Tag Archive | author interview

Interview with author Karen Oberlaender

I have the great pleasure today of interviewing Karen Oberlaender, author of the short story collection, IN A SMALL COMPASS, and flash fiction series NEIGHBORS, on Marcia’s Book Talk.

Karen Oberlaender, author photograph

Welcome, Karen, it is lovely to have you here!

Thank you very much, Marcia, it is a pleasure to be here.

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A: I started writing ‘songs’ for myself when I was about elevenish. Throughout school I did not write much as we were forced to write what the ministry of education deemed necessary. At university, things changed; the topics were more interesting, and regained my love for writing. I kept writing non-fiction texts until I started my first blog, “My train of thoughts on…”, in December 2012. It took me until April 2013 to gather the courage to hit the publish button for my first short story, “Nightmare,” on my second blog, “In a Small Compass”. Let us say I have been writing – with interruptions – for a little more than 40 years.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Life per se is very inspiring, however not always in a pleasant way. Every story comprises bits and pieces of situations I have been in, of characteristics of the people I have met, personal insights, favourite places, and hobbies.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: As I have a full-time job, opportunities for writing are rare, yet very precious. Writing is mostly limited to a few hours on Saturdays or Sundays; inspiration during my non-writing life is jotted in my little black book or my smartphone for later use.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I love mysteries, urban fantasy, paranormal stories, and many more.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: I love the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.. There is another author who has found his voice, writes in different genres, has unusual ideas he puts into unforgettable stories, who has inspired me even more: C. S. Boyack. He created one very special character, Lisa Burton. You can consider me her greatest fan, and – this incredibly kind author allowed me to integrate Lisa in “Neighbors!” He has a tiny guest appearance, and Lisa helps to solve the mysterious case.

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Q: IN A SMALL COMPASS was a compelling, thought-provoking collection of short stories dealing with themes such as the paranormal and telepathy in a stimulating, enjoyable manner. What led you to write these stories, and do they reflect an interest in these subjects?

IN A SMALL COMPASS by Karen Oberlaender

A: I wrote each story for different reasons, sometimes there are dream fragments, sometimes I was inspired while travelling, in museums. These stories have one thing in common: to help those in need. Each day, innumerable things happen, often they cannot really be explained; there can be noises, scents, etc. So, yes – to a certain degree I am actually interested.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: All these stories are very dear to me. Within this first volume, I have to name two of them. One is “Laura non c’è”: I dreamt of a young Italian woman who took her life in her own hands after an unfortunate relationship. She travels to Munich and meets Laura, a British student. “Laura non c’è” is a song by Nek; the title means “Laura is not here”. This song obviously made a great title for this story.

The second story is “Directions”. I dreamt of the black car and the voice asking for directions in Skerries. As Skerries is like home for us, I opted once again for a paranormal helping hand.

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Q: You have just published a flash fiction series entitled NEIGHBORS! featured on your website in book form. Did you intend to compile these segments into a single book, and when did you decide to turn the story into a book?

NEIGHBORS! by Karen Oberlaender

A: It is due to one of my readers’ comments that Neighbors! was born. In 2014, participated in the Flash Fiction Friday challenge. One Friday, we were challenged to write a story of 150+/- 10 words, a photo of mailboxes, and to include an unpaid bill. I really liked the story I came up with, published it on my blog and – received this feedback: “I liked the message stuck on the cactus. Trouble is, I want to know more.” I felt the same. As I wanted to keep the concept of flash fiction and a certain number of words, I did not plan anything. In episode 61, I realised that this meant the end. My daughter did no longer accept excuses for not publishing my stories, and I started researching ways to publish.

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Q: You are currently writing a flash fiction series entitled OH! MY! DOG! on your website. Will you one day be compiling these segments into a single book, or would like to continue this on a serialized basis?

A: This flash fiction series will also become a book one day. This series originated in a dream – I saw a young man reading a newspaper on his tablet, and a black labrador retriever who showed him something by laying his paw on the young man’s knee. I do not know yet, how many episodes will be there, just that every episode will consist of 200+/-10 words.

