Here is my interview with Laurie Sorensen

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

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

Hello, my name is Laura McComas and I write under the Pen Name Laurie Sorensen and I am 48 years young.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am originally from Falconer NY, having been born at WCA Hospital in Jamestown. My father was military and I grew up all over the place, including being overseas twice.

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

I grew up as a military brat, having lived in many different states, and twice overseas, once in England while I was at about 5 years old. I even had to repeat the first grade when we returned to the states because I couldn’t count American money. I also lived in Okinawa, which is a smallish island off the coast of Japan. It was a lovely experience. I have been married twice, and the man I am married to now is my Knight in Shining Armor. Between us we have 5 children, two of which are married, and we have 4 granddaughters, with another granddaughter on the way. I sell Tupperware, I babysit one of my granddaughters and I write. Just your normal Domestic Goddess here. I have a Shi Zhu who is named after an Ewok from Star Wars, a cat who was rescued from the cold someone left her in, 3 ferrets, 1 hedgehog, 3 outdoor dogs, 2 outdoor cats, one of which was dropped on us, and just had kittens, still not sure how many kittens we have.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

The latest news for me would be that I have just received the rights back to 2 of my books, and have purchased new covers for them. I should be re-releasing them the first week of May. I am also almost done with book 2 of the Ravenwood Series, Storm’s Destiny.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in 2007, and quite frankly, I never meant to ever publish it, I just never thought I was good enough for that. A dear friend of mine convinced me it was indeed good enough, and that I should take the steps to publish.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t think I ever have considered myself a write yet. I still have space on the walls of my office for more rejections. I have a few stories that have come out, but I am not a “known” author. I want to be able to walk down the street one day and have someone stop me because they recognize me from my books. So is anyone ever really a bonafide writer? I mean, if you are not JK Rowling, or Stephen King, someone who is well known, are you a writer? Or, are you a hobbyist?

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Dreams, I kept have recurring dreams, and they wouldn’t go away until I managed to write them down. It then hit me that it was a developing story, so I pieced it together, added more meat to it and my friend got to read it before I realised it, and she told me to work toward publication.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title of my first book is within a sentence toward the end of the book. It seemed to fit, so I used it.

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

I am not certain hat you may consider a style. I write Historical Romance, and my biggest challenge is making the time line correct with authentic historical facts. The characters within my stories are not real, but I do place true historical figures into the stories mainly to authenticate the time frame.

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

Many of my fictional characters have attributes of people within my life, such as the hero, Night Ravenwood from my first book has a lot of my maternal grandfather in him, and that was something I didn’t even realize I had done until it was in edits and the editor asked me about a particular scene within the book an asked if it had to be in the book. When I re-read the scene, I saw my grandfather there and of course he had to stay. The intimate scenes are based mostly on my own experience, just to be able to make them sound more real. One Chapter in the first book was actually based upon a friend’s experience that I was there for, and I used it, because I just didn’t have any experience to draw upon for it.

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

No, I don’t have to travelfor my writing, unless you consider using my mind for that traveling, that and research from library books.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I don’t know who designed the cover of my first book, as it was gifted to me when the contract expired from my publisher. The other book covers I have, were done by FantasiaFrog on WordPress. She is bloody awesome…and very affordable.

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

The only message I can think of is that Love can really conquer all. I am a romantic at heart, and Love means the world to me.

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 don’t get the chance to read as much as I would like too, and I have discovered a new author to me, though I know she has been writing for a long time. Suzan Tizdale. I love her writing. My all time fav is Catherine Coulter, and have even met her in person. It is because of her that I write, she encouraged me to write from the heart, write what I love, not what an audience would love. She keeps me on the edge of my seat, I find it a rare occasion that I know what the end will be, before I reach the end with her work, which is what I love about her work.

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

Catherine Coulter, she is a rock for me, an encouraged me to write.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I would like to see it as a career, but that would require me to have more time to do it. I would love to spend my day doing nothing but writing, but for me that would be difficult. I would like to sell enough books to have it be called an income, a career, and perhaps one day it will be.

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

The book I am working on now, was complete, finished. I changed my mind on how to end it, and that required some re-writing. That particular ending needed to be in another book.

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

I learned I have no real cure for writer’s block. I have tried to begin work on a different story, but so far it hasn’t helped.

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

I have actually got an application to the Oprah Winfrey Network for my first book to be turned into a mini series, but I haven’t finished it because I can’t get past the whole poetic license things that directors do. I don’t want my story changed, if it were to be put into a series, I would need it to be true to the book, that would be a stipulation. As for the actors I would like to play the leads? I just don’t know. I don’t watch much TV, and since I can’t picture it being put into TV or the big screen, just not sure how to answer this one.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

My only advice would be the same advice that was given to me. Write from the Heart, be true to yourself.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I would like to say thank you for reading my work, and I hope that it has touched you in some fashion that lasts a lifetime of memory. Also, I would ask them to be patient with me while I do my best to get book 2 out for them to read.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I haven’t started a new book, since finishing the last one I read.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I can recall the storyline of the book, can even recall the look of the cover, however I can’t for the life of me remember the author or title of it.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Two very different emotions, but no other emotions are as connected as these two. I cry sometimes when I laugh so hard it makes it hard to breathe. And sometimes I laugh when I want to cry. Many things make me do both, sometimes together. I cried over the weekend, while I had to attend the wake of a friend. Wakes and funerals are very difficult for me, and it’s so very hard to not cry. Even if the person laying in the casket isn’t someone I know. In this case however, she was a friend of mine. Seeing her laying there was hard, and I couldn’t stay because of it. My grandchildren make me laugh as do my children.

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

Abraham Lincoln. He was a wise man, and all that he could tell me would be amazng.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I cook, and bake, decorate cakes and cater for parties and weddings

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

Game of Thrones and Outlander, both based on wonderful books.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Favorite food would be Turkey (roasted) Favoritecolor is green, I don’t have a favorite type of music, I love most music, and have even developed a liking for some heavy metal music. But I mostly like the 80’s, country, pop and the 60’s and 70’s.

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

I would cease to exist if I couldn’t write. They would have to bury me.

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my loved ones without the TV on, just enjoying what time I had left.

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

Domestic Goddess at Rest

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

www.Lauriesorensen.wordpress.com  is my blog, which I have been posting in lately. Trying to get it restared.

https://www.facebook.com/Laurie-Sorensen-115077118573644/ is my Author Facebook

 https://www.facebook.com/laura.mccomas.14 is my regular Facebook

https://www.amazon.com/Nights-Salvation-Ravenwood-Laurie-Sorensen/dp/1477622187/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=Laurie+Sorensen&qid=1555976613&s=gateway&sr=8-8 This is the purchase link for the print copy of Night’s Salvation A Ravenwood Novel. This is the first book I wrote, and this version is a second edition. This is book one of the series. My books are found on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Coffee-Time-Indulgence-Collection-Stories/dp/1493542842/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Laurie+Sorensen&qid=1555976797&s=gateway&sr=8-5 this book is a collection of short stories that I did. A couple of the stories have co writers, but most of the book is my own work.

https://www.amazon.com/Music-Speaks-LB-Clark-ebook/dp/B008C88QTE/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Laurie+Sorensen&qid=1555976797&s=gateway&sr=8-1 This book is a book done for charity, I have one short story in it. A sweet contemporary love story.

I have two books re-releasing the first week of May, and I hope to have the second Ravenwood Novel, Storm’s Destiny out by Christmas.

 

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Here is my interview with Mike Bockoven

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

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

 Hello. I’m Mike Bockoven, author of FantasticLand and Pack. I’m 41 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

 I’ve lived in five different states but settled in Grand Island, Nebraska, smack in the middle of the country. I’ve been here for just over 15 years.

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

During the day job I work at a history museum, serve on a couple of boards (including the board of a local historic theater) and run my kids around. I’m busy, like a lot of people, but I find time while waiting for kids, before work and during other spare moments to write nasty little thrillers.

