Author Spotlight: Maria Vermisoglou

This Week’s Author: Maria Vermisoglou

Book Spotlight:

About The Author:

Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations. Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)
Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.
When she’s not writing, she loves a good riding on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting, along with a cup of tea.
Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.

Subscribe in her newsletter and you can stay up to date with her works and get first dibs on book sales, giveaways, all the fun stuff.https://maraki2311.wixsite.com/creativequill/
Follow Maria on social media: https://linktr.ee/portal_to_the_unknown

Interview With Maria Vermisoglou:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I started with YA novels featuring witches, but I have expanded to shifters, mermen and other paranormal creatures. I even have some holiday, fairytales and mythological books. I mostly write paranormal fantasy because I love magic and unexplainable stuff. My obsession is witches but not the classical evil witches, but I strive to craft a different image than the cliches. Healers, bartenders, fighters, you name it, and their goal is to save humans from demons and themselves. If they fall in love with a human along the way, all the better! Upcoming? I have planned a NA Alice retelling (shifters and elementals), several other witch books in my series and an entirely new series that has nothing to do with magic! *insert shocked face*  A genius on the run. The Irish mafia with a secret plan. Romance, mystery, and heists! I said too much, huh?

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

I didn’t know I wanted to be an author. It all started with a story. I always crafted stories in my mind. I took a part of the story and twisted it into something new, but never wrote it down. It helped me come to terms that this story had ended. The last goodbye to the characters I loved so much. Ha, ha. One day, I had finished another great story and the what ifs tortured my mind. What if the character was a witch? What if…? And that’s how my first story was born. I didn’t know if I wanted to know an author. I just wanted to quiet the noise in my brain. Word after word, page after page became a book. And then more books. I joined anthologies and published my own books. I never thought of myself as an author as in I never thought I’d become one, but I love it. Helps me cope with the challenges of life and it makes me happy. As a reader, books were my friends, my escape, so I want to offer that to my readers as well. A gateway to my little portal where we’re all accepted, we’re all heroes and we can all ride giant hippocampi!

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

My only doubt is: Someone can write it better than me. I’m a pantser, so half the time I don’t know where the story is going, so it’s challenging to overcome that fear. It never truly goes away, but I believe in my stories and I’ve learned a lot over time. Sure, there are many people who might have done it better, but they’re not me. These characters chose me as their voice and I will do my best to represent their stories as best as I can. My readers love my stories so instead of doubting myself, I should write faster 🙂

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

Yes. In the Hands of Zaztice is a Greek mythology novella that’s set in Athens, where I live and most of the story represents real events. Except the monsters. Haven’t encountered them yet. Ha. But even the monsters are symbols. I didn’t have a sword, but sometimes, one step is enough to light the path for you and the monsters to go away.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Hardest: Violet (The Eulogimenoi series). I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. It was a hazy mess that made no sense. The easiest character is Eva because she was a witch and somehow, I could sync with her thoughts and understand her real easy. It’s like the story wrote itself. 

Contact me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com if you’d like to be featured here!

Author Spotlight: Lily-Ann Johnson

This Week’s Author: Lily-Ann Johnson

Book Spotlight:

Blondie's Hero (Heart of Teufel Hundens Book 1) by [Lily-Ann Johnson, Ash Arceneaux]

Mary-Alice Roberts (Blondie) owns one of the busiest Marine Bars on the East Coast. Getting dumped via Text Message is just the start of her problems. She also needs an experienced Bartender who can fill in right away.

Marine Staff Sargent, Jake Peterson is medically retired, and needs a job to keep his mind busy and not live in the past. The Bartending job at Teufel Hundens sounds like the perfect solution.

When Blondie’s Ex decides to blame Blondie and Jake for his misfortunes and retaliates against Blondie.

Will Jake be the Hero Blondie needs and save her? Or will revealing his actual wealth and him being the cause of her ex’s anger have Blondie doubting not only Jake but their budding love as well?

Seamlessly Yours (Seamlessly Erotic Fairytales) by [Lily-Ann Johnson]

Cynder Whelan knows three absolute truths in her heart, nothing is better than a man in a well-made suit, both her parents had wills, and forever love exists. Ever since her father died she has been stuck with her stepmother and nasty stepsisters. Cynder has made it her goal to make sure Willow Wolf, the fashion house her parents built stays in business and one of the best. Even if that means working ungodly hours for her stepmother Rachel and never getting credit for her designs.Santon James is a self-made man, who lives by the moto is work hard, play harder. He owns one of the largest high fashion textile distributing company in the city and all the fashion houses want access to him. He only deals with the best and now that he back, he is waiting just to snap up the best the city has to offer even if that means playing dirty. Will a chance meeting between Santon and Cynder spark a connection that will set Cynder free.

Originally featured in Suit Porn 2 Anthology at LLS 2019.

About The Author:

No description available.

Lily-ann Johnson is an amazon best selling muti-genre author who lives in North Carolina. Married very own Marine and high school sweetheart with two amazing boys, a dog and 5 cats. 
If you don’t find her with her nose in a book. She can be found at her local VFW Post supporting various different military and non-profit organizations. 

Interview With Lily-Ann Johnson:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I am currently just finished a Valentines story for the Military Romance anthology Cupid Wore Dogtags. My story is Valentine’s Hart. 
I am also writing a story Seamlessly Tied for Suit Porn 4 for LLS 2022 that will be part of my Seamlessly Erotic Fairytales retellings.  I have two books bookmarked for Heart of Teufel Hundens series. 

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

I always wrote poems and short stories but I knew I wanted to be a published romance author when I had so many ideas in my head they just had to get out.  Plus who doesn’t love a happy ending. 

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

 I have a circle of friends that I bounce ideas off. They are honest and if I have questions about my writing or the flow of the things they keep me centered and give me the kick I need to get back at it. 

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

I do put real life situations in my books. The crab scene from Blondies Hero actually happened but it was no where near as romantic. Hubby left me on beach getting attacked by crabs while he ran to safety.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Easiest was (Blondie) Mary-Alice because I put a lot of myself into her. Easiest male would be Jazz from Seamlessly Wishful ,as I based him off a real life friend. 
Hardest would have to be Rich from Nikki’s Marine because he didn’t want to be happy at first. 

