Past Interviews

 November 2013 Interview

                                       Interview with Author J.D. Brown

 J.D. Brown is the author of Dark Heirloom, released on March 31, 2012, and Dark Liaison which was released on May 31, 2013. Though I have read and reviewed both of these wonderful books, I haven't had the pleasure to "pick" Brown's brain. Now I have the chance. 

Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Dark Heirloom follows the misadventure of a young woman named Ema Marx as she stumbles fangs-first into the world of vampirism. She has no idea how she became a vampire, but she’s convinced the guy who kidnapped her is to blame. Yet, he keeps asking her how it happened. Dark Liaison is the sequel where Ema has to fight a major baddy that she accidently unleashed in the first book.
I really love vampires, ever since I read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, but more recent works always seem to focus on the clumsy fragile human and I was tired of it. I wanted to read a book where the vampire was the main character, and all the other characters where vampires too. Really, I just wanted to give my readers an “up close and personal” look at what I thought the vampire world might be like.
What do you consider your ideal writing conditions?
Home alone, surrounded by silence. I can’t even listen to music while I write, it’s too distracting. I’m very comfortable in my own company, alone with my thoughts. Coffee is a must! Sometimes I’ll get a snack too.
Are you a plotter, a pantser or some combination of both?
I’m a combination, but I think I lean a little more toward pantser because no matter how hard I try to stay organized, something always ends up changing and then my characters take over and all my notes and outlines go out the door. I’m not a writer, I’m just a vessel through which my characters write because they don’t have a physical form.
Name one of your all-time favorite movies.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It makes me laugh every time and I love to laugh!
Describe one of your favorite characters and tell us who you patterned them after and why?
Well, Ema is actually the only one of my characters who I have an actress in mind for, and that’s Mila Kunis. I adore Mila. I didn’t set out to make Ema like her, but Mila definitely works as far as looks and the ability to match Ema’s personality.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I just turn to my own wacky imagination, but when that fails, I do research. My stories are speckled with actual facts and real myths and legends. With so many hundreds of vampire stories out there today, and with every paranormal fiction author trying to re-invent the vampire, it was really important to me to sort of go back to the original vampire myths – and I don’t mean the ones from Romania or the Inquisition. I went much deeper than that in my research. My vampire characters actually pre-date Jesus; just to give you an idea of how far back the myths go.
Name an author or authors who inspire you.
Gosh, there are so many…Anne Rice, for sure. She’s a lovely lady all around…Cassandra Clare and Darynda Jones are two more who come to mind right away. They are just wonderful talented women. They know how to tell an entertaining story, they’re original, but more importantly, all three of these women are so faithful to their fans and I think that’s very important.
Last, but not least, tell us about your current work in progress.
Right now I have a free web serial on my website titled Athena’s Oracle that is a prequel to Dark Heirloom. It’s a romance that features two of the characters from Dark Heirloom, Leena and Jalmari, and kind of chronicles how their relationship started and how the seeds leading up to Ema formed. I’m also working on the third book in the series, Dark Becoming, which I can’t say much about at this time, but I’m having a lot of fun continuing Ema’s story.

Dark Heirloom links:

Dark Liaison links:

August 2013 Interview's

                Author Dixie Lynn Dwyer

1.   How did you come up with the idea of three men and one woman in a menage relationship, falling in love equally, passionately, and in such a realistic fashion?
Dixie- The men in the American Soldier Collection Series are kind of complicated. As tough as they are, being ex-military, they have their own fears of commitment, trust and the simple ability of opening up their hearts. These men stick together, just like they did on the front lines. They trust their lives with their brothers. They know all their secrets, their wants and desires, and finding that perfect woman to complete them, also brings them peace, and makes them feel whole again, after all they’ve gone through. It takes a very special woman to win the hearts of three men. So the heroine, has a story of her own.
2)   Do you have a specific formula that you follow when writing ménage romances?
 Dixie- No, I do not have a formula when writing. I get an idea, and I just begin typing. The characters are so strong and bold, they lead the way.
    3). Each story and character are so unique and realistic. Are they based on people you know, or completely fictional?
Dixie- The stories I write are fictional. They are creations of the ultimate man. Not so perfect, maybe even scarred, but waiting for that perfect woman to heal them, complete them and bring them ultimate happiness. A happy ever after is out there for everyone.
   4) How do you write such explicit love scenes with multiple men and one woman, and still keep them apart in a way that is easy for the reader to follow?
Dixie- I believe that if a writer truly writes from the heart and soul, and believes in the characters that they create, then they can easily help the readers distinguish the differences between them. Description of character from the time they are first mentioned in the book, all the way through the story, must be accurate. I write as if the characters are real. I imagine the scenes as they take place, and describe them in that exact way in my writing. It just seems to work.
  5) Is it difficult to come up with such sexy, intimidating, yet sensitive heroes? Do you know where I can pick one or two of them up for me? ;)
Dixie- lol. I get asked that all the time. I am sure men like I describe in my books are out there. I have known a few soldiers and men in uniform throughout my life, and all of them have had most of theses characteristics. These men in the story are a woman’s fantasy, but by the way I describe them, give them identifiable attributes as well as weaknesses, truly makes them realistic.
  6) How do you come up with such emotionally driven plots, yet still make the love scenes and romance so strong and memorable?
Dixie- I believe behind every great romance story is an even stronger plot. The obstacles of life can be such a deterrent when searching for love. In many instances, finding true love can hit at the wrong time in a person’s life, but it ultimately turns out to be the best time. This is where the strong plots are created. During times of struggle, times of recent success, and even times of rock bottom, all help to intensify that moment of love’s first kiss, love’s first embrace, and making love for the very first time.
  7) Is it difficult to write the sex scenes in menage relationships, and make them seem so natural and possible?
Dixie- Absolutely not. Again, when love and lust is there, and the struggles and battles have been fought, all the raw desire emerges, and there are no boundaries, no limitations to the forcefulness of true love. A great story teller can bring this out in her descriptions, her words and the emotional bond of her characters. These characters aren’t just hopping into bed to have sex. There are deep feelings involved, risks are being taken, and ultimately their leap of fate brings them their happily ever after. “Dixie Style”.
  8) Do you actually use pictures of male models while writing your stories, or do you just envision them in your head?
Dixie- I recently decided to get pictures of the characters to use as reference when writing. I like to make each character unique, but I also like to show an accurate picture on the book cover, so that the readers can flip back and make a visual connection.
  9) How do you write in such detail that the reader can actually smell man's cologne, feel the embrace of their muscular arms, and envision each kiss and intense scene, without a lot of fluff and extra words?
 Dixie- It has taken me years of writing, and ultimately allowing the story to unfold without an outline or a particular word count in mind. I try to write descriptions and details at a level that the avid erotic romance suspense reader would enjoy and be more than satisfied reading. I want my readers to feel those kisses, those gentle touches and even the deeper more meaningful ones. The only way I know how to do that, is by telling each characters story, sharing their emotions as I see them taking place in the story as it unfolds.
  10) Do you have a formula for developing heroines that, through action and thoughts of emotion, build an imaginary connection between them and the reader?
Dixie-  I write from the heart and from the soul. I write what I would find to be more than satisfying as a reader of this genre. The plot, the details do not have to be filled with fluff in order to build such likable characters. My heroines are strong, independent and ultimately like most women, they want love, and compassion. They have their own personalities. They can not be forced to be something they aren’t. That sassiness, that spunk and independence draws the attention of some seemingly naughty and hard men. It makes for a wonderful story but also hot, steamy sex.
  11) How do you make that first kiss build into instant fire and sexual pull all the way to one's core?
 Dixie- By building believable, authentic characters that draw the readers immediately into the story. By the time the first kiss takes place, the readers are routing for the heroine, or routing for the heroes.
  12) Is it difficult to describe with great perception the sexy bulging muscles, unique colorful tattoos, and even tragic scars of battle, when describing your heroes?
Dixie- Not at all. I love describing the heroes and heroines. To be able to give such detail that the readers can envision them in their head, makes the story and their journeys even more powerful. The descriptions add authenticity to all of those involved, and if my job is done correctly, then the reader can actually see the scenes take place, and know what the characters look like while the scenes are happening.  
  13) Does it take a lot of re-writes to describe the complete sexual act between four characters, and still leave the reader feeling complete and satisfied?
 Dixie- No, it doesn’t take a lot of rewrites. I do find myself going back over the story numerous times to get the feelings and emotions just right, so that the love scenes are perfect. I make sure to tweak those love scenes so that they flow naturally, and with deep emotion and meaning.

