Guest Author Interview – Leigh Greenwood

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 Title: No One But You

Genre: Romance/Western

Synopsis: Alone in the world and struggling to make ends meet, Texas war widow Sarah Winborne will do anything to keep her two small children safe and her hard-won ranch from going under. She hasn’t fought for so long to lose everything… and if that means marrying a stranger to protect her family’s future, then so be it.

She never expected anything but a business arrangement, but something about Benton Wheeler’s broad shoulders and kind eyes awakens emotions she’d long since buried. He makes her feel beautiful. He makes her feel desired. He makes her feel like a woman again. And even though their marriage was never intended to be more than a matter of convenience, as Benton stands between her small family and the wild and dangerous West, Sarah may just realize that the cowboy she married is the love she never dreamed she would find…

Leigh Greenwood, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Leigh Greenwood. Years ago, his wife hooked him on romance novels and he later became a romance author. Welcome to my blog, Leigh.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

LG: It’s the story of a woman who will risk everything, including herself, for her children.

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?

LG: The only formula I use is ‘boy-meets-girl’ with lots of conflict ensuing before they live happily ever after.

In doing a series, I always come up with the situation first.  In the Seven Brides, it was a dysfunctional family of seven men.  In The Cowboys, it was a group of orphans no one wanted.  In The Night Riders, it’s seven men who vowed to bring a traitor to justice.  The first book of any series is where it all comes together.  I have to come up with a plot that will launch the series.  More importantly, I have to create all the characters—at once.  That’s crucial because in the following books, I have to come up with plots and heroines that fit with characters my readers already know and hopefully love.  Readers often have very specific expectations for their favorite characters.  Several years ago I received an impassioned three-page letter explaining why Iris was the wrong bride for Monty Randolph.  The reader begged me (with triple underlining) to have them get divorced.  Salty (No One But You) was my readers’ favorite minor character in Rose, so I had to build a story around the character they already knew and loved.

Another difficulty is that the lead characters in a series have to be different enough for the reader to follow them when they’re all in one story without getting confused.  Yet, they have to share the qualities that will ultimately enable them to become the hero of their own book.  When it comes to the heroine, I look for a character who will cause the hero the most trouble.

In case you’re upset that I always seem to build my series around men, you should know that the Cactus Creek series was originally about five women who were cousins.  Editors reduced it to three and suggested that I add the three brothers.

CH: You pull the heartstrings of readers with this historical western romance. What made you decide to write this book?

LG: I had wanted to write a spin-off from the Seven Brides almost before I finished the series, but my editor wanted something new.  (She got The Cowboys).  Then she finally relented, I chose Salty because readers seemed to like him so much.  I don’t know where the details of the plot came from.  Once I have an overall plan, they just start to emerge.  For example, once I decided the widow needed children, I had no preconceived idea of what they would be like.  Elements like that come into being as I write the book.  I like to create characters who engage my emotions, who make me pull for them.  Once I’ve done that, everything seems to come together.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

LG: I can’t tell you where my characters come from.  Four of the brothers in the Seven Brides came out of nowhere, full grown before I even realized they were in my head.  Most of the time my characters materialize as I begin to bring the overall plot into focus.  In the case of No One But You, I wanted a widow who needed someone to keep her and her children from starving.  I never have trouble with children.  They seem to come to me rather than the other way around.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LG: I had no difficult characters in No One But You.  Once I figured everything out, they just seemed to do their job.  In my whole career, two gave me a lot of trouble.  Daisy from The Seven Brides because she changed her mind and Will from The Cowboys because there was nothing driving him to do anything.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

LG: I’m like a parent in that I don’t really have a favorite character.  My favorite villain is either Laveau diViere from The Night Riders or Oliver Carlisle from Sweet Temptation.  Laveau was evil.  Oliver was a truly nasty man.

CH: This book has plenty of family love. Are you from a loving family?

LG: Yes.  I’m one of four children, but my parents came from families of seven and twelve.  Though we’re all different, we manage to co-exist.  My siblings and I always gather at my mother’s for Christmas, and my larger family has a reunion each year.  In my experience, there are no stronger and longer-lasting relationships than those of family.  Often we bring our best friends into our families.  I’m very close to my children and grandchildren.

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

LG: I don’t know that there’s anything particularly different or exciting about my writing.  If there had been, I’d be on bestseller lists with Nora Roberts.  I do know that I try to tell stories that are believable with believable characters.  I try to make my characters likeable, not just by being honest and admirable, but by being basically good people.  I do my best to keep my history and my geographical facts accurate.  I don’t let my characters avoid the final conflict.  They have to have something important on the line and fight to keep it.  I do love children and seeing the humor in life which is why both keep cropping up so often.

CH: You’ve written several books, well over 50 books. What contributes to your success as a writer? 

LG: I try to write about interesting characters—and hopefully realistic ones—in a story that is logical enough that readers believe it could have happened.  I also have to like my characters.  I figure if I like them, then maybe the reader will, too.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

LG: I never intended to be a writer.  I majored in music and was a working musician.  The first piece I ever wrote was about what it was like to become a father for the first time.  I never intended it for publication.  After that I wrote bits and pieces about things or situations that interested me.  You can read the rest of my story on my website.

CH: Is there a message in this book that you want the readers to grasp?

LG: I don’t write a book with a conscious message.  If I want to say anything, it’s that even the least likely situations can have a happy ending with hard work and a good helping of luck.

CH: You seem to have quite a following. What type of feedback are you receiving from your readers?

LG: I have gotten quite a bit of fan mail over the years, all of which has been positive. My favorite letters were those that told me something I’d written had made a difference in the life of the reader or someone in their family. I got a lot of positive response when my editor put my picture in my books. Many readers were glad to learn that a man could write romance. My favorite response was that they couldn’t tell from my writing that I was a man. 

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

LG: I retired last summer just before I turned seventy-four. Writing was my second career.  I call it my mid-life crisis career. I was a music teacher, organist and choir director for thirty-two years.  While I have no new books coming out, Sourcebooks is bringing out some of my backlist. Last year they brought out No One But You. The Night Rider series will follow.  I’ll have a Christmas novella, Father Christmas, coming out for Christmas 2018.

CH: Since you’ve been quite successful, do you have any advice for new writers?

LG: Love what you do because you can’t do anything else.  All too often you have to write for your own satisfaction.

CH: Can you tell my audience about your website address?

LG: Yes, readers can visit my website, but I must warn you that I neglect it disgracefully.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

LG: As far as I know, online and in bookstores everywhere.

CH: How to Find Leigh Greenwood:

CH: Any closing remarks?

LG: Writing was my second career, but it has given me as much pleasure as my first.  A large part of that has come from the letters I’ve received from readers.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know my stories have given pleasure to so many people.  The best part is to learn that on occasion my stories have made someone’s life better.  Thanks, Cheryl, for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Leigh Greenwood, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Leigh Greenwood and Cheryl Holloway..

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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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Guest Author Interview – Sara Prater

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Title: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Synopsis: On the run from a death sentence. Forced to hide among violent barbarians. Vacen Horsetrader is hounded by enemies that want his head. Raised in the nonviolent Consortium Lands, he faces Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit both at home and in exile. His crime? Determination to uphold the Oath that the mages of the Consortium hold sacred. Now, he must rely on his friends to survive, in the hopes of eventually returning home again.

Sara Prater, Author

 

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Sara Prater. Sara Prater is a longtime fan of fantasy literature, currently pursuing her dream of publishing her own stories. Welcome to my blog, Sara.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

SP: My book is clean fantasy, full of exciting characters and interesting
adventures.

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?

SP: My stories usually come from a scene that gets stuck in my head. For
example, I started out with the image of Vacen and Anne facing down a
magical ghost in a setting where they weren’t supposed to use their own
magic.

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?

SP: I prefer to write a story that I’d want to read over and over again.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

SP: I started writing short scenes with Vacen and Anne in a creative writing
class in college, and the story just expanded into a novel over the course
of a decade.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

SP: They usually just show up in my imagination, starting with a strong female character, whose more forceful in certain aspects than I am in real life. In the case of Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, Anne was the central
character until I started expanding the story and realized I needed
someone else to introduce the story.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SP: Vacen was a difficult character, trying to put his reactions in the
perspective of his upbringing and not in the perspective of the writer.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SP: Old Looney, without a doubt. I really like the ‘mysterious mentor’ type of character.