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Author Spotlight: Michelle Dare

This Week’s Author: Michelle Dare

Book Spotlight:

The Ariane Trilogy: The Complete Series by [Michelle Dare]

Enter the world of the Avynwood Pack with this complete trilogy.

A kept secret. A life altered. A new journey.

Ariane lived her life one book at a time. She would never have guessed those books were about to change everything.

They led her to Orion.

Tall, dark, with eyes only for her. The rest of the world ceased to exist when Orion was around. But during a fateful ash moon, he shifted into a wolf. Ari thought she was dreaming, but she’d recognize those eyes anywhere.

Fiction became reality. Fantasy was actually history. And soon, Ari would learn her role in it.

A pack war was on the horizon, and she was the only one who could stop it.

Nothing would ever be as it once was, because Ariane was now part of the Avynwood Pack.

With millions of pages read in Kindle Unlimited, find out why everyone is falling for the paranormals in this romance trilogy.

“One of the best written paranormal offerings I’ve found this year.” – Crystal M., Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Completely obsessed with this new series!! Total must read!” – TracyB, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“This story is AMAZING. I think the plot is genius.” – Nina, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Well written, passionate characters, suspense, twists and turns. So good!” – Nikki B, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

About The Author:

Michelle Dare

Michelle Dare is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from paranormal to contemporary. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

Interview with Michelle Dare:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels? 

I write romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, fantasy, new adult, contemporary, suspense, rom-com, and M/M. I’m currently working on book four in my fantasy romance series, The Iridescent Realm. I’m also working on my next co-written series which is M/M sports romance. Rebecca Brooke and I co-write it under the pen name Haven Hadley.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

This is a tough one. I’m not sure there was one moment but once I started writing my first book, it was like the flood gates opened and I got more story ideas than I knew what to do with.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing? 

Doubting myself is a problem I’ve definitely had to overcome. The more books I’ve written, the easier it’s gotten but I’m not sure it ever goes away. What helps is talking to my readers. They always know what to say. Their love of my stories and their words keep me motivated.

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

In every one of my books I like to put in tiny tidbits from my real life. Like a favorite TV show or a pet I had. Maybe a vehicle I once drove. Sometimes it’s the attitude of my characters. I’m very sarcastic and like to joke around. I think that comes through strongly with some of the books I write.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why? 

There are some characters who stay with me. Ones that even after their story is told keep a permanent residence in my mind. Solomon Verascue has been hands down one of my easiest characters. His personality, words, mannerisms flow so well from me. The hardest… I can’t think of one particular character but I can say some books are easier to write. Where I just close my eyes and the words pour out of me. Others can be much more of a struggle.

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Author Spotlight: EJ Everette

This week’s author is EJ Everette. I will admit that I don’t know her as well as I should. Yet. I have a strong feeling that she and I will become very good friends. I can tell that she has a very kind and compassionate soul. Without further ado, I shall introduce her properly!

Her Books (Click book photos to buy):

All Gray Marshall wanted to do was spend her summer surfing and enjoying lazy days with her besties and watch movies with her kid brother, Charlie. Unfortunately, summer school had to ruin her lovely plans and she is forced to spend two months in geometry work hell. There is no way she will survive the monotony!!That is, until a tall, dark, and handsome guy literally bumps into Gray in the halls on day one and her entire world gets flipped upside down. Not only is Reid sexy as sin, he has a twin and three other friends who all qualify for panty-melting status. Despite their attractiveness, Gray is not a social person. Years in abusive homes have made her hesitant, anxious, and all-around antisocial. So why do these five guys make her want to spend every moment with them? Why doesn’t she fear their presence, a presence they basically force upon her within minutes of meeting? And what is with the way her body literally buzzes when they touch her” After decades bouncing between realms, Reid, Rip, Mitch, Chance, and Dean have finally found the prophecy girl they have been searching for. But…she has no idea who she is, what she is capable of, or how important she is to them and their people. Worse yet, the council has forbidden them from telling her anything until she comes into her power. That task, in and of itself, isn’t too hard, except that every single one of them know the truth and they can only resist the pull for so long before they claim what is rightfully theirs. Shit, it’s been prophesized. Waiting to Ignite is book one in a slow burn new adult paranormal reverse harem romance series. Gray has a lot to learn about who she is and where she really comes from, but first she has to survive summer school and the guys who guest star in her dreams at night. Not to mention someone, or some thing, has a special interest in her as well, and they aren’t looking to date her.

This can’t be real. There is no reality where I have… powers? And what do the guys mean when they say I am part of a prophecy? After Gray wakes up following tragedy, she is confused, frightened, and hell, a little bit angry. When the guys tell Gray just how important she is, she loses it. Gray is tired of manipulation. Tired of games. The old Gray let herself be a victim. Allowed herself to be a pawn in the plans of others. Those bones have been broken, scars have been formed, and the new Gray refuses to revisit that pain ever again. But when an enemy comes for her, Gray finds herself alone and once again her life hangs in the balance as someone else calls the shots. After they tell Gray the truth about who they are, where they are from, and the destiny that lies before her, the guys are beyond shocked when Gray demands space, pushing them away from her at every turn. This isn’t right. They are her guardians, hand chosen to protect her and keep her aligned with the path that leads to peace. How are they supposed to do that when she won’t even let them in the same room? Not to mention, now that the igniting has taken place, their bonds are stronger, leaving them all desperate to be with the one their lives are bonded to. When Gray goes missing, the guys have to put aside their own pain and focus on saving the woman they can’t live without, even if she doesn’t accept their love yet. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the truest strength, comes from pain. Gray is about to find out just how much she can break and, in turn, how much she wants to survive. If she is going to bring about the prophecy she is destined for, she is going to have to ensure she is strong enough to conquer those who oppose her. Sometimes, we have to feel the burn of the flames before we can conquer the fire within.

