Author Spotlight – Merlin Fraser

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hi my name is Merlin Fraser, Scottish born but brought up in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucestershire before leaving to join the Royal Navy in 1963.
After the Navy, I joined the new UK oil industry that was starting to blossom in the North Sea and at last I found his true niche in life. Then as now, I enjoyed solving puzzles and challenges and found the oil business supplied both in abundance. Never a great lover of routine, I turned this skill of solving problems into a vocation that was to last for the next 30 years.

Writing is my third career and one where instead of solving puzzles I get to create them for my story characters and hopefully my readers.

When did you start writing?

Probably more years than I care to admit to but in truth I have always been a bit of a scribbler, I tried my hand at creating a Ships Newspaper but with only a manual typewriter and a hand cranked Gestetner printing machine to hand, that and being the sole member of staff to boot it was doomed.
Serious writing only started after 9/11 and the collapse of my oil industry career, not that I knew it was over at the time, but sitting watching children’s TV in the afternoons is a great motivator to get off your butt and try something new.

What motivates you to write?

Waking up in the middle of the night with a story idea that won’t quit, but also the notion that if I don’t act upon the idea immediately the thought will evaporate like the other dreams of the night. Of course, I am also a great people watcher and sometimes the things I see and hear create new characters that get stored away until needed. In addition, I am a undisciplined ‘Google’ wanderer, I may start doing some serious research but after a few key strokes, I am usually off track and visiting new places. However, it has to be said that such random wandering led me to the Pagan and paranormal worlds that fascinate me.

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

Tough question, I have had most success with my Inner Space Police Detective Nick Burton Murder Mystery stories, but this was not my first attempt at genre selection. Earlier I said I had spent, or wasted time watching Children’s TV in the afternoons, this led to the thought ‘what utter tosh this is’ and the thought that I could do better. Yeah right! Writing for the screen is not like writing a story, for a start you need to know what you are doing and I didn’t. However, by this time the story was in my head, so I started to write it down instead. Genre wise it crossed too many boundaries for an agent to promote to potential publishers, it was a sort of romantic, magical, fantasy, a bit like Harriet Potter meets the Walton’s if you can work that out. Anyway, it lays gathering dust on a memory stick somewhere. In addition, of course, there is also my sortie into stories for children with my creation of ‘Dust Bunny’ characters who take a young human girl into their world, something else that totally failed to capture anyone’s imagination. Finally, I have ventured into the ‘Non Fiction’ world of local history, limited interest but important to me.

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

All writers have dreams, at least when we start out; we are all going to be the next Mark Twain or Earnest Hemingway, and perhaps in the days before Amazon and the internet who knows ? Trouble these days is that anyone with a keyboard and a link to the internet can flood the marketplace. There is now just so much available online that it is almost impossible for anybody unknown to shine through, no matter how brilliant his or her work might be. Not sure, I had any dreams other than perhaps the usual ones of ‘Fame and Fortune’, although I would prefer fortune to fame, retirement is an expensive business, but a little bit of fame might not hurt.

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

I think all writers hit that wall at some time in their projects, I know I do. Sometimes, especially in fiction where you are trying to confound or misdirect the reader you can be too clever and write yourself into a corner. Life is another constant distraction and can play havoc with creative juices. When it happens to me I have found that the simple answer is to walk away, trying to force things just makes it worse. Do or start something else, I created the Dust Bunnies during a dark moment of total plot block in the second Nick Burton story, I didn’t go back to that story for four months. I then reread everything from my plot line, character creation notes, and the first six chapters then slept on it. At four thirty the following morning I switched the computer on, cut out two whole chapters and started from there. In the night, my brain had come up with an ending that I eventually reached eighteen chapters later. I guess what I’m saying is never give in to writer’s block, there is usually a logical reason it happens.

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

Another tough question, but an important one nonetheless. Practice your art, write for fun, start with Blogs and see if you can gain a following, which happens if you are amusing or entertaining your audience. Don’t expect miracles, remember we are all minnows in a vast ocean and if you cannot take disappointment and rejection in your stride find another hobby.

Please, tell us about your work.

