Here is my interview with Yolanda Olson

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Name  Yolanda Olson

Age 33

Where are you from Bridgeport, CT

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  I graduated from Bullard Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport with a degree in Graphic Communications, which pretty much turns me into a proofreading monster, so long as it’s not my own books ahahah I hate editing. I have the most beautiful cat in the world; he’s a little cross eyed (which is why I wanted him so bad) and his name is Frankie. I have a plethora of nieces and nephews. My oldest niece, Amy, is my sidekick. She brings the brave out of me!

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

 I’m currently working on a few stories. I’m finishing up Vacant Horizons which is the follow up to my book, Save Riley. I’m also working on the third installment of the Red Light Ladies series, Bittersweet Heroine. The cover for that is super kick ass. I got one of my girls who is a Tuscon Maiden of Metal, Kristi Khaos, to be on the cover of it!


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Short stories I’ve been writing since I was a kid. The first thing I ever wrote was a little murder mystery called The Rose. It scared my friends at the time and that’s when I thought I might be good at it


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 Probably around the time I was 8 years old.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 Self pub? When I was in my mid 20s. My oldest niece who I mentioned before was on the cover and it was under a pen name as well.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

 Nope! Whatever pops in my head, if it seems interesting or different to me, then I’ll throw it on a word doc and see what happens.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

We’ll I’ll go with Vacant Horizons for this question because it’s my next release. The main character Purple has gone through some serious hell at the hands of Jaxton Whitlock which  leaves her a vacant shell of a human being. Horizons comes from a song by Parkway Drive who I based the Jaxton character on.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yeah, don’t talk to strangers. I know it’s cliched, but next thing you know you’re the victim of a deranged, sexy Aussie.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

 Not much at all. If any of it ever happened to me, I’d probably seize up and die lol!


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

No thankfully. If I knew someone like Jax, I’d probably run screaming into the night hahahaha


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I LOVE Kim Harrison’s Hollow Series books. She’s my favorite author honestly. I love her imagery and to be quite honest, even though I’m not a sci-fi fan, her stuff is too good to pass up!


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Currently, and sadly, I’m too busy writing to read. But the audible app is amazing! Dark Places by Gillian Flynn was a great listen!


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Okay so at the risk of sounding biased, have you read Memories by Meagan Moyer? That book was honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read!


Fiona: What are your current projects?

 Vacant Horizons, Bittersweet Heroine, my deranged cowboy and a little something that I’ve secretly been working on for a bit.


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

 I would have to say my girls in my secret group. They are AMAZING.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 It’s like a second job and I love it!


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 I had literally about 3 ideas. I picked the last one, because if the others were that good, I never would’ve gotten that one to begin with.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Probably from watching horror movies. I wanted to create my own creepy worlds too.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

 Sure! So this book pretty much shows you what happens to Purple after Jax “let’s her go”. The one thing she says in the beginning in the book, the prologue section, is that she knows that she’s not really free. Pay attention to that and know that my mind is a dangerous place to be!


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

 It never fails with any story that I write that I always get writer’s block. So that’s usually when I start another story. I have a bunch of different unfinished stories on my laptop for that very reason.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 Kim Harrison! The worlds that she can create just astound me! I love her Hollows Series!


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Mentally, I’m in Australia at the moment lol


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did a majority of them. GT6 Photography took the pictures of Lindracula for Unwound, Claiming Olivia, and Claiming Olivia 2, and Oggi Graphics+ designed the cover for Save Riley.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

 Keeping my mind on track. I almost always know how I want it to end, I just have to go through the process of getting there.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Yeah I learned with Vacant Horizons, that a beautiful face can hide the most dangerous monster.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Do it. Seriously. No matter what anyone else thinks of what you write, DO IT. If I stopped to think of all the people that old me that I couldn’t do it or that no one would read my books, I still did it. And always remember that for every one person that DOESN’T like your book, there will be at least five people that DO.


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

 Just thank you. Honestly, if you guys didn’t get curious enough to pick up one of my books today, then I wouldn’t be anywhere. I appreciate that more than I can EVER put into words.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt. :)

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’m a giggler, so it’s easy to make me laugh. And I’m also an emotional wreck, so it’s just as easy to make me cry.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Alexander the Great. I have always been fascinated with that man!

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

“Don’t cry, I lived a good life.” Just cause it seems so poetic.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

 I love going to concerts (rock please!), getting tattoos, and collecting Alice in Wonderland stuff!

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

Married with Children, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air … Older tv sitcoms obviously. And I absolutely LOVE horror movies!!!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Chocolate, blue, and ROCK!

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

 Probably an explorer. I love adventure!

 Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? https://www.facebook.com/yolandasendlesswords

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Yolanda-Olson/e/B00JO6HMKW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427497626&sr=1-1

 

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Here is my interview with Eric Mondschein

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Name Eric Mondschein

Age  64

Where are you from?

Queensbury, New York, USA (Upstate NY)

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

I am an author and education consultant. I have a Bachelor’s degree in political science from the American University, a Master’s degree in delinquency prevention, and a doctorate in law and education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

I have taught law and education at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Massachusetts, the American University in Washington, DC, and the State University of New York in Albany. I worked for the US government in various capacities, published and edited numerous articles and books in various areas of law and education and written and managed numerous grants from the private and public sectors. I directed an award winning law-related education program for the New York State Bar Association from 1980 through 1994, where I managed and developed many programs in the areas of constitutional, international, environmental and education law as well as other areas of civil and criminal law.

From 1995 to 2006, I served as an advisor for external affairs in Haifa, Israel, where I advised the governing board of an international non-governmental organization in the area of external affairs, including government relations, security and provided analysis of human rights situations in selected countries throughout the world in general, and in Iran and the Middle East in particular. I am the author of Life at 12 College Road.

I currently reside in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York with my wife, Ginny. We have two grown children Adam and Emily, a son in law, Kamal, a daughter in law, Yaani, and grandchildren, Annie, Nate, and Eli.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I would like to tell you that after I finished writing Life at 12 College Road I wrote the action/thriller novel I had always wanted to write. But that is not the case. I am now coauthoring a monograph and teaching supplement for the Education Law Association (ELA) with a colleague and friend, Ellery (Rick) Miller, on the subject of sexual harassment and bullying. It’s called Sexual Harassment and Bullying: Similar, but Not the Same, and is due to be published in the fall of 2015. The monograph explores the current legal developments in the areas of sexual harassment and bullying K-12. It also examines strategies for developing and implementing policies and training to create an educational environment that allows each student to feel safe and secure, and to ensure a safe school environment conducive to learning.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing poetry in the late 1960’s and was encouraged to do so by my college English Literature and creative writing professor, William A. Hughes. He made a big impression on me, but instead of pursuing writing I focused on political science and law. Although I stopped writing poetry I did write, but they were professional articles on law and education, and of course in professional positions I’ve held over the years, I have been required to file reports, write memoranda, and even treatises.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I never really considered myself a writer, even though I did have several poems published, and as I said I wrote numerous articles for professional journals and several education books. I first actually considered myself a writer when I wrote Life at 12 College Road. As I said when I wrote it, not when it was published. Even if it had not been published, although I am delighted that it was, I considered myself a writer when I began writing it. I also have a blog where I do write about random thoughts and commentaries about issues and concerns that we are faced with these days, poems, and even recipes. So I guess I have thought about myself as writer only recently.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

First, I want to say that no one makes me write. In the professional positions I’ve held over the years, I have been required as I mentioned, to file reports, write memoranda, even treatises, but I was never required to publish law-related articles, write poems, or, of course, author Life at 12 College Road. But I certainly did not write because I had nothing better to do. The time spent away from family and the activities that were sacrificed along the way attest to that. It was more often a feeling of being compelled to write. Not for others, although most writers do want people to read their work, but to feed a need or a desire coming from within. I’ve felt particularly driven to write about my experiences growing up. The writing is not really so much about me as it is about those feelings and emotions—joy, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, even loss—that each of us, in our own ways, inevitably encounters.

Through this writing experience, I have also come to recognize that even in the solitude of writing, we are not really alone. Our memories of loved ones; friends, and those we admire are always with us. Some are nearer to the surface of sentience than others, but they are there nonetheless.

