Guest

Interview with 
Sheila Deeth
Author of
And other books


Divide by Zero and Infinite Sum are constructed very differently from each other. The first novel is told from multiple points of view and the second is entirely Syvia’s first-person account. Why did you choose to do that?

In a way, Infinite Sum is the novel I always needed to write, hence first-person I suppose. But I couldn’t write it. Some of the scenes cut too close to home, and I didn’t want to write a story about me. Divide by Zero is kind of the consequence of not writing my story—a novel about lots of different people who end up tied, even knotted together when Sylvia’s secret comes out. But Sylvia was still keeping secrets, even to the final pages. I just hadn’t realized it. While the other characters slipped out of focus when Divide by Zero was done, Sylvia kept coming back, kept insisting her story had to be told. So now, Infinite Sum really isn’t my story after all, its scenes aren’t my scenes, and its protagonist isn’t me. But I loved being Sylvia’s storyteller.

The truth is, I love to play with words, forms and stories, so I’m quite glad the two novels ended up so different. I hope to write many more in the series and I make no promises about how many points of view they’ll cover or how many genres.

It sounds like Infinite Sum is rather special to you. Would you say it’s your favorite of the books you’ve written so far? Will it remain a favorite?

Infinite Sum is my favorite, yes, at least in the sense that an author can have favorites – is that the same as a parent has favorites? It’s special to me because it’s a subject so close to my heart, and I’m guessing it will always be special because it’s the story in which I’m most vulnerable – I admit in the introduction that some of these things happened to me, that I’m writing from personal experience as well as my imaginary character’s, and that, although it’s not my story, it is informed by mine.

At this point, I should ask you to clarify for readers, what is the central theme of Infinite Sum?

The novel starts with a depressed mother going through therapy. Her depression stems from sexual abuse in her childhood. I went through therapy for similar reasons when my third child was born and, like my protagonist, I struggled for years with a sense of guilt, unable to quite forgive myself for what I’d allowed to happen. Of course, children inevitably allow things to happen. They’re not the ones in control. But it becomes hard to take control as an adult when you’re blaming yourself for what happened to you as a child.

Who do you think should read your novel?

I think people should read Infinite Sum just as a story, so I guess I’m saying, anyone should. There’s a mystery in there, and a character arc as Sylvia grows to new knowledge. There’s lots of art, exploring how pictures can hide and reveal the truth. And there’s plenty of family drama. But I think people who’ve been abused, or who have friends who’ve been abused, might find some recognition and encouragement too. I’d love someone to read the novel and respond by forgiving herself and moving on.

Do you think that will happen?

I hope it will, but first I have to actually find some readers. I really appreciate your interviewing me here; it gives me a little more exposure, and it gives me an emotional boost – another author thinks I’m worth interviewing. Thank you so much Uvi!

Aw, it’s my pleasure Sheila! Please share an excerpt with us.

“Don’t try to decide what you’re going to paint,” says the teacher. Then I wonder; if I don’t decide to dab my brush in paint, does he think some glorious image will appear unaided?

“Don’t restrict yourself.” But I’m bound by the page.
“Let inspiration arise from your subconscious. Set it free.”

The teacher’s voice rises skyward with his words. I watch him lift manicured hands, so very consciously and theatrically. But we’re working in a warehouse, under a lofty ceiling of snaking conduits and tangled wires. Around us, deliberately inspiring objects are artfully displayed—paintings, sculptures, a vase of flowers, a crooked pile of boxes covered in cloth. Distant spotlights splash the walls, while layers of gauze and canvas tumble down in wild abandon. In the midst of it all, we painters guard our easels, proudly wearing our different shapes and styles, eagerly devouring the teacher’s wondrous wisdom, and ready for art.

But my subconscious really doesn’t feel like inspiring anything. My hand holds the paintbrush, level with my eyes, as if I’m measuring angles or judging the shade for some curious tone, while I stare pointlessly at flowers. Yellow roses, tipped and veined with red; I mourn them as they dangle over the rim of a blue glass vase. Their feathered heads promise magic in that precious moment before falling. And then, in silence, one lonely petal drops. I let my paintbrush dip and stroke its sunset onto the page and think, yeah great; this is me, inspired by dying flowers.


And now here is where to find out more about you and your work:





Interview with
Raven A. Price
Author of


What persuaded you to write a trilogy? 

After I wrote my first book, The Plan, my friends encouraged me to write books that would entertain and benefit women who face challenging situations.   I got the idea of making my leading ladies avenging heroes who break out of bad lifestyles by watching the movie ‘Avengers’. 

Tell us something about the first book.

Convicted (Book 1 of The Paradigm Shift Trilogy) is about Hope Anderson, a woman who was mentally and physically abused and felt like she was a failure in life.   Afraid of her own shadow, she seeks comfort from her family church only to feel condemnation and shame instead of love and acceptance.   Through supernatural events with the Holy Spirit, Hope is given abilities to know the truth behind chaos and it is with the Lord’s presence and her new abilities she able to heal and be of service to Him. 

What genre would you categorize this book? 

Christian, fantasy, and romance.

Explain why you feel Convicted is a Christian fantasy and romance book, instead of just a romance?  

When I read for enjoyment, my preference is romance but the younger generation is more intrigued with supernatural and fantasy so I decided to make my stories Christian-themed with genres that are popular.   

Throughout Convicted, Hope is taken on spiritual journeys and taught spiritual warfare making the story like a fantasy.   When Hope meets Jesus, He proves to her that she is a lovable woman and encourages her to share her heart again with another.  He also convinces her that she was designed to be a powerful woman for His kingdom as well as a wife and mother.  When Hope submits to Jesus’ plan to become what she was created to be, does all hell breaks loose and she must fight her deepest fear as well as Satan in order to live. 

Explain why Convicted is a Christian fantasy and romance, instead of just a romance?

It is a Christian book because it embraces a lifestyle with Jesus.   Plus, throughout the book, Hope is taken on spiritual journeys and taught spiritual warfare making the story like a fantasy.   After Hope meets Jesus, He proves to her that she is a lovable woman designed to be a powerful woman as well as a wife and mother giving her confidence to share her heart again with another.  Only after she commits to Jesus’ plan, does all hell breaks loose and Hope must fight her deepest fear as well as Satan in order to live.

Have you finished the entire trilogy? 

Yes, Convinced (Book 2) is centered around a young lady who is self-willed and very pretentious who has an out of body experience with an angel.  I had fun bringing Gina Grimes to life.   

Commissioned (Book 3) finishes the story about the Paradigm Shift by ushering in a harlot who has the power to change life for all mankind.  I don’t want to give too much away about this book.  It is very dramatic and fulfilling.

Please share an excerpt with us.

I saw a light on the bedroom wall. It looked like a candle flickering. Focusing on its shimmer, I noticed it was also moving. Then I heard his heavenly voice calling, “Hope, come to me. I want to give you peace and rest.”

My logical mind was telling me I was just tired and confused, seeing things that couldn’t exist; but my spirit was urging me to reach out to the light. Hadn’t I told the Lord I was giving up? What did it hurt to reach for the light? Didn’t Moses seek a burning bush? This had to be the Lord because my spirit was so excited. Getting out of bed to focus more closely on the light, I felt like a cat chasing a light. Extremely excited and wide-eyed, I watched it move. As I stretched out my hand to make contact, an amazing thing happened. The light began to pulse brighter. The air around me felt like it was pushing me into the wall. At first, I didn’t feel anything when connected with the light. My body felt fluid as the light sucked me into another dimension. Instantly, I was flying or falling or spinning head over feet. Then I got motion sickness from the speed within the dimension. My head felt dizzy and my stomach felt sick, so I closed my eyes. My eyes were closed, but my mouth was continually screaming. I was at the breaking point. While screaming, I mentally prayed, Lord, I can’t take this! I’m scared! Please stop this!

“Trust me. It’s almost over,” I heard the voice reply.

I was mentally preparing for a splat. I just knew I was going to land so hard that there wouldn’t be anything left of me. I would be like Humpy Dumpty for the Lord to put together again. I wouldn’t be dead because He was with me. There was no way around it. I was about to know more pain.

