Author Interview. Barnaby Hazen. 

1) Misfortunes of T-Funk really is all about the music. What inspired the story?

My past, really. I knew this story was brewing in me for years now. The different jobs I’ve worked and stories I’ve lived through in the name of keeping music my priority has been just outrageous, so it seemed natural to craft these stories about fictional characters informed by my own “misfortunes” and frustrations in what almost seems like a former life to me now.

2) There has to be a little of your own real life peppered in, right? 

Yes. I made up these characters and put them through some stories that are made up, and

some that I have actually experienced, though I will keep those details close to my chest. My favorite part of having a ‘work of fiction’ disclaimer is that I can borrow them from my own life with no intention of ever returning to them. I like to say that maybe I’ll even forget those parts of the stories really happened. I’m getting older… it could happen.

3) I love the idea of incorporating music directly into your story, especially with your background. It’s such a unique idea! How did you come up with it? 

I started thinking about where Theo, my main character, was headed musically right away –

meaning back around the year 2000, though I didn’t have a name for him then – but, I didn’t have much in mind for the vehicle to get him there. 
I felt like I needed a different plan of some sort.  I don’t really remember the moment I thought to use recordings, but it seemed an unnecessarily difficult task to describe Theo’s experience with nothing but words.  It was when I decided to use these recordings that my second character, Judah, materialized. He sings each track from my own songwriting past throughout the book. 

4) Which genres and artists from your own life influence the music in Misfortunes of T-Funk?

I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and other classic rock. I also went through a punk phase, along with another stretch where I was listening to rap and writing hooks for some of those rappers in a studio in Northern California.  Jazz was a favorite later on in life, which explains why I eventually obtained an MA in Jazz Composition. I think all of these various influences will be pretty apparent to readers/listeners of the book, though I’m sure some are more obvious than others. 

5) And what can readers/listeners expect of the embedded music in each of the Misfortune books? 

I’m hoping for 12-15 tracks incorporated across the entire series – which is suspiciously the length of a CD or full-length playlist. It’s something that’s ever-developing with the story itself, so I’m looking forward to seeing just how the entire thing plays out.

6) Being a musician yourself, what fascinates you most about the craft?

The strangest thing is how it’s changed for me. When I first started listening to music at the age of 12, someone gave me a tape of “The Wall” by Pink Floyd and I honestly thought there was a puzzle in it that would lead me to other things. I listened over and over and finally started buying other records, spending any money I came across on vinyl.  The fascination developed into studying music, singing and writing my own songs. It was all music, all the time – nothing else mattered. 
Now, I play professionally in town (though only part time) and hardly listen to music except for on the radio, because they have local DJs playing all kinds of music that seems new to me.  What’s changed now is the role of music in my life. I make some money on it, and I find my spots where I have just as much fun as ever I did, but it’s no longer front and center.  That is a little sad to me, but things happen. There are kids in my life, younger and older, and I don’t have the burning desire to challenge the way people hear music that I did when I was in college.  Now, I’ll stay creative as it suits me; listen to weird radio shows that suit me; maybe turn myself on to something new every once in awhile and leave it at that. It’s definitely a happier way to live, rather than out on the edge of the world, desperate to put my work in front of anyone. 

7) You also publish Seven Eleven Stories, a periodical of stories from you and other authors around the country. Can you tell us more about the 7-11 theme throughout the anthology?

Ahh… “Where the price of convenience is strangeness.”
I used to visit convenience stores a lot, often while I was working. So at those hours I came

across some things that were very strange, some inspirational. I don’t know when I

thought of the concept, but I was finally out of school after an eight year run to my MA and was keen to get back into writing fiction. 
In the bustling nightlife of Los Angeles, while certain other friends were going to auditions and having meetings and these things, my friend Coby and I took trips to 7-Eleven. The joke of going to 7-Eleven, of all places began to develop, and we finally established a literary website in 2014 – Seven Eleven Stories.
A year later, I released my own book, Seven Eleven Forgotten and Other Stories. As Coby and I  had already added a handful of convenience store submissions from a few different authors on the original site, many of those were included in the first volume. 
Seven Eleven Stories: Volume 2: A Very Convenient Christmas released last December and I’m excited for Volume 3, which is currently in progress. 

