Author Archives: Kate Tagai

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Brittany Tenpenny

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

My name is Brittany Tenpenny and I’ve been a New York Brittany TenpennyYankees fan for as long as I could remember. About a year ago, I had an epiphany after leaving Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won every home game I attended. And I mean every game, even the ones where the odds were stacked against them. It was then, as I descended the swirling concrete steps of the stadium, that my imagination concocted a story of a girl who became the good luck charm for her favorite team. What started out as a simple idea swelled into the first novel of a New Adult trilogy, The Wild Card.

Since the day she was born, Bobbie Jean Lewis has been lucky. She was blessed with a loving father and a baseball-obsessed mother who taught her everything about the New York Emperors, the greatest team in MLB. But what Bobbie never learned was that life–just like baseball–can hit back hard and luck is as fleeting as a two run lead. Stuck in a perpetual slump, Bobbie spends her teenage years riding the bench. Just when she is about to give up, the ghost of Emperors’ legend, Bobby Knight, recruits Bobbie and her friends to save a historic stadium and reverse the curse of the Emperors. Suddenly, Bobbie finds herself, and her team, on the fast track to the World Series–and into the arms of the man who could ruin it all.

I am hoping to spend JuNoWriMo hammering out a first draft. Writing a novel is, in a lot of ways, like playing baseball. Crafting a first draft is the training phase, revision is practice and the finished product is stepping up to the plate. I’m hoping that, for JuNoWriMo, I can knock it out of the park!

Connect with Brittany:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads 

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: DJ Morand

Meet some of your fellow June WriMo’s in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June.

My name is DJ Morand. I’ve been writing Fantasy short stories for going on 21 years now. I took my first stab at Science Fiction in 2014 for NaNoWriMo and published my first novel in November of 2015. After NaNoWriMo, I began writing a short story series titled The Legends of Vandor building up to my debut Fantasy novel sometime later this year.

For JuNoWriMo, I am heading back to my science fiction series, a Trilogy titled Infinity Verge. I am finishing book number 3 this June while putting book 2 out for publication. Busy busy busy! Ursidae: Infinity Verge 3 is the final book in my trilogy and the end to a harrowing journey for my characters.

A Secret Kept.

An Alien Threat.

A Daring Rescue.

As a captive of the Vald, Captain Abel Cain is being forced to attack his former allies. Controlled by his nanites and a sinister ship designed by the Vald, Abel must find a way to escape or watch everyone he loves die. The Vald are close to getting the information they want from Abel, and their murderous machines still roam the galaxy.

Meanwhile, Echo Shade fights to circumvent the Automated Defense Matrix aboard the Atlas. If she can break the code, she can find Abel and bring him home. But what kind of home will he be coming back to? The newly formed Eden Defense Force is building a fleet to contend with the Vald and their EXOs.

Fleet Admiral, Andromeda Clark, feels that she has been betrayed and sets out to destroy the EDF. Caught up in the politics and perceived betrayals, Andromeda forgets that other threats in the galaxy still exist.

DJMA_logo_2My ideas for the Infinity Verge trilogy came from a number of sources, namely my love of science fiction shows like Firefly, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. There is such an eclectic mix of ideas in these shows. The roguishness of Captain Mal in Firefly, the logical and yet emotional Spock, Luke Skywalker’s journey from farm boy to Jedi, and the overall galactic stage in BSG, are just some of the inspirations that birthed Infinity Verge.

I came up with the idea of Abel Cain, a roguish starship pilot who was at odds with himself, hence the name. Kodiak, the first book was an adventure from start to finish. By the time I finished Atlas (book 2), I knew just where I wanted to go with Ursidae (Book 3). This last book is something I want to get just write (pun intended), so I’ve been taking my time plotting it out and working on it a little at a time. I plan to have about 25k when I start JuNoWriMo and around 75-80k by the time I finish. 

Connect with DJ:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Website

#JuNoWriMo Featured Author: Shawn Contant

Meet some of your fellow June WriMos in our Featured Author series each Saturday and Thursday through June. 

Hey there, everyone.  I’m Shawn.

I’ve been writing on and off since I was twelve. My first story ideas came from dreams I had. As I got older, books I read and things I learned became my inspirations. I typically write in the Christian, sci-fi, and young adult genres, sometimes mixing them together where I can.

I’m a life-long Trekkie so it’s probably no surprise my most major inspiration was Star Trek. The episode “MirI”, from the 1960s series, has fueled my imagination and muse for almost a decade. The episode features a world where adults have died off, leaving teens and children behind. I wondered what might happen if that happened in our world. That thought has led to what I call the After Adults series, which follows the lives of several young men and women after the death of all adults, and how their actions affect the reconstruction effort.

I use writing as a way to explore dilemmas of the heart and mind. To paraphrase William Faulkner, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.” I’m also a fan of taking tropes and pushing them to their logical ends. Writing is a fun challenge and a personal journey. Words are really neat, not just in matters of etymology, but also the images and feelings they can evoke in the reader’s mind. Orson Scott Card is an inspiration because of his powerful characters and compelling plot in Ender’s Game. Another favorite of mine is George R.R. Martin because of the sheer detail and scope in the A Song of Ice and Fire series and the conflicted, morally grey characters he writes.

JuNoWriMo 2016

Tentatively titled A New Hero, my JuNoWriMo 2016 story is set in the same universe as my two NaNoWriMo novels The Red Eye Effect and The Ragged Platoon. However, it is set much earlier, just after the pandemic that wiped out everyone over the age of 18. Alex Caffey hides in the outskirts of his hometown as gang violence spikes. A group calling itself the Order of Friendship moves in, claiming to be interested in restoring order to the world. He agrees to work with them, first as a mechanic, then as a soldier in the Knights of Friends. For the next year, Alex travels with his fellow fighters defending those who can’t defend themselves, falling in love, and trying to figure out where he stands in the world. It’s an adventure for him externally and internally, one he never imagined taking.

I already have some of the story written, but much of it remains to be developed. I am dedicating this June to completing the novel, then moving on to others in the same world that help tell the larger story of survival, power, and social order.

Connect with Shawn:

Facebook | Twitter | Website