Spotlight on Massimo Marino – Interview with Author of ‘Daimones’

He’s an international gentleman with a scientific background. Massimo Marino spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He’s also partner in a new start-up in Geneva for smartphone applications: TAKEALL SA. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily. But calm down, he swears he’s not a smuggler!

Being a gentleman, of course he plays golf. 🙂

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi Renata, thanks for the opportunity to be with you and your readers. I’m Italian, or should I say, Sicilian. Palermo is my home town and I left it in 1986. I now have lived more years abroad than in Italy. Needless to say, I have changed in many and different way than my old friends there.

 I lived in Switzerland, France, and the United States. For work, I used to travel some 500,000 air miles a year. I am a scientist as a background, having spent over 17 years in fundamental research. Most of my writing are academic stuff. I worked for many years at CERN, near Geneva—an international lab for particle physics research—then in the US at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In 1995 I moved to the private sector, worked with Apple Inc., and then for the World Economic Forum.

Some say I have acquired a multi-faceted personality 😉

How long have you been writing?

Many years, could not count them. Mostly—as I said—academic writing, but since my teen years I have written novelettes and short stories that always ended up in a drawer and then lost. Still in my mind though. Daimones, the first volume of a planned trilogy, is the very first non-fictional work that is published.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I should not say that because I would then be accused of plagiarism, but my first story was about a boy who had been recruited as warden for the human race and ends up as the Earth pilot representative in a power struggle at a galactic level. It was fun but not realistic. Definitely not hard science fiction.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

I played football as a Quarterback for 18 years and then played golf for 18 years. Golf is bound to add to the year count. Football doesn’t have a chance anymore.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

“This story is brilliant. It screams for a sequel”

 


Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I’d like to recommend my Editor, Rebecca Stroud. I have learned from her a lot. I met her through one of her book, “Zellwood: A Dog Story”, and I discovered what impeccable editing, flow, and drama can do to a story. She has written other books, all with stellar reviews.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I can’t say it came from someone. There are stories that build up in the mind of any writer, or aspiring one. Sometimes you are able to contain them all your life and no one will ever think of you as a writer. Other times a story breaks free and you can’t but start writing it. It becomes inevitable.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I am working at the sequel of “Daimones”: The story sets the stage for what happens next, and what comes after “Daimones” is complicated.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

The one I am writing at the moment. Why? Because it is the one for which you dream, lose sleep, sweat, scream at, and bleed for.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

All of them are favorite ones, in a sense. But if I had to choose one, I’d say the one for which I have to write about in the future. He or she is in there, waiting to come out, and I am intrigued and fascinated because—my experience—all of my characters come to an independent life and do and say things that surprise me. Sometimes negatively so.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I’m on twitter and I think I will have to go on facebook too. But I am starting to appreciate a lot goodreads. There are lots of readers there and I am meeting lots of writers too. Apart from those, my favourite at the moment are the threads I share with fellow writers at the Amazon threads. Great people, none excluded, and very helpful, too.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Terrible. I know I am not doing the right things and not doing enough of them, either. Would you like to market my book(s) for me?

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Thank you for this. So, links are:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083IHV5I

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/daimones/id526356367?mt=11

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/162885

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15811231-daimones

and if any reader would like to follow and be followed, I am @MASSIM0MARIN0 on twitter.

Also, my Editor (She has done an amazing job) is Rebecca Stroud, and her page on Amazon is: http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Stroud/e/B00460RZMQ

Thank you Renata for this pleasant chat with you, and thank you reader who read this through. I write for myself, of course—the story breaking free—but I write for every reader out there. If I can make so that one spends a good time in the world I created, care for the characters that speak through the pages, and is willing to share the emotions and feelings I hope to transmit, I have found gold. There is not a greater reward than a reader who sends a “Thank you” note.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Massimo! It was a pleasure to have you here.

And let me tell you, this sentence is perfect for me too: “(My favorite of my books is) The one I am writing at the moment. Why? Because it is the one for which you dream, lose sleep, sweat, scream at, and bleed for.

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Wodke Hawkinson – Interview with Author duo of ‘Zeke’ and other stories

 

Today I’ll have not only one, but two talented authors under my spotlight.

Together or alone, they wrote many popular books. Their stories are greatly reviewed.

