Category Archives: Author Interview

Meet the Author… Sandra Bass Joines

Sandra Bass Joines is a sweet lady I met through One Stop Fiction. Sandra has written a book on spine surgery recovery and a romantic suspense novel called Tears of Sand. Earlier this year, she has published her second romantic suspense novel called Shoe in the Road. It’s a story about a woman finding a shoe in the road. Oh, and about finding true love after leaving a cheating husband and a suspenseful road trip. Let’s talk to Sandra to find out more about this strangely titled novel!

Sandra Bass Joines

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Thank you so much for affording me the opportunity to share a little about my latest novel SHOE IN THE ROAD and how it came about.

It’s a strange title. Can you tell us how you got it?

Titles come to my mind before stories do. The title for this last novel, for instance, popped into my mind one day when I saw a shoe in the middle of the road. I thought that would be an interesting name for a book – shoe in the road. I had no idea what it would be about or anything regarding characters. I sat at my computer one day and typed Shoe in the Road on the first page. I then closed my eyes and listened (I try to listen, not think). At this point, the idea presented itself to have a shoe influence the lives of the heroine and hero.

So, after you had the title, how did you come up with the story?

The story pretty much wrote itself. Well, I have to give some credit to the heroine’s conversations with her deceased grandmother’s ashes (don’t worry, they were in an urn) and an ornery cat who invited himself into the story. I’m a southern girl who can spin quite a yarn. Therefore, it seemed logical that a girl running from a controlling, cheating husband would certainly be more interesting escaping in a 1960 Coupe de Ville convertible named Gussie than in a traditional vehicle.

Why did you use this setting for your novel?

A showdown between Boston Calbreth, the heroine, and her husband made sense to happen in a place I have heard scary stories about all my life. Tales of people going into Tate’s Hell Swamp and never coming out have been passed down from one generation to the next.

How long did you take to write the story?

It took six weeks to write the novel and a year for revising and editing. I have more stories in my head than I have time to write. I plan to put as many as possible on paper.

How did you experience the launch of your book?

I did a launch using a four-day free promotion and a four-day ninety-nine cent promotion before raising the book to full price. So far, everything has been running smoothly. Each time I make a scheduled change, I am afraid of doing it incorrectly or concerned that Amazon or one of the promotion companies will not come through. I am enjoying the ride, and am grateful to all the wonderful people who are supporting me.

Sorry everybody, as Sandra’s book was launched in February 2018, the discounts no longer apply. I’m sure Sandra will bring the price down now and again, though 🙂 .

Sandra Bass Joines’s books are available on Amazon.

You can follow her via the following social media:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Meet the Author… Rudi Jennings

This week’s author is another Dark Sider (from The Darker Side of Fiction book signing in Peterborough last October). I only had a little time to chat with Rudi, but I immediately thought he was far too modest. His book intrigued me; the cover is simple yet compelling, the blurb even more so. Let’s find out more about this lovely author.

Rudi Jennings

Rudi Jennings

Biography

Rudi Michael Jennings spent the majority of his childhood growing up in the Norfolk, UK, countryside of fields and trees, really living amongst nature and possibly giving the basis of description in his book. Through travel, various professions ranging from pest controller to close protection officer, and a keen interest in psychology and fantasy writings, he developed a style of his very own and is keen to share it with the fantasy adventure world. This plans to be the first installment and adventure of many to come.

What do you love most about the writing process?

The total emersion into a world you have created, a world you can invent as you go along and I guess most of all, the amazing feedback I’ve been receiving. Not just the 5-star reviews, but people really taking time to explain what they like and all the questions. It really makes you feel like someone has lost themselves in your world.

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

Rudi_Jennings_WaterstonesV2.jpgOne method I have been trying to get across to all the schools and colleges I’ve visited is my method. When I was at school we had to read authors’ works but had no instruction into their process of writing. So I always keep and pen and paper by the bed, as the first three chapters of my book was a dream I had. Also, I tell students I don’t pay attention to typical fantasy word counts; I just write scenes. Then I will place these scenes in some sort of order, then consider writing more scenes to join them up. Then again set them out in order and write more scenes to fill in the gaps. When you step back and look at your story, you’ve nearly got your word count without even knowing it.

