Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Author Interview (Page 1 of 62)

Meet Author Michael Melilli

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Michael Melilli

Michael attended Chapman University in Orange, California, where he earned a BFA in Film/TV Writing and Directing. He went on to work for various film and television production companies―including the Jim Henson Company―before landing at PlainJoe Studios in Corona, California. He serves as the Spatial Storytelling Studio Director and helps to tell stories within physical spaces from restaurants to dynamic office spaces to themed children’s facilities and even high profile immersive attractions.

In addition to having circumnavigated the globe and having an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman, Michael is an avid gamer and consumer of story in any form. He currently lives in Corona, California, with his wife Jaimee.

Book Sample:  3point8

Genre:  Dark Fantasy

When Judd Mara learned he was going to be a father, he never could have imagined that he’d lose his entire family before even reaching his daughter’s due date.

Alone and left to face the reality of a life without his family, Judd struggles to deal with the mundane requirements of everyday life while his grief threatens to overwhelm him. It’s in this dark moment that he’s offered a shred of hope; his daughter may still be alive but taken by a supernatural force.

Has he uncovered an ancient evil? Or is he just slowly losing his mind from the loss of his wife and daughter?

As Judd’s investigation leads him down a twisted path, he’ll be forced to decide how far is he willing to go to learn the truth about his daughter and how much of his humanity he’s willing to leave behind.

Inspired by the author’s real-life loss of his newborn daughter, 3point8 is a fictional story which reveals a horrifying truth; that grief can be as destructive as any supernatural being.

Why do you write? I just need to see ideas or character in my mind come to life, to release them. The most satisfying moment of the process for me is when I can sit back, read through a chapter, and I’ve completely forgotten that these were words I put to paper. I crave that experience and love knowing that there will, hopefully, be people out there who are similarly moved or excited by what I’ve written.

When did you decide to become a writer? After college, when I realized writing gave me the most control over the stories I wanted to tell. I’ve always been a storyteller and had a passion for it, but the restrictions that come in other forms of media make it difficult to realize the vision of what I see in my head.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It can vary greatly depending on the book.  3point8 took about six and a half months to get to a first draft. I’ve have other novels that have taken a couple years to complete, mainly because I’ve worked on them in chunks with breaks in between.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I was writing a short story for a creative writing class and realized it was just too big to be a short. Once I started, I fell in love with the characters so much that I knew I had to finish it to see where they ended up.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I tend to start with plot for most of my ideas; typically just a rough idea of the situation that I want to drop characters into. From there, I’ll get a loose idea of where I want to story to go, a rough ending, begin developing characters and fill in the gaps.

I look at it like building a maze. The outer walls go up first with the entrance and ending in place. A few of the interior walls go up next, a few leading from the entrance and a few leading to the exit. Then it’s all about building characters that will interact with the maze well and releasing them, filling in the rest of the maze and they go, responding to the decisions they make, and adjusting as needed. By the end, the maze may look completely different than what I start with.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? Bryce Reyes was kind enough to lend me his immense talent and create the book cover for 3point8. You can see some of his other design on his website: http://www.brycereyes.com/

Any advice for aspiring authors? Read…a lot and often. It’s an absolute necessity.

What is the hardest thing about writing? The discipline of sitting down and actually grinding out the words into the keyboard. Dreaming, imagining and planning is fun, but it’s work to pull all those letters together into coherent chapters. Ironically, this is always the most rewarding part of the process.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? For me it was letting myself really delve into the pain of losing my daughter and being honest about some of the thought I’d had afterwards. It wasn’t an enjoyable place to go and it’s a bit terrifying to be so open about something that painful. I didn’t imagine that monsters were running around stealing babies like my protagonist suspected, but everything else he thinks and wonders about were very much thoughts I had myself.

Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? Stephen King On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft is essential reading for anyone who wants to write or get serious about any creative pursuit. I reread it every few years.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? Write for yourself…don’t worry about what audiences or friends or family will think. The story needs to be one you love and have a passion to tell.

