Friday, October 27, 2017

Interview with Myron Edwards author of Mistress of the Rock

Tell us a little about yourself, Myron.

I live on the ‘Island of Love’, Cyprus, with my wife Niki, whose background is Greek Cypriot. We have been here about 12 years. I have two kids with Niki, Alex (27) and Emily (20) and one from a previous marriage, Craig (31). I started work as a travel agent and stayed in the travel business for some thirty years; during that time, I played in a band as a drummer. I was competent, not great, and could keep a rhythm.
I have diversified in my working life on more than a couple of occasions. I became a copywriter for JWT, ran my own company from an idea I created called Tubewalking, which was short-distance short-walking maps for commuters and tourists in London. I have also designed and produced web-based and arcade games for the gaming industry.
During my time in Cyprus, I was a Creative Director for an ad agency, creating ad campaigns for all media, including TV, Radio, Press and mainline advertising. When the financial crash happened, once again I had to diversify, so not just concentrate on writing but find a job. I found one in the financial industry, where I have worked for the past 5 years. I am still in that industry.

Can you tell us what got you into writing?

My first step into writing was as a free-lancer writing scripts with my former band member, Phil Campbell, who had experience in the film industry, as he was a runner for Hammer Films, amongst other jobs he did. We wrote for the BBC and a very popular duo who were one of Britain’s best loved comedic pairs, accepted our material. We went our separate ways while still remaining friends to this day. But I started writing more satirical pieces for programmes such as ‘Week Endings’ and ‘The News Huddlines’, as well as ‘Not the nine O Clock News, a Kick up the 80’s with Tracey Ullman and The Marti Caine Show. All popular shows of the 80’s. During this time, I was at JWT in another capacity as a Travel Manager but was persuaded to take the copy test, which I passed and was enrolled into JWT as a junior copywriter. I was writing daily at JWT so naturally I started to develop plots for potential novels and screenplays. But it wasn’t until I came to Cyprus that I wrote my first book.