 For the record I have a wife, two daughters and an exceptionally dumb wiener dog named Sherlock.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My first novel, FantasticLand, has been optioned for a film and is pulling over four stars on Goodreads. I’m working on getting my third novel where my agent wants it and am simultaneously writing another story I lit upon recently.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have always written for work on on the Internet but never anything like a novel. One of my “bucket list” items was to have a stack of books on my bookshelf with my name on them. After a lot of starts and stops I realized if I didn’t start soon I would never get it done. I worked about 9 months on my first novel, FantasticLand, found an agent and had it sold roughly two years after I had finished it.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 Always and never. I always “wrote” as a verb, but still have a hard time believing I’m a published author or that anyone would pay me for what comes out of my brain.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 After having lots of ideas that never went anywhere I was inspired by a family trip to Disneyland. Amidst all the fun and pageantry part of my brain was wondering “what could go wrong here.” A few weeks after getting back I heard a piece of music that took my brain in a different direction and I came up with an idea I really liked. That’s how it started. Once I proved to myself that I could write a book, it was like a wall coming down. I now have several books published, a few that will never see the light of day and more in the pipeline.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My publishers changed the title on both my novels. They were right each time.

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

I’m not sure my writing style is overly distinctive, but I know that consciously I value dialogue over description and like to weave story elements together throughout a novel. As far as the challenges of the genre, truthfully, thrillers and horror novels are the only thing I want to write and I don’t find them overly challenging because that’s where my interests lie. It’s largely what I read, it’s largely what I watch and it’s what I want to do well.

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

I will draw character traits and maybe lines of dialogue from my life but most of what I write is invented. I don’t want to make characters or situations too recognizable or I could get into trouble.

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

I do a decent amount of research but travel isn’t usually necessary. I wish it was. I love traveling and don’t need much of an excuse to pack my bags.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 The cover for Fantasticland was designed by Laura Klynstra. The cover for Pack was designed by Rain Saukas, Great work, through and through.

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

Yes, but it depends on the work. If I have an overarching idea it’s that people are capable of terrible things and there’s a lot less protecting you from that evil than you think there is. I think the Stanford Prison Experiment is essential to understanding why people are the way they are and why the world is the way it is.

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 really try to shake up my reading diet and read both fiction and nonfiction. If I have a favorite author it’s likely Joe R. Lansdale. He is prolific, profane, his descriptions never fail to amuse me, his characters are rich, his stories can get really out there and he’s who I want to be when I grow up. 

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

I have a friend named Stephanie Romanski who pushed me along when I was writing FantasticLand. She wouldn’t edit my work, exactly, but would provide motivation and positive feedback when I sent her chapters.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Right now it’s a side hustle. If it could become my full time gig, that would be one of the best things to ever happen to me.

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

I learned something valuable with my second novel, Pack – get other people involved in your writing early and often. After going through the editing process for FantasticLand I thought I knew what to expect, but I was wrong. My publisher had some shake ups, my second novel was passed around a bit and it didn’t get the solid edit it needed. There was also not a singular editorial voice guiding it. As a result, there’s a lot I would change. I still like the story a lot and think it’s a fun book but it’s got some mistakes and it’s not as good as it could be. I could have fixed this with a few solid beta readers.

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

Quite a bit about legends, the psychology of dreams, what kind of guitars Metallica plays, the qualifications for law enforcement in different states, WiFi security and more. My google history was a mess and I loved it. Research for a book is fun that way.

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

 For FantasticLand, a book with many different characters, I only had one actor in mind to play one role. The rest were people I knew or characters created out of whole cloth. So the answer is “I don’t know”, with one exception – Tony Shalhoub. I love that guy and I’d love to see him play Richie Fresno from FantasticLand.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Time is not your friend. If you haven’t written a book but always wanted to, life is not going to slow down. Time isn’t going to magically present itself. You need to figure out how to fit your writing into the time you have or how to make more time. That’s the bad news.

 The good news is if you can write a thousand words a day you can have a book in three months (500 a day, six months and so on). I found putting your head down, getting into a routine and pounding it out is the best way to outrun your doubt and your fear. Wake up early. Stay up late. Skip lunch. Get that story down because that day when you open a package with your book in it is an absolute game changer. I’m not that smart and I did it. Most people out there, with the right game plan, can do it too.

 If you’ve got your routine down, please find good beta readers and don’t believe (like I did at one point) that every idea you have is a good one.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 Three years after my first book came out I still have a hard time believing that you, a reader, would pick up something I wrote and read it. I’m legitimately grateful and humbled. Even the bad reviews are a blast. Thank you.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m just finishing up “Parkland” by xxx and have Lansdale’s “Bubba Versus the Cosmic Bloodsuckers” on deck.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t. I wish I did.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’m an emotional person so I don’t need much to get the waterworks going. Usually it’s art of some type. As for laughter, I’m a fan of stand up comedy (which is what my third book is about).

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

As someone who works at a history museum that’s a big question. After bouncing around between a dozen names for the past 20 minutes I’ve decided this question is unnecessarily cruel. I’m not usually the indecisive type but you’ve stumped me. 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I play music in my church band (a contradiction to my writing, I know) and am 1/3rd of the podcast The Atomic Weight of Cheese. We talk cult cinema and have fun.

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

 I’m late to the party on Veep and I don’t know why as I was early to the party for “In the Loop” and I think “Better Call Saul” is the stealth best show on TV right now. As for movies I’m usually watching horror films or superhero movies because of my kids.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 Foods – I am not picky but go for Mexican if I have my way.

Colors – I’m partially colorblind so anything I can see that’s not dark or light grey.

Music – I try to stay diverse. One minute it’s an old Kinks record, the next it’s the Rev. Horton Heat. Not big on current top 40 unless I am. No promises.

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

Retire off my writing earnings. Kidding. I would continue my current gig at the history museum. It’s a place I believe in and that is doing good work.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Again, a cruel question, but (presuming society was not breaking down in the process) here’s my day.

 Morning: A cinnamon donut from Hurts Donuts, first round of good-byes, spend some time laying in a field looking at the sky.

Afternoon: Really good tacos, walk with the family, second round of good byes, drive really fas somewhere, get some affairs in order, send some emails to people who are expecting me to do things, watch Big Trouble in Little China one last time.

Evening: Really good Italian. Almond cake for dessert. Punch at least one of my enemies in the face. Do some stand-up or karaoke. Kiss my kids good bye, romance my wife and spend the final seconds watching the stars, grateful for what I was able to do and the people I was able to do it with.

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

 Cremation all the way, but if the urn had a cool design on it, I’d approve.

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

 Yes, thanks for asking. My website is mikebockoven.com and you can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/bockovenbooks. I also tweet sporadically @mikebockoven.

 Authors Amazon page USA  https://www.amazon.com/Mike-Bockoven/e/B01INYEVZE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_1&qid=1556000673&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

 UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mike-Bockoven/e/B01INYEVZE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_1&qid=1556000714&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

 

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Here is my interview with Samantha Goodwin

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

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

I’m Samantha Goodwin and I’m a 32 year old debut author.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Leeds in England.

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

I’ve written professionally for my business career as a Chartered Marketing Manager for over a decade before turning my hand to fiction. In my day job I work for a national charity that supports people with learning disabilities. I’ve recently become a new mum to my young son, Jack, so me and my husband, Chris, are still working out our new roles as parents!

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve just released my debut crime mystery novel, Murder at Macbeth, which is now available to buy on Amazon (as an ebook or paperback). It centres around a talented, young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. It’s a classic whodunnit as suspicion immediately falls on her eclectic band of castmates and the detectives have to figure out who had the motive to kill the show’s leading lady. Bitter rivalries, secret trysts and troubled pasts are just the beginning of the story…

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written stories, ever since I was about 5 years old. I find it to be a really positive creative outlet, it makes me feel so alive! Murder at Macbeth is my first full-length novel, before that I mainly focused on short stories and poems.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a proper writer when I was in the midst of writing my debut novel. There is something incredibly exciting but also daunting working on your first published work!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always wanted to write a book and it was my husband, Chris, who finally convinced me that I could do it. Also, it ended up being the last proper conversation I had with my Dad before he died suddenly of encephalitis two years ago so I felt very driven to finish it as a tribute to him. I found the whole process of writing very cathartic during grieving, it was helpful to be able to pour my energy into something positive.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I thought Murder at Macbeth perfectly captured the whodunnit nature of the novel. I’ve always been fascinated by the superstitions surrounding Macbeth about it being cursed and the fact the play itself is about corruption and deception provided an interesting parallel to the murder mystery.

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

The story unfolds as the detectives interview the seven suspects and their different perspectives gradually reveal the scandalous events leading up to the death. For me, the main challenge was how to humanise each character so that the reader felt empathy for them so there was more to them than simply being a suspect in a murder investigation. That really helped to make the story more gripping and the twists more unexpected as the readers get genuinely hooked on wanting to know what happened.