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Q: Are there any genres you would like to write in?

A: I would like to write suspense with a touch of other genres; currently it is rather contemporary with a touch of suspense and other genres.

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: There are some I really enjoy: The IT Crowd, The Big Bang Theory, Scott & Bailey, Bob Ross – The Joy of Painting, and a lot more.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: Reading time – even if scarce – is always planned into my schedule. Then there are topics like linguistics, research, humanity, animal protection. My husband and I love travelling, going to the cinema, watching the local sports teams (except football (=soccer)).

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: I am right-handed, whereas my daughter is left-handed.

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I am always collecting bits and pieces of inspiration, so there are more stories on the way. Around November/December, I am going to publish IN A SMALL COMPASS, VOL. 2.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Karen for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Karen she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Smashwords page

*Karen’s website

*Karen’s blog

Further Links:

+In a Small Compass, Vol. 1 can also be accessed on books2read

+Neighbors! can also be accessed on books2read

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Interview with author Eve Paludan

Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing Eve Paludan, author of a number of book series, novels and novellas, including GHOST FIRE, THE WITCH DETECTIVES, BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE, WEREWOLF DETECTIVES, REKINDLING CLAIRE, CHASING BROADWAY and RANCH LOVERS ROMANCE, among her many works, to Marcia’s Book Talk.

Eve Paludan, author photograph

Welcome Eve, it is great to have you here!

It’s great to be here. Thanks for inviting me, Marcia!

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Q: How long have you been writing?

A:  I’ve been writing for longer than half a century. Although my passion is fiction, my first published book was the nonfiction series, Romance Writer’s Pink Pages: The Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Romance Novel Published. Three yearly editions were published as trade paperbacks by Prima Publishing. (This was before ebooks existed.) A great literary agent landed the deal for me. The publisher sent me on a multi-city book tour and the book became a #1 bestseller, two years in a row, for a national writer’s book club. I did radio and TV appearances, as well as attended writers’ conferences and book signings. It was the best of times.

WITCHY BUSINESS by Eve Paludan and Stuart Sharp

However rewarding it was to have a successful nonfiction series for aspiring writers, a fiction writer is who I am at heart. And I wanted to network with other fiction writers. So, years ago, I found kindred spirits, colleagues and critique partners in the Desert Rose (Phoenix, Arizona) Chapter of Romance Writers of America. I also took writing classes at Mesa Community College from instructor Connie Flynn and forged longtime friendships with other writers. I stayed in RWA for years, until I moved to another city.

Even though I was a traditionally published book author, for years, I also worked day jobs or did contract work for software companies. I did not enjoy that very much because I wanted to be writing novels, not working from dawn to dusk for someone else’s dream. At night, I would write my books, sometimes going to bed at 2 a.m. and rising at 6 a.m. to go back to my day job. In 2011, after finally getting my ducks lined up as a freelance editor, I quit my day jobs forever. I’ve never regretted my decision to follow my own star. Today, I revel in the freedom to create what I love best: original fiction. I also still edit novels for a handful of bestselling author clients.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: My fiction titles are created completely from my imagination and from research—any similarity to real people or actual situations is purely coincidental. Now that my tongue-in-cheek disclaimer is out of the way…

My life has been pretty ordinary, so reading thousands of books in my lifetime has inspired me more than my own life experiences. I have a vivid imagination and I am that reclusive, mysterious writer and voracious bookworm who keeps strange hours and stays hunkered down over a keyboard or a Kindle until dawn breaks. Yes, I keep vampire hours unless I have to do something during the day outside my home.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: Truthfully, the last eight years have been less like a plan and more like flying by the seat of my pants, with editing projects for my bestselling clients taking precedence. Every time I complete a client project, I reward myself with time to work on my own books. My writing schedule is pretty haphazard, but it works for me.

