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Kai’s Journey – Charles & Wendy Siefken

by Page Bookshelf Central on Sunday, March 18, 2012 at 10:20am ·
“Kai’s Journey” is a story about a young man, set ten years in the future. Kai has spent those years fighting for survival and trying to find a way rid the world of the disease his father created.. His father was a military scientist charged with the task of perfecting a formula that would create a superior breed of soldiers. Kai’s father accidentally created a race of zombies. Like a virus, it soon spreads to the entire world, unleashing a period of unsurpassed chaos and conflict. In the midst of this turmoil, Kai comes across a young woman named Clover, who is part of a clan traveling across the United States to try to find what is left of humanity. Clover is a part of a clan of werewolves who can turn at will but aren’t blood thirsty savages as depicted in general history. . Along the way Kai and Clover come across stragglers who join with the group as they journey across the upper part of what used to be known as North America.One night while Kai and Clover were watching a meteor shower they meet a group totally out of this world. Kai and Clover begin a heroic journey, fueled by the increasingly dim hope that somehow, the human race will have a chance to start over.

From the title I expected a story along the same lines as The kite runner, but oh no this is definately nothing like that. This is a story of a quest; a quest to cure a disease and rid the world of zombies and Kai, for reasons that will be made clear in the book, is the one who feels he must carry out this quest. A thrilling book and that is praise indeed as I don’t normally read or watch anything to do with zombies.

We have an article in the Marshall Times, its an insert in the Marshalltown Times Republican. Its a local news paper. I really do like how Mike Donahey did the article too. Very well done! I was so excited I was all giggly at the gas station! not a normal mood for me to be in,, (Giggly) that is.. but was just excited to see my son in the paper and our book being out there! awesome!

Our Interview with David Bishop!

David BishopProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

I was born in Washington, D.C. From there my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education. Played some sports, and got some more education. Prior to becoming a novelist, I worked as a financial analyst determining the value of companies. But let’s talk about my current and final career, writing mystery novels.

As a writer, I conjure up occurrences designed to quickly bring the story to a roiling boil. Along the way, I invent people. Victims and villains and heroes are needed, as well as a supporting cast. I make these people fun and interesting so you will welcome them and introduce them to your friends. Primary characters need habits and tics and talents, the qualities that bring them to life and make you love them or hate them. You’ll want to see them humiliated or hunted down, be sucessful or seduced.

My mysteries offer you the opportunity to be challenged to find the villain from among the suspects. Clues as large as a log or as tiny as a bump thereon are salted throughout the stories. There are distractions in the form of false clues, called red herrings, which point to someone other than the real villain.

Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich and the plots are grabbers. I promise that you’ll be glad you came along. Some people don’t like golf or chocolate or even a hearty laugh. But I’ll bet you like some of those things and I’ll bet you’ll like my mysteries. Yours very truly, David Bishop

                                       Bio provided by author’s site

It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to interview David and learn more about him and how he came to be an author. David has quite a few books published that are doing really well in the charts! So get comfortable and give a warm welcome to David!

What makes a good hook in your stories?
Hitting the ground running, i.e., immediately giving readers at least one main character with whom they can relate and about whom they care what happens. As a mystery writer, I create interesting people, and place them in jeopardy. “If readers begin to think, I don’t care what happens to these people,” my book becomes a wall banger and they pick up a different novel. I know this and so I write to give the story traction on the first page. I actually change the terminology a bit and think of “hooks and come alongs.” The come along says, come along while I tell you this story. The hook drags the reader from one scene into the next. I try to start scenes with come alongs and end them with hooks.  That’s not typical terminology for writers, but it’s mine.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I can’t sing or dance, yet I want to be an entertainer, so I write. My inspiration comes through the opportunity to provide a few minutes of escape for my readers while they sit on an airplane, lounge in their backyard, or when they aren’t quite ready to go to sleep.

Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
It seems that every writer I talk to does it a little differently. Some organize to the point of using an outline, others do not. I’m in the “do not” camp. In most instances I start out this way: I decide the crime, pick a hero and a villain and fire the gun to start the race. First, I write a major biography of the main characters so I know who they are, and, by extension, how they can be expected to react and behave. The bio sometimes gets changed because the story develops in a way that makes me need to change a talent or tic of that character. The first writing I do is the last scene.  After that I return to page one and start the story. My theory is we don’t load up the car, put the kids in the backseat and pull away from the curb to go on vacation without knowing where we are going. A novel is like that. I have to know where the story is going, where the hero, villain, plot, and solution will come together. Then I can go back and pull away from the curb knowing that all my turns and twists are designed to get me to my destination. Once I know where I will end up, I just let the major characters behave as they would, based on their respective bios, and I write what they do and say.

What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
 I write whenever I have the time. It makes no different what time or day of the week. I read the last page I wrote and continue writing. I have never experienced writer’s block. I don’t understand it. With modern word processors I can easily change or delete, so what’s to be blocked? Write the story. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Write the story. Perfect comes, or at least its pursuit comes in something like the tenth (or whatever) rewrite.

Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
There are so many tremendous mystery/thriller writers whose work I admire. But the writer who most inspired me was Louis L’Amour, the greatest and most prolific western writer in history. I don’t write westerns, but nonetheless he was my inspiration.  A story to explain: I saw Louis L’Amour in a restaurant in Durango, Colorado. He was lunching alone. I went to him and said, “I apologize for interrupting your lunch, but I want to thank you for many hours of enjoyable reading.” He replied, “How nice of you young man. If you’re alone and having lunch, please join me.” I did. We talked for over an hour, and through that I learned that he wrote on a portable typewriter which he took everywhere. If his wife had a doctor’s appointment, he would be in the lobby knocking out a few pages. He said he could write anytime, anywhere and he did. He also said things which I would summarize as, don’t sweat the small stuff. Write. Fix it up later. I’ve followed that counsel ever since.

It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
No. Oh, maybe the business side of being an author as it takes me away from my first love, writing stories. Yet, the business part is necessary and I don’t really mind doing it.

Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
An author must take/make time to read for pleasure, but also to learn how others craft their stories. At the moment, I am reading a wonderful mystery titled Rejection, a Lou Drake Mystery, by Thomas K. Matthews. Lou Drake is an interesting detective and the plot so far has my undivided attention.

