Here is my interview with Rosanne Bittner

 

Hello, Fiona!  Rosanne Bittner here, and I thank you for inviting me to visit your blog!  I have been writing 35 years and as of October will have 66 published books to my credit – all of them involving real American history, from the French & Indian wars to the Revolutionary War to the Alamo, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the discovery of gold, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the birth of some of our great cities of the West , outlaws, Indians and lawmen, and much, much more.  I just take real history and get my fictitious characters involved, turning all the stories into memorable love stories that most of my readers tell me they will never forget.  Some have read my 7-book Savage Destiny series 15 times and more!  My favorite theme is to tell a story about two people desperately in love and how that love holds them together through the perils of settling America. Many of my stories, trilogies and series are family sagas that last 40 years or more.  I am a USA TODAY best-seller and have won numerous writing awards, with books published all over the world in several languages.

Fiona:  WHERE ARE YOU FROM?  EDUCATION?  FAMILY LIFE:     

I am from Coloma (Southwest corner) Michigan, and I have been married 52 years and have two sons and three grandsons. I help run a family business (along with my husband) and also do volunteer work.  I never went to college.  I am just chocked full of stories to tell, and I guess that’s just a God-given gift.  My next book to be published is THE LAST OUTLAW, the fourth book in my Outlaw series from Sourcebooks (coming in September) – and in October I will have a short story published in an anthology titled CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS.  My story is called A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS and involves the same family from my Outlaw series.  It’s a really touching story and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!  You will cry “happy” tears.  Currently I am working on a sequel to my March Amazon book, CAPTURE MY HEART.  The sequel is called A WARRIOR’S PROMISE, and then I want to write the fifth Outlaw book and also write a Native American contemporary story I have had in mind for over 25 years.

Fiona:  WHEN DID YOU BEGIN WRITING, AND WHEN DID YOU WRITE YOUR FIRST BOOK? 

I have always considered myself a writer.  I wrote my first poem in third grade, my first little story in fourth grade and after that lots of poetry until I got brave enough to try writing a whole book until 1979, when I was 34 years old.  I have always, always loved the American West and I grew up on TV westerns, so I always knew that was the kind of book I would write.  I became more inspired to try it when I read THE PROUD BREED by Celeste deBlasis.  It’s a wonderful 3-generation story about the settling of California and is also a fabulous love story.

Fiona:  HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE TO YOUR FIRST BOOK?

I don’t know how I came up with the title for my very first book – SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION – other than it’s a love story that takes place on a wagon train west.  That story began a journey for the hero and heroine that takes them through 7 books and 45 years together, from newlyweds to grandparents, all set against the settling of Colorado and how that affected the Southern Cheyenne.  I might add here that I always pick a title first.  I can’t write the book without a title.  And virtually every title I have ever given the books I have written has been used by the publisher and not changed.

Fiona:  DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC WRITING STYLE?     

My writing style is to just tell a story full of adventure and romance, with lots of action and dialogue.  I hate too much description.  I also try to tell the story strictly through the eyes and thoughts and actions of the characters, avoiding the “author telling what’s happening.”  That brings the readers into personal empathy with the characters.

Fiona:  HOW MUCH OF YOUR BOOK IS REALISTIC AND BASED ON SOMEONE YOU KNOW OR EVENTS IN YOUR OWN LIFE?   

I NEVER base anything on people I know.  The only thing that might compare to personal experiences is the heroine’s feelings toward her husband, her children and grandchildren.  I have experienced just about everything you can experience involving emotions related to all of those things, so I can make the heroine very realistic in her feelings and actions involving her family.

Fiona:  DO YOU TRAVEL TO HELP CRAFT YOUR BOOKS?     

My husband and I have traveled the West for years, and it does help me in describing the magnificent landscape of America’s fantastic West.  To just call it “big country” doesn’t do it justice.  There really are no adjectives to truly describe the grandeur of the Rockies, the vast loneliness of the plains and prairies, the wildness of the rivers.  I do my best, but there is nothing like seeing it for yourself.

Fiona:  WHO DESIGNS YOUR COVERS?    

I have always written for traditional publishers, so they are the ones who design the covers.  They do let me approve them and they ask me to describe settings and characters.

Fiona:  IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR NOVEL THAT YOU WANT READERS TO GRASP?     

My message in pretty much every book I have written is the power of love and the power of faith.

Fiona:  HAVE ANY NEW AUTHORS GRASPED YOUR INTEREST?  DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE WRITER?     

Believe it or not I read very little.  So it’s hard for me to name authors who have inspired me, other than the book I mentioned earlier (The Proud Breed).  I also never, ever forgot a book I read when I was 14 years old – A LANTERN IN HER HAND, by Bess Streeter Aldrich.  It isn’t very long, but it leaves a deep impact on the heart regarding what it was like for a woman to follow her husband west when there was virtually nothing there.  It’s a wonderful story that I recommend to everyone.

Fiona:  DO YOU SEE WRITING AS A CAREER?    

Writing IS my career.  I have made a really good living from my writing for many, many years.  It’s all I do for a living.

Fiona:  IF YOU HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING TO YOUR LATEST BOOK?     

There isn’t one thing I would change about any book I have written.  As far as a movie, if that ever happens, I’ll worry then about who might play the lead.  Depends on which book happens to make it that far.  I pray for that every day.

Fiona:  ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS?     

My advice to other writers is to WRITE WHAT YOU LOVE.  Ignore what’s the most popular genre at the moment.  WRITE FROM THE HEART – and write the way you like to read.  I love fast-paced adventure and romance and dialogue.  I love to get into the heads of both the hero and heroine, and sometimes from one paragraph to the next.  That’s supposed to be a no-no, but if you do it right and make sure your reader understands whose head they are in, it’s not a problem.

Fiona:  WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?     

I’m not reading any book at the moment.  I spend too much time writing.  I write every day, often in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep.  I have a huge office at our business, but I end up doing most of my writing at night in the corner of my kitchen.

Fiona:  IS THERE ANY ONE PERSON, PAST OR PRESENT, YOU WOULD LOVE TO MEET?   

One person I always wanted to meet was James Arness (Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke).  I was so sad when he died.  I would also LOVE TO MEET CLINT EASTWOOD.  I wish I could draw his attention to my books because no one could direct a movie based on one of my books better than Clint could.

Fiona:  WHAT TV SHOWS/FILMS DO YOU ENJOY WATCHING?     AND DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?      

I watch almost no TV.  I would rather write.  Sometimes I take a break and watch Family Feud.  My favorite western movies are THE SHOOTIST (John Wayne), PALE RIDER (Clint Eastwood) and QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER (Tom Seleck).  My only hobby is a huge rose garden I created by myself in my back yard over the past 3 years.  It’s gorgeous!

Fiona:  IMAGINE A FUTURE WHERE YOU NO LONER WRITE.  WHAT WOULD YOU DO?  

I can’t imagine a future in which I don’t write.  I don’t even want to think about that.  It would break my heart.

DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEB SITE READERS CAN VISIT?     

Readers can find out much more about me and my books by checking out my web site at www.rosannebittner.com, my blog at www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com.  I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and many other sites.  You can find virtually all my books on Amazon.com, where you can also find reissues of many of my older titles, all with new covers and all available as e-books and in print.  Readers should watch my web site for contests I always run, especially when approaching a new publication.  I will soon be doing something to promote THE LAST OUTLAW, coming in September!

Amazon Authors Pages

USA https://www.amazon.com/Rosanne-Bittner/e/B004MPON7K/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosanne-Bittner/e/B000APXL10/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1498486374&sr=1-2-ent

 

Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog!

Here is my interview with A. J. Steele

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

Hi, Fiona. I’m happy to be here.

 

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

My name is A. J. Steele and I am the pen name for erotic romance author Julie Shelton. She’s 74, but I’m in my mid-30’s.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Since I am a figment of someone’s imagination, I can be from anywhere, so I think I’ll choose England. I’m a true Anglophile. Julie Shelton, on the other hand, is from Connecticut, lol.

 

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

I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science and after being a children’s librarian for 8 years, I became a professional storyteller/puppeteer for 33 years. I went from there to writing hot, sexy, erotic romances. I’m widowed and share a house with another woman. Although childless myself, I have a brother and a sister, two nieces, two nephews, three great-nieces, and one great-nephew.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I (as Julie Shelton) just released my 15th book, Master of Blackmoor, an erotic Gothic Regencyromance. It. Is. Hot.And dark. And mysterious. It’s my second historical, the other one being Dark Warrior, an erotic Medieval Menage set in the 14th century.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote my first play at age 9. “Fairies in the Garden.” It featured music, dialogue, ballet, and, of course, sparkly costumes and magic wands. It expanded from there.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Even though I’ve been writing all my life, and had published a monthly language arts newsletter for early childhood educators and a resource book on using puppets in the classroom, it wasn’t until my first novel was published at the end of 2012 that I actually felt I was a writer. I had sent manuscripts to publishers over the years, but had always been rejected until I wrote Loving Sarah and sent it to SirenBookstrand publishers. They accepted it and my next three books as well. I have self-published an additional eleven books since then, both under the name Julie Shelton and, more recently, A. J. Steele

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

While all the books I write as Julie Shelton are long, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing super-sexy, super-short books. I chose a pen name, A. J. Steele, for these books, hoping to establish a reputation associating that name with smoking hot short, short books. The first story I wrote, Taken in Her Office, was perfect for a serial, so I chose the series name Mastering the Professor. There are 5 books so far, I’m working on books 6 and 7 right now and hope to release them, along with a boxed set of all 7 books, by the end of summer.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I brainstormed with my beta readers and decided that the hero would be a billionaire businessman and the heroine would be a professor of advanced calculus at the local university. Each book would feature a different location where the hero has BDSM sex with the heroine and the unique challenges each of those locations present. The common thread throughout all seven books is how the hero and heroine each deal with their growing feelings for the other, since the original premise set out by the hero was that this was to be strictly sex, no awkward emotional entanglements. Yeah, good luck with that.