BURNING by J.R. Rain and Eve Paludan

I’m excited about the future. It’s on my bucket list to write and publish 100 books/stories and I’m about halfway there, if I count my ghostwritten books and books published under pen names.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I love mysteries, paranormal or not. And romance and suspense in mystery is always welcome, too. I like reading contemporary romances. I have a few historical romance eras that I enjoy, too.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: Linda Style, April M. Reign, J.R. Rain, J. Thorn, Ray Bradbury, Aiden James, S.A. Hunt, H.T. Night, Diana Bold, Sharla Rae, Marcia Carrington, Connie Flynn, Summer Lee, Denise Domning, Lisa Lutz (Spellman series), Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum series), Shirley Jackson, Robert B. Parker, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Scott Nicholson, J.T. Cross, J.A. Konrath, Toby Neal, Elaine Babich, J.R. Rice, R.L. Stine and many, many more. I could write a whole book on why I chose them.

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Q: Taking Back Tara, the first part of the RANCH LOVERS series, was an enjoyable romance, with great attention to physical detail that made me feel as if I was there with the characters. What inspired you to write the love story of Tara and Zane?

TAKING BACK TARA by Eve Paludan

A: Thank you for the compliments on these modern rancher romances. Taking Back Tara was written in five days after a friend’s challenge to write a fast, tight romance story by a certain date. I chose a Wyoming rural setting because I had once lived there and I knew I wouldn’t get bogged down with research. The places and types of ranching people were familiar to me. The hero of this series is based on someone I knew 44 years ago—he left quite an impression on me. The heroine in my books is almost always me, disguised, of course. Not many women romance authors will admit it, but the heroine is probably them! Tara Takes Christmas, the second novel in the series, is longer and took me about four months to write.

TARA TAKES CHRISTMAS by Eve Paludan

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Q: Among your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I’d have to say The Man Who Fell from the Sky is pretty close to the top, if not number one. That big novel, set in Montana, was a three-year project. It had five editors and three agents (the first agent for this book was not the same one I had for Pink Pages).

THE MAN WHO FELL FROM THE SKY by Eve Paludan

After two years of back and forth, many revisions for my prospective publisher and agent drama that included one death and one nervous breakdown, I politely parted ways with the final agent with a soaring sense of freedom because I was finally going to take complete control my own future. I pulled the book from the publisher, and I published the book myself on Kindle.

I made a book trailer with paid licensed music, though the book now has a fresh cover. I promoted it, along with some writer friends. I bought paid ads, too. The Man Who Fell from the Sky earned bestseller rankings and positive reviews that first year. And the rest, as they say, is history…

The Man Who Fell from the Sky (Angel Detectives #1) features an angel-cowboy hero who’s both sexy and spiritual. And the heroine is gutsy, smart and kind. There are many heartfelt moments in this mystery romance novel with supernatural elements. The romance and heartbreak come from a secret place deep within me.

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Q: You have written a number of book series over the years, mainly in the fantasy/paranormal/mystery genres. What do you find most fascinating about writing in these genres?

A: My characters know things that I have no way of knowing. I give them free rein to solve intricate mysteries and make complex relationships work, and fight battles and explore the myths and wonders of vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and even a lady Bigfoot who goes on the lam with a human baby! I find it fascinating what my characters know. I just type what they say in my head and I mostly stay out of their way until the second draft. I sometimes end up cutting a lot during the self-editing process, but mostly, the characters stay on track and solve a mystery or two, fight against evil, and most of all, find true love. And I have paid editors for the final version, to make sure I haven’t missed an orphan plot bunny or created a continuity error.

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Q: Are there any other book genres you would like to try writing in at some stage?

A: I have plans for a long-running regional mystery series with no paranormal elements, an anthology of short stories and maybe, sexy love poetry. I have a prior commitment to write seven paranormal books, so that’s still on my plate. And I have a 100,000-word contemporary romance simmering on the back burner, a novel that I wrote way back in 1987—it has two heroes and one heroine—it’s scandalous, wild, sexy and original. Although my first agent loved the book and shopped it to publishers in New York City, I don’t think 1987 was ready for that book—However, I believe 2018 is. And I’m working on Witch List (Witch Detectives #5).

GHOST FIRE by Eve Paludan

And, this is the first time I have said this publically, but I’ll be developing new nonfiction titles relating to writing and editing. Even though my fiction takes center stage, I’m excited about this longed-for return to nonfiction writing.

