Author Interview: Ryan Aldred (Author of Rum Luck)

I’d like to thank the Publicist that reached out to me and told me that Mr. Ryan was looking for reviewers and wanted me to review the book. Also to Mr. Ryan for sending me his amazing book. Run Luck is one of my favorite book of 2016 and I’m sure his next works will be phenomwnal.

So here is my interview with Mr. Ryan. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.

Q: Hello Mr. Ryan, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

 

A: Hello, and thanks for having me! I live in beautiful Prince Edward County, in Canada, I love to travel, and my favourite drink is aged rum with plenty of ice. I also run a small charity that funds scholarships in at-risk regions.

 

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Ryan? What draws you into those specific genres?

 

A: Rum Luck is a humorous mystery, and right now I’m finishing up an international thriller set in Vietnam and Burma. I like to write the kind of books that I like to read – those that move along quickly, that have interesting settings, and those with well-developed characters that are faced to make difficult choices.

 

Q: When did you decide to become a writer?

 

A: I’ve loved writing as long as I can remember. I wrote a novella when I was going to school, but wasn’t ready to try and write full-time. I went to university, and then worked quite a few different jobs – computer programming, multimedia, eLearning development, running a charity – and then, soon after my son was born, I decided to write Rum Luck.

 

(My wife was very patient with me – not every new mother would like for her partner to be off writing when he could be doing more to help out at home. It helps that she’s an avid reader.)

 

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Rum Luck.

 

A: In Rum Luck, Canadian tourist Ben Cooper wakes up in a Costa Rican prison cell to find he’s bought a bar on a beach – and been arrested for the murder. He and his friends must solve the murder of the bar’s former owner before they lose their lives and their life savings.

 

Q: can you please tell us what made you want to write Rum Luck?

 

A: Years ago, I took a trip to Costa Rica with some friends of mine. We came up with the idea of a bar that could be rented out by ‘pretend-owners’ – those who’ve always wanted to run a bar on a beach somewhere. Time went on and I realized that I wasn’t going to start that business myself. So I did the next best thing and wrote a book based around this idea, instead.

 

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

 

A: Victoria is a high-powered attorney who has used some questionable methods to win cases in the past. While she and Ben were quite close at university, they had drifted apart – until she received the call that her friend had been arrested by Costa Rican police. Deep down, she’s tired of working endless hours at her father’s law firm, and longs to reinvent herself in a new country and a new profession.

 

Miguel is Ben’s best friend. He now works as a bartender, but was once a bodyguard for senior figures in the Colombian government. Despite his years of military training, he is a gentle man who is eager to leave his past life behind. Yet he remains haunted by past mistakes, and wonders how much of his training he can use without causing still more harm.

 

Ben Cooper was supposed to have gotten married and be off on his Costa Rican honeymoon, but caught his fiancée cheating on him with some clown – a literal, actual clown. He thought he was happy, but is now beginning to realize how much of himself he lost to his past relationship as time went on.

 

On his own for the first time in years, Ben is now forced to confront his temper and the occasional troubles with drink that had gotten him into trouble in the past. He has the chance to become the leader his friends need, but is soon faced with a problem more easily solved by his not-quite-legal computer skills.

 

Q: it is quite usual to have a story with a trio in it. Do you think that the story would go differently if they were only a duo?

 

A: I really like the shifting alliances that come with having a trio. No three people ever agree on anything, so I think it means that there’s a lot more compromise that happens, as well as a greater risk that one member of the group will need to make a tough decision that throws off that delicate balance.

 

Q: How long did your Research for the book last?

 

A: I like to visit Costa Rica at least once a year. It’s important to get the little details right, particularly for those who have never been there before. One reader told me that they felt as though they had travelled to Costa Rica after finishing Rum Luck – to me, that’s the highest kind of compliment. (After, “When’s your next book coming out?”) 

 

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing a murder mystery novel?

 

A: For me, the greatest challenge is to write a mystery that’s tough to solve, but not so difficult that the reader gets annoyed with the writer for making it impossible. Quite a few readers were surprised by the ending of Rum Luck, so I think it turned out well.

 

Q: Rum Luck is part of a Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?

 

A: I like reading books in a series, which is why I like writing them so much. Series give you the chance to learn so much more about the characters. It feels like visiting an old friend. But in terms of writing them, there is a lot more that you have to keep in mind to make sure you don’t contradict yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

 

Q: Are you working on another book at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

 

A: I’m working on an international thriller in which the lead operative of a private search and rescue firm is drawn into the global antiquities trade. (The series is tentatively called “The Extractor”.) The first book centers on the recovery of a secret Buddhist artifact which, in the wrong hands, would ignite conflict across Southeast Asia. This first book in the series is currently with an editor, and I hope to be sending it out to agents soon.

 

I am also finishing up the sequel to Rum Luck, tentatively titled ‘Hard to Port’. I’ve finished a very rough draft – some characters need to be added, others written out of existence – but I hope to have that done by the end of May.

 

Here’s the picture of the book cover of Rum Luck.

 

Q: I really like your book cover, can you tell us how it came about?

 

A: Thank you! An illustrator friend of mine had done some posters for towns and villages in Prince Edward County (for examples see http://www.countyposters.com). I really enjoyed his style, and so I asked him if he would do the cover for Rum Luck along with a set of promotional postcards.

County Posters

http://www.countyposters.com

Collect this series of original Prince Edward County illustrations by illustrator Marc Keelan-Bishop. Use #CountyPosters to show me where you put yours!


 

At first I thought about having a view from the shore looking out to sea, but he came up with the idea of looking inland – which is great, because Tamarindo has a very distinctive coastline. We also thought about having a bottle of rum or a drink of some kind on the front. That felt a bit obvious, so we decided to tuck a bottle of rum on the back cover, instead. I’m very happy with how it all turned out.

 

Q: Who designs your book covers?

 

A: Marc Keelan-Bishop – he’s an illustrator who lives in Prince Edward County, and a good friend. You can see more of his work at http://www.ideomedia.com.

 

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

 

A: I absolutely think that readers judge a book by its cover. That first glance gives you a sense of the book’s subject and tone. When Marc was working on the cover, I asked him to make it both fun and sinister, which I think he did a great job of doing.

 

Q: while writing your book, specifically Rum Luck did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

 

A: I don’t really get writer’s block, mainly because I am comfortable letting my rough draft be quite rough. However, I do get editor’s block – I have a hard time knowing when the changes I’m making are actually improving the book. The biggest challenge came when Deni Dietz from Five Star – my publisher – pointed out the many, many changes that the book needed. I made some of these changes – but clearly not enough – and Five Star decided to pass on that version.

 

I was faced with a difficult choice – to keep looking for a publisher, or to set aside three months and make all of the changes that Five Star had requested. After giving this some thought, I realized that I agreed with Deni’s vision for the book and so I went to work. Those changes helped Rum Luck become one of the finalists for the Crime Writers of Canada’s Unhanged Arthur award for best unpublished crime novel, so I’m very glad I listened to Deni.

 

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

 

A: Five Star is a traditional publisher. When I started writing, I knew I’d that I wanted to work with an excellent editor so that my work could reach its full potential, which was a large part of why I wanted to work with a traditional publisher. I would also like to work with a traditional publisher for my Extractor series as well. I have notes for a few projects that I think would work better as indie titles – at the same time, though, I think the two series will keep me busy for quite some time!

 

Q: Do you write everyday? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?

 

A: I used to write every day, but now I try to write five days a week. We have young children at some – they’ll be off at school full-time soon enough, so I want to make the most of the time I have with them. My goal is to write one book a year.

  

Q: Do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?

 

A: I write at least 500 words per day. That’s about two to two-and-a-half pages. Usually I write more, but I like setting the goal low so that I can still meet it even if it’s a real slog. Usually I can write 500 words in a 60 to 90 minute session, and I try for at least two sessions per day. I try and only work on one project at a time – I have a hard time switching between worlds, particularly as the two series are quite different.

 

Q: Where do your Ideas come from?

 

A: I spend a lot of time on Costa Rican news and social media, which helps give me broad themes that I can include in the story. But mostly I think it’s important for a writer to not have too much going on in their life so that they have ‘mental real estate’ for their book – writers need to live in that other world as much as possible.

 

I also find that going for walks and swimming are good ways to busy the body so that the mind can create new ideas. But once my characters are well-developed, I try to create challenges for them and just see how they react. Sometimes I’m surprised – which is a good sign that a story is working.

 

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

 

A: My writing is a lot cleaner than it was when I first started. My goal is for every word to serve a purpose – to develop a character, to create a sense of place, or move the story forward. I also feel that my voice and confidence as a writer has improved.

 

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

 

A: The main challenge with being traditionally published is that you can’t set everything up just as you like. Your book might not be available on some eReaders, for example, or eligible for certain services. On the other hand, it’s almost impossible for a self-published author to get their book into libraries. I love the idea of having a book in a library for years – or even decades – and that it might be read by dozens or hundreds of people. That would be hard to give up.

 

Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?

 

A: In the case of self-published books, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd of other self-published authors. You need to get reviews, and you need to make your book widely available. Online advertising just isn’t enough. A better option is to find a way to meet with readers and develop a personal connection.

 

For traditional authors, I think that they just need to write more books. If their work is good, word will get out eventually. New authors need to be prepared to sell their books one at a time. Personally, I love selling books at farmer’s markets and craft fairs. It’s a great chance to meet with readers.

 

Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?

 

A: Book trailers can be a great way to get across the idea behind the book in a short period of time. But I think authors are better to do something simple and do it well than to try and make it too complicated.

 

Q: Do you have a Trailer or do you intend to do one in the future?

 

A: I’m working on one at the moment – and I would like to do others in the future.

 

Q: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it be and why?

 

A: I absolutely love the Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett, particularly the book ‘Night Watch’. His sense of humour and his grasp of human nature was just so spot on. It’s one of the few books that I can read time and time again.

 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?      

 

A: Just write. Don’t try and make it perfect. You can fix bad pages, but you can’t fix no pages. If you’re not writing, read – and read broadly. Make room in your mind for your characters to live. Take lots of walks. Write, even when you don’t feel like it. Share your work with people you trust. You don’t need to change your work to suit everyone – change what you agree with, and give serious thought to anything caught by two or more of your early readers. Do this for a year, and you will have a novel.


Author Interview with S. McPherson (Author of At Water’s Edge)

Q: Hello Ms. McPherson, thank you again for accepting my Author Interview request. Can you please tell us a little something about yourself?

Hi, It’s absolutely my pleasure to be interviewed by you. Thanks for having me. So, a bit about me: I am a nursery school teacher living in Dubai. I am Jamaican-English and from the age of seven, I wanted to be a script writer and a choreographer. I still have an insatiable love for music, stories and writing.



Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Ms. McPherson? What draws you into those specific genres?

Fantasy, fantasy, fantasy with a side of romance haha I love worlds where anything is possible and when you can never truly know what is going to happen because anything goes. I also love the idea of magic, powers and a world different to our own with different rules and ways of life. I love the romance, because to me love, is just another type of magic.



Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your Book? Which is At Water’s Edge.
Sure. ‘At Water’s Edge’ is the twisted tale of two very different girls in two very different worlds who embark on an unforeseen adventure when they stumble through a portal and into each other’s lives. This adventure could lead to the downfall of a world on the brink of war and could bridge the gap of magic into this world we call home. Our protagonists must find their way back to their true realm before it is too late whilst at the same time, deciding where exactly home is to them.



Q: can you please tell us what made you want to write At Water’s Edge?
I was watching TV one day, a long, long time ago and I suddenly got a scene in my head: the opening scene. I didn’t know who the girl in my head was or why what was happening was happening but I saw it clearly. I wrote the scene down and then eventually forgot about it. Years later, when browsing through my computer, I came across this opening scene and was hooked. It was like the story had been simmering in my subconscious because suddenly I knew who this girl was and why things were happening and the story came together.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?
I would say the main characters are Dezaray, Milo and Lexovia.

Dezaray is the ordinary girl. The one from our world who experiences life as we do (most of the time) until that one fateful night where she ends up slipping through the portal. Dezaray is special because she deals with great insecurities, abuse from herself and her loved ones and guilt and yet she somehow stays hopeful that life holds more. And then of course, she eventually goes out to find it.

Aside from his magical abilities and the unique world he lives in, Milo is special for his intellect and the way he views the world and Lexovia is special for bearing the burden of being the last Elentrice and the ordeals she must overcome.



Here’s the picture of the book cover of At Water’s Edge

Q: The cover is really eye catching and pretty, can you tell us how it came about?
Thank you! I was so excited when I saw the finished project. It basically shows Dezaray (her silhouette, as I did not want to ruin anyone’s own image of her) being sucked through the portal as she stands by the lake in the woods (She stands at water’s edge). The symbol is the Crest of Coldivor (the land she is sucked into) and shows the symbols of each remaining empire.



