Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Tour: My Immortal by Lee Rudnicki

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE to see the entire tour schedule.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Lee Rudnicki and My Immortal.
Enjoy the interview!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I didn't so much as realize that I wanted to be a writer; I had to become a writer.
To explain, I come from another world.  The drum corps world. They call it Marching Music’s Major League now, but it’s basically a circuit of world class drum corps from all over the country.  Look up the drum corps Phantom Regiment if you want an example of what I’m talking about.
Anyway, in high school, I was on a mission to get good enough to march in and teach a drum corps someday. In California. So, I drummed. I was pretty much drumming 24/7 when I was awake and sometimes in my sleep, not much else. The rest of school? Pretty much, out. I wanted nothing to do with it, I wanted to drum. Typing? Out.  Writing?  Not a chance. Math?  Avoid. As the story goes, I drummed. But that’s a story for another day, my friends.  The point is, writing “words” was not part of the equation, I could barely write a paragraph.  Literally.
Faaaaaaaaaaaaaast forward, I graduated college, left the drum corps planet and landed on Mars, aka law school. The new environment was cool, but things got not cool when my first assignment came back covered in red ink. The Picasso-like red and yellow mess of putrid tort soup on a bagel with cream cheese was followed by a direct speech from my professor. “Learn how to write or you will fail out.” 
Rut roh. I had no other career plans. And my only superpower, snare drumming, would not save me.
So, fear was my initial motivation to write. Please understand, there was no mission statement about becoming a novelist. There was no plan to write or produce anything. I was a drummer out of water, with no other options, and learning how to write was a matter of career survival, quite frankly.
The cool thing is that getting a mission where everything is on the line, is that it is a great experience if you can survive it. 
So, I came up with a plan. In addition to studying, I wrote  online a lot and read and wrote anything and everything I could, and also travelled every chance I got.  When I finally published something, Tale of a Drum Line, it did well, and that gave me confidence as a writer. I just published Tale of a Drum Line as an e-book, which you can find here
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I finished my first screenplay in the UCLA professional screenwriting program. That’s when I finally felt as if I had written “something.” 
How long did it take you to write a novel?
Well, the journey of My Immortal not typical.   The screenplay came first, so I already had many elements figured out when I started.  Which technically makes the creative process backwards. 
Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s my 7-step playbook for turning a screenplay into a novel –
Step 1 – Paste your screenplay into an MS Word Document.  10 seconds.  Smile.
Step 2 – Format everything like a novel. change verb tense, fix character names, add quotation marks. blah blah blah – 3 weeks.  Hype.  Start thinking about the cover. Publishing rights. Tell your friends.
Step 3.  Visit the location. Rewrite the novel there. Grow confident. Hype.
Step 4 – Go home. Check word count.  Terror. Panic. Curse. Panic. Writing a novel at this speed will take 200 years. WTF. LOL. Drink.
Step 5 – Brainstorm. Buy voice recognition software. finish first draft in 27 days by telling the story to yourself as you visualize the journey. Celebrate with nice dinner. Predict editing time of 7 weeks.  Boast. Hype. LOL. Send your friends the cover. Hype. Boast. Predict.
Step 6 – Spend 7 months editing, and then another two months editing. Curse. Spend endless hours at the computer. Curse the fact that you told anyone you wrote a novel. Or even wrote a novel. What a stupid [bleep] idea. WTF.
Step 7 – Publish. Smirk. Collapse.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
My Immortal is not written like your typical novel.  I feature short, fast-paced machine gun chapters with relentless action and violence. I include some of my photography from Eastern Europe as well. When you’re done reading  My Immortal, I don't want you to feel like you read a good book.  I want you to feel like you survived.
Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
I’m a producer, so my choice of what projects or characters about are largely dictated by what I want to see made into a movie or television show.  Whether or not that ultimately happens on any project is another story as everyone who ever tried to produce or write anything knows, but that is usually my initial source of motivation. 
Character-wise, my characters write themselves.  It’s hard to explain, but the My Immortal creative process was more akin to following Wolf, Sebastian and Eva down into the tunnels underneath Berlin and documenting what happened, not putting words on paper and imagining a character saying that.  Long story short, writing a novel was the most unusual and vivid creative experience I’ve had.  I highly recommend it to everyone. And by the way, writing a novel is terrible experience some times as well.  But at the end of the day, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, even if nobody reads your books.  Maybe especially if nobody reads your books.
What do you think makes a good story?
Structure is key, but I can appreciate anything that is not boring. 
If you’re going to write for the audience, write for the audience.  Our time is precious, so make it worth your reader’s time.  Be as clever as you want, but understand that your readers need to “get” the story you wrote after one reading, not fifty.  Boring sucks, regardless of genre. 
What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
The 4-Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss.   It’s a genius book on time management, even if you don't want to sell widgets or be a speed-reading world champion ninja assassin.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research?
I went to Berlin to retrace the steps of Sebastian, Wolf and Eva as they escaped from the city.  I wanted to make sure the historical context was accurate, and the scenes that I was writing correctly captured the essence of each city.  It took a ton of time, travel and research in Europe, and I barely survived a few encounters with the vampires in Prague -- Czech vampires are under the control of no one, and can be quite unpredictable even when not provoked.  Seriously.
At the end of the day, the My Immortal story fits within the historical framework of the second world war.  It could have happened. Maybe it did.  And I learned that vampires really do exist, at least in Prague.
What can readers expect next from you?
A few movies.  Book-wise, I’m working on the sequel to My Immortal, which is set in Japan.  It’s dynamite.
Okay, now some fun and ridiculous questions.  What is the capital of Switzerland?
Bern.  But 99% of Americans think it’s Geneva, so I’m okay if they ever decide to move it.  It certainly would be a lot less confusing for us, as a nation.  Speaking of Europe, they have a much more rational view of vacation time then we do. And better beer, for the most part.
Dogs or Cats?
Rumiko and I own a miniature Australian Sheppard, Buzz the Dog.  If you want to see Buzz do his famous cookie-on-nose trick, here it is.
Coffee or Tea?
I drink one cup of coffee in the morning, then I exist the rest of the day on unsweetened iced tea.  This one time, in band camp, I tried this so-called beverage in North Carolina called sweet-tea, which seemed to me to be the culinary result of a Three Musketeers bar, a pound of sugar, a slice of baloney, two lemons and a tea bag all thrown into a juicer. I dunno. 
Dark Chocolate or Milk?
I greatly prefer dark chocolate.  In fact, I am proud to hold an official certificate in chocolate tasting from Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, which is what you get after you ride the ride with the singing cows, then taste all of the different kinds of Hershey’s chocolate.  I’m originally from Mountaintop, PA, by the way.
Night or Day?
If the author of a vampire novel ever says “Day” in response to this question, red alert. Delete this blog immediately, change your name and go into hiding.
Crayons or markers?
Sharpie uber alles.
Pens or Pencils?
I haven’t willing used a pencil since the third grade (true story).  I prefer black Bic Cristal 1.6 mm pens, which leak all over the place, but write so well that I’m willing to deal with the ink on my hands as collateral damage. While we're talking about penmanship, I think one of the most useless skills I learned in elementary school was cursive writing.  In fact, my cursive writing is pretty much still on a third grade level.  No offense to anyone who still likes to write like that, but unless and until you need to beam back to the year 1872 and write some letters to Congress or whatever, I think that’s a skill you can leave by the wayside.
Can you please give us an excerpt from your vampire novel?
Absolutely. I call this excerpt “The Miracle,” because it’s when the German soldiers learn a secret about Eva that is far more shocking and important to the world than the fact that she is a vampire. 
Enjoy …

