Friday, March 6, 2015

Spotlight: Blogger and Grimdark Writer Leona!

me
Leona!

Yes, I’m a little late with the spotlight. I’m sorry. :( Bad Zoe!!

However, in reading over my blogs, I came over some new developments for Miss Leona, and I will share her big announcement here with her interview!

Leona is a doll. Cute, friendly, wildly intelligent…and she writes dark stuff!! On with my silly questions and grilling of the young woman!
10 Questions, Zoe style…

1. What is your writing process?
I write by the seat of pants, pretty much. I can’t write at home, no matter how hard I try, but the words pour like the Niagara Falls when I sit at a pub or a café. I make a very vague outline of the chapters, but they end up going to places I never planned.

2. What do you read for pleasure?
Fantasy fiction set in a medieval environment. These days I’m reading Mark Lawrence and Dan Polansky, and other grimdark masterpieces are lined up in my immediate TBR.

3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Writing: Finishing a chapter and getting feedback from my alpha readers. Making progress with the book and getting closer to finishing it.
Blogging: Connecting with the other people, meeting fantasy book lovers and exchanging comments with them. I love connecting with the new people!

4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a naturalized US citizen but I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. I moved to San Jose, California in 1999, relocated to Texas in 2003 and moved to Finland in 2013. I’m an IT engineer by day and dark fantasy writer at night. Oh and I have a commercial pilot license with instrument rating, for single engine land aircraft, earned with blood, sweat and tears. I’m a restless nomad and adventurer in a sense. I’m currently working on my first book, which is the book #1 of a dark fantasy trilogy set in the medieval Near Eastern environment. I can describe it as Game of Thrones-dragons+shamans+serious amount of military stuff+elemental races+the mischievous chaos deity+cats+more magic.

5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
Caffeine gives me all the strength I need! I guess my biggest strength is the ability to go into a semi-trance in a crowded, noisy environment and write like no tomorrow. As I mentioned before, I can only write at public places. Weaknesses? I cringe when I have to write horrible things happening to my characters.

6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
I can’t write at home or a quiet environment. It has to be crowded, noisy and public. Then again Dan Polansky mentioned he writes at pubs and cafes so I guess it’s not that strange.

7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
For blogging –adding book cover images to my book review posts, I have to first download the image from Amazon then upload it to media manager and embed it in the post, such a tedious chore! I really hate it. How do those book bloggers make those book haul posts with a dozen covers, I really wonder! As for writing, I can’t think of anything. I love writing, editing, polishing my chapters.

8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I make my bed most of the time. I’m a neat freak about certain things.

9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Svalbard. I want to go there and see the polar bears and the midnight sun sometime, hopefully this year if I can afford it. If not, next year.

10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Demons. Not a fan of the others…. Nope. I love the demons, though. I summon them for help sometimes.

Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Doomsday preppers style! Bring it on!
Now, as I said before, Leona made an announcement on her blog today, so I am spreading the love and quoting it here!
I am very pleased to announce a new project I started with two other fantasy book bloggers. If you like the dark fantasy genre, which is also known as Grimdark, or even just fantasy in general, I invite you to stop by and take a look at (drumroll goes here):
Grimdark Alliance
I, along with Eric from The Grimdark Review and Alexandru from Barbarian Book Club, have come together to create a master Grimdark site which will be a one stop has all portal.
We feature book reviews (mostly Grimdark but we are going to review more general fantasy books every now and then), writing and Grimdark related articles, author interviews (we have some serious names lined up already!) and news about the events such as conventions and book tours.
Seriously good news for Leona, her cohorts and their community!
To follow Leona and catch a glimmer of her fantasy world, you can find her here:
Leona’s Blog of Shadows
Wattpad
Twitter
Facebook
Google +
DeviantArt
Thank you so much for taking part in my insanity Leona!

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