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

I tend to be an emotional storyteller, so writing love stories is something I feel I am particularly suited for. The most challenging part of my genre, BDSM Erotic Romance, is finding new ways to describe what is basically the same act over and over—sex—and keep it fresh and exciting.

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

I’d say at least 75%of what I write is based on events and people in my own life, the rest is a combination of everything I’ve ever read, seen, done, or heard, plus a hefty dose of research and imagination.

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

I don’t HAVE to travel, although I love doing it.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The covers of my serial, Mastering the Professor, are designed by LaLima Designs and myself. While she supplies the main image featured on each cover, I have picked the floral backgrounds used on all but the first book.

 

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

That love comes in many forms. And that sex is fabulous. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a hot, steamy romp.

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 know about new authors, but there are quite a few old ones whom I admire. Probably my favorite writer of BDSM erotic romance is Cherise Sinclair. But there’s also Maya Banks, Lora Leigh, Beth Kery, Hannah Ford, Sierra Cartwright, Shayla Black, the list is endless. Their characters are believable and the emotions are deep and real.

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

No one, really. Everyone seemed to think it was a nice little hobby.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No. Writing is something I just have to do. Besides, at age 74, I no longer think in terms of “career”.

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

I wouldn’t change a thing in any of my books.

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

Since my most recent book, Master of Blackmoor, released one month ago under my real name, Julie Shelton, is set in the Regency era, I learned a great deal about funerals, food, manners, clothing, traveling by coach, Scottish wedding ceremonies, vocabulary, and the running of a grand estate.

 

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

For the A. J. Steele Mastering the Professor books, I would like Jill Flint to play the heroine, Emma Burke, and I envision Aaron Eckhart as the hero, Gage Rutherford, except he’d have to die his hair black and wear green contact lenses

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Sit down and start typing. Don’t worry about whether it’s good or not. Just type what you’re thinking—a scene, a description, a bit of dialogue. Then expand on it. Brainstorm ideas with a friend or friends, but do it in Messages so you can copy and paste the entire session into a Word doc. That way you’ll have it and you can pick and choose ideas to expand on.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love my readers. I am thrilled that they love my books. I appreciate every review and recommendation to their friends. They are what keeps me writing.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m not reading anything at the moment. Too busy promoting Master of Blackmoor, writing Book Six of A. J. Steele’s Mastering the Professor, and getting the five manuscripts of The Doms of Passion Lake ready to publish on all the other retailers besides Amazon and in all the other formats besides kindle. That is a huge, time-consuming project. Plus I am in the middle of a course in book marketing, so I’m pretty busy.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Dick and Jane.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Jeff Dunham (ventriloquist), Neil DeGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist), lots of comedians, Mad Magazine, Jack Benny, screwball comedies. What makes me cry? Sad movies, animals being abused—I can’t watch those commercials. Sad books, beautiful music, singing The Star-Spangled Banner, gorgeous scenery.

 

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

Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. They are two of the bravest, most compelling women in history.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I design jewelry and decorate boxes and books with any of all of the following: beads, antique luxury fabrics, lace, yarns, polymer clay, handmade papers, trims, and found objects.

 

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

Lately I’ve enjoyed watching The Curse of Oak Island, Hunting Hitler, Scientology: the Aftermath with Leah Rimini, Who Do you Think You Are?, Ancient Aliens. I try not to get hooked on drama series, because TV watching take up so much time. When I’m writing, I like to have the TV on in the background—playing old reruns of Law & Order or tennis. Or I’m listening to music—either classical or movie soundtracks. I can’t play songs because I tend to want to listen to them and sing along, so anything with words is too distracting.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Favorite foods: steak and baked potato, lasagna, pistachio ice cream

Favorite color; purple

Favorite music: classical, movie soundtracks, 80’s rock, some country/pop/crossover, Some current hits

 

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

Read and craft.

 

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

Nothing. I refuse to take up valuable real estate or put anyone to the expense of having to buy a slab of rock. I am going to be cremated.

 

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

Visit Julie Shelton and A. J. Steele’s website at www.dominantdeliciousnesss.com. Sign up for the monthly newsletter, which discusses all the things going on in my writing world. My other Julie Shelton links are:

Facebook Fan Page: on.fb.me/19nGsh2

Website: www.dominantdeliciousness.com

Amazon author page: amzn.to/IEAADL

Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/1EWkPRa

Twitter: @JulieCShelton

 

A J Steele’s author page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Steele/e/B0713YDPDH/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1498447376&sr=1-2-ent

A J Steele’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mastering-the-Professor-203790510021787/

 

 

BUY LINKS FOR LOVING SARAH

Amazon Global Link:getBook.at/LovingSarah

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1bv0Pmt

Kobobooks: bit.ly/19Pmv0z

GooglePlay: bit.ly/1g4GSYk

 

BUY LINKS FOR OWNING SARAH

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/OwningSarah

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/18AOP2T

Kobobooks:bit.ly/1dYj0Ec

 

BUY LINKS FOR KEEPING SARAH

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/KeepingSarah

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1AHVLc0

Kobobooks: bit.ly/1m16gGb

 

GLOBAL LINKS FOR THE ALPHA CHRONICLES

getBook.at/LovingSarah

getBook.at/OwningSarah

getBook.at/KeepingSarah

 

BUY LINKS FOR DARK WARRIOR

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/DarkWarrior

Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1g5FqIO

Kobobooks: bit.ly/1s7a2fD

Googleplay: bit.ly/1s7aScf

 

BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S DREAM

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsDream

Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589329

BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S FURY

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsFury

Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589487

 

BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S HOPE

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsHope

Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589500

BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S TRIUMPH

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsTriumph

Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589507

BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S MAGIC

Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsMagic

Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589545

 

BUY LINKS FOR MASTER OF BLACKMOOR

getBook.at/MasterofBlackmoor

 

BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN IN HER OFFICE,

MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK ONE

getBook.at/MasteringProfessor

BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN ON THE DINNER TABLE,

MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK TWO

getBook.at/MasteringProfessor2

BUY LINKS FOR TRAINING TO BE TAKEN,

MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK THREE

getBook.at/MasteringProfessor3

BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN TO THE EDGE,

MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK FOUR

getBook.at/MasteringProfessor4

BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN IN PUBLIC,

MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK FIVE

getBook.at/MasteringProfessor5

 

AUTHOR BIO

From fairies in the garden at age 9 to handcuffs in the boudoir at age 60, Julie’s writing has run the gamut. In between she managed to graduate cum laude with a B.A. in French from Georgia State University followed by a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Emory University. Having thus procured these two necessary, but ultimately irrelevant pieces of paper, she launched a successful career as a children’s librarian, followed by an even more successful career as a professional storyteller and puppeteer. She published Kidstuff, an award-winning, monthly newsletter, as well as a book, Puppets, Poems and Songs, both major language arts resource for early childhood educators.

At various points in her life, if asked what she would like to be, her answer would have been (in rough chronological order, since some of these lofty ambitions overlapped): a fairy, a princess, a ballerina, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, a paleontologist, Scarlett O’Hara, thin and beautiful, an actress, and a writer. Now, at age 74, her answer to that question would most likely be, “younger”.

Followed closely, of course by bestselling author. Oh, and a princess. Some dreams die hard.

Now retired, Julie lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

Here is my interview with Theresa Hodge

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 Theresa Hodge. A lady never reveals her age. 😊

Fiona: Where are you from?

Alabama

 

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

I’m a wife, mother, sister, and friend. My daughter is my proudest achievement to date. She’s smart, talented and kind. Her kindness comes from both her dad and me. I am also an avid reader, who can read any genre, but I prefer romance. I’m an encourager and a pursuer of peace. I love to watch anime, lifetime movies and I cry buckets of tears if the movie is sad. I’m a high school graduate, who graduated with honors and a college dropout. Maybe one day I will pursue my degree, or maybe not. Only time will tell.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I recently republished and updated my cover on book 1 in my Ask Me Again series. Book 2 and 3 should be available sometime in July.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I begin writing after I lost my big sister from breast cancer. The year before I lost her, my dad passed. I became depressed, the conversation that my sister and I had before she died pushed me toward my writing dream. She asked me to follow my dream of writing and to become an author. She asked me to live for the both of us and be happy. In the beginning, her request was hard to do. But now with each book that I write it’s with her beside me pushing me onward every step of the way.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was after I penned my first series titled Ask Me Again in 2014.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My sister Denise inspired me with her last words of encouragement to me on her sick bed.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I saw an old movie Mahogany once when with Billy Dee Williams and Diana Ross. If I remember correctly, Diana said to Billy Dee, “Ask me again.” It was romantic.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I don’t think I have a particular writing style. I just write what comes to me. I have a pen name I wrote several collaborations with, so I don’t get stuck in a certain box. The challenges of starting any new story are my struggle to finish it and not to give up. Writing is hard for me, and it doesn’t get any easier no matter how many books I write.

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

I described my sister’s funeral in the first book that I wrote Ask Me Again. The releasing of the balloons at the grave site was very real. The rest is fictional.

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

No.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I personally use the graphic designer, Bryant Sparks when I self publish. My publishers use the graphic designer Brittani Williams.

 

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

My characters are flawed individuals. I consistently write about forgiveness and second chances. No one is perfect on this earth, but with love anything is possible.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

Amarie Avant, Posey Parks, and London Starr. There are so many authors that I admire, and I’m a real fan of their work. I adore these ladies and the emotion they put into their stories. I can feel the passion, sorrow, and anger that sizzles off the pages of their work.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I had a college English teacher who was also a Nun that went by the name Sister Mary. She asked me to stay after class one day. I was nervous because I had no idea what she wanted. First, she started asking me did I ever have an older brother that attended there? I answered yes, and she said she thought she remembered a student years ago with my last name. Then she asked me had I ever thought about becoming a writer? I replied no, but I was an avid reader. She advised me to give it some thought because she recognized talent in me. I went years without thinking any more about her words until I started writing for more than a hobby.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.

