Author Interview with C.H. Lyn

Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.


C.H Lyn: My sister and I spent a full weekend at a cute little bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz, CA, over the summer of 2021. It was amazing. I planned on writing a ton for my WIP at the time and ended up drafting a 4-part series with my sister instead. We haven’t gotten past the first few chapters of book one, but it’s biding its time, waiting for me to finish my current series.


Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?


C.H Lyn: Oohh, that’s a tough one. My series, Miss Belle’s Travel Guides takes place all over the world. Book one is set in Tokyo, Thailand, and New York. Book two is set in Peru and New York… I think I’d go for Europe. I’d try to slam out four books for the Travel Guides series that takes place in a bunch of different European countries.


Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?


C.H Lyn: Usually if I’ve been at the computer that long without writing, it’s because I got distracted watching Critical Role or Dimension20. The right music always helps. Some good tunes, a chocolatey snack, some tea or coffee, and I’m ready to go!


Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?


C.H Lyn: I used to be a panster, but I’m a plotter all the way. I’ve got detailed outlines for everything I’m working on. For the vellas they’re usually a simple outline. For my books, they are fully written 5 act structures, scenes, etc.


Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?


C.H Lyn: I’d have to say not getting stuck as I go. When I’m writing out the plot – sure, I spend a lot of time scratching my head about what happens next. When I’m actually writing, not so much. If I do have that moment of doubt or hesitation, I usually fill in the word – or even section – with {ELEPHANT} to replace whatever I will go back and take care of later.


Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?


C.H Lyn: So hard to answer! I write a bunch of different genres, and that’s what I like to read too! Off the top of my head: sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, contemporary action thrillers, and anything that makes me laugh without trying too hard.


Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

C.H Lyn: I write what I want to read. I know enough people read the same books as me, that they’ll hopefully like what I’m writing too. Beyond that, I’m not trying to write for the current popular genre. Maybe someday, when I’ve run out of WIPs and backlogged projects, I’ll be able to gauge the market and pop out what is trending, but at the moment, I’m writing for the characters I want more of.


Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


C.H Lyn: DON’T DO VANITY PUBLISHING!! Haha, but seriously. It’s a long story and one of the more expensive lessons I’ve ever learned. 19-year-old me could have used a bit of advice in that area.


Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?


C.H Lyn: My husband bought me my laptop, so I’m not sure that counts. Beyond that, I’d say the cover art I’m currently having commissioned. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’ll definitely be worth the money.


Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?


C.H Lyn: My mascot has to be my white German Shepherd. If only because he comes to every game (writing session in my office).


Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?


C.H Lyn: I have one published book (Lacey Goes to Tokyo) and two finished Vellas, with a third releasing new episodes this month.


Day: What does literary success look like to you?


C.H Lyn: People reading my work, and not just people I know. Having book signings, merch, and a sweater with the rebel logo from my dystopian series on it. It looks like writing and publishing being my career.


Day: What’s the best way to market your books?


C.H Lyn: Ha! If I knew that, I’d tell you. From what I can tell, social media is key, but so is stuff like this. Doing interviews with fellow authors, chatting online, and making connections.


Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?


C.H Lyn: Good lordy, that’s a tough one. For Miss Belle’s Travel Guides, I do a ton of research. Hours for each book. With Book One, I did the research as I went. With Book Two, I’m actually holding off. If I need a restaurant, I leave a space to fill in later once I’ve put an hour into searching blogs and menus to find the perfect fit. For my sci-fi-fantasy/dystopian series, I don’t need much research. The usual writer stuff, how much blood loss kills you, what are the different burn levels, etc.


Day: How many hours a day do you write?


C.H Lyn: On a good day, the average is 2.5. I get a couple hours at the Y while my kids are at Learn and Play. (I love my Y, by the way. It has a cute little lounge area around a fireplace that is perfect for headphones and a laptop and diving into a story.) Then I try to do a half hour to an hour in the evening, depending on what my husband is up to. That time is generally spent with housekeeping: posting episodes to Vella, catching up on author emails, and planning social media stuff.


Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?


C.H Lyn: Oh, absolutely. I love easter eggs. There is nothing quite like a puzzle that a reader won’t realize until they go through the book a second time. I love pausing while I’m reading, flipping back a hundred pages, and having a Eureka moment. I want to deliver that to my readers as well.


Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?


C.H Lyn: In Lacey Goes to Tokyo there is a lot of reference to abuse. I dance around it because none of my books will show graphic violence against women in that way, but it gets close sometimes. Those are difficult to write, mostly because my mind is always trying to consider what a reader will take from the scene, and I never want to cause unnecessary harm to my readers. Apart from that, Hope and Lies (Book One of the Abredea Series) has several heartbreaking scenes. Writing them isn’t as tough as the edit later on. Reading through the end of my book, when an MC dies in the arms of her grandson, makes me cry every time.


Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?


C.H Lyn: I used to be a midnight writer, staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now I have two kids, haha. I do my best stuff on the weekends in the morning. Hubby watches the girls, and I hit the coffee shop (or get coffee and work in my new office). We also go to the Y in the mornings, so that automatically makes them the best time – if not technically my favorite.


Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

C.H Lyn: I think a strong character will get you through the worst plot, but an intriguing plot won’t get me past a 2-dimensional boring character. If I need to find out what happens, I’ll ask someone who reads it. Epic settings aren’t where I find myself engrossed. I love a good description, and if I’m able to live and breathe a world, it makes the book about a hundred times better. But again, none of that will matter to me if I don’t like the characters.


Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?


C.H Lyn: I’ll do ya better. I’ll shout out a few. I just finished reading Dakota Breann’s debut novel, and it was a very interesting take on a futuristic dystopian U.S. Lindz Hanson doesn’t have anything out yet, but she’s a riot on Tiktok (@bookreviewflashmob). Glint of Mischief is my cover artist, he did the art for Spooky Cat, and he is also an author. His stuff on social media is fantastic and hilarious, and his covers are gorgeous!


C.H. Lyn’s Vellas:

Abredea: Hope and Lies

No peace without order. No order without caste. Juliana believes in the system. Believes it will work for her as it always has. When she is Coded a White-Star, she realizes people in power don’t always tell the truth. Maybelle is a rebel. She has found her truth, and she will fight for it. Cho wants to survive. Wants his family to live peaceful lives. Their powers – superhuman abilities – make that life nearly impossible. Follow these three in a world where lies are abundant, and hope is rare.


Spooky Cat

Demi has always said ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. It’s the polite thing to do. But does their cat count? When Missy sneezes, and Demi fails to utter the appropriate response, a demon takes over their cat. The unlikely pairing undertakes adventure and hilarity, battling bigots and bigger demons, to get all the things necessary for an exorcism. Because as much as Demi doesn’t want a demon in their cat, the demon wants to be there even less.


Song of the Deep

Prince Derek is set to marry Lady Lydia. Not his choice; not hers. It’s his duty, so he tries to get to know his soon-to-be bride on their trek across the sea to his kingdom. When their ship goes down, and she is lost at sea, Derek is reminded of an old tale, a legend in his lands. When a woman dies at sea, she might not be lost forever. He, and Lydia’s handmaiden, Alyana, find a sea witch to learn if this legend might be true. It might. But what will it cost to see Lydia again?


