Interview with Steve Peek

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Welcome to the Longclaws and Alien Agenda tour, by Steve Peek. Today, Steve is talking about mythology and the pervasiveness in our culture.

 

BlurbbTheir world is crowded with active volcanoes, sulfur and acid rains, permanent thick clouds turn day into deep twilight. It is a violent place: moment-to-moment survival is victory, every creature is constantly predator and prey, sleep is certain death. This is home to the longclaws, beings of super-human speed, strength and senses. Their predatory skills allow them only a tenuous niche in their hellish environment. Though smart and fierce, their rank in the food chain is far below the top. One clan leader draws from ancient legends of paradise and devises a plan to escape and take his clan to the otherworld – a world filled with slow, defenseless prey. The clan activates an Indian mound deep in southern forests and enters our world -hungry for prey. Torrential rains and washed out bridges force a runaway teen, an old dowser and a Cherokee healer to face the horrors of the clan’s merciless onslaught. Mankind’s legends are filled with vampires, werewolves, dragons and other nightmarish. Perhaps our legend of hell is based on the world of the Longclaws.Abab

Steve Peek grew up in a family of readers and writers. In the second grade a neighbor gave him a toy printing press and, using rubber linotype, he wrote and printed a neighborhood paper. His first short story won a competition in his third grade class. Sometimes he dreamed of being a policeman, fireman, lawyer, minister, soldier, politician, but in every dream he was also a writer. Peek loves games. He enjoyed a forty year career in the game industry which allowed him to travel the world where he was able to explore many of the ancient, mythical places he’d read about. Some legends associated with these enigmatic sites led him down a winding road to a junction where myth meets science and the hold of this magical place continues its grip. Over the decades Steve always wrote. Sometimes just here and there. Twice he managed to have books published. Now, with the precious time to write, Steve found the traditional publishing world in disarray and decided that it is more important for him to write than to sell books to the big publishing houses. The venue of the e-book makes this possible. So, for better or for worse, Steve sits at a kitchen table looking into the woods around his home in the Smokey Mountains and writes every day. Reviewers have declared his books Longclaws and Alien Agenda: Why they came, Why they stayed to be a new sub-genre, ‘science faction’. Much of the books are based on history and science while the story falls under fiction. Steve’s books are based on things that interest him and he works hard to make them interesting for his readers. He would like to hear from you via jstephenpeek on facebook or send him a message via his contact form.

 

Follow Steve on social media!

Buy Longclaws or Alien Agenda here

Steve is on tour between 12th and 26th July – you can check in with tour central here, and please check back each day to read more fascinating thoughts by this eloquent and interesting author.

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Tour arranged by The Finishing Faires

Author interview – Danielle Rose-West

Dear reader,

Once again I have tricked an author into an interview! May you find it informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate her books!

This interview is with author Danielle Rose-West.


Dear Danielle, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

My name is Danielle Rose-West and I live in the United Kingdom with my family and our small dog. I am something of a romantic dreamer and always have been. I have always been a rather shy person. When I was growing up, books were often my best friends.

I have loved reading since I was a small child. My very first books were by Enid Blyton. She completely fascinated me with all the different worlds she introduced me to. My very favourite books were her Far Away Tree series. I still remember every story in those books even now! They were just magical.

I love to read still, of course, and I enjoy spending time with my husband when we both have time off from work. I love to get out and about. I walk every day for exercise and it really helps me to plot my books. I really am a very ordinary person getting to live the dream of being a writer!


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

I have always had a huge imagination and it’s been my dream for forever to be a writer. I tried several times to write a book, but never thought I could manage it. Then my husband bought me my own laptop and told me he believed I could do it. I haven’t looked back since. I still pinch myself that I am actually doing this!


Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

I do use a pen name. I decided to use one because my real name just doesn’t sound like a romance novelist to my ears! I only have books out under one name currently, but who knows about the future!


What do you think is your best book?

That one is easy. The book that is just coming out now, Phoenix Rising, is by best book so far in my eyes. I have loved everything about writing it. In some ways it was the hardest book to write and also the easiest. Quite a contradiction I know, but it’s true.

I first had the idea for this novel almost a year ago when I was writing my first book. I knew it would be the third book in the Fairy Tale Match series, but there were other books I wanted to write first. It sat on the back burner for a while. Then I tried to start writing it after I completed Hidden in Shadows. I wrote forty five pages and I didn’t like any of it. Rhys just wasn’t showing himself to me and his and Taylor’s relationship was all wrong. Needless to say I left it alone and wrote the second book in the Haunted by the Past Series instead.

When I went back to Phoenix Rising, I binned the entire forty five pages that I had previously written, changed some of the motivation and storyline, and altered some of the characters roles, but names did survive! What I ended up with was a story that excited me and simply flowed from my head to the pages. This book is very dear to my heart. I loved everything about it, from the characters to the plotline. It is a very character driven piece with plenty of laughs, tears, and heart. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. For me, it’s a treasure. 


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

I wouldn’t say that I have a worst book, except for one that I have never published, or finished for that matter. I have loved writing them all. What I would say is I feel I have come a long way as a writer since my first book. There were things I didn’t know when I wrote Wild Fire, changes I perhaps would have made in hindsight. I was so happy to have completed that first book, the one that started it all for me, that it holds a special place in my heart too. I just know I have learned a lot since writing it! I would have made it shorter for a start. Wild Fire is a long book, but some readers have told me they would have liked it longer! That’s a great compliment.


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

I think my style is the same, but the technique has improved immensely. There was a lot that I didn’t know or realise when I wrote my first book. I think writing is a skill that you practise. Each book I do, I want the quality to increase. That way I know I am growing as an author. I like to stretch myself.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

Yes, without a doubt. Becoming an author is the achievement of a lifetime. I have dreamed of this since I was a child. To actually make it happen, after years of thinking I couldn’t, that changes a person. I have more confidence and belief in myself than I ever did before. I always encourage people to try and achieve at least one dream they have always had. There is no feeling like it when you accomplish your goals.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

I am always trying to challenge myself in my writing. I found the Haunted by the Past series fun to work with. It is always a challenge to weave in a mystery into a story and not give away who the villain is until the end. I am sure some people will work out who the culprit is, but I hope that both my stories kept many readers guessing. It certainly worked with my test readers. The most daring thing I wrote involves one of those books, but I won’t say what, as I won’t spoil things for readers by revealing something that would give the plot away.


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life?

It depends on what someone calls daring. I believe that pushing past personal fears is always daring. I have accomplished a lot in that area. Just becoming a published author was daring for me! I have been a horribly shy person my whole life, but I did manage to give a lecture to an entire hall full of people. I was sick with fear, but I still did it. That was an accomplishment.


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

I am currently challenging myself to write a time travel novel. It is taking a lot of research and effort, but I am loving it. It is very different to writing a modern day romance. I will keep on stretching my imagination and pushing the boundaries as I write. I dream up different series ideas and different plots all the time. I just want to love writing every book, and to entertain my readers. There is nothing better.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

Not that I’m aware of. If I was compared to someone famous, I think it would be very flattering and a huge compliment.


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

I have a ton of favourite books. Most of them are romances! However, I would say that I am a big admirer of Agatha Christie. I think she was an amazing story teller and created the most incredible characters and plots. I love her Miss Marple and Poirot stories. They are incredible. She was a master! I also admire David Gemmell. He was another author that blew me away with the characters that he wrote. I really believed in them as real people. There are many that have blasted him for being an uneducated man, but to me his stories always sparkled with something special. He was also a master story teller and is greatly missed since his passing.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

There was one book I can recall that actually inspired me to write. It was so bad, I couldn’t help thinking I could do better. I won’t name it, but the book had the heroine’s name in almost every sentence, and it was a complicated name at that. It drove me crazy. There was nothing really happening in the plot and the characters were weak, and that book had been accepted by a publisher! It made me feel that I couldn’t possibly do worse.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

Any book that has only a few pages, but the author is charging a fair amount of money, should not be published in my opinion. I always believe in value for money for the reader.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I have no idea how co-writing would work. Maybe, sometime in the future, but I can’t think of anyone right now. It would have to be a romance writer and someone that loves unusual plots. Although, I have to admit I tend to be a control freak when it comes to my work. It’s why I am an indie author. I couldn’t bear to be told to change my characters or my story in a way that I didn’t agree with. I even do my own covers now! If I wrote with someone, they would have to be on my wave length or it could be a disaster.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

I always remember wise words my dad used to say to me when things got tough in my life. He would hug me close and say ‘remember, this too shall pass’. It helped me through the hardest times in my life and I have never forgotten them. He was a very wise man and I miss him every day.


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

I have a few things I am working on. There is one more book that will be on its way for the Fairy Tale Match and then a whole new series will spring up for my fairy godmothers. I am taking them on a new journey! Can’t wait for that.

I have another book in the works for Haunted by the Past and I have two new series in the pipeline. One is a time travel with magic thrown in. That is proving quite a challenge, but I’m loving it. The second I won’t say anything about right now, except that it has to do with a magical statue! I am really excited about it. There is a third series I have been toying with for some time, but I don’t know when I will start that. Believe me, my imagination has plenty yet to come.


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I would like to share the synopsis and an excerpt from my new book, Phoenix Rising. I hope you enjoy it.

Danielle West-Rose Phoenix Rising Cover

Book Synopsis

How can Fairy Godmothers help their charges find love in the modern world when nobody believes in magic anymore? Simple, they run a dating agency!

Rhys Spencer is determined to prevent his rich father from shutting down the charity he set up for kids in gangs, but he needs the money from a trust fund to do it. However, his grandmother has withheld the funds until he proves himself to be a mature, responsible person. To her mind, that means Rhys being in a serious relationship. Rhys turns to the Fairy Tale Match to find a woman he can use as a fake girlfriend. He will do all it takes to claim the money that will thwart his father’s selfish plans. The feisty woman the agency sets him up with, will not stand in his way.

Taylor Shore has more complications in her life than anyone should have to deal with. Guardian to her two half-siblings since their parents’ deaths, she has her hands full with their constant troublemaking. The last thing she needs is to win the prize in a dating agency competition she never entered. Furious to find her friend entered for her, Taylor is determined to send her prize packing. The guy that turns up to stay with her for three weeks, however, has other plans in mind. Refusing to be ordered from her house, the arrogant man offers her a deal she’d be a fool to refuse.

As Rhys inserts himself into Taylor’s problems, he begins to turn her life around. The angry fireworks between them gives way to a passionate love. Just as they find happiness, a vicious lie told by Taylor’s sister breaks them apart. Flo and Lotta have their work cut out for them to bring Rhys and Taylor back together. Time is against them and tragedy lurks on the horizon. Can Flo and Lotta save the day, or will Rhys and Taylor lose the precious love they have found forever….

Although the third book in the series, this can be read as a stand alone novel.

Excerpt

Her jaw dropped open and she stared at him disbelievingly. “You can’t be serious. You want me to be a fake girlfriend and lie to your grandmother? Why?”

He folded his arms over his chest. “You didn’t want to tell me why you were hanging from a window earlier, and I don’t want to tell you why I need you to do this.” He gazed at her with one eyebrow cocked. “I’ll stay out of your business if you stay out of mine.”

It’s hardly the same thing!” she protested. “You expect me to lie for you. I should at least know why. It’s a despicable thing to pull the wool over your own grandmother’s eyes. I knew there had to be some reason why you’d joined a dating agency! It’s because of this, whatever this is, isn’t it?” She didn’t even wait for a reply. “Why am I not surprised?”

Her tone told him she expected nothing less from him. Rhys contemplated her reaction. She was unlikely to help him just because he’d saved her from that fall. He needed to sweeten the deal.

I tell you what, you do this for me and I’ll not only call us even on the favour front, but I’ll pay you five grand if you pull it off. What do you say?”

She gaped at him and shook her head. “I have to have heard you wrong. Did you say you’d pay me five grand to be your fake girlfriend?”

I did,” he confirmed, “but only if you are convincing enough that my grandmother believes it.”

Taylor stared into space. He could almost see the wheels whirling round in her head. “I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this. Do you guarantee me that this is nothing untoward? I don’t want to find out that I’ve helped you do something illegal or immoral.”

You wound me with your lack of trust.” He clasped a hand to his chest.

She snorted. “Like I care. Well?”

I can guarantee you that nobody will be hurt by this, nor are my reasons immoral or illegal.” He held out a hand. “Do we have an agreement?”

How do I know that you’ll pay me? I could do everything you ask and then you could simply renege on the deal.” She ignored his hand and cast him a challenging glare.

Taylor obviously had severe trust issues. Rhys could relate. “I will pay you half in good faith, now. You will receive the other half when the task is complete. Sound fair?”

Taylor gazed at him for several moments. Her lips twisted to one side and she chewed on the corner of her mouth. Finally, she held out her hand. “Okay, you have a deal. God knows what I’m getting myself into, but I’ll do it.”

You can view a trailer for my book at on YouTube

Other Books in The Fairy Tale Match Series:

  • Wild Fire – Book 1
  • Forever You – Book 2

Books in the Haunted by the Past Series:

  • Hidden in Shadows – Book 1
  • Shadow of Suspicion – Book 2

Thank you, Danielle,  for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

You can find out more about Danielle Rose-West in the following places:

Email: danielle.rosewest30@gmail.com
Blog: http://daniellerosewest.blogspot.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danielle-Rose-West/451370021626958
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DRoseWest
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/daniellerosewes/pins/
Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/author/daniellerosewest
Amazon Author Page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Danielle-Rose-West/e/B00EF5GXSO

A first book in Dutch

Dear reader,

Quite a while ago I started helping a friend who wanted to improve her writing. We started co-writing a story that had some interesting concepts, and suddenly real life interfered after which she had to bow out of the project. I picked up the idea (with her consent) and started working on the story myself.

The original story we started was in Dutch, for me quite an experience because the 20+ books I have out there in cyberspace are all in English. As I worked on the book I thought it a challenge to also write it in Dutch, so I basically wrote the book twice. The difference of writing in English and Dutch was revealing, and I am very happy I could fall back on a nitpicking Dutch friend who scrutinised the Dutch story. Well, the stories are both written and I am working on putting the Dutch version in a presentable format.

Radio

I mentioned this on a few social media, and then to my surprise I got a note from someone who might be interested in talking with me about this book on his local radio show. That, dear reader, is something I had never expected (even if it doesn’t actually happen).
Life can throw some very unexpected options at you, as long as you dare to step out and show you’re there for them.