About EJ Everette:

A little about me — I probably read more than I should since I am supposed to be writing these days, but books give me the perfect excuse to escape my crazy life for a few! This is why I strive to write characters, worlds, and stories that will do the same for my readers. I am a Mom (half an egg carton full of kids) and a military spouse. I have seen some of the world but my goal is to visit so many more places before my hips give out!

I enjoy short walks on sunset beaches (because long walks sound exhausting) and the occasional glass of wine or mug of beer. I sing as often as I can (even in stores where some might think it is frowned upon) and dance even though I likely scare those watching.

Mostly I am happy to be lucky enough by some f@#ked up miracle to live the version of my life I get to live right now and hope you enjoy hanging with me!

Interview With EJ Everette:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

Since the start of my writing career (a whole 6 months ago) I have published two books from my debut series, The Ignited Girl, and have another on the horizon! The Ignited Girl focuses on the life of Gray, a seventeen year old young woman who was dealt a crappy hand and had to fight for the life she finally has with her younger brother and Grams. Things are smoothing out for her, though she is far from pleased with her next hurdle in life- summer school. That is, until she shows up to campus and runs into a goofy sexy guy over and over again. Add in his friends of equal god-squad status, and Gray has her hands full. Not one to usually enjoy the company of people, especially men following a rough past, Gray feels oddly pulled toward this group of guys- safe in their presence and definitely attracted to them… all of them. The guys have a few secrets they aren’t sharing with Gray, though. She may not understand what she is feeling, or why, but they are very aware of the pull, it’s purpose, and know exactly how she is feeling. All five of them are following their path as it aligns with a prophecy shared with their ancestors long ago… a prophecy featuring a very clueless Gray… a prophecy that will change everything about her life, her past, and present her with a future she is not ready for. Books one and two (Waiting to Ignite and Igniting the Flame) are already out on Amazon and KU. Book three, When the Heart Ignites, is due out in the coming months. This series has six books total planned for it and so far each book averages about 118k words- I like them thicc!

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

When I was eleven, a horrible tragedy struck the United States – the Columbine school shooting. I had never heard anything about school shootings before, but this was everywhere. I watched interviews with parents and teachers. My school changed its policies for visitors, as did so many others, and security tightened. Within a year, there was another shooting all over the news. My heart, though still in pre-teen mode, was deeply saddened by what was happening around us. In the year 2000, I wrote a song in honor of those lost in the shootings and to bring attention to the chaos happening in the world. It was submitted to contests all over the US by my teachers and was even published in a book about a year later, though they chose to represent it as a poem instead of a song. The point is, regardless of publication and attention, I felt some sort of solace in expressing the emotions I had built up within me through words. It would be years before I would write something to publish again, but the writing bug got to me then and never left. I knew, even at that young age, that I wanted to chase that feeling of completion I received when writing. It took me a few decades, and quite a crazy life in between, but today I still write for the same reason- to express the emotions fluttering around inside of me on a daily basis. My hope is that just one person can be positively impacted by the scramble of words I put onto paper- able to feel all the intensity of my own passions woven within the text.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

Oh what a great question! I wish I had the ultimate answer. I just recently left my corporate job to write full time and start my own business. It is TERRIFYING! It is one thing to work for someone else, but to work for yourself and know every penny you earn is directly related to whether or not your art is appreciated by others… bury me alive with spiders and scorpions and I would be less afraid! Still, the community of authors and readers is EXTENSIVE and so supportive. Between my epically amazing support system at home, my readers and other authors in my genre, and my own determination to finish the things I start no matter what the opposition, I find ways to keep myself moving forward. Also- I think it is incredibly important to take days of rest for my brain and my heart. Sometimes things aren’t as easy, words don’t flow as smoothly, or life is hectic (I have six kids- this is almost always for me!). The best way I have found to overcome the paranoia of failure and slumps in my writing is to take the emotional time I need whenever necessary to refresh, recharge, and allow myself to be human!

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

It is actually pretty much the opposite for me. I was married at 17 years old. I didn’t have a traditional high school experience nor did I live through the dating stage for very long before settling down. My husband and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage, still going strong, but the teen heartthrob moments, butterflies, and back and forth dating games? I never had any of that. I don’t regret meeting Mr. E or the life we have together, but I have found a way to live vicariously through my writing by developing characters that experience all the things I didn’t. It’s actually incredibly cathartic!

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

I have quite a few different, incredible characters in my current series. I absolutely LOVE writing Gray, my FMC. She is strong but not afraid to deal with the emotional turmoil she has lived through. She has so many hardships thrown her way, and she finds a way to rise above them. I am in awe of her determination and the way she looks after her little brother. She has some goofy moments, some very teen-like boy crazy moments, and her sarcasm makes my heart happy, but when the going gets tough, Gray embraces the suck and gets tougher. Her POV comes naturally to me- so natural I often find myself dreaming of her as if I know her in real life, not just in my head. She is, by far, the easiest for me to write! As far as the hardest to write, I’d have to say it is Chance. He is broody, angry about a life he can’t control, and basically an asshole in all ways. While those characters tend to be the ones I am attracted to the most in books and movies, writing everything from his moody perspective is a challenge. I have to remind myself that he is just angry, not evil, and convince myself not to have someone beat him upside the head when he says or does dumb things just to piss Gray off. He is one of my favorite characters, but getting into this mindset takes more time and energy than any of the others.

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Author Spotlight: Rose Alexander

This week’s author is Rose Alexander. I met her at the convention I attend in Savannah every summer. She’s a firecracker. We’ve grown really close over the last year. I’m so blessed to have met her and I’m glad that I can consider her a wonderful friend.

Her Books (Click book photos to buy):

Krissy is different… a fact she hid from everyone. She’s lived a sheltered life because of her paranoid mom who isolated her after her dad took off when she was six. Now her mom is missing, forcing her to return to her estranged father. Her life takes a dramatic change when she starts attending the academy where her father teaches.

With the help of three guys she will have to learn how to control her abilities, navigate this new world, and hopefully save her mom. The only question now is… will she succeed?

