Category Archives: Interviews

Emerged In My Mind

Author Interview
Winsome Board Author Interview

Justin’s Quest follows a young artist’s journey through the Australian Outback as he seeks to discover his destiny while exploring his cultural heritage. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I do not know myself what was the inspiration for the Trilogy. It just happened that several readers of “Under Surveillance” requested a sequel. I said that that story was completed, but I asked myself if it would be possible for me to write a parallel story, using the same time frame and a similar setting, which I was comfortable with. Then the idea of the station “Shangri-la” came to me one night. I saw the place and the family as the characters and the background of each just emerged in my mind. Then came the idea of starting the story with the arrival of Constable Peter with the horse he had mentioned he was intending to buy. From then on, I just watched what the characters said and did, and the story wrote itself.

I have since heard that Lee Child uses the same method when he writes his Reacher books. He just watches his character and writes down what happens. It was not until I had completed “Justin’s Quest”. and my neighbour begged to know what happened next, that I did a little thinking about how I could possibly tie up some of the loose ends which had been floating along in the sidelines. Yet even then, I had to wait until the next chapter came to me: I did not even plan anything until it happened.

What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I was not conscious of any driving ideals when writing the story. But now, with the story complete, and looking back on my life from the vantage point of eighty-three years, I realize how important it is to not disregard the gifts with which we come to this world. Yet we also come with lessons to learn too. I did not attempt to become a professional artist until I turned fifty, although I could paint since childhood. See my website, for my paintings. I knew very well the difficulties Justin faced in surviving as an artist. I have always been interested in the complexity of the old Aboriginal culture, and I am very aware how difficult it is to integrate some of the Aboriginal ways of viewing reality with our individualistic and competitive modern society.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Again, I was not conscious of the themes when writing the story. In retrospect, the problems of family violence and drug abuse do interest me. I am more interested in possible solutions than dwelling on the problems. I did not think of Justin as being in constant danger, after all, he walked the streets of Darwin even at night without experiencing a sense of danger. His capture in “Confluence” was almost an accident from his foolhardiness. I am interested in seeking solutions to post traumatic stress, and the underlying problem of Aboriginal self confidence after their lived experience of alienation and powerlessness in the period of white domination. And I am interested in Aboriginal methods of psychological healing, which are just beginning to be given a degree of credibility. Actually, I thought it was a positive book rather than an analysis of darkness and danger.

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

I do not know if another book will be “given to me”. Obviously, Justin and Djet’s future will present many challenges, but I am not really comfortable in the digital world and the city. and that is where their future will take them. There will be the problem of changing the Aboriginal attitude of loyalty to their “mob” or tribal affiliation, to a wider view of the place of indigenous people in the modern, multicultural Australian society. There will be the continuing problem of how an artist can survive. A possible “bad” character could be someone who profits from Aboriginal art without giving due recognition to its origins. For now, I must learn how to promote the books I have written, and the original paintings and prints I have yet to dispose of.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Why attempt the uncertain career path of an author.
Why be bothered by a heritage no one else in the family believes is of any importance.

Jerrimiah Stonecastle Author Interview

Jerrimiah Stonecastle

Flash of Light follows a mother and her two children who are racing to their bomb shelter in the Catskill mountains in the wake of a nuclear bomb strike. When you first sat down to write this story, did you know where you were going, or did the twists come as you were writing?

This is one of my books where I actually stayed close to the outline until the last chapter. I had intended for this to be a stand alone issue but the ending opened up the possibilities of two more books in this series. After the Flash is the second book. I know there will be a third but have no clue what it’ll be about. But I know from the notes on the second book there will have to be a third book.

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

On the third chapter of this spiritual thriller. If I can stay focused I hope to have it done in time for an Easter release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

America is hit by an unprovoked nuclear missile attack by North Korea. While NATO works to deescalate the Nuclear holocaust, a mother, a mechanical engineering expert, and her two children race through panic-stricken cities in an attempt to reach their atomic bomb-resistant shelter in the mountains.

A second air blast over New York knocks out all the car’s electronics except for The Beast, the mother’s armored, custom-made, Dodge Durango Hellcat.

Can they make it through the marauding gangs who have taken advantage of the cities abandoned by the cops to protect their own families? Will the prototype regenerative fuel cell she developed last until they reach the Catskill Mountains and safety?

