Author Interviews



28th July



Today I am interviewing David Gaughran


1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?

I always wanted to, for as long as I can remember, but I never did anything about it for so long, aside from scribbling half a story here and there.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?

I wish!

3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?

I’ve had some good jobs, and I’ve had some not-so-good jobs. Working for Google was cool. Cleaning a deep fat fryer in an Italian restaurant in New Jersey? Not so much. But writing is in the blood. It’s not a job, it’s a calling. I don’t have a choice. I would be intolerably restless otherwise.

4. What genre do you write?

Non-fiction, short stories, science fiction, surreal stuff, and historical adventure. So far.

5. Have you written under more than one genre?

See above.

6. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

Oh, from anywhere. A mood, a song lyric, something you see walking about, a crazy tangent that a conversation takes, something in the news, an argument, an aroma, a memory – anything can be the trigger.

7. Do you ever dream of your next book?

I’ve written scenes that were inspired by dreams, but I don’t specifically dream of something I’m working on per se. Usually, my dreams are far to nonsensical and nonlinear to make any sense as a narrative.

8. Describe the highlight of your writing career.

Seeing my first story published in a magazine was cool. Getting paid for my next was even better. Finishing my first novel. Finishing it again. Seeing my story in a hardback anthology (with dust jacket!). Finishing my novel again. Self-publishing my first short-story collection. Friends buying it. Strangers buying it. Strangers reviewing it. All that was cool, but I think the only time in my life I let out a girlish yelp was when I started typing my name into Amazon, and it auto-completed the rest! Sad, but true.

9. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?

Sure. In fact, I gave up writing altogether during the (first) time I wrote my book. Barely wrote my name for 10 months. But it called me back.

10. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?

The first shitty review will always get to you. After a while, you start enjoying them.

11. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?

I think writers are incredibly sensitive (me included). The first few times you get feedback, you react badly. Then you start listening. Then you get better. Sometimes though, the feedback isn’t constructive, useful, or correct. There’s not much you can do with “THIS SUX”, except maybe get it tattooed somewhere you can’t show your mother. I think I’m confident in my writing. But that doesn’t mean I don’t doubt myself all the time. My brain does a pretty good job at that, it’s doesn’t need much outside impetus. What you need to remember that your brain is your enemy and it must be destroyed at all costs. Whiskey helps.

12. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?

Be like? You mean in writing style? Or in money-earning style? I’ll go with the first, the second is too easy. If I could re-genetically engineer myself, I’ll take the rabid lust of Juan Pedro Gutierrez, the word-witchcraft of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the lyricism of Louis de Bernieres, the caustic empathy of Kurt Vonnegut, and Joseph Heller’s one-liners.

13. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?

Let me see. We work every waking hour for little or no pay. We sit all day in a darkened room, getting pastier and more rotund (which is a winning combination). We squint at screens, and drive ourselves demented over commas. Our liver swells as we wash away the pain of putting a story together. Then, finally, the day comes. We publish. And the world shrugs. So it goes.

14. What’s your typical writing day?

When I finish playing in the Mariachi band the sun is usually up at that point. If we can find the host, we’ll raise him from slumber, shake him down for some walking around money, then try and thumb a lift home. If I’m wide awake at that point, and usually I will be, a couple of Mezcals will get the heart going again, and I’ll try and throw down a page or two.

15. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?

Seeing how long I could stay awake with pure willpower. I knocked myself out on the third night (by accident). Pretty stupid thing to do, and I’m sure it wasn’t great for my skin, but I still wonder how long I could have gone. And they say youth is wasted on the young. Tsk.

16. What do you do when you finish writing a book?

Honestly? I usually get into a deep anticlimactic funk for a couple of days, becoming quite tetchy indeed. Then I go out and blow off some steam and feel great again.

17. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?

Editor. They are essential. It’s only one of two things that self-publishers should spend money on (along with covers), so there really is no reason to skimp. Some people say they can’t afford an editor. I think you can’t afford to not have an editor. They improve the text immeasurably. And that will show in your sales and reviews.

18. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?

Bitch and moan, have a glass of wine, then parse it to see if there is anything useful in there.

19. What’s your best tip for other writers?

Never wait to be inspired. Inspiration comes from writing. Keep writing, even when it’s crap, especially when it’s crap. That’s just the gunk your brain needs to expel first. It will get better. Read lots. Read on the toilet. Read on the bus. Read walking down the street. Read everything you can get your hands on. Write the book you want to read.

20. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?

Do not operate heavy machinery after taking these pills.

21. Do you base your characters on real people?

All my characters are composites of everyone I’ve ever met. I’m facing a class action defamation suit.

22. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?

Writing about death is pretty personal. I mean, you can imagine all sorts of things, but the most visceral will always be coloured by your own experiences.

23. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?

I haven’t had a literary feud (yet). I’m very disappointed. They look like so much fun, and I’m sure they’re very good for sales. Aside from that, the pennilessness, the obscurity, and the reliance on alcohol were all pretty much expected. But things like getting a complimentary email from someone who has read your work is something I never fantasised about, and it’s very nice indeed.

24. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?

When I was younger, I really thought that being a writer would help you get chicks. That just shows how much I know. Basically, when you tell a girl you are a writer, you might as well just say, “hey I’m totally broke, and I know it’s not that cool, but if you paid for dinner, you would be really helping me out.”

25. What do you think of the ebook industry?

It’s given me an opportunity to self-publish work and reach readers in all sorts of places that never would have heard of me or read my stuff. That’s really cool.

26. What do you think of the print industry?

But print books are tangible, and altogether more beautiful. You can’t arrange a bunch of e-books on your coffee table. Although, in twenty years when everyone has those holographic tables that can display e-books, people are going to look back at this and laugh at me. In which case, I would like to say: hello future, sorry we made such a mess.

27. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?

As long as I’m not feeling grouchy. So, any time after 2pm is usually good.

28. Do you find writing lonely?

I’m sure it was lonely. But with blogging, Twitter and the rest, you can always pretend you are a well-liked and respected member of the community, even if they don’t know what you really look like.

29. What would you do if you couldn’t write?

Pout. Stamp my foot. Refuse to eat my vegetables. Annoy the hell out of everyone.

30. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
Blog: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/DavidGaughran
If You Go Into The Woods: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004YTI01Y Transfection: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0051ZG7AG/
Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005DC68NI

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8th July


Today I am interviewing the lovely Ellison James.

