New Beginnings Start When You Find Yourself at A Dead End by Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

New Beginnings Start When You Find Yourself at A Dead End

Fact: Sooner or later, everyone hits a dead end.

Have you ever had a dream of becoming an author? Then, you realize that it’s just not going to happen. That is a dead end “writing” dream.

Usually in life, when we reach a dead end, we turn around to take another route.

One of the best times for figuring out what you truly want is right after you hit a dead end… you have to let go of what you can’t change.

Why? Because it is what it is.

Let’s discuss this in writing terms…After you’ve hit a dead end, you need to move on by turning the page. The dead end you’ve just experienced is not THE END. It’s time for your “writing” dream to begin again in a new and different way—new goals. You’re at a point in your story where one chapter makes a smooth transition into the next chapter. This allows you to re-write or edit your story and make progress to the final chapter.

When you reach a dead end, you have to do 3 things:

  1. Accept it.
  2. Learn from it. AND…
  3. Move on.

Fact: A dead end is really a new beginning.

You need to build and grow something new…now.

What matters is what you choose to do from this point on. Now, is the time to take your next step or to take some action.  There’s always room for a new idea, a new step…a new beginning (dah).One last thought…Are you stuck in a dead end? Can this dead end be turned into a new beginning?

We all have a choice to make…What will yours be?

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Khaled Talib

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: Gun Kiss

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and International intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

Khaled Talib, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s International Guest Author is Khaled Talib. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers Organization. Welcome to my blog, Khaled.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence why we should read this thriller?

KT: Both, reviewers and authors who have endorsed the novel suggested that readers take a deep breath before reading it.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book?

KT: It’s hard to miss the bits and pieces of scandalous news about Hollywood.  From sexual harassment, pedophilia, to stalking fans. So, I decided to work on these themes to give more depth to what is often described as paperback novel.  While this thriller is exciting and light-reading, it features important and current issues affecting the movie industry.

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

KT: I drew real-life inspiration based on the stories I have read about the lives of celebrities. To check, if my story didn’t sound over the top after I had finished writing it, I interviewed a celebrity bodyguard, who had worked with famous names. He confirmed the things—everything that takes place behind the scenes. I dare say, it’s life imitating art. For example, I was told some celebrity stalkers don’t just invade a movie star’s privacy, but they also send strange things in the mail…like gruesome things—we’re talking body parts!

CH: Since this book is about a stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and International intrigue, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

KT: It was difficult to bind the plot.  I mean, what has a stolen piece of history (in this case, being the Deringer that shot Abraham Lincoln) and an International intrigue, got to do with an actress being abducted? In fact, when I first submitted it to a literary agent, he told me that the story was unfocused. I panicked!  Then, after calming down, I began to rework it and managed to tie in everything by creating a subplot. Even that didn’t resolve the story flow. The pages had to be seamlessly connected. I’m proud to say I managed to do it without awkwardness.

CH: The plot involves the FBI, so did you have to do any special research to write this book?

KT: During my research period, I learned about the FBI’s Form 302, which they use to summarize an interview. The thing is, they write down your replies, which means that they can rewrite it, the way they want it, which can trap you. That’s dangerous. Caution: if the FBI ever wants to talk to you, make sure you have a lawyer present.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, do you enjoy writing a plot with a lot of ups and downs?

KT: All my novels have been described as intense and fast.  I’m not writing literary fiction here, it’s supposed to make you bite your fingernails and send shivers down your spine. In Gun Kiss, you’ll find the story having its ups and downs moments, as my intention is to play with your mind and emotions.

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

KT: Expect the unexpected. I let you assume what you think is going to happen, before pulling the carpet from under you. You’ve been warned.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

KT: Goldie St. Helen, the movie star and co-protagonist. In the story, she’s a big Hollywood name, so I couldn’t afford to let this A-list personality appear unimportant. Yet, at the same time, I couldn’t let her overshadow the protagonist, Blake Deco. Goldie had to stand out. She needed to appear shiny with a powerful personality. I feel, Gun Kiss is a story with two protagonists. There are many scenes in the novel where she stands alone. I think without her the story would have been flat. I’m fine with it.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

KT: Goldie St. Helen. In fact, if you go to my website, I hosted a Q & A interview with her.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

KT: Dai Lo, the drug lord. I tried imagining myself as evil. So, I indulged in method-writing, which is like method acting. I went into character. I think I should enter a decompression chamber because I keep saying ‘Amigo’ a lot nowadays.

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

KT: The novel is flamboyant and glittering, just like how Hollywood is. But there’s a dark side that one needs to know about. Not all that glitters is gold.

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

KT: So far, I’ve been enjoying raving reviews from readers, but I think one reviewer in the UK cursed the book for whatever her reasons. Personally, I’m happy with my work. The fact, I received praise from Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising and Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins is a solid endorsement. Even Midwest Book Review gave me high marks.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

KT: I read all kinds of novels, so I would say there’s a bit of everyone in me. However, that said, many have described my previous novels like Robert Ludlum’s novels. In his blurb, Jon Land described Gun Kiss as a novel that reminded him of Don Winslow’s The Force.

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

KT: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. They used to call me a day dreamer in school. I wasn’t day dreaming—I was in the world built by Enid Blyton, the British author, who wrote fantastical books for children.

CH: What is your next writing project?

KT: I’m writing a murder mystery set at a winery in South Australia. I used to handle the public relations account of the South Australian tourism office, so I’m familiar with the State.

CH: How to Find Khaled Talib:

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

KT: Gun Kiss is available on Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited, Nook, Kobo and various other online stores in paperback, epub and kindle.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KT: Wishing everyone a Happy and Peaceful 2018!

CH: Thank you so much, Khaled Talib, 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, Khaled Talib and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Seven Sentence Sunday by Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Google NewsFox News Logo

Seven Sentence Sunday

Once Upon a Time

 

Most of my blog readers and followers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories. 

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. 

In the news recently were a couple of cases of childhood suicide—related to bullying. I sincerely hope that bullying can be stopped before it reaches the point of suicide.

Fact: Childhood and adolescent bullying is recognized as a major public health problem in the Western world, and it appears to be associated with suicidality.