How did you get started in writing in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre?
I always loved reading in this genre, and always wanted to write in it. Like many of you, life sometimes gets in the way of bringing out the things that live in our ambitions. I wrote a highly technical, financial nonfiction book in 2002 which was published in English, Russian, and Chinese. After it came out, I decided I was going to pursue what I really wanted to write, fiction. I wrote fiction for ten years, studying and practicing the craft, before aggressively pursuing being published. I wanted to be ready and I am. My characters are interesting, the plots grabbers. I invite you to come along and cheer, boo, cry, and laugh with the nice and nasty folks who inhabit my stories. I have five novels out currently, with a sixth due this summer. My goal is to serve my novels like potato chips: bet you can’t read just one.

Your books have been published with Amazon.com. Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
Amazon is the leading company in selling online books. Generally speaking, the eBook offers the book buyer lower prices and greater conveniences. To shop for a book at home, order and receive it in seconds and immediately start reading, to obtain a significant portion of a book as a free samples before buying, and carrying dozens, even hundreds of books in a package roughly the size of a Readers Digest, is hard to beat. I recall, as a young man going downtown to a record store to buy music. Later, I went downtown to rent a view-at-home movie. Digitalization has changed those forms of entertainment. We are now experiencing that same kind of metamorphosis with books. Digitalization has unleashed authors to bring their craft to readers without first subjecting it to the filtering and screening of the big box publishers who traditionally decided which stories were worthy of reaching people. This phenomenon gives the author more freedom and the book consumer more power. The traditional publishers simply no longer rule and command what writers can put out and what readers can read. This is good.

Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
My website is www.davidbishopbooks.com. There one can learn more about me and my novels. I often have a short story posted on my blog page within that website. The Signed Books subpage will help those who prefer to obtain signed print books for collection or possible investment. The David’s Novels subpage includes buy buttons for each of my novels connecting visitors to the major online book retailer they prefer. Thank you Wendy and Charles for giving me the opportunity to encourage your readers to take a closer look at my novels.

Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next? Always mysteries/thrillers/suspense, well, in all likelihood, always. One can never say for certain. Currently, I have about 20-25 stories started. Some are only a few pages to capture the storyline. Others are 20-50 pages in length.

Who would be your first choice to play Linda Darby from your book “The Woman?”
Wow. What a fun question. Actually, I have thought about that. Despite the difficulty of remembering how to spell her name, Barbara Stanwyck would be the choice. Among the current leading ladies of film, there are several, but I think Hillary Swank captures the image of Linda Darby better than many others whose acting I also greatly admire.  If I may expand on the question, I’d pick Mark Wahlberg to play Ryan Testler, the male lead in The Woman. And, if you’d like a male lead from Barbara Stanwyck’s era, I’d go with Robert Mitchum.

If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question? This is another wonderful question. If you had asked me to pick five, I would have included Mark Twain from literature, Paul Reuter who started his famous news service by using homing pigeons to transport the news faster than any other method at that time, and from film Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. But you asked me to pick one; I pick Thomas Jefferson. My question would be, “Mr. Jefferson what do you think about how American governance has evolved and how does it mesh or clash with the visions of the founding fathers?

Our Interview with Caroline Crosby!

   The Other Covenant (Vow of the Seven)


I was born in New York City, grew up in Boston, lived in Los Angeles and Denver and now live in central Virginia with my husband.
My background includes degrees in English, psychology and counseling, together with study of western and eastern history and spiritual beliefs. I have used practical genetics in cat breeding and learned enough about electronics to earn my General Class amateur radio license. My main career has been as a computer software engineer. All of these fields apply to this book.
                               Bio provided by author
It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to meet Caroline and learn more about her journey to becomming an author! Caroline has had a full and diverse in learning different aspects of education and life. So please give a warm welcome to Caroline!
1.      What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
There are several hooks in my story. The main one is the concept that, from early colonial days, a small group of people have secretly ruled America. This idea is certainly not original; the usual suspects for this role are the Knights Templar and the Masons, with a nod to Skull and Bones, Rhodes scholarship holders and the Trilateral Commission. Every now and then someone mentions space aliens in this context. In this book the secret rulers are descendants of a few psychics who fled from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to avoid charges of witchcraft.
 Another hook is the idea of a heroine who is a warrior but whose only “swearing” is an occasional “damn.” I’m equally tired of reading about updated Victorian maidens who need protection and of crude butt-kicking female fighters.
 I enjoy reading both conspiracy stories and occult stories. Though I don’t remember the exact moment this story came into my head, I’m sure it was inspired by reading in these genres.
Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters?  Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I would say I’m half organized and half disorganized. My online Favorites list contains many articles that have been or could be useful in my writing.  I have  notes on characters and plots and taken pictures of some of the locations where the story takes place. I decide the general story line and free write from there.
What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
In general I do my writing in the early evening, but I have written at just about any hour of the day or night.
Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
Margaret Mitchell is my favorite author. Her beautiful prose and wonderful characterization inspired me to attempt to reach her standard.
It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
I definitely don’t like sending out query letters that are often not even acknowledged and, if they are, only by a form letter.
6.   Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Yes, I try to read at least one 300 plus page book per week. Right now I’m reading books in  the Dune  series (both Frank and Brian Herbert). It seems that just about everyone in these books has their own conspiracy.
How did you get started in writing in the sci/fi fantasy genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
My favorite book as a child was Alice in Wonderland, a fantasy. I started writing sci/fi and fantasy in college. Some of my life experiences show up now and then, but it is revised to be more interesting.
Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
The publishing industry is headed this way right now. Publishing on Amazon is free and the stigma against self-publishing is disappearing. From the reading point of view, aside from having to remember to keep the battery charged, I enjoy its light weight, search ability, built-in dictionaries and other features. Not to mention the low cost of kindle books—with a high royalty percentage for the author.
I wasted almost two years sending out queries, with no positive results. People who read part or all of The Other Covenant said they liked it. With this new avenue of publication opened, I decided to take advantage of it. I haven’t sold many copies yet, but I can wait. No one will take my book off the shelf to make room for another, so I have plenty of time.
That is not to say that I would refuse a good offer from an established publisher! I would like to see my books on the shelves of a bookstore and have a real chance of having them made into movies.
Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Not yet, but I plan to build one.
  Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
The Other Covenant is the first volume of a trilogy. I’m working on the second volume and have done some work on the third.  I might try my hand at science fiction sometime in the future.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Elizabeth Mitchell  in your book titled, “The Other Covenant (Vow of Seven)”?
I really can’t say, since I haven’t been keeping up with movies and television dramas, but I would love to see it made into a movie.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
I’m afraid I can’t really answer this question because there are many people I would like to meet and many questions I would like to ask. Julius Caesar and Queen Elizabeth I are two of them. I would like to ask them what their true motives were for some of the things they did.

