Author Interview Uvi Poznansky

Introduction

It my pleasure to introduce, Uvi Poznansky, a USA TODAY, award-winning author. I’ve known Uvi since 2017, at which time she graciously invited me to interview with her as a debut author. Not only is Uvi a multi-talented artist, she actively supports other authors and hosts events with them.

Below is Uvi Poznansky’s biography, author interview, and contact information. Be sure to check out Uvi’s website and learn more about her projects and her collaborative opportunities with other authors.

Uvi Poznansky, Award-winning Author

Biography

Uvi Poznansky is a USA TODAY bestselling, award-winning author, poet and artist. “I paint with my pen,” she says, “and write with my paintbrush.”  She writes across a variety of genres: literary fiction, historical fiction, romance, romantic suspense, spy thrillers, techno-thrillers, biblical fiction, poetry, horror, and children’s books.

Author Interview


Would you provide an overview of the Ash Suspense Thrillers with elements of suspense and romance? What was your inspiration for writing Book 2: Virtually Lace in the series? 

I wrote Virtually Lace some years back and set it aside, because at the time I was too busy working as a computer scientist, raising a family, and developing my art. Set in the breath-taking scenery of Laguna Beach, the story addressed a simple question that occurred to me: As I walk at the beach at sunset, what would happen if I stumble across a body? Could I reproduce the events leading up to the murder using software? Could I pinpoint who the killer might be? And so, I opened with the words of my protagonist:

Even before Michael spotted the body, the idea of creating a simulation of the scene occurred to him. At sunset, the panoramic view of Laguna Beach was awe-inspiring. He wondered if he could render it convincingly in his model, the virtual reality model which he had been developing in the back of his garage for months, until the recent acquisition of his software by a military ops company. 

Could beauty be taken apart without loss of emotional impact? Could its data be synthesized, somehow, into a lifelike experience? In short, could he apply his analytical skills to fool his own senses?

Virtually Lace Book Cover

Interestingly, book 1 in the series came later. In the process of updating the story for publication last year, i became very engaged with the character of Ash (Michael’s love interest) and she compelled me to explore what happened to her six months earlier. Hence, Coma Confidential.

Please provide an overview of your newest release?

Haunted by the memory of Lace, a beautiful dancer whose throat has been slit, Michael sets out to create a virtual reality simulation of her murder. Can he bring the mystery to life? Can he solve its clues in time, before the killer turns on the woman he loves, Ashley?

Suffering memory loss due to a horrific incident in her own past, Ash is unable to identify her attacker. Despite the persistent fear, she puts her life in danger. In a nail-biting twist, she draws out the man who killed Lace, so as to avenge her murder.

Meanwhile, the cops treat Michael as their prime suspect for the crime. The only reason they haven’t arrested him yet is an urgent call for their assistance in a rescue, as Laguna Beach is engulfed in flames. On his way back to the murder scene, will Michael manage to slip away from them and save his sweetheart, before it’s too late? And will he get the murderer?

What genres do you write?

As an artist create art in several mediums: I paint in ink, watercolor, and oil. I create sculptures in clay, paper, and bronze. So by the same token, as an author I write in several genres, always seeking to stretch the envelope. Even though my books can be categorized as different genres, I see all of them as literary fiction, because they are written through the eyes of the main character, and when you read them you will, in many ways, find a reflection of yourself.

Each of my three series is unique and different from the others: Still Life with Memories (the story of a family told in the 1980s and in WWII US, France, and London); The David Chronicles (about the youth, prime of life, and old age of one of the most fascinating characters in the history of ancient Israel); and Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance. I also wrote and illustrated children books, and created animations for them, one of which you can see HERE.

In addition to being an author, you have quite an interesting background in which you’ve been an architect, a software engineer, and an artist. How has your background influenced your writing?

Oh thank you Linnea for noticing! Like many of us, I have had a checkered past, so to speak… I earned my M.A. in Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and my M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, then worked at Philips Ultrasound developing software for medical devices. I think the diversity of my experiences allows me to derive ideas from a variety of sources and to view the world from many angles, which is important when I get into the skin of one of my characters and hop over to the skin of another one, finding the contrast between them and recording it in their dialogue.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

It happens quite often, because each character has a voice that I cannot control, and when they take over, watch out… Especially when they find themselves in dangerous situations and unfamiliar settings… I enjoy setting up an impossible obstacle and watch how my characters go through, under, or over it. For example, in Coma Confidential my protagonist Ash wakes up in the hospital. Diagnosed with coma and unable to move, how will she find a way to walk out of there?

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Honesty on one hand, and support–especially in times of trouble–on the other.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Singing. Alas, I can’t sing to save my life… Which is why I so enjoy listening to voices, to the music and tenor of great voice actors.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Just the thought of chocolate… Dark one, at that!


You can contact Uvi Pozansky at and learn more about her books:

Amazon

Audible

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Author Interview Katherine Burlake

Katherine Burlake, Author

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce Katherine Burlake, a Colorado author who has travelled all over the world on behalf of the U.S. Embassy operations. Katherine’s valuable experience in Saudi Arabia is reflected in her debut international thriller, The Bystander.

