AUTHOR KATHRYN MEYER GRIFFITH DISCUSSES IDEAS AND THOUGHTS BEHIND HER NOVELS



About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS NOMINEE for her romantic horror novel
The Last Vampire-Revised Author’s Edition

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21 and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-three years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have two quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and live cat Cleo, and the four of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die.

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, July 2012)
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722327
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)

Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)

Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615724253

The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2010) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615722075

You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8

Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2011)

Damnation Books Buy Link:http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723553

The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723201

The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)

Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615725007

Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)

All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)

Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press buy link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724437 My self-made

You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc

Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724604)

You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg

The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)

Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615725182

You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g

Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press in 2012)
You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3q9rZryFMo

Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/people.php?author=422

BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010)
Damnation Books buy link: httphttp://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615721313

You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo

The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010)
Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615721979

You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y

The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction)

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

http:// www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.jacketflap.com/K.Griffith
http://www.shoutlife.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith
http://romancewriterandreader.ning.com/profile/KathrynMeyerGriffith
http://romancebookjunction.ning.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith
E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net I love to hear from my readers. ***

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My books (most out again from Damnation Books and Eternal Press): Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter's Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don't Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) ***


Egyptian Heart by Kathryn Meyer Griffith PG romantic time travel
Eternal Press buy link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724437 $6.95 My self-made YOU TUBE VIDEO at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc Hope you like it. www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG Thank you, author Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@htc.net
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-443-7
Print ISBN: 978-1-61572-444-4
Genre: Romance
Sub Genre: Time Travel
Novel of 75992 words 186 pages
Heat rating: 1
Edited by Kim Richards-Gilchrist
Cover Artwork by Dawné Dominique
Print ISBN: 9781615724444
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Egyptian Heart, an ancient Egyptian time travel romance from Eternal Press

Blurb:
Maggie Owen is a beautiful, spirited Egyptologist…but lonely. Even being in Egypt on a grant from the college she teaches at to search for an undiscovered necropolis she’s certain lies below the sands beyond the pyramids of Gizah doesn’t give her the happiness she’d hoped it would. There has always been and is something missing. Love.

Then her workmen uncover Ramose Nakh-Min’s ancient tomb and an amulet from his sarcophagus hurls her back to 1340 B.C – where she falls hopelessly in love with the man she was destined to be with, noble Ramose, who faithfully serves the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton and his queen Nefertiti.

She’s fallen into perilous times with civil war threatening Egypt. She’s been mistaken for one of Ramose’s runaway slaves and with her blond hair, jinn green eyes and fair skin she doesn’t fit in. Some say she’s magical and evil. Ramose’s favorite, Makere, attempts to kill her.

The people, angry the pharaoh Akhenaton has set his queen Nefertiti aside and he’s forced them to worship his god, Aton (instead of their many Egyptian gods), are rising up against him.
Maggie’s caught in the middle of it in a dangerous land and time she doesn’t belong in.

In the end, desperately in love with Ramose, will she find a way to stay alive and with him in ancient Egypt–and to make a difference in his world and history?

Because Maggie has finally found love. ***


Egyptian Heart, an ancient Egyptian time travel romance from Eternal Press

EXCERPT:

I quit keying in words, got up and gazed through the open tent flap into the night. I thought I’d heard something or someone outside the tent. I was in my pink nightgown and robe that modestly covered everything but was made of silk edged in white and blue lace. I’d worked all day in the tomb and, exhausted, was going to get some sleep and be up at dawn to go at it again.

Yet I lingered and listened to the whispering outside on the wind, the compelling words in my ear...in my heart, urging me to listen to what they said: come to the tomb. Come to the tomb...right now!

Dizzy for a moment, I blinked and found myself in the tomb, standing beside Ramose’s sarcophagus. Someone had lit a lantern. At least there was light.

“How did I get in here?” I rubbed my eyes and shook my head. “I must be dreaming, that’s it. But this is so real.” I squeezed my eyes shut. Maybe if I kept them closed long enough I’d wake up.

But, eyes shut or not, I could feel I was still in the tomb. I could smell the dirt, the dust and the mold. I could feel the slight heat from the burning of the lantern.

Opening my eyes, I was alone and, yes, in the tomb. The workmen who hadn’t run off were asleep out on the desert in their tents. My trembling fingers brushed across the golden engraving on the sarcophagus. By the length of the coffin I believed the mummy must have been a tall man for his time. I’d only been able to decode a small part of the surface inscriptions so far and I’d been eagerly anticipating being able to finally lift the massive lid and see what we’d find underneath.

No matter the mystery of how I’d gotten into the tomb in the middle of the night without remembering it— perhaps I’d sleepwalked. I had been working awfully hard the last few days. Exhaustion could do funny things to a mind. I had to get back to my tent. I wasn’t dressed to meet people and sleep was what I needed...look...I was hallucinating. Grabbing a lantern, I turned to leave as shadows danced on the stone walls. Murmurs and rustlings drifted on the stale air and as I moved I glimpsed an object, a link or two of shiny silver I’d not seen before, sparkling on the lower base of the catafalque. Curiosity got the best of me.

I stooped down, reached out and pulled at the fragment of chain and a miniature compartment at the base of the sarcophagus was revealed. With my fingernails I pried open the tiny drawer and yanked its contents out into the light probably for the first time in thousands of years.

It was almost an identical match to the amulet hanging around my neck. The one Sayed had given me weeks ago. In the lamplight, I compared the two necklaces and they were the same. Almost. A luminescence had begun to emanate from the sarcophagus’s necklace. It was glowing.

I didn’t have time to think about why the scarab had turned into a lightning bug before I heard someone move behind me. I swung around, the shimmering amulet in my hands.

“Jehan, what are you doing here?” I was startled and couldn’t hide it. He’d disappeared weeks ago and no one had seen him since. Now he just appears out of nowhere?

“Miss Owen,” the thin man in the blue robes greeted me, moving closer. “What are you doing here alone in the middle of the night?” His eyes glistened in the lantern’s pale illumination and he was out of breath as if he’d been running.

“I was just going back to my tent.” I didn’t feel I had to explain anything. I had to leave and get away from him. Those ferret eyes of his and that knowing smile made me uneasy and I pulled my robe tighter around myself.

“You found it.” He was looking at the necklace in my hand with a greedy expression.

Then I knew what he’d wanted all along, why he’d hired on at the dig and why he’d been shadowing me.

“Found what?” I played dumb as my hand closed around the necklace. Whatever I had in my hand, I realized, was unique, special and priceless. And Jehan wanted it badly. I inched towards the entrance.

Jehan moved along with me and cornered me in.

I remembered what Sayed had confided about Jehan. He has much magic but he wants more. I didn’t have any magic, didn’t believe in magic and I was tired of playing games. I only wanted to return to my nice private tent and get some sleep. “What do you really want, Jehan?”

