Please give a HUGE Top2Bottom welcome to the fabulous, Zathyn Priest!!

Welcome, Zathyn Priest! We’re thrilled you’re here!


Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Hmm… I think I might opt for tea, please.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m from Adelaide, Australia. I live with a cat, a duck, and two greyhounds. Living with greyhounds means my home looks like a daycare centre, with fluffy toys from one end of the house to the other.
Aside from that, I’ve been around the MM fiction scene for about five or six years, although I took a break away from writing during that time. Amara: The Rebirth is my first novel in about… ooh… three years, I think. So it has been a long time between drinks for me. While I wasn’t writing, I rediscovered my passion for art. I own Scarlet Tie Designs, and design pre-made and (occasionally) custom cover art. Mostly original artworks rather than stock photography based book covers
.

What forces brought you over to the MM Genre and what made you want to write it?

Fate, I think. I had no idea MM was even a genre unto itself, and certainly no idea it was popular. Cruising the internet one night, looking for publishers and/or agents, I stumbled across Torquere Press’ website and read through their submission guidelines. I decided to give it a shot and wrote The Curtis Reincarnation specifically to submit to them. Thankfully, it was accepted.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Actually, I’m going to be incredibly boring and decline your kind offer. About eight or nine months ago I was put on a new epilepsy medication, which has some strange side-effects. One of those side-effects is that it ‘rewires’ your brain to not recognize certain foods as appealing. So this once hopeless chocoholic now doesn’t like the stuff. Nor do I really like cookies, cake, candy, etc.
It’s quite bizarre because after a few weeks of taking this drug you eat a cookie and your brain reacts with a message along the lines of, ‘What the hell is this crap? Seriously… what the hell are you eating?’

How many hours a day do you spending writing?

I’m not one of those writers who makes sure they set aside writing time each day. In fact, I may not write for a couple of weeks and then, when I do, write for ten hours a day for several days in a row. If the mood strikes me, I’ll write. If it doesn’t, I won’t force myself. I can always tell when I’ve forced the writing and it only ends up being deleted.

Given that, I’m one of the least prolific writers in the MM genre. That used to really stress me because I’d see other authors pumping out one book after the other. I have to accept that I’ll never be like that.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Oh God… I’m a shocker for revising as I go. Constantly. I obsess over every little detail and I’ve always been my own worst critic in that respect. I do a million drafts of everything. Well… not a million, but a LOT. I’ve never written anything from start to finish without editing, changing, revising, etc.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

I have a general idea and then I basically make it up as I go along. Hence why I have to go back and change things a lot. I’ve never planned or plotted a story from A to Z. I let the characters and story develop, then see where it takes me. That’s half the fun, because it’s a surprise to me where it goes.

Of your characters do you have a favorite and why?

My favourite is usually the character I’m writing at the time. If I had to choose an all-time favourite, then it’s Alec (Tyler Curtis) from The Curtis Reincarnation. And I think he’s my favourite simply because it was my first published book.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

It’s my constant companion, together with a hefty dose of anxiety. I’ve tried all the so-called writers’ block cures to no avail. If anyone has a sure-fire cure, please let me know.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone?

I have my office, which is in desperate need of redecorating to make it comfy.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

I live alone. I don’t have to worry about anyone else in the house interrupting me. But people interrupting me on Messenger or similar when I’ve said I’m busy… yes, that hasn’t ended well on a few occasions! It takes a while for me to get into the writing mood and, once I’m there, I hate being snapped out of it. If I am, that can ruin the ‘zone’ for the rest of the day/night.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

My sense of humour? A little twisted, a little dark, a little off the wall and left of centre. My sense of humour is represented a lot in my books. It’s woven into everything I write.

What is the most frequently asked Zathyn Priest question?

Usually it’s, ‘Are you ever going to write again?’ This is because I might only write one novel every 2 years. However, I am trying to boost that up to at least one a year.

What are you working on now?

