Books Reviews And More

Bookworm 1977


On this page you will find interviews with a variety of authors who have kindly taken time out of their busy schedules to be interviewed


Interview With Jim Ody

 

Today I am very lucky to be interviewing Jim Ody author of Lost Connections

Hi thank you for taking part would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and your background?

I'm a father of three, and a full-time Business analyst who writes in my spare time. I have released two self-published books which have since been re-released by Zombie Cupcake Press. I have another book due for release in January and have just finished a novella. Also on the horizon are a number of my short-stories that are to be released in a few anthologies over the next few months.   

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?

I write in the evening when the rest of the family has gone to bed. I'm usually happy if I can get three or four pages written. I never like to set myself short-term targets other than working towards a deadline for the first draft.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I admire anyone who writes long-hand. My mind spits out ideas in a rather haphazard way that I have to go back and add/change things. I liken my writing to scribbling out a very rough outline, and then going back over it with an outline, and then gently shading in the finer details. 

Where do the your ideas come from ?

I have always had a different way of looking at things which is why my job entails problem solving. I like to start with a brief idea and then almost every chapter ask 'What if?' a number of times. This helps me think, and write outside of the box. I never rush ideas but let them slowly evolve in my mind over a period of time.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively ?

I am able to take the splurge of ideas and sift through them a lot more quickly in order to expand on a simple idea, rather than jump sporadically between ideas confusing the reader. I am pushing myself more now and looking to cover subjects I never would previously have tried.

What is the hardest thing about writing ?

I constantly feel like I'm battling with the sands of time. I have more ideas than I am able to work on at once, coupled with the added time and focus required for marketing and promotion. As an author we no longer just write books but now have to look at ourselves like small businesses. We pay for advertising, marketing and promotion. We have to be fully competent in Sales & Marketing too!

Do you ever get writer’s block ? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block.

I'm lucky to have never experienced Writer's block. Sometimes I will get to a chapter that doesn't excite me to write, but it important as a backstory, and so I'm easily distracted until I've written it, however sometimes I like to mix things up and start writing something else, and come back to it later. I have so many novels and short-stories on the go that I can easily swap to another one for a week or so. This also means that when I've finished what I am writing, I am halfway through writing something else too!

Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.

For my self-published books I took the photos myself and designed my own covers, now I pass on my ideas to the publisher. I tend to think more about the colours, and whether or not I want it to be simple or complex. 

Who designs your book covers ?

We have a designer at the publisher. She is brilliant at taking my descriptions, and picture examples and ideas and turning them into exactly what I was thinking. For 'The Place That Never Existed' she produced the exact cover that was in my mind!

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I do. When I self-published and had built up a following, I hit the #1 spot in the Amazon FREE charts which meant that suddenly 5k of my books were being snapped up by people who may not have bothered to buy it. It boosted my confidence that people were interested in my books, I just had to increase my brand. I still send out free books, and drop them into random charity shops. This helps hit demographics that I may miss otherwise. 

What is your favourite positive saying?

Dream big and don't be afraid to be different

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I'd love to be selling big with a number of books, novellas and short-stories behind me. I am ambitious and have a tendency to be so obsessed with improving myself at things until I succeed. I am constantly learning and watching others, that I hope to have a release from a bigger publisher within 5 years.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I took 10 years out to do music reviews, so I whilst that was great fun and experience I put my writing ambitions on hold. Although that said, the market was a lot different back then!

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

Matt Beaumont - 'E' - The book is set in an office and written entirely through emails sent round the company. It is original, and incredibly clever and funny. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Quite simply, read and write as much as you can. It is really important that you look at the genre that you'd like to write in and understand the market. We all want to be different, but we also have to understand what makes some authors more popular than others in order to make our own decision on how we want to grow and evolve as a writer. 

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

The independent publishers are the ones that are growing and becoming more successful in the publishing market. There are so many decent authors that don't make it with the big publishers that are going to these smaller publishers that can offer almost the same things, just not the advances, or the huge marketing budget. The independents are becoming well respected and grabbing more and more of the e-book market. They are the future. Paperbacks will still remain important, but it is the traditional publishers that sell more paperback than e-books, and whereas it's the other way around for the independents, small publishers and self-publishers. There is also a growing trend for successful self-publishers and I can only see this market increasing in the future.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I also enjoy the way that authors rally around together. We are not against each other but on the same time. I'm a reader as well as a writer so I want my friends to be producing the best books that they can too! There is also a big emphasis on social media, and having platforms like these groups, and the wonderful bloggers of this world are what help those of us not with the big publishers!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook - www.facebook.com/JimOdyAuthor

Twitter: @Jim_Ody_Author

 

Instagram: @Jim_Ody_Author


Interview With Phil Price

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing English author of Unknown Phil Price 

Hi Phil, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi. I’m just a regular guy. Husband to Angie and father to Thomas and Jake. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever end up being a published author. By day, I work in Health & Safety, which does not really go hand-in-hand with writing horror. I guess I’m a bit special, or strange. You decide 😊

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?
Not really. I write as a hobby at the moment, with a busy day job and family to keep me occupied. When I do write, I try to set myself targets per week. That could be a thousand words, or then thousand words. It all depends as to where I am currently at in my stories.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I use my p.c. I’m old school 😊

Where do your ideas come from?
The inspiration for The Forsaken Series came from the numerous abductions and disappearances we see around the world every year. I just thought it would be a novel idea. Novel, get it – to give it a darker slant.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I have improved as a writer in the last seven years. Things that I may have done at the start of my journey, hopefully have been ironed out. Like over using the same words in paragraphs. I really hope I have edited them all out now….

