Archive | September 2014

Character Interview with Markhat of the Markhat Files

The Markhat cover 2I thought I’d do something different this week. After all the interviews and lovely blogs that were done for me for my release of FLYING TO THE FIRE, one of the blogs ended up being a Character Interview of the main lead, Danny Anderson. I’ve never done one like this before and I just loved it! I know that when my favorite authors end up doing something like this with a character that I adore, I really enjoy the read. It’s like I’ve stepped into the lives of the main character and I feel like I live along vicariously with them.

If you’d like to read the wonderful character interview Sharon Buchbinder did for me for Danny – please check it out here. http://sharonbuchbinder.com/blog/character-interview-danny-anderson-from-elyse-salpeters-flying-series/

So today, my first victim (oh, I mean guinea pig, no I mean character interview) is with a “gentlemen” called Markhat. This is a character in a series of novels written by author Frank Tuttle. There are actually NINE books in this series and I’m up to #4 and just love them. They are wonderful dystopian fantasy tales, published by Samhain. The writing is quick, easy prose, fun, and the main protagonist has a really dry sense of humor. I enjoy “being in his world” and thought it would be fun to do a character interview on him.

So, Markhat… Where are you from and what do you actually do for a living?

I was born in Rannit, and raised in a neighborhood we called home but everyone else called the Rows. There weren’t many mansions in the Rows. Hell, there weren’t many roofs. Mom sewed and cooked and did anything she could for coin. Dad helped out by getting himself killed in the War, as did both my brothers.

What do I do for a living? I stay alive. In my business, that’s not always easy. I’m a Finder. We Finders got our name right after the War, when the Crown declared victory and fell over backwards dead broke. Left the whole damned Army stranded where they stood, a thousand miles from home. Most Finders were vets who knew how to read regimental rosters and convince sergeants to talk. We found missing sons and fathers and uncles and cousins, all for a modest fee. Nowadays, I look for just about anything anyone has lost. Trust, mainly. Errant husbands and straying wives pay most of my wages. It’s not a noble way to earn a living. But it’s not the worst way to get by, for a kid from the Rows.

Your character certainly surrounds himself with interesting people. Who are his friends and are you married?

I’m married. Darla is one of those unfortunate women who learn too late they’ve wed below themselves. My best friend is a halfdead named Evis, who’s a big shot in House Avalante. But don’t hold him being rich and dead against him. He knows his beer and he’s free with his good cigars and he’s pulled my hash out of the fire more than once.

And then there’s Mama Hog, who was my next-door neighbor for ten years after the War. Mama runs a card and potion joint down on Cambrit Street. She claims to be a century and a quarter old, and though I don’t believe a damned word of that I will admit she looks the part. Mama is feared in some quarters, and revered in others, which only goes to prove how effective a few dried crows and a penchant for muttering nonsense magic words can be on the gullible and the simple-minded. She bakes a good biscuit, though, and she’s no slouch with that wicked old meat cleaver of hers, either.

Your character seems pretty fearless. Is there anything that frightens him?

My biggest fear? Running out of beer. I came close once, and haven’t gotten over the fright.

What makes your character laugh out loud?

Evis does this imitation of the Regent that could get us both hung if word ever got out. And once Mama Hog kneed a Watchman in his privates, and clubbed him over the head when he bent over, and then kicked his ass when he went down. I laughed good and hard at that. Teach him to shove a poor frail old lady.

In the earlier books, your character lived a pretty spartan life… so now, a few books in, “What is in your character’s refrigerator right now? On his bedroom floor? On his nightstand?

Beer. Two kinds. We live on a boat named Dasher now, and our dog Cornbread is probably asleep beside the bed right now. Darla keeps a revolver atop her nightstand, and I keep one atop mine. We don’t allow Cornbread to keep his gun on board Dasher.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

Earliest thing I remember is being hungry and cold. I am resolved never to be either again, unless it’s the kind of cold one experiences briefly before getting one’s coat buttoned on a brisk winter day.

What’s going on in your life right now?

I’m learning all things nautical. Dasher requires intensive upkeep and maintenance. So does my new vocabulary, because we live on a boat among boat people and they look at you funny if you get port and starboard mixed up or refer to the bilge as if it was the mainsail. Cleats? What are cleats, anyway? No one has yet to provide me a satisfactory answer. I believe boat people make things up on the fly.

Is there someone special in your life? If so, how did you meet?

There’s Cornbread. OOF. I meant Darla. Yes, Darla, my beloved and thus far only wife. We met when I was working a case. Her friend Martha Hoobin went missing, and Martha’s brothers hired me to find her, and I found Darla along the way. She quickly became enraptured with my easy charm and quick wit, and after a lengthy campaign of begging and pleading I consented to marry her. Stop hitting me! All right, all right, it was mostly the other way around. Mostly.

Any last comments?

I didn’t mention Buttercup. Buttercup is a banshee, older than Rannit and probably older than the Kingdom itself. You may have seen her around — four feet tall, long messy hair, walks through walls, flies when the mood strikes her. Darla feeds her cookies and combs her hair. Lately Buttercup has adopted the habit of sitting atop Dasher’s smoke-stack some nights. Since Buttercup glows, she’s hard to miss, but our neighbors take it in stride. I will say this about boat people — they don’t shock easily. Probably because they spend half their time and money plugging leaks.

