Author Interview~~Kristine Raymond

Please give a warm welcome to my next guest author, the lovely Kristine Raymond. 

Pretty couple in the meadow on the sunset background

Please could you tell us about yourself?

A native of New England, I now reside in Kentucky with my hubs of twenty-five years and our menagerie of rescued fur-babies.  When I’m not writing, I’m doing something else book-related; most recently chatting with guests on my new podcast, WordPlay with Kristine Raymond.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

Five years ago, when I wrote my first book – Here to Stay.  Before that time, I had no aspirations to become an author. The writing bug caught me by surprise, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.  I have too many stories floating around in my head waiting to be shared with the world.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

It would make creating stories so much easier if I could pinpoint a single element as my source for inspiration but, alas, ideas come to me out of nowhere begging to be transformed into books.  But, I kind of like it that way.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I find I don’t have much time for hobbies anymore, but when I do take a break from authoring, I like to read, crochet,and put together jigsaw puzzles.  Oh, and binge-watch Netflix.

How many books have you written?  Do you have a favorite?

I’ve written fifteen books to date.  Nine are historical western romances in the Hidden Springs series; one is a light-hearted non-fiction story about my first year as an indie author.  I’ve also written a contemporary, erotic drama called Tempted, three contemporary romances in the Celebration series,and a collection of four, seasonally-themed short stories called Seasons of Love.

Truth be told, each story is my favorite as I’m writing it. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up.  It’s okay to take a break when you need it,but if you truly have a story in your heart, write it no matter how long it takes.

Also, listen to all the advice you can on how to do things, then find what works best for you and do it that way.  The only way for a story to be authentic is to make it 100% yours.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

Great characters.  They need to have personality and true-to-life qualities – good or bad – to give a story a sense of realism.  A weak story line can go unnoticed if the characters own the pages. 

Which fellow authors inspire you?

Honestly; all authors. I’m in awe of this life we’ve created for ourselves and those who’ve chosen it as a career.  Each time I read a book now, I experience it not only as a reader but as an author, as well, and appreciate the amount of work that went into it.  

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m currently writing a cozy mystery; the first in what I hope will become a series. I also have about a trillion story ideas floating around in my head at any given moment, so there’s no telling what I’ll publish next!

What genre are your books?

Mainly, I write romance – both historical western and contemporary – though I’m branching out into the cozy mystery field.  Don’t worry, though; that story has a touch of romance in it, too.

What drew you to the genre you write?

I’ve always had a soft spot for a happily-ever-after.  I mean, there’s something sweet about two people overcoming a variety of challenges to end up spending the rest of their life together, don’t you think?

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

I always have a tough time answering this question because, to me, my characters are real people and it’s hard to imagine other real people portraying them.

Is writing something you do full time?

I only wish I could devote all of my time to writing, but there are so many other aspects of this business that require my attention on a daily basis. Marketing, promoting, research, editing, cover design, and my podcast take up a good portion of my day.  But it’s all worth it to be an author.

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

Writing.  Lol. Seriously, though, thinking of an idea and translating it into a readable, enjoyable story isn’t easy.  I think the hardest part for me is when I want to tell it in a particular way, but the words won’t cooperate.  It always works out for the best though, when I loosen the reins and let my characters guide me instead of the other way around.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

If only I had a sure-fire solution to writer’s block – I’d no doubt be a billionaire today.  I don’t think that writer’s block manifests itself the same way to everyone; therefore,what works for me may not work for someone else.  After years of frustration and, yes,sometimes tears, I’ve learned the best thing to do when my imaginary friends stop speaking to me is to take a break from my manuscript.  Sometimes, a day or two is all I need for the words to begin flowing again; occasionally, it takes weeks or even months.

The only good advice I can offer is to find what works for you and do it, and don’t beat yourself up for not writing.  Unless beating yourself up helps.     

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

I tend to lean more towards romance – historical, rom-com, suspense; but I also love mysteries and thrillers.