What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding the time. Life is busy. However, when I get cracking, I really go for it.

Do you ever get writer’s block? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block.
I’ve never really suffered from it. If I get stuck, I leave the story for a few days, thinking about how I can move it forward. Sounds primitive, but it seems to work for me. Wandering around a supermarket, just may unlock the next chapter.

Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about?
Well, I am in the process of moving my novels to a new publisher. So as of yet, the covers have yet to be created. I am sure that when they do, they will perfectly encapsulate the series as a whole.

Who designs your book covers?
Again, I’m not totally sure. I wish I could give you a name, gushing about how fabulous they are etc. Whoever they are, I am sure they will rock it.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
It can do. When I was self-published, I held several free promotions. It even propelled me to the top of the horror genre. So it is worth it. Even if it means a few extra reviews head your way. Any author will tell you, reviews are key…

What is your favourite positive saying?
One I’ve stolen: Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

Where can you see yourself in five years time?
Still writing. I have had an up and down 2017 in the book world. But I am positive heading into 2018. I have many more stories to share.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Lay off the kebabs.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
The Lord of the Rings. Because it’s the Lord of the Rings. Just an epic tale, which everyone who loves books should read at least once.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Your ideas are not bad. Have confidence. You can do it. Don’t try and blast out work for the sake of it. Craft it. Mould it. It will all be worth it.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I can see the traditional book coming back into the market. Kindles etc are great. A really fabulous invention. However, vinyl is still here. There is nothing like the smell of a book. I also think there is room for more independent publishers in the market place. There is room for all.

 How can readers discover more about you and you work? 

Well, my three novels should be hitting the shelves in early 2018. So watch this space. I am all over social media, so there will be teasers, announcements, cover reveals coming soon.

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
It’s been a pleasure . Thank you for having me.


Interview With The Award Winning Author A.J Griffiths-Jones

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing A.J Griffiths-Jones author of
Prisoner 4374

Hi A.J , thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm 51 & live in a small town in Shropshire, UK. I grew up in Shrewsbury.I'm married but don't have children, instead we have a large & very naughty white cat. After leaving school, I went to college in London & lived there for ten years. In 2003 I moved to China with my future husband & we lived there very happily for over a decade. While over there, I worked as Language Training Manager for a large American bank & was responsible for the needs of over 3,000 staff. We've been back in England for four years now & since returning I'm writing full-time, having six books published in the last 2.5 years.

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?
I aim for a minimum of 2,500 words per day when I'm writing, but some days I need to do research too which takes up a lot of time. In general, I alternate my writing/research days and it works well.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write my notes longhand if it's a non-fiction book but fiction goes straight onto the computer. I also have a 'character' board in my study & on there I put pictures of the scene I'm writing about, characters likes/dislikes & any key moments in the plot.

Where do the your ideas come from ?
My ideas come from absolutely everywhere! It can be a dream, something I've witnessed, an overheard conversation, anything at all. I've got a vivid imagination & my head always seems to be full of new ideas. I currently have ideas for another 29 books!

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively ?
If I'm honest, I don't think I'm anywhere near my true potential yet. I'm learning to listen to my readers, both positive & negative comments, and I'm trying different genres to see where my creative ability can work best. Writing is a continual learning curve & I'm happy to go with the flow.

What is the hardest thing about writing ?
The hardest thing for me is staying focussed. Authors have to do do much promotion, interviews, website updates etc, so some days I get overloaded with other things & can't concentrate on the thing I'm supposed to be doing, which is writing books.

Do you ever get writer’s block ? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block.

I think I'm one of the lucky few who never suffer writer's block. By alternating my writing with research, I can start each day with a fresh eye & I'm always excited about switching projects. I set myself achievable goals & each time I finish a book I take a little break, either a trip overseas or a spa weekend. That gives me time to refuel & get my mindset ready for the next task.

Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.
The cover for my first book, 'Prisoner 4374' is made up of the actual prison files belonging to my subject, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream. The five mystery books that followed are quite unique, the covers are vibrant & enticing.

Who designs your book covers ?
My cousin, Antony Caswell, constructed my first cover as he's a talented graphic designer. The others were taken from original paintings by my aunt, Sylvia Caswell, who's an amazing artist. When I was half way through writing 'The Villagers', I saw an amazing canvas that my aunt was working on & asked if I could use it for the cover. She added a distant village in the background & the rest is history. Since, she has produced three more covers specially for me.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think it's sometimes necessary to give books to reviewers and for competitions but I don't subscribe to free Kindle offers. I don't mind reducing my books to 99p/$1.30 for promotions occasionally but a lot of blood, sweat & tears goes into a book and I think authors work too hard to  give books away for free.