Do consider yourself to be a successful writer? What do you think would make you successful?

On the scale of success this is a tricky one, what do you class as successful? I think money and fame tend to come and go, people are famous these days for just being on a reality show. Several different students have told me I have inspired them, I think that is the true height of success, inspiration. If you can get someone else to try writing, then really that’s about as successful as you can be.

Could you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?

The Last Myon on the Waterstones book shelfSo I am currently writing the second book to my Myon series. I plan to write one more, then a prequel, however not strictly in that order. It is just such an epic experience, people are always asking ‘how’s the next book coming?’ and ‘what happens to such and such?’ I love just having ideas pop into my head and the rush in excitement at getting them down on paper, I think the people that enjoyed my first book will love the second… Well, I hope.

What genre do you consider your book? Have you considered writing in another genre?

My book is Fantasy Adventure with a dark twist, it’s really just the sort of thing I’d love to read, so it was a bonus so many others felt the same. I have had ideas on a post-apocalyptic style novel, but I’m just concentrating all my mind on The Last Myon series for now, but who knows what the future will hold when I’m done here.

Does your book have a lesson, a moral?

Rudi_Jennings_TheLastMyon1I think it was an unintentional moral that has crept in from something my parents always taught my brother and me; never give up, never quit. I, like many people, have had to overcome some shocking huge obstacles, it’s only after these things we can really appreciate the goodness. That did bleed over into my main character and I tried to give this positive outlook for others to take away with them.

Can you give us an interesting fun fact about your book?

It was a dream, it sounds such a cliché, I know, but the first three chapters were a dream I had, I wasn’t even in the dream, just watching the event unfold. When I woke up I had to jot it all down, not with any real intention of writing a book. But a few weeks later I glanced at the notes, my mind went swimming back to that moment and I did wonder if I could actually write a book. After weeks of pros and cons, I thought what the hell, it’s for my own pleasure and I won’t even bother getting it published. Wow did that change.

What is your favorite part of the book?

It would have to be the few Chapters beginning with ‘The Pit’. So I had nearly finished the whole book, but I couldn’t for the life of me join two scenes together, I wracked my brains for weeks and suddenly when walking around in the supermarket one evening it came to me like a lightning strike to the head! I had to stand to one side of the aisle and text myself the plan, I really did enjoy writing that section and I’ve had some amazing feedback from readers.

What did you edit out of this book?

Rudi_Jennings_TheLastMyon4Very little, I have notebooks of other characters which didn’t make an appearance (this time), also this was one of my most feared moments. Sending it off to be edited was torture, I kept expecting to get it back cut to ribbons, turns out I had nothing to worry about, and the editor didn’t want to change anything, just a few grammatical errors so it really is how it was meant to be.

What has been the best compliment?

I did a signing at a library and a lady that worked there approached me. She said she had brought my book, not because she liked Fantasy, but because I was coming along and it would be a good thing to get me to sign it. Well, she said after reading my work, she felt she had totally missed out on a genre and will definitely be reading more fantasy works. That blew me away to think I had turned someone on to that whole genre.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Firstly, to my mum; I think now your one of my biggest fans. Thank you so much for reading to me as a little boy. I am confident this is what got me wanting to be an author. My dad; thank you for your unwavering support of every crazy idea and scheme I’ve come up with (which is a hell of a lot). Finally, to my readers, friends and fans; your words and ratings have blown me away, it still feels like a dream and with all your wanting to find out more, it helps me to focus and keep on going to fulfill my lifelong dream of being an accomplished writer. Thank you all.

Thank you, Rudi, for sharing your journey into authorship with us. I, too, had my first story come to me in a dream and never dreamt I’d be an author. I agree it’s a fantastic feeling to bring joy to others. I’m sure you’ll bring lots of joy in the years to come!

You can follow Rudi Jennings via the following social media:

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube Interview with Rudi Jennings

Amazon Author page

Rudi Jennings’s book The Last Myon is available in Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, eBay, and many good bookstores and online retailers as well as from Olympia Publishers.