Axel stirred just as Sebastian emerged from the darkness with Eva. “Kill the devil girl!” he gasped.
Overcome by emotion, Klaus got up and pointed his rifle at Eva. “We need to get rid of her. The vampires will stop hunting us. We’ll be safe.”
Sebastian put himself directly into the line of fire. “Easy there, soldier. We’re all on the same side.”
Klaus didn’t flinch. “How many more of us have to die because of her? You have a genius plan to get out of Berlin. That’s what you guys told us, and that’s why we followed you. We don't need this vampire shit!”
Sebastian put his hand over the muzzle. “Put the rifle down. I’m not going to let you shoot her.”
The old man’s voice broke with emotion. “Get out of my way! She is not your daughter! Your daughter is dead! I will shoot that witch!”
“Shoot her!” Dieter shouted.
Just as Klaus began the muscle contractions on his index finger to shoot, Sebastian moved at lightening speed and tackled him. Dieter jumped onto Sebastian’s back, but ended up on the ground next to his grandfather a split-second later. With his growing strength, Sebastian could have easily killed them both. Instead, he held them down just hard enough to prevent them from hurting someone.
Unnoticed during the mêlée, Eva knelt down and put her hands on Axel’s face. She closed her eyes as a soft blue glow emanated from her palms. The horribly burned pilot moaned and tried to push her away as the light grew brighter, but Eva kept her hands firmly on him.
Dieter noticed the light. “Stop!” he yelled. “She’s hurting him!”
Eva took her hands away from Axel and crumpled to the ground.
Sebastian released his grip and the fight ground to a halt.
Klaus ran to the pilot’s side. “Are you all right? Axel, are you still alive? Talk to me!”
Axel pulled his hands away from his face.
Klaus gasped. “Oh my God …”