Share a short excerpt from your novel

Chapter One

Cyprus 1991

‘Corporal Richard Cole reporting, Sir.’
     ‘You’re late, Cole. Get on board now, the transport leaves in twenty minutes.’
     ‘Yes, Sir.’
     Cole’s kit was already heavy and the extra burden of running for the plane left him breathless. He thought he was fit at twenty-five, and he should have been, but apparently, he still needed extra exercise. He bolted up the steps and boarded the transport plane, taking the seat next to a young soldier who was far too wrapped up in a magazine to notice him.
     Richard removed his cap, revealing a short haircut for the trip, as deserts were not the place for hair that touched shirt collars. In the intense heat, he stroked the back of his head. His hands returned wet and his face dripped droplets of sweat, which fell onto his fatigues. He looked around as he leaned back on the rough seat. He was about the same size as most of the other soldiers but his youthful looks made him look younger than his age purported and that of his companions. His face also appeared well-tanned compared to the pasty expressions of some of his fellow travellers. And like Richard, all were in uniform and kitted up to their eyeballs. Everyone buckled in and waited for take-off.
     It was February thirteenth. The Gulf War, Part One, had begun just over a month ago and the air-war was in full swing. The despot Saddam had been as stubborn and ruthless as the day he invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990. The diplomacy that followed by various countries and the UN was going nowhere, so the order to initiate an airstrike came on January sixteen. The ground war would soon follow. It was where the aircraft was headed.
     War had never occurred to Richard when he first signed up. Sure, the Falklands had stirred the patriotism of the British people and made the country proud again but although the Falklands was a bitter and bloody conflict it was a domestic affair between two countries, Argentina and Britain, and if most ‘Brits’ were honest at the time, not many of them knew where the fucking Falklands were anyway. It was, after all, Maggie Thatcher’s Waterloo and it worked for her.
     This Gulf War had much wider and sinister connotations. Not only were the ‘Brits’ involved but also most of the free world, with the US fronting the adventure. For whatever reason was given, there was no doubting Saddam was dangerous for the world, with the implications for the Middle East frightening. Under this cloud of uncertainty and fear, the green and pleasant land of England would seem a million miles away, even though they were only just a few hours from the hot scorching desert of Kuwait.
     En-route to Kuwait they stopped in Cyprus, landing at the civilian airport in Paphos, as the military fields of Akrotiri and Dhekalia were already full to overflowing with combat aircraft of all types and sizes.
     At Paphos, the plane touched down around 4pm, the sun still hot as the troops left the aircraft and thumped down the metal stairs to the awaiting trucks, boarding twenty men at a time. Richard took the last place at the back of his truck. The engine roared with life and with all formalities of customs and immigration dispensed with, it began to rumble along the coastal road out of Paphos. After all, this was war, albeit secretly hosted on Cyprus.
     This was Richard’s first visit to the island and from what he could see from the back of the truck it looked like a fine place to visit. From his small vantage point at the back, there seemed to be a good deal of activity going on, with lots of cars and people hurrying about. And amongst them was a collection of Greek Cypriot soldiers kitted out in green camouflage uniforms waiting along the roadside.
     In this tourist-like atmosphere it was all too easy to forget that this was a divided land, invaded by the Turks in 1974, after an unsuccessful coup by the Greeks led by then-President and Archbishop Makarios. The island was divided by a thin green line which ran from the North to the South and was policed by the UN. Under such circumstances the fragile peace inevitably seemed vulnerable, yet it held.
     The green line was a constant reminder to the Cypriot people in the south that their island was occupied—at least some of it including the wonderful beach resorts of Kyrenia and Famagusta, which were cut off and entrenched with mine fields and guarded by Turks.
     These resorts had once been deemed to be among the classiest in the Mediterranean, with hotels and restaurants patronised by tourists from the world over. Only now, these fine accommodations and eateries were home to the rats, snakes and scorpions that occupied them. The analogy of vermin in these occupied resorts was a good description of the occupiers for many Greeks. Still, it remained a sad and sorry state of affairs that those who were about to become involved in a new conflict could not resolve this one first. Perhaps one day they would try.
     As the truck started to move out of town, the convoy meandered along the picturesque road towards the base at Episkopi. The sun had begun to dim and the road became windier, as the trucks struggled round and around the bends, slowly at first then accelerating through the gears to gain momentum. The driver purposely crunching the gears from time to time just to make sure none of his occupants had fallen asleep. The inside of the truck was hot, the new temperature something the soldiers were not yet acclimatised to. As the convoy reached a tight bend, one of the guys at the front looked out of the canvas window and shouted to the rest of his companions. ‘That’s Aphrodite’s Rock.’
     Richard looked out of the back of the open truck and saw one large rock embedded in the shore and two smaller ones rooted in the sea. The sun reflected on their colour, making them shimmer against the stunning blues of the Mediterranean. The white tufts of surf lapping against the base of the rocks as if licking them.
     ‘Petra Tou Romiou the Greeks call it, birthplace of Aphrodite. Goddess of LOVE,’ purposely accentuated to make an impact.
     ‘What, those old rocks?’ came Richard’s somewhat bemused retort.
     ‘Yep, that was where she was born, they say, came out of the sea, just there.’
     ‘Bollocks.’ Richard’s astute friend of the magazine made his contribution.
     ‘Precisely, that is what she’s made of, some Greek god’s bollocks, well, dick actually, cut off and thrown into the sea from which came Aphrodite. Aphro, meaning from the foam.’
     ‘You’re a scholar then?’ Richard asked his learned friend at the front.
     ‘No, just read it in the guide book. Amazing what you can learn from these things.’ He passed the book down to the back of the truck.
     Richard opened it to the page on Aphrodite’s Rock, nodding his thanks.
     Magazine man raised his head. ‘Must be an omen, seeing that today, what with it being Valentine’s tomorrow, maybe we’ll get a shag.’ The last comment was lost in the laughter that now enveloped the rest of the truck as the convoy wound its way higher up the hill and over the escarpment of Aphrodite’s Rock, which had finally slipped out of sight.

Which do you prefer: print books or e-books when you are reading?

Books in print is my preference. I like to hold a book, I feel closer to the story that way.

I agree, but I do like my kindle fire when I am on vacation, I can carry lots of books in a small amount of space. Have you been given any helpful advice?

Yes, and I have always respected people’s opinions, so yes, I have, but sometimes you must go with your gut feeling and that usually is for me what I do.

Currently, what are you working on?

The third part of the Mistress Trilogy.

Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

Richard Cole is a veteran British Soldier of the first Gulf War, who developed PTSD after he was ordered to be an observer on a mission to Highway 80 in Iraq. He found solace with the fascination of the legend of Aphrodite, who throughout the conflict was his constant sanctuary from war. On returning to Cyprus some years later, he pays a visit to her birthplace and this starts a stream of events which catapults him into a new and terrifying world of the unknown where choices are to be made.
Aphrodite, the mystic Goddess of myth and legend was born from the waves at a site called Petra Tou Romiou; she is an ephemeral spirit that at first protects, then taunts, and finally haunts Richard until his very soul is under her spell. Unable to fight her, he eventually succumbs to her seductive powers so that he will become hers.
Julie Cole, Richard’s American Boston-born wife, is a focal part of the story as she lends sanity to the story. She is more mature and astute than Richard. Is charismatic, good looking, and sexy, which makes her a difficult adversary for the temptations of the Goddess.

What is the easiest part of the writing process?  What is the hardest?

The easiest part for me is constructing the story, I often think of the end and build backwards. The hardest is finding time to write, especially if you work full time.

I know exactly what you mean.  Finding time to write with three kids and working is a challenge. Do you have people read your drafts before you publish?  How do you select beta readers?

