Here is my interview with Lorrie Farrelly

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

 

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

My name is Lorrie Farrelly.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Southern California.

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

I’m the award-winning author of Western historical romance, contemporary romantic suspense, and sci fi/paranomal romantic suspense. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Northwestern University, I’ve been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year, a ranch hand at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch, and a Jeopardy!television quiz show champion. Two of my books, TERMS OF SURRENDER and TIMELAPSE, medaled in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Both were also first place winners in the 2014 Chanticleer Awards (Laramie Award category winner TERMS OF SURRENDER and Cygnus Award category winner TIMELAPSE.)My short story THE LONGEST WAY HOME won the 2016 Peacemaker Award for best Western short fiction.

I live at the beach in Southern California with my husband Wally, daughter Jenn, and granddaughter Evie, 4. I have two other kids, Alison and Chris, and two grandsons, Christian, 16 (who recently became an Eagle Scout), and Connor, 12.

I’m especially interested in the history of the American Civil War and the Old West, and I also love romantic and speculative fiction.

My books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks at http://www.amazon.com/Lorrie-Farrelly/e/B008P3LJ0O

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I recently had the marvelous opportunity to join over 40 wonderful authors to produce the 50-book AMERICAN MAIL-ORDER BRIDES series. Each book is the story of a mail-order bride in a separate American state or territory. My novel is the fourth book in the series: MOLLIE: BRIDE OF GEORGIA.

Set in Atlanta in the last decade of the 19th century, MOLLIE is an emotional and riveting story of the healing power of love. When a young woman answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride, she confronts an unknown and very challenging future.

Years of brutal warfare have left the South with far more women than men. What, Mollie Winters worries, could be so wrong with Dr. Nicholas Avinger that he was forced to advertise for a wife?

Despite her misgivings, Mollie takes a desperate leap of faith. Arriving in Atlanta with little more than a few pieces of clothing, two pairs of shoes, and the manuscript of her wildly melodramatic, romantic adventure novel, she prepares to start a new life with the attractive but irascible Dr. Avinger.

A haunted man who prefers animals to people, Nick Avinger has driven away more than one assistant, as well as his latest fiancée. Mollie Winters might just fill both bills, if only he didn’t want her so much. And if only he didn’t fear how much he would hurt her.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved to write, but my first novel, TERMS OF SURRENDER, came about when I discovered some old family papers from the Civil War era. The documents, a parole pass and an Oath of Allegiance, chronicled the surrender of one of my ancestors who fought for the defeated Confederacy.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Publishing TERMS OF SURRENDER was a huge step for me in becoming a professional writer. Though I love all my stories, it remains the book closest to my heart.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

In studying the 1865 parole pass and Oath of Allegiance, which allowed my great grandfather to return to his home after the defeat of the Southern armies, I was struck by the enormous emotions those documents represented. How would a soldier feel returning home – should he still have a home to return to – following years of brutal warfare and crushing defeat? Would he be embittered? Relieved? Humiliated? Defiant? How would he begin to pick up the pieces and forge a new life from the ashes of the old? I couldn’t stop thinking about what the answers to those questions might be.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

“Surrender” covers so much territory in this novel. As Diane Donovan wrote in her review in the Midwest Book Review, “TERMS OF SURRENDER is about surrender on many levels, from military to surrendering one’s heart and preset notions…(From) drama and threats, to humor and emotion: all spring to life…Descriptions are evocative and compelling…Readers can expect to find humor, violence, gritty action, and exquisitely-wrought tension throughout…(This) is for readers who seek more depth and layers in their stories.”

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

I’m sure I’ve been greatly influenced by my favorite authors (Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Linda Howard, Robert B. Parker, and many others), but my style is my own. I owe those authors a debt of gratitude, though, for their brilliant ability to grab readers’ emotions and hold their rapt attention.

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

Even though my stories are fiction, I hope readers will find the characters very human and relatable, with emotions, struggles, and desires everyone can understand, even if a story is set in the past or in an alternate reality.


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

Although I’ve been to most of the locales I’ve used for story settings – except, of course, the nightmare town of Hel’n Gone (in the short story “THE SHERIFF OF HEL’N GONE”) or the alternate version of Washington, D.C. in TIMELAPSE – most of my research is done online, especially if the story is set in the past.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

For most of my novels, my husband, Wally Farrelly, a graphic designer, did the beautiful cover work. On MOLLIE: BRIDE OF GEORGIA, he createda gorgeous, colorized period photo of Jennie Gregg Farrelly (1883-1954) to portray Mollie. Her portrait is surrounded by a striking American flag motif by edhGraphicsused for every book in the series.

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

My novels all have some form of the message that love is the greatest healer of wounds to the heart and soul.

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 could (LOL) write a book on this topic alone. There are so many talented and gripping writers! Recently I’ve read MaileMeloy’shold-your-breath page-turner DO NOT BECOME ALARMED, Daniel Kehlmann’s chilling YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT, and George Saunders’ poetic and profoundly moving LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. All of those stories were so compelling that I read them straight through.

For my all-time favorite writer, it’s a draw between Stephen King and Nora Roberts. To my mind, there are no better storytellers and no one who understands human nature better than these two brilliant writers.

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

I have to thank the Orange County (CA) Chapter of Romance Writers of America, who named an early draft of TERMS OF SURRENDER a finalist for the Orange Rose Award. I was thrilled and very grateful. It was a tremendous motivator.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It has been a challenging and rewarding second career for me. (My first career was teaching.)

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

No. The story seems to me to be exactly what it was supposed to be.

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

I was delighted and awed to learn the true story of the beginnings of the Atlanta Zoo, which started out as an abandoned, broken-down circus menagerie.

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

In that happy circumstance, I’d leave the choice to others. After all, the characters are already real people in my head!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read, read, read! In reading, we absorb the power and flow of language. Write constantly. If you write, you are a writer!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope you will enjoy my books and stories, and I appreciate you more than I can say!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, by Robert K. Massie. It’s not a new book, but it’s absolutely riveting. It’s the true story of how the chronic illness of one small boy – and his parents’ anguish and actions because of it – helped to bring down not only a whole family, but an empire that had stood for hundreds of years.If anyone doubts one person can drastically change the course of world events, this book is a must-read.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No, but I remember the first series I loved: THE BLACK STALLION books by Walter Farley. The first book that truly made history come alive for me was the Newbery Award-winning RIFLES FOR WATIE by Harold Keith. Books I still reread from my childhood include Frances Hodgson Burnett’s THE SECRET GARDEN and Robb White’s THE LION’S PAW.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Just about everything! LOL

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

My all-time hero, a man who was deeply, incredibly brilliant and empathetic in both mind and soul: Abraham Lincoln. No one has ever spoken or written more powerful, righteous, and moving words. No one I can think of has ever served his country with such grace and nobility and selflessness while bearing so much crushing despair and responsibility.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love doing things with my family, movies, travel, anything Disney (I once worked at Disneyland, as have two of my kids), and of course, reading and writing. I’m an animal lover.

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

My current favorites are The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, The Mist, Wynonna Earp, and Game of Thrones. I also love reality shows like Little People, Big World, I Am Jazz, Who Do You Think You Are? andUnearthed. I was sad when Hell on Wheels ended, but at least it had a hopeful ending!

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

There are very few foods I don’t like! Blue is my favorite color and I’m a fan of classic rock and roll.

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

Read!

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

Don’t care. My kids can figure that one out.(Hopefully, though, it won’t say About darn time!)

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

Website is https://sites.google.com/site/yourbestreads

Amazon author page is http://www.amazon.com/Lorrie-Farrelly/e/B008P3LJ0O.

Amazon UK is http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lorrie+farrelly&sprefix=Lorrie+farre%2Caps%2C166

Amazon Australia is http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_6/376-0870597-0873861?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lorrie+farrelly&sprefix=Lorrie%2Caps%2C149.

My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/LorrieFarrellyAuthor.

 

 

Many thanks, Fiona!

Here is my interview with Isra Sravenheart

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

 

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

Hi I’m Isra Sravenheart, writer of fantasy and metaphysical and also coming up with a spiritually based romance, later this year.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 London, UK.

Fiona: I’m a long standing praciticing witch so this gives me the experience and resolve to be able to provide real life substance to my books. I am also an avid reader and love crafting in my spare time.

Fiona: My book “Her Blackened Soul is currently 0.99 on amazon but the sequel “Her Blackened Heart” is due out any day now! I am also running a host of giveaways in which fans can win merchandise such as jewellery, trinket boxes and all kinds of cool fantasy based stuff, of course this is still a very new project but more on that as it develops.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have begun writing from a young age. I was always writing as a child. With short stories, poems, things like that really.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I never properly considered myself a writer despite over fifteen years doing it here and there but in 2013 when I wrote my first novel, “Her Blackened Soul” was when I gave myself the title.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

This story is essentially about darkness and at the time just like Isra, I was going through my own type of isolation and solitude that came with it’s own brand of darkness. Not as extreme as Isra’s in the book but darkness nonetheless in one’s self.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It was random, really. It didn’t have a title for months in the making. Until one day it just jumped out at me.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? I don’t feel I have a specific style. Most stuff I plan out and plot out from my head but I generally do my own thing. Go with the flow, so to speak. I don’t really consider myself an expert but I do know my own creative levels. I just write and that’s enough for me!