There ya have it folks! Many thanks Michael! For more about Michael, his work, and getting yourself a copy, follow the links below:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Instagram

Meet Author Theron Ray Arnold

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Theron Ray Arnold

Theron Ray Arnold was born in Iowa and raised in Nebraska. His first collection of poetry, Geek Philosophy, was released in 2005. In February of 2017 he published his first novel, Contemplating Mrs. E, and its novella follow-up, The Cenotaph of Cedric Silkyshag (in April). He is currently working on his second novel titled Ron Quixote of Tadpole Heights, a collection of short stories titled Spider Monkey Fishlips, a short film script titled Atheist Soup Kitchen, and a screen adaptation of his first novel titled Chuse Your Inheritance.

Book Sample: Contemplating Mrs. E

               Genre: literary/visionary fiction

               Synopsis: Cedric von Silkyshag, a wannabe writer, spends twelve days at an Omaha, Nebraska, mental health facility for undiagnosed bipolar disorder upon completing his debut novel, Chuse Your Inheritance: The Adventures of Jim Bob Bach & Grampa Goose.

               Excerpt: We sat there fer a spell, neither sayin’ a word. Exchangin’ harmless looks to-’n’-fro. My eyes, nat’rally, strayin’ from hers, even if only fer a moment, off t’ her hair, her neck, her shoulders. The unbridled def’nition of her collarbone. The slightness of her bosoms risin’, then fallin’, with each bashful breath. The obviousness of her bosoms risin’, then fallin’, with each bashful breath. The slightness o’ my stare. The obviousness of her bashfulness. So I come back to her eyes, grossly engrossed. Seein’ her seein’ me seein’ her.

Why do you write? I have no choice; there’s just something inside me that insists on coming out. I ignored it for years, but it finally got the best of me.

When did you decide to become a writer? After the death of my paternal grandfather.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? I started my first novel in late-1998 and worked on it a little here and there, along with my first collection of poetry, until early-2003. Then, in 2009, I finished it, adding one chapter. At least, I thought I’d finished it. In 2013, I actually finished it, adding new elements, but let it sit around and gather dust until self-publishing it thru Amazon in 2017. I wrote the majority of my second novel in less than a month. So, I guess, it varies.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? After deciding I had something I really wanted to say, and after being prodded by others: friends, family members, and former teachers/professors.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I do most of my writing during the winter months and/or at night.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? No, but I often read others’ books while working on my own.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I usually start with a rough outline and brief sketches/remarks, then morph this into a list of possible chapter ideas and titles, then “let ‘er rip.”

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I design my own, as drawing and painting have always come naturally to me.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? Read as much as you can, as many books, stories, poems, and articles you can get your hands on. Check out some of the so-called classics — I started with Daniel Burt’s book titled The Novel 100, then investigated other lists I found on Wikipedia and the local library/ies.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? Though introverted and highly intelligent, he’s compassionate and empathetic. He’s also three-dimensional as he’s based on an actual person. And he’s mentally disturbed.

Where do your ideas come from? My life experiences (with a notion thrown in here and there from the reading of others’ works).

What is your favorite movie or TV show? movie: On Golden Pond or A Clockwork Orange; t.v. show: House, MD (now in syndication and available thru Netflix).

Which writers inspire you? Twain, Whitman, Dickinson, Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov, Orwell, Tolkien, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Ducornet, Kundera, Stegner, Douglas Adams, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, Robertson Davies, Asimov, Beckett, Morrison, China Mieville, Ezra Pound ….

What is the current book you are promoting? Both Contemplating Mrs. E and The Cenotaph of Cedric Silkyshag.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? Ron Quixote is a modern-day morphing of Cervantes’ classic-of-all-classics, Don Quixote; it’s about an unemployed open-mic poet who decides to become like the action-movie heroes/vigilantes he so idolizes in order to win over his crush, a barmaid from the local tavern. Like most of my writing, it employs a great deal of wordplay (paronomasias, portmanteaux, anagrams, telling character names, etc.), allegory, literary and artistic allusions, satire, and a combination of both poetry and prose.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? Ronald Dickinson, the protagonist, though I’m quite fond of his daughter, Samantha, and his sidekick, Firstfloor Pedro (a high school dropout and gifted guitarist). Also: Aunt Shirley (who raised Ron from kindergarten on).

