Mourning Another Great Author – Colleen McCullough

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Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough, Author

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The Thorn Birds sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

Australian  Author, Colleen McCullough, Dies at 77

Colleen McCullough, Australia’s best-selling author, died on Thursday at age 77 after a long illness. She is most famous for her second novel, The Thorn Birds, published in 1977, which sold 30 million copies worldwide and became a U.S. television miniseries in 1983. The Outback melodrama was about a priest’s struggle between church and love. Her final book, Bittersweet, was released in 2013.

Condolences to her family. The literary world will miss her!

Guest Author Interview – Candy Jackson

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Title: Pink and Patent Leather

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Synopsis: Sasha “Pink” Jansen has heard the voice of God. He spoke loud and clear at her purity ceremony, when she was just sixteen years old and Pastor Malik Stroman placed that ring on her finger. And He was just as clear when He told her that purity ring would someday be replaced with a wedding ring from the same man . . . all Pink had to do was save herself. Dreams of a life with Pastor Malik were enough to keep the privileged princess committed to her vow, dodging all kinds of temptation, resisting every romance, and the whole time, keeping her eyes on the prize—the day she would become first lady. There’s just one problem—Pastor Malik already has a wife. But Pink is accustomed to getting what she wants—by any means necessary. With her grace and virtue on the line—and what she thinks is God’s word in her head—Pink is on a mission no one understands. She’s determined to show Pastor Malik that they belong together—and come hell or high water, she plans to get the good reverend to agree.

Candy-Jackson

Author: Candy Jackson

CH: Welcome to my blog Candy Jackson. I have been trying to catch up with you for months and I am glad that we finally got together.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

CJ: Dreams of a life with Pastor Malik were enough to keep Pink committed to her purity vow.   There’s only one problem—he’s married.

CH: Do you have a book trailer? What are your thoughts on book trailers?

CJ: I don’t have a book trailer and I have to be honest, I’ve been an avid reader for years and a trailer has never been the way I determined buying a book. I look at the cover, read a few lines of the synopsis and I know if it’s the book for me.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

CJ: Yes, but I also read just about every genre book. I’m not into science fiction or self-help (I know people call me crazy) but everything else I’ve read.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

CJ: I guess like most writers I picked up the interest in grade school. At first, I expressed myself through writing poetry and then writing short  stories.   After graduating high school, I got away from it, but did a lot of poetry for church events and socials.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

CJ: Everywhere LOL! With Pink and Patent Leather, I actually had the title for years but it wasn’t until my pastor preached a sermon and said a lot of women come up to him and say, “God told me that you’re suppose to be my prayer partner!” No sooner than he said it, the idea came to mind, what if it’s not a woman, what if it’s a girl? And it was on, a popping from there.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your type of writing?

CJ: I try to give my readers a bird’s eye view of what the character is thinking and I challenge the reader to figure it out. My reviews were through the roof and my readers are anticipating a sequel.

CH: Yes, the reviews were—you had 38 five-stars out of 51 reviews. I’d say that is excellent. Well, I see you are with a new company, Brown Girls Publishing Company (BGP). Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey with them?

CJ: I met Victoria a few years ago and we became instant friends. I would travel with her many times meeting her fans. I was writing but I began to learn so much about the industry, the readers, publishing and more than anything she was teaching me all she could about writing. She had been helping me the entire time to hone my skills, so when she and ReShonda decided on starting their own company, she called me up and asked would I be interested in being one of the Brown Girls authors. Needless to say, she didn’t have to ask me twice!

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CJ: My message is simple—love! That’s the message I hope to always leave them with. Love conquers all.

CH: What sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?

CJ: I have to let the readers decide but I would say, I’m a little edgy and somewhat to the left, before I go right.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

CJ: It was definitely what my Pastor had said on that Sunday afternoon. Women are bold creatures, so where do we start with the behavior. Teenagers? Maybe, or maybe not.

CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?

CJ: LOL! My mother did dress me in pink and patent leather nearly everyday until I was twelve. That’s it!

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

CJ: I actually thought of my main character as a few girls I knew growing up—very privileged, very spoiled and Christian.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

CJ: It was hard for me to write the Pastor because, although, we see images of Pastors going left in the media and on social networks, that has never been my story. I’ve always been blessed to learn from pastors that are true believers and honest people. Not saying that they never made a mistake, I’m just saying their love for their wives remains strong. So, creating a cheating husband out of a pastor was totally from my imagination.

CH: So what’s next for you as an author?

CJ: Right now, I’m collaborating on a book with the queen herself, Victoria Christopher Murray and working on the sequel to Pink and Patent Leather. It’s titled The Way, The Truth and The Lie.

CH: What is your website?

CJ: It’s www.candyjackson.net

CH: Where is your book sold?

CJ: You can purchase my book on amazon, BGP website and my website, of course.

CH: Any Closing remarks?

CJ: I want to take the time to thank all the people who have supported me in this adventure. It’s been an amazing time and I wouldn’t change a thing. I have made my rounds and I’ve been able to talk to so many people who have read and enjoyed my book. I look forward to meeting more readers and hopefully writing a story that will help someone along the way.

CH: Candy, thanks for sharing your book and your publishing journey with my audience. 

Note: Photos are compliments of Candy Jackson and the Internet.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Suzette Riddick

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Title: It’s My Turn (Love at Last Series)

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Forced to exist in a loveless marriage, Beatrice Warrington was powerless to stand up to her husband. So instead, she takes her anger and frustration out on those closest to her. After years of treating her loved ones horribly, she finds herself alienated, desperate and alone. Terrified, she reaches out to the only man who’s capable of helping her out of the mess she’s created. And she will soon discover he will help her in ways she never imagined.

