Guest Author Interview – Libby Campbell

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Title: Lydia’s Revenge

Genre: Literature/Fiction

Synopsis: Maybe once in a lifetime do you meet a person as interesting as the inspiration for this book. ‘Lydia’ began as a collection of true tales and then just took off on a fictional adventure all her own.

 

Libby Campbell, Author

CH:  Today’s Guest Author is a writer friend of mine, Libby Campbell. She is a debut novelist. Welcome to my blog, Libby.

CH: Can you sum up your book in a few sentences?

LC: Can one moment in time change a life forever? For Lydia, a feisty and independent 74 year old, one fateful day may have long reaching consequences.

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

LC: Lydia’s Revenge is based on a real person and a real-life murder/mystery, which combined with imagination made a wonderfully warm fictional novel about people and life.

CH: As a debut author, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

LC: Yes, many challenges. I’ve wanted to write for a long time. When I came to the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group (AWWG), I got inspired and wanted to put more time into my writing. It was the ‘kick in the pants’ I needed to take my work more seriously.

In the fall of 2014, I took the plunge and signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). That year yielded a rough draft. I never looked back and the following November I had finished revising it.  I published the eBook version. However, a customer’s review shocked me into reality, when it said that the book needed to be edited. Next, I had it professionally edited and I had finally finished the book that I had been working on for four years.  So, I was now ready to self-publish the print paperback.

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

LC: Lydia is based on a real person, but as the project went on, she changed quite a bit and took on a life of her own. It’s fiction, after all, and among the surprising things Lydia gets embroiled in, only a few are drawn directly from real life.

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

LC: Lydia was my favorite to write, but she was also the hardest character to write.  Maybe once in a lifetime do you meet a person as interesting as the inspiration for this book.  Lydia’s Revenge began as a collection of true tales and then Lydia just took off on a fictional adventure all of her own.

CH: You’re in a writing group, how has this helped your writing? Was there inspiration from the writer’s group?

LC: When I came to AWWG, I got inspired, and put more time into my writing. I credit meeting once a month and having writer friends who cheer you on, as what really helped inspire me to keep writing.

CH: Patrise Henkel, one of the writers from AWWG, reminded me of this story. In 2015, during a series of NaNoWriMo meetings at the library, you arrived late with a gift for everyone—a bag full of knitted hats. And you said, “Please everyone, take one. Consider it a thinking cap, to keep your writer’s brain warm, while you write this month.” Libby that was such a nice gesture. Now, can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

LC: Yes, I wrote reports and proposals during my career at the Alice Ferguson Foundation, a center for environmental education. After retiring, I discovered my imagination was ready to use that skill for a new adventure.

CH: Overall, Libby’s feedback is good since that awakening review. Below is a 5-Star book review from one of the AWWG members:

“Everything I read seems to focus on younger people. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover a main character more my age in Lydia’s Revenge. The first part of the book introduces you to Lydia, following enough twists and turns throughout her life that you soon discover you know her and consider her a friend.

Just when you are about to relax together with a cup of tea, Lydia’s world turns upside down and each page leads you deeper into a totally unexpected mystery with bizarre connections to Lydia herself! Congratulations to a first time author who generously shares her lively imagination and wealth of knowledge.”

~Carrie Staples

CH: How to Find Libby Campbell:

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

LC:  Exclusively on Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LC:  Thank you to all the readers who have chosen my book. I greatly enjoyed writing it and hope you found something in it to resonant within your own experience. Cheryl, I’d like to thank you for having me on your blog.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Lachlan Walter

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Title: The Rain Never Came

Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Synopsis: In a thirsty, drought-stricken Australia, the country is well and truly sunburnt. As the Eastern states are evacuated to more appealing climates, a stubborn few resist the forced removal. They hide out in small country towns – where no one would ever bother looking.

Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are united in their disregard of the law. Aussie larrikins, they pass their hot, monotonous existence drinking at the barely standing pub.

When strange lights appear across the Western sky, it seems that those embittered by the drought are seeking revenge. And Bill and Tobe are in their path. In the heat of the moment secrets will be revealed, and survival can’t be guaranteed.

Lachlan Walter, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest is International Author, Lachlan Walter. He has completed a PhD that critically and creatively explored the relationship between Australian post-apocalyptic fiction and Australian notions of national identity. Welcome to my blog, Lachlan.

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

LW: Told in an unmistakably and undeniably Australian voice, The Rain Never Came will show you a different end of the world, one of thirst and drought and baked earth, of mateship and laconicism and black humor.

CH: Since this book is about a drought in Australia, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

LW: A great deal of The Rain Never Came is extrapolated from real life. Almost a decade ago, I moved back to my hometown at the tail end of a ten-year drought that devastated much of Australia’s south-east. My hometown is a tiny country town, deep in the bush—at that time, it was suffering from the effects of this drought. Life was strange: communities were fraying; some people who depended on water for their livelihood began abandoning the land and moving to the city; and water theft had become common.

It seemed as if the past had returned—a world of hard work, dust and thirst. And yet, we were surrounded by the trappings of 21st Century life. More than anything else, this world of old and new seemed like the beginning of some post-apocalyptic world you would find in science fiction. From there, based on my own experience, it was easy to imagine the parched land only a handful of years hence. And so The Rain Never Came was born.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

LW: I returned to university in my late twenties, to finish a Bachelor’s Degree that life had interrupted. I’d already had the idea for The Rain Never Came, but turning it into a book seemed like a fantasy. However, during my degree and my honors year, I took quite a few writing classes, and rediscovered a passion and enthusiasm for writing that I thought had disappeared.

I practiced a lot, trying to find a voice and point-of-view all my own. I finished my studies and returned to real life, writing as much as I could, whenever I could. And then one day, the opportunity arose to do a PhD, which would involve writing both a novel and a piece of literary criticism. I seized it, realizing that it would be the perfect environment to bring The Rain Never Came to life.

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?

LW: Like most writers of science fiction/speculative fiction, the big ideas at the heart of my stories are really just frameworks upon which I can hang explorations of the ways in which people might react to their new situations and new worlds. After all, an idea isn’t a story—it’s more like a spark—a spark that ignites a fire. As I want my fires to contain what-ifs and maybes (that nonetheless still connect to the world we live in), I’m always on the lookout for real-life stories that seem to point towards our future—changes in technology, politics, culture, the environment, medical science, communication devices, interpersonal relationships, infrastructure systems, and organizational, learning and teaching methods.

And then it’s just a matter of extrapolating a new idea from any particular real-life stories that grab me, and working out how this new idea might affect everyday people. To do this, I rely on every writer’s trick: observing and eavesdropping, creating characters and situations by recombining the people I know and see and the minutiae of life around me. Once I’ve got the first inklings of my characters and a plot, I then tend to just spend time with them and let them reveal themselves through the process of writing—their formation should be a bottom-up process, based on attempts at realistic actions and reactions, rather than a top-down process, whereby the stricture of a predetermined plot guides them with an unwavering hand.

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

LW: Most of the way of life portrayed in The Rain Never Came was based on observation, guesswork and my own prior knowledge—the only real research that was necessary was on the effects of dehydration. And even then, we’ve all been thirsty at some time. 

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? And which character was hardest to write?

LW: I didn’t have a favorite character to write, or a least favorite. Likewise I didn’t find any one particular character harder to write than any other. What I did find was that there were some character moments I thoroughly enjoyed, and some that I didn’t enjoy much at all. Funnily enough, these two disparate moments both involved the same characters: Bill and Tobe.

Even though Bill and Tobe are almost entirely fictional creations, there is one part of their relationship that is steeped in reality: the shit-stirring, knockabout sense of mateship that they share. Here, I drew upon the same kind of Australian-style trash-talk that exists between some of my own friends and I, and thoroughly enjoyed the process – the roughness and dismissiveness that they show towards each other, which masks genuine concern and compassion, never failed to make me smile. And so, without giving things away, I found writing the flip-side of their relationship to be a difficult and sometimes enjoyment-free process, so invested was I in the light-hearted and affectionately derogatory vibe that exists between them.

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

LW: I don’t really like highlighting particular messages that I want readers to take from my work—I feel that the beauty and the joy of literature is that the act of reading is all about the reader, rather than the writer. I might want people to find specific messages in The Rain Never Came, but I can’t force them to do so. Reading is the most individual of individual acts; whatever messages we take away apply only to ourselves, as they’re solely dependent on our own points of view and personal philosophies.

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

LW: First and foremost, I want people to be excited by an Australian voice that is steeped in Australian-isms—this is something that I’ve tried hard to achieve, as we have some fascinating terms and colloquialisms that are as interesting as those of anywhere else, and what might be called our stereotypically ‘Australian’ way of looking at the world can provide a refreshing perspective.

As well, I hope that readers will find my style both straightforward enough to avoid affectation, and literary enough to avoid being boring or seen as riding the coattails of the bare-bone sparseness common to so-called literary science fiction/speculative fiction. I’ve always been an admirer of both types: the straightforward science fiction voice that simply gets the job done, and the literary voice that flaunts a love of words, language and story. But above all, I’ve always preferred those writers who can walk the fine line between the two.

That’s not to say that I want my ‘voice’ to sound like any of theirs. What I do want, though, is for mine to affect people in the same way as theirs do, and to straddle the same kind of line as they do. And lastly, I hope that readers find it to be unique without being precious, earthy without being coarse, learned without being pretentious.

CH: What can non-Australians understand by reading this book?

LW: I hope that The Rain Never Came will open the eyes of non-Australian readers to the uniqueness of Australian science fiction/speculative fiction, and I hope that these readers see The Rain Never Came as a deliberate addition to this subgenre/offshoot/micro-genre/call-it-what-you-will. Of course, every nationality has a different way of telling stories, both in general and about themselves; no two national perspectives are the same, nor are any two senses of national identity or foundational myths. But being Australian, in my book I want Australian-ness to shine through.

As well, I hope that in The Rain Never Came readers will see how the inherent potential and unreal nature of science fiction/speculative fiction allows for a creative exploration of what it means to be ‘Australian,’ a device used by many other Australian authors operating in the same genre. I also hope that after reading it, readers will imagine the Australian bush in much the same way as they imagined the Australian desert after seeing Mad Max—as a place of desolate beauty and ancient stillness, that doesn’t need dressing up to resemble a world after the apocalypse.

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

LW: Most of the feedback I’ve received so far has been positive, or at least encouraging. I’m more than ready for anything negative, though nothing creative is ever perfect, and nor should it be. Luckily, I’ve got pretty thick skin. The writer’s lot has given me this ‘you can’t let rejection letter after rejection letter stop you from persevering,’ you just have to have confidence, determination and an honest eye, and realize that you can always get better.

Remembering that taste is in the eye of the beholder also helps. Even better is doing the best job that you can, and resisting the urge to grow complacent or lazy with your work. We write because we love writing and literature, books and stories. There’s no point in phoning that love in.

 CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

LW: I like those writers who have a singular ‘voice’ and focus on the emotional states of their characters, and on their characters’ psychological development. Within science fiction/speculative fiction, these kinds of writers normally use their science fiction ideas as a framework to support an exploration of these states and developments, rather than as an end unto themselves: people like J. G. Ballard, Kurt Vonnegut, Debra Biancotti, Steven Amsterdam and Margaret Atwood. Their work, while full of ideas, is truly memorable for the way it makes us feel, rather than the way they make us think.

