Here is my interview with Debbie Bennett

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

Hi, Fiona. Good to meet you.

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

Hello, Fiona. I’m Debbie Bennett and I’m over 21 – OK, quite a bit over 21 … and we’ll leave it there, shall we? J

Fiona: Where are you from?

Essex girl by birth (so I’m allowed to make the jokes), ¼ Chinese by ancestry. Lived on the Wirral, in London and Surrey and currently Cheshire where we’ve been living in a lovely Victorian cottage with fabulous views for the past 22 years.

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

Hmm. What can I tell you that is interesting here? I’m married with a daughter who is studying media and performing arts. She’s been on the stage all her life, done some tv extra work and I fully expect her to be able to keep me in a style to which I could easily become accustomed …

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

News? Lots of it right now. I’m about to be involved in the biggest launch of my career as a writer when I head off to Forbidden Planet in London in November to launch an anthology and DVD in which I wrote a short story and a script, the latter of which hasearned me my first professional entry on IMDb as a scripwriter! It has links to Dr Who, so the genre media have picked it up and we have a five-page spread in the latest Dr Who Magazine! After London, its Sheffield and Manchester and maybe more stops over the coming months. You can get more detailshere.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written all my life. But I probably first started to take it seriously when I was about 15 and having problems at school. There weren’t many Young Adult books around back in the late 1970s and I was bored and lonely so I wrote my own. I still have it somewhere – lovingly hand-written on lined paper in a fancy binder.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably several years down the line when it occurred to me that it might be more than a hobby.

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book came from a dream. A Young Adult fantasy. Utter rubbish when I read it back now, but hey – I finished it which is an achievement in itself! My first published book came from many years working in law enforcement, when I wanted to take some of those stories and mix them up a bit in crime fiction. I now write mostly dark and gritty crime.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Hamelin’s Child. It’s essentially about what may happen to those missing kids, so it seemed appropriate somehow. The rest of the series titles all follow the Pied Piper theme and they all just kind of fell into place as I started writing.

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

I’m very up-close and personal. I like to get right inside my characters’ heads and explore what makes them tick, what motivates them and scares them. I have a lot of interior monologue and I love writing dialogue. The most challenging thing I did was write from the point of view of a villain – my bad-boy freely admits to a lot of not-very-nice things – but I wanted to make the reader empathise with him. When a reader told me she’d fallen just a little bit in love with him I knew I’d succeeded.

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

To an extent, some of it is based on reality. I’ve worked as an investigator and I know police procedures. I know drugs – I’ve been elbow-deep in heroin and I know what it tastes and smells like. For obvious reasons I can’t write about real events, but things blend and you can wrap fiction around facts without divulging anything you shouldn’t. I’ve done a lot of that. And I’ve also made a lot of stuff up. But I’m not telling which is which!

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

No. Google is my friend! Google Earth is excellent for the detail of a journey.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My awesomely-talented designer is JT Lindrooswho has done all my covers.

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

Yes and no. I don’t write to convey a message – I write to tell a story. If readers get more from it than that, then that’s great, but it’s not my aim.

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?

New authors? Too many to mention and to be honest, I don’t check their backlist to determine how ‘new’ they are. I just enjoy a good story. One of my favourite writers is Matthew Reilly. He breaks every rule in the writing book, with impossible chase scenes and implausible plots, but that man can write! He can hook you in a few sentences. I swear I’d read his shopping lists …

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

Authonomy. HarperCollins first foray into the electronic slush pile, thinly disguised as an author feedback forum. There were 100 of us way back in the when, who signed up in beta and had a year or so in a closed group supporting each other with feedback and critiques. I’m still friends with the people I met there. Unfortunately, Authonomy outgrew itself and the site shut down a year or so back.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. But not one that is ever likely to make me enough money to give up the day job. Not unless Hollywood comes calling!

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

God, no. I’d never go back and change anything – except maybe typos! I move forwards, not backwards.

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

Do I even have a recent book?

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

Not a clue. I’m not up-to-date on who’s who in the film industry. I’d love to be involved in the casting though.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

There is no substitute for actual bum-on-seat writing. You can do all the courses you like, read the manuals, attend the writing groups. But in order t be a writer, you do have to actually write.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Please, pretty please, leave reviews? For me and for all writers. And then share them on social media. Us indies don’t have the luxury of shop shelves and reviews are the only way we can get the word out.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Um – Dan Brown’s latest? OK, I’ll shut up now.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No. But I do recall being aged six when my dad would bring me a Famous Five book home from work every Friday. I know I was six because the youngest character in the early books is seven and I was cross because I wasn’t old enough to join them!

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

I’m lucky enough to have met many of my favourite writers. The two writers who both influenced me hugely are Louise Cooper and Storm Constantine – both talented fantasy authors who I’ve met on many occasions. And I once had dinner at the same table as Neil Gaiman at a convention and I’ve seen Stephen King play in his rock band. I even asked him to dance!

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Er – writing? I’m also involved in scriptwriting and production for a local community radio play project, so I’m learning how to edit media files too.

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

I love a good crime or thriller drama. The best I’ve seen recently was the Jimmy McGovern drama Broken. We have friends in common, so I was lucky enough to be able to see the preview privately and meet the man in person.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I’m an aging rock-chick. Give me some Jim Steinman! Or better still the Bat out of Hell musical tour that I saw on its opening night in Manchester in February 2017. Awesome stuff! And an Indian takeaway – although they are thin on the ground right now as they don’t fit the diet plan.

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

It’s all at www.debbiebennett.co.uk

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debbie-Bennett/e/B004PGSOXU

other book links: http://debbie-bennett.blogspot.co.uk/p/buy-links.html

 

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Here is my interview with Selena Rivera


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! I am Author Selena Rivera and I’m 27 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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

I grew up in Montreal. I don’t do well with winter (haha I hate cold); I come from a Spanish/Mexican Family. I got my first tattoo a few years ago, I always thought of myself as an artist since I adore singing and dancing but mostly writing as well.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.  

I am currently writing my 3rd novel called A wish come true. I’m very excited to publish this story.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 12 years old starting from song lyrics to poems to finally stories. The reason why I began writing is because it is my way of escaping the sometimes hard roads life brings us. Writing is my passion and I made it my dream come true.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I published my first novel The Angel’s Name.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I always wanted to go the Nashville; it’s on my bucket list. The inspiration came while I was listening to some music.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I believe that there are a lot of angels around us who are like Bobby-James from The Angel’s Name.

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

I need to have Smooth Jazz music, a quiet/peaceful atmosphere. What I find challenging sometimes is writing the blurb or figuring out what goes next.

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

When I write the protagonist I always put myself into her. You can say the way they react especially in the Female perspective is a lot like me.

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

No I don’t travel but when I do I take lots of pictures. I also do a lot of research of the place where the story is based.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My 1st novel The Angel’s Name was designed by Patti Dunn Roberts. My 2nd novel Unexpected Love was designed by Tonya Ridener from Double J Book Graphics.

