Here is my interview with Franca Storm

Name  Franca Storm

 

Age  30

 

Where are you from

Originally from England, but currently living in Niagara Falls, Canada.

 

A little about yourself, i.e. your education Family life etc  

I’m happily married to my amazingly supportive husband, Tyler. We have a one-year-old chocolate lab named Rocky.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My new adult/college rocker romance, READY TO LOVE, was released on August 10th. This year is release-crazy time for me, so I have another release already hot on its heels. Releasing September 8th will be WRECKED, a paranormal romance.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I was an introverted and shy child and I preferred to spend my time reading, as opposed to playing with other kids, so I developed a love for books and the fictional worlds they transported me to at an early age. I’ve had a very active imagination for as long as I can remember. So, basically, as soon as I could actually put pen to paper, I started creating my own adventures.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The way I see it, anyone can be considered a “writer”. Considering myself an “author” happened when I’d finally completed my first novel.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to get the story out. I wanted to live through it, tell it, experience it.

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not that I’m aware of. I don’t like to get too caught up in unnecessary description. Being overly descriptive bores me. I prefer to write fast-paced stories.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I’m gonna go with READY TO LOVE for this question. Basically, every time I’m trying to come up with a title, I’m looking for something that captures the overriding theme or emotions of the book. (Probably a given, really…haha). Anyway, in RTL, we have a man who has major commitment issues. He’s a real playboy. We also have a woman who is deeply scarred by an abusive situation from her past. So, for the two of them to come together, they need to find a way through that and they have to be ready to love, in spite of all of that. (Hope I explained that well enough…it sounds much better in my head).


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

I think the running theme in all of my books is that it’s never too late and you’re never too far gone to be redeemed. If you’re ready to work towards it. And…hope trumps fear.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I’m not sure how to answer this, except to say that they are obviously fictional, but somewhat grounded in reality (in my mind anyway….hehe) to be believable to the reader.


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

It’s inevitable that every character I write will have some similarities to me or people close to me and perhaps some of their experiences will touch on mine a little as well. Emma in COMFORT ZONE is the character that most resembles me out of all of my books.


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

Nothing that can be singled out, although, most things I read do influence me in some way or another, such as learning something new, seeing something in a different light, being inspired, etc.


Fiona: What books are you reading now?

Honestly, I’m not actually reading anything right now, because I’m in the middle of several projects. I don’t read while I’m writing. I like to keep a clear head. But that means my to-read list is piling up. A few on there are:

  • Watch Over You and The Rise of the Phoenix – Mason Sabre
  • Divinely Entwined –F. Rose
  • Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  • Dirty Little Secret – John Stock
  • The Scene Series – Roxy Sloane
  • Hung – Scott Hildreth
  • Warrior – Nicole Blanchard
  • Bliss – Lora Ann
  • Chicago Underground Series – Skye Warren
  • Illusive – Nina Levine


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

As I navigate my way through this business, I see many awesome new authors around. Actually, some of them are listed above. I also want to check out Jake Butler and Monica May.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

WRECKED – a paranormal romance series releasing on September 8th, centering on an all-powerful warlock and a sheltered sorceress.

 

BAD IMPRESSIONS – a contemporary small-town romance releasing on October 6th. It’s a tale of forbidden love. The main protagonist has his eye on his best friend’s little sister, and vice-versa.

 

DARK HEARTS – the final part of my erotic thriller mini-series, releasing early November.

 

BLAMELESS – book three in my MC Romance series, Black Thorns, centering on character, Runner. Anticipated release is January 2016.

 

Beyond all that, we’ll have to see.


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

Nancy K – my college professor. Not only did she teach me a lot about writing, she was also the one who pushed me to actually push my first work towards publication.

 

And my awesome friend, Kathy N. My favorite human.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I am trying to make that happen. We shall see.


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

No. With READY TO LOVE, I actually spent months and months fixing up the mess that is always the first draft. A lot of blood, sweat and tears when into it.


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

Escapism. Like I said, I have an overactive imagination. Writing is the best way for me to explore that. It’s a lot of fun creating your own worlds, your own people. When I’m writing, the world can be what I want it to be. I love it.

 

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

Sure! I’ll give you an excerpt from each of my next two releases:

 

WRECKED

~Finn~

“Yeah, thing is…it’s fate. Can’t escape it.”

 

Her eyes narrowed. “You really are your father’s son, Finn.”

 

That burned. It’d been a while since anyone had compared me to that asshole.

 

“Every one you’ve taken has died,” the witch went on.

 

True story there. “This one is different. The Light in her is white-hot, not just a flicker.” I held out my right hand, the one I’d used to shake the girl’s.

 

The witch gasped as she saw the red ring on my palm—an energy burn from the girl when she’d taken my hand. I’d spelled the handshake to draw her power to me, so I could measure it to gauge her strength.

 

“She…burned you,” she choked out in surprise. “Does this usually happen?”

 

“No.”

 

Her eyes locked with mine.

 

“She knows nothing of this life. She won’t understand.”

 

“What about the tattoo?”

 

“The mark?”

 

What the hell else did she think I was getting at? “Yeah. On her back. How’d you explain that to her?”

 

She shrugged. “A birthmark.”

 

I shook my head. Un-fucking-believable. Whatever. I was done talking. I brushed past her and headed for the door. “Two weeks,” I called over my shoulder.

 

“I won’t let you take her!” she screamed.

 

I laughed. “Take her? She’ll come to me.”

 

 

BAD IMPRESSIONS

~Brad~

“Don’t look at me like that, darlin’.”

 

“Like what?” she breathed in a hoarse whisper. God. She was so fucking turned on. I could hear it in her voice, see it in her flushed cheeks and the intensity in her eyes.

 

And it was skyrocketing my arousal to the danger zone. The point of no return.

 

I tried not to breathe in too deeply, because the sweet smell of her was driving me crazy already. She always smelled so good, just like fresh-cut flowers.

 

I whispered in her ear, feeling her tremble at the feel of my hot breath on her neck, “Like you want me to hike up your skirt, spread those sexy-as-sin thighs of yours and taste you right here in the middle of the high street.”

 

She pulled back, gasping. Her eyes were wide at my words.

 

“Would you call this time?” she rasped, her eyes on fire.

 

Shit. I wanted to give her what she wanted more than anything. What I wanted. But it was wrong for so many reasons, reasons she couldn’t even comprehend as she fired her fuck-me-right-the-hell-now look at me.

 

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t reel her in like that.

 

She deserved better.

 

“No,” I forced myself to utter.

 


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

I often struggle with coming up with new character names and names of places. With my MC Romance books, that goes for the clubs, too. Just a difficulty I always seem to have. I end up spending hours on those baby name list websites. It freaked my husband out a couple of times when he caught me. Hehe.


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

I don’t have a single favorite author, but I recently came across a couple of books by author, Nicole Snow, and the way she writes sex scenes floored me. Really well done and really intense. She’s one of the best I’ve read for that. One the same note, I’m also a fan of Roxy Sloane’s dirty talk in her books, as well as Eve Newton’s wit in her books. And I’m a Robert Ludlum junkie. I love the way he writes his action scenes. The best!


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

Nope. That would be cool one day though!


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

READY TO LOVE was designed by Louisa Maggio at LM Creations. The rest were designed by me.


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

I have this “curse” of hitting the 75% mark and then getting stuck for a while. I don’t know what it is, but it happens a lot. Weird, huh? That’s when I move onto something else and return to what I was working on later on. Really helps clear my head.


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

I ended up learning a great deal about conveying the male POV through READY TO LOVE. I did a lot of work on John’s character to achieve accuracy there and I believe I pulled it off. *Wipes sweat off brow* Phew!


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write anything and everything. Do it often. It’ll help you to develop your voice. I don’t see any other way to do that. If you publish a book, I’ll also say this: reviews are subjective. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. You have to write for you. For the story. If you don’t, you’ll lose the passion and yourself. Also, I never edit when I’m writing the first draft. If I have that part of me active while I’m writing, I’ll never put a word on the page. My goal with the first draft is to get the story out, get the raw emotions down on the page, craft the characters. Perfection is not what a first draft is for. But everyone does things differently. That’s just how I do it.


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

Thank you so much for reading my books! I’m very grateful to anyone who’s noticed my books in among all those that are out there. Awesome!

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Little Owl and the Treehouse by Constance Boyle

When I was a little older, I also enjoyed Enid Blyton books and then C.S. Lewis.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The kind of humor I like is that of TV shows Community, Scrubs, Friends. As for crying? It’d have to be something pretty extreme, as I’m not really much of a crier.

 

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

Sylvester Stallone—I am a big fan of the way he writes the characters in his movies. Something about it just resonates with me—the raw emotion, I guess. I like underdogs.

 

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

Wow. Honestly, I’ve never thought about it. I really don’t know.

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Because I spend so much time writing and promoting, any time I have left is spent with my husband and my puppy, Rocky. I also like hiking, messing around with my longbow, reading, binge-watching newly discovered TV shows.

 

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

TV Shows: Arrow. Once Upon a Time. Community. Scorpion. Scrubs (binge-watching Netflix re-runs). Vampire Diaries.

Movies: anything Action. Special Mentions: The Avengers. Iron Man (all 3). The Godfather (all 3). Rocky (all 6). Spy Game. Thirteen Days.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite Food: Pizza (hands down)

Favorite Colors: Purple, Black, Blue

Favorite Music: Hinder, Shinedown, Tantric, Seether, Coheed & Cambria, Saosin, 30 Seconds to Mars, Ron Pope, Bruce Springsteen, Plumb, Breaking Benjamin, Audioslave, Ryan Star, The Fray.

 

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

Rock star/songwriter…lol.

 

 

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

Thank you so much for having me, Fiona, and for the opportunity. I really appreciate it! You’re lovely!

 

Okay, so, anyone who feels like it, can follow me at any one of these links:

☛ Website: http://www.francastorm.com/

☛ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/francastormauthor

☛ Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrancaStorm

☛ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/francastorm/

Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Franca-Storm/e/B00J89IYXE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1440825859&sr=1-2-ent

 

 

FRANCA STORM – PROFILE:

 

Franca was born in Surrey, England and currently lives in Niagara Falls, Canada with her husband and their labrador, Rocky.

She is a long-time lover of erotica and romance novels, especially those with sexy-as-sin alpha males. She decided to try her hand at writing her own and writing romance is now her obsession and the perfect way to put her dirty mind to good use!

 

She writes romance with a common theme: bad boys with big hearts. Her writing spans many different sub-genres of romance: contemporary, biker romance, paranormal romance, new adult, romantic erotica and romance suspense. She’s got a ton of stories to tell and many more works up her sleeve.

 

FRANCA STORM – BOOKS:


COMFORT ZONE -> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O0BV0MW

RECKLESS -> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V5AOLOA

SOULLESS -> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZSTOXYW

READY TO LOVE -> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012E3B0CW

WRECKED -> http://amzn.to/1MNUpag

 

Here is my interview with Zeecé Lugo

Name  Zeecé Lugo 

Age: I’d be crazy to say!