8) Can you tell us more about what you have planned for the Misfortunes of T-Funk series, and maybe even give readers a peek into Volume 3 for Seven Eleven Stories?

Yes – Books 2 and 3 in the T-Funk series are underway. As Book 1 offers an entertaining study of the two main characters and their friendship, Book 2 will take readers closer to Theo’s resolve to make music his living, and also follow Judah along his own borderline self-destructive romantic spiral. 
But what we are going to see more of in both Books 2 and 3 in the series is the setting. This trilogy is placed at an undetermined time in the future, and there is an element of technologically and politically-based dystopia starting to emerge. The lens is still mostly focused on Theo and Judah, who live so much in their own worlds that they hardly ever notice the daily news. However, this darkening future of a setting has its impact on them despite their obliviousness. From this we’ll see opportunities for strangeness and dissonance beyond what we saw in the first book. 

 

I’ll also be releasing Volume 3 of Seven Eleven Stories, which will be a collection of band and musician stories. I’m working on gathering some now, and submissions are always welcome! (Submit online

                                                               Website 

                                       Facebook  Goodreads Twitter LinkedIn 

Barnaby Hazen is an author, editor and musician. Driven strongly by collaboration, it seems natural his first venture into writing began with a friend. Seven Eleven Stories periodical took shape in 2014 and just one year later, Seven Eleven Forgotten and Other Stories  debuted with a full-length collection featuring nine strange tales on convenience store fiction. 
In 2017, Misfortunes of T-Funk, the first in a series, pulls directly from Hazen’s own life in music. Having been a lifelong, dedicated listener, teacher and performer, his latest novel incorporates his self-recorded and produced musical tracks directly into the chapters of his new novel. Hazen’s music illuminates his main characters and further elaborates on the story, creating a unique and personal soundtrack for readers of the book. 
Having spent years as an educator, Barnaby’s time as an elementary school music teacher particularly inspired him to become involved with The Bud Hawthorne Revue.  He writes and edits the publication, along with Mr. Hawthorne himself, and is eager to continue offering contributions to literary culture given his unique perspective on writing.  
Hazen lives in Taos, New Mexico with his wife Sarah and their adorably troublesome pets.

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Author Interview. Ben Jackson. 

1)

Where did the idea for Timmy and Little Fart first originate?

It just happened one night when my wife and I were playing around trying to think of a new book idea. It seemed like something which kids could get a giggle out of, without being crude. We also try to incorporate a message into our children’s books. Playing with others, respecting one another, being a team player etc.

2)

You collaborate with your partner, Sam Lawrence, how does this work out?

I imagine writing with your partner must be quite a fun activity to do together. 

Yes! When we are together it is really fun. When we are apart it is fun, but with a lot more back and forth via email and phone calls.

3)

You have also written solely under your own name. What have been your experiences of publishing these?

Self-publishing is hard work. You would think that writing would be the hardest part, but it isn’t. marketing and getting your name out there is probably the most time-consuming part of the entire process. 

4)

Which method do you find most helpful for promoting your books? (workshops, festivals, social media etc.)

Social media. Networking with other authors and working with blogs to get our names and our books in front of audiences.

5)

What was your primary motivation for publishing your work?

We just thought that it would be a fun activity which we could do together. One day it would be nice to be able to retire together and just work on our books in a sunny tropical location.

6)

Who are your favourite writers?

Wilbur Smith, Leon Uris and George R. R Martin. Bernard Cornwall is probably my number one pick. 

7)

Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

I enjoy fishing, but between travelling, working a regular job, writing and freelancing I don’t have a lot of time left to get the fishing rod out.

8)

Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?

Just take your time and don’t rush your books out onto the shelf. Take people’s reviews with a grain of salt and try to understand what they are saying, negative or positive and then utilize it. 

9)

What are your future ambitions for your writing?

To live off my writing full-time! Just laying on a tropical beach and getting a sun tan! 

