Here is my interview with Jennifer Lee Thomson

Name 
Jennifer Lee Thomson, but I also write as Jennifer Thomson (my non-fiction books) and as Jenny Thomson (my fiction books). Jennifer Lee Thomson is full name and I’ll be writing my books under it from now on as it was one of my dad’s last wishes that I use my full birth name. He died after a long battle with cancer last year.

 

 
Age 
I’m at the age where I stop countingJ

 

 
Where are you from
Scotland. I love this country and have never wanted to live elsewhere. I used to live in a lovely island, but moved last year to near Glasgow to be near my widowed mum.

 

 
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’ve been earning a (small) living from writing since I was 19, but have done various jobs such as working as a TV extra and working in a hospital laundry where I was lucky not to lose a finger after finding a scalpel in a doctor’s white coat.
I live with my wonderful partner and our rescue dog Benjy. He’s the kind of dog who’s always happy and we adopted him from the Dogs Trust. It’s the best thing we ever did.

 

 
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Vile City, my first Detective in a Coma book featuring DI Duncan Waddell and his pal Stevie Campbell whose the one in a coma but who still talks to Waddell, will be published next year by Caffeine Nights. I’m so excited as I won an award for the novel in 2011 and it took me years of editing and revamping to find the right publisher.


Here’s the blurb –
DI Duncan Waddell has big problems. He’s borderline diabetic. The paperwork is piling up faster than the underwear at a porn shoot.
Now his best pal DC Stevie Campbell, who’s in a coma after being attacked by a suspect, has started to talk to him. Trouble is, only Waddell can hear him.
The last thing he needs is the country’s biggest case to land on his lap.
Three women have gone missing in the city he used to love, but is fast coming to despise, victims of the “GLASGOW GRABBER,” as their assailant has been dubbed by local hack and all round thorn in Waddell’s backside, Catriona Hastie.
Shelley Craig is the latest victim, snatched as she and her boyfriend took a shortcut through Glasgow city centre.
And she’ll do anything to make it home.
I’ve finished writing book 2 in the series, Cannibal City and I’m working on book 3, Vigilante City.

 

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written wee stories. I kept a diary until my teens and started writing short stories. I also wrote some truly awful poetry.

 

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sold my first short story to a magazine called Jackie at 15 and a friend of the family cashed the cheque and the money fluttered through the letter box. I started writing articles soon afterwards

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, Bullying A Parent’s Guide was inspired by the bullying I suffered at school for years. It was a self-help book aimed at helping parents and bully survivors.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My fiction always has a sliver of dark humour throughout it. I think that’s quite a Scottish thing – even at the worst of times we can see the humour.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My titles often come from a line or theme in the book. For instance, Hell to Pay (written as Jenny Thomson) comes from my main character’s who’s raped and almost killed by the men who murdered her mum and dad. She goes all out to get revenge and decides that they’ll be hell to pay.

 

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All of my books have strong women characters. That’s important to me. Women are strong in real life so why shouldn’t they be tough in books too? In Vile City, my crime/mystery novel that’s out next year, there’s two parallel stories – Inspector Waddell’s and gutsy office worker Shelley Craig who he’s trying to find. She’s been abducted and will do anything to make it home.

My zombie novel Dead Bastards has a female lead in kick ass Scottish lass Emma.
My Crimes Files trilogy – Hell to Pay, Throwaways, Don’t Come for Me – feature rape survivor Nancy Kerr and her former Special Force’s boyfriend Tommy McIntyre who join forces to solve crimes.

You can read more about them here on my publisher’s website http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/jenny-thomson

(I’m attaching a photo of the 3 books)
You can check out all my books at –

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jenny-Thomson/e/B0034PR1V4

USA https://www.amazon.com/Jenny-Thomson/e/B0034PR1V4

 

 

 

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My novels are all fictional. There are parts of people I know in some of my characters and they’re all set in Scotland.
My non-fiction books (written as Jennifer Thomson) have some of my real life experiences in them. For example, Living Cruelty Free: Life a More Compassionate Life is partly based on my 30 plus years as a vegetarian. Caring for Your Dog is based on a lifetime of caring for dogs, including one with epilepsy. I’m proud to say all my dogs have been rescue dogs.