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I don’t have cable or a dish, but I occasionally watch TV shows online through Amazon Prime or PBS.org. I adored Downton Abbey and I wish it was still in production. My current favorites are Poldark, a PBS historical series, and Bosch, an Amazon Originals detective series.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

REKINDLING CLAIRE by Eve Paludan

A: Reading, swimming and water exercise with water weights, treasure hunting in thrift stores and outdoor photography.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: I am a righty, Marcia. Except for typing, I rarely do anything with my left hand.

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A:  My most recent and possibly best novel is DRAGON LESSONS, an 83,000+ word Kindle Worlds novel (licensed fiction through arrangements with Amazon). Dragon Lessons is set in the Vampire for Hire world of J.R. Rain’s vampire detective, Samantha Moon. When Sam’s teenage daughter, Tammy, falls for Thorn, a dragon shifter, he rocks her world with an unforgettable first love. But he’s intent on a noble mission—and if he fails, it will be the end of the world as they know it.

DRAGON LESSONS by Eve Paludan

 Dragon Lessons is only distributed in the U.S., but it is available free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It’s fast-paced and features one of my newer writing techniques where the story is revealed through multiple viewpoints in alternating chapters until it comes together at the end with a lot of excitement.

I should have some other books coming out in late spring, so readers should stay tuned to my blog at http://evepaludanbooks.com/

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Marcia. It was a pleasure to be interviewed by you.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Eve for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Eve she is available on:

*Amazon.com

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook Pages

Eve Paludan

Eve Paludan author

*Blog and website

http://evepaludanbooks.com/

 

Interview with author Peggy Edelheit

In the first author interview for 2017 on my blog, I have the great pleasure of welcoming Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison mystery series, and non-fiction memoir THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, to Marcia’s Book Talk.

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Welcome, Peggy, it is lovely to have you here!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Since the end of 2009 /2010

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: All of my mysteries have some true life experiences weaved throughout them. I’m not admitting to which experiences or how many of them are…chuckle. I leave that to the imagination/enjoyment of the reader deciphering those mysteries.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I try to write everyday. I have a designated area where I work and can shut out any distractions. I surround myself with family photos and mementos that bring a smile and inspire me. I have a leather journal to jot down notes when a thought or idea hits me and I don’t want to forget it, regardless of where I am.

One thing I have always done is when I am in the heat of a scene; I often close my eyes to visualize it, taking note of minute details for realism. Of course, when some scenes have happened it comes naturally, as I recapture scenery, details, and dialogue that caught my eye and ear when it actually happened. I’ve also been known to swap dialogue to see how it plays out coming from another character.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep my readers in the loop. I let them know exactly what Sam is thinking and seeing as the story unfolds. If I lose my reader, they may give up on me and not come back. I try to keep the reader engaged. And I try not to forget they are looking over my shoulder.

I have found readers like details that enrich a scene, not detract from it. Unnecessary filler is often used to stretch books. I find when I’m reading a book with fillers; I tend to brush past those pages to get to the meat of the story and action. So I try to avoid it, only adding what I think a reader needs to know, to understand the subject matter at hand and it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story.

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WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I do read all genres and appreciate the varied storylines. There is so much talent out there; sometimes it is hard to pick which one to read. I’m a voracious reader and travel with my eBook reader. I can’t sit and do nothing, while I wait in line, travel, etc. But I continuously drift back to mysteries. I love trying to undo all the strings to figure out who the culprit is and always appreciate an author’s skill when they cleverly place clues in plain sight. I do that all the time in my mysteries. It is only when the reader gets to my surprise endings that they tell me they go back and realize my hints and innuendo leading them to the answers at the end.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: I would have to say there are so many talented authors out there that each one has taught me skills over the years through reading their books and appreciating their individual and unique styles. I don’t think I could pinpoint and single out one or two. Today the talent out there is mindboggling. When I see talent I will support that author if it helps them get recognized for their gifts in relating unique stories.

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THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: After reading your memoir of a family summer in the French Riviera, THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, which I found an utterly compelling page turner, will you be writing further non-fiction books of other notable experiences in your life?