Here is a short story of a smart student who won’t be bullied ever—again.

Title: End Bullying!

  1. The tall, overweight “dumb” guy in class began bullying his tiny, but smart female classmate.
  2. She wondered why he chose to pick on her, because she was quiet and kept to herself and her studies.
  3. He was BIG—boisterous, ignorant and gullible.
  4. She was SMART—studious, marvelous, articulate, resourceful, and technical.
  5. He made her cry in private, then she became depressed and finally, she vowed to never let him bully her again.
  6. So, she used her intellect and embarrassed him in front of all of his friends.
  7. The bullying ended when he cried like a big baby in public—in the school cafeteria.

The End…hopefully. 🙂

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading this short story. Please give me some feedback and tell me what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

Signature Logo

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

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Allegra Huston

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: Say My Name

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary

Synopsis: Years ago, frightened by passion, Eve settled for less: marrying safely, building a solid, ordinary life. Now she longs for more.

One day, treasure hunting for a friend’s antiques shop, she finds a mysterious instrument, carved with twining vines. It sends her on a quest—and into a compelling connection with a young man, the son of an old flame. He is twenty years younger than she is, a musician, a seeker, a bohemian—and, to her amazement, he’s pursuing her.

Can this euphoric connection last? Eve finds herself defenseless against the force of her fantasies. But she cannot retreat back to safety; she is no longer the woman she was. And even now, she can hardly imagine the woman she will become.

Allegra Huston, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Allegra Huston. After an early career in UK publishing, Allegra has recently published her second book. Welcome to my blog, Allegra.

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

AH: It’s a love story between an older woman and a younger man, centered around music—short and sexy, which I hope are two good things.

CH: This book is about one woman’s journey to self-empowerment. What made you decide to write this book?

AH: It turned into that as I wrote it. I began simply writing a love story based on my own romantic fantasy, which is that one of the great rock songs would have been written about me.

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

AH: Many of the situations are taken from life. I split up with my son’s father, while I was writing the book. So, inevitably, much of that relationship made its way into the relationship of Eve and Larry (though the whole “inner wolf” thing does not come from him). All the characters are based, to some extent, on people I know. I wish I could say the events of the love story came from my life!

The houses, and Micajah’s apartment, are all based on houses I know.

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?

AH: I have no formula. Stories don’t come to me that frequently. Both Say My Name and my short film Good Luck, Mr. Gorski started with a situation that I wanted to follow, in order to see how it would play out. The starting point of my next novel is a disturbing episode in my own life, which I am still trying to make sense of.

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

AH: I researched flower clocks (which I learned about because I am part of the editorial team of the art magazine Garage, and a few years ago, we featured a painting of one), and looked through 18th-century stringed instruments, until I found the viola d’amore. Other than those, only small things, such as the vaporetto schedule in Venice. I have close friends, who play the instruments and the kind of music Micajah plays, so that was already familiar to me.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AH: I probably enjoyed writing Micajah most of all, because he kept surprising me. I loved writing Barbara, because when I let her speak, I gained wisdom from her. And the auction house expert, because I have fun writing pompous speech.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AH: Eve, the central character, is based on me—and it’s hard to know if you’re creating a believable character, when they are so close to you, but not actually you. Deborah is based, to an extent, on my stepmother, and I’ve always found it difficult to capture my stepmother’s vividly unique manner of speech.

CH: It was released in UK/Australia/Ireland in July 2017 and US/Canada in January 2018. What made you decide on two different release dates? And two different covers?

AH: Not my choice! The publishers set their own dates, and designed their own covers.

CH: Publishers do tend to do that. Is there a message about self-empowerment in your book that you want readers to grasp?

AH: Yes, absolutely, though as I said previously, I didn’t write the book with a message in mind. It emerged because I wanted to write a love story, but as I worked on it I realized that I didn’t want to imply that a woman can only be happy with a man. A ‘happily ever after’ ending felt fake to me—but I wanted a positive ending. I hope we’ve left behind the days when a wedding was like the finishing post of a race, and if a woman didn’t reach it, she’d failed. A true happy ending, for me, is to leave my character in conscious charge of her life.

Eve’s flowers were not part of my original idea—they just started happening one day, as I wrote. That turn in the storyline is very important to me. Women do not need men to make them happy, in bed or anywhere else. (Which isn’t to say that you can’t have a great time in bed with a man! Just that the lack of a man in your bed does not mean a lack in your life.) Women can be sufficient unto themselves, can follow their own agendas, craft their own lives. Particularly, now, when we’re becoming more aware of how men continue to control the lives of working women, I think it’s important to tell stories in which women take charge of their lives.

I’m certainly not anti-men, or anti-romantic. Say My Name began as a love story and the love affair between Eve and Micajah is the emotional heart of the book. It’s through this love affair, with a man 20 years younger, that Eve discovers her sense of self.

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

AH: That’s not for me to say. I don’t compare myself to other writers. What I hope readers take from my writing is a sense of honesty: that even though I’m telling a fictional story, I’m conveying true experiences, true emotions, true desires, and true demons. I believe we read and write books, because we’re constantly fascinated by ourselves: Why do we humans do the things we do? How do we negotiate the circumstances that fate throws in our path?

I like to write stories in which things turn out well—though not in the way you’d expect. There’s enough sorrow and anguish in the world, and I want to add weight to the positive side of the scales.

CH: Readers continually say that you are a great storyteller. Did this come naturally?

AH: I’ve been an avid reader, since I was 3, and I’ve been editing other people’s books, since I was 20. I’ve absorbed a great deal of storytelling in my life, so I have a sense of story that I don’t always have to think consciously about. I wouldn’t say it’s genetic.

Also, being a screenwriter, as well as, a novelist and memoirist, I have studied story structure. The classic three-act movie structure is often my starting point, though I will depart from it.

CH: What type of feedback have you received so far?