Outside the umbrella of science fiction, I like writers who do the same kind of thing, and possess a similarly singular voice and focus on the emotional and psychological states of their characters: Charles Bukowski, William Kotzwinkle, Katherine Dunn, Franz Kafka and Peter Carey.

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

LW: The Rain Never Came hasn’t been out for that long, so I’m only really taking my first steps as a published author. But I don’t think that many writing accomplishments will ever feel as good as the first time I saw my book as an actual book, something I’m sure most published writers will agree with.

CH: How to Find Lachlan Walter:

CH: What is your next writing project?

LW: I like to have a lot of projects on the go at once—the trick is knowing which one to focus on first, something I’m not that good at. And so right now, I have a decent second draft of a book-length story cycle, which looks at giant monsters with serious eyes, and have also made a start on two other books: a post-apocalyptic western, and an offbeat piece of metafictional science fiction. Did I really just use the word offbeat?

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

LW: You can find The Rain Never Came at all the usual places: Amazon, the Book Depository, Booktopia, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Odyssey Books’ website.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LW: I’ve banged this drum previously, but I’m going to beat it some more: as fans of science fiction/speculative fiction, we must ensure that we make an effort to explore beyond the boundaries of those countries that produce the majority of it: Europe, the UK, the US and Japan.

From South-East Asia to the Antipodes, from the Indian Subcontinent to Eastern Europe, and from Africa to South America, science fiction/speculative fiction allows all of us to express our hopes for the future and our fears of it, regardless of our nationality or background. All we need to do is look a little further and dig a little deeper. Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Lachlan Walter, 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, Lachlan Walter 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 – Barb Warner Deane

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Title: On The Homefront

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: In 1941, WWII begins for the United States, and life will never be the same for three women as they send their husbands, brothers, and friends off to war.

Ruth, a young wife and teacher, Lilly her teenaged sister-in-law, and Helen, a British war bride, learn to cope with rationing, change, fear, loss, humiliation, and brutality, while they forge an impenetrable bond and grow to be stronger than any of them ever dreamed possible. They lean on each other for support, aided by the family and friends who surround them, but when one decides to go to the front lines as part of the American Red Cross Clubmobile program, how can they cope with her absence—and more telegrams reporting loss?

Barb Warner Deane, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Barb Warner Deane.  Her book was inspired by a trip to Normandy, France. Welcome to my blog, Barb.

CH: Can you sum up your historical fiction novel in a few words?

BWD: On The Homefront is historical women’s fiction set in the U.S. during World War II, following 3 young women after their men marched off to war, which shows how they stepped up and one even joined the American Red Cross Clubmobile program and going to the front lines.

CH: What made you decide to write about strong women who step up when their men go off to war?

BWD: I learned about the Clubmobile program when visiting the American Cemetery in Normandy, France and started researching these little-known heroic young women. As the ideas grew, I realized most American women had to become heroes during WWII, whether on the front lines or the home front, in order to keep the country operating and to support the war effort.

CH: Did you have to do any special research for the historical accuracy of this book?

BWD: When I practiced law, my favorite part was the research and writing, and that holds true for writing historical fiction. I spent hours reading first-person accounts, in letters and books, of former Clubmobilers, as well as reading books, watching film, and visiting many WWII historical spots, to research life on the home front, the men on the front lines, the battles in both theaters of operations, and the overall effect of the war on Americans.

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

BWD: Some aspects of the story just came to me while writing, but for some I took situations from real life. For instance, when I was visiting the WWII Museum in New Orleans, one of the WWII veterans working there told me to be sure to check out an exhibit about a soldier whose life was saved by the life-preserver made by his own mother back in the U.S., where she was a ‘Rosie-the-Riveter’ type of factory worker in a plant back in the U.S. I found the story so compelling, I had to work it into my book.

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

BWD: Each book comes to me in different, but similar ways. I lock onto the people in the story—they are what catches my interest from the start. For On The Homefront, it started with a real Clubmobiler and grew as I dug into my research to incorporate these three women working in different ways to support the war effort. For Killing Her Softly, my new release later this month, I woke up one morning with the nugget of the story clear to me from a dream. I knew who the people were and went from there. For my current work-in-progress, a connected book to Killing Her Softly, I had an idea of a heroine I wanted to write about and realized she was going to fall in love with a character from Killing Her Softly, which started the wheels in motion.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

BWD: I have always been interested in history and writing, so I guess the surprising thing is it took me until my fourth completed novel to finally write historical fiction. When I read about the Clubmobile program, and realized how little was known about them, I realized this was a story that needed to be told. I just had to work to make it right.

CH: Where do you get the inspiration for your strong women characters?

BWD: Ruth is named after my mother; and certainly, inspiration from my mother, my aunts, and other members of the Greatest Generation served as inspiration for the women in On The Homefront. In fact, there are a number of names pulled from my family tree—I’m big into genealogy, too—and the Walker farm in the story is inspired by the Walker family farm that has been in my Aunt and Uncle’s family for more than 100 years. Mostly, I have always been surrounded by strong women, from my mother, mother-in-law, aunts, sisters, sisters-in-law, daughters, nieces, and friends. These women all serve as inspiration.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

BWD: In OnThe Homefront, I was sure Ruth would be my favorite, given that she was named after my mother and she was the inspiration for the story. But I found each woman compelling in her own way. Lilly came from a loving home, but had to endure a lot at a fairly young age, so she grew into a fascinating woman for me. But, I think it was Helen, who came from a very difficult upbringing, who had low self-esteem and was functionally illiterate, but was at her core a strong, loving, caring, and dependable woman, who really surprised me the most.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

BWD: Each woman had her own challenges and surprises, but I think the hardest to write was Lilly, because she was so young and innocent at the start of the war, but even on the home front, those qualities couldn’t survive during the war.

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

BWD: One of the things that draws me to the WWII era is the clear delineation the world saw in right versus wrong, but the many shades of grey that remained for individuals trying to do their best to survive and save their world. I think the main message I see in On The Homefront is that life is a group effort. It takes a village, not only to raise a child, but to have a full and fulfilling life. We need to support and care for one another in order for any of us to really succeed in life.

Again, the main message is that your life is a successful one if you surround yourself with people you can help and who help you. My parents raised my sisters and I to believe that we are obligated and privileged to help others where we can, just by the fact that we are alive and have the ability to help. Life is not meant to be a solitary endeavor and the most rewarding life is one lived in service to others.

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

BWD: I think one of the distinct differences that readers are enjoying about On The Homefront is the fact that it is written in alternating first person point of view of all three women—Ruth, Lilly, and Helen. Readers feel a stronger sense of connection to each of these women, because they are in each woman’s head. For me, this era is so much about the feeling that we were all in this together, I wanted to ensure that my readers really felt that they were a part of the story, as well.

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

BWD: The feedback and reviews of On The Homefront have been better than I had hoped for and I am truly grateful. I think it currently has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and Goodreads; and the emails I’m getting from readers telling me they couldn’t put the book down; and cried and laughed; and loved my characters. The feedback tells me that it is hitting the right notes with so many readers. I’m extremely happy and fortunate that so many readers are ‘getting’ what I was going for and enjoying the story.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

BWD: My second book, Killing Her Softly, will be released on September 29, is a very different type of book. It is a contemporary romantic suspense, set in a fictional town next to my hometown of Watkins Glen, NY. The main characters are Kate, a woman trying to escape her abusive marriage, and Jack, the new sheriff in town, who happens to be Kate’s long-ago friend and brother-in-law. I dedicated this book in part to the late Nancy Richards-Akers, a wonderful romance author who was killed by her abusive husband.

I am working on two more books right now. I’m about half-way through writing a contemporary romantic women’s fiction that will be a follow-up to Killing Her Softly, set in the same town of Harper’s Glen, with several of the same characters having roles in the new story. I foresee at least a third book in the Harper’s Glen series down the road. I’m also in the research stage of my next historical, also a WWII-era story set on the American home front.

CH: Can you tell us about your website?

BWD: My website (listed below) is designed by my talented daughter, Miranda. I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/barbwarnerdeane

CH: How to Find Barb Warner Deane:

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

BWD: On The Homefront is available in both eBook and paperback from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. For anyone who would like to buy an autographed copy of the paperback, they can contact me directly, via the contact page on my website. Interested readers can also sign up for my mailing list on my contact page and, if interested, qualify for the lottery drawing for free tickets to For The Love of Books & Chicago, a large book signing of 40+ authors at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL on October 14.

CH: Any closing remarks?

BWD: Thanks so much for interviewing me about On The Homefront and my writing career, Cheryl. It is a privilege to be able to share my passion for writing, reading, and books with you and your audience.

CH: Thank you so much, Barb Warner Deane, 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, Barb Warner Deane 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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Georgette Littlejohn

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Title: Miracle’s Destiny

Genre: Fiction/Family Life

Synopsis: Miracle had no clue that keeping her brother Joseph’s secret would blindside her marriage. She’s also holding back about Karma, her husband’s sister. Mychal isn’t without his own discretion and when faced with Joseph’s reality Mychal is peering in the closet at his own skeletons. Miracle is the confidant of the family and is expected to hold it together, but her life is evaporating before her eyes. Will Miracle heal from her untruths and get her hectic life back that she often complained about?

Georgette Littlejohn, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Georgette Littlejohn, a debut author. Welcome to my blog, Georgette.

CH:    Can you sum up your book in a few words?  

GL: Forgiveness is hard, but it’s liberating and powerful; however, when dealing with life challenges, you have to learn that your future isn’t defined by your 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?

GL: I wish I did…I would be famous already. The ideas come from life. Honestly, I just let the words flow for this novel. I wrote it during Nano Month, so, it was about hitting my 50,000 words, but it worked. The ideas kept coming, so I kept writing.

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

GL: At times, it was hard. One scene in particular was challenging for me and I still think I could have written it differently. Others came naturally, because it was close enough to things I, or others I know have experienced.

CH: Will this book be part of a series?

GL: Possibly…maybe I’ll let the readers decide!  🙂

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

GL: No doubt, Patrick was my favorite character to write.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

GL: Mychal was definitely the hardest character to write.

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

GL: Lol…she’s a part of every women that I know.

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

GL: Yes, we all have a past, but do we let that define our expectations of the future? Also keeping secrets is ultimately damaging.

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

GL: A bit of reality with a touch of humor, while focusing on the principles of everyday life. We all go through things, but you must stay rooted in your faith and realize there is a higher power that you must turn to daily.

CH: Since you are a debut author, what has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey, so far?

GL: Even though, I was not selected by Amazon’s Kindle Scout Program, it opened the door of exposure and the support was ‘phenomenal,’ considering I’m a new author.

CH: What has been the hardest part of your publishing journey, so far?

GL: Formatting for the various websites and continually going back thinking I should have changed one more thing. And asking myself, is it ready?

CH: What can we expect next from you?

GL: If all goes well with Miracle’s Destiny and readers want more, there very well may be a follow-up book (hint..hint-wink). I have a couple of unfinished projects I’m fishing through. I like challenging myself with different genres, so we’ll see.

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

GL: Janet Evanovich…it amazes me how she brings her characters to life. Her characters are ‘freaking’ hilarious, as well. Her writing skills are off the chain!

CH: Can you give my audience your social media info:

  • Facebook: Author Georgette Littlejohn
  • Twitter: @geeloves2write
  • Instagram: Author Georgette Littlejohn
  • Email: authorgeorgettelittlejohn@gmail.com

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

GL: The eBook is currently sold on Amazon. Miracle’s Destiny can be pre-ordered for $0.99 and the Official Book Launch date is June 1st.