As far as favorites authors go, there are too many to list.  Let’s just say that I’m in awe and appreciation of anyone who puts pen to paper – figuratively-speaking – and creates a tangible story from a single idea.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

My website has all of my info on it, including links to buy my books.  I’m also on Facebook, InstagramBookBub, andTwitter

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

James Herriot – At an early age, I fell in love with his books; both because of his storytelling and his tales about animals. 

PJ Tracy – Love, love, love the Monkeewrench books and would love to pick her brain about how she comes up with her ideas.

Sandra Brown – One of my all-time favorite authors, I’ve been reading her books for as long as I can remember.  It’d be an honor to share a pizza with her.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview, Kristine!

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Author Interview~~Logan Chance

Let’s give a warm welcome to today’s author interview, Logan Chance.

Please could you tell us about your self?

I’m Logan Chance, a top 20 Amazon best-selling author. I enjoy Star Wars, reading, and just movies in general.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

I think I knew when I was in high school and started writing short little graphic novels.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

Anything and everything. I look at what’s popular in the world today. I’ve got a ton of ideas rolling around in my head.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Movies, video games, reading, playing with the pups, and enjoying a good night out with friends.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve published ten, written a few more than that. Heartbreaker is still my favorite book.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, make sure you have a good product to market, as well as make sure you enjoy the story.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

Great characters, great dialogue.

Which fellow authors inspire you?

Lauren Blakely, Stephen King, there’s so many others.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Yes, I’m working on the fourth book in my Playboy Series, Love Doctor.

What genre are your books?

I dabble in a few genres, but mainly stick to the romantic comedy genre.

What drew you to the genre you write?

I think it’s my own sense of humor, and I like to add little titbits into my stories.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

This is a tough one. Well, with Heartbreaker I could see Rachel McAdams playing Catherine. And Ryan Gosling as Booker…maybe?

Is writing something you do full time?

Yes, I am a full-time author.

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

Getting the plot all lined up and in place. Once that’s in order the writing just flows.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

I had writer’s block after my book Stuck. I couldn’t get into any type of writing, and I had zero ideas. What I did was changed my environment. I ended up going to Starbucks everyday,bringing my laptop and just writing as many words as I could.

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

I do love to read Mystery. I like Melinda Leigh, and Dean Koontz. I also love Stephen King.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

Best place to learn everything about me is by subscribing to my newsletter. I tell stories about my life, and get to know my readers, here’s the sign up: https://www.subscribepage.com/i5y5s9

Another great place is my Facebook Group. I’m always hanging out in there and interacting with readers. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LoganChanceTDS/

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Stephen King, just to get into his head for a bit. Shakespeare to understand his prose. And the third would be, probably Stan Lee (he counts right?) and I would have so many questions for him.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview, Logan Chance.

Author Interview~~Breezy Jones

I’d like to introduce Breezy Jones, the subject of today’s author interview.

Please could you tell us about yourself?

I live in a small town in Florida, with my husband, daughter and two fur-babies,as a stay at home mom.  I’m an open book kind of person but very shy and reserved.  I have many hobbies from graphic design to doll repainting and a love of makeup. I’m also a bit of a coffee addict.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

At first, I had no intentions of becoming an author. I hated the ending of Divergent. I understood it and even agreed with why she would end it that way but still I hated it. So, I rewrote it for myself and discovered I really enjoyed writing. From there I started my own book project and it flourished into my passion.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

I’ma graphic artist. So most of my book ideas come from images. I find a person or background that speaks to me.  Sometimes I’ve even found inspiration in some of the dolls I’ve created or seen others create.  But that’s just the very start. Ultimately, I pull inspiration from many areas. Pictures, history, folk lore and so on.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?  

I have a thousand hobbies. My Mr. Man is always giving me a hard time for having so many. I love to clean and organize (which is weird but it helps me think.) Its cathartic for me. I also repaint dolls, mainly Monster High Dolls but some others. I draw and paint and do little ornaments or bookmarks small things that changes from year to year. I do graphic designs but mainly for myself. I don’t charge others anymore it just got to be too much for me. I’m one of those people that likes to stay busy but on my terms. And being a stay at home mom with my kid in school, I have a lot of free time.