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

A lot of the experiences are based on real life as are the characters. I don’t like creating characters that aren’t based on real people. It kinda cheapens it for me. I like a sense of reality as it creates substance.

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

No I don’t travel as such but I do like to take regular walks in nature.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I hire designers on fiverr.com. I am unsure if I can recollect all the names but one lady was called rebeccacovers and she did an amazing job on two of my covers. I tend to experiment with cover designers as I move from book to book because one designer may be able to reflect a view point that another couldn’t.

 

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

Yes, indeed. As “Her Blackened Soul” is about darkness. The message I want to say is you don’t have to stay there, you can be happy again, no matter what happens. The universe can surprise you.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  

Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you? New authors? Might have to come back to you on that one but I do read a lot by Stephen King.

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

I have a lot of friends who have supported my choice to write.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes but it’s more a creative passion for me. Book sales are nice and i love it when I get little comments about somebody saying they enjoyed the book but I feel it’s the creative process that gives it the edge for me. Without that I think I’d get bored.

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

No. As despite the two years it took to properly write it and get everything down, it was very much authentic and I wouldn’t want to do anything to take that away from it.

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

On writing, yes but more about publishing/ networking/ advertising/ marketing. It’s a big world out there and most authors just think they can sit online and become a bestseller overnight. It really isn’t like that. You need to get your head buried in a tonne of information and I am still doing this but it takes time, effort and perseverance. I am still learning things everyday.

 

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

Out of female actors in Hollywood, I am not sure. I’d like to say Natalie Portman or Angelina Jolie. I can’t think of many females who could fit a complex personality such as Isra.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Honestly, just write. Keep on it. Ditch the negatives and keep going. Yes it will be hard but just keep on. That’s the best advice I can give.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Oh wow, now this is an interesting one. Well first of all, I’d like to say Isra in the story does have a heart although at times it may not seem that way because of the things she does… but more on this and her history will be revealed as time goes on in the series. I am so far, planning five books in the series and one spin off for Astrid.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. A great thriller.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes, it was the Grimms Fairytales.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laughing, silly things really. Like my animals doing something or a friend who says something and we just end up laughing our butts off! Cry, I don’t do that often but it has to be something really sad to get to me, like a really good, sad story.

 

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

I think it would have to be Mr Walt Disney, he had such an imagination.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes. Reading. Walking. Watching movies. Crafting. I love resin crafting. Wordsearch/ kriss kross and photography just to name a few!

 

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

I love Once Upon a Time. I’m also a fan of Buffy/ Angel. Bewitched/ Sabrina the Teenage witch. Yes they are pretty much vintage now but those are my faves. I also love Bones which has sadly just ended. I don’t watch much tv.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,   music?

Favourite colour, pink, purple, blue. Favourite foods, I eat a lot of fruit. Music, I like a bit of everything just no rap or boyband stuff. Power ballads are a fave.

 

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

Oh my, that is a future I’d never want to consider. I have no idea!

 

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

Morbid, haha! Knowing me it would have something sarcastic to do with the craft on it, lol again I have no idea. I do know I want “ding dong the witch is dead” as my funeral song. Yes, just for the irony.

 

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

Yes but it’s best to visit me on twitter and facebook. I also have an amazon author page which readers can find by clicking on my name. I do have a website, www.israsravenheart.com but it’s a work in progress right now. I’ve never had a website before. I do blog a lot on Goodreads though.

 

Here is a selection of places you can find me!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/IsraSravenheart

Twitter: www.twitter.com/israsravenheart

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/israsravenheart/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13754513.Isra_Sravenheart

Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Isra-Sravenheart/e/B00VKRF6Q0

Book Link Amazon:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Blackened-Soul-Book-ebook/dp/B01N4HE535/

USA: https://www.amazon.com/Her-Blackened-Soul-Book-ebook/dp/B01N4HE535/

 

Here is my interview with L M Somerton

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

 

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

 Hi, I’m L M Somerton and I’m heading towards a half century.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally from Bath, England but now I live in rural Northamptonshire in a tiny village.

 

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

I have a degree in English, American and Commonwealth Arts, which means I read books for three years. I’m married with a teenage daughter.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My next release, Elemental Hope is due out shortly – this is the sequel to Elemental Love and is a contemporary paranormal series about a young warlock.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing on free sites when I was between jobs. An editor spotted my stories and suggested I submit to a publisher – the rest is history.

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Not for a long while after being published – it didn’t seem real. Thirty-some stories later, I think I can finally accept it’s what I do – though it’s not my full-time job…yet.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I wrote was Rasputin’s Kiss – though it wasn’t the first one published. It needed a lot of work from its first iteration! It’s a thriller but was more inspired by idea for characters than the plotline. Alex Courtney and Conor Trethuan had been in my head for a long time and I wanted to bring them to life.

 

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

It’s pure fiction but I do use locations I’m familiar with and there are several of those in the book and the rest of the series, which is set in the UK.

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

Not specifically, but I do get inspiration from places I’ve travelled to and use them a lot. I also use locations I’ve only read about – so it’s a mixture. I haven’t yet travelled specifically for research purposes.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 All my covers are designed by Emmy Ellis at Pride Publishing.

 

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

 For Elemental Hope, I had to do quite a lot of research into herbs and herblore, which was fascinating.

 

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

 Gosh, that’s difficult. My lead character is quite youngso maybe Ian Somerhalder when he was in his twenties.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Write what you enjoy not what you think an audience wants.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 How much I appreciate their support and engagement. I get a huge amount of pleasure from knowing that people enjoy what I write and it’s humbling to know they’re prepared to spend hard earned money on my books.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Changes by Jim Butcher, I’ve been working my way through the Dresden Files, a series I haven’t read for a while.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 Writing is my main hobby as I also work full time. I also love walking and travelling, and reading of course!

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

 Head taster for a Swiss chocolate firm.

 

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

 She grew old disgracefully and had fun doing it!

 

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

 My website and blog are here: http://www.lmsomerton.com  or you can find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lmsomertonwritesI also have a very sporadic newsletter readers can sign up for – there’s a pop up box for this on the website.

You can find all my books here (including some short freebies): https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/author/info&author_id=252

 

Many thanks for having me!

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Rebecca Norman

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?

Thank you Fiona and hi everyone, my name is Rebecca Norman, but I write as Rosie Chapel. I’m just past the big ‘five oh’, although apparently 50 is the new 30, so it’s all good!

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally I’m from the North East of England, I now live in Perth, Western Australia

 

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

I’m married to a great guy; we’ve been together 28 years, married for 26 of them and I consider him my best friend. I grew up in the north east of England, but weemigrated to Australia back in ‘98 and are a furkids family. The rest of both our families are still in the UK and we visit as often as time and money allows.

After my first round of education, I spent over 20 years working in administration in one form or another, then in 2010, returned to university to take a bachelor degree in Classics and Ancient History – always my first love.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve just completed a fourth Regency Romance, A Love Unquenchable, which hopefully will have been released by the time this interview is live! I have three anthologies I am part of, so frantically trying to get them finished. Then there’s the small matter of the several other books screaming at me to get on with. A new ancient historical fiction, a fifth Regency Romance, a contemporary romance (all of which are underway) and a series of ‘whodunits’ set in Ancient Ostia (the old Port of Rome)! There are simply not enough hours in the day.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in early 2015,just after I finished my degree. I had hoped to continue on in academia and do honours, then maybe even a PhD, but several things meant I needed to put that idea on hold for a while. In the meantime my hubby suggested I try to channel my passion for all things ancient into writing a book. I admit to laughing at this – a lot – but then, after a while, I wondered whether there was any chance I could come up with something and then whether anyone would read it!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The first time someone told me they loved my book and could I please hurry up and write the sequel!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I am passionate about ancient Rome and anything and everything connected to it. When I was looking for inspiration, I started scanning through my old uni assignments, on the off chance one of them had something – anything – I could use, and came across one about King Herod’s building programme. This mentionedthe Fortress of Masada in the Judean desert. I knew something of its history, most especially the two massacres which occurred in the mid first century AD. I also knew that according to the only ancient source, that seven people – two women and five children – were the only survivors. An idea began to percolate and so The Pomegranate Tree was born

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

A strange title I know, but I decided to call it this for several reasons. Firstly, it seems that pomegranate trees can grow in the most arid of places and against all the odds often survive even the harshest weather. My story revolves around two couples who found each other in the most unexpected place, fall in love and against all odds survive. Secondly, YigaelYadin’s first excavation team planted pomegranates during a Jewish festive ceremony and, despite their doubts, apparently the bushes flourished. Thirdly, it confirmed the ancient writer, Josephus’ (and our only source regarding Masada) claim that the citadel was capable of supporting all manner of growing things. Finally although pomegranates are quite scrubby trees, their fruit is delectable and I like that a rather coarse tree could produce such flawless fruit. This synthesis reflected my main characters; a battle hardened and, now captive, Roman soldier meets a petite and beautiful Hebrew woman, trained in the art of healing. By rights they should be sworn enemies, yet they complement each other perfectly.

Sorry that’s quite a long answer, but I hope you can see thatThe Pomegranate Treejust seemed to fit!