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

Fight for hope, Believe in Love and follow your dreams. Because you only live once.

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 adore Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel. I grew up reading their books and the way they write their stories are very captivating to me.

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

My fellow authors and my best friend.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.

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

No. Every book that I write takes a piece of my heart with it.

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

Yes. That every book we write we get better at them.

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

Lol. I have so many favourites it’ll be hard for me to choose. I would love for the lead to be played by Robert Downey Jr.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write everyday and don’t feel bad to ask around for help J

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love you all so very much and I want to thank you all for being part of my life.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Nothing for now as I am in the process of rewriting, editing A wish come true.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It was a Harlequin book but I don’t remember the title of it.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laughing almost anything (Jokes, a good book, sillynes etc.) Crying : Tragedies, sad music with powerful lyrics, a good book etc.

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

Elvis Presley. I grew up with his music and he is my all time favourite.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes. Singing, Writing, Dancing, Listening to music, Go for a drive etc.

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

I enjoy watching old movies with James Dean or Elvis Presley. For TV shows I really enjoyed Rosewood it sucks they ended it.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?  

Favourite food : Italian, Mexican. Favourite Colors : Pink, Purple, Blue. Favorite Music : Anything from Country to Latin to Rock & Roll and Blues.

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

I would be a singer or a Salsa dancer.

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

I would leave this to my kids to decide but I would like it to have a butterfly shape. Why a butterfly? The meaning of the butterfly for me goes way deep you could say it’s like magic to me.

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

Of course. They can visit my FB page : www.facebook.com/selenarebeccaauthor Or Add me as a friend on my personal page : https://www.facebook.com/authorselenarivera

Amazon Author Page : https://www.amazon.com/Selena-Rivera/e/B00ZJ5W6SU


The Angel’s Name :
https://www.amazon.com/Angels-Name-Love-Lies-Book-ebook/dp/B00YW6OX6U

Unexpected Love :
https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Love-Selena-Rivera-ebook/dp/B0198KJA94

Here is my interview with T H. Snyder

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, Fiona!! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview and get to know me a little better. My pen name is .T H. Snyder, but y’all can call me Tyf and I’m a young thirty-eight years old.

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from a small town near Allentown, Pa.

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

Let’s see…I earned my Bachelor’s degrees in education and management as well as a Master’s degree in Leadership Management. I’m the proud Mama to two incredible minions, Raeghyn and Mason.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Within the last week, I’ve add all of my titles to KU (Kindle Unlimited) and I’m currently writing three different stories.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing my debut novel, Touch Me, in June of 2013. I never saw myself as a fictional reader, but after getting sucked into a few amazing stories I thought I would give writing a try on my own.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As soon as my first story came to life beneath my fingertips, I realized I was indeed a writer. I was creating a world that no one else knew existed and I was fascinated that my mind was coming up with something I never imagined I could.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Reading the words of other authors pulled me into a fantasy world. I lost sight of reality for a brief time and I was hooked. I’ve always set goals for myself, high goals that I would only hope to one day achieve. Becoming an author was a stretch, but I didn’t give up. I can’t thank the author world enough for giving me a push and the guidance I needed to make my goal come to life.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title is always the easiest part for me. I don’t overthink it by any means. With a story filtering through my mind, I write the blurb and BOOM a title springs into my head. It really is as simple as that.

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

My mind is a tangled spider web, lol. I write in so many different directions that an outline has never worked for me. All I really do is write the blurb, the epilogue, the prologue and let the rest fall into place. The only challenge I find is that I’m unable to stick to one story at a time. Currently I’m meddling with three different stories just to keep the spider web at bay.

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

Other than the use of names from the people in my life, my stories are 100% fictional. I don’t know that I could twist realistic details of my personal experiences into a story. It would be way too jaded for me.

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

Ha, I wish. If I’m in need of some research, the only travel I’m doing is to the internet.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’ve worked with a few cover designers over the last few years, Pink Ink Designs, Concierge Literary Designs and Book Cover By Design.

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

Every story has an underlying message, but what I really want my readers to embrace is the likeliness that the characters of the stories are relatable. That they could be their friends, family or even next-door neighbors.

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’m not much of a reader now a days. Not for the lack of interest, but the lack of time. My most favorite author is Rachel Van Dyken. She could literally write about toilet paper and I’d read it over and over again. There’s something about how she pulls you in with the first sentence and keeps you entertained until the very last word. She’s is definitely my role model and someone I look up to on many levels.

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

I honestly wouldn’t have been able to be  t. h. snyder without the help of everyone on social media. Between the authors, bloggers, editors, designers and so many more…I just couldn’t have done it alone.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

As of right now, it is my part time career. I’ve taken a HUGE back seat to my writing and I’m hoping that devoting more time to it will get me back on track.

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

No. I write what moves me in the moment. I don’t believe in reading my own stories, simply for the fear I’ll want to trash it and start all over. It’s all about the feelings as I type and I wouldn’t change that at all.

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

I’ve learned that when taking well over a year to finish off a five book series, I forget the simple things. Things like eye color, hair color, scene descriptions…etc. Moving forward I’m making notes as I go along.

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

Ooooohh, that’s such a great question. When I first started writing I was not using models on my covers. I was making celebrity vision boards based on the characters I saw in my mind. If the Touch Series ever became a film, I had Josh Duhamel as Riley.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Yessss!! Follow your dreams and NEVER give up!!! Will it be hard, YES. Will it be worth it, ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart. You are the reason I write and the reason I’ll never give up my passion.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Unfortunately, nothing at the moment.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I read as an adult reader…for fun, was the Twilight Series.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I have a wicked sense of humor and I am very sarcastic. Quick wit seems to always make me laugh. I am also probably the biggest baby when it comes to emotional outburst. Besides the pain or sorrow of those closest to me, I can cry watching a television commercial. I guess you can say I’m a bit of an emotional roller-coaster laughing and crying at the craziest things.

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

Marilyn Monroe!! She showcased beauty and self confidence that I feel more women should embrace. I love that she spoke her mind and kept her head held high.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love being outdoors. Whether its swimming in the pool, going for a run, a picnic with the family or trying to learn the sport of tennis. As long as I’m breathing in some fresh air and being active, I’m happy.

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

I’m all about a good comedy, drama or romance show/flick. I love The Office and will still watch past episodes while laughing like a nut. As far as up to date shows, I enjoy This is Us, Scandal, American Horror Story and Suits. My top five movies are Grease, Goonies, Dazed and Confused, Dirty Dancing and Airborne.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I LOVE food, but most recently became allergic to gluten. BLAH!! It bites the big one, but I still enjoy Italian, Mexican and a great burger every now and then.

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

I don’t know that is even possible. I’ve taken long breaks to focus on other things, but writing is such a strong part of my life, I’m not sure I could part with it forever.

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

She believed. She loved. She supported.

