Friday, May 17, 2019

Interview with Carla Vergot author of The Mystery of Jane Dough

Today I would like to give a warm welcome to author Carla Vergot. Thanks for joining us today.

Carla, when you pick up a book which do you prefer: print books or ebooks?

I’m 100%paper, which is weird because I’m known to be a bit of a conservation nut when it comes to protecting the planet. Ebooks for me are…well…let’s just say my relationship with technology is tenuous at best.

I love the feel of having a book in my hand, but when I travel ebooks are so convenient. Have you been given any helpful advice?

Sure! In life—dance with every guy who asks. In writing—don’t be afraid to cut a scene if it doesn’t work. But even more importantly, when you do decide to cut something, put it in a folder for safe keeping, because there’s a real good chance that same defunct scene will be a showstopper somewhere else in the story. Save everything.

That's a great piece of advice, and one I have never heard before. I will have to file it away for future use. Carla, if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I’m dying to get out to the Galápagos Islands for the nature. I’d love to see the night sky in Iceland.

I've heard Iceland is beautiful. Currently, what are you working on?

As of this interview, I’m 68,000 words into Book 2 of the “Lily Barlow” series. My goal is a minimum of 80,000 by the end of April.

How did you decide on what to title each book?

This is an interesting question. I knew I wanted a way to tie the series together, so my publisher and I decided to use “Lily Barlow” followed by something specific to each story. The first one is “Lily Barlow: The Mystery of Jane Dough.” I have a working title for the second book, but I’m not quite ready to reveal it yet.

For many authors, one avenue of publishing they struggle with is marketing. How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?

I’ve built a rickety social media platform using Facebook and Instagram which hasn’t been easy (reference my relationship with technology above). I’ve established a lovely community of uplifting writers and readers who have encouraged me along the way. Personal friends have done a lot to spread the word. And I try to promote myself in person as much as possible. I attend book signings, author events, book club meetings, whatever. I think opportunities exist everywhere. In fact, I’m in the process of talking my favorite grocer into hosting an evening with the author for a wine tasing and reading. I enjoy promoting the book in person like this, but it’s harder because you’re connecting with a small group of readers at a time vs. the thousands of people you can reach with a post on Facebook or Instagram. It’s harder, but more fulfilling.

Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

It’s a series, but if I’ve done it well, a reader who never read Book 1 can still enjoy Book 2. That was one of the trickiest parts for me—giving enough background for new readers without boring the ones who are already familiar with Lily.

Carla, what was your biggest challenge when writing? Did you have any writer’s block? If so, how did you work your way through it?

My insurmountable challenge was working full-time as a special education teacher. I didn’t have a drop of creative energy left to put toward writing. I can almost guarantee this book would still be lurking around in the shadows of my mind if my husband hadn’t offered me the chance to take a one-year sabbatical. That’s literally when it started to take shape, and I loved the writing process so much that I resigned from teaching permanently so I could start the second book.

What was your writing process like?

I’m a pantster (writing by the seat of my pants) vs. a plotter (meticulously outlining the story). More than that, though, I’m a schlogger. I write the way a person would walk through waist-deep muck in a Louisiana swamp—slowly and with a great deal of care. I’m constantly going back over what I just wrote to rewrite it or to layer in details. It takes forever. But when I’m done, I’m generally done. The cleanup doesn’t involve any sweeping changes.

In your novels, which character is your favorite?

Miss Delphine has a special place in my heart. Years ago, a friend and fellow writer once asked me what would be my “thing” when I was an old lady. Would I wear mismatched clothes? Would I only eat bananas on days that start with “T.” I’m not sure how I answered the question back then, but when I think about it now, I want to be like Miss Delphine—independent, devoted to my garden, maybe hiding a body out back… 😆

Carla, since you wrote in this genre, do you think you will ever write in other genres?

Oh, I’d love to think I’m talented enough to expand into other genres, but I kind of want to get this one out of my system first.