Where are you from:

 I was born in Puerto Rico. I grew up in Brooklyn, lived in many different states and in Europe for a while, spent 24 years in South Florida, and finally retired in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, five years ago. I am very confused as to where I’m from. 

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

I was an avid reader from an early age. My mother taught me to read and write before I started school, and by the time I was in the fourth grade, I was reading the high school books our neighbor’s daughters brought home. From my love of reading came my love of writing. I have a BA in English Lit, but I actually taught science in Florida for years. Most of family still lives in Miami.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I am at present working on the audio book versions of my novels. I am also working on my next two novels. My next novel is not in the Daniel’s Fork series. It will be a quirky, paranormal romance.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 I began writing in 2013, two years ago. I began writing because it was time. I had allowed life and responsibilities to keep me from doing what I wanted to do long enough. I was finally in a position to please myself, and I did.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 The minute I finished my first manuscript.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? 

The beauty of my surroundings. I had just moved to my mountain home in Puerto Rico, and I knew it was the perfect place to write. The peace and tranquility were the ideal place to dream and create imaginary worlds and characters. I have a romantic soul.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

 Yes. Someone recently reviewed one of my books, and he said that my writing is  “tight, action-packed prose.” I aim for as much as 80-90 % dialogue. My descriptions are specific, vivid, and in key places. My language is more formal than everyday English, fewer contractions, but also more musical, rhythmic.     

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Titles are my nemesis. I agonize over them. I make lists and sit there night after night, trying to choose. Daniel’s Fork is the second title for that novel. I could not decide. Finally, I gave up and chose the name of the village in the novel as the title.


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

  My novels are meant to entertain, to take you from your everyday problems and the mundane, to a place you can escape for a few hours to the bliss of mystery, romance, and erotic images.  There are themes I touch on: the selfishness of people, the destructive effect our actions have on others, the narrow mindedness of our values.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

To my mind, it is all realistic. My characters are flawed characters who act emotionally and commit atrocious acts driven by love, hate, greed. You might say the setting is not realistic because you have future generations speaking like they are back 200 years in time. However, they lost all technology and have carried out a concerted effort to protect and purify their language. They have adopted ways of life that worked well once before, allowing humanity to develop and thrive. I think it is a very possible future and as such, realistic. Far more than a future full of zombies!  


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

No. Some of the characters have some traits that I see in friends and family. For example, Gabby eats at the table just like my daughter. She surrounds her food, elbows on the table, and she guards it. Watching my daughter eat gave me the image for Gabby.


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

 If I was to choose one work or author who touched me the most, it would have to be Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I love the joy and simplicity of Sam’s words, “Elves, Sir! I would dearly love to see them.” As I get older and see how the world has changed, I can’t help but dwell on the sadness of the elves as they leave middle-Earth.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 I am reading Bound to Survive by a fellow indie author, Sharon Gibbs.


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

Absolutely. Too many to name. I read and review constantly, and there are many wonderful authors. It is almost overwhelming.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

 Two novels: I am working simultaneously on a paranormal romance tentatively titled Vampire, Not Monster. This should be out in December 2015. I am also working on A Time for Lords, a novel in the Daniel’s Fork universe.


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

My Facebook groups!!!


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No, I see it as a passion and an art.


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

I did! I have changed many things in all of them. That is the beauty of digital publishing. You can edit and edit.


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

 Yes. I wrote an essay for a contest when I was in the ninth grade, and I won first place and $250. That was a lot of money back then.

 

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

The sweet scent of blood called to him, sending the sharp sting of longing to his thirsty soul, prompting him to leap on the parapet and scan the dark below like a bird of prey from a lofty perch. Somewhere in the damp, cold, trash-ridden tenement alleys, blood was flowing, and it called to him with the beguiling siren song he could not resist.

The alley below was desolate. He sprang into the air and with the strength and grace of a born predator, easily spanned the distance to the next building, landing halfway across the roof. Another leap brought him to the far parapet where he leaned to scan the darkness below. There, behind a large metal dumpster, he spied the huddled figures, rabid animals feasting on easy, wounded prey.

But they weren’t vampire. They were human. The smell of unwashed bodies, old, dried, crusted body fluids, and bacteria-ridden mucus drifted up and corrupted the smell of the luscious blood. He jumped, landing silently, gracefully on his feet, the six-storey jump child’s play to him.

In the dark, he could see clearly. He turned his head to spy behind him. Facing the street was the lookout, the one who made sure anyone approaching the alley kept on going, leaving the beasts to enjoy themselves, undisturbed. Shielded by the metal dumpster, three men huddled over a prone figure, a woman. He knew it was a woman by the scent of the blood. It was her blood flowing, and there would be little left of it soon.

He was not concerned. It was the men who would provide.


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

 What everyone else will tell you: the editing! It takes me three times longer to edit than to write.


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

My favorite author is Anne Perry. I find her writing dark, exquisite, passionate, insightful and provocative. It is ironic that she writes a fantastic series about a police inspector in Victorian London, while she herself went to prison for murder!


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

 No, not yet. Maybe if my books become successful enough, that will change in the future.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 Kerri Knutson at Alchemy Book Covers and Design, http://www.alchemybookcovers.com/

She is wonderful and reasonably price.


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

Getting the courage to put it out in public.


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

 That tomorrow I will be a better writer than I was yesterday. We grow with the doing!  


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

 I hear authors tell others not to use adverbs, never repeat a word in a page, don’t use semicolons, write every day, bla, bla, bla. Go grab the latest best seller and see if the author followed those rules. He or she probably didn’t. Our advice is colored by our opinions, and we always think those are right. We forget that writing is an art. My only advice: write. Do it your way, and you’ll end up with something unique. Then get an editor who understands your voice. If you want generic, cookie-cutter writing, then by all means, chuck the adverbs, semicolons, and sit at the computer everyday at 8 am.


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

If you love me, let me know. Write a review!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 It was a high-school book on Norse mythology. To this day, I still love Thor and Freya.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Music moves me sometimes to tears. The first time I heard “Nostalgia,” by Yanni,  the emotion brought tears to my eyes. I like stories that make me laugh. I recently located a copy of “The Ransom of Red Chief” and laughed till I cried.

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

Jackie Kennedy. I’d like to ask her questions and maybe write a heroine based on her.

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

No head stone. I want to be cremated and my ashes dusted over my land. I want my atoms to join the great cycle of life in the universe. If you take them and keep them prisoners in a coffin surrounded by concrete, how can I be reborn again?

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Gardening, reading, movies, music, computers.

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

Any Science fiction. Old favorites: Babylon 5, Firefly, Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine.  Detective shows: Midsummer Murders, Miss Fisher Mysteries, Hawaii Five 0

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I love pizza, churrasco steak, Chinese food, sushi. My favorite color is purple. I love Yanni, Keiko Matsui, Rock, New Age.

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

 Helicopter pilot. I would love to fly! To be reborn as an eagle is my dream.

 

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

 Names Starting With “Z” at http:zeecelugo.com

 

 

Links to Books:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Stronghearts-Woman-Before-Daniels-Fork-ebook/dp/B00XYZQCQY/

 

http://www.amazon.com/Daniels-Fork-Zeec%C3%A9-Lugo-ebook/dp/B00F5GVA0I/

 

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Love-Daniels-Fork-Book-ebook/dp/B00QE4HY3W/

 

http://www.amazon.com/Edge-World-Daniels-Fork-Zeec%C3%A9-ebook/dp/B00QATV36A/

 

 

 

Bio

 

Zeecé Lugo was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Brooklyn, and lived in many places. She spent seven years in the U.S. Air force, taught for many years in Miami, and even spent a year working for the IRS.

 

Her early love was reading. The worlds of Pern, Middle-earth, St. Mary Mead, and Shrewsbury Abbey had an incredible influence and hold on her imagination.

She wrote her first novel, Daniel’s Fork, in two months, spending long hours at her task. During that time, she ensconced herself in her bedroom with her computer, barely coming out to grab a cup of coffee or a snack. One day, her nearest neighbor came desperately knocking at her bedroom window, afraid that Zeecé might be dead; no one had seen her for days!

 

Daniel’s Fork was meant to be the first book in a romantic trilogy. Little did Zeecé know that stories have a way of going where they want to go. Daniel’s Fork turned out to be a journey to the future past! It is a sexy mystery set in the future, giving birth to a fictional universe: the Daniel’s Fork universe.

 

Here is my interview with Rosanna Leo

Name:  Rosanna Leo

Age: 30…and you can’t prove otherwise. I’ve disposed of any evidence to the contrary. (Please note: this is in no way a legal declaration of my age, as I am lying through my teeth)

Where are you from? I was born in Toronto, Canada, and still live nearby.

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

My husband and I are going to celebrate our 20th anniversary next year and we are still just as silly as the day we got married. We have two teenage boys who threaten daily to eat us out of house and home. My only comrade in the craziness of our home is my tabby cat Sweetie, with whom I share a psychic bond. (Okay, really I just love her.)

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Rosanna: Thanks Fiona. This fall, I have so much book news to share with my readers. It will be the first time I have 3 books release in one season! Predator’s Trinity, Gemini Island Shifters, released Aug. 24 with Liquid Silver Books. On Sept. 22, I’ll launch Vice with Samhain Publishing. And on Nov. 9, Hartwood Publishing will release Night Lover.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Rosanna: In short, I began writing seriously because, after denying myself the activity for a long time, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I’d always written secretly, thinking nothing would ever come of the activity. After all, not every writer has success. I never dreamed I’d get published. So I worked in a variety of other fields, making myself miserable because I had no creative outlet. When my children were babies, it was the first time I gave myself permission to write. I found some time when they were napping, and began to write. After a few unsuccessful submissions, Liquid Silver Books accepted my first manuscript and published For the Love of a God.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Rosanna: I think I always have, but I felt validation upon being published for the first time. There’s nothing better than another person telling you your stories have value and that they provide enjoyment.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Rosanna: Believe it or not, a trip to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. I’ve always been somewhat interested (read “obsessed”) with one of the statues of a handsome Greek god. I used to stand before him and wonder what might happen if the statue could come to life. This idea was the inspiration behind For the Love of a God.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Rosanna: I believe in writing as I speak, for the most part. I think my writing style is modern and quirky, with a lot of humor thrown in. I don’t tend to get very flowery or use a lot of run-on sentences and huge paragraphs. I like a fast-paced style.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title for Vice?

Rosanna: The title Vice has a couple of meanings in my contemporary romance. This is a gritty romance set in a Las Vegas casino, and it deals with the topics of compulsive gambling, addiction and needing control. My heroine is a woman who runs a support group for families of compulsive gamblers. When she falls in love with a man who owns a casino, she is thrown for a loop. Not only is Vice the name of the casino, it reflects how she feels about the relationship.


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

Rosanna: I suppose the theme behind any romance is “Love conquers all.” In this book, it certainly does, but it goes through a few hoops first. Although the book deals with compulsive gambling, I’ve tried hard not to make gamblers villains. I have made the argument, however, that anyone dealing with such a problem needs to really hit rock bottom before they can begin again.


Fiona:
How much of the book is realistic?

