Here is my interview with Alice Renaud

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 Alice Renaud.  I grew up without the Internet and I’m old enough to remember when the Berlin Wall fell.

Fiona: Where are you from?

 I’m from Brittany, a beautiful region in Western France.

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

I was born and brought up in Brittany, Western France, my father was French and my mother British (from Wales). I moved to London, UK, in 1997, where I now live with my husband and son. I work full time as a compliance specialist in a pharmaceutical company.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news

 My first book, A Merman’s Choice, was published in January by Black Velvet Seductions. The second book in the series, Music for a Merman, is now with my publisher so I hope it will come out by the end of the year. I am currently working on a short story to be published in a supernatural anthology, to come out in time for Halloween. It’s about witches and I’m really excited about it.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

When I read “The Lord of the Rings”, aged 12, I thought “I want to write stories like that.” I started to write my first story (a sprawling, way too ambitious fantasy saga) at 14.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I considered myself a writer from the time I started writing – even though I was only writing for myself at first.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Years ago, when I was still living with my parents in Brittany, I saw a group of men come out of the sea. They’d been swimming, and they were wearing full-body wetsuits, with palms on their feet. It made me imagine shape-shifting mermen who could switch between an aquatic shape (with legs but webbed hands and feet) and the human form.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I started with a completely different title, then as I was writing the story I saw that it’s all about the choice that the hero Yann has to make – between his love for the human Alex, and his duty to his family and Clan, who want him to marry one of his kind.

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

 I like poetic descriptions, images and metaphors. It suits the genre I write, which is fantasy/paranormal romance, but I’ve had to rein myself in a bit – I’ve learnt that long, flowery descriptions slow the story down, and not all images work.

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

Alex suffers from anxiety and a phobia of water following a near-drowning experience. I used to suffer from acute anxiety and panic attacks, so that’s something of me I put in the book.

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

I travel mostly in my head. A lot of my inspiration comes from places which are familiar to me – Brittany where I grew up, Wales that I visit every year, London where I live.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Jessica Greeley at Black Velvet Seductions, a very talented artist.

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

  I thought the novel was mostly about gaining confidence and overcoming your fears. Readers seem to focus more on the conflict between personal desires and family obligations – that’s great, as they’re finding things in the story I didn’t know were there.

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 like the work of the other Black Velvet Seductions authors, for example Callie Carmen. I like the way she sweeps you up in the story so you feel, laugh and cry with the characters. She gives good baddie too. I also like Jan Selbourne’s historical novels, Dee S Knight’s steamy books, Patricia Elliott and Suzanne Smith’s original romances… I could go on!

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

 My tutor and editor, Laurie Sanders. I wouldn’t have got published without her.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, although it’s also an expensive hobby.

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

No, but I would give more thought as to which point of view I should write from. I wrote an entire chapter in the POV of the heroine before realizing that the poor hero hadn’t had a look in for 7,000 words!

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

 That characters have minds of their own – I start off thinking they’re going to do something and they end up doing something else I hadn’t thought about.

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

A young, gorgeous, talented, completely unknown Welsh actor.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write what you want to write, what inspires you, what you would enjoy reading. Make the book as good as you can, take writing classes, find critique partners or pay an editor. If it’s good, someone will publish it and readers will buy it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 I hope you enjoy visiting the inside of my head. Come on in, the water’s lovely!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. It’s a great historical novel about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages. I love historical novels and read also non fiction history books.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No but I remember looking at a picture book and feeling frustrated because I could understand the images, but I couldn’t read the words. It was about a yellow duckling. My mother says I could read at four years old, so I must have been very young.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

At the moment we’re watching a comedy called Timewasters, about a jazz band who travel back in time. It’s silly but very funny and the story I’m working on has got time travelling, so it’s… timely. What makes me cry is the state of politics at the moment in the UK and elsewhere in the world. It’s enough to make me switch off the news and go back to looking at pictures of cats on the Internet.

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

 I would have loved to meet Nelson Mandela. He was such an inspiring person.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Writing!

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

My husband and I love fantasy, sci-fi, and historical series and films. We’ve just finished watching “The Last Kingdom” that we adored. Big men on horses with big swords. Sigh.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 Pancakes, chips, blue and green, classical music is my favourite but I also like upbeat pop music and country & western.

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

Go mad.

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

With my family, best friends, and priest, and making sure all my papers and will are in order. Also, planning my funeral.Although I do that anyway. I’ve got it all worked out, including the hymns and what my husband should do with my ashes.

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

She tried to make the world a slightly better place.

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

You can stalk me on the following sites:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alicerauthor

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alice-renaud-author-4219b6166/

MeWe: https://mewe.com/profile/5b3fcdea7e3b840f5c10b0b0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18670218.Alice_Renaud

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alice-renaud

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Book buy links: https://amzn.to/2QglyeI
https://books2read.com/u/31xw7a

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Here is my interview with Ashley Soames

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 author name is Ashley Soames, I choose my fathers middle names as he showed me that with persistence, determination and hard work you can achieve anything.

My father was a Jewish refugee and became a world, renowned, Professor.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news. 

I am currently writing the sequel to my first novel.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I was 13 when I stole a ‘Nancy Friday’ book, out of my father’s office. The first story I wrote was approximately 30,000 words, My genre has always been erotica with explicit sex scenes. Writing was my way of escaping from the person I didn’t want to be.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was 13, my father said my writing was remarkable and he thought I could be a writer of erotica.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My experiences and E L James.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I was trying to think of another way to describe ‘sugar daddy’ relationships that didn’t have the same stigma. When I saw a website called Seeking an Arrangement, I realised that this was what I was writing about and so ‘An Alternative Arrangement’ was named.

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

I write in first person-present tense, it can be challenging to describe a persons emotions, in this way.

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

This book is very realistic, what parts come from my own experiences and what parts come from women I have known, is a secret.

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

No, I like to be in the same place when possible.

Fiona: Who designed the covers? 

I designed them, using Canva.

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

Women in arrangements, otherwise known as contractual relationships; are just normal women trying to find their own way, to live their best life.

I wanted to represent this kind of relationship and the people who choose it, in a different perspective, in the same way ‘Pretty Woman’ did back in the 90’s.

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 love E L James, I really felt like I understood what Anastasia was feeling, as if she was a friend and I was a part of her life.

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

Amazon and KDP.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, at the moment I work full time, however the goal is to be able to live off my books, blog and website.

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

No, I revised it 5 times and took 3 years writing it.

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

Always have a similar book to read, in the same genre.

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

Deborah Ann Woll, best known for her role as Jessica Hamby on True Blood

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t try to write in chronological order. When you have an idea, turn it into a short paragraph, write down short phrases and descriptive words and listen to the way characters speak in films.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers? 

When you find yourself struggling, stop and take a breather. Go outside if you can, take a look around and refresh your mind. When I can’t get outside I look through holiday brochures and imagine being on a beach or safarie. I find just thinking about something else helps to clear my mind and then I can move forward.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Host – Stephanie Myers

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Well no, I was probably only 3, but the first book that had an impact on me was by Nancy Friday’s ‘Women on Top’.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I cry when I feel sad and I laugh when I find something funny.

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

Madonna, she is my idol, her courage to act how she wants and not allow her haters to wear her down, is a constant source of inspiration.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies? 

No I spend my free time, writing.

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

Horror films help me to switch off and escape the world for a while. My favourite horror film currently, is AMERICAN MARY written and directed by Canadian identical twin sister writing and directing duo, Jen and Sylvia Soska, known as the “Twisted Twins“.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music? 

I love Thai food, shell fish and cheesecake. My favorite color is orange and I love Funky House and all Madonna music.

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

Sing in a choir.

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

I can’t answer that one.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone? 

I don’t want a head stone, I want to be cremated and scattered into the sea.

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

yes https://analternativearrangement.com/line

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/embed?linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_zCqhFhzh7Hk6SQ&asin=B07J49DW9N&tag=kpembed-20&amazonDeviceType=A2CLFWBIMVSE9N&from=Bookcard&preview=inline

 

Here is my interview with Shalini P. Sawkar

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

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

I’m Shalini P. Sawkar, 26 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Bangalore, India.

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

I’m a computer science-engineering graduate from MSRIT. I stay with my parents, grandmother and a younger sister.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Currently working on a few short stories.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 10. I lost a couple of friends as a kid, and I think writing sort of helped me cope with it. Besides, as a ten year old I found it pretty cool to work on a secret project!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

15th January 2017, when my first story was published in a magazine, and I saw my words in print!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I think the character of Jay came to me first, and I could create the rest of the tale around him.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

At first, I planned to name it—The Last Call. Later, I felt‘The Murder Of Jay Shekhar’ was more appropriate a name for the story.