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? I’ve taken three composition courses at three different schools (The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State University, and Nebraska Wesleyan University). Otherwise, I simply read a lot (fifty to eighty books a year).

What is your next project? Finding representation for Ron Quixote and Spider Monkey Fishlips.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Choosing from some of my favorite books I would have to say Huck Finn (my favorite novel), Atticus Finch (for his integrity), Jo March (for her feistiness), O-Lan from The Good Earth and Celie from The Color Purple (for their meek and downtrodden yet unbreakable spirits), most of the characters from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (namely Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox, and Marvin), and Bilbo Baggins (for his small small size yet big big heart).

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? As for writers, I would say either Twain or Whitman. And Emily Dickinson, of course. I’d also love to meet Van Gogh.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I wish I’d written Finnegans Wake, just to mess with everyone (writers, critics, and readers alike). And The Little Prince.  Furthermore, like most geeks, I wish I’d created Tolkien’s Middle-earth and all that it encompasses.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? A writer must do a lot of two things: reading and writing.

Are you currently reading a book or just finished one? I just finished Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner and Nicoteane & Other Foolish Mistakes by a.j.k. o’donnell — I highly recommend both (esp. if you’re into art and poetry) — and I am currently reading The Princess Bride, Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend, Ducornet’s The Jade Cabinet, and Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind.

What do your readers mean to you? Without them, I’d have to question my existence as a writer. To elaborate, the following is from my debut novel, Contemplating Mrs. E:

That which doesn’t boil

Need not be stirred;

That which isn’t shared

Never occurred.

Tell us something unique about you. Three things: when I was a child, I had one of my ears (the lobe, mainly) bitten off and subsequently reattached (this may explain, in part, why I’m so enamored with Van Gogh); I’ve served as Best Man for three different couples; my paternal grandmother’s father (my great-grandfather) and the paternal grandfather of Jerry Mathers, who played Beaver in the hit t.v. show Leave It to Beaver (1957-63), were brothers.

Is there anything else you would like to add? I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to ramble on concerning my writing proclivities; interviewing various writers (esp. those not so well known to the public) and putting the info. on a blog is a fantastic idea.

Many thanks Theron for stopping by! For more about Theron, his work, and getting yourself a copy, follow the links below:

Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Barbara Ann Mojica

Hello! Welcome back to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Barbara Ann Mojica

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss HISTORY character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss HISTORY’S antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

Book Sample: Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT VERNON

Genre: Children’s Nonfiction

               Synopsis: Who was George Washington? Washington is best known as America’s first president, but he was also a military hero. If you asked George Washington what he really wanted to be, he would reply, “a farmer.” Seeking to revolutionize antiquated 18th century farming methods, Washington experimented with crop rotation, fertilizers, plowing and plants. The Mount Vernon Ladies Association began restoring his estate to its former glory in 1853. Today the buildings, grounds and The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center reveal the real Father of the United States of America.

Excerpt: In the foyer of the Mansion House there is a large key enclosed in a glass case. It’s a gift from the Washington’s friend the Marquis De Lafayette. The French people used this key to storm the Bastille prison in 1789 to win their independence.

Why do you write? I write because I am on a mission to make learning about historic events and places  both fun and educational. In addition I hope to encourage children and their parents to get out to visit and experience these sites that are an integral part of history.