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

All of the characters are fictional, but certain aspects of their personalities have been drawn from some people I know, including myself! Lesley Thomson, the bestselling author of The Detective’s Daughter series, once told me to ensure that all your characters have both positive and negative traits to help humanise them. I found that really useful insight to help flesh out my characters and make them more interesting.

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

Sadly not! I should have set it in Greece!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’m incredibly lucky to be married to a professional Graphic Designer, Chris Goodwin, who designed my book cover for me. I’m so thankful for his talent as he was very skilled at taking my vision for the cover and transforming it into something far better than I could have ever imagined.

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

It’s hard to say too much without giving away major spoilers, but I can say that a major theme is acceptance. It’s something a lot of the characters struggle with in various ways and it causes a lot of devastation. I definitely hope readers grasp how much unnecessary pain could have been avoided if they were to have made their peace with certain situations.

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

I have been overwhelmed by the support of the Instagram online writing community and have had the pleasure of discovering some great new authors, including Carol Deeley, Danie Jaye and Simi Sunny.

My all-time favourite author is definitely J.K. Rowling. The level of detail through which she brought the Harry Potter universe to life is astounding. The fact that there is an entire theme park dedicated to her books’ world is incredible to me.

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

I participated in the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Creative Workshop and I found that all the authors I networked with there really supported my commitment to become a published author. It was really valuable to gain special advice from some of the UK’s bestselling crime authors, including Elly Griffiths, Louise Welsh, Lesley Thomson and Henry Sutton.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do already write for my career as a Marketing and Communications Manager. Perhaps one day in the future I’ll be a full time fiction author, who knows!

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

I wouldn’t actually. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last three years getting it to a stage where I am really happy with it.

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

I was surprised to find how much reading books outside the genre I was writing in helped to spark ideas and keep me motivated to keep writing. I found it really useful to explore a whole range of books as I learnt so much from how different authors presented their stories.

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

Ooh interesting question, I would love for the book to be made into a film! I would like Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) to play the role of D.I. Robson as I think he would bring a lot of depth to the role. Then for the murder victim, Nikki Gowon, who is also a key character in the story, I would like to cast Ajiona Alexus who is known for playing Sheri Holland in 13 Reasons Why.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I think it’s important to believe in yourself and surround yourself with positive people who will spur you on. Writing groups and online communities are great for when you need advice. It’s good to make those connections early on so you don’t feel isolated and are motivated to keep going.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Expect the unexpected as the plot unfolds. Don’t think you know someone because of how they first present themselves. All is not as it seems…

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading The Dare by Mia Carter. It’s a great mystery!

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

As a child, I remember loving The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle!

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’m a big fan of going to see stand-up comedians, such as Michael McIntyre and Josh Widdicombe, that never fail to make me laugh. I probably cry the most at weepy movies, or Grey’s Anatomy!

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

I’d love to meet the director and writer, Joss Whedon. I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe and of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I think he is such a creative mastermind with such a unique style. I’d love to pick his brains about how hebrings his creations to life.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, countryside walks and watching movies. I also love the theatre and am particularly fond of musicals – my favourites are Rent, Wicked and The Lion King, all of which I’ve seen multiple times!

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

Unsurprisingly I’m a big crime fan! So I love TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI and Blindspot. I enjoy loads of different film genres, but particularly love action thrillers and anything from Marvel Studios.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love almost all chocolate (although controversially not Oreos!) Favourite music at the moment is Michelle Branch, The Calling and George Ezra.

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

Probably talk, a lot! I’d have to tell my stories somehow!

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

The best way of staying up to date on special offers and updates is to follow me on Instagram: @samanthagoodwinauthor

https://www.instagram.com/samanthagoodwinauthor/

And I do have an author website as well: https://samanthagoodwinnet.wordpress.com/

Instagram: @samanthagoodwinauthor
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Website: https://samanthagoodwinnet.wordpress.com/

Buying link UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Macbeth-gripping-British-mystery-ebook/dp/B07QXGR13V/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1555963438&refinements=p_27%3ASamantha+Goodwin&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Samantha+Goodwin

USA  : https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Macbeth-gripping-British-mystery-ebook/dp/B07QXGR13V/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=murder+at+macbeth&qid=1555965342&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Here is my interview with Lynda Rees

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

            Hi, Fiona, thank you for inviting me today.

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

I’m Lynda Rees and in my sixties, old enough to know better, but I do it anyway. My motto is More Fun Faster.

Fiona: Where are you from?

            I live on a small horse farm in north-central Kentucky an hour south of Cincinnati and an hour north of Lexington. The community is so small, when I leave, everyone notices. We have a rescue cat, a goose who adopted us, a donkey and three horses. We’ve lost several of our horse herd the last couple years. Losing my German Shepherd, Tuffy to old age left me without a dog for the first time ever. Maybe when my heart heals I’ll get another. I’m not there yet.

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

            I worked 36 years in marketing and global transportation for Procter & Gamble, sold real estate for 35 years, and sold mortgages, mutual funds and securities. I was born in Bonnyman, mining town in the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky near Hazard, KY. Our men were miners until my Dad moved the family to northern KY to find stable, safer work.

It was an interesting time. Until the late 1978 the Cleveland Mob literally controlled Newport, KY. It was a mecca for gambling, prostitution and sin. Celebrities worldwide flocked to Newport from the 1920-70’s to entertain or to be entertained. A strip club flanked every corner and several were on every block. It was a bustling era, and local economy thrived. Of course, violence was involved. Successful business owners notwanting to play the syndicate’s game, suffered consequences.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve got a lot in the pipeline I’m excited about. The best is my latest romantic mystery called Real Money, Book 9 of The Bloodline Series. In this story I draw on experiences from my real estate career and link in notorious characters from Newport’s and New York City’s heydays.

Real Estate Agent Chloe Roberts lands in an assassin’s crosshairs, when she uncovers shady family secrets. Chloe’s fiancé disappears without a trace. Returning to Sweetwater, Kentucky to establish a new life in her hometown, she is pursued by a married ex-boyfriend, a billionaire developer and stalked by a jealous female. Her discovery of a murder victim interrupts her budding relationship with adorable Deputy Leo Sanders, and he may lose her to a famous country singer. Prime suspects are Chloe’s wealthy client and a former gangster, presumed long dead; but Chloe is the next target.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

            I learned to read at five-years-old and knew I would be a writer. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I wrote for pleasure and professionally for business in my marketing and global transportation careers. I’m published in magazines, newspapers and advertising copywriting. I’ve written multiple children’s books for my grandchildren.

I got serious about publishing novels as I neared retirement from P&G. I’ve published an award winning historical romance, Gold Lust Conspiracy, about a woman’s survival in frontier Alaska during the Alaskan Gold Rush. I co-published with my granddaughter, Harley Nelson, a middle-grade children’s book titled Freckle Face & Blondie.The sequel comes out later this year titled The Thinking Tree. My stand-alone romantic mysteries about mobster descendants are titled God Father’s Day and Madam Mom.

Operation Second Chance will launch fall 2019. Misfit youths find each other years later when the motorcycle riding, security guard mother is stalked by a murderer willing to kill again. Her long-lost, high-school pal, turned sexy, Special Forces Navy Seal struggles to reconnect, save her life and build a normal future.

My latest work launches 5/9/19.Real Money,Book 9 of The Bloodline Series. The first of the series is my award-winning Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary& Wine. It remains my best seller and one of my favourites. The Bloodline Series is set in the fictional town of Sweetwater, KY surrounded by white-fenced race horse farms. The quiet-paced area has its share of murder and mayhem, causing havoc with love lives of my beloved characters. Each book deals with a new catastrophe and different couple’s struggle to discover happiness.

I expect to publish three how-to, non-fiction books during the next year.Titles are: American Dream—Own A Home, Be an Everyday Millionaire, and Bet Horses & Win.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In my thirties I realized I’d become a professional writer, though it was many years before I became a professional story teller. During my corporate career I took every writing course available. I perfected the crafting documents to convince management to invest heavily in projects and influence heads of the shipping industry to partner with us for mutual benefiton my projects.

When I decided to become a published novelist, I turned to courses on the craft and industry. I spent the first couple years studying and researching for my first book, Gold Lust Conspiracy. As you’re probably aware, historical works require extensive research. It was a massive undertaking and a labor of love.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

            I was trying to decide what to write during a lengthy vacation to Alaska. Mike and I fell in love with the region and developed a special attraction to Skagway, the Gate to the Alaskan Gold Rush. I immersed myself in the area’s history and also studied the California Gold Rush, which petered out prior to the Klondike strike, leaving San Francisco and North Western Territories littered with disgruntled, out-of-work miners, crime in the streets and an abundance of homeless people. The more I dug into data about these fascinating events, I began to believe a conspiracy theory my quirky husband put into my head. With a romantic spin, Icreated my award-winning historical novel, Gold Lust Conspiracy.

