Here is my interview with Barb Shuler

Name: Barb Shuler

Age: 37

Where are you from: San Antonio, Texas, but I live in South Carolina right now.

A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc  

I’ve always been a stubborn person. It’s my inner Texan! For most of my childhood I lived in the back woods of South Carolina, but we moved back home to Texas when I was a teen. I attended school and graduated from Tom C Clark HS in San Antonio in 98. I’ve been working since I was 16, and in my short life I have had a total of 4 jobs. My current job (which was started right after high school) I have been at for 18 years. That’s a long time. lol

In general, I’m a simple gal. I like to read, watch horror movies, sew and play with my dog. Oh, and write. 🙂 I’ve always liked to make up stories, and now thanks to the support of my friends and family, I get to do that and enjoy it.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

My third book, Shatter Me Whole was released last month. It’s one that stole my heart. I shouldn’t pick favorites, it’s like picking a favorite child but that one, got me in the feels.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve liked to write since I was a kid. My grandma gave me a diary once, and that was it. I never stopped doodling.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure when, it took a while. The reality of it all sat in after my first book was released. I was 37 and finally living out one of my long time dreams, one I never thought imaginable. I have many of the people closest to me to thank for that. Without stumbling across the Indie book world, I’d never have thought I had a chance to be an author myself.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Ah, well life did. My mama was diagnosed with cancer of the lung and brain in November of 2015. That stress was unreal. We went through so much in the seven months to follow the initial finding that I picked up an old story I had started in ‘99, just to have something to focus on. I needed a positive way to deal with the roaring emotions inside me. Writing was a way to channel the anger, frustration, and worry.

I mentioned to my best friend, Emily, that I had been writing again, and it was her encouragement initially that got the ball rolling.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really. I have multiple books that are completed (just waiting to edit/publish) and they all seem to have a different style. My ‘voice’ changes with the story. Or it seems to be anyhow.

 

 
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Oh, there are many answers here. So far, the stories I have written, and outlined have all been inspired by different things. Some of the titles are inspired by songs. For example, My Own Nightmare, my first published work’s title was inspired by the song, Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold. That song spoke to my character, and I thought it over… and the title was born. In a way my character was living in her own nightmare.

 

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

Maybe? I like to write strong, take-charge women, even if they don’t see that quality in themselves at first. We are all fighters. We can do any dang thing we set our minds to, we just have to believe in ourselves enough to do it. I want every woman to see that, to know it, and to feel it in their bones.

 

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

There is a lot of my books that can be attributed to life in general. Some things have come from my life, some from others and a few that I have seen but not directly affected by.

 

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

Hmm… now that is a good question. I love many books. I love many authors, so it’s hard to say that any one book has influenced me. I do admire the tenacity and feelings the authors I read put into their books. I guess in a small way, everything I read influences me. They say you read and write what you love.

 

 

 

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 love books in general. I have favorites, and favorite authors (but that list is HUGE!). But one of my favorites is TAG by Shari J Ryan. That book is the one that introduced me to the world I love so much. I fell in love with the book, and the author – who is now one of my closest friends – is one of the sweetest people I know. We met because of that story. I sort of stalked her on social media… lol So she is an inspiration to me.

Anyone that knows me, knows my love for all things Stephen King. HE is the one and only author that I used to read. All through High School the love of his books grew. As an adult I was obsessed. Then I discovered others but his works have always been there to inspire me.

 

 

 

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

The Indie Book World itself. I’ve been blessed to meet so many authors through social media outlets. You have a family with this book community and there are many that would do anything and everything they can to help you.

My friends are a huge help daily. My fellow authors are amazing. Annie Anderson (for whom I can NOT live without — Sorry Shawn, LOL), Shari J Ryan, Nancee Cain, Jessa Jacobs.. and many more that I have had the pleasure of working with. They lift you up when you need it. They are the cheerleaders we all need in our corner.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Maybe one day. I’d like that very much but for now, I am content to keep it as is. I will write everyday as I have been and keep hoping more and more people fall in love with the stories I bring them.

 

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

Nothing. The story’s I bring are powerful in their own rights. They are a story that brings hope, love and the sense of family to the forefront. It’s a way to show anyone that love and happiness is possible, even if you have to fight for it. Everything is worth the fight.

 

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

Again i have to give the credit to my grandma all those years ago for giving me that little diary to write all of my secrets into. That started it all.

 

 

 

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

Sure! I have four at the moment… I’m a multi book writer (I think most of us are.)

I have:

Primal Darkness (Paranormal Romantic Suspense/Psychological Thriller)

Finding Harmony (Contemporary Romance)

Shifted (Paranormal Romance)

Rescuing Innocence (Romantic Suspense)

 

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

Keeping up with my idea of what I should write everyday. I do less some days, do more some days. I have had to learn to follow the muse.

 

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

Not really. So far the areas I have books located in, I know well. (Most are set in some part of Texas.) I do have a Cowboy Series that is set in Wyoming. I would love to travel there but for now I have been able to get what I need from Google and the internet.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

One of my best friend, Shari J Ryan (who is a fellow author, I mentioned her before) she is my Cover Artist. She is the bomb.com, let me tell you. She is the owner of MadHat Books and does a wonderful job at taking what’s in my head and making it come to life.

 

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

My need to make every single detail perfect… I drive my friends and beta readers NUTS. But they love me and deal with my OCD fits and ten thousand stupid questions a day. I’d be lost without them.

 

 

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

Yes. I never thought I could do it. I mean, I can write, yes. I can make up all kinds of craziness. But I never had the confidence to just let go and do it. Writing has made that insecurity somewhat a thing of the past. I know I can do anything I set my mind to (just like my grandma used to tell me). Seeing is believing, and all that.

 

 

 

 

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

Now, that’s a good question, depending on the book. For each book I make a “bible” that has all of the information on who that character is, and a list of who the character reminds me of.

If I had to pick one (out of the ones written) I’d have to say my first novel being turned into a movie would be a dream. For that my leads(in a perfect world) would be Katie Cassidy and Stephen Amell. They are my Dani Lynn and Drew.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

I will give the same advice given to me of over the last eleven months. Be yourself. Write with the passion burning inside you, and don’t be afraid to write what you love.

 

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

 

Thank you! Without readers, fans, and friends I couldn’t do what I do.

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Okay at this moment (because I’m a multi book reader) is:

Undone by Brenda K Davies

Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh

Dracones Thaniel by Sheri-Lynn Marean

 

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes and no. It was a Golden book. The ones all of us read as kids. Most likely it was the Disney books set as. My grandparents had a set.

I remember my first “big girl read” was Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. I was eight. Lol

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Animal movies. Movies about losing a family member. Two words: Steal Magnolias. That is THE ugly cry movie of the century for me.

 

 

 

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

It’s always been a wish/hope to meet Stephen King. I mean, he is the man. I’m a huge fan and it will forever be a wish to meet him. Maybe one day, that wish will come true.

 

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

She came, she saw, she conquered.

Because I was able to break through my own insecurities and do something for me, and only me, for which I’m proud of myself.

 

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Yes, I love to sew and do crafts. They’re both relaxing to me.

 

 

 

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

Anything horror(ish) I’ll watch. TV or film. Dirty Dancing, Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, Footloose (both versions) and the Jurassic Park movies are on rotation in my house a lot.

I’m a HUGE TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Marvel, Transformers nut! Oh, and anything with Patrick Swayze (RIP), Keanu Reeves, Kathy Bates, Chris Hemsworth, Kevin Bacon, Chris Evans, Julia Roberts, and Liam Neeson in it!

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Favorite foods are: Chicken, Turkey, lasagna and pizza

Favorite Color is yellow. (Fact about me. I’m color blind, with most colors. Especially dark colors but yellow is one I can usually see with no issues.)

Favorite Music: Has and will always be country. I’m from the old school as that’s what I was raised on. Nothing beats it. Though I love other genres and such.

