Category Archives: Interviews

Author Interviews

Interview with Author Rik Stone!

With great pleasure, I welcome Author Rik Stone to my blog today. Lets chat with him about writing fiction!

The Turkish Connection_front only

  • Welcome Rik! Writing fiction is not easy. Please tell us what do you find most challenging while writing a book?

I love writing. It is me. It is what I do. It was my revelation of what I was always meant to be in life. But like everything there is a downside.

Marketing! Some love it, or at least that’s what they tell you, but I find it hard.

When writing, a day can pass without me noticing it had even got underway. At the end of a day put aside for marketing, I’m knackered, my cheeks are red to the point I look like my head might explode and I want to crawl off to my pit and sleep, but know my mind is too overactive to succeed. And then I feel like I’ve failed along the way somehow, but I can never put my finger on why I feel like that. A question like this is nice because it allows me to tell the world how it feels; when you are doing the business, you have to come across like you’re Mister Professional, like everything is a doddle – it ain’t.

  • I agree, marketing is a necessary evil. Lets talk about research. How much research do you do for your books?

Birth of an Assassin is set in the Soviet Union. I have never been there and the Russians are El Supremos at keeping their dealings and their history to themselves.

Needless to say, the research for this book took as long as the writing, probably longer.

The Turkish Connection, on the other hand, was a breeze by comparison. I have toured Turkey quite extensively and have knowledge of all of the places mentioned in this book. That doesn’t mean, however, that I was able to bang it out without forethought. My advice to any aspiring writer is to never, and I mean never, believe anything you think you remember. Always check out your work because there are legions of people out there who feel they have won something by informing you that you got it wrong!

  • I feel that characters are crucial to a story. How do you go about developing characters of your book?

A lot of people have said it before me, but I honestly believe my characters evolve their own personality. Having said that, you can’t paint what they’ve revealed in black and white.

There are always grey areas in real people, so you have to apply that truth to the fictional ones; remember, the guy in the black hat has as many ambitions and wants in life as the one in the white hat.

Think of friends and of those you might not be so fond of. Knowing them, you will also know they all have as much depth of personality as each other, albeit you don’t like some of the quirks. Think of those people, and yourself, when developing characters, mix them up, exaggerate certain points and produce someone new and unique, but keep it believable.

  • Dialogues are important in fiction. Do you want to share any tips for writing dialogues?

I write an outline of what the character wants to say and then rewrite it in the way I would say it. When I’m satisfied it sounds right, I rewrite it to fit the character’s personality.

It sounds a convoluted approach, but it’s really only writing and rewriting in the way every writer writes the rest of their narrative. What I am saying is don’t be satisfied until you believe you are listening to someone real.

  • That’s a good advice. Tell us, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I’m a fine weather gardener; some of my neighbors are out there all weathers – not me. I sound like I’m looking for a date, but, I’m solvent, a keen walker, love to travel and make a lot of plans for it while at home. My garage had never been used to house my car, so I had it converted into a small gym. I work out when I’m not nursing an injury I’ve picked up while working out. Why do I do that? Strange, but doing these things help my writing. They take me away from the front line and my mind relaxes. It is often during these times I come up with my best ideas.

  •  I agree, I also find non-writing activities inspire me to write. What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Never leave a piece saying ‘that will do’; leave it saying ‘that is perfect’; it won’t be, but you should feel it is.

Each new project should be better than the last else you’re not improving.

Writing is about rewriting; that comment is hardly new, but you can’t change the truth. Why is it true? Anyone can jot down a story, it is those who persevere that succeed in producing professional copy.
If you read through the piece you’re working on and do no more than change the odd word or two because you’ve thought of a better fit, you are probably ready to send the work to an editor. If you can’t do that, it’s not ready, keep writing until you can.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

My current project is book three in the Birth of an Assassin series. This story brings together the heroes of the previous two books and takes them forward against the main enemy in the overall theme. The plan is to get the book out there by the end of this year, but who knows? outside influences often affect best intentions. The following snippet is a peek of what is coming. The keyboard might well change this on its final tappings, but the basic outline will remain.

