Here is my interview with Mike Faricy

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.

Hi Fiona, This is Mike Faricy, thanks for having me back.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in the US, in St. Paul, Minnesota. We’re a state in the middle of the US, up against Canada. A land of extremes, up to a 100+ degrees Fahrenheit (40C) in the summer and down to minus 40 (-40C) in the winter. I still live here six months out of the year and the other six months I live in Dublin, Ireland.

 

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I come from a close knit family of four boys and one girl. My sister was born in the middle of her four brothers and survived growing up with us. She’s now become information central so we all connect with her to get the scoop on everyone else. I went to a military high school where I learned the value of keeping your nose to the grindstone and earned a history degree in college. I was in the US Army for a number of years. I am the least educated member of my family, all the others are brains.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m always writing, seven days a week…Yeah I know, I’m boring, but I have a new book coming out in August, in my Corridor Man series. I write the series under the pen name Nick James. It’s about a disbarred attorney named Bobby Custer who has a bit of a dark side to his personality. Then in September, I have a new release coming in my Dev Haskell series which I write under my name, Mike Faricy. Dev Haskell is more humorous series about a laid back private eye who is routinely dumped by girlfriends and seems to always find himself in impossible situations. Following that I’ll have a new release in my Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series which I write under the pen name Patrick Emmett. Jack Dillon is a US Marshal who has been sent to Dublin.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Probably the first thing I ever wrote was on a wall with a color crayon. No doubt I was sent to my room. I worked on the school paper and the yearbook in high school and always enjoyed reading and writing. I probably wrote fifty award winning first chapters that I never did anything with and then finally one day said to myself either finish a book or stop wasting your time.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer after I finished that first book. We have a famous mystery writer living in St. Paul, William Kent Krueger, and he was kind enough to invite me to lunch. He gave me a lot of good advice and at the end of the meal I pulled out about a four hundred page manuscript and asked him if he’d like to read it. Amazingly, he gave me a definite no, then said that all writers have a book that never comes out from under their bed. That first book is still there, under the bed. But the meeting gave me the encouragement to press on and write the next book and the one after that.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I published was inspired by a person I knew with a foot on both sides of the law. It’s not necessarily about him or exactly what he did, but it started me thinking.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Hopefully it’s interesting. I attempt to keep my chapters short and to the point. I don’t have paragraphs of descriptions, but rather present an idea and let the readers mind create the picture.

Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Not really. I work off an outline that lays out an overall general picture and then a more specific listing of what I want to accomplish on that specific day. I attempt to be accurate so I’m constantly checking out things like what kind of a weapon our police officers carry, what are their protective vests like, what’s the make of a squad car, what’s the reaction to a specific poison, all sorts of things.

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

Quite a bit of what I write is based on personal experience or what I’ve heard. I know a number of individuals in law enforcement, the legal profession and some folks maybe on the opposite side. I’m never at a loss for things happening.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Yes and no. I travel from the standpoint of wanting to give an accurate portrayal of a building or a bar or a city. If I mention an establishment, it really does exist and I’ve been there. I want to be able to not only describe what a place is like but to set my reader in there as well, next to the customers or the owner, tasting or smelling the food. The noise, what the rest rooms are like, maybe the stools at the bar, whatever it takes.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I have a rough idea of what I want the covers to look like and I send that to my designer who then takes my very basic thoughts and creates something fantastic. One of the most important things for me is to not only have a great cover but to have it represent a specific series. That means copy, typeface, colors and artwork should immediately tell the viewer this book is part of that specific series. My designer is a man in the Philippines named Roy Migabon, he is truly excellent.

 

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

No, there isn’t a message per se, I want my books to be entertaining and enjoyable for my readers. I think we all get enough messages on any given day and it’s just nice to be able to kick back and be entertained.

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

I really can’t limit my choice to just one favorite author. Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, Laurence Shames, Carl Hiaasen, Stuart MacBride, Janet Evanovich, Vince Flynn, John Grisham, Tony Dunbar. I could go on but you get the idea, I’m constantly finding new writers and I inhale all their work. I want to be entertained when I read and I’m always looking for a work where you can’t wait to get to the next page.


Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

That’s another long list, of course friends, but they’re almost like family. I had an English teacher in high school, James Keane. I used his name in a book I wrote early on entitled Irish Dukes. It was part of the Fight Card series and I was one of a number of guest writers, the works were published under the name Jack Tunney. I used Jim’s name as the villain in my piece, calling him ‘Baldy Jim Keane’. When it was published I gave him a copy not knowing what he would think. He looked at it for a long moment and laughed until he had tears in his eyes and told me thanks. That meant more to me at the time than just about anything. For the record I was not his best student and I’m sure he was more than a little surprised I was writing.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It is my career, it’s what I do, seven days a week and I’m blessed to be able to work at something I love doing.

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

Nothing really, except there’s always that typo that gets missed by a few thousand pairs of eyes and then twenty-four months after release someone sends me a nice email that says something like, “I really loved you book, but you know on page 210 you misspelled the hero’s name.”

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I always learn something, this time it was how to hijack a car by hacking into the vehicles computer system. Not that I’m going to try it, mind you.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

It would be nice if I could, but then no one would go see the movie. Maybe Brad Pitt, Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio just for starters.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Yeah, get writing the next page. If you wrote just one page a day you’d have a book at the end of the year. I always hear from people who tell me they’re going to write a book. At the end of the day it’s work, hard work. I’d say less than 1% of the people who tell me ever start and about half a percent of that group ever finish.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Yeah, thanks for getting this far in the interview and thank you very, very much for being one of my readers.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

One Strange Date by Laurence Shames. It’s a delightfully quirky series set in Key West Florida.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It was probably George the Pig, or more accurately it was read to me. George was a pig who wouldn’t share and on the last page of the book he explodes after eating his entire birthday cake by himself.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I love a good joke and the stupid situations people find themselves in.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

That list is long, I think I’d start with George Washington and go on from there. There’s a popular radio guy here who said one time that his family came to America before the revolution but then chose the side of law and order and moved to Canada. Think about it, trying times.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I play the bagpipes in a bagpipe band, so I get to wear a kilt around town.

 

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

Lately I’ve taken to watching shows on Netflix. I’m currently watching Bluebloods and loving it.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love just about any music except hip hop. I really enjoy music from the 60’s and 70’s. I liked Country and Western before it became trendy. Loved Garth Brooks singing I’ve Got Friends In Low Places. As for foods I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I’d have to dictate my stories which would be an absolute disaster.

 

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

My name, dates, that I loved my patient wife and I was in the Army.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Readers can check me out on Facebook under my name, Mike Faricy. They can also get a couple of free books by subscribing to my mailing list. I only send out an email when a new book is released. Here’s the link;

http://www.mikefaricybooks.com/free-gift/

Nick James Corridor Man series:

US: http://amzn.to/1Z6cwLl 

UK: http://amzn.to/1WSlyNW 

CA: http://amzn.to/1sUVIgA 

AU: http://bit.ly/1XXGZNb 

IN: http://amzn.to/1UpVPdY 

JP: http://amzn.to/2aCMyg7 

Patrick Emmet, Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series:

US: http://amzn.to/2jbE8Rk 

UK: http://amzn.to/2jJoZ9f 

CA: http://amzn.to/2iTZLou 

AU: http://amzn.to/2iooQfb 

IN: http://amzn.to/2jbEmrC 

JP: http://amzn.to/2jbyGy7 

Mike Faricy Dev Haskell series:

US: http://amzn.to/1GIze0Q 

UK: http://amzn.to/1Fq2qsN

AU: http://bit.ly/1GkJ20U 

CA: http://amzn.to/1dNalKw 

IN: http://amzn.to/1QYC8af 

JP: http://amzn.to/2aCMyg7 

 

Thanks for having me Fiona. If you’re ever in Minnesota or over in Dublin, please look me up. I would love to get together with you. Many thanks and all the best to everyone.

