Darlene Foster is back! Welcome!

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back to ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. During your former visits, we learned about your writing, and your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

We want to find out today, what new sides we will unveil:

  1. Is there something on your desk, or in your bag, that you consider a ‘mascot’, or a lucky charm that’s supposed to help you with your writing? What is it, and why?

On the wall above my desk is a collection of pictures of my family that I consider my lucky charm. My family has always been there for me, motivating and encouraging me along the way. Without them, I would probably not have accomplished any writing goals. I live far away from them now, so having their pictures where I can see them as I write lets me know they are watching over me and whispering, keep going!

  • Imagine you wrote your first draft of your book and in the middle, you discover a major plot flaw. What is the first reaction? And how are you going to face the problem and solve it?

My first reaction is to just forget it and start a new story. I find these problems overwhelming initially. After a good cry, I would close the computer and leave it for a few days. Then I would look at the problem with fresh eyes and rework it. There is nothing that can’t be fixed. What doesn’t kill you makes your writing stronger!

  • Some writers are phenomenal storytellers, but they have problems with their networking. What would you recommend they should do?

I love networking but realize not everyone does. I would recommend starting a blog first and foremost. It is the best way to connect with other writers and readers. I know not everyone likes social media but I think it is important that writers have some presence. So pick one or two that you feel comfortable with. Without social media these past two years, I´m not sure what writers would have done to network and sell their work. Of course, face-to-face networking is always the best and in non-pandemic times I would suggest attending writers’ conferences, workshops, and book fairs. Connect with local libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, and arrange a reading and book signing. Always carry a book with you or at least a bookmark or postcard describing your book. I sold books to the person sitting beside me on an airplane because I had a book with me!  

  • What do you think about writer’s contests? Do you participate? If yes, what’s the challenge for you there?

I do submit to writer´s contests but only if there is no cost or a low cost. I have won prizes and have been included in some anthologies because of contests. I like them as they motivate me to come up with new ideas. And working to a deadline is good for a writer.  I must say I entered more of these when I was starting out and needed the motivation. It looks good on your writer’s resume and in your cover letter to a publisher if you have won some prizes. It also gives you validation as a writer that others like your work well enough to give you a prize. The stories that didn´t win a prize can be reworked and submitted elsewhere. I now have enough short stories to compile a collection. I look at entering contests as good practice. I would just stay away from those that ask for a high fee.

  • There are many warnings when it comes to Book Awards. In many cases, you pay a lot for the submission, but it doesn’t really help the marketing or the sales. What do you think about that?

If you win a book award, it does help sales. But the competition is tough. My publisher has submitted my books to a few reputable Book Awards but nothing has come of it. I have not submitted on my own as the cost seems too high. If I did, I would only consider submitting if it was a reputable award.

  • I personally wanted to participate in a ‘Writer’s Conference’ two years ago and lost the money I had paid because the organizer made a major mistake. Do you participate in ‘Writer’s Conferences’? If yes, what’s the excitement for you there? Are there conferences you would recommend?

It´s sad that you were not able to get your money back. I love Writer´s Conferences and have attended many over the years. My favourite is The Surrey International Writer´s Conference in Vancouver BC. Writers from all over the world attend and I have met some amazing people there, including Diana Gabaldon, who writes the Outlander series. A few years back, I had an opportunity to share the first three pages of my first Amanda Travels book to Meg Tilley (author and academy award winning actor) at SIWC. She gave me some suggestions and encouraged me to continue sending out the manuscript. It was just what I needed as I was about to give up on ever being published. The next year I found a publisher willing to publish my books. I have just signed my ninth contract with the same publisher. Every time I attend a conference I leave with new knowledge and great connections. It is a good way to keep abreast of the writing industry as things change all the time. I also attended the Winchester Writer’s Festival in Winchester, England which was great. Once this pandemic is over, I will be attending more conferences.

  • What’s the biggest excitement for you, when you introduce a new book to the public? Please, tell us about it.

Like having a baby, I am always so excited to show off a new book. My publisher does such a fabulous job of the covers too. It just never gets old, that feeling of accomplishment. When readers tell me they are so happy to see there is a new book out, that makes my heart sing. Good reviews get me excited as well. After all the work that goes into writing and publishing a book, it is so satisfying to be able to show it off.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

About Darlene:

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between western Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.


