Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions Interview

Editor: Scott Sandridge
Featured Book Release: Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions
June 16 to June 22 , 2014

Interview from S.H. Roddey
(She is one of the authors in this anthology)
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Charleston, SC, and moved to a small town in upstate South Carolina when I was 21. I’ve been here ever since, thanks to my then-boyfriend who is now my husband.
Tell us your latest news?
Most of my news is moving toward the release of my first novel with Seventh Star Press, Armageddon Rising, this summer. I recently re-released a short horror piece, Haunted, through Mocha Memoirs Press, and we’re putting the finishing touches on Devil’s Daughter, the short story from which Armageddon Rising grew.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing my whole life. My mother tells people that I was born with an extensive vocabulary and loved pencils and paper even before I knew what letters were. My father used to tell those same people that I would likely either grow up to be a writer or a serial killer because of my wild imagination.
I write because I can. Because it’s something to do. It’s part of me, and I honestly have no idea how to exist without that outlet. Having the ability to create worlds and get lost in them is what got me through my teenage years.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I honestly don’t know. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of fan fiction which, despite the raging argument about it, helped to prepare me for publishing. I learned a lot about character development and plot building by doing it, so when my first book hit the e-shelves four years ago (Marked, paranormal romance written as Siobhan Kinkade), I had a decent grasp on what I was supposed to be doing. I think the first time I actually referred to myself as “A Writer” was at Fandom Fest the summer after Marked released.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I wish I had an eloquent answer for this question, but I don’t. I could make something up that’s really impressive, but if I’m completely honest, I was bored. I wrote my first book when I was sixteen and had nothing better to do. I had a vampire in my head who just would not shut up until I wrote his story.  It was done entirely with a pen and lined paper because I didn’t get my first computer until I was seventeen, and at the time I was convinced it was the best thing ever. Boy was I ever wrong.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I do a lot of anthology work, and my editors tell me the strongest feature of my writing is character voice. I enjoy writing in first person because I like being in my characters’ heads. As far as a specific style though, not really. I like the idea of exploring various styles and techniques, trying new things, and twisting things into something entirely my own.

How did you come up with the title?
The title, Look What the Cat Dragged In, is very simple and direct. The story begins with the main character, a talking tuxedo  cat named Miko, dragging a human foot into his owner’s house.

Is there a message in your short story that you want readers to grasp?
I suppose it would be not to judge every situation by its appearance. Just because it seems that Miko’s woman is guilty doesn’t mean she is. Plus the story speaks to the ingenuity of cats.

How much of the short story is realistic?
Unlike most of what’s in Hero’s Best Friend, my story has a contemporary setting. It’s something that could happen anywhere at any time. Well, except for the part with the talking cat turned private detective. Miko’s personality seems fairly realistic, though. Cats are professionals when it comes to apathy, and he has it in spades.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
For this story, no. It’s just something silly I started writing one afternoon. I have been known to use writing as somewhat of a catharsis for traumatic events in my life though. One of the first rules of writing, I’ve always heard, is “write what you know.” And whether it’s good or bad, that’s what I do.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Stephen King’s “The Dark Half” is the first “adult” novel I ever read. It’s also the book that made me stop and think Hey, I want to be able to do that. With horror being my first love, I’ve always gravitated to the darker aspects of literature. I grew up reading Stephen King, Anne Rice, John Saul, and Clive Barker. Classic literature – in particular, “Frankenstein” also plays a huge part in my personal writing style.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King, hands down. I’ve read almost everything he’s written, and if I could write with a quarter of his talent, I would be a very happy girl.

What book are you reading now?
I read several at one time. Usually I have a novel and a book or two of short stories going. The novel is Tim Waggoner’s “Night Terrors”, which is funny as can be. I love the idea of a 7-foot psychotic clown incubus nightmare made real.  I’m also reading Stephen Zimmer’s “Hellscapes”. It’s pretty creepy – in particular, “Drowning in Tears” really gets deep into the psyche of Hell’s denizens and the reasons why people do what they do.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve gotten into reading a lot of Indie authors lately because there are so many out there who are so good. My book purchases over the last few years have come primarily from conventions where I can buy the books directly from the authors or the publishers. If I had to give a list of names, I’d definitely put John Allen at the top of the list with “The Godkillers.” It’s a fantastic read and he’s got such a strong voice. I’m also partial to Selah Janel and her novel “Olde School.” I got to read that one as it was being written (she’s one of my best friends in the world), and I absolutely adore both that book and her writing style. I think both of them are really going places.

What would you like my readers to know?
First, I have a shiny, new website! is where anyone can find everything I’ve written. I do write under two names – my speculative stuff is under S.H. Roddey, and my romance is written under Siobhan Kinkade (that’s pronounced Shi-Von. I get that question all the time).  I’m on Facebook pretty much all the time and Twitter sporadically, and I’ll talk to anyone about pretty much anything.
Thanks for having me! This has been fun!
About the editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.  
Book Synopsis for Hero’s Best Friend:
How far would Gandalf have gotten without Shadowfax? Where would the Vault Dweller be without Dogmeat? And could the Beastmaster been the Beastmaster without his fuzzy allies? Animal companions are more than just sidekicks. Animals can be heroes, too!   Found within are twenty stories of heroic action that focuses on the furries and scalies who have long been the unsung heroes pulling their foolish human buddies out of the fire, and often at great sacrifice-from authors both established and new, including Frank Creed, S. H. Roddey, and Steven S. Long. Whether you're a fan of Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery, Science Fiction, or just animal stories in general, this is the anthology for you! So sit back, kick your feet up, and find out what it truly means to be the Hero's Best Friend. Featured in Hero's Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions: Joy Ward: "Toby and Steve Save the World" Frank Creed: "Dusk" Cassie Schau: "The Hunter's Boy" Steven Donahue: "Grit" Jason Cordova: "Hill 142" Herika R. Raymer: "Dook".. Essel Pratt: "Brothers". Lisa Hawkridge: "Ezra's Girl". S. H. Roddey: "Look What the Cat Dragged In." Steven S. Long: "The Wolf Sentinel" Laura Anne Ewald: "Memorandum" Cindy Koepp: "The Hat". Ian Hunter: "Scarheid in the Glisting". Steven Grassie: "The Masterless". David Wright: "Wind of Change" Renee Carter Hall: "The Emerald Mage".. Nick Bryan: "The Violet Curse".. Lillian Csernica & Kevin Andrew Murphy: "The Restless Armadillo". Douglas J. Ogurek: "Stuck on the Squigglybounce" Sheila Deeth: "Passage" Editor Links:

  Tour Schedule and Activities
  6/16 Beagle Book Space Guest Post
  6/16 Tiffany Apan's Blog Interview
  6/16 Deal Sharing Aunt Interview
  6/16 Elizabeth Delana Rosa ~Book Lover and Creator of Worlds~ Review
  6/17 Sheila Deeth Guest Post
  6/18 Come Selahway With Me Guest Post
  6/18 On Cloud Eight-and-a-Half Guest Post
  6/19 Sapphyria's Book Reviews Guest Post
  6/20 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
  6/21 Jorie Loves a Story Review
  6/25 Book in the Bag Interview

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