February's Author Interview:
     C.J. Ellisson

How did you come to be a writer?

I became ill and had to leave my last job, where I was a realtor and ran a small property management company. Once I couldn't work anymore I needed something to distract me. Little did I know how perfect a fit writing would be!
What was the first book you had published?
Vampire Vacation, Oct 10, 2010. You didn't care for it much ;-)

How do you come up with the titles of your books?

Most of them tie in with the story somehow. Almost all of my titles came to me before the book was written. But with my recent release being re-named by my new publisher, I'm learning not to become attached to the title. ;-)
What are you working on for 2013?
I'm finishing up a prequel V V Inn novel called Death's servant, finishing the second book for Entangled's Brazen line, then the third, possibly finishing a co-authored novella with a friend, and finishing book four in the V V Inn series. Although, I do realize that's a pretty full plate. I'm hopeful ;-)

Where do you find the time to write between raising children and running a household?
I write while the kids are in school. Everyone helps in the house, most especially my husband, so it's never left all to me. The balance is difficult and I often feel like I'm readjusting my life with my medical treatments and work to see what will be successful. I haven't quite mastered it yet.

Who would you say is your greatest writing influence and why?
Me. I know that sounds odd, and I swear I don't mean it in a conceited way, but there it is. No one will push me as hard, no one will work long hours past the end of the work day but me, and no one will make me get out of bed despite pain, but me. My staunchest supporter is my husband. He will silently wait when I've paused our TV show to respond to a FB post or message, he will grocery shop when we need dinner items, he'll prod my lazy ass out the door to go for a walk with him and the dogs, and he'll even help out with dinner. I've never worked so hard in my life as I do right now i this new career. I think it's what keeps me going when the health issues get to be too much.
What is the best advice that you have ever been given?

I found a lot of good advice in John Locke and H.P. Mallory's books to self-pubbed authors. It would be impossible to narrow it down to the single best piece of advice -- oh, except for the obvious: Write the next book. You can't build a platform and readership on just one. 

What have you had published to-date?
Four novels, two novellas, and I've contributed to eight anthologies. 
What is your favorite out of your books or characters?

Hmmm… that's a hard one. I love Vivian's character and of the three V V Inn books, Big Game is my favorite. But I'm really proud of how this light BDSM discovery story, Vanilla on Top, turned out, too. It's like picking your favorite child, you really can't ;-)
Where can we find out more about you and your work?

I'm on Facebook a lot and spend the most time in my readers groups. Interested readers can always visit my FB author page or at my website to learn more about me (and it's where they can read half of most of my books for free).

What is your favorite genre to read?
Urban fantasy. I love the paranormal aspects, the fights scenes, the action, the mystery… and if I'm lucky they might have good sex scenes. The genre pretty much has it all!

More and more authors are becoming available as mentors to other writers.  Are you one of them?

I currently mentor over a dozen authors in varying aspects and stages in their careers. For a few I offer advice and direction when they need it, others I help them brainstorm and organize, and a few I work with on edits in their writing. 

What advice would you give aspiring authors like myself?

Take online workshops and learn everything you can about the craft. Never discount the importance of editing. If you don't know enough to spot your own errors (or just can't see them because you are too close to the piece) hire someone. It will be the best money you every spend on your career.

