Q and A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Author Jacqui Murray – Promote Your Book

Welcome to this week’s edition of Q and A. Today I’m happy to be featuring Jacqui Murray and her latest, book 2 in her Crossroads Trilogy – The Quest for Home. Jacqui is a prolific author, tech teacher, columnist, book reviewer, and a fellow blogger – just to name a few of the accolades under her belt. Read on to learn more about Jacqui, her writing, and her well-received newest book to her trilogy.   About Jacqui: Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe- Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for  NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.   Let’s get to know a little more about Jacqui and her writing:   Where do your book ideas grow from? Book ideas come from my insatiable curiosity. I get interested in a topic, dig-dig- dig relentlessly only to find that a full understanding requires the characteristics of fiction to organize my thinking on the subject. By that, I mean I need powerful actors, appealing settings, and a story arc to make sense of my research. This is how my early man saga (and the current Crossroads trilogy) came into being: I was trying to figure out how we-all survived a world with sabertooth cats, violent natural disasters, and no way to kill animals for food. We had no fangs, weak nails, and thin skin. Really, nothing about that equates to dominance—until you factor in our brains! Anyone else have that experience? DG – Well, I have to say this is a fascinating topic.   What are your writing goals for this year? I’m currently launching my latest prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home. When that is done–around October—I will prepare to participate in NaNoWriMo to kick- start Book 3 in my Crossroads series—In the Footsteps of Giants. To get ready for that, I’m going to participate in Kate Johnston’s Team Writer Facebook group where she promises to hold my hand as we prepare. In between, I’m transferring my 20-ish print non-fiction books to KDP’s print-on- demand. Turns out—surprisingly—it’s much cheaper to print through Amazon than my local printer. It is a lot of work, though, so will keep me busy! DG – Wow Jacqui, you sound like you’re going to be a most busy beaver right through the end of they year. And nice to hear Kate will be guiding you. She is awesome!   If you weren’t a writer what else do you think you would do? I have done so many other jobs. Each I’m sure contributed to where I am now as a teacher-author. At different points in my work life, I installed cell phone antennas for Sprint (those bulky white tall spires that are either on the ground or on rooftops—even water towers), design-built preschools on corporate campuses (after convincing them they should provide daycare for employee children), played secretary to a labor advocate, made loans through a finance company (and repossessed cars), owned and taught at a Fred Astaire dance studio, worked with trash collectors—I could go on. I wouldn’t return to any of these. Writing by far is my favorite of all jobs. DG – Okay, well what a fascinating resume! Now we know you’re a dancer too! And it must take a good discipline to be a repo woman!   What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author? Friends. Well, efriends. People who enjoy a sociable conversation on varied topics. I’m vanilla bordering on boring and don’t find many friends in the real world who will invest the time required to get to know me. Even I think I’m boring! I feel bad for anyone who must sit through a block of time with me. I once had coffee with a friend, told her I hadn’t been out for coffee with anyone since our last outing, and now we haven’t done one since! That’s my life. But in the virtual world—sometimes I feel like a rock star. Besides community, I’ve learned a lot about writing from blogging—how to create a snazzy headline, how to grab readers with the intro paragraph, how to blend humor with facts for an interesting read. Did I miss anything? DG – I love your honesty Jacqui. But please don’t sell yourself short. Us writers connect best with other writers because we’re like-minded when it comes to understanding our world of books and writing. I can tell you, I can count on one hand how few people in my ‘real’ life have no clue to what a writer’s life is like, nor do most of them even read books! Perhaps, once we became full-time writers, we begin to realize how much we don’t have in common with some of our realtime folks?   Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on? I have two big-ish writing projects I’m currently pursuing. I am finishing up both the Crossroads trilogy and the Dawn of Humanity trilogy. That will take at least three years—because it’s three more books. I’m also working on Book 3 of the Rowe Delamagente series. This one will deal with AIs, the control of satellites over our lives, the horror of child-soldiers, space planes, the intrusiveness of Internet-of- Things, and the power of an angry female. It will feature Otto, my almost-sentient robot, and a revamped return of Cat from Book 1 as a revitalized, stronger version of her earlier character. I’m excited about all these books and sure wish I could write faster! DG – You are amazing. I love that you have such long-range plans for your next series already! I wish you smooth sailing ahead!     