Meet the Author… Mistress Joanna Noor

‘But… didn’t you interview Joanna already?’ I hear you think. Yes, you are absolutely correct; I did! And last week I promised you that I would interview Dark Side of Fiction authors. Writers are very, very busy people, though, and don’t always check their emails. If they’re like me, they get too many a day to check them all out. Not to worry, I’m going to get to them, one way or another :).

In the meantime, let’s find out a bit more about the creative process of this funny, mysterious, and mischievous Mistress…

Mistress Joanna Noor

Joanna_Noor

Biography

Hi, I’m Joanna Noor, and when I’m not penning naughty epic fantasy stories, I am also an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, and editor. Unfortunately I can’t divulge my real identity, because I have a successful alternate career as a YA author and children’s picture book artist. However, everything you need to know about me personally can be summed up in one description: I am a cat. Sweet, friendly, mischievous, sometimes scratchy and fierce, a little bit lazy, but very patient and determined when I need to be! I also enjoy having my back scratched.

How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?

Joanna_Noor_StormingtheBarbariansGates

We moved around a lot as a child, so I changed schools often and learned to be very self-sufficient emotionally. I created my own portable worlds, stocked with countless imaginary friends who comforted, amused, and incensed me. My mother is a professional artist and writer, so she was totally cool with that.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

Joanna, please focus more on story and characters than style. Style will come as you develop and gain confidence, but no one will want to read your work if you can’t spin a good yarn.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

Spiritual and mental. It’s how I organize my thoughts, it’s how I connect with strangers on an intimate level, and it’s how I make sense of the beautiful mystery and cosmic joke that is life. It’s also how I get to be naughty and subversive.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was old enough to pick up a crayon. Literally.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

Pen for jotting down ideas and sketches, computer for outlining, drafting, and writing my manuscripts.

Do you write alone or in public?

Both. I like to mix it up, working from my office at home, at a library, or sometimes at my favorite coffee shop with a latte close by.

Music or silence?

Joanna_Noor_DildorRampage

Music when I’m brainstorming, silence when I’m writing. When I’m writing, I’m actually just dictating a narrating voice in my head (and it usually sounds like Christopher Lee or Ian McKellan). If I can’t hear the voice clearly, I can’t write.

Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes?

I try to write 2000-5000 words a day, five days per week, when I’m completing a novel. If I do less, it makes me grumpy.

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I must have coffee.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I am a full-time author/artist, and doing it full-time for most of my adult life has allowed me to develop into the enthusiastic writer I am.

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, could you please share an example?

Joanna_Noor_TheWizardsMagicalWood

As an artist, I have a very visual way of looking at things, and this informs my writing. Readers often remark that my fantasy worlds are very vivid and well-drawn, and that makes me happy. They are very vivid and well-drawn in my imagination, so conveying that is a triumph.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me like nothing else, leaving me buzzing for hours after a successful session. It’s almost post-coital in the way it leaves me feeling warm and happy.

Is your ‘being an author’ a goal achieved or an accident?

Definitely achieved. I work very hard at what I do, from the writing to the packaging, to the presentation and the promotion. It is my passion.

What is your writing style?

I always hated reading first-person narration, but I have completely embraced it with my new books and it works very well. My style is muscular, poetic, playful, and polished.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Joanna_Noor_TheBigBlackKock

I’m a history buff and, as mentioned, I have a magpie mind which is very good at hoarding useless facts. I draw upon my extensive wealth of arcane knowledge, and supplement it with Wikipedia articles when required.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Anywhere from two months to two years. Mostly about two to three months now.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Remaining in my chair and not getting up to play with my cats.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

Sometimes they hijack it, but then I hijack them in the editing phase. My guns are bigger.

How do you select the names of your characters? Are your characters based on real people?

Joanna_Noor_KockRiderofKhymeera

If it makes me laugh or smile, then I know it’s a winner and it goes in. I have a bawdy, totally absurd, and ridiculous sense of humor. Aspects of my characters’ personalities may be based on real people, but their names certainly are not.

When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Definitely a mix of both!

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yes. If you can decipher the clues in my texts, it will lead you to a church in France where you will discover that Christ had a child and . . . oh wait, that’s already been done! Let me think of something else.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Many, many more Khymeera novels/stories, and many stories in my new, top secret series.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I have streamlined all my systems and the whole book creation experience is now a well-oiled machine.

What do your fans mean to you?