Find Ben Jackson at 

Facebook Goodreads and Amazon

Where you can also find


 and more in the Timmy and Little Fart series 

Author Interview. Nakada Wilson.  

​Today we have an interview with Nakada Wilson,  author of Girl poems. You can find Nakada Wilson @NakadaWilson on Instagram. Girl Poems is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk 


1.

When did you begin to write poetry?

After seeing how much attention my sister garnered for writing poetry when we were about six years old, I started writing as well.  It was a copy-cat effort to gain attention. I started taking it seriously once I grew into adolescence and used it as a well-needed creative outlet instead of something frivolous.

2.

Where did the idea of Girl Poems originate?

I appreciate femininity as a subjective concept and wanted to snapshot the essence of it through poetry. A large portion of the poems as well as inspiration for new ones came from a notebook I divulged in while living in a dorm with six other girls. We were all 18 years old and they essentially became my unknowing muses-for better or worse. 

3.

What have been your experiences of self-publishing?

Knowing that I was going to self-publish Girl Poems before putting it together gave me total creative control and freedom of thought to try out whatever I wanted for my first stab at publishing. I appreciate self-publishing because writers can publish genres that traditional publishers often wont, like poetry. 

4.

Why did you decide to involve other writers in Girl poems?

It was a matter of widening the interpretations of femininity described in the book so that the totality of the poems made for a more whole and robust read. Although the book is titled Girl Poems, not all the Guest Writers are girls. Having both male and females voices in the book strengthens its premise of femininity being a feeling, a way of being just by willing it so. 

5.

Who are some of your favourite writers?

Liz Rosenberg, Warsan Shire and Fatimah Asghar are some of my favourite poets and as far as narrative goes, I’m still working on finishing every book Haruki Murakami has written. I try to stay up on works that drastically differ from my own style so that I’m not overly indulging in “more of the same.”

6.

Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about the process of peeling back layers of myself as to become fresh and transparent. It’s a challenge to constantly remain present instead of in my thoughts-but when I sign on for an acting role I enter that practice with abandon- the emotional thrill makes it worth it. I’m passionate about acting because it strengthens my connection to life. Being authentic is always better than trying to fit into a thought-made mold that isn’t even rooted in reality. 

7.

What are your future ambitions for your writing?

I plan on finishing up a novella I’m working on and pushing it through the traditional publishing route. I also plan on re-visiting self-publishing with another book of poetry. It’ll focus on a singular theme but will be much more experimental than Girl Poems. Again, that’s why I love self-publishing, there are no limits to the craziness anyone fancies themselves putting out there.

The Guest writers 


Jeremy Mifsud:

Jeremy Mifsud was born in Malta in 1994. He is currently finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and philosophy. In 2011 he had experienced depression which lasted two years, after coming out as gay. This period was heavily influential as it pushed him towards writing raw and emotional poetry that helped in expressing himself. Within time, Jeremy recovered and his poetry remains affected, as he believes he tends to be more appreciative of the positivity of things, while remaining aware of negative emotions that surround every day life. In January 2017, he self-published a poetry book called The A to Z of You and Me. The book is based upon Jeremy’s personal experience of his long-distance relationship, containing both elements of romance and passion as well as feelings of isolation and pain. The collection is Jeremy’s precious treasure, both in the poetic aspect as well as to the emotions it signifies.

Erin Van Handel:

Erin Van Handel is currently a college junior majoring in communicative sciences and disorders and minoring in Spanish. She has always had a passion for writing and feels that it allows us to express ourselves not only to others but to ourselves as well.


Andriana Xenophontos:

 Poetry used to be a love-hate relationship for Andriana. She hated reading it in school because she felt as if the meaning escaped her- yet once she began to unpack it, she found such beauty and complexity in what seemed like mere simplicity. This is why she turns to poems now – it calls for a more intimate relationship. She is currently working on self-publishing a collection of her poems that capture their deceptively complex relationship, and in turn, captures our very essence as human beings.


Ashley Mock:

Ashley fell in love with writing a few years ago as a way for her to deal with some unfortunate happenings in her life. The more she wrote, the more she enjoyed sharing her writings with people, especially over Tumblr where she got lots of feedback from people relating to how she felt.