                                                 ~~~

    Pavel gripped Nazar’s wrist and pulled himself to his feet, but the pinkie ring he wore had a small diamond held in by a gold claw and one of the claw points was bent outward; it caught Nazar’s hand as Pavel pulled his own away.
     “Ouch,” he said.
     “Oh shit, I’m so sorry. Are you hurt,” Pavel asked nervously.     “God, how much more can happen? Everything’s gone wrong today.”
     Nazar rubbed the injury, sucked at a tiny droplet of blood on the side of his hand. “It’s okay, just a pinprick, but I hope you can pull yourself together soon or who knows what calamity you might cause.”
     Alexandros laughed. Nazar tilted his head back towards him and sniggered. They walked off, heads almost touching. Pavel watched them go. It was done. Tentatively, he took the ring from his finger; the chemical pellet, no bigger than a pin head, was no longer attached to the claw, but he wasn’t taking chances. He walked across to the sea-side of the road and tossed the ring over the railing and into the water.
     Later, he thought, Nazar will have a high fever and in three or four days, maybe less, he would die. The policeman had seemed pleasant enough, but Pavel was resigned to this kind of job and felt no remorse. He turned and made his way back along the Gezi Yolu coast road towards Marmaris marina, thoughts of the cheery guard on the train in the Perm district crossed his mind and he began humming the Song of the Volga Boatmen.

Rik’s Book Link: Amazon

Social media links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stone_rik

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rik.stone2

Chat with Author Mistral Dawn

Today, I’m welcoming Mistral Dawn, author of Taken By The Huntsman. Let’s get to know her better.

TakenbytheHuntsman Amazon

  • Welcome Mistral! Please tell us how did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

Ha! Actually, a dream.  I had a debate with an online friend about the nature of consent at a time when I was also doing research about European mythology. Somehow the two became entwined in my head while I was sleeping, and Taken By The Huntsman was born.

  • Very interesting! What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

I think the most challenging part of writing a book is the marketing.

I’m an indie author, so I don’t have a publisher to help do this work. Marketing takes an enormous amount of time, but is extremely necessary because, as an unknown author, no one will read my books if they don’t know about them.

  • I agree, being an author is not just about writing, it is so much more. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

My favorite part is interacting with people who have read and enjoyed my stories. It’s such a rush to know I’ve been able to entertain other people!

  • That is satisfying indeed! Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

My next book will be about the Winter Court king and his human Anamchara. He’s a fallen god of death, prophesy, and healing (I know, interesting combination, right?), so while he no longer has the powers of a god, he does have some interesting abilities. She’s a human who stumbled into Fairie while running from her abusive fiance on Earth. You’ll just have to wait to see how their story plays out.  But before I write that book, I’ll be writing a short story about Jillian.

  • Besides writing, what is your favorite hobby that helps you relax?

I enjoy taking in kitties who need homes and finding the people who need a kitty to love. Remember everyone, please spay or neuter your pets!!!

It was great talking to you, Mistral! I wish you good luck with your future projects!

Mistral’s Book Links:

Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords

Social Media Links:

Mistral Dawn’s Musings Bloghttp://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MistralKDawn

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MistralKDawn

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Mistral-Dawn/e/B00NGXETSM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MistralDawn

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8549061.Mistral_Dawn

Chat with Author Anita Badhwar!

Author Anita Badhwar publishes children’s books. Lets chat with her today to get to know her better.

Rani-celebrates-holi

  • Welcome Anita! Please tell us what inspired you to write children’s books?

I was inspired to write children’s books because I have always enjoyed creative writing. I’ve always felt that writing came very naturally to me, and that it was something that I excelled at. Also, I was motivated to write the Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures series because I found that there were very few Indian-themed books in the market for children.

  • I agree, it would have been nice to read your books to my daughter when she was little. Tell us a little more about the Little Princess Rani series?

All of the books in this series are based on my childhood experiences. As a child, I remember celebrating Holi in India, which gave me the inspiration to write Rani Celebrates Holi. My second book, Rani and the Safari Surprise! was inspired by a visit to Jim Corbett National Park and Rani Visits the Taj Mahal was based on a more recent trip to Agra, India. Rani Saves Diwali is based on how Diwali is celebrated in my family. My mother is a great source of information and my kids also provide great inspiration for some of the story-lines.

  • We all draw inspiration from others. Which author has inspired you the most? Why?

I think Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeline series has inspired me the most. I remember reading the series in French in Canada (where I grew up) and enjoying reading all the books and simple illustrations.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

My most rewarding experience is seeing people who don’t know much about India end up with a better understanding about India, Indian culture and festivals by reading my books.

  • That’s great! Do you have any book marketing tip you want to share with your fellow authors?

