Category Archives: Interviews

A Story About Death

Ryan Grimbly Author Interview

Ryan Grimbly Author Interview

Blooodfest follows an elite squad of soldiers investigating an island when the dead come to life and they must battle death itself. What were some sources of inspiration that helped you write this book?

Bloodfest started as a home made stop motion film, and we – as a team of budding film makers – were definitely inspired by horror movies and video games. As far as writing inspiration goes, I was a fan of Roald Dahl as a child. Then it was Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as I got older. A lot of these authors often combined dark subjects and comedy, which I really influenced by twisted sense of humour. Bloodfest certainly isn’t shy about being concurrently disgusting and funny.

What was the collaboration like with author James Maddison on this book?

This is a collaboration about twenty two years in the making! I met James at high school. We developed Bloodfest as a stop motion film, using modelling clay to build the characters and my parent’s video camera to film it. I still have fond memories of those characters and events, and I decided to revive Bloodfest as a book series starting with Call of the Conjurer, released in 2014. After I novelised Bloodfest, I gave a first draft to James before doing anything else. He gave his blessing and was equally delighted by the memories.

You write a lot of paranormal fantasy novels. What did you want to do in this book that was different from your other books?

Call of the Conjurer and Typhoon of Fire were both set up as prequels to the inevitable release of Bloodfest, at least in my mind. I wrote them as a means of naturally establishing the characters and their world, with an end goal in mind. While Call of the Conjurer and Typhoon of Fire are subdued, Bloodfest is completely unfettered. The book treads a thin line between fantasy ridiculouness and genuine drama. The characters often react with a sense of tongue-in-cheek self awareness to the nonsense happening all around them. They readily accept it, because it’s the world they live in. The story and the situations are allowed to be convoluted in a way that fantasy / sci fi can get away with.

At the same time, this is a story about death. I’m one to believe that if you want to make an impact on your audience, entertain them at first; let them enjoy the story with a smile, and then strike with the pathos. It leaves a bigger impression. When characters die in Bloodfest, it is always meaningful.

What is the next novel that you are writing and when will you publish it?

After we made the first stop motion film in 1997, we went on to make a Bloodfest 2
There is definitely a sequel on the way. I’m about 80% through the first draft with a clear intention in mind. The scenario for Bloodfest 2 is very exciting, and oddly prescient with current world events, considering that the source material is over twenty years old. The old gang will be joined by some great new character who I simply cannot leave in the limbo of unfinished novels.

Author Links: GoodReads Twitter Facebook Website

Bloodfest by [Grimbly, Ryan, Maddison, James]

Pacoven, an isolated island chain hidden in the Pacific Ocean. Far from the public eye and carefully monitored by a secretive government order. A place where they can conduct social experiments to influence the rest of mankind.

On Pacoven, unexpected events are usually encouraged for the sake of analysis, but now the dead are coming back to life, and things are getting out of hand.

An elite squad of soldiers armed with extraordinary rare abilities – the gift of magic – head out to investigate the islands. Specially trained for such strange situations, captain Ace Mcdagger and his team must gather survivors and face hordes of zombies, demi-gods, and man-made monsters to discover the cause of the mess before it goes global.

But maybe there is no resolution. Maybe the Grim Reaper – the very nature of Death itself – is their enemy.

The Bloodfest begins.

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I Was Once A Victim

Daisy Thomas Author Interview

Daisy Thomas Author Interview

Destined To Date A Good Man gives readers practical solutions to finding a Godly man and avoiding counterfeits. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve seen so many women’s lives destroyed behind counterfeit men, and I’m fed up. I can relate to their suffering, because I was once a victim myself.

You give practical advice in a straightforward manner that I enjoyed. What were some ideals that were important for you to capture in this book?

I feel it is extremely important for me to expose the tactics and tricks that counterfeits use to manipulate their victims. It’s equally important for me to reveal how to spot them, avoid them, or break free.

What is a common misconception people have about dating and finding the right partner?

Women often believe that if he looks trustworthy, says the right things, or does good deeds, that he’s a good man. In many instances, this may be the farthest thing from the truth. Counterfeits are great actors, and can fool many people.

What do you hope readers take away from your book?

This book will equip women with tools to empower them, and protect them from counterfeit men.