1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
The first time I remember thinking I would like to write for the rest of my life was in junior high school. I developed a knack for writing funny little quips and dirty limericks. This gained me much attention from my friends and set me on a path to writing. The real push came when I wrote a speculative fiction piece in a creative writing class involving a kind of alternate Adam and Eve story. My teacher, very strong in her religious convictions, was not impressed and told me so. That is when I knew I would write for the rest of my life.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
I had so many different jobs, I cannot remember them all. One of my favourite part-time jobs was working as a limousine driver. I loved the excitement of going to new places and carrying interesting people. I was once part of a very large caravan of cars transporting a Chinese dignitary. And, I’ll never forget bringing Tina Turner from the airport to a convention hall. That was the closest I’ve come to having a brush with celebrity. I’ve also held jobs such as: food delivery driver, sandwich maker, logging camp assistant, demolition derby driver, and college professor.

3. What genre do you write?
Well, that’s a tough question for me. I’ll just say, for this interview, I write fantasy, paranormal erotica, and contemporary erotica with suspense and mystery elements. But, if one were to search hard enough, they would find that I also write mystery, science fiction, and speculative fiction, but that’s in another life.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
I find inspiration just about everywhere, and in everything. Inspiration can be found in the local shopping centre or along a forest path. Of course, I’m a people watcher and sometimes develop entire character profiles while eating at a restaurant or wandering through a Wal-Mart superstore.

5. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
I am a very social person. I love to interact with others and hear their stories. Of course, I have a few stories of my own and love to hear myself talk as well, so don’t let me corner you and start talking unless you love to listen.

6. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
This is a tough question. I guess I just don’t know what I would do if I could not write. I’ve never not written as long as I can remember.

7. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?
I’m sure the pluses far outweigh the drawbacks, but I can say that the writing life may not be for everyone. A writer spends much time alone, and must often pull themselves up after criticism or harsh reviews of their work. Also, I’ve had many friends express their thought that writing is easy. I would submit that, if writing were so easy, more people would do it. Simply writing may be easy for most, but writing an engaging, quality story is a long difficult process that I’m glad not everyone can complete.

8. What’s your typical writing day?
My writing time varies as I try to write whenever I can. I have been fortunate to spend days writing to my heart’s content, and then there may be a day, or even days that go by when I simply do not have the opportunity to write. Those are my hardest days. Nonetheless, on a typical day, I’m awake no later than 4:00 AM to make some coffee, answer emails, and write or plot like a possessed person until about 6:00 AM. Then, I shower and stumble to my full-time job. I usually try to do some online work (promoting, more emails, facebook, and blogging) until dinnertime. I feel I must spend some time with family, so we gather in our cosy living room for prime-time television and I plop my laptop down and work on one of my many current projects. By 10:00 PM, everyone has fallen asleep, and that’s when I get some real serious writing done until about 11:00 PM before stumbling up to bed so I can start all over again the next day.

9. Do you base your characters on real people?
I would say yes and no to this question. Of course, my characters are completely fictional, but they may have traits I’ve gathered from any number of people I’d known or seen in the past. For instance, Azra, the main character in my novel “Lovestruck Succubus” has her origins in a friend I knew when I was much younger. This friend of mine always talked about love, and finding her prince but she really had no understanding of what love was, and soon developed a reputation for being “loose” because she confused love with sex. The great thing about writing is that I can write this story in such a way that my character DOES find love.

10. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?
I believe that everything I write is deeply personal. Every story I create comes from a place inside me, or even from my past. I become involved with each of my characters, even the minor ones. In fact, I’ve struggled with the sequel to “Lovestruck Succubus” tentatively titled “Demon Among Wolves” because my characters, Azra, and Raif have developed in ways I did not expect. It’s like raising a child, and then having to let them go off and live their own life. Because I’ve grown to love my main characters so much, I’m actually sliding in another novel that should be available later this year involving two minor characters, Joseph and Alexis Johnson, from the first novel.

Even my short erotic stories are personal to me. I was just as surprised as Reshonda at the end of the story “Pleasure Doing Business” and I felt every emotion along with Wendy in the story “Window Treatment.” For a sample of my work, I’ve offered a short story featuring Azra, my demon succubus, in ancient China changing history. I think it’s a great little historical piece without the heavy dose of erotica found in some of my other work.

11. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
My blog: http://ellison-james.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellison.james

Twitter: authorlsnjames@twitter.com
Email: author.ellison.james@gmail.com

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Ellison-James/e/B004EKJX1Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s?_encoding=UTF8&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Ellison%20James

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/ellison-james?store=ebook&keyword=ellison+james

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ellisonjames


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4th July

Today I am interviewing the lovely Jacqueline Hopkins













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1. Is writing the only job you’ve had?
No, I have had a lot of jobs, some call me a Jac of all trades, lol. I’ve had the various waitress jobs during high school and after, I’ve been a cocktail waitress and bartender, I was in the US Navy from 1981 to 1988 as a secretary, basically and while in the Navy I also tended bar at the officer’s club in Iceland and the enlisted club in Connecticut, I worked for Nissan Corporation in Hawaii as a driver, Assistant Manager for a fabric store, Assistant Manager at a Dollar Store, Office Manager for a real estate firm, worked for the US 2000 Census, and currently work as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper/Research Analyst/Technical Writer/Editor for 5 real estate appraisers.



2. What genre do you write?
I write murder mystery, thriller, time travel romance, and mainstream. I have an idea for a self-help/bio book...just contemplating if it will be useful to people.



3. Do you ever dream of your next book?
Are you asking me if I ever dream about my books, the characters, story, etc? Sometimes I do and when that happens, it helps to write their story.

4. Describe the highlight of your writing career.
So far, it has been holding the actual printed book in my hands; seeing the cover attached, seeing the printed words inside with my name on the front. It is a super great feeling. When I got my proof in the mail, I had to run an errand, so I walked into the local bar where I knew my husband was waiting and handed the book to him and told him to 'show it off' so to speak to people we knew in there. Living in a small town helps, sometimes. Anyway, when I got back from my errand, three women wanted to talk to me about the book and two of them bought it when I got my order in a few weeks later. That experiences was exhilarating and uplifting.


5. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?
Perhaps recently it would have to J.K. Rowling. What an imagination she has. I say to myself, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that? I certainly could have.” In the past growing up when I read a lot, it would have to be June Lund Shiplett, Kathleen Woodiwiss and Stephen King. There is also Tess Gerritsen of the famous medical murder thrillers; she writes so well and because her characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, have their own TV series. It is fantastic and what an honor to write so well to have that happen with your writing.

6. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?
Not getting paid what you feel your writing is worth. Having to take time out of your busy life to try to find time and space to write. Having to work a regular day job to support oneself until ones writing pays off well enough to be able to quit your day job.

7. What’s your typical writing day?
I don’t believe I have one. I write when I can when my day job and everyday life doesn’t get in the way of my writing. I am always thinking about my stories, my characters, the settings for the books, the research I must do, the promoting of the current book out. My mind is never far from my writing; I just can’t act upon it every day and write.



8. What’s your best tip for other writers?
Hire an editor to catch all your grammar, spelling, run on sentences, word context meaning, words left out, words added in that don’t belong, does it make sense, etc. If you can’t afford one, edit the heck out of it. One way to proof read your own writing is to start at the back of the book, at the bottom and read right to left and up. Your eyes stop on the word and your mind will know if it is spelled correctly or not. Once you are done reading it that way, start at the beginning of the book, reading left to right, top to bottom like you normally would. This way then your eyes catch words for context -- is the right word used the correct way. For instance, you’re versus your; past versus passed; breathe versus breath, etc.

A tip I heard -- if you can’t afford to hire an editor, go to your local college and see if there are students in the field of editing that would read your work for you for the practice for free.



9. Do you base your characters on real people?
Hmmm, maybe. Sometimes. Actually, I might take character traits of people I know and mix and match them with others, so I don’t write about just one person and their character. I take some of my character traits and mix them with other people. I do have one friend who said I could use their entire character in one of my books, a best friend to the thriller/murder book I am working on. This friend said they would be honoured and looks forward to the book coming out.



10. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
They are surprised and very happy for me. They think it is great that I write and some are even surprised -- by their words – that I can write at all, lol. No, seriously, I have received some very positive feedback to my writing and I am, so far, very please at the reviews I have received for my first book, Wilderness Heart.

11. What do you think of the ebook industry?
I think it is wonderful. We need another avenue to get our books published that traditional publishing houses miss because they are too busy to read what is in their slush pile, or they just aren’t taking that particular book right now, or that genre just doesn’t work for them, etc. I think the pricing of ebooks is crazy and probably not a good place here to talk about that right now. I still have mixed feelings about that as you can probably tell since my book was priced at $7.20 and last month I lowered it to $4.95.

12. What do you think of the print industry?
As an author, I would love to have a traditional publisher behind me, backing me, helping to promote myself and my books. I think all authors, self-published or traditionally published would like the backing, support, and promotion. There is something kind of prestigious about seeing your book in print from a big publishing house, and sure, I would love to see my name on a book like that. I won’t kid myself and say I wouldn’t. I think it is every author’s dream, but some are achieving that dream being self-published because they have a really great product in a market place that fits and they have great promotional skills.

13. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
I think I have the social experience to interact great with others. I remember hearing my mother, when I was younger and still living at home (wow that was over 35 years ago, lol), tell people that I had a very outgoing personality. I am not afraid to meet people and just start talking to them. But I am also shy a bit and sometimes I don’t feel like talking...my mind is going in all different directions and sometimes I forget to talk to people, so I have been told recently that I am a cold person, that I don’t loosen up and have fun. I kind of laughed at that, because I think if they really knew me, that they would just know that my mind is on the next book, or story, or my kids and grandkids, on my husband, my brother’s health, my writing niece’s messed up life, my mother living alone on another island in SE Alaska and I just get my mind wrapped around what is
going on inside it, that I forget to talk to people in a group setting, like at the bar or party.

14. Do you find writing lonely?
No, not really. I don’t just read books for research, I talk to people, I brainstorm with people – what if this, or what if that, what if I have the character to this or that. Or I go out and try to experience what I am going to write about. For instance, I am working on a murder mystery set here in Sitka during the herring fishery season, and so I was able to ride in a skiff 2 years in a row right in the middle of all these huge boats on the ocean. What a rush that was and I was able to get a lot of pictures and videos so I can write about what I saw and experienced for the book. At least I hope I was able to capture everything, only time will tell in the book if I got it right.

15. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
Just keep working at a day job, like I do now. Travel and see the world, if I could.

16. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
Amazon.com for the kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Wilderness-Heart-ebook/dp/B004MYGV3U/ref=pd_rhf_p_img_1 Smashwords for all readers: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45556 Amazon's Createspace in paperback: https://www.createspace.com/3565575 Diesel-ebooks: http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000045556/Hopkins-Jacqueline-Wilderness-Heart/1.html Sony ebooks: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/jacqueline-hopkins/wilderness-heart/_/R-400000000000000355902
You can play games to win my book here: http://www.freado.com
See my blog here: http://jacquehopkins.blogspot.com

All this week, I am doing a special promotion in honor of my 52nd birthday, July 7th. So with this coupon from Smashwords you can click on the link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/45556 for any e-reader, and you can purchase my book for only $0.99 through the whole month of July so tell all your reading friends. GT64D I hope you enjoy and Thank you


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2nd July

Today I am interviewing the lovely M. Edward McNally.


1.When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I had a cute-sy little-kid poem in the local paper when I was around ten. My name in print, that was all it took.

2.Is this the only job you’ve had?
The only good one.

3.Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?
After having some short stories published in the '90's, I actually stopped writing fiction altogether for about a decade to "get a real life," or something along those lines. Now I am back at last, and much happier on a day-to-day basis, as this feels somehow "right" to me in a way nothing else ever has.

4.What genre do you write?
Right now, Epic Fantasy (Muskets & Magic) is the closest approximation I have found it helpful to use.

5.Have you written under more than one genre?
This is my first real foray into "genre," as I suppose the stuff I was doing 15 years ago had pretensions of being "literary fiction."

6.Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
I am working on a series, so by now I have been living with the characters for so long that they give me the inspiration. Or at least, they give me no rest when I try to slack-off.

7.Do you ever dream of your next book?
Imagery sometimes sparks what turns out to be a scene, but nothing really conscious or direct.

8.Describe the highlight of your writing career.
The first story I had published in a literary journal. I took the mag to a park and read it sitting on a bench, about ten times. That was awesome. :)

9.Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?
Even when I did "give up" for a decade, I never wanted to do so. I thought it was what other people wanted. My bad.

10.What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?
Missing it.

11.Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?
Well, I guess I do both. I believe in myself as a rule, but I suppose everybody has those days of looking at something they've written and thinking, "Yikes, I'm a terrible, horrible hack."

12.Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?
As much as this sounds sort of jerky, I wouldn't want to be any other author. Sure, I'd like to experience the success others have had, but not *be* them. Though I would love to be able to turn a phrase the way Ani DiFranco turns a lyric.

