INTERVIEW WITH ELAINE JACKSON, AUTHOR OF JOURNEY AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

AOY Elaine Jackson

Hi everyone. Today, I am interviewing Elaine Jackson, author of The Journey And Other Short Stories, an anthology of three short stories. I read the synopsis of each and think this book has something for everyone. With that said, let’s get started.

Welcome Elaine, to my little closet in cyberspace. Thanks for agreeing to this interview hope you don’t mind the crowded space. Okay, let’s get started. Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: I live in Camberley, Surrey in the UK. I’m married with a son at University. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember, always had my nose in a book (even at my own birthday party – it was the latest in the ‘Silver Brumby’ series, I was probably about eleven years old, and I’d been desperate to read it for months), and I suppose I’ve always wanted to write, too – it just took me a quarter of a century to get to a point in my life where I decided to make it a priority and just go for it.

Q: The Journey and other short stories is an anthology. Why did you decide to use this sort of format?

A: I had been writing my first novel for going on two years, and also kept coming up with ideas for shorter stories as I was writing. As a break from the main project, I wrote several shorter stories, and decided to publish those first – hoping to build up a reader base I suppose, and get my name ‘out there’.

Q: In the first story, entitled The Journey, there is a catastrophic event. Without revealing too much, what’s this story about?

A: It’s about a young widow who has more or less closed down after the death of her husband and baby son. She’s trying to move on but although she’s working, she’s kind of just existing, waiting for the pain of her loss to go away. When she meets Tom during an accident on the London Underground, and they emerge to find the city deserted in the wake of a catastrophic event, she suddenly has new priorities… this short story is what inspired me to write my first full-length novel, working title ‘All Our Tomorrows’ – but during the course of the first and second drafts the theme, premise and plot all evolved to a point where I realized that the original short story could almost be a stand-alone. So I did some polishing and re-editing, and this is the titular story of the collection.

Q: The second story, entitled Gideon’s Road, the plot seems real interesting. Without giving away too much, what is this story about?

A: ‘Gideon’s Road’ is about a man who wakes up in a ditch on a deserted country road – he’s weak and ill, he has no memory of who he is or where he is – or how he came to be there. He is taken in by an elderly widow and slowly recovers. He takes the name ‘Gideon’ and gradually accepts the reality of the world he finds himself in, but he knows there has to be more… there’s possibly a full-length novel in this premise too, if I ever get around to developing it!

Q: The third installment of this trilogy is entitled, I think You Knew My Father. Again, without revealing too much, what is this tale about?

A: This story is about a dishonest journalist who uses underhand methods to secure his place on the first manned mission to Mars – and what consequences unfold as a result.

Q: Of the three tales, which is your favorite?

A: I think it has to be ‘The Journey’ – partly because it was my first, and partly because the premise has so many possible permutations. I can’t say too much about that because I’d be giving away too much about ‘All Our Tomorrows’, but all the ideas fill me with excitement – I want to write them all!

Q: Of the three, which was the hardest to write?

A: Again that would have to be ‘The Journey’ I think – mainly because of all the possible ways the initial premise could go – alternate reality, time-travel, dystopian or post-apocalyptic … I settled on one of those for ‘The Journey’, ‘All Our Tomorrows’ has another… and maybe there’s even another book to be written about the others!

Q: Which character did you enjoy writing?

A: I enjoyed writing them all, to be honest – they’re all so different, but they all find themselves faced with situations they find frightening or inexplicable, and they all deal with it in different ways.

Q: Which character was the hardest to create?

A: Without a doubt, that would be Eva in ‘The Journey’ – finding the right balance for her was hard! She’s been a widow for a year at an awfully young age – how should she behave, would she be ready for another relationship or not, how would her priorities change in the environment that she suddenly finds herself in…in my first draft she was way too passive. Hopefully she is now a well-rounded character with whom readers will be able to identify.

Q: What is your favorite genre and why?

A: Science-fiction/Paranormal, most definitely! I’ve been reading the genre and enjoying Sci-fi TV Dramas and films for as long as I can remember. It started with shows like ‘Captain Scarlet’ and ‘Star Trek’ and continues today with ‘Paradox’, ‘Flashforward’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’ (the re-boot) and of course the best of them all, ‘Doctor Who’, which I love. The premise (a mad alien in a blue box who can go anywhere in space and time) is just so brilliant. I’ve read and loved all the classics, ‘Dune’, ‘I, Robot’, ‘Stranger in A Strange Land’, ‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ and so on, but I don’t really write ‘hard’ science fiction (alien planets, space battles, intergalactic exploration) – I prefer to delve into the more ‘home-grown’ variety, often in a more every-day and contemporary setting, where ordinary people find themselves caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I also love to read crime/detective stories, so if I can combine the two…

Q: Do you plan to continue writing anthologies or will you be working on a novel?

A: I’ve no doubt that there will be more anthologies to come, but my next two projects are novels – ‘All Our Tomorrows’ (elements of time-travel and genetic science gone wrong, themes of loss and betrayal) and ‘Who Killed Maggie Wren?’ (murder/mystery/science-fiction).

Q: In the first story, it seems to deal with a dystrophic theme. Where did you get the inspiration to write it?

A: That’s quite difficult to answer without giving too much away! I suppose the obvious answer would be ‘War of The Worlds’, initially – but ‘The Journey’ is not really about alien invasion…

Q: The second is more like an alternate life. Where did you get the inspiration to write it?

A: That idea came simply out of an image, and the words ‘Gideon’s Road’ – who is Gideon, and what is his story? I often begin with a title and then explore possible scenarios. There is also a tie-in with ‘All Our Tomorrows’, but I can’t say too much about that right now!

Q: The third, a futuristic adventure. Where did you get the inspiration to write it?

A: I wondered what might be a big journalistic payday in this very accessible world we have today, and will have in the near future – reporters used to accompany expeditions, sending back reports overland, which readers back home would eventually get to hear about in the papers. Then you had the telegraph, which speeded the process up a bit! Nowadays, with the global communication network, anyone can report anything as it happens, there are few big, exclusive ‘scoops’ anymore -but when you’re the only journalist 249 million miles from home, and communication opportunities are limited, it’s going to make a pretty good book deal. Add in a hint of underhand behavior by said journalist to get the gig, and something unexpected en route…

Q: Based on your experience, what advice would you give new writers?

A: I’ve been writing a very short time compared to some, so I’m by no means an authority, but I’d say the most important advice would be: ‘Don’t give up!’ If you have a story (or stories) you want to tell, you will find a way. Try to get honest and respectful feedback on your work from other writers, and learn to give the same back (this is an important part of becoming a writer, because you can learn so much by seeing what works or doesn’t work for other people – it’s scary at first but if you’re honest and respectful then it works) – maybe join a writer’s group in your area (if there isn’t one, start it yourself!) or find a writing community online. Take a creative writing course if you can afford it, or pay a professional to critique your MS. Write something every day, even if you never use it – someone told me that the writing brain is like a muscle and you have to keep it in shape, and I think that’s true. And if you find yourself thinking that someone else will surely have already written your story, remember that you can give a roomful of writers the same premise or theme and they will all come up with something slightly different…all equally valid. So, go for it!

Okay, that wraps up this interview with Elaine. Please visit her website and blog as well as the website where her book is available. Thanks!!