A: I’ve been asked that a lot and am mulling that over. The reason I wrote that book was I wanted to put pen to paper before I forgot any relevant details by giving a firsthand account of what we went through as a family from my point of view only. My mysteries are told from Samantha’s viewpoint. I thought if told from that perspective the reader would experience what I was thinking and going through emotionally and physically at my doubts and indecision, not knowing how it would all end. To this day, I still have a fear of fire and what it can do.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I think they all are close to my heart, as they all have an element of truth to them. Each book takes place in a true-to-life setting where I have lived at one time or another and did experience a few of the incidents I relate in each book. Ex: that horrific ice storm in Book 1 The Puzzle; my becoming fascinated by the oddities of our gardens and property in France in Book 3, 86 Avenue du Goulet; the break-in in FL by a thieves chiseling out the window and throwing it into the pool to gain entry in Book 5, Mouth Of The Rat; my broken leg in Book 6, Death Knell In The Alps; my other broken leg in Book 8, The Lush Life, along with my rehab, which included my wheelchair and learning how to walk again; which led to Book 9, Too Close For Comfort, etc.

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MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

Q: You have written a multi-part series in the Samantha Jamison detective novels and are currently in the tenth instalment. Will you be writing any other book series?

A: Although it is a series, I wrote each one as a standalone mystery, giving just enough background in each one (not to bore readers) as to who the characters are and how they are relevant to that mystery. Although I have had feedback from readers that they’ve enjoyed the series more when read in order. It is their choice. I’ve had people read them in the usual places: planes and trains, and even in their cars on the way to work, and standing in line at the bank reading on their iPhone. I try to make the chapters not too long so people can pick up and put down the mystery easily and not have to repeat reading chapters to recall who and what is going on. I am now writing #11 in the series.

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Q: You have mainly written in the detective/mystery genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: I have toyed with that idea often, but then Samantha, my protagonist, whispers in my ear another idea for another mystery. Truthfully speaking, I think she has a vested interest in not losing her job as a sleuth. There is some of me in her. (Not saying how much) Maybe she’s my alter ego. But most of all, I have fun with it and embellish where necessary. (Quite often!)

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: What is out there today in original series: Cable, Netflix, Amazon, I am amazed at the intelligent writing and smart programming, it would be impossible to single out any one. I’m not trying to be evasive, it’s that the consumer has so much more to choose from as far as such varied choices in multiple genres. Good ones!

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love cooking and have pots and pans hanging everywhere in my kitchen that overlooks my gardens (another love) as well as old clay pots filled with cooking utensils, flowers, family memorabilia placed everywhere. I do that on purpose so it calls out to me at the end of the day to create something or bake something to relax and unwind from my day. I set tables that encourage lively conversations and much lingering.

I once whipped up a dinner in an hour for 14 friends and family. I felt inspired and began calling everyone at the last minute.

I stared at my table while everything was cooking and prepared. Hmm… I then picked out (I refer to it as going shopping in my house) items as my theme. I quickly began collecting old leather books of odd sizes from my collection and began stacking them haphazardly along the center of my long table in the kitchen. Then put old candlesticks of various heights throughout. Than perched old photos, wire-rimmed glasses, an old pipe, a few cameos, and bookmarks I ‘ve collected from all over the world. Then I set the table, dimmed the lights just as my hubby cranked up the grill outside and the guests began arriving, stunned I had pulled off such a coup! Truth be told, I just love doing it. We all lingered for hours over dinner, wine, and then coffee, telling humorous family/friend stories.

It’s times like those that I absorb dialogue, the natural way people interact and talk, joke, and laugh. I am always listening for the cadence and trueness of language. People don’t speak grammatically correct either.

I was once given a mug that proudly sits on my desk in my office that says: Watch what you say, it may end up in my next novel. Trust me, it does!

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

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Q: Have you written any short stories, either unpublished, or aim to eventually publish?