CH: How to Find Georgette Littlejohn:

CH: Any closing remarks?

GL: Words can’t express the overwhelming feeling I get when I see that I actually accomplished a dream that I’ve had for a long time. To be able to sit in your vision is amazing. I thank God for the journey, even though it wasn’t the path I would have chosen—each curve, bend, or side-swipe has made me a better person. I pray that I learn something new every day and I can use that to help others along the way! I hope readers enjoy Miracle’s Destiny and I look forward to giving readers more. Please post reviews after reading the book. I would love to hear from my readers.

Thank you because without readers there would be no authors!

Thank you for the interview, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Georgette Littlejohn, 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, Georgette Littlejohn 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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Vote for Miracle’s Destiny By Author Georgette Littlejohn

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Amazon Kindle Scout Book Program Nominee

Title: Miracle’s Destiny

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Synopsis: Miracle had no clue that keeping her brother Joseph’s secret would blindside her marriage. She’s also holding back about Karma, her husband’s sister. Mychal isn’t without his own discretion when faced with Joseph’s reality Mychal is peering in the closet at his own skeletons. Miracle is the confidant of the family and is expected to hold it together, but her life is evaporating before her eyes. Will Miracle heal from her untruths and get her hectic life back that she often complained about?

Georgette Littlejohn, Debut Author

Vote for Miracle’s Destiny!

Readers preview an excerpt of the book and nominate the book for publication by Kindle Press. If Kindle Press publishes the book, the reader receives a copy of the book FREE. So, if Miracle’s Destiny wins the campaign, you receive a free copy…so go vote now at:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3P5DKEVTXU454

Thanks for the support! 

The campaign runs from April 12th through May 12th. Please VOTE and share with your family and friends…so they can vote, too!

 CH: Good Luck to my author friend, Georgette Littlejohn.  It has been a real pleasure discussing the book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and you would enjoy this book, please get your vote in before May 12th. I voted on the first day! THANKS. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Georgette Littlejohn 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 – Ashley Borodin

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Title: The Jealous Flock

Genre: LGBT/Political/Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: The Abridged Jealous Flock – A novella that dares to peek behind the curtain of 2017. Forced from their collective comfort zone, all three members of Martin’s family come face to face with the realities that underpin their urbane way of life. Each is faced with a paradox that will test their belief in themselves and their image of the tolerant, liberal society they believe they inhabit. A Literary Epic in Miniature, The Jealous Flock takes readers from the cloistered air of Professional London through the harsh realities of the Middle East and on to the culture war simmering beneath the surface in Australia. Through their interwoven narratives each character tries to grapple with change as they question their authenticity and value as individuals amidst The Jealous Flock.

Ashley Borodin, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ashley Borodin, an author of poetry, novellas and short stories from Australia. Welcome to my blog, Ashley.

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

AB: The one that no-one wants to read.

CH: This book deals with political issues. Where did you get the idea for this book?

AB: These are ideas I’ve had bumping around in my head for a long time. World events over the last 4–5 years gave me some context for articulating them. The increase in terrorism, but more so, the insidious grooming by terrorists of Westerners and empathetic people through the internet.

The rising racial and religious fracturing going on around the world as left and right fly to the extreme ends of the spectrum.

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

AB: (Spoiler Alert) Funny story about that. The start of the book has a story about a Public Relations guy who meets with some small-time terrorists/tribal warriors in Afghanistan to discuss their advertising campaign. That sounds quite funny to me, and it is, but I try not to play up the absurdity of it because I wanted it to feel entirely normal.

My wife, when she first read it, said no-one is going to buy into this scenario, it’s completely unrealistic.

Three years later a Canadian journalist returned from Syria and began to relate a story eerily similar to my own. Her name was Vanessa Beeley, and you can find her speech with Q & A to the United Nations on YouTube.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

AB: Well, I had these disparate stories inside me, and as I started to write them down a web of connections was forming between them. So I just joined the dots. But also in part, I wanted to finish something. And in a sense this book is incomplete—it needs more character development and I can accept that criticism, but it is finished.

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

AB: I’ve always watched a lot of documentaries and had a keen interest in foreign cultures and perspectives in the world. As I write this I’m wondering what the reader will make of it. I’m really no good at selling or relating to people, but I feel like this is a book that could appeal broadly, though so far feedback has proven me wrong.

I did internet research and based a lot of the book on direct experience. Also, as with docos, a lot of it was passive research—watching films and interviews from the regions and demographics I cover in the book.

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

AB: Hmmm…Did I mention I’m not good at selling or relating to people? But to try to answer your question, I hope I bring intellect and poetry.

CH: How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

AB: A bit of both. Part of it is putting myself in their shoes, dimming the lights and recording—literally recording my voice—what I experience. I put myself in Afghanistan, and I feel what it’s like to be there, what I’m afraid of, what I’d hope to achieve if I were this person. Method acting, I suppose.

Over time the character emerges through interaction with the environment, the same way yours and my own character has been shaped by our interactions and experiences.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AB: Martin, the PR man, because he’s the hero out there in the world effecting change. And Randall, because he’s just like me, so it was really easy.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

AB: John, the son of Martin and Doris, and Doris, and Martin. So, all of the successful middle-class characters basically. I can’t relate to that at all. I wish I’d never tried to aim for characters so remote from my own experience.

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

AB: It’s a kind of nuanced response to Ayn Rand. I’ve never read a decent response to her work, so I tried to write it to some degree. The message is varied but it’s about the need for new ways of bringing people together across social, racial, political—across all divides. About empathy and what I’ve called Gelato Centrism—the many-flavoured middle ground where black, white, Muslim, gay, conservative, whatever can all agree to discuss, collaborate without sacrificing what we hold most dear—our sense of self.

Ayn Rand spoke of ‘selfishness’ as a positive, but she really meant Identity.

Identitarians and Social Justice Warriors talk of Identity, but they really mean Collectivism—fitting in with the group.

I preach a middle path, a constant flux between the two. The flux matters, just like conversation matters. We are all amorphous—shifting, cloudlike. Trying to pin yourself down doesn’t just limit you, it ruins you.

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

AB: Love/hate. Getting people to read it in the first place has proved pretty difficult.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what inspired you to write it?

AB: Wanting to give voice to all these stories that no-one else was.

CH: What is your next writing project?

AB: Not sure. I’ve started a novel from a child’s perspective about a boy who escapes a farm-school in the 1930’s. But I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

I also wanted an excuse to buy a camera I can’t afford, and that excuse is a coffee-table book of the poems that I post on Twitter.

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

AB: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, for your readers/fans, I can do one better, it’s free here: http://books.noisetrade.com/ashleyborodin/the-jealous-flock

CH: How to Find Ashley Borodin:

 CH: Any closing remarks?

AB: Well, Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity, it’s probably not your reader’s cup of tea, but then I get that a lot.

CH: Thank you so much, Ashley Borodin 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, Ashley Borodin 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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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 – Nicholas Bridgman

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Title: A Character in Reality

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: One of the narrator’s fictional characters, Detective Gladstone, has gained consciousness and stepped out of a novel into reality. He gradually adjusts to the real world with the narrator’s help, picking up insights along the way about what it means to be human. But an anti-illegal immigrant group does not want him in reality, and he must face down its leader to self-actualize as a real person.

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Nicholas Bridgman, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nicholas Bridgman. He has written over fifty short stories and this is his debut novel. Welcome to my blog, Nicholas.

CH: The plot of this book is quite different than your average book, since the character steps out of the novel into reality. So, can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

NB: By having the character enter reality, the book could make readers think differently about what it means to be alive, to be human, and to immigrate from one environment to another.

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

NB: I just sat down and wrote the first scene, having a vague idea that I would like my character to suddenly grasp the fact that he was a character in a novel.  Once I had written it, I found the premise lent itself significantly to development, so much that I ended up writing the whole novel around it.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

NB: I wrote this book because I felt the concept was consequential enough to fill a novel.  Prior to writing it, I had only written short stories of around 5,000 words, but I really wanted to write a novel.  So when I had the idea that my character could enter reality, and I played with his transitioning back and forth between reality and fiction, I realized this material was interesting enough to write a book.

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

NB: My ideas usually just come from inspiration that strikes me randomly throughout my life.  I might see an interesting person on the street, witness an event, hear a line of conversation, or have an idea about something.  If it is interesting enough, I can usually craft the idea into a full story.  I do not have a formula for plots, I usually just write what I feel is appropriate to the characters and setting.  I do usually write outlines, at least brief ones, that allow me to keep in mind where I want the story to go, and help to make sure I put everything in that I intended.  But nevertheless, my stories usually just unfold naturally on the page.

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

NB: I bring the unique concept of a character immigrating to reality.  This kind of story has been rarely if ever told.  It is exciting because becoming real opens up a whole new world for the character, and the adjustment process shines some bright light on what it means to be human, how we cope, survive, and relate to one another.

CH: Your novel covers various moral issues. Did you have to do any special research to write this book from this perspective?

NB: I did research regarding the issue of illegal immigration.  I looked up what common arguments are for people opposed to illegal immigration, versus those who show more tolerance towards immigrants.  I used this research to show what the anti-illegal immigrant protesters and terrorist organization were thinking and feeling in regards to the character, as well as, to present ideas that hopefully enlighten and encourage tolerance of other people.

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

NB: Agai, I found that the premise lent itself easily to coming up with interesting situations and issues.  While sometimes writing stories can be tricky, it can be hard to envision what you want your characters to do; this character made it easy to write a scene around him.  Due to the unusual, almost psychotic nature of his experience, nearly anywhere he went was guaranteed to be new and exciting, since by definition he was seeing through new eyes and constantly learning things, not to mention the excitement of running and hiding from those who would not tolerate him.

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

NB: It was a pleasure to write, so the most challenging thing was probably just making sure I wrote enough for a full-length 40,000 word novel.  But fortunately, when I outlined what I wanted to say and elaborated on key points, this too went smoothly.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

NB: My favorite character to write was definitely Detective Robert Gladstone, the main character, who enters reality.  I never quite knew what he was going to do or how he was going to respond when I placed him in a new situation.  But his unique perspective made writing for him fun, and the plot usually turned out good regardless of where he was.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

NB: The hardest character to write was probably Billy Mann, the leader of an anti-immigration terrorist group.  I had to have him be Gladstone’s nemesis, wanting him out of reality or dead, but in a realistic way.  I had to explain why Mann was so opposed to Gladstone, and have his attacks on Gladstone and society seem believable.

CH: Do you have anything to share about the supporting characters?

NB: The narrator is the most significant supporting character, as he guides and directs Gladstone in his transition from fiction to reality.  The narrator adds an element of the surreal, as narrators are not usually also characters.

CH: You’ve written many short stories and articles. So, why did you decide to write a fictional debut novel?

NB: I decided to write this novel, because I felt the premise was strong.  I really wanted to have written a full-length novel, and the concept provided me with enough creativity and interest to do that.

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

NB: So far, feedback has been positive.  People have grasped the idea that I am espousing tolerance towards all humanity, no matter what their background.  People have also been entertained by the novel concept.

CH: What’s next for you as an author? Can we expect another fantasy fictional novel?