AH: I’ve been very touched by how strongly people react to this book, as shown in the reviews on Amazon.co.uk and on Goodreads.com. People seem to really, really love it. Candace Bushnell, who wrote Sex and the City, read it as a favor to a mutual friend and gave me a wonderful blurb—and then saw our mutual friend at a party a month later and said something like, “That book is just wonderful!” I was thrilled that it had stayed with her.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

AH I don’t think I have any in particular—just all the good writers I’ve ever read.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

AH: I’m working on my second novel, which I hope will be published within the next two years. It’s a sort of psychological thriller (at least it is at this point, though it may take a turn that surprises me, as Say My Name did).

I also have a couple of screenplays, including the screenplay of Say My Name, in development, so I hope at least one of them will soon be showing on a screen near you.

CH: How to Find Allegra Huston:

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

AH: Say My Name is sold at all good bookshops (if it’s not in stock, you can order it), and all online book retailers.

CH: Any closing remarks?

AH: Thank you for not using the word “cougar” in relation to this story! That word drives me insane. It suggests predatory, hard, desperate, and unloving. The use of that word is demeaning to women. Beyond that, in my experience of such relationships, when they’re affairs of the heart, it’s almost always the man who did the chasing.

I say in my book that a relationship between an older woman and a younger man is, in its way, the perfect relationship—as long as you live in the present. And since we are all happier and healthier when we live in the present, such relationships should be celebrated.

CH: Thank you so much, Allegra Huston, 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, Allegra Huston and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Robert Gately

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: South of Main Street

Genre: Fiction/New Adult

Synopsis: Henry Wolff regularly climbs out of his upstairs bedroom window. The neighbors think it strange that a grown man enjoys a Tarzan like swing from the roof, but then again, they all think Henry is a little strange. Recently widowed, Henry is an emotionally challenged father being sued by his daughter for financial control of the estate. Henry must prove he is normal—not an easy thing to do when you are not. Henry is different, not quite normal, and not quite special. Rumors explaining his behavior run from PTSD in Vietnam, to losing his son to SIDS. But Henry has a special gift. In a town divided by the haves and have-nots, Henry alone can inspire and touch even the most jaded lost soul. But when tragedy strikes…Can he unite his own family?

Robert Gately, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Robert Gately. He is inspired by many to study his own character with all its strengths and defects. Welcome to my blog, Robert.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this book about an emotionally challenged man and his complex life.

RG: Because, I believe, we are all challenged in some way, and even though Henry’s actions are sometimes bizarre; we can all learn from him.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book?

RG: About 30 years ago, I watched a movie titled, Being There, based on Jerzy Kosinki’s book. The main character was portrayed in the movie by Peter Sellers. He appears to be emotionally unstable, but was never flushed out as a truly wise person. So, I wrote a book about someone who could be considered wise and helpful to humanity, but emotionally … not there.

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

RG: The believable situations came from Henry, not me. Although, I may have been a ‘smart Aleck’ growing up, I come nowhere near Henry’s uninhibited force of nature. I felt compelled to write about a character (not real), who was unshackled with the emotional filters we don for the roles we follow in life. Today, I’m a husband, and tomorrow I’m a father—that kind of thing. I wanted to show bizarre situations fitting of Henry’s disposition; yet, at the same time, he was in search of forgiveness for an act he committed ages ago. As far as devising some situations with Henry, based on what happened to me in life? Well, we all have ghosts in the closet, don’t we?

CH: Since this book is about an emotionally challenged adult with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

RG: Yes, following a believable path with Henry. After all, Henry’s ID (in the Ego, Super-ego, ID tradition) was a challenge. Getting into Henry’s mind and staying there, while I imagined the behavioral effects he had on other people was wonderful, but hard to keep honest.

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

RG: Not really. All of the characters, including Henry, came from inspiration and creativity. No character was born from knowledge of real-life characters, except for Henry, maybe, who is mostly Peter Sellers from the movie, Being There, and a little bit of me, and a whole lot of inspiration attained during my trips to and from work, and conversations with my wife on the believability of the situations Henry created for himself. I take that back—even Henry is fictitious.

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

RG: Hopefully, as a writer, I can help people enjoy and concentrate on ‘character based stories.’ To drive the story through characters is not easy. It takes time, and that’s why creating character-driven screenplays is hard, in my purview. How one person, any person, can make a huge difference in this world? It takes time. That’s why I had Dixie, probably the most vulnerable character in the book, stand up and give her best rendition of Henry. She said,Over time, the people will forget Henry. A boy or a girl might grow up and become President, and will tell stories to historians about where they came from. One of them might say, ‘I’m a native son or daughter born on the south side of Main Street in an obscure town in Pennsylvania called Coalsville.’ And no one will ever know that embedded in the statement is a story of how one person made a difference to so many; of how his goodness spread far and wide like the ubiquitous wind; and how life for so many improved immeasurably, for his constituents and for all generations to come, not because this good Samaritan had money or status or political influence, but because he saw life through the eyes of a child.”

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RG: Sharon and Robin—Henry’s two daughters. I have three daughters and I tried my best not to embed any character traits of my daughters in Henry’s daughters—hard…very hard.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

RG: Of course, Henry.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

RG: Dixie. It’s not easy trying to understand how the mind is altered with booze—showing how the clarity of thinking and the speech process, are compromised in an addict.

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

RG: Yes, the power of forgiveness.

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

RG: Great. It has been rated 4.7 for 29 reviews. The only bad ones came from the edition where there were tons of syntax issues, which I didn’t catch, which a couple of reviews didn’t like at all. I don’t blame them either. It inspired me to correct those faux-pas.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

RG: Yes. Joseph Conrad, Joseph Heller, Philip Roth and the one-and-only, Charles Dickens.

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

RG: Wonderful. I feel ‘alive’ when I write. I’ve experienced no greater journey, except for a few minutes on the ‘cyclone’ at Coney Island, decades ago.

CH: What is your next writing project?

RG:  Actually, one non-fiction book I wrote, Fillossofee: Messages from a Grandfather, needs a follow-up.  I’m thinking on writing Volume II. Volume I came from the desire to inspire my progeny with the disciplines that inspired me (math, sciences, computer, philosophy, etc.) The title says it all.