CH: Since you’re a debut author, what other genre that you haven’t
written in would you like to write a book?

SP: I have plans to write several books for children.

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

SP: Words should not get in the way of telling the story. I prefer to describe
things simply, but without restricting vocabulary or resorting to vulgarity.

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

SP: The continuity was challenging. In a book this length, there are many
details that I created to explain this world and its magic that had to stay the same from beginning to end.

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

SP: Not really. My novel is pure escapist fiction intended to entertain.

CH: Did your position as a former teacher enhance the writing of this
book?

SP: In the first part, certainly. I always admired the students who could pull
off a prank that surprised me, so I enjoyed having Vacen and his friends
get away with pranks.

CH: Who would you consider a great author in your genre?

SP: My favorite author during my formative years was Mercedes Lackey. I
enjoyed tracking down all of her published writing and seeing how her
style evolved over the years. Her story of her first novel going through
numerous rewrites and being rejected multiple times was also encouraging.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

SP: I’m currently working on a sequel to Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, as well as a serial novel format to be published in a magazine.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can find you on social media?

SP: I can be found on my website. You can also find me on Facebook at Consortium Lands—Sara Prater.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

SP: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions or by request from your local bookstore.

CH: How to Find Sara Prater:

CH: Any closing remarks?

SP: Many thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway for your invitation to be featured on your blog. For the readers, whether you’re a longtime fantasy fan or never read fantasy, today is a good day to try something new!

CH: Thank you so much, Sara Prater, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Sara Prater and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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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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Black History Fact – Mathieu DaCosta Canadian Stamp Issued

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Mathieu DaCosta Black History Stamp Image © 2017 Canadian Postal Service. All rights reserved.

We have lots of Canadian Blog Readers/Fans, so to Celebrate the annual month long celebration and highlighting of Black History and accomplishments in Canada, we provide Canadian Black History.

The new stamp, released to start off 2017 Black History Month, shows an artistic interpretation of Mathieu DaCosta the first known black man to set foot in Canada.

Mathieu DaCosta was an African from the Benin Empire of West Africa hired as a translator for French explorers to the New World.  Although he may have arrived earlier, the first actual record of his presence in Canada was with voyages of  Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel de Champlain in the 1600’s.

The first official record shows him under contract to sail with Dugua in 1608 acting as interpreter for three years. It is thought that he could speak Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and a pidgin Basque.

As no image exists of DaCosta, designer Andrew Perro and illustrator Ron Dollekamp worked closely with Canadian historical illustrator and storyboard artist Francis Back to ensure the period clothing and sailing ship reflect DaCosta’s time and socio-economic milieu.

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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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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Happy Presidents’ Day 2017 from Author Cheryl Holloway

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Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. Presidents past and present. Washington and Lincoln still remain the two most recognized leaders, but Presidents’ Day is now popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s chief executives.

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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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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Guest Author Interview – Joy Avery

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Title: Cupid’s Error: A Novella

 Genre: Romance/Holidays

 Synopsis: Staffing agency owner Danica James is determined not to spend another Valentine’s Day alone. But purchasing a man for the evening? Out of the question. Then her best friend intervenes—gifting her a night of dinner and dancing with a Cupid’s Arrow escort. What could be the harm? Though Cupid’s Arrow is known for matches made in heaven, she’s not looking for a love connection. Then she meets her Cupid’s Fellow and everything changes.

Business mogul Weston Henshaw doesn’t need Cupid’s Arrow to get a Valentine’s Day companion, but Cupid’s Arrow needs him. Seems his sister’s charity event has done far better than anticipated. Only problem…a shortage of eligible bachelors to pamper all of the lonely hearts. When he agrees to be bait for an evening, he never imagines meeting the one woman who makes him wish the night would never end.

An error by Cupid’s places Danica and Weston on a road to destiny, but will they maintain the course?

Joy Avery, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Joy Avery, who writes contemporary romance with real characters, real journeys and real good love. Welcome to my blog, Joy.

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

 JA: Cupid’s Error places Danica James and Weston Henshaw on the road to destiny, but can they maintain the course?

CH: This book is a romantic novella for Valentine’s Day. Why did you decide to write this book?

JA: For a romance writer—at least, for this romance writer—Valentine’s Day is an extremely exciting holiday crammed pack with love. I wanted to write about someone not necessarily looking for love, but finding it in the most unlikely situation and…during Valentines.

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?

JA: My story ideas come from all around me—music, television, movies, conversation, and people. Anything can spark an idea, and I build it from there. No, I don’t have a standard formula for plots, and my stories definitely do not come to me as a whole concept. I do a lot of brainstorming on how I want the story to develop. I used to be a notorious pantser, but have discovered the beauty of plotting, if only loosely. While my stories rarely travel exactly along their plotted paths, it’s a helpful roadmap.

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

JA: No, I don’t find it hard creating believable situations. With all of my books, I like taking real life situations and/or issues and putting a spin on them.

CH: I see you’ve written Holiday Romance before. Do holidays remind you of love?

JA: Yes, holidays do remind me of love—a love of self, a love of life, and a love of family. I believe holidays bring individuals closer. They can spark new relationships or renew old ones. In addition to Valentine’s Day, I’ve written books highlighting Thanksgiving and Christmas.

CH: What’s the best gift you’ve received on Valentine’s Day?

JA: The best gift I’ve received on Valentine’s Day is a marriage proposal.

CH: A marriage proposal is definitely a great gift on Valentine’s Day. So, where do you get inspiration for your characters?

JA: The inspiration for my characters comes from a range of places: strangers I’ve encountered, people who’ve inspired me, characters I’ve liked or loathed on television/movies. Like situations in my books, I add my own twists to the characters, either to tame them or make them more endearing.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

JA: I can’t say either character was difficult to write. Before I start a story, I spend at least a week getting into the characters’ heads and learning all I can about them. I find this makes the story believable and flow easier. Danica was my favorite to write because I got to show how she chose love one more time and even after heartbreak.

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

JA: The message I’d like for the reader to walk away with is to always take a chance, especially on love.

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

JA: The things I bring to my readers through my writing are real characters, real journeys, and real good love told in my voice and the way I see love developing.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

JA: The feedback I’m receiving from readers is letting me know that I’m touching hearts, warming souls, and rousing emotions. I do occasionally get yelled at for not writing fast enough. LOL.

CH: You are a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. Does being a member of these groups help you to write better romance novels?

JA: Through the resources provided by these two organizations, I am continuously improving my craft.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

JA: The most exciting thing to happen to me on my publishing journey is being contacted by a Harlequin Kimani Romance editor concerning writing for the line.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

JA: I’m currently finishing my second Kimani Romance title. My debut novel with Kimani Romance will release in August of this year. You can expect book 2 of my Lassiter novella series to release within the next few months.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

JA: You can find this title on Amazon..

CH: How to Find Joy Avery:

CH: Any closing remarks?

JA: Thank you very much for welcoming me today. I’ve enjoyed my time here. I hope your readers will give Cupid’s Error—or any #joyaveryromance—a try.

Connect with me on social media: www.facebook.com/authorjoyaverywww.twitter.com/authorjoyavery;  www.instagram.com/authorjoyavery  Cheryl, Have a beautiful day!

CH: Thank you so much, Joy Avery, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Joy Avery and Cheryl Holloway..

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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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Cheryl Holloway’s Special Valentine’s Week Book Video Feature

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Note: Photos/Clip art and Video are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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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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Guest Author Interview – Mimi Barbour

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Title: A Tuch of Passion Boxed Set (Romance Bundle): Love Me Tender

Genre: Romance Anthologies

Synopsis: How could Anne return to Texas knowing that her son would be meeting a father who didn’t know he existed? And how could she go back to face the only man she’d ever truly loved?

 

Mimi Barbour, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Mimi Barbour. Mimi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. Welcome to my blog, Mimi

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

MB: Well, according to most of my reviews, I tell a good story. I know I work very hard to make sure that readers are attracted to my characters and care about their conflicts and what happens to them.

