Here’s MY Q&A Midnight Oil Anthology

Q&A with Midnight Oil Anthology author, D.A. Roach

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

I grew up in the Midwest, lived in Chicagoland area, Michigan, Texas, and settled in Indiana. I’ve tried several careers, thankfully my outgoing personality, creativity, adaptability, and smarts have helped me explore various fields. I enjoy reading, watching hockey and tennis, going to concerts, writing, and drawing. Life hasn’t always been easy, in fact, my road seems to have more bumps than most, but it makes for an interesting life!

  1. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I have always been a story teller. Most of my tales were about real things that had happened in my life. I never considered writing the stories down, figuring they weren’t interesting enough for anyone to read about. But my dental hygienist asked why we were traveling to Tennessee for vacation and of course…there was a story behind it. When I finished telling the tale, she set down her instruments and said, “You have to write that down – write it in a book, it needs to be told!” So I gave it a try…never intended on writing more than that one story, but people started writing me via facebook messenger, asking me for more…and so I wrote again and here I am, 7 standalones and 8 anthologies later, I’m a USA Today Bestselling Author!

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

I write out a rough plot, like the story summed up in 10 handwritten pages (pen and paper only to allow me the speed needed to get the ideas out). Then I build my characters, finding an image online, naming them, giving them a history…I also need to decide how they will change throughout the story and what plot points need to happen to cause those changes to happen. Once all of that is done, I powerup the laptop and begin writing. The first draft is always a bit of a mess, but then I read it through and polish it…then off to the editor it goes.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

Honestly, one of my favorite writing projects was penning my first short horror story, Anesthesia in the 13, an Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction collection. I am a huge horror fan but have never attempted to write it before and it was a challenge…a rewarding challenge. I learned a lot about varying your style and length of sentence to create tension.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

Joe King approached me and asked if I wanted to pen a tale of deception for the Anthology. I jumped at the chance to contribute to the project. Bent Bottom’s is about a relationship that has changed over time, with one partner wilting under the other’s dominance. When love has shifted into something else, it forces you to consider whether to stay in that kind of relationship or look for something different…perhaps something better.

  1. Do you have works in progress?

YES! I’m working on wrapping up my Demon Hunters series!

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

My next book is a reworking of Tethered and Inconsequential of the J+P series. It’s a YA drama and there will be at least 4 books.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

Just my exciting google searches, like “ways to kill someone with an elevator”.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

My muse is on my street team. She says the craziest things and challenges me to include them in my writing. We chat on fb messenger since she lives in Colorado. We have never met but I feel like she’s like my sister. I love her to death.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

Probably my reading – I enjoy reading character rich books so I try to write books and stories that focus on the characters and how they change.

  1. How can readers follow you online?

WEBPAGE: https://daroachfiction.com/

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DARoachDA/

AMAZON AUTHOR PG: http://www.amazon.com/author/daroach

BOOK BUB: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/d-a-roach

 

Meet Skylar Rankin, One of the Midnight Oil Anthology Authors!

Author:  Skyler Rankin

Photo: 

Teaser for Baked:  

You can’t run from who you are.  After losing her prestigious New York Times job as an investigative reporter, Trina Sharp retreats to the small Lake Erie town of Mariner’s Bluff, taking a local reporting job covering stories like town meetings and the odd missing pet.  

Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery, and to the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet Mary Jane muffins for medicinal purposes, of course.  She’s skirting the law, and locals worry this will taint the community’s image as a family-friendly vacation spot.

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what? What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life?  Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both? What if Jacki isn’t the innocent person Trina thinks she is? Would it matter?

Questions and Answers:

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

    I have a day job working as an administrator with a university, and like most other independent writers, I spend my down time penning stories. There’s not a huge amount of down time, unfortunately. I’m also taking some online classes to finish a degree, so yes, I often bite off more than I can comfortably chew.  I’m an empty-nester, and I live with my husband and a small herd of domestic pets. We have two cats, a dog, and a plethora of woodland creatures who have declared themselves my wards by eating anything I attempt to grow. I’m a creative person who has a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, which means I have multiple projects going on at once.
  2. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I began writing early in my pre-teen years, and I always knew I wanted to be an author. I had really practical parents though, who preached the importance of having a real job.  Even though it was a difficult reality to accept, writing is hard for multiple reasons. First, you craft your stories, which is far easier than it sounds, and then you work to publish. Back then, electronic publishing did not exist, and vanity publishing was frowned upon, not to mention expensive.  Getting published meant typing your work out on a manual type writer, sending it off and waiting, and waiting, and sometimes getting no response at all. For many years, I lived on my academic and non-fiction, and now that I’m nearing retirement, I hope to continue with my first love, fiction.