Charles Allen never expected the likes of Beatrice Warrington to land on his doorstep. For years, he despised her because of her devious ways. So helping her was not an option. But a crazy thing happened. Against his better judgment, he agreed to come to her rescue. Little did he know, rescuing her would be the best thing to happen to him.

Suzette Riddick

Author: Suzette Riddick

CH: Welcome Suzette Riddick. Thank you for joining us and sharing your writing world and publishing journey with my audience.

CH: Please tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for that story? 

SR: It’s My Turn is a follow-up story to my third book Key To My Heart (written as Victoria Wells). The heroine, Beatrice Warrington is a mature woman who’s made devastating choices in her life. These choices have resulted in her pushing her loved ones away. When she finally takes responsibility and admits to the error of her ways, she’s threatened with the likelihood of being alone. Desperation forces her to turn to the one who just happens to be her sworn enemy.

CH: Since you write passionate romances with a touch of reality, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

SR: No, it wasn’t hard at all. Just about all of the situations or issues I write about are real life with a little bit of embellishment. Well…sometimes a lot of embellishment. Many readers have emailed me expressing that they know people who possess some of the same traits as my characters.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romantic writing?

SR: Hmm… I honestly don’t know if I bring anything different. I believe most readers find my writing exciting because they love the romance genre and a good storyline. However, I’m starting to write stories featuring heroines and heroes over the age of 40. Many women over the age of 40— including myself—enjoy reading romance stories. I think it would be nice if sometimes the heroine looks like us. Also, I’m venturing into writing short stories dealing with marital issues. Hopefully, readers will find this different and exciting.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

SR: I started writing in 2007 under the penname Victoria Wells. Writing became a way for me to deal with a rewarding, yet stressful job as a nurse practitioner caring for adults with sickle cell disease.

CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?

SR: Not much, other than the both of us being independent and at times vulnerable.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SR: Beatrice! In Key To My Heart, she was a villain and hated by most readers. It was such a challenge to redeem her as a BELIEVABLE loving and caring woman. Once her story was told, readers really empathized with her.

CH: Take us through your writing process. Do you get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

SR: In my last few books, I’ve learned to create character profiles on my main characters. This helps me to get to know them. And I loosely map the book out, just in case the characters want to do their own thing, which most of the times they do.

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

SR: I would love to be able to put out at least 2 novels and/or 2-3 short stories in a year.

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?

SR: Beverly Jenkins, AC Arthur, LA Banks/Leslie Esdaile, Iris Bolling, Maureen Smith, Chanta Rand Jefferson, Loretta Walls, Brenda Jackson, Altonya Washington, Francis Ray, Niobia Bryant, Melanie Schuster, Deborah Mello and lots of more. These are my favorites.

CH: Well, I’ve had three of those authors on my blog: Beverly Jenkins, Chanta Rand and Brenda Jackson. Do you have a support system and if so, who does it consist of?

SR: My family and friends. I have the best moderator for my FB group and an author friend who’s always there for me.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

SR: The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. As I pointed out in a previous question, readers had no love for the heroine. They were really surprised by Beatrice’s background growing up and the abuse she dealt with as a young woman. Many of them expressed they’d fallen in love with the new and improved Beatrice.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

SR: I write because it’s something that I truly enjoy doing. And it allows me to escape into another world when I’m feeling stressed. I want readers to take away the true meaning of the story.

CH: Do you have a website?

SR: Yes, its www.suzetteriddick.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

SR: My book can be purchased on amazon and barnesandnoble.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SR: Yes. Thank you, Cheryl for this wonderful opportunity to be interviewed on your blog.  I sincerely appreciate you thinking of me. And readers can also follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzette0222, Twitter @suzette267 and Google+

Note: Photos are compliments of Suzette Riddick and the Internet.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday and Remembering

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Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday 

I wanted to celebrate MLK’s birthday by doing something different. So, I went to a matinee movie  to see Selma. I want to congratulate the writers who intertwined various parts of history to make a wonderful movie for generations to enjoy the African American legacy.

The movie reminded me of so many historical events that I participated in and organized in several states.  From Gary, Indiana when, as a teenager,  I helped in Mayor Richard Hatcher’s first election.  Then years later in Sacramento, California, I helped to organize the Black History celebrations at the Chapel on McClellan AFB. When I was a reporter for the Precinct Reporter newspaper in San Bernardino, California and I wrote feature articles on Rosa Parks and John Carlos (1968 Olympics Black Power Salute). Then in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I was part of New Mexico’s African-American Legacy: Visible, Vital, and Valuable-a community history project.  At the National Maritime Center in Virginia, I organized some of the very first African -American events for the Coast Guard. These are just a few of the events throughout the years.

I have been an activist for many years, and I presume I will always be one-it’s part of me and my legacy.

Please enjoy your holiday and remember some special part of history.

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Seven Sentence Sunday

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Once Upon a Time

Hello, today, I’m going to write one short story using only seven sentences.

Title: True Love

They met in high school and frozen in that perfect moment thought it be true love forever.

After finishing college, they realized that perhaps it was just infatuation.

So, he went his way and made a life for himself, his wife and his kids.

She made a wonderful career for herself and realized that love had eluded her.

Then, the elderly widower and the old maid met once again, only to fall in love—again.

He said, “You are my soulmate, the one I didn’t recognize to be ideally suited to be my romantic partner forever.”

She said, “There is no perfect person, but there is perfect love.”

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Thanks for reading the story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about it.