CH: First and foremost, you are extremely successful as a romance author. NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has sold over 500,000 copies of your books. What do you attribute your success to as an author?

MB: I can tell you indisputably that it takes a huge amount of hard work, long hours and total commitment. And…having a good imagination helps, too.

CH: Can you tell me a little about how Love Me Tender became a book?

MB: The book I submitted to the box collection is called Love Me Tender. I started writing my Elvis series when I heard a song and it wouldn’t stop playing in my head—She’s Not You. I adored Elvis and the words to this song began forming into a story. (And it’s breaking my heart, cause she’s not you.) I had to write it.

Then I decided to run a contest for the readers to choose the next song for me to turn into a book. They overwhelmingly chose Love Me Tender.

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?

MB: Oh, man, that’s a hard one. When I know I need to start a new book and it has to be—say for my romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI—I start thinking of a core plot. Maybe hijacking young women for the sex trade (Special Agent Maximilian) or killers who’ve convinced the police that each murder they investigate is suicide (Special Agent Finnegan). Next, I try and decide what kind of people I want to spend the next 6 – 8 weeks with. Soon, I can almost see them in my head, interacting, falling in love and having to overcome constant conflicts—sometimes against each other and many times together.

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

MB: Many times I’ve taken real-life situations and interwoven them in my stories. It gives me a kick to see these funny and oft times ridiculous experiences end up re-happening to my characters. I use nicknames that belong to my family—for instance in Special Agent Finnegan: Fin refers to his impudent Irish father as the Joker. That was what my husband called his father for as long as he was alive. I fell so in love with Fin’s Joker that I must have entrenched a lot of that emotion in the man because he ended up being mentioned in most of the reviews—seems the readers fell for him, too.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

MB: My favorite character “Marcus Chapman” is in my favorite book called Together for Christmas book #6 of the Vicarage Bench Series. This is a paranormal/spirit-travel novel where magic forces Abagail Taylor’s spirit into Marcus’s body so they have to deal with this craziness together and try to discover a way to separate. I was totally invested and having fun and I think the readers feel the same.

The hardest character to writeTruthfully, I never find it hard to write a character. I tried to think of one but honestly—I don’t seem to struggle over that part of the writing process. Now if you asked me about social media, you wouldn’t have enough time to read everything that’s gone wrong for me in that area. LOL!

CH: You write in a lot of box sets and you have written 5+ series. Is there a secret to writing so many books?

MB: In some of my series (the first one called the Vicarage Bench), I just couldn’t let go of Mrs. Doyle and Dr. Andrews. They were so interesting and hilarious that stories kept coming to me where they would be perfect. They show up in each of the 7 stand-alone stories.

Then I had a chance to be involved in a multi-author set with a woman I admired but she only wanted suspense. So…the Vegas Series began and I found my niche. Turns out, I love writing romances that are fast-paced and filled with conflicts that keep the readers turning the pages. I get that in a lot of my reviews and it tickles me when someone writes that she/he sat up half the night because they couldn’t put the book down.

I guess my secret is that I love what I do. I have to actually turn off my imagination because plots flood into my head and I’d never have enough time to write them all. For a writer, that’s a problem we all love to have.

CH: What is unique about writing with other authors in a box set?

MB: It’s a journey we all go on together and that makes it much more interesting— sharing jobs, each of us taking turns to promote a set we’re all very proud of and celebrating together when we hit pinnacles like the winning the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice award. You can get pretty close to the others and it’s nice.

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

MB: I insist on making my characters human and not ridiculously way-out.  I try and stay away from the clichés, like for instance when the heroine sees the hero’s pecs and muscles and they go on and on about how they are ravenous for his body. That just doesn’t ring true to me and so, I don’t go there. My heroines are a bit kick-ass but they always have kind hearts and that shines through. The heroes aren’t the he-man type but they are handsome in their own way, strong enough to be very protective and always with a sense of humor. I want people to fall for my heroes because they are sincerely nice guys under all their bluster. And in most cases, I like to stick humor in there whenever I can—if I can make the reader break out into an unexpected laugh, then I’m happy. The reviews say I do that also.

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

MB: Yes, that people aren’t always what you think. That villains have backstories and that two people alone cannot make a good story. They need secondary people so that they are true to life and not total fantasy.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

 MB: I love my fans. They are delightful and fill me with so much joy that when I’m writing, I’m often thinking of how they will like the plot or the conflict that’s just been written. I actually grin and even chuckle because I can see a reader getting a surprise and it delights me when I can make that happen. I tend to get wonderful reviews and almost all of my books have rating of 4.3 – 4.7 on Amazon.

CH: Do you have any advice for writers who would like to reach your volume of success?

MB: Yes. Don’t ever think it’s easy. Don’t ever think it’s cheap. Don’t ever try and copy another—be true to yourself. And Don’t stop…

CH: How did you begin writing romance? How long have you been writing romance books?

MB: In 2007, I started writing romance after I began reading a book I had just bought and it was so bad—whiny heroine and a boring hero—that I threw it across the room in frustration and thought—what a waste! Hell, I can write better than that.

Whoa – lightbulb moment!

Years before I had bought a book called How to Write Romances on a whim and I ran to the bookcase and in my mind I thought—if the book is there, it’s meant to be. It was there…

I spent the rest of the night with a yellow highlighter to color everything I knew I needed to research and absorb in order to write a love story.

In the next few weeks, I read through books like a crazed person and again highlighting words that I wouldn’t normally use in my day-to-day vocabulary. I wanted my work to come across as if an educated writer had created it. I ended up with a three-ring-binder about 3 inches thick of pages of those words I’d listed on a spreadsheet for the just-in-case moments when I needed to upgrade the words I had originally written. For me, it was a good experiment and while I was doing this, it taught me a lot of how words are used to spotlight emotion and sadness; and to drive the dialogue.

I finally wrote the first book and some years later when I reviewed it for revision; I was stunned that I hadn’t missed one of the newbie errors. I’d hit them all. Ha! That book was finally published last year. (I’m No Angel)

CH: Love and Valentine’s Day seem to go together. What inspires you to write happily ever after stories?

MB: That’s what romance is all about, happy ever after endings. I love knowing that my characters might go through hell to be together, but they’re worth the effort and being together at the end is what life is really all about.

CH: What’s your next writing project?

MB: I started another series (yeah, I know – #6) 🙂 called the Mob Tracker with the first book being released some time during this month—called Sweet Retaliation. I’m crazy about the heroine. In the beginning, this naïve librarian witnesses her twin brother being killed by the gang he belonged to. The police have no leads and so she decides she needs to go after each of the four people that were there that night and make sure they pay. I’ve had a blast changing her personality from the sweet role her father and brother forced her to live by to a woman that can hold her own in any fight. She toughens up, but that sweet core is still there and it makes her a delight to write about. Her hero is a cop, a man I wished I knew. He’s scrumptious.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

MB: When we hit the NY Times list with Summer Heat. I sure enjoyed the Baileys I drank that night.

CH: Can you tell my audience about your website?

MB: Love to. If you come to visit my website, please sign on to my newsletter. I usually only send them when I have great news—mostly a new release—and I truly appreciate every person who follows me.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

MB: A Touch of Passion is sold on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and iReads.

CH: How to Find Mimi Barbour:

CH: Any closing remarks?

MB: Thank you for reading this far. I can’t believe I rambled on so much but it’s fun answering questions about things that make me remember the past. I want to thank Cheryl for letting me be a guest on her blog. It’s always wonderful to have the opportunity to meet new people. Sending Hugs, Mimi.

CH: Thank you so much, Mimi Barbour, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Mimi Barbour and Cheryl Holloway..

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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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Cheryl Holloway’s Special Valentine’s Day Book Feature

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Title: The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Short Story

Synopsis: Carol and Marvin love each other and have dated off and on for over ten years; however…Carol becomes jaded about the relationship when Marvin won’t ask her to marry him. Marvin’s commitment to the relationship never wavers despite being afraid to commit to marriage. Finally, he wants to move their relationship to the next level—on Valentine’s Day. After a heartbreaking event and crying for days, Carol is ready and at last she thinks he is, too. Will he ask her to marry him or does he have something else on the agenda? Will commitment-phobic Marvin take the plunge?

Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will give the reader a jolt!

Cheryl Holloway’s The Proposal: A Leap of Faith is inspired by a real-life woman and real-life events.

Similar to books written by Shirley Wine and Becky Wade.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2lzg1jU

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway..

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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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Guest Author Interview – Tamara Ferguson

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Title: A Tuch of Passion Boxed Set (Romance Bundle): The Unforgettable Kiss

Genre: Romance Anthologies

Synopsis: Since Kate Callahan will be running the family construction business someday, she doesn’t have time for love. Until fate steps in by way of an unforgettable kiss from architectural intern Michael Murphy.

Tamara Ferguson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tamara Ferguson. Tamara is a Bestselling Author and Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award Winner for New Adult romance. Welcome to my blog, Tamara.

CH: This is a romance anthology with various genres and authors. Can you sum up your story in 20 words or less?

TF: That Unforgettable Kiss is a second chance romance about two people “kissed by fate,” and destined to fall in love.

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?

TF: My stories all take place in the same fictional town of Crystal Rock, Wisconsin, which closely resembles a town where I spent every summer with my grandparents while I was growing up. All my stories have emerged from the place and the time in my life that I remember as being the happiest.

I have four different series now: mystery suspense, Tales of the Dragonfly series, new adult romance, Kissed by Fate series, military romance, Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance series, and the latest is sweet romance, Daydreams & Dragonflies series. The first story in each series usually determines the next; although, many have overlapping storylines and characters, I build up the plot and subplots, adding details during the writing process.

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

TF: Although, I do have to do some research, especially for my wounded warrior stories, most of what I write about is based on real-life experience.

CH: Where did the idea for the box set come from—a publisher or an author?

TF: The hardest thing for any author to do is to get noticed! Box sets are a terrific way for readers to sample authors. A Touch of Passion was created by Uvi Poznansky as a promotional tool to connect readers with ALL of our books that are available.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

TF: In That Unforgettable Kiss, it was pretty much equal as far as having a favorite to write about. Although, they are probably the most difficult to write about, my most enjoyable characters are those with redeeming qualities who are unlikeable on the outside, because of what they have suffered in the past; like abuse or an assault. I love revealing layers a little at a time, so that by the end of my story, my readers might actually grow to like and sympathize with them.

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

TF: There’s a little bit of me in every lead female character I invent.

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

TF: The primary message I try to convey in every romance I write is HOPE. I’ll never write an ending other than happily-ever-after.

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

TF: Telling stories with my writing that are unique and outside of the box. I try to create stories that are appealing to every age group.

CH: You’ve won many awards and are a best-selling author. What attributes to your success as an author?

TF: Spending way too much time on social media and having the privilege to work with a bunch of talented authors who have experience and great results with promoting. I used to be in sales, so I think that helps me out a lot too. But a lot of what’s happened with me is because I’m writing outside of the box, and my stories relate directly to what I know or have experienced, such as being the mom and full time caregiver of a severely autistic son with diabetes.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

TF: I began writing after I realized my autistic son would not be able to enter the vocational program he was supposed to when he graduated school, and I would have to be home with him 24/7. Since I hadn’t written in twenty years, it took four or five years to have confidence in what I was writing, as well as discovering my own particular style.

I didn’t know any authors back then, so everything I did, like formatting, I taught myself. I’ve used an editor too. Truthfully…I think it was good that I learned how to do tasks like formatting and copywriting myself, because having someone do these things can be costly, and sometimes difficult to find someone who will do a good job for you.

At first, I was focused on finding a publisher, but now, not so much. Having a publisher could mean years before you’re published, changes to your story that you don’t like, a cover you don’t like, and it goes on and on, the more I read about it. The worst part is, you sign over your rights to the story, and have little control over what will happen with it once you do.

CH: If you could collaborate with any author living or dead, who would you choose?

TF: Linda Howard, Nora Roberts or Mary Balogh—I would collaborate with one and/or all.

CH: Can you tell us about contributing to various box sets? Is there a special process?

TF: Every boxed set I’ve contributed to has been different. But after being invited in, the group doesn’t normally get together too often, except to discuss deadlines and duties, such as handling promotions, events, facebook and twitter shares and so on. Sometimes you buy in and other times one person handles the accounting and each author is assigned paid promos to set up. After your stories, blurbs and covers are turned in, there is usually a facebook party event.

CH: Since you’ve been quite successful, do you have any advice for new writers?

TF: Don’t give up. I’d been writing for about three years and was seriously considering giving up because of all the time involved before I won my first award. Success came to me when I least expected it.

But I’m still always looking for ways to grow, and I try to accept criticism gracefully. Remember not everyone will like what you write, no matter how good of a writer you are.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

TF: Love In Times of War has been released. This is another great boxed set put together by Uvi Poznansky. We’ve also become a #1 Best Seller!

I have several stories in the works, Cheryl. Two new box sets (1) Wedding Pets & Kisses featuring the first book in Daydreams & Dragonflies, A Kiss Upon A Star  (2) Kissed by Fate That Unexpected Kiss will be featured in Hunks to the Rescue. These sets will be released in April and May. At the end of the summer I’ll release Emergence, from my romance suspense Tales of the Dragonfly series and sometime in November I’ll be releasing an independent novella in the Chandler County Series featuring bestselling authors P. J. Fiala, Anna Celeste Burke and others.

CH: How to Find Tamara Ferguson:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

TF: A Touch of Passion is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo and itunes.

CH: Any closing remarks?

TF: Thanks for inviting me as a guest at your blog, Cheryl!

CH: Thank you so much, Tamara Ferguson, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Tamara Ferguson and Cheryl Holloway..

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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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Cheryl Holloway is A Guest on Internet Talk Show Sunday, February 12, 2017

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Deborah Parker, Talk Show Host

What: The Gospel Truth Internet Talk Show

When: Sunday, February 12, 2017 

Time: 2-4 pm (Eastern Time)

Where: www.eLifeMedia.net

Cheryl’s Topic: Valentine’s Day, Romance and Romance Books

Call in Number:  (240) 455-5934 

Cheryl Holloway, Author

Show Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4BSzVs1h-I

 

Guest Author Interview – Wynn Wagner

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Title: Brent: The Heart Reader

 Genre: Gay Fiction

 Synopsis: A New Age Romance (M/M, explicit, adult fiction)

Brent is a tarot reader, a young man whose adopted family doesn’t like tarot readers or gays or Swedes or anything else that Brent can bring to the discussion. One of his tarot readings is for a young Sioux man, and that’s where Brent’s old life stops. Brent’s finds a whole new life that is full of wonder and adventure, as he learns to read his own heart first. Viking meets Sioux — fireworks.

BRENT: THE HEART READER is the tender and sexy story of self-awareness and acceptance as this wounded healer lets himself fall in love with a wonderful man.

Wynn Wagner, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Wynn Wagner. Dr. Wagner is a retired Archbishop who writes gay romance novels. “It’s a niche,” he says. Welcome to my blog, Wynn.

Note: Wynn Wagner is a humorous man. You will smile or laugh throughout the interview.

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

WW: A young man, rejected by family, creates his own life. He survives by doing tarot readings and flourishes when he falls in love. [23 words—That’s me bucking authority.]

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?

WW: I start with the beginning. No more. I know the main characters (more-or-less), and I throw about 10 pounds of stuff into their 5 pound lives. “There, Wynn. Let’s see you dig your way out of that.”

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

WW: In one of my vampire books, I have two having sex while riding on the tail section of a jumbo jet as it screams over the Atlantic ocean. So, “believable situations” is a relative term.

All my books are first person, so Brent is telling his own story. He’s always on a spiritual quest. All the themes are known to me. I’ve meditated on tarot cards for most of my life; although, I have never done a reading.

Rejection by family is guesswork. I came out of The System (foster care), so I have never known a real DNA-based family.

CH: Where did you get the idea for this book?