Author’s Links:

Available at Amazon UK Only:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Journey-Other-Short-Stories/dp/1500775371/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407942264&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00MOTNWSC?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Author’s websites, blog and twitter:

http://www.elainejjackson.com

http://www.neonskybooks.com

http://fromheretoinfinityandbeyond.wordpress.com/

INTERVIEW WITH JOHN HIGGINS, AUTHOR OF THE ARCHANGEL JARAHMAEL TRILOGY: THE WAR TO CONQUER HEAVEN, IN REBELLION & IN EXILE

John Higgins-ARCHANGEL_1-Cover-Kindle-A John Higgins REBELLION Bookcover JohnHigginsExileBookCover

Hello, this is L.M. David. The interview today is with John Higgins, author of a trilogy entitled The Archangel Jarahmael & The War To Conquer Heaven, The Beginning, The Archangel Jarahmael In Rebellion and The Archangel Jarahmael And The War to Conquer Heaven, In Exhile. This interview will touch on all three. Again, this is one of those interviews that happened last year and I apologize to John Higgins for the long delay. Also, the only link included with this interview is for his author page on Amazon. As more are supplied, I will update this post.

Q. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A. Not an easy answer as I really think I have lived about five lifetimes packed into this one. I have been blessed with the ability to do many things, blessed with some intelligence and a spirit to take things on even though there are risks of failure. Blessed with some great friends as well over the years. I have done so many things in my life, I sometimes can’t remember them all, and I wouldn’t want to bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say, I literally became a jack-of-all trades, I can build things, fix things, operate most things, including flying planes. Not afraid to get my hands dirty or deal with difficult things. I have an innate faith I can survive anything as silly as they may sound. I have done everything from work on farms, antique and flea market businesses, industrial finishing operations, went to law school at night while changing entire systems in New Jersey’s government, wrote statutes, staffed committees and authored policy reports, filmed rock stars, produced a play using inner city high school actors, became a statewide prosecutor and worked on some of the highest profile cases in my state, including a gang that cut a seventy-foot swastika in a cornfield that wound up on national news, all the way to the case of prosecuting our most prolific serial killer, a nurse who confessed to killing twenty nine patients in two states. I was generally the guy who inherited the cases no one else was sure what to do with. As you can see I also allowed my creative side to come out, in filming rock stars and producing a play. Oh yes, I also created and implemented statewide public awareness campaigns literally distributing millions of copies of materials to each and every classroom, and student in the state, even worked on some public awareness campaigns on the national level.

Q. Impressive! The Archangel Jarahmael and War to Conquer Heaven is part of a trilogy. The first in the series is entitled In The Beginning. Let’s start there. What is In The Beginning about?

A. It is about the actual Beginning of the Almighty’s Universe, Heavens and the Earth. It follows the creation of the first thinking Beings, the Angels, and follows their struggles for identity and purpose in the context of free will. It also includes the establishment of life on the planet Earth and how all these creatures interact with one another. Woven throughout is the concept of love, in many forms, love of one creature for another, love of self, love for members on one’s own species, love for the Almighty who created them all.

Q. What inspired you to write a version of the Creation of the Universe?

A. From the time I was a young boy I have been fascinated with the whole story of creation. Somewhere along the line I have had the story of the creation of the Angels and their rebellion against the Almighty that resulted in them becoming evil. I wanted to read whatever it was where that story came from and after searching extensively, I could not find the story anywhere save for John Milton’s Paradise Lost which is basically unreadable. So I kept looking deeper. Genesis in the Bible is disjointed and nonsensical. There are two creation stories within paragraphs of one another. The offspring of where the Sons of God breed with the Daughters of Men and create Nephilim is even more contradictory. The Book makes it appear that the Nephilim are abominations, yet they are referred to as the “men of renown and heroes of old.”

I continuing digging, looking for books or legends that filled in these gaps and it was amazing how a book or other piece of information would just appear for me to find or give me guidance. I literally wound up writing the story I was looking all those years to read.

Q. Describe the relationship between Lillith and Jarahmael.

A. Simply put — love at first sight. Exquisite love that evolved from acceptable to being declared forbidden. Of course that created problems for the characters and their world, great stuff to write about in a novel!

Q. Briefly name the nine orders of Angels created in this book and what each stands for.

A. The Nine Orders of Angels from the closest to the Almighty on downwards: Thrones, Seraphim, Archangels, Cherubim, Virtues, Dominions, Principalities, Potentates, and Guardians. Seraphim and Thrones always travel with the Almighty Himself. Archangels, all fourteen of them, assist the Almighty as major creators themselves. Cherubim are artisans but also become the real warrior class. Virtues are more intellectual they debate aspects of the Almighty’s Universe. Dominions are supervisors for the lower ranks of Angels Principalities are the engineers of building in the creation. Potentates are orbs that absorb and distribute extra energy needed to build structures and things upon the planets. And Guardians are worker Angels who assist the others as needed.

Q. What are the Seven Heavens?

A. There are Seven Levels of Heavens, each one occupied by one of the Orders of Angels. Again, from the highest to the lowest, The Almighty, His Seraphim and Throne only visit the Heavens so they are nor permanently based in any of them. The Almighty’s Throne Room is in the Seventh Heaven, a cathedral type structure that is connected to an amphitheater with an open skylight where the Almighty and his entourage enter and exit. They have morning ceremonies where all the Angels meet in the morning and get their assignments for the day. The Archangels otherwise occupy the Seventh Heaven and have their individual palaces there. The Cherubim occupy the Sixth Heaven, the Virtues the Fifth Heaven, the Dominions the Fourth Heaven, the Principalities the Third Heaven, the Potentates the Second Heaven and the Guardians the First Heaven. Additionally, the Garden of Eden is attached to the First Heaven but extends down to the Earth as well. There are palaces throughout the Heavens, and central meeting halls and structures so each Order of Angel can assemble if need be in their respective Heaven. There are more structures and details in each of the Heavens but it would be best if your readers let those things unfold in the story.

Q. Many believe Lillith was the mother of Vampires. Will that be mentioned in The Archangel Jarahmael?

A. Let’s just say this Lillith is a complex creature and she has important roles to play, especially as the series continues beyond this first trilogy and moves into the Underworld and Hell.

Q. Which is Jarahmael, good or evil and why?

A. That will be for the readers to decide, just as they will have to decide about all the major characters. The Almighty’s Universe was created out of love and is powered by love. But love comes in many shapes, sizes and with many goals and motives. I can safely say all of my Angels have love in their hearts, some more than others, and they behave it ways that develop along with their own natures.

Q. How did you structure this series in order to have it told by the Angels themselves, meaning does each Angel get his/her own chapter or is this a collective story-telling?

A. The story is told from The Beginning and as it unfolds, but since the Beings of Light, the Angels are the first created by the Almighty it follows what happens from their perspective and view point. So no, it is not composed of different encyclopedia type chapters on each of the Angels.

Q. What inspired you to write The Archangel Jarahmael and the War to Conquer Heaven?

A. I have always known there was a story of how the Angels were created and eventually a number of them decided to rebel and take over the Heavens. I don’t know exactly how that was in my mind, whether it was some story told to me in my early Catholic school years, or it is just part of the universal mind and collective unconscious that we all have according to Carl Jung.

Q. Of all the characters created for this book, which was the hardest to write?

A. The Almighty was and is the hardest character to write, His loneliness in the beginning, His unreserved giving of life and the Universe to His cherished Beings of Light and later creations, and His gift of “free will” to these thinking creatures. How He handles disappointment an even treachery from the creatures that he made has taken a lot of thought and reflection.

Q. That is certainly a different way of looking at the Almighty. Did you have any reservations about writing stories that had roots in the Old Testament?

