Here is my interview with T.A Peters

Name T.A Peters

Many readers do not know my first name: Thomas. My books are published under the name T. A. Peters and there is no author photo on the back. I’ve done this from the beginning for my own amusement to see how many readers would presume I am a woman based on the subject matter of my books. Kirkus Reviews wrote a nice review of my novel Loggerhead and referred to me (the author) as “her” in the review and I didn’t bother to correct them.

Age

I am thirty-seven years-old.

Where are you from

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up there, but I’ve lived in various locations in Florida for about twenty years now.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

If there is any news in my world it is that I have decided to move forward with my Green Flourish series featuring the young protagonist Mary. I have two other series with characters itching to get their stories written that I am simply going to have to put on hold for now.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Since my earliest memories, story-telling has always been a part of my life. The problem always was that I was only telling myself the stories. Even before my teenage years I remember seeking out time on a daily basis in which I would be left alone to create stories in my own mind. It wasn’t until I was an adult that it occurred to me that I could attempt to make something of a career of story-telling by writing those stories down.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Even as a child I wrote short stories, but I didn’t really consider myself a writer until I started putting together what would be my first published book in 2015. More than anything, at that point I got a taste for writing and was hooked on the feeling.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

A lot of things influenced me, but more than anything I was influenced by other writers who had produced works I enjoyed.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is influenced by what I am writing and who the characters are. One thing I am making a great effort at is not writing in a manner that sounds like the same voice over and over. All seven of my currently published books are from the same series but outside of those books my style in everything I have ever written is very different.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

In the case of Loggerhead, I actually wrote the entire first and second draft of the novel before coming up with the name of the fictional town (the evil, satirical sister-city to the real-world Sarasota, Florida) and ended up using it as the title. Originally, the town was going to be unnamed, but it seemed to fit on several levels, including the fact that the main character is something of a loggerhead herself when it comes to social situations.


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

Many, but chief among them is: Things aren’t always what they appear to be, and In the absence of biological family, make family of whoever you find yourself with.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

It isn’t a huge secret that the main characters of Mary and Abigail are based upon myself and my wife. In creating the characters, I tried to consider the basic nature of the “soul”: what is there that is eternal and intangible and how much of what makes up the human self is a result of who we are, physically. In a literal sense, I took the “souls” of my wife and myself and put them in different bodies in a different time period (although, not coincidentally, in the same geographical location) and then let them live their own lives. My role as author was to simply record their experiences.


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

I think that it is thanks to my mother providing me with the collected works of Beatrix Potter that I first became interested in dialect. Growing up in Texas, the early 20th century British language of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny was utterly foreign and for some reason I loved it and wanted to make a study of it. When I was older, the first novel that made me seriously think of writing was Dean Koontz’s Intensity. The fact that it featured a strong female lead put into extraordinary circumstances was great, but one of the most influential aspects of that book for me was the manner in which it portrayed the perspective of the heroine. Ultimately it would be the works of Sarah Waters that would convince me that there was a potential readership for the sort of books I wanted to write.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I always say Sarah Waters is my favorite modern author, and although the basic focus of my books is different than hers, the one thing in common we have is that we write fiction based upon a study of real history. My books make serious forays into fantasy territory but they’re still rooted firmly in fact.


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

A lot of my support comes from other authors. I belong to more than one support group of small-press and independent authors who act to champion each other rather than compete against one another.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do see writing as a career, unfortunately it isn’t one that I make a lot of money at. It has the potential of one day being something I could make a living at, but for now I am thrilled to be able to get my books out there and connect with people who take interest in what I write.


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

The production of my most recent book, One Little Word, was altogether magical. Out of everything I have ever written, I did the least amount of preparation for it and yet it somehow congealed into a novel that I am very pleased with. I can’t think of a thing I would change about it.


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

My original interest in writing stems from the fact that I am not a great conversationalist. I realized from an early age that the written word was, by far, my best means of communication.

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

I’d love to if any of the narrative was written. Right now I’m putting together the bare minimum of background details for the characters on paper and researching the historical reality of the themes I’m including in the book. Once that is done, I’ll begin writing and translating the existing stories in my head onto something coherent on paper.


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

I think my biggest issue is the same with plenty of other authors: time. There is never, ever enough time. I often find that I barely have enough time to read let alone write, especially considering the amount of time required for marketing. Some writers have the money to pay for advertising and don’t have to work full-time in addition to their writing career, but that isn’t me. Also, some people can write well in fits and starts, but I’ve never been able to do so. If I don’t have a decent chunk of time in which to write, I simply read instead.


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

Only in my imagination.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed the original covers, but after a while I looked for a professional designer and contracted with The Cover Collection to provide new covers.


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

Getting started! I spent three years doing research before I began the actual writing of the Green Flourish series and made the mistake of wasting several weeks writing a detailed outline that, once I began writing, I quickly found was impossible to strictly adhere to. Once I actually got started, things naturally progressed and I ended up throwing the outline out.


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

I learned a lot. One of the more important things was that no matter how specific the details were of a story I had worked out in my mind, the final result on paper would never be exactly as I envisioned it. There is something magical about putting the story down in words and as I’ve found it seems that the characters tend to take over and lead their own lives when you actually go to work things out.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead

To be perfectly honest, I can’t see any of my books being made into a film. It bothers me that so many authors write books for the sole purpose of trying to sell film rights. To me, literature is its own medium with its own strengths and weaknesses and the goal of writing should not be to produce a stepping stone for a screenplay. And please do not misunderstand me, I think film is an important art form as well, only it is very different. When an actress plays a part in a film, her appearance and mannerisms become a part of that character and cannot be removed from the collective consciousness of the viewers. I like the fact that in reading a book, every reader will have their own specific image of what a character looks like. To me, it somehow makes the characters more personal, and it bridges the gap between author and reader in an emotional, spiritual way that film cannot.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep at it and never throw anything out. If you write something you’re not thrilled about, don’t trash it. You’d be surprised how something you wrote years ago can suddenly come to mind again and you might be very sorry to have lost the original manuscript even if after re-reading it again you have to start the story over from scratch.


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

Only this: Thanks for reading!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m always reading several things at one time: right now I’m reading the Pulitzer-winning novel A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, a historical book of 19th century photographs titled Victorian Florida, and a historical fiction book about an actress turned Federal spy during the American Civil War titled The Lady Was a Spy.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I really don’t remember. It seems like I’ve always been reading something.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Sometimes my wife says the oddest things and I laugh myself to the point of tears.

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

One of my favorite authors of the past is Sir James M. Barrie and I wouldn’t mind meeting him to see if he is even half as neurotic as his biographers make him out to be.

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

Something like: “Here lies a best-selling author”, not because I think I might be rich or particularly famous, but because that probably means at some point before I died I got to live doing what I like best.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

When I used to have more time I enjoyed to cook and try different recipes.

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

Anything my wife suggests that is bizarre or humorous. I don’t see much television, but I let her pick what I do watch.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I like food in general. It always amazes me when people say that they hate one particular food or even an entire category of foodstuffs. I’ve learned over the years that there are a lot of foods that my body doesn’t appreciate, but there really isn’t anything generally considered edible that I don’t like to eat based upon its taste. I have very eclectic music tastes, but my favorite is Classical music, especially the Concerto Grosso form of the Baroque era.

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

 Be a musician so long as I could write music and not have to perform in front of anyone.

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

Extensive notes on my books can be found at http://www.greenefisherpublications.com/

Authors Amazon Page USA https://www.amazon.com/T.-A.-Peters/e/B015PK3ECU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/T.-A.-Peters/e/B015PK3ECU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1472046092&sr=1-2-ent

Here is my interview with Jesikah Sundin

Name: Jesikah Sundin

 

Age: 38  

 

Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.

I hail from the sprawling town of Monroe, Washington, tucked snug in the foothills of the Cascade mountains. For non-locals, I’m about 45-minutes from Seattle. I was born outside of Los Angeles, however, and lived in Southern and then later Northern California until I was fifteen. I pursued a degree in geophysics and marine biology, wanting to become a technical/research writer for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Alas, my college funds ran out and I never finished my undergraduate degree. Since then, I’ve worked a stew pot of careers ranging from business administration to the arts, each occupation utilizing my technical and creative writing abilities in some form or fashion. I married my high school sweetheart at age 19. We are still happily married with three children and even more madly in love today than when we were teenagers.🙂

But here’s the real dirt: Secretly, I want to be forest faerie and haunt the woods in gossamer garments, weaving ferns and berries in my hair. I would snuggle with all the animals and listen to the trees tell their old tales and sing songs to the budding wildflowers. Not a bad way to enjoy immortality, eh?

 

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Ebook second editions for my first two novels in The Biodome Chronicles series, LEGACY and ELEMENTS, were released mid-August. The new print books will publish by the first of September. I LOVE the second edition paperbacks, which feature gorgeous black and white images woven throughout the novel and brand new chapter headings. *le sigh*

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Oh goodness. That is a difficult question. I spent the first eight years of my life in and out of the hospital, in induced comas, on a respirator. I even lived in a bubble for a time. Through age thirteen I received IV medication every three weeks at a hospital until my body could finally fight off infections––I was born without a neutralizing antibody for most respiratory viruses. Needless to say, my childhood was medically traumatic and my education was spotty as a result. With little to do, I often read or daydreamed while looking out windows. I didn’t actually learn the mechanics of writing until age ten. My fifth grade teacher was unbelievably patient and kind and took me under her wings. She allowed me to fail and correct my mistakes, knowing that each time I failed I grew angry and determined to overcome this obstacle (story of my life, lol). I fell in love with writing during this process. By eighth grade I was penning novellas, writing poetry and song lyrics. I had a gift for storytelling, but my grammar and execution was … atrocious. In high school, I joined newspaper and eventually became the editor-in-chief. Research and technical writing appealed to me greatly, and forced me to learn the nuances of grammar and delivery. In college, much to my relief and disappointment, I learned that I had dyslexia. Still, writing to me was like breathing.

 I’m not exactly sure “why” I began writing for pleasure other than I felt a tremendous release early on. I could be free from the constraints and heartache of life and live vicariously through my creations.

 

 


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The word “writer” first teased my burgeoning identity when I was fifteen years old, sitting next to a girl I had just recently met who wanted to write a novel as badly as me. Together, we set out to just that, researching, brainstorming, and writing our historical fiction novel together during lunch breaks and after school. Unfortunately, we never finished this novel. But she joined newspaper class the following year and our friendship was solidified. She’s still my best friend to this day and my writing partner. We meet up twice a week to write and go on writing retreats a couple of times of a year, too. She’s the reason I finished my first novel and the ones that followed. I owe so much to this lady and to our writerly womance.

 

 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first complete book isn’t published *wink, wink* It’s an epic fantasy that explores the truth and lies behind organized religion. My inspiration? Trying to understand how people are willing die or kill others over their religious beliefs, and how geography plays a role in what a deity looks like as well as how he/she/they are worshiped. I might revisit the project in the future. Undecided.

If you mean LEGACY, the first book in my current series, then I was inspired by one of the oldest themes in literature: cradle-to-cradle systems aka the cycle of life. I wanted to explore how life, death, and rebirth played out in an emotional/psychological state. Can we reinvent ourselves? If so, does a part of us die to make way for this new beginning? For a kingdom to rise, must another fall? In order to know joy, must we first understand sorrow? Are we a product of ourselves or our environment? What is nature vs nurture and how does that play out in cycles of abuse vs. unconditional love? Big questions with no easy answer. Still, I had to see how my many questions played out with the cast of characters I created, each character representing various stages, ideas, and archetypes of death, life, and rebirth.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I personally prefer poetic styles of writing when reading and writing. However, my current series is a blend of writing styles. The “outside” world (aka the real world) is contemporary. Shorter sentences. Contractions. Fragments. The biodome world is flowery, flowy, and fantasy-like in style. I intentionally wanted the writing style to reflect each world and character.

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Well, my villain delivers a “watchword” in each book that both inspires and infuriates the hero. Because I’m cheeky and enjoy doing things that humor me, I decided to make my titles a “watchword,” capturing the literal and metaphoric theme of each book. Does this also make me a villain? Hmmm…😉

 

 


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

There is a difference between being able to love and believing your love is worth giving away, even if just to yourself.

The elements that comprise your life (love or hate, greed or sacrifice…) is your legacy.

You are good enough.

Spin the tales of your life. Weave them together. Make a reality all your own. Don’t allow others to determine who you are or your value.