Ally Mare: 

Ally is a poet and a writer who lives in Malaysia. Currently there are two things he focuses on: his blog and a novel in progress. Recently he completed a novella and is in the editing progress. After a journey of self discovery, he realized that he enjoys writing more than just a hobby. He wanted to pour more feelings in writing and wants to share them with others.

Lira M.L:
Lira is a 24 year old Brazilian teacher who likes confessional poetry, lazy cats, jazz and bossa nova. When asked who is her favorite poet, she will answer “Paul Éluard, of course!”, but after leaving the room, she will ask herself if she should have answered Machado de Assis, Florbela Espanca or Baudelaire. Éluard definitely owns her heart, but she has many lovers. When Lira isn’t writing about all the beautiful women she meets during her daily wanderings, she’ll talk about clouds and sirens; all kinds of handsome and charming men, and relive bits of her childhood through blue and red nostalgia. She is a shy girl in real life, but is considered a loud thunder when she writes through her soul and heart. And no, Lira is absolutely not pretentious. Not even a bit.

Author Interview. Rich Marcello. 



1)
How much research went into writing your book, the Beauty of the fall?
I spent a year on the Bridges Board of Directors researching domestic violence, mostly by listening to the stories of many of the survivors. That experience changed my life and it’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to donate $25k of the profits from The Beauty of the Fall to Bridges.  I also spent a year researching climate change and another year working through the technical details of what it would be mean to build a company like Conversationworks.  
On climate change, I’ve come to believe we are at a tipping point and we all must act now to make changes that will mitigate what clearly is an existential threat.  For example, last year I became a vegan and two years ago I dramatically reduced my consumption of fossil fuels. These are small things, but if the whole world did them, it would, well, save us.
On technology, it’s not possible to build a company like Conversationworks today,  but I wanted to show with accuracy what will be possible in a decade or two, and show how much that could help the world.
2)

There are many tricky subjects in the book – alcoholism, self-harm, violence, domestic abuse, and grief. You don’t label Dan with a mental illness. Was this a conscious decision?
At its core, The Beauty of the Fall is about grief. Many of the things that Dan does throughout the group are a direct result of the loss in his life. So, yes, it was a conscious decision not to state Dan was mentally ill. Instead,  I focused on what happens to a fundamentally good man when sudden loss threatens his very existence. I wanted to show his external professional work ascending while he continued to descend.
I think one of the many roles of fiction is to shed light on difficult topics, and even though many writers stay away from them because they are so tricky, I wanted to tackle the ones you mentioned in this book.  I’m proud of how my characters worked through them, even when things got messy.
3)

There are many well developed characters in the book, did you ever base these on people you know or have known?
Willow was professionally based on the Director of the Bridges Center. I interviewed her a number of times as I was writing the book to make sure that those passages were accurate and unflinching.  
Everyone else in the book I made up.  In general, in all of my novels, I tend not to base characters on real people.  Instead, I prefer to imagine the characters from scratch and make them as real as I possibly can through a long discovery process.
I do want to mention the women in the book. I wanted a book filled with strong women and I’m especially proud of how Willow and Nessa turned out.  Even though the story is really Dan’s story, the women in his life made all of the difference.  Some have argued, and I don’t disagree, that Willow is just as strong of a character as Dan.

4)

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
Mark Spencer, the novelist,  has taught me the most about writing. I’m thankful he was around when I first started out years ago.  He made a difference.
5)

Which method do you find most effective for sharing your work?

(Festivals, workshops, social media, etc.)
I use every vehicle possible. Blogs. My website. Social media. Bookstore readings. A writers’ collaborative.  Festivals. Book clubs.  My publisher has been very good to me in terms of presenting these opportunities. With that said, probably the best way to share my work is through word of mouth, and that’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for interviews like this one. 