How many books have you written?  Do you have a favorite?

I have about four projects going on at the moment, but only one is ready for publication. Winter’s Rise which is the first in the series. My favorite one would have to be my sci-fi series I’m working on. Which started with a picture of a girl. It’s the first project I ever started and the one I struggle with the most.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

First, finish the story! There are a hundred writers of which only about 50% ever finish. And of those only 50% ever publish. So finish the story!

Second, pay the money! Hire the graphic artist, the editor and so on. It’s worth it more than you can know. I see so many great stories that need a good cover or so many great ideas that really needed a good editor. Pay the money, you won’t regret it.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?  

This to me is a loaded question. Lol. There’s so much that goes into a great story. Uniqueness (Even if its in small details.), Strong Characters, A well developed world and of course a gift of words. But ultimately a great book doesn’t always have all of these. Sometimes it has more sometimes less. It depends on the writer and the story itself.

Which fellow authors inspire you?

Oh man… There are just so many. One of the things I love about the author community is how welcoming and encouraging most of them are. As a new author it has been so heartwarming with how many have reached out and offered to share or help promote my release. Others have given me advice or helped me in a moment of panic. This community is all about supporting and building each other up and that to me is just amazing.  Some of the big ones for me would be Heather Hildenbrand this girl has had my back in so many ways. Tawdra Kandle! She’s been so supportive and given such awesome advice. Mandie Stevens has also been there supporting and rooting me on! And Laura E. Perez is another woman who has just been so open armed with help and advice. 

Are you working on anything at the moment?

YesI have a few other projects I’m working on. No idea when any of them will be finished but they will get there. Mainly I have a sci-fi series, a country romance series and book two of the Winter’s series to work on.

What genre are your books?

Young Adult and New Adult.

What drew you to the genre you write?

Mainly I read in those genres. I read other genres as well but Young Adult and New Adult are my favorites.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

Either Mila Kunis (Bad Moms), Nina Dobrev (VampireDiaries) or Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia in the 100) as Nina Winter’s in my Winter’s Rise Series.

Why because they are all strong woman that each have their own spark. I feel like any one of them would totally rock the part and bring Nina Winters to live in a way others wouldn’t be able to.

Is writing something you do full time?

Yes and No. Writing is my passion and I spend most my time writing but I’m also the kind of person that can’t do the same thing for too long. Hence so many hobbies. But writing takes up most my time when I’m not being Mommy.

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?  

The hardest thing for me is my grammar and spelling. I’m horrible at it. Like really, really bad. So my poor editor got sent my manuscript with a warning label.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

When I have writers block I go and do something else. Usually cleaning and organizing because it helps me clear my mind and think. Sometimes just getting up and moving around will help. Sometimes just running to Starbucks for coffee will help. I talk to myself or someone else a lot too which helps me work through the kinks.

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

I have so many favorites. My number one is Divergent by Veronica Roth and is YA. Harry Potter of course but who doesn’t. I also love anything by Heather Hildenbrand she’s such a talented writer. Hers are mostly paranormal/romance but she also has a small-town romance and a sci-fi that’s fantastic. I could go on and on.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?

My website – https://breezyjauthor.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/breezyjauthor/

Instagram @breezy_jones88

Email- breezyjauthor@gmail.com

Book buy links for Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Tolino, 24Symbols, and Playster. https://www.books2read.com/u/mYoaxV

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Veronica Roth because she’s my favorite!

J.K. Rolling because she’s such an inspiration.

Susan Wiggs because hers were some of my favorites when I first started reading.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview!

Winter forest by night in Alps near Kufstein in Austria, Europe.

Author Interview~~Louise Dawn

Today’s author interview is with Louise Dawn, author of Siren in the Wind and Stain on Earth.