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?

I do much better when people ask me questions! If not I'll tend to ramble for hours and hours, it's really pretty sad. How about if your readers would like to know any more about me they can leave a question in the comments? I'd be happy to come back and answer anything I can. 

Thanks for having me, Annette!

All of C.J.'s books are available at Amazon!

C.J. Ellisson bestselling author of contemporary fantasy and erotica
Panelist and Featured Author at Olde City, New Blood Feb 8th-10, 2013Featured Author at Divine Decadence, April 26-28th, 2013
Vampire Vacation ~ The Hunt ~ Big Game ~ Death's Servant coming soon!


October's Author Interview:
       Madison Daniels
Beyond the Never: Anthology

  1.  What was the first book you had published?
MD: Ember. It was self-published in the summer of 2011. By the end of the year I was signed to the new indie label, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. By February of 2012 Ember was rereleased. It has been an amazing ride so far, and I am just getting started!

  2.  What other books have you published so far?
MD: The anthology that you will be giving to one lucky winner, Beyond the Never. It released in late summer and has had quite the awesome response. I am already planning its follow up.
  3.  Where do you get the ideas for your books?
MD: Music is my most passionate motivator. It has always inspired me. I see all my ideas as music videos or scenes from a movie, that’s how I write. I also have a stack of ideas from when I was writing comic book manuscripts ten years ago. All my stories seem to have a comic book vibe.

  4.  Who would you say is your greatest writing influence?
MD: I’m a HUGE Stephen King fanatic. Love all his work. I’ve met a bunch of fantastic indie authors in the past year too. I take away inspiration from some of them right now. The creativeness of Raine Thomas, the fierceness of Rue Volley and the spirit of Tymothy Longoria to name a few. If you haven’t had the pleasure, look them up.

  5.  What are you working on for 2013?
MD: This is going to be a LONG list! Ha! Hmmm...where do I start?
Writing projects...
“Aftershock” - Book 3 in the Ember series.
“Lucas Ryan Versus” - the first book in a new YA/SciFi/Paranormal series.
“Through the Never” - next installment of my anthology projects.
“Bleed Like Me” - my new YA/Adult series. It’s my take on vamps and stuff.
“Still” - a horror story that is very dark, very adult.
AND a new and exciting YA/Paranormal Romance series I think all my Ember fans will love. It’s called “Crave You” and will challenge their hearts! You’ve been warned.
  6.  How often do you write?
MD: Not as much as I should! Hahaha! Between promotion, advertising and real life, my writing time has suffered a little. I usually write in tidal waves, once I start, I don’t stop until I am drowning in my words. I call it “in waves.”

  7.  How do you deal with “writers block?”
MD: Haven’t really had a block. I usually suffer from writers non-motivation. Not in the mood to write, too much to write, I want to play Xbox instead. Ha! There are always too many ideas running through my head, so finding something to jot down is usually pretty easy for me. If I even feel the slightest blockage though, I crank the music and let it direct me in what direction to go. Music is life...
  8.  If you could only choose one of your books to be made into a movie, which one would it be?  Who would play the main characters?
MD: I’m torn between two. Obviously Ember (the Ember Heads would kill me if I didn’t pick it!) and my next series Crave You. They would both make the perfect movie for fans  of my work and Hollywood. The fact is, I write all my stories as if they were a movie or television series anyways. That’s how I see the moments in my chapters, as scenes on the big screen. Eye candy wrapped in music. And as for casting, I would actually like to see “unknowns” as the leads. Fresh faces are the way to go.

  9.  How do you come up with the cover design for your books?
MD: I just want something original, yet familiar. Does that make sense? There are so many book covers out there. Some are so beautiful, that they can stand alone as art! The market is so crowded with brilliant designs, that it’s hard to stand out. You want to hook the reader/buyer instantly. So it has to be familiar enough to make them feel completely comfortable with the image, but also sneak up on them and take their breath away. On top of all that, it has to embody the story and its emotions. Covers are hard. I’m a perfectionist. If it isn’t good enough, then I don’t want it.