I agree, writing in multiple genres is a talent. I am working on one, and have found it a lot harder to write in a new genre. Hopefully one day I will finish. What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

Turns out, this is a super touchy subject, and one I may not be qualified to address. I went the hybrid route. I couldn’t get a traditional publisher or an agent interested in my work, and I didn’t have the skill set to self publish (or the patience to learn how), so I hired a publisher. There’s such a stigma around paying a publisher, harkening back to the days of the vanity press. However, this industry, like every other industry, has evolved to meet the needs of the customers (writers like me). As with everything else, there are high quality operations, and there are ones that
will rob you blind, so buyer beware. Going the hybrid route allowed me to keep control of my story and to be involved in aspects like cover design. Having the backing of a publisher made it much easier for me to access the big stores like Barnes & Noble. I am very happy with the direction I chose.

Any last words?

Thanks for giving me a chance to share a little about “Lily Barlow.” I enjoyed your questions!

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us. Find out more about Carla at the links below. Happy Reading!!

Poke around my website
I’m on Instagram @carla_vergot

Monday, May 13, 2019


I just hit 1500 followers on my twitter account. Thanks so much for all the support. If your not currently following me and would like to click the link below.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there!

  I hope you feel loved and cherished on the special day. I want to say thank you for all the mother figures that have touched my life. I have been blessed to have to many in my life. I've had some at school, some at work, at church, family friends, aunts and grandmothers. Each one has made an impact on my life and helped shape me into the person the I am today. 

  Of course I especially want to say thank-you to my mother. I know I could never count the hours that you have spent loving me and supporting me, taking care of me when I was younger, driving me places, teaching me important lessons, showing me how to serve others, loving my children, and about a million other things. Through all the neglect and ingratitude I am sure I showed as a child and teenager, (hopefully less now that I am grown) you have always been there for me. I hope you have a wonderful day mom! I love you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Interview with Daniel Sullivan author of The Silver Liner: Takes Flight

          Today I'd like to welcome Daniel Sullivan to        the blog. Tell us a little about yourself.  

           My name is Daniel Sullivan, and I am a Sci-Fi/Fantasy author.          In addition to writing, I am an avid motorcyclist and a martial            arts instructor (Kendo and Hapkido – 4th degree black belt). I            am also the proud parent of two adult sons, whom I raised as a          single parent.

         That's impressive, I have a brother who is a 2nd degree black belt. I know it takes a lot of work. What got you into writing?

I’ve always loved coming up with stories and have had story ideas for as long as I can remember. I loved creative writing assignments in school, but the bulk of my work ended up being on world building and adventures for my Dungeons & Dragons games. I actually hand-wrote a fantasy novel based on the game world my friends and I had created, and later, wrote a vampire story, but never made any moves to publish either one.

I was an avid fantasy reader and sci-fi moviegoer, and always would think, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if someone did a story/film about this or that …’ Eventually, I asked myself why I kept waiting for someone else to write my ideas. One of the things that I loved about tabletop RPG was creating and developing the game-world, and I found that years of doing that proved very helpful in creating the world in a story.

I decided to try my hand at actually writing a novel, which ended up being “The Silver Liner: Takes Flight!” I published it in 2015, and now, I have a “Silver Liner” series.

      Share a short excerpt from your novel

An excerpt from “The Silver Liner: Takes Flight!”

Oblivious to the activity around her, the doctor ordered another drink. She normally did not have more than one, but this might be her last drink as a free woman for the foreseeable future.
“They will catch you, you know,” Casey said to her as he poured the drink.
“It doesn’t matter; I can’t leave,” she lamented. Picking up the drink and looking at it as she swirled it around, she exhaled a deep sigh. “My passes are all deactivated. I’m out of money, so I cannot even bribe my way onto a ship.”
“Have you tried Father O’Bannon?”
“No. I won’t put him at risk. I’m classified as an interplanetary terrorist now. Involving him will only hurt the only church on this damnable station. You know they’ll close it down at the drop of a hat. I cannot be the cause of that. No, this is the end of the line. Fifty-two years with nothing to show.”
“Ah, lass, but that aint true,” Casey protested, but the doctor shook her head.
“Casey, I’m a penniless, childless old maid,” she lamented. “I had wanted … so much more; a husband, children, a family … but it’s over. There is nothing left for me to do but wait until they finally close in. Hopefully, my last hours of freedom will be interesting.”
“Well don’t look now, Doc,” said the bartender, “but interesting is sitting two stools to your left.” 
She looked over and saw a tall man clad head to toe in black leather. The jump suit had a high collar and was form fitting enough for her to tell that he was fairly well built. He wore his hair in a pompadour style, something she would never have recognized had she not seen an old movie from the twentieth century at a museum as a little girl. The man had an air of cool confidence about him and his upper lip was in a perpetual curl resembling a snarl. At his hip was a pulse pistol. When she was a teen, she would have swooned for him. Now, she just looked admiringly.
“Who is he?” she whispered, leaning in close so that “Interesting” would not hear her ask.
“Captain Ken Royce,” replied the bartender softly as he absently cleaned a glass. “He delivers our beer and whiskey.”