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’ve been influenced by Stephen King (the greatest living writer in my opinion), horror writer Shaun Hutson and being Scottish I love Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

 
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Stephen King is the king in my book. He can write anything – horror, sci-fi, fantasy and crime.

 

 
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I don’t know if you’d call him an entity, but my rescue dog Benjy is the best person I know. He’s fun, listens to me reading out my work (even if it’s with his paws covering his ears) and when I’m upset he knows and cheers me up.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’ve made a living out of it for 25 years, so I would say so.

 

 
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve reworked it so many times now I feel that its as good as it can get. The good thing is that my characters seem real to me, so hopefully they will to readers. That’s what every author hopes to achieve.

 

 
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wanted to write the kind of books I enjoyed reading.

 

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d be delighted.

Here’s an extract from Vile City that’s out in 2017 from Caffeine Nights –

 

Stuart was hiding something. Shelley could tell. She was always the one who’d had to wake him because he could always block out the shrill of the alarm clock, but these days he was up before her, grabbing the mail whilst she slept. And, he’d started making breakfast – nothing much, just tea and toast, but that was more than he’d ever made her in their two and a bit years together.

When she’d calmly ask him if anything was wrong, he’d shrug his shoulders, give her a wee smile and say everything was fine. But, she knew he was lying because his face went even paler, making his freckles stand out as if they’d been drawn in by a kid with a coloured pencil. She never pushed it, maybe because deep down she was worried that he’d tell her he’d met someone else.

The No.76 bus was empty when they clambered onboard – one of the benefits of working until 11 at night in a call centre, was that there was no need to scoot past a sea of legs and become a contortionist to get on and off a bus.

Their cold breath filled the air with ghosts as they walked towards Waterstone’s, Shelley pausing to take a peek at the new crime fiction releases showcased in the illuminated windows, whilst Stuart fidgeted with his watch. He was always footering about with something since he’d given up cigarettes and it drove her mad, but at least it didn’t fill his lungs with tar and make the house smell like an overflowing ashtray.

“I need to have a pee,” he announced, as they came to the dimly lit lane off Mitchell Street that reeked of eau de Glasgow: decomposing takeaway, urine and other bodily fluids.

She groaned. “Can’t you wait until we get home, Stuart?” She knew she’d pronounced his name “Stew-art” as she always did when she was annoyed with him, but she couldn’t help it. What made men think it was okay to urinate in public?

Stuart looked pained. “Sorry, I can’t. Too much coffee tonight.”

She let him walk on ahead of her and whilst he scooted down the alley, she stood outside the amusement arcade, pretending to look in so she wouldn’t be mistaken as a prostitute. Around here, at this time of night, unaccompanied women were likely to be mistaken for prostitutes. It’d happened to her once when she’d got off the bus alone. Stuart hadn’t been working that night.

Five minutes later, she was so cold she couldn’t feel her nose and Stuart still wasn’t back.

She turned the corner to look for him, fully expecting to see him ambling back towards her with that jaunty walk that always made her smile. But, he wasn’t there.

Where was he?

Anger welled up in her chest. Had he started smoking again? He swore he wouldn’t.

There was one way to find out.

She headed down the alley. The sole light was provided from some nearby buildings so visibility was poor.

She’d walked a few steps when she spotted a bundle of rags on the ground. Was someone sleeping there?

She moved closer. Squinting into the dim light, she realised it was Stuart. He was lying motionless on the ground. He must have tripped and knocked himself out after hitting the concrete.

She ran over to him, calling out his name, the squeezing in her chest waning slightly when she knelt down and heard him groan.

She pulled her mobile phone from her bag to call for an ambulance.

She didn’t make it to the third digit. A gloved hand clamped across her mouth and nose, cutting off her airways and the phone fell from her grasp, clattering onto the cobbles. Terror gripped her and she couldn’t breathe.