C.H. Lyn’s book series is:

Lacey Goes To Tokyo: Miss Belle’s Travel Guides

International travel means international danger.

Lacey Devaine is a four-year veteran of a spy ring which fronts as an exclusive escort service, Miss Belle’s Travel Guides. Maintaining her cover is Lacey’s number one priority to protect the integrity of the operation she works for.

While on assignment in Tokyo, a nosy newspaper reporter threatens to blow the lid off a scandal that will put dozens of innocent lives at risk. To protect her cover, Miss Belle is called in to act on intelligence Lacey has uncovered.

Can these beautiful, intelligent, and deadly women complete this assignment in time and emerge unscathed? Or will this mission be their last?


You can find C.H. Lyn at: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TicToc, and Amazon.


Author Interview with Evie Marceau

Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

Evie: I once went to Paris, not as an ode to any one book, but to explore all the quirky little French bookstores. And I even got to visit some castles’ grand libraries. I think I was living out a Belle from Beauty and the Beast fantasy!


Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Evie: My latest book in the Fae of Manhattan series takes place in Tuscany, and I’ve become obsessed with the idea of spending a year writing in an Italian villa!


Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

Evie: I take a lot of inspiration from books, TV shows, and movies I admire. I’ll go online and visit fan sites dedicated to those other stories. Seeing how much stories mean to an audience inspires me to create something special.


Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

Evie: I’m a major plotter. I’ve built out all my fantasy worlds and rules of magic far in advance of ever writing a word.


Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

Evie: I usually have a black cat asleep in my lap while I’m writing!


Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Evie: I adore dark romance with a touch of magic. Something about the combination of danger and romance really grabs me.


Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Evie: I think when you read enough fiction in the same genre you write in, you get an innate sense of what readers expect, so you can bring original ideas that will still deliver everything a reader hopes to find.


Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Evie: Don’t try to write a book that will please everyone. Write the book of your heart, and it will find its readers, even if it’s a small but dedicated niche.


Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Evie: Early in my writing journey, I paid $50 for an editor’s critique of the first thing I ever wrote. She ripped it apart (nicely) and gave me so much mind-blowing valuable writing advice that helped me strengthen my craft.


Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Evie: Since my black cat is often with me while I write, I’ll go with a black cat.


Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

Evie: Currently, I’m working on two Vella series: The Castles of the Eyrie series and the Fae of Manhattan series. As I finish each book within the series, I publish it as an ebook/paperback as well.


Day: What does literary success look like to you?

Evie: Hearing from readers! Getting emails, fan art, and even seeing cosplay costumes of my characters feels amazing.


Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

Evie: Marketing Vella series can be a challenge. I’ve had the most success with Facebook ads.


Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Evie: Before I begin writing, I’ll do just enough research to make sure my plot and setting work–then I’ll write the book, doing some research as I go along, and then do a final polish at the end.


Day: How many hours a day do you write?

Evie: I tend to write in bursts. No writing at all for two or three days, then a few days of 10,000+ words.


Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Evie: Absolutely! I sneak little easter eggs into my books for my VIP Reader Group. I’ve also held contests within the VIP Reader Group to have them name characters and locations.


Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write? 

Evie: There is a death scene near the beginning of Scarbound (Castles of the Eyrie Book Two) that broke my heart to write.


Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

Evie: I’m at my most creative first thing in the morning. In the afternoons, my brain tends to turn to mush, so that’s when I do marketing or research. Then sometimes before bed, I will edit.


Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

Evie: It’s been said that readers come for the premise but stay for the characters. I think that’s true. Every book needs a great idea to hook readers, but if the characters aren’t compelling, no one will care or remember what happens to them. 


Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

Evie: Lately, I’ve been devouring Elizabeth Ash’s Vella series!


Evie’s Vellas are:

Wilde City (A Modern Fae Romance)

When Willow answers a mysterious nanny ad, she’s shocked that the employer is the handsome and reclusive billionaire Severn Wilde–and even more surprised to discover he’s a fae prince in disguise. But as wondrous as Severn’s realm is, rival fae courts, witches, and shifters make it a risky job–though falling for her magical boss might be the greatest danger of all.

SCARLIGHT

As a child, Bryn was saved from wolves by a prince from a rival kingdom. Rangar’s people believe that a life saved is a soul owned, and ten years later, Rangar comes back for Bryn. Swept away to his seaside kingdom, Bryn falls under the spell of the wild Baer lands and the three magical brothers who rule it. But which prince will end up with her hand–and her heart–not even magic can foretell. 


You can find Evie on: Instagram, Her Website, Facebook, and TicToc.

Author Interview with E.D. Hackett


  1. Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

E.D.: Unfortunately, I haven’t ventured anywhere. I live in New England, and so many great authors have lived here, but just like any tourist attraction, when you live here, you don’t always seek out the excursions. Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, Melville, and Emily Dickinson all grew up in New England (just to name a few). Perhaps taking a day trip and exploring all their homes is in the near future.


  1. Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

E.D.: Hands down, Ireland. My family came from Ireland, and my heart belongs there. I have been multiple times, exploring family roots and learning about my history. I am fascinated with the music, the people, and the history. My dream is to own a cottage on the Wild Atlantic Way in County Galway where I can spend my days writing.


  1. Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

E.D.: I grab my book and take a bath. It relaxes me, resets my mind, and usually when I emerge from the bathroom, I feel inspired based upon the book I was reading.


  1. Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

 E.D.: I am a very loose plotter, to the point where I would be called a pantser. I know the beginning, middle, and end. I have a general external problem and internal character arc that I need portrayed throughout the story. Just like life, you never know what each day will bring, so I sit down and write. Usually, my mood dictates if I write a happy section, a depressing section, or a suspenseful section, and I continue on from there.


  1. Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

 E.D.: I have a specific way of self-editing. I first run my work through Grammarly, then ProWriting Aid, and then I have Word read it to me aloud.


  1. Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

E.D.: I write women’s fiction, but I love romantic comedies. Some of my favorite feel-good authors are Sophie Kinsella, and I try to create stories that capture the same general feeling.


  1. Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

E.D.: I tried to write in a series because I heard that’s what readers like, and it felt forced. Now I write what inspires me. As much as I want to make a living off my writing, I write to foster my own creativity. As long as one person enjoys it, I have done my job.


  1. Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

E.D.: Don’t stop. And hire an editor. When I first started, I realize how much work, time, and money it would cost to put out a book. I considered myself a hobbyist, dabbling in writing. I didn’t hire an editor, which was a big mistake, and my readers pointed out the story flaws through their reviews. I needed that feedback. If I never published that book, I wouldn’t have had the insight to do things differently. If that book stayed on my computer, I would have stopped writing because I wouldn’t have been motivated to make my writing better.


  1. Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

E.D.: Probably joining Amazon Ad School. Ads are overwhelming, and creating ads are my least favorite time of the week, but I learned that if I didn’t advertise, my books would fall into Amazon oblivion.


  1. Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

E.D.: I would say the lion. They wake up extremely early, full of energy, and by mid-afternoon, they need a nap.