 

The Dutch version is completely done and I’ve sent it to a Dutch publisher for evaluation. I don’t know if it will be published by them but you’ll find out about it when that happens. And of course, the English version will be done as well (although I doubt that will be mentioned on a radio show!).

 

Author Interview: Maer Wilson

Dear reader,

Here is another  interview with an independent author. May you find it informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate her books!

This interview is with author Maer Wilson


Dear Maer, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Paul. I’m eclectic. I like a lot of different things, whether it’s food, music, books, movies or art. I can listen to opera or bluegrass and be happy with both. I love playing online games – the MMO kind. My current main game is Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I also play Guild Wars 2 when I have time. I enjoy crafts, but sadly have little time for them anymore. I love my dogs, collect dragons and, of course, live in a fantasy world when I create my characters and stories.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

Unlike so many others, I’m new to the writing gig. I tried a play in 2000. It was awful so I rewrote it as a screenplay several years later, but I never did anything with it. I only decided to try to write a book in 2010. The characters were in my head and I thought: why not?


Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

Well, it’s a penname, but also my name. Maer is a relatively new spelling of my nickname. My real name is Mary, but many friends call me Mare. When I decided to write I knew I needed to figure out something I could use, since Mary Wilson is taken (one of the Supremes). I also didn’t want to be a pony (Mare), so played with the letters and came up with Maer. I’m keeping it. :-)


What, do you think, is your best book? And why is that?

I think this newest book, Portals, is the best, so far. Hopefully, I’m improving with every book/story I put out and learning from each one. I think the story is becoming more developed in Portals. Of course, it’s hard to say until the reviews start to come in.


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

Well, I only have two books out and two novelettes and I don’t think I’d put those in my worst pile. Probably the worst thing I ever wrote was the play back in 2000. It had potential, but was pretty bad.


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

Absolutely! I’m learning as I go and I’ve learned to let the characters tell me their stories. My style changes depending on what I’m writing. I have a Biography/Memoir I’m working on and the style is completely different from my Urban Fantasy series.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

Well, I’m certainly a lot busier than I was! I no longer have time to play online games for hours every day. Instead I have to sneak in my game time.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

The most daring will be this Biography/Memoir I’m currently working on. It’s about my ten-year friendship with a well-known author. Having to go back and remember things from thirty to forty years ago is a challenge. 


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

Writing at all is the most daring. I knew a lot of authors when I was young. I was an actor and never considered myself a writer, even though I did a lot of writing in my character studies for the stage. While I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself in writing, I had friends who were major successes as authors. That is intimidating because they were/are so fabulous. I’m not sure I’ll ever have the complete confidence as a writer that I had as an actor.


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

Always. I have Book 3 in my series to finish, the biography to write and another new series planned and a stand-alone historical fantasy that spans 550 years.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

I’ve had Relics compared to Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. I haven’t read his books, so I don’t have an opinion on that. And I guess I’ll have to wait to read his until I’m done with my own series. :-)


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

Not books, but series. George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

I used to pride myself on always finishing what I started to read. However, the last few years with my time constraints, there’s quite a few books I haven’t finished. I’m not sure I could pick one book as unreadable, though. 


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

Everyone has different tastes, so to claim to be an authority on what should or should not be published? Yikes! I may have some I’d never buy or read, but it’s not for me to tell someone else they shouldn’t read it.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

George R.R. Martin. I have no idea what I think I’d write with him. His characters and writing are brilliant though, and I’m sure I’d learn tons.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

LOL…Well, of course there is more to life than writing. There’s READING! :-) From a college Directing class “Direct from the positive, never the negative.” That means motivate from the positive, which I think is a good life-lesson. As long as I’m doing things for positive reasons, and leaving negativity out of it, I figure I’m doing okay.


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

In addition to the Biography, I’m finishing Magics, Book 3 of The Thulukan Chronicles. I can’t say too much about it because it would create spoilers. I will say that the return of magic to Earth has a major impact on the planet and humanity in general.


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

Paul, thanks again for letting me visit your blog today! It was a blast.

Relics Kindle at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Relics-ebook/dp/B00CLB6HUI/
Portalshttp://www.amazon.com/Portals-Book-Thulukan-Chronicles-Volume/dp/1494209039/
“Ghost Memory” (A Thulukan Chronicles Story, #1) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5W1W2Y/
“Unwanted Ghost” (A Thulukan Chronicles Story, #2) – http://www.amazon.com/Unwanted-Ghost-Thulukan-Chronicles-Story-ebook/dp/B00FYACAZO/

Thank you, Maer, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

Author interview – JoMarie Degioia

Dear reader,

Once again I found an author who would like to be interviewed! May you find the interview informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate her books!

This interview is with author JoMarie Degioia.


Dear  JoMarie, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I’ve known Mickey Mouse from the “inside,” been a copyeditor for my town’s newspaper, and a bookseller. I write Historical and Contemporary Romances, along with Young and New Adult Fantasy stories, and divide my time between Central Florida and New England.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

I’ve always written, since I was a child, but only started seriously pursuing publication when my youngest daughter started kindergarten. I literally woke up with a story in my head and no one was more surprised than I was when it sold!


Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

I write under my own name but I’m also published in erotic ménage romance under a pseudonym.


What, do you think, is your best book? And why is that?

I love More Than Charming, because that Historical has my favorite hero of all times. I’ve pubbed nineteen books under my own and my pseudonym and, since my erotic romances are ménage, that includes a lot of heroes, lol!


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

My first book, published back in 2001, needed a lot of editing and more plot development. It came up with a teeny tiny press that isn’t in business any longer. Incidentally, that book was heavily rewritten as More Than Passion, the first in my Dashing Nobles series, which was a #1 bestselling Historical Romance!


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

See above, lol. I’ve found that I can see the pitfalls and avoid them BEFORE the editing process. Most of the time.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

I’m an observer of people, and since I can “rewrite” their stories in my head I find I can entertain myself, lol.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

I launched a MMF series, which has gotten some lovely reviews from alternative review sites. I never thought I could write so deeply from that perspective, but love is love!


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

I had my kids in my early twenties. But I’ve never regretted it. I do regret putting off writing seriously for all those years, though.


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

My recently published Indie title is a Contemporary Romance. I’ve never published one before, and have more stories of that genre in me. I also wrote a really hot New Adult that I’m dying to get out there, and a dystopian fantasy/adventure YA.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

A reader emailed me and told me that she stayed up to read the entire Dashing Nobles series and hadn’t done anything like that since reading Stephanie Laurens’ Cynsters. That was a huge compliment, since that author is one of the women who made me want to write and publish.


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

My list begins (and continues for the first several entries, lol) with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

I have never read a book I couldn’t manage to finish, but I admit to not finishing it if it wasn’t giving me SOMETHING. Story, character, setting. I need something or I’m not going to waste my time. So there have been books I haven’t “read,” I guess.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

Nope. Even if something is considered poorly written, there are people who enjoyed it.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I love Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, and would love to work with her on a Contemporary series. My Cypress Corners and as-yet-unpublished Cloud Canyon series would appeal to her readers, I think.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

It takes three times for someone to wipe their feet on me like I’m a doormat before I finally say, “enough!” I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if I get hurt sometimes. I’d rather get hurt than be a person who is too shut off to give people a chance.