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Guest Author Interview – C. J. Rand

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Title: Change of Heart

Genre: Inspirational Romance

Synopsis: Pop star Cheyenne Roberts has a life most women would envy. She’s wealthy, famous, and has a singing voice that’s earned her two platinum albums. But her world is all smoke and mirrors. In reality, she’s a virtual prisoner of her overzealous manager and former pimp, Ice Boudreaux. Behind the scenes, her every move is orchestrated. She’s in a depressing cycle of drug addiction and never-ending tours.

When her tour bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Cheyenne sees her chance to escape the life she’s grown to hate. She flees to a small town where nobody recognizes her. Ready to start a new life, she’s determined to kick her demons to the curb and turn her life around.

When Paul Sampson picks up a hitchhiker one night, he never imagines it will turn out to be a beautiful woman. She’s suffering from withdrawal symptoms and has baggage she’s not willing to discuss. Despite this, Paul is drawn to her, and he makes it his mission to help her heal and move on with her life. He doesn’t care about her past, only her future, which he envisions himself a part of.

But Ice wants his superstar back, and he’ll move heaven and earth to return her to his control. Will Cheyenne have a chance at redemption before Ice destroys the new life she’s built?

Chanta Rand Author

Author: C. J. Rand

CH: Welcome C. J. Rand. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing world and publishing journey with my audience.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

CJR: If you’re looking for an inspirational story of love, romance, and redemption that doesn’t shove religion down your throat, you’ll enjoy Change of Heart.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

CJR: Too many places to name, but usually from life in general. People love to tell me their problems, and I’m a good listener. Sometimes I think to myself, “This person’s story would make a great novel with a few tweaks here and there!”

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your inspirational writing?

CJR: My characters aren’t preachy or unrealistic. They’re raw and real. They curse sometimes. They lie. They’re jealous. They make mistakes. And they’re flawed. Basically, they’re a representation of real people in the world.

CH: You changed genres, why did you decide to write this book?

CJR: I’m no stranger to crossing genres. I’ve written historical romance, erotica, sports romance, women’s fiction, and sci-fi/dystopian. I was tired of seeing a lot of “goody-good” girls in romance. I wanted to write about somebody who was real and had real problems and was trying to work her way out of a hole that she’d created. I think if you’re really going to write inspirational fiction, you must write about trials and tribulations. Therefore, you must have characters that have been through something, whether it’s temptation, substance abuse, or infidelity.

CH: What pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

CJR: I have 13 books under my belt. I don’t consider myself a new author, but I do feel I’m constantly learning about the writing industry, and I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of my craft. I guess the biggest challenge would be marketing myself, and finding new readers to network with.

CH: Wow, I should have you listed as a celebrity, who has written at least 10 books. So, did you find anything challenging while writing this book? 

CJR: Yes! It was hard to make Cheyenne’s pimp, Ice, come across as the cruel and despicable low-life that he is without using a lot of profanity. He’s from the gutter; he’s a master manipulator; and he’s not used to people “disobeying” him. My beta readers told me the first draft had too much cursing, so I had to make some changes to his character.

CH: Do you have a background in music? Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

CJR: The closest I’ve come to music is singing in the church choir when I was younger. And no, I wasn’t talented enough to do a solo! LOL.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

CJR: I don’t have any first-hand experience being a prostitute or a pimp, but I do have experience with power struggles and feeling helpless in life. I called upon those feelings to create this. Also, years ago, I saw a movie called Pure Country with George Strait. He was a country star who was tired of his life and he “disappeared” for a few weeks. Basically, he just took a break from his hectic life. Some of that movie influenced my writing.

CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?

CJR: Cheyenne is not based on me, but I think she has attributes that all of us may have had at one time. She’s insecure; she’s afraid; and she wants to be loved. She also does some things.she’s not so proud of in search of that love. We’ve all been there. There are some things I’ve done that I’ll take to the grave with me! Only God knows.

CH: Do you write full-time or part-time?

CJR: I write full-time and I work full-time as a curriculum designer, developing training material. After I get off work each day, I go to the gym, then write from 10-Midnight. On Saturday, I write all day. Then on Sunday, I usually take a break and watch the Hallmark Channel. I like their ‘feel-good’ stories.

CH: Was this book harder to write than the first?

CJR: Yes. My first book, Pharaoh’s Desire, was a historical romance set in Ancient Egypt. Change of Heart is quite a departure. But I love challenges, and I felt good writing this.

CH: You are a self-published author. Can you tell us about your publishing journey?

CJR: My first book, Pharaoh’s Desire, was published in June 2010. I had a bad experience with the publisher not paying me adequately and on time. I decided to self-published my second book, The Highest Bidder, a sports romance, in December 2010. I never looked back. I’ve been self-publishing ever since. I’m working on book number 14. I love the freedom of being my own boss. And I love interacting with so many fans and readers.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

CJR: Oh no, I am not falling into that trap! There are too many good authors out there to mention. When I started reading historical romance at the age of 15, I read a lot of Johanna Lindsey. I loved her work. I had a passion for history and I was a voracious reader, so I knew that’s what I wanted to do in life—write romance!

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

CJR: I write because I love it. I can’t imagine my life without it. I write EVERY day. This is not work for me. It’s love. It’s my passion. I write about Alpha men and the strong women they fall for. I always say that I’m selling hope. I want readers to walk away from my books feeling good and believing there is hope for them to find their ‘happily ever after,’ too!

CH: Do you have a website?

CJR: Yes, www.cjrand.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

CJR: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also at http://goo.gl/DsT9VG

CH: Any closing remarks?