Half of my children, including my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren, are terribly invested in social networking. One was actually billed for 13,000 text messages one month, while another can’t respond to the query, ‘Who is Copernicus?’ I type 120 words a minute at the keyboard. Both of these children put me to shame with just two thumbs. Go ahead and stand by the Sears or Macy entrances and look at the next 20 people who enter and who are under the age of 30 years. I’ll bet you half of them, who are walking into the store, are doing something on their cell phones…talking, texting…something. Social media is dictating how our progeny see the world. I believe, it’s not good.

CH: How to Find Robert Gately:

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

RG: You can order the book on Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?

RG:  I guess I’ll just say don’t think you’re going to be a success because you wrote something that is good. If the motivating force behind your writing is money or fame, then I hope you’re a ‘Truman Capote’ kind of writer. I don’t know if this is true, but I once heard him say, “I never wrote anything I didn’t get published.” I wish that were true of my writing, but it’s not. Just beware: few people make money in writing, unless you’re a journalist.

I must hang on to what Derek Jeter, the famous baseball player, once said. There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

Also, I’m reminded, occasionally, what Michael Jordon once said. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed 26 times. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

So take encouragement in learning from the best. That is, heed the rejection slips—take what you need and throw out the rest. Learn from them. You’ll need that process to grow as a writer.

And take heed from Sheldon Cooper’s mother, whose wisdom can always be measured in her statement, “…and that’s your opinion.”

Thanks, Cheryl, for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Robert Gately, 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, Robert Gately and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Hugh O. Smith

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: Candyland

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Writer Shaun Harmon should be the happiest man alive. His novels are best-sellers, Hollywood just made one of his books a hit movie, and he and his daughter recently left the Bronx and moved into a huge home in the New Jersey suburb of Willows.

But, all of Shaun’s success comes at a price. His wife dies, just as he achieves his dreams. The words that used to come so easily to him, won’t come anymore and the affluent new town he’s moved to is not quite what it seems. Soon, Shaun finds that the town harbors dark secrets, secrets that it would do anything to hide—even kill.

Hugh O. Smith, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Hugh O. Smith. He has written for as long as he can remember and enjoys writing across diverse genres. Welcome to my blog, Hugh.

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

HOS: Candyland is about a writer who achieves success, only to find that wealth can corrupt, as much as poverty can.

CH: Your book deals with a writer at the peak of his dreams and life happens. How did you come up with the premise for this book? Is it partially your life?

HOS: Partially. Shaun and I have a lot in common. We’re both authors, we’re both from the Bronx and we both moved to a New Jersey suburb only to find out that there is a lot going on behind the scenes that most people will never know about. The difference is Shaun moved into a very wealthy suburb and mine isn’t.

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

HOS: No, it wasn’t too hard to create the situations. As authors, these crazy things run through our heads 24/7. The hard part is writing them down well and making them entertaining and enthralling for the reader. As far as real life, I’ll just say that the situations in real life weren’t as…intense as in Candyland, thank goodness.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

HOS: Oh yes. I love writing about suspense and relationships at the same time. The relationship part, I think I am okay with, but the suspense part comes harder for me. I want to write stories that make the reader gasp out loud, or write situations they never saw coming and to do that is a challenge for me.

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

HOS: Not too much. I had to look up certain towns in New Jersey to get a better idea of their history and how they evolved over time, but that was about it.

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

HOS: I really love to write about people, who are good people, but sometimes don’t do the right thing. I think most people are good people with good intentions, or at least we try hard to be, but we don’t always do the right thing, or make the best choice. We make mistakes, I know I sure do, and my characters do, as well, but I want to make the reader still root for them and still like them, despite their imperfections.

Also, I bring an appreciation of plus-size women that you don’t see too much in books. At least I don’t. I don’t hit the reader over the head with it, but I make sure you know what most of my female characters look like. Look around, not too many real women you see every day are a ‘perfect’ size 2, so why should they be ‘perfect’ in books? They shouldn’t and they won’t be in my books, I guarantee you that!

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

HOS: I had two, Shaun and Jake. Female characters are easier to write because women can be an open book. Women are not afraid to tell you what they think and what’s on their minds. Men, on the other hand are more challenging to write, because as men, we sometimes are reluctant to express much (to say the least), so to have a man say or do something in a book, you must really think about it, because if you don’t it might not ring true. So, Shaun was challenging because he’s essentially a good man, but because he’s in pain because of the loss of his wife, he sometimes makes bad choices. He sleeps with women, hoping to recapture even a second of what he had with his wife, not realizing that it’s not fair to the women he’s with. He’s also at a point in his life where his dreams have come true, but they weren’t only his dreams, they were his wife’s, as well and without her there, he can’t fully enjoy the journey. To make you like Shaun, while you might not like the things he does or the decisions he makes was fun to write. Jake was also fun because he’s a bad guy, but for a different reason—he lost someone he loves. That happened a long time ago, but he just can’t get past it, and that rage and loss turns him into a monster.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

HOS: Chloe, Shaun’s love interest, is a woman with a past. I still feel like I don’t know her full story, and I think there might be books in the future that explore more about her. She also lost someone she loved at a time in her life when she was young and vulnerable. I don’t want to give away too much about Candyland,  but people Chloe loved and trusted helped to make that loss possible. Also, Chloe is caught between two worlds, but truly belongs to neither. It will be interesting to see where she goes in the future.

CH: Is this book part of a series or a stand alone?

HOS: All my books can stand alone, but most of them take place in the fictional town of Willows, NJ, a town that looks perfect from the outside but has many, many secrets. So, if you read my other books like Soccer Mom and Willows you might see characters or places you’ve known from Candyland.

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?

HOS: I really do, but that part is challenging for me. I guess for some people it’s easy, but man, I agonize over that part of the process. The romantic parts are much easier (and much more fun).

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

HOS: Candyland explores themes about race and class and the rich taking advantage of the poor, but those themes are part of the plot and I insert no message at all. I’m not one of those writers that inserts a lesson in his books, I won’t hit you over the head with one philosophy or another. I leave it to the readers to glean their own message. If all you get is an entertaining read, then I’m 100% fine with that.

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

HOS: The thing I get most is questions about how I came up with the story and is it based on anything real. It isn’t based on actual real-life events that I experienced, just my imagination taking over and building on the drama that occurs just below the surface of a town.