  1. Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

E.D.: I have four finished women’s fiction novels available on Amazon in e-book, paperback, and Kindle Unlimited. When I moved to Vella, I decided to try sweet romance and romantic comedy. I have one completed and one ongoing. My women’s fiction name is E.D. Hackett, and my Vella name is Edy Hackett.


  1. Day: What does literary success look like to you?

E.D.: Quitting my day job.  Seriously. It’s really hard to juggle life with two kids, work, and my writing. I probably commit four hours a day to my writing in addition to work, and unfortunately, that interferes with my family time. If I could write while the kids are at school so I could focus on my family with all my attention in the afternoon and evening, my life would be balanced, and I would probably be a better writer and a better mother.


  1. Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

E.D.: I find live events, such as craft fairs and farmer’s markets to be most successful. I like engaging with people face to face and talking about what they are reading and what they enjoy.


  1. Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

 E.D.: My long-term plan is to experience the settings in all my books so that my descriptions are authentic. Because that isn’t always possible, I find that I spend a lot of time googling blogs, Wikipedia, and images to help me create the setting.


  1. Day: How many hours a day do you write?

E.D.: Four on the days I work and probably eight on the days I don’t. I try to only work when the family is sleeping on the weekends.


  1. Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

E.D.: I haven’t, but I hide a lot of personal experiences for my characters to experience.


  1. Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

E.D.: Writing about my personal health crisis in The Havoc in My Head was most challenging because it was raw and emotional, and authentic to me. I wrote that novel while I was going through the medical maze of trying to figure out what was wrong with me and how to treat it, so the book reads like a diary.


  1. Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

E.D.: Early morning. Because of my vision impairment, I struggle to see in dim lighting. Dusk and night are terrible, and I’ve had a day of eye fatigue by the time dusk falls. When I wake up, I am ready to go, and my eyes don’t bother me nearly as much.


  1. Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

E.D.: For me, it’s all about strong characters, and I try to make my characters like friends. Someone you can relate to and are rooting for, and typically the goal behind my protagonist.


  1. Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

E.D.: So many authors have supported me along the way, and because of their support, I am a better writer. J.E. Pace was one of the first Vella writers who supported and collaborated with me through newsletter swaps. She writes sweet romance and is an excellent writer. She has numerous books on Amazon and a few completed and ongoing Vellas. I enjoy her writing, and her stories are quite similar to mine.


E.D. Hackett Has Two Kindle Vellas:

The Unexpected Irish Fall

Rory had been mentally preparing for her semester abroad in Ireland for years. She knew exactly what she would do and when she would do it. Her entire semester was planned out, until Jaime, the annoying seatmate on her flight, showed up at her apartment with a suitcase. Was he really assigned to her apartment? And her room? Can this type-A woman learn to loosen up and love everything Ireland? Jaime’s going to show her how, but will she fall for Jaime, too?

Farmhouse Bliss

Crystal’s mother passed away and left her an old, abandoned farmhouse. When this divorcee returns home for a summer to fix it up and rid herself of the memories, Crystal finds hope and forgiveness within the walls of her old home. Crystal hires Derek, a handsome widower, to fix the house, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Crystal can’t help but wonder if she and Derek need each other to deal with past hurts. Could her heart belong back in the place she ran from years before?


Her Book Titles Include:

The Havoc in My Head: An Inspiring Women’s Fiction Novel

She had all she expected to achieve. But a surprise hidden in her head was about to change everything…

Ashley Martin has it all. With a high-paying job, a devoted husband, and impeccable children, the ambitious woman is living the dream life she envisioned for herself. So determined to maintain her perfect existence, she hides her odd vision problems, headaches, and confusion… until one morning she wakes up blind.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor, the terrified professional faces two difficult surgeries and a year-long recovery. And as she struggles to cope with her sudden reversal of fortune, Ashley begins to see truths she never had before.

Can this tenacious woman reclaim her health and redirect her happiness?

The Havoc in My Head is a powerful and moving women’s fiction novel. If you like deeply personal journeys, overcoming impossible hurdles, and inspirational turnarounds, then you’ll love E.D. Hackett’s tale of extreme courage.

An Unfinished Story: Story One of the Block Island Saga 

Complete strangers. A bustling B&B. Can two women help each other find their dreams?

Boston. Joanie Wilson has played it safe her whole life. But her fifteen years of loyalty to the newspaper seem like they count for nothing when her boss announces the business’s impending sale. And though she doesn’t really enjoy her job, the frightened reporter fights to save it by accepting a remote assignment to write articles on local flavor.

Block Island, RI. Carly Davis longs to live on her own terms. But with her father deceased and her mother’s dementia dominating her world, the gregarious young woman feels trapped into running the family’s bed-and-breakfast. So when a desperate journalist arrives and swaps her rent for assistance with the property, Carly seizes the chance to finally take a deep breath.

As Joanie becomes immersed in the relaxed atmosphere and meets a handsome police officer, she wonders if her need for safety is costing her happiness. And as Carly grows close to her big-city tenant, she sees a new future opening before her.

Will this accidental friendship trigger the changes both women crave?

An Unfinished Story is the charming first book in The Block Island Saga women’s fiction series. If you like relatable characters, sweet romances, and beautiful settings, then you’ll love E.D. Hackett’s escape to paradise.


For more book titles, visit E.D. Hackett’s Amazon Author Page. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and her Website.

Author Interview with Tricia Schneider

Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

Tricia: I don’t have to go far. I live minutes away from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, perhaps best known in the literary world as the home of John O’Hara, author of Appointment in Samarra and Butterfield. He based his popular book, Gibbsville, on his hometown of Pottsville and the residents there.


Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Tricia: I have written books that take place in London, England, but I’ve never set foot there. Although, I’ve done a ton of research, I would love nothing more than to visit the place. Spending a year in London, or anywhere in the United Kingdom, would be a dream come true!
 


Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?


Tricia: This happens more often than I care for, to be honest. I have several methods to work through this. The best for me is taking a walk, going for a drive (although with gas prices these days – not so much lately), or taking a long shower. These work wonders for my creativity. I can usually work through any blocks or plot problems that come my way.
 


Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?


Tricia: I call myself a Planster. A combination of the two work best for me. When I create a story, I write everything I know about it, from characters, setting, plot, you name it. I’ll create an outline with the information I have. Typically, there are big gaping holes where I don’t know what happens. Those get filled in as I write. Most times, I have to go back and fix things as I learn more about the characters and the story. But writing this way gives me a semblance of structure and a vague guide, but still leaves a lot of surprises and what happens next questions that I love to see answered.


Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?


Tricia: I’m not sure I have any unusual writing quirks. Sometimes, I think I’m rather boring. But I will share my experience with my writing space this last summer. I spent days cleaning out my small walk-in closet to convert half of it into an office space where I might escape from my noisy family to get my writing done. It’s beautiful with a small desk, pretty lights and a comfy chair. I was so happy when I finished, imagining my days hidden away, typing my stories. Yeah, it didn’t work out like that. My office isn’t soundproof, so the noises from the household still distract me. Plus, my 7-year-old doesn’t understand the concept of mommy-needs-to-work, so there’s plenty of distraction from him playing with his toys in my office while I’m trying to write. While I haven’t abandoned it completely, I’ve gone back to writing on my bed with my laptop or the sofa in the living room, wearing headphones to block the noise around me.


Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?


Tricia: I’m an avid reader, and I’ll read anything, but romance is by far my favorite. Any kind of romance. Historical, paranormal, contemporary, it doesn’t matter. I crave that happily-ever-after story. This world is filled with so many uncertainties. I need to know the characters I read about will find their happy-ever-afters since none are guaranteed in real life.


Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?


Tricia: Probably a combination of the two. I want to write a story that will resonate with readers, but I like to put a fresh, unique spin on my stories. Romance is filled with tropes such as enemies to lovers, arranged marriages, or second-chance love. I like to play with these tropes and see what new twists I can create with them.


Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Tricia: Stop doubting yourself. Just go for it. You can do it!


Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?


Tricia: The best money I ever spent was on the few writer’s conferences I went to when I was younger and learning about the publishing industry. I met so many people, authors, and aspiring writers, and I learned a great deal from them. Attending those conferences in my early days really impacted me in a wonderful way and led me on the journey I’m currently on.


Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?


Tricia: I’m not sure I would pick it for myself, but I think a spider picked me. The year I first became published, I kept encountering yellow garden spiders. These spiders are also known as writing spiders. Yes, I had to look it up. When I saw the name, I felt like someone was trying to send me a message. They are orb weavers, which means they create beautiful, intricate webs. I found several in my garden and front porch that year. Also, I found one crawling on my leg while I was driving my son home from preschool one day. No, I didn’t freak out, but it’s a good thing I like spiders! �� I think the spirits were definitely trying to get my attention.


Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?


Tricia: I’ve been published with The Wild Rose Press and some other indie publishers. I have several paranormal, historical, sci-fi, and fantasy romances published with varying lengths and heat levels. Novels to short stories. Steamy to sweet. Kindle Vella is my newest venture. Right now, I have one Vella published called Into the Dark. But I’m working on more to schedule for next year.


Day: What does literary success look like to you?


Tricia: I already feel successful. For me, I have many milestones on the way to a top goal. I’ve accomplished some such as getting a book written (yes, that counts as a success!), getting published, and making it onto the USA Today Bestseller’s list. My ultimate goal is to make enough income with my writing to pay my bills. That’s always been my dream.


Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

Tricia: I’ve been doing this for a while, but I still feel like I’m learning as I go. There are so many methods, and what works for one author may not work for another. I’ve had good luck with my newsletter subscribers and word of mouth.


Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Tricia: It depends on the book. I’ve spent hours reading nonfiction books and searching online articles for my historical romances. I try my best to be as accurate as possible with historical detail. With my paranormal romances, I’ve researched books about mythological and magical creatures. If I can, I like to travel to the locations for the settings of my stories. It’s wonderful to walk the same streets as my characters.
 


Day: How many hours a day do you write?


Tricia: I’m a single mom with four children between the ages of 16 and 7. My writing hours vary greatly. Over the years, I’ve learned to be flexible. Sometimes, I get an hour, and other days I might have five hours. I don’t have a set schedule. My best time for writing in the summer was early in the morning every day while my kids were asleep. Now that they’re back in school, I write more during the weekdays.


Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?


Tricia: Yes. I love Easter eggs! Most of my stories are interconnected in small ways, whether it’s a setting or a character. Just something minor that ties them together. Another little secret in my writing is the names I use for my characters. I grew up in the ’80s watching re-runs of the 1960s TV drama, Dark Shadows. My mother got me hooked on that show, and it influenced my life in a huge way during my formative years. My passion for the supernatural stems from storylines involving vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, curses, time travel, and more. To pay homage to my favorite show, I borrow names of the characters and the actors who played them and use at least one in each of my books, first or last name. It’s not something obvious, but it’s a secret that I think only Dark Shadows fans might catch if they were looking closely.


Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?


Tricia: Anything involving the death of a loved one. My mother died from leukemia when I was 11. It’s difficult to write about loss as it brings strong memories. I discovered quite accidentally that nearly all the heroines in my stories have suffered the loss of their mother. It might not always pertain to the plot in a huge way, but I didn’t even realize I wrote them like that until someone close to me pointed it out.


Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?
 
Tricia: My favorite time to write is whenever I’m alone in my house or when my kids are asleep. That’s the only time it’s quiet and peaceful, so I can lose myself in my story. Having four children, there’s rarely a moment when there’s not noise or chaos. Also, my house has become a haven for some of the neighborhood kids, so I typically have more than just my children in my home. At least two or three others call my house a second home and spend a lot of time with us. So much that they’ve become like part of my family. When I say it’s beyond noisy at my house, I’m not exaggerating!


Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

Tricia: All three would be best! Usually, when I’m developing my stories, I start with the characters. I spend a lot of time learning who they are and what makes them tick. I think readers really connect with strong characters who will share their journey and take them through the epic settings and mind-blowing plot twists.


Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?


Tricia: My bestie author buddy is the amazing Ash Krafton. She’s a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author who writes speculative fiction. I’ve known her since my Waldenbooks days while I worked at the local mall. She’s not only a brilliant writer but a fantastic friend! You must check out her Demimonde series. And, I admit, I might have a teeny bit of a crush on the exorcist mage, Simon Alliant, from The Demon Whisperer series. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve re-read those books multiple times!


Thank you so much for the interview! This was fun!


If you’re interested in learning more about Tricia’s work,

Check out her Kindle Vella:

Into the Dark

Trapped in a dimension where magic feeds from the living, Allison must trust a stranger to help her survive in this terrifying reality. Brian has lost all hope of escape. Finding Allison has given him new purpose to keep going, but for how long? As they search for a way out of this nightmarish world, will they sacrifice their newfound feelings for each other for a chance to return home? Or will they remain trapped in a world where the dead walk among the living?

To see her USA Today bestselling books, check out Tricia’s website or her blog.

And in between deadlines, she’s usually hanging out at one of these social media sites:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Bookbub
Instagram

Author Interview with R.T. Slaywood

  • Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

R.T.: None yet, and I don’t plan to. Mostly because I think author worship is weird. Wait, I would totally go to a convention to see Lou Diamond Phillips and get his autograph of my copy of The Tinderbox.

  • Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

R.T.: I’m going to assume this means I’m getting paid to be there? If so, I would choose my house as I could use a good staycation.

  • Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

R.T.: The P/C answer would be to read.

  • Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

R.T.: Pantser.

  • Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

R.T.: Aside from drafting on Twitter, my fascination with Furbies and harassment of celebrities? I like to do it on my phone.

  • Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

R.T.: I used to have a favorite, but I don’t anymore. Over time I’ve developed a unique taste for accessible authors. I like to ask the writer questions, send them reactions and memes. To me, it’s a way to honor the time they spent to tell me a story.

  • Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

R.T.: It’s about balance. You can only subvert expectations to a point before people lose the ability to relate to the narrative. At some point, you need to give them a win.

  • Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

R.T.: Start now, ask questions later.

  • Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

R.T.: Food. Hard to write when you’re hungry.

  • Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

R.T.: I would pick Stephen King in the middle of writing Cujo. 

  • Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

R.T.: Two, The Genius’ Guide to Writing Bad that I Co-Wrote, and The Ballad of Bonaduke.

  • Day: What does literary success look like to you?

R.T.: To crush other writers, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their fans.

  • Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

R.T.: There are two ways to sell anything. Either the buyer likes the product, or they like you. I prefer to sell the latter.

  • Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

R.T.: Approximately 0 before and a Google search during if I don’t think what I wrote sounds believable.

  • Day: How many hours a day do you write?

R.T.: 1-4

  • Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

R.T.: About every chapter has something that is special to me. Either a reference to something that will happen or an inside joke. I think it’s what makes writing fun.

  • Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

R.T.: Any scene that involves over 3 people talking or more than 15 lines of dialog. 

  • Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

R.T.: Mostly wherever I’m not supposed to, I like the adrenaline of doing it at work or during a conversation. 

  • Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

R.T.: None of the above. The most important thing is conflict. Nothing above matters if the readers aren’t engaged with the stakes. 

  • Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

R.T.: K. Thomas, author of Time To Wake. Without her encouragement, I would have never published The Ballad of Bonaduke onto Kindle vella, it would have never made #200th favorite in August, and it probably never would have left Twitter. 

R.T. Slaywood’s Kindle Vella

The Ballad of Bonaduke

Originally drafted as Twitterature, The Ballad of Bonaduke is about an ex-con turned family man who has been homeless for years. Haunted by memories he fears to face, he’s now ready to throw his life away. However, a simple purchase leads to a violent discovery about the truth of his ‘grifts’. All on the back of a 5$ bill.

R.T. Slaywood’s book is

The Genius’ Guide to Bad Writing

Are you plagued by success? Need a break from fame? Or perhaps you’ve grown tired of your gigantic intellect and want to trade in for a smaller, used, or economic one. Well, have we got the guide for you! And unlike future you, we wrote it well.

You can follow R.T. Slaywood on Twitter and Facebook.

Author Interview with Gage Greenwood

  1. Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

    Gage: I haven’t been on any, but I live in New England, so I have been around some literary hotspots by happenstance. I’m less interested in who wrote where and more interested in visiting places where wild things happened. Okay, Edgar Allen Poe wrote at this bar, but tell me more about the ghosts people see in the hallways.

    2)  Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

    Gage: Most of my books take place in a fictional version of the town I live in, but for the sake of exploration, I would go to Ireland. I could see that conjuring a lot of fun folk horror stories.

    3) Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

    Gage: I’d probably do some cleaning or some working out. Put my headphones in and listen to an audiobook. It’s often listening to the words of another author that breaks me out of a writer’s block, that and being physically active, and by that, I just mean moving around a little.

    4) Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

    Gage: Definitely a pantser, but I do usually have an idea where it’s all going to end. It’s just I have no idea how it’s going to get there.

    5) Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

    Gage: I am always snacking while I write, which is both unhealthy and bad for my computer keys, which tend to get covered in snack crumbs.

    6) Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

    Gage: Horror. I read every genre imaginable, and I love something about all of them, but horror treads into the questions that most unnerve me, the kinds of things I don’t want to think about outside of when I’m reading. Almost always, horror is about life, death, and coming to
    terms with a world out of our control. Those are big, horrifying topics, and I find comfort in fearing them with a talented writer who wants to explore them in their own way. Outside of horror, I try to
    make sure my TBR pile is filled with different voices, cultures, races, religions, sexes, and creeds. It’s important for me to explore outside of my own worldview.

    7) Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

    Gage: Original, to my own detriment. I wish I could write to market, but I’m weird, and I don’t know how to un-weird myself. I suppose I could train myself to write to market, but I would get bored, and writing would lose some of its luster for me. I need to write from the gut.

    8) Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

    Gage: Don’t be so afraid. Challenge yourself. Take risks. Yes, you can bring your story there. You can bring it wherever the heck you want.

    9) Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

    Gage: Easily on my editor and cover artist. My editor, Mary Danner, is a one-of-a-kind, truly gifted editor who also understands my voice. She knows how to make my work shine while maintaining the integrity of how I like to write. Meanwhile, my cover artist, Luke Spooner, is much like me. His work crosses genres and mixes whimsy with darkness. It’s beautiful and fits my style so well.

    10) Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

    Gage: Probably a lemur. My writing looks harmless, friendly even, but it can bite and scratch.

    11) Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

    Gage: I have four Vellas, three of which are ongoing, and one is complete. Meanwhile, my debut novel came out in June, which was the first season of my most popular Vella, Winter’s Myths. Season two is complete on Vella, and going into book form in late October/early November. I am hoping to have four or five books published in 2023.

    12) Day: What does literary success look like to you?

    Gage: A television show based off my books starring Kevin Bacon, a popular line of toys based on characters from my books. Fans dressing up in cosplay from my work. People getting tattoos of quotes I wrote. An army of minions. A legion of warriors working for me. World domination. Or, honestly, just knowing my book makes some people happy.

    13) Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

    Gage: I’m a constant self-promoter. I like to do that because, for me, it’s not just about pitching my book. I enjoy finding my audience and getting to know them. I constantly tell my friends and readers this isn’t my journey, it’s ours. We’re in this together, and my successes are yours as well. Word of mouth has been huge for me. Booktokers and bookstagramers, as well as people spreading the word in book groups on Facebook. I’ve done some paid ads, but they haven’t worked for me because I need to learn the systems better. I plan to do just that, but for now, while I am learning, word of mouth is driving my sales.

    14) Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

    Gage: Depends on what I need. For Winter’s Myths, I needed to learn about prepping and living underground. I spent months reading up on survival skills and how one would live underground off nothing but their own skills.

    15) Day: How many hours a day do you write?

    Gage: My life is pretty scattered, and I have more projects than just writing to work on, so some days I write for 8 hours, and others I don’t write at all. On average, I would say three or four hours.

    16) Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    Gage: Yes. And I also connect just about everything I write to something else I write, so those are fun easter eggs for people following my career. There are also a ton of little pop culture references or homages to artists and writers I dig.

    17) Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

    Gage: There was a scene in one story where a character I grew to love had to get attacked. She had a brutal battle, and I hated every second of it. I wanted to protect her. I also wrote a short story for my newsletter subscribers where I went deep into my past with addiction, and some of that was very raw and hard to write.

    18) Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

    Gage: Mornings when the house is quiet. I used to love to write about 2 or 3 in the morning, when everyone was asleep, but my life and routine has changed, and now the morning is when I have the most peace and quiet.

    19) Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters
    B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

    Gage: Why not all three? Characters always come first for me, so I will choose A. Plots are fun but hollow without strong characters going through them. Settings add an extra layer of character, but without the friends you want to follow through the scenes, the setting would feel pretty empty.

    20) Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

    Gage: Nikolai Wisekal. The man is writing some pure comedy gold with wonderful fantasy and sci-fi backdrops. How he’s not famous yet is beyond me. On top of that, he’s just a really great person.