Our Interview with Bruce Obee!

Image of Bruce Obee            Scuttlejack (A Damon Quinn Mystery)


The Pacific coastal environment has been the setting for most of Bruce Obee’s work during the past four decades. A writer of books, magazine articles, and television scripts, his work is published by National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Travel & Leisure, British Columbia Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and others. Obee has won several international magazine awards as well as Canada’s prestigious Leo Award for screenwriting. He is a recipient of the Governor-General’s Commemorative Medal for “significant contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada.” Bruce Obee lives on Vancouver Island with his wife, Janet Barwell-Clarke. They have two grown daughters, Nicole and Lauren Obee.

                                       Bio provided by author’s site

It was our pleasure to get an opportunity to interview Bruce and learn more about him and his lustrous and long career in writing! So please give a warm welcome to Bruce!

1.  What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?

Three things: characters, setting, and plot. Damon Quinn, my investigative crime writer, is a departure from typical cops or private eyes. Someone different. The West Coast setting has always been the focus of my work. I’m completely comfortable writing about home, and readers find Pacific Canada extraordinarily attractive. The plot relies on the rural and wilderness features of the setting, and Quinn’s familiarity with the West Coast. Urban segments may come into the story, but much of the intrigue is found in the backwater ambience of coastal villages, islands, and oceans.

2.   Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters?  Or do you free write and work it out as you go?

I’m excruciatingly organized, I tie loose ends and tidy my desk at the end of each day. I research and interview extensively, and write from a detailed outline that keeps the story on track. I polish as I write so the first draft is reasonably clean. Then I rewrite, sleep, rewrite, sleep, and rewrite.

3.  What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

I work non-stop in my home office from about 7:30 each morning until around 6:30 p.m., a routine I’ve maintained through 40 years of full-time writing. I write on assignment for established publishers—no government or corporate flacking—and always write to contractual deadlines. A thousand words is an extremely good day.

4.  Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?

The late Roald Dahl. I’ve been fortunate to have been published with him in an anthology. I envy his incomparable wit and economic style, moving his stories at a pace where every word is vital to the plot and tone. His Tales of the Unexpected are proof that no one can deliver so many surprises in so few words. 

5.  It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?

As I mention on my website, writing is a life sentence. Writers are plagued by a mind that travels with the body, so the work never stops. Sometimes I wish my vocation would just go away. But I love writing, and while I take days off like every other worker, the writing gears are always churning. Storytelling is an addiction.

6.  Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?

I read an hour or two every night, mainly mysteries, almost always Canadian, English, or Scottish authors, sometimes Kiwis and Australians. Mark Zuehlke, Peter Robinson, Giles Blunt, Jack Hodgins, Ian Rankin, P.D. James, Elizabeth George are some contemporary favourites. Lately I’ve been reading mysteries written by other Amazon Kindle authors, including several Americans.

7.   How did you get started in the mystery fiction genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?

I’ve spent a lifetime writing illustrated non-fiction, longing for a time when I could create picture-free stories, and have the freedom to say things I’d never get away with in truthful journalism. Mysteries are my obvious choice. They lead off with a clearly-defined purpose, move methodically through a series of twists and surprises, then conclude with a tidy finale. My short story, The Partnership, sold on the first try to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, which encouraged me to believe I could write salable fiction.

8.  Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?

Yes, traditional publishers are struggling. Some of our most respected, i.e. Canada’s McClelland and Stewart, are being absorbed into larger companies. Many are going belly-up. Their promotion budgets are dwindling and authors are compelled to set up websites and market their own books. Not long ago self-publishing carried a ‘can’t-sell-it’ stigma, but now some authors are discovering higher sales, certainly higher royalties, in self-published ebooks. Readers, too, are finding talented authors whose talents were bypassed by established print publishers. Print is far from obsolete, but ebooks invariably offer a broader choice of books and authors.

9.  Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?

My website, www.bruceobee.com, has frequently-updated blogs about writing, sometimes asking for fiction ideas from readers. There’s a biography, bibliography, FAQs on writing, books I’ve written, videos I’ve produced, and published magazine stories that have been requested by readers. There’s also a link to my photography website, with categorized photos and contacts for my photo agent.

10.  Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?

I’m dreaming up the next Damon Quinn Mystery, aiming to nail down the outline and begin writing within the next three weeks. I’ve offered these mysteries as a series and intend to keep up a scheduled pace for new books, hopefully every eight or nine months.

11.  Who would be your first choice to play Damon Quinn from your book “Scuttlejack”?

Colin Cunningham, a California-born actor now based in Vancouver, Canada. Colin and I met when we shared a table at Vancouver’s Leo Awards, where we both won Leos, his for acting, mine for screenwriting. He played a shady undercover cop in the long-running series Da Vinci’s Inquest, so he’s already primed for the role of Damon Quinn.

12.  If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?

Terry Fox. I’d ask where he found the strength to achieve a dream held by every political leader—to unite an entire country, to make all Canadians so profoundly proud of their own nationality.

Our Interview with Ann Videan!