Rosanna: Actually, there is some truth behind parts of the book. I, myself, am the daughter of a compulsive gambler, so many of heroine Kate’s emotions are ones I experienced. Although I haven’t based the book on events in my life, I did draw inspiration from things that happened to my family.

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

Rosanna: I’ve been influenced by many great romances. The one that first set my heart to fluttering was Jane Eyre. I still love that story. However, I enjoy reading so many of today’s romance authors, such as L. Marie Adeline, Kathy Love, Diana Gabaldon and Meg Cabot.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Rosanna: At the time I write these answers, I am reading Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen.  It is a delightful YA romance about a demon librarian trying to influence the teens at a particular high school. Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer and lots of fun.


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

Rosanna: I’ve really enjoyed reading works by some of my fellow Liquid Silver Books and Samhain Publishing authors. Authors such as Jessica Cale, DawnMarie Richards, Elle Rush and Sophie H. Morgan. They are all great authors.


Fiona: What are your current projects?

Rosanna: I am currently working on the final two books in my Gemini Island Shifters series and it is proving a challenge. Not because I don’t enjoy writing them, but because these last two books will mark the end of this series. It’ll be hard to put these characters away forever.


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

Rosanna: When I’m not writing, I work part-time at my local library. My co-workers there have been so supportive of my writing and have really championed my books. They’ve purchased copies for our system, held launch events for me, and even invited me to be a guest author at a seminar on publishing. I couldn’t ask for more support.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Rosanna: It is my career and I hope it will always play a part in the work I do.


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

Rosanna: No. Vice is a personal book and I wrote it exactly as the story needed to be told.


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

Rosanna: Any story can be challenging. For me, Vice was challenging because I still needed to make it romantic, despite the heavy themes. I wanted this romance to have a happy ending, and for a while, I wasn’t sure I could guarantee it. However, I think I’ve resolved it in a satisfying manner.


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

Rosanna: Well, I’d love to, but sadly don’t always have the opportunity to do so. However, whenever I do travel, I make sure to take copious notes so I can use those observations later.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Rosanna: I’ve had several great designers: Lyn Taylor, Valerie Tibbs and Syd Gill. They have all provided me with such nice covers and have remained faithful to the books.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Rosanna: Firstly, learn everything you can about the craft. Secondly, believe in yourself. Thirdly, work hard and be realistic.


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

Rosanna: I’ve always had a bit of a crush on Lord Byron. I even named one of my heroes after him. He was reputed to be a ladies’ man, and I suppose I’d like to meet him and test out those theories.

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

Rosanna: SHE AIN’T DEAD YET.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Rosanna: I love hiking with my husband and getting outdoors. I like to pretend I’m a great gardener, but really I kill most of my plants. And lately I’ve discovered adult coloring books! So much fun. I could color for hours.

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

Rosanna: Anything with great romantic heroes and an epic feel. TV shows such as Chicago Fire and Sleepy Hollow, and movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Rosanna: Italian food/purple/Mozart

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

Rosanna: If I could reinvent myself, I’d probably still want to do something creative. I used to be a singer, but grew tired of that. I’ve always been fascinated by the work florists do. I’m in awe of their creations. However, a part of me would probably want to do something practical, like funeral directing. No shortage of jobs there. ;)

 

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

Rosanna: Yes, you can always find me at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com

 

Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1440792275&sr=1-2-ent

 

VICE BY ROSANNA LEO

 

Release day- Sept. 22 at https://www.samhainpublishing.com/

 

Blurb:

He’s much more than a bad habit.

As a Vegas singer and volunteer counselor, Kate Callender has experienced life on both sides of Sin City’s bright lights. The thrill of performing, and gambling’s devastating effect on the addicts’ families.

Liam Doyle is just the kind of man she despises—a handsome, enigmatic businessman with a knack for seducing customers into his casino hotels. Determined to put a lid on his growing influence, she prepares to picket the opening of his newest casino, Vice.

When Liam spots the lone protestor hassling his customers, annoyance wars with instant attraction. And he quickly discovers the leggy redhead not only can’t be bought, she tempts him the way the sound of a roulette wheel lures a gambler.

They are natural enemies, but when a vile attack sparks Liam’s protective instincts, they begin a sexual odyssey that dances on the edge of addiction. Dangerously close to losing control…and losing themselves.

Warning: Contains a sexy, damaged hero who’d really rather just be having sex, and a no-nonsense redhead who makes him want to roll the dice on love just one more time.

 

Excerpt:

He meandered toward her and forced a smile. “You seem to have had a busy day.”

She whipped around and her eyes widened. He saw her give him a quick once-over. Did she like what she saw? Interesting. There was some perverse satisfaction in that.

“It has been busy.” She narrowed her hazel eyes at him. “Do you work here?”

So, she didn’t recognize him. Good. “Yes, ma’am, I do.” He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, noting how her gaze dropped to his exposed forearms. Her lips parted. Clearly, working out had its merits. “And word inside is you’ve upset the big boss.”

Her nostrils flared as she dragged her gaze away from his arms. “About time.” She put her sign down and picked up her purse. “Do you know Liam Doyle?”

“I’ve heard one or two things about him.”

She stepped closer and her lips did the most amazing thing, curling into a flirtatious semi-smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be willing to share them with me? The other guy kept on sucking up about him as if he was wearing a wire.” She paused. “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

He laughed out loud. He couldn’t help it. This was way too much fun. He sidled close to her, leaned in conspiratorially, and put a hand on her elbow. Her very soft elbow. “I’m not wearing a wire. But are you sure you want to know the truth about Doyle? I don’t know if you can handle it.”

She gawked at him and then at his lips. Her voice came out in a whisper. “Try me.”

He murmured in her ear, taking note of her lilac scent. “Well, I hear at midnight he sprouts black wings and horns. And he’s always searching for innocent maidens to add to his coven.” He bit on his bottom lip, suddenly wishing he was gnawing on hers.

At first, her eyelids did this fluttery thing that made his imported pants spring to life. But then she blinked and began to laugh. “And here I thought I was dealing with a mere businessman. I didn’t realize Doyle was cousins with Lucifer.”

“What’s your name?”

She regarded him from out of the side of her eye, her mouth still bearing the same flirty grin. “What’s yours?”

“Consider me a friend who wants to give you some advice.”

The smile disappeared from her face. “And what would that be?”

“Don’t mess with Liam Doyle. He doesn’t take to it kindly.”

The coquettish shine in her eyes hardened. “Is that a threat?”

“No, sugar. That’s not my style.”

“What exactly do you do here? Are you in security?”

“Never mind that.” He waved his hand. “Look, you’ve had your fun. Why don’t you run along home now?”

She reached for her sign and tucked it under her arm. “I will go where I damn well please. And you can tell your friend Mr. Doyle to expect me tomorrow. Maybe next time he’ll be brave enough to confront me himself.” She turned on her heel and walked down the manicured pathway leading to the taxi bay.

Liam stared at her ass as she walked away. Brave?

Game on, sugar. He’d show her brave.

 

 

Preorder links:

Samhain Publishing: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5577/vice

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vice-Rosanna-Leo-ebook/dp/B00Y05TZ02/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/vice-20

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vice-rosanna-leo/1121969539?ean=9781619227194

iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/vice/id997241784?mt=11

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vice-1840843-149.html

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rosanna_Leo_Vice?id=rB91CQAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

Author bio:

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance. Rosanna blogs at www.rosannaleoauthor.wordpress.com

 

Author Links:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rosanna-Leo/e/B007X5P4I8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826852.Rosanna_Leo

Tsu: http://www.tsu.co/RosannaLeo

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rosannaleo/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rleoauthor1

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LeoRosanna

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Payne Hawthorne

Name: Payne Hawthorne

Age: 48 ½

Where are you from: Fort Bragg, northern California coast

 

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

No kids. Married 18 years. Spent majority of my life as a horse trainer and horse psychology expert. I traveled, taught clinics, lectured and at home i ran a facility and gave lessons and started young horses under saddle for their first rides etc. This was the majority of my life up until about 5 years ago when i lost the lease on the facility.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Just about to release a paranormal erotica romance, my 9th title and a second installment in a series, (My Demon Master Book 2: Redemption of Fire), but I’m also releasing a short contemporary romance for a box set anthology to be released in January. So I’m really getting my library full of books I’m incredibly proud to say i wrote.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

When I lost the facility I’d called mine for ten years, I went into severe depression. I also had to give up all my personal horses because i wasn’t making anything and we couldn’t afford them.  It was a bad year for me, but a growing and learning year. I wrote a lot during those months in an attempt to clear my depression. What came of it was a novel, my first one, AdventuresinPayne, Remnant. I turned my sorrow into a fictional story and then all of a sudden i was a writer. I wanted to get better at the storytelling through words, so i continued writing a multitude of other stories and over the past few years, i feel I’ve finally become a polished author. Here is a link to that first novel:

AdventuresinPayne, Remnant

The Beginning of an Epic new Series. Angels, Soul Mates, Reincarnation and Love as a source of power.

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UNRHEKY

and a link to a radio interview that covers all of the above in greater detail: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wrspradio/2015/08/04/the-authors-talk-show-with-payne-hawthorne-erotic-paranormal-romance

 

 


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Only about a year ago. I had a solid series written, (Dormant Desires Alpha Pack), and also paid to have it narrated. I started getting fans who were following me and reviewing my work. Up until then, I felt as if I were still learning. I was also ghost writing to earn money, and I’d upped my price for a 10K story, and the contractors were not only paying what I was asking, but were asking for continuations in the stories I’d started. That was when i finally owned it and decided I wanted to make this my career as I entered the second half of my life.

Here is a link to that series on both kindle and Audible. I am delighted with my narrator too. Very happy with all 4 books in this series:

Alpha Pack Compilation, Alpha Awakened, Omega Rising and Lumen

Werewolves, Soul Mates, Lore. Sexy Scotsman. Highly inappropriate language and many comedic moments. Excellent on audio!

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RB0ITZA

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00RB0ITZA

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Dormant-Desires-Alpha-Pack-Audiobook/B00TA5AEMA

 

Cain, Dormant Desires Book 4

Chimera, Werewolves, Passion, Adventure. Excellent on Audio!

US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UO6ZBQI

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UO6ZBQI

Audible: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Cain-Audiobook/B00XBPTSMC

 

 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My need to escape the depression.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I do, and a specific gait to my words/punctuation. However, i refuse to stagnate so as I’ve learned, I’ve grown and changed my style. Hopefully that will continue and I’ll just keep getting better and better. When i actually write, i have to do it in a linear fashion–beginning, middle, end–once I’m to a place i feel it is coming to an end, then i can go back and change or edit as needed, but when i actually create the first draft it has to be in a straight line.  I also never outline or storyboard. To this day, my stories write me.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I was sitting on the couch, in terrible pain simply from the depression. I was amazed at how something emotional could translate to my physical. I’ve had a lot of purely physical pain in my life as well, (lots of injuries and i also have migraines). I was sitting there in my puddle of tears and said, “This life is like adventures in every kind of pain a body can feel.”