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 style, I just write. I was pretty good at English when I was at school (many, many years ago)and I try to I write in the kind of style I enjoy reading. I’ve definitely learnt a lot since I started, and refining my work is an ongoing process.

I write across several different genres, and it’s important to me to try to capture the essence of the particular era. This can include such things as remembering there were no cars or phones or electricity and so on. Working out how they dressed, how they spoke, what their housing was like, furniture, food, transport the list goes on. I love it though, for me the research is as much fun as the writing.

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

Although my Hannah’s Heirloom Trilogy (and the prequel which accompanies it), involves an element of time travel – the history, the places and the events are either factual or based on historical evidence.

Other than Masada and the areas in the middle-east around where two of books are set, I have been fortunate enough to have visited the places I write about, allowing me to describe them, their surrounds and the atmosphere with some degree of accuracy.

Rather than basing specifically them on people I know, my characters tend to be a blend of their features, traits and personalities. I try to provide just enough detail to create an impression and then leave the rest to the readers’ imagination, as I think we all have own idea of how our heroes and heroines should look.

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

Wow, to have that luxury would be amazing and as I mentioned, I have visited most of the places in my books, but not all. Thankfully the Internet is a wonderful tool and offers a plethora of information about almost anything you need. Then there are libraries and I have to admit that I like to own books about locations or subjects I’m researching. You never know when you might need to check something and you can never have too many books!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My younger sister does them and I am endlessly amazed at her ability to grasp what I’m looking for in a cover.

 

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

I don’t believe there’s a specific message in any of my novels, but I think trust, forgiveness, not being quick to judge or condemn, and being prepared to listen with an open heart, weave themselves throughout all of them. Oh and love – they all have more that a hint of romance after all!

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?

As a new author myself I have been part of several author ‘take overs’ in Facebook. They are a great way to discover all the new authors out there and maybe prompt you to try something outside of your usual choice of novel. My current favourites are, Lilly Rayman, Amy Allen, Maria Vickers, Melody Dawn, Ani Bishop, JF Holland, Sylvie Stewart, Nicole Strycharz, LS Anders, YM Zachary, Alathia Morgan, Jeremy Simons, Bella Emy…ok I’ll stop now – but that is to name a very, very few.

 

My all time favourite author is Mary Stewart, she writes – sorry wrote – light mysteries with romance. What Ilove about her books is the way her words connect to my heart and my soul, instantly capturing my imagination,making me part of the plot – no longer an outsider watching from sidelines. For me, that is the epitome of a great author, the ability to draw you in until you become the story, not just the reader.

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

My Crazy Bards – they know who they are!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I suppose it already is. Even though my income from it is miniscule, writing is my life now; I don’t have another paid job. I work most days on something to do with my books, and find that when I am unable to, I get a bit antsy. I have to admit – it’s my dream job!!

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

No, I am very happy with it J
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I did. The hero in my story suffers from what we would now call PTSD, but in the Regency era it was post-battle trauma. In order to understand and maybe help him cope with his dark days, my heroine volunteers at a hospital, where those wounded unable to care for themselves are cared after. It was fascinating researching, not only how wounds were inflicted on the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars, but also how they were treated, and what new methods were being developed, especially for those who suffered debilitating depression as a result of their experiences.

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

For my ancient historical fiction, I think someone like Alex Pettyfer or Karl Urban, or a younger Viggo Mortensen and I loved Russell Crowe in Gladiator, but he’d need to be younger too. Hmmm…too hard to choose in all honesty!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Just do it – if you think you have it within you to write in whatever form pleases you, novels, short stories, poetry, plays whatever – give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and, like me, you might surprise yourself. Find a good platform to work in; there are plenty out there, choose the one that suits you best. The one I use, allows me to keep all my research notes, character bios, and any other pertinent information all together and back up your work, always back it up! It’s also important to make sure you have a good proof-reader/editor. Be careful though this can be costly, but they can be found and when you do treasure them like precious jewels! Above all, have fun – if you love writing, it will come across in your words and entice your audience to read more!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Simply that I hope they enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them – oh and please, please write a review, even if its only a single line – reviews are like gold.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Fire in the Moon by JF Holland

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Peter and Jane – a series of children’s books of the 60’s. I think my first proper storybook was probably Mr Galliano’s Circus by Enid Blyton, or some thing similar.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Lots of things make me laugh, usually slightly off the wall humour, or my pets’ antics or any of my friends’ craziness.

Cruelty in any of its forms makes me cry, as dothe sad parts in movies.Beautiful music can move me to tears, but in a good way.

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

The Emperor Augustus. We share a birthday, which is very cool He was also the instigator of the Roman principate and changed the map of the Roman world. So much happenedunder his rule, to be witness to that would be astonishing.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, walking, travel, cross-stitch.

 

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

Lucifer, Outlander, Call the Midwife, NCIS LA, The West Wing (our ‘go to’ tv series), The Martian, Beauty and the Beast, Lord of the Rings, the Bourne movies, RED and RED 2, Deadpool, Twister…long long list!

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

My favourite food is Korean, but I love all types of Asian cuisine; and for snacks – crisps and chocolate!

I love emerald green, turquoise and the colour of bluebells (flowers).

My taste in music could only be described as eclectic; I listen to anything from classical, and musicals, to soundtracks; from pop and country to jazz – as long as it has harmony and rhythm.

 

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

Cry, then pull myself together and go watch a movie or read a book, or take the time to enjoy whatever’s out there.

 

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

Oh my…something like ‘Did what she loved and loved what she did’

Or  ‘Boy – did she ever love shoes!’

 

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

www.rosiechapel.com

 

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

Twitter: @RosieChapel2015

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14759605.Rosie_Chapel

On Amazon

USA link: http://buff.ly/2jh0dgp

UK link: http://buff.ly/2jh2ND4

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Mitch Bensel

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?

Mitch Bensel, 61

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Louisville Ky

 

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

Basic high school start with an added interesting world of being an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I am also a certified phlebotomist and a CNA. I had my own martial arts school for thirty years and taught Shaolin Kung Fu. I have three daughters and two grandsons, and two plants that I am trying not to kill. I love God and do my best to help others and show His love is real.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Two new books available soon, T.O.D. Time of Death and Heart Shaped Rock. I am excited to get these released, they hold so much for many types of readers. Romance with mystery and ghosts on the side.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

When I was an EMT I had to find a way to let go of the day. I started a journal that held not only short stories but poetry and songs. That was the start of officially writing. As a child I was the best story teller in the neighborhood. At dusk we would gather in someones front yard and all share impromptu tales. Mine always scared everyone. I loved seeing how the creation of a story did so much to people.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I had published some poetry books and even created two spoken word Cd’s, but not until I published my first novel did I feel like I was a true writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I would write everyday on something that I knew would go nowhere. Just a quick fiction or some poetry. But one of my short stories wouldn’t stop. More characters popped in and more mystery occurred to the point it ended up almost 300 pages long. So it was born from a wee baby story into a grown up book.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Titling poetry or books is always difficult for me. I usually just take part of the poem or try to take the gist of the book and put into title. Then I ask friends and family if they like it or not. May  not be the best way, but it is my way.

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

I write so people don’t realize they are reading, if that is a style. I like to bring the reader into a scene just enough to pique their interest then switch to the other side of the mystery, then wrap it all up at the end.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

For the most part all of my books, even my children’s have some part of a real experience in them with added imagination and a twist of magic.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I haven’t had to travel yet, I say with a sadness because I love hotels! I usually call people that are the experts with the topic. Traveling would have helped with the current short story I am writing. A dude ranch just doesn’t hit the core of a reader if you cannot describe the feel of the air or the smell of the Montana dust. But I am doing my best.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I have done all but two of my books covers. T.O.D. Time of Death was done by

C.D. Rodeffer Designs. And KD did, On the Edge of Evil.

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

Find love, even if you are alone find the beauty in life. Turn away from pain and evil and enjoy this place. My book, Pumpkins Revenge, tells children that every action has a consequence. And if you ever smashed a pumpkin, the night will come when they will visit you to teach that lesson. Fail and you are forever trapped in the leftover pumpkin place.  : )

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?

Sandi Archibald and M. Vail, co authored a wonderful book that I recommend highly. The Path of Fire – Vision Quest. I don’t read too many books much to the angst of my daughters, but I do like Kurt Vonnegut. A few people have compared my writing style to his.

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

Jean W., she is an avid reader, has degrees in may areas of writing and the language arts. She read the rough draft of my first novel and said it was the best book she had ever read. She couldn’t figure out the ending and every moment kept her interested. So I published it and here I am today.

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, it is beautiful and carries the reader into dangerous and mysterious  places with love and romance rising to the occasion.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes, to not only double and triple check it, but check it even one more time before putting it to print. I cannot tell you how many times, small mistakes cost so much after printing.

 

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

Mark Wahlberg, he has a sensitive side for the romance and could do the fight scenes well, especially the last one against the devil.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write your style, be careful of some of the popular online selling venues. I would think twice before doing an E-book.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Everyone of my books will remove you from your day, entice emotions and carry you into experiences you have never imagined. My children’s books teach a lesson and my adult books teach love. Sometimes love has to be found through pain but romance seems to stir the heart and give rise to love again.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

My Someday Book by Beverly Giammara. A book of poetry and amazing.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Nope..