A. Yes, of course. More wars have been fought over the version of the Bible or other Holy Book in which one believes, but I have been fascinated by the holes in the books especially Genesis. And what is more fascinating to try to understand than these Beings of Light who fly and appear to mankind and alter its history at the Almighty’s request.

Q. What do you believe will draw readers to The Archangel Jarahmael?

A. It is the epic story of good and how evil develops at least in the Judeo-Christian traditions although it is also present in various forms in other ancient civilizations. Almost all stories Humans tell one another have good and evil in there somewhere. I have woven a love story amidst the war for the Heavens and I hope the intricacies and elaboration of the Almighty’s world’s and creations will fascinate the readers just as I was fascinated researching it all. I believe it’s comparable to the Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter and Anne Rice’s Vampire series.

Q. The Archangel Jarahmael War to Conquer Heaven is the first in a trilogy and the next in the series, The Archangel Jarahmael In Rebellion and the War to Conquer Heaven. How about a little insight into In Rebellion.

A. The first book In the Beginning deals primarily with the Almighty’s creation and the intrigue of Lillith and Jarahmael’s relationship as well as the growing problem with “free will” on the Earth. Book 2, In Rebellion, continues the story where battle lines are drawn and the war is fought. I think the readers will have a few surprises in each of the books.

Q. Can you give a little insight into the last book in this series?

A. Well not much more than the war has been fought and the losers have been sent out of the Heavens, but they are a determined lot and refuse to remain defeated.

Q. What advice do you have for writers seeking to become published authors?

A. Like anything worth pursuing, it all takes hard work and dedication. I don’t know of anyone who was a real overnight success, when you read up on their lives you see that they worked for a long time on their craft and despite setbacks dusted themselves off and continued to move forward. I do believe we can do almost anything we set our minds and hearts on, the key to success is the amount of effort you want to dedicate to it.

 

L.M.: Given all your accomplishments over the years, I believe that is very sound advice to new, and established authors thinking of tossing in the career. I admit I am in awe of what you’ve have accomplished and I wish you the best with future endeavors, not that you need it.

Author Bio:

A running joke in my family is that I was raised by wolves. In fact I was raised by an aunt and uncle. The home in which I grew up was originally built around 1870 as a barn and converted into a house well before indoor plumbing was standard. I was allowed, or rather encouraged, to hunt at an early age and during the winter supplemented our domestic meat with rabbit, squirrel, quail, and occasionally the rare pheasant.

I was the kind of kid that read encyclopedias like novels and built catapults, telephone systems, radios and flying model airplanes and rockets from scratch. Such pioneering efforts were bound to result in mishaps. While testing rocket fuel batches at a friend’s house, a stray spark from a tiny test sample flew into a primary batch resulting in a scorched wall. I stayed away from my friend’s house until they moved. Another rocket building incident occurred one evening in my upstairs room. I tripped over an ignition wire which pulled over a transformer that ignited a small, and very fortunately it was small, rocket. The accident should have resulted only in a premature launch but the jerked wire pulled the rocket off its launch ramp which had been aimed out an open window. The rocket blasted into a baseboard and exploded. The house shaking boom and the resulting smoke left me stunned. When my uncle hollered through the passive heat grill in the floor asking what had happened, the best thing I could come up with was that I had dropped the typewriter. Fortunately the rising air coming up through the grill kept the smoke from going down.

In the 1960s I worked as farm labor, auto mechanic, produce manager, butcher and railroad blacksmith and with the very early room filling computers. Around the age of 20 I began searching for the meaning of life. I explored the major religions and for a short time considered the Christian pulpit but grew out of that. I continue to search to this day although not with the intensity of youth. In 1963 I started college but dropped out, sold or pawned most of my meager possessions and traveled to Mexico and then through the Deep South. I encountered a frightening religious cult in Mississippi, a John Bircher in a Florida cypress swamp, and the blacks’ only windows at Dairy Queens which I misunderstood and at first viewed as a big joke. I would stand at the blacks only window until a distressed employee would come over and say they could not serve me at that window. That stunt ended when a good ol’ boy told me I could get my head bashed in, or worse.

In 1964 while shooting pool to make gas money, a friend came into the pool hall and said they were giving computer aptitude tests at the phone company. I took the test and got the job. In 1965 I started working on a pilot’s license and began taking college courses for computers, personnel management, banking and writing that took me to a dozen universities over the following 40 years. I have continued my education even after retirement, accruing 42 college credits after I turned 45. I married in 1969, finished my pilot’s license from a grass strip in Missouri and dropped out of the “establishment” a year later. My first job back into the “establishment” in 1971 was salvaging aircraft parts for the Argentine air force from the bone yard at Davis Monthan airbase. I bought an airplane in 1975, divorced in 1976, remarried in 1979 and we had a son the same year.

Although I wrote short stories in my twenties and later wrote technical manuals for computer processes, I did not start writing fiction in earnest until 1985. In 1998 I retired from consulting and now race cars, write and play poker, golf and the stock market in Reno, Nevada.

Author Link:

http://www.amazon.com/John-J-Higgins/e/B00AU76AOI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH M.L. JOHN, AUTHOR OF THE STORM PRINCE

the storm prince

Hello, L.M. David here. This interviewee has been interviewed before with respect to her first novel, The Lady of The Veils. She has now published a novella, The Storm Prince, and I invited her back.

L.M. David: Hello Michelle. Congratulations on the new book. Since this is your second time being interviewed, I think we can skip the usual ‘tell me about yourself’ intro. I want to get straight into it, let’s start with how The Storm Prince relates to Lady of The Veils, your first published novel.

M.L. John: Nice to see you again! The Storm Prince is a novella-length tie in to Lady of the Veils. It is from Beri’s point of view, and details what happened to him while he was separated from Karen during the time where she went to the half-Fey colony

Q. Okay, so The Storm Prince is mainly Beri Quintinar’s story, a character who could melt ice because he’s so hot. What is his purpose in The Storm Prince?

A. Lucky boy, he gets to be the protagonist this time! Karen thinks she knows who Beri is, but you can never really know someone else, can you? He has his own thoughts, feelings, and problems, as well as his own secrets. This is a closer look at The Fey who Will Be King.

Q. What is a Wizard Gen?

A. The Wizard Gen was one of Beri’s teachers at the Wizard’s Academy. For Beri, Gen is one of the good memories he calls on when he needs strength.

Q. In the world you created, the domain between humans and Fey are known yet the Fey have issues with mankind. Why is that?

A. The biggest reason is that humans are mortal and the Fey are not. Imagine if you could never, ever die, and you had lived for thousands of years, and everyone around you had lived and would continue to live for thousands of years. Now, one of the rules of magic in my version of Faerie is that mortality always breeds true. So if you are immortal, and you have a child with a human, it will die someday. For the Fey, having a half-human child is the equivalent of murdering your kids. Even here on earth we don’t take kindly to that sort of behavior. If you don’t believe it, look at the case of Casey Anthony. Whether she did it or not, popular opinion tore her apart. The Fey feel the same way about a person who has a half-human child as some of us feel toward Casey Anthony.

Q. The Storm Prince also has the equivalent of medieval court, which happens to be my least favorite subject because of the way royals treated their subjects. Why did you structure like that?

A. When I was little, my favorite fairy tales were the ones about a regular girl marrying a handsome prince and living happily ever after. Beri is a prince, and when Karen looks at him, she sees fairy tales. But in his own life, his role is not so much to be a happy ending, but to someday be king. Since his own father died too soon, he has to learn what sort of king he wants to be at the Summer Court.