A: I’ve written brief true stories I have on my website. If readers have read some of them and also my mysteries, they will find that a few of them have found their way into my mysteries. That is what I meant about keeping it real. People have asked where I get my ideas. Read some of those blog/posts and you will find out. I don’t live an ordinary life. I love every minute of it!

…Okay, okay, maybe some instances I’d just as soon forget.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Good question with unusual answers. I am left handed, but can cut with scissors only with my right hand. I can only throw a ball, play tennis with my right arm. I eat with my left hand. I don’t know what that says about me, but I can tell you I am real creative (mind wise) for getting into trouble both on paper and off.

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SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I am in the middle of #11 in the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. This one had numerous delays. I refer to that as life interrupted, throughout this last year. As usual, it is an unusual mystery. I’ll leave it at that for now.

Thank you, Marcia.

I’m honored and appreciate you thinking of me for the interview. It was fun.

And to all those readers out there, remember to chase your dreams not someone else’s. Everyday is a blessing.

All the best, Peggy

It has been a sheer pleasure to have you on the blog Peggy.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Peggy today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Peggy, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Amazon.com

*Peggy’s website

Interview with author Tamara Ferguson

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Tamara Ferguson, author of romantic-suspense books THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, the first part of the KISSED BY FATE series, the TALES OF THE DRAGONFLY book series, and TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED, amongst her works, and welcome her to my blog.

Tamara Ferguson, author photograph

Tamara Ferguson, author photograph

Welcome, Tamara!

Thank you Marcia for having me. I always enjoy our visits!

Likewise Tamara!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Probably about 6 years – but much more seriously the last 3.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Once my autistic son graduated from school and didn’t enter the vocational program he was supposed to because of our state’s budget cuts, I was forced to become his full time caregiver. So I guess you could say that ALL my life experiences are behind my writing. I write about what I know; since autism and disabilities are very much a part of my life.

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson contained in MOTHER'S DAY MAGIC box set

TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson contained in MOTHER’S DAY MAGIC box set

A: I prefer to write after a good night’s sleep. I find that what I write later in the day doesn’t always make as much sense as what I write when I’m fresh.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I read a lot of suspense and romantic suspense, but I actually love to read historical romance. And because there were a lot of authors in the historical genre who I enjoy, I began writing contemporary-partly because I found a lot of contemporary romances I began reading didn’t always seem to hold my interest.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: When I was younger, I would have had a totally different answer for this. I enjoyed lighter romance/chick lit. But now I’d say there are three authors – Mary Balogh, Linda Howard (I love her later romances more than her earlier) & Nora Roberts. All three mix up a great blend of humor & romance, while Linda Howard and Nora Roberts add in the suspense. One of my favorite stories by Linda Howard is Open Season-it’s made me laugh each time I’ve read it.

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Q: After reading THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, which I found to be an entertaining novel, I enjoyed the romance between Kate and Murphy, but also liked the supporting characters, who backed up the protagonists in a wonderful manner. The detail of home construction was also another striking feature of the book, adding authenticity and background to the characters’ occupations. What inspired you to write this story with its rich tapestry of characters and situations?

THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A: The home improvement is easy – I do all these things myself. I was a single parent for many years and had a house to keep up. The house I live in now has a list of never-ending problems that have been really hard to keep up with. But all my stories feature strong women who are not necessarily looking for love, so it’s easy giving them jobs pertaining to what I’m the most familiar with.

With this story, I wanted to go in a different direction with my writing. I wanted to write something with a little lighter subject matter and a lot more humor. After getting some critiques from the RWA, I was told that this story would fit perfectly into the new adult genre-which I’d never even heard of! And so began my transition as a writer.

Working with an editor (DS Williams) really helped with this a lot. After my critiques, I began thinking in terms of my target age groups. This makes a big difference in the formality of my writing and use of contractions, etc.

And each editor is different, in the way they approach my stories. Sometimes the slightly older school editors don’t really understand that my way of writing- as far as new adult – is totally intentional.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED by Tamara Ferguson

TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED by Tamara Ferguson

A: My favorite story is usually the one I’m writing at the time! But the story I think I’m the proudest of (so far) is Two Hearts Surrendered, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight is probably closest to my heart because two of my characters are based a little on myself and my autistic son, as well as the troubles and struggles I’ve dealt with as his caregiver.