            Savage, lawless, 1880’s frontier Alaska,is a man’s business world. A woman isn’t welcome. The lumberjack who adores her deserves better than Jessie, with her haunted past and overwhelming responsibilities. She must survive, thrive and prove to herself she’s worthy of love.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It’s a love story about a lusty time, a brutal place, about survival, forgiveness set in turmoil of a massive political conspiracy.A troubled widow doesn’t believe she’s worthy, and a heart-broken lumberjack wants a second chance at love. Gold Lust Conspiracy seemed to fit the story well.

Real Money:  The law considers real estate the only real property people own. Everything else is intangible. Chloe is an agent, making money selling real estate. Crime is about passion or money. The title flowed naturally.

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

            I enjoy spunky women with guts and grit, and mature men who are strong and capable. Everyone has issues and daunting back stories to deal with and emotional leaps to take. Love is never convenient, and rears its head when least expected, usually with pitiful timing. Even the sweetest community has crime and suffering. How we use experience to become better, sometimes together, makes a good story.

Hence, my slogan:  Love is a dangerous mystery! Enjoy the ride.©

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

Real Money is about Chloe Roberts, a real estate agent. This book and the three following it will be about agents in that industry. I’ve had many comical, amusing, sometimes terrifying experiences in my sales career. They wouldn’t all fit into a single book. When you open the door to a strange house, you never know what you’ll meet.

The sequel, The Bourbon Trail, will be out later this year. Chloe will return with her mother Ava and a love interest, bourbon distiller.

I’m searching for a title for the third book and am running a contest. I’m giving away a FREE copy of Real MoneyeBook and one of any the winner’s choice from my published works. I’ve attached the book cover and blurb below. Your fanscan email suggestions for the title tolyndareesauthor@gmail.com . Subject: TITLE CONTEST

UNTITLED:A real estate flipper clashes with her neighbouring competitor. They’re thrown together when she discovers a dead body in her renovation.

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

I wish it was always necessary. I love it and have travelled extensively throughout Asia, South and Central American, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and across the United States. I’ve worked with awesome people, dealt with foreign laws and customs, experienced interesting cultures and seen a multitude of exotic sights on this abundant wonder called earth. It pays to step out of one’s comfort zone to understand what is going on in the world.

The sad fact is I travel less these days. I order lots of books, read everything I get my hands on, haunt every library within driving distance, and use the internet. Most of my stories are set in Kentucky, so I know the area well. Maybe I should write another historical and take a lengthy trip to soak in a new setting’s history.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

            I work with several intensely creative artists, depending on the book. One is from Argentina, one from Venezuela and one from England. We communicate mostly via email. They are extremely efficient and easy to work with, so I keep going back. I use the same font, regardless. Most of my books have a similar look and feel, but I admit when I started the series, I didn’t brand as well as I could have. I’m considering new covers for a couple of the books. My children’s mysteries have a more whimsical look and feel. Both come from the same designer.

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

Love is a dangerous mystery! Enjoy the ride.©

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?

My favoriteis Lie Catchers by Rolynn Anderson. I couldn’t put it down.

Others I recommend are:

Mike: The Firefighters of Station #8 by Samanthya Wyatt. The series is addicting.

Just Desserts and Other Very Short Stories by Vicki Batman is a fun, light-hearted read.

A San Francisco Gold Rush Romance, Gold Rush Romances Book 3 by Mona Ingram. I read the series out of order, but loved them all the same.

Acting Married by Victorine E. Lieske was a lovely read with interesting characters.

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

I belong to several RWA chapters like KOD, MARA, FTHRWA, CRW, NTRWA. Fellow writers from these groups have been valuable supporters of my career.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, I can’t not do it. Writing is in my blood.

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

Nothing, I love it as it is.

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

            Yes, I learned more about body decomposition depending on conditions. I’ve been studying human trafficking and will incorporate it into my next book. It is shocking discovering how prevalent it is in our country—in all communities.

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

            Funny you ask. I think about it as I build each new character in my books. Kate Hudson would make an awesome Chloe Roberts in Real Money. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a perfect Deputy Leo Sanders.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

            Study your craft. Learn the industry. Be diligent and tough-skinned. Keep your butt in the chair. Put words on the document. Edit, edit, edit, edit and edit.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope you enjoy my books, that I hear from you and we become lifelong friends. 

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 1-800 Ireland by my friend Josie Riveria,is my current read.I’m loving it.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I learned to read with my grandfather and the Bible.

I read Eight Cousins by Louisa Mae Alcottat five years old, and fell in love with reading because of the adorable children’s novel.

The Daring Nellie Bly by Bonnie Christensen built a fire in my gut that has never gone out, inspiring me to write. I often wondered, however, why Nellie didn’t write it herself. She was an admirable character and fantastic writer.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series has caused me to laugh aloud on more than one airplane, embarrassing myself. Then I’m crying the next minute. I adore her skill and wish I could write comedy as well as she does.

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

            Dolly Parton, Cher and Hank Williams, Jr. We’d get along great and have a blast together.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

            Spending time with family and friends is my greatest joy.I adore horseback riding and anything water related—swimming, boating and fishing. I read constantly, paint, sketch, garden, travel, knit and crochet.

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

            I like mysteries:The Rookie, Lethal Weapon, Hawaii Five-O, McGuiver and Magnum

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

            Pizza, steak, turkey, ice cream, sushi, crab

Green and yellow

Anything by Waylon Jennings, Credence Clearwater Revival, old rock ’n roll, classic country, blues or happy bluegrass or Cajun music. I love happy music.

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

            Travel, take photos, try exotic dishes, sketch and paint.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I’d have a party by my lake with friends and family. We’d eat my favourite foods, drink cheap wine, cold beer and ice water from my spring. We’d swim, listen to lively music and dance until I drop.

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

            She did it all and loved it.

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

            Thanks for asking. Yes, I can be reached in these ways:

http://www.lyndareesauthor.com                               Website/Blog

http://eepurl.com/cTtS09                                             Become a VIP:

https://amazon.com/author/lyndarees              Amazon

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lynda-rees            Bookbub

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17187400.Lynda_ReesGoodreads

https://twitter.com/LyndaReesauthor             Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/lynda.rees.author/           Facebook

https://www.pinterest.com/lyndareesauthor/pins/Pinterest

 

Here is my interview with Frank A. Ruffolo

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

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

Hello and thank you for allowing me to be here. I am Frank A. Ruffolo and I am 71 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was originally born in Manhattan New York but have resided in South Florida since 1979.

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

I have an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and I am retired from over forty years in Purchasing Management. I am happily married to my wife Christine for almost 44 years and have a Daughter and a Son and one Grandson. I have been writing since 2006. In 2007 I published my first of 6 novels. I enjoy gardening and target shooting and painting.

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Within the last few weeks I just finished writing my fourth screenplay and released two novels, BLUE FALCON and STUCK IN TRAFFICK. Blue Falcon is a murder mystery about a corrupt President who is being impeached and the witnesses called to testify against him are being assassinated his lover who harbours a dark secret. Stuck in Traffick is based on a screenplay I co-wrote which is a fictionalized account of actual experiences people have endured while trapped in human trafficking I am also working on Ghost writing project and development of a 13-episode docuseries.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

The voices started in my head in 2006. I started dictating what they told me, and they haven’t stopped yet.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I had never thought of myself as a writer. I am more of a storyteller. I guess I classified myself as a writer after I composed my first screenplay. Which was based on my first Murder Mystery. Shadow of Death.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first published book is a faith-based Science fiction tale of events leading up to the great judgement day, Gabriel’s Chalice. It was inspired by Luke 21:11 form the New Testament. Which states there will be plagues and earthquakes in various places. There will be terrors in the sky and great signs.

I say my morning prayers in front of the bible and when I have completed them, I randomly open the bible and read a passage. Back in 2006 I opened the bible to Luke 21:11 three days in a row.

I guess divine intervention was the inspiration.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

During all the plagues and earthquakes and volcanoes that spread across the Earth, God sends his messenger Archangel Gabriel with a message for mankind and he leaves a crystal chalice. Hence the name Gabriel’s Chalice

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

I do not find writing a challenge. I write in a narrative style almost as if you are watching a movie. I write in three genres’; Science Fiction, Action Adventure and Murder Mystery.  Science Fiction is the easiest for you can let your imagination run wild. It does not have the restrictions of normalcy.