Q. Describe Beri’s mother.

A. In her youth, Beri’s mother was a beautiful noblewoman who decided to become a wizard. She used her magic to join the Wild Hunt, where she met Karen’s mother. Then her mother arranged a marriage for her with the High King, Beri’s father, a person she had never met and whom she had always feared because of his magic. Because of the trauma of being married to a mortal king and having mortal children, it is very difficult for her to feel connected to anyone. Though she loves her children deeply, she comes off as colder than she intends.

Q. Queen Aynia, also known as the Queen of Summerland, comes across as a mean spirited, do as I say or else kind of woman. Why is that?

A. Well, you definitely have her pegged! Fantasy, as a genre, has always been interested in the battle between good and evil, and the way it affects regular people. Beri and the Queen of Summer are far from being regular people, but they make the same point. I wanted to show that love is always good, no matter what form, and intolerance is evil. Beri and Karen’s romance represents love, and Queen Aynia is the face of intolerance.

Q. If the Ogres have taken over Avalon, who now rules in the place of the murdered King? And is there a rule that the reigning King’s widow can’t rule in his stead?

A. The Ogres are currently ruling as sort of a military presence in the absence of any real ruler. They won the war, so they’re in charge. As for the king’s widow, the only people allowed to hold the High Throne are people directly descended from the royal Quintinar line. Those people can use the magic called the Birthright, whereas the king’s widow cannot.

Q. What role does the Queen of Light play in The Storm Prince?

A. In some myths, there are two different courts in Faerie that rule the changes in the weather: the Seelie Court, which governs the summertime, and the Unseelie Court, which governs the winter. I tried to be as true as I could to fairy mythology when creating my fairy world. The Queen of Light is just one of the many titles held by the queen of the Seelie Court (which is just another name for the Queen of Summer, or Queen Aynia, in my book.) In mythology, she brings warm weather. In the Storm Prince, she’s the villain.

Q. Describe the character Connacht.

A. King Connacht is a Selkie, which is a kind of fairy that can transform from a seal to a man and back again. He is from Ireland. Even though he is married to Queen Aynia, he has a half-human son.

Q. When reading the way your characters interact, it’s amazing how you have gotten court snobbery down to a science. What did you research to be so accurate?

A. I think I read too much Alexandre Dumas when I was a kid! The court politics in The Three Musketeers were my first exposure. I think it must have broken my brain when I was too young to defend myself. Court politics (and by extension, snobbery) are an element I look for when I read for pleasure.

Q. In The Storm Prince, there is a difference between mortals and humans. Could you explain what that is?

A. Most Fey are immortal in my world, and most humans are mortal. But the Quintinar family, though they are fully Fey, are mortal, too. They have access to a magical ability called the Birthright, which is the power to kill an immortal with the touch of their hands. This power came from a deal Beri’s ancestor made with the god of death. He granted the Quintinars enough magic to rule the world, but the cost is the life of every person born with the magic.

Q. What was the purpose of forcing Beri to wear gloves at court?

A. Because the Quintinar family lives far away from the other courts on the island of Avalon, most of the Fey they deal with aren’t sure exactly how the Birthright actually works. It is an awful power, so there are a lot of rumors surrounding it. Queen Aynia forces Beri to wear the gloves because she thinks it will keep him from using his powers

Q. I personally liked how you spun this off at a certain portion of Lady of the Veils and then, at the end of The Storm Prince, hook it back into it. How did you come up with that idea?

A. I knew that I wanted to tell a story about what happened to Beri during Lady of the Veils, and I wanted to make it very clear to readers of the first book how he had time to do all the things he does, and exactly why Karen wasn’t with him. The looping structure seemed the best way to accomplish it.

Q. Since The Storm Prince is a novella, will there be another full novel in The Lady of the Veils series?

A. I plan on two more, though I suppose more novellas might spring from the series as well.

L.M. David: Well that is the end of this interview. I wish M.L. John the best with her new endeavor and to say I’m looking forward to her next full novel.

Author Bio:

The first novel M. L. John ever read was Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, and she has had a love of fantasy ever since. As soon as her handwriting was good enough to write full sentences, she started writing stories about beautiful princesses who spent their time rescuing princes and slaying dragons. Very little has changed about her writing style since that time, with the possible exception of her handwriting. She lives in Colorado with her true love, their three children, and a small menagerie of yippy dogs. These days, she spends most of her time explaining different mythologies to her kids until their little eyes glaze and roll back in their heads.

Book Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I5ZF7GO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i2pf_

rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center2&pf_rd_r=06P6BBPDVDMTX0XHEEKG&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

Barnes: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I5ZF7GO/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center2&pf_rd_r=06P6BBPDVDMTX0XHEEKG&pf

_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200382&pf_rd_i=507846

Gypsy Shadow: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/MLJohn.html#top

Book Trailer:

Book Blurb:

Beriani Quintinar, the youngest son of Faerie’s High king, is brilliant, beautiful, and spoiled as only a prince of the Sidhe can be. He has committed an unforgivable sin—he has fallen in love with the half-human daughter of a traitor. When ogres conquer Avalon and execute his father, he must convince the treacherous Queen of Summer to give him troops enough to win back his homeland. But if he makes it home, what kind of king can he be when he has already committed treason?

INTERVIEW WITH TAMI EGONU, AUTHOR OF A RHAPSODY OF DREAMS

Tami Egonu A Rhapsody of Dreams cover page OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hello, L.M. David doing an interview of Tami Egonu, author of A Rhapsody of Dreams. Again, this was done last year and dropped down the black abyss when I fell off the grid. Hopefully Tami’s can forgive me, as I hope the others were able to. I am almost caught up.

So, let’s get into the interview. Welcome Tami.

Q. Tell me about yourself.

A. I was born in the old Charing Cross Hospital in London, which might be the reason why I adore the city centre so much, especially along the Thames. I was very much a daydreamer as a child. I think my Primary School reports stated this often. I wrote silly little stories that entertained me, but mainly all of my stories were stored inside my head. It was a happy refuge from boredom or unhappiness. I remember friends at the time, maybe when I was five, who had make believe friends, and I did not have one so I created one. It’s amazing how vivid the imagination can be. I can’t remember his name, but he seemed very real until adults and other children told me he did not exist.

I grew up in Camden Town a short walk away from the world famous Camden Market. This might be where I gained my first inspiration for travel, being immersed in crowds of people from all over the world. I have a passion for travel that never falters. I would even say it’s equal to my passion for writing.

Q. A Rhapsody of Dreams is your first eBook. Can you give a little insight into it?

A. A Rhapsody of Dreams is a tale of the extraordinary happening to ordinary people. It’s a magical contemporary story about Tyler, Molly and Evelyn, who are all very different from one another. Tyler believes in miracles, Molly is a skeptic and Evelyn has been waiting to die for over sixty years, although what they have in common is hope in a fractured twenty-first century when it seems hope is in short supply.

Tyler abandons a conventional life, much to the chagrin of his family and tandoori tanned girlfriend, to embark on a spiritual quest that begins in Middlesbrough of all place, whilst unbeknownst to Molly (an independent single parent who has given up on romantic love) fate and the wind have led her into an encounter that will change her life forever. She comes to experience vivid dreams, ghosts, a tree with photographs of a great love, and a field of sunflowers that not everyone can see, amongst other oddities.

However, Tyler’s past must catch up to Molly’s present. Keeping them all company along the way is Bagel the dog and Rosie the cat.