 

 

 

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

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse or a veterinarian… both of which I can’t do because blood and people or animals in pain would slowly kill me. I’m very content with me as a person, I don’t see me wanting to change it.

 

 

 

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

I have both. I’ve been blogging after all kinds of different things off and on  since 2010. And my websites all new and pretty.

Website > http://authorbarbshuler.com

Author blog, all about my books is > http://authorbarbshuler.blogspot.com

I also have my book blog where we do promotions and such for other authors and promotional services > Paging Through The Days (http://pagingtheoughthedays.blogspot.com <> http://facebook.com/PagingThroughTheDays)

Website ~ Facebook (Author) ~ Facebook (P)Goodreads ~ Twitter

https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Shuler/e/B01NCQY0WL/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barb-Shuler/e/B01NCQY0WL/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Here is my interview with Brandy Dorsch

 

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

 

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

My name is Brandy Dorsch.  I am 38 years young.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I currently live in Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

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

I am a married mother of three.  My husband and I have been married 17 years in just a few weeks.  We have two sons, ages 16 and 13 and an angel daughter that we lost a few years ago. I work for a hospital as a medical coder and I enjoy it.  I am an amazon one click hoarder.  I have several thousand books on my ipad and my TBR list will take a lifetime to work through.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am currently getting ready for a signing in July called Kiss and Tell.  I have been invited to write in Kindle Worlds.  We are doing a project called The Bennett Witch Chronicles based on Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries.  I am excited about this.  I have a writer’s retreat that I am participating in this August.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote poetry in high school but I didn’t start writing till a few years ago.  I have always created stories in my head but never thought to be a writer.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

*snort*  I don’t consider myself a writer.  I usually identify as a reader or blogger before I even think of being a writer.  I have taken some time off of writing to care for my husband and I am just starting to pick up again.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? 

A few years ago I was selected to be part of an exclusive group that works with Avon Publishing.  I was reviewing books for them on a regular basis and started blogging.  Not long after that a group of the girls and authors decided to participate in NaNo (National Novel Writing Month).  I joined them.  I wrote my book in 9 days.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Everlasting Hunger.  Actually, my youngest son came up with it.  He thought it sounded “vampirey.”

 

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

I don’t feel like I have a particular style.  I currently write paranormal romance.  The difficulty with this genre is trying to find something a little different to make your book or characters unique to everything else that is out there.

 

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

Very little.  When I was struggling to figure out what to write, my husband reminded me to write what I wanted to read and that is where Everlasting Hunger came from.

 

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

No, I don’t do any traveling for them.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Rachel Mizer over at Shoutlines Designs.  She did the covers for Everlasting Hunger and Eternal Beginnings.  Jena Gregoire designs my websites and she did the cover to the #AmWriting book that I am involved in.

 

 

 

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

Just to have fun and that not everything has to be the way society dictates.

 

 


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

I live in the world of Indie writers.  There is always someone new that I am discovering.  I don’t have one favorite writer.  There are too many that I love to read over and over again.  I just finished the final book in the Fallen Crest Series by Tijan.  She amazes me with the way her characters have developed over the series.  I am a huge fan of Julia Quinn and her Bridgerton Series

 

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

There have been a lot of people who have encouraged me to follow my dream of being a writer.  I had a boss a few years ago that allowed me to write at work on my downtime.  He always told me that he admired that I was willing to step out of my box and do something extraordinary.  He passed away from cancer at 33 but I still think of him often.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

LOL! Not for me.  I sell books every month with Amazon but not anything that would allow me to do more than go to the movies.

 

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

Well, I am currently working on five books so at this point there isn’t anything I would change.  I like the direction that they are heading,

 

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

Yes, I am a pantser.  This means that I just sit down and start writing.  I have learned that I need to find a way to be more organized with my writing and outlines.

 

 

 

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

Honestly, I have never thought about it.  If it was optioned I think it would be better for tv than a movie.  I would love to see Stephen Amell in the role of Jasper.

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Believe in yourself.  It is easy to see reviews and think that you are a failure or that you should quit but just remember that opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one.  You don’t have to live your life based on someone else’s opinion of your work.

 

 
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Don’t give up on me.  I know it has been awhile since I have published everything but I am getting there.

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now? 

Nothing at the moment.  I have several that I need to review but haven’t decided yet.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, I don’t.  I do remember that I picked up my first Harlequin at 10 and I never looked back.

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My kids and my friends make me laugh.  My husband’s battle with cancer makes me cry.

 

 

 

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

I would like to meet Joan of Arc.  She was an amazingly powerful and strong woman.  She faced difficulties that would have broken many people but she stood fierce in her beliefs.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading is my hobby.  There is nothing better than a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine and a good book.

 

 

 

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

I am a TV/Movie junkie.  I love all the Marvel films, romantic comedies, Dramas, anything horror based (especially Wes Craven movies) anything by Joss Whedon, and pretty much anything that catches my eye.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Coffee is a food group for me.  I love chocolate and pizza.  Sushi is a must have as well.  I am an eclectic when it comes to music.  I listen to everything from CCR to Justin Bieber.  I love Halestorm.  They are one of my favorite bands.

 

 

 

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

I would continue to read and support all of the amazing authors that I have grown to adore over the years.

 

 

 

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

Nothing.  I plan on being cremated.

 

 

 

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

 

They can follow my author stuff at brandydorsch.com.  If they want to follow my review blog it is romancebookworm.com.  I also run a blog that sends out daily emails with sales and bargains on paranormal and urban fantasy books.  It can be followed at paranormalandurbanfantasybargains.com.

My personal FB page:

https://www.facebook.com/brandy.dorsch

Author page:

https://www.facebook.com/authorbrandydorsch/

Blog Pages:

https://www.facebook.com/RomancebookwormsReviews/

https://www.facebook.com/paranormalandurbanfantasybargains/

Twitter handles:

@romancebookworm

@pufbargains

#AmWriting: http://amzn.to/2rNoH5O

Link to Everlasting Hunger: http://amzn.to/2rec7zI

Eternal Beginnings: http://amzn.to/2qSoU9Q

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Brandy-Dorsch/e/B00EHIM716/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1495565597&sr=1-2-ent

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me!  I am beyond grateful!

 

Here is my interview with Suzie Lockhart

Name Suzie Lockhart

Age 51…ugh

Where are you from Pittsburgh, PA

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

Born in 1966, I was adopted by a lovely older couple who had tried to have a baby for 20years. I discovered a love for writing in 5th grade, and was highly encouraged by many English teachers to WRITE! But I was also good at art… I graduated from Norwin Senior High School in the fun & fabulous 80’s, and a little later that decade, graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I was a ‘Jack—or Jill-lol—of all trades; I worked in retail, then back at the Art Institute as an Admissions Rep. After my third baby, I freelanced as a caricature artist, a Pampered Chef Representative, and a jewelry designer. It was after I had my fourth child, my only daughter, that writing called me home.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

In elementary school, I was painfully shy, and often bullied. In the fifth grade, I had an amazing English teacher who helped bring me out of my shell…through writing!

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 

When I got my 1st story, ‘Instinct’ published in Dark Moon Digest’s ‘‘’Frightmares: A Fistful of Flash Fiction Horror’. I was able to let my mom, who supported my writing 100%, know I finally was going to be published…two days before she passed away.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

That is something I am still working on. A few years ago, my middle son & business partner, Bruce and I completed an 85,000 word YA novel. A few agents requested the manuscript, but ultimately, they turned it down. The initial idea has changed and evolved, and we are working on something new. It is also a Young Adult book, but is top secret for now.

 

 
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I have written Horror, Young Adult, Dark Fantasy, and I just sold my first Erotica short story—under a pseudonym. Together, Bruce and I have about 50 short stories published, and have edited several anthologies. Three of those placed in the top ten in the P&E Readers’ Poll.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

We came home from vacationing in our favorite spot, Wildwood, New Jersey. We were refreshed, and discussed in detail what we felt we needed. Let’s just say…we went from really hot to really cold.