And if we are really willing to listen, they have much to offer.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes I believe I do. I write as if I am sitting in front a few close friends, and telling them a story. So I guess my writing style is one of storytelling. I want the reader to feel that I am talking to them.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title just seemed a natural. The book was about my life at 12 College Road. Every story, and the book is really a collection of thirty-three short stories about my life in and around the house I lived in at 12 College Road. So the title Life at 12 College Road just seemed the way to go, that and my wife liked it.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

First, my book is not a novel it is a memoir, and as I said it is really a collection of thirty-three ‘real life’ short stories. As to your question, we all have memories—those that make us smile or laugh, others that bring anger or tears, and some that we’d just as soon forget. But those memories help to make us who we are today—and in some ways, who we will become tomorrow.

While reflecting upon my past to write the book, I found that it was not the major earth-shattering events that were truly significant for me. Rather, it was the small things, many long forgotten until recently, that deeply touched me. And if their retelling can help the reader to connect with similar moments from their own life, then it was worth the time and effort in my writing Life at 12 College Road and their reading it.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

All of it, as it all really did happen, although as I said in my dedication I could almost hear my family saying, “Rick, we don’t remember it happening exactly that way.”

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

As it is a memoir, all the events are from my life.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?

Books: I would have to say The Citadel of Faith and the Promised Day is Come by Shoghi Effendi.

Mentor(s): I would have to say Professor William A. Hughes who encouraged me to write, Mr. Glenford E. Mitchell who showed me how to write, and Phyllis Edgerly Ring who made me want to write.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Lately, I have been reading Dean Kootnz’s Odd Thomas series.  I also just finished The Last Israelis by Noah Beck and Israel Strikes by William Stroock.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, William Stroock as I just mentioned and Phyllis Edgerly Ring the author of among others, Snow Fence Road.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

As I indicated previously, I am coauthoring a monograph and teaching supplement for the Education Law Association (ELA) Ellery (Rick) Miller, entitled, Sexual Harassment and Bullying: Similar, but Not the Same, and is due to be published in the fall of 2015.


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

The writing group that I was a member of, which was facilitated by Phyllis Edgerly Ring.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

For me, no I do not, but if you mean will I keep writing, yes I will. If at this stage of my life that makes it my new career so be it.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

If you are referring to Life at 12 College Road no I would not change a thing, except perhaps argue a bit more strenuously to leave one of the stories in that ended up on the cutting room floor.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It was at Wesley College in Professor William A. Hughes creative writing and English Literature classes that I found that I was interested in writing. At the time it was poetry but that is where the seed was planted.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Well I am not sure you would be interested as the novel I wanted to write is on the shelf, and even though some of the characters sometimes talk to me, I am not ready to take them down off that shelf.  As I said earlier, right now I am working on a monograph on sexual harassment and bullying with a friend. I am concerned about our schools providing a safe and secure environment for our young people to be able to learn and grow. Unfortunately bullying and sexual harassment are problems in schools not only in America, but also around the world. The book my friend and I are working on is designed to be used in colleges of education and law schools, as well as assisting school districts in training their teachers and staff. In time, I may get back to the novel, as every once in while I think I hear the characters trying to talk to me.


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

I think it is always the beginning, I procrastinate, knowing that once I start writing I usually do not stop until I am either done, or my wife says you have to eat something or if you do not get some sleep you will collapse.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Dean Kootnz. He has a way with character development that makes them so human and alive, and in many cases someone you would really enjoy being friends with like for example his Odd Thomas character. He also is a phenomenal storyteller and his plots and dialogue bring every page to life.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I have done some travelling, but mostly it is local. I had a book launch in New York City, but for the most part I have been doing book fairs, readings, and book signings closer to home.  For those not familiar with the geography of New York, I live in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, and in fact I live much closer to Canada than New York City.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Rachel Abou-Zeid, a woman who works for my publisher Something or Other Publishing (SOOPLC), designed the cover. We spoke about what I was trying to accomplish with the book, what the title would be, and she went from there. It was a great experience.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Once I knew what I was going to write about, and that I had found my voice, it was the editing process. Working with my editor was a fantastic experience and I owe Michael Schindler a great deal. He made it as painless as he could, and it was a wonderful learning experience and it improved my writing. But I must confess seeing what was ending up on the cutting room floor, as they say, was the hardest part for me. I admit it was necessary and it did in the end make for a better read, but it still hurt nonetheless.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that I could in fact write, and that others enjoyed my writing. What I also learned was that it was more often a feeling of being compelled to write. Not for others, although most writers do want people to read their work, but to feed a need or a desire coming from within.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

To read as much as you can and as varied as you can make it, be it action, adventure, romance, novels or short stories, just Read, Read, and Read some more. And be willing, truly willing to take constructive criticism, and to learn what the difference is between criticism that is meant to assist, and that which is meant to debilitate, and pay no attention to the latter. And it goes without saying—WRITE.


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

Without giving anything away, I would think that after reading the book one might come away wondering just how I could have survived. But I wrote the book, and am now answering your questions, so I am happy to report that I did. The book is about growing up in suburban/rural New York in the 1950s and 60s. The main character, as a young boy and teenager, is confronted with many of the issues and concerns of that time. I think, however, that many of the concerns, questions, problems, and conflicts I encountered will be familiar to just about anyone, at any age.

The tools and knowledge at our disposal may differ, but as human beings we all generally go through the same stages of growing up and discovering what is really important. In reflecting on my past, I found that it was not the earth-shattering events that were most significant to me. Rather, it was the small things; many long forgotten until recently, that deeply and indelibly touched me. Sure, some of the memories involve fire trucks, police cars, and hospital visits. But most do not. And if their retelling can help the reader to connect with similar moments from their own life, well, that is special.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I remember reading on my own, that was not a comic book was one of the Rick Brandt adventure series. I also read Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

There are many things that make me laugh, but I must confess watching my grandchildren enjoying the simplest things have made me laugh from happiness and joy more often than not. As for crying, I admit I am more of a softy than many believe, having diligently maintained that reputation I have, but honestly, seeing others suffer, seeing injustice not only makes me angry, but also touches me more now than when I was younger.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Except for family members that have passed and ancestors, no one in particular.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

I think just my name and date of birth and death will suffice. As to why, well those who know me do not need to read what I did, and to those who did not know me, what difference would it make anyway?

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy fishing, canoeing, boating, shooting, hunting, grilling and of course reading. As a boy I enjoyed making model ships and airplanes, and I am sure will again, as well as tying flies for fishing.

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

I enjoy Game of Thrones, NCIS, The Black List, Chicago PD, Rizzoli and Isles, Banshee, The Hunted, Strike Back and Suits to name, but a few, and as for movies, I enjoyed Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Avengers, Star Trek, and all the James Bond movies. There are some “chick flicks” as they are called that I really enjoyed, but we will not mention them, as I still do have a reputation to uphold.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I am a meat eater, so I enjoy roasts – pork, beef, and lamb, also seafood and BBQ, as well as Mediterranean and French food. I also love homemade breads and fruit pies. My favorite color is blue, although I am partial to purple, and I enjoy classical strings, chamber music, and country.

 

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

Well I have been blessed with having had the opportunity to have done so many different things, from positions that I have been honoured to have held and activities I participated in here and abroad before becoming a ‘writer,’ so I think at this point in my life I will stick to writing, my hobbies, and spending time with family and friends.

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

Yes I do have a website and it can be found at: http://www.ericmondschein.com.          There you will find my musings on current events, commentaries on issues of import, poetry, and even some of my recipes.

 Here is  for purchasing the book here is a link Life at 12 College Road 

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Here is my interview with Jacqueline Driggers

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Name Jacqueline Driggers

Age  54

Where are you from

A small town in western Kentucky, USA

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

Youngest of 3 kids, have always loved reading books ever since I was a small child.  Started writing in high school, mostly poetry then.  Am a business college graduate, having worked in a law office and as a bookkeeper.  Got married in 1991, and it’s just the hubby and me.  Love the computers and the internet, particularly facebook. 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’m working on my book, Chasing Zane, which I hope will be the first book I have published.  Working on my book review blog, The Leisure Zone, and staying busy with that.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in high school, mostly poetry back then.  As to why, it just seemed to come naturally to me, it always has.  The words just flow for me, and it’s how I communicate best. 


