Category Archives: Author Interviews

Interview with Alex Siegel

We asked Alex about books!

Alex Siegel Author PhotoWhat book do you have on your shelf that you go to over and over for help on writing technique/ craft. Why do you find this one so helpful?

I don’t go to a specific book. I’ve been writing for a very long time and have a solid grasp of the craft, but of course, I’m not perfect. I rely on a circle of knowledgeable friends and fans to catch my mistakes. They read my manuscripts and tell me where I screwed up. If I have a specific technical question, I go to the internet.


What book have you loved/ kept from your youth?  What made you fall in love with it?

I loved the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. The subtle, witty humor and endlessly creative stories always delighted me.


What is the latest book you are reading?  

Writing and editing my own work takes up most of my available time. The last piece of fiction I read was Dante’s Inferno. That was research for my current series.


What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy (other than reading/writing)?

I used to study martial arts back when I had more free time. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


What is your next book about?

I’m working on Hell’s Wrath, the fifth and final book in the First Circle Club series. The idea behind Hell’s Wrath is that a demon is leading an army of other demons in an invasion of Chicago. It’s up to the intrepid First Circle Club to stop them, but of course, the demons are just the start. Heaven’s response is just as problematic.

See below about his latest book and how to reach him on the web

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Interview with Lisa Caviness

Lisa Caviness shares with us about books!

What book do you have on your shelf that you go to over and over for help on writing technique/craft. Why do you find this one so helpful?

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_OrderOfFearThere are actually two books I refer to often. Mastering Suspense, Structure and Plot by Jane K. Cleland. I love the breakdown of plotting techniques. This book has really helped me plan my stories and plot twists. The other book I often refer back to is The Book on Writing, The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque. I often use this book as a reference for grammar, sentence structure, and specific storytelling devices. I like craft books with lots of examples and helpful tools I can apply to my work.


What book have you loved/ kept from your youth?  What made you fall in love with it?

There are two books from my youth I currently have on my shelf. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a book I fell in love with as a young girl. I was fascinated by the concept of time travel. The other book I’ve kept on my shelf is 1984, by George Orwell. Although the book depicted life under a totalitarian government, I found hope as Winston dared to have individual thoughts rejecting Big Brother, even if it was short-lived and accomplished by internally questioning the government, writing in a journal, and loving another person.


What is the latest book you are reading?  What drew you to  it?

I am reading Love Encounters by LaNora Mangano. The book is a love story set against the business of paranormal investigations. What an interesting concept! I’ve watched some of those ghost hunting shows and found them intriguing so this book appealed to me. I’ve read other books by LaNora and she has a way of really getting into the characters’ heads and showing the emotional aspects of relationships. I read a lot of thrillers and romantic suspense novels but stepping away from that kind of intensity and reading a story so steeped in the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship is a satisfying departure.


What cookbook is your favorite and why?

With the explosion of cooking blogs and online recipe websites, I don’t buy physical cookbooks anymore but one of the cookbooks I still use is the old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Their apple crisp and pineapple upside down cake recipes are wonderful and remind me of family dinners with my grandmothers.


What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy (other than reading/writing)?

I love working out and can be found in the gym on most mornings. Running and lifting weights are my favorite activities. Also, when the weather cooperates, I enjoy walking and hiking.


What is your next book about?

I’m currently working on Book Two of The Order Series, entitled Order of Malice.

Reid Patterson isn’t who he says he is. Compelled to make several life changes after the shocking discovery of his psychotic and murderous birth mother, Reid wants to prove to himself he’s not like his biological family. His singular goal of joining the FBI has been his focus. Then with one knock at his door, his life changes again as old family ties surface. He’s thrown into a deadly game with a beautiful woman as his heart is tested.

Holly Babson is burnt out. As a child psychologist in the foster care system, Holly feels her work isn’t making a difference. She longs for a quiet life and a quiet practice. Then, a teenaged girl runs away. When Holly delivers Lila back to her foster family, something isn’t quite right. Holly and Lila are forced to flee for their lives. They end up in a dangerous quest for truth as Holly’s life and emotions are tossed into shambles.