They are also really funny and friendly people, who support Indie Authors all the time, specially with their popular website, Find a Good book to read. It’s my absolute pleasure to have you two here, girls!

So, let’s learn more about them!

Please, tell us a little about yourselves.

K- For many years I was into music, performing in bands, writing and co-writing songs.  Performing music is no longer a part of my life, but I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve worked at various jobs throughout my life, but began writing full-time just recently. I published a book for young readers entitled James Willis Makes a Million. Then, in 2009 PJ and I began collaborating.  Our pen name for those works is the combination of our last names: Wodke Hawkinson.  We’ve written several volumes of short stories along with three novels, so far. I look forward to more writing, both on my own and with my co-author, PJ. We have many ideas for future projects. We’ve self-published all our books, but one has since been signed by a publisher. 

PJ- I grew up and still live in the Midwest. I graduated from Hutchinson Community College. I have one published novel of my own; Half Bitten. Currently I am writing novels under the pen name of Wodke Hawkinson along with co-author, Karen Wodke. My other interests include sightseeing off the beaten path, fishing, and reading. I admit to no favorite writer but enjoy the works of Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, JA Konrath, and Douglas Adams. I envision a life of writing both alone and with my long-time friend and co-author. To date, I have published 1 book solo and 8 books (including novelettes) with my coauthor, Karen.

How long have you been writing?

K- Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed, but I didn’t make a determined effort until a few years ago.  Even as a child when I had to write sentences for English class, I liked the challenge of making my sentences as complex as possible.  I’m intrigued by words.

PJ- I wrote Half Bitten in 2010 and began seriously writing with Karen shortly after.
 

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

 K- In junior high school I wrote a story about a woman who killed her husband and buried him under her flower garden. Kind of morbid for a youngster. In high school, I wrote a ghost story. And then PJ and I used to write humorous stories just for laughs in high school.

PJ- The first story I wrote would have been co-written with Karen when we were in high school. It was silly and fun. We wrote a series of stories that centered around 3 or 4 characters. I still have them and actually put together a spiral bound copy for myself, Karen, and my family several years ago. They were lots of fun and produced giggles galore.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourselves?

 K- I don’t know how eccentric this is but if I eat something sweet, I always like to follow that with something salty. I’m sure there are other eccentricities about me, but I can’t identify them because they seem normal to me. LOL

PJ- First, I like certain things in threes: kisses and sips of soda (yes, I know that is borderline OCD, but hey, it’s only a couple of things). Second, I get out of bed in stages: stage 1-make the bed and get out my clothes for the day, stage 2- lay back down and read or get caught up on facebook and words with friends, stage 3- brush teeth, wash face, get dressed and lay back on bed for a few more minutes, stage 4- get up and stay up (sometimes).

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

K- Recently a reader told me our new novel, Zeke, is so realistic she couldn’t finish it because it tripped too many triggers for her. Now, I’m not glad about causing any distress to our reader, but it was gratifying to know we had managed to capture the personality of a character like Zeke.

PJ- One of the best things I’ve ever heard from a reader was the praise of my family when I finished Half Bitten (my first novel). Nothing can be better.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

K- I could recommend quite a few. If I have to just pick one, I would say Ruby Barnes. His novel, Peril, is very well written and twisty.

PJ-An extremely hard question as I read so many books. I went out to Amazon and looked through my past digital orders and have chosen to recommend Casino Shuffle, by J. Fields Jr. This book is about Antonio Cruz, the head butler at the Native Sun Casino and the challenges he faces to keep the guests happy. My husband and I both read this book and enjoyed it immensely.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

K- When PJ wrote Half Bitten, it reminded me of my love for writing and inspired me to make a serious effort. I wrote James Willis and enjoyed the process very much. Soon after, PJ & I began collaborating.

PJ-Karen was my original inspiration but it took me many years to act on the idea. After reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris, I decided to try my hand at a different kind of vampire novel; thus, Half Bitten came to life.

My biggest supporter is my husband. He is the reason I have become who I am today and the reason I continue to be.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

K- I have a couple of projects started on my own, and PJ and I are writing two books. It’s the first time we’ve ever tried working on two novels at a time.