“What you have in your hand...and the special talents you have.”
“What are you talking about? What talents?” I glared at him. My look must have unsettled him a little because he stepped back, but never took his eyes off me.

He seemed surprised. “You really don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?”

He sighed as if he didn’t believe me. “You possess great power and you do not even know it.” His voice was a husky rasp as his fingers reached out, stopping inches from my arm as if he were afraid to touch me. “Haven’t you felt the difference since you came here... to Egypt? She releases it. Feeds on it. Do you not feel it?” His eyes bore into mine. Trying to hypnotize me. Fat chance.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” But, in a way, I did. Egypt had done something to me. There was something happening. I just didn’t know what it was yet.

“Ramose,” Jehan went on, gesturing at the stone coffin, has been dust and worms for thousands of years, but what you are exists now. You, special one, with your fair skin and hair...those magical eyes...own powers that coupled with mine, would make us almost indestructible.”

“I’m not interested.”

“You should be. There are things in this world you cannot comprehend trying to harm you and events that will happen that you cannot stop. Come with me, be with me and I will teach you, protect you.”

“No.” All I had to do was look in Jehan’s eyes and I knew him for what he really was. He was ruthless, selfish and cruel. There was no way I would ever join forces with a man such as he.

Besides, I had the feeling he was hiding something from me. That he meant me harm.

My palm where I clutched the antique amulet was beginning to burn. I glanced down and the radiance, stronger than ever, was seeping out between my fingers and growing brighter.

Jehan’s ravenous eyes were on what I had in my hand and I knew it was the amulet that he coveted beyond anything. I wasn’t going to let him have it, not until I learned its secrets. I didn’t trust him and my mistrust served me well.

I was prepared when he threw himself at me and tried to take the amulet. We fell to the ground and wrestled for it. Feeling the scarab between my fingers I raked it down along his face. He cried out and pushed me violently away from him. There were scratches and blood on his left cheek and anger in his eyes.

He tried to snatch the amulet again and I shoved him with my feet, using a self-defense move I’d been taught in my karate classes; he stumbled away from me across the chamber landing against the wall in a murky corner.

And that’s when it happened.

I’d unintentionally put my hand up to my neck, the two amulets touched and a light filled the dark tomb, blocking out everything else for a moment. I shut my eyes and the world spun. It was a good thing I was already on the floor.

When I opened my eyes again, Jehan was gone. The tomb was gone. My first surge of relief that I’d escaped the full confrontation turned slowly into confusion at my new predicament.

I was alone out in the middle of the night desert under a huge, shining moon, sitting in the cool sand.

There’d been no moon tonight that I could recall.

There was nothing in my hand and the necklace I wore pulsated brightly around my neck as the other one had been doing. Then the incandescence faded and the scarab grew dark. The thought that the two necklaces had merged together occurred to me and was as quickly dismissed. Solid objects didn’t merge into other objects. But I didn’t have time to fret about it because I had other problems.
I rose to my feet and slowly twirled in a circle. Where was I?

The distant pyramids were silhouetted against the moon, but there was nothing else around me. No tents. No people. No dusty SUVs. There weren’t the far off lights of Cairo on the horizon or the lights of the communities that usually nestled up along the base of the pyramids. Lights I had always been able to see from our camp.
At night the desert could get cold and I was shivering in my silk nightgown and robe as the wind pulled and pushed at me, my loose hair blowing. I didn’t have a lantern but was grateful for the moonlight and wondered why I felt so strange. Why did even the air around me smell and taste differently—and why was there a full moon when there should have been no moon?

Then I heard the distant voices of people, many people, flowing on the night breeze. And they didn’t sound happy. They were screaming and shouting. Horses nickered and metal clashed against metal.
Not knowing what else to do, I headed towards the commotion through the moonlight, my arms snug around my shivering body. I kept looking for our tents. For anything that would tell me I was where I should have been. The more time went by the more fearful I was becoming. All I could think of was to keep moving and walking.
Maybe this was a nightmare and I’d wake up soon.***
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF, "ABITHICA" SUSAN GOLDSMITH

Hello Susan, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. You simply must tell us about your stint as an undercover private investigator, what kinds of jobs did you go on?

Thanks for having me! Believe it or not, being an Undercover Private Investigator was 95 percent pure, mind-numbing boredom tinged with moments of, Holy hell! What in the world have I gotten myself into? Basically, I was placed in a company (no, I’m not telling which one!), and was told to write down my observations. The ad in the local paper read something like this: Reputable Company Seeks Licensed Private Investigator for a Temporary Undercover Assignment. Visions of Mulder and Scully danced through my head, however, the list of required experience was extensive, and of course, I met none of the requirements. I called anyway, and somehow ended up talking myself into a job. It was supposed to last 3 weeks, but those weeks stretched into months and almost into a year. Without getting too specific, the company had rules. I made sure to break them. Then I’d write all about it in my daily reports.

How was it you found your way from P.I. to Sales, to Pharmaceutical sales and finally writing?

I had an endless supply of original ideas, but darn it, no matter how hard I willed those ideas to be carried through osmosis from my brain to my favorite authors’, it never happened. There they sat, alone in the dark, wilting, while I pursued every career but writing, and no, graduating with a degree in Journalism most definitely doesn’t count. Journalism and imagination are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence.A creative imagination was also frowned upon in my brief stint as an undercover private investigator. Uh oh, I had a captive audience but couldn’t embellish what I was seeing and boy was my imagination coming up with some really good stuff. Eventually that boredom had me shaking things up… but that’s another story entirely.

While undercover, I learned two important things about myself. I hated deception, and I had a surprising knack for sales.
Following my hunch, I started selling information for Dun & Bradstreet, and then slid into pharmaceutical sales. I had a ball. I met tons of interesting people, was given an excuse to travel, and best of all, I got paid to schmooze. Who wouldn’t love that?
Fate soon intervened. I found myself home, being a full time mother and wife. Suddenly, I was staring at the blank computer screen, not writing, just staring. I’d make a point to walk by it on my way to the bathroom, in-between Barney episodes, or during those times when my children actually did fall asleep during nap time.

Eventually, I turned the computer on, and have been writing ever since.

Your genre is largely Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance, if there was one other genre you could see yourself writing in what would it be and why?

One of these days, I’ll write a steamy Paranormal Romance (probably under a pseudonym so I can really let go, and have fun with it.)

Who and what are some of your most influential inspirations in your writing?

I blame Richard Bach and Stephen King for jump-starting my imagination at a young age. On the surface, the authors appear very different, but for me, their stories accomplished the same end.
When I was 6, every night for about a year, I fell asleep to the voice of Neil Diamond telling the story of Richard Bach’s, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. At the time, my life was chaos. The story became my lifeline. Hmmm, I remember thinking, maybe these things are happening for a reason. Never mind that in real life a bird who is too preoccupied learning how to fly to bother with the mundane task of feeding itself, is either a soon to be dead bird or a thief. None of that mattered to the six-year-old me. All I heard night after night was a message of hope.