Hang on for the high octane, action-packed, death race to safety from the Next Name in Horror.

Iris March Author Interview

Iris March Author Interview

“The Broken Bridge” follows a plant shop owner turned succulent sleuth as she unravels small-town secrets and navigates unexpected twists to solve a captivating cozy mystery surrounding a missing college student. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I regularly walk or run on the trails in our local park district. On a run on one of these trails, I was struck with the “succulent sleuth” term and knew I needed to use it in my series title. I also really wanted to incorporate trails in my novel. I thought about making one up but decided I should use the real-life Buckeye Trail that makes a loop within my home state of Ohio.

Did you plan the mystery at the heart of this story before writing, or did it develop while writing?

It’s so funny to say this but I knew who I wanted to kill before I started writing the book along with who the suspects were going to be – the red herrings. I thought I knew who the killer was, but that person evolved a bit as I was writing. 

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

I wrote the showdown between Molly, my main character, and the killer long before I was done with the middle of the book. I still get goosebumps when I reread those chapters!

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

I have a short story in an anthology that’s coming out in April – it’s the second story in the Succulent Sleuth Cozy Mystery Series. My story is called The Library Attic Attack. Molly and her BFF are organizing a plant swap at the local library. Someone collapses in the attic  – Molly thinks she smells something planty and our Succulent Sleuth is on the case again. The ebook will be available on April 11 and the print book will be out in May.

I’m working on the second Succulent Sleuth novel, but it’s slower going this time around for some reason.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Love For The First Time

Véronique Iswery Pasquet Author Interview

The Four Lives of Robinson Appleson follows a man living with a curse who must find a way to break it if he ever wants to experience love and happiness. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

First of all, my aim when I started to write this book was to create an unconventional hero. I wanted to make him being hated by the readers in the beginning and then slowly through the pages, I wanted to bring them to forgive him and like him at the end. Second, one of my favorite tales is “the Beast and the beauty.” So, I took inspiration from that to create this story. In both, the hero is cursed, and only true love can liberate them from the spell.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in Robinson’s development?

Actually, two things. First the encounter with Oscar, his cousin, who become his mentor. And second, the encounter with Gwendolyn, his sweetheart.

Robinson is a spoiled young man, until he met Oscar who teach him about self-discipline. Despite being surrounded by people, Robinson lacked of a guide. So far no one had the gut to tell him his wrong doings. When Oscar did, he recognize his faults. We all need a mentor to walk straight in life. That mentor could be parents, a teacher or God.

With Gwendolyn, my hero experience love for the first time. From a selfish human being, he becomes a caring man who is ready to sacrifice his life to save hers. This was only possible thanks to the unconditionally love he got from her. The more you receive, the more you give. That’s the law.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The themes that I wanted to explore are about romance, emotion and love. How far a human beinggoes on and on to forgiving someone? My heroine, out of love forgive his lover for murdering her. She knew that he is doomed to kill out of love. Instead of escaping her fate, she embraces that. Only out of love. Love is a powerful weapon thanks to what the impossible can become possible. Many parents have forgiven the blunders of their child. How they managed? It’s all out of Love. Thanks to that gesture, the criminals got a chance to express remorse, redeem themselves.   

What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?

The next book is about a paranormal romance. It tells the story of young woman who lives in Mackinac Island. When her grandma and cousin died. She has to come to her hometown to assist the funeral. Unfortunately, she has to stay a few more weeks to take charge of her parent’s hotels while their absence. A few days later, she is victim of aggression from an invisible entity during her sleep. She wakes up with scratches and bites on her body. Thanks to the friendship of a hitchhiker whom she met on her way home, she will find the courage to get rid of that entity.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Can a killer turn a new leaf?
Robinson Appleson is one lucky bastard!
We get only one life. He has had four so far.
And it’s not like he deserved them, either.

In his first life, he was a Porcian prince who was known to devour humans. His obsession with eternal youth and beauty made him addicted to the
taste of human flesh, much to the dismay and terror of his kingdom’s subjects.

Reborn as a rich kid in Beverly Hills, California, he has no recollection of his past life and thinks of himself as a blessing to mankind. He holds no respect or feelings for women and treats them like objects. It leads to everyone avoiding him like the plague.