PJ- We actually have two books in the works but I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a while to learn anything about them. I can tell you one is a suspense and the other is fantasy.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

K- I’m a little torn between Betrayed and Tangerine. Betrayed is our most popular novel so far and I loved the main characters, Lance and Brooklyn. But Tangerine is the very first novel we wrote together and it was so enjoyable creating the other worlds, the characters, and the aliens that I still have a fondness for that book. We originally self-published Tangerine, but have pulled it from all venues because it’s been picked up by a publisher. It should be re-released very soon.

PJ- I guess I’d choose Betrayed. {{Spoiler Alert}} Brook goes through one of the most horrendous ordeals a woman can ever face and manages to deal with her demons and move forward with life. Lance is a steadfast, easy-going recluse whom Brook manages to bring out of his shell. We also decided to let Brook have her revenge and wrote Betrayed-Alternate Ending that takes the reader along a new path from Chapter 49 forward.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

 K- I like Lance the best from our novel Betrayed. He’s a strong, kind man who steps forward to do the right thing, but he also is subject to very human emotions.

PJ- Oh, wow! That’s a tough question. I would have to say Lance from the book Betrayed.  Honestly, his temperament and personality remind me of my husband.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

K- I enjoy keeping up with the work of fellow authors, interacting with readers, learning others’ perspectives on writing, and finding new books to add to my collection. Facebook is great, but I have to admit my favorite is Twitter. We’ve made so many great friends there, including readers and other writers.

PJ- Interacting online is sometimes the only interaction I get since I am no longer working outside the home. My personal Facebook is probably my favorite way to interact and that is due mainly to the fact that I know, personally, everyone. I also enjoy Twitter because of the interaction between possible new friends.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

 K- Marketing is very important to the success of any author. Writing is our livelihood. Therefore, it is a business. When I look at it that way, it makes marketing easier. A lot of writers are reticent about promoting their own work, and I understand that. Many authors are introverts or shy about self-promotion. But in the process of learning how to market our books, we’ve met some really generous and fantastic people, authors and others who are willing to help each other get the word out. These relationships and those with readers have really enriched our online experience. An important key to marketing, we believe, is to support and cooperate with others. We enjoy promoting the work of other authors along with our own books.

PJ- Marketing our books is one of the hardest things we’ve faced. Karen had done an excellent job of getting authors and others to follow us on Twitter. She spends hours promoting our works and I can’t thank her enough (recently I took over the retweets and have more appreciation of the time she spent). Karen has set up and maintains our website; Find a Good Book to Read and I maintain our original author website; wodke-hawkinson.com.

We also look for other means of promotion; such as, this interview with you, Renata, and both thank you for the opportunity.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Wodke Hawkinson books, websites, and blogs:

Zeke
Betrayed

Betrayed-Alternate Ending
Tangerine (coming soon)

Ghost Writer

Acim

Short Story Volumes:

Alone

Catch Her in the Rye

Blue

 

wodke-hawkinson.com

http://wodke-hawkinson.com/blog1/

findagoodbooktoread.com

http://findagoodbooktoread.com/wodke-hawkinsons-blog.php

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, girls! Loved having you here, and reciprocate my (hilarious) Wacky interview on your website.

Oh! And I have to say that I also need to eat something salty after something sweet! I thought I was the only one. 🙂

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview on Friday.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Jeff Whelan – Interview with Sci-Fi Author of ‘Space Orville’

Jeff Whelan is the author of the highly reviewed Space Orville. Wherever you look you find wide praise for his book, currently available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. (My daughter, a huge science fiction fan, already has Space Orville on her TBR!)

He’s also a great guy, who’s always available to help other authors, spreading the word about them and their books.

So, let’s learn more about him!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Wow – okay. Let’s start with my name, Jeff Whelan. I’m a Pisces. I enjoy long walks in the sunshine, fuzzy robes, slinkies and . . . waitaminute . . . wrong interview. Let’s start over.

I was born in Oak Park, IL, near Chicago and am the oldest of children. My family moved to DeKalb, IL when I was about 3 and I’ve lived here most of my life with the exception of 9 months traveling with a carnival on the east coast and 3 years in San Francisco. I’ve worked for over 20 years as a special education paraprofessional at the high school level and also work nights from home as a remote medical transcriptionist. I’ve been blissfully married for 16 years and have 2 brilliant children. I also act and have been a member our local community theater for 19 years.