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Back in high school.  I knew back in 1979 that I wanted to be a published writer, but the publishing world was quite different back then, and much more difficult to break into.  So I chose a different path for my life, but that path has served me well in my writing today. 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Still working on my first book, and which one that will be has changed since 2012, when I opened up a word file and started on my first fictional novel.  That book was ‘The Howzat Legacy’.  But in working on that book, I came to realize that it wasn’t one book, but would be a series; and is much more involved and bigger than I originally thought.  The story grew and demanded more.  So I have sort of shelved that book, and now am working on ‘Chasing Zane’, which will be a science fiction romance novel.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I do.  Until the last year or two, I didn’t realize what it was, what it was called.  I’m what is referred to as a pantser:

“Pantsers have the freedom to take their novel in any direction they want. They have flexibility. They’re not stuck following an outline, so if they don’t like a character, they can simply kill him. If they don’t like the way their plot is going, they can change it.” – copied from – http://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Like my writing, the titles or working titles for my book ideas, just come to me.  That’s how this one did.  I don’t have a specific process, except for maybe just sitting back and letting my mind wander.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, I don’t do messages in my books.  It’s a story, a world populated by people I have created.  I want to draw you in and for you to enjoy the story.  That’s all.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I’m a science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal writer; so very little of my books will be realistic.  But I do read articles on emerging technology, as that helps me spin ideas for stuff used in my books.


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

Nope, not at all.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Christo, Edgar Allen Poe, H.G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Tarzan series, just to name a few. 


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

That is always changing.  At the moment I write this, it’s the Rising Dragons box set by author Ophelia Bell.  But I have a book review blog, so I’m always reading something, and it’s pretty much always something that I’ll be reviewing, and it’s always changing. 


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Oh yes, very many.  There are some really great self-published authors out there right now.  That’s one of the fun benefits of my book review blog.  I get to discover a lot of great authors who you won’t find on any best seller list usually. 


Fiona: What are your current projects?

As far as writing, Chasing Zane if my current project.  As for my blogs, I’m putting my focus on my The Leisure Zone (http://www.facebook.com/jdspg3) book review blog, and getting it in order.  Back at the beginning of 2014, I added a review team to the blog.  


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

No one really, except for my husband.  Writing has always been my thing, and books.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Well, for most of my life, it has been a hobby or an interest; but I’d love to be a best-selling author. 


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Well, since I’m still writing it, I have room to do that still.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

No, not really.  I think it was a natural outgrowth of my deep love of books and reading. 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, here’s the opening lines of my Chasing Zane book:

Cindy shifted restlessly on the shuttle seat. The ship-to-surface shuttle was crowded, full of lifeforms that she hadn’t even read about before, little less seen before. She just hoped she didn’t accidently do anything to insult any of them.  She had never been off Montanet before and Zane knew that. So why did he have to go running off to another planet!?  Why couldn’t he have just went up into the deep woods to their hunting cabin and sulked?  That’s what they always did.

She could have given him a week, and then went up to fetch him; and everything would have been fine.  But nooooo!  He had to pretend to go visit his cousin, and then go offplanet without word to anyone as to why!  Blast him!  She’d woken up from a great sleep, to a roomful of parents demanding to know what and why?  When she hadn’t known what or why anything!  In fact, she had been wondering why they were all in her room, waking her up. 


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

Right now, it’s finding the time to write, to work on my stuff; among all the other demands on my time. 


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Edgar Rice Burroughs, I’ve always loved his Tarzan series of novels.  The concept of a white man being raised by apes.  It would be fun to write a sci-fi version of that. 


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, I don’t travel at all.  What I need to know, google can help me with; and the rest, I make up in my wee widdle imagination.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Well, since I haven’t published my first book yet, that’s still to be determined.  I’ve been making note though, of different folks who do book covers.  What route I take will be determined by whether I self-publish or whether I get picked up by a book publishing house.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Easiest part so far, coming up with the initial idea.  What I think will be the hardest part, actually finishing the book.  I’ve yet to do that.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

The most useful thing I’ve learned so far is how helpful an application like OneNote can be when writing a book.  It’s a great place to organize your notes on the book, clip stuff from online, and you can even create simple drawings in it too.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, several things in fact:

- Don’t wait till your book is published to begin promoting.  Begin promoting you, the author, while you are writing that book.

- Don’t spread your facebook likes and leverage out by creating separate facebook pages for each book.  Just have one author page, and concentrate everything there.

- Don’t add ‘author’ to your facebook profile name.  Lots of writers do that, but really shouldn’t.  Let them get to know that you are an author by what you share.

- Don’t make every post an ad, selling your books.  People will get tired of that and turn you off.

- You should establish a presence on google plus as well as facebook.

- Also, create a street team group on facebook or google plus; and come up with a catchy name for it, something unique to you.

- You will need a website, and on wix.com, you can create a very nice website for free.

- Having a blog is good too, as it gives you a place to share about what you’re working on or your latest book.  I use blogger myself, and like it.

- Realize that you the author are a brand you are promoting.  You want readers to think of you when they think of hunting a new book to read. 


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

No, not really.  I just hope they enjoy what I write, and come back for more.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Hmmm, no, not really.  My mom was reading books to me before I could read them myself.  And as soon as I could read, I was devouring books.  We’re talking about 1st grade or pre-1st grade.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Cry, not so much.  Laugh, the comedian Red Skelton.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

No, not really.  If anyone, I guess it would be my ancestor who fought in the revolutionary war.  That would be neat.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

I don’t do those sort of questions.  My focus is on the here and now.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’ve dabbled in various crafts in the past, and I enjoy taking scenic pictures.  That hobby has gotten a lot more fun now that I have my digital camera.  With it, I can take all the pictures that I could never take with a film camera, and have instant results.  Also, I like playing various games on facebook.  Some of my favorites are the match 3 games and the farming games.

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

Mysteries of Laura, Star Wars Rebels on Disney, Wander Over Yonder (another Disney show), Scorpion, Sheriff Callie on Disney Junior.  I have wide ranging tastes.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite colors – yellow and blue, favorite music – pretty much everything except for opera and rap, favorite foods – barbecue and sweet stuff

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

I’m 54 and have done all those other things, which includes karate.  Now I’m pursuing being a writer.

 

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

Yes, I have a website, and several blogs.  Here are some of my links:

website – http://emforjd.wix.com/jdwrite

facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/jdswrpg

street team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/jdstcrew/

newsletter sign up link – http://eepurl.com/0-LMf

my blog – http://jdshare.blogspot.com/

The Book News Journal – https://www.facebook.com/bknwjor

The Leisure Zone, book review blog – http://www.facebook.com/jdspg3

Recipes, cooking, and food – https://www.facebook.com/rcandfood

Your home-time zone – http://www.facebook.com/jshmtz

Totally free ebooks, facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/etotallyfree/

Books, & writers, & readers, facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/auteau/

 

 IMG_0949 One of my photos 

Here is my interview with Stephen Robert Stein

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Name Stephen Robert Stein

Age 72

Where are you from – Lots of places. Now, we live just outside of Batesville, Indiana. Had practiced in Phoenix for 30 years prior and grew up in Studio City, California.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc. Graduated from UCLA and went on to Med School of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Studied for three months in London at St. Bart’s hospital during my final three months of medical school. Started a surgery residency at the University of California Hospital, San Francisco and was drafted in to the US army after two years. I then completed my orthopaedic residency at the Wm. Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas and moved on to Phoenix to set up practice. I have a beautiful wife, Rebecca, who I met in the operating room she managed in Phoenix. We have two wonderful children, Matt, studying to be a paramedic and Alyssa, a junior at University of Colorado, majoring in Psychology and Spanish. I retired from active practice in 2004 and we moved to a rural community in Indiana, Batesville, close to my wife’s family. Despite retirement, I have stayed busy serving on the Batesville Community School Corporation Board, Ivy Tech Community College Foundation Board, and the Ripley County Health Board.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My latest news is the book, “The Oath”. I am getting all sorts of Kudos from people who have enjoyed reading it, many in as short as three days, saying it truly holds their interest.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Early on, I wasn’t much of a writer. In fact, I had to take a special course my first year in college to make up for poor skills. Somehow, I improved while in residency enough to get several scientific papers published.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It started only now, with the publication of this book.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

That’s an interesting story. While in practice in Phoenix, I was appointed to the Medical Board of Arizona, a licensing and disciplinary board for physicians. We had one doctor come before us, a German physician, because of concern over his patient care. While reading his file, I noticed that he graduated from medical school in Kiel Germany on May 5, 1945, 3 days before the surrender was signed.  This was unbelievable to me and he also had changed his name after arriving in the US in 1947. I tried to get a local reporter interested in researching this man, but he declined, “that’s how we get sued”. I didn’t have time to research this, so I created a story and started doing research of the war, Holocaust and SS physician experiments. About 6 years later, I’m on an airplane talking with an attorney, telling him a little about my book and research, when he says, “I have a German doctor client who you could meet and help you.” It was the same doctor we saw at the medical board. And, I interviewed him twice.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. Others have said it is easy to read and follow.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The book deals with physicians who do violate the Hippocratic Oath, but can find ways to justify their actions to themselves.