NB: Next, I am continuing to write short stories and submit them for publication.  Depending on how my novel is received, I may write a sequel.  Or I may try writing a different type of novel entirely.

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

NB: My book is sold on Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.  It is available as either an e-book or a paperback.

CH: How to find Nicholas Bridgman:

CH: Any closing remarks?

NB: Thank you for the opportunity to do this interview, and I hope readers have the chance to experience Gladstone discovering his new world—reality.

CH: Thank you so much, Nicholas Bridgman, 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 Nicholas Bridgman.

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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 – Charlene Bolden

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Title: Moments of Surrender: Revealing The Missing Pieces

Genre: Self-Help/Motivational/Christian Inspirational

Synopsis: Moments of Surrender is a heartfelt book of inspiration that will guide you through the steps to surrendering your life to God. Bolden uses her own journey through pain, abandonment, fear, abuse, and isolation experienced through years of being in foster care, to illustrate that not only are paths different, but they are the same on so many levels. Beautifully explained for all to understand, Ms. Bolden shows how critical a personal relationship with the Creator is in order to achieve understanding love, and peace through His divine will. There is something to be gained by any reader in this inspirational guide to surrendering.

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Charlene Bolden, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Charlene Bolden. She writes Christian Inspirational books to help others overcome adversity and fear. Welcome to my blog, Charlene.

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

CB: Moments of Surrender is a Christian inspirational book for aged out or foster care youth. The moments of my life in Foster care is where I learned to appreciate my path that was chosen for my life and it ultimately drew me closer to God. While many would look upon my situation as negative, I quickly learned to trust God’s plan for my life, and as I surrendered everything, I felt I began to see the blessing it was to live through it.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for writing this deeply personal book about young adults in foster care?

CB: As I began to write this book, I experienced great travail as the Holy Spirit began to “reveal and birth” these chapters. This book will breathe a message of unconditional surrender that is a work of the Holy Spirit. This spiritual journey has been difficult, sometimes painful and frustrating; and took years to work through.  Life in foster-care was one of the greatest experiences that led me to embrace this idea of surrender.  I remember it so well because the experience became one of the most pivotal parts of my life, driving me for years to come.

CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the situations that changed your life?  

CB: Yes, I experienced conflicting emotions warring within me. I relived what I felt when I first got into care. How hopeless and heartbroken I felt.

CH: What time period does the book span? Did you leave out any stories that you wanted to include?

CB: The book spans my life in care from age 13-to present and the process of surrendering my life to God. It’s a book filled with insight and things that youth can carry throughout their lives in care. It’s a book to encourage youth to look at their situation from a Godly perspective, while providing healing, understanding and hope.

CH: Do you have any siblings? Were they also in foster care?

CB: It is seven of us. When we first got in care we were placed in the same family and then eventually two of my sisters got adopted and the rest of us aged out. I have one bother and 5 sisters including an identical twin.

CH: So many memoir writers work on their book for years and years. What made you decide to write your story now and how long did it take you to write it?

CB: I wanted to provide hope to those in foster care, who are seeking something greater and more. It took me almost 2 years to write the book.

CH: You have experience in overcoming adversity in foster care and overcoming issues in relationships. Is this what inspired you to want to help teens and young adult foster care children and give them inspiration?

CB: Yes, I want to provide hope to those that have lived through this. I want to be the voice to provide healing and inspiration. I understand what it takes to release things that have the potential to destroy your life, relationships and even your mind. I embraced this idea of surrender; it was one concept that changed my life and gave me strength to move forward.

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

CB: The only challenge was finding the time to write what kept coming to me.

CH: Since you are a debut author, when you wrote this book, did you anticipate the vulnerability of putting your life out there?  

CB: Yes, but I am encouraged to release and share this part of my life in hope that someone’s life can be changed.

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

CB: Readers say that it is truly an inspiration.

CH: Is there something that you want the readers to grasp?

CB: Every day that we wake up, we are all confronted with what is going on in our world. Every situation that we live through creates a reality of our world. If this reality is not aligned properly to God’s will, then we ultimately, undermine who we are. God always meets us where we are and knows where you are in your heart and mind; whether you are at the peak of success or experiencing hurt, betrayal, anger, frustration, abandonment, or family break-up. It is during those times that one must summon the inner strength and courage to press through the pain of it all; and seek to embrace and fully release the pain to the Creator. Our truths are the lessons we learn from the moments we experience. This process of surrendering will not take place overnight, but the process builds gradually and promotes appreciation, peace, happiness, love and contentment.

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

CB: I referenced the bible.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

CB: I am working on another book around self-worth for youth in foster care.

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

CB: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram Booksellers, and Baker & Taylor.

CH: How to find Charlene Bolden:

  • Charlene’s website: http://bit.ly/2ePWo0e
  • Charlene’s Author Page: http://amzn.to/2f0IPf0
  • Charlene’s Amazon Link:http://amzn.to/2eYRzm6

CH: Any closing remarks?

CB: I welcome the opportunity to share this book. Whether you give it as a gift to lift someone’s spirit or buy it to lift your own, surrendering completely to Gods will in every moment of your life as they pass, allows you to release your life into the hands of the Creator. In doing so, you have access to a position of victory and peace that comes from aligning oneself. Thanks, Cheryl for allowing me to be on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Charlene Bolden, 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 Charlene Bolden.

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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 – Lashonda Beauregard

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Title: The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: West Barrington, a musician from 1926 Harlem, seems to have everything going for him. A job at the most popular nightclub in Harlem, a music career that is taking off, and a girlfriend, Lanna Gold, who’s the lead singer of the group Crystal Dream. But when West awakens after falling asleep on the eve of 1927, he realizes that he has been thrown into a world far beyond 1927 after he discovers that he has awakened in 2016 Harlem.

Filled with suspense, you with find The HarlemRenaissance Time Traveler’s Diary hard to stop reading as you follow West into the future as he discovers why he has been given a second chance to go back and change the past.

This compelling story about a man’s journey into the future will keep you on the edge of your seat. The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary is a story that will stay with you far beyond the last page.

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Lashonda Beauregard, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Lashonda Beauregard. Writing and music are her passion. Welcome to my blog, Lashonda.

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

LB: The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary, is a historical fiction story that will take you on a time travel journey with West Barrington, the main character.

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

LB: Well, I am always interested in the Harlem Renaissance. I was drawn to this period of time because it was such an important time for African Americans—in music. In addition to being a writer, I also love music and the love of music caused me to be curious about this period of time. I thought it would be interesting to make my book a time travel story to connect the past to the present. I feel blessed to have a book based on the Harlem Renaissance.

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?

LB: I don’t really have a standard formula and an idea can come at any time. I like to write about what interests me and paint a picture of the story with my words, so the readers can connect.

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

LB: I’m thankful to say I didn’t find it hard while writing this book. Even though my book is fiction, I think that the readers will still relate to the situations in the book and to the characters. They’ll think it’s something that could really have happened in real life.

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

LB: I like to write in the first person narrative through the main character. I like for the readers to feel like the main character is a real person who is opening their diary or journal to let them read what’s inside.

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

LB: Although this book is fiction, it’s still based on a real time period, so I felt that a little research was important. Since I’ve always been interested in the Harlem Renaissance, I was already knowledgeable of this time period.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

LB: West Barrington, was my favorite character to write. I really enjoyed writing this book, because I have always loved music and the Harlem Renaissance. It was fun walking in the shoes of a musician.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LB: My favorite character to write was also the hardest to write. Mainly, because he has to connect to the audience, but he has to also connect the readers to the other characters in the book.

CH: Since this book is about the Harlem Renaissance time period, who is the book aimed at, or who is your target audience?

LB: It is aimed at fans of historical mystery, possibly even science fiction, since it is a time travel story.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences? And why?

LB: I feel that there are so many talented writers. I’m definitely influenced by all the talented writers who were writing before I even started, including the writers and poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

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

LB: I like to read historical, science fiction, mystery, Christian and inspirational books. I like a book that grabs my attention and that I can’t stop reading.

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

LB: Yes, this is my first published book. I started writing at any early age. Since I have always liked music, I wrote song lyrics. While I was in college, I started writing poetry. Music really helped me appreciate poetry so much more, because song lyrics are really just like poetry.

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

LB: The challenging part of being a new author, especially if your indie or self-published is having to do more of the marketing. Also getting reviews, but I’m thankful to be published.

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

LB: The message I would like the readers to grasp is to be grateful for second chances and that doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Also, how precious time is and to use your time wisely.

CH: What can we expect next from you next?

LB: I just released a new book, The Mirror In My Dorm Room (A Time Travel Story). 

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

LB: My eBook is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

CH: How to find Lashonda Beauregard:

CH: Any closing remarks?

 LB: Readers, be sure to read my book The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler’s Diary. Thanks to everyone who bought my book. Thanks, Cheryl, have a good day!

CH: Thank you so much, Lashonda Beauregard, 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 Lashonda Beauregard.

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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 – Eddie Jose Morales

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Title: Fright Tales: A Collection of Short Horror Stories

Genre: Horror

Synopsis: In this, his first collection of thirteen short horror stories you will find everything from creatures, zombies, a sexy vampire, psychos and illogical fears, to ghosts and freaky ghouls:- The Hunched Monkey – Jennifer and Henry discover that lab experiments can be deadly. Bite of the Female Vampire – Whether dreaming or not, men cannot resist her striking appeal. Funeral Plans –Don learns that planning a funeral can be damaging to his mental health. The Burning Sorceress –The people of Willow Creek get more than they bargained for when Rebecca moves into town. Zombiefest –Bob and his son Joey get entangle in the middle of a zombie outbreak. A Shopaholic Killer –Linda loves to shop, but she is not your typical neighborhood mom. Haunted Cabin by the Cemetery – Jordan encounters a cabin’s ghostly past. The Lady is a Bug – A hybrid creature seeks revenge. East Coast Zombie Virus – A man-made virus quickly spreads and threatens the East Coast of the United States. Ghost in the House –A teenage boy and his mom are haunted by a ghost when they move to the suburbs. The House of Death –Finding shelter in an abandoned Victorian house has its disadvantages. The Last Camping Trip –A weekend trip turns into a nightmare as a psychotic killer is on the loose. The Wedding Dead – A newlywed couple battle with their wedding zombie guests to stay alive. This collection of Fright Tales are perfectly tailored for the enthusiastic horror fan, although not for the faint-hearted!

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Eddie Jose Morales, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Eddie Jose Morales, who writes blood curdling horror stories. Welcome to my blog, Eddie.

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

EJM: Fright Tales is a collection of short horror stories for the ultimate horror fan featuring zombies, paranormal, slasher, and more.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about a collection of horror short stories?

EJM: I decided to write this book because ever since I was a teenager I’ve always been fascinated with the topic of horror, whether on television, going to the movies, and many spooky stories being told to me by family members. As time passed, the enthusiasm of writing stories involving horror followed, and I started to write as a hobby. Throughout the years, I dreamed one day of becoming a published author and as a result, I decided to put together a collection of horror short stories for horror fans to read and enjoy.

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?

EJM: My ideas usually come from two ways. Some come from dreams, and others originate from actual life events, which I elaborate and make them more frightening for entertainment purposes.

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

EJM: My inspiration and ideas come from the love of the horror genre. I read scary books and watch many supernatural television shows and horror movies. I also have a creative mind, which is constantly thinking of concepts that I can turn into frightening stories.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor?

