Nicole Luttrell, Author.

Nicole Luttrell writes about dragons, aliens and ghosts. “Sometimes,” she says, “I write about ghosts of dragons who are actually aliens.” Nicole, you are a welcome visitor to the New Writing Hangout. Tell us all about yourself and what you get up to when you aren’t writing.

I’m pretty much all about stories. I love reading from all genres, and watching way too much sci-fi tv. I have a special soft spot for mythology and fairy tales. I’m also kind of a political and news junkie. How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
All of myself goes into my writing. My faith, my relationship with my family, my love hate relationship with my home town. Everything eventually gets woven into my stories. For example, I live in a steel town. There are coal mines everywhere around here, it’s a part of my heritage. It comes up again and again.

Tell us about where you live.

I live in a small town that’s trying to come back up. Over my life I’ve seen this town breath in and out, releasing businesses and traditions that are outdated and adopting new ones. I don’t think enough people consider the evolution of their towns. They’re living things.

If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?

I want to go to Japan and see the blossoms and Shinto shrines. And the Aokigahara forest, which I have a weird fascination with. I would also love to go see Prypiat. Imagine a while city just abandoned like that. It’s horrifying but fascinating.

I’ve always wanted to go there! Where do you come up with ideas for your stories?

The Woven trilogy started with one thing, a boy who wove. I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, and I love the thought of magic with thread. I wanted to write about a sensitive hero with an unexpected power. As I started writing about Devon, the main character of Woven, the story evolved. I had to give him an outspoken older sister, a loud older brother. Then they needed someone to protect them. They needed a world in which to exist. And that world has sparked so many more stories. The more I write, the more characters come up and introduce themselves.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m working on a few things right now. I have a science fiction series called Station 86 that I put up episodically on my website, Paper Beats World. I’m also working on a new trilogy in the same universe as Woven. And a companion novel for Woven. I can’t stick to one project for very long, so I’ve turned that bug into a feature. I’m also hoping to start writing a series of horror novellas later this year or early next year.

Here are links to the first books in Nicole’s two series.

First, Broken Patterns, her fantasy series with Woven.


Second, Seeming, the first book in her science fiction self-published novella series. “Seeming” is free to download.

Nicole’s Website: https://paperbeatsworld.com/author/nicoleluttrell/

Nicole’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-C.-Luttrell/e/B01NCOKB74

Nicole, many thanks for dropping by the Hangout.

Justin Alcala, Author

It is our honour to welcome author Justin Alcala to the Hangout. Justin “grew up near the South Side of Chicago in that haunted house every neighborhood has.” As well as writing novels he is a blogger, folklore enthusiast and nerdologist. Most of his tales take place in The Plenty Dreadful universe, a “deranged supernatural version of the modern world.” His latest novel “Dim Fairy Tales” will be released in late 2019 by AllThingsThatMatterPress.

Justin, welcome to the Hangout. Tell us all about yourself and what makes you tick when you aren’t writing!

            Just look up peculiar in the dictionary and you’ll find my picture. I grew up near the South Side of Chicago in that haunted house every neighborhood has. I wrote homemade comics and read Halloween library books year round. I played Dungeons and Dragons, ran a local monster hunting group and watched horror movies. To be honest, not much has changed.

            Fast forward ten years, and after my father’s death, I decided to go through life all solo artist style. I worked full time in order to attend several different colleges, but eventually settled on majoring in English at Roosevelt University in order to continue my passion of being weird. I worked through corporate world (yuck) while being an alleycat with friends, always a closet case nerd at heart. Then I met my wife and life truly changed.

            My wife, who has her own fantastic story, wasn’t the pediatrician she is today. We met during her last year of college in performing arts. Yes, she was a bookworm-actress, and our second or third date was me going to see her play a fairy queen in some twisted storefront stage performance. This woman was just as unique as me, and today we have our beautiful daughter, Lily who is just as wonderfully outlandish.

            Today, when I’m not with my beloved Adams Family, I’m off doing something extremely nerdy. I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to write full time, and even when I’m not writing…I’m writing. I still play roleplaying games with my buddies, dreaming up epic plots for them. My two year old has one upped my addiction for books, and we go to the library at least once a week for new fairy tales. I read books (Andrew Smith, Christopher Moore and Jim Butcher to name a few) in my happy place on the porch and work out daily in my array of superhero shirts. Like I said, just look up peculiar in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of me.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Great question. I’d say there’s a lot of the people and places I love in my stories, in addition to my own personality. Chicago, the city I’ve loved for thirty plus years, is in the main backdrop of The Plenty Dreadful universe. However, it’s more the wonderfully offbeat people that I meet daily that creep their way onto the pages. As for experiences, I’ve had a lot of them that people might not believe, from being hunted by a supposed vampire at a goth club to being on a reality tv show in Las Vegas. I try to incorporate that awkwardness, excitement or eerieness into tales for readers to love. 

Tell us about where you live!

I’m still kind of adapting to my new home. I lived in Chicago for all of my life, except one wild year that I spent in Las Vegas with my sister and niece. That is until today. My wife’s career sent us to Augusta GA, home of the Masters. While there’s been a period of adjustment in culture, landscape and people, it’s starting to grow on me. They’re just as weird as Chicagoans, which is delicious.

If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?

Where do I start? I’m going to Coruscant to meet the diverse races and cultures of the Star Wars universe, then to Faerun in order to party with Elminster. I might stop in Middle-earth, but I’m definitely not going to Westeros. Everyone there dies.

Where did you come up with the idea for your story?