When a book magically appeared, Rue learned appearances can be deceptive. Visions of strange creatures and lands haunted her.
After meeting Atticus she began her journey to self discovery with the help of her new familiar, Smoosh. Now she must use this gift to save the man she’s falling for or she might lose him forever. Can she succeed, or is her love doomed to die for crimes he didn’t commit?

Life was simple as a demon spending my days torturing the souls of the damned. But things got a hell of a lot more complicated when Lilith appeared and dumped me in the mortal realm to face a different type of demon: my history.

Come to find out, my mother had been harboring a deadly secret about what I really am.

Now she’s dead.

All I learn before her final breaths is that I’m only part demon — a halfling.

Halflings are an abomination. It’s just a matter of time before every demon, angel, and gargoyle will be hunting me.

Like the three irresistible gargoyles who happen to live in the same apartment complex I moved into. Then add an over-protective, shape-shifting Cerberus to the mix. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Right?

The clock is ticking — things prophesied are being fulfilled.

The Huntsman Clan Complete Series Collection Books 1-4

Lia learns on her 16th birthday that she isn’t who or what she thinks she is. Not only is she adopted, but she isn’t a bear shifter as she always believed.
Follow her story as she learns to navigate a new world full of shifters she’s never met, dangerous assignation plots, and a race for a crown she never wanted. Will she succeed or will she run out of time?

Blurb for Nightfall a Book 1

My name is Lia, just your average sixteen year old bear shifter, or so I thought. The night of my first shift, I found out that was all a lie. Not only am I adopted, but I’m not a bear at all.
I’m taken away from the parents who raised me and thrust into a life I know nothing about. I have to learn to navigate the social structure of this new clan and try to survive a boarding school for shifters like me. Thankfully, I meet a group of guys the same age as me who want to help me fit in. Throw in a prophecy this clan swears is true, and you have a recipe for adventure, and a whole heap of trouble headed my way.

Murder and magic… a battle to reclaim the throne…

Being a water bearer for my community was easy: just my trusty mule, Lily, and me against the world. But when a bard arrived in town weaving tales about the True Queens of Nephalia, everything changed.

Those stories were supposed to be myths—tales told to children around a campfire. Yet, this man sung truths that had been buried long ago of the Dawnings that brought the queens to power and the magical patterns on their skin marking them as qualified for such a status.

Marks… described exactly like the one that appeared on my arm the very same day.

According to the legend, these women were hunted and killed by others—imposters—who claimed to have earned the throne.

The warning was loud and clear. But instead of living in fear, I intend to compose a story of my own: with the help of three amazing men, I must save myself and the other marked women from such a fate.

If we succeed, Nephalia will prosper.

If we fail, the rekindled magic of myth will remain as such: nothing more than a tale told around a dying campfire.

About Rose Alexander

Just a small town girl from Kansas living her dream of writing books. When not writing I enjoy spending time with my husband and son.

Interview With Rose Alexander:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I write Reverse Harem PNR and enjoy adding a twist you wouldn’t expect. 

My next upcoming will be the Second book in the Hidden Truth series, which follows Ash, a half demon while she tries to survive and learn who and what she really is. 

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

I’ve always enjoyed making up stories, but I was finally pushed to share them with the world a few years ago. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment since I had thought about it for years, but was always too scared to try. 

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

I try to turn the negative thoughts into positive ones. If I’m feeling the imposter syndrome, I will read bad reviews on my favorite books. Because if people are crazy enough not to like those, my own negative reviews can’t be so bad. 

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

I’m sure we all add our own experiences to our writing at least subconsciously. Our world is colored by our own experiences after all. But I haven’t written anything intentionally after my own life. 

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

My easiest character was Jade, from Becoming Ruby. I just connected with her from the get go. Lia, from The Huntsman Clan would be my hardest. She was stubborn and always pushed the story in unexpected ways I hadn’t planned for.

Follow me everywhere: https://linktr.ee/StarsBooksAndTea

Q & A With Teal Swan

Q&A WITH TEAL SWAN

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE NEW NOVEL HUNGER OF THE PINE

Question: Tell us what your new book, Hunger of the Pine, is all about?

Teal Swan: Hunger of the Pine is my first fiction novel, and is a poetic novel about life on the streets in America. The book centers on Aria Abbott, a teen in the foster care system. She has been placed in a Christian foster home where the father is molesting her and her delinquency problems have turned her into the ‘scapegoat’ of the family. When the tension between her and her foster parents rises, she runs away and begins her life on the streets of Chicago. She soon meets Taylor, another homeless youth who is dreaming of fame, fortune and the sunshine of L.A. Together they board a Greyhound bus and never look back. In this bright new world, Aria will discover a whole community of people living in the shadows, in the margins of society. As Taylor follows his dreams, Aria follows her heart. But she will discover that it isn’t always clear who you can trust, that strangers can be kind, or treacherous, or sometimes as familiar as your own reflection, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

Q:What was your inspiration behind the writing the book?

Swan: As far as I know, no one has ever written apoetic novel about life on the streets of America. I wanted to highlight homelessness through descriptive writing and used a main character as a lens through which to see a snapshot. I also wrote it because I feel that we as a society — especially in America — need to look in the mirror at homelessness and see that it is a problem caused by many systemic failures within society. For this reason, there are many ‘reasons’ someone ends up on the street. And we aren’t really solving those reasons. People are complex, and it we need to see them with more compassion and understanding. And, it is with this ‘understanding,’ rather than labeling people good or bad, that we may see the root cause of behaviors and accurately resolve that root cause.

Q: You have written a lot of wonderful non-fiction books. Why did you decide to take the leap into fiction?

Swan: I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. I am a descriptive writer first and foremost. My other books are informational, which I love, but they were not an opportunity to exercise my skills as a writer. Descriptive writing is a whole other beast than writing non-fiction that is engaging yet informative. It is to convey an emotion or sensory experience with words instead of to convey a concept for the purpose of comprehension. I want people to love the writing in and of itself, and remember it for the writing, and for their experience learning about homelessness as well as.

Q: Why did you decide to tackle the topic of youth homelessness?