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Cry when beauty of love or generosity is shown in a book, movie or life. Laugh at silly wonderful and humorous events.

 

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

Greg Lemond, he won the Tour De France on his own.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I am a rock hound and love the Oregon coast. Metal detecting, there is so much history right under our feet. Love hotels and casinos and cycling. Playing the harmonica and making crosses from wood and coins. Love a good movie. Walking beaches and visiting the reservoir near me to feel the beauty of God all around.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Italian is always good, chicken and salads. Gave up diet drinks and love Le Croix water. Black, light blue, dark blue and deep green. I love most music just not those of yelling that they have out now. I burn a lot of food so I am developing a taste for burnt food?

 

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

I would inhale nature into my soul, help people when I could and play my harmonica, with that ever on the constant look out for a good rock.

 

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

I did my best

 

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

www.mitchbensel.com All the links to my CD’s and books are on that site.

 http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/MITCHBENSELataoldotcom

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Jeff LaFerney

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 Jeff LaFerney, and I’m too old to be telling my age. J

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Michigan. I’ve lived in suburbs of Flint my whole life, and I’ve been safe from the water.

 

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

I have a master’s degree and was an English teacher for 30 years. I’ve been married almost 31 years to my beautiful wife, and we have a son who’s 27 and a daughter who’s 25, who are both amazing.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Well, I’ve finally started work toward completion of the sequel to Jumper, a very successful time-travel adventure, but my work is going slowly because we’ve sold our house and we’re planning to move to Florida. There is so much to do.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I thought about writing most of my adult life, but I finally did it after some circumstances finally aligned and I had a “brilliant” idea. It was mostly a challenge for me—something I wanted to do and believed I could do.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After my first novel, Loving the Rain, I was invited to be a career speaker at my old middle school. They gave me a tag to wear that said “Jeff LaFerney, author.” I laughed. It felt as strange as my first year of teaching when kids called me “Mr. LaFerney.” I don’t think I felt like an author until my third or fourth book.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Honestly, as a junior high English teacher, I’d read a lot of award-winning books that I didn’t think were all that good. I thought I could do better. I was passed up for a varsity coaching job, my summer was mostly void of responsibilities, and an idea in my head wouldn’t go away. I decided I’d finally do what I’d been thinking about for many, many years.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The wife in my novel loved the rain. The main protagonist had always hated it. It wasn’t until I finally came up with an unexpected conclusion (one I hadn’t planned for) that I realized I could change my protagonist’s feelings about the rain. I came up with it while writing the last chapter of the book.

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

 I usually write short scenes. I try to move the pace of the story along rapidly. I like twists and surprises. My writing process is difficult for me at times because when I write, I know the beginning and the general ending, but I don’t know how I’m going to get there. I end up researching and revising all along the way. The plot, clues, twists, etc. usually come to me while I write, so I have to revise a lot along the way.

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

I have five novels. All of them are fiction and all of it is made up. I’ve never written in a character like someone I know, but there are interests of my own spotted here and there throughout all of my books.

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

I’ve visited towns and buildings that I use in my settings, but most of my traveling is on the internet. J

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My first three books have all had three covers. My last two have only had one. CreateSpace did one. A designer friend did one. A publisher I had did four. A talented designer named NajlaQamber impressively redid the Clay and Tanner series. A design company did Jumper, and an incredible author friend, Ashley Fontainne, did Lost and Found.

 

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

All of my books deal to one degree or another with moral issues and faith, but mostly they’re just fun mysteries and adventures.

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

My favorite author is Harlan Coben with Robert B. Parker a close second. They’re both crazy good suspense writers with great characters. I love fantasy too, though, and George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan have kept me busily reading for the past couple of years.

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

 Ashley Fontainne is my most trusted author friend. She’s always supportive and her talents are amazing. I can’t say how much she’s helped me. Lia Fairchild also has always sacrificed her time for me. Her advice and help have always been appreciated more than she knows, I think.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Now that I’m retired from teaching, I’m looking for another career. J  I edit more than I write now, but I think I’ll always be a writer, but probably not a full-time one.

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

I’m proud of all of my finished projects. I think I’d like to edit them all again, just because I’ve improved each time, and I’d like to shape up style issues from my past, but I don’t think I’ll ever do it.

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

 Lost and Found is my most recent book. The setting is a Bavarian-German town in Michigan called Frankenmuth. The more I looked into the town and developed ideas for the story, the more I found ways to tie it into Germany and World War II. It’s not a historical fiction book, but I used facts from history, revised them with made-up characters, and tied the past into my modern mystery. I learned a lot about history while writing the book.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I don’t think anyone writes the same. Do what works for you, but don’t quit. Take advice from other people, so have thick skin. Revision is the most important part, but eventually, you have to be done and move on to another project.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

My books are fun fiction. There is humor, action, quick pacing, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists. I think they’re enjoyable, and I wish you would give one a try.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading The Art of Racing in the Rain because I promised a friend I would read it. I’m reading Robert’s Rules of Writing and the fourth book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan called The Shadow Rising. I’m also reading an indie author book a former friend wrote. (Writers should always be reading).

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t, but I remember the first book that impacted me. It was Robinson Crusoe. My dad made me read it, and I was fascinated that someone who had little survival skills learned to do so many things to survive on an uninhabited island for more than 20 years. I’m not the handiest person, and I never have been interested in handy-man type things, but I think I’m like Robinson Crusoe. I think I’d survive.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My wife and I crack up using Snap Chat. I love a funny movie. Books and movies both make me cry, and I struggle at funerals and even weddings sometimes. Yeah, I can be a baby.

 

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

 My favorite athlete of all time is Roberto Clemente. I’d love to meet him.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I’ve always loved sports (played three varsity sports in high school and continued well into my forties playing them competitively), but now my knees and shoulders have broken down, and I just work out regularly to keep in shape. Obviously, I read and write as well.

 

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

I like action-suspense and fantasy best. Netflix gives me plenty to watch while I’m on the treadmill.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

I listen to Christian music most. It makes me feel better. I love seafood and salty snacks. I love University of Michigan blue and University of North Carolina blue. J

 

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

I would still read. I would edit and teach writing.

 

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

He was a great dad and son who loved the Lord and his wife.

 

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

Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/authorJeffLaFerney/  Facebook editor page:  https://www.facebook.com/editingattheredpen/  Blog: http://jefflaferney.blogspot.com/

 https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-LaFerney/e/B008WB47BM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Here is my interview with Roy Mauritsen

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 World! My Name is Roy Mauritsen and I am a level forty-seven human. I am the author of Shards of the Glass Slipper, a 2 book epic fantasy fairy tale!

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I hail from Long Island, New York. I am an hour by train to world famous New York City- but I never go. I am an hour from the famous Hamptons. Never go. I live about 15 minutes from the ocean… and I only go there to play volleyball!

 

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

I studied fine art, writing and natural sciences in high school and college. I’ve been married for 14 years, no kids but we have a big, fluffy, black Newfoundland mix-breed dog named Coda.  I have worked as a professional photographer,and also filming and creating television commercials. Currently, I am an Art Director for Perseid Press with Janet Morris, and Art Director for Padwolf Publishing with Patrick Thomas. I’ve designed many, many book covers and my day job is a graphic designer for a large Publishing company in New York.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Audiobooks! After the 2 book epic fantasy was written and published, there was an opportunity to have both books professionally narrated and recorded. One of the things I wanted to do however was add in a thematic underscore of cinematic music and coordinated sound effects.  Rather than listen to someone droning on as they read a book, which I feel most audiobooks are like that. I wanted the listener to be immersed, to feel as if they were right there experiencing the story. Arrows will whiz past your ears. Birds and insects chirp and hum as leaves rustle and wind blows through trees as you walk along a forest trail along with the characters. Some of it is subtle, the shuffling of papers or the creaking of saddle leather as a rider dismounts a horse. You’ll hear the clash of swords or growls of dangerous creatures breathing right next you. And the music elevates the listener experience on an emotional level as well. The climatic battles, the quiet, tender moments, dark dramatic themes, all enhance the excellent narration by Christopher Crosby Morris.