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

Yes, there are plenty of flaws that can be improved. I’m still in the learning process, striving to get better and aiming for my best.

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

Yes. I learned that a woman is stronger than her abusive circumstances.

 

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

Oh, God! For my Ask Me Again series, Morris Chestnut is a definite possibility. I will have to give serious thought to the rest of my books.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write something every day, even if it’s only a paragraph. Believe in yourself and write from the heart. Never give up just because others don’t share your passion. There will be naysayers, remain positive and focus on your dream regardless. When, not if you make it, reach back and help someone else’s dream come true. Stay humble and pay it forward.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Your kindness may be someone’s lifeline. Be kind always.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

An Alpha’s Desire by Amarie Avant.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, because I’m sure I’ve read gazillions by now.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Children getting abused, seeing them hungry, sad movies and losing love ones makes me cry. Comical movies make me laugh. My silly dog Midnight makes me laugh and sometimes I have to laugh at myself. I’m still a humorous child at heart.

 

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

Maya Angelou from the past. I would love to share some of my poetry with her and collaborate with her greatness.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading and playing spades for fun.

 

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

If Loving You Is Wrong, The Haves and Have Nots, Lifetime movies, and Anime.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

My favorite foods are chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

 

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

Read and teach others to read.

 

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

Let Love Flow Always.

 

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

 

Twitter: (@Poetic__Life): https://twitter.com/Poetic__Life?s=09

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresa.hodge.10

Like Page: https://www.facebook.com/askmeagainromanceseries/

Instagram: http://Instagram.com/gemini2goddess

Newsletter Sign-up: http://amazon.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ffde15be91b185d57d934a65c&id=1f6b614090

Website: https://www.amazon.com/Theresa-Hodge/e/B00J53PB3E

 

Here is my interview with Selena Illyria

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?

 SI: Thank you so much for having me on your wonderful blog, my name is Selena Illyria. I write paranormal, contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy erotic romances.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

SI: I live in New Jersey, United States of America.

 

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

 SI: I’m an only child, so I guess that’s where I got my massive imagination from. When you’re the only kid, you have to keep yourself entertained and making up imaginary friends and things that we would be doing together was a way to keep me from getting bored, that and reading and watching TV.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

 SI: I’m currently working on a 3 book werewolves series, a dragon shifter book, and the book set in my One Night Only series.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 SI: I began writing seriously about 7 years ago. Before it was just for fun.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 SI: When I realized that this was something I could do for a living.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 SI: It started off with an idea: woman goes to a Vampire city for a weekend and falls for a hunky vampire which turned into A Fling in Vampiropolis (Out Now at Loose Id)

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

SI: I wanted something fun and different and something I’d never seen before. Something unique.

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

 SI: I love the freedom writing in paranormal or sci-fi or fantasy gives me. You can write anything, change the rules or adhere to them, it just lets me explore worlds and norms and traditions in a new perspective.  I’m still trying to find my way through contemporary.

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

SI:  All the books come from the characters. It’s their experiences, feelings, I’m just the person who writes it all down for them.

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

 SI: I don’t get to travel a lot, but looking at pictures of distance places can give me ideas. The inspiration can come at any time, it’s really fluid.

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 SI: It depends on the publisher or just who I can get on a budget. I’ve worked with Fiona Jayde, Brandy Walker, April Martinez, Scott Carpenter, the list goes on and on.

 

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

 SI: To have fun and find love in both yourself and from others.

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?

SI: My favorite writers all write in ways that catch the imagination or phrase things in a way that are singular and evocative. I have so many favorite authors I can’t name them all. I will say, right now, I’m re-reading the book that made me fall in love with reading: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

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

 SI:  My friends.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 SI: It can be a struggle, but yes.

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

 SI: No, because if I have to do it all over again, I’d nitpick the poor book to death.

 

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

 SI: Yes, to push myself out of my writer comfort zone.

 

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

 SI: I can never answer that because I would always change who would star in it, depending on my mood of if I just discovered a new actor/actress to me.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 SI: Write, but do self care. If the words aren’t coming it’s okay to take a break and come back to it. Don’t stress yourself out too much. Your muse and mind know when it’s time to write and when you need to step away.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 SI: Thank You! I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you. I appreciate you spending your money and time reading my work. I’m always humbled and honored when I see that my books not only touch people but that they buy them.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 SI: I’m currently reading the book that made me fall in love with reading: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 SI: Nancy Drew and The Scarlet Slippers. That book made me fall in love with mysteries.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 SI: A funny movie like Spaceballs can make me laugh and so much can make me cry, like human kindness.

 

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

 SI: On that’s a difficult question, because there are so many! To name one, Cleopatra.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 SI: I’m really boring. My hobbies are pretty much catching up on my TBR pile, and watching TV or movies.

 

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

 SI: Right now I’m on a Doctor Who and Killjoys kick, both are sci-fi.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 SI: My taste in music varies on my mood. I can listen to anything from classical to heavy metal. As for colors, black and as for my favorite food pepperoni and sausage pizza from Pizza Hut or pancakes! I love to make pancakes or get them from IHOP.

 

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

 SI: If I could make money off it, read or watch TV!

 

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

 SI: She has fallen beyond the veil.

 

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

 SI: You can find more info on my books at www.selenaillyria.com or Twitter @Selena_Illyria or on Instagram or FB.

 

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Selena+Illyria&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Selena+Illyria&sort=relevancerank

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Selena-Illyria/e/B0075NG31K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1498435758&sr=1-2-ent

 

Engaged the the Lone Wolf:

Exiled lone wolf, Gunner Foster, has never had a true pack and family around him. Always on the move and on the lookout for danger, he can’t afford to be attracted to–much less want something more with–the vibrant and sexy Valerie Archer. When she offers him money to pose as her fake fiancé, he decides that the money could help him out and allow him to spend more time with Val.

All hell breaks loose when Gunner is outed as the son of one of the werewolf world’s most notorious packbreakers. When Gunner tries to gain entrance into Val’s pack, he’s denied.

Despite their mutual attraction and their desire to explore their growing bond, they have a lot going against them. Will they choose self preservation or fight to be together?

Buy Links:
LI: http://tinyurl.com/mjt7o9h
Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/mtzd4pg

Mate Not Wanted:

Letting Madison go unmated? Pierce won’t stand for it…

Lioness shifter Madison doesn’t want to be mated. So when her friends bid and win tiger shifter Pierce McKinney at the Bachelor Auction, she knows she’s screwed. Pierce is the one man who can get under her skin. Especially when she knows that sex with Pierce will burn hotter than the sun…

Pierce McKinney has been trying without luck to wear Madison down. So when her friends win him at a charity auction, he’s determined to win her for his own. He’ll give her what she needs and desires, and he’ll even bring in a friend to play to her fantasies. But Madison belongs to him, and only him. And he intends to show her that he plays for keeps. Even if she’s too stubborn to admit it. Because Pierce is too stubborn to let her walk away…

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/z2f355n

Fire Mates 1: Reclaimed:

Control is essential for a dragon. Fiery breath, knife-sharp nails, and teeth that can shred a human in moments.

The day Garrett lost control is the day he ran from the one woman who can complete him, his fire companion. Now he’s back and he’s going to reclaim Sky Lilly forever and always.

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/hmt5ovl

 

Here is my interview with Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Fiona: What is your name?

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

 

Fiona: What is your age?

Age 71

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 I was born in Hayward California but raise in Jacksonville Florida in a Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida from age 3 to 14.

 

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

 I am married with 4 children and 11 grandchildren. I live in Brunswick, Georgia where I write (I have written 43 book on child abuse and related issues). I attended Spring Park Elementary and Landon High Schools in Jacksonville but dropped out of school 2 weeks into the 7th grade. I went to nursing school and became the first male LPN in Georgia and later became a EMT with Pennington Ambulance Service in Albany, Georgia. I was a medic in the U.S. Army for 3 years and then worked 3 years in private duty nursing. Tired of nursing I became the ammunition inspector at the Riverbank Ammunition Plant in Riverbank, California for 3 years and then moved to Brunswick, Georgia where I now reside.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am now retired and spend most of my time writing and building model (miniature) structures) which I donate (for free) to the local animal shelters to sell to help get animals adopted and out of cages.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in 1990 (which was very difficult with only a 6th grade education). I began writing because of the sorrow and pain I still feel today having been abused in the Children’s Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida as well as the abuse I suffered at the Florida Industrial; School for Boys at Marianna for having run away from the orphanage.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer when my first book was published. (Orphan-A true story of abandonment, abuse and redemption).

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 I was inspired again by the physical, emotional and sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of the orphanage matrons.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The publisher came up with the title. My original title was “The Sad Orphan.”

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

I only write non-fiction. When writing about child abuse is very dishearten but one must expose what abuse feels like so others may not have to suffer. Yes, writing about such is very challenging.

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

My book(s) are realistic and 100% truthful and based on me and my fellow orphans both male and female.

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

I do have to travel back to the orphanage to replace the sadness I felt as a child. Very difficult to do but I felt I must do that to truly expose the truth.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 The publisher designed the first cover but I have designed the other 30 or so.

 

F My book(s) tear at the heartstrings of the reader and hopefully make the readers realize that child abuse lasts a lifetime. It is important that you reach into their hearts.

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

That child abuse lasts a lifetime.

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 read very little as the writing of others changes my writing style. Any writer can write about an apple but an excellent writer can make the reader taste the apple.

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

There was no one who supported my work because of my lack of education. However, when I became one of the top contributing authors to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book series things began to change. I now have stories in 15 countries and donate my work to anyone using such in educational materials in schools in many countries.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do not see writing as a career but I do write, now and then. The problem with many writers is they do not put their own judgments and beliefs aside and try and write using their personal thoughts as a guideline.