 

 


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Now, that’s a loaded question😉 There are indeed parts of the book that are realistic and from experiences in my own life, but I won’t share which parts. None of the characters are me, though. Or anyone I know. They are symbolic/metaphoric in nature. Even the villain.

 

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

Books/Plays: Tristan & Iseult, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride & Prejudice, Great Expectations, Stardust, Strangers in a Strange Land, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Anne of Green Gables, The Catcher in the Rye, John Carter of Mars … I know I’m forgetting some:-/
Mentors (all authors/writers):
Melissa Patton, Amanda June Hagarty, Selah J. Tay-Song, Robert Slater, and Raven Oak.

 

 


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

New Authors: I love the writing and stories of Maggie Stiefvater, Veronica Rossi, Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Melina Marchetta, Sarah J. Maas, Kate Morton, and Mary E. Pearson.

Huh. All female scifi/fantasy authors.

Favorite Authors: Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, Neil Gaiman, Robert Heinlein, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, and … my list is SO large!

 

 

 

What strikes me about their work (new and fave authors): Their worlds are rich and exotic; their characters are bold, memorable, complex, and believable; and their writing is lyrical and/or vivid. My imagination always sighs in satisfaction when I finished one of their novels.

 

 


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

Melissa Patton – bestie since high school, writer partner, and editor for my books. She’s a professional journalist, freelance writer, and an amazing editor. She’s also in the heat of penning a historical fiction novel, a beautiful, poignant piece.

 

 


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! It’s my full-time job.

 

 


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

The ONLY thing I would *possibly* change is the format. I originally wanted to release The Biodome Chronicles as a serial, publishing novella length segments at a time. I think the unfolding quality of this particular story lends itself well to this format. In the end, I was talked into publishing my story as complete novels in a trilogy. I still wonder if I should have followed through with my original idea. But I’m happy and proud of what I’ve accomplished, regardless of format. So, long answer short––No. I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 


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

Yes, while writing a “state report” for Kansas and Kentucky in Mrs. Keller’s fifth grade class (and yep, I chose both states because of the K’s. Again, cheeky and all about humoring myself.). I loved the research and the puzzle of putting words in a specific order to create a complete and coherent thought. Alas, I had to re-write this state report three times until my writing improved well enough to pass.

 

 

 

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

Sure! I’m in the heat of drafting the final book in the series, GAMEMASTER. This has proven a daunting task as I’ve never wrapped up a trilogy before. I’m enjoying the learning process, though.

 

 


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

Keeping all the details straight and the voices of each character true. I spend more time in revision than in drafting to ensure all the fiddly bits and complexities streamline and the characters remain true to him or herself.

 

 


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

No, not really. Although, I would LOVE to visit Biosphere 2 in Arizona and The Eden Project in Cornwall, England. Biodome bucket list!

 

 


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Amalia Chitulescu. She. Is. Amazing. I’m so lucky to have her talent and illustrative magic clothe my novels.

 

 


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

Honestly, the fear of what others who know me might think of me after they read my novels. It’s a vulnerable feeling I’m not very good at dealing with, though I think I mask it well. I do my best to ignore that nagging voice of self-doubt and write what I want and try not to worry about the opinions or reactions of others. So hard, though.

 

 


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

I’m a badass inner-warrior woman.

That’s it.😀

 

 

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead

O_O  Sorry. The thought of a movie was an overwhelming thought for a moment.

Many of these actors/musicians are too old now to play teenagers / early twenty-somethings. But here are my character models:

                Character – Actor/Musician

  • Fillion Nichols – Andy Biersack / Andy Black of Black Veiled Brides
  • Leaf Watson – a young James Franco (from Tristan & Isolde)
  • Willow Oak Watson – Sophia Myles (from Tristan & Isolde)
  • Coal Hansen – Travis Fimmel (from Calvin Klein and Tarzan TV series days, but way more muscular, like his Vikings role)
  • Lynden Nichols – Hayley Williams (but freckly)
  • Mack Ferguson – Sorry, ladies. Imagine your favorite kilted man. *waggles eyebrows*
  • Ember Hansen Watson – Emma Watson (Ha! Same last name and first name initial.)
  • Skylar Kane – Bradley James (from Merlin)
  • Rain Daniels – Natalie Portman (from Star Wars, the braided hairstyles)
  • Hanley Nichols – Bradley James (Yes, he and Skylar look that similar)
  • Della Jayne Nichols – Eva Green
  • Joel Watson, Timothy Kane, Connor Hansen, Norah Daniels, Brianna Williamson Hansen, and many others … no clue, LOL.

 


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

This is the message I always give:

It takes a village to write a novel!🙂 As a writer, your job is to tell a story. That’s it. Tell a story. Pour words onto a page. Don’t worry if it’s well written or the worst stuff ever penned in the history of the world. An editor will polish the writing to make your story shine. Beta readers will help you fill in plot and character cracks and crevices so the reading experience is even smoother. But your job is to purge the story, no matter how messy the process. Neatly chisel each word into existence or vomit the letters onto the page. But get them out. Once you do, editors, beta readers, and fellow writers will be there to help you the rest of the way.

 

 


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

Thanks for taking a chance on my series and for your continual support and encouragement. I love interacting with you on social media. Readers rock! *blows kisses*

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m eagerly awaiting “A Torch Against the Night” by Sabaa Tahir (released on August 30th).  In the meantime, I’ve been leisurely re-reading “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas while also re-reading “Neuromancer” by William Gibson. Additionally, I just started “The Fair Folk Chronicles” by local indie authors, Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins and plan to read, “Amaskan’s Blood” by another local indie author, Raven Oak. Oh! I also just ordered “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov at the local library, too.

I like to dip my imagination into several books at once!😛

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Nope. But I do remember the first books that gripped me (around ages 10-11): “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett followed by “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery, “Little Women” by Luisa May Alcott, then “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. From there began a love affair with fantasy and science fiction, though I have a strong love for the Classics, too.

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The real question is: what doesn’t make me laugh? I laugh a lot. I’m addicted to laughter. I enjoy being happy and carefree and delighting in all the little things in life. I don’t cry easily. But when I do, it’s typically because I’m embarrassed or ashamed.

 

 

 

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

Two people, actually:

1) Jane Austen because I think her brand of sarcasm would get along well with mine; and

2) Marie Curie because she was the first women to earn a Nobel Prize for her contributions to science in an era when women didn’t have such careers, and the ONLY women to have won twice, still to this day, and the only person to have ever won in two different sciences. Her list of achievements as a woman in science is incredibly inspiring.  

 

 

 

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

“So long and thanks for all the fish.”

Because I find it more humorous than, “I understood the meaning of life and it wasn’t 42.”

But seriously? No idea, lol. I’ll let my silly, snarky children decide this. In the end, it will be to ease their grief, anyway.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Gardening. Though, this year, I stopped fighting nature and let my yard grow wild. I simply didn’t have the time. Next year I have big garden plans, though. I also enjoy hiking, music, cooking, and photography.

 

 

 

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

I don’t really watch a lot of TV, only one series at a time and whatever I can stream on Netflix. My husband and I just started watching the Vikings, which I’m loving. Before that I was pretty caught up in The 100. But the one show I can watch over and over and over again is Firefly. Captain Malcolm Reynolds. *swoons*

One of my absolute favorite movies is the A&E adaptation of Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Also, I looooove Tristan & Isolde with James Franco and Sophia Myles. And Star Wars. I’m a HUGE Star Wars fan. I even have a Death Star cookie jar, because, you know, the Dark Side definitely has cookies. Oh, and The Matrix. Another favorite movie of mine.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite Foods: CHEESE. Anything made with CHEESE. And noodles. I heart noodles.

Favorite Colors: Dark plum, black, aquamarine, shades of brown, dark teal green, gray

Favorite Music: Alternative metal, grunge, industrial electronica, glitch electronica, orchestral movie and video game soundtracks, rock and some pop songs. I have a playlist on Spotify that I created for when writing my current series, aptly titled The Biodome Chronicles.

 

 

 

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

Finish my undergraduate degree and work as a scientist for NOAA. Or, finish a different degree in Forestry and work for the National Parks.

 

 

 

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

Blog? Er … *blows dust off blog* Yeah, sure. But, better yet, here’s the link to my website: http://jesikahsundin.com/. I feature character and world building pages for The Biodome Chronicles as well as other fun pages. Take a peek.

 

LEGACY (The Biodome Chronicles #1)

DESCRIPTION:

A sensible young nobleman, Leaf Watson, and his sister, Willow Oak, live a rustic medieval life rich in traditions and chivalry. Sealed inside an experimental biodome since infancy, they have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable community devoid of Outsider interference.

They are unwitting pioneers on a path toward confined interplanetary homesteading.

Life within their walled garden is predictable and peaceful until the unthinkable happens. With his dying breath, Leaf and Willow’s noble father bequeaths a family secret, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Grief-stricken and afraid for their lives, the siblings defy their upbringing by connecting with Fillion Nichols, a punk hacker who, unbeknownst to them, is linked to their lives in shocking ways. Their encounter launches Fillion into a battle with his turbulent past as he urgently decodes the many secrets that bind them together, a necessity for each to survive.

Youth cultures clash when the high technology of the Anime Tech Movement collides with the Middle Ages in a quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal and love.

 

ISBN-13: 978-0-9913453-7-3

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-7-1

ASIN: B01KBAL1JM

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ELEMENT (The Biodome Chronicles #2)

ISBN-13: 978-0-9913453-6-6

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-6-3

ASIN: B011AHP1CS

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TRANSITIONS: Novella Collection (The Biodome Chronicles #2.5)

ISBN-13: 978-0-9913453-4-2

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-4-7

ASIN:  B01FEAWV3E

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AUTHOR BIO:

Jesikah Sundin is a sci-fi/fantasy writer mom of three nerdlets and devoted wife to a gamer geek. In addition to her family, she shares her home in Monroe, Washington with a red-footed tortoise and a collection of seatbelt purses. She is addicted to coffee, laughing, and Dr. Martens shoes … Oh! And the forest is her happy place.

 

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AWARDS / HONORS:

LEGACY proclaimed winner of:
2014 Chanticleer Book Reviews Great Beginnings Cygnus winner for Sci-Fi/Fantasy
2014 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist for Science Fiction.
2014 Cygnus Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk
2014 Dante Rossetti Award for Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk
2014 Dante Rossetti Grand Prize Award for Young Adult Fiction

 

REVIEW BLURBS:

“A captivating YA hybrid of sci-fi and medieval fantasy, mystery, and romance, Legacy opens The Biodome Chronicles series with divergent worlds on a carefully planned collision course.” — Chanticleer Book Reviews

“Jesikah Sundin is pioneering a whole new genre: near-future medieval fantasy with a cyberpunk twist…” — Selah J. Tay-Song, award-winning author of Dreams of QaiMaj series

“…This book was beautifully written. It was detailed, immersive, and had a subtlety that I cannot help but be impressed by.” — Kookie Krysp Reviews 

Here is my interview with Rex S. Burns

Name   Rex S. Burns

Age 81

Where are you from: Navy Family. First six birthdays spent 1000 miles apart

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

Coronado, California, A.B. Stanford Univesrity; PhD. University of Minnesota–education.  U.S. Marine Corps

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?    

 Publication of The Better Part of Valour after a long effort to publish a book other than a mystery


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? 

 Always wanted to write.  First “published” a poem in the third grade.


Fiona:
When did you first consider yourself a writer?  When I retired from teaching.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? 

The desire to portray for future historians the everyday life of a Denver cop.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?   

Influenced by Hemingway as well as Faulkner and Steinbeck.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?   

Wanted a phrase that would say something about the protagonist’s personality.


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

The theme deals with the triumph of madness over reason in times of war.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

   The novel’s setting is based on fact, its events are invented.  I hope the characters are realistic enough to be recognized by the reader.


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

So many!  Those which ring true to the heart as well as the ear for speech.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 Mark Stevens’ clean writing and fast action.


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

Two senses:  curiosity and humor.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career
?

I did.  I made most of my major decision on the premise of whether or not it contributed to my writing.


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

I must cut out a few words.


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

I always wanted to write.

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

 The opening two chapters of Valour are available for a free download at Amazon.


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

 Creating life –the life of small things as well as characters.


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

  I’ve travelled all my life and always learned something new.


Fiona: Who designed the covers? 

The artistry of Tirgearr Publishers with my enthusiastic approval.


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

 Rewriting for the exact emotional response.