I have an excellent editor, Athina Paris. She has transformed my story from my first draft which I sent to her, offering excellent critique, which I follow. It should also be said that James Hill, my publisher, has been a shining light in this whole project and he too read the draft, before publishing. Together they make a formidable team. For test subjects, I choose friends mainly, some family, but you are not always sure with family that you get a balanced and honest appraisal. I also ask people who are writers or are associated with writing.

I think it's important to find a good team when writing.  Getting valuable feedback is critical. What brought about the idea for your book?

An epiphany moment on my very first visit to the rocks in the early 90’s. I saw something on the walls of the restaurant that day, which at first surprised and then stunned me, at that point I knew I had to write this book, no matter how long it would take. It was only when we moved to Cyprus did I began this journey.

What was your writing process like?

When I was in advertising I used to think in pictures, I found that so much easier to visualise the concept that way, the same is true for writing. I visualise the plot as if it was on the screen and then adapt it for the book. I wrote the screenplay before I ever wrote the book.

Myron, any last words you'd care to impart with us?

I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the story of the Mistress of the Rock to people’s attention. I know people say there are no original ideas, but I can say this hand-on-heart, you will never read or see another story like this in your lifetime, the image of the Goddess is totally unique and real, whether you believe it or not. My ultimate dream is for Mistress of the Rock to be made into a movie, as I believe it could be good for the island of Cyprus, bringing tourists, expanding the culture of the island, and providing a lasting legacy for the Aphrodite legend.

Thanks so much for sharing with us.  Happy Reading!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Interview with Chad Descoteaux author of The Inter-Terrestrial

Welcome Chad, tell us a little about yourself  

My name is Chad Descoteaux.  I am an indie sci-fi author from Rhode Island who has written seven sci-fi books.  They are available on the Amazon Kindle, paperback on Amazon and Smashwords.

7 books that quite an accomplishment.  What got you into writing, Chad? 

 Loving to read when I was a kid and wanting to share the ideas that I had.  I would have to say that Bruce Coville's 'My Teacher is an Alien' series was a BIG influence.

I remember reading that book when I was younger.  I am a big sci-fi fan.  Which do you prefer: print books or ebooks?  

Ebooks, but only because my eyes are bad.  I had retina surgery after a bad fall back in 2008 and I have to blow print up before I can read.

That's too bad.  I am glad the technology exists so that you can continue reading.  If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why? 

I would go to Hollywood (in an old Studebaker driven by a bear) and try to break into screenwriting.  I have read books on it and I have software that helped me to learn the format.

Maybe someday you'll get to write the screenplay to one of your novels.  Currently, what are you working on? 

 I am working on a sequel to my book WORKING-CLASS SUPERHEROES, which is a superhero novel that satirizes the genre.  The sequel, GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED SUPERHEROES, explores how superheroes can operate in a world where (like real-life) vigilantism is against the law.

How did you decide on what to title each book?  

I just try to come up with a something that says a lot about the book, but is also catchy.  My wife helped me come up with the title for THE INTER-TERRESTRIAL, which is infinitely better than ALIEN BOY, the original title.

I find it's always nice to get a second or third opinion on a book title.  Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

  All of the books that I have published will eventually be part of a trilogy when I can get around to writing them...except for VEGANARCHY, which is a standalone dystopian novel.

Who designed the artwork for your cover?  

I do most of the covers myself, except for THE INTER-TERRESTRIAL and THE EXOSKELETON CHRONICLES.  With THE INTER-TERRESTRIAL, I hated the cover that I made for it, so I did what most indie authors do and found an online service, where I found the perfect one for that story.  And EXOSKELETON's cover was drawn by a friend of mine.

Yes I have to go outside for mine as well, I just don't have that talent.  What brought about the idea for your book?

 With WORKING-CLASS SUPERHEROES, it was a love of superhero comics and cartoons that made me want to write a story where the superheroes were just poker buddies, instead of this organized team like the Avengers or X-Men.  And then one of them says something that the other superheroes find suspicious, which fuels the mystery plot.  With THE EXOSKELETON CHRONICLES, I thought about a friend of mine who is a pest control worker and imagined him having a bad day at work (being attacked by giant insects).  The part about him being autistic came later when I started researching my own mental health and used some of that in the story.  THE TATTLER came from me realizing how political different news outlets are, instead of just telling people what's happening in the world.  So, I imagined a tabloid newspaper that reports on aliens and Big Foot, but they are the most reputable news source, because all that stuff is true and they're non-political.  Journalists vs. aliens.

What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any? 

 I'm a big movie geek.  I joke that my books are movies that I don't have $300 million to actually make.

Which is your favorite book?

 THE INTER-TERRESTRIAL, because of its strong anti-racism message and characters I am very proud of, including a samurai nun.  This book has a sequel and the third one will focus on said nun.

A samurai nun?  Sounds interesting.  I love unique characters.  Any last words? 