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

I would not have changed a thing in any of my books.

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

 I learned that the sadness never goes away.

 

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

In the past I have worked with Michael Landon and Edward Asner. My book is now being considered for a film titled “The Reformatory”. I could not play the lead but I could play the abuser as I remember how terrible they were and the looks on their faces. I did make a short film of the beatings which I played the lead as Mr. Hatton. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6w5pKLSzQo)

Personally, I have made more than 50 videos over the years which are on YouTube (Roger Dean Kiser) and (Dozier School)

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

My advice to other writers is: write with an open mind remembering others do not see things as you do nor have they experienced what you have in life. Remember, no reader wants to hear you talk about ice-cream when they have never tasted it or even knows what it is.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

In the orphanage we were not allowed to read.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 A good joke makes me laugh but I rarely cry. I cannot cry when someone dies but I do cry and cannot speak when one of my animals die.

 

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

 I would love to have met Paul Lynde (Comic) He made me truly laugh.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I fish and go camping with the grandchildren.

 

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

Mainly news and films like “Sling Blade and Mice and Men

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 Love Turkey and dressing. Yellow is my favorite color and music from the 50-60s and easy listening.

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

If could no longer write I’d be dead. LOL.

 

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

 “Child abuse lasts a life time.”

 

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

My web site is http://www.thewhitehouseboys.com and many of my books are on a site titled www.lulu.com (search “Roger Kiser”.

Amazon authors links

USA https://www.amazon.com/Roger-Dean-Kiser/e/B002XQSSM6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roger-Dean-Kiser/e/B002XQSSM6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1498430576&sr=1-2-ent

 

 

For the past ten years I have battled the state of Florida because of the bloody abuse I and many other boys suffered which in their care. The story is below. I tried for years to expose the bloody beatings, sexual abuse and murder of thousands of boys in the 1950s and 1960s. As the result of my book “The White House Boys-An American Tragedy” more than fifty boys bodies have been exhumed and returned to their families. The school was closed several years ago and now the Florida Senate and House have voted 1.6 million dollars (two weeks ago) to erect two memorials; One in Marianna and the other in Tallahassee, Florida.

 

THE HORRORS OF THE WHITE HOUSE

Roger Kiser 12 years old

I was about 12 years old, living in the Florida School for Boys at Marianna, when they called me to the head office. They told me that I would soon visit the ‘White House,’ which was a torture room for boys who broke one of their many rules or tried to escape. I was sent to the school for trying to escape from the Children’s Home Society orphanage in Jacksonville. I had been incarcerated there for 10 years for the ‘crime’ of having no parents to care for me.

When I heard that they were taking me to this ‘White House,’ an extreme fear came over me. I almost passed out and was trembling so badly that my legs collapsed under me. I fell to the floor and lay there. The men told me to “get my sorry butt up” and sit down on the hard, wooden bench outside the office. I waited there for the two men who would take me to the ‘White House.’ I knew their routine well, as I had heard about it from many other boys who were taken there. Other than the time I learned that I had cancer and would die within six months, I have never known more fear than when I was told I was going to be taken to this place.

After a wait of about 30 minutes, these two men came to get me. They grabbed me by my arms and lifted me off the bench. There were several other boys in the office with me, so I had to try to act as though I was not scared, but they knew. The two men walked with me across the grass circle that divided the offices from the ‘White House.’ We stopped at another office and a man with one arm walked out. He took the place of one of the men holding me. We continued walking toward the mess hall. As we rounded the building, I could see it right in front of me: ‘THE WHITE HOUSE.’

My mind was just going crazy with fear. My thoughts seemed to be swimming in a circle, like a cat that had been thrown into a cold river. I was so scared, I could not think straight. Words were coming from my mouth before my mind could think of what it was I was attempting to say. I was trying to decide if I should run and hide or maybe kill myself. Anything was better than what was going to happen in there.

When we reached the door, one of the men took out his keys and stuck one into the lock. I looked back over my shoulder and I saw about 50 boys. They stared in silence. As the door opened, an ungodly odor filled my nose and I could hardly breathe. I remember trying to step through the doorway, but the odor was so overwhelming that I fell in the short hallway inside. One of the men grabbed me by the back of the shirt collar and jerked it up around my neck, choking me. One of the buttons fell off my shirt and hit the floor, rolling very slowly around the corner. Almost everything was happening in slow motion. My whole body was just numb and it was very difficult for me to breathe. I tried to pull the shirt down from around my neck, but the man jerked it once again and hit me on the top of the head with his knuckles. I hit the floor again and bloodied my nose from the impact. At that point, I was not walking at all; my legs would not work.

The two men picked me up and carried me into a small room, which had nothing in it except a bunk bed and a pillow. They put me down on the floor and ordered me to lie on the bed facing the wall. Crying, I pulled myself up onto the edge of the bed and wiped the blood from my nose onto my shirtsleeve. When I looked up at the men’s faces, they were plain, cold and hard. They had no expression whatsoever. I did what they told me to do. One of them said to move my hands to the top of the bunk bed and grab the bar at the headboard. I did so as quickly as I could. Not one sound could be heard. I felt one of the men reach under the pillow and slowly pull something out. I turned over quickly and looked at the one who was standing near me. He had a large leather strap in his hand.

“Turn your damn head back toward the wall!” he yelled.

I knew what was going to happen and it was going to be very bad. I had been told what to expect by some of the boys, who were taken to the ‘White House.’ I never heard from some of them again. I also heard that this giant strap was made of two pieces of leather, with a piece of sheet metal sewn in between the halves. Again, everything was dead silent. I remember tightening my buttocks as much as I could. Then I waited and waited, and waited. I remember someone taking a breath, then a footstep. I turned over very quickly and looked toward the man with the leather strap. There was an ungodly look on his face and I knew he was going to beat me to death. I will never forget that look for as long as I live.

I tried to jump off the bed, but I was knocked backward when the leather strap hit me on the side of the face. The men grabbed me and held me to the floor. I was yelling to God to save me, begging for someone, anyone, to help. There was blood all over everything. It was everywhere.

“Please forgive me! Please forgive me,” I repeated at the top of my voice. “Please forgive me! Dear God, please help me!”

But it didn’t do any good; God didn’t hear me that day. Maybe He was smart enough not ever to enter the White House, even to save a child. After about five minutes of begging, pleading and crying, they told me to get back on the bed and grab the top rail again. They warned that if I tried to get off the bed, the whole thing would repeat from the beginning. I slowly pulled myself up off the floor and got back onto the bed. Again, I grabbed the rail and waited; everything became quiet, except for the two men breathing really hard. Once again, I tightened up my buttocks and waited.

Then all of a sudden, it happened. I thought my head would explode. The thing came down on me over and over. I screamed and kicked and yelled as much as I could, but it did no good. He just kept beating me over and over. However, I never let go of that bed rail. Then there was nothing. The next thing I remember, I was sitting on another wooden bench in the one-armed man’s office. I remember wiping the slobber and blood from my mouth. My body felt like it was on fire. I stood and found that I hardly could.

God, God, God, it hurt badly. I will never forget that until the day I die.

One of the men in the office yelled at me to sit down. I told him that I had to go to the bathroom really bad. He pointed at a doorway and said that it was the bathroom; he told me to “make it quick.”

“I’m gonna tell somebody about this here stuff when I get out of here one day,” I told the man.

“Saying things like that around here is a good way to wake up dead, sonny boy,” stated the man, as he squinted his eyes and pointed his finger at me.

I slowly walked into the bathroom and closed the door. I looked in the mirror. There was dried blood all over my black and blue face, my hair and in my mouth. I took my torn shirt off, which was hanging from the waistband of my pants and then I turned around and looked into the mirror. My back was black and blue, and also bloody. I almost panicked out of my mind when I saw my reflection. I looked like a monster. I started to cry, but I covered my mouth with both hands so no other boys would hear me. I loosened my belt buckle to get my pants down. It was very painful, but the worst was yet to come. Once they were down, I noticed that my legs were all bloody and my skin was black in color.

I stood over the toilet and tried to urinate, but it just would not come out. I decided to take my underwear down and sit on the toilet until I could go, but the underwear would not come off; it was stuck to my rear end and legs. The cotton material had been beaten into the skin of my buttocks and was dried with blood. I pulled my pants back up and washed my face, mainly because I did not want the other boys to see that I had been crying. I was so scared that I could not stop shaking.

Finally, I walked back into the outer office and saw Mr. Sealander, my cottage house parent, standing by the doorway. He took me back to my cottage. He called the office to complain about what happened to me. Then he took me to the hospital where the old nurse, Ms. Womack, soaked me in Epsom salts and Doctor Wexler sutured up the wounds to my buttockx. With tweezers, she pulled the underwear from my skin. Then she petted that big, ugly cat of hers and sent me away.

Why was this done to me?

I never knew until years later, why I was beaten like that. They did it because I said ‘shit’ when I slipped on the diving board at the pool. I do not even remember saying that kind of word. I never was a boy who cursed.

I will never forget for as long as I will live, that vicious beating done to me without even knowing why. I will never forget the monster that I saw in the mirror that day. I will never forget what adults are capable of doing to a child. I will never forget that the State of Florida was behind what happened to me and to many, many other boys – just for running away from an abusive orphanage.

I do not hold any grudges against those men. If Mr. Hatton had not beaten me, another man would have done the job. Those were the rules. To them, it was a job they were paid to do. However, I have always wondered if Mr. Hatton was ever troubled the least little bit by that beating. I have always wondered if Mr. Robert Curry, the psychologist, got a thrill out of putting a 12 or 13-year-old boy in his place in that manner.