      Sounds intriguing. Which do you prefer: print books or ebooks?

Print, but due to lack of shelf space, I’ve begun purchasing more e-books.

      I feel the same way. I love print, but when I travel e-books are so much more convenient. Daniel, currently, what are you working on?

I’m currently proofing the edited copy of the fifth and final Silver Liner novel. I just finished a fourth draft of a new Sci-Fi book, “The Cyber Secession,” and the second draft of a fantasy novel.

       Will you tell us a little bit about your main characters?

The main characters of the Silver Liner books are Captain Kendrick Royce and Doctor Fiona Kinsale, the AI of Royce’s ship – Selene, and an android woman named Lena.
Kendrick Royce is a Rockstar-turned-starship captain, who makes his living transporting goods and passengers. He’s a widow of seven years and has become content just flying his star-liner, the Selene. That all changes when he meets Doctor Fiona Kinsale.

Fiona really drives the series, as it is her flight from government and corporate agents that both brings her aboard Royce’s ship and draws him into her conflicts. The addition of the android Lena to the crew adds another layer, as she is likewise being sought by government agents.
Along the way, he picks up a gunner/martial artist named Kang, a whiz kid engineer named Heather, and a middle-aged priest with a dark past.

They are pursued collectively by government agents, corporate thugs, a renegade captain, and the mafia. The only person who doesn’t have someone actively trying to bring him in for something is Captain Royce, though through his association with the others, he becomes a target of all of these forces himself.

       Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

“The Silver Liner: Takes Flight!” is part of a near-future sci-fi series. The fifth and final book in the series will be released in June of this year.

       A five book series, that's impressive.Daniel, what is the easiest part of the writing process?  What is the hardest?

Coming up with ideas is the easiest. Consistency with science and numbers is the most challenging. I write near-future sci-fi, so I deal with launch windows and changing planetary positions. It would be easier if I wrote about ships with FTL and hyperdrives, but that’s not the world I’ve chosen to create.

       Do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?

My fiancée and I beta read each other’s work, and I pay an editor – Sheryl Polycar – to edit each book. After this last Silver Liner book, I plan to seek out more beta/proof readers, and to add a second editor.

      Who designed the artwork for your cover?  Or did you design it yourself?

Ashley Martinez of C.M. Wright’s Author Services has done the covers for all five of my books. I gave her a general idea of what I wanted and she has masterfully translated my ideas into images.

     That's great. It can be hard to find someone who can visualize what you want and get it write. What was your biggest challenge when writing? Did you have any writer’s block?  If so, how did you work your way through it?

The biggest challenge is sticking to my original ideas as I write. Sometimes, changes are very necessary, as new and/or better ideas come to me, but it’s easy to lose track of your intended direction. RE writer’s block, I just force myself to write everyday and just accept that when going through periods of writer’s block, most of what gets typed will simply be a placeholder for when ideas finally do come. I am often surprised to find that just by writing, the ideas tend to come.

           I think writing everyday is important. What          was your writing process like?

I come up with an idea and write it down/type it up. It can be as simple as  ‘five people on a spaceship are being chased by hitmen and the captain is a rocker with a pompadour a fast ship’ or as detailed as an actual plot synopsis complete with an outline.

Once I have the idea, I usually let it sit for a few days, and then I go back in and add more. Usually, I’m already in the middle of an existing project, but once that project is finished or comes to a stopping point, I then jump into the new idea and start fleshing it out. Eventually, it turns into copious amounts of author notes, and then into a first draft.