EJM: I think that the universal scare factor is bioterrorism in which society can be vulnerable in the hands of corrupt individuals releasing bacterial agents and disease into the general population.

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

EJM: A great horror author would be the incomparable Stephen King. He has an incredible talent for creating horror and scary supernatural situations that people can relate to in everyday life. Accordingly, Mr. King has the skill of haunting readers of all ages.

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

EJM: Through my scary horror writing, I bring the ability to create characters and stories that are easy to follow taking my readers on a journey that has a beginning, middle, and an end. My stories are vivid creating a visual image in the reader’s mind almost like they are watching a short story movie unfold in front of their eyes. I also like to incorporate humor in some of my stories as to not be entirely doom and gloom. Lastly, I tend to include the title of my stories within the manuscript to give the stories a sense of validity.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

EJM: The editing process of the short horror stories to be compiled for the book was a pitfall that I ran into as a new author. No matter how many times I read and edited the stories, there was always room for additional changes and enhancement.

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

EJM: I started to write back in high school in 1977 when I wrote my first horror story for English class, which I still have the original manuscript called, The House of Death. My teacher enjoyed it so much that she asked me to read it in front of the class, and I received praise from my classmates. However, it wasn’t until 2004 when I became more serious about writing short horror stories as part of pursuing a college degree in English Creative Writing.

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

EJM: The titles of my stories come in two ways. Sometimes an idea for a title just comes to mind and then I develop a story around that particular title. Other times, as I am writing the story, the title jumps out at me at a certain point in the story.

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

EJM: I would love to work with author Dean Koontz. His style of writing horror fiction, suspense thrillers, and science fiction fascinate me as he creates stories that are not only believable but also frightening in nature.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

EJM: In actuality, the stories in this book range from 1977 to 2016. However, earlier stories were currently rewritten and extended with the purpose of being included in this collection. Accordingly, the writing and editing process to compile the collection of stories and complete this book took me approximately fourteen months.

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

EJM: It wasn’t hard creating believable situations and issues because most of the stories are loosely influenced by actual life events, which I elaborated and made them into horror fiction. Other ideas came from dreams, and as soon as I woke up, I wrote the outline recollecting the dreams. Regarding the subject matter of zombies, the stories were written as a result of my continued interest in the zombie phenomena on how people would react to a real life apocalypse situation.

CH: Which horror story was hardest to write?

EJM: The horror story which was the most challenging to write was Ghost in the House because it was based on actual life events that happened to my dearly departed Mom and me when I was a teenager. The story gave me chills as I wrote it and throughout the editing process. Thus, I experienced an eerie feeling during the entire journey of writing this particular story.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

EJM: I am currently writing brand new short horror stories to be included in a follow-up book to Fright Tales. I plan to have it completed by the end of next year.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EJM: Currently, I am listed within the Woodrow Publishing website under

 http://www.woodrowpublishing.com/fiction-horror

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

EJM: Fright Tales is currently available at your local Amazon website. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/25ggNmu

CH: Any closing remarks?

EJM: Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed and to discuss my book with you and your readers. I look forward to continuing my journey writing horror fiction with the purpose of entertaining the horror community.

CH: Thank you, Eddie Jose Morales, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Cheryl M. Robinson

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Title: And, Not Only That

Genre: Christian/Inspirational

Synopsis: Three friends. Three incredible journeys. Janole, Jenn and Tam meet in college and forge a lifelong friendship. Janole makes a decision as a young adult that exposes the true character of her family and ignites a chain of unpredictable events. Later, her world is torn apart when her beloved husband of 24 years mysteriously disappears under scandalous circumstances. She questions everything that she believed in especially her husband and their marriage. Jenn, wealthy and privileged, witnesses a childhood tragedy that instantly changes her family and haunts her into adulthood. She, and everyone she loves, are being destroyed by events that occurred years ago. Unless something changes, she is on the brink of losing everything including her sobriety and her husband. Tam’s mother dies from a lengthy illness while Tam is in college. As a result, Tam decides to become a doctor and is committed to helping others. However, she must face her own medical crisis and a possible change in lifestyle that she finds difficult to accept. This is a gripping story of love, faith, family, marriage, pain, tragedy, triumph, restoration and spiritual growth that transcends time, age, race and gender. It contains a message of God’s unwavering and uncompromising love and how He reveals Himself in the most unusual and unexpected ways.

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Cheryl M. Robinson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Cheryl M. Robinson, a debut author with a unique writing style. Welcome to my blog, Cheryl.

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

CMR: The reader will take an unforgettable and real journey, experience a wide range of emotions, applaud the experience, and long for more.

CH: Why did you decide to write a Christian novel covering so many topics?

CMR: My novel is a book about life–a multifaceted journey of many experiences—and my belief that God is the core of our existence.

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?

CMR: I do not look at the market for trends to generate ideas. I simply write what I hope will be an engaging, intriguing and inspiring story.

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

CMR: My goal is to make the characters so “real” that the reader identifies with them, perhaps even recognizes him or herself. Inspirational suspense is the genre that best describes And, Not Only That though—to my knowledge–no such genre exists. My intent is to captivate and surprise the reader throughout the reading experience just as life captivates and, at times, surprises us.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls or challenges have you run into as a new author?

CMR: The biggest challenge, by far, is marketing and publicizing the novel. Not only is this my debut novel, but it is also self-published. The challenge is how best to expose the book to a wider audience, nationally and internationally.

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

CMR: Many exciting things occurred. Writing a novel—especially the first time—is a unique and gratifying experience. As I review the entire writing and self-publishing journey, one of the most exciting things was the day my book arrived in the mail, when I actually held it in my hands for the first time, which was quite exciting and humbling. In my hand, I held the result of countless hours of writing, re-writing, editing, reviewing and praying. Ultimately, the writing journey was an incredible spiritual journey for me.

CH: In reference to the friendship of the women, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

CMR: Yes. Friends—true friends—are a gift. I believe God reveals Himself to us in many, many ways. One of the ways in which He reveals Himself and His love—and allows us to demonstrate that love—is through friendships. I’m so incredibly thankful for the “unique treasures” who have blessed my life.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

CMR: I am an avid reader and have been since I was very young. Surprisingly, I don’t have a specific writing influence. I am indebted, however, to all of the incredible published writers/authors.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you? (outline, draft, edit, write)

CMR: The hardest part for me is time, believe it or not. I enjoy writing and while I have an outline of the story, the characters sometimes refuse to follow the outline. The joys of writing fiction.

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

CMR: The situations and issues in And, Not Only That are real life occurrences: young love, abuse, marital and family discord, tough decisions, and other painful situations, such as death/loss and betrayal. All of which can be challenges to our faith. It was not difficult creating believable situations.

CH: Which one of the characters was hardest to write?

CMR: Tough question. Perhaps Tam, one of the main characters.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

CMR: There are some parallels of my personal experiences in the book.

CH: Does this make you feel like you have accomplished your goal as an author?

CMR: Yes, the reviews are extremely gratifying. Those posted on Amazon, along with the many I’ve received via e-mail or in person, are encouraging and validating. I’m so thankful! One of the measures of a good book, in my opinion, is when the reader doesn’t want it to end. Many have expressed just that to me and that they are eagerly anticipating book #2.

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

CMR: The overwhelming consensus from most readers is that it is a “5-star” reading experience. Readers seem to love this book, because there are 24 out of 25 reviews that are five stars. The reviews have been astounding!

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

CMR: And, Not Only That was my debut novel. I am currently working on my second novel, a sequel to And, Not Only That. So, yes, I am in the process of writing the sequel and excited about the direction of this book.  I’m targeting a release date of September/October 2016.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

CMR: www.cherylmrobinson.com  And my e-mail: cherylmrob@yahoo.com

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

CMR: My book is available via Amazon, including Amazon Kindle. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1qkWgKd

CH: Any closing remarks?

CMR: To Readers: I am able to write because God gave me a “measure of a gift” that was nurtured by many. I’m honored—and humbled—that God chose me as the vessel for this literary work. God has given to each of us a gift. Yes, each person is uniquely blessed with at least one gift. What is yours?

Cheryl, thank you for allowing me to share information about And, Not Only That. I am deeply appreciative. Best wishes for your continued success.

CH: Thank you, Cheryl M. Robinson, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Ralph Thompson, Jr.

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Title: None of Our Hands Are Clean

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Christian

Synopsis: Juan Smith is a young man looking for love, in a world where the concept of romance has lost much of its luster. Darlene Brown is a young lady trying to understand God’s purpose for her future. Surrounded by a world that sees romance as old-fashioned, can these two make “it” work? How do people address the question “who’s the right one for you?” The wreckage of failed relationships is everywhere. Darlene and Juan face near-impossible odds. How do they get to know each other, and how will they learn whether or not they should be a couple?

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Ralph Thompson, Jr., Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ralph Thompson, Jr., who is retired military and a debut author. Welcome to my blog, Ralph.

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

RT: It’s an interesting take on the standard “boy meets girl” genre.

CH: Why did you decide to write a Christian romance novel?

RT: I wanted to write something hopeful for folks who’d had little success doing relationships—based on pop culture expectations. I wanted to express how God’s direction can make a profound difference in how men and women deal with one another.

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?

RT: I write my own stories, based on what interests me. It’s a bit of a risk, not knowing for sure if my work will resonate with others. I do hope others see something in my work that is familiar to their own experiences.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story? 

RT: The sources are all around. Many folks in church and out of church express frustration in their searches for lasting love. I’ve had my own share of mishaps in dating and relationships. I’ve caused a few of those mishaps. To me, today it appears so many people base their desires on what they see on television, in movies, or others places in pop culture. Those unrealistic perspectives adversely impact how people interact in the real world.

CH: Very few men write romance novels. What made you decide to write in this genre?

RT: I wanted to share a man’s perspective, while also respecting what women seek to understand about men regarding relationships. To me, generally, we don’t communicate well enough to help relationships grow. Furthermore, men do have the capacity to understand and embrace romanticism. Acknowledging that could be another part of people understanding each other more deeply.

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

RT: I look to share a sense of men and women seeking God’s direction during the “get to know one another” stage. Rather than the Western standard of “let’s go to bed first, then, see if we get along.” I wanted to look at a couple trying the opposite.

I wanted my female and male leads to actually converse, even to the point of expressing differing views, as they try to figure out if they’re meant to be a couple. I wanted to also show how “listening” is so much more than waiting for the other person to stop talking. In addition, I wanted to show how listening was so much more than forming your response, while the other person spoke.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

RT: I have not run into any pitfalls, so far. My editor, Shelia Bell, has been an endless source of wisdom and support as I go forward. She shared frank constructive criticism, walked me through the publishing process and helped me manage my expectations. She’s an outstanding editor and a gifted writer in her own right.

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?

RT: Generally, I start with a question. As I grow older, I realize more and more how little I actually know (chuckles). I seek understanding through these characters, and offer stories to see if others have similar questions in these scenarios.

I try to work with realistic characters, and let them walk through realistic situations. I imagine how they would react or respond, and let their characteristics drive their responses. In my head, I see and hear them as real people. I let them act as such.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

RT: I worked on the initial draft sporadically for two years. Going forward, I will strive to work faster.

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

RT: I took these situations from real life. Whether it was my life, the lives of friends and acquaintances, or stories I saw in the media, I kept seeing and hearing about folks dissatisfied with their romantic lives. I wanted to offer a useful alternative.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RT: Grant’s daughter Grace. I struggled to capture the voice of a pre-teen girl. Shelia had to do some heavy coaching to guide me through that issue.