As for my writing, aside from several short stories posted on my blog, I currently have only one book in publication, my humorous, young adult science fiction adventure, “Space Orville”, which I started in high school and finally managed to finish some 18 years later. After nearly 10 years of desperately trying to break into print, the advent of the independent e-book made it possible for me to publish “Space Orville” myself on line. “Space Orville” can now be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords & Lulu. Links to everything are posted below.

How long have you been writing?

Ever since I could grasp a crayon and print my name.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

The first significant story that I can remember was something I wrote in 6th grade called “The D-Barrier”. It was about a couple that was trying to film images of ghosts using a tricked-out holographic video camera. When the camera is accidentally left running, strange beasties from another dimension creep through and wreak havoc in our world. Wish I still had that. I went on, in middle school, to write a couple of radio mysteries for our local public radio station which used to host a Young People’s Radio Festival. Our school librarian, Mrs. Phyllis Horton, liked my writing and encouraged me to enter. Our ensemble won first prize.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Just two? Well, there’s my passion for dashikis – African, Indian, South American, you name it. Got a bunch of ’em. They’re beautiful and really comfortable. Oh, and I can wiggle my eyeballs at will.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

So many people have said so many wonderful things. My first reader review, by Megan Broutian, was very thrilling. Here was someone I didn’t know who stated she was “in awe” and found my book “witty and well-written”. As if that weren’t special enough, the next reader to post a review stated I served up “vivid description, priceless Lewis Carroll-like dialogue and wordplay, as well as meditations both profound and playful” and created “that literary miracle J.K. Rowling accomplished: an expansive, fully formed, vibrantly imagined, believably magical world.” Honestly, comparisons like that? They both delighted and humbled me a great deal. I remain eternally grateful for all who have posted such kind and thoughtful comments.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Oh my, yes. Michael K. Rose is a master of the modern short story. His stuff compels you to read until you are finished. I am eager to read his longer works, like his science fiction series, “Sullivan’s War”. Also, R.G. Lawrence, who demonstrates tremendous versatility in his storytelling with an expert grasp on character development and pacing. His novel, “Golden Boy” was fantastic and I am just about finished with “The Circle”, which has me on the edge of my seat.

Honestly, though, I’ve read so many good things by so many amazingly talented indies – Rolando Garcia, Martha Rodriguez & Ford Forkum to name a few – whose talent rivals that of any popular print author. The amount of talent out there in the independent e-book world is simply stunning. My TBR list is huge.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

I must give a lot of credit to the school librarian I mentioned earlier, Mrs. Phyllis Horton, for her support and encouragement all those years ago. She got me believing that my writing might be worth something. We all need a Mrs. Horton in our lives. Authors and past teachers aside, my wife and 2 sons are now my biggest source of inspiration and support.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

A sequel to Space Orville, tentatively titled “Methuselah’s Cradle”, is in the development phase, i.e., scribbled notes, ideas and outlines. Hate to give away any spoilers, but it involves a quest to recover stolen time. I am also working on a follow-up to a well-received autobiographical short I wrote titled “Greyhound”, about the first time I left home at 19. Readers of that story on my blog have been clamoring for more of that tale.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

Well, since “Space Orville” is the only full-length book I have ever completed and published I guess that would have to be it. Why? Probably because I actually managed to complete and publish it. That and I just like the story. It was deliciously fun to write.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I can certainly relate to Space Orville himself since I remember what it was like to be an adolescent on the verge of adulthood, wanting to assert my independence and face new challenges on my own yet still feeling hampered by the adults surrounding me. But my favorite character would have to be NeutroFuzz, Space Orville’s constant companion. NeutroFuzz is a magnaradiant, capable of the most amazing things. I love him (I’m still assuming it’s a “him”) because he’s so incredibly versatile and is not limited to any behavioral constraints that plague other species. The most outlandish thing I can imagine, NeutroFuzz can probably do.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

Yikes. Well, I recently saw a tweet that stated “Twitter is a full-time job” and, for an independent author, I suppose that’s all too true. That’s what it feels like, anyway. Actually, I shunned all social media until Space Orville’s publication, at which point my wife said I no longer had a choice if I wanted anyone at all to know about my book. She was right, of course. So, I plugged into Facebook and Twitter, but that’s still as far as I’ve gotten. As we indies work without the benefit of any powerhouse print publisher to promote our work, it falls upon us to engage in shameless self-promotion to get our stuff noticed.