Biography

For nineteen years, Katherine Burlake has traveled to over a hundred countries, many more than once, writing reports on U.S. Embassy operations. She lived in Thailand and England as an Air Force Intelligence Officer, in Peru with the UN, and in the Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia for four years. Katherine often says, ” Many of the countries I visited were the world’s dangerous places.” From her experiences, she had a short story published in the Macguffin about buying a painting at the al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad.

Katherine Burlake in Kenya

Author Interview

Would you provide an overview of your debut international thriller, The Bystander: An Amy Prowers book?

The Bystander is a mystery thriller set in Saudi Arabia where rivalries in the royal family, religion, and oil money intersect. In a kingdom built on sand, an ambitious and devious prince uses terrorism to disrupt the line of succession and become king.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

After living in Saudi Arabia for four years, I wanted others to understand the country.

How has your background in Intelligence and worldwide travel help you to write this book?

Everything we do in life, I believe is found in what we write.

Are there similarities between the character, Prince Rashid, in your book and the current Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? If so, what are these similarities?

Both are royal princes in the House of Saudi. BS is the crown prince and presumed heir. Rashid acts to become the crown prince.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Currently, I am working on a book on Nazi gold and found that I have to do a lot of research on Neo-Nazi, something in which I was never interested.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

I am surprised that many readers don’t realize how events in the Middle East impact their life today and in the future.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

Read more books to understand the world around you. Support climate change.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A rag doll, Maudie May.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Honest, stability

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

To be a better self-editor

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

Having traveled all over the world, I will never cross the Atlantic Ocean in a ship.

What makes you laugh?

Political satire

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Watching wildlife in the wild

You can contact Katherine Burlake at:

www.KatherineBurlake.com

kburlake@gmail.com  

You can purchase Katherine Burlake’s book at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Booktopia

 

It Was A Twisted Path

Below is a reblog of Literary Titan’s interview with Luciana Cavallaro, Author of the Historical Fantasy: THE LABYRINTHINE JOURNEY. The post entitled, “It was a a Twisted Path,” was published on JAN 19.

This is a fascinating interview which I know you will enjoy. The following is an excerpt of the book which was rated 5 of 5 stars by Literary Titan which is then followed by the interview.


Can our heroes find the elusive talisman to continue their quest?


Follow Evan as he continues his odyssey as Servant of the Gods in The Labyrinthine Journey. The quest to locate the sacred object adds pressure to the uneasy alliance between Evan and the Atlanteans. His inability to accept the world he’s in, and his constant battle with Zeus, both threaten to derail the expedition and his life.

Traversing the mountainous terrain of the Peloponnese and Corinthian Gulf to the centre of the spiritual world, Evan meets with Pythia, Oracle of Delphi. Her cryptic prophecy reveals much more than he expected; something that changes his concept of the ancient world and his former way of life.

Will Evan and his friends succeed in their quest to find the relics and stop the advent of Christianity?

Book Cover The Labyrinthine Journey

LITERARY TITAN

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

The Labyrinthine Journey follows Evan on his continued quest to locate a sacred object and stop the advent of Christianity? What were some themes you wanted to bring over from book one and what were some new ideas you wanted to explore?

I wanted to explore the concept of what if Christianity never happened, and what events may have prevented the birth of Christ. What if the Greek gods were to learn they would be superseded by a single divinity? How would they react and what would they do? Are their powers omnipotent or are they impeded by restrictions and what are they? This is what I wanted to delve into in the trilogy, and offer an alternative. If Christ wasn’t born, then which deity would prevail?

The main theme is self-enlightenment, growing and learning from experiences whatever the challenges or situation. As each book is written, it…

View original post 886 more words

Christy Birmingham Author Interview

Christy Birmingham Author Interview

Christy Birmingham, Author, Poet, and Blogger

Introduction

It is my honor to introduce Christy Birmingham, a Canadian poet, author, and blogger. I’ve know Christy since 2014, when she asked me to do a guest blog about gender roles in ancient history and its relevance to modern times for her website When Women Inspire. It has been a pleasure to follow her and to see how her topics have expanded on her website. She does daily posts on a variety of issues that impact women. She has now begun another website When Business Inspire devoted to helping you grow your business.

Christy graciously accepted my invitation to interview her. Below is her biography, interview, and contact information. I encourage you to follow Christy Birmingham and check out her websites.

Biography

Christy Birmingham is a blogger, author, and poet who resides in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She uses her writing to show others that they too can get through difficult times as she has, personally with anxiety and depression, as well as professionally with starting her own business.

Interview Christy Birmingham


Would you provide an overview of the poetry you wrote in Versions of the Self?

In Versions of the Self, I describe the different relationships with the self that exist in the world. For example, there are romantic relationships, friendships, and also the special way of being one has with oneself. As we communicate with others, we can learn and change each other. The poems reflect on these different interactions.

 

In what ways does your poetry reflect who you are?

My poems are free form, which I think speaks to my ability to be in the present moment. Some readers tell me the poems are very unique and my life certainly has been that! I like that they are not so vague too that no one can understand them; I hope that when people meet me in person I come across as clearly as my poetry.

