Masquerade: Oddly Suited BOOK REVIEW and Author’s Interviews

Masquerade: Oddly Suited

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

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About the Book

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual Traveler or a virtual date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

My Recommendation:

READ IT! There is something for everyone! Do you want Love? Got it! Do you want vampires? Got it! Do you want time travel? Go it! This book has something for everything. All of them are short stories and they are just long enough that you can read one each night before you go to sleep. I do recommend this book to read as it has something for everyone and if you want to try to read something that you have not then this book will shed some light into other genres.

Author’s Interviews

Elizabeth Mueller:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I realized that I wanted to write my first book when I was eleven years old. I wrote a short story (which felt especially long!) titled Thunder. It was about a wild stallion who fell in love with a domestic mare. Masquerade: Oddly Suited is by far not my first book. I’ve actually lost count.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

They come to me from just about anywhere. Sometimes it comes from an object in a movie, or an old building, a cloud, a tree, a thought, maybe a struggle someone I know is facing. It’s hard to pin it down to one thing since my mind is all over the place.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

It took me less than a day to write The Cog Prince. As a homeschooling mom and with all five kids still living under one roof, I most definitely do have a schedule to write–it coordinates with my kids’ screen and bedtimes. Sometimes life happens and writing takes a step back.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I love to write about anything that captures my muse but it must have a reoccurring element: romance! Oh, I enjoy most genres so long as there is romance. The genres I steer clear from are those I wouldn’t let my kids touch: horror and erotica.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

Other than writing, I love to sing and draw and dance. Acting is another favorite pastime when it happens.  I enjoy watching movies with my kids or just hanging out with them talking about everything and anything.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

The biggest barrier is believing in yourself. I know it’s a very elementary answer, but it is true! Another thing is to find other writers–being a writer can be very lonesome but when we flock together, it’s amazing to see how much we have in common. It also helps bounce ideas off of friends who share the same love as you and to receive feedback. We do want our stuff to make sense to others, right?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizbethMueller

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMuellerAuthor/

Blog: https://elizabethmueller.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.elizabethmueller.com/

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Deborah Solice:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book?

Did you first write your own book or is this one your first? I first realize that I wanted to be an author early on. Probably about fourth grade. I have written several stories-turned-books for curricular purposes and am contracted for five novels at the present time.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

I find some ideas come to me when I’m binge-reading a certain genre and series. I prefer reading series because if I fall in love with the characters or writing style, it’s hard to let go. Then, I’ll get a story in my head and I have to write it. I’ll move on to a different genre and another idea is birthed.That’s why I have completed a Romantic Suspense novel that will be out sometime in the summer or early fall, and am currently on my second book of a contracted YA Speculative Fiction Series. FEARLESS HEART is YA Paranormal/Historical Fiction.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

FEARLESS HEART started out as a novel, but it felt right to end it at short story length. I’d say it took about two to three weeks to write it. (It was during a historical fiction/paranormal binging period.)

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I like to write what I read and that is varied. I love Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense, YA Contemporary, and YA Speculative Fiction.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

I live in Moscow, Russia, during the school year, so I travel. A lot! I love to go to historical places with a view. These locations are where much of my inspiration originates and then builds into stories. My favorite places to explore are Ireland and Scotland. I do love parts of Italy, too. So much history, the people, their stories ease into your heart and live in your thoughts. Ah-ha! And becomes another story.

Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I like to write what I read and that is varied. I love Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Romantic Suspense, YA Contemporary, and YA Speculative Fiction.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Yes. If you have a story, tell it. If you enjoy it, then it’s highly likely someone else will, as well. Writing can be cathartic. It can be company when you’re alone. It can let you escape for a little while and walk in someone else’s shoes. Form a support group … possibly Beta Readers / Family and with that support, you can do anything. Just do it!

Twitter: @debsolice

Blog:  https://thefabulistdotblog.wordpress.com

Facebook: Deborah Kelly    (penname)

https://www.debsolice.com/

https://twitter.com/DebSolice/

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C.D. Gallant-King:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I’ve been writing books for as long as I can remember. I still have handwritten and illustrated “books” that I made when I was about 7-8 years old. The oldest was about an elf who tricked a giant ogre to fall fall into a volcano. I have one from grade 4 about a Halloween decoration that came to life and killed people.