When did you decide to become a writer? Actually I’ve always been writing and researching. I have graduate and undergraduate degrees in history with a minor in English, so the writing process is familiar to me. After I retired from a long career in teaching and administration, I had the time to devote to my mission and decided to publish my efforts.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? A book generally takes from four to six months to finish. I begin with the research process followed by an organization of my notes. Next comes a rough draft. I let the draft sit for a week or so before coming back to look again. That process is repeated many times until I am satisfied and ready to go for edit. Then my husband/illustrator takes the manuscript and roughs in ideas for drawing and layout. We corroborate page by page. Sometimes the design changes as the book progresses. When both of us are satisfied, the picture book is sent to print.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I don’t have a set time of day for writing though I divide the day into writing, marketing, and scheduling promotional opportunities like book signings, school visits and book festivals. If I had to choose a time, I would say that I am basically a morning person.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I think that I have learned how to write succinctly. Writing children’s books is a lot different from completing an academic thesis. It forces the writer to get to the point and express it clearly.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? I always listen to music when creating a book, writing an article or reading a book to review. Music is soothing and second nature to me.

What have you written? I write historical articles centering on monthly themes for a local news magazine, The Columbia Insider. My Little Miss HISTORY Travels to… book series is ongoing. Seven books have been published so far. I also released a coloring book based on her adventures. Now I am about to publish a collection of three of Little Miss HISTORY’s New York City adventures in one volume. After that I have a journey to La Brea Tar Pits in the works.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I don’t outline but write a rough draft and refine it over and over again.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I cannot draw a lick! Fortunately, I am married to an illustrator who has been drawing since the age of five. His website is www.eugenus.com

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? Nothing in particular; I use twitter, Facebook, google + and linked in to connect with fans and fellow authors. I also use email lists to keep in touch.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? It probably sounds trite because everyone says it, but it is so important to be persistent and optimistic. I know that is easier said than done, but it is my best advice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? My character is based on a younger version of me. I always loved to travel and hike in the mountains a few hours away from my home. My husband incorporated that, along with the rose colored sunglasses that I used to wear. The hiking boots that are two sizes too big are reminiscent of my father’s large feet and military boots. My outfit is similar to that of a park ranger. Little Miss HISTORY tries to be funny, upbeat, strong and resilient even though she sometimes finds herself in some pretty difficult situations. She is a geeky tomboy, who is also a strong female role model

Where do your ideas come from? I select historical faces and places that reflect the best and worst times in history. My choices strive to develop interest and appreciation for history. I firmly believe in HISTORY’S motto, “ If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”      

What is the hardest thing about writing? The hardest part of writing is letting go and sending a book to print. I agonize over the manuscript and illustrations right up to the time that the book is uploaded for printing.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? My latest book is a trilogy of HISTORY’S New York City adventures to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Intrepid, Sea Air & Space Museum. While the book did not necessitate a lot of change to text, linking the parts together for a smooth transition with illustrations proved a more difficult challenge than I had expected.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? Of course Little Miss HISTORY would be the main character. I would cast her as a teenager, but offhand I can’t think of a contemporary actress for the part.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? George Washington because he had such courage and tenacity. He also had the good sense to know that the world did not need another king.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? Yes, I try to visualize myself in the guise of a young reader. It is fun to critique in the eyes of a child again.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? The Wizard of Oz because it is magical and realistic at the same time.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? Nothing is ever perfect. There is always room for improvement.

What are some of your favorite books and why? The Good Earth and To Kill a Mockingbird are two of my favorite classics. I enjoy Clive Cussler and John Grisham’s books. As far as children’s books are concerned, I love Amelia Bedelia books and classics like Charlotte’s Web.

What do you read with? (Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, physical book) I still enjoy holding a paperback in my hands, but because I read and review so many books for my blog, I frequently use my Kindle Fire.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? I think that self-publishing levels the playing field for authors. Traditional publishers usually have a set agenda and a limited repertoire of what can be published at a particular point in time. If a writer doesn’t fit that niche, he or she doesn’t have much chance to be selected. In today’s market, the author does most of the publicity whether traditionally published or not.

Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? Five years ago, I would say yes. While some doors remain closed to self-published or small press authors, the public is beginning to realize the value of GOOD self-published works. Modern readers know what they want to read; they prefer to choose for themselves rather than be dictated to by a few large publishing houses

What do your readers mean to you? I consider my readers personal friends and love to chat with them at book festivals, historic sites, schools, museums or online.