 10.  What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
MD: I live by one simple set of words... “SHUT UP AND WRITE.” Just write, and figure everything else out later. Covers, editing, promotion, agents, publishers, stalkers, haters...there will be plenty of time for that stuff later. Write what you love and the rest of that will fall into place. Trust your words. ;)

MD: I just wanted to take a moment to thank you Annette for having me on your page. I hope we get to do this again soon. There are exciting things ahead for myself and my books. Your support and expertise is completely welcomed and appreciated. You rock!

Thank you!!! ~ M

 September's Author Interview:
  Paige Dearth Author of Believe Like A Child:   

              Alessa is just seven years old when her uncle rapes her for the first time. As the years pass, his sexual appetite becomes more voracious and his perversion more twisted, until the abuse has become almost a daily ritual, with the unspoken involvement of the girl's mother.

At the age of sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself at the mercy of her real-life monster, with no relief in sight. She flees her home to escape this hell, only to find herself descending into a more dangerous one. Alone and helpless in the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more human predators who want to take over her life and devour her. About to hit rock bottom, Alessa manages to break away from her new tormentors and finds refuge in a shelter for homeless and abused women.

Wherever she goes, however, trouble keeps seeking her out, until she meets three people who change the course of her life forever. Though Alessa's bittersweet journey is perpetually fraught with challenges, she does, nevertheless, manage to find fleeting moments of joy along the way. But as she begins to settle down, a ghost from the past comes to haunt her again, threatening to destroy the very foundation of her small world and plunging her back into an abyss of despair, until she makes her final bid for escape.

 Author Post:

Since I was young I made up stories in my mind.  It was my ultimate escape from my nightmarish childhood.  While most children make up stories that bring them joy, my stories were always dark.  These stories, darker than my real-life, helped me to cope. 
Believe Like A Child is a graphic novel.  It’s written in a sexually explicit manner so that readers feel the horror of child abuse, sexual exploitation and rape.  There is nothing pretty or light about these subjects.  However, while the subject matter is harsh, the novel is written so that readers can enjoy a fast paced suspenseful thriller that evokes a gamut of emotions.
I like reading dark, dramatic fiction novels, stories that makes your guts twist, keeping you on the edge of your seat and making you come back for more.  It’s like watching a horror movie and putting a hand over your eyes with your fingers spread out like the feathers of a peacock because you don’t want to see what will happen next, but you can’t stop yourself from looking.
My intent was to write Believe Like A Child to be a compelling dramatic thriller.  However, there is a point to this work of fiction that is worth mentioning.  The narrative describes the real horrors of child abuse and how one act of abuse can, and often does, continue throughout a person’s life.  A young victim becomes vulnerable because of their desire to validate themselves as a “normal” person.  It is so easy for the abused to go from one horrible situation into another. 
After reading my book, my hope is that readers will better understand that exercising simple kindness, to those in need, is more impactful than they can possibly imagine.  Kindness doesn’t have to cost money rather it’s an emotional investment. 

1.     How did you come up with the title of your novel, Believe Like A Child?
My readers often ask me this question.  Having lived a rough childhood, I was not carefree and I never experienced the freedom of thought that many kids do.  When I was still writing my novel, I was having a conversation with a close friend.  We were discussing the book and how I could make my book a reality.  He told me to just believe like a child.  I clearly had no idea what he was talking about and he explained that kids believe in their dreams and the people around them with an unwavering faith.  Even when things don't go their way, their innocence allows them to continue to simply believe things will turn out okay.  His explanation helped me understand yet another way to live my life.  I used this line in one of my chapters because it hits the very core of the psychological difference between abused children and those who are not.  After I finished writing my book I just knew that it also had to be my title.  So, when I look at my title and have any doubt that people will love my book, I remind myself to just believe like a child.