Connect with Darlene:

website http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/darlenefoster
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Darlene’s Books:

Amanda in Holland https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Holland-Missing-Action-Travels/dp/1771681713/

Amanda in Malta https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Malta-Sleeping-Travels-Adventure/dp/177168237X/

Amanda in New Mexico https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels/dp/1771681209/

Amanda on The Danube  https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Danube-Sounds-Music-Travels/dp/1771681020/

Amanda in Alberta https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Alberta-Writing-Stone-Travels/dp/1771680199/

Amanda in England https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-England-Missing-Novel-Travels/dp/1926760778/

Amanda in Spain https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Spain-Girl-Painting-Travels/dp/1926760557/

Amanda in Arabia https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Arabia-Perfume-Flask-Travels/dp/1926760360/

Amanda in France: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-France-Cathedral-Travels-Adventure-ebook/dp/B09R2JJTN5/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Amanda+in+Malta%2C+Darlene+Foster&qid=1662666031&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Book Spotlight Thursday: Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys by K.N. Smith – Written By Janny C

Happy Book Spotlight Thursday! This Thursday, I am happy to hop on board again with R&R Book Tours to spotlight the YA Thriller Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys by K.N.Smith. Along with a chance to win one of two $50 Visa gift cards! READ ON!

Discovery of the Five Senses: The Urban Boys

Publication Date: September 15th, 2021 (Second Edition)

Genre: Young Adult Action-Adventure, Young Adult Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

CONTINUE READING HERE

Author Spotlight – Jan Sikes

Welcome!

1.            When did you start writing?

I began my writing journey after my husband passed away in 2009. For years, people would come into our home and our lives and say to us, “Someone needs to write your story.” We always agreed and thought someone would. I awoke to the realization one day that if someone else wrote it, I would have to tell them the whole thing. So, I got busy, took writing classes, and dove into the project. It took four books to tell it. Then I published a book of poetry and art and thought I was done. Wrong! Six novels and ten short stories later, I can’t find a way to stop.

2.            What motivates you to write? 

Story ideas are my biggest motivators. It is my belief that when I am given the inspiration for a story, it is my duty to the Creative Gods to do something with it. As long as the story ideas keep coming, I will keep writing.

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you choose this particular genre?

This is a hard question to answer. The first four books I wrote were biographical fiction – true stories told in fiction format with fictitious characters. Then I launched into writing short stories in varied genres. I experimented with everything from sci-fi and young adult, to a western. My current series is in the romance genre. Ghostly Interference is a paranormal romance and Jagged Feathers is romantic suspense.

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

My writing goal is simply to affect someone’s life, to perhaps give a different perspective on situations. Each story I write has a theme or message. I like to make someone stop and think “what if?” My dream is to get my true story made into a movie. That would be amazing!

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I can’t say I have ever suffered from writer’s block, but I have hit some brick walls. Often, I find if I stop and take a walk or listen to music, I find where I need to go with the story.

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? 

Write! If you have the inspiration for a story, write it. Then what you do with it is up to you, but the most important thing is to just start. Statistics show that most people who venture into writing a book do not finish it. It is not easy. It requires the 3 p’s, patience, preservation, and persistence.

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

The White Rune Series is my latest work. Book 1, Ghostly Interference, was published in December 2020. I actually got the idea for this book when I was writing book two of my true story series. But, I couldn’t stop what I was doing at the time, so took some notes and wrote one chapter, then put it aside until I completed the true stories. After I finished Ghostly Interference,  I decided to try and find a publisher for it instead of self-pubbing. I pitched for three years before the Wild Rose Press picked me up. That was a huge day for me and a big step in my writing career. It is a paranormal romance, with the paranormal aspect being that of a ghost.

The second book in the White Rune Series is Jagged Feathers and is romantic suspense. The release date for Jagged Feathers is January 31, 2022. This book deals with some big subjects like PTSD and amputation as well as psychic visions.

The third book in the series is Saddled Hearts and I have finished it and signed a publishing contract for it. It should be released later in 2022.

I’ve started a new series I am calling The Magnolia Series. It is different from anything I’ve ever written and look forward to the challenge. The first book in the series will be entitled, Bitter Magnolia.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Jan:

WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG:   http://www.jansikesblog.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

BOOKBUB:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes

LINKEDIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jansikes/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK


Jan’s New Book:

Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.  

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:

https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

BOOK TRAILER LINK:  https://youtu.be/CwGRyRVMyLE

Author Spotlight – Bobby Nash

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hi. I’m Bobby Nash. I write novels, comic book, audio scripts, screenplays, and whatever else pops into my head. I work in multiple genres, but most of my work falls in the thriller and crime fiction camp.