The astonishing thing, however, is how this vast, global network of independent authors and artists works to support each other. Tweeting, re-tweeting, sharing, re-posting, comments, reviews, recommendations, guest blog and interview opportunities such as this . . . it’s utterly remarkable to be a part of this mammoth collection of brilliant people who are constantly paying it forward and helping each other out. When it’s working right, the social media can be a fine example of good karma in action.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Can’t stand it.  Let me re-phrase that.  I’ve never been that great at tooting my own horn and it was quite an adjustment to have to spout off about how great my work was and why everybody should read it.  But once I learned how it all works and found myself a part of that miraculous machine I mentioned above, I was able to get into it a little more.  When I have an opportunity to share good things about others and they, in turn, are kind enough to share good things about my work, then I’m not so self-conscious about it all.  Still, it is a time-consuming affair and there are many times I must force myself to sit down at the computer, again, to commence with yet another round of marketing and self-promotion.  But, since I also get the chance to help promote the work of others, I don’t feel so bad about it.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Okay, here goes:

Kindle owners can find Space Orville at Amazon: http://amzn.to/GP7Eps.  Nook users can find him at Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/H95HR4.  He can also be found in other formats at Smashwords, http://bit.ly/GSUSVJ and Lulu http://bit.ly/PwIJen.

I have a WordPress blog at http://bit.ly/H2U4cH and love visitors.  I have a page at The Independent Author Network, http://bit.ly/H4uh5j, that likes visitors, too.  I have a personal Facebook page http://on.fb.me/NrVm6s as does Space Orville http://on.fb.me/OHKfWW.  Finally, I have a very active Twitter account at http://bit.ly/LQUTON.  My Twitter handle is @SpaceOrville.  Followers welcome!

****

Thank you so much, Renata, for this wonderful opportunity to share with your readers.  It’s indies like you presenting features like this who keep this fantastic machine working the way it should.  Hats off to you for your unparalleled support of indie authors everywhere.  And I am greatly looking forward to digging into “Mean”!  Cheers!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Jeff! It’s really astonishing how the Indie Author Community (or should I say ‘family’?) embraces new members like myself. All I’m doing is paying it forward, and it feels great! 🙂

P.S. -Really hope you  like “Mean”! Please let me know your impressions!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview on Monday.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on T.M. Souders – Interview with bestselling author

T.M. Souders is a bestselling author. Her women’s fiction novel, Waiting On Hope has been a bestseller in the categories Drama and Literature & Fiction/Drama on Amazon. She’s also a great person, who helps readers and authors with her popular website, The Cheap Kindle Daily.

Her new book, Freedom Road, is out today.

Needless to say, I’m delighted to have her in my spotlight. So, let’s learn more about her!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is T.M. Souders, and I’m originally from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh. After college, I moved around with my husband for several years before settling in rural Ohio. I published my first book a little more than a year ago, and have never looked back since. I now have two full length novels, one of which is a new release, and one novelette.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing creatively since my senior year in college, which was been *gasp* eight years ago! But I didn’t become completely focused and serious about writing fiction until just after the birth of my first son, about three and a half years ago.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

Yes, the first story I wrote was a very cliché romance, more of the Harlequin type. And it was awful, really awful, lol. At the time, I was reading a lot of Nora Roberts and I think that was the type of book I thought I “should” write as opposed to what I thought I would enjoy writing and what I felt compelled to write. Needless to say, I moved on from that story, lol.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

When I buy coffee out, the barista HAS to put the sugar in it for me. It tastes better. Probably because they’re not afraid to dump four tablespoons in without thought about the calories. And the calories don’t count if I don’t know they’re there, right?