6)

Who are your favourite writers?
My two favourite writers are Milan Kundera and Walker Percy.  Their novels have greatly influenced me.  I especially love The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera and The Moviegoer by Percy, though I’ve read all of their work. 
7)

Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?
I love music and have written and published about sixty songs over the years.  I also love poetry and am planning to publish a book of poems in the next year.  And I love my family and the life we’ve built here in our lake house in Massachusetts.

8)

Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?
Write the first draft of any scene quickly, so you capture all the emotion you’re trying to convey.  Then rewrite the scene many times until you know a potential reader will feel like she is there with your characters in their world.

9)

What are your future ambitions for your writing?
I’m currently working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers, which is about aging in a society that no longer values wisdom.  I hope to have it out in a couple of years.

Read my review of The Beauty of the fall here

Purchase a copy at Amazon.com 

Connect with Rich Marcello at Goodreads Facebook Instagram Twitter 

and Soundcloud 

Author Interview. Robin Barratt. 

​1. Why did you start The Collections of series and where did the idea first come from?

The idea for the Collections Of book series came from my time living in Bahrain. I had moved to Bahrain and, wanting to meet other writers, formed the Bahrain Writers’ Circle (BWC). It grew from just a handful of like-minded souls meeting once a month, to over a hundred members, a separate poetry club, the Colours of Life poetry festival and the publishing of My Beautiful Bahrain, More of My Beautiful Bahrain and Poetic Bahrain, anthologies of poetry and prose about living and working in Bahrain from Circle members. With the club and these books, I took great pride in getting writers and poets, who would normally never have the chance of getting their work published (especially on the tiny island of Bahrain)… published. There are so many brilliant and brilliantly talented writers who never get their words read or their works published, and so, when I returned to the UK I wanted to continue with this, albeit on a grander scale – publishing the words of writers and poets worldwide. Hence  the Collections Of book series was born. 

2. Why did you begin with publishing Lonely and what were your experiences of publishing this book?

Actually, I have no idea why I chose the subject of Loneliness for this first collection! Maybe there’s some deep hidden physiological meaning… or perhaps I just thought it would make an interesting subject. It was an interesting experience putting this first collection together, mainly because I really didn’t know where to start! Putting anthologies together on a tiny, tiny island like Bahrain was easy, all the writers are in one place and most were members of my writing group, but for Lonely I wanted to feature writers and poets from around the world. So I began by contacting writers groups in English speaking countries, and then networking via Facebook. It wasn’t long before I had enough contributors for this first collection. This nicest thing of all, aside from reading some really lovely words and work, was meeting and chatting to writers and poets around the world, albeit virtually. This was cool.

3. What are your future ambitions for The Collections of series?

Since Lonely I have published three more collections: LOVE – A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Loving and Being in Love, TRAVEL – A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Travels and Travelling, and WAR – A Collection of Poetry and Prose on the Bravery and Horror of War, and am currently working on HAPPY – A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Happiness and Being Happy. After Happy, I want to publish an anthology of poetry of prose about Being Young from writers aged between 12 and 18. I think this would be so interesting, reading about Being Young from young writers around the world. After that… not sure yet!

4. You’re a prolific writer, but admit to finding anything fictional difficult. Where did this admiration come from?

Yes, all my books are non-fiction, and I’ve done about 20 so far, on a whole range of subjects, from poetry to true crime and close protection (I used to work in security as a bodyguard before writing). But I don’t seem to have a creative mind! Maybe it is just because I haven’t trained my imagination and need to get myself on some creative writing courses. I have lots of stories from my time living in the Middle East, as well as Russia and Bosnia during the conflict, which I am sure I can put into a great book, but I just need to learn how. 

5. Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about travel and travelling and am addicted to travel programmes on TV. For some reason I have a deep desire to travel from the Black sea across the former Soviet states of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and ending up in Kyrgyzstan. I have no idea why, aside from that they just look so beautiful and fascinating places few visit. I’m also passionate about Harley Davidson motorcycles and American muscle cars… it’s a guy thing!

6. Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers? 