As she struggled, her assailant pressed his mouth to her ear. He was so close that it occurred to her that if anyone saw them they would think he was her boyfriend whispering sweet nothings in her ear.

“Your man’s been given a strong sedative. He’ll wake up with a sore head and nothing more. But, if you scream, I’ll kick him several times in the head and he’ll never get up again. Do you understand?”

She didn’t recognise the voice, but there was an accent. Not from around here. His voice was cold and emotionless.

She nodded under his hand. Then she did something he didn’t expect: she back-heeled him in the groin.

There was a satisfying yelp as he released her.

She ran, arms pumping away like Usain Bolt’s, down towards the café at the end of the alley and safety.

She’d almost made it when he grabbed her arm and hauled her back. An electric shock shot from her elbow to her shoulder as she pulled herself free. He was too strong.

She could offer little resistance as he dragged her towards him.

Before she could scream, he punched her fully in the face and she went down with a thud jarring every bone in her body, momentarily stunning her.

As she fought to get up, he punched her in the back and she fell again.

The last thing she saw was the pavement rushing towards her before she blacked out…

END OF EXTRACT

 

 
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I write scenes from my novels as they come to me, so they’re out of order and I have to piece the book together. I don’t plan, I just write.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t travel any further than inside my head.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher does, but my few self-published books were designed by professional designers. If it was down to me it’d be little stick figures. I can’t draw to save my life.

 

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

Keeping everything organised because IO write in such a crazy, disorganised way. My reasoning is, if I know what’s happening next then so will the reader. As a reader I love to be surprised so I want anyone who reads my fiction to feel the same way.

 

 

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
For the book I’ve just finished writing, Cannibal City, I had to research how Suffragettes were force-fed as that’s what my killer does to his victims.

 

 
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Juliette Lewis would be ideal as Nancy Kerr in my Crime Files books.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write the type of book you like to read. Don’t copy anyone else – be yourself, find your own voice.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Read my books if you like strong female characters, a lashing of humour in your crime/mystery novels and want to be entertained. If you enjoy one of my books, please leave a review. It’s so tough to get reviews.

 

 
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It’s one of my all-time favourite books. I’ve read it dozens of times.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My parents enrolled me in the library when I was 3 or 4. I loved pop-up books.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love comedy shows like The Office (the original UK version and the USA remake) and Parks and Recreation. My dog also makes me laugh because he does some crazy things.
Sad stories especially involving animals or children make me cry.

 

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I was right. I’m a firm believer in reincarnation.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love going for walks with Benjy and playing hidden object and mystery computer games.

 

 
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a big zombie fan and love The Walking Dead, ZNation and my fave movie is the original Dawn of the Dead.
I also love crime dramas like Criminal Minds and Rectify.

 

 
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m vegetarian so nothing beats a nice baked potato and salad or veggie burger.
I love lavender and our living room is painted that colour. I find it soothing.

 

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
At one stage I wanted to be a vet, but I couldn’t put down healthy animals so that idea didn’t last.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
You can find my blog over at www.ramblingsofafrustratedcrimewriter.blogspot.co.uk

I also have a blog for my Scottish zombie novel, Dead Bastards at www.deidbastards.blogspot.co.uk

 

And a blog for Living Cruelty Free: Live a more Compassionate Life www.greatestguidetolivingcrueltyfree.blogspot.com

Yep, I blog a lot.

 

Here is my interview with Patricia Preston

Name  Patricia Preston

Age:   I feel old as dirt

Where are you from:

I live near the state line of Mississippi and Tennessee, an area made famous by the Walking Tall movies. Besides the battle of Shiloh, our other claim to fame was the Dixie Mafia. Things have changed since the sixties. Our landscape is beautiful here. We are in the foothills and each season is beautiful.