 

 

 

Here is my interview with E.W. Brent

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?  

Hello, I am E.W. Brent. I am old enough to know better but young enough to still have fun!

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am a southern girl and w Will always be a TEXAN at heart!

 

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.)

.  I am married to my current husband. (Yes! I am being funny here)  I have a grown daughter from my first marriage who claims she will NOT read my novel when published, as it contains sexual content, and she just cannot handle that from her Mom!  I told her no worries, I would just post on her Facebook that it was HER sex life and I would then sell all the books I needed!  Seriously, I am an insurance professional by trade.  I have three fur babies that ARE my children. I love photography, gardening and mostly making people smile!

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.  

I HOPE to have my first book available by the end of this month, however it is still in editing.  (Secrets and Lies at the Water’s Edge)

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Actually many years ago my Mom was attempting her first novel and I elaborated adding colorful background information.  It was then I realized how much I enjoyed it.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

What!  Me? A writer?  That is certainly my dream!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

This is a tough one.  I really can’t answer that, other than it was my Mom who peaked my interest.  I actually have three other novels on the back burner. My current one….well…

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?  

It just kind of evolved. The book starts out at the ‘water’s edge’ so that portion was an obvious choice.  Since it involves an extramarital affair my sister added the “Secrets and Lies”. (Kudos to you sister!)

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?  I am a flip flopper!  Lol! Meaning I like to switch from past to present tense. It just makes sense to me. I do not like first person narrating, to me that is hard to read. I want the reader to be involved enough to take on that task and not feel as though they are just listening to someone tell a story. I want them involved!

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

The book is based on FICTIONAL characters.  I suppose all fiction, of course has some truth to it, yes?

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Travel?  Only in my mind Fiona, only in my mind!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I actually used two different people, both of which were great!   For the back and spine I used Liv Moore with  “Liv’s Lovely Designs” and  the front was Madelene Martin. Both have done exceptional work.

 

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

Yes! Although we say we will react in a certain way to a given situation, you never really know until YOU are in that situation yourself.  Love is powerful.

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

Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?  Too many to list! I’m sorry but my interest is vast and I would have to write a book, literally!

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.  

That’s easy! MY BEST FRIEND!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I am doing it more for the love of creating. IF a career happened, well THAT would be awesome!

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

Wow, Fiona you really ask some tough questions.  Since my first book is still in process…it is subject to change at this moment.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

OMG! Did I ever!  I learned that I have poor grammar, can’t spell! Can’t remember ANYTHING and that being an Indie Author is mind boggling!  But, in all seriousness it has been and is an exciting experience!

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

OMG! Fiona! MY DREAM!  I have already picked the opening music!! LOL  That would be Elton John’s ‘The One”.  Susan Lucci! Of Course would be the lead actress and Tom Selleck the leading man! Oh my heart be still!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep going! Be patient! Don’t get discouraged!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Another tough one Fiona.  I would like to thank them, for taking a chance on me!

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

OMG! NO!

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Being silly makes me laugh!  Making other people laugh makes me laugh! My fur babies make me laugh!   Ummmm …cry?  Oh no, I don’t like that.  Sad movies, sad songs, mistreated animals, lonely people, missing my parents who are angels in heaven.  The thought of not having my soul mate!

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet?Why?

TOM SELLECK!!! I don’t think I have to elaborate!

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Oh dear…here we go!  I love photography and gardening.  I am nicknamed after a superhero cartoon character (well actually I have several nicknames) for when I decide I can do something incredible  (as in incredible that I can do it!) example: painting palm trees on the ceiling of my Lanai and it turning out decent!

 

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

Romantic comedies are my favorite!  I like to smile and be happy, therefore I do not want sad or scary shows!

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Love!  Love!  Love PIZZA!!!  And I am so addicted to Coca Cola!!  Colors depend on the item, but basically I suppose I would say red and yellow.  I LOVE music, almost all genres other than rap and the old country, cry in your beer!

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

ACT!!

 

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

A unique and special person who loved life and making others smile.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yes I do! Thank you for asking!  http://ewbrentauthor.com  I am also on Facebook, and https://twitter.com/EWBrent7/media

https://www.instagram.com/ewbrent/?hl=en

 

Here is my interview with Denise Tapscott

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hi there!  My  name is Denise Tapscott.  I don’t look like my “real” age, so I tell people I’m about 297 years old.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Northern California.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I reside in Southern California.  I love to travel so I try to visit some place new (or at least different) every few months.  I adore New Orleans and I visit there at least once a year.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m currently working on a short story called The Price of  Salvation and once it’s polished I will resume working on the second book of the Zenobia Tales.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing unofficially when I was 16.  I used to have insomnia over the summer months so I would work on a gangster story until I was drowsy enough to sleep.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Honestly I didn’t consider myself a writer until the day I held the first copy of Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I had an idea about some very interesting characters, but I didn’t do much with them.  After Michael Jackson died, I was stunned.  If I died suddenly no one would meet my characters. From then on I created and moulded each and every character.  I am drawn to New Orleans so much that the story had to take place there.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The question “what is stronger, a kiss or a wish?” kept popping up in my mind.  I liked the idea of two types of magic/religions battling it out and thus the title was born.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I tend to put a lot of focus on my characters, which is fun!  My challenges are the cursed adjectives and adverbs. In my first few drafts everything was “colorful” and every other word seemed to end in ‘ly’.

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

Not much is realistic in my novel(thank goodness). However (without revealing any spoilers) there are a few moments that are based on events that happened in my life.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I certainly do travel quite a bit in the name of research for my book, both before and during.  There are a few locations in the second book I may just have to research thanks to Google and Youtube.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

A designer at Bookfuel.  They asked for me to send ideas of what I was looking for and words to describe how I wanted it to feel.  I think they did a phenomenal job.

 

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

Follow your heart whenever you can and choose love as often as possible.

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

I haven’t come across any new  authors yet.  My favorite writer is Eden Royce.  Her stories have southern charm and they really speak to me.  I always enjoy Stephen King’s short stories as well as Jim Butcher’s The Dresden files series.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

The handful of people I thanked in my acknowledgement page really supported me.  All of them were honest, direct and encouraged me to go on even when I was discouraged at times.  Each of them should get gold stars for keeping me focused.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes please!!  I have many characters and many stories waiting to be revealed to the world.

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

I would change the title slightly.  It would probably be Roma Kisses and Voodoo Wishes.  With my research about the Romani culture, I overlooked the fact that the word ‘gypsy’ is offensive.  Travellers/Rom people all over the world have been persecuted, for a very long time (and still are, quite frankly).  I don’t want to add insult to injury.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Holy moly I learned a great deal.  I learned how to make gumbo!  I learned that a lot of magic is based on intention.  I was also reminded that love is a powerful force.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I would love for Grandmother Zenobia to be played by either Oprah Winfrey or Viola Davis.  I’d love for Dorian Camlo to be played by Oded Fehr or Jason Momoa. I’m still up in the air about who would play Patia Camlo.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Please keep writing!  There is someone out there who really wants and needs your story.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I want to thank each and everyone of them for spending their valuable time reading my work.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Forever Vacancy:  A Colors in Darkness Anthology

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Magic Elizabeth, by Norma Kassirer stands out most.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

That’s a tough one.  I tend to laugh a lot, about many things.  I don’t cry often but when I do, I cry tears of joy for something heartfelt and touching.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to have drinks with Cary Grant. He was so charming!

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I don’t have any specific hobbies.  I often look to do things that make me smile whether it be dancing or watching wild birds at a park.