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

The publisher of my Dashing Nobles series will publish the first in my Regency Private-Eye series soon. I have another Cypress Corners book to publish, along with my YA. And here’s hoping my New Adult finds a home in NY!


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I started writing Finding Harmony when I moved back to Central Florida, and am so happy this book is getting an audience at last! It’s sweet, sexy and steamy and introduces a small town that will hopefully become a character in its own right.

You can find out more about JoMarie at her  Facebook page, and of course there’s her website.

Thank you, JoMarie, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

Author interview – Tabitha Ormiston-Smith

Dear reader,

It’s been a while again, but here is another interview with a talented independent author. This time I fired my questions at Tabitha Ormiston-Smith.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing some years ago, quite by accident. My boyfriend had built me a computer out of spare parts and I wanted to test it to see if it was working properly, so I fired it up, opened Word and started typing random stuff. 31/2 hours later, I realised a) that I had written the first several chapters of a novel, and b) that my electric jug was ruined and I had been lucky not to set the house on fire.


Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

Just my own name.


What is your best book so far, and why do you feel that way?

Gift of Continence will always be my favourite, I think, but I am not really sure why. It’s the only novel I have published, so this may change.


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

I haven’t published it yet, but I believe my book Dance of Chaos, shortly to be released, will prove to be my worst. Probably because it is actually the first one that I wrote, and I learned a bit in the process, and also because it may not have quite as tight a focus as perhaps it should have.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

Oh yes indeed. If nothing else, I know that I can always be revenged.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

That work is still in progress, and I am not ready to reveal it, sorry! But it involves major impossibility and medical things.


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

Getting married for sure! What is more scary than giving up total autonomy?


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

Yes! I’m working on an historical novel; this is an entirely new departure for me, and the research requirements were staggering.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

I am delighted to be able to say that a reviewer once remarked that anyone who liked Jane Austen would like my work. Words fail me, I still feel faint when I think about it. Miss Austen is my idol.


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee
Little, Big by John Crowley
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I think the common theme in all these books is how they light up the landscape, how the world depicted becomes alive, becomes for a time the only world for the reader, displacing reality, Few writers have this ability.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, by Tobias Smollett. This tedious book contains nothing, literally nothing, but events. Reading it is sufficient notice to anyone that events are just not enough.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

I’m not a believer in censorship. There’s a lot out there that’s silly, badly written, pornographic or just plain trash. But every writer finds a reader, and if they don’t well bad luck for them. One of the things I love about living in this century is the plethora of writers that I might never have discovered if they’d had to convince a traditional publishing house that they could fit within the narrow parameters of one of their lists. Let them all be published, I say. It does no harm.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I cannot envisage co-writing with anyone. Writing for me (in fact, any work!) is a solitary business. I wouldn’t like someone else messing in my work. I have the greatest respect for writers who do work in teams though. The Erin Hunter team springs to mind. I love their books. I’m just not a team player myself.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

Just what my Dad used to say to me when things were tough. Fuck ‘em all, Princess.


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

I have a number of things on the go, to wit:

Dance of Chaos, a prequel to my published novel, Gift of Continence. Now in review.

User Pays, a short story with a political theme. Partly written. It was too hard so I put it on the back burner to stew for a while.

Miss Hepsibah Jenkins Gets A Puppy. This is a new departure for me, and I’m very, very excited about it. I originally envisaged it as a short story but I’m in the very early stages and it may stretch to a novella. Eventually, if it is a success, I envisage further stories to be gathered into a novel (much as Alexander McCall Smith did with Portugese Irregular Verbs).

King’s Ransom (provisional title) – an historical novel about King John.

Grammar Without Tears (non-fiction) – an humourous book on English grammar for the total idiot.


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

Oh, dear, I never know what to say in these situations. Thank you for listening, and please try my books! Cheers.

Thank you, Tabitha, for your time, and for sharing your words with us! If you, dear reader, want to learn more about Tabitha, have a look at her book “Gift of Continence” on Smashwords,

Author Interview – David Lowbridge

Dear reader,

I shall be engaging in a number of interviews with independent authors. May you find these informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate their books!

This interview is with author David (D.J.) Lowbridge.

D.J. Lowbridge


Dear David, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

I’m a Science Fiction, Paranormal and Supernatural author from Essex in the United Kingdom. I am married with two gorgeous children and a house overrun with animals. And when I am not looking after my monkeys or the pets I am often found crabbing. There is a perfect little crabbing spot less than 5 minutes walk from my house (picture below), as long you don’t mind being hassled by the ducks and you go down at low tide.

Crabbing

Originally I wanted to work in the recruitment and personnel industry and studied hard earning a degree and masters in Management specialising in HR and Marketing. After university I worked a number of roles, mostly temporary positions but also ran my own CV writing company for two years. But in the end I was bitten by the writing bug and had to let the voice inside my head tell the stories it wanted to.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

I made the jump into writing while I was on holiday in the middle of Norfolk. It was raining and was sat twiddling my fingers wanting to get out to a beach. Suddenly an idea for a series came into my head. As soon as I got home I sat down and hammered out the novel onto my computer. Unfortunately I have yet to publish that story, but you never know it may be in a while, if I ever got round to re-writing it.

 
Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

I publish under the name D J Lowbridge. Lowbridge is a relatively unique surname and D J just sounded better than David to me.


If you have published one book so far, what aspect of it do you like best?

My only release was a collection of short stories. The best story was certainly “The Prey”. The antagonist in the story was just such fun to write for that I have actually created a spot for him in my upcoming series and done a guest post where I share a cup of tea with him.

I loved getting my first review. The idea that my book touched someone enough for them to write a review is amazing. I was buzzing for days after that.


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

I can’t talk about the worst book. But in my short story collection, the worst story for me was certainly “The Visitor”. I don’t think it had enough of the emotional draw that the rest of the stories did. It was a story based on an actually conversation I had with a US serviceman who was stationed away from his wife, but I don’t think in the end the story was as suited for the collection as the rest. However saying this; I know a couple of my beta readers who loved that story and thought it was the best.


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

My stories have become a lot more complicated. Often I now hide clues and hints at what is to come in the most subtle manners whereas before my stories were very straight forward. One of things that have not changed since I started writing is the idea that no character is safe from the chop. Even lead characters are living on borrowed time in my books.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

I work a lot harder than I use to. Normally I am up at 5:30 – 6:30 in the morning and don’t finish until about 10pm. Whereas before when I worked in an office I would get home at about 7pm and that would be it for the rest of the evening. At the same time I feel happier about what I do each day. To me, writing is much more fulfilling than anything else I have done.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

In ghost haunts I tried to incorporate a lot of “real” ghost stories and myths into as many of the stories I could. It is especially risky on some of the more well known stories because giving the legends justice is a priority, while also making the stories entertaining for the casual reader. If I didn’t do both then people who know the myths could easily pull me up on that and if it wasn’t entertaining enough… well we know what would happen there.


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

I was a little bit of a daring person when I was younger. I’ve done paragliding over jellyfish infested water and I was also in the military for a couple of years and I did some pretty amazing stuff during my time. But during my later years I have mellowed out a little and about as daring as I do now is go crabbing, which is very enjoyable. My mother on the other hand would say that I am not so mellow nowadays as my daringness has moved away from sports to keeping and handling exotic animals. I have been bitten a couple of times; but I don’t consider it that daring, I guess it is all about perspective.