Tell us something unique about you. Like Little Miss HISTORY I am an adventurous traveler. I traveled to Communist European countries when travel there first opened up to the West. My American tour bus got held up at Checkpoint Charlie at the Berlin wall for more than two hours. We passed the time by singing Yankee Doodle Dandy. That whole tour to Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany was a truly memorable experience.

Many thanks Barbara for sharing! For more about Barbara, her work, and getting yourself a copy, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Twitter / LinkedIn / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / CreateSpace / BookTrailer / Forums / YouTube1 / YouTube2 / Google

Meet Author Michelle Dennise

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Michelle Dennise

Michelle is a new indie author from Australia. She lives with her husband and two children, a dog and an aviary full of budgies. She enjoys reading historical fiction and creating stories in the hope of bringing some reading enjoyment and the occasional giggle to young children.

Book sample:  Where’s My Sandwich?

Genre: Children 2 years up

Synopsis: Where’s My Sandwich? Is about a girl and her dog who go on a picnic. When Nellie’s sandwich goes missing, she sets out through the Australian Bush to find the one who took it. Along the way she meets some Australian animals and learns a little about what they eat. However, this is not an educational focused story and doesn’t not go into detail about what the animals eat.

Why do you write? I loved to read from the moment I learnt how to as a child. I really was a bookworm. I grew up dreaming of becoming an author and I am loving that I am finally living my dream. I write because it has always been something I’ve enjoyed. I love writing for children because I know how much I loved reading as a child but I also know many children do not like reading for one reason or another and so I hope my books engage children as they interact with the stories and bring a few giggles along the way in the hope of sparking their interest in books.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? Once I get a storyline in my mind I can finish the draft story within a week. Depending on any adjustments I want to make it can be up to two weeks for the final draft. I do my own illustrations and that part takes me awhile. I do not call myself an illustrator as I cannot draw. Lucky for me I like simple illustrations that look like a child has drawn them and I have found kids seem to like them as well.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I hadn’t really thought about bringing my childhood dream to life for a long time. Real life keeps me busy but one day I was talking with my boss about books and I mentioned my dream and several times after that conversation he asked me if I’ve started writing my book yet. I would laugh it off but the thought was planted and so one day I thought “why not?”

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  As a mother of two, my life is pretty busy, add to that work and study and it’s near impossible to have a structured time for writing. I basically allow thoughts to bounce around in my mind until I come up with a storyline then I will write down my ideas and go from there. Sometimes I come up with a story quickly while other times it takes a while longer. For example with my current book, Where’s My Sandwich? The title popped into my head one day but it was weeks later before I had an actual story line.

What have you written? I currently have two eBooks published – The Mixed Up Pet Shop and I Have a Voice Too. I have two more written that are not yet published and another 2 ideas bouncing around in my mind. Later this year I am planning on releasing The Mixed Up Pet Shop in paperback with fresh illustrations (this was my first book and the illustrations make me cringe). Both these eBooks are available to download for free.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I like to see where an idea takes me. I have a busy mind that’s always coming up with stories so I run with my imagination.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? If it is something you want to do then do it. Don’t let someone tell you, you can’t. Every author is different, we all have our own ideas of what makes a great story. Some are in it for a career, some for stardom, while others just want to share their stories and hopefully bring some reading enjoyment to a few people. With the option to self-publish today, there is really nothing to hold you back.

Where do your ideas come from? Oh anywhere lol. I find a story playing out in my mind all the time just from everyday things like I may see or hear something that catches my attention and minutes later there’s my mind creating a storyline.

What is your favorite movie or TV show? I don’t watch a lot of tv as I prefer to read but recently I enjoyed Heartland and Little House on the Prairie (perhaps that’s fitting given I enjoy reading historical fiction).

Which writers inspire you? I wouldn’t say they inspire me to write but I truly enjoy Mary Connealy’s books. I’ve read every one and she never fails to make me laugh. I love how she gets her humor woven into the story. I also enjoy Tamera Alexander, Tracie Peterson, Karen Witemeyer and a few others of the same genre. I’m fairly picky with what I like to read and I can’t pick up anything and read it. Once I’m stuck on a genre that is pretty much all I read.