Ann Videan PortraitRhythms & Muse


Award-winning Business-Tribe Architect Ann N. Videan, APR, has learned one main thing from strategizing marketing with hundreds of entrepreneurial visionaries: You don’t need to spend too much time and too much money on marketing to obtain exciting results. The simple secret? Our focus on five key attributes: excellence, creativity, kindness, rewards and results.
Word-of-mouth blooms when you offer Excellent products and services that intrigue and/or serve customers. This is where it all starts.
Your marketing will work best if you involve Creativity. All it takes is a marketing idea or message that is unique or even outrageous enough to get people talking.
Your marketing thrives when you build trusting relationships based on Kindness, respect, integrity and giving.
Excellence, creativity and kindness attract loyal followers to your business tribe, as Ann’s own marketing consulting firm has experienced since its founding in 1996. Leveraging word-of-mouth and marketing strategies based on these three fundamentals has earned us 99 percent of our clients.
Accredited in public relations, Ann consults with all levels of entrepreneurial thinkers. She has worked with everyone from microbusiness owners in the neighborhoods of Phoenix, AZ, to executives in Fortune 500 companies like Apple Computer. Ann also has worked with firms as disparate as a telecom provider in San Francisco, Calif., and a die bonder manufacturer in Cham, Switzerland.
With all clients, we focus on making the work Rewarding. We strive to create marketing efforts involving fun, community service, and emotional attachment, which pays off with “wins” like these:
• We enticed 15,000 extras to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ, to film football movie scenes for Jerry Maguire.
• We served as the catalyst for Rhino Internet/Staging’s role in reintroducing white rhinos to the Phoenix Zoo. (Next time you visit, be sure to check on Ann’s retired lady friends Notch and Half-Ear.)
• Ann leads her own successful business tribes for communicators, writers, and consultants.
Sometimes other people notice what we do, too, which we find both gratifying and humbling:
• As editorial director of RealTime, a corporate in-house newsmagazine, Ann and her team earned a prestigious Gold Quill honorable mention from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
• Peers in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) selected Ann to receive the Phoenix chapter’s top honor: the PERCY Award.
• A national panel of home-based business experts selected Videan Unlimited as The Crown Jewel Award (top U.S. home-based business).
At Videan Unlimited, we start with excellence and end with what everyone wants: Results. Our clients report thousands of dollars in increased revenue shortly after working with us. They also often comment on gaining enhanced clarity for their marketing vision, and powerful connections with unique people and ideas. We’d love to have you experience this, too, as part of our business tribe.
For fun, Ann spends a great deal of time writing, volunteering for community and professional organizations, and creating memories with her loving and supportive husband, son and daughter. She is also a novelist, musician, photographer, and avid in-line skater.

                                      Bio provided by author’s site

We had a great opportunity to get a chance to know a little bit more about Ann and learn of her journey to becoming an author. Ann’s days are filled with family, community and professional volunteering, and many other activities besides writing! So get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Ann!

1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
Paranormal influences and characters who are real, yet quirky. My inspiration comes from everywhere, but mostly from music, movies, talking with people and experiencing a lot of unique activity in my personal life. I love to explore new places, meet new people and try almost everything once.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I do like to have a rough outline, but I am not a linear thinker, so I must follow my intuition as I write and take the story where it feels right. Or where my characters show me it needs to go. I do make reference lists: favorite character slang, research notes about places and times in history relating to the story, etc.

3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

I try to write in two-hour blocks whenever those come up. My most productive writing time was when I treated my writing time as a client and worked at it every day from 1 – 3 p.m. in a local coffee shop.
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
 I don’t have a favorite author because I enjoy so many different genres. Mostly I’m inspired by “real” dialogue, characters with whom I can picture myself being friends, and fresh worlds created in an author’s mind.
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
The whole process is a joy. Sometimes, I wish the books would leap into people’s Amazon shopping carts more easily, but making those relationships and intriguing people about your story is part of the fun.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
I read every night before I go to sleep. Right now, I’m into “A Wise Man’s Fear” by Patrick Rothfuss, one of the best tale spinners ever.
7. What lead you to write in this genre and style? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
My Rhythms & Muse novel was a story I’d had in my head for many years and wanted to get on paper. Now that it’s done, I’m working on a trilogy in the genre which makes my heart truly sing: young-adult adventure/sci-fi/fantasy.
8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
Yes. In my opinion, the old way of publishing is outdated. Besides, writers should be getting more recognition and compensation for their ideas and hard work. Why not use the amazing technology tools we have available to us to get our stories out to the world?
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
My Words.Music.Village. blog at http://anvidean.com, where we talk about writing music and creating villages of like-minded people. I also run a writers’ tribe on Facebook and LinkedIn called ALWAYS (Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes).
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I am writing the first book in a young-adult adventure/sci-fi/fantasy story about a human girl who finds out she’s a faerie (one of the 7-foot tall, wingless, Celtic kind), who must return to the faerie realm to save the human race, her family and the faerie realm. The connection between human and faerie worlds is music, so I will be creating another CD of original music inspired by the book, as well.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Alexandra Lauren of your book”Rhythms & Muse”?
I actually have a blog post about casting Alex in a future movie. It’s in my Words.Music.Village. blog at http://anvidean.com/2011/03/28/help-me-%E2%80%93-theoretically-cast-rhythms-muse-the-movie/ and I’d love to have input from anyone on it.
My choices, because she appears in the book as both a teenager and a 40-something, would be:
• Teen Alex = Emma Watson
• 40-something Alex = Drew Barrymore
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
Shakespeare, “Who really wrote your stories?”

Our Interview with Rebecca Dinsmore and Allison Althauser!

Image of Rebecca Dinsmore    The God Hater: Discovering Life After DeathImage of Allison Althauser

                                           Bio for Rebecca

Rebecca Dinsmore was born and raised in a rural town just outside of the Atlanta, Georgia city limits. The youngest of six, she grew up with three brothers and two sisters. Rebecca was a preacher’s kid, her dad led a conservative southern congregation while her mom posed as June Cleaver both in and out of the public eye.

Rebecca was always up to something and would constantly be out playing with her siblings, cousins, and extended family throughout her childhood. She loved being outdoors with nature, hiking in the woods, riding horses, and was always involved in organized sports such as softball and tennis. When Rebecca entered her sophomore year of high school, she met and instantly fell in love with her future husband Ben. Soon after she graduated, they married and moved into their first home, and while Rebecca attended junior college, Ben would be constructing houses and ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle in his spare time. Ben and Rebecca had two sons together and enjoyed parenthood with her husband. Their oldest son married and had a daughter, which made Ben and Rebecca proud grandparents.
In 1998, Rebecca was introduced to a ministry that would later on become her passion. After completing the required training and mentorship classes, Rebecca helped co-found Simply Grace, Inc. in North Georgia where she volunteered full-time to counsel, teach, and train their counselees. In 2006, Rebecca and her family’s lives had been changed forever, and she suddenly found herself in a world of darkness and despair. Several years later, she was led to tell the details of her story in a book. Rebecca met Allison as a mentor at Simply Grace and their relationship had quickly blossomed.
In 2011, Rebecca asked Allison to ghostwrite and co-author her book, The God Hater: Discovering Life After Death. Over the past six years, Rebecca challenged the freedom to hate the only One who could handle her pain, and in so doing, God pursued Rebecca through her brokenness and passion. She discovered a deeper and more intimate relationship with him that she hadn’t known before her difficult journey.
Now she is passionate about cultivating that intimacy within others. Rebecca enjoys helping and watching the people in her community discover their true identities and the real God. Most importantly, Rebecca loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
                                           Bio provided by author’s site

                                                   Bio for Allison

Allison Althauser was born and raised in Northwest Ohio. The only girl in the family, she was a middle child with three brothers. Both of her parents were self-employed and made sure all of their children had a private, Christian education. Allison’s dad was actively involved in the church and her mom helped lead worship on the piano.