In case you are still looking for more...Author Bio:
Lee Rudnicki is an entertainment lawyer, producer, and writer in Los Angeles. Lee has a law degree from the University of San Francisco, a music degree from San Jose State, a Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA and studied international law at Trinity College, Ireland and Charles University, Prague. Before law school, Lee was a world-class rudimental drummer and drum corps instructor.

My Immortal The Vampires of Berlin
By Lee Rudnicki

Genre:  Horror
Publisher:  23 House
Date of Publication:  March 9, 2012
Number of pages: 306
Word Count:  56,000
 Blurb/Book Description: 
 A supernatural adventure set in present day and 1945 Berlin. Our heroine is Eva, a shell-shocked young vampire who is found wandering around in the ruins of Berlin Cathedral on the last day of the war by soldiers.

Purchase Links:

Blog Tour: Lost by Pandora Richardson (free book option!)

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Another blog stop today is: Turning The Pages
Tomorrows stop: Read 2 Review 
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature Pandora Richardson and Lost.

Enjoy the interview!

? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I used to write short stories for my classmates in the 6th grade, but I never had a desire to be a writer. However, I’ve always been a creative person. In fact, I was in fine arts from 1st grade until I burned out in the 11th. Several years ago I read a comment somewhere from Charlaine Harris that said something to the effect of “if you’ve read a lot in a particular genre, your practically an expert and can write in that genre” I’m probably butchering Ms. Harris’ words or intentions, but I took that as a sign to throw my hat in the ring and get to writing. I’m more of an expert in Vampires than I am shifters and although my original plan was to write a Vampire novel, I decided on a werewolf due to the challenge. Writing for me is like painting words, so I feel at home.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
I can’t wait until I can answer this question in the past tense when writing is my only job. Right now, I’m a consultant in the IT field and write whenever I can. But I’ve run the gambit of jobs from fast food, to computer repair, to admin assistant.

? How long does it take you to write a book?
Lost took over a year, but now that I’ve found my groove, half the time. I’m almost a quarter done with the second Amelia Jones novel and I’ve only been writing it for a month, not to mention I’m concurrently releasing short stories for my erotic series and working on several other projects.

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
The later I write the more erotic the writing gets. Several of my erotic scenes in Lost were all written between 1am and 4am.

