Interview with Wendy Hammer

by Jennifer 2. August 2017 09:50

Today we have a quick talk with author Wendy Hammer about The Cross Cutting Trilogy.

Wendy Hammer lives in Indiana with her husband, a collection of books, and a stockpile of tea. Her fiction has appeared in Urban Fantasy Magazine, Evil Girlfriend Media Shorts, the Shapeshifter Chronicles, and elsewhere online. You can find her trying to keep it reasonably weird on twitter as @Wendyhammer13.

 

How does it feel to write "The End" on the series?
Pretty awesome, actually. Though I loved writing the characters, I’m really pleased I got the chance to finish the main storyline and tie the three novellas together. The challenge of making each novella both a full story on its own and a part of a larger arc was one of the most interesting and daunting aspects of this project. I learned a lot from it and that feels good.

 

How did you develop your characters?
I tend to develop characters by daydreaming. I walk or drive or sit around and think. Sometimes I chew on questions. Sometimes I look for images or music for inspiration. The Cross Cutting trilogy began by thinking about city-based magic. Who would wield it? What would happen if they didn’t have a territory they’d bonded to? I started to play with locations and an image of Trinidad took form. I first imagined her on the walking trail in Indianapolis with her knife in her pocket, ready to hunt down some monsters. After that, I needed to fill in her world. I looked for balances—complements and opposites.

Fireman Dan started from a memory from my college days. Iris was inspired by a picture I found during an image search for pink hair and tattoos. I liked the idea of Trinidad’s romantic interest being soft-spoken and sensitive despite looking fierce and formidable. I originally envisioned Ache with electric blue Liberty Spikes, but that didn’t last long. The daydreaming trial and error process is all part of the fun.

 

What was your initial inspiration?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the “making camp” sections in quest stories or games, and one of my favorite parts of that is when magic users set wards, people stand guard, and all that. It’s a cool bit of magic and has the potential for both danger and juicy character interactions. So, I guess the interest in location magic has been roiling about in my story-brain for ages.

The inspiration moment happened while I was walking around downtown Indy around GenCon and I saw a group of crime scene vans parked along the path. I knew then I wanted to write a story featuring those vans and figured what better foe than a protagonist most comfortable with her feet on the ground?

 

Why choose Indianapolis/Lafayette as your setting?
I picked Indianapolis for two reasons. First, the vans and the path I’d been walking felt like the best match for the story and I liked the immediacy of the experience. Second, I wanted to write an Urban Fantasy set outside of one of the genre’s mainstay locations.

I wanted to move the primary location to the Lafayette area in part because I live there and I know it better. But, really, I picked it because it has so many liminal spaces and contradictions. Lafayette/West Lafayette are joined but distinct. It’s urban and rural, industrial and agricultural, farm and factory. It’s also a college town. Purdue University is this delightful mix of scientists, engineers, and creators. It has a huge population of international students and they help transform the community in all sorts of exciting ways.

Lafayette felt like a solid choice for my found family of characters to live. And it’s my way of saying that even in one of those states many may only see in the red mass on a map, we’re here.

 

What happens when your editor says "Do more x" on revisions?
Most of the time, I’m happy to get confirmation that something wasn’t quite right and I see what needs to be done right away. I can brainstorm, rework, push, and pare back because I have a better idea of where the story’s weakness is. When it isn’t quite as obvious I reread the whole story. I think about what I was trying to do and take a look at how the pieces fit together. I try to see how deep the problem goes. I plan as best as I can and then leap on in. Sometimes I nail it. Sometimes I need another pass or two.

 

What was the best part about writing The Cross Cutting Trilogy?
It’s hard to choose, but I think it comes down to the satisfaction of getting the pieces to come together. The Cross Cutting title is partly a play on “cutting cross” or taking a short cut (appropriate for a Walker), a nod to the cut between worlds, and a reference to a filmmaking technique that interweaves separate scenes. Taking this journey with these characters, managing two points of view, and creating monsters and menaces that could work both independently and as part of a larger threat was wonderful.

 

What was the hardest?
Aside from learning some hard lessons about managing deadlines with work and life stress—I’d say one of the most difficult was appropriately handling the voice of the characters. The trilogy is basically written in a fairly close third. It’s my sweet spot most of the time because you can have some distance but still weave in lots of flavor in the narrative language outside of dialogue. At the same time, what can make prose vibrant runs the risk of falling into overkill or just sounding off. Trinidad is Caribbean and Irish—she’s a fighter, a POC, and not an American. Ache is a man, a musician and a body builder. Trying to see the world through their eyes and find language that reflects it meant a lot of research, a lot of open tabs for specialized dictionaries and websites, and a lot of conversation. It didn’t always make for speedy writing, but it was certainly rewarding.