WW: Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha (1922). It’s the best book on spiritual discovery I ever read.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

WW: They pop up in my head, and I become a stenographer for the first draft. I wish I could tell you there’s a magical formula or a special way of outlining, but that’d be a lie.

They mysteriously pop up, and I write down what they say. Seriously.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

WW: Cecile and Hamlet in the Vamp Camp novels were so much fun. She’s snarky. He’s ditsy.

The hardest was Takoda, the love interest in Brent: the Heart Reader. He’s Native American. When he reacts to something, I had to make sure that I wrote things that a typical Sioux would know. That was way out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends who are Sioux, so they chased me around until I understood.

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

WW: Namasté. People and things need to be seen as having a wonderful life force about them.

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

WW: I treat the reader as an adult, a smart adult. There are b’zillions of comments that require you know such-and-such before you see the deep meaning or the joke. Nobody will get all my references, and that’s fine. I hope it’s still a good read.

All my books are laid out without lots of flowery language. They deal with action or conversation, without mentioning the fluffy purple coronation brocade under the main character’s tush, or the fluffy clouds wafting across the summer sky.

CH: You’ve written several books in various genres. What contributes to your success as a writer? What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

WW: Royalties. I was hospitalized for pancreatitis in 2010, and they kept me there for 5 months. Surgeons did a risky 4 hour surgery to remove my pancreas completely. I still have to be on powerful opiates daily for pain.

When I got home, I saw royalties were posted to my bank account all through that hospitalization. It made me double-thankful for readers.

CH: You’ve written a lot of gay books and articles on HIV/AIDS, Is this topic your passion for writing?

WW: I am one of the long-term survivors you hear about from time to time. I’ve been Poz (positive) since the beginning of the pandemic, and I am alive through nothing I did. It’s hard: my pancreatitis was caused by two of the early meds to fight the virus. I survived, but my pancreas didn’t.

At some level, the smart author will write what he/she knows. No, I’ve never had sex on the tail section of an airplane crossing the Atlantic. That was me being silly.

I write about HIV because I know the signposts. My book Commitment Issues is about a radio announcer who is getting sober one day at a time. I was also a network newscaster who got sober one day at a time.

CH: Your main character is a lot like you—adopted, Swede, and gay. How much of your leading man is based on you?

WW: Adopted Swede who’s gay. Have you seen books with that combination? No. It was up to me to fill this niche. At some level, all my characters come from something deep inside me. I’m an intuitive writer, but one who loves playing with words. I don’t think I’m allowed to have a non-Scandinavian or non-gay main character. It wouldn’t be seemly.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

WW: Lately, most of the feedback is whining about a new title. I haven’t released anything in years. That’s about to change.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

WW: Sure. Time Flies is a science fiction book (still a romance, too). It was just released!

 

Time Flies is an angry book to start. It happens in a small Texas town with rednecks and homophobes. The narrator went out to learn martial arts to protect him from bullying. He talks about “It gets better,” but adds “because I made it better.” The plot is his path to hope and love, against impossible situations.

Time Flies took five years to write. Writing for me was never a chore, and I could do a rough draft lickety–split. Those days are gone. Now, I need copious notes and outlines. Thank goodness for Scrivener and all its notes and version controls. I tore up the entire book 5 or 6 times, after writing myself into a boring corner, or a plot that was too intricate to follow.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

WW: My alternate websites are: www.MysticWaysBooks.com and www.DreamspinnerPress.com/authors/wynn-wagner-495

Or you could just search my name at your favorite online merchant. There are paperbacks, case bounds, and audio books. The biggest channel is Amazon (Kindle, audio, paperback). Readers are typically women, and they love the Kindle or audio versions.

Thank you, audience. Thank you so much. You have really made a difference in my medical bills.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

WW: All of my books are sold online. I don’t know of any brick-and-mortar. I’m sure there’s too much sex for the typical walk-in merchant. They hear about that airplane tail section, and they’re all like: Oh, no, no, no, no.

CH: How to Find Wynn Wagner:

CH: Any closing remarks?

WW: This was a fun exercise for me, so Thank You for that. Because of my health, the publisher usually declines interviews. What I want to know is this: What nefarious rumor did you threaten the publisher to get them to agree to this?

CH: Thank you so much, Wynn Wagner, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers and give us a few laughs.  I probably asked the publisher for an interview at a great time, when your new book is being released. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers,  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Wynn Wagner.

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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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Black History – The “Lone Ranger”

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Bass Reeves, First Deputy U.S. Marshall West of the Mississippi River

 

It is believed that the “Lone Ranger” was inspired by the African American First Deputy U.S. Marshall West of the Mississippi River, Bass Reeves. He was born a slave in Crawford County, Arkansas.

 

Black History 

When the Civil War ended, freedmen came West with the hope of a better life where the demand for skilled labor was high. These African Americans made up at least a quarter of the legendary cowboys who lived dangerous lives facing weather, rattlesnakes, and outlaws while they slept under the stars driving cattle herds to market.

In 1875, Judge Isaac Parker hired Bass Reeves as one of 200 Deputy Marshals in the Oklahoma Territory sent out to tame “Indian Country,” and this is how he acquired his Indian companion.

He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. Like the Lone Ranger, he was a master of disguise, had a Native American companion, was an expert marksman, and rode a large gray (almost silver) horse. He was 6’2”, 190 pounds with broad shoulders and was larger than most men during that era.  It is noted that he wore a trademark black hat and wore twin .45 Colt pistols and used the cross-draw style. He also gave silver dollars as his calling card.

Reeves stated that he had brought in 3,000 living felons and had only killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.

According to Lt. Dan Marcou (www.policeone.com), the lengthy and glowing obituary for this universally respected former slave turned U.S. Deputy Marshal described him as “absolutely fearless and knowing no master, but duty.”

Sources: Wikipedia.com; pbs.org/black-culture; and policeone.com

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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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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Guest Author Interview – Gaynor Torrance

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Title: Step Up or Die

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Attacks in the US and the UK result in a significant loss of life. Meghan Dawson has no interest in these events until her father is murdered. Stumbling across the identity of his killer she realises that her young son is in danger too. Fleeing New York she finds herself having to outwit a killer who knows her better than she knows herself. To save her son, it’s time for Meghan to Step Up or Die.

Gaynor Torrance, Author

International Authors on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Gaynor Torrance, an international author from South Wales. She has developed a strong interest in psychological and psychiatric conditions, which is incorporated in her books. Welcome to my blog, Gaynor.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

GT: Step Up or Die is the story of a woman who faces the ultimate challenge when she discovers that a psychopath is intent upon killing her and her twelve year old son.

CH: This book is a transatlantic thriller. Where did you get the idea for this book?

GT: The ideas for this book came from three separate sources:

  • An episode of Elementary starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu gave me a basic idea for my villain.
  • A documentary on the construction of St. Paul’s cathedral in London inspired the location for my ending.
  • An episode of Horizon (a science show which has aired for more than 40 years here in the UK) gave me the idea of what could tie the various strands of the story together.

CH: Does your background in psychological and psychiatric conditions have great influence on this book?

GT: Not in this instance, though I like to write about characters with psychological flaws or psychiatric conditions.

CH: Is this your debut novel? How long have you been writing?

GT: Step Up or Die is the second book that I’ve published. My debut novel, Revenge, is a whodunit set in Cardiff (the capital city of Wales), which was my home town when I wrote the book.

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

GT: Setting much of Step Up or Die in New York was particularly challenging for me. It’s a city I have always wanted to visit but don’t have first-hand experience of. I’ve seen it on the TV, and these days you can view locations on Google Earth, which was particularly helpful when describing places. A crucial section of my story relies on journeys being made within a particular timeframe which was quite problematic for me as I wanted this to be as realistic as possible.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

GT: I love reading and writing books with intricate plots and plenty of surprises. I want to be caught up in the story, racing towards danger, pulling back just in time, feeling that I’ve got a handle on things without quite knowing whether or not things will work out fine in the end. A story has to be exciting and perilous to hold my interest.