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

I always include some scenes that are based on real events and personal experiences with people I have met or have been involved in. For example, in my second novel which was an action adventure trilogy of love and hate, of one man’s mission to stop terror attacks in the United States, The Trihedral of Chaos. My main protagonist goes on a first date with his soon to be wife by taking her to drive a NASCAR stock car at a racetrack, which I did.

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

 I travel a lot on the internet and have based storylines and scenes on places I have previously travelled. I do not have a problem with travelling to complete a storyline.

 Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 Covers are designed my me.

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

 There is a message in every novel. In Gabriel’s Chalice it is to keep the faith in the Lord our God.

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?

 Mickey Deymon, an actor, film maker and author’s book Detarru Island is quite good. My favorite writer is Clive Cussler. I like his style and character development and I try to emulate his writing.

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

 I am contracted with A small publishing house in Oregon, Linkville Press.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 I write because it was God given talent that I want to share with everyone. I am retired and it has become my new career on the page and on the screen.

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

 No, it is the second in the series of Jack Stenhouse Mysteries, BLUE FALCON of which I have three more in process for release.

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

The more you write and read the more you learn. I discovered that if any elected member of the legislative or executive branch has broken the law and must be arrested the only person that can do that is the Sergeant of Arms of Congress.

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

 That would depend on which book…For The Jack Stenhouse series Ryan Reynolds, For Gabriel’s Chalice series, Tom Hanks, for Trihedral series.. Keven Costner

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Read, read, read and read. Always write down any idea that you may have whenever you get them do not rely on your memory. Also, if you can not take rejection seek another career.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 Thank you for your support and keep on the look out for my new releases.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Just finished Detarru Island and am not reading a book right now too busy.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Red Badge of Courage.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

A good joke blue or not will make me laugh. Those videos of servicemen coming home surprising their loved ones always make me cry.

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

Jesus Christ for he is my saviour even though I am not worthy to tie his sandals.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I like to paint in acrylic or oil and putter around my garden.

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

 I don’t watch much tv. Mostly reality shows, American idol , AGT and my favorite The curse of Oak Island.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 I have been on a special diet while I battle Prostate cancer. No meat protein, eggs, dairy or processed sugar. My favorite food is Italian and a good juicy hamburger. Colors are blue and green and music is classic Rock n Roll. ZZ top ACDC

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

My hobbies enjoy my grandchild if I am still alive.

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With family and friends.

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

 SEE I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK.

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

 My website is www.frankaruffolo.com, Twiller and Instagram is @ruffoloauthor  I am also on facebook as well as all of my novels Gabriel’s Chalice, Tres Archangelis, Jack Stenhouse Mysteries, Blue Falcon, The Trihedral of Chaos and Stuck In Traffick. All of my work is available on amazon in print or ebook.

Amazon Authors page USA  https://www.amazon.com/Frank-A-Ruffolo/e/B006GTEDDE?ref=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000

UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-A.-Ruffolo/e/B006GTEDDE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1555955210&sr=1-1

 

Here is my interview with Joe Spraga

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 Joe Spraga. I’m 43 years young.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from the Detroit Metropolitan area in Michigan.

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

I’m a graduate of Western Michigan University, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and a Minor in Philosophy. Became legally disabled in 2015 due to health problems. Mustard is my favorite condiment.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I recently appeared at a book fair and I sold 7 books!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I knew I was a writer in college, but I did not start taking it seriously until many years later. I have always observed life, and read books. Seeing the connection between the two is a very natural and important thing for me.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote my first book because the chorus of the book popped into my head one day while in a painting class in college. It had been an ear worm for me for many years. I knew then that I had to make a story out of it.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title of my book- The Snitch, the Witch, and The One Who Was Rich, is the name of the painting I did in college. It led to the eventual story.

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

My writing style for my children’s literature is verse. However I make sure to be as didactic as I can be with overtones of social commentary while still keeping it entertaining.

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

All of it is based on real experiences I have had. That’s why it took me 25 years to write it.

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

No, I did not have to travel to different places. I did have to live life longer to know what I was trying to say in my book.

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

Make time for kindness, it is the only true commodity.

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

Not new authors as of right now, but My favorite author/book is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I don’t have any other choice due to my health issues.

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

Nah.

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

Yes, I learned how I feel about life in general and how I feel about specific social issues. I’m still learning things every day.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

First, have a story to tell, then spend the rest of your life defending it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love dogs and so should you.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Dogs.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Pizza, blue, Grateful Dead/Phish/Clutch/Medeski, Martin, and Wood/John Coltrane/Miles Davis

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

Dream.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my dog.

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

The Greatest Writer You Have Never Heard Of.

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

https://joespraga.com/

 

 

Here is my interview with John B. Rosenman

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 John B. Rosenman, and I just turned 78 on April 16.  Wow.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally, Cleveland, Ohio.  I’ve lived for thirty-seven years in Virginia Beach, VA.

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

I earned my Ph.D. in English at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio in 1970.  My focus was American literature.  I’ve been married to Jane for 51 years and we have two children, Lori and David.  Every Sunday during the football season David comes over and we watch the Redskins on TV.  Even if they lose, we have a good time.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Well, I’m waiting for MuseItUp Publishing to send me the formatted version of Crash, the sixth novel in my Inspector of the Crossscifi / adventure series. Then I can proofread it and we can go to press. I’ve also found a beta reader for my scifi novel Dreamfarer, a book I first wrote nearly thirty years ago.  In addition, I’m marketing stories and planning the next issue of mynewsletter.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written stories for about as far back as I can remember, but I didn’t always know what I wanted to be because in our society, there is no formal, practical profession such as Writer.  Doctor and lawyer and teacher, maybe, but not Writer.  Anyway, I can remember scribbling little tales as a small kid and later doing comic strips in crayon that told a story.  Later, in my twenties, I made a formal commitment to be a writer, even though I would need a day job to support myself.

As for WHY I began writing, it’s always been deep within me, part of my psychic bedrock. I may not have always known where I’ was going in life (indeed, I’ve made my share of mistakes), but I’ve always known that good, bad, or indifferent, I am a writer. It’s always been a huge part of what I am, and I’ve always needed to express myself and invent stories from my imagination.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think it was during my first year in college when I was eighteen. I took a creative writing class and spent thirty-five straight days revising a story that my professor had critiqued. Finally, I went to his house at night and presented the story to him, seeking his praise and counsel. To this day, my wife and I quote part of his faint praise and laugh.  My professor said the story was “interesting and admirable.”So, at this time, I was beginning to think of myself as a writer even though I was a political science major.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Hmmm. I completed a 120-page novel titled A Majority of One when I was teaching in Canada in the early 1970s, but I don’t consider it my first book. My first “serious” book was The Best Laugh Last, and it was about a white English professor in a small, historically black college. I wrote the novel partly as a tell-all book because educational conditions were so poor at the school and I wanted people to know.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Originally I titled the novel Down from Oz because it took place in the real, gritty, “fallen” world far down from the beautiful fantasy land of Oz. However, the publisher at Treacle Press (now McPherson & Co.) didn’t like the title. He felt the word “down” in the title was a downer and would discourage sales. He preferred The Best Laugh Last, which suggests that the strongest and most courageous will ultimately win and have the last laugh. Considering the events in the novel, the title can also be seen as ironic. Whatever the case, he saw the title as more positive. I argued and argued, but ultimately agreed.

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

I’m pretty unstructured. I don’t sit down and write at certain times. I do it when I want, often when an idea or plot is hot in my mind and I’m inspired. I do revise a lot, and I welcome good, hard criticism. As for my writing style…a high school teacher once told me when I was a teenager that it reminded her of Thomas Wolfe. Good company!  But these days, I’m seldom poetic and overly descriptive, though I can be on occasion. I try to write clearly and say what I want to say in as few words as possible. Also, I’m a pantser rather than a plotter. I get ideas from unexpected places and make it up as I go along. Sometimes the journey is a continual surprise.

My major genre is science fiction and/or speculative fiction.  There are many giants in this field, both present and past, and it’s a challenge to compete with them, to find a new theme or a new take on an old theme in territory that’s been so often chewed over. Besides that, the competition is stiff in other ways.For example, if I submit a story to a professional science-fiction magazine, it will have to compete with thousands of others, some written by people with famous names.Yes, indeed, the competition can be daunting.

