Is there anything else?
Happy Interview Day!
Sticking with our features on Kindle Vella Authors, today I have MT Sullivan dropping by! In her own words:
I am an Alaskan free lance writer, writing through the deep dark winters and midsummer midnight suns. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Creative Writing in Portland, Oregon in 2012.
I’m an advocate for New Adult fiction. I believe there is a need for books to fill this space commercially and my work takes inspiration from that. I specifically write Fantasy and Contemporary Fantasy, Science Fiction, or just about anything out of the ordinary. Mixing the fantastical with the mundane is always something I’ve enjoyed reading and now writing.
Most of my stories will also show a bit of the darkness, along with the light, of my protagonists. I don’t like stories that are all sunshine and rainbows. I want something real and gritty and relatable.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was six. My brother and I wrote a book of family stories. He recited the stories because he had a better memory, and I wrote them down and illustrated them.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
All around. I’m a people watcher. I keep notes on my phone if something strikes me or if some words come to mind in a given situation.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Well, I have three small children, so my schedule looks like late nights while everyone else sleeps, stolen moments while dinner cooks, waiting in line at school pickup, and a trip to the library here or there.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have a very active family, so if I’m not writing we’re usually outside doing something active like hiking, camping, or biking. I also coach high school volleyball in the fall, so I’m gearing up for that season to start. I play basketball whenever and wherever I can. Just keeping my body moving is important to me.
What does your family think of your writing?
My husband thinks I’m fantastic, which is sweet. The rest of my family is a bunch of non-readers. My sister is the only one that reads and she reads crime/courtroom dramas only. It can be crushing, especially when I see writers with 30+ family members buying and promoting their stuff, but it is also freeing because I have zero expectations to live up to, just my own.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Besides being a writer, I wanted to be a bounty hunter, cruise ship captain, or psychologist. Make of that what you will.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
The only thing I’d consider a pilgrimage was when I lived in Portland, Oregon and I’d save up cash for trips to Powell’s Bookstore. It was the best place on earth and I dream of doing a reading there someday.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I do use a pseudonym, and I’ll tell you why: online real estate. I share the same name of a famous country singer’s daughter who, in turn, wants to be famous too. She owns every website possible with my name, every social media platform. I even get DM’s from people requesting the ‘right’ to songs…it’s annoying to say the least. So I had to separate myself.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I follow the advice of many well known authors and write what I want to read.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Four completed, unpublished. Three half-finished but mapped out. Dozens of first five pages. One screenplay.
What do you have coming next?
I’m querying a New Adult Fantasy manuscript (I’m at 32 rejections!), writing episodes for my Adult Fantasy vella series Heart of the Panther Queen beneath the pen name Sunshine Rabbit, and reworking/editing another dystopian manuscript.
Social Media Contact:
Instagram - m.t.solomonwrites
website - themtsolomon.com
twitter - @mtsolomonwriter
Link to my Vella – https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09V4TZ8Z5
EXCERPT from Heart of the Panther Queen
He found Cecelia in the parlor, taking her breakfast. When he entered, she looked up from her plate. The storminess of her eyes subsided for the moment.
“Where is Prince Danon?” he asked, forgetting all polite customs. “I am to escort you to the tourney grounds.”
“He’s probably still sleeping,” she tossed a glazed roll back onto its platter, apparently not finding it satisfying, “we know where they are, brave knight, no need to mother us.”
Viktor stiffened a little. “Ramiro commanded me to be your highness's royal escort, for it is my sworn duty. And so, I shall be.”
Though he’d rather be drunk.
She said nothing more but returned to eating. The table was a display of Korith's generosity. It appeared as if every food known to Viktor sat on the table. He spied the royal jellies in their golden cups, pressed strictly from the castle vineyard grapes. There were poached eggs, fresh bacon, steaming piles of mash to be sweetened with honey at the eater’s discretion. A large plate of fragrant fruit occupied the middle of the table, brightly hued citrus overflowing out onto the table.
Viktor’s mouth watered. But he knew his place. He was still only a guard. A kingsguard, yes, but a guard all the same.