 

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

The novel will deal a lot with people fearing what they don’t understand.

 

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

There will be parts drawn from real life experiences. I can say no more.

 

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

J.K. Rowling.

 

 

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

As mentioned above, J.K. Rowling. There are other authors whose work I greatly admire, such as: Robin Wasserman, M.R. Carey, Stephenie Meyer, Lisa McMann, and Scott Westerfield.  Right now, reading submissions for ‘Killing It Softly, volume 2’, I have read so many outstanding stories that it is hard to narrow down to just a few authors. Besides, I don’t like to play favorites-lol!

 

 

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

My good friend and former neighbor, Lesley Boatright. She is a busy teacher and mom, yet she took the time to read not only quite a few of my short stories, but our entire young adult manuscript. My Aunt Gloria and birthmother, Linda, also took time out of their hectic lives! Thank you all!

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Writing and Editing, yes.

 

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

I would write it faster!

 

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

Through the encouragement of my 5th grade teacher.

 

 

 

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

Due to the success of the first volume of ‘Killing It Softly’, my publisher, Digital Fiction Publishing decided to do a second volume. I just completed reading submissions for #2! I am also working on a poetry anthology for Lycan Valley Press.

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Softly-Digital-Fiction-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01LX96Q69/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495505519&sr=1-1&keywords=killing+it+softly

 

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

Not trying to edit my work as I go. And writing something every day.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The publishers I work for take care of that.

 

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

Imagining the future.

 

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

We were so naïve writing our first manuscript! I miss that, however…it’s much more difficult now.

 

 

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

No way! I’d rather be behind the scenes!

 

 
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t. Give. Up…!!!

 

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

Thank you!

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

‘The Ones’

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Nancy Drew…all of them!

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I like ‘Inside Voice’ humor. I hate to cry.

 

 

 

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

Of course, I’d love the opportunity to take a stroll with Jesus Christ, as I am a born-again Christian. However, the slightly darker side of me would love to meet Mary Shelley…I am a true oxymoron!

 

 

 

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

Something nice. I often feel as if I do and say the wrong thing. We recently memorialized my Grandfather, who was a WWII vet…a paratrooper. He was an amazing guy; everyone adored him. He had a great sense of humor, and a sunny disposition. It made me want to be better…

 

 

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

I make jewelry sometimes. I love to read, naturally.

 

 

 

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

That list is LONG!!! Walking Dead, Homeland, Scorpion, Better Call Saul, I Zombie, Billions, Orphan Black…The best movie I saw this past year was ‘The Arrival’. Brilliant!

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Mack’s Pizza in Wildwood, New Jersey. Black. I like a wide variety of music, from Sam Cook to Aerosmith to Lady Gaga.

 

 

 

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

An artist. Or a football player. A wide receiver, to be exact. If I was a guy. A big, fast, strong one.

 

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

I mostly promote through Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Suzie-Lockhart-authoreditor-519626704905620/

https://www.amazon.com/Suzie-Lockhart/e/B00DTIG29I/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_12

Here is my interview with Martin Ferguson

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

 

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

 Martin Ferguson and I turned 30 earlier this year.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I currently live in Norwich, England, but have previously lived in Nottingham and London for a few years at a time.

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

I studied Business Management at Nottingham Trent University and currently work as an Urgent & Emergency Care Manager in the NHS. I am married and expecting my first child in September (keeping the gender a surprise).

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am very excited that the second book in my series Relic Hunters will be out on 1st June. It is called Curse of the Sands.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing as a way to avoid studying – especially around exam times. Over the years I wrote more and more, releasing a few novels and short stories under the pseudonym of Edward Drake. Then I came up with the idea of Relic Hunters, contacted Little Bird Publishing and the rest is history.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I first held the paperback copy of Eagle of the Empire, book one of the Relic Hunters series.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I wanted to write something that I myself would enjoy. I had been through a period of starting and stopping a number of books that I just could not get into – so I decided to give writing a go myself. Believe me, it was a lot harder than I thought. What really encouraged me to give writing a go with the Relic Hunters series was a knee injury that prevented me from football and running. I focussed all my attention to writing – initially as just a method of staying sane whilst I healed up. In a way that injury was a blessing in disguise.

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The titles for the books and the series as a whole are pretty self-explanatory. The series revolves around a group of treasure seekers working for the British Museum in London. The first entry, Eagle of the Empire,revolved around the team seeking out a Roman Legion Eagle standard. The second entry coming out on 1st June, Curse of the Sands, is about the discovery of a mysterious pyramid and the terrible dangers awaiting the explorers within.

 

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

I would not say that I have a particular writing style. I just try to entertain the reader. I try to not plan everything out – the plot, the characters, etc., but I’m afraid it does usually turn out that way simply to tie everything together and make sure I don’t forget anything. I find the biggest challenge is generally finding the time to write. With a full-time job and a baby on the way – I don’t think this challenge is going to get any easier!

 

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

I wish the books were based on experiences in my own life! That would be amazing. Sadly this is not the case and I guess the stories are wish fulfilment for me.

 

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

I do try to visit all the locations that feature in my stories. In preparation for Eagle of the Empire I visited the British Museum in London, Loch Lomond in Scotland, Rome and Pompeii in Italy and Vatican City. This was all before and during the process of writing the book.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My publisher Little Bird Publishing designed the covers and I could not be happier with them.

 

 

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

There are a few messages throughout the stories; trust, family and never giving up on what you seek no matter the setbacks.

 

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

I am currently reading A Hole in The Ice by fellow Little Bird author McCallum Morgan. I’m about halfway through and its proving to be an excellent mix of epic fantasy, historical and steampunk all rolled into one.

My all-time favourite author has always been Bernard Cornwell. The characters he creates are extremely relatable, despite the time settings, and the way he describes battles have you feeling like you are actually there in the midst of it all.

 

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

Really I cannot thank Little Bird Publishing enough. They helped and are still helping me to develop as a writer and without them none of my stories would ever see the light of day.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I would love for writing to be a full-time career for me and hopefully it will be in the future. For now I use every minute I have spare to work on the Relic Hunters series and develop my writing.

 

 

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

I would maybe add in a few little details and conversations that I have thought of since. I know that a lot of writers don’t like reading their previous books as they see things that they would change – to be honest I think I am going to be very similar.

 

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

Book two was a lot harder to write than book one. I guess in a way it’s the same for musicians and their infamous second album. For book two I wanted to expand the world of the series and introduce new characters but it quickly became a balancing act of expanding but not taking the focus away from the original roster of protagonists.

 

 

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

The lead protagonist in the Relic Hunters series is Adam Hunter, 17 years old, rebellious, reckless and always eager for an adventure.If the series was made into a film I think the casting for Adam Hunter would need to be someone like Taron Egerton (though I know he is currently 27). It would need to be someone with a bit of edge to them but heart too.

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Do not be afraid to tell others that you write or what you write about. It truly is an amazing thing to dedicate yourself and your time to writing and it is something to be proud of. Above all though, write. Write and make mistakes – it is the only way we learn!

 

 

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Just that I hope they enjoy what I have written so far and that I have a lot of big plans for the next few books in the Relic Hunters series.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

A Hole in The Ice by fellow Little Bird author McCallum Morgan.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I can remember reading was the Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – a great story about a magic cupboard that could bring plastic figures and toys to life (this was before Toy Story hit the cinemas).

As a young adult it was Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwall. It is still to date my favourite book of all time.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Sadly it is usually the inappropriate things that make me laugh – like my nephew accidently tripping over and landing face first in the mud. For crying – I must admit there were tears when I first felt my baby kick – I’ve no idea what I will be like when they are finally born!

 

 

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

I always wanted to meet Muhammad Ali. His charisma and energy always impressed me and I used his example a few times during my own running training and in life, specifically; ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’.

