Guest Authors

S.M. Spencer’s Absent Shadow’s Blog Tour

Destiny by S. M. Spencer

S M Spencer

Tour: Absent Shadows

Absent Shadows Trilogy: Destiny, Sacrifice & Deception

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series Description:

The Absent Shadows Trilogy is the story of nineteen year-old Lili McIntyre who decides to trade her California summer for a mid-winter visit to Australia in hope of finding inspiration and direction in the country where her father was born.

When she arrives in Melbourne, the first thing Lili finds is the last thing she’s looking for—a brooding man who makes her heart race every time she sees him. Against her better judgement, Lili finds herself drawn into a relationship that tests her very beliefs about life, reality and fantasy.

Follow Lili’s journey across Australia as she searches for her destiny, faces some of the hardest decisions of her life, makes incredible sacrifices, and encounters deception in places where it is least expected.

Available at   Amazon    Brag Medallion

Destiny Excerpt:

Sometimes, when something bad happens, time seems to slow to a crawl.

Like that time I was running to visit my friend who lived down the street. I was only about ten at the time, but it seemed like it was yesterday. I remember exactly how it felt as I ran down that street toward her house. And how, when I was only part way there, I stepped on an acorn and my foot rolled out from under me. As I fell, the pavement got closer and closer to my face—in horrible slow-motion. I hit the ground with my hands stretched out in front of me, scraping the skin off both palms. They barely bled but man they hurt like crazy.

Yes, I could replay that memory like a slow-motion movie in my head even now—years later.

But this … well, this wasn’t like that.

What happened next was like a series of still photos. Tom flew out of the bedroom in a blur, but stopped just long enough for the image of his face to be burnt into my mind. His eyes were no longer soft brown, but were instead a glowing red, and his normally tanned complexion was now pallid grey. But what really stood out was the blood that ran down from the corner of his mouth.

Then I heard Sam’s voice—loud and harsh. ‘Go!’

Tom was gone and I heard the door slam.

I closed my eyes for no more than a long blink—it couldn’t have been more than a second—but when I opened them, Sam was in the bedroom, bending over Claire. Was he doing something to her neck? She was so still.

I ran to the doorway but stopped short of going in. I couldn’t draw a breath to scream or talk. I just stood there, frozen.

Hello, and thanks for stopping by on my blog tour!  I would like to thank today’s host for having me here, and also 4Wills Publishing for organizing this tour for me. To see all the stops on the tour, check out their website:

www.4willspublishing.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/

Sandy

Questions and Answers about SM Spencer and her YA paranormal romance trilogy, the Absent Shadows Trilogy:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in California and grew up watching the eerie television shows of the 60’s: Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, The Invaders and Outer Limits being among those I remember best. What imaginations those writers had!

The creative side of me contemplated studying either literature or parapsychology at university however the logical side of me won out and I ended up studying business instead. This led me to a number of occupations over the years, the most exciting of which landed me in Australia. I literally fell in love with the country—its people, its places and its culture—and made Australia my permanent home.

What made you want to start writing?

I think the desire to write started when I was very young. All kids write stories, for sure, so I don’t think I was all that different in that regard. But when I’d read a good book, I would live the story for some time afterwards, often re-writing the ending. I was amazed and in awe of the writers who could do that; write stories that saturated me so completely. And the respect I had for them was what made me want to be like them.

Do you ever experience “writer’s block” and if so, how do you deal with it?

I am fortunate enough to have re-tired from my “day job” and can now direct all my creative energy toward writing what I like to write. However, I wouldn’t say I write full-time. I enjoy writing when I’m in the mood to do so, but I don’t put pressure on myself with respect to deadlines and timeframes. Given this, I don’t experience the “writer’s block” that some refer to. I simply write when I feel inclined to do so, and leave it at that.

Tell us a bit about the Absent Shadows trilogy.

The Absent Shadows trilogy is the story of a young woman who wants to make a difference with her life, but isn’t sure how to go about it. When she takes a trip to Australia for her summer vacation, she discovers a supernatural world that she’d never imagined existed. Her belief systems and courage are tested, but in the end it is her love and devotion that get her through.

The story is set in and around some of the oldest parts of Melbourne, being the Flagstaff Gardens and Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market. Most of what is now the carpark for the market was originally the site of the Old Melbourne Cemetery. The cemetery was relocated when the market expanded; however most of the bodies (in the order of approximately 9,000) were not exhumed, and remain there today.