The forgotten child, Ivan Sinclair, surfaces with a vengeance. Denied a place in his family’s organization, The Order, Ivan is on a mission to claim the top spot and usurp the power that should have rightly been his. Murder, deceit, and greed ensue as Ivan is determined to succeed at all costs.

As Reid and Holly’s world collide against the diabolical force of The Order, they fight for their lives and their hearts.

Enter the contest below and follow the tour for excerpts from the book

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Squirrel Bait

About the book by Chip Davis (and see our mini-interview below)

Paranormal, Humor 89 Pages

At the time of posting, Chip is offering up this fun read for free!

Cover Squirrel BaitTonya has an unusual passion for books, even for a librarian. When her books are harmed she takes it personally. When people turn up dead over damaged books, there are questions to answer. When the killer is a weresquirrel, the questions become more confusing.

There is a certain pretentiousness in classical literature. Elegant writing filled with meaning both astounding and sublime. This is not that. Not horrific enough to be horror, nor humorous enough to be comedy, welcome to Chip’s Dollar Dreadfuls. There may not be any fundamental truths, but there will be blood…so much blood.

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Offering his work for free?  Why should Chip do such a thing from Thursday, July 21st through Monday July 25th

I think he dislikes odd numbers. That number thirty-three on the number of the book’s reviews is getting to him.  Why not take a read, and leave a review and put him out of his misery. Thirty-four sounds so much more, even.

stars for squirrel

We asked Chip some tough questions, but he was up to the task.

What book do you have on your shelf that you go to over and over for help on writing technique/ craft. Why do you find this one so helpful?  

I have several books on writing and writing for YA, all gathering dust on my shelves. I get more from reading James Michener and Louis L’amour than anything else. They are different from each other, but they both are very true to historic people, events, and places within their fiction. I love that about them. If they say there is a well at some location in the desert, you could go there and find it, or where it was.


What book have you loved/ kept from your youth?  What made you fall in love with it?

I am not ashamed to admit this, it is Uhura’s Song by Janet Kagan. I’m a trekkie from the day Star Trek was born, and this is Star Trek and more.


What is the latest book you are reading?  What drew you to  it?

I have been reading several short stories by Steven King, to get me in the proper mindset for a few of my upcoming books.


What cookbook is your favorite and why?

I hate them, I hate them all. I’m not allowed in the kitchen unsupervised. I am not allowed to open a new can of coffee or new box of cereal, and I’m certainly not allowed to touch the cookbooks!


What other hobbies/interests do you enjoy (other than reading/writing)?

I love travel and photography. My dream is to travel for my Trail of the Raven books, and do my photography on those trips. I spent some time in Haiti researching my first book in the series, I’m not sure I can swing it for the next, but who knows?


What is your next book about?

I have an obnoxious number of books started, the second book of the Trail of the Raven series, Trail of the Raven, Brazil, the next Dollar Dreadful is about finding bigfoot, or more accurately Yowie in 1920’s Australia, but I have a short story I promised for an anthology, so that will have to be next. That one is a fact based fiction set in Suriname. I can only hope the other stories leave me alone long enough to write it. I have this fellow in my head, Stubby McGee, private eye, who keeps interrupting me.


About the Author

Chip discovered a passion for travel as a boy when his family moved from Arkansas to Kenya for two years as missionaries. He continued moving regularly as an adult, working construction jobs across several states, until having two school-aged sons dictated that he settle down. Fast forward through 15 years of structural design, the boys are grown and it is time to travel once again.

Chip’s dream is to become like Jack, the main character in his books. He will be traveling, learning new cultures and places, and looking for ways to help people along the way. This, in turn, will fuel the books to come.

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Interview with Tim Hemlin

What book do you have on your shelf that you go to over and over for help on writing technique/ craft. Why do you find this one so helpful? 