I have lived here all my life. My ancestors were Scot/Irish/English. Moved from South Carolina colony into Tennessee. I love history. I once worked as a librarian, which was my favourite job ever. Then I started working at a hospital, managed a medical clinic, so most of my time has been spent working in medicine. It’s interesting, and stuff happens no one would believe. LOL! I don’t have much spare time anymore. But when I do, I enjoy getting together with writing pals, movies, photography, and reading.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I am currently working on the third book of a contemporary romance series for the Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books. The first book, One Week in Your Arms, is releasing on Sept 13. The second book, Everything His Heart Desires, is coming out on Jan 10, 2017

 

 


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

The first thing I recall writing was a short story in the 6th grade. I think I was born a storyteller. I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I had a high school teacher tell me I could be a writer. I wish I had listened to her, but I was too busy being a teenager and crushing over boys.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Reading other books and thinking I could do this. Little did I know it wasn’t that easy.

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

People say I do. They are always making comments about my “voice.” I don’t really think about it, I just write.

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I just try to find what I think sounds relative to the story and genre. When you write for a publisher, they have the last say on the title, not the author. So they may change your title.

 

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

I just write to entertain. I have had people comment to me about how they interpreted something in the book that never once occurred to me when I was writing it. LOL.

 

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

Very little to none. My characters are much more interesting than anyone I know, and I’m not one of those people who want to write about their life. The reader would be asleep by page 2. But overall there’s truth in the books in how we make mistakes and come to terms and do the right thing. I don’t write dark stories. All my books and stories have happy endings.

 

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

Robert Crais is one of my favorites because I love his characters, Elvis and Joe. Elvis is funny, and Joe is a badass.

 

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

My writing friends have been great.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’m now writing full-time. I don’t really think too much about it being a career as much as who I am and how I spend my time.

 

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

Sure I would. I can edit forever. The newest book is with a publisher, and there’s no revising now. But that’s the great thing about Indie books, you can polish them up anytime.

 

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

The working title is Not Through Loving You and it feature pediatrician Aaron Kendall and songwriter Lia Montgomery, who are at odds over Lia’s sister’s unwanted newborn, whom Aaron is planning to adopt.

 

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

Just meeting the deadlines. Ugh.

 

 

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

Not far. Books are set in Tennessee. Also, I want to go back to New Orleans.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did some of my Indie books. Patty Wallace did the historical. The publishers had the other covers designed

 

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

Being sure the story works and the characters are engaging.

 

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

Keep it simple. I over plot sometimes and then I have too much and have to cut.

 

 

 

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

I don’t know. Someone pretty and funny for Marla. Like Charlize Theron.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Always finish your book and make writing a priority.

 

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

I hope you find my book entertaining and uplifting. Mostly that you have fun reading them and you want to read more.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Pirate Lafitte

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I recall loving “Ramona” by Helen Hunt Jackson back when I was like preteen I think.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Movies like LOTR.

 

 

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

Chris Hemsworth/Thor. Does he really look that good in person?

 

 

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

Died Writing.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

What is a hobby?

 

 

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

Walking Dead!!! Rick and Darryl rule! Supernatural. Gotta love Sam and Dean.

 

 

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

Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Preston/e/B0060DJ5W0/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patricia-Preston/e/B0060DJ5W0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1472408137&sr=1-2-ent

One Week in Your Arms

 

My newest book, ONE WEEK IN YOUR ARMS, is mainstream contemporary romance filled with witty, charismatic characters. The fun, fast-paced plot features a secret baby, a billionaire baby daddy hero who needs a pretend girlfriend for a week, and a pretty doctor who is desperate to keep her child a secret. Unfortunately for the intrepid heroine, Marla, she needs money for her community clinic so she has no choice but to spend a week in paradise with the one man who can destroy her life. How can she say no? (Personally, I couldn’t say no. Could you?)

 

ONE WEEK IN YOUR ARMS is the first book in Love Heals All series where romance causes havoc, heartache, and humor for a cast of unsuspecting doctors until they realize love heals all.  Published under the Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books, each book can be read as a stand-alone. They do feature the same location and continuing characters. The next book in the series is EVERYTHING HIS HEART DESIRES, coming in Jan 2017.

 

Excerpt from One Week in Your Arms

 

She picked up the letter opener. Her heart palpitated in sheer terror as she slid the opener under the flap of the envelope. With the envelope open, she peeped inside to see one folded sheet of stationery.