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

GT: The message is how easy it is for any of us to be blinded by love as we tend to see only what we want to see. It would be wonderful to think that each of us will only ever experience happy, healthy and respectful relationships, but human nature dictates that some people will not be so fortunate. To enter into any romantic relationship you have to be optimistic about what it has to offer. Else why would you risk opening yourself up to another person? But it is this very investment of hope, coupled with a desire for happiness which can make you vulnerable to the other person’s character flaws. In most cases these flaws are trivial, and may irritate or cause minor upset when they come to light. But in the worst case scenario they are grounded in malevolence and so well hidden that you would not suspect your chosen partner to be capable of such thoughts or deeds. It is impossible to analyse someone’s every word or action, and it would not be a healthy path to embark upon as trust is essential for a relationship to flourish. However, there are occasions when you may not pick up on warning signals that something was not quite right. And no matter how secure you may feel you may suddenly discover that everything you took for granted has been snatched away from you.

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

GT: I write about the darker side of human nature where nothing can be taken at face value. I also like to intertwine actual contemporary and historical issues into my work to inform and add interest to either the setting or the story.

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

GT: It wasn’t hard to create fictional situations, and as I mentioned in the previous question, I also weave in real life issues to make the setting and plot more believable.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

GT: I find inspiration from many sources, from snippets of overheard conversations, news articles, historical characters and sometimes even people I know. But my characters are always a hybrid, which makes them interesting for me to write.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

GT: I found that my protagonist, Meghan Dawson was the hardest character to write. When she is first introduced she is quite dislikeable, but as you get to know her you realise that having spent her entire life amongst high achievers she has very little self-confidence.  She has to start believing in herself and as the story develops, we witness a slow, reluctant transformation taking place. When she discovers what her husband is up to, she knows that she has to stop him, but she is terrified of doing something which may get herself or her son killed. There comes a point when she has no one to turn to and has to make decisions for herself. As a writer I had to hold on to her self-imposed limitations and keep pushing her until she had no choice but to commit to a course of action.

Meghan’s husband Russell was my favourite character. As he had no conscience and was also a technological genius; it gave me so much scope to extend my plot.

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

GT: I have trailers for both of my books. I think they are a very good way of advertising your book as people like visual and auditory stimulation. The book trailer for Step Up or Die can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvkkVeOCH7U&feature=youtu.be

CH: Are there any other genres you would like to write?

GT: I have recently had an idea for a science fiction story set in Florida which I may play around with and possibly develop at sometime in the future.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

GT: I am currently writing Cuckoo, which is about a teenage girl who is in a coma and two women who have links with her. It is a far slower pace than my previous books, but will have quite a few twists and turns along the way. I think I would class it as psychological suspense which will test readers’ expectations of the characters.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

GT: My book is available at: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple.  It is also be available at Inktera and Blio.

CH: How to find Gaynor Torrance:

CH: Any Closing remarks?

GT: Cheryl, I would just like to thank you for this interview, and encourage anyone who wishes to know more about my work to contact me via my website.

CH: Thank you so much, Gaynor Torrance, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

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Guest Author Interview – Victoria Benchley

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Title: The Siamese Suicides:  A Duncan Dewar Mystery of Murder & Suspense (Duncan Dewar Mysteries Book 6)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery

Synopsis: For Scottish detective Duncan Dewar, do bad things really come in threes? People connected to the investigator keep dying, and he has to wonder. Will the past drag him from the promise of a bright future?
Offered a chance to consult with his former employer, Duncan investigates the apparent suicide of an art dealer in Edinburgh. In a case right out of today’s headlines, he learns that the art business has its shady side. Professionally successful once again and engaged, he’s finally ready to move on to the next chapter of his life. However, the past has a way of haunting the Scottish detective, and things aren’t always as they seem. Explore Old Town and see if you can solve the case of the Siamese Suicides. This stand alone novel is book 6 in the Duncan Dewar Mystery Series.

Victoria Benchley, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Victoria Benchley.  She’s a Christian who loves to write Scottish mysteries. Welcome to my blog, Victoria.

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

VB: Suicide or murder?  Duncan must determine what caused a respected art dealer’s death while facing demons from his past.

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?

VB: My ideas come from various sources and I follow no set formulas.  Often, a scene develops in my mind that becomes integral to the plot of the story, and the novel springs from that.  In the case of The Siamese Suicides, my interest in art fueled ongoing research, while past and current events in the international art world provided a portion of my inspiration.   At some point, the characters take over, and seldom do my stories end as I may have originally envisioned!

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

VB: Some real-life events do inspire points in my novels.   Often, these are not part of the main storyline, but they help to make the overall tale more believable.  I write fiction, after all, and part of the fun lies in ensuring that the reader gets a break from reality.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

VB: The idea for the Duncan Dewar Mystery Series came from a combination of things—my Scottish heritage, travels around Scotland, elderly relatives from my childhood who possessed incredible wit, and a scene cooked up in my imagination.

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

VB: When I wrote the first Duncan Dewar book, I knew it would be a two-part mystery.  Then, the characters took over and demanded more adventures.

CH: Which book in the Duncan Dewar Mysteries series was hardest to write?

VB: I currently have six novels and one short story in this series, with book number seven on its way to my editor.  They have each had their own challenges.  In The Merlon Murders I and II, I focused quite a bit on forensics, science and mathematics.  Those novels took a great deal of investigation into areas I normally wouldn’t explore with my free time!  Since I’m an art lover, aspects of The Siamese Suicides proved more enjoyable to research.  I find that each book’s writing process has its own unique hurdles to overcome.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write? 

VB: I have had great fun writing Armondo Berluca, a chef who appears in several of the books, Duncan’s siblings, and Donald Merriwether, the Blue Bell’s innkeeper.  Duncan remains the most difficult character to form and develop.

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

VB: Since I don’t follow a formula, you never know where one of my plots will lead.  My novels are character driven, quite literally.   In the Dewar Series, you’ll find yourself in Scotland or another fascinating location, experiencing local customs, history, and little-known details of the region.  I write clean novels with quirky characters and situations.  I’ve spent a lifetime around scientists and others with extremely high I.Q.s, and I bring some of that unique experience to my books.

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

VB: I encountered several challenges writing The Siamese Suicides.  As I mentioned, my stories are character driven.  That makes incorporating all the details of a mystery, in a way that makes sense to the reader, difficult.  Also, some of the subject matter could be a bit heavy.  I didn’t want to focus too much on the darker aspects of the crimes.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

VB: I love a book or a movie that I cannot quite figure out.  I want to be able to follow the story, and come up with plausible solutions, but never be certain I’ve got the answer.  Those are my favorite types of novels and films.  So, I aim for plenty of twists and turns when I write.  Sometimes, the culprit may seem obvious, but his or her methods and motives remain surprising.  In other books, the villain may be a shock.

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

VB: I would like to think, that as well as entertaining, my novel relays a message of optimism.  Good guys win in the end, and we must respect and be mindful of others and remember there’s a God in Heaven who cares for each individual.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

VB: I receive all kinds of feedback from readers.  People love my books and people hate my books.  I get very few middle of the road responses.

CH: Is this the last book in the series? What’s your next writing project?

VB: Actually, The Siamese Suicides is not the last book of the series.  Book seven is on the way to my editor in a few days!  I currently have no plans to end the series.  I do want to let Duncan take a well-deserved vacation while I work on other projects after the newest novel releases.  I hope to begin another mystery series, and I’m working on a story set in the medieval period.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

VB: There have been many wonderful things to come out of publishing.  Several of the Dewar books have hit the number one spot in more than one Amazon category and have also made the hot new releases lists.  My short story remained number one in its genre for almost a year.  I have met so many fantastic, fun, and supportive people whom I now call friends.  If I must choose, the most exciting thing continues to be finishing a novel!  That’s an amazing moment worth all the hard work.

CH: Can you tell my audience about your website address?

VB: My website is https://victoriabenchley.com/    Feel free to look around.  There, you can sign up for my spam-free newsletter, get to know me better, check out my other books, or join me for a cup of tea and friendly chatter on my blog, Teatime Tuesday.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

VB: My books are currently available for sale as eBooks on Amazon.

CH: How to Find Victoria Benchley:

CH: Any closing remarks?