I think social media is the best place to promote and market your books. Of course, you need to decide which of the social media links work best for your book genre, which takes some research.

  • Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I haven’t quite decided yet on a theme for my fifth book of the Little Princess Rani series, but I am leaning towards writing about another festival.

It was great talking to you Anita. Good luck with all your projects!

Anita’s Book Link: Amazon.com

Social media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnitaBadhwar

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilprincessrani

Tumblr: abadhwar.tumblr.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ABadhwar2

Interview with Author John Murphy

With great pleasure, I welcome Author John Murphy on my blog today. Lets chat with him about his sci-fi novel and writing in general.

MissionVeritas_COVER

  • Congratulations on publishing your novel! Please tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

I wanted to accomplish something great with my life. I used to read novels during lunch breaks at work. I always thought that I could do it as well or better. So, I combined the two instincts and began writing in my early 30’s.

My earliest writing experience I recall is from 3rd grade when I created what I thought was a really spooky story. It got me sent to the principal’s office because they thought I might be crazy. If that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is.

I used to carve things as a kid, making space ships out of clay and toilet paper tubes or walnuts. I did a great deal of drawing as a teen. In college, I used to paint murals on dormitory walls, and even in my kids’ bedroom. I’ve always had a creative and inventive streak in me, and writing is just one of several mediums. I took it up in earnest in 1992, completed a novel (after four re-writes, but never published), then began writing a non-fiction Success Without a College Degree a few years later and that changed the direction of my life. After another ten years, I came back to writing fiction, but I’ve been creative throughout. Even while writing my current novel, I’ve been creating graphics that illustrate scenes from the story.

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

I’ve always been good at making up stories with a little bit of prompting. I read a lot of stories to my kids. However, I’d also make up adventure stories on the fly where the characters were just like them (the kids). Ten years ago I got into making short movies, and I’d create the story around the people I could recruit to be in the video (You can still watch them on YouTube). My youngest son and other friends in their late teens were interested in starring in one of these videos so I set out to write a screenplay.

I didn’t want to deal with drugs, pregnancy or any of the other “teen issues” so I opted for an elite military cadre training on a planet where the atmosphere makes you tell the truth. That was the genesis for the current sci-fi novel, Mission Veritas.

  • That’s very interesting! Who is your favorite character in your book? Why?

The protagonist, Killian, of course. In the ‘movie phase’ of this endeavor, my son was going to play Killian. However, I really like all of them. It is pure pleasure crafting characters, then finding clever ways to ‘characterize’ them through behavior and dialogue. I’m hoping that readers will pick up on the affection I hold for each character.

  • I feel that writing is very gratifying. What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

Finishing the story. As other writers know, you never feel like you’re quite finished. One can re-write and tweak a story endlessly. Completing the project, getting it edited, proofed, and published means you can move on to the next story and not keep revisiting the first one. I meet a lot of people who tell me they’ve wanted to write a novel, or have started, but have never finished. Out of the gazillion wannabes, I followed through. Writing a novel is a marathon and even if I don’t finish first, I crossed the finish line.

  • How much research do you do for your books?

I can see how historic novelists research their period pieces, but my ‘period’ is in the future, so no one knows. I’m frequently going to the internet to research things about space, physics, and chemistry to make sure things I craft have some basis in science. Most of my non-writing efforts in this endeavor have been divided between studying the craft of writing, and teaching myself graphics so that I could illustrate scenes.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Writing fiction can be crazy making. Not so much the writing itself, but getting people’s attention to read it and the marketing aspects. Change your expectations about the endeavor, or it will take a toll on you.

If you were to decide, “This year I’m going to start running and participate in a marathon,” you would be crazy to think you’d finish in the top ten percent. Yet, many new authors dream of their first draft achieving bestseller status, and a movie to be made of their stories. It could happen, but the odds are slim.

It is important to accept reality and derive your satisfaction from other important aspects of the writing process.

One such aspect is that, much like when you read and feel there’s a movie happening in your mind, writing is exactly the same, only better. You get to dwell in that “mind-movie” for months or years at a time, and it’s truly enjoyable because you really like the characters and story. It’s a lot like binge-watching an entire season of a TV show. It’s the best of the best. You never tire of reading your own writing because the author is so brilliant.

Another important aspect is to go into this endeavor knowing that you’ll have to improve your skills.