Firstly, what inspired me to write this tale were real life stories of regrets and heartaches, told in passing and in depth, of pain impossible to cure even decades after the death of a loved one. The regrets were many. Living a wasted life spent with someone who they did not love intrigued and saddened me.

Secondly, I was (still am) so fed up with all the depressing news in the media that I wanted to write an uplifting story. There are many contemporary themes woven in, of everyday realities that people will recognize, however I wanted to tap into the possibility of the extraordinary occurring to people who have lived pretty ordinary lives, and who find they are not ordinary at all. It’s also about taking that leap of faith into the unknown. As a child I was curious to know what existed beyond our perception of reality. This novel doesn’t claim to answer that, but I had a lot of fun imagining.

Q. Tyler seems like a man lost within himself. Tell me about his character.

A. Tyler is very restless because for too long he has been living a safe kind of life. He is hungry for answers to questions from boyhood curiosities about the bigger plot. He is scared of sleepwalking through life and senses a veil has been cloaked over him, which he seeks to shred. His side-kick and counter balance for a little of his journey is his cousin, Mark, a property developer ensconced in logic. Refusing to be derailed on his quest, Tyler’s spirit grows despite disappointments and disillusionment, although inevitably his leap takes him on an inspiring journey that he always sensed existed beyond the veil.

Equally, Molly and Evelyn are filled with loneliness and regrets, and their stories slowly unfold in-between Tyler’s. The two women also embark on a journey together, albeit one that is set at Evelyn’s home, of self-discovery that produces surreal and magical results.

Q. A Rhapsody of Dreams has magic and takes Tyler on a spiritual quest. Why did he decide to do this?

A. Tyler has lived life pretty much by the book. He is in a job that he hates (opening chapter) and for years he has daydreamed about quitting and doing something else. Finally, after a lucid daydream in which he holds onto a giant balloon that carries him far above London, he can take it no longer. There are burning questions that can’t be repressed. Tyler knows there is more to life and his safe nine to five existence is killing his spirit. So he takes that leap into the unknown. We meet him first as a thirty-one year old who gathers the courage (even when others call him a nut) to follow his own path.

At a beach, Tyler has an amazing sighting of a flying steam ship that is collecting souls, which only he and his cousin’s dog, Bagel, can see. However, the more he searches for miracles the more elusive they become.

Q. What is your favorite part in A Rhapsody of Dreams?

A. Blimey, my favorite part. Now this is hard because I enjoyed writing every part of A Rhapsody of Dreams, so I would have to say it’s the gradual movement of the past catching up with the present.

Q. What about the character Tyler frustrated you when writing A Rhapsody of Dreams?

A. Tyler is quite an easy going character, as is Molly, although Molly frustrated me in parts because of her reluctance to be as open to life and the unknown as Tyler. That’s fine though, because she slowly comes to realize her gift of seeing what others cannot, and it was therefore satisfying to see her grow and accept magic into her life.

Q. Do you believe in the spirit world?

A. I believe I’m a balanced enough person, so on one side of the scale is logic that causes me to be skeptical of things that I can’t see, however I have seen things that I can’t put a logical answer to. So, yes, I believe in the spirit world. That rests on the other side of the scales. There, I bet you’re curious now. Ha!

Q. What about A Rhapsody of Dreams will appeal to readers?

A. A Rhapsody of Dreams will appeal to anyone who wants to take an ultimately uplifting journey. It will transport them above rooftops, drop them from a plane into a steam ship that travels through time, and they will be invited to a field of sunflowers where anything is possible. So if you want to get to know Tyler, Molly and Evelyn on their quests to find love, self and magic, then the voyage starts here.

Q. Do you have a current work in progress and can you tell me about it?

A. Yes, I am currently editing an historical fiction (possibly YA as the main protagonist, Emily, is between 17 to 18 years old for the most part) entitled ‘Bird’ (book one of two) that I will be publishing as en eBook in June. It is a story set in Victorian England, when inter-racial relationships were taboo and the consequences fatal. There are many other elements to it, although the majority of the book is Emily’s story about her coming of age, and discovering the world and her family are alien to her. There are elements of the supernatural that will be more evident in the sequel, which I am also in the process of completing. Although my eyeballs and finger tips may have dropped out/off by then.

Q. You are a self-published author. Why did you choose it over traditional publishing?

A. I thought of self-publishing years ago and never took it further until recently. I had travelled the old traditional route of attempting to get an agent. I found one years ago, but alas she turned out not to be trustworthy. Never ever give money to an agent for reading your manuscript. I bailed out when this update appeared. Anyhow, after countless rejections from agents (apparently Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, struck gold after 60 rejections) I finally took my fate in my own hands at last, and am so glad I have. I could be sixty before I get a traditional publishing deal (if ever), and my sole purpose is to write and have my books read. That is what is happening and it feels very satisfying. A Rhapsody of Dreams has already been downloaded a few hundred times since March. These were all on the free days that are a part of Amazon KDP select book promotion. It could be that readers store the book for weeks or months down the line to read, but regardless it’s in their virtual shelf ready and waiting. I have physical books on my actual shelf that have been there waiting their turn patiently for me to read them. Not enough hours to do it all, but I’m giving it a good go.

Q. What advice would you give other writers just starting out?

A. It’s easy to find distractions. If you can, set aside a routine, even if it’s every other day, but at least get a good amount of time writing every week. I know, even a passion can sometimes be hard to muster depending on what kind of day or night job you have, but you somehow make the time because writing is in your blood and soul.

Don’t ever give up. If you don’t get any encouragement from those around you, believe in yourself. You have the talent. And if you do have encouragement, then blinkin’ marvelous. Inevitably, it’s just you and your keypad, so utilize everything around you, and remember to look up a lot and keep your eyes and ears open. Keep a note pad and pen handy so you can write down those brilliant ideas, or observations, whenever they strike. People can be fascinating. Quirks and sayings and all kinds of everyday stuff are vital to a writer. I am always over hearing bits of conversations, by total strangers usually, and like a magpie take them back home with me to store. It helps to bring characters to life. Talking of life, it can indeed be a lot stranger than fiction, although catching even the simplest details are important. It all balances. Jot it all down before another thought takes over.

Times have changed. We can all self-publish and that is beyond wonderful. If you want to go the traditional route, then buy the Writers & Artists year book, or subscribe online. Check they are right for your book genre and then blitz them with your brilliance, making sure your letter is top notch. Be prepared for rejection. Actually, it always stings a little, though the skin gets a tad tougher but no matter what – PERSERVERE!! And stay away from sham agents who want money upfront. Lots of luck.

Author’s Personal Bio:

I was born in London, England, which is such a great inspirational city, especially as I grew up only minutes away from the world famous Camden Market.

I believe in writing outside of the box, in love deep and rare, in great authors, in making dreams real, and I am grateful to be born after the invention of air travel.

I have met so many interesting people, or overheard bits of conversations on buses, tubes etc., that coil their way into my writing. It’s the world around us that influences me, seeing it with different eyes and conveying that to characters.

I now live in the North East of England and am equally enthralled with the surrounding countryside, cities, villages and coast, which all offer different kinds of stimulation. It still hasn’t sunk in that it takes as long for me to get to Durham or York as it does to get from one part of London to another. Ha!

A Rhapsody of Dreams is my first self-published eBook, and is itself a dream come true.

L.M. David: And that concludes this interview.