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

I like to add an element of surprise in my stories—like a twist in the end, or an unexpected revelation. When it comes to thrillers I think the challenging part is to make sure the punch in the scene has the right effect. If it doesn’t shock me, it wouldn’t shock anyone else. So the challenge in the process is to surprise myself.

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

I think every story is made of part fiction and part real life experience, and the same holds true for me as a writer. The crime scene in The Murder Of Jay Shekhar is fictional, not based on a real life incident. But, the descriptions of places Bangalore, Goa and Ramnagar are drawn from my experience.

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

Well, my travels do come in handy when I sit to write. For instance, I did stay at a Baroque styled golf resort in Goa and I could rely on that information while writing the book. But I wouldn’t call it essential, and I have not travelled solely for that purpose.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

A talented cover design artist named Merril Anil, whom I was introduced to by my publisher, Arup Bose.

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

Yes, there is… I’ll let the readers find it. And all I can say is, ‘Do you really think you know everyone that you know?’

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

I have been reading a lot of Preeti Shenoy and Novoneel Chakraborty lately. The characters and stories are easily relatable, the stories are gripping and they keep me turning pages.

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

Friends! Grateful to have a wonderfulcircle of friends who’ve been a constant source of encouragement and support in my journey as a writer.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do.

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

I wouldn’t change the existing one. But, I would add a scene.

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

I learnt that I have more fun writing on the go, rather than extensively planning it.Also, that I can finish what I begin.

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

I would like Rajkumar Rao to play the role of Arjun Shekhar.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Some days are going to be tougher than others… Trust yourself, and keep moving ahead.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you guys for picking up my book! I would love to know your thoughts on it. They mean a lot to me. Hence, after you give it a read, kindly drop me a message/ review.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Huckleberry Finn, and for some reason I did not like it at all. I’m just glad I didn’t stop reading.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Books and movies can easily do that to me.

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

Sidney Sheldon. I loved reading his books that revolved around strong independent women in my formative years.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I like to paint sometimes, supervised by my sister.

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

Lucifer is my current favourite show. I’m a huge fan of Game Of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina among others.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love anything that has cheese or chocolate in it. Colour, I would say maroon. Music, any latest number.

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

I would take up another craft—painting or dancing.

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

Wear a vibrant dress, travel to a place I’ve never been, eat a gourmet meal and not skip dessert, spend time with my loved ones and leave them a handwritten note…

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

Ilive through my stories.

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

www.shalinipsawkar.wordpress.comandwww.shalinipsawkar.wixsite.com/shalinipsawkar

Also, all my social media handles:
Instagram: @shalinipsawkar

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/shalinipsawkar

The Murder Of Jay Shekhar:
https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Jay-Shekhar-Shalini-Sawkar-ebook/dp/B07FDW9N23/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+murder+of+jay+shekhar&qid=1552654030&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Fantasia Divinity Magazine, Issue 11:
https://www.amazon.com/Fantasia-Divinity-Magazine-Issue-June/dp/154725615X/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=fantasia+divinity+magazine&qid=1552654107&s=gateway&sr=8-6

This is the link to My Amazon Page:
https://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=shalini+p+sawkar

Here is my interview with Justina Luther

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?

Hey, y’all and thank you Ms. Fiona for letting me take part in your blog today. My name is Justina Luther and I’m 27 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally I’m from Missouri, but when I was growing up my family moved so often that now I simply say I’m from the USA. My mom was in retail and very good at her job. When a store was having issues the company she worked for would move her in as the manager to clean things up and then off we’d move again.

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

Due to moving so often, my parents offered me the option of being home schooled when I was going into the third grade and I took it. From then on, my classroom was wherever I was and I was able to have many unique experiences such as modelling from the ages of 12-15. My folks have quite an age gap between them with my father being the elder of the two. From his previous marriage I have two older siblings, one brother and one sister who are actually my mom’s age. Yes, that is both as odd and not as odd as it sounds. I suppose it’s one of those things that when you grow up with it, it’s just normal. Since they were both out of the house by the time I was born I always tell people I’m both the oldest (Mom’s side) and the youngest (Dad’s side) and an only child with siblings. I love to watch the gears turn in people’s heads while they try to figure out what I just said.

In my spare time, I love to read, craft, cook, hang out with my family, and play with my pets of which I have three. One calico cat, one rescue dog, and one red eared slider turtle.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have so many projects I’m thrilled about right now! My debut novel Would You Have Believed Me? which is #1 of my YA/NA suspenseful thriller series Step into Darkness is publishing on May 10’th of this year. The sequel, Gut Check, will be publishing in November and I have a Christmas Romance novella publishing in December. I’m also working on several shorts that will be appearing in six anthologies my publisher Crazy Ink is doing.

A day or two ago I signed up for a NaNo writing camp and decided to make my goal drafting the final three of the anthology shorts. The thing I didn’t take into consideration is that the camp take’s place in the middle of edits for two other projects. I may be slightly insane by the end of camp, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in the first grade, so I was about six. Some of our assignments would be to write a little story about a picture, or something of that nature, and I just found that I really enjoyed it. I adored not being constrained by what is. I could make any world or situation I wanted to and as a little kid with a huge imagination I loved that this was a positive outlet for me.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I know that a lot of writers have that “I am now a writer moment,” but I really never did. It was always just a part of me. In the second grade, my teacher pulled my parents in for a meeting to show them a Halloween story I had written. It was a Horror piece, which is ironic given that’s one of two genres I mostly avoid now, and she told them that my ability in writing was unique and they needed to nurture it. Had I been older, that would have been my moment but because of my age it was just, “Okay, I love this and the adults say I’m good at it. Let’s keep going with this.”

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Would You Have Believed Me? actually started as a short story I wrote when I was around 14 years old. What inspired it was the age gap between my parents. You see, my earliest memory is of finding my grandfather after he had passed away. I wasn’t quite 2 and my dad found my grandpa while I was toddling after him , so the idea of death of a loved one has always sort of been with me. Because of their age gap, the thought of my dad passing away when I was still a kid really freaked me out. So, I took it and put it into a story to see how I might handle the worst situation I could imagine being in. And thus, the Step into Darkness series was born.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I always try to have the title tie into my work in some obvious way. I hate a vague title and my original one was terrible. It was something like What’s What? and I still don’t know what I was thinking. A couple years after I wrote the short story version, I found a website for kids that had a lot of shows I liked at the time, and it had games and message boards. Some of the message boards were for chatting, some were for nonfiction pieces, and then there were the fiction boards. Up to that point I had never shown my work to anyone that didn’t have a reason to be nice to me and I was curious to see what people might think. So, I grabbed a couple of stories I had already finished and started posting them. I intended to just put them up as they were, but quickly learned it’s impossible not to edit my work as I’m going through it. So I started to lengthen them. The thing was, I wasn’t getting any readers. I  started looking at what stories on the message boards were getting the most traction and found the common thread was that the titles were all questions and well-formed ones at that. So, What’s What? became Would You Have Believed Me?

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

I always have a hard time saying I have a style because I simply try to give my all. I write clean fiction but I don’t shy away from the darkness in life and I try to be as vivid as I can without being graphic or gory. I want my readers in the middle of it all. If a knife is coming at the character, I want my readers to flinch and pull away. If that’s a style, I have no name for it.

I don’t stick to any one genre so there are difficulties in each new one I try. I also don’t usually take scenarios from my own life, so doing my best to get the emotions right can be a challenge. Getting the mechanical details of situations I haven’t been in can be hard too, but I research as much as I can and try my best.

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

Zero. I will sometimes think of emotions I’ve felt at certain times, like my greatest moments of fear or sadness, and channel that into my writing but it’s not ever been due to the same terrible situations I’m putting my characters through. As for having it be based off of someone I know that’s also not the case. However, I did have a friend who read the short story version of my novel and tell me she had been in a very similar situation and that I had nailed the emotions. I was floored to hear that because I had no clue she had been through something so traumatic.

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

So far, I have not. I do adore using Google Earth, though. I can pull up the exact area I’m writing about and practically walk the streets. I usually will create a fictional town so I can fudge it just a bit without getting myself into trouble with anyone who lives there. Google Earth is truly my favorite research tool as an author.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I worked with my publisher Crazy Ink to design the cover for my debut, the sequel, and I will for any other book I do as well. I love the process and that I get to be so involved. When designing a cover, my publisher will send me a link of a stock photo website and I’ll basically go through with my cover in mind and pick what I like. I then send them a document with the links to the images, suggestions for where I want them on the cover, plus any changes I want to the colors of certain details, and they buy the images take them and make it one-hundred times better than I pictured.

They designed the covers for the anthologies I’ll be in as well although I wasn’t involved in creating those. I have never seen one cover they’ve done that I haven’t wanted on my bookshelf. They are all gorgeous.

