It’s Raymond Bolton!


Raymond BoltonWelcome to my interview with novelist, Raymond Bolton, author of The Ydron Saga.
Hello, Raymond,
Lauren- I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia! What is your favorite place to eat?
Raymond- When the weather’s right, I prefer an outdoor table at Manzana’s in Lake Oswego, Oregon. They have an almost unimpeded view of the lake, fine food, including fresh, river caught local salmon and steel head trout when they’re running, reasonable prices and a bar stocked with my favourite scotches and bourbons, not to mention King Estate Pinot Gris.
Lauren- I will have to try Manzana’s! Any movies that you really want to see?
Raymond-I’m dying to see the Martian. I read the book and if they adhere to the premise, without much deviation, it could be a riveting watch.
Lauren- Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
Raymond- Once upon a time, I used to enjoy soaring. I just found there is a glider port within 45 minutes of my house. Once we’ve finished settling in—we’ve been in our new digs for just over a year and I think another six moths should just about do it—I’m going to mosey on over and see what it will take to renew my license.
Lauren- What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
Raymond- (1) Well-crafted, compact prose that flows, (2) a story line that picks up and moves from the outset, (3) an unusual concept
Lauren- What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Raymond- Driven, organized, humorous, sincere, loving… not necessarily in that order.
Lauren- Now could you answer some general questions about your current writing projects (WIP).
Raymond- I am currently working hard to complete the first draft of Foretellers, the third volume of The Ydron Saga, the second of Awakening’s prequel trilogy. It is set in the land of Ydron, 250 years prior to the time the time the story of Awakening unfolds, a time referred to as The Great Conflict, a period when all the lands are at war. The warlord, Obah Sitheh, Regilius’ (Awakening’s protagonist) earliest known predecessor, is struggling against overwhelming odds to keep his people free from the tyrant, Hath Kael, when a small group of individuals with super cognitive abilities come to his assistance, begging the question “will they be enough to turn the tables in his favor?”
I expect to release it during the first quarter of 2016.
Lauren- What else do you have in the pipeline? Foretellers Bolton
Raymond- Aside from Telekine, which will wrap up the saga, I have sown the seed of an unrelated work, a YA urban fantasy I’m calling Folder, the story of a young man who can alter both present and future events, albeit with unpredictable and therefore dangerous results.
Lauren- What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Raymond- They are what I call sci-fi/fantasy genre benders because they tread the line between each of them.
Lauren- Tell us about your approach to the writing craft. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Raymond- I have a full-time day job as a hair stylist. Because I’m self-employed, I can alter my schedule to suit my needs. However, since my clients require a certain degree of predictability and I prefer to write in the morning, I often have to cut my writing short. As you can imagine, this can be frustrating when a particular chapter wants to pick up and run.
Lauren- Oh my gosh, I feel you on that one. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Raymond- Without a doubt, I pick Dan Simmons, author of the Hyperion series.
Lauren- Do you write an outline before every book you write?
No I don’t. There are two breeds of writer: plotters and pantsers. Plotters outline their plots before they put down a word. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants. Two notable pantsers are Douglas Preston and Stephen King.
Lauren- “Pantser,” Some times I write by the seat of my pants too. What is your favorite motivational phrase or positive saying?
Raymond- I follow the Ashanti proverb: Act as if you cannot fail.
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Lauren and Raymond

Author Interview of Robin Woods


RobinWoods2014Welcome to my interview with novelist, Robin Woods, author of The Watcher Series.

Hello, Robin,

I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…!

What’s on your reading list right now?
I just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I loved it. I’m not ready to move onto another book yet. The world is still lingering in my head.

Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
Spending time with my kids, seeing movies, listening to music, and crafting—there isn’t enough time in the day for all of the things I like to do!

What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Upbeat, passionate, motivated, down-to-earth, and organized.

When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first?
Young & New Adult Section

Do you have a job other than being an author? If so, what is it?
I teach 11th grade English (American Literature), 12th grade English (British Literature), and am an adjunct college professor.

Please tell me about your novels.
The Watcher Series follows the journey of Aleria Hayes who is initially an average high The Unintended (Book 1)school student, but is quickly pulled into the world of the Watchers. The Unintended begins in her world, but by the second novel, she is away from everything familiar. The series becomes darker, sexier, and more action packed with each novel. I am a lover of unexpected twists and am not afraid to kill my darlings to raise the stakes. I have a strong mythology built into the series and weave Greek and Celtic mythology into my vampire lore.

What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write?
I am almost always listening to music. I have playlists for different types of scenes that I write. If I am writing an action scene, I tend to listen to dub step or electronica. Whereas, if I am writing something with raw emotional elements, I tend to listen to something instrumental.

What else do you have in the pipeline?
I am finishing up a few extras and shorts that go along with my series. I will be releasing them in an eBook entitled, Light & Shadow: The Watcher Series Extras. In addition to the eBook, I’m starting to work with a Hollywood producer to create a few novellas to be turned into scripts. We will see!

The Fallen CoverWhat genre do you consider your book(s)?
The series starts in Young Adult and technically ends in upper Young Adult/New Adult. They would be categorized as Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance (though the story is more focused on her journey than the romance itself).

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I am a full-time plus English teacher and a wife/mother. I tend to write late at night and for a few hours on Saturday mornings while the kids are watching cartoons. I am very disciplined, and even if I only have a few minutes, I can produce something.


