Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With Clare Flynn

Where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. I travel widely and have lived overseas in the past so I draw on these experiences a lot. I also read widely. Sometimes I get inspired by a place – for example the idea for The Gamekeeper’s Wife came to me while I was staying in a gamekeeper’s lodge on the Shuttleworth estate in Bedfordshire. I also visited a garden there – the Swiss Garden which had been a Victorian industrialist’s creation but had fallen into neglect after WW2 and since restored in all its splendour. I used that to create the sunken garden in the book – this time neglected as a result of the gardeners being killed in WW1.


Can you tell me a little about each book?
I have ten novels now so that would take far too long! I’ll tell you about some common themes. I write a lot about displacement – people being uprooted from their comfortable world and flung into a new and challenging one – often geographically distant.
My first novel A Greater World has the two main characters meeting on a ship to Australia from England – both forced to leave everything they have known due to sudden tragic circumstances.
Ginny in Kurinji Flowers has no future in England after being disgraced as a debutante so marries on the rebound and moves with the husband she barely knows to live on a tea plantation in India where she struggles to adapt.
My next book, The Pearl of Penang (published December 5th and now pre-ordering) is set in the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia in the 1940s. Evie the main character ends up there after accepting a marriage proposal by post from a man she met once only when she was only fifteen, twelve years earlier.
I am fascinated by the whole idea of British colonials and the worlds they created in far flung parts of the empire. I also write about war and its after-effects (The Canadian trilogy – The Chalky Sea, The Alien Corn and The Frozen River).


What inspires you to write?
I love entering a whole new world that emerges from my head, and meeting characters who begin to assume a life of their own. I also love the way my books affect readers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than hearing from them, reading their reviews and finding out how my stories have touched their lives. On the rare occasions I get discouraged, an email from a reader can galvanise me and send me straight back to the keyboard!


Tell me about how you got started as a writer.
I’ve always written. As a child it was poems, plays and stories. Later I had numerous attempts to write a novel (always knowing it would happen in the end) but got sidetracked by life and a demanding career.


When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?
It was in 2014. I’d lost a lot of time while my then agent tried to sell it. In the end I decided to self-publish and never looked back. My last book Storms Gather Between Us was traditionally published and while I have no complaints about the publisher or the process, I prefer being my own boss so I’m now reverting to being indie. I’m helped by the fact that I am an ex Marketing Director and publishing is all about marketing. I ran my own business for almost twenty years after a long slog in corporate life so I much prefer the control I have as an indie. Not that I do it myself – I use a professional editor and cover designer and invest a lot in my own development and training.


What advice can you give future authors?
Read as much and as widely as you can. Your craft improves with your exposure to and understanding of different styles, eras, genres, etc. I am blessed in that, since childhood, I have read voraciously from the classics to fast easy reads. I’d also say read your work aloud. That is an amazing tool to improving your work. And take your time to get it right. There is a big emphasis these days on pushing as many books out as possible – in some cases a book a week!! I doubt many of these will stand the test of time – and the toll on the writers will be enormous in the long run.


What was the easiest book for you to write?
The most fun was the latest one, The Pearl of Penang. It followed an unexpected writing drought when I was on a round the world cruise. I’d expected to write while I was away but it turned out I didn’t want to. After visiting Penang, an idea came to me and I set aside the book I was planning to write and started this one instead. I loved the writing and got so absorbed by the research I had to do. It was a sheer joy.


What was the hardest?
The one I am writing now! But I usually say that.


What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?
Distraction – I have a horrible tendency to stop to fact check something and then before I know it I am down the research rabbit hole – or off on a complete tangent as one thing leads to another and before I know it I am on YouTube watching old Pathé newsreels.


What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?
Very very hard. Even though my marketing background should theoretically make it easier!


How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?
My readers tell me they get hooked very quickly so I am responsible for lots of missed sleep and over-salted, overcooked meals – so many people have told me they walk around the kitchen preparing supper with one of my books in their hands! I try to write evocatively about the places in the books – I’ve been told it’s like vicariously travelling there as I aim to bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the locations to life on the page. I’ve often been told I write convincing dialogue and work very hard to make my characters believable and capable of evoking emotional responses in readers – good or bad. And the goodies are always flawed in some way and the baddies mostly have either some redeeming qualities or at least a backstory that explains how they ended up so bad.


Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?
This is my fifth consecutive year and every time I have hit the 50k. This year is the hardest yet!


How supportive is your family of your books?
I’m single (which probably helps!) – my siblings are generally supportive but I don’t expect them to read my books. Sometimes they do. But I think your own family can be your toughest critics.


Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?
No. No one’s told me I shouldn’t do it. Not that I’d have listened anyway!


Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?
I am a member of a critique group of five published writers. We meet weekly to give each other honest feedback. I have a great team of editor, designer, proof readers, beta readers. I also have a team of advance readers who get an ARC pre-publication for review purposes – they also spot any missed errors.


How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?
I am constantly tweaking and tuning – a real iterative process – including the ongoing feedback from my critique group. By the time I’ve finished it’s pretty close to final draft. I then read it through again and make further changes. The editor gives me a report which may require further changes (this time hardly at all!) and she does a line edit which I work through. I have a final read-through and make any further tweaks.


Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?
Yes four are – A Greater World, Letters from a Patchwork Quilt, The Chalky Sea and The Alien Corn. I need to get a move on with the others! I also need to figure out how to promote them!


What are some of your favorite books and authors?
Aaaagggh! I hate that question as there are so many. I love some of the classics – Thomas Hardy in particular – life always seems better in comparison with the terrible things that happen to his characters, the Brontes, George Elliot and Austen. I love Kate Atkinson’s writing. Recently I hugely enjoyed reading Amor Towle’s A Gentleman in Moscow. Nowadays I also read books by authors I know. I particularly like Linda Gillard’s work. Her latest book, The Memory Tree has done extremely well and as soon as one of hers comes out I have to buy it. My personal fave is Emotional Geology set in the Scottish isles. Linda never shies away from tough subjects. While on my cruise I met Helen Carey, author of the WW2 Lavender Road series. I’ve since read three of them and enjoyed them immensely and must read the others. At the Literary fiction end Jane Davies stands out for me, winner of the Selfies award for her cracking novel Smash all the Windows which follows the lives of a number of people who had been caught up in a disaster on the London Underground and their search for justice and personal reconciliation with what has happened to them.


Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?
Not yet! I am afraid to jinx them. I will say my Nano project is a novella set in WW2 in the Pacific theatre. It’s not a military story though.


Where can we find you on social media?
In too many places!! And too often.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn
Twitter – https://twitter.com/clarefly
Instagram – https://instagram.com/clarefly
And of course on my website – https://clareflynn.co.uk – if you sign up on there for my newsletter you will receive a short story collection as a thank you.

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With Angela Ford

Where do you get your inspiration?

 I write from the heart. I love to read as much as I love to create a story. One word, one picture can ignite that spark into a beautiful feeling that just flows endlessly. Who doesn’t love a happily-ever-after? 

Can you tell me a little about each book?

That could make a book itself lol I have over 50 published works. Each and every one makes my heart smile. But to sum it up…I write romance. Always a HEA…sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy and sometimes suspenseful. 

I’m very excited about my new young adult series! A different direction this time but a sweet romance series about life’s trials, wise words left, healing Hearts and horses! 

What inspires you to write?

 Reading, I would say has been my first inspiration that began this journey to share stories I’ve created. My parents are a huge inspiration-my real-life fairy tale couple. 64 years together and still in love as much as the first day they met!

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

 I started writing as a teenager on the beach one summer. Not that a lot of people knew about it. I kept it to myself. Later in life, after years of being an avid reader; it was time to share my stories. From there, it hasn’t stopped. It’s an addiction!

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

I published in 2013. Scared. Nervous. Not knowing where to start. But determination kept me going, even after many discouraging rejections. Then one day I received an offer with the same publishing company I’m with today. The day just happened to be April 1st-April Fools Day lol but after a 2nd request two days later…it wasn’t a joke. And here I still am! Loving what I do!

What advice can you give future authors?

Never give up! Do what you love. 

Write from the heart. Edit later. 

What was the easiest book for you to write?

My Cyber Crime Series (Closure/Forbidden/Obsessed). It’s about an elite FBI task force hunting down internet predators from teens. Besides the fact that I love mysteries and FBI shows! As a school council chair with the school my kids went to, I hosted seminars with the local police to educate parents on internet safety to protect their kids. I’m a Mom. Always protecting my kids, along with my passion for the education system and keeping kids safe online; the stories just flowed!