Links:






Interview with
S.j. Hermann
Author of



Tell us about Morium and what does Morium mean? 

Morium is Latin for morals, conduct and character. That is what's at the heart of the trilogy. It follows three close friends, Lexi, Nathan and Stacy who suffer through bullying during their high school years. They each react differently. Lexi turns the pain on herself through self harm. Nathan buries his hatred deep when his parents are constantly working. Stacy verbally fights back, even though she hurts inside.

One evening Lexi and Nathan discover meteorites and after they dissolve in their hands, they find themselves with abilities that are unbelievable and the chance to get revenge on those who mentally tortured them. That's where the moral question comes in. Would you get revenge if given the chance? 

What makes Morium stand out against other YA books out there?

While the supernatural aspect of the story is an important part, its only the outer layer. In its core, moral convictions is what truly drives the story. The power of friendship even during the hardest times. It gives readers two very separate viewpoints on the use of these powers. Lexi sees the danger of abuse while Nathan sees an opportunity. 

As the story progresses through the books,  it covers many serious topics that teenagers may face. It's not only about the bullying and it's psychological effects; addiction, self harm, and sexual abuse weave into the story. It defines who we are as a person.

When is the next book in The Morium Trilogy set be release? 

Morium: Terminus is scheduled to be released in May. It will conclude what has been a rollercoaster of writing blocks. It was one of those writing blocks where I knew how the book would end but I didn't know how I would get there. There were times where I suffered story burnout, but I became determined to give my characters the best sendoff I could. 

What do you think is the toughest part of being an indie writer?

Marketing. Your book is a mere dot in the night sky which is filled with other stars. The biggest challenge is making your star shine brighter than the rest. On the flip side of that, authors have been some of the most wonderful people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. They've made my writing journey a pleasure.

Any advice for writers thinking of jumping into the fray?

Yes. Write. Write as much as you can. If you have a story you want to tell, then tell it. Who knows, it just may be that brightly lit star in the night sky.

Please share an excerpt with us.

"Lexi darted into the girls’ washroom. Pushing open a stall door, she ducked inside and slammed it shut. As she sunk onto the toilet, her books fell from her hands, but she didn’t notice as they crashed against the floor. Unable to hold back anymore, she buried her face in her sweaty hands and cried uncontrollably. She wondered how she could possibly make it through the last five months of school. Her fist slammed against the stall as the tears flowed freely, splashing against her books and the tiled floor. “I hate them,” she mumbled to herself. “I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.” She slid up her sleeve, revealing several rows of scars and scraping her fingernails over the scabs. Every swipe felt like a knife slicing into her, causing the warm blood to trickle from the wounds. Her breathing slowed from a rapid pant to a normal rhythm as the pain settled over her, filling her with calm. In that moment, the physical hurting became a temporary relief from the emotional agony which swelled inside her. She sat there for a few minutes, taking in deep breaths. “Lexi?” the soft voice rang out, bouncing off the walls of the vacant room. Lexi yanked her sleeve down to hide her secret and pulled her hair back in her hands. “Yeah, Stace?” she sobbed out. “You okay?” Lexi gathered her books from the floor, attempting to regain what little composure she could. As she reached to open the stall door, her red-stained fingers caught her attention. She vigorously wiped the blood onto the inside of her sweater. With a final breath, she emerged to find Stacy standing by the door. “I’m sorry, Lex,” Stacy told her, wrapping her arms around Lexi. “Just another day in hell,” Lexi replied. The bell echoed from down the hallway, startling them. They strolled out as students began to fill the hall. Only half a day left, she thought as they made their way to the next class." 

From Morium: Book One by S.J. Hermann

"Lexi darted into the girls’ washroom. Pushing open a stall door, she ducked inside and slammed it shut. As she sunk onto the toilet, her books fell from her hands, but she didn’t notice as they crashed against the floor. Unable to hold back anymore, she buried her face in her sweaty hands and cried uncontrollably. She wondered how she could possibly make it through the last five months of school. Her fist slammed against the stall as the tears flowed freely, splashing against her books and the tiled floor. “I hate them,” she mumbled to herself. “I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.” She slid up her sleeve, revealing several rows of scars and scraping her fingernails over the scabs. Every swipe felt like a knife slicing into her, causing the warm blood to trickle from the wounds. Her breathing slowed from a rapid pant to a normal rhythm as the pain settled over her, filling her with calm. In that moment, the physical hurting became a temporary relief from the emotional agony which swelled inside her. She sat there for a few minutes, taking in deep breaths. “Lexi?” the soft voice rang out, bouncing off the walls of the vacant room. Lexi yanked her sleeve down to hide her secret and pulled her hair back in her hands. “Yeah, Stace?” she sobbed out. “You okay?” Lexi gathered her books from the floor, attempting to regain what little composure she could. As she reached to open the stall door, her red-stained fingers caught her attention. She vigorously wiped the blood onto the inside of her sweater. With a final breath, she emerged to find Stacy standing by the door. “I’m sorry, Lex,” Stacy told her, wrapping her arms around Lexi. “Just another day in hell,” Lexi replied. The bell echoed from down the hallway, startling them. They strolled out as students began to fill the hall. Only half a day left, she thought as they made their way to the next class." 

From Morium: Book One by S.J. Hermann

Links:


Buy links:

Morium Trilogy





Interview with 
Dan Strawn
Author of 


Tell us about your book Nez Perce Collection, which is available on Amazon.
Nez Perce Collection has three of my novels under one cover. All of them are related  by virtue of their common Nez Perce Indian story line. 

The novels in Nez Perce Collection share more than a common Nez Perce base. They also utilize common characters and pieces of each others stories. Yet, each novel stands alone. That is, each has a unique theme, different protagonists, antagonists, and challenges. Lame Bird's Legacy revolves around the life of a Nez Perce boy who comes into manhood when the Nez Perce War of 1877 breaks out. Isaac's Gun—An American Tale deals with a wounded WW II naval officer struggling to heal from his mental and physical damage. Black Wolf's Return covers one Nez Perce family's journey through three plus centuries of European presence in the Nez Perce homeland. 

You've said the books are related, but stand alone. That implies they don't need to be read in any particular order. Can you expand on that notion?  

The genesis of all the shared characters and their stories is told in Lame Bird's Legacy, which is why it is the first of the novels in the Nez Perce Collection. That said, each story stands on its own merits. Readers can read one of them without ever reading the others, or read them in any sequence. 

I wrote Lame Bird's Legacy with no eye for a sequel. It was my first novel, and readers liked the story and asked for more. 'What happened to the Nez Perce who escaped to Canada?”  “Write about the fate of Long Face and his mother.” “You didn't take us to the final battle.” “What happened to Isaac Ramsey?” These reader issues pulled me into writing Isaac's Gun—An American Tale and Black Wolf's Return. My goal: Tell more about the fictional characters and real history of the Nez Perce experience contained in Lame Bird's Legacy; do it in a way that lets each novel introduce new characters and a new plot.  Because my readers said good things about both books that followed Lame Bird's Legacy, I am pleased with the results. That all three novels come in the Nez Perce Collection  is a plus for ebook readers.

What techniques did you use to tell more about Lame Bird's Legacy characters in the midst of  new plots you created in Isaac's Gun and BlackWolf's Return? 
I placed them in different roles that matched the time frames and fit in with the plots of the new stories. 

Examples: 

Broken Nose had a cameo role—an unintentional villain of sorts—as one of the Nez Perce warriors trying to run down Isaac Ramsey in Lame Bird's Legacy. In Black Wolf's Return, he takes on two substantial roles in the telling of the Black Wolf family story. Early on, he assumes hero status in rescuing Long Face, who carries the Black Wolf lineage to the next generation, and later he becomes a tragic metaphor for the Wallowa band of Nez Perce who never return to their homeland.

Issac Ramsey is an eighteen-year old trooper in the 1877 war in Lame Bird's Legacy and an octogenarian grandfather in Isaac's Gun—An American Tale.

And so it goes with other characters—each character, like real people, evolves over time to take on new roles in the stories being told. Only Otter, Lame Bird's uncle and surrogate father, retains the essence of who he is in all three books. 