 

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

Oh goodness!  There are too many tv shows/films for me to list.  I love action and horror films mostly.   My top 5 favorites in no particular order are Empire Strikes Back, Get Out, Jaws,  Raising Arizona and Captain America. I almost forgot Notorious with Cary Grant!   I love tv shows with great characters like Breaking Bad (and Better Call Saul), Orphan Black and Game of Thrones.  One of my all time favorite tv shows is Dark Shadows.  It aired as reruns in the 90s’.  I could never get enough of Cousin Barnabas.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

My favorite foods are just about anything with cheese.  I do love sushi too and I’m a sucker for a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. My favorite color is red and I listen to Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes almost every day.  Not sure why, but I love love love that song.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would look for Vampires and hope they’d invite me to be a part of their clan.

 

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

If/when I die (still looking for Vampires, just saying) I want to be cremated and have my ashes mixed in with fireworks.  There should be a spectacular display over the Mississippi river near the French Quarter in New Orleans.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My website is www.denisetapscott.com and readers can also find me on https://www.amazon.com/author/denisetapscott as well as www.goodreads.com/denisetapscott

 

Here is my interview with Lilly Moore

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hi, everyone! My name is Lilly Moore and I am 20 years old.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

England

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I’m a 20 year old student who is in the middle of a mathematics and economics degree. I spend most of my free time (and lecture time, let’s be real) imagining far-away worlds and writing about them.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and posting excerpts of my novel on my blog!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always been making up stories and poems. As soon as I learned to write, I started putting them down so that I wouldn’t forget them (and so I could send them to my grandma)

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I definitely thought I was a writer back when I was five and had written down my first poem!

I guess I’ve always thought of myself as a writer just because I do spend most of my time writing. I don’t know if I am a particularly good one, but I am a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was stuck in a dark and difficult place. To get through, I imagined I was in a fairytale full of strange creatures and battles. Then, once I had a bit of time to myself, I stated writing it down.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

“Angel School” is still a very preliminary title that I’m not quite happy with. But I think it just came to me one day.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I suppose that most writers have something specific that sets them apart, but I don’t purposely try to do anything with my style to make it unique.

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

Way too much. Nothing in my book actually happened to me, but a lot of the ideas come from real-life experiences.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Luckily, my book is a fantasy novel which doesn’t take place on planet Earth as we know it, so I’ve never had to travel while writing it. But a lot of the environments in it are loosely based on places that I have been to before.

 

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

Don’t give up.

Things and people are never as they seem.

 

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

I absolutely adore Frances Hodgson Burnett and her style which is simultaneously elegant and comforting.

Also, of course, J. K. Rowling, for her ability to hide mysteries in every scene.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My wonderful blog readers!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I definitely see it as a full-time career that you have to commit a lot of time and energy towards.

I do, however, also believe in having a day job-not just for financial stability, but also to broaden your horizons and to give you something to write about.

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

I’m still in the process of editing it, so luckily I still have the power to change things.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I spent three years planning the novel and imagining short scenes for it, without actually writing it properly. One thing that I really learned is that characters develop and stories change through the actual process of writing and that you don’t need to have everything planned out to start.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Myself? It’s not very realistic, but I would really love to do it.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Good writing actually does good.

And never give up on your stories, no matter what people say.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love and appreciate you all so much.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

“My Family and Other Animals”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Silkworm”.

I’m also very slowly chipping away at “War and Peace”.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

One of the first books that I can remember being read to me is a huge, old volume of PippiLongstocking stories.

The first proper novel that I read myself was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh: funny moments in conversations

Cry: way too many things

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

So many! I’m going to go with a very overused answer here and say J. K. Rowling.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Running, Tae Kwon Do, blogging, making little Youtube videos, reading (I have a soft spot for detective stories) and exploring my city.

 

 

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

I love watching old episodes of “The Addams Family”.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Food: chocolate mousse

Colour: purple

Music: I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift, AVByte and listening to the songs from Horrible Histories over and over again.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Go crazy. But career-wise, I would keep on working to become a consultant or an epidemiologist while still filming Youtube videos and reading as much as possible.

 

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

Probably something important and impressive that I’m really not worthy of at the present moment.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I do! My blog is called Moonbeams on the Path, and it’s a fun little cave full of book reviews, my own stories, Harry Potter theories, maths tutorials, random midnight thoughts, games and chats, so go and check it out!

 

 

https://moonbeamsonthepath.wordpress.com/ .

Here is my interview with Catherine Zebrowski

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Catherine Zebrowski and, to put it in a historical perspective, my parents were married right after World War II so I am up at that retirement age.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Leicester, Massachusetts right on top of three steep hills each rising one on top of the next.  Collectively, they are known as Dead Horse Hill.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

My imagination was stirred at an early age by the stories and songs I heard from my mother who had grown up on the West Coast of Ireland.  After graduating from Worcester State College, I went over to Dublin, Ireland for a year and was enriched by studies in Anglo-Irish Literature at University College Dublin and the many experiences I had over there.  My time in Dublin in the mid 1970’s was an inspiration for two chapbooks of poetry I published through Lulu : Immigrant and Gone Stealin’. I had been working in libraries for the last few decades until I retired last year, and, during that time, I was also writing fiction and have completed two novels.  Sleepwalking Backwards is my first published novel.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

On June 16th, my Novel, Sleepwalking Backwards, was published through Touchpoint Press.  It’s very exciting to have the words and characters I have been working on for several years come into print and to know that my story is being shared. I am having a good time doing book readings and signings.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

The first story I remember writing was when I was in the fourth grade. It was called Tony and His Cat and it even had illustrations.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I guess when I wrote Tony and His Cat. (Ha, Ha)

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Sleepwalking Backwards was inspired by many events, books, and a curiosity about grief and how it can show up in imaginative and unusual ways.  The turn of the last century was another inspiration because I wanted to write a story in the time period before it happened.  I wrote the first draft in early 1999 and that is the time period of one of the two main characters.  I was also inspired by a book by Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers, where he writes about many of the medieval astronomers, like Kepler, who made astounding discoveries sometimes without realizing their significance.  It’s a very informative and also entertaining book as he delves into the genius and eccentricities of these pre-modern age scientists.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The first title was Amanda the Sleepwalker when Amanda was the only real main character. Then I wrote the other story in the voice of her mother in the late 1970’s so Amanda was not the only main character and the novel then had another earlier time period.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I guess I would say my novels are character-driven probably because I have always liked reading and writing plays as well as poetry and prose.  I like to mix genres and Sleepwalking Backwards is a mixture of ghost story, mystery, mother-daughter, and magical realism

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

Since many of the scenes take place where I grew up, I did sometimes pull from my own experiences but changed them. For instance, Gloria goes to the same college as I did and her first day in the fall of 1970 she is handed the book Our bodies,Ourselves before she even has a textbook.  In the book my character is somewhat put off by this; in real life I became friends with the person who handed me that book and I thought it was cool. My character is more conservative than I was so, alas, I couldn’t push my 70’s political agenda there.  I had to push her mistrust of all that new freedom.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

For this story I did not have to travel. For the first one I wrote I took a trip back to Ireland in the early nineties—great excuse.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The cover was designed by Colbie Myles at Touchpoint Press. I had sent in three photographs that a friend of ours, Kevin Boucher, had taken in his backyard observatory hoping they would use one of them.  All three were used and the result was spectacular.

 

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

Not really; I just hope readers enjoy a good story.

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

I have been reading novels by Tessa Hadley recently and really loving them.  A read a new young author this year name Paul Murray. Two fantastic entertaining books I’ve read by him are Skippy Dies and The Mark and the Void. I really like reading Joyce Carol Oates and William Trevor.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Touchpoint Press!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’m getting up there in age but I suppose it could be another career.