Author Links: Website | Amazon

Destined To Date A Good Man: No More Counterfeits! by [Thomas, Daisy]Do you feel as if he’s hiding something, but you don’t know what it is? If so, you may be dealing with a counterfeit. A counterfeit is a man who will mask his true intentions while he intentionally wastes your time, drains your resources, breaks your heart, or abandons you at his convenience. Since he is able to mimic the behaviors of a good man, he’ll manage to scam many women throughout his lifetime. It’s time to be empowered! Christian Author, Daisy Thomas will expose eight different types of counterfeits. She will also reveal numerous strategies a counterfeit will use to deceive you, and turn your life upside down. If you want to avoid getting played by a counterfeit, this book is for you. Inside you’ll find biblical and practical solutions to give you the best outcome. You’ll be empowered to recognize and break free from counterfeits in your life!

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Freedom He Didn’t Expect

Carl Roberts Author Interview

Carl Roberts Author Interview

The Trial of Connor Padget follows Jack as he must defend his friend in a murder trial that has life changing consequences. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

As a trial lawyer, I often thought of the forgotten Atticus Finch. How might he react to our modern world? I created Jack as a man who has experienced the dangers of combat and the demands of loyalty. I wanted to portray him as a successful lawyer with all its worldly trappings. How would he react when his way of life was unexpectedly challenged? How much would he risk in order to stay loyal to a longtime friend?

I enjoyed the backstory to Jack Carney and the depth of his character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

An unexpected event forces Jack to reassess his life. He loves the practice of law but wonders if he hasn’t begun to go through the motions of handling cases in an automatic way. He misses his time of flying missions in the Air Force and questions the man he has become. Defending his friend in what seems to be a hopeless case brings him a sense of freedom he didn’t expect.

This is an exceptional legal drama that asks some serious moral questions. What were some themes you wanted to capture in this book?

Jack sees a parallel in defending one’s family and defending one’s country. He is grateful for the chance to come to the aid of a family facing fallout from our, now transient, society which puts our children at risk.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The title is The Rise and Fall of the Pink Alligator: Jack’s T-shirt shop located on the beach in St. Augustine. Four other shopkeepers share a strip mall with Jack and, though they are all new friends, they spar over most everything – especially parking. A suspicious fire causes concern about a possible arsonist in their midst. The story explores the dream of a new life.

I hope to finish the first draft in seven months, but new ideas will appear to offer more depth to the writing, and I don’t like to tie myself to a strict schedule. Writing to me is a discovery process and to put it into a strict time frame would ruin that. I am now reading The Life of Pablo Picasso and hope to get some new ideas from his story to add to my characters’ lives. The spirit of modernism fascinates me and provides a contrast to the unique history of St Augustine, the oldest city in our country.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

The Trial of Connor Padget by [Roberts, Carl]

Jack Carney’s life is unexpectedly put on hold. He is not a criminal lawyer, but his friend needs help. He remembers his time in Japan flying covert missions against the Russians. What would his flight crew think of him now? By comparison his legal career lacks purpose. If he defends Connor, there will be consequences: his firm does not allow involvement in criminal cases.

This is the story of a trial that changes the lawyer’s life. If you like a bit of legal intrigue laced with a touch of Southern culture and the drama of a trial, you’ll like this story.

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Truths that Transform Lives

Jess Lederman Author Interview

Jess Lederman Author Interview

Hearts Set Free follows the interweaving tales of characters on a journey that illuminates both faith and love. What served as your inspiration for this wonderful novel?

People who know that Hearts Set Free contains autobiographical elements (and several historical characters) sometimes ask me, “How much of the story is true?’ And I answer, “Perhaps twenty percent—and the rest is even more true!” What drives my writing is the desire to convey truths that transform lives. Truths of the heart. There were several inspirations: the first was my own journey, from being an arrogant atheist (for the first fifty years of my life!) to a follower of Christ. The story was also born out of tragedy. At the prime of her life, only a few years after we had both become Christians, my late first wife was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live. She’s very much the model for one of the major characters, Joan Reed. We chose to spend her last days on earth together in a small town in Alaska, and lived not far from the headquarters of the Iditarod, the iconic thousand-mile dog sled race. It’s no coincidence that my novel begins with the Great Race of Mercy of 1925, the heroic effort to get diptheria serum to Nome to save ten thousand lives, which inspired the Iditarod.