Swan:  A Great many people don’t relate to homelessness or the issues surrounding it. But a great many do and those people are drowning in the feeling that they were just born to suffer. I wanted to show the reality of homelessness and make it relatable to those who don’t understand it. But I also wanted to insert some answers and hope into this novel for those who do. To be ‘real’ it had to be a mixture of “this is too much to surmount” and “you can surmount it”. It needed to be tragic but also inspirational. And people who relate to these characters, especially the main character will not have thought of themselves as a protagonist.. as significant…As someone capable of love and triumph and of finding belonging and love… until now!

Q: What do you think society can do to help the homeless population? 

Swan: The issue of homelessness is not an easy one because so many systemic factors within society contribute to it. This means there is not a one size fits all solution. For example, the failures within parenting and beyond that the foster care system cause youth homelessness.

 Society’s complete lack of care for the mentally ill and the fact that there is literally nowhere for them to get help if they don’t have money, contributes to homelessness in the mentally ill and veterans. The fact that a person on social security is not getting enough money to afford both food and housing and often medications causes senior citizen homelessness. The lack of prioritization within society when it comes to understanding and finding solutions for the needs of those who are in need, create this multivariable factor scenario where suddenly a great many people are on the street. It’s time to see the broken-ness of our system and stop thinking things are being taken care of by ‘someone else’ when they are not.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from A Hunger of Pine and Aria’s story?

Swan: I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. Also, a better and more empathetic view of the homeless population. We tend to be so uncomfortable with homelessness that we compartmentalize it and tell ourselves that we could never be in the same position… That homeless are like a ‘breed’ of people or another species unto themselves. Understanding this why behind homelessness actually makes it impossible for us to keep this ‘separation’ alive. To keep them marginalized. When we stop seeing people as “other”, when we relate to them, we suddenly have the motive to do something because we identify with them instead. I wrote this book to create this identification, understanding and relatability so as to close this perceptual gap.

TEAL SWAN is an international speaker, best-selling author, and a survivor of severe childhood abuse. Today, having integrated her own harrowing life experience, she inspires millions of people around the world towards truth, authenticity, freedom, and joy. Swan is also the author of six internationally published books, the creator of hundreds of frequency paintings, as well as the popular “Ask Teal” YouTube series, which currently has more than 80 million views and almost one million subscribers. She is also the owner and founder of Teal Eye LLC, a company focused on bringing self-empowerment and healing back to the individual. In conjunction with her vision of creating positive world change, Swan founded HEADWAY FOUNDATION, a nonprofit company that enables ideas, goals and ventures that are aimed at positive world change by ending suffering. In the years to come, Headway Foundation will encompass programs, centers, scholarships and products that better our world; such as in the areas of justice reform, education, environmental endeavors, end of life care, health, parenting, integrative medicine and food industry reform. Headway Foundation seeks to create the changes within our society that will create a better life for all beings who call this earth their home.

Swan was born with a range of extrasensory abilities, including clairvoyance, clairsentience, and clairaudience. It was because of these abilities that she ended up being targeted to become a victim of abuse. In her own words: “Without the abuse and suffering I experienced, I would be someone who could give you a lot of esoteric information about the universe at large, but who would have no real grasp on the reality of human suffering or how to heal it. I would have only had ½ of the picture of human existence. The gift of my own suffering is that I now have the full picture and that has drastically changed both what I teach and the way that I teach.”

For more information, visit www.hungerofthepine.com and connect with Teal on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

Interview With Clare Flynn

Where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. I travel widely and have lived overseas in the past so I draw on these experiences a lot. I also read widely. Sometimes I get inspired by a place – for example the idea for The Gamekeeper’s Wife came to me while I was staying in a gamekeeper’s lodge on the Shuttleworth estate in Bedfordshire. I also visited a garden there – the Swiss Garden which had been a Victorian industrialist’s creation but had fallen into neglect after WW2 and since restored in all its splendour. I used that to create the sunken garden in the book – this time neglected as a result of the gardeners being killed in WW1.


Can you tell me a little about each book?
I have ten novels now so that would take far too long! I’ll tell you about some common themes. I write a lot about displacement – people being uprooted from their comfortable world and flung into a new and challenging one – often geographically distant.
My first novel A Greater World has the two main characters meeting on a ship to Australia from England – both forced to leave everything they have known due to sudden tragic circumstances.
Ginny in Kurinji Flowers has no future in England after being disgraced as a debutante so marries on the rebound and moves with the husband she barely knows to live on a tea plantation in India where she struggles to adapt.
My next book, The Pearl of Penang (published December 5th and now pre-ordering) is set in the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia in the 1940s. Evie the main character ends up there after accepting a marriage proposal by post from a man she met once only when she was only fifteen, twelve years earlier.
I am fascinated by the whole idea of British colonials and the worlds they created in far flung parts of the empire. I also write about war and its after-effects (The Canadian trilogy – The Chalky Sea, The Alien Corn and The Frozen River).


What inspires you to write?
I love entering a whole new world that emerges from my head, and meeting characters who begin to assume a life of their own. I also love the way my books affect readers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than hearing from them, reading their reviews and finding out how my stories have touched their lives. On the rare occasions I get discouraged, an email from a reader can galvanise me and send me straight back to the keyboard!


Tell me about how you got started as a writer.
I’ve always written. As a child it was poems, plays and stories. Later I had numerous attempts to write a novel (always knowing it would happen in the end) but got sidetracked by life and a demanding career.


When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?
It was in 2014. I’d lost a lot of time while my then agent tried to sell it. In the end I decided to self-publish and never looked back. My last book Storms Gather Between Us was traditionally published and while I have no complaints about the publisher or the process, I prefer being my own boss so I’m now reverting to being indie. I’m helped by the fact that I am an ex Marketing Director and publishing is all about marketing. I ran my own business for almost twenty years after a long slog in corporate life so I much prefer the control I have as an indie. Not that I do it myself – I use a professional editor and cover designer and invest a lot in my own development and training.


What advice can you give future authors?
Read as much and as widely as you can. Your craft improves with your exposure to and understanding of different styles, eras, genres, etc. I am blessed in that, since childhood, I have read voraciously from the classics to fast easy reads. I’d also say read your work aloud. That is an amazing tool to improving your work. And take your time to get it right. There is a big emphasis these days on pushing as many books out as possible – in some cases a book a week!! I doubt many of these will stand the test of time – and the toll on the writers will be enormous in the long run.