After six years, what could he possibly have to say?

She pictured him, standing beside a black truck in the drive of Royal Oaks, an old estate belonging to his grandmother. She recalled the date. June twenty-eighth. The day they had said goodbye had been a warm, blustery day in Tennessee. A summer storm was heading toward the rolling hills near Nashville.

The wind made a mess of Carson’s unruly dark hair. His dark blue eyes were hidden by a pair of mirrored lens aviators, and his alpha-male physique tested the seams of his polo shirt.

“If I’m ever back in town, I’ll look you up,” he promised as their casual affair came to an inevitable end. For three weeks, they had been together and finally, the time had come for them to go their separate ways. She hadn’t realized it would be so difficult.

“Sure.” She forced a smile of goodwill. After all, they weren’t parting in anger, or in love for that matter. And it was unlikely that she would ever see him again.

“I had a great time,” she confessed boldly. She’d loved every minute of their brief, steamy affair. Talk about a summer break to remember. She grinned.

He gave her cheek a stroke. “You’ll make a great doctor.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah.” He grinned. “You certainly know all there is to know about male anatomy.”

“Yours, at least.” She laughed. Then she hopped up on her toes and gave him a quick kiss. “Goodbye, Carson Blackwell.”

She stepped away from him. Now was the time to face what was ahead. A grueling three-year residency. There would be no more time for long summer nights, tangled sheets, and sighs against swollen lips. She walked toward her small, sturdy hatchback. Before she opened the driver’s door, she looked up and met his gaze.

“Goodbye,” he called.

At that moment, she’d had an odd sensation in her chest that her life was never going to be the same.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon   http://amzn.to/1SCo3li

Nook http://bit.ly/1VmaHru

Kobo   http://bit.ly/1Vma8Oe

iBooks http://apple.co/1W6y6l6

 

 

Author Bio

 

Patricia Preston writes witty mainstream romances where love matters most. You are her reader if you like funny, passionate, feel good reads. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and music. Besides writing, she loves music, history, movies, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter so she could party twenty-four seven. She never misses Supernatural or the Walking Dead. Sam, Dean, and Darryl fangirl!! She is repped by the Seymour Agency and currently working on a contemporary romance series, Love Heals All, for Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books.

 

Available titles include Amazon best sellers in comedy, “The Yard Sale” and “Laid to Rest,” as well as sexy historical romances: To Save a Lady and Almost an Outlaw. Coming in September is the first book in the Love Heals All series from Kensington Boos, One Week in Your Arms. Also available for pre-order is the second book in the series, Everything His Heart Desires.

 

Author Links:

Webpage

Amazon

BookBub

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Here is my interview with C.M. Blackwood

Name

C.M. Blackwood, pen name

Age 27

Where are you from

I’m from Springfield, Massachusetts. I’ve lived here all my life. The farthest I’ve ventured from home is the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. (Though I’d go to London and Dublin, if I had the chance!)

I come from a small family. Hardly any of them live close by. But I have my faithful Dachshund, Mattie, to keep me company.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

In recent months, I published my first mystery, veering away from my typical (and not-so-typical) romances. I am working on the second, and plan to publish it in the first half of 2017.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my blog, as well as with trying to grow on Twitter. I’m trying to develop a focus for assisting other indie writers.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Hmmm. I began writing when I was in elementary school, little tidbits of poems that one of my mother’s friends actually thought were pretty good. I kept writing poetry through middle and high school, and started my first novel (which is as of yet unpublished) in eleventh grade. I finished it after graduation, and then began my headlong dive into the strange and maddening world of authorship.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I first considered myself a writer when I was about twenty-one or so. Only then, I didn’t realize how far I still had to go. I guess I thought success was like a golden egg that would fall out of the sky and hit me on the head. But it’s very different from that, as all of my indie colleagues can attest to.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first story, sort of a lengthy character study set in WWI Ireland with a fuzzy historical background, was inspired by an essay I wrote in eleventh grade on Constance Markievicz, an Irish revolutionary who fought for Ireland’s independence. She fascinated me, and I built the whole story around her – although she only has about three lines in the book.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style has evolved significantly over the years. Someone once told me I wrote like Charles Dickens, and that I should try “loosening up a bit.” So I did. I try to maintain the classic tone, while saying things in a way that I think modern audiences can relate to.