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

I can’t think of anything. Of course, in fifteen years of working on it I changed plenty.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I guess maybe what I learned is the story kind of changes as you change and characters take on a life of their own—be prepared to rewrite and rewrite.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

The mother could be Sissy Spacek and the daughter, I’m not sure.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing even through the discouraging times.

 

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope you are entertained and, in some way, moved by my story and words.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Two Tessa Hadley novels.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first chapter book I read by myself was Alice in Wonderland.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Books by Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood usually make me do both sometime during the reading experience.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Yes, my grandmother in Ireland who died young in childbirth.  The stories from Ireland have always haunted me and I suppose I feel like there would be some kind of resolution.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I like music and love to sing folksongs.  I also like nature walks.

 

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

My two favorite movies of all time are Coal Miner’s Daughter and Housekeeping.  I like to watch dramas like NCIS and Madam Secretary.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Crackers and cheese, green and blue, folk and blues

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Be sad—listen for stories wherever voices could be heard.

 

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

It’s been a good run

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I am on Facebook and my website is catherinezebrowskwriter.wordpress.com

My book is available on amazon and at https://touchpointpress.com/

and the poetry collections through lulu.com

https://www.amazon.com/Sleepwalking-Backwards-Catherine-Zebrowski-ebook/dp/B072JNR41B/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1500539942&sr=1-1&keywords=Catherine+Zebrowski

 

 

Here is my interview with EM Kaplan


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hi. I’m EM Kaplan or Emily. I’m 45 years old. I was going to say it in months, but that makes me sound older than a planet.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I currently live in the US outside of Chicago in the little town where they filmed the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. I was born in Thailand, but I spent most of my childhood in Tucson, Arizona.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have two teenaged kids, a Golden Retriever, and an author-husband (JD Kaplan) who writes contemporary fantasy novels. During the day, I work at my job writing guides and brochures for the cell phone division of Motorola. My university degree is in English Lit and Philosophy. I also did a graduate program in Creative Writing and one year of an Architecture program. I’m a little bit over-educated for how much I actually think things through. I’m also a dance fitness instructor during the evenings at my local gym.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Full Slab Dead, the newest Josie Tucker mystery just came out. It’s the fourth mystery in this humorous series and I’m getting reports back that it’s the favorite book in the series for a few of my fans.

In this book, snarky food critic, Josie Tucker, heads to Austin to take a tour of local barbecue joints. While in Texas, she stumbles on to a decades’ old missing person case. With the help of a local reporter, a Goth ghost hunter, and a Bunco-playing transvestite, she tries to unravel the heart-tugging, hidden history before the whole place goes up in smoke.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

When I was little, I used to write stories for myself late at night with a flashlight and a notebook under the bedcovers. I had a lot of anxiety as a kid, so writing stories was probably the best way to take control of my surroundings. What better way to control things than to create your own world?

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In high school, I had a recurring humor column in the local newspaper. When I got my first fan mail, I thought maybe that made me a writer. In reality, I think the only thing that makes you a writer is if you write.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was a horrible mess about a woman struggling with identity issues after the death of her favorite uncle. She’s on this weird road trip… Well, never mind about that. Let’s just say the book was something that had to be done and destroyed. I’m much better now.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title forThe Bride Wore Dead (the first Josie Tucker Book) was a brainflash. I had a much more serious working title to begin with, but it wasn’t memorable or catchy, and it didn’t convey any humor. I’ve been sticking with “dead” in the titles so far. People tend to send me suggestions now.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

So far, I have the casual, snappy style that I use for the Josie Tucker books and the more romantic, flowing style for the Rise of the Masks fantasy series. Sometimes the styles leak into each other, but I think that’s natural. The Josie Tucker style is much easier to write because it’s closest to how I feel in my day-to-day brain.

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

In the Josie Tucker books, there’s a healthy dollop of reality in each one. Definitely the locations—Arizona, California, Texas, and Boston—I’ve lived in each of those places, so I hope I’ve been able to bring a strong sense of place to each book. Sometimes I’ll add simple characterizations of minor characters in homage to friends. So, yes, there’s a little of that going on.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I don’t have to travel, but it helps me to use a location that I already know well. I recently took a train ride across the Canadian Rockies with my mom. That setting has some potential, but the re-make of Murder on the Orient Express is coming out soon. It might be overkill, so to speak.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

They’re are all done by me.I’m not a graphic designer, but my sister is, and I get a lot of input from her.

 

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

I market Josie Tucker as being snarky and sarcastic, but the real message is her loyalty to her small group of friends and family.

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

I just finished reading Virginia Gray’s third book, The Golden Handcuffs. I think she’s categorized as a Women’s Fiction writer.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My chapter of the Sisters in Crime organization in Chicagoland has been wonderfully supportive, from guest speakers, field trips, and opportunities at the Printer’s Row book festival, they’ve helped me learn so much. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Ha! I’ve been a technical writer for about 20 years now, but I’m guessing you mean a fiction writer. Let’s just say, I’m working on it. That’s my goal.

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

I like how the latest book ended up. If I had to go back, I’m not sure if I would have branched out into fantasy so soon after publishing my first mystery. The marketing of two separate genres has been a challenge.

 

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I’d really like to pick an unknown actor. It’d have to be someone slightly pretty, somewhat brown-skinned, and scrappy. I’m digging these made-for-streaming series and movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

The only different between an aspiring author and an author is writing.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

From the bottom of my heart and soul, thank you for reading.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo. It’s the follow-up to Nobody’s Fool, which he wrote decades ago.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I read a lot of horrible school reading primers in the late 1970s before I realized that was not what reading was about. I couldn’t understand why my older sister loved to read so much. After I moved over to the adult section of the library, I caught on. One of the first authors I really liked was Agatha Christie.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Music usually gets me more than anything else. My husband makes fun of me for listening to pop music, but the truth is, if I listen to anything else, I get easily emotional. I’ve been known to get full-body chills or goosebumps from opera, the symphony, bagpipes, drum and bugle corps, and Britain’s Got Talent audition tapes.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I’d just like to talk with my father one more time.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I’m surrounded by the carcasses of my dead hobbies even as I answer this question. Painting, sewing, card-making, crocheting, gardening…I also still have my trombone from when I used to play. I don’t think anyone ever really gets rid of a trombone. I might have to be buried with it.

 

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

Right now, I’m watching The OA. I’m only on the third episode, but it’s really good. People have been telling me to watch Orphan Black, too, so that’s next on my list.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I like to cook. For a while, I was obsessed with roasting vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga, and fennel. My friend brought me a goat shoulder to cook and that turned out really nice. I also post excessive amounts of donut photos and videos on my Facebook fan page.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would probably go back to gardening and taking long walks. I was painting mandalas a little bit earlier this summer. Just using acrylics.

 

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

Played well with others.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

http://www.JustTheEmWords.com

Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/emkaplan

Link to my books: http://justtheemwords.com/index.php/books/

 

Here is my interview with Nyasia A. Maire

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Fiona: Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Nyasia: My name is Nyasia A. Maire and I will celebrate my 60th birthday this November!

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Nyasia: I was born early one Monday morning in Encino, California and have made Studio City, California my home for 31 years.

 

Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e.: your education, family life, etc.)

Nyasia: I began writing at an early age and have never stopped. Reading is one of my great passions, an extension of my love of words. My favorite genres are science fiction, horror and fantasy (books or movies.) And, as strange as it may seem to some, a love of all things computer.

I graduated high school in 1975 and attended college for two semesters, but felt I could learn more in the school of life. I am a self-taught writer and feel that as long as I write, I will continue to learn.

I’m also a semi-retired photojournalist. I still dabble in photography and always will. My first camera was given to me when I was 8-years old. Recently, I received a credit as Set Photographer for the music video of “Old Vienna” by Diego’s Umbrella. I love photography and combine it whenever possible with my final passion: music.

Running through my life is music: the soundtrack of life. From classical to death metal, pop to rap, and, of course, good ol’ rock ‘n roll . . . music is life and life is music. And sometimes, you don’t have to hear well with your ears to appreciate music with your heart.

I live in Studio City, California with my daughter, three cats, a boa constrictor named Violet and all of the characters I imagine into being.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Nyasia: I’m currently spending my time being politically active when I should be working on the rewrite of my sequel to The Heretic’s Child. Unfortunately, my storyline follows real world history, so I’m waiting to see how events unfold.

My latest news is that I’ve been participating in poetry readings on the first Friday of the month at Pipe and Thimble Bookstore in Lomita, California. I’ll also be attending a Meet the Author at the Third Thursday at Tujunga Village in Studio City, California on July 20, 2017 and another Meet the Author at Pipe and Thimble Bookstore on August 19, 2017.

The Heretic’s Child is available online through Lulu.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks and Kobo. The Heretic’s Child is available at The Book Carnival in Orange, California and at The Pipe and Thimble Bookstore in Lomita, California. The Heretic’s Child is also available from the Los Angeles Public Library.

The Heretic’s Child won 2017 Best Book Cover from Read My Mind The Blogger’s Magazine – 2017 Summer Edition.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Nyasia: I wrote my first story when I was 8 years old. I was in 3rd grade and as homework, my teacher told us to write a short story. I completed the assignment and handed in my assignment. The stories and poetry began making their appearances in my life after that and have never stopped.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Nyasia: I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. The moment I felt like a “real” writer was when I received my first rejection notice when I was 10 years old. However, it seems to me that most people don’t consider a person a writer until they’ve been published. Using that perspective, I didn’t become a writer until I was 57 years old.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Nyasia: Nothing inspired me other than the need to tell a story. My stories start as an image in my mind and then, the details start as a “what if?” It niggles at my mind and I have to write it down so I can let it go.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Nyasia: I always start with a working title and the title goes through several (sometimes more than several) incarnations. While writing my latest book, The Heretic’s Child, the title created itself.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Nyasia: All of my novels, excepting that last one were written in the third person. My latest, I wrote in the first person and that was a challenge as I had two main characters and I had to switch between them from chapter to chapter.

I have a bad habit of changing tenses, sometimes in the same sentence.

I believe I’ve developed my “style” over the many years I’ve been writing, so I don’t have a problem with that. I just try to hone it and perfect it. My main nemesis is editing because I can’t afford to hire a professional. I find editing my own work challenging.

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

Nyasia: It depends on the book. I named characters in my latest book after family and friends and that’s something I’ve never done before. I try to take the familiar and create a world that’s just realistic enough that people can identify with it, but fantastical enough for them to enjoy it.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Nyasia: No. I do all of my research online. I’d love to travel, but my finances do not allow it.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Nyasia: I designed the cover of the printed edition of The Heretic’s Child and Mirna Gilman of BooksGoSocial.com and myself designed the cover of the eBook edition.

 

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

Nyasia: Remembering those that are no longer with us and that everyone, good or evil, has something to contribute to the world. No one should be forgotten.

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

Nyasia: David Gilchrist has captured my attention at the moment. His epic fantasy world is a wonderful creation.

My favorite writer of fantasy is J.R.R. Tolkien, my favorite writer of horror is Stephen King and my favorite writer of suspense thrillers is Dean Koontz. I love little details and character quirks. All three authors supply those in abundance.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Nyasia: Marilee Reyes. She was ever patient and supportive as I talked about writing this book for what seemed an eternity.

The Heretic’s Child was a work 20 years in the making. I met Marilee about 10 years in and her encouragement was instrumental in my buckling down and doing the work.

Thank you, Marilee!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Nyasia: No. I am not a prolific writer. I’m 60 years old and have written 4 original works of fiction, 3 works of fan fiction and numerous poems and proverbs. I don’t concentrate on writing because I have to earn a living. However, if I suddenly came to the attention of an agent and the opportunity became an option, then yes. I would love to have a career as a writer.

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

Nyasia: Yes. The last chapter. See the answer to the next question.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Nyasia: Yes. Don’t assume the outcome of an election will be logical.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Nyasia: Emma – Anne Hathaway, Thomas – Gerard Butler, Ewan – Ewan McGregor, Joseph – F. Murray Abraham or Bill Nighy

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Nyasia: This too shall pass, so just write.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Nyasia: Indie Authors appreciate reviews.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Nyasia: I’m reading fan fiction and rereading The Books of Blood by Clive Barker.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Nyasia: I believe the first book I read was Fun with Dick and Jane. The first book that made an impression on me was J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I read it when I was 8 years old.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Nyasia: Life makes me do both, but I try to celebrate it – life that is.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Nyasia: J.R.R. Tolkien. I’d love to talk with the person that initiated my life-long love of the fantastical. I’d love to be able to listen to him speak about the creation of Middle Earth.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Nyasia: Playing online puzzle games, hiking and visiting the zoo. I was going to list being politically active, but that’s not a hobby. That’s a necessity.

 

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

Nyasia: Other than HGTV and news, I don’t watch television. I like science fiction and fantasy movies. I’m also a fan of Gerard Butler. He inspired me to make my brief foray into writing Phantom of the Opera fan fiction.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Nyasia: My favorite foods are Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese and Thai. I love purple. I love music, but must admit that I am not fond of country, western, hip hop or reggae. I am partially deaf, so I’m partial to music with a strong beat. Hence, my love of heavy metal.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Nyasia: Hike, play with my cats while I’m on social media and read.

 

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

Nyasia: Don’t worry. I’ll be back.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Nyasia: Yes. Website – http://nyasia9.wixsite.com/nyasiamaire

Blog – https://nyasiamaire.wordpress.com/ (Sorry, not much of a blogger!)

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Nyasia-A.-Maire/e/B01HYKFKFS?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

Lulu Author Spotlight – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/nyasia

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/nyasiaamaire/?ref=bookmarks

 

Here is my interview with Ray Garton

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age? A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

My name is Ray Garton and I’m 54 years old. I was born in the town of Redding, California, at the northern end of the state, and I’ve lived in this area most of my life. I went to college for a while, initially studying psychology, and did that for almost a year before I found a literary agent who was interested in representing me. I dropped everything to write a book for him and he sold it fairly quickly. After that, I focused on writing full time. I’m married to the love of my life, Dawn, and we have three cats (for a while, we had eleven at the same time).

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have a new book coming from SST Publications called Paranoia Tango. It contains two novelettes of a paranoid nature called “Lizard Man Dispatches” and “The Last Days of Seabreeze.”

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I don’t know. I was drawing stories before I could write and worked hard to learn to read and write early so I could use words instead of pictures. There was never a time when I wasn’t writing. I don’t know why. I guess I was just born to tell stories.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was growing up, you weren’t a writer unless you had sold your work for publication. That was pretty much the consensus. That has changed, unfortunately. Now people seem to think they’re writers because they say they’re writers. The ease of self-publishing has created the Instant Writer. Self-publish something, create a website identifying you as a writer and voila! You’re writer! Or so the thinking goes. I’m still pretty old-fashioned about it, though.