 

 
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, I think there are several messages. First, the obvious, how far and for what reasons people will go to violate normal tenets of expected behavior. In  “The Oath”, Dr. Michel Katz, our protagonist at first thinks he can protect his family by working with the SS Doctors on their human experiments, knowingly inflicting harm on others. The “do no harm” portion of the Hippocratic oath seems to mean little to him. The antagonist, SS Doktor Hans Bloch, fulfills the needs of the German military by doing experiments that kill people, thinking he is doing the work for “the Reich”. The other strong message is survivors’ guilt that permeates many who are liberated from Auschwitz. And the final message concerns the attempts by Martin Brosky to torture and kill SS officers who fled Germany after the war. “Revenge is not Justice” is a final message the reader will take home.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

The dates and historical events are true and give an accurate picture of what went on at Auschwitz during WWII. The characters are fictional but again, they are based on stories of actual SS doctors and interned Jewish physicians who assisted the Nazis in their horrific experiments.

 

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

No

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

The Source, James Michener – Night, Elie Wiesel, and Shogun, James Clavell

 

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

Michener

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

“The Boys in the Boat”

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken and Seabiscuit

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’m looking at a couple of possible projects. I would like to understand more about the Vietnam War and its impact on drug use on the servicemen coming home and, second, I have an idea for just pure fiction.

 

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

I have had support from my two editors and specific friends who have read the manuscript at various stages.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

If one defines a career as necessary for income, I don’t see it that way. As a successful career hobby, yes.

 

 
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?

As a youngster, I read a lot being influenced by a Mrs. Brown, a fifth grade teacher.

 

 
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It’s too soon to say.

 

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

No

 

 
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

In addition to the authors listed above, I enjoyed the series by Stieg Larsson, starting off with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

For this first book, I traveled on three occasions to Europe visiting most every place mentioned in the story.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The cover was designed by a young man Wes Cook, a neighbor and good friend of my son Matt.

 

 
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The book was not written sequentially, most chapters individually written and then later put in the necessary order. Sometimes, dates needed to be adjusted, names and ages had to be consistent and necessitated rereading and reediting so many times.

 

 
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that a story often takes its own direction, different from your original plan, but that’s ok.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Do your homework, and get facts down. Travel can be the most enjoyable part of gathering information and don’t be afraid to use the Internet. Thank you Mr. Google.

 

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

I would like to deliver the story of the Holocaust in a meaningful way, in a story that holds the reader to the book and allows he/her to fully understand this horrible period.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I can’t remember the name but it was a novel of deep sea diving.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry? Jon Stewart makes me laugh. Pain, hurt and death to innocents makes me tear.

 

 

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

I would have loved to sit and talk with Theodore Roosevelt. I enjoy his energy and spirit and I believe he was a straight shooter in his beliefs. If it were possible, I would like to sit with Mikhail Gorbachev and asked what secrets he shared with Ronald Reagan about the fall of the Soviet empire.

 

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

He was a mensch, a good man who loved his wife and children.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I used to bicycle distances, and we still scuba dive.

 

 

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

Jon Stewart, The Good Wife, The Mentalist

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

A good steak, BBQ ribs, Dark blue, the “60”s

 

 

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

I don’t even know if I’m a writer yet, lets see how this book goes. Otherwise, I might have to go back to being, “Retired”

 

 

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

Facebook account is: https://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Stein/100008846113911

Twitter account is: @StephenRStein

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Buying Link http://www.amazon.com/Oath-Stephen-Robert-Stein-ebook/dp/B00S1SNEO2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427398246&sr=1-1

Here is my interview with Ian Jackson

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Name-  Ian Jackson (I D Jackson)

Age- 50 in the body, 30 in the mind..

Where are you from- Liverpool, England

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc – I was educated by the good old English state system without too much success – I was a bit of a rebel to be honest. I have run my own business since 1989 and I live in Bunbury, Cheshire with my soon to be wife Susie. I have two children in their twenties who I consider to be my best friends.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?- My first novel, Dead Charming was published in December 2014 and I’m just finishing my second Dead Precious (working title) for publication in June 2015.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing

 Apart from the copious and lengthy novels I wrote as a child where all of my characters had straight backs and stiff upper lips whilst they swashbuckled their way through countless adventures, I began writing for newspapers and magazines in 1996.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 When Dead Charming was published last year. When I wrote for magazines and newspapers it was a job to be completed, whereas now I get to write about things I’m interested in – thrilling crime!


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 My mind questions the human ability to irreparably damage another human being, either physically or psychologically and sometimes both at the same time. My interest lies in that motivation and how it can manifest itself. I worked (as a volunteer) in a psychiatric ward and then in a homeless shelter and witnessed first hand the struggles of troubled minds.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Not as such, I write as I think.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Credit must go to Clifford Marker my publisher at Percy Publishing for this one – I came up with a string of lame titles, but he nailed it!


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to challenge their morals and emotions and consider every side of a story. I want the reader to understand and sympathize with someone that can commit an horrific crime as well as identifying with the victims.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

The place names and some of the location descriptions are from experience, but the characters and their challenges are all fictitious.


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

 I’m afraid to say no – the entire novel is the product of my troubled mind!


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

 I love Truman Capote, F Scott Fitzgerald and Alan Bennett,  I also read a great deal of classical poetry and plays. I realize that none of these authors (except perhaps Capote) write crime or even thrillers and I don’t especially read that genre. I enjoy well written stories and prose that can bring an emotion out from nowhere.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I always have at least three books on the go and have just finished Cold Call by Colin Chapman who is a fellow author at Percy Publishing – it was a thrilling read! I’m also reading Sartre, a Guide for the Perplexed (it’s not helping!) and I’m also reading Joe Orton’s Complete Plays – brilliant!


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Colin Chapman is fresh and honest in his approach and I like that. My publisher has an ethos to bring through new talent and I’m steadily getting through the other author’s books – all excellent!


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’m in the final few chapters of my second novel and my fingers can’t keep up with my brain. I find myself amazed at how excited I can get writing an ending – I don’t plan them, they just somehow happen.


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

 That has to be Ruth Killeen my agent who championed my book and believed in its merits.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 Definitely! I want to retire, read, write and play golf somewhere sunny..


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, I’m happy with the characters and the story is tighter than Dead Charming which ended up over 138k words – perhaps a little long for a debut. My second book will end up between 90 and 100k which I think is about right.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 I loved stories like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers and any adventure story as a child. It was when I grew older and discovered the amazing talent of Truman Capote that I thought I might actually try and write myself.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I have just sent book two with the working title Dead Precious to Percy Publishing for final edits before publication – the new book will be out in June 2015 and I’m very excited!


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

 Yes, wrapping personal story lines through action crime thrillers is difficult. The emotional aspect of characters can slow the plot and I try to find a way to test characters morals too.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 Truman Capote; his writing is breathtakingly beautiful. His popular story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a huge commercial success, but his lesser read works such as Other Voices, Other Rooms and Summer Crossing can generate an emotional reaction that stays with you for life.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Only to the scene, so Manchester and Liverpool – I know the places very well indeed, but I do like to check locations.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 Percy Publishing, they provide the whole package and they’re very good at hitting just the right spot.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The ending! Every story is difficult to pin down and tying in all of the story lines is a challenge.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

 I learned that the consideration of human nature is open to interpretation from both sides and everyone’s point of view can be valid, no matter how difficult to accept for some.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 No, Dead Charming and Dead Precious are all my own work. Percy Publishing did advise in the editing process which has proven invaluable.


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

 Yes, thank you all for your reviews and positive comments – they are the fuel that keeps my writing burning.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read? – The first novel I read was The Count of Monte Cristo when I was a child – it was too old for me really, but I loved it!

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My children and their lives. I forgot how dramatic it can be when you haven’t reached forty yet!

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Truman Capote because I would like to investigate how he thought.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

 I’m too young for a headstone just yet! Leave that one with me…

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

 Yes I play lots of golf and my partners children keep me busy with their antics!

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

 I don’t really watch TV. I do go to the cinema with my daughter, so I like what she likes…chick flicks!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

 I love anything mince-based, shepherd’s pie, chille con carne, that kind of thing…and not just because that’s all my partner can manage either!