I have a few works in progress.


Counterbalance is a novel length contemporary story I’m working at the moment. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that one when it’s finished, though.

Dystopia is an almost finished novel, but something isn’t right with it and I can’t figure out what, so it’s shelved until I can figure it out.

The Violin Player is a sequel to The Curtis Reincarnation. It may or may not see the light of day, depending on the end result. I won’t let it leave my hands unless I’m absolutely certain it’s what I want it to be.

Left of the Middle is a sequel to Left of Centre, and I think that one will be graphic (Illustrated with digital art).
And I plan to write more in the Amara series.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your life-style as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive – both in your work and out of it?

To be perfectly honest, writing used to be a huge part of my lifestyle. It isn’t as much now. I suffer extreme anxiety in regards to writing and this is the reason I stepped away from it for so long. I’m in the process of dealing with the anxiety and trying to find coping mechanisms.

After I wrote The Slayer’s Apprentice – about 5 years ago – I was struck down with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s one of those things you never truly recover from, and anxiety related issues goes hand-in-hand with it. It’s taken all this time to get to a point where I’ve started to feel the desire to write again.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the MM Genre?

I gravitate toward non-fiction, and a lot of my ideas for stories comes from things I learn from it.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer?

Horse Trainer.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Art is a huge part of my life. But when I’m not doing that, I love scoping the internet for interesting articles to read, or Youtube for tutorials. I have one of those brains that gets bored quickly and can’t relax. It’s difficult for me to sit and watch TV or a movie, unless I’m watching something educational.

Any special projects coming out soon we should watch for?

Not really, no – lol. Amara: The Rebirth may be it for me this year. Unless I get Counterbalance finished and make a decision on what to do with it.


Although, I will be at GRL in Chicago!

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?
I’m most active on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/zathyn.priest1
Twitter (Sometimes): https://twitter.com/zathynpriest
My author website: http://www.zathynpriest.com
and my blog: http://zathynpriest.com/brokenpencil/

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

I’ll rinse out my mug. But seeing as I didn’t have cookies or cake, the rest of the cleaning… you’re on your own *wink*

Amara: The Rebirth by Zathyn Priest


Title: Amara: The Rebirth
Author: Zathyn Priest
Publisher: MLR Press
Pages: 275
Characters: Emrys Amara, Matthew Mitchell
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Vampire, Shifter, Romance
Kisses: 5+



Blurb:

Legendary vampire, Emrys Amara, changes Matthew’s destiny when he’s thrown into a world of kidnap victims, werewolves, deceit, and the rebirth of the greatest vampire clan in history.

Matthew and his husband Dean are slayers, trying to end a chokehold Amara half-breed vampires put on Nottingham and kill the leader, Amdis. A diary supposedly written by legendary Emrys Amara is sent to them, yet they doubt the orphaned vampire could have survived the demise of his clan. Meeting Emrys proves them wrong. Matthew falls deeply; Dean’s jealousy takes a sinister turn.

A chain of events involving kidnapped children and werewolves follows as Amdis teams up with another vampire clan. Can Matthew and Emrys save the children while rebuilding the Amaras as the greatest vampire clan in history?

Review:

Every once in a while, I’ll come across a beautifully written story that lives within my heart and mind long after I’ve finished reading it. When I finished reading, Amara: The Rebirth, I found myself immediately starting over, and reading it from the beginning again. Why? I honestly wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters, and wanted to relive their story again and again.

Since the blurb does an excellent job at describing the story, I won’t rehash it. Plus, I want to thread carefully through this review because I do NOT want to spoil anything. Instead, I thought I’d talk about why I loved this book and why I highly recommend it.

Amara: The Rebirth is told in first person through Matthew’s eyes. We briefly get Emerys’ point of view through his writing, but basically, Matthew is the main storyteller in this book. Now, if you follow our reviews, you already know that first person is not my favorite POV. But saying this, I think Matthew’s narration does an excellent job at showing the emotions, not only within himself, but of all the characters in the novel, too. Also, the grit and well-told details of the mystery, action and romance in the story kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.