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

 This message is more for the Step into Darkness series as a whole, but it’s hope. That there is always hope, in absolutely any and every situation no matter what. No matter how dark things seem, there’s a thread of hope for you to grab onto. Don’t let it go. Hope, in some form, is the one theme I want in absolutely every story I write.

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?

Most of the new authors I’ve met recently are in my to be read pile so I can’t fairly say they’ve grabbed me yet. My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon. In my opinion, she is the queen of detailed writing which I admire. She also writes very vivid characters.

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

Outside of people, that would be God. He’s the one who gave me this ability and goes before me to prepare the way.

There are three big ones that come to mind with this as far as people, though, and I can’t pick. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Alcorn was the first one to notice my ability and encourage my parents to help me get where I am today. I tried to find her when my book was first accepted by Crazy Ink, but I was sadly unable to.

Tied for second place in this would be my friend Donna L. H. Smith who is herself an author (check her out, please) and helped me pick up and put the pieces back together after the first editor I worked with told me no publisher would want to work with me.Tied with her is my best friend Nicole who has read every version of everything I’ve written since we met.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! It’s the only career I’ve ever wanted.

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

I’m getting my first round of edits on it soon, so I expect I will be changing a few things.

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

 Oh goodness, more things than I can count. This book started when I was 14 so it’s been over a decade of process. I think the biggest lesson is not to give up.

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

 I honestly have no idea. I have such specific ideas of the characters in mind that I wonder if any actor could embody them properly. I know that must sound nutty, but it’s honest.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Do not give up. Take a break and regroup after a setback, but always keep hope in the back of your mind. Always say I will get there eventually. Don’t put a time limit on it or tell yourself there is only one path. If you do, you will give up or miss the path meant for you.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thank you for taking some of your time and resources to give me and my work a chance. For every person who shares about, buys, reads, or reviews my book you’re taking part in supporting my dreams and that means a lot to me.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 My current obsession is actually a series of story based games by Lovestruck. It’s basically a series of visual novels that one makes different choices throughout the story to change the outcome. I’m switching between that and traditional novels, but I’m a bit obsessed with this game.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I can’t say for sure, but I *think* it was a book of Bible stories for children.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 My own clumsiness, being suddenly surprised, funny sounding words, puns, or physical comedy. I’m a giggly person in general so making me laugh isn’t difficult.

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

 Marilyn Monroe. There is such a difference of opinion among books I’ve read about her that I’d be curious to see what she was like from her own mouth when it wasn’t an act for public consumption.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I love to craft, I make about half of my own swag and my friend Ashli makes the rest with her company You, Me, & Benny. I also love to cook, make homemade beauty products, and sing. I love anything creative. I love cars and car shows too.

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

 I enjoy a mix between historical documentaries, current dramas, and various reality TV shows as far as TV is concerned. It depends on my mood. For movies, it’s a lot of the same. My mom absolutely loves movies and I was raised on old movies so I adore a musical or a mystery.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 I love to create healthy hacks for pasta, pizza, or desserts.So, I suppose I’d say my favorite food is a well done healthy hack. Favoritecolor is any jewel tone because those are the easiest for me to wear. I also love a neutral. Favorite music is another thing that depends on my mood. I’m basically happy with anything but rap or screaming metal.

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

 I would probably pursue something in the way of starting my own company based around natural beauty products or maybe get into the restaurant business. It would for sure be some way of turning another of my passions into a business.

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

 As often as this answer is given, I’m sure, I say I’d spend it with the people the closest to me. Not for myself, but for them. After I’m gone, I believe I’ll be in a place far more beautiful than I can imagine, but they’ll still be here. I’d want to give them a little happy while I still can. (And now I’m crying. Haha)

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

 She couldn’t sleep without a peep and so we buried her down deep.~ Constance Norring (Sorry, my other answer made me sad so I had to lighten the mood, although it would be a funny rhyme or pun.)

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

 Readers can find my updates in all of these places:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JustinaLuther  aka @JustinaLuther

FB Author Page:https://www.facebook.com/authorjustinaluther/

FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ForTheLoveOfStories/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8600970-justina-luther

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07HR3PQJH

Blog: www.justinaluther.wordpress.com

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/4166988090

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/justinaluther/

Amazon book link for Would You Have Believed Me?: http://mybook.to/WouldYouBelievedCI

 

Here is my interview with Clay Ceel


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?

Clay Ceel: I’m Clay Ceel and I’m 27 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Clay Ceel: I’m from Western Kenya. I come from a scenic town called Kakamega which accommodates my native home.

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

Clay Ceel: I received my elementary education from Kakamega Primary School and proceeded to St. Ignatius Mukumu Boys High School. I later on finished my O-level studies at St. Monica School. I then joined Nairobi Aviation College for a Diploma in Computer Programming. In 2014, I got a Degree scholarship to study Business English as an international course at the Birmingham University in the UK. I received this decorated scholarship after winning a Writing Award in Britain in the year 2014. I was born and raised in a polygamous family. I was nursed up under a strict tie of parental tutelage especially from my father who was a politician back in the days. As the lastborn child in the family, I had a snatch of experience to act and behave with a great disposition of myself without clinging onto my parental wagon for succour. I received an equal share of love and affection from my both parents, siblings, relatives and friends. I instilled the best values within me while still young and I discovered my writing talent when I was only 12 years old. My family believed in my writing talent and they offered me the best moral support that I needed to forge ahead and carve out a great destiny for my writing career.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Clay Ceel: I’m currently working on my 12th novel and my 234th article on lifestyle and fashion, and four more international biographies for clients in Australia and the UK. Two of them are politicians and the other two are corporate tycoons who are great friends in my life. I have also been promoted to the position of the Assistant Editor for the Magazine that I write for in Canada. Again, I have got a Degree scholarship to study Computer Programming from a UK-based University. Over and above, I was recently certified as a Project Writer for the South Sudanese Government after writing six successful UN Projects in Juba last year and a biography for President Salva Kiir who turned out to be a great friend in my life.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Clay Ceel: I began writing articles and poems when I was 12 years old. I felt the massive flow of creativity within me and I knew I’m destined to be an Author. My writing career had its share of challenges but I always perceived those challenges as forms of primary motivation. My teachers of English were also amazed with my creativity and writing styles which I creatively reflected in my essays.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Clay Ceel: When my articles were accepted and published in an American Magazine. I was only 14 years old by then. And at 16, my books had already begun being published in the U.S.A and the UK with worldwide distribution.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Clay Ceel: My first book is entitled The Strength of a Woman and I wrote it when I was 16 years old and dedicated it to the internationally distinguished Oprah Winfrey from the U.S.A. The book is published by theAmerica Star Books in the U.S.A. My inspiration behindwriting that book was the power that I saw in women. Women have a tangible grasp of their own abilities in life and most of them have always proved to be headstrong and able minds just like men in every sense of life. Most modern women are playing the same roles as men in various aspects of life and that is why I had to honour them through the written word. Modern women are indeed equal to men in every angle of life and our societal values and norms have to respect this.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Clay Ceel: I came up with the title based on what I knew could convey a sharp sense of feminineacknowledgment to male chauvinism.

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

Clay Ceel: My writing style is modern. I embody a creative workforce solely from my own creative mind and experiences of life that I deem necessary to intertwine with everything there is to be written about.

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

Clay Ceel: 100% of the message of the book is realistic and the experiences that bred the creativity of this book cut across various grids of the women species from all walks of life.

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

Clay Ceel: Writing is a fine art that gets life from a creative mind. I mostly write my books when I’m in the house. This is because I need to concentrate in a peaceful and quiet place because concentration leads to a clear mind.That is how I nurture my ideal mindso that my creativity may be encouraged to serve me better. Writing is full of artful precision with mercurial grammatical conventions that spur an exciting art form in our daily lives. I can squeeze any tidy nugget of an idea into the cracks of my creativity and string it into sensible paragraphs from any place in the world.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Clay Ceel: The covers were designed by Orion Media in the UK.

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

Clay Ceel: Yes. The message is that women are equal to men in every sense of life and we should break away from pristine ideologies that placed women below men.

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?

Clay Ceel: Yes. Lianne Van Der Schot is a young Dutch Writer and her creativity is beyond words. She is a personal friend and she is naturally talented. Her works are super amazing. My favourite Writer is Ben Carson and what strikes me about his writings is the way he approaches social issues and turns them into life changing moments.

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

Clay Ceel: The internationally distinguished Oprah Winfreyfrom the U.S.A supported my writing talent and she is still supporting it up to now.President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya have also supported me a great deal together with other great friends around the word.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Clay Ceel: Yes. It’s a great career and it pays well when you deal with the best Publishers and clients around the world. Working internationally pays well than working locally and you will always have a leeway to make your own paycheck.