Joanna_Noor_SuccubusofKhymeera

Everything. Without readers, there would be no completion of the artistic circle, no home for the characters in my stories. I, the author, plant the seed of a tale. You, the reader, give it life and nourish it into a garden. Thank you 🙂

Thank you, Joanna, for letting us know about your writing process. I think many of us are a slave to ‘the coffee’ when writing. And I think your explanation of what fans are to a reader is beautiful!

Next time (yes, there will be a next time!), we will concentrate a bit more on the contents of Mistress Joanna’s books.

Don’t forget her second novel, Sukkubus of Khameera, the sequel to Kock Rider of Khameera, is now available!

You can contact Mistress Joanna Noor via the following Social Media:

Email: mistressjoannanoor@gmail.com

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon Author page


Meet the Author… Helen Claire Gould

Remember I attended The Darker Side of Fiction book signing? Well, I met a lot of lovely people there, and a bunch of great authors, of course! All fantasy writers, all trying to find fans. You’ve already met one of the writers, Martin Tracey, and in the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring more of these Darker authors, hoping that they may find some new fans amongst you. First up is Helen Claire Gould, writer of science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been chatting with her since we became friends on Facebook. She’s very active as a writer in her community but broke her hip and arm in an unfortunate fall recently. She is recovering well from her hip replacement and should be up and about soon!

Helen Claire Gould

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Biography

Helen took English Language and Literature, A level (prior to going to university as a mature student of Geology in 1997) and came 5th in the country out of 16,000 candidates. She worked as a proof-reader for the first 5 years of her working life, firstly in publishing and then in insurance, where accuracy is even more important as an insurance proposal is a legal document. She edits and proofreads her own work, and she’s proud to mention Floodtide has an approximate 0.005% error rate.

Karma has not been easy on Helen. She has dyscalculia (the maths version of dyslexia), dyspraxia (the co-ordination version), and some features of dyslexia (luckily not spelling, grammar or punctuation, which seem to have gone in the opposite direction)–i.e. left/right confusion, so if she ever gives you any directions to get anywhere, take no notice of what comes out of her mouth, just follow the hand signals!

Who is/are your favorite author(s)? How much is your work influenced by his or her works?

Helen_Claire_Gould_TheStallion.pngAndre Norton. I write about similar subject matter, though not in her style. I’m not an imitator. I write what comes, but try to adhere to professional writing standards that are (supposedly) the same for traditionally published authors. She wrote science fiction, and science fantasy; I also bring in elements of horror.

What made you want to become a writer?

I read my first science fiction at the age of nine, and wrote some when I was fourteen. I’ve written ever since. I was top of the school for English from nine on, and bottom of the school for maths. I wanted to be a scientist, but didn’t think my maths would be good enough. I was interested in geology and palaeontology as a child, and when I researched the geology for Floodtide, I realised there was a science I could do. At 43 I went to uni, and discovered one tutor who was interested in planetary science, so I did all his modules–perfect for a science fiction writer!

Do you outline or just write?

Sometimes I’ll write a chapter or two to see where it’s going before I outline the story. When I wrote The Stallion I got up in the night to write down the dream I’d just had. My husband came into the study a couple of hours later, having realised I wasn’t in bed, and said, “Oh, so this is where you’ve got to!”

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, could you please share an example?

I worked as a proof-reader and in retailing, where I became a professional trainer, learned to write courses, and taught evening classes in geology and creative writing. After publishing Floodtide, I spent 18 months writing workshops on writing and self-publishing, delivered through local libraries. They include eureka moments, research and examples; I use my scientific knowledge to design diagrams and animate them in PowerPoint. Everything’s on handouts, with practical assignments, even in the self-publishing workshops.

Can you give us an interesting, fun fact about your book?

When I submitted the print version of Floodtide, the printers sent me an e-mail saying there was a problem with the dialogue from page 42 on. I checked the page and the telepathic conversations, bracketed with < > instead of “ ”, began there. I emailed back and explained about the telepathic conversationsand that because the alien concepts I used didn’t exist in English I’d invented a language, so if they came across what appeared to be nonsense words, these were in Naxadan!

Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Most of my writing is set in an imaginary universe, based on ours. I’ve set up part of my website as a companion to it, with a timeline, views of the solar systems in each book, notes on the Naxadan language, relevant scientific material, links to book trailers and readings on my YouTube channel, and a star map of that universe. Some stories contain cross-references between the series.    

Are you working on another book? What are your current projects? Can you give us a small teaser?

Helen_Gould_FloodtideHaving put out two short books this year, I’m currently working on The Zarduth Imperative: Discovery, about the crew of Zarduthi clanship, the Bekel. The Zarduthi are space mercenaries who trade their services for food, clothing, and weapons. The ship drifts into the solar system and 33 unaccompanied children are discovered inside, revived, debriefed, fostered in different countries, and forbidden to communicate with each other. Raised communally on the Bekel, they’re desperate to take back their ship and find their parents. Oh, and a dead Voth, a bacterium-like species terrorising our corner of the galaxy was onboard–and Earth is next in line…

From the opening scene:

“Kaylar, raise shields. Nam–switch orbit now! And keep us hidden from the Voth fleet.” Although the Bekel would be vulnerable to detection during this manoeuvre, for this planetary configuration it was the best defence Rilla Dekkutz knew.

“Defence shields raised, Rilla,” Kaylar said.

“New orbit laid in,” Nam reported from the nav column.

Rilla stared into the simtank cube mounted between and below the forward sightports. A white hologrammatic dot marked the Bekel’s position between the twin moons, Bacar and Ammax, as they swung about their common centre of gravity. They’d exchanged positions again. Bacar was now nearest the planet below. Rilla saw the white dot marking their geostationary orbit change from Bacar to Ammax.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

Helen_Gould_She...Postal writing workshops contain five members, each allowed to keep the parcel for up to two weeks. The administrator puts their work in a parcel and sends it to the next person on the list, who writes feedback, puts in their work, then sends it on. When the parcel comes back, the administrator has four pieces to write feedback on and four pieces of feedback on their work. I learned to critique work and received helpful criticism and suggestions.

The least helpful thing was feedback from a publishing house talent scout. She didn’t read my manuscript properly, and with hindsight I realised she wasn’t even as good at giving feedback as my fellow orbiters.

What has been the best compliment?

My friend Fyzz, who runs the Fyzz Wallis Band, had read that books you love, near the end, feel like ‘that break-up feeling’, and said Floodtide was like that! Her bassist Zoe apparently reads lots of self-published books, and said they often contain many typos, but Floodtide read like a traditionally published book.

What motivated you to become an indie author?

When ill-health set in, Mike said I should stay at home and work on my novels, but he probably didn’t expect me to publish anything. In 2014 I published the ebook of Floodtide, and in 2015 brought out the print version. A day’s free self-publishing course at the printers’ gave me the confidence to go into print.

Social Media Details

Here’s where you can find Helen Gould online:

Email: cleargold1@gmail.com

Website (where the first three chapters of Floodtide are available to read!)

Facebook

YouTube

Amazon Author page

As mentioned before, Helen is very active as a writer in her area, East Anglia, and has her books available in the following stores:

  • Waterstones, Bridge St., Peterborough;
  • Peterborough Visitor Information Centre, Bridge St., Peterborough;
  • Bookmark Spalding, 20, the Crescent, Spalding;
  • Beccles Books, 1, Exchange Ho., Exchange Sq., Beccles, NR34 9HH;
  • Oundle Bookshop,13 Market Place, Oundle PE8 4BA.

Her books are also available from the following local libraries: Peterborough Central Library, Bretton Library, Orton Library, Stamford Library, The Deepings Library, Spalding Library, Oundle Library, Long Sutton Library, Boston Library, Huntingdon Library.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Helen. I wish you a speedy recovery and have my fingers crossed you get some reviews for your short story and horror bundle!




Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 6

I have an interesting author interview for you today. The questions are asked by the lovely Kerry Parson on her Chat About Books blog. Check it out if you want to know which author I’d like to meet, which fictional character I’d like to meet, and where I’d like to take them for a coffee.

Chat About Books Blog

Please excuse the writing mistakes in the interview answers. I was extremely tired and in a hurry when I wrote them. Not a good combination! I’m mixing up UK and US English and found at least one punctuation mistake XD.