 I believe that even the most "out there" story can be "down to earth" if the main character is relatable.  That allows the reader to go along with this person that they've connected with on their amazing journey.  I experiment with this formula in all my work, trying to bring the most fantastic sci-fi ideas down to earth.  I hope people will check out Turtle Rocket Books (.com) and join me on this adventure.

Thanks for sharing.  Be sure to check out Chad and more of his books at the sites below.  Happy Reading!!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Interview with Melanie Mole author of Man + Woman = Trouble

 Welcome Melanie!  Thanks for taking the time to be with us today.

Tell us a little about yourself

I would have to say that I am an honest and supportive person, with a passion for writing and books. That I care about people and the environment, and genuinely want to make things better whenever I can. That I am a good listener who tries not to judge too. Physically – rounded, with rosy cheeks, and a good heart!

People like you are hard to come by :) Will you share a short excerpt from on of your novels?

Yes, that would be good. The first excerpt is from my non-fiction book 'Man + Woman = Trouble' -

That Old Chestnut Nagger
          The characteristics of a That Old Chestnut Nagger are persistence and having a really good memory, and boy do women have good memories. Especially where we think the subject in hand really matters. Make sure that you remember this because it is a distinct advantage if you do. Of course no logical thought process would have ever gone into this decision. We tend to store up our points to remind us how bad you have been in a sort of brain sack. It’s hidden away in a very dark and dingy place. The sort of place you wouldn’t want to go to after dark. Where monsters loom, and even they have to fight for survival. A place where you should expect the unexpected to happen, and where you should be very afraid, because it is very unpredictable depending on mood and hormone levels.
          Men just need to remember that we can store all this information we often refer to as important stuff for a very long time. This is the sort of stuff which we are sure to bring up the next time you either look at us in a funny way, or perhaps when you do something like breathe. Yes I did say breathe. You can sometimes only do one of these before we blow again. We are like a volcano just waiting to erupt. Not all of us of course. But there are enough women like this for anyone to be weary.
          Another thing to remember is that we never lose sight of our original point for discussion. It is always there lurking in the background. Don't forget that it is also a woman’s prerogative to add more points at any time. In fact the list can just grow and grow. Like one of those seemingly tiny pieces of paper that is folded neatly, but which can unravel and grow to an incredible length at any time. So, gentlemen, it may be advisable that you have your own list to argue points from. That’s something that the lady in your life won’t be expecting. Shock tactics are usually a good way of causing a detour around the subject in hand. Especially if you want to buy some extra time or if you are dying to get to the pub/bar or to do something else that’s equally as important. But of course you need to be aware that any dodged points will only come back to bite you later, so sometimes it’s best to just suffer at the time and get it over with. It really depends on when you want more hassle. Is it best to have trouble now, or later? Only you can make that decision. Because one thing you can be sure of is that it will surely come at some point in time.
Have you been given any helpful advice?

Yes. Never, ever, give up! Use whatever keeps you going to do just that. Also, read about J.K Rowling's story for inspiration. I don't just mean about how many publishers turned her down. I mean about what she went through in her personal life before she even got to that point. Keep fighting for what you want, always.

I agree, that's important advice to remember.  This business can be hard.  Most authors don't have overnight success. Melanie will you share something with us not a lot of people know about you.

Well, I have written most of my books without getting a good night's sleep. Because of a shoulder injury I have, I still need to have further shoulder surgery. The pain from it means that either I take regular pain killers that don't work, or I take strong ones which knock me out during the day a lot too. I haven't been able to sleep in a bed for 18 months now. So I sleep sitting up in a chair every night. To be honest it is exhausting. Most of us can cope with a few night of poor sleep, but at the moment that is my reality every night. I hope that the further surgery that is scheduled for me will work, and I will be sleeping soundly again soon.
That sounds horrible.  I am so sorry.  I hope your surgery goes well and offers you some relief.  Do you promote your books? Any tips you can share with us?

When you start to promote them, which should happen way before your book is published, you want to try everything. But in reality there literally aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. So, you need to stick to what works, and not waste your time on those that don't. You could be writing more books instead.
I collect writing and marketing tips as I find them. My list has been invaluable. So I would advise anyone to do the same.
Also build up relationships with other writers and bloggers. They become like a family which supports each other. You can be there for each other in good times and bad, and I like that.

Thanks that is good advice, as someone just starting, I have started a list of those who have helped me promote Sunwalker, and plan to reach out to them when my upcoming projects are ready. What brought about the idea for your book, Melanie?