What is the current book you are promoting? I am currently working on a Cover Reveal Facebook Party for my first paperback – Where’s My Sandwich? I will attach the invitation as it is an open invitation and everyone is invited. There will be guest authors, interviews, book promos, Q&As, competitions and giveaways.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? I am getting ready to release another book shortly after Where’s My Sandwich? This one is actually the very first story I wrote but I went on to release the others first. I’m not quite sure why, maybe the others just distracted me but I am really excited about it. This one is called Where are you Baby Bird? And it was inspired by my love for birds. I raise budgies and I get a daily dose of entertainment and joy from watching them so I thought they can be the star of my book. The story is about Baby Bird going missing one day and Mummy Bird sets out to find him. I believe the story will draw the kids in to interact with it, guessing where he is, and feeling the emotions Mummy Bird feels.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? No I don’t have any formal education although I do remember receiving an award back in high school that gave me access to a short story writing class. While that’s not formal education it was a memorable award. Which reminds me I did write and have my very first story published in a book with several other authors back when I was only 14! It was only a one page short story about the history of the local area. I often forget that lol and must find myself a copy of it.

What is your next project? The next thing I want to do is release The Mixed Up Pet Shop in paperback with fresh illustrations. I am also thinking about the possibility of releasing this story in a DIY illustrations color book. I know from the many downloads and reviews that this book has been successful so I am looking forward to its official release later this year.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I love this question but it’s a hard one to answer. I must say if I could meet any of them I truly would love to meet the ones from Mary Connealys and Tamera Alexanders books. One memorable character in one of Tameras books was Adelicia Cheltham, although she was a real person. I did admire her boldness and strength.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? Just one thing…hmm..I would restore peace where everyone got along and showed kindness, therefore reducing world hunger and poverty as we would all work together and help one another. It would restore the true sense of family and community.

Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite? While I have read and enjoyed every one of Mary Connealy and Tamera Alexanders books my favorites would be The Kincaid Brides series by Mary Connealy (they are so funny) and I can’t decide which series I liked best from Tamera Alexander so I’ll name them both – Fountain Creek Chronicles and Timber Ridge Reflections.

What are some of your favorite books and why? One of my ultimate favorite reads was The Heirs of Montana series by Tracie Peterson. This is a 5 book series which is a long story but it was excellent. It started with the main character as a child and finished into adulthood. Each book focused on a different main character but the originals were in there as well. It came with different emotions and it is one series I am quick to recommend.

What do you read with? (Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, physical book) I prefer a physical book….There’s nothing like a paperback! But I do use the kindle app and ibooks.

What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? I can’t say I have had any experience with traditional publishing but I don’t like how you can have your book rejected. Who says your story isn’t good enough! We all have different interests and ideas and there will always be someone out there that would enjoy it. That’s what I like about self-publishing, I publish my work, my way, and if only a few people enjoy it, I consider that a success. Reality is you can’t please everyone.

Are you currently reading a book or just finished one? I have just finished reading Maggie Brennans Heart of the West series.

What do your readers mean to you? I write children’s books for ages 2 up. I think it is important to encourage reading from a young age although not all kids like to read for one reason or another and I completely understand this having a child with ASD and processing difficulties myself, reading and comprehending the story isn’t an easy task and therefore hinders reading from being enjoyable. I hope to encourage children to read through my cute and sometimes funny stories. My books are not educational focused and so I hope children get some light reading enjoyment out of them and want to read another book. My readers mean a lot to me because without them my books go unread. I do hope to help children who do not like to read to find it more enjoyable and for those who love to read I hope they enjoy my books enough to read another.

Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others? A children’s book I loved as a kid and read so often I knew it off by heart is “The Big Block of Chocolate” by Janet slater Redhead.