I reread passages of the masters when I feel I need help kick starting my own writing.  My favorites include Hemingway’s short stories, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and almost anything by Henry James.  I like the balance of Hemingway’s tight style with Tolstoy and James’s eye for detail and description.

Author Photo Tim HemlinWhat book have you loved/ kept from your youth?  What made you fall in love with it?

When I was in 7th grade my English teacher, Mr. Perry Onion, handed out this thick paperback to the class and at first I groaned.  The Hobbit?  What in the world was a hobbit?  It sounded dumb.  The only books I’d read at that point had been about sports, and they had pictures, too.  Mr. Onion introduced the book and read the beginning to us. He then told us to take it home and read the next couple of chapters.  I read that and more.  I couldn’t put it down.  I decided right then and there I wanted to be Gandalf when I grew up.  When I told Mr. Onion how much I liked The Hobbit, he mentioned there were three other books like it.  My parents were shocked when I told them I wanted to read The Lord of the Rings, and they went right out and bought me the series.  I read every word.  Finding myself in Middle Earth surrounded by all these fantastical creatures not only made me want to read more, it made me want to become a writer.

What is the latest book you are reading?  What drew you to purchase/order it (the subject, a friend recommended it, a gift, you met the author somewhere…. etc)

I often read more than one book at a time.  Usually they’re very different in order to fit the mood I might be in.  Currently I’m reading Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.  Tippett hosts the radio program On BeingBecoming Wise is an extension of the show’s spiritual and philosophical reflection.  Intelligent writing and thought provoking.  On the lighter side, I’m also reading The Archer Files by Ross Macdonald.  Macdonald is a classic in the mystery field–as is his private investigator Lew Archer–and one of my favorites.  I was given this collection of short stories for my birthday.

What cookbook is your favorite and why?

Any of Julia Child’s cookbooks.  She was so passionate about food and cooking and never cheated a recipe.  When asked during one of the many diet fads which diet she subscribed to, she quipped, “Red meat and gin.”  You’ve got to love a woman like that.

What thing do you do (other than reading/writing) for enjoyment?

I’m a runner and it’s often while running that my stories sort themselves out.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck or come to a fork in the road then gone for a run and come back hot, sweaty and excited because I’ve had a breakthrough.  Running also gets me up out of the chair and away from the computer screen.  I usually try to have a race scheduled, a goal in mind to help with training.  This year I plan to run the Houston Half-Marathon for the fifth time.  I’ve also run six marathons and a number of 25 and 30Ks.  When I really want to get away from literature I watch sports, baseball and football being my guilty pleasures

What is your next book about?

Currently I’m balancing two projects.  One is the sequel to my dystopian CliFi, The Wastelanders.  The other relates to my mysteries.  I’ve always wanted to write a prequel from the private investigator’s point of view.  The story is set in Houston, 1964, which was a huge time of change for the city.  C. J. McDaniels, my main character, is young, restless, and trying to find his place it the world.  In many ways he is like his city.  The times they are a changing, and so is he.

Check out information about his Neil Marshall Mysteries below, follow the tour and enter the giveaway!

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Interview with Brandi Kennedy (Part 2)

Selkie CoverWhat genres do you enjoy reading?

Most genres, actually. I have pretty wide-spread reading tastes – I love romances, of course, but I can also enjoy mysteries, suspense/thrillers, fantasy, dystopian. I like just about everything, even several non-fiction topics.

What genres do you enjoy writing?

So far, I have published romance, fantasy, women’s fiction, and suspense/thriller. I have active projects in romance, fantasy, women’s fiction, suspense/horror, and non-fiction self-help. I think I’d like to write a little of everything. Or maybe I just have ADD.

Name some of your favorite books about writing:

Stephen King’s book, On Writing, was extremely encouraging for me, and I happened to find and read it just when I most needed what was in it. To this day, that book impacts me positively and offers me encouragement. I also loved Knit Together by Debbie Macomber. It’s not 100% about writing, per se, but she does talk about her writing journey throughout the book.