So, is there a fourth Nez Perce book in the works, one that could be an addendum to the Nez Perce Collection?

Not at the present time. My current work in progress is my first venture into paranormal story writing. I've tentatively titled it Avenging Yellow Bird. It features a veteran of the 1855 Palouse War in eastern Oregon and Washington who is haunted in his old age by a warrior ghost. 

Where can I find your Nez Perce Collection and your other books?

The Nez Perce Collection and Breakfastt At Blair's are ebooks available on Amazon. All my other novels are available in print and ebook formats. They can be purchased at your favorite internet book site. If you want signed print copies, message me on facebook or pick them up at Vintage Books, 6613 E Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver, Washington or … and BOOKS, Too!, 918 6th Street, Clarkston, Washington.

Please share excerpts from Nez Perce Collection with us.

Isaac Ramsey in Lame Bird's Legacy: In March of 1877, he was a private in the First Cavalry, bound for Fort Vancouver, then, in May, to Fort Walla Walla. Without realizing it, he had thrust himself into the throes of what would soon be a war between the Nez Perce, who he had never heard of, and the United States Army. 
Isaac Ramsey in Isaac's Gun—An American Tale:  I close the journal and lean back in Sherrie’s embrace. Her cool cheek lies on mine. The Flying Fortress, her flaps down, her wheels locked, drops below the horizon. Old Isaac bows his head and wipes the nape of his neck with his blue handkerchief.
Otter in Black Wolf's Return: Otter stared at the flickering flames. “Last night, Blackbird Wing’s ancestor came to me in a dream. He was Black Wolf, her great grandfather. He told me a lone wolf on this high plain would save her children.”
Otter in Lame Bird's Legacy: In the muffled silence that attended the heavy snowfall, Otter lowered his voice, and spoke in soft, gentle tones.
“Go, Rides Well. Your daughters will flourish. Your son will know he is the son of Swan Woman and Rides Well, the warrior who stole seven horses from the Blackfeet.”

Links:




Interview with
Werner Stejskal
Author of


Tell us a bit about yourself

Born in Vienna, Austria, I am now living in Perth, Australia with my wife, two married children and three grandchildren. I worked in the printing industry over many years and later for the United Nations in Vienna. After an eventful life, now retired, I began to write children’s stories. I discovered some brilliant illustrators through Odesk, narrated the stories myself for YouTube and finally took the next step into publishing ebooks. /react-text 

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

Oliver the tuxedo cat and Jumpy the kangaroo lady, are best of friends and experience many adventures together. /react-text 

What inspired you to write this charming children’s book series of short fairy tales and animal stories? 

There are lots of fairy tales and bedtime stories around and many of them are quite violent and unsuitable for young children. This made me decide to write something different. On a flight from Europe to Australia I watched the movie ‘Magic on Belle Island’ with Morgan Freeman, where Freeman teaches a little girl to have imagination and write her first story. This inspired me as well and the first stories with the two main characters Oliver, the elegant tomcat, and Jumpy, his kangaroo lady friend, made their appearance.  /react-text 

How did you find an illustrator? 

I was extremely lucky to find Marvin Alonso through Odesk (now Upwork). He immediately understood what I wanted and, very independently, developed the characters for me in Disney style (my idea). Unfortunately he found another calling after a while. I tried out three illustrators with lesser results until I found Maycee. She and her husband Allan have been the rock of this series. /react-text 

Where did you get the idea for the series? 

This is rather interesting. As mentioned before, the idea came out of the blue at night. Call it a message from god or whatever else you like. I was just ready for it at that stage of my life. It has always been like that. All my life I was presented with another opportunity when the time was right. /react-text 

You seem to entertain the little readers. Is it hard to write a story on a child’s level? 

There are limited scenarios in a child’s world. I simply use existing ones and write my own story around it. Kids love fairies, giants, animals, dragons etc. I simply make my two main characters experience all those scenarios. /react-text 

What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work? 

Author Peter Frederick reviews my series.  

Here are books created by Werner Stejskal, an author who has a wonderful sense of adaptability into the world of a child. Movements, sentiments, expressions and ideas are being visualised, that enthral and win over the little reader. Plus, his terminology is perfectly matched to the mood of each self-contained story. The author also displays amazing sensitivity and is able to transport even adults back into long-past childhood. All good virtues are being emphasized, like friendship, loyalty, determination and civility, giving the fascinated reader the right signals for spiritual development. The main characters, Oliver and Jumpy, are the masters of a variety of situations that draw the reader into the stories. But oRne of the main reasons for the success of these children's books is the artwork! The graphics, outstandingly created by the artist, have their hues and shapes completely adapted to the respective situation and so contribute to the emotional absorption of each picture. Text and message. sombre feelings and cheery situations are being created and masterly entertain the little readers. One can only recommend this series of children's books to all adults who wish to keep their little ones occupied in a positive, entertaining and learning environment! /react-text 

Links:

@Oliver And Jumpy 
Instagram: Werner.Stejskal





Interview with 
Cary Allen Stone
Author of
A Jake Roberts Novel, Book 5


I’m a huge fan of crime fiction. I have read all of the Jake Roberts Novels and just finished reading your new book “After You’re Dead”. After reading your books, I always come away affected by your antagonists and the severity of the crimes they commit. How do you make the stories so intense that I feel them? And how do you make your characters so real? I have emotionally bonded with many of your characters, especially Jake.

I did eleven months of research before I wrote After You’re Dead. It’s the most current novel I have written as the fictional events are based on two individuals in the news, both of them are at the top of the Mexican cartels. One is incarcerated, and the other holds the title of the most powerful narcotrafficker in the world today that, if he reads crime fiction, will not like what I wrote. I may get a knock on my door and there won’t be any more Jake Roberts novels, or author (and that’s when my book sales will soar my agent told me).

Since I began Jake’s walk through fictional life, I have received many emails and reviews of the books, and many times, I’m asked the same questions. How does a former airline pilot know so much about what goes on inside the head of a serial killer. When I was writing and flying, I’ve had more than one crew member inquire if I was the bad airline captain character in After the Evil. Hmm, it’s fiction.

I do have a vivid imagination, but the majority of the intensity comes from exhaustive investigative research. Over the years, I have “talked shop” with actual FBI profilers who provided me with a wealth of insight and backstories into serial killers. I spent time in prison both state and federal correctional facilities. I bet that got your attention, let me explain. 

My first book, Through a Mother’s Eyes, required not only extensive research of court documents, interviews of homicide detectives, defense attorneys and prosecutors, crime scenes, autopsy and psychiatric reports, but also direct contact with the person who committed the murder, without I might add, any correctional officers nearby. I conducted my interviews in a cell for days at a time. That kind of face-to-face contact is priceless and influences the way I write. Combine all that research and I not only have a unique insight about my perpetrators, but in a sense, I can feel what I learned. All this explains the realism you read in Jake’s stories. Not to frighten you, but serial killers don’t just exist on crime novel pages, they are everywhere, right now, committing murders in various degrees. You wouldn’t know if they were standing next to you in a line for a movie, or concert. 

So, I gather all of that information and slide it into my antagonist. The two antagonists in After You’re Dead are the furthest I have gone with my analysis of what they think and what they want, that is the explanation for the depth of butchery they exact on Jake’s pages.

As far as a reader coming away with an emotional connection to Jake, or the other characters, you simply have to write with heart. We all face evil every day of our lives and we chose to look it in the eyes and fight back, or turn away and run from it. Jake doesn’t have the luxury of running away. He takes the fight straight to the demon, even if it means he’ll suffer demons in his dreams. It’s what makes Jake Roberts so special to us. It’s why we, and his friends, bond with him. Like Nurse Conley said in After the Kill, “All men want to be Jake, and all women want to be with Jake.” 

I want you to love, or at least, befriend Jake. He’s who we all aspire to be––the good one.

Finally, what I find fascinating, is how many readers fall in love with Lori Powers from After the Evil and Mind Over Murder. Readers love her. She’s so popular that there may be a story written about Lori in the future. I’ll have to ask the readers what they think of that idea.

How many Jake Roberts books do you plan to write? Will there be a time when the series concludes?