Many writers jump into it cold with no background. Still, it’s hard to read books on writing, then remember it all when you finally sit down to write. Write a bunch, then read books on writing. Go back, re-write, apply the bits of what you learned, then read more books on writing. Get advice from published authors or hire a critique service. You’ll learn by doing, making mistakes, and fixing them. It’s the same with any creative endeavor, like carving, painting, or making music. Start by assuming your first draft will be terrible and you’ll spend time learning more, re-writing, and becoming better. Resist the incredible urge to self-publish your first draft as an eBook. It’s very simple and cheap, but you’ll embarrass yourself (like I did). You improve through practice, study, and more practice. You’ll likely feel you’re becoming an expert, and there’s a good deal of satisfaction in that. Derive satisfaction from the process and from what you are learning. Writing is free and a pleasurable way to spend your time. If you have a story in mind – start writing! You’ll have a good time and grow as a result.

It was great chatting with you, John. Good luck with your future projects!

John’s Book Link: Amazon.com

Social Media Links:

Author’s website: www.MissionVeritas.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ArmOnToast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1missionveritas

Blog: www.ArmageddonOnToast.com

Interview with Author Larry B. Gray

Lets welcome Author Larry B. Gray and get to know him and his book better.

A-Boy-from-down-east

 

  • Welcome Larry! Please tell us a little bit about how you started writing.

I have always been an avid reader and often thought about writing. With work and family there never seemed to be the time. Several years ago when blogging started to become popular I started blogging. They say a writer should write what he is familiar with and I am familiar with me.

After blogging stories about my youth I began to get suggestions from people, literally, from all over the world saying I should write a book. So I did.

  • That’s wonderful. Please tell us briefly about your book.

I grew up in eastern North Carolina in a small rural community during the 1950’s and 1960’s which was the best possible childhood you could wish for. Family, church, friends, school, and working on the farm was the center of my world.

I have often heard people say ‘if only I could change this or that of my past’ or ‘if only I knew then what I know now.’ I would not change anything because this is what made me who I am today.

This is a collection of stories of my childhood. I hope by reading these stories the reader is able to think back good memories from their youth.

  • What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

The most important lesson I learned dealt with marriage. Watching Granddaddy and Grandmomma work together to make their life taught me how marriage is supposed to be. I saw them laugh together, cry together and most importantly pray together; sharing in everything they did, a true team. Throughout the book family plays a vital part in happiness.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

With this book it has been the response I have gotten from readers all over the world. People have told me about their experiences growing up and how similar they are to mine. Some of the countries these have come from are Australia, India, Russia, Switzerland, Canada and more.

  • That’s awesome! What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

Write. If you think you can; write. If you don’t think you can; write. If you are tired, write. But most importantly, if you really, really want it, write.

 

Larry’s Book Links:  Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Paperback

Social Media Links:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/larrybgray

Book Reviews by Larry:
http://www.bookreviewsbylarrybgray.blogspot.com

Author’s Website:
http://www.larrygraysells.com

 

Interview with Author Devika Primic

Let’s welcome Author Devika Primic and chat with her about her latest book.

Herbal-cover

  • Welcome Devika. Tell us what inspired you to become a writer?

When I moved to a foreign country I started writing more and more each day. My knowledge of the Croatian language was poor and I had to stay focused on the English language, my first language. The whole experience allowed me to share some of my personal stories online.

  • Please tell us briefly about your book and what motivated you to write it?

Herbs and Other Cures: Rare Herbal Healing is about the rarest of herbs from around the world. This includes some of the rarest African Herbal plants. My interest in writing about such herbs came about after my minor ailments healed through the use of herbal medicine. My extensive research had opened my mind to many avenues of herbal healing. I was keen to go another step forward and to introduce to readers about the rarest of herbal treatment from around the world.

  • What is one thing you want readers to take away from your book?

I want readers to learn more from my book and to gain more perspective of the topic.

  • What has been your most rewarding experience as an author?

To have my work published, read and for readers to have gained more knowledge on the topic provided.

  • What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

My advice for an aspiring author is to be patient, persistent and positive on achieving their goal in the writing field.

Devika’s Book Link:

Amazon.com

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/devika.primic

Blog: http://dde.hubpages.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NESHRIE

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DevikaPrimic/posts

 

Chat with Author Summerita Rhayne

Author Summerita Rhayne loves to write sensual and emotional romance. Let’s chat with her today to learn about her books and fiction writing in general.