 

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

2  messages I’m continually imparting in all my work. 1.) Love is and should always be the most important thing and if it is, it creates energy and power in that soul. 2.) my opening quote in Remnant from C.S. Lewis; “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” If we don’t evolve and grow within our own souls, we will never ascend to a better/higher place.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I weave all of myself and my life experiences into my fiction. Although i write all fantasy, a lot of my work is based on me and my life lessons. (The horses have taught me so much i have a lifetimes worth of knowledge in self/soul improvement.

 

 


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

Yes, see above.

 

 


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

Chronicles of Narnia. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Mentors: My mother, (died 8 years ago), and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m not currently reading anyone. Not unless you count what I’m working at present, (my own work).

 

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

I rarely have time to read nowadays.

 

 


Fiona: What are your current projects?

Finishing this contemporary short piece for the box set anthology and then I’m diving into the third installment in AdventuresinPayne, Sacrifice, book 3.

 

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

Ben. He’s been my rock now for 2 years and has helped me with so much as I’ve been evolving as an author.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

YES! Definitely!

 

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

I could go back and change everything about everything I’ve written. I choose to just let the story tell itself and I leave it be.

 

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

Not really. I’ve always had a knack for telling a story. I have very little academics to back it up, so that has been the toughest part, but I’m catching up fast! I’m a quick study.

 

 

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

Sure, this is a WIP, contemporary erotic romance. Working title; “Obliterating Tenderness.”

The man who appeared from the west, back dropped by the sun so all she could make out was his silhouette, was tall, and had on cowboy boots and a well-worn cowboy hat. He was wearing a simple white cotton tee, which seemed to caress his muscled frame as if the material adored the feel of him.

As he got closer she noticed his tanned arms and how his biceps popped below the hem of the short sleeves and his pectorals sort of rippled under the thin cotton as he confidently approached. He had on blue jeans, perfectly fitting jeans, loose enough to drape over his tight hips, but tight enough to show what good shape even his thighs were in.

Avery was appalled when her mouth watered at the sight of this man. She gulped and her hand took on a slight shake. The horse lifted its head and nickered. She noticed how he walked, how he strode with an air of self-assurance and how his shoulders and arms swung in time with his long, ground covering strides. He was the epitome of cool and calm and everything about him appeared athletic, balanced, and strong. As he got closer she realized he was gorgeous in the most charismatic, rugged kind of way.

She swallowed hard again, but stayed in her seat. Her voice cracked when she spoke, “Hi…?”

“Howdy ma’am, much obliged to you for holding Red, is he okay?”

She was surprised he wasn’t angrier, or angry at all, and the first thing out of his mouth was concern for the animal. “Um, I think so. His lip is cut and his knees are scraped up.”

The big man didn’t immediately walk up to the horses head, but instead went to his rump and petted the horse’s butt for a few seconds as he looked over the car door and right into Avery’s eyes. Her heart stuttered and she attempted a smile, although she was afraid it looked more like a grimace.

“Are you okay?” He finally asked.

Avery bit her lip, still holding the reins in a death grip. “Um…he stepped on my foot, so I don’t want to get out of the car.”

The man laughed and it was a delightful masculine chuckle. “So he’s got ya trapped in there?” He gracefully insinuated himself between the door jamb and the horse, and wrapped his hand around the leather, just above her hands. “You can let go now, I got him. There’s no need to strangle that hide—that steer died a long time ago.”

 


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

The execution/academics of writing. Although that said, i am finally feeling a level of competence so it’s not such a struggle. I’ve also owned the mantra; “Punctuation is more an art than a science.”

 

 


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

Diana Gabaldon. She manages to not only have in depth character studies with a focus on the relationship and dynamics between the characters, but also offers a substantial history lesson and story within.

 

 


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

No, not yet. Hopefully someday I’ll start getting invited to book signings. Looking forward to that!

 

 


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I do with Ben’s help.  I paid Teodora Chinde to create the covers for the AdventuresinPayne series and she will for the next installment as well. I wanted original art for those substantial books.

 

 


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

Polishing and editing it.

 

 


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

I learn from every story i create. I could write volumes on how much I’ve learned. I have no idea where to begin on that particular question. I think the main thing i continue to learn is that writing takes an unbelievable amount of time. It takes me approximately 20 hours to write and polish something that translates to only an hours worth of publishable reading material. the worst part is most of my titles are easily ten hours long and they sell for less than the price of a cup of coffee.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Finish something. Stop re-working it to the point of hating it. I have some aspiring authors whom I’m helping, and this is what i see as the main problem. Where i might hit publish too soon… they spend years reworking the same thing over and over. I don’t think we get better by re-working stuff. I think we get better by creating new.

 

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

Read my disclaimer. If you are a rigid rule monger, or grammar Nazi, you’ll hate my work.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Black Stallion

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I can find humor in just about anything. I love to laugh and will all the time. I’ve in fact been accused of laughing too much. I rarely cry, but i am also uber careful how much of me I invest in any single person or ‘thing.’ Tears come from disappointment and i try my hardest to expect nothing from those around me.

 

 

 

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

Jesus. I think to be in his light for any amount of time would change a soul permanently.

 

 

 

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

“It was just a body. My soul is intact. Look out, here I come!”

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Horses, movies, my dog, cooking/eating, laughing.

 

 

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

OMG! I just finished Sense8 and totally soaked in the script for that show. Excellent writing! Superb writing! (but Matrix is my favorite movie of all time!)

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music.

Steak, (rare), Chocolate, (dark). Pink, OneRepublic, MatchboxTwenty, Switchfoot etc.

 

 

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

I still help develop horses part time. I adore bring along babies as balanced, well adjusted horses.

 

 

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

Amazon Authors page http://www.amazon.com/Payne-Hawthorne/e/B00E4POU3A/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Here is my interview with Jen Silver

Name: Jen Silver

Age: Not known

Where are you from: West Yorkshire, England

A little about your self `ie your education, family life, etc:

Although I was born in the UK, my parents emigrated to Canada when I was young. I grew up in Southern Ontario, but moved back to the UK permanently in 1986. After graduating from high school I went to a local community college and did a course in Radio and TV – what would now be called Media and Communications. I worked in radio stations in both Canada and England as a copywriter – with a brief stint in TV. I preferred radio, though, as there was more scope for imagination – especially as this was long before the digital age.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’ve just signed a contract with my publisher for a third novel. It’s called ‘The Circle Dance’ and is now in the beta editing stage.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

As soon as I learned to form letters…I always had stories in my head. I was a keen reader from an early age and was fortunate to live in a household that had more books than a lot of small libraries.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After my first novel was published, which was only last year. But I still have doubts that anyone will consider me a ‘real’ writer.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always written stories, which I hadn’t thought would ever be read by anyone else. When I ‘retired’ from work two years ago, I started to think about maybe trying to get published.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if it has a name. But I tend to write in scenes, sort of like a film script – so that the reader gets different points of view.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

  The titles of my first two published books – ‘Starting Over’ and ‘Arc Over Time’ – came from songs I was listening to by a singer/songwriter duo – Chris While and Julie Matthews. Their songs are called Starting All Over and Bridge Over Time. I was listening to their albums a lot while I was writing both novels. And these two songs particularly resonated in the stories. The title of the next book, ‘The Circle Dance’, grew more out of some research on stone circles but in the story it’s become a metaphor for the changes in the characters’ relationships.


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

I’m writing romantic fiction. So, the message would be not to give up on love.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Descriptions of the countryside, the location of the farm, is based on the area where I live. The cover of the first book, ‘Starting Over’, is a photo I took while I was writing the story. I used it as a desktop background during that time, so the scenery was always in my mind. An archaeology dig takes place at the farm and in what my partner considers extreme research, I have now taken part in two volunteer excavation sessions at Vindolanda near Hadrian’s wall. Apart from that, it’s a romance, so mainly fiction.


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

There are elements from my life and other people’s but it is all fictionalised.


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

I’ve always been an avid reader so it is hard to pin it down. Writers I admire include: Ursula K LeGuin, Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Jasper Fforde. I still have, and re-read, many of the books from my childhood – the Narnia Chronicles, Swallows and Amazons, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Wind in the Willows, The Eagle of the Ninth. Plus I have quite a number of books that deal with the Arthurian legend. From the age of ten, the most read book I still have is Le Morte d’Arthur.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Chronicles of St Mary’s’ by Jodi Taylor – stories of time travel with a difference – lots of humour mixed in with adventures in the past and future, some with tragic consequences.


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

Because of the genre I write in, I’m always discovering new authors. I recently attended a conference in New Orleans; run by the Golden Crown Literary Society where I met a number of authors, some with newly published books. Not mentioning any names, as I don’t want to leave anyone out, but let’s just say the world of lesbian fiction is full of talented writers and is emerging from the dark ages of being a marginalised genre.


Fiona: What are your current projects
?

I’ve just started the editing stage of ‘The Circle Dance’, which is due out in February 2016. And I’m halfway into a new story that I hope to finish it in the next few months. My publisher, Affinity eBook Press, is bringing out a holiday anthology and I’ve contributed a story to that. So, along with spending time doing interviews like this and keeping up with Facebook and Twitter, this writing lark keeps me pretty busy.


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

If it can be called an entity, then I guess it would be Facebook. There is a fantastic community of readers, writers and publishers on there that I now have a connection with. And also sites like yours, Fiona – offering writers an opportunity to reach a wider audience – is another form of support. So, thank you.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’m supposedly ‘retired’ and writing was just going to be something to keep me occupied, off the streets. But I find it’s taking up most of my time, like a real job. As long as people want to read my books and my publisher wants to keep publishing them, then I guess it’s a career.


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

It’s at the editing stage, so there may be some tweaks here and there but usually by the time I’ve submitted a book, that’s pretty much it. Suggestions from beta readers or editors can help, particularly to encourage me to clarify things that are clear in my mind but may not have made it onto the page.


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

It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed doing. English was my favourite subject in school and having access to so many books at home I had a good grounding in most of the ‘classics’ from an early age.

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

As the publication of the next book is five months off, I feel it is still a work in progress. My second novel ‘Arc Over Time’ came out in May and this is the back of the book blurb:

Dr Kathryn Moss has job offers flowing in after her exciting archaeological discoveries at Starling Hill the previous year. Now she has choices to make that could jeopardise her relationship with Denise Sullivan, the fiery journalist, who has become her lover.

For Denise the choice seems obvious. She thinks they have moved beyond the casual sex stage to something more like a true relationship. However, she’s not sure how to handle Kathryn’s continuing infatuation with Ellie Winters.

Ellie’s new career as a promising artist proves to be a catalyst for the simmering tensions in relations between her wife Robin, Kathryn, and Denise.

Will Denise persevere in her pursuit of the reluctant professor? Does Ellie have anything to fear from Kathryn’s fascination with her art, or is there another motive behind the professor’s obsessive interest?

This wonderful romantic continuation with the characters from Starting Over ties up loose ends. But the question is—does everyone have a happy ending? A must read.

 

At the end of Chapter One, all seems to be well with Kathryn and Den. They’ve kissed and made up and had a weekend of great sex before Kathryn heads back up north. However, in Chapter Two, a week has passed and Den is feeling frustrated as she hasn’t had so much as a text message from her lover and she isn’t answering her phone calls.