When I started writing and trying to break into that world the publishing industry was in turmoil. No one took new writers seriously; especially the mainline Book Publishers, they and literary agents were all looking for sure things. Things like ‘Celebrity Kiss and Tell Cookery Books’. Of course, at the same time Amazon was establishing themselves as the new road to market and the world of the 99¢ ‘Self-Publishing’ exploded onto the online market.
I could not have picked a worse time to start out. I tried the conventional way to market before I too turned to Self-Publishing. I probably made every mistake possible, even falling foul of the Sharks in the ‘Vanity Press’ scam. (Be careful they are still around, no one who asks for money to publish your book is your friend). Yet in spite of all the expensive errors, I finally got myself into print with my Inner Space Murder Mystery series. However once there you cannot rest on your laurels you have to push, push, and push all the time. The minute you stop, you slip down and disappear. Of course, in the wonderful digital world, there are always ways of reinventing yourself and every now and then, you come across someone genuine to help you.

In my case it was a couple of guys who took an interest in my Inner Space stories and suggested that they could turn them into Audio Books. I just about bit their hands off. It has been hard work bringing that to fruition, they had one or two ideas on how to improve the story, something no writer ever wants to hear, but they were right and between us, we revamped and revised without destroying my original story or plotline. The first book is complete and to compliment the Audio version I have renamed and released a new print version with a new cover.

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


Connect with Merlin:

www.linkedin.com/in/merlin-fraser-92a0b7b/

www.facebook.com/Merlin-Fraser-1389201244731921/

merlinfraser123@aol.com


Links to the new “Inner Space” books:

www.amazon.com/Inner-Space-Merlin-Fraser/dp/1999719522

Audio

www.amazon.com/Inner-Space/dp/B07FDPG3KD

 

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Looking for Guest Posts…

Allan Krummeracker’s blog is expecting guests. Apply for guest posts folks, it’s such a GREAT chance!! He’s an amazing writer and I love his blog.

Musings Of Two Creative Minds

Calling-All-Authors

Running a blog can be tiring work…  and running a second one:

“The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” link: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/)

can be exhausting

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So having guest bloggers who wish to get exposed to a wider audience is a real plus, plus it gives our readers a better idea of what other books and authors are out there.  So if you’re interested in doing a guest post about writing, or wish promote your work here on this blog, please let us know in the comment section below.

Or you can e-mail us at: allan.krummenacker@gmail.com.  Tell us about yourself and what you’d like to share and how soon you’d like the post to run.  We’ll do our best to accommodate your needs and if we can’t we’ll let you know.   Keep in mind NO PORNOGRAPHY.  We have readers from many age ranges and backgrounds so we need to keep things within…

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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 – Phillip T. Stephens

pts-portraitWelcome! 

Glad to be here.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

The first story I remember writing was a parody of Miles Standish for a fifth-grade assignment. It went over well enough to encourage me to finish the parody of the entire book. I was inspired by a stage-based spoof of Gun Smoke called Pistol Mist that my dad wrote for the church youth group. He repeated it at every church he ministered so it had a great impression on me.

The long version was terrible, which taught me some projects have a limited span. Before that, however, I wrote comedy sketches for my tape recorder and tried to convince my sisters and friends to perform.

No one cooperated.

I wrote seriously in high school, including a novel (75 pages). My creative writing teacher hated everything I wrote. She wanted flowery prose sprinkled liberally with Latinate words. I preferred a Hemingway style—shorter, Anglo-Saxon words and direct sentences. (She also heaped praise on her son, who was in my class, as a model for our writing.)

I began to read writers like Anthony Burgess, Terry Southern, Philip Roth, John Fowles and John Le Carré. I reread Catch-22, which I first read in eighth grade (it took the entire summer). The second reading convinced me my writing was juvenile, so I threw it away.  I didn’t discover I could write well until I took my first college creative writing class.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

I can’t not write. I write daily, whether it be a series of posts for a Twitter novel, a blog post, or articles for Medium. Perhaps as a child no one paid the attention I wanted so I knew I could preserve my thoughts on paper for a time they would. Perhaps, like the Hebrew prophets I’m compelled to speak and writing is my platform. I know I never wrote to be cool or admired because when I first shared my writing, I received little positive feedback. Most of my friends thought it was stupid.

I might go a day every two or three weeks where I finally say, rest. But it’s hard.

 

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

I call my genre “wry noir.” Dark novels with a sardonic twist. My first published novel, Raising Hell, was a dark fantasy novel about an optimist who drives Lucifer crazy, (as was the follow up novella, The Worst Noel). My second, Cigerets, Guns & Beer, was a Western mystery/suspense novel. Ironically, my latest novel Seeing Jesus is a light-hearted YA novel (although bullying by adults and peers is a major theme).

