Gwennyth, Book Two

Aradia's Secret Cover with BookIt’s been a while since the release of Aradia’s Secret, and I’m finally getting started on book two. I’d welcome any opinions on the beginning below. (It’s unedited.)

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

As I stood at the end of the dock at the edge of the void, a ship appeared from the gray, hulking and dark. For a moment, I was aghast. I’d thought the captain to be without honor or concern for others, yet the ship loomed before me and made for the dock. I called to Vonner, who lurked just inside the trees, and he approached with some trepidation. I could understand that, for the last time Vonner had been on the ship he’d been a prisoner, kept chained at my request. How the captain would treat him now, I couldn’t say.

      The ship docked, and the gang plank fell. The thud shook the pier, and I stumbled. Vonner grabbed my arm to keep me on my feet, and we waited, breath held, for someone to speak. 

     “Ahoy!”

     It was the captain. He stood tall against the lights of the ship, and my heart leapt at his presence. 

     “Captain?” I called. “It’s good to see you.”

     The man made his way down the plank but stopped just short of stepping into the pier. I didn’t mind. Legend said the island was haunted, a place not visited by normal folk, and I knew the captain feared what might lurk in the depths of the forest.

     “Don’t get all misty-eyed on me,” the captain replied. “Business had me in this area, or I wouldn’t have bothered. If’n you still got coin, I can offer passage back to civilization.”

     I tried to keep the grin off my face and the relief out of my voice as I accepted his offer. Vonner and I had few possessions, so it was only a matter of a quick run back to Aradia’s cottage to grab our packs. In less than an hour, we were on board the ship and headed back into the void.

 

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Author Spotlight — Michael Keyton

Today we’re welcoming author Michael Keyton. Read on to see what he has to say.

Tales from the Murenger, print 180 dpi‘Tales From The Murenger: Stories to darken the soul’ is collection of the weird and dark, its title inspired by one of Newport’s oldest pubs, likely the oldest with its origins in the C15th.

Most of the stories have been previously published in various British and American anthologies; in fact the first story, Mr Nousel’s Mirror’ was included in anthologist, Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the year for 2011, along with works by Stephen King and Jack Ketchum.

With the various copyrights having reverted back to me I pondered how best to make them earn me a little more money. There was no problem in putting them together in a single collection, for they all had a central motif: every story was set in or around Newport and for good reason.

Newport, or my version of it, has become my ‘Arkham’ the Welsh equivalent of HP Lovecraft’s sinister creation. My Newport is a dark, seedy and magical city, the unimaginable just around the next corner . . . or the corner after that. So far no one has objected to the depiction. Perhaps they agree that ‘dark and seedy’ suggests fertility, and there’s no doubt Newport is magical, if you know where to look. Mind you, with cannibalism, seductive cats, rats where you don’t want them to be, and houses that possess more than your body, you may think twice before visiting the place.

The one problem I did have was choosing a name for the book. Tales from Newport . . . No, perhaps not; Tales from the Transporter Bridge . . . no — but I was getting there. I needed an icon, something everyone in the area would recognise, something once seen you immediately think – ghosts; something smelling of . . . beer. Good beer.

The Murenger immediately came to mind – which is not really surprising. I’ve been drinking there on and off for over thirty years. And what you see on the front cover is pretty much what you see on the street, though I can’t guarantee the ghostly smoke. After that it was a marriage made in heaven. Rob, ‘Mine host’ has a savvy media presence and the relationship became symbiotic—Rob marketing the book and me marketing his pub.

I suppose the point of this short piece – other than ‘selling’ a book – is if you have something on your hard-drive gathering dust, something that has previously been sold but you think deserves a fresh audience—go for it. The other equally important point is the need to think of a marketing angle. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best – especially those conjured up by three or four pints – speaking of which, the kindle version at £2.35 is cheaper than a Murenger Pint of Sam Smiths, the paperback at £5 is about the price of a pint in London.

http://tinyurl.com/zs9vkpk

It’s Not Our World–Flora and Fauna

Grevared Vintage

I was fortunate enough to be able to talk with Jesper Schmidt of Fane of Fantasy on flora and fauna in fantasy world building. (Don’t judge. I’ve never done anything like that before.) One of the things we discussed was making sure the world made sense.

