Saturday, October 20, 2012

Steven Montano - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Science Fiction & Fantasy Author Steven Montano. He is the creator of the BLOOD SKIES series.

Author Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror

Website: Blood Skies
Twitter: @Daezarkian
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Steven Montano is a full-time accountant and full-time writer. “Blood Skies” is a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy fiction series. It has magic, guns, vampires and zombies. Really, what more could you want? Eric Cross leads the pack into his dark fantasy world.

He also plays RPGs, fathers two medically challenged but extremely wonderful children, reads as much as his eyes can handle, and lends love and support to his insanely fantastic wife, who also happens to be the mastermind behind Liberty’s Yarn.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author
You have a large twitter following (almost 40K). How much does social media fit into your marketing plans? How do you keep up with all the tweets that must come your way?
Social media pretty much is my marketing. I don’t pay for advertising, so I rely on interaction to make people aware of my books. And while I do send out plenty of marketing Tweets, I more try to maintain a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads by chatting with people about whatever silliness might come up.

Since I have a desk job and spend the majority of my day in front of the computer, I’m able to keep my pages open, and I do my best to respond to anyone who talks to me. I also like to share marketing stuff from other Indie authors and comment on anything I find humorous. I’m always good for an “LOL”.

With all your activities: writer, day job, blogging, family and with your technical background, do you use a spreadsheet or a database to keep track of plots, characters, time lines, etc.?
I’m actually pretty terrible about keeping notes regarding my work. Part of that is precisely because of my job – I have to spend so much time collating data, tracking numbers and running comparative analyses that I prefer to keep my “fun” job fairly loose and free-flowing.

Now, that being said, I have a system regarding re-writes and book releases, and I do loosely outline my plots. I also try to keep notes regarding things I want to do with a book that I’m afraid I might later forget. Most of it, however, is just inside my head.

Being time bound, how much traditional marketing do you get to do like book signings, conferences and appearances?
I have never done a book signing or appearance. I guess I should try to get something arranged, but I’m fairly certain I’d just be sitting there alone, and I don’t think I could do that to myself. ;D

How does Guild of Dreams fit into your marketing? It looks like a great collection of authors. Theme marketing is a great idea to attract readers to one site.
For me Guild of Dreams isn’t so much about marketing as it is support. I love the different perspectives on writing that every member brings, and we’re all very quick to offer up a helping hand in regards to sharing news or promoting each other when someone is running a giveaway or a hot new release. I was thrilled to be asked to join, and frankly I’m mostly just concerned with keeping up with everyone else in terms of producing content.

I hear a rumor that Eric Cross is going to be back in the Witch’s Eye. Any idea when your fans can except to read about Cross in action again?
Eric and what’s left of the team will certainly be back in Book 5 of the Blood Skies saga. While no official date has been set as of yet, I’m shooting for a mid to late January release (putting it right on par with my fairly standard 5 month lag between book releases…and it’s telling of the Indie industry today that 5 months feels like such a long time…)

“The Witch’s Eye” sees Cross and company battling a new breed of arcane vampire. I’m having fun revising it, and hopefully everyone will enjoy the latest epic installment to the series.

Author's Book List
Crown of Ash (Blood Skies, Book 4)
Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet. Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities. To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords. The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning… Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!
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Soulrazor: Blood Skies (Volume 3)
The war continues… Eric Cross and his team of elite mercenaries are the bane of the Ebon Cities. Armed with the cutting-edge arcane weaponry of the Southern Claw, Cross and his crew – Black, Kane, Ronan, Maur, Grissom and Ash – have become a veritable thorn in the side of the vampire armies. Now the team is tasked with halting vampire activity near the remote city-state of Fane, where the Ebon Cities have teamed up with a former Revenger in search of a deadly weapon called Soulrazor. To make matters worse, something sinister has happened to Cross, and the key to his salvation is somehow directly tied to the Ebon Cities’ new soldiers: a host of necrotic angels who bear traces of divine power. Cross and his team must travel across a blighted wilderness and do battle with a vile array of enemies as they race not only to save the city of Thornn from total annihilation, but to rescue Cross’ very soul from an enemy more powerful than he could ever imagine…
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something black...
The end of the world is here. A mysterious commuter train crash leaves no survivors, but that’s just the beginning. Within 24 hours, most of Washington’s population has vanished, and chaos spreads like wildfire as murderous shadow creatures ruthlessly hunt down the scattered survivors. Now a desperate band of refugees struggles to stay alive as they race across a deserted countryside in search of safety. But there are two among them who are not what they seem. One is the cause of all of this madness. And another has been chosen to stop it. Something evil is coming. Something sinister. Something black… This 44K word novella is a stand-alone work of horror fiction. WARNING: Very violent, and filled with apocalyptic images of death and foul language. Not for young readers.
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Black Scars: Blood Skies (Volume 2)
Something ancient has awoken. Primordial and wholly evil, a living shadow emerges from a prison made weak by the magical cataclysm called The Black. Now the Sleeper stalks the land in search of its old enemies, leaving a trail of madness and destruction in its wake. Eric Cross, a Southern Claw warlock, has been sent to find the Woman in the Ice, the only known means to stopping this evil. Aided by a grizzled ranger and a band of wardens and inmates from a sadistic prison, Cross’ mission will bring him into conflict with an array of foes: the barbaric Gorgoloth, vampire shock troops out of the Ebon Cities, and a cadre of mercenary nihilists called the Black Circle. On a mission that will take him from a lost temple once ruled by insidious wolf sorcerers to the vicious gladiator games of the vampire city-state of Krul to the deadly ruins of an ice city, Cross will play a pivotal role in an ancient conflict whose outcome will determine the future of the world. Return to the world of Blood Skies in this exciting military fantasy adventure!
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Blood Skies
In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth. Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own. Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red -- a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth. There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice... Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the "Blood Skies" series from author Steven Montano.
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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author's Corner

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