One of the things that Mr. Priest is a master at is his way of really capturing the moment and bringing the reader into any story he writes. I felt the anxiety and determination these characters had, and often felt like I was in the room fighting the good fight with them. I absolutely fell in love with Emerys and Matthew, and found myself really rooting for them to win their noble cause, as well as, find the happy ending they surely deserved.

These heroes will live in your heart. They are no cookie-cutter characters, but people who are humanly flawed, and even though they aren’t perfect, they are so easy to love. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to reach into the story and give both Emerys and Matthew a big hug, (I also wanted to kick Dean’s ass…but I digress) and hoped these two men kept the faith not only in their difficult fight, but in their love, too.

Another great thing about these characters is that ALL of them have many dimensions to them. Even the villains lived and breathed off of the written page. I felt both Emerys and Matthew’s fear of them and in the end, even though I hated them, respected them for what they were…which is nothing short of evil.

As you know, I’ve read my fair share of paranormal/vampire tales. What makes, Amara: The Rebirth, stand out is the unique and character driven storyline. I loved the intricate world and back-story Mr. Priest created for his vampires, and the lives they must live. Their lives aren’t always an easy one and living forever isn’t as glamorous as it would seem to be. It’s often a monotonous, violent and lonely existence. But, if they do find their soul mate, it does give them something they have lived without which is…hope. Hope for the future, and a better life than the lonely life they had before. Amara: The Rebirth has a fresh take on a much used genre, which made this an interesting, addictive read from beginning to end.

Between the nail biting suspense and the beautifully told romance, Amara: The Rebirth, is easily one of my all-time favorite books! Make sure you allow plenty of time to read, because once your start it, you’ll want to read it from start to finish without any interruptions. Believe me when I say that the mystery, romance and the almost lyrical way the story is told, Amara: The Rebirth, will definitely be a favorite of yours, too.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

BUY LINK

Introducing Scarlet Designs by Zathyn Priest

SCARLET TIE DESIGNS: Pre-Made eBook Cover Art by Zathyn Priest

HeaderAmbv2

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ and, although it’s a nice sentiment, it doesn’t carry much weight in the real world of writing and fiction. Cover art is the first thing a potential reader sees and it can be the make or break of a sale. With thousands of Indie authors vying for attention to gain readers, every little bit helps when it comes to presenting your book to the public. I’m a published author as well as a digital artist, and I know the importance of good cover art. It used to be that finding a good freelance cover artist meant parting with large amounts of cash and, let’s face it, how many Indie authors can afford a couple of hundred dollars on a cover?

Pre-made cover art is fast becoming to go-to option for many self-published authors. Because the artist isn’t working to a deadline, doesn’t need to work with the author on design aspects, and can source their own materials, it dramatically lowers the cost outlay for an author. Most of my pre-made covers are priced between $30.00 to $50.00, but you’ll find a few as low as $20.00. I’m always adding new covers in a variety of genres, so check back often.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, I work on consignment for both eBook and print and am happy to discuss your specific requirements. Prices for custom covers depend on whether you want stock photography used or if you want an original digital art image. Keep in mind that although I do my best to source stock images that haven’t been used a million times already, there is always the risk the same image will be used on another book by another artist. However, a cover purchased from Scarlet Tie Designs is never resold to another author.

If you find a cover you like, contact me with the product number and to arrange payment. Your cover will then be altered to show your name and book title, and will be removed from sale. It may then be used on the Scarlet Tie Designs website for promotional purposes. You may use your cover in your promotions, etc, but you must credit Scarlet Tie Designs: Zathyn Priest as the cover artist in the credit section of your book. Please read my terms of service for more information.

For a 15% discount on cover art purchases all you have to do is ‘like’ the Facebook page. You will then be entitled to receive the discount on an unlimited amount of purchases provided you don’t ‘unlike’ the page.