Another rather peculiar thing I used to do was pick all of the spices out of my food. I’d line them around my plate, which would make my mother’s hair stand on end, but I hated spices. Luckily, I’m proud to say I’ve graduated from this weird aversion and now eat all of my food, spices included.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I don’t know that there’s been one specific thing, but anytime I have a reader say that they felt emotionally connected to my books or characters, it’s the best thing anyone can say to me.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Melissa Foster, if you like dramas.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

My family, especially my mother. She’s always my biggest fan and supporter. She’s always there to lend an ear during times of frustration or when I don’t know which direction to go.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I actually just published a novel, but have already started a new one. It’s called “The Meal Ticket” and will be women’s fiction/romance.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

Freedom Road, my new release. So much blood, sweat, and too many tears to count went into this book. I rewrote it front to back three times. I changed the storyline, everything. Let’s just say it was a long time coming, and I couldn’t be more proud of the final results.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

I’m torn between Tad and Sam. Sam, the main character, because she’s so strong, even if she doesn’t know it. And Tad because he’s so infectious. He’s cute, vibrant, and has so much love in him.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

Yes! I love connecting with readers and other authors. I would say Twitter is my favorite, but I’m on Facebook a lot too.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Marketing is essential. It’s something I do because I have to. If no one knows your books exist then how are they going to buy it? I would LOVE to have an assistant though to do some of the nitty-gritty for me, lol.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

My website: http://tmsouders.com/

Freedom Road (Amazon): http://amzn.to/PiVmqR

Freedom Road (Barnes & Noble): http://bit.ly/QROB0Z

Waiting On Hope (Amazon): http://amzn.to/wwCWDq

Waiting On Hope (Barnes & Noble): http://bit.ly/y6QXvA

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/TM-Souders-Author/181198815275423?sk=app_139229522811253

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/tmsouders

www.cheapkindledaily.wordpress.com

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Tia! It was amazing to have you here!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on Ally Malinenko – Interview with a rising star

Today I’m proud to introduce a rising star: Ally Malinenko. She’s had poetry and stories published online and in print, including her first collection of poems, entitled The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press). Her second book of poems, Crashing to Earth, is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press. Her first children’s novel Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, the first part in a series, was recently published by Antenna Books.

So, let’s learn more about her!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Hi I’m Ally. I’m from Monroe, NY which is… er… was a little town about an hour north of New York City. Since I was a kid growing up there it’s grown quite considerably. I live in Brooklyn now which is great except for when it isn’t which is horrid. Currently I’ve got 2 books published, a novel for children entitled Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Antenna Press) and a book of poetry entitled The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press). My second book of poetry entitled Crashing to Earth is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing on and off for as long as I can remember. I’ve been an avid journal keeper nearly my whole life so I’ve got journals going back to grade school. My best friend and I kept a journal and log book for our imaginary land back when we were little. We cataloged all the creatures that lived there and even had an entire language. I kept all that. It’s good for creativity.

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I wrote my very first story when I was ten. It was eight pages long, which at the time felt about the same size as Moby Dick. After that I moved on to shorter work and started writing very typical angst-y poetry in high school.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Oh goodness, only two? Let’s see – I know many people find my writing schedule rather eccentric. I get up at 5 am each morning to write. It was my husband’s idea. He’s also a writer and came up with the notion that you can get better work done first thing in the morning, before the day get its grip on you. And it works. Though I do miss sleeping in. That’s what weekends are for right? Okay, what else? I write in a closet. It fits my desk and some built in book shelves. Most mornings I’m joined by my cat June who sleeps in an empty comic book box and occasionally meows at me to remind me to stop goofing off online and get back to writing. Oh and I have a shadow of my former self tacked on the wall made by an old friend. There’s a picture in this blog entry: http://allymalinenko.com/2012/04/06/strings-and-sealing-wax-and-other-fancy-stuff/

And finally, in case none of that is considered eccentric, I’m a self-proclaimed Bardolator who was turned away from Shakespeare’s grave.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

I had a woman come up to me once after a poetry reading and tell me that a specific poem about my mother’s battle with breast cancer is exactly the way she thought/felt. I was so flattered to know that my words had that effect on her. The universe got a little smaller that day, in a good way.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

Yes Jen McConnel. I’m currently reading her book The Burning of Isobel Key and it’s fantastic. If you like witches and history and Scotland and good writing, it’s for you. It’s due out in October. She blogs here:  http://jennifermcconnel.wordpress.com/ 

And also Julie Innis. Her book Three Squares a Day with Occasional Torture (Foxhead Books) is a fantastic, peculiar, hilarious collection of short stories. You can find out more here –  http://julieinnis.net/

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

My first novel is a children’s book called Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb. It was definitely inspired by all the children’s literature I read as a kid. The biggest one for me was C.S. Lewis. The Narnia books were the first books that I remember reading and saying, “Wait, this is a job?  This is something anyone can do? I wanna tell a story too!” Another big one for me was Bridge to Terabithia by Patterson. That taught me that books can be sad and funny and exciting and beautiful all at the same time. As for support, my entire family supports my writing work as do people I count as my closest friends. Good friends can make great beta readers as long as you’ve both got thick skin. My parents and sisters have always supported me, reading early drafts, buying books. And my long suffering husband has had to read nearly every single word I’ve written. He deserves an award.