What is your favourite positive saying?
My favourite saying is 'Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.' Tomorrow never comes & that 'To Do' list will get out of control unless things are tackled head on.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
In five years time I'd like to have at least 20 books under my belt and hopefully a movie deal. I believe that I have a bestseller lurking somewhere in my head, I just need to pull it out.I'm also planning to be living somewhere warmer by then!

What advice would you give to your younger self?
I'd tell my younger self to stop worrying about what other people think. I would gave been writing years ago if only I'd listened to my own instincts & not what was expected of me.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I would love to have written 'Moby Dick'. I love reading about adventure on the high seas & this is the ultimate book for that genre. Plus it's historical, which is another one of my passions, with so many interesting characters.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I would naturally say believe in yourself. There is a reader market for everyone. I would also say track down publishers who specialise in your genre & don't pay money upfront to get your books published. If you've written a good book, an editor should recognise that  & take a chance on you.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I think more & more authors are veering towards 'Indie' publishers as there is more freedom & usually a very good relationship with other authors under the same company. Bigger publishing houses take a bigger percentage of the royalties & expectstions /deadlines are tighter.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I'd just like to say thanks. It's because of websites like yours & the readers that join that emerging authors are getting exposure. Keep up the good work!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
You can find my website at www.ajwriter.simplesite.com

I'm on Twitter @ajauthor66

Facebook under A.j.Griffiths-Jones author page & the group 'We love AJs Award Winning Books'

 

Thank you very much A.J  for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.


Interview With Author Bernard Boley

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Bernard Boley author of My Ripper Hunting Days

Hello Bernard would you like tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Thank you for allowing me to share a few words with you. I'm a French Canadian born in the province of Quebec, raised in Queens, New York where I learned English before returning to Quebec City and now living in Merida, Yucatan. I've been writing since I learned to hold a pencil between my fingers. My career with the government of Quebec alway required from me a lot of writing from governmental papers to Prime minister speeches. Some fifteen years ago, I wrote a book on water gardens which became a best seller, but I kept dreaming of writing a novel. I'm currently working on a couple of novel projects and now consider myself as a full-time author.

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?
I don't work on a number of words or pages per day, but rather a minimum of six to eight hours schedule. I'll either write, do some research or read something related to the project I'm working on.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Almost everything is done on my laptop. I, however, always carry a notepad with me just in case I have an idea or something going on in front of me worth describing. I used to have a small digital recorder the kind you can link to a voice to text software program. I'm sort of like a painter always having something to sketch.

Where do  your ideas come from?
I really don't know where they come from. I'll have to ask my shrink some help to figure it out. But for my novel, it was s a bit different. I'd been having this recurring dream during months and the only way I found to prevent it from coming back was to write it down. I kept the words from that dream in my novel as a souvenir of its provenance.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think it happens if you keep writing and never take the qualityy off your work for granted. I went through three complete rewrites of my novel over a period of seven years and simply by comparing the technique I used in the first one with the last one, I noticed major improvements. For example, in the last one, I used a screenplay approach building short scenes with an intro, climax and end. Another one is instead of using many narratives to set up a scene or describe a location, I cut them in short fragments and integrated them in the dialogues. It helps maintaining the rhythm required by the storyline.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
It's when I have to decide to stop writing. I feel like a kid in a candy store telling his mom, “Give me five more minutes.” Then again, there's always this search for perfection within me making me question the words I write, the way I formulate an idea. I won't let go until I'm convinced I've exhausted all the options. I remember once when it took me a couple of weeks to write, re-write again and again a three sentence paragraph, the core of a project of mine.

Do you ever get writer’s block? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block?
Of course I do, but it happens quite rarely. It has more to do with how I should write down what I'm thinking of than what to say. I don't fight it. What works for me is staying inside my writing bubble but doing something else. For example, reviewing what I've already written, doing some research. Usually, something comes up and I get back where I was. If nothing happens, I'll walk away from my desk and return to planet earth for a while.

Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.
For me, a book cover is like a stop sign. It has to offer a reader a quick visual idea of its content, make him focus on its title and the name of the author. The goal is basically hooking the reader. The same goes for the first lines of a novel. 

Who designs your book covers?
I designed my book cover. The bloody knife, the dominant red and an obscure view of a Whitechapel street and map seemed to me as important elements.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
If you are self-publishing your book, a giveaway is something you should seriously consider particularly if it's your first one. The book market is quite volatile to say the least which makes it harder for new writers to sign a contract with a publisher who offerss a better visibility to books because of the distribution network at self-sell locations such as airports. Self-publishing hence becomes an interesting option but resulted in turning the book industry in a wild jungle. Amazon has some 30 million books on sale across the world (all formats included). I recently read an article showing stats strongly suggesting that giving a book for free didn't create a domino effect on reviews positive or negative nor did it increase sales. The major reason being everyone is doing it including publishing companies. 