CJR: I love hearing from readers with any type of feedback. So, don’t hesitate to email me and let me know what you think of my work. I appreciate you having me on your blog, Cheryl. You are a wonderful host, and I you ask intriguing questions.

CH: Thank you so much. I try to pay-it-forward to as many authors as I can. I enjoy what I do. And thank you C. J. Rand for joining me on my blog, it has been a real pleasure talking with you. We look forward to following your career. 

Note: Photos are compliments of C. J. Rand and the Internet.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – D.K. Christi

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Bamboo Ring_Cover

Title: Bambo Ring

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Korea, Iraq, Iran, Egypt – they jump from today’s headlines and from the pages of Bamboo Ring, a novel of high stakes adventure and romance set in the 70’s and weaving through exotic foreign locations.

The unfolding scandal between a young ex-patriot wife and a charming military officer capture the heart. The terror of surviving life-threatening adventures and the agony and ecstasy of passionate love provide an emotional roller coaster with a surprise at every turn of the page.

Explore the elite ex-patriot community of Europe and Asia, U.S. military bases at the end of Vietnam and international experiences that enrich and confuse the lives of young professionals outside the comforts of the U.S., connected to each other by U. S. citizenship, an intimate club of their own that spans the continents.

A prequel to the well-received Ghost Orchid, Bamboo Ring is the back story, complete and satisfying in its own rich tapestry. Meet Melani and Jack and discover the back story that sets the stage for the best-selling novel, Ghost Orchid.

D K Christi

 Author: D.K. Christi

CH: Welcome D.K. Christi. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing world and publishing journey with my audience.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

DKC: Bamboo Ring is a tale of love and obsession set in exotic, foreign locations that excite the senses with page-turning adventures.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

DKC: Usually a true incident fascinates me and leads to the development of a story that creates the world in which the incident occurs.  My life has been rich with travel, work, family, and friends of infinite variety from which to glean characteristics to create new characters who live in the pages of the stories.

I write in the real world, with people who may step from the pages and emotions the readers may share.  Amazon.com said that my readers “may discover something” about themselves when they read my stories.

CH: Your cover is bright and cheerful. Who designed the cover?

DKC: I do love the cover, designed by Dave King at Black Rose Writing.  The bamboo’s strength is a key element of Bamboo Ring and the walk into the unknown.  Have you ever heard bamboo sing?  It makes its own haunting percussion sound in the slightest wind that grows in intensity.

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

DKC: Born in the U.S. Midwest, I left in my teens and spent the rest of my life moving on the average of every 1 ½ to 3 years across the nation and the world.  However, when Melani needed to return to some secure place, I sent her to the Midwest.

I think a moralistic viewpoint from my early protestant roots influences the deeper story in Bamboo Ring, the story of a life unraveling because of choices that rattle the ‘perfect’ life of a young wife and mother and shine a moral spotlight on Melani.  She ‘sold her soul.’

CH: Did the readers of Ghost Orchid, want to know the backstory? Why did you decide to write this book?

DKC: In Ghost Orchid, Neev searched for her roots, hoping for a love story to validate her birth, to explain her feelings of abandonment and the false hope of a fantasy father who did not exist.  Their story, the story of her parents, remained to be told in full. Bamboo Ring tells half of that story and is a complete novel in itself.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

DKC: Researching the countries to which Melani traveled was challenging.  I wanted to give readers the excitement of foreign travel, the fears in dangerous countries and the awesome variety in the world.  It was a big order.  I wanted them to feel as though the journey was theirs.

Just as researching was challenging, so were the final edits to a complex work.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

DKC: I did.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

DKC: Writers create from what they have stored in the recesses of their memories or from what they learn new.  They don’t create something from nothing.  Thus, a childhood friend’s claustrophobia becomes a characteristic of one of the adults in the story.  A remembered college professor becomes an officer in the military.

Emotions are transferred from the writer to characters.  In my work as in the work of most authors who will admit it, one finds a bit of the author spread throughout from people to places, values and things.  Even complete vignettes are transferred with new bits that change the story, but still start with the incident.

Real life is more difficult to believe than fiction.  Real life often imitates fiction.  In Ghost Orchid, I wrote of a tragic accident inspired by a dangerous curve I knew.  A year after the novel was published, that same curve was re-marked with a left turn lane and bright silver guard rails.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

DKC: I was a new bride in the seventies.  I lived the upwardly mobile life surrounded by friends on the same express.  We worked hard, played hard, followed our spouses with their career transfers, raised families and were influenced by changing values and the role of women.  We were affected by Vietnam and the realization that life was uncertain.  We had romantic hopes and desires fulfilled and unfulfilled. All these factors figured in for the development of the main characters, Melani and Jack and all those whose lives swirled around them. Love in all its manifestations is what makes life worthwhile.  My muse keeps my heart full and my pen in motion.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

DKC: I realized at the end of Ghost Orchid that the story went deeper.  My characters were real to me by then, and I knew that Neev’s son would pursue more information about his grandparents, if Neev ever released his grandfather’s ghost orchid photograph to him.  Before I could help him with his quest, I needed to write Melani’s story.  Readers needed to understand why Neev’s quest and Melani’s redemption mattered.

CH: Are you a self-published author? Can you tell us about your publishing journey?

DKC: Actually, Ghost Orchid was published by L & L Dreamspell, a wonderful publisher that closed its doors upon the untimely death of a critical, creative partner.  They helped their authors gain new publishers, but the contract offered to me required re-writing the sensual content of Ghost Orchid to a sexual heat level that was not my writing style.  In the meantime, I published with Kindle.  I now have a contract with Vinspire to publish Ghost Orchid in print and more in the spring.  I prefer a small press to self-publishing.  I want my novels vetted to know they are marketable and worthy of publishing—beyond my opinion.