Thank you, Kerry, for taking an interest in me. It was fun to answer your questions. And of course for being part of my Blog Tour. You rock!

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 5

Day 5

Guess what? Today I have three bloggers posting about Living Like A Vampire! Each will have a little bit more information about the book or about me.

Let me start with Kim from Nemesis Book Blog. Kim has posted a little excerpt from the book when Kate and Charlie try to escape the suckers in a car. It doesn’t seem like much, but it has dire consequences! Go check it out on Kim’s site.

Nemesis Book Blog.png

The second stop is on Laura Nelson’s Facebook site: Tangents and Tissues Book Blog. Laura wanted to know more about me, so I wrote a bit about a question I often get when I wear my fangs; “Are you a real vampire?” Check out my answers, and I’ll let you decide!

Tangents and Tissues Book Blog.png

The third stop is on the blog of Cassandra’s MADEUP-Group. I’m so thrilled she liked the story! This is what she has to say about it:

“For somebody who enjoys Vampire type stories, I tend to have quite high expectations from them, and this didn’t let me down. (…) If you enjoy Vampire/Apocalyptic/Romantic stories with a bit of a twist on the norm, this is the story for you! I can’t wait to see what comes from the next book!”

Obviously, she has more nice things to say about Living Like A Vampire, so head over there to check it out!

Thank you, Kim, Laura, and Cassandra, for participating in my Blog Tour! You are wonderful people!

The Emit Blackwell Show

I have been interviewed for the third time (first time by Detroit’s DJ Jon, the second time by lovely Londoner Angelina Kalahari)! This time by Emit Blackwell from Michigan, and it’s live!

The Emit Blackwell Show 4.png

 

You can listen to the interview here:
 

But why stop at my interview? Emit interviews a lot of authors to put them in the spotlight for a moment. Check them out too on The Emit Blackwell Show website!

The Emit Blackwell Show

Book Blog Tour for Living Like A Vampire

My Blog Tour for Book 1 of the Suckers Trilogy: Living Like A Vampire starts tomorrow, 29 October, organized by the lovely Kelly, from Love Books Group Tours,  I can’t wait. Can you?

Living Like A Vampire

B1_FINAL

Kate is trying very hard to stay alive in a world thrown into chaos. Charlie is trying very hard in the background to get Kate to notice him. When Caleb comes to the scene, things change, but is it for the better?

Kate had just begun her new job as a high school science teacher and was looking forward to living a suburban dream life. All her hopes and dreams turn into smoke as a virus turns people into vampires who roam the world in packs, killing everybody they can get their hands on. Together with her friends, she hides at a campground. They think they are safe there.

They are wrong. Very wrong.

When Kate has to flee again, she gets separated from her friends, accidentally bumps into a handsome sucker called Caleb who then mysteriously disappears, and now has to pretend to be a sucker to stay alive. Having met Caleb, surviving is no longer the only thing on Kate’s mind.

Will Kate stay alive and human while pursuing this mysterious stranger?

Check out the websites of these voracious book readers and find out what they think of Living Like A Vampire!

Living like a Vampire Blog Tour Poster

Meet the Author… Martin Tracey

I met Martin at The Darker Side of Fiction book signing in Peterborough. He had his stand next to ours and it was fun chatting with him during those few quiet moments. He’s a lovely man from the beautiful city of Birmingham who writes thrilling novels!

Martin Tracey

Martin_Tracey.png

Biography

Martin Tracey is an author who likes to push the boundaries of reality. Even when injecting elements of the supernatural, the terror that grips you is very real. The events that feature in his work could – just could- really happen! He has a passion for The Beatles & Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Both music and football/soccer often find their way into his stories. Martin lives in Birmingham, UK and is married with 2 daughters.

Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents?

Martin_Tracey_OldGoldAnthems

I used to play piano and play in a few bands. One highlight was when a duo I played in supported Roland Gift and The Fine Young Cannibals. It became a natural progression for me to augment my creative writing by scribing novels. I still love music, especially The Beatles, but don’t play so much these days. I’m an avid supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers and one of my songs Raging Bull appears on an official Wolves CD: Old Gold Anthems – the Songs of Wolves. The CD is still available on Amazon (click here to check it out).

