Meet the Author – Annalise Azevedo

efaefafsJust as we’ve all just realised (with our usual October shock) that the year is sneaking on and getting away on us (“How is it nearly Christmas?!”), this week we want to draw attention to someone else who might have been quietly slipping under your radar: Annalise Azevedo. One of our newer family members at Ouroborus, young adult author Annalise is best described as tenacious, committed, and just the right mix of playful and serious. She lives and breathes the supernatural, paranormal, fantasy and fictional world, knows what a deadline is, and whenever we don’t hear from her for a while, we know it’s because she’s devotedly working on her paranormal Sacred Stone series. Book 1, Reflection of Fire, is out now, with book 2 on the way. We interrupted this busy writer to ask our usual pertinent questions.

Tell us about yourself: My story is rather simple, I always had an active imagination and loved magic. I am the second youngest in a family of six, but I was the only one who decided to write for fun. I was often a bit of an oddball and sometimes I find myself thinking about different scenarios to life. My early stories were English projects, mainly about dogs and wolves. Soon enough, I was a teenager who obsessed over TV shows and I was determined to give people the same feels as TV gave me.

Favourites

Favourite book: Don’t really have a favourite book, but recently preferred book is Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Favourite films: Avengers, Hachiko, Mulan

Favourite television series: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Vampire Diaries, Lucifer, Once Upon a Time, One Day at a Time, Friends, Game of Thrones and anything David Attenborough

Favourite colour: Blue

Favourite subject in school: Drama and Multimedia

Ideal holiday destination: New Zealand is my current goal, then I would like to go to Europe, Portugal in particular

The best birthday party would be: I already had it. Just a quiet moment with people I care about. But it needs cake. Always needs cake.

Dislikes

Food you can’t stand: Salads, mushrooms, seafoods, I’m a picky eater

Something you’d never be caught dead wearing: Bright clothing, or crop tops

Least favourite sport: Running related – or tennis and golf

Quirky questions

An age you are not: 22

Third favourite fictional character: Emma Swan

A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavour named after you would be a combination of: Chocolate, caramel and white chocolate.

A job you definitely wouldn’t have been suited for: Marketing

A random hobby you had for like five minutes once: Martial Arts. I mean, it’s still pretty cool

The most attractive punctuation mark is: !

Writing related

What inspired you to write your current work: My friends were the primary focus. For those readers of Reflection of Fire, you probably realised that friendship is a strong theme of the story with little to no romance. Another inspiration was myself when I was in a dark place, I won’t go into massive detail in it, but bloodlust symbolises four major reasons to kill – misery, vengeance, rage and thrill. I always wanted to write a story where a character tries to be an average person (someone who wouldn’t kill, no matter what) but in reality, feels like an outsider (because they want to kill, for any of the four reasons)

What genres do you read and write: Supernatural, paranormal

When did you start publishing with Ouroborus: 2018

What do you hope people associate you with: That awkward girl who wrote a book

Current work-in-progress: Editing Eye of the Storm and writing Book 3

What can readers expect from you in future: A full series, and solo novels. Lots and lots of solo novels.

Which of your own characters do you relate to most, and which is your favourite to write: A piece of me is in each character, but I feel the closest with Tahani Rosa. A lot of her mannerisms are like mine, but magnified. She was also one of my earlier characters, who changed constantly through the versions. But my favourite character to write is a character not revealed yet.

Either or

Hardcover, eBook or paperback? Any really. I’m not fussy on books.

Chocolate or chips? Is that a trick question? Chocolate.

DC or Marvel? Marvel

Blue ink or black? Black

Indoors or outdoors? Both

Spotless work space or is there a desk under all that? In between, but I do prefer it spotless.

Coffee or tea? I like both as iced.

You can find out more about Annalise Azevedo at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on her website, and the books can be purchased from the Ouroborus Books online store.

Advertisements

Meet the Author – Shayla Morgansen

This week we’re introducing one of our older – though not necessarily wiser or more mature! – writers at Ouroborus Books. Shayla Morgansen is the author of The Elm Stone Saga, as well as a number of more serious works of non-fiction and an even larger number of decidedly less serious fanfiction. She divides her time rather erratically between writing, watching old science fiction, and studying for her PhD. A former teacher, she now works as a freelance editor and a lecturer in Editing and Publishing Studies. To give Shayla a break from work, study and Netflix, we sat down to ask the hard questions.

shayla1

Favourites

Favourite book/s: Ugh, starting with the hardest one! Harry Potter, The Book Thief, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Fangirl, Carry On, and The Book With No Pictures. I refuse to narrow down the list any further

Favourite television series: Stargate SG1, X-Files, Supernatural, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, The 100… Do I have to stop listing?