CH: Was your second book harder to write than the first?

DKC: Writing is easy for me.  The words and stories flow.  The difficult part is reducing the back stories and limiting the content to just what the readers want to know.  Edits are my challenge.  The time needed for marketing and promotion takes me away from writing.  It’s the time thing—I am also a journalist for a local in print and online news magazine and several online ezines.  Time is the issue.  If I could just write it and leave it, I would be in fantasyland.  Professional publications require work when the creative writing is done.  That is only the first step.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

DKC: I think Amazon.com said it best, “Themes of friendship surviving tragedy, love conquering adversity and the triumph of the human spirit over the hardships of life serve to uplift and inspire…through her stories perhaps discover something new about yourself.”

I write because I must.  I experience and I write.  Words are my paint and paper is my canvas.  I have no choice.  The word is my friend and my companion, my therapist and my obsession.  I want readers to enjoy the escape into the pages of other lives that take them from their own and give them new thoughts or even new perspectives in this complex world in which we write our stories for real with all their agony and ecstasy.

In Ghost Orchid, I wanted them to know the magnificence of one flower and the serenity of the Everglades, while identifying with the heart yearning for roots.  In Bamboo Ring, I want them to experience other cultures, their challenges and their beauty while trying to understand an obsession that unravels a perfect life and forgive the flaws that lead to dire circumstances.

In both, I give the readers imperfect people to take into their hearts and minds for a few pages—perhaps lingering a bit after the book’s cover is closed.

CH: Do you have a website?

DKC: My main web site is www.dkchristi.com but my prior site is also packed with info, www.dkchristi.webs.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

DKC: Soon Amazon.com, BN.com and all online booksellers and some brick and mortar stores.  Currently, www.blackrosewriting.com   Send me an email at dkchristi at yahoo dot com and make arrangement to receive a signed copy through Paypal.

CH: Any closing remarks?

DKC: I spent much of my earlier career as an entertaining and informative platform presenter at national conferences and workshops.  I love talking to audiences and interacting with them.  I am mobile and available for writing workshops, conferences and panels.

I thoroughly enjoy your site and thank you for including me and my new release, Bamboo Ring.  As a special thank you to your readers, I will provide a signed copy of Bamboo Ring to a person randomly selected by you from those leaving comments.

CH: Thank you D. K. Christi, it has been a real pleasure talking with you. We look forward to following your career. 

Note: Photos are compliments of D. K. Christi and the Internet.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Pat G’Orge-Walker

Celebrity Couch (2)

Somebodys Sinning_Cover

Title: Somebody’s Sinning in My Bed

Genre: Gospel Comedy (Re-Release)

Synopsis: A wickedly funny, uplifting novel of love and betrayal…good karma and bad karma…sin and redemption.

Chyna and her sister, Janelle, are always moments away from a catfight. They love each other, but Janelle has never forgiven her sister for swiping her first love, Cordell. That was ages ago, and now Chyna is showing off as the First Lady of New Hope Assembly, a church caught between the old ways of Holiness and new ways of serving its community. New Hope’s leader, Reverend Grayson Young, is also caught–in the infamous Sweet Bush lounge, an establishment well-known for adult pleasures. . .

With the church congregation running wild in the aftermath of her husband’s scandalous behavior, Chyna turns to Janelle for guidance. But if Chyna thinks she’s getting sympathy, she’d better think again, because Janelle’s got her own crisis. And when Cordell suddenly reappears in their lives, what follows are squabbling, chaos, and surprises that show just how hard the road to salvation really is.

Pat G Walker

Author: Pat G’Orge-Walker

CH: I am so pleased to welcome Pat G’Orge-Walker to my blog.  She is a wonderful Christian writer and often referred to as The First Lady of Gospel Comedy.’

 CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for the story? 

PGW: This is a contemporary story based upon John 8:4. There was a woman caught in the act of adultery. If she was caught in the act and sentenced to stoning, then why wasn’t the man taken out and judged for stoning also? I wanted to show how the church often judges and punishes their men and women differently when they’ve sinned.

I put another spin on it. Chyna and her sister, Janelle, are always moments away from a catfight. They love each other, but Janelle has never forgiven her sister for swiping her first love, Cordell. That was ages ago, and now Chyna is showing off as the First Lady of New Hope Assembly, a church caught between the old ways of Holiness and new ways of serving its community. New Hope’s leader, Reverend Grayson Young, is also caught—in the infamous Sweet Bush lounge, an establishment well-known for adult pleasures. In that same hour, First Lady Chyna was several miles away in a hotel room indulging in adultery.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title? 

PGW: It often goes both ways.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write? 

PGW: I pray, dream and attend church. There are many situations to address without being judgmental… although, sometimes it’s hard not to be.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your humorous type of writing?

PGW: I would say that I often have a mixture of satire and realism that causes folks to point fingers at others, while often ignoring the thumb pointing back at them.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

PGW: I never look at markets or trends. My writing is my ministry.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

PGW: I have several. Church mothers, Bea Blister and Sasha PrayOnn. They allow me to exhibit crazy in an acceptable way. Deacon Thugood Pillar, an old school gangster Deacon. He will shoot you, remove the bullet, pray for you while telling the goodness of the Lord; and he still wears his hair processed.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters? 

PGW: As a PK (preacher’s kid) I got tired of folks stealing my joy after a powerful sermon. I was inspired to name the characters based on their actions, i.e., Reverend Knott Enuff Money. He pastored the Ain’t Nobody Right But Us—All Others Goin’ to Hell Church.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

PGW: I wanted to hold a mirror in the face of hypocrisy. Jesus often used women in his ministry and showed no difference…why do we?