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

RT: Nelson Mandela. I read his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, and got a sense of the man’s depth. He admitted some of his flaws, described the challenges as he matured, and expressed uncommon strength and grace during his incarceration.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

RT: In hindsight, I’d say yes. For a long time, I’ve appreciated the power of the written word. When wielded by someone with skill and passion, words have inspired nations.

For years, I’ve had the desire to express my feelings and concerns about what I see around me. So many of us see society’s ills and want to see changes. I want to be a part of the groups who want to effect positive change.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

RT: My next novel, Revenger, is drafted. It needs heavy editing. Hopefully, I can have that one out on the market this fall. After that, I have a third novel started. They’re all Christian fiction, but different sub-genres under that main banner.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RT: Yes. It’s www.somerandomeolddude.blogspot.com

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

RT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million. I also sell paperback copies. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1YskpKK  

CH: Any closing remarks? 

RT: I’m honored to be a part of the Black Writers And Book Club Literary Festival (BWABC) this fall on September 16-17, here in downtown Memphis. I’m excited for the chance to talk with other writers and readers who share the love of literature. And Thank you, Cheryl Holloway for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you, Ralph Thompson, Jr., it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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 – Nadine Nettmann

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Title: Decanting A Murder (A Sommelier Mystery)

Genre: Mystery/Women Sleuths

Synopsis: Can Katie Solve a Case of Chateau Murdeaux?

Katie Stillwell focuses on two things in her life: work and practicing for Sommelier Certification with her blind tasting group. The exam was sup- posed to be the hardest part of her week, but that was before a body was found at an exclusive Napa Valley winery party.

When all the evidence points to Katie’s best friend, the outspoken and independent Tessa, Katie drops everything to clear Tessa’s name. Using her deductive wine skills, she tries to track down the real killer. But when repeated attempts are made on her life, Katie discovers that everyone’s secrets must be uncovered—including her own.

NadineNettmann

Nadine Nettmann, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nadine Nettmann, a Certified Sommelier, who loves great wines and the mysteries around them. Welcome, Nadine.

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

NN: A wine themed murder mystery with a female sommelier, who uses her wine skills to solve a murder.

CH: Does your background in the winery business have a large influence on this book?

NN: Yes, definitely. It was a lot of fun to apply my wine knowledge, as well as my experiences with deductive tasting to the book.

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

NN: They come to me as an overall concept, but then I break them down to make sure I’m hitting plot points at the right moments.

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?

NN: I love the mystery genre and the twists and turns it brings.

CH: What inspired you to begin writing this sommelier series?

NN: I wanted to write a book that involved wine and I thought it would be fun to have a sommelier as a protagonist who applies her wine skills to her everyday life. I started playing with this idea and soon, Decanting A Murder, was born.

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

NN: There’s a lot of wine knowledge to be learned in the book, but aside from that, I hope it’s just a fun read for everyone.

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

NN: The entire book is fiction, though I did take a little bit of the blind tasting group situations from my own experiences. That being said, the characters in the tasting group in the book are not based on the members of my actual tasting group.

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

NN: I find every book to be challenging in some way. There’s something to be said for writing a minimum of 60,000 words and at some point, it’s going to be challenging. For Decanting A Murder, I was stopped at around 40,000 words for a while.

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

NN: I’m always thinking of new ideas. They’re a constant flow and sometimes they only last a paragraph and sometimes they produce a whole book.

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

NN: I’m a huge fan of both wine and mysteries and I thought it would be a lot of fun to combine them together into a series.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, how did you decide it would be a series?

NN: Because there is so much information in the wine world, I liked the idea of following Katie on her sommelier journey and perhaps also through different wine regions.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

NN: Yes, if there is something you want to achieve, keep trying. Even if you don’t succeed at first, don’t give up. Keep going.

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

NN: The book is just about to be released, but I’ve heard from early readers that they’ve enjoyed learning more about wine from reading the book and that makes me very happy!

CH: Since this is a series, what is the theme for the next book?

NN: The next book, currently titled Uncorking a Lie, takes place in Sonoma and follows Katie on another mystery.

CH: Is there anything in particular that you would like to add about sommelier mysteries?

NN: Every chapter in the book is paired with a wine.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

NN: Yes. www.nadinenettmann.com

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

NN: Decanting a Murder is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Y5PzaE

CH: Any closing remarks?

NN: Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog and thank you to everyone who reads my book!

CH: You are quite welcome. Thank you, Nadine Nettmann, it has been a real pleasure discussing such a unique book with my audience.  

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – JeDonna Mathis

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Title: When The Tables Turn

Genre: Urban

Synopsis: Jordan Mickens is a 29 year-old successful, black, married sister. She grew up in the hood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jordan didn’t let the hood take her down, but the man she married becomes her downfall. Jordan and her husband have a two year-old son named TaShunn. Her life takes a turn when her husband, Sincere, cheats on her and makes a baby. She has been with him a total of ten years, but has been married to him for four of those years. The woman he is seeing on the low is attractive, devious, and one crazy bitch. Her name is Cherish Montana. This woman almost makes Jordan lose her whole world. Welcome to When the Tables Turn.

J Mathis

JeDonna Mathis, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is JeDonna Mathis, a debut author. Welcome to my blog, JeDonna.

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

JM: Its gives me a chance to share reality on paper in different aspects and points of view.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

 JM: I got the ideal of this story from everyday situations. It’s always a man who thinks he can have his cake and eat it too, until the tables are turned.

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

JM: I always start a new story with a title first. I create the story around that. It actually brings the story together well for me. Like it allows a light bulb to pop on in my head.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? 

 JM: I would have to say Jordan. I say Jordan because throughout the story she is constantly faced with obstacles, but faces them with grace. She reaches a breaking point through some tragic times and she bounces back on top.

CH: Where did you get the inspiration for your characters?

JM: I just wrote about personalities I have encountered, as well as made up some characters. I mixed personalities with a little creative input.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

JM: I actually didn’t have too much of a hard time writing any. It was quite an adventure creating them.

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

JM: I’ve always been the one to imagine and daydream all day. I would even shock myself sometimes at the things I would think of. I have seen and experienced enough to gain the attention of those who have gone through it. I’m going to be the one to bring it to readers from just my point of view.

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

JM: Yes! Writers block is real. There were a few times that I couldn’t think of anything to write. I had no ideas, even lost interest for a moment. So, I just kept re-reading what I already had. 

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

JM: It did have a few challenges from time to time. Once I thought of the issue I wanted to create, I then elaborated on some real life situations. Nothing personal, but random situations that happen in life around the world. Somewhere in the world, there is a Jordan Mickens going through the motions with her unfaithful man.

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

JM: I’m from and currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Yes my background does have an influence on this book. I say this because I never intended to publish my book. You know how some people may use a journal or diary? Well, I wrote stories to ease my mind. It also shows my daughter that no matter what, you should follow your dreams. We only get one shot at bringing your purpose to light.

CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentors?

JM: Honestly, I haven’t read in a while to be familiar with a lot of great authors of today. But when I was younger, my favorite writers were Sistah Souljah and Nikki Turner. I really enjoyed reading their books. I think I need to start back though because there are so many creative people with big imaginations just like me and I love that.

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

JM: This is actually the second book I have written. I just decided to release this one first. I have been writing off and on for about ten years. I started when I was 16 years old, writing poems. I would write poems about any and everything. By the time I was 18 years old, I had written two urban fiction novels.

CH: Have you taken any writing classes to enhance your craft?

JM: No I haven’t yet, but I plan to one day. 

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

JM: Yes I do. I plan on releasing my second novel by the end of the summer. I’m also currently working on releasing a children’s book very soon, as well.

CH: Can you tell my audience your website address?

JM: My website is currently under construction. However, you can find me on Facebook.com/AuthorJeDonna Mathis and on Twitter at “Author JeDonna Mathis”

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

JM: Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It’s available in Kindle, Nook, or Paperback format. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1U0I6KJ

CH: Any closing remarks?

JM: I would like to continue to prosper in God’s eye to becoming a National Best Selling author, one day. Also, to create a better living sake for my daughter and I. Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Thank you, as well, Ms. Holloway for taking interest in my book, When The Tables Turn.

CH: Thank you so much, JeDonna Mathis, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – C. L. Ryan

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Title: Secret Demon

Genre: Biography/Memoir/Occult

Synopsis: Based on a true story, Secret Demon relates the astonishing, and often harrowing, childhood of a girl whose life is beset by abuse and demonic activity.

We follow Megan as her idyllic early years in rural Ireland are abruptly ended when she is taken from her grandmother’s care to live with her parents in England. While struggling to adapt to a new culture and being bullied at school, Megan’s life is dominated by the unpredictable behavior of her troubled mother, Patsy. When her much loved father moved away to work, Megan is left to look after her siblings, as Patsy’s life becomes engulfed by demonic possession and alcohol abuse.

Well-meaning social workers place Megan in an outwardly respectable home, only for her and her brother, to suffer horrific abuse at the hands of their foster caregiver.

Upon returning to Patsy, Megan becomes increasingly aware of the demonic presence in her home, which seems to be particularly focused on her. She learns to cope with the demon and embraces her true nature – finally harnessing it to take on her playground tormentors.

Secret Demon is a supernatural story of one little girl’s battle against abuse and neglect. It is the first of a series which follows Megan as her physical and spiritual lives unfold. 

C L Ryan

C. L. Ryan, Author

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is C. L. Ryan, who has written her memoir in her debut novel. Welcome to my blog, C. L.

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

CLR: My dealings with my beautiful angelical friends, and the dark side of either, which I can never escape from.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about abuse and demonic activity?

CLR: I have been trying to write this book for the last 20 years, it only came apparent to me when I cleared out a cupboard 3 years ago. I had saved all the A4-size writing pads.

I usually take them with me on holiday to scribble in when I get bored, there was one book dated 20th February 1996, again and again, everything I had been writing all pointed to a book, I knew then that I had to write it.

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?

CLR: I am actually writing other books at the moment, but Secret Demon, although written about a fictional family, is based on true-life experiences.

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

CLR: At the beginning of the book, it’s written through the eyes of a child, as she gets older, the writing gets stronger. My mentor and editor, Ben Smith, is telling me that it’s quite noticeable.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic of abuse and demons?

CLR: No, not at all, I have had to get used to these issues and situations. I write what I have experienced, what I see, and what I know. I know, I will have to deal with all this for the rest of my life.

CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the situations that changed your life?

CLR: VERY MUCH SO! At times, I was crying and laughing—at the same time—whilst I was writing.  Memories can be funny, and also very painful.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CLR: Arthur was a very evil character, and absolutely like that in real life. He will come back in book 4. I think, he was really even more evil than I have portrayed him—you’ll know in book 4.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

CLR: Daisy, the Donkey!  Our very much beloved pet—her and Margaret are having a book all of their own!

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so was it difficult to remain on course or do you credit it to your guardian angels?

CLR: The angels have most definitely kept me on track, keeping me focused, and constantly reminding me of things I had forgotten. This book would never have happened without them. Thank you, Angels!

CH: Do you think your near death experience provided additional insight to write this book?

CLR: Yes, absolutely, it let me see into a world where we go, when we pass. I don’t worry about death now! My beautiful friends are there, I miss them so much.  One day, we will all be back together.