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is a good one too – to ask him what it was like to lead your country when it was on the brink of annihilation during the Second World War.

I would love to see my grandad again too. He passed away a few years ago – before I was married or saw any of my books published. He always encouraged me and I would love to speak to him again and tell him all that has happened.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Outside of writing I am a keen runner and occasionally play football when my team needs me. The knee injury I mentioned before was inflicted during a game of football. I was told by surgeons that the damage was so great that I would never run or play sports again and that there were no medical/surgical options. I was determined to prove them wrong and though it took a long time I was able to recover enough to run again. I then sought to prove myself further by participating in running challenges; first 5kms, 10kms, half marathons and then this year the Greater Manchester Marathon. I still return to play football when needed but I am always cautious of damaging the injury even further.

 

 

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

At the moment I have been watching a mix of historical / fantasy TV shows; Game of Thrones, Vikings, Black Sails, The Walking Dead and Arrow/Flash. I enjoy films that are much the same enjoying this year’s Star Wars Rogue One, King Arthur and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two.

 

 

Fiona: Favourite foods, colours, music?

Food: Depends on the mood but Spaghetti Bolognaise, British Sunday Roast or Sweet & Sour Chicken Chinese takeaway.

Colours: Red and white (Arsenal fan)

Music: Foo fighters or 30 Seconds to Mars

 

 

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

I really don’t know, maybe more running or more of a return to playing football again. To be honest out of those options I would rather be writing.

 

 

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

Something like Spike Milligan’s ‘I told you I was ill’.

 

 

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

I have my Facebook Author page and my website. There is also the Little Bird Publishing website for updates as well and my books are available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Martin Ferguson Author Facebook Page

Martin Ferguson Author Website

Little Bird Publishing Website

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

Here is my interview with Michael Seidel

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

 

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

Michael Seidel, sixty years and a couple hundred days old.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 I was born in Virginia in the US. I was a military brat, though, so I’ve lived all over the U.S., and then I was in the military and lived and traveled the world. I now live in southern Oregon.

 

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

­Retired from the  U.S. Air Force after twenty years in 1995. I’ve been married for forty-two years and now live in Ashland, Oregon, held hostage by four male cats. IF YOU CAN READ THIS, PLEASE SEND CAT KIBBLE. I did stints in Silicon Valley in the SF Bar Area with medical device and computer security startups, and then fifteen years with IBM, ending my relationship with them in 2015.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I completed a draft of another science fiction novel, “Incomplete States,” last week. I’m editing and revising it now. After it’s published, I’ll return to writing “Personal Lessons with Savanna,” the third novel in that mystery series. I’m looking forward to writing it because Studs begins to more sharply question his mysterious years that seemed inaccessible to him while struggling to maintain separation from his dead girlfriend’s persona that’s residing in him.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’d finished reading a fantasy novel and thought, “I can write something better than this.” I was so arrogant, I believed it would be easy. I’ve since learned that even a crappy novel requires skill, discipline, and talent to write.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d submitted a short story to Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. George Scithers was the editor. He wrote me a very nice personal rejection letter. From then on, I thought of myself as a writer. I believe that he probably wrote many of those letters, but I accepted that it was personal, and for that, I’m eternally grateful to Scithers. His rejection encouraged me to keep writing.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Well, let’s address the first published book, “Returnee.” It is, in essence, a survival story. Based on the future, multiple ideas inspired it. One was the increased use of cell phones and social media, and the increasing need for people to constantly be in touch with one another. A flawed Microsoft update that screwed up computers using Windows Vista, 7, or 8 came out. Getting it fixed required a rollback. At the same time, a new virus was rolling out there, causing issues. I was then contemplating the idea that people are embedded with augmented digital storage, and use virtual assistants as their memory, sex, as therapists, etc.

That led to the idea that a fourth-waver named Brett had a flawed update to his neural-ware and bio-ware. Combined with an accident in space, database errors, and some elapsed time, corrections and repairs eluded him. ‘Fourth-wavers’ is the future term for those people who inhabit a planet for a set period of time after terra-forming to ensure the planet is safe, an over-reaction to one disaster.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I’ll address my first novel for that question.

Returnee works as a term in multiple applications in the novel. In the primary plot, Brett was a Returnee to Earth due to the database error – a place that he didn’t want to go to, because he was a fourth-waver – and he was a Returnee to the corporation he worked for after an extended absence. As there was a huge gap in his knowledge and his functions due to the flawed update, he was also a Returnee to being himself. In the secondary plot, Kimi was a Returnee after being in stasis without his knowledge.

 

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

My style tends toward the fluid. I like stream-of-consciousness thinking and epiphanies.

 

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

Well, “Returnee” is based on disastrous software updates that take place, and the ongoing challenge to secure systems and data against hacking. Yet, as it gets more complicated and embedded in our existences, we expose ourselves to greater risk. Technology and its related security is a risk/reward conundrum.

 

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

No, sadly.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Me.

 

 

 

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

Nothing is ever as it seems, and people have separate perceptions and memories about events, and different plans than what they might reveal.

 

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

The question of a favorite among anything is difficult; favorite, to me, varies by my needs as a person at a given time, so it’ll fluctuate. Sometimes I’ll weary of a writer. But the few whose books I consistently look forward to more than others are Michael Chabon, Tana French, Kate Atkinson, Patrick Rothfuss, Neil Gaiman, C.J. Sansome, and Louise Erdrich. While the others are merely brilliant, Louise is a stunning writer. Her words flow like water, sometimes hard and thunderous or soft and smooth, but always fluid. I strive for that fluid prose. She’s also an insightful story-teller.

 

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

My ‘writing group’. There were a few of us pursuing publication in Ashland, Oregon, and we met, not to seek or give critiques, but to chat as writers about the challenges of writing and publishing. It was uplifting to discover others going through the same tribulations as me.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It is a career, and I plan to continue it as a career.

 

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

Well, it’s still in editing and revision, so I don’t have an insight into anything like that yet.

 

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

Writing is like a river. Some stretches are more challenging than others, but all of it must be endured to finish. Just keep going. I also learned more about quantum physics.

 

 

 

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

Again, addressing “Returnee,” I’d like to cast Toby Maguire or Sam Rockwell as Brett. I can see either of them fumbling through crashing on Earth and struggling to survive and get their neural-ware and bio-ware updated.

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

First, read. Read, read, read. Reading always massages and stimulates my writing urges.

There’s no formula or magic. Find your style and your process. Write for yourself, be true to yourself, be patient and persevere. Whatever. Who am I to give advice on this?

 

 
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Yeah, if you read my books, you’re embracing complications, but that’s my take on life. Life and getting through the days is complicated. Meetings and efforts are filled with half-understood, half-explained, and half-assed facts and misunderstandings. We don’t know nearly as much as we think we do, and that’s what the novels are all about, regardless of the genre.

 

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

An old one, “The Shadow of the Wind.”

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?Not really. The first title that comes to mind is “Sabre Jet Ace.”

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Stories of murder, stupidity, discrimination, abuse and cruelness make me cry. I laugh at a lot of things.

 

 

 

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

My father as a teenager. I can’t learn anything about his youth, so I’d like to meet the sixteen-year-old version of him to see who he was. Maybe then I can begin to understand more about who he is.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Feeding and herding cats, drinking beer to relax from feeding and herding cats, reading, home improvement projects, walking, and taking care of cats. I like to travel, but I have cats.

 

 

 

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

“American Gods,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Justified,” “Bosch,” “Raised By Wolves,”“Jack Irish,” “The Expanse,” “Dark Matters,” “Game of Thrones,” “Westworld,” “Rake” (Aussie version with Richard Roxburgh), “The Preacher,” “Into the Badlands,” and “The Americans.” That’s a partial list.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Blueberry pie, purple, classic rock and R&B – Bowie, the Who and the Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, the Cranberries, and U2 – you get the idea.