Author links:

Website: http://tamiegonu.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7016057.Tami_Egonu
Amazon.co.uk:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Rhapsody-of-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00BOWUEFE/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1368603543&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=tami+egonu
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/A-Rhapsody-of-Dreams-ebook/dp/B00BOWUEFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368603491&sr=8-1&keywords=tami+egonu

Book Blurb:

‘Can you see the field of sunflowers and the memory tree? Good, then you have an eye for magic.’

A Rhapsody of Dreams is a literary contemporary fantasy dusted with lost loves, ghosts and the hunt for magic.

Tired of the monotony of life, Tyler hangs onto a magnificent balloon that takes him far above his London office. Seeing countless other daydreamers, Tyler is snapped back to reality and immediately abandons his stale life to begin a spiritual quest. However, his travels around a world void of magic makes it hard for him to keep believing miracles exist.

Meanwhile, at a Georgian house in Yorkshire, Tyler’s long lost first love, Molly, encounters a heartbroken and bitter poet. But nothing is as it first appears in this story of a powerful enchantment, a field of magical sunflowers, a memory tree, and the search for love … even beyond death.

INTERVIEW WITH PETRA BAGNARDI, AUTHOR OF A VEIL OF GLASS AND RAIN

Petra A veil of glass and rain

Hello, this is L.M. David. Today’s interview is with Petra Bragnardi, author of A Veil of Glass and Rain. Again, this was done last year, apologies to Petra for not following through with this. The one great thing about this is Petra updated her information and what is contained in the interview is accurate as of this posting.

Now to get this interview started. Welcome Petra to my little looney corner of the world.

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.

A. To start with, I’m part Italian and part Swiss. I currently live in Rome and majored in cinema. After I graduated, I began to work as a TV screenwriter writing mostly cartoons. Then, during a screenwriting workshop, one of my professors told me how important it is for writers to be also actors in order to make your dialogs more authentic. So I decided to take some acting classes. It was just for fun at first, then it became more serious. An indie-director noticed me, and asked me to write and then play a monologue about a social issue; he liked it and he directed it. We didn’t become famous, but it was appreciated nonetheless. Then I formed my own indie-company. We were five very motivated people. Our first work was a comedy that we wrote all together. It went quiet well within the indie scene. But most of all, we had a lot fun!

Q. That does sound like fun. Can you tell us what A Veil of Glass and Rain is about?

A. It’s about two childhood best friends, Brina and Eagan, who grow up and become lovers. Of course, the path from friends to lovers is not easy; it’s emotional and filled with conflicts.

Q. Describe the character Brina.

A. Just like me, Brina is part Italian and part Swiss. She has long, inky hair, milky-white skin, and midnight eyes. She’s a very talented musician, but she’s very insecure about her abilities. She’s both fragile and strong. What I like about her is the fact that when she loves, she does it with all her heart, soul and body.

Q. What is the character Egan like?

A. Eagan is a very charming dude. He’s tall and fit. He has dark-blond hair and bright blue eyes. He’s a New Yorker, an architect who got the lucky chance to work in the beautiful Rome. He’s self-confident, determined, kind and loyal. And he also has some alpha-male tendencies.

Q. The character Brina seems to be have relationship issues. Why?

A. Brina is hopelessly in love with Eagan. He’s always been her best friend, but as soon as she became a teenager, her feelings for him changed deeply. Over the years she tries to deny those feelings, she tries to keep her distance, in order to save their friendship, but Eagan is always in her mind and in her heart; he’s all she wants. That’s why she finds it impossible to be with anybody else. All she craves it’s him. It is kind of scary, but beautiful as well, I think.

Q. What was the hardest part of A Veil of Glass and Rain to write?

A. Definitely the sex scenes! I wrote them, and then I re-wrote them…and then I wrote them again! The hardest part is trying to find the perfect equilibrium between explicit descriptions and poetic prose. While I was working on my novel, I read a lot of books written by great Erotica authors, such as Annabel Joseph and Maya Banks. These ladies have become my role models. They’re my inspiration…but they also intimidate me!

Q. Which character did you like most?

A. Brina! I adore her. She’s so, so human. She’s full of conflicts and insecurities, but she also changes a lot during the story. Writing her growing path has been a really interesting experience for me.

Q. Which character had characteristics that drove you crazy, but was essential to the writing of A Veil of Glass and Rain?

A. Definitely Eagan. You see, in real life, I totally dislike the “alpha” dudes. But those guys work really well in romance novels. The dominant type, like Eagan, is pragmatic, his actions and reactions are immediate. Eagan’s character drove me insane, but I had to admit that he was the one that pushed the story forward; he challenged Brina, he provoked her. Watching those two interact was amazing!

Q. What about contemporary romances do you feel is important to interest readers?

A. The stories I enjoy the most, are the ones that deal with everyday life and everyday people. I like “small” characters that, as the plot evolves, prove to be strong and larger than life. And the contemporary romance genre portrays those kinds of characters. It depicts life as we know it. We read because we want to escape our reality for a while. But it’s also true that we read because we want to see other human beings struggle, fight, and then win. We relate to them. We are them, in a way. That’s exactly why contemporary romance is a fundamental genre.

Q. What about A Veil of Glass and Rain will draw readers to it?

A. Well, there’s a lot of sex!

I’m kidding, well, not really, because there actually is a lot of sex. But what will draw readers, I hope, is the fact that it’s a simple story, about simple human beings, who live, fight, struggle, cry, breathe, laugh, and fall in love.

Q. What inspired you to want to become a romance writer?

A. It all started when I “met” Nora Ephron and Carol Goodman. Mrs. Ephron wrote and directed really good romantic movies, and Carol Goodman wrote some of my favorite books. When I grow up, I  want to be like them!

Q. What are you working on now?

A. I’m planning to write story of Jean and Margherita, Brina’s parents. Part of their story is told by Brina in A Veil of Glass and Rain, but it’s just a hint. A want to develop their plot, because they intrigue me; they’re both orphans, they’re photographers and they’re adventurers. So, you see, there’s a lot to explore!

Q. You are a self-published author. Why choose it over traditional publishing?

A. Writing for Television is challenging and interesting, but it also binds your creativity. You’re forced to work within a very tight schedule and strict rules. So I felt the need to play by my own rules; I wanted to be free to experiment with my writing style, my plot and my characters. And I went for it!

Q. What advice to you have for writers who are just starting out?

A. Never surrender, never give up, be your own number one fan! I know these are all big clichés, but they’re also truthful. You want to be a writer? Then write! You’re haunted by a story? A couple of stubborn characters will not leave you alone until you listen to them and write about them? Then just do it. Set them free. Give them life. And try to have fun doing it!

L.M. David: Thanks for the advice. I wish you success in your writing endeavors.

Author Bio:

Petra F. Bagnardi is a television screenwriter and story-editor, and an indie-theater writer, director and actress. She’s an avid reader and an enthusiastic cinéphile.

Author’s Links:

www.facebook.com/petra.bagnardi

http://www.amazon.com/A-Veil-Glass-Rain-ebook/dp/B00CGMOC8Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-veil-of-glass-and-rain-petra-f-bagnardi/1116264276?ean=2940045162067

Book blurb:

Brina and Eagan meet for the first time when she’s nine and he’s fourteen. They like each other from the very beginning, although their bond isn’t immediate, but it grows over the years. What links them is the fact that their parents are photographers and are extremely devoted to their work and to each other; so much so that both Brina and Eagan have to learn how to take care of themselves from a very young age. Despite their differences, age, gender, nationality, Brina is Italian and Eagan is American, they find comfort in their growing friendship.