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

 If it made me laugh, it would (probably) make the reader laugh.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?

Charles Bronson made a film based on my book, The Avenging Angel.  The protagonist of Valour was based on Peter Ustinov’s character in Topkapi.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?  

98% of writers have another job.


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

Listen to the voices and enjoy the ride!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

  Cynthia Wong’s memoir on Antarctica and Craig Childs’ House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

  The earliest I remember was from third grade and it was The Hardy Boys’ “The Hidden Harbor Mystery.”

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Laugh: the human comedy.  Cry: the human tragedy.

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

 Shakespeare–just to hear from read from his work.

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

 The End.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Hiking, cooking, trading jokes on-line with my friends.

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

Blue Bloods.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?

South American food; blue; Dixie Land to Bach.

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

I honestly don’t know, but maybe a forest ranger, actor, or travel guide!

 

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

 www.rexburns.com

Trigearr Publishing Page http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Burns_Rex/index.htm

 

Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Rex-Burns/e/B000APLAWM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rex-Burns/e/B000APLAWM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1471986093&sr=1-2-ent

 

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Joe Lawrence

Name   Joe Lawrence

Age   58

Where are you from

I’ve always lived in or around East London, so I am proud to call myself a Londoner. Dad’s family were originally from Bermondsey and Mums were from East Ham. I was born in Barking, which is on the borders of Essex and East London. I left school at 16 and became a Butcher. I had my own shop before I was 20 and after that worked at Smithfield Market for a while. I’ve also been a Postman, a Cleaner, a Financial Advisor and up until recently ran my own Courier Company in central London. Now my life has turned full circle. I’m once again a Butcher.

And, for three weeks when I was 21, I screwed the tops onto Thermos Flasks!  

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’m a proud Dad. My son Tom is doing well in his business, and my daughter is an English teacher at a local primary school. My youngest step daughter is getting married next year and my eldest step daughter is going to make me a Grandad next year. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always liked to write. I started writing short stories in around 1997 but I suppose I started seriously in 2011.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t. I may write, but I’m no writer!


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I wrote I’ve never published. I called it “Missing Years” and it still sits on my laptop. For years I’d had this story in my head that just wouldn’t go away. I’d always been fascinated by people who go missing then turn up years later. My idea was that an ordinary man goes out for a jog early one morning and never returns. Well, he does, but 25 years later. He has no memory of where he’s been during that time and he hasn’t aged! It’s a mystery and also a voyage of discovery as he tries to find out where he’s been. But it’s also about the relationships with the people he left behind. His daughter is now the same age as he is. His wife is 25 years older and remarried. His father is an old man. It’s a bit dark and I was never really satisfied with the outcome. Maybe one day I’ll go back and re-write it. But it was a great experience and it made me want to try again. So I started a true story. My own. And that’s how I began to write “The East End Butcher Boy”.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I tend to write in a style that I enjoy reading. It’s been described as sharp and snappy. A friend of mine said it reminded him of Bill Naughton who wrote “Alfie”.  I take that as a huge compliment!


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I didn’t. My wife Jill did. The original title was “Butcher Boy”, but I soon realized that there are other books out there with the same title. Jill suggested adding “East End” so that was it “The East End Butcher Boy” came into existence.


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

Not really. It’s a coming of age story that includes, loyalty and friendship, but also lies and betrayal.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All of it is real and the experiences are true. I had to change certain names and places for legal reasons. The story is set in the mid to late nineteen seventies. It includes me but it’s really about my boss Roy and how his life and activities affected and influenced my own.


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

I know I shouldn’t really admit to this, but I don’t read many books. Maybe two or three a year. I like anything by John le Carre and I’m a big fan of the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child ( especially the early ones)..

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s difficult to mention new authors because I don’t read many new books. But Jack O’Donnell,s book Lily Poole is outstanding and demanded to be published. My favourite author is Charles Bukowski. Factotum is a real outstanding read for me. It’s so raw and honest that it makes you sit up and take notice. He’s a hero of mine. Now there’s a man that could write, drink and be obnoxious all at the same time!

 

 


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

ABCtales. I started writing on the site in 2011 and became hooked. It’s a free writing site and it’s really helped me improve my writing. I’m now an Editor on the site and try to help and encourage other writers as much as I can.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No way. I love writing but you have to be REALLY good at it to make any money out of it. I was approached 2 years ago about making “The East End Butcher Boy” into a film. We had two meetings and I’m still waiting but not holding my breath…


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

No. It’s out there and that’s it.


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

I’ve always been a strong dreamer. I enjoy the stories that seem to come out of my dreams. Sometimes I’ll wake up with a big smile on my face having really enjoyed the dream. So I have to write it down before it escapes.

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

I’m hoping to finish my new book “Who is Jack Winter” by the end of this year. It’s at around 45,000 words and is about an alcoholic, womanizing, drug addict that also happens to be a prominent Politician! You’ll like him.


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

Time. Writing takes time and time is precious. There is always something taking you away from it.


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

No. But I always manage to mention a place I know in a story.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I found an old photo of the dome at Smithfield Market from the 1970’s. It seemed appropriate so that became the cover.


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

Knowing when it was finished. I kept adding bits and taking bits out. I edited it over and over again. I re-wrote whole chapters and was never really satisfied. But there comes a time when you have to say enough! Just get it out there.


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

Don’t give up. When you think you can’t do it anymore, take a break and come back to it.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead

The lead role is Roy (my boss), he would have to played by Luke Evans, the welsh actor. The likeness is uncanny! Me? Maybe Plan B ( Ben Drew).


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing.


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

I hope you enjoy the read. If you do…then please give feedback. It really does help.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

My View From The Corner by Angelo Dundee.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was a gift from out next door neighbor. I was only five years old and had just learnt to read. Mr Russ gave me the book and it was a thing of beauty. It took me a while but I loved the story. After that I read Treasure Island.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Silly films make me laugh. I can’t watch “Airplane” or any of the “Naked Gun” films without laughing every few seconds even though I know what’s coming next. Anything to do with animals especially dogs in distress makes me cry like a baby. When the TV programme “Supervets” comes on, I’m crying within minutes…

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

I’d loved to have spent a day with Charles Bukowski. I’m not sure if I’d have survived but wow what a day that would have been. I can imagine beer being drunk, blood being spilled, songs being sung and maybe, just maybe a cuddle at the end. Fabulous…

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

No headstone. Just sprinkle my ashes somewhere along the Thames.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’m a West Ham supporter and go to every home match so I love Football. But also Horse racing and boxing. I HATE cricket! And music. I couldn’t live without music.

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

Sopranos and Breaking Bad were right up my street.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Meat. Blue. Jazz/Funk/Soul.

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

Play a musical instrument really, really well. I play piano ( badly), But the Saxophone is my absolute favourite. I tried for years to play a Tenor Sax. I was useless.

 

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

Three that are important.

https://jolono.wordpress.com/

http://spitalfieldslife.com/2015/03/22/joe-lawrence-traditional-butcher-writer/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_12?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+east+end+butcher+boy&sprefix=the+east+end%2Cstripbooks%2C201

 

 

Here is my interview with Barbara G.Tarn

Name Barbara G.Tarn

Age 51 on Aug.25

Where are you from Italy

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

Barb: I grew up bilingual in French-speaking countries, but finished my studies in Italy. I didn’t go to college or university and started working at a day job March 1988 – been there since, part-time since February 1998. English is my third language, but currently it  beats French that I don’t use anymore!

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Barb: August 2016 – writing stories for Star Minds Interregnum Volume 2 and revising two more stories of Vampires Through the Centuries.

In September I shall go back to my fantasy world of Silvery Earth.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Barb: Summer of 1978 when we came back to live in Italy. Never stopped since. My imaginary friends were better than reality! A friend asked me if I use my writing to get things off my chest – probably, but since it’s been so long and I’m so prolific, I don’t even realize I do it anymore. I like telling stories to myself – although some I’ll never write them down!😉


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Barb: With the new millennium when becoming a professional writer became easier, thanks to new technologies. I’ll freely admit my naivety – I thought publishers would come knocking on my door without me submitting to them!😉 But then, there were no creative writing courses in Italy at the end of the 20th century…


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Barb: Sorry, that’s too far back even if we speak only of the published works… I have changed as a writer during the past five years! At the beginning I translated my Italian works into English, but by now I write original stories directly in English. I can tell you what inspired to write the first book in the Vampires Through the Centuries series, since that’s one original work that was never written in Italian or didn’t spawn from worlds created while I was writing in Italian (up to the beginning of the millennium)…

So, it all started with my newly found obsession of the Hindi film industry, and noticing how my favorite stars had pointy canines… so I thought, why not make an Indian vampire? Add to that my love for history, and I thought why not showing a vampire through the centuries instead of concentrating on the here and now? Thus Rajveer was born! This year I’ll publish the story of his sister-in-darkness Kaylyn, the Anglo-Norman lady from the 12th century Lincolnshire, next year his fledgling, whom he made when Tamerlane sacked Delhi in 1398… All three stories wrap up in 2005, so I’ll have a fourth book taking us to the present day which might actually be in the near future, since I publish one novel a year!


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Barb: Colloquial. No purple prose – I hate it!😉 I’ve been told I have a journalistic prose. I started by writing screenplays in English, so lots of dialog, but I constantly have to remind myself “Setting!”


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Barb: Coming up with titles sometimes is immediate, sometimes is really hard. Some stories kept changing title during the work in progress!


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

Barb: I’m an entertainer, I only want to entertain myself and you. If I happen to put a hidden message in there, I didn’t do it on purpose.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Barb: About the series of vampires, it’s historical fantasy, which means that the history is as correct as I can make it, but with vampires!😉 I like to make up stuff but I learned to research how things work to make them more realistic…


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

Barb: As a teen, Brunella Gasperini. My current mentors and gurus are Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Barb: Joleene Naylor made me read vampire stories after I quit Ann Rice’s books at Queen of the Damned!😉 I like how she mixes adult themes (and she’s not as preachy as Ms Rice) and horror, and when Amaranthine series is finished, I’ll binge read it again from the start.


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

Barb: Actually, I have no support whatsoever from family members. I must thank the online blogging community and other indie authors if I’m still doing it. And some of my cover artists are being very supportive too… You want names? Writers: Victoria Zigler, Joleene Naylor. Artists: Shafali Anand, Cristina Fabris (Even though she doesn’t speak English and can’t read most of my stories, she’s being very supportive). Friends: Fulvio Gatti.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Barb: Yes, I hope to quit the darn day job soon. But a career is built through the years. I hoped to be a little further on the way to economic independence after five years of indie publishing, but if it takes 10-15 years, it’s fine too. Long term thinking is what keeps me going – I don’t want to live on retirement funds (I might not even get them with the current system, so I better find another source of income, right?).


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

Barb: I don’t look back anymore. After rewriting old stories for years, I stopped doing it. Sometimes I need to re-read a story because I’m writing a sequel, a prequel or another connected story, but once it’s published, I usually leave it alone and move on.


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

Barb: Introvert alien in her own country with a wild imagination? Who knows? It was so long ago, haha!

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

Barb: I’m writing short stories for the Star Minds universe,

and I’ve reached the third generation. Two stories in the next collection (that will come out next year since I intend to submit the stories to traditional market) deal with Shan-leo’s daughter. He’s the son of the co-protagonist and nephew of the protagonist of the original trilogy. So, third generation goes to Earth in 2046 (the original protagonist spent from 1933 to 1982 on Earth, Shan-leo went in 2023 and 2033 with his daughter in taw), but it’s a different Earth from what we’ll have, the turning point being a meeting with the Star Nations back in 2012 when the first book came out.


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

Barb: Usually starting the new story. After that, I go steadily and speedily to the end (I’m a pantser)…


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

Barb: No, I don’t really do book tours, not even virtual.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Barb: I either do the illustrations myself or I hire other artists. I like illustrated covers on fantasy books, and hate those photographic covers that are so current these days.


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

Barb: Writing is fun. Researching has become fun. The only hard part for me is publishing and marketing.


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

Barb: I wrote Vampires Through the Centuries because I love history, especially the middle ages. And I enjoyed researching science stuff for the Star Minds stories.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?