 

 

 

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

 Read. Drink beer, paint,and travel. Either that, or become a pro football player. Or a beach bum. It depends on what the cats will allow.

 

 

 

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

 I don’t plan to have one. I want to be cremated, and then use my ashes as kitty litter to reduce my carbon footprint. I think my cats would appreciate that.

 

 

 

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

I certainly do!

Blog – Michael Seidel, Writer

On Facebook – feel free to friend me.

Amazon author page – My novels are all listed on this page:

“Returnee” (Science Fiction)

“Life Lessons with Savanna” and “Road Lessons with Savanna” (Mystery series)

“Everything Not Known” (Science Fiction)

 

Thanks for the opportunity, Fiona!

Here is my interveiw with Clifton Kenny

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

 

Hey Fiona. Thanks for this opportunity.

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

 

Clifton Kenny, I am 57.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 

I am originally from Burlington Vermont.

 

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

 

I studied science, music, and education. I taught high school science for 20 years, now I’m loving retirement in sunny San Diego where I write and give music lessons. – In between dog runs on the beach.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

 

I am having fun helping a new young writer in our little group, Clifton Kenny Publishing. Emerson Gamble is authoring the first installment of our YA series, titled Bad Luck Zach. It’s fun to just be supportive and throw my two cents in here and there as an editor/publisher/mentor.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I can remember back in my school days, the long writing assignments that made all the kids groan were always something I could rattle off easily. In high school, college, and grad school, I got a more than a few comments from professors that I should be a writer. I always brushed it off. Once I realized my adult ADD was not going away, I started writing when I had to wait for my girls to get ready to go out, when I couldn’t sleep, and when my wife was busy working on her master’s degree. An odd reason to start writing maybe, but the bug bit me hard, and I just kept at it.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Well, I remember when I got a preliminary copy of the first edition of Reflections in the mail, and on the back cover it was stamped “PROOF.” I snapped a pick and posted a cheesy line about having proof that I’m a real author. That was the moment!

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I remember being on long runs when my imagination would wander. I would people-watch, and wonder what traits they got from their ancestors, what stories their family line might hold, and how it would make a good book. I’m a closet history buff and a science fiction fan, so those elements were fun to explore. Once the plot kind of took off in my head, the northeastern edge and theological philosophy just seemed to fit perfectly based on places I have lived and experiences I’ve had.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I just kept it simple and went for less is more. Shane’s ability needed a name, and I like the alternative definitions of the word reflection.

 

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

I don’t know that I have a specific style, but one element that is important to my writing is authentic dialogue. I want my characters’ voices to be raw and real; if they used slang, improper grammar, or didn’t pronounce word endings in that area or time period, I want the reader to see that. This can make for a lot of research when characters from different time periods speak different versions of old English. I also like to develop characters whose intelligence might seem surprising or unlikely to most readers. Homeless vets, tough kids from the ‘hood, shy awkward types . . . it always feels rewarding to reveal their hidden intellect.

 

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

I used some of my own teenage experiences to sketch out Shane’s life. I had a paper route, I was the youngest, and lived in Boston and the Vermont islands. I also definitely resurrected some memories of high school and college friends, those times when being an almost-adult can be very R-rated. I had a friend with four brothers whose house earned the title of ‘Hotel,” after their family name due to overnight parties that were frequently held there, so I borrowed that dynamic of an innocent good-hearted kid being immersed in the older teens’ party scene. I also took from experiences playing soccer in a seriously competitive soccer town, and being moved up early to be the youngest on the team.

 

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

I have not had to travel for my writing yet, but I have focused on places I have lived in a few different projects. If my writing ever supports more traveling, that would be sweet!

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I found a connection by networking with friends of friends. They connected me to a great artist in a company called Serebral 360. I am very happy with it!

 

 

 

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

I have promoted some book blurbs on social media in the past with the hash tag #historyplusscienceequalsfaith. I think faith in God, fate, kharma, the universe and most religions can embrace science as an evolving, best possible way to explain miracles with irrefutable evidence. –And that history can explain the human condition and give validity to countless generations of faith. The lead characters of Reflections portray the viewpoints of history, science, and faith in a way that creates a balanced equation. It’s enlightening to see how intertwined these elements can be.

 

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

The most recent addition to my list of favorites would be R.J. Palacio. Otherwise I lean on the classics like C.S. Lewis, J.D. Salinger, mixed with some historic fiction and nonfiction, some musician types’ autobiographies, and a few graphic novels here and there. My all-time favorite book has got to be Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. I remember reading that in high school because I had to, and discovering like, hey! This dude is real! Finally a genuine character I can relate to!

 

 


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

The San Diego Writer’s/Editor’s Guild or SDWEG recommended my manuscript of Reflections for publication through their manuscript evaluation process. They also published a short story of mine in their annual anthology titled The Guilded Pen. That story is currently in the works to become a children’s book with a very talented illustrator on board, so I am pretty psyched about that project!

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Sure, but more of a second career, and/or retirement project. I started in my late forties, and was surprised how much I really loved it. The learning curve takes a while before it ever turns a profit. It’s an exciting, interesting journey, and it lets me dream big dreams, but they take time.

 

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

That is a tempting question because of this dilemma: I didn’t start writing with selling a ton of books in mind. I started writing because it is really fun to write selfishly. By that I mean writing stories and characters that are intriguing for me to imagine, design, research, and develop. A novel that has a young athletic teen with a supernatural ability, genuine friends, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction elements, a party house, a handful of R-rated taboo scenes, and a theme of developing religious faith amidst good versus evil sounds like a blast to read… to me. And it was a blast to write, but I’m not sure if it is mainstream enough for everyone to want to run out and buy a copy. –With that being said, I guess my answer is . . . hell no! I wouldn’t change a thing. The minute I try to market the mainstream, it stops being fun to write.

 

 


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

I learned so much! Another reward for writing projects that require a lot of research – I get to flex those lifelong learner muscles. I was surprised how events in American history I researched now have more current, alternative possible explanations that were never in the age-old, patriotic textbooks we learned from growing up. It’s like every thing now has a Zinn-ist slant if you look for it. I have also noticed that truly good science fiction is based on a fair amount of true science, so it was cool to research genetics and mapping the human genome to back up Shane’s ability.

 

 

 

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

Maybe a Grayson Russell or a Daryl Sabara could pull off The Shane Sullivan character. He needs an old-school kind of persona to fit in to 1970s New England culture, with a young look that holds a hint of wisdom. It also depends on how tall they are.

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write what you love, otherwise what’s the point?

 

 


Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

A Reflections sequel, our YA premiere titled Bad Luck Zach, part three of our short story series The Navigator, and our first children’s book are all in the works! It’s an exciting time at Clifton Kenny Publishing. J You can follow us on social media links found on the blog here:

https://cliftonkennypublishing.wordpress.com
 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m on Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, good stuff. Oh, and I just read Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons to my Grandson. Man, that cat is cool! It’s all good!

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not exactly, but one early memory of a first chapter book I read on my own was when I read Charlotte’s Web. It was unforgettable to get to the end of that story and get a lump in my throat when Charlotte died. What a connection for a young reader like me to feel genuine sadness for an old dead spider!

 

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I like goofy comedies, Adam Sandler-type movies for a good laugh. The San Diego Padres make me cry.

 

 

 

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

I’d love to meet all my great grandparents. I love how stories keep our family line alive, and it would be amazing to get perspective on how my family existed a century ago. This fits well with the theme of Reflections, and Shane’s ability to see people’s family history through their ancestor’s eyes. I even mentioned my great grandparents in the dedication. It’s fun to wonder about where, or who you came from.

 

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I play guitar, a little piano, a little bass, and I have a group of soccer buddies for pick-up games. We try to stay in shape. Try being the key word there.