13.Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?
There is nowhere near enough time, and spare moments seem like a thing of the past.

14.What’s your typical writing day?
Haven't had one yet, I am "catch-as-catch-can."

15.What do you do when you finish writing a book?
I start the next one immediately. I fear down-time.

16.Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?
Love to, but my Betas have been pretty solid so far (we were all basically grad-students together in a couple different fields, including English.)

17.What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?
Constructive criticism, I embrace. Other stuff I try to shrug-off.

18.What’s your best tip for other writers?
Don't stop. Ever.

19.What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?
This was about the amount of back-story I included in a particular piece: "You need to figure out the difference between what you needed to know to write they story, and what somebody else is going to need to know to read it."

20.Do you base your characters on real people?
Nope. Some peculiarities/habits of multiple people I may know (or be) may seep into a character, but after a while the main ones are their own people to me.

21.What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?
I had a number of short stories that were autobiographical. They were not my favorites to write, but some of them were about things I needed to put out there so I could move on.

22.Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?
I’m stunned by how cool and great so many of the people I have “met” via social networking and writers groups have turned out to be. That has been a real pleasure.

23.What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
It varies by the context in which I know them. I don’t really tell most of the people I work with, older friends and family tend to say “It’s about time.”

24.What do you think of the ebook industry?
It’s the Wild West. Everybody is trying to figure everything out at the same time, and two people doing the exact same thing can have totally different results. It’s exhausting, invigorating, fun, and scary. I love it.

25.What do you think of the print industry?
The what now? Oh, right, the celebrity bio people. Folks seem to like that stuff, so good luck to them.

26.Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
In “real life,” I’m generally private to the point some people mistake it for being stand-offish. It’s not, I just don’t really “put my business out there” to all and sundry.

27.Do you find writing lonely?
Not with all the voices in my head. It’s a cacophony.

28.What would you do if you couldn’t write?
Be better paid less happy. :)


29.Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
--
The Sable City by M. Edward McNally
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004PLNNLS
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004PLNNLS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46661
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29th June

Today I am interviewing the lovely Thea Atkinson


1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
I remember writing an essay in grade 3 as an assignment and the teacher was planning to submit the best of them to our local radio station. My best friend won. I was so thrilled for her that I wanted to pull her hair out. Maybe I wanted to work at my writing so that I could get as good as her. She was always the better writer. So no matter what the actual motivation was, I wrote some little thing every year until I took it up seriously when I was 26. At the time the Internet came to our community. That was really the catalyst for me. I discovered other writers to network with. I learned a lot in the first two years and I still remember some of the names from the listservs I was on, and I still keep in touch with some.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
Heavens no. I've been a roe cutter, a pizza chef, a teller, a freelance writer, an accounting clerk, and more. Right now, I'm faculty at a community college…have been for about 15 years.

3. What genre do you write?
  I write psychological thrillers…that often touch on other historical periods than contemporary. Sometimes I mix them up.

4. Have you written under more than one genre?
Definitly. In April I did a blogstreak that had me writing flash fiction in a bunch of different genres. I found fantasty and paranormal the hardest to write.

5. Do you ever dream of your next book?
Sometimes it how they start. grin

6. Describe the highlight of your writing career.
I'd have to say the moment an agent called me and wanted to represent me. I felt like I'd finally arrived. I remember she asked me why I write dark because she felt sure she'd be asked that question and I told her it was because I like to find the light. I didn't sleep all night that night. In fact, I kind of panicked and had a terrible few months of writer's block.

7. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?
I think there will always be those moments. It's trying to remember that persistence and perseverance are the keys to being successful. That and adjusting your goals if you need to. Success is so relative.

8. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?
Of course, JKRowling or the master Stephen King. Just for the success part. But truly, I really admire Alice Munro's characterization and gift for subtlety.

9. What’s your best tip for other writers?
Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write. Always take criticism graciously even when you don’t agree with it. And always help the next writer coming through the door.

10. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
UM. No. I'm pretty shy unless I'm in front of a class. For some reason, then, it's easier. But I'm a loser in big crowds. I always wanted to be an actor till I found out I was socially inept. Grin.

11. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
I'd take pictures. I love photography. In fact, during my writer's block, that's how I won back my muse…by snapping pics.

12. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.


I have 5 novels all available from Amazon, BN, Kobo, and Smashwords. As well as a free Short Story available from Smashwords: God in the Machine
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69156

BOOK SALE LINKS:
Secret language of Crows:
Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Language-Crows-novel-ebook/dp/B00452V8EQ/
BN
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-secret-language-of-crows-thea-atkinson/1029544689?ean=2940011164088&itm=1&usri=secret%2blanguage%2bof%2bcrows
Kobo
http://kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Secret-Language-of-Crows/book-LzQ3DWuMJEGqWnjFiw0GWw/page1.html
Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33999

Anomaly
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Anomaly-novel-resilience-self-acceptance/dp/B004C0542S/
BN
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anomaly-thea-atkinson/1029298408?ean=2940011157271&itm=1&usri=thea%2batkinson
Kobo
http://kobobooks.com/ebook/Anomaly/book-YbkIc7mB4E-dg8xgkkaiKg/page1.html
Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33920


One Insular Tahiti
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Insular-Tahiti-reincarnation-redemption-ebook/dp/B0042RUKSE/
BN
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anomaly-thea-atkinson/1029298408?ean=2940011157271&itm=1&usri=thea%2batkinson
Kobo
http://kobobooks.com/ebook/One-Insular-Tahiti/book-Ogo9c1wR9EaRY1R9z8dDmg/page1.html
Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/33915

Formed of Clay
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Formed-Clay-novella-betrayal-ebook/dp/B004PVSOZS/
BN http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/formed-of-clay-thea-atkinson/1030616526?ean=2940011237768&itm=5&usri=thea%2batkinson
Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/35640

Pray For Reign
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Pray-Reign-Anne-Boleyn-ebook/dp/B0042FZQEE/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1
BN
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pray-for-reign-thea-atkinson/1004154728?ean=2940011175152&itm=3&usri=thea%2batkinson
KOBO
http://kobobooks.com/ebook/Pray-for-Reign/book-zscmKtudGkaF79ig1vxPgw/page1.html


Please feel free to follow me on twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/theaatkinson

or like my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Theas-Writing-Page/122231651163413

or visit my blog for ramblings, guest posts, giveaways, and more http://theaatkinson.wordpress.com


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27th June

Today I am interviewing the lovely Debra L. Martin

1. What genre do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy. I write with co-author, David W Small, who also happens to be my brother. We grew up together loving the same books – fantasy and science fiction and it was this love of the genre that helped us to decide to write our own story.