Personally I tried it during two days focusing the information on the giveaway strictly on sites and Facebooks related to JTR and never knew how many e-books were downloaded. Not a single review resulted from this giveaway on the 13 Amazon sites where it's available!  So what I have to say about is do if to want to but don't expect anything.

What is your favourite positive saying?
It's an old Jesuit saying I learnt while studying with them. It goes a bit like this: “Think by yourself so you can, one day, make a difference.”

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Anywhere except the final place feeding dandelions.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Trust yourself.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
It would have been Victor Hugo's Les Miserables or even any other one of his books. Hugo is probably the best Romantic era author. He began writing Les Miserables in 1845 and finished in 1862. Makes me feel good considering it took me seven years to write my novel. It's a combination of muscle, love, political awareness. Almost every word in his work has its purpose.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write because you honestly believe you have something to say that will make a difference and always remember that words are like clay in the hands of a sculptor. Make sure each word is holding together with the other one before contributing to the wholeness of the work and that each sentence pushes the story forward.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Considering the chaotic writer population boom in the book industry, I tend to believe we're about to jump off a cliff like the Lemmings do.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Writing a novel is not only building a good storyline, it's giving life to your characters who will carry the reader through it. As in Luigi Pirandello's play, 'Six Characters In Search of an Author', each one has a world within themselves. You have the challenging choice of either letting them go free resulting in chaos or inviting them in your own world and provide them with an opportunity to outperform what you expected from them.

“When a character is born, he acquires at once such an independence, even of his own author, that he can be imagined by everybody even in many other situations where the author never dreamed of placing him; and so he acquires for himself a meaning which the author never thought of giving him.”
- Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
My Blog: https://jardinerodemerida.blogspot.com
My Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16052102.Bernard_Boley
My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Bernard-Boley/e/B01M4QZJX7

Thank you Bernard very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. 


Interview With Italian author Davide Mana

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Italian author Davide Mana author of The Corsair: The Devil Under the Sea

Hi Davide , thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, and thanks for having me. I am a paleontologist and geologist by trade, and I worked for many years in academia as a teacher and researcher. I always loved writing and reading fiction - it was my hobby. But when my job expired in 2014 (not many dinosaurs around anymore) I decided to start writing professionally, while I waited for the phone to ring and a new job to appear. The phone has not rung yet, and in the last two years I’ve been (barely) paying my bills with my writing and my translation work. I mostly write fantasy and adventure, usually with an historical element.

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day?

Yes. My daily target is 5000 words. I usually set small prizes for me should I meet the target - a piece of chocolate, or maybe a 99 cent ebook. Basically I bribe myself to write more.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I started writing on my mother’s old Olivetti Lettera 35 typewriter, when I was a kid, but now I write on my computer. I run on Ubuntu Linux, and use Scrivener for most of my writing jobs.

Where do the your ideas come from ?

Ah, “the question that should not be asked”!

I think ideas are everywhere. I get ideas from the books I read (I like reading history and science books), from talking with people, from just taking a walk and looking around. From eavesdropping in shops and waiting rooms. Finding ideas is not that hard. It’s recognizing ideas that could make for viable stories that requires some experience. That, and matching two or three ideas to build a plot. That’s the tricky part.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively ?

I certainly evolved since I started, and then when I moved from writing for fun to writing for fun and profit. Confronting a paying market forced me to improve the quality of my work, both in terms of plotting and in terms of language. I (hopefully) write tighter, better stories. I also learned a lot thanks to my editors. Also, writing to the market, I had the opportunity to try my hand at genres I had not previously considered - like thrillers. This too was a great part of my learning process. And I learned to write faster.

What is the hardest thing about writing ?

Loneliness. Writing is a lonely business, because often even those that are close to us won’t “get” what we are doing, or won’t be able to relate to problems such as deadlines, dead ends, runaway characters and the simple pain and panic of sending a story out there to be read. For this reason I think reader feedback, and connections - often online - with other writers are important. We need a support group from time to time.

Do you ever get writer’s block ? and if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block.

It happens that one gets stuck while writing. Ideas don’t click, words won’t flow. I don’t usually call it a block because if you give it a name you give it power. In these cases, anyway, I usually go for a walk, and then start writing something completely different. A blog post, the outline for my next story, a few pages of a translation. The idea is to write through the block. To keep going until the brain doesn’t start collaborating again. That has worked for me so far. That, and the fear of being unable to pay my bills.

Can you tell us about the cover's and how they came about.

The idea is to build a cover that will strike and fascinate the readers, convincing them to pick up the book and give it a try. Then it’s a matter of tastes and habits. I grew up reading genre fiction, and I often say I started writing, beck in high school, because I dreamed of having a cover painting like those McGinnis or Whelan did for my favorite books. Colorful, striking depictions of key scenes in the book.

Who designs your book covers ?