Now, while I agree that a fantasy world needs to make sense within itself, I don’t think it has to make sense in relation to our world. For example, trees growing in a place that’s always winter. That doesn’t work for our world, as even the harshest climates with flora thaw for at least a few weeks out of the year. However, in another world, this might be normal. The plants, animals, and people don’t have to follow the natural patterns we see in our own because it isn’t our world.

Take Grevared, for example. The entire world exists in a void space without celestial bodies. The plots of land are flat, and it’s perfectly possible to fall off the world. The world is able to exist because the gods take an active part in keeping it going. This isn’t something that’s necessarily discussed in the books, other than a mention here and there, but it’s how the world functions. The ‘normal’ laws as we perceive them from our world don’t always apply. Therefore, there may be plants and animals in places where they wouldn’t exist in our world.

I think it’s important that, as readers, we bear this in mind when we enter a world not our own. Sure, we want the world to make sense, but if all fantasy worlds are nothing more than mirrors of the world in which we live, then what’s the point of having a fantasy world at all? I know my love of fantasy comes, in part, from being able to go somewhere else, somewhere those pesky laws that limit our daily existence don’t always apply. I love being able to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

Author Spotlight – Fiona Hogan

author new picToday we’re shining the spotlight on author Fiona Hogan. Check out her great books below.

About the Author

Fiona Hogan is a writer, blogger, poet and editor living in beautiful County Laois in the midlands of Ireland. She is an Indie author and has four books published on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories and What Happened in Dingle under the name Fiona Cooke Hogan, and Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare under her horror name of F B Hogan.

 

Let’s Connect

Find out about Fiona’s books on her Amazon Author Page

She writes about her work, nature, family life and anything that takes her fancy on her blog – Unusual Fiction

You can find her on Twitter and her writing page Fiona Cooke Hogan

She is also an editor and proofreader at The Editing Hub

Her editing page is  facebook – The Editing Hub

 

Books

paperbackThe Lights Went Out and Other Stories

An eclectic mix of flash fiction, short and longer stories. At times humorous, eerie and poignant; a mother burdened by financial troubles shares her problem with a stranger, a young couples’ journey to the airport takes a strange turn, a wedding anniversary in Dingle goes from bad to worse, a small dog is forced to change his ways, and a vampire hiding out in suburbia just wants to be left alone. Dip your toes into this quirky collection and find your favourite.

 

 

what happened in dingle coverWhat Happened in Dingle

Dingle was the place of their honeymoon. Ruth and Neil are back to celebrate a milestone in their marriage, their twentieth anniversary. Enjoy this funny, pub crawl of a tale set in the wilds of beautiful County Kerry.

 

 

 

death comes calling book coverDeath Comes Calling

Death comes calling and decides to stay. A selection of dark fiction for lovers of gothic horror. Pull the shutters and bolt the door. Keep the fire burning and the candles lit. Something is coming. Listen for the knock at the door but whatever you do, don’t let it in.

 

 

UnlucckyThe Nightmare

Seven cleverly crafted tales of gothic and contemporary horror to keep you awake at night. Ghosts and devils fight for a corner in this creepy collection of dark fiction, from the imagination of the author who brought you Death Comes Calling. Do you dare?

 

 

 

 

From the author who brought you Death Comes Calling (1)

Crazy Journey

Path to Victory BookThe past few years have been a bit hectic, and I think I fell into writing as much to preserve my sanity as any other reason. Now that things have settled down, and I have a schedule that doesn’t kill me, I’ve embarked on a plan to rewrite and re-release The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III. I have to say that I’m much happier with the new versions of the stories.