Stephen King offered the same thing through different means.
After sitting in his head for a while, my messed up life was a Disney movie compared to the stuff his characters endured. Poor Carrie. Now that girl had issues! He was a master at placing his characters against the wall, then blocking them in further, brick by brick. It fascinated me that a lot of his story ideas came from his dreams, and while very few of his endings were the happily ever after variety, I couldn’t get enough.

Is it any wonder that years later I write a book where the main character is literally living my worst nightmare, and to find a way out she must first unravel the mystery of her existence?

Having a degree in journalism did you ever do any reporting or writing in that area?

Within the first minute of my first mandatory Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, I decided that pulling duct tape off my arm had more appeal then reporting. A future writing under so many constraints—about other people’s lives, no less—scared me to death. Did I really want to spend the rest of my life watching others live theirs? But I’d committed to Journalism, and by God, I was going to see it through…. Yes, perseverance is sometimes a personality flaw, but despite my lack of enthusiasm, my professors must have seen something worthwhile. Why else would they send me to Washington D.C. for a semester to represent the U of A as Representative Morris K Udall’s Assistant Press Secretary? …and off I scurried before they had a chance to change their minds….

This was right before the whole President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky scandal. Too bad. Now that would have been a fun story to write!

As an author with an active imagination have you ever been lying in bed at night and had to get up to write because you couldn't go to sleep without getting a story or character on the page?

Sometimes I wish my imagination had an on/off switch. Wouldn’t that be nice? Mine seems to be stuck in the “on” position. Reading before bed helps. Writing before bed is disastrous. My sleep window is short. If I miss it, I’m guaranteed to be pulling an all-nighter.

Tell us more about your story "Abithica" and what we can expect next from you.

As I’ve said, Abithica is living my worst nightmare.
She's found the love of a lifetime, but there's a catch: the body she inhabits belongs to another. How much change can one soul endure? It would help if she knew what she was or even how such a thing was possible. The one thing she does know is that God has a sense of humor where she's concerned. Why else would He continue to place her in one host body after another without warning or a clear memory of previous switches? Abithica's responsibility is to repair her host's lives while they take a back seat. To ensure her survival and protection, she vows never to get attached, but this latest switch is different from the start. Abithica breaks all her own rules, and is left with a choice. What will happen if she refuses to leave her host's body? Will love be her downfall or her salvation?

I’m 300 pages into the sequel of Abithica. I’m playing with the title, Echo-an Abithica novel.

Spoiler Alert!

Be careful what you wish for! Abithica’s are coming true, but they’re distorted and dark. She’s human, but more alone than she ever was as a bodiless soul. She got the guy, but it would be wrong to keep him, and in a moment of irritation, she wishes her nemesis would disappear, and viola! She disappears, literally! Afraid of the next horror her thoughts will conjure, she runs—right into the path of a kindred spirit. Her instincts scream danger, but Abithica is done listening to her gut.

Echonyza is a fallen angel, cursed to become whatever the beholder needs most, but this strange girl who has glued herself to his side is an enigma. She’s hiding secrets, and he can’t read her mind. He’s going to discover why, and then he’s going to kill her, along with the rest of mankind, who his penance is tied to. Decades bleed into centuries, and centuries drag on for millennia. He’s slumbered through most of it, awakening just long enough to check on the progress of the half breeds. They call themselves the Legnas, a title they do not deserve. Their task was simple: Destroy mankind. Incompetent fools. Mankind thrives. The half breeds are withering away. Must Echo do everything himself?

What are some of your all time favorite reads?

No fair. That’s like asking me to pick my favorite daughter. The answer to that, by the way, is whichever one I’m with at the time. Books are the same. With that said, here are some of my favorites: The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Name of the Wind, Darkfever, Unbroken, Twilight, The Game of Thrones, The Poison Study, Outlander, Interview with A Vampire, the Vampire Academy, Harry Potter, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, The Stand, The Help, and The Book Thief.

What is the greatest reward that being an author brings to your life?

Sanity! Writing is therapy. I’d be nuts without it.


Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

The best advice I ever received is do is the first step to done. So many people talk about writing that book. Very few people actually do it. Write it for yourself, and then later, after you’re convinced it’s a masterpiece, set it in a drawer and forget about it, the longer, the better. Then read it with fresh eyes. Fix all the problems, and then repeat, again, and again, and again….
Come visit me on Goodreads, facebook, or even my website. I love talking to readers!

Thank you again Susan for taking the time to allow us this interview. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!
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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF "THE KNIGHTS IN TIME" SERIES, CHRIS KARLSEN

Hello Chris, thank you so much for this opportunity. Romance seems to be your genre of choice. How did you get into writing romance?

I read different genres. I have favorite authors that writer thrillers, historicals, and romances. As much as I love certain characters in thrillers and historical, I felt a bit more connection to romance characters.

Who are some of your favorite romance authors and how have they influenced you?

Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Robin Schone, Deanna Raybourn, and Jilly Cooper are authors I’ve read everything they wrote or most everything.
Julie Anne Long and Robin Schone write beautiful and sensual love scenes. They’ve been a great influence when I’m writing a love scene. Jilly Cooper and Deanna Raybourn flesh out characters exceptionally well. I write character driven novels and that’s one of the reasons. I liked getting to know their characters so well and wanted readers to know mine in the same way. Julia Quinn, I can’t say was a particular influence but I love the humor she writes with.

Is there any other genre you've ever thought about writing in and if so what is it and why?

I thought about writing a straight up thriller and began one. It’s about a shipwreck off the coast of Turkey and an American nautical archaeologist and the Turkish agent investigating her. As the story developed, I really liked the relationship between the female and male protagonists. The story grew into a romantic thriller, which I’m very happy about.
Down the road, I’d like to try a Gothic Horror set in Victorian England. Although it’s set in Paris, I loved the movie and stage play, “Phantom of the Opera.” What a fascinating but tragic character he was. I’d like to try something along those lines.

What is your current novel, tell us more about it and the inspiration behind it.

I’m currently writing the first draft of “Knight Blindness.” It’s book 3 in my “Knights in Time,” series. The first two are: “Heroes Live Forever,” and “Journey in Time.” All three are paranormal romances. The last two being time-travels.
Time travel has always interested me. So often when discussed, we talk of either going forward or back and there’s a tendency, I think, to romanticize “going back.” I took my couple in “Journey in Time” back to medieval England. Then, I gave them a world of problems all stemming from the period’s culture and politics. In “Knight Blindness,” I bring a medieval knight forward in time and present him with a totally alien world and a host of troubles. The hero in “Knight Blindness,” is a popular knight from “Journey in Time.”

What's next on your agenda as far as writing and when can we expect it out?