Blurb: Driven from her home. Stalked by enemies. Now her closest ally may be a traitor. Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she has trusted with her life. The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate any who came before. Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.   Book information: Title and author: The Quest for Home Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature sagaGenre: Prehistoric fiction Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU Excerpt from The Quest for Home Chapter 1   Northern shore of what we now call the Mediterranean Sea Pain came first, pulsing through her body like cactus spines. When she moved her head, it exploded. Flat on her back and lying as still as possible, Xhosa blindly clawed for her neck sack with the healing plants. Her shoulder screamed and she froze, gasping. How can anything hurt that much? She cracked one eye, slowly. The bright sun filled the sky, almost straight over her head. And how did I sleep so long? Fractured memories hit her—the raging storm, death, and helplessness, unconnected pieces that made no sense. Overshadowing it was a visceral sense of tragedy that made her shake so violently she hugged her chest despite the searing pain. After it passed, she pushed up on her arms and shook her head to shed the twigs and grit that clung to her long hair. Fire burned through her shoulders, up her neck and down her arms, but less than before. She ignored it. A shadow blocked Sun’s glare replaced by dark worried eyes that relaxed when hers caught his. “Nightshade.” Relief washed over her and she tried to smile. Somehow, with him here, everything would work out. Her Lead Warrior leaned forward. Dripping water pooled at her side, smelling of salt, rotten vegetation, mud, and blood. “You are alright, Leader Xhosa,” he motioned, hands erratic. Her People communicated with a rich collection of grunts, sounds, gestures, facial expressions, and arm movements, all augmented with whistles, hoots, howls, and chirps. “Yes,” but her answer came out low and scratchy, the beat inside her chest noisy as it tried to burst through her skin. Tears filled her eyes, not from pain but happiness that Nightshade was here, exactly where she needed him. His face, the one that brought fear to those who might attack the People and devastation to those who did, projected fear. She cocked her head and motioned, “You?” Deep bruises marred swaths of Nightshade’s handsome physique, as though he had been pummeled by rocks.  An angry gash pulsed at the top of his leg. His strong upper arm wept from a fresh wound, its raw redness extending up his stout neck, over his stubbled cheek, and into his thick hair. Cuts and tears shredded his hands. “I am fine,” and he fell silent. Why would he say more? He protected the People, not whined about injuries. When she fumbled again for her neck sack, he reached in and handed her the plant she needed, a root tipped with white bulbs. She chewed as Nightshade scanned the surroundings, never pausing anywhere long, always coming back to her. The sun shone brightly in a cloudless sky. Sweltering heat hammered down, sucking up the last of the rain that had collected in puddles on the shore. Xhosa’s protective animal skin was torn into shreds but what bothered her was she couldn’t remember how she got here. “Nightshade, what happened?” Her memories were a blur—terrified screams and flashes of people flying through the air, some drowning, others clinging desperately to bits of wood. Nightshade motioned, slowly, “The storm—it hit us with a fury, the rain as heavy and fierce as a waterfall.” A memory surfaced. Hawk, the powerful leader of the Hawk People, one arm clutching someone as the other clawed at the wet sand, dragging himself up the beach. He was alive! It was Hawk who offered her People a home when they had none, after more than a Moon of fleeing for their lives through lands so desolate, she didn’t know how anyone survived. Finding Hawk and his People, she thought she’d found a new homeland. Her last hunt with Hawk flashed through her mind—the stone tip they created like the Big Head’s weapon, how she had hung by her ankles from a tree trunk to cross a deep ravine. How he grinned when she reached the other side, chest heaving but radiant with satisfaction. He told her many of his warriors shook with fear as they crossed. His pride in her that day glowed like flames at night. For the first time in her life, she felt Sun’s warmth inside of her. She looked around, saw quiet groups huddled together, males talking and females grooming children. Pan-do bent over a child, whispering something in her ear but no Hawk. Where is he? But she didn’t ask Nightshade. The last time she’d seen the two together, they had fought. She couldn’t imagine a world … Continue reading Q and A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Author Jacqui Murray – Promote Your Book