Many thanks Michelle! For more about Michelle, her work, and getting yourself a copy, follow the links below. Also be sure to attend her book reveal party:

Facebook / Goodreads / Smashwords

Meet Author Alyse Nennig

Hello! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Alyse Nennig

Alyse Nennig is a full time health care professional living in rural Wisconsin with her farmer husband, five rambunctious children, and energetic black lab. She usually writes when the kiddos are sleeping but takes notes anytime an idea comes to mind. Her favorite genres are paranormal romance, crime, fictional history and mystery but if the story is interesting then genre doesn’t matter.

Book sample:  Never Again, Book of Origins Volume One

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Erotica

Synopsis:  All vampires were once human. Who says they can’t be again?

Carrying invisible wounds from a tragic childhood, Hannah Jacobs doesn’t allow herself to fall in love – until she meets John Trott. Sexy as hell, charming, and sensitive, she immediately finds herself drawn to him and, within days, giving him her heart. Twice broken, John effortlessly makes her heart whole again, except Hannah’s buried fear threatens to shatter it once more as dangerous circumstances reveal dark secrets.

One is a vampire and the other a vampire hunter, making a relationship impossible as they’ve been labeled natural enemies throughout history. A witch’s journal, however, tells a much different tale. Centuries old it holds a dark and troubled past with a cure and prophecy, giving Hannah and John a future.

But, it’s one they’ll never see…if she has a shattered heart.

Sample:  Ringing….ringing….ringing….”Hi John. Checking in are we?” asked Price.

“Good morning to you too, Price.” I answered halfheartedly.

“Uh oh, you don’t sound too enthused. Have you talked to Hannah yet like I advised?”

“Yes, I did. We met for coffee yesterday, but didn’t have the opportunity to buy any.”

“What happened?” Price asked with concern in his voice.

“Well…we, ah, linked hands and then something strange happened to both of us. I’d rather not get into detail right now, but, needless to say, we spent the entire day and night together. She only left a little while ago to get ready for work.”

“And now you have to suffer with a painful heart until you see her again, am I right?”

“Completely, and I can’t take anything to numb the pain because you know what happens.”

“Yes. I remember you tried that in the sixties and seventies. Not one medication or narcotic worked. Your blood just diluted everything; same for the alcohol. You tried so hard to get drunk during Woodstock but it barely affected you.” Price said, reminiscing to when he was a child and my secret was under the care of his father before being passed to him.

“And some would say that is an advantage, but not if you are drinking to numb the pain.” Sighing heavily, we both let brief silence linger before I continued. “Have you found anything in the books yet?”

“I haven’t translated much else but found a lead on another book. There’s just one problem. I called the college library in Virginia I traced it to and they haven’t been able to locate that book for over a decade. It was last checked out and returned by an Andrew Jacobs but, since it was technically returned, they couldn’t say he still had it. It was deemed lost in the system.”

“Price, did I really hear you say the words Virginia and Jacobs?” I asked skeptically.

“Why? Is there something I should know?” Price asked, sounding more hopeful than he did before.

“Hannah is from Virginia and when I researched her parents deaths the names that came up were….” I paused for a second, almost not believing what I was about to say. “They were Penelope and Andrew Jacobs.” And then dead silence ensued.

“Do you think she knows – ?” Price began.

Quickly interrupting his train of thought, I retorted “no….well, I don’t know. Maybe. She hasn’t given me any reason to believe she would.”

“Okay, let’s forget I asked. But if these two Andrews are one and the same then let’s say for arguments sake that somehow he still had the book. With him dead his belongings would resort to Hannah. Is there any chance she would still have it in her possession?”

Letting this hypothetical talk sink in I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. Knowing that this missing book could hold the key to a future with Hannah I told Price where to

find her.

“Price, you will find Hannah at the Jefferson Memorial Library this morning. I think she is done at noon but you best leave now in case you do find it. Chances are she has the book or at the least knows its whereabouts. She may have had a hard life with her father but based on how she talked about him this morning she loved him and wouldn’t just let everything go. I am positive she has kept some things to remember her parents by.”