Barb: My muses are actors, so I’ll have a ready cast for any producer wanting to shoot it…


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Barb: Just keep writing. Learn craft from professionals like David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson or Dean Wesley Smith. I guess I was lucky to grow up in the age of the typewriter in a country where there were no creative writing courses (which, by the way, aren’t very useful)…

I was a one-draft writer who absolutely loved the last story she wrote (of course one or ten years later it sucks, but whatever…), and even when I started showing my writing around to friends, I didn’t really rewrite much. I never developed a critical voice, hence for me “rewriting” is more adjusting plot holes and changing endings than anything else.

I’m still a 2-3 draft writer and then I move on. Heinlein’s Rules for you!🙂


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

Barb: Buy my books? There’s a little of everything for every one… QUILTBAG friendly, adults only (although not erotica) or ACE-friendly… take your pick! J

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Barb: I’m currently going through the other books of the Sci-Fi May Day bundle

I’m part of with Technological Angel, the first of the Star Minds books (the one that tells about Earth in 1982 when our protagonist leaves). I’ve read 3 and I’m about to start on the fourth. I usually give my reading recommendations in a post at the end of the year… By the way, if you like sci-fi, go grab that bundle of 10 novels for 8$…

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Barb: No, sorry, long time ago. I read a lot of French bandes dessinnées as a kid too…

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Barb: I wish I knew. I cry for movies and books at the strangest times. I managed to cry over one of my stories for the first time this year.

My sense of humor usually doesn’t get the main jokes or comedies, so again I’m taken by surprise when I laugh out loud. It could be anything, really!🙂

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

Barb: I wouldn’t mind a chat with Brunella Gasperini to hear about her writing process and what it was like to be a female writer in the first half of the 20th century in Italy, where female fiction was never considered worthy.

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

Barb: “Lived most of her life inside her head and away from this planet, never completely used to having a physical body.” Does it need explaining?

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Barb: Drawing. I used to do beads jewelry, but my eyes are failing me, so I stopped that.

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

Barb: I don’t watch TV except when I watch DVDs – world movies, Hindi movies, American movies, French movies, Italian movies… and old TV series from the 70s.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Barb: Not a foodie/Blue/80s pop music

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

Barb: Artist – I’m a professional writer and hobbyist artist!

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

Author blog: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

Publisher page: www.unicornproductionsbooks.com

Amazon authors page UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-G.Tarn/e/B0050P0R2G/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

USA  https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-G.Tarn/e/B0050P0R2G/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1471886535&sr=1-2-ent

BIO

Barbara G.Tarn Barbara G.Tarn had an intense life in the Middle Ages that stuck with her through the centuries. She prefers swords to guns, long gowns to mini-skirts, and even though she buried the warrior woman, she deplores the death of knights in shining chainmail. She likes to think her condo apartment is a medieval castle, unfortunately lacking a dungeon to throw noisy neighbors and naughty colleagues in. Also known as the Lady with the Unicorns, these days she prefers to add a touch of fantasy to all her stories, past and present – when she’s not wandering in her fantasy world of Silvery Earth or in her Star Minds futuristic universe. She’s a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. Her novella “The Hooded Man” has received an Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future contest. Used to multiple projects (a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose), she writes, draws, ignores her day job and blogs at: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

Here is my interview with Maya Tyler

Name Maya Tyler

Age 36

Where are you from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I’m married (just celebrated 13 years) with 2 little boys and a 9 pound Shih Tzu. My family is my life. I’m fortunate enough to have found my soul mate and best friend in high school… and he was smart enough to ask me to marry him 7 years later. Our sons are 6 and almost 8. We have a lot of fun as a family, watching superhero movies and playing with Lego. I studied business in university, but writing is my true passion.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I just signed a book contract with Tirgearr Publishing so keep on the lookout for a new release from me sometime in early 2017.

As for other news… I’m hosting two exciting series this summer – July was about writing inspiration and featured 6 guests – August was all about the characters and features 3 guests. For all the latest, you can always check out my website… http://www.mayatylerauthor.com/events-and-announcements.html


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I always found it easier to express myself on paper. I started writing short stories and poetry when I was a child. It was like therapy for me.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I finally considered myself a writer when I published my first book. Then it was real. More than just a fun hobby.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Well… I wrote my first “book” when I was 12 and I was inspired by the movie (and book) The Princess Bride. I never actually finished my book, a sequel to The Princess Bride, but I recently found my story, handwritten in a coiled notebook, and it brought back fond memories.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t think so… but I like to think my writing style is unique.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My debut paranormal romance novella is called Dream Hunter. I choose the name to describe the hero of my story who communicates to the heroine through dreams.


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

Follow your dreams. I believe dreams prepare you for real life scenarios you may encounter… so pay attention.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The story may be paranormal, but I based some of the content on my own experiences. Cynthia’s resolve to land the promotion at work and her tenacity to solve the mystery were both inspired by my own struggles at work. At the time, I was working toward a promotion for my dream job, but there were obstacles in my way.


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

I have always been an avid reader. Even as a child I read everything I could get my hands on. It’s hard to say which books in particular influenced my life the most, but it’s fair to say reading so many amazing books compelled me to write one of my own.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Picking a favorite author is like asking me to pick a favorite food. When my kids ask me what my favorite food is… I tell them “buffet” because I have so many favorites! Likewise, I have a long list of favorite authors… let me see if I can narrow it down by genre…

Paranormal – Karen Marie Moning – I love her Highlander and Fever series – her work draws you in and comes alive in your mind

Historical romance – Sally Mackenzie – I love her Naked Nobility series – she is a creator of captivating and entertaining characters

Suspense romance – Tara Taylor Quinn – Her work is edgy and her style is distinctive


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

My writing group. I “met” this group of vivacious women, who happen to be fabulous writers, back in 2010 online. Since then they have been a constant source of support for me… and hopefully I reciprocate as well.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No, but it is my passion and I see it as a therapeutic hobby.


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

No. When I write a book, it emerges as I first imagine it and, other than editing, my original ideas stay intact.


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

My interest in writing comes from my love of reading.

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

I am currently writing a prequel to Dream Hunter. It’s a stand-alone story about the guardian angels from my novella. It’s paranormal with a little less romance than usual, but you can count on my signature traits – an unexpected plotline and a happily ever after.


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

Finding enough time to write… And editing… oh the challenges of editing!


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

Thanks to the digital world we live in, everything can be done online from signing the initial contract to book promotion.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Lori Lasswell designed the cover of Dream Hunter.


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

Being able to finish the story. There are so many books I’ve started writing and never finished.

Writing sex scenes within my comfort zone.

Finding the right publisher. As an unknown author, it took time to submit my book to prospective publishers.


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

Patience! In all seriousness, I learned that I put a lot of myself and my personal experiences into my writing.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?

Hmmm… If Dream Hunter was made into a film… Cynthia Courtland would be played by Danica McKellar. With her long brown hair and natural poise, I think she would be the ideal choice. Gabe/Officer Hunter would be played by a beard-less Shia LaBeouf. I think he would have the ability to capture the essence of the character and be able to portray both roles.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep on writing. Practice really does make perfect. J


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

Thank you for reading Dream Hunter! Publishing my book truly was a dream come true for me. Also, stay tuned for my next release…

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

An anthology called Darlings of Paranormal Romance.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Ever? I was probably 4 so I have no idea. I do know I had a ton of favorite books when I was a kid. My mom read them to me so much I memorized them.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I definitely cry more than I laugh… Books, movies… sad… happy… doesn’t matter. Sometimes even movie previews make me cry.

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

Princess Diana. Her life seemed to be a fairy tale… marry a prince, become a princess… But her reality was vastly different… Despite the challenges she faced, she became a great humanitarian. Her tragic death had an impact on the entire world.

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

“Awesome mom. Amazing wife. True friend. Dreamer.”

I believe a life worthwhile is a life where you live by example, treat people like you want to be treated and do your best to make the world a better place. Live every day to the fullest, as if it might be your last.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Reading, exercising, watching TV and movies, going to rock concerts and live musical theatre, playing with my kids.

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

I like to binge watch TV shows, currently watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I enjoy everything from paranormal (True Blood) to fantasy (Game of Thrones) to comedy (Big Bang Theory). Movies I enjoy? Nothing scary, but everything from romantic comedy to action. And Disney movies. I love Disney movies!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite food – buffet – I’m a serious foodie

Favorite colors – blue and purple

Favorite music – alternative and rock

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

When I was little (around 9 years old) I dreamed of becoming an actress, a journalist or a lawyer. I even had my lawyer plan all mapped out and the only reason I didn’t pursue law was because my boyfriend (now husband) was going to a university without a law program. I chose to go to the same school so I picked another major.

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

I have a blog called Maya’s Musings http://mayatylerauthor.blogspot.ca/ where I ramble on about writing and other writing related topics, host guests for interviews, cover reveals, and book promo, and think up awesome ideas for collaboration.

My website is http://www.mayatylerauthor.com/ and includes information on me, my books, and everything in between. It also links to my blog.

I’m also on Facebook and Twitter and email mayatylerauthor@gmail.com so feel free to get in touch!

Thank you so much for having me here today!

Here is my interview with Jack O’Donnell

Name: Jack O’Donnell

Age: 54

Where are you from: Clydebank

I’ve had a variety of jobs. As soon as you say that you can bet they’ve all been pretty crap. From dishwasher to author was my local paper’s take on my epic journey

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

The book launch for my debut novel, Lily Poole, takes place in The Cabin Inn, Dumbarton Road, on Saturday, 3rd September. Lots of people that supported the first crowd-funded book in Scotland will be there. But they’d be there anyway, because it’s my local and they’re not long telling my I’m shite at pool and not much of a writer either. That’s called keeping your feet on the ground, but with more fucking swear words.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I did an Open University Course, Creative Writing, around 2008.  I’d read the course book in about two days and was footering about doing the writing exercises, in jig time, which I loved.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t really, but I’ve worked out a simple formula: when I’m writing (like now) I’m a writer. When I’m not, I’m not.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I write all the time and sometimes a short story becomes a longer story. My first unpublished novel was ‘Huts’.  I’d a few stories that were around 80 000 to 100 000 words, but first drafts, patchwords and full of holes that worlds could fall through. Lily Poole began with something that had happened to me, I’d found a wee boy scared he would slip in the snow and took his hand and helped him get to school.  I switched the sex of the wee boy to wee girl, Lily Poole, and that was me off running.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I like teasing out words and creating word pictures, but I also like writing blogs and book reviews and my thoughts for the day, none of which are original, but that’s OK because everyone is talking and nobody listening.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The working title of Lily Poole was ‘School Photos’. In early drafts of the book the little girl in the snow didn’t have a name, but then she did and it was Lily. Her surname Poole is the name of a wee woman I know and I liked the association of water and depth and sinking.

 

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

Yep, but I just wish I knew what it was.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Stacks and stacks and stacks. These are all places I’ve lived and streets which I’ve walked and locked wards where I’ve talked and visited and worked.

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

Reading is the engine of writing and the red, the green and the gold books of fairy stories were places where I spent many a happy day.  I’ve had book stacks of mentors, because anyone that takes their time and gives it back to me in the form of informed criticism of my work, I’m grateful.

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I’m a massive fan of Harpie’s dairies, beginning with Goodnight and Thanks for the Vodka, which chronicles her life with such unflinching honesty, but also show that trying to do the right thing, when you’ve no money and life keeps trying to knock you down, is sometimes not enough. Joe Lawrence, The East End Butcher Boy, is a coming-of-age story that packs a real punch and when I first read it, I thought, this really should be a film, and I still wonder why it’s not.  My favourite author is Ralph Glasser, Growing up in the Gorbals. As a wee boy he worked out there were different kinds of infinity and he wangled his way into attending a lecture given by Albert Einstein, but for a fluke he would never not have attended Oxford University, even though he was a genius, because he was poor. Sadly, we are returning to that kind of moneyed society.

 

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

ABCtales, offered me an online platform, to write and post as much rubbish as I could manage and no one every complained. Many of its members paid silly money to help fund my debut novel.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’d love to say Yes and so far I’ve had some excellent reviews on Amazon, but with the equivalent of the population of Scotland publishing a book every year, every new book very quickly becomes an old book, so realistically, I’d have to say no. But to write is to dream.  Christopher Isherwood’s narrator in The Berlin Diaries travels to Berlin because his poetry collection has only sold about twelve copies. I’ve no plans to move to Berlin.

 

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

The Huts, revisited. So my new book is my old book. The person writing the book now is not the same person that was writing the book then. All words are in flux, even on the printed page.

 

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

I can’t say I was one of those kids that had a great interest in writing and kept copious diaries. I wish now, I had, of course. I write to make sense of the world and the more I write the more nonsensical it seems. That doesn’t really make sense, but sounds like it does, which is just about right.