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

I want to write a good series. I am currently working on an open ended series which I feel is going to be great. It is a cross between the X-files, Warehouse 13 and Supernatural.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

Never. However I wish it would be.


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

Song of the Fairy Queen” is a good book. It was also the first one I reviewed on my blog when I started ‘coming out’ about my writing. A really good series is India Drummond’s Faerie series. The details are excellent and the storylines make you cry out for more. Unfortunately I haven’t read the fourth book yet, but I plan on doing that sometime soon.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

There was a book that I reviewed on my site that I just did not like. I won’t mention the name as it can upset the author, but essentially it was written in first person with almost every sentence starting with “I did…” or “I then…” and there was massive plot holes in the story that I was actually routing for the antagonist to end it.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

50 shades of grey. I know some people will try to shoot me for saying that but I started reading the first chapter (to see what the fuss was about) and failed to continue from there.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

There are a couple of really good authors out there that I would love to co-write a novel or short story collection with in the long term. The one that I think would most like to do so would be Lynn Ricci. Part of the reason for that is that we both write in the realms of paranormal and supernatural and this is what I would love to do with her. Also if you read her writing it is amazing. But at the moment I think I need to establish myself first before doing a joint venture.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

A man is made up of the darkest and worst moments, and destroyed when he takes nothing from them”. I can’t remember who said it, but it has always stuck with me. Essentially it speaks of learning from our mistakes or we are doomed to repeat them.


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

Currently I am working on “Entrapment” the first book in the Paranormal Investigation Team (PIT) open ended series. Currently it is in the first draft stages, but should be ready for release in the late fall or early winter. The series is focused around a military team that was set up to investigate paranormal incidences and protect the public from the supernatural. We join the team as they are given a new member who is very sceptical of such matters and has been inserted by a General who wants to shut the team down.

If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I would like to say that if you like Ghost Stories and short stories then “Ghost Haunts” is a book you may enjoy. It is 11 short stories about contact from the other side. It is not traditional; not every single story is about being haunted, there are some lovely love stories in there and some stories to make you stop and think.

Ghost Haunts

You can find David’s book Ghost Haunts on Amazon.com.

Thank you, David, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

No thank you Paul for this wonderful opportunity.

Author interview – Karen Rodgers

Dear reader,

Here is, once more, an interview with an independent author. May you find it informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate her books!

This interview is with author Karen Rodgers.


Dear Karen, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

I am a middle-youth, small town woman who has had a difficult time discovering what I want to be when I grow up. I have been nowhere, yet my heart has traveled a million miles. I am an intent study of the common thread that binds all of us—our humanity. I expand my imagination by reading, researching, watching, and listening. I live, I observe, I write.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

Writing not only provides a necessary creative outlet for me, it is quite simply something I must do. It is my favorite vehicle of expression.

Growing up, I never knew the “one true thing” I was meant to do with my life. I never had any aim or direction. In the three years I attended college, nothing quite captured my interest and I never obtained a degree. I spent many years in a job I hated. Like so many, I fell into the routine of doing what was necessary to get by. Somehow, the things I wanted to do fell by the wayside. However, the one constant of my adult life has been—I have always written.

Six years ago, my life took a miraculous and unexpected turn. I became a mother at the age of 41. Realizing the magnitude of this blessing, my husband and I took the necessary measures to enable me to stay at home to raise our son. I knew this was my opportunity to pursue my passion.

With a wealth of rich life experiences to draw upon, I began to transform my stories onto the page. I love the written word. One of my greatest pleasures is to be able to turn a phrase in such a way that it strikes a chord in the reader and touches their soul. The most rewarding thing a reader can tell me is, “you made me laugh” or “you made me cry”.

Last year, I self-published two short stories on Amazon; “Letting Go of Nobody” and “Dating Pool”. More recently, I self-published a novella, “Eleven”, in February of 2013 through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. So at the age of 47, I have discovered my purpose. I am a writer!

 
Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

So far, I have only written and published under my own name, Karen S. Rodgers.


What, do you think, is your best book? And why is that?

I am most proud of my book, “Eleven”. I worked very hard on this story and left it all on the page. So far, it has received very good reviews from the readers. That has been a huge source of validation.


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

Actually, I am proud of all my works.


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

I used to be more concerned with the technical aspect of writing. However, I had a critical experience that impacted me quite a bit. I submitted one of my short stories to another published author for critique and edit. When he was done with his edit, he had practically changed the entire story. I could have let that experience discourage me, but I decided not to listen to him and to write from my heart instead. Because of that process, I learned to be true to myself and worry less about being so technical. I may not always be grammatically correct. I may not always be technically correct. But if I touch and impact my readers, that is all that matters to me. I learned that criticism is subjective—don’t take it personally and tell my stories in the manner I see fit.

My writing is more of an emotional process. I write with an intentionally descriptive style to create vivid imagery, allowing the reader to “see” the characters and surroundings in their mind as they are reading the words. I want the characters to feel real. I attempt to create an emotional attachment between the reader and the characters. I want it to impact them so deeply, that they cannot (and do not want to) forget the characters.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

Most definitely, yes! I have found my voice through the process of writing. In addition, some of my followers have found my work to be inspirational. I’ve realized that you can have a profound and positive effect on other people through written word.

Writing has also brought several new people into my life. Through this process, I have made new friends—some in person, some online. One can never have enough friends! That has been one of the most rewarding incidental aspects of this new path I have taken.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

Most definitely, the most daring thing I have done in my writing has been the major love scene in “Eleven”! I had to step outside of my comfort zone and force myself not to care what others might think. Mind you, I live in a small town that likes to gossip. Oh well, if nothing else, I gave them something to talk about. Wink, wink! And it is a well written scene.


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

Although my books are fictional, several of the elements are based on real life experiences. With that in mind, you will have to read my books to try and figure out what I have or have not done. Another wink, wink!


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

I am currently in the process of penning a series. “Eleven” was the first installment and I am working on the second. It may seem like a tall order, but there will be 11 installments of the series, which is titled “Journeys”. I look forward to telling each and every one of the stories!


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

Quite a few readers have told me “Eleven” reminded them of “Bridges of Madison County”. I take that as a compliment!


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

I delved into the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice back in the early 1990’s. It wasn’t so much the story line…I loved her writing style. She has such a flow to her words and developed rich characterizations. All of us should be so lucky!


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

Even though it was a literary giant, I never finished “War and Peace”. It never pulled me in…so I put it down. In addition, I didn’t have the desire to finish “50 Shades of Gray”. The story line didn’t have enough “meat”. It was all erotic “bones”. A great story won’t allow that to happen! The reader should be so captivated, they don’t want to put the book down.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

Unfortunately, I don’t remember the titles of the books that were crap. LOL.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I think it would be fun to foray into the mystery genre. I’m not sure about a co-author…maybe Dan Brown???

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

To thine own self, be true!”

I also like what Anne Rice once said, “If you want to be a writer, write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more, nothing less.”


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

I’m currently penning “Girls of Autumn”. It is the story of a friendship between eight middle-aged women who experience a simultaneous upheaval in their lives within the span of a year. Once completed, I think it will be a major touchstone for several readers, especially women.