2.     Are you working on another novel?
Yes!  I am very excited about my next novel.  This novel is about a girl named Emma who, at the age of five-years old, is physically and verbally abused by her father. Even as a child, she sacrifices herself to save her younger sister Gracie from the same sadistic hand life has dealt her. Her beatings are ruthless, and as Emma grows older and more resourceful she finally reaches her breaking point.  As the hatred for her father is fed beyond her ability to control it, she takes matters into her own hands...
When Smiles Fade is due to be released in 2012.  I have several books lined up, just waiting to be written.  I’m living my dream.

3.     What is the best advice that you have ever been given?
When I was young I was overwhelmed by all the things I needed to do as a single mother without a formal education.  When I was dating my current husband I told him how I was struggling with how to get my life on track so that I can be the best person I could be and provide for my young daughter.  He told me that when he was in his late teens, he was overwhelmed with all that he wanted to accomplish.  He went to his aunt for advice and she had a plaque in her kitchen that she pointed to, it read: Start – The Rest Is Easy.

We are often overwhelmed in all that goes into trying to achieve our goals, but I used this advice in each phase of my life ever since.  This statement had a lot of meaning to me because at the core of my issues I kept thinking about all that I had to do, but I wasn’t actually taking any action. I found that once I get started the rest of it seems much simpler.
  1. What quote would you like to have copied and put into one million fortune cookies?
“It is our flaws that make each one of us so perfect.”  ~Paige Dearth

I often write this quote when I am autographing a book.  What it means to me is that if each of us can accept our flaws (and we all have them) then we can focus on the good in ourselves.  Once I was able to accept my flaws, and view them as an asset, I was able to work on making my dreams come true.

5.     What is your favorite book? Do you still have much time to read?
The first novel I ever read was A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford when I was about sixteen years-old.  This is my all time favorite novel!  This book brought me to another place and time.  I was lost in a world where the weak became powerful through an extraordinary journey and an unbreakable will to succeed.

I make time to read. Reading helps me be a better writer and allows me to be a part of a different world.  As soon as I finish reading a novel I start the next one.

6.     If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  Many people who I know thought this book was pie in the sky.  I took the book very seriously and it has changed my life.  After reading The Secret I wrote Believe Like A Child.  I think that The Secret reminds each of us how we should live, day in and day out.  It touched me in a very profound way.

Believe Like a Child is currently  scheduled for review on September 9th and isavailable at Amazon.

Welcome to my first interview!!  This month I have Margarita Felices, author of Judgment of Souls: Kiss at Dawn and The Psychic.  Judgment of Souls is currently scheduled for review on September 10th. 

JUDGEMENT OF SOULS is a Paranormal Romance/Gothic Horror in which a naïve pure-blood Vampire is tossed into the mortal world. Rachel meets Daniel, a nightclub owner and his group of friends and after Daniel’s best friend is murdered by Max, Rachel’s ex-lover, becomes embroiled in the search for an ancient vampire artefact. Rachel tries to fight off her feelings for Daniel, even siding with her Vampire friend Arun to think again about Daniel’s involvement, but he’s her love and she’s going to protect him, no matter what.

Q & A

Q: Tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer?
A: I live in Cardiff. For all its modernisation, there are still remnants of old Victorian Cardiff. I love the castle in the centre of the city and the fact that you have the sea on one side and the mountains on the other side of Cardiff.  I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.   I’ve always loved to write.  My teachers at school used to limit me to no more than ten pages.  I wrote short stories for magazines, it paid my way through college.

Q: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
A:  Supernatural stories, they are fun and you can let your imagination run riot.  I wrote a romantic story once as a screenplay.  I might re-write it as a novel one day, I liked the story.
Q: What have you had published to-date? Do you have a favourite of your books or characters?
A:  My first novel Judgement of Souls has just been published as an eBook by and is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads.  I love Rachel, my main character – she’s strong and independent, but I do admit to having a soft spot for Daniel, the club owner.  I had a few short stories published in a few women’s magazines some years ago. I didn’t keep copies of the magazines but I do have the stories saved.  I re-wrote one of them recently and sent it to BTGN as a short story.