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

Clay Ceel: No. My book won me an international Book Award in the U.S.A in 2017 and it received world acclaim, and it’s perfect just the way it is.

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

Clay Ceel: Yes. I learnt that my readers appreciate every word that I put down in a book and that in itself has been a great encouragement in my life. So far, my books have not been negatively criticized by anyone and that speaks well of my writing career.

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

Clay Ceel: Meghan Heffern. I know she can deliver her best dramatic scenes.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Clay Ceel: Becoming a published Author is a journey. Link up yourself with like minds and strive to make your writings unique. Get connections around the world and turn your pieces of writing and talent into an all time masterpiece.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Clay Ceel: They should expect more amazing works of creativity from me because I’m young and I still have a lot to write to embrace their spirit of readership.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Clay Ceel: Sharp Turn by Marriane Delacourt.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Clay Ceel: Yes. It was entitled Gifted Hands by Ben Carson.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?            

Clay Ceel: I’m not really a crying type of guy but I can laugh over anything amusing just to excite my kidneys. And what makes me tick is holding onto the dream that someday I will become one of the great Authors in the world and help nurture other young Writers around the world.

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

Clay Ceel: Yes. I would love to meet Ben Carson because he inspired a large fraction of my writing career. I have talked to him over the phone several times but we have never met. He is a great Author and I’m intelligently inheriting his literary footsteps.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Clay Ceel: Yes. Reading professional literature on better ways of growing my professional skills and researching on issues of national interest and global concern. I also guide and counsel the youths on proper behaviour as I engineer life coaching lessons in their lives.

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

Clay Ceel: I enjoy watching film series that are action-based.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Clay Ceel: I love buttermilk pancake stacks served with fresh whipped cream, dusted with icing sugar and a scoop of izen.My favourite colour is blue which is the colour of hope and my favourite musical genre is trap music which resonates well with my way of life.

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

Clay Ceel: I will turn into a Soldier because it was once my dream job.

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

Clay Ceel: I would creatively piece together my final book with a pitch of splendour.

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

Clay Ceel: A self-motivated Writer of all times.

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

Clay Ceel: Well, I run a blog. The url is www.clayceelblog.wordpress.com. It has manyinspirational articles that can motivate readers from all walks of life. And my email address is clayceel@yahoo.com for those who may wish to contact me for anything.

 

 

 

Here is my interview with Sally Berneathy

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 Sally Berneathy. That’s my real name, my birth name. It’s three syllables long, hard to spell, hard to pronounce, and hard to remember. So why did I decide to use it instead of an easier pseudonym when I began publishing mysteries in 2011? Of course there’s a story! When I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette and other traditional publishers in the ‘90s, I used a pseudonym or my married name…Sally Steward. It took me three long years to divorce Mr. Steward. I was so thrilled to get my real name back, I had to use it. The good news is…I’m the only Sally Berneathy out there!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in McAlester, Oklahoma, a small town in southeastern Oklahoma in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. I got to Texas as soon as I could, having heard from my Texas mother how much bigger and better everything was down there. I lived in Dallas until I married Mr. Steward and moved to Kansas City. I always thought Dallas winters were too long and too cold. I am not fond of the weather in Kansas City, but my friends are here now.

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

After going to night school for 18 years, I accidentally graduated. (There’s a story there.) I have a BA in literature, one of the least marketable degrees around.

I’ve been a legal secretary, a paralegal, a real estate salesman, a writer for FEMA, a computer programmer, and a novelist. I prefer to think of myself as multi-talented instead of flaky. Writing books is the most fun career I’ve ever had, and it’s by far the hardest.

During my childhood, our favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When I went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, I got a story. That could be because everybody in my family sings like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but they sure could tell stories. I listened in awe as my mother, father, aunt and uncle told stories.

This story-telling gene goes back at least one more generation that I know of. My paternal grandfather died 4 years before I was born. But I know him from all the family stories. He was a larger than life red-headed, red-bearded Irishman. He lived in Louisiana at a time when political rallies were the primary entertainment. He would drive his flat-bed wagon pulled by a team of mules to the back of a gathering crowd. When everybody was gathered and before the political speaker took the stage, Granddad would stand up in his wagon and start “spinning yarns.” He had the crowd. The political speaker had to wait until Granddad finished his performance.

I was in the third grade when I took my first official stab at being a story teller. We had to do book reports, take a living, breathing book and tear it down to bare bones then analyze the skeleton. I hated that,so I decided to write my own story. My teacher gave me an A and read my work to the class. They listened in awe, and suddenly I had become the storyteller. I was in awe of their awe.

I took a lot of literature classes in college because I love reading, but I didn’t like writing papers. Fortunately my professors would usually let me do something creative instead of a boring paper. Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite writers, but the idea of comparing and contrasting symbolism, allegory, and imagery in two of his short stories made me shudder. Instead I wrote The Case of Budweiser, a parody of The Cask of Amontillado.Although Poe doesn’t seem to be a humorous type guy, I like to believe he would have laughed had he read my work.

I took journalism and writing classes and won awards in both fields, published short stories and poetry in college and literary magazines, then sold a few “true confession” stories to magazines. That was another turning point. Somebody paid me money for my stories. What if I could make a living telling stories and entertaining others the way my family had entertained me on those long-ago summer evenings?

In 1988 I decided the time had come to write a best-selling novel. I never once questioned my ability to do that. The only question was what I should write about. I elected to follow the admonition, “Write what you know.” I’d been married three times. Surely that qualified me to write a romance.

I proceeded to write a compilation of typed pages. I cannot by any stretch of the imagination call that first effort a book. I knew how to write stories and articles, but I was clueless about writing a book. I did write a good enough query letter that an editor at Harlequin asked to see the completed manuscript. Shortly after I put it in the mail, I found a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I joined the group and began a long, steep learning curve. Within a couple of weeks, I knew that pitiful excuse for a book was going to come back to me with a big red Reject stamp.

Actually, it wasn’t a Reject stamp. It was a very nice letter from the editor saying she’d be interested in reading other books I’d written. I learned from the other writers that this short letter contained a world of meaning. She liked my writing. She hated my book. If she’d liked anything about my book, she’d have sent me a Please revise and resubmit letter.

I destroyed all copies of that manuscript just in case, after I become famous, someone finds it. “Oh, look! One of her early books! We’ll publish it even if it’s awful!”

I wrote another book and sent it to that editor. She kept it for a little over two years. During that time, she called me periodically to tell me how much she liked it and that she was considering buying it. After the third call, I didn’t believe her anymore.

After three years of workshops and conferences, critique group meetings and lots of revisions, I finally sold my third book, a romantic comedy. The publisher, Meteor Kismet, went out of business shortly after publishing my book. I’m sure there’s no correlation between the two events.

Harlequin/Silhouette bought my fourth book and my editor (THE BEST editor in the world) sent me a six page revision letter. That continued my steep learning curve.

That book sold to Silhouette Shadows. Harlequin closed that line shortly after they published my book. Again, just a coincidence!

I wrote for Harlequin for seven more years, and my editor taught me an incredible amount about the craft of writing novels. And, by the way, the basic rules are the same whether you’re writing romance, sci fi, mystery…whatever.

After selling fifteen romance novels, I left the world of writing in 2001 and went to work as a computer programmer. A romance writer thrown in with a bunch of snooty nerds. I got so much grief! I told my co-workers that writing a book is similar to writing a program, but much harder. Of course they laughed at that idea. But it’s true. Computer code has specific rules, and if you follow them, the program works. One mistake and it doesn’t. You track down the mistake, fix it, and the program works.

Writing has a lot of rules but they’re not simple like: At the end of every “If” statement, you add “end if.” Writing has rules like…keep the pacing going. Make sure your characters have an arc. Select the right point of view for every scene. Strict rules, but rules that are much harder to define than being certain you increase your counter with every iteration in a do-while loop. And with a book, you never know if you got it right.

When I returned to writing in 2011, I’d been through my third divorce and realized I didn’t know squat about romance. “Write what you know.”

I know a lot about chocolate. At one time I wanted to open a chocolate shop featuring my favorite recipes.

And I believe I’ve created the best chocolate chip cookie in the world.

Of course, I also believed it was a good idea to marry my third husband. But that’s another story!

While I had made lots of chocolate recipes, I had never committed murder, but I had fantasized about it a lot during the marriage to #3. Had it not been for my fear that Gil Grissom of CSI would catch me, I might have been a widow instead of a divorcee.

Chocolate and murder.

My first mystery, Death by Chocolate, features a woman who owns a chocolate shop and has an ex-husband she fantasizes about killing. It’s a comedy.