Next month, March 17 to be exact, “Golden Chariot,” will be released in e-format. “Golden Chariot,” is the romantic thriller I mentioned. It is book 1 in a different series, “Dangerous Waters.” I’ve finished the draft of the sequel, which won’t be out for awhile.
After “Golden Chariot,” I hope to have “Knight Blindness” ready for release in the fall of this year.

Tell us about your family and whether or not you allow them to critique your work.

I ask both my husband and my mom to read my later drafts. They’re both big readers, especially my mom, and I trust them to tell me the truth. They’ve got an excellent “eye” for wordiness and pace and what works. My late father saw a tremendous amount of combat in the South Pacific during WWII. When I wrote the battle scene in the beginning of “Heroes Live Forever,” I had him read it for accuracy in how I portrayed the knight’s emotions and thoughts just before the battle.

What is your favorite part about the process of writing?

When a scene that’s really important to you comes together. It’s usually a scene you write and rewrite again and again. Then, there will come the moment when you know you got it. When it gels, you feel it down to your toes.

What are some of your inspirations outside of other authors?

Historical events and places I’ve traveled. I love England and love medieval history. I knew there would be stories with that setting and time period.
I also love Turkey and have visited many times. After the first visit, I knew there would be a story set in Turkey. While walking the ruins of Troy, I found the initial inspiration for a story. While walking the ruins a second time a year later, I got the idea for the plot.

If you had to choose only one of your books as your favorite which one would it be and why?

I hate to choose as they all have special meaning for me. But...since I must, I’d say “Journey in Time.” I knew the hero, Alex, as a wonderful support character from “Heroes Live Forever,” and loved him. I went into “Journey in Time,” feeling very close to him. I had to give him an equally powerful heroine, which made Shakira an interesting character to write. Then, I got to take these two people I liked so much and put them in one of my favorite time periods. I enjoyed exploring the medieval world along with them.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

Write what you love. Writing takes a strong commitment. Don’t write to the market or popular sub-genre. If you’re not writing what you love, you’ll lose interest and the commitment won’t be there.

http://chriskarlsen.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-Live-Foreve....9691108&sr=1 -1

http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Time-Knigh....29691108&sr=1-2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heroes-l....s+liv e+forever

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-....ourney+in+tim e

http://bookstogonow.com/heroesliveforever.html

Thank you again Chris for taking the time to allow us this interview. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!

Thank you for inviting me, Kitty. I appreciate the opportunity to visit with Great Minds Think Aloud. In addition to my website, your followers can contact me at chriskarlsenwriter@gmail.com. I love to hear feedback from readers.
Chris
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "LETTING GO", VICTORIA WATSON

Hello Victoria, thank you for allowing us this interview. Tell us about your current novel "Letting Go".

“Letting Go” is a collection of eight short stories, all with a twist in the tale. The common theme in each of these stories is how one split second can change your life. Most of them are quite dark tales but I like to think they reflect real life. The eight stories have a range of characters and voices in lots of different situations. So far, I’ve had some really positive feedback from readers which is great!

Now you are a very well-educated young lady. Tell us how this has helped you in your writing ability.

I went to university as a “mature student” – I was 21 when I started my undergraduate degree. While I was at uni, I only allowed myself to read for pleasure during the holidays but towards the end of that degree, I started to get bored with the novels I was reading – I thought I could do better.

So, after graduating, I decided to enrol on a Masters in Creative Writing. I was writing reviews of concerts and plays for my local newspaper so I was becoming very confident in my factual writing but I wanted to know more about the mechanics of fiction writing.
I did the course over two years as, by that point, I was working full-time too and the course was absolutely invaluable to me. I made some amazing friends who understand what I’m going through as a writer. It’s great to have supportive family and friends but you need a group of writer friends who really understand what you mean when you say “writer’s block”.

You've done some writing for quite a few magazines and papers: tell us about some of the articles you've done.

In 2009, I was awarded the title of “Young Reviewer of the Year” by Evening Chronicle which is the main newspaper here in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK). I was chosen out of 10 young writers who, for 12 months, got sent – free of charge – to various gigs and shows and had to write reviews which were then subsequently published. Some weeks I did three or four things and I have seen some wonderful bands and artists. I saw Yoko Ono’s sold-out show at Gateshead’s Baltic and I even managed to review Russell Brand’s stand-up show even though he’d banned press! What a rebel, eh?!
Now I write reviews for Waterstones online and have had the privilege of being in Closer magazine for one of my book reviews. I also post reviews on my blog and at Goodreads.com

Tell us more about your "Home Tomorrow" Anthology.

“Home Tomorrow” was published by 6th Element publishing after Writer’s Block North-East ran a competition looking for stories on the theme of ‘home tomorrow’. I was lucky enough to be picked with several other great writers. “Home Tomorrow” is available in print and for download.

What other genres have you ever thought about writing in?

When I started my Masters I never dreamed that I’d be writing the kind of stories I write now. I was so used to reading chick lit and I felt that I had an original idea for a romance novel but, as I progressed through the course, I became more confident and experimented with lots of different genres. Generally, I’d say my stories are noir or crime, maybe psychological thrillers. But I wouldn’t rule out the idea of writing a chick lit book. I have so many ideas in my head. I think it’s a shame when writers are pigeon-holed. Look at Roald Dahl – he wrote stories for adults and children successfully and now JK Rowling is branching out too. I think that’s great for writers like me – it opens publisher’s minds.

Who are some of your favourite literary inspirations?

Roald Dahl is my favourite all-time author. I have loved his stories since I was very young. As an adult, I love books that not only entertain but teach you about parts of the world that I don’t know a lot about so I adored Khaled Hosseini’s two books: ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ because they taught me about a culture I didn’t know a lot about. I really like Tony Parsons’ books because he sets a lot of his stories in the Far East. One of the finest books I’ve ever read – for originality – is ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver.

What can we expect from you next?

I’m working on some more short stories. I’d like to write a collection about modern life in the Middle East as I have spent a little bit of time there and the differences in certain places are astounding. I do have a novel that I’m about a third of the way through; I’d really like to get that off the ground as I had some great feedback when I first started writing it during my Masters.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a little girl, I used to fold pieces of paper up and make books. I’ve gone on from there really!

Give us an idea of an ordinary day in the life of Victoria.

I still work as well as writing so it’s pretty busy! I usually work 10-3 and I like to write on an evening although I’m easily distracted! I’m addicted to Twitter and post a lot of Tweets through the day. I’m lost when I can’t get on Twitter. I like Facebook too and use it to speak to writer buddies. I love springtime when the sun emerges and the rabbits start hopping about in the garden: when it’s spring, I sit in the conservatory and look at the garden while writing. In spring and summer, I like to go out into the countryside as I find being somewhere I love really fuels my imagination. Other days, I sit in bed and write without ever getting dressed.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

I have lots of advice for aspiring writers. Keep writing, even if you’re writing drivel at least you’re writing! You need to find a rhythm to your writing. Find a time that works for you – some people get up at 5am and write before work. I’m a nightowl and write into the night, it depends on the individual. Develop a thick skin – you will get rejection and you will get negative reviews. You can’t please everyone all of the time. Get involved with other writers – find a writing group either locally or online – there are people similar to you who will share their experiences with you.

