Here is my interview with Carrie-Anne O’Driscoll

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Name Carrie-Anne O’Driscoll
Age 35
Where are you from-
I‘ve actually lived all over the US. I was born in Irving Texas and we moved to Burkburnett Texas when I was young. Then we moved to California, Montana, Washington, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. In 2010, I came full circle and returned to Texas.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am a domestic violence/sexual assault survivor. In 2010, I wrote my first book, The Worm Fiasco- A True Portrayal of Domestic Violence. My niece was murdered in 1999 at the age of 20 months and that is the focus of my second book, Last Kiss- The Life and Death of Ka’Tara Gallagher is based on her.
In 2011, I applied to the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy. Graduated in March of 2011. Have been a peace officer since that time.
I am happily married. Jim and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this past St. Patrick’s day. We have two tween sons, Chandler and Liam.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Latest news? I earned my National Speaking accreditation last month at the Wisconsin Victim’s of Crime Conference. Since that engagement, I’ve been requested to speak in several radio interviews, and at several conferences.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing poetry in high school. I had a teacher, Mrs. Lemley-Quilico who encouraged me to write. She said I had “an impressive command of the language.” I wrote steadily until October of 1999. I wrote my niece’s eulogy and didn’t write again until 2010. That turned into The Worm Fiasco.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

To be honest, I can’t say I am comfortable with the term “writer.” I am many things. I am a cop, an educator, a survivor, a person who writes to educate others, a stellar fundraiser, and a total clown. However, when NYT Bestselling author James Rollins acknowledged me as a writer, I think it sunk in a bit.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My attempted murder and the attempted murder of my oldest son when I was six weeks pregnant with him. It was a horrific case of domestic violence and the only time he’d hit me. Once I mended physically and spiritually, I decided that I had to do something positive with all of my pain. I needed to warn others. I need to speak up and be heard!

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. It’s graphic. It’s blunt. It’s horrifically descriptive and it’s me. I‘m told that The Worm Fiasco is a difficult read because it’s so illustrative and real.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Worm Fiasco is a funny story. I had gotten to the point that I didn’t even like to say my batterer’s name. So I quit. I began calling him “Worm.” Why? Because men that hit are spineless and low to the ground. Seriously.
Last Kiss is a more painful choice. My niece, Ka’Tara, was 20 months old when she was killed by child abuse. Her real mother was 16 when she was born and she left because she couldn’t handle the responsibility. My mom and I cared for her and she grew to be like my daughter. In early October of 1999, we took a trip to Billings, Montana to see other family. While we were there, I’d taken K.T. to the mall. We bought the Benefit for the Kosovar refugees on a CD. Pearl Jam’s version of Last Kiss was on it. She LOVED that song. Ironically, the words of the song are, “She’s gone to Heaven so I’ve got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world.” Gave her the Last Kiss on October 31, 1999. She was an angel that Halloween.

 

 
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Both books tell of true nightmares that I lived through. One was the abuse and death of my niece and the other was the abuse of me. I tell these stories in the hopes that readers will think about their current relationships. Am I being controlled? Are my children being hurt? Where did that bruise come from?
I simply want people to learn from my mistakes and live happier and healthier lives.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

 

 

 

I changed the names and the locations in The Worm Fiasco to ensure that Worm got no money off of it. I believe I’ve given him enough.
Last Kiss is 100% true but I have changed the juvenile names to protect their privacy.

 

 
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

It’s all me and my family. Every step. Every tear.

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Oddly enough, I’ve researched the Kennedy assassination since I was 8. Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment was pivotal in that. I was also fascinated by The Talisman by Stephen King. When I was pregnant after The Worm Fiasco occurred, I was on bed rest. Mom used to bring me books. One of them was Subterranean by James Rollins. I’ve been hooked ever since.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I really respect Rebecca Cantrell. Her writing is extraordinary and so unique. Her Hannah Vogel series does a magnificent job of capturing what it was like to be a woman of learning and notoriety in Nazi Berlin. It really showcases the struggle of women back then. Her Joe Tesla series weaves American history with Nazi Berlin in an awesome way. I won’t even go into the Sanguine series she’s written with Rollins.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am RE-reading Sandstorm by James Rollins. I think it’s the third time I’ve re-read the Sigma series.

 

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Actually, I’m not a huge romance reader but Kerrigan Byrne and Tiffinie Helmer have managed to keep me interested. Kerrigan writes about my Celtic fascination and Tiffinie’s take place in Alaska. I miss Montana and that’s close enough!

 

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’ve been fundraising for our local volunteer fire department. I am also co-writing a book about a 20 year old cold case in the UK from 1994. A six year old boy was murdered. Hs mother was tried and acquitted and they’ve never looked for another suspect. The mother enlisted my help back in April.

 

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My “adopted” GrandPa Jim. He is the detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby. I met him in 1994 and he’s always been a huge influence in my life. He took late night phone calls when Ka’Tara was killed and again when Worm appeared. We stopped talking about the Kennedy assassination around 2000 and we’ve just been “family” since. He supported and encouraged my decision to become a cop. He was one for 25 years so he knew what was getting into.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. I see writing as a calling much like the call I received to be a cop. It’s what I am supposed to do.

 

 

 

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. Can’t say that I would.

 

 

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was an outlet for my moody teenage personality.

 

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Yes. It’s on the murder of 6 year old Rikki Neave of Peterborough UK. A horrendous case of child abuse allegation, black magic and murder. It’s intense.

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Honestly, no. I’ve written a novel and I am scared to death to publish it. That’s ALL me. MY ideas. MY creativity. That frightens me. Yet, I have NO problem telling the world that I was beaten and raped by my ex –husband in graphic detail. Who knew?

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Edgar Allen Poe. He’s so dark and macabre. Thomas Moore, the Irish poet, is phenomenal. Brad Thor is very up to date on current political concerns so I read everything he’s written. Of course, James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell, and tack Grant Blackwood onto that stream as well. He co-wrote The Kill Switch with Rollins and it’s amazing!

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’ve been all over Texas speaking and recently branched out nationwide.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Worm Fiasco was designed by the publisher. I don’t care for it but it does the job.
Last Kiss was designed by a Spokane, Washington artist named Jeremy Vermillion. His talent is unparalleled. He certainly did my niece justice. He’s on facebook if your interested.

 

 

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The Worm Fiasco was hard reliving the abuse and torture. The degradation.
Last Kiss was a challenge because I wrote it from the case files. That meant going through autopsy pictures and seeing what was done to that little girl. That was the hardest journey I’ve ever taken.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes! People NEED to hear these stories and they appreciate the fact that I’ve told them. I’ve shared these horrible incidents in my life to prevent them from going through it in theirs.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you know and love. It allows you to be passionate about the project.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes! Buy the books and NAPSTER them. Share them again and again and again. If I could donate copes to every library on Earth, I would. These messages are that important. I’ve never been in this for money or fame. I just want my story known.

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes. Who Shot Abraham Lincoln. I was 6. Yes. I was a nerd!

 

 
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Auto correct makes me laugh until I cry.

 

 
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would to meet and why?
Actually there are two. Queen Elizabeth the second because she is by all given rights the prime example of the “independent woman.” Secondly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis because she too survived more tragedy that anyone should and she still came out a winner. I really respect that.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy photography. Our Palo Duro Canyon has kept me enthralled for four years! I also enjoy shooting. Tool of the trade.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch much TV at all. When I do, it’s Hell’s Kitchen. Movies? There are simply too many to name. Suffice it to say that if John Cusack, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor or Gerard Butler on it… I am on it!

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Mexican and Greek cuisine I know. Odd combo. My favorite color is forest green. I listen to all music except Rap. I’m convinced the “C” in Rap is silent.

 

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Well, I am a cop and certified crisis advocate in the state of Texas. Not sure what else I could do.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://www.thewormfiasco.com
I am on Goodreads.
My Twitter name is DeputyDriscoll
Facebook fan page is C.A. O’Driscoll
I have Youtube videos on each book by title.

Books can be bought from me by searching: The Worm Fiasco and Last Kiss Special 2 for $30. Will ship internationally. (Special promo from the Publisher for the Wisconsin Conference.)