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

http://www.thsnyder.com/

 

★★★Touch Me eBook★★★
Char is a focused and driven career woman who’s had a relationship she would rather choose to forget, but can’t. Riley is a pure gentleman who can easily leave the past where it belongs, behind him. ➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/heam63t

★★★Touched By You★★★
Chloe and Derrick have spent most of their lives together as friends and as lovers; they have formed a connection that few couples can make last. This duo is bound by one thing that no one can destroy. They have been touched by one another and no one can take that away.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/nldkmld

★★★Touched By Another★★★
Emma McIntyre has been pretending to live the life of a perfect wife while her husband Keith takes control over her family business. With the loss of her parents to a tragic car accident and a fight that causes her brother, Riley, to move out of state Emma chooses to stand by her husband
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/q7oqwms

★★★You’ve Been Touched★★★
Char and Riley have been through it all; love and loss, trust and deceit. They are the glue that holds their Boston family together and the ones that would be lost without the love and support of their family and friends
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zmdlldp

★★★The Touch Complete Series★★★
Touch is the Complete Collection by bestselling author T.H. Snyder!
Char is a focused and driven career woman who’s had a relationship she would rather choose to forget, but can’t. Riley is a pure gentleman who can easily leave the past where it belongs, behind him.
Some people believe in fate where others deem it a coincidence. Char and Riley are meant to be together, so life just happens to make sure they are in the right place at the right time.
But is that enough?
➞ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFTZ3QE

★★★Pierced Love eBook★★★
Zar Evans is not your typical high school senior; in fact she is anything by normal. Dressing to the trendiest Goth fashion, Zar wears nothing but black from head to toe. Not that this warrants unwanted attention, but she is also top in her class and is looking at a full academic scholarship to Iowa State in the fall.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zmwbvb8

★★★ Cursed Love ★★★
Lincoln Minzotto has the life everyone wants, yet he resents it. He’s grown up as the youngest of three children to a wealthy congressman and successful lawyer. Pushed to his absolute excellence, Linc felt the real path for him was different than his parents’ hopes and dreams.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/jn8vrcd

★★★Cursed Ecstasy★★★
Daulton Rinnich’s life has been full of grief. Hiding from the memories of his past, he’ll do almost anything to numb his pain. Between his cocky persona, late night partying, and random hook-ups, he’s in need of a serious wake up call.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/py27fg3

★★★Cursed Heart★★★
Christian Jack has been tattered and abused his entire life. Being repeatedly placed in and ripped out of foster homes during his childhood, he’s never had a family to call his own. No one has ever shown him love, compassion, or the support he desperately needs.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/qy8d9cx

★★★Cursed Fate★★★
Change. Simple for some, life altering for others. Steve Zotto made a drastic decision in his life, one that was meant to create a fresh start. After years of addiction, he finally realized that the life he was living was either going to kill him or someone else.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/h5s57pe

★★★Cursed Soul★★★
Outcast, deviant, loser. Cliff Benjamin never trusted anyone enough to share in his pain. For years, he’s hidden from what he’s done, the regrets that cause him sleepless nights, and those that he’s hurt the most.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zy2dacj

★★★The Cursed Complete Series★★★
Cursed is the Complete Collection by bestselling author T.H. Snyder!
Lincoln Minzotto has the life everyone wants, yet he resents it. He’s grown up as the youngest of three children to a wealthy congressman and successful lawyer. Pushed to his absolute excellence, Linc felt the real path for him was different than his parents’ hopes and dreams. On the most important night of his father’s reelection, Linc makes a choice that will lead to a lifetime of regret. Deciding to start a new life, he and his best friend, Daulton, purchase a rundown tattoo shop called Cursed Magic. While restoring Cursed Magic, Linc’s faith in life is put to the test in more ways than one. Faced with the horrors of the bleak, starless nights and the women that come and go, he decides to give up all together, until one fateful night with a stranger.
Will one night shape his future forever?
Can he turn the Curse he’s endured into a blessing even though all odds are against him?
➞ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074M39BHB

★★★Obsidian Desire★★★
Police Chief, Tyler Randell, decides to make one last stop before heading home from a long shift. Before reaching his destination he comes across a woman, who appears to be alone and stranded with a flat tire. Can one chivalrous act change a cold-hearted man or will desire burn through his soul and change him forever?
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/hahb5ub

★★★the Fight★★★
Hank Jones is about to endure the fight of his career. Preparing for this night his entire life, there’s only one thing standing in his way of a knockout victory…her!
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/jnukmul

★★★the Battle★★★
As a child, he was told he’d never amount to anything, yet he continued to strive for more. Wanting to prove he was worth something and needing to make his parents feel pride in his accomplishments, Mike Lawdenski fought a losing battle.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zzr6mkm

★★★Finding Us★★★
What happens when you fall out of love with the person that has been by your side through the best and the worst of times? Chelby and Tristan are living in their perfect world—perfectly happy, perfectly loving, or so it appears to the outside world.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/jlpzgfj

★★★Chains★★★
Jesika Maxwell, a fashion photographer, has never wanted for anything. She is a true sweet and beautiful southern belle who craves more out of life than her family can provide.
➞ Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/z3fev6e

★★★Pencil Me In★★★
Starting a new job is never easy. Especially when your nerves are a hot, fluttering mess and anxiety is churning in your stomach.
➞ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G0UEU7C

★★★The Ball In My Court★★★
Have you ever wondered if you’re able to sense things that others possibly can’t?
Hold up, hang on. Don’t go ranting and raving here thinking I’m crazy, stay with me and hear me out. I know this may sound absurd and if I were to actually admit this out loud, some may think I’ve lost my God damn mind or at the least fallen off my rocker. I’m not talking about ghosts, spirits and that kinda shit. Nah, I’m talking about something much worse. I’m talking about hearing, seeing and feeling the inner dialogue and emotional connection one person may share with another.
Ya see, it all started on my wedding day. It was the day I should have been the happiest man on the planet, yet it was the first time I saw and felt the fall of my future.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?
➞ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MBBS5B

Author Page

➞ https://www.facebook.com/authorthsnyder

Website

➞ http://www.thsnyder.com/

Newsletter Sign Up Form

➞ http://eepurl.com/U4zNv

Twitter

➞ https://twitter.com/thsnyder4

Instagram

➞ http://instagram.com/thsnyder4

Goodreads

➞ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7152850.T_H_Snyder

Amazon Author Page

➞ http://www.amazon.com/t.-h.-snyder/e/B00EV65L0I

 

Here is my interview with K.E. Radke

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?

I have a lot of names.  Mom, writer, author, blogger, K.E. Radke, one who eats too much, but we can stick to Kendra.  Not a popular name, but it’s hard to forget when you’re usually the only one.  I’m over 200!  In dog years . . . let’s say I’m in the age bracket 25-35.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I grew up in Houston, TX.  I say y’all and if you get me mad enough that southern accent becomes very prominent.  Nowadays I spend my time in Southern Nevada in the fabulous city of Las Vegas.