What was the hardest?

The hardest was Provoked. Not just because I wrote it during NaNoWriNo (50,000 words in 30 days challenge). It is a police procedural, mystery thriller…which I love but it also involves domestic abuse. It was tough to write some scenes due to my own personal experiences. 

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

Time! I want a 36 hour day lol

If I didn’t need the day job…I like to eat lol … I’d be writing for hours every day. Doing what I love!

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It’s a love-hate responsibility lol

It’s fun to create ads, trailers, and story pitches. But it’s time consuming and takes away from writing time. There are a lot of promotional places that can help ease the promotional side but a lot cost more than an author makes lol

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

I write the way I enjoy reading. Being pulled into the story like I’m there. I can see, feel and be swept into a world where the characters are real and true to life. 

I love researching to make them real. Whether it’s their profession or the place they live. I want it to feel real. 

Every time I write the last word of each story, I have a bittersweet moment. Happy I wrote another story but sad to say goodbye to my characters. They’ve become friends after the many hours of living with me lol 

But I’m happy now while I’m writing this new series…they get to live with me a little longer!

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

Just the once when I write Provoked I mentioned in an earlier question. 

I remember that last Saturday of November. It was 2:22 pm and I wrote the last word. I think the neighbours heard my loud WHOO HOO!! I did it! 53,000 words in 29 days!!

How supportive is your family of your books?

 Very supportive and my biggest fans! Not all of them read. So the ones who don’t, still brag and promote!

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

I’m a positive person and blessed with many readers. You can’t always please everyone in this world and in life you find true friends. Those are the ones to treasure and be thankful for. And always remind yourself you write because it’s your passion. 

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I’m very lucky to have great, true friends and family. And family also includes my publisher and my readers. They always inspire me to keep writing! I love brainstorming with them for ways to promote. I’m very blessed to have an awesome Street Team (Angie’s Angels) and a review group who love to read and review (Angie’s ARC Angels)…you can find us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1705342496353914/

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

One draft. Then I go through it slowly, polishing it before sending to the editor. After edits, I don’t re-read or I’d probably keep editing lol 

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

More than half are already in audio! And will continue to get the rest done. Audios are great for today’s world. We’re so busy but with an audio we can multi-task! I know I love listening to an audio book in my car, going for a walk or while cleaning. 

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

There are so many!! I’m an Agatha Christie fan and James Patterson too. They’ve inspired my mystery and suspense side of writing. I’ve always been a Danielle Steele fan since I was a teen. I’m a proud owner of all her hardcovers!

I love to read new authors and ones I’ve met along the way. There are so many talented writers and so many stories to enjoy. 

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

 Now I’m working on a new young adult series that takes place on a ranch in the mountains of Montana at an equestrian ranch. A family saga who have a love for horses and the hearts they heal. Book 1 released July 29th. Book 2 will release Sept 29th. Book 3 is set for November for a Christmas story. 

In between I dabble at a suspense thriller novel I’ve been working on. And on the back burner…I’m thinking of a paranormal series. 

Endless thoughts and love it!

Where can we find you on social media?

You can find me mostly on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon and wherever else I find time and a spot lol 

I have a website (angelafordauthor.com) and a newsletter where I offer a free ebook when you sign up. 

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free ebook!

https://mailchi.mp/05bdf2d92b50/angela-ford-signup-page-for-new-releasessalesgiveaways-complimentary-free-ebook



— 

Angela Ford – Award-Winning Author and Screenwriter

ROMANTIC ESCAPES

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Overdrive and more.

Winning Love For Valentines Day Screenplay

angelafordauthor.com

                    Website: Facebook: Twitter: Amazon: Goodreads:                                              

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With Lannie Sheridan

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from all kinds of things. Sometimes a song or a photo might give me an idea. A conversation with a friend may spark a plot, or even I may even dream the entire scene. Ideas come from all over, but not all of them are good ones. Sometimes I silly idea can lead to an amazing scene or plot twist while what seemed like a wonderful idea might not go anywhere but the trashbin.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

Well as far as finished books, I only have two at the moment. The first book, Shadows of the Past, follows Princess Amirilla of Mercury as she takes her new position on the Intergalactic Court. Amirilla, known as Rilla by her friends and family, has oracle blood, which gives her visions of the future.  My second book, Shadows of the Past, is a sequel to the first. The system is in chaos and nothing seems to be going right…  Can’t really say more without giving spoilers. I’m about halfway through writing the third in this series, When Shadows Fall, which will pick up where book two ends.