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Well – as I said, my first book’s unpublished. So are my second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth books. Number seven is called My White Dahlia, and is titled after one of the main characters, Dahlia Frobisher. It is, as you can probably guess, a romance. People seem to respond fairly well to it. My most recent book, however – the one that I center my campaigns around – is a mystery called Who Killed Edie Montgomery? Not too hard to figure out why it’s called that, I suppose.

 

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

In all of my books, I have a simple message that’s conveyed in different ways. I believe in good triumphing over evil; and love conquering hate. At first, I painted this message in very simple colors: in fairy tales, in characters overcoming haunted pasts, etc. But I’ve recently transitioned to a more complex portrayal of this same truth. Because, really, life is much more complex than books. An author’s work should reflect that.

 

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

I will admit, Mary Meade of Who Killed Edie Montgomery? is based in large part on my own introverted, antisocial personality. She’s also rather crabby. (Me again.)

 

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

The book that influenced me most as a child was Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It portrayed perfectly, and in an almost fairy-tale-like manner, an innocent orphan’s triumph over the evils of the world that surrounds him. It always spoke loudly to me, and still does.

In my adult years, the book nearest my heart is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. It’s a perfect blend of fantasy, classic-style writing, and good old-fashioned quality story-telling. I can’t praise it highly enough. (I may be somewhat obsessed with it.)

 

 

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

I’d have to say that (as is fairly obvious from the “fave books” question) my favorite modern author is Susanna Clarke. I’ve not come across another who grasps me in such a way with their writing. I’m looking forward to reading The Ladies of Grace Adieu.

 

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

Entity? That would be Jesus, I think. I know, I know – I can hear a few snickers already. But it’s true enough. I derive all my strength and support from Him.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I can see it well enough – but I can’t quite reach it yet! Can I get an amen from the choir?

 

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

To be honest, shortly after the publication, I had a few regrets, and did a bit of revising. The next month, I re-published. No one noticed. (One of the bittersweet effects of indie publishing.)

 

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

When I was really little, my mom would read to me pretty much all the time. That’s where I got my love for words, I think. Now, Ma sees the ABC Mouse commercials on TV, and she says, “Why’s that necessary? Just read to the darned kids!”

Then, a few years later, I started devouring those Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine. I had shoeboxes full of them. That was the door to the “writerly” world, I think.

 

 

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

I’m currently working on Mystery No. 2. Also, I plan on re-releasing a middle-grade Halloween novel on October 1, under the pen name “Athellia Lovegood.” In November, I’ll be re-releasing a historical novel called The Grey Rider.  I realize it’s a bit short notice for Down the Halloween River, but for both books, I’ll be searching for reviewers to send ARCs to. (If anyone is interested, btw, please let me know.)

 

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

Sometimes the simple act of writing is challenging. When your mind is full, it’s tough to sit down, clear everything away, and fill your brain with the subject at hand. It’s like nothing else can exist, while you’re writing. If it does, you’re going to have trouble. I know I sometimes do.

 

 


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

Oh, I really wish I did! Someday I’d love to be able to travel to a foreign location, and set a book there. It’s one of my dreams.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’ve always designed my own covers. Granted, when I first started out, I wasn’t very good at it – but I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. “Design” is one of my new favorite things. I sometimes think of starting up a small service for designing marketing materials for entrepreneurs.

 

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

Usually, I’d say it’s getting all of the historical details lined up correctly. If you put one little tidbit in the wrong place, you’ll look like a dummy, and then it’s hard for people to take your writing seriously. So sometimes that stresses me out a little! (But it’s okay. I still have most of my hair.)