If you live in the UK, you can download ‘Letting Go’ at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-Go-ebook/dp/B007A6VAVA/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1

For US readers, ‘Letting Go’ is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-ebook/d....31245891&sr=8-1

You can read my blog at: http://elementaryvwatson.wordpress.com
I’m available on Goodreads as Victoria Watson and on Twitter as @vpeanuts
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "THE GOBLIN GIRL AND THE GIRL" NEIL IRANI (MAVERICK CHILDREN'S PUBLISHING)

Hello Neil and thank you for the opportunity to interview you. What was the inspiration behind "The Goblin and the Girl" and have you always enjoyed writing children's stories?

I’ve been writing children’s stores for about 8 years now. The inspiration for “The Goblin and the Girl” came in part out of frustration at the number of trivial and meaningless stories on sale in the bookshops. After my first daughter was born I became aware that most of my writing was boy-centred, so I started writing more for girls which is where this book came from.

What is next for you in this genre?

The follow up to this book is well in progress. The story is in an advanced draft and I’ve developed the character design. It’s a direct follow up and is called “The Ogre and the Girl”. This time the girl has to deal with an external foe, rather than an internal one.

Do you plan to write in other genres in the near future? Perhaps YA or Adult Fiction?

Yes. I’ve already completed a 44 page YA story which tackles the issue of understanding love. In addition I’ve completed a straight-to-kindle murder mystery based in the City of London.

Tell us more about you and some of your author inspirations.

Mostly the inspiration for a new story comes from a spark which may be something that someone says, or something I’ve seen or from a situation I find myself in with my own children. Once a concept is there I find that quite often the stories write themselves.

When did you first decide to write and how did you find your amazing illustrator?

I’ve been writing poetry and lyrics all my life. Only in the last eight years has that moved to books. I found Park Yun via the internet – searching for illustrators almost at random. I am also working with a number of other illustrators also found online (typically university illustration / animation graduates). I find the most valuable asset for an illustrator is to understand what the writer wants, and to then bring their own creativity to the table.

Tell us about how you found Maverick and your relationship with Giles and working for them.

I had a stand opposite Maverick at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. I talked a lot with Steve, and a year later back at Bologna I was showing him my new work and he decided to go ahead and publish “The Goblin and the Girl”. Note that the book has also been taken up by a publisher in Spain, who have translated it into Spanish and Catalan.

What are some of your other hobbies or jobs that you have?

I generally don’t have time for hobbies as such, but I am currently very active in developing iPad and iPhone apps for children – both books in collaboration with other publishers, and also games which are fun and which have an educational content. I also paint (I’ve exhibited in London, Paris, NY & Sydney), and love playing the drums.

Tell us about your family and if you allow them to critique your writing.

My wife and children are excellent critics! I always test-drive new stories and ideas on them. My six year old son is very involved in helping me to do some character design and screen-flow for a new story and iPad game aimed at boys aged 6+.

Where would you like to see yourself in ten years with your writing career?

I’d love to be writing, working with illustrators and designers – not only for books but in other areas such as scripts, games and even film. It’s easy to be active in these areas, I’d like to also be successful in these areas also, delivering stories and products which people enjoy.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

The best advice for anyone who wants to start writing (rather than existing authors) – is to just do it. Write. Write all the time. Blog it. Give it away where you can and keep it for publishing where you don’t want to give it away. Keep a list of story ideas – the ideas are more useful than the actual writing as you can always re-write. A story isn’t really a story until it’s been written, shared, discussed, criticised and enjoyed.

Links:

http://www.maverickbooks.co.uk/books/the-goblin-and-the-girl/

amazon neil

Kind Regards,Neil.
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THIRTEEN THINGS LEARNED FROM "TAKEN AT DUSK" BY C.C. HUNTER

1. The only thing worse than trying to help a woman with amnesia remember her name and life is trying to help a dead woman with amnesia remember hers.

2. Be careful what you wish for—you might just get it . . . and the reality will probably not be anything like the fantasy.

3. The person you think is your enemy could just turn into a friend who'll do anything to save you.

4. The scariest thing in the world isn't ghosts or rogue vampires bent on murder—it's falling in love.

5. Explaining why you have a skunk curled up in your arms to your mom and your old best friend is as easy as eating a brownie while brushing your teeth.

6. We all make mistakes, which is why it's so important to practice forgiveness.

7. The only thing worse than a pissed-off shape-shifter is a pissed-off shape-shifter in love.

8. Sometimes the earth really does have to open up and swallow you whole before you can accept the truth that's right in front of you.

9. Vampires have no sense of humor . . . especially when they get turned into a kangaroo.

10. Free will gives us choices, but even making the right choices can't change destiny …and learning to accept that can be the most painful lesson of all.

11. People aren’t always who they say they are, even if you really want them to be.

12. Sometimes when you try to save someone, they end up saving you instead.

13. Never get between a dragon and a warlock on the war path.

ABOUT SHADOW FALLS:

Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers. Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.

Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever could have imagined.
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "SHADOWED SOULS"
ALLISON AILEEN MASTERS


Hello Allison, thank you so much for allowing us to interview you. My first question is, how in the world does a licensed mental health therapist become a writer of mythical creatures and the realm of fantasy?

It's my pleasure and thank you!

That's a good question. I think my brain can only handle so many "real world" stories before it shuts down for the day. Also, I don't watch TV. So, I needed to come up with a way to entertain myself. LOL. But in all honesty that is the truth. I've always had a great imagination, and one day I just decided to start writing down some of those stories that were running/flying/ screeching around in my head.

Tell us more about your book "Shadowed Souls" and the inspiration behind it.

Shadowed Souls is a story about Ava Malone, a reluctant seer of angels and demons, who is called to fulfill a prophecy. She's sassy and usually gets into trouble due to her sharp tongue. This story is about her deciding if she will fulfill the prophecy as well as try to keep her day job as a special agent. She ultimately is forced to team up with a few good looking men that break the laws she supposed to enforce, making her realize she is capable of doing things she never thought she would.

Tell us a bit about your day job as a mental health therapist and what is perhaps the craziest thing you've seen?

Well, if I told you the craziest thing I have seen, you wouldn't believe me. And unfortunately I'm not allowed to tell those kinds of stories. I would get myself into some serious legal troubles.

Do you think your job has a direct inspiration on your writing?

Hmmm, that's complicated but I would say it is linked. When I first started writing I would definitely say I wanted to write stories that had happy endings because at the time I was working on a lot of difficult cases where there was a great deal of sadness. I think it was my way of balancing things out or creating happy endings (with writing) in other people's lives because it was not possible with the current cases that I was working on.