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

My latest published book is Skyburst, and it takes place on a futuristic space station. So it is not realistic in some ways, though I try to make the characters as realistic as possible. My experiences are seldom based on specific people I know. I sometimes joke and tell someone, “I’m going to put you in my next book!” However, except for The Best Laugh Last and a few scattered cases, I haven’t done it. In Skyburst, Sky Masterson is a 15-year-old girl who’s in love with a man old enough to be her father. I’ve seen such situations and I draw from them, trying to capture what a young girl would feel.

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

No, not much.  After all, much of my fiction is speculative fiction that takes place on distant planets or in other realms. However, I was able to write some of my shorter fiction only because I traveled to a certain place. For example, because I visited Rome and the Sistine Chapel in 1994, I was able to write “A Spark from God’s Finger.” Three of my Nauru stories are based on my reading about Nauru, which I guess is a form of imaginative travel.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Fortunately, I’ve had many great cover artists. Here are just a few, beginning with the artists for my Inspector of the Cross scifi / adventure series, published by MuseItUp Publishing.

Inspector of the Cross – Delilah K. Stephans

Kingdom of the Jax – Kaytalin Platt

Defender of the Flame, Conqueror of the Stars, Skyburst – Charlotte Volnek

The Amazing Worlds of John B. Rosenman (a 4 book set) – Lea Schizas, who also happens to be my publisher(MuseItUp Publishing).

A Senseless Act of Beauty, my most ambitious novel – David Dodd.  Crossroad Press

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

I admire heroes, and I believe that they sometimes turn up in the most unexpected people and in the most unexpected places. In Skyburst, a 14-year-old girl is dying of cancer. What chance could she possibly have to live, much less amount to anything? Like Turtan, the major hero of my series, she grows up to believe that selfless devotion to a cause is everything.

Besides that, I try to capture some of the mind-blowing wonders of the universe, which is filled with endless possibilities. That is, after all, why we call it “Speculative Fiction.”

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?

My wife belongs to a readers group, and they are responsible for me reading some novels I never would have otherwise.  Recently, I was really pulled in by Marilyn Simon Rothstein’s Lift and Separate and Husbands and Other Sharp Objects. They are about a woman whose husband of over thirty years has left her for another, much younger woman. Despite her pain, both novels are filled with delicious humor.

There are many writers I admire and it’s hard to choose.  Robert Silverberg is at the top.  I especially like the endless imagination and inventiveness in his short stories.  To mention one more: Dan Simmons for his Hyperion Cantos.

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

The small, independent press. It wasn’t until 1982 that I discovered it. For the first time, I found markets for my short fiction and editors who were willing to critique my stories and help me revise and improve them for publication. In a way, it’s been an apprenticeship for nearly forty years.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’ve been doing it a long time and technically it’s not a career because I don’t make enough money. But to me, it’s a career. It’s what I do and have always done.

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

At this point, no. I’m satisfied with the book. But if someone reviewed Skyburst and offered competent criticism, I might change my mind. I’m not a perfect writer and I’ve never written a perfect book.

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

Skyburst, my latest, andDefender of the Flame are unique among my novels because they are two parts of the same story.  In Skyburst, I try to present many of the same events that are in Defender of the Flame from Sky’s POV without making any mistakes. In one novel,Turtan is a 45-year-old man. In Skyburst, Sky is only 15.  I had to constantly check back and forth between the books to get it right and consistent.

And I learned I could do it! Go ahead, dear readers. Read the two novels and see if I pulled it off without making any mistakes, such as having Sky travel somewhere with Turtan when the previous novel shows her at a party.

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

This is a toughie, since I don’t know anyone who could convincingly play Sky, a 15 to 18-year-old girl. I love Jennifer Lawrence. She’d be great if she were younger. I’ve sometimes wondered who could play Turtan, the tall, biracial hero in my series. Denzel Washington is the best I can think of, but he’s too short and old. If you want to know what Turtan looks like, check the cover of Defender of the Flame.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read, read, read; write, write, write; revise, revise, revise. Find a good critique group that gives honest but not cruel criticism.  Travel a little. As for reading—read good stuff, classics, and read widely. But read some bad stuff too so you will know the difference. Take a creative writing class or two from a good teacher.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Hmm, my first published novel The Best Laugh Last cost me two teaching jobs, one after the other. When I watch Jeopardy, I can always tell when the Daily Double is going to come on a split second before it does. My wife never believes me, though. As a writer, I’m filled with insecurities and sometimes feel depressed. I suppose many writers are similar. I don’t like being rejected, but if I believe in a story, I keep trying. I’ve sold some stories after they were rejected two dozen times.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Year’s Best SF 5, edited by David G. Hartwell and The Mammoth Book of Literary Anecdotes.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Men of Ironby Howard Pyle.  My father gave it to me when I was a young boy, and it’s a coming-of-age story about a young squire who strives to become a knight and redeem his father’s honor.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I laugh at a lot of things. President Trump and political humor.Dirty jokes. Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live. Pickles and Doonesbury.

I don’t cry easily.  Males are discouraged from showing emotion. I did cry at my father’s funeral, though I didn’t do it very well. What I felt inside was terrible, though; a vast, permanent loss. I’ve gotten more sentimental as I’ve aged, and I can respond to more things. There’s a video online about a little girl who lost a cat and then she enters a room and finds an adorable kitten. Her reaction gets me every time, especially when she looks up at her mother and pipes, “Can I keep him?”

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

I’m not a Christian, but I’d love to meet Jesus to see if he really was/is the son of God and mankind’s saviour.  Of course, it takes faith to see that. My characters are often Christ figures even if they don’t know it—e.g., Turtan and Dax Rigby.  Second choice: William Shakespeare.  I have so many questions concerning him, especially why he left London and quit writing plays three years before his death. Was it because he was going blind?

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes, playing tennis and reading science fiction and other genres.  Talking to friends and fellow writers online.

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

Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Twilight Zone (original), Jeopardy, This is Us, The Fugitive (with Janssen).Many others.

Films: The Wizard of Oz, The War of the Worlds (1953 version), The Man From Earth, Cyrano de Bergerac (with Ferrer), Jesus Christ Superstar, Risen, many others.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love grilled chicken at KFC, grilled steak, clam chowder, onion soup, cheese broccoli soup.  Mushroom Swiss hamburgers at Hardy’s, my wife’s garlic shrimp.

Blue, green, gold (as in golden daffodils), black.

I love a lot of songs of the forties, fifties, and sixties; good old Rock ‘n Roll; some Christian music; Beethoven; Adele.Pop music of all periods.

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

Read, play tennis, and hopefully travel a little. I’d probably watch a lot more TV  and do more repairs around the house.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live, how would you spend that time?

I’ve often thought I would spend it in debauchery or do some of the dangerous things I’ve been reluctant and too scared to do, like parachute from a plane or do a ski jump.  No, skip the ski jump. I don’t want to break my legs and spend my last twelve hours in painful traction. What I’d probably do is spend my last hours with my wife and family. If I had any appetite, I’d eat all the gluten-filled things that my Celiac disease forbids to eat: fried chicken, pepperoni pizza at Costco, and so on.

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

I am now writing my best story.

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

Yes. My website is www.johnrosenman.com

and my blog is www.johnrosenman.blogspot.com

I also have a newsletter. Just go to my website to subscribe.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/John-B.-Rosenman/e/B001KMN69E

Here are some of my books:

The Amazing Worlds of John B. Rosenman (4 book set)

https://amzn.to/2UJADYB

The Turtan Trilogy (the first three books in my Inspector of the Cross series)

https://amzn.to/2PkRQl3

Inspector of the Cross (Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2UOjOvm

Kingdom of the Jax (Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2KRKbw4

Defender of the Flame (Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2KNTUn0

Conqueror of the Stars (Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2GnCmZw

Skyburst (Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2Pph7dR

The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes (Winner of Preditor’s and Editor’s SF/F Readers Poll)

https://amzn.to/2Gn9NLO

A Senseless Act of Beauty

https://amzn.to/2ZmeVIF

The Merry-Go-Round Man (Young Adult)

https://amzn.to/2UrcUHH

Bagonoun’s Wonderful Songbird

https://amzn.to/2GpGEzv

 

Here is my interview with Natasha Deen

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

Hi Fiona, thank you for inviting me to your blog. I’m happy to be here!

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

Natasha Deen

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

N: I began pursuing writing as a career after university. Ten years into it, being someone who gets to put stories into the world that people enjoy is a great job to me!