Gage’s Top Three Vellas are:

Winter’s Myth

After a disease ravages his underground community, Winter escapes with his two daughters to the upper world, a place called Earth. Winter fears what he will find on Earth, but he is surprised to find the planet has largely been abandoned. As he and his daughters struggle to survive, and come face to face with deadly foes, Winter tells his children stories and legends as a way to make sense of their new surroundings. In Winter’s world, we are the mythology. We are the legends. We are the threat.

A Glass World

Marybeth’s panic attacks are getting worse. Brian’s daughter disappeared while on a camping trip. Tragedy unfolded for Judith while on a walk with her family. These strangers find their way to a secret world made entirely of glass, and with this discovery, they unlock uncanny powers within themselves. But they aren’t the only ones with vast power, and not everyone is happy with this group’s newfound abilities. The Dead Things are coming, and they hunger for the residents of Glass World.

Bunker Dogs

Don’t fear what you’re hiding from. Fear what you’re hiding with. When the Timurs ask Cassie to babysit, she couldn’t be happier. Their twelve-year-old son keeps to himself and plays video games all night, leaving Cassie to study in the peace and quiet of the Timur’s humongous open-floor house. But the world is about to descend into madness, and as Cassie tries to hide from it, she discovers the Timur house has secrets. Some secrets are best kept buried. Some secrets have teeth.

Gage’s books are:

Winter’s Myths

After a disease ravages his underground community, Winter escapes with his daughters to the dangerous surface of Earth. Believing the planet is largely abandoned, he struggles to make sense of this strange new world while trying to keep his family alive… But the surface is not all complicated artifacts and relics of a deserted universe. Winter is certain something—or someone—is hunting them.

He weaves wild tales to entertain and teach his daughters, turning celebrities into demigods and Abe Lincoln into an ice giant. As the journey grows darker and more dangerous, his mythologies keep not only his children from confusion and despair, but him as well.

With tensions rising and danger at every corner, will Winter keep his family alive long enough to finish his tales?

Winter’s Myths is a multi-season serial currently publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Vella. This book covers the first season. Each season will be available in book form upon completion.

Grackles on the Feeder: A Short Horror Story

WARNING: While these are not topics I typically write about, this story does contain scenes of animal cruelty and sexual assault.

In a small town in New England, against the backdrop of an abandoned amusement park, horrors will unfold.
Shelly will soon learn not everyone is who they seem. Not even Shelly herself.

Through Flickering Lights, a Silhouette: A Short Horror Story

Mira must travel through a thickening winter storm in search of her adopted brother, but the night is quickly approaching, and in the night, the monsters come.

For more of Gage Greenwood check out his links: Twitter, Amazon author page, YouTube, FaceBook, Instagram, and his Newsletter!

Another rough morning …

This is the actual story that inspired episode 6, The Toothbrush, from my Kindle Vella story, The Trifecta.

I went to the store last week, and I forgot to get a toothbrush. There was one in the drawer, so I used it.  I’ve been using it for the past week. Andrew comes into my room this morning at 8:45 and says, “Why are you using my toothbrush?”

“What?” I said, not awake yet, and still on my first cup of coffee.

“You stole my toothbrush,” he accuses.

I respond with, “It was in the drawer. Go eat breakfast.”

Andrew walks away and comes back five seconds later. “I can’t believe you stole my toothbrush.”

“Really? It was in the drawer, not being used. I didn’t steal it,” I said, exasperated.

Andrew narrows his eyes at me. “It was mine. I distinctly remember asking the lady for an orange and black toothbrush.”

“It’s blue and black,” I counter.

He says, “It has some orange on it.”

“OMG! Get over it and go eat,” I say, exacerbated.

Andrew walks away and comes back three seconds later. “I can’t believe you stole my toothbrush!”

Insane, maniacal laughter comes out of me at this point because of the sheer ridiculousness of it.

Now he comes into my room instead of standing in the doorway.

“I want my toothbrush back.”

 I practically yell, “I’m already using it! You can’t have it.”

“I’ll just wash it a million times.”

“Why do you care so much about this stupid toothbrush?”

“I was going to use it when my Star Wars one dies.”

“What? I’ll just get you a new Star Wars one.”

“No, I want that one.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

Then it dawns on me that he has a crush on the pretty, young dental hygienist who gave him the toothbrush. So I ask, “Is it because you like the pretty hygienist that gave it to you?”

He walks away without answering.

I shout, “Ahaha! That’s it, isn’t it? You like it because she gave it to you!”

He refuses to answer and goes into the bathroom. I follow, watching as he snatches my toothbrush with a scowl.

“Give me my toothbrush back! We can ask her for a new one,” I said, slightly amused now.

He shakes his head.

“Fine!” I open the drawer and pick the green one, and put it in my now empty toothbrush spot. “Happy?”

He stares at the green toothbrush and asks suspiciously, “Where did you get the green one?”

“It’s mine!” I snap.

Andrew says, “I’ve never seen it before.” 

Before I can respond, he runs off with the toothbrush I was using, and when I leave the bathroom, he goes back in there and spends five minutes washing it with disinfecting soap.

Author Interview with Miranda Herald

1. Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

Miranda: I haven’t had the privilege to be able to do one of these, but I would love to take my kids on a Laura Ingles Wilder trip.

2. Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Miranda: Australia. I would love to visit the down under, and I feel like there are so many adventure stories that could start there as one of the last really wild places on earth.

3. Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

Miranda: I only have small snippets of time to work on my writing between the other things going on in my life. If I can’t write for whatever reason, I have a long list of other things I work on, such as marketing, newsletters, social media posts, etc.. When I come back later, I can usually write unless I’m super tired and just need the day off. Then I just take a day off.

4. Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

Miranda: Plotter! I like to have an idea where I’m going, and it really stressed me out when I tried to start a Vella that I didn’t know the ending to until I got there.

5. Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

Miranda: I try to keep my readers on their toes while still following the characters personality. It makes for some interesting twists.

6. Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Miranda: I read all kinds of things depending on my mood at the time- mystery, romance, and fantasy are probably the ones I gravitate to most.

7. Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Miranda: I try to be original, but am working on trying to deliver what readers want while still being original. We will see if I succeed!

8. Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Miranda: I’m still not that advanced of a writer, but I can already see improvements in my work, so I would probably just suggest to keep going!

9. Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Miranda: Developmental edit. I learned a ton that I can use for my future writing.

10. Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Miranda: Ocelot. I like having a pen name. It feels like I have a whole secret identity and lets me hide in plain sight like the Ocelot.

11. Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

Miranda: I have two nonfiction books self-published under a different name that I wrote years ago. More recently, I started writing fiction books. I currently have one Vella that I wrote in a serial fashion that is almost complete, Loves Cats, Anonymous. I also have four other books that are almost complete but are currently at different stages in the editing process. So keep an eye out for my Riddling through Romance Series and Smitten Scientists Series that are coming soon.

12. Day: What does literary success look like to you?

Miranda: Having my book on the shelves of people I never met.

13. Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

Miranda: Still working on that one. I have a newsletter and have begun tinkering with Facebook ads, but I have a long journey ahead of me.

14. Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Miranda: I usually do internet research and mix in some of the more interesting aspects of my own personal experience.