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

Difficult to say, I’ve been running my own business since 1989 and wouldn’t really know how to do anything else.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Yes, I’m at www.ian-d-jackson.com and on Twitter @crimenovel

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ian-Jackson/e/B00R39KERU/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

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Here is my interview with Tracie McBride

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Name Tracie McBride

Age 47

Where are you from Born and raised in New Zealand, now living in Melbourne, Australia.

A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc  I live in Melbourne with my husband and three children. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications, including a collection Ghosts Can Bleed, which contains much of the work that earned me a Sir Julius Vogel Award.  I help to wrangle slush for Dark Moon Digest and was the vice president of Dark Continents Publishing (2010 – 2014).

When not writing, I work as a primary school teacher aide. The whole family pitches in to help foster and rehome dogs for a dog rescue group.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I have a few stories forthcoming this year in various anthologies, but the news I’m most excited about is largely celebrating other authors’ work. A fellow Kiwi author and I co-edited an anthology of New Zealand and Australian fiction called Disquiet, and three stories from that anthology are on the final ballot for a Sir Julius Vogel Award (New Zealand’s national speculative fiction award).

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 In my head, I was a writer even before I could form letters correctly. But my writing career didn’t begin in earnest until 2003, when I found myself with one child about to start primary school and a second on the way. It felt like a case of “now or never”, so when the opportunity arose, I enrolled in a Diploma of Creative Writing.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A love of books came first, and soon after came a desire to create them. So…four years old, maybe?


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I have one book-length collection of short stories and poetry in publication, called Ghosts Can Bleed. The impetus to put those pieces together came when I was invited to join Dark Continents Publishing, a small press that started life as an authors’ co-operative. Dark Continents closed its doors last year, but the collection lives on, thanks to Finnish publisher Creativia.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Despite over a decade of writing experience, I’m still learning my craft, so I try not to limit myself to one style or form. However, I do have a deep fondness for short stories; I prefer a tale concisely told over lengthy descriptive passages, and hold Strunk and White’s rule “Omit Needless Words” as my principal commandment.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title came from one of the stories in the collection. I thought it suggestive of the dark speculative fiction content of the collection as a whole.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I prefer to put story craft first, message second, and to leave said message up to readers’ personal interpretations.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Almost none…


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

Certain pieces were inspired by real life events, and where that happens, I mention it in a short preface to the story. For example, the title story “Ghosts Can Bleed” was inspired by a television show called “Stars In Their Eyes”. And “Last Chance To See” came from a family reunion of sorts which was organized shortly after an aunt’s diagnosis with terminal cancer.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

So many books, so little room to mention them all! Just off the top of my head…Anne Rice, Stephen King, China Miéville, JR Tolkien, Julian May, Clive Barker, Robert Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut…


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

“Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean” by Justin Somper. I’m considering branching into YA writing, and this is a little research.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Again…far too many to list! A lot of my social media friends are indie or emerging writers, and the as-yet undiscovered talent out there is staggering.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

A solicited story for a Lovecraft-themed magazine, I’m considering putting together a second collection, and making tentative plans towards a first novel.


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

I belong to a couple of writers’ critiquing groups a couple of writers’ organizations and several informal groups on social media. The one I consider pivotal in encouraging me and helping me to develop as a writer is the first writers’ group I joined in New Zealand – Phoenix Writers.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Hmm. Sometimes I use that word. Other times, depending on my mood, it’s a hobby, a calling, a pastime, a way of life. I’m certainly not in in for the money, if that’s what you’re asking! (Although money is always appreciated…).


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Every book is a learning experience, and every learning experience is best used applying the knowledge to the next book. So while my next complete project will no doubt be different, I wouldn’t change the past.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As mentioned previously, a childhood love of reading sparked it off. But praise from teachers for my writing efforts in primary school fanned the flames. And this is a common thread amongst many writers – early encouragement and recognition.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Current projects are all still in the planning stage, so…no. ;-)


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

Finding the time and emotional energy to commit to writing, and making the words on the page measure up to the image in my head.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I’m loathe to name one, all-time favourite. My current literary crush is China Miéville, mainly for the dizzying scope of his imagination and the deep intelligence with which he approaches his writing.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I don’t have to travel…but if someone wants to foot the bill, I’m there!


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The artwork for “Ghosts Can Bleed” is by US artist Molly Rodman, and the overall cover design by John Prescott.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Sleep deprivation – most of the content was written when my children were little, and fitted in around breastfeeding and nappy changing.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

In the words of Dory – “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Be discerning about what advice you heed – everyone has an opinion about the craft and business of writing, but not everyone ought to express it. Sometimes the advice you get will be solid, and sometimes you just need to go with what feels right for you.


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

Thanks!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It was probably Dr. Suess. I still love Dr. Suess.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I laugh easily, and often see the absurd in everyday life. Crying I try to reserve for truly necessary catharsis.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

Stephen King – by all accounts, he protects his privacy closely (and quite rightly so), so meeting him would be a great privilege. Why? He’s the King. That’s why.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

Graveyards and headstones are for the benefit of the living, not the dead, so I’ll leave that up to the discretion of whoever survives me. Although, if I’m the last person left alive on Earth and I have to write my own, it will probably be something like, “What…is it that time already?”

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’m a slave to my children’s hobbies, but while I’m waiting to pick them up from whatever extra-extracurricular activity is on at the time, I will of course be reading. We volunteer for a dog rescue organization by fostering dogs, which is immensely rewarding but may not count as a hobby.

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

Current or recent favourite TV shows – Game of Thrones, The Americans, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, Vikings. A love of speculative fiction extends to my movie choices, and I’ll watch just about anything if it has zombies or vampires in it. Or Johnny Depp.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Spicy food, seafood, chocolate. Blue and purple to look at, black and red to wear. My Spotify playlist is all over the place – everything from Hosier to Ultravox to The Buzzcocks to John Legend to Tori Amoz to Major Lazer.

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

Singer. (I’m not saying I’m any good at it – you just asked what I would have liked to do.)

 

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

My blog is called “Exquisite Corpse”. You can find it here:
https://traciemcbridewriter.wordpress.com/

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Other links:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FD2VTA

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Amazon link to Ghosts Can Bleed:

http://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Can-Bleed-Tracie-McBride-ebook/dp/B00O8L85N6/

 

Here is my interview with Michael Schutz-Ryan

 

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Name Michael Schutz-Ryan

Age 39

Where are you from Originally, Portage, Wisconsin. I suppose I would call Madison, WI “home,” though I’ve been in California for a little over ten years now.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  I grew up an only child in a small town. I spent my early years with my nose in Ray Bradbury and Stephen King—when I wasn’t out hiking along the train tracks, marching through our neighbourhood marsh, or riding my BMX from one end of town to the other. I went to college further north at the UW-Stephens Point, a small, wonderful campus with the best teachers you could imagine. I finished my English degree at Madison, so I’m both a Pointer and a Badger!

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My debut novel, Blood Vengeance, was published by Permuted Press in January. I have been spreading the word about that for the past couple of months. Later this year my novella, Uninoch, will be available from Less Than Three Press.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started banging out stories on my aunt’s typewriter when I was in second grade. My parents bought me a typewriter—more or less a toy—that Christmas. I wore it out, and next year they bought me this great electric one. I’ve never looked back!


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have to acknowledge my high school English teacher, Mari Newton, for this. I dedicated Blood Vengeance to her. She taught a class emphasizing imagery and metaphor, and opened up a whole world to me. She made me understand that the ideas in my head were worth writing. She read all my early short stories and encouraged me like no one else has.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

In 2004 I moved to San Francisco. That’s a very expensive city! When you’re broke in San Francisco, it is not the idyllic city from TV and movies. It’s a very dark place. I can’t think of a better setting for the ghost of a serial killer to continue torturing his victims! So I wanted to tell a story reflecting my own move and experience. And I wanted to show that dark side of San Francisco. It’s just as interesting—more so—than the tourist attractions.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Peter Straub is a huge influence. For his Blue Rose trilogy, he talked about using a straight-forward style that wouldn’t get in the way of the action. I think my style right now leans in that direction. I think of it as lean and mean.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I wanted a title both catchy and meaningful. “Blood Vengeance” sort of smacks you in the head. And in the book, there are several types of “blood” and “vengeance,” so it reflects the layers of the story.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are consequences to your actions. Everything that is said and done creates a ripple effect that, I truly believe, can survive death. There’s also an element of “be careful what you wish for.” Sort of a modern-day, horror-themed “May you live in interesting times.” Brennan Cooper wants a new life, and he certainly gets that!


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Of course the supernatural elements are fiction, but as far as the landscape of San Francisco, one could pretty well use Blood Vengeance as a map. Though fictionalized, and even re-named for the book, all these places exist. I think it’s a realistic look at the underbelly of the city.