Book one, now titled Path to Victory, (Thank you to a seven-year-old reader of the original for suggesting it.) will release on June 19, 2018. The first three chapters are available to read on my website, and I’ve almost finished the rewrite of book two, Tainted Victory.

Tainted Victory BookI know a lot of people don’t like rewriting books, but I’ve found this to be quite enjoyable. I’ve been able to explore Ethan’s character and the world of Grevared much more than when I was first writing the stories. While I won’t rewrite the two adult books, Wolf in the Shadow and Aradia’s Secret, (mostly because they’ve already been done a couple of times), I think redoing Ethan will give me a better handle on the other books in the Gwennyth Grimsbane series and (okay, let’s not hold our breaths here) on the trilogy that started the world to start with (it takes place twenty years after Wolf in the Shadow).

Path's End BookThanks to those who’ve stuck by this crazy ride so far. I hope you’ll continue to do so.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

Author Spotlight – T. L. Shively

20170527_123517Let’s give a warm welcome to author T. L. Shively. Check out her exciting series below.

About the Author

My name is T.L. Shively. I am a wife and mother along with being a YA Fantasy author. I have always loved fantasy. I love comics, games, and anything that takes me to a place where I have never been. The characters in my book series were created when I was nine years old and have stayed with me my whole life. It took me a long time to bring their story out for everyone to read, but I am very glad I did. The Guardians have become a very big part of my life, and I hope that everyone enjoys them as much as I do.

I have two books published, working on book three in the series and a short story as well. I look forward to August where I will be attending an author signing event in Frankenmuth, MI with both my books and other surprises.

IMG_20170527_140042483The Guardians are seven teenagers who discover powers and a destiny that keeps changing on them. Descendants of Gods who are supposed to be sleeping and yet still manage to interfere with the lives of their children’s children. Join them on their journey as they discover who they truly are.

Let’s Connect

Facebook profile page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013421624985

Facebook like page: https://www.facebook.com/T.L.Shively/

Website: https://tlshivelyblog.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TL_Shively

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16066240.T_L_Shively

Amazon Author page: amazon.com/author/tlshively

1The Secret Sanctuary book links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9K2SID UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M9K2SID CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01M9K2SID AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01M9K2SID DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01M9K2SID

 

 

 

coverThe Town That Time Forgot book links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B8QX7TW

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-town-that-time-forgot

 

New Release–Corridors of the Mind

Corridors of the Mind RedThanks to all those who’ve made purchases recently. I appreciate the support.

I’m pleased to announce that Corridors of the Mind, an anthology of my horror short stories, is available as of June 1, 2018.

 

 

The human mind is filled with twists and turns that many fear to traverse. Buried within its depths lie deep secrets and hidden strengths that only come forth through necessity. Some thoughts are better left in those lonely grave, the cellars where even dreams dare not invade.

Travel these corridors, these lonely places, and walk where others fear to tread.

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D65ZNM4

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/830194

 Amber has no idea why her grandfather left her his house.

Is what Amy sees in the eyes of others real, or is it her own madness?

When Hannah buys a simple music box for her doll making, she gets more than she bargained for.

Ol’ Jeb thinks he’s gonna get room and board for free.

Jill loves to research folklore until she finds out that some things are best left in the past.

Victoria longs to know what’s behind the locked door. (Read for free on my website.)

 

Author Spotlight – J. S. Frankel

Today we’re welcoming author J. S. Frankel. Check out his work below.

About the Author

J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up there, receiving his tertiary education from the University of Toronto and graduating with a double major in English Literature and Political Science.

After working at Gray Coach Lines for a grand total of three years, he came to Japan at the age of twenty-six and has been there ever since, teaching English to any and all students who enter his hallowed school of learning.

In 1997, he married Akiko Koike. He, his wife and his two children, Kai and Ray, currently reside in Osaka. His hobbies include weight training, watching movies when his writing schedule allows, and listening to various kinds of music.