Then Brina becomes a teenager, and her feelings for her friend start changing and deepening. New desires stir within her. On a warm, summer day, the two friends rest in a park, surrounded by the shades of the trees; then Brina kisses Eagan, while he’s sleeping. Scared by her impulses and actions, Brina realizes how her feelings complicate her friendship with Eagan, therefore she runs away from him.

A few years later, Brina is twenty and Eagan is twenty-five, they find one another once again. Brina is studying cinema in Rome and she’s also trying to become a musician. Eagan begins to work as an architect in the same city. Eagan wants to be a part of Brina’s life anew; he wants to know her new friends and, most of all, he wants to listen to her singing and playing her guitar. Brina, however, is still in love with him, and she finds it difficult to act merely as a friend, therefore she keeps pulling away.

(Ages 18+ due to mature content and language)

INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH WIXLEY, AUTHOR OF IN THE DEVIL’S OWN WORDS

LizInTheDevilsOwnWordsbookcover LizPhoto

Okay, it’s me again. This interview is with Elizabeth Wixley, author of In The Devil’s Own Words. Again, this was done last year and apologies go out to Elizabeth for the delay. I know I should be spanked, I know … any volunteers. (kidding)

With that said, let’s get the interview started. Welcome Elizabeth to my blog.

Q. Tell me a bit about yourself.

A. I was born in England and although I enjoy travelling my heart belongs to this rock situated in the northern hemisphere. From the very beginning I have been a dreamer, loving books and all forms of creative thinking. During my much younger life I expressed myself through painting and music and attended art school to develop my skills. These days if I pick up a pencil or a brush it is to crate dragons or monsters.

One of my other passions is history. I love the stories of ordinary people’s lives and how they survived against all odds and in dire circumstances. I am amazed at the resilience of people.  At the age of sixteen I ran away from home and there followed an unsettled period in my life where I lived in many areas of the UK. From my various adventures I gained a great deal of knowledge about ancient cultures and the emotional literacy of people today and how they negotiate their way through life.

Interacting with nature is important to me, so I am often to be found roaming Dartmoor and of course, I am compelled to drop into any old pub I come across to enquire about their ghosts. Perhaps because I live on a very wet island, I find that I am drawn to water sports. I am mad about the sea and rivers, so my favourite item of clothing is my wet suit.

My working life recently came to an abrupt end, due to government cut backs, when my whole team was made redundant. I worked for the Local Education authority where I supported children who had often experienced trauma in their lives. I often wonder how those young people are coping now without much needed support.

My journey through life has often been bizarre with many twists and turns but it has provided me with great material for my stories.

Q. What is In The Devil’s Own Words about?

A.  My book ‘In the Devil’s Own words’, is a multi-layered book but may also be read on face value as a fantasy adventure. It is set in contemporary Britain but my characters are sucked back into the medieval period. Although it is an apocalyptic tale it differs in feel from many I have previously read. However it is the same in that it addresses the age old question about good versus evil and nature verses nurture.

It starts with the discovery of a mysterious book and two skeletons buried under the floor of the village pub. From that point the four main characters, a group of dysfunctional teenagers, are drawn into a dark world where to survive they will need rise above their issues and work as a team. However, the question is, are we ever ultimately able to escape our environment and upbringing?

Q. The main character is Isobel Miller. What is she like?

A. Isobel is fifteen and at an age where she is exploring who she is and how she fits into the world. At the beginning of the book she appears as a truculent self exorbed teenager who is angry at having to move home yet again. She feels lonely, isolated and lacks a sense of belonging.

Isobel then meets firstly Peter and then Oswald. These youths are also outsiders experiencing feelings of loss. Peter for a lost childhood due to sickness and Oswald because of the death of his mother and the absence of his father’s love. Due to the cataclysmic events that are occurring all round her Isobel embarks on a journey of self-discovery where she is forced to dig deep and very quickly discover the strength of her true personality.

Q. What do the characters Peter, Oswald and Ariel add to The Devils Own Words?

A. Peter and Oswald are almost as important as Isobel in this story. Their lives are equally affected by the reactions towards each other. Their lives revolve round like marbles in the hand of the Devil. Ariel is important because she is less resilient and not able to make the best choices in response to the unfolding events.

Q. Who was your favorite character?

A. It is hard to say who my favorite character was. I am fond of them all and still miss them. I liked Isobel grandfather as he appreciates a good spine chilling tale. I felt for the main characters took on a life of their own and became very real to the point where I wanted to cry out to them, to warn them when they were making a mistake. My real love was for a certain member of the monster race and Lance the golden eagle.

Q.  Who was your least favorite character?

A.  I suppose I would have to say my least favorite character was the Bishop of Dover, Francis but it is great fun writing about such an evil person. Some of the subsidiary adults I don’t like as they are slimy and self-serving. I suppose my least favourite were the politicians.

Q.  What was the hardest part of In The Devil’s Own Words to write?

A.  The first draft of this book was surprisingly easy to write. It was there waiting for me, I just had to grab it from the ether. However, I knew from the beginning that this book was always going to be special for me as it is based on a magical place where I once lived and I was therefore anxious to do it justice. Perhaps because I have moved round so much certain environments have a heightened meaning for me.

Q.  How did you get yourself psyched up to write about tragedy, disaster, and the Devil himself?

A. I didn’t really have to get myself psyched up at all. I think I am quite a dark and deep thinker. The real world is far more scary and cruel than mine. The arrogant part of me wanted to issue a warning ‘that if we aren’t careful this is a world in which we could be heading’. Also I enjoy delving into the corners of life and exploring ideas and what if’s.

Q.  What would draw a reader to In The Devil’s Own Words?

A.  ‘The Devil’s Own Words’ is not a predictable book. You might think that you have been given all the information but will be surprised at every turn. The reader won’t really get all the answers they want until the last page. I have written the type of book I would like to read and have entered a world I would like to explore. Anyone who enjoys exploring the mystery and magic of our universe will relish this story.

Q.  Will there be a sequel to In The Devil’s Own Words? If now, do you have a current work in progress?

A.  There will be a sequel but I have taken time out and am currently writing another book which is in a similar vein but I felt like I needed to allow my characters to settle for a while in my head. We have unfinished business and there is much more to come. This is just the beginning.

Q. Do you believe in the supernatural? Or things that go bump in the night?

A.  I believe in anything and everything. I like to keep an open mind as what I do believe is that none of us humans have the answers, yet. I am just nosey and like to spy through the window and see what is out there. There is nothing in this world that enriches our lives more than a good mystery or a spine chillier. We all need to be transported from our mundane lives into the realms of what might be possible.

Q.  What inspired you to write In The Devil’s Own Words?

A.  My inspiration for my book comes firstly from that magical place where I once lived. It is load with meaning and mystery for me. When I lived there I was about the same age as Isobel and strange, inexplicable things happened there, some of which I have included in my book. You asked in the previous question whether I believed in the supernatural and I found that hard to answer. I don’t think it is as simple as that by reading my books people will understand what I mean. Sometimes it is about a place, the whole picture. It is hard to describe the impact of a certain place in time in a few words.

Q.  You are a self-published author. What made you decide to go it on your own?

A.  I am a self-published author because I wanted the freedom to express myself how I chose. I don’t feel comfortable writing books to fit in with a publishers view on how things should be. I believe in creativity and honest expression and perhaps self-indulgently I wanted to write things that I felt were important to me and other likeminded people.

Q.  What advice do you have for writers just starting down the writing path towards publishing a book?

A.  My advice to any writers starting out would be to follow your heart. The creative process is about exploration and discovery not fitting into someone else’s ideas of what is correct. It will be the hardest thing you probably ever do, similar to bringing children into the world. And it is not the writing in itself that is difficult but getting your voice heard above the noise.