Q: Who designs your book covers?
‘At Water’s Edge’ was designed by Sara Salim of K-edge design based on a very limited and basic illustration from me. ‘Caught in the Ripples’ was a collaboration between Sara Salim and another freelance designer named Ahmad Wafta based on another simple sketch from myself and my friend, E.B. Both Sara and Ahmad are incredibly talented. I love them!



Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?
Absolutely! They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ but the cover is the first thing that catches your eye and hopefully holds your attention long enough for you to turn the book over and find out what it’s about.



Q: while writing your book, specifically At Water’s Edge did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?
I am very fortunate and have yet to experience writers block though I hope I never do. 



Q: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I find going for a walk, dancing or being out in nature, preferably at a great height, really helps get the creative juices flowing. They say it’s best to just write anything, keep the muscles working and finally you’ll break through the block.



Q: At Water’s Edge is an ongoing Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?
I love writing a series and I am not sure I am a standalone sort of writer. I like to thoroughly explore and immerse myself in my characters and their worlds and start thinking what happened then and what will happen now and I think I have too much to say to fit into one book.

I think I would find writing a standalone difficult because I would fall in love with these worlds and characters and then have to say goodbye so soon.



Q: Besides the third book of the Water Rushes series. What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?
I am working on a novella for the series which will technically be book 3.5 and shows a deeper look at the history of the world and what life was like then.

I am also working on a new novel, currently untitled. Part one will be appearing in a boxset this April with a collection of books by other authors. I can’t wait  My book tells the tale of two lovers cursed to meet a fatal and tragic end, over and over again. Though their bodies die, their souls live on in, reborn and doomed to repeat the same fate for all eternity. The lovers must first find a way to remember who they truly are and then they must discover a way to break the curse.



Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)
I am doing this indie. I feel like it’s more fun to have ultimate creative control and freedom. I have tried the traditional route with a previous novel I wrote a very long time ago. It received twelve rejections until at last, I told myself that wasn’t my story and began work on something else. With At Water’s Edge, I felt I had found what I wanted to write and so decided I didn’t need rejections to discourage me. I’ll do it myself, no matter what.



Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I would say the biggest disadvantage of self-publishing is that you don’t quite know the industry or how to break in to the market. The biggest advantage is having complete creative freedom and control over the decision-making process.

Q: Your book, At Water’s Edge has a book trailer. (Can you please put the link below?)
Here is a link to the trailers for the first two books in the saga: http://www.smcphersonbooks.com/my-books/ 



Q: I watched the book trailer for the first time and I seriously freaked out. I really wanted to read your book. I have a bookish friend and I told her to watch your book trailer and she had the same reaction. Is that the reaction of most people have after watching your book trailer? 
I like to think so haha Quite a few people have gotten in touch with me after seeing the trailer and are very enthusiastic. I personally prefer the trailer for the second one and I am so excited to start working on the third! Eeeeeeeee (excited squeal)!!
Q:Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?
Yes. In the early days I loved the weird and wonderful lives created by Roald Dahl & Enid Blyton and as I grew, I was of course inspired by the infamous JK Rowling. What a legend!



Q: When did you become a writer?
I was writing poems and songs from about four years old (not saying they were good haha). Then I started writing scripts for TV shows when I was about eight. The first TV Show I wrote was a series called Baby Girls about girls that wanted to form a group and be singers. Then I moved on to comics and short stories and at about fifteen I began working on a novel.



Q: When did you decide to be a writer?
I made a serious decision to be a writer in some way shape or form about eight years ago.



Q: Why do you write?
I write because I enjoy it. It relaxes me and gives me a way to release my tangled thoughts and imaginings. I write because I have to. If I didn’t I would probably end up a batty old kook chatting with the voices in my head and imagining these made-up faces and creatures passing me in the street.



Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think since the writing process began, I have definitely defined my voice and my own individual style. I have become more confident in the things I want to say and the message I want to send through my words. I feel like once I opened the creative door and decided I was going to be a writer no matter what, my imagination kicked the door open and a whole wide world of wonder has come spilling out.



Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I could go on and on with tips for writers but my three main points would be:

Get a good idea- Find something that inspires you and build on it. Don’t write what you think will be popular. Write what you want to read. 

Write and rewrite within an inch of your life. Rewrite until you’re pulling your hair out and are tempted to throw your laptop out the window.

Don’t give up- sounds cliché but is so true it’s almost unreal. You’ll never get anywhere if you allow distractions or bumps in the road to steer you off track. Stay focussed on what you are aiming for and keep going until you get there.

Here are the links to Ms. McPherson’s Social Media and Website
Website: http://www.smcphersonbooks.com

Blog: http://www.smcphersonbooks.com/the-journey/

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/smcphersonbooks

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/smcpherson 

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/s_mcpherson_books/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14249321.S_McPherson 

Author Interview: Sidney Wood (Author of Path of Jen: Bloodborne)

Hello Everyone and welcome to a new Author Interview here on Kenchi Reads. The Author for this week’s interview is Mr. Sidney Wood the Author of the extremely thrilling book Path of Jen: Bloodborne.

I met Mr. Sidney on Twitter as well. and he’s been so nice to me and I just loved how he wrote Path of Jen. and I’m looking forward to read his other books. so I won’t keep you waiting here’s my Author Interview with Mr. Sidney Wood.

Q: Hello Mr. Sidney, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: With relevance to the Path of Jen series, I would first say that I am a veteran. I was approached recently by a Muslim woman, who was drawn in by the cover art, and asked if I have ever been to the Middle East. She was testing my authority to write about that region and the cultures represented there, and rightly so. I was deployed to Iraq in 2004, and spent a year traveling the country on various engineer missions. My personal experience was not enough to make me an expert on culture or religion by any means, but it was enough to allow for apt descriptions of geography and climate. It also gave me a starting point for the extensive research I would have to do to bring the reader into my story in a genuine way.

My twenty years in military uniform includes service in the US Marine Corps and the US Army. I also have over ten years in law enforcement, where I served as a line officer, supervisor, and trainer. I am currently certified as an instructor/trainer for various weapons systems. Each time Jen is faced with a new problem, such as, “How do I make this thing go bang without hurting myself?” I draw on my experiences as a trainer and a student. I ask myself, “How would she actually problem solve her way through this process?” I think anyone familiar with firearms will connect with Jen because of that, and anyone who is not may learn something. 

More personally, and still relevant to the story, I am father to three beautiful daughters. Path of Jen: Bloodborne was written with my two older daughters in mind. My oldest was Jen’s age when I started writing. Every situation I created for Jen was done so with the understanding that parents would read this and come to the frightening realization that these things could happen. I also understood that this was a powerful tool to reach out to my daughters and other young women, and send the message that they are stronger, more capable, and much more valuable than they know. Never give up.     

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Sidney? What draws you into those specific genres?

A: When I started writing I thought I would stick with Fantasy because that is where most of my reading is focused. I am a sucker for dark and gripping Fantasy! My first novel was a Fantasy, and I loved every second of the process! Well…I didn’t enjoy the first round of edits. I’m not sure anyone is excited to hear where they dropped the ball. As soon as I was done with that book, Thicker than Blood: Stronger than Bone, I brainstormed a fantastic idea for a new series: Path of Jen. I came up with a catchy title first (kind of backwards, but it worked!), and then made up a storyline based on the main character and real-world threats. It turns out that I enjoy modern settings and Thriller and Suspense genres every bit as much as Fantasy. In fact, I am working on a Paranormal Fiction novel right now, and I am having a blast with that as well. I think I’ll answer your questions with, “All of them, and everything! Except maybe Romance and Erotica…” J 

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Path of Jen: Bloodborne.

A: Path of Jen: Bloodborne, is the story of an American teenage girl who is kidnapped by criminals in the Middle East, and sold into slavery. She is abused, experimented on, and tricked into questioning her own beliefs. In this book there, I compare and contrast the cultures and religions Jen experiences with the American culture she identifies with. The deeper I delved into Jen’s world, the more I realized I needed this book to be a platform for change. I used this fictional character to advocate for women’s rights.

There are examples of real-world bias and prejudice associated with many of the characters, but all of the content is meant to be entertaining or thought provoking. Path of Jen carries a message of empowerment for young women, and a warning to everyone. There are some things you will be powerless to prevent, but while you remain alive there is always hope. Our government can and will only do so much.

 

Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write Path of Jen: Bloodborne?

A: This was a personal quest to craft a believable female lead character, and weave an immersive story that a broad range of readers could enjoy. My daughters, and the Marines and Soldiers I served with, were on my mind throughout. In part, this book is a tribute to American values and the servicemen and women who sacrifice to protect our rights and borders every day.

I am also aware that there are women and children in certain parts of this world that are treated as less than human. Sex trafficking and slavery are alive and well, and there is deafening silence when it comes to their plight. This book and its sequel, due January 15th, reveal the inconsistency and outright refusal to acknowledge one major source of these legal crimes. 

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What do these characters do that makes them special?

A: Jena Ahmadi is the main character of this series. She is an Iranian-American teenager and very naïve to the workings of the world when she is kidnapped at sixteen. She grows/evolves into something more out of necessity. She is a problem solver, an optimist (when it counts), and a dig-deep, give-it-your-all kind of girl who won’t give up, even when things seem hopeless. She discovers things about herself she wouldn’t have under less severe circumstances. She’s a protector and a fighter, yet manages to remain very much a woman.

Deep South is Jen’s protector. He is a Special Forces soldier who risks everything to help her when he discovers who and what she is. He struggles to balance his duty and loyalty to the military with what he feels is a calling to protect Jen. At six foot three, he is an imposing figure, and he knows how to throw down.

Fouzia Ahmadi is Jen’s mom. She was born in Iran, and tries to guide Jen into an understanding of the importance of freedom. On many occasions she tells Jen about the way Iran used to be, and the suffering Iranian women have endured since the Islamic Revolution. Fouzia is a medical doctor and devoted mother and wife, who can’t help feeling that something is missing in her life.

Here’s the picture of the book cover of Bloodborne: Path of Jen

Q: The cover really got my attention. Can you tell us how it came about?

A: I have beautiful, mixed ethnicity children. When I finished writing Path of Jen and realized my own artistic abilities were not doing the story justice, I decided to commission a professional artist to design the cover. I had already made up my mind that I wanted Jen on the front cover wearing a hijab, but I wasn’t sure what else to add. I asked my teenage girls to experiment with a scarf and take some pictures. I thought they might inspire some new ideas.

When I looked at their pictures, I was blown away. They found an American flag themed scarf and used it to fashion a hijab on the younger of the two. The images were striking! I attached a few of the photos to my query to the artist and a week later, it was a done deal! Although the girl on the cover is not my daughter, she looks very similar.

To see the photos of my daughter, visit http://www.facebook.com/sidneywoodauthor or https://www.amazon.com/Sidney-Wood/e/B01AZMFVFG/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 and view the book trailer for Path of Jen: Bloodborne.   

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A: I commissioned an award winning artist from fiverr.com. If you are interested in checking them out, the link is: https://www.fiverr.com/akira007/design-you-a-professional-ebook-or-createspace-cover-from-your-ideas?funnel=0ef8a885-1799-4688-a25c-d3f9489c9bde

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: I sure hope so! Yes, I have heard repeatedly how much people enjoy the cover. Even when people don’t love it, they will still stop to see what the book is about. The cover to book 2 is equally eye catching.

As with the rest of the book, the cover is meant to be thought provoking. Path of Jen is more than a Thriller. It is meant to be an open conversation, and a pathway to discourse on broader level.

Q: while writing your book, specifically Bloodborne: Path of Jen did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: There were times that I wrote myself into a corner. I had an overall sense of where I was going, but the details penned me in once or twice. On those occasions, I had to back up and work a different angle.

I don’t usually have writer’s block. If I find myself slowing down, I’ll work on another part of the story or another book entirely. In fact, I am working on two other novels currently, so I am never short on things to write about. The problem is, how do I find the time to write everything buzzing through my mind?

Q: Path of Jen is an ongoing Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?

A: There are pros and cons with everything. I have a hard time letting go, to be honest. When a good story ends, I am usually a bit melancholy, regardless of the outcome. Writing a series is right up my alley in that regard. I suppose I will end things sooner or later, but I am not inclined to do that just yet.

It is difficult to keep things progressing in sequence sometimes, but that is more of a flaw with technique than something inherent in sequel writing. That is why beta readers and editors are so important. They pick up on inconsistency and plot holes much faster than I can. My mind is always racing to the next step and the next story.