My first self-published novel, Ten Thousand Days, was officially released in 2015. I have released several other books and stories since then, including my contribution to the upcoming Masquerade anthology.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

Lots of different places. Some are inspired by other books and stories, some are based on crazy things my kids say (I have an illustrated children’s book, currently unpublished, about teaching my son not to drink his bath water). Usually these ideas are just small bits, like a cool character or an interesting scene. But if I get enough of them and jam them together, I can create a full story.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

I don’t have a set schedule for writing. I get in my words wherever and whenever I can find the time. My story for Masquerade didn’t take particularly long, just a few days for the first draft. I like writing short stories because I can pound them out quickly when the inspiration strikes. With a novel it’s hard to keep that momentum going for 80,000 words or more,. It inevitably becomes a slog, like shoveling a driveway with a soup spoon.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I write in lots of different genres, but the one thing they all have in common is comedy. I can’t take anything seriously, so all of my stories inevitably end up funny (or trying to be funny, anyway). I prefer to read comedy as well. I guess I don’t like it much when other people take themselves too seriously, either.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

My hobbies include wrangling small children and trying to find time to write. And driving to and from work. I think that pretty much covers it?

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Just do it. Don’t think about it. Don’t second guess yourself, don’t worry about what other people will think. Try to write a little bit every day. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. Don’t go back to read what you’ve written as you go, if you can help it. Just put the words down and see what happens. It will probably suck. That’s okay. You don’t have to show it to anyone. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. The important thing is Did you enjoy writing it? If you did, then great. Be proud of your accomplishment.

Contacts:

Homepage/Blog: http://cdgallantking.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdgallantking

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cdgallantking

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13932038.C_D_Gallant_King

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Jennifer Lane:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I started writing fan fiction in 2007 without a clue that I would start writing novels. I have eight novels and two short stories published now.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

I’m inspired by my career as a psychologist as well as by music, TV, movies, and books.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

I wrote my short story in about ten hours, as I recall. Editing added to that time-frame. I write only on the weekends because my day job is consuming.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I like to write sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist. I read those genres as well as historical fiction, chick lit, and literary fiction. I’m in a book club that chooses many different genres.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

I love some sort of daily exercise to tame my anxiety, as well as reading, watching TV, and hanging out with friends.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Acknowledge that your first book (and definitely your first draft) will not be very good. Writing is a skill that takes a LOT of practice!

Website: http://jenniferlanebooks.com

https://www.facebook.com/JenLaneBooks/

https://twitter.com/JenLanebooks/

Goodreads: Jennifer Lane

Pinterest: JenLaneBooks

Instagram: JenLaneBooks

http://jenniferlanebooks.blogspot.com

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Carrie-Anne Brownian:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I’ve been writing since I was four years old, as long as I’ve known how to write. It’s always been something I just do, the way other people have a calling to be a doctor, clergyperson, painter, or architect. I started with picture books, and had moved to novella-length books by the time I was a preteen. I was writing novel-length books by my early teens.

Where do you get your ideas from or do they just come to you?

Many of my ideas over the years have just come to me, while others have been inspired by events in books and films, or real-life historical events. When it’s the latter, I always significantly transform them so they become uniquely my own stories, not near-facsimiles of someone else’s story.

Sometimes I also start with a basic germ of an idea I’d like to write about; e.g., Heian Japan, a city under a protective bubble in an era where the Sun is now a white dwarf star. I gather together more details from there.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

This story took three days to write, and three more days to edit, revise, and rewrite. I’ve long tended to do most of my writing, and my best writing, in the evenings and at nights. At one point in the past, I operated under a sleep inversion schedule, which meant I did most of my writing during the hours most people are asleep.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

My passion has always been historical fiction, both reading and writing it. My secondary favorite is sci-fi, with a preference for soft sci-fi and futuristic fiction.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

I’ve been a numismatist (coin collector) since age eight. My favorites are wheat stalk pennies, of which I’m now only missing the hardest to find dates and mint marks. My Roosevelt dimes, Jefferson nickels, and Washington quarters are nearly complete too. I also have some 19th century coins, the most special of which are my 1857 and 1858 Flying Eagle cents in very fine condition. My current goal is the expansion of my collections of Mercury dimes, Liberty Walking quarters, Indian head pennies, and Buffalo nickels.

I’m also a philatelist (stamp collector), with a collection including 19th century stamps, and collect marbles and vinyl LPs. Another passion of mine is silent cinema. To date, I’ve seen almost 1,200 silent films of all types. Other interests are embroidery and cross-stitch, creating art with colored pencils, pastels, and watercolor pencils, and world languages. My dream hobby is collecting, repairing, and showing antique cars (1890s through about 1950).