 

 

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

Well, Lily Poole is a page turner, so in a way it’s a thriller, but it’s also a coming-of-age story and a ghost story without a ghost. It’s grounded in the world and institutions of working-class Scotland and, in particular, a psychiatric ward in Gartnavel Hospital. It’s a love story, where love really does hurt.

 

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

I’m pretty good at the first-draft, not bad at the second draft, the third draft gets my full attention, by the fiftieth draft I wish I hadn’t started the first draft.

 

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

Not yet, I’ve not inflicted myself on the world as an ardent researcher

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Mecob. And what a fantastic job they have done.

 

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

Writing is the joy. Selling is when the nightmare begins.

 

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

Sit down and write. Sit down and re-write. Sit down and re-write. Someone else will have to look for you, filter out the things that you cannot see, because what I see is not what you see. Writing is a solo activity but a group activity. We all need help and we should take as much help as is offered.

 

 

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead

. I’d have to give the lead role of John, in Lily Poole, to my sister’s boy, Matthew Kiely, a big drip of a boy, and he’s still at school even though he’s seventeen, John’s age in the novel, back then, of course, we left school at Christmas when we were fifteen.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Aye, write.

 

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

I yearn to create a world in which words resonate with the reader, a Sisyphean task, but I’d like to think sometimes I get it right, but let’s not play doom and gloom games, I want to entertain and if that doesn’t happen then I’ve failed.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Well, in no particular order: Poems for Refugees; David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter; John Lanchester, Capital; Michael Herr, Dispatches; Gay Talese, Unto the Sons; Daniel Murphy, Schooling Scotland, Education, Equity and Community; Michael Thomas, Man Gone Down; Karen Connelly, Lizard Cage.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes, Janet and John.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Toddlers, they’re just so serious and so funny.

 

 

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

Always say Jesus here and you’d need to ask him, ‘so, eh, you think you’re a big man?’

 

 

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

Nah, cremated, scatter my ashes on the wind.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Football and getting drunk and they’re not incompatible, especially when Glasgow Celtic are playing.

 

 

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

None spring to mind, but if it was on BBC 4, was Nordish and featured a knitted jumper, I’ve probably seen it. And Wallender. I love Wallander, but not the English Wallneder, because, whisper it, Wallander, isn’t English.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

My favourite food used to be macaroni and cheese. Favourie collar, bright yellow. Favourite music. Donny Osmond, Puppy Love, or Crazy Horses. Those boys really were wild. But I did take a fancy to Marie Osmond and Paper Roses.

 

 

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

I’d liked to have been a real person.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? https://wordpress.com/post/odonnellgrunting.wordpress.com/1480

https://odonnellgrunting.wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lily-Poole-Jack-ODonnell/dp/1783522356

 

 

Here is my interview with Mimi Wolske

Name: Mimi Wolske (aka Mona Arizona, BB West, and Bradford Blair)

Age: I’m as old as my tongue but older than my teeth

Where are you from:

Mimi: “They” call us “Hoosiers” and I skipped, played, laughed, grew up, learned, participated in student activities and ran with the “Panthers” until a little over 1000 of us were graduated from one high school and we all have those family photos as proof. My first published pieces included a poem (during fourth grade) and my first essay (on the Indianapolis 500 at the age of 18 years). My first drawings of a tree and a clown were taught to me by art student Marie of The Ten Kids (a family with 10 kids down the road from our house…well, that’s the only name I ever knew her by). My first art show (and installation) happened as a Freshman at ASU and I sold that piece. But, that’s part of a different bio.

I spent four years maturing, learning from the best professors, expanding my creative potential and my critical thinking; playing with my Pug partner, Brutus; dating; going to football games; organizing rallies (including one speaker I managed to get to come to speak to the students was none other than Russell Means, Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of Native American people and libertarian political activist); graduated from Arizona State University with a double major (the college of English Lit (BA) and the college of Fine Art (BFA )) as a member of the ASU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

  • There wasn’t anything called Creative Writing when I attended University of Washington Extension in Silverdale, WA after work (after moving from the sublime “sunnyness” of Arizona to the ridiculous day-in-day-out rain of Washington), so I studied Writing, Rhetoric, and Language, and a course in Technical Writing, too.
  • Married and adopted children from Korea
  • Nominated for a White House Fellowship (which I did not receive)
  • Nominated and named a member of Stanford’s Who’s Who (http://www.stanfordwhoswho.com/Mimi.Wolske.7131387.html)
  • Member of the National Organization for Women and chaired two State Committees: Publicity and Public Relation
  • And, I never did receive my MA — That’s the technical stuff.

Honors: White House Fellow nominee; National Achievement Award for HW Proposal; International Privacy Security Award; American Entrepreneur Award; member of Phi Beta Kappa and was graduated from ASU with honors; Listed in Stanford’s Who’s Who for 2009 and 2010

These days, I live year round in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona as an American Writer, Painter, Bohemian Pug Herder, and today’s Renaissance Woman. I have two beautiful, intelligent, and talented children, and two young and just as beautiful, intelligent, and talented grandchildren; and a Pug — Chance the Second/C2/Second Chance.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Mimi:

  • I am currently working on two books of poetry, one by Mimi Wolske and the other (erotic) by Mona Arizona, that, hopefully will be published by the end of 2016. Apologies, no titles yet.
    Two (erotic) short stories by author name Mona Arizona were published in anthologies by RIP
  • I have a mystery, “Thieving Magpie and Murder: An Eta Pie Mystery”, under the author name BB West, that will be published this year.
  • I also have a fictional literature manuscript, “FADE”, under the author name Bradford Blair, I hope to see published in 2017.
  • And, I have a couple of YA short stories in a new sub-genre I’m calling (I made up this name, but I suspect once it goes public, others with take it and run with it as if it always belonged in the Sci-Fi sub-genre) SciCo (Science Fiction/Psycho) under author name Mimi Wolske: “Keeper of The Japchae” and “Endangered”.
  • ..I’m working on finishing a couple of paintings for an upcoming show.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Mimi: Since my first published piece occurred when I was in the fourth grade, I guess I started writing a little before that, but I was always regaling siblings and my grandmother with my tales and silly poems. I can’t remember there was ever a reason “why”; writing just had to occur because I didn’t (and still do not) know what to do with all those pictures in my head, because it’s magic coming to life, because writing makes me happy, and because it’s a way save myself from going mad. I write (or paint) nearly every day.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Mimi: When my favorite aunt came to visit and read my 4th grade published poem and said, “Now you are a poet; we have a writer in the family” and she took me out to celebrate—ice cream, I think. I’m pretty sure I stood a little taller after that.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Mimi: Believe it or not, a dream. I dreamed the entire book. Friends read my draft and encouraged me to enter an RWA contest. I was one of three new writers whose MS was chosen to be judged by a 3-person panel. My MS didn’t win, but it didn’t discourage me. I just changed it from an historical romance to a mystery…and that meant a great deal of rewriting and the addition of a new, female, protagonist.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Mimi: I already know the story, in fact, I have several stories already outlined. After I outline, I write, get anal about grammar and content and I, thankfully, found a good editor. Then, I revise. I’m not a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer, which works out perfectly for me since I love writing about the mysteries my mind creates. I think my writing itself is probably more literary, expressive, and poetic than it is straightforward or a stream of consciousness. BUT, I’m also a nonconformist, meaning just because I outline doesn’t mean the seats of the pants of my characters’ don’t take control a good portion of the time.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Mimi: If we stick with the mystery “Thieving Magpie and Murder: An Eta Pie Mystery”, the “Thieving Magpie” part of the title is taken from Gioachino Rossini’s opera “La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)”; one of the characters awakens from a dream of attending this opera. Eta Pie is the female protagonist and she is a funny, snoopy amateur who helps the constable of her parish, but she solves the mystery in this story. Her name is funny, she realizes that, but there is a very good reason for the name.

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

Mimi:  Hmmm; I believe the message of this first book (and future stories) is that a woman from a small parish in the early 19th c of England is smart enough to solve crimes; and to help the reader understand that at that time, even though the unpaid constable would be aware of every individual in the town where he lived, he generally fulfilled the job of constable for surrounding villages. Therefore, Miss Eta Pie, who is from a small village, knows everyone and she has just the right quirky personality and the logic needed to solve crimes. However, she must share everything, including how she figured out who committed the crime and what she found (clues) that gave them away (their mistakes).

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Mimi: It’s fiction; however, since the events in this particular mystery occur in the United Kingdom during the period when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent, I tried to ensure the accuracy of the time (thus the reason Miss Eta Pie can’t actually solve the crime but has to share everything with a male/constable). As far as experiences, I think every writer incorporates a little bit from their experiences; the characters aren’t based on any one but they incorporate the characteristics, posture, personality of people I’ve known and some are just their own persona. Some of the scenes in the stories I write are events from my life or my family’s.

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

Mimi: I find this question prominent since I just read, a while ago, there’s a recent study (sorry, I already forgot who did the study) maintaining we retain more from reading a book… as an object of ink and paper that we hold in our hands … than when reading from a Kindle. Maybe that’s the reason so many of us choose one or two books from our youth or from our time in college. Consider the number of younger writers who might choose one of the Harry Potter books.

  • I think from my childhood, the book of major impact is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It brought home the notion of suffering, dignity, and a reality far too many fail to see.
  • With a note of thanks to the college of English at ASU, whose skilled teachers opened my eyes to a new realm of literature, I think I’d select from the non-fiction arena, “The Second Sex” by Simone De Beauvoir, which was one of the first to honestly explore the history of women’s suppression.
  • From the fiction side of reading, “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut, reignited the pilot light of my imagination like no other book had done in quite awhile. The whimsy of its narrative, which ended with the utter destruction of our world thanks to mankind, was stark, shocking, yet refreshing.
  • But, my favorites are the mysteries:
    “The Gold” by Edgar Allen Poe, which introduced a cipher and the protagonist’s attempt to solve it
    “The Adventure of The Speckled Band” by the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    “Gaudy Night” by Dorothy L. Sayers
    “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett
    “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie.

Mentors: I was lucky.

My first was Mrs. Witte who taught our college-level writing class in high school. Her classroom presence was different from the other teachers: more professional, relaxed, soft spoken but serious, inquisitive about the poetry and stories, and remarkably patient. It wasn’t just what I learned from her explicitly, but that she carried herself in a way that I wanted to carry myself. She was a person who I wanted to emulate. I did extra work because I wanted to, and she was willing to read these draft. She talked to me about them as if they were serious works after the revisions. She didn’t push me, but the door was always open to me. None of this was a conscious decision I was 18. She just helped a young, eager writer who didn’t know how much she didn’t know.

My only other mentor was mentioned in a conversation with one of my friends. She told me about this really wonderful older poet. He was the one who showed me what a great reading series looks like, talked to me about staying involved in the community, and how to do it all while taking it seriously and still have a sense of humor about the whole thing. He also was a basketball junkie like me (because “Hoosier Hysteria” was invented in the State I grew up in — go ahead, Google Hoosier Hysteria), a dinner buddy, and a great friend. I screwed up a lot with my early writing, which he (for the most part) pointed out gently, and dealt with the ups and downs of my immaturity over the years we worked together. This established poet became a great mentor and he checked in on me now and then even after I graduated to see how my writing was while never explicitly saying I should do this or that, and maintained an interest in my work until I moved away and got married.

 

Fiona: Are there any new authors who have grasped your interest and who  is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Mimi: What strikes me about the works of the following writers is originality.
I’ve read the creative and weird horror stories by John Claude Smith for a few years and find his writing excites my imagination. He was nominated for the Bram Stoker Awards as Best New Author for 2015.
I also really like Gemma Files’ stories. In 2000, her award-winning story “The Emperor’s Old Bones” was reprinted in “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror” Thirteenth Annual Collection. In 2010, her novelette “each thing i show you is a piece of my death” was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award. Her short story “The Jacaranda Smile” was also a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist. Her first novel, “A Book of Tongues”, won the 2010 Black Quill award for “Best Small Press Chill” from Dark Scribe Magazine. And, her novel Experimental Film, received the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel for 2015.
I love the Regency Romance novels by Anna Campbell; she has written ten multi-award-winning, full-length historical romances so far.

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

Mimi: Mrs. Witte, whom I mentioned earlier. If she hadn’t supported and encouraged me, I think I would have floundered.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Mimi: Simple answer; yes.