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

N: I’m rubbish with coming up with titles. It usually takes me three or four attempts to get it right! The title of my latest book, In the Key of Nira Ghani, was a team effort from me and my publisher, Running Press. J

Even though it took a few tries, I love this title. I think it hits the mark by intertwining Nira’s love of music and her struggles to come into her own, to pursue her dreams while still being true to the people and culture she comes from, and gives a nod to the individuality/humour that she brings to her world.

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

N: **Laughs hysterically** everything about writing is difficult for me! I don’t think I have a specific writing style, though based on reader feedback, readers of my works can expect fun characters, engaging dialog, and a lot of humour in my books.

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

N: Not really. 😀 I think while we may all read the same book, none of us reads the same story, and I’m just happy readers spend time with my characters.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

N: Keep going! This is not an easy industry, don’t give up!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

N: Thank you. I know there are obligations on your time and so many things you are juggling in your lives, and I’m grateful that of all the things you do, reading my books is one of them.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

N: I’m rereading Robert McKee’s Story.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

N: Not really, but I do remember one of the first books ever read to me, Watty Piper’s The Little Engine that Could.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

N: Does chasing after my furry creatures and cuddling with them count?

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

N: I would be a combination professional cupcake taster and animal tummy-rubber-ear-scratcher-feed-them-all-the-treats-they-want. J

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

N: There are a lot things I’d like the head stone to read, but in reality, it’ll probably read, “Here lies Natasha. She thought it was a good idea, at the time.” 😛

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

N: Readers can find me at www.natashadeen.com (the blog is attached to the website). I’m also on Instagram and Twitter @natasha_deen.

Fiona, thank you so much for asking such great questions and giving me the chance to spend time with your readers! ^_^

 

 

Here is my interview with David Estringel

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


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

I’m David Estringel and I am 50 years old (this past April 11th).

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Alice, Texas, but lived the better first-half of my life in Brownsville, Texas, where I now live.

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

Well, I am the youngest of two children (I have an older sister), born to parents who were teachers.Pursuing higher education was highly stressed in the home, though I resisted it at first.Finally, I buckled down and pursued by bachelor’s degree in English, which really solidified my interest in writing poetry and fiction. So, I suppose I owe a great debt of gratitude to my parents for that. Originally, I had planned to go for a graduate degree in English and teach, but ‘life’ happened, and I ended up becoming a social worker and psychotherapist. Even though my career in mental health and public health has been good to me and rewarding, I eventually had to return to my roots; hence, the beginning of my emerging writing career.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I recently had my first feature-length collection of poetry and prose Indelible Fingerprints published by Alien Buddha Press on April 1, 2019, so, I am quite excited about that. It has been a life-long dream of mine to publish a book, and the whole process happened so incredibly fast; I am still trying to settle into the idea. Apart from that, I am working on new poetry and tossing around ideas for some new short fiction pieces. I had some new poems recently accepted at Alien Buddha Zine (USA), The Blue Nib (UK) and Fishbowl Press (Germany) for which I am very excited. My older works still continue to be reprinted—here and there—which is always nice but managing those submissions feels like a full-time job sometimes. It’s good to see them continue to find new places to hang their hats for a while, though.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My earliest recollection of writing takes me back to the Second Grade. I recall writing a story about two doves that I spent hours on, trying to get it (and my thoughts) perfectly down on paper. I demonstrated a lot of intensity for an eight-year-old–an obvious foreshadowing of the future. I continued to enjoy writing throughout my educational career. It came easy to me, so it was never an arduous task that it seemed to be for most of my peers. I tried my hand at writing short stories during my teens and early adulthood but to no avail. I don’t think I had lived enough, plus I didn’t really have a ‘voice’. Three decades later, at the age of 49, that changed. It definitely felt like finding my way home.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Despite my rough start as a youth, I would have to say I considered myself to be a writer during my senior year of college. I took a creative writing course and dove headlong into poetry and short story-writing. My instructor was very supportive, and she loved my poetry. She was the first person to ever call me “a poet” and that stuck in my head all these years. I would have to say, however, that I didn’t fully consider myself to be a writer until the Summer of 2018, after I had, again, found myself in graduate school and taking creative writing classes. It was like stepping back in time and picking up where I left off. With a lifetime of experiences behind me and a definite voice, I put pen to paper and the poems and short stories started to flow. I started to submit my stuff to literary journals and magazines and, over time, began to get my work published. At that point, I knew I had finally realized my ultimate goal of being a writer. I had a literary journal instant message me on Twitter the other day, stating that they loved my work and wanted me to submit some poetry to their publication. If I ever needed proof, that was it. I love the universe and its crazy ways.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

At some point, the collection of poems and short stories in Indelible Fingerprints felt like a cohesive representation of who I was—am—at the moment. I was going to hold off a while longer to add more work, but I started to feel ‘labor pains’ and decided that my first book would be something more personal and intimate. I think I achieved that.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Indelible Fingerprints encompasses what the poems and stories represent, which are moments in time—irreversible—that shaped me into the person I am today. Good or bad, they are parts of me and my narrative that can’t ever be erased, sticking like birthdays or the need to breathe. Whether it was God or Fate, something had a hand in moulding things. The title was perfect.

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

I have a tendency to gravitate towards dirty realism, which is something I appreciate very much in authors that I love to read, such as Raymond Carver and Denis Johnson. Whether poems or short stories, I tend to create smaller but gritty pieces that make one feel like they just stepped into and out of a person’s experience at the right time. That is very evident in my short stories, where there are really no resolutions to the stories, just the anticipation of them. Life doesn’t play out that way. Things are uncertain and can turn on a dime at any moment. I want the reader to come to their own conclusions, maybe inject a little of themselves into the characters and plots, living through them…just a little. In terms of my poetry, I, too, prefer short pieces but have been known to churn out a 10-stanza monster. Either way, I try to distil life’s experiences into brief, knowable moments that connect, which is why I love haiku so much.

What I find most challenging about my style has more to do with my own apprehension about the level of transparency in the content. I write from experience, so my own feelings and thoughts get tangled into my creations. I don’t do vulnerability well, but the work calls for it, so I do let things happen organically. Sometimes, I go to dark places in my writing. Sometimes, my more erotic pieces (not erotica) are captured in a very raw way, bordering on the grotesque, but sometimes the elemental natures of love and sex aren’t necessarily so pretty (yet, they excite us). I still explore the heights (and depths) of these parts of my ‘self’ and find ‘knowing’ myself to be an ongoing process. I can’t wait to see who I will end up being.

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

Indelible Fingerprints is my life and soul on a silver platter. Eighty percent reality with all the flavour.

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

For right now, I don’t have to travel to become inspired; however, that will change. I mentioned before that I had trouble writing as a youth due to having not lived, so I can’t assume that has completely changed. Ultimately, I want to travel for a while and just write, becoming inspired by new sights and people, breathing different air and seeing the world from completely new perspectives. I think I am old enough now to appreciate the experience.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Indelible Fingerprint’s cover was designed by my publisher at Alien Buddha Press, Red Focks. He is a brilliant artist. He basically offered up any of his available works for the cover and we both immediately gravitated towards the modern-styled piece that graces the cover today. People seems to really love it. I know I fell in love with it at first sight.

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

Life is about living, so live unapologetically.

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?

Unfortunately, I have not had a lot of time to read, lately (hanging head in shame), but I have to say that the three authors that have significantly impacted my life are Raymond Carver (of course), E. M. Forster, and Thomas Hardy. I think they all write about the harshness of life, just in different ways. I like how Carver splays out the day-to-day, honestly and unapologetically. Forster, who has been my favourite ever since I read Maurice, introduced me to the use of Classical allusion and notion of how absurd people (society) can be. Thomas Hardy is just plain amazing. I am ravenous for his books.

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

I would really have to say my best friend Brian is the one who offered the most support. I pretty much kept the whole writing ‘thing’ under wraps while I figured out what it was, exactly, that I wanted to do. Brian knew that I wanted to write and did his best to nudge me every so often. Glad he did.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 I can see it and would like it very much, though it hasn’t started paying the bills yet. Right now, it is definitely a labour of love. I am hopeful, though.

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

I don’t know that I would change anything about the book per se. I would have released a couple of chapbooks first, however. The offer to publish it came out of nowhere, so I felt like I should strike while the iron was hot.

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

I learned that writing books of poetry and short stories is what I, ultimately, want to do. Again, I am hopeful.