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

Well it’s certainly not the genres I write in and it may surprise a few people. It was Noddy Goes To Toyland by Enid Blyton, and pretty soon I was reading the entire series of Noddy books. I loved Enid Blyton’s stories as a kid. Even now I can remember how I was able to get lost into a magical world as I read in bed. Her writing certainly fed my imagination. Even at that early age I was able to sense the special friendship that Noddy and Big Ears shared. One of my better traits is that I like to help people and the way Big Ears helped Noddy settle into Toyland most likely sowed a subconscious seed of some kind. I know it sounds a bit daft but I believe a lot of what we project as adults stems from childhood experiences.

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Martin_Tracey_MindGuerrilla

Reading Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons made me realise for the first time how fact can be weaved into a piece of fiction with dramatic effect. People who read my books will spot the influence.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Being a Wolves supporter a wolf of course! Two of my tattoos are wolf depictions and I have a wolf as my author logo.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

I’d love to have met John Lennon. His music was pioneering and the raw intelligence of the man fascinates me – just listen to some of his interviews on You Tube. So many of his off the cuff remarks have transpired to become evergreen inspirational quotes. I think the fact that he was willing to put his credibility on the line in the name of peace also has to be admired. Like all great leaders he saw the cause being bigger than himself. Sadly, the manner in which he left us is too tragic beyond words.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Martin_Tracey_Club27

My most recent book is Club 27. It’s the second in the Judd Stone series and it explores the theories (some conspiracy, some not) behind the club’s famous members who all remarkably died at the tender age of 27: Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and many more. The protagonist, Judd Stone, finds himself catapulted into trying to prevent the club from claiming its next victim. Why read it? There are twists and turns within a unique page turning story.

Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

That’s like choosing your favourite child! I love them all equally, but I certainly have fun and a lot more writing mileage to go with Judd Stone.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

In Club 27 there are a couple of characters but to prevent the ‘spoilers’ it would have to be Kaleb who is the parasitic boyfriend of Rock and Pop sensation Phoenix. He is a nasty piece of work and Judd has countless problems with him.

What do your plans for future projects include?

Martin_Tracey_ThingsTheyllNeverSee

I already have two books lined up for Judd – I just need to write them! Lunar will be based around the legacy of the Lunar Society – a gathering of prominent figures who met in Birmingham between 1765 and 1813. The society included the most innovative and visionary industrialists, philosophers and intellectuals of the day…but Judd discovers an age-old murder which casts a shadow of their brilliance. The other book has no title yet but it will have a comedy theme involving tribute artists.

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

Mind Guerrilla was meant to be a substantial standalone novel in the vein of Stephen King’s The Stand(size not content –Mind Guerrilla is a hefty tome) but Judd Stone proved such a popular character in reviews and other feedback I’ve received that a series was destined to be born!

Where can we find you online?

Email: martinpaperbackwriter@yahoo.co.uk

Website

Twitter

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Things They’ll Never See Book trailer

Club 27 Book trailer

Amazon Author page UK

Amazon Author page US

Thanks so much for telling us about your musical prowess and your compelling mystery novels. I’m so glad we met at the signing! And kudos to Ares Jun, your cover artists. The covers look amazing!



 

Meet the Author… S.S. Bazinet

Sandy Bazinet writes about vampires. That was enough for me to ask her for an interview! It appears that, like my own stories, her vampire stories are about being human and about relationships. Stuff to make you think. I also love her book covers. Let’s find out how she got into writing about vampires.

S.S. Bazinet

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Biography

Sandy Bazinet grew up in Kansas, spent many years in the Baltimore, Maryland area and currently lives in New Mexico. After raising a family, she found out that she loved computers and worked in website design. Since 2008, she’s been passionate about writing. Her books include The Vampire Reclamation Project series, the Sentenced to Heaven series, as well as the YA thriller, My Brother’s Keeper, and a dystopian novel, Dying Takes It Out of You.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love walks in the desert, working jigsaw puzzles, and graphic design! Graphic design is particularly nice when I’ve been writing all day and need to switch to a different way of expressing the artistic part of myself.

What is your favorite childhood book, and why?

A favorite was and still is Mr. Snitzel’s Cookies, by Jane Flory. It has a wonderful message. Do what you love and you’ll succeed!