Q: Besides the second book of the Path of Jen series, which I’m super excited to read soon, what are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A: I am currently working on the sequel to my very first novel, Thicker than Blood: Stronger than Bone. Thicker than Blood is a Fantasy series featuring a die-hard war hero named Lynn Hayes and his crew of misfits. There is blood magic and violence, a healthy amount of gore, and plenty of humor. If you like Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and characters that are flawed in the best ways, you’ll love this book! I hope to have book 2, Thicker than Blood: Sharper than Steel finished by spring.

Another novel I am working on is paranormal fiction based in my hometown of Palmer, Alaska. It’s the story of a young boy who deals with abuse and anger in a very unusual way. It is intense and thoughtful: a strangely disturbed work that will pull you in and make you cringe. I hope to finish sometime this spring or summer.

 

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: I am self-published, and I intend to keep publishing that way. As an indie author, I have all of the freedom to do things my way. In this day of digital and social media everything, an indie author can fill many of the traditional publishing roles themselves. I have been working hard to build a following and market my books in a productive way. Visit my website at http://www.sidneyawood.com and join my Readers Club! (See?)

 

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A: The main disadvantage to self-publishing is that you have to build your own network. Publishers typically have a roster of authors with established followers to market to, and distributors that are familiar with their products. As an indie author, I have to go find those potential readers and make my appeal to distributors individually. It’s a lot of work, and time consuming.

Even with a publisher, a writer still has to do many of the same things, but they have the might of a well-known name in the industry behind them. It’s nerve wracking to approach a book seller as a non-represented author.

The good news is I love challenges! I like meeting new people too. As I get older and more experienced, it is also getting easier to talk shop.       

 

Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A: I love reading, and I admire a multitude of authors. I have to say, the author that finally pushed me over the edge and inspired me to put pen to paper is Victor Gischler. That guy is amazing! I read Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse and it was on. Over the course of a few weeks I downloaded every book of his that I could get my hands on, and devoured them. The last Victor Gischler book that I purchased was The Deputy, and I purchased it in paperback. It was dark and brilliant.

I can only hope that someone has the same excitement about my books someday. 

 

Q: When does inspiration hit you? 

A: It seems to happen randomly. I have had some of my best ideas while driving, or while lying awake in bed. Sometimes I will have a great idea while working on some other project, or while I am at work. Whatever the trigger, it comes when it comes, and I try to make a quick note before I forget. I have a few pages of notes with ideas for books, inventions, and some memorable quotes.

The best way to come up with new ideas, if inspiration is lacking, is to free write. Just put pen or pencil to paper (or fingertips to keys) and let go. Write whatever comes to mind. In my experience, the incoherent babbling only lasts a few seconds before some part of it jumps out at me and I veer toward a specific idea.

Another technique I use is concentrating on a character rather than a story. Develop a character and you’ll begin to form a world around them. Those loveable/despicable qualities, quirks and character flaws must have come from somewhere! When I create a memorable character, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do or say next. That is when it really gets fun!

 

Q: Do you write books when you feel like it or you set a schedule when you write your books?

A: I try to set aside time, but with a full time job and a family, including a feisty baby girl, my writing time is often flexed out of the daily routine. I am not complaining. J My cup is full! I will just say that I feel like writing more often than I actually do write. There are times when I am not in the mood to write, but that is seldom the case.

 

Q: Do you think book trailers help in promoting books?

 

A: I am not totally convinced that they do, but they are fun to make! I made my book trailers for free by using the Animoto app on my iPhone, but I know some authors pay to have theirs done by production companies. I honestly don’t see much difference in quality, although, using a free app has many limitations.

 

Q: How long does it usually take to write one book?

A: That’s a good question. It feels like it takes 100 years, but it goes by much faster J My books generally take six months to write, and about a year from start to publishing. If I didn’t have a full time job I suspect I could crank out a book every two to three months. 

Maybe that’s why people dabble in short stories. I published one short story, and I will say that the gratification of finishing a book is the same whether it is 20,000 or 90,000 words.

 

Q: What would be your Advice to aspiring authors?

A: Start now, today. If you have an inkling that writing is for you, then get going! There is no “not good enough” or “nobody will like my ideas” in this arena. The brutal truth is that almost everyone sucks when they start. Practice and feedback will make any writer better, so get started! When it comes to writing a book, I would argue that proper grammar and technical writing ability mean spit in comparison to depth of thought and a limber wit. The fundamentals of writing and language are important, but they can come later.

Try.

You have nothing to lose; but if you find out that you have a gift…the whole world might just have something to gain.  

 

Here are the links to Mr. Sidney’s Social Media and Website.

Website: http://www.sidneyawood.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sidneywoodauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SidWood76

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sidney-Wood/e/B01AZMFVFG/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Smashword: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SidWood76

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4660266.Sidney_Wood

This a was a great interview. I pretty much found out what I wanted to know about the book and Mr. Sidney. If you enjoyed the Author Interview please leave a like down below and comment some of your thoughts.

Author Interview: Mike Reynolds A.K.A E. Michael Mettille (Author of Kallum’s Fury)

Hello guys, so here’s the Author Interview for this week. I interviewed Mr. Mike Reynolds since he accepted my request. I met Mr. Mike via Twitter. and yes almost all the Authors I’ve interviewed are from Twitter. So I practically talk to Mr. Mike every now and then… anyway here is my interview with Mr. Mike. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.

authorpic

Q: Hello Mr. Mike, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: Hi Kenchi. It is absolutely my pleasure. I’m honored you wanted to learn more about me and my work. So…about me. That’s a topic I’m actually not great at talking about, but I’ll give it a shot. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, spent most of my life there. About three years ago I moved to LA, and I’m loving it. I’m married with three children and two granddaughters. The granddaughters are the best. In fact, they are the reason I moved to LA in the first place. I have published three books: Hell and the Hunger and two books in the Lake of Dragons series, Lake of Dragons and Kallum’s Fury. I’m completely fascinated by history and all of the various cultures – both current and historical – that tell the story of us. I also love funk, punk, and the blues. 

 

Q: I’ve been wanting to ask you since I like received your book. Why did you make a Penname? and why choose E/ Michael Mettille?

A: This one’s easy. Google Mike Reynolds once…pages and pages of dudes who aren’t me. There is a (I think former) congressman from New York, an architect who has published several books on architecture, and a whole slew of others. I needed a way to differentiate myself from all of these individuals who share my name. As far as what the name means, E. is for my grandfather, Emil. He was the greatest storyteller I have ever known. No matter the topic, he would suck you into the story and keep you completely engaged. I hope to be able to tell a story that well someday. Michael is me. I’m not trying to hide my identity or anything, so I wanted to keep an obvious piece of me in it. Finally, Mettille is my step-father’s last name. He’s the man who raised me, my dad, and has had a huge impact on the person I’ve become. I felt it was appropriate to take his name for my creative persona.

 

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Mike? What draws you into those specific genres?

  A: I’m most comfortable writing fantasy. I’m a big fan of myths and fables, really any story with a deeper meaning. I find fantasy the perfect vehicle for wrapping these kinds of broader ideas about differences in beliefs and feelings into exciting adventures. I also like writing horror and children’s stories. However, both typically contain some fantastical elements when the stories are coming out of my head.

 

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Kallum’s Fury.

A: Absolutely! Kallum’s Fury is the second book in the Lake of Dragons series. This particular story is very special to me. The first story was mostly focused on Maelich’s journey, his training, and his challenges. In Kallum’s Fury, I was able to challenge Maelich, take him to the brink and nearly break him. Meanwhile, other characters who played more supportive roles in the first story, really begin to come into their own. Maelich suffers great loss very early in the story, and he doesn’t respond well. In fact, he doesn’t really deal with it at all. He develops this fantasy world for him to inhabit, and we follow him on a slow descent into insanity. You’ll have to wait until the final book to learn how he recovers if he is able to at all. Meanwhile, Cialia, Maelich’s sister and equal in every way finds her flame. Her path to the flame is completely different than Maelich’s had been. Maelich trained for years to master Dragon’s fire. Cialia finds her flame when she is faced with an event that challenges her beliefs about justice and fairness so deeply that she can no longer contain it. She lashes out it glorious and violent fashion. This event makes her question everything she has ever believed about her world and her role in it. While our two main characters are on their journey, Havenstahl is attacked by an army of nightmare creatures from across the Great Sea, and Daritus, Havenstahl’s general, must wage war without his city’s greatest Champions.

 

Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write Kallum’s Fury?

 A: The entire Lake of Dragons series began during a time when I was questioning my own beliefs. This made me think about the various truths that exist in various different cultures, things taught directly as lessons or more indirectly through normal, common behaviors exhibited by a group of individuals who share common beliefs. How do you know what is truth? I wanted to explore what would happen to someone who had been immersed in an idea since the time they were old enough to remember when faced with someone who believed the exact opposite to be the truth. What would that do to a person? Kallum’s Fury continues this exploration through the challenges faced by each of the main characters.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

 A: Maelich is the lad of the Lake. His mother was impregnated by the Lake of Dragons. Because of this, he has the power of Dragon’s Fire. He was trained as a warrior and taught to control and wield his interesting and unique powers. Maelich is a hero motivated by a desire to defend and protect. 

     Cialia is Maelich’s twin and shares all the unique powers and capabilities of her brother. The difference with Cialia is that she wasn’t trained to wield her powers. Her transformation is equally challenging, perhaps more so, and she must face her new powers without the wisdom of a guide.

     Leisha is the mother of gods. A former queen of Druindahl, she has spent her life protecting the secrets of Dragons and the Lake. Leisha is a leader that puts the safety of her people above all else. 

    Daritus is Leisha’s husband. After leaving Druindahl in the wake of the events of Lake of Dragons, Daritus is recruited to serve as the general of Havenstahl’s great army. He is Leisha’s husband and raised Cialia as his own daughter, teaching her the art of wielding blades. He is a master strategist who is constantly questioning himself. 

   Perrin is Maelich’s wife. She has one of my favorite transformations in the story. Perrin has always been the damsel. During the events of Kallum’s Fury, she is pushed far beyond her limits. She won’t be a damsel waiting for her knight in shining army any longer. 

   Ymitoth is the king of Havenstahl, the greatest city of men. However, prior to taking the throne, Ymitoth was the greatest sword in that city and charged with raising the savior, Maelich. In that role, he acted as both father and mentor to the lad of the Lake. He is the only father Maelich has ever known.

Here’s the picture of the book cover of Kallum’s Fury

Untitled

Q: The cover was totally stunning my eyes had hearts in them when I saw it, can you tell us how it came about?

 A: I love the cover too. It was designed by L.J. Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations. It depicts the moment when Cialia finds her flame. She’s in the woods on the trail to Druindahl when she is faced with riders from the city she grew up in who don’t exhibit the morals of their post. These wicked, false riders of Druindahl do something so despicable to Cialia that her flame is released. The event will haunt her and inform her decisions for the rest of the story.

 

Q: Who designs your book covers?

 A: As I said before, Kallum’s Fury was designed by L.J. Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations. Lake of Dragons was designed by designers at AuthorHouse. I didn’t have a great deal of input on that one, and it will be getting a refresh in the very near future. Hell and the Hunger was designed by Ricca Santiago, a wonderful designer I work with at my day job.

 

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: I really think it depends on the reader. A gorgeous book cover definitely gets a book noticed. It catches your eye and earns you a closer look. However, you can’t be all show and no go. There better be some meat inside once the reader gets past the cover.

 

Q: while writing your book, specifically Kallum’s Fury did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: As a matter of fact, I did. When Maelich and Ymitoth return to the hut where Ymitoth raised Maelich and trained him to be a swordsman, I knew where I wanted them to go but wasn’t sure how to get them there. I wasn’t sure how to express that Maelich was slowly losing his grip on reality and buying into the fantasy he had developed for himself. In the end, I was inspired by a fishing trip with my son. Chapter 10, Fishing, is the tipping point where Maelich really begins losing touch with reality.

 

Q: Lake of Dragons is an ongoing Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?

A: I’m really enjoying writing the series. I don’t think it’s any more difficult than writing a stand-alone. A story is a story to me. Most of my stories have so much back-story informing the characters and the main part of the story, that I could make a series out of any of them. I guess the challenging part is deciding which part of the story is the most compelling and worth telling.

 

Q: Besides the Third book of the Lake of Dragons Series, what are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

 A: I’m actually working on a screenplay for a children’s book I wrote that is currently being illustrated. I have a couple other things brewing, but I haven’t started serious work on any of them.

 

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: I’m an Indie. Both Lake of Dragons and Hell and the Hunger were published with AuthorHouse. I’m not a huge fan of the way they do things, so I released Kallum’s Fury under my own imprint. I intend to continue in that fashion. Control is the main reason. I have complete control of what is released when.