Do you have any advice for other writers?
1. Write everyday (even if it is only a paragraph).
2. Read, read, and read. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. Know what is happening in your genre and feed your soul.
3. Guard your writing time.
4. Be consistent.
5. Spend a little time on social media each day. Build a supportive community. Be generous.
6. Have your work professionally edited–by more than one editor (content and line-by-line editors).

What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books?
Build a platform branding yourself and not your books. You never know when you may write something in another genre. Spend a little time on social media each day. Blogging is also recommended, even if it only a couple of times per month. If you would like additional tips and some free resources there are more on my website—I try to give back to the community.

What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans?
Establish relationships with bloggers and other writers. Think of other writers as community and not competition.

What has been the biggest compliment given to you as an author?
A couple of college students told me that they are switching to English majors after reading my books and want to become writers. I don’t think there is a higher compliment.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?

My pacing is faster and my descriptions more streamlined. I have also refined my end of chapter hooks.

Are you a plotter, a planner, or do you prefer to dive right in?
I have a general outline, just five to ten bullet points with the main story arc. Then I write a few key scenes—the game changers. Afterwards, I go through and connect the dots from beginning to end.

Why do you write?RobinWoods
I have a story inside me and it needs to get out.

Big hugs, Robin and thanks so much for being here!

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Official Site:
Good Reads
Get her books here: Amazon USA

Please meet PJ Webb, author!


Welcome to my interview with novelist, PJ Webb, author of the Prince of the Blood Series and the Cliff House Series.

Hello, PJ, I’m glad you’re here! PJ Webb

Hi, Lauren, thanks for having me. 

First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…!

Do you have a favorite book or film?

Yes my very favorite film is Somewhere in Time. In fact, my husband and I named our boat Somewhere in Time.

Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?

I love boating. When you’re out on the water anything to do with everyday life just seems to fade away.

What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?

Fiery, compassionate, stubborn, quirky, diligent. My husband would also say annoying. My answer to him is that that’s my true purpose in life, to annoy him.

Please tell me about your novel.  Who or what was your inspiration behind it?

PRINCE OF THE BLOOD TransformationMy first novel and the one that started my writing career is Prince of the Blood – Transformation, so it will always be very dear to me not only because it’s my first, but because of events in my life that led me to write it. It was born out of a desire not to stay up all night worrying about events that were unfolding in my life that were beyond my control. You see, my husband and I were about to lose everything we owned, including what was a very lucrative business, because of the recession and in spite of our tremendous effort to save it. So, I began to write a story about a character who lost everything and managed to cope with that loss and reinvent himself in the process. Not only did I spend my nights doing something constructive, but the story I was telling and the strength of my main character, Sebastian, actually helped to heal the enormous depression I felt.

Way to turn things around!  I’m proud of you!  Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason?

My first novel and every novel in the Prince of the Blood Series is dedicated to my Sebastian, my awesome husband, Scott. The only thing we had managed to save before leaving New York was our 36’ cabin cruiser, Somewhere In Time. Our intention had been to drive it to Florida, where my husband’s brother lives, but we broke down and ended up in New Bern, NC. We spent fifteen months living on board and met so many wonderful and caring people that we decided to stay. My husband started a new business and we’ve moved off the boat into our new home. He, by some source of great strength, was able to reinvent himself and move on, and I am still involved in helping him and continue to write.

What else do you have in the pipeline?

Thanks for asking, Lauren, the first book in my new paranormal fiction series, Cliff House, should be released before the end of August and is named Lora Lee.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?

Oh, yes! All of them, in fact I take on their personalities as I’m writing them and whisper read each ones dialogue.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I suppose Anne Rice. The first book I ever read of hers was “The Interview with the Vampire”. I was mesmerized by her writing style and still am.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I feel the most important thing I can possibly tell them is to make sure they have a PRINCE OF THE BLOOD   Evolutionperfect job of editing before they put their work out there. You can have the most original story ever and if it’s not well edited, you won’t have anything except bad reviews.

What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting?

The most frustrating thing I would have to say is not having enough time to write and the most exciting is to read a good review from someone who escaped into my fantasy world and was entertained.

Thank you so much for the interview, Lauren. I really appreciate it. 

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

TWITTER @PletchaPJWebb




My Work:


Imagine fate putting you in all the right places at all the right times. Love, success, even stardom have been given to you and you embrace them with passion, but the path of your destiny has many twists and turns. Sebastian Blood had just such a life until it was stolen by his most jealous and ardent admirer. He then found himself thrust into a dark underworld where he was forced to suffer unspeakable horror. Will the one who cursed him for eternity destroy his immortal life, as well? The Prince of the Blood Vampire Chronicles is a work of historical fiction and a paranormal fantasy crisscrossing centuries.



As Sebastian Blood, he lived a life of fame and wealth—an open book to his adoring fans and with the love of his mortal life by his side.

As Sebastian Du Sang, his life is one of infamy and revulsion—a figure cloaked in mystery and with only one constant—the love of his immortal life.