As long as there is crime, Jake will be around. As long as there is support from readers, Jake will live on. Beck Valley Books, U.K., said of the Jake Roberts Novels: 

“Real page-turners with a very good psychological edge. The books kept me enrapt from page one to the end and the only disappointing factor was that it was over too quickly. The first of three novels featuring the same detective and on the basis of this one, the author has created a detective to rival Paterson’s Alex Cross, Morse, Rebus and Frost.” 

That’s honorable company for Jake.

Is it safe to be around Jake? Since the first book, he’s lost Ed Fairchild, Harmon Blackwell, Mika Scott, and his beloved Caitland.

Well, fiction isn’t stranger than fact. We all lose loved ones throughout our life journey. While we cherish and keep their memories deep within forever, we must remember that life is about those left behind. Losing a loved one shapes us as people more so than anything else, their spirits return every now and then be it in a dream, a daydream, or a feeling of a hand on a shoulder. 

So, is it safe to be around Jake? Always.

Besides Jake, who is YOUR favorite character?

Richard Graham…just kidding. I love them all for different reasons. Each one has walked alongside me at some point. I will say that my new character, Bry, will be a very important character and return in future JRNs. He is based on a new friend who is probably the most fascinating person I’ve met in a very long time. Bry will be somewhere near Jake, like an angel.

Buy links:


Author Links:





Interview with
Ken Stark
Author of


What can you tell us about your book, 'Stage 3'? 

In short, Stage 3 is about the end of civilization as we know it, and one man's desperate attempt to salvage his humanity. The book opens as a frightening new virus begins to sweep across the globe, and we watch the decline through the eyes of a man named Hank Mason. He is essentially a misanthrope, but when he is finally forced out of his home, he finds that the world has become considerably worse than he could ever have imagined. Ordinary human beings have been turned into bloodthirsty monsters, and he must use all of his cunning to survive. But even as he attempts to flee the city, he comes across a young girl, infected with the virus but not yet turned, and he agrees to help her. And with that single gesture, Hank Mason begins his slow climb back to the human race, even as the rest of the world descends into madness.

Why the title, 'Stage 3'?

It simply refers to the progression of the disease. Stage 1 is blindness; the first symptom. As the virus spreads into the brain, the patient loses all higher brain function, and is said to have entered stage 2. He resorts to an animal state, and is driven by an overwhelming bloodlust to kill uninfected humans and feed on their flesh. But as gruesome as all of that sounds, the virus has one more trick up its sleeve. As the tag-line says, 'Stage 3 is coming, and things are about to get a whole lot worse', but I would like to leave that for the reader to discover.

Okay, fair enough. But what do we know about the source of the virus? Is it a terrorist plot? Maybe a mad scientist?

I promise that the question will be answered, but Stage 3 is all about getting to know how this new world works, so the cause of the pandemic isn't important. The next chapter will give us a few hints, and book 3 will satisfy everyone's curiosity, but the source of the virus is purely academic. What really matters is how people react to the new paradigm. Do they cower in fear, or do they stand up and fight? Do they look only to their own safety, or is there room for self-sacrifice? Will it ultimately be survival of the fittest, or can there be room for mercy? All of the weaknesses and strengths of humanity can played out against such a backdrop, so we get to see mankind at it's very best and its very worst.

So, Stage 3 is a morality tale?

No, absolutely not. This a head-bashing, blood-spewing zombie apocalypse story and nothing else. I want to entertain the reader and send a few shivers up their spine, not teach them right from wrong. In fact, in the Stage 3 world, there is no right and wrong. There is only life and death. And just as each of us holds a different view on just where the line between good and bad lies, every character in Stage 3 has there own opinion on exactly how far is too far to go in the struggle to survive. 

Speaking of gruesome, that cover is eye-catching, to say the least. Was that your idea?

Isn't it awesome? I wish I could say that it was my idea, but I actually didn't have anything to do with it. That cover is courtesy of the talented people at Severed Press, my publisher. I had my own idea of what I wanted the cover to be, but when I saw the artwork, I was blown away! I had some initial concerns that it might be considered off-putting by some, but anyone offended by the image wouldn't be interested in reading Stage 3 anyway. After all, this is a zombie book, pure and simple. If you're scared by the cover, you probably don't want to look inside…… 

Can you share an excerpt?

Certainly!

     "Who are you?" She breathed in the barest hint of a whisper. 
     For a moment, Mason wondered if he'd been wrong about the girl being blind after all, but though her eyes were a brilliant green and sparkled with intelligence, they were obviously as dead as stones.
     "I won't hurt you," he hushed back to the girl.
     The girl's expression didn't change, but she raised a single eyebrow and whispered with some suspicion, "If you wanted to hurt me, you would have done it already." 
     Before Mason could respond, there was a crash from somewhere off to the side, followed by a desperate scream. The girl flicked her gaze that way and drew in a short gasp of air, then the scream ended in a gurgle, and the girl turned calmly back to Mason. 
     "There's three behind you, you know," she said, almost indifferently.
     Mason flipped a glance over his shoulder and saw three creatures fifty yards away, slowly wandering their way. Mason took two steps toward the girl, but when she backed away nervously, he stopped and whispered softly.
     "Are you out here all alone? Where are your parents?"
     Again, her expression remained unchanged. She held a tiny finger vertically against her lips, then pointed to the side. 
     "There's another one over there," she hushed.
     Mason looked to where the girl pointed, and sure enough, a big male was stumbling awkwardly across the street, the sharp tip of a bone protruding from the man's shin, sawing through soft flesh with every step.
     Despite the growing threat, the girl looked blindly to Mason and whispered as gently as a breeze, "Do you have any water?"
     "No, I'm sorry," he hushed, "but I can find you some."
     She turned her nose up suspiciously. "Can I trust you?"
     "Do you have a choice?" Mason asked.
     "Always," the girl replied with absolute conviction.
     "You can trust me," Mason told her truthfully, one eye on the advancing creatures, "and you have about twenty seconds to decide whether or not I'm lying."
     The girl nodded once, and it was decided. She held out her hand, Mason took it, and they both stepped into a side street, away from the gathering swarm. 

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Interview with
D.G. Kaye
Author of


Your writing encompasses stories taken from events you encountered in your own life, and the lessons you took from them. What event in particular became the central inspiration for this book?

This book is a compilation of essays encompassing the core essence of self-esteem. I talk about my own experiences in different time periods, about hurtful words from childhood and how they impact our lives as we mature and how they can result into the choices in life we make as a result of a low self-esteem.  I share some of the lessons and tools I used to overcome my own issues to help build my esteem and healthier relationships.

I love the title, Words We Carry. This title can mean the burden of the past, carried on by painful memories, but it can also mean carrying forward cherished moments. What does this title mean o you and how did you arrive at it?

The title came to me before the book was written. The stories involving incidents and snippets of my own insecurities, stem from my childhood, all evolving from my lack of self-esteem because of childhood teasing and a lack of emotional nurturing. Words that are said are hard to erase.

Unlike self-help books, Words We Carry is an intensely personal book. How do you find the courage to open up, especially with memories that are tender to the touch, and expose yourself to your readers?

Much of what I write in my books is self-help, only I use my own experiences from what I endured and share how I personally overcame my own shortcomings.

I’ve always considered myself a teacher of life lessons; what I gained in knowledge from an unpleasant situation, I felt compelled to share with others in hopes to help them with relatable situations. If you’re a truth-teller, leading by example from your own situations, you have to be able to bare your soul and put yourself out there. I couldn’t write books without demonstrating that I know things because I’ve lived them. The writing wouldn’t be the same if I just passed along stories without backing them up with my experiences. People relate more to situations when they are personal.

You ask, What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? So tell us, What can we learn about ourselves by looking at the mirror?

We tend to be our own worst critics. Teasing and name calling only weakens an already fragile self-esteem. Even as we mature, when seeing our old familiar self in that mirror, after years of built up accumulated hurt and self-loathing, it can be difficult to see the positive changes physically that we’ve taken painstaking strides to look better if we don’t recognize that we’ve blossomed emotionally.

