Featured Author: Roger Emile Stouff

Remember when I mentioned my author support system? Well now you get to meet them!

First of all, I’m not going to lie. Roger is family. Not “like family,” actual family. He’s my first cousin, once removed (I had to Google that.) Anyway, I met Roger when I was in my teens and thought he was a “cool” adult (this is damn near a miracle as far as teens are concerned.) Actually almost twenty years later, it still applies. I don’t know if writing runs in all families, but it sure does in mine. Word to the wise: if he mentions something his dad said, pay attention. I adored my Great-uncle Leonard, and the man was a wellspring of wisdom.

Take it away Cuz!

Because it’s the first question everyone asks, why did you want to become a writer? 

Thank you for inviting me, Emily. I knew since grade school that I wanted to write; I devoured Black Beauty and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and promptly rewrote the Jules Verne classic to my liking! Later, as a teen, I got somewhat more original, thankfully, with short stories, usually horror, and by the time I was in my twenties I was firmly embedded in sci-fi/fantasy. But within the last few years, I’ve found myself writing more mainstream fiction, at least, mainstream for me.

Because it’s the second question everyone asks, where do you get your ideas? 

Everywhere! I grew up in a Native American and Cajun family that spoke of spooks and creatures such as the rougaroo, a Cajun werewolf thing that supposedly inhabits the swamps of my homeland in south Louisiana. My Indian forebears spoke of such things as Neka Sama, a beast that lurks in the swamp and makes a whistling sound accompanied by something like beating on a hollow log, and was known to yank children into fires. Typical ghost stories—visitations, sightings, eerie events—were also abundant. Later I was inspired by the sci-fi and fantasy greats, especially Ray Bradbury and JRR Tolkien, then Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I fell into the mainstream market when I read a news story regarding eminent domain abuse that completely hacked me off, and it turned into my novel “A Divide Beyond Reason” that was intended to be one book only, but has stretched into a series.

How many books have you written to date?

Goodness, this is going to take up some bandwidth!

“Native Waters: An Indigenous Fly Fisher’s Journey Across Time and Water” Memoir, 2012

“The Great Sadness: Indigenous Angling and the Loss of Home” Memoir, 2012

“Carry Me Away: A Quest For Wild Places” Memoir, 2012

“Chasing Thunderbirds” Short stories, 2012

“Losing Home: A Native Waters Compendium” Abridged version of the previous three memoirs, 2014

“With Reservations: Musings From the Other Side” Humor, 2014

“For There Is Still The Sky” Fantasy, Allidian Saga, Book 1, 2012

“The Dark Lands” Fantasy, Allidian Saga, Book 2, 2012

“Fortresses” Fantasy, Allidian Saga, Book 3, 2012

“There Will Come A Beast” Fantasy, Allidian Saga, Book 4, 2014

“Firekill” Science Fiction, 2012

“The Thunderchild Fables” Science fiction, 2012

“A Divide Beyond Reason” Fiction, Lawson’s Peak book, 2012

“A River Named Vengeance” (Sequel to “Divide”) Fiction, Lawson’s Peak book, 2012

“Dead Witch in the River: A Lawson’s Peak Mystery” Mystery, 2015

“Those Who Carry Fire: A Lawson’s Peak Mystery” Mystery, 2015

“Finding Lazarus: Askuwhetea, Days of the Watcher, Book 1” Fiction, 2015

Coming soon: “Something Broken: A Lawson’s Peak Mystery”

Can you pick a favorite book?

Harry Middleton, author of several wonderful outdoors books, best of all being “The Earth is Enough”

Tell me a little about your favorite character to have written.

I love them all! If pressed, I’d have to say Lazarus Askuwhetea, an old Indian who first appeared in the “Lawson’s Peak” books.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Absolutely a pantser! Funny thing is, it usually works out great. Usually.

How do you write? With music? Silence? In the morning or late at night? Are your characters voices in your head, or do you see scenes like a movie? Do you need to work things out on paper first? What process do you prefer, (Scrivener, Snowflake Method, Scaffolding Method, a bulleted outline in Word)?

Started in Word, hated it; went to LibreOffice, loved it! Finally learned Scrivener and will never, ever go back.

What are your top three favorite books or series?

Wow, that’s even harder than figuring out my favorite character of my own books. Let’s see…Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” books; “Boy’s Life”, Robert R. McCammon; “The Stand”, Stephen King.