What inspired you to write the collection of poetry for Versions of the Self and what do you hope a reader will gain from reading these poems?

I was inspired by thoughts of being true to oneself. It started my introspection into who I really am and how time spent with others and by myself can impact my sense of self, as well as potentially positively impacting them.

What inspired you to host the website When Women Inspire?

This site is near and dear to my heart. I remember back in 2014 I was looking for women’s accomplishments and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted to read all in one place online. So I decided to create When Women Inspire to celebrate the amazing things women are doing worldwide. Since then it has grown into a space that offers women tips for making the most of their lives. Really I just want to help people be all they can be.

Is there any post that stands out that has inspired you?  Explain why.

There are too many to choose! Some guest posts have made me cry, including the one by Elaine Pereira about her mother, who was diagnosed with dementia. The heartfelt contributions I received from guest contributors are amazing, as are the comments I receive daily from readers.

You refer to yourself as a feminist. How would you define a feminist and what she believes in? How have these beliefs impacted you as a writer?

For me, a feminist is someone who believes in equal treatment between genders. I realize there are differences in strength but it is the equal respect that I demand in a world that has had a patriarchal structure for too long. These beliefs have come up time and again on When Women Inspire and I welcome the ability to spread word about how women are changing the globe for the better.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

I believe that we all can (1) determine what special gifts we bring to the table; (2) bravely use these abilities to help others; (3) continue to carry on with this objective, even when the obstacles seem insurmountable.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m older than most people think I am. I credit my parents who both look much younger than their age. I recently turned 40 and received a lot of comments on social media that I was turning several years older than they thought.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

The sound of someone laughing. I hope to hear that beautiful sound every day.

You can contact Christy Birmingham as follows:

When Women Inspire

When Business Inspires

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

Amazon Author Page

Books by Christy Birmingham:

Click on Book Cover to Order

 

 

M. J. Bell Author Interview

M.J. Bell Author Interview

M. J. Bell, Fantasy & Science Fiction Writer

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce M. J. Bell, an award-winning Science Fiction & Fantasy author from Colorado. I met M.J. at the 2018 Denver Comic Con, where I had the opportunity to learn more about her books. Check out my Goodreads review for her newest time travel book, Next Time I See You, which was recently released.

 

Tony Soehner, M. J. Bell, Linnea Tanner 2018 Denver Comic Con

2018 Denver Comic Con: Tony Soehner, M. J. Bell, Linnea Tanner

M.J. Bell graciously accepted my invitation to interview. Below is her biography, responses to my interview questions, and ways you can contact her. Click on the book covers below to purchase her books at Amazon.

M.J. Bell Bio:

M.J. Bell is an award-winning author (Gold from Mom’s Choice Awards) of the Teen/YA Fantasy trilogy, Chronicles of the Secret Prince, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy, Next Time I See You.

Having escaped the mosquito-infested land of Iowa where she grew up, and the scorpion-infested land of Arizona where she was transplanted for way too long, she now lives happily ever after in Colorado, spreading magic wherever she can as a full-time writer, full-time babysitter, full-time cheerleader, full-time cook/housekeeper, and full-time taxi cab driver.

M.J. Bell Author Interiew

Would you provide an overview of the newest book that you have released this year?

Next Time I See You is about a University of Colorado student, Kat, whose life has been turned upside down by the murder of the man she planned to marry. She feels there is nothing left to live for until she encounters an intriguing stranger who leads her to the discovery of a time machine. Kat takes this as a sign and convinces herself that she is supposed to go back in time, kill the murderer, and then she will get back the life she was supposed to have and no one will be the wiser. Unfortunately, once she steps out of the time machine, she discovers it’s not that simple and things don’t quite go as she plans.

What inspired you to write Next Time I See You about time travel to the past so the main character can stop the tragedy of a mass murderer killing her beloved boyfriend and other victims.

I love time travels and have always wanted to write one. But I wanted to make it believable, which meant I needed a time machine that a normal, everyday kind of person could use. Regular people can’t just jump into a rocket ship and travel faster than the speed of light or close to a black hole or along the cosmic strings—those were the only ways physicists said one could time travel. But I kept searching and a couple years ago, I stumbled upon an article about a professor back East who had developed a hypothesis that stated light could bend the space time continuum into a loop in which a person could then travel forward in time. He was even working on building a real time machine. I was so excited. I had finally found a feasible way to get Kat back in time, and I immediately dropped the story I was in the process of writing and started Next Time I See You.

How much research is involved in writing your books? How did you go ABOUT researching the grieving process and common traits of a mass murderer in Next Time I See You.

I did a TON of research for this book, not only on time travel and quantum physics, but also on grieving and James Holmes, who I modeled my killer after. And I have to say, it was really hard. My brain is 100% creative and trying to make sense of the equations and technical terms of quantum physics would put my head in a spin in a matter of minutes! But the hardest part was researching Holmes and getting inside his head to make my killer real. It really affected me in not so good of ways reading and learning all that I did about him and I was so glad when I finished the book and could put that behind me.