Please could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Louise Dawn and I write romantic suspense. At the moment I’m writing a military suspense/ romance series—The Mobile Intelligence Series.

The series features a four-man black ops unit, part of a larger task force called Mobile Intelligence Team. Divided into Six (four-man) teams assigned to hot spots around the globe. Their main objective is the precision targeting of high-value targets. Officially the deep reconnaissance hunting pack in this series (MIT2) are deployed in the Central and East African region. These men are machines of lethality that can hit any crisis situation you can conjure up.

Each book follows a member of the team and the women who fall into their adventures along the way. Although part of a series, each book can be a standalone.

My books are gritty, fast-paced and hopefully will keep you on the edge of your seat. HEA’s included.

After this series, I plan to write an embassy series soon about a team of DSS Agents. And possibly another psychological thriller series on enhanced super soldiers.

Aside from writing, I have a full-time job as a corporate trainer in Utah. I’m also a global nomad. I’ve lived in Southern Africa, the Middle East and traveled to most countries around the world. I love hiking, kayaking and fun fact—I’m a fine artist and love painting on the side. One day I’d love my own art studio. J

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

About six years ago. I’ve always scribbled down ideas and kept journals. Fifteen years ago, my sister encouraged me to write professionally when she discovered one of my journals. My first book took forever to write. Only when I joined a writer’s meet-up group and reached out to a successful author friend, did I find a new commitment level.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

Mostly my travels and life experiences. Many of the situations in my books come from things I’ve seen, heard or researched. So far, all of the places in my books are locations I’ve visited. Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Malta, Wyoming and South Africa. As far as characters go, they’ve always spoken to me and squat in my brain until they’re purged onto the page. Only then do they leave me in peace. LOL

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Hiking,reading, painting and kayaking. I’m currently entrenched in a project that helps women to find new paths. It’s called The Viktress Diaries and will offer workshops and tools for growth and support.

How many books have you written?  Do you have a favorite?

I’ve published two books in the MIT series: Siren in the Wind and Stain on the Earth.The third installment (Fire in the Knight)will be released on January 18th. I’m 45 000 words in.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

We are always learning. Have an open mind and learn from the industry. Be respectful of others and don’t force relationships for your own gain. Be genuine. As far as actual writing goes, do your research. Don’t be lazy.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

I think it differs for everyone. For me, I need movement and action. I like to be surprised and enjoy sudden twists. The characters also have to have a purpose and carry strength. I can’t do wishy washy characters who never evolve.  

Which fellow authors inspire you?

From my genre: Rachel Grant and Toni Anderson are my idols. As friends, they’ve been a great support and I read their books before I ever got to know them personally. I’ve loved Linda Howard for years. Katie Reus, Sharon Sala, Susan Stoker to name a few. Out of my genre, I’m loving Jack Carr—a new author and former Navy Seal. I also read a lot of self-development/ business development books from the likes of Simon Sinek and Toni Robbins.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

My current WIP is Fire in the Knight. It’s about the analyst on MIT2, Dave Donnie Wilson who lost his wife to cancer a few years back and is now looking to start dating again. But he can’t stop thinking about a certain annoying farm girl—Charlotte Quinn.

Charlotte’s father passes away,and she wants to escape her small town life, while needing time to mourn.Taking a break from running their Wyoming farm, Charlie travels to Europe and Northern Africa with her dance group. When an assault in Malta leaves her injured and scared, she turns to Donnie. The MIT2 Intelligence Specialist decides to dig further, and what he finds has him running to Charlie’s side.

Aside from my Fire in the Knight, I’m designing the layout for the journal for The Viktress Diaries.

What genre are your books?

Romantic Suspense. Military Romance/Suspense.

What drew you to the genre you write?