      Which do you find more challenging inventing the hero or the villain?  Why?

Honestly, the hero. I find that creating a compelling hero is more challenging because it’s so easy to simply write a virtuous hero who fights for what’s right. I like my heroes more nuanced. Not all of my heroes want to fight, and not all of them are virtuous. Also, there are so many well-defined hero archetypes that are ingrained into our psyche, so I try to create characters that deviate from these archetypes.

     Daniel, any last words?

           I thank you for taking the time to interview me!

Thanks for sharing with us today. Before to check out more from Daniel at the links below. Happy Reading!!

My website:

The Silver Liner: Takes Flight on Amazon:

My Amazon Author Page:

Daniel Sullivan on Facebook:

My cover designer:

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

One of my favorite Middle Grade fiction Novels is making it's way to the big screen. This has been  a great way for me to get my kids to read. They have to read the book before we go see a movie. 

Artemis Fowl is a Fantastic series. I hope Disney's does the novel justice. Be sure to check out book 1 before the movie comes out in August. A great read to add to your child's summer reading list, or one to enjoy yourself.

Twelve-year-old criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous--and extremely high-tech--fairies. He kidnaps one of them, Holly Short, and holds her for ransom in an effort to restore his family's fortune. But he may have underestimated the fairies' powers. Is he about to trigger a cross-species war?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Darkwalker Cover Possibility

So I'm thinking of this for the cover to Darkwalker, the final book in the Sunwalker Trilogy.
Let me know your thoughts.
Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Interview with Tammi J. Truax author of For to See the Elephant

Let's welcome Tammi Truax today. Tammi why don't you begin by telling us a little about yourself?

      I am teacher, historian, writer, and graduate student.

What got you into writing?

      I had / have stories in me that needed to be told.

Tammi if you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

       Right now Portugal tops my list, but my list is long. I love to travel.

I just had a niece come back from living in Portugal for about 18 months. She said it was beautiful. Currently, what are you working on?

        The second book in a two volume historical novel for adults.

 How did you decide on what to title each book?

        The title of For to See the Elephant were spoken by President George Washington, important both to the story and the time period / setting.

That's interesting. I love learning about history when I read. How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?

      I’m learning as I go!

Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

      This is a stand alone story.

Tammi, do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?

       Yes, I do. I think it is very important. I don’t so much select them as seek them out.

I agree, I think it is a crucial tool for any writer to use. Who designed the artwork for your cover?  Or did you design it yourself?

      Tom Holbrook, publisher at Piscataqua Press designed it with my input.

What brought about the idea for your book?

     That is a long story in itself. Years ago a woman I was interviewing for my newspaper column mentioned  that long ago an elephant had stopped at her family farm for a drink. I determined to some day get to the bottom of that. Years later, after I’d done some research, I took it on as my NaNoWriMo project.

It's always amazing to me how the simplest things can spark the idea for an entire novel.


       In the autumn of 1795 on board a ship from Massachusetts an enslaved boy named William finds himself tasked with caring for the first elephant to be brought to America. Upon arrival in the city of New York, he and the elephant are sold together. They walk back and forth across the growing country for years so that everyone may see the elephant. A second elephant and owner replace the first and again William is with the elephant every hour of every day, until she too dies. Now a grown man, William has a fleeting moment to decide if he will remain a bondman, or walk off on his own.

     Told in verse, and incorporating songs, news clippings and diary entries from the period, this novel is a stark, soulful, and surprising portrait of early America and the origins of the American circus.

“Tammi Truax doesn’t flinch from the harsh realities of a boy growing up in a time of slavery or in the lives of elephants forced to live away from their kind on another continent.  But she also shows the beauty found by those who look close into the eye of an elephant, the love an animal and caretaker forge, the occasional kindness of strangers who can see beyond spectacle, and the brief freedom of leaving dusty roads to frolic in ponds.”
Jeannine Atkins, author of Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, and Marie Curie and Their Daughters and Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Thanks for Sharing with us.  Happy Reading!!

Find out More about Tammi at the links below.