There are different ideas for each book. My first book, 'Simply Does It', has just been published. My life has been changed for the better in so many ways by living more simply. This book chronicles the start of my journey towards raising my writing capacity by over 800% in just a year! I wanted to keep the quality of my writing, so I edited again and again. I can honestly say that I have found the magic formula for being able to write much more, even though I was also a full time, live in carer for a relative at the same time. The demands of this mean that I never knew, day or night, when I would be called to help them. Plus I had surgery of my own during this time too. So, if you want to know how I started that journey then 'Simply Does It' could really be the book for you.
My second book, 'Man + Woman = Trouble', came about because I had so many stories to tell about the mountain of relationship mistakes I had made. I also wanted to give tips on how not to behave if you want a great relationship. So this book encompasses these, and more. I tried to keep it lighthearted so that it would be both interesting, and also make readers laugh. It is aimed at both men and women no matter what type of relationship they are in. So I hope that my readers will enjoy it.

What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?
It has to be reading. I am a book-a-holic. There will never be enough time for me to read all of the books that I want to in one lifetime. Not in ten lifetimes in fact.

I love to read too, but how found I have far less time to pick up a book now that I am pursuing writing as a career.  Since you wrote in this genre, do you think you will ever write in other genres?

I usually write non-fiction. I definitely find writing fiction more difficult. I generally write non-fiction, but I got brave this year and wrote my first short story called  'Blossom Shines at Buttercup Bay'. It is contained in a Creativia Anthology titled 'Once Upon a Broken Dream'. I was really pleased that my first attempt at writing fiction was published in this book. My aim is to write a whole series of Buttercup Bay Books. I have the outlines already written, so just need to start writing them now!

Melanie, that's fantastic.  I think its great to try things out of our comfort zone.  Congrats!  Any last words?
Yes. Keep going. Never, ever let anyone, or anything, beat you. You are in control of your own writing destiny. So go for it!
I love to connect with everyone. You can find me here -

Thanks so much for joining us.  Happy Reading!!

Hope to see you there :)
You can find my books here -

Man + Woman = Trouble

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Author Interview with Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence

Welcome Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence!

Tell us a little about yourself

Hi, thanks for interviewing us! My name is Ben Jackson, and my wife’s name is Sam Lawrence. We write a variety of fiction and non-fiction books but are focusing on children’s books. We live in a long-distance relationship, I’m from Australia, and my wife is from Canada. We both travel a lot during the year between our two countries and have four children.

Wow talent seems to abound in your family!  That seems like so much fun, getting to work with your wife doing something you love.  What got you into writing?
I have always enjoyed reading, and my wife works as a publisher/formatter, managing our own company Indie Publishing Group! I think it was a natural progression from reading to writing. The children’s books we write are fun and enjoyable and help to encourage children to read and enjoy reading,

The Indie Publishing Group contains a lot of great information for authors.  I would recommend everyone checking it out.  When you read which do you prefer: print books or eBooks?

I love print books. My wife enjoys both, but I find it hard to concentrate on eBooks. I like the smell and feel of a paperback book in my hands and enjoy shopping at book fairs and markets.

I love print books to, but do enjoy the convenience when traveling of being able to read on a tablet. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

We are lucky enough to travel a lot! We travel throughout Canada, Australia, and North America on a regular basis. We both want to travel around Asia and Europe more.

Traveling is so much fun.  I look forward to traveling more.  So far it's been Mexico and the US for me.  I hope to have Italy under my belt soon.  Currently, what are you working on?

We just finished our latest children’s book: The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist! I’m terrified of the dentist and wanted to write a book which makes visiting the dentist a little less terrifying.

I know the feeling.  I finally found a dentist I love and so my fear has eased. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

Our main characters are Timmy and the Little Fart. Timmy is a young boy, and the Little Fart is his imaginary friend, a little fart! They go on adventures together and get up to a lot of mischief.

How do you promote your books? Any tips you can share?

We promote a lot on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, etc. but have also focused a lot on blogs and interviews. I think the tip is just to jump in. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but you do need to put in some serious hours if you’re doing it all yourself.

Yes I agree.  I have also found I have had better luck with the free promotions than the ones I have spent money on.  Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?

We have a series based around Timmy and the Little Fart. We have a book about hockey, soccer, Christmas, the dentist and have many more books planned for the series.

Can you tell us what brought about the idea for your book?

We were both sitting around one night and watching television. I started coming up with stupid and crazy ideas for children’s book, and the Little Fart was born.

It's always amazing where great ideas can come from.  Sometimes without even really thinking something great can take shape. What is your writing process like?  Do you have a routine?

I have a pretty terrible writing routine. I like to watch tv and movies, Netflix, etc. and sometimes end up watching hours without accomplishing anything! I like to enjoy what I’m doing. If I locked myself away I would get more done, but if I’m not enjoying it, what’s the point?

I actually do something similar.  I like some background noise, whether its good music or a tv show on in the background.  What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

I have never traditionally published anything, so that’s hard to recommend. Self-publishing isn’t easy and requires a lot of research, time, and effort, but it doesn’t need to be impossible or expensive. If something doesn’t work, look at why and then try again. Don’t give up! 

Thanks so much for being on with us today!  Don't forget to check out Timmy and the Little Fart.
Happy Reading!!