E-books and Indie publishing had just made their debut, and I thought after my years with Harlequin/Silhouette and a couple of other traditional publishers, I knew all about publishing. Yes, that would be the same arrogance that made me write that first book. I chose to explore that route with my new books. 70% royalties as opposed to 6% royalty from traditional publishers, 2% for foreign translations. Who knew Australian was a foreign language?

And I get to choose my covers and my titles. One of my Silhouette romances which I called Pizza for Breakfastbecame An Improbable Wife. Huh?? My cover for Private Vows is supposed to be a hot detective saving a woman in a bridal gown but it looks like a vampire attacking a ghost.

I had a friend create a cover for Death by Chocolate. It was a terrible cover. Nevertheless, I put Death by Chocolate up on Amazon with that horrible cover and waited for the world to find it. I knew as much about self-publishing as I knew about romance. So the first book sat there selling around fifty copies a month.

Okay, maybe people didn’t want to read about chocolate and murder. Maybe I should start a new series about a different subject.

“Write what you know.”

I sat at my desk, thinking. I knew about computer programming and selling real estate and riding motorcycles and a bit about the practice of law. None of that sounded like the makings of a book.

My phone rang. My ex. After ten years, he was still stalking me. I looked at my phone and thought, “He’s never going to leave me alone. And he’s never going to die. And even if he did die, his ghost would come back and stalk me.”

My second series, The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die, features a motorcycle-riding heroine whose husband is killed in the middle of a prolonged divorce. His ghost returns and claims the divorce was never finalized so they’re still married. Another comedy.

I got a better cover for Death by Chocolate, and soon thereafter, Death by Chocolate and The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die became USA Today Bestsellers, so now I go back and forth between the series. Currently working on #5 in The Ex series.

I have another story about how I got into audiobooks and found my wonderful narrator, Sarianna Gregg. But I’m running a little long so perhaps I should save that story for the moment.

My books are light, humorous mysteries. They’re frivolous. No English lit teacher will ever assign her students to write a paper contrasting symbolism, allegory, and imagery inany of my books…because there isn’t any. You won’t find any hidden meanings, just a story.

Sometimes I wonder if I should be writing something more meaningful. But then I hear from a reader saying my humor helped her get through chemo or lifted her spirits after her mother’s death or just made her/him laugh.

I am living my dream. My full time job is telling stories that entertain and amuse others. I am carrying on my family tradition of being a storyteller.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

After publishing the seventh book in the Death by Chocolate series, I set the original Death by Chocolate book to “free” on all e-book sites. I am currently working on the fifth book in The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die (Charley’s Ghost) series.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was trapped in an abusive marriage. In my arrogance, I thought I could easily write a book, get a huge advance, and be able to run back to Texas and hide while I worked on my second bestseller.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I don’t even remember the title for that first awful book. I’ve tried to put it out of my head! The first one that sold was Anything You Can Do. My hero and heroine are very competitive people.

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

I’m a pantser. This means I don’t know from one day to the next what’s going to happen to my characters or how the book will finally end. I can’t be a plotter or outliner. Every new scene must flow from the previous scene, so I don’t know what the next scene will be until after I’ve written the previous scene. Even after 26 books, it’s still a scary experience! I still worry that one day I won’t have any idea what happens next.

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

Many of my characters have bits and pieces from various people. The plots are all fictional. But I have used my second husband’s third wife’s name in several books. Nothing good ever happens to her characters. Then there was the jerk who bumped into my three-month old car at a traffic light, went psycho on me, and told the cops I backed into his 20 year old junker. I put him in The Ex Who Conned a Psychic, shot him in the knee, and sent him to prison. Originally I shot him in both knees and let my heroine kick those wounded knees. My critique group thought that was a bit harsh, so I backed off to one knee and prison. I used his real name. Somebody asked me if I wasn’t afraid he’d read it and sue me. I laughed. “You’re so cute! You actually think the man can read?”

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

I suppose I don’t HAVE to travel, but going to all those conferences to learn better writing and make contacts is a lot of fun! And tax-deductible. I assure my accountant that I HAVE to travel.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Alicia Honsa designed my early covers. She is fabulous. But she’s also a fabulous writer, and when her books started selling well, she quit doing cover art. I panicked…terrified I would not be able to replace her, but I was lucky enough to find another awesome cover designer, Cheryl Welch.

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

It’s okay to fantasize about killing your ex-husband(s), but be careful who you tell your fantasizes to just in case he gets murdered and you get blamed.

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?

Julie Mulhern is a relatively new writer (Country Club Murders and Poppy Fields Adventures) who is amazing. She was a member of my critique group when she started writing The Deep End, and I was blown away by her talent. Her characters are members of the upper crust of society, something to which I cannot relate. But she writes about them in a way that makes them real and accessible.

Another author I admire is Caleb Pirtle III. He’s not really a new author in that he was a journalist for most of his life, but his entry into the fiction field is relatively new. He writes books about subjects I wouldn’t ordinarily read…like war and baseball…but I greedily inhale everything he writes. No matter the setting, he writes about people, and does it so well, I am always enthralled.

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

<Sounds of crickets chirping.>

Shortly after finishing my first horrible excuse for a book, I discovered a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I joined that group and received enormous support and training.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It is my current career. After getting past the first few stumbling blocks of being an Indie Author, things have been going quite well.

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

That is a very dangerous question! For book 7 in the Death by Chocolate series (Guns, Wives and Chocolate), I decided to bring back a couple of characters from previous books…one from Murder, Lies and Chocolate, and one from The Great Chocolate Scam. It had been quite a while since I’d written those books, so I decided to read them again to get a feel for the characters. Immediately I realized Murder, Lies and Chocolate needed a complete overhaul. So I did revisions on that book. Discovered The Great Chocolate Scam was in equally bad shape! Long story short (okay, it may be too late for that), I revised the first 6 books in that series. If I read them again, I’m sure I would revise them again!

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

I learned that I’ve learned a lot since writing my first Death by Chocolate book and that all those books needed to be revised!

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

No idea.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Never stop learning and improving your craft.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Live, laugh, love, read good books, eat lots of chocolate, and enjoy life.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Funny you should ask. I’m reading Caleb Pirtle III’s A Rainy Night to Die. I just finished Julie Mulhern’s Fields’ Guide to Voodoo.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No. My mother read all the traditional children’s books to me. As soon as I learned to read, I discovered the public library. A couple of the big names I remember are Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Lots of things make me laugh. I often laugh at things people say that they didn’t intend to be funny. Then everybody looks at me strangely. So I laugh at them for not seeing the humor!

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

Dolly Parton. I admire her talent, her humor, her candor, her intelligence…everything about her. I think it would be such fun to chat with her. I think she and I have a lot in common. Okay, I’m tall and flat-chested and have red hair and can’t sing a note…but other than that….

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, of course. Riding my Harley. Hanging with friends.

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

Big Bang Theory (I’m living with a real-life Sheldon), The Blacklist, The Rookie, Project Blue Book, Game of Thrones

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love all things chocolate. Also pizza, fried chicken, and Coke. Favorite color is purple, and favorite music is country.

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

NNOOOO! I refuse to imagine a terrible future like that! The Walking Dead looks good compared to that notion!

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

Eating chocolate and reading.

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

She laughed and made others laugh.

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

http://www.sallyberneathy.com

My Sheldonesque boyfriend designed the website. 😊

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004LX0FYS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-by-chocolate-sally-berneathy/1101711347

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/death-by-chocolate-7

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/death-by-chocolate/id433074463

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/42211

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sally_Berneathy_Death_by_Chocolate?id=N351p4WCjGIC

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B004LX0FYS

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004LX0FYS

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/author/sallyberneathy

 

Here is my interview with Elise H. Ford

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 Elise H. Ford, and I’m 31 years old

Fiona: Where are you from?

Detroit, Michigan USA

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

I’m a mother of a six year old boy named Gunner and a 4 year old girl named Luna. I’m happily married to my husband David. I’m also a letter carrier for the United States Post Office, but I really hope to be able to quit and write full-time.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I recently self-published my debut novel Sea Secret on Amazon in January of 2019. I’m almost done writing the sequel Sea Storm, which should be published in April or May of 2019.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I was always interested in writing, ever since I was a little girl. I’ve been known to have a wild imagination. Instead of a stuffed animal or blanket, I carried around a bag of books everywhere I went. Reading is one of my greatest hobbies. I didn’t really begin to seriously write until February of 2018. Shortly before then, my children’s babysitter died. We were really close, she was like a second mom to me, and fifty-seven years old. I was devastated and depressed for a while. What really helped me get out of my depression was writing, and soon after I started, I just couldn’t stop. The words poured out of me like a faucet. I found my true calling.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I really didn’t consider myself a writer until 2017 when I first started writing my novel.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve always had a thing for anything fantasy, but especially mermaids. I never thought that my writing was ever good enough, but I thought, “What the hell, just do it. If some of the books that I’ve read before, that weren’t very good, got popular, then anything that I come up with should be amazing.”