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Do you read your reviews?  Why or why not…

Now and then I’ll look through them, mostly if I’m looking for a line for promo or a bit of encouragement. I love the feedback, and it’s really great to see the different things readers liked (or didn’t like) about certain things throughout my books. I don’t obsess over them, though. You can’t please all the people all the time, and while that’s an unfortunate truth, it is a solid fact. I think that my confidence in my own writing allows me to pretty calmly take the good reviews with the bad. Although I will admit, my favorite reviews are the ones that are more personally revealing – if the way a reader relates to my characters is so strong as to make me cry? Those moments are what makes doing this so totally worth it.

Fighting For FreedomHow do you deal with criticism/rejections?

It depends on the criticism. I’ve had a few reviews that upset me, and I’ve seen one or two that I wanted to step in and argue with. I didn’t know, and that was part of my journey in accepting that you really can’t please all the people all the time. I’ve even gotten bad reviews for writing heroes that were “too perfect!” But I’ve had bad reviews that made me laugh too, which I suppose is a strange thing.

What’s the best advice you’ve heard/been given about writing?

“Grow a thick skin.” Lucky for me, I sort of had one anyway.

What’s the best advice you’ve heard/been given about book marketing?

“Be personable, but honest.” I’m a likable person generally, because I will go out of my way to be kind and I’m generally a respectful person. But I’m also opinionated and brassy, and when I get really strong feelings about something, I can be downright abrasive. Still, I try to keep a good balance between the two, and I like to think I’m usually pretty good at that.

What social media channels do you interact with readers most with? (website, Facebook, etc.)

I use Facebook ( mostly, although Facebook tends to hide my posts. I’m also on Instagram (@authorbrandikennedy), Twitter (@brandikennedy84), Google+ (+brandikennedyauthor), and ( I try to write once a week on my author blog (, and I also have a mailing list (

What social media channels do you interact with other writers and publishing contacts most with?

I’m a member of several different Facebook groups, and I also interact some on Twitter and Instagram with other authors. I also invite people to “friend” me on Facebook, because Facebook doesn’t hide friends quite as hard as they hide pages.

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About the Author

Brandi Kennedy Author PhotoBrandi Kennedy is an American writer who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world, and through adulthood the love of words has never changed. A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet and of course, mothering her two young daughters.

Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.

To find notes, news, and a list of Brandi’s social media presences, please explore:, where you can also sign up to receive updates by email.

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Interview with Brandi Kennedy

Part One (Part Two will run on Wednesday)

Brandi Kennedy Author PhotoHow long have you been writing?

All my life? I remember when I was little, I was writing stories on a DOS computer and saving my files on floppy disks. Before that, I hand-wrote. I still have a collection of poems I’ve written over the years. So it’s just always been something I did – writing is as much a part of me as my legs are, I think.

When did you get to the point that you called yourself a writer out loud?

Fifth grade, if not earlier. I was ten years old, and I bet a boy in my class that I’d be a rich and famous author by the end of summer, and wouldn’t he feel stupid when sixth grade started and I was a star? It’s a bittersweet memory now … we fell out of touch after middle school, so he never knew that I finally did become a published author. Much later than agreed upon, but his name was on my mind when I clicked “publish” for the first time. He got in with a bad crowd in high school, and I saw his obituary in the paper a few years ago. I still remember the shock of seeing his name.

What does a successful writing career mean to you?

Success? Between that and raising my kids, it would mean I’ve achieved everything I ever wanted in my life. I remember being in middle school, and I was the kid who actually liked getting grounded to my room, because it meant I’d be left alone to read. I remember running my fingers over the embossed book covers in my prized collection of books, wondering what it would be like to see my name on a cover. But success is a relative thing – I now know exactly how it feels to see my name on a cover. And I may not be a rich and famous household name, but I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished.

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Do you have a writing routine?