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

HOS: Sure. I’m Jamaican, I came to the US when I was younger, but during my childhood there, I noticed that Jamaican people are born storytellers. I loved that my cousins and I could see a movie, then the next day we would tell each other the story of the movie and each person had a totally different perspective on it. My father was a big reader and he introduced me to many different types of books and I loved to read, so as I got older I tried my hand at writing and here I am.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

HOS: So many! I love fiction, so Walter Mosley, Lee Child, Attica Locke, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Mat Johnson, Marlon James (another Jamaican author), Barbara Neely, Larry McMurtry, Alex Haley, and Elmore Leonard, just to name a few.

CH: What is your next writing project?

HOS: I’m working on a few things, I have a project about three-quarters done about a group of women that come together for a passion party and things go horribly wrong. Readers have been asking me to write a sequel to my book Green Eyes and Good Hair and that should be out early in 2018. I’m thinking about making chapters available on my website for free.  Also, I’m writing a paranormal series about a plus-size woman, who discovers that she is really a witch. That one is challenging, but really fun to write.

CH: How to Find Hugh O. Smith:

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

HOS: Sure, you can find it on Amazon along with my other books.

CH: Any closing remarks?

HOS: Thank you so much for interviewing me, Cheryl. It really was a pleasure. I really love to interact with readers, so please feel free to communicate with me at my website, on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

CH: Thank you so much, Hugh O. Smith, 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, Hugh O. Smith and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

 

 

Author Cheryl Holloway Pay-It-Forward Quote

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo  

Author Cheryl Holloway Quote.

Signature Logo

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

 Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Carole Price

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: Vineyard Prey: A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery (Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mysteries Book 3)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?

Carole Price, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Carole Price. Carole is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Welcome to my blog, Carole.

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

CP: Cait Pepper and Royal Tanner help friends from drug dealers at the same time that Cait’s Shakespeare Festival is running.

CH: Your book deals with the realities of life, such as vineyards, Navy Seals, Amish, DEA, and Drug Dealers—usually not all mixed together. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

CP: I’m from Ohio, and although vaguely familiar with the Amish, I researched their lifestyles, homes, and habits. Cait is also from Ohio. I like to draw from my background, as well and bring that into my writing and my characters, but I started from scratch with the SEALs and the DEA, when I began this series. Learning something new is part of the fun of writing.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

CP: As a police volunteer for almost fifteen years in Livermore, California, where I live, I have access to officers to ask about police procedures, drugs, ride-alongs, and role play in various situations.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

CP: Working without an outline is a challenge, but I keep a binder that covers the background on every character. I know their likes and dislikes, their schooling, religion, and love interests. This is critical when writing a series. I have tried using an extended synopsis to keep me in line, but that too didn’t work because ideas would come to me while writing and before I knew it, I’d wandered off and occasionally written myself into a corner.

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

CP: My series takes place in Livermore where I live. After I settled on the design and floor plan for the estate, I added a vineyard, and created two Shakespeare theaters. In creating the indoor and outdoor theaters, I referred to my experience at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where I’d visited many times, toured their theaters, and spoke with theater personnel about costumes.

CH: I, too, enjoy the Shakespeare Festivals. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

CP: It’s been fun and exciting for my readers who live in Livermore. They’ve even driven around looking for the estate. I had to get permission from the police chief and city attorney to use an interview room in the station to make scenes appear authentic.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?                            

CP: Probably, Cait Pepper, my protagonist. She inherited the Benning Estate from an aunt she’d never heard of, gave up her job as a cop in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to California to manage the estate and her Shakespeare Festival.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CP: Fumié Ondo, by far, who is a recent college graduate, and she works part-time at the Bening Estate helping Cait. She sings like an angel for visitors, while they wait for the plays to begin. Soon she’ll head off to Park Ranger school, leaving behind her recent romantic interest.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

CP: Marcus Singer, an ex-con, who doted on Cait’s aunt, while she was alive, but was reluctant to approve of Cait.

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

CP: Not until I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t let them go.

CH: Are there any additional books in this series?

CP: Twisted Vines is Book 1, Sour Grapes is Book 2, and Vineyard Prey is Book 3. I’m hoping Cait and RT will resolve their problems in Book 4.

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

CP: Mostly very good and readers are eager for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I’m not a prolific writer. I tell myself that it’s because I didn’t start writing seriously until after I retired.

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

CP: My husband and I attended an author book signing event where I met an author who inspired me to start my own book. That was twenty years ago. Today, we are still in the same critique group.

CH: How wonderful. Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

CP: The author I previously mentioned is Penny Warner, who has over sixty books published. Without Penny or my critique group, I wouldn’t be published, today.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CP: Many. I still want to publish the first book I’d written. Still unnamed, it’s a mystery and takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, a place I love and have visited several times. I’ve also started a cozy series about a girl and her stained-glass shop, something I know about. I’ve written one short story and am eager to write more.

CH: How to Find Carole Price:

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

CP: It is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and Kobo

CH: Any closing remarks?

CP: My thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway, for this opportunity to discuss my Shakespeare in the Vineyard series. Exposure like this is a real blessing for authors and one I appreciate. I also hope readers enjoy my books, as much as I love writing them.

CH: Thank you so much, Carole Price, 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, Carole Price and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

Books or Authors…Any Suggestions for Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Hi Readers, Fans, and Followers,                                                                          Does anyone have a suggestion? Email me at AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com                                                    Thanks!

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Guest Author Interview – Carolyn Killion

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: The Alchemist’s Children

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: After their mother disappears, fourteen-year-old Gabriella and eleven-year-old Holden decide to search for her. The problem is, she’s a human-sized leprechaun and has traveled to the leprechaun world, which they have never seen. With the help of their Uncle Robert, they journey to this mysterious realm, where they encounter goblins and dragons and unexpected surprises. What they find is both more enchanting and more dangerous than they ever could have imagined. A leprechaun king is determined to invade Earth through a magical portal. To save their mother, Gabriella and Holden must find a way to stop a war between leprechauns and humans.

Carolyn Killion, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Carolyn Killion. She has her head in the clouds, but her feet are firmly planted on the ground. Welcome to my blog, Carolyn.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this Sci-Fi/Fantasy. 