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It really just popped into my head one day. I wanted something that conveyed that my books were about mermaids, but also the premise of the books. I have all of the titles worked out for my trilogy. Sea Secret, Sea Storm, and Sea Savior.

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

I don’t really think I have a style, but I write romance books because I like it read them myself. The thing I find challenging is marketing my book. It’s a challenge when I don’t have a lot of advertising money.

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

My books are fantasy but I have taken a lot of things about my own life and put them in the book. My husband is my greatest inspiration for the men that I write about.

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

No, not yet. I hope to one day travel for book tours though!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed them myself. I bought the picture for my cover off of Istock, then I put the title and my name on it with an app on my phone. My cover for my second book, I got the pictures from pixabay then blended them together in photoshop.

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

Mainly, that women are warriors. No matter if you have special powers or not. And that good guys are still out there, that will love your every flaw.

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?

One of my favorite authors right now is Karina Halle. Her experiment in terror series really inspired my style. Serious, but also with some humor and romance.

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

I would have to say Amazon. I tried the whole traditional publishing route with no luck. Once I found out that I could publish my work for free, I jumped for joy.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

YES! I hope to be able to quit my day job soon to write full-time. It would be a dream come true.

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

I would. The first book goes back and forth every chapter. Some people didn’t like that or the repeating dialogue. So, I changed up on how I am writing the second book. I listened to the feedback and am honing my craft.

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

I learned that not everyone is going to like your book, and that even if you get bad reviews, there are still people that absolutely love your work. I also learned that marketing is a whole other job in itself.

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

Hmm, this is an interesting question that I haven’t really thought of. I would say for my main female character either Shailene Woodley from the divergent movies or Anna Kendrick, she would embody the sarcastic nature of Cora really well.

As for Jett, I describe him as a mixture between Channing Tatum and Robert Downey Jr. Some readers said that they pictures Zac Efron as Jett.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing, no matter what!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Sea Secret needs more reviews!! And I love you all for giving my baby a chance!

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I have a very long to be read list! I am taking a hiatus on reading right now to finish Sea Storm. My next book that I’m going to be reading is the fourth book in the Gypsy Origins series by Kristy Cunning.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The dragon riders of pern series by Anne Mccaffery. That is where my love of reading began.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Anything and everything! I love to laugh. I’m a big crier with movies and books.

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

J.K. Rowling. She is a personal hero of mine!

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, writing, gardening and video games!

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

Comedies are my favorite, but I also enjoy horror and dramas. Right now I am watching Future Man on Hulu and I love it.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

My favorite food is pickles, color is purple, and music is Tenacious D! One of the only bands I listen too. The Presidents of the United States is another one of my favorites.

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

Probably still be a letter carrier. It’s a good job, I just can’t stand the weather.

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

With my family at a huge party, like a Christmas party or something like that, so I can see everyone one last time.

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

Devoted wife and mother.

She had big dreams and lived her life to the fullest.

then an engraving of a mermaid.

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

I have my Facebook author page, Elise H. Ford-author, where I post about my upcoming posts and writing memes.

Link to book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MJ2K2CX/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_0zvBCb6G7DDA4

Here is my interview with Emily Royal

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 Fiona, thank you so much for having me! My name’s Emily Royal and I’m 51 (and astonished that I’ve admitted that). I keep forgetting my age and think I’m still in my 30’s!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Sussex in England but my husband is Scottish so we moved to Scotland not long after we married. We live with our two teenage daughters and menagerie of pets in a beautiful village where some of the scenes from Outlander were filmed.

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

I’m a bit of a maths geek but ended up studying Chemistry at university. When I left I indulged in a brief dream of becoming a commercial pilot then returned to my mathematical roots and started working in financial services. By profession I’m an actuary but my job gives me opportunities to be creative whether it’s writing questions for professional examinations or writing training material.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m thrilled about this! My debut novel, a hot historical Highlander romance called The Sins of the Sire, is out on 13 March 2019.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

It happened around 2013 when I was on a life drawingcourse. After one of the classes I went back home and just started writing; and it went on for weeks. I wrote around 200,000 words of complete and utter rubbish. I was incredibly proud of it at the time but cringe when I read it now. I then started reading articles on various blogs, began drafting notes and plots and have never looked back.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

You hear people say it’s when they get their first rejection or their first deal. I think for me it was when I had my first formal critique on a full manuscript, from someone I didn’t know. I fully expected them to say my writing stank and I sucked, but they were very complimentary and saidit was ready to submit to an agent or publisher. The review was part of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s scheme for unpublished writers – a brilliant scheme which I’d recommend to anyone wanting to take romantic fiction seriously as a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The book that’s out in March was the sixth book I wrote(ignoring the 200,000 word splurge I mentioned earlier). In terms of inspiration, the initial idea came to me while watching the Charlton Heston film Ben-Hur several years before I even began writing. There’s a scene where he’s a galley slave and a Roman general asks him to be his personal gladiator. I wondered how that might play out in a different setting and settled on the Scottish War of Independence in the 13th Century.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I wanted something which rolled off the tongue easily (da-dum-da-da-dum). The book’s about the heroine’s father having committed a dreadful deed, for which the heroine is made to pay. When the words “sins” and “sire” came to me, the title The Sins of the Sirewas the natural choice for a title.

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

I like it dark and gutsy with a lot of emotion. I do have to rein in the darkness at times and remember I’m writing romance, not gory crime! For the emotional bits, I find it difficult to gauge when something I’ve written is emotional enough to elicit a reaction from the reader. When I’m editing it for the tenth time it’s impossible to imagine how someone reading it for the first time will react to it.

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

Nothing from events in my own life – I’d be worried if it were, given some of the scenes! I have drawn a lot of the imagery from the landscape around me. I live in the countryside in the shadow of a hill and there are some beautiful forests around me. So some of the imagery in the book is drawn from the stunning sunsets and views I see when out walking or hiking.

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

I don’t set out to travel specifically for a novel, but I will draw from memories of past travel when describing some of the scenery.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cora Graphics – arranged by Tirgearr, my publisher. They do stunning covers where the colours really pop! I couldn’t be more thrilled with the cover they did for The Sins of the Sire and have to admit I get a little flushed when I look at it.

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

I didn’t set out to include a message in the book but on reviewing it I can see a couple there which must have been in the back of my mind when I wrote it! The first is that to fight a battle you often need to wait; and be careful when choosing your battles. The second is that bad behaviour doesn’t necessarily mean bad person.

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?

AleathaRomig is a great writer. She’s not a new author any more, but she was fairly new when I first started reading her stories.Her “Consequences” series blew me out of the water! I love the way her books have multiple twists and turns so you don’t know what’s really going on. I prefer her darker stories where the heroes don’t always behave well, but as the story unfolds the reader begins to understand why.

It’s difficult to single out a single favourite author. I love Jane Austen’s writing and will happily read her novels whatever mood I’m in. Persuasion is my favourite of hers, I think because the heroine is largely unappreciated by those around her and thinks she has thrown away her one chance at love. So it already starts off with some angst.

I love the Old Skool romances, too, particularly two little known books by Teresa Denys, who, sadly died before she could write any more.

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

It has to be my critique group. We call ourselves the “Beta Buddies” but we do an awful lot more than just beta reading. They’ve supported me while I was writing this book and lifted me up through all the rejections.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Not yet! Like most writers I work full-time on the day job which keeps me busy, so I have to shoehorn writing into my spare time. I understand the need to take a professional approach to writing so I’ll make sure I’ve had every manuscript critiqued and edited several times before I submit it.

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

I don’t think I would though maybe you should ask me again once it’s published! The story is quite dark and I’m glad the publisher took it on and didn’t want me to fluff it up with kittens and cupcakes.

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

I learnt a bit about how to do research – or at least how it works for me. The Sins of the Sire is a historical romanceand I needed to get the facts right. However, though a story needs to be authentic, you can easily fall down a rabbit hole of research such that you never have time to write the story! So I’ve learnt that tiny touches of historical detail are needed to keep the setting authentic, I’m not there to give readers a history lesson!