Sorry dudes and dudettes, but this is going to be a cliché, but honest answer. There’s no one place. It’s mostly the books I’ve read, grounded and peppered with gritty real life experiences. I add entertaining people and places I’ve stumbled into so that readers can enjoy these same mavericks of life. Then there’s Zorgon, the elemental in my basement. He gives me some great ideas too.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I can never say this enough. I love storytelling. I get a real kick out of the idea that I can create stories and then give it to other people to enjoy. It’s fantastic. Stories entertain, teach us truths and let us understand ourselves. In my first decade of writing, I’ve been fortunate enough to have four novels published and multiple short stories in articles magazines/blogs. I don’t look to stop now, and will likely have to have my Spiderman decal laptop pried from my cold stiff fingers, and in a hurry, because I totally plan on coming back as undead.

Justin, thank you for dropping by the Hangout. Where can we find you online?

My personal website’s blog:
https://www.justincalcala.com/blog

My Twitter handle is…
https://twitter.com/JustinAlcala

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/Justin_Alcala

Cindy Keen Reynders, Author

Our interviewee Cindy Keen Reynders

It is our distinct pleasure to welcome author Cindy Keen Reynders to the Hangout. As well as writing novels Cindy has written non-fiction for magazines like “True West” and “Wild West.” She talks to the Hangout about her life , her writing, and her new novel, “The Seven-Year Witch.” The book tells the story of novice witch Miranda Rose, the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter.

Cindy, thank you for dropping by the New Writers Hangout. Tell us all about yourself and what you do when you aren’t writing!

When I was around 10, I’d sit on my parents’ front porch and read stories from the newspaper, pretending to be a TV newscaster. That was my first major life goal. In fourth-grade, my class read a history book about Wyoming by a local author and I loved it so much, I decided to be a writer. I’ve attended so many colleges around the country I have enough credits for a bachelor’s degree, but I’ve never received a diploma! I’ve got five children and eight grandchildren, and I feel so blessed to have a my family. When I’m not writing, I love reading, crocheting, crafting and walking. When the weather’s good, I love going to garage sales with my sister and brother-in-law. It’s cool to run into people I know or work with and meeting new people.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

There is so much of me and my experiences in every book. I’ve travelled extensively so I can include information about people and places from locales like the Caribbean, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Philippines, Canada and numerous U.S. states. My sister is my best brainstorming partner and together we can really cook up some great plot ideas that often include stories from the past. A character based on one of my brothers is in my first book. But that is Top Secret information. You can’t tell him!

Tell us about where you live!

I live in the cutest western city, Cheyenne, Wyoming, home of Cheyenne Frontier Days. It’s the perfect size, not quite 60,000. Cheyenne residents are generous, and they support charitable giving of all kinds. We have a nice mall, great restaurants, several museums parks and lakes. Cheyenne Botanic Gardens recently added a huge new addition. I could sit in the conservatory for hours admiring the flowers and listening to the water features.

If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?

I’m fascinated with the American West and how settlers would pull up stakes and leave home for places they’d only heard about. Sometimes they never saw their family again. I’d love to be member of the first space crew to colonize Mars. It would be exciting to help build a whole new world.

Where did you come up with the idea for your story?

“The Seven-Year Witch” plot came to me in a dream. I know, that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. In my slumbering state, I envisioned all these beautiful young ladies wearing bright, flowing gowns. My mind was probably thinking about all the strong women I’ve known like my mother, my three sisters, my daughters, my granddaughters, my daughters-in-law, my sisters-in-law, my nieces and many others. All have achieved incredible goals. When I woke up, I felt compelled to a story with seven beautiful, nature spirit worshipping witch sisters who are tasked with watching over humans and protecting them.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve completed another witch sister book titled, “A Witch at Midnight.” The next book “in the series is, “Witch Tease,” which I’m almost finished writing. It will need a couple of final polishing drafts, though. I have a mystery set in the Caribbean and a contemporary romance set in Wyoming that I’m currently marketing. Plot ideas are swirling!

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve completed another witch sister book titled, “A Witch at Midnight.” The next book “in the series is, “Witch Tease,” which I’m almost finished writing. It will need a couple of final polishing drafts, though. I have a mystery set in the Caribbean and a contemporary romance set in Wyoming that I’m currently marketing. Plot ideas are swirling!

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About the “The Seven-Year Witch,” from Solstice Publishing :

The Seven-Year Witch

Ebook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P7HT6YD

Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625268777

Novice witch Miranda Rose’s seventh and final task for the Supreme Witch’s Council is to find the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. Once that is achieved, she’ll accomplish her lifelong dream—to become a High Witch of the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan. In a last-ditch effort to locate the precious gem, she travels through time to 1877.

Hidden within a dilapidated castle tower, Balthazar, a powerful young wizard, refuses to relinquish the stone. In a fit of pique, he zaps Miranda into a field just outside of Merry Olde London.

Sir Maxwell Chadwick is the sole witness to a fiery ball of light streaking across the midnight sky. Curious, he investigates and is surprised to discover a beautiful young woman among the smoldering ashes. Captivated by her alluring beauty, he cannot deny his instant attraction.

As for Miranda, she appreciates the handsome duke’s assistance. However, she finds his well-intentioned interference annoying because it delays her mission. It doesn’t take her long to realize Sir Maxwell holds the key to her heart, as well as her future.

A combination of fate, impractical magic and the Seven-Year Witch disease take the lovers on a rollicking, star-crossed adventure.


Connect with author Cindy Keen Reynders

www.cindykeenreynders.com (website)

https://wyomingfreelancemuse.blogspot.com/  (blog)

www.facebook.com/cindy.k.reynders (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/littlewing1959 (Twitter)