2. Have you written under more than one genre?

Yes, we also have a series, The Dark Future Series, and those stories are set in a post-apocalyptic world. “Path to Destruction” takes place when the US is being overrun by a foreign army after a world-wide nuclear war. “The Right Path” takes place decades later and is about the struggle to survive.

3. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

I think Dave is my biggest inspiration. We can talk about all kinds of ideas and I find myself thinking of lots of different ideas after we talked. Also, it’s thrilling to get back a scene or chapter from Dave and see exactly what he’s written in our latest WIP.

4. What do you do when you finish writing a book?

When we finish a book, we let it set for a while to get some distance and perspective. Then comes the editing rounds. It’s amazing how things change sometimes during the editing process. Sometimes it just a small tangent that needs to be added to clarify something or sometimes it cutting out entire chapters and rewriting to get it right.

5. What’s your best tip for other writers?

It’s important to be patient. Writing takes time, editing takes even more time, give yourself the time you need to get it right. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get that book to publication. You want to put out the best book you can.

6. What do you think of the ebook industry?

I think the ebook industry has fundamentally changed the way people read books and has opened up the doors for many authors to bring their books to publication. The ebook share will only continue to grow.

7. What do you think of the print industry?

I think the print industry will be around for some time to go, but every year it loses more and more readers. Having hundreds of books on your Kindle or Nook is so much easier than carrying around a bunch of print books.

8. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?

I love to connect with fellow authors and readers. That’s actually one of the reasons why I started my blog, Two Ends of the Pen. I feature fellow indie authors in interviews, panel discussions, book giveaways and new release posts. I also enjoy reviewing indie books. I have quite a few friends on my Facebook pae now and love connecting with them as well as my hundreds of Twitter followers.

Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.

Two Ends of the Pen Blog: http://twoendsofthepen.blogspot.com/ Author website: http://www.martinandsmall.com/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Debra.L.Martin.Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/dlmartin6
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Debra-L-Martin/e/B003Q1WLXY/

QUEST FOR NOBILITY (Book 1 in The Rule of Otharia series) US Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003CC1KI4 Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11660 Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Quest-for-Nobility-Book-1/Debra-L-Martin/e/2940000838488 UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003CC1KI4

THE CRYSTAL FAƇADE (Book 2 in The Rule of Otharia series) Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003CC1KK2 Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/11661 Barnes & Noble:http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Crystal-Facade-Book-2/Debra-L-Martin/e/2940000838495
UK Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crystal-Fantasy-Adventure-Otharia-ebook/dp/B003CC1KK2 
                                                        
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25th June

Today I am interviewing the lovely Nick Antinozzi

1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
 I suppose it was sometime in my early teens, it may have been earlier. I think I've always known on some level that this is what I've wanted to do. I'll bet most writers would say the same thing, I think its what we were born to do.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
I wish, it is the career I continue to pursue while I work at my job to pay the bills.

3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?
My jobs have all been in transportation, which is dull and very boring and not very interesting, all at the same time. I like the thought of being able to create something important, not that I've thought of anything yet. The thought is what keeps me going!

4. What genre do you write?
 I write fiction, action/adventure and some fantasy. I like to mix it up to keep it fresh. I also like to keep it clean, so I'm old fashioned in that manner.

5. Have you written under more than one genre?
Yes, I think all writers should do so. We have to experiment to grow.

6. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
 People, I like to imagine them in situations that they wouldn't imagine themselves. I think I create my characters first and the story follows. I begin each writing project the same way, with a blank piece of paper and a couple of thoughts. I usually go back and totally rewrite the first five (or more,) chapters in my second draft. I never know where I'm heading until I get there and that's how I want my readers to feel. This is a lot of work, hundreds of hours are wasted, but it's what works for me. Either that, or I could be a raving lunatic. The jury is still out on that one.

7. Do you ever dream of your next book?
 No, but I go to bed thinking about where I am in my manuscript and where I'd like the story to go. I have to write first thing in the morning before the day arrives and pollutes my imagination. I've been that way for years.

8. Describe the highlight of your writing career.
There have been many, but there is nothing like hearing from someone how much they liked your work. I've had some stuff make the charts and I've had people from the other side of the world friend me on FB to say they like what I'm doing. That's awesome. Carrying a 4.5 Star rating for my novel "Desperate Times," at Barnes and Noble based on reviews from 42 complete strangers is also something I'm proud of. Reviews from strangers are the only ones that really count to an author, just my opinion.

9. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?
The first professional edit was brutal. I found that it was time to put the crayons away and get serious. I had much to learn.

10. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?
 I "lost" my word files during my divorce. Perhaps a billion hours of writing... *poof* gone. Let that be a lesson to all. Back everything up on multiple files. I also have a ton of writing on floppy disks from my old Cannon "Starwriter" which are useless to me, unless I run across another one in an antique shop or a garage sale.

11. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?
 The negative comments always hurt, but I never let them see me bleed. First, I try to learn from any criticisms. Where there is smoke, you know? We have to keep our minds open, even though it could be painful. When I've looked at everything from a higher ground and I've decided that the negative comments were just plain mean, I just write that person in as a long-suffering victim in my next tale.

12. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?
I like being me. Ken Follet follows at a distant second.

13. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?
 Getting up at 1:00 a.m., (or earlier,) to do what I love. I'm the King of the Morning People, which means that Primetime to me is about sleep. This is a major drawback to some people in my life, they don't understand and I don't expect them to.

14. What’s your typical writing day?
 Up by 1:00 and off to work my day-job at 3:30 a.m.. Weekends I sleep in until at least 3:00 and I like to write until noon if I can.

15. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
 You'd never believe me...

16. What do you do when you finish writing a book?
 I try to celebrate, somehow, but never with a cigarette. They were too hard to give up.

17. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself? I've done both, I also enlist my trusted readers and they are a great help.

18. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?
 I bite my lip and look to see if they have a valid point. There is always room to grow.

19. What’s your best tip for other writers?
 READ! I try to read as much as I can between my writing projects. The other point would be to write at least six days a week. Writing is like dieting or exercising, you need to stay at it.

20. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?
 Just to let myself go and to write in my own style. I got that from a high school teacher.

21. Do you base your characters on real people? Yes, sometimes it’s a blend of people. I think readers like characters they can relate to.

22. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?
 The eulogy for my dad.

23. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?
I don't know how to answer that. The best parts have been the little victories.

24. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
 I am careful who I tell. Some people just don't get it, nor, will they ever. I would rather that they see my name on a book binding.

25. What do you think of the ebook industry?
 I love it, its opening doors for everyone.

26. What do you think of the print industry?
 They've done nothing for me, but I'm a reader at heart. I still care what happens in New York and I hope to see my stuff in hard cover, someday.

27. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
I'm a loner, but I do get along well with others. I love my down-time.

28. Do you find writing lonely?
No, those are usually the best hours of my day.

29. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
I think I'd spend my days weaving baskets and foaming at the mouth.

30. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
My books of interest are Desperate Times and Desperate Times 2, followed by Odd Whitefeather and Brindles Odyssey. People can look me up on Smashwords or B&N, Amazon, etc... I'm also on Facebook, so feel free to stop by and say hello. Thank you, Laura. I hope that I've passed the audition!

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23rd June

Today I am interviewing the lovely Katie Stephens

1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
At school. English was the only subject I looked forward to and just adored creative writing. I started writing poetry for friends and then a few years ago, with 2 young children I decided to do a Creative Writing course. This gave me the discipline and confidence to start writing my book.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
No I have worked in PR for over 17 years – and still do. I feel very lucky that I have a career that lets me use my love of writing.

3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?
In an ideal world I would love to write full time – maybe, one day!!!

4. What genre do you write?
Chick lit/contemporary romance. I like to write about real romance – no knights in shining armour or unrealistic heroes. I also don’t do the whole sex scene thing – I prefer to let the reader realise what is about to happen and leave the rest to their imagination (I have to remember that my mother reads my books!!)

5. Have you written under more than one genre?
No

6. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
My first book, Candles on the Sand, started as a piece of homework for my Creative Writing course. The topics one week were either a talking head or ‘stuck in a lift’ so I wrote a talking head about a girl stuck in a lift on her way to have her wedding dress fitted. While she was stuck she started to analyse her relationship and whether getting married was the right thing to do. The rest of the class wanted to know what happened next so each week I took the homework topic ‘The Keys’ and continued the story. I like my stories to give hope and a bit of escapism from the daily drudge of life.

7. Do you ever dream of your next book?
The next two are started and I have about another 5 in my head that I frequently dream about.

8. Describe the highlight of your writing career.
I think the fact that people are buying my book and enjoying it. I had a lovely comment from an Italian woman who lives in England who read the book and said that it transported her back to her childhood holidays on the Amalfi Coast.

9. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?
Never – writing is my ‘me time’ so I would never give up.

10. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?
That would have to be rejection letters. I sent the book out a couple of years ago to a few agents and got rejected by them all.

11. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?
I try not to let negative comments get me down but confidence is certainly not one of my strong points!

12. What’s your typical writing day?
Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of getting to write every day. I have to balance work, family etc around my writing. I have perfected writing while kids are napping or watching TV.

13. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
I don’t think I can answer that in case it incriminates me!

14. What do you do when you finish writing a book?
Edit, edit and edit some more. I don’t think a book is ever finished!

15. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?
A bit of both.

16. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?
I try to take it on board and make changes that I believe are justified. I do however believe that just because one person did not enjoy my book it doesn’t make it a bad book. There are loads of successful authors out there who are loved my millions that I just can’t read and don’t enjoy.

17. What’s your best tip for other writers?
Do it for enjoyment and write what you like to read.

18. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?
Love what you’re doing and do what you love.

19. Do you base your characters on real people?
No, however there is a guy I work with who reminds me of one of the characters in my book but I didn’t know him when I wrote it.

20. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?
A poem about getting married that was read at my wedding.

21. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?
It is harder than I think a lot of people think it will be but it is also the best thing when you know people are reading your book.

22. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
I would say that on the whole it is admiration especially now that the book is out there to be read.

23. What do you think of the ebook industry?
I think it is a great way of getting more books out to more people. It is opening up reading to many people who had become lapsed readers. I have read more books since I got my Kindle 3 months ago than I have in the past 3 years.

24. What do you think of the print industry?
I think there are going to be many changes in the publishing industry and print books may well suffer. I think there will always be a market for print books and that will never change.

25. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
Yes. I love meeting people and hearing about their lives. Everybody has a story.

26. Do you find writing lonely?
Not at all. I spend all my writing time with my characters so I’m never lonely.

27. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
I would still make up stories in my head.

28. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
Candles on the Sand by Katie Stephens
www.katiestephens.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Candles-on-the-Sand/dp/B004YKZIYA/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/candles-on-the-sand-katie-stephens/1031432991?ean=2940011305269&itm=1&usri=candles%2bon%2bthe%2bsand https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/59534 http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/candles-on-the-sand/id442144344?mt=11 http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Candles-on-the-Sand/book-kUUdG7UVGkWc1PCcIhmyRA/page1.html

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Today I am interviewing the lovely Melissa Smith.

Q. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
I realized it in high school. I really liked putting down stories and developing characters.

Q. Is this the only job you’ve had?
 No. I’ve only been back to work for the last five years. Before that I was a full time Domestic Engineer.

Q. What genre do you write?
 Paranormal and Sci-fi Romance

Q.Do you ever dream of your next book?
 Constantly. That seems to be my way of working through the story line. I dream several things and when I wake up I put them down. My husband thinks I’m odd, but that’s ok.

Q. What do you do when you finish writing a book?
 Do the happy dance and giggle like a toddler. Again, my family thinks me odd, but when I can say that I’ve reached the end… Wow!

Q. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?
Take it for what it is. Criticism. While on some level it’s personal to me because my writing (like any authors) is a part of you that you’ve put to paper. I take what they’ve said and either I understand and change or I leave it alone and get another opinion.

Q. Do you base your characters on real people?
 Maybe just a tiny bit. But for the most part they are their own selves. But we all have friends that resemble each other and that’s how I see my characters. Just another friend with another personality.

Q. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?
I think it’s better than I thought it would be. I’ve met so many wonderful people because of this. I can’t wait for it to get even better!

Q. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
 Astonishment and wonder. ‘Really? You wrote a book? Where can I find it?’ or ‘Wow! I know someone who’s written a book!’ I like those people the best!

Q. What do you think of the ebook industry?
That it’s expanding and taking us with it. I’m going to enjoy the ride and see where it lets me off.

Q. What do you think of the print industry?
There will always be a print industry. I for one love the look, feel and smell of a book. I’ll always want a physical copy of my favourite books just to hold.