Ben Jackson Social Media Links

Ben Jackson Author Bio
Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia. While working during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding, he also writes of a night as a Freelance Writer and Author.

Ben is in a Long-Distance Relationship with his wife Sam, who lives in Canada, she works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author.

Be sure to check out all his books, there is definitely something there for everyone!

As Indie Authors, we rely on our valuable customers to write a review, if you could spare a minute to leave a review of one of our books, we would greatly appreciate it.

He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page, connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads.

Remember, if you enjoyed one of his books, leave a review!

Book Links
The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist
Amazon US link
Amazon UK link

The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist
Timmy and his best friend the Little Fart are back again in The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist! In this beautifully illustrated children’s book you’ll experience Timmy’s first visit to the dentist, losing a tooth, and a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

No child loves the thought of a visit to the dentist. In The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist, Timmy takes a trip to the dentist with his best, and imaginary, friend the Little Fart. Timmy needs to have a tooth removed and then needs to help to try and explain the Tooth Fairy to the Little Fart.

Whenever the Little Fart is involved, hilarity and mischievousness are sure to follow! The authors decided to publish this book to try and help parents and dentists show that the dentist doesn’t have to be a bad experience. In the end, there is always the reward of receiving a visit by the magical and beautiful Tooth Fairy.

If you enjoy reading funny books with beautiful illustrations and love having your child read along with you, then make sure you grab The Day My Fart Followed Me To The Dentist! Discover and giggle along with Timmy, and the Little Fart on their exciting day at the dentist.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Interview with Ken Smith author of Hammer Blow

Welcome Ken!  Thanks so much for taking the time to come and share with us today.  Why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

I am a retired engineer, living in Dorset England with my wife. I call myself an engineer but I have had a wide variety of jobs over the years. None of which involved creative writing.

I am sure all the variety of work over the years has only added to your writing ability.  The more experiences we have the more we can pull from when we write. Ken, what got you into writing?

I suppose it started in the 80s with the personal computer boom. There were a number of magazines around at the time, catering for different brands of computer. The one that I subscribed to forgot to send anyone to a show and asked readers for reviews. I wrote one and they published it.
I continued to write for them until the publication folded. I stopped writing then and didn’t start again until I retired. I started reading a lot of short stories online. I found myself looking back on the story and saying “That’s not the way I would have told it”

That is a plus when writing, you get to plan how it ends.  Some books I have read have left me so frustrated by the end, but with my own, I keep writing until I feel a sense of satisfaction.  Will you share a short excerpt from your novel.  

Both Mike and Becky suited up and went inside. Brian Richards had been right; it was not a pleasant sight. In the chair opposite, the door was a man probably in his seventies. He was tied to the chair with a gag in his mouth. In front and to the side of him was a woman. She was bent over with her knees up near her face. It looked like she' been kneeling and fallen sideways. From her face, Mike estimated she was in her sixties. The back of her head was just a mass of blood and hair. The old man's shirt and face were spattered with blood and there were lines of blood spots up the wall and across the ceiling. Mike turned to Becky, blocking the doorway.
'You know the drill; have a look upstairs see if you can find any signs of a robbery. I'll look around down here.'
As soon as she left, he went back into the parlour.
On the floor between the door and the victims was a tea tray and around it a collection of broken crockery. He counted three cups and saucers, a teapot, milk jug and a sugar bowl. There was an unbroken plate and a selection of biscuits scattered across the floor. The stain on the carpet told him the teapot had been full when it broke. He got up and walked across the hall to the dining room. He saw no sign of a disturbance and moved on to the kitchen. He soon found a handbag that had to belong to the woman. In the purse, he found fifty pounds in notes, two credit cards and one debit. In one of the cupboards, he found a tea caddy containing five hundred pounds. The farm office also showed no sign of anything untoward. The safe was still locked and all the computer equipment was still there.
He returned to the hall and met Becky coming down the stairs.
'Anything up there?'

Ken, have you been given any helpful advice that has helped you in writing?
Yes. I was at a seminar on teaching engineering. A South African university professor was outlining his methods and I was arguing that the British Education system would prevent me using his methods. He said “Apply the Nike principle my friend. Just do it. If you wait for someone to give you permission you will wait forever.”
That’s how I started writing fiction. I didn’t study it or gain a qualification, I Just Did It. When people liked it I did some more. I have studied some since, and that study has been useful, but the important thing for me was actually doing it.

I think that is great advice.  I have had to do that sometimes when writing scenes.  I just write to get through a section.  Then later I come back and clean it up.  Hopefully by then inspiration has struck and I can really make a blah scene shine.  Currently, what are you working on?

Currently working on a follow up to Hammer Blow. The first book was self-contained in that all the stories ended but it left people wondering about the characters It was suggested that I write a series of Inspector Deverson novels so I’m starting on Number 2. The working title is Back from the Living.