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

I know writers often think about this and I have the perfect actors in mind for some of my other stories, but for The Sins of the Sire I’m having trouble picturing anyone. I think the closest choice for the hero, Tavish, would be Jason Momoa if we could give him green eyes and red hair as he’s got that big alpha male look! The heroine has a few curves, so maybe Kate Winslet for her.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write what you feel passionate about. It is good to write what you know but a lot of knowledge can be acquired through research. Passion is either there or it isn’t.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I’d like to know how they feel about the deaths in The Sins of the Sire. I find writing death scenes satisfying even if they’re tragic and make me shed a tear or two. I always think it through before killing someone off and wonder how a reader might react.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Bowes Inheritance by Pam Lecky. I’ve literally just started it as it arrived this morning in the post.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I suspect it was one of Enid Blyton’s school stories as I loved those when I was a child! I wasn’t allowed the read them when I got older but I bought some a few years ago and occasionally read them for nostalgia.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I think I must have an odd sense of humour as I don’t tend to laugh at things that others find funny. Too many times I’ve thrown a book across the room because it was described as “laugh out loud funny” yet I’ve read it stony faced from cover to cover. I love humour that isn’t too “obvious” where the joke is in the subtext. I cry at a lot of tender/emotional scenes especially where the characters have gone through terrible adversity beforehand.

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

I’d love to meet the ice skater Tonya Harding. Usually my opinion of people rarely changes and I trust my first impressions. When the Harding/Kerrigan scandal happened in 1994, I believed Tonya was the villain of the piece. But over the years my opinion of her has changed.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Quite a few, though I’ve not been able to spend as much time on them since writing has taken over much of my spare time! I love hillwalking and still do a lot of walking around the countryside near my home. I play the piano and it’s great for expressing pent-up emotions. During a period when I was getting rejection after rejection I spent every evening working through most of Chopin’s nocturnes, apart from the really difficult ones. I also love to paint, mostly landscapes using acrylics but I love life drawing, too. I have a thing about hands and feet which are challenging to draw but I love drawing them, especially the joints and knuckles.

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

I love Doctor Who, though some episodes are better than others. For comedy, Father Ted was a masterpiece, also Red Dwarf though the later seasons weren’t as good.

My favourite films are Alien and Blade Runner – I’m a big Ridley Scott fan! But I also loved The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.A more recent favourite film is the first Kingsman film and I fell in love with The Shape of Water when I watched it on a flight last year.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Favourite food is dark chocolate, fillet steak and hot curries, though I will often crave a salad. My favourite colour is purple.

For music my tastes vary depending on how I feel and ranges from George Michael, Guns N Roses, Amy Winehouse and Bjork to more classical music such as Chopin, Bach’s violin concertos and Vivaldi’s choral works.

Cum Dederit from Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus is one of the most perfect pieces of music ever written. I’ve loved it for years before it became popular when it appeared in the Bond Film Spectre (in the scene when Bond saves Monica Bellucci’s character from being shot). It’s only 5 minutes long but I could listen to it on a permanent loop.

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

My day job would still take up most of my time like it already does! I think I’d spend more time painting. I’ve always wanted to get a motorbike licence, so I’d probably give that a go, too.

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

I’d love to go to New Zealand and spend the day among the hills and sulphur springs there with my family. However, given the flights there would take up most of the 24 hours I’d go into the Scottish Highlands and spend the day there.

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

It’s Ok to read my book now.

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

My website is at http://www.emroyal.com/ which has a page for my blog, too, and information about/links to my books. Other links are:

Twitter: @eroyalauthor

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

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N974NW5

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N974NW5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14834886.Emily_Royal

Bio:

Emily Royal is a mathematics geek who grew up in Sussex, UK and has always had a passion for romance and strong alpha heroes. After graduating from Oxford and enjoying a brief dream of becoming an airline pilot, she started a career in financial services in order to indulge her love of mathematics.

She now lives in rural Scotland with her husband, two daughters, and a menagerie of pets including Twinkle, an attention-seeking boa constrictor. She reignited her passion for romance when she joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association under their New Writers’ Scheme.

When not working on algebra or writing, Emily enjoys cooking, painting, target sports, and playing the piano. She can often be found wandering about the hills of Scotland looking for inspiration.

Book blurb:

Two years ago, English noblewoman, Elyssia De Montford, risked her life to free the Highlander held prisoner by her sadistic fiancé. She cannot forget the man who first stirred her heart–a memory that burns anew when she finds herself once more on the road to Scotland.

Tavish MacLean has sworn vengeance. It’s been six years since his beloved sister was raped and murdered by an English lord, a tragedy which almost destroyed his family. On his deathbed, his father demanded retribution and Tavish pledged before his clan to enslave the lord’s daughter then send her back to her father, pregnant with a Scottish bastard. When he learns that she is travelling north, he seizes his opportunity and orders her abduction.

But when his men fling the prisoner before him, Tavish recognises Elyssia, the woman who once saved his life. Loyalty to his clan trumps the debt he owes her and he claims Elyssia as his captive. Though she’s one of the hated English, her willing body ignites passion in him at night, though she fights him at every turn during the day. As time passes, he questions his loyalty, finding himself increasingly enthralled by his fiery captive.

Treachery surrounds Clan MacLean. When long-buried secrets come to light, Tavish must risk his life and his clan, or all that he holds dear will be destroyed.

 

Here is my interview with Angela Christina Archer

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 Angela Christina Archer and I’m the big 4-0, soon to be turning 41.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. About twelve years ago my husband and I got this crazy idea to move to Oklahoma, so we put a ridiculous offer in on a house we like (and they shockingly took it), packed up all our belongings, and moved 1600 miles across the country.

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

I’ve been married to my husband for thirteen years and I’m a work from home mom of two daughters. Not only am I an author, but I’ve been the Financial Controller for a company in Nevada for the last 21 years. Not to many people know that about me. J We live on a small farm in Oklahoma and I love taking care of our herd of farm animals. Currently, we have four horses and four chickens, but one day I hope to add a cow to the mix. I love to cook and bake from scratch as much as possible, and having a cow for my own milk, cream, cheese, and yogurt is a big dream. I also homeschool my daughters, and while some days I question my sanity, I do love it.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m happy to say that my next release is just weeks away! My eighth novel, Through the Eyes of a Captive, is set to release May 7, 2019. This story is not like my others, it’s longer, and dives deeper into the historical events surrounding the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It took me two years to write and I’m so excited to finally get it out into the world!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 I had always wanted to write a novel but I just never thought I could, so I didn’t. I pushed down the dream all the time, squashing it with work or really anything else I could to distract myself. One day, I just decided not to do it anymore. I woke up, sat down in front of my computer, and started my first novel.

And, oh boy, was it bad.

I mean, BAD! It was terrible. I think back to that first draft and cringe. I can’t believe I sent it to people to read!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 It actually took me a really long time to admit to anyone that I was writing. I think I was about a year into my first novel that I actually told people what I was doing.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Just as with all of my books, I’ve always looked for real life historical stories or events that interest me and then I go from there. Sometimes I can see something on TV, or read about something in an article, or even one of my stories came from a story my dad told me. I try to put as much history in my novels as I can which means I have to do a lot of research. Because of this, I only pick time periods that hold my interest.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

 While most of my titles came to me easy, there was one that didn’t. I won’t say which one, but there is one I wish I could retitle it. Maybe someday I will, but the cost to do so just isn’t worth it right now. There are a couple that I love more than the others, but I try to go for titles that are longer than just one or two words and titles that seem to grab you and tell a story all on their own. My first novel, The Woman on the Painted Horse, is probably my favourite.

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

 First, and foremost, all my novels are written in first person, past tense. I’ve heard mixed reviews on how people feel about first person. Some love it, some hate it, most don’t mind. I love it. I love to read it and I love to write it. For me and for my stories, it just fits, and I’ve been told by some reviewers that while they don’t like first person, they still loved my novel because it fit and they loved the story.

If first person is good enough for my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon, then it’s good 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?

 Those who know me know that I put personal touches in every single one of my novels. Whether it’s little like the name of a pet or a characters birthday or it’s big like an actual story that happened to me, happens to one of my characters. There have been times that I reveal these touches and times that even readers have emailed me telling me they’ve caught on. It’s always fun when that happens.

One story in particular that is my novel, The Parking Space, is one that happened to me. It involves a wild kitten and a toilet in the middle of the night. I still laugh about it.

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

I did travel to Montgomery, Alabama while I was writing my first novel, but I haven’t travelled to any of the other places where my stories are set. I would love to, but time and funds just aren’t on my side. Maybe one day I will be able to go everywhere. Fingers crossed at least. If I had to choose one, it would be Bora Bora.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

For my three novels that are published through a publisher in New York, their cover designers created the covers. However, for the titles I’ve published myself through my own press, the covers were actually designed by me. And I’ve also created the covers for my traditionally published novels so I can publish the second editions when I get my rights back. I have a slight addiction to designing covers, so I jumped at the chance to learn how to do it myself.

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’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon. I love her style. I love her voice. And I love, love, LOVE how much history is packed in her stories. The level of research she’s done is amazing. I would love to write something as epic as Outlander.

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

I have several friends who are also authors and who have been my biggest support. I don’t think I could continue in this business without them.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I think it is. Between writing, publishing, and marketing, I work several hours a day. It’s hard to create stories and characters, and to do so in a way that beings people joy and entertainment.