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Q: You have participated in several book compilations with other authors covering themes such as Magical Weddings, Mother’s Day, and A Touch of Passion. How is the experience of writing on a specific theme in combination with other authors?

MOTHER'S DAY MAGIC box set contains TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson

MOTHER’S DAY MAGIC box set contains TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson

A: You know as far as the theme, most of us are off doing our thing for several months while we’re writing our stories. The time we need to work together the most is when we’re approaching our release dates-and this can be really difficult. I’ve had a totally different experience with each group I’ve worked with- but mostly good. I’ve made a lot of good friends. I find the more I get involved in anthologies, the more of a promotion person I’m becoming.

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I’ve always liked NCIS- and probably won’t ever get tired of it. CSI and Law & Order I’ve liked, but am so SICK of the reruns. Seems like everyone shows the same ones over and over again. I liked HOUSE a lot too. I do enjoy old movies BUT even Turner Classic Movies has become slightly monotonous. The most popular movies are shown so much, that I kind of get sick of them. I used to like their format when they featured the same star the entire day.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: What IS spare time?? In the old days it was gardening and floral design (I still have a home business) as well as big time home improvement projects, but since I began writing and particularly since I began using social media, I seem to behind my computer from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the romance, military, new adult and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A TOUCH OF PASSION box set contains THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A TOUCH OF PASSION box set contains THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A: It’s strange that I like to read historical, but I don’t want to write it. Right now I’m at a crossroads – I’m trying to decide what kind of story I’d like to write for a new anthology I’ll be in next year. Do I want to go light – and do more of a chick lit theme (which I’ve never really written)? Or do I want to stick to slightly serious subject matter, but still inject a lot of humor? I seem to be best at this, I think. I am not especially inclined to write fantasy, there are just too many authors out there already tackling this, but I think I’d enjoy writing a Christmas ghost story at Dragonfly Pointe. I’m a fan of old movies and The Canterbury Ghost and Topper are a lot of fun to watch.

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Q: Have you written any unpublished short stories, you eventually aim to publish?

A: I haven’t had much in-between time lately. Every time I’ve finished up with one anthology, another one has come along. So I am kind of a write on demand person lately. I think I do have a short story tucked away somewhere – that need a lot of work! And I began Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence last year, but I know I’ll be completely changing that up when I go back to it. I really want to revise my first TOD In Tandem – but I know it will require an awful lot of work!

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

MAGICAL WEDDINGS Box Set

MAGICAL WEDDINGS Box Set

A: I’m right handed but I use both hands to manipulate my laptop. I’ve had some hand, arm and shoulder issues too; not because of my writing, but because of the time I spend on twitter!

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A:  First of all, the revised Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight will be released on June 28 with a new cover created by the award-winning Blue Harvest Creative. I’ve joined their author team for the next year after winning a huge prize from Readers’ Favorite. Two Hearts Undone (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance #3) is due to come out any day now in Annie Acorn’s 2016 Romance Anthology, and I’m currently writing Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence. It should be released sometime next spring. I’m also working on the first novella of a new series to be featured in the bestselling Wedding Pets & Kisses series, which will be released in March of 2017.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Tamara today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Tamara she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook TOD

*Kissed By Fate

*Amazon.com

*Tamara’s website TOD

*Kissed By Fate

*Tamara’s blog

*Tamara’s LinkedIn

*Tamara’s G+

 

 

Interview with author Carmen DeSousa

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Carmen DeSousa, author of romantic-suspense stories: SOUTHERN ROMANTIC-SUSPENSE series; the CREATUS series; THE LIBRARY; short stories, THE DEPOT and THE PIT STOP; and coming soon a women’s fiction/chick lit series, starting with SOME LUCKY WOMAN; and THE WATERMEN series, amongst her many works, and welcome her to my blog.

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Carmen DeSousa, author photograph

Welcome, Carmen!