I know not settling on a genre hurts my brand marketing. Wit and wry observation defines my brand, which is much harder to market. But I read every genre growing up, and personally enjoy writing in several.

 

  1. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
  • I want to create intelligent books that any reader will enjoy.

 

  • I want to change readers’ perceptions of the world in some small way: to help them recognize that the world is not about us and it never was. Because of this we have a responsibility to leave something of value in this world and not take from it.

 

  • I also hope to help them recognize that other people don’t see the world in the same way that we do, they process information differently, form different values. We’re responsible for our own actions and not for theirs.

 

I was raised a Baptist Preacher’s Kid and everyone expected me to follow my father, grandfather and every uncle into the ministry. Fooled them. I took one message from my faith—Life is about service, not self-fulfillment, a message that seems sorely lacking in Christianity (not to mention the current political climate). I wouldn’t write if I didn’t think my writing served the world at large in some small way.

In grad school, studying literature, art and philosophy, the reigning aesthetic theory proclaimed, “Art for art’s sake.” I still adhere to that, especially given the current beliefs that art should be profit-making and reflect a narrowly-defined set of values. I also believe artists share a responsibility to make our work transformative. Our art should stand on its own; our vocation requires us to put our work in the larger frame of cultural revolution.

 

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

Not really, although I will confess to procrastination. When I sit down to write, even if it’s two in the morning, I write. My first college fiction teacher John Vandezande (who wrote the book Night Driving, now out of print) said to write anything, no matter how bad. Start at the middle of your story, the end, at whatever point you can put words on paper.

I agree. You can fix bad prose. You can’t fix what isn’t written. Write paragraphs stream-of-conscience, outline, jot down notes and impressions. Anything to get your thoughts moving through the pipe. This is the only advice I ever give writers that I believe will benefit everyone.

I’ve thrown away entire chapters, sometimes as many as three or four. I stopped novels after ten or twelve chapters. I never thought they were failures. They got me to the chapters I needed and I wouldn’t have written the books I finished without them.

 

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

Most writers never make a living writing fiction. (Few make a living selling books at all.) You need to seriously evaluate the role of writing in your life. If you want to write for self-fulfillment, recognize that, but be honest about your talent. If you don’t spend your free time thinking about your work, how to improve your work and studying other writers to see how they make their art, you probably aren’t ready to be a professional.

If, however, you’re determined to sell your work to the world, show your work to writers and readers who won’t pat you on the back and say, “this is good.” Find readers who will find the flaws and recommend improvement.

When you think you’re ready to publish, hire an editor and proofreader.

Most of all, don’t blindly follow the advice of every blog post. Most advice contradicts a blog posted the week before. Good writers take any number of approaches to writing—some from the seat of their pants, others with outlines and notes; some write 500-2000 words a day no matter the circumstances, others try to find a quiet space to concentrate when time permits; some write rough drafts by hand, others word process everything. Explore different approaches until you find techniques that work and stick to them. It’s okay to try something new, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t trade it for something that works on that writer’s say so.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.  

I just finished a Twitter Novel, Doublemint Gumshoe (which I’m still Tweeting #TweetNovel), about a hapless, hopeless detective who stumbles onto a missing persons case that’s way over his head. I wanted the challenge of composing a story 144 characters at a time. When the last Tweet is posted, it will run more than 800 installments. I may rewrite it and re-release it as a real novel. I haven’t decided yet.

My biggest seller (which is like saying the biggest ant in the hill)—Cigerets, Guns & Beer—features an ex-con whose car breaks down in a small Texas town and ends up neck deep in the fallout from a thirty-year-old bank heist and murder. To make the novel more fun, I threw in a UFO and back story that connects the murder to Roswell.

During the seventies and early eighties, gas stations would sell Texas drivers beer from oil barrels next to the pump. They’d pack the barrels with ice, singles and six-packs. Drivers fill their tanks, grabbed their six-pack and popped a top as soon as they hit the highway. I joked to a friend that all we needed was guns and we’d hit the Texas Holy Trinity.* That line planted the seed for the novel. I’d been kicking around the idea of a stranger and thirty-year-old crime since grad school but couldn’t find an angle into the story that I liked.

I lived Raising Hell. I escaped from the worst job in the world, with a micromanager from hell, only to walk into a situation with four different managers with four competing agendas and every one expecting me to jump to their beck and call in a second.