 

So, it seems like a night out on the town might be a good idea…or not:

 

Excerpt from Chapter Two:

 

Den looked around the sparsely furnished room. No books anywhere. What had she let herself in for? The idea of a casual shag with this woman had seemed like a good idea an hour ago when they were dancing at the club.

A few beers, music, flashing lights, it hadn’t taken much to get in the mood, trying to recapture the carefree self who had revelled in nights like this. That was before she met Kathryn. And now, a Friday night, five days since Kathryn left on the early morning train, and she’d only had one short text from her. Den had tried to ring her but always got the answering service. She’d left messages, but nothing. It was as if the Saturday and Sunday before hadn’t happened.

Now, in this stranger’s house, hearing the toilet flush, the initial flash of desire left as quickly as it had appeared. She knew she couldn’t do this; it would just be going through the motions. Not fair to Lindy or Lucy, or whatever her name was. Shit.

A vision emerged from the bathroom. The woman looked pretty hot, stripped down to her underwear. A lacy black bra barely containing full, rounded breasts, and skimpy panties that covered even less of her mound of luscious-looking dark curls. Den could feel her body responding. She licked her lips.

“Look, I’m sorry, Lindy. But I can’t do this.”

“It’s Libby. What’s the matter, babe? Don’t you like what you see?” she arched her back provocatively.

“Sure. I like it a lot. But I have to go.” Den backed towards the door.

“You’re fucked up! You know that?” Libby’s full bottom lip trembled.

“Yeah, I know.” There was no graceful way to make her exit. “Maybe some other time. Bye.”

She stumbled out onto the street, not even sure where she was. They’d been glued to each other’s lips in the taxi ride from the club. Pulling out her phone, she clicked onto the map. Google would help her out.

Walking to the end of the road, she found her location before the phone app did. It wasn’t far from Henry’s. Christ, I hope I’m not going to run into Libby in one of my locals any time soon.

 

How do things work out for Den and Kathryn? Well, it’s all in the book. Although this is a sequel to my debut novel, Starting Over, I’m pleased that several reviewers have commented that it can be read as a stand-alone story.

 


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

Describing clothes – as I have absolutely no idea on fashions.


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

This changes when I discover books I haven’t read before. One of my recent favourites is Jonathan Stroud. He wrote a series of books about a young magician (definitely not in Harry Potter mode, though) who calls up a djinni from the distant past. The books are supposedly for children but I find them very mature in their historical scope and also the humour in the interaction between the boy and the mischievous djinni, Bartimaeus.


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

In terms of research, I’ve gone to Northumberland twice, for the aforementioned digs. A trip to Durham, which turned out to be fortuitous as the museum I had mentioned in ‘Arc Over Time’, had closed down. This year I’ve been to the GCLS Conference in New Orleans and in a few weeks I’m going to Manchester (which isn’t very far away) to do a reading at the inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival being held at the Hideaway Café. There are five other authors taking part, so that will be fun.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My publisher, Affinity eBook Press, has an in-house design team – Irish Dragon Designs. They’ve done a great job on the covers, I think. Both are very representative of scenes and characters in the books.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding out what happens next, as I’m writing. So far I’ve started the books with a couple of characters and a situation and taken it from there. It gets a bit hairy around Chapter 3 when I don’t know where it’s going. But the characters usually have a good idea, so we get there in the end.


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

Sometimes in the middle of the story – that’s around thirty thousand words for me – I start having doubts about where it’s going and whether anyone will want to read it. Sitting down in front of a blank page isn’t much fun when you’re at that stage. But I have learned to keep writing even if it ends up being discarded in the editing process.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

I’m not sure I have enough experience to be dishing out advice. The main thing is to read and to keep writing…and believing that you can do it.


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

Thank you for taking the chance on a new writer. And if you liked the book(s), please leave a review on Amazon and/or tell all your friends about it.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

As that is a very long time ago, I’m not sure. But possibly the first book I read on my own would have been ‘The House at Pooh Corner.’

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

A lot of things make me laugh. What makes me cry is easier to answer…mistreatment of humans and animals, of which unfortunately there seems to be no end.

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

Gillian Anderson as she is very sexy – especially when she was in uniform in The Fall.

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

There won’t be a headstone, as I wish to be cremated.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

Golf, archery and reading.

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

Some crime series – as long as they are not too gory – Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders, Vera, New Tricks. We don’t watch a lot of films. The last one we watched was the Shaun the Sheep movie.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Chicken fajitas / Green / Folk and country – mainly singer/songwriters – songs that tell a story.

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

I think, being a full time archaeologist specialising in Roman Britain.

 

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

My blog can be found at https://jenjsilver.wordpress.com

Page on my publisher’s website: http://affinityebooks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=12_61&zenid=69c35ed6009bcd8936260280b002736f

List of books/stories and where to get them: http://www.lesbianauthorsguild.com/#!jennifer-silver/c14vq

 

 

Here is my interview with John Darryl Winston

Name John Darryl Winston

Age 51

Where are you from

Detroit Michigan

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

Hmmm … let me see. I’ll work backwards. I’m a middle school teacher with the Detroit Public Schools (pray for me). Teaching is a second career for me with recording artist being the first. I was one half of the group Kiara: a late eighty’s, early ninety’s duo signed to Arista Records (Whitney Houston [RIP] label mates) that released two albums which included 3 top ten singles and the number one record “This Time”: a duet with Shanice Wilson. During my music career, I also had the opportunity to produce and write songs for a number of other recording artists, most notably Gerald Levert (RIP) on his biggest selling album “Groove On” for which I received a gold and platinum record.

Before the music industry I graduated from The Recording Institute of Detroit (RID) and The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan (MIP). Before that I was a saxophone player in the army band, and since that time I’ve received my BA in education from Wayne State University and my MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. I am currently enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing program at Wilkes University and am piloting a program I developed called Adopt an Author with the mission to connect published authors with young readers for the purpose of creating an environment where all children learn to love reading and writing. I live in Michigan with my daughter Marquette and intend to acquire an African Grey parrot one day when I conquer my irrational fear of birds.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I’m currently working on a partner publishing deal with Blue Mantis Press to publish the sequel in the IA series which is currently being edited. I’ve also been invited to present at the National Writers’ Convention in Las Vegas which I consider an honor and am excited about.

 

 


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, usually in notebooks that I ended up losing or throwing away by accident. I started writing poetry and lyrics in high school, and then more formally with short stories at Wayne State University and screenplays at MPI. I didn’t actually commit to novel writing until about 4 years ago, and now I’m committed for life.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I finished the final chapters of my first manuscript, I read one part in particular to my daughter, a sad part. I’ve never seen her cry like that before, and I knew then I was given something that I in turn had to give to others in the form of my words.

 

 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I guess at the end of the day, I expand on what I see on the big screen. That’s what usually does it for me. I have a place in my heart for the origin story. I was never a fan of Superman until I saw the movie with Christopher Reeve and learned the origin of it all. That did it for me. I like a robust tale, like Star Wars, with a flawed hero or heroine that achieves in the end against overwhelming odds, cliché, I know. My stories always start from that vantage point and then the muse takes over.

In the case of the IA series, I simply wanted to write a mainstream story on a grand scale with a black protagonist that everyone would relate to.

I contacted a reader on Goodreads, who had written one of the many positive reviews IA: Initiate had received, to thank her and ask her why she chose my book over the countless others out there and she replied:

“I often read first what I want my twin grandsons to read. I had been hoping to find a “Harry Potter” type book and series where the main character is African American and I believe ‘IA: Initiate’ fills that. Additionally, I look for “Super Hero” type books for them where the super hero is also African American. My grandsons delight in these characters on TV with European features, white skin and flowing Blond hair who don’t look like them.”

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know about a particular style per se, but I do tend to favor character-driven or plot-based storytelling. I have these flawed characters in my mind, and I put them through the ringer and see what they do. It’s actually fun. That seems more authentic to me, real life. If I just come up with a plot and try to fit characters inside the story, it feels disingenuous somehow. I heard that I write a sort of Literary YA. I like that.

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Naz Andersen is a hero in the making so I started with his first and last initials (the reader does actually learn his real name until book 2). As the story progressed in my writing, those initials took on a life of their own and other meanings emerged organically and it just worked. So the title and subtitle have at least two meanings which are revealed in the story.

 

 


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

Yes, that the subtle science fiction depicted in the novel may not be fiction after all, and that the power of the mind is unlimited, and we all possess more inside than we know.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

From a conceptual standpoint, how much of the book is realistic depends on the individual reader’s belief in the metaphysical. If you have a strong belief in the power of the mind, then you will read it and believe. If you are a skeptic about such things and only believe the dogma of religion, what you grew up with, or only what the five senses can experience, then not so much.

 

 

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

These are experiences and events that happened in my life, more or less. The characters are near and dear to me, and I grew up in the settings.

 

 


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

The Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games Trilogy, and Carrie. My Wilke’s University Creative Writing mentor, author of The Ginseng Hunter and The Pearl Diver had a huge influence on my writing.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m never just reading one book. Right now I reading, Broken Heels by Chiara Atoyebi, Deception by Dan Lawton, Two Worlds by R.B. Anderson, and The Seer by Shannon Reber

 

 


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

I’m partial to Lola Allen for her rawness and authentic characters.

 

 


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’m working on the sequel of the IA series, a partner publishing deal with Blue Mantis Press, a MFA analytical paper on how authors handle race in literature, and two workshops I’ve been asked to conduct at the 2016 National Writers’ Conference in Las Vegas

 

 


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

My fiancé and publishing partner Dominique Wilson. She is my champion.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I definitely see writing as a career, and I’m obsessed with making that so.

 

 


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

I’m a perfectionist, so yes, I’m always changing something every time I go to the printer. Initiate is going on its third edition, but never anything major. I was meticulous in what I wanted and what the universe had given to me. I wrote the book that I aimed to write.

 

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

It originated in the desire to read a story that no one had written yet, or a least I hadn’t found yet. That desire grew when I found many of my students in the same predicament.

 

 

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

“The last working streetlight on his block, thirty feet away on the corner to his right, sputtered out, catching his eye and signaling the night’s submission to the day. Twisting a tendril of his hair, Naz looked down on his street that never seemed to stop moving day or night and all of a sudden, this place called the Exclave began to take on a life of its own. There was a jiggle of his doorknob followed by a knock, and he knew it was time to go.”

 

 

 

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

What I find most challenging is interpreting what I see so clearly in a way that my reader will see it just as vividly, whether it’s a setting, a fighting sequence, or a basketball scene. I don’t want to insult my readers by giving them to much information or confuse them by not giving enough. It’s a fine line, a tightrope of sorts.

 

 


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

I’m going to go with a combination of Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, because the intricacy of which the build their universes. I love how King uses real life branding and techniques like interviews to give his fiction a non fiction quality, and Rowling leaves no stone unturned in creating a world that’s never existed before, rich in intricate description and backstory.