VB: I want to encourage anyone who’s ever wanted to write a book to go ahead and take the plunge.  Thank you to all of my readers for investing your time in my novels.  You are most appreciated!  Also, a big thank you to Cheryl Holloway for this interview.  Best wishes and happy reading!

CH: Thank you so much, Victoria Benchley, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Victoria Benchley.

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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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Black History Fact – Dorothy Height Stamp Issued

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Dorothy Height Stamp Image © 2016 U. S. Postal Service. All rights reserved.

Yesterday, February 1, 2017, was the first day of issue for Dorothy Height stamp, the 40th stamp in the Black Heritage Forever series. Dorothy Height is the 15th African American woman to appear in the series.

Dorothy Height (1912-2010) was a civil rights and women’s rights activist focused primarily on improving the circumstances of and opportunities for African-American women. She dedicated her life to fighting for racial and gender equality. Dorothy Height received the nation’s two highest civilian honors for her work, the Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Dorothy Height was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.

She served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1947 to 1956; was the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and an honored guest at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, where she was seated on stage.

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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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Celebrating Black History Month 2017 with Cheryl Holloway

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Black History Month – Throughout the month of February, I will spotlight various books, facts, information and quotes for Black History Month. They will have the image below on the page. I am planning some interesting blog posts.

This morning I watched The View and the guest was Michael Eric Dyson and he was discussing his new book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America.  He spoke of our “First Toddler Presidency.” It was a very interesting comment and observation. What are your thoughts?

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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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Book Review: The Rejected Writers’ Book Club by Suzanne Kelman

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Title: The Rejected Writers’ Book Club (Southlea Bay)

Genre: Contemporary Women/Humor

Synopsis: Librarian Janet Johnson is puzzled when she is invited—and practically dragged—to her first meeting of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club. This quirky group of women would much rather celebrate one another’s rejected manuscripts over cups of tea and slices of lemon cake than actually publish a book. But good friends are exactly what Janet needs after moving to the small town of Southlea Bay, Washington. Just as the ladies are about to raise a teacup to their five hundredth rejection letter, they receive bad news that could destroy one member’s reputation—and disband the group forever. To save the club, Janet joins her fellow writers on a wild road trip to San Francisco in search of the local publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret. As they race to the finish line, they’ll face their fears—landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers, ungrateful children—and have the time of their lives.

Book Review_Cheryl

Note: I purchased this book for my personal book collection on my kindle and had no intention of writing a book review. I chose this book because of the title—it grabbed my attention and pulled me in. So, I started reading…

Let me begin by saying that Suzanne is a master storyteller. I enjoyed the humor and it was a refreshing change from some of the books I had been reading lately.  It was an enjoyable, humorous and quick read.

As a writer, I am very familiar with rejection slips. However, I never thought a group would actually collect them on purpose. So, the plot was intriguing.

All of the characters were well-developed; but Doris took the cake (no pun intended!). She even intimated Janet in a letter.  They were the weirdest group of friends I had ever seen or heard of, but they kept me laughing—page after page. And most of the characters they met on the road trip were even more eccentric than the ladies themselves.

The road trip was a real novelty and half of their encounters, one can only dream about.  Also, can you imagine how crowded that Suburban was with ladies, luggage, and food? They should have had a trailer attached for the “extras.” I can guarantee that the road trip was memorable for each woman attending.

Spoiler Alert: I was not expecting a love story, but it was nice and easy to follow.

I enjoyed the events and the ups and downs on the road trip journey.  I enjoyed how some of the scenes were far-fetched, yet, still believable.

The book was well-written. The ending was great and emotional.

Suzanne Kelman is a special kind of writer, but then we know that since she’s written over 200 books!

I rate this book

starstarstarstarstar

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DISCLAIMER

Endorsement Disclaimer: All reviews posted on this site and written by Cheryl Holloway are personal opinions of the book by the reviewer. The reviews are NOT paid endorsements of the book or the author. They are not advertisements. All reviews are honest, forthright and the opinion of the individual reviewer, freely given. Our opinions are not for sale.

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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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Cheryl Holloway’s Blog Giveaway Winners Announced!

 

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January 31, 2017

Three Lucky Giveaway Winners Announced

  1. Ann 
  2. Patricia R.
  3. Kiesha 

Each Winner will Receive Two eBooks by Author Cheryl Holloway and $10 Starbucks Gift Card and each winner must provide a review of the books on Amazon.  

Note: Winners were randomly selected and will be notified via email.

A Special Thanks to Everyone in our Reading Community who Commented and Entered the Giveaway.

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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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Guest Author Interview – S. McPherson

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Title: At Water’s Edge: An Epic Fantasy (The Water Rushes Book 1)

Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance

Synopsis: When 17-year-old, Dezaray Storm drunkenly stumbles across a portal one night, her abused and broken life begins to change, mainly because she starts living someone else’s life.

Accidently trading places with the most powerful sorceress of the realm, Coldivor, Dezaray finds herself assuming the identity of her magical lookalike, having to convince everyone in the realm that she’s the real deal.

Aside from a few minor hiccups along the way, like the fact that she is not magical nor does she know even the simplest cards trick; Dezaray soon finds herself settling in, particularly in the arms of Milo; a blue-eyed jokester with the ability to teleport.

However, it doesn’t take long for Dezaray to realize that life on the other side is far from glitz and glamour and that creatures unimaginable are hunting her. A war is brewing between the seven empires of Coldivor and those that long to take over. Dezaray’s enchanted double is their only hope; their secret weapon, set to be unleashed on her eighteenth birthday when she is gifted the powers of her forefathers.

But for the enchantress to return, Dezaray has to leave, and the thought of going back to Islon fills Dezaray with dread, for more reasons than one. Torn between a reality she can’t stand and a fantasy she can’t keep, Dezaray is struggling to see how any choice she makes will lead to a happy ending.

S. McPherson, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is S. McPherson. The proclaimed globetrotter turned writer is one of our International authors. Welcome to my blog, S. McPherson.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

SM: Sure. I think you should read At Water’s Edge because it will introduce you to new worlds, new experiences and take you on a thrilling adventure of love, magic and turmoil.

CH: Where did you get the idea for this series?

SM: I got the opening scene in my head and wrote it down, years before I started working on the series. The opening scene left me with questions as to why certain things were happening and who was this girl. I think over the years my subconscious started concocting answers until I finally had a fully formed idea.

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

SM: Stories generally come to me as a whole concept. I get the bare bones and as I go along, I add in the meat, the brain and most importantly, the heart.

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

SM: Umm, some things I took from real life and elaborated on, but with most, especially since At Water’s Edge is a fantasy, I had to put myself in that character’s shoes and try to imagine how I would react if that situation ever occurred.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

SM: Most things for me start with an image in my head. I will hear a character say a line and that line will stick with me. Latching onto the way they say it—the tone, and the intent—will help me to devise a character around them. Are they witty, sarcastic, pessimistic, or timid? From there, I wonder how they spend their spare time, what job they might have, what music they like. The last thing, I usually decide is the name, depending on what suits their character.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

SM: I can’t really say any of the characters were easy, each one having some attribute that I really wanted to shine through; whether physical or emotional, and I was always aware of what I made them do or how they did it in this book, would cement their character for the future books they appear in.

I think my hardest characters to write were Dezaray, Jude, Milo and Lexovia. More so the getting to know them and how they interact with one another and how differently each are affected by situations.

My favourite character to write was Jude. He is so quirky and odd and a bit of a dark horse.

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

SM: I try to keep the tone believable and edgy. I like to hook readers with fast- paced action, then, slow it down with lyrical thoughts and heart-wrenching scenes. I try to keep a flow of highs and lows that always keep the reader wondering what will happen next. That’s what I most love about the reading process—always guessing.

CH: This is the first book in the series; however, other books in the series have been published. So, when you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

SM: Yes, as soon as I sat down to write the first book, I had a planned trilogy in my mind. As the stories progressed and the characters evolved, my trilogy expanded to a five book series. 🙂

CH: Since you have lived all over the world, was this helpful in creating various countries in your book?