In my journey to seeking self-esteem, I was unhappy with my physical appearance and developed many crazy quirks to look better in efforts to feel better about myself. I found little tricks such as having bigger hair, helping to make me appear as though my body looked proportionately better with the volume of my hair balancing out my frame, and the added inches with wearing stilettos to look taller and compensate for some of my excess weight. These were fashion tips I’d learned about from magazines that helped me feel better about myself because my goal was to not have others make fun of me.

As I matured, I realized I had more work to do internally. I had to build up my inner self and learn to love myself for who I was as a person, not only for how I appeared on the outside. Only then could I look in a mirror and be proud of who I’d become, not only from my physical reflection, but from the person inside that reflection.

Tell us about your journey in writing, beginning as notes and cards you wrote for the people she loved, and culminating with the publication of five books.

I wrote ever since I can remember learning how to write. I was an inquisitive child who loved to ask questions, but was mostly afraid to. When I did get the nerve to ask questions at home, I never got satisfying answers. This carried on in school, not raising my hand to ask a question I may not have understood on a lesson because I was afraid my questions would seem trivial.

I had a lot of spirit and a lot of love in me that I had no outlet to express. The words ‘I love you’ were unfamiliar words to me, although I was too young to realize I needed to hear them, I wanted to tell them to those close to me. I wanted to tell my loved ones that I loved them, but it felt so foreign to me.

Writing became my place to store my emotions, thoughts, and desires – a place where I felt free to say what I wanted, and a place to share my thoughts privately with myself. I wrote little poems and gave them to my parents, grandparents, and some of my teachers when I wanted to say something in affection, or about my worrying thoughts, both of which I was uncomfortable doing verbally. Some were well received, some I was reprimanded for. I thought by sharing my heart in rhyme, it may disguise the underlying message in the prose.

I came from an ongoing broken home, desperately in need of affection. My mother didn’t always appreciate my little notes I left her. Instead of compassion or nurturing, she’d scream at me, telling me to mind my business. One note in particular stands out to me till this day. I was 8 years of age,  and very sad that my father wasn’t living with us because she’d evicted him again. I left the note on the kitchen counter by the telephone for my mother to see as I left for school.  The note said “I have a mother and I have a father, but I don’t have a mommy and a daddy.”  It breaks my own heart thinking about it now. I came home from school that afternoon to a slap in the face and my angry mother telling me to mind my business, again.

School was my solace. There were a handful of teachers I had that seemed to have an empathy for me, the broken little child in their classroom. One in particular, in grade 2, Miss Jacobs, paid me special attention and I adored her. I made her special cards with loving words and poems and drew hearts all over the cards. 

 Give us an excerpt from your book. 

Sure, this is about IDENTITY AND RIDICULE:

Searching within ourselves in an effort to discover our own identities begins when we’re young. We follow the examples of those who influence our lives, such as family and friends. Eventually, as we mature and our curiosities awaken, we begin to recognize how our personalities are developing. We formulate personal opinions and goals, which play an integral part in who we become. The influences around us usually determine the habits into which we tend to fall.

We pick up bad habits or inferiority complexes from our home environments or, later, from the friendships and other environments we choose. We eventually adapt to our habits, and as we age, either we take with us the negative baggage we’ve acquired since childhood or we become aware of it and endeavor to find resolution and better ourselves. The latter isn’t always so easy to accomplish. The lucky few who learn to overcome their inner struggles live peacefully within themselves, in time.

Many people seek professional help to conquer their identity issues. Others may not be able to get past prior hurts and slights and continue through life carrying the weight of inadequacy. It’s often more difficult to accept ourselves if we have no positive parental influence to guide us through childhood with nurturing and encouragement.

We all have the freedom to become what we want to be and to affect the way we’re perceived by others, but some people don’t use this power. Whether they realize it or not, they get caught up in the realm of merely existing based on what they were taught.
Identity is a brand that signifies who we are and what we stand for. Our beliefs and values signal what kinds of people we are. Our outside trappings—our physical appearance and mannerisms—reflect how we project ourselves and how others perceive us.

The struggle to find our identities is particularly delicate in our younger years—the high-school years. These are the years we begin comparing ourselves with our schoolmates. We begin to notice the popular girls, the pretty girls, the girls who attract male attention. For many of us, this is when admirations, jealousies, and feelings of inadequacy begin to take root. We want to be like those popular girls, and perhaps we want to acquire a style of our own, to reflect our own unique brands.

Some feel threatened when competitiveness strikes, feeling that their self-worth declines because they’re not popular. Those crushing feelings linger, becoming inadequacy. This happens particularly when we don’t have positive influences in our lives to encourage us and lift our self-doubts. Even worse, girls are often teased and bullied purely because of their physical attributes, because they don’t fit with what society dictates as socially acceptable. Without proper attention, bullying can be detrimental to a person’s life and can contribute to how people devalue themselves.

Identity isn’t only about how we’re perceived but also how we perceive the world. Will we become positive forces in the world, or will we remain silent wallflowers, afraid to voice opinions in fear that we don’t matter.

Tell us a little about you.

I'm a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women's issues. I write to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I'm not writing intimate memoirs, you'll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life, otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parent's relationship. I often wrote notes and journaled  about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I've conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word No, or to use the words 'I can't' have kept me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

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Interview with
Bronwyn Elsmore
Author of


What was the inspiration for your novel?

Do you know, I’ve pondered that myself many times and it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. 

I’ve written across a variety of genres, and this book is not like my others. I classify it as Literary fiction. From the brief description – Gina, if that is her real name, sets out for work. Deliberately, she misses the bus and walks into the city, then turns and walks back home. This is not a day for work. Today she will spend with a white dog and a remarkable man – it may sound like a romance, but it’s not. Reviewers have said it’s “a very inspiring read”, “very unique”, “beautiful”, “feel good read”, “a lovely lovely book”, “a masterpiece”, “quirky and exceptional”, “excellently written”. Oh, I love reviewers like that!

It has an unusual format that follows Gina’s thoughts over one day. In 5-minute intervals, each on a separate page, her life is revealed. 

I had a strange 5-minute experience myself one morning. I was in the shower and the story came into my mind. By the time I stepped out I had the format, the title and the opening paragraphs of this book all there. What else could I do but sit down that day and start to write it.

Is the main character, Gina, based on a person you know?

No, and she’s not me, as some readers have wondered. But even though she’s not a portrait of anyone I know, parts of her story will have similarities with the lives of many women. 

However, I do admit to giving her some of my idiosyncracies. I won’t say which.

During the writing of her story, I came to know Gina so well, and to me she has remained very real. I think about her, wonder how she’s doing now. One reader begged me to write a sequel so she could find out the same thing. That was never my intention, and I think Gina deserves to be left alone with her thoughts – you’ll understand that, I’m sure, when you’ve read the book.

Where is the book set?

I set it in Auckland, which is where I live now. In my mind I could see the streets and buildings, the places she goes to. But Gina could be walking through any city in the western world, and you are free to set her against your own backdrop, see her in places you know and visit. There will be a woman like Gina wherever you imagine her, and her life and experiences will be familiar. 

Can you share a brief excerpt?

Certainly.  This is the thought that Gina has at 7.05 a.m.

 “There is nothing,” you once said, “like the smell of a wet dog.”
At the time I agreed with you, but my concurrence was not on grounds in any way similar to yours, as you picked from my tone. 
You were relating the idea to activities like mock fights over a rope or rubber ring on the beach, games of fetch on damp grass, and a grateful lick from a freshly bathed dog as it stepped from the tub. 
My thoughts were of flying drops from a vigorous post-swim shaking, of mud-covered rough hair, or wet paw-prints across a carpet. Whatever the cause, a dog was something to be kept at a safe distance – over the neighbour’s fence at the closest, definitely not within sniffing and leaping range.
But now a distinctive odour reaches me from close at hand. Not wet, certainly canine, familiar. I bring my hand from beneath the covers and touch soft springy hair.
“Hello, girl,” I say.

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Interview with 
Geoff Nelder
Author of



Geoff Nelder. Who are you?

I ask that every day. I’m the creator of characters who scramble over each other to get away from me. I’m the plotter of tales, which engineer themselves in random directions then at the last minute find themselves back into my alleged plan. I used to teach Geography and IT but now I cycle daily and enjoy being a professional liar. 