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

PGW: I use real situations, so readers can relate.

CH: What would be the best piece of advice you would offer a new author?

PGW: I would advise a new author to be honest when they write…readers are not fooled. They know a knock off when they read it. I advise them to pray and never be envious of other authors. Envy is different from admiring.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

PGW: There have been many. However, credited with creating the gospel comedy genre is high on the list. It reminds me of how obedience to the Word brings its own reward. I signed a major contract after publishing a twenty-two page booklet titled, Sister Betty God’s Calling You. God took a little I had and returned it beyond my wildest expectations.

CH: Since this book has been re-released, what kind of feedback are you getting from the readers?

PGW: It has been very positive.  Of course, you can’t please everyone, nor do I try. It also seems to have been renamed The Deacon Pillar series. He was first introduced in this story.

CH: Do you have a website?

PGW: www.Patgorgewalker.com or www.sisterbetty.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

PGW: Wherever books are sold. It is also available in all formats including audio.

CH: Any closing remarks?

Don't Blame the Devil_Cover

Pat’s favorite book will soon be re-released.

PGW: There is also the re-release of my favorite book, Don’t Blame the Devil. Lastly, I want to thank my supporters and my critics. When my beloved husband/best friend/prayer partner passed away in September 2013, I didn’t think I’d write again. The prayers, hugs and all the support shown have lifted me back into my writing…I love you all.

CH:Pat, thank you for sharing your writing experience and your book with my readers

Note: Photos are compliments of Pat G’Orge-Walker and the Internet.

 

CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!

Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                         Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Cheryl Holloway: 10 Interesting Writers Who Think Outside The Box in 2014

header1_An Author Writes

Think Outside

Often times, when writing our stories, we feel boxed-in, but these 10 authors (alphabetically) were thinking outside the box. They each took a fresh look at an old topic and added their uniqueness to create a story with a different slant.

Fresh Idea

Recognition Cover  Bennett_Author

O. H. Bennett wrote about a wife’s recognition of her husband to create this twisting plot with thriller like intensity.                             http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/09/26/guest-author-interview-o-h-bennett/

Stone in the Crick_Cover     Granville Burgess

Granville Wyche Burgess  wrote about Amish life, romance and a murder to create a plot with many complications.                http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/11/25/guest-author-interview-granville-wyche-burgess/

51eudKMOI+L._AA160_      Chas photo 1

Charles Lober wrote about a Christmas Club, love and friendships to create a Christmas Club Trilogy.                                                                                      http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/12/25/guest-author-interview-charles-lober/

Endangered_Cover       Jean Cush

 Jean Love Cush wrote about endangered boys to create a provocative and compassionate thriller.                               http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/10/22/book-review-endangered-a-novel-by-jean-love-cush/

Seeds of Magnolia_Cover    Bill Miller

Bill Miller wrote about slaves who appeared to be white to create a historical novel about his ancestry.                                             http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/09/05/guest-author-interview-bill-miller/

FLATLINED_Cover    K S Oliver

K. S. Oliver wrote about the challenge of being flatlined and the challenges of illness to create a story about military families.               http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/07/18/k-s-oliver-guest-author-interview/

the_unthinkable_cover    author_lois_schaffer

Lois A. Schaffer wrote about banning illegal guns and created a memoir dedicated to her daughter.                                                      http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/03/14/lois-a-schaffer-guest-author-interview/

Forty Acres_Cover 2   Dwayne Smith

Dwayne Alexander Smith wrote about the preservation of the institution of slavery to create a novel of rage and passion.         http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/11/14/guest-author-interview-dwayne-alexander-smith/

Bluebutterfly_Cover   Marian L. Thomas

Marian L Thomas wrote a story about a black ballerina and created a powerful and dramatic story.                                       http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/05/02/marian-l-thomas-guest-author-interview/

Phantoms of Rockwood Amazon-Smashwords E-Book Cover (1)   juliusthompson2[1]

 J. E. Thompson wrote about teenage ghosts and created a story with hopes and dreams.                                                           http://www.cherylholloway.net/blog/2014/06/27/j-e-thompson-guest-author-interview/

 

The authors of the interesting books on this list were thinking outside the box and created wonderfully new stories from within for their readers.

Note: It was very hard for me to narrow the list down to just 10 authors. Happy Reading!

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Guest Author Interview – Michele Andrea Bowen

header1_An Author Writes

Pastor Needs _Cover2

Title: Pastor Needs A Boo (Pastor’s Aid Club)

Genre: Christian

Synopsis: It was a regular New Jerusalem Gospel United Church work day for Reverend Denzelle Flowers when Veronica Washington, Keisha Jackson, and Marsha Metcalf showed up after losing their jobs on the same day, same morning, and almost at the same time. Denzelle struggled to solve that first problem. The other problem—the lovely Marsha—would be much harder to solve. Denzelle didn’t even know how to fight wanting to turn in the playah’s card and getting “booed” up with the poster girl for “church girls.”

Marsha Metcalf and her fellow unemployed church members aren’t Denzelle’s biggest problem, though. He is running for bishop, and his enemies—a more ruthless consortium of corrupted clergy—want power badly enough to go to rather extreme lengths for it because the stakes are just that high. Now, his ex-wife was back and sleeping with the enemy, digging for dirt. Reverend Denzelle can’t fight this battle alone. This pastor needs a ‘boo’ who will stand by his side. Before the dust settles, both Marsha and Denzelle’s faith and love will be put to the ultimate test.