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Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Like most writers, I’ve been writing as long as I could hold a pen. As a child, I would write little short stories, bind them with bread ties, and then present them to my grandmother. In college, I wrote a novella, and had planned to make a career as an editor in New York, but life got in the way. I ended up in a sales and marketing career. Thankfully, six years ago, I found my way back. In the last six years, I’ve written and published fourteen novels. And I have two more coming out soon.

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Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Oh, my, yes! All of my life experiences, good and bad, are included in my novels. The trick when you read is to figure out what situations I base on my actual life events or someone I know, and which ones come from my twisted mind. 🙂

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Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I used to, but again, life has a way of getting in the way of best laid plans. 2015 was a trying year for me, and 2016 isn’t starting out much easier. But as soon as possible, I plan to get back to the plan that allowed me to pen so many books.

Chat with my peeps on Twitter and Facebook over coffee. Then no later than ten a.m., TURN OFF THE INTERNET, and plant myself in my chair until 12:00 p.m. Chat with my peeps while eating lunch, then get back to it from 1:00 until 4:00. My goal is two thousand words a day.

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Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I love anything that isn’t too graphic in nature. I’ll read anything, and I have. From A Game of Thrones (historical, supernatural, action, thriller) to Crazy Little Thing (contemporary romance / chick lit) to Hunger Games (dystopian) to Twilight (paranormal romance). And oddly enough, I write the same way. Although all of my stories have a common thread: romance, mystery, and suspense, I enjoy writing everything from romance to mystery, paranormal to chick lit.

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Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: When I was in college, I loved Sidney Sheldon. We’re so spoiled right now. When we finish a book, the author usually has their next one coming out in a few months or so. Back then, I’d have to wait a year or two for Sheldon’s next book. To me, he was the inventor of romantic suspense featuring a female heroine.

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Q: From my reading experience of THE DEPOT, it was a highly suspenseful, intricately crafted story with well-timed shocks and great hints of romance. What inspired you to write this story?

A: Ahhh…yes. I enjoyed writing that short story. The Depot is actually based on a real ghost story of a place where I worked. I actually added the story at the front of The Library, the follow-up novel to The Depot.

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Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: She Belongs to Me… But if I told you, I’d have to kill you. LOL! But really, She Belongs to Me was my first published story. And as I’ve told others, it took me all my life to put that story together. Some folks read it and think that it’s unbelievable… Between you and me, though… most of it is true. 😉

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Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: Growing up, my favorite was I Dream of Jeannie. It was sweet and romantic with a paranormal edge, something I love. As an adult, I rarely watch TV, but a couple of shows that I’ve been faithful to and have watched every one is Friends, and now I’m a huge fan of A Game of Thrones.

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Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love the outdoors, and it’s something I like to share with my readers. I especially love to hike and kayak.

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Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the fantasy, romance and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: Yes. In fact, as I mentioned above, I just finished a women’s fiction/chick lit. I wasn’t sure if I could pull off writing humor, but my beta readers said I did, so…we’ll see.

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Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Right handed. BUT…all of last year, due to two shoulder operations, both on my right arm, I had to learn how to blog and write not only one-handed, but also with my left. Hey…maybe that’s where the funny story came from. 🙂

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Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: Always! Along with the two mentioned above, I have a new series I’ll start working on near the end of this year. I can’t tell you what it’s about, but it’ll be the first time that I place a female lead as the “cop” type. The genre will be romantic thriller, but more on the thrilling part. I want to write a strong female lead, who’s also tender inside. Even though she’ll be too busy to ever let it show. I’ve already written the first chapter, which is usually how I start a book. If I like the character after the first chapter and still want to continue their story, I continue the book. I don’t plan out my books, so characters have to be able to sell me on their story just as much as they have to sell the reader. And I’m a tough sale.

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I am certain you will join me in thanking Carmen today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Carmen, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook page

*Amazon.com

*Carmen’s website/blog

– Carmen’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below. Apart from THE PIT STOP, Carmen’s full book catalog is available to read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

CREATUS series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

A SOUTHERN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL series by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE PIT STOP by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE DEPOT by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE LIBRARY by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa

THE WATERMEN series by Carmen DeSousa