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

There is a lot of me in Brennan. A surprising number of the things that Brennan does—and endures—happened to me. In one form or another. Life in San Francisco was so bizarre at first, I only had to tweak that into the paranormal a little!


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion was the first novel I read. It lit the spark in me that I wanted to write. From there Ray Bradbury, specifically Something Wicked This Way Comes, changed my life. Stephen King solidified my early experiences, revealing a storytelling style, power, and grace that I still try to emulate.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just started Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. Before that, I finished Silken Prey, John Sandford. Sandford’s amazing. I love his straight-forward style, too. You can really tell that he wrote for the newspaper. It’s pitch-perfect language for his detectives.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

My friend and fellow author, Jason White, is an up-and-comer to watch for. And right now I’m waiting for Amazon to mail my copy of Todd Rigney’s Found—which he co-wrote into the film of the same name.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

 My second novel, Edging, is awaiting my publisher’s final edit. That one is about a new designer drug that gives powerful, frightening hallucinations. It’s Six Flags in pill form. And as the citizens of this quiet suburb slowly get hooked, they unwittingly invite in an ancient evil that thrives on their nightmares.


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

I thank God every day for the changes he affected in me. There are also a league of teachers that inspired me, notably Ms. Newton, Mr. Van Duren, Professors Lawlor and Warren.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely. Writing is all I ever wanted to do. Making a living at it is difficult, but that’s where all my energies are focused.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 The problem is, I’d never stop editing and rewriting! There’s always one more insight to add. One more word to be deleted. I eventually just have to stop myself!


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated
?

It was with Farley’s The Black Stallion. I was amazed at how words could create images in my mind. My mom had borrowed my aunt’s typewriter to write her resume, and she let me use it. I simply copied the first paragraph of The Black Stallion over and over, entranced that letters became words, words sentences, and soon it was as if a movie played in my head. I wanted to do that. That’s when I started writing my own fledgling stories.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Blood Vengeance, my current release, is about Brennan Cooper, a lonely, awkward young man finding his way in the world. When he moves to San Francisco to start a new life, he stumbles upon a terrible haunting. A dead serial killer—and his victims—torment Brennan. He needs to uncover who these spirits were when they were alive and what they want now. His struggle with the forces in that apartment will change him. His fight against the evil is counterpointed by his journey into manhood.

Blood Vengeance is very much about my own move to San Francisco, though my own experiences lacked the supernatural! I wanted to convey the grittiness of the non-touristy parts of the city. There really is a dark underbelly there.

 

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

I get this sinking feeling whenever I realize I need to research a scene, character, or situation. My advice to writers is always to embrace research, to go out and get it done. That doesn’t mean I like to do it! I have been fortunate enough to meet great people who have talked about their work with me—from surgeons to homicide detectives and (for a current project) police dispatchers. My dad, too, is a wealth of information and usually points me in the right direction.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love Ray Bradbury’s prose. He’s the real deal when it comes to “wordsmithing.” Something Wicked This Way Comes is downright poetic. The melody of his words forms a joyous, youthful stream of consciousness. The images dance across the pages. He also writes a lot about the lure of the dark and mysterious. I still feel that sense of guilty adventure whenever I read a new book or see the latest horror movie.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

In a way, because Blood Vengeance never could have been written if I hadn’t moved to San Francisco! Other than that, no. An unfortunate “no.” I love to travel. When I was younger, I wanted to write a novel in each one of our fifty states.


Fiona: Who designed the covers
?

Hunter Walker designed the cover for Blood Vengeance. He did an outstanding job, too. I love how we peek into the keyhole to see the squirming mass of spirit-arms grasping the air.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The sheer amount of time that it took. It was originally handwritten into five notebooks over a course of nine months. Then I delayed typing it into a word processor because the task seemed so daunting. Instead, I spent a year filling two more notebooks with notes and revisions. After finally keying it in, another year was spent ironing out edits and rewrites. I have since streamlined the process!


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

 I matured as a writer over the course of writing and editing and submitting Blood Vengeance. All the feedback I received along the way can now be incorporated into future first drafts.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 Don’t be intimidated about research. Investigate things. Reach out and talk to experts that do what your characters do. You’d be amazed at how much people will talk about themselves to writers!


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

I hope you enjoy this book. There are plenty of scares and of gore. It’s a horror novel, after all. But this is a coming-of-age story, too, and I’ve tried to present a sense of loneliness, sorrow, and redemption. I like to tell stories. I hope people like the ones I tell.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion. I worked my way through that series during the first couple of years in grade school. The Chronicles of Narnia came soon after that.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Jiminy Glick makes me laugh. I don’t usually laugh out loud at comedy, but Martin Short does it for me. As for crying, I’m a total sap! Any tearjerker gets me.

Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?

Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino, if I can cheat and meet two. King has been a huge influence on me, and is just a wealth of information. I loved Danse Macabre, his non-fiction book about horror films and novels. And Tarantino is the same way with film. I could talk to him for hours about movies and filmmaking.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ? “

Look Behind You,” just to get in one last scare. Seriously though…I’d like to be remembered as a good son and husband.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I watch a lot of movies. Horror is my favorite, but I love the Academy Awards. I watch all the nominated movies (though usually afterwards). And Hulu’s Criterion Collection is an amazing source for classic and influential films.

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

I can’t get enough American Horror Story. But the best show on TV right now is Hannibal. I had so many doubts about it, when Anthony Hopkins embodied Dr. Lecter so completely. But Mads Mikkelsen actually does it better! And the way the writers change the storyline to keep the intrigue alive is stunning. The soundtrack’s booming and piercing percussion is thrilling. I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this show!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I’m a steak and potatoes guy. Favorite color is yellow. Musically, I’m all about classic rock. I saw Pink Floyd in 1994 and that experience changed me. Amazing!

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

I considered a career in psychology. The human mind is fascinating. I’d still come home every night and scribble away at short stories, though. I don’t think that could be taken out of me, regardless of which alternative universe I’m in.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? You can find me at http://www.michaelschutzryan.com/ and I co-host and write for Darkness Dwells www.darknessdwells.com where I share my thoughts on horror cinema.

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Schutz-Ryan/e/B00PD3DGCI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

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Here is my interview with Cynthia St. Aubin

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Name  - Cynthia St. Aubin, but you can call me That Chick Who Resembles an Ostrich

Age – Mid-thirties. J

Where are you from – I was an Air Force brat, so we moved around frequently in my youth. My parents retired in Texas, which is usually where I claim.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc   – I like gravy. It has nothing to do with the rest of my bio, but I thought you might like to know. I have a mostly useless master’s degree in art history and took my turn as a cube monkey in the corporate warren.. I live in Colorado with the love of my life and three surly cats.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’ll be releasing my newest novella as part of the Romancing the Paranormal: All New Tales anthology with 12 other amazing New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors. Also, my foot hurts, but I don’t know if anyone other than me would consider this “news.”


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My mother was a voracious reader, so took me on many trips to libraries and used bookstores. I fell in love with words and what they could do. It started with plays I wrote when I was about ten, and made my brothers perform them for my parents. Then, it was sheafs of notebook paper I stapled together and wrote scary stories is (I believe I also drew my own author photo on the back cover).  I never really stopped after that, though it wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I actually sat down with the express goal of writing a novel in mind.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When someone paid actual, real, (as in NOT chocolate) money to buy one of my books.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

After graduating with a mostly ueless master’s degree in art history, I parlayed my experience as a teaching assistant into a gig as an executive assistant. My first book began as a question, asked to myself during the eye-bloodying drudgery of compiling a spreadsheet: I wonder what it would be like if you had to be the assistant to a werewolf. I’d bet they’d be terrible keeping track of receipts. And have to take time off during the full moon, and getting fur all over their office. The more I thought about it, the more fun it sounded. One chapter turned into seventeen, and before I knew it, I had a whole book.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Light-hearted, snarky, steamy, stories with plenty of mystery. I like to play with paranormal, mythological, and art historical characters (Vincent Van Gogh makes a great werewolf, by the way), and more than anything, I love to make my readers laugh


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It’s usually a group effort. I tell my critique group pretty much what I want to happen in any given book, and they help me bounce around ideas.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That life is beautiful, people are precious, and laughter is healing.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

While I do borrow lots of details and certain situations from my real life, writing paranormal means that much of what happens in my book is only limited by my imagination. Leprechauns can have dissociative identity disorder, unicorns are real, and werewolves can own art galleries.