From that came the idea of an optimist sent to hell by accident and Lucifer trying to find a way to destroy his optimism. Unfortunately, the hero, Pilgrim, believes that he’s already in hell so it can’t get any worse. He might as well make his punishment the most enjoyable form of eternal damnation that he can.

An agent suggested I write Seeing Jesus. We spent some time discussing my desire to write a non-fiction book about the way metaphoric thinking unconsciously drives our belief systems. She recommended that I read Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, and write something similar. (She rejected it, of course.) In the novel Sara Love learns to cope with bullying by adults and children through lessons provided by a homeless man no one else can see.

I plan to release an extended adult version this year, with a different ending, appendices and discussion questions.

 

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

How could I resist? Sharing on a great blog like this? I’d be a fool not to.

*Readers have just witnessed the joy of fiction writing. I’ve shared this anecdote dozens of times, but I just now made up the line, “Texas Holy Trinity.” I intend to use it with the anecdote from here on out, but that’s what all fiction writers should do—strive to improve your story at every opportunity.


Contact Phillip T. Stephens:

 

Twitter: @stephens_pt

cigeret-coverPhillip T. Stephens’ books:
on kindle
Cigerets, Guns & Beer http://amzn.to/1QG7t4m
The Worst Noel http://amzn.to/239NCNF
paperback
Cigerets, Guns & Beer https://t.co/7kTafuZEGp
The Worst Noel http://bit.ly/1mmJQAn
.
.
Doublemint Gumshoe #TweetNovel

 .

seeing-jesus-medal-cover

Seeing Jesus also recently won three Human Relations Indie Book Awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 .

Phillip T. Stephens will be one of the writers featured at this month’s #MysteryThrillerWeek, this month Feb. 12-17. Join him and others for advice, blogs, networking, reviews and links to hundreds of novels.


Featured Author – Interview – The return of Sharon K Connell

back-book-cover-hplWelcome 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? 

Christian Romance Suspense is still my genre, although I’ve decided to add a bit more mystery to my story in His Perfect Love, just released. I’ve also started a many themed collection of short stories that I will be publishing when I have enough of them. At some point in my writing career, I’d love to write an Historical Romance set in Ireland. I may try that after I finish with my current projects.

 

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

This is the system that I came up with and developed through the writing of my last book:

  1. Come up with an idea for a story, decide what characters will be needed, the setting for the story, where I want my story to go and end, and what kind of a climax I will need.
  2. Start Chapter One in the computer, and get out a spiral notebook to keep next to me. As I finish each scene, I keep a short description of it in my notebook under chapter and scene headings (C1-A, C1-B, and so on). I don’t worry about my spelling or grammar, unless something obvious glares at me.
  3. After my first draft of the story is complete, I begin the self-editing process where I read the story and see what needs to be changed, moved, etc. With my last book, I used the index card system through this process. That way, when I needed to move a scene to another point in the story, it was easy to renumber the index card and move it as I cut and paste the scene in the computer.
  4. After a 1st self-edit, I read the story aloud to myself or use the translation feature on my computer (if I don’t feel like hearing myself speak). This catches many little problems.
  5. Then, I send one chapter at a time to my critique group in American Christian Fiction Writers and scrutinize every critique I get from the “Scribes.”
  6. I make my changes and then reread that chapter.
  7. After that, I send the chapter to my proofreader.
  8. When I’ve finished this process all the way through the last chapter of my story, I send it to the editor.
  9. When she sends it back to me with her first round of edits, we go through the last process of reading, making/accepting changes, and resubmitting it to her until the writing is as I think it should be.
  10. That’s when it is submitted to be published.

There’s still a proof to go through, but for the most part, that’s the whole of it. 

 

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

Never give up. If you think you have a story in you, write it. Never mind what others say, unless it’s in the form of encouragement. Also, take some classes in writing. You won’t be sorry. There are so many offered free now online that you can complete at your own pace, there’s no excuse not to. 

 

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

Yes, I am content where I am today as an author. Yet, I will still keep working at furthering my writing career. I still have a lot to learn.

 

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

I am both a writer and an author. A writer is someone who writes, period. Whether they’ve been published or not is beside the point. A writer writes stories, poems, news articles, periodicals, etc. 

An author, on the other hand, is someone who has had something published. They authored a written piece for others to read.

 

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

Since my interview by you in June of 2015, I feel that I’ve come a long way in my writing career. During that interview, I had started writing my last novel, His Perfect Love. It was just about then that I decided to change my writing style into deep point of view. I began the writing process for that book all over again and finally published it in December 2016.