Once I finish the Shadow series, I have several other series I plan to work on. Sadly I don’t have titles for them yet, but I know the basic plot of all of them. I have a series about a young hunter searching the land for the magical being that murdered her parents. Another series follows a young witch who learns that imaginary friends are anything but imaginary. I’m still working on the details but I am working on a mystery series that follows an investigative reporter looking for her brother. The last one I have is about a lonely girl who winds up being sent back in time after making an innocent wish on her birthday.

What inspires you to write?

The stories in my head need to be told. When my muses start talking I have to write down their tales. Doesn’t matter if anyone else reads them or likes them, I write the stories for me and my muses.

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

Not really sure how I actually got started. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t makeup stories for fun. Even before I could write I would make up stories and my mom would write them down for me.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

I published my first book, Shadows of the Past, in December of 2015. The day I received the first printed copy was the happiest day of my life. Words alone can’t describe the emotions I felt seeing my name on the cover.

What advice can you give future authors?

Never give up. Being a writer isn’t always easy and it’s not a fast way to make money. It takes a lot of time and hard work to finish writing and editing a book. Promoting and selling it is even harder. No matter how hard it gets, never stop and never give up.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

Dancing with Shadows was the easiest so far. It practically wrote itself. Only had a few gaps I had to fill in.

What was the hardest?

The hardest is the one I’m currently working on, When Shadows Fall. There are a lot of fight scenes and a huge battle involving a dozen armies that I have to write. I’m not the best at writing fight scenes so this is quite a challenge for me.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

My biggest challenge is finding time to write without being interrupted. Its often hard to get people to understand that just because I’m sitting at my computer with music playing or in the recliner with my laptop and reruns of my favorite tv shows playing, that doesn’t mean I’m not working.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It depends on the situation. If I’ve got someone who is honestly interested in books then it’s usually pretty easy to sell the books or at least get them to take a business card and possibly follow you later on. People that are looking for a specific kind of book that doesn’t include mine or people that don’t want to read at all, well they’re almost impossible to sell to, but you still have to try and do your best. Sometimes the impossible sale is the most rewarding.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Hmmm, that’s a hard one….. I’m not really sure how to describe my writing style. I write in the third person because I like knowing what’s going on with all the major players, not just the main character. For me, the dialogue is the easiest thing to write because I actually hear the characters in my head. I’m working on being better with descriptions and details. I don’t think I have set style though. My editor told me after reading what I have of one of my other series that it was like someone else wrote it. My tone and voice change to fit the characters and setting of the story I’m writing. I took that as a huge compliment. I don’t want all my stories to sound the same. If I did that I would be doing my characters a great injustice.

How supportive is your family of your books?

My family is very supportive. My dad bought a dozen copies and gave them to all his friends. My mom insists on being one of the first to read my books once they’re finished.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

I had a few people in college tell me that writing wasn’t worth my time. They thought I should be doing something better with my time. Those same people thought it was fun to get blackout drunk and not remember what actually happened over the weekend. They couldn’t understand why I thought that sitting at home with a good book or a good movie was more fun than a party full of drunks. Needless to say, their opinions mattered little to me and I kept writing.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I have two editors, who are both dear friends. One reads for story content and the other fixes my spelling and grammar. The only other people do anything directly for my books would be my cover artists. While they don’t work with me or get paid, my biggest help with promotions are my readers. The people that read my books and leave reviews or tell others about my stories help out more than they realized. Word of mouth is the best advertisement a writer could ask for.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

Not sure of the exact number. I probably had close to 30 drafts of book 1 before I was happy with it. For book 2 there were at least 20. I don’t keep track of how many drafts I go through, just how much my book improves with each one.

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Not yet, but its definitely something I want to do.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

That’s a long list. First ones that come to mind are Diana Gabaldon, J.K. Rowlings, Stephen King, Richard Castle (yes I’m aware these books have ghostwriters but I still love them), and Sir Arthur Conan Doyal.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

Well, the one I’m mostly working on at the moment is When Shadows Fall, the final book in my first series. It’ll be a very battle heavy book and I’m certain there will be a few readers that will yell at me for certain parts of the story.

Once that one is complete I plan to work on either the series about the young hunter or the imaginary friend one. I haven’t decided which one just yet. I do know that I will probably jump back and forth between my series and not focus on getting one particular one done first. I did that with my current series and burned myself out on it. I think the writing will be much easier if I just write what comes to me and finish and publish the books as I get them done. Hopefully, it’ll be less stress that way too.

Where can we find you on social media?

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

Twitter: @LannieSheridan

Instagram: LannieSheridan22

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14754570.Lannie_Sheridan

Fanfiction.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/~ladylanniequeenofgoblins

Archive of Our Own: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Lady_Lannie_Queen_of_Goblins

Deviant Art: https://www.deviantart.com/lady-lannie-qofg

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With MK Mancos

Click For Author’s Goodreads

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first book was written in about 1993 (that’s nineteen ninety-three – the font looks wacky here) on a word processor that only showed maybe four or five lines of type at a time. It had a cartridge and ribbon in it and held I don’t remember how many pages of text before I had to put a piece (single) into the carriage and hit print. It was more of a glorified typewriter. So, given that it took me longer to write than you can imagine. I wrote it, but knew it wasn’t good. Nowhere near ready to publish. I completed it in about 3-6 months, maybe. Then stuck it under a bunch of stuff in a drawer and started on the next book. By this time, we’d purchased our first computer that ran Windows 95. What a revelation that was to my craft. I actually could correct as I went and print later. LOL. Flash forward many books and programs later – to about 2004 (?) I was at the New Jersey Romance Writers annual conference and was going to pitch to TOR books. Well, I hadn’t planned to pitch the book I did, but when I got my pitch envelope it said they wanted PNR. I had planned to pitch and epic fantasy. I had to switch gears and fast. So, I pitched that first book I wrote with the understanding that I had to dust if off and rewrite it. And I did. I started from the first sentence, first word and rewrote the entire book in 3 months. I switched things up and condensed a few characters together. That book was passed on by TOR but I ended up signing it with Samhain. It was released in 2006, I think, and was titled By A Silken Thread. It was a mystery/PNR about near-death experiences.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller. To myself, to pass the time. On break between summer and fall I’d sit in my room and type out short stories in junior high and high school. It’s been a dream that I made come true. When I first mentioned it to my fiancé (now husband of 26 years) he encouraged me to make it happen and I haven’t looked back.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

That first book – 2. I wrote that first horrid copy, and then the one I sent to the publisher. There had been about a 10-year gap between revisions and I learned so much in that time and had honed and worked on my craft with other books, so it’s hardly a fair comparison.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Oddly, the first thing I had published wasn’t the first book I wrote. In between writing By A Silken Thread first and second drafts, I read all kinds of writing publications. Writers’ Journal used to do these writing challenges where they printed the first slug of sentence and the author had to come up with the story behind it. I decided to give it a try. First prize was $50 and first print of your story. The slug I used was “Cars were still going by…” Well, me being me, I couldn’t make that be anything other than dark, so I finished the sentence with, “on the way to the cemetery.” – Thus, the short story “Grave Dancing” was born. I had no idea I’d won the contest until I found a free copy of the magazine in my mailbox one morning. I opened it and there was my printed story with my byline. I was so excited. You’d think I had won a Pulitzer or something. After that I sold an erotic romance novella to Red Sage Publishing.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I used to be more of a plotter than pantser. Now, I’m an amalgamation of them both. Publishing has changed completely, since I’m mostly publishing indy now and have only 3 pubs I still have books with. I’ve gotten all my rights back to the other books I had with other publishers.

How many books have you published since then?

Somewhere in the 30s. I lost count. Too many coming and going and republishing and such. I have no head for that kind of accounting.

Interview with MK Mancos aka Kathleen Scott, Kate Davison, and Cassie Sweet

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat Finale

If anybody knows me well enough, they will know that I’m always inspired to help and uplift people. I am also known to have random ideas. Over a month ago, I had an idea to interview five people at random about their first book. I was going to put all five interviews in one blog to highlight how each one was different. I even wrote out five questions to ask them.

Two things happened. I got a remarkable response and I no longer wanted to pick just five. I also realized that five interviews in one blog would be a very long blog. So I posted all the responses as their own blog. They are listed here for anybody who wants to read them:

Author’s First Book Chats:

  1. Delta James
  2. H. Gorlitz Scott
  3. P.S Bartlett
  4. Laura Hawks
  5. Gryffyn Pheonix
  6. Kyra Dune
  7. Golden Angel
  8. Casey Hays
  9. Christina Lanier
  10. Evelyn Lederman
  11. Artemis Milchon
  12. Cheryllynn Dyess
  13. D.L Pitchford
  14. Lannie Sheridan
  15. Amber Anthony
  16. Lily Wallis
  17. MK Mancos

Writing a book is hard. Publishing and marketing is harder. Feeling under pressure because you think it has to be a certain way or you have to do it a certain way makes things even worse. So seeing the responses and how different they were is a comfort to me. And I hope others find comfort in it as well.

In the end, if nothing else is taken from this experiment, I hope that you realize there is no time line. If you get it done in a week, great. If it takes you years, awesome. Go at your own pace. If you need to put it down for awhile, do so.

There is no amount of drafts you have to write. If you find it perfect after the first draft, good. If it takes you many drafts, that’s fine too. In the end, if you can’t be happy with your work, nobody else can either.

Click To Buy

Olive Ann Burns started her career out as a journalist. She never expected to write fiction, but that changed when she was diagnosed with cancer in 1975. She had begun writing notes about her family history in 1971 that helped fuel her book Cold Sassy Tree. The book was released in 1984. Olive Ann Burns was sixty years old.

Click To Buy

Olive Ann Burns was already working on the sequel to Cold Sassy Tree when her cancer relapsed in 1987. Through her treatments, she kept attempting to finish the book. She passed away in 1990 with the novel unfinished.

If you stick with it and you put your passions into it, it will show. Sometimes great work takes longer to come out than others. Never feel discouraged or overwhelmed. If you do, please take a break. That way you can come back with a clear head. Remember, the power is in your hands and in your mind.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. I hope that it’s inspired the writers to go on. I also hope that readers have found new authors through this. There will always be hope and inspiration everywhere you look.

*I found the images and quotes on Google Image Search*

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With Gary Roen

Where do you get your inspiration?

From people I meet or come in contact with or news stories that prompt me to write something.  For instance, my story S Mode began when I sat in a restaurant and overheard a woman talking about how over tired, she was. Or in my collection Slotski’s World I saw on the news a report about a husband and wife who returned home to find their house completely gone thus the story Traces

Can you tell me a little about each book?

Journey is a series of short stories of science fiction I have written through the years that are in the mode of the Twilight Zone with many twists of endings.  Slotski’s World is a second set of stories with my teddy bear character who has special abilities that help people in unique situations.   

What inspires you to write?

I get an idea and work it through to become a story.  I am influenced by many different things but feel I can tell a story because I have been a book critic for so long that I always said. I can do my own

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

I wrote poetry for many publications back in the 1970’s then branched out to short stories.  I published a book of poetry Look At Me World that sold very well.  Later I worked for several publishing companies learning the business from many different angles.  I later became a book critic then went back to college at UCF with a bachelors in writing.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

My first book was 1976 Look At Me World and I felt fantastic like I had delivered a child.  I have to say I get the same felling every time I see the hard copy edition. 

What advice can you give future authors?

Keep writing, take courses, get involved in writing groups, go to writer events and conventions of all genres in your area.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

Look At Me World because, I wrote all of them in a class of logic I had at Valencia Community College when I had a very boring professor who otherwise would have put me to sleep. 

What was the hardest?

The Forgotten Father Coping With Grief because of the subject matter of the death of a child and what happens to a father

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

To not use the same words throughout the work.  The example I use is And But and Suddenly too many times on a page like Danielle Steel. 

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

I love promoting my work to gain new readers and I have no problem partially because I was a book salesman promotions director for several publishing companies for so long

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

I have been told by readers my short stories read like Twilight Zone, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson which I take as a compliment.  The poetry has been compared to E E Cummings. I believe because I do not capitalize, punctuate, or I have words that are combined.  

How supportive is your family of your books?

My family is other writers and they are very supportive in many different ways. 

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

Yes Mrs. Cox at Boone High School.  I think it was a good thing because I was more determined to be a writer after being in her class

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

Yes, Gabriel Vaughn and the staff of Legacy Book Publishing and other writers who give me feedback

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

I know it is too many to count because there are plenty of pages in the trash can.  I like to see it in print not just on the computer.

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Not in audio at this time but would love to have it as I was on Ron’s Amazing Stories where it was done and it sounded fantastic

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

Richard Matheson, Button Button short story and others Donald E. Westlake, The Hot Rock Ian Fleming, James Bond novels Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fredrick Brown, Martians Go Home, Robert B. Parker, Spenser Novels

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

Another collection of science fiction short stories so far one day I may try to do a novel but for now am happy as a clam doing the short fiction.  Maybe in the future another collection of poetry.  I am also working on a children’s book.  Have to wait and see how that one turns out.

Where can we find you on social media?

I am on Face Book, LinkedIn and Twitter.  Readers can contact me at any of those places or my e mail address of gsroen@aol.com thank you for this interview. 

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With Delta James

Click To Buy

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first novel began the night I recognized that somewhere along the way, I had lost the part of myself that lived without fear.  I got up off the couch, fired up my computer and opened myself up to the possibilities.  My first heroine stepped forward and said, “I have a story to tell.”  Two weeks later I submitted that story for publication.  Within two months, I saw my first novel appear for sale on Amazon.

What inspired you to start writing?

The recognition that as a younger woman I had adopted the creed that fortune favors the bold, but that somewhere along the way, fear had dulled that edge.  I made a decision to banish fear-based decisions from my life.  That thought was almost immediately followed by the abandoned dream of becoming an author.  I let go of the fear and embraced the possibility of living a dream.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

One of the ways I’m kind of an odd-ball is that I edit as I write.  Each day when I begin to start to write, I re-read at least the previous chapter and edit.  Once I have completed the first full manuscript, I re-read the entire thing and send it to my beta reader who sends me suggested edits.  I make those and then re-read it before sending it to an editor.  I get those edits back, make them, re-read the entire manuscript and then return to the editor who either has additional suggestions or forwards to the line-editor.  Once the line-editor is done, I re-send to my beta reader and then I will re-read a final time once she is through.  A long-winded way of saying five to eight times … and still once it’s published you find things!

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

My first book went live about 11:30 PM the night before it was scheduled to be released.  Seeing it appear on Amazon was a thrill.  I squealed loud enough to wake up my three basset girls who were napping in the office.  I was beside myself … they just thought if I was going to be excited and wake them up, I needed to get them a cookie!

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

The writing process is about the same, although I believe I’m a better writer. The publishing process is far different.  I changed publishers. The second/current publisher has a far more extensive and involved editing process, which I just love.  That’s another odd-ball thing about me – I love the editing process.  I always learn things and new skills to improve my writing and my process.

How many books have you published since then?

This Friday, August 2nd, I will release Warlord:  A Dark Shifter Romance, which will be my twenty-first novel (under two pen names) since my debut novel in January 2018.  I published six novels under the pen name Willa Bradley with Blushing Books.  In July 2018, I published my first novel (Brought to Heel) under the pen name Delta James (which I now use exclusively) with Stormy Night Publications.

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With H. Gorlitz Scott

Click To Buy

How long did it take you to write your first book?

So, this can get a little complicated to answer, so I’ll preface this with the fact that I started off doing independent comics. My first was a web-comic, which took about a week for each “page.” After that I went to doing printed comic issues, which took me about a year to produce (scriptwriting, then drawing takes a lot of time, ya know?).  My first words-only/no pictures novel took me about 3 years to write.

What inspired you to start writing?

My husband got me into comics with his weird concepts, but the overall story of Sivoa came about because of long-lost childhood days of playing “pretend” at my parent’s house.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About a million. Then I went crying to a wonderful freelance editor because I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that I was doing everything wrong. There were about three more rounds of edits before we felt it was ready to send off.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

This question is why I brought up the comic stuff before, as that gave me prior experience with releasing my works into the world. “Hitting the publish button” wasn’t really anything new to me by that point.

Marketing it for the first time as a new author wound up being a whole different story and, frankly, I was terrified. Honestly, I never got  over that; marketing still scares me.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I take a little bit more care with the outline and the first draft now. No more “[insert name here]” or blanks as I write anymore. Filling those in later was practically impossible due to my not being able to recall my thoughts when I went back to them. It really bogged things down.

How many books have you published since then?

I only published one book since then – an anthology of shorts about the characters that do not transition from the first book to the second. It’s thin, but it has also been illustrated and made into a functional calendar. 😉

Posted in Author Interviews, Willow's Book Chat

First Book Chat With P.S. Bartlett

Click To Buy

How long did it take you to write your first book?

If I remember correctly, all in all about three months. The actual writing took about a month but add in all the research, editing, rewrites etc. and three months sounds about right.

What inspired you to start writing?

The voices!

Yes, the voices is what I tell people but as writers, we know what that means. It isn’t like we hear actual voices but more like our imagination is speaking to us in the voice of a character. Mine was Ennis, a little boy who had a story he wants me to tell about his life. I was on a treadmill at Planet Fitness and he wouldn’t stop “telling” me his story. I finally agreed and FIREFLIES was born.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

About three—four if you count the professional editor’s suggestions and changes.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

I felt so accomplished. I’ve always been the type of person who commits 100%. When I decide to do something, I dig in my heels and don’t stop until it’s done. With writing, to see your book right in front of you, your name on the cover, your beautiful cover design that you chose from the artist, then to open it and see your dream come true is something like a miracle. It’s like Christmas morning when you’re a child.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

It’s ten times easier. Back then, I was with a boutique publisher and granted, she did all the heavy lifting for me but even now that I self-publish, the hardest part is writing the story, editing and finding a good professional editor and beta readers. The best part about now is I have learned so much. All I want to do is top myself with every book. Getting better with every line is all that matters.

How many books have you published since then?

At the moment, I have a total of seven published. My eighth book is complete and currently going through the editing process. I’m hoping for a Christmas release, but things are going so well that is might be Halloween!

I’d also like to thank bloggers like you for being such a wonderful support system to independent authors like me. We definitely couldn’t get our work out there without you!

Posted in Author Interviews

Interview With K.B. Wheelock

Where do you get your inspiration?

                Everywhere. A book, a conversation, a movie, or a dream

Can you tell me a little about each book?

                The Guardian Series is a complete series that is dark and twisted. I had no clue where it was going to when I wrote it, or how twisted it would be.

Click To Buy

What inspires you to write?

                My family, my need for creative outlet

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

                I always have been better expressing myself in writing, but never thought I could write a book until a few authors convinced me to try. I was sick with strep, bored out of my mind, so I started writing.

Click To Buy

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

                March 23, 2018. Amazing the idea that people actually wanted to read what I wrote.

What advice can you give future authors?

                Stay true to yourself. If you aren’t comfortable with what you are writing, or sharing it. Then don’t write it.

Click To Buy

What was the easiest book for you to write?

                Xistrosie’s Law. I just had so much fun with it.

What was the hardest?

                Hmmm Cherish. I didn’t want the story to end.

Click To Buy

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

                Time! I am like a dog after a squirrel. Too many ideas and not enough time. Add in 6 kids, yeah time.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

                I hate promoting. If you ask me I don’t mind talking about it, but I never know who to compare my work to or if it fits into various genres

Click To Buy

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

                First person present with a tendency to irreverent characters. I like to write cleaner stories with closed doors.

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

                Yes I did in November. It was fun to see the goals met.

Click To Buy

How supportive is your family of your books?

                Not so much my earlier stories, but my kids books and more recent adult books that are closed door they are.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

                Not really discourage writing, but the time and the monetary aspect. I just tried to manage things better.

Click To Buy

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

                I have a few beta readers who are great helping me flesh ideas out

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

                One draft that is highly edited

Click To Buy

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

                Yes. Protecting Rose, Sanctifying Rose and A Taste of Dragonfire

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

                I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child. Now I love to read Orlando Sanchex, Shayne Silvers, and a couple other authors. Asking me to single them out is so mean!

Click To Buy

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

                I will be finishing up the Lab Shifter Chronicles (formerly Prometheus Curse). Then I will be alternating Raven Wars with a new series, Twisted Kiss

Where can we find you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/443952596020308/?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/KBWheelock