1.            When did you start writing?

I dabbled in writing and drawing comic book stories as a kid and into my teenage years. I also write and drew for the high school newspaper and yearbook. I also supplied comic strips to a local magazine that ran for twelve years. I turned my family into comic strip characters. That was fun. Eventually, I realized that while I enjoyed drawing, my art was not up to professional standards, so I focused on writing and eventually sold my first story to a publisher. In my 20’s, the idea for a novel hit me and I tried it. I finished a story, and it was awful, but I enjoyed writing it, so I did another, which wasn’t horrible. Eventually, it found a publisher. Evil Ways debuted in 2005 and I’ve been busy ever since.

2.            What motivates you to write?

Part of my motivation is to tell the stories. I do enjoy coming up with characters and plots and seeing how they work out, solving problems, and getting to know the characters. That’s what motivated me to start and it is still part of me. Now that writing is my job, deadlines motivate me. Deadlines are a huge part of my daily routine. When writing was a hobby, I could wait for the muse to strike, but as a career, I have to put my butt in the chair every day and write, even on those days I don’t feel like it.

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am lucky in that I have been able to play in multiple genres. I like writing sci-fi, horror, super-powered characters, action, adventure, pulp, westerns, and more. Most of what I write falls into the crime fiction and thriller category. I love these types of stories as a reader and writer. I also integrate action into my stories. That’s just fun.

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

A few years ago, writing became my “day job” and I am fortunate to be able to write for a living. It’s not a wildly luxurious living, but I get by. I have many goals. I set attainable goals. Some are simple like “finish this story on time” while others are more long term like “I want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author” one day. Another goal is to reach more readers and introduce them to my work. I do a lot of things to try and reach new audiences.

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

No. I almost always know what I need to write. There are times when I get stuck on a story point, but that’s not writer’s block. When that happens, I jump over to another story while my subconscious works the problem on the other story. What I do run into from time to time is that there are days when I just don’t feel like writing. Like any other job, there are days you’d just rather do anything else. That’s not writer’s block, but it is a hurdle I have to overcome. I schedule days off because we all need to rest and recharge. I can’t take off too many though. Those deadlines are still hanging out there and need to be met.

A friend once said of writer’s block, “Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block. Drivers don’t get driver’s block. Painters don’t get painter’s block. So, why should writers get writer’s block?” In any job, you can’t just stop. I agree with him. You have to keep working.

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

First and foremost, I always stress that you should have fun with your writing. If it’s not fun, you’re going to end up resenting it and stop or your work will suffer because you aren’t enjoying what you do. That’s step one.

Determine where you want your writing to take you. Not everyone wants to write for a living. Some are happy to write as a hobby. Others do it as a side hustle. Once you determine the path that is best for you as a writer, set attainable goals to help get you there. Goal #1 can’t be “become New York Times Bestselling Author.” You need to have other goals like finish a story, finish a novel, write X number of words a day, things like that. Then, when you meet those goals, celebrate them. They are a big deal.

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

I write a few different series that come out at varying intervals. My crime fiction/thrillers from BEN Books are my main series.

Snow is an action/thriller about a former undercover government operative turned p.i. There are currently 6 novellas in the Snow series. They are also collected in 2 collected editions. There are also 7 Snow Shorts, $.99 ebooks available as well. More to come in 2022. I’m currently working on Snow Hunt, book 7 in the series.

FBI Special Agent Harold Palmer headlines Evil Ways (my first published novel) and the upcoming Evil Intent (January 2022). These are suspense/thrillers. I’m already planning a third book for 2023.

Homicide Detective John Bartlett and reporter Benjamin West don’t really like each other, but their jobs keep bringing them together against cold-blooded killers looking for their time in the spotlight. Deadly Games! is their first action/thriller. They return in Deadly Deals! later in 2022.

Tom Myers is the sheriff of Sommersville, Georgia, a growing county east of Atlanta. Evil Ways and Deadly Games! took place in Sommersville and now the sheriff and his deputies have their own series at last. There are currently 2 books in this mystery/thriller series: In The Wind and Such A Night. Book 3: Standing on The Shadows is slated for summer 2022.

Other ongoing titles include the pulp/action of Lance Star: Sky Ranger, the comedy/horror of Hunter Houston: Horror Hunter, and more. I also write the occasional media tie-in work, which is always fun.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

My pleasure. Thanks for having me. This was fun.


Meet Bobby:

Bobby Nash is not a man of action, a detective, or a hero, but he loves writing about characters who are all those things and more. Bobby is an award-winning author of novels, comic books, short stories, screenplays, and more. He is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers. On occasion, he acts, appearing in movies and TV shows, usually standing behind or beside your favorite actor. From time to time, he puts pen to paper and doodles. For more information on Bobby Nash and his work, please visit him at www.bobbynash.com, http://www.ben-books.com, and across social media.