15. Day: How many hours a day do you write?

Miranda: Roughly two- three. I am homeschooling my four kids under nine for a good portion of the day and can only squeeze out a few hours here and there.

16. Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Miranda: I do! I love those little easter eggs, and even if no one else figures them out, they make me smile.

17. Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

Miranda: My first makeout scene. I just kept picturing my dad reading it.

18. Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

 Miranda: I get most of my writing done after the kids go to bed. Otherwise, I have the two-year-old interrupting me every few minutes looking for snacks and my nine-year-old looking over my shoulder while I’m trying to write more intimate scenes.

19. Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

Miranda: I’m shooting for all 3! Although I think it’s the characters that make people really connect with a story.

20. Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

Miranda: I really am enjoying the Honoria Porter series by Stephanie K. Clemens. Her main character is really fantastic.

Miranda’s current Vella’s are:


Loves Cats, Anonymous

The werewolf cat has gone viral! Cat loving Katrina has become an active member of the Loves Cats online forum. It’s all fun and memes until member Catman007 begins sending her mysterious messages. Curiosity getting the best of her, Kat works to uncover the cryptic puzzles and realizes more is at stake than her precious cats. When she discovers more about the mystery, she begins to fear she’s the one who will need nine lives to survive.


Vella Author Show

Are you a Kindle Vella author or want to be a Vella author? Start here to learn from the Professionals! This Vella is a written interview series where authors share how they personally have gained success and overcome specific challenges. Get a step ahead by learning the mistakes other Vella authors made. Get advice from some of the top 100 Vella authors on how they became chartbusters. Learn how others create and market their stories on Kindle Vella. New episodes every Tuesday.


Outwitting Paradise: Available Any Day Now!

You can find Miranda on Amazon and Facebook.

Author Interview With Valerie Claussen

  1. Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

Valerie: I’ve never gone on any but would like to someday. My travel focus is visiting ancestry sites and bucket list places.

  1. Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Valerie: I would choose Ireland. That’s actually something I hope to do one day but for a few months.

  1. Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

Valerie: Getting up and moving around helps, taking a relaxing shower or browsing images on the subject helps a lot. 

  1. Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

Valerie: I’m a bit of both. I write out all my ideas (brainstorm), make a brief outline, and dive into writing.

  1. Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

Valerie: I think my biggest quirk is that I always need to be writing two polar opposite stories at once. If I start a sweet fantasy, I’ll also work on something dark and dramatic.

  1. Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Valerie: Fantasy is my favorite genre because it encompasses so many types of stories and can take place in both the real world (urban fantasy) or a completely new universe.

  1. Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Valerie: I enjoy hearing readers’ feedback, but I’ll always write what I think best suits my original stories. Sometimes that works out and gives them exactly what they want, sometimes, it’s a pleasant surprise.

  1. Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Valerie: I would tell her to not be afraid to share her work. I waited far too long to allow my first novel to be published.

  1. Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Valerie: Probably writing software was the best money I’ve spent on anything directly related to writing.

  1. Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Valerie: That’s an interesting question. I’d probably say a free-spirited dolphin that likes to travel between different oceans, as I like to write in different genres.

  1. Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

Valerie: I believe I have around eighteen at the moment.

  1. Day: What does literary success look like to you?

Valerie: It means my stories have made a positive effect on my readers, whether by inspiration or pure entertainment.

  1. Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

Valerie: That’s something I’m still learning. Social media has helped find the most readers. I’m currently looking into having someone manage my Facebook page so I can spend more time on writing and less on self-promotion.

  1. Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Valerie: That entirely depends on the book. I can spend a few days or a few hours before starting to write, but I’ve also done research after a story is in progress. The internet is a wonderful thing to be able to use anytime I need to fact-check.

  1. Day: How many hours a day do you write?

Valerie: That also depends. I can write anywhere from a couple of hours to eight.

  1. Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

      Valerie: I love placing secrets and little Easter eggs in my stories. It tickles me when a reader finds me on social media and messages me about them.

  1. Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

Valerie: I can’t share the detail because it’s a heavy spoiler, but in my fantasy novel, Sustain, there’s a scene where the protagonist has to do something extremely painful and self-sacrificing for the greater good. I needed a tissue box beside me to write it, even though I knew what was happening.

  1. Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

Valerie: I’m content with writing any time of the day, but I seem to power through more late at night. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a night owl.

  1. Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

Valerie: My primary focus has always been the characters. When they’re the top priority, everything else falls into place.

  1. Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

Valerie: Melody Moss is an outstanding dark fiction writer who is getting her feet wet but has great potential. https://www.amazon.com/Melody-Moss/e/B0B99BLNSD

Valerie’s top three Kindle Vella stories are:

The Experiment 

 What would you do for a quarter of a million dollars? A group of eight surrender control of their lives to participate in a social experiment with rising stakes and unforeseen challenges. Their only significant decisions are the doors they unlock to an unknown space. Join Cora as she embarks on a fun, sweet, and romantic adventure of a lifetime with rising tension, frustration, limited privacy, and desire.

Outside the Lamp 

At seventeen years old, what Avalie wants most in the world is to be with Albert. However, his father has other plans for him. To keep them apart, he imprisons the genie in a lamp. By chance, the magical object eventually finds a kindhearted human named Elijah. Together, they begin a quest in a modern world to help Avalie find Albert, let her people know of Albert’s father’s treachery, and search for someone to be Elijah’s forever love.

Lakeside 

A young woman returns to a small, remote lakeside town to spend the summer before her senior year with her estranged father. She encounters a menacing doppelganger, sparking memories, and the dark secrets of her forgotten past begin to unravel. She realizes that sometimes it’s better to forget.

Valerie’s top three novels currently are:

Sustain 

A time long past—humans were defenseless and kept at the mercy of powerful beings who controlled their world through natural magic. Sustain is a fantastical tale that follows the lives of the most influential Kastelian family of that age.

Cole, the eldest of three handsome sons, was a strong, arrogant man born into privilege, power and hatred. Raised by his merciless father—a self-proclaimed king—Cole and his brothers were key players in his father’s plan to annihilate their adversaries.

The family’s loyalty is tested when Cole brings a mysterious stranger named Arna into their lives. With this new addition to their world—danger follows her—as secrets unfurl around them.

Can Cole learn to distinguish between good and evil, despite his upbringing? Will he defend or destroy the ones he cares about the most?

At its core, Sustain is a story of growth, courage, sacrifice and extraordinary love.

Heirdom 

Alice always believed her life was ordinary. She’s devoted, a good girl who has always done what was right. Until the day she inherited a mysterious family heirloom from a father she never knew. An heirloom that is the key to unleashing the unfathomable magical properties hidden within Alice’s blood. Powers she knew nothing about and can scarcely comprehend. With the appearance of two strangers claiming to be warlocks, the unravelling of years-old secrets and misrepresented bloodlines begins.
Luke will stop at nothing to gain the right to rule, even if it means manipulating Alice and her newfound powers for his own gain. The only thing stopping him from achieving his throne is the one thing with which his powers cannot seem to help. He must learn to love.
Dimitri would do anything for Alice. He owes a debt to her family that can never be repaid, but falling for Alice was not how he planned to repay it.
Can Alice come to terms with who she has become? Will she learn who to trust before it is too late?
Heirdom is a fantastical tale steeped in magic and action. At its core, it is a story of discovering love, the value of friendship, and the sacrifices people make for those they care about.