 

I had been writing for years before I was published. I had written many short stories, a few novellas, and a couple of novel-length manuscripts (either handwritten or on a typewriter back in those pre-computer days) by the time I was out of high school, but I didn’t think of myself as a writer because I hadn’t been published. In fact, even then I didn’t really feel it. It wasn’t until I read the first review of my first novel, Seductions, in Kirkus. The review ended with a line that went something like this: “Seductions is a novel you can buy at the airport and not feel bad if you happen to leave it behind on the plane half-read.” At first, I was devastated. Crushed. Destroyed. For about fifteen seconds. Until I realized that my novel had been reviewed in Kirkus. It wasn’t a good review, but it was a review. That made me feel like a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

An agent. When I encountered my first agent, I sent him some short stories. He liked them but said he didn’t work with short stories. Did I have a novel? I said I was almost finished with one and I would send it to him when it was done. That was a lie, of course. I immediately went to work on a book. I had a read a Stephen King interview in which he said he’d never been able to successfully work vagina dentata into a story, so I decided I would give it a try, and Seductions was the result.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

One-word titles were in back then and I didn’t want to buck the trend. The book was about creatures that pose as humans, seduce their victims, and then eat them during sex. The title Seductions came pretty easily.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I’m sure I have a style but I’m not aware of it.

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


The novelettes in Paranoia Tango were inspired by the paranoia I’m seeing in our society. In fact, most of my writing has been reflecting that lately. The kind of conspiracy theories that used to be mostly underground have taken center stage. The internet has managed to give legitimacy to the kind of thinking that not long ago was openly mocked, and with good reason. The world is secretly run by reptilian aliens, or Satan-worshiping witches, or the Illuminati, or the Greys—a disturbing number of people actually believe these things. The President of the United States has expressed his admiration for Alex Jones, probably the world’s most successful conspiracy pusher. This is a man who claims the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings were staged events using actors, who claimed that President Obama was the “global head” of Al-Qaeda, that the government is chemically turning children into homosexuals in order to stop and then reverse population growth, that the Illuminati is planning to exterminate two-thirds of the population, among many other batshit-crazy things. So far in 2017, Jones’s website has averaged 6.2 million unique visitors every month according to Newsweek, and now he’s been endorsed by the president of the United States. I think that’s scarier than anything I could write. On top of that, talk radio is filled with shows that discuss these bizarre theories as if they are proven fact. Fear and paranoia have become favorite pastimes. Personally, I don’t understand it because I do not enjoy those feelings, even a little.

We have people in space, we’ve conquered diseases that used to wipe out entire populations, we’re carrying highly advanced technology around in our pockets, but for some reason, a lot of people seem to be shedding reason and knowledge like a snake shedding its skin. They’re embracing theories that seem to be nothing short of symptoms of mental illness. Maybe the earth is flat, maybe the moon landing was faked. I find that troubling and it’s been dominating my thoughts, and, as a result, my fiction.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I have traveled to do research, but the internet has made that less necessary.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’ll have to get back to that question. I don’t know.

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

Oh, good grief, no! I write to entertain. I’m not opposed to someone finding something in a piece to take away from it, but my only concern when writing a story is telling a good story, manipulating my readers’ emotions, and showing them a good time. I have no messages.

I’m sure that some readers will see someone they know in “Lizard Man Dispatches,” someone who sees a conspiracy in everything. Someone once said of Alex Jones that he can’t fart without uncovering a conspiracy of bean producers. These days, people who harbor those beliefs are much more comfortable giving voice to them, so I’m sure readers will recognize that. If they find any messages, though, they were entirely unintended.

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


When most people hear the word “horror,” they think of horror movies, which is unfortunate. There’s so much talent in the horror genre that I can’t keep up with it. I think my favorite new writer is Ed Kurtz, whose novel The Rib from Which I Remake the World blew me out of the water because of its seemingly effortless blend of different kinds of horror, as well as noir. His novel The Forty-Two, set in the grindhouse world of vintage Times Square, is the best noir I’ve read in a while, and his dark western novella A Wind of Knives is enraging and heartbreaking. I have not read all of his work yet, but everything I have read has been unique, unpredictable, and infused with a sense of melancholy. I can’t praise his work enough.

There are a lot of new writers who stand out. Rena Mason is just getting started and I predict great things from her. Jason Brock is a unique voice; I especially recommend his novelette Miltons Children and his new collection The Dark Sea Within. Erinn Kemper has a brilliant imagination and everything I’ve read by her has been fresh and unexpected. I’m looking forward to her first novel. Nicole Cushing is a big talent. Her novel Mr. Suicide gave me that this-is-horrifying-and-depraved-and-I-shouldn’t-be-reading-it-but-I-can’t-stop feeling that lets me know I’m in the hands of a talented writer.  I could go on. Horror fiction is in good health.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

There wasn’t a whole lot of support for my writing because I grew up in a religious family whose religion taught that all fiction was wicked. My friends enjoyed reading the stories I wrote, but I think most of them felt guilty about it, and the stories had to be passed around secretly so they wouldn’t be discovered by teachers. There were a couple of teachers who expressed encouragement and support for my writing, but it came with the caveat that what I chose to wrote was bad for me and everyone who read it. I made the best of the support I had, but even if I hadn’t received that, I wouldn’t have stopped writing. It wasn’t a choice, really.

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

At this point, yes. Besides, I can’t do anything else.

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

There’s always something I’d change. It takes great effort to stop changing a piece, tweaking it and polishing it. I can’t read anything of mine after it’s been published because all I want to do is make improvements, strengthen weaknesses, and sometimes I just want to rewrite the whole thing.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned everything I could about the urban legend known as the “black-eyed kids” because they play a role in “The Last Days of Seabreeze.”


Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read everything, not just work in your genre. And keep reading. People who tell me they want to write but don’t have time to read always get a big laugh from me. That’s like saying you want to be an auto mechanic but you don’t have time to drive. Read everything and write every day. Even if it’s not for publication, even if it’s crap, make sure you write every single day.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I have such wonderful readers. The best thing about the internet for me has been connecting with them. Writing is solitary work and before the internet the only time I connected with readers was at conventions, which I don’t attend very often. I’m so grateful to them.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Pain Killers by Jerry Stahl.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t. That was a long time ago.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I have a dark sense of humor and sometimes laugh at or joke about things that most people find inappropriate. At the top of the list of things that make me cry would be the abuse of the helpless, like children or animals.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Two, actually. I would love to share a meal with Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?


Just about everything I do is connected in one way or another to my work. I read a lot, I enjoy drawing, and one of my favorite hobbies is following conspiracy theories to see how they develop or fade away.

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

As I type this, I have The Beverly Hillbillies running on TV. There’s so much TV now that I can’t keep up with it all and I can’t afford to subscribe to all the services necessary to see everything that’s being done. I enjoy American Horror Story. I think it’s the best horror that’s ever been done for TV.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Franz Kafka wrote “A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” I agree with that.

 

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

I’m going to be cremated and put next to the TV. My epitaph will be my work.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Website: http://www.raygartononline.com

Facebook – Personal page: https://www.facebook.com/ray.garton.3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RayGarton

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Ray‑Garton/e/B000ARBIQI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1500243155&sr=1‑2‑ent

My blog has not been very active, but it’s located here: http://preposteroustwaddlecock.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Wayne Snowden


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello Fiona. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my book today.

My name is Wayne Snowden. I am 55 years young.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and grew up in York, England.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I grew up in a traditional working class family. My mother was a second generation Irish catholic from County Cork. My father grew up on a farm near York. After WWII he trained as a bricklayer. Together they raised six healthy children. I am number five, between the two girls. I studied at a local school and left home at 17yrs, which was fairly usual then, and have since been living a life, its highs and lows. I spent some of my time travelling, but mostlyworking in small charities with people experiencing the low side of life – homelessness, addiction, mental ill health, offending behaviours as victims and perpetrators.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have recently completed and self-published my first novel, Padma and the Elephant Sutra.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I only began writing fiction when I started my novel in the summer of 2016, straight in at the deep end in this instance. The idea had been in my head for about three years and I could not shake it off, planning scenes etc. I had the opportunity to write so I sat down and did just that.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure I do. Certainly, I can write, and I have completed and published a novel. But it does not feel a core part of my identity yet. My first review (UK) describes a brilliant book written by a‘budding author’. Perhaps when I have fully bloomed I shall embrace my inner flower.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Sources of inspiration were manifold. The plight of elephants, travels in East Asia, half a lifetime of questions, a client with severe anxiety who wrote a book and showed me it was possible.