Against-all-rules-cover

  • Welcome Summerita! Tell us, what inspired you to become a writer?

I would say a big part of the inspiration was reading. Becoming lost in all the different worlds and able to live vicariously all the characters lives and their exciting journeys. I was off spinning stories before I knew it and penning them seemed a natural follow up…

  • How did you come up with the concept of your book? What was the inspiration behind it?

I don’t know how I came upon them but I had these characters in my mind for a long time. A man who is embittered by his divorce and his secretary who’s halfway being in love with him but too proud and introvert to show it. At first in my story, it was an accident he suffered which brought them together but then when I started writing the book, it morphed to a new situation. You have to read the book to see what that is!

  • Which scene in your book is your favorite? Why?

My favorite scene is when he propositions her. He suggests a short term affair which shows how much he is bound by his internal demons because that’s exactly the sort of thing he never would suggest to his PA in usual circumstances. That is a turning point for him. And also for Samara because she must make a decision that is hard for her both ways.

  • You have some interesting characters. Tell us, how do you go about developing characters of your book?

Mostly the story arises in my mind as a situation but of course you cannot go on just by a story idea. It’s only gradually that characters become clearer and that takes a lot of writing and rewriting. I used to fill in character sheets when I started out and they can be really useful. Especially to keep track of their histories. Holly Lisle has this great character designing sheet you can use http://hollylisle.com/the-character-workshop-designing-a-life/

  • Thank you for the great tip on character development! How much research do you do for your books?

Quite an extensive chunk though most of it doesn’t appear in the book. I like to have characters in different professions and places than mine, so research is definitely required! Then it’s a question of the mindset of the character also. If the heroine is a horse trainer for example, I would have to have most of the knowledge a horse trainer is expected to have – at least as far as is relevant in my book. In a book which focuses on emotional struggle of the character, this may not be visible in the book but should not be wrong for the character if you know what I mean.

  • Yes, definitely emotions are a big part of romance books. What do you find most challenging while writing a book?

A book is a challenge all the way but especially difficult for me is fitting in logic to the story. I expect it’s difficult for most writers since right brain which is responsible for creativity hasn’t a clue about logical thinking! It’s a bad speller too. For example I write a scene in which heroine is caught in the rain and forced to propinquity with the hero and I can picture them in the kitchen when she comes for a nightly tea comfort. I can see they are in night gear and write accordingly but can you imagine how difficult it is to work out the reasoning of that? How did they get close to his house to take shelter there? Was it the season for heavy rain? How did she come by the night gear? So, I have my work cut out channeling right brain whimsies to rigid left common sense.

  • Yup, we all balance between right and left brain, I love that part about writing. What advice do you have for an aspiring author?

I think I am still aspiring in some ways to become an author. For what it’s worth, here’s my take on writing. Read voraciously in your favorite genre and start writing in that. Don’t dream too high, don’t have too many expectations from your writing but don’t give up either. Above all, keep your eyes open and trust your instincts. Be prepared to be a marketer as well as author if you’re serious about publishing.

  • Your advice is bang on! Which book are you working on next? Do you want to share a glimpse of it?

I’m currently working on a historical romance. It is set in the Early Middle Ages in India around 600AD. I’ve always found the era of Maharajas and pretty princesses very romantic. In this book the heroine, Rukmani, is the youngest daughter of the Kamboj clan who finds King Deveshwaraya too attractive for her peace of mind. But the problems of monarchy stand between them. Here’s a teaser for you:

Hidden-passionHidden Passion
…when the walls of politics rise high between them, will her passion prevail?….

Excerpt:
Rukmani paused, her eyes anxious as he turned away. Was this what love was? Did she love him? Was that why she had come to him, forsaking even the family she had been cocooned in? She only knew she wanted him, more than any other man on earth. And she wasn’t giving up till she had him, even if it was just for a short span of time. Was it lust or love? Or both? Whatever it was, was a heady thing.

Thank you, Aditi, I loved answering your questions.

My pleasure, it was great having you visit my blog!

Summerita’s Book Links:

Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MY2QVRS
Amazon.in:  http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00MY2QVRS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Amazon.co.uk:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MY2QVRS?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Amazon.com.au:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00MY2QVRS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/work/editions/42661854-against-all-rules

Social media Links:

Website: http://www.summeritarhayne.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SummeritaRhayne