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

Mimi: So far, no.

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

Mimi: I’m not sure, but I remember in the first grade music class, which grades 1 through 6 inclusive participated, we told about a contest: an original short poem contest. This was my earliest lesson in plagiarism by a student and of cheating by adults because the winner’s poem was not his. I told my mom about the winner. She’s the one who told me “Fuzzy Wuzzy” originated in the 1800s by British Soldiers who gave the nickname, “fuzzy wuzzy” to the Hadendoa warriors; that Rudyard Kippling wrote a poem in 1890, Fuzzy Wuzzy that praised the Hadendoa warriors for their fighting skills; and that the Fuzzy Wuzzy poem that won the competition was a nursery rhyme that became the lyrics for a nursery song composed in the 1940s. But, the thrill of writing something of my own and learning there was public recognition for writing had already taken my writer’s soul and set it on its course.

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

Mimi: Thank you for asking; I’d love to share a little excerpt from “Thieving Magpie and Murder: An Eta Pie Mystery”. Here’s the setup for this scene. Lady Cravens plummeted to her death, pushed off the chalky Flamborough Head Cliffs. The three suspects and a couple of guests (along with their valets and companion), and Miss. Eta Pie are at Marquess Winterbourne’s country manor in Scarborough. The invited constable for Flamborough arrives.
“Well, Mr. Bullock,” Winterbourne said, setting down his glass and leaning comfortably back in his chair. “Please, regale us with your findings.”

All eyes turned to the man who just entered the room. Constable John Bullock appeared at ease and appreciative of knowing which of the people at the table he was to address. All were quiet, waiting for him to shed some new light, some further information from his investigation.

“It’s not my habit, nor do I have permission, to discuss the case with anyone who doesn’t need to know.” He scrutinized Winterbourne’s two friends and Lady Whitworth. “I see unexpected additions to the original Flamborough duo.”

Winterbourne quirked a single eyebrow in amusement and said, “I understand, and your assumptions may be right about Lady Whitworth. However, Lord MacAlister and Lord Ashford both served England well in the war and Ash sits in Parliament. Surely these two can be trusted. And, my aunt, well, I will vouch personally for her. I believe you have met before.” He only hoped Bullock had wits enough to say nothing about whom or what Miss Eta Pie truly was.

The constable turned and acknowledged Eta with a knowing smile, but he said nothing other than “good day.”

“I like that! I was Lady Cravens closest friend and I’m the only one at this table who is here to learn the truth of who done her in, so to say. I have every right to be here.”

“You don’t want to bother —”

“Bother my pretty little head, Mac?” She turned her attention to the constable. “Listen, Mr. Bullock, my own father, the Earl of Harrogate, has as much authority as Lord Ashford to see Mori’s murderer hanged. And, I have more right to be here than he. Therefore, about this case, what are the relevant facts?”

Bullock exchanged quick glances with Winterbourne. “I have a question for each of you before I begin. Why is everyone here and not in Flamborough? Why did I get a note saying Winterbourne and Mr. Cravens hied off to Winterbourne Manor?”

“Winterbourne invited me. I came because… because I am Lady Cravens’ spou—”

“Because he wanted to keep an eye on me,” Winterbourne interjected when Cravens fumbled for words.

Lines of anger furrowed across Cravens’ brow hearing the marquess’ response. “You know me, Bullock.”

Bullock nodded and then looked at the other two men and waited without saying a word.

Mac cleared his throat in a somewhat comical manner with one fist to his lips. “I’m here quite a bit, when I’m not at Ash’s. Came here hoping to just enjoy some camaraderie, but, as you can see, I got myself quite caught up in this investigation.” He gave a nervous glance at Hollis.

“And you, Lord Ashford?” Bullock said.

Ash held out his hand to Mac, palm up. “Six guineas.”

“I say, how did you know?” Mac asked.

“Know what?” Hollis said.

“Ash wagered me six guineas this man would ask why we are here. I say, old boy, let my valet collect my purse and I’ll pay you.”

Hollis turned her head away in disgust, her chin inching upward. “Gambling. Is there nothing you men will not gamble on?”

“Not now, Mac,” Winterbourne said. “Bullock, I invited everyone here, except for Lady Whitworth. I have no idea why she is here, other than her claim to be the deceased’s friend.”

Everyone fell silent and all eyes to her. With a choking expression, she looked at each of them and steadied her fingers around her cup of tea. Her lips parted, shifted…began to form words.

“She came here to see me,” Mac said.

Instantly, all eyes shifted to him, including hers, which were wide with surprise.

“I most certainly did not! I came to see him!” The index finger of her left hand pointed at Cravens. “He killed Mori, Lady Cravens, and I intend to see he hangs!”

“Well, there you have it, Bullock. Can’t trust a single one of us.” Ash flicked a hand in the air and laughed. “We all seem to have more than one explanation for why we’re here.”

“Don’t pay any attention to Ash. Look, Bullock, I trust Lady Whitworth will not take any information you share here and bandy it about London just as I trust, um, Miss Pie.” Winterbourne pinned Eta with his eyes and she nodded her head in a silent oath.

“Very well my lord. The first item I have to discuss with you is the matter of a man I was led to by information from one of the villagers. Said you ordered him to hang about and keep an eye on who came and went and what the gossip—”

Winterbourne cleared his throat. “Yes, well, he reported to me there was nothing unusual.” Okay, he thought, now Bullock knows I had eyes and ears in the small hamlet, but who told him? The man wasn’t trained like the men he used during his investigations when he was a war spy. He raised an eyebrow feeling his two friends’ surprise focus on him.

“Did he now? Isn’t that interesting? Nothing unusual.” Bullock opened an ordinary ivory notebook and pushed to one side a few pages of what appeared to be copious notes. After a few moments studying a few of the pages, his big, square-tipped fingers stopped. He let his gaze travel over the two seated next to him and the three aristocrats across from him and met Winterbourne’s cynical gaze.

“Also talked to a man who saw the figure of a woman the night Lady Cravens went missing at the suggestion of one of the villagers.” His broad face turned to look at Cravens. “You may perhaps remember the stable master at Cranes Inn where you stayed? Well, it was him who saw the figure in the fog, and he said you saw her, too.”

Cravens nodded and instantly coughed. “Yes, I recall seeing someone on the road, I told you as much when I met you on the cliffs after Lady Cravens disappeared.”

“Yes, and so did the stable master. He also added something he found strange,” Bullock added.

Every eye riveted on the Constable Bullock turned to Cravens. Cravens shifted in his chair and coughed again, but said nothing. He blinked several times as the first rays of light began to shine through the window pane.

Bullock’s own gaze raked all them again. “He said he thought you a queer sot searching in the early morn for your wife, then sending him to the figure of the woman on the road and tell her you waited in your room.” With that last thought, he glanced at Lady Hollis.

“As you are aware, I have an injured leg and, yes, I was looking for Lady Cravens. The woman in the road could have been anyone; I saw no reason for me to go see if it was Lady Cravens after he pointed her out. I didn’t know who she was.”

Bullock looked intently at his notes and flipped another page. “You’re certain that he pointed out the woman and that you told him to go and give her a message?”

“Yes. I said I did. Do you doubt my word at this late date?”

Bullock rubbed the side of his face with his left palm and gave Cravens an apologetic look. “No, no. Just that we constables are blamed sometimes for getting the facts incorrect and I just want to make sure I write everything down the way each person states it.”

“Did the stable master tell you differently?” Cravens demanded.

“His statements are in my notes. Never worry what anyone else says.”

“Well, I did tell him to go collect her.”

“I have that written down. Thank you.”

“That statement just shows how much you did not care about Mori. You couldn’t be bothered to go to her yourself, you coward. Just more proof you murdered her, you… you…!” Lady Whitworth accused.

Winterbourne quickly turned his gaze to her. What game was this? Wasn’t she the lady in the road? Her reaction to Bullock’s words were curious. Most curious.

“Lady Bluntworth,” Ash said, mispronouncing her name incorrectly once again. “Because an injured husband chooses not to go chasing after shadows in the fog to determine whether she belongs to him does not make him a murderer.” He angled a look at Cravens. “Were you not the least bit curious, old man? I dare say, I would have been.”

“You’re always curious, Ash. Cravens,” Winterbourne said, and watched Lady Whitworth as he continued, “it may have been to your advantage to investigate. It may have been the woman you followed to the shop in Bridlington.”

“You followed some woman into Bridlington? Who?”

“I don’t know.”

“You followed a woman and you don’t know who she was? Why would you do that?”

“I wasn’t following her into Bridlington. She was there when I arrived. I only followed her to the Pawn Shop.”

“Ah, I see.” Bullock licked his graphite and wrote something on the piece of his vellum.

He shifted his eyes to Hollis. “Not only did Mr. Cravens here and the stable master both see a strange female, but Lord Winterbourne reported to me that the pawnbroker said he did not pay more attention to the woman who sold him the journal, the missing one belonging to Lady Cravens, than to note she was a lady and she had blonde hair. Do I have that right Lord Winterbourne?”

“Yes, you have it right.”

“You talked to Bullock after the day we both talked to him?” Cravens’ face went red with anger as he directed his challenges to the marquess. “Were you ever going to share that with me?”

“Cravens, keeping information from our constable does nothing to help him find what happened to your wife. Yes, I talked to him and no, I didn’t think it important for me to share that conversation with you.”

Cravens fell silent and the others shifted in their chairs, exchanging glances.

“There was the innkeeper, too,” Bullock added, still watching Lady Whitworth. “He saw that other woman right enough when she and her companion needed a room.”

Cravens responded with a defensive tone in his voice. “As to the woman of whom you refer, I never saw her or her companion inside the inn. Only the figure, more a shadow of a woman, on the road outside.” His eyes shifted from Bullock to Winterbourne. “Did you happen to see such a woman and companion and choose not to share that with me as well?”

Hollis shivered and her tea cup rattled ever so slightly as she placed it onto the saucer. All eyes were on her. Winterbourne missed neither of those nervous twitches from the blonde lady across from him.

Bullock said, “Seems she disappeared as fast as she appeared in the village. Got me to thinking what kind of a lady would be walking about with no servant or an escort in sight, and—”

“And, more precisely, what sort of woman would walk alone on a foggy road early in the morning while everyone slept? By Jove, Bullock! I think we all know. If I had known, I would surely have joined the hunting party. I might be interested in finding such a… Well, perhaps not.” Ash smiled at Hollis, who glared at him, and picked up his glass and took a long drink.

Cravens continued to shift and squirm in his chair trying to find a position where the sun wouldn’t shine in his eyes.

“A light skirt, is it what you be thinking, my lord?” Bullock said. Realizing who was at the table, he fumbled for words before he finally met Hollis’ gaze and said, “My deepest apologies, my lady. As it were, I posted my explanations and what questions I still have, and requested Sir Nathaniel send a couple of runners to do some further investigation and to assist me on this case.”

“I quite imagine we all have questions. Would you care to share yours? Perhaps about the light skirt?” Mac said.

Hollis glared at Mac this time.

“I was about to suggest the, um, female in question, who was a paying guest at Cranes Inn, was there to meet Cravens…” Bullock’s glance shifted to Cravens.

Cravens glowered.

The other four’s eyes opened wide.

Squinting in the sunlight, Cravens rose from his chair shaking his fist at the investigator and yelling. “You idiot! Why would I have a woman of a sort like you infer come to the same inn where my wife and I were staying? Preposterous! You cannot accuse me!”

Bullock jumped up, knocking his chair and sending it backwards and crashing to the floor. “From that statement, I take it there is another woman. Mayhaps you didn’t know she chose the same inn as you. But, only a guilty man acts with such outrage and protests so loudly, sir,” he shouted back, pointing a thick finger at Cravens.

For the first time since the six took seats at the table, Eta, who had been sitting near the middle of the square room, rose defensively.

“How dare you?” shouted Cravens.

All eyes that shifted left, right, left, and right as the two shouted at each other.

“Gentlemen. Please,” Winterbourne said, as he leaned forward and interlocked the fingers of his hands resting on the table. “I didn’t hear Bullock actually accuse you, Cravens. He merely said certain points in the story had him contemplating possibilities.”

Eta walked, calm as you please, to the table where everyone sat, except for her. The men rose from their seats. “I wish to join you all.”

Aun-tie,” Winterbourne said bitingly.