I spoke with Mr. Troy Tidwell, the one-armed man, on the telephone on February 11, 1999. He is now 72 years old and still lives in Marianna, Florida. I asked him if he could locate Mr. SeaLander. I’m sure he had no idea who I was. He may not even remember that far back, although I think it is more likely that he does. How could someone not remember beating little boys like that?

I thank you for caring, Mr. Sealander. Wherever you are, I want to thank you for your kindness and understanding. Because of that one kind deed, I have learned to trust, respect and take the word of my fellow man. Thank you for being kind to me and making me feel that I was worth something to someone. I will always remember, respect and love you for that kindness.

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Here is my interview with Collette Metcalf

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 Collette Metcalf, and I write extreme horror under the name Sam west. My age is… older than time. I drink the blood of virgins to keep young and vital.(Or 39 and 14 months.)

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 Kent.

 

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

I am an old married woman, and five years ago, my beautiful daughter erupted out of my stomach true Alien style. Her name is Ripley. (No. She isn’t really called that.)

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Last week, I came out of the closet; I finally decided to own up to being a woman.Extreme horror is a male dominated niche. With a few notable exceptions, female extreme horror writers are pretty thin on the ground.  I wanted to be known as an ‘extreme horror author’, not a ‘female, extreme horror author’. I wanted to be judged on my writing alone, not my gender. It seems to me that women horror writers, no matter how talented they are, are still defined as such. We are not women writers, we are just writers.

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written, it’s who I am. Even if no one read me, I’ll still do it. It’s a compulsion.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When my books took off on Amazon a few years ago.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Just my absolute adoration of the horror genre. I felt like I had something to say, I wanted to have a go at scaring folk.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I do believe the first book I ever wrote after I graduated Uni at 22 was called ‘Death Rites’.  It was about Satanism, and the title just happened naturally as I wrote the thing, as most of my titles seem to do. I still think the title is pretty cool, but my God, the book sucked.

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

I like dialogue, I use it when I can as I think it breathes life into a story. There is a lot of sex and violence in my books, I guess that’s my trademark. I try to keep my sentences and paragraphs short, I like it to be punchy and aggressive. Just lately, Amazon seems to be clamping down on extreme horror authors, and they have banned books from some of the best in the game. This is definitely a challenge with regards to my writing. My natural instinct is to write graphic descriptions of sexual violence, but if Amazon are clamping down on us, I should probably tone it down a bit. But I find that very difficult; I can only write what I write, and it’s what my readers expect from me.

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

All writers, me included, put that, ‘any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental’ statement in their copyright page. But that’s just silly. All writing is born of our experiences and the people we meet along the way. We ARE our writing. Soif anyone upsets me, I’ll just kill them in my book. The clever bit is just disguising this fact…

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

Only in my head. And Google is my friend.

 

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

In a way. I think that the conscious lack of messagein my books IS the message. I believe it is the secret of good horror. As I said in my introduction to Suffer Hard: “In my humble opinion, horror should be fun. I don’t mean laugh out loud funny, I mean entertaining.

Above all, you should have a good time, morals be damned. Because good horror, be it a book or a film, is a moral waste ground. It is a shameless exploration of our deepest, darkest fears. And let’s face it, our deeply buried, sadomasochistic desires.The second a moral message is inserted, the whole thing deflates like an old party balloon and you, the reader or film goer, end up feeling dirty and cheated.

Can you remember the reasoning behind the banning of A Clockwork Orange back in the seventies? It wasn’t because the film was violent and people got murdered and women got raped, it was because the film was violent and the perpetrators were having a good time doing it. And that, to me, is what horror is all about.  Personally, when I write horror I leave my morality, my principles, and my fundamental human decency at the door. The gleefully malicious, sick and twisted side of me rocks up and do you know what? I have an absolute ball…”

 

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 admire a lot of writers. Of all the writers working today, Ben Elton is my favourite. As far as I’m concerned, the man is a god. I’d sell my soul to write with half the intelligence, compassion and beauty he does.

I grew up on a diet of Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee and of course, Stephen King. They are my biggest influences.

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

Outside of family? No one really. It was not something I liked to go into much detail about before it happened.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.

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

No. But the beauty of self-publishing is that I can tweak things if I want.

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

Yes. I learnt not to leave things to the last minute. Mind you, I say that about every project I finish. I never learn.

 

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

If we’re talking about my most recent offering, ‘The Dark Side Of Red’, I would have to say Benedict Cumberbatch. If you read the book, you’ll understand why.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep going. The only way to be a writer is to write. Read a lot and study your craft.

 

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The one that sticks in the mind the most is ‘The Yellow Ribbon’. I must have been about eight, and we all had to bring our favourite book into school. The teacher, (Miss Lion, I do believe. Hello, if you’re reading this), read to the class each of our chosen books. ‘The Yellow Ribbon’ starts off really sweet… Boy and girl grow up together, boy and girl fall in love. Boy and girl get married. Throughout her life, the girl always wore a yellow ribbon around her neck. The boy always asked the girl, ‘Why do you wear a yellow around your neck?” and the girl never tells him. On their wedding night, at the boy’s asking, she undoes the yellow ribbon… And the final line reads… “And then her head fell off.”

The entire class started crying, and Miss Lion was horrified. It was an illustrated book, and she had no idea that it ended in such a macabre way…

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My five-year-old daughter. She is the most hilarious, frustrating human-being on the planet. Sometimes I’m rolling around with laughter, and other times I just want to bellow at her.

 

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

Lord Byron, because he was just so incredibly intense and morose, not to mention a very good poet.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Nothing particularly ground-breaking… Reading, watching the occasional film, swimming in the lake in the Summer, drinking wine and watching my husband cook… I’m also a bit of a sad-case with perfumes; I spend far too much time reading about them online when I should be working.

 

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

I’m not much of a telly person, really. Besides, the hubby hogs the clank so I don’t get much of a look in… Ha ha, he’ll go potty when he reads that, because it’s not entirely true… I like horror films, or a good drama now and then. If I’m not working in the evening, I’d rather crack open the wine, talk, and listen to music instead of watching the box.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love all food, and enjoy cooking. I love seafood, curry, you name it, I’ll eat it. I am like a human dustbin. Music wise I am fond of Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Soft Cell, Nine Inch Nails to name but a few… I am partial to industrial metal, electro pop and alternative rock.

 

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?

Told you I was sick.

 

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

Not yet. I’ve only just ‘come out’ on facebook. You can find me lurking there, and all my books are available to purchase on Amazon here:http://amzn.to/2tIXJgD

 

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Jason Matthews

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?

Jason Matthews, 49, male, libra, 5’10”, 170 lbs, bald, blue eyes

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Born in North Carolina. Also lived in Mass, Ohio, Oregon and California since ‘91, the golden state where I intend to stay.

 

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

I like playing soccer and snow skiing. Love dogs. I have two amazing college age daughters and spend as much time with them as they’ll allow.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Latest news? Did a gig at Santa Barbara Writers Conference and had fun with that.Now working on a book for a celebrity author, hoping it does well.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Age 4. My mom took notes of shit I’d say as a kid so I guess she was my first secretary. I reread some of those stories recently. Probably not commercial material.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Calling myself a writer took a long time because I was more of a jock and gamer as a kid than an avid reader. For years I called myself an “ideas person who put them down on paper.” I’m getting better with the title now.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The concept for the plot got stuck in my head. Originally I wrote a screenplay because I thought it would be easier. When I realized how hard it is to get people to read screenplays, I decided to write my first book as a novel. Still my favorite book after writing seven thus far.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Little Universe. That’s what it is, a miniature self-enclosed universe. I like the paradox in the title. Hopefully I’m not alone in that.

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

My style is mostly conversational. I’m something of a simpleton so I try to keep things basic. I know my limits.

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

Well, I’ve written seven books, two novels and five non-fiction books. The novels are concepts from my head mixed with scientific and metaphysical things that interest me. The non-fiction is primarily how-to stuff.

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

No. But I’d like to travel more. I have a teddy bear I bring on trips. Awkward moments happen.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’ve designed a few because one of my books teaches how you can do everything yourself at no cost in self-publishing (if you want, though I don’t recommend it for everyone). Otherwise I’ve hired several people for covers. One time a person from Fiverr did a great cover for about $20 so that was pretty cool.

 

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

Plenty of them. One is that there are clues in everyday life that suggest there is more going on than we are aware of. Our lives have meaning and things that happen have meaning, even if we can’t make sense of it right away.

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?

This feels like two separate questions. The first answer is probably no. The second is I don’t have a favorite writer, but I remember enjoying Richard Back and Carl Sagan very much among others. I listen to Anthony Bourdain who does travel shows focused on food and the people who make it. He’s captivating, funny, witty.


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

I had several good friends read early drafts of my screenplay and first novel. Their support meant the world to me.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, but it’s very difficult to make “good” money writing. I earnway more from my how-to guides and video courses that teach self-publishing than from my novels.Even still, I do other things to pay the bills.

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

This question about doing it all over again applies more to things I did with my first books than my latest. Once you’ve published seven books, you have a much better handle on things. My first book came out on Kindle in 2009. Knowing what I learned over the next few years, I would have been much more active in networking on Kindle Boards and Goodreads than I was back then.

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

It was a non-fiction book on self-publishing, so I mostly reinforced things I already knew.However the sales are lower than a self-publishing book I released in 2010, so there’s probably a lot of truth in the saying “timing is everything.”