Christopher Crosby Morris is a professional musician with a home studio, familiar with vocal recording, and audiobook narration. We collaborated using Adobe’s Audition to edit and master the files.  In addition to my work as an author and artist, I’ve also worked in mixing and mastering for radio and television. So I was very comfortable working on this audiobook. The process of mixing was very involved. Once the narration track was clean and finalized, sound effects and ambient background had to be selected from hundreds of different sources, to find a proper sound is like finding a needle in a sound effect haystackof thousands of files from several sound libraries; and in some cases I still had to record the sound effects on my own using a Tascam portable recorder. Once the sound tracks were mixed, the most challenging part was adding professional quality cinematic scores to nearly 30 hours of recorded narration between the two audiobooks. It was a labor of love that would take almost a year to complete! But I am so proud of the finished product. Here’s a sample:

s

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I say I’m a “creative” person. I never really defined myself as a “writer.” I am much more professionally and personally molded as an artist. But in a way every artist is storyteller. I’ve loved creative writing and certain creative outlets like the Role-playing games I grew up on, were just other ways of telling stories and often sparked both art and writing. And in 2007 I started writing my first 2 novels.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always loved fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland. I kinda had this idea bouncing around about fairy tale characters and How does Cinderella become an evil queen, etc. and how to weave all of these different characters into a 2 book story. It was quite challenging. So that was part of the inspiration. The other part was simply I wanted to inspire the people around me to rise up and do the thing they would always say they wanted to do. But never do it. So I said, if I can write AND finish a story..so can my friends! It didn’t really work out though. But I ended up with a story I had wanted to tell and finished novel or two that I was lucky enough to get published by a small press. As an artist I was able to explore my characters, story and concept through art. “concept art” if you will. This helped to visualize and inspire ahead of actually writing the novel. And even at times during the process. I would shift gears if I hit a rough part in the story. Or to help get my head around a character I was focusing on.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Shards of the Glass Slipper is told across 2 books (maybe 3) the title itself invokes an instant correlation to fairy tales,  and the shattered Shards invoke a feeling of a broken happily ever after in many pieces. Which is very apt considering there are nearly two dozen fairly tale type characters it is a very striking title. Additionally, I wanted to give resonance of an epic fantasy feel similar to “Lord of the Rings.”

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

I don’t thing I’ve developed any sort of signature writing style yet. Maybe the way I structure my stories but developing a writer voice takes time. Writing epic fantasy and fairy tale can be very challenging. First you are making stuff up and you need more world building than say writing a cop drama in New York city. It’s a freedom that you get to make up the details but then you are also responsible for making up all of the details. There’s maybe a little more research to learn about how a trebuchet works.  The challenge then becomes presenting fantastical or fictional things in a convincing manner. If you don’t know how a trebuchet works, and you write about it correctly you are not treating your reader with respect.  The other challenge is the fairy tales. I spent a lot of time researching various aspects of these characters and making lots of notes and references and constantly flowing that into the character in describing them or how they act and what they say. And these are not your familiar Disney-fied versions.  So trying to be true to fairy tales that are well know and beloved was its own challenge.

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

Well it is epic fantasy fairy tales and Alice in Wonderland. It can only be so realistic! But I tried to be realistic with the characters to make them more relatable.  A lot of the characters’ fairy tales have already happened and they are older now so when the story starts these fairy tale characters are shaped by thosepast experiences that we’d know as their familiar fairy tale.

I think it’s a natural part of the creative process that some elements traits and beliefs bleed into your story and I think that different characters can take on certain aspects. Goldenhair is very much in tune with the forest and animals and represents my love of nature and animals. General Snow White represents my more practical side.

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

Given that it’s epic fantasy in a fictional world not much travel is needed other than a creative imagination and internet. I’d travel though just to travel. I love traveling. I’m sure that exposure from travelling filters down into the kinds of creative inspirations and “call-upons”.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Me! I was an artist and graphic designer for over 20 years so it was very important for me to be able to handle the cover creation process. It’s hard enough to shop a manuscript around as an author, but one that is retaining creative control over the cover- most publishers wouldn’t go for that. It just makes it even more of an uphill climb to get published. The cover was created using 3d software and Photoshop. A major advantage of the 3d model is I can call up that exact same model reposition and re-light and even animate them for my book trailers!

 

 

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

I will leave that up to the readers. What do they connect with, which character they relate to or theme do they take away. Fairy tales are full of messages and themes. I’m sure there are many different messages people can be drawn to. It is always humbling to hear from readers. Sometimes they’ll show me symbolism that didn’t even occur to me. That’s when you know you’ve done something special.

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

I’ve always loved Douglas Adams. I find it very difficult write humor well.  And he does it in spades. Of course he taps into that British humor which I’ve grown up with (he was also involved with Monty Python so it makes sense). And with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, he combined that humor with Science-fiction but then he used both of those elements to turn a mirror back on to people and society and theology and philosophy; and he makes it looks so damn easy! There’s a frood who knows where his towel is!

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

Before I connected with my publisher, I didn’t really have a support network or a mentor or a writing group when I was writing.  It was just me at my computer chipping away at this incredible story that I wanted to tell. When it comes down to it- it really is just you and your story, staring at each other in a dark room, saying to each other “So- are we gonna do this or what?”I felt during the writingprocess that everyone secretly was waiting (hoping?) for me to fail or give up.  It ended up being more of a driving force to succeed.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Very few are lucky enough to make writing work as a full time gig. I see it as something I enjoy. I almost don’t want to ruin the fun of it by trying to force it as a career.

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

I don’t think so.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the process of recording your recent audiobook?

I think I’m a little bit ahead of the curve for this type of listening experience.  For most authors, traditional audiobooks are pretty cost prohibitive to do it properly. If I didn’t have the skills and resources in place to be able to put something like this together and do so, professionally. I can’t imagine what the production cost of what I was able to accomplish at minimalexpensewould be; thousands of dollars to be sure.

 

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

It would starLucy LawlessasGeneral Snow White, with Christopher Eccelston (circa 2009), as Hamelin Piper, MillaJovovich as Goldenhair, Natalie Dormer as Alice, David Tenant as the voice the White Rabbit, Maisie Williams as Patience Muffet. Dave Bautista as General Dendroba, Tilda Swinton as Fae Gaia and Nicole Kidman as Queen Cinder.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t just talk about doing it. Do it. You have to sit down and write your story. No one else will do it.  And you are going to be the one that cares about your story the most. So sit down shut up and write your story. And just as important… Finish it. There’s nothing worse than all the work and effort to go into a half finished manuscript that never get completed. Once you have it complete you can go back and edit and revise etc.  But if you start writing a story- complete it. If nothing else- you and your story both deserve to know how it ends.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’ll be honest…you caught me in a phase of non fiction reference material reading.  I just got a book- A tracker guide manual for identifying animal tracks in South Africa. I’m hoping to spend some time in Southern Africa in the future and I would like to know what is walking around the camps at night. I’m more likely to read non fiction stuff while I write the fictional stuff. It is sort of weird. I suppose.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I lived in Texas until about the 3rd grade and the books I remember reading at that time were mostly dinosaur books Along with Pokey Little Puppy and probably Dr. Suess. I was also reading books like The Fox and the Hound, and even Jawsat that time and of course Alice in Wonderland.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’ll cry at movies. I have this “wonderful” ability to emotionally invest myself into a movie; even one I’ve seen a hundred times and just caught the last 5 minutes of, and I am instantly hooked as if I had been watching the whole thing from the start for the very first time.  My humor tends toward Monty Python-esque. Parody I guess- like Weird Al? Subtle, dry and smart. I prefer The Addams Family to The Munsters.  I grew up on classic Saturday morning cartoons, stuff that might not be considered as PC these days. Jim Henson had a great sense of innocent humor that never spoke down to children. I liked Carol Burnet and Laugh-In. I went through a “phase” of listening to the old-time radio comedies. So Bob hope and Bing Crosby road movies; Abbott and Costello. Family Guy actually draws a lot from that.  And these days I’ll watch Bob’s Burgers (more animated stuff). Most other stuff that passes for comedy these days, I find isn’t that funny. I can’t stand sitcoms with laugh tracks.

 

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

Presently I’d like to meet anyone that is willing to give me my next big job.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I have many hobbies. When I’m not working the day job or other freelance creative projects, I play league-level Volleyball. I do a lot of photography. I find time-lapse photography to be quite interesting, but also a lot of the emerging tech as well. Drones, 360 video, computational photography (that’s when an image is capturedby combining several different camera settings and lenses at the same time and all that photographic info can be compiled and manipulated to create images after the fact). I really would like to get back to traveling more. I’ve ridden horseback across the Scottish highlands and I love to SCUBA dive. I have swam with Whale Sharks in South Africa, dove with reef sharks in the Bahamas and have been cage diving with great whites at Isla Guadalupe’ in Mexico. I hope to dive with Tiger sharks and Hammerheads someday. Anything kind of adventurous like that I’m game for.

 

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

Recently I’ve greatly enjoyed The Expanse, also Game of Thronesand Dr. Who. I also watch on a regular basis live streaming African Safaris on the NatGeo.tv website. #SafariLive.

Well my favorite movie without a doubtis Jaws.  But I grew up in the ‘80’s so there’s lots of great movies that influenced me; those are a given. But another recent favorite is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Wreck-it-Ralph. And I love the Kung Fu Panda series. Gee, animated movies …what a surprise. Haha!  I studied computer animation a bit and I still do a lot of digital art.  There is a lot of work and skill that goes into animating (CGI or traditional) “cartoons” moreso I think than any live action movie. Anyone can act; sort of. But not everyone can draw or draw well enough to have that drawn character “come alive and act” in a scene.  It’s a coordination of directors and teams of animators and the voice actorthat bringthe character to life to the point that you are emotionally invested. There’s a lot of good animated films that are my favorites for that reason alone.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

I enjoy a good barbeque and a cold beer. Or ice cream. That doesn’t really read as very healthy..but I assure you, it is all in moderation. Favorite colors- I’m pretty much an earthtoneskinda guy.