Provide an overview of other books you have published.

I also have a fantasy trilogy out—The Chronicles of the Secret Prince. It’s about a young boy, Deston, who is lured into the mystical realm of Tir na-nÓg, where the fae reign. Merlyn the magician then persuades Deston to join the epic battle of the light VS the darkness. It’s a fun high fantasy with swords, battles, monsters, and a lot of King Arthur characters and references, because I’m a huge fan of the Arthurian legend. The three books in the trilogy are: Before the Full Moon Rises, Once Upon a Darker Time, and How Dark the Light Shines.

Do you have a favorite character from any of the books? Explain why.

Gosh, when I’m writing a book, that character is always my favorite. But I’m going to have to say that I really love Merlyn. He was also my favorite character in King Arthur, so that may have something to do with it. I didn’t like that he just rode away and disappeared in the Arthur legend and nothing more was ever said about him or what happened to him after. So I decided to bring him back in my books and let the world know just what did happen to Merlyn!

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Oh my gosh—ALL the time! I’m not an outliner, so my characters totally write their own stories. It’s as much of an adventure for me to write it down, as it is for my readers to read. (though something that gets a little stressful when I don’t know how a character is going to get out of a situation they’ve put themselves into!)

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

Actually, I have and the first instance that comes to mind was a real shock to me. Someone reading Next Time I See You immediately took a disliking to Kat and thought she was a horrible person because she was going back in time to kill someone. This reader didn’t understand how broken Kat was and that the complicated grief she was going through affected her way of thinking. Kat never want to kill anyone and it tortured her to think about doing so, but she couldn’t see any other way to stop the mass shooting. And though Kat isn’t a real person, it bothered me that she was seen as a bad person, when I know she isn’t.

Do you have any other books planned?  If so, would you give an overview of what the book(s) are about?

I am going back to the book I was writing when I learned about the time machine. It’s an urban fantasy with three young adults, and it’s title is, Three. Since I’ve picked it back up, though, I’ve decided to change it up a bit, so I’m still in the process of getting it put together and don’t really have a full overview of it yet. But it’s going to involve an ancient alien race, pyramids, special powers, and a villain, of course, and that’s about all I can say for sure at this point.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to know how to paint or draw. One of my sons is an amazing artist, though he doesn’t believe he is. But I love art and am in awe of those who can bring their imagination to life on a canvas—like my trilogy cover artist, Aria Keehn. She’s an amazing talent and I love her work.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I  didn’t read as a kid, other than what was required of me for school. I was too busy playing outside, riding my bike, spending my summers on my aunt’s farm with the animals and all the chores involved with that to read. I was in my thirties before the reading bug hit me and then it hit me HARD, and I couldn’t get enough. Still can’t get enough!

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Spending time with my kids. They’re all grown now and so I don’t have to be so much of a mother around them and can just enjoy them for the amazing people they have grown to be. Nothing brings me more pleasure.

You can contact M.J. Bell as follows:

Website

Facebook

Books by M.J. Bell can be purchased at Amazon. To purchase, click on the book cover below.

Chronicles of the Secret Prince (3 Book Series) by M. J. Bell

Next Time I See You by M. J. Bell

Curse of Clansmen and Kings on the Horizon

Curse of Clansmen and Kings on the Horizon

Changes are on the horizon for my epic Celtic series now titled Curse of Clansmen and Kings. Although the award-winning  tale in Book 1: Apollo’s Raven will remain the same, it will premiere a new book cover in the near future that will reflect the heroine journey of the Celtic Warrior Princess Catrin and her relationship with Marcellus—the great-grandfather of Marc Antony. The series will follow the star-crossed lovers whom are partly based on the legacy of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, but with a Celtic twist.

Book 1: Apollo’s Raven Book Cover Reveal

Based on the feedback I’ve received, below is the final front cover for Apollo’s Raven:

Apollo's Raven Front Cover

Newly Revised Apollo’s Raven Book Cover

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse? Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

You will be informed where to purchase APOLLO’S RAVEN with the next cover beginning in August on my website. The availability of the digital books will include more online choices.

Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny Book Cover Reveal

Book 2 in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series will now be titled DAGGER’S DESTINY. Subscribers will have an opportunity to win free advance copies of this book before it is released to the general public on October 1. The book cover for this book is  shown below. Its theme is in keeping with Book 1: Apollo’s Raven.

Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny Front Cover

A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust.

In the rich and vibrant tale, author Linnea Tanner continues the epic tale of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the award-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions in her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger that could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love: Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power for the love he feels for his daughter?

You will be informed on where to pre-order DAGGER’S DESTINY beginning in August on this website.

Radio Interview

I am pleased to announce that I was interviewed by Patricia (Pat) J. Rullo—an author, national radio talk show host, and a sought after speaker.  In 2012, Pat teamed up with Salem Media Group to produce a radio talk show based on her book – Speak Up and Stay Alive, the patient advocate hospital survival guide. The radio program became a broadcast success through Salem and other stations across the United States, including iHeart Radio and over 5,000 stations via XDS Cumulus Satellite.