Throughout Allison’s upbringing, she enjoyed annual vacations to the Florida coastline, snowmobile adventures in Northern Michigan, and summer camping trips in neighboring states. She also liked music and learned to play the piano. At the beginning of her freshman year in high school, Allison met the love of her life and future husband, Scott; however, circumstances kept them apart for ten years and during that time, both Allison and Scott struggled with addiction. After graduating high school, Allison continued her education, received her Bachelor’s Degree and began a career in Public Health, all while trying to hide her own addiction to anorexia and bulimia.
In 2007, after completing 20 months in a faith-based, drug and alcohol regeneration center in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Scott became a staff member of No Longer Bound and was finally able to pursue a real relationship with his love. Allison left her family, friends, career, and life as she knew it, moved down to Georgia, and immediately fell in love with the South. A few months later, Allison had not only found true healing beyond her addiction through a community class offered by NLB, she had also discovered the God she never knew. With 24 years of being raised in religion as a Christian, Allison had only learned about him through the church, written word, and law. For the first time in her life, she had met God in her brokenness and experienced an intimate relationship with him.
After a decade of waiting, Scott and Allison married in the fall of 2007. In that same year, Allison met Rebecca Dinsmore as a student at Simply Grace, and they were friends from the start. Before Allison became the ghostwriter and co-author of The God Hater, she taught the same class for women in the community that had helped her find healing and new life. In the summer of 2011, Allison knew it was time to for another job change, and was led to start writing Rebecca’s story. The God Hater: Discovering Life After Death was published in January 2012.
Writing has given a voice to Allison’s desire for embracing the freedom to be real, vulnerable, and honest. She enjoys helping others by putting words to their pain and not being afraid of those thoughts and emotions. Most importantly, Allison is passionate for her husband Scott and cherishes the life they share together.
                                                   Bio provided by author’s site

It is our pleasure to introduce to you Rebecca and Allison who are author and co-author respectively. Rebecca has been on a journey that few of us would ever have wished upon our worst enemy. Allison joined Rebecca when she was half way through her journey. So get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Rebecca and Allison!

1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?

         My inspiration comes from personal experiences and beliefs. I am passionate about writing people’s stories from the most authentic and real perspective possible because when that happens, so does community. After writing The God Hater, Rebecca and I have received incredible reviews and feedback expressing the very thing we were hoping for: relating. Even though some people have not gone through what the story is about, they cannot say enough about how the book spoke to them in so many ways; and that brings me great joy.

2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?

        I am somewhat of an organized writer. I like having an idea of where the character and story will go, but I also like giving both the space and freedom to lead me. Because I write non-fiction, I have an extensive interview process of the main character and his/her family, friends and co-workers, but I spend the majority of time with the main character. The other interviews are most helpful for giving outside perspectives of the life and events of the character.

3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

        I am a morning person and I have found the morning to early afternoon is the best time to write. My typical day is to start writing first thing and keep going until my brain turns to mush. I learned my limitations and when to call it quits because if I try to push on, the writing feels forced (and reads forced). Of course there are special times where the inspiration kicks in and I take advantage, but I have learned to listen to my gut.

4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?

         Anne Lamott is my favorite author at present. She mentored me through her writing and I have gleaned many practical and personal insights from Anne. I am already passionate about honest and vulnerable writing and she encouraged me all the more to stick with what I know to be true. I had days when I would stare at the screen for what seemed like hours and couldn’t come up with the next sentence or paragraph, and Anne said to stop and step away for however long it took to get back in the groove; so I did (and without beating myself up for not producing that day or week). She also said to write as if your parents are dead and I couldn’t agree more. I write boldly and shut down the self-talk (or inner monologue) of wondering what anyone else will think of the book or me as a person/author, which is not always easy, but extremely necessary for the subject matter of writing.

5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?

       The editing process. Having someone else critique my work is challenging at times and I have to remind myself that his/her corrections are for the book and not about me. The invaluable lesson I have learned is that no matter how many mistakes and red marks show up on the page, it doesn’t say anything about me as a person or writer and that I am not a mistake. Basically, I don’t have to take critiques personally and that correction can help me learn and grow.

6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?

         I think it’s very important to read as I write because it keeps me fresh. Reading another’s work gives me perspective and opens doors to new ideas and avenues I might have missed or ignored. Because I am currently focusing on biographies, I read the true stories of others whether the subject is about writing, personal insight/self-help, spiritual, or anything in between.

7. How did you come to write your biography Rebecca and Allison how did you come to helping her write it?

         When Rebecca knew she needed to tell her story, I immediately volunteered my husband because to me, he was the creative one and I didn’t believe I could write. He led the interviews while I sat by, listened and observed. However, when the time came to start writing, his job demands had increased and he knew he couldn’t continue with her project.  I had a growing suspicion that maybe I was the one who was supposed to tell her story, but fear kept me from volunteering for the task until I became miserable at my 9:00-5:00 desk job. I knew I had to take the risk and jump in with both feet, and in hindsight, I am so grateful. By facing my fears, I discovered my passion. I wrote Rebecca’s story because she is a speaker. She comes alive when she speaks to an audience of one or in public and is extremely gifted in processing verbally. My part comes in when she and others need to put those words, thoughts, and feelings together on the page.

8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?

       I think the e-book industry is growing and maybe someday that’s all publishing will be, but I hope not. I still have a sense of awe whenever I walk into a bookstore or library and feel the mutual respect of other patrons and readers quietly perusing the aisles. Maybe I’m an old-school romantic when it comes to the literary world and books, but I like being able to hold a real, physical book in my hands. I am open to giving the e-book a chance and it could even win me over someday.

9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
As of right now, we only have The God Hater website: http://thegodhaterbook.com

10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?

        Yes, I have other projects in the works and they are more biographies. I have also started an autobiography.

11. If your book were to become a true life story movie, who would be your choice to play yourselves for your book “The God Hater”?

        Rebecca would be honored to have Susan Sarandon play her role in The God Hater. I have a small part in the book and met Rebecca about halfway through her story, so I would probably be comfortable playing myself, but if I had to choose, I would be honored to have Reese Witherspoon play my role.

12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?

        Rebecca would like to meet Corrie Ten Boom. The question she would ask her is: Were you aware, as you were suffering in the concentration camp, that you would survive, live to write, and tell your story?