Who are your top three favorite authors in your genre?

I’m not even sure what my genre is! The first two Lawson’s Peak books, coming of age, family drama, who knows? They were hard to shoehorn into a genre. The mysteries, of course, were easier. So…Craig Johnson, for sure, helluva mystery writer. Harry Middleton, because like mine, his books are mostly set in the outdoors. And top it off with Nez Perce warrior and orator Chief Joseph, my personal indigenous hero.

Do you have a book boyfriend/girlfriend? If you have more than one, (because, well who doesn’t?) please list your top three.

Among my own characters—Lomasi, “Pretty Flower,” an indigenous woman who married one of my three main characters. Someone else’s work, Arwen, perhaps?

If you could interview your favorite literary character, what would be the one question you’d ask?

Gandalf, “Lord of the Rings,” and the question would be, “Why didn’t you just get the dang eagles to bring Frodo to Mordor???” (Of course I know, then there wouldn’t be the whole rest of the epic!)

What is the one part of writing you dread? Editing? Reviews? Marketing? Talking to fans?

Writer’s block!

What have you found to be the best way to overcome this?

Lots of staring at a blank screen, combined with coffee, chocolate and an occasional adult beverage. Or my dad’s advice on just about anything such as that: “Just walk away from it until it all comes around right.”

If you could go back to the day you finished the first draft of your first book, what advice would you give yourself?

Don’t be stupid, go to law school. Just kidding! Probably, “Watch for Amazon to introduce Kindle self-publishing and get in there first!”

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

All of it, even the pains and frustrations. Best of all, is feedback from happy readers who want more. Nothing more rewarding than that.

You walk into a bar and happen to sit next to your favorite author. What’re you going to say, besides gushing?

“Hey, Harry, aren’t you dead?” (Harry Middleton died in 1993.)

Thank you so much for being the first in the series Roger!

About Those Who Carry Fire, the second book in the Lawson’s Peak Mystery Series:

Deep in the back country of the southern Appalachians, a small settlement of Native Americans has existed in self-imposed isolation for three centuries with little contact with the outside world. But when someone, or some thing, burns Madeline Day Star’s cabin, and her with it, Sheriff Gordon Bredenbury searches for a murderous arsonist while desperately trying to keep the secret of that hidden village he’s kept safe for more than fifty years.

When the home of Carolina Proud Horse is also burned a few days later, Gordon reaches a horrid realization: there is an Indian killer in Yona County, and it appears to be the resurrection of an ancient indigenous spirit.

Gordon pursues a killer, flesh or spirit, and soon learns there are also other fires: the fires carried in the hearts of those he holds dear.

About Roger:

roger stouffRoger Emile Stouff has been an author and journalist for more than thirty years and pens the award-winning column “From the Other Side” in the St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune.
He was featured on the television show “Fly Fishing America” in 2006, and was writer and narrator of the documentary “Native Waters: A Chitimacha Recollection” on Louisiana Public Broadcasting in 2012. Based on his memoirs, “Native Waters” and “The Great Sadness,” the show is now showing on public broadcasting stations nationwide, was nominated for an Emmy and was recipient of a Bronze Telly Award.
He is the author of the fiction novels “A Divide Beyond Reason” and its sequel “A River Named Vengeance” that both question the strength and boundaries of friendship and loyalty. A spinoff from those books, “Dead Witch in the River” is a mystery featuring many of the original characters.
Stouff also has written science-fiction and epic fantasy novels with co-author Kenneth R. Brown, including the first four books of “The Allidian Saga”, a series in the works.
He is the son of Nicholas Leonard Stouff Jr., last chief of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, and Lydia Marie Gaudet Stouff, daughter of a Cajun farmer.

You can connect with Roger on Facebook, and at his websites Shadowfire Books and Native Waters.

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Review: Sin Eater 1.6

Oh these boys. These boys are going to drive me up a wall. Can you go into a book and knock some sense into people? Please tell me you can, because I need to.

The demons are still making your skin crawl, like they do. People are still making decisions that have you screaming at them, like you do. And there’s a great little blip at the end that had me clapping. All in all another well balanced and well paced episode that has me excited to see what happens in the final episode.

The only downsides I can think of were one typo, probably due to the aggressive, and reader-centric publishing schedule, and the number of characters involved. As of episode six, I almost needed to go back and look at previous episodes to keep track of everyone; not a problem for those of you who read the entire thing together. But if you were waiting for two weeks between each episode or are putting space between them going forward, your dance card is getting a little full for a serial in my humble opinion.