I have many friends and family in the military. When the attack on the embassy in Benghazi occurred in 2012, it affected friends involved. I worked with military equipment companies and I’ve always been interested in how covert teams operate overseas and what motivates these brave men. I also love action with a bit of romance. I’m the kind of girl you take to a James Bond or Jason Bourne movie.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

That’s a hard one. I guess Charlie Hunam or Mike Vogel for Erik Max Anderson in Siren in the Wind. He has Finnish heritage and light grey eyes. He’s the team leader and a hardened warrior. Some of his specialties include interrogation and surveillance techniques and languages. He’s a polyglot. His love interest—Abigail Evans—is mysterious, calm and elegant. Thanks to her Italian roots, I’ve always pictured Monica Belluci as the ideal actress to play her.

Is writing something you do full time?

I wish, maybe one day. I write every evening from 7:00 till 10:00 pm. And then try to do ten hours of writing on weekends.

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

The marketing side is incredibly challenging. I love the craft of writing and I don’t mind editing. I hate selling myself and I’m hopeless with planning launch parties and organizing street teams. One day I’ll get it right.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block. The few times I’ve floundered, it’s usually because I’m not doing enough research or the character’s need more development.Once I’ve gone back to the drawing board, the story usually flows. I do however,believe in procrastination. When that strikes, I pull out my customized planner and map out my month.

Who are your favorite Authors and genres

I love the genre I write in. I also enjoy the occasional fantasy. Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series is my all time favorite (Aside from the classics like Lord of the Rings) I enjoy historical non-fiction. Someday in the future, I might attempt historical romance. Eeek.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

My website: www.louisedawnauthor.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louisedawnwrite

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louisedawnauthor/

Book Links:

Siren in the Wind:

Here’s the Amazon link below. 

And the link to all other vendors

https://www.books2read.com/u/38rVzL

Stain on the Earth:

     Amazon ➞ https://amzn.to/2xcQyzY

All other vendors ➞ books2read.com/u/47ZeQa

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why? 

Toni Anderson: She inspired and encouraged me to write. Without her online support, I’d never have published. Her hard work and flawlessly researched stories inspire me to keep going.

Agatha Christie: I would’ve loved to see her plot out a good mystery. To see how she built the story and intrigue. Can I steal her brain?

Barbara Cartland: Now that would be a fun dinner. She wrote more than 700 books and sold over 750 million copies. I’m betting she was an astute business woman over and above the pink eccentric flair she showed the world.

Louise, thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview.

Author Interview~~Alyssa Brocker

Please give a warm welcome to Alyssa Brocker, my next author interview. 

Please could you tell us about yourself?

I’m twenty-three years old, and I recently found out alcohol doesn’t taste very good, I’m a late bloomer. I’m trying to be a freelance writer, so I’m really good at making people coffee. I have a 17 pound chihuahua who’s always my first reader.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

My freshman year of college I helped write an original play written in prose. I enjoyed writing more than acting, which for any fellow theatre kid you know that seems impossible.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

My environment inspires me to write. My friends and family especially. For example,  this anthology’s setting is an island and Florida at a bakery, and in real life that’s where I live and work.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Every writer loves to read and that’s what I spend most of my time doing. I also love photography, and most of my friends are married, no I’m not bitter, so I take their engagement photos.

How many books have you written?  Do you have a favorite?

I actually haven’t written any books. I focus mainly on short stories, Goosebumps is my inspiration. This is my second anthology I’ve written for and I really like writing for them.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t let someone tell you should stop writing. I’ve come close to giving up on writing, because someone told me nothing was ever going to come from it. Of course always take suggestions, keep growing as a writer from the help of others. If you believe in what you’re writing, the story you’re telling, no one should be able to stop you from creating  your work.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

A great story is genuine. Every writer should strive to find the truth in everything they write.

Which fellow authors inspire you?

Ellen Hopkins is my favorite writer on this planet, she uses prose in most of her stories  and it speaks to the poetry lover in me. Also my mom! We’ve stuck together on this writing journey and we always help each other.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

We’re working on a new anthology! In my opinion this will the spookiest of them all…

What genre are your books?

I mostly write Young Adult.