Now, writing has taken a life of its on and has very little to do with my work world.

This first book is destined to become a series, can you give us a glimpse into the next book?

Sure! The next book picks up right where Shadowed Souls left off. In Shadowed Ava's world did not change all that much. In the next book, things start to change pretty quickly. Ava gets herself into more trouble and her worst fear becomes a reality. There will be more creatures coming out of the woodwork, and then a certain man in her life will complicate things for her (professionally and emotionally).

When did you realize that you were interested in writing?

You know the funny thing is I never set out to be a writer. I'm actually a musician and when I grew up I was always writing songs and what have you. That was my focus for a very long time. Like I said earlier, I always had these stories in my head but I just didn't think too much about them when I was younger. Then one day I came home from work, sat down at my computer, and out of nowhere started writing a story. Twenty-five pages later I glanced up at the clock and was shocked. It felt like only minutes had passed by when in reality it was more like a couple of hours. I re-read the story and realized I could see myself writing the whole thing. So I did, and eventually I sent it to my best friend who told me, "I think you have a story here, but it needs work." That was officially the beginning of my whole writing process.

Have you given thought to writing in other genres and if so what are they?

Yes. I actually started writing contemporary romances. I was working on trilogy before I started writing Shadowed Souls, and I was even shopping the first book around. When Ava first popped into my head I knew it was going to be a complicated story so I intended to write five books before Shadowed (I had those stories mapped out already). But eventually Ava kept interrupting the other stories to the point where I couldn't even focus on them.

It became apparent I had no other choice. I had to give in and start writing her story.

She’s pesky that way and her sister, Elora, is worse.

Maybe when I am done with the series I can go back to some of those stories. They were fun and light.

This is a question I like to ask people now because there is so much buzz about the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world. What do you believe and do you think it is true?

I am more inclined to believe that the Mayan calendar is referencing another 26,000 year cycle of our world and how it relates to our universe. I am not one to believe in the gloom and doom theories. I think there is enough negativity in our world, and we do not need more of that. However, I can see how people think these are the end times, and I do think that the Earth's changes are adding to those fears. But, I think 12/21/12 might end up being more like Y2K. Or at least I hope it does

Here’s an off mark question. Tell us one of the scariest nightmares you've ever had, if you've ever had one and if so have you thought about turning it into a book?

You know the funny thing is I rarely have nightmares. However, I did have this one and I don't know if you can categorize it as a nightmare. Maybe in retrospect it could be classified as an off the wall, dark comedy. I would love to see it as a short graphic novel.

When I decided that I was going to write stories and ones that followed the romance genre I was reading A LOT of Nora Roberts. Now, Nora has been plagiarized and she has some strong feelings about that— naturally. I recall reading something along the lines that she would come after anyone who plagiarized her again. (Um, I am sure she was joking)

My dream went something like this:

I was asleep when I suddenly woke up remembering that I wrote this great story earlier that day but I had this nagging sensation that the story line felt familiar or close to something that I had already read. The dream fog began to wear off when my mind started putting puzzle pieces together and I remembered the story more clearly. In that moment I realized that I had just re-written one of Nora Roberts' stories. I was laying in bed saying, "Oh no! I need to fix this. " As I began to move toward my computer I could hear the clicking of high heels in my hallway, and heard someone saying, "Allison where are you? We have to talk, you and I." It was Nora's distinct deep voice echoing off the tile floors.

I jumped out bed, freaking out and trying to find places to hide in my room. I ran across the room behind the door when I saw Nora come in wearing a beautiful tailored Italian suit, dove gray to be exact, and she had an ice pick in her right hand. I gulped, thinking I didn't want to die, and then I began spewing out panicked words that it was all her fault I copied her in the first place. She wrote too many stories, and what was the rest of the writers suppose to do because we couldn't keep up with her. She tilted her head to the side and smirked. "Really Allison. Is it my problem that you lack discipline?"

I woke up from the dream to the sound of her throaty laugh. It makes me giggle today, but I can still see her in my head. I don't think you need Freud to psychoanalyze that one.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

I guess as authors we often need to be reminded to take breathers and step away from a piece. Objectivity does wonders. However, the most important tool to have is perseverance.

Take care and thank you for the interview!

My webpage: http://aamasters.com/

I am on also on good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5402859.Allison_Aileen_Masters

I get on G+ about every day. So stop by and say hi. https://plus.google.com/u/0/108190921984920673802/posts


Thank you again Allison for taking the time to allow us this interview. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, "CATACLYSM: THE RETURN OF THE GODS", STEPHEN H. KING

Hello Stephen, and thank you so much for allowing this interview. First of all... your name. Everyone knows Stephen King, was this just a happy coincidence that you were named so closely or is it at times a nightmare?

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you! I know, my name is the elephant in the room that has to be dealt with before anything else. Truth be told, I just started writing last year. I spent much of my life, then, hating my own name. Well--hating the name isn't quite accurate; it's my father's name, too. What I actually despised was that it seemed as though every person I ever met felt the need to make a name joke. "Were you named after him?" was the second-silliest, since I was born five years before the other guy became well-known. "No, I was named after my father," I'd explain, and then one person went on to ask, "Was he named after him?" That is the silliest one. In any event, it turns out that Stephen King quite a common name. Every school I've ever attended has had another Stephen King (or Steven King) on its rolls. There's a Congressman from Iowa who shares the name. There even is another author named Stephen H. King who published books about little-known pioneers in the aviation world.

I started using a pseudonym, regardless, out of fear that people would buy my books thinking they were the other, much more famous, author's books. But it's hard, in today's world of social media, to divorce yourself from one identity and craft another. I already had several hundred friends on Facebook, and none of them knew who this Evan Koenig guy was. I finally went to a couple of agents and a self-titled Book Doctor at a writers conference last year and asked about it--their advice was just to be myself. So I am. Myself. And I trust my readers to be smart enough to figure out who is who.

Now you have held many positions in your time, as in work. Do you believe this was because you were searching for your one true calling or is it because you simply moved around so much?

Neither, really. I mean, I made a couple of really dumb choices early on where the outcome was affected by the clear fact that the field wasn't my "one true calling," but it wasn't like I went a'searching. It's mostly been a case of life happens, and I've ended up where I've ended up. I've crafted wonderful plans, but rarely has life taken me the way I've planned for it to.

All that said, it was pretty funny that I pegged my field of greatest success early on. My band director asked me in high school what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said the first thing that occurred to me--teacher. My mother dragged me out of the conference by my ear and threatened to disinherit me if I continued speaking in such nasty terms. She and my dad had both been teachers out of college, and even doing it full-time with two salaries and tutoring on the side they couldn't make a living at it. Granted, that was in Mississippi in the 60's, well before the days when teachers formed unions and said "hey, we think we should be paid reasonable wages." But back then both of them together made just over $4K, she explained once. That's per year, not per month. It was natural, then, that she pushed me toward engineering, electrical specifically. EE was, after all, the sexy field to go into in the 80's, and it's impossible to spell "geek" without a double-e.