As of this posting, you can purchase episode 1, episode 2, episode 3episode 4episode 5, episode 6, and episode 7 simply by clicking on the episode you want, or click here to pre-order the entire season. You can learn more about author Jessica West here, and more about author PK Tyler here. Stay tuned for each episode’s review!

Brink of Dawn by Jeff and Erynn Altabef

Welcome to the Brink of Dawn Tour

Authors Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

My Review:

Once again Jeff and Erynn have done it. This book was so well written, the transitions between authors seamless enough they could be a single entity. The story is fast paced, picking right back up from where Chosen left off and kept me page turning until the last. Worth mentioning is the excellent interplay between the other fellow Chosen, which had me snickering on more than one occasion. Although I sometimes felt I was left with more questions than answers, I’m excited to see what’s coming next in this excellently filled-out universe.

About the Book

brinkofdawn3Donwhite

Follow-up to the multiple award-winning Wind Catcher:

They walk among us as if they are gods.

Only the Chosen know what they are.

Only the Chosen know to fear them.

And only the Chosen can defeat them.

Juliet Wildfire Stone and her best friend, Troy Buckhorn, barely escaped their sleepy Arizona town alive. Now they’re speeding to New York City to find the three other Chosen. The Chosen must band together to face an ancient foe that threatens all humanity.

Yet Juliet doesn’t know whom to trust, and strange things are happening in the City.

The Chosen will be tested, their resolve questioned, and their flaws exposed. Each must decide whether he or she will fulfill their destiny—or run. To defeat the enemy, they must stop battling among themselves and overcome their own struggles.

Only one can lead them. Will Juliet embrace her powers in time?

Brink of Dawn picks up where the multiple-award-winning first book in the Chosen series, Wind Catcher, left off, but it can also be read as a stand-alone novel. Continue the adventure! And be sure to watch for the third and final installment in this exciting series, Scorched Souls, to launch in late 2016.

About the Authors

jeff altabefJeff Altabef is an award winning author who lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, was his debut novel. Evolved Publishing has published Jeff’s second thriller, Shatter Point, which won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Fall 2014 in the category of Best Thriller.

Jeff’s first young adult novel, Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel will be published in March by Evolved Publishing. He’s extremely excited that his daughter, Erynn Altabef, is his co-author on the Chosen Series. As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories.

As an avid Knicks fan, Jeff is prone to long periods of melancholy during hoops season. Jeff has a column on The Examiner focused on writing and a blog designed to encourage writing by those who like telling stories.

About the Prizes

We’ve got great prizes for this tour including signed paperbacks AND a 6 month subscription to Kindle Unlimited! You can enter multiple times & every day if you want!

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NaNoWriMo: The Home Stretch

nano end 2Two. Days.

That’s all you have to do. Write two more days.

I know it’s been a beating of a month; I am 100% there with you. But we didn’t come this far to give up now. We’re going to get this thing done and out of our heads! It’s time for those voices to be heard by someone other than ourselves. We are going to write our asses off, until our keyboard goes up in flames!!!!

And then go drink a lot of wine.

And then, when we’ve suitably recovered, only then will we worry about editing. If you’re a perfectionist, December 1st is when you get to go through your manuscript with he Red Pen of Doom and fix everything you’ve let slide until now. We just have to get through these last two days first.

Or have you already finished, you fantastic person you? Congratulations! The Men Memes and I are so very, very proud of you! I can’t wait to hear all about your triumphs. But… since it’s still November… why don’t you find someone who needs a little extra encouragement to get through these last few days? After all, we started this $hit together. Let’s end it that way!

On a completely different subject, I feel kinda bad. Those of you who know me know that my celebrity crush has been Chris Hemsworth for years. And yet I haven’t posted any memes with him in it, and so many of Tom Hiddleston. And hey, I wanna snuggle the crap out of Tom.

So, in honor of us rocking the $hit out of NaNo this month, I give you:

nano end

Daily Word Count: 1,667

Weekly Word Count: 3,334

Cumulative Word Count: 50,000

If you’re going to write about Texas…

Dear Authors everywhere,

It has come to my attention that some of you would like to include the great state of Texas in your literary works. Excellent. In order to help you write the most accurate portrayal possible, I’m going to give you a little consulting, free of charge. Having lived here my entire life, I hope you consider my qualifications adequate and take these lessons to heart.