His novels, all for the YA set, include Twisted, Lindsay Versus the Marauders and it’s sequels, Lindsay, Jo, and the Tree of Forever, and Lindsay, Jo and the Well of Nevermore, all courtesy of Regal Crest Enterprises. He has also written the Catnip series (five novels), Mr. Taxi, The Titans of Ardana and its sequel, The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield, along with Picture (Im)perfect and more novels, courtesy of DevineDestinies.com.

Future projects for Devine Destinies include the final novel in the Titans trilogy, the final novel in the Just Another Quiet… trilogy, The Undernet, the re-release of Star Maps, and more. He is also the author of The Menagerie and The Nightmare Crew trilogy, all courtesy of Finch Books.

Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessSFrankel

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JS-Frankel-AUTHOR-1458667077729037/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4859674.J_S_Frankel

 

THEUNDERNET2AZRAEL

In the depths of the Undernet, finding the light is an almost impossible task.

Milt Edwards, survivor of an incident that almost claimed his life six months previously, is back. He and his girlfriend, Roberta (Robbie) Jones, suffer from PTSD, attend counseling sessions, and try to work through their mental anguish.

Nothing helps, but then a friend of Milt’s is killed by the same person who designed the Undernet–Azrael. Milt faces his fears, once again joins forces with the FBI in order to find out and stop Azrael, and he is paired with a rookie agent, Nasraana Shaksy, an American Muslim who has her own battles to fight.

Together, they stumble upon a child trafficking ring, and Milt comes face to face with monsters of the worst kind–those who walk around in everyday society. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Azrael begins, and Milt soon learns who the predator is, and who is the prey.

Find it on Amazon

Devine Destinies. http://www.devinedestinies.com/978-1-4874-1922-6-azrael/?search=Azrael&sub_category=1

Amazon: ISBN:978-1-4874-1922-6

 

 

Building Your Own World

Land's EndThere’s an entire universe out there, and we’ve only explored a little bit of it. However, our imaginations are rich with other worlds, even if we can’t hop on a ship and visit them in the ‘real’ world. Below are just a few things to consider when creating your own fictional world. It isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch, but it’s a place to get started if you’re unsure of where to begin.

 

Culture

We have a world full of various cultures and languages, and there’s nothing wrong with borrowing a bit from existing cultures to populate your world. However, your cultures need to have their own elements as well. For example, a culture based on Ancient Greece could have a king as the ruling body, or, perhaps, they have a railroad or electricity. It’s also perfectly acceptable to blend cultures to come up with something unique.

Grevared has a number of human cultures as well as cultures for other species. They’re all different in some way, but there are also similarities. Why? Because when cultures encounter each other, they share. For example, the demons of Jitradena have a strict set of civil laws and an Academe, in part because of their contact with others. Those of Pistofficle maintain a more demonic-type culture where death in the streets is common. Since visitors are at risk just by entering the city, Pistofficle has had far less contact with others, so the influence is much less.

 

Religion

Most cultures have some kind of belief system, even if that system posits that deities don’t exist. Much like with cultures, there are plenty of religions and mythologies from which to create one, or several, for your world. Do a bit of research and take what you need to create a belief structure your characters can follow. This will also give you the opportunity to explore various holidays, though not all celebrations have to stem from religion.

Grevared has several religions. In the Xaggarene Empire, the Arcana Maximus worships the snake goddess Inyokamor. As the Arcana Maximus keeps itself involved in the politics of the empire, it’s the predominant religion and plays a role in creating and enforcing government policies. While the Arcana exists in the other countries, it isn’t as powerful, and other beliefs stand equal to it.

 

Government

Everything from a small village to a globe-covering empire needs some form of government, even if it’s only reason is to be torn down. Think about your culture and base your government on the needs and beliefs of the people. Determine if your government is benign or oppressive. How do the people fair under its rule? Are there social programs? Is there one group that’s suppressed more than others? What is allowed and forbidden within the realm? These are just a few things to consider.

In Grevared, government differs according to country and no two are exactly alike. Again, remember that cultures that interact are going to share, so there’s nothing wrong with some crossover.