 

 

 

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

I love Star Trek shows and movies, Marvel and DC shows and movies, and Star Wars flicks, to name a few.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

I like Baja cuisine, Italian food, the color blue for my baby blues, and many genres of music including Celtic folk rock, classic rock, blues, jazz, and jam bands; namely the Grateful Dead and Phish.

 

 

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

I would play out and try to be a musician.

 

 

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

This dude married up, worked hard, and had fun.

 

 

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

Here it is: https://cliftonkennypublishing.wordpress.com/  Thanks a ton!

https://www.amazon.com/Clifton-Kenny/e/B0045X2VZ0

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/clifton-kenny/id1042901277?mt=11 ALL iBOOKS EDITIONS ARE CURRENTLY FREE!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reflections-clifton-kenny/1122691432?type=eBook

 

 

Here is my interview with Marsha Black

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

 

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

Marsha Black and I’m in my mid 30’s

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Virignia

 

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

I am currently taking college classes to get a degree in Web Design and Development. I have two kids. One is 16 and the other is a year old, both are boys.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am currently working on my first book. It’ll wind up being a trilogy, and I have some ideas for spin off books concerning it as well as a prequel.

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even back in elementary school. I started back up and actually am working on finishing my current WIP thanks to all the indie authors I’ve met and befriended.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I feel that everyone who takes the time to write is a writer. It doesn’t matter if you are published or if only you have read your works.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always been interested in the paranormal and I’m not a fan of writing sex scenes, so paranormal YA is what I’m going for. Indie authors and their support are what has inspired me to start back writing a book I had started writing about 12 years ago.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Triplet sisters that are cursed. Hope’s story is about Hope’s story, her part of the curse and what she does about it.

 

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

To be truthful, I don’t. Once I have an idea of what I want to write, I sit at my laptop and just let it come out. There are somethings if I’m undecided, I do ask for other people’s opinions, but outside of that I just let it flow through my fingers to be typed.

 

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

None of the book is realistic or based on anyone. It’s all just ideas and portrayals of people from inside my head.

 

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

I don’t travel at all, I may use normal states, but I usually make up the town. I’m not worried about being specific as it’s just a story, no realty is based on it.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did for the most part. Did have some help from another indie author who writes as well named Veronique Poirier.

 

 

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

No, I just want readers to be interested and if it helps them to escape reality, if that’s what’s needed, then that is all I ask for.

 

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

I’ve met a lot of new authors that in one way or another their books have tickled my fancy. I would have to say Nora Roberts is my favorite as she was the first author I really remember reading. I’m really big on her Key of Trilogy books. Find them fascinating.

 

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

All of the indie authors that I have met through Facebook are all so supportive and help so much in keeping me going as a writer.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to write as a career if my books are liked well enough.

 

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

At this point I would say no, however I am only about a quarter to a third of the way through it 😊

 

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

I learned my grammar is horrible. LOL. But that is what editors are for. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that there’s a lot more to writing a book than you would think.

 

 

 

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

Good question! I absolutely have no idea. I’m just trying to get the book done 😊

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t let anything stand in your way if you truly want to be a writer. Take into consideration what your readers would like to read, while keeping in mind what holds your interest. If you try and write books that don’t hold your interest, it will show to the readers.

 

 
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Only that once my book is available to order, that they purchase it and leave reviews if they find it catches their fancy.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading The Moorigad Dragon written by: Debra Kristi

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I honestly don’t. I’ve always been an avid reader and even in elementary school I would read all the way through our reading books, not just the stories we had to read for the class.

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My kids make me do both. Family is good for a laugh. Cry, when something bad happens to kids. It’s hard for me to watch or see on the news, movie, read about something bad ending up to a child. Especially if they are around my own kids age as I think, what if this was them and it upsets me.

 

 

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

Ian Somerhalder, because he’s just so hot!

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, watching T.V, spending time with my kids. I sometimes crochet and have sewn a little(still learning so really bad at it.)

 

 

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

Castle, Bones, The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time, Baby Daddy, Young and Hungry, Lethal Weapon, Red Sonja, the XXX movies, RED, Kickboxer and so many more.

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Junk food, chocolate, burgers, steak, fries lol. My favorite colors are black and red. I listed to an eclectic of music. Just depends on my mood at the time.

 

 

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

As I mentioned before I am taking classes for web design and development, so will probably go/stay in that field.

 

 

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

Random much? I would have to say probably. Loved by all and who brought special meaning into the lives of those she left behind.

 

 

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

I am working on creating a website, but don’t really have too much on it until I get this book published. Then I plan on doing a whole lot of stuff with it.

 

 

Here is my interview with Aaron Michael Ritchey

Name : Aaron Michael Ritchey

Age: A gentleman never tells his age. Suffice to say, I was under ten when I say STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE

Where are you from: Lakewood, Colorado

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

I grew up loving books and I wrote stories and before long, those stories turned into novels. Went to college, got a job, married, children, sleepless daughters and suddenly, I have to try the publishing game or die. I didn’t die.  

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Under a penname, May 2, 2017 all three books in a steamy contemporary romance series, LOVE OVERBOARD, will hit Amazon like an anchor onto a Seychelles beach.

And THISTLE INFERNO, book three of THE JUNIPER WARS, my epic YA dystopian steampunk post-apocalyptic cattle drive series, hits on June 28, 2017.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

In the third grade, I read A PRINCESS OF MARS and I knew I had to write my own novels. Thanks Edgar Rice Burroughs, wherever you are.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Truth? I’d already written four unpublished books, but I kept my writing a secret. I could hardly admit to myself how much I wanted to be published let anyone else. In 2001, I was living in Paris, revising those four books, walking the same streets Hemingway and Joyce walked, and it hit me…dude, I’m a writer.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? 

A Soundgarden song, “Mailman.” It was way back in 1994 and I was in the teach credential program at Santa Clara University, and I’d had a bad day doing teaching stuff and bam, I sat down and wrote the first chapter of THE DREAM OF THE ARCHER, my epic post-modern fantasy thriller…like David Lynch meets The Lord of the Rings. Oh, and it was part Shakespeare play. It was awesome! Not many people could read it (too awesome), but those that could, loved it (or were being very nice).


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Uh, I write as much as I can and as fast as I can and as purple as I can. I then go in and cut and burn and try to tame the purple.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I go through about a million titles and list them until I despair. Then I find one that doesn’t completely suck.


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

I’ve been told that the unifying theme in all my books is that we can all be heroes, however unlikely.


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

My novel, LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING, was based on my own experiences in high school where I struggled with addiction and depression. Everything else is just life, man. Just life.


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

I’ve had a ton of mentors along the road, Linda Houser (formerly Raurbaugh), Jeanne C. Stein, Mario Acevedo, and lately, D.J. Butler, who is as wise as he is handsome. As for books…Stephen King’s DARK TOWER series and of course, LORD OF THE RINGS. And A PRINCESS OF MARS. Robert E. Howard’s CONAN stories. You know, the basics.

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?

See the answer above for my favorite authors. The new kids on the block? A quick list…

Quincy J. Allen – The BLOOD WARS series – Epic steampunk!

B.K. Brain – DEAD YET DYING – Amazing characters and a great urban fantasy story

D.J. Butler – WITCHY EYE – It’s epic flintlock fantasy, like GAME OF THRONES meets LAST OF THE MOHICANS

Allison M. Dickson – STRINGS – So good, so awful, so much horror. It’s HOUSE OF A 1000 CORPSES meets THE SOPRANOS. Don’t read this unless you like blood and wincing.

Kendal Grey – STRINGS – It’s the pornography of rage. It’s erotica fueled by hate and awesome. Don’t read this unless you like body fluids and wincing.

Stant Litore – THE ZOMBIE BIBLE series – part zombie apocalypse and part scripture…it’s the bible with more brain eating.

Andrea K. Stein – SECRET HARBOR – Historical romance with an older heroine and pirates!