There are lots of people out there with wonderfully interesting stories to tell, many of which would undeniably make brilliant books. So why do so many people do absolutely nothing about becoming a writer? In my opinion, there are two main reasons; firstly they don’t love writing enough. If they loved writing they would finish their book, simple. The bookshelves are full of books by authors that love writing, and I am sure that many of these books are no better, and probably a lot worse than many of the books sitting dusty in drawers or dormant on hard-drives. However, just a love of writing is not enough, the second and much more important reason is … they don’t write! The bookshelves are full of writers… who write! If you love writing and you write every single day, you will be successful. If you find reasons not to write, which most of us do, you will not be successful, which most writers are not! Successful musicians, artists, actors etc., are those that practice their art every single day, without fail. All professionals practice and perform every single day of their lives, and writing is no exception. As my friend crime writer Frank Muir says: “If you write 1,000 words every day, at the end of 1 year you will have written 365,000 words, or in other words, the equivalent of almost 4 of my crime novels.”  So, set yourself a goal, and tell yourself that no matter what, you will write every single day. Be relentless, persistent and determined to get that word count down on paper every day. Rise earlier, or stay up later, or cut back on a your lunch break, or write a few words in the morning, some more at lunchtime, then finish them off at night. But no matter what, make it your daily goal in life to meet your word count. And whenever you feel demoralized, just remember the beauty of that simple mathematical calculation. It never fails. NEVER.

Author Interview. Ian Thomas Malone. 

I recently had the pleasure to interview Ian Thomas Malone,  author of The Princess And The Clown, Five High School Dialogues, Courting Mrs. McCarthy and a Trip Down Memory Lane.  You can find these at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

If you like you can also visit his website 

1) I loved reading The Princess and The Clown. It is, quite frankly, a bizarre story. I found it brilliant how you combined genres and also made the characters completely normal and relatable. The Clown wasn’t a muscled millionaire and The Princess an older woman, with some disgusting habits. I’m always saying how erotica can become boring quickly with the same characters they portray. How did you come up with the idea of this novel and did it take you long to write?

The Princess and the Clown started as a parody of erotica, but I didn’t want to be too blatant about it. I always loved how Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels integrated humour into the story while still remaining a fantasy series in its own right. Ralph and Jules were vessels to poke fun at some conventional erotica norms, but I needed them to be real characters and for the book to have a legitimate story beyond its comedic value. I wanted the reader to experience a whirlwind of emotion all the while wondering what the hell they were reading. 

2) You have written several books in various genres. Do you have a particular favourite you like to write in?

I like to be all over the place because it keeps my writing fresh. Coming of age stories are my favourite to write. The motif is both timeless and relatable. I love a good romance in my stories, but I find that using that as a secondary plotline works best for my style. 

3) Which method do you feel is the best for sharing your work, through workshops, festivals, social media etc.? 

Social media! Some people say it’s all a big distraction and there’s something to that, but it’s also the best way to reach people. My fans have been very supportive of my work, regardless of genre.

4) What, or who, is the biggest influence on your writing?

People who think differently. I’m a big fan of arthouse films and obscure modernist writing, even the kind I’m not aesthetically drawn to. The first thing I ask myself when I’m thinking about a new project is how it’s different from anything that came before. Whether that’s a novel or a poem, you should always have something new to offer so I tend be influenced by the people who explore the more extreme end of that spectrum.

5) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?

Of course! Be very wary of writers who say they don’t read. Kurt Vonnegut is my favourite writer of all time, but I’m a big fan of Philip K. Dick, Gertrude Stein, George R.R. Martin, William Faulkner, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Pynchon, Nick Hornsby, and Charles Bukowski among others. I could go on and on. 

6) Do you find writing a solitary activity or do you like to have input?

I treat the first draft as a solitary activity, but input is crucial to the editing process. Feedback I received while editing Five College Dialogues changed the ending of the book quite a bit. I’ve found that using people I’ve already established a relationship with has been more conducive to my style than beta readers, but the most important thing is that you find people who aren’t afraid to tell you when a story needs a tweak. 

7) Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love to swim, visit used bookstores, and the quest to craft the perfect cocktail. I’m also pretty pop culture obsessed, but I try to justify that by writing about it as much as I can.

8) Any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?