Stunned Price said, “Now I think I am hearing things, though it could be my getting older. Did you say Jefferson Memorial Library?”

“Yes. Why?”

“I know you don’t believe in coincidences but how about fate or destiny because I am already there,” he answered.

“You must be joking. Tell me you are joking, Price.” I snapped at him.

“Before you called I was already coming up to the library entrance. There is a reference for a student’s paper I need to crosscheck before entering a final grade. Like I said, maybe it’s fate or destiny. Maybe we are meant to look inside that book. Otherwise why would Hannah and I be in the same place at the same time?”

“You are probably right, as usual. Well, when you get inside look for a woman with deep chestnut hair, big sea blue eyes, and a heart shaped face. She will be the most beautiful one there,” I advised Price, smiling as I did so. Just the thought of her was making my heart go wild but at least it didn’t hurt.

“Alright, I will try to be tactful but depending on how much she knows I can’t promise anything. You know, if we are lucky she would have tucked the book away on a shelf that rarely sees visitors. A library this size would be the perfect hiding place for a book you don’t want found.”

“Yes, I suppose it would. Well you best get in there and be careful on approaching her. Her past is something she doesn’t openly share with others.”

“I see. But, ah, she did with you?” Price softly asked, not sure if he should have in the first place.

“Yes, she did. But I will give you details after you get that book. I need to know what our options are,” I replied.

“Okay, I won’t press you further but don’t sit by the phone waiting. I will call you after I’m done here. Bye John.”

“Good bye.” Ending the phone call several emotions ran through me at once. I was elated at being so close to this book Price says could be the key to everything, but was also

apprehensive about what it will tell us. Most of all I feared that Hannah may know about the world I was born into, making me wonder if she would accept me for who I am no matter our

feelings for each other. I suppose we shall find out soon enough.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Around Halloween of 2014 a co-worker asked me to read the short story she bought because she didn’t like its ending and wanted my opinion. Liking many of the same books as her I read it and completely agreed with her. It was a good story but not at all what we expected. In hearing us complain about it my second co-worker joked that if we didn’t like how it ended we should rewrite it. Thinking it would be fun to create my own world instead, soon after I began work on the prologue for Never Again. People I knew loved it so I kept writing and now I’m trying to see if others will love it too.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Unless it’s something for kids I usually need relative silence. I’d become too distracted to think if it’s something I’d pick for myself.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I use a little of both. I at least have a plot decided on within my first chapter but for me a full outline is too restrictive. If I get an unexpected idea from life or from what I’ve already written I’d rather see where it takes the story than scratch it because it doesn’t fit the outline. After all, sometimes the best things in life are unexpected so why can’t that be true about writing.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I use Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. I love working with her. Visit her at www.okaycreations.com.

Where do your ideas come from? The book in the series, the characters and the back story all come from my likes and dislikes, my life experiences, my friends, and my family tree to make Hannah and John’s world feel real. Everything else in the series can be connected to anything, from music I love and books I’ve read to something someone said to me. Sometimes I even get an idea from my kids’ bad behavior!

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I struggled with writing a book description. It sounds like a silly problem to have after completing 27 chapters but the happy medium between saying too much and saying too little eluded me. I had drafts upon drafts varying in length and approaches but my beta readers and I felt nothing worked, so I took a mental break. Upon revisiting my drafts I reworked the one with the most promise and wrote a fresh one. Then I let my beta readers go to work again and ended up combining the two. It was because of them that I was able to keep Never Again on track for publication.

What is the current book you are promoting? Never Again, Book of Origins Volume One

What is your next project? Family Again, Book of Origins Volume Two. As Hannah and John’s story continues they travel to Bohemia to find the cure’s last ingredient. An encounter with the original vampire, however, leaves Hannah in Bohemia and John back in New York. While separated Hannah decides to pick the brain of her captor and discovers a misunderstanding over 800 years old.

Many thanks Alyse for sharing! For more about Alyse, her work, and getting yourself a copy, follow the links below:

Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / CreateSpace

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