I would like to meet Oprah. The question I would ask her is: Can I interview you and are you willing to be completely transparent and real?

13. Did you find this to be theraputic when you wrote this and finally published it? Allison, had you had similar experiences to help Rebecca flesh out the story and did it help you too to write it and publish it?

        Rebecca found this process extremely difficult but equally liberating. She had to feel the experiences several times over and would sometimes get sick of talking through them. Although, she knew telling her story was healing, and more freedom was waiting for her on the other side. Now that the book is published, she is encouraged by the incredible feedback of others and doesn’t let the fears get to her of everyone reading, knowing, and talking about some of her darkest hours.

I enjoyed fleshing out Rebecca’s story and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Writing about someone else’s deep pain was challenging and exciting at the same time. Throughout this interview, I haven’t mentioned him, but he is part of me and the other main character in the book. I had to get in the heart and soul of a woman twice my age who had a specific experience I have not and I chose to write my first book about her story. God was involved behind the scenes every step of the way. I had to go to the depths and darkness with Rebecca, ask the uncomfortable questions, and relay her thought life and feelings, but I was made for this and I will do it again in a heartbeat. I learned that pain is pain, no matter how traumatic the event, we all experience pain on many levels and because I embraced my own pain and gave it weight, I was then able to go there with Rebecca and put her story into words.

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Our Interview with Nichole White!

                     Blue Moon


Nichole White is 23, a devout Christian, oldest of six children, and was Home-Schooled up to her first semester in college in the Spring of O9. But above everything else in her hectic life, Nichole is a writer. Her many projects and interests vary from song writing and singing, poetry, novels, and publishing, to blogging, artwork, beading and sewing. Her writing tends towards Fantasy (with a little sci-fi thrown in) more than anything else, even though she loves to read almost all sub genres within speculative fiction.

Nichole Also enjoys lurking in the sci-fi/fantasy forum at WritersDigest.com. She is currently attending Illinios Central College where she is majoring in English and Music, and she is also in the process of opening a small, Independent publisher called “Magpie Eclectic Press which specializes in Speculative Fiction. Her current Blog “The Pen and Parchment” is a place she goes to discuss different subjects she finds interesting, first and foremost the art of writing, and then that of reading, and so on. It also might occasionally contain anything that is on her mind at the time.

Though her home and feet are planted on the earth, Nichole’s head and heart are eternally in the clouds where she searches the giants’ castles for new adventures to write about.

You can find out more about Nichole and her writing projects at www.theravenquill.blogspot.com
                                  Bio provided by author
It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to interview Nichole and learn a little more about how she came to be an author. As with many authors, it seems, Though we may be bound to earth our hearts and imaginations are not! So please get comfortable and give a warm welcome to Nichole!

1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from many different places… something that a person says to me, something I’ve read, the way that pieces of bark look on the tree, a song, etc… In fact, I never know when inspiration might hit, so I make sure to have a pencil and notebook with me at all times. That way, I don’t miss out if I’m out running errands and am suddenly struck with the clouds race across the sky, or that group of kids walking in front of me. ;D

The inspiration from Blue Moon actually came from a writing prompt given me by my critique group. Believe it or not, the writing prompt had very little to do with how the story ended up. The prompt was actually to write something to do with a hospital gurney, as one of my friends was going in for surgery and we thought that a few stories dealing with a similar situation might cheer her up. That just goes to prove that inspiration really can come from anywhere, because even though Blue Moon followed the prompt, it has very little to do with a hospital gurney at all.

Now, you also asked what makes for a good hook in my stories. My answer is very simple: It has to be something I would want to read. And when I say “something I would want to read”, I mean something I would really want to read. My story won’t be good enough until it reaches that point for me. I have to get caught up in the narrative as I’m reading it, forget that I actually wrote what I’m reading, and really see the story playing out before my eyes as if it’s not my writing at all. It has happened to me before… on very rare occasions, but it has happened. And that’s when I know that the narrative of the story is good enough.

The same goes for when I’m querying agents and editors. The query hook is almost like a book blurb, and it has to be enthralling and concise. If I write a query hook, look back, and decide that the blurb is too long and rambly, or gives away too much information, or not enough information, or even if I decide that it’s just not interesting enough, then it’s simply not good enough yet. I have to go back and write it again. 🙂

 2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?

 I actually do a bit of both.
I’m not what you might call an organized writer, no. I don’t outline my books — not really, anyway. And I don’t keep character lists anywhere but in my head. But I DO usually have some sort of plan for my story. I mean, I don’t just sit down to write and think “I’m going to write a new story today!” No… I have to have some idea of what I’m going to be working on when I sit down to write.

With that said, I am definitely a pantster (that is somebody who writes “by the seat of their pants”, as we say in the writing world; someone who doesn’t outline their story completely first). I never know how my story is going to work out until I sit down and actually hash out a scene, or even several. I don’t like to outline because my story usually ends up going in a completely different direction as I’m writing it. However, I do journal my ideas… not on a regular basis, but still. I have notebooks at home full of nothing but these little “letters” to myself, describing an idea that I had for my current WIP, and I use these notes within my story and to help me keep track of what I’m writing about.

3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?

 Do I write on a schedule? Oh how I wish! To be able to write on a regular basis would be like a dream come true to me — although I do have to wonder if I would actually get any writing done then, or if I would just use the time for other things. 🙂

A normal writing day for me consists of college classes all morning and deep into the afternoon, grabbing snatches of writing time in between classes as I work on homework, and jotting down notes and rough scenes during class time. At night I go home, try to finish my homework, and if I’m not so tired that I can’t see straight afterward, I hide up in my room and pull out my laptop. I usually end up with a cat in my lap who is begging for my attention and tapping random keys as she chases my fingers over the keyboard, or my youngest sibling clinging to my forearm. If I’m not extremely tired, and if I get caught up in my work, I could stay up writing until 3 or 4 AM.

4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?

 My Favorite author? That’s so hard!
I mean, if you want to say who is my favorite author of all time, I would say it’s a tie between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I admire Tolkien for the amount of work and detail he put into his stories, and I love C.S. Lewis for his thought provoking philosophy (in his Space Trilogy) and his whimsical style (in the Chronicles of Narnia.)