 

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

Not sure. Sometimes I think it would be cool if big stars like Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson played the leads. Other times I want it to be lesser known actors so the story can be the main focus. I’d be happy either way of course 😉

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Do it for the love of writing and the benefits you get from putting thoughts and emotions on paper (or the screen). Don’t begin writing for the hopes of making money. If money comes, all the better, but it shouldn’t be the impetus for writing.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope people search for the meaning in our lives and how each of us can make efforts to contribute to the whole. I believe stuff like that.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Just finished Art of Intuition. Haven’t started the next one.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Maybe a Paddington Bear book from the school library in the third grade. My mom says it was a traumatic experience for me because in front of everyone my teacher said it was too difficult for me to read. I don’t remember that, but I have gotten over my fear of libraries and teddy bears.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Everything makes me laugh or I see humor in almost everything. Not much makes me cry, but not because I don’t care. I’ve grown numb to so much of the inhumanity we see in the news and to the hardships people endure. It can be a horrible, disturbing, insane world sometimes. I wish Mr. Scot would beam me up soon. Not easy dealing with the problems of the world.

 

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

Nikola Tesla. The greatest human mind to ever exist and perhaps the most underappreciated.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Hobbies not so much. I used to grow pot and was very good at it. I go to the gym almost every day and enjoy a meditative mindset during my workouts. I trade high risk stocks and am addicted to it.

 

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

I prefer lighthearted stuff or shows that make me think. I also have loved The Simpsons since it first came out around 1990. I don’t like stupid violence, crime drama, or spy stuff which seems so prevalent in Hollywood.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Pasta, Mexican, Chinese. Green. Rolling Stones. Zeppelin. Pink Floyd. Grateful Dead. Bowie.

 

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

Travel with a beautiful, sexually energetic woman and enjoy the beaches and villages around the world. (If this sounds like you, contact me through my blog below.)

 

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

Thank you for your contributions! Well done.

 

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

My blog for self-publishing: https://ebooksuccess4free.wordpress.com/

My blog for anything else: http://www.thebigbangauthor.com/

 

And Amazon Authors page: http://author.to/JasonMatthews

 

Here is my interview with Dianne Noble

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 Dianne Noble and I’m 69

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Yorkshire but with a father in the RAF and a husband who was a civil engineer I don’t really belong anywhere. For example my childhood was spent in Singapore and Cyprus and my early married life in the Arabian Gulf.

 

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve just released my third book, Oppression, which focuses on a forced marriage in Egypt, but also the issue of control in an Englishwoman’s relationship with her husband.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written but I suppose the in depth writing began with journals I kept on my travels around the world – China, Russia, Guatemala etc…

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When people bought my first book, Outcast.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

It was based on my experience of teaching English to street children in the slums of Kolkata, India.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The Dalits – untouchables – of India featured, hence the title of Outcast.

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

I put down on paper what’s in my head then have to build on what is, in effect, reportage. Most people write too much and have to cut. I have the opposite problem!

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

All of my writing is based on experience of places and situations.

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

I have to know the place before I feel I have the right to put it on paper.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cora Graphics

 

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

We women are stronger than we think!

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

I’ve always loved the novels of the late Helen Dunmore for her sense of place, also Kate Atkinson for her sheer ingenuity of plot. I’m always on the lookout for new authors.

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

Just Write – a Leicester writing group.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, because I’m totally unable to stop!

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

No, it’s had so many edits it’s as good as I can get it.

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

I’ve begun to realise you have to know when to stop editing, know when to call a halt.

 

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

Anna Friel

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep at it. I had 32 rejections before I found a publisher.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Join a manuscript critique class. Don’t be precious about your writing and accept advice and criticism.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Grasshopper by Barbara Vine

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Janet and John followed by Enid Blyton’s Noddy.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Peter Kay makes me laugh. The recent losses of life in Manchester and London have made me cry buckets.

 

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

Gandhi because I love India and all he epitomised.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading and eating cake.

 

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

Vera and Masterchef.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Chips and chocolate – red – Country and Western.

 

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

Read more! I already read 2-3 books every week, one of the advantages of living alone.

 

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

She never refused a challenge.

 

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

www.dianneanoble.com

 

 

 

Amazon Authors Pages UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dianne-Noble/e/B01CXAWOO4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

USA https://www.amazon.com/Dianne-Noble/e/B01CXAWOO4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

 

Link for my latest novel Oppression

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071KY8BJ8 

USA  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071KY8BJ8

 

Here is my interview with Xio Axelrod

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

 

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

Hi! I’m Xio Axelrod.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey, but I grew up in Philadelphia, PA. 😀

 

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

Well, as I said, I grew up in Philadelphia. My family is deeply involved in the music industry, so that makes up the bulk of my chidhood. I went to university in Maryland, and then lived in London for a bit before returning to Philly. I’m married to my own romance hero. We have a fun life together.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I will release my first MM contemporary romance on 6/27. It’s called Fast Forward (an Alt Er Love novella). This book is near and dear to my heart, and it’s the first in a series of standalones.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written, though my focus was on songwriting until 2013 when I “accidentally” wrote my first novel. It was a serial on my blog that went viral. Four years later, I’m writing my 7th book.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Hmm…I suppose it’s when my first book started to pick up steam. I didn’t think anyone would buy it, to be honest. But they did, and it got great reviews, picked up a few awards, etc. I guess that’s when, though I still struggle with the concept of myself as a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was deep into my love of Outlander (books by Diana Gabaldon/TV series on Starz) and the fandom that sprouted up around the show. I write a lot of ‘what-if’ stories. The Calum was ‘what if a woman obsessed with a particular romance hero decided to fly to Scotland to find him, or someone like him?’

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It was originally called A Jamie for Christmas. I emailed for permission to use the name and references from Outlander, but never heard back from Diana Gabaldon – go figure-  so I changed it. It took a bit of time to find a name that was Scottish and not over-used, and that sounded good as a title. Hence, The Calum.

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

I don’t have a style that I can point to, unless ‘earthy’ is a style. I tend to write very realistic dialogue, which some people love and some people hate. It’s what I like to read. People don’t always speak in complete sentences. In fact, we rarely do. I play around a lot with that in my prose. The challenge in writing contemporary, at least the way I write it, is being faithful to the universe. My universe is very diverse, and I want to be true to that in the books. Sometimes I have to police myself, when I start to repeat myself/my characters and ignore the other voices around me.

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

I only recently started to draw from my experience in the music industry. But I haven’t based any characters off of anyone I knew, except for one who has shown up in the last two books. She’s a long-distance acquaintence that I have a great affinity for, and she just keeps popping up.

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

I do travel for research, sometimes after the fact, lol. I went to Scotland last year to do some research for the Calum series, even though the first book is out. Next year, I’ll be in Norway for the Alt Er Love series, for the third book that’s actually set there. And to (hopefully) sit down with my muse for a big single title that I’m working on. Oh yes, I like to meet my muses. My latest release, Camden, features my friend Stuart Reardon on the cover. We met at a signing last October and decided to work together. After getting to know him, though, I found it difficult to write the love scenes in his book(s). I had to picture someone else. He’s too much like a brother or something to me now. LOL!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Some are my designs (The Warm Up, Fast Forward, Falling Stars, Starlight, La Promesse, and Remembering the Alamo,) and the others are by Lou Harper Designs (The Calum – redesigned, and Camden.)

 

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

My message is very simple: we are all the same, even in our differences. We all want love, we all want peace (I hope), and we all want the best for the people we care about. Most importantly, love is love, and no matter who you are or who you love, you deserve to love and be loved. Alt Er Love translates to everything is love, or love is everything. It’s a motto I picked up from a TV show called SKAM, but it fits so well with my outlook on life that I have adopted it.

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 so many favourites. I’m glad you asked me about new authors, though. As a new author myself, I’m a big believer in paying it forward. Sarah Hegger is a big favourite, also Susan Scott Shelley, Pintip Dunn, Mika Jolie, Sarina Bowen, Alyssa Cole, Sierra Simone, Robin Covington. I told you there were a lot, lol. Right now, I’m in love with the work of Roan Parrish. She brings the pain in her books, they’re so poignant and striking, but filled with so much love and hope. She blows me away.

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

I didn’t tell my family about it right away, lol. It was ‘oh, by the way, I just released a book.’ Once it was reviewed for USA Today’s blog, it became harder to hide. But a librarian, and friend, in Philadelphia named Dena Heilik is probably the biggest reason why I’m an author now. She read that first, viral story and decided I needed to do something with it. She even created a Goodreads profile for the book. And then another friend, Denny S. Bryce, told me about Romance Writers of America, and took me to a conference with her. That was the summer of 2013. That story became Falling Stars and Starlight.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

If you had asked me four years ago, I would have laughed at that question. Now, though, I absolutely do. I love writing, I love helping others with their writing, I love it all.

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

I would have made it longer, but I get to explore more of the story in the follow-up, with a bit of a twist. I’m having fun writing it.

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

I learned that some people will close their minds if something challenges their reality, and that others will embrace the challenge with open minds and open hearts. I have some of the best readers in the world, and they’re pretty open to whatever I decide to write.

 

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

The book spans seven years. For the younger Ian, I’d go with the original inspirations: Tarjei Sandvik Moe, and with Henrik Holm for young Jessen. For older Ian and Jessen, maybe Josh Hutcherson and someone like Alex Pettyfer if he were taller. Henrik is 6’4”, lol.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing. Keep reading. Network. Engage your readers, and not just by hawking your book. They want to get to know you. Stay positive, be kind, and believe in yourself. And realize that your path is your path, don’t try to follow someone else’s.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you for supporting me, I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Heart of the Steal by Roan Parrish and Hot Cop by Sierra Simone and Laurelin Paige.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book? No. The first romance I read was Crazy, Little Thing by Tracy Brogan.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

A well-crafted, angsty story with a happy ending.

 

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

Right now, I’m itching to meet my muse, Henrik Holm, and his mom, Siv Svendsen, who is also an inspiration.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I still write and record music, and do shows occasionally. I don’t tour the way I used to. Writing has replaced music as my primary career.

 

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

SKAM, which just ended, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, American Gods, Outlander, Sense8 (which was canceled, grrrr.) I love SciFi and fantasy. Genre TV. Anything fresh, and new, and challenging.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

I love seafood, and English custard. Not together though, lol. Favourite colours are black and purple. Favourite music? Way to much to list, but right now I am obsessed with Cezinando, Verdensrommet, and Crooked Colours.