Connect with Bobby:

www.ben-books.com

www.bobbynash.com

http://www.abrahamsnow.com

http://lancestar.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/authorbobbynash

www.twitter.com/bobbynash

www.instagram.com/bobbynashwrites

www.patreon.com/bobbynash


Bobby’s Books:

Author Spotlight – Marjorie Mallon

Questionnaire for authors:

Welcome!

Thank you so much Aurora for the kind invitation to visit your blog.

Please introduce yourself.

I am a YA paranormal fantasy author who also writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories in multiple genres. I blog about a variety of topics, and review books at my blog: https://mjmallon.com

1.            When did you start writing?

I published my first book about four years ago but have been blogging for about seven years. I think… I lose touch! Lol. I need that reminder from WordPress when they say Congratulations you have been blogging for …. years.

2.            What motivates you to write?

Writing takes you out of yourself. It makes you a much more perceptive person. I like that, I like to see the world in a new light and that fascinates me.

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I am primarily a YA Fantasy author but I write in multiple genres including horror and ghost short stories, poetry (all types,) and flash fiction (In which I’ve even tried a touch of murder! )

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

To entertain and my goal at the moment is to grow and develop and hopefully get some accolades along the way. Recently, I was delighted to receive two awards from Amazon Influencer and book reviewer N. N. Light who awarded the first book in my Curse of Time series Bloodstone with a finalist in the Fantasy category. She also awarded me finalist in International Author, which was a nice surprise and a welcome one.

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Rarely, if anything it’s more of a case of trying to stem the flow of ideas from getting too out of hand! But I reckon a good brisk walk using mindfulness techniques – being in the moment – and a touch of eavesdropping does wonders for writer’s block.

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Stick with it! It is easy to be disheartened and overwhelmed by it all. There’s so much to learn and not just writing wise. Marketing is the worst part for me but with the help of my friends I hope to overcome that. Word of mouth goes a long way, as it does in any marketplace, books are no different. So, big piece of advice make lots of author/blogger and book reviewing friends!

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

My most recent release is the 2nd in The Curse of Time series published by Next Chapter Publishing. 

Golden Healer is The 2nd in The YA Paranormal Adventure Series – The Curse of Time.

I didn’t think my life could get any weirder, until the dreaded rollercoaster…

Amelina Scott’s destiny is to be a Krystallos: a magician of light, chosen to learn the ways of crystal magic on her 16th birthday. Located on a river pathway in a mysterious part of Cambridge, the Crystal Cottage is guarded by mythical beings.

Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm this haven of light. Learning of Ryder – a Shadow Sorcerer with hypnotic powers – Amelina discovers that her own magic is now threatened, and that the Curse of Time might be unleashed again.

As secrets abound and the creatures of the Chronophage come alive, can Amelina become the true magician she needs to be?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal. NOTE: this book contains mention of self-harm, mental health issues and alludes to the potential dangers of sexual attraction, which may trigger younger/sensitive readers.

It is a two part series but I may write a third… I’ve left the ending open for that possibility.

Next Chapter Publishing

Golden Healer (The Curse of Time Book 2)

Buying Link:

https://books2read.com/u/mgjY67

Bloodstone (The Curse of Time Book 1)

 Buying Link:

https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

https://www.nextchapter.pub/books/bloodstone

 

Kyrosmagica Publishing

Mr Sagittarius (Poetry, prose and photography)

http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

This Is Lockdown (Anthology/Compilation

Kindle: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Paperback: http://mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

Lockdown Innit: Poems About Absurdity (Poetry Collection)

http://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/

Contributor to:

Writing Skills Anthology

100 Ways to Write A Book compiled by Alex Pearl: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09PHHC2YX/

Chasing Driftwood’s A Year of Writing Through Lockdown: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stay-Home-Writing-Through-Lockdown/dp/B09JF88YHW/

 

Short Stories in Anthologies:

Bestselling horror compilations

Nightmareland edited by Dan Alatorre

Scrabble Boy (short story)

Spellbound edited by Dan Alatorre

The Twisted Sisters (short story)

Wings & Fire  edited by Dan Alatorre

The Great Pottoo (short story)

 


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of storytelling began bolstered by these two vivid raconteurs. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery smile.

M J’s motto is to Do what Your Heart Desires.

And her favourite genre to write is fantasy/magical realism because life should always be sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!


Connect with Marjorie:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Buy Link Bloodstone (multiple platforms): https://books2read.com/u/bOyrgW

Next Chapter Publishing Author Page:https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/mj-mallon
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon – https://twitter.com/Marjorie_Mallon 

Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjm_reviews/

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you so much Aurora, I really appreciate it.

