Monthly Archives: January 2012

Author of the Week: C.C.Cole, Gastar Series

This week author of the week is C.C.Cole author of The Gastar Series.

C.C.Cole is an independent writer and these are self-published novellas.  She’s also a book reviewer. Check out her blog at: http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com

Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet – https://joeyavniel.wordpress.com/category/author-of-the-week/ , and visit my new post about my coming book: Drama with Mama.

A review from Amazon: Act of Redemption – While reading this book, I found myself transported to the fantasy land of Gastar, with all its many exciting and mystical characters. The book has a Conan the Barbarian meets King Arthur vibe, with an old school, Saturday morning TV show type flavor; that I enjoyed so much as a child. The characters were totally engaging and lifelike. This is a must read for all my fellow Dungeon and Dragon fans, but be warned, once you start reading the book, you will not be able to put it down. Can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

About the series: Gastar Series is a series of four novellas when completed. The first, First Book of the Gastar Series was published in 2009, and the second Children of Discord was published in 2011. The third, “Point of Return” should be out by fall 2012. The novellas are medieval dark fantasy/action/adventure that follow teen assassin Shevata as she travels through the history of the city of Gastar to seek redemption for her past actions and to re-gain her soul.

I asked C.C.Cole (pen name) a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
I usually mention a strong female lead character in a dialogue-driven, action novella.

Is there anything you can tell me about your book that no one knows?
Some may know this, but the first edits of “Act of Redemption” had Shevata a much darker character than she is now.  That’s a statement to those who’ve read it.

What life experiences made you write your book?
I began writing fiction as a creative outlet following the death of my sister following a domestic violence incident.  None of the characters represent her or the situation.  I’ve done several blog and radio interviews about domestic violence, but I keep the details of her death private. I’ve written an article about it in my blog, “The Tragedy Behind the Gastar Series.”

How close are the events and characters in your story to real events and characters?
Shevata is a former child of war, so her creation is loosely based upon the many societies that use children for soldiers, as in WWII or the Khmer Rouge, just naming a couple of examples.  The antagonist charcter Zermon in “Act of Redemption” is based on my older brother’s personality, but not the evil part.  It’s now a family joke, when he gets obnoxious, we call him “Zermon.”

What was your happiest moment as an author?
When I got my first positive input from readers, through conversation and reviews.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
My audience is for people that like action, strong female leads, and less romance.  The novellas have numerous non-human characters, such as dragons, demons, and vampires, with a medieval backdrop (swords, daggers, castles, etc), so audiences with that preference tend to like the books.

When did you know you were going to be an author?
I thought I would become a writer someday when I was around 10 years old, decades ago.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them that I hope they like a fast-paced action story, because that’s what the novellas are.  These are not epics; the center of the story is the lead character.  I ask them to tell me if Shevata isn’t “bad” enough, but nobody’s said that yet.

Which author influenced you the most?
Michael Chrichton, with his style in “Timeline.”  The book is much better than the film.  He tended to break situations inside chapters, and as the chapters change, may/may not stay with the same group, thus creating a thrilling page-turning ride.

Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
I’m not sure what that would be, but I will say I write without expectation.  While I like success as much as any other author, I prefer to enjoy the journey and not use my energy to count how much money I make or make dreams of “Harry Potter-level” success.

What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
Shevata referred to blood-drinkers (vampires) as stupid.  Simon, the vampire, says, “We’re not stupid.”  She said, “Yes, you are.”  They may not seem funny written that way, but editors and readers mention that line often to me from “Children of Discord.”

If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
I’d follow the example set by King Solomon and choose “Wisdom.”  Whether one is religious or not, wisdom gives the better chances of a favorable outcome regardless of the situation.  Shevata’s “super power” is telekinesis, so she can enhance weaponry with her mind, making her a nasty adversary.  Wisdom she definitely could use.

What’s next?
After the final two Gastar novellas are finished, I’m considering a medical thriller, which is more mainstream.   I hope I’ve developed enough maturity as an author to accomplish it.

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Drama with Mama

Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m working on a new book. It’s called :

Drama with Mama

15 Inner Powers You Should Use to Find Your Peace and Skip Your Next Drama.

This book is a relatively short self-help book that is based on my relationships with my mom.
It’s an important lesson for anyone who has some drama in any of his current relationships.
For your eyes only, the Introduction chapter:

Is there a loved one in your life that you experience big difficulties with?
Maybe it’s your mom, your dad, your kid, or your spouse.
It doesn’t really matter who he or she is, if you have drama with a loved one, you could probably use some more inner peace. In this book I’m going to help you to tone down the drama and achieve a consistent inner peace.

My mom just hung up the phone on me, I thought. Again. My heart felt hollow and the memory of her weeping haunted me. It was a cloudy fall afternoon, about five years ago and we had just finished another fight over the phone. It seemed like we had more and more fights like that one, that autumn. Too many phone calls ended with tears. It felt like there was an angry giant sleeping in me. And she knew exactly how to wake him up. Then I’d shout and she’d cry. She wasn’t the only person that caused me to lose my temper, but she was for sure the most successful provocateur.

That fight was the biggest ever. I don’t even remember how it started, but it was big. It felt like we might never talk again, at least not in the near future. I was devastated. I love my mom. I didn’t want to fight her. I’d try to calm myself before calls with her, but with not much success. I can’t find the words to express how frustrating it was. I felt out of control, possessed by a dangerous inner monster.

Why do we hurt the people who we love the most? What can I do to stop it? I asked myself. At that time I had already had years of self-growth experience. I read books, took workshops and courses and I was definitely an improved version of my previous self. But there was one thing I couldn’t change. The volcano of anger in me, that blew off from time to time.

This volcano made me verbally attack my own mom. Say things I wish I’d never said. When the lava of anger started to climb up my chest it felt like driving a car downhill with no breaks. How can you have good relationships with people around you, when you can’t control your own anger?

On that afternoon I decided that something needed to change, and fast. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt that I was my worst enemy. It felt so helpless. How do I fight the enemy within? Can I beat it? Is there a better way than fighting it? I was very angry with myself.

I closed my eyes and desperately looked for a solution. When I opened my eyes, still with no solution, I saw the picture on the wall in front of me. It was a picture of a peaceful, sunny beach with palm trees and small huts. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I had to find a way to create inner peace; a peace that won’t be affected by other people and events. I knew I have the power in me to do that, and I was determined to uncover and then find out how to use this power.

Later on that evening I practiced the power of compassion. I talk about this power in one of the next chapters. It made me feel better. But I wasn’t looking to feel better. I was looking for a stable, persistent inner peace.

I decided to make a list of all the inner powers I have to create and maintain my inner peace. The idea was that if I have a list like this and I use it, then inner peace is guaranteed to stay with me.

A few years later, after working with my inner powers list, I’ve just finished another phone call with my mom. No, she didn’t hang up on me this time. I actually can’t remember when we last had a fight. She just got back good results from a medical test she took, and I was the first person she called, very excited to share the good news with me. We’re now best friends, and the only tears I cause her, are tears of happiness when I come to visit.

Creating peace with my mom is one of my biggest achievements on my path of spiritual growth. It’s funny how hard it is to have peace with the ones we love. Maybe it’s because we care about them so much. It felt like making a peace with myself, with my inner angry giant monster who terrorized my life.
I sometimes see people in the middle of a fight with a loved one and it reminds me how out of control I felt before I started to work with my inner power resources.
This personal peace list is one of the most powerful gifts in my life and I want to share it with you.

The first power is coming soon! Follow the blog get a notification. Don’t miss it!