Anyway, fate played a strange hand. We couldn't afford to send me to college where I had to pay for it, so I decided to go to a service academy and then go into the Air Force to work with missiles like my uncle had. Only, I wore glasses, and the USAFA only allows something like 10% of its incoming class to be non-pilot-qualified. West Point wanted me, though, so I went. When it came time to choose majors, I picked EE faithfully to my mother's wishes, but I tested out of several classes and, by loading up the electives with physics courses, was able to major in physics also. Enjoyed physics. Hated EE. Should've learned from that, but I didn't. When it came time to pick branches, I bought into the reasoning that combat arms was the place to go if you wanted a career, and so off to the Infantry I trudged despite receiving some really strong advisement that my personality wasn't really best-suited for the Infantry life. There I was, having developed a love of physics with my two actual favorite courses of the whole time being writing classes, and off I went to join a career field which focused most of its energy on control of terrain and efficiently killing or wounding people.

Life just kind of continued like that for a while. A few years after I left the Army I got into a program that paid my full tuition for any science or engineering masters program offered at Arizona State University, and thus I sailed right into a master's degree program in electrical engineering. Apparently it didn't take me long to forget that I'd hated every EE course I'd taken at West Point. I hated every course I took in graduate school, too--especially the one where the guy talked into his podium as he performed Fourier transforms on the overhead for an hour a day, three days a week. Oh, and I also hated the one where the 20-something-year-old professor told us that every day in our jobs as electrical engineers we'd be asked to do the Z transform, which was funny because by that point I'd been an electrical engineer for a couple of years and had completely forgotten what a Z transform was in that time. It was so funny that I laughed out loud (this was before the days when we could just LOL), and that really, absolutely, was not the appropriate response. Still, that failure got me into doing computer stuff on the side, which then turned into a contracting opportunity. That also gave me a background to let me be a--you guessed it--teacher. And that I did for a wonderful decade of my life.

You are without a doubt a talented author, and though your name is close to a predominate horror writer you lean more toward the fantasy and science fiction genres. What or who are your chief inspirations for this choice?

Thank you for the kind words. All the time when I was learning that I wasn't really cut out for my career choice in the Army, and that being happily married apparently wasn't my thang either, I used fantasy and sci fi to escape from reality for a while. It was then that I went through nearly every Dragonlance book there was, and came to love the writing of Isaac Asimov and Piers Anthony and David Eddings and RA Salvatore and other giants of the genre. I just want to be able to do for others what they were able to do for me.

Having two Chihuahua's I do know what it can be like when food time comes. When they turn into miniature dragons is this transformation complete with scales and horns or just the ravenous sounds of teeth gnashing and fire breathing?

Well, luckily for us mere humans they don't have scales, and the only fire breath is a result of the older one's gingivitis. But they sure are persistent, aren't they? And smart, too. My strong advice: don't get between the younger one and her food bowl. Or a piece of ham. Or a bowl of potato salad. She knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to tell us. I just wish sometimes that I had dragon scales on the tips of my fingers.

Now you have traveled around quite a bit. If you had to choose a place besides Virginia where you live now that would have been your favorite where would that be and why?

I'm actually in my favorite spot. As I said numerous times when interviewing around to move, every place has its "buts." Alaska is amazingly beautiful, BUT it's cold and, this winter at least, quite deep in snow. Mississippi had some great people and really tasty food, BUT the summers were awfully hot and wet. Oh, and earthquakes and tornadoes are up there on the "but" list. Richmond is mostly sheltered from most of that. I also love, love, love history, which was one of the biggest "buts" about Alaska--in Anchorage, a building is extremely old if it was constructed prior to 1964. Here, a couple of hours drive will take us to some of the most intriguing historical sites in the United States.

All that said, I do plan some day to retire to a beach house to write. I'm not entirely stupid.

Tell us more about "Cataclysm: Return of the Gods" and what is next in the series.

Imagine if you were to wake up one day, go through a cataclysm event in which you lose pretty much everything that's important to you other than your family, and then find out that your husband is actually the God of War. Oh, yeah, and his servant is a stunningly beautiful woman who's been with him for thousands--or is it millions?--of years. Oh, yeah, and his ex-wife is the Goddess of Love, and she wants him back. Many people would have a tough time dealing with all that. Crystal finds it difficult too, but she's a tough lady who isn't about to give up what's hers.

That's Cataclysm in a nutshell, and it ends with most of the conflicts resolved, but Crystal (the wife of Mars) still doesn't have what she wants by the last page. She knows that she's going to live out her normal human life span with her husband, who she now knows will never grow old. She'll die, and she has the word of Venus that once Crystal is gone, Venus will be back anyway. So Crystal's next quest is pretty obvious--she's got to find a way to become a goddess, herself. It's possible, but it requires some really intense growth on her part. The next book, Ascension: Return of the Gods, tells the story of Crystal's quest to become immortal. I hope to have it out by the end of Spring this year.

What was the inspiration behind this novel series?

Oh, it started as one of those standard fantasies wrapped around the "what if I could just go in to work today and tell them to bite me because I'm actually a ____." Once long ago I had a couple of jobs that brought those kind of fantasies in spades, trust me. But then I turned it around and started looking at it from the wife's point of view, and the story was born.

If you did ever think about writing in another genre what would it be and why?

Well, to answer sci fi would be cheating, because they're such similar genres. I did, however, write a prequel that's sci fi. I'm also entertaining a historical time travel romance kinda story based on a really interesting historical site that's local to this area. Think Conrad Stargard meets the Powhatan American Indian--that sort of thing.

Off the mark question. Tell us about one of the most embarrassing things you've ever done.

Embarrassing? Me? Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?

Okay, truly, my trouble here is picking just one. I mean, high school was one embarrassing moment after another. I remember talking to a pretty girl in my swim class about my time on the water polo team. Well, honestly, I was hitting on her. And I was bragging. Not many girls thought that water polo was sexy, but she seemed to, and I was letting all my sexiness flow in my stories. Then I told her about the physical--we all had to get one to play sports for the school, and since many of us were poor one of the guys on the team had his dad open his office in the evening and run us all through for a seriously discounted rate. I hadn't looked closely enough at the decorations, though..."so I was at Brian's dad's getting examined...." "Brian's dad's? Brian's dad is a gynecologist." Oops.