Follow your heart, not industry trends. It isn’t hard to figure out what genres sell better than others, but that doesn’t matter if you’re not passionate about the story you’re trying to tell. I’d also encourage aspiring writers out there to sit down and write something. Anything. A poem, a short story, a blog post, anything that requires you to create words. If that sounds painfully simplistic, it’s because it is. The idea of writing is daunting for many, but the actual process is just all about comfort. Form habits that you put in a good mind-set to write. I know I can’t write if I don’t have a cup of tea at my desk. 

9) What are your future ambitions for your writing? 

I’ve got a lot projects in the works. My latest novel, Some Rights of Memory should be out sometime in the Spring as should my first book of poetry, Gluten Free Bong Water. I’m also currently working on a pretty strange book about Twitter and editing a few other novels. It’s been very exciting. 

I look forward to reading your future work. 

Author Interview. Bruce Kilarski. 

Have you heard of Bruce Kilarski?  

He is a poet and writes skits.  

Bruce Kilarski kindly agreed to be interviewed. 

1. Your collection of poetry Wandering Words is one of my favourite books. How did you begin writing poetry and have you ever written in any different genres? 

Thank you Katie!  I never thought there’d ever be someone who would utter those words!

     How did I begin to write poetry?  Ummmmm… have you ever heard of a guy named Bob Dylan?  Back when I was in college, I thought his songs were the closest thing to great poetry I had ever heard.  So I wanted to try my hand at it.

     I do write in other genres.  As you know, I write humor pieces, some with dialogue and some without.  And at one time my sister asked me to write sports articles for a newspaper she edited.  I’ve also dabbled in writing science related essays.

2. Your book contains skits, as well as poetry, have you performed these to an audience or do you read these aloud to yourself to test them out? 

No, I’ve never performed any of the skits, although a fan of mine offered to gather some of her friends together to create a video of one of them but nothing ever came of it.  There were an awful lot of characters in that skit.  Maybe she didn’t have enough friends, I don’t know.

When I’m writing skits I trust what they sound like in my head.  I guess I’ve benefited from listening to Monty Python for as many years as I have.  I already know when I write it that the dialogue will be okay.

3. One thing I’ve wondered about humorous writers is do you laugh at your own work? How do you know when something is funny?
I almost never laugh at the things I write.  I may have smirked a few times but that’s about it.  I’ve listened to so much comedy in my life that I just know if something works.  Of course, just because I think it’s funny doesn’t mean anyone else will.  You have to have the attitude that you really don’t care. Er… maybe.

     

4. When did you feel brave enough to start sharing your poetry?
Five or six years ago.  I tried to share my poems with real live human beings, and kept getting the same reaction:  Go away and don’t ever show these to me again!  They said that for a very good reason; my poetry was terrible.  I seldom wrote, and never got any feedback until I joined a writing site in 2011.  And wonder of wonders, I improved!  I wrote more because of the encouragement I received, and the more I wrote the better I got.


5. What was the motivation for self-publishing your book?
I had accumulated a lot of pieces that I thought were good enough to end up in a book, so I started paying attention to the information publishers were sending me.  I asked advice from a fellow writer, and she said self-publishing was the way to go to get your foot in the door.  Putting it together was super difficult for me (computers and I don’t get along) but I managed it.
6. Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers? 
Do I read!?  Do I read?  OF COURSE!!  Everything, all the time!  I read words, I listen to words, I roll around on the floor with them!  In a word, yes.

     Favorites?  Hmmmmm… Steven King is damn good… Gene Wolfe is amazing… Orson Scott Card… I could go on…

7. How important do you think a community of writers is to the development of your work?
It was everything.  Without the enthusiasm and encouragement of my fellow writers I doubt I would have continued writing.

8. Other than writing poetry, what else are you passionate about?
Well, I’m recently engaged to be married and we’re pretty passionate about each other!  Does that count?

     Let’s see, what else… I love playing pool, following my sports teams, and wallowing in nature.  And reading, reading, reading!

9. Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?

Read a lot, and no matter what you write, whether it be poetry, prose, or dialogue, edit as much as you can.  Never accept what first pours out of you.  You may think it is wonderful, but if you don’t edit, few others will.

