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!

Author Interview with Jennifer Lush

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

Jennifer: There have been so many! I’ll do my top three. In Salem, MA, I visited the Nathaniel Hawthorne house and the house which inspired “The House of the Seven Gables.” Faulkner House Books in New Orleans is run out of a home where he once lived. It’s the smallest bookstore I’ve ever seen! I’ve also visited the area where the Outsiders was filmed in Tulsa, OK. It’s a must for any fan. Yes, that’s a movie location, but it was based on a book.

  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?

Jennifer: My initial reaction is to say Iceland because I long to visit there, but I would choose England. It’s not too exotic, but if I’m going to be there for a full year, I want comfort not adventure.

  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?

Jennifer: I always write in Several stories at a time. If I’m not feeling one, there’s usually another causing my fingers to fly across the keyboard. Otherwise, I just type anything, just a couple random sentences. It will get my mind working to clean it up, make it fit the story, and that typically helps.

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

Jennifer: Both! But I lean toward pantser. I have a general idea going into the story and maybe a few notes, but it unfolds as I write. Take Fogpoint Harbor for example. I had the house on the coast in mind and what happens at the house. I also knew a relative would move there and take over. The rest of it came to me as I worked on it.

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

Jennifer: I have to have silence to write. There are so many authors with a playlist, or they choose music to fit the tone of the scene they’re working on. It distracts me.

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

Jennifer: I love horror and suspense. I want to be terrified and unable to stop turning pages because I have to know what happens at the same time.

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

Jennifer: Original. I don’t write to market or follow tropes. I have more story ideas than I will live long enough to write. I write the stories consuming me and hope they find popularity.

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

Jennifer: You’re better at this than you believe you are.

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

Jennifer: I’d have to say it was the bundle of ISBN’s from Bowker. IngramSpark doesn’t issue free ones, and I’m very glad I bought my own to be able to publish on that platform.

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

Jennifer: A squirrel. Imagine a very busy road. There’s a squirrel on one side of it and a mountain sized pile of nuts on the other. The squirrel is darting around, zig zagging, back and forth, here and there, trying to make it through the traffic to get to the nuts. That’s me. That’s my writing style.

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

Jennifer: Under this name, I have three published books and four Vellas. The first seasons of Ravenwood and The Below will be published this fall.

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

Jennifer: This is a fluid construct. It was the first time I saw my name in print. The first royalty I received. The first five star review from a stranger. Becoming a five figure author was another success milestone. I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I’ll be comfortable saying, “I’m a success.” I do enjoy the milestones along the way.

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

Jennifer: I wish I knew! I use social media and word of mouth the most. I’ve recently tried FB ads for one of my Vellas. I need to take out more and try some Amazon ads as well.

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

Jennifer: I don’t research before I begin. I jump in the deep end. Some things I look up online like who was king at this time. Other things, I might ask friends. My ex-husband was a cop at one time, so he gets any questions falling into the law category. 

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

Jennifer: That depends on my work schedule. I write anywhere from 0-2 hours on days I work. If it’s my day off and I have no errands to run, I could spend 12-14 hours writing.

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

Jennifer: I usually include small bits of foreshadowing. If it will be discovered a character is a werewolf, he might bark or growl his words for example. I’d like to leave Easter eggs, but it’s not my strong suit.

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

Jennifer: That was chapter sixteen in the book Air: The Elementals. As difficult as it was to write, I’ve received amazing feedback from people telling me how much it hurt to read and how much they sobbed.

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

Jennifer: A couple hours after I wake up, whatever time that might be. It’s when my mind is freshest, and I have the most energy.

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

Jennifer: All three are important. I like to have characters who make the reader feel something. Love them or hate them. Either way, they’ve connected.

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

Jennifer: Yes! My friend Jinapher Hoffman is a fantasy writer, and her first book “For Mist & Tar” was recently released.

Jennifer’s top three Kindle Vellas:

Fogpoint Harbor: The Inheritance

Kat was surprised to learn of her great-aunt’s death twenty years after she had been led to believe Aunt Dot had passed away. As the soul inheritor of the estate, there was a catch. She had to live in her aunt’s house for one year to collect. The mysteries surrounding her aunt didn’t end with why she had been lied to about her death. Recruited by the police to solve a town’s murder, Kat relies on an unlikely source to solve the crime: the ghosts residing in her aunt’s Victorian home.

Ravenwood: Volume One

Along Route 116 where the state road weaved its way through the backwoods of Massachusetts was the lane leading to Ravenwood. It was easy to miss. The only travelers in that area were either lost or looking for the old Europeanesque inn. The only people who traveled west of Ravenwood were the people who had grown up there. They knew the woods, feared the creatures who dwelled there, but they respected them. They had made friends with the woods for it were the trees who wouldn’t let you leave.

The Below

All manner of supernatural and mythical beasts dwell in The Below. Their refuge underground has kept them safe for centuries. Phillipe had always known he would never go to The Above. He was the last of his kind, and he hadn’t always followed the rules. He accepted this as his fate until he learned the truth about his parents. Their murder and the lies that covered it up sparked an outrage. There was only one way justice would be carried out, and that was by Phillipe’s own hands.

Jennifer also wrote a YA Elemental series:

Air: The Elementals Book One

Lilah is not at all pleased about her family’s move to the Midwest regardless of the circumstances behind why they were summoned. It’s unfair she has to trade in her days in the sun on the beach for the lackluster cornfields and bare trees filled autumn. Especially since it is centuries old rules and traditions dictating her family’s code. That is until she meets Jackson. The timing of events couldn’t be more wrong. Secrets are revealed and psychic powers unleashed as she comes into her own while navigating the diminishing fine line between family honor and independence. Will she be able to help the other Elements fight the unknown force hunting them down while forging her own identity? Air is the first book in The Elementals series revealing the truth behind myths and legends dating back millennia. Time is running out for the four to bring about the Return and restore Balance to the earth.

Earth: The Elementals Book Two

Everleigh is torn between her grandma’s old fashioned ways and wanting to unite the Elementals in the fight to save their people.

Fire: The Elementals Book Three

Judd is torn between two identities. The private life he leads has to remain a secret. It’s the only way to save his son. The life he’s known by is a past filled with carnage and intimidation. His people are being hunted, and he has to figure out a way to save them without putting his family at risk.

Check out more of Jennifer’s work on her Amazon Author Page, Twitter, and Linktree.

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.