Scarlet Tie Designs also offers custom website banner design and book promotion artwork.

If you have any questions, or would like a quote for custom covers, please feel free to contact me at: zathynpriest@yahoo.com.au

Website: http://scarlettiedesigns.weebly.com
Terms of Service: http://scarlettiedesigns.weebly.com/terms-of-service.html
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ScarletTieDesigns

Liquid Glass by Zathyn Priest


Title: Liquid Glass
Author: Zathyn Priest
Publisher: Scarlet Tie Books
Pages: 155
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Historical/Paranormal
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

Lillyport House was one of Britain’s most haunted residences. Originally home to Viscount Eldon Davenport, one of history’s most controversial poets, the house was sold by Davenport’s parents after he was found dead of a gunshot to the head, the Colt pistol that killed him still clutched inside his hand. The majestic mansion in Hampstead Heath refused to let go of Eldon’s misplaced spirit. Jailing him in death inside the room in which he’d lost his life.

Reclusive painter Cameron McKenzie is the latest owner of Lillyport, and he doesn’t believe in ghost stories. At least not until he spends his first evening at Lillyport and is jolted out of sleep my mournful wailing and terrified screams. Drawn to the bedroom by an unseen force, Cameron’s presence calms the distressed spirit and Lillyport House falls silent once again. When Cameron falls asleep, he unintentionally sets in motion a 19th century necromantic ritual and raises Eldon from the dead. Two soul mates, kept apart by death and a rip in time, are reunited.

But what happens when that rip in time tears open again? Enter parapsychologist Malcolm and psychic Trudy, each with their own agendas. Malcolm wishes to sever the link between Cameron and Eldon, while Trudy is attempting to keep them together. Will she be able to unravel Lillyport’s secrets or does the answer to Eldon’s survival depend on Cameron, a painting, and a guilt-ridden 19th century stable boy

Review:

Imagine if your soul mate was a man from a previous era. Imagine only being able to see or hear him was through your dreams and imagine what your family members would say and think about this. They’d title you insane and lock you away. Well, for Viscount Eldon Davenport, we’ll call him Eldon for short, this is exactly what happened to him. As Zathyn described the Viscount, I found myself completely in love with the man he was back in his era. I pictured him more like a pixie, soft spoken, whispery, pretty, well spoken, very smart and very alone. He was a very young man when he was killed, over something he really had no say so about. That was tragic and made me tear up as I read through that.

Well in present day there is Cameron, he’s somewhat reclusive, doesn’t do well in a social setting, would rather be on his own painting, as that is what he’s known for, his art. He’s very well-known and though he’s okay with that, he’s still prefers his own company. So, he ends up moving out of the busy city he lives in and buys a “haunted” manor in the country side. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, all he knows is that the manor offers what he needs to create. Peace and tranquility.

Imagine his surprise when he realizes one room in that house IS indeed haunted, but not in the way that’s malicious or harmful to him, he just happens to come across Eldon, who is the very same man that Cameron has more or less fallen in love with through years of studying him and his life. He knows what the reports say on the mental well-being of Eldon, that he died by suicide but he doesn’t know even the half of it.

Enter Cameron’s best friend Trudy and her ex-husband, Malcolm and wow do things heat up in very twisty ways in this book. We have a bit of mystery, paranormal, witchcraft, sex, lots of love, and more twists to keep you on the edge of your seat The scene I really enjoyed reading was when Cameron “woke” Eldon up. The details, description and dialogue used to create this will put you right there. And when I met Eldon again in today’s era with his speech pattern I fell more in love with him! He called his soul mate: Dearest. That is so heartwarming. When someone calls you Dearest, its more than the word honey, or sweetie. Dearest is the most romantic word I’ve heard.

This is a definite read. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed By: Michele

BUY LINK

The Scarlet Letter: Issue 2 Now Available



The second issue of The Scarlet Letter is now available!! (Party in the pants!!)