SM: It has certainly helped give me a greater insight into various cultures and people’s ways of life. Primarily, my book takes place in England and a fantasy world, but meeting such an array of people and being exposed to variations in countries has certainly helped me create my realms.

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

SM: There is, but I feel, the more the story develops, the more clear the message becomes throughout the series. The hook for book one, At Water’s Edge, is ‘They say love can cross oceans but can it cross worlds?’ As you dive further into the series, you will see how my message applies to the literal divide between the worlds in my book, but also the metaphorical worlds, like race, gender, religion and preference. Can love cross those worlds, too?

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

SM: Dezaray comes from an abusive home, and one challenge I found was trying to put myself in that situation. It was hard speaking to others who have come from a similar background and difficult to hear about their experiences and what made them stay, but it was extremely enlightening and definitely helped me to understand Dezaray a bit more.

CH: Since you are a debut author, is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

SM: There are so many wonderfully talented authors out there that I would aspire to be like. I suppose the dream of most authors is to be as grand as the Queen of fantasy—JK Rowling! But I would be humbled and touched to have success on a similar scale to Sarah J. Maas and Veronica Roth.

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

SM: Part-time. I write whenever I can, daytime, night time, whilst cooking. (haha) I do teach during the day, as well, but it finishes early enough for me to dedicate most of my time to my writing.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

SM: So far, it’s been overall very positive and constructive. They’ve really helped give me an insight into my readers’ minds and what they would like to see in future books. I wouldn’t have come this far, without the support of my wonderful readers. 🙂

CH:  How to Find S. McPherson:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

SM: My book is currently sold on Amazon, although I may expand this to other retailers before the end of the year.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SM: Thank you so much to your fans for taking the time to read this interview and I hope I have given you a better insight into myself and my books. I truly appreciate all of your support on this long and soul-searching journey! I would love if you would join me on my Facebook page where I blog and give book updates, and I am about to host a contest called the Artist of Dreams with fantastic prizes! (Running from January 29th until March 1st)  Cheryl, thanks for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, S. McPherson, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and S. McPherson.

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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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Celebrity Guest Author – Suzanne Kelman

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Suzanne Kelman
Title: The Rejected Writers’ Book Club (Southlea Bay)

Genre: Contemporary Women/Humor

Synopsis: Librarian Janet Johnson is puzzled when she is invited—and practically dragged—to her first meeting of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club. This quirky group of women would much rather celebrate one another’s rejected manuscripts over cups of tea and slices of lemon cake than actually publish a book. But good friends are exactly what Janet needs after moving to the small town of Southlea Bay, Washington. Just as the ladies are about to raise a teacup to their five hundredth rejection letter, they receive bad news that could destroy one member’s reputation—and disband the group forever. To save the club, Janet joins her fellow writers on a wild road trip to San Francisco in search of the local publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret. As they race to the finish line, they’ll face their fears—landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers, ungrateful children—and have the time of their lives.

Suzanne Kelman, Author

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

SK: A small-town librarian gets pulled into a ‘kaleidoscope of craziness’ when she gets dragged to a meeting of The Rejected Writers Book Club.

CH: Where did you get the idea for this book? 

SK: The book started out as a screenplay that ended up being a book and now a series. Years ago, I went to a book signing, and the author started his talk by emptying all his rejection letters onto the table in front of him. It was freeing to all the authors in the room—as if he was giving us permission to be rejected by publishers. I always thought it would be fun to have people celebrate that experience.

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

SK: My stories typically start with the spark of an idea that grows into a bigger piece. I write the first draft very fast, and it is more like a very long outline and the story literally unfolds before my eyes. Then, I go in and clean that draft up, and more story ideas materialize and lastly, I re-write adding in the real comedy and crafting the scenes.

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

SK: From real life and elaborate. I already spend time in real life with characters just like this. Living in a small town is like that; you learn to love and appreciate everyone, even the eccentric members of the group. But friendship and a desire to bond is the center of any small town, and there are no finer people to rally around you in an emergency. Janet, my protagonist, was my window into the world of small-town eccentricities from an outsider’s point of view. I am British and moved to my town here in the Pacific Northwest from a big city in England, so I understand what it feels like to jump into such a unique melting pot.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters? 

SK: I think a lot of it comes from my theater background; I was trained from an early age to study people. Now, I’m middle-aged and have met every kind of conceivable character there is, I’m sure. When I’m creating a new character, I just combine a couple of folks I know to create a whole new person. It’s way too dangerous to base any fictional character totally on one person, especially in a small town!

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write? 

SK: My favorites are the really comedic characters. In book one, Ronald, the homeless guy, was the most fun to write. The Rejected Writers get snowed in the mountains with him. I remember one editor suggesting I lose him altogether, but I decided to keep him, as I think he is a great character for comedy and my readers seem to really enjoy that scene. The hardest character is Doris; she is a strong, bombastic character, but she also has a heart of gold, and it’s a balancing act not to make her too off-putting for my readers.

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

SK: I think, I give them permission not to take life too seriously. Also, so often when I read comedy, some writers rely on being crude to make it funny. All of my books have clean humor with no explicit sex scenes.  I love to take everyday situations and take them to the edge of madcap crazy without hopefully taking it too far.

CH: Did you have to do any research for the wild road trip to San Francisco?

SK: I have actually traveled the route two or three times on my own road trips, so I am familiar with it and the different terrains and towns along the way. However, when I was researching and writing the book I followed the journey on Google maps just to make sure I had everything in the right place, plus that helped me figure out the timeline for the trip.

CH: Is there a message in this book that you want the readers to grasp? 

SK: That you should never judge a book by its cover, the strangest of people can be the kindest; also never underestimate the length people will go for friendship. At the end of the day, kindness and friendship are the most important things.

CH: Since you live in a small town, how much of your background has influence on this book?

SK: I live in a small town, which I love, and have been part of many crazy groups, so I really drew on that experience.

CH: Since you were born in Scotland, raised in the U.K. and now live in the U.S., does your background have any influence on your writing? 

SK: Yes, I think it does. My humor is definitely British, so if you like that kind of crazy madcap comedy you might enjoy my books. Also, the Brits have a very unique way of seeing the world, often through a filter of humor, which you will see in my protagonist.

CH: You’ve written several books, well over 500. What contributes to your success as a writer? 

SK: I didn’t start writing seriously until six years ago, and I think finding your passion later in life creates a different focus. I have been very committed to the craft in that time. I am quite disciplined with my writing schedule and have always taken it very seriously, writing 4-6 hours a day five days a week, even weekends when I’m on a deadline. And for years, I wasn’t paid anything, but stayed committed. I also never stop learning. I am always reading, and absorbing everything I can about the craft of writing.

CH: You have won several awards for your writing. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

SK: There have been many twists and turns in my writing career, and many things have contributed to my success, but there never was a real plan, except the fact I have always been a passionate storyteller and want to communicate that to the world.  I started in the theater, telling a story through acting and then, I fell in love with screenwriting and started writing for the screen. But alas, it can be a long time waiting for films to get produced. So then, I became an author to sustain my screenwriting ‘habit.’ So, it was less about a roadmap for success and more like the song ‘I knew an old woman who swallowed a fly.’

CH: You have 500+ 5-Star reviews. What type of feedback are you receiving from readers of this book?

SK: On the whole, I have had fantastic reviews. I love the way that so many people have connected with these wild and wooly characters on a very deep level.  Also, I love reading the review when people have laughed till they cried or the stories of husbands that have been woken by their wife suddenly laughing out loud in the middle of the night as they read through my book.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

SK: I have a very exciting year coming up; my first book just got published in German, (10th January).  I also have the second book in the Southlea Bay series, Rejected Writers Take the Stage, coming out June 6th and also the third book in the series—a Christmas novella—is being published in October. So, this is a busy writing year for me.

CH: How to Find Suzanne Kelman:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

SK: My book is available on Amazon, as a paperback, eBook or audio book.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SK: Thank you so much for giving me this chance to share my work with your readers. Also, my book is on sale for $1.99 until the end of January or if any of your readers are Amazon Prime members they can download my book for FREE, right now.

CH: Thank you so much, Celebrity Suzanne Kelman, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet and Suzanne Kelman.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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

   

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? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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