When I am working with traditional publishers, I can rely on their artists, and they do a great job. I think of the excellent work Antonio de Luca did for “The Ministry of Thunder”, or the wonderful steampunk covers Alberto Bontempi is doing for my “Hope & Glory” novelettes, or again the stylish graphic design of Antonio Lo Iacono for Pro Se press.

As for my self-publishing stuff, I usually do what I can with my limited graphical skills. But professional artists are another thing. In the past, when I could afford it, I availed myself of the work of the excellent Giordano Efrodini, and for my next project, that I am currently writing and promoting, I was lucky enough to contract Luca Morandi, that did a superb job on an as-yet-undisclosed cover.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

It can work, as a tool to expand the readers’ pool - like participating in group giveaways, in which basically a number of writers share their readers. And it is certainly useful to grow a mailing list, that is still the top tool for marketing books.

The downside is, of course, that if you start giving away your work for free, then nobody will like the idea of paying for your stuff. That can be bad.

What is your favourite positive saying?

“It doesn’t matter what happens, as long as it’s interesting.”

It comes from an old episode of a TV series called Space:1999. One of my faves when I was a kid.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

Hard question. Currently I’m going through a rough patch, and for all I know in five years time I might be in a shelter for the homeless, ranting about what I could have done. But I am working at solving the problems, and that’s really the worst case scenario from hell.

So in five years time I see myself more or less where I am now, but with a wider audience, more titles in my catalog, and maybe a little money in the bank. Not much, just enough for me and mine to be safe.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

First find a job, then enroll in university. Don’t stop writing, and have faith in your ideas. Also, leave Italy as soon as you can.

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

Another hard one. I would love to have written Roger Zelazny’s “Lord of Light”, because it’s one of my favorite books, and because it would mean I’m as good as Zelazny. The same goes for Gene Wolfe’s “The Book of the New Sun”, and Mervyn Peake’s “Gormenghast”.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

The standard: read a lot, in all genre, in all fields. And write at least 1000 words per day. Some will be rubbish, but it’s OK.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Major publishers seem to be looking for a standardization of the market, trying to find the one-size-fits-all book that everybody will like, and buy. In the shadow of the big ones, smaller presses are filling in niches and catering for small groups, and this is fine, because there is strength and health in variety.

And talking about variety… Self-publishing, hoping it does not collapse under a million fake books published to play the Kindle Unlimited algorithms, will probably become more professional, creating an ecology of indie writers working with freelance editors and artists. This will once again increase variety.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I can’t think of anything, really.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I have a blog, called Karavansara (http://Karavansara.live) where I talk about my work, my interests and various odds & ends, including news about my new books. And on the first of December I’ll launch my Patreon page, and my patrons will have access to behind-the-scenes material (notes, cut scenes, assorted flotsam and jetsam) and will get a new short story every month.

Thank you very much Davide for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

 

Thank you for this interview, and thanks to all those that took the time to read it.


Interview With Author Billie Kowalewski

Today I am very lucky to be interviewing Billie Kowalewski author of Enlightened.

Hi Billie, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

You’re welcome, it’s an honor to be talking with you and your followers.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in a small town in southern Connecticut. I ended up moving just slightly north to an even smaller town where I still live and raise my two kids. Neither of them are so little anymore. My daughter is in her third year of college and my son is a senior this year in high school. So naturally, I am a very proud parent. I’ve spent most of their lives driving a school bus so I can raise them and still earn money. It’s a great job for a parent because it allows you to take your kids with you to work, avoiding daycare costs. Plus, you are involved with their school, so you can be there for them always. Driving a school bus gave me the freedom to be able to pursue my passion for writing as well. I was able to write while my kids were in school. Now a days, I drive public transportation which is a bit more demanding of my time and doesn’t give me as much freedom for writing. However, it does give me the funding I need to promote my current title Enlightened, and publish the next book in the series, helping me to transition towards my ultimate goal, becoming a fulltime writer.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

    Not typically. Why push yourself this way? My goal when I sit down to write is quality not quantity. I would much rather have only a few really good paragraphs filled with creativity verses pages of garbage.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Back when I first started writing Enlightened I wrote by hand in a composition book. Over time I gravitated towards the computer. I still write my notes by hand because its easier to sift through the paper to find what I need while working on the story on my laptop.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from everywhere. More often than not it comes from music. There have been times where I was stuck on something then a certain song would come on that would change everything. Other times my inspiration would come from the kids on the bus. It would be certain conversations we would have, or I’d over hear them talking about something. Kids are overflowing with so much creativity and imagination that its hard not to walk away with something that works.

How do you think you evolved creatively?

In the beginning of my writing career I was constantly trying to do what I thought everyone else wanted. Readers, the industry, etc. Over time I found that writing this way was just not working so, I wrote my novels the way that I wanted. That was the best decision I have ever made because they turned out so much better than I could ever imagined otherwise.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Grammar. Lol! There are a lot of people who think the rules about grammar are carved in stone somewhere and will tear apart an author whose work is great but there are a few errors. I have found that grammar is subjective, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s not perfect.