We have interviews from authors such as:

Kiernan Kelly

SJD Peterson

Peelam

Rae Gee

We have guest blogs about:

The Boy Next Door by Zathyn Priest

Where Do The Stories Come From? by GL Roberts

What is Steampunk? By Rae Gee

Being a writer has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? By Michele L. Montgomery

There’s even a Podcast!!

I interviewed Zathyn Priest! You can hear that sexy Aussie accent and practically see him blushing. (Audio Interview)

Meet our roving reporter/interviewer Digi Me

This issue he sat down with Tyler Curtis (The Curtis Reincarnation)and we have pictures of that meeting.

If you’re a reader and would like to see something added to the magazine, or perhaps have us interview your favorite author, please let us know.

If you’re an author, The Scarlet Letter would love to have you do guest posts, hear about your new releases, even share original free GLBTQ fiction with us.

You can find all the information on how to submit something to us in the magazine. Our email address is: thescarletlettermagazine@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

Click the banner to head over to The Scarlet Letter.

Top 2 Bottom Merges with The Scarlet Letter!!





I would like to take a moment of your time to make a special announcement. It’s one that has been in the works for some time now and it’s finally come to see the light. As you are aware, I’ve been hard at work with Zathyn Priest and The Scarlet Letter magazine. In saying that, I’m proud to announce the merging of the two!

The Scarlet Letter and Top2Bottom reviews have merged to offer authors and publishers a wider audience to reach readers. The Scarlet Letter featured reviews from Top2Bottom in the first issue and this will become a regular feature. As it’s been mentioned previously, the magazine is not geared toward emulating a review site, which is why the partnership was agreed upon. Zathyn does not write reviews and he doesn’t intend to start. This is Top 2 Bottom’s area of expertise. If you’re interested in having a book reviewed, please visit Top2Bottom and follow the instructions on the ‘submissions and contact information’ link.

https://top2bottomreviews.wordpress.com/submissions-and-contact-information/

Please do not send review requests/inquiries to Zathyn or via The Scarlet Letter. There is a very good chance they won’t reach their intended target if you do.

With each issue of The Scarlet Letter we will feature one title as the editor’s pick. This book will be chosen by myself from our list of recently reviewed books. The author chosen will be contacted by Top2Bottom and informed their title has been selected.

We look forward to working with many publishers and authors in this adventure, and are always open to suggestions.


A note about The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter is an online magazine aimed toward offering writers of GLBT fiction an avenue for promotion while offering readers the opportunity to get to know they’re favourite authors better. Through the free e-card feature, we are also opening the doors to artists who would like to promote their work. The magazine is one part of the Scarlet community, which will include publishing, a forum, and a chatroom.

All authors, whether self-published or traditionally published, are invited to submit content for use in the magazine – please see submission guidelines. Guidelines are also available for artists/photographers.

The Scarlet Letter focuses on positivity and creating a safe, encouraging atmosphere for all writers and readers. We do not publish negative reviews, we do not publish gossip, and we will not publish guest blogs/articles that focus on another author or book in a negative light. Such submissions will be discarded immediately. Continued submissions of this nature will result in the sender being blacklisted.

Magazine staff

Zathyn Priest: Editor & Site Manager – zathynpriest@yahoo.com.au
Michele L. Montgomery: Promotions – michele_lm@rocketmail.com

Inquiries should be emailed to either Zathyn or Michele. There is also a FaceBook group where updates are regularly made. If you would like to utilise the magazine for promotion, please join the group to keep you in the loop. The group is also open to readers of GLBT fiction.

Click HERE to join our FaceBook Group

We sincerely thank all authors who have contributed to the magazine and extend a welcome to continue sending us promotional material, guest blogs, and articles. We also sincerely thank readers of the magazine and of GLBT fiction – without you, we have nothing.

Enjoy the magazine and be sure to bookmark us for future issues!