CK: It opens up a new world of fantasy, where Leprechauns have the power of alchemy and they control other fantasy creatures such as dragons, gargoyles and sea monsters.

CH: This book is about children looking for their mother in a world that they’ve never seen. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

CK: This book started as short story that was a mixture of elements to entertain my daughter. It was blend of fantasy, but also rooted in reality, as it was based on a child that had physical scars. I’ve watched my child struggle with fitting into the fabric of society, with facial scars from a rare disease. I wanted to create a story where the character had these flaws, and show how—even though different—you can possess strength and overcome obstacles.

CH: Since the children have to stop a war between leprechauns and humans, did you have to do any special research to write this fantasy book or is it all imagination?

CK: Most of it was imagination, as I was re-imagining the mythology of Leprechauns.

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

CK: I strive for simplicity and to keep the pace flowing. My daughter has always struggled to read and my biggest goal with this book was to create a story that was fast paced, and not mired in details and items that would lose a young adult reader.

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

CK: I thought about how children would react to situations, and the way I viewed life when I was that age. This is how I created the situations and solved the issues.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CK: The character that was the hardest to write is one that makes a minor appearance at the end. The father of the two children returns, and will play a major role in the next two books. It was difficult to write a small amount about him, when he has such an explosive story to tell.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CK: The two main characters were my favorite and it is hard to choose between these two. It was fun putting them into situations and sending them along an adventure that would change their lives in fantastical realms they barely knew existed before their journey began.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

CK: The character of Gabriella was hardest to develop. I wanted to include so much more about her, and her personality and why she reacted to situations the way she did. Yet, I did not want to lengthen the book or get too involved where a young reader, that struggled to read, would have difficulty. I wrote a lot more that I have reserved for the second book.

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

CK: The message in this novel is that people are not necessarily good or bad, and that adversity can be overcome.

CH: Does your fantasy audience consist of adults and children?

CK: My audience does consist of both adults and children.

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

CK: The main feedback is that it was quick, enjoyable, and ‘When is the next one coming out?’

CH: Are there any Sci-Fi authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

CK: Neil Gaiman, Phillip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, Rick Riordan are all a few of my favorite authors. They create amazing worlds, and I love how easy it is to escape into them.

CH: What motivates you to have the imagination to create fantasy worlds?

CK: It is an escape from the reality of life, and a way to entertain others. Also, as an avid reader, I tear through many books. Sometimes, I yearn to read more than what I can find about some fantasy/sci-fi worlds, so I create my own.

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

CK: I started writing when I was a young child, and have always done it on the side. I was never serious about publishing until recently. I have so many stories that I’ve created and set aside, and it was finally time to focus more seriously on what I have always been passionate about in my life.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CK: I am finishing up the next novel in the Alchemist’s Children series and also working on an adult urban fantasy.

CH: How to Find Carolyn Killion:

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

CK: The book may be found at Barnes and Noble online and Amazon. It is available also as an eBook. There are also links on my website to where to purchase the book.

CH: Any closing remarks?

CK: Thank you for featuring me on your blog. I hope that you enjoyed the book. I always am welcome to feedback, and a link to contact me is also available on my website.

CH: Thank you so much, Carolyn Killion, 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, Carolyn Killion and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

Guest Author Interview – Marissa Campbell

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: Hot in Aruba: An Unabashedly Sexy Contemporary Romance

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Vulnerability is Samantha Mackay’s kryptonite, and she keeps her emotions—and her men—at arm’s length. But when her good friend, Carlos Naldini, invites her on an all-expense-paid trip to Aruba, her resolve waivers.

Tired of being relegated to the friend zone, Carlos enacts his foolproof plan, inviting Samantha to join him in Aruba, hoping the trip to paradise will soften her reluctant heart.

Samantha agrees to Carlos’ proposal, giving him exactly ten days to prove he’s boyfriend material. After some wild Aruba nights and hot, sexy days, things appear to be progressing swimmingly, until Carlos’ ex-girlfriend arrives, exposing an intricate web of deception and betrayal. When news from home shatters Samantha’s hopes further, she leaves Aruba, giving up on her dreams of happily ever after. Devastated, Carlos is determined to do whatever it takes to bring Samantha back to Aruba and into his arms.

Secrets, lies, and heartbreak lurk in the shadows behind sunshiny days of sex on the beach, cocktails by the pool, laughter, and friends. It’s getting hot in Aruba—but the sparks might just consume them.

Marissa Campbell, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s International Guest Author is Marissa Campbell. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America. Welcome to my blog, Marissa.

CH: Please tell us in two sentences why we should read this book.

MC: I tend to blend genres together in my writing, so if you think you might enjoy an unabashedly sexy contemporary romance with the depth and resonance of a memorable women’s fiction, then Hot in Aruba might be for you. I even managed to say all that in one sentence, lol.

CH: Your sexy book deals with the realities of life and love. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

MC: Hot in Aruba was inspired by a short story I wrote, called Italian Delicacy. I fell in love with these two characters and decided they had a bigger story to tell. I had just finished writing the second book in my historical romance series and knew I wanted to try my hand at a contemporary novel. I also wanted a location I knew and loved. Aruba was a great fit. It gave me a timeline to work with and an exotic location to set the story in.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this hot and sexy novel?

MC: For the first time writing a book, I didn’t have to do any extensive research. That was the captivating draw of writing a contemporary romance. While I wrote Avelynn and Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, book one and two in my historical fiction series set in 869 England and Wales, I was immersed in research. For my next book, I wanted a refreshing change. Fortunately, I had been to Aruba, so I could give a reasonable account of some of its features. For parts where I wanted to branch out beyond what I had experienced, I interviewed friends who had also been to the island to get an idea of where they stayed and what they did while on holiday there.

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

MC: As mentioned, I like to blend genres, specifically looking to add or tweak elements I discover when reading. For example, I tend to gloss over some of the internal thoughts that are typical of the romance genre. Readers, of course, will know what Samantha and Carlos are thinking, but for me, in a typical romance there’s just too much repetition of why the two protagonists can’t be together. My style of writing doesn’t fit with that.