 

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

I always learn new things from writing. Mostly historical facts. But there’s also always a larger lesson in there, usually about perseverance. You might be able to squeeze orange juice in a few minutes – but you can’t become a recognized author in the same period of time.

 

 

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

Weeeeelllll – for my latest book, I see Katherine Heigl as Mary Meade, and Anne Hathaway as Jessica Price. Be honest. Am I pushing it?

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just a little something. DON’T GIVE UP! If you do, someday you’ll regret it.

 

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

First and foremost, I appreciate your taking the time to read my books, when there are so many other choices out there. Second of all – buckle up, because I think the ride’s going to get a lot crazier from here! (I didn’t used to like to wear my own seatbelt, btw – but I recently got a new car, and if you don’t put your seatbelt on, it makes that annoying ding-ding-ding noise. Yeesh.)

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell. It’s a YA fantasy, and it’s pretty good so far. It actually even gave me a little inspiration for something I’m working on. I’m planning to re-release my middle grade novel, Down the Halloween River, on October 1. The simple illustrations at the top of each chapter in The Twistrose Key gave me the idea to make simple little drawings for my own book. Admittedly, they don’t look as good as Tone’s – but I tried!

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Maybe not exactly the first, but one of the first was The Velveteen Rabbit. I’ll always remember that as one of my favorite picture books.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Almost everything makes me laugh. As a friend on my blog said just the other day, “When you’re mentally unstable, you have to be able to laugh at yourself – or you’ll die.” And, yes, I admit it – tearjerker movies make me cry. For some reason, I always get really teary during the last Harry Potter movie. (Don’t laugh at me.)

 

 

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

You know, I’m not sure about that. Once upon a time, I thought I might like to meet Charles Dickens – but what if he turned out to be not such a nice guy, and that ruined my admiration for him? I think I’d like to leave him shrouded in a little mystery.

 

 

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

Oooohhh – morbid. Love it. Probably something like, “(Real Name) – Her spirit relieved a little of the world’s darkness.” Someday, if my books take off, I’d love to use them as a platform for other things, like sharing my love for God with a diverse audience, especially LGBT people. I love people like Joyce Meyer, but I feel that the minority groups need a bigger representation in the ministry.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I love searching for bargain music on Amazon; and I LOOOVE shopping for clothes. Way too much, I think.

 

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

A couple of my fave TV shows are “Zoo” and “Major Crimes.” At least – those are the ones I’m watching right now. My fave of all time is “Once Upon A Time,” which should be coming back soon! So excited.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Fave food is linguine with sausage sauce, fo’ sho’. Fave color? Hmmm — #1 is definitely pink, #2 probably purple. As to music? I can be very eclectic. Absolute faves, though, are classical music and movie scores. (I’m obsessed with movie scores, as my Amazon download history will tell you.)

 

 

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

Hmmm. I sometimes think it might be interesting to be an interior decorator. I love design, not just with my books and social media, but with personal things, as well. I recently did a little re-decorating at home, and looking at the outcome, I thought maybe that was something I might have been good at. Maybe.

 

 

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

I have two blogs: one I’ve been running since October, and another I just started this month. Here are the links:

Blackwood’s Magazine (Literary Journal): https://cmblackwood.wordpress.com/

Blackwood’s Follies: https://blackwoodsfollies.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cm_blackwood

 

Links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H0TOGDU#nav-subnav (Edie)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M8AZZ14#nav-subnav (Dahlia)

 

Here is my interview with T.A Peters

Name T.A Peters

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

Age

I am thirty-seven years-old.

Where are you from

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

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Only in my imagination.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

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


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

Only this: Thanks for reading!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

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

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

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

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

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

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

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

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

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

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

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is my interview with Jesikah Sundin

Name: Jesikah Sundin

 

Age: 38  

 

Where are you from? Tell us about yourself.

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

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

 

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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

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

 

 


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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

 

 


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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

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

 

 


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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

 

 


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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

 

 


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

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

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

You are good enough.

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

 

 


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

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

 

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

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

 

 


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

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

Huh. All female scifi/fantasy authors.