Regards,
Zathyn Priest

The Statue by Zathyn Priest

Title: The Statue
Author: Zathyn Priest
Publisher: Scarlet Tie Books
Pages: 38
Characters: Tristan Church, Zane Aston, Eli, Lucas
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Gay Literature, Romance
Kisses: 5+






Blurb:

Freelance journalist, Tristan Church, wants to expose Galloway Mental Hospital’s dirty secrets. Teaming up with broody photographer, Mark, promises other perks. A ten year relationship with high school sweetheart, Eli, no longer offers Tristan the excitement he craves. Mark made his intentions clear and Tristan is close to giving in to his advances.

One morning at ‘The Gallows’ leaves Tristan reeling. He wasn’t prepared for the hell he witnessed and certainly wasn’t prepared to meet Zane. Disarmed by Zane’s angelic manner, Tristan can’t believe anyone would stand him up. He soon realises the tardy boyfriend only exists in Zane’s mind and the beautiful young man is not a visitor to The Gallows but a patient.

Eli walks out and Tristan’s life falls apart. A decision to meet with Mark almost ends in tragedy and Tristan finds solace in Zane’s company. Before long Zane’s delusions begin terrorising him again. While Tristan fights to save his own sanity and get Eli back, he knows someone must fight for Zane’s right to love a man no one else can see. A man who scares away violent hallucinations, takes away Zane’s fear, keeps him safe, and is trapped inside a stone statue.

Review:

Once in a while I am privileged to come across a book that truly melts my heart. I read a lot, and there are many books I’ll even call a favorite of mine, but it’s rare that a book whose characters, and the story that they share, will live long with me long after I’ve finished reading the novel. For me, The Statue is one of those books. I loved it so much, as soon as I finished it, I immediately read it again. And again. Since the blurb does an outstanding job of describing what the novel is about, there really isn’t a need for me to rehash it. Also, I want to tread lightly because I really do not want to spoil one minute of his amazing story, so I’ll just give the reasons why The Statue is one of my all-time favorite books.

Mr. Priest writes characters that live in my heart long after the story is finished. He is able to really dig deep, and get into the heart and soul of his characters. This often makes them vulnerable, humanly-flawed people who live and breathe off of the written page. It’s easy to empathize with their problems, rally behind them when things don’t go their way, and silently cheer them on when they are able to look inside themselves and learn from their mistakes. Also, these characters are definitely not your stereotypical candy-cutter heroes. There is a lot of depth to them, and each one is not like the other. Because they are so realistically written, they are unique and likeable characters whom are people that I would feel privileged to call a friend in my own life.

I would also like to mention the lyrical, lovely way Mr. Priest writes his stories. His descriptive and unique storytelling ability kept me captivated with his storyline from the first sentence to the last word. The story itself flows quite smoothly and it’s so beautifully written, before I knew it I was swept away in Tristan’s world and I loved every minute of it. Even though this book is considered more gay fiction than romance, I believe there is still a strong element of romance in it to satisfy even die hard romance readers. It’s really a story about two amazing couples, and the difficult road they must travel to find their way back to each other and their happiness.

The Statue is available in both plain text and a graphic art version. I’ve read both, but I have to say the graphic artwork in this book is absolutely stunning. To my knowledge, Mr. Priest is one of the first authors that I’m aware of that gives us the option of seeing his amazing characters live off of the written page through his gorgeous artwork. In every piece, he captures his characters perfectly, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these characters up close and personal. There’s even one picture in particular that made me cry when I saw it. It’s simply beautiful, and in my opinion the artwork was a perfect companion to the story itself, so I urge those of you who have never seen a graphic art book to pick this one up and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!

So, if I’m ever stranded on a desert island, and I only have a few books available to me, I would definitely make sure The Statue was one of those books. It’s a story I’ll enjoy and reread again and again, and I know each time I do, it’ll still live long within me long after the story is over.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

BUY LINK