What drew you to the genre you write?

My favorite books are YA. I joke that I’ll forever be 16.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

I love Mae Whitman! She’s an honest actress and I feel like she could portray one of my characters in a true way.

Is writing something you do full time?

Sadly, it’s not. I work at a bakery as a barista.

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

This may sound silly, but the hardest thing about writing is to actually sit down and write!

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

Take a break!!

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

Elizabeth Scott and Sarah Dessen are my favorite YA authors.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

Website: https://atelgenhoff2.wixsite.com/mysite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Atelgy

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/atelgy/

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen, and Ellen Hopkins, because I want to pick their brains on how to be a successful YA author.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview!

Author Interview~~Julia Blake

Please give a warm welcome to my next author interview, Julia Blake.

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Please could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Julia Blake and I come from the wonderful historical town of Bury St Edmunds in the county of Suffolk in the very East of England, where I live with my teenage daughter, one crazy cat and a succession of even crazier lodgers.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

Since I was a child really, I always knew I wanted to do something with words, but then life sort of got in the way so my dream was put to one side until four years ago, when I decided to just go for it.

What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

Inspiration can come from anywhere and strike at any time, it can be a snippet of overheard conversation, something on the radio, a song or piece of music that sparks something inside and gets me exploring different story lines. For example, my latest book The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ came about after I heard a wonderfully bizarre name mentioned at a family party. It just stuck in my head and triggered the story from there.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Reading, obviously, I love losing myself in a book. Cooking, especially for friends and family. I enjoy messing about in my tiny garden, and sometimes if I have the time, I enjoy decoupaging.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

To date I have six novels, one novella and one collection of short stories and poetry published. As to a favourite, well, we’re not supposed to have a favourite child, but I do have a great love for my latest release, The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ it’s so wonderfully different from all my other books and I really let my imagination go with it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Grow a thick skin, feedback can be brutal, so you need to be able to shrug your shoulders, pick out what’s relevant and discard the rest. Try to build up a supportive network of fellow authors, readers and bloggers. Writing can be a lonely game and it really helps to have others on your side, but don’t forget, support is a two-way street and you can’t expect others to help you if you never help in return. Try to be professional in everything. All to often on social media you’ll see authors getting involved in online catfights with other authors, and airing controversial opinions… I make it a rule never to post anything I wouldn’t be happy with a reader (or my mother) seeing.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

That’s a really hard question to answer because all of us like different things, but I suppose I would have to say believable characters. If your characters feel like living, breathing people to your readers, people they feel they really know, then you can put them in the most unbelievable circumstances and readers will be okay with it.

Which fellow authors inspire you?

So many, when I was a child I consumed the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis and they installed a deep and abiding love for fantasy which has never gone away. As an adult, I truly admire the fantasy writer Robin Hobb and the amazing worlds she creates. Then there’s the huge family of indie authors I’ve met on social media, they all work so hard and many of them have full time jobs and are squeezing in writing around the edges, yet still manage to produce top class novels.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m about halfway through the first draft of the sequel to my novel, Becoming Lili, and I’m toying with a very dark retelling of the Snow White tale, which will be probably be a novella.

What genre are your books?

I’m multi genre. So far, I’ve published contemporary fiction, romantic suspense, sci-fi, YA fantasy, dark fantasy, short stories and poetry.

What drew you to the genre you write?

I don’t like to restrict myself to genres, when a story strikes me it really doesn’t matter to me what genre it is, I fully believe that a good story is a good story, and I enjoy being an Author for all Seasons.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

It’s not something I think about too much, I have ideas in my head of how the characters look and, of course, if I was ever lucky enough to have one or more of my books made into a film or TV series, I’d like the actor to be as close to that image as possible, although when I wrote the character of Lord Rheutghar in my YA fantasy Erinsmore, I did mention that he looks like Daniel Craig. Other than that, The Forest would be great with a narrator and it would be amazing if that could be someone with a fantastic voice, such as Maggie Smith or Ian McKellen.

