Monday, April 21, 2014

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Sidney Stone








Thank you for featuring my book on the last day of the tour and thank you Roxanne and Bewitching Books for the great job you did!  For the final post, I will be doing an author interview with the best questions I received during this month of touring. 

And writers, I highly recommend you using Bewitching Books when scheduling a tour. 

Again, the best interview questions from the book tour:

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War is the first book in a planned trilogy.  It is a tale of love and loss that uses supernatural elements to illuminate truths about the “real” world. Here is some background on each of the characters:

Jennifer Ainsley: She lost her beloved mother and sister in a mysterious car crash when she was a child, the same night billionaire Jonathon Tait had a vision she was the one to wield the Sword of Jesus (Matthew 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword) against the demons. Adopted by Jonathon and raised wiith his twins to love them like she did her sister, Jennifer knows nothing of her destiny until the night of her college graduation party. Also manipulated by Jonathon to fall for the Head of Tait Security Andrew Walker, the coming storm will engulf her and she may yet lose even more than she already has.

Jonathon Tait: 170 year old billionaire who in league with the demons, has become the richest, most powerful man in the world. The murder of his second love, plus the love of his children, begin to place Jonathon on the path of not redemption; but at least a way to save the two people he loves the most.

Mpordock: The leader of the Demons.  A fallen Angel who also had forsaken the Underworld to wage a final battle against humanity. Disdainful of Lucifer and yet craving the acceptance of the God who cast Mordock out of Heaven, Mordock thinks that if he destroys humanity (like God himself almost did with The Flood) maybe God will recognize him and maybe Mordock can become holy again.

Andrew Walker: Like Jennifer, Andrew lost his family in a tragic accident and that shared past has given them a fierce, passionate love. Their initial lovemaking scene illustrates how much they are in love with each other and how much they would protect one another. But Andrew, one of the few living men to have killed a demon, is not an experienced demon fighter and may be over his head in the coming war.

Mike Davis: The government operative most skilled in killing demons, he is known throughout the world has having the greatest luck in remaining alive when so many other soldiers like him, including a former lover, have perished. Spying on Jennifer while also attempting to protect her, he falls in love with her but realizes this will always be unrequited. Jennifer will always be in love with Andrew which causes Mike to take terrible risks yet also give him an unwavering strength as he wants to do right by Jennifer.

Andrew and Sophia Tait: Jonathon’s twins who were an unexpected surprise birth. Jonathon loves them so much he betrays his alliance with the demons. As the conflict grows though, Jonathon and others begin to realize the twins may have an even greater destiny than Jennifer. And if Mordock finds that out, all could be lost.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

At the beginning of this story, and the four screenplays I previously wrote, I outline the tale from beginning to end.  However I am not a slave to the outline.  I let inspiration guide me. So while I may know where the road begins and ends, I’m not always sure how many detours I will take to get to my final destination.  

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

I grew up very poor and ended up dropping out of High School. To escape I read a lot of early Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Tolkien. Eventually I got myself together, worked myself through college twice and eventually ended up with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning. The humble upbringings, the strength to persevere and those early writers all influence my writing to some degree. I hope I was able to combine the darkness with the light, while adding in deep characters, that will enable readers to become fully invested in my stories.

How long did it take you to write?

The first draft of Jennifer Ainsley took me 8 months to write. It was absolutely terrible and no one will ever read that.  The second draft took another two months and with that version I had graduated to merely sucky.  Draft #2 I allowed three friends, who I call my Gorgeous and Intelligent Readers, to review and give me honest critical feedback.  Another draft later, I gave it to a friend who is a professional writing for editing.  Once the manuscript had reached the level of mediocre, I used the professional editing services of Createspace Publishing who gave me wonderful feedback and two more drafts later, I actually had a professionally edited book that I think, and initial reviews reflect, an outstanding and entertaining tale.

So from beginning to end, 22 months. This is not a book that took 30 days to write and it was been edited and vetted by numerous people before I decided to share it with the world (Or at least the few hundred people who have bought it so far).

Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

I have always loved to write.  As a child I was on the school newspaper and even had my own column in 7th grade (which ended when I included the quote “Love does not make the world go around, it makes it go up and down.  I guess the school administrators did not share my sense of humor).  In my 20’s I wrote 4 screenplays since in S. California they issue Final Draft software to any writer at birth. I pursued actual money making endeavors though and got away from writing although I still wrote down story ideas.  In 2012 one of those story ideas just wouldn’t go away and given that quitting your job suddenly adds more time to your life, I pursued that idea and fleshed it out to a novel.  

What can readers expect from you in the future?