Not really. I’d like to, but I live in a small house with two kids, their dad, and our family dog. It’s a busy place. So my usual routine is just to write as much as possible, whenever and wherever possible. Someday, I will have a routine. I will have a “writer’s cave.” And I will write in it. But right now, my life isn’t in that place, and I’m okay with that.

How do you keep track of your information/background about your characters and their world (3 ring binder, Scrivner, bulletin board/pictures, file folders)?

I keep Word files, spreadsheets. Whatever fits the project I’m working on. I suppose when I have a dedicated office of my own, it’d be nice to have a corkboard I could pin notes to, so that I could have everything right in front of me at a glance. For now, I try to keep everything mobile, digital, and easy to access from anywhere.

The Kingsley Series:

Fat Chance

Book One

Book Two

Book Two

Book Three

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Book Four

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Do you give yourself word count, chapter, or page goals for your projects?

No. I did for a long time though, as a new author. I joined all the websites you “had” to be on, and set all the goals you “had” to set. I did all the things you “have” to do. And then I went two years without writing, because it became a chore – just another thing to check off an arbitrary list. Facebook post, check. Twitter post, check. Blog post, check. Write a chapter, check. And when I didn’t do it one day, I felt so guilty that it became harder to do the next day. Eventually, I just had to be okay with throwing out all the “have-to’s” and just letting myself write for the love of it again. Some people need to have their word counts and to-do lists. Some people work best under deadlines. Me? I write best when I’m writing because my soul needs to, not because my spreadsheet told me that in order to meet x deadline, I need to write y amount of words.

Do you ever get writer’s block?  If so, how do you get over it?

As mentioned above, I do get writer’s block, usually when I’ve stifled my creative side with too many rules and regulations. To be clear, I don’t shuck the rules of proper grammar (usually), and I make sure my product is a professional one that I’m proud to stand behind. But what I mean is this: when I catch myself feeling guilty because I don’t have multiple spreadsheets for each novel, when I catch myself feeling like I’m doing everything “wrong” because I don’t fill out pretend character questionnaires before I write. It’s too stifling. For me, writing has to be an organic creative process, or it just doesn’t work.

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About the Author

Selkie CoverBrandi Kennedy is an American writer who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world, and through adulthood the love of words has never changed. A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet and of course, mothering her two young daughters.

Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.

To find notes, news, and a list of Brandi’s social media presences, please explore:, where you can also sign up to receive updates by email.

 Blog | Twitter | Facebook | 

Instagram  | Pinterest  | YouTube

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Interview with Natalie Kawai

Buried in our soul forever, there is a piece of us that has not as yet been activated. That piece is the lost consciousness, the missing link guiding us to wholeness. As human beings, we have sought wholeness and connection with each other in the best way we know how by mimicking and emulating Source as we understand it.

Unfortunately, we cannot find wholeness because we have been missing part of who we are. As a New Era dawns for humanity, we now have to complete the process by gaining the consciousness we lost when we first incarnated at the beginning of time.

Natalie Kawai has found the key to completing that process. In Conversations With Mother Goddess, she shares what she has learned through her dialogues with the Great Mother of Creation. Part explanation of humanity’s origins, and part conversation about how humanity can move into a new and complete future, this book will bend your mind in new and surprising ways, preparing it for the next step in your soul’s evolution.

Discover the part of you that you have always been yearning for, but never knew how to find. Join others in this exciting journey to restore harmony, creativity, and peace in all of us. Then prepare yourself to help bring about Heaven on Earth! It will happen if we all make the effort….

Purchase your copy of this book here:

Conversations With Mother Goddess: Finding Everlasting Peace and Natural Radiance in Your Life

Natalie Kawai is a Spiritual Teacher and Guide. Born on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, she now lives in Hawaii. Clairaudient from birth, she has always been haunted by the mysteries of life, why we are here, and our role in the universe. Moved by her intense desire always to go deeper in understanding the whys of the whys, she found the voice of the Great Mother of Creation twelve years ago. Since then, she has studied relentlessly with the Supreme Being in a constant and intense dialogue. This practice led her to understand why a gulf still exists between our divinity and our humanity. Under the Great Mother of Creationsguidance, she founded LST™—Light Speed Transmutationa radical system to restore our lost consciousness and drive out the last part of our ego.