 


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

Can I mention four? Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Pikes Peak Writers, Bard’s Tower, InD’Tale Magazine


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’ve heard you can make a fortune writing fiction, but you can’t make a living. I kind of agree? But yes, it’s a career. I have books. I make enough money to pay my electricity bill. Hurray!


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

Never! It’s published! I revised the thing a zillion times. One of the greatest things about publishing a book is that I get to be done!


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

A PRINCESS OF MARS! Dejah Thoris was so hot!

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

Uh, well, I have a middle grade comedy (very Adam Sandler) called SASS MCQUEEN AND THE KUNG-FU PRINCESS! And I’m working on a young adult dark fantasy called PRETTY, PRETTY HATE PRINCE which is like a bisexual Harley Quinn prince in love with a demon in a city on the edge of hell.


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

Oh, dude, the marketing piece…that’s so brutal. In my next life, I’m just going to be a bestseller right away. It would be so much easier.


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

Ha! My wife and I celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary in Delta, Utah, researching the Fish Springs Wildlife Refuge for THISTLE INFERNO (The Juniper Wars Book 3). I know, wild and exotic. And all that sagebrush? So romantic!


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Natasha Brown does my covers. I love her, but not enough to take her to Delta, Utah.


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

Man, writing books is so time-consuming. And getting those edits back from the editor? Why can’t she see my brilliance? Okay, my genius needs help. Okay, okay, okay.


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

Authors have to be as heroic as the characters they write about. I am on the hero’s journey, right now. Until the day I die.

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

My characters are like real people to me…I can’t ever answer this question. Like Who would play me in the movie? Well, I have an answer to that question. Corey Feldman would play me and I LOVE his new band.


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Get sales and marketing training. Find someone who is part of a network marketing business and attend their sales training. Learn how to sell. And read the book GO FOR THE NO! By Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz.


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

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

George R.R. Martin’s A DANCE WITH DRAGONS – Those first three books were so good! And the last two? The HBO series is so good!

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Esther Averill’s classic FIRE CAT was one. The character arc was very moving.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Real life tragedy makes me laugh. Movies, books, TV tragedies make me cry. I totally have it all backwards.

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

I would totally want to meet Jesus from Nazareth. Without a doubt, it would be fascinating. He might be dull or crazy, but to speak to a man who influenced billions? Yes, please.

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

Ha, just chisel all my ISBNs into the stone and we’ll call it a day. The nice thing about being an author, and at times, it’s the only thing, is that we leave behind a definite legacy.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

Uh, is Netflix a hobby?

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

Speaking of Netflix, I’m an easy audience. But I’d like to call out the original Netflix series, LOVE, with Britta from COMMUNITY. And I’d like to call out COMMUNITY. Six seasons and a movie!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music 

I have a passion for Taco Bell, dark greens and even darker blues, and alternative country music. If you haven’t heard 16 Horsepower, I feel sorry for you.

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

I would’ve liked to sell shoes. “Yes, we have that in brown. In a size twelve? Let me check on that.” Either that or a full-time dreamer. And since we’re on the subject, I would’ve loved to have been a drummer in the band SPINAL TAP.

 

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

Bio

Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of five young adult novels and his short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and online magazines. In 2012, his first novel, The Never Prayer, was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Conference. In 2015, his second novel, Long Live the Suicide King, won the Building the Dream award for best YA novel. In 2016, he was in Dragon Writers: An Anthology, alongside Brandon Sanderson and David Farland. Also last year, the first two novels in his epic YA post-apocalyptic steampunk series, The Juniper Wars, were published through Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. Both are up for InD’Tale Magazine’s best YA: Paranormal/Fantasy/Sci-Fi novel of 2016.

 

In May of 2017, he launched a new penname, Sawyer Stone, and published all three novels of his steamy contemporary romance, the Love Overboard series, which he co-authored with Andrea K. Stein.

 

He lives in Colorado with his sunny wife and two stormy daughters but frequently travels to writers conferences and comic cons across the U.S.

Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Aaron-Michael-Ritchey/e/B007PRZMSQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aaron-Michael-Ritchey/e/B007PRZMSQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1495289499&sr=1-2-ent

 

Here is my interview with Suzanne Lowe

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

 

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

Hi my name is Suzanne Lowe and I am in my forties.

 

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I am from Perth in Western Australia, in the southern half of the world.

 

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

I have a Bachelor of Science and worked for several years as a gym instructor. I have also worked as a barista, library assistant and sports masseuse. I am married and have two daughters, who keep me updated on the latest trends and fads.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My YA novel Seventeen, is now available in the Perth bookstore Boffins. Which is very exciting!

 

 
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing three years ago, when I first decided to start writing my novel Seventeen.

 

 
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think just recently, when I saw Seventeen for sale as a paperback, on the shelf of Boffins bookstore. To see it up there on the shelves with all the other books, was very exciting and encouraging.

 

 
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I always wanted to write a book and as my children grew older, I found that I had some time available and I finally decided to do it.

 

 

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I wanted a title that had a connection with the story and ‘Seventeen’ is literally the age in the story where you are ‘safe’ from the virus. Or so they think

 

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

As I write mainly for the young adult/teen audience, it can be a fine line not to go too overboard with swearing, violence and sexuality. This is especially challenging in a dystopian style genre were quite often the rules of society have broken down, like they have in Seventeen.

 

 

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

I think the book is a scarily realistic scenario, but thankfully not yet, or I wouldn’t be here to write it, as all the adults in my book have died! Having two teen/ young adult daughters, I based some of the jargon and colloquial language the characters use, on things they, or their friends have said.

 

 

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

No. I grew up in a small town in outback Australia as a teenager and so know what it is like to live in a small town, like the one in Seventeen.

 

 
Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My publisher Creativia organised the cover through, The cover collection.

 

 

 

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

You have to stand up to bullies. Even if it is not effecting you directly, you can’t just stand by and watch it happen. Also, everyone is capable of a lot more than they think they are. Sometimes you have to force yourself to step outside your comfort zone to realise this.

 

 

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

I’ve always enjoyed reading Anne Rice. She’s very descriptive and made vampires fun way before they were “cool”.

 

 

 

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

My independent publisher Creativia. They gave me the chance to become a published author and publish my first, and hopefully not my last, book.

 

 
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Not yet. I have a pretty busy life, so for now I’m happy to have writing as a hobby

 

 

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

No, I’m happy with my characters.

 

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

It’s quite a long process from starting a novel to actually getting published.It really is a journey.

 

 

 

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

That would be very exciting. Probably a young, up-and-coming Australian actress like

Maia Mitchelle,Natalie Walker, or my daughter Emilie Lowe!

 

 
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Be patient and don’t get frustrated by rejection. If a publisher doesn’t want to take you on, don’t give up. You can always successfully self-publish.

 

 
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy my characters as much as I do.

 

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Saturday Requiem by Nicci French

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton

 

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My husband, he has the same sense of humour as me!

Black comedy like the English TV series “Black Books”

 

 

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

I would love to meet the Actor Maggie Smith. I think she would be able to tell some really interesting and funny stories.

 

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Besides writing, I love photography. I’m that annoying person taking a hundred photos in the background!

 

 

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

Anything dystopian or sci fi, and the occasional horror.

 

 

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Anything chocolate, purple and the Foo Fighters

 

 

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

Travel the world taking photographs!

 

 

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

She had an adventurous spirit

 

 

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

Website   www.seventeentheseries.com

Amazon Page www.amazon.com/Seventeen-Suzanne-Lowe/dp/1541008898

Goodreads www.goodreads.com/book/show/33349088

Instagramwww.instagram.com/seventeentheseries/

Facebook www.facebook.com/seventeentheseries/?ref=bookmarks

Publishers page http://www.creativia.org/author-suzanne-lowe.html

 

Here is my interview with Mellanie Szereto

Name Mellanie Szereto

Age 53

Where are you from?