Is writing something you do full time?

Sadly, not yet. I work part-time to bring the pennies in to pay for boring stuff like the mortgage and food. Maybe one day, that’s the dream anyway.

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What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

Actually sitting down to do it for a start! I am a shocking procrastinator and I’ll always find a dozen other things that need to be done before writing. Then, after the books is published, the promoting and marketing side, I really hate that. I’m not naturally outgoing, so having to push myself forward in that manner is very hard for me.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

Leave what you’re working on alone for a while, go and do something else totally unrelated and try not to stress about it. Read through everything you’ve written to date, so when you reach the point you stopped you should just naturally flow on. If the problem is writing the next bit, but you have ideas for scenes that come later in the book, then skip ahead and write those. It might be with those sections down you’ll then be able to go back and fill in the gaps.

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

Robin Hobb and her fantasy books. Charles de Lint who must be the king of urban fantasy. Sally Beauman with her big, epic, contemporary fiction novels, if you haven’t read Rebecca’s Tale by her, then you really should. Susan Hill, who writes so beautifully she leaves me humbled, and so many others whom I can’t think of right now.

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

A good place to start is on my website, where there are photos of me and my home town, along with information about all my books, the inspiration behind them, free tasters and buy links. I am very active on Instagram and Facebook, and of course have Goodreads and Amazon author pages. Finally, I have a YouTube channel where you can watch short video trailers for all of my books.

http://juliablakeauthor.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428242.Julia_Blake

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Julia-Blake/e/B00TN9C5IY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

https://www.instagram.com/juliablakeauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100017784841349

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyAI8Dxs4Nx611g1IK02aJw

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Shakespeare definitely, so many questions to ask him, and I think he’d be an interesting person to talk to. Oscar Wilde, I think his wit and humour would certainly keep the evening going, and C.S. Lewis, just to fulfil a childhood dream.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview!

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Author Interview~~Penny Blush

I’d like to give a very warm welcome to my next author interview, Penny Blush.

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Please could you tell us about yourself?

I’m Australian, a Virgo, I live about 1 hour up the coast from Sydney. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason – so much so that that is going to be my next tattoo. You may not be able to see the reason behind something happening at the time but there is always a reason. I believe in magic and the power of the universe. Christmas is my favourite time of year and I always dress as an elf for out Christmas Eve street party even though it is a billion degrees. I love to sing – I use to be pretty good but then I broke my voice-box, so I can’t sing for very long with out my voice breaking. I love reading and going to the gym.

When did you first realize you wanted to become an author?

I don’t think there was ever a time where I decided to be an author. I’ve always been a story teller. I’m always getting in trouble for giving to much detail. Why say ‘I’m getting my nails done’ when you can say ‘I need to go to the shops to get my nails done because I had boxing this morning and I broke three nails, then I had to help pack up the office at work and that broke another three, so I just decided screw it I’m going to get my nails done’.

Long story short one of my best friends Kristin told me that she was sick of me talking about writing ‘one day’ and that if I didn’t muscle up and do it now, I wasn’t allowed to talk about writing ever again.

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What inspires you and provides you with ideas for your book?

Sometimes it’s just my wild imagination. I have an upcoming book that is based on every bad date I have ever had. I’m a people watcher and there is so much inspiration in just watching other people. Some of my inspiration is from thinking about all the things I wish I had the guts to do.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I love going to the gym. I didn’t ever think that I would be that person, but I truly do enjoy it. Part of that had to so with Josh my trainer and friend who also happens to be my cover model. Having the right people encourage and inspire you is key. I love reading and watching movies. I’m an aunty to five nieces and three nephews and they all keep be busy. I’m also a pretty mean crotcheter

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I have published three books. But I have written six others that are in varying stages of editing. I think my current favourite is Barber Shop Ink Book 3: Riverworth but …. That is only because Bear hasn’t come out yet, that book is crazy!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just write even it it’s bad just write get your thoughts down and then go back and review and rewrite. Don’t let anyone dim your fire, don’t listen to people who say it’s to hard – Anything worth doing is not easy.