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Just find your natural voice and style, instead of trying to directly copy anyone else’s. That might be an interesting story, but it won’t be truly yours. Once you find your unique style and voice, everything will gradually start falling into place. You also shouldn’t expect the first draft to be perfect or nearly flawless. Part of the journey of developing into the best writer you can be is growing over time, learning to see the mistakes in your older works, and maturing along with your characters.

http://www.facebook.com/BelletristStrelets/

http://carrieannebrownian.wordpress.com/

http://onomasticsoutsidethebox.wordpress.com/

http://twitter.com/Anyechka/

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Chelsea Marie Ballard:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I think I’ve always wanted to write a book. I spent most of my teenage years reading and writing. When I got to college, writing became a more tangible hobby, a way to dump my emotions as I transitioned into adulthood. But I never finished anything. I’d get bored and move onto another project. Finally, last year, I decided this was it! It was time to stop the revolving door of ideas and complete one novel. It took me sitting in front of my laptop for a few hours every day for six months, but I did it. Then when I saw the competition for the IWSG Anthology, I thought, ‘hey a short story would be a good palate cleanser after that 106,000-word novel.’ And it was. Using NaNoWriMo and #FebFrenzy, I recently completed my first draft of my second novel!!

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

I’m an awful pantser. I literally just sit down at my laptop every day and let the juices flow. But I do get scenes from daydreams or night dreams. If I wake up with a really vivid feeling, I’ll rush to write it down. Or ruminate on it all day until my kids go down for a nap and then dump it out onto the page. Every little scrap of imagination adds up!

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

It’s rather embarrassing, but I wrote Remedy in about three hours. I found out about the competition a few days before the deadline and after reading the prompt, I knew exactly what I wanted the story to look like, so I grabbed a babysitter and rushed to the library that night to write it out. Normally, I try to write for an hour or two a day. It usually ends up being less than that and I almost always skip weekends, but I think ‘butt in chair’ is important. Your book will always get written as long as you sit your butt in that chair and write. It doesn’t have to be wonderful or awe-inspiring, just consistent.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

OH, YES! I am in love with young adult/new adult fantasy and science fiction. Give me all the Hunger Games and Red Queens and Uglies. Recently, I’ve been trying to branch out into adult contemporary, but I keep going back to my YA fantasies. I think it’s best to write what you read. I grew up on a steady diet of young adult fantasy and so that’s what I feel most comfortable diving into when I’m writing.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

Reading and gaming are my two other passions. My husband and I play Overwatch pretty much every other night. (Send me your battle tags!) I also recently started exploring pole fitness and I’m in love! I get a killer work out while learning new tricks and flying through the air. It’s lots of fun and I can’t wait to go every week.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Not to sound like a meme here but DO ITTTTT! You miss all the shots you never take. Shoot for the moon so you can land on a star. All the inspirational hoopla. Seriously, you are truly your worst critic. Writing a book is a marathon, just finishing is winning! Recently, someone told me they weren’t brave enough to submit their work and I almost cried. Every time you don’t try, you’re giving yourself a rejection. Hearing no sucks, but not as much as wondering ‘what if?’

My socials are Twitter @cecerumba and Instagram @cecerumba. Masquerade: Oddly Suited also has its own Facebook page @masqueradeoddlysuited.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lunaballard

Twitter: (@cecerumba): https://twitter.com/cecerumba?s=09

https://www.instagram.com/cecerumba?r=nametag

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Anstice Brown:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I’ve wanted to write a book since I was little. So far, I’ve written plenty of short stories and poetry but this will be my first significant publication. I’m currently working on a science fantasy novel.

Where do you get your ideas from or do they just come to you?

I’m inspired by all sorts of things, from fantasy and mythology to the latest scientific advancements. I pick up ideas from news articles, television, conversations with friends and even my bizarre dreams. Occasionally, the characters and plot will come to me fully-formed, but more often I start with a vague idea about what I want to write and the details come together when I’m researching and brainstorming.

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

I think it took around ten hours to write the first draft of my story, and I probably spent another five to ten hours editing and formatting it. I usually set my alarm for 5:30 am when I’m writing to a deadline so I can get a golden hour of peace and quiet, then I usually squeeze in another hour after my daughter goes to bed.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

I love reading and writing anything that comes under the umbrella of ‘speculative fiction’-fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal, steampunk, and so on. Writing and reading have always been pure escapism for me, so I gravitate towards fantastical, magical and otherworldly stories.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy blogging about books, watching films and musical theatre, making digital art, dancing and playing PC games.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

That’s something most writers experience, so don’t let your fears and doubts put you off. The best way to gain confidence is to keep writing (even a few lines a day helps). Consider joining online communities such as the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to receive helpful feedback and encouragement.