Now I’m in the process of rewriting my first three novels into my new writing style, which to me is so much better than what I had been doing. Those who read my first three novels said the stories were very good, and they enjoyed them. That’s why I decided redoing them would be worth the time. It will probably take me an entire year to finish all three books, but I know my readers will be happier with them. After I accomplish this, I’ll begin my fifth novel, of which I already have the plot, setting, and characters in mind. 

 

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

As always, Aurora. It is a privilege to be interviewed by you regarding my writing career and novels. God bless you.

 


  Sharon Connells’ current novel: 

his-perfect-love-9x6-print-11-28-16-final-jpg-copy            

Here is the link to my book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/His-Perfect-Love-Sharon-Connell/dp/1505782139/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480876539&sr=1-1

 

And here is the link to my book video for His Perfect Love: https://youtu.be/e3tRr6mLzZk 

 


Readers can contact Sharon K. Connell:

 

Sharon’s new Website: http://www.sharonkconnell.com/

I will be starting a newsletter in January, sent to subscribers once a month, so please keep checking the site for the subscribe button. I’d also be pleased if anyone would like to give me their email address so I can include them in the initial subscription. Be a “Chapter Subscriber.” 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonkconnell 

Author’s book page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/averypresenthelpbook1 

Group Forum on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writersandauthorsforum/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharonKConnell 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/sharonkconnell 

Blogging on WordPress: https://sharonkconnell.wordpress.com/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SharonKConnell 

Blogging on Niume: https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=52569


 

A. J. On Air!

September 14, 2016 I was invited to the Radio Show ‘Pearls of the Cee’ on www.cityworldradio.com. – The show broadcasts live from Manhattan – and yes… I was there!!

 

I enjoyed the show so much!! Thank you, Lisa Pearl, the show host for the invitation!!!

 

Right now it’s impossible to set up a link directly to the show. This means, I’m afraid, I can give only you links to the radio archives – and further from there you would have to pick the respective show. But don’t hesitate to browse around. There are so many interesting shows on www.cityworldradio.com!!

Once you’re there, you’ll see this picture – click on the microphone to listen to the archives:

1

 

After a quick waiting time, where the live-stream is going to  adjust itself on your monitor, you will see an arrow that points to a file where the archives are stored. Click the file, please.

2

 

Once it opens, you will see the archived shows listed. Please, scroll down until you find the archived show, saying: Pearls of the Cee with Lisa 9-14-16 Pearls of the Cee with Lisa 9-14-16 P

3

 

I’m very proud of this radio show. Thank you for listening and don’t hesitate to tune in every Wednesday NYC time at 6 pm to listen to Lisa Pearl and her guests. Contact her on her FB page if you got something important to say, want to be a guest on her show or would like to provide feedback.

 

THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!

*********************************************************************

P.S. – Just in case you would like to know:

The first song on the show is “Dirty Dynamite”, by the Rock Band ‘KROKUS’.

Author Spotlight – Toni Pike

Photo Toni PikeWelcome!

 

Please introduce yourself.

I’m an Australian who grew up in suburban Sydney and studied Veterinary Science at Sydney University. Later I taught high school, and then spent over a decade in the public service involved with the regulation of veterinary medicines. My husband was an Air Force officer, so we lived in England, America and several Australian cities while we raised two lovely children. Now we live in beautiful Canberra, the national capital.

I love to spend time with family and friends, take long walks every day and travel overseas. Cruising has taken me to places I never thought that I would see, including the Panama Canal, Petra in Jordan and the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

 

  1. When did you start writing?

English was my best subject at school and I read many of the great classics in those early years. My love for writing developed throughout my adult life. One great training ground was a stint as a contract writer, producing plain English guides for farmers. Writing has been an important part of my life, a very obsessive hobby, for more than twenty years.

 

  1. What motivates you to write?

Writing seems to be that one thing that I feel constantly motivated to pursue, that I can work at all day without noticing the time. The world of indie publishing has captivated me because of the opportunities it provides for rapid turnover and control over every aspect of the creative process. The onus is on me to ensure that my work is edited and ready for publication, and then to do my own marketing.

 

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

I love reading high-octane adventure stories and thrillers. About eighteen months ago, I decided to take on the challenge of writing a page-turner. My priority was to ensure that the hero kept encountering no end of trouble, so that my readers would always want to know what happened next. I created a religious conspiracy, a subject that I’ve always found fascinating. There are dark secrets, mysteries, a hidden sect and a sinister Brotherhood that have all lasted for two thousand years. My hero is an Anglican priest who finds himself in trouble. In The Magus Covenant, he races from Italy to England and Sweden. In The Rock of Magus, he travels to Rome, Spain and England. That allows me to draw on my travel experiences.