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

My book is a collection of poems and short stories, so I think an ensemble cast would probably be more appropriate. I would insist, however, that Ewan McGregor be in it. There is a lot of wisdom behind those blue eyes of his.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing no matter what! Otherwise, you WILL regret it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you for your support and for funding my bagel and cream cheese addiction.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Distant Sound by Gert Jonke

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I have never been able to get it out of my head.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Love on both accounts.

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

I would love to spend the day with Raymond Carver and absorb his genius. He is my inspiration, now and always.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Not really. I work two full-time jobs, edit and/or write for a few magazines, and am “Dad” to five very precocious dachshunds. Does sleep count?

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

I am not much of a movie watcher, actually. I am quite addicted to Gilmore Girls. The dialogue is just so smart and cutting (at times). I am a sucker for great dialogue.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I have always been a steak and potatoes kind of guy and will likely always be. I love dark blues (navy or Prussian). As far as music, Fleetwood Mac all the way. Ladytron will do in a pinch, however.

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

Read every book in my library (1310 books and counting).

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I would lay in bed with my five dogs, eating pepperoni pizza and chocolate chip cookies, and listen to Fleetwood Mac all day long.

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

He saw too much. He knew too much. He felt too much. He stuck around, anyway.

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

Yes. Folks can visit my website at https://davidaestringel.com to access links to view (and in some cases buy) my work, as well as check up on what is going on in my little world. People can also connect with on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man) and my writing page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/davidAestringel/).

Amazon Author’s Page:

USA: https://www.amazon.com/David-Estringel/e/B07Q3V2JPD

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07Q3V2JPD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19031299.David_Estringel

Here is my interview with Gerry Griffiths

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 Gerry Griffiths and soon I’ll be 70.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Paget, Bermuda and grew up mostly in California.

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

Well to put it all in a nutshell, I served in the U.S. Navy in submarines, I worked at a company for 32 years called Eimac that made vacuum tubes, I received a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University, I have a wonderful wife, four daughters, four dogs, a cat, and I like to write. Life is good.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have just completed the third book in a series called Cryptid Country, the sequel to Cryptid Zoo and hope to have it available soon by Severed Press.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always been an avid reader so I guess the natural thing was to try a hand at writing. I started writing for myself maybe forty or so years ago. At the time my wife was working swing shift so I would stay up at night pounding on a typewriter. I was so engrossed with my first manuscript that when the black ribbon ran out, I put in the red ribbon, and when that began to wear out, the pages began to look like braille. In 2016 I took that story idea and developed it into a book entitled SILURID. So my advice, never throw anything away. Before that I self-published a short story collection entitled Creatures in 2010.

 Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s a tough question. Even though I’ve had over ten novels and thirty short stories published I still feel like it’s been a fluke. Maybe it just takes time for it to really set in. I truly believe ‘You’re only as good as your next book.’

 Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Well my first book was a compilation of 22 short stories called Creatures. I love creature features and thought it would be fun to write a full length book. That’s when I dusted off the story for SILURID.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

SILURID is also another name for catfish. I thought the title sounded kind of catchy (no pun intended). Some readers embraced the idea of giant catfish terrorizing the California coast and attacking tourist at Fisherman’s Wharf; other readers, not so much. At least I had fun with it.

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

I like to keep my characters engaged with dialogue and try not to overburden the story with too much description. I always find that if I have to wade through too much description it bogs everything down. I like to try my hand at speculative fiction which is always fun to explore. Horror has always been my bag. I think all writers are influenced by their favorite authors. Mine are King, Laymon, Little, Koontz, and Keene.

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

I think as a writer we evoke a part of ourselves into our characters whether it is our mannerisms or our witticisms. If you ever watch a horror movie that really resonates there is always that element of humour. Eight Legged Freaks is a good example.

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

Research is a very important part of a book. I wrote Deep in the Jungle about a family’s adventures in the Amazon jungle andThe Next World about them having further adventures in Africa but have never travelled to either location. When I decided to do another book of the family in Battleground Earth I did decide to travel up to Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton for my research. I took my wife, daughter, and grandson along. The ride up (and down) was the most scariest we’ve ever encountered. The road was unbelievably windy with sheer drop-offs. My wife vowed never to go again. I used that experience in the book.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I am not sure who the actual designer is as most of my books have been published by Severed Press and always have phenomenal covers.

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

I think we all want to play a part in addressing important hot button issues and influencing change. In Cryptid Island I wanted readers to be aware of the threat of over logging the Amazon jungle. In The Next World it was addressing heinous poachers killing wildlife on the African savanna. I just had the opportunity to be a contributing author for Tales of the Camp Fire: A Charity Anthology Benefiting Wildfire Relief which I felt was important as my brother-in-law and his wife lived in Paradiseand are survivors of the tragic firestorm that destroyed the town, killed 85 people, and displaced 250,000 residents. Hopefully the donated profits from the sale of this anthology can help toward the efforts of restoring the community.

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

I have been collecting books through the years after reading them. If I look at my bookshelf I can count 20 books by Richard Laymon, 16 by Bentley Little, 12 by Linwood Barclay, too many to count of Stephen King’s and so on. I do have my favorite books which I would gladly share that are not these authors and I think everyone should read. Here are just a few:

Among Madmen by Jim Stalin &DainaGraziunas

The Fungus by Harry Adam Knight

Red by Jack Ketchum

Passenger by Billy Cowie

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

Killing the Boss by Brian Pinkerton

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

I have an old photograph of my dad smoking a pipe and sitting behind his typewriter. He liked to write and I suppose I got the bug from him. I can’t think of any outside influence that would have played a part in my writing unless there is some strange entity invading my dreams at night and putting these crazy ideas into my brain. With that said, I do owe a debt of gratitude to Lori Michelle of Dark Moon Digest for publishing so many of my short stories and getting me started.

 Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It wasn’t until I retired that I began having my work published. I know it sounds taboo to call my writing a hobby but I already had a career. I feel fortunate to have come this far thanks to a lot of great folks in the industry.

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

Not my latest book but I think if I had it to do over again, I would have changed the ending on Battleground Earth. Just so you know, I wrote a four-book series: Death Crawlers, Deep in the Jungle, The Next World, and Battleground Earth. These books were about an entomologist who takes his family on adventures and are plagued by giant insects that eventually take over the world. I thought it was time to wrap up the series and at the last chapter I jumped ahead 20 years which some readers found upsetting and were disappointed but at the time I thought was a nice closing. I should have left it open for a possible fifth book.

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

Whenever I read a book I like to learn fun facts or something new. I like to do that with my books. In the book I just finished writing, Cryptid Country; I learned about statistics about the tallest buildings in the world and used that in my story. As the book is all about cryptid creatures that have escaped a zoo and are terrorizing the nation, I had to do some extensive research to bring these creatures to life. Sometimes compiling the research can be just as much fun as the actual writing.

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

In the Cryptid Zoo book series there are the cryptid hunters Jack Tremens and Miguel Walla. I think Jack could be played by Wyatt Russell and Miguel could be played by Michael Pena. One of my characters is Allen Moss who is known as the ‘Botanist’ as he has transformed into a plant-like creature and would make a great CGI special effects character.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I heard this one and thought it was pretty good. READ, WRITE, REPEAT.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Always remember when rating an author’s work that your opinions are appreciated but know that they can also be damaging to a new book coming out of the gate.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just received my copy of Tales of the Camp Fire and plan to jump into that.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Sorry, I don’t.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Whenever it is someone’s birthday, I’ll go to the store to pick out a humorous card. If I read one and I laugh out loud, that’s a keeper. Maybe getting poked in the eye by a stick.

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

Maybe not so book related. I’ve always followed famous directors and watched movies because of their work. It would have been wonderful to meet Toby Hooper, Wes Craven,and George Romero to get their spin on horror. I do wish my dad was around to see my books. He passed in 2005. I didn’t publish my first book until 2010. I think he would have been proud up there smoking his pipe.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Did I mention writing?

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

There are so many wonderful shows and great films out there. Here are just a few of my picks:

Banshee (the series)

Game of Thrones

Overload (the movie)

Breaking Bad

Sopranos

The Walking Dead

Z Nation

Black Summer (the series)

…you get the idea…

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Fried chicken, ribeye steak, green, Imagine Dragons is cool.

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

Pull weeds.

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I would cuddle with my wife and our four dogs, daughters included, maybe play some Scrabble.

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

Pop always ordered a Black Russian.

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

You can visit my books on my Author Central page on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Gerry-Griffiths/e/B003CGSL6E?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1555792241&sr=1-1