My links

Website: https://ansticebrown.com/

Blog: https://dustingthesoul.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoransticebrown/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnsticeBrown

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18836627.Anstice_Brown

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L.G. Keltner:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was six years old. I grew up in a house where both my parents loved to read, and I enjoyed escaping into fantastical worlds. The moment I started learning to read and write, I knew I wanted to use my words to create different worlds of my own. I started by trying to write a novel, though as a first grader, I didn’t have most of the skills required. Throughout the years, I’ve written several novels, novellas, and short stories, though most of them remain squirreled away on my shelf.

Where do you get your ideas from or do they just come to you?

Sometimes ideas smack me in the face while I’m busy with something else and not expecting inspiration to strike. Other times, I have to go searching for ideas. Fortunately, ideas are everywhere if you’re open to finding them. Being a writer is all about looking at the world around you with a curious eye and asking the crucial question: “What if?”

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

It took a couple of weeks to actually write my story, though I was brainstorming ideas a week or so before I started putting words on the page. I don’t have a set writing schedule. I wish I could, but my kids won’t let me. I simply try to snag all the writing time I can when the opportunity arises.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

Science fiction is my favorite genre to read and write. This includes sci-fi for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers. I also enjoy injecting a sense of humor into my work when appropriate.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

I love amateur astronomy. I also enjoy doing puzzles and playing trivia games. It’s amazing how many random, useless facts I’ve garnered over the years through playing Trivial Pursuit.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Give it a try! Your first attempt doesn’t have to be great, and no one ever has to see it if you don’t want them to. Try to focus on the joy you get from telling your story instead of worrying about any negative judgments people might have. Also remember that the more you write, the more you’ll improve.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGKeltner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LGKeltner/

Blog: https://lgkeltner.blogspot.com/

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Myles Christensen:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

I wrote a few short stories in high school and college.  But my first thought that I could write a full book and actually be serious about seeing it published came a little over ten years ago. That led to my first novel which I finished and began querying last spring.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

Most of my ideas come from strange thoughts during regular life, usually along the lines of “what if a guy’s car was mistaken for the bride and groom’s and when his girlfriend sees the ‘Just Married’ decorations she breaks up with him?” That’s still on my list of stories to write (way down on the list).

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

It took me about three weeks of thinking in the back of my head and then about three weeks of writing. I have a full-time job and several part-time jobs, so I write in the mornings, evenings, and on Saturdays.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

My favorite genre to write is middle-grade science-fiction (particularly near-future space, but no aliens or time travel). My favorite genre to read is sweet romance set in the Regency era. My wife and I read those books out loud to each other. There’s nothing quite as fun and relaxing as date night at the library (or exiting and suspenseful, depending where we are in the story).

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

My mother calls my writing a hobby, but beside that, I enjoy inventing card and board games.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

Your first attempt at writing doesn’t have to be for anyone but yourself, so you’ve got nothing to lose. See where the journey takes you.

http://www.myleschristensen.com/

https://twitter.com/inventor_myles/

https://www.facebook.com/authormyles/

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Angela Brown:

When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? Did you first write your own book or is this one your first?

 I had a Gifted and Talented teacher in elementary school who made writing fables and stories a class project. She took our stories and turned them into a “book” by taking them to a local printer for plastic binding and a pink cover. From then on, I wanted to write a book. But it wasn’t until my early 30’s that I finally made that dream a reality by self-publishing my first book.

Where do you get your idea’s from or do they just come to you?

 I try to not dwell on the “what if’s” in the other facets of my life. But asking “what if” is a fantastic idea generator when it comes to writing

How long did it take you to write your section of the book? Do you have a set schedule for when you are writing?

 Okay. So this was a little different. I don’t have a set schedule these days, not since I stepped back from consistent daily writing a couple of years ago. When this anthology contest was announced, a story idea hit me, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to enter. Ten days before the deadline, I decided to enter and ripped this story from my mind put it on the screen in about 6 to 7 days while still working my full time job. Then I did some light revisions and barely got it in under the wire. This is not my normal though.

Do you have a specific genre that you like to write about? Do you enjoy reading that genre too or would you rather read a different genre?

 I love reading fiction, particularly speculative fiction, contemporary, and thrillers. As for writing, I write speculative fiction and fantasy and have a few contemporary pieces in the works.

What do you enjoy doing or do you have any hobbies?

 My hobbby would be reading.

Do you have any tips for those that want to write a book, but are scared to do so?

 Writing is a wonderful journey. If someone is interested in writing but are scared, I’d advise them that being scared is okay. They should read, read, and read some more, for enjoyment and to learn from those who’ve tossed their words into the ocean for reader consumption.

https://publishness.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/ALBrownwrites/

https://www.instagram.com/deepnthought77/

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Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my review and the authors interviews!

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