“It feels like he’s always in my head, whether he’s speaking to me or not, just sitting in the shadows of my mind, silently watching me.”

“There were so many layers to him. I wondered if the ones that stirred madness would someday consume those that sought to be good.”

The Curse of Allston Manor 

Lillian longs to see the world. Instead of soaking in incredible sights, learning different cultures, and eating delicious food, she gets shunted off every summer while her parents travel without her. When someone she thought she could trust kindles a rumor about Lillian, it spreads like wildfire through her small Arizona town. Lillian suddenly finds herself a pariah. Now more than ever, she wishes to escape. When the abnormally perfect William and Olivia move into the beautiful Victorian manor they inherit from their uncle, Lillian finds herself inexplicably drawn to them. The twins are reclusive, never seeming to leave their home despite the business and millions left to them by will. But shy, William is growing restless, and overbearing Olivia is pushing everyone to their limits with her antics. Still, they are the rare few who don’t treat Lillian as an outcast. Lillian wonders, however, if there could be an ulterior motive to their benevolence. The twins seem to want something from her, but Lillian can’t figure out what. “The Curse of Allston Manor” is rife with betrayal, sacrifice, and love. Unexplained happenings, pranks that cross the line, and stolen dreams cause chaos to escalate to a boiling point. This book will grab you from the first page and leave you desperate to find out what happens next.

For more of Valerie’s work, check out her Amazon Author page! Follow her on Twitter @valerieclaussen!

Author Interview with Kristen Dutkiewicz


1.    Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.
Kristen: I wish I had a better answer for you with this one! I have not been on any, unfortunately!
 
2.    Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Kristen: Fantastic question! If I could live anywhere in the world, I would choose to live in Italy or Greece because I have never been overseas and would love to be more culturally aware.
 
3.    Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?
Kristen: My first step would be to walk away from the computer. Most likely, I would go for a walk or do some sort of physical activity!
 
4.    Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?
Kristen: 100% a plotter!
 
5.    Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Kristen: All names have to mean something to me. Every character’s name has a meaning!
 
6.    Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?
Kristen: I LOVE thrillers because nothing gets me more excited than a surprise twist.
 
7.    Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Kristen: Because I write all genres, I would hope readers knew what best would meet their interests with my works.
 
8. Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Kristen: Keep going 😉
 
9. Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Kristen: My laptop!
 
10. Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Kristen: Turtles have always been my favorite so I have to say that.
 
11. Day: How many published and finished books do you have?
Kristen: Over ten published on Kindle Vella as well as in paperback and with Kindle Unlimited. 
 
12. Day: What does literary success look like to you?
Kristen: Success to me is simply being able to share my writings with the world.
 
13. Day: What’s the best way to market your books?
Kristen: Social media has worked the best for me.
 
14. Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Kristen: Google is my best friend when writing books!
 
15.   Day: How many hours a day do you write?
Kristen: It varies, but I would say, on average, two to four.
 
16. Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Kristen: I do.
 
17. Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?
Kristen: There are some tough ones in my novella, The Texts From Last Night.
 
18. Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?
 Kristen: I love writing first thing in the morning before I get too busy and when the house is quiet.
 
19.   Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?

Kristen: Why not all three? 

20.   Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?
Kristen: Colleen Hoover has been a recent inspiration for many of my romance books. Thanks, CoHo!
 
Top Three Kindle Vella works:
 
I’m Still Me
What started as annoying yet non-threatening quickly changed every aspect of LeeAnn Taylor’s life. Engaged to her high school sweetheart and a successful Kindergarten teacher, LeeAnn loved her life. As she hugged her students farewell on their last day of school, she felt a tingling sensation on her nose and assumed it was a side effect of her emotions. Two months later, she had a diagnosis: multiple sclerosis. Luckily, LeeAnn was a fighter. And she would not have to fight alone.
  
Too Late
Sandy Palmer just wanted one drink at the bar after a long day at work. She never asked for attention. She never asked for the guy across the bar to order her a second drink. She never asked for him to touch her. And she never asked for the guy in the corner to intervene… Don’t miss this steamy story about two strangers who met in a bar.

 
Mystical Missy and Her Life of Magical Events
Missy never asked to have magical powers, but when she survived a fire as a baby, with no burns or marks, this was only the start of her magical abilities. Follow the journey of mystical Missy as she discovers a new power each year of her magical life.

 
 
Top Three Paperback/Kindle Unlimited works:
 
You Don’t Look Sick
In 2014, Kristen’s world flipped upside down when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while working as a Kindergarten teacher in her mid-twenties.

Through this book, join her as she finds her path to health and journey to living the best life possible! Included with her personal story of how she was finally put on the proper medication are ten words of advice for those living with MS, more details about this autoimmune disease, and suggestions for what not to say to people with invisible illnesses.

This is a personal and TRUE story told by a girl who survived a tough year of fighting for the right to be treated.
 
The Clover Girls
Four best friends.

Follow Zoey, Catherine, Allison, and Valerie as they survive their high school years, marriages, careers, and life choices, all while having each other to lean on.

Zoey’s parents struggled to keep their marriage together while raising four children, and Zoey swore when she grew up, she would never be like her mom.

Catherine was the only one of the four friends to stick with track and field when entering high school, and her parents believed this would be her ticket into college and a future.

Allison had to work extra hard to maintain passing grades but found herself in a school play and dating the boy in school everyone wanted.

Valerie was determined to be noticed by anyone, and she finally found a connection with someone after years of just trying to fit in.

That was before… Where are they now?

People and plans have a funny way of changing with time.

Told from alternating timelines, readers will get to know all four characters on an intimate level and soon feel like they have been their personal friends for years.

We all grow up, but do we have to grow apart?

Some friendships are meant to last through all the ups and downs, and this is one of those friendships.
 
 
All the Stages
Every romantic relationship can be broken down primarily into six stages.

This is the love story of Alaina Hall and Billy Mulligan, a couple who experienced all the stages.

Alaina first met Billy when he transferred to her elementary school, and while it took a few years to solidify their relationship, once they began dating, it was pure bliss.

But no one is perfect.

After high school, Billy and Alaina attended different colleges. Late one night, Alaina was awoken to a phone call from Billy, in which he said three little words: “I messed up.”

Spoiler: This is not the ending to the story.

Every story must come to an end, though… What will be their ending?

For more by Kristen Dutkiewicz, check out her LinkTree. She has many more works! Don’t forget to follow her on Amazon, her website, Instagram, and Twitter.

It’s Release Day for my new Kindle Vella, Nephilim Rising!

Kira is a witch, and like all Paras, she grew up hearing about the boogeymen of the paranormal world, the Nephilim. The gatekeepers between the human world and the paranormal world. Legend states that long ago, they took it upon themselves to be the guardians of the human world, protecting humans from Paras and keeping the vast human population from discovering the paranormal world hidden in plain sight. But the Nephilim are just a legend, a myth, invented to scare young Paras, right?