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I have two actually. I’m currently working on the second part of Lizzy’s story and then also an untitled YA book that I just call The Chess Book. Lizzy’s book picks up where the first one left off which I won’t spoil for anyone but I will say the bad guy is back with badder intentions and Lizzy will need to pull all her friends and courage together to stop him. It’s gonna get hairy for our heroine. As for the YA book, it’s about chess and time travel and first loves and homelessness and doppelgangers and magic and kisses and family. Mostly it’s about the power to stand up to forces much bigger than you and not flinch.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

Oh wow, I don’t know. I only have one fully completed and published novel. I probably love the ones I want to write more than the ones I’ve written. They are still full of potential. But I guess since Lizzy is my first she’ll always have a special place in my heart. So much of her story is mine, minus the whole Shakespeare connection of course!

 

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

Again that’s hard but probably Lizzy. Though I do have a special fondness for Kate in the YA book I’m working on. All my characters are a little bit me, a little people I know and a little bit imagination.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I do. It’s an easy way to talk to people with the same interests as me, people that without social media I would never know. I’ve met so many great writers and enthusiastic readers online. Facebook is one of my favorites but Twitter is currently climbing the ranks. StumbleUpon and Pinterest are fun too for inspiration.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

Interviews like this are fun! I like talking about my work so I don’t really mind. I’ve got a great little press, Antenna Books, behind me too so that helps. I like sharing what I do and hearing what other people do. I’m not terribly hung up on the logistics. I try to think of it as a big party – we all have stuff in common, we like to read or write. My favorite people are readers.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

Here’s my blog: http://allymalinenko.com/

My twitter: @allymalinenko

My publisher’s link: http://www.antennabooks.com/

My book cover designer: http://saragable.com/

And my book is here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lizzy-Speare-Cursed-Series-ebook/dp/B0098TBGHU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1347482058&sr=1-1&keywords=lizzy+speare

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Ally! It was a pleasure to have you on my spotlight!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview on Monday.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Spotlight on H.C.Elliston – Interview with British thriller author

I’m absolutely thrilled to post my first interview. Even more that it’s with H.C.Elliston, who’s not only an amazing writer with three chilling  thrillers published, but also a very kind person who supports other Indie Authors on her gorgeous official website.

Plus, she’s a vegetarian, just like me and my daughter! Go veggies! 😀

So, let’s learn more about her!

Please, tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from Cheshire, UK, but live in West Yorkshire where I share my home with my fiancé and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, just streets away from my fiancé’s lovely children. I run a small ‘pet art’ business from home, selling to customers worldwide, and do some part-time admin for my parents’ business.  I am a trustee for a local animal rescue charity ‘Campnibble’. I have been a vegetarian since I was ten years old, love reading, and then curling up with my dogs on an evening watching a film to unwind.  I am an independent author with three published novels (I write romantic suspense and action thrillers) and am about to start writing my fourth.  It’s not been an easy journey.  The whole thing gives me a buzz at times, but there have been as many downs as ups.  I have a huge passion for writing, and unless that changes, I will keep going and keep challenging myself.

How long have you been writing?

Since about 2007, perhaps a little longer. (it feels longer)

Do you remember the first story you wrote?

I wrote two books before writing Tick Tock Run.  I class them as a learning curve and they will never see the light of day because they‘re terrible and I’d have to hide under a pillow with embarrassment.

Can you tell us two eccentricities about yourself?

Wow… ummm…Our dogs sleep in bed with us (although they probably think we share their bed) and I have a weakness for hot chilli sauce, dressing gowns and handbags.

What was the best thing you’ve ever heard (or read) from a reader?