I remember when the ‘penny dropped’ that I could write it. I was in a hotel room in Sri Lanka with my wife, researching her family’s history on the island. I was thinking about the so called ancient relationship between humans and elephants, how the elephants had been left largely undisturbed in the mountains for about 3 thousand years, since the arrival of modern humans. It occurred to me elephants had been doing their thing on the island, without the gracious consent of humans, for 300 or 400 thousand years, maybe longer. I started to wonder what the elephants had been up to in all that time in the paradise they nurtured as a keystone species. I borrowed freely from imagination’s store.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Padma means sacred lotus in Sanskrit. The plant has a central role in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. In the story Padma is discovered and named by elephants after emerging from the muddy waters in the manner of a lotus. Sutra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘string’ or ‘thread’whereby ideas or knowledge are woven together.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

As this is my first novel, my style is probably still developing. I did not think about genres when I began writing. What I find challenging is defining my genre. I am settling on visionary/metaphysical with shades of science fiction, fantasy, historical, and definitely xenofiction, perhaps animal-visionary-sci-fi, or metaphysical-historical-fantasy, or speculative elephant fiction. I would love to know the thoughts of anyone who reads the book. I have a whole blog article on the matter.

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

The book speculates on an alternative history which proposes ancient human knowledge as a trace memory of a far more distant elephant truth. It is a post-modern Promethean tale. Events in time and place are carefully researched. The main human character George began with one of my wife’s distant relatives. He has an alter ego, Arthur, and together I think they represent various aspects of the human condition. As it all came out of my subconscious, I am probably reflected in them more than I like to admit.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I have visited Sri Lanka, where the story is located, several times. It helped me later visualise much of the plot and locations. More importantly, researching family history in Sri Lanka opened me to ideas I might otherwise not have imagined or developed. Living in England never gave me much cause to consider elephants, their history, or their plight.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Francesca, my wife. She is the artist in our house. Always stitching, painting, designing, making, and creating.

 

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

Yes. We are responsible for what happens to the natural world. We must take its stewardship more seriously. We must not be afraid to love. In fact, it should be encouraged, our reason for living. A totally different relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet. I believe it is our only way forward.

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

Not as such. I have been reading a lot of recovery stories of late. Very moving and inspiring tales of how people find hope in adversity.

My favourite writer is J. Krishnamurti. I love his message.

 

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Our savings.

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. No.Maybe. I would love to write full-time and see where my characters take me but I now have to earn money to pay the rent. My dream is to make money for elephant charities, which means supporting myself enough to be able to devotesome time to writing. With research, writing and editing and publishing, my book has taken a year to complete, so not a simple undertaking.

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

No. I am happy to have met all the characters, learned about their stories and watch them develop.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned a huge amount, aside from all the research for my book. I learned a lot about the craft of writing. It is a steep learning curve when self-publishing. Having little money I learned to do it all myself, an agonisingly frustrating process at times, but I came out of the other side the wiser for it I think.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Padma would need to be animated. I think the voice of a young female Sri Lankan actor. George I see as lean and in his 60’s. Perhaps Sir Daniel Day-Lewis if someone could persuade him to come out of retirement. I could see him wandering the jungles with his musket.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

To new writers like myself – I wrote about something which captured my heart. I embraced the whole process and to this day I love my characters, perhaps a little too much. I must stop quoting Padma in social settings. I am over-identifying a little too much methinks. My point being, the writing should be its own reward and may in fact be your only reward. It is a crowded marketplace and very difficult to get heard. My creation is enough in itself and I don’t regret the time spent.I would love to fundraise for elephant charities, but first I must sell books – another steep learning curve.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Give a review. They mean a lot. Even if you just write ‘I enjoyed the book’.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Grand Theft Octo by Niels Saunders. It was on a free promotion. When I have finished I shall give a review.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I grew up in house without books. We always had the Guinness Book of Records at Christmas for some reason. I remember once being read to in infant school while sitting on the teachers lap. There was a wild man in the story who came out of the woods (no prizes for guessing the title). I was captivated by those woods and the mysterious man who lived in them. The first book I read myself from cover to cover was Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein, a 1953 science fiction novel in my school library.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh – spontaneous absurdity. Slapstick without the slap or the stick. But it has to surprise me.

Cry – Any injustice can set me off. Doleful eyes and violins can work too.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I want to meet people of the future. I want to know if we survive or become super-efficient machines, which seems to be our greatest aspiration currently.

In the past, maybe a great teacher like the Buddha.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I go to a local gym in the hope of living a long and healthy life.

I like writing.

I like waking in nature; woods, hills, meadows. I am a wanderer. I could happily just keep on walking past sunset.

 

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

Very eclectic. I watch a lot of films. Mainstream films I really enjoyed on release include, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, Kung Fu Hustle, Groundhog Day, Goodfellas.

TV shows I liked include, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Fargo, the Sopranos, Madmen.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love curries having spent a few years in India. I make a very decent chapatti. My favourite colour is…uhm rainbow colour? I think all colours are beautiful. Perhaps I should have just written elephant’s breath.

I grew up on punk rock but I generally like most retro music from English Folk to Indian Classical, from Dylan to Sabbath. I like to hear some funky soul in my music.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Wander about talking to the trees.

 

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

Sounds a bit sinister. Do you knowsomething I don’t?

I would like an Oak tree for a headstone, in a forest burial ground.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 

I have several, but my blog is where you will usually find me.

Blog – elephantsutra.wordpress.com

Amazon Author page – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B06Y4DTSK3

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16694242.W_L_Snowden

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pinkproboscidean/

 

An excerpt is available here

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?asin=B06Y17GCPY&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_RYLBzb6TM302E

Purchase here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y17GCPY

Here is my interview with Chris Walters

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Chris Walters, and I am 50 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was originally from Southern California, U.S., but am now in Colorado, and am moving to Connecticut soon.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I went to various colleges, but still don’t have a degree. Most of my life, I ran small businesses for other people and then did some consulting and brokerage. I have been married for just under 26 years, and have two adult children.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I don’t have a lot of news right now. I have been working on some other mediums (teleplay, screenplay, comic book) but nothing is ready for a reveal at the moment. The fourth book in the Saga of Mystics should be out in a couple of months, but it is still a work-in-progress.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was a kid, and wrote my first novella in High School (it was bad – about a drunken caterpillar). My first published work was a poem I wrote at 16 which was published in a journal for young poets. From there, I went into writing plays. I had to produce them myself, but five were produced. After I got married, I began writing screenplays, rather unsuccessfully. A few years ago, my kids were involved on NaNoWriMo, and encouraged me to join them. I wrote a novel which I didn’t like. But I liked the process. So, I wrote another, which I also didn’t like. The third novel was Age of Mystics, and I really liked that story. I considered traditional publishing for all of three weeks, before I decided that self-publishing was for me. I released it in late March of 2016, and then released three more novels and two short stories last year.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I have always considered myself a writer, or at the very least a storyteller. But a professional writer? The first time I produced one of my plays in the 1980’s. In my opinion, you are a writer as soon as you finish something, and a professional writer as soon as you can make any money off of it. I do mean any money. It isn’t a field which yields huge money for most of us.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My kids. I would make up stories for them to illustrate points. By the time they were in High School, they practically begged me to write. They are both very good writers also, though neither has chosen that path in life yet.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I went through a lot of variations. My daughter was standing by my side while we talked titles. She had already read the manuscript, as had my wife. As I went through the ones I thought might work, I got to “Age of Mystics” and I heard my wife shout from another room, “Yes! That is it!”