What was the easiest book for you to write?
The most fun was the latest one, The Pearl of Penang. It followed an unexpected writing drought when I was on a round the world cruise. I’d expected to write while I was away but it turned out I didn’t want to. After visiting Penang, an idea came to me and I set aside the book I was planning to write and started this one instead. I loved the writing and got so absorbed by the research I had to do. It was a sheer joy.


What was the hardest?
The one I am writing now! But I usually say that.


What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?
Distraction – I have a horrible tendency to stop to fact check something and then before I know it I am down the research rabbit hole – or off on a complete tangent as one thing leads to another and before I know it I am on YouTube watching old Pathé newsreels.


What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?
Very very hard. Even though my marketing background should theoretically make it easier!


How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?
My readers tell me they get hooked very quickly so I am responsible for lots of missed sleep and over-salted, overcooked meals – so many people have told me they walk around the kitchen preparing supper with one of my books in their hands! I try to write evocatively about the places in the books – I’ve been told it’s like vicariously travelling there as I aim to bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the locations to life on the page. I’ve often been told I write convincing dialogue and work very hard to make my characters believable and capable of evoking emotional responses in readers – good or bad. And the goodies are always flawed in some way and the baddies mostly have either some redeeming qualities or at least a backstory that explains how they ended up so bad.


Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?
This is my fifth consecutive year and every time I have hit the 50k. This year is the hardest yet!


How supportive is your family of your books?
I’m single (which probably helps!) – my siblings are generally supportive but I don’t expect them to read my books. Sometimes they do. But I think your own family can be your toughest critics.


Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?
No. No one’s told me I shouldn’t do it. Not that I’d have listened anyway!


Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?
I am a member of a critique group of five published writers. We meet weekly to give each other honest feedback. I have a great team of editor, designer, proof readers, beta readers. I also have a team of advance readers who get an ARC pre-publication for review purposes – they also spot any missed errors.


How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?
I am constantly tweaking and tuning – a real iterative process – including the ongoing feedback from my critique group. By the time I’ve finished it’s pretty close to final draft. I then read it through again and make further changes. The editor gives me a report which may require further changes (this time hardly at all!) and she does a line edit which I work through. I have a final read-through and make any further tweaks.


Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?
Yes four are – A Greater World, Letters from a Patchwork Quilt, The Chalky Sea and The Alien Corn. I need to get a move on with the others! I also need to figure out how to promote them!


What are some of your favorite books and authors?
Aaaagggh! I hate that question as there are so many. I love some of the classics – Thomas Hardy in particular – life always seems better in comparison with the terrible things that happen to his characters, the Brontes, George Elliot and Austen. I love Kate Atkinson’s writing. Recently I hugely enjoyed reading Amor Towle’s A Gentleman in Moscow. Nowadays I also read books by authors I know. I particularly like Linda Gillard’s work. Her latest book, The Memory Tree has done extremely well and as soon as one of hers comes out I have to buy it. My personal fave is Emotional Geology set in the Scottish isles. Linda never shies away from tough subjects. While on my cruise I met Helen Carey, author of the WW2 Lavender Road series. I’ve since read three of them and enjoyed them immensely and must read the others. At the Literary fiction end Jane Davies stands out for me, winner of the Selfies award for her cracking novel Smash all the Windows which follows the lives of a number of people who had been caught up in a disaster on the London Underground and their search for justice and personal reconciliation with what has happened to them.


Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?
Not yet! I am afraid to jinx them. I will say my Nano project is a novella set in WW2 in the Pacific theatre. It’s not a military story though.


Where can we find you on social media?
In too many places!! And too often.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn
Twitter – https://twitter.com/clarefly
Instagram – https://instagram.com/clarefly
And of course on my website – https://clareflynn.co.uk – if you sign up on there for my newsletter you will receive a short story collection as a thank you.

Interview With Angela Ford

Where do you get your inspiration?

 I write from the heart. I love to read as much as I love to create a story. One word, one picture can ignite that spark into a beautiful feeling that just flows endlessly. Who doesn’t love a happily-ever-after? 

Can you tell me a little about each book?

That could make a book itself lol I have over 50 published works. Each and every one makes my heart smile. But to sum it up…I write romance. Always a HEA…sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy and sometimes suspenseful. 

I’m very excited about my new young adult series! A different direction this time but a sweet romance series about life’s trials, wise words left, healing Hearts and horses! 

What inspires you to write?

 Reading, I would say has been my first inspiration that began this journey to share stories I’ve created. My parents are a huge inspiration-my real-life fairy tale couple. 64 years together and still in love as much as the first day they met!

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

 I started writing as a teenager on the beach one summer. Not that a lot of people knew about it. I kept it to myself. Later in life, after years of being an avid reader; it was time to share my stories. From there, it hasn’t stopped. It’s an addiction!

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

I published in 2013. Scared. Nervous. Not knowing where to start. But determination kept me going, even after many discouraging rejections. Then one day I received an offer with the same publishing company I’m with today. The day just happened to be April 1st-April Fools Day lol but after a 2nd request two days later…it wasn’t a joke. And here I still am! Loving what I do!

What advice can you give future authors?

Never give up! Do what you love. 

Write from the heart. Edit later. 

What was the easiest book for you to write?

My Cyber Crime Series (Closure/Forbidden/Obsessed). It’s about an elite FBI task force hunting down internet predators from teens. Besides the fact that I love mysteries and FBI shows! As a school council chair with the school my kids went to, I hosted seminars with the local police to educate parents on internet safety to protect their kids. I’m a Mom. Always protecting my kids, along with my passion for the education system and keeping kids safe online; the stories just flowed!

What was the hardest?

The hardest was Provoked. Not just because I wrote it during NaNoWriNo (50,000 words in 30 days challenge). It is a police procedural, mystery thriller…which I love but it also involves domestic abuse. It was tough to write some scenes due to my own personal experiences. 