 

What's next?
I’ve got a handful of short stories I’m working on, but my primary focus is a novel. It’s my first secondary world fantasy—with heists, magic, performing arts, rogue healers, and a whole lot of buried secrets threatening to rise up and turn everything upside down. I’m both terrified and exhilarated—which feels just about right.

 

 

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The Cross Cutting Trilogy Cover Reveal and Pre-Order Link

by Jennifer 12. July 2017 09:44

The Cross Cutting Trilogy by Wendy Hammer will be released on 15 August 2017.

Pre-order on Amazon.

This gritty urban fantasy by Wendy Hammer is an omnibus of three novellas: The Thin, The Hollow, and The Marrow, and features two new short stories.

The Thin: Strange vans roam the streets as people go missing or turn up dead. The city can’t fight the monsters alone. Trinidad O’Laughlin is a guardian looking for a territory to bond with and protect. Indiana’s distress call may give her a chance at one—if she can survive long enough to take it.

The Hollow: Ache Vetrov is clairvoyant and a caretaker of secrets and lost things. When a mysterious wave of violence threatens to overwhelm the city of Lafayette, Ache begins to investigate. He and Trinidad O’Laughlin uncover creatures with concave faces devoid of feeling or mercy. Ache, Trinidad, and their friends must hold strong if they hope to find a way to stop the monstrous invasion before it erases everything.

The Marrow: Trinidad O’Laughlin has people to love and a city to watch over. Lafayette has become a true home. Her newfound peace is shattered when another cut opens in her territory and unleashes the malevolent force behind the previous invasions. Trinidad and her friends must defeat it before the whole world falls to its hunger.

 

 

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THE MARROW has been released!

by Jennifer 18. April 2017 09:01

Apocalypse Ink Productions | Amazon
DriveThruFiction | Barnes&Noble

Trinidad O’Laughlin has left her Nowherian days behind. She’s got people to love and a city to watch over. Lafayette has become a true home and she’s discovering how brilliant that is for her particular sort of magic.

Her newfound peace is shattered when a third cut opens in her territory and unleashes The Marrow. The malevolent force behind the previous invasions has ambitions to feed. Trinidad and her friends must defeat it before the whole world falls to its hunger.

At the same time, an ancient power is stirring, attracted to what Trinidad has been doing. She needs to figure out what it is and if it is an ally… or yet another enemy.

The Marrow is the exciting conclusion to the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer.

 

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THE MARROW Cover Reveal

by Jennifer 5. April 2017 09:21

The Marrow, Book 3 of the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer, will be released on 18 Apr 2017.

Trinidad O’Laughlin has left her Nowherian days behind. She’s got people to love and a city to watch over. Lafayette has become a true home and she’s discovering how brilliant that is for her particular sort of magic.

Her newfound peace is shattered when a third cut opens in her territory and unleashes The Marrow. The malevolent force behind the previous invasions has ambitions to feed. Trinidad and her friends must defeat it before the whole world falls to its hunger.

At the same time, an ancient power is stirring, attracted to what Trinidad has been doing. She needs to figure out what it is and if it is an ally… or yet another enemy.

The Marrow is the exciting conclusion to the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer.

Catch up on the first two books, The Thin and The Hollow, of the Cross Cutting trilogy today!

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Praise for the Cross Cutting series by Wendy Hammer

by Jennifer 21. September 2016 10:22

The Thin
Starting a new series from a new author can be a scary situation, thankfully The Thin, is a well-written, fast moving, tension-filled read that leaves the reader craving more. Urban fantasy readers will enjoy this new take on Wardens and Guardians in a new setting. Plus you get a kick ass woman lead! Wendy Hammer doesn't leave you much time to guess what happens next. So if you are looking for your next quick read, I advise you to pick this one up.

The Hollow
How do you follow up a great story? Well if you are Wendy Hammer, author of the Cross Cutting series, you start with focusing on a secondary character in book 1. My only complaint was this book is over way too quickly. The quick action, development of a thing between Ache and Trinidad and the world building pulls you in quickly and doesn't let go until the end. Can't wait until book 3 comes out.

