She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
– Annie Dillard
She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.
– Annie Dillard
Genre: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: April 5, 2019
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For centuries, Earth has served as the battleground for a secret war between a reptilian alien species and the clandestine human organization dedicated to eradicating this extraterrestrial threat. But when a single woman becomes the focal point of this brutal conflict, the fate of the planet alters forever...
Life hasn't been easy for Riley Anbar since her grandmother's death. Between struggling to run the family business, dealing with troubling psychic visions, and puzzling over unanswered questions about the parents she never knew, Riley is doing her best just to get by. After a pair of chance encounters with two mysterious men, Riley finds herself thrust into danger as both human and alien forces converge on her once-ordinary life.
But in this war, there is no clear boundary between good and evil. Both factions are determined to use Riley for their own ends, and they're willing to endanger everyone around her to achieve their goals. Caught between the two men who have captured her heart and the secrets of her own past, what choice will Riley make when she discovers neither side is in the right?
1. Where do you get your ideas for your books? Who or what inspired your idea?
While aliens, the weird and unexplained, tend to be our topics, we often inspire each other. Michelle has a love of science while Amanda heavily researches conspiracy theories. Then we put our heads together, bouncing our ideas back and forth until something sticks.
2. How did you develop the plot and your characters? Are your characters based on anyone?
Our characters are like real people in our heads. For Amanda, Riley was the first to appear. She popped up in her metaphysical shop and two very different men wanted a reading. Of course she fell for both of them. Even though this never made it to the final cut of the book - we've developed these characters from this inception.
3. Do you write when you're inspired? Or do you have a schedule you keep to?
Michelle- I write when I can get a moment to breathe without the children using me as playground equipment, but typically when I am inspired and have a good jam playing. I'm NOT good at schedules.
Amanda- Both! I'm inspired all the time. I tend to have multiple manuscripts in different stages of development, but it's a matter of sitting down and scheduling. I try and clear big chunks of time to sit and write, even though having three kids makes that hard, I prioritize writing as a necessity in life.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Maybe a piece of advice that stuck with you from your adventure into the world of publishing?
Amanda's advice- I'm not big on giving other advice. Everything you do in life only works because you want to make it work. If you want it so bad, then what are you doing each day to build towards your goal. Writing is one of those things that has to have other elements around it other than the actual writing. For me, its eating healthy, making sure I get off the computer, finding new music, reading widely, and making sure I spend heaps of time with my family. If I neglect these things, then I find my writing falls short and flat. So having a balance lifts me up and the writing becomes rewarding.
Michelle- Keep writing. If it sucks. Write it again. The first draft is never great, and even the 30th will need polishing. Just. Keep. Writing.
5. Tell us a bit more about yourself. How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspires you to write?
Amanda- I've always been an artist. Growing up I painted everything - bedroom walls, old furniture, whatever I could get my hands on. But when I became a mom, my art was too hard. A friend gave me a book to read - Twilight! By the end of the series, my dreams changed - I was dreaming of stories that I could write myself.
Michelle- I started out by doodling on every blank space of paper I could. Homework...doodled. Notebooks...doodled. I drew, colored, painted, and apparently (discovered recently) was writing stories even before I knew it was what I wanted to do 'when I grew up.' In my teens I wrote poetry, probably wouldn't want them to see the light of day now though, and still drew on every edge of paper I had in sight. I suppose I have always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn't until I sat down and wrote my first novel for a client as a ghostwriter that I realized I could actually do it.
6. How much of yourself goes into your writing? Or do you keep yourself separate and base the character on someone else entirely?
Amanda- that's a hard question. I tend to not put myself into a character. But is there clear separation? Hard to say. I find that I follow the characters in my head a clearly as I see them. Or perhaps they are just personas of my subconscious.
Michelle- The characters decide for themselves. I just write their stories. Do I sometimes see myself in my characters? Probably. I have one character that is a vegan...and I am a vegan...so there is that? lol.
7. What has helped shape and improve your writing?
Amanda- Michelle! having someone by your side pointing out the good, the bad and the ugly parts of writing has made me jump from pretending to be a writer to an actual writer. And I'm just so lucky to be able to have a book out there with her.
Michelle- Amanda has been a great soundboard, cheerleader, and soul sister from across the planet. I think that just like language, writing is ever evolving. It's a living entity and I don't think I will ever stop working on improving my writing. And the only way to keep improving the writing is...writing. This book wouldn't even be if it wasn't for her pushing and motivating me to keep going and encouraging me when I wasn't at my best.
8. What are you reading right now? Do you recommend it or have any other recommendations?
Amanda- I recently just finished The Discovery of Witches. But generally I read lots of non-fiction. Currently I'm in the last chapter of Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Däniken. Michelle- Oh jeebus. Okay. Asunder by Liz Steinworth. Always Darkest by Jessica Flaherty. Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (second reading). And whatever new gems I find at the Library my next visit lol.
9. Do your novels carry a message or do you feel it's subjective?
Amanda- Not intentional. Michelle researches so much of science whereas I heavily research in conspiracy theories. I guess if the reader doesn't know these fields, they might take messages out from the book, although this is unintentional.
Michelle- I want to write novels that carry a message of my own devising, but I haven't decided on what message to send. Writing with Amanda, we definitely aren't sending a message intentionally, but it could be there. Writing on my own...well, I am a romance writer by nature, so I guess my message is love.
10. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
Amanda- I tend to go back and forth between computer and long hand. Sitting on the computer for most of the day can be a drain, so I like to get out, into the sunshine and write by hand. All of my summaries, and research is done by hand, but if my brain goes into overdrive, then I have to be at a keyboard to keep up
Michelle- Definitely my Chromebook. My handwriting is atrocious. I can't even decipher that scratch. I would love a typewriter, but I feel my patience level wouldn't be able to stand it. Also, I love having the internet at the ready for anything I need to look up mid writing.
About the Authors
Michelle Crow & A. A. Warne are soul sisters living on the opposite sides of this planet. Writing speculative fiction and researching the odd and esoteric, Michelle specializes in the lighter side of life, while Amanda tends to go dark. When they aren't binging coffee and having their noses buried in books, they're writing them! Mothers to three little kidlets each, they also have fur babies, and wonderfully dedicated--and supportive--husbands.
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"The cosmos is within us. We are all made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself."
- Carl Sagan