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

 

 

 

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

 

 


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

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

 

 


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! It’s my full-time job.

 

 


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

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

 

 


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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 


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

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

 

 


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

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

 

 


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

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

 

 


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

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

 

 


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

I’m a badass inner-warrior woman.

That’s it.😀

 

 

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

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

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

                Character – Actor/Musician

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

 


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

This is the message I always give:

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

 

 


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

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

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

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

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

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

 

 

 

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

Two people, actually:

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

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

 

 

 

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

“So long and thanks for all the fish.”

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

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

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

LEGACY (The Biodome Chronicles #1)

DESCRIPTION:

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

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

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

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

 

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

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-7-1

ASIN: B01KBAL1JM

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ELEMENT (The Biodome Chronicles #2)

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

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-6-3

ASIN: B011AHP1CS

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TRANSITIONS: Novella Collection (The Biodome Chronicles #2.5)

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

ISBN-10: 0-9913453-4-7

ASIN:  B01FEAWV3E

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AUTHOR BIO:

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

 

Website               Tumblr

Goodreads         Pinterest

Facebook            YouTube

Twitter                 LinkedIn

Instagram

AWARDS / HONORS:

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

 

REVIEW BLURBS:

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

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

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

Here is my interview with Rex S. Burns

Name   Rex S. Burns

Age 81

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

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

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

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?    

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


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? 

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


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


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? 

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


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?   

Influenced by Hemingway as well as Faulkner and Steinbeck.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?   

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

 Mark Stevens’ clean writing and fast action.


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

Two senses:  curiosity and humor.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career
?

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


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

I must cut out a few words.


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

I always wanted to write.

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

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


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

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


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

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


Fiona: Who designed the covers? 

The artistry of Tirgearr Publishers with my enthusiastic approval.


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

 Rewriting for the exact emotional response.


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

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

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

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


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?  

98% of writers have another job.


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

Listen to the voices and enjoy the ride!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

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

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

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

 Shakespeare–just to hear from read from his work.

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

 The End.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

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

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

Blue Bloods.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music?

South American food; blue; Dixie Land to Bach.

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

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

 

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

 www.rexburns.com

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Joe Lawrence

Name   Joe Lawrence

Age   58

Where are you from

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

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

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

 

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

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

 

 


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

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


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

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


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

No. It’s out there and that’s it.


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing.


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

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

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

My View From The Corner by Angelo Dundee.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

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

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

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

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

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

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

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

Sopranos and Breaking Bad were right up my street.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Meat. Blue. Jazz/Funk/Soul.

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

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

 

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

Three that are important.

https://jolono.wordpress.com/

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

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

 

 

Here is my interview with Barbara G.Tarn

Name Barbara G.Tarn

Age 51 on Aug.25

Where are you from Italy

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

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

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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

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


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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

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


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

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

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

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


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

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

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

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

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

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

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

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

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

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

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

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

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

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

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

Publisher page: www.unicornproductionsbooks.com

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

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

BIO

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

Here is my interview with Maya Tyler

Name Maya Tyler

Age 36

Where are you from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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

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


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

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


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

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


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

My interest in writing comes from my love of reading.

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

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


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

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


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

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


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Lori Lasswell designed the cover of Dream Hunter.


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

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

Writing sex scenes within my comfort zone.

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


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

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

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

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


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep on writing. Practice really does make perfect. J


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

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

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

An anthology called Darlings of Paranormal Romance.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

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

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

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

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

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

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite food – buffet – I’m a serious foodie

Favorite colors – blue and purple

Favorite music – alternative and rock

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for having me here today!

Here is my interview with Jack O’Donnell

Name: Jack O’Donnell

Age: 54

Where are you from: Clydebank

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

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

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

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

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

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

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

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

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

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

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

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Mecob. And what a fantastic job they have done.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Aye, write.

 

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

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

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

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

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes, Janet and John.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

Nah, cremated, scatter my ashes on the wind.

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

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

 

 

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

I’d liked to have been a real person.

 

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

https://odonnellgrunting.wordpress.com

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

 

 

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