 

 


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

I’ve only traveled to Chicago so far, but I intend to go any and everywhere to get my story out there. I’ll go off planet if I have to.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The cover design started with a young graphic artist name Deon Mixon who was a freshman at Western University at the time. He was a high school friend of my son’s. I asked if he wanted to give it go, and he did. The first time around he came up with a good design, but too abstract. For the next pass we told him we wanted something more concrete, and gave him some ideas with the chess board. He took it from there. We then hired an artist from a company called Video Explainers, and they took from there.

 

 


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

The hardest part about writing my book was getting starting. I eventually went on a cruise all by my not-so-lonesome and wrested the 1st three chapters from the waters of the Western Caribbean. The last two chapter were also very difficult and I took a trip up north in Michigan to wrap up those extremely emotional chapters.

 

 


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

I learned that I never seem to get it all right, but at the same time, the more I write, the better I get at it. I was a much better writer when I finished than when I started which inspires me to write on.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Become a sponge. read, Read, READ, and then read some more. A good friend once told me that writing gave birth to reading, which makes sense, but I think it’s a circle that can’t be broken now and being a veracious reader leads to being the writer that you want to be … whoever that is. Read good books, bad books, hard books, easy books, read any and everything you can get your hands on. And of course write as often as you can, but there’s one more thing: listen. Listen to people in conversation wherever you go. Eavesdrop whenever you get a chance to, not just what people say, but how they say it, and take notes. This will increase the authenticity of your dialogue, which is huge.

 

 


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

I want my readers to know I put my heart and soul into this work. It was well-thought out and many years in the making, and if they give the IA series a chance, I promise to take them places inside themselves they’ve never been before.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I ever read was “One On One” by Jerry Segal. It was a basketball movie about a college basketball player named Henry Steele. Robbie Benson played Henry Steele in a film version. I remember liking it because I loved basketball at the time.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The scene in Mulan when the song “Make A Man Out Of You” and Mulan is an utter failure when the song starts, but then by the song’s end, she succeeds. That always does it for me. If the protagonist can overcome overwhelming, but realistic odds and win in a big way, and it’s done right, I’m gonna need a box of tissue.

 

 

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

Abraham Lincoln, because he fought for something very unpopular that he didn’t have to fight for, and it cost him his life. I’d like to ask him why? And where did find the strength and resolve to push on?

 

 

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

Here lies John Darryl Winston. He always tried to do the right thing.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Music and sports are my divided loves, and both with always play a part in stories I write.

 

 

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

Smallville, 24, Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

My favorite food is Italian. My favorite dish is fried catfish. My favorite color is Royal Blue. My favorite music is classic Motown, and my favorite song of all-time is “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops.

 

 

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

I would have love to become a film director.

 

 

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

http://www.johndarrylwinston.com/

http://www.amazon.com/IA-Initiate-John-Darryl-Winston/dp/0991609107/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440640446&sr=8-1&keywords=ia+initiate

Instagram: Johndarrylwinston
Twitter: @johndwinston

 

Here is my interview with Ann Popp

Name — Ann Popp

Age — 42

Where are you from – originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA but I have lived all over and currently reside in Jacksonville, NC.

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

I have been married to the love of my life for almost 13 years but we have been together for 17 years. I have three daughters, 22, 20, and 13. I have a Labroador Retriever that is 7 years old and he thinks he is a lap dog, but I love him to death. I am a disabled veteran but I work in the field of higher education and love it.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I released my latest book, ALWAYS FAITHFUL, on June 26, 2015. This book is very special to me. It follows a career Marine finding love and trying to figure it out.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing a little over a year ago. I have always felt like I had stories to tell and wanted to try my hand at writing. I have been an avid reader since I was a little girl. I am now in a place to write and share some of the stories in my head. Since I started this journey, the voices in my head have calmed down some, lol.

 

 


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still don’t consider myself a writer, lol. I guess once I have some more books under my belt, I might consider myself one. Right now I am having fun and doing something that has been on my bucket list for a while. I enjoy doing this and hope to have a following of fans soon!

 

 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was sitting here reading a story of how another Indie got started and I thought to myself, I can do this. I picked up my laptop and wrote 15,000 words that night! The more I wrote, the more I felt this over whelming need to get the story written. Once I was finished with it, I felt this relief feeling over take me. It was like, wow, I just did this! Hitting the publish button was scary but I am so happy I did it.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really. I write when I want and what I write. I don’t really use outlines. Sometimes, a scene will come to me and I end up writing chapters around that idea. My current book that I am working on right now has four chapters that I wrote a while ago and am writing the rest of the book around those four chapters. The ending is one of the chapters that I wrote first. So now I just have to get my characters there, lol.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

On my latest release, Always Faithful, the title was easy for me. Always Faithful means Semper Fi in Latin. Semper Fi is the Marine Corps motto and since my book is centered around a Marine, I wanted to use their motto for the book.

 

 


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

Always Faithful shows readers a real side of the Marine Corps and addresses some of the real struggles of a Marine trying to have a relationship while still on active duty. I wanted to show readers that finding true love in the Marine Corps is not only possible but it happens all the time if you try hard enough and commit to it.

 

 


Fiona:
How much of the book is realistic?

Hehehe. There are some chapters that are based on a real story that is close to my heart. I will never tell which scenes are real and which aren’t but let’s just say that Always Faithful is a fictional account of a military romance that I know alot about. And we’ll just leave it there, lol.

 

 


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

My latest release, Always Faithful, is based on someone I know.  My first book Totally Tackled is complete fiction but the town is real that is mentioned in it. My current work in progress is based loosely on a friend of mine and some of the stuff she went through.

 

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

Wow, that one is hard. I read alot of different genres and don’t really concentrate on one area. I have read everything that Catherine Bybee has written. I also have read alot of Nora Roberts books.

 

As far as a mentor is concerned, I am not sure if you could call her a mentor but I would love to meet Catherine Bybee in person, have a few drinks with her, and pick her brain about how she made it in this field. I have followed her story and she seems to be such a great lady and has alot of spunk. I just think that I could learn alot from her.

 

 


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished Protecting Caroline by Susan Stoker and am starting the next one in that series, Protecting Alabama.

 

 


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

I am reading alot of Addison Kline’s books. I love her writing style.

 

 


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I am currently working on the second book in my Canyon Series books. I also have a fantasy romance book that I am working on.

 

 


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

I have a fantastic group of girlfriends who support and encourage me all of the time. When I’m at my day job, they’ll come into my office and pitch ideas to me or listen to me while I read scenes to them. They have helped me to name characters, add more ‘spice’ to some sections, and just help keep me grounded.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I hope so! I would love to be in a position where I could quit my day job and write full time. But we’ll see, I have a feeling that I will be waiting a long time for that to happen.

 

 


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

Absolutely not. I am very proud of Always Faithful and I love how it turned out.

 

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

Like I said earlier, I love to read and always wanted to try this. I am just fortunate that I have the ability to do this right now in my life.

 

 

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

My current book is the second book in the Canyon series. This book centers around a hockey player and the manager of a coffee shop. The manager, Chloe, is a single parent and not really looking for love but this hockey player walks into her life at the right time. But Chloe has a hard time dealing with the struggles of relationships balanced around her work and her son. They have some pretty funny scenes and some pretty emotional scenes. You’ll have to wait for the book to see how they work it out.

 

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

Time, lol! It never seems like I have enough time in my day to fit everything in. Once I actually have the time to sit down and write, I can get lost in the story and write all night. I just have to find the time.

 

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

I love Catherine Bybee. I am captivated by her stories and fall in love with her characters. I wish I could write stories like she can. Her female leads are all really strong women and I love that. I don’t think women need to be helpless and need men to survive. It’s nice to see someone show how women can be successful and strong on their own and want men who respect them for that. It’s refreshing.

 

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

I have not done any author signings yet but I have my first one coming up in Greenville, NC on October 24, 2015. I am excited about and look forward to doing more in the future.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My oldest daughter and I have designed all of my covers. In fact, the couple on the cover of Always Faithful is my oldest daughter and her fiance.

 

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

Finding the time to write and really developing the characters. I love it when my characters just come to life on paper. I want my characters to have real lives and real everyday problems. I also am a sucker for happy endings so all of my books have happy endings. I know that part is not real life sometimes but I want my characters to find their happily after afters and I feel really good when I can give it to them.

 

 


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

Writing for me is a form of therapy. Who needs a therapist when you can write about your problems and work them out in the form of issues for your characters. I have also learned to really take constructive criticism and grow from it. It makes me a better writer.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up! At times it is frustrating but in the end, if it is important to you, it is well worth it. Also, avoid the gossip and drama of the author world. Don’t let it pull you down.

 

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

I hope you like my stories, lol! I really want readers to lose themselves in my books and be able to see the world I am writing about.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I was hooked on the Flowers in the Attic series in high school but I remember reading The Outsiders in Junior High and falling in love with that story.

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I am a sap for a love story. I love chick flicks.

 

 

 

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

I would love to have a sit down talk with Colin Powell. Since I am a veteran, at one point in my life, I really felt like Colin Powell had a great mind of leadership and values towards the military and I would like to sit down with him and just hear his story and what he thinks about life now that he is retired.

 

 

 

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

hahahaha. Mu husband and my girls yell at me because I am always saying that I want to be buried upside down so the world can kiss my butt. But no, really, I would like something about being a wife and mother. My husband and children are my life and I couldn’t be where I am in life without them.

 

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I read, alot! I mean, alot! I also like movies and road trips. Once my husband and I retire in a few years, we plan on traveling.

 

 

 

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

I just watched the Longest Ride and loved it! I like all of the NCIS shows.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I like steak and seafood. My favorite color is black and I listen to Classic Rock.

 

 

 

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

Graphic design is in my background so I would like to get into that again. I also would like to open a bookstore down the road in my life. But we’ll see where life takes me. Who knows!

 

 

 

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

Yes! Here is both:

 

www.annpoppbooks.com

 

https://annpopp.wordpress.com/

http://amzn.com/B010M7H3PU

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/always-faithful-ann-popp/1122222904?ean=2940150993761


http://amzn.com/B00SBI3NFW

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/totally-tackled-ann-popp/1121072533?ean=2940150062771

Here is my interview with Ann Victoria Roberts

Name – Ann Victoria Roberts

Age – ancient!

Where are you from

I was born in York, UK, and lived in Yorkshire until 2000, now in Southampton.

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

Grammar School, then Art School – married my seafarer husband aged 21, and had two children. Now a grandmother.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

From being traditionally published, I’m now an indie author, re-publishing my out-of-print titles. My most recent novel, The Master’s Tale – a novel of the Titanic, is based on the life of Captain Smith, and is now available as an ebook.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Always an avid reader, I started writing my first ‘novel’ aged 16, while still at school. (Why? See below) That first attempt was never finished but the idea never went away.  Then, in my 20s, I completed an autobiographical novel – only to have it rejected by agents and publishers alike.

Downhearted, I returned to painting – but even so, I was still writing: letters to my husband, describing daily life at home. (It was a good apprenticeship.) Our children were established at school when my husband’s work pattern changed. From being away for 4 months, the voyages became 6 months, with less opportunity for us to travel with him. It was the perfect opportunity to start writing creatively. And I had a story to tell – one that had been bugging me for almost 20 years.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was something I’d always done – but I didn’t consider myself a professional until my first novel was published, in 1989.