Favourite film/s: The Matrix. At least that one’s easy

Favourite colour: Pink!

Favourite Sesame Street character: Ernie

Favourite subject in school: Drama. I’m a tad theatrical, a tad wordsy

Favourite special place: My grandparents’ garden

Dislikes

Food you can’t stand: Mushrooms

Something you’d never be caught dead wearing: Real fur (eww! Dead stuff!)

Fears: Spiders

Quirky questions

An age you are not: 21

Least favourite Avenger: Ironman. Sorry not sorry

Least favourite Disney princess: Cinderella

Third favourite fictional character: Dr Daniel Jackson

A Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavour named after you would be a combination of: Fairyfloss and raspberry – super sweet but with a surprising tang

A job you definitely wouldn’t have been suited for: Accountant

The most attractive punctuation mark is: The question mark. I like the curves when I write it

Writing related

What inspired you to write your current work: Harry Potter ran out so I wrote what I wanted to read

What genres do you read and write: I write YA fantasy, a bit of non-fiction as required by my study, and fanfiction for The X-Files and Dexter. My creative work usually has a focus on intense platonic relationships fraught with questions of morality and truth. I read widely, as long as it’s fiction, and as long as the story features spaceships, magic powers or law enforcement

When did you start publishing with Ouroborus: In 2014

What do you hope people associate you with: I hope I’m viewed as fun and considerate, but also professional and knowledgeable. As a writer, I hope people associate me with quality

Current work-in-progress: My thesis

What can readers expect from you in future: At least two more Elm Stone books (with magic), a paranormal crime series (with FBI), a science fiction series (with spaceships) and my X-Files fanfiction to eventually get finished

Which of your own characters do you relate to most, and which is your favourite to write: Aristea, and Declan

Either or

Hardcover, eBook or paperback? Paperback

Chocolate or chips? I have to choose?

DC or Marvel? Marvel every single day.

Blue ink or black? Blue!

Spotless work space or is there a desk under all that? I think there’s a desk. Ask any past student, they may have seen it once, or else offered to clean it for me in exchange for classroom points

You can find out more about Shayla Morgansen by following her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or by visiting her website, and The Elm Stone Saga can be purchased from the Ouroborus Books online store.

May the 4th book be with you

gahsafdsgElm Stone Saga fans, the moment has finally arrived!!!! The fourth book in The Elm Stone Saga, ‘Haunted’, is here. Here’s a little interview I did with the fabulous author, Shayla Morgansen herself.

What inspired The Elm Stone Saga?

Two things. One, the then-impending completion of the Harry Potter series, which I was finding difficult to replace. Two, a baby names book I bought to help me find names for my Sims. I found Aristea and Renatus in there, along with almost the entire cast, and started imagining them as characters. That’s why all the weird names!

What authors inspire you, and why?

So many, where do I start? JK Rowling is my hero because of her tenacity and the impact she had on reading and literacy. Laini Taylor and Catherynne M Valente make me want to write better, every time I read a single gorgeously crafted line of theirs… their story worlds are so beautiful and every word is a delight. And Jodi McAlister, because she manages to strike a balance between academic life and writing fantasy novels!

What was the first thing that drew you into the fantasy world?

sdgasgg.jpgI always watched and read fantasy and science fiction. My childhood movies were Star Wars, Independence Day, Stargate, The Labyrinth… Plus The Swan Princess and a big helping of Disney… That’s why I’m so well-adjusted. For books, especially long magical series that drew me totally in, it would have to be The Chronicles of Narnia.

What book is your most anticipated read for the rest of this year?

Other than the forty-something unread books sitting on my bookshelf already? Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell.

What was your favourite read of 2018?

Well, that’s too hard. Either Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine or Valentine by Jodi McAlister. Or Illuminae. Or Geekerella. I don’t know. I’m a picky reader – if it doesn’t have magic, spaceships or police, I’m out – so I love nearly everything that makes it onto my very exclusive list!

How did you decide on the cover of your books?

Painfully, or so my cover artists would say. I’m picky with everything. I knew I didn’t want to have people on them and I wanted a symbol. My amazing artist friends who developed the covers helped me to think about what symbol matched the content of each book.

agfagasgIf your book series was to be a movie, who would you cast? Personally I think the actor who played Victor Aldertree on Shadowhunters would be perfect for Qasim.