As for music- I listen to a lot of different stuff. My go to’s are YES, Jonsi&SigurRos, Pink Floyd, Afro Celt Sound System and Colin Hay (of Men at Work). But I could go on and on. Another example-a friend in Johannesburg turned me onto a band from Mozambique called Samito,  So I’ve been listening to that a lot; oh and KishiBashi too.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do? Are we talking a future where we are all driving scary-looking cars across a post-apocalyptic desert kinda future? Or a futuristic Orwellian society where free thought is controlled and writing stories is outlawed? Either case I’d probably be dead.

 

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

“Nothing is written in stone”.

 

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

Here’s the link to my audiobooks on Audible.com:

http://www.audible.com/series/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_1srSrs_sa?asin=B06XHC4796

And my amazon author page and books:

https://www.amazon.com/Roy-A.-Mauritsen/e/B007GGHA7W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Here’s my website (which is not updated very often):

http://www.roymauritsen.com

andfacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shardsoftheglassslipper/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Tina-Marie Miller

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

 Hi Fiona, it’s great to meet you and thanks for inviting me.

 

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

 I’m Tina-Marie Miller and I’m young at heart!

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

 I was born and bred in a small village in Oxfordshire.

 

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

 I live in Cornwall with my family. My children are both at University. I am very fortunate that I am able to write full time from my tranquil home.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

 I am currently working on my second novel which I aim to publish later this year.

 

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 I’ve always had a deep love for reading and writing and the immense joy I get from crafting a story. I recall the moment when at 12 years old I had a letter published in a magazine. The overwhelming feeling of seeing my work in print was indescribable and I knew that one day, I aimed to see my name on the front cover of the many books I now aspire to write.

 

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 Anyone that writes is a writer. However, when I held a physical copy of my debut novel in my hands the reality of what I had achieved as a writer became real.

 

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 I was inspired to write my debut novel as I wanted to demonstrate how anyone, from whatever walk of life can make the best of the challenges that fate deals them.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

 Often when we are faced with challenges, some people take the view that these challenges occur because it is just their ‘luck’ or it’s fated. Therefore, my debut novel’s title, Everything Happens For A Reason is a reflection of how the main protagonist deals with the many challenges that are presented but also goes on to demonstrate how these challenges go on to lead towards a positive outcome. This is something we do not always recognise when faced with difficult times.

 

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

The challenge is in crafting a story that evokes a range of emotions and leaves a lasting impact on the reader, but that’s why I enjoy writing in contemporary women’s fiction/romance/chick lit and have two more novels in these genres planned. However, I aspire to write some paranormal fiction in the future.

 

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

 An interesting question and one I would like to leave my readers to draw up their own conclusions.

 

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

If I want to include a place in my book that I’ve never been to then certainly I would go and visit it and research as much as possible so that it qualifies my writing which can be before or during the process. As in my current work in progress, my writing took me where I wasn’t expecting to go and therefore involved more research and a few visits. I love this serendipitous creativity.

 

 

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 Whilst I was initially pleased with my debut novel’s professionally created cover, as time went on I began to realise that the cover did not correctly justify the story within. I was so blessed to find Shari Ryan of Mad Hat Covers https://madhatbooks.com/ through Facebook and after explaining my dilemma, Shari created the most WOWSOME cover, in my opinion, and it perfectly reflects the story. I’ve been super delighted at the comments I have received regarding this and cannot thank Shari enough. I’m looking forward to working with her again on my second and future novel covers.

 

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

No matter what challenges life presents you with remember that some you will overcome and some you will not. Everything happens for a reason and can lead to wonderful things so never give up hope.

 

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?

 Oh wow! For sure. Bella James – The Girl Who Cried Wolf; Nico J Genes – Magnetic Reverie and Mark Louis Hudson – Travelling at the Speed of Dark: USA Odd Duck. I so enjoyed their debut novels. I am also a huge fan of Martha Perez, Bella Emy, Kevin Ansbro and just loved Gary Dolman’s – The Satyr’s Dance. You can read my reviews for their work on Amazon.

 My absolute favourite writer is the truly WOWSOME Jilly Cooper and if I am able to write with one iota of her talent I will consider myself blessed. Her books are just wonderful to read, fast paced and so much fun. I resonate with her stories and my favourite book of all is ‘Wicked.’ It is well worth a read.

 I would also like to give a mention to Kimberley Chambers, another great writer who produces amazing, gripping stories that keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

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

Apart from my immediate family it is my social media family that have been most supportive. I am so blessed to be part of the most WOWSOME community on Twitter and Facebook. The interaction and support I receive is invaluable and has boosted my confidence.

 

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 Absolutely.

 

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

No.

 

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

 Oh yes, for sure! I do tend to ramble on… and on…!

 

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

Gemma Arterton

 

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Never, ever give up.

 

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 Thank you for reading my work, I hope you will continue with me on my journey.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Kinnara by the incredibly talented Kevin Ansbro.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laughter is so important and you will often find me playing tricks on my children and then collapsing into hysterics! I love watching back-to-back episodes of Friday Night Dinner and Frasier to name a few.

 Suffering of any kind makes me cry.

 

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

 I would love to meet Cary Grant. As a child I grew up watching this debonair gentleman and fell in love with him immediately. He had an effortless way of interacting with everyone he met. He built the most amazing career from nowhere – he had ambition and brought his dreams to reality. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I am passionate about alternative therapies and am a qualified Reiki Master. In my spare time I enjoy indulging in a favoured treatment or just simply meditating and showing my appreciation for life.

 I also have a keen interest in anything paranormal.

 

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

 As mentioned earlier, I love comedies such as Friday Night Dinner and Frasier and tend to watch episodes back to back. I’m also a huge fan of US dramas such as Blue Bloods, Chicago Fire, The Blacklist to name but a few!

 I love films that are made in the UK and recently watched ‘Their Finest’ starring Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton amongst some other fabulous actors.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 I am allergic to a lot of things so I mainly enjoy chicken and fish.

 I am drawn to bright colours but favour purple and green.

 Music oh give me Coldplay or a bit of Whitney Houston and add a bit of Phil Collins…

 

 

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

 Oh that would be devastating. If I couldn’t physically write then I’d employ someone to write for me as I dictate.

 

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

 I AM THAT I AM

 

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

 You can find out more about me and my debut novel at www.tinamariemiller.co.uk which also gives links to my social media pages.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Happens-Reason-Tina-Marie-Miller-ebook/dp/B01N12AE7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500211811&sr=8-1&keywords=tina-marie+miller

 AuthorPage: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tina-Marie-Miller/e/B01MSAGVEA/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 Website: http://www.tinamariemiller.co.uk/Default.aspx

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinseymiller

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

 

 

 Phew! Thank you Fiona for the great opportunity. It’s been WOWSOME.

Here is my interview with Alex E. Carey


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?

Alex: Hi Fiona.  Thank you for having me here.  My name is Alex E. Carey and I’m 25 years old.

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Alex: I’m originally from Texas, but I currently live in the Greensboro, NC area.

 

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

Alex: I was home schooled and then majored in English at UNCG.  I’ve always loved reading and writing.  I love to spend time with my family.  My mother, brother and I share a home with our dogs, which is nice.  We enjoy doing fun things together.  It also helps because my mother works with me on editing, publishing, promotion and so forth.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Alex: I participated in an anthology of samples and short stories which just published July 14th, titled Tales of the Fantastic.  It includes a sample of my first novel, Fire’s Love, and includes samples from five other authors — Daccari Buchelli, David Gilchrist, Grant Leishman, Caitlin Lynagh, and Kim Ross.  I’m hard at work on book #4 in my Elemental Series.  I’m still hoping to publish that this year, but I’ve had a couple of delays that may push back the publication date.  I’m also working on journals, coloring and puzzle books, and a recipe card deck.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Alex: I wrote small stories and some poems from childhood, but I don’t think I have any of those anymore.  I started the Elemental Series during college.  While waiting for class to start, I scribbled in my notebook.  Eventually I put all those scribbles together and realized I had the beginnings of a book series.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Alex: It was actually the first time a reader told me how much they loved my book and could hardly wait for the next one to see what would happen.  I thought, “Wow, someone loves my stories.  I’m a real writer.”

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Alex: Like I said, I had scribbled while waiting for classes to start.  The more I wrote, the more scenes popped into my head, and I had to write them down on paper.  The ideas wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t.  When I saw how much I had and realized I had the beginnings of a book, I showed them to my mother.  She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams, so she was happy for me and offered to help however she could.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Alex: The demons in my books aren’t the Biblical kind.  They’re more like shifters with elemental powers.  For instance, Pyre is a fire demon who can produce fire in his hands and on his body.  Lowell is a wolf demon in the earth element and can make plants grow.  So each book is based on an element.  The books have some romance, suspense, adventure – something for everyone.  For each one, I looked at the tone of the book and chose the title.  For example, in Fire’s Love, Kira meets and falls in love with Pyre, so Fire’s Love.

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

Alex: My style includes a lot of humor.  I get that from my family.  If we have a difficult situation, we take it seriously of course, but we face it with humor.  It makes it easier to handle.  Yes, I do find some things challenging.  I want my books to be enjoyed by all ages, so they’re clean and family-friendly.  That’s also what I prefer to read.  It’s challenging for me to write romance at all, so I get my mother to help me with those scenes.  When I first wrote Fire’s Love, some authors read it before I published it, and said basically, “That’s not how people talk.  You need to simplify the language.”  I wrote it the way my family and I talk, and we don’t an excess of big words, so I was confused.  But I listened to other people speak and rewrote some of the dialog.  Now, people sometimes say it’s too simple, until they remember it’s written to include ages eight and up.  I love to read paranormal themes, though, so that’s what I like to write.