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

Readers brace yourselves.  I like numbers.  I’ve always been good at math so I have a BA in Accounting.  But I also love to read and I have a lot of word vomit.  It won’t stop so I write it down and it eventually becomes a book.  Two boys rule my life.  Never thought I’d say that but what can I do, they’re my children and I’d like to see them succeed in life.  I’m also a very, very, very, proud Veteran’s wife. I have two books on Amazon, both standalones, Dead Man’s Hand, a mystery thriller, and Nirvana, an urban fantasy.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Do writers have news? I sit at home in front of a laptop on most days.  Kind of boring.  I do love to travel and we went to the Salt Lake City Comicon.  That’s on my blog keepcalmvoyageon.wordpress.com, the pictures are worth a look to see all the costumes.  I finished my third book, it needs to be edited and read over several times (also a standalone).  It’s very bloody and gory, shoot now and ask questions later kind of book.  So in other words, a lot of fun!  Dead Man’s Hand sequel will be my next big conquest.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started in high school writing little stories but never finishing them.  In college, the word vomit became a permanent condition, before I knew it I had 50 pages, then 70, and I just kept adding until my first book was done.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I decided to finally publish and had to learn how to do the dreaded query letter, learn how to market and find readers to review.  All very boring stuff, I don’t blame you if you skipped over this answer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Dead Man’s Hand is the first book I wrote and published.  I’m not sure anything inspired me to write the first book other than I wanted to make it fun and entertaining.  A book to wrap yourself in the drama and ridiculous events that happen.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Oh, that was so hard, but I have a character named Poker in Dead Man’s Hand and started looking up poker terms.  Dead Man’s Hand is an actual hand a man had before someone killed him.  Nirvana was easier, I wanted a term that seduced people with calm energy.  I haven’t technically tested the theory and if it really works on other people, but it works for me.

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

I tend to write dialogue first and fill in the details later.  The dialogue is my favorite part of writing, and it comes the easier than anything else.  I also tend to write out different parts of the book and then piece them together like a puzzle.  Sometimes I have the ending before I have the beginning.

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

Nirvana’s characters are very diverse because I come from a very diverse family.  My children are Chinese, German, and Mexican, if you ask them their nationality they just say American.  I’ve been very lucky to experience so many different cultures that I didn’t realize how diverse my characters were until several of my booksters pointed it out.  Because for me, it was like writing about my family, and I think it’s wonderful that readers are embracing it and love that about the book.  Dead Man’s Hand is set in my hometown League City (suburb of Houston), and I put in a few experiences from growing up in that book, so it’s a lot of fun when someone I personally know reads it and says ‘I remember when that happened!’

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

I do travel a lot, but not necessarily to craft my work.  The different experiences are extremely helpful for writing because you never know where you’ll find inspiration.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Dead Man’s Hand cover was done by me and it is actually my hand!  The nails on the cover have the clover, ace, heart and spade on them if you look closely.  Kristi Johnson (@kristimichelledesigns on Instagram) created the cover for Nirvana, she’s my go to graphic designer.  She’s working on a cover for me right now!

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

If you’re reading Dead Man’s Hand, it’s probably for the humor and entertainment aspect, but Nirvana can be very intense.  I’d say more than half my readers thought Nirvana had several events that sent a distinct message to them.

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?

George R.R. Martin.  I love the complex characters. I love the descriptions. I love the storyline.  I don’t know how he does it, but when you read his books you are right in the middle of whatever he’s describing, it’s phenomenal.

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

I call them booksters.  The readers who take the time to open up my books and actually read what I wrote.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Of course! How would we get awesome TV shows/movies without writers, or catchy marketing slogans.  Writers are the backbone to entertainment, always there to hold you up even if you can’t see them.

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

Considering it hasn’t been edited yet I think we can assume there will be a lot of changes, hopefully all for the good.

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

I learned that I should probably clear my search browser every day.

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

I gave this some thought the other day for Nirvana, and decided on Booboo Stewart for Mateo.  In Dead Man’s Hand I could definitely picture Chris Hemsworth as Chip.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Tell yourself everyday that you are a great writer.  Not just good.  A great writer.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

They are loved.  I appreciate every single one of them.  I cannot do what I love to do without you.  Always come say hi, don’t mind the angry expression on my face, it’s just the way it looks.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am reading A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab and enjoying Lila Bard very much.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, but the first chapter books I picked up were The Boxcar Children.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Oh man, I have a very dry, inappropriate sense of humor.  People either get it or they don’t and when they don’t, it makes for a very awkward moment.  Tyrion Lannister is in my ear saying ‘It’s not funny if you have to explain it.’

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

Oh, so many, and I can only choose one.  The Dali Lama.  Monks are some of the happiest people on Earth.  I’d just like to be around all their positive energy, hopefully learn something that I can take with me when they kick me out, and tell me I have to go home.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I do! I make book sleeves.  What is that you ask?  It’s a book bag or cover that you put your book (or Kindle, or tablet)  in and then you can throw it in your backpack or purse and it’s safe from the other elements in your bag.  No ripped pages, bent covers or corners, very handy for keeping your books safe. This is my shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/Thingimabobsaplenty

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

Game of Thrones (if you didn’t catch on), Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead, The Big Bang Theory, and Modern Family

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

I love to eat in general, I’ll try almost anything.  I find that beef jerky disappears very fast if it’s in the vicinity.  I’m also known for stealing food off other people’s plates, it doesn’t matter if they catch me or not.  Whenever someone asks me about my favorite color I always say yellow, so I’m sticking to that answer.  I listen to rock.  Old time rock, Classic rock, new age rock, one of those is on the radio when I turn on the car.  I also love R&B.

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

Travel.  I have an infinite amount of money in this future, right? I would travel everywhere and eat everything, because I assume in this future I won’t gain weight either. 😉

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

Enjoy everyday. Eat a lot. Share it with people you love.

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

I do have a blog:  https://keepcalmvoyageon.wordpress.com/about/ , on Facebook and Instagram (which I’m highly active on) you can look me up by my name Kendra Radke, @k.e.radke.  You can follow, or friend me!

Amazon author page link https://www.amazon.com/Kendra-Radke/e/B019ESXX1G/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1508293831&sr=8-1

Here is my interview with Marie Higgins


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?

I’m Marie Higgins, and I’m 39 yrs old…and I have been that age for a few years now.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Brigham City, Utah.

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

I’m married with two daughters, one stepdaughter, and five grandchildren.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Are you ready for this reading ride?

Last month, I released a short story, “Protecting The Heart” – a Contemporary Romance.  Earlier this month, I released another short Contemporary Romance – “Royal Revenge”. (gotta love my Italian stud-muffin!)  Oct. 18thwill release my Regency Romance (with a touch of suspense), “Bargaining With a Rogue. On Nov. 1st, I’ll have another release – book #1 of a new historical series about women who have ‘gifts’. This story is titled “Madison’s Gift”. This series is Regency set, but with a touch of paranormal, and of course, suspense. Book #2, “Katrina’s Sight” will be released Nov. 15th.