10. What are your future ambitions for your writing? 
 I hope to finish my second book one of these days.  It’s almost done, but right now I’m enjoying life too much to worry about it.


You can find Bruce Kilarski at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com 

or say hi at Booksie.com –

a site for writers to publish their work and gain feedback. 

Author Interview. Godiva Glenn. 

1) When did you start writing and why do you continue to do so?

I began writing when I was in middle school, though back then I mostly wrote poetry. At this point I don’t think I could ever stop. I’m absolutely addicted to creating new worlds, and it brings me immense satisfaction to envision people and places, then get to bring them to life with my words.

2) What, or who, is the biggest influence on your writing?

The notion of creating a world where things are as I want them is definitely a key driving point in my writing. Many of my stories come from reading or experiencing an event that didn’t sit well with me. It’s my way of adding my changes to the big anomalous picture. I like men that aren’t always assholes and women who aren’t ashamed of their bodies. I like couples that balance each other, and imperfect people having a lucky day.

3) Do you write in many genres or just the one? Why is this?

I write romance as well as erotica, and have in the past written fantasy fiction. Some will say this is falling into a hole—there is the notion of being a jack of all trades and king of none—but the differences that span the genres are usually setting based. The people can still be quite the same. Since I tend to focus on the characters and build the worlds and situations around them, I don’t see an issue with my writing spanning from romance to erotica and from fantasy to modern to science fiction, even. I do keep my romance under a separate pseudonym, however.

4) What attracts you to writing erotic and paranormal stories?

The first few snippets of erotic writing I did was inspired by a role-playing game I played with friends. I can’t even remember why or how it managed to turn into something more. At first I was embarrassed to have written it, but then I realized I didn’t care. Sexuality is natural and shouldn’t be repressed, right? 

As for the paranormal, I’m fascinated by the lore of vampires, werewolves, and magic in general. Putting my own spin on the way the supernatural world works was just a given.

5) What was the motivation for self-publishing your book?

The world of traditional publishing doesn’t suit my desires for short stories, but I may seek the traditional route for my novels. Short stories and collections seem to do well with self-publishing, and it’s giving me practice for working on my brand. Although there are huge variables in traditional publishing, some of the sacrifices can be scary and just the idea of not having a say about my title or cover irks me. It’s my name. I’d be horrified to get a girly pink cover and cheesy title. I like having a say over my entire image.

6) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?

Many genres catch my reading fantasy, but for romance I lean towards Katie MacAlister or Sherrilyn Kenyon. I also got quite hooked on Christina Lauren recently.

7) Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

Writing takes so much of my time that I have little other passion to find. I take pleasure in hiking and camping, though. Spending time outdoors keeps me grounded. I suppose I could consider PC gaming to be a passion as well. 

8) Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?

Two things:

Don’t be afraid to take risks! In writing circles we often discuss what sells and what readers want, but at the end of the day it’s about writing what you want to add to the world. Just because you worry there isn’t a market for your story, doesn’t mean you can’t write it. 

Don’t fear research, and don’t ignore your sources. There is absolutely nothing more frustrating than reading a story with false “facts” and mislead cultural stereotypes, etc. You should become a prime knowledge database for whatever you’re writing. It’s fine to skirt around details that don’t matter, but if you are writing a story about a cop, for example, you’ll probably want to look up police procedure and learn the basic lingo. I recently read a sci-fi story that managed to misuse the phrase “propulsion system” and it really took me out of the story. This is true even if you’re making it all up in terms of fantasy or paranormal. If you write a story about werewolves, you need to know everything about them—because readers are going to ask!  

9) What are your future ambitions for your writing? 

My goal is just to write and write and have fun doing it. Starting next year my writing will take center stage during my days and I can’t wait. I’ll be tackling revisions for my first novel, Saphrielle’s Fall. Currently I’m halfway through the rough draft of the sequel, which I made my NaNoWriMo challenge this year. My short stories are still coming too. I have several already written that are waiting on final revisions and covers. I’m not the take over the world type. More just the share my world