His third life is different, as he is born as a jaguar in the African savannah. Filled with new wisdom, he fights against his instinct to hunt while the smell of prey drives him mad with hunger.

His last life lands him in the body of a beautiful but poverty-stricken Black woman who was also unfaithful!

Each of his lives has been different from the last, except that it looked as if he was doomed to make the same blunders. The woman he loves dies in his arms in all of his lives, because of a curse placed on his family.

Having been selfish and cruel in his previous lives, he attempts to change this forever. Using a range of tricks learned from Oscar, his mentor, he hopes to suppress and destroy the evil lurking inside him.
Would he manage to escape from his fate?

Excitement, Danger, And Romance

Author Interview
Steven Donahue Author Interview

Unfriendly Fire follows two firefighters in a small town who find romance while trying to catch an arsonist. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I like the metaphor of fire to show the passion between two people. I wanted to examine how that passion can motivate people to do good or bad deeds and how far someone will go to protect the ones they love. I chose the firefighting profession for its excitement, danger, and romance. 

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

I wanted to have a near 50-50 split with the main characters’ POVs to illustrate how and why they reacted to the events in the story. I tried to get inside the minds of Wyatt and Kasey to fully explore their desires, fears, and aspirations.  

What was the hardest part about writing a mystery story, where you constantly have to give just enough to keep the mystery alive until the big reveal?

Providing just enough clues to the reader without giving too much away is a tricky tightrope for any writer. Pacing is important as you want to dish out important details at a proper rate. The other big challenge is keeping everything consistant throughout the story. Adding surprising twists and turns to a story is the most exciting challenge of writing a mystery. 

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

I am working on a novel about JFK’s assassination that I plan to self-publish later in 2023. This coincides with the 60th anniversary of the event. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Witches Could Be Clever

Author Interview
Margaret Harcourt West Author Interview

Winifred the Wonder Witch follows a whimsical good-natured witch who uses creative problem-solving in different situations to help herself and others.What was the inspiration for these stories?

The inspiration to write ‘Flying Santa’ and ‘Winifred the Wonder Witch’ was my granddaughters. When they were small I told them many stories, and these were the two that resulted in a book.

What were some of the emotional and moral guidelines you followed when developing your characters?

I thought that witches in many stories had ‘a bad rap.’ I wanted to show that witches could be clever, kind and helpful – like many other heroes.  

What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?

Winifred is an excellent problem solver.  From Winifred, children could learn how to be smart, kind, and help those in need.  She also knows how and when to involve others in her projects.

Will there be more stories about Winifred the Wonder Witch, and when will they be available?

There may be more Winifred books, but only if ‘Winifred the Wonder Witch’ proves to be popular.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

‘Winifred the Wonder Witch’ features two stories: ‘The Witch Who Lost Her Magic’ and ‘Saving the Dragons.’ In the first story, Winifred loses her magic, and she has to find a way of getting it back.

In the second story, we meet the princesses who want to save the dragons; because ‘there aren’t many dragons left in the world.’ Winifred, as she does in ‘Flying Santa,’ comes to the rescue in her inimitable, dramatic and exciting style.

The Best Plan Of Attack

Carly Brown Author Interview

The Celine Bower Story: Chronicle Two follows two people, one a vigilante the other a man with a desire to harm others, whose paths intersect. How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists?

I find it easiest to balance the story development with plot twists if I grow each character and what they are a part of by suspending them in time away from each other, until they are needed again. For example, I didn’t even consider Celine and her actions while I was creating Troy and what he was doing. The best plan of attack is to have a solid outline planned out before you even begin then slowly work your way toward the action.

Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?

My favorite scene in Chronicle Two is the ‘juice lady’. I could just hear her shouting so loudly as she was running to help. It made me feel like we are all connected in some way, and no matter your circumstance, there is always a way to help another person.

What do you think makes a story memorable to readers?

The stories I remember most are the ones where I actually felt like I knew the characters. I think it helps readers connect when you feel like you can reach out and touch someone, like you’ve developed a connection with them even though you will never meet in real life.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?