He decided he should meld into the environment, disappearing from Cecelia’s view until Danon arrived. When he passed a divan, he noticed blankets and pillows tumbling off and onto the floor.
Cecelia must have noticed his gaze, for she said, “I couldn’t sleep in that room. I slept here.”
Viktor nodded, though he couldn’t say he understood. A divan over a featherbed?
It wasn’t long before Danon bustled into the room looking disheveled but pleased. He nodded to Viktor and sat next to his sister.
“I trust your night was profitable?” she mumbled to him.
He snatched an apple from the middle of the table and took a crisp bite. He smiled. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
She rolled her eyes. “The monstrosity is here to escort us to the tourney.” She suggested to Viktor.
Danon turned in Viktor’s direction. “Must we require an escort? I’m certain you could go ahead. That way, you won’t miss the jousting Sir Viktor.”
“With all pardons, your grace,” Viktor stepped towards the pair, back into the light of the diamond-paned windows.
But before he could speak, Cecelia picked up his words.
“He’s compelled to escort us, brother, for it is his sworn duty,” she mocked. She glared at him before continuing, “I’ll grab my cloak. It appears chilly for once in this hideously hot place. I suggest you shove that apple down your throat and grab one to stuff in a pocket. Who knows how long this day will be?”
The door to her room slammed shut behind her as she left the men behind.
Danon gave Viktor a wry smile. “She’s lovely, isn’t she?”
Viktor scoffed. He’d seen prettier bar wenches act more like a lady than Cecelia. Regardless, he offered no further insult to Danon.
“If your grace wishes, I’ll wait at the end of the corridor.”
“We won’t leave you waiting long, like yesterday,” Danon said in passing.
Viktor nodded his appreciation. If he never had another day like yesterday, he’d be thankful. At the end of the corridor, he waited, one hand on the pommel of his sword. A decorative chair sat nearby. He eyed it warily. It’d be nice to sit and wait. Who knew how long the Panthers would take? But another slam heard down the corridor brought him from his silly revelry.
He turned to spy Cecelia stalking down the hall. She wore a dress of the deepest blue with a black cloak. She had re-plaited her hair and let it trail down her left shoulder. When she finally noticed he watched her, she slowed her pace and softened her face. She had clearly been dwelling on something that made her angry.
Probably her brother.
“Sir Viktor, it appears it will just be you and I this morn,” she was trying her best to appear happy, but her smile was fake, and the tempest of her eyes rose again.
“What…” Viktor began.
“My brother still has some… things to take care of in his room. He wishes to keep it discreet, so we will leave, and he will stay.” She wasn’t looking at him anymore, but down at her dress, adjusting it and resetting it on her bodice.
Viktor couldn’t help but follow her gaze, it being only natural, but when she looked up and caught him, she quickly wrapped her cloak tightly around her.
“Come on,” she said, pushing past him. “Nothing I can do to… hasten him.”
Agitation filled her voice again. Viktor made a mental note to stop talking about her brother. If for any reason but to keep her cheerful, and therefore, his task a bit more cheerful.
Together, they marched their way through the castle. Several servants passed by, all stopping long enough to bow or curtsy and mumble your grace to Cecelia. She nodded politely but appeared tired of the custom.
“Yes, yes, thank you,” she hurried them along through a smile of gritted teeth.
When Ramiro’s steward appeared, it forced Cecelia to stop and show more respect. She offered her own curt nod to the man, but no words. Her jaw relaxed a little when she smiled, offering a more pleasant appearance than the forced grins she had offered the other servants. When the man finally left them, Cecelia sighed and carried on.
“Tired already, champion?” Viktor asked, his amusement apparent in his voice.
“Yes, well,” Cecelia said, but nothing more.
He smiled at himself. He knew Ramiro would call on him eventually and request to know what it was Cecelia and Danon got up to throughout the day. What they said, who they spoke to. Or apparently in Danon’s case, who they bedded.
But Cecelia’s silence broke him from his thoughts. She was quiet. Meditative. Viktor didn’t think Cecelia would be chatty with him, but she seemed damned snippy most of the time. Whatever was bothering her, it was big. Viktor wondered if it had to do with Ramiro and their talk the night before.
The king was an idiot for letting them stay.