Yura and Luke are intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

One of the themes of Hearts Set Free is how people come to faith and deal with doubt. I put aspects of myself into several of the characters, including young Luke, although I only wish I had his courage and purity of heart. Yura and Luke Noongwook are native Alaskans, mother and son, and they embark on a quest to bring back Victor, who is Yura’s husband and Luke’s father. He’s a hero of the Great Race of Mercy who has abandoned them for a beautiful reporter from New York. Yura has a warrior’s spirit, and has resolved to kill the woman who stole her husband. Thirteen-year-old Luke is desperate to have his father back. I won’t spoil the plot by revealing whether or not they find Victor and bring him home, or whether Yura follows through on her plans for revenge, but I’ll say this: on their long journey, these two, who at the beginning know only the Inuit gods, do find their true Heavenly Father. God draws all people to Himself, though some respond quickly and others come kicking and screaming. How they respond when the Hound of Heaven is nipping at their heels is the key to their character development.

Your characters overcome many obstacles and are testaments to the human spirit. What do you hope readers take away from your story?

First of all, I hope they enjoy the story and love the characters as much as I do. What I’d love for readers to be inspired by is how many of the characters seek to make their faith a reality in their day-to-day lives. There are several points in the story where characters are discussing Scripture, wrestling with difficult passages, and coming to terms with doubt. What does it really mean to follow Jesus? What is involved in forgiving our enemies, let alone loving them? My characters struggle to come to terms with these things, not out of some academic interest in theology, not as a Bible-study exercise, but out of a burning desire to love God with all their heart, strength, soul, and mind. If a reader is motivated to do the same, I’ve accomplished everything I could ever hope for in writing Hearts Set Free.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m hard at work writing The Church on Misfit Row, which is set in Las Vegas in 1955. God willing, it will be completed in 2020 and available shortly thereafter!

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Hearts Set Free: An epic tale of love, faith, and the glory of God's grace by [Lederman, Jess]

Hearts Set Free weaves together three tales of men and women who journey from the darkness of doubt to triumphant faith and from the ache of loneliness to everlasting love.

In 1930, the rag-tag riffraff of a railway stop called Las Vegas need a fighting man to shepherd their tiny church after their pastor is murdered. Might David Gold, a washed-up boxer and Bible-school dropout who fights as the Pummelin’ Preacher, be the answer to their prayers?

At the same time, Luke, a native Alaskan boy, is on a quest to find his father, who has abandoned his family for a beautiful woman his warrior mother vows to kill. The journey of mother and son will lead them to the Nevada desert, and to truths–and terrors–of which they’d never dreamed.

In 2011, Science Cable T.V. producer Tim Faber is determined to prove that mankind has no need of God, while his lover, Joan Reed, strives to regain the faith of her youth. They’re bound for Las Vegas to meet with a 99-year-old man who holds the key to a mystery they must solve–and answers that will forever change their lives.

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From That Truism

Robert D. Rice II Author Interview

Robert D. Rice II Author Interview

Burn Marks is a collection of fictional short stories that give readers a unique perspective on historical events. Why was this an important collection for you to write?

  1. Fort Worth Star: The public only saw and heard about what Lee Harvey did. Nobody ever got to feel how Mrs. Oswald absorbed it.
  2. Ethel: The public heard and read what the government said she did. No one got to hear Ethel’s side of it.
  3. The Jumper: Sure, we know the skyjacker jumped from the plane with the money. What about that which his daughter went through.
  4. The Conductor: Of course, there were sympathetic whites in the south who opposed slavery. Her was one who had his own solution.
  5. It went without saying, Leopold & Loeb were the worst of the worst. What about a young women, hanging out with them, who was just as bad?

The stories are all engaging and well developed. Did you write them over time or did you write them specifically for this collection?

Each story is the result of an individual thought process. It was not until the last story was completed when I realized the similarities; the letters. That was when I decided to make a book from them. The first story that I did was about Ethel Rosenberg. For the longest time, I had been fascinated by how Ethel Rosenberg maintained her silence. She was eventually offered a deal by the prosecution: tell on your husband, Julius, spend minimal prison time, then be reunited with your children. She remained stedfast, silent. From that truism I was compelled to speak for her. When “Ethel” was completed, I knew that I had to venture out and speak for others who historians recorded differently.