 

Currency and Trade

Currency isn’t necessarily a big deal when it comes to creating a world unless you plan to use it in your story. For those who don’t want to create a currency, something like ‘coin’ works just fine. However, it does give the world a touch of realism to give the currency its own name.

Trade, on the other hand, matters a bit more. Most countries have some form of economic relationship with other countries. With differing climates and land forms, it’s almost impossible for any but the largest countries to produce everything they need themselves. Even then, there’s some benefit to trading with others. Consider the technological and agricultural traits of each country in your world to determine what a country might have that others want. This also gives the opportunity to introduce large-scale conflict in the story.

An example of this in Grevared is the country of Corleon. This country is known for its horses, and the animals are its chief commodity. They run wild through the plains, and they’re used in almost every capacity imaginable.

 

Education

We hear a lot about education in the modern world, and fictional worlds are no different. This doesn’t mean that your world must have a public education system or a string of universities, but there needs to be some way for the common people to gain the knowledge they need to survive. Is it an apprentice system? Are children taught at home by their parents? Are there village schools? Not all of your countries have to use the same system, and it will give a bit of diversity to your world if they don’t.

Magic and Technology

Some fictional worlds thrive on magic, while others are more focused on technology. A lot of worlds use both. There’s no law that says these systems must be codified, but it’s something to consider if you plan to use them in your world. Is there a magical guild or school? Is magic something common, or are there only a few who practice it? Is it accepted or shunned? Do people travel by railroad? Are there spaceships? These are some questions to get you started thinking about the magic and technology in your world.

To give an example, in Grevared, railroads are present in almost all countries. However, the Xaggarene Empire embraces technology and somewhat shuns magic, while E’ma Thalas embraces magic and shuns technology.

 

Races

Who populates your world? Are they humans, elves, aliens, talking zebras? That’s entirely up to you. Spend some time thinking about it, and if you choose to add other races to your populace, there are many legends from all over the world that can help you learn a bit about the ones you’re considering. Research into folklore can help you bring a race to life and give them that certain something that sets them apart from all others.

In Grevared, humans live along side angels, demons, elves, and dwarves among others. Each species has its own set of traditions, but they’ve interacted in many instances, so there are things among them that are shared. Take, for example, the demons of Jitradena mentioned above. While they are still very much demons, much of their violent nature is held in check until certain celebrations. Other races aren’t really welcomed to Jitradena, but they do visit, and they aren’t harmed. Mostly.

 

Flora and Fauna

Plants and animals are a large part of just about any world. Look out your window and see what kinds are right outside. They aren’t there just for our pleasure; they also provide food and materials for clothing and shelter. This is something to consider when creating your own world. Even if it’s a world that is entirely urban, the people still have to eat, and there must be some means of cleaning the air (which is the function of plants). Furniture has to be made out of something, as do homes. Consider how this is done to determine what kinds of flora and fauna are needed.

In the world of Grevared, there are some recognizable animals. Cats roam, and dogs (called n’kitas) are faithful companions. The country of Corleon is known for its horses, but a similar creature, called an elecon, is common in E’ma Thalas. Chocolate (kokolat) is known to all lands, but the assaberry has no ‘real’ world equivalent. The same is true of the spitmoller, a small creature that lives in sewers and tunnels, or the ghighet, a pest creature that can also be a pet.

Plants and animals unique to your world can give it a feel and reality of its own that separates it from our world. Even changing the colors of common animals can help to distinguish your world from ours.

Maps

One of the best ways to get to know your world is to make a map. Campaign Cartographer is a good software for mapmaking but drawing it out yourself is also rewarding. I enjoy doing both, even though my artistic skills leave a lot to be desired.

Making a map gives you a chance to get to know all the little places your characters visit and determine the best types of agriculture, culture, etc. to use for each place. It helps you see the weather patterns and how the land affects all other aspects of life. It also gives you a way to see the world in front of you, to help it become more ‘real.’