Do you ever get writers block? And if you do is there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writers block.

I don’t think there’s an author who doesn’t suffer writers block from time to time. When I get into a writing slump I get up, close my laptop and walk away. I go do something dumb like wash dishes or some other kind of trivial task. Other times I go for a drive and listen to music. These kinds of task allow your mind to relax and wander, then bingo! You know what to write next!

Can you tell us about the covers and how they came about?

The cover of Enlightened is from a passage in chapter 6. “We were hurdling towards each other like comets at light speed, coming at each other so fast that we were literally crashing into each other.”

Who designs your book covers?

Enlightened was designed by ecover.pro. They did a great job! They’re designing the cover for book#2 as well!

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I think it does. The cost of doing this can hurt a struggling author, but how else are you going to get people reading your story and then talking about it? You just have to remember the karma rules, you get back what you put out there.

What if your favourite positive saying?

“There is a reason for everything” and “There’s an exception to every rule.” These are probably my known catch phrases. “and it is what it is.”

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

Elbows deep in writing my next series, and free from buses!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stop wasting time and get to work!

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

I can’t think of a particular story that I wish I was the author of other than my own work. I have a pretty wild imagination all on my own that I play in very happily.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Never give up. Learn to listen to criticism, it’s only gonna make you a better writer in the end. And be prepared to spend a lot of time rewriting the same story a few times before it is perfect. This is way more work than most people think it is.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

This is an exciting time to be in this industry. Technology has changed so many things in our society and how you become an author is definitely one of them! Now through self-publishing and POD technology and sites like Amazon who support it, even the smallest writer has a shot at becoming a top selling author. I often think about all those aspiring authors in the past who were probably excellent, spending hours crafting the perfect query letter to never be given a shot. Then the ones who did get a shot losing the rights to their work, and then often had their work altered to match what the agent or publisher thought was more marketable. When that happens it’s no longer truly that authors story anymore. Now the authors story gets to stay the way the author intended, and the readers get to decide what is popular. This is a much better system in my opinion.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Hmm… The only thing I’d like to add is just saying thank you for your time, and to anyone who has read Enlightened thank you so much for your love and support! The best way to keep up with me or what is happening with my books is visiting my facebook page(s), follow me through amazon, or my website. Twitter too!

Https://www.facebook.com/authorbilliek

Https://www.facebook.com/enlightenedbookofficialpage

https://www.amazon.com/author/billiekowalewski

Https://www.enlightenedbook.net

 

Https://www.twitter.com/enlightened31

  Thank you Billie very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview today?

 

 


Interview With Alan M Clark

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Alan M Clark author of A Brutal Chill in August: A Novel of Polly Nichols, The First Victim of Jack the Ripper

Hi Alan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

  A pleasure—thanks for the opportunity.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

  I was born in the U.S. in Tennessee—1957. I’ve lived in Arlington, VA, Mahattan in New York City, NY, Nashville, TN, San Francisco, CA, and I currently I live in Eugene, OR. I am most known for my illustrations work, paintings and drawings for books of fiction primarily, and particularly the horror-related images. I have been a freelance illustrator for 34 years, a professional author for 24 years. I love history, I love discovery in creative process, and I have collaborated with many authors and artists over the years.

Do you aim for a set amount of words \ pages per day? 

No.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

  Computer or Ipad. In the old days, a typewriter, of course, both manual and electric—I do not miss them, although I truly enjoyed examining the mechanism of the manual one I had.

Where do the your ideas come from ?

 Starting when I was very young, I practiced forming ideas until it came quite naturally. That took many years, and it’s an ongoing effort. I thinks it’s a bit like a muscle—the more you work it, the stronger and more reliable it is. The ideas themselves are formed by my interests and are a product of my way of thinking, I suppose.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

 From inside the evolution, perhaps I’m not the one to see it well. When I started in illustration, I was going for work in the science fiction genre. Over time, I found, as did publishers, that I was best at creating images for fiction in the horror genre. In writing, I started out in fantasy and horror, and found over time that I was best at historical fiction. I do combine my interest in dark fiction with historical fiction by writing what I call “Historical Terror: Horror that Happened,” short fiction and novels that involve crimes from history. 

What is the hardest thing about writing ? 

Willingness to spend the time to do it well.  The hardest thing I’ve tried to do in writing is to write about myself, to depict my own experience. My novel, The Surgeon’s Mate: A Dismemoir, is a strange hybrid between horror fiction and memoir, concerning my relationship with a dark presence that emerged from temporal lobe hallucinations I had while in the hospital with brain abscesses in 1989, an episode in my life that is in part inspiration for my Jack the Ripper Victims Series. The difficulty arose from the fact that the memories I was dealing with were so vivid that I didn’t at first question what I put down on the page. If one knows the story that’s to be told too well, one can easily make the mistake of skipping some of the mechanics of conveying the sensory aspects of the characters’ experiences. I had to take more care to give readers a sense of what the POV character experienced.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If you do, are there any tips that you use which could help others through their dreaded writer’s block?