The other thing that I need when reading a book is some seriously sensuous heat. I love the depth of women’s fiction, or chick-lit if you will, but I find they typically shy away from sexy scenes. Most sex scenes are off the page, behind closed doors, or are short and sweet. I wanted to bring readers a truly memorable and emotionally resonant love story, with lots of character development, but I wanted to titillate with enough heat to satisfy the most discerning romance or erotica reader.

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

MC: I think emotions are universal. In order to write a compelling love story, an author needs to tap into the feelings we’ve all experienced and bring them to life on the page. Even if the situations I’m creating are new, I remember what it felt like to fall in love, to feel betrayed, to feel lost or alone. I bring that reflection to the scenes I create for my characters. Though, I will say the story of Catharine and Mr. Lewiston was based on my own grandparents and the love and life they shared together for 60 years.

CH: Which character was the hardest to write?

MC: I always find my lead protagonist, in this case, Samantha, the hardest to write. I tend to be a very deep methodical thinker, and my main characters are not prone to fantasy. They are practical, down to earth, and typically stubborn. This makes them a little closed when it comes to trying to understand what’s going on in their heads. They don’t make it easy for me. I have to remove a layer of insight one scene at a time until I know them like the back of my hand. Carlos and Mr. Lewiston for example were a breeze to write in comparison, lol.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

MC: I enjoyed spending time with Mr. Lewiston, Samantha’s mentor and only real father figure in her life. Because I based the love story of Mr. Lewiston and his wife, Catharine, on my own grandparents, it was like they were with me, as I wrote the novel. I cherished that.

CH: With secrets, lies, and heartbreak, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

MC: They always say your personal style reflects themes and guiding principles. I never really thought about it until I finished writing Avelynn. It was only after reading a craft book about theme that I realized the novel had a strong theme, though I had interwoven it subconsciously. I’ve since come to realize that I do have key messages in my books and in a way, they guide my entire life: Follow your dreams; If you are passionate about something, it’s worth fighting for; Everyone deserves happiness; and Always know your worth.

CH: How long have you been writing? What attracted you to writing in the first place?

MC: According to my kindergarten reflection sheet, I was always going to grow up and be a writer. Who knew? Lol. I find it fascinating that at 5 years old, I had a sense of who I was. Of course, it took me another thirty years to truly embrace it, but I’ve spent my entire life writing in some capacity, whether penning articles for newspapers and local magazines, writing blog posts, or tinkering with stories that will never see the light of day. It took me a long time to own the title, Author, and to actually take a chance on writing novels.

As for what attracted me to writing in the first place, that’s a good question. I think I needed an outlet for a hyperactive mind. Most writers I know have minds that just won’t shut down, and at some point, you need to do something with all that clamor banging around in your head. I used to write poetry to help make sense of my emotions and feelings, but writing a novel allows you to experience someone else’s feelings, and someone else’s life. It lets you channel and focus your thoughts into something new, rather than constantly rehashing the same internal melodrama of your own life. It’s like an escape, like travelling to Aruba for a blissful vacation.

CH: What is your favorite romance book? And Why?

 MC: I’m a huge Outlander fan, an amazing historical romance series by Diana Gabaldon. I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet has read the books, but just in case you haven’t, you really should read the books. 😉  I fell in love with the main characters, Jamie and Claire, in the first book and continued to follow their adventures, savoring every moment they were on the page together. Not only does Diana do an incredible job of creating and then sustaining that romance through each book in the series, but she also writes wonderfully sensual love scenes. A trait I admire greatly.

In fact, I’d say Diana is my greatest inspiration as an author. It was because of my love for Outlander that I found the courage to write Avelynn, and I continue to be captivated by her words. I’ve had many authors move me with their stories, and each one has helped shape who I am as a writer. I learn something new with each book I read.

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

MC: When I was very young, I wrote wild tales of strange lands and knights and damsels. Then as a teenager, my thoughts turned dark and existential, and I explored my emotions and feelings through poetry. After that, I found myself starting a family, and in my spare time would write articles for parenting newspapers and local magazines. It wasn’t until I became a yoga instructor that I co-wrote my first book, exploring how to live life to the fullest. Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day was a labor of love, taking five years to complete, but when it was done, I had something meaningful to give to the world, and the satisfaction I took away from that, as well as the knowledge that I could in fact complete a book, despite the countless false starts sitting on floppy disks (yes, I’m dating myself, lol), was intoxicating. I wanted to do it again. Then, after one cold Outlanderless night, having just finished reading An Echo in the Bone, I decided to write my own historical romance to fill the void. Thus, the Avelynn series was born. My debut novel, Avelynn was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2015. The sequel, Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, I indie published in 2016. And, this year, 2017, I tried my hand at contemporary romance with Hot in Aruba. It’s certainly been a journey.

CH: What is your next writing project?

MC: Fans of Avelynn would want me to say book three in the series, and while that’s somewhere on the horizon, I have been toying with an LGBTQ romance story, which may be my next venture. However, this past September I returned to college full-time. So, my writing has taken a bit of a hiatus, and studying has taken over.

CH: How to Find Marissa Campbell:

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

MC: Hot in Aruba is available through all the regular channels: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Chapters, etc. The eBook will be available strictly through Amazon for the time being. I may expand the distribution down the road, but I’m giving Kindle exclusivity a try.

CH: Any Closing Remarks?

MC: I’m incredibly proud of Hot in Aruba. I took a chance and blurred the genre lines, but I think readers will appreciate the effort. I’m excited to see what everyone thinks! Thanks, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Marissa Campbell, 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, Marissa Campbell and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Cheryl Holloway is Guest Blogger in Australia on March 11th

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

I will be visiting my down under friends at ARRA on Sunday, March 11, 2018. More information to come. Please join me.

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Erin Trejo

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Title: A Love Like War

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary

Synopsis: Nash Lamont Kingston: I knew what I wanted from a young age. Born a piece of trailer trash, I had bigger dreams. I wanted it all. I wanted to run the drugs that keep Miami hot. I would become the King one way or another. Sadie was the girl that I loved. I couldn’t commit to her though. I was far too gone for that, but when her life is put in the line of fire, I’m forced to choose between her and the empire I’ve built. The choice wasn’t any easy one to make and when I do, I may be shoving her into the arms of one of my best friends.