Isn’t your novel, ARIA (Alien Retrograde Infectious Amnesia), just another cliché apocalypse story?

Say that again and I won’t give you the antidote. You know you are infected with ARIA don’t you? Infectious amnesia. Only one cure and it’s in this alien suitcase I’m sitting on. I know you have it because you arrived by bus and the driver caught it yesterday. Like him and all his passengers, you’ll forget everything backwards: a year’s worth every week. No such thing as infectious amnesia, right? Until now. That’s why people are forgetting where their new houses and jobs are. Children forgetting how to read, talk and what to eat. Diabetics not only forget to take their insulin, but the factories have closed. Power stations and water treatments closing. Just another apocalypse but you have it, and will have no memory left in a year unless you get this antidote. 

I’m sweating here. What can I do?

First, read ARIA: Left Luggage. Lots of tips in there, properly researched on how to mitigate against any amnesia. Then to be sure, read the sequels. There you’ll find how survivors found hope, romance, lust (not for children) and revenge. 

Didn’t you get help from outer space? 

Haha, yes, Astronaut, Leroy Chiao, answered my questions about the nature of the struts on the International Space Station where the first alien case was found. During our exchanges he said I worried him because he was in orbit at the time! I think it’s a first for a writer to have help from an orbiting spaceman, and he wished me luck with the book. I think some well-known authors such as Mike Resnick were jealous although he endorsed ARIA anyway. Did you know the book won the P&E Readers’ Poll for best SF novel of 2012? You did, oh well. 

Where did you get the idea for ARIA, or have you forgotten it already?

While cycling up a steep hill in Wales I thought of my mum, who’d suffered from amnesia after a stroke. I thought thank goodness amnesia wasn’t infectious! I nearly fell off realizing it was an original premise for a story. Thanks mum. 

Please share an excerpt with us.

Manuel struggled through to consciousness. An alarm clock hammered away making him throw an unseeing arm sideways. One eye opened and found a pinewood ceiling. He smelt coffee but the unfamiliar log cabin tugged at his worry bone. He remembered going to bed in his own room; pale-green walls, cobwebs.
Dawn light hit the bedspread. Pine trees with a busy woodpecker met his eyes. The alarm clock had feathers.
“I'm definitely not in Baltimore.” 
His nose detected toast along with the coffee. He ventured into the kitchen. 
 “Oh, you're up,” said a scowling young woman sitting at a rustic table. Manuel searched his shot memory but failed to locate a white-faced girl with long jet-black hair among his acquaintances. “Before you throw a wobbler, read that.” She pointed at a NoteCom. A milky coffee, just as he liked it, waited for him. 
[You are Manual Gomez, NASA employee.
You have ARIA. An infectious amnesia throwing out your memories at the rate of 50 days worth each day. You’ve lost over two years of memory. 
You have remarried to Jat, who also has ARIA and sitting at the table with you. She’s diabetic.]
He looked at his clothes – black trousers, white shirt and a NASA tie. Good God, he'd dressed for work.
 “You're Jat? My wife?” 
“I have no recollection of marrying you. Don't get any ideas.” 
“Look at us, Jat. I'm mid-fifties, you're what, eighteen?” 
“That's not the big deal.” 
“No? What is?” 
“Look at you. You don't look after yourself, you've deserted your other wife and... STDs?” 
Manuel, shook his head. “Jat, I have no diseases except one that's robbed me of what must have been a helluva courtship and a cracking wedding night. I grant you I'm hiding a six-pack stomach under a keg, I have more muscles than I used to.” He did a strongman impression. She turned to face the window.
“There's chopped wood out back so I guess you might have been working out,” Jat said. He saw her reflection fighting a grin.

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Interview with
J.S. Lewis
Author of


I am grateful to Uvi Poznansky for this guest post on her blog, I truly am.

Who is J. S. Lewis?

I’m that crazy writer dude from Jamaica; yes the same country as the fastest man in the world. I allow my characters to tell me their stories in my head and I simply put it onto the pages, channelling each. I like creating characters that are not only three dimensional but also flawed and broken so to speak. I write gritty dramatic romance that most would frown upon had it been a couple years prior, but gladly we now live in a more rapidly changing and tolerant world. My characters are complex and will root their way into your emotions.

What gets you started on a story?

Personal experiences or fantasies also slip their way onto the pages now and then, but it’s the characters that get me started 8 times out of 10. In any given moment I pay attention to how I’m feeling, and I try to revel in that feeling whether good or bad and that’s how  I can hear the characters in my head, creating scenes and scenarios that I always seem to be able to put together perfectly, and this is exactly how the new characters in my latest book: “The Malcolm mafia & the Rodriguez Cartel” were created. By feeling and listening to the characters.

How do you connect to readers emotions?

I like this question, it’s just perfect because as I said, its exactly the same way how I create characters, I let the characters create themselves, choose what they want to go through and then it’s my job to masterfully tie it into the main theme of my work in progress. For example, in “The Malcolm mafia & the Rodriguez Cartel”, characters José and Santiago are brothers from a very powerful family but always sort of treated as outcast by their father due to their personal issues. José is mild-bipolar and schizophrenic, while his brother Santiago, came out to his father in his late teens as not only being gay, but also that he contracted HIV, and the father, the very homophobic cur ran him out of the family home. Fast forward years later, the father Pablo lost the sons he was hoping to take over the family and now must depend on preferable José, who in turn will take over only if Pablo once again accepts Santiago, who has gone on to becoming an iconic, successful and Award winning LGBTQ Activist. These characters came to me broken, flawed, damaged and wanted their stories told, and told in a way that it grips readers, but in the end, things seemed to work out alright, and how it works out is something readers must find out for themselves by reading the book. So basically, I connect to reader’s emotions perfectly by creating a story that is character-driven. Real people with real issues someone, somewhere can relate to in one way or another.

Which character have you created that you can relate to on a deep interpersonal level?

That would be Jevaughn. He narrates about 9 chapters in “The Malcolm mafia & the Rodriguez”, and is the main character. He and I share a symbiotic relationship.

Do you have anything planned for the upcoming year?

Yes, for 2017, I plan on releasing the follow up book to “The Malcolm mafia & the Rodriguez Cartel” in the first quarter, and also I am planning a re-write of books 1-5 in the series, as those were written when I was much younger, and now I’m more mature and my creativity has grown. I am able to see things through brand new eyes and produce better material.

Please share an excerpt with us.

-- I sat miserably in my seat, gazing at him with loathing the past three hours, occasionally retreating to the bathroom to wash my face. As if the cool water could calm my temperature, but it did. The short distance away from him made all the difference in the world, because I wasn’t only mad as hell, I was hurt.
Kriss was here. He’d been invited by the old white guy Santiago identified as Maxwell Stone, Chairman of the foundation, seventy-one years old and openly gay. Kriss sat beside him in all his glory, in his two thousand, seven hundred dollar black Givenchy tuxedo and his nine hundred dollar brown shoes.
He did say he was attending a party, didn’t he? And if I was thinking clearly, which party would require him to dress so posh? Never, in my wildest daydreams, could I have imagined I would stumble into him here. Despite our intimate relationship, I’d taken comfort in Florida’s size to keep us from ever meeting outside of our secret escapades.  
I always imagined him in another world; one that nested in my closet. Now that I saw him here, knowing who invited him, knowing who he was probably messing around with, it just knocked me over the edge. Kriss had looked into my eyes only last night, begging desperately for forgiveness, telling me how much he wanted me and me alone and was ready to take my brother’s advice and change his life around. He’d never mentioned this hot date with a rich old man. The betrayal was burning me alive.
I glanced over at him, and my face twisted into a hard and bitter mask. To push me further over the edge, he just smiled, gloating with success, as if saying, I made it.
I shouldn’t have come.
Father was furious that I was attending any event where Santiago would be honored for his work in activism. He slurred discriminatory remarks at us, even though I underlined that Pricilla was my date. If I had only stayed home, I wouldn’t have been here, feeling like this.
I noticed that stress just pushed me over the edge, and everyone else noticed, too. Big bro warned me not to let stress get the best of me. But how could I just overlook something like this, such a monstrous hurt?