My favorite story from the collection is Deja’ Blue. What is your favorite story from the collection?

Ethel is my favorite. For me, there is something nice, almost romantically innocent, about writing to Santa Claus in the face of the hardships that she suffered through. In a somewhat odd way, I found myself relating to that type of pen pal relationship—comforted in a canal of calm while in the center of a whirlwind chaotic storm.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on a sequel to Burn Marks. Jack, Siobhan and Deja resurface. What is easy about the sequel is that readers need not have read Burn Marks to grasp the full flavor of my second book.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Burn Marks: A strange time for letters by [II, Robert D. Rice]Here are five fast-moving short stories that offer a delightfully humorous and insightful view of famous events in American history.

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Lost My Sense of Morality

Dave Matthes Author Interview

Dave Matthes Author Interview

No Old Souls at Fury Tavern follows the trials and tribulations of the general dive-bar-going populace. What pulls you towards telling the story of the people many others seem to use only as background characters?

While watching movies or reading books, like many other people I’m sure, I take note of as many background details as I can, including the people populating the background. I get to thinking, I wonder what that person’s story is, I wonder what they do for a living, what their troubles are and all that juicy stuff that we’re supposed to wonder about the main characters. No Old Souls at Fury Tavern most definitely has a story that follows the main character, but it’s also largely about the other characters and how all their pieces fit together to form the overall picture. In a way, Rocko Pitts wouldn’t be who he is without the other characters, and vice versa.

I always enjoy how you bring your characters to life and make them seem real. Were you able to use anything from your own life in this book?

Every one of the people populating Fury Tavern and Grocer Junction in the book were inspired by people I’ve worked with, drank with, had relationships with, and lost my sense of morality alongside of.

What were the driving ideals behind Rocko Pitts character development throughout the story?

Rocko Pitts, if he can be, while compared to most everyone else in the story, really has no particular drive. He’s a wallflower and he’s okay with that. But while the book progresses, he starts to wonder if he’s going to be okay with that lack of purpose for the remainder of his life, or if he’s just going through a phase of apathy. The main story of “Fury Tavern” is his coming-to-the-realization that while everyone else around him has their own lives, he really doesn’t have much of a life at all.

What is the next story that you are working on and when will it be available?

Currently I’m working on the follow up to “Fury Tavern”, titled “A Scorched and Mystified Wilderness”. It continues the story of Rocko Pitts and the other denizens of Fury Tavern. I can’t really say too much about the plot without spoiling the end of Fury Tavern. But there will be chaos of all kinds, and I’ll be exploring deeper into the characters introduced in the first book. I am also working on Book II in a western/post-apocalypse trilogy, and my seventh collection of poetry. All three of those books I’m hoping to have released at various times next year.

Author Links: GoodReadsFacebookTwitter | Website

Rocko Pitts is a low-ranking receiving clerk at Junction Grocer Supermarket. He doesn’t like going to Fury Tavern with his coworkers, but he does it anyway. He likes the woman at Register 4 but everyone says she’s ugly. He doesn’t have any interest in politics, but the Mayor wannabe, Rand Sleeman, will do whatever it takes to get his vote. Rocko lives a quiet life and likes it that way but doesn’t seem to know why he likes it that way. In fact he doesn’t seem to have any purpose at all, and he’s okay with that. But travesty begets travesty, forcing the simple-pleasure-seeking Rocko to complicate his life just a little bit more than he’d normally be comfortable with. “No Old Souls at Fury Tavern” is a story about the seemingly meaningless meanderings of the dredges and sloths of society who exist in the background and behind closed doors, the denizens who populate the barstools at Fury Tavern, and more importantly, the very soul of Fury Tavern itself.

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The Murderer Who Doesn’t Exist

Sahlan Diver Author Interview

Sahlan Diver Author Interview

For The Love of Alison follows David who is a witness, and eventual suspect, of a murder who must rush to clear his name. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?

In my first novel, The Secret Resort Of Nostalgia, I had a clear idea from the outset what the big mystery was and how the surprise reveal at the end would be done, so I only had to fill in the detail. This second novel, For The Love of Alison, was written the other way round. I started with a few details, like the unconventional college friend who marries a respectable solicitor, and the weird guy breaking into a house in a clown suit to perform a scene from a play, but I had no plot other than a vague idea about a murder which comes back to haunt the murderers. In fact, looking back, the material was so thin, it’s surprising that I thought it worth continuing. Only after I got the opening idea of “the murderer who doesn’t exist” did all the other ideas come thick and fast.

David is a London newspaper columnist, and I found his character to be interesting and well developed. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in his character?

I always create my central character as “man-in-the-street” and deliberately write my novels as first person narrative. Basically, I am saying to the reader: if you were put in this extraordinary situation that the protagonist finds himself trapped in, how would you try to get out of it? So, it’s important the reader can empathise with the character. He needs to be resourceful, persistent, basically a good guy at heart, whatever problems he might be experiencing in his life. And in this novel there is the initial element of uncertainty – has David fully recovered from his mental illness; how much can we trust what he is telling us?

I enjoyed the mystery embedded in this story, and the twists that came sudden and often. Were these planned or did they develop organically?

A mixture of both. For example, there is a startling twist about ten chapters in that sets up the fundamental mystery. I suddenly realised I could do something with the Alison character that would raise it above the level of a mundane, missing person story. The problem then was to come up with a resolution that readers would find convincing. I remember telling a friend I’d dug myself a very big hole and didn’t know how to get out of it. That’s where the organic plot development comes in, devising connections between people and events that make the apparently unfathomable all seem simple and obvious after the fact. However, it’s no pleasure for the reader if they guess too early, so I constantly misdirect, making it look like a situation is like this, or a character is like this, only to end chapters with a twist that effectively says “you weren’t expecting that, were you?”

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have started on a third novel, which is more ambitious than the first two. It will have a central mystery and a central character who tries to unravel it, but there will also be a number of parallel plots involving political opportunism, environmental emergency, religious fanaticism, even a semi-erotic situation between the 20-something protagonist and his 50 year old boss. The setting will in the future, the year 2050, at an inland lakeside town in Ireland that has become a booming European tourist destination due to climate change. Optimistically I might finish by December 2019, but the following summer is a more likely time-scale.

Author Links: Website

For The Love Of Alison by [Diver, Sahlan]

Journalist, David Buckley witnesses a murder. Only one problem – the murderer doesn’t exist, so now Buckley’s the chief suspect, and he’s on the run. Can he prove his innocence – and his sanity?

Student David Buckley’s obsession with fellow student, Alison Tindell, led to hospitalisation for mental illness. Thirty years on, Buckley, now a successful journalist, receives a surprise phone call from Alison, inviting him to visit. That same evening, a murder occurs; Buckley is accused, and Alison, his only alibi, vanishes. The police don’t believe she ever existed. Buckley escapes, travelling the country in a desperate search to find her before the law catches up. But someone else intends to find Buckley first, a person he fears more than anyone.

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A Missionary Zeal

Christopher Adam Author Interview

Christopher Adam Author Interview

I Have Demons is a collection of stories following three characters grappling with the demons in their lives. What served as your inspiration while writing these stories?

Fiction is usually built at the crossroads where self-reflection, your surroundings as you perceive them, and your imagination meet. I Have Demons is character-driven and each protagonist is an amalgam of people I have met–even if for fleeting moments–creative license and of me. The idea for the first story, “An Alpine Lodge Special,” was sparked from my observations of the regular patrons who frequent a Canadian coffee shop chain and a restaurant located a few blocks from where I live in Ottawa’s historically Francophone east-end. It seemed as though the same elderly people would congregate here on a regular basis; merely by their presence they would add colour with their rich memories and lived experiences to an otherwise humdrum and drab restaurant franchise. More often than not, everyday people are, in fact, extraordinary.

The story “David and Franco” is probably something to which most people at the cusp of their adult lives can relate. I think we were all David once: we begin adulthood with idealism and grand ideas, perhaps even a missionary zeal of sorts, as we tend to have some very definite ideas of ethics and the world around us. It can be exciting, overwhelming and full of promise, even when we don’t have money, and when a good job and a proper livelihood seem difficult to attain. But does life experience temper our idealism and compromise our values?

The story that stands sandwiched between these two and provides the title for the anthology is also the “heart” of my book. I am not a priest, but I have been involved quite closely with the Catholic Church for many years and I can relate to the protagonist, Fr. Solomon. I’ve encountered Father Solomons along the way. This thirty-something priest is also the character that probably includes more fragments of my own personality than any other in the book.

Each character has their own challenge they must face. What were some themes you felt were important to capture?

Sometimes people we don’t expect to be marginalized in contemporary society do, in fact, live on the peripheries. This does not mean that they perceive themselves to be victims of oppression, even if they are forgotten or disadvantaged. In their own way, perhaps with limited success, they display a degree of agency as they journey towards the centre and attempt to make their voice heard.

I find that, while writing, writers sometimes ask questions and have the characters answer them. Do you find that to be true? What questions did you ask yourself while writing this story?

Creating characters and building narratives with them can be a process of discovery for the author. Inevitably, you begin to see the world around you through eyes other than your own. No character is completely divorced from the author, who is after all the creator of these people and their worlds. Yet if the goal is to tell a story credibly, the author must make a best effort to walk in the shoes of others.

One of the questions I asked myself is whether or not the Divine still exists in a mostly secular society. As the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant churches become more marginal to, and even absent from, the lives of the majority, where does that leave the concept of a Divine presence in the world–if, indeed, there is one? Writing these stories helped me better imagine the possibility of the Divine’s implicit and mediated, yet real presence in the world, through every living creature. This isn’t a new concept at all. The idea that everyone we meet, whether friend, foe or stranger, represents part of the image of God, is the fundamental underpinning of the Catholic and Christian faith, and the Jewish tradition too. Yet it can be a hard teaching to embrace. Fiction can help.

What is the next story that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on my first novel, which will see a return of Fr. Solomon. I feel he’s a character with still more potential and room to grow. As for when this work may be available–I fear that I would make for a very bad clairvoyant, so I’ll have to give an evasive answer to this question. Scene by scene, I have been working on this new story since the spring. Once I’m done, my fate, and that of my novel, will rest in the hands of potential publishers.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads

A jaded young priest of a dwindling parish faces a man with a terrible secret. A lonely pensioner spends a Thanksgiving she’ll never forget at a local diner, served by an acerbic waitress who has finally found her ticket out of there. A recent university graduate from small-town Ontario leaves home with nothing to his name but the hope of a new life in the city and places all his trust in a charismatic yet dubious life coach.

Lyrical language, at times haunting, and moments of dry humour weave through the three novellas in this collection. Set in and around Ottawa, Ontario, these stories examine the peripheries of society. In the characters’ journey toward the centre, they navigate flawed human relationships, seek to encounter a divine presence that is at once implicitly present yet dreadfully distant, and struggle to negotiate the conditions of redemption.

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Magic and Otherworldly Creatures

Navya Sarikonda Author Interview

Navya Sarikonda Author Interview

The Enchanters’ Child follows three unlikely allies on a quest to find the sorcerer as they try to keep their identities secret. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

A hero on a journey to defeat the main villain is a common story arc that I sought to put my own twist on. Since I was a kid, I have always been an avid reader and I often found myself being drawn to the magical worlds I could transport myself to. I loved the idea of creating a world where anything was possible whether that is through magic and otherworldly creatures. Inspired by these stories, I decided to write a fictional fantasy story of my own.

Wren, Quinn, and Zayne are all intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?

The characters of Wren, Zayne, and Quinn are inspired by everyday teenagers. The way through which they struggle and attempt to find their identities is what makes them the most relatable. Despite this common journey to their identities, each one of them has experienced unique circumstances in their life that mold their beliefs and unique individuality. For Wren, the death of her parents causes her to become a determined, brave person that will do anything to find justice for the ones she loves. However, her thirst for revenge soon morphs into her own character flaw through failing to enjoy and live in the present. Zayne’s determining characteristic is his steadfast loyalty, whether that is to his kingdom or to his friends. His sense of duty is what drives him to aid in defeating the main antagonist as well as his empathy towards the world in which he lives in, as shown in his tenacity to find the killer of the many bodies that mysteriously begin to appear. Yet, his duty is the very thing that keeps him from his desires as he struggles with going against his father’s power and expectations. Last but not least, Quinn initially is a character portrayed to be callous and emotionless, with his only objective being to follow his orders, even if that means killing others to achieve it. Despite this, as the story progresses, readers discover that even the most notorious assassin has his own reasons for his actions, ones that can even be considered noble. Despite his sinister past, he learns to love the people around him. Quinn is unique in that his weakness is his own self. His own beliefs of his unworthiness and vileness causes him to push away those around him as he grapples between doing what is right and the sacrifices he must make if he chooses to do so.