At Speak Up Talk Radio Network, the interview is available on ‘live streaming’ combined with ‘on demand.’ Below are links where you can listen to the interview:

Speakuptalkradio Linnea Tanner Interview

iheart radio podcast Linnea Tanner Interview

Thank you for your continued support and joining me on the heroine mythological journey of Catrin in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series.

Best wishes,
Linnea Tanner

Linus Treefoot Author Interview

Linus Treefoot Author Interview

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce Linus Treefoot, the debut author of Bright Moon Ridge. The book is a 2017 Apple Summer e-book Award Winner: Runner-up in the Historical Fiction category. Linus was born in the United States, but has lived most of his adult life in New Zealand. He has a fascinating life journey in which he has extensively researched and traveled to China in preparation for his debut novel.

Linus Treefoot graciously accepted my invitation to interview.  Below is his biography, responses to my interview questions, and ways you can contact him. Click on the book cover below to purchase his book at Amazon.

Bright Moon Ridge Book Cover

Biography

Linus Treefoot is an American who has lived in New Zealand for 47 years. He graduated from Stanford University in 1968, then spent about 10 years doing carpentry and farm work, traveling and having a good time. For many years he was a part time entertainer, playing guitar and singing solo or in bands. He has been a primary school and English (ESOL) teacher for about 35 years. He is married to a Chinese woman who grew up in the People’s Republic of China. They have two adult children. When he doesn’t have to work, his interests are music, reading, learning Chinese, swimming and hiking.

Interview Linus Treefoot

Would you provide an overview of the newest book that you have released in 2017?

Bright Moon Ridge is the story of a 19-year-old male, Johnny Bartooth, who is given a journal which was written by his father many years before. His father went to China in 1980 to find his mother, marry her and bring her to the USA. No one whom Johnny knows ever heard from either of them since.

Johnny’s curiosity is ignited and he resolves to go to China to search for his mother and father. Most of the book is about this search for a family he never had.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?

No person in particular. From high school on, I enjoyed expressing myself through writing – at first through poetry and songs more than any other genre.

What inspired you to write Bright Moon Ridge about a young man’s search for his missing parents in China?  

My first motivation was to record and fictionalize my life as a hippy in the hills of California and in the backwaters of New Zealand in the 1970s – some outrageous stories and eccentric characters. The germ of the story of Bright Moon Ridge came when in 1990 I met a guy who had just returned from China; he told me that he had had a stealthy affair with a married woman doctor. I expanded on his story in my imagination and intertwined it with those stories I had been considering for years based on my wild life as a hippy. Through many stages of rewriting and editing, the hippy stories were deleted in order to have a more cohesive novel.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

In 1990 also I met and married my lovely wife, Ma Yue Ying, who grew up during the Cultural Revolution; tales from her own and her family’s history were put into the mix. I developed a strong interest in Chinese history and culture, and began to blend political and historical elements into the story. I did a considerable amount of research through reading and through travelling in China, including two trips to Hainan Island. My wife helped a great deal in translating conversations and some books written in Chinese. Writing this novel was an obsessively absorbing task for me.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

They don’t usually act outside of what I consider their temperament and personality, but sometimes do uncharacteristic things. For example, gentle Mei, when attacked by her fellow prisoners, eventually strikes out in a surprisingly violent way

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

The reviews have been consistently very positive, which has been an encouraging and pleasant result.

Do you have any other books planned?  If so, would you give an overview of what the book(s) are about?

In the short term, no. But I think I have at least one more novel in me. There is all the material that I deleted from my original drafts of the novel.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Probably being chosen to work as an English teacher in Massey University. It was a major goal of mine for more than 10 years previous. That was the best job I ever had; I worked there for more than 15 years.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Kindness is to me the most valued trait. I also highly appreciate a good sense of humour (translated: someone who laughs at my jokes) and I appreciate someone who can converse about politics and literature.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

Being able to play the piano very skillfully.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I left the USA when I was 24 in protest over the Vietnam war and the way the government worked. I was almost ecstatic to arrive in relatively backward New Zealand where – without having any friends or acquaintances — I enthusiastically began a new life.

What makes you laugh?

A punch line that is completely different from what you’d expect, e.g. “If you give a man a fish, he will escape hunger for one day. But if you teach a man how to fish, he will sit in a boat all day and drink beer.” Or alternatively, a joke or story in which the teller pretends to be exceedingly stupid, e.g. “Do you know about the tick inspector? If a man comes to your door and says he is a tick inspector and asks you to take off all your clothes and turn around and around, don’t do it! He’s not the real Tick Inspector…. I only wish someone had told me before.”

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Walking through the bush and looking at the trees and patterns of sun and shade.

You can contact Linus Treefoot as follows:

Facebook

Bright Moon Ridge can be purchased at AMAZON.

Mary Anne Yarde Author Interview

Mary Anne Yarde Author Interview

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce Mary Anne Yarde, an English novelist and historian. She is the award-winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set in the period after the fall of King Arthur, the series takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany. It is is based on both legends and historical fact. The Arthurian legends are some of my favorite reads.