I remember you saying that! Maybe Theo James as Renatus? Though I think the books are better suited to a series than to film.

What do you want readers to take away from reading The Elm Stone Saga?

Enjoyment? There isn’t really any deliberate moral or message to the series – more of an exploration of my own into the different ethical perspectives. Is an action inherently right or wrong? Is its rightness determined by its outcome? Or is something more or less right if it affects people you love? These are questions my characters struggle with and I think we all can relate, so I hope readers get a moment of escape when they’re reading about fictional people dealing with these worries in fictional settings.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Take yourself seriously, or no one else will – but not so seriously that you forget that this is supposed to be fun. Language should be a delight. If you don’t love writing, your approach needs a look-over.

Finally, can you tease use about any upcoming projects you have on the horizon?

agf.jpgI always have too much going on! Aside from my non-fiction works coming out over the next year, my massive unfinished fanfiction and the research arising from my ongoing study, I do have a new fiction series I’ve started working on. Think The X-Files­ meets Grimm – supernatural police procedural. But it’s a while off, and I’m committed to completing The Elm Stone Saga for now.

~J.J. Fryer

You can find out more about Shayla Morgansen at her website, on The Elm Stone Saga’s Facebook page, or by following her on Instagram. All four books in The Elm Stone Saga are available from our store.

You can follow JJ Fryer on Twitter and Instagram. His debut novel Inner Reflection is available from our store.

Meet the Author: Amanda Geisler

Amanda Geisler has been a dedicated reader since a young age, always searching for new materials to devour. She began writing short stories at the age of 9, musing over the worlds she created before being introduced to the world of novels in her early teen years. Amanda is an enthusiastic reader and writer of young adult urban fantasy and paranormal novels.

gwrrThe White Wolf trilogy has been Amanda’s foundation project. Having started the original version when she was 13, The Stray was a work in progress for several years until she finally finished it in 2016.

Besides reading and writing, Amanda lives and works in Brisbane as an early childhood educator while she continues to study towards a Bachelor of Education at university. Amanda uses her spare time to continue with her writing projects and to attend events such as Supanova and Genre Con.

Favourites

Favourite book/s: Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Favourite film/s: Harry Potter Series

Favourite television series: Teen Wolf

Favourite colour: Purple

Favourite Sesame Street character: Big Bird

Favourite subject in school: Maths

Favourite special place: My bed

Ideal holiday destination: Europe

Dislikes

Food you can’t stand: Mushrooms

Something you’d never be caught dead wearing: Hot Pink (unless for charity event)

Fears: Claustrophobia, stairs

Least favourite sport: Cricket

Quirky questions

An age you are not: 25

A random hobby you had for like five minutes once: Photography

Best Skittle flavour: Purple/Grape

Writing related

What inspired you to write your current work:

What genres do you read and write: I read and write a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal novels. Sometimes read horror. Rarely romance.

When did you start publishing with Ouroborus: 2016

Current work-in-progress: The Lost

What can readers expect from you in future: My writing career has taken a bit of a hiatus as my university, personal and working personas take more importance. However, I am working on The Lost and will get it out as soon as it’s ready.

Which of your own characters do you relate to most, and which is your favourite to write: I feel I connect and relate to Rya most of all. Probably because I have spent so much time in her head and some of my personality is in her. I am looking forward to writing from Dylan’s point of view as the series progresses. He is a charismatic, sarcastic and cheerful character that I believe will be interesting and fun to write.

What upcoming or recently released Ouroborus book are you most eager to read and why? I am looking forward to reading Blank. I have had it on my shelf for a few months now and I have been waiting for time to read it.

Either or

Hardcover, eBook or paperback? Paperback

Chocolate or chips? Both (depends on mood)

DC or Marvel? Marvel

Blue ink or black? Both (depends on mood and what it is used for)

Indoors or outdoors? Indoors

Spotless work space or is there a desk under all that? Bit of both

Coffee or tea? Neither

You can find out more about Amanda Geisler here and the books can be purchased from the Ouroborus Books online store.

Supanova Fun

Some of you may know that April and November are big months at Ouroborus Books. Does anyone want to tell the rest of the class? Yes…? Nice work reading the title – ten points to *insert your selected Hogwarts house here*! The Force is clearly with you.