  1. Food. texmex vs mex(JR Ward, I’m looking at you.) Tex-mex does not equal BBQ does not equal Mexican food. Although we (Texans) will call Tex-mex Mexican food, because the term Tex-mex is stupid. Real Mexican food comes from a whole in the wall or a truck, you may not be able to understand everyone who works there, (which is only worth mentioning because I think it gives credence to their authenticity,) and there will be no “American food alternatives” on the menu. No chicken strips, burgers, grilled cheese, etc. That would make it a Tex-mex place. Texas barbecue is served with sides such as fries, ranch beans, corn on the cob, or a baked potato. Any sides with cumin or cilantro belong, once again, at the Tex-mex place, not the barbecue joint. Also, chili is only one color — brown. If you can pick out what’s in there outside of meat and not-meat, you’re doing it wrong.
  2. Sports. Yes, football is a way of life. We are not all Cowboys fans. Personally, I hate them. Not big on the whole, “I beat my girlfriend, but it’s okay because I can run fast and catch a ball” attitude of the NFL. We grow up watching it. Some of our kids play or *eyeroll* look forward to being cheerleaders on the sidelines. (Over my dead body.) We go to games on Friday night. There’s the whole Texas homecoming mum thing. That does not mean that this is accurate:
  3. Accents. shoot meNor do we all sound like that. Screw you Van Der Beek. We also don’t all sound like Foxworthy, Daisy Duke, Hee Haw, or Dallas, (the old one or the new one.) I watched frickin’ Mickey Mouse put on a cowboy hat today and he was all, “Howdy Partner, this here is Mickey Corral!” So now besides being an ego maniac who has everything named after himself, he gets a hat and talks even more like an idiot, (while also enslaving my toddler.)
  4. Accouterments. We do not all have guns, cowboy boots, or hats. There are no bull horns on my car. We have not all ridden a horse, roped a steer, or branded a cow. We don’t eat vittles when cookie rings the triangle up at the farmhouse. Personally I don’t have a hat, boots, a belt buckle, or a gun and I live in a place named after it’s western wear. I can also buy a gun next to housewares at the local Wal-mart. Oh! And hair. Big Texas Hair. It happens. When it does, nine times out of ten I give people the side eye.
  5. Political leanings. It’s a red state. There’s no getting around that. And yet there are some of us, (a minority,) who don’t go for open carry in schools or restaurants, are not convinced President Obama is planning on “invading” Texas, nor should we secede, who support Planned Parenthood and the legalization of gay marriage, and think it’s ridiculous to have to drive to a different county to buy alcohol on a Sunday. So before you lump us all in with the crazies — and we know who they are too, we just can’t get rid of them — remember there are perfectly nice, logical people here, even if they don’t agree with all your views. (Not looking at you specifically, Chris Godsoe; I’ve done my best to set you straight. But maybe a few people your friends with on Facebook.)

Now, if you have any further questions, please ask them in the comments below. I am more than happy to help stop some of this ridiculousness.

NaNoWriMo: Week 4

Listen to Ryan. He’s right! We’re almost done!

You’re doing so well, I just know it! And here’s the thing: if you didn’t get all 11,669 words done last week, it’s okay. Like I said before, it’s all about looking forward. Don’t stress about playing catch up and writing all the words you missed in one night. Get your 1,667 in today. And hey, maybe today, maybe tomorrow, you’ll hit a stride and get caught up, or even, *gasp!* ahead! Baby steps, kids. We’re on our last full week, and we got this.

nanoDaily Word Count: 1,667

Weekly Word Count: 11,669

Cumulative Word Count: 46,676

NaNoWriMo: Week 3

Congratulations! This is the halfway point! We made it!

week 3

I decided to forgo the usual hunky, keep writing meme for this much more subdued, and 100% true one.

“Because a terrible, rushed first draft is still better than having nothing written at all.”

PREACH!

Honestly, unless you somehow forgot where your story is going, don’t go back and read what you’ve already written. Just don’t. This is not the month for editing. This is the month for writing. And whatever you’re writing, you can always, always fix it in editing… next month.

I know it’s hard. But you can do it. Because you’re awesome… and deserve another meme.

sherlock nano

Daily Word Count: 1,667

Weekly Word Count: 11,669

Cumulative Word Count: 35,007