Creative blocks like that seem to be a product of insecurity and belief. Working on a project despite the feelings that go with a block, even when the product of that work is crap, helps break through the problem, if only because new Ideas arise. With that, of course, a writer must not be too stuck on assumptions about the work, and should be open to discovery in creative process.

Can you tell us about the covers of your books and how they come about. Who designs your book covers ?

 Depends on the publisher. Some hire me to do the covers of my own novels, the layouts and the interior illustrations, some hire other illustrators or designers to do them. One of my publishers released all the rights to earlier editions of certain novels of mine. I did the covers for the new editions and released them through IFD Publishing, a press of which I am a partner. When I do the cover illustrations, they are images meant to suggest the narrative without pinning it down too much. I try to create something that invites the audience to take the narrative beyond what is depicted in the cover image. 

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

 I give books away in exchange for reviews.  The reviews help some with sales.

What is your favourite positive saying?

 In creative endeavor, what I believe is possible has everything to do with what is possible for me.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

Who knows?

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Develop tenacity and patience.

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

Perfume by Patrick Suskind, because it puts the reader into a POV so particularly built of the historical setting within the novel—essentially the time and circumstances of the character—as to be magical.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Do the work of learning how to write well. Develop tenacity and patience.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

 I would like to think we’ll find our way to systems that allow the cream to rise to the top. Making books cheap and easy to publish isn’t the way to go about it, but today most of the systems for publishing and distribution of books promote a race to the bottom in pricing. Quality suffers as it’s not necessary to invest much in the work that’s being published.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

My web page: http://ifdpublishing.com

My online store: http://ifdpublishing.com/zencart2/

My Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Alan-M.-Clark/e/B001JP86WY/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1511641292&sr=8-1

 My GoodReads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/207866.Alan_M_Clark

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. 

Again, thanks for the opportunity.


Interview With Donna Marie McCarthy

 

Welcome all.

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing the lovely author Donna Maria Mccarthy whose lasted book  Biddy Trott will be realised next month.

Hi Donna, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I'm the seventh child  with 6 older brothers .Have signed the official secrets act can't say more I would have to kill you😂.I love to write very dark, potent horror fiction.I love all animals and I love most humans . I live in the South and was brought up in Oxford and miss it every second of every day.

When did you decide to come writer?

I didn't decide it just happened, like a rollercoaster. Somebody I know in the business read my rough draft of 'The Hangman's Hitch' and said submit it.Before that I kept journals full of angst ridden poetry and dark tales.

What draws you to this gene ?

I'm not sure, I think because a lot of it is considered Taboo
I've read just about everything on witchcraft and devil worship. I'm not practising by the way 😂 I just think it's kinda frowned on and I was always a rebel.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from character study be that people I meet and are fascinated by or true crime tv where I can study sociopaths at a safe distance 😉

What has been the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Nothing I'm thoroughly enjoying it! I just wish I had more time. I love learning and research as I go.

What has been the easiest thing about writing your latest book

Easiest was enveloping myself in the world, this is my favourite project to date.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

I have a new American publisher which I am very proud of 'Hellbound books' .They will be re publishing my books
'The Hangman's Hitch'
'The Meddler '
Along with my new book
Biddy Trott
And I also have a short story in their bestselling Anthology Shopping list I'm very happy to be with this publisher as they only represent Dark Fiction so for me that's just perfect!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I'm on twitter
@roast914_k
Facebook
Donna Maria McCarthy
And here is the link to my page on my publishers website

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/authorpage_mccarthy.html

Thank you I loved this 

And  thank you Donna very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview today?

 Please note the author is at the present time changing publishing companies as such her books are temporary unavailable thank you .


Interview With American author Diana Rubino

An interview with American author Diana Rubino, whose books can be found out https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-Rubino/e/

 Welcome all.

 Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing American author Diana Rubino

Hi Diana thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

You're very welcome!

 Could you please tell us where your idea for writing Sharing Hamilton come from ?

 On New Year’s Day 2008, I sat on the couch trying to figure out who to write about next, and decided on Hamilton (this was WAY pre-Hamilton, the musical). The story centers on Hamilton, his wife and mistress-­the love triangle that became the nation's first sex scandal, The Reynolds Affair. It went through several incarnations, rewrites and revisions. My agent said it needed a bit more ‘oomph’ and I thought: how about a Jack the Ripper-type serial killer stalking the dark streets? That genre isn't my forte, so I asked my friend, best selling thriller writer Brian Porter, to help out. He graciously obliged and wrote a chilling subplot about a serial killer on the dark Philadelphia streets, Severus Black. He seems to have gathered a following already!

The Kindle and paperback are on sale at Amazon:
http://getbook.at/hamilton 

How did you feel about collaborating on the story with Brian L Porter ?

 I've known Brian for many years; he was my editor on A NECESSARY END, my Civil War romance centering on John Wilkes Booth's insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln, and I knew about his success with his Jack the Ripper novels and Mersey Mystery series. So he was my very first choice as a collaborator.