Yes, April and November for south-east Queenslander nerds are big months because that’s when Supanova comes to the Gold Coast and Brisbane, respectively. Ouroborus secures a good-sized spot in the Indie Press Zone with the other authors, illustrators and comic writers to sell our fantasy, paranormal, dystopian and horror themed books, as well as fandom and fantasy art by Sabrina RG Raven. If you’ve somehow never noticed us raving about Supanova before, here are a few reasons – provided by some of our authors – as to why you might want to check your schedule on Friday 12, Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 of April this year and perhaps pop on down to the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre for a looksie.

 

Danica
danica

“I love the environment of Supanova. Connecting with other artist and authors. For the weekend I feel a part of a community.”

 

J.J.
JJ

“I love Supanova because it’s such an incredible event where everyone from all walks of life can come and be encapsulated in the nuance of pop culture. I love how there’s something for everyone. And it’s such a FUN event!!”

Shayla
shayla

“I really didn’t know what to expect the first time I went to Supanova, but I knew from that first day that I never wanted to miss one again! So much colour and fun, and so much acceptance. I love how everybody can enjoy themselves – families, young people, couples, older people; proper nerds, casual nerds, mums of nerds – without having to compromise on the integrity of the event. It’s such a lovely crowd and a very multi-faceted event.”

Robert
rob

“I remember my first Supanova, being blown away by the people. All my life I’d been isolated in enjoying the things I enjoyed. I never really shared my pop culture loves with other people. So, to suddenly be in a giant haul with hundreds of other people all there to see the same things I was there to see. Loving the same things I loved, wanting the same things I wanted. It shook me up in a delightful way.”

Annalise
Annalise

“I was introduced to Supanova back in 2012 by my cousin. At the time, I was looking forward to meeting Masakazu Morita, voice actor for Ichigo Kurosaki, and I still have his autograph in my car. It was also one of the few times I didn’t feel like an outcast. I never realised I would like a social interaction until then. However, it was also the first time I caught con-flu. That was a bummer for me.”

Sabrina
sabrina

“My first Supanova was back in the days it was at the RNA Showgrounds (at least 12 years ago) and it felt like coming home. These were my people. And back then it was so hard to get collectables at a decent price because they all were double the price from imports.

As an exhibitor, my first ‘Nova was Gold Coast ‘Nova in 2014 so that makes this Supanova number 11 for the company. We started with two titles and no idea what we were doing, and I’m pretty sure I nearly had a heart attack from the sheer level of stress I put myself under getting everyone organised. That ‘Nova was a biggie for me because not only was it our first time as exhibitors but I also got to meet one of my top 5 (living) authors, Mr Jim Butcher. I fangirled and I’m pretty sure I clapped like a seal after he told me a secret about a character that I had guessed correctly. I was lucky enough to speak to him for about 30 mins about writing and I even scored a photo (while dressed as Totoro). But my main takeaway from ‘Nova is the sheer love from complete strangers, people who come back year after year to say hi and see what’s new. And they’re my people. The nerds, the geeks, the dreamers and the freaks.”

Ouroborus Authors’ Roundtable Review of 2018

As the calendar closes on the eleventh year of Ouroborus Book Services, we take a look back on the year that was. There were ups and downs – professional, personal and creative – and some really big moments – debut book launches, new team members, new directions, even an engagement! Our goal to keep our blog consistent and regular was met (go team!) and we conquered two Supanovas. Best of all, we added FIVE NEW BOOKS to our range. It’s been our biggest year yet, but don’t think we’re slowing down now. Keep reading: we sat down together to reflect and get excited about all the things we’ve got coming in 2019!

What was the highlight of 2018 for you as an author?

Danica: It was the first time in almost ten years that I wrote anything about Arya. She’s the main character in my second book, Colours Within. But every book I’ve started writing since I was younger, she has been a main role, not always leading character but she has always been present. I was starting to get to attached and fixated on her that I haven’t been able to write her an ending because I don’t know what my ending is, for some reason I feel like the two endings are tied together, linked.

Josh: The highlight for me (which happened today) is when an author overseas is going to check out my book!!!

Mitchell: For me it was finishing two books. One that took five years to write and releasing my first young adult horror book.

Sabrina: Releasing my first solo novel. Although I have two cowritten books, releasing Blank was a great sense of achievement. I don’t get to work on my own books as much as I’d like to because I’m getting everyone else’s books ready to publish, so it was my pride and joy this year.

Shayla: Writing again. I didn’t publish, because I’m working on my PhD, but as a result I’ve left full-time work and it’s given me my Sunday and holiday writing time back. This was the highlight for me as an author.

How did 2018 change you?

Sabrina: I think I became more stubborn. A lot of trying stuff happened but I refuse to let it beat me.