CH: Since this is the first book in the series, how did you realize it would be a series of six books?

CLR: When I sat down with my editor and talked about my book, I showed him everything I had written, over 3 years, I had amassed about 300,000 words—books and books of writing.  So, we decided, then and there, that this should be a series. There will also be off shoots, as well, I am just finishing writing books 4, 5 and 6. They just have to be put together and polished.

CH: Is there anything in particular that you would like to add about your story of abuse?

CLR: I tried to blot it out for years, but it just would not go away, and definitely caused me mental and physical pain and anguish.  By writing it down on paper, I can actually deal with it now. I will never forget it—it’s part of my past! I would like to help others who have suffered like me, but I know my experiences have probably helped make me the person I am today! Eventually, there will be a cook book to accompany the series. I am working on that now.

CH: Since this book is based on real-life events, is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

CLR: Yes, the book is a message. Already people are contacting me that have suffered abuse in their early years, and are actually finding comfort by reading Secret Demon. They realize they are not alone, and it didn’t only happen to them. Actually talking about it helps. If I can get through it and survive; honestly, anyone can.

CH: Since this book is part of a series, what is the premise for the next book?

CLR: Book 2, Bad Demon, is a continuation. We follow Megan and the Murphy family through more mayhem, emotional and demonic challenges, through to a near house eviction, a rogue demon, a cooking exam, and the constant abuse of the family by the church and a nasty police officer, who knows the families secret. I loved writing this book. I hope my readers will love it, as well.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

CLR: www.angelicalskies.co.uk/

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

CLR: Amazon in paperback and Kindle. It will soon also be available as an audio book. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1S3Osto

CH: Any closing remarks?

CLR: Thank you for your interest in Secret Demon. It’s been a hard and harrowing story to tell, but I have loved every minute of it, and there is so much more going on in the rest of the books in the series.

CH: Thank you so much, C. L. Ryan, for bringing this topic to my audience. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  

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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 – Jeannie Hall

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Title: Violation of Faith (Cult Wife Series)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: Lynea Kreig has spent the past three years being invisible. After running with her little sister halfway across the country–away from her abusive cult leader husband–she seeks nothing but safety and anonymity.

When she’s offered a job which would keep her close to her sister, Lynea can’t refuse. But the job puts her in close quarters with Professor Brennan Gage, a man bent on exposing cult leaders to the public. If he discovers her secret, he could destroy the life she’s worked so hard to build. Over time, she finds herself drawn to Brennan’s klutzy kindness. He tells her he loves her, but happiness for Lynea could never be so simple–especially once her husband appears at the front door…

Jeannie Hall

Jeannie Hall, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jeannie Hall, who loves the joy of reading and writing. Welcome to my blog, Jeannie.

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

JH: Violation of Faith is about a woman who overcomes the fear and programming of her cult upbringing to ultimately pursue her happily ever after.

CH: Why did you decide to write this dark book about a cult?

JH: I love the dark side of writing. People who know me are always shocked at how far I go in torturing my characters to tell a story, but to me, characters are far more interesting when they’ve got something or someone attacking them—whether internal or external.

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?

JH: I love stories where there’s an underdog who ends up being stronger than everyone thinks. I would say that is where Lynea came from. I wanted to see how a heroine with a painful back story would fare in a romance.

My plots come to me piecemeal. I’ll have a general idea of how I want the story to go. I know how I want to start and finish, but the rest comes to me as I write.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic of good vs. evil?

JH: The good vs. evil theme actually made creating believable situations easy. The more intense the confrontation, the faster my writing flows. In this story, Lynea has grown up abused and in fear. She suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I think it rings true because there really are people who’ve been in situations like this. Part of the reason I don’t shy away from those gritty and torturous scenes is so I can then provide the ending to the story I want.

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

JH: Suspense lends itself to a faster-paced storyline. I love taking the hand of my readers and racing them to the finish line. Combining those thriller elements with an intense romance is even more fun. Basically, I wrote this book because it is exactly the kind of story I like to read.

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

JH: Oh, yes! Lol! Originally I started this story as a simple standalone contemporary, but after five hundred pages, my story was going nowhere. Luckily, another writer friend suggested I turn it into a romantic suspense. Everything began to work after that. I was happy to take her advice.

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

JH: I researched cults and several different forms of chemicals used to knock someone out. Think that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

JH: I love all my characterswell, except for the reverend. However, I really loved writing the Winbournes. Patrice is so warm and maternal, while Geoffrey is just a hoot. He’s so cantankerous. I loved revealing some really important information through his character.

CH: Was the cult leader husband the hardest character to write?

JH: As I’ve mentioned before, the dark scenes are the easiest for me to write, so no. However, I hated his guts. One thing that’s awesome about writing is I had complete control of his fate.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor with cults?

JH: I think it has to do with how often people are misled. We see it all the time in real life. Sometimes, stories reported as the truth are nothing but lies. Cults promise people a family, the ability to fit in and be cared for. If someone has never had that, they could fall prey to a cult. We’ve also seen a lot of death—especially suicides and murders—involving cults. The whole idea of them is unsettling, if not downright frightening.

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

JH: I always knew my story would be about Lynea escaping her cult upbringing. I once attended a church which used to be a nursing home. Once, when we were cleaning the building, we opened up some of the old wings of the structure. What used to be patient rooms were then being used as storage, and I remember looking at those empty derelict rooms and feeling disturbed by the sight.

CH: Since this is the first book in the series, how did you decide it would be a series?

JH: The same friend who suggested I turn it into a romantic suspense also mentioned Lynea and Brennan going on adventures together. I thought that was a brilliant idea and went with it. I’ve now completed part of book 2 and have plans for book 3.

CH: Since you are a debut author, how did you start writing?

JH: I owe a massive debt to Jo Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Because of the wait between the fifth and sixth Harry Potter books, I decided to try my hand at telling the story myself in the form of fan fiction. The second I did, I became addicted to writing. It was a wonderful eye-opener, and the catalyst that changed the rest of my life.

CH: What type of feedback are you getting from your readers?

JH: I’ve been very fortunate to have such positive feedback for my first novel. Violation of Faith is dark and gritty enough to not be for everyone, but I’ve gotten kind reviews stating even though they don’t tend to read suspense, they like my suspense. It made me dance inside! 🙂

CH: Since this is a series, can you give us a brief synopsis of the next book in the series?

JH: Let’s just say that not all is as it seems at the end of Violation of Faith. I purposely left some threads dangling in that book, and one of those threads gets pulled in book 2.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JH: www.JeannieHallSuspense.com. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn under Jeannie Hall Author.

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

JH: It is available through TheWildRosePress.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, and Bookstrand. All those sites carry the eBook, but WRP and Amazon also carry the paperback version. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1PBNjBm

CH: Any closing remarks?

JH: Thank you so much, Cheryl, for taking the time to feature me on your blog! It’s been a pleasure to share with you. 🙂

CH: Thank you, Jeannie Hall, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

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

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – Jerry Summers

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Title: Uncontrolled Spin (Unmissable Series Book One)

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Sean Green, the spin doctor for many multimillion-dollar companies, becomes infatuated with the idea of helping a beautiful woman take her apparel business to the next level. During the process, his best friend, biggest client, and mentor is murdered at one of Sean’s homes.

Jerry Summers

Jerry Summers, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jerry Summers. He has a unique and unusual background and has recently become an author. Welcome to my blog Jerry.

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

JS: Uncontrolled Spin is the first book in a series of suspense thrillers that blend many different genres; incorporating elements of romance, mystery, and murder into a thrilling page turner, it will keep you guessing until the end of the book and beyond.

CH: Can you explain what is a spin doctor?

JS: The term ‘spin doctor’ is a generic term that describes an individual who, by way of profession (usually with a public relations or marketing background), controls the way an event is described to the public in order to influence what people think about it.  This person is responsible for ensuring others interpret an event from a particular perspective or point of view.

CH: Does your extensive background in law enforcement have great influence on this book?

JS: Yes, in several different ways, not only in this book, but also all the books in the series. I have loosely attempted to demonstrate proper police protocol during crime scene reconstruction, interviews, press conferences and follow-up investigations.  For instance, when interviews occur and are then followed-up by a press conference, some of the same information will be repeated and to the reader may appear redundant, but as the reader you get an inside glimpse into the investigation process one normally would not be privy to.  Additionally, in every crime scene, I have purposely left out at least one major component of the reconstruction in order to keep the readers guessing; thereby, allowing me to connect loose ends later in the series.

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

JS: Uncontrolled Spin is my debut novel.  Writing has always been a passion of mine, but one I never felt comfortable enough pursuing professionally until recently.  Ever since I can remember, others have discouraged my writing; my parents felt it wasn’t a wise idea economically because very few make a living at full-time writing. There are also time constraints with raising a family and pursuing career advancement opportunities, and I put my writing on the back burner. I am now in a position to pursue my passion full-time, which excites me beyond belief.

CH: How did you begin your writing career?

JS: In January 1997, I published my first article, Miscarriage – From a Male Perspective, in the Pentecostal Evangel, and in April of 1997, I published my second article, “I have Friends to Cry With Me” in Decision Magazine.

In 2006, I wrote a non-fiction book entitled, Divorce – The Modern Churches’ Leprosy, only to find publishers weren’t interested in publishing work dealing with Christian divorce.  When I was told by a literary agent that there wasn’t a market for this type of work, even if I were a nationally known writer, so I abandoned my editing along with the entire book project.

I didn’t start writing again until 2015, when I decided to write this current series.

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

JS: There were and continue to be multiple challenges. The first challenge was recognizing if this book were published in a single work it would consist of approximately 300,000 words and some 800 pages or more.  As a new author, that task seemed extremely daunting, so I decided to break it into a four part series.  Time will tell if this was an appropriate decision from a sales and marketing opportunity or if it would have been better to combine the first two books and combine the last two, making this a two part series rather than a four part series.

The second major challenge was getting my head around the publishing process as it pertains to print advertisement, social media, and online sales versus traditional book store distribution channels. Quite honestly, I’m still not sure I understand most of the dynamics involved, even now.  What I do know is there are a lot of people and organizations claiming to offer beneficial services, when in reality they actually offer little benefit for the author.

Finally, it is essential as an author to appropriately manage your time.  As writers, we all want to write when the creative juices are flowing, but the reality remains that writing is hard work and must be worked at on a daily basis.  I try to write between 1,500 and 2,500 well-crafted words a day. On good days, I succeed and on fantastic days, I write somewhere between 2,500 and 3,300 words.  But I have found I have to actually set time aside to write because the longer I go without writing the harder it becomes to begin again.

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?

JS: Actually, I concentrate on telling a good story rather than worrying about ups and downs or twists and turns.  I have discovered if I concentrate on telling the story, plot twists take care of themselves.  However, this approach isn’t without its flaws and problems. The major issue I have found with this approach is the series doesn’t fit neatly into one specific genre and this can be frustrating to some readers. It’s not uncommon for their reviews to reflect this frustration.

CH: Reviews have said that you have great character development.  How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

JS: I am not one for writing outlines or following them, so for the most part, I prefer to develop the character as I write the story.  I may have a general idea of the type of person this character will be, but the true personality doesn’t emerge until I begin creating interactions with other characters within the story.  For example, in the first paragraph of Uncontrolled Spin, the reader sees Sean’s general character, but it isn’t until the second paragraph on page two that his personality begins to develop.  Once the persona emerges, I continue it throughout the rest of the story, with a little growth as well.