Author Spotlight – Isabella Steel

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Isabella Steel. My wife and I live in Oceanside, California.  Bonnie is a cellist. We both love to garden, raise chickens and Koi. We have a maltipoo, named Bella and a Shiatsu mix named Cookie.

1.            When did you start writing?

I began writing seriously about seven years ago when I was in the hospital for an extended time. Ironically the book I was working on then, Ghost Witch, was just released this past September.

 

2.            What motivates you to write?

It is quite fun for me to create a world that people can escape into.  If someone can forget their troubles and lose themselves in my writing I consider that to be the ultimate compliment. It is what I aim for when I write. Publishing is secondary.

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I have written in multiple genres. Fantasy, Horror, Political Thrillers and Science Fiction. A story comes to me and I am off running to make it work.

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I want the reader to be able to forget their surroundings, feel as if the characters are real enough to interact with them.  As a child I always loved that feeling of getting lost in a book, totally unable to put it down. I want others to feel that way too.

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Oh, Fates yes. I hate being stuck, almost as much as having to leave the writing to break the logjam.  I find putting it down for a while and going out to the chicken coop and koi pond for a while helps. Gardening is another tool. Nothing clears my mind better than digging bulbs in the dirt and listening to the birds.

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Write for yourself. Pay attention to your craft, there is a lot to learn in getting that story out of your head and on pages for readers. Talk to other authors, they have tricks and info you never think of. Use Beta-readers, you just get to close to your work.

7. Tell us about your work

Ghost Witch is part Native American folklore and part horror story with a unique timeline. While researching the locale I came across the Passamaquoddy legend and it fit right in.  You have to admit the legend is more than scary, of course I added more macabre elements but I felt it was worth writing.

Laying out the backstory for the legend was paramount to the present day characters and how they interact with the Ghost Witch. Using the history of the property allowed me to present those facts without appearing as exposition.

I hope, the readers of Ghost Witch will understand that lesbians are just like anyone else. We love, worry, hate just like everyone else. Sexuality should NOT be a defining factor regarding CHARACTER.  All my stories reinforce that theme.  Powerful people who are women and also lesbian.  In “The Silicon Gambit”  both the protagonist and the vice-president are lesbians.

I did research by spending a month reading books on the Passamaquoddy, the native americans of that area and others.   The Mi’kmaq called themselves L’nu’k, meaning “the people


Connect with Isabella

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/142055951-isabella-steelhttps://www.goodreads.com/user/show/142055951-isabella-steel

OnlineBookClub                   https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/shelves/shelf.php?u=2666907

Medium: https://medium.com/@isabellasteel2000

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabellasteelwriter/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/isabella-steel

My Website   www.BlackRaptorBooks.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChpI8dXd37Ivi9Jvp9nkoLA

LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/profile/IsabellaSteel

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/isabellasteel2000/isabellas-books/


Isabella’s books:

https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B09FH7P51C

Author Spotlight – Welcome Back Allan Hudson

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Allan Hudson

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

  • Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

My writing spot has changed since my last visit to your popular website Aurora. Previously I had converted my garage to office space to write in. Having sold our house and moved back to the city, I have a separate room where I write. I have all I need, my computer, favorite books, reference books, printer, scanner and I’m close to the coffee pot.

  • Is there a particular plan or schedule you follow with your writing?

I’m much like most folks, a creature of habit. I like writing in the morning. My day starts early and after answering emails and doing the social media thing, I write for several hours almost daily. I like quiet and I find mornings the most productive.

  • Do you think writers often are ‘introverted’ people, preferring to be alone rather than in company?

An interesting question, Aurora. Because writing is a solitary exercise, we are often cast as being introverted and there may be something to the idea. Myself, I enjoy my own company and am not worried about being alone. However, I do like meeting people and my previous career in sales and self-employment meant being extroverted and mingling with folks. I don’t think all writers are introverted.

  • Do you publicly speak or have readings, and if yes, do you have any advice for beginners?

I have participated in readings and I do enjoy such events. With Covid, readings now take place on Zoom or other similar avenues at which I am not comfortable with but I look forward to live events as soon as possible. I do enjoy public speaking. Beginners face the uncertainty of being accepted or their stories liked and it’s normal. My advice is to look for opportunities and it is never as bad as you imagine. Most crowds are warm and receptive.

  • There are so many scams out there for writers and upcoming authors. Did you ever have experience with any of it and do you have advice on how to not get trapped?

This makes me sad. There are so many unethical people wanting to take advantage of our hopes and dreams and a person has to be extremely careful of the idle promises. The best advice here is to befriend another author or writer or through an association of writers and get advice from someone experienced. Don’t make any moves until you do so.

  • Do you have a particular marketing strategy for your books?