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

Alex: Uh oh, that would be telling. You know what they say about authors – if you make them mad, they kill you off in their books, lol.  Actually, a lot of it is based on real life experiences.  In Earth’s Embrace, Kira goes to work for a local restaurant.  In one scene, one of her co-workers hides in a big cardboard box and jumps out to scare her as she walks by.  That actually happened to me at the restaurant I worked for, although I didn’t kick the guy in the nose in real life, thankfully.

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

Alex:  I’d love to do that sometime.  I see authors post about travelling to places for research, but that’s not within my means at the moment.  My book series is set in Russellville, AR.  My grandmother lived there, and we went to visit her.  I got to know the area fairly well while we were there.  If I ever do get to travel for research, I think I would want to do it before the writing process, and then probably again before finalizing the book.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Alex: My mother and I designed the covers so far.  We’re having a little trouble with the cover for book #4.  She hasn’t read my first draft yet.  She usually comes up with some ideas after reading the first draft, which we then work on together.  Book #4 is the wind element, so it’ll be interesting to create that one.  Might have to hire a designer this time.

 

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

Alex: I missed most of the peer pressure thanks to being home schooled.  I worked with a lot of people, many my age or younger.  There is a lot of pressure on teens to drink, do drugs, have sex, etc.  Some want to do those things, but many just follow the crowd.  Many of the girls also date guys who are abusive and horrible to them.  They think that’s how it is, that they have no choice.  I tell them all the time that it is their life and no one else’s, and to live it their way.  Choose what they want when they’re ready for it.  No one should live like that.  To me, their life is a book that is being written.  It should be filled with fun, dreams, love and happiness.  Yes, it will also have sadness, loss and grief, but don’t let a horrible person rule your book.  Kick that character out and live your life.  Then make the book a long one, epic even.


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?

Alex: I love The Dragon Dreamer series by J.S. Burke and the Hearts Blessings series by Dianna Wyles.  Those books are written more for children, but appeal to all ages.  I’m also enjoying reading Phoenix by Daccari Buchelli.  I’m looking forward to reading the books by the other anthology authors — David Gilchrist, Grant Leishman, Caitlin Lynagh, and Kim Ross.  I’ve read some of their samples from the anthology we did together, and I love them!  We all met in an author team that also includes Tammy Berg, Nyasia Maire, Amanda Markham, and Chris Walters.  I’m also looking forward to reading the paranormal novels by C.D. Gorri, Tim Hemlin, K.N. Lee and CK Dawn.  I also want to read work by Barb Lieberman, Wanda Luthman, Kimberly Grell, A.S. McGowan, Heidi Angell, Claudette Melanson, Sylvie Stewart and oh so many more! lol  Yes, I have a very large “to be read” list, and I love it!

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

Alex: J.S. Burke, hands down.  She’s the author of The Dragon Dreamer series, who I mentioned earlier.  I met her early on through the Brain to Books convention online. She is an amazing person and a wonderful mentor.  She has encouraged me every step of the way.  We support each other by reading and giving our opinions on blurbs, etc.  She also knows how tough it can be as an indie author, so she’s always ready with a kind word, motivation, encouragement, advice, tips — whatever is needed.  We keep each other informed about upcoming events and places to meet new readers.  Then we both met Dianna Wyles, and she is such a sweetheart!  Likewise, she’s incredibly supportive, positive and encouraging.  I just love those two!  I’m very fortunate to know them and have such supportive author friends.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Alex: Yes, absolutely!  Authors work hard.  It’s enjoyable and fulfilling work, but we work.  There’s usually some sort of research involved.  Months spent turning blank pages into an entertaining story.  Not to mention, once it’s finished, the publishing and promoting begin.  I love writing and interacting with readers.  It’s the best career there is.

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

Alex: When I go back and read my previous books, I always find something I’d like to change.  As the series progresses, I think of scenes I would have liked to have had in the earlier books.


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

Alex: I try to always learn something new, especially when writing my books.  I learned a lot about the Scituate, MA area where Kira and friends visited for summer vacation.  I wanted to visit there so much before publishing the book, but I’m hoping to go someday.  I learned about different gemstones and their meaning.  I also researched types of photographs over time.  My mother enjoyed helping me with that because she’s a genealogist.  I learn a little something about myself too with each book, because I dig deep to write each scene, and sometimes it’s emotional.

 

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

Alex: Oh, yes please!  I would love to see my books on the big screen.  I’ve thought about who I’d like to play the lead characters, but I’m not too familiar with the younger actors and actresses to know who would be right for each part.  Most of my characters are teenagers.  Kira is 16 when she starts college, Lowell is 16, and Pyre is 18.  I’m a fan of Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic.  She would’ve been perfect for Kira.  I would love to see James Marsters (Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) play Vitas.  Vitas is a shifter who’s in charge of keeping all the records of life on earth and keeping demons in line.  He can appear younger or older, whatever fits the situation.  If not Vitas, then maybe Pyre’s father.  Wouldn’t it be fun if Sarah Michelle Gellar or Juliet Landau played Pyre’s mother?  The only other adults are pretty much Pyre’s grandfather, Juniper Bay (Kira’s childhood best friend’s mother), Kira’s father, and some of the other demons she meets.  I have lots of ideas for Pyre’s grandfather – he’s a character and really funny!  Michael Caine or Morgan Freeman for starters.  Johnny Depp is good in everything, no matter what role he plays!


Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Alex: Always follow your dreams.  I’m fortunate to have a lot of family support, but many authors don’t have that.  You can always improve as a writer, which doesn’t mean you aren’t a good writer.  No one is ever perfect, and everyone needs to keep learning and practicing — professional soccer players, musicians, or lawyers and accountants.  Yes, you do need another pair of eyes proofreading and editing.  I feel very comfortable with my skills at proofreading, but other people always find something I miss.  I think it’s because it’s in our heads too much.  We write the scenes, visualize them in our minds, give the dialogue voice in our heads.  Sometimes we imagine it a certain way, but that doesn’t always go from our minds to the paper.  Another pair of eyes will point out when we didn’t fully explain something, or find the continuity problems, etc.  That doesn’t mean you have to hire an expensive proofreader, editor, or other professionals.  You can get help from a qualified family member who will be honest and not worry about hurting feelings, or offer beta copies for readers.  Digital files are fine for beta reading, although giving a choice of digital or print is nice.  If you feel comfortable designing your own cover or asking someone you know who you feel is qualified, that’s great.  Go for it!  But run it by your street team, reader group, social media friends – other people basically.  Get their opinions.  Ask if it’s a cover that would get them to pick up the book to learn more.  If not, you might need someone else to design it for you, and there’s lots of reasonable or inexpensive ways to do that.  When you decide to hire a professional for your editing, cover, etc., make sure you compare prices and ask for recommendations.  It’s like anything else you buy.  I just read a post by an author in a social media group who paid three times the going rate for editing, thinking that was the market price.  Always check!


Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Alex:  I love my readers!  I do.  I love hearing from them.  I love to hear that a reader loves my books.  I especially love it when a teenager or child is reading the series and can’t get enough.  I enjoy getting to know readers.  It’s the best part of social media for me.  I answer everything personally, even if it takes me a few days at times.  Balancing my “day job”, family, writing, reading and everything else can be difficult, but I do my best.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Alex: I’m reading Phoenix by Daccari Buchelli at the moment.  I’m not sure what I’ll read next.  I’ve promised to read and review several, plus I’ve received some books as gifts or prizes through events.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Alex: My mother bought me a set of Disney books when I was little and taught me to read early.  She read them to me until I started reading on my own.  I loved Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast.  But my favorite childhood book was Charlotte’s Web.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Alex:  Children and animals.  I love to watch them act funny, cute or just having fun.  I hate to see them being mistreated.  Our dogs have such funny personalities.  We lost one of our dogs to liver cancer this year.  We love our dogs like family, and it was so hard for us.  She was a funny dog, fiercely protective and territorial, but scared of thunder.

 

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

Alex:  Only one?  Oh goodness.  I would love to meet Edgar Allan Poe.  He’s one of my many favorite authors.  I’d like to know what made him tick or how he came up with his works.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Alex:  I studied dance for several years and loved all types, but my favorite was modern/contemporary.  I still keep in practice when I have the time.  I’d love to take classes again.  Besides reading, I enjoy making jewelry and other crafts.  I also like visiting parks and walking trails or going to the gem and gold mines in the area to hunt for treasure.

 

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

Alex: I don’t watch much TV, and I miss a lot of the popular shows because I don’t have cable.  Some of my favorite TV shows past and present are Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Charmed, Moonlight, The Dresden Files, The Mentalist, Bones, and Big Bang Theory.  I also enjoy anime.  I started out watching Pokemon, Digimon and Yugioh.  I was watching a show called One Piece, but I’m in between shows at the moment.  I’ve been hearing a lot about Castlevania, and I do have Netflix, so when I get the time, I plan on watching it.  As for movies, far too many favorites, lol.  I like pretty much anything with Johnny Depp.  I liked the Twilight books and the movies, but some of the acting could’ve been better.  I love Harry Potter books and movies, the Marvel movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars.  I like horror, suspense, some romantic comedy, fantasy and some sci fi.