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I’m just getting started on this new journey. I covet the encouragement, advice, and input of fellow indie authors. I greatly appreciate the support from my fans and readers. I would love for you to follow me on this journey. You can find me on Facebook. My author/book fan page is ‘Eleven –Journeys’. Of course, you may also find my work on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Thank you so much for including me in your fabulous world!

Eleven, K. Rodgers

 

You can find out more about Karen Rodgers on Facebook.

Her book “Eleven” is available from Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.

Thank you, Karen, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

Author interview – RJ Palmer

Dear reader,

I shall be engaging in a number of interviews with independent authors. May you find these informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate their books!

This interview is with author RJ Palmer.


Dear
RJ, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

I’m going to make some kind of effort to make this at least a little entertaining but I’m running out of little anecdotes that outline my youthful stupidity. I guess I get to show the youth of the world that hey, they may be rebels without a clue, but they’re not the first and I can verify that.

Let’s see, so far in previous bios, I’ve covered my husband, eight dozen children and school buses being among the few of my favorite things, almost dying my hair purple and blue, beer drinking and singing along with the radio in the car (Oh, the HORROR!). Now let’s see if I can come up with something original. Nope, I guess I’m a writer without a single new idea. That’ll make my career epically short lived.

Truth be told, I absolutely abhor mayonnaise but I’m fine with ranch (which is made with mayonnaise) and could just about eat tomatoes on anything but I’m not a fan of ketchup. I heat up my cold cuts in the microwave which seems a little unusual if you ask me. Since you already did, don’t ask me again because then I’d have to repeat myself and that just reminds me of the kids. They’re at school right now so no one’s allowed to ruin the moment for me.

When I was in eighth grade during quiet reading time in school, I farted loudly enough to rattle the windows. Then, I was dumb enough to actually CLAIM it. In my defense, I thought it was going to be a little, silent one. I guess I was horribly wrong. I kind of earned the nickname “Ripper” that I lived with for about the next three weeks. You can feel free to eliminate this paragraph if you want because the material might be a little inappropriate or immature. Your option.

And on a further note, you can all blame Wodke Hawkinson for my steadily degenerating author bios because they managed to give me the idea.


What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

I started writing because I was bored and I do mean BORED. I was mind numbingly, eyes watering and “getting excited about trimming that stray thread off the curtains” kind of bored. I had nothing to do, the house was clean and I couldn’t bring myself to play another game of solitaire so I sat down and indulged the urge to write that I’d ignored for so long before that. Two hundred pages and about ten months later, I finished “Birthright” and found my calling in life. I’ve been flat broke pretty much ever since but blast it all, I’ve been HAPPY.

 
Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

I absolutely use a pen-name. Most people know me by Rachel, which is my given name and before you ask, I’m not telling what the “J” stands for because then I’d have people coming out of the woodwork using my full name and that would just get creepy.


If you have published one book so far, what aspect of it do you like best?

My pride and joy is “Sins of the Father” which has been getting glowing reviews. Yay me! When I penned “Birthright” I was applying the advice of my third grade teacher when she said, “You can’t write in too much detail.” Dear Lord, she was WRONG! In “Birthright”, I forgot what it was to shut up and leave some details to the reader to dream up and I can agree with the people who said, “Good God, woman! You can feel free to leave a little to my imagination!” Ah, such is the learning process. With “Sins of the Father” I did my best to take what the critics had said and apply it, reined myself in a bit AND I hired an editor which is absolutely essential for a serious writer. I think I did a fairly stellar job of showing that I’m a professional and not a fly-by-night or a one trick pony. I’m here, I’m serious, I’m talented and I’m going to be somebody of note someday.


Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

Out of the two I’ve got published right now, “Birthright” is WAY too descriptive but have no fear, it’s in the editing process right now and even though my editor is probably going to be tearing her hair out in frustration at me, she’s quite gifted and could probably get rid of about a third of the book that’s non-essential detail. My sympathies, my dear. I don’t blame her if she falls asleep reading through it a few times. That’s not to say that the storyline is boring or anything, but I’d be worn out if I had to edit “Birthright” too.


How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

Yes, I’ve matured and grown and this has shown up in my writing. I’ve also been willing to take the competent criticisms that I’ve been given and apply them to better my craft. Truthfully, if anyone says that they’ve reached the point in their career that they couldn’t learn a single other useful thing, no matter what career it is, they’re silly and deluded. A person can always find room to learn new things within the scope of their career. Otherwise, they just have a job and haven’t discovered what they want to do when they grow up.


And can you say that writing has changed you?

Without a doubt. I’ve discovered a capacity for understanding and reasoning that I didn’t have before. In order to write well, a person has to be not only willing but also able to write with an open mind from multiple different points of view, even if we don’t always agree with said points of view. This means that we have to be able to use our understanding in a way that we don’t necessarily show in everyday life. For an example, I had to write about things in “Sins of the Father” that would make my stomach turn out in the real world but they were integral to the story I was trying to tell. I had to lay down my aversion to the act itself in order to write about it in a compelling way.


What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

I wrote from the point of view of an autistic child in “Sins of the Father” which was NOT as easily done as you might think. I could’ve taken the easy way out and just not written from his point of view, but I had to try. My need for a compelling and dynamic story simply wouldn’t let me leave well enough alone.


And, if your feel up to it, what is the most daring thing you ever did in your life? Feel free to skip this one, not everybody is up to revealing much about themselves…

When I was sixteen, I testified against my own father at a hearing. My brothers and I suffered deeply at his hands when we were younger and I knew that the state more than likely had enough evidence to declare that our best interests were served in foster care but it was something I needed to do. I needed to start talking, to tell someone something about what had happened and cinch that part of my past up tight and beyond retrieval. I had to stand up, face my tormentor and let him know he couldn’t hurt me anymore. I had to take away any possibility that he could hurt my brothers ever again as well and I had to take back the power that he’d leached from me. I testified for about four hours, maybe five and by the time I was done, I was exhausted but I felt better and I knew that even if there was some crazy circumstance in which my father had been planning to get his kids back, the things that I told the Courts had now made that impossible.


Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

I want respect and acknowledgement as a writer. I want to be taken seriously. That NY Times Bestseller list has a certain appeal, naturally but I want to be more than a name and entertainment value. That’s not to say that entertaining people isn’t great, it’s just that I want for people to see what’s under the entertainment and get what I’m trying to say. I want people to analyze my writing, discover their own truth and understand mine.


Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

It’s been pointed out that my writing has obviously been influenced by Dean Koontz whose novels I’ve been reading since I was thirteen years old. I can’t disagree there and there’s a certain kind of pride in being compared and contrasted with an author for whom I have deep respect, both personally and professionally. It should stand to reason though, that I would show a lot of the influences of my favorite author because I’ve been an eduring fan for more than half my life.


Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

I suppose since I have to limit myself to one or two because I could easily name off five or six, I’d have to go with “One Door Away From Heaven” by Dean Koontz (no surprise there) because of the alien. If I told you any more, it would be a spoiler. You’ll have to read it to find out. I also read “Many Waters” by Madeleine L’Engle when I was in my early teens and a line from the book goes through my head frequently, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” Enough said.


Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

Okay, I’m going to be delightfully evasive here and not name any one particular book. Suffice it to say that I’ve read some real humdingers as an Indie with a group of talented colleagues to uphold and help promote. There was one work that I did try reading for which the author was not writing in his native language and there were so many problems with the story that I couldn’t get past the first chapter. I’ve even had trouble getting through some of the fluff pieces from my favorite authors and yes, I CAN tell the difference between a novel that was written based on a good idea and careful planning and one that was churned out to meet a deadline.


Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

There are several though I’ll decline to name them outright here. I mean, come on people. If you just want to publish a silly little idea with pie in the sky notions that you’re going to skyrocket straight to superstardom and easy wealth based on the “best book ever written” with no plot or depth, please give the rest of us that ARE working hard and putting our life’s blood into words on paper a break. I write because I can’t give it up and because it’s a part of who I am, nothing less. I love my writing, each novel is a piece of my soul. If you can’t string two words together in a cohesive or coherent way, stop making my job more difficult. If you have no humility and can’t accept a poor review with taste and professionalism, you have no talent. Bear in mind, you should read this answer whilst forgetting about the blatant lack of both taste and professionalism in my author bio. Just forget about that part while you’re reading this.


Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I’m going to say no. I’m a jealous and horribly controlling woman when it comes to my writing. I know what I want to write and I’ll write it my way and the rest of anyone else be damned. I can’t have that kind of devil may care if I’m collaborating because then I have to allow for someone else’s opinion. Perish the thought!

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

You heard that there’s more to life than writing? Great Scott! I’ve been living a lie and doing it all wrong! Let’s see…My Grandmother once told me, “No matter where you go, you take yourself with you.” When she told me this, I was sitting there thinking, “Well, duh…” And I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t learn what she was saying for another few years, right about the time I learned what it was to love myself despite all my failings and pitfalls. Thanks, Gram. You just had to get that one in, didn’t you?


And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

There are a couple of works I’ve been starting to compose in my head and since my ability to outline is dismally in deficit, I’m going to lose some of the ideas I’ve had before I ever start. It works out for my benefit because the lost idea is replaced with something better. One book I’m gearing up to write is a continuation of “Birthright” since so many people have told me that it needs to be turned into a series. The twins’ story needs to be told. I’ve also got an idea for another kind of novel that I’m thinking I might title “Dreamweaver” but I haven’t gotten the finer details worked out in my head yet. I had a great thought when I was kind of tipsy the other night that I can’t remember now so I’ve got to dig into my memory and see if I can pull that great idea out. It’s too good to be lost amid a slightly drunken haze and no, I can’t stop composing stuff in my head even when I’m trying to take a break. This is my blessing, this is my compulsion.


If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I thought I’d share an excerpt from “Sins of the Father” because I’d like to tickle your imagination and get you to buy and enjoy the book.

From Sins of the Father:

As Aaron watched in fascination and awe that changed quickly to horror, Lucian sat straight up on the couch and abruptly stopped screaming. His eyes, normally of that purest amethyst color and staring fixedly to the upper right met Aaron’s for the first time. They darkened with intense anguish before they turned as black as ink in the space of a second and Lucian opened his mouth.

The voice that came from him could not have been his for it was not childlike or sing song and it was not the high pitched voice of a boy of six. It was low, cold and hateful and it vibrated with fury, awareness and suppressed power. It crawled along Aaron’s skin as if it had a life of its own and made him feel nauseous and weak. Its cold caress could be felt reverberating from every corner of the room. Aaron fought for strength and control of his stomach as the voice that came from Lucian but was not Lucian’s was also accompanied by a sickening stench like that of rot and decay. There was death and agony and bitter, undiluted hate in the chilling quality of that voice and Aaron’s eyes watered and he gagged with the putrescence.

Mae yn byw gwarcheidwad. Mae giât wedi ei agor. Mae bechodau y tad a gludir ar y mab. Thirsts Dialedd ar gyfer gwaed. Rhaid i’r aberth cael eu gwneud.”

Aaron was bitterly cold and shaking with terror as the power of that voice carried him to a place of utter despair and he knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was no match, was not equal to the task of helping Lucian no matter how he tried. No matter what he did, he would lose and he knew keenly that he should just give up now. What could he do against a voice or presence of that magnitude? It was a fools’ errand and the effort was lost before he’d ever begun.

For more information about Sins of the Father, please visit http://rjpalmer.blogspot.com or find RJ Palmer at the following places:

Amazon Author Profile-FacebookTwitterGoodreadsSmashwords

Thank you, RJ, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!

Author interview – Payal Roy

Dear reader,

I shall be engaging in a number of interviews with independent authors. May you find these informative, entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring to go out and locate their books!

This interview is with author Payal Roy.

 Dear Payal, can you offer us a little insight into who you are?

My name is Payal Roy. I was born in India , but presently travel around the world as a freelance writer and an author. I am an author, a poet, a wanderer and an observer of nature and people. I like travelling and making new friends, stirring up a conversation with people about new concepts, new ideas and I wander amidst nature writing short stories and poems. I draw inspiration from nature’s beauty and what life brings my way. Most of all, I find poetry in everywhere I go, in everything I do and I believe everybody is a poet at heart and have creativity .

 What is the reason that you started writing? When did you start writing?

Since childhood I have been an avid reader. When I used to read the stories and novels I often found myself imagining and floating in the worlds of fictitious characters, thinking about them and wishing to talk to them. When I used to finish a book that I loved a lot,  I wanted to stay in touch with the characters in my mind. This enchanting magic of reading a book, and savoring the thought of concocting stories and characters out of thin air which would entertain and enliven the mind and the heart led me to explore my creativity. I began with writing poetry, somehow it came to me naturally. Then I followed with short stories and a few novels.

I began writing when I was probably 12 years old in junior school. I started with poetry. Then as I grew older and reached high school I began writing short stories followed by novels when I grew up.

  Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways?

I write under my own name.

 What, do you think, is your best book? And why is that?

At present I have 2 of my books released as Ebooks across Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords and Apple iBookstores.

One is of the genre- Poetry (thematic) titled MEMOIRS:THE SOULFUL RECOLLECTION Friendship and Life – a collection of 41 poems and 1 article drawing inspiratin and topics from nature, life and relations with friends and people we come across in our daily lives.

The other is a collection of short stories- contemporary fiction, drama, friends and family read. It is titled 12 PRECIOUS ANCEDOTES FROM LIFE.

I believe since these 2 Ebooks belong to a completely different genre, and are successfully building up their reach to a variety of readers, who are interested to explore and read such genres, so, to me both these Ebooks are my best works so far. Otherwise I wouldn’t have published my works if I was not sure about them.

The Ebook Memoirs : The Soulful Recollection on poetry is a colorful book, its pages splashed with original nature photographs taken from my travels to various beautiful locales across Europe. The poems and the article are sometimes unrhymed, and at other times rhymed, but most of all , they aim to take the readers into their depths of reflections about the good things in life, which though little and ordinary, are priceless and the most precious of all.

The other Ebook 12 Precious Anecdotes from Life which is a collection of 12 short stories, aim at arising a flow of thoughts and queries in the mind of readers, as they begin to feel and live in the world of fictitious characters , each of whom have a story to tell in each chapter. These stories are unique and entertaining and I found that words literally flowed out of my pen effortlessly as I wrote down the stories. The plots flashed through my mind and I wrote down how I saw the characters in my mind’s eye.

