February : What's hot? What's next?


This month we discovered three fabulous authors:; S.M. West , Dylan Rise & Saffron A.Kent. Their first novel has been published in February and we couldn't resist talking more about them. We decided to put these newbies under our spotlight. We asked them 6 questions and they happily answered.

" Hello Dylan/Saffron/Suzanne. We're thrilled to dedicate a spotlight to new authors as part of our February recommendation post.

First off, congratulations on your first novel/book! We've read your book and want you to know how much we support you ♥

As avid readers, we're curious about your journey to becoming an author, so we thought we'd ask you a few questions to get to know you better and learn more about your first release.

1. At what point did you decide to become an author?

S.M. West:

From as early as I can remember, I’ve always written stories. I love to write and publishing a book has been my dream for a while. And with the rise of self-publishing and the changes in the industry, I finally had enough of letting my insecurities get the better of me and I decided to just do it! I have two daughters and I want them to follow their dreams and let nothing get in their way. I wanted to lead by example.

Dylan Allen: 

I only decided to try to publish a book in September of last year. I ‘ve always loved write, but the idea of publishing was very daunting. But I was approaching a milestone birthday and decided that it was time to stop making excuses and give it a try.

Saffron A.Kent:

It has a very silly answer. So I wanted to be an immunologist. I has all the plans of going to grad school and do my PhD. To gain a little bit of experience, I started working in a lab and I was so excited about it. I remember being so freaking happy when I got the job at NYU. But as it turns out, it was horrible. I hated it. I hated everything about it. I was a mess the entire time I worked there. Then I went to this astrologist. My mom is a big believer in these things and she was very eager for me to go. He told me that I should probably try writing. I used to write poems when I was a kid but then I got busy so I quit. I have always adored reading. It’s my lifeline so I thought maybe, I should go back to what I loved doing when I was a kid. So I joined a novel writing course and haven’t looked back since. This was about 4 years ago. Since then I’ve gotten my creative writing degree and I know that this is for me.

2. Where do you find your inspiration?

S.M. West:

Life is my inspiration. It’s amazing how I’ve found that the littlest thing, whether it be an event, a song or conversation, can morph into an entire novel. Sometimes, I have to stop my mind from running away with all of the ideas and inspiration around me!

Dylan Allen: 

My inspiration comes from my life experiences. People I’ve met. Events I’ve read out and experienced. Real life is my inspiration.

Saffron A.Kent:

I find inspiration in books and music. The more I read, the more I want to write. I read all kind of things. Mostly romance but I also read a lot of literary fiction. It gets juices my flowing. Not to mention, songs are such driving force for me. Unfortunately, I can never write while listening to music but I listen to music pretty much all the other times.

3. What do you think makes a good story?

S.M. West:

For me, I enjoy stories with characters that are real, who I can relate to, loathe or root for. I love seeing the growth and development of a character. A good story has to touch me, provoke me or push me out of my comfort zone. I'm one of those readers that I don't need a HEA because life isn't always like that. But don't worry, I promise, I'll always give you a HEA, even if my characters have to go through hell, they'll get their HEA!

Dylan Allen: 

For me, it’s well developed characters, a story that is entertaining as well as thought provoking and a satisfying ending. Reading is so subjective. I had to decide to write a story that I loved and not focus on what people might think.

Saffron A.Kent:

Characters. Hands down, character is what carries a story for me. I don’t care about the plot or twists or turns. Not that it’s not important but I want my characters to make the plot, to make those twists and turns. They need to be active. They need to be doing things, bending rules or making rules or changing throughout the story.

4. What was the hardest part of writing Red / Rise / A War Like Ours ?

S.M. West - RED :

I knew when starting out to write Red that the story wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s a complex plot with dark and violent themes and I wanted my characters to be as real as possible. I knew they’d make choices and do things some readers wouldn’t like. Even during the process of getting feedback, it was difficult at times to stay true to my characters and not what others expected or wanted. I needed to remind myself that I was writing the story I wanted to tell.

Dylan Allen - RISE: 

Giving it to people and saying “What do you think?”. I had never done anything like this before and I’m such a sensitive person. It’s definitely been good for building up a thicker skin. But also, just really making sure that I understood my characters and made them behave consistently throughout the story.

Saffron A.Kent -  A War Like Ours:

The hardest part for me was to balance the darkness with the hope. It’s a dark story. It’s intense. It’s emotional. My characters are not your typical characters. They are really extreme. And to balance all of that was really hard. I remember my first draft, it was so freaking dark. It made me cry. Though I still say, it was the best thing that I ever wrote. But I had to learn to tone it down because not everyone is weird like me. So yeah, balancing all the elements while staying true to my characters and myself was a huge challenge.

5.What's next?

S.M. West:

I’ve got a few things on the go and the hardest part is staying focused on task! I have a standalone, contemporary romance entitled Made To Love, which is coming out in May. I’m beyond excited to share this book with the world! And I’ve written a novella for an anthology that I hadn’t intended to go any further with, but the characters are shouting at me to write their full story. So, I'll be getting to that soon. And right now, I’m currently writing book two, Blue, of my Love in Color Series.

Dylan Allen: 

I am writing book 2 in the series (which I’ve titled the Symbols Series. I also have book 3 and 4 plotted out. I am writing as short story about Cara Louis that is going in an anthology! I am really excited about all of this.

Saffron A.Kent:

Oh, I am very excited about my next story. It’s a student/teacher romance. Though I wouldn’t call it a “typical” student/teacher trope. It’s a story of a girl who has an affair with her married professor. It’s all kinds of dirty and wrong. And by the end of it, I am hoping to make it all kinds of right. LOL! It’s called The Unrequited and I’m almost done with it.

Extra question:

We love music on our blog : do you have any favorite songs and or bands/artists that you use for inspiration while writing? And do you have a Spotify list at all? 

S.M. West:

I love music and it's so key to my writing process.
Here are my playlists, the songs that inspired Red and Made to Love:

Thanks so much for including me in your indie authors spotlight, love you ladies! <3 <3 <3

Dylan Allen:

Here are links to the songs that inspired Rise: http://spoti.fi/2mzZBVt

Saffron A.Kent:

Yes! Lana del Ray. I love her! I want to be her! OMG, she carries my writing single-handedly every day!

Thank you very much for taking the time to answering our questions. We wish you lots of success. "

Books Links:

Red: http://amzn.to/2icCuO7  - Made to Love TBR: http://bit.ly/2jPHwAX
A War Like Ours:  

5 stars reads

Mists of Serengeti by Leylah Attar / Review
Worth of Waste by Bethany-Kris / Review
Triumph by Cecilia London / Review
Singe by Aly Martinez / Review
Defy by L.J. Shen / Review
Rise by Dylan Allen / Review
Dirty Filthy Rich Boys by Laurelin Paige / Review
Lost in Between by K.L. Kreig / Review
Black Hearts by Karina Halle / Review
Ripple Effect by Keri Lake / Review
A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart / Review
A War  Like Ours by Saffron A. Kent / Review

4 stars reads

Drowning by Marni Mann & Gia Rilley / Review
Red by S.M. West / Review
Roman by Sawyer Bennett / Review
Wardrobe Malfunction by Samantha Towle / Review
Every Little Thing by Samantha Young / Review


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