My next novel is the sequel to Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War.  It will be titled: Jennifer Ainsley: This Time We Really Mean It, The Final war (Just kidding). The next book is Jennifer Ainsley: The End and the Beginning.  Even more epic and encompassing, if I can pull this off it will essentially be my The Stand. Only with more humor and emotion. And maybe more severed heads…

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

The book cover was created by the talented folks at Pencilbox Studios in Orange County. Originally I had wanted a cover of a sword lying in the forest with a mushroom cloud off in the distance. However, on a writer’s budget that was not feasible.  The artist though used one of the icons of the book – The Sword of Jesus (Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”) to create an unsettling cover that illustrated the mood of my book perfectly.  As the Rolling stones said: “Sometimes you don’t get what you want, but you get what you need” J

Do you have other interests that you pursue?

You mean besides writing? ;) I love to hike, that’s number one.  I’m fortunate enough to live in both Northern California and Southern California; so much natural beauty. I also dine out quite frequently and write reviews on Yelp:

I enjoy my vino so winery visits and hosting wine parties are another hobby of mine.  My son knew how to open a wine bottle at age 5 J And yeah, I’m lucky enough to be the father of a great kid so hanging out with him is a total joy J He has me hooked on this town building app called Clash of Clans so we do that together, play basketball and he is great at chess.

How do you market Your book? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

I am pursuing the typical avenues indie writers pursue.  Kindle Countdown days still sell the most units but I do not like the discount aspect plus I question how many people actually get around to reading the book. My book blog tour has been successful and my next step will be to query agents and publishers afterwards. I am also being featured in two book clubs and hopefully that positive word of mouth will help as well. 
So your readers should buy it before it becomes the next hot new thing ;)

Are there any other authors that have grasped your interest or inspired you to write?

I grew up very poor and ended up dropping out of High School. To escape I read a lot of early Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Tolkien. Eventually I got myself together, worked myself through college twice and eventually ended up with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning. The humble upbringings, the strength to persevere and those early writers all influence my writing to some degree. I hope I was able to combine the darkness with the light, while adding in deep characters, that will enable readers to become fully invested in my stories.

Your favorite singer/group is?

Prince and The Replacements  Also big on alternative singer – songwriter types like Josh Ritter, Aimee Mann, Old 97’s, Lenka, Brandi Carlisle, Okkervil River and old school soul like Al Green, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Smoky Robinson

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?

Fridge, there is a full thing of milk about a month past its expiration date that I need to throw out.  Such a waste.

In the freezer, I think I have an 18 month old package of frozen corn.  More waste, sigh

What is your favourite food?

This is a tough one!  I eat out all of the time and I’m an avid reviewer on Yelp:


My favourite go-to food would have to be pizza, thin crust. But I also love American BBQ...baby back ribs and tri-tip.  Yet, I’m becoming a bigger fan of sushi and sake (they must be combined). Hmmmm, I’m not sure I can answer this! J 



Jennifer Ainsley
The Final Demon War
Sidney Stone

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Suspense/
Horror/New Adult

Date of Publication: December 2013

ISBN: 1491200960
ASIN: B00HFYK99Q

Number of pages: 308
Word Count: 102,400

Cover Artist: Pencilbox Studios

Book Description:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” - Matthew 10:34

Demons are preparing to launch the Final War to destroy humanity. 

Can one young woman wielding the Sword of Jesus ensure our survival and redemption?

Will she lose both her love and her soul in the process?

Available at Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats


About the Author:

Sidney Stone is a hiker, deer whisperer and non-pretentious wine connoisseur. An addicted reviewer on Yelp, he is also creator of affordable housing (although technically he is homeless part-time), thinks The Replacements are the best band of the Eighties and loves to boost his LinkedIn count with people he doesn't know.

He lives in both Northern and Southern California while constantly traveling to Orange County to visit his son, who can now beat his father at ping pong and chess rather easily (and is charmingly arrogant while doing it). A graduate of UC Irvine and Pepperdine University, Sidney wishes he chose at least one university to attend that had a college football team to root for.

The first scene Sidney thought of for Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War included a rather large massacre (take that for what it is worth). However, inspired by the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker; the book's violence is offset by dark humor and deep human emotion just like in real life where Sidney's darkness is offset by creatively placed sarcasm and an overwrought romanticism. For example, while Jennifer Ainsley: The Final Demon War is a Fantasy-Horror novel, Sidney also still tears up at the end of both Field of Dreams and An Officer and a Gentleman.






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2 comments:

Meriem Lamara said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway ^_^

Barbara E. said...

The Final Demon War sounds very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it.

 
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