L.M. David: Thanks for the interview, Elizabeth. I wish you all the best with your writing endeavors!

Author’s Bio:

Elizabeth Wixley was born in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom but moved house many times during her childhood. Eventually she left home and slept rough on a beach in Cornwall. A year later she found herself in London where she attended Camberwell School of Art.

Finally, she ended up in Bristol where she began working fulltime for the Local education Authority, supporting children experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties back into mainstream education. At the same time she was bringing up two sons as a single parent and studying for a degree at the University of the West of England.

Creative arts have always been Elizabeth’s passion, whether visiting galleries, painting or writing. Now she enjoys nothing more than sharing a good story with others.

Author Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B8XQF66

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B8XF66#_

In The Devil’s Own Synopsis:

Moving house has become a way of life for fifteen year old Isobel Miller. Her father is an Army Major; her mother, a middle aged, pregnant, chain smoking alcoholic. But the move to the village of Langham could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. To the truculent teenager it might as well have been to Timbuktu. Isobel is resentful of the baby, angry with her mother for dragging her away from civilization to live in a village which has no street lighting, let alone any decent shops.

The only light in her miserable existence is her grandfather, story-teller elite, her savior. And when one of his macabre tales is mentioned in the local paper, Isobel is drawn into the depths of evil and devil worship. Her world, and that of everyone around her, turns upside down.

The cause? A mysterious book, an omen, which once opened and read starts a cataclysmic chain of events, and their lives are filled with tragedy and disaster. Salvation comes in the guise of three other teenagers-Peter, Oswald and Ariel-and the four form a bond so strong nothing can tear apart-nothing except maybe the devil himself!

INTERVIEW WITH DEVORAH FOX, AUTHOR OF THE LOST KING

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Hello, L.M. David here. Today I am interviewing Devorah Fox, author of The Lost King. Apologies, Devorah, for the tardiness in posting this interview …

Okay, get the interview started:

Q. Welcome Devorah. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A. The daughter of “book people,” I’ve been a bibliophile my entire life. I started writing as a teen–I remember collaborating on a novella with two girlfriends. I tackled writing a novel in the 1990s. I recall not being able to find quite the book that I wanted to read, so I decided to write it myself.

Q. Your book, The Lost King, is set in Chalklands. What is it like living in the world you created in this book?

A.  It isn’t easy. In the middle of the Middle Ages very little was preprocessed or manufactured. If you wanted something, first you had to grow it, build it, make it. If you needed socks, you couldn’t just waltz into a store and buy them. Instead you had to raise the sheep, shear and card the wool, spin the thread, knit a pair — you get the idea. Also, there wasn’t much variety and not as many options. For example, you ate what was in season and locally available. Not everyone was educated and even those who wanted to better themselves didn’t always have the means to do so.

Q. In The Lost King, your main character is King Bewilliam. What’s he like?

A. Even when Bewilliam finds himself stripped of all that made him king — his title, lands, wealth and power — he is still proud, almost arrogant. In many ways though, this quality helps him to persevere. Someone with less of a sense of self would give up in despair when faced with the challenges that he faces.

Q. The first chapter starts out with King Bewilliam lying in a field and homeless. What happened?

A. “What happened” makes up the rest of the story. Without giving away the ending, King Bewilliam is in such shock that he can’t remember how he came to be in this strange place, let alone penniless.

Q. How long does it take the king to figure out someone’s placed him under a spell?

A. He wanders around for months. He’d like to reclaim his old life, if only he could remember where that was!

Q. What is the most fascinating thing about King Bewilliam’s quest?

A. I found myself charmed by his persistence, self-reliance and inventiveness. He could have given up, looked for charity or turned to others for support. Instead he continues to strive to regain what he believes to be his place in the world and calls on his creative skills to solve problems.

Q. Is there a love interest for King Bewilliam?

A. He’s a handsome, charming, and vibrant man so yes, despite his trials and tribulations he does find time for romance too.

Q.  Will there be a sequel to The Lost King? If so, tell me a bit about it.

A. I’m working on The King’s Ransom now. I hadn’t planned for The Lost King to be part of a series but when I got to the end, I realized that there was more to tell, that King Bewilliam had more to learn and experience. Plus, fans of the book wanted to spend more time with the characters from The Lost King.

Q.  What was your favorite part in The Lost King?

A.  I like when King Bewilliam tries to rescue a “damsel in distress” only to meet the capable and independent Empress Alexandra who as proud and strong-willed as he is.

Q. Which character was your favorite, and why?

A. I like all of them as they were all inspired by people that I have known.

Q. Why set this story in the Medieval era?

A. When I started writing, I wanted to capture the plight of contemporary people who have survived a life trauma only to find nothing to “come home to” but I wanted to tell the story in a “once upon a time” fashion. As I got into the story, I realized that I was describing life in the middle Middle Ages. As one reader said about the medieval fantasy world setting, “The story could have taken place today” and that was indeed my intent.

Q. If you could go back in time, would you want to live in the age of Knights in shining armor, jousts and drafty castles?

A. Oh, no, no, no. I am a 21st century gal, no doubt about that. I love the modern conveniences, the enabling technology, and the freedom to be what I want to be.

Q. As self-published author, what has been the most challenging thing you’ve dealt with?

A. Finding time to write. Being self-published means I’m running a small business. The commercial side of writing is demanding and time-consuming. Between marketing and promotion I find that I don’t get much writing done.

Q. What advice do you have for other authors following the same path you have towards publication?

A. Read the fine print and be certain you know what you’re getting yourself into. Take advantage of tutorials and guidelines. Self-publishing can lead to expensive and disappointing results for those who don’t know what they’re doing. It was an easy decision for me because I’ve worked with publications practically my entire professional life and have been a self-publisher (nonfiction) for decades. I already knew my way around layout, resolution, distribution, etc. Those who don’t either have to expect a steep learning curve or rely on someone else’s expertise. The advantages of self-publishing are the degree of control and the speed. Self-publishers can get books into readers’ hands practically overnight!

L.M.: Thanks for the advice. And the interview.

**As a side note, after this interview was posted, Ms. Fox sent me an email stating she’d published the second book in this series entitled: The King’s Ransom and is working on the third in the series. Congrats! Oh, and she warned me to stay away from vampires …

Author Bio:

A three-time National Novel Writing Month winner, Devorah Fox has written for television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Before she started writing timeless fiction she edited and published the BUMPERTOBUMPER® books for commercial motor vehicle drivers as well as developer of the Easy CDL  apps for the iPhone. She has written commercial driver license test preparation guides for Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. and edited books for Techni-Com, a Canadian publisher. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has lived in Port Aransas, Texas, since 2005. Secretary of the Rockport Writers Group, Fox writes the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com and a column of the same name for The Island Moon newspaper. She wrote her first novel in the third grade and has written several more since. The Lost King, Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, is her first published work of fiction.

Author Links:

Website:     http://devorahfox.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devorah_fox

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Book Synposis:

When all you have owned, everyone you have loved, and everything you have done are gone, who are you? King Bewilliam awakens one morning to find himself mysteriously transformed from a beloved respected ruler and dragon slayer of renown to a homeless vagabond. Who cast this spell and why? His quest to uncover and break the bewitching spell and regain his kingdom sets him on a journey of adventure, romance, and self-discovery. Book One of The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam, The Lost King is a modern tale in medieval clothing.