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Here is my interview with Philip Chen

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Name: Philip Chen
Age: 69
Where are you from: I was born in China and came to the United States in 1949
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc: I have degrees of Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia, Master of Science from Stanford University, and Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota. I was an ocean research engineer, environmental engineer, trial attorney, investment banker, and international private equity manager in Africa, among other things. I am married and have a son, daughter, and three lovely intelligent granddaughters.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Phil: For the nearly 30,000 readers (thankfully, many actually paid for the book) who have downloaded my first very realistic science fiction thriller, Falling Star, I can tell you that I am about fifty percent through with the sequel. Some readers felt that the first novel, which was always meant to be a series, left too much unexplained. I think that those readers will be pleased to know that many of the threads will be tied together in this sequel and that you will understand why the first volume developed as it did.
Not to be poetic, but I saw my series like a composer would see an opera. You open with a theme, and then expand into different areas of thematic expression. In the end, you demonstrate how these themes interact and how they eventually come together in the finale. My sequel will do that.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Phil: I did not wake up one day and decide to be a writer. In fact, when I did wake up from the series of horrific nightmares I suffered in 1990, I became consumed in trying to understand why. In these dreams, gangs of seemingly ordinary people roamed the country wreaking havoc and sowing destruction. They indiscriminately killed people; in my nightmares I saw skyscrapers explode and fall to the ground in flames.
Chillingly, at the time I was working for Lehman Brothers and had just moved out of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. My office was on the 106th floor of Two World Trade Center.
I was also traveling on almost a weekly basis to London from New York on business. I also was carrying one of the earliest lightweight laptops.
Tiring of the rubbish that I was reading on the flights, something told me to use that laptop to transcribe my dreams. So I start pecking out the story during the long plane rides back and forth between New York and London. Once I started, the story seemed to write itself, as though my characters lined up one at a time to narrate their story to me. During my often week-long stays in London and over weekends at home, I punched away on the laptop. Within six weeks, I had a manuscript of about 520 double spaced pages.
After finishing this story, my nightmares disappeared. It was as though the story had to be told.
I made all the stops in the legacy publishing world for twenty years trying to get someone to pay attention to what I thought was an urgent story about foreign spies who lived among us for decades and who stuck out when something incredible happened. All doors were summarily slammed in my face, although I did receive encouragement from one senior executive at a major house and one literary agent. However, no one would take a chance on what they deemed a story too unbelievable to be true, written by a nobody author.
Then in 2010, Russian spies were found to have been living among us for decades, marrying unknowing Americans, raising children, buying homes, holding down mundane jobs and lying in wait for the word to strike. Just like my fictional spies were described as doing almost twenty years earlier.
It was at that time, I decided to give the newly developing self-publishing industry in eBooks a try. I’m glad that I did; this is a story that has to be told.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Phil: When my first positive reviews started coming back. This novel has been reviewed almost eighty times across the many venues that it has been sold with a composite review of 4+ stars.
The novel seemed to strike a chord with people who enjoyed a fast moving, extremely realistic science fiction thriller.
Of course, despite the fact that this fictional novel was vetted and enjoyed by people some of whom had served in the military, including one who had received some of the country’s highest military honors, the book had its detractors. Surprisingly, the one theme that they jumped on was that I did not use the right weapon in any given scenario.
My favorite positive review ended with the following statement, “Mr. Chen’s writing style is precise, almost military and chock full of information that makes the reader wonder if this story might not be fiction at all, but something very real and very disturbing.”

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Phil: As explained above, this story actually came to me in a series of terrifying dreams; many of the events in those dreams have actually come true: The Russian spies of 2010, the attack on the World Trade Center, the country’s obsession with rocks from space, and mysterious objects hidden in the depths of the seas.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Phil: My background and training leads me to a very direct, factually based (except when I am engaging in literary license) writing style. Because of my ocean research background, I was able to spin a story that often led to readers believing that the events actually occurred.
Alan Caruba, a literary critic and charter member of the National Book Critics Circle, even went so far as to say, “This novel stands out for the way you are introduced not just to the characters, but the physical reality in which they live, the sights and even the smells.”

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Phil: That is part of the story.

 

 
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Phil: There are many messages in this book. Perhaps my personal favorite is self-discovery. By saying this, my principle character is beset with many issues growing up and through his professional life; those are the experiences that lead to the conclusion of this volume of the series.
I do not believe any of the people who have talked about this book have noted this underlying theme.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Phil: Much of this story is traceable to real-life experiences, obviously fictionalized to make the story work. It is not however a documentary.
For example, the opening chapter sets the tone of the book:
*****
Buffeted by surprisingly gusty winds for a brilliantly clear day, the propeller-driven Lockheed P-3B Orion bumped along just one hundred feet above the turbulent ocean surface. Creaking squeals of metal rubbing against metal bared the struggle of the aluminum machine; fighting to stay airborne against the unrelenting pounding and shifting forces of nature.
As if the low-pitched groans and twisted squeaks of the anguished metal structure weren’t enough, the harnessed men on the Orion were violently tossed about by the constantly changing winds of March.
Everyone, that is, except the airplane’s young pilot who, while struggling to maintain the Orion on a steady course, anticipated each bump of the Orion as though he were riding a bicycle along a rocky mountain path. The pilot wore a dress hat, crushed by headphones, in clear violation of rules. This look was just how Thomas “Buck” Morrow saw himself. Flight helmets were for sissies and fighter pilots, but then only because of the tight confines of a jet cockpit.
The controls of the airplane jerked and kicked in Lieutenant Commander Morrow’s hands as he constantly monitored his many-gauged instrumentation panel. The white numbers and pointers on flat black backgrounds jumbled together in a profusion of data points. He knew he had to fly by the instruments at this altitude since relying on his senses could be fatal, so he checked the gauges relentlessly, particularly the altimeter and the artificial horizon. All the while he kept a practiced eye on the endless expanse of white-capped, grayish blue water rushing headlong toward him. Observing him, one could easily be lulled into believing that the pilot was out for a Sunday drive. His practiced hand kept the course true, even as his gaze swept languorously over the instrument panel.
The pilot’s nickname in the squadron was Buck, short for “Buckeroo”, a name given him by his fellow officers because of his cowboy antics when flying the squadron’s planes. The squadron’s mechanics in particular cursed Buck behind his back after yet-another aircraft bending mission. It was their sorry task to clean up and tune the Orions after Buck’s many antics.
Buck’s outwardly calm composure was betrayed only by the steady, methodical chewing of peppermint gum, which would abruptly stop when the Orion hit a particularly rough spot of air. His young, rugged face remained passive as he maneuvered the plane expertly along its tricky course. The workhorse Orion was not designed for such low-altitude flying, but that wasn’t Buck’s concern, he was just there to fly the damn thing.
His co-pilot also held on to the controls. He was older and had been in the Navy longer than his Academy-educated pilot, but Buck was the boss and the boss controlled the plane.
The co-pilot, however, maintained a careful watch on the instrumentation, straying every once in a while to glance at the intensely calm pilot. He knew that they should not be flying at this low altitude under such gusty conditions, but that wasn’t his call. He was there as a backup in case his pilot needed help keeping the Orion in the air.
In the compartment immediately behind the pilots, the Orion’s navigator sat strapped tightly into his small seat. The officer’s ruddy complexion was capped with brown hair, in the crew cut style popular with young flying officers. Safely anchored to his seat, the navigator hunched over his table plotting the plane’s course and giving corrections to the pilot over the intercom, carefully enunciating each number and direction heading over the hissing and popping sounds of the headset. Next to the navigator sat a tall, gawky Navy Lieutenant who had been able to jam himself somehow into the small aircraft seat. As the science officer, Frederick Evans was responsible for data monitoring and instrument maintenance.
The atmosphere inside the Orion was hot, damp, and close. The overwhelming environment of the cabin was heightened by the intermingled odors of aviation fuel, the heavy pungent aroma of lubricating oils, the sulfurous vapor of rubber hoses, the sharp smell of ozone generated by electronic gear, and the cumulative sweat of its current and long forgotten crews. More accustomed to the open space of surface ships than the close quarters of this airplane, the science officer worked hard to keep his breakfast down.
He swallowed continually to counter the burning taste in his throat and wished that he hadn’t had that second helping of half-cooked bacon — it hadn’t even been that good, not like how his aunt used to cook it, over a low heat, simmering for a long time. His efforts to hold back the burning taste in the back of his throat was complicated by his efforts to avoid the nausea that came naturally from the hot, confining, constantly shifting and bouncing environment. The steady pulsating drone of the Orion’s propellers added to Evan’s disorientation.
The worst aspect of the Orion was the smell, that damn stink of ancient vomit.
Evans was focused on the cluster of cathode ray tubes locked into the gray metal framework, mere inches from his young face. He methodically followed the multiple green traces as they slowly made their way from left to right. Both Evans and the navigator were securely strapped to their seats, but the wrenching up and down and the side to side movements of the Orion made it hard to take notes and to adjust the instruments.
“What the — What was that?” blurted Evans as he watched the greenish trace on the magnetometer’s oscilloscope suddenly spike upward from its normal baseline level. Instinctively, he marked the latitude and longitude on the strip recorder that ran parallel to the oscilloscope trace.
“Captain, can we run that transect over?” said Evans, trying hard to suppress the excitement in his voice.
“What did you see, Fred?” came the low-keyed voice of the young pilot over the scratchy intercom.
“Something odd; really odd. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
Evans felt his already uneasy stomach violently traumatized as Buck whipped the Orion into a sharp, bronco-busting right bank. G-forces pinned Evans deep into his seat. Despite this, he was able to frantically grab an airsickness bag from its cubicle. In one great heave, Evans made his contribution to the already gamy air of the cabin. His quickness in grabbing the vomit bag saved the delicate electronic instruments from becoming fouled with the remains of a hasty, ill thought-out breakfast.
Buck was good, perhaps one of the best Navy pilots assigned to oceanographic reconnaissance — he could fly a survey transect so straight you’d think that someone had painted a white line on the ocean surface. But, like all Navy pilots used to landing on bobbing corks in the ocean, he wasted no time on formalities.
“Too bad that black shoe has a squeamish stomach,” Buck said to no one in particular; chuckling to himself.
“What did you say, Captain?” said the co-pilot.
“Oh, nothing. Just horsing around.”
“Damn, there it goes again,” murmured Evans, feeling feverish and light-headed, but vastly relieved after his encounter with the vomit bag.
“What’s going on, Fred? Sure you’re not just looking at some chicks down there?” said Buck, abruptly dipping his left wing as if to get a better look. Evans felt his stomach burp at the maneuver.
“No, wish it were. Sorry to disappoint you, Captain. We just confirmed that something down there is screwing the hell out of my magnetometer. We just had one hell of a spike in the readings.” Evans looked over the endless ocean surface, dark grayish-blue water with choppy waves and frothy whitecaps.
“What do you think it was?”
“Don’t know, Captain,” said Evans. “But could we try that transect again?”
The Orion stayed on site, running and rerunning the same transect until Evans, despite his uneasy stomach, feverish countenance, and burning throat, was satisfied that the magnetic anomaly was really there and that the readings were not just the result of an instrument malfunction.
As the Orion made one final bank and headed back to base, Evans stared at the gray-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean trying to rationally answer the question that burned in his head. Why would his instruments act up here in the middle of nowhere; over the Hatteras Abyssal Plain, where there should be nothing but background?
****

 

 
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life
Phil: Yes, my ocean engineering work allowed me to accurately describe certain equipment and passages accurately. My erstwhile military training (ROTC) and work with naval systems helped me in describing military situations. Generally, my life and what I went through as an Asian-American helped in portraying my principle character and how he would react in given situations.

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Phil: I don’t read as much as I used to, but my appetite included science fiction, adventure, moral dilemma, and documentary books.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Phil: I can’t say that any one author influenced me more than anyone else. However, I have enjoyed reading people like Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Isaac Asimov, John McPhee, Tom Clancy, Arthur C, Clarke, Ernst Hemmingway, and Jules Verne, to name a few. Many have compared my writing style to Clancy and James Patterson

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Phil: I am currently working my way through John Meacham’s, Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power.

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Phil: The real beauty of online publishing is that it has unleashed so many voices that have heretofore been silenced by the legacy book publishing business. No longer are new writers bound by having to write formula books that would appeal to some publishers idea of what is profitable.

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Phil: I am fifty percent finished with the sequel to Falling Star.

 

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members
Phil: None. Nobody believed that I could write.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Phil: At age almost seventy, it is a hell of a time to start a career. However, I do have a few more stories rattling around my synapses.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Phil: No.

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Phil:
****
“He was killed by a hit and run jogger.”
“What?!”
“That’s not really funny, you know,” said the third man in the small booth of the disturbingly clanky coffee shop of the posh hotel on the fringes of Georgetown.
“Yeah, but damn it you just can’t get morose. The facts are vague, but as far as we can tell, he was trying to hail a cab at 21st and Pennsylvania when he was bumped by a jogger. After the two collided, witnesses saw the jogger run off and Johnson fall to the ground. He lapsed into a coma and never recovered.”
“What happened to the jogger?”
“He got away.”
“That’s outrageous. Didn’t anyone give chase?”
“No, it happened too quickly. It looked like an accident and everyone rushed to help Johnson.”
“Did he say anything?
“Nope, he never regained consciousness.”
“Why is this person of interest to us?”
“William Johnson was a Marine Corps Colonel and, more importantly, he was one of us.”
“Was there an autopsy?”
“Of course. As soon as CSAC heard that one of its assets had been hit, it took control of the investigation. Johnson was initially taken to the D.C. morgue, but our personnel quickly interceded and transferred his body to central headquarters in Newport News.”
“And?”
“The toxicology analysis found a significant concentration of curare mixed with a neurotoxin of unknown chemistry in his tissue.”
“Any cuts, bruises?”
“Nothing except for a puncture wound, like a large hypodermic needle, with significant skin discoloration around it. Like, you know, a botched injection.”
“Sounds like the Bulgarian attack on one of its exiles in London in the Sixties,” commented Mike Liu.
“Yeah, that’s right,” replied Tom Jamieson, shifting ever so slightly as he glanced casually around the small coffee shop. “Only difference is the Bulgarian was able to make it back to his office and died several days later. In Johnson’s case, it was instantaneous.”
The third man at the small table who had been listening to the tale of Colonel Johnson’s demise was George Smith, the civilian security chief for CSAC, an interagency group whose existence was a closely held secret of the United States government. Both Mike Liu and Tom Jamieson were agents of CSAC. They had been called to this breakfast meeting by Smith on orders from the Old Man, himself.
Smith was dressed in a dark blue suit, brilliantly polished black wingtip shoes, starched white shirt, and striped necktie. His dark brown hair was closely cut and neatly combed in place. The familiar scent of a popular aftershave hung over Smith. His eyeglasses were constructed of heavy black plastic, some say as a political statement harkening back to the presidential campaign of 1964. Secretly, George wore these glasses in an attempt to copy the look of singer Roy Orbison, whom George greatly admired.
Mike, in Washington to attend a conference on Independent Energy Producers, was a Managing Director of Franklin Smedley & Associates, a major investment bank in New York City. He was the partner in charge of the investment firm’s global project finance practice. Because Mike’s practice was international he had to travel extensively around the world working on various project financing assignments, which provided an excellent cover for his long time clandestine relationship with CSAC.
As a Level One Agent, Mike could be called at any time by the Old Man to serve in the defense of his country. In the past, these assignments ranged from domestic matters quickly dispatched to international matters of state. Level One agents reported to no one except the Old Man and were known for their great efficiency in taking care of matters, discretely and often with extreme prejudice.
Mike was dressed in his customary dark gray pinstriped suit, mirror bright, plain-toed black shoes, a white buttoned down cotton broadloom shirt, and red and blue necktie. His graying hair was combed severely back on his head. Mike’s tanned countenance was the product of both heritage and hours spent fishing, his one secret vice. Mike did not carry a scent, having decided some years ago to put his lime cologne in his closet where it was promptly forgotten.
A member of CSAC since his days as a junior naval officer serving under Robert McHugh, Mike instinctively knew that if he was called, McHugh, now Chief of Operations at the super secret agency, had some reason however immediately obscure.
McHugh kept his Chinese-American protégé as a Level One Agent even after Mike finished his active service tour in the early Seventies to work in private industry. Mike remained a reserve officer in the United States Navy and was now a commander. However, his occasional duties for CSAC did not normally require activation.
For example, during the tense three week period five years ago in the Red Army affair, Mike was called to investigate and cauterize leaks in a secret government laboratory even though he was ostensibly there on a privatization study. His duty was discharged with, as they say, “extreme prejudice.” The leaks went away, far away, even as Mike concluded that the privatization did not make sense for his investment group.
Mike didn’t know, nor particularly care to know, exactly what being a Level One Agent for CSAC entailed. He just did what he was told; precisely and with certain results.
Whenever the Old Man had an assignment for Mike, the beautiful and willowy Margaret Marston was always there with his orders and his .38 caliber seven shot Walther PP. The automatic pistol had been Mike’s to use for the last twenty five years. Despite the fact that Mike had “retired” from the agency in the mid-seventies, Mike had been seconded regularly by McHugh to work with civilian agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mike was intrigued by the tale of a Marine colonel killed by a hit and run jogger.
“What was Johnson doing that was so interesting?”
After quickly glancing around to satisfy himself that no eavesdroppers were about, George Smith replied quietly “Bill Johnson was with a special Marine detachment assigned to Operation Gabriel.”
“Operation Gabriel?” asked Mike.
Both George and Jamieson became abruptly quiet.
When George called to set up a meeting, Mike explained that although he was going to be in Washington for the Independent Energy Producers Conference, he was not going to be able to get up to CSAC’s local office. He could however meet Smith for breakfast at his hotel.
Curiously, George jumped at the chance to have breakfast at the relatively open, and certainly unsecure, coffee shop. Although he was taken aback by Smith’s eagerness to see him in such a setting, Mike rescheduled his other business breakfast to make himself available.
“We’re not at liberty to describe Operation Gabriel unless we are secure,” interjected Jamieson, whom George had just introduced to Mike at breakfast. “This café is not the place for such discussions. I’ve been in many places where the seemingly ordinary businessman sipping his morning coffee and reading the newspaper was actually secret police.”
George was visibly taken aback by Jamieson’s curt reprimand. He was, after all, a relatively junior agent. However, he knew that Jamieson was right. Mike remembered a trip to Doha once on a project financing, when ordinary habitué of the local coffee house, seemingly sipping their morning coffee, were pointed out by his British counterparts as Qatari secret police. There was no suggestion that this couldn’t also happen in Washington. For that matter, the extravagant hotel that Mike stayed in had electronic eavesdropping bugs in all the rooms; another factoid his British counterpart gleefully imparted.
All of their in-room communications were written on flash paper after which they were set afire in the ash tray. Apparently the Emir of Doha did not trust his fellow emirs and liked to listen in on all their conversations.
Given Mike’s other job, Mike had not met Jamieson before today. In his introduction, George said that Jamieson had been assigned to work with Colonel Johnson on Gabriel.
Jamieson used his role as an international free lance stringer for one of the major television networks as cover for his CSAC activities. He, was dressed in a brown wool tweed jacket, despite the warm weather in Washington. He wore a blue all-cotton broadloom buttoned down shirt from his favorite sports apparel company. His khaki cotton twill trousers were neatly pressed and were held up by a brown hand cut leather belt. His brown loafers covered green cotton Argyle socks.
Jamieson preferred a popular aftershave, the scent of which fought with Smith’s cologne; the battling scents eventually taking over the small booth in which the trio sat.
Tom’s sandy colored hair was a bit on the long side, which annoyed the much more conservative Smith to no end. Underneath his tweed jacket, a Beretta sat in a brown leather shoulder harness. Tom had been called upon to use his seven shot Berretta many times during his career with CSAC, as did all of its agents. Despite his long service to CSAC he had yet to rise to the coveted Level One rank, a position rarely given. If this bothered him, it did not show in his demeanor.
Level One was the pinnacle of an agent’s career in CSAC. The training received by Level One Agents was among the most grueling of any in the world. These agents were taught to shoot first, ask questions later – if at all. They were accountable to only Robert McHugh.
“Yeah,” joined in George Smith, as he pushed a manila envelope over to Mike. “You will find out more in these sanitized briefing papers.”
The waitress came up and asked if that was all they needed. The three men in the booth fell silent at her approach.
“No that will be all,” said George. “Could I have the check?”
“Thank you,” said the waitress and left.
“So what do you want me to do?” asked Mike.
“The Old Man wants to know your availability,” replied George Smith, cryptically.
With that, the three parted company, Mike to attend the IEP conference and George Smith to CSAC offices in Northwest Washington.
Jamieson walked down Pennsylvania Avenue toward H Street, and after casually glancing back to make sure he wasn’t followed, he stopped briefly to make a call at a corner pay phone.
“Hello, Jamieson here.”
“Yes.”
“We had our meeting.”
“O.K.”
Jamieson’s pale blue eyes stared at the telephone for a moment. He then turned and quickly continued his walk up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House press room.
****

 

 
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Phil: As I said, I write in a factual, realistic fashion. It is, however, fiction. As such it is often hard to balance my realistic style of writing with the fictional nature of the work. When I do write realistic passages, I try to research them as thoroughly as possible. For example, when I described soldiers in the 1970 timeframe, I put them in uniforms and had them carry weapons appropriate for the time period.
You can’t put in a parenthetical each time you shift from a real-life description of something to a wholly fictional passage. If so, I would have to annotate my entire story.
Having said that, one of my favorite exchanges was the one in which a fan took me to task for my use of a magnetometer on the initial flight of the geomagnetic survey that discovered something strange in the Atlantic Ocean. This geophysical oceanographer felt that a different instrument would have been better in this circumstance. I had great fun exchanging posts with this fellow ocean research explorer.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Phil: I wish I did. However, my life’s travels have been such that I have gone many different places and experienced many different cultures. This has helped me greatly in writing my books.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Phil: I designed my own covers. In Falling Star, I used a photograph with permission from Tomo Yun (website: http://www.yunphoto.net/en/).
In addition to writing, I am a graphic artist and cartoonist. My cartoons has appeared in the New York Times experimental web news paper, “The Local”, in one print edition of the New York Times, on an official CNN iReport, and on many websites. My latest collection of cartoons can be found in Scenes of Strangeness (http://amzn.to/Scenes-of-Strangeness).

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Phil: Writing was easy. Getting it published by the legacy bricks and mortar publishing industry was impossible. I thank my lucky stars for Kindle.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Phil: A thicker skin. I learned that not everybody was going to like my novel. I also learned that some will actually try to destroy it for their own purposes. The phenomenon of extremely negative reviews on books that are deemed popular has been noted in many places. In this sad world, authors will get people to turn in negative reviews of another’s work with the hope that those negative reviews will drag their competitors down, ostensibly opening up opportunities for their books to rise.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Phil: Do not ever let anyone tell you that you can’t write. If you have a story to tell; write and self-publish it. If others believe in your story, then it will rise above the common crowd. In any event, your story will be out there, forever.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Phil: Thank you, especially the ones who actually paid for a copy. This story is fiction, despite the fact that many of the events portrayed therein have actually come true. Let’s just hope that the conclusion doesn’t. That said, the government’s fascination with space rocks particularly starting in 2013 is troubling (you will have to read the book to understand this).

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Phil: Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. I remember doing a water color of that story and it ending up in a city-wide grade school art exhibition.

 

 
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Phil: Other than writing and cartooning, my biggest pleasure is derived from playing with my three extremely intelligent and lovely granddaughters. Their knock-knock jokes are fabulous.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Phil: Science fiction and realistic dramas.

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Phil: Food- Chinese, what else? Color – Green. Music – Eclectic from country to classical. I particularly like the music from the forties and the fifties. However, I strongly believe that music died in 1974 with the advent of disco.

 

 

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Phil: I have had a very interesting career path. I have been an ocean research engineer, environmental engineer, trial attorney, investment banker, private equity manager in Africa, cartoonist, and writer. As an ocean research engineer, I worked on programs that are classified to this day dealing with very deep ocean systems. I have one United States patent for an ocean mooring system. One project that I can talk about was the Deepstar 20,000 a free swimming submersible capable of descending to twenty thousand feet into the ocean depths. This technology appears prominently in my novel.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Phil: My blog can be found at http://www.booksbyphilipchen.com and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/PhilipChenAuthor.

http://amzn.to/Scenes-of-Strangeness

Here is my interview with M. Sembera

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Name M. Sembera
Age 38
Where are you from
I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana but I have lived in Texas since I was 11.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am married with three kids. My two oldest ones have already moved off on their own and my little one is 9 now so it’s pretty quiet around the house now.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a new release from my Marked Heart Series. Charlotte will go live on 9/25/14

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I guess officially, in 2011 one day I decided to just sit down and do it.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my first book was published.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had this idea for years that just popped into my head one day and wouldn’t leave. Ha-ha!

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think so but I’m not entirely sure what it is… I like action and dialogue but my editor Margaret does a great job of keeping me in check when I get a bit wordy.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book, I used the main character’s name same as I did with my new release. However, with the books in between, I try to pick a title that gives the reader a feel for the plot.

 

 
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I am seriously obsessed with flaws and character traits. So, my books tend to lean towards how those things define us individually. I hope the main message I can convey to my readers is that although those things make us who we are, there is nothing that cannot be overcome.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Although I lean the settings and scenarios toward the realistic it’s all fiction.

 

 
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think writers take a bit of everything they have experience in life and create a different world from them.

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Age of Innocence to this day is the most romantic book I’ve ever read. There is something about anticipation that makes a book exciting for me to read.
Ann of Green Gables is my all-time favorite book. It inspired my love of reading.
Edgar Allen Poe because he was always able to set a scene and bring it to life. Not to mention there are many morals to each of his stories.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Arial Burnz. We write in completely different styles and genera’s but she helped me a great deal in the beginning and I would not be headed in the direction I am now if not for her wisdom and advice.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Days of Amber by Alex Chu

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Oh my goodness there are way too many to list!

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Now that Charlotte is finished book #3 in the Marked Heart Series is One Penny.

 

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Indie Author community has been outstanding!

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I look at it more as its part of who I am. Even if I didn’t publish I’d still write.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No ma’am.

 

 
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was in high school, I had to write a short story for English class and I just fell in love with it.

 

 
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am still in the thinking stages but following Charlotte’s book one of the characters Penny will get her own book. She’s pretty lighthearted and fun and one of my favorite side characters.

 

 
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I love naming characters but not so much places. I am getting better though :)

 

 
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It has to be Poe. Everything he wrote struck me in one way or another. That’s why he’s my favorite.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do most everything from home but 2/7/15 I will attend my first author event DITH in Austin, Tx.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do :)

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For me it’s the last few chapters. I have trouble letting them go.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned so many things with each book I have written but I think the main thing is I seem to love writing the more I do it.

 

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take your time. Hire an Editor. No matter what anyone says if you love your characters keep writing them.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you and y’all are the best!

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I do! It was Bears First Christmas.

 

 
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I like to hang out with my family.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch TV but I enjoy Independent Films.

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Olives stuffed with garlic. My favorite color is Green. I listen to a little bit of everything except Country. Punk and Alternative are my most loved.

 

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I can’t think of anything. Ha! Maybe everything I do now with that exception.

 

 
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m not a crier by nature, so really, other than things involving my kids there’s not much else although a good book has been known to make me teary eyed.
Dang near everything makes me laugh. A lot of the times its inappropriate laughter but I find humor in almost everything.

 

 
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present that you would like to meet and why?
I think I’d like to have met Bruce Lee. He was amazingly talented and created his own fighting style and I love Kung Fu.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes I do :) http://www.BrokenBirdMedia.com

Thank you so much Fiona! It has been a pleasure to be interviewed by you ♥ M.

Here are the links to go with my books :)

Enduring Everything (MH1):

Amazon-http://www.amazon.com/Enduring-Everything-M-Sembera-ebook/dp/B00J2AV41I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395162976&sr=8-2&keywords=m.+sembera

Goodreads-https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20657380-enduring-everything

Charlotte (MH2):

Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Marked-Heart-M-Sembera-ebook/dp/B00N5BCT82/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410363629&sr=8-1&keywords=m.+sembera

goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22854759-charlotte

 

CoverEnduring Everything Cover

 

 

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Here is my interview with Alistair Cross

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Name: Alistair Cross

Age: 37

Where are you from: Sleepy Hollow.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.

I can grin a grizzly bear down at twenty paces. I really like American folklore, Irish accents, and French kisses. I have been writing for many, many years. Some people call me the Space Cowboy. My collaborator calls me the Pompatus of Words. I call myself Maurice, but I have yet to be called the Gangster of Love.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Alistair: The first three installments of The Ghosts of Ravencrest, a serialized Gothic Horror novel I’m writing with horror novelist Tamara Thorne, are due out in omnibus form this fall.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Alistair: I emerged from the womb, pen in hand, eager to chronicle my adventures in utero.

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Alistair: For as long as I can remember, I have felt compelled to write not just one, but many novels.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Alistair: I don’t really think it’s possible for me to define my own style. It’s a lot like seeing your own face in the mirror. You’ve looked at it your whole life; it’s hard to objectively analyze your looks. You can’t. And you probably shouldn’t try.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Alistair: Ghosts of Ravencrest is named for the mansion in the novel, which is called Ravencrest. Ravencrest Manor is brimming with ghosts and other Gothic delights.

 

 
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Alistair: I don’t want to point anything out. I’d rather readers find their own meanings.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Alistair: I think there’s a little reality in every creative endeavor, whether or not it is intended.

 

 
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Alistair: The indoor pool at Ravencrest is inspired by the pool at Hearst Castle. Ravencrest is rich in detail and drawn from several sources, including our own imaginations.

 

 
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?
Alistair: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury influenced me. Bradbury and writers like him paint Rockwellian images of life that camouflage the darkness beneath. This made me aware that just under the surface, there is often an underlying horror. There’s Grandma smiling as she serves up the turkey on Thanksgiving… but what is she really thinking? Perhaps she’d rather serve up Grandpa…

 

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alistair: Tamara Thorne

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Alistair: I am reading two. One is Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner, and the other is an as-yet-unpublished manuscript by Michael Aronovitz.

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Alistair: Michael Aronovitz is keeping me nice and riveted…

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Alistair: The Ghosts of Ravencrest is ongoing, and aside from that, Tamara Thorne and I are in the final stages of revisions in another horror novel, after which we will immediately begin another.

 

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Alistair: I consider myself lucky to have been supported by many, many entities.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Alistair: It is a career, yes.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Alistair: I really don’t believe in going back. I have no regrets. Though I do wish I had taken better care of my teeth.

 

 
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Alistair: It started very early with the books and music I loved as a kid.

 

 
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Alistair: Time is always a challenge. Not because there isn’t enough of it but because it takes a lot of concentrated energy to manage it well, and when you get enough projects going on, your only choice is to either make it work or to fail.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Alistair: I believe in writing what I know, so I like to visit the places I write about and get a feel for the area and its people.

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Alistair: Continuity. You must learn to keep a very precise style sheet when you’re writing something with a multitude of plot threads and characters.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Alistair: Yes. I very quickly learned how to say no to people. No, I cannot hang out. No, I cannot come to your birthday party. No, I cannot babysit your kid. No, I cannot help you move. You learn to set boundaries and to guard your writing time with firm resolve, and to spend your free time doing the things that matter most to you.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Alistair: Yes. Be cautious of the advice of other writers. That, and write every day. No excuses.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Alistair: Tamara Thorne and I have been thrilled with the response we’ve gotten on our collaborative works, so I would like to say thank you to everyone who loves it.

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Alistair: The first book I remember reading was called The Fire Cat by Esther Averill, but I’m sure this isn’t the first one I read.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Alistair: Right now, the only thing I have going on besides writing, editing, and more writing are the preparations for a weekly radio show that Tamara Thorne and I will be hosting. It’s called Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live! and premieres in November.

 

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Alistair: American Horror Story, Forensic Files, Hemlock Grove, and Little House on the Prairie.

 

 

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Alistair: Writing is pretty much it. It’s this or professional cat-petting.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

Alistair: http://alistaircross.com

ARavencrest

Here is my interview with Anna Mychals

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Name: Anna Mychals
Age: 41
Where are you from? I currently live in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc: I grew up in North Carolina. I am the oldest of four kids and the only girl. My parents divorced when I was young. Their divorce rocked my world. I have not spoken to my biological mom since I was twenty-one. My father married a wonderful woman who became my mom. She made me the woman I am today. I have an Associates Degree in Paralegal Technology and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.
I have been married to my loving husband for eighteen years. When I met him I thought he was going to be a one-stand however he became my best friend. One thing led to another and we now have two beautiful children. My husband retired from the Marine Corps nine years ago. I miss him wearing those dress blues!!! My son will be sixteen in November. He is still my cuddle bug. The best mornings are when he snuggles up on the couch with me while I drink my coffee. It’s heaven. My daughter is thirteen and is an aspiring writer. She is everything I ever wanted to be! She is confident, beautiful and makes me want to be a better person.
I gave up my career when my husband retired from the Marines. I took a position within our school system so that I can be on the same schedule as our children. It was the BEST decision I have ever made.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am finishing my debut romance due out in October called “Seeking Me To Find You.” I’m extremely nervous and excited!!!!

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually began writing when I was in elementary school. I had all these stories running around in my mind. My parents fought a lot and it was my way of escaping. When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a book about a family taking a vacation called “Nantahala Here We Come.” I took third place in contest for our school system.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
About a month ago when my story started clicking I experienced a high like no other. I was on a business trip with my husband and I had been writing by the pool all day. When he came back to the hotel that evening I could not stop talking about my day. It hit me that moment that “Wow, I’m a writer!”

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was casually talking with a co-worker and had told her about a romance book I was reading. She stopped for a moment and looked at me as if she had a secret. I found out that she indeed had a secret. She had a blog about romance books and that she was getting ready to publish her first romance. It took our friendship to a higher level. She told me about the voices in her head and how she had to put them on paper. She gave me the nerve to do the same.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am very descriptive in my writing. When I read a book I want to smell the salt air, feel the light brush of a touch, and feel the current from a deep kiss. I want my readers to experience all the senses and more. Also, in my book you will experience the story from Grace and Jackson’s points of view. I think it gives the book more depth and personality.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
As this story was playing out in mind, I felt that Grace was seeking acceptance and without that acceptance she could not find her true love. The same goes with Jackson! When you have that distorted perception, you feel as if you’re not good enough for someone to love you back. You have to get past that in order to love to the deepest depths.

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message I want to convey is EVERYONE has problems, some more than others. The difference is that if you dwell on those problems, the love of your life may pass you by.

 

 

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All of it! With my husband being a Marine I would sit on the couch and say, “Would a Marine do that? What happens in boot camp?” It doesn’t hurt that I have a very romantic husband which gave me inspiration for some of my sex scenes.

 

 

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, however it does incorporate little pieces from my life. My husband was a Marine, we have a huge English Labrador, and I love the beach!

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
“Green Eggs and Ham” was the first book to make me laugh. “Charlotte’s Web” was the first book to make me cry. “Pride and Prejudice” was the first book that made me want to fall in love. “The Shack” was the first book that made me realize that I am never alone.

 

 

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Author MaryAnn Jordan all the way! Without her help, my story would still be stuck in my head.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love my friend, MaryAnn Jordan. She published early this year and her books have taken off. I really love Julie James right now! She’s been around a couple of years but I just found her.

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am forming an outline for my next book, “Mending Me To Find You.” It’s going to be deep. It explores the emotions a military wife who loses her husband. She doesn’t think that her heart can ever mend enough to let someone else back in.

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Above all, God. I pray every night and seek his guidance. It’s hard to wait patiently for his answer but it comes. You also have to be open to the fact that the answer may not be what you wanted. You have to have faith! In my forty-one years of life I have realize that what I thought was a door closing was actually an opportunity for another door to open.

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t know. If it happens, it happens. If not, I will write the stories that float into my head and be content with that! My first career is being a mom. That’s what is most important to me right now.

 

 

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would not change a thing!

 

 

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As I stated before, I grew up with young parents that fought a lot. They were so young when I was born. My mother was seventeen and my father was nineteen. In my heart I believe my mother never wanted any children. She wanted to party and live her life. I just “happened”. My father would read me Dr. Seuss books and they were fun and unique. When I started writing, I kept a journal. The journal was not about my everyday life but about what I wish it could be. The entries became my short stories. It took me to a different place and gave me peace.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s my synopsis!
Grace Weatherly is seeking her independence but still craves the love of a father that always kept his distance. Their strained relationship seeded doubts of whether she is worthy of ever being loved. After catching her boyfriend with another woman, Grace packs up and moves to a place where she can start fresh.

Jackson Kavanugh is a Marine who lives, eats, and breathes the Corps. With extreme demands of his job and never wanting to become like his father, a womanizing workaholic, he avoids affairs of the heart.

When Jackson’s enthusiastic English Lab drags him to Grace’s door, Jackson finds himself seeking a love he never knew was possible. Grace is attracted to the handsome Marine but can she trust that he will not break her heart? Will Jackson be able to find a way to fit a new romance into the life of a Marine? Can two people who have carefully guarded hearts find that they are worthy of love?

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Grammar! I wish I had paid closer attention to Mr. Z, my high school English Teacher, instead of drooling over him. It should be illegal to have twenty-something, good looking male teacher!

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite is Jane Austen. She was the daughter of a Reverend, like me. She had mostly brothers, I have all brothers. She would write and keep her stories in notebooks so that she can you them for reference later on. It amazes me; however is no surprise that her work speaks to the hearts of readers of today. She was a very head-strong lady who wrote very strong women. Her work touched me on so many levels. I hope that I am able to do that with my writings.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet but I can’t wait to meet as many people as I can.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The wonderful Beth Maddox designed my cover.

 

 

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was finding the time. My husband travels two to three weeks out of the month so I am left shuffling the kids back and forth to their activities.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that you can get turned on by writing sex scenes! My husband loved those nights! But seriously, I learned that there are a lot of authors in the “Independent World” that want you to succeed. Reach out to them for advice! They are your best resource!

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow your heart. Write about what makes you happy and it will show in your work.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you in advance for your support. Please like my Facebook Page Anna Mychals – Author and follow me on Twitter @AnnaMychals!!!!

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I read was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. My father read Green Eggs and Ham to me every night before I went to bed. I don’t know if I could read it because I could read or it was because I memorized the book.

 

 
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I am an avid reader. I could consume a book in a day. I also love to go kayaking with my husband.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love NCIS. It is the only show that I CANNOT MISS. Mark Harmon is such a hottie! Also my character, Grace Weatherly, has the last name of the other hottie, Michael Weatherly, which plays Dinozo.

 

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
My favorite food is my grandmother’s Chicken n’ Dumplings. My favorite color is Duke “Blue Devil” blue. My favorite music? Wow! That is hard! On my ITunes I have classical, pop, jazz, country, and folk music. My favorites at this moment are on my “Grocery Store” playlist. I hate the grocery store and these songs get me through it:
Drunk On a Plane by Dierks Bentley
Just Like Heaven by The Cure
The Monster by Eminem and Rihanna
This Is How We Roll by Florida Georgia Line
Slide by The Goo Goo Dolls
Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson
Compass by Lady Antebellum
Modern Love by Matt Nathanson
Suspended by Matt Nathanson
Do What You Have To Do by Sarah McLachlan
Good Enough by Sarah McLachlan
Red by Taylor Swift
Ain’t It Fun by Paramore

 

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I wanted to be a Marine Biologist however got sidetracked by what I thought was “love” and instead went the boring route…Business Management.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Not yet! I’m working on it!!!

Here is my interview with Harper Davis

Name: Harper Davis
Age: 28
Where are you from: Virginia but currently reside in Arizona
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I came from a very small town and after graduating from a Virginia University with a degree in Theatrical Arts, I left and settled in the sunny desert of Arizona. My intent was to stay there for only a short time babysitting a home for a family friend, while I earned enough money to move to an even bigger city and try my hand at writing. I ended up turning the short stay into a longer one as I fell into a job producing parties and events for a living. This didn’t deter me from continuing my writing career which I somehow manage to balance. It seems that I plan parties by day and write my wildest dreams at night.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have finished another novel and I am currently seeking representation and publication. While that process is happening, I am busy reading and outlining my ideas for my next work.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I entered college. In the world of Theater, we were encouraged to use writing as a mode of channeling emotions. One class in particular taught us the basics of writing for the stage: Playwriting. Once I realized that receiving an “A” meant that my writing was more than average, I began to take it seriously and allowed the incredible fantasies to flow through my fingers and onto the page.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I self-published my first novel, Creature Crucibles: The Amaranth Challenge, on Amazon.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, really sparked my imagination more than I realized. That in combination with my muse, I found new worlds that I couldn’t wait to get down on paper.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not sure that I do. I give myself a small outline with characters and loose plot points, but I dive right in after that. I revel in the journey that a novel takes me. Only until it feels finished do I end the story and begin the editing stage.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I write series so I like to think about an overriding theme for the next several books of the series. Then I look at the single book and extract the most important symbol or event that I’ve written and I glean the title from there.

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are messages in all of my novels, but I wouldn’t want to force any reader’s imagination by defining a message. I would rather have the reader decide what message they would like to garner.

 

 

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
None of my books are completely realistic. There are fantasy elements in each, but I would say that raw human emotion, no matter what the platform, is realistic.

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
o The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
o Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
o The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson
o Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk
o The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
o Horns by Joe Hill
o The Talisman by Stephen King
o Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
o Dry by Augusten Burroughs (the only novel to make me shed a tear)

 

 

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Augusten Burroughs

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Breed by Chase Novak

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’d say that Joe Hill and Gillian Flynn are relatively new in the writing world and they have definitely grabbed my interest.

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?
o Creature Crucibles: The Amaranth Challenge
 In a world where life forces are considered more precious than gold, Holton Winters and Sayne Rathford, two lovers ripped apart by their civilization, find themselves thrust into a life or death challenge by the very people who should be protecting them. Security and peace comes at a price.
o The Descendants: Revelation
 When Alex Thorn, a meager college student, allows himself to be dragged to a party one night, he never expected to be plunged into a shrouded world where the most beautiful and terrifying creatures ever imaginable wage war with one purpose in mind: authority over the Mortal realm.
o The Elements: Earthquake
 Damek goes to school just like every other normal kid, but when his Aunt begins harboring elemental refugees, his world is turned upside down. He discovers dark forces that threaten the balance of the elements and seek a “cleansing” of all those who are not of pure descent.

 

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My muse. This person is my everything and through them, I can write the imaginations that float through my mind.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. All anyone needs today is the correct marketing and a little push.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I wouldn’t.

 

 
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d rather not reveal all my secrets yet, but I will say that the current novel I am sending to agents is a seemingly utopian young adult world in which machines play a large part.

 

 
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing. I would like to keep everything that I have written in my novels, but there is such a thing as too much. It’s deciding what needs to go that s hard.

 

 
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Augusten Burroughs. He feels so raw and uninhibited. It’s as if he is sitting next to me chatting about the intricacies of his life and I find him riveting and fascinating beyond comprehension. There are no words wasted. Each are important and have a weight about them that I admire.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No unfortunately

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do all of my own covers!

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned to trust my imagination. I find that not holding back is what makes my stories attainable for the reader. It’s not enough to slap words on a page. You have to pour a piece of yourself into it so that the pages become your flesh and blood. Sometimes it can be a bit petrifying, but that’s a feeling that I revere.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up; endurance is a virtue. Never listen to anyone less than encouraging. Never hold back.

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I am an avid movie watcher and I have a wide range of tastes. I’m up for almost anything. I go see one about every other weekend.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
o American Horror Story
o The Strain (new favorite)
o The Leftovers (new favorite)
o Fargo
o True Blood (even though it’s over)
o Archer
o Criminal Minds
o Masters of Sex

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love the color green but I also love wearing the color blue
Wide variety of music but I really enjoy Kylie Minogue, Paloma Faith, Sia, Imagine Dragons, Pink, Goldfrapp, Gin Wigmore, Metric, Scissor Sisters, and The Cranberries to name a few.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? http://www.harperdavisbooks.com

Links to books:
Creature Crucibles: http://www.amazon.com/Amaranth-Challenge-Creature-Crucibles-Book-ebook/dp/B00H01KZMA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410931012&sr=8-1&keywords=the+amaranth+challenge

Descendants: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HSYR74S/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=02EKZX5E9WPBSWHX98DQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

The Elements: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HTCP4JO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=02EKZX5E9WPBSWHX98DQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

 

99 Cent Sale_V499 Cent Sale_V5CreatureDescendantsElements

Here is my interview with George Polley

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Name: George Polley
Age: 80
Where are you from:
Originally from Seattle, Washington, I’ve lived in Oregon, California, Illinois, Minnesota, back to Seattle and, since April, 2008, in Sapporo, Japan.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I’m the eldest of two. My brother owns an old and rare bookstore in Seattle. Growing up we were surrounded with books, so I’ve been avid readers since childhood, as were my parents. Writing is a second career for me. My primary career was in the mental health field, where I spent 41 years, retiring at the end of 2007. My wife and I moved to Japan to be closer to her family, who live about six hours from us by bus.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m preparing to put three of my novels — The Old Man and The Monkey, Grandfather and The Raven, and Bear, a story about a boy and his unusual dog — back on Amazon, as my publisher folded at the end of May. My new publisher is Tortoise & Hare Publications. Once these books are on Amazon, my new novel, The City Has Many Faces, a Love Story About Mexico City, currently at my editor’s, will be published later this year. Then I begin a new project, a nonfiction book about addiction and recovery.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In my first year of Junior High, my English teacher complimented me on a story I’d written for a class assignment. She told me I had talent as a writer. I never forgot what she said. I didn’t begin writing until 1964, when I wrote what a professor friend called an “angry” novel about a clergyman living in a small village in Illinois. From that time, I was hooked.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When a short story, “Jonah’s Birth,” was published by The South Dakota Review in 1968. I’d shown it to Frederick Manfred (author of “Lord Grizzly” and other novels), who liked it and suggested that I send it to the magazine’s editor. I was pumped!

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A dream about a large Japanese monkey. Since I’d never dreamt about one, and had no interest in them, I wondered what he was doing in my dream. “The Old Man and The Monkey,” a short novella, is the result.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Probably magic realism. I like unexpected, magical, mythical elements in stories. With The Old Man and The Monkey, the setting is unreal, as monkey don’t live on Hokkaido. But in the story, they do, at least for a certain moment in history. With my children’s novel, Bear, a story about a boy and his unusual dog, Bear’s parents are Golden Retrievers, but he looks like a small bear. How could this be? He also has some specially acute senses, and a quirky sense of humor. In Grandfather and The Raven, the raven unexpectedly begins talking in Japanese.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the titles?
Each title tells what the story is about, so titles were easy. In my newest novel, about Mexico City, title was much more difficult. I didn’t settle on one until a friend in Rotterdam suggested “The City Has Many Faces.”

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
Intentionally, no, though readers do see messages in them. In The Old Man and The Monkey I was writing a story about the friendship between an elderly man and a monkey. Readers see it as an allegory about friendship between species and between races. With Grandfather and The Raven, it’s about an unusual friendship. In Bear it’s a story about a big, friendly dog who scares people because he looks like a bear. In the Mexico City novel, it’s about the city, as seen by people who live there.

 

 

Fiona: How much of the books are realistic?
Depends on what we mean by “realistic.” I’ll leave it at that.

 

 

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Both. Dreams, having a big raven fly right over my head one morning cawing loudly, and living in Mexico City in 1973 and 1974. Bear? Total fantasy. I think I liked the dog; having said that, I’d love to have one like him.

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
That’s a difficult one. If I like one novel by a writer, I read every other one he or she has written, so I’ll mention the authors who’ve been influential. Edgar Rice Burroughs novels (primarily his novels about Mars and Venus), Louise Muhlbach’s historical romances, Rabindranath Tagore, Nikos Kazantzakis, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Amado, J. K. Rowling and, most recently, Haruki Murakami. These people stimulate my imagination and keep me awake at night.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Frederick Manfred, because he was my mentor for a little over a year. I owe my career to him.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Haruki Murakami: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, and John W. Dower: Cultures of War.

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Stieg Larsson, author of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the rest of the Millennium Trilogy. Tragically, he died of a heart attack the day he delivered his manuscripts to his publisher. I’d love to have seen what else he might have written.

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?
Getting my books republished and back on Amazon, doing a final edit of my Mexico City novel once I get it back from my editor, and finishing my nonfiction book about addiction and recovery.

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Good friends.

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Since my retirement, it’s my only career. Tah dah!

 

 

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No.

 

 

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
What my 7th Grade English teacher gave me an “A” on a story I’d written for an assignment and told me that I had a talent for writing.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us? It is a novel, The City Has Many Faces, a love story about Mexico City ©. Here’s a bit from the first chapter:
When I arrived in Mexico City, I found a world that was beyond anything I had experienced in my life. Sitting high in the Valley of Mexico at an elevation of some seven thousand feet and a population of eleven million, its sidewalks and streets were bustling twenty-four hours a day. Mexico City was more than a city. It was a phenomenon, something I had neither experienced nor imagined.

It wasn’t only the city’s elevation and size that struck me, it was its culture, steeped in Aztec history and the Spanish conquest. It was the food, the smells and the sounds. It was the blanket of smog that shrouded the city until the wind came along and swept it over the mountains to the sea. It was the two volcanos, Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl looming nearby. It was the public art, the museums and the people. The people. I carry the memories of them after all these years.

When I fell in love with the city and its many faces, I never expected it would be a love affair that would last forty years, but that is what happened. So I share my story of this great city in its high valley, surrounded by mountains, cloaked in a blanket of smog that, on windy days, is swept over the western mountains to the sea.

Welcome to Mexico City, my city, the city of many faces. Some of the people here you’ll meet but once, others appear throughout the story. Disappointing perhaps, but that is the way life is, with some interesting people dropping away, others remaining, and still others popping up from time to time as you journey from one day to the next in this most fascinating of cities. “That’s life,” as my grandfather would say.

The City

In the middle of the night he feels it, a deep-down throbbing that comes from somewhere beneath the city, like a heartbeat. Ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump. Day and night, twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year the city is alive and moving. In his apartment on Calle Victor Hugo, he hears the city’s great heart beating. Along nearby Calle Rio Tiber with its unbelievable traffic jams, the sound of the city is deafening. In the middle of the night he hears frustrated drivers stuck there furiously blaring their horns. Someone’s car horn plays “La Marseillaise” over and over and over again as the driver tries and fails to move the traffic along more than a few inches at a time. “Children of the Fatherland, let’s go!” Over and over and over again, but it does no good at all. Standing at the bottom of Calle Rio Tiber one day, he gaped open-mouthed at the bedlam of cars log-jammed from Reforma to the top of the hill. Yet not one car moved an inch. It is sheer madness, repeated endlessly day after day, and it fascinates him.

How does anyone in the buildings lining Tiber get anything done? Soundproofing, plus learning to ignore it, to block it out.

“It’s deafening,” a bystander says.

“What?” Standing next to him, his friend cups a hand to his ear and laughs.

At three o’clock in the morning it’s not quite as loud, but it is unrelentingly there. Oddly enough, after several months in his apartment, he doesn’t notice it much any more unless it’s some madman stuck on Tiber blaring “La Marseillaise” endlessly on his car’s extra loud horn.

Mexico City is alive, and it is awake. Does it ever sleep? Anyone you ask will tell you that it does not.
* * *

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Focusing on telling the main character’s story, and not getting side-tracked by tributaries that present themselves. I made that mistake with one novel, and still have to go back and redo the whole thing, focusing on the main character. In my Mexico City novel, Mexico City is the main character. Each of the people in the novel tell their story of Mexico City, what their lives are like.

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
At the moment, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is my favorite author. His novels are so multileveled and fascinating that I am drawn in and sometimes am not sure just where I am, which story (there are often several linked ones) am I following at a given moment. His huge 1Q84 (1984 in Japanese — “ichi cue hachi yon”) has a main story that operates in two different worlds, plus multiple stories of other people that are all interconnected. Utterly fascinating!

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
No, I don’t. I will be doing some readings and sharing about writing fiction and poetry at a local private school where the classes are taught in English. And I’m planning on doing a bit of poetry reading with jazz accompaniment with a jazz musician friend.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A couple in Australia.

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Listening to the main character or characters and allowing them to tell the story. When I want to control it, the story quickly turns into a nightmare. I worked on the Mexico City novel for years before it hit me that the city was what the novel was about. Once I got that straight, the writing began to flow.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
The sheer joy of telling stories.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read everything you can lay your hands on, then reread it. Focus on the story and the ways in which stories are told. What is there about a story that makes it stick in your memory? Reading is learning, so never stop reading.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Enjoy what you read

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Probably “Jack and Jill.”

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Reading, listening to music, drawing, walking, hanging out at my favorite Starbucks eating a scone and listening to the chatter around me.

 

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Films and TV shows with a good story, strong characters, and good acting. Sorry to not be more specific than that, but everything here is in Japanese other than for a few imports that are in English. A favorite series was “Brother Cadfael”, which I watched in Seattle.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite foods: pie, cake, my wife’s cooking, stews, fish, curry, Mexican, Middle Eastern. Favorite colors: bright colors. Favorite music: World music, classical music, folk music, ballads.

 

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Creatively, it would be learning to play the guitar and painting, both of which I started but gave up. In terms of work, the list is long, as I’ve enjoyed most every job I’ve had, including hospital orderly, sales, limousine driver, program manager and psychiatric social worker.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is http://www.geogepolleyauthor.com
A second website, where I share what I write, is http://georgepolleywriter.wordpress.com
Link to my Books page on amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/George-Polley/e/B002TNEGO2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1410910784&sr=1-2-ent

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Here is my interview with L.B. Dunbar

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Name: L.B. Dunbar
Age: 45
Where are you from: I was born in Chicago, raised in East Lansing, Michigan, and returned to Chicago, Illinois in 1994.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m your typical Catholic girl who went to Catholic grade school, high school and an all woman’s college. The irony is I wouldn’t exactly say I was a proper Catholic girl. I’ve been married for twenty years to the same man, and have four wonderful children.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently published Taste Test, my second book in the Sensations Collection, and have book 3 coming out November 2 titled Fragrance Free. I’m also working on something a bit different compared to the Sensations Collection, but still a romance with more of a mystery flare.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I always knew I wanted to write a book, I just didn’t know what I wanted to write. I felt it had to great, spectacular, outstanding…instead of just being a good, touching story. I was scared to write romance, but I got over that. I’d like to say I’ve always been a write, but I haven’t. In 2005 I wrote a novel that really wasn’t great, but in 2011 I tried again when a story in my head just would not go away.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know if I even consider myself one now!! LOL. But I guess when I had to explain to the local printer that the bookmarks were for my books, that’s when it hit me. I’m a writer.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Someone I’ve never met inspired me to write the first book. I saw a man who looks like the description of Jess Carter in Sound Advice with his daughter who fits the description of Katie Carter at a local festival in small town Elk Rapids. He stood tall, brooding and had the concentration of a man scorned. The next day I saw him again with his daughter advertising sound system services and I though how ironic it would be to work on radio repairs but have a daughter that didn’t speak. A story was born…and Sound Advice was written.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure what that means but I write linear, meaning I write from start to finish for a story. I don’t jump ahead even if I have an idea and I didn’t work off an outline for the Sensations Collection, but definitely am for my current WIP.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sound plays off the fact that Jess Carter works for a radio repair/sound system installation company. Advice comes from the fact that Emily Post is the granddaughter of an advice columnist on manners. Sound Advice together is a pun on the two occupations as well as the fact that Emily needs to make sound advice for her future.

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Life is short; live now. That’s one of Nana’s Rules to Live By in the novel and the one that I think is most relevant to the story and myself. Life is short and we need to take risks to live and love. I took the risk to write the books in the first place. The characters need to decide if the risks to love are worth it.

 

 

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Not much for Sound Advice, but I will admit that Nana is a combination of both my husband’s grandmothers. One was extremely concerned with manners while the other was a bit feisty. Many experiences of Nana’s are based on situations of both women while they were alive.
In Taste Test, the only real thing is the house of Jacob Vincent’s. It’s real home on Lake Michigan that inspired the story for its mystery and cold structure. The rest is fiction.

 

 

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I mentioned, the overall appearance of both Jess Carter and Katie are true to life for someone I never met. Nana is based off my husband’s grandmothers. A few of the dementia situations of Nana were true to one grandmother and the accident was true of another. In Taste Test, the story wasn’t based on anyone I knew and yet I think we all know a woman who has had some kind of abuse like Ella.

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Jane Austen. She was my first true romance author that made me fall in love with the genre and England. I also loved Forever by Judy Bloom and that was my first introduction to sex in a book.

 

 

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Hands down Jay Crownover. I think she rights realistic characters who are flawed as we all are and they experience real world situations of family, friends, and jobs. Not to mention her men are hot and her women strong.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve been reading as many indie as I can which has lately been Rachel Brookes, Penelope Ward, Madison Street, and Addison Kline.

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I don’t know how new they are but I love Mia Sheridan and Penelope Ward.

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?
Rock stars and historical reference…I can’t wait to share it. January, fingers crossed.

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
None. I didn’t tell anyone I was publishing a book until three weeks before it went live. If you count my editor, my cover designer and the formatter, then those three others knew a book was coming. Otherwise, it was a big secret until I hit publish. I did it all wrong in that aspect, but I’m learning.

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Wouldn’t that be fabulous? If I could make the right about of many (to pay the college tuition of my children), then absolutely I’d love to have this as a career. Right now I see it as a second career as I work as a middle school teacher during the days.

 

 

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Taste Test – nothing. Well, I might add a steaming pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins scene.
Sound Advice – it needs additional editing work.

 

 

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think as an avid reader I’d always thought it would be cool to write a book as well. I also decided after reading too many of the same kinds of books, that the only way to read what I wanted might be to write the story myself.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I was submerged in darkness. A feather light, floating feeling surrounded me and yet I felt heavily weighted down. The sensation was still pleasant, comforting even. I was warm, maybe too warm, but I didn’t move. I was peaceful except for that beeping noise in the background.
Beep.
Beep.
Beep.
I was relaxed enough that I felt disconnected from my body, as if having an outer body experience. I could hear voices and I wanted to respond, but I couldn’t compose words. My tongue felt thick, filling my mouth, but quite simply I didn’t have the energy to speak.
Beep.
Beep.
Beep.
Tones came and went in my head. A rough older gentleman’s voice was almost musical. Music? I needed music somehow, but I didn’t know how. Another voice was female. She sounded slightly hysterical, talking too quickly for me to follow the stream of conversation, and occasionally sobbing in between words. A softer female voice was closer. She spoke of love, but it wasn’t a voice I connected with love.
Beep.
Beep.
Beep.
There was a voice only in my head that reminded me of love, and that voice was absent from the background. The music I needed to bring me out of the darkness was that sound. Her voice. Where was she? Why wasn’t she here?
© L.B. Dunbar

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time to write. Getting a sex scene hot but not erotic. Sometimes making the chemistry apparent.

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Currently my favorites are Kylie Scott, Jay Crownover and Samantha Young. Again, they write realistic characters (well maybe not those Stage Dive characters) but real girls who are strong willed find their way into the hearts of those rock stars. Also the connection between characters is amazing in their stories.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Nope. Elk Rapids, Michigan is where the Sensations Collection takes place and my in-laws live there so I’m very familiar with the area. I did my first author talk there so that was really special to me.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Kari Ayasha at Cover to Cover Designs and I highly recommend her. I’m partial, but I think my covers are gorgeous.

 

 

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Giving myself permission to write a sex scene. For Taste Test, it was hard to write the abuse of Ella without being too graphic.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned so much I don’t know where to start. I think the more I write the better I get at diversifying language, dialogue and content.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t be afraid. Take the risk, but be realistic. If you sell a million celebrate. If you sell fifty celebrate. You wrote a book and you published it and no one can take that from you.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I don’t like to sound egotistical and say I have fans, but I have some loyal readers and I cannot express enough my gratitude at their support, the energy I take from their positive words and the overall love I have in my heart for them. If I could hug each and everyone I would.

 

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Three Bears.

 

 
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading. Gardening. I’m pretty boring.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Not a big television show watcher, but I love movies. The last movie I saw was If I Stay which was a book first and I loved the book.

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Most food is my favorite, but I love Italian foods, like lasagna, spaghetti and pizza; I also love Coca-Cola and can admit I am greatly addicted to it. My first word was cookie so that says it all there. My favorite color changes – but consistently I love pink, orange and green. I don’t love to wear green but I have many green items in my home. Music – I use music as inspiration for my books and I love to have a playlist to go with the story. My current influences are Snow Patrol, and anything sexy rock.

 

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I always wanted to be a teacher and I do that as well. I’ve super fortune. I do both. I also always wanted to be a mother and I’m that times four.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
http://lbdunbarwrites.blogspot.com/ – blog
http://www.lbdunbar.com – website

Sound Advice links:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nbk47kt
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/mzah4ud
itunes: http://tinyurl.com/p3rmmvg
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sound-advice-1

Taste Test links:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/q8z4ko6
Barnes& Noble: http://tinyurl.com/ktqgds6

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id914583752

adviceEthanhomehands on window

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Here is my interview with Pamela Beckford

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Name Pamela Beckford
Age Not as old as dirt, but closer than I would like
Where are you from – northern Indiana
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have never left my hometown, a small rural community in northern Indiana. It was a great place to raise my daughter. Of course, she wasted no time in leaving and moving to a large city. Sigh. I have an adorable five year old grandson. I know everyone says that, but really he is adorable. He actually has done some modelling (it helps that my daughter is a fashion designer and has been able to expose him to many photographers).

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I published my third book in July this year. What an exciting adventure this has been.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing poetry about 18 months ago as a way of bringing some catharsis to some personal situations.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It is still hard for me to think of myself as a writer.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have a couple of muses and I started seeing a theme in my poems. A dear friend encouraged me to publish my first collection.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I really enjoy all the different poetry forms. They are challenging and I love learning new forms. It is hard to say something powerful with a limited amount of syllables.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Love: Lost and Found just seemed to convey both sides of the relationships we go through in our lives.

 

 

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My muses keep me supplied with stories and feelings that I am able to put into words

 

 

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? I am an avid reader and have been since I was a young child. I loved the classics when I was in school, but cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins and classics like Gulliver Travels

 

 

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I don’t know if I truly have a writing mentor. But I do have a mentor, Ionia Martin, who has guided me through some of the publishing and marketing processes

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Patrick O’Bryon’s second book, Beacon of Vengeance. And I recommend it if you enjoy history, particularly Nazi Germany history,

 

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have been reading a lot of indie authors this past year. I love Sarah Cradit, Charles Yallowitz and Patrick O’Bryon.

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am writing more love poems that I hope to have ready for a new collection that I will publish in 2015

 

 

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Ionia has been right there supporting me and prodding me

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career? Not really – I have a career that I just love and I don’t want to put my writing on a path of “must do” today.

 

 

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I’m pretty pleased with everything from my cover to the content

 

 

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A friend encouraged me to write down feelings and it evolved into poetry

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I will only say that it is another love poem collection that will make you melt as you read it. The love poems seem to be my niche. I haven’t felt as strongly about my other poetry

 

 

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The various forms are always a challenge – just the perfect word with the correct number of syllables

 

 

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I know this sounds like a real departure from love poetry, but Stephen King has always been a favorite contemporary author

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I came up with the concept of the cover, but then had to turn it over to a graphic designer. My next challenge is to teach myself how to do cover design myself instead of directing someone else with what I’m seeing in my head

 

 

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Hands down it is marketing. The formatting and publishing wasn’t too bad, the writing, of course, is my soul pouring out words. But the marketing is difficult and time consuming. I feel like if I don’t mention my books, they don’t sell. But then I feel like I’m always talking about my books and nagging.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have learned a lot about social media marketing and the formatting.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow your heart

 

 

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would encourage my readers, and every book reader, to read and review what you read. Fair and honest reviews are always appreciated.

 
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yikes, that was ages ago. But I do remember my favorite book from my childhood – Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

 
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid reader. I would rather be reading than almost anything else – preferable on a beach. I am also a huge football fan and my team is the Pittsburgh Steelers

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I really don’t watch television or go to movies as they cut into my reading time. Watching my Pittsburgh Steelers play football is the exception.

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I am a snacker and have a horrible diet because of all the potato chips/pretzels/popcorn. I love music – every genre except rap and actually began my college career as a vocal music major (when I realized that if I didn’t want to teach, my odds of having a successful vocal career were limited to being in the right place at the right time, I changed to a business major). I love anything colorful – the brighter and more vivid, the better. I’m a redhead who loves to wear bright red.

 
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’m already living my dream as the CEO of a small community non-profit.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? http://poetrybypamela.wordpress.com
Here is the link to my book trailer http://voice.adobe.com/v/USjFF45ByPZ

 

Here is my FB page https://www.facebook.com/poetrybypamela

 

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