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Interview with
Ashley Fontainne
Author of


The subject of your new book, Ruined Wings, is about addiction. Why did you decide to write this story?

Addiction isn’t just about the voluminous issues experienced by the addict. Like ripples in a pond, addiction affects everything—and everyone—around the addict. Nothing remains untouched as the disease, like a virulent plague, destroys relationships, friendships, employment, childhood, parenthood and marriages. Don’t believe me? Take a few minutes to read this staggering piece from CNN.

According to the article (source figures provided by the CDC from number of deaths from drug poisoning vs. other causes, 1999-2014) “Drugs now kill more people than cars, guns. Drugs are the leading cause of accidental death in this country. Fatal overdoses surpassed shooting deaths and fatal traffic accidents years ago. For perspective on how fast drug deaths have risen, Anderson said, consider the sharp rise in heart disease in the early half of the 20th century. It took about 50 years for the rate of heart disease to double. It took drug deaths a fraction of that time.”

I wrote this novel from the perspective of the addict. Callie's heartbreaking journey into the ugly world of addiction is a fictional glimpse of how the disease rips apart lives and families. If you love someone struggling with addiction, as I do, I pray you'll find hope and strength while reading Callie's story.

Andrea Emmes has signed on to narrate the audio version and the amazing Sabrina Stewart (Executive Producer of Foreseen) has already optioned Ruined Wings for a film adaptation. 

Why is this subject so important to you?

First and foremost, the hardest thing to do, at least in my case, was admit publicly my private struggles and sorrows surrounding the turmoil and drama created by addiction. When writing Night Court and the Rememdium Series, those closest to me knew exactly where I drew inspiration for the titles: I love an addict. Out of all the family members, I also hold the title of Queen of the Enablers.

For eight years, I tried to handle things on my own, naively assuming that providing my addict with love and support would somehow “pull him out of it.”
Wrong. Dead, wrong.

Things took a serious nosedive during the summer, forcing me to confront the painful truth: my addict needed help—the kind I’m unable to provide. My love wasn’t enough to free him from the stronghold of addiction. Fortunately, God placed a special group of people in our path and through much prayer, my addict entered rehab.

I fell apart, riddled with guilt, shame and regret. Nights were spent staring at the ceiling, searching memories, trying to figure out at exactly what point I failed him. Worry morphed to fear and fear segued into a few bouts with hysteria. 
My hope was for both addicts and their loved ones to be able to gain important insight to each other’s struggles and it be a launching point for meaningful, healing discussions.

Do you have any advice for others who may be struggling with loving an addict?
I am a control freak in every aspect of my life, including the life of my addict. I tried everything under the sun to wrestle the control addiction had over my loved one.

I failed.
You will too.

The battle isn't ours to fight. Those of us who love an addict are relegated to the sidelines, yet that doesn't mean we can only helplessly watch with our hands tied. This is the time for fervent prayer.

The blame game is another disturbing aspect of addiction. We look back over the places we could have done things differently. You know what I mean--the "If I would have just done" or the ever-popular "If I could just go back and change this..."

You can't.

Blaming choices someone else makes for their lives on yourself is a complete and total waste of time. It festers like a tainted boil inside our hearts and minds. It won't help your addict ONE BIT, and it certainly won't help YOU. Of course, saying (or typing) the words is much easier than actually putting them into action in your life. I know because the blame game tape STILL pops up on occasion. Like an old song  you hate that randomly plays on the radio, the lyrics "It's all your fault" replay over and over.

Will it ever end? The continual pangs of regret, remorse, anger, guilt, sadness and fear? Doubtful. Even if your addict has been clean and sober for years, the old scars still ache sometimes. Just as our addict must learn to live with their piles of mental baggage, we must too.

Stay strong, keep loving your addict in healthy ways, and make sure to take care of your mind, body and soul!

Ruined Wings releases in ebook on Dec 12th. The hardcover version is available online, and the audio version, narrated by Andrea Emmes, will be available on Audible.com and iTunes within the week.

Links:

Ruined Wings: Amazon, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Audio 





Interview with
Cynthia Morgan
Author of



What Inspired you to write Dark Fey?  

Many have asked me to explain to them what Dark Fey is about and how it was inspired.  The original inspiration for the story came to me through a vivid dream, which I could not stop thinking about days afterward.  As I thought about it, the characters stepped out of the shadows of the dream and demanded my full attention, so I finally sat down and wrote out the entire scene as I saw it in my mind, which is now Chapter Six of The Reviled.(which you can preview in its entirety here)

Tell us about your characters and what makes them unique?

First and foremost, the Feyfolk of Jyndari (which includes the Fey of the Uunglarda) are winged beings the size of any human, rather than ‘tinkerbells’.  Each Fey is born with an inherent gift, something that comes naturally to them that they must learn to hone and use responsibly.  Many Fey are telepathic; they can read the thoughts of others and can project their thoughts into another’s mind if that Fey is also telepathic.  Some are Empathic; they can read and often feel the emotions of others.  Fewer have a gift of Discernment.  These Fey are able to mentally connect with another and gain an intimate understanding of the other; knowing them as well as they know themselves.  A rare few are Dream Walkers who can enter another’s mind through dreams or nightmares.  With these gifts, the Fey of Jyndari have a unique way of communicating with each other on a non-verbal, often far more intimate level than we humans do; however, because of this these gifts also require strict moderation.  Fey are taught from a very early age not to ‘read’ or ‘delve’ without permission and doing so is considered an offense against privacy. 

Many, though not all Fey, are also born with a gift of magic unique to them.  Some are spell-casters; some are able to manipulate the forces of nature; some have exceptional speed or strength, and others are able to bend light.  

What point of view did you write Dark Fey from and why?  

In nearly all my writing I utilize an omniscient third person POV. It’s simply how I’ve always written and, because I tend to focus on the emotional connection between characters, it’s often a better way to relate their state of being. I didn’t really give it much thought when I began writing Dark Fey; yet as the story progressed, it has become an emotionally charged tale and the all-knowing perspective has allowed me to share those emotions with my readers in a powerful way that draws them into the story.  Additionally, the gifts the Fey of Jyndari utilize in their communication with each other is based as much upon emotional understanding as verbal comprehension, and being able to share these emotions with the reader brings the tale to life in a far more vivid manner (at least, I think so.)  

What is Dark Fey all about?

The story of Dark Fey is set in a mystical realm of my own creation called Jyndari, but the message is relative to our own reality.  It is a fantasy, a romance and a tale of suspense and mystery, but the moral undertone is inescapable.  That being: the Power of Hope, Acceptance and Forgiveness can change the world, if you take Positive Action to Create Change through doing what is Right.  As Evondair says in the third book of the trilogy: “The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.”  

This message came partially as a result of learning about the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in Uganda, where militant rebels have been abducting children for over 20 years, integrating them into their army through abuse and cruelty, and forcing them to endure lives of violence.  I was moved to my very spirit by such a horrifying truth and chose this medium to share a similar story. However, unlike our own reality where this atrocity continues even today, the Fey of Jyndari choose to change their world by taking Positive Action through Sacrifice, Acceptance and Forgiveness.

It is my greatest hope to be able to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sales of Dark Fey to UNICEF’s work in Uganda where they actively rehabilitate the children affected by the LRA.

Links:


105 comments:

  1. Thank you very much, Uvi. It was a pleasure and an honor to be interviewed by an author and artist I admire a lot.

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    1. Literature is for the people who are literate,what is there for educated to read?

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  2. The Work you do Uvi is so appreciated . . . it is a good one.
    Blessings
    bill

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    1. My pleasure, W. S. Peters. I am happy to provide a platform for the new voices in literature.

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  3. Thank you Uvi for the honor of being a guest on this wonderful site. Blessings....Teresa

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    1. Totally my pleasure, Teresa! Best of luck with Chasing Light.

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  4. Thanks, Uvi, for inviting me here and interviewing me. I love your work. Good luck with your books. Happy reading & writing :)

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    1. My pleasure Vickie! And what a lovely interview!

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  5. Thank you so much, Uvi, for the wonderful opportunity to visit with you and for posting my interview. It has been an experience I will cherish - always.