 

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

 A:  When you are self-publishing, you are not competing with a publisher’s other interests. You also have complete control of what channels carry your work, retail prices, etc. On the other hand, when you self-publish, you are responsible for everything. If you are represented by a publisher, many of these things may be handled for you, and you can focus on being creative and writing great stories.

 

Q: When did you become a writer?

A: I’ve always been a writer. However, I published my first book in 2005.

 

Q: When did you decide to be a writer?

A: I wanted to be a writer when I was in High School. However, it didn’t become a real goal until I took an English class taught by Martha Berglund. She spoke so patiently about writing and challenged me like I hadn’t been challenged before. That was the spark for me.

 

Q: Why do you write?

A: In some ways it’s therapy, perhaps a way to keep myself from going insane. I love stories, always have. I love developing characters, giving them strong ideals, and then dumping them into situations that will challenge those ideals to see how they react. Sometimes they surprise. Perrin is a great example of one of those. To be honest, I didn’t realize just how strong and fearless she would become.

 

Q: Do you write Full time or Part-time?

A: Part-time, I still have a day job in the print and marketing industry.

 

Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A: I read my first Stephen King novel in 3rd grade. The book was Cujo, and I was hooked. However, as I mentioned earlier, I had the good fortune of taking an English class taught by Martha Bergland. She really inspired me with her passion for writing.

 

Q: While writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?

  A: I don’t. Stories swim around in my head until they develop a life of their own. Some are more persistent than others, but they all come out when their ready to be born. I try not to force it.

 

Q: Where do your Ideas come from?

  A: Mostly from my studies into history, belief systems, and cultures. I don’t always stick to the mainstream either. Once in awhile I’ll get on a trail that takes me to some really fringe ideas. I try to weave some of these ideas into my stories and my characters’ back stories. Some of the ideas just hit me. In fact, Lake of Dragons started with a bit of dialog that just popped into my head one day and I found amusing, “Never go drinking with dwarves. Their king is a giant, fifteen feet tall, eyes like fire, teeth like spears. If he catches you inebriating his minions, he will rip the head from your body and suck your insides out before your brain even realizes you are dead.” That bit doesn’t happen until near the end of the story, but it is what started me thinking about it.

 

 

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Since you’ve written fantasy novels.

A: I think early on getting the story out of my head was the most important thing. I still feel that way, but now I want to get the correct story out. Some ideas never fully mature, and those should be left alone.

 

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

  A: For me, it’s editing and re-writing. Vomiting the raw story onto the page like a passionate drunk is the easy part. Molding it is tough. Crafting the words into something someone might want to read is where the real work comes in.

 

Q: how long does it take to write one book?  

A: I have a day job that actually sucks up quite a bit of my time. Add marketing my works that have already been published and making time for my family, and there aren’t a whole lot of clicks left on that clock for creativity. It will typically take me about year or a little better to get a novel-length work out. If I had full-time hours to dedicate to it, I could probably have a completed manuscript finished in six months.

 

Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?

A: I think there are several reasons. The first is competition. We have a finite amount of time on this planet and have to make decisions about how we spend that time. The fraction of that total we can afford to spend on reading must be carefully guarded, and there are millions of books to read. Another issue is marketing. It’s really tough to get your voice heard without shelling out a ton of money and time.

 

Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?

A: I’m not sure how helpful they are for selling books, but I certainly enjoy them. I did a no-budget trailer for Hell and the Hunger. I’m not sure if it convinced anyone to buy the book, but I did have fun putting it together.

 

Q: If you could have been the original author of any book, What would it be and why?

A: Jonathon Livingston Seagull. It might be my favorite book of all time. I love the deep message the book contains and how simply it is described. It’s a masterpiece, one of those books I can read over and over again.

 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A: Just write, write, write, and write some more. Like anything else in this world, practice makes you better. I would also highly recommend joining a critique group. Hook up with other writers traveling the same path you’re on. I’ve belonged to a handful of groups along my journey and I’ve always found the feedback to be extremely helpful. There is nothing like a raw, honest critique from a fellow writer to smack you upside the head and let you know that manuscript ain’t quite read for prime time.

 

Here’s the List of Mr. Mikes Social Media Accounts and website. 

Website: http://www.themikereynolds. com/

Blog: http://www.themikereynolds. com/musings—mikes-blog

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ mikereynoldsaut

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

Amazon Author Page:

Mike Reynolds –https://www.amazon.com/Mike- Reynolds/e/B00LHILC24/ref=sr_ ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1482202989& sr=8-1

Michael Mettille– https://www.amazon.com/E.- Michael-Mettille/e/B01G9T5QXQ/ ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid= 1482202944&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8344778.Mike_Reynolds?from_search=true

Thank you again for answering my Interview Questions Mr. Mike and hope I can Interview you again soon and also I’ll be talking to you every now and then.

If you liked the Author Interview please give this a like and sharing it would be great.

kenchi-reads

 

Author Interview: Claire Merchant (Author of Christian and Layla)

I reviewed Ms. Claire’s book since I’m a monthly reviewer/ blogger at  Pegasus Publishers. and Ms. Claire was just so nice and keeps talking to me on Instagram and on Twitter. She’s so Nice.So here is my interview with Ms. Claire. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.

 wp-1481961271358.jpg

Here’s Ms. Claire’s Logo

wp-1481980587530.jpg

Q: Hello, Ms. Claire, thank you again for accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: Hi, Kenchi! Thanks for having me. Well, I am a Western Australian writer and published author of nine paperback novels and, so far, one self-published eBook. When I’m not writing, I have a part-time clerical job in a hospital. I love Disney and superhero films, I collect Pop! Vinyl figurines, and I think that the three most magical things in life are words, music, and nature.

Q: What genres do you feel comfortable writing Ms. Claire? What draws you into those specific genres?

A: I really enjoy writing general fiction, and fantasy/supernatural/magical fiction too. I tend to write more for teenagers through to young adults, and those young at heart. I enjoy writing those genres because they’re the genres I enjoy reading. All of my books I wrote for the reader in me. It’s just a bonus to be able to share my stories with other people too.

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your book? Which is Christian and Layla

A: The story is essentially a story about love, loss, and growing up. It follows two people, Christian Turner and Layla Thomas, who meet as fourteen-year-olds and fall in love. They grow up together and begin to build a future together, but then Layla suddenly leaves, and nobody knows why. Years pass, and eventually, they cross paths again. There are still some feelings there, but there are also obstacles between them – the biggest being why Layla left. The toughest part for Christian is feeling like he doesn’t know the one person in the world who he thought he knew better than anyone. For Layla, it’s knowing that she has acted to try and protect people, but instead has hurt them in another way all together.

Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write Christian and Layla?

A: I got the first concept of Christian and Layla from a dream I had, where there were two young people in love who get engaged, and the girl didn’t end up making it to their engagement party. I wrote Layla’s part – the first part, about three years before I wrote Christian’s part (back then Layla’s story was just known as ‘Prior Engagement’). In 2013, I went back to the characters and decided to add to it by adding Christian’s ‘Post Encounter’ story. Originally, I was going to release Christian’s part as an eBook, but in talking to my editor, I decided to put the two parts together and release them as a two-part novel. I think it works well with the two of them together.

Q: Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do these characters do that makes them special?

A: They’re special because they’re characters that never really lose belief in first love. Christian and Layla meet when they’re fourteen, and although they both change from then to when they’re twenty-three, one thing that hasn’t seem to have changed is the love and the belief they have in each other. Even if they doubt themselves when they’re apart, they never doubt the goodness in each other.

Here’s the picture of the book cover of Christian and Layla 

wp-1481952996986.jpg

Q: The cover is simple but I really like it, can you tell us how it came about?

A: I liked the thought of having just a few significant symbols on the cover that represent the story. I didn’t want to have either of the characters on there because I want readers to be able to make up their own minds about what they specifically look like, even if I’ve described them how I see them.

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A: My paperback book covers have been designed by the graphics team at Pegasus Publishers. I come up with some ideas and they compile some concepts for me. After my first book, Mistry by Moonlight, I started sketching designs so the process was quite quick and the team did a fantastic job at making exactly what I had in mind for them. The cover for my eBook, Foresight, was made by me, and when I have time to get some more eBooks on Amazon, I’ll make those covers too.

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: Absolutely. As much as the saying goes not to judge a book by its cover, they’re still the first things we see when we’re browsing for a read. Pictures and images are a form of reading in itself, so I think the cover needs to draw someone in enough to read the blurb or, if all goes well, turn the page.

Q: While writing your book, specifically Christian and Layla did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: I got really stuck at the end of the book, the end of Layla’s story after she returns from Almanbury to talk to Maddie. I literally paused and wrote an entire other novel and went back to it at a later date. I got stuck because I really wanted to keep the story going, even if I knew it was winding up. So when I went back to it, I tied up the story and that was that.

Q: Christian and Layla is a standalone novel. Do you think you’ll ever write a love story that’d be a Duology, Trilogy or a Series?

A: Given the fact that I originally wrote it as two stories, and it’s in two parts, I feel like this novel is a bit like a duology in itself. But I have written a trilogy—my Mistry Trilogy—which has a love story that runs through the three books. In one way or another all of my novels incorporate a love story into them. When it comes to character construction, everyone has someone they love, whether they are present or not. Love is one thing that makes someone who they are, so it’s a component in all of my stories, even if some just aren’t as “romantic” as others.

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A: I am working on six ideas at the moment – I always seem to have about that many on the go. I have a sequel to another book I’ve written (Dangerously Beautiful), an origin story for Cole Frost (of Forever Ruby), and a story of Amelia Saber (who is Samuel Saber’s sister of South Coast Son). The other three are new characters – Elizabeth, Cassia, and Ariel. One is about a girl who remembers her past lives, the second is a supernatural vibe to it (and features some characters from my Mistry Trilogy); and the last one is a bit spiritual. I’m still throwing ideas around at the minute. I don’t like to talk too much about the ones in development because they can drastically change in an instant.

Q: How are you publishing this book, and why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: Christian and Layla is published a paperback through Pegasus Publishers as a kind of partnership. I’ve had a good experience working with them on my other books, so I chose to published this book through them too.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A: The advantage of publishing through a publisher is you have a team of people who know the industry and can help you with things like promotion and spreading the word, which can be difficult for an author. People are more likely to take a recommendation to read a book from a publisher than by someone who wrote it. That’s probably the downside to self-publishing – marketing and promotion is self-managed. The downside to having a publisher is probably also the upside to self-publishing – you have complete control over the copyright of your manuscript and can distribute it as you wish. Also, depending on the contract you have, it can also be more cost effective to self-publish. Both have their pros and cons, I think it just comes down to what’s going to work best for you and following that path. Depending on the type of agreement you have with a publisher, you can always do both.

Q: When did you become a writer?

A: I’ve been writing from when I was a kid. I got more into writing proper stories when I was about twelve, and started my first novel when I was around fifteen. By the time I was at university, I’d finished a couple of novels. A couple of those have been published in the last few years.

Q: When did you decide to be a writer?

A: I don’t think it was a conscious decision. I just really enjoyed writing from when I was young, so it was a hobby and kind of a wish fulfilment. It wasn’t until recent years that I realised I could actually make it something bigger.

Q: Why do you write?

A: I write because I need to. If I wasn’t publishing my stories, I’d still be writing. I feel like I need to tell the stories that I’m telling, but it’s a bonus to have them available for people to enjoy too.

Q: Can you give us a list of all the books you have written?

A: It’s a really long list. I’ve written 25 books, ten which are currently available – maybe if I list the ten it’ll be easier! There’s my Mistry Trilogy: Mistry by Moonlight, Midnight Mistry and Mistry at Dawn. Then South Coast Son, Forever Ruby, Knowing Nora, A Lady Born A Pirate Bred, Christian and Layla, Finding Hope, and lastly, my eBook, Foresight.

Q: Do you write every day? 5 days a week or you just write when you feel like it?

A: I try to write every day. At least, I write ideas down every day as I get them. Sometimes it’s as small as sending myself an email, sometimes it can be a few thousand words. Since I also work part time, some days are better than others in terms of blocks of times to write. I can normally find time for it because it’s something that I need to do. I make time for it.

Q: While writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?

A: No, I never put a deadline on myself. I try to write what I can in one sitting, until my ideas start to slow, then I stop. I never push myself to write if I don’t have a natural flow because I feel like it comes across forced. Sometimes taking a break and going for a walk is more beneficial than forcing out a set amount of words.

Q: Where do your ideas come from?

A: I get my ideas from everywhere. Anything can spark an idea, like personal experiences, or songs, conversations with people, pictures, and even some dreams I’ve had. Once I have a general premise for a story and I get to know the main character, it becomes a bit easier to pick the ideas out.

Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

A: As a writer, I’ve learnt a lot in the last few years. It’s funny actually, because I had written so many stories before I got my first one published (Mistry by Moonlight was the twelfth novel I’d written), so now when I read back over the earlier stuff, they need a lot of editing. I think that’s the beauty of writing though, you’re always learning, always growing. My voice as a writer evolves as I read more, write more, and experience more things.

Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?

A: I find that the hardest thing about writing isn’t writing itself, it’s the distractions and life chipping into the time brackets that I have. But it’s what I love, so if too many distractions happen, I’ll normally try and withdraw for a while to focus.

Q: Why do you think other well written books just don’t sell?

A: That’s the question. I think part of it comes down to marketing and promotion. For instance, something like leaving a review for a great book is a very powerful thing. I also think that since it’s a bit harder these days to walk into a bookstore and just browse through what’s out there, it can be more difficult for a book to stand out. It’s a tough one though, I don’t know for sure, but I think word of mouth is the most powerful selling point for well written books.

Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?

A: I think they’re fantastic. They have a great way of drawing people in, both avid readers and reluctant readers. They appeal to the senses and promote the book in an interesting way.

Q: Do you have a trailer or do you intend to do one in the future?

A: I have trailers for some of my books – my publisher, Pegasus Publishers, has made book trailers for about six of my books. I love them, they’re incredible.

Q: In what formats are your books available?

Nine of my books have been published through Pegasus Publishers as paperbacks, but my first novel, Mistry by Moonlight, is also available as an eBook. My self-published story, Foresight, is an eBook too. I haven’t made that one available in paperback.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A: My advice is to never give up, and to always remember why you’re writing. The book business is a tough one, so whatever happens, just keep writing because no-one can take away from you. Also, keep reading, because you learn through reading. There is always something to learn, and there are always opportunities to develop your craft.

 

Here are the list of Ms. Claire’s Social Media Accounts  and Website.

Website: http://www.clairemerchant.com

Blog: http://www.clairemerchant.com/blog/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialclairemerchant/

Twitter: @sailorclaire

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sailorclaire/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/clairemerchant

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7925431.Claire_Merchant

Thank You Again to Ms. Claire for accepting my interview request. hope we can do more in the future and I’ll be annoying you on Twitter and on Instagram every now and then.

I’d Love to hear your thoughts about my interview. you can comment down what questions I should ask on my next Author Interviews.

kenchi-reads

Author Interview: Marc Secchia (Author of The Pygmy Dragon)

Hello everybody so this week the author I interviewed via email is Mr Marc Secchia the author of The Pygmy Dragon. I met Mr Marc on Twitter as well. He was very nice and he also let me review one of his books and I was instantly in love with it.

So here is my interview with Mr. Marc. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.

wp-1481980579989.jpg

Q: Hello Mr. Marc, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?

A: Well, you can catch some of this on my bio but I was born in Cape Town and grew up there. While I was younger the apartheid system broke down, but its legacy and my observations of living under such an unjust, skewed regime have informed my writing ever since. Currently I live and work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I love Africa, the unsung, unappreciated continent. That is why I chose to set some of my writing in Africa, and I often feature protagonists who are not standard Western/European stereotypes.

I play the flute, panflute and Irish Whistle, I love singing and listen to a range of music especially while writing, which ranges from classical and acoustic to heavy rock (y’know, for dragon battles). I’m a creative type and I’m much better at starting projects than finishing them. However, I’m all about finishing unfinished series this coming year!

In terms of books I am privileged to regularly have 7-8 books in the Amazon top 100 for Coming of Age fantasy, including this work, The Pygmy Dragon.

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Marc? What draws you into those specific genres?

A: At the moment my writing is almost purely Fantasy – epic fantasy, coming of age fantasy, and African historical fantasy. I read an eclectic selection but at the moment all of my writing (18 books) is in the field of my favourite genre, my first bookish love, fantasy.

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is The Pygmy Dragon.

A: This tale is about a Pygmy girl who, when she is young, is captured by slavers and sold to a zoo, where she becomes an exhibit. There, she becomes an object of ridicule, living with monkeys, but also an object of study by an academic. The early story concentrates on her narrow worldview as seen from a person living inside a cage, and how she comes to self-awareness and knowledge of her humanity despite her difficult circumstances.

After this, the crucial turning-point of the story comes when Pip is kidnapped by a dragon and taken to Dragon Rider Academy. She sees and appreciates her world beyond the borders of her old jungle life or the zoo’s walls for the first time. There are poignant moments, bittersweet experiences as she is bullied for who she is (a 3 foot 11-inch Pygmy girl) but Pip rises beyond these things; her spirit and her destiny are greater than anything she could have imagined. The story is not so much about the negative experiences but about Pip’s triumph over an adverse set of circumstances to become the heroine.

Q: can you please tell us what made you want to write The Pygmy Dragon? And also why Dragons?

A: Dragons are Fantasy’s most majestic creatures. I like my dragons served up awesome, magical and as full of character as any person you’d wish to meet, the kind of person you’re almost compelled to spend time with or watch. I’m a fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern as well as her other writings. It was her viewpoint of fully-formed dragon characters, the telepathic communication between Dragon and Rider, and the possibilities of Human-Dragon interaction which shaped my early fascination with dragons as creatures and characters. Oh yes, and it is fun to blow up hydrogen dirigibles with dragon fire.

I also wanted to write a story specifically about peoples that are largely forgotten and marginalised in the modern world. In some respects, Pip’s story is a throwback to the awful, dehumanizing history of slavery in Africa.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

A: First of all, there’s Pip, the overcomer. She does not become bitter as a result of years of mistreatment, or even when her sweetest dreams are crushed by reality. She shows largeness of heart in all her dealings, even when her erstwhile friends mistreat her. Then, the old wise-mentor Dragon Zardon, who becomes her friend. There are others who rally around her, like Nak and Oyda, the Dragon Riders who feature so strongly in the later story of Aranya, also set in the same world and tied into The Pygmy Dragon storyline. There are also a raft of lesser Human, Shapeshifter Dragon and Dragon characters who unite around the primal force represented by Pip. It is her force of character that makes her unstoppable in the tale.

Q: do you think that having a character development like what Pip had is important in the plot of the story? Cause there are some stories that would have a let’s say a dim-witted main character but the story still works out for him/her do you think the story would go differently if Pip stayed Oblivious and Ignorant?

A: I think it’s a deep misnomer to think of another people group as oblivious and ignorant; a colonial mindset to think we must ‘civilize’ the native. In everything that Pip does and becomes. She remains true to her heritage and values, and those really do have value in this story. In fact, I’d argue that those who bully her are the ones who show true ignorance. Yes, there is an ‘education’ process that happens – she learns to speak Island Standard and read and goes to school and all, but I think what this story shows is the depth of who she is within, her core, remains true and grounded and beautiful.

To me this character development, which we see much more of in the 2nd book as she does go back and find her roots, is crucial. Yes, I am commenting through the story on issues such as race, prejudice, bullying, development mindset and colonialism. She is not a ‘poor little black/native girl’ who needs ‘help’ – whatever form we think that help should take. She is Pip and she’s in charge of her destiny. That’s the thrust of this book.

Here’s the picture of the book cover of The Pygmy Dragon

 wp-1481815361556.jpg

Q: The cover really got my attention, can you tell us how it came about?

A: The book cover is a Pygmy girl with a forest/jungle background blending into a Shapeshifter Dragon form.

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A: My dragon covers are all original artwork by Joemel Requeza who is super-awesome, and the font work is done by Victorine Lieske, who is also an NYT Bestselling author on the side.

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A: I think there’s a statistic that a cover can sell a book within 4 milliseconds. It’s essential. Especially for fantasy where the demand seems to be for rich artwork, it is definitely worth spending on a book cover.

Q: while writing your book, specifically The Pygmy Dragon did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A: No. Actually, I wrote a quarter of the book in one night. I could not leave it alone and managed to write 25,000 words overnight without stopping, from 7pm to 8am the following morning. Usually however I write a bit slower, on average 3-4,000 words per day.

Q: The Pygmy Dragon is part of a duology. Is making a duology easier than making a trilogy or a series?

A: Good question. It’s less physical work, but I’ve always been of the opinion that I should write until the story is done. If Dragonfriend will be 4 books, so be it. I want the reader to experience the full force of what I have for them, to hopefully be entertained and maddened and impressed and saddened and blown away, and if I can do that in 2 books or 10, I’ve done my job as a writer.

Q: I’m still not over those Dialects in your book (I was super impressed with those). Why did you add different dialects to the story?

A: Flavour. I love creating different cultures and drawing from some of my own cross-cultural experience in delivering a tale that hopefully works on many levels. Dialect and language is one of those levels. Conversely, writers too often create worlds in which races, species and peoples understand each other perfectly. That’s just not real. You’re telling me Elves, Dwarves and Dragons all speak the same, or even the same language, and naturally understand each other’s cultures and worldviews?

Misunderstandings can be fun. Pip doesn’t have a nudity taboo. That’s grounds for some entertaining scenes in the book until she works out why everyone else seems to think clothing is important. She then sallies off and turns some Dragon traditions and mores on their heads.

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A: I have just finished The Girl who Loved the Whales, the second book in my IsleSong series. I’ve started the third of that series but will soon need to turn to my dragon books to complete 2 series that I’ve promised readers will be done in 2017 – the 4th and final books of the Dragonfriend and Aranya series.

The IsleSong series again ties into my dragon books but follows a completely different tale of the world outside of the impact crater in which the stories of The Pygmy Dragon, Dragon Thief, Aranya and Dragonfriend take place. It’s about a girl who has the gift of singing the songs of the different creatures in her ocean, and her battle against the burgeoning tide of Sea-Dragons that threatens to wipe out humanity.

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A: I’ve self-published everything I’ve written – so I’m 100% Indie. I love the control and flexibility that this avenue provides to me, and I’ve enjoyed good success. As we speak, 14 of my books are Amazon genre bestsellers.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A: I think traditional publishing has reach and perceived status, but the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing industry are becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s market as evidenced by the Indie takeover of the bestseller lists and sales charts. The main advantage of traditional is still, I think, reach in the marketplace.

The Indie scene is more vibrant, more competitively priced, and there’s great quality to be had if you look for it. I like the speed to market aspect (I publish every 3-4 months) and that I’ve been able to test out my books on the market and make changes if needed. It’s certainly been a learning process, but I’ve also had great help from many other writers along the way. I am also meticulous about quality and I think that is sometimes overlooked or undervalued by Indie authors.

Q: When did you become a writer?

A: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was the kid who when we were asked to produce a haiku, I’d write an epic haiku series in 16 parts. However the journey wasn’t easy. I’ve a fine pile of rejection letters to show for it. I think a person can be an author without being published. Success is a poor measure of skill or talent. So when? I guess I’d say, I’ve always been a writer and publishing is just another step in the journey.

Q: When did you decide to be a writer?

A: In 2013 I decided to self-publish and haven’t looked back, 18 books later. But as I said, I’ve been a writer all of my life. In 2013 I decided to package my work and try to start marketing it, but it took me 8 books to find some success in terms of sales. Again, looking ahead, I’d love to become a full-time writer when the opportunity presents itself.

Q: Why do you write?

A: Because I love writing and I love the creative process. I love bringing other worlds and characters to life. In the future, I’d love to put my skills to work in developing other writers, perhaps here in Ethiopia.

Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A: I love the works and worlds created by Anne McCaffrey and those are my inspiration for dragon books.

Here are the links to Mr. Marc Secchia’s Social Media Accounts & Website.

Website: http://marcsecchia.com

Blog: http://smarturl.it/marcsec

Facebook:   http://smarturl.it/authormarc

Twitter: http://smarturl.it/twmarc

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

Amazon Author Page: http://smarturl.it/marcamazon

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060641.Marc_Secchia

Thank you again Mr Marc for letting me interview you, review one of your books and for this amazing journey with the Dragons that you conjured up in your mind. It was really “Good-Good” I really got attached to the Oraial dialect. Like even though the story progresses I always wait for a scene where Hunagu and Pip would talk to each other. And also Pip’s full name is super hard to pronounce haha. That book was just awesome thank you again.

Hope you enjoyed this interview make sure to like this Author interview post and go check out my other blog posts such as my book reviews. Always happy to hear what you think about my new blog.

kenchi-reads

Author Interview: P.S. Syron-Jones (Author of Rise of a Phoenix)

Hello everyone, so I had an interview with Mr. Phill who is the Author of Rise of a Phoenix. (here’s the link to my review on Rise of a Phoenix ) I met Mr. Phill while I was scrolling through twitter and he was really nice to send me a review copy of his book which I enjoyed. Anyway here is my interview with Mr. Phill. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.

wp-1481959561697.jpg

Q: Hello Mr. Phill, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself

A:   Hi Kenchi, thank you for having me here today. A little bit about myself, well I was born and bred in the West Midlands Great Britain, in a place called Wolverhampton. I am the youngest of three, with a sister and brother. I had a fun childhood with a few good friends. After school I went to college, and when that ended got my first job as a glass cutter. At the age of seventeen and a half, I left home and joined the British Army. During my service, I had traveled a great deal and met some fantastic people. After twenty-two years I left and got into security and writing mystery thrillers.

Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Phill? What draws you into those specific genres?

A:  Eventually I would like to explore different genres, especially sci-fi or fantasy. For now, I love writing mystery thrillers. I love the twists and turns a story can bring. Not so much as to confuse a reader but merely keep them on their toes. Everyone loves a good crime book; that’s why Lee Child, James Patterson and Micheal Connelly are doing so well.

Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Rise of a Phoenix

A:   I based Rise of a Phoenix in one of my favourite city is, New York.  The story begins when a smart and savvy female detective SAMANTHA McCALL is brought in to investigate a murder of a middle-aged woman. As she hunts for the killer, more bodies start dropping. Her investigation takes a turn when a mysterious British detective comes on the scene to assist. There is a tension between the two; he admires her, and she wants to shoot him. It’s a fast-paced mystery thriller, with action, drama, romance and enough twists and turns to make you hate me. 

    I can’t give too much away, but as the cover tells us “Nothing is as it seems.”

Q: can you please tell us what made you want to write Rise of a Phoenix?

A:     To be honest, it was just an idea that popped into my head when I was scribbling ideas in a notebook one day at work. It was a weekend at work and not much going on, so I started jotting ideas down. Next thing I know I have a beginning of a story. I showed what I had written to a work friend, and they said it was good. And so, I continued to write the story. I would love to say someone or something inspired it, but unfortunately, boredom and a lively wondering imagination are to blame.

Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?

A:     John Steel is the main character. In Rise of a Phoenix, he starts off as a shadowy character who remains in the shadows, to begin with, then later joins the investigation with explosive results. As the story goes on, we start to learn a little of his past and what drives him. He is the son of a British Lord who joined the forces as part of a tradition. Instead of becoming an officer he chose to become a regular soldier. He is tall, handsome and a body an athlete would want to have. But he is damaged goods. Haunted by the murder of his wife and family, he seeks the ones responsible. Steel is scared both physically and emotionally. But he is the man you want him watching your back when the poop hits the fan.

Here’s the picture of the book cover of Rise of a Phoenix

wp-1480499168895.jpg

Q: The cover really got my attention, can you tell us how it came about?

A:   What I wanted foremost was no characters in the covers, this was important because my whole concept of writing is let the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. We each have a different image of what the characters look like, so putting a picture on the cover would give everyone has the same picture in their heads. Call it a personal view of a character.  Everything in the covers from book one to book five has something relevant to them. For instance, the sunglasses represent John Steel; the badge represents Samantha McCall. The New York City backdrop shows where we are. The other books have reflections in the sunglasses, be it a boat, or bus. The other important thing was that the layout would stay the same, less for the weather background or other little tweaks, but they are all the same. This is so when they sit on a bookshelf; they stand out better. Book fives story is set in Malta, so the whole cover is different, but the layout is the same.

Q: Who designs your book covers?

A:    The front cover was created by a talented lady at IndieDesignz.com. We found each other on a social media sight and heave been working together ever since.

Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

A:     Absolutely. Good reviews help a lot as well. LoL. You have dull covers, good covers and great covers. If you look at book what draws you, the great cover. But the cover must also be as mysterious as the book itself. It’s like a movie trailer if you have too much information it may put people off, if you have a teaser, it will draw them in. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, however nowadays people do so you have to have the best cover you can.

Q: while writing your book, specifically Rise of a Phoenix did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?

A:     Phoenix wasn’t a problem, for whatever reason, my imagination was like a steam train if anything I had too many ideas. Book five is proving a bit of a beast because it is out of my comfort zone of New York. Writer’s block can be a problem, but also distractions from outside are equally dangerous. Life tends to get in the way a bit. With that wall, all you have to do is keep at it, keep writing, even if it has nothing to do with that book.

Q: Rise of a Phoenix is part of a Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?

A:     I love writing this series. You see the characters grow and their stories unfold. The problem with a series is, of course, ideas for more stories. It is a joy for me; they are fantastic stories and each time I write one I have to outdo myself the next time.   For the reader a series is brilliant, especially if they have a strong bond with a character; be it Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch or Jason Bourne. If it is Games of Thrones you’re screwed because they seem to get bumped off the more popular, they are. LoL.

Q: What are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?

A:     At present, I am working on book five of the series. A nice little story set on the beautiful Island of Malta. Steel goes there to help out a friend whose daughter was found dead in the ocean. This story is the first of many of the John Steel solo missions, in truth, he wasn’t meant to be part of a team, so this is his breakaway mission. I felt while he stayed in the NYPD he would be stuck in a rut I may not have been able to get out of later. Steel was always meant to be a lone wolf, like Bond, Bourne, etc. However for all McCall fan’s I am also working on the start of her series. This will be her genesis novel as you will. How she got to be a detective and how she met the captain.

Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)

A:     All my books are on Amazon, either through CreateSpace or Kindle. I found it is quick and easy to get your books out there. It is all pay-on-demand. Sure I would love to see my books on the shelves, but that will come one day. As a new author I have to get my name and books out there, Amazon seemed the best choice for what I needed at that time. But I am still waiting for that phone to ring. LoL.

Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

A:      For a new author like myself self-publishing was always going to happen. 320 agents rejected the Rise of a Phoenix. They all said nice things, but there was always the “It’s not what we are looking for.” Now I could have put my tail between my legs and quit, but I went self -publishing. It was an instant hit on Kindle, and the other books took off as well. However, the downside of self-publishing is you have to do everything, advertising, social media sites, writing selling. The works. Now if you are working full time, this can be a pain, if not almost impossible to do. I think each has their ups and downs; the main thing is you believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Q: When did you become a writer?

A:    I started writing at school. However after I joined the army I never wrote again, that was until I retired from the forces and life got a little less chaotic.

Q: When did you decide to be a writer?

A:   I don’t think that is something you decide yourself. I wouldn’t say chosen, but it is more a feeling you are meant to do it. When does an artist choose to be an artist? I think the first time you write a story you get the feeling that is what you are meant to do. There’s no beam of light of heavenly voice or anything, just a feeling it’s the right thing for you.

Q: Why do you write?

A:     Why do I write? Simple, I love it. It gives my imagination a release. Also, people seem to enjoy my books, so it’s a win-win situation.

Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

A:     No not really, in truth I don’t read that much, even though I should. The time I have is spent writing and that time, due to a full-time job is tiny. Besides, if you have time to read you have time to write. Lol. However, the books I have read and have to be, not inspirational but a joy have to be Lee Child, Rachel Amphlett, Micheal Connelly, James Patterson, To name a few.

Q: What was the hardest thing about writing Rise of a Phoenix?

A:    Time to do it. One thing I learned writing Phoenix was how much time it took. Now people may laugh and say “Well yeah you’re writing a book,” but it is more than that. You have to write the first draft, then the second. You have to edit stuff in or out, you have to do that again until you are happy, you have researched such as Google maps for places. You have to research that what you are writing about is feasible, weapons, vehicles and so on. All this and working twelve hour days. You have to find time for family and the other things in life. That was the hardest part of all. Time.

Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?

A:   It is all about marketing. You may have the best book out there, but if people don’t know about it, then it’s pointless. Like I said before I am new at this. I started writing end of 2014, in that time I have brought out four books and working on number five. Before I did anything I splashed my name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it. I have done a radio interview, a couple of interviews such as this one, had my ugly mug in a forces paper. It is about selling yourself not your books. The books come later; you have to get a name first. Who’s, novel are people more likely to buy, Lee Child or Mr. Nobody? People go with what they know.

Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?

A:   A brilliant idea. People, essentially are visually orientated. Video games, films, cell phones. They love shiny things; that’s why a good cover is essential. This is a great sales pitch that gets your book out there. 

Q: Do you have a Trailer or do you intend to do one in the future?

A:     A trailer is something I have been looking into and will be investing. I just have to find the correct company with which to hire. 

Q: In what formats are your books available?

A:    They are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both paperback with Createspace or Kindle.

Q: If you could have been the original author of any book. What would it be and why?

A:    That’s a good one. To be honest, I am quite happy with what I have done. I am the original author of the John Steel mystery thriller series, and proud of it. People ask me what author am I like, I reply “I am like me, I don’t need to be like anyone else.”

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

A:   Keep writing, have love what you do, always carry a notebook because you never know when an idea will pop up. Be yourself, don’t be like anyone else, you have to be original. And most of all, don’t give up, keep trying. It’s not an easy game, and it sorts out the authors and the people who think it’s about the money.

Here are the links to Mr. Phill’s Social Media Accounts and websites. 

Website: http://www.quotesrain.com/page/PSSyronJones

Blog: https://sjoecable.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phill.syronjones

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjoecable

Pinterest: https://de.pinterest.com/phillsyronjones

Smashword: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/pssyronjones

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/36446907-phill-syron-jones

 

Thank you again Mr. Phill for accepting my Author Interview Request. Thank you for the exciting book and hope I can review one of your books in the future and hopeful have another Author interview as well.

If you enjoyed this author interview please comment down your thoughts and if you have any other questions that you’d like me to add on the next interviews that’d be lovely.

 

kenchi-reads

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview with Kristin Gleeson, Author of The Imp of Eye

 

wp-1469985475019.jpg

BIO:

Originally from Philadelphia, Kristin Gleeson lives in Ireland, in the West Cork Gaeltacht, where she teaches art classes, plays harp, sings in an Irish choir and runs two book clubs for the village library.
She holds a Masters in Library Science and a Ph.D. in history, and for a time was an administrator of a national archives, library and museum in America. She has also worked as a public librarian in America and Ireland

“Okay, So here’s the link for My Book Review on the Amazing book Ms. Kristin wrote:

 https://kenchireads.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/book-review-the-imp-of-eye-by-kristin-gleeson-and-moonyeen-blakey/ 

you can check it out after you read Ms. Kristin’s Interview.

Let’s Begin.”

Q:Can you please tell the readers what The Imp of Eye is about?

-It’s set in London in 1440, when many royal factions were forming at court and warring for power. The novel tells the story of an orphan youth, Barnabas, who is a servant to a witch/wise woman, Margery Jourdemayne and the story of Eleanor, the Duchess of Gloucester. Vain and ambitious, the Duchess is desperate to have a child and seeks Jourdemayne’s help. Her husband’s enemies are determined to use her to bring about her husband’s downfall. Barnabas is drawn in to help the Duchess with his gift of the sight and is soon in as much danger and both must fight to save themselves.

Q:What inspired you to write this book?

-The idea was originally my close friend’s Moonyeen Blakey. She was fascinated with Margery Jourdemayne’s story and wrote a draft of the novel. It was her decision to write it from Barnabas’s viewpoint, though she made him a much younger lad. Sadly she had a recurrence of cancer that she thought she’d beaten 20 years before and died. Before her death she asked me to take on the manuscript and do what I thought best for it. I read it over and reworked it, giving the Duchess a substantial part and brought in Alys and increased Barnabas’s age. All the while, it was as if Moon sat on my shoulder discussing various aspects with me. It was quite an experience.

Q:Is there a particular character you liked in the Imp of Eye?

-I have to say I became so fond of Barnabas and Alys I decided to make it into the series. I’ve since written and published, a prequel a novelette, A Trick of Fate, (free on Amazon, apple, nook, etc) and the next in the series, The Sea of Travail. Soon I’ll be starting the third full length book.

Q:Can you tell us about the book cover of Imp of Eye? who designed it?

wp-1469985518052.jpg

– I’m thrilled with the book cover. It’s everything I wanted it to be. I am fortunate the my cover designer, Jane Dixon-Smith, is so good to work with and so very talented. We located the medieval image of London and she designed the rest to make it in keeping with novels of that type. I think the cover fits the nature of the book so well.

Q:If you weren’t writing novels what would you be doing?

– I’m also a librarian and I love that job, so it fits right in with my love of books. I also play the harp and the fiddle, focusing mainly on traditional Irish music. And I do have a passion for painting in oils and water colour. If I wasn’t working full time and writing so much I would definitely be doing that more often.

Q: are you working on a new novel? if so can you tell us what’s it about?

– I am working on the second novel of my Highland Ballad Series called The Mists of Glenstrae. The series begins with novel, The Hostage of Glenorchy. It’s set in Tudor Scotland and is about a woman who flees the court of Mary Queen of Scots in France after overhearing a plot to kill the Queen is sent to the laird of Glenorchy’s home in Scotland for safety. Disguised as a boy she becomes a lute player with the household musicians and meets Iain MacGregor, held hostage at the castle for political reasons. It isn’t long before Abby becomes an unwilling piece in the various castle intrigues and makes her wonder who she can trust. The current novel is set in Glenstrae, the MacGregor stronghold, and continues Abby’s adventures trying to navigate her way through the mire of Scottish politics and intrigue.

Q:Which author influenced you and what do you love about them?

-I’d say I was influenced by several authors, but most notably the iconic author, Dorothy Dunnett whose wit and historical accuracy and command of events are admirable. I also love the beautifully rendered novels of Sarah Dunant, especially her works set in Italy. Her descriptions engage all the senses and give the reader such a vivid picture of the story. But I also admire Joseph Boyden’s historic novels featuring First Nations in Canada and Nadeem Aslam’s contemporary literary novels set in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the UK.

Q:Do you have any advice for New authors?

A:My best advice to new authors is something many have said before me and despite that, I still think it’s the most important. And that’s to read. Read as much as you can in the genre you are most interested to write in. They even say you should read at least 1000 books in a genre before you even think about starting to write. It’s through the reading that you subconsciously pick up the nuances, the rhythms and the structures of that genre which readers also subconsciously expect.  The technical things can be learned easily enough.

LINKS:

Twitter: @krisgleeson

Website: http://www.kristingleeson.com/

Purchase link for Imp of Eye:

http://hyperurl.co/lztagm (Amazon)

http://bit.ly/1UYWFzC   (kobo)

http://bit.ly/1NmRktT (Nook/Barnes&Noble)

“THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ANSWERING ALL THE QUESTIONS MS. KRISTIN IT WAS FUN TALKING, TWEETING AND EMAILING YOU. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR SENDING ME THE REVIEW COPY OF THE IMP OF EYE. I  HOPE THIS WON’T BE THE LAST TIME I WILL REVIEW A BOOK WRITTEN BY YOU.”

hipsterlogogenerator_1465737755679

Author Interview with Peter James Author of Love You Dead

 

Peter James author photo

 

Q: Hi Mr. Peter thank you for accepting my interview request. Can you please tell us a little bit about  yourself?

(from Mr. Peter’s website)

An International Bestselling Thriller Writer
11 consecutive Sunday Times No 1’s, published in 37 languages, as well as being a New York Times bestseller. His DS Roy Grace crime novels have sold 18 million copies worldwide. Prior to becoming a full-time author, he was responsible for 25 movies. In 1994 Penguin published his novel, Host, on two floppy discs as the world’s first electronic novel. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the coveted 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence, and he was publicly voted by WHSmith readers The Best Crime Author Of All Time.
Born in Brighton, England, Peter was educated at Charterhouse, where he failed maths ‘O’ Level three times and left with 3 lowly grade “E”s in A-Levels.  Chiding him for a series of misdemeanours his headmaster’s parting words were:  “James, if you come back to me in twenty years time and tell me your schooldays were the happiest days of your life I shall consider you to have failed.”  40 years on, James accepted an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Brighton, saying:   “I guess I am living proof of Oscar Wilde’s maxim that nothing worth knowing can be taught!”
After two years at Ravensbourne film school, working for a spell as Orson Welles’s house cleaner, his first writing job was in Toronto, Canada, on the daily kids television show, Polka Dot Door.  He co-founded Canada’s largest film production company in the 1970s.  Their films included The Neptune Factor starring Ernest Borgnine and the comedy which Peter wrote and produced – Spanish Fly starring Terry-Thomas and Leslie Philips – reviewed by critic Barry Norman as “The least funny British funny film ever made, and undoubtedly the worst British film since the Second World War.
His first novel, spy thriller Dead Letter Drop was published in 1981, but it was his 4th, Possession, in 1988 that gave him his first chart success.  He continued to alternate writing novels with film production until 2005 when he became a full time novelist.  His best known film is The Merchant Of Venice, starring Al Pacino & Jeremy Irons.
Three of his novels have been adapted for television, and his Roy Grace series is currently in development.  His novella, The Perfect Murder and his novel, Dead Simplehave both been smash hit stage plays and his third play, Not Dead Enough, opens in January 2017.
He is patron of many charities, and in 2012, in recognition of his help in raising awareness of “Date rape”, he was presented with the Sussex Police Outstanding Public Service Award.
When he was fifteen after being spotted racing, he was offered to train with the British Olympic Ski Team.  He now races classic cars and has competed in many events, including the past three Goodwood Revival meetings, and in 2013 had a lucky escape in a massive accident at Brands Hatch.
He lives in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton, Sussex with his wife Lara and menagerie including two dogs, five alpacas, seven chickens and a psycho cat.

Q:What were you like at school?

-Rebellious and generally pretty naughty, I didn’t really focus on my studies, I was more interested in smoking, playing poker and chasing girls.

Q: What are your ambitions in your writing career?

-I have a big unrequited ambition…. To be No 1 simultaneously on the UK Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller lists in the same week.  It hasn’t happened yet, but it is getting closer….!

Q:Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?

-When I was 14 I read Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock and this book totally changed my life.  It is quite simply the book that made me realize I wanted to be a writer, the first time I read it, as a teenager.  It is also the inspiration behind my setting the Roy Grace series in Brighton.  This timeless novel is both a thriller and a crime novel, although police play a small part and the story is almost entirely told through the eyes of the villains and two women who believe they can redeem them.   Greene has a way of describing characters, in just a few sentences, that makes you feel you know them inside out and have probably met them, and his sense of “place” is almost palpable.  It is for me an almost perfect novel.   It has one of the most grabbing opening lines ever written (Hale knew, within thirty minutes of arriving in Brighton, that they meant to kill him.”), and one of the finest last lines – very clever, very tantalizing and very, very “noir” – yet apt.  Green captures so vividly the dark, criminal underbelly of Brighton and Hove, as relevant now as when the book was first written, and the characters are wonderful, deeply human, deeply flawed and tragic.  And yet, far more than being just an incredibly tense thriller, Greene uses the novel to explore big themes of religious faith, love and honour.”  And additionally, a bonus, It is also unique for being one of the few novels where the film adaptation is so good it complements rather than reduces the book.  But it is not just Brighton Rock – I learn so much from Green’s writing.  I don’t think any writer before or after him has been able to create such vivid characters with so few words and description.

Q:Can you give us a List of all the books you have written?

-See the books page on my website… http://www.peterjames.com/books/

Q:Where can we buy them? (Locally & Internationally)

-See http://www.peterjames.com

Q:Are you working on another book at the moment?

-Yes, I’m over 300 pages into my 13th Roy Grace novel and am really enjoying it.

Q:What’s it about?

-The theme of RG 13 is what would it take to turn a normal person into a killer…

Q:Can you please tell us what genres your books are?

My Roy Grace novels are crime thrillers, my standalones are a mixture of supernatural and psychological thrillers.

Q:What draws you into those specific genres?

-I find the crime novel is the best genre through which I can explore the world in which we live.

Q:How long did your Research for the book last?

-I research my novels for many months before I start to write them and then I do constant research during the writing of each.

Q:Have you written any other novels in Collaboration with another writer?

-Yes, ‘Death Comes Knocking – Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton’. For many years David Gaylor was my principal contact in Sussex Police, working closely with me on the planning of my stories and giving me introductions to any officers he felt would be helpful to my research on each successive Roy Grace novel, to lend my books the authenticity I try hard to maintain. When he retired, I was immensely fortunate to have that baton taken on by his good friend, Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, himself a former senior homicide detective, who then became Commander of Brighton and Hove Police. Graham and I instantly hit it off and he was an invaluable help to me for several years. When he was coming up to retirement he told me he harboured ambitions to become a published author, and sent me examples of blogs he had written over the years, for me to judge his skills. Then I had a true light bulb moment. Many people had been suggesting to me, over the years, that I should write a non-fiction book about my research with the police and throughout his thirty year career, Graham had the unique experience of policing Brighton and Hove at every rank and had been involved in many of the cases that provided inspiration both for characters and for plots of my novels. He clearly had writing talent. We decided to collaborate and write a book about what it was really like to be a police officer in Roy Grace’s Brighton and it has just been published and has gone to Number 7 in the Sunday Times Bestseller list!

Q:When did you become a writer?

-I started my career writing – back in 1970 when I first arrived in Toronto, and worked for Channel 19 TV as a gofer, on the kids daily show Polka Dot Door. One day the scriptwriter was ill and the producer asked me to write the show – I ended up writing it for nearly a year. I used to sit in my flat in Toronto, staring out of the window in the morning looking a the rush hour traffic, thinking, ‘You lucky bastards, you are going to an office, you will meet other people, socialize all day…” then after 15 years in the crazy movie business, in an office, it was sheer bliss to become a full time writer. I bought a massive Georgian manor house in Sussex and for some years revelled in not having to shave in the mornings… having all day to myself… but gradually I started going nuts with the isolation. One day I found myself carrying the vacuum cleaner across the fields at lunchtime to the repair man in Hassocks in order to have someone to talk to… life as a writer is difficult and I find most full-time writers that I know are a little strange. I love the balance that I have now.

Q:Do you write Full time or Part-time?

-Full-time

Q:Do you have a special time to write? how is your day structured?

-My whole writing day is back to front… It is from the time when I was writing novels whilst working full time in film and television as a screen writer and producer, so I had to make my “Me time” to write. My writing day starts at 6pm in the evening, when I mix a large vodka martini, with four olives, put on some music, light up a cigar and get into a zone. I try to ensure that whatever I’m doing I leave myself time to write 1000 words 6 days a week. In terms of research – a lot I do before, but then as I progress I realise there is more I need to learn, and I’m an absolute stickler for research.

Q:Where do your Ideas come from?

-I get my ideas from a wide variety of sources. I am captivated by the world of the police. Nobody sees more of human life than a cop – in a single day they can go from dealing with a cot death, to a robbery, to a tragic accident, to a suicide, to an elderly person who has been mugged. I do something with the police one day a week, on average and I get told intriguing stories and try to weave their stories into my books. The majority of my time is with the Major Crime Branch, where Roy Grace is based, in an office, or out at a crime scene, or in a briefing, or with one of the many units within it, such as the High Tech Crime Unit, the Imaging Unit, the Fingerprint unit, the Intelligence Unit, etc. Several times a year I go out with one of the local Response Units, where we can be called to anything from a minor burglary, a street fight, a domestic argument, a traffic accident or a murder. I also go out regularly with the traffic police – they are the people who actually carry out more arrests than any other police officers – because they are the ones who end up in pursuits. And it can be brilliant fun with them. I go out with the Dive team, the search specialists, the Crime Scene team, and sometimes I just sit in the office of a very senior officers as a fly-on-the-wall absorbing all that they are dealing with. I also sit in regularly on the 9.30am daily briefing at Brighton’s main police station, John Street, where all significant incidents of the past 24 hours are reported and discussed. I realise as a writer this gives me a broad scope, and along with the police my principal interests to inform my writing are science, medicine and the paranormal. I also get inspiration from articles I read in newspapers – and often from people I talk to. And of course, there is all that weird stuff that goes on inside the grey matter in my own head!

Q:How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

-I feel I have a better understanding of what I want to write and what my readers want to read.

Q:What is the hardest thing about writing?

-Avoiding millions of distractions. People often don’t realize that writing is a job.

Q:What is the easiest thing about writing?

-Not writing!

Q:how long does it take to write one book?

-Each books takes me approximately seven months to write the first draft, then a further four months of editing processes.

Q:Do you ever get writer’s block?

-I actually believe it is a myth, and it is used as an excuse!  I think it comes out of not having properly worked out an idea, and becomes a self-indulgent excuse.  “Oh my dears, I have writers block….”.  Writers are writers and in my view can always write, if they want to.  I’ve come to a dead end sometimes during the course of writing a story, but when I’ve analysed the problem, I realised that I hadn’t thought it through.  A thirty minute walk around the block or across fields with the dogs will normally do the trick!

Q:What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

-My publisher Pan Macmillan asked me, in 2001 if I was interested in creating a new fictional detective, and I was given a 2 book contract. I didn’t know if the books would be successful or not, so in ‘Dead Simple’ I planned to set up the mystery of Roy Grace’s missing wife Sandy, and then solve it in the second book ‘Looking Good Dead’. I was completely taken by surprise with the enthusiastic response by my readers to the Sandy mystery and was deluged with speculations as to what might have happened to her. Once my publishers asked me to continue the series within weeks of Dead Simple being published, I thought it would be fun to keep the Sandy missing wife back story ongoing. And now on book 13 I am still loving the Roy Grace series!

Q:Do you read much? if so who are your favorite authors?

-My favourite modern day writer is Michael Connelly.

Q:For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks, Paperback or Hard back books?

-Personally, although I have almost all of the e-reader gadgets, in general I much prefer to hold a printed book in my hand.

Q:What books are you reading at the moment?

-I’m a voracious reader, and I get through up to 300 books a year. However I only read fiction when I am not actually writing. During the writing process I read non fiction – much of it related to my research, and also poetry.

Q:Do you proofread all your books or do you get someone to do it for you?

-My publishers

Q:Who edited your book and how did you select him/ her?

-My publishers

Q:The cover really got my attention, can you tell us how it came about?

-My publishers

Q:Who designed your book covers?

-My publishers, with my approval

Q:Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?

-Yes it’s very important. I just love the new covers for my Roy Grace series with their neon spines!

Q:Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

-Get online – get on social media, speak to online bloggers, be visible and accessible.

Q:what are your thoughts to good and bad reviews?

-I read any constructive reviews but I try to avoid just plain nasty ones or ones that say the book arrived damaged so give it a bad review!

Q:What’s your views on Social Media for Marketing?

-As above – get online, be visible and accessible and answer your fans. They can also be very useful in terms of research… For instance, a while ago I tweeted to ask if anyone knew how to pick a lock. Someone got in touch to say they were a career burglar who had now gone straight. He told me how he imagined himself inside the lock when he was picking it and was able to see the tumblers. It was something I hadn’t thought about!

Q:Which social network worked best for you?

-Until now Facebook has worked best for me due to the amount of content I can share but I have recently launched my new YouTube channel and I see this as a huge platform for the future, I’m hugely excited about it and want to increase the awareness and excitement around crime fiction, and to help introduce new authors to the genre through my channel. http://www.peterjames.com/youtube

Q:Any tips on what to do and what not to do on social Media sites as an author?

-Be yourself, fans like to get to ‘know’ you. Try not to let it take over and distract you too much though!

Q:Did you get interviewed by Local Press/ Radio for your book launch?

-Yes

Q:Is there a Marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?

-Yes! My book ‘Host’ was the very first e-book and is now in the Science Museum!  I’d had a lot of research help from the Computing Sciences department at Sussex University.  One of the students who had been helping me rang me, very excited one day, to ask if I had ever considered publishing a book electronically, and that ‘Host’ would make the perfect vehicle because of its subject matter of the downloading of a human brain.

It was probably the fastest sell of my life to my publishers!  I phoned Andy Welham, then the Marketing Director of Penguin and asked him what he thought about the idea of putting the book out in electronic formal alongside the traditional hardback.  He loved it! The content of Host took up two floppy discs, and separate Mac and PC versions were made.  The discs were placed inside a hard jacket that opened out, like a book. One thing that was very different was that instead of having the traditional author photograph on the jacket, there was a Quicktime video of me at the end of the book that readers could click on and get a very klunky 30 second message from me, saying I hoped they had enjoyed the book!   The electronic books were priced at £10.00, which was then the same price as a hardback.  We did an exclusive deal with the then bookstore chain Dillons, who bought 10,000 copies of each platform for a 30-day exclusive in the UK and then it went on general sale in the UK.

Q:Do you have a Trailer or do you intend to do one in the future?

-Here is the trailer for ‘Love You Dead’ my 12th Roy Grace novel….

Q:In what formats are your books available?

-See the books page on my website… http://www.peterjames.com/books/

Q:If you could have been the original author of any book, What would it be?

-Brighton Rock by Graham Greene!

Q:What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

-The best possible advice I can give to any aspiring writer is to read, read, read, and analyse, and write, write, write.  Writing is a craft, and any craft is improved with practice.  But most importantly is to read the most successful of the kind of works you would yourself like to write:  So if you want to be, for instance, a crime thriller writer, read the blockbusters of the past fifty years.  Analyse them, literally deconstruct them and try to figure out what made them so popular.  This is what I did when I started out.  I took the books I most admired, the ones I most wished I had written, and literally read them until I knew them inside out.

Q:Where do you see publishing going in the future?

-To be honest I don’t see a lot of change in the near future, people were worried about e-books but that now seems to have leveled out. I think the publishing world is very healthy and more and more international focus will happen down the line.

Q:How can Reader discover more about you and your work?

-My brand new YouTube channel: http://www.peterjames.com/YouTube
My website: http://www.peterjames.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace
Twitter: http://twitter.com/peterjamesuk
Instagram: https://instagram.com/peterjamesuk
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Peter-James/e/B000APS7L4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1469738214&sr=8-2-ent

 

NOTE: 

wp-1466967142676.jpg

-I have my Book review on Love You Dead please check it out.

 

 

“Thank You so Much Mr. Peter for accepting the Author Interview and again Thank you for letting me review Love You Dead hope this WON’T be the last time I would would review your book. hope we can do this again in the future. To the people who helped me to make all this possible (the review and  interview) Ms. Naomi and Ms. Lara Thank you very much.”

 

 

hipsterlogogenerator_1465737755679

Author Interview: Doug J. Cooper (Crystal Deception)

Hello! everyone! and Welcome to my very first Author Interview. and it is With Mr. Cooper the author of The Crystal Deception Series.

BIO

41DQSfoAzAL._UX250_

 

As a child, Doug stood on a Florida beach and watched an Apollo spacecraft climb the sky on its mission to the moon. He thrilled at the sight of the pillar of flames pushing the rocket upward. And then the thunderous roar washed over him, shaking his body and soul.

 

The excitement of the moon landing inspired Doug to pursue a career in technology. He studied chemical engineering in college, and he now works as a professor and entrepreneur when he is not writing. His passions include telling inventive tales, mentoring driven individuals, and everything sci-tech.

 

In the books of the Crystal series, Doug swirls his creative imagination with his life experiences to craft science fiction action-adventure stories with engaging characters and plot lines with surprises. He lives in Connecticut with his wonderful wife and with pictures of his son, who is off somewhere in the world creating adventures of his own.

 

 

LINKS

“here are the links I asked Mr. Cooper to type so you can follow his social media accounts and check out his website.”

 

Author Links

Web: http://crystalseries.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crystalseries

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7269127.Doug_J_Cooper

Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Doug-J.-Cooper/e/B00F7IJBP0

 

Book Links

Crystal Deception – http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Deception-ebook/dp/B00F75C4W0

Crystal Conquest – http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Conquest-ebook/dp/B00PKA2ZY4

Crystal Horizon – http://crystalseries.com/

 

 

Q&A

Thank you, Kenchi, for this opportunity to appear on your blog. I appreciate it.

Q: Tell us about your latest project.

I am excited that my new book Crystal Rebellion, the third full-length scifi-suspense book of Crystal series, will be available August 31, 12016. I am very excited. I love the story, think it’s my best work yet, and am anxious to learn if my fans and new readers agree.

The first two books, Crystal Deception and Crystal Conquest, established the characters and defined their world—Earth in the not-to-distant future with aliens at our door and AI helping with our defense.

This new book is different because it introduces our heroes as an established and functioning team rather than one in the process of self-discovery. I’ve written the story as a stand-alone book so new readers can start with it and enjoy the fun.

The setting is on Mars, and the bad guys are three AI crystals left behind after the last alien invasion of our solar system. The story contains all the grand elements of the Crystal series tradition—aliens, spies, artificial intelligence, romance, and battles in space!

Our heroes struggle to save the world and soon realize they need to save themselves. I’ll leave it at that as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. I invite everyone to give the book a read when it is released in August, 2016, and enjoy the ride!

Q: What inspired you to take up the life of a writer?

I was looking for a new creative outlet in my life and started chasing a handful of ideas. I storyboarded a series of webcasts to go with my online textbook (www.controlguru.com), I outlined intellectual property ideas for a new technology company, and I tapped away at my keyboard writing a science fiction novel. Within months, my writing morphed into a passion and I dropped my other projects to give myself more time for it. I’ve been at it for about four years and my writing time remains a most treasured part of my day.

For the Crystal series, my goal is to write books that I would enjoy reading. My preference is fast-paced, action-adventure stories with great characters, a space tech theme, and a plot line with surprises.  I leave it to readers to tell me if I succeeded in that goal.

Q: What other work and writing have you done?

I am professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut.  I also am founder of Control Station, Inc., a software and services technology company. These are both exciting endeavours and consume the bulk of my day.

In these professional roles, I have authored or co-authored more than 80 scholarly publications, including technical journal articles, conference papers, and a textbook. All that writing gave me the basics I have been building upon for my creative work. It also has given me lots of practice presenting science and technology concepts in a manner accessible to a broad audience, and this is something I draw upon in writing my books.

Q: Who designed the covers? What were you shooting for in the design?

A book cover is extremely important because it drives impulse purchases. How well a cover scales to a thumbnail size is equally important for web-based sales, and this applies to me because right now I sell exclusively on Amazon.

For my books, I worked with talented designers at damonza.com. I suggested vague notions to them. I wanted shadowy figures, to have a man and a woman who were a team, with maybe a military theme, and have them backlit by something happening in the distance. They did a great job and I love the results. The books have a retro feel that reminds me of old science fiction. I don’t know what readers think of the retro look, or if it’s helping or hurting sales. I’m always interested in hearing if anyone has an opinion on the subject.

Q: How do you get ideas for your characters? Do you model them after people you know?

None of my characters model a particular person. Rather, they all are a collection of traits and habits that I have observed in people, through reading, or from movies.  I write in a rotating point of view (POV) style where the reader spends time with each of the central characters, sometimes in different story lines that eventually merge as the plot develops. It’s great fun to sit down and “be” a character for a few days, observing events, drawing conclusions, and responding appropriately as that portion of the story unfolds.

I would describe my process for developing a character as much like building a jigsaw puzzle. I enjoy being at a particular point in an adventure, with characters deployed here and there, all with histories and in certain situations, and now I must move the story forward in a plausible and entertaining fashion. And in doing so, each character must behave in a manner consistent with their personality.

Q:Which authors influenced you and what do you love about them?

As a kid, I discovered Tom Swift, Jr., a young adult science fiction series. In different books, Tom builds a flying lab, a jet submarine, a giant robot, a rocket ship—I was in heaven. During my teens I gobbled science fiction, reading authors like Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, and Bradbury. I started mixing in fantasy authors, ranging from Tolkien to Piers Anthony to Zelazny.  Now, too often I find myself reading best sellers, because that’s what’s available in airports when I travel.

Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write every day and have fun doing it. Writing is art, and so there will be people who like what you do and those who don’t. So like any art form, do it for yourself.  Write what brings you joy and satisfaction, and you will produce the best work you are able and have fun doing it.

One way to practice is to write pieces and then stick them in a drawer. An alternative is to write things that will help society. Your neighborhood library, museum, senior center, or shelter all have access to grant opportunities and would benefit from a talented individual willing to help them write one. It’s hard work. It’s only creative to the extent you can spin the circumstances of the organization you are supporting to the requirements of the granting agency. But I know that anyone who writes a dozen grant applications will be judged a dozen times. It’s frustrating work, but like practicing your scales on an instrument, this sort of activity strengthens writing skills.

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

My highest priority is to entertain. The educator in me reveals itself, though, because my next priority is to teach. I spread those pieces out so (hopefully) no one notices. But I enjoy weaving tidbits about science and technology into the stories.

As but one example, in a scene in Crystal Conquest, a character is in space looking back at Earth, marveling that the atmosphere responsible for protecting and nourishing all life appears as a thin layer—a wisp of gas—circling the planet. The scene continues with him wondering how that meager film can feel so thick and boundless when standing on Earth and looking up at the sky.

So, perhaps next time readers see a picture of Earth taken from space, they might take a moment to consider if “meager film” is an accurate descriptor of the atmosphere that protects us. If they agree and this is a new observation to them, perhaps it will inform their future thoughts and actions about how to treat that wisp of gas.

In the books, you can find a science-filled sentence or two about AI inference engines, orbital mechanics, automatic control systems, cloaking devices, and lots more, all buried in the stories so you don’t even know!

Q: Why did you choose to become an indie author rather than follow the traditional publishing route?

I chose the indie route for a number of reasons: I’m anxious to get new works out to readers in a timely fashion, I want to maintain long-term control over of the work, and I am excited by the entrepreneurial challenge.  Self-publishing has all aspects of the small business enterprise, including product creation, branding and marketing, finance, project management, and intellectual property concerns. I love exploring ways to pull those levers to advance my writing career.

 

“Thank you very much Mr. Cooper for accepting my interview request. hope I can interview you again on the next books that you’ll be publishing and Hope to review more books written by you in the future. thank you for being really nice and cooperative. 

Have a Nice Day.” 

-Kenchi

hipsterlogogenerator_1465737755679