 

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THE HOLLOW has been released!

by Jennifer 17. May 2016 09:26

Apocalypse Ink Productions | Amazon
DriveThruFiction | Barnes&Noble

Ache Vetrov is clairvoyant and a caretaker of secrets and lost things.  He can draw true faces out from behind public masks and get objects to spill their stories with a touch. He’s the perfect choice to investigate a mysterious wave of violence threatening to overwhelm the city of Lafayette.

With the help of his partner and city guardian, Trinidad O’Laughlin, Ache uncovers
The Hollow. Creatures with concave faces devoid of feeling or mercy. Their motives are unclear, but all around the city, people are losing their humanity to a deadening static.

Ache, Trinidad, and their friends must hold strong if they hope to find a way to stop the monstrous invasion before it erases everything.


(Photo by Amber Clark, Stopped Motion Photograpy. Cover Design by Mark Ferrari.)

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THE HOLLOW Cover Reveal

by Jennifer 20. April 2016 09:20

THE HOLLOW, book 2 of the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer, will be released on 17 May 2016.

Ache Vetrov is clairvoyant and a caretaker of secrets and lost things.  He can draw true faces out from behind public masks and get objects to spill their stories with a touch. He’s the perfect choice to investigate a mysterious wave of violence threatening to overwhelm the city of Lafayette.

With the help of his partner and city guardian, Trinidad O’Laughlin, Ache uncovers
The Hollow. Creatures with concave faces devoid of feeling or mercy. Their motives are unclear, but all around the city, people are losing their humanity to a deadening static.

Ache, Trinidad, and their friends must hold strong if they hope to find a way to stop the monstrous invasion before it erases everything.

(Photo by Amber Clark, Stopped Motion Photograpy. Cover Design by Mark Ferrari.)

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2015 Yearly Roundup

by Jennifer 16. December 2015 08:56

It’s that time of year. The holidays are upon us and it’s the final rush of family get togethers, office holiday parties, and gatherings of friends. We wish you the very happiest of holidays.

 

With the year about to end, it’s also time to look back and reflect on everything we’ve accomplished this year.

 

We think 2015 has been a pretty good one. Apocalypse Ink Productions released several titles, many concluding series that were started over the past few years.

 

The Torn Soul - Sheynan Trilogy #3 by Dylan Birtolo

Chimera Incarnate - the 4th book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles by Jennifer Brozek

Crusade - the final book in the Flotsam trilogy by Peter M Ball

A new series, Cross Cutting by Wendy Hammer, began this year with The Thin.

 

We also put together two omnibus together for the Sheynan and Flotsam series. These contain not only the novels but all of the short stories related to these trilogies. They are only available on the AIP website or at conventions.

 

If you’ve not checked out any of these titles we encourage you to visit our store. There’s more dark fantasy worlds that contain shapeshifters, gargoyles and dark magic on the coast of Australia for you to explore.

 

And next year we have more. We are excited to announce more releases including:

The Karen Wilson Chronicles Omnibus

The Hollowbook #2 of The Cross Cutting series

Famished: The RanchBook 3 of the Gentleman Ghouls series by Ivan Evert

The MarrowBook #3 of the Cross Cutting Series

FamishedThe Gentleman Ghouls omnibus series

We look forward to bringing you more dark fiction titles in the future. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to hear announcements, news and keep up with our authors.

Thank you for all of your support and happy holidays!
The AIP Team

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THE THIN has been released!

by Jennifer 15. August 2015 08:19

THE THIN
Cross Cutting series #1
MORE INFORMATION
Apocalypse Ink Productions | Amazon
DriveThruFiction | Barnes & Noble


Trinidad O’Laughlin is descended from Wardens—guardians bonded to a territory by magic. She shares the gift, but has no place of her own. A distress call from Indiana may give her a chance at one—if she can survive long enough to take it.

Indianapolis is afraid. Twisted creatures known as The Thin have cut into our world and are preying on its people. The city can’t fight the monsters alone and Trinidad doesn’t have much time to forge a connection strong enough to make a difference.

The race, and the fight, is on.

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THE THIN Cover Reveal

by Jennifer 6. August 2015 09:50

THE THIN, Book 1 of the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer to be released on August 15, 2015

Trinidad O’Laughlin is descended from Wardens—guardians bonded to a territory by magic. She shares the gift, but has no place of her own. A distress call from Indiana may give her a chance at one—if she can survive long enough to take it.

Indianapolis is afraid. Twisted creatures known as
The Thin have cut into our world and are preying on its people. The city can’t fight the monsters alone and Trinidad doesn’t have much time to forge a connection strong enough to make a difference.

The race, and the fight, is on. 


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