Michele Bowman

Author: Michele Andrea Bowen

CH: I am pleased to present Michele Andrea Bowen. She is a contemporary Christian writer and her new book, Praying Like Crazy, will be released in February (2015). Welcome to my blog, Michele.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

MAB: My book is heartwarming and it will make you laugh out loud.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

MAB: Readers wanted to read more about Denzelle Flowers and Marsha Metcalf.

CH: Since three of the church members lost their jobs at the same time and the pastor created the Pastors Aid Club, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

MAB: It has been very challenging creating the three stories. I have to make the stories seem real, keep each story moving forward, and then bring closure to each journey in a manner that gives the impression they are arriving at the end of each book in the same general time period. Also, a lot of people lost their jobs and had some serious struggles. So, I did take note of some real life issues from people I know.

CH: There is a lot of humor throughout the book. Was this intentional to make the characters and their situations seem down-to-earth?

MAB: Absolutely.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your contemporary Christian writing?

MAB: My characters are ‘everyday people’ who face what the readers face, and what I face. The difference is that we all (myself included) feel that we can relate to the characters and what their journey is for each book.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

MAB: My ideas come from what I observe about people and life. I do not have a standard formula or plot—which can slow me down as I allow the story to unfold.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

MAB: God is real and a very present help in our lives.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

MAB: Too long! Several months—about six, because I have to mull over and really think about what is happening. Plus, I work full time and sometimes I am just very tired and have to write in smaller chunks of time.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

MAB: Denzelle was my favorite character in Pastor Needs A Boo.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

MAB: Tatiana Flowers Townsend was a challenge. I had to make her believable, a piece of work, crazy, and slick.

CH: When you wrote this book, did you realize it would be part of a series?

MAB: Yes.

CH: The title is catching, how did you come up with it?

MAB: I had another title, and my editor at St. Martin’s Press thought it was kind of boring. I agreed and we kept brainstorming about a good title. This one was kind of like, “I like this title, but I don’t know if it will go over well” and it did.

CH: You’ve been on the Essence Bestseller List. So, as far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

MAB: Making the Essence Bestseller’s List was a feeling I don’t even know if I have words to describe. I kept looking at the list in the magazine and thinking…’WOW.’

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

MAB: I want to be able to keep writing and having people enjoy my work.

CH: For my readers, do you have a website?

MAB: Not right now. I will down the road. For now, I’ve been enjoying the Facebook Fan Page. www.Facebook.com/micheleandreabowen

CH: For my readers, where is your book sold?

MAB: They can get the book at any bookstore. If it is not in stock, the store will order it for them. And it is available on Amazon, Kindle, and the Nook.

CH: Any closing remarks?

MAB: Thank you for asking me to be a guest on your blog. And thank you for your patience…my schedule became a bit topsy-turvy when I needed to send in the information you needed. Oh…thank you, Readers.

CH: Michele, Thank you for sharing your book with my audience.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Charles Lober

header1_An Author Writes

Merry Christmas!

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Title: The Club Homecoming (The Christmas Club Trilogy Book 3)

Synopsis: Two weeks before Christmas, Horace Brown returns to Riverside Village in Georgia for a dear friend’s funeral. He is appalled that the retirement facility, in financial distress, will soon be closing. The serenity of the residents has been further shaken by mysterious ailments, unexplained eerie sightings, and an allegation of abuse. How could this have happened to such a serene home for seniors since Horace left his position there?

Becky Harrison travels from San Francisco to Riverside for her grandmother’s funeral. On top of dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter, Becky has to cope with the appearance of her estranged father. Amidst these struggles, Becky experiences an unexpected romance.

Chas photo 1

Author: Charles Lober

CH: I would like to welcome back Charles Lober. He is a writer friend and has the distinction of being the only person to have two Guest Author Interviews on my blog. Welcome, Charles.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

CL: Thank you, Cheryl. The Club Homecoming is an inspiring story of one man’s life, how his faith sustained him, and how he came to realize that God was always by his side.

CH: What attracted you to writing in the first place?

CL: For years, I sent out Christmas cards with a poem. After ten years, my family hinted that they were tired of these!   So, I started writing Christmas stories. It only goes to show how God can bring something good and positive out of something negative.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book in the Christmas series?

CL: No. My next book, And The Bells Were Silent, is a young adult book that takes place in the summer.

CH: What pitfalls have you run into as an author?

CL: First, telling about a scene when I should be showing it. Second, not showing enough actions during dialogue.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

CL: I promised my readers a trilogy!

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

CL: About 3 years.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

CL: Elijah King, the neurosurgeon in The Last Chance Friends’ Club. He had become a recluse, afraid to engage in life. But with God’s help he overcame his fears and began fulfilling God’s purpose for him.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CL: Probably my main character, Horace Brown. Because he was elderly, I hesitated to make him a hero of sorts. But a friend pointed out that was what I needed to do.   For example, when he finds out that mysterious stomach ailments are plaguing the Riverside residents, I changed the storyline to have him investigate these on his own. In the climactic scene, without giving too much away, I have him confront one of the evil guys in a surprising way.

CH: Which book in the Christmas series was hardest to write?

CL: The Club Homecoming was the most difficult, trying to get the plot right.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

CL: No. I initially told myself that I was only going to write one book! Then I got other ideas and the trilogy was born.

CH: Take us through your writing process. You get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

CL: I do a rough outline, and I lay it aside. Then, I let the characters lead me.

CH: Do you have a support system and if so, who does it consist of?

