuff.

Ski condo, mountain cabin or downtown loft?

Mountain cabin

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

Harry Potter.  I don’t remember ever following a series before that one.  Now it seems to much a part of things.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

The people that share my passion for sure.  I love talking about books and it’s so nice to talk to peeps that get that.

What kind of books do you wish there were more of (ie, books with love triangles, social commentary, zombies, etc…)? And conversely, what type of books do you wish were just done?

I love all the paranormal stuff.  Give me more urban fantasy with some romance on the side.  I’m over the love triangles and dystopia.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

Love them all but Broncos game tips it.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, Pinterest)

Twitter

What is next on your reading list?

Crash/Clash by Nicole Williams