College, of course, had a whole new set of potentially embarrassing circumstances. I figured Russian would be more fun to take than the Spanish I'd studied for three years in high school. It wasn't. Did you know that in Russian, they conjugate their nouns, too? Technically, it's called declension when you do it with a noun, but same diff, right? At West Point every classroom, by the way, was surrounded in black boards that were sectioned off, just large enough for one student's work, so that when the professors wanted to publicly humiliate us they could say "Take boards!" and we'd have to go to our little spot of shame on the wall and pretend like we knew what we were doing--while hoping that somebody else in the class was worse at the pretense than we were. One day the assignment was to conjugate the noun for girl. Only, I couldn't recall the Russian word for girl, so instead of leaving the board blank, I started conjugating "muchacha," which is the Spanish noun for girl. Muchachi, Muchacho, Muchacheh.... Hell, I thought it was kinda clever. The professor wasn't as amused as I had hoped he'd be, though.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

Develop a thick skin. You can't write for others without taking some criticism. Some of it will be founded, and some won't; some will be meant to help you, and some won't. It's all part of the writer's life, though. Oh, and don't quit your day job.

Thankyou again Stephen for taking the time to allow us this interview. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF,
"RELIC OF DEATH" & "BACTERIUM"
NATHAN PENNINGTON


Hello Nathan, thank you for allowing us to interview you. By reading your bio it seems your mother actually cultivated your love for reading and writing at an early age. She seemed to be an insightful woman, is "Silver for General Washington" still one of your favorite books today?

Thanks for interviewing me. That book, Silver for General Washington, did make an impression on me. I mean, how many 3 year-olds know that German solders fought with the British and were called Hessians? I did.

If I were to make a ranking of my top ten favorite books (and the ones that had the most influence on me), that book would be in there along with LOTR series, and a number of Michael Crichton books.

I think it's fantastic that you had such a wonderful relationship with your mother and she seemed to really help you form your talent. Who became some of your most favorite authors as you grew older?

Michael Crichton. I think he was the best modern story teller (may he rest in peace). The first book I read of his was Prey. I believe that was the third or fourth last book he wrote. From there I’ve read everything he’s written. He was a brilliant writer.

Do you still have any of the stories she typed up for you when you were just a child?

Unfortunately, no. Those stories were typed up on an 80386SX computer (bonus points if you know what that is). Even if they were still around, most likely they’d be incompatible with modern software. I believe the word processor was WordStar (who’s ever heard of that?). That was back when 5.25 floppy disks were big and CDROMs hadn’t been invented yet.

Imagination is one of the greatest things any child or adult can have for that matter. Do you think without your mother's guidance you still would have developed such a strong one or not?

My mother absolutely had a huge impact on the development of my imagination. That said, from what she’s told me about myself when I was quite small, it seems I already had the seeds of an active imagination.

I didn’t have a lot of toys when I was little, but that didn’t stop me. From what she’s told me, I would sit in the kitchen with her and play for hours with various pots and pans, but I wasn’t playing “house” or anything like that. They became whatever I imagined them to be.

I find it amazing to know that J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the greatest writers of all time was rejected so many times before finally finding someone to take a chance on him. I have often used this bit of knowledge myself for Indie Authors that get a bad review here and there or a turn down from a publisher. Do you think this outlook has helped you a lot in the same way?

Once I finally got that outlook, yes. At first, I didn’t have it. I assumed I was brilliant, and it was crushing when everyone didn’t agree. Now, I come at it a bit differently. What I write is what I write, and it’s the best I can do at the time it’s written. What someone else thinks of it is largely irrelevant.

Being part of a small publishing house and seeing how hard it is for a lot of authors to get published do you feel that the smaller houses are the wave of the future and that eventually these bigger names will realize some of the great writers they've missed out on?

There are two questions here. 1) Do I think small presses are the wave of the future? 2) Do I think big publishing houses will realize some great writers they’ve missed out on? In answer to the first, not really. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but I think most writers want to be published with a big name house, and most small presses aren’t all that financially viable. Also, I think the larger publishers will get their act together in the near future and reassert their dominance over publishing.

Does that mean small presses or indie publishers are doomed? Hardly. There have always (and I do mean always) been the smaller publishers. They will be there, and they will fill a need or niche. It goes back to the 80/20 rule. The big houses will publish 20% of all published matter and take in 80% of the profits, but that doesn’t invalidate everything else. The point is to remain humble if you’re an indie or small press. Realize that you’re really not a “big deal.” (grin)

Now the second question, will small publishers realize they missed out on great writers? Actually, this flood of small/indie presses works to their advantage. Someone else takes all the time and risk to test market something. If it takes off, they just step in and throw some money around (e.g. Amanda Hocking). More than anything, this has made their business less risky.

What is your next novel and when can we expect it out?

Relic of Death (the third Ray Crusafi mystery). It will be out the end of 2012.

Hypothetically, if you ever had to write a romance, something straight laced without any mystery, thriller or science fiction and fantasy elements do you think you could do it?

LOL! I’ve asked myself this many, many times. No, I don’t think so. I can only stay interested in something I find dramatic. For me, that’s going to be hard-driving action. I don’t think I could stay interested in writing a straight romance.

If someone came up to you and said, "Hey Nathan, you can now only write in one genre and you have to choose only one for the rest of your life." What would it be and why?

Mystery. The reason is two-fold. One, it’s a widely popular genre. Two, you can do anything with it. You can mix in horror, sci-fi, thriller elements, romance, etc. Whatever you want to do with it, you can.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!

My advice for other writers is simple. Don’t give a second thought to what someone else thinks of your work. It’s so freeing when you just accept that you write what you write. It’s as good as you can do.

Sure, your future work will be technically and dramatically better, but that doesn’t make you’re previous work bad. An example . . . look at Clive Cussler. No disrespect intended, but he is a bad writer. Nonetheless, he’s a best-seller. Instead of listening to people like me who say he can’t write, he just does his thing.

And he’s found an audience for his work and done extremely well for himself, no matter what anyone thinks of his writing ability.

In short, write the best you can, and don’t give a damn about what anyone says about it after it’s released.

Oh, and my website is http://www.npennington.com. Everything I’ve written is available on Amazon, BN.com, and a number of other ebook only sites.

Thanks for giving me a chance to share!
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Book Title: "Lizard World"
Author: Terry Richard Bazes
Published By: Livingston Press
Age Recommended: 18 +
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: A mixture of English and American humor with an equal amount of the macabre thrown in for good measure; a few scaly beasts, both reptilian and human in nature; depraved swamp people clinging to their long gone heritage; and an old journal with a dark secret hidden among its brittle pages, makes for one heck of an amazing tale. I was sent a copy of this wonderful novel after having requested it from Shelf Awareness and I can honestly say that I am beyond happy I took the advantage. Terry Richard Bazes is an amazing storyteller with the grand ability to pull you in from the very first page.

“Lizard World” is a raucous tale of human/animal splicing that dates back to a time when surgery was still an extremely risky business, though when an explorer takes it upon himself to believe foolish Old World lore and partakes of an elixir rumored to keep one young and immortal there is little else to be done to save him from the horror of his predicament. A fantastic mix of macabre humor at its best! Get a copy! You will greatly enjoy this book!
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