 

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

I love to travel, and to learn languages. Right now I am learning Norwegian. I’d love to learn more. Travel more. I can’t imagine not writing, whether it’s books or music.  

 

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

She tried her best. She loved as hard as she could. She hopes she left you with a smile.

 

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

http://www.xioaxelrod.com I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, aas @xioaxelrod

Fast Forward Author: Xio Axelrod Release date: June 27th, 2017  Publisher: Xio Axelrod LLC ISBN: 9780998931616 Print ISBN: 9780998931523 ASIN: B072R5X1GL

Blurb ~ As a nineteen-year-old, wunderkind doctoral candidate, Ian Waters had little interest in social interaction. Books were his companions, and that had suited him just fine. Then a hurricane named Jessen Sørensen blew into his life, throwing Ian off his axis.

On the cusp of rock stardom, Jessen had burned brightly, and Ian had fallen heart-first under his spell. But Ian soon learned he was only a temptation, a pit stop on the road to the rocker’s dreams, and Jessen was gone as quickly as he’d come. Ian buried his heartache in academia, the only home he’d ever known.

Author Links: Website:  http://www.xioaxelrod.com  Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/XioAxelrod/e/B00JCFOOHY  Email Signup: http://eepurl.com/SunFL    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/XioAxelrod   Twitter:  https://twitter.com/xioaxelrod   Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/xioaxelrod  Instagram:    http://instagram.com/xioaxelrod/

 

Excerpt (PG-13: use of language)

“Aren’t you going to invite me in for a nightcap, or whatever?”

Ian arched his brows. “I wasn’t, actually. No.”

“Ouch.” Jessen flattened his hand over his heart as if mortally wounded. “I’m surprised by how rude you’ve become, Ian.”

Before he could react, Jessen slipped the keys out of Ian’s hand and jogged up to the door. He chose the right key on his first try, because of course he did, and strolled into Ian’s home like he belonged there.

Which he most certainly did not.

This was so fucked up, but Ian followed him inside and flicked on the lights.

Jessen whistled. “Fuck, Ian. This is beautiful!”

And it was. Ian had painted the walls of the main living space in Wedgewood blue, true to the period in which the house was built, and it set off the pristine, white wainscoting beautifully.

A large bay window let in plenty of light during the day and provided a comfortable reading spot at night. Oversized furniture in cream twill made up the bulk of the seating.

He’d transformed the formal dining room into a makeshift A-V suite, which housed his iMac and his Mac Pro, plus his other editing equipment. Unconventional, but it suited him.

“This is really nice, Ian,” Jessen murmured, turning to him. “I’m really happy for you.”

There was awe in his voice and reverence.

Ian suppressed the wave of pride that swept over him. Jessen was the only person he’d told about his tumultuous childhood, his deadbeat father, and disturbed mother. He was the only person he’d told about his dream of owning a beautiful home and planting roots in a community.

Most people never asked about the family of a prodigy, as long as the prodigy kept producing.

Siv knew a bit about his wrecked childhood, but only Jessen knew it all. Every dark and dirty detail.

Ian had told Jessen everything one night, overwhelmed by the emotions spilling over him after

their first time having sex. Making love. They’d done a lot before then, just about everything, but it wasn’t until that night that they’d gone all the way.

Ian had given Jessen his all, every little bit of himself. Had spilled his heart and soul to the man who had cracked open his hard shell for the first time in his life.

And then he had woken up one morning to an empty space in the bed next to him, and a note on the floor.

I’m sorry.

He still had the note.

Those two words had splintered Ian into a million indiscernible pieces. Pieces he was still trying to fit back together.

And there stood Jessen Sørensen, in his fucking dining room, glowing like he kept his own personal sun somewhere behind his rib cage.

“Do you have any coffee?”

“Yes.”

“Could I possibly get a cup?” A smile danced at the edges of his sinful mouth.

“No.”

Jessen laughed. “Please?”

“There’s a Char-bucks on the corner if you want coffee. I am not making you coffee, Jess.”

“Aww,” he pouted prettily. “Why not?”

Why not.

Why not.

“Why not?”

“Yeah.” Jessen was grinning. No, he was smirking.

The bubbling volcano in Ian’s belly erupted.

“Who the fuck do you think you are?”

The blonde’s eyes widened and the smirk melted away. “I…”

“Seven years, Jess. Seven. Fucking. Years. You walked out of my life in the middle of the goddamned night, no goodbye, nothing. Just ‘I’m sorry’ scratched on a piece of brown paper bag.”

“I know, and I…”

“Shut the fuck up.”

To his credit, Jessen did shut the fuck up.

To his credit, Ian wasn’t screaming. Yet.

He turned on his heel and stalked into the living room, throwing himself onto the couch. It was

big and plush and the first piece of furniture he’d purchased for the house.

His house.

His.

He felt like his safe haven had been invaded by the enemy from his heartbroken past.

Ian’s chest heaved. There was so much he wanted to say, so much he’d bottled up and walled off. And Jessen was right there. Right there.

The other man entered the room slowly, carefully. He sat on the coffee table across from Ian.

No one sat on the coffee table. It was an antique that had come with the house and Ian was proud of it. But he didn’t give a shit right then. Fuck the goddamn coffee table and the man sitting on it in his five-hundred-dollar skinny jeans.

He wanted Jessen gone, and yet he was terrified to let him go.

“What do you want me to do?”

Ian blinked up at him, confused by this all-too-sober sounding Jessen. “What do you mean?”

“If you want me to leave, I will leave. Right now, just say the word. If you want me to give you some time, I will.” His gaze softened. “If…if you want me to stay, I’ll stay.”

“What if I wanted you to leave Philly and never come back?” Ian eyed him carefully. “Would you do that?”

Jessen looked pained, but he nodded. “Eventually.”

“What if I wanted you to go back in time and fix what you broke, could you?”

“God, I wish.” He’d choked out the words.

Ian frowned. Studying Jessen, he noticed a slight hunch in his shoulders. There were dark circles

under his eyes. He seemed smaller, dimmer. It was confusing, conflicting with the mental image he’d always carried.

“Why are you here?”

Jessen exhaled and rested his elbows on his knees. He knit his fingers together and faced Ian ,his expression more serious than Ian had ever seen.

“I owe you an apology.”

Ian snorted, he couldn’t help it.

Jessen’s smile was slight. “I know, seven years too late, but…I hope…I was hoping…”

“What? Thought you’d pop back up, bat those pretty eyes of yours, and I’d bend over for you?”

“You still think my eyes are pretty?”

“That’s what you focus on?”

At least he had the grace to look contrite. “Sorry.”

“Are you?”

Jessen’s expression morphed into a mask of regret. “Yes, God. Yes. You have no idea how sorry I  ran away, Ian. I ran away from you, and I’ll never forgive myself. Even if you somehow find a way to forgive me, I’ll never forgive myself. I hurt you.”

“You hurt me?”

“I know I did.”

“No, Jess. You don’t know shit. You didn’t just hurt me, you broke me. You fucked up an already fucked-up kid.” Ian ran a rough hand through his overgrown hair. “I could barely function after you disappeared. I missed classes, had to postpone my exams, I was a total wreck when you fucked off and out of my life.”

Ian was shaking, his jaw trembling so hard his teeth chattered. And he was pissed because it shouldn’t affect him this much anymore, not so many years after the fact. He was beyond this pain.

“Fuck, Ian…I’m so…” Jessen reached out as if he were going to touch him and Ian pressed himself back into the cushions. He could not let that happen.

“I’m so sorry. God, that sounds lame. Even to me.”

“Because it is lame. Sorry? Sorry was seven years ago. Six, maybe. I’d even give you five. But now?”

Jessen nodded. His gaze flicked toward the door, and Ian panicked.

The thought of letting him walk out in the middle of this long overdue conversation was almost paralyzing.

“Don’t go.”

Jessen’s gaze snapped back to his. “What? No, I…”

“You were thinking of leaving.”

He nodded. “Yes, but only to give you some space. I had no idea I’d cause…I didn’t think you’d…”

“You thought I was over you.”

Jessen’s jaw hung open, his eyes wide. For the first time since he’d first met him, Ian saw fear in

Jessen’s eyes.

“Are you?”

Ian wanted to pretend. Wished he could. He wanted to lie, but even after so long he knew it

was pointless. He was an open wound where Jessen Sørensen was concerned. He could never

hide the bleeding from him.

“No, Jess. That’s the problem. I’ll never be over you.”

BIO

Xio Axelrod is a USA Today Bestselling author of love stories, contemporary romance and (what she likes to call) strange, twisted tales. She also writes erotica as Xio Nin.

Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, not-so-secret name of course).

She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and one part-time cat.

Author Links: Website:  http://www.xioaxelrod.com  Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/XioAxelrod/e/B00JCFOOHY  Email Signup: http://eepurl.com/SunFL    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/XioAxelrod   Twitter:  https://twitter.com/xioaxelrod   Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/xioaxelrod  Instagram:    http://instagram.com/xioaxelrod/

Here is my interview with Ally Blue

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 pen name is Ally Blue. My real name is A Secret, sorry 🙂 I’m 53.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally from Mobile, Alabama, although I’ve lived in the Western North Carolina mountains ever since I got married as a sweet young thang.