Mary Anne graciously accepted my invitation to interview.  Below is her biography, responses to my interview questions, and ways you can contact her. Click on book covers to purchase at Amazon.

Biography

Mary Anne Yarde is the multi award-winning author of the International Bestselling series, The Du Lac Chronicles.

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

Du Lac Chronicles Book 1


Interview Mary Anne Yarde

Would you provide an overview of the newest books that you have released this year?

The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 of The Du Lac Chronicles)

War is coming they said. But now it is here…

The Knights Code of Chivalry, which High King Arthur and Lancelot du Lac wrote, has been thrown on the rubbish heap. It is every man for himself. But amongst the chaos, there is one woman who refuses to bow down to tyrants. Lady Amandine du Lac was mistakenly left behind by her kin during the uprising against King Budic du Lac. Now she faces a life of scorn and ridicule because she so happened to be on the losing side. But Amandine has an inner strength that even she was unaware of. No matter what they do to her, no matter what they say, she will remain loyal to her kin and to the man she loved with her whole heart.

Du Lac Princess Book 3


What inspired you to write the Du Lac Chronicles which take you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany after the death of King Arthur?

As a child, I adored the legends of King Arthur and his Knights. I grew up near Glastonbury, England, where the story of King Arthur is woven into the very land itself. Many times I have witnessed Glastonbury Tor rise from the Fata Morgana — the mist — and every time I see it I am enthralled. It is so easy to believe the stories of Arthur when set against such a backdrop.

After Arthur’s tragic death the story comes to a sudden halt. No more is heard of Arthur’s famous knights, and all we are left with is a whispered promise, that when Briton is in peril, Arthur and his Knights will ride again. I always thought this was a terrible way to end the story. What an anti-climax. I wanted to write a story about what happened after Arthur’s death, and my series explores this.

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go ABOUT researching the legends associated with King Arthur and the aftermath of his death?

The history of a historical Arthur is not written in stone but is, instead, engraved in folklore, and that brings its own set of challenges. It is very much like chasing a phantom or going on a treasure hunt with no map and only rumours to help you!

I have dedicated almost twenty years researching Arthurian legends.  I have visited many of the locations in which Arthur’s story is set in. I have so many books on Arthur and his Knights that I have a whole bookcase dedicated to the topic. I find his story absolutely fascinating. Is it an obsession? Probably!

I am also a historian. I actually tutor modern history, but my favourite era by far is the Dark Ages. My books are set in Dark Age Britain, Brittany, and France. I have dedicated more hours than I dare to count researching the Dark Ages in these three countries and it is still an ongoing progress. There is always something new to learn! I think I spend more time researching than I do writing.

Do you have a favorite character from any of the books in The Du Lac Chronicles? Explain why.

That is quite a difficult question to answer. I adore all my characters. But I think if push came to shove I would have to say, Merton du Lac. Merton is a wonderfully complex character, and as a writer he really challenges me.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

All the time! Sometimes it feels that I am not so much writing a book but going along for the ride.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

My biggest surprise was when my books started to be compared to George R. R. Martin’s, Game of Thrones by reviewers. To be compared to an author like Mr Martin is very humbling.

Do you have any other books planned?  If so, would you give an overview of what the book(s) are about?

 I am currently working on Book 4 of The Du Lac Chronicles. This book continues with the story.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to draw and paint. But, that is never going to happen!

What makes you laugh?

 My husband. He makes me laugh all the time.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Dairy-free chocolate cookies!!

You can contact Mary Anne Yarde as follows:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Linkedin

Pinterest

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Other Books by Mary Anne Yarde:

DuLac Devil: Book 2

 

The Pitchfork Rebellion

Lindsay Townsend Author Interview

Lindsay Townsend Author Interview

Introduction

It is my pleasure to introduce Lindsay Townsend, an English author from Yorkshire. I had the privilege of reviewing her historical romance, Dark Maiden, for the Historical Novel Society. When I first started reading this story, I had no idea of how much I would enjoy reading a tale set in plague-stricken England in 1350. Not only did I enjoy the romantic elements in the story, I also learned about the chaos and superstitions that arose as a result of the plague. The humor sprinkled throughout the story ultimately made this an entertaining read from beginning to end. The novel was selected as the Editor’s Choice in the Historical Newsletter HNR Issue 82 (November 2017).

I enjoyed learning more about Lindsay in her interview below.

Biography

Lindsay Townsend lives in Yorkshire, England, where she was born. Lindsay started writing stories at an early age. Always a voracious reader, she took a degree in medieval history and worked in a library for a while, then began to write full-time after marriage.

She is fascinated by the medieval and ancient world, especially medieval Britain. When not writing or researching her books, she enjoys walking, reading, cooking, music, going out with friends and long languid baths with scented candles (and perhaps chocolate).

Interview Lindsay Townsend             

Would you provide an overview of newest books that you have released this year?