CL: I work with a wonderful editor, Kathy Ide. I also have friends, like Cheryl Holloway and Kathie Lee Houser, who provide valuable suggestions.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

CL: Ferrol Sams. I just loved the way he wrote; he also seemed to be an interesting person.

CH: Can you tell us about your publishing journey?

CL: I’ve published the Christmas Club trilogy and now, I am working on a young adult book that I’m very excited about.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CL: I don’t want to preach, but I want people to know that God loves them; He has a plan for their lives; and He will never leave them or forsake them.

CH: Do you have a website?

CL: My wife is working on it.

CH: Where is your book sold?

CL: Currently, my books are available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle formats.

CH: Any closing remarks?

CL: Never give up! I never thought in a million years that I would be writing novels. But I felt strongly that God wanted me to write books that pointed to Him. As an author with an admitted ego, this has been difficult. But I have persisted, reading and writing almost every day, praying for God’s guidance. And He hasn’t let me down!

CH: Charles, thank you for sharing your writing experiences and your book with my audience.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Shen Hart

header1_An Author Writes

Wyrd Calling_Cover

Title: Wyrd Calling

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: A serial killer is on the loose, and they’re targeting sirens. Thalia must pull together her new pack of unruly cubs while dealing with her ex, and try to stop the murderer. The problem is, she’d much rather return the cubs to whichever ditch the Sisters dragged them out of, and help the murderer kill the sirens.

Thalia is a hot-headed, stubborn, wild-child shifter who happens to be Wyrd Bound. She’s been away from the clutches of the Wyrd Sisters (that’s the Norse fates to you and me) for some time, where she was enjoying tricking black market traders out of their money. She knew her vacation had to come to an end at some point, but she kept telling herself she had another decade or two. Unfortunately for her, she was quite literally made for her role. She belongs to the Sisters, and they had work for her to do.

She’d tell you she wasn’t made for this “saving the day” stuff, but she’d be wrong.

Shen Hart

Author: Shen Hart

CH: Shen Hart is a new author from Prague. Welcome to my blog Shen.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

SH: A tri-shifter belonging to the Norse Fates is dragged back to her role, to stop a serial killer targeting sirens.

CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for this story? 

SH: Wyrd Calling is about a hot-headed tri-shifter who was quite literally made to save the world. She is bound to the Wyrd Sisters (the Norse Fates) and is dragged back to her role where she must stop a serial killer who’s targeting sirens. The premise came from a jigsaw puzzle of other ideas that conveniently slotted together. I had the notion of a killer going after sirens a while back, and the main characters come from the first book I wrote.

CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

SH: I’d say that I probably had a little bit of influence from J. F. Penn’s London Mystery series, and A. J. Maguire’s Deviation. They both feature strong women who feel and display emotion while doing hard things.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

SH: I’ve been writing non-fiction for about a decade maybe a little over, and fiction for 6 or so years. I started in non-fiction because I wanted to get the ideas and points down on paper. I suppose fiction is the same really. I had stories that needed telling, and concepts that needed exploration.

CH: Since you’re writing fantasy, where do your ideas come from?

SH: All over the place. Sometimes, I’ll get an inkling of an idea from a dream, and at other times, my mind twists something I see in the real world. I live in Prague and this city is incredibly inspiring. The narrow allows hold promise of insidious deeds, the spires whisper secrets, and so on.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your dark urban fantasy writing?

SH: My focus on and love of psychology. I’m fascinated by psychology and have been studying psychology for a long time, and that really shines through in my detailed character development and interesting pack dynamic. That means that I create deep characters that readers can really relate to and experience complete immersion with. That and my fresh take on shifters.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

SH: Not really. It’s set in places that I know very well in person. I already understand the psychology and canine behavior (required for the wolf shifters), so nope, I was good to go!

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

SH: I’m not entirely sure; they came to me fully formed. The secondary characters popped up as I was writing without any real planning.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SH: Dan, I think. He has this dark past—the brooding, secretive, insecure, arrogant, thing. It’s hard to get all of that across.

CH: Who, in your opinion, is a great fantasy author and why?

SH: A.J. Maguire. She has shown that she can turn her hand to a variety of different types of fantasy, each of them with strong, well-developed characters and interesting plots.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

SH: They’re really positive. Quite a few have commented on how beautifully edited it is; others have remarked that the pack-dynamic is very well written and makes it stand out from the crowd. I’ve had a couple of people, who don’t usually read urban fantasy, that say they loved it.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

SH: Not so much, I tend to lean more towards thrillers and I’m starting to get into Steampunk (science fiction), as well. I have a book review blog so I read whatever I accept from the submissions, which is pretty much anything of speculative fiction.

CH: What are your plans for future writing projects?

SH: I hope to get the next three books in the Wyrd Bound series out next year, along with a couple of related novellas. I also have another urban fantasy, which I’d like to serialise on my blog. Then there’s the three Dark City novels, which are also dark urban fantasy but darker than the Wyrd Bound series. I have Niko’s story, he’s a wolf shifter, who keeps getting into big trouble. I hope to write a couple of BDSM urban fantasies as well, they’re not erotic but the world is very clearly D/S. So a lot more dark urban fantasy really!

CH: Do you have a website?

SH: My personal blog is roxymoreau.wordpress.com but I write about the Wyrd Bound series at wyrdbound.wordpress.com

CH: Where is your book sold?

SH: Only on Amazon at the moment as I’m making the most of the KDP deal which means that Wyrd Calling is free to Kindle Unlimited users.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SH: Thank you for having me, I love writing urban fantasy and it feels fantastic to have my first book out there in the world.

CH: Shen, Thank you for sharing your book with my audience.

 

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