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

 

Absolutely! I’ve often been known to say “I could absolutely make this stuff up, but luckily, I don’t have to.” Being the socially awkward, perpetually trouble-attracting nerd I am, I manage to get myself into all kinds of scrapes that make good book fodder. Example: I am what I like to call “spa-wkward.” I once managed to pull a muscle while on the massage table because the therapist told me to turn, and I hadn’t planned which way I was going to go, so I panicked and got my own arm caught under me. Yep. I’m that cool.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

There are so many! Thomas Harris, Barbara Kingsolver, Janet Evanovich, Maya Angelou, Oscar Wilde, Ann Rice, Erma Bombeck, and Stephen King, just to name way more than a few.  They each represent something I love about the written word, and I like to think that informs how I approach my own stories—whether it be artful prose, irreverent humor, snarky satire, or emotionally compelling characters.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 I don’t spend near enough time reading, to be honest, and often when I do, I read vintage cookbooks. Lame, I know.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There have been a couple up-and-comers that I’ve really enjoyed reading. Ellay Branton, R.l. Merrill, Kimberlie Faye, and H.A. Fortman to name a few.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

 Currently, I am working on a thriller for the traditional publishing realm, as well as a novella for the Romancing the Paranormal anthology.


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

My AMAZING street team, Cyn’s Minions.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Writing for me is more than a career, it’s a lifestyle. It’s nice when it pays the bills, but it’s not something I can stop doing even if it doesn’t.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 There’s ALWAYS something I feel I could have done better, but I’ve learned how to let go and move forward instead of always peering at the past.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 From reading, primarily. I loved that I could disappear into another world down the valley of a book. When I put words on a page, I felt like I was giving someone else the chance to do that same thing.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?  

How about the title and blurb? From Hell to Breakfast – He’s a supernatural bounty hunter with a broken heart and a loose zipper. She’s a succubus with a smart mouth and a long rap sheet. When her crimes become his problem, they’re in for one hell of a ride.


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

Self doubt is a huge obstacle for me. I have a really hard time shutting off the mean little voice in my head that tells me the everything I write is dumb, and that I will die alone eating catfood.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Thomas Harris, author of Silence of the Lambs. His prose is so good, it makes me want to hang up my word processor.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Not as much as I’d like to. :D


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The lovely Scarlett Rugers – http://booksat.scarlettrugers.com


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Deadlines. It’s hard to feel creative according to a schedule.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I have to approach every first draft as just that—a draft. Self doubt and second guessing can cripple and paralyze you before you even get started.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Putting my work out into the real world has been such a learning experience for me. What follows is just a few of the lessons this process has brought me. Take what’s useful to you and leave the rest.  Write the story that you love.  Let it be something that you’re passionate about and willing to fight for. Speaking of fights, be ready for one. You’re going to have to be your own biggest fan, your most ardent supporter, and at times, your own cheerleader. You have to be willing to believe in your dream when no one else does, and that can be a real challenge. Do study the craft. Even if that means ordering discount grammar and style books on Amazon. Find a critique group and listen to criticism when it comes. Be willing to find out where there’s room for improvement in your work. Look at authors whose careers you admire and learn from them. Make friends in the writing community and be supportive. That support finds its way back to you when it’s your turn to put yourself out there. Don’t compare your first drafts to anyone else’s finished product. Finally, put your ass in the chair.


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I LOVE YOU! No, really!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It was a Betty Crocker cookbook. Food has been a lifelong love affair for me.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh: pixie-stick-fueled plotting sessions with my crit partners, my hilarious brother, silly things my cats do, trying to fit into skinny jeans. Cry: movies where animals die, hard things happening to the people I love, trying to fit into skinny jeans.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

I’d like to have tea with William Shakespeare, mostly in hopes that some of his genius would rub off on me.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

 She made a damn good roast chicken. Why? Because my goal in life was to bring humor to life’s most difficult moments. I’d like to do the same in death.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

 Is eating a hobby? If so, then…yes!

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

I’m shamefully boring when it comes to TV. I don’t follow any of the popular series. I watch cooking shows, documentaries about murderers and true crime, and Golden Girls. As far as movies, I am a total hypocrite. While I love writing romantic comedy, I can’t stand watching it. I love a good slapstick comedy, heart-gouging tragedy, or exploding car type movie.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Foods: Cheese (any kind), roast chicken, gravy and CAKE! Colors: Tiffany blue, green. Music: My tastes are downright random. I love everything from the Beatles to opera to 90’s hip-hop and rap.

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

 When I was little, I dreamed of being a monster truck driver. As it turns out, the monster truck driving market is pretty saturated, but I still love big, growly, vehicles with huge tires. This in no way influenced my decision to buy a Hummer. ;)

 

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

I do! Here are a bunch of places you can find me. Or you can follow the trail of doughnut crumbs…that would probably lead me to you as well.

My Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-St.-Aubin/e/B00IEESRNG/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1427318949&sr=1-2-ent

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.saintaubin

FB Profile Page: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.st.aubin

Street Team – Cyn’s Minions:https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cynthiastaubins/

Website: http://www.cynthiastaubin.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CynthiaStAubin

Instagram: http://instagram.com/cynthiastaubin

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/aut…/show/7843721.Cynthia_St_Aubin

Newsletter Sign Up: http://mad.ly/signups/116602/join

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Here is my interview with J.C. Michael

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Hi, my name’s J.C. Michael, well, actually, it isn’t, but that’s the name I write under. However, the J stands for James, which is also my real name, as I thought that would help me avoid getting confused. I’m 39, and live in North Yorkshire with my wife, who encourages me to write, and my three year old son, who encourages me to do other things, such as watch Spiderman cartoons and play dinosaurs. My writing falls very much into the hobby category, as work wise I’m kept nice and busy with my day job as a manager at a local tourist attraction. As for what I write my work to date is mainly classed as horror, although there are also elements which could be deemed as belonging more in the thriller, fantasy, and suspense, genres.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My most recent news is that I’ve just seen my short story, ‘Here, Kitty Kitty’, published in the anthology Ghosts: Revenge from James Ward Kirk Fiction. The story is based on a local legend from the North Yorkshire Moors about a ghost that allegedly lured a number of young men to their deaths by appearing naked in the deepest part of a stretch of the River Dove.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in 2007 when challenged to do so by my then girlfriend (who’s now my wife). She was tired of me complaining that books and movies would be better if such and such had happened, and said that if I could do better then I should have a go at writing something myself.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I self-published my novel, Discoredia, in 2008, so in some ways I became a writer then. However, I only sold a handful of copies, and have only really seen myself as a real author since 2013 when I signed a publishing contract for the novel with Books of the Dead Press.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

When my wife challenged me to write something she also bought me a notebook that Christmas. She put a note inside saying that one day she’d like to see it filled with my story and that inspired me to start making the notes which over the next year were pulled together into a full length novel.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

It’s too early in my writing career to say that I have a particular style but as a fiction writer I’m always looking to write a narrative that will entertain and engage. I also tend to steer away from anything overly descriptive as I’d rather drive the story forward, and leave a lot of the imagery to the readers own imagination.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I’m a massive Stephen King fan and had been reading the Dark Tower books which feature a castle called Discordia, and, since my novel was to be largely set in a castle themed nightclub, I thought it would be a cool name for the club. I also wanted something unique for the title and knew that a rare word, or something misspelled, would satisfy that and work well when put into a search engine so the club name, and title, evolved to become Discoredia. This was even more appropriate since I was adding an E, and E’s are an integral part of the story, and also because the word now included the word “core” in the middle, pretty coincidental for a novel with hardcore music as a central theme.


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’ve seen some people say that Discoredia is pro-drugs, others that it contains a strong anti-drug message. If there is a message then it’s that people should make their own minds up as there are arguments to be made for both sides. Perhaps that’s why it has been interpreted both ways.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Some of the book is very realistic as I drew upon my own experiences and believe in the mantra “write what you know”. This only goes so far though as although I went to a fair few raves in my youth I never went to one where drugs were handed out free and which sent people insane to the point of killing each other.