I have written and released several medieval historical romances this year including my full length novel, Dark Maiden, published by Prairie Rose, and a sensual romance novella, The Virgin, the Knight and the Dragon, part of my Medieval Creatures series with Siren-Bookstrand. I’ve also reissued A Knight’s Vow, now self-published for Kindle. I’ve also self-published a sweet medieval novella, Plain Harry. For Christmas I’m part of the One Yuletide Knight anthology, with my novella, Sir Constantine and the Changeling.

What inspired you to write the historical romance, Dark Maiden, about a black female exorcist in plague-infested England?

I’ve always been fascinated by ghost stories and authors such as MR James. I studied medieval history at University and reading about the Black Death (or Great Pestilence) and its massive, shattering impact on society stayed with me. This was a time when “normal” customs and morals were almost destroyed in some areas of Europe, as shown by accounts by contemporary writers such as Boccaccio. Reading Philip Ziegler’s vivid history of this time in his book The Black Death,  I was struck by a passage concerning Ralf of Shrewsbury, the medieval bishop of Bath and Wells. In 1349, when the pestilence was spreading through England, devastating society,  Ralf wrote a letter to his priests and in it he explained “you should …persuade all men…that if they are on the point of death and can not secure the services of a priest, then they should make confession to each other…or, if no man is present, then even to a woman.”

That phrase “even to a woman” got me thinking and the germ of a story began to form. It was shaped further by reading of the appearance of strange cults, such as the Flagellants, and the belief throughout Europe that this killer disease presaged the end of times. The dead and dying clearly dominated people’s minds during this period, as seen by the appearance of skeletal avatars of death in manuscripts and in church paintings and tombs.

The dead and dying and ghosts and a hero to help them. A different hero, one outside the usual customs of the time. Considering these factors, Yolande came into my mind, emerging almost complete from a dream. I knew the medieval church revered the black saint Maurice. I knew from archaeology and historical sources that England has always been multi-cultural, with a rich blend of races. I wanted to celebrate that heritage in my story.

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go ABOUT researching the various evil entities for Dark Maiden?

It really depends on the story I’m creating. I love telling stories, so to me that’s always the most important, then come the characters within the tale, then the research so the world of the story is real to readers. I look at primary sources, such as contemporary accounts, plus the art, music, food, fashions of the period I’m writing about. I also read folk stories and sometimes base my fiction on retelling of such tales. So I re-worked the story of Beauty and the Beast into my medieval novel The Snow Bride and the story of Sleeping Beauty into my fable A Christmas Sleeping Beauty. For Dark Maiden I read books  on Medieval Magic, (especially Kieckhefer’s Magic in the Middle Ages), Medieval Graffiti, The Medieval Underworld by McCall, Jusserand’s English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages, and the encyclopedia Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. The Medieval Underworld by McCall covered beliefs concerning ghosts and magic during the fourteenth century and how people could deal with revenants and other spiritual threats. Google and Wikipedia are also superb sources, with many articles.

Is there any story of a sub-character who the female exorcist, Yolande, meets in Dark Maiden that is your favorite? Explain why.

I have a real soft spot for Geraint, the foil and hero to Yolande. He’s a tumbler and juggler, a light-fingered Welshman who always has her back. I like the way he’s a commoner, not a noble, and the way he doesn’t back down. I wanted a tumbler hero ever since learning the old legend of the Virgin Mary and the Tumbler—the version I was told by my mother was that the tumbler had no Christmas gift to present to the statue of the Virgin except for his juggling, but his “gift” and skill pleased her the most.

I also enjoyed introducing Theodore in the third part of Dark Maiden. He’s a little person who has been kept almost as a pet by a greedy noble, has escaped and is determined to make his own destiny henceforth—which he does, decisively. I like Theo because he is a mass of surprises and not someone to under-estimate.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Quite regularly, I think. I have a plan in my mind of each character and their cardinal virtues, fears and secrets (not their flaws since no characters are evil to themselves) and keep those key words in the front of my head as I write each scene. However, the degree to which a character reacts can surprise me. In Dark Maiden I was startled, as I wrote, just how angry Geraint was against the medieval church and churchmen. I was surprised how patient Yolande remained in dealing with intolerance.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

I am always grateful for feedback to my stories, especially when I feel a reader has understood and appreciated what I have attempted to show in my work. Harsh reviews are upsetting, particularly if I feel they are unjustified. I recently had a review on a light romantic suspense, A Secret Treasure, set in late 1930s Rhodes where a particular reader complained I had not gone into sufficient detail about the Italian occupation of the Greek island. Since my story was a sweet romance, I felt this was a little unfair.

What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?

  • Be kind to everyone and give to charities.
  • Don’t waste resources.  Don’t shop till you drop—what’s the point?
  • Try always to put yourself in the shoes of others.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

My ruby and diamond engagement ring from my husband.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Kindness. Empathy. Laughter.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

To tumble and do back flips. I sometimes spot football players doing back flips during a celebration after scoring a goal and I always envy them that.

What might we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m utterly useless at ball games where the ball is head height or higher. My instinct is to duck, not catch.

What makes you laugh?

Buster Keaton movies. The timing and skill of those scenes, contrasted with his marble-solid face, always makes me laugh.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Seeing a baby, a rainbow, a new flower, hearing birdsong or music, smelling deep red roses or wild garlic.