And last, but certainly not least, book #6 of another Regency Romance series – Sons of Worthington – will getanother book added. Sometime in November, or maybe December, I’ll release “Sweet Memories”.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I fell in love with romance novels after reading my first, “A Rose in Winter” by Kathleen E Woodiwiss. I was an avid reader for a few years, until I started having dreams that I thought might work as a romance story. When I watched a romantic movie with a terrible ending, that’s when I decided to start writing. That night I had a dream, and the next morning I decided to write. That’s all it took to kick-start my muse. I’ve been writing for over 20 years now…and I still have dreams that give me ideas.

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

I write in third-person pov. I write the hero & heroine’s point of view (pov), and sometimes that villain’s pov. Writing historical is always challenging, but I love learning new things!

Fiona: Who designed your book covers?

I think I have the BEST cover artist out there. Her name is Sheri McGathy. This is her website – http://coverdesign.sherimcgathy.com/. Tell her Marie sent you!

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

I suppose my message is that love overcomes all obstacles. And believe me, most of my stories have quite a few obstacles. There is always something in my stories that try to keep my hero and heroine from falling in love.

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

My local pharmacy. The ladies who work there are always asking about my stories. They encourage me all the time! Also, I love the writing community on the internet called Wattpad. I have over 73,000 followers, and they encourage me to keep writing.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely. It’s my second, full-time job. I work at it almost as much as I work at my day job…but I love my second job better. It’s more rewarding!J

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

Yes. I didn’t believe in ghosts, or in psychic readings, or premonitions before. But after doing research, and thinking back on my own life, I’ve discovered that these things are possible. I BELIEVE!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

If you love to write, do NOT give up. The writing business is a tough one, but you must wade through it. Keep perfecting your craft to be the best writer you can be. Learn all you can – and keep on pushing forward.

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

I would like to invite you to my website to look around and check out my many stories with different genres. Also, if you join my newsletter, you will receive a free ebook!

http://www.mariehiggins.com

AUTHOR BIO

Marie Higgins is a best-selling, multi-published author of Christian and sweet romance novels; from refined bad-boy heroes who make your heart melt to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to love them regardless of their faults. She’s been with a Christian publisher since 2010. Between those and her others, she’s published over 40 heartwarming, on-the-edge-of-your-seat stories and broadened her readership by writing mystery/suspense, humor, time-travel, paranormal, along with her love for historical romances. Her readers have dubbed her “Queen of Tease”, because of all her twists and turns and unexpected endings.

Visit her website / blog to discover more about her – www.mariehiggins.com

Find her on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/marie.higgins.7543

And Twitter – https://twitter.com/mariehigginsXOX

Amazon authors page https://www.amazon.com/Marie-Higgins/e/B004O3WYQ2/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Here is my interview with Gina Danna

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?

Gina Danna. Age – too old

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from St. Louis, MO but now live in Dallas, TX.

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

 I have my BA & MA in History from the University of Missouri; I have a son, Andrew, who is 26 and living still in St. Louis. My family on my father side came to the US from Sicily about 1900 and on my mother’s side, they came over during the colonial period, a mess of Welsh, Scottish, English and a touch Irish. I’ve worked in museums for years (education and curator) but now work for the airlines

 Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing a long time, mostly academically and then for museum exhibits and programs. Writing novels began in ’09 when my son went to college and I had free time.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably when I finished my first manuscript.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Hard to tell. Perhaps Regency from my past of reading a ton of those! And the popularity of Pirates of the Caribbean (which I loved!) & Vampire Diaries. 🙂

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

First book had many titles. This latest release, this title only made sense.

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

Challenging part is the research and getting the time period across correctly.

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

A couple of them are from visits to the sites; others are dream vacations (ie: Rome & England)

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The fabulous Kim Killion!

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

 Well, there was a very important man in my life for a while. Met him in a writer’s group (online). We hit it off fabulously and he was a great support/pusher for me.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 Oh heavens, no!

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

Possibly

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

 Since I research the era I’m writing in, I learn a ton!

 Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Write what you want to write, what you want to read. Your muse will push you anyway. Don’t give into the pressure to write only what is current that sells if that’s not what you want.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I think it was Kathleen Woodiwiss <sic> novel. Read all so not sure which one first.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, I work out and am a Civil War living historian/reenactor

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

Outlander, Spartacus, Nobel

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Favorite color is pink; favorite foods – chocolate!!

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

Wow, I don’t know. My muse would scream!

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

Yes. www.ginadanna.com

Amazon author page – amazon.com/author/ginadanna

Her Eternal Rogue – http://bit.ly/HerEternalRogue

The Wicked Bargain – http://amzn.to/1j6eAn3

Love & Vengeance – http://amzn.to/1PCtGgP

Love & Lies –http://amzn.to/1PwuCiV

Great & Unfortunate Desires – http://amzn.to/1ERFHZb

This Love of Mine – http://amzn.to/2iKYcJQ

The Wicked North – http://bit.ly/1Pon7vu

Unconditional Surrender – http://amzn.to/2wn2lL2

 

Here is my interview with Jeffery Martin Botzenhart

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 Jeffery Martin Botzenhart and I am 49 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Warren, Ohio and raised in Southington, Ohio.  Currently I live in Girard, Ohio.

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

After graduating from Chalker High School in Southington, I attended college at Kent State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. My intention was to become a social studies teacher but for the last 20 years I’ve been an office clerk. I have been married for 25 years and my wife and I are blessed to have three sons.  I am also aartist and I coach soccer for autistic kids.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Recently I released my romantic fantasy Creature of the Night.  On Halloween my story, Shallow Hill, will be published in the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Volume 5 anthology from Solstice Publishing.  I will also soon be releasing the second installment of my young adult science fiction series, titled After Dark, Nightfall Book 2.  This follows the first installment, Daybreak, Nightfall Book One.

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing short stories since I was in my teens.  It was my escape from being bullied in high school.

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

To be honest, I never considered myself a writer until I finished writing my first story. When Clockwork Heart received a contract from Luminosity Publishing, it felt real.

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Clockwork Heart was actually inspired by a television program regarding the Wounded Warriors Project.  In seeing military men and women adjusting to new lives with prosthetic limbs, I wondered what it would have been like for soldiers returning from the First World War, having had limbs amputated.  So I wrote my story, part steampunk and part romance, about a young English couple grappling with this dilemma upon his return from the Western Front.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title was very much a steampunk inspiration.  I imagined the technology in early twentieth century England when envisioning a twist in my story.

 

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

I love both detail and organic-sounding dialogue, having been praised for both.  Being that since the publication of my first story I have crossed, melted, and explored different genres, I haven’t faced any real challenges in writing my stories.  My imagination runs wild, allowing my characters to come to life.

 

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

Nothing in my current story is realistic or based on someone I know or events in my life.  Only in one of my stories did I actually base a character on my own personal experiences.  In my story, Most Impossible, I loaned my own incidents with bullying to my character named, Cooper.  Even the town setting reflects where I grew up.  All of my other stories, however, are purely escapist, having little or no reflections on personal experiences.