Mitchell: It started off as a bad year but got better. I learnt things can go from bad to good in the space of a few weeks.

Who released a new book with Ouroborus in 2018? (and tell us a little about that experience!)

Annalise: I finally released my first book, Reflection of Fire, or RoF for short. The night itself wasn’t what I was expecting, especially since I sprained my ankle after tripping over a step. While I don’t think of it as special as the remainder of my stories have yet to be released, my new experience would be reminding myself that I’ll always be on the quest to write something afterwards.

Rob: The Spinning Sister, follow up to The Laughing Man is my real sink or swim. The success or failure of this will inform the rest of the series.

Mitchell: Skellington Key was released. Looks great. Lots of positive feedback.

What goals do you have for 2019?

Josh: To have a majority or all of book 2 written.

Shayla: Book 4. Plus, you know, the other 80 things on my plate. But book 4!

Danica: I want to have first drafts completed for all my unfinished works. Until then I won’t start any more new ideas.

Annalise: I need to finally finish Pride of the Light, the last instalment of the series and go back to editing Eye of the Storm. Also to build up the hashtag for Shifter Squad!

New Years’ Resolutions?

Mitchell: Write more books.

Sabrina: Yes, more books! I’d like to get the sequel to Blank at least written and the final book in the Everdark Trilogy. Apart from that, aim for happiness.

Antonia: My new year resolution is to walk as much as I write. For example, if I write 1,000 words I will need to walk 1km. One metre will be one word I put down on paper. This is a good new year resolution for me because I need to improve my fitness and increase how many words I write in a day.

Best book you read in 2018?

Josh: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

Shayla: Geekerella by Ashley Poston or Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Mitchell: Tranny by Laura Jana Grace.

Rob: I can narrow it down to a series. The Murderbot Diaries. Giving a killer robot social anxiety? I mean what’s not to love?

What TV show, book series, game, hobby or idea did you spend the most time obsessing over in 2018?

Annalise: This is tough. This year was actually the year where I didn’t pick up any shows that I would obsess over. The Originals and New Girl finished, Lucifer and Brooklyn Nine Nine were cancelled for what seemed like for an eternity only to be revived. I guess I would have to say Smash Brothers Ultimate for my obsession. I’ve been actively avoiding spoilers which is hard by the way.

Josh: The TV show I obsessed over is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Mitchell: Titans, or Making a Murderer.

Shayla: My year can be cleanly cut into three phases of televisual obsession – Battlestar Galactica at the start, then The 100 once I recovered from Starbuck and Apollo, and most recently Killjoys. So it was a space-themed year… much like every year.

Advice you wish someone had given you in 2017 for dealing with 2018.

Rob: It’s going to be a tough one. Take every opportunity offered, because they’ll make the bad things worth it.

Shayla: It’ll be okay. You’re making the right decision.

When alien archaeologists arrive on sun-scorched future Earth and dig up an ancient copy of your book and tell each other in hushed, reverent voices, “It dates back to 2018!” what inferences or assumptions will they make about our society in their reports?

Sabrina: Oh dear… that will not be good. Blank is dystopian fiction and doesn’t show humans in the best light. But it will also show that love can win.

Rob: That we let our imagination carry us away to greater things. That the world that is and can be wasn’t always enough to explain how we feel.

Important question: what was the best thing you cooked or ate in 2018?

Annalise: Caramelised pork and anything chip themed. No regrets.

Antonia: Thai green curry with pork because the spices helped to clear up my sinuses. For the majority of 2018, I was battling a virus that just wouldn’t go away unless I overloaded my body with spicy food and chilli.

Sabrina: I’ve had heaps of yummy food this year. The dinner I ate at Sky Tower in Auckland was pretty amazing. I had some great gyoza at a tiny Japanese restaurant near my house, plus bacon, banana and maple pancakes and tomato soup ramen in Wellington.

SO HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY, WHATEVER YOU CELEBRATE, FROM THE OUROBORUS TEAM!

47475666_2042628149160259_835501508509302784_n     47572941_379738315931079_4388576610727493632_n     47391962_2365460367017832_3456601138793545728_n      47576155_764284727261978_4574373258115153920_n

48209514_314728159148404_608269799788642304_n     47386532_487464571742017_4607596608266174464_n     47685904_2313936202225948_4595752316824453120_n      47572409_380257416081011_394164975708405760_n

amanda     mel-clarke-208x300

Sabrina , Shayla , Mitchell , Danica , Robert, Annalise , Josh (J.J.) , Antonia, Amanda and Mel