 

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

I started out going to collegefor a biology degree. Then I met the man who would become my husband. We got married (at age 21; we were babies!) and I switched to nursing. I’ve been an RN for 29 years. My husband and I have two wonderful children, both grown now. My daughter is a pre-school teacher and my son creates 3D computer models. I grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and now live in the Western North Carolina mountains with my family. The mountains are wonderful, but I miss the ocean.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My latest book release is actually a re-release: The Happy Onion, first published by Samhain Publishing back in 2009. Samhain went out of business earlier this year, so I’m self-publishing some of the books (20+) that I had with them. The Happy Onion is the first. It’s now available for pre-order through all the usual channels. Release date is July 30th.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Oh man. I wrote my first stories when I was a child. I wrote (and illustrated!) picture books about my younger sister’s (mostly fictional) adventures camping, hiking, swimming in the inflatable kiddie pool in the backyard, and other such super exciting stuff. I also penned my very first romance, a less than brilliant work of crayon-on-stationary titled Sylvia the Milk Maiden.I don’t remember what it was about, other than involving a Beautiful Milk Maiden. Why? Who knows? It seemed like a good idea at the time. I think I watched and read too many Cinderella-type princess tales.

There were other stories over the years.I wrote a romantic crime thriller in creative writing in high school which I thought was fabulous at the time but probably wasn’t. And I’ve created countless tales in my head all my life. I guess it just seemed like a natural progression to go from there to fan fiction, which is what led me into writing professionally.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

You know, the answer to that isn’t as straightforward as I used to think. I always figured it was when I wrote my first published short stories. But really, I think I started considering myself a writer before then. I used to write band slash fan fiction. Most of it was mediocre at best, but some of it was pretty good. I loved the process of creating a story. I couldn’t pinpoint a day or a time, but somewhere along the way, I started to think of myself as a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

You’re gonna laugh. But my first book, Forgotten Song, was inspired by a fan fiction I wrote. My original intent was to re-work the story with original characters, but that didn’t end up happening. There’s nothing left in the book of the original fanfic. But the book wouldn’t exist if the fanfic story had never existed. It was by far the longest fanfic I’d ever written, and the most complex. The fact that I was able to craft what amounted to a pretty decent mystery/thriller gave me the confidence to try writing a book with my own, original characters.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The same way I do with basically all my titles that don’t immediately suggest themselves to me: I Googled quotes, poems, etc. until I found one that fit my needs.

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

I try to write in a way that’s direct and evocative, which is always challenging. Creating characters who live and breathe on the page is always a challenge as well, and I do try to do that. Not sure if you’d call that a style, really. LOL.

I write gay romance. The pronouns can be a real pain, especially during sex scenes.Balancing the use of proper names and pronouns is always difficult. I usually end up changing things around several times before it all sounds right to me.

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

In all of my books, the actual events are 99% invented. Occasionally, I’ve put in something experienced by myself or someone I know. Where my own experience comes in–with every book–is in the thoughts, the feelings, and the emotional reactions. We’ve all felt love, grief, loss, joy, excitement, etc. I draw on those emotions in my own life to help turn my characters into real people. To me, that’s the key. Characters who feel real are always the heart of a good book. If readers don’t care what happens to the characters, then nothing else in the book makes any difference.

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

I wish! There are so many places I’d love to see, and to write about. And I’ve written books set in places I’ve never been but would love to see (like the Oregon coast). That said, I’ve definitely used places I’ve been in my books. I love to travel and wish I were able to do more of it.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The majority of my covers were done by artists working with my various publishers. I’ve been very lucky to work with some amazing artists. My very own live-in artist–my husband–has done a couple of covers for me lately, as I’m starting off on my self-publishing adventure.

 

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

None of my books really have any particular message, beyond love, inclusion, and equality for everyone. I feel like those things are part of what it means to be human, and therefore an indelible part of any character who I want readers to care about. I never really go into writing a book thinking, I want to get across this or that message.

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 sure if you’d call him a new writer, but I love Joe Hill. I’m a horror fan from way back, and I think he grasps the way good horror needs to be built on well-constructed characters. It runs in the family! (For those who don’t know already, his father is Stephen King.) Another newer author (to me, anyway) is Madeline Ashby. I recently read her novel Company Town, and OMG, the world building, the characters, and the plot in that story blew me away. I was looking for a non-romance novel starring a grown woman (YA is fine, but, yeah; I wanted a grown-up heroine) and man, she delivered in spades. Definitely gonna be reading more of her stuff.

I can’t say I have a single favorite author. The authors I love to read are numerous–the aforementioned Joe Hill, Stephen King, Nalini Singh (Guild Hunter series!!), H.P. Lovecraft, to name a few. The thing most all of them have in common is that they write (or wrote; I read a lot of dead authors) wonderful, living, breathing characters. The exception being Lovecraft, who was extraordinary with world-building and mood–nobody has ever done cosmic dread like Lovecraft–but IMO was weak on characterization.

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

Loose Id was my first publisher. They took a chance on my very first novel, when I was a complete and utter nobody. I’ll always be grateful to them for that.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yes, definitely. It’s not my primary source of income; I still need a day job to keep myself and my family fed, clothed, and housed. But I see the day job as the thing that pays the bills, and writing as my real career, because writing is what I love. It’s what holds my heart.

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

Hm. Well, since I actually could change my self-published short story collection, Loose Stories, if I wanted, I’m applying this question to my latest published novel: No Small Parts, published by Riptide Publishing in Dec. 2016. And the answer is, no. Not one thing. Riptide’s wonderful editors helped me polish that book to a diamond sparkle. At this point, there’s not anything I’d change. I’m very proud of it.

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

The very latest book I wrote is a Southern Gothic horror/romance called The Night Orchard, currently being shopped to agents. I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the life cycle of pecans, LOL. I also learned some extremely interesting Muskogee monster legends.

 

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

Still talking about The Night Orchard, I’d want Donald Glover. I had his face in my head when I wrote Roland Boone, one of my two point of view characters.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t stop. Never give up. Never, ever stop learning and honing your craft. We all have stories in our heads. The key to getting them on the page in a form people will want to read is learning that skill. And it is a skill. No one is born knowing how to craft a story. A successful author learns how, and keeps on learning all his or her life. The worst mistake you can make is to say, “I know this, I don’t need to listen or learn.”

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

First of all, my primary publisher, Samhain Publishing, has gone out of business, which I think many already knew. I’m going to be self-publishing some of those books, including my most popular series, the Bay City Paranormal Investigations series. Probably also the BCPI spinoff series, Mojo Mysteries.

Also, for anyone who hasn’t read many of my books before, I write mostly romance–in sub-genres ranging from romantic comedy to futuristic dystopian–but I’ve recently branched into horror. So, just fyi: check before buying, so you’ll know what you’re getting.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. The follow-up to To Kill A Mockingbird, for anyone who doesn’t know. It was actually written around the same time. It’s an interesting story, with that same interesting and evocative voice.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, I’m too old! LOL. But I remember the first book I bought myself with my allowance. It was The Demon of Detroit and Other Tales of Terror. One of those little paperbacks from the little Scholastic catalogue they used to give out in school when I was a kid. Do they still do that now?

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I laugh at stupid puns and nonsensical stuff, and whatever happens to strike me as funny at random times. Rarely anything very highbrow, although I do tend to laugh at silly nerd-memes. And SpongeBob. I love SpongeBob.

I cry at the drop of a damn hat. I cried pretty much all the way through Wonder Woman. Because she was so fierce charging at the Germans and crouching behind the shield and smashing the tower, and all the things, aaaaaahhhh!!! And every episode of The Handmaid’s Tale has made me cry. (I still have to read the book…) And the end of Lord Of the Rings (book and movie, but more so the book) makes me cry every time. In fact, there are lotsof parts of the LOTR book trilogy that make me sob like a little girl. Still, after reading them more times than I can count. Weddings always make me cry, even if it’s somebody I don’t know well. There’s one part of one of my own books that still makes me cry. That’s just weird.

 

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

Hillary Clinton. Is there anyone on this Earth more poised, more composed, more competent? Not to mention calmer in the face of decades of unjustified attacks, for no other reason than her being a successful, smart woman. She’s my hero.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, obviously!Besides that, I enjoy running. I run two or three days a week, about 3 miles each time. That’s my “me” time. It’s relaxing to my mind and invigorating to my body. I’ve come up with great ideas for stories and solutions for problems while running.

I also love to watch found footage horror movies. Yeah, I know, that’s weird. LOL. But I love them. I don’t even care if they’re bad, although I obviously like good ones more.

 

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

Horror movies! I’ve always loved to scare myself. I also love sci-fi. Combine the two, and I’m in heaven.

My favorite TV shows right now are Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul (just as good as Breaking Bad!), and The Handmaid’s Tale. I still watch The Walking Dead, mostly because my husband still likes it, but that show’s on shaky ground with me right now, for reasons that would require an essay to explain. Oh, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! Love that show.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love veggie pizza, kettle chips, fresh blackberries, crispy French fries, and a good Reuben. Oh, and chocolate cake. And dark roast coffee. And Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Or Chile, they make good SBs too. My favorite color is green–lime green, emerald green, deep grassy green. Sea green. Not so much olive greens.

I have many, many opinions on music. I will not bore y’all with them. You’re welcome. Suffice to say, my number one all-time abiding favorite is Radiohead. As Snape would say, “Always.” They always give me new things to love. Besides Radiohead, I love Perfume Genius (the “genius” part is not an exaggeration btw) and Patrick Wolf. There are tons of other singers and bands whose music I listen to and love, but those three are the only ones who I love enough to have all of their albums, and listen to them regularly.

 

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

 Become a ghost. Seriously. I can’t imagine that. It scares me.

 

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

She persisted.

 

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

My website is allyblue.com. Any updates you need will be there.

You can also sign up for my newsletter. I usually only send a newsletter when I have something to say, so it’s not all that often. Subscribers get exclusive excerpts and occasional newsletter-exclusive contests. Also random pictures. And recipes, sometimes. It’s a glorious smorgasbord.

 

Here are the links:
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004XKCER0


The Happy Onion: http://www.allyblue.com/standalone-books/the-happy-onion/


No Small Parts: http://www.allyblue.com/standalone-books/no-small-parts/


Down: http://www.allyblue.com/standalone-books/down/