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Who is the Goddess that you are having a conversation with?

The One Goddess, Mother of Creation, the supreme energy that created everything and has been denied for ever (for purpose of evolution)

Every day I see people on the verge of anger. They seem to want an excuse to be mad and someone or something. Why do you think this is? And how can we heal ourselves of it?

Great question! Anger is an emotional signal coming from a piece within that has never been recognized, thus re-owned – Anger is not understood and is dispatched out with an excuse: blame – at someone or something. Since parts of ourselves are still in limbo, we feel victimized because we don’t understand why we are in limbo, that’s what triggers anger (why am I here and why do I feel lost?).  We unconsciously expect that someone else (divinity) fix that, which justifies the projection of anger onto something or someone, in order to blame to feel better.  That is a spinning circle.

The solution is to take responsibility which means that in order to heal the anger properly, we have to honor it as a signal and see where this signal is pointing at. Then recover the piece of our consciousness that has been lost and was crying to us through anger.

All our negative emotions have one origin: the loss of the Will, the original essence of the Mother denied at time of creation. When we recover that part of the essence, Source energy will flow again.

What is the first step in your book?

The step is the end of the denial.  Terminate duality, the gap between humanity and divinity by recovering all our lost pieces. Our negative emotions have to be seen for what they are instead of been covered by positive thinking or positive attitude, or any other tweak which keeps the denial going. When we stop denying our emotions or projecting them outward onto people or circumstances, we start owning ourselves fully, and that is the purpose: the entire realization of self to achieve our ultimate purpose: Wholeness – We can also call that stage Heaven on Earth.

How long did it take to write the book & what was the hardest part of the process?

It took me one year to write it and then 6 months for editing and design. The plethora of information I had gathered over the years of my  communication with Great Mother was challenging to organize in a continuum from point A to point Z – that was the hardest part of the process for the mainly right brain kind of gal I am!

How did the cover come about?

This picture came to me as the total incarnation, Earth link of what I had to say:  Wholeness – the W of whole is missing – W of woman! There is a hole in the Whole! The energy of the Great Mother of Creation has to be renown if we want to progress to the next step in our evolution: the New Era. Up until now we have been mimicking Source, it is time to Be it fully!

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Interview with J.D. Spero

Forte Order Link


Johannah Davies (JD) Spero was born near a pristine lake in the Adirondacks and has lived in various cities such as St. Petersburg (Russia), Indianapolis, Dallas, and Boston. She has pursued her love of narrative through degrees in English, Russian, and teaching—and has worked as an actress, a yoga instructor, a web design entrepreneur, freelance writer, and a high school English teacher. She lives in the Northeast with her husband and three young sons.

Drawing on her experience as a high school teacher—this time with a social concern, Spero infuses the rites of passage for the teenager—cliques, first kisses, peer pressure, and bullying—with magic. This stresses how tenuous and critical this time is for young people in a new, fascinating way. Written from Sami’s point of view, Spero’s narrative puts the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old who must navigate the tumultuous waters of being the new girl—the underdog who starts to win and is intoxicated by it. Truly a page-turner, this action-packed story will have readers of all ages eager to see what happens next. 
Spero’s debut novel, Catcher’s Keeper, was chosen as a Finalist in the 2014 Indie Excellence Book Awards contest and also made the top 5% out of 10,000 entries in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  

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Interview with R. Scott Mackey

Visit with R. Scott Mackey author of the Ray Courage Mystery Series

At your website you mention your timetable for Courage Lies Beneath and that you are starting book five in the series.  Do you overlap writing on a new book with editing and production of the last book?