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

Time! I want a 36 hour day lol

If I didn’t need the day job…I like to eat lol … I’d be writing for hours every day. Doing what I love!

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It’s a love-hate responsibility lol

It’s fun to create ads, trailers, and story pitches. But it’s time consuming and takes away from writing time. There are a lot of promotional places that can help ease the promotional side but a lot cost more than an author makes lol

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

I write the way I enjoy reading. Being pulled into the story like I’m there. I can see, feel and be swept into a world where the characters are real and true to life. 

I love researching to make them real. Whether it’s their profession or the place they live. I want it to feel real. 

Every time I write the last word of each story, I have a bittersweet moment. Happy I wrote another story but sad to say goodbye to my characters. They’ve become friends after the many hours of living with me lol 

But I’m happy now while I’m writing this new series…they get to live with me a little longer!

Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?

Just the once when I write Provoked I mentioned in an earlier question. 

I remember that last Saturday of November. It was 2:22 pm and I wrote the last word. I think the neighbours heard my loud WHOO HOO!! I did it! 53,000 words in 29 days!!

How supportive is your family of your books?

 Very supportive and my biggest fans! Not all of them read. So the ones who don’t, still brag and promote!

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

I’m a positive person and blessed with many readers. You can’t always please everyone in this world and in life you find true friends. Those are the ones to treasure and be thankful for. And always remind yourself you write because it’s your passion. 

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I’m very lucky to have great, true friends and family. And family also includes my publisher and my readers. They always inspire me to keep writing! I love brainstorming with them for ways to promote. I’m very blessed to have an awesome Street Team (Angie’s Angels) and a review group who love to read and review (Angie’s ARC Angels)…you can find us on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1705342496353914/

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

One draft. Then I go through it slowly, polishing it before sending to the editor. After edits, I don’t re-read or I’d probably keep editing lol 

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

More than half are already in audio! And will continue to get the rest done. Audios are great for today’s world. We’re so busy but with an audio we can multi-task! I know I love listening to an audio book in my car, going for a walk or while cleaning. 

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

There are so many!! I’m an Agatha Christie fan and James Patterson too. They’ve inspired my mystery and suspense side of writing. I’ve always been a Danielle Steele fan since I was a teen. I’m a proud owner of all her hardcovers!

I love to read new authors and ones I’ve met along the way. There are so many talented writers and so many stories to enjoy. 

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

 Now I’m working on a new young adult series that takes place on a ranch in the mountains of Montana at an equestrian ranch. A family saga who have a love for horses and the hearts they heal. Book 1 released July 29th. Book 2 will release Sept 29th. Book 3 is set for November for a Christmas story. 

In between I dabble at a suspense thriller novel I’ve been working on. And on the back burner…I’m thinking of a paranormal series. 

Endless thoughts and love it!

Where can we find you on social media?

You can find me mostly on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon and wherever else I find time and a spot lol 

I have a website (angelafordauthor.com) and a newsletter where I offer a free ebook when you sign up. 

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free ebook!

https://mailchi.mp/05bdf2d92b50/angela-ford-signup-page-for-new-releasessalesgiveaways-complimentary-free-ebook



— 

Angela Ford – Award-Winning Author and Screenwriter

ROMANTIC ESCAPES

Purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Overdrive and more.

Winning Love For Valentines Day Screenplay

angelafordauthor.com

                    Website: Facebook: Twitter: Amazon: Goodreads:                                              

Interview With Lannie Sheridan

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from all kinds of things. Sometimes a song or a photo might give me an idea. A conversation with a friend may spark a plot, or even I may even dream the entire scene. Ideas come from all over, but not all of them are good ones. Sometimes I silly idea can lead to an amazing scene or plot twist while what seemed like a wonderful idea might not go anywhere but the trashbin.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

Well as far as finished books, I only have two at the moment. The first book, Shadows of the Past, follows Princess Amirilla of Mercury as she takes her new position on the Intergalactic Court. Amirilla, known as Rilla by her friends and family, has oracle blood, which gives her visions of the future.  My second book, Shadows of the Past, is a sequel to the first. The system is in chaos and nothing seems to be going right…  Can’t really say more without giving spoilers. I’m about halfway through writing the third in this series, When Shadows Fall, which will pick up where book two ends.

Once I finish the Shadow series, I have several other series I plan to work on. Sadly I don’t have titles for them yet, but I know the basic plot of all of them. I have a series about a young hunter searching the land for the magical being that murdered her parents. Another series follows a young witch who learns that imaginary friends are anything but imaginary. I’m still working on the details but I am working on a mystery series that follows an investigative reporter looking for her brother. The last one I have is about a lonely girl who winds up being sent back in time after making an innocent wish on her birthday.

What inspires you to write?

The stories in my head need to be told. When my muses start talking I have to write down their tales. Doesn’t matter if anyone else reads them or likes them, I write the stories for me and my muses.

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

Not really sure how I actually got started. I don’t remember a time that I didn’t makeup stories for fun. Even before I could write I would make up stories and my mom would write them down for me.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

I published my first book, Shadows of the Past, in December of 2015. The day I received the first printed copy was the happiest day of my life. Words alone can’t describe the emotions I felt seeing my name on the cover.

What advice can you give future authors?

Never give up. Being a writer isn’t always easy and it’s not a fast way to make money. It takes a lot of time and hard work to finish writing and editing a book. Promoting and selling it is even harder. No matter how hard it gets, never stop and never give up.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

Dancing with Shadows was the easiest so far. It practically wrote itself. Only had a few gaps I had to fill in.

What was the hardest?