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

This is a tough one. I really appreciate the power of an outline for keeping my work on track.  However, there are times that spontaneous writing just feels better and more natural. I’ve carved out my own style which usually begins with a rough outline, following it through to get the story down, and then going back over it to add the flavor that pantsing can provide.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

I have so many projects haunting my dreams that it’s hard to pin down a favorite. Time would help. Between working my day job and taking care of my personal life, there’s little time for writing, especially when indies must also do most of their own promotion as well. And while it sounds like a complaint, the truth is, I’m happiest when writing, and nothing thrills me quite like knowing I’ve given someone a fantastic story.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

Baked is a novella, a mini-mystery centered on characters in the fictional town of Mariner’s Bluff on the banks of Lake Erie.  The main character, Trina Sharp, is a former investigative reporter disgraced by having lost her job with a major newspaper. Down on her luck, she retreated to Mariner’s Bluff and took a job at the local paper, a position well below the considerable talent she thinks she’s lost.  Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery. To the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet muffins with a special ingredient, marijuana, for medicinal purposes. She’s skirting the law, and locals are concerned the business could taint their image as a family-friendly vacation spot.  The timing is especially bad given the town’s first big fall festival featuring a huge bass fishing tournament that is garnering national attention. In spite of Jacki’s gutsy move, or perhaps because of it, Trina finds Jacki fascinating. Jacki rebuffs Trina’s interest, and keeps her at arm’s length.  

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Jacki needs her help more than she wants to admit, but she still pushes Trina away. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what?  What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life? Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both?

  1. Do you have works in progress?

Yes, several.  I’m working on the sequel to Viral Dawn, which will be entitled Viral Storm.  The story picks up with heroine Casey Williams after she is infected by a zombie’s bite while trying to evade military detection in her effort to leave the country to expose the damning evidence she has against BioGenetics, the company that manufactured the deadly virus.  Kyle Carter, her new love interest and former soldier, refuses to leave her side even though she threatens to expose their location to the enemy if he doesn’t. Instead, he catches her off guard and gives her their first kiss, one that seals his fate to hers by infecting him as well.  The two are now off to procure a new vaccine in development that is rumored to stop the disease. Casey and Kyle, so smart and resourceful, are now racing against time where little is in their control. They’ve made a suicide pact should the virus affect them before they reach their only hope.  

Will they make it safely to the research facility before the military or BioGenetics’ contracted guerillas find them?  Will they succumb to the virus before they can get help? IF they make it, can they obtain the vaccine before the developers find out who they are?  What about the friends they left behind? Can they make it to Canada and expose BioGenetics in time to take the heat off Casey and Kyle?

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

After I finish Viral Storm, I may or may not do a sequel.  It depends on what Casey wants. Meanwhile, I have another suspense mystery mapped out that involves the whiskey industry in Kentucky. The tentative title is Barrel Proof.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

I take lots of really odd pictures.  Whenever we go on vacation or even when I’m out and about doing daily work, if I see something that looks like an interesting story or that might make an interesting cover image, I snap a photo and keep it…apparently forever. Sometimes other people look at me funny when they see me taking pictures of something really strange like a dilapidated building or a section of a wall. They probably think I’m crazy, which is just a synonym for writer.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

Okay I have to say that sometimes my muse is bossy.  She used to be really elusive. I could sit for hours or months and get no good ideas.  Now that she’s older, she just comes on out and beats me into submission. In Baked, for example, I had every intention of making Trina’s story all about the mystery.  Period. My muse informed me, and Trina was backing her up on this, that Trina was gay, and this story would have a romantic interest between her and Jacki. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure I could pull this off, but they wouldn’t back down.  In fact, when I tried to take the story in another direction, they just left and would not come back until I committed to the story. Eventually I gave up because I just work here. I have to admit. They were right. It’s a better story. As an FYI, they gave in to me when I reminded them this was a YA-to-adult book, so they cooperated in keeping the story tame in the romance department.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

For so many years, I’ve focused on what other people tell me to write or what satisfied the need.  At times, I think I did this to the detriment of my own voice. At this point, I’m writing the way I think and feel is best.  I’m letting the words and phrases flow instead of analyzing everything in light of others’ advice. This isn’t to suggest that others can’t be helpful or that advice I’ve received in the past was necessarily bad, but in the end, it’s the writer’s story.  I’ve found I have to listen to that inner voice we call the muse. If I don’t, she and my characters will gang up on me.

  1. How can readers follow you online?

I’m on several websites, and I do occasionally do Twitter, but probably the best places to follow me are on my website at  www.skylerrankin.com  or my Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/Skyler.Rankin.Author/  

 

Midnight Oil Anthology Author Q&A Coming 8/1!

The team of authors, bringing you deception and lies will share a bit about themselves to wet your whistle as we countdown to release day! Here are some important links to check out before then:

Midnight Oil Anthology Pre-sale: http://a.co/eNorkav

Midnight Oil Daycause (Please support to help us announce our release): https://www.daycause.com/daroach12books/midnight-oil-anthology-release

Midnight Oil Anthology Release Party (8/8): https://www.facebook.com/events/428070987713401/

SEE YOU BACK HERE ON AUGUST 1st!