I grew up in Ohio, spent three years in Texas, and have lived in rural Indiana for 25 years. I still love going back to Ohio. It feels like home!

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

I’ve been a dance mom, a homeschooler, chief cook and bottle washer, and too many other “Mom” occupations to list! My husband and I have been married for almost 31 years and have two children. I’m a stay-at-home mom, having left the work force as a bookkeeper when our daughter was born and continuing when our autistic/Asperger’s son was born seven years later. I enjoy hiking, gardening, cooking, and Pilates—and, of course, writing!

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I have a brand new release! The Main Dish, book 4 in the Love on the Menu…Extra Hot series, is now available in e-book and print!

Links for The Main Dish:

Amazon (e-book): http://amzn.to/2q11rA6

B&N (e-book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-main-dish-mellanie-szereto/1126421626?ean=2940157254070

CreateSpace (print): https://www.createspace.com/7174484

Google Play (e-book): https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mellanie_Szereto_The_Main_Dish?id=TUQkDwAAQBAJ

iBooks (e-book): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-main-dish/id1238546709?at=1001l8uw

Kobo (e-book): https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-main-dish


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing (with the intent to publish) in 2005 partly to have “me” time and because I had stories in my head that wanted to be told. In high school, I wrote some poetry and a few short stories.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As soon as I typed the first word, I considered myself a writer. It’s part of who I am, whether anyone reads what I create or not.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

After reading many, many romance books—some good and some not-so-good, I finally found an outlet for the stories in my head. I love the escapism and the creativity.


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style varies from genre to genre, but I always try to capture the essence and the voices of my characters in every story. I’m a grammar nerd, so that definitely affects my writing style!


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Titles often pop into my head as I’m driving, taking a shower, preparing my garden vegetables for canning and freezing—anything that lets my thoughts roam free. Since my latest series is foodie romance, I concentrated on food-related themes.


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

Most of my stories focus on family and that family doesn’t always have to be a blood relation. In The Main Dish, the hero is a wonderful father to his former stepdaughter and the heroine has a strained relationship with her parents. Love can be thicker than the blood ties!


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

I always use bits of real life, personal experiences, and actual events in my books. I think those touches create more realistic characters and plots. Many of the foods I mention in my stories are straight from my kitchen!


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

I loved reading when I was young, often checking out the maximum number of library books week after week! Those that stand out in my mind are Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women series, the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Black Beauty books by Anna Sewell, and Marguerite Henry’s Misty of Chincoteague series. Another favorite is The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, because what reader doesn’t see a library as the perfect place to escape to!


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 don’t read as much as I used to because…writing. However, I do belong to a book discussion group and we read an eclectic variety of authors and books. A few that stand out are Still Alice by Lisa Genova, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Moriarty. Two of my favorite romance authors are Cheryl Brooks, who writes sci-fi with really awesome aliens, and Nan Reinhardt, who writes contemporary with older heroines.


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

The best group of supporters is my local RWA chapter, Indiana Romance Writers of America. We teach and learn from each other and I’ve made many friends through IRWA and RWA!


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, writing is a career to me. While making money is nice, telling stories is what I was meant to do. I’ll write until I can’t anymore.


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

That’s a trick question! Like most authors, I continue to tweak and edit even my published books in my head. The Main Dish has just gone out into the world and I’m working on the next book, so I’ll say “No” for now!


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

I don’t know the exact how, but several years ago my mother gave me an essay I wrote in fourth grade. I said I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Maybe the interest has always been there!

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

 

Here’s my favorite line from the hero’s and heroine’s first-meet scene:

“Don’t you think you should at least try a sample before you book a caterer? The food could be terrible or give you food poisoning. Here, take one of each.” Mason nodded toward the remaining samples.

Blurb:

Food critic Ginger Elcott has made a lot of enemies with her snarky and scathing reviews, leaving her scrambling to book a caterer for her spur-of-the-moment wedding. As her recurring bad luck would have it, the one man her fiancé wants her to hire is also the object of an annoying and unexpected attraction.

 

Dealing with bridezillas is part of the job for Mason Hughes, but his newest client takes argumentative and demanding to a new level. Surrendering to her request seems like the easiest solution, but a sizzling kiss sparks more than a passing sexual interest in her.

 

Circumstances change drastically when Ginger dumps her cheating groom and proposes much more than a single night of passion to her sexy caterer. Two contracts and a wedding later, the bedroom is hotter than the kitchen until a malicious review of Mason’s Premier Catering threatens to roast their newly complicated relationship.


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

I’m a borderline perfectionist and I can’t plot a book to save my life! My characters are strong-willed and won’t talk to me if I try to make the story go in any direction other than the one they’re dictating.


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

Many of my books are set in Ohio and I often use research as an excuse to visit. On occasion, my characters will travel to other places I’ve enjoyed visiting or have lived.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

All the covers of my self-published works have been designed by Bethany Michaels of Dragonfly Press Design. She’s a wonderful friend and does fantastic work!


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

 Life consistently and persistently interferes with my self-imposed deadlines. When I should’ve been finishing the book last month, I also spent time dealing with a stolen credit card number, someone denting my daughter’s car, my daughter interviewing for jobs and accepting one halfway across the country, and my husband’s job stress. I’ve had to learn to be flexible and forgiving when I don’t make my target deadlines, because life goes on either way!


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

I always do some research while I’m writing. It can be anything from specific ingredients for the characters’ recipes to making sure they’re using the correct terminology. In The Main Dish, I learned that Ohio does, in fact, have a pork farmers association. For my next book, I’m researching the state and local requirements for running a small egg farm.

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

I’d cast Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) as Aidan Rourke in Just Desserts, book 1 in the Love on the Menu…Extra Hot series. His mischievous expressions fit Aidan’s personality to a tee!


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

For every writer—Keep writing if you love doing it. For new writers—Learn writing craft and join a writers’ group for support.


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

I hope my books give you the kind of escape you enjoy. While I write the stories of my heart, knowing they touch readers’ hearts is a wonderful feeling. I love hearing how much you enjoy my characters and their experiences.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman, one of the books my book group chose for this year.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

This goes wayyyy back. I remember reading the classic Little Golden Books when I was four or five years old. One was about children putting on their boots after school and having a parade in the rain. I also loved the Dick and Jane readers from elementary school!

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My husband makes me laugh! He has an endless sense of humor. Cry??? Touching movies and commercials, being mad, and other people crying.

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

That’s a tough question! Einstein, Beethoven, Madame Curie, DaVinci, and so many other brilliant minds to choose from… I don’t think I can choose just one!

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

“She made a difference in the world.” I believe all of us have the potential to make the world a better place and have a positive influence on at least one person’s life.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

I really enjoy hiking and spending time in the wooded hills of Ohio. If I’m wearing enough sunscreen, I also like kayaking!

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

I like Star Trek (all the TV series and the movies), the Marvel Comics movies (especially The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy), Dr. Who (even way back to John Pertwee and Tom Baker!), and other sci-fi movies and shows, if they’re well-made and have a good mix of action, intelligence, and humor. Yes, I’m a nerd all the way through! I really enjoyed Hidden Figures and hope the portrayal of John Glenn was historically accurate. What role models he and those extraordinary women are!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

I love fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, homemade bread, soups and stews, good ethnic food of almost any kind. Earth tones are more favorite colors—browns, greens, and blues. They fit the nature-lover in me. Music… I’m a Classic Rock fan—everything from Boston to ZZTop to AC/DC to Bruce Springsteen—but I also have a love of classical music.

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

I love to learn and study how different parts are related in the grand scheme of things. I’m very much a thinker. Researcher? Philosopher?

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

My website address is http://www.mellanieszereto.com. You can find all the latest news and books there, as well as a peek into what I’m working on next!

Social media links:

Email: mellanieszereto@hotmail.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cDEHXL

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormellanieszereto

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mellanieszereto

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/mellanieszereto

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/mellanie_szereto