My advice to aspiring authors would be this: don’t quit your day job. The only other advice that I could give is to read everything; read things that aren’t in your genre, read articles, old library books, and try to read the things that other people recommend to you. And, don’t give up; there will be times when the only person that cares is you, and that’s okay, just don’t give up.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Mosaic Press published The Celine Bower Story: Chronicle One in 2020 which established Carly Brown as an original voice in this genre. She was awarded the Winner Readers’ Choice Niagara Falls Review, 2020, The reviews were unanimous in their overwhelming critical praise. The highly anticipated Chronicle 2 is schedule to be published in 2022.

“I couldn’t put this book down! It kept me on the edge of my seat…Can’t wait for Part 2.” —Kara Foster

“I devoured this book! If you love a badass female protagonist overcoming all odds, this book is for you! From start to finish, this book keeps you riveted on Celine, her palatable need to over come her trauma, and on what will happen next. Can’t wait to see more from this author.” —Nicolle McKinnon

Turned Out To Be Pretty Amazing

Kaylon Tran Author Interview

Time Intertwined follows a mother and daughter separated during the Vietnam War who have reunited decades later thanks to a DNA test. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

In 2019, my family had our DNA tested and we unexpectedly found a relative–his story turned out to be pretty amazing and I thought it should be written down. My relative didn’t have any interest in writing it, but gave me permission to write a novel that used elements of what happened to him.

Why did you choose this place and time for the setting of the story?

The relative we found unexpectedly learned he was part Vietnamese. He found us because my ex-husband is Vietnamese. The two are first cousins and both were born during the war in Vietnam. Thus, much of my novel is set during the war, but intertwined with events occurring in the present.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Initially, the plan was to focus on the civilians and how the war impacted them. I just wanted to tell a simple story of a child who had been adopted after Operation Babylift as well as the story of the woman who lost her. I wanted the history to be accurate as much as possible and did quite a bit of online research. However, as I read more and began to write the story of a lost child, I realized I had an opportunity to showcase some of the positive, non-military acts of many of the Western soldiers (eg, providing food and medical assistance to the orphanages). Too many negative stories have been written about our soldiers and I wasn’t going to contribute to that. Lastly, I couldn’t write a book about the war and not weave in the story of Agent Orange. Agent Orange was an herbicide used extensively in South Vietnam to destroy enemy food crops and the dense jungle which gave them cover for ambushes. It was supposed to be harmless to humans, but it wasn’t. The effects of this chemical combination can still be seen today.

Can you tell us a little about where the story goes in book two and when the novel will be available?

The original plan was to write one book, not a trilogy. But after the first book was published, I felt I hadn’t said enough about Agent Orange–so that is when the tirlogy was born.  Lives Intertwined (Book 2) was published late in 2021 while Darkness and Light Intertwined (Book 3) was published late in 2022. Although both books keep the underlying theme of the long-term effects of Agent Orange, it is a bit more prominent in Lives Intertwined. The second book also takes a completely differnet look at the war compared to the first. In it, we follow two soldiers, one American and one Vietnamese, through the war. They become friends and conduct many missions together. Interwoven with their story is a modern day who-done-it murder mystery. There’s also a love story. 

Book 3 tells the story of an orphan who grew up in Vietnam during the war and the struggles she faced just trying to survive. One of my favorite aspects of the third book is how it tells the same love story as in book 2, but from the woman’s perspective instead of her soldier/lover. Like book 1, books 2 and 3 are genealogical mysteries that reveal how our DNA connects us to our genetic family. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

War doesn’t end just because the fighting stops.

Anh was only ten when American Green Berets first set foot in Vietnam. Within two years, she would be orphaned and sickened by the deadly herbicide known as Agent Orange. After nearly two decades of war, Anh and her newborn daughter were desperate to escape. But in the chaos and confusion of the fall of Saigon, mother and child were separated. Would she ever see her baby again?

Anh’s daughter Mikayla grew up in the U.S. with no memory of her mother. When a DNA test unexpectedly reveals that she was adopted, Mikayla is left angry and confused—and she is determined to discover her true identity.

As Anh struggles to rebuild her life, Mikayla uncovers long-kept secrets that threaten to rip her family apart. Can either woman find happiness again?

Just as Anh and Mikayla begin to adjust to the changes forced upon them, the toxic legacy of Agent Orange begins to be revealed. The war may be over, but another battle rages on. Is it possible to defeat an invisible enemy capable of harming generations yet to come?
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