Frank, thank you so much for your time and letting us peek into Markhat’s world! And now folks, I’m a stickler for series and more of a purist in that I think you should always read them in order. But, per Frank, here are his suggestions:

It doesn’t matter in what order you read the first three books, which are:

DEAD MAN’S RAIN
THE MISTER TROPHY
THE CADAVER CLIENT

But it would be most enjoyable to read the rest in this order:

HOLD THE DARK
THE BANSHEE’S WALK
THE BROKEN BELL
BROWN RIVER QUEEN
THE FIVE FACES
THE DARKER CARNIVAL

Want to learn a bit more about Frank? Check out his bio: Frank_Tuttle_author_photo_BW

Frank Tuttle lives and writes in the perpetually humid wilderness of North Mississippi. Frank tried to be a proper Southern author and write about pickups and hound dogs, but trolls and magic kept creeping into his stories, so Frank is a fantasy author. Although hounds do make occasional appearances in his fiction.

Frank has been writing since the Earth’s crust began to cool. His first professional sales were to Weird Tales and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. Since then, Frank has published 9 books in the Markhat Files series, has started a YA fantasy series which begins with All the Paths of Shadow, and has a number of short story
anthologies on the market.

Link to all of Frank’s books can be found here: http://franktuttle.com/books.htm
You can also connect with Frank here:

http://franktuttle.com/index.htm
http://franktuttle.com/contact.htm

Want to ask Frank, or Markhat a question? Go ahead, I know both of them would love to hear from you!

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What do you think of this Cover & Blurb?

Hey, everyone – I could use some advice! I’m working to release a horror tale to be ready for Halloween. It’s called THE MANNEQUINS and is about a film crew that enters an abandoned mansion and gets caught in another reality run by a madman. This is the awesome cover Laura LaRoche made for me, but I’m still playing with the tagline and thought I’d ask for your opinions and suggestions. I wanted the cover to be creepy and cool and I think she nailed the mood perfectly.

Folks are chiming in on my author page at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor (so if you could go there and give a like and comment, that would be great – or below is fine too!)

So, which tagline do you like the best, or come up with one of your own creation! I’ve been told the only caveat is to keep it brief. Some of the top suggestions are below:

Don’t go inside…
Fear has a new name…
They’re waiting for you…. (reader suggestion)
Come inside… (reader suggestion)

The Mannequins

So, would you take a peek at this cover? Does it scream horror? Thanks so much for your help!

Social Media – It’s Not A One Size Fits All World

one sizeYou see a lot of people on social media posting the same thing over and over, across multiple platforms. It could be book links, or promotional blogs, or here’s what I made for dinner, or the same rant about the world. You know, the tweeter who only posts his books and then on google+ does the same thing. The FB friend who only posts photos of her daughter and discusses her beauty over and over. There are definitely people that after awhile when I see their posts, I cringe, because I know what’s coming. You don’t want to become that poster.

The fact is, social media is not a “one size fits all” world. People go to social media for different things, the same way readers love different genres, and magazines are niche. Here’s a quick synopsis of some of the social media outlets and what their participants are looking for.

Twitter: A great place for small little 140 character tweets. You can do a book promo, ask a quick question, do a cute game – but people want something quick, fast and then… you’re outta there. I will tell you – consensus is if you only post book promo tweets you are assured of getting blocked fast. Do two to four a day, but no more and spend more time interacting with people or doing different kinds of posts. And be nice on twitter – I can’t tell you how many people think this anonymous world gives people the right to be mean. Arguing with people on a public forum like twitter is never a good way to make friends.

Facebook: To me this is a more personal place where it’s totally acceptable to talk about your family, what you ate, things you did, ask questions, polls, play games. People expect it. Just mix it up. And, if you expect anyone to see your posts and comment on them, you have to interact with people. There is no way around it. You don’t comment or like any of your friend’s posts, Facebook will shove you down in analytics and folks won’t see your post for hours.

Instagram: This is really Facebook, but in pictures. People don’t really want to talk on there – they just want to post photos. Comments are ok, but liking their pictures is what people are going for – to show you enjoyed their photo post.

Google+: My newest obsession. This is different – people want to read a bit more content and it’s appropriate to give them a bit more – not an entire novel’s worth, but definitely leave more than you would on a tweet. Photos are great on here, but explanations of why that photo is there, or why you are sharing a particular link, is even better. Add hashtags so that google analytics can pick you up. This is a great link on How to Make an Awesome Google Post: http://dustn.tv/perfect-post

In every one of these mediums above, conversations are key. Answer people’s questions, comment on blogs. In every one of these, continuous and sole self promo to excess is bad. Unless you are on a “Facebook brag group” no one, including your good family and friends, wants to see a book promo post over and over. I heard this cool ratio to do FOUR fun tweets/posts to every ONE promo post. You still need to promote your books, but it shouldn’t be every single post.

Love to hear what you think!