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    1. So glad your interview coincided with the publication of The Trap on Amazon and B&N! Congratulation Dennis, it's my pleasure

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  6. Thank you for inviting me Uvi. I really enjoyed this.

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    1. Totally my pleasure Sheila! I enjoyed learning more about your work!

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  7. Thank you for featuring my work on your blog, Uvi!

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  8. Thank you so much Uvi for inviting me. I cherish it with all my heart and over the time you have become such a valuable connect between me and the others in the literary world. :)

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    1. Totally my pleasure Jaspreet, you are truly an inspiration!

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  9. Great interview with Catherine Kirby. What a thoughtful and insightful author.

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    1. Oh thank you Alex! (and sorry for missing your note all this time...) Yes, Catherine Kirby is indeed a great author!

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  10. Uvi, Thank you for having me. You have a delightful blog. It's been a lovely visit.

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  11. Great interview with Barbara Silkstone, Uvi. She is so funny and so honest! I love all her books.

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    1. I totally agree with you Gerry! And her books shine with her humor :)

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  12. Gerry, Uvi, Thank you! So sweet of you! Hugs and giggles!

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    1. My pleasure Barbara, what a lovely interview!

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  13. Great interview! Love Barb and Cynthia, and glad to discover some new authors!

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    1. I totally agree with you Christy, and I'm so glad they came here for an interview!

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  14. THANK YOU! What an honor and such fun!

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  15. Thanks again Uvi, people really liked the interview.

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    1. I liked it too! Lovely cover, great answers :)

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  16. Uvi,
    Thank you so much for having an author spotlight on your blog. I really appreciate you asking me to interview with you and your ongoing support of Indie authors. Looking forward to following your wonderful work, posts and blog interviews. Blessings to you!
    Kathryne Arnnold

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    1. Oh, totally my pleasure, Kathryne! Your interview was like a magnet, it drew a lot of people, because what you wrote about your work is so engaging.
      All my best!

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    2. What do you think about a society where a man is killed for eating beef ?

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  17. Thank you so much for hosting me, Uvi! You're the best.

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    1. Totally my pleasure Pat, love your interview! Indeed, the subject presents itself to the writer and demands to be expressed.

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  18. Uvi,
    Thank you for featuring my second novel on your blog this week. You do such a great job with all the author presentations and helping Indie authors is priceless! I've been tweeting alot, so I hope it's working!! and I love reading all the different author interviews. See you around FB and Twitter!
    Kathryne

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    1. Totally my pleasure Kathryne! Love your interview, it draws so many readers!

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  19. I have been a fan of Elaine Raco Chase for years. Lovely interview!

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  20. Uvi,

    Thank you so much for the interview...I so appreciate it.
    Jane (and Bertha)

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  21. Thank you so much for interviewing me. I think it looks great. Only one typo before the Reviews. But it is no problem. I love everything else and will be sending my friends over here to check it out!! I will also link your beautiful blog to mine.

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    1. My pleasure Barbara! I loved learning more about your work, so thank you!

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    2. Is fantasy more unimaginable or thrilling then what is happening around the world

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  22. Thanks again for inviting me here, Uvi. I love your blog, and it's an honour to be here with so many great writers!

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    1. My pleasure Gerry, I love learning about your work!

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  23. Thank you Uvi, for having me on your beautiful blog and for this opportunity to present my work to your readers. You've been an awesome host :)

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    1. Aw... My pleasure Effrosyni! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about going Indie :) and as Indie authors we support each other.

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  24. Always fascinating to read about what makes other authors tick.

    Thanks.

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    1. Me too, Rosie, love to learn how each author approaches her craft.

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    2. Thank you for taking the time to visit, Rosie :)

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  25. Really fascinating interview. I like your advice about learning when to let go. Good advice.

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  26. Great interview! So glad to learn more about you along with your writing advice, Fros!!

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    1. I totally agree, great interview by Effrosyni!

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  27. Loved getting to know a bit more about one of my favorite authors. Fros is a delight and so is this interview, Uvi!

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  28. Great to hear more about Paul and his work! Thank you Uvi and Paul for sharing :)

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    1. My pleasure Effrosyni, I am blessed to get to know about so many talented authors, including Paul and you!

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  29. Uvi! Thanks for having me as your guest today! It's a fun way to welcome 2016.

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    1. Oh it's my pleasure Jerrie! I so enjoy learning about your work

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  30. I know the feeling, Jerrie, because I chase squirrels. And sometimes right in the middle I forget I'm chasing the a squirrel and start chasing a bluebird, or butterfly, or whatever. :)

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    1. Regina, thank you for stopping by. And for sharing that we are very much alike! Getting distracted is good for us occasionally...helps us destress. ;)

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  31. Thanks so much for featuring me, Uvi, and in such great company too! I hope to have you as a guest in my blog soon! ♥ And happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. It's my pleasure, Olga. Great interview!
      Happy Valentine's day to you too <3

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  32. Great collection of interviews--glad to learn more about Cary! Cheers!

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  33. Thanks so much for including me in this terrific cast of characters featured on your blog! I'm glad to be in the company of so many talented and productive storytellers. Cheers!

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    1. I know exactly how you feel Anna, because I feel honored as well! All my best, it's my pleasure to host you and to learn about your work here.

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  34. Thank you so much for featuring me and my book, THE DOLAN GIRLS, today, Uvi. Always appreciate your great generosity to us authors...

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    1. It's my pleasure and honor to feature your work, Sarah!

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  35. Great to see Sarah here. I'm reading 'The Dolan Girls' at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it.

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    1. So glad, Olga! Thanks for stopping by to mention that... yippee kayay!

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    2. Thank you, Olga! (I've read The Dolan Girls as well as other works by Sarah Mallery and so love her writing.)

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  36. Thanks again, Uvi, for featuring me on your wonderful website. So kind of you to support fellow authors. Happy Spring!

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    1. My pleasure Caron and happy spring to you too!

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  37. Thanks for the love, Uvi! You are very special! :-D

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  38. was a wonderful day when I discovered you Uvi and thanks so much for the wonderful authors your interview!

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  39. Thank you so much for interviewing Lisette Brodey. I love her books. I'm fascinated by the fact that she writes so well in a variety of genres. That can't be easy. I'm never disappointed by any of her books. What a great interview! Now I know about two more books that I will eagerly anticipate!

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    1. My pleasure Darlene :) Like you, I love Lisette's interview!

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  40. Uvi, thank you for featuring me (and my new release!) on you blog. I had a great time answering your questions.

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    1. Love your writing, Donna, and it's a great pleasure to learn more about your work. Congratulations on your new release1

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  41. Thank you, Uvi, for taking the time to interview me and feature my book. I truly appreciate it. I especially like the piece about Wolfe. After so many years, I still get heated when I think about Wolfe. :)

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    1. Totally my pleasure Ju! I love learning where the passion for your work lies :)

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  42. Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Uvi. Congratulations on the successes of your writing!

    Kate

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    1. My pleasure Kate! (and sorry for not discovering your comment earlier...)

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  43. Thank you for the interview, Uvi! You're so kind! :)

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    1. Aw... It's my pleasure and honor to have you here, Marie!

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  44. Uvi, what a great site! I recognize and know a good many of the authors here. It's interesting to read their interviews.
    I have more to read.
    Excellent job, Uvi!

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    1. Oh thank you Ron, so glad you've discovered it! Yes, great authors and it's wonderful to read about their work.

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  45. Thank you so much for a wonderful interview, Uvi! It was such a pleasure :)

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  46. A great way to meet new authors! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes Jacquie, It is a great way (for me too...)
      :)

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  47. Thanks for having me on today, Uvi. You're the best!

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    1. It's my pleasure and honor, Sarah :) Love your writing.

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  48. Great interview, Sarah. I have to admit to an ignorance about the civil war and women spies. I guess, being a Canadian, we either weren't taught too much about the war or I missed it. You've struck my interest now though!

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    1. You're right. Why should you know much about it. But it tore this nation apart in so many ways. And these female spies? Wow! Fascinating...
      Thanks for commenting... :)

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  49. Thank you for inviting me to your author hall of fame, Uvi. :)

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