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Chicken and egg situation here. The story that refused to go away began with a WW1 diary, written by an Australian soldier. I found this diary amongst the books in my grandmother’s attic, when I was just 16.

‘Who was this man? How did his diary end up in York?’ My questions were endless – the answers extraordinary. It was such a powerful story it fired my imagination – and inspired me to start writing. But as I say, that early attempt was never finished. So, in my 30s, I tackled it more professionally. I did research into the family history and found the facts were stranger than even Grandma had suspected. This was a family with secrets!

Clearly, before I tried to write the soldier’s story, I had to write about his parents’ generation. That’s how Louisa Elliott came into being. Set in the historic city of York during the 1890s, it’s a big book. A triangular love-story, family saga, and a vibrant picture of the period.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

My style, which is naturally quite formal, lends itself to historical fiction. Louisa Elliott reads like a Victorian novel of the times – although with considerably more passion on the page.

The follow-up novel, Liam’s Story, has a different format and is designed to be read on its own. It begins in modern York, and takes the reader to Australia, the war-torn Middle East, and (briefly) the trenches of WW1. It tells the continuing story of Louisa and her family in two time-frames – modern-day and 1913-20. As the modern Elliotts uncover old secrets, their lives seem to be following similar paths… Will it end in tragedy for them too, or will love succeed in overcoming the past?


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

 

Initially, Louisa Elliott’s title was a problem. In the end it was a joint effort between me and my UK publishers, Chatto & Windus – and the other publishers adopted it.  Liam’s Story – at first just a working title – was adopted at once by Chatto, but Wm Morrow and Avon didn’t care for it. So in the US it was changed to Morning’s Gate. In fact I preferred it – but it was too late to change the UK editions.


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

Yes, I think so. I’m interested in real life, specifically, why people do the things they do. We are all products of our pasts, and that affects the major decisions we make.

My novels are all character-driven, so the plot hangs on who they are, and how the past – both personal and historic – has brought them to the opening point of the story. How they deal with what life subsequently throws at them dictates how they – and the plot – move forward.

In essence, my books are about life and the different forms of love – who and what we love, and what we are prepared to do for the sake of it.

Not always hearts-and-flowers – some of my writing concerns the darker side of love, which some readers may find shocking. For instance, cousins marrying? I understand this is illegal in certain sparsely-populated US states – I checked up after seeing a few ‘disgusted’ comments on Goodreads. But in the UK there has never been a bar to the marriage of first cousins – in fact the Darwins and Wedgewoods intermarried for several generations.


Fiona:
How much of the book is realistic?

I like historical facts, and see them in terms of a skeleton on which build the flesh of fiction. I do a lot of research to be sure that time and place are accurately depicted, and with regard to Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story, the family situation as well as the love story is based on real events. A similar principle applies to The Master’s Tale – it was based on the facts of Capt Smith’s life, and little-known events which led to the sinking of the ‘Titanic’.


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

I’ve probably answered that one! Re personal experience, I would say that mostly I don’t use it in a direct sense – but it underpins a lot.


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

While researching the Elliott books, I met two people who were to have a profound effect on my life and writing. One a genealogist, and the other a professional historian. In their separate ways, they taught me a lot.

Regarding influential books, from childhood to teenage I loved the 19thC classics, everything from Louisa May Alcott to Tolstoy and Thomas Hardy. I still go for novels with great characters, and a lively style of writing.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

 

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

The latest to stand out for me is BA Shapiro. Her novel, The Art Forger is so good, I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Looking forward to the next.

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?

Currently editing my fourth novel, Moon Rising – set in 1880s Whitby and featuring Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula – for ebook publication. Also writing a new novel set during the Siege of York, 1644. (English Civil War) It’s a completely new era for me, so I’m learning a lot.

 

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

Originally, my agent at AP Watt in London, and also my publisher, Carmen Callil, and editor, Alison Samuel, at Chatto & Windus – they were all brilliant at confidence building.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It certainly was for me – back in the day I was extremely lucky and earned a lot. Now I earn peanuts – but I’m still writing!


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

Not so much the latest one, but I had the perfect opportunity when I picked up Louisa Elliott and Liam’s Story after 20 years. Having decided to publish them afresh as ebooks, I was able to re-edit, cutting unnecessary descriptions and shortening long sentences. My aim was to make both books crisper for a new audience – but without losing any of the story.


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

Initially, studying English Literature at school – and later, as an adult, taking advanced courses in History and English. The way certain themes were explored, the language used, the different approaches writers make. And having a broad taste in books, I could see what was good, what worked for me – and what left me cold.

 

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

This extract is from the first chapter of Moon Rising. The female narrator is returning by train to Whitby after an absence of 20 years, when a man from her past (Bram Stoker) speaks to her.

I knew the voice, its quality and intonation, even though the pitch was deeper than I remembered. At first I thought he was speaking to someone else, and was terrified to turn, but when I did, I saw only the man I’d run into outside the hotel, the one I’d felt gazing at me earlier. My mouth twitched into a polite half-smile as my eyes skimmed over him and away, and then flashed back with shock.

The broad-brimmed hat shadowed his face; removing it, he bowed briefly and gave a wry smile, quite at variance with the intensity of his gaze. ‘Well,’ he said. ‘It is Damaris Sterne – just as I thought.’

It was years since anyone had called me by my given name. I knew him then. Under the bright lights his eyes were unchanged, and in the moment of recognition my smile froze. For several seconds I stood in rigid disbelief; then, hard on the heels of shock came a surge of guilt so hot it seemed to scorch my face and throat. The pain made nonsense of the years between: our last meeting might have been a matter of days ago instead of half a lifetime.

Totally unprepared, I took a step backwards and almost fell; would have done so had it not been for the steadying hand at my elbow. Even so, a stranger’s help would have been more welcome. Angrily, I shook him off, not wanting to be reminded of the first time, all those years ago, when he’d pulled me back from the edge of a cliff.

 

 

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

Writing historical fiction is much easier for me than writing something set in the present-day. Unless it’s a blog, I find it harder to find the right note.


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

 

I’ve read too many to have a favourite author – although there are several whose books I’ve re-read over the years. All of Daphne du Maurier’s novels, most of Robert Harris and Ruth Rendell, and the early novels of Philippa Gregory, Anne Rice, and John le Carré.

They are all different in theme and approach, but the quality of the writing stands out. They transport the reader to their time and place – and that, to me, is what a good novel is all about.


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

I certainly used to – before the internet I was always planning research trips. Nowadays, much is available online – but if I’m writing about a particular place I feel it’s important to go there. Armed with maps and some local history, it helps me to picture the world in which my characters lived – and the environment that shaped them.

Re The Master’s Tale – I was fortunate in that I’d spent a lot of time at sea with my husband, so was able to write about Capt Smith’s seagoing life with confidence. I’d sailed around the world – including Cape Horn – and visited both Hong Kong and New York. But I’d never been to Liverpool – so that was a must. I found Capt Smith’s house, saw his wife’s family home and where they were married, and these details helped form both his character and the novel.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Ned Hoste, of 2hDesign


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

Keeping going while life insisted on getting in the way!


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

Ideas are easy. Getting them down on paper is the difficult part. Writers need discipline, preferably a regular routine, and above all the guts and determination to see it through. Completing my first novel, even though it was a failure, proved to me that I could do it – all I had to do was keep going. It’s hard work – but the satisfaction of writing something good (even a paragraph you’ve struggled with) makes it all worthwhile. And as for reaching the perfect ending – sublime!


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Believe in yourself, and if possible join a writer’s group. The support will be invaluable, especially if there’s a workshop where you can air the current project. Reading aloud is the best way to ‘hear’ your own mistakes, and other writers generally have something constructive to say. Even if you don’t always agree, it makes you think.


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

Think of the writer working in isolation for what may have been years – and when you’ve finished the book, please take a few minutes to leave a review.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, I’ve been reading since the age of five!

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Facebook!

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

The real Louisa Elliott – to ask if I got the story right

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

Haven’t thought about it. But I’ll tell you what I was always determined not to have written on my headstone: She was a good housewife !

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Reading, travelling, painting

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

I enjoy a good drama, even better if it’s a series with wonderful sets like Downton Abbey. I’m into detective series too. And I still watch a BBC quiz show, University Challenge, which has been running for decades – and if I can answer more than three questions, I reckon I’m a genius! (The show inspired the 2007 film, Starter for Ten, with James McEvoy. )

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I’ve eaten and enjoyed foods from around the world, but my favourites nowadays are traditional English recipes (cooked by me) Chinese-style at a good restaurant, and French food cooked in France.

I love the colour blue in all its shades – reminds me of the sea – but my taste in music is varied.  From pop to classical with film scores, folk ballads and heavy rock thrown in – I listen in the car or while I’m cooking, and find certain tracks inspire the writing.

 

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

Film director – maybe. But in writing novels, I get to design the sets, write the dialogue, play all the parts and direct the action… Great fun!

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

www.annvictoriaroberts.co.uk

 

Here is my interview with Su Halfwerk

Name: Su Halfwerk  

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

With a background in Information Technology, I started my career in the IT world but after that I expanded my experience to include insurance, beverages, and event management as well. What can I say, I like to diversify J

Flexibility helped me in adjusting to each career move, and that was a great tool I utilized while writing. Authors should be able to shift between different characters, sometimes even different genres, without coming across as stiff, or worse, sounding the same everywhere including during a gender shift in point of view.

I’m married, have a son, and love to add a touch of creativity to everything I do.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Earlier this year, I released Aberrancy, a horror novella about a father’s struggle to cope with the monstrosity he (believes) have raised. The story spans over few years of the sinister oddities in their lives.

You can watch the trailer here:

Aberrancy is available through:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/540281

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/aberrancy

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aberrancy-su-halfwerk/1121877211?ean=2940151905220

Apple iBook USA: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/aberrancy/id992269011?mt=11

Apple iBook UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/aberrancy/id992269011?mt=11

 

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

13 years ago my focus shifted from my career to my newly born son. At the time, I was into oil painting which involved turpentine, thinners, paint tubes and a whole host of chemicals I wanted to keep away from my son. Since I needed a creative outlet, and at the time there were no new Stephen King books I haven’t read, I started writing, discovered I needed to learn the trade through reference books, then went back to writing.

 

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Aberrancy is about being different from the norm, not necessarily in a good way. Since the book carries a dark theme and is about how a parent can view his daughter as monstrosity, the word “aberrancy” felt just right.

 

 
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

I might’ve been influenced by traits I noticed on people in the street or in my life, but the plot and characters are all fictional.

 

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

Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”. The book was an eye opener…even the King changed his mind about elements of his stories, which in turn reduced how much I fussed about that first draft. My focus became to just get on with the writing, finish the book, and save the editing for later. I also learned that perseverance is a trait that can cut both ways.

Having said the above, I can proudly name Stephen King as my mentor as well.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Twisted by Michaelbrent Collings.

 

 


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

Michaelbrent Collings. His book, Darkbound is a treat for horror fans. It is gory but the delivery approach is masterful.

 

 
Fiona: What are your current projects?

Besides writing in the horror genre, I also write paranormal romance. My current WIP is about a witch whose magic has grown so protective of her that it transforms her to another form, especially around the hero. There’s something dark about him, something her magic senses is dangerous. :D

 

 


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

Like a mother who wouldn’t change a thing about her baby, I’d say no. But let this book (kid) grow up in few years, and I might have something.

 

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

Sure. Here’s the blurb:

Robert Williamson, esteemed judge, adoring husband, and doting father, has his flawless life snatched away, leaving him damaged beyond repair—damaged by a witch whose taunting presence spells his destruction.

Before exacting his revenge, Robert is hell-bent on digging out explanations.

His demands are wild, his interrogation method peculiar, and what he seeks most might well cost him what remains of his sanity—and he knows it.

Despite horrible odds, Robert refuses to give in.

Aberrancy is a gripping dark tale of lives lost…to a different kind of evil.

 

 

And here’s an excerpt:

Her arms were secured to the wooden chair’s arms with six coils of duct tape. The same was done to her feet and the chair’s legs. Another set of layers—twelve to be exact—secured her midsection to its back.

“I don’t have much,” she said. “Take whatever jewelry I have. Take my bank card and pin code, just let me go.”

He slammed his hand on the table, the solitary candle shook without toppling to the ground. The bottle of fizz did though, and was smashed on the floor. “I don’t want your money.”

“Then what do you want?” Liquid leaked out of her eyes, presumably tears.

“Answers.”

Her glistening eyes shifted sideways. “What?”

“You heard me. Proper and reasonable answers will be your salvation.”

“Answers to what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t even know you.” Under her breath, she muttered to herself, “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.”

“You thought I wouldn’t find you.” He smirked.

She inhaled sharply. “My name is Delia Kane. I’m a—”

“—high school history teacher,” he mocked. “A small town spinster who hasn’t taken a single step out of her little town except to relocate here to teach.” He paused. “Isn’t this the spiel nowadays to connect with your abductor? To humanize yourself by spilling a summary of your bio no matter how fake it is?”

She blinked sweat out of her eyes. “That’s my life you’re talking about. Hold on a second…how come you know so much about me?” She squinted at him, studying his face. “Who are you?”

The night was humid. His borrowed orderly shirt was sticking to his back. “Who am I?” He backhanded her hard enough to hurt his hand. “Stop playing tricks. You might not know how I found you this time but you know damn well who I am.”

She sniffled; mucus ran out of her crooked nose. “I swear to God, I don’t know you. There must be a mistake.”

Surely she could make out his face in the dim light. Then again, maybe she’d lost her memory from the last accident she had. Or, as per her habit, she was lying.

He glanced at the microwave’s clock. Twelve o’clock. It had taken her over four hours to awaken from the drug he’d injected her with, longer than he’d anticipated going by his wake-up record. Unlike him, her body wasn’t used to it.

“Maybe I should tell you a story. You know, to help you remember.” They had time. No one would stop by at this late hour on a school night.

And if anyone showed up, he would introduce their guts to her butcher knife.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I design book covers and trailers for authors under Novel Prevue. Aberrancy’s is one of my designs.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write as much as you can, write every day, but without reading other books beside yours, your learning will be interrupted.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes, The Shining by Stephen King.

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Cats make me laugh, I love cats.

Helplessness, in other words injustice and oppression, make me cry (and break things.)

 

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Painting and graphic design.

 

 

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

TV shows: Anything involving mystery. Currently in love with NCIS and Person of Interest.

Films: Horror mostly as long as it’s not gory. I lean more toward psychological or ghostly horror.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Food: Indian and Italian.

Colors: Black and Blue.

Music: Eclectic taste.

 

 

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

I haunt the following places online:

Website: http://www.su-halfwerk.com

Novel Prevue (My graphic design company): http://www.novelprevue.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/suhalfwerk/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Su.Halfwerk

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SuHalfwerk

Blog: http://www.suhalfwerk.blogspot.com/

 

Fiona, thank you so much for having me on your blog.

Here is my interview with Joni Keever

Name     Joni Keever

Age         54

Where are you from            

I was born and raised in Amarillo Texas and only recently moved to the Dallas Texas area.

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

I have a wonderful husband, Joe, and between us, we have six children, eight grandchildren and two Westies.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news? 

My first book, SCARS OF THE HEART, has been published by Kindle Press and is available on Amazon.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? 

It seems I’ve written for as long as I can remember; poetry, short stories, journals.  I tried my hand at writing a full-length fictional novel about 25 years ago then that dream became buried under the more time-consuming responsibilities of child-rearing and corporate-ladder-climbing.  The stories and characters were always clattering around in my brain, like ghosts in the attic, refusing to be ignored.   About a year ago, I had the opportunity to retire early and pursue this life-long dream.  I feel so blessed in that regard.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hmmm, that’s an evolutionary process, but I suppose the moment I actually got paid for writing.  When someone thinks your writing is good enough to publish and be paid for, that’s validation.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My friends and I were avid readers, and too often we’d be disappointed in the writing /plot/character development.  I’d think to myself, “I could do that, and maybe do that better.”  Then there were other books/authors that would inspire me and I’d think, “I’d love to do THAT!”

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I suppose every writer does, after all, the written word is an outpouring of the author’s heart and mind.  I think my writing is very descriptive.  I write what I see in my mind’s eye, what I ‘feel’ from my characters.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

SCARS OF THE HEART was simply the title from word one.  We all have them, those scars, those old wounds that sometimes define us, sometimes cripple us, sometimes make us stronger.  It’s all about how we choose to deal with those old hurts, how we let them impact our future.

 

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

A couple of messages, actually that intertwine, one driving the other.  Those scars that I mentioned above often have a way of creating resentment within us, causing us to form preconceived ideas or prejudices that prevent us from seeing the truth, from pursuing our destiny, from finding happiness.  In SCARS OF THE HEART, Kade and Carly have those scars, those ugly incidents in their pasts that are dictating their present and jeopardizing their future.  This story is about how they reconcile those past injustices, dissolve those prejudices, and hopefully, live happily ever after.

 


Fiona:
How much of the book is realistic?

I believe the entire book is realistic.  Everything that happens, COULD happen.  I did a great deal of research to bring as much authenticity to the era, people and places as I could.

 

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

Not specifically, though I do feel very strongly about not letting negative people or events in your life control you and about not harboring preconceived ideas about individuals based on their race, social standing, education, etc.

 

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

In my earlier years, my biggest influence with regard to fictional romance was Johanna Lindsey.  I literally carried a list with me when I went shopping so I knew which of her books I had and which I still needed to purchase.  As I began trying my hand at novel writing, I was fortunate to land in a critique group with Jodi Thomas and DeWanna Pace; both are NY Times Best Selling Authors.  Not just accomplished authors, very sweet ladies.  I learned a great deal from them with regard to the craft of writing, work ethic, perseverance and chasing your dream.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’ve been reading a lot of David Baldacci lately but am about to start the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.

 

 

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’ve just completed a historical fiction I’m calling BLOOD BETWEEN BROTHERS.  I’ll be parading it by agents very soon and am hopeful it will find a worthy publishing family.

 

 


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do.  It’s my hope that I get better with each book I write, that I grow and develop and continue to provide readers with both entertainment and escape as they lose themselves in the pages of my novels.


 

 

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

BLOOD BETWEEN BROTHERS is a historical fiction set on the western frontier in 1889.  It’s a story about two Scottish-born brothers, twins who were separated shortly after birth and grew up completely unaware of each other’s existence.  The staggering deathbed confession of their father, the chieftain of the powerful Campbell clan, sends his son Robert to America in search of his brother.  When he finds Tavis Walker and tells him the unbelievable story, Robert doesn’t divulge one very important fact.  Tavis was actually the firstborn son, the heir who, by right, should inherit the title, power and fortune that was passed to Robert.  As the brothers vie for the affection of the lovely Madeline Stewart and try to best each other at every turn, Tavis is left with an uneasy foreboding.  Has Robert come to claim the twin he grew up without or to kill the one man who can rightfully claim all that Robert inherited as the presumed heir?

 

 




Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cover credit for SCARS OF THE HEART goes to LLALS Cover Art.

 

 


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

The hardest part of writing for me is NOT writing.  When writing a historical, I feel very strongly about adding authenticity, integrity and interest by including actual events, people, towns, etc.  The main characters and their stories are fictional, but I want the era and the environment to feel real for my readers.  So I do a great deal of research.  That always feels tedious to me, like I’m not actually being productive if I’m not clicking away on the keyboard.  I know it’s necessary and makes the novel better, but I have to continually remind myself of that fact.

 

 



Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

You hear writers speak often of writer’s block, and it is a very real state of mind.  My advice is JUST WRITE.  Put something on the screen, even if it’s bad, even if you end up deleting it all later.  Maybe it’s just skeletal fragments of the next scene, like; John enters the room, sees Mary with Bob, becomes enraged, starts a fight, the commotion draws the attention of a detective at the bar.  Then go back and add the layers.  What time of day was it?  What did the room look like?  What was Mary wearing, drinking?  What did John see – Bob’s hand on her thigh? Bob whispering in her ear?  Etc.  Just add the layers until you’ve made your way through the scene.  You may delete it all tomorrow, but at least you made yourself move forward.

 

 


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

Absolutely . . .  THANK YOU!  Without your support, this isn’t a career, it’s a hobby.  Thank you for buying my books, for reading my work.  It’s my sincere desire to entertain you, to offer an escape from everyday life and to perhaps educate you a bit regarding some part of history.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Human achievement / loss gets me every time, especially if it involves someone achieving a goal they fought hard for or a parent being proud of a child, someone losing someone they love.

 

 

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

I don’t want a headstone.  I want to be cremated.  I don’t like the idea of being stuck in a dark, hole in the ground and loved ones feeling obligated to go visit the plot or keep up with the flowers.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

My husband and I stay pretty busy.  We enjoy a wide range of activities; live music, sporting events, wineries, great restaurants, travel, and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

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

I love The Blacklist!  So clever and quick.  I also enjoy Scandal and home-improvement shows.  My husband and I binge-watched Justified.  Great characters and sharp dialogue.  Some of my favorite films are Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Turner & Hooch, Bull Durham and the Jason Bourne films.  The Notebook, Stepmom and Pretty Woman rank right up there too.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Foods – I’m always up for a good steak and loaded baked potato or a juicy cheeseburger or brick-oven pizza with lots of meat!

Colors – just about everything but green

Music – very eclectic taste; love jazz, especially sax artists like Richard Elliot, David Sanborn, and Candy Dulfer.  I like a lot of the Motown stuff too.  Other favorites include John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Zac Brown, Bruce Hornsby, Eagles, James Taylor, Jason Mraz, Sugarland, Lionel Richie, Doobie Brothers, Little Big Town.

 

 

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

I ran my own daycare for about 15 years, while my children were young.  I also worked as a photographer and Assistant Manager of a photography studio.  I spent about 20 years in corporate management.  Enjoyed aspects of all of all those jobs.  Learned a lot.  Met some great people.

 

 

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

www.jonikeever.com

 

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