 

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

One of my stories, Blue Tides, is set at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  The house we stayed in for that vacation was the setting for this story.  I wrote this after being there and have not traveled for inspiration for any other story.

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

This depends on the publisher, of which I have had stories published with 4 different publishers.  Some have used contracted artists and others have used internet sources.

 

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

In Creature of the Night, the message addressed here is that love transcends what a person looks like.  Kindness, devotion, and understanding motives of the heart are equal factors. All of my stories have messages, from the dystopian-government conspiracy in my current Nightfall series to messages of finding new love in my other romantic tales.

 

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 have grasped my interest to list.  There are truly amazing stories being published by gifted authors in all genres.  As for my favorite writers, as a teen I was drawn to science fiction stories by Arthur C. Clarke or the works of Stephen King.  I liked getting lost in their stories, allowing me to escape for a little while.

 

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

Other than my family and friends the only others who has offered encouragement with my writing are my high school English teacher and a few other teachers.

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I think all authors hope for this, but I’m a realist in understanding that it’s difficult to stand out among the brilliant writers publishing today.  Despite my best efforts, I’m not sure how successful I will be.  I write because I love to.  That’s why I continue doing it.

 

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

My last release, Creature of the Night, is a romantic fantasy inspired by my love of the classic Beauty and the Beast.  It turned out better than I could have hoped and would not change a thing.

 

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

My editor and I disagreed on a few aspects of my latest book.  I think all authors have visions of how they want their book to be.  There were a few times when I fought to maintain my vision and many times when I compromised.  What I learned was to understand an editor’s point of view while trying to honor my own vision.

 

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

For Creature of the Night, my leads would be Emma Watson and Alex Pettyfer.

 

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write the story you want to tell.  I’m a member of several online writing groups.  All the time authors are seeking the suggestions of others when writing their stories.  While I don’t fault them for doing this, sometimes I worry that others may influence the story away from what the author originally wanted it to be.  For me, when writing a story I never seek out advice of others.

 

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

If you have read my stories or will be reading them, thank you.  I hope they have brought you a little while of escape from your hectic daily life.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Sister Witch, The Life of Moll Dyer by David W. Thompson

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

S.E. Hinton’s masterpiece, The Outsiders

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

For laughing, stupid dad jokes, for crying, I can be an emotional wreck when watching films like City of Angels.

 

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

Charles Dickens.  I think it would be fascinating to listen to him talk of writing.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Painting (mostly seascapes) and drawing.  At least once a year I display a collection of my artwork at the Girard Free Public Library in Girard, Ohio.

 

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

(TV) The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, The Big Bang Theory.

(Films) The Princess Bride, Under the Tuscan Sun, andany and all Pixar movies.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Pizza, pasta, and Oreos (in the same meal…even better)

Turquoise and blue

Classic 80’s rock, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Heart, the Motels

 

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

Read and travel

 

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

I truth I don’t want a head stone.  I wish to be cremated and have my ashes spread on the beach near the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.  From there my spirit (when not watching over my family) can fall spellbound by the sunrise and rest in peace as waves crash upon the shore.  At night I can watch the beacon from the lighthouse and seeing the distant lights of passing ships.

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/jefferymartinbotzenhartwritingjourney/

 Creature of the Night https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075ZZMGGN

Clockwork Heart https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OU2F61C

Daybreak https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073SB9BXG

Interlude https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FOG6QJI

Here is my interview with Vida Cross

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.

My name is Vida Cross.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am from the south side of Chicago.

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

I have a BA in Creative Writing  and History from Knox College, a MA in English (Creative Writing) from Iowa State University, and a MFA in Filmmaking and a MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My first book, Bronzeville at Night: 1949, was just released this year: April 2017.  This book is a collection of blues poems that are based on the artwork of Archibald J. Motley Jr.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at a very young age: I would say at 8 or 9.  In my household books on black history and African American literature, were everywhere and I read some great poets (Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and more), and I felt inspired to write poetry.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?  

In high school I was the first fiction/poetry editor for a newspaper called New Expressions.  The Fiction/Poetry insert was called “Young Chicago.”  I was the editor for “Young Chicago.”  I felt like a writer then.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I being interviewed for a position.  They wanted someone who could teach music, literature, and art.  However, they felt the subjects could not be combined and that no one could really do all three.  I went home and began writing Bronzeville at Night: 1949 in 2003.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?  

The title is based on a painting by Archibald J. Motley Jr.

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

I am a blues poet.  My poems are narrative poems.  Many of the poems narrate a fictional character’s tale.  Some of the poems are rhythmic, some are humorous, and some are tragic.  As a whole, the poems have a narrative arc.

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

Some of the poems, not all, have a small thread of truth.  Some are based on actual events that occurred in my grandparents lives.  My grandparents migrated from Mississippi to Chicago and they bought a home on 35th street in Bronzeville.  Later, they had to sell the home for Chicago’s first attempt at gentrifying that area.

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

For this particular book I did not have to travel outside of the city.  I did a lot of research at the Chicago Public Library.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?  

The cover of the book is Archibald J. Motley Jr.’s painting Bronzeville at Night.

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?  

Currently I have a reading list.  I am reading the following authors:

Dave Eggers’ The Circle

Natalie Y. Moore’s The South Side

Judith Michael’s The Real Mother

Donal Quist’s Harbors

David Olimpio’s This is Not A Confession

Audrey Petty’s High Rise Stories

Aaron Coleman’s St. Trigger

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

Anna Leahy’s Aperture

And

Rachel Hall’s Heirlooms

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

Mary Swander (a former instructor). Mary Swander is one of those writers who will start playing drums in order to write a poem.  What I mean by this is she goes that extra mile.  Her statements to me are very brief, but I watch her and pay attention to her and she’s fascinating.

Calvin Forbes my advisor and mentor from The School of the Art Institute.  Calvin will listen to any question I have about the writing process.  He tends to always have an answer, but if he doesn’t he will share thoughts that are enlightening.

Anna Leahy is a former classmate who will end every conversation with a reminder to write.

My husband is always a word of wisdom.  He is an IT person, but he’s very supportive and encouraging

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.  It is a career.  It is not a hobby.

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

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?  

Keep writing.  It takes a long time so be patient.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Enjoy.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Robert Hellenga’s Blues Lessons.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

My mom bought books with our, me and my sisters’, names in the books.  We were the characters.

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

Edward Jones.

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

How to Get Away With Murder, The Americans, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?  

Favorite Food: Potato Salad

Color: Green

Music: R&B

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

Website: https://www.vidacross.com/

Twitter: @vida_writing

Here are links to my book:

At Awst Press      https://awst-press.com/bronzeville

At Small Press Distributors  http://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9780997193848/bronzeville-at-night-1949.aspx

At Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Bronzeville-at-Night-Vida-Cross/dp/0997193840/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508189163&sr=1-8&keywords=bronzeville

And at the Chicago Public Library: https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/search?t=author&search_category=author&q=vida+cross&_ga=2.192668842.1269429954.1508189311-1400504150.1470689664

 

Here is my interview with Garth Pettersen


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, Fiona. Garth Pettersen and I’m a young 68 (how did I get that old?).