It is my one weakness when wanting to sell books. I’m no marketing guru nor do I have a bottomless pile of money to promote my book. I stick with a website, FaceBook, Amazon, and Twitter. I try not to badger my followers with just “buy my book” but inform them of my writing journey and the stories I have to offer. Nothing glamourous, other than neat websites and fellow authors who make an effort to share others’ work. Like you, Aurora. Thank you for this.

  • Did you publish more of your work since your last visit here? If yes, please tell us about it.

Since then, I’ve published the second book in the Jo Naylor series – Shattered Lives. The third book in the Drake Alexander Adventure series – Vigilantes. I’ve been involved in an anthology – Autumn Paths – which was a lot of fun. I’m humbled to be part of the anthology alongside authors I admire and respect. I recently released my latest novella – Father. Based on true events, I changed names and settings. It has been the most fun to write. There has been a terrific response to date and I am anxiously awaiting paperbacks.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you, Aurora. So much fun being here.


Connect with Allan:

www.southbranchscribbler.ca

https://www.facebook.com/southbranchscribbler/

https://www.wattpad.com/user/allanhudson


Allan’s Books:

(Click on the cover to read more or buy)

Author Spotlight – Alice Ivinya


Welcome!

1.            When did you start writing?

I have written stories for as long as I can remember. My first book series was about a group of kids who ran away from home and became rulers of all the sharks in the sea. Worryingly they all got married at the age of 12-14 but that was old to my 8 year old self!

I wrote my first full length novel at 11. It was about a magician’s apprentice who was bad at magic.

Throughout my teenage years I wrote epic fantasy after epic fantasy that my poor parents had to read, even when they went over 200,000 words! As a child I was badly dyslexic and struggled with sentence structure and spelling to the extent that many of my early stories were illegible until I typed them up. It took me much longer than all the other children in my class to both write and type, but I just loved to write and have never been able to stop telling stories. Slowly, wth the support of my parents and teachers, I developed techniques to get around my dyslexia and now it never holds me back.

I now have ten published full length books and seven short stories.

2.            What motivates you to write?

Partly it’s the characters in my head screaming at me until I let them out. Partly it’s the desire to write stories that really resonate with people and motivate them to keep going even when the going is tough!

I also think fantasy fiction is lacking diversity, though it is slowly improving, and I want to change that! Main characters are still often white able-bodied males. Epic fantasy is very male author dominated. YA fantasy however has had a massive influx of very successful female authors in the last ten years and so we are getting our kick-ass heroines, but they are still normally white and able-bodied and not ticking many minority boxes.

In my writing I try to have interesting heroines and heroes that have characteristics not often given to the protagonists. For example, “The Fox and the Train” (pen name Alice Gent) has an autistic hero. “The Flawed Princess” (pen name Alice Ivinya) has a heroine with a club foot (and yes she is still kick-ass). My Pied Piper retelling, “Silent Melody” has a main character who is deaf, and so is the only one resistant to the Pied Piper’s magic. This has been a real eye opener for me, and I was shocked to find how few fiction books there are in any genre with a deaf main character.

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write young adult fantasy and fairytale retellings. I chose this genre because I love it! I love the fast speed of the plots, the self discovery of the main characters, and the sweet innocence of the romance. I also wanted to keep my books clean and with PG-13 violence, so this worked well.

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I realised my dream earlier this year when I became a USA Today Bestselling author! I still can’t quite believe it! I am now hoping to make enough income from my writing to be able to devote whole days to it once my son is old enough to start school. However I also want to keep working a few days a week as a small animal vet for charity.

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Sometimes, though normally I just skip the section and come back to it later. Sometimes I give the draft to my editor with a hole in the middle and ask her for ideas. I often find the answer comes to me after a few days of mulling on it. Reading other books also helps!

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

My advice to writers who want to write fantasy is to read loads in your subgenre and keep writing. Never give up! Get as many people to read it who normally read fantasy. Also start simple and master basic concepts in shorter books before your epic 12 book masterpiece!

7.            Please, tell us about your work.

The book I am currently releasing is Feathers of Blood, which is the sequel to Feathers of Snow, a retelling of the beautiful German fairytale, The Goose Girl.

It follows Brianna who is forced to take the place of a princess who doesn’t want to go through with her arranged marriage. She must travel to a strange land and keep her identity a secret or risk losing her life and plunging her country into war.

Not to mention avoid being eaten by giant Spirit Beasts or frozen to death in the wilderness.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Meet Alice:

Alice lives in wet and soggy Bristol, UK, with her husband, toddler and dog (oh and an immortal goldfish).

She has loved fantasy all her life. Her favourite authors are Brandon Sanderson, Holly Black, Amy Harmon and Robert Jordan.

When she’s not off gallivanting in other worlds, you can normally find her climbing trees with her young son, working as a small animal vet for a charity that treats the pets of people who struggle to make ends meet, hanging out with her church family, or walking the best dog in the world. (And as a vet she feel qualified to say that!)


Connect with Alice:

Website:    alicegent.com

Newsletter signup:  https://sendfox.com/AliceIvinya

Instagram: @aliceivinya.author

Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/sarahsfootsteps/ – author page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AliceIvinya/ – fantasy group.

Follow me on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19442133.Alice_Ivinya

Follow me on bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alice-ivinya


Alice’s Books:

https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/40987692-2912-11eb-8eba-9744d8f5a192

https://storyoriginapp.com/universalbooklinks/f9375808-8e2a-11eb-81ee-d7f4d46dc19f

Author Spotlight – Kat Stiles

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Kat Stiles, and I write sexy and fun urban fantasy and sci-fi. I’m originally from Jersey, but now live in Texas. I recently got my USA Today bestselling author letters! It’s been a fun ride so far being an indie author, but I’m just getting started…

1.            When did you start writing? I’ve been writing since grade school – little stories here and there, but I didn’t get serious about fiction until around 2010 or so, when I first released Connected.

2.            What motivates you to write? Connecting with readers. Finding that one reader who totally gets me and devours all the books in my series in one night. I’m a reader myself, and it’s downright joyful to find an author you love to read!

3.            What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre? UF/PNR, and Sci-Fi. I absolutely love superpowers, and everything I’ve ever written, save one morbid short story, has superpowers in it. I’ve been writing more Sci-Fi lately because I love the possibilities there – genetic tampering, alien beings, and political/psychological tension – everything that makes the classics like Star Trek great is there in sci-fi, and when you add superpowers to the mix, it’s even more fun.

4.            What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

My goal is to entertain readers and keep them coming back for me. Sure I’d love to be independently wealthy from it, but my main goal is to provide a world for readers to escape in for a while. That and it would be nice to finally overcome my obsession with comma splices.

5.            Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it? Not so much writer’s block as procrastination or general laziness. Sometimes I forget how much I love writing and focus on other stuff instead. As for the writing process itself, I tend to do a general plotting outline at the onset, and if I get stuck when I’m writing, I just refer to that, to get back on track again.

6.            What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors? Keep going, finish that book! That’s the first step. And try not to get too overwhelmed once you realize that after the monumental feat of actually completing the book, now you have to edit it. Then once it’s edited, you have to market it, which is a whole different set of skills. Even if you get an agent, you’re still going to have to market it, but if you can join some author groups, get some training, and commit to learning that skill, you’ll be fine. Remember to breathe and take it piece by piece – it takes time to get it all straight when you’re brand new to this business.

7.            Please, tell us about your work. I have four major series: Connected, Enhanced, Modified, and The Vampire Cure. Connected are YA superpowers and coming of age. It has two books – Connected and Imminence – featuring three friends and it’s romance heavy. Enhanced has more of a sci-fi superpowers X-men kind of feel. It has one book – A Fated Exception, and a prequel origin story, Spliced, which readers can snag when they subscribe to my newsletter. Modified is a sexy, geeky, super-powered graphic novel in written form. It’s fun and full of curse words! And it’s also my serialized series, meaning each volume is a continuation of the story, like a TV episode. It has five volumes, one novella length book, and an origin story. The Vampire Cure is my latest series, featuring science, superpowers, and vampirism. It’s got a poli-sci-fi feel, so I issued a warning to followers of the last regime here in the US, that they will not be amused. It’s got one book – The Vampire Cure, and the sequel is due out in mid-August. With the exception of the Connected series, my books are sometimes dark and sexy, and fun. I also have a Kindle Vella story called Her Alien King, and it’s a sexy alien sci-fi romance that I’m adding episodes to weekly.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you for having me, it’s been fun! 😊


Meet Kat

USA Today Bestselling Author of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Young Adult Fiction.

Originally a Jersey girl, sunny Texas is where I now call home. I write super-powered urban fantasy that’s sexy, fun and dark. For fun, I like to read urban fantasy, horror, and existentialist fiction, as well as watch cartoons, movies, and sometimes even cartoon movies. I try not to take anything in life too seriously and I tend to smile often. Hop over to my website, katstiles.com for bonus material, fun blog posts, news about upcoming releases, and awesome giveaways!


Connect with Kat

Website https://katstiles.com

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katstilesauthor

Facebook: https://facebook.com/katstilesauthor

Instagram: https://instagram.com/katstilesauthor


Check out Kat’s Vampire Cure Series:

In the search for a cure to a viral pandemic, scientist Liz Meyer discovers something far more deadly…Vampires exist.

And what’s even more amazing, they’re immune to the virus.

Liz is both afraid and intrigued. Gifted with dreams that reveal the future, she sees how bad the pandemic will become. A blood sample could be the solution to a cure.

Sexy vampire Ryan awakens a desire within Liz, something she’s never felt before. Too bad the rest of the coven want nothing more than to feast on her blood.

Can Liz get the blood she needs to find a cure? Or will it be her blood that’s taken instead?

Buy the book HERE


Scientist Liz Meyer has to stop the manufacture of a serum that’s created a new breed of vampires. A breed different from her kind and in some ways, more deadly. She makes it her mission to find a way to reverse the effects of the serum, a serum she created. A string of mysterious murders has the police on a witch hunt to find these mutated patients. And the survivors of the coven that turned Liz will stop at nothing to eradicate the impure new vampires. But as Liz gets to know them, she wonders if this new breed is as dangerous as she’d been led to believe. Handsome detective Edgar shows her another side of the collective, and she begins to question her resolve. Was their creation simply a mistake to fix to protect humanity, or could there be something more to it? Liz comes up with a possible cure, a serum that will reverse the vampirism side effects for the new breed. But with the police and other vampires closing in, she may be too late. Can Liz keep the peace long enough to deal with the threat of the new breed?

Buy the book HERE


Author Spotlight – C.C. Solomon

Welcome

1. When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was around eleven years old. I wrote a short play in my english class that my classmates put on and did some other short stories as assignments. My english teacher, Ms. Weber, told me I was good and to keep writing and I have!

2. What motivates you to write?

I’m a day dreamer and I love to read so I’m motivated by the world and my own imagination. Also I have a desire to see more diverse characters and themes in the genres I love. We underestimate the importance of inclusive writing. Especially to BIPOC readers. 

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write mostly urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I’ve always been a fan of this genre since I was in middle school back reading R.L. Stine. I like the fantasy and horror elements and I also love a dash of romance. I also like the escapism but in a world that isn’t too unfamiliar so it’s manageable. 

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Well the hope is always that you build an audience that appreciates your work. My goal is to entertain and reach readers that were underserved or just wanted new points of view. 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Absolutely. I try to write outlines for my stories to help with that but I don’t mind taking breaks if I have to. If I’m struggling writing then my reader will struggle to read it and I don’t want that. So I’d rather step back and revisit something when inspiration hits. Going for a meditative walk has always been helpful with any block I have. 

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Keep writing. That’s the biggest thing. Especially for indie authors. A lot of our success can come from building a brand which comes from having several books published. This way you give readers something to come back to. Also writing that first draft is tough but don’t stop. Even if you know you’ll change something, just make note of it to go back to later and keep moving forward in the story. Once the first draft is done I think it gets easier and more rewarding. 

7. Please, tell us about your work. 

My latest book, Dark Hauntings, is the start of a spin off series in my Paranormal World. In this world, there was an apocalyptic event that ended up killing off 50% of the population and turning most of the survivors into supernatural beings ten years ago. At some point in that time, the heroine in this book, half faerie/ half demon, Francesa Ross, had her memory stolen by angels because they thought she was dangerous. However, now they are having trouble returning it. They are also holding the promise of returning her memories over her head to get her to do their dirty work. In this book she’s asked to go on a mission in a vacation town to check out some odd happenings. Of course, there is more than meets the eye. At the same time, she has become a magnet for demons and this could possibly shed some light on her past and missing family. Oh, right, and a possible romance, with a Nephalim she might have been in love with in her hidden past.

Thank you for being my guest today.


Meet C. C. Solomon

A B O U T  T H E  A U T H O R

C.C. is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has actively written fiction since the age of eleven. She’s an avid “chick lit” reader and urban fantasy fan. During her days, she works in Civil Rights for the federal government. In her free time, she sings karaoke, travels the globe and watches too much TV… when she’s not writing of course.


Connect with C. C. Solomon

Website:    www.ccsolomon.com 

Newsletter signup:  https://ccsolomon.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bb08ad3bf561a87ee173796bc&id=de24801e52

Instagram: www.instagram.com/Ccsolomon2004

Facebook page/group:   https://www.facebook.com/authorccsolomon

Other: https://www.facebook.com/groups/catsbetas


C. C. Solomon’s Book

Amazon.com: Dark Hauntings: A Paranormal Times Novel eBook: Solomon, C.C.: Kindle Store


More from C. C. Solomon