 

Building a world of your own can be a rewarding experience, whether you share it with others or not. It’s a way to explore the depths of your imagination and create a place you can visit whenever you desire. It also opens opportunities for research and learning about other cultures and beliefs.

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

 

Interview with Deborah Burnside

23319229_10155727922650102_7205406075011842319_nI’ve had the pleasure of speaking with author Deborah Burnside. Below are her thoughts on writing and being an author.

  • What genres do your writings fall under? Primarily Christian romantic suspense
  • What age group? Mostly New Adult, with an occasional side trip into Young Adult
  • When and why did you start writing? Since I was a little kid – it soothes me.
  • What other goals do you have for yourself? At the moment, to complete my trilogy.
  • How do they fit with your writing? Perfectly, since it involves more and regular writing.
  • What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? Reading, of course, and animal rescue
  • What do you hope readers take away from your writing? Is there a particular theme in your work? Does your work have a moral? “God never abandons us, even when it feels like He has. When life kicks us around, He’s still with us, right in the middle of whatever we’re going through.”
  • Which of your characters is your favorite and why? Jason Hancock, the 3-year-old in Prodigal Hearts. He’s not a major character by any means, but he was so much fun to write! I modeled him after a little boy at a daycare center I once worked at. Or Connie Sherman, the 15-year-old in A Cousin Scorned. She’s me, at that age.
  •  Which of your characters is your least favorite and why? Jennifer Reid, in Prodigal Hearts. She’s not necessarily my least favorite, but definitely the least likeable. Or Bobby Jensen, in A Cousin Scorned. He’s a slimeball.
  • What genre is your favorite to read? Mystery/romance. I especially love anything written by J.A. Jance. She’s the woman!
  • If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? I wouldn’t change a thing about Prodigal Hearts. I published that one with Westbow Press, which I realize some regard as a vanity publisher. They’re really more of a hybrid. Yes, it was expensive, but it was well worth the finished product. They did a beautiful job.
  • How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? I’ve used a variety of avenues: Press releases to local media outlets, though I will admit those have not generated any response. I managed to secure a couple of book signings, with several more looming in the near future. I’ve done carousel ads (designed by Westbow) on Facebook, as well as boosting specific posts and things of that nature.
  • Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? No, but I did write a TV movie script in the early 70’s, that was ultimately rejected by Mr. Aaron Spelling himself. He wrote me a real nice personal letter, and I still have it in my files…somewhere.
  • Can you tell us about your upcoming book? I have two WIP’s. The working title of one is “Wolfsong.” It tells the story of a young Native American woman, Liberty (Libby) Rose Runningwolf, who rescues wolves and wolf hybrids – which earns her the ire of a group of ranchers. The working title of the other one is “Wednesday’s Child.” When completed, that one will be Book #2 in my Sisters in Christ trilogy. Though we get to see most of the characters from Prodigal Heart, the emphasis is on Rebekkah Merek, owner of the retro-60’s diner, The Green Onion.
  • Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? It’s always a combination of the two. I like to address real-life issues, so I combine imagination with things I’ve had to endure – changing names to protect the guilty, of course – and weave them together into a work of believable fiction. For instance, in A Cousin Scorned, the legend of Giant Rock airport is real, as are the abandoned buildings there. Everything else is completely fictional. In Prodigal Hearts, the locations really exist, and some of the plot twists are taken either from my life or the lives of friends.
  • What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? It’s more of a favorite event, as it spans three chapters of Prodigal Hearts. I destroy the city of Long Beach, California with a major earthquake, setting forth that event in multiple viewpoints – Stephanie Williams, Sam Kendrick, and Jennifer Reid. It took me a long time to write that part, not because of lack of knowledge about earthquakes, but because I’ve been through several major quakes and I wanted to make sure I did justice to it. First time flashbacks have ever made writing a scene difficult.
  • How did you come up with the title? Prodigal Hearts was originally titled A Second Chance. The editor I was working with at Westbow googled the titled and said he found “a million works with that title” and I should change it. I drew a blank on a replacement, and posed a question to one of the writer’s groups I’m in. One of the guys came up with Prodigal Hearts. I liked it, and so did my editor.