The story brings together my love of the paranormal, my desire to remain open-minded to explanations of how the world we live in really works, and my deep belief in the good that resides in most people (even though we all know there are some vampires who, quite simply, cannot be trusted!)

What inspired you to write this trilogy?

I was working near the Queen Victoria Markets and the Flagstaff Gardens at the time, and the location really spoke to me. I started imagining vampires and ghosts living in the gardens and the market. This was also fuelled by the fact that I’d been on a couple of late night ghosts tours where I’d learned the history of the bodies under the car park and heard stories of ghost sightings all throughout the area.

So, taking all my love of the paranormal into account, along with the resurgence in popularity of vampires, I began hashing out the story. And the more I wrote the more vivid the story became for me, aided by my ability to walk through the gardens or the market whenever I needed more inspiration.

The Absent Shadows Trilogy is self-published. Why did you decide to go the indie route rather than traditional publishing?

I canvassed a number of agents and a couple of e-book publishers and got responses that varied from cool to luke-warm. The main message coming through was that the genre was very crowded, so I figured I was wasting my time trying to get a publisher to put their money into the series. But with encouragement from friends and family I decided to simply bite the bullet and do it myself.

What has been your biggest challenge as an indie author?

Marketing. Getting the word out there about your book is the hardest part of being an indie author. Interviews like this, and indeed blog hosts like you, are gems and are much appreciated as a way of reaching out to new readers.

What advice, if any, do you have for new indie authors?

Firstly, ignore the negative commentary about there being too many books out there. If you have a story to tell, and you believe in it, tell it. There will be people who will be glad you did.

But having said that, before you submit it anywhere, make sure your book is the best you can make it. Read books or articles about self-editing.  Then, when you think your story is as good as you can get it, set it aside, then sometime later re-read it and edit it again.

The first book in your trilogy won an IndieBRAG medallion, and subsequently was given Awesome Indies Approval.  How does that make you feel?

Absolutely THRILLED.  Being validated by your peers is an incredible feeling, and both the indieBRAG medallion honorees and the Awesome Indies Approved authors are peer groups I feel exceptionally proud to be part of.

What’s next for you?  What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a contemporary, dare I say “rural” romance. I have horses, dogs and cats and have always been a country girl at heart so I thought I’d try that “write what you know” advice. But I am also in the midst of writing a thriller that was inspired by works of such wonderful authors as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. I intend to get back to Absent Shadows as well, as soon as the next generation has matured sufficiently to tell their stories.

When you’re not writing, do you have any hobbies you spend time on?

I have three horses, and they take up a bit of time! We live on a small acreage property, and there are gardens all around the house, so that takes up quite a bit of time as well. I also do volunteer work, play bridge and am learning Tai Chi in my spare time.

Where can readers buy your trilogy?

Only on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=series_rw_dp_labf?_encoding=UTF8&field-collection=Absent%20Shadows%20Trilogy&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-Absent-Shadows-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00O6WL9IA

They can also follow me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SMSpencer.writer  for advice about upcoming promotions as well as updates on the books I’m currently working on.

 

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10 Comments

  1. A great interview. Thanks

  2. S. M., I enjoyed this as well! Hope you’re enjoying your tour and Kristy, thanks so much for the host! I know how busy you are so it’s really appreciated!
    Nonnie Jules recently posted…Sample: #RRBC BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY!My Profile

  3. Congrats on your success! Good advice and an interesting interview.

  4. I agree with your way to avoid blocking, SM – there’s an ebb and flow to writing as with everything else and there’s no point in stressing out over it.
    Thanks for having us over Kirsty :-)
    Jan Hawke recently posted…‘Letter to My Future Self’ writing contest & How I Bit the Marketing Bullet!!!My Profile

  5. I hope you are having a great time with your tour. Good luck!

  6. I hope you’re having a good tour, Sandy! Great interview and excerpt :)
    Harmony Kent recently posted…RRBC Pay it Forward Week! Welcome to Yvette Calleiro!My Profile

  7. Awesome interview, S M. Congrats on winning the IndieBRAG medallion.

  8. Interviews always make for excellent reading. It gives readers a chance to learn more about the author on tour!

  9. Sandy (S M Spencer) says:

    Thanks for hosting me, Kristy, and thanks for the comments and visits everyone. I went to “Burial Hill” and the Queen Vic Markets yesterday for a fresh dose of inspiration … Worth a visit if you make it to Melbourne

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