CH: Your readers are asking for a sequel to this book.  Do you have plans for a new book?

JS: Yes.  The second book in this series, Unmerited Favor, is completed and undergoing final edits and cover design with the publisher.  I anticipate a release date that could be as early as this month.  I am currently about one-quarter of the way through book three entitled Unrestrained Behavior. I hope to have it released in the summer with the final book, Unanticipated Circumstances scheduled for a 2016 winter release.  For the next project, I plan on writing a fiction book involving political and police corruption to be released in the fall 2017.

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

JS: I am passionate about the absolute destructive components of domestic violence and sexual assault in the lives of victim’s at all socio-economic levels and genders. Abuse can be found everywhere in all its hideous forms, physical, emotional, even financial.  We are all susceptible to becoming entangled in unhealthy and even destructive relationships. In highlighting some of these elements, like physical control and emotional manipulation, isolation, and even financial dependency within intimate relationships, I hope to raise social consciousness and support for those caught in this vicious cycle by demonstrating how far the human psyche can stretch to justify actions and even criminal behavior.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

JS: No, I have not based any of the characters or incidences in this book on any specific individual or investigation. I was a part of conducting, although certain elements of individual human personalities are reflected based upon life experiences and observations.  This is truly a work of fiction and imagination.

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

JS: I believe, I bring a unique perspective to criminal investigations with realistic crime scenes given my extensive law enforcement experience as an investigator and crime scene reconstructionist.  The view I portray is from an experienced set of eyes when it comes to domestic violence, sexual assault, suicide and even murder.  This perspective is something lacking in others who haven’t conducted these types of in-depth investigations or who don’t fully understand the protocols involved.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

JS: Without a doubt, it is the importance of critical self-editing and then final editing. I have a tendency to read what I wanted to write and not what I actually wrote.  Every book goes through my edits and at least three other major edits.  There are times, I simply have to rely on my editors because they all know better than I, when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation.

CH: Have you taken any writing classes to hone your craft?

JS: Not particularly, other than a few college courses and a few writers’ conferences. At least, not yet.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

JS: Personal observations on human behavior and my imagination is the foundation.

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

JS: The majority, approximately 77% of the feedback is positive, which is encouraging; approximately 18% are neutral (3 Stars); and approximately 5% were negative.

Some of the reviews have been helpful, while others didn’t give much insight as to what made the book truly enjoyable or what really wasn’t appreciated. When I distill everything down, I find 95% of the reviews were either neutral or positive and 5% percent were actually negative.  Some of the criticism has been taken to heart and changes have been implemented in Unmerited Favor while other input has been ignored because of the voice I wished to portray in the writing.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JS: It is www.jerrysummersauthor.comPlease feel free to visit and like my webpage and author page at Amazon.com.

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

JS: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and Xlibris. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TsWQlT

CH: Any closing remarks?

JS: Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time to interview me and for this opportunity to address your readers.  The questions posed were thought provoking and forced me to ponder many things about my writing and future endeavors. I hope all of your readers take the time to read my books and enjoy them, as much as I enjoy writing them.

CH: Thank you Jerry Summers, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – Aja Taylor

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Title: Covered Deep

Genre: Urban Life

Synopsis: Dex had it all—a wife, family, and best friend. Not to mention, all the luxuries that the street life puts forth. And in the blink of an eye, it was all on the line. Facing at least fifteen years to life, Dex is struggling from behind bars to find out who set him up. While at the same time, trying to keep his business maintained. With his crew doubting each other’s loyalty, they have to make sure that their respect on the streets remains in tact. Is it a longtime rival, an upcoming hustler hungry for all that the streets have to offer, or is Dex set up by someone who has been there all along?

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Aja Taylor, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Aja Taylor. She is a debut author who wants to explore various genres. Welcome to my blog, Aja.               

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

AT: A reader should buy my work to tap into my literary world and see how Aja Taylor creates greatness, not only in Urban fiction, but in multiple genres.

CH: Urban Life books are currently trending. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends?

AT: When looking at the market for book ideas, I do look for what’s trending. But with that being said, I don’t always follow the trend. Trends tend to die off after a while. So, that’s when another one needs to be set. Maybe, I will set some new ones!

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

AT: What I bring different to Urban writing is originality. And I always try to make sure that things aren’t predictable with my writing. I, myself, hate reading a book and by the end of chapter 2, I know how the book will turn out.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AT: Let’s see, the hardest character to write was Chante. She was hard because I didn’t know how I was going to make her blossom from a timid woman into a “boss lady.”

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AT: (Smiling) Jazz was my favorite to bring to life because we are a lot alike. We have that feistiness and hot temper, but at the same time will take you under our wing.

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

AT: It wasn’t too hard creating believable situations, but when it did become difficult, I used quite a bit of real life incorporated into the story.

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

AT: For this book, Covered Deep, I didn’t do a book trailer. I think I’m going to open up to that idea for future releases though.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

AT: It took me about 9 months to write Covered Deep.

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

AT: Yes, I do read Urban fiction, as well. I pretty much will read anything that will grasp my attention. And I’m challenging myself to write in other genres, as well.

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

AT: Some other authors that I would love to collaborate with are my husband, Author King, Alice Walker, Donald Goines, Walter Mosley, Robert Frost and Raquel Williams to name a few. Those are a few that I admire.

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

AT: Writing has always been an outlet for me, but I started with poetry. That was more my thing, but when my husband released his book, Deceitful Betrayal, last year, I told him that I wanted to write a book and he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did it!

CH: Since you are a debut author, what’s next on the agenda in your writing career?    

AT: Next on my agenda is putting out some more books and establishing my own publishing company. I have learned a great deal with being self-published and I want to share what I’ve learned with others. I still have a lot to learn, but there is growth from these past 7 months, since my release and you all will see that in my coming releases.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

AT: My website is currently unavailable at the moment. It is under construction.

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

AT: Covered Deep is sold online at Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Barnes and Noble. I am working on getting into other places, as well. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/23VUak1 

CH: Any closing remarks?

AT: In closing, I would like to thank you for reaching out and showing Aja some love. I appreciate that. And I most definitely want to thank everyone that has supported me on this journey—God, my husband and my loving son. All the readers out there that have read Covered Deep, much love to you and you will love what I have coming out this year. God bless!

CH: Thank you Aja Taylor, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Aja Taylor.

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

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

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

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

Guest Author Interview – Emily Kendricks

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Title: The Fantasy Maker

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Synopsis: Emma loves her husband and is excited by his political rise to mayor of their small town, but behind closed doors, she’s a frustrated young wife and mother, driven beyond her limits by her husband’s indifference to her needs. When a friend introduces her to a high-priced ‘members only’ club where the wives of the rich and powerful secretly visit, Emma finds an erotic world of mani-pedi’s, full-body massages and tantalizing pleasures limited only by her own inhibitions. No fantasy is denied, but what follows not only threatens to expose the existence of ‘The Ranch’ and its prominent members, but destroy her marriage and the career of one of the most promising young politicians in the state.

Emily Kendricks

Avatar for Emily Kendricks, Author

CH: Today’s guest author is Emily Kendricks.  She is a debut author, who writes stories with strong female character development and compelling storylines. Welcome to my blog, Emily.  

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

EK: It’s an erotic escape about the everyday woman, finally giving in to her inhibitions—with some twists and turns along the way.

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a fantasy “Ranch” for rich, bored wives?

EK: In today’s competitive world, some women may find themselves alone much of the time, while their husbands are caught up in trying to grow or manage a budding, or existing, career.  It does not change the fact that these women have needs—emotional and physical.  A fantasy ranch…wow!  The perfect form of escapism!

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?

EK: Being the only girl in a family with five brothers I found myself alone a lot, growing up.  I used to fantasize about places that I’d like to see some day…people I’d like to meet.  Many times, these fantasies would turn into story plots in my mind.  I still find myself daydreaming and fantasizing.  Only now, I grab my laptop and start making notes.

CH: Since you are a debut author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romantic/thriller fiction writing?

EK: My writing process continues to evolve as I become more confident with my ability to complete an entire story.  I’m learning to trust my writing instincts, go with my gut and move with the flow of the story.  Sometimes, it takes all kinds of twists and turns, but I think that’s what keeps the reader’s interest.  I don’t want my stories to be ‘predictable.’  I want them to have totally unexpected events and endings.  I want it to be remembered by the reader, long after the story is finished.

CH: Emma’s best friend, Jen, seems to lead her into exciting situations.  Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic?

EK: It was a bit challenging at times trying to keep it sexy and erotic while at the same time being believable, but that’s what keeps it interesting—maintaining a good balance.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EK: Without a doubt, Dante!  Gorgeous, sexy, erotic, talented…a fantasy god on one side….quiet, easy-going, emotional and totally human on the other!

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EK: Emma.  Her theme song would be ‘I’m Every Woman!’  She was innocent, dedicated, patient…but inside she was a vixen screaming to come out!  She had feelings and, in spite of her marital disappointments, she was determined to remain committed to her role as wife and mother.

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

EK: I will usually play with titles along the way.  Sometimes, I will change a title several times before the manuscript is sent to my publisher.  I like to try and find something in the story and create a title from that.    

CH: With politics and a business, Emma’s husband, Steve, seems to be “too” busy for a wife and family, which seems to be a trend. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? 

EK: No, definitely not.  I try to ‘zig’ when everyone else is ‘zagging’.  I like to create my own new trend.  That’s just my personality.  I can’t remember a time in my life when I was any other way.

CH: Does this fantasy borderline with erotica?

EK: Yes!  Isn’t it exciting?  One of my reviewers described it as “sexy and steamy and smart!”  I like that description.  It’s hot and erotic, but it also has a powerful storyline, as well.  Not just fantasy sex, but something that the reader can sometimes relate to. That’s what makes it interesting.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp? 

EK: No.  It’s a fantasy.  I don’t feel that fantasies necessarily have messages.  You just, inhale…exhale…and enjoy it!

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

EK: Oh, my gosh, I am blown away by the reviews!  I have 5 stars on both Amazon and Goodreads and The Fantasy Maker has earned me second place in the Best Paranormal Romance Suspense category for 2015!  I’m excited and so grateful for the feedback and for my growing number of fans!

CH: Who is your favorite author? Why?

EK: Why, Emily Kendricks, of course! J  Sandra Brown and James Patterson.  Sandra Brown is my ‘go-to’ author.  I love her eloquent style.  Her stories never disappoint.  She is definitely a ‘wow’ in my book!

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book, or was it strictly fantasy? 

EK: No special research, just complete fantasy and heat.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EK: I am currently working on a website and hopefully it will be up and running soon.

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

EK: The Fantasy Maker can be purchased on Amazon (both Kindle and paperback), and on Barnes and Noble online (Nook). Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Pj50sU

CH: Any closing remarks?

EK: Some people think that women who read erotic romance books are somehow trying to fill a void in their lives.  Not the case, at all.  We love reading sexy romances, simply because they are awesome to read!  Sara Wendell said it best, “It’s one of the few genres that reflect the varying experiences of being a woman.” Also, my next book is due to be released this spring.  Breakfast in Brooklyn is a Romance Thriller with an amazingly unique love situation and an ending that will knock your socks off!  Keep an eye out for it!

CH: Thank you Emily Kendricks, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Emily Kendricks.

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

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

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

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