“Marquess Winterbourne, I do not wish to sit in that chair counting the number of times the pattern repeats in this rug for one more minute.” She looked at Bullock. “You, constable. I will take your chair and you can get a footman to bring you another.”

“Now just one minute Miss—” Winterbourne stopped himself before he said anything that would, well, he almost let her true identity slip. Instead, he walked around Mac and went to the bell pull. Hadley stepped into the closed room instantly.

“My lord?”

“How many times does the pattern of this rug repeat?”

“Beg pardon, my lord?”

“If you do not know, bring in someone who can stand here and count and then have them report the number to you. I wish to know.”

All eyes were riveted on Winterbourne and the butler. “The pattern does not repeat, my lord. It begins its design in the center and works out from there.”

Hollis shrilled a giggle and immediately covered her mouth.

Ash’s bark of laughter almost drowned out hers.

Cravens closed his eyes and shook his head with every bit of impatience he felt.

Constable Bullock seemed to be attempting to count pattern repeats.

Mac’s attention remained glued on Hollis.

When Winterbourne’s eyes finally rested on Miss Eta Pie, she sat in Bullock’s chair, her arms crossed over her wide girth, and she wore a satisfied grin.

“Bring in another chair for Constable Bullock.”

“I anticipated one would be needed. A footman should be here any… ah, here it is, my lord. Set it down over there.”

Bullock took his new seat and Winterbourne repeated his last statement. “Before we were interrupted, I believe the constable was about to give us the possibilities he has considered. “ He addressed his statement to Bullock but watched Cravens. Bullock, like the others, looked at Cravens, too, but Winterbourne refocused his attention on Bullock inquiringly. As he hoped, Bullock felt compelled to answer.

“True enough, Lord Winterbourne, but I never said such,” Bullock said.

Eta sighed audibly. “Oh, Constable Bullock, that response didn’t satisfy anyone here. However, I have been close to the events surrounding Lady Cravens since the beginning. I know who the murder is. Or, whom they are, in this instance.”

“But, Miss Pie, it sure sounded like he was accusing Mr. Cravens to me, and I couldn’t agree more,” Hollis said, a smile of satisfaction curving her lips.

“No,” Ash said, flicking a hand in the air. “He merely said he thought the mysterious woman was there to meet Cravens. We did not permit him to finish.”

Winterbourne arched an eyebrow. “Well, Bullock? Do you have proof? Or, were you merely offering one of the many theories I am sure you must have considered?”

“Don’t forget,” Mac interrupted. “Someone also murdered several others. His wife’s maid and some shopkeeper.”

Hollis sat perfectly still for a hesitant moment glaring at Cravens, her biscuit hovering above her cup. “You… you… you fiend! You killed her abigail, too? You’re despicable!” Anguish spewed with every word. The biscuit fell from her hand into her cup of tea and a creamy ochre liquid fell in drops onto the table top. Wood against wood made an agonizing cry as she grabbed the arms of her chair and began scooting it backwards across the hardwood floor, as far from Cravens’ chair as she could, but not near the intricate parquet bordering the circumference the room’s floor.

The sun shone fully in both of their faces now. Winterbourne, Mac, and Ash watched Cravens squirm uncomfortably not only from the glaring light but from being accused of conspiring to murder his wife. And now her abigail. Cravens coughed. He rubbed his leg. Beads of sweat appeared above his upper lip and on his forehead.

“Well, there is sad news. But I hesitate to share it.” Bullock gave Eta a sidelong glance.

“One moment, Lady Whitworth,” Winterbourne said. “Bullock, what the bloody blue blazes is going on? Never say there’s been another murder.”

“Yes, my lord. Another woman. I found her myself when I paid a call at her request.”

The question plaguing Winterbourne like a fast-spreading cancer was why had the murderer not disposed of the body? Why leave it for the Bridlington Constable to discover? Winterbourne’s steely eyes penetrated Cravens and he said, “Did you do it, Cravens? Murder another defenseless female before we came here?”

“Of course not! Whatever happened to some other woman has nothing to do with me. This whole thing is absurd! I refuse to tolerate this witch hunt and any of these accusations!”

“Please, Cravens.” Ashford waved one hand. “Do remain seated. Is it truly necessary to protest so loudly? You’re hurting my ears.”

The affectation of his tone brought a sneer to Cravens’ lips.

Hollis’ ears pricked, but she didn’t hear the last part of what Lord Ashford said.

Winterbourne raised his arms and interlocked his fingers behind his head and leaned back in his chair, and gave a sidelong glance at Miss Pie, who sat forward in her chair and paid close attention to Bullock’s words. “I confess I don’t know who to believe did these dastardly things. Only Lady Cravens and her murderer know…and, her maid…and the shopkeeper in Bridlington… and now, another woman. Who is the other woman?” he asked.

He fixed his line of vision on the constable. “Could it not be,” at this point, the marquess brought his arms forward and placed them on the table and leaned forward giving Cravens a look, “the maid saw what happened that night and was seen by the murderer and was killed for what she saw? Well, perhaps this other woman saw something, too?”

“Well, my lord, that could explain her death, and I’m inclined to believe whole heartedly it is the reason for this last murder. But, it doesn’t explain the journal being sold and then bought again by the unknown female,” Bullock said, and gave Hollis a knowing look. “Or the murder of Mr. Greene, the pawnshop owner.”

“It was not I, Mr. Bullock!” Hollis said a little too loudly and a little too adamantly. “I was already on the road to come here.”

Bullock shook his head. “Don’t believe I said exactly when Mr. Greene was murdered. As for this other woman, the murderer done her in the morning of the day you all seem to have arrived here. Including you, Lady Hollis.”

“It wasn’t I and I certainly don’t know who done her in,” Cravens said, and shifted in his chair again. “I say, Winterbourne, might you close those draperies?”

“They do not close,” Winterbourne said, a bit too abruptly. “Who is this other woman, Bullock?”

“It has never been Lady Cravens’ personality to take off in the middle of the night without a servant or escort. She was never witless or lacking propriety, I can assure you.” Hollis clasped her hands and let them rest on her lap trying not to notice how the constable kept watching her. “And, if Cravens could have murdered her abigail and this other woman you refer to now, couldn’t he?”

“I fear everything I have learned indicates Mr. Cravens did not work alone, my lady. There was another person, the woman on the road perhaps, who —”

Cravens rose from his chair and again and pointed an angry, accusatory finger at Hollis. “It was her! She was the one who sold my wife’s journal!”

“Me-ee!” Hollis shrieked, and just like a shrew hung silently in the room. Another reminder she had lost all restraint, all tact…diplomacy.

Winterbourne noticed her eyebrows drew upwards toward the middle of her forehead causing short lines to appear across her forehead. It was slight but it was there and it was an indication of stress… it could also be an indication she was lying. But, the bitter grimace on Cravens’ face reminded Winterbourne there was a bit of bloodlust in every man… if the sword was placed in his hand. Even himself. He, Winterbourne, was the last to see Lady Cravens at the bottom of the cliffs. But he did not see who the other woman, only heard her before she disappeared.

“Lady Whitworth? I do no’ believe it! Nae, ’tis no her!” Mac said, rising from his chair in defense of Lady Hollis Whitworth.

She offered him a weak smile but stood defensively ready for further attacks from Mori’s husband.

Cravens coughed. “Ask her how she happens to be traveling with a bottle of my wife’s perfume! Rawlins found it in her trunk.”

Unable to keep her anger under control, Lady Whitworth shouted back at Cravens. “You’re despicable! By what right do you go through my trunks and…”

Winterbourne held up one hand and the accusations and arguments ceased. He gave Hollis a rueful look before addressing Cravens. “First, and regardless of what you think or even suspect, Cravens,” he said, trying to rein in his anger, “you nor your servant have a right to enter anyone’s room in this house. You and your man have acted like despicable bounders. If you suspected her, why didn’t you seek me out and let me handle the matter?”

He paused and the muscles in his cheeks hardened; he leaned forward and pressed his palms to the tabletop. “I want your man to leave my home this day. No! never dare imagine I wish to hear any excuses. I can’t trust your man not to feel free to enter any room and search, and God only knows what else. As it is, I shall have Hadley and Wunde der Stein lead a search of everything in every room in my house to assure me nothing is missing.”

Cravens began his nervous coughing and rubbed his injured leg.

“The problem with his leaving is that he may be involved in these murders,” Eta said.

Winterbourne threw the papers in his hand and they skated across the top of the table. His eyes traveled to Hollis and he said, “You have my most ardent apologies, Lady Whitworth. Never in my life have I had any guest send their servant to snoop the rooms of other guests. How dare you Cravens?” he said, biting back his disgust. “I invite you as a guest in my home and this is how you repay me?” He stepped away from the table and walked to the side of one of the large paintings and pulled the bell pull.

Cravens continued to cough and lowered his head.

Winterbourne, his voice controlled once more, said, “Mac, can we prove it is impossible for Lady Whitworth to have committed any murder? If so, we can eliminate her name. We must be certain beyond a doubt but I would love to have that certainty this minute. We can look at who is left. Work with Bullock if you find anything.”

“This is intolerable! You are all against me. It wasn’t me, I tell you” Cravens protested and laughed. As if his words were a cue, all eyes went to Cravens. “I have further proof Lady Whitworth is the murderer.”

He pulled the ring from his waistcoat and tossed it on the table. “That was Mori’s wedding ring, also found in the same trunk. The only person who would have it is the person who murdered her.”

The din of protests, accusations, and denials rose again. Winterbourne stared at the ring as it danced and twirled. Seeing his arched eyebrow, each person grew silent almost in turn. He said, “I strongly suspect Bullock has another name on his list. Is that not true? Yes, I thought there was. Mine, I am certain. But, surely you will have now determined to add Lady Whitworth’s.” His silvery-gray eyes pinned her for a moment before he glared at Cravens.

Bullock glanced from Lady Whitworth to Cravens. “While perfume and your wife’s ring are not sufficient to accuse anyone of murder, I do agree the lady is now officially on my list of suspects. Still, we have only your word that your valet found them in Lady Whitworth’s trunk. They just as easily could have come from one of your own traveling bags. And, it still does not excuse you or your valet for invading her room.”

He paused and gave Hollis a pointed stare.


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

Mimi: Just sitting still long enough to produce my pages. I get sidetracked so easily and can be distracted by just about everything…the phone, email, my Pub. AND, edits; edits are a challenge because I have to really think how to rewrite some pieces after parts are red-lined out of the MS.

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

Mimi: Not yet.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Mimi: I’m talking with an artist right now.

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

Mimi: I’m laughing… SPIN THE WHEEL OF VICTIMS! Choosing the victim wisely—and by “wisely” I mean with all the wicked, sadistic power within my twisted soul. I can kill ANYONE I WANT TO. More than one if I want! The world’s my oyster… I just have to—shiver, shuck—that baby and find the pearl.

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

Mimi: Many things, but most importantly my protagonist needed to be someone unique. When it came down to it, my heroine, my sleuth needed to be unique because the hard-boiled private eye, the spinster librarian, the cop-turned-lawyer or criminal-turned-cop had all been done. Miss Eta Pie had to be someone the reader would believe and find interesting. So, I learned how to make her effective as a detective… and it turned out that her ability to blend into the background, her shrewd intelligence hidden behind her physical appearance, and her love of cooking, talking, and gossip were the perfect characteristics. Hopefully I managed to create her unassuming enough she would be often overlooked by other characters, thus giving her the freedom to pursue the truth . Criminals and murderers, hopefully, failed to realize that with every slip of her tongue and each cup of flour she is not only making biscuits, but solving the crime.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?

Mimi: I honestly hadn’t thought about it; but, I think, maybe, Melissa McCarthy.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Mimi: Read. Not just the genre you choose to write, but every genre. Read, read, and read some more. And, write every day. Even if it’s only a few hundred words, practice makes us better for the Olympics of writing a good story.

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

Mimi: Thanks. Hey, maybe you are familiar with my poetry or my short stories; if you are and choose to read my first novella, “Thieving Magpie and Murder: An Eta Pie Mystery”, thanks for taking a chance on me and I hope you enjoy it. If you are not familiar with anything I’ve done so far and you decide to give my first novella a chance, please remember when you review it that I have tender feelings. Thanks.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Mimi: “Dreaming Spies: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes” by Laurie R. King and “Lullaby” by the author of “Fight Club” and “Choke”, Chuck Palachniuk.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Mimi: No, but I remember the first book I bought with birthday money from a family member, and then read: “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren. I remember being excited because it was about a girl around my age who’s mother died and who’s father was a sea captain lost at sea who lived on her own with her pet monkey, a suitcase filled with pieces of gold, and a pet horse. I remember she was gifted with superhuman strength and countless other eccentricities and she had great adventures.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Mimi: Good puns, seeing someone else laughing and not knowing why, and when a child does something that makes me kind of giggle and they repeat it and I laugh a little harder and a little longer and they repeat it again with smiles and giggles of their own because they made me laugh.