Q. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
After getting to know you a little I am very social! I get along with almost everybody. I mean, what’s not to love about me!

Q. Do you find writing lonely?
 Not at all! I have many friends to talk to and have vicarious adventures through. And the people who’ve read my books can talk to me about them and then we laugh about that.

Q. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
Read some more.

Q. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
 My books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.
Cloud Nine: A Novel of the Guardians of Man http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004D9FF54 http://tinyurl.com/M-SmithCloud-Nine

The Heir Apparent http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SI48J4 http://tinyurl.com/TheHeirApparent
 
      
                                                

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Today I am interviewing the lovely Helmy Kusuma

1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?
I woke up one day and found working in office was not palatable anymore. So I fancied myself becoming an artist, hence a writer.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?
Yes! I had worked in IT for a decade and never ventured outside that.

3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?
See question no 1

4. What genre do you write?
My first novel, Mementoes of Mai, is Romance/Young Adults. But, I am imagining a science fiction for my third.

5. Have you written under more than one genre?
Currently planning to.

6. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?
Mostly my life experience mixed with some daydreaming.

7. Do you ever dream of your next book?
Every night. LOL.

8. Describe the highlight of your writing career.

9. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?
At times like this, little sales and many bills, I just want to forget it all and prostitute myself to office routine, but my inner geek would not let me. So cope with me. I am still here.

10. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?
Facebook?

11. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?
The scale keeps tipping one way or the other.

12. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?
Helmy Kusuma. Seriously, I would like to be myself with Paulo's sales. LOL.

13. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?
14. What’s your typical writing day?
Quiet and solemn, somewhere between 23:00 and 03:00

15. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
16. What do you do when you finish writing a book?
Imagining the next one.

17. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?
I did it myself for my first and the result was a crap. Luckily god sent one of those editor and he agreed to do my novel for free. Dunno about my second though. Maybe god would send me another one.

18. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?
Ponder it long and hard.

19. What’s your best tip for other writers?
Sleep while you could because tomorrow might be an overtime.

20. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?
The three E: Edit, Edit and Edit.

21. Do you base your characters on real people?
Do you consider me to be real?

22. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?
23. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?
It has been better and worse at the same time.

24. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?
Really? It's totally cool! How many copy have you sold? And then the enthusiasm would dwindle a little bit…

25. What do you think of the ebook industry?
Bravo! Keep it a go!

26. What do you think of the print industry?
Chill out. Don't force yourself, there is a new kid in the street.

27. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?
Yes, of course! I need to analyse how people are interacting by doing it.

28. Do you find writing lonely?
I have many characters accompanying me every where I go.

29. What would you do if you couldn’t write?
Probably I would sing or paint or play music.

30. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.
My first novel, Mementoes of Mai, is a love story that happens while on a journey.
It can be bought at Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56911 Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YWKD3Y Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004YWKD3Y Amazon DE https://www.amazon.de/dp/B004YWKD3Y

I can be reached at My blog http://www.helmykusuma.com Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EL.Publish Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4576592.Helmy_Kusuma



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Today I am interviewing the lovely David Brown.

1. When did you realise you wanted to become a writer?

I enjoyed reading fiction in my early teens but it wasn’t until I started college that I wanted to start writing. In 1998 I discovered Final Fantasy VII on the Playstation and from there I found Norse mythology which was a major turning point. By 1999 I had started drawing maps and writing the history of Elenchera. Short stories and novels followed soon after and I haven’t looked back since.

2. Is this the only job you’ve had?

I’ve wanted to earn my living as a writer but sadly that dream hasn’t come to fruition yet. Prior to completing university I spent a summer cleaning at a local warehouse but since finishing my degree I’ve worked in an a series of offices, first for a firm of solicitors and then the local council.

3. Have other work experiences made you more determined to follow a writing career?

I’ve built up more than seven years of office experience since leaving university and every role I have held has led to me longing more and more to be a full-time writer. Writing has been the only form of work that has ever interested me; anything else has proved very unfulfilling.

4. What genre do you write?

I write fantasy but with the Elencheran Chronicles I’m trying to do something a little different with the genre, making the stories more accessible to other readers by giving the characters more life than the fictitious world in which they inhabit.

5. Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

History is the biggest source of inspiration for me and was integral in helping shape the timelines of Elenchera. Whenever I read a history book I’m always trying to imagine the events and conflicts taking place in Elenchera. Earlier this year, I read Frank McLynn’s Napoleon biography and one event in the Emperor’s hectic life inspired part of the conclusion to my next novel, A World Apart.

6. Do you ever dream of your next book?

I often daydream about events in my novels, trying to imagine how they would look on the big screen. I did this a lot with Fezariu’s Epiphany and A World Apart is no exception. I’ve now spent many months piecing together the plot in my mind and the process is far from complete yet but I am itching to get started on the novel now.

7. Describe the highlight of your writing career.

I could say the publication of Fezariu’s Epiphany which is obviously up there but for me the highlight so far came courtesy of my wife. Before we were a couple we worked in the same office and she expressed an interest in my writing so I shared the history of Elenchera with her. No one had read the history before so I was nervous about what the response would be but thankfully my wife informed me it was one of the most amazing things she had ever read. That was a major boost and gave me the faith that there truly was potential in Elenchera.

8. Have there ever been moments where you’ve wanted to give up?

I’ve had many a dark day with writing and the thought has crossed my mind of deleting all my work, especially the history, but then I manage to ground myself and think of all the years of work I have devoted to this world. Things are easier now as my wife is always behind me, pushing me forward and maintaining my belief but when I was single it was quite often tough to keep going.

9. What’s been the worst thing to happen to you regarding your writing?

After I had written my first three novels I sent them off to publishers and the first two were accepted in exchange for a contribution from me of £4,000 and £1,500 respectively. I was wary of vanity publishers so didn’t pursue either venture but with the latter I offered my third and best novel, Endeavour, for consideration instead. At 950 pages, Endeavour had taken me four years to write and I thought it had the potential to be the one that would attract interest. The publisher came back and told me that although the novel was very imaginative it was too long for them to take a punt on so the answer was no. Prior to Fezariu’s Epiphany, that was the closest I came to publication and I haven’t forgotten how disappointed I was.

10. Have you always believed in yourself, or have you let negative comments get you down?

I often suffer a whirlwind of conflicting emotions when it comes to my writing. I can work on a storyline and think this is really good, then part of me criticises myself for being arrogant, before another part comes forward and reasons that if I don’t like it then no one else will. With my wife being my no.1 critic it’s become easier to keep the negativity demons at bay but they still pop up every now and again to challenge my commitment.