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, but have lived in Chilliwack, BC for about thirty years. It’s a farming community in the Fraser River Valley about one and a half hours drive upriver from Vancouver and the ocean.

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

I’m married with three grown sons in their twenties. My wife, Barbara, and I own a five acre property, which around here is called a “hobby farm”. I board horses for people and spend more time with the horses than their owners. I ride Stella, an Andalusian-Arab mare two or three times a week. I also volunteer as an assistant instructor providing equine therapy for children with disabilities. That’s the highlight of my week.

I worked as an elementary school teacher for years until retiring in 2010 (that’s when I was able to get serious about writing). Before that I taught English and Writing at the secondary level. In my twenties and thirties I worked at a myriad of jobs: logging, fish plant work, construction, lead smelting, rodding and chaining on survey crews in the BC wilderness, acting, and teaching meditation.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve just signed a contract with Tirgearr Publishing. They are going to release my debut novel, The Swan’s Road in November this year.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and have always received good feedback for my work. I recall writing a children’s story as my evaluation project for a university Verbal Communications course. The professor gave me an A+ and told me I should be earning a living writing children’s stories.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Interesting question–that’s what interviewees say when they don’t know an answer. I won $100 prize in an essay contest when I was eleven–big money in 1960. From that time on, I knew I wanted to be a writer. It’s easier now to think of myself as a writer because I dedicate so much time to writing and improving my craft, and because I’ve had short stories published. But when did I transform from a wannabe to thinking of myself as a writer? Probably when I retired from teaching, started writing and getting feedback from an excellent writing group. I knew I had a talent for writing, but having my work critiqued taught me it wasn’t a done deal–I had to learn the craft of writing. When I started working on the craft, I felt I was a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The Swan’s Road is actually my second book. The first was a Young Adult novel based on some of the antics my older brother and I got up to when we were kids. A teaching colleague of mine suggested I write the story I had told her of my brother and I sneaking into the shipyards near our home. I did, then decided to keep going. It morphed into a kind of Hardy Boys adventure. It was great writing and revising practice.

The idea for The Swan’s Road began when I agreed to do a “Write-Off” with my friend (and mentor), Kensington Press author Michael Hiebert. He arrived with several books. We each had to choose one, find a story idea, then write a story. Michael is a prolific writer and he took off typing on his laptop almost right away. I found it very difficult to produce anything. The very noise of his typing put me on edge. “I’ve got to check the horse,” I said, and left for a break.

I must have done that a few times, before I finally found an idea to write from. I had chosen a book on European history. I had just finished reading one of Bernard Cornwall’s Saxon Tales and had Saxons and Danes on my mind. The fact that I read in the Viking section informed me that when Cnute was king of England (and Denmark and parts of Norway and Sweden) he traveled to Rome for the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor. That struck me as so cool, that this rough Danish warrior would be present amid all the pomp and splendor of Catholic Rome.

I checked to see if Cnute had a son and found he had three. I thought: what if one of his sons traveled with the king? I made his second son Harald my protagonist and began with crossing the English Channel. I barely got started by the time Michael left, but finished the story of the channel crossing later. My friend loved it.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I enjoy playing around with titles. I make lists of possibilities. I think it started off as Journey of the Northman or something old school like that. Hiebert suggested words that are successful commercially: swords, shields, warrior, blood, death , moon, spears, etc., and I came up with Blood Moon Road. I thought that was good and even wrote a blood moon into the story. But after I found at least five other books with that title, it had to go.

Then I got the idea of going through The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Beowulf for phrases. That gave me another list of possibilities. “To sail the swan’s road…” was part of a line in Beowulf. I thought about how swan’s sail on water, walk on land, and fly over land and sea, how they are loyal to their mates for life. I really like this title.

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

I think I have a rhythmic style. I really enjoy reading aloud to children. I learned from trial and error as a teacher that some books can be read aloud and others can’t. The difference is rhythm. Either a sentence flows beautifully or it doesn’t. I wrote a blog about this on my website.

In writing historical fiction the research is of course important. I’m always questioning: what would she be wearing? how did they fight using that kind of sword? what mountain passes over the Alps did people use in the eleventh century? But I found an equal challenge in language. I tried to stay away from vocabulary that came into English much later. So I researched word origins as I was writing as well as the history. Did you know that Churchill used predominantly Anglo-Saxon originated words in his “Blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech?   Those words deliver.

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

I think a writer is always drawing from his or her own experiences, even if they are from books read or movies watched. It’s amazing what you draw from. I enjoy reading about characters with qualities I aspire to have. I can’t read about people on downward spirals. If the protagonist is heroic, the reader feels heroic. That’s the joy of reading.

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

It certainly would have helped to travel to these locations. I know I hate it when a writer sets a story in my region and doesn’t realize the cities of Vancouver and Victoria are separated by the Georgia Strait. I’ll die if I’ve made that kind of mistake. For The Swan’s Road I used my memory of  some places I had traveled to, and for the rest I researched.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

That’s still in process.

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

Perhaps that one should never give up hope, that despair is a passing state.

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 always been an avid reader, in fact it has been my principal coping method for dealing with stress. I enjoy many different authors: Blake Crouch (futuristic), Patrick Rothfuss (fantasy), Joe Abercrombie (fantasy), Peter Lovesey (English mysteries), Jo Nesbo (Nordic Noir), Rene Denfeld (superb writing). The best book I’ve read recently is What We Become, by Arturo Perez-Reverte. I guess what was exceptional for me in that book were the characters and the storytelling. The character arcs were such that I was constantly surprised by what they did. Just when I had the character figured out, the author took me deeper. Great book.

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

The Chilliwack Writers’ Group. People have different opinions about writers’ groups, but I get such constructive feedback in this one, I look forward to every meeting. An intelligent, humorous bunch of caring people.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’ve had my career. Now I write because I want to. I also want to see how far I can go in the world of publishing.

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

Sometimes I can get a little “teachey”–supplying some historic fact because I find it interesting. I should edit those bits out for the sake of the story.

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

I learned so much about eleventh century Europe. It was a learning experience every step of the way. I also learned a lot about structuring a novel.

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

I don’t know. Probably some unknown Scandinavian actor, or maybe Alexander Ludwig who plays Bjorn Ironside in Vikings. He is from Vancouver, by the way. Not a young American actor, though. They tend to be too cocky and less professional in my opinion.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I have two cards propped up on my desk. One says: “Let the characters tell their story. Write to discover what happens. Enjoy.” The other says: “Pretend you’re someone who can do it.”

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I always feel a kinship with a writer when I read his/her book, like I’m sharing that person’s experience. I look forward to readers connecting to me in that way.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m about to start The Defectors by Joseph Kanon. He writes great thrillers (?), usually set just after or during the final months of World War II.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not the first, but many I read early on. The fifties didn’t produce as much great children’s literature as now, though there were a few classics. I read a lot of adventure: The Missing Monoplane, by John Creasy, The Valley of Adventure (and the rest of that series) by Enid Blyton (who gets a bad rap these days), and of course, The Hardy Boys, which I’ve managed to collect, complete with the old dust jackets.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Some of the things kids say innocently, I often find very funny, or a joke with an unseen twist, told well, or when somebody makes a quick comeback to match my own over-rated wit. What I don’t find funny are American sit-coms with one-liners and laugh tracks. Don’t really know what brings a tear to my eye. It doesn’t happen that often–something incredibly, beautifully human.

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

Just one? I’m a great fan of Teddy Roosevelt. I think he was a truly great character who challenged himself and his children to dream big and accomplish bigger. Besides being a great president, he was cowboy, gentleman, soldier, and explorer. Such an interesting fellow.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Too many. I read, carve, build, ride horses, hike and trail ride, canoe, etc., though some of those not so often any more.

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

Anything well-written, well-acted, well-directed with engaging characters and storyline. I love Game of Thrones. Lately, I’ve been addicted to The Bridge on Netflix (retold as The Tunnel in the UK) and other Scandinavian and Icelandic shows. Best U.S. series: True Detective and Narcos. Best Canadian series: Motive.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Indian food. Blues and reds. Cool and not brassy jazz.

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

Read and then read some more. Maybe act. Draw.

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

“Well, at least you’re reading.”

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

My website is www.garthpettersen.com

My novel, The Swan’s Road is being released by Tirgearr Publishing on November 15 and is now in pre-order on Amazon and other sites.

http://www.amazon.com/author/garthpettersen

http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Pettersen_Garth/the-swans-road.htm

www.facebook.com/writeandride/

www.facebook.com/writeandride/

 

If you can’t find it you’re spelling pettersen incorrectly.

Thank you, Fiona. I hope you read The Swan’s Road. Cheers.

 

Here is my interview with Jill Hand

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, Fiona. My name is Jill Hand and I’m astonishingly old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Jill: I am from New Jersey, which is similar to Mordor but not as nice.

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

Jill: My father was an intelligence officer in the Army, which basically means he was a spy. He chased Nazis in Germany after WWII and got shot a couple of times. Some of the Nazis he caught were put on trial in Nuremberg. Others were brought to the United States and given jobs doing scientific research. I met one of them one time. He was a delightful old gentleman with lovely continental manners. That doesn’t mean I approve of Nazis. I don’t.

My mother was an accountant. She came from a long line of engineers and could build pretty much anything.

I have several degrees, none of which I use. I was on the debate team in college. I love to argue and will happily do it all day. I once taught myself Esperanto, just for kicks.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Jill: I’m working on expanding my Southern Gothic novelette about a cut-throat family from Georgia with vast wealth and absolutely no morals into a novel. A publisher has expressed interest, if I can pump it up to sixty thousand words.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Jill: I taught myself to read when I was three. I started writing stories when I was four, in order to convince my parents that they needed to buy me a pony. It didn’t work.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Jill: When I got a job on a daily newspaper, or possibly before that, when I wrote for my college paper, or before that, when I worked on my high school’s literary magazine. Come to think of it, I’ve always considered myself a writer, or at least a storyteller. I used to terrify my friends at sleepovers with horror stories I made up. One girl wet the bed because she was too afraid to get up in the dark and go to the bathroom after one of the stories I told. I count that among my greatest successes.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Jill: It was a bizarre true story I read about a British nobleman who owned a hairless blue horse from South Africa. He rode the horse to go fox hunting and married a circus bareback rider. I thought it had to be put into a book.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Jill: The book is called The Blue Horse, so it was kind of a no-brainer.

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

Jill: I like straightforward writing that has elegance and wit. M.R. James and Shirley Jackson and Donna Tartt are among the best at this kind of writing, IMO.

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

Jill: Quite a lot of it is factual, but other parts involve a trio of time travelers from the twenty-fourth century. I don’t believe I know any time travelers, although you never can tell. All three of them are somewhat like me, especially Olga, who is a terror.

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

Jill: Nope. I park my heinie in a chair, open the laptop and let ‘er rip.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Jill: My publisher, Kellan.

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

Jill: Life is an adventure, and it’s stranger than most people think.

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?

Jill: As I mentioned earlier, I’m very fond of M.R. James. The dude knew how to scare people. As a member of the Horror Writers Association, I love to scare people, as well as make them laugh. I also like WilliamThackeray quite a bit, and Arthur Machen, and Ray Bradbury and Raymond Chandler and P.G. Wodehouse. I’m very fond of Arthur Conan Doyle, although he foolishly believed in fairies. I love the Holmes stories and have read the canon about a hundred times. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s Agent Pendergast books owe a lot to Doyle. I like those, too.

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

Jill: Don Webb of Bewildering Stories. He’s the man! Bewildering Stories is a free website that encourages new writers. There’s a lot of good stuff on there. I encountered Bill McCormick through reading one of his stories in BwS and we became Facebook friends. Bill is a creative genius, and I don’t say that lightly.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Jill: Yes.

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

Jill: No.

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

Jill: Yes. I researched the 1964 NY World’s Fair, because one of the time travelers goes there. It must have been extraordinary. I also researched an odd event called the Midnight Steeplechase, which involved a group of men tearing through the countryside around Melton Mowbray on horseback on a moonlight night in 1890, dressed in ladies’ nightgowns. The Blue Horse contains a lot of bizarre places that really existed. At one point there’s a trip to two outlandish Paris nightclubs, one of which simulated Hell, with real flames shooting out of the walls, and the other which resembled a crypt. Sadly, they went out of business long ago.

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

Jill: Lily James. She was Rose Aldridge in ITV’s Downton Abbey.  While my lead character, Rosina Bevan, is six feet tall and red-haired, Lily James has the same combination of toughness and delicacy.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Jill: Never give up. Learn to appreciate criticism. Ever writer can improve and honest criticism is extremely valuable for making your work better.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Jill: Just that I love them.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Jill: I’m re-reading The Worse Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. It makes me appreciate the fact that I’m not simultaneously freezing and starving to death.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Jill: Do I ever! It was a Little Golden Book called The Pokey Little Puppy.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Jill: I laugh at inappropriate things. I am terrible that way. The last time I cried was while watching the film Dunkirk.

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

Jill: I’d love to meet Hugh Laurie. Damn, he’s a good actor!

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Jill: Other than plotting revenge against my enemies? No.

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

Jill: I thoroughly enjoyed the TV series Shameless. I also like Madmen, and Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and Sherlock and Dr. Who.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Jill: My favorite color is black, although some people argue that black is the absence of color.

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

Jill: I would look into joining the Yakuza.

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

Jill: I don’t plan on ever dying.

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

Jill: No, but I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

https://www.amazon.com/Jill-Hand/e/B06Y4K5JWC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1508185534&sr=1-2-ent

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jill-Hand/e/B06Y4K5JWC/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1