Loss makes me cry; the loss of parents, the loss of a pet; the sadness and crying of a friend; some sad movies can drag a few tears from me; when a child is hurt by bullying…well, that makes me angry, too.

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

Mimi: One of the archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, or Uriel. I have questions.

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

Mimi: I know we’re supposed to pick something tasteful (read as BORING), but I want something that will make the people reading it smile and know a little bit more about me:

My Last Mystery—Who Knew The Victim Would Be MIMI?

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Mimi: I paint, I’m an amateur star watcher, and I’m learning to make hats.

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

Mimi: I like PBS (Public Broadcasting System): Masterpiece Theatre, American Masters, Sherlock, Masterpiece Mystery, the PBS comedy shows, MSNBC Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Morning Joe, and CNN Wolf Blitzer, and, this one is going to make you laugh out loud, but I like watching reports about space esp. when they talk about aliens

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Mimi:
Fave Foods: carrots! asparagus! salmon! pears! avocados! doughnuts!
Fave Colors: ALL — well, I’m an artist, too… I think I like purples and turquoise this month
Fave Music: Ride of The Valkyrie by Richard Wagner —


Carl Orff – O Fortuna ~ Carmina Burana —


Gioacchino Rossini – La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) – Overture


Anything by The Beatles or Elton John or Joni Mitchell

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

Mimi: be an attorney who paints

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

Mimi: You can hang with the Tumbleweed Contessa for a bit of poetry, a few shorts, a piece of my mind, and silliness and Please, tell everyone you know. It’s the nice thing to do. For cake? And Vodka? Vodka Cake?
http://mimiandmona.blogspot.com/

You can also see a couple of places my poetry has haunted:
My poetry as been published in Canada, France, Mexico, England, Madeira, the UK, and the USA.
http://paper.li/abrownguy1/1338306056?edition_id=16ca26b0-646c-11e4-8b50-0025907210e9#!art_entertainment
https://mainstreetmag.wordpress.com/tag/mimi-wolske/

Here is my interview with H. R. Jakes

Name: H. R. Jakes

Age: Never tell

Where are you from?

Wilkes-Barre (born) and New Hope (grew up there), PA

A little about your self, i.e. your education, family, life, etc.  

Like my age, that will remain a mystery.  Suffice it to say that I went both to college and grad school.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I travel regularly to write. I just got back from Italy (I was there all summer). Before that, in the spring, I was in Germany, Switzerland, and France.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have always written. When I was in high school, I wrote quite a bit. Of course this increased in college and graduate school. I write a weekly blog that is often funny but also, from time to time, addresses the big questions of life.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was in college.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The power of hope, the constancy of faith, the love of life.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Depends on what you mean by style. I like to blend humor with deep, probing questions. I like to put ideas within other ideas and relate them or contrast them.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The notion of a Curious Autobiography stems first from the person about whom it is written, for she enjoyed a most curious (in the sense of interesting) life. The second way it is curious is that she did not write it; I did. Normally an autobiography is written by the very person about whom the book is written. This one is not, or not quite.

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

Faith can’t be stifled; Hope always finds a way; Love, in the end, wins.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

As strange as this may sound, most of the book is historical.

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

My taste in books is as quixotic as it is multifarious. The books known as the classics, including the Bible, have had a huge impact on me. Old voices that seem to resound from the bottom of a deep well have always been the most interesting to me. Among more recent writers, on the big questions, books by C.S. Lewis and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, such as The Cost of Discipleship, have had a lot of influence on me, as have gentle works like those of Jan Karon or Alexander McCall Smith. For The Curious Autobiography, three works stand out: The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and most importantly, Augustine’s Confessions.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

For humor and tone, Alexander McCall Smith is the most influential and enjoyable. For depth, either Bonhoeffer or Lewis, mentioned above.

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

My Italian friends. I began writing the book in Siena when I was visiting a close friend, Piergiacomo Petrioli.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Most certainly.

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

No, but I envision a sequel at some point.

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

It was innate. I inherited it from Elaine Jakes, the very person about whom The Curious Autobiography is written.

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

I am currently writing blogs as I envision the direction I will take for the next book in the Curious Autobiography series.

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

Getting the time to do it. Writing a weekly blog helps me to set aside the time.

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

Yes.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The press did the work on this; we modified it slightly.

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

Getting the time to do it.

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

Yes, that I hope to write many more.

Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film, whom would you like to play the lead?

Great question.  I think maybe Helen Mirren.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write every day.

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

I hope you’re enjoying/have enjoyed The Curious Autobiography; that it makes you smile, even laugh out loud; and that it makes you think about the big questions of life even as you’re smiling.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It was, I think, Pat the Bunny; another I recall quite well is The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Reflecting on the past, both at once. On a more comical note, the November election (also both at once).

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

Cicero; because he could write better than anyone I know, and he has quite the reputation as a speaker, too.

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

He walked by faith. Because there’s no better way to walk.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I run, bike, and play some basketball.

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

Not really any regularly. Sports, mostly.

Fiona: Favorite foods/colors/music

Food: pizza, wine; Colors: blue; Music: various.

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

Farming.

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

My website is: www.curiousautobiography.com and there you can find my weekly blog. You can also link to twitter, facebook, google+ or goodreads from that site.
Here is the link to my book on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Curious-Autobiography-Elaine-Jakes/dp/1480814733/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471532047&sr=8-1&keywords=curious+autobiography+of+elaine+jakes). There also you can view my author page.

Here is my goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14041190.H_R_Jakes.

Thank you, Fiona!

          —H.R. Jakes

Here is my interview Elise Covert

Name: Elise Covert

Age: drifting somewhere in my 40s, I forget exactly where

Where are you from: small town of Paso Robles, California on the central coast.

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

Descended from Scottish pioneers to California, my family has been in California since before it was a state. Old ranching family, cowboys and the whole bit. I moved to Seattle when I was in my 20s and love it here, but still go back to California often. I’ve been told that my personality is very “Californian.” I have a college degree in international relations and another year of study in public relations. Happily married to a very Northwest-type guy: hiker, rock-climber, kayaker, lawyer.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My kitchen has been torn out of my home. I’m remodeling because it was truly trying to kill me: sharp cabinet corners hitting my head, cracked cabinet doors that pinched my fingers, a microwave that I’m sure was sending out radiation at unsafe levels. I was scared to go in there after dark.

But you want to know about my writing, right? I’m still going strong, writing the next two Renegade books and then turning back to finish the third book of the Circles trilogy. I’m so excited to begin my next writing project after all that!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was quite young. I find it is the best way to express myself and I always received positive feedback on my efforts from my mom and my teachers. Whether I was writing stories, journaling, or writing for school assignments, I find that the words flow when I use my fingers instead of my mouth.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably in high school, as a teenager. I was writing a lot of angst-ridden, lovelorn poetry and taking it all very seriously. I was a writer!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

An earthquake. Really. I experienced a large earthquake in California, and it gave me the idea for my first novel. Which remains unpublished at this time, but I might dig it out and rework it.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I suppose I do. My stories tend to drift from humor to passion and back.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The first book I published, “Linked Circles,” was because of a bracelet that features in the story, but also because of the complicated links that can tie two people together as they forge a relationship.

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

Yes. That learning about someone else almost always teaches you something about yourself. And that there can be strength and dignity in being submissive to someone else.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I think all of it is realistic. The first book I wrote, the unpublished one, has a supernatural theme, but everything I’ve published has been realistic.

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

They are inspired by real life experiences but aren’t based exactly on experiences I’ve had. That’s where my imagination comes in!

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

I’ve always been a fan of dark, moody, gothic love stories: “Jane Eyre” and “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” are two classics I loved. I started reading more erotic romances quite a few years ago and was inspired by the authors who aren’t afraid to write about things we usually just keep in our heads. Or our bedrooms.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am one of those people who read several things at the same time. I’m halfway through Ruth Ware’s “In A Dark Dark Wood” which is very good. Also reading the second book in Karen Robards “Charlotte Stone” series and the first book in Anna Zaires “Capture Me” series. Karen and Anna are romance authors I especially like.

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

Anna Zaires has only been publishing for a few years I believe. Very talented, I like her erotic romance books, but they are edgy.  I also enjoyed Sierra Simone’s Markham Hall series and her novel “Priest.”

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Finishing the Circles trilogy, finishing the Renegade series, and rebuilding my kitchen. I’m also thinking about getting a dog. My dog passed away a few months ago and I miss him terribly. I think he helped me be a better writer. I know he kept my feet warm while I sat at my desk.

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

My best friend Melissa. She’s been my best friend since we were eighteen and met in college. She is such a great support and has such a good business sense. My friend Shannon is a fantastic cheerleader. If I had the budget, I’d hire her in a second for her marketing talents. Oops, that’s two entities!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do. I treat it as a business enterprise. I create art (when I’m at my best!) but it needs to be planned, marketed, sold, and accounted for like a business.

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

I had to think about this for a bit. I really don’t think I would, except to give Evi a bigger role. That girl deserves her own book! Now there’s an idea for a spin-off series.

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

Through reading. I grew up in a reading household, where books, magazines, and newspapers were everywhere. I used to read the encyclopedia just because those volumes were so interesting. Reading and daydreaming led me to writing.

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

I won’t share an exact snippet, but the fourth Renegades book starts off  with Ren in prison and Meredith preparing to visit him. She isn’t at all happy to have a con for a boyfriend. Fortunately it’s a short prison term and they will go through lots of romping adventures as they reconnect.

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

I have to be disciplined and not just wait for the muse to strike. Sometimes my muse is very subtle. I write for so many hours per day, even if I’m struggling.

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

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors because of his familiar-style of storytelling. He tells a story that is meant to be heard around a campfire. I also like Tana French and her spooky, Irish-gothic style. And I’ve enjoyed Karen Robards books for years.

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

I actually don’t, as they are set in familiar places, but I talk myself into “necessary” travel for conferences or research, as I love to visit new places so much. I also love sleeping in hotel beds. I think I might have a fetish for hotel beds.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs did the Circles covers. The Renegade covers were done by Cover Me – Book Covers. Both of them were a pleasure to work with!

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

Getting bogged down in the middle. I think this is a pretty common thing for writers. I know what happens at the beginning and at the end, but I can sometimes get lost and muck about in the soggy swamp of the middle for a while.

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

I learned a bit about motorcycles for the Ren books, and about outlaw motorcycle clubs. I researched condos in Seattle for Jack’s home in the Circles books, loved looking at all those photos of beautiful condos!

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

I doubt I have anything to add that everyone doesn’t already hear constantly: write every day, set goals, and take yourself seriously. You’re a writer, dammit!

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! It is an honor just to know you picked up my book and spent some of your valuable time reading it. Oh, and could you write a review? Please?

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not really. It was probably a Raggedy Ann book. My grandmother had many of them, with the beautiful color plates. I have them now in a place of honor.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I laugh a lot. I also cry a lot. People make me laugh, whether it is friends or just hearing about someone’s exploits. The news makes me cry, especially if it is about dogs.

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

I would meet and chat with just about anyone. One person? Maybe Emily Dickinson. I’d like to listen to her talk, I think.

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

“At last! A guaranteed good night’s sleep!” I have a terrible time sleeping through the night.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I’m terribly boring, I think. I like books. I like good movies or TV shows. I like to go walking and visiting with friends. I wish I could add something like hang-gliding here.

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

I like true crime shows, well-scripted TV (True Detectives, Outlander, Secrets & Lies), and scary movies.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Authentic Mexican food/all shades of blue/blues rock. Wearing a pretty blue dress while eating tacos al pastor and watching Aynsley Lister perform – that would be a dream experience.

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

A business executive. With a big desk and a glorious view of the Seattle skyline from my window. I’d wear designer clothes and heels and just drink Smart Water. I’d tap my pencil on the top of my desk. I think I just created a character there. I have no idea what business I’d actually be executing, I just like the idea.

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

www.elisecovert.com  or come visit with me on Facebook at Elise Covert – Writer!

Amazon Author Page:

http://amazon.com/author/elisecovert

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