  • What project are you working on now? Again, I have two WIP’s. I’m focusing all my energy on Wednesday’s Child. Wolfsong will have to wait.
  • Will you have a new book coming out soon? I’m hoping to have Wednesday’s Child complete by the end of June, and in print with Westbow by the end of this year. When I get around to completing Wolfsong, I’ll publish that one on CreateSpace, the same as I did for A Cousin Scorned. So that one may actually go live in December, the same time as Wednesday’s Child.
  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? Both came from the same source – the judge who read Prodigal Hearts for the Writer’s Digest Self-Published competition. On the positive side, he loved the storyline and complimented me on the complexity of the characters and my willingness to tackle difficult issues. On the not-so-positive side, he wasn’t wild about the multiple (3) viewpoints. Stephanie and Sam, he understood – they’re the MC’s so it stands to reason the reader wants to know their thoughts. He felt I should have excluded the scenes from Jennifer’s perspective – he didn’t like her as a person, and he wasn’t interested in “getting into her head.” All in all, though, he thought it was a great read and said he hopes to see more.
  • Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? If you’re serious about your writing, make it a priority in your life. You don’t have to churn out a chapter a day, but write something. Every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help/advice/criticism from people who have been on the publishing journey. If somebody totally disses your work, try to realize they don’t mean it as a personal insult. We’re all here to help each other along.
  • Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? If there’s a secondary character in any of my works you’d like to see more of, by all means let me know!
  • Do you also work a day job? How does it inspire your writing? I am gloriously retired.
  • If you could visit any time period, which one would it be? Toss-up between the Victorian era and the Old West.
  • If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Two places: Mt. St. Helens, because that’s my happy place. And Scotland, because that’s where my ancestors on my father’s side were from.
  • Have you travelled to places outside your home town/country? Where did you go? What did you see/experience? I’ve never been out of the country, but I’ve moved from southern California to southern Oregon, and now to northern California. I’ve spent extensive amounts of time in southern Washington – home of my happy place.
  • Do you prefer comfortable clothes or dressing nicely? I was a classy dresser during my career as a secretary/receptionist. Now I prefer comfy over class, and it’s not unheard of for me to stay in my jammies all day long if there aren’t any errands I need to run.
  • If you could visit any cartoon world, which one would it be? Tom & Jerry. They rock.
  • If you could visit any fictional world, which one would it be? Forks, Washington. Yes, I admit it. I’m a Twilight fan.
  • If you were suddenly tossed into your favorite TV show, what would you change in that world? The Curse of Oak Island. I’d make sure the treasure was found. Sooner, rather than later.
  • What’s your favorite comfort food? Pepperoni pizza.
  • If there was one food you could get rid of, which one would it be? Pickles. Pickles are the devil.
  • Who’s your favorite superhero? Wonder Woman. The new one, with the Israeli actress. I wanna be her!
  • What’s your favorite holiday? Toss-up between Christmas and Easter.
  • Why is that one special to you? Christmas because it’s the birth of Jesus, and everybody gets the feels for family and friends. Easter because it’s both a remembrance of the death of Jesus, and His resurrection three days later.
  • What’s one tradition you can’t imagine doing without? Christmas Eve dinner with the family.
  • What historical figure inspires you most? William Wallace. We’re not related, but he showed great courage and dedication against horrendous odds.
  • Which mythological figure do you relate to best? Aphrodite
  • If you had to have a mythological creature as a pet, which one would it be? Centaur
  • What was your favorite stuffed animal as a child? Does this toy show up in your writing? A stuffed bunny. And yes, it shows up in Wednesday’s Child.
  • What author would you most like to meet? J.A. Jance, hands down!
  • You get to bring one of your characters into the real world. Which one is it and why? What do you hope to accomplish through your relationship with this character? Lindsay Williams (from Prodigal Hearts), Stephanie’s sister. She’s an irrepressible teenager who never backs down from a challenge.