 

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

My goal is to keep my readers entertained and keen to find out what will happen next. I hope to develop a wide readership, and that people will take my stories with them on vacation or wherever they go to relax. I feel delighted when I read a good review or hear a positive comment from a fan.

 

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

I have a personal antidote to writer’s block to help avoid the pain of staring at a blank screen, unable to proceed any further . I plan my stories in full and write a detailed story outline. That includes the creation of all my characters, with names, appearance, careers, motivations and background. I also do any other research and gather information about all the settings and locations. When I start to write each chapter, I know exactly where I am headed. Luckily, I’ve always been able to stay focused and write for hours. The greatest challenge for me is the initial conception and construction of the storyline.

 

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

To be an author is a difficult and generally unrewarding road with rejection a normal part of life. If you are determined to take on the challenge of writing a novel, then learn all you can about fiction, including the conventions of your chosen genre, story structure and ways to improve your writing. There is a very support indie community online, and endless information available on how to develop your characters, write effective dialogue and plot your storylines. The only way to improve is to learn all you can, practice and never stop writing.

After you finish your first draft, it is then time for re-writing and editing. If you decide to follow the indie route, be sure that your book contains no typographical or spelling errors and is perfectly formatted. Be willing to listen to any advice or suggestions.

Having mastered your art and published that first novel, you will then need to market it. That is probably the most challenging aspect, unless you are already an expert. If possible, long before publishing your work, you should establish your own website and develop your own online identity.

 

  1. Please, tell us about your work.

The Magus Covenant was the first book in the Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series. The second book, The Rock of Magus, has just been released. They are non-stop action thrillers, but at their core is a religious conspiracy that has lasted for two millennia.

 

In The Magus Covenant, we meet Jotham Fletcher. He is in Rome to give a lecture but soon finds himself caught up in non-stop danger and drama. Here is the description:

The fate of the world is in the hands of one man and the covenant holds the key.

The Reverend Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture on his PhD thesis about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD.

But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the bell tower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumors fly about a papyrus scroll that mentions Magus. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for the Simonian Sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

 

The Rock of Magus has Jotham Fletcher is in peril once again, and this time he senses that there is trouble brewing inside the Vatican. Once again, the future of the church is in the hands of one man. Here is the description:

At last the Magus Covenant can be fulfilled.

Jotham Fletcher returns in another action-packed thriller that takes him to the heart of the Vatican. Cardinal Alpheus has ambitions far more sinister and explosive than anyone could imagine and the death of Pope Linus is only the beginning.

Jotham is now a billionaire, dedicated to finding the Simonian Sect that wants to destroy the Christian Church and he employs Madena, a former army officer, to help him. They rescue a televangelist in Seattle but find the photograph of a cardinal who is soon elected as the new Pope, with Alpheus as his chief advisor.

The deadly Brotherhood re-emerges with homicidal Father Dominic at the helm and the body count begins to rise as he flees to the Vatican to seek protection.

Jotham becomes the prime suspect in the murder of an archbishop in Spain and the unwitting hero after a devastating event in Rome. He has a secret that he dare not reveal and is on the run from the police once again. But nothing prepares him for the final confrontation at the Pope’s summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.

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

Thank you so much, Aurora, for inviting me here today.

 


Contact Toni:

 

My website http://www.tonipike.com

My Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14736589.Toni_Pike

Twitter at @piketoni1 http://twitter.com/piketoni1

 

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 LINKS directly to the books:

 

COVER_Magus CovenantTHE MAGUS COVENANT

https://www.amazon.com/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.amazon.com.au/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.amazon.ca/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.amazon.fr/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.amazon.de/Magus-Covenant-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B018X2GRT4

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/597777

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-magus-covenant-toni-pike/1123106322

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-magus-covenant

 


COVER_Rock of MagusTHE ROCK OF MAGUS

https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.amazon.com.au/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.amazon.ca/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.amazon.fr/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.amazon.de/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K 

https://www.amazon.it/Rock-Magus-Religious-Conspiracy-Thriller-ebook/dp/B01J2M8M6K

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/653500

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-rock-of-magus

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rock-of-magus-toni-pike/1124249832