One reality for another as luck would have it. The devastating blow of fate. And, what will he do with this new and horrific beginning? He will rise above it



Interview with Author Tamara Ferguson


02author pic 3-best-2-8-228 largerIf I could, Lauren, I’d like to tell you about my new story Two Hearts Surrendered, which is featured in the Magical Weddings Anthology – due to be released on June 16.
The first thing that popped into my head when I was asked if I’d like to contribute a story was this: why not try writing something a little different from what I’m accustomed to? Military stories are very popular these days. But with some of the terrible things happening in the world today, what I wanted was to get into the head of my character, who was returning home as a wounded warrior. Luke Bryant had struggles to begin with – he was abused as a child. It’s my heroine’s ability to believe in their love and to stand by his side, even though my hero is effectively attempting to shut Kelly Callahan out of his life – that eventually leads them to an enchanting happily-ever-after.
Here’s our blurb for the anthology:MagicalWeddings3D (1)
From sweet to spicy, the romances bundled into this set cross time and unite hearts, cast spells of laughter, battle wedding jitters and fight back tears, while weaving love’s hopeful magic throughout 1400 pages.
Our headliner is Leigh Michaels, a national bestselling author who’s written over 100 novels. Leigh’s story is a lovely historical romance – Her Wedding Wager – about a heroine whose future is dependent on a bet. Aileen Harkwood has been coordinating this project, and her contribution is The Last Wedding At Drayhome – an enchanting story about a witch and warlock – and a love too long denied. Eve Devon’s captivating love story, The Dress, spans time – through a dress weaved with magic, while USA Today bestselling author Raine English has written Second Chance Bride, a charming story about a bride who just might’ve chosen the wrong groom – as communicated by a telepathic rescue dog!
The other highly talented, USA Today, best-selling, and award-winning authors featuring stories are: Lynda Haviland, Jody A. Kessler, Jane Lark, Bess McBride, L.L. Muir, Jennifer Gilby Roberts, Jan Romes, Heather Thurmeier, Elsa Winckler, and Sarah Wynde.

I can’t tell you how I excited I am to be part of this group!
Having gotten to know you, I’d say you’ve earned your spot! Congratulations, Tamara!!!

Right now, Magical Weddings is available for pre-order at only 99c. It’s already reached bestseller status at Amazon – at #3 for Hot New Releases, and #14 for anthologies!

Magical Weddings is available at:
Barnes & Noble:
Google Play:

twoheartssurendered2 (1)Now let me share with you what I learned about Tamara Ferguson.
Favorite book or film?
Random Harvest (with Greer Garson & Ronald Coleman)

Besides the fact that I’ve loved old movies my entire life, with the suspense and romance, this one has it all. There’s a twisted plot; the couple fall in love and Coleman can’t remember his past. Coleman’s in an accident and develops amnesia again – this time remembering his former life and returning to it. But eventually – of course! – the couple find love with each other again.

Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
That’s a no-brainer – gardening. But I’ve been so busy, my yard is looking like a jungle these days!

What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?
I think romance suspense will always be my favorite to write. Even my new adult romances involve a mystery – the stories just seem too simple otherwise. I’ve always loved reading romance and suspense too. But what’s funny is, I have to be in a certain mood to read a different genre. When I was young, I loved light and funny. But these days, it kind of bores me, and I need to read something deeper and more intense.

When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?
I use both! I write up my outline in a college ruled notebook, and add to it – by detailing my chapters with one or two lines as I move along through the story. It’s the only way I can stay on track, cause I tend to wander off into different directions, as I consider what’s next ( and with whom ) in the next novel of each series. I prefer writing with the computer, of course. But I always carry a small notebook – ideas seem to pop up in my mind at the strangest times.

Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
No doubt about it, I’m a much better writer! I’ve become more articulate with practice. My sentence structure used to twist up quite a bit and I had to do a lot of heavy-duty proofing. But now the right words and new ideas for the next novel are spinning through my mind even when I’m not actually writing.

What draws you to this genre?
I was never as enthused with contemporary romance as I was with historical when I began reading it. I finally figured out that, to me, it just wasn’t as romantic! So, I guess, I decided that I wanted to write contemporary romance because I wanted to make my stories more romantic than the authors I was reading – and more like what I would want to read myself!

Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?
I do a little of both – I begin with a simple outline and plot. Usually I have the story in my mind already, and begin by writing my epilogue, and setting a scene from the past. Many times conflictions in the past are what greatly affect my characters’ future, as well as challenging their ability to make a commitment and fall in love! Rather than expose too much information about my characters at the beginning, I like to reveal bits and pieces moving forward. And I do like to trick the reader a little – my favorite characters to develop are those who appear to be unlikable on the outside, but actually have redeeming qualities on the inside. Maybe because they were abused or molested . . . usually there’s a reason for their attitude or behavior? I guess because I search for the best in people, I want my reader to be able to find it as well.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
On the surface, my writing appears simplistic – but I write a complicated story! I put a lot of depth into my characters’ backgrounds, and my heroes and heroines, in particular, never have it easy. Through the story, there are challenges aplenty to overcome before they can finally reach their happily-ever-after. I’ll never write a story without an HEA! I want my reader to finish my story feeling positive (and maybe even with a smile on their face.)

Why do you write?
I’m one of those crazy people who just decided to write. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. But even back when I was a teenager, once I finished reading a book, I remember thinking about how I would change the story to make it better! And, most particularly, the mysteries—I seemed to always be able to pick out the villain.
And I’m a full-time caregiver to a severely autistic and mentally impaired son who has Type I Diabetes. Once he graduated from school and I discovered his vocational programming wasn’t going through because of Illinois’ budget cuts, I was somewhat overwhelmed when I realized my life would probably never be my own again. (There’s a twenty year waiting period for placement into an institution equipped to handle his type of problems.) And now there’s the potential for an even worse problem – our new governor is trying to cut out programs and funding for my son and others like him! At the back of my mind, I’ve been hoping to become a successful writer so that I’d have another source of income to fall back on since I can’t work away from home now.
Plus writing occupies my mind. It keeps me from considering the what if’s. No matter how difficult my circumstances are, there is always someone out there who has it much worse. And here I am, now, beginning to experience moderate success as a writer.