In regards to me?  A lovely email I received a month ago from a reader saying she loved my work and was encouraging me to keep going.  I was delighted that she took the time to message me with such positive comments followed by a review on Amazon – it really made me smile.

Do you have a good Indie author to recommend?

I know quite a few and they write in a variety of genres.  But I’ll keep this down to two names.  For paranormal romance I’d recommend Brenda Dyer’s Love’s Prophecy, and for historical romance/Christian fiction I’d recommend Rachelle Ayala’s Michal’s Window.  Both are engaging and well written.

Who inspired and/or supported you to become a writer?

Just reading entertaining books in general inspired me, but when I first started writing it was really just a hobby, another creative outlet.   I never expected that it would consume me, or that years later I’d have three books released.

And support?  Well apart from family, I’d have to say my fiancé because he is the one who has had to put up with me daily while my head is buried in writing.  Until the start of this year, I used to write books and also run my art business from the dining room which is central in our house.  It reached a point when I was unable to carry on working in the room that was essentially the hub of our house.  I couldn’t  concentrate while my fiancé and children (although I love them to bits) chatted, made food or watched TV in the room that I worked in, let alone fit in all my art equipment and stock while keeping the room free of trip hazards.  And so my fiancé agreed to switch the living room and dining room around so that I could have an office.  The only other option was to make his children share a bedroom when they stay at weekends, but I really didn’t want to do that to them as everyone likes to have their own space.   Switching rooms!  Jeez… that was a day!  We had to ask a friend to help us lift the sofas over the back garden fence because there wasn’t enough of a turning circle in the hall to fit them through the door!  It is wonderful to now have a private space to work, I can leave my art equipment out overnight, have notes all over my desk and no one sees the mess, but we no longer have a dining room so have to eat with plates on our knees!

Do you have a WIP (Working in progress)? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

I am currently bouncing ideas around for my fourth book.  Nothing is fixed yet, but I’ll probably start writing the opening chapters within the next month.  After releasing a book, I tend to have a little break from writing, but soon start itching to get back to it.

What is your favorite of your books? Why?

My favourite is my latest book SHIVER SWEET.  I think it’s because I feel like it has a more equal balance of suspense, action and romance.  Plus, I enjoyed the idea of how creepy it would be to discover your life was on the internet, and the heartache of being forced to give up the love of your life.

What is your favorite of your characters? Why?

My favourite character is Christa from Shiver Sweet.  I like her attitude as she struggles to juggle everything in her life as a single mum, she is loyal, puts others first, never gives up and tries to stay positive.

Do you like to interact online? What’s your favorite social media?

I am active on both Facebook and twitter most days.  I love that it allows me to stay in touch with old friends and family (who are scattered all around the country) and to interact with people from all walks of life, all over the world, who I would not otherwise be in contact with.

How do you feel about marketing your books?

It can be fun, but also a grind and time consuming.  I have a day job and bills to pay like everyone else, I also need time to write and… to have a life outside of working.  I don’t want to thrust my books down people’s throats, but without a little marketing then no one would know my books exist because there are so many for readers to choose from.  It’s important to get a good balance.

Please, give us all your links – where can your readers find you and your books?

My website: http://hcelliston.co.uk/#

Twitter: @HCElliston

Amazon.co.uk

http://www.amazon.co.uk/H-Elliston/e/B005C50238/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/H-Elliston/e/B005C50238/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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Thanks for the questions.  I appreciate your time and support!

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, H.C.! Loved the answers!

And readers, don’t go anywhere! Stay tuned for next interview on Saturday.

  • If you’re an author and want to be in my spotlight, contact me!

Coming soon – Interviews and Spotlights!

 

Okay, so I’m editing My sore Hush-a-bye (with my great editors), working on covers with my artist/model/daughter  Maria, writing Myself in blue, marketing Mean, and still have a day job and my English students. Phew!  Seems like a lot? It is, but aren’t we all more or less in the same boat? 😀

However, with all that, I’m not having much time to blog. Not as much as I wanted at least.

So I thought I could use my space here to play the matchmaker, introducing readers to some great authors.

I put together questions I’ve always wanted to ask, and I’m honored to have some terrific writers answering them right now. Soon I’ll post my first interview here.

Readers, please stay tuned!

  • If you’re an author and want to be interviewed and spotlighted here, just contact me: