Author Spotlight – Bob Van Laerhoven

Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

I am a Belgian/Flemish professional author – and have been for 23 years – who has published more than 35 books in Holland and in Belgium, and who has been translated in English, French, Italian, and Russian. I specialize in the cross-over between literature and the suspense novel. With “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” (Pegasus Books) I won the Hercule Poirot Prize for best suspense novel of the year in the LowLands in 2007 and the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category mystery/suspense. My short story collection “Dangerous Obsessions” was voted “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

I published my first book in 1971, at the tender age of eighteen. In retrospect, I realize that it was way too early, but, bubbling with youthful bravado, I took the first chance I got. Because I was so young, reviewers were lenient with me, and the novel became a modest success in Belgium. I plunged head-on in writing and tried to accomplish an oeuvre with a consistent theme: the bottomless pit of aggression in humans, and the consequences of war. Also in real life, I did what I could to understand the shadows in the human soul. From 1990 to 2003, I visited, as a travel writer, conflict zones all over the world (Somalia, Bosnia, Liberia, Iraq, Iran, Burma(Myanmar),Burundi, Sudan, and so on). I was in the Bosnian town of Tuzla when the first survivors of the mass-murder in the Muslim-enclave of Srebrenica  arrived, and the sight of these wretched, exhausted, malnourished, and hopeless people made a lasting impact on me. I wrote a book about the massacre – more than 7000 Muslims killed – that the Serbian General Mladic’s troops inflicted upon the local population: “Srebrenica. A Testimony Of Mass Murder.”

 

 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Up till now, my motivation was the desire to understand who we are, and why we are such strange creatures, capable to create so much beauty, but also to commit such horrendous acts.  I would have liked to write about the light in our soul, but Fate chose me to pursue the nature of darkness. I consoled myself with the fact that there is no light without darkness. Still, after more than 35 books, traditionally published, I feel that I have reached a cross-road. I’m currently working on “The Feuerhand Files,” a novel set in Berlin in 1921, and I feel in the marrow of my bones that it will be my last cross-over novel between literature and the suspense genre. It will be my final attempt to dissect the nature of our innate violence.

 

 

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

I write in the cross-over genre between literature and the suspense novels. In other words: I write literature with a certain degree of suspense. I didn’t choose that particular genre. It chose me. My first ten novels in Flanders and Holland were literary, but even then reviewers noticed a tendency to incorporate “thriller-effects” in them. When I was 42, I felt that my literary pen had become blunt, and, in order to satisfy my ongoing need to write, I decided to write a hard-boiled thriller series. The series, with the South-African/Flemish half-breed commissioner Peter Declerq and the Brussels inspector Samantha “Sammy” Duchène, started as a pure thriller series, but, along the way, the old elements of style and elegance that I tried to portray in my literary work, sneaked also in this “new direction.” Gradually, the Declerq-Duchène series evolved again in the direction of literature, but it still retained a healthy dose of suspense via a thrilling plot and a polished style. Afterwards came the even more literary mystery-novels like “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” and “Return to Hiroshima, “Black Water,” “The Woman Who Loved Dante,” “Alejandro’s Lie,” “The Shadow Of The Mole,”etc…

 

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

Coming from a working class family, I dreamed of becoming a famous writer. I’m glad that, rather soon in my, eh, “career,” I understood that a famous writer isn’t necessarily a good writer. So, I changed my goal and wanted to become the best writer that I can be. Instead of trying to be better than other authors, I tried to be the best “me.” I’m still trying, and I still find it a goal very much worth fighting for. I should like to end my writing years with my memoires, having lived a rather unusual life for a novelist.  I don’t know if I have the skills to do that, but I do know that the string of cross-over novels, wherein the individual is set against societies in uproar and unrest, has now dried up in me. When “The Firehand Files” is finished, I’ll start making notes for my memoires. It may take years, it may take forever, Fate will have its will.

 

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

No, I never experienced a complete writer’s block, but some books were harder to write than others, and sometimes I stopped after hundred, or more, pages, feeling that the soul of the novel just wasn’t there. But even then, I “recycled” some of the chapters of these unfinished novels to short stories that did well over here, and even international. For instance, I published the short story “Checkmate in Chimbote” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and that was originally a part of an unfinished novel…

 

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

Write write write…Edit edit edit….Edit again Edit again Edit again. Don’t sell your soul for profit; try to find it in your themes, your style, and your passion.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

I haven’t fulfilled my dreams (yet), and, like every artist, I suppose, I had hoped for more and better. But I covered a long distance from the working class boy of eighteen without a formal education to the author I have become, who still tries to hone his craft, and who had some nice successes along the way. Nearing 64, I look back more often than I used to, and when I count my successes and my failures, I realize that I have been a lucky man. Now comes the time to end all these years of writing in beauty, in acceptance, and with grace….

 

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

________________________________________________________________________

Contact Bob:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NMz1poUVmUw 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605987002 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/baudelaires-revenge-bob-van-laerhoven/1116879856?ean=9781605985893 (Nook)

https://niume.com/profile/45450#!/posts (Niume)

https://www.facebook.com/bob.vanlaerhoven (FB)

http://www.thebingbing.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (BingBing) 

https://twitter.com/bobvanlaerhoven  (Twitter)

________________________________________________________________________

Some Bob’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/160598700X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1389641492&sr=1-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Baudelaires-Revenge-%D0%9C%D0%B5%D1%81%D1%82%D1%8C-%D0%91%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B0-Russian/dp/1681143089/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven-ebook/dp/B00VU96036  (Kindle edition)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Obsessions-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/168114087X/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1489524243&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Bob+Van+Laerhoven (paperback)

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Author Spotlight – Hugh Roberts

img_4261Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Hugh W. Roberts. I live in the city of Swansea, in South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

Around the age of 12 although, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to write. Being dyslexic stopped me from writing for many years. Back then, it was a condition not recognised, so there was little if any help for those who were dyslexic. 

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Life! I love to people watch. New characters are born in my head and a new short story developes. Writing prompts/challenges also motivate me to write. I love a challenge, although some have beaten me in producing a short story. As an early bird, rather than a night owl, I do most of my writing in the mornings.  

 

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

As a writer of short stories, I write in many genres but, if I had to choose a favourite, Science fiction would be the genre I enjoy writing the most. I particularly enjoy time-travel. In fact, it fascinates me and I’d love to have the ability to time travel. Time Traveller would be my ideal occupation (after author, of course). 

 

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

I fulfilled my dream of becoming a publish author when I published my first book, Glimpses, in December 2016. My next goal is to write and publish the next volume of short stories for Glimpses. I’m hoping to publish them in December 2017. My biggest dream is to now have one (or more) of my short stories made into a movie or T.V. show. 

 

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

Writer’s block has never affected me. I always seem to be full of ideas. In times when the idea cupboard is running low, I’ll turn to writing prompts/challenges. Looking at photographs also helps get my creative writing juices flowing. 

 

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

Believe in yourself and your writing. We all get self-doubt, but never let it, or anybody, stop you from writing. If you are a blogger, then ensure you connect with other writers and authors by reading and commenting on their blogs. I’ve built up many great online friendships through blogging. Many bloggers offer free help and advice on writing and publishing books, so get on out there and make some friends in the writing and blogging world. If you don’t have a blog, but want to write and publish a book, start writing a blog straight away. 

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

I started blogging in February 2014. I wrote and published many of my short stories on my blog, but I also use the blog to write about everyday life, music, bloggings tips, and for my photography. I always wanted to be a storyteller and blogging gave me the chance to write and publish my work for the outside world. Most of my short stories come with twists and turns that many readers never guess are coming. My current book, Glimpses, contains short stories covering the genres of science fiction, LGBT, drama, supernatural, horror, thriller, comedy and fantasy. Hopefully there is something for everyone in the book.

  

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


Connect with Hugh Roberts:

 

Blog

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Google+ 

LinkedIn

 


Hugh Roberts’ book:

glimpses-kdp-cover

 

http://hyperurl.co/42ou22

Author Spotlight – Mackenzie Flohr

authorphotoWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself. 

Thank you for the invitation! I’m happy to be here. My name is Mackenzie Flohr and I am a fantasy author through BHC Press.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

I have always dreamed of writing a book and being an author, but seeing it actually get published? That part I wasn’t sure would ever happen. It’s one thing to start a book, but it’s another thing to actually finish it!

My parents nurtured a love for the creative arts from a very young age. From the time I could hold a pencil, I was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, a childhood friend and I were authors and reviewers of our own picture books.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

What motivates me is being told I won’t succeed. I know that sounds odd, but I’ll elaborate. Back in 2006, I was at the airport in Orlando waiting for the plane to arrive to take my Dad and I back to Cleveland, OH. I was working on a scene, which happens in a later book in the series. There was a young girl who looked about my age with her Dad sitting across from us. They asked what I was writing about, so I mentioned a little bit about it. Afterward, my Dad smiled and told them that I was writing a fantasy series, and that I would never finish it. I was shocked, embarrassed and hurt by the outburst. Even as I am recalling that moment now, it still angers me! But that’s where he went wrong. Not only did I write it, not only did I finish it, I found a company to PUBLISH it!

 

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

Fantasy. I admit I have a strong fascination, or maybe even obsession, with swords and sword fighting. I also admire the elaborate fashion from that time. And of course, who doesn’t like a wee bit of magic?

 

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

I really hope someday The Rite of Wands will become popular enough to either inspire a movie trilogy or a television series by the BBC. In particular, I’d like to see Matt Smith in the role of Mierta McKinnon and David Tennant in the role of Orlynd O’Brien.

 

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

As author Rachel Caine said during a writing panel at Wizard World Chicago in 2015, there is no such thing as writer’s block. There is nothing preventing you from writing, YOU are preventing yourself from writing by allowing this ‘block’ become an excuse.

That being said, I usually look for what inspires me to help rejuvenate my muse. When I writing the first book of The Rite of Wands, for example, I would often play the video game Bloodborne because my series kind of has a bit of that same hopeless atmosphere minus the beasts. I would also watch something with actor Matt Smith in it because my MC was written for him. That particular habit has become so effective that people often joke and say Matt Smith IS my muse.

 

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

Writing is A LOT harder than it looks. If someone tells you that writing is easy, don’t believe them. It’s one thing to write a story, it’s another thing to actually finish it. There are so many people out there who falsely believe they will write the next bestseller on the first try. But don’t let that discourage you. Don’t give up, keep pressing on, and if someone tells you can’t do something, don’t believe it. As one of my dear friends has said, sometimes in order for something to happen, you have to give to the universe, and the universe in turn, gives back.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

The Rite of Wands is the first in a new YA fantasy series, coming out on March 10th in both paperback and eBook through BHC Press/Indigo. It will appeal to fans of The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even Doctor Who (specifically fans of the Eleventh Doctor).

 

Here’s a little teaser: 

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever 

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s. 

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves. 

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

 

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


Keep in touch with Mackenzie Flohr:

 

Website: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com

WordPress: https://mackenzieflohrblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mackenzieflohr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16247559.Mackenzie_Flohr

 


Mackenzie Flohr’s publisher’s page and book:

 

bhc_press_final_blue_small_no_tm

 

 

 

 

riteofwandscoverPublisher’s Page:

http://www.bhcauthors.com/Author_Mackenzie_Flohr.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Author Spotlight – D. E. Haggerty

author-photo-2016Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

I can’t actually remember a time I didn’t write. I even remember writing stories in a notebook on the yellow school bus on the way to elementary school. Although I had to stop writing stories for a while when life just got too busy, I always kept reading (even if I had to sneak a book into my Army rucksack) and making up stories in my head.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

I love making up stories. Seriously, I am always thinking up a story. If I’m out to eat, I’ll spend half the time coming up with background stories for the other dinners. Obviously, I need help.

 

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

I actually write in a few genres. The majority of my books are cozy mysteries, but I write romantic comedies as well. I’ve also written a military suspense novel and an historical novel. No matter what genre you categorize my books in, there’s always some romance in there somewhere and a bit of a mystery as well. I’m completely and utterly fascinated with the world. I’ve studied everything from history to law to international relations to environmental studies to nutritional counseling. I guess you could say this ‘fascination’ is reflected in the range of genres in which I write. You could also just say I’m crazy. You wouldn’t be the first.

 

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

I’m super-duper lucky that I can write full-time even though I don’t actually make enough money off my books to support myself. It would be completely and totally awesome if I could earn sufficient royalties to actually support myself, although then I’d have to curb my one-click addiction.

 

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

Everyone suffers from writer’s block. If they say they don’t, they lie! There’s really only one solution to writer’s block – Just. Keep. Writing. It doesn’t have to be on your work in progress, but write something, anything! A blog article, an outline for a new book idea, it doesn’t matter. Just do it.

 

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

Do not expect miracles. Sure, there are those rare and beautiful creatures who have an international bestseller with their first novel but that’s the exception and not the rule. Most of the writers I know write as a hobby because they need to support themselves. It’s also important to realize being an author is not only about writing. Whether you’re self-published or not, you need to do a lot of marketing and networking yourself. Be prepared for the reality that is being an author in today’s world.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

I just released a bundle of my second cozy mystery series, Death by Cupcake. The bundle contains the three books in the series: Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, Bring Your Own Baker, and Self-Serve Murder. The novels take place at Callie’s Cakes, a cupcake bakery owned by the heroine of Never Trust A Skinny Cupcake Baker. Each novel contains a serving of mystery with a side of romance and a sprinkling of laughs. Cupcakes are not included.

 

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


Connect with D. E. Haggerty:

Website: http://dehaggerty.wordpress.com

Blog: https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/category/mymusings/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1438239628&sr=8-5

Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

 


D. E. Haggerty’s books:

coverSeries Name: Death by Cupake

Books in Series:

Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker

Bring Your Own Baker

Self-Serve Murder

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

 

Bundle buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Cupcake-Books-D-E-Haggerty-ebook/dp/B01N4JBZYX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485849636&sr=8-1&keywords=D.E.+Haggerty

 

Cupcakes not included. Get all three books of Death by Cupcake series in one bundle! A cozy mystery series with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense. The bundle includes Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, Bring Your Own Baker, and Self-Serve Murder. Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu.

Synopsis Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker:

A mystery with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense. Callie’s life is rather awesome. She owns a successful bakery and teaches German literature at the local university. There’s just one tiny problem. She has no self-confidence when it comes to her body. And then there’s the little matter of her being accused of murdering her pole dancing instructor. There’s no way Callie’s going to risk losing her teaching position and thus she embarks, with her best baker bud Anna, on a journey to discover the real killer. Between stripper auditions and a detective who insists Callie is the woman of his dreams, it’s a roller coaster adventure. Cupcakes not included.

 

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Trust-Skinny-Cupcake-Baker-ebook/dp/B01CNZ75DE/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1457501176&sr=8-9&keywords=D.E.+Haggerty

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/620975

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-trust-a-skinny-cupcake-baker-de-haggerty/1123498864?ean=2940152907117

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/never-trust-a-skinny-cupcake-baker

 

Synopsis Bring Your Own Baker:

Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation into Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations?

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.

Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bring-Your-Baker-Death-Cupcake-ebook/dp/B01FJVGWXI?ie=UTF8&keywords=d.e.%20haggerty&qid=1463315568&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/636073

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-your-own-baker-de-haggerty/1123795411?ean=2940153018690

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/bring-your-own-baker

 

Synopsis Self-Serve Murder:

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Kristie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Self-Serve-Murder-Death-Cupcake-Book-ebook/dp/B01M8K0RYR/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1477376496&sr=8-7&keywords=D.E.+Haggerty

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/673189

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/self-serve-murder-de-haggerty/1124934721?ean=2940153788715

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Self-Serve%20Murder%20(D.E.%20Haggerty)&ac=1&acp=Self-Serve%20Murder


 

Author Spotlight – Jill Sammut

jill-head-1Welcome! 

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

I wrote my first books at the kitchen table around the age of six.  Constructed with paper, crayons, and random staples, I even managed to design advertisements for future “books” in my series on the back of each creation.

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

My current work is a series of chapter books for tweens.  The books celebrate children living with issues such as anxiety and cerebral palsy while encompassing a diverse set of characters.  Someone needs to tell the story of kids who are not typically well-represented in traditional literature.  Every time I hear from a reader who saw themselves reflected in my work, it motivates me.

 

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

I am currently writing books that target tweens.  A particular child with anxiety who couldn’t find a book with a main character that mirrored her own experiences led to my choice of genre.  I could see myself expanding to other age ranges in the future.  However, the characters in my current series still have many more adventures ahead of them.

 

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

I want my books to help kids see that they are not alone in their experiences.  I would love to write from a warm, tropical island at some point in the future.

 

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

I usually worry at the start of each new book that I won’t have enough to say.  Somehow, the story falls into place and I have the words to tell the tale.

 

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

Don’t write a book trying to impress a certain market or follow a trend.  Write a book you truly love and others will feel your passion.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

As a teacher in Flint, a mother, and a foster parent, I have seen many kids who struggle to find themselves represented in popular culture.

A child I have known and loved has battled anxiety from an early age.  As she struggled through a difficult time period, I looked for ways to help.  I wanted to find a kid’s chapter book for her where the main character worked through similar issues in a compassionate manner.  I wanted a series where the main characters were a little different, and lived in a neighborhood where everyone didn’t look the same.  When I was unable to find what I needed, I decided to write it myself.

The Cloud at the End of My Rainbow follows a young girl named Elliot McIntire.  Elliot lives on a horse farm with her family, including her nearly famous little sister Daisy.  The only problem is Elliot is terrified of horses and is fearful in other areas of her life too.  A new friend, Em, who lives with cerebral palsy, makes a bet with her that involves Elliot riding a horse for the first time in years.  Their newfound friendship is tested.

The series continues with my second novel, When the Rain Falls, due out this summer. 

 

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

  

__________________________________________________________________

 Connect with Jill:

 

My website:  www.jillsammut.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecloudattheendofmyrainbow/

You Tube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC2o-Kbks8NFBfhijjAnaeOg


Jill Sammut’s book:

 

50554131_kindle-ready-front-cover__-jpeg_6193413Amazon paperback: www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Jill+Sammut

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Cloud-End-My-Rainbow-ebook/dp/B01KAOUKJ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486244381&sr=8-1&keywords=jill+sammut+kindle

Author Spotlight – Allan Hudson

allan_hudson_color2Welcome!

 

Please introduce yourself. 

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog Aurora. It’s an honor to be included in your Writer’s Treasure Chest. My name is Allan Hudson and I live on the east coast of Canada in the province of New Brunswick. My home is in a small village called Cocagne and is situated across the road from the Northumberland Strait. I’m fortunate to have a loving, supportive family and consider myself a very lucky man.

 

  1. When did you start writing? 

Like many avid readers, I always felt there were stories I’d like to tell. I participated in a creative writing course at our local trade school, an eight week evening class, many years ago hoping to kick start my desire to get those ideas down on paper but more important things occupied my time. It was only after I discovered that my favorite author, Bryce Courtenay, started writing when he was 56 years old. He went on to write 20 best sellers before he died last year. That was eight years ago and was the inspiration for my own writing. I knew then that I needed to sit and get started. I was 55.

 

 

  1. What motivates you to write? 

I’ve come to realize that wanting to get the stories out of my head and onto paper is what motivated me to write but as time passes, it is for the sheer joy of writing, of getting lost in the world of my characters. When I sit and write, the story is all I think about, hoping that somewhere, someone will enjoy reading the story as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I also get inspiration from my surroundings, the east coast of Canada where there are fabulous sunrises and sunsets on the waters near my home and the people in my life.

 

 

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

I have two favorite genres, action/adventure and historical fiction. As a reader I’ve been drawn to action novels from such authors as Dennis LeHane, Harlan Coben, Peter May and Chuck Bowie to name a few of my favorites. These types of stories are ones I enjoy writing. My first novel, Dark Side of a Promise, is an action/adventure novel as is my second, Wall of War.

I equally enjoy historical fiction such as Bryce Courtenay, Edward Rutherford, James Michener and Beth Powning. I very much like novels that begin early in time and carry the reader along in the growth and development of the main characters, as well as their surroundings, while teaching me about the past. My WIP is such a story.

 

 

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

At present my goal is to write as often as I while I maintain a full time career to pay the bills. I look forward to retirement soon when I can spend more time near a keyboard. I’ve dreamt so long of holding a book I wrote in my hands and with my first novel and subsequent short story collections, I’ve done that. My second novel is presently at the editors and will be self-published. My goal with my WIP is to have it traditionally published.

 

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

I must admit, that writer’s block has never been a real issue for me. There are times when I stare at the cursor on the computer screen and wonder where I’m going next and the words seem to stall. I usually walk away from the screen, maybe even turn it off. Sometime I only need a few moments to stop thinking about the story or maybe a day or two but that is the extent of any type of block I experience.

 

 

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

I’m still a new, hopeful author myself so I’m not sure if my advice is sound. I feel that the best strategy is to write. Write as often as possible, get the story down on paper. Find a few beta readers you can trust, polish your work the best you can. Get professional services like editing and cover design. Turn to your fellow authors, like this friendly blog, and share, share, share. Discover other authors, comment and review their books so that they will be happy to help you along.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

In my action series, my main character is Drake Alexander. I am fascinated by foreign cultures and try to share my own wonder of travel through my novels. Dark Side of a Promise takes the readers from the shores of Canada to the young country of Bangladesh and around the world. The second novel in the series is called Wall of War and like Dark Side of a Promise, is an international thriller. It takes place mainly in Peru. At present it is being edited and I hope to publish this summer.

 

My WIP, my third novel, is a history of his family beginning in 1911 with his grandfather who lives in Scotland and eventually immigrates to Canada. It is a different genre from my earlier action/adventure stories but will explain the history of the Alexander family in a format similar to the historical authors I’ve mentioned above. My own work history is diversified by having dual careers in the jewellery industry and construction.  My central character in The Alexanders will be involved in similar businesses with the up and downs of beginning in a new country. There is much tragedy in his earlier years but the will to overcome and succeed is the theme of this new series.

 

I love short stories as well and always have several on the go. My short story, The Ship Breakers, received Honourable Mention in The WFNB short story contest and was picked up by Ryerson Hill-McGraw to be part of their iLit digital series available to high school teachers across North America as part of their curriculum. I have three collections published simply called SHORTS, Vol 1,2 & 3. Each are dedicated to one of my grandchildren.

 

I have published the beginning of a new detective serial on a separate page on my blog (South Branch Scribbler) and will be adding to it at regular intervals featuring Detective Josephine (Jo) Naylor. It is titled The Shattered Figurine. 

 

 

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

  

__________________________________________________________________

 Contact Allan Hudson: 

 

www.southbranchscribbler.ca

 

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

 

https://twitter.com/hudson_allan

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+allanhudson1953

 

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

 


wall-of-war4Allan Hudson Books:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1485787317&sr=1-1

 

 

 

 

 

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Featured Author – Interview – The return of Don Massenzio

don_massenzio_author_picWelcome back!

 

You were a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ before, where we learned about writing in your life and your projects.

 

Let’s see what you can tell us today: 

 

 

 

  1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres?  

Interestingly enough, a couple of months before last year’s interview, I had released a terrorist thriller Blood Orange which, after writing three detective mystery novels, was a change in genre. I have since released another two detective mysteries, but I am writing a follow-up to that thriller as readers seemed to like the main character and his team. It will, however, crossover into the universe of my detective novels.

 

  1. Please, tell us a little about your writing process. 

It’s chaotic. I work full-time in a 50-60 hour per week consulting job that has me traveling 45 weeks per year. I’m not a good hotel sleeper so I spend much of my travel and insomnia time writing. I write whenever I have free moments. This makes continuity a challenge sometimes, especially because I’m not a traditional outliner. But, hey, I was able to publish three books last year, so it works for me.

 

  1. What is important to know for young, new authors and writers? 

Great question. My advice would, just do it. My eight-year-old came to one of my book signings and said she wanted to write a book someday. With my help, she published her first children’s book a couple of months ago, and now she has the fever to do it again. If my writing accomplishes nothing else, I’m truly happy.

 

  1. Your experience in the writing world, do you think it has already taken you where you wanted to go? 

Writing takes me away from the real world and that is exactly where I want to go occasionally. In terms of success, I’m happy with where my sales place on Amazon for the moment. Would I like to take it to a higher level of success? Of course. I don’t know many authors that wouldn’t, but I am content when I look at my bookcase and see my name on a book.

 

  1. In your opinion, are you a writer or an author – and what is the difference for you? 

I am both. A Writer puts word on the page. An author lets other people read those words.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your projects again. Was there progress since the last interview or are there even completely new projects? 

I have published two more books in my Frank Rozzani detective series since the last interview on your blog. I have a follow-up to Blood Orange written and going through the polishing stage and ideas for more ‘Frank’ books on the way. There will always be new projects until I run out of time to complete them.

 

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

 

__________________________________________________________________

Contact Don:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordonmassenzio/

Twitter: @dmassenzio

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Blog: http://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

Web Site: www.donmassenzio.com

 


Don Massenzio Books:

(click on the cover to be linked to the book page to get more information and buy it. Thank you)

 

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let-me-be-frank

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 blood-orange

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