The backstory to this world is intricate and captivating. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?

The setting of The Enchanters’ Child was designed to have an enchanting atmosphere, complete with magic and strange beasts. I wanted to capture a world that reminds readers of the fairytale-like worlds that they are familiar with while showing that even the most remarkable places coexist with darker facets such as greed and misused power. Along these lines, I also wanted to capture that there can be beautiful brilliance in the bleakest of places, whether that brilliance is the surroundings around the characters or each other.

What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?

As of now, the date for publishing my next book is tentative; however, I am in the process of writing another work.

Author Links: Book Trailer | GoodReads | Facebook | Amazon | Website

Wren has a secret. She’s the last of the Arobol, a group of magic-wielders. After her parents were murdered by a dark entity when she was young, she has been trying to discover who has killed them. However, it wasn’t just anyone; it was the Dark Sorcerer, a being who is believed to exist only in a fairytale. When an unexpected tragedy hits, Wren is forced to flee to town in hopes of finding the leader of the Gavreel Society, said to have information on her parents’ killer.

Zayne has been working for months to uncover the reason behind the dead bodies showing up in multiple towns and the mysterious symbol that is etched into their skin. As Trading Day approaches, he goes to meet with his Gavreel Society to formulate a new plan for uncovering the person behind these killings. Little does he know that he’ll find the solution in a girl, one who’s holding as many secrets as he is.

Quinn is an assassin, killing anyone his Master orders him to kill. Tasked with finding the Enchanters’ Child and bringing her back alive in exchange for his freedom, Quinn won’t let anything get in his way. Yet, when he finally discovers the Enchanters’ Child, he finds himself questioning his ability to fulfill his mission. Weaving a story of deception, he befriends the Enchanters’ Child, but wonders if she is worth his freedom.

As they race to find the Sorcerer, each for their own reasons, secrets come out, powerful enough to tear them apart.

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Close to Impossible

April Pulliam Author Interview

April Pulliam Author Interview

Bottom Down, Penelope Brown portrays the difficulties children face with having so much energy and having to stay in their seat. What was your inspiration that made you want to write this book?

My third graders inspire me in many ways. Penelope Brown is a combination of many characteristics I have observed in students over the years. Every year I notice students who work better standing up or leaning over their desks because sitting is just not their style. Sitting at a desk the better part of the day is tough for all of us–children with excess energy find it close to impossible. I felt like it was time those students had a character with which they could identify. You don’t see too many of those characters in pictures books–the ones who can’t sit still and actually have someone in their school experience who understands.

As a teacher, how do you handle energetic kids in your own classroom?

It took me a few years to really grasp that sitting still and being quiet all day was not the way to go. I try really hard to incorporate opportunities for my students to get up and out of their seats with games and activities that still address the standards we are currently studying. Life became easier for me as a teacher when I decided to let those who wanted to stand up to work just stand up. If they listen better with their knees in their chairs and aren’t blocking anyone’s view, well, they can sit that way.

This story is very cute and fun. What was your favorite scene to write?

I think the scene at the table with Ms. Flowers was my favorite one–that moment when Ms. Flowers realizes what Penelope is trying to ask her. When Penelope’s light bulb goes off–that’s the moment you hope every student gets a chance to have.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

Our next book is very different from our first two. This one is nonfiction and will be a combination of photos and illustrations. It’s a look at Amy’s family’s homeplace through her eyes. The house predates the civil war and holds a special place in the hearts of her family members. We are excited about it!

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"Bottom Down, Penelope Brown!" by [Pulliam, April B.]Penelope Brown is a bundle of energy, and everyone in Mighty Oak Elementary knows it. Year after year, Penelope hopes she will find herself in a classroom where she can truly be her delightfully happy self–each year she is disappointed. Will third grade be any different?

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