Photo Scott MackeySince releasing Courage Matters a year ago I’ve had two books in some form of writing/editing stage, while the already released books are getting my marketing and promotional attention. Courage Lies Beneath just finished the Beta Reader stage and has been sent off to my editor. That followed a first draft and three revisions on my part. I’m starting to outline the as-yet-untitled fifth book in the series, with the goal of releasing it in early 2016. I’m hoping the success of Courage Resurrected will keep building a big market for these upcoming books.

Since you write mysteries… do you start with the method of the death, the proof that gets the murderer caught, or maybe with the victim first?  How do you construct the puzzle portion?

With Courage Resurrected, I started with a big “what if.” What if Ray’s wife didn’t die 13 years before? From there I ask myself a series of questions: Why didn’t she die? How could that be possible? Why would she not contact her husband? And so on.

When did you get to the point that you called yourself a writer out loud?

Back in 1995, when my non-fiction book “Barbary Baseball” was purchased by McFarland Publishing. My first novel, a YA mystery was purchased two years after that. After a hiatus to raise kids, coach sports teams, and teach college, I’ve returned to writing. The Indie route is perfect for me because I feel more control of the process from book concept, through cover design, and marketing.

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Interview with Amy Impellizzeri

I love that some of your posts at your website are like mini-stories. I would encourage our readers to visit.  I’ve had some similar experiences with the UPS guy!  How much time do you spend per week/month updating and writing for your web presence? What is your goal or mission statement for the website?

Thank you! My blog began in 2013 as my very first attempt to put my writing into the world, and I cherish the responses to various pieces I’ve posted over the years. Yes – my poor, poor UPS guy. He’s never really sure what he will happen upon when he shows up!

On average, I would say I spend about 5-10 hours a week updating my website and sharing personal stories or links to other blogs. This includes the time spent writing pieces for other blogs that I link to on my site to help expand my own audience. Recently, I have probably spent less time on my own website, simply because I am hard at work on my second novel. But my goal remains the same. To have a place where I can connect with readers – both actual and potential!

When you sat down to write Lemongrass Hope did you already know you would have the time travel element or did that surprise you in progress?  What struggles did you have to incorporate that portion?

I did. The time travel piece was at the heart of my initial idea for Lemongrass Hope, but I still struggled because I really did not want to write a science fiction novel. I wanted to write a story that would incorporate the time travel element uniquely – and so seamlessly that readers might wonder: “Wait, did that really happen? Could that really happen?”


When did you get to the point that you called yourself a writer out loud?

Ah. That’s a big question. I think I whispered it for a while, at first.

I revealed to my Book Club while I was halfway into my manuscript that I was writing a book – and that was after several years of working on my first novel! That was a big moment. I set up a Facebook “Writer” page after I finished my first draft of Lemongrass Hope – while I was in the throes of editing – which was probably a pretty ambitious move! And then, after I signed the publishing contracts for two books (Lawyer Interrupted and Lemongrass Hope) within a few short months of each other in late 2013 and 2014, I certainly felt a bit more comfortable penning “Writer” in the “Mother’s Occupation” blocks on the kids’ school forms. But honestly, the big moment for me came in October 2014 – not necessarily because Lemongrass Hope came out that month, but rather because I stepped down from Vice-President position at a start-up company that I loved and gave myself the permission to finally write full-time (or as full-time as motherhood will allow!) At that moment, I owned my “Writer” status completely – not just as an occupation, but as a vocation.


Name some of your favorite books about the business of writing.

Oh – so many – but the first three “On Writing” books that are coming to mind are Stephen King’s On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft, Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, and of course, the great Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.


Name some of your favorite websites and blogs about writing. 

That list changes and evolves constantly – but if you check my recent history, you’ll find great wisdom from Christina Katz, the irreverent Erika Napoletano, Live Write, Thrive, The Write Life, Women Writers, Women’s Books, Women’s Fiction Writers, and Writer Unboxed, just to name a few.


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