 Naturally, after the best book, what is your worst, if there is one? And why do you feel that way?

I would say, till date I haven’t felt any of my works as worse. Each of my works have been unique and diverse. So, I cannot comment on this question.

 How do you think your writing has changed over time? Did it change at all?

Over time, my writing has grown to be more consolidated and has included newer words, and I have kept learning new vocabulary and consulting thesaurus. During my childhood days, my writing was more simplified with words learnt in school and from the simple vocabulary that I explored back then. The characters I created during my childhood days were formulaic and simple. But after I grew up and began exploring different genres and writing more diversely, my writing became more detailed, organized, and sometimes I did a lot of research about a plot or a character I wanted to create and develop.

 And can you say that writing has changed you?

To some extent writing has changed me for the better. It has made me more creative and enthusiastic about pursuing newer areas in writing. It has also made me more patient, self disciplined, organized and persevering. The world of writers is a tough one, but it has its own charisma and writing has instilled in me a resolute desire to create newer books with a penchant to expand the thought process and entertain the readers at the same time.

 What is the most daring thing you ever did or tried in your writing? In which book did that happen?

The most daring thing that I tried to do in my writing was to speak my mind directly and candidly , what I thought was right and ought to be done in unique and complicated situations when most of us look the other way when such difficult situations arise in our lives. Such flows of expressions took place in my short story collection 12 Precious Anecdotes from Life.

 Is there something you still want to have a go at, in your writing life? Is there a challenge you envision that’s worth pursuing?

I want to explore romance (with a touch of thriller-action) and fantasy (similar to Tolkien and Eragon) genres, and I wish to write novels and short stories in these genres.

One of my greatest and most cherished challenges that I envision worth pursuing is to write my Memoirs and biography someday when I grow old and retire.

 Has your writing ever been compared to the writing of another (perhaps even famous) writer/author? And do you like that?

Compard to other famous authors I am still a newbie in the world of writing (smiles). If  I receive a feedback related to this aspect , I will surely let you know! (laughs)

 Do you have one or two favourite books (written by someone else)? If so, what are they, and why do they appeal to you so much?

I have a couple of favourites.

One is from Colin Forbes, the famous author of the Tweed Series of  mystery-thriller novels. I loved his novel titled Shockwave. Colin Forbes has this superb ability of gluing the reader to his novels, so powerful are his plots, extensive research, minute details and character development. Whenever I read the novel, I can visualize the entire story, its characters, their every movement and I literally race along with them as the plot advances . It makes me enthusiastic and engrossed so much that when I finish reading, I wish I had never finished the book! Time flashes by in a whisker.

Another one is Little Women , the literary classic by Louisa May Alcott. I loved the way the author has showcased the story and the richness of her writing, the molding of the characters and their emotions through the years and how they support one another through good and bad times. It has inspired me and instilled the desire to create stories which would make the reader feel closer to the characters and evoke thoughtful reflections as the reader goes through the stories.

 Which book you ever read would you label as least readable book, so far? Feel free to comment as liberally as you want to the why.

There have been a few books that I haven’t been able to complete, like many other readers. Nothing particular comes to my mind. The pace of the plot and the writing matters to me. If the pace is slow and the writing is too heavy for me to reflect upon, I feel bored and I cannot finish the book.

Is there a book that you know of that should never have been published, in your opinion?

No, nothing of that sort.

 Is there a writer that you would love to co-write a book with? And what genre would you like to write in then? Something you’re familiar with?

I would love to co-write a book in the genre of romance and fantasy novels (no erotica). However, I don’t have anyone particular in my mind as an exclusive co-author. I am open to suggestions and experimenting my work co-authoring with different experienced authors in that field.

 Let’s see… is there something in the realm of ‘wise words’ you once picked up that you would like to share? This does not have to be limited to writing, there is more to life than writing. At least, I heard there is. ;-)

: “Wise words” ? Let’s see…(reflecting mode) how about : “What goes around, comes around, so look out for doing good deeds for your own sake and making better lives.”

 And as a last question, what is cooking with you? What’s your work in progress? Is there a tip of a veil that you can lift for us?

My 3rd Ebook is going to be released soon. It is a poetry Ebook again, this time half of the poems would be centred around Speculative, Fantasy genres while the other half would be based on realistic fiction and themes from nature, life and emotions . I bet many of you haven’t read fantasy stories in the form of poetry from newbie authors. So, once my 3rd Poetry Ebook has been published, look out for a poetry Ebook by Payal Roy and jump into the realms of Fantasy and Fictional poetry.

 If there is anything else you would like to share, for example a thought, some promotion for your book(s), then here’s your chance!

I invite everybody to stop by my Facebook author page : http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPayalRoy
My Facebook Poetry book page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Memoirs-The-Soulful-Recollection-Friendship-and-Life/191959157570012
My Smashwords and Amazon Author profiles https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/PRoyVibrantCreations2012  and http://www.amazon.com/author/payalroy

My personal blog : http://musewithcoffee.wordpress.com/

My group blog –  http://wonderworld-variety.blogspot.com  where we list and feature various genres of Ebooks and author details for free. Some genres of Ebooks are not featured as per the rules laid down by our group members collectively. All indie authors are wlecomed to look through the submission criteria under the title- Indie authors-Contact us for  a free Ebook feature, in order to see whether their Ebooks can fall in the featured category or not. Readers are most welcome to look through the featured Ebook details.

Presently 2 of my Ebooks are up for grabs through exclusive special offers for the Summer season.

1. Poetry Ebook MEMOIRS:THE SOULFUL RECOLLECTION Friendship and Life has been rated 4.5-5 stars (multiple reviews) and is available for only $0.99 / 99 cents at Smashwords using Smashword coupon DU75H. You use the coupon and save 50% of the List Price.  This offer will run through August until 2nd Sept 2012.

Smashwords Stores : https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/121492
If you love Nook book or iPad reads , then you can find this Poetry ebook at Barnes and Noble and Apple iBookstores as well.
Barnes and Noble : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/memoirs-payal-roy/1111395130
Apple iTunes store :  http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/memoirs-the-soulful-recollection/id496686796?mt=11

Blurb : A soulful read of simple poetic words of happiness, love and respect for nature, friends and life. Added bonus are the nature photographs taken during our travels to various locations across Europe.

2. My 2nd Ebook 12 PRECIOUS ANECDOTES FROM LIFE is out now on Amazon stores. It is a collection of 12 short thoughtful and unique tales of following one’s heart, and helping and supporting one another unexpectedly in different situations. How it is achieved, and why do the characters stand to share their tales to the lead protagonist is for you to read and know.

This ebook has received multiple (4-5stars) reviews on Amazon as well as on Goodreads and is doing well.

12 Precious Anecdotes from life is going free across all Amazon Stores for the last time from 24th August through 26th August 2012 this month. So, you have an opportunity to grab this book for free from Amazon Stores during these 3 days. This Ebook will be released in Smashwords in September and subsequently to Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple iTunes Store from October.
US Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087OXSS2
UK Amazon : http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0087OXSS2
Germany Amazon : http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0087OXSS2

Thank you, Payal, for your time, and for sharing your words with us!