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
I tend to read a chapter or two from a favorite author to inspire me when I really need to get into the right frame of mind. Otherwise, I open up Spotify or Pandora, start my playlist, and begin writing.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
I’m still trying to figure that out. Often I’m daydreaming and I think “what if” and then something happens. For instance, I was driving to the mall recently and saw an old farm house and thought, what if a group of zombie apocalypse survivors were in there as the horde approached and then when all hope was lost, a group of vampires rescued them. I’m currently writing a new novel based on this concept. Other times other authors inspire me. In one of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, Eric had amnesia. The idea of a vampire with amnesia stayed with me and I began writing a novel about an ancient vampire who wakes up in the future with no memory of who or what he is.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
I tend to think of writing like painting. I want to explore various colors and their hues and see how to mix them up. So I may think about writing a vampire character, but I try to add a twist or concept that either hasn’t been done before or unique to the genre in someway. Sometimes I don’t even know what to expect. I just let it flow and like my favorite artist in my childhood, Bob Ross, I often add things to the picture as I go until it’s complete. Amelia was just a werewolf detective when I set out to write her, but then I began to explore her life and the unique challenges she faces in a world surrounded by humans and raised by gay parents. This gave me a perfect canvas to hone in on the various different aspects of her life that I wanted to at will until the picture was complete or at least complete enough until the next installment in the series.

? What books have most influenced your life?
That’s a hard one, but I would have to say The Scarlet Letter. It was one of the first stories I recall, where instead of just going along with the tale, I began to truly focus on the main character and explore what Hester Prynne must really be thinking and what I would do if in her situation. This book influenced my love of psychology and sociology, which I try to be mindful of when writing characters.

? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss. The first I truly read, Memnoch the Devil, by Anne Rice

? What are you reading right now?
Lover Unbound, by J.R. Ward

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read and watch my favorite shows like True Blood, Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead

? What is your favorite comfort food?
German Chocolate Cake

? What do you think makes a good story?
Characters that the reader cares about. Plots can be silly at times, but if you truly love the characters in the tale, you’ll want to follow their lives no matter what.

? Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
Stephen King. He can write or narrate a tampon commercial and it would be the most interesting ad ever aired with characters you would never forget, and still somehow connect to the Dark Tower.

? What book, if any, do you read over and over again?
I rarely revisit books or film, but the Harry Potter books, The Lord of the Rings, and the first five books in the Vampire Chronicles are notable execptions.

Fun random questions: 
  • dogs or cats?   Cats, but I love dogs too.
  • Coffee or tea?   Coffee, but I’m a fan of herbal tea.
  • Dark or milk chocolate?   All chocolate, but if forced, milk chocolate.
  • Rocks or flowers?   Flowers.
  • Night or day?   Night.
  • Favorite color?   Black, but every artist knows that black is not a color so for the purpose of being true to first love, I’ll say blue instead.
  • Crayons or markers?   Crayons.
  • Pens or pencils?   Pencils.
And for those who still want a little bit more about the author:
Pandora Richardson grew up in Northern New Jersey with a pen and a pad stuck in her hand. Throughout her childhood she was either writing the next great American Novel or painting the next Mona Lisa. She always imagined that she would be famous as a writer, an artist, or both. However, life eventually got in the way of her dreams and Pandora found herself working as a consultant in Washington, DC where she now resides with her canine familiar, Loki. The past several years have found Pandora once again committed to writing, this time with her fingers glued to a keyboard. When she’s not creating the next bestseller or engaged in the thrilling misadventures of the Rat Race, Pandora loves to curl up on her sofa reading the next Vampire, Shape-shifter, Wizard, Zombie or Romance novel from one of her favorite authors.

By Pandora Richardson

Amelia Jones Private Detective Series, Book 1

Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
ASIN: B00802VL80

Number of pages: 172
Word Count: 61,000

Purchase Links:

Book Description:

Amelia Jones finds her world turned upside down after meeting a wealthy client who needs evidence of her husband’s infidelity. Even though Amelia's offered a lot of money to go undercover in order to catch him, the situation is more than she can handle and unlike anything the young, virginal detective has ever experienced. Deep down Amelia knows that she should not accept the case, but the allure of money is too hard to resist. Distracted by a series of mysterious events and delicious eye candy, Amelia is lost with choices that threaten to reveal secrets that should remain hidden.

Lost will be available for free on Amazon July 27-29