Q: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
A: Lots and lots. Before I met Jenni at Bookstogonow, I sent the novel off to several agents in the UK and US.  Rejection is all part of the profession, it’s tough each time you get a letter, but you have to put up with it because one day, you’ll get accepted. What isn’t easy is getting a rejection from a publisher who couldn’t be bothered to write you a letter back, just scribbled no thanks at the bottom of your letter! That’s harsh.

Q: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
A:  I don’t have an agent; I am signed up at an eBook agency which is just as good. Agents do promote your work which means you don’t have to.  I’ve just realized how tough it is to promote your story, there are a lot of new writers out there! Trouble is that agents are a bit selective right now so new writers don’t get a look in which is a shame. I remember reading that JK Rowlings was rejected time and time again. I bet those agents are kicking themselves now eh?

Q: Are your books available as eBooks? Were you involved in that process at all? Do you have any plan to write any eBook-only stories? And do you read eBooks?
A: Yes my novel is available, but only as an eBook.  For now I’m happy with that, it reaches a lot more people and eBooks are the way forward.  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to see my story as a paperback some day, but for now I’m happy with this.  I didn’t have much to do with the epublishing process, I left the whole process to BTGN, they knew what to do and I thought I just might mess it up.  I did a lot of editing before we agreed with the finished product, I deleted almost ten thousand words, but the story flows so much better and I couldn’t be happier.  I do read eBooks.  The last one I read was Journey in Time by Chris Karlsen.  I’ve just downloaded the next story in the series.

Q: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
A:  I’m designing a website which should be ready soon.  I needed to have one that people could link to my book with and once it’s done, I’m going to start making a book promo.  I’m not used to promoting myself so it’s difficult, but I work for a marketing department and I’ve picked up a few tips.

Q: Do you write under a pseudonym? Do you think they make a difference to an author’s profile?
A: No, I write under my own name. For now that is.  I think to each its own, if the writer wants to work under a different name then that’s fine, confusing at times, but up to them.
Q: If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
A: Well I have to admit that I did have pictures of who I would love as my leads to help me write them better.  For Max I used Jared Leto, something about his eyes that just matched how I imagined Max’s are perfectly.  For Rachel, perhaps someone who looks a little like Juliet Landau, I saw a picture she posted on my Facebook page and she looked different to the character she played in Buffy. And Daniel, well I used Aidan Turner. The people I write about at the club are actual people!  The club is real, albeit named different, it has a credit at the start of the book, take a look.   I used these actors to help me get a perspective on my characters, but I haven’t a clue to who I would really use. I’ve not thought of my novel going that far. But now you mention it….

Q: Did you have any say in the title / covers of your book(s)? How important do you think they are?
A: Very important.  I loved the cover the moment I saw it.  I did have another idea but I think that will fit nicely in book two.  I chose the title myself and didn’t want it changed.
Funnily enough each book will be called Judgement of Souls.  But it will have a smaller title after it…  The next is called Judgement of Souls: The Call of the Righteous.

Q: What are you working on at the moment / next? Do you manage to write every day?
A: I’m writing book two of the Judgement of Souls trilogy.  I’d like to write everyday but it’s not always possible, I have a full-time job so I try and fit writing in when I can.  I carry a Dictaphone so that if I get ideas I can record them for later.

Q: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
A: I plot step by step.  Each page has a sub-line of what is meant to go on that page and then I just write that section when I think about it.  I have the beginning written in the next novel, then a few blank pages, then more writing etc etc.  I even have what I’d like for the end!

Q: Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?
A: I form my characters on people I see almost everyday, but with a twist.  The names, well I try not to make them too romantic and unbelievable, I like names that are old but still used today.  But I have made up a few.

Q: Do you have to do much research?
A: Oh yes.  I like to use real places so I need to know exactly where they are.  And as I write about supernatural beings, I like to get their history correct. In Book 2 there’s a chapter set in Malta.  My best friend has just moved over there, so I went over and took a look around.  I even joined a Facebook group that told me which streets were around in the 16th century so it now sounds very authentic.