If you are asking who my favorite modern author is, I’d have to say Cornelia Funke. I love the fact that Mrs. Funke has such a clear view and understanding of who her audience is, and you can see this in her writing because she never oversteps those boundaries. On top of that, Mrs. Funke paints vivid imagery with her words, and creates characters that (in my opinion) are hard not to fall in love with. I would like to be able to one day feel like my stories do the same for my readers that Mrs. Funke’s books do for me. That’s what I strive for in all of my stories… not just in Blue Moon.

5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?

To be quite honest, there is nothing about writing in and of itself that I don’t enjoy. I even like writing essays and research papers for classes…

What I don’t like is my ability to procrastinate when I should be writing. I suppose part of this comes from being so busy all the time, but still. If there is any part of this hobby that I dislike, it would be that.

6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?

I absolutely make time. ^_^ On the nights when I decide I’m too tired to sit down and write, I usually pick up one of my books. That is my “relaxing” activity (as I do consider writing a type of work, even though I love it.)

I am currently reading several books:

1) “The Wishing Pearl”, by Nicole O’Dell
2) “The Errant King”, by Wayne Thomas Batson
3) “How I sold 1 million books in 5 Months!”, by John Locke

And I’m also finishing up “The Realms Thereunder”, by Ross Lawhead. I’m still waiting on my copy of “Illusion” by Frank Peretti. It was supposed to have arrived by mail several days ago, but it hasn’t yet. 🙂

7. What drew you towards writing in the Young Adult fictional genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?

What drew me to writing YA? I have always loved younger kids. I’m the oldest of 6, you see, and my youngest sister is only 7. When I was 8 and 9, I used to tell stories to my younger siblings off the top of my head. When I was 12 my little brother asked me to write him a story to read him at bedtime. from 15 on up I started reading novels to my brothers and sisters; they would gather in the living room before bed, and I would read several chapters aloud from the book I was reading at the time. (And I even drew in my mom and dad several times. ;D)

I believe in the power of a young imagination, and I truly want to encourage the (slightly) younger generation to continue reading, imagining, and writing. I want to reach out to them and continue to show them how wonderful reading can be, and where it can take you. I find it so sad that so many kids are afraid of reading and writing… they simply don’t understand the joy that can be found in it. I want to help encourage them… give them a glimpse of how I look at it. Maybe then they will start to see it’s value, rather than looking at a book as if it were a giant spider about to drop on them and eat them alive.

8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com. Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?

The publishing industry is a fickle thing, in my opinion. It’s ever changing, never constant, always moving. Right now it seems there is a small war being waged between the advantages to an author of self publication, versus the advantages of traditional publishing. Now, I can’t pretend not to notice the shift that the publishing world has taken towards digital publication, but no, I don’t think self publishing is for everyone… through amazon or otherwise.

You see, the traditional publishing world does have its advantages no matter what any self published author may have to say about the matter. There is a sense of validation that comes with a publishing “house” accepting a writer’s manuscript for publication, and the deal does usually come with professional editing, professional cover art, and professional promotion. It also comes with a team of people there to work on managing sales, getting in touch with publicists, pushing the book in bookstores, etc, etc…

Self publication offers an author control, but that is not always the best way to go. To be altogether cliched here, I’m going to quote Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben in the movie “Spider Man”:
“With great power comes great responsibility.”

In the case of self publication, you could easily switch out the word “power” for the word “control”. I’m going to be real here: with self publication you don’t get any of the cushy niceties of the traditional publishing route. Self publishing requires the author to do everything, and whether or not an author believes that they handle that responsibility is not even the point. What is the point is whether or not that author is talented enough to handle that responsibility, whether or not that author is a business minded person, whether or not that author is a self driven entrepreneur.

I’m not trying to blow myself up or anything; I’ve just done my research. Not every author is an entrepreneur. Not every author needs to be (if they decide to self publish only for friends and family). But if an author is not self driven but still wants to do well, that person should try the traditional publishing route, because in order to be successful in the self publishing business, one must be self driven and have a business model in mind. You can’t just slap a decent-looking cover on a badly edited book and expect it to do well. You can’t even do that with a well written, well edited book if you don’t have a marketing plan in mind. And if you aren’t driven to stay with the process, even when it get’s boring — if you’re not ready to stick through it even when everything starts to feel overwhelming — then you might as well not self publish.

Of course, I don’t claim to be successful yet, but I’ve always been the extremely self driven type. I only have one short story out at the moment, and while it has not done terribly within the single week it’s been available, it’s not done wonderfully either. But I have a plan in mind. This short story is just me barely dipping my big toe in the water. I haven’t even stepped in to my ankles yet. 😀 As much as I enjoyed writing this story, and as much as I hope people will enjoy it, I don’t expect it to “take off”. But it is the first brick of the path I’m paving for my novel, “Song of the Daystar”. It is the beginning of something that has the potential to grow. Hopefully it will grow.

9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
My blog, The Pen and Parchment, has an excerpt available where people can read the old version of the first chapter of my novel, “Song of the Daystar”. I also post excerpts from my writing on occasion, as well as write book reviews and blog about the writing process.

You can visit my blog at www.theravenquill.blogspot.com.

10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?

 I have quite a few stories in the works. Currently I have two short stories that I am finishing and am preparing to start. The first is called “Siren” and the second is titled “Red Heart”. Neither one of these stories has anything to do with Blue moon, but when I am finished polishing them, I will be making them available for kindle and other e-readers.

Besides that I have my current WIP, “Song of the Daystar”, my biggest project to date, “Eldrei”, and my nano project of 2009, “The Spinner’s Apprentice”. I have many other story ideas and excerpts written down, but those three books are what have taken up most of my attention as a writer.

I also frequently write poetry and songs. ^_^

There’s more information about my writing projects on my blog.

11. Who would be your first choice to play Mara from your book “Blue Moon”?

 Honestly, I’ve never thought about it before. And the thing is, it’s really difficult for me to even find pictures of what I think my characters look like. I finally managed to do that for the characters of SOTD, and it was truly difficult.

But if I had to pick someone, I might say Jennifer Lawrence. She looks the closest to how I picture Mara, although she would have to be smaller (of course; faerie, after all), and probably older too.

12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?

Wow… that’s a really tough question. If I could meet anyone from any time, I would want to meet my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But I think I would be overwhelmed and not able to say anything… at least at first.

If I could meet any writer from any time, I think I would have to choose C.S. Lewis. And my first question would have to be… um… let me think a minute…

I think my first question would be “What, besides the picture of the faun with the umbrella, inspired you to write ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’?”


Our Interview with Jeremy Laszlo!