You can contact Lindsay Townsend as follows:

Website: lindsaytownsend.co.uk
Twitter: @lindsayromantic

Other Books by Lindsay Townsend

For information on all of Lindsay Townsend’s books, check out Amazon Lindsey Townsend Author Page

 

 

 

 

Luciana Cavallaro Author Interview

INTRODUCTION

It is my pleasure to introduce Luciana Cavallaro, an Australian historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher. Luciana likes to meander between contemporary life to the realms of mythology and history. Luciana has always been interested in Mythology and Ancient History but her passion wasn’t realised until seeing the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. From then on, she was inspired to write Historical Fantasy.

Luciana has spent many lessons promoting literature and the merits of ancient history. Today, you will still find Luciana in the classroom, teaching ancient history and promoting literature. She recently released The Labyrinthine Journey, Book 2 in the Servant of the God series. Click below for more information:

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Tell us about your latest book, The Labyrinthine Journey? Is it part of a series?

The Labyrinthine Journey is Book 2 in the Servant of the Gods series. Evan and his companions need to locate the second sacred object of the Mother Goddess, and to do so they need to visit Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi, who reveals a few surprises. While on this epic journey, Evan grudgingly accepts that to get back to the 21st Century CE, he needs to take on the role as leader and use his knowledge to succeed in the quest. He’s still not happy and angry at Zeus, and we get to see a darker side to his personality.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

There was a lot of research done to make sure the places Evan and his companions journey to were as accurate as I could describe. I want to give readers a vicarious experience of the locations and what it would have been like to live in the 6th Century BCE. I spent time researching books, read the works of Pausanias, Herodotus, and various texts where primary sources have been translated, read many authoritative websites, used maps and layouts of places, and watched documentaries.

I have notebooks where I write notes for each of my books. I make notes on description of the settings and buildings, what people wore, what was eaten, farming practices, the length to journey from place to place. It is all handwritten. I find this process is much more conducive for me to remember the little details and the big ones as well.

What is your inspiration for writing about the modern day hero, Evan, who is dragged back to 6th Century BCE, to fulfill a quest demanded by an ancient god?

Actually, the series didn’t start out that way. Evan’s character had a different name and started the quest with his Atlantean companions. I had the story critiqued, and well, let’s just say the person/s didn’t hold back on their opinion. The basic plot of the story remained the same, and after I had gotten over the harshness of the feedback, I reworked and rewrote the story. To make the story more accessible and for readers to accept Evan’s plight, I recreated his persona. The story and Evan’s character, as well as the others, are much more rounded, plus I introduced Phameas into the storyline. In the initial concept, he had a very minor role.

The critique and feedback I received did work in my favour, though at the time, it was hurtful and very difficult to overcome.

Is there something that Evan did in The Labyrinthine Journey that surprised you by what he did or said that was totally unexpected?

I am constantly surprised by Evan. I never know what is going to come out of his mouth, or how he is going to behave. Weird, probably as I am his creator, and I do have a profile of all my characters, however how they interact with each other, and what they say is all them. When Evan learns his half-brother Homer and his heckler, Hektor, both have families and children, he surprised me by vowing to complete the quest to make sure they get home. In Book 1, there was no way he would have considered that, but in The Labyrinthine Journey, he realises in order to get back to the 21st Century CE, he needs them to help him go home. I didn’t expect him to react that way.

Of all places that Evan and his companions visit, which place is your favorite and why?

Unfair question, Linnea! All the places Evan and his companions journey to are my favourite. If I really have to choose, then it is Thira, present day Santorini. For me, this place is where Plato gets his Atlantis story from. Visit Akrotiri and the palace of Knossos on Crete and not be convinced this isn’t the fabled city of Atlantis. There are too many similarities to his descriptions of Atlantis and what was found at Akrotiri. You just have to see the wall friezes of the island, the buildings and ships in the circular bay.

What else have you written? Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

Besides the first book in the Servant of the Gods series, I’ve written a series of short stories that I published back in 2013 titled Accursed Women. Mostly, I have received positive feedback, but as you know, there are always going be negative reviews. Not easy to ignore those ones, and people are entitled to their opinion… as long as it is constructive. The best comment I had was for Aphrodite’s Curse, the first short story I ever wrote. A reader commented that though she “appreciated the author’s use of Greek spelling of names etc”, she didn’t like it, and as a result she gave the story one-star review.

What are the most important qualities you look for in a friend?

Generosity, camaraderie, honesty, loyalty, kindness, being a good listener, overall a good person. I know if I need to, I can call my closest and dearest friends any time of the day or night, and they will be there for me. They are very special people.

What is the best gift that you have received and why?

The best gift I have received was unexpected. It was a birthday I had, I wasn’t able to celebrate it with my family due to work, and unknown to me, my sister had arranged for my parents, grandmother, my younger sister and her husband with my 18-month nephew to come up and share the day with me. That was a special day, especially now that my grandmother has recently passed.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Being with my family.

Connect with Luciana

Website

Amazon Author Page

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