What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why?
Music has always been a big inspiration in my life. I sang in a choir from the time I was nine as a first soprano, was a madrigal in high school( we won a first in our state) and even sang through my freshman year in college. And I have a little secret – my Tales of the Dragonfly stories?- they were ALL created with the inspiration of particular songs (Foreigner, Journey, Maroon 5, Jefferson Starship + MORE!)

What else do you have in the pipeline?
I’m inventing my next Kissed by Fate Story – That Unexpected Kiss – while I’ve been working on my next installment of Romantic Suspense – Tales of the Dragonfly Book III: Emergence. This is the story of Lucy Callahan, the eighteen-year old girl who was kidnapped and assaulted in Book I: In Tandem. The members of the human trafficking ring who were responsible for capturing her have remained at-large. It’s nearly a year later, and Lucy’s still having troubles recovering from her ordeal when she realizes she’s being stalked by the man who raped her. Her inner strength shines through when she assists the FBI and confronts her rapist – while falling in love with the former FBI agent who’s acting as her bodyguard. Lucy lives and works in Gabe Giordano’s home, as his seven-year old daughter’s nanny, while attending the college where Gabe is a professor.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Twitter @Tammysdragonfly                          Facebook:

Linked In:

Interview with Novelist Effrosyni Moschoud


Welcome to my interview with novelist Effrosyni Moschoudi, author of The Lady of the Pier trilogy.
The first part, The Ebb, is only 99c on Amazon US at the moment and until May 31st. This is an ABNA Q-Finalist, a sweet romance with a paranormal twist that will enthuse romantic souls out there. Hurry and download a copy while the offer lasts!

frosso pic1Hello, Effrosyni,
I’m glad you’re here! First some fun trivia – give me some juicy details…! What is your favorite junk food vice?
A – Greek souvlaki of course, preferably chicken with pita bread – yum!

Q- Do you have a favorite book or film?
A – I have many favorites so I’ll choose one at random from each:
Favorite book: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Film: Dead Poets Society by Peter Weir

Q – Any movies that you really want to see?
A – That’s easy. The next one starring Robert Pattinson. He is the only actor that I will watch in any movie, no matter what it is, as I am such a huge fan. He has done two really bad movies in my opinion, both by Cronenberg, but some gems too, like Bel Ami and Remember Me. Luckily the next one out is bound to be wonderful: Queen of the Desert with co-stars Nicole Kidman and James Franco. Can’t wait!

Q – What’s on your reading list right now?
A – A bunch of awesome reads by indie authors, most of them co-members of the writer’s group eNovel Authors at Work. I also have a couple of non-indie books lined up, like the latest from Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop.

20150321_100358Q – Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
A – Swim and sunbathe. I love the sea. Even in the winter, I need to feel near it, so whenever I have time, I’ll walk along the shore or in our local marina.


Q – Now for some general questions about your current writing. Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason?
lady of the pier, ebb no strap 533x800A – The Lady of the Pier – The Ebb is dedicated to my grandparents and I wrote the book as a tribute to them. Although the plot is a work of fiction, it is peppered with autobiographical elements. Like my character Sofia, I used to spend my summers in Corfu with my grandparents. I was an overprotected daughter and yearned for freedom, just like her. I have a myriad of blissful memories from my summers in Corfu. My readers tell me the descriptions are so vivid it feels like you’re there too. It pleases me immensely to hear that.

Q – What else do you have in the pipeline?
A – I am currently working on the sequels of The Lady of the Pier trilogy. The Flow (book 2) is in the last edits stage and will be published this summer. I am nearly done writing The Storm (book 3) as well and this will be published later this year. Once The Storm is written, I’ll start working on a chick lit story and a children’s story too. Last, I’ll be translating The Necklace of Goddess Athena into Greek as to try and sell it in this country, also to allow my family members to read it; my teenage nieces especially, who keep asking!

Q – Tell us a little bit about your approach to the writing craft.  What books have most influenced your life? NECKLACE OF ATHENA533x800
A – Books of esoteric philosophy and self-help. I have been working with myself for the past thirty years, trying to shape my thinking and my character in a way I choose as to find peace and happiness. The greatest achievement for man, I believe, is to master one’s mind, i.e. to learn to control your own thinking. So many people are victimized by the chatterbox of negativity inside their heads. I used mind control methods and meditation to get rid of it and my life has improved dramatically ever since. I’ve also learned to forgive through these practices and to practice gratitude every day. To name the three books that have helped me live a happy life the most, I’ll mention The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder and Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping.

Q –  What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books?
A – Reviews don’t sell books, and neither do posts on Twitter and Facebook. From what I have seen, two things only can grant you sales: 1) writing more books: The more you have out there, the more you’re getting heard 2) Doing promotion and advertising. No matter how long you spend on social media and writing blog posts, that won’t get you anywhere. Actually, if I had to choose one, I’d say putting more books out there is #1. After a while, the books almost sell themselves, especially when the Phoenix Effect kicks in, i.e. when your fans start buying your older books because they loved your latest.