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

SS_Bazinet_DyingIt wasn’t the first story I read, but I read Wuthering Heights when I was about twelve years old. I think the intense, emotional states of the characters impressed me the most. I still feel that strong character development is a must in the books that I write.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell my younger self to stop worrying about getting everything perfect, to relax and have more fun with life and writing.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energizes!

Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?

Actually, my two grown daughters and I used to have a writer’s meeting once a week via a conference call. After a while, we decided to co-author three stories. Each week, one of us would write a section of a story and then pass the story on to the next person. It was great fun and also challenging since we each had a knack for leaving our section on a cliffhanger. We enjoyed the process, however, the stories got so complicated that we never completed them.

What gives you inspiration for your books? How did you come up with the idea for The Vampire Reclamation Project series?

Actually, I had writer’s block for many years. I took writing very seriously, and I think my mind’s ideas about how to write got in the way of my creative side. In frustration, I finally threw up my hands and decided not to worry about what I wrote. I decided to just write for the fun of it.

With that thought in mind, I sat down with a pad and pencil. I didn’t have a clue about what to write or what my story should be about. And I’m so grateful that I was in that open, receptive state. A story began to flow in on its own, a story about a wonderful angel named Michael and a desperate vampire named Arel. After that, I had to start writing at the computer because I couldn’t keep up with pad and pencil.

SS_Bazinet_MyBrotersKeeperDo you try to be original in your storytelling or to deliver to readers what they want?

Nope, since I gave inspiration permission to lead the way, I have never tried to steer the stories I write. I’m always as surprised as any reader as the story reveals itself. Maybe that’s why writing is so enjoyable for me.

Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

In my series, The Vampire Reclamation Project, each book is complete in itself, but the characters change and grow as the series progresses. In that way, they build on each other.  In my other books, the stories are always able to stand on their own too.

How do you select the names of your characters? Are your characters based on real people?

None of my characters are based on real people. A couple of times, it took a little longer for a name to come in, but most of the time, I begin to write about a character and a name pops in on its own.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The worst scene I had to write was one in which one of my main characters remembers a past life when he was burned at the stake. I don’t like violence or writing about violence so that was very hard to write. Thankfully, the brutality was kept to a minimum.

Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

Sorry, but that’s like asking me to name a favorite child. I love them all.

When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I start out with a blank slate. I don’t know who or what will populate a story. My characters are in charge and definitely develop as the story progresses. For instance, in the vampire series, the main character, Arel, is suffering from low self-esteem when the story begins. He’d had a very abusive childhood that left him nearly crippled with fear. However, as he’s helped by his angelic mentor, Michael, and some humans who “adopt” him, he comes out of his shell.

In each book, Arel becomes more himself, and we learn just how strong and gifted he truly is. However, in the last book, Tainted Blood, his attempts at finding the perfect partner were hard for me to watch and write. I felt like the protective mom who’s observing their adult child flounder. However, I never have to worry. My stories have a way of working out in the end. Thank goodness!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read my book reviews, but I try not to assign much weight to a negative one. Everyone has their perspective, and I respect that. What really helps is that I love writing, and I’ll write no matter what someone else thinks about my books.

What writing/publishing wisdom would you bestow upon new writers?

Don’t try to rush anything. Take your time and make sure that your book is the best it can be before you publish it. Make sure it’s well edited. Also, find a good designer for your cover! A cover is the first thing a person sees when they look at your book.

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

One reader said that my story helped them to reexamine their own life. They found comfort in the characters finding ways to give themselves a break and live happier lives. Another reader said my story gave them the courage to carry on in very adverse circumstances.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment as a writer?

In a world that is often stressful, I love the idea of providing people with stories that they can enjoy. If in some small way, I can contribute something positive and inspiring to others, I feel doubly blessed.

Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your answers with us. I can so relate with the non-planning way of writing. It is so much more exciting to wake up and not know what is going to happen next. And what great comments by your readers! It is a huge boost when you learn that you have had such a positive influence on someone 😀 .

Where can we find you online?

Email: ssbazinet@gmail.com

Website

Twitter

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Amazon Author page

The Vampire Reclamation Project series has five books now. Check them out!