The hardest is the one I’m currently working on, When Shadows Fall. There are a lot of fight scenes and a huge battle involving a dozen armies that I have to write. I’m not the best at writing fight scenes so this is quite a challenge for me.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

My biggest challenge is finding time to write without being interrupted. Its often hard to get people to understand that just because I’m sitting at my computer with music playing or in the recliner with my laptop and reruns of my favorite tv shows playing, that doesn’t mean I’m not working.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It depends on the situation. If I’ve got someone who is honestly interested in books then it’s usually pretty easy to sell the books or at least get them to take a business card and possibly follow you later on. People that are looking for a specific kind of book that doesn’t include mine or people that don’t want to read at all, well they’re almost impossible to sell to, but you still have to try and do your best. Sometimes the impossible sale is the most rewarding.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Hmmm, that’s a hard one….. I’m not really sure how to describe my writing style. I write in the third person because I like knowing what’s going on with all the major players, not just the main character. For me, the dialogue is the easiest thing to write because I actually hear the characters in my head. I’m working on being better with descriptions and details. I don’t think I have set style though. My editor told me after reading what I have of one of my other series that it was like someone else wrote it. My tone and voice change to fit the characters and setting of the story I’m writing. I took that as a huge compliment. I don’t want all my stories to sound the same. If I did that I would be doing my characters a great injustice.

How supportive is your family of your books?

My family is very supportive. My dad bought a dozen copies and gave them to all his friends. My mom insists on being one of the first to read my books once they’re finished.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

I had a few people in college tell me that writing wasn’t worth my time. They thought I should be doing something better with my time. Those same people thought it was fun to get blackout drunk and not remember what actually happened over the weekend. They couldn’t understand why I thought that sitting at home with a good book or a good movie was more fun than a party full of drunks. Needless to say, their opinions mattered little to me and I kept writing.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I have two editors, who are both dear friends. One reads for story content and the other fixes my spelling and grammar. The only other people do anything directly for my books would be my cover artists. While they don’t work with me or get paid, my biggest help with promotions are my readers. The people that read my books and leave reviews or tell others about my stories help out more than they realized. Word of mouth is the best advertisement a writer could ask for.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

Not sure of the exact number. I probably had close to 30 drafts of book 1 before I was happy with it. For book 2 there were at least 20. I don’t keep track of how many drafts I go through, just how much my book improves with each one.

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Not yet, but its definitely something I want to do.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

That’s a long list. First ones that come to mind are Diana Gabaldon, J.K. Rowlings, Stephen King, Richard Castle (yes I’m aware these books have ghostwriters but I still love them), and Sir Arthur Conan Doyal.

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

Well, the one I’m mostly working on at the moment is When Shadows Fall, the final book in my first series. It’ll be a very battle heavy book and I’m certain there will be a few readers that will yell at me for certain parts of the story.

Once that one is complete I plan to work on either the series about the young hunter or the imaginary friend one. I haven’t decided which one just yet. I do know that I will probably jump back and forth between my series and not focus on getting one particular one done first. I did that with my current series and burned myself out on it. I think the writing will be much easier if I just write what comes to me and finish and publish the books as I get them done. Hopefully, it’ll be less stress that way too.

Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhenShadowsFalllanniesheridan/

Twitter: @LannieSheridan

Instagram: LannieSheridan22

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14754570.Lannie_Sheridan

Fanfiction.net: https://www.fanfiction.net/~ladylanniequeenofgoblins

Archive of Our Own: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Lady_Lannie_Queen_of_Goblins

Deviant Art: https://www.deviantart.com/lady-lannie-qofg

First Book Chat With MK Mancos

Click For Author’s Goodreads

How long did it take you to write your first book?

My first book was written in about 1993 (that’s nineteen ninety-three – the font looks wacky here) on a word processor that only showed maybe four or five lines of type at a time. It had a cartridge and ribbon in it and held I don’t remember how many pages of text before I had to put a piece (single) into the carriage and hit print. It was more of a glorified typewriter. So, given that it took me longer to write than you can imagine. I wrote it, but knew it wasn’t good. Nowhere near ready to publish. I completed it in about 3-6 months, maybe. Then stuck it under a bunch of stuff in a drawer and started on the next book. By this time, we’d purchased our first computer that ran Windows 95. What a revelation that was to my craft. I actually could correct as I went and print later. LOL. Flash forward many books and programs later – to about 2004 (?) I was at the New Jersey Romance Writers annual conference and was going to pitch to TOR books. Well, I hadn’t planned to pitch the book I did, but when I got my pitch envelope it said they wanted PNR. I had planned to pitch and epic fantasy. I had to switch gears and fast. So, I pitched that first book I wrote with the understanding that I had to dust if off and rewrite it. And I did. I started from the first sentence, first word and rewrote the entire book in 3 months. I switched things up and condensed a few characters together. That book was passed on by TOR but I ended up signing it with Samhain. It was released in 2006, I think, and was titled By A Silken Thread. It was a mystery/PNR about near-death experiences.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been a storyteller. To myself, to pass the time. On break between summer and fall I’d sit in my room and type out short stories in junior high and high school. It’s been a dream that I made come true. When I first mentioned it to my fiancé (now husband of 26 years) he encouraged me to make it happen and I haven’t looked back.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

That first book – 2. I wrote that first horrid copy, and then the one I sent to the publisher. There had been about a 10-year gap between revisions and I learned so much in that time and had honed and worked on my craft with other books, so it’s hardly a fair comparison.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

Oddly, the first thing I had published wasn’t the first book I wrote. In between writing By A Silken Thread first and second drafts, I read all kinds of writing publications. Writers’ Journal used to do these writing challenges where they printed the first slug of sentence and the author had to come up with the story behind it. I decided to give it a try. First prize was $50 and first print of your story. The slug I used was “Cars were still going by…” Well, me being me, I couldn’t make that be anything other than dark, so I finished the sentence with, “on the way to the cemetery.” – Thus, the short story “Grave Dancing” was born. I had no idea I’d won the contest until I found a free copy of the magazine in my mailbox one morning. I opened it and there was my printed story with my byline. I was so excited. You’d think I had won a Pulitzer or something. After that I sold an erotic romance novella to Red Sage Publishing.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

I used to be more of a plotter than pantser. Now, I’m an amalgamation of them both. Publishing has changed completely, since I’m mostly publishing indy now and have only 3 pubs I still have books with. I’ve gotten all my rights back to the other books I had with other publishers.

How many books have you published since then?

Somewhere in the 30s. I lost count. Too many coming and going and republishing and such. I have no head for that kind of accounting.

Interview with MK Mancos aka Kathleen Scott, Kate Davison, and Cassie Sweet