If you read your reviews don’t take the bad ones to heart, learn what you can from then but don’t let them discourage you.

Surround yourself with people you can trust.

Your allowed to think that your work is good just like your allowed to think that your work is crap.

Your story is yours don’t let anyone try to change it but at the same time don’t fight things that are not worth fighting over.

Don’t release your book until you are 100% happy no matter how much pressure you are getting from your readers.

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In your opinion, what do you think makes a great story?

Humour, suspense, drama and love.

I love reading a story and you are thinking to yourself ‘I know what’s going to happen’ and then BAM! It goes in a completely different direction and it sucks you in all the more.

Which fellow authors inspire you?

T.M Fraizer, Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon. These ladies know how to write a great suspenseful story with sexy men and strong sassy women.

Are you working on anything at the moment?

I’m working on the first spin off from my Barber Shop Ink Series and I am also working on a contribution for an anthology that is a reimagining of the ‘princess’ stories mine is based on Rapunzel

What genre are your books?

I say that I am a contemporary romance writer, but I have a syfy story that I’m working on, Barber Shop Ink has mafia elements. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself because I’m thinking up different types of stories all the time.

What drew you to the genre you write?

I first started writing syfy but then Barber Shop Ink came to me. I love that is it based in reality – as in you can see most of it happening in real life but then there is the small percent that makes you think that it would only happen in a Hollywood movie.

I just love making sure that people find their happily ever after.

Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead characters from one of your books and why?

Jai Courtney for Memphis because well it’s Jai Courtney but also because he was in my head while I was writing – I watched a lot of his movies while writing.

Some one Jessica Alba-ish for Jupiter but taller because I loved Dark Angel her character Max was so kick ass but vulnerable.

Chris Pratt for Jaxon – I love Star Lord – Jaxson is a smart ass but his is also loyal and willing to help anyone.

Ksenia Solo for Cassidy – she played Kenzie on Lost Girl, she is cute, speaks Russian (not that Cass does) but also knows who she is.

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Is writing something you do full time?

It is something that I would love to do full time and one day I will get there but at the moment when I’m not writing I work for the Australian Government – if I tell you what, I’d have to kill you 😉

What is the hardest thing you’ve found about writing?

Listening to other people’s opinions. I can be really stubborn and refuse to bend. At first that’s what I was like – too bad so sad it’s my book not yours – but then when I took the emotion out of it and actually listened to what they were saying I realised that they were only trying to help not sabotage me. The other thing I find hard is being happy with the ending. I want the ending to be just as good as the beginning. I don’t want people to think that I ran out of steam at the end.

Any tips on how to get through Writer’s block?

For some reason I always get a block around chapter 19. I don’t know why but chapter 19 always gives me grief so what I do is I write the last chapter. Once I know how it is going to end it makes it easier. I then work backwards writing the chapters until I get back to chapter 19 and then I can write it.

The other thing I do is if I am stuck – I skip that chapter and just keep writing and then come back to it

Chocolate and a Vanilla Latte also helps.

Who are your favorite Authors and genres?

I am a massive Syfy fan. Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon are amazing and I have read everything they have written. Stephanie Bond has an amazing series called the Body Movers that is so awesome I have read it eight times. It has also frustrated the hell out of me enough that I messaged her to let her know that my mum was angry at me because of the books – you see somehow it was my fault that Stephanie didn’t have the next book out!

How can Readers discover more about you and your work?:

Author Page: fb.me/PennyBlushBooks

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1068654519902946

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pennyblushauthor

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/pennyblush/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pennyblushbooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17139863.Penny_Blush

Amazon: https://author.to/PennyBlush

If you could choose three authors to have dinner with (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Stephanie Bond. I love their books so much and I would love to pick their brains about writing, promoting, story lines, angels and Greek and Roam mythology.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to take part in this interview Penny.

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