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

The characters and events in all of my writing tend to be based on amalgamations of people I know and experiences I’ve had mixed up with some imagination, artistic licence, and influences from all the books I’ve read, stories I’ve heard, and film and T.V I’ve watched over the past 30 odd years.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I suppose some of the horror novels I read in my early teens, such as The Rats by James Herbert and IT by Stephen King, have influenced my life so far as I’ve always preferred horror novels over any other genre ever since, and now write within that genre myself.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading a book of legends and folklore relating to the North Yorkshire Moors. The stories are ones I’ve read before, and I’ve known some for as long as I can recall since they are local to where I grew up. The reason for re-reading them is because I’m considering writing a collection of stories that use these local legends as a jumping off point, much as I did the legend of Sarkless Kitty which was the basis for ‘Here, Kitty Kitty’.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

He’s been around a few years now but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Heart Shaped Box and NOS4R2 by Joe Hill.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

What with work and family I don’t have the time to write another novel. I find it a very intense and all-consuming exercise and simply can’t devote the time to it and as such I’m concentrating on writing and submitting short stories. I tend to write in bursts and aren’t writing anything at present, but there are a few anthologies I’m interested in submitting to and a few ideas knocking around in my brain that I might end up sitting down and developing if I get any of them mapped out a bit more.


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

Discoredia sat doing nothing on Lulu for a few years, and it was only when my son was born that I revisited it to see if it actually had any value above and beyond proof that I could write a novel. It was at this point that I posted it on Authonomy, and the community there were invaluable in helping me improve it and turn it into something that could be published properly and not as a bit of fun. Discoredia made the editor’s desk on Halloween 2012 and as such was awarded an Authonomy Gold Medal. Without going through that process I don’t think I would have ever sold any of my writing to a traditional publisher. I’m still in touch with a number of people I met on that site, with a few of them also now having seen their books published.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No. I’m a hell of a long way off making enough money from writing to give up the day job, and doubt I’ll ever reach that point.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I wouldn’t change any of my recent short stories, as they’ve all done reasonably well. Discoredia on the other hand seems to have a major flaw. It was written for the purpose of showing a single person that I could write a novel, and as such it draws a great deal upon things that hold particular meaning to me, and that one other person. Unfortunately those aspects appear to have reduced the commercial viability of the work as they don’t fit within the usual tropes you find in horror fiction or play to the stereotypical reader of horror novels. I’m trying to sell a story set in a rave where “the bad guy” is a construct of my imagination. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great story, and it gets great reviews, but pitch wise it would be so much easier if I was selling the same story, but set at a rock concert, and with a more traditional vampire as the antagonist.


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always had a good imagination, but I needed that push my wife gave me to actually get me to do anything with it.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Unfortunately I can’t as I’m between works at present. I tend to do that, I play around with ideas in my head for a few weeks and then something will click and I’ll sit down and write it. Once that’s done I’m back to knocking ideas around mentally for a while until another idea is fleshed out enough for me to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard.


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

Coming up with ideas that are not just new to me, but also seem different enough to what else is out there. I don’t want to be just another writer trotting out well worn ideas even if it would be a way to sell more books. One of my pet hates is seeing the same tired ideas rehashed, such as post zombie apocalypse stories, where the real danger comes just as much from other survivors as it does from the zombies.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

For me Stephen King is in a class of his own. He can write anything from short stories to epics covering multiple genres. I’ve read nearly everything he’s written and enjoyed the vast majority of it.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, but I can live in hope as I love travelling.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cover design is something my publishers have taken care of. I did design the cover for the self published version of Discoredia myself, and it showed.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part for me is to write it properly! Grammar is not my strong point, particularly when I’m on a roll with the story. I also find editing difficult as I don’t like cutting things out, they wouldn’t be there if I didn’t want them there, and also because I don’t read things properly when I know what the content is. As such I can easily miss a mistake. Then again I don’t understand how people can publish books containing spelling mistakes. Using a spell checker isn’t difficult.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learnt that I could write something that some people may enjoy reading, and may even be willing to pay for!


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Stick with it, and don’t try to run before you can walk. I regret self publishing as the product I put out wasn’t up to scratch. I only did it as a bit of fun but for anyone who is serious about making a name for themselves a lot of damage can be done if you take the leap into self publishing before your work is good enough. I’d also recommend Authonomy. I’m not active on the site now, and I understand it has changed in some ways, but it helped me a lot and you’ve nothing to lose from taking a look.


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

Thank you for your support.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It might have been The Three Billy Goats Gruff, that’s the one my father says I always insisted on having as a bed time story!

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My son can be hilarious. I guess all kids can be at that age, and that parents always find their own kids funnier than anyone else’s, but some of the things he comes out with can have me in stitches.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

I’d like to meet Stephen King someday. I’d tell him I was a great fan of his work, and hopefully he’d say the same about mine!

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

At long last I can have a bloody rest.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy travelling abroad and have visited the U.S.A a number of times as well as Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and South Africa, amongst others. I have a keen interest in history, which is useful when working in a museum, and also like to get out and about in the countryside; I’m a country boy at heart.

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

I watch a lot of T.V and movies with a preference for action and adventure. When it comes to favourite T.V shows The Shield, The Walking Dead, and Justified, would be my top three. My favourite movie is Gladiator.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I’m not very adventurous when it comes to food. A nice roast dinner or steak pie will keep me happy. As for music I don’t listen to as much as I did a few years ago but if I do listen to any it will be hardcore or gabber.

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

 I wouldn’t mind a job as a presenter on Top Gear, and it seems like there may be one available.

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

My website is www.discoredia.weebly.com. I can also be found on twitter, @jcdiscoredia, Facebook, and Goodreads. As for my books you can find all of them on Amazon by visiting my author pages, http://www.amazon.co.uk/J-C-Michael/e/B00AX8BFIK and http://www.amazon.com/J-C-Michael/e/B00AX8BFIK

 Discoredia_NewCvr1

Here is my interview with Monique DuBois

Name – Monique DuBois

Age – I plead the 5th. ;)

Where are you from – New York

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

School of Hard Knocks. Became a writer after working in the real world all my life.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My Quickies series! Seven friends compete to see who can have the most sexual hookups in a month. It’s so much fun to write!


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written my whole life but only started submitting for publication four years ago.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 Age 10 when I won a writing contest.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

No money – haha! During the downturn in the economy, I couldn’t find a job. So I thought, I should use my skills! I’m good at writing and thought I might be able to make money at it.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Sexy, saucy, funny, steamy. :D Sex with humor.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title? Quickies – I thought it would be fun to write a series of short but exciting books for people who want just a bite of steaminess during their day. :D


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  Seize life, enjoy it, and live it to the fullest. Take chances. And have great sex!
J


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

 All of my books have a little bit of me in them. But the sex scenes are (mostly) my fantasies and imagination.


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

I wish! Ha, ha! If I had a sex life like that, I wouldn’t be writing books. I would be savoring the washboard abs on the hunks in my books… :D


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I love J.S. Scott. I think she’s an amazing author and person. And her hubby is pretty dang cool, too! They’re a great team.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

J.S. Scott’s Billionaire series.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There are too many to count. I love reading new authors!


Fiona: What are your current projects?

Quickies, and then a super-secret series that’s in the works. Hint: more curvy girls to come!


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

The online writing community.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, writing can absolutely be a career if you treat it as such. Which means doing it every day, no matter what your mood!


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Hmm…that’s a tough one. Maybe have the female characters meet up together at a café. But I’m going to do that in the next book!


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Loving to read every chance I got.  Readers make writers!

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

No, it’s top secret. ;)


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

Getting past self doubt. No matter how many books an author has out, doubting oneself is part of the process. At least for me.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

J.S. Scott. Sensuality, great characters, strong plot, engaging storyline. She’s the best! A masterful writer.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Not yet. I do plan on going to some conferences soon.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations. She’s a genius.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Doing it every day, rain or shine. Pushing past self doubt or those lazy days. :D


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

That readers like sex! I was starting to wonder if I was writing too much of it, but my readers have told me otherwise! :D


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 Let yourself suck at first. No writer starts out writing brilliant material. We all have to learn. If you keep going, keep trying, little by little you’ll get better.


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

I love you all! Without you, I wouldn’t be an author. Thanks for reading and embracing my stories.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes. Where the Wild Things Are. :D

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Life passing. I wish we could all live forever. There are so many poignant moments in life related to change, like seeing children grow up.

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, and Abraham Lincoln.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?

She was a lot of fun.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Reading, bubble baths, eating cupcakes. :D

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

The Office; Sex and The City (my fave)

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music  

Cupcakes (chocolate)/Deep red/Anything sensual or sexy, like slow jazz

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

Hair stylist! It would be so fun to hear everyone’s stories. My hair stylist says people tell her EVERYTHING! It would be so fun to hear all the private dirt on people’s lives.

 

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

Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Monique-DuBois/e/B00GO2J194/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

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Thanks so much for having me!

Xoxo

Monique

 

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