I really like that title.  Tell us a little bit about your main characters

Deverson is closing on forty. He is married but the job causes problems in that area.  He is a seeker of justice and has a tendency care a little too much about the victims.  He is proud of being a policeman and can’t understand why not everyone shares his passion. His Sergeant is a Yorkshire man who says what he thinks. Sometimes he is a little too blunt. He is very good at getting Police computer system to produce the good. The female constable is relatively new to plain clothes and admires her boss. She knows that he has come up through the ranks and got where he has by being good at his job. The Chief Inspector is a woman with whom Deverson had a relationship when he was her mentor in the Metropolitan Police (London). She is a graduate/fast track copper and is destined for higher things.  

How did you decide on what to title each book? Sometimes I think this is one of the harder parts of writing.  Some readers only glance at a book for a second and if the cover and title don't grab them, they move on.

That was a tough call.  I started out with something that I thought sounded clever but people told me it was too obscure. In the end, I came up with a number of options and I put them up as a poll on Facebook. Hammer Blow won hands down. In the book the murder weapon is a hammer and Deverson suffers a hammer blow in his private life so it seemed to fit.

Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?
It stands alone and is part of a series. What I mean by that is that there will be more books featuring Inspector Deverson, but each one will stand alone. You will not have to read them in order. It is one of my pet hates, to get to the end of a book and find there are no conclusions, just a trail for the next book. I feel that I have been conned. I expected to buy one book but find I have to buy two or three in order to reach the conclusion. To me that is a serial not a series. A series is made up of stand-alone stories with a common thread. Peter May’s Lewis trilogy is a classic example. Each book comes to its own conclusion. They share common characters and setting but each one has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

Who designed the artwork for your cover?  Or did you design it yourself?
Time to fess up. I created it from a free stock image. I operate on a shoestring we don’t have the money for me to spend on my writing. Everything must show a return. The only thing I can squander is my time.

I think that's what a lot of author's do.  We all work on a budget.  My niece designed mine using a free stock image and I love it.  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 biggest Challenge is dealing with the horrible little man who sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear. Normally he turns up after about twenty thousand words and he says things like, that’s no good, she wouldn’t say that, give up now before you bore us all to tears. Every time I write he shows up, urging me to scrap the story and give up writing. The closer I get to the end the worse he gets, right up to the point that I finish the story and relax for a while prior to trying the first edit. He doesn’t go away until I show someone a draft of the story and start to get feedback.

I totally understand.  I think I am my harshest critic.  I second guess everything.  It's not until several people have given me feedback that I start to relax a little.  Is there something you learned from writing your first book?
I’m sure everyone says this but it really is a constant learning process. From the first one “Worth Fighting For” I learned that if you write across genre it makes it almost impossible to market.

Which do you find more challenging inventing the hero or the villain?  Why?
Oh the hero every time. A villain can be totally evil and people accept it, but a hero can never be totally good. They become sweeter than sugar. Deverson is an example. He is the good guy but he will stoop to a bit of bullying if it gets results.

That makes sense.  Ken, since you wrote in this genre, do you think you will ever write in other genres?
Quite probably. Crime fiction is not the only genre that I enjoy reading so I expect to write in other genre at some time.

Find out more about Ken at the links below.  Thanks for joining us.  Happy Reading!!

Links to Books

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Interview with Amanda A. Brooks author of the Brides of Diablo Series

Welcome Amanda!  Thanks for taking the time to join us today. Tell us a little about yourself.

Amanda A. Brooks has been writing romance novels since the age of fourteen. In 2009, she decided to self-publish. Never without a book in her hand or bag, Amanda is an avid reader of romance and true crime (especially of stories from the 1960's). She is always thinking of unique ideas for her stories. Amanda resides in Southern California.

What got you into writing, Amanda?

My love for writing started at the age of fourteen. One of my high school teachers was late for class. When I reached into my bag to pull out my book to read, I discovered that I had left it at home. Frustrated, I opened my notebook to a blank piece of paper, and after thinking, "I can just write my own stories.", I did. I haven't stopped writing since.

Share a short excerpt from your novel.

Paul just stared down at Hazel for a long moment before softly saying, “I never meant for any of this to happen, Hazel.”

 Staring incredulously up at Mr. Ryder, Hazel asked, “You never meant for any of this to happen? You betrayed me!”

 Paul just stared down at Hazel for another long moment before quietly explaining, “My signing your hanging date document was an accident, Hazel. April forced me to sign it without reading it first.”

 Still staring incredulously up at Mr. Ryder, Hazel asked, “April forced you to sign my hanging date document without reading it first?” And then, slowly standing, she asked, “What hold does she have on you?” When he didn’t answer her, she asked, “Are you sleeping with her?” When he still didn’t answer her, she glared up at him once again, and exclaimed, “Go to hell, Mr. Ryder!” 

 And then, walking towards him, she slapped him hard across the face.

Which do you prefer: print books or ebooks?

While I fought e-books at first since I love holding a physical book in my hands, I realized that I would reach/get more readers. Now I love them!