Image of Jeremy Laszlo                             The Choosing (Blood and Brotherhood Saga)


First and foremost I am a father and a husband. I work full time as a civilian employed by the US army, and have also been known as a welder, electrician, carpenter, roofer, writer, painter, CNC machinist, and amongst many other things a romantic. I also belong to the eternal fraternal brotherhood of the United States Marine Corps, having served 8 years that showed me a much broader perspective of the world at large serving in Opperation Iraqi Freedom, Opperation Enduring Freedom, The war on Terrorism, and the humanitarian effort in Liberia.

I currently live in southern Louisiana with my wife and children, though I grew up in Michigan, graduating high school in Mason MI. I also spent time living in North Carolina, Florida, and California during my time in the United States Marine Corps. I have always dreamed of publishing my work, and seeing it on a bookshelf in a store, however with the huge shift to digital media I finally realized that the dream was in my own hands. I tell my children that they can live their dreams, and I believe in leading by example.

I enjoy writing across several different genres from poetry, to children’s stories, to full epic fantasies. Creating new characters for my readers to connect with, new worlds for them to immerse themselves in, and new ideas to wrap their minds around is an amazing if not humbling experience. I hope that all my readers can take something away from each of my books, and enjoy reading them just as much as I have enjoyed putting them in print.

Semper Fidelis

                                                      Bio provided by author

It was our great pleasure to get an opportunity to learn more about Jeremy and learn more about his journey to becomming an author. Jeremy is one who likes to take his readers on a journey and does everything he can to be sure they enjoy the ride! So please get comfortable and give a warm welcome to Jeremy!

1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?

 1. I think just a good story line, believable characters, and real emotions are what hook my readers. As for inspiration, at least for me, it comes from everywhere. The people I have met in my own journey and some of the circumstances that have befallen myself and those I know all play a role when I write. The “big secret” in chapter one of The Choosing for example was in effect a portion of my very own life, though you’ll have to read it to see what exactly that secret is.

2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?

2. I am both an organized and disorganized writer. I start with the best intentions with general descriptions, character progression, and main plot points all outlined. However, generally speaking I pay the outline little attention and just write from the story that plays out in my head. Free-writing always feels more natural to me, and so I often stray off on a tangent and rarely return to the original plan.

3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
3. I don’t think I would know a “normal” writing day if it smacked me in the face. I usually write when I am inspired, and often that inspiration will span several days. In those times I write as much as humanly possible, though my days are relatively full. Usually speaking I write at night, when the opportunity and my other responsibilities permit. It isn’t uncommon for me to write early into the morning, catching a couple hours of sleep, just to start a new day feeling like a zombie.

4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?

 4. Though I honestly don’t have a favorite Author, for I enjoy so many, I can mention a few of special interest to me. Terry Brooks and his Shannara series are what turned me on to fantasy as a genre nearly two decades ago. To this day I follow his releases fairly regularly and have consumed most of his books more than once. As for writing style, I truly admire the famed duo of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for their ability two write flawlessly from multiple perspectives and carry a reader from cover to cover with perfect prose.

5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?

 5. As with all things in my life I try and do as best as I am able, and tackle each challenge with a positive attitude. Unfortunately however, editing and revising can be absolutely horrifying to me. I know it needs to be done, and if I were more self assured in my ability to control my fingers as they unleash themselves on the keys of my computer, I wouldn’t have to proof read, edit, and revise dozens of times on each manuscript. Editing is my very own brand of kryptonite.

6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?

 6. I do read, voraciously in fact and recently (within about 10 days) read The Runelord series by David Farland. Fortunately for me, My amazing wife knows when buying me books, to buy an entire series at a time, because once I start a series I have to read all books available.

7. How did you get started in writing in the dark epic fantasy genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?

7. Something about Epic Fantasies have always struck a cord with me, though that journey began while I was in high school. I was actually assigned a book report, and another student suggested I read The Sword of Shannara. Unfortunatly, as I said before I CANNOT just read one book of a series, so while I continued to read the rest of the available books in that series (and others by Terry Brooks) I completely forgot about the report and received a 0 as a large portion of that semester’s grade. I have written stories and poetry for nearly as long as I can remember, and have examples of my writing from as far back as second grade. As a teen I began writing in earnest, and over the years started many books that still remain incomplete. At that time in my life I hadn’t yet found my “voice” as they say, and the work was rudimentary at best. Having experienced so much more in life, traveling the world with the United States Marine Corps, having children of my own, and just everyday on its own is all a part of my inspiration, and has helped me to find the voice with which to write a book that others enjoy reading.

8. Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
8. I have released my books on both Amazon and Smashwords for a number of varying reasons. First and foremost I guess is that traditional paper media, in my opinion at least, is a dying industry. I read somewhere that paperbacks alone had dropped in sales by as much as 26% in 2011. Though I havn’t independantly verified those figures, it just goes to show the huge shift into digital media. Another factor that led me to indie publish was time restraints. Some writers take years to land an agent, and then years more to score a publisher. I have a wife, four children, two dogs, a cat, and a full time job. What I don’t have is years to wait, when I can be spending that time working on new projects. Also of course is the financial aspect of indie publishing. Whereas I could go the traditional route, wait years, then sell a paperback for around 8 bucks of which I might see 40 cents. With e-publishing I can reach my readers at a much lower price, and retain higher royalties for myself and my family.

9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
9. Currently I don’t have any of my work gracing the pages of a site designed to show off my writing abilities, however you can visit Amazon or Smashwords to get a free sample of any of my books, or you can visit my personal site @ http://www.wix.com/jeremylaszlo/author to find out what my books are about, or to enter my contests, or just get to know me a bit better.

10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
10. Just this Febuary I released three books in e-format. I first released Clad in Shadow, a collection of select poetry that I have written over the last couple decades. I also released the first book in the Blood and Brotherhood Saga entitled “The Choosing”, as well as the second book of the saga titled “The Chosen”. I am currently about half done with the third book of the saga, and also toying with a thriller idea that has been haunting me.

11. Who would be your first choice to play Seth from your book “The Choosing (Blood and Brotherhood Saga)”?
11. Personally I would love to play Seth myself, however I fear I’m getting a bit old for the part. So if I had to choose a substitute for myself to play Seth I would probably go with Xavier Samuels.

12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?

12. If I currently owned a hot tub time machine and could meet any singular person from any time it would probably be Cleopatra. Her story has always garnered my attention, and upon first speaking to her I would probably ask her if she would care to join me in the hot tub 🙂