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write conversationally, and unlike a lot of authors, I will repeat a phrase to make a point. That all comes from writing poetry when I was young. I want to write in a manner in which readers won’t get caught up in the words, but will rather lose themselves in them. I want people to see themselves in the story. I also try not to get to much into the character’s heads. I want readers to experience with them, and I trust my readers to be able to understand nuance, deceit, flirtatiousness, etc.. There are parts of fantasy I find challenging, but I avoid them. I am not a world-builder, so I write contemporary fantasy. I use recognizable reality to ground people before I change the universe around them. I have a lot of respect for world-builders, especially those who do it with such flair that you don’t notice them doing it. I recently read Tapasya, by David Gilchrist. His world-building is amazing.

 

 

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

The Saga of Mystics is a techno-apocalyptic epic which happens right where I live right now. I do not have any magical powers, and technology still works for me, but the characters are pretty straight from my life. When writing, I place a face on every character, or an attitude of someone I know. It helps me see how they would act. Sometimes I use a celebrity, but most of the time it is people I know. Almost every writer I know tells me they use situations from real life somewhere in their fiction, and I am no exception.

 

 

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I do a lot of research, but most of it is on the internet. When I wrote Kelvin the Elven, there is a scene where he is walking down Broadway in Manhattan in 1982. I used both Google Earth, and pictures of the area from 1982 to take in what he might see on that walk. I would prefer to visit, because (so far) you can’t get what it smells like over the internet. Every sense a writer can describe brings more reality to the reader. I just don’t have the money to travel right now.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My lovely wife, Cathy Walters. She is a very successful artist and photographer whose work sells all over the world.  I am lucky to have her help.

 

 

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

Not intentionally. I am telling stories. Stories are an art form, and art is subjective. Each person will get what they get out of it. But, I do hear themes of what people are getting. Power gives people choices. They can choose to collaborate, or choose to dominate. I think that is different in my world then those of other apocalyptic writers. The concept of a brutal world making you brutal is common sense. But somewhere deep inside, I believe that one may choose to be kind in a brutal world. I guess I like to show that. It doesn’t always turn out well, but that is life.

 

 

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

Yes, of course! There are many. I don’t read as often as I would like, as I spend a lot of time working on my own stories. But, as I mentioned before, I recently read David Gilchrist and thought he was very good. I am currently reading some work by Grant Leishman. I also have a lot on my to-read list, including work by Alex E. Carey, Nyasia Maire, Kim Ross, Tammy Loshaw-Berg, Amanda Markham, Natalie Bennett, and Caitlyn Lynagh. I have been impressed with the work of independent authors lately, but also with the perseverance. My favorite writer is a tough one, as I have many for different reasons. The one who comes to mind the most is probably Stephen King. He also writes conversationally, pushes out books rather quickly, and doesn’t take himself that seriously. These are all traits I find in myself and find myself wanting to emulate.

 

 

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I have had two influences that have risen above others in helping with information and guidance. One is the blog of best-selling author Joe Konrath, “The Newbie’s guide to Self-Publishing”. The second is both the Books Go Social Author Group on Facebook, but also the small group I am a part of which came from that large group (11,000+) in which nine of us support and encourage one another through the process. It has been invaluable

 

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Of course! More than that, it is a passion.

 

 

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

My last book was Kelvin the Elven, and at the moment I wouldn’t change much. However, I made a mistake in the last Mystics book which I released in September of last year. I am not a cliffhanger guy. I like to wrap the tory up and move on to the next, while still alluding to a greater story which is unfolding. JK Rowling did that beautifully in each Harry Potter book. Plague of Mystics sort of ended the story told within it, but it isn’t wrapped up enough. When I finish the fourth book in that series, I will wrap up most of the loose ends I left, so it is correctible. But, what I have found is that the cliffhanger (of sorts) boxed me in. I have thrown out chapters and chapters, and it has taken me too long to finish, because I don’t like my options after boxing myself in. If I could do it again, I would tie the end of that up with a bow, and perhaps tease something, rather than doing a semi-cliffhanger.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned a ton, but I wouldn’t know where to start. I learned things about reader habits, since it was the first non-Mystics book I released. I learned things about covers, since it has a more blank, and stylized cover. I learned a whole host of information about 1981-82, and east coast U.S. locales. Every book teaches us things if we are open to learning them. I don’t know that any of the lessons would be particularly interesting or enlightening to anyone other than me though.

 

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I have thought a lot about this, as I am trying to get a pilot produced for TV of a Mystics series. The books don’t have a lead, much like George RR Martin’s books, or at least it is hard to tell who that lead is. I see Ben Affleck as Eric Fine, Jonathon Groff as Kyle Ward, and a few other casting possibilities. But the most challenging role to cast would be Maxine Craven. Finding a ten-year-old girl who could switch from sweet-as-pie in one moment, to vicious and brutal in the next, will be tough. There is also a lot of martial arts in the series, which means you have to cast people who have a movement background (either dance or fighting). If I can get that made, the casting will definitely be a challenge.

 

 

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Drink in the good reviews, ignore the bad ones. Nod your head politely when people offer unsolicited advice, then ignore what they said. Most of them have no idea what they are talking about. Keep writing. The best marketing you have is a new book release. It is frustrating to see people you know unwilling to spend $2.99 (or even 99 cents) to download your book, but they will take you to coffee or a beer to talk about the journey. Oh, and you will never be successful by getting your friends and family to buy your books. Let it go. The true path to success is getting people who have never heard of you to read your work. Then, when you take off in sales, the friends who told you they would buy your books and don’t will tell everyone they read it when it first came out. Avoid the temptation to call them on their lie. Let it go. It was never about you anyway.

 

 

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thanks so much for immersing yourself in my vision of the world, just askew of the real world. Thanks for asking “what if” right alongside me. If I could ask one thing of you, would you engage with me? It means the world to an author to hear what you liked about the work. Be a fan, not a critic. Not just for me, but for everyone. Don’t be defined by what you are against. You are so amazing, and encouraging, and you make my life bright and cheery. Thanks!

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Grant Leishman’s “The Second Coming”. It is a different kind of apocalypse from the ones I write. It is more traditional, biblical apocalypse, but funny and not at all what one would expect. I like it!

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not really. I know I loved the literary comic books. I read “The island of Dr. Moreau” in comic book form. The first box set of books I ever received was maybe 1974, I got the Chronicles of Narnia.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Something real. It could be in a book, a film, or a TV commercial. A real moment will either bring tears to my eyes, or make me bust out laughing. Truth in fiction is like that.

 

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would be honored to meet Stephen King. I didn’t realize how much his books influenced my writing until readers started mentioning it.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I play video games, and practice martial arts.

 

 

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

Game of Thrones, of course. The Walking Dead. Preacher. Silicon Valley. Westworld. House of Cards (US Version). Broadchurch. All of the Marvel shows on Netflix, or the movies. Wonder Woman was amazing. I loved True Blood, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Heroes, and the 4400, but those shows are all gone now.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Food: home-made tacos; Colors: nope; music: a lot. I am really digging the Hamilton soundtrack right now.

 

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Still tell stories. I don’t know how I would do that. Maybe verbally? I love being a storyteller. It makes me happy.

 

 

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

“Here lies an old sack of lifeless skin and bone. There is no one here, why are you staring at this stone?”

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yes:

http://authorofmystics.blogspot.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/chriswaltersauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgeofMystics

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Walters/e/B01EGH1VNW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15218695.Chris_Walters

 

The links to my books are:

Age of Mystics: http://amzn.to/2mGLmln

Fear of Mystics: http://amzn.to/290ySOQ

Plague of Mystics: http://amzn.to/2bUK1hi

Kelvin the Elven: http://amzn.to/2fL2ezZ