Mercedes Fox ~ Author

My Writing Blog

Tag: Coming of Age

Meet Author Rich Israel

Hola, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Rich Israel

RICH ISRAEL was born in December 1945. The baby boomer generation officially began January 1, 1946, so Rich likes to say he was sent ahead as a scout to prepare the way.

Raised in a middle-class Jewish household in Sacramento, he spent his college years at the University of California, Davis, campus, where he initially studied engineering, then transferred to biological sciences because of his love for nature. After graduating, he worked for the entomology department at the university for a year, then dropped out and embarked on many of the adventures described in his writings.

In the early 1970s, Rich coauthored the first back-to-the-land book for his generation—a self-published guide titled Homesteaders Handbook. He went on to study natural medicine and worked in the natural foods industry for a dozen years. In 1991, he authored The Natural Pharmacy Product Guide, which remained on the Nutri-Books “Top Ten List” of health books for four months.

Rich is currently working on Trippin’, the second book in his Hippie Adventurer series. He lives with his wife, Doris, in Boulder, Colorado.

Enjoy this book sample:  Groovin’: Horses, Hopes, and Slippery Slopes

Genre: Memoir/Adventure/Coming of Age

Synopsis: In this spirited coming-of-age memoir, Rich Israel takes us on his journey of self-discovery during the trans-formative sixties. Eschewing societal norms, he hitchhikes across the country, tries his hand at mining, works at a circus, and rides a horse hundreds of miles through the Rocky Mountain wilderness—all the while, the draft and Vietnam War are nipping at his heels.

Join Rich and his canine companion, Charlie, as they meet one colorful character after another, from a rifle-toting hippie to a loudmouthed carnival boss to a sultry flower child, whose bewitching powers lead to lust and longing—and heartbreak. A consummate storyteller, Rich peppers his writing with wit and sensitivity, as well as insights often revealed through mind-blowing acid trips.

If you were there during this unique period in our history, Groovin’ is certain to spark treasured memories. If not, you will get to enjoy the flavor and exhilaration associated with catching that phenomenal wave.

Why do you write?  I believe I have something of value to offer. My first two books were how-tos designed to help people learn self-sufficiency skills and improve their health. I wrote my latest book, Groovin’, to share entertaining, humorous stories and offer younger people a glimpse into that remarkable time. A number of readers who rode that amazing wave have gotten in touch to thank me for sparking their own wild memories.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  The sixties were a free, exciting time for me. I collected a number of unique, humorous stories and found that people enjoyed them. You can find plenty of books on the history of that period, but I wanted to offer a sense of what it was like to live during those trans formative years. I also wanted my daughter to understand some of the events that shaped me.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  I write best in the morning, but if it isn’t going well and I’m not enjoying it, I take a break. I don’t force it. I also keep a notepad next to the bed because sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about a particular episode. When I’m reliving a story, I want to capture the feelings I’m experiencing while they’re fresh. Here’s a tip: If writing in bed, use a good gel pen so you can write while holding a pad in an upright position. (Pentel EnerGel pens work well.)

Any advice for aspiring authors? If you have an idea for a story, write it down. If you think of details for that story, write them down. You can always piece things together and refine your writing later.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  At first it was the worry that my words and humor would be lost in the editing process. Fortunately, I had the brilliant Sandra Jonas at as my final editor. I found I could trust her suggestions, fighting only for important items I felt essential to my story.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  I’ve always loved Westerns, having been raised on Roy Rogers, Bonanza, and Rawhide. Their influence led to my pipe-dream-induced, month-long, hippie horse trip through the Rocky Mountain wilderness, documented in Groovin’.

Which writers inspire you?  Those who paint vivid pictures with their words, allowing their readers to immerse themselves in every scene and know the characters on an emotional level. There are quite a few great authors, but Raymond Chandler comes to mind. Though it’s only background to his stories, he really gives you a feel for Los Angeles in the thirties and forties.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser?  I’m working on a sequel to Groovin’ called Trippin’: Road, Rails and Mountain Trials, scheduled for release in the fall of 2017. Here’s a synopsis:

In book 2 of his Hippie Adventurer Series, Rich takes us on another wild ride during the 1960s as he and Charlie, his faithful canine companion, hitchhike, hop freights, work in an Alaskan gold mining camp, and manage a Sacramento Valley cattle ranch.

Together with his off-the-wall friends, he explores altered states, sentiments, and perspectives while freestyling through life with passion and enthusiasm. And, just like in his first book, Groovin’, Rich’s powerful, heart-on-his-sleeve thirst for love propels him into one unexpected situation after another.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  Convince everyone on the planet to find the place in their hearts where compassion and tolerance reside. If this were to happen, wars and injustice would cease to exist!

Where do you come up with your stories?  From living them. All my stories are true, though a few may be hard to believe. I am fortunate to possess a remarkable memory of the sixties.

Do you have any fur babies to brag about? In this book and the next, my trusty dog Charlie accompanies me everywhere. She (yes, “she”) was with me in the sixties and seventies, but most of my life, I’ve had a canine companion. My current darling is Sophie.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  Persistence and attention to detail are key to creating works you can be proud to release.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  Never. Although I believe sex scenes should be executed with some class, it is a very natural subject and should not produce shame.

What do your readers mean to you?  My readers are the reason I write, period! If I can’t entertain them and hopefully give them more than a few belly laughs, then what’s the point? Nothing is more fulfilling than having people tell me they’ve enjoyed my stories.

Tell us something unique about you.  I have a secret talent—I speak cow-talk! See next question.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?  Check out my website and sign up for my blog to receive my bimonthly musings and stories that can enhance the quality of your life. Everyone who signs up will receive a link to a video clip showing off my unique talent.

There ya have it folks! Many thanks Rich! For more about Rich, his work, and to get your own copy, follow the links below:

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon

Meet Author Angel M.B. Chadwick

Hola lovelies! Welcome back to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Angel M.B. Chadwick

Angel M.B. Chadwick is currently writing the sequel to the “Weeping Well” series, titled “Weeping Well: Shards to the Grave.” She’s also writing a twelve book cozy mysteries series, numerous plays, novels, short stories, among her other literary works, business ideas and inventions all while raising her ten year old son.

She currently lives in Mississippi, in a quaint little house on the corner, in a quiet neighborhood in the city, where she is constantly and relentlessly plagued by inspiration.

Enjoy this sample: Weeping Well (Vol. 1)

The story is set in 1989-2007 and starts with an Irish immigrant family, who are destroyed by tragedy.

Why do you write?  It’s what I’m good at.

When did you decide to become a writer?  When I was 13 and my English teacher encourage me to continue writing after I wrote a short story assignment.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  2-5 years

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  I always have something to say and the way I can say it without caring about who I offend or disappoint is when I write.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  No. I write when I feel like it.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I’ve become a little more comfortable with share my stories with the world.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  Yes. But I tend to block those things out when I’m writing.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  I strategize ideas, storylines and characters. So I don’t follow the plot and outline format that other authors do. Strategizing works for me.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  My character Eva thrives in the darkness. So do I.

Where do your ideas come from?  My own life experiences.   

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Not being able to finish writing the book when I want to.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Nothing was hard about writing it. Not being able to finish it when I wanted to was the hardest.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  Grimm, Underground, Greenleaf, The Flash, Mercy Street, Arrow, DC Legends of Tomorrow, Teen Wolf to name a few.

Which writers inspire you?  Edgar Allan Poe, Bret Harte, Tennessee Williams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, William Faulkner, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck to name a few.

What is the current book you are promoting?  Weeping Well (Vol. 1)

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  I don’t have a favorite. I like all my characters.

There ya have it! For more about Angel and her work, follow the links below:

Amazon / Goodreads / Blog / Facebook

Meet Author Danni Williams AKA Author Ellie Williams

Halo lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Danni Williams AKA Author, Ellie Williams

Ellie is not only an Author, she is also the CEO & Founder of the Online Entertainment Blog, the Author2Author Blog Chat.

She also started a Foundation in memory of her son’s Alex called ‘The Alexander Rise Project’.

Ellie also owns her own Game shop in the centre of Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taff.

Ellie is also a Blogger, Promoter, Radio Host, Gamer, and Entrepreneur.

Book blurb: Chasing Fears – Book One of the A Broken Paradise Series

If fighting for freedom means chasing your fears, then that’s what she’ll do.
Awen Morgan, ‘washed up’ actress from Mumbles Swansea hasn’t worked in years or left the house for that matter. After her public meltdown, her father kept her hidden and safe within the family home, away from prying eyes, stupid guys, and evil talkers. She was too important for anything to happen to her now. But she’s unable to control her urges. She’s dangerous to the world, a danger to herself, and the evil within her aims to claim her with all its glory and slowly but surely destroy this world in her image.
Casius they call her, the evil fiend from a netherworld, chained and laid barren in the flesh of this poor girl for eternity, or until Awen takes her where she needs to be.
The locals labelled her weird and unusual. The stories built up around her make her the local Freak, A Witch, A Satan Lover, and to some a great Succubus; and that’s just some of the names they call her.
Awen finally escapes the town and goes on a journey of self-discovery only to be faced with danger and utter terror in the path of her escape. There really was truth in the rumours surrounding her and her family, and her father was right to keep her locked away.
Can this be coincidence or is she being hunted by something greater than the beast?
In any case, she flees to America where her friends live, in hope for some clarity and peace to find out just who she really is.

If you use a Pen Name, why did you choose it? It was always a nickname of mine in my late teens. Many of my friends shortened my name and began calling me Elle or Elzi. I was going through a transitional phase and I rather liked the change in name so I went with it. My original Pen name before publishing I was actually thinking of calling myself Lady Seren. However, later changed it to Ellie as it was an Alias of mine to most of my friends and people I met. I liked the name I guess you could say. I never liked my real name growing up, I hated Dannielle and I had so much trouble with people spelling it the right way it only got more distasteful for me as I grew up. I even contemplated having my name changed legally but as I got older and after I used the name for my work, I decided I’d shorten my name to Danni which I now prefer unless of course, people call me Ellie lol I answer to either or nowadays.

Why do you write? I guess I love too. I always have since I was a little girl. I began writing poetry when I was about 8. I used to watch a film and then do a poem about it, it’s how I started out. Then as I got older I did fan fiction of my favourite boy bands, actors and so on. I used to write little short stories as well but it wasn’t until a written English exam when I was 13 that I actually wrote an idea for what is now my book series A Broken Paradise.

When did you decide to become a writer? It was around the time I had completed book two of my series. My son was with us, he gave me the inspiration and the courage to publish my work. My son was very severely disabled due to clinical negligence at birth. Myself and my parents looked after him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no help from anyone, it was a very dark time of my life not because of his disability or that I had to look after him, but because it happened to him and there was nothing I could do about it. I lacked in faith, I was broken and very much alone, even though my family was there with me I still felt alone and I felt like such a let down for Alex and not being able to protect him or give him an explanation to why this happened to him. Awen and the A Broken Paradise Series was like an outlet, a getaway for me. But also something Alex inspired me to continue and publish. He loved me to read to him, even if he couldn’t understand what I was saying, the expression and my voice as I spoke to him made him smile. I dedicated this series to him and hopefully one day I will complete them for him.

What genre are your books? These books are Dystopian, Paranormal Romance, Epistolary, Adventure, Coming of age, Science Fiction, Fantasy, my god loads of genres are in this lol I love a bit of everything.

What draws you to this genre? I guess I’m a massive fan of fantasy, science Fiction and Paranormal. I am a big sucker for romance also.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? A month or so. Lucky I had already written most of the A Broken Paradise Series when I had begun writing them again in 2006. Both books one and two were almost 900 pages long. When Chasing Fears and The Alliance were first published they were 700 and 600+ pages long book one took my about 3 months and book two only took me 2 weeks lol it varies for me I guess. This time round all I’ve done to the original Chasing Fears and The Alliance is revamp them, changed a few things and split them into their own books. At the moment book, one has split into 4 books. And I’m yet to accomplish, but I’m confident that I’ll more than likely have at least 9 or 10 books out this year of the A Broken Paradise Series. Not to forget the three other projects I’m collaborating on with my mum, Author SM Williams (Newbie), Several Welsh Authors we’re doing an anthology of Welsh tales, and also working on a project with Author, Katie Mayo Jackson. All in which are almost completed.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The fact that if I keep something inside for too long it’s only a matter of time before it bursts to get out. My head won’t such up, I won’t be able to sleep, I’ll get anxiety and all sorts if I don’t listen to the voice in my head and do what they tell me to do lol Whoa! Wait! That don’t sound right lol 😛 *wink wink*

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? Whenever I can. I have a 15-month old child and one on the way, I go swimming almost every day, I take her for walks, we go out with my parents on little visits. I take my iPad with me sometimes my laptop depending on how long I’m out for, and I just work whenever and wherever I can lol

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? I’ve got smarter lol. I do a lot now whereas I could just about handle getting out of bed in the morning. I’ve almost certainly grown up. I read more as well as write, I love to get inside other people’s minds and just be a part of a world I never created, it gives you that sense of excitement because you don’t know what’s around the corner, I love that. But I also love people, I now love how people think, how people act in certain situations, I love romance and yes it’s terrible but I love sadness too because it reminds me to be human, to be normal. When you write, you forget the world around you in so many ways, all our thinking about it the world your creating and sometimes that can be a massive part of your everyday life as well. It’s a lovely way to get back to reality, or rather a different reality to your own. I’ve grown enough now where I’m not just Danni, I’m a mum of two and one on the way, I’m someone’s fiancé, sister, daughter, best friend, I’m a businesswoman, I’m a writer, I’m a blogger, I’m a reader, I’m a gamer, I do home courses on Physiology and on my second year of finishing my BA in English Lit, I do a lot of things by day, and to do all that I must have grown somehow. And I owe it to the world of Writing and Reading and of course all my Author Friends I’ve met along the way. I think my creativity has grown massively since 2006. Looking back, it shows me all of these things I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? All of the above. Music mainly, it’s my inspiration. I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? Sometimes, but mainly I work with the characters. I sit and I create them first, then they tell me where to go.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? Yes, in the past I’ve designed all my book covers. There’s only one recently and that’s the book with my mum, The Reapers. I’ve had outside help for that one. My first book covers to the A Broken Paradise Series I drew with pencil and paper. These revamp I’ve actually used photos from Pixabay and used Paint Brush templates from Deviantart.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? Kindle Unlimited lol I enrolled Chasing Fears into that and within 4 days I’d almost sold 100 copies. It’s not a fixed solution but I’m also constantly plugging it anywhere I can for people to see it, either on Twitter, facebook or my blog. I also apply to sites for help with promoting to their readers. There are so awesome ladies out there who will help you. I also ask if peeps wanna read and review. Honest reviews mind, I don’t do any of that crap where people are buying reviews. I only want honest and original feedback, I’d never go down that road ever.

Any advice for aspiring authors? Be prepared for disappointments, not even the biggest bestselling Authors made it overnight. Focus on what makes you happy, your readers will follow. It’s not all about getting to number one, enjoy this ride. And remember to always help support your fellow Author, and they’ll support you. We all gotta stick together in this, we were all where you are now and one day soon you’ll be standing where we are, or even higher than we are. Just have faith in yourself, take bad reviews as healthy good constructive criticism, not everyone is going to like what you write, just take it on the chin and move on 😉

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special? Oh, nothing really other than she’s a descendant from the first human kind, tainted by Ancient Alien DNA. She is the first of four that were prophesized as the second coming of their predecessor. They are destined to rule the whole of the SSCC (Secret Sanctum of Created Civilizations) and Earth. Awen’s just a lost twenty-five-year-old that wished she was normal when normalcy comes about she’s conflicted to what she really wants. She hates her destiny but finds it hard not to love her life, she’s surrounded by awesome people who help her grow into her new life as a prophet and become her ambassadors. Or as biblical terminology would have it, her disciples.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Time. Finding time, having time, accepting wasted time. Time waits for no man.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I writing in so many different people’s perspective, I guess remembering the style of writing and the way they speak can get a little difficult sometimes.

Which writers inspire you? William Shakespeare, H.G.Wells, J R Tolkien, Stephen King, James Patterson, David Eddings, Janice Harrell, Jostein Gaarder, Sue Townsend, Terri Pratchett, Tom Clancy, Victoria Valentine, Georgina Hannan, Katie-Mayo Jackson, Jason Mott.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? Probably Tess. She’s such the girl next door, she’s so beautiful in and out, she hardly feels like she deserves to be with the Alliance, in Awen’s presence. She’s so down to Earth, so innocent, I myself wanna give her a hug haha. But you don’t meet her until Books 5 and 6.

Who is your least favorite character and why? I don’t really have one. No matter how nasty and fuscous they are in the books, they’re all amazing in their own little ways.

What is your next project? The Reapers with my mum (SM Williams), finishing my Guardian Series with Katie- May Jackson, and the Anthology with the Welsh Authors.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? William Shakespeare. To ask about his work and put old rumours to bed.

What are some of your favorite books and why? Macbeth – William Shakespeare – It was the first book I ever got. My Nana Williams gave it to me for my 5th birthday. Of course, at the time I could only sit and listen to her as she read it to me, however, by the time I was 8 years old I could read it myself. I fell in love with all Shakespeare plays, I have all his publications in one way or another.

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. What an epic concept philosophy is when told to a 14-year-old girl. When I first read this it confused me ha-ha I have to admit. Although, when I went back to it one summer in my 20’s I suddenly began to grip its meaning. Another Author who challenged my mind and gave me the love of literature.

The Secret Diary Series by Janice Harrell. I loved these books, they were my first Series I had read as a Teenager, before then I was only reading novella’s, short stories, Goosebumps and educational books. Also writing my own.

Thinner by Stephen King. The first book of Stephen King I read and that was because my sister Emma was/ and still is obsessed with his works. She had read the books hundreds of times before I took it off her hands. She has all his books, and now today, I do too. The version my sister had was published in 85, I was just a toddler at the time, my sister was just 10 ha-ha.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend. Was one of my first assignments in High School English. I loved this book through and through, not gender-specific that I could relate to Adrian Mole, just the fact that I was almost his age at the time of reading it. It was funny, and age appropriate I think for form 1-2 high school English.

What book are you currently reading or just finished? January Valentine’s Agony of being me. I’ve just moved on to book to Finding You.

Thanks so much Ellie! For more about Ellie and her work, follow the links below:


Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Goodreads / Pinterest / Amazon / Smashwords / BookTrailer / Instagram / YouTube / Google

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