Erin Trejo, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Erin Trejo. She loves being able to create different characters and spin a web that makes them come together in the end. Welcome to my blog, Erin.

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

ET: A Love Like War is a raw gritty glimpse into the life of some lifelong friends that want more out of there life than what they started with.

CH: Your book deals with love, drugs and thugs. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

ET: These are things that we have all dealt with in some way, shape or form. I think it brings a lot of things to light that some readers have been exposed to. I wanted my book to be as real as possible.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

ET: A little of both. I’ve had a lot of crazy experiences in life that I like to use in my books. I think it creates a much more real setting for my characters.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

ET: I did! Creating a plot that I could toss, twist and what it turns into was a challenge. The basic storyline just wouldn’t have been enough to draw attention. It needed more.

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

ET: I did research on some of the mafia aspects in the book, since they are my weakness.

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

ET: I think that my background and the way I twist in some real situations is different. Not every single book will have purely fiction. I think tossing in some real is what makes the books come alive.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

ET: Tristan, for sure. He was a bad boy with a good heart. I think trying to make that presentable was the hardest part.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

ET: Nash. He has no filter when it comes to something he wants. He doesn’t take no for an answer, at any time.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

ET: Nash again. I had to find a way to make his “not so nice” persona have a heart, later on in the book. He was for sure my biggest challenge.

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

ET: Never give up on your dreams. When you find something to love, love it with all you have.

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

ET: The feedback has been positive. They feel the connection to the readers and it really helps them feel like part of the story.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing? 

ET: No. I don’t tend to read much, as strange as that sounds!

CH: Since you’re a stay-at-home mom, was writing your outlet to real life?

ET: It can be, yes. I always have a lot going on and mainly in my head. When my kids are at school, that’s when I can really get things out!

CH: Have you received any awards for your writing?

ET: I’ve been International Best Seller on Amazon more than once. That’s a huge thing for me!

CH: What is your next writing project?

ET: I’m finishing up a new MC series for next year, Soulless Bastards.

CH: How to Find Erin Trejo:

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

ET: This one is on Amazon only for the time being. Eventually I will have it on multiple platforms.

CH: Any closing remarks?

ET: Thank you so much for inviting me for this interview. Cheryl, it’s bloggers like you that keep us Indie writers going. I don’t think you guys truly get the recognition you deserve. Without you we wouldn’t get anywhere so you guys mean the world to me!

CH: Thank you so much, Erin Trejo, 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, Erin Trejo and Cheryl Holloway.

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Book Boost for A Sisterhood of Women Living Life by Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

Please enjoy the link here:

http://freeboostmarketing.com/

Read more here:

http://tiny.cc/0mewpy

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Readers’ Favorite 4-Star Review for The Bane Bath Salts by Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Google NewsFox News Logo

Readers’ Favorite 4-Star Review

Please read the wonderful 4-Star Review by Edith Wairimu at:

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-bane-bath-salts

“This is one of my all-time favorite reviews of my books!”

Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/58ivpy

 

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

    Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

A Writer’s Idea Instead of A New Year’s Resolution for 2018

Banner Header_2016

Google News          Fox News Logo

 

 

 

 

 

January is usually a time of change and new beginnings. Most people see January as a time to start over and begin making New Year’s Resolutions, which they think will improve the quality of their life in the coming year. If you’re like most of us, the majority of your New Year’s resolutions will fail (92%). Eating healthy and going on a strict diet usually goes out the window by Valentine’s Day and all the chocolates.


I have suggested this before in 2014 and decided to bring it up again. So, since we’re all writers, let’s try a new concept to this.

My suggestion:  Let’s pretend that we are Dan Fogelman, an American creator and writer; Kay Oyegun, writer; Donald Todd, writer; or Aurin Squire, writer,  for the award-winning television series, This Is Us.  You are writing a new series about you and your life as a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

Your character wants to begin anew for 2018 and plan ahead for the many successes, as well as challenges of his/her writing career. The character must reflect on the past writing years and writing accomplishments of his/her life. The character will contemplate ideas for that much-waited-for award, the well-deserved bestseller or the prestigious moment when their book is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Your character has been through the rough times when he/she couldn’t get a traditional publisher; through the changes when their agent finally got them a publisher of choice; and when he/she had to evolve into the great writer that he/she always knew they could become.  So, instead of picking a New Year’s Resolution you will pick a “theme” for your writing career in 2018. Sample themes: “Moving on up in the writing world,” or “The next stage in my writing career,” or “Finally getting the perfect or not-so-perfect writing deal and advance.”

Keep in mind that according to Wikipedia, Fogelman grew up in what he has called an “endearingly dysfunctional”  Jewish family. So, it hasn’t always been a perfect world for Fogelman. His life and career may be on top of the world today, but back in past, it wasn’t. I’m sure the same applies to the other writers, because obviously that is where they get the material for their script.

First, think back through 2017, and ask yourself, “What was the highlight of my writing career in 2017?”  Then, make a list (minimum of 3) writing events that you want to look forward to in the coming year.  This writing exercise will probably be more attainable than any New Year’s Resolution list.

My author friend, Georgette Littlejohn, had a great writing year—A GRO-c-ERY STORY, children’s book; Miracle’s Destiny, debut novel; and Bad Girl Blues, stage play production.

My author friend, Libby Campbell, published Lydia’s Revenge in eBook and paperback. I love the cover!

I had a great year as an accountability coach by helping other writers get their writing out in the eye of the public, but 2018 is my year for getting more of my books out there. Four of my projects are: The Lady In The Trunk; How to Enhance Your Life With Prayer; The Gift of Love; and A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 2.

So, think it over carefully and put pen to paper and make those ideas become a reality in 2018!

P.S. (to two good writing friends) Pat Crews, we can hardly wait on The Taming of Mama and Winona Addison, we are eager to read Balloon Acres.

If you like this blog post, share it with your friends. 🙂

Signature Logo

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

 Subscribe_clip art       Ampersand_image         Spread the Word

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

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

Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

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

Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net