I definitely think ebooks offer great value and reach so many more people.  But I still love to have a book in my hand.

Amanda, currently, what are you working on?

I am currently working on BOOK 8 - BRIDES OF DIABLO:  NAUGHTY ANGEL - WILLA. It's about a woman whose prejudice against and hatred for Indians is tested when she's captured by one. Will she allow herself to fall in love with him?

Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

In the book that I just released on August 16th - BOOK 7 - BRIDES OF DIABLO:  PRISONERS OF LOVE - HAZEL - I wanted to write about the love that a Prison Warden has for one of his prisoners. Would it be enough to save her from her fate, and would he be willing to give up his job for her? The hero is Paul Ryder and the heroine is Hazel Haddon. I especially love that Paul doesn't judge Hazel.

How did you decide on what to title each book?

I don't know what was more fun - titling my books or naming my heroines. Both are like naming your kids - which I don't have. You want/have to pick the perfect one. I usually pick the names first, then the titles. Once I do both, I then come up with the plot. With PRISONERS OF LOVE, it was because both Hazel and Paul were trapped in their Prison surrounding. With NAUGHTY ANGEL, not only does Willa have a naughty side, she was a nurse - an Angel - during the Civil War.

I agree naming characters is so much fun.  Titles are a little more tricky for me, since they embody the whole story.  Amanda, how do you promote your books? 
I just promote them on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. And I recently joined Instagram - which is only for Book Promotion purposes. It's OK to self-promote. No one else will do it for you, and no one else will do it the way you want it done.

Those are all great places to start, I also recommend Goodreads.  Is this a stand-alone novel or part of a series?
PRISONERS OF LOVE - HAZEL is BOOK 7 of my BRIDES OF DIABLO Series. It's a twelve-book Series.

Wow that is ambitious!  12 books I think 3 is my limit.  What is the easiest part of the writing process?  What is the hardest?

Easy - Writing
Hard - Editing. I only do one round - a risk. It's not really about the Editing, but about the constant interruptions of life.

 I could never do that.  I need an editor, my grammar just isn't up to snuff. 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 serious Writer's Block brought about my previous Western Romance Series THUNDER MOUNTAIN BRIDES and this Series - BRIDES OF DIABLO. I used to write Darker Historical Romances. One day, I just wasn't happy or something, and couldn't write anymore. And then, I went to see HIGH NOON on the big screen, and my life - and writing path - changed forever!

That's great.  I am not sure I could just jump genres like that.  I am trying, but it is a little harder than I thought.  What are your hobbies aside from writing, if any?

I don't set aside chunks of time to write. Sometimes, writing is done for an hour or more. Sometimes, writing is done for a few minutes. I've even written on my iPhone Notepad when out, and later transferred it to my Word document. I can even write while listening to music. Once I start Final Editing (one round) that's when I need complete silence!

What advice would you give someone who is considering publishing? Should they consider traditional or self-publishing?

Self-Publishing is the only way to go! You have Total Control over your words (your Heart and Soul) and your Sales! Not to mention your covers! CreateSpace lets you publish on Amazon - A Dream Come True! 

Amanda, any last words you'd like to share with us?

Your writing is about your Heart and Soul - not your bank account!

Totally agree, if you are in it for the latter you will probably end up being disappointed.  It takes time to grow a following and get your book out there.  Thanks for joining us.  Happy Reading !!

Links to Books, website, fb page, social media accounts, cover designer (if applicable). 
My books (Paperback and e-book) can be ordered at

My Facebook pages for my Series are Thunder Mountain Brides by Amanda A. Brooks and Brides Of Diablo by Amanda A. Brooks

Instagram - wildwestaab

Twitter - augustblue


1)The Outlaw Schoolteacher - Edith - December 8, 2010
2)Hidden Secrets - Agnes - June 26, 2011
3)The Devil And The Lord - Danny - May 25, 2012
4)Forbidden Love - Marjorie - March 22, 2013
5)Be Wild My Little Child - Pamela - September 19, 2013
6)Complicated - Marta - February 13, 2014
7)The Rose And The Thorn - Julia - March 11, 2014
8)Who Wants To Live Forever - Eva - May 16, 2014
9)Deadly Love - Callie - October 14, 2014
10)In Name Only - Liza - December 22, 2014


1)Stolen Hearts - Eustacia - June 3, 2015
2)The Deserter - Dorcas - November 24, 2015
3)Destined For Love - Bailey - February 10, 2016
4)Bribed By Love - Shelby - September 22, 2016
5)Harbored Love - Helen - January 9, 2017
6)Northern Exposure - Frances - April 6, 2017
7)Prisoners Of Love - Hazel - August 16, 2017
8)Naughty Angel - Willa -
9)Captured Love - Constance -
10)Unlawful Love - Mabel -
11)Caught In The Middle - Ada -
12)Running From Love - Myra -