Do you have any plans, or hopes that you might collaborate with Brian Porter again in the future?

I'd be happy to. I enjoy working with Brian and if the reviews are any indication, readers are also amazed at our seamless collaboration.

Finally I understand you about to release a new novel, Eliza Jumel Burr, |The Vice Queen of the United States. Would you like to tell us a little bit about it?

 While researching Hamilton, I became fascinated with his political nemesis Aaron Burr, which led to Aaron's last wife Eliza Bowen Jumel. Only a handful of biographies of her exist, so I learned as much as possible about her from these books and other sources I found.

 The urchin Betsy Bowen came from the filthy streets of Providence and used her street smarts and business acumen to become Eliza Burr, New York City's richest woman. She purchased the grandest mansion in New York City, which had been Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War and is now a museum.  

She met Aaron Burr when she was a teenager and they had an on-again off-again affair for decades during which she fell deeply in love with him; she proposed marriage to him twice but he declined.

One evening, Burr showed up at her mansion with a minister in tow, the same Reverend Bogart who’d married him to first wife Theodosia fifty years before. He proposed to Eliza on bended knee: “I give you my hand, Madame; my heart has long been yours.”

She finally became Mrs. Burr at age 56. Aaron was a robust and youthful 78.

He began to spend Eliza’s money recklessly, plowing through $13,000 within a few months. The bickering became grounds for divorce when a maid caught him in a compromising position with another woman. Brokenhearted, Eliza went to her neighbor, a lawyer who handled family matters-­including divorces. His name was Alexander Hamilton Jr.

Aaron received the final papers on September 14, 1836, and died later that day.

Eliza returned home to her family and lived another 29 years as Mrs. Burr, the name she’d always longed for.

 Thank you very much Diana for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview and we wish you all the best with your new book.


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Interview with Brian L Porter

Today I have the privilege of bringing you an interview with the best-selling author Brian L Porter who is going to tell us how it feels to be a best-selling author in a non-English speaking country.  He has found himself and his books becoming increasingly popular in Italy where he has so far registered four #1 bestsellers

 Thanks for asking me along to talk to you today Susie. I have to admit, I was first surprised when my true-life dog rescue book, Sasha hit the #1 spot in Italy, particularly as this was the English language version of the book and not a translation.  It was very satisfying and exciting to think my book had managed to achieve such an impact in a country where English is certainly not the first language of the population. I’m grateful to my Italian readers. It seems Sasha’s inspirational story of rescue and her subsequent and ongoing fight against numerous injuries and the awful disease that is canine epilepsy possesses an international appeal that transcends the language barrier. Soon after hitting #1 in Italy, Sasha went on to be a top ten finalist in the ‘Best Indie Books of 2016’, an achievement that was closely followed by the book winning The Preditors & Editors Readers Award for Best Non-fiction book, 2016. I must say, I’m intensely proud of Sasha herself and the fact that her story has gone on to become an international bestseller.

 A little while later, my short story anthology, After Armageddon, already a #1 bestseller in the USA and the UK, was released in an Italian translation edition. The book became a number 1 bestseller in Italy in its first week on sale there.

 Clearly, someone in Italy was enjoying my work. In an effort to further increase awareness of my name and my books in Italy, my publisher, Creativia Publishing, decided to offer a number of my translated books free on the Amazon freestore. My modern vampire tale Kiss of Life, (Il Bacio della Vita) was the first to benefit from this initiative, quickly rising to the number one ranking in the Amazon Italy, freestore. This was soon followed by my bestselling A Mersey Killing (Una Musica dal Passato), which went to number one on its first day on the free offer.

 To sum up, I have to say I am extremely pleased to know that my books are proving so popular in Italy, and of course, must say a big thank you to Miika Hannila at Creativia Publishing who is responsible for having my books translated into various languages, not just Italian, but also Spanish and Portuguese, with other languages planned, but mostly, of course, to the readers in Italy, who continue to buy and read my books. What else can I say to them, but

 ‘Thank you all. Your support of my work is truly appreciated. Ciao!’ or 'Grazie a tutti. Il tuo sostegno al mio lavoro è veramente apprezzato. Ciao!'

 Your readers can see all my books by visiting my Amazon author page at http://viewauthor.at/brianporterUK or http://viewauthor.at/brianlporter 

Before we go I have also seen you have become a number 1 bestseller in Australia too. Could tell us how you feel about this?

Once gain, this has been very exciting for me. The biggest success story in Australia has been Sasha. My award-winning bestseller has been #1 in its category in Australia no fewer than EIGHT times. That’s simply amazing. Recently I was also delighted when A Mersey Killing became a #1 bestseller down under, in the crime and thriller category. All of the Mersey Mystery series are regulars in the Australian Top 20, as are most of my thrillers, which is immensely gratifying.

 Brian, thanks taking the time to talk to me today.You’re very welcome, It’s been a pleasure.

See all Brian’s books at his website, www.brianlporter.co.uk or by visiting his Amazon author pages, mentioned in the interview.