11. Who is the author you’d most like to be and why?

In the fantasy realm I most admire JRR Tolkien and Terry Pratchett. They’re very different writers in what they have brought to the genre but I would gladly swap places with either one. Tolkien’s Middle Earth is nothing short of remarkable and the man was very modest about his work, stunned by its global success. Pratchett is a very funny man and I do like people with a sense of humour and just to show off even more he came up with the weird and wonderful Discworld.

12. Can you name the drawbacks to being a writer?

It can be difficult structuring your day around writing. There are no golden rules about how much of the day should be spent writing but I like to aim for at least an hour a day, whether it’s jotting down ideas, editing, or writing a blog. If I don’t write for a few days I feel rusty when I come back to it.

13. What’s your typical writing day?

Evenings tend to be the time when I write. I’m unemployed at the moment but usually I would be going out to work during the day and once home there are six cats and household chores to sort before I can snatch an hour or two in the evening. At the weekend I aim to grab more hours of writing depending on if my wife and I have any social engagements, but usually I can manage more writing time.

14. Do you hire an editor or do you do that job yourself?

It took six drafts to complete Fezariu’s Epiphany and I worked alone on the first five. The sixth and final draft I worked together with my wife. She went through the manuscript first and then handed it back to me with any corrections and discrepancies. I felt more at ease having such a strict critic give the novel the thumbs up after that final draft.

15. What do you do when you receive criticism of your work?

I used to be really bad with criticism and even now I can take some remarks personally. I try to remind myself that readers are different and not all will favour your work. Fezariu’s Epiphany is in the hands of many reviewers at the moment and I’ve promised myself I‘ll accept their verdicts no matter how good or bad. I’m not the sort of person who thinks everyone should give my book five stars but if I emerge from the many reviews with an average of three stars at the least then I’ll be very happy with that for my debut work.

16. What’s your best tip for other writers?

As soon as you start writing find yourself a critic that you trust and who isn’t afraid to tell you what they think. Prior to meeting my wife I always had family and friends read my work and the feedback was always good. There
were never any criticisms which worried me immensely. When I met my wife and she began reading my work she was impressed but did start to unearth errors and discrepancies and feed them back to me. It’s vital to have someone to test your writing before you release it into the world. The other advice I can offer is to start your own blog. I’ve been running The World According to Dave for a year now and it’s been a great way to keep my writing fresh. You can write about whatever you like, showcase your writing and hopefully build up a loyal following.

17. What’s been the most helpful advice you’ve ever received?

When I left secondary school my English teacher at the time signed a book with the words “Never stop writing poetry/prose. You are a very talented young man.” Those words were based just on work I’d produced in school but I‘ve never forgotten them and they must have had some effect as the following year I began writing about Elenchera.

18. Do you base your characters on real people?

I don’t copy every trait of a person into a character but sometimes colleagues from the past have inspired some of my characters. One girl I worked with sometimes didn’t hear what you were saying and we often said she had “selective hearing”, the same characteristic of General Bayard in Fezariu’s Epiphany. Another girl I knew we nicknamed Verne due to her initials at work being VRN. From her I came up with the character of Norman Verne, the first travelling tolderian salesman, whose journey is chronicled in bi-monthly articles on my blog.

19. What’s the most personal thing you’ve ever written?

My short story, Human Nature, reworked a similar tale I had written at secondary school and looked at the theme of animal captivity and cruelty from the perspective of an imprisoned animal. It’s a dark tale, very unpleasant in places, but I think with that story and another, 456, I was releasing pent up anger I feel about unnecessary cruelty to animals. The stories are not meant as propaganda but I did want people to stop and think for a moment about what some of us are capable of.

20. Is being a writer how you’d expected it to be? Is it better or is it worse?

I think writing is everything I expected though probably more difficult. Being something of a perfectionist I’ve found it hard to be completely satisfied with a manuscript but the difference in quality between the first four novels I wrote (2000-6) and Fezariu’s Epiphany (2009-11) is staggering. Writing is a very fulfilling experience but I do worry whether these stories in my head have been transferred to paper as well as they could be.

21. What are the reactions of others when you tell them that you write?

Prior to the publication of Fezariu’s Epiphany a conversation about my writing tended to follow the same formula. I’d tell people I like to write fiction, they’d initially be amazed then ask if I’m published, whenever I said no the conversation died immediately. A handful of people I have met have wanted to read my work but most quickly lost interest. Since Fezariu’s Epiphany was published there has been a more positive response from people.

22. What do you think of the ebook industry?

My wife bought me a Kindle for Christmas and I’ve been really impressed with it. I find it useful to be able to carry so many books around with me on one device. Amazon announced Kindle books are outselling printed books by a ratio of 2:1 so the ebook industry is alive and well and I think it will continue to thrive in the future.

23. What do you think of the print industry?

Will being outsold on Amazon by Kindle ebooks mean the end of the print industry? I don’t think so. Although fiction transfers well to the Kindle there are many books such as history, art and photography that are better suited to printed books. Although I do like my Kindle I would hate to see the print industry decline and that’s why Fezariu’s Epiphany is available in both formats.

24. Would you describe yourself as a social person? Can you interact easily with others?

I’ve always said I’m a better thinker and writer than I am a speaker. I had an aversion to presentations at school and in social engagements I can be very quiet and withdrawn or relaxed and at ease dependent on who I am with. If I’m at party or night out with a large group of people I’ll tend to be quiet but if it’s a small meal with family or close friends then I’ll be much louder and confident.

25. Do you find writing lonely?

When creating Elenchera I was too busy to feel lonely but I suppose there have been moments when I have felt on my own. This was usually when I tried to share my passion for my writing with people and they quickly lost interest, making me think whether it was worth carrying on if no one seemed to care. That all changed when I met my wife who was fascinated by Elenchera before we were together and still is today.

26. What would you do if you couldn’t write?

I don’t earn enough from writing to do it full-time unfortunately so I imagine if I didn’t write I’d be doing pretty much what I do now which is working in an office somewhere. So long as I can the pay the bills at the end of each month I’m generally content with whatever work I can do but writing is the
ultimate dream for me and if I could do it full-time and earn enough to cover my expenses then that would be a perfect life for me.

27. Please list your books, the purchase links, and please give details of where other people can find you on the internet.

If you want to find out more about Elenchera then the best place to go is www.elenchera.com. I have accounts on Twitter (@elenchera) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/elenchera), while my blog can be found at
www.elenchera.com/blog