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Author Interview: M A Clarke Scott

M A Clarke Scott is a Chatelaine Grand Prize winner for The Art of Enchantment, first in the Life is a Journey series of romantic women’s fiction about young women abroad who discover themselves and fall in love while getting embroiled in other people’s problems. Reconcilable Differences is first in the Having It All series about professional women in Vancouver struggling to balance the challenge and fulfillment of career with the search for identity, love, family and home. She also loves to weave dramatic relationships into steampunk and cyberpunk adventures.

She’s been a telephone operator, a dental hygienist, an architect, a gerontologist and an education savings advisor, and is now affectionately known as ‘Doc Maven.’ When not writing, she meditates while hiking wooded mountain trails, does yoga and Pilates to fend off decrepitude, reads eclectically, contemplates wormholes, experiments with painting abstract expressionism, kills plants and tries not to burn dinner. Clarke Scott lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada with three large men and four small mammals, all of them hairier than she. Although she knows she lives in Paradise, she still loves traveling the world in search of romance, art, good food and new story ideas.

You can read more about M A, her books and ideas that strike her fancy at Join her mailing list to receive a bundle of free goodies. If you enjoy her books, please rate them and leave reviews on Amazon.

  • : I've always been a daydreamer and an avid reader. There have always been a variety of fictional people chattering away in my head, so writing fiction was a natural progression, and something I always wanted to do. The more I write, the more I see that there are ideas I revisit, dressed up in different ways. I guess that’s how my first stories evolved into series. I saw that I kept coming back to the same ideas: identity, belonging, balance, self-knowledge, empowerment. Learning to be one’s true self, even if there are reasons why you’ve been denying that, as a survival mechanism. I think this is very true to life, and I like to explore it in different ways – that turning point in a life that changes everything – and brings you closer to yourself. The universe. Authenticity, I guess. And a touch of spiritual awakening, in a vague, non-religious way. A kind of Zen thing.
  • : Sure. When I was nine, I wrote the first ten chapters of a romance novel. I think it was a bit corny, involving a sinking cruise ship, a remote tropical island and a love triangle. I lost it, but there were ideas and themes in there that I still explore, though perhaps in a more mature way. I abandoned the story to become an architect.
  • : My current work in progress is Book 2 in the Having it All series. It involved the best friends of the two main characters in Reconcilable Differences. It's an oil-and-water romance involving a career-oriented, driven architect who doesn't want a relationship or a family, and a millionaire computer geek, who doesn't want a relationship or a family. They jointly care for their best friends kids, so they end up with a relationship, and a family! Also some life lessons.
  • : Professionally, seriously, in 2005.
  • : I grew up in a small city in the interior of BC. I guess, in some ways, there was not much going on there. But the place was not so much the reason as the fact that my siblings were all grown up and gone by the time I learned to read. Also my parents were older, and didn't do much, except work. So I had loads of alone time. Maybe I would have been introverted and creative anyway, but who knows. I think that was a factor.
  • : I don't follow a schedule. More an urge. I'm a binger so I write a lot, or read a lot, or procrastinate a lot. All at once. I think there are different rooms in my head, and I can't be in more than one at a time.
  • : After Coming About is complete, which should be soon, I'll be polishing Book 2 in my Life is a Journey series about young women abroad. A Forged Affair is almost complete, but I've been thinking about it, and I think I'm going to add a bunch of chapters from a second point of view, so there's a bit of work to be done on that one.
  • : Reading, of course. Exercising. I like to do Pilates and yoga, and hike in the woods. I like to cook, but mostly when I don't have to. For special occasions and entertaining friends. I love to travel, and eat and look at art, architecture, museums, history. I watch movies and binge watch series.
  • : The more I mature as a writer, the more planning I do for a book. I'm rather passionate about story structure, and have read many books about it. So over time I've amalgamated many ideas into my own architecture. I'm very interested now in the heroine's journey, and studying it in detail, studying exemplars, and using this archetypal and mythical structure to explore and express ideas in my books. So nowadays, I do a lot of note-taking, planning and outlining before I begin to write. I find it more efficient, and actually inspires my stories and helps me to problem solve.
  • : I love Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and several contemporary and historical romance and women's fiction authors. Some of my favourite's include Barbara O'Neal, Mary Balogh, Suzanna Kearsley, Suzanne Brockman, Jane Ann Krentz, Freya North, JoJo Moyes, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Crusie, Eleanor Brown, Laura Kinsale, Elizabeth Hoyt. They are all brilliant writers, who sweep me away, inspire me and teach me. My favourite SF authors include William Gibson, Neil Stephenson, Robert Sawyer and Lois McMaster Bujold. I also admire Khaled Hosseini, Peter Carey, Janette Turner Hospital, Carol Shields, Michael Ondatje, Ian McEwen, J K Rowling, Mary Novak, Barbara Gowdy, and many, many others.
  • : At the moment, I am lucky to be "just" a writer. But these days that also means I'm a publisher, book marketer and promoter. In the past, I've been an architect and an environmental gerontologist. I've had many jobs in passing, in finance, journalism, research, and odd jobs as a student. I've worked in libraries, on nurseries, as a telephone operator, a dental assistant and a gas jockey.
  • : For many years I've used my iPad. It's getting old and sick though, so I'm considering switching to a newer, bigger phone as an e-reader. And/or maybe a small Kindle with e-ink, so I can read outdoors and limit blue light and eye fatigue.
  • : Hah. Because I come from a design background, I'm a very involved, you could say meddling, high-maintenance client. I'm lucky to have a very talented and patient cover designer. But that doesn't stop me from studying the art, taking courses and thinking about doing more of it myself. I'm kind of a typography geek, and so hard to please on that count. Very picky about details and spacing. I figure maybe I should just add that to my list of careers. But, to answer the question, I think cover designs should convey the proper genre to the right readers, be evocative of mood, location, character and theme. Be colourful - I love colour and eye-catching. And if the books are part of a series, convey that through consistent layout and graphic design as well.
  • : See my answer on process above!
  • : Being in the zone. When I know my characters well and immerse myself in their world, their story, and the words just flow from my subconscious onto the page. In those moments, I feel like I'm channelling something bigger than myself, and am part of something universal. And also doing the thing I'm meant to be doing in this life. I especially love when patterns, symbols and connections come out of me that I didn't labour over. Serendipitous things that add layers of meaning and artistry to my stories. And when the sound of the words is beautiful, or the pictures I paint with my words are evocative and moving.
  • : My website: Everything's there: buy links, synopses. Sign up for my email list to get a bundle of free reads, including deleted scenes, sneak previews and short stories.
  • : Live long and prosper. But, with feels. Lots of feels.
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Author Interview: Annette Oppenlander

As a historical novelist, Annette Oppenlander loves weaving people, settings and interesting past events into a rich and adventurous tapestry. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she shares her knowledge through writing workshops and indulges her old mutt, Mocha. In her spare time she travels around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories. The mother of three ‘former’ teens, Annette lives with her husband in Bloomington, Ind.

  • : 'Surviving the Fatherland' took me 15 years to write. Growing up I always felt there were a lot of stories hidden in my family. I’d hear bits and pieces, quick references or watch my parents nod at each other in silent understanding. As my interest in history grew, my curiosity grew with it. So in 2002 I asked my parents to share their stories. I spent several weeks visiting them in Germany and recording their memories. I remember one afternoon we were in the basement while my mother ironed. I’d ask questions and she’d tell me about the way her mother treated her. I still have those tapes though it’s hard for me to hear my mother’s voice. She passed away in 2004. My mother always insisted that my father was the better storyteller. And while I agree that his activities were quite adventurous, my mother’s quieter side offered a lot of depth. And so I think the two characters balance each other out nicely. Initially, I had planned to write short stories so my children could remember their grandparents. But then I realized there were few if any stories about Germany’s war children and the civilian side of WWII. Of course, we have excellent and moving stories about the Holocaust and the soldier’s war. There is no shortage of battle scenes. Yet, many battles were fought at home. They weren’t drawing as much attention, but they were just as heroic. I wanted to add complexity to the stereotypical portrayal of Germany in the Third Reich.
  • : I have a couple of manuscripts in the works. One is set during the American Civil War and tells the story of a farm boy and his best friend, a slave. Best friends, they get torn apart by a horrible accident and must each find their way through the war and eventually back to together. The second manuscript is set during prohibition and has a female protagonist, Sam, short for Samantha. She is your regular tomboy and lives in a tenement in Cincinnati with her mother. I've got about 20% of the first draft done. So it's going to be a while.
  • : Of course, I read a lot and widely. I also love walking my dog, hanging out with friends and my husband, by best friend of 30 years. I enjoy traveling to various places in Europe and around the U.S. because I always find new interesting historical tidbits that could potentially turn into a story.
  • : I typically write in the mornings at my desk in my office. No music, no distractions. In the afternoons I edit and do marketing.
  • : I'd say don't skimp on the cover and get a professional designer. Nothing is worse than a 'homemade' cover. It'll turn readers off.
  • : I'm a pantser. I typically have an idea who my protagonist is. In fact, I do a detailed bio on him or her and try to get to know him/her well before I start. S/he always surprises me along the way, though. I also know the setting. As a historical novelist I study the era in great detail before setting out with the story. The story itself is written without outline and sort of flows wherever my brain takes it.
  • : I love the creative freedom, the way my characters come to live. I also enjoy how writing/creating makes me feel and when people tell me how much they enjoy my stories and that they were 'right there.'
  • : You can find me on all major retail sites and these websites: https://www.twitter/aoppenlander
  • : Thank you for reading my stories! I so appreciate it and hope I can enrich your life in some way.
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Author Interview: Sue Lilley

After being a secret scribbler for years, Sue Lilley has two published novels – ANOTHER SUMMER and HIGH HOPES. Her practical exterior hides the soul of a daydreamer and compulsive people watcher. When she isn’t escaping somewhere else in her imagination, she lives in the north east of England, a few miles from the stunning Northumberland coastline and the famous Alnwick Castle, last seen in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter movies. She’s been married to Michael, an artist and fellow creative spirit, for more years than they’re brave enough to count. They have one daughter and a beautiful new baby granddaughter, which makes them sound very grown-up.

  • : High Hopes is my second novel. I’ve long had a fascination for secrets, how people go to great lengths to hide things and what happens when the truth comes out. In High Hopes, three old friends are confronted with a secret from twenty years ago. An adopted child traces her birth mother. The father knows nothing about her and when the truth is revealed, it rocks them to the core. They think they know everything about each other but are shocked to uncover jealousy and hurt simmering beneath the surface. High Hopes is the name of a place in the book and also represents the theme of having “high hopes” for the future.
  • : As I have a full-time job, I write mainly at weekends. During the week, I mull over the next bit of the plot so I’m ready to go as soon as I sit down at my computer. I walk around with a notebook and a purple pen, working out my next scene. I have become that mad woman talking to herself on the bus.
  • : I’m writing my third novel which is about a dispute over an inheritance. I’m also polishing a few short stories for readers to enjoy with a quick coffee. All my work is stand-alone, although I do seem to have developed a common theme of placing a house at the centre of my stories.
  • : As I have a full-time job and a lovely family, fitting in quality writing time requires forward planning and a tendency towards anti-social behaviour. This does not come naturally to a closet rock-chick like myself. I like a bit of fair-weather gardening to clear my head, whenever I can fit it in.
  • : I tend to write in scenes which are mostly dialogue. In my next draft, I add in the setting and necessary explanation of what’s going on. I then formulate it all into chapters with enticing breaks to keep the reader hooked. My primary aim is entertainment and escapism. I think of myself as writing “commuter fiction” – short chapters that can be read whenever the reader has ten minutes to spare. I try hard to make my characters realistic. I want them to have human dilemmas and to make mistakes. The situations I write about are also real-life but hopefully without the boring bits.
  • : If I was ever stranded on a desert island, I’d want Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Scruples by Judith Krantz and something to get my teeth into, like any of the big and fabulous dramas from Penny Vincenci. My all-time favourite novel is The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. I had it in hardback and read it so many times over the years, it fell to bits and I had to buy another copy. Obviously before the days of the Kindle. I love everything about it – the wonderful characters, the sense of family history, the vivid setting. I suspect her writing inspired my lasting love of Cornwall, which features in both of my own novels.
  • : I’ve mostly had office jobs – hotbeds of intrigue for romantic dramas! I currently work for an organisation who awards lottery funding to good causes. It’s a nice reason to get out of bed but turning people down can be difficult as there’s never enough money to go round.
  • : I was a late convert but I chose the Kindle Paperwhite.
  • : I buy pre-made covers which have the same feel as my story. I make sure the branding is consistent when it comes to colour and font. I did change the hair colour of my character in Painting Rainbows as I liked the cover so much.
  • : I like a brief outline so I know where I’m going and why I’m going there. But other than that, the fun is in making it up as I go along. My problem is knowing when to stop! I love everything about writing and editing. I always want to polish and tweak until I drive myself mad. When I start waking up in the middle of the night because I’ve dreamed about one perfect word, I know it’s time to let it go.
  • : I write what I love because if I don’t love it, who else will? Writing is my therapy and not as expensive as buying shoes.
  • : They’re all available from Amazon. My website has all the details:
  • : I write contemporary romantic dramas with some grit and a fair bit of steam. I’m confident my novels are well-written and entertaining reads. I’ve always believed a writer is what you are, not what you become.
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Author Interview: jean claude dehmel II

Jean-Claude Dehmel II was born in Vallejo, California to an All-American mother of Anglo-Irish
ancestry and a French immigrant who abandoned the family before Dehmel was out of the mother’s womb. Despite great odds Mr. Dehmel went to college (Humboldt State University) where he studied Mathematics and later law school (University at Buffalo). In 2004 he moved to mainland China to take up a teaching position at Liaoning Institute of Technology in Jinzhou, China. It was there he met his wife Li Xiao Bai. The marriage lasted three years. Mr. Dehmel has no children. He is the happy owner of a Pit Bull/Black lab mix. He has been a licensed attorney in Connecticut since 2009 but has little to no interest in practicing law.

He is the author of three other books: Poetry for the Lovelorn, Notes from an American Jail and
The House that Vivian Built.

  • : I just felt like I need to write one day and so started writing.
  • : Hmm... Kinky book.
  • : That's quite a story. I was locked up in the county klink on a public intoxication charge for two months. I started keeping notes because 1) I knew it would make for an interesting read and 3) It was good habit to cope with the stress.
  • : Poetry when I was 19.
  • : SF bay area and Sacramento Valley. The cosmopolitan nature of California exposed me to a wide variety of people and lifestyles.
  • : Evening, night.
  • : Political autobiography.
  • : I don't spend much time writing. I've been chronically unemployed for years. I sleep in. Listen to the radio, daydream, play with my dog. Daydreaming and escapism.
  • : Depends on subject matter. I make mental notes to develop plot direction. The jail house chronicle was straightforward. Poetry is more complicated and slow going.
  • : Don't have favorite books.
  • : English teacher, security guard, immigration lawyer. Plus all the little jobs since a child, you know, all american boy stuff: paper route, mow lawns, fast food etc.
  • : I like books.
  • : I use Canva.
  • : No outline.
  • : Reading the work after not looking at it for months. By then I have forgotten what I wrote and it looks new and interesting to me. I am impressed by myself.
  • :
  • : Not really. Thanks for reading.
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Author Interview: Kyle Robertson

Kyle was in sales for 21 years. He spanned from a telemarketer to a product trainer. His product knowledge was vast. It spanned from replacement windows to home maintenance equipment, with automobiles, and many electronics thrown in. He could tell you the difference between a veractor, and detant tuner, and even what they were. He went into military Intelligence when he graduated from high school, and had to know all NATO, and Warsaw Pact vehicles. He had many stories from the military, and many he made up.

He also drew comics in high school, and made up intriguing characters. Once he lost most of his sight to Diabetic Retonapathy, he continued his stories in book form.

  • : When I was in high shcool, I was a nerdy movie, and comic book nut. Those stories took me away from the mundane. I drew well, and wanted to become a comic book artist. I even began to make my own comic books. My friends actually enjoyed my figments. The bug of entertainment crept into my mind. When I graduated, I went into the military, and after my stint in the Army, I worked to take care of my new family. My dreams were put on hold. After working 21 years straight, diabetes type 2 began to hinder my performance. It began with hindering my sight, and destroyed my kidneys. After I got my transplant, my condition, and the government told me I couldn't work anymore, let alone drive. I got depressed. After working for so long, I became what prisoners call 'institutionalized'. I couldn't do what I was good at. That's when the creative spark came back. I began writing to ward off my depression. I started with one of my comic characters, and grew from there. Writing is much more complicated than drawing a high school comic book, so I began to learn. I think I know enough now to be dangerous, but I always want to learn more. My influences are Issac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Phillip K. Dick, Stephen King, Peter Straub, And George Orwell. I just hope to come anywhere close to their talent.
  • : My first story I crafted was a fictional, futuristic bounty hunter. It was a story I created in 1984 in high school. I just adapted it to a more modern time, but the overall gist was still there. I just had to let it mature for this time. Remember, social media didn't exist then let alone the World Wide Web.
  • : I write fiction tales. I began with science fiction, but I have expanded. My latest tale is called Wrong Step: A Sinister Syndicate Thriller. It's about an African emigrant in Nw York becoming an investigative photographer. Her friend asked her to take pictures of her, and her new beau so a detective could run her boyfriend. She accepted. As she tool pictures, she found out he was with a Jamaican posse, and her friend was shot. She screamed, was found out, and a deadly chase ensued through New York. It's a wild adventure.
  • : I drew my own comics in 1984, but I actually began to write books in 2008.
  • : I was born in Baton Rouge LA, but grew up in Milwaukee WI. I learned everything from there. Culture, sports, and diverse character idiosyncrasies. I listened to dialects, and learned many customs. After my stint in the military, my interests expanded. That is the fuel for my imagination..
  • : I have a schedule. I write my mandatory 5 minutes every day in the morning before lunch when I don't have a new project. It keeps you limber. If you don't use your skill, you can lose it. When I was in Germany in '90, I spoke German, but since I had no one to speak to in America, I forgot the words, and grammar. I never used it, so I lost it.
  • : I'm a fiction writer. When writing fiction, you get ideas. I've written 13 books since the beginning of 2014. I have to get another idea, so I'm on hiatus until creativity knocks. You have to feel your art. If you don't feel it, your work suffers without any soul. I won't short my fans because they just want another story. When I get a plausible idea, I go full fledged.
  • : I'm an entertainment, and political nut, so I watch movies, and politics. I'm boring, so Wikipedia excites me. I learn things I never really knew fully. When I know a subject, I write a story about. I was in sales, and we have a saying of knowing your ABCs. Always Be Closing. I've adapted that letter nomenclature to my new vocation. Instead of ABCs, it's ABLs, Always Be Learning.
  • : When I write a story, my process consists of listening to music first. I'm not speaking of certain artists you enjoy. My music is my new book's soundtrack. I go from Gustav Holst to Cibo Matto to Metallica to Thomas Dolby, to even Angela Winbush. Then I create an outline of the story initially. After that, I break down each chapter to insert important elements. After the initial outline is finished, I follow the outline. That process kills writers block, and keeps you going. My motivation is writing the next page because I haven't read that book yet, and to finish it, I have to write it.
  • : 1984 is one of my favorite books. It was made in 1949, and it was futuristic to George then. Mister Orwell trained his imagination to be able to transcend actual time. I was 14 when the books dystopian environment was crafted, but we're still here. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Phillip Kindred Dick was a visionary, and showed me how powerful imagination could be. The Stand. Stephen King wrote an amazing opus. It was a monster unabridged. I read it in high school without any coercion. He showed me the page count doesn't matter if your story's intriguing.
  • : I used to be in sales. I ranged from window replacement to electronics to luxury cars to software sales. I learned my craft well, and even wrote training manuals, and newsletters. I was what was called an unconscious competent I didn't really know how much I knew. Since I was good at selling for someone else, why not make a good product to sell for myself?.
  • : I use versions of the Kindle. Either on my computer or cellphone.
  • : I search for certain images online royalty free, and send them to my designer Vikiana. She designs my overs.
  • : As I wrote above, an outline is part of my process. Whenever you just "let it flow", you can come against literary boulders in your writing stream. Doing an outline is your proverbial Asteroids video game. It clears the screen until your next book round.
  • : Provoking emotion to any of your creations. If a person feels sad, bad or elated for one of your characters, that means you've connected with that person. If someone actually cares for one of your figments, you have done your job.
  • : This is my Amazon author page: My eBooks range from free to $2.99. I never wanted to be a millionaire with my writing, so you can enjoy my tales for less than a movie ticket, and my stories are deeper than a movie.
  • : When I began my sales career after the Army, I wanted to excel in my profession. After my health became suspect, I had to keep going. My childhood friend I just reconnected with told me he thought I was doing this from jump because he loved my stories. I'm glad I opened my door, and my talent was patiently waiting for me to feed it. My talent was hungry so I'm still, and always will be feeding it.
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Author Interview: Clabe Polk

Clabe Polk has written two novels, several short stories, assorted screen plays and has a couple of novels in process. Retiring after more than thirty-seven years of professional environmental protection, including criminal law enforcement and criminal law enforcement training, Mr. Polk has taken his professional experience, scientific background, and a lifetime of practical skills and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.
He currently lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters and the family’s cockerpoo named ‘Annie’.

  • : I've always loved to read. I've always wanted to write books that I would want to read. I believe strongly that writers must be readers first before they can be writers. A lifetime grab-bag of experience is a rich source for story ideas.
  • : No, I don't. I know it was back in high school or early college and all of that writing has been lost now. My current writing actually began as an attempt at screenwriting a couple of years ago. Our family has a rather unique story and I wrote a draft feature length screen play for the first part of our story, with the intention of writing a second script to go with it. I also wrote some short screenplays just for practice. Then, I put them on the shelf for a while and started writing short stories and novelettes. Now, I've moved on to novels.
  • : My latest book is "Collegial Conspiracy" and it will be released August 1st. It is about two older friends, Harry and Wiley. Harry is happily retired, owns a sailboat and has a successful thirty-five year marriage. Wiley is happily married but has a terminal illness and leaves his wife so she won’t have to watch as his illness claims him. Wiley enlists Harry to help him rob a bank because Wiley has a plan to finance his healthcare, and because he has an unsatisfied obsession with gangsters-especially Bonnie and Clyde. Harry wants to help Wiley, but must risk his marriage, his freedom and perhaps even his life.
  • : Actually, I started writing in college. I wrote short stories and poetry but none of that was ever submitted for publication. During my career, I wrote literally thousands of all kind of documents, including two books, a textbook and a field handbook and many training courses. The most interesting thing I ever wrote then was the text to a educational comic book. It was fun to invent comic characters for a good cause. However, even though I have been a life-long reader, I didn't start writing fiction in earnest until about three years ago...long after I'd retired from a regular career and my daughters were well into college.
  • : I grew up on a citrus and cattle farm in central Florida near Tampa. I grew up hunting and fishing in the Florida woods and waters, and fishing and sailing along the Florida West Coast. I loved boats, the lakes and rivers and the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I guess that’s why I got a degree in Marine Biology and Natural Sciences and spent nearly thirty-seven years in professional environmental protection where I was involved in every program from hazardous waste management to chemical emergency response and both civil and criminal law enforcement. During that time I wrote thousands of documents, including an environmental law enforcement textbook, a field handbook for law enforcement officers and the text of an educational comic book about environmental crime prevention and more than fifty online training courses. After retiring, I supported my two daughters through USTA Junior Tennis and through varsity college tennis. I began to do what I’d wanted to do; write fiction. I have written several screen plays, two novellas, two novels and numerous short stories and flash fiction stories. My books are three non-serial series (the stories do not depend on the previous book): The Detective Mike Eiser Series, The Adventures of Harry Morgan Series, and the Mark of the Beast Series.
  • : Anytime I can get into the proper mindset. However, I spend much more time with promotion, website maintenance and reading and reviewing for other authors than I do writing my own books. Through the my own CPMA Book Review Blog and through another blog that I review for, I’ve read and reviewed nearly one-hundred books for other authors in the fourteen months I’ve been doing it.
  • : My Mark of the Beast Series was originally planned to eventually become an anthology of short stories chronicling the Bishop family’s experiences surviving the tribulation in the end time described in The Book of Revelation. However, I’ve now decided to make it a novel instead and it has become my current project.
  • : Most of my time gets spent writing, reviewing, promoting, reading, working around the house, spending time with my family and going to college tennis matches.
  • : I have an idea. I visualize how that idea might play out in real life trying to be as realistic as possible. None of my characters are super-heroes; and none have extraordinary help from sources like James Bond's famous friend 'Q'. So, I try to make my scenarios believable. I visualize those scenarios play by play and type them down as they occur in my mind, editing and spell-checking as I go. Finally, I give the text a final spell checking, then a careful line by line edit refining sentence structure, spacing, correct punctuation, and incorrect words, etc. Then I send the manuscript to a great editor I know. She makes sure everything works together as it should.
  • : Seriously? They’re too numerous to count. My favorite authors range in breadth from Edgar Allen Poe to Mark Twain, to John LeCarre, to Robert Ludlum to David Balducci and John Grisham, and more recently to George Wier, Scott William Carter, Michael Grumley and Lee Child and many other mystery and action writers. From there to science fiction with classics by Andre Norton, Issac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Robert Silverburg and more recently, any number of modern science fiction writers. I read a lot, and I look for quality story lines and crave action in books.
  • : I own two well worn Kindles, an old Kindle keypad model and a Kindle Fire 8.9. My wife has an iPad that I use occasionally.
  • : For the novels I use well-known commercial book designers. I have found a talented one that I like and who is easy to work with. I identify the themes that I think the cover art should communicate and sometimes, I’ll search for stock art consistent with that theme and suggest it for the artist’s consideration. For the short stories, I try to think of a theme that dramatically summarizes the story or some part of the story while establishing a mood or an emotion. When I have an idea in mind, I begin to look for art that can fulfill that idea. Then, I go to work to bring it alive as a cover.
  • : I just write. I have the story visualized in my mind, so I focus on getting to, and through, the key points logically as I write. I’ve tried both typing and voice-recognition software, but I find, maybe because of habit and experience, that stories flow much more logically for me when typed, than when spoken.
  • : I've seen and done a lot of different things in my life. Authors need life experiences in order to have enough depth to write convincingly and to have the imagination to go into different directions than many others could go. Besides actual life experience, I love to read and I have used my imagination in every way I could conceive. To me, nothing in the world happens unless it is someone's thought first. Thought gives rise to action which gives rise to creation. Writing is sharing creative visualization in a form where it can be imagined by others as well. Writing expresses the joy of creative visualization.
  • : My website, My blog, The CPMA Book Review Blog at My Facebook site at My Tumblr site at And please follow me on Twitter, @ClabePolk
  • : Yes, I love and appreciate all my fans! I hope my books bring you a lot of entertainment and happiness. You’re the greatest fans on earth, so prove it and review every book you read no matter what the book is or who the author is…please never read a book without posting a review! Thank you for that!
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Author Interview: Elise Darchis

Born and raised in France, developed a passion for music, languages, metaphysics and horses early in her life, and travelled through Europe to develop the skills associated with her passions in her own way. Returned 11years later by force of events, with the intention of escaping again abroad as soon as possible, was unfortunately pinned down geographically and professionally due to a motorbike accident. Currently transmuting this state of affairs into an inner journey through metaphysics and the rescuing of stray animals. May not have much use for her five fluent languages and 7 musical instruments any longer, the physical limitations only allow for a hermit’s life, however they also afford ample time for writing. Recently started studying Mandarin for the mental trip it affords.

  • : I have been writing as a hobby since I was a child, I had access to great literature from an early stage of my life, which sparked a passion for well-written stories. I won a small writing contest at 15 with a story I came up with in a day, this motivated me to write down my experience. As a coincidence, my own life turned out to develop in an epic manner, which provided for endless inspiration. I have lost most of my early work which was never published, during my hapazard journeys described in my book "Vibes", and I thought I should publish some of my memories last year.
  • : Yes, the first story I ever wrote from start to finish was when I was 11, I had recently discovered Agatha Christie as an author, and so filled two handbooks with a detective story that was set in a fictional place in England and turned out to involve family members in a tragic turn of events (I used to read a lot of Greek tragedies and due to my young age was only capable of replicating the patterns while ignoring the symbolism involved), I gave it to my French teacher, for feedback, then lost the handbooks. That story spanned 160 pages and took me a fortnight to write, I did not need much sleep at the time.
  • : The story behind "Vibes"is my own; as it is highly unusual, I thought I would share it for everyone who did not have the same opportunities and freedom of movement as I did between 2000 and 2011. It explores subjects that are paramount to me while accounting for most of my adventures abroad. I can guarantee with outmost confidence that it is not in the least boring.
  • : Around the age of 10. I thought, if Sir Conan Doyle can do it, so can I. Then I was taken over by other passions, at the time it was hacking in the forest with horses, and until I was asked to take part in the "Fureur d'Ecrire" contest in 1996, I could not find the time for it.
  • : I grew up in forest houses, very isolated from society, though I did attend school at the nearest town, about 20kms away. I had more contact with animals than humans, my knowledge of humans was mostly based on the available literature in house, which spanned classical texts such as Dostoïevski, Shakespeare, and Molière, Jules Vernes, Victor Hugo, Baudelaire etc, and a lot of detective stories by Maurice Leblanc, Sir Conan Doyle,Agatha Christie. I remain eternally grateful to all these authors for the beautiful journeys taken through their books.
  • : Inspiration has no timetable. It wakes one up at night or early in the morning, strikes one while going to the shop, but once I start writing on a subject I cannot do much else until the work is done, and so I can spend a whole month writing all day and night, and then will do other things until the next idea comes up.
  • : I am gathering memories from an acquaintance in the Belgian army, who has some very shocking information to disclose anonymously, and am compiling an interview for him right now. I think that it is time to shed some precious light in the surrounding darkness. our world is dark and does not have to remain that way.
  • : Recording music, meditating, reading Tarot Cards for people, healing people and animals with magnetism (which has been exhausting but amazing lately), since my accident I cannot move very much and have to develop a new skillset. I am having a website built for my Tarot readings, since I have very good feedback, I want to help people. Which is a huge paradoxe: I enjoy helping my clients however I prefer the company of nature and animals to that of humans. I am still working on understanding myself.
  • : Usually an idea takes over my mind. As soon as I sit down to write, I just can't stop except for looking after my animals, getting some necessary food and sleep. You do not want to be around me during those times.
  • : Umberto Ecco's Name of the Rose, it is so immersive you can practically feel the chill of the abbey, and the metaphysical dilemnas raised in this book are immense. Terry Pratchett's work, because it is so well written that it will make you burst with laughter even if you're having a bad day, and there is a philosophical aspect to the Discworld that I really love. Anything by Pouchkine, especially the Queen of Spades, for its ambiance, and anything metaphysical in nature will get me going, provided it's not New Age. I will stop there otherwise this is going to take me a week. And I love them all in equal measure.
  • : I am disabled now, my ankle was shattered in the motorbike accident in 2011, my back now has two hernias in it and I have suffered from this in a psychological manner, since I cannot travel freely as I used to. However, as stated above, I do very efficient tarot readings, and can help people with healing magnetism. I now have 7 animals to look after, one of them is a rescue mare which I had to educate myself , obviously it takes whatever physical ability I have left and she is my reason for living. Perfect time to start writing and publishing. I am one of those hyperactive people who always has to have new projects. I am currently on a course for a year, it's about thaumaturgy, which in my situation has become essential.
  • : My computer, and only in the absence of any other choices. I actually don't like reading on screens, somehow one forges a unique bond with a printed book which fails to be replicated by a screen. But I was raised with paper books, therefore I freely admit that I am biased on the issue.
  • : My friend Bethsheba Ashe, who is also an author, did the initial cover for Vibes, then JeRm LaHaine offered me to do a design for it and he just captured the whole book in one image! for my essay on the French workplace (which I wrote last year and has become extremely relevant following the El Khomri law) I just used the Kindle cover tool, I don't care much about that, I'd rather focus on content quality
  • : Let it Flow, it does so very quickly and I would not have the opportunity to stop and say "hang on, we need a geometrical structure" or anything like this. I am an improvisation person, especially in music, and have always worked that way, even during my education.
  • : Writing is a joy just as playing music or painting, etc. If I did not, I would be miserable and doing it brings me great joy. I have written some epic emails during my career, I use every opportunity to write as beautifully as I can. I just love it.
  • : Just read them. The content is what matters and what I want to share. This is what I expect from the books I read, and this is what I try to deliver through mine. Enjoy! Vibes has a facebook page made by my friend Bethsheba Ashe, who is also an author.
  • : Have a good read! Have a passionate life and enjoy the ride!
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Author Interview: A. J. Gallant

The author has two cats that force him to get up at five every morning, seven days a week to write.

  • : I read Harlan Ellison when I was about eighteen and I thought I want to write.
  • : No, but I remember my first book. Madman in the Mirror.
  • : The idea originated from the title I Was Murdered Last Night. The story is about Anita who gets murdered in New York but discovers that it is in fact not the end of the road. But she somewhere in the middle, not in heaven, and she's not sure what to do. She discovers that she's someone connected to detective Olivia Brown. Is she supposed to help her solve her own murder? It's not that simple.
  • : I started writing when I was about eighteen and have loved it ever since.
  • : I have a panic disorder and was not exactly a normal child because of my shyness. Spent many hours alone in my own little world.
  • : My cats get me up and five in the morning and I don't complain. More ideas flow after a night's sleep.
  • : I am already working on it, Breaden the Barbarian, book #2. King of the Castle. I sometimes work on three books simultaneously though one gets most of the work.
  • : Watching Game of thrones or playing games on my $65 tablet.
  • : I just get an idea for a book and go for it. I don't plan my chapters and try to write what I would like to read. I love when I can make myself laugh, like with the neurotic dragon that has no fire in King of the Castle.
  • : I was a machine operator for years until I started passing out at work.
  • : A Kindle.
  • : I can't afford to pay much so I try my best to be creative.
  • : I just let it flow from the title. With my first novel I had a serial killer that was abused by his father and I went from there.
  • : Creating new worlds and having characters surprise me!
  • : On my author site. Where you can also see pictures of my cats and sign up for updates.
  • : Yes, please buy a book my cats need food. Ha, ha.
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Author Interview: Jeffery Craig

Jeffery lives in the southeastern United States with his husband and partner and a menagerie of much-loved pets. He co-owns a local art gallery/gift store that provides an outlet for area artists to showcase and sell their work. When not wring, he can often be found working on a painting or sitting on the covered porch of his historic southern home with a good book in hand. His currently working on the Reightman & Bailey series.

  • : I have also been an observer of the world and have always enjoyed a good story. Words fascinate me and the idea of stringing them together to show others a glimpse of the world I see around me was very appealing.
  • : Yes! I was probably in the third grade and I wrote (and illustrated!) the life adventures of Daniel Boone. I wish I knew where that little booklet was now!
  • : My latest book, Hard Job, is a continuation of the series I started with Done Rubbed Out. It is set in the south and revolves around a most perplexing murder. In some ways, it's a traditional thriller, but in others it is more than just a mystery. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear it's really about the vivid, unconventional characters we find around us, making astonishing new friendships, and their power to change us. It captures what I feel are important social themes around equality and acceptance.
  • : I have written for the business world for some time and wrote some poetry when I was a very young. It's just been in the last year that I've started writing fiction in earnest.
  • : I don't have a hard and fast rule about when I write. Some days I start soon after I get up, and on others I write late at night and into the morning. The main thing is I try to write everyday.
  • : I am currently working on book three of the Reightman & Bailey series, Skin Puppet. I have a few other things underway as well and I keep adding ideas to the file. I try to stay focused on the project at hand, but sometimes it's difficult!
  • : I try to get it all down in a first draft as quickly as possible. I let it stew for a while and then work my way back through each and every page and rework the areas that need it. Since I'm working on a mystery series, I stop about every 50 of 60 pages and make sure I haven't dropped any clues, and that the trail is there. I don't want it to be obvious, but it has to be there. After I have been through the first draft a few times, I send it out to my great beta readers and then incorporate their feedback where appropriate. Then it's time for real editing.
  • : I read a lot of different genres and enjoy them all. I love authors who paint images and I tend to like complex novels. I also go through phases where maybe I want to read literary fiction, and then suddenly I'm in the mood for a good space opera. My specific favorites change and evolve as my life does. Old standbys include The Three Musketeers, Desiree, anything by Joseph Campbell, and Mary Renault.
  • : I have done many different things. I have been a theatrical designer, and accredited gemologist, an executive at very large high-tech firm focused on the financial services sector, and am currently a co-owner of an art gallery. All of those adventures have provided a lot of character fodder!
  • : I'm fortunate to have a terrific cover designer. When I started this journey, I felt it was important to find someone who I could work with on several books. I wasn't sure I could find someone who I clicked with, but fortune smiled and I found someone in the same city. I have ideas about what I want to cover to say (sometimes more than the designer wishes me to) and I provide an outline of what I'm thinking. We talk it over and look at images and thankfully, she reels me back in when I need it. After the initial concept is done, she goes to work and always brings me something much better than I could have every imagined.
  • : I do a bit of both. I make what I call a sketch of the book and capture the major threads in an outline. Then I write and give the characters themselves a lot of free rein. Sometimes they take me to places I would never have dreamed up and the end product is wonderful. Other times, I have to have a stern talk with them to get us back on track. Often I will let them go on for a while, even if I don't use everything I write. I learn more about them, and myself, when I let that happen.
  • : The best feeling in the world is when someone finds a message that means something personal to them in what I write.
  • : You can always find out what's going on through my website or on social media. I can be reached at and I'm on face book under the same name. I try to keep my current activities sync'd up, but if I'm in the middle of a book, I might miss a step.
  • : Read what you love, and if you come across a good story, tell your friends. Support those who write.
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Author Interview: Tyneise Seaborough

I am the “Hope Therapist” for the autism lovers!

There is a void in me that can only be filled when I work with children with Autism. I realized a few years ago that my entire purpose for being born was for this cause. Often times, when I say this, the blank stares that I get are priceless! I’m sooooooo glad to say that I have discovered living!

I have dibbled and dabbled into a variety of work settings: schools, private sensory integration clinics, pediatric outpatient, pediatric ICU, and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) clinics.I have practiced as a special education teacher in a full inclusion classroom, although that model was very ineffective, but I served as their advocate.

That was fun….haha…but very short lived. I moved on to my love and joy of becoming an occupational therapist, where I get to play with children for a living to facilitate independence and/or their optimal performance.

My best hobbies are shopping, good eating, and working with youth. In my spare time, I also serve as the Youth Pastor at my church.

I can’t help it! I love youth!!!

  • : I not sure that I have a good answer for this question. I found myself in a very low place in my life and I just began to write. So, I guess it served as a form of therapy for myself.
  • : Of course! The first story that I ever wrote was geared towards young Christians. Its purpose was to simply reveal strategies that will yield success and help them overcome obstacles that life may bring their way.
  • : Millions of individuals are affected with autism worldwide. The stats are alarming! 1/68 children are born with autism and there is no cure! Because of the countless amount of children that are being diagnosed with autism this inspired me to scribe. The shattered hearts of caregivers that are desperately searching for answers, inspire me to write, in order to provide hope thorough practical advice. When I reflect on the horror stories of caregivers that have endured inhumane comments by others in the community, this gets me boiling and ready to pen.
  • : I began writing in 2008 after not being able to practice in my field as a therapist because I had failed my boards exam. Can you imagine going from a pretty descent salary to being unemployed because everyone rated you as overqualified? What a rough time that was.
  • : I grew up in beautiful Savannah, GA. A place full of southern charm! I've been told that it's listed as one of the most beautiful cities to visit! I'm convinced that my experiences in life have influenced my writing more than the cities in which I lived.
  • : Ideas flood my mind as soon as I arise early in the morning. It’s these key ideas that lead me to writing my most amazing pieces/works yet. Because of this, I typically write in the morning before the baby arises.
  • : I'm working on another book in the Hope for Autism series for the faith based community.
  • : Ministering to teenagers at my church, shopping, speaking, and spending time with my 11-month-old daughter and husband.
  • : My writing process is a simple 3 step process. When I’m ready to write a book, I typically dump all the info in my head onto a sheet of paper first. Afterwards, I take the information and organize it into an outline, and then I write out my book.
  • : I love the bible, books on finances, publishing, and autism because I simply love to learn and these are the areas that I'm passionate about gaining more wisdom in.
  • : I practice as a pediatric occupational therapist and have traveled as a national speaker teaching autism continuing education seminars to service providers. Currently, I also travel to present at autism conferences and for speaking engagements.
  • : Kindle! Kindle! Kindle! I love my kindle!
  • : As stated previously, I tend to dump out all my ideas on paper first, organize it to create the outline, and then write out the book.
  • : Knowing that when a person reads this book it haas the ability to
  • :
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Author Interview: Robert Collins

Robert Collins lives in Kansas, and writes science fiction and fantasy. He’s written novels, novellas, and short stories, and has series and stand-alone works. He hopes you’ll buy and enjoy his writing so that one day he can move into a tiny house.

  • : I was always an imaginative child. I became interested in science fiction & fantasy when "Star Wars" came out. I sought out all I could find. One of the books I read was "Asimov on Science Fiction." It was full of essays by Isaac Asimov, including essays on writing. I believe I made the connection that I could put my imagination to good use by writing. That's why I wanted to write. I had stories to tell, and I'd found a way to tell them.
  • : Just writing? Junior high school. Professionally? 1987. I sold my first short story in 1990. Published a travel booklet in 1992. My first book published by a small press came out in 1996. My first novel was published in 2005.
  • : I have two scheduled writing sessions during the day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. I also have a scheduled session for Saturday mornings.
  • : I listen to music. I read as much as I can. When the new season comes around, I watch "Doctor Who."
  • : I sit down and write. Almost always I have an outline I work from. My goal is to write 4 pages per writing session. It's a goal I can usually make, and making the goal keeps me writing, along with wanting to finish what I'm working on.
  • : My iPhone.
  • : Outline. I might not fully stick to the outline. Usually I don't. But having something to work with keeps me from getting blocked.
  • : Having someone tell me they liked something I wrote.
  • : My blog, "One Kansas Author" -
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Author Interview: Dan Vanderburg

As a sixth generation Texan, Dan Vanderburg, an author of four published novels and a collection of short stories and poetry, loves everything Texas, especially Rangers Baseball, Cowboys football, Texas history and country music. He’s a Navy Viet Nam veteran. Dan entertains himself writing Texas historical fiction novels, young adult fantasy novels, humorous short stories and poetry, and hanging out with family and friends who love to laugh as much as he does.

In addition to Dan’s activities as a novelist and poet, he is an accomplished lecturer and trainer. He speaks for social, fraternal and business organizations, and for church groups and retirement homes. Dan’s presentations are titled, Gone to Texas. He discusses what life was really like on the raw frontier of early Texas and includes book reviews and signings. His training programs include How to Write Your Memoir and How to Develop a Read and Critique Group. Dan also offers book readings and signings.

  • : I relocated to a new job in a distant part of the country and didn't know anyone except the few work colleagues I met on the job. I'd recently undergone a contentious divorce and wasn't ready to wander into new social territory just yet. I had lots of time on my hands after work and on weekends. There was a little family legend story, just a little snippet of a tale that had been percolating in the back of my mind for some time. That's when I started to develop my first novel.
  • : It was "Legacy of Dreams," my first novel. I'd written a few poems before that, but I'd never attempted to write a real story until I decided to expand the little family story into what eventually became my first novel.
  • : My latest published book is called, Happy Sounds. It’s a collection of humorous short stories and poetry that I’d written over the years. I sometimes enjoy taking a break from the historical and frontier fiction that I normally write. Over the years I’d written some fun short stories and thought-provoking poems. I took a little time after publishing my fourth novel, Freedom Road, to organize and publish a collection of those stories and poems. I like to laugh and be around other’s having a good time. I think these stories and poems project a sense of who I am more than my novels.
  • : I first started writing poetry as a young man in the 1970’s. I wrote a few poems over the years, but didn’t get serious about writing novels until 1990 when I first started Legacy of Dreams, my first novel. It took me about a year and a half to complete the first draft of Legacy. I was busy in my career in high tech manufacturing management at the time where most of my focus was on my job and making a living. My writing took lower priority and my manuscript ended up on a shelf for much of the next ten or twelve years until I retired and could focus more time on my writing.
  • : I grew up a city boy in Dallas Texas in the 1950’s, but my roots are with farming and ranching families from northeast Texas. I’m a sixth generation Texas whose ancestors helped settle and tame the Texas frontier. Growing up and listening to the tales of Texas from my elders lit a spark within me to later dig into historical research. I seek out interesting stories to drop my fictional characters into with their own stories to add to the mix.
  • : As a semi-retired person, I can write most anytime I want. I try to start most of my writing days in the morning as soon as I get my regular chores out of the way. That way, if I get on a roll, I can write into the evening. I don’t have set writing routine, but I accomplish more when I work to stated, documented weekly writing goals. Last year, I set my writing goal at 1700 words per week. This year, I’ve become more aggressive. My new goal is 2000 words per week which is a very achievable goal. I won’t beat myself up if a miss my goal for a week, but I document my activities that interfere with goal achievement, like marketing efforts and book signings, etc. If I can average 2000 words per week, I can produce a book a year.
  • : I’ve totally stepped outside my comfort zone into a genre I’ve never done with my next project. I’m writing the first book of a fantasy series for the youth and young adult market involving time travel, shape shifting and adventures into historic times. It’s titled The Extraordinary Adventures of Max Malone. The first volume is called, Tales of Texas. I’m responding to requests from my readers for more stories about kids. Kids are great readers who deserve good stories that stir their imagination. As both an action adventure author and historian, I know how significant historical events can be presented in thrilling ways. My goal for this new series is to take my young readers on fantastic journeys to actual historical places and times to witness those exciting and sometimes dangerous events unfold as they become a part of history itself.
  • : Writing is a solitary and sedentary endeavor. We all need to give our bodies and our minds a break from creating the right words, and get up from the chair and away from the computer from time to time. Left to my own devices, I probably wouldn’t get much exercise, so I’ve taken a fun part-time retirement job at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys here in Arlington, Texas as a stadium tour guide. The stadium is a huge place, so I get plenty of walking done on the days I work. I usually do my tours two or three days a week and guide two or three tours on those days. I can average about six miles walking on my days at the stadium. It’s a fun place to be with interesting people from all over the world, having a good time.
  • : To be successful, everyone must work to a plan. Without a plan, to accomplish a goal, how does one know when or if they are finished? The same is true as an author. But we work in many different ways to achieve our goal or complete the plan. Some novelists formally outline their intended story with elaborate diagrams and scene plans, all coming to a preplanned conclusion in great detail. I don’t hold myself on that tight a leash. I don’t prepare a formal outline. I jot a few notes down about the intended progression of the story. I define in my mind what obstacles will get in the way of my characters reaching their goals. I carefully define my primary characters. I dwell up front, determining in my mind just who these characters are. What are their value systems? What things are important to them? What are their personalities like? I must know my characters as well as I know myself. I need to understand the story line and character arc well before I start. I need to know not only how the story starts, but how it ends, and what complications will present themselves along the way. I need to know if the main character will be better or worse off at the end of the story than he/she was at the beginning. But . . . I always leave myself lots of leeway for the story to tell me where it wants to go. Frequently I get much better ideas along the way to improve the story than I had at the beginning.
  • : I’ve always considered Elmer Kelton one of my favorite authors. His frontier subject matter was usually based around real events that either actually happened, or could have happen the way he defined it. His characters were believable and his dialogue and dialect was realistic. Elmer wrote what he knew. He grew up on a Texas panhandle ranch during tough depression times. I enjoyed Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove because of his colorful and in-depth character development and obviously, his very realistic dialogue. There are too many others to list.
  • : I consider myself semi retired now from my previous career in high tech manufacturing management, but only because I don’t have to get up early every day and go to work. I don’t consider what I do as an author work. If I didn’t love what I do as an author, I wouldn’t do it. I also get good exercise with my fun, part time tour guide job at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys at Arlington, Texas. I’ve worked at some kind of job since I was nine years old. Most were part time. I experienced a wide variety of jobs even before I graduated from high school and joined the navy. Just a few of those were paper boy, door to door sales, construction worker, bakery delivery driver, neighborhood ice cream truck driver, retail clerk, ditch digger, and bill collector. While in the navy I was an air traffic control specialist, weather observer, flight attendant, aircraft loadmaster crewman, movie theatre manager, gas station attendant, and heavy equipment operator. After the navy and before I developed myself in manufacturing management in the high tech industry, I performed jobs as brick yard laborer, lumber salesman, factory technician, fence installer, insurance salesman and part time college student.
  • : Kindle because I sell most of my books to Kindle customers.
  • : For my first two books, I commissioned a really good Texas artist, Debbie Lincoln, to do oil paintings from significant scenes from those books to put on my front covers. Then I engaged a graphic artist to integrate the title and my name to the artwork that I presented. Those covers look great and I’m really proud of them. I also proudly display the oil paintings on my walls at home. For the third book, The Littlest Hero, I commissioned a good pencil sketch artist, Melissa Baldwin, to do a pencil rendering of the primary character of the book, a little person. I found a great model, Brian Kauff, through the Dallas Chapter of the Little People of America. The drawing was also a scene from the book. One of the secondary characters in the book was a sketch artist, so I put the scene in the story of the artist sketching the main character, and that ended up on the cover of the book. I’m very proud of that cover as well, and the original proudly hangs on my wall at home. But I’ve taken a different direction with my last two book covers. Last year, I spent a weekend at Gonzales, Texas at their “Come and Take It Festival” in my book signing booth with my daughter, Tina and a couple of other Texas authors displaying our books on wire racks and talking books and history with readers. We had a total of six books on display. I began to notice a pattern start to develop. The first book that was reached for and picked up by most potential buyers was not any of the books with covers designed by professional artists. Their eye was attracted to and they reached for an attractive book with a colorful photograph on the front. So my last two books, Freedom Road and Happy Sounds, have been totally independently published by my daughter and myself with attractive, colorful photographs and professional graphics defining the titles and author’s name. I’m quite proud of those books and initial sales results indicate that we made the right decisions relating to cover design.
  • : I really enjoy the creative process of putting an engaging story together. I also enjoy the challenge of getting the words right. Accurate writing and spelling was not one of my strengths in school. It’s been an on-going challenge for me to learn as I go to try to make sure I get the sentence structure just right and all the technical details of writing correct. My greatest satisfaction comes from a reader that tell me they were totally engaged and absolutely could not put my book down till they finished the whole thing. That blows me away!
  • : You can visit my website at: My Amazon page at: My Facebook page at: I also have a presence at:
  • : Yes. Thank you so much for reading. Reading for pleasure is one of the least expensive forms of entertainment around. You can be entertained for hours or days or longer for less than what you would spend for an evening out at the movies. Encourage young people to read. It’s such a beneficial habit that can last a lifetime. Remind young people that reading not only entertains, it makes you smarter. If I’ve entertained you and taught you things you didn’t know before, then I’ve done my job.
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Author Interview: Lory La Selva Paduano

From a severe troubled teen, this author has gone the distance to change her past life experiences to a life she always dreamed of, through strong perseverance and sheer passion within.

Twenty four years ago, Lory started writing her first novel and only brought it to fruition only two years ago adding two more books to complete the series and writing/adding other books to her collection.

  • : My surroundings of a dysfunctional family. I wrote and drew art, to escape hardships. I've also had a fascination with words since I can remember and of course of story telling.
  • : Yes! It was horrible! And it is now improved and added to my Wonderland Series book ( a three-in-one ), which still holds its respective title 'A quest for the four keys in Wonderland' I was only 14, when I began writing that specific book.
  • : I couldn't hold back. The Legacy of a Legend book is my fifth book, and I fell in love with the image instantly and I knew I had to write about my ancient ancestors..."The Romans" but it's not just any Historical Fiction book, it's much more than that. Find out what sets it's apart from most other books in its category! Get yourself a copy today!
  • : As I mentioned before, I was but a teenager. I started writing to escape the trials and tribulations in my life and that included Musical lyrics, poems and short novellas, all these materials and works were lost throughout the years because of moving often, from one apartment to another.
  • : I grew up in Italy! I was born and partially raised in Canada till the age of five. Moving to Italy then after, which only lasted three years. They were the three best years of my life! My mom's home town castle, inspired me to write about the medieval century and from there it grew to something larger than I imagined.
  • : Any time the creative juices start to flow. I can write in the middle of the night on most occasions and still get up at six a.m. to get my children ready for school.
  • : A mystery duo series of books called, Mancini & Maddox under my pen name. Liliana L.S.
  • : Staring into thin air! Literally! I'm picturing all the scenes in my book and that's how I see them. Vividly and into thin air.
  • : It's us ally a six month period of time.
  • : The white Queen Philippa Gregory, George R.R. Martin, for the meet fact that it's what I always loved before anything else I've ever read or wrote.
  • : I have a day job so that I stay occupied when there's no writing to be had. I listen in on Quality Control calls for different companies, I rate them, and I make sure their personal information is not compromised.
  • : It would probably be my tablet. But, I still love a soft cover book in my hands.
  • : I'm fascinated by 3D images and staring at it for hours, usually puts me right at that place in that moment in time, creating a story mostly with what's in front of me.
  • : The plot and characters are always detailed for me. Letting it flow, comes when I have nothing to add from walking up to manuscripts already written in my head! True story! It happens from time to time, where I will let the natural flow take over.
  • : Entertaining the world! I want someone to pick up my books, read them and take a piece of that story with them. I like to inspire readers also through dimeurgic story telling so there's more books for them to look foward to.
  • : You can see work on my Web site @ [email protected]. or on Facebook @ I'm also listed on amazon and will be on book shelves in We are also adding the books back to where they once were, such as Kobo, Barnes n Noble etc.
  • : I think telling them I love them is an understatement! And they know that! Thank you so much for giving my work a chance. I have yet to hear anything bad about my writing and not just because they've grown to love me, they've been honest and sincere with me from the get go, and my fan base has grown expedentially everyday and they are spreading the word and the love! I always reward my fans with something extra special and it isn't always free books and this seems to resonate well with most. You guys rock my world!
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Author Interview: Clive Aaron Gill

Told by a professor at Los Angeles City College that he had a talent for writing, Clive Aaron Gill took the compliment literally. The encouragement continued from professors at UCLA, where Clive earned his degree in Economics and today, has resulted in numerous published works.
Born in Zimbabwe, Clive has spent time in Southern Africa, Europe, and North America, and he creatively draws from these experiences to write his stories. One of his works, Go Well, My Sons, in particular utilizes these settings. “This tale,” Clive said, “intertwines lives in Africa, Europe, California, and Israel – a story that weaves a fascinating tapestry.” His inspiration is born from both his life experiences and imagination, as well as listening to other people’s stories and reading. “I entertain readers by writing about human behaviors with humor, compassion, and understanding,” he acknowledged.
Clive’s writing life is complemented by the sunshine of his life, Sandy Youngdale. He shared, “She is an upbeat person with a ready smile who only gets mad for about two minutes.” The couple have shared their lives for the last 27 years. Clive’s other joys in his life include his son, a preschool teacher, and his daughter, Iris, an expressionist artist who died at the age of 41 after suffering with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years. As part of Clive’s commitment to Iris, he has donated over 600 of her art pieces to charity. “These art pieces help the charities raise funds at gala event auctions. At the same time, I am fulfilling Iris’s wish that her art be seen,” he explained. Her work is held in private collections and in La Jolla at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library Permanent Collection.
In addition to “author” Clive adds “mediator” to his resume. He has been appointed to the Mediator Panel of the Superior Court of California and the Crime and Substance Abuse Prevention Commission for the City of Vista, as well as served as an adjudicator for the cities of Oceanside and San Marcos. He also facilitates seminars in communication, team building, and conflict resolution.
When asked about his advice for aspiring writers, Clive suggested, “Keep a day job!”

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Author Interview: Fiona Steinkamp

Fiona is originally from the UK (she’s lived in Horsham, Dundee, Edinburgh…), but lived for 2 years in Freiburg, Germany and 6 years in Zurich, Switzerland. She started off in life as an academic (philosophy and then psychology / parapsychology), and then when funding ran out she moved into medical writing. Her current employment is as a publications manager in the pharmaceutical industry. She then moved to Egypt to live by the Red Sea, so that she could swim every day and focus on her own writing. During this time, her novels have been interrupted by various animals asking her to write their books for them, but she will finish her own books sooner or later. After 18 months, she was offered the opportunity to work for just one year again in Zurich, so she’s now back in Switzerland. She will return to Egypt in April 2016, inshallah!

  • : I've always loved language, particularly the written word. I studied languages at university, which I found a little ironic since I don't regard myself as a particularly chatty person and hated speaking. Nevertheless, what I loved about learning French and German was when you had to write your own stories for homework. I initially ended up in academia - specialising in philosophy, which reflects my love of books that have a message or something about them that makes you think. It also required some careful writing! And when I had to give up being a researcher, due to lack of funds, the first thing I looked for was a position where I could write. But at the end of the day, I missed creating my own texts with my ideas and my passions. And so I left for Egypt!
  • : I can't remember my first story, but I do remember my first poem: "All the fishes in the sea, some as tiny as a pea, cod and trout and pike as well, altogether make a smell". Ha!
  • : I went to Egypt with the idea of finally getting round to writing novels. It's something I've always wanted to do. I also wanted to swim. Unfortunately, I broke my foot within two weeks of arrival, so I couldn't swim and was housebound. This is when Big Paw came to visit me and asked me if I could write "25 New Year's Resolutions - For Dogs!" for him in human language. Since I couldn't move from my chair, I was very glad of his companionship and was delighted to help him with his ambition. My foot healed and I was all ready to start swimming again when Claude approached me with great indignation to ask why I had written the dog's resolutions before writing the ideas he had for the feline species. I apologised profusely and the only way I could make it up to him was to be available at any time so that he could dictate his words to the feline population. Finally, I'm proud to say, Claude put his "clawed" marks to the final product. Now it was time for me to enjoy myself and swim every day as I'd originally planned. I'd wear goggles and look beneath me. Over time, I made friends with Finn, a fish who hung about by a piece of coral just as I'd be swimming there. We had many good chats and I discovered that he too was planning on a book of New Year's resolutions for his species. I was more than happy to help him produce this in human language. I am holding my breath to see which animal will approach me next!
  • : I think the questions is meant to say something along the lines of "When did you publish your first book", but I'm going to take it literally. I can remember learning to write - it was pretty boring actually, penning rows and rows of a's and b's so that they all sat neatly on the lines on the paper. I'm finding this interesting these days because I'm learning Arabic. I now appreciate how much I take the ability to read and write for granted! It amazes me how long it's taking me to read fluently and I haven't even tried writing yet. How can I read English subtitles on films so quickly? In Arabic, subtitles seem to flash up in just a second. It's surely impossible to read that fast? How much practice did I have to do to get to that level of ability? In my Arabic classes, I struggle to write the words in Arabic. Again, it takes me time and the teacher is rushing on... So, however frustrated I may get at not being able to write as well as my favorite authors (David Mitchell, Herman Hess, Kazuo Ishiguro...), I'm actually pretty stunned that I'm able to read and write at all!
  • : I have two novels in about third draft stage and I'll return to these next year. One is "Time Tells" and is about two 17-year olds who find themselves watching future events unfold; the other is "Space Shapes" and is about a very tall girl who is uncomfortable with her height. Through a series of paranormal experiences she comes to accept her height and the boy she loves!
  • : I'm still experimenting with my novels. The first one I just let flow; the second one I planned out. The result is that I feel that the first one feels more spontaneous and is more exciting than the second one, but currently has a few plot flaws that I still need to resolve. The second one is more intellectual and complex, but is slower moving as a result. I'm still not sure what's best!
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Author Interview: Guy L. Pace

Guy was born in Great Falls, MT, and then spent the bulk of his growing-up years as a nomad. He served in the Navy and on the USS Newport News (CA-148) from 1970 to 1973, including combat operations in Vietnam in 1972.

He lives with his wife, Connie, in Spokane, where he gets to spend time with children, grandchildren, and gets to ride his Harley-Davidson.

  • : I wanted to write since I was in grade school. I wanted to tell stories like the ones I read in the school library.
  • : Yes. It was in fifth grade, about two pages long, hand-written, and pretty silly.
  • : This is my debut novel (that means the first that a publisher accepted), and it started in 2012 as a project for NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft in 30 days. It went through a number of rewrites and edits and finally found the light of day at Booktrope. Still, it was strengthened and polished by my incredible editor.
  • : As mentioned above, in grade school. However, I worked as a journalist in the Navy and after until changing careers in the mid-1980s.
  • : I grew up all over the Pacific Northwest. By the time I graduated from high school, I had attended 21 schools. My family followed the work my engineer step-dad did and that seemed to be a common thing in those days.
  • : I like to write in the mornings, but I'll write in the evenings, too, if I have an idea.
  • : I'm currently working on the third novel following Sudden Mission. I'm trying to write this from the PoV of the female character, Amy.
  • : I spend most of my non-writing time taking care of grandkids, the house, and riding my Harley.
  • : It depends on what I'm working on. A short story I just dive into and get the first draft done quickly. Then I go back after a few days and get to rewriting and editing. On a novel, I like to get some outline done first. Do a little research, if required. For Sudden Mission and the second novel (due out in March 2016), I used Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey concepts for a framework. Mostly, but not completely. Still, after I get into the story, the characters start to determine where the story will go. When I get stuck, I like to ask, "What could possibly go wrong now?" I try to keep at the story until I'm done. I do my best to turn off the internal editor while writing. If I didn't, nothing would ever get done. Once I get the first draft done, I let it cool down for a while before going back to it. Then I start at the beginning and walk through the work until I get to the end. I get my wife to read it, then. She bleeds all over it and I go through it again. Then I see if one of my editor friends has time to give it a scan, or I'll pay for an editor.
  • : I always enjoyed reading Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and any number of other SF&F authors. Every time I make a list of favorite books or authors, I miss important ones, like James Blish. Or, current authors like Ryk Brown and his Frontier Saga. Sometimes, I'll read an author until his stories go stale, like Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time). But, I'll get so far I can't just stop. I love J. K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series.
  • : I've been a field worker, berry picker, farm hand, ranch hand, sailor, line grunt, journalist, editor, sports editor, photographer, managing editor, computer tech, computer support geek, trainer, instructor, curriculum developer, system engineer, system administrator, information security professional. There are a few I probably forgot. I'm now retired.
  • : I use an iPad or iPhone with the Kindle app, iBook, Nook app, and a couple other reading apps.
  • : I got to pick a cover designer working with my publisher, Booktrope. Scott Deyett is a very good graphic artist and we discussed some concepts and he put it into art. I'm no artist and could never design a cover like Scott does.
  • : I mentioned above, I try to outline some of the novel. Since I've been working on action-adventure, mostly, I use the framework done by Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey. This helps me insure I have a character arc.
  • : I'm still finding new joys. Recently, I read a part of Sudden Mission to a group of middle school kids at a library. It was so much fun and the kids asked so many questions, I have to say this was the greatest joy, so far. Sharing the work with young minds.
  • : You can find out about my books, stories, and activities on my web site: My publisher imprint, Vox Dei Publishing ( also has information on my books.
  • : I did get a short story published recently, New Kid, in Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine ( The sequel to Sudden Mission, we're using the working title Nasty Leftovers, is in edit and we have a planned release date of March 22, 2016.
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Author Interview: Mike Bove

I am a Vermonter, though I have lived in Arizona for the past twenty years, and before that fifteen on Cape Cod. I have changed careers from teacher and coach to working in the retail and nursing home industries, and finally twenty-five years with the US Postal Service.
During my college and teaching years I participated in numerous productions, on and back-stage, in community theater, and was a high school drama director. My first major writing project was adapting a Russian folktale, The Nosebag, which I produced and directed.
Though I read in many genres, my favorite is mystery. I started with everything from Donald Westlake, Ross MacDonald, and George V. Higgins. Perhaps from my drama experiences I enjoy and appreciate interesting dialogue.
Retirement gave me more time to read and more than enough to play all the golf I could handle. I began a story about my fake town. Here I am.

  • : This book started with the simple idea that my second Bruce DelReno Mystery would involve a dead PGA professional. His body is found in the first paragraph. I had a victim. As a golfer I am fascinated by the technique of hitting a low trajectory shot that can drill through wind and produce a lot of roll. It is called a stinger, so I used it as a special skill to give my dead character, and he became Stinger Maguire. The idea grew and became "Stinger Maguire." Some characters from the first book reappear, like the police detective with whom Bruce develops a unique relationship. His wife, Genny, gets a bit more interested in the sleuthing activity. And Ben, the Apache sidekick, is still humorously annoying, but again a valuable friend. Of course new characters from Maguire's life contribute immensely to how this story unfolds. As Bruce and company uncover secrets and more about the lives of Maguire, his family, and associates, motives seem to surface. But, when Maguire's own secret is discovered, it becomes a bigger national story than his death. This is meant to be a lighthearted piece of fiction. It has no obscene violence or language. Though it contains some social commentary, it is not to preach or condemn. After all, it takes place in my fake town in a real part of Northern Arizona.
  • : During my college and teaching years I participated in numerous productions, on and back-stage, in community theater, and was a high school drama director. My first major writing project was adapting a Russian folktale, The Nosebag, which I produced and directed.
  • : Mornings, usually early.
  • : Next? Bruce DelReno Three. I’m thinking there have been too many murders in the peaceful little town of Willowtree. Maybe Bruce can somehow get involved in a homicide investigation while on vacation. I like Aruba.
  • : Reading. Golf 3-4 times a week including area tournaments. Travel especially to New England or New Orleans. Cooking and eating; adapting recipes and trying them. Dog training (attempting to train) our golden retriever.
  • : Though I read in many genres, my favorite is mystery. I started with everything from Donald Westlake, Ross MacDonald, and George V. Higgins. Perhaps from my drama experiences I enjoy and appreciate interesting dialogue. Retirement gave me more time to read and more than enough to play all the golf I could handle. I began a story about my fake town. Here I am. Some books that I refuse to get rid of are by Kurt Vonnegut (big collection), Barbara Kingsolver, Chris Bohjalian, Shakespeare, Richard Brautigan. Also sports books, mostly golf and baseball.
  • : I love my Kindle Fire.
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Author Interview: GC Smith

GC Smith

GC Smith is an award winning (Wtiter’s Digest, University of Maine –The Binnacle) writer living in the South of the U.S.A.. He writes novels, short stories, flash fiction, poetry. Sometimes he plays with dialect, either Cajun or Gullah-Geechee ways of speaking. Smith’s work can be found in: Gator Springs Gazette, F F Magazine, Iguanaland, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Naked Humorists, The GLUT, Flask Fiction Magazine, N.O.L.A. Spleen, NFG Magazine, Cellar Door, The Beat, Dispatches Magazine, Beaufort Gazette, Coyote’s Den, Southern Hum, Lamoille Lamentations , Quiction, The Landing, The Haunted Poet, Flavor a Deux, The Binnacle, Stymie Magazine, Bannock Street Books, Fried Chicken and Coffee, Write to Meow –Grey Wolfe, Publishing, Fiction Southeast. As well as REDNECKS & HARDCASES Smith has four novels, WHITE LIGHTNING –Murder In the world of stock car racing, THE CARBON STEEL CARESS; A Johnny Donal P.I. novel, and IN GOOD FAITH; A Johnny Donal P.I. Novel, and Mudbug Tales, A Novel In Flashes, wit’ recipes. Smith also has a poetry chapbook: A Southern Boy’s Meanderings.

  • : Just looking for a hobby that took me away from the boob tube.
  • : No. It might have been something about an alligator.
  • : My latest book, Rednecks and Hardcases is short stories so there are many.
  • : A long time ago.
  • : Wilkes-Barre PA and the influence on my writing was and is minimal.
  • : Whenever I'm not busy with other things.
  • : A novel about dirty real estate deals and golf.
  • : I build houses, I fish, I golf, I tell lies.
  • : Ass in the chair and write.
  • : Too many to list. But, I've always admired Elmore Leonard books because his style was unique and superb.
  • : I was an Economist with Uncle Sam's government.
  • : Kindle Fire.
  • : I look for a graphic that tells a story compatible with the book's story.
  • : I just write. I never do a detailed outline but I do stop to lay out a where to next skeleton.
  • : Typing -30-
  • : Try Amazon.
  • : I like to write and I hope you like to read what I write.
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Author Interview: Iris Dorbian

Iris Dorbian is a business journalist/blogger who has covered a wide range of sectors that include small business, media, private equity/venture capital and theater/the arts. Among the outlets she’s written for are Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Venture Capital Journal, DMNews, Playbill, Backstage, Theatermania, Media Industry Newsletter, PRNews and Stage Directions (where she served as editor-in-chief for eight years). She is the author of “Great Producers: Visionaries of the American Theater,” which was published by Allworth Press in August 2008 and “Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl,” which was published by Tablo in February 2015. Her personal essays and short stories have been published in Blue Lyra Review, B O D Y, Embodied Effigies, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Gothesque Magazine and Jewish Literary Journal. A New Jersey native, Iris has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

  • : I've been a working journalist for over 15 years. Becoming an author seemed like a natural progression of that trajectory.
  • : Yes, it was called "I Was Nineteen." I remember writing it a few years after I turned 19. It was a coming of age story set in college. It's ironic when I remember this consider my book "Love, Loss and Longing in the Age of Reagan: Diary of a Mad Club Girl" is also a coming of age story set in college. The only difference is that I wrote the latter, a full-length novel, several decades later!!
  • : I had been wanting to write a novel loosely based on my experiences as a wild and woolly college student at NYU in the early 1980s. It was a fascinating period. New York City was barely out of its 1970s malaise/funk. Society was on the brink of a lot of changes. The punk era was receding, replaced by New Wave. There was an indefinable air of excitement and creative ferment permeating the air, both in the college dorm where I lived and also in the city itself. It was an amazing time but also very tentative and emotionally turbulent as well.
  • : I've always been a writer in my soul. But I didn't start writing professionally until I attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
  • : I grew up in Northern New Jersey, the heart of suburbia. It was a lovely place to grow up. I'm not sure how it influenced my writing other than I attended a very good public high school (one of the best in the state) and received an excellent education, which of course helped.
  • : Because I work full-time as a journalist/blogger, I can only write my essays, novellas and books in my spare time, which is after work and/or on the weekends.
  • : I'm working on a novella inspired by my father's experiences living in a displaced persons' camp in Germany after World War II. My father, who was born in Latvia, was a child survivor of the Holocaust.
  • : Relaxing! Sleeping! Shopping, reading, going to the movies, surfing the internet, hanging out with friends.
  • : I like to write ONLY when I have something to say or something to write about. I will never sit in front of a computer waiting for inspiration to strike. Again, I write when I feel I have a very strong message to convey or a compelling story I want to tel.
  • : "The Great Gatsby" - F. Scott Fitzgerald "Tess of the D'Urbervilles"- Thomas Hardy "Women in Love" - D.H. Lawrence All of these books left a lasting psychological imprint on my mind long after I read them. They stayed with me, haunting me in a way that other books hadn't.
  • : I'm a journalist/blogger and editor. Once upon a time, in a previous life, I was a struggling actress.
  • : Kindle
  • : I write an outline but I make it as loose and unstructured as possible in order to allow ideas to flow.
  • : I really love when readers tell me how much my writing has touched them. That's so wonderful to get that kind of acknowledgement. It truly validates all the work, sweat and toil that preceded finishing the book.
  • : Here are a few links that should help: Amazon: Goodreads: My website:
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Author Interview: Martin Roy Hill

Martin Roy Hill is the author of the military mystery thriller, The Killing Depths, the noir mystery thriller Empty Places, and the award-winning DUTY: Suspense and Mystery Stories from the Cold War and Beyond, a collection of new and previously published short stories. His latest book, EDEN: A Sci-Fi Novella, was published in November 2014.

  • : I've always been an avid reader. As a small child, my favorite part of elementary school was when the Bookmobile came on campus. In high school I took a class that allowed us to read whatever we wanted, as long as we wrote a comprehensive critique of it. My teacher liked my critiques and encouraged me to read more classics and to consider studying writing. That was it. I fell in love with good literature and also started taking journalism classes and writing short stories.
  • : The first thing I ever wrote for publication was an article for my elementary school newsletter on the launch of the first U.S. communications satellite, TelStar. But, no, I don't remember the first short story I ever wrote. I suspect I've blocked the memory because it was probably so bad.
  • : EDEN: A Sci-Fi Novella is based on the ancient astronaut theory first proposed by Erich von Däniken. I use it as a vehicle to explore several topics, including what people really know about religion and science. A group of American soldiers in Iraq is sent to investigate some ruins uncovered by a sandstorm and become trapped there, first by an insurgent attack, then by a second massive sandstorm. When they take refuge inside the ruins, the find evidence of an ancient occupation of earth by a more advanced race. It's called EDEN because Iraq is believed by many scholars to be the location of the Biblical Garden of Eden.
  • : I grew up in Redondo Beach, a beach town south of Los Angeles. I don't think the town itself influenced my writing as much as some of the people. My English teacher that I mentioned earlier, for instance. And my parents, Marty and Sophie, who fully supported my writing efforts. In fact, I dedicated my first book, DUTY, to them for that reason.
  • : It all depends. I'm a part-time author, so I have to work my writing in around a busy work schedule as well as family obligations. On weekends, I like to go to a coffee shop like Starbucks and write. During the work week, I squeeze it in as I can. I do most of my writing on a Kindle Fire tablet that I carry in my ruck. When I get a chance, I pull it out along with a Bluetooth keyboard and hammer out some words. I also use writing apps on my iPhone. In fact, I've written a couple of short stories entirely on my phone while sitting and waiting for business meetings to start.
  • : I have three works in progress, all novels. The Last Refuge should be out in late 2015 and is a sequel to my mystery Empty Places. I'm working on the second draft of a sequel to The Killing Depths called The Butcher's Bill. And I have a third book in the plotting and research stages.
  • : I'm a Navy analyst in combat casualty care. That's the job that pays the bills. I'm also an officer in a component of the California National Guard, and the executive officer of a state military police battalion. And, of course, I spend time with my wife, Winke -- who is also my editor -- and our son, Brandon.
  • : I'm a plotter. Before I start writing a story, I want to make sure there is actually a story there. Once I have the story sketched out, I start writing. I try for 500 words a day. At the beginning of each writing session, I rewrite what I wrote the day before. When the first draft is done, I put it away for a few weeks so when I come back for the rewrite I see it with fresh eyes. I usually do three rewrites that way before it goes on for editing.
  • : Far too many to name. I grew up reading the Lost Generation writers -- Hemingway, Dos Passos, Remarque -- but I also absorbed science fiction from writers like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. My tastes are pretty eclectic.
  • : As I said earlier, I am currently a Navy analyst. Before that, however, I was a journalist for some 20 years working as a police reporter for a daily newspaper, a national award-winning magazine investigative reporter, and a newspaper editor. I've also served in the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Naval Reserve, the local Sheriff's wilderness search and rescue unit, and a federal disaster medical assistance team.
  • : The Kindle Fire. I love it.
  • : The physical act of writing. When I am actually writing, I tend to go into a zone. It's like meditation. When I finish, and the writing's gone well, I feel invigorated, happy.
  • : You can find out more about my novels at my website ( And while you're there, sign up for my newsletter to keep up on my projects, get writing tips, and publishing news. It's free.