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Alex: Favorite foods include bacon cheeseburgers with fries, sliced cucumbers with a bit of salt, chicken alfredo, quesadillas, and sesame chicken.  Favorite colors are black, blue and red.  I have so many favorites when it comes to music, but I love Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling.  I like to have them playing in the background while I write.

 

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

Alex: That’s just too horrible to contemplate!  lol  If I could no longer write, I’d read more and get back into dance classes.  When I started college, I planned to be a dance teacher or an archaeologist.

 

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

Alex:  Wow, you ask the good questions!  I think either “She helped us see a better world.”  Or  “She really lived.”  I like that line from “Second Hand Lions.”

 

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

Alex: My website, with newsletter signup, is www.AlexECarey.com .  My social media are connected there under the contact tab.  The only blog I have is at Goodreads for the moment.

Alex with Buffy

 

Links for my books:

Amazon Author Page- http://amzn.to/2pQnqKh

Links for my books:

Amazon Author Page- http://amzn.to/2pQnqKh

The Elemental Series:

Fire’s Love, book 1 http://amzn.to/2t3tSz2

Earth’s Embrace, book 2 http://amzn.to/2t3VrrI

Water’s Reflection, book 3 http://amzn.to/2tfCarB#

Tales of the Fantastic: A Fantasy & Paranormal Sample Anthology

https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Fantastic-Fantasy-Paranormal-Anthology-ebook/dp/B073XKPYLR/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Alex%20E.%20Carey%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/alex-e-carey/id735869044?mt=11

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?query=Alex%20E.%20Carey&fcsearchfield=Author

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/671579?ref=AlexECarey

Alex: Thank you so much for the wonderful interview!  It was my pleasure and I hope your readers enjoyed it.  If you or anyone has any questions, you’re welcome to contact me through my website, social media, or by email.  I hope you all have a magical day!

Here is my interview with Elizabeth Stephens

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! So happy you could have me. My name is Elizabeth Stephens, though my friends call me Ellie, and I’m 25 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

That’s a surprisingly hard question to answer! I was raised in Bamako, Mali in West Africa as well as Atlanta, Georgia and Seattle, Washington. Home right now is Johannesburg, South Africa.

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

As mentioned, I’ve grown up with wanderlust and as a result, have it bred into my bones. Since I graduated from George Washington University in DC, I have moved to Cairo, Paris, Beirut, Geneva, Berlin, and Johannesburg and have gone on mission through my job to places across the globe from Senegal to Kazakhstan to Bali. It’s been an awesome time, though writing has been my constant throughout. I try to incorporate the places I’ve been and the languages I speak into the books that I write, but often find myself loving the ambiguity of settings. You’ll find that in my most recent novel, The Hunting Town, which draws on the familiarity of places I’ve lived without naming any of them outright. You’ll have to read it to see if you recognize anything 😉

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m so thrilled to be able to announce the upcoming release of my newest novel, The Hunting Town. The Hunting Town is a romantic suspense featuring kick ass leading ladies, hot Alphas, the mafia and a diverse cast in a small town setting. The official release date is July 16th. A blurb is as follows:

Drugs, cartels, the mafia. Pain, greed, and revenge. When an unexpected murder brings the Russian mob down on their heads, five brothers brought together by the foster system will have to forge a bond deeper than blood if they want to stay alive, defend their town, and protect the women they love.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 11 because of an American Girl Doll – of all things! In order to get an American Girl Doll, my mom told me I needed to read all of the books that came with the doll first. When I wanted a look-alike doll, my mom told me I needed to write my own story. I’ve been writing ever since.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I first considered myself a writer after the publication of my first book. It was such a monumental moment and as a result, I now find myself in a publishing whirlwind. I have two published science fiction romance books, Population and Saltlands. The Hunting Town is my newest release and its sequel is well under production. I also have a Young Adult urban fantasy, paranormal romance that’s going into editing now and should be published this December.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first complete novel was actually the Young Adult book I mentioned, titled The Rougarou. I was inspired to write to write the book over five years ago after having read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and Hush, Hush by Bella Fitzpatrick. The book originally began as a general novel in that genre but quickly spiraled into the tale of a young woman of Acadian Cajun ancestry battling monsters of Cajun folklore – rougaroux – above and below the streets of Paris!

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title for The Hunting Town came about through some serious thinking. The town originally had a name, but because I didn’t want it to be related to any real cities, I then changed it – and the title – to describe the book more aptly. The Hunting Town tells the story of five brothers trying to protect the women they love, and being hunted by the Russian mafia and a Mexican cartel in the process.

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

I can’t say that I have a particular writing style. Rather, for The Hunting Town, tried to make sure that I held true to each character’s voice as the book is told from multiple perspectives. Trying to ensure that even without chapter titles telling you who is speaking, the chapter style still stood out on its own and had its own unique voice was certainly the biggest challenge.

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

Most of my books are based on research and fantasy so the short answer to your question is, very little at all!

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

As I mentioned, I try to rely on past experiences but no, I have yet to travel as part of the process to research a book – though I would like to take a trip to Louisiana to help facilitate the writing of The Rougarou.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Amygdala Art has designed all of my book covers. Ida, the designer there that I work with regularly, is punctual, creative, and has very keen attention to detail. She comes with my two thumbs up, five star recommendation.

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

Yes, though it is quite subtle. I am an author of color and you’ll notice quite quickly that so many of my characters are of varying racial, ethnic – even national and linguistic – backgrounds. I hope one day that opening any mainstream novel, I’ll find dark-skinned women or Native American Indian men alongside the traditional blonde bombshell or tan, dark-haired Alpha.


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?

JR Ward is hands down my favorite author of late. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is, in part, what inspired the writing of The Hunting Town. I love the way she introduced us to characters through various perspectives and is something I continue to aspire to emulate in my upcoming novels.

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

I suppose boyfriend counts as family (when you’ve been dating for five years and own an apartment together), so in this case, I would have to name Mickie Nowinski. Mickie is my best friend and has been since high school. She not only helped me organize my very first book launch party, but also sat and sold books with me for hours at my last book fair and continues to help me with the design of all of my book covers.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I definitely see writing as a career! The better question is whether I see it as a career for me. I want to write and publish and I am 100 percent certain that I always will, however, I do also enjoy working in a traditional office. I often find that if I have too much time to write, then I get writer’s block – the irony!

That said, I also won’t deny that earning enough money from my writing to be able to hire a PA and possibly work a lot less at my “day job”, would make me very, very happy.


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

There are always things I would change, so this is too hard a question to answer! Every time I open one of my books, there are always small edits to make. But substantial edits – no way!

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

As mentioned, The Hunting Town is riddled with different languages. I can now say that I have a decent mastery of basic Russian greetings and sayings, and a whole plethora of new Spanish curse words.

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

I think there may be too many leads in my book-turned-movie to pick just one! What I can tell you for certain though, is that I’d definitely want Charlie Hunnam in there somewhere 😉

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing! Keep experimenting! Write for yourself and be proud of everything you put out there.

For more practical advice for aspiring authors, you can find a complete guide to self publishing on my website. The best part is that it’s free! https://www.booksbyelizabeth.com/how-to-self-publish

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Love hard and read on!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished reading His Stole Bride book I. It was epic and totally kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m just about to start

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No! Such a funny question. I remember reading a book about witches in the first grade, but that’s about as specific as it gets. The first book I can remember loving is Abarat by Clive Barker.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My friends and their crazy antics make me laugh. Touching romances, women’s empowerment, and commercials about animal shelters all make me cry. So does the news most days.

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

JK Rowling! She is my heroine. And is the closest I’ll ever get to meeting Hermoine.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Writing I consider both a passion and a hobby as well as hopefully, one day, a career. I also love wheel-thrown ceramics, though I’m out of practice by about half a year!

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

Comedies are a big favorite – The Office, Parks and Recreation, Silicon Valley. I also have been sucked into Mr. Robot, House of Cards, and Orange is the New Black recently.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

My favorite food is Macaroni and Cheese, color is yellow, and music is indie. My favorite band right now is Glass Animals.

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

I would have to draw all of the crazy things that come to me in my dreams J

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

Loved, and was loved in return.

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

 

Absolutely! Please visit my website at https://www.booksbyelizabeth.comto find out information on my past books. You can also sign up to my newsletter and get the first chapter of Saltlands and The Hunted Rise, free! https://www.booksbyelizabeth.com/contact

Alternatively, you can follow me on Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/elizabethstephens

Or on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13751508.Elizabeth_Stephens

Purchase links for The Hunting Town:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2s9Vwsw

Kobo Books – https://www.kobo.com/za/en/ebook/the-hunting-town-brothers-vol-i

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-hunting-town-brothers-vol-i/id1252300529?mt=11

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ELStephens

Website – https://www.booksbyelizabeth.com

Purchase links for Population:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1ck1uix

Kobo Books – https://www.kobo.com/za/en/ebook/population-4

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/population/id977024315?mt=11

Google Play – https://books.google.co.za/books/about?id=mv96BwAAQBAJ&hl=en