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

 My latest one? No. A few of my other ones? Yes. But that’s the beauty of the job. Books can be changed and republished.

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

 My next release is set during the Battle of Little Bighorn, and yes, Custer makes his grand entrance. In my research, I discovered that while on his expedition in the Black Hills, he shot and killed a Grizzly bear. He, at the time, considered it his greatest accomplishment. I remember thinking that would be a great scene in the book, so I wrote it. Little did I know that it would give me an interesting story to tell. You see, I wrote the scene August 7, 2018 and when I looked up when he shot the bear, I discovered it was August 7, 1874. Can you say weird?

The novel I’m currently working on is set on the Titanic. I’ve always, always, ALWAYS wanted to do a Titanic story and now I’m finally doing one. In my research, I’m finding out so many things that I didn’t know or didn’t even think about. A lot of it is stories about crew members, especially the men down in the broiler rooms and how the work of a few saved so many lives. It’s also been interested to research what happened after the sinking, like the body retrieval for example.

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

Oh boy, that is a loaded question! I love envisioning my books on the big screen. I have had several actors in mind over the years for all of them.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Never give up. Never.

My road to published author has been riddled with twists and turns and more pot holes than I’d like to admit. But with every hardship, I’ve kept going. I’ve never stopped and I never want to stop.

If you want this dream then do it. No matter what anyone says. No matter what anyone thinks. No matter what anyone does. Do it. And never give up.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 I’ve always just wanted them to know it is my sincere hope that my stories entertain them and bring them joy. I know I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine. But if I am one who brings a smile to your face and you close my book, thinking, “that was great.” then I have done my job.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of time to read and when I do get a chance, it’s right at bedtime when I’m exhausted. Reading also makes me tired, so I get about 3-5 pages in and I’m doing that “fall asleep, jerk awake” head bob. Because of this, it takes me a really long time to get through a book. Right now, I’m trying to read the fourth Outlander and at 800+ pages in each book, I’ll probably finish the series in about a decade.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 When I was young, I used to love to read The Saddle Club series. I think those were my first love. Then came Little House on the Prairie, Sweet Valley High, Anne of Green Gables, and The Box Car Children. There were several years where I put reading on the back burner and I didn’t read much at all. Then, about 20 years ago, I came across an author named Clare Naylor and after reading a couple of her books I picked up the habit again. I’ve been hooked ever since. I just wish I had more time to devote to books.

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

JK Rowling. I’ve seen interviews with the woman and I just think it would be amazing to meet her and spend time talking to her.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 Riding horses and cooking and baking from scratch. I started riding when I was 6 years old and I started showing horses at 12. I showed in Hunter Jumper at first, then moved on to more all around, doing English, jumping, Western, trail, halter, all of that. I loved showing and I’m hoping to get my girls into it. Right now, they are just learning how to ride and take care of their horses.

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

 Of course, Outlander! But aside from that, I have a pretty broad range for movies and TV shows I love. I love old shows like I Love Lucy, and new shows like Grey’s Anatomy. I have an obsession with Gilmore Girls and was heartbroken when it ended. I still watch the DVD collection I have. I love movies like The Last of the Mohicans and Braveheart, but I’m also a sucker for all the Marvel Comic movies.I love old movies from the ‘50s and ‘60s and new movies too. The last movie I watched and absolutely loved was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Oh my goodness, that was a great movie.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I’m a sucker for brownies—especially ones topped with cream cheese frosting. And pizza. Love pizza. My favourite color is green, but like a deep green. Like the color of fake Emeralds that jewellery stores sell. As for music, I’m a country music fan, but I love lots of other kinds of music. I also love to write to instrumental soundtracks.

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

 Ride. I miss it. I still enjoy my horses, but I don’t ride nearly as much as I used to before my daughters. Now that they are getting older, I have more time. Plus, they can come with me. But still other parts of life always seems to get in the way—work, homeschool, chores, you name it.

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

 Aside from the obvious answer “with my family” that I know everyone says, I would have to say on a long, winding trail on the back of my horse.

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

 That I died doing what I love and had a wonderful life.

Some days are hard, some days are easy, but at the end of each one, even the bad, I always try to lay my head on the pillow with a smile and the thought that it was another day to do what I love and to love those who I love.

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

 Of course, I do! Readers can visit www.angelachristinaarcher.com for information, updates, announcements, events, and special offers. They can also visit my Facebook, www.facebook.com/AuthorACArcherand Instagramwww.instagram.com/authoracarcher, and also join my Facebook reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/211015272742042/where members get all of the above, plus exclusive “member only” bonus material.

 Website www.angelachristinaarcher.com

Facebook www.facebook.com/AuthorACArcher

Instagram www.instagram.com/authoracarcher

Facebook reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/211015272742042/

Amazon www.amazon.com/Angela-Christina-Archer/e/B00J4IVVZM

Book Bub www.bookbub.com/profile/angela-christina-archer

Goodreads www.goodreads.com/author/show/8073551.Angela_Christina_Archer

Barnes & Nobles

www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Angela+Christina+Archer

Twitter www.twitter.com/AuthorACArcher

Pinterest www.pinterest.com/authorangelachristinaarcher/

Here is my interview with Sheryl Y. Battle-Maxwell

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 Sheryl Y. Battle-Maxwell and I’m 61 years young.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Sheryl: Born and raised in Tampa Florida

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

Sheryl: I’m the third of six siblings. I have one son, Renard  and two grandchildren, Renard Jr and Khloe. I have some college (would have continued if I knew I was going to be a writer. LOL)

 Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Sheryl: Working on my latest follow up novel ‘The Slayers Son”

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Shery: Writing began in 2004 as a hobby that I shared with friends and to relieve stress to taking care of my ailing mother. However, I soon realized that I had a flair for creating captivating characters and story-lines.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Sheryl: I’m still working at it.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Sheryl: I loved to read romance novels. I had hundreds of books and didn’t always like how they ended. So, being a romantic at heart with a vivid imagination, I felt I could write my own novel.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Sheryl: For my first novel. The lead male character was a bodyguard and the lead female character was a clothing designer. Hence, Protection by Design.

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

Sheryl: I don’t think I have a specific style. I’m very descriptive. I write as I see it in my head, which can be a challenge. As far as genre, I’ve mostly written general romance, but my last novel “Alternate Being”is a Syfy romance novel.

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

Shery: My first novel was about 85% of people I know and places I’ve been, but on a larger scale. LOL My friends think the female character Cherice Lindsey was a version of me.

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

Sheryl: Not at all. I do all my traveling in my head.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Sheryl: My Son Renard Maxwell Sr. He has been a God sent to me. He’s got skills.

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

Sheryl: Yes, never give upand don’t sell yourself short. Whether it’s on love, or your career.

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?

 Sheryl: No new authors so far. I don’t have much time to read now. My favorite author is Beverly Jenkins. Beverly delivers the history of African American and the challenge of finding love in a time where slaves dare to love.

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

Sheryl: I don’t have a lot of them, but my friends and the late Mrs. Felecia Wintons. She owned a book store in Tampa and helped me tremendously.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Shery: I’m trying. I’ve been at it since 2004. Hoping 2019 will get me the recognition and more readers.

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

Sheryl: Yes, I would have made it a series. I realize it is to long. I think most readers like shorter stories.

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

Sheryl: Yes. Don’t have to many dominant characters. They overpower the main characters and their storyline. And writers block is not the end of the world.

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

Sheryl: Novel Alternate Being. For Gavin Shelton (The Beast), I like Thomas Q. Jones from Being Mary Jane. As for Montana Lands, Kaira Akita.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Sheryl: Friend are the worst people to get an honest opinion. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear, not what you should hear.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Sheryl: Reviews, reviews, reviews, post and share.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Sheryl: I just finished rereading Indigo by Beverly Jenkins. What can I say? I love her work.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Sheryl: Not really. Something from the newsstand at the grocery store. Yes, novels were sold in the grocery stores. I’m that old.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Sherly: Wow, that’s a hard one. Thinking about the funny stuff my Mom did and the thought of her not being here to see me become successful.

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

Sheryl: Jordan Peele. I love his wicked sense of writing.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Sheryl: Crafting. I make candle holders.

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

Sheryl: TV show: Property Brothers – Films: AnythingHorror

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Sheryl: Animal crackers, Red and R&Bmusic

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

Sheryl: Dream

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

Sheryl: Writing and listening to music.

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

Sheryl: Unappreciated

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

Sheryl: https://www.facebook.com/SYBMaxwell/

or https://www.facebook.com/SloWritersPublishing/

Amazon Authors page

https://www.amazon.com/Sheryl-Y-Battle-Maxwell/e/B002W8KCI8?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_fkmrnull_2&qid=1552170564&sr=8-2-fkmrnull