Q – Why do you write?
A – Why does the fish swim? Why does the bird fly? A writer can’t help writing any more than these creatures can help doing these things. I think a true writer is born and not made. They pick up a pen as soon as they learn the alphabet and start writing, just like that. They don’t choose it, and they don’t need a reason to write.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

A Big Warm Welcome to Laurie Bell!


A big warm welcome to the one and only… Laurie Bell!

Laurie 3“I’m a writer, blogger and all round creative nut.
I muse and ramble and write whatever I feel like… Visit my blog, head on over to Facebook or visit me on Twitter @LaurienotLori

I love a good prompt, love an interactive audience and love to write serials, novels and anything in between. I’m a huge movie/television buff and I think Joss Whedon is a genius!”

What is your favorite place to eat? Why?

Anywhere that is out and someone has cooked for me! I am an awful cook. It is my aim in life to not have to cook for myself!

I’m still waiting. Therefore my favorite place to eat out is a little restaurant about ten minutes from my house. A little Italian place that I love. They have the most amazing deserts!! Ahem and meals, the main meals are terrific too. Did I mention the deserts?

What is your favorite junk food vice?

Aha, chocolate and coffee. Honestly, I am not picky, any type of chocolate I will eat it. But I do prefer Australian Cadbury (I make the distinction because I have lived overseas and there IS a difference.) And I have a real weakness for Easter eggs. Yeah my fridge is usually full of eggs a good month before Easter and at least a month afterwards!

What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?

Typical day? Work unfortunately but one must pay the bills. At every opportunity I can be found writing in a little notepad or parked in front of the TV catching up on all the shows I missed during the week. It’s all research of course! In fact the best advice I ever read was an interview with Joss Whedon who actually said that. Everything you watch, read, do, experience can be considered research. (I’m paraphrasing of course.) As for a weekend? Well typically either out with the boyfriend or in front of the TV. If I’m not catching up with friends and their babies, I am out at a café by myself. If I am out by myself I can usually be found with a notebook writing away on my next story.

Favorite book or film? Why?

Well, these are two very different questions.

Favorite Movie is tricky – because there are so many, though at the moment it would be The Avengers – Joss Whedon. Seriously, my writing hero, you might have guessed that huh?

Book? Well, I guess my favorite would be Cyclops by Clive Cussler. I think I have read it several times. It just stays with me. Great tension in the action scenes… even more in the waiting for the action scenes. Dirk Pitt Bathtub – is all I’m saying.

What’s on your reading list right now?

Soooo much, I’m not sure I’ll get to it all. Book four of the Secret Watcher series! Haha but also several new books by friends who are authors (or soon will be) some amazing work coming out…. Keep an eye on Helen Valentina, and Linh Nguyen-Ng.

Oooo and I recently read a book called Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith… Very fun – I’m looking forward to book two.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

If I can get lost in it. I think that’s probably the most important thing and if I can hear the character’s voices in my head. If I can continue the dialogue in my head after I’ve finished a book then I know it’s a great book!

Who is your favorite author?

I have a few – a lot of friends of course. I would change the question slightly and say my favourite writer is Joss Whedon (I’m sure I’ve mentioned that) Ha ha. I have a whole room of bookshelves at home. And you can find every style of book within. I guess the authors I am most sure of buying when I see a new release would be Clive Cussler and Janet Evanovich.

What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?

Creative, fun, nuts, professional, weird, Introvert, Extrovert. (You would think those last two can’t go together but I think they do. I am a very loud, chatty person in public and can make people laugh but I also love my alone time and can sit at home in front of my tv for days on end too.)

When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why?

Scifi/Fantasy. But I can and will spend hours walking around a bookstore. I cover every area from young adult to kids, picture books to new releases, adult to romance. I spend two hours a day on the train. It gives me a lot of reading time. If I’m not writing on the train I am reading. I love books.

Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?

Still working. Am yet to publish though I do have two books at the editor right now. Keep an EYE out for White Fire and Blood Fever by ME.

I work as a PA (personal assistant) to an IT manager in an insurance company. Funnily enough I also volunteer at my local theatre, and often work as assistant to the director… I seem to assist a lot!

What do you do when you are not writing?

Reading, reading and more reading, a lot of TV and movies too… As Joss Whedon says, everything is research! And I’m very lazy, so yeah, TV mostly! haha, oooh and eating out, I’ve mentioned that before right?

Are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in?

Ooooh, both actually. I roughly jot out chapters on sticky notes and then going off two or three points just start writing.

What am I working on?

Well I have two books I am working on at the moment. Two different series of Science Fiction/Action. Very Female James Bond meets Star Wars with a very Guardians of the Galaxy feel. One is a YA the other is a little darker and older.

Which is your favorite character in your book and why?

Mate, He is an android canine and the partner to my heroine. He is just my favourite character! I love his “Voice” and his loyalty.

Why I Like Reviews!


Why I Like Reviews!
A funny thing happened on the way to the bookstore… Just kidding. I truly love reviews, the good, the bad and the ugly. It doesn’t matter. I bet you‘re asking yourself, “What is wrong with you?” I will tell you this; I did get my feelings hurt in the early days when I got a one or two star review. To me, five stars was like getting an A on a project, so therefore a one star was an F. An F, really? I spent months on that book, it has my blood, sweat and tears in it and you gave me an F? Why??? But I get it now, it’s part of life. Not everyone will like you and not everyone will like your work. So what can you do? Learn from it, my friend! Quit focusing on that low rating and look at your average. Read your reviews and see if they are telling you something. What messages can you use to improve your writing?
A five star rating still feels like a Christmas present or that feeling you get when you first pass through the gates at Disneyland, but all reviews have value. Some have way more than others. Still, at the end of the day, remember it is all a numbers game and listen to the averages not the extremes. What do most people want from you? Make an effort to be that writer but no matter what you do… ALWAYS be true to yourself.
Happy writing and may the muses always hold you in their favor! Red Mitten 2013

Want to see some of the reviews I’ve given and gotten?

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Author Interview of Lisa Montanino


Author Interview of Lisa Montanino
Welcome Lisa and thank you so very much for being here! You know me, fun stuff first! 18c5f30What is your favorite place to eat? Why? I don’t even know where to begin… between my staples on West and East coasts, that’s a tough one. I’ll mention a few from my favourite cities: London – Oxo Tower for the views alone, food’s okay and The Ledbury for extraordinary food. New York/Brooklyn – Il Mulino, Morimoto, The River Café quintessential Brooklyn, and I love Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights, great Italian family run eatery. In Los Angeles – Little Dom’s for chill Italian and Ruen Pair, hands down the best Thai food in LA, despite it being in a strip mall.
What does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? Usually starts with a home cooked breakfast and gobs of coffee. Then migrate to bike riding (depending on weather) to the beach and chilling out with my boyfriend/family… outdoors is a must. Having friends over for dinner or meeting them out. If inclement weather, usually home entertaining… playing cards or catching a movie or friends music show. The occasional sports game for my nephews. At some point in between I’m writing and catching up on my favorite shows like House Of Cards, Luther, etc. since I rarely have time during the week working. I’m not the typical chick who likes to shop at the mall all day… can’t stomach it! Though I do love to food shop.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? Pretty much any activity outdoors, especially cycling to the beach. Spending quality time with my loved ones laughing and cooking.
Who are your favorite authors? John Irving, Chuck Klosterman, Nick Hornby, Hunter S. Thompson, Agatha Christie… and so many others I can’t think of at the moment.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
(Extremely) congenial (pride myself on getting along with everybody)
Reliable/stable/independent (for some reason I count this as one…)
When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why? Usually the psychology section… I guess because I’m fascinated with the human psyche and what makes us tick.
I also love it when my guest authors share about their approach to the writing craft. What are your tips and tricks for other independent authors to get the word out about their books? Promote yourself on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platform out there because they usually have other marketing options that are affordable and effective. Also, join a writers group if you’re not in one already… wonderful outlet for new readers and fellow creative folks that you can spread the word to. Promoting fellow authors on your social platforms.
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? I love chick and male fiction literature e.g. Chuck Klosterman – Killing Yourself to Live kind of books… humour, heartbreak, and hysterics all wrapped together. And as I mentioned before, I’m drawn to psychology and self-help books… love learning about that topic.
What is the most frustrating thing you have had to deal with as a writer? Most exciting? Editing by far takes the cake; it’s gruelling and takes way too long. Most exciting would be the how the audience reviews the finished product, how my readers like and interpret my work. I don’t find anything exciting per say about writing but the freedom is glorious.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? I use both actually. Usually it’s on my laptop but when I’m out and about and get an idea I write it down in my journal. Aside from writing professionally, I feel everyone should keep a journal of their thoughts; it promotes wellness among many other positive things.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? It’s just easier as the years go by… flows out more naturally. Nothing really has changed on my style of writing… self-deprecating narrative at your service!
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? What has worked well for me are my writing groups in NY and London… as well as my social networks. Word of mouth from family and friends, and traveling… I sold a few books just by other passengers noticing me writing on my laptop and learning I’m an author. And of course, promote fellow authors and work on your online outlets… I love doing it and it’s been very helpful ten-fold.
What advice would you give to a younger you? How has reading influenced you? Li Li, you should have started yesterday! Why did you put off writing for a while when you could have been on your third book by now. Reading has influenced me in being comfortable with what I like and don’t like. There was a time when you would hear about the “must read” from best sellers lists… interestingly some failed to deliver, especially the writer’s prose. Now because I’m immersed in the independent writer’s world, there are so many amazing books to choose from off the beaten path, like yours for example.
Aw, thanks! Flattery will get you everywhere. Now tell us; are you a plotter / planner or do you prefer to dive right in? Usually a planner but spontaneity is also a dear friend, especially in the last few years.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? If only half the readers of my book put their reviews on for me! I receive thoughtful emails with their feedback but having them cut and paste that into a review is like pulling teeth… I don’t know why? The ones that have been kind enough to review me, I’m in debt to. I recently joined a review swap with other writers where we read each other’s work and review… that definitely helps and I recommend it. Lauren, do you have any advice on how to get more reviews? I could use all the help I can get.
Why yes, I have a bit of advice. I’ll share it at the end. For now, how do you think you’ve evolved creatively? For me, life has been the greatest teacher and each day as I get older… each experience shapes me in one way or another which in turn helps me expand creatively with ideas and such.
Lisa Montanino 3Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? John F. Coffey and Patricia Coffey, a second set of parents to me, who unfortunately are no longer with us. They shaped my life so much in the 20 years I had the fortune of knowing them. John was a Columbia County judge and partner of a law firm and when I tell you he treated a doorman the same as any judge he ever dealt with, that left a very positive impression on me. I abhor arrogance and a nasty demeanor! I don’t care how smart or rich you are, there is no excuse to treat anyone less than any way you would like to be treated. People with noses in the air not only aren’t respected, they’re pathetically pitiful. John and Pat felt the same and worked hard for their education and job status… and like my parents, their work ethic was unmatched. I pride myself following in their footsteps, especially in being a sincerely kind humanitarian like they were. They also inspired my charitable and philanthropic endeavors as well.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why? Pandora is amazing… and Europe needs to have it! Some of my favorite stations are Genesis, David Bowie, Massive Attack, Pharell, The Beatles, Bebel Gilberto, Madonna, 2 Cellos, Nirvana, The Police, The Pretenders, My Morning Jacket, Duran Duran, Spoon, The Who, Fiona Apple, and countless others… though by the list I just gave, classic rock wins! I also play albums from my collections too.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it? My novel is a must read for anyone who wants to laugh, think, and be moved by a compelling story about a woman who is conflicted and needs to find her way back to stable ground. Life and the people in my world were the inspiring forces.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why? Shane Salinger, because he’s the most audaciously confident soul that lives life on his terms no matter what, completely true to his convictions. And he’s really… really funny!
Lisa Montanino 2What else do you have in the pipeline? Writing my second and third novels… one is the sequel to Feedback, my current novel for sale and a fictitious memoir of little vignettes from a fun disgruntled at times character. And promoting authors like yourself on my blog. I want to take this time in thanking you again for being lovely and interviewing me. It means so much to share my thoughts with you and our amazing fans – another source of inspiration! I can’t wait to read your next one.
Thanks Lisa! You made my day!!!
Lisa’s Links
Buy my book here:
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Follow me on twitter here:
Friend me on facebook here:

Getting reviews:
1. Ask. AND I mean everyone. Be kind, and do say please and thank you.
2. The more you have the more you get so don’t give up. This is an oddity, but I think people are less afraid to leave a review when they see that you have some.
3. Encourage people to leave them everywhere that they are a member.
4. Become a member of Goodreads if you aren’t already. Join some groups and offer your book for their read for review programs. I did it for my first two books and I can really see the difference in the quantity of reviews.
5. Don’t take it all too seriously. Some people will like you and some won’t. It’s okay. Focus on your average and take into consideration what folks say. What did they love, what did they not love. Just remember to stay true to you. If you try to make everyone happy you will make no one happy.
6. Become a reviewer yourself. Be careful here. In the early days, I traded reviews. I ended up being bombarded and did not have time for my writing but we all have to start somewhere. Some books I read were truly amazing; others not so much. If I felt that anyone deserved less than three stars then I emailed them privately with my thoughts and declined leaving a public review. I want to be honest when I review and it pains me to hurt people’s feelings. Go with your gut on this one.
7. Use that social media. Recently I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I offer free PDFs for anyone interested in trading for a review. That brought in a few new folks. All they had to give me was their email. I do not email them promo stuff after I send their PDF. If I get a decent review and they request the next book, they may have it.
8. Those are the things I’ve done that have worked pretty well. I do not consider myself an expert. I have published four books and I see some money roll in every month. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen regarding marketing is worry less about that part and write more books. The more books you have the more credible you look and the more you sell. Guess what? More books also means more reviews.

NOW, GO GET ‘EM and best of LUCK!!!

A Big Warm Welcome to Wendy Van Camp!


A big warm welcome to fellow author Wendy Van Camp!

Wendy Van Camp HeadshotI love to start with fun trivia. Tell me, what does a typical day look like for you? On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with? I start my day in my home studio/office. I check email, do my basic daily marketing for the blog and tend to any questions that have come in via email. Then things shift depending on what I’m working on. If I’m drafting, I take my Alphasmart Neo to the local coffeehouse and draft 2K words or more. An Alphasmart is a lightweight, digital typewriter without internet connections. If I’m editing, I will work at home on my desktop. My writing program of choice is Scrivener. I also use copy editing software such as Rightwriter, Smart-Edit, and Hemmingway. I find that editing or writing short blog articles are easier at home. I like to take a lunch break around noon. When I return, unless a story is grabbing me, I’ll work on house projects, make jewelry on my bench, or even cook a gourmet meal for dinner. After dinner and a little television watching with my husband, I return to my office. This is when my true creative time is. I create the best stories late at night. I’m not sure why. At least my husband seems to accept my night owl behavior.
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? I love to ride my bicycle or take my dog walking in the park. Connecting with nature is important to me and this allows me to feel the wind and the sun on my face.
Who are your favorite authors? Jane Austen, Robert A. Heinlein, Diana Galbaldan, Anne McCaffery, Andre Norton, Brandon Sanderson, Carla Kelly, Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it? I am an artisan jeweler and have been in business for 18 years. I create jewelry from semi-precious stones, sterling silver, copper and handmade art glass. My work has a Celtic theme, but with contemporary style. I sell my jewelry at Highland Games, Science Fiction Conventions, and Concerts. I currently do not have a webstore and frankly I am not sure if I want one. While jewelry is my day job, I am more focused on shifting to being an author these days. I suspect that I will be making jewelry for years to come, but gradually I will be making items for myself and friends instead of being a business.The Curate s Brother Book Cover (blog)
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other? I start with a fountain pen and a composition notebook. I brainstorm ideas for the story there. The next step is to write out an outline on paper based on the ideas that I’ve come up with. Once I have a rough outline, I use these to create files in my Scrivener program. I fill those files via my Alphasmart Neo, a digital typewriter that can send the text I type into any word processing file. Once the draft is completed, then I am working completely in Scrivener. When it comes to organizing a writing project and doing revisions, Scrivener is my tool of choice.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you noticed any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now? My writing style was learned before the age of the internet. Over the years, the rules for writing have changed. Today, authors include more white space, do not overwhelm the reader with large amounts of description and avoid passive voice at all costs. I’ve had to unlearn many writing habits over the past few years and still struggle when I fall back into old patterns. I ended up taking several refresher classes in grammar and I found that it helped counter the problems in my writing.
For our writer friends: What advice do you have for authors looking to find and connect with a wider base of fans? Person to person contact is best. Shaking a reader’s hand and talking one on one about your stories puts you in their mind and helps them to remember you. That is why I like to do speaking events or book a table at a festival. It gives me that personal branding. Social media is good too, but not as effective.
What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why? I consider myself a science fiction and fantasy author. Most of my work falls into these two genre. I also dabble in regency romance connected with Jane Austen and the occasional memoir.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason? I dedicated my first novel to my husband. Although I started writing at a very young age, my parents were not supportive. They wanted me to go into engineering or be a teacher, something steady and respectable. My husband has always been supportive of all my creative efforts and this means the world to me.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
The Curate’s Brother is a short story about the relationship between the two Wentworth brothers as seen through the eyes of EDWARD WENTWORTH. It follows their romantic antics over one summer in 1806. This short story could be seen as a prequel to Jane Austen’s famous novel “Persuasion”.
Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the regency era village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which he considers his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, COMMANDER FREDERICK WENTWORTH arrives on his doorstep for a visit. Frederick has returned to England after seeing action and commanding his first vessel, a prize ship won in the West Indies. He is awaiting orders and has the hope of commanding a ship of his own by the end of summer. His only goal is to pass the time with the only family he has left in England until his next assignment.
At first Edward is glad to see his brother. They have not spent time with each other for years due to his brother’s naval service. They are opposites in many ways. Frederick is bold and likes to take risks. Edward is shy and over-aware of social implications. When his brother flirts with SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward is used to viewing as “a child”, the young curate becomes aware that his viewpoint of Sally is sorely outdated. His peaceful life is full of turmoil as he observes Sally flirting with men at public assemblies and realizes that he does not like it.
Meanwhile, Frederick finds himself a celebrity in Monkford. Word from the London papers paint him as “the Hero of San Domingo”, where he won a commendation for his quick thinking in action. The men want to hear the story of his exploits, but Frederick would rather dance with the ladies. The Commander takes an interest in shy wallflower, ANNE ELLIOT. He pays no heed to Edward’s warnings that the girl is the daughter of a baronet and well above his station. Edward fears that no good will come of a union between his brother and the girl due to her family connections.
At the end of summer, a letter and a package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which way will prevail, the bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?
What authors inspired you to write this particular novel? Why? Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. I love all her books, but Persuasion is my favorite. I started to read fanfiction based on Austen’s novels and eventually, ideas for a story of my own developed. Letters from the Sea was a Nanowrimo novel project a few years ago, but I was never happy with it and set it aside. However, I enjoyed the first chapter of the book where Edward Wentworth viewed his brother’s romance from afar and this became the bud that bloomed into The Curate’s Brother.
What else do you have in the pipeline? I am working on a sequel to The Curate’s Brother called Letters From The Sea. It is an extensive revision of the original project. Like The Curate’s Brother, it is more a character study than a true regency romance. I am also at work on my Opus, a steampunk science fiction trilogy, but due to its scope and length, it will be awhile before it is published.
Where can people learn more about you and your work?
No Wasted Ink:
Amazon Author Page:

Wendy, thank you so very much for joining us!

Guest Post by the Wonderful Myron Stenzel


A Guest Post Poem by the Wonderful Myron Stenzel!

My Arms Are Wings, The Ocean is My Sky
White sands before my eyes stretch for miles along the sea shore.
Endless possibilities are countless as the shells scattered by the waves, my imagination couldn’t ask for anything more.
This strip of sand reminds me of a runway and my body is an explorer’s albatross seaplane.
I sit with my engine roaring on the threshold markings of the beach with no one around to call me insane.
I extend my arms away from my fuselage body as my feet begin to stir.
Sending myself in motion, I take off on a jog; in my mind, I’m racing down the sandy strip in a split second blur.
Feeling the wind rustle through my sleeves as I gain altitude on my aerial nautical quest.
I turn towards the waves of the ocean and visualize the albatross being pushed to the ultimate in aviation’s test.
I dip and sway along with the currents and the rising tide.
Ease and calmness grace my heart while I enjoy my oceanic ride.
My feet dance and skip in the water as the albatross pretends to land near a tropical island.
My arms are down by my side as the explorer in me reaches into the sea trying to discover something I want to learn and understand.
I pull from the depths of the waters a treasure chest in the form of a conch shell.
My imagination boards the seaplane once again, bringing back a nautical gem and my tales of triumph for stories to tell.
I tip my wings over the waters I have explored out of respect to the blue and majestic deep.
My treasures taken are the memories of my imaginary flight, forever will I keep.
My playfulness comes to an end when I land back in reality bidding adieu to the albatross which gave me a sea salt high.
My arms are wings, the ocean is my sky.
-Myron J Stenzel
‪#‎poetry‬ ‪#‎nautical‬ ‪#‎beach‬ ‪#‎ocean‬ ‪#‎dream‬ ‪#‎imagine‬ ‪#‎believe‬

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