Q: Some writers like quiet, others the noise of a coffee shop etc., do you listen to music or have noise around you when you write or do you need silence?
A: I write better at home and usually at night.  I have the TV on or I listen to music, I need background noise.

Q: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
A: I have at least ten stories that are still buried in my PC for another day. Some will be written again and sent to BTGN in time. 

Q: What’s your favorite / least favorite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
A: How hard it is.  It’s not just sitting down and writing. I had a hard hitting editor who returned my first draft and made it look like a bloodbath!  It was a surprise.  But the end result is something you can’t possible imagine, you’ve brought these people to life and you control their lives. I love it.
And I think the worse is having that great idea and by the time you get to write it down, forgetting it! And marketing.   I’ve never contacted so many people, websites and groups since the book became LIVE on the 27th December 2011.

Q: What do you like to read?
A: Anything supernatural.  It has to grip me in the first few pages, my time is precious and I don’t like to waste it, I’m picky about what I read.  If you write about a certain object and take five pages to describe it, I’ll just close the book and not pick it up again.

Q: If you could invite three people from any era to dinner, who would you choose and what would you cook (or invite three people, hiding the takeaway containers)?
A: I would definitely invite Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and Anne Rice.  Can you imagine what kind of conversation we would have around the table?  I’d be frightened to go to sleep that night I can tell you.  But I bet I’d get a great story from it all. I love seafood and pasta, so perhaps that and maybe some Sushi.  

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
A: I love taking pictures.  When I’m not doing that I also have three dogs and playtime is a twenty-four hour job. They can play fetch all day!
Q: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
A: I’m a Facebook addict.  I’ve targeted every Gothic / Vampire / Writers page on there, plus a few external Vampire / Gothic websites that would be interested in the genre. I’m going to look up a few Romantic websites and see if they’re interested in doing a Vampire Romance review.  I’ve signed on to Twitter (@felicm60) but haven’t come to grips with it yet.  I’m following around 107 people on it and I have around 40 followers.  I will get around to doing a lot more on it soon, but right now I’m a Facebooker!

Q: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
A:  I believe we’ll be more popular, we always need new stories.  I believe eBooks will soon take a bigger market that traditional publishing.  

Q: Where can we find out about you and your work?
A: At the moment you can contact me via 
I’m in the middle of having a website made for me and I’m getting a Book Promo done.

Q: Why did you decide to write a trilogy and not a stand-alone novel?
A: It wasn't my idea at the start.  But as I got further into the story I realized that readers may want some background knowledge of my characters.  So I think book two will reflect the time from Rachel leaving the safety of the vampire colony up until the start of the already written book 3, that should span over 300 years.   Then I will go back further, to the lives of her parents, the Crusades, how her parents met, finding the Book of Cain, the birth of Rachel and then Max's arrival, stealing the Book and Rachel’s parents being banished. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
A: This is a series of 3 books. I started at the end. There isn’t anyone who will be able to tell me why I did that. When these three are finished, I’d like to write some shorter stories about Daniel and Rachel and maybe their quest to find supernatural occult items and somehow tie them in to working for The Righteous.  That should be interesting!

Q: What was the easiest part of writing Judgement of Souls?
A: The club sections, because I already attend a club that is very similar. I just went along and observed everyone and got the atmosphere I needed to portray it in the novel.

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: Don't give up. If you have a story that is dying to be told, then work hard to tell it. But make sure you are doing your best work and you get an editor that can help you make the most of your manuscript.
Don’t give up even though you may get rejection letters.  If everyone thought like that there’d be no books, no films.  Keep writing, even if its dribble! Then read, re-read and edit.  Try and write a little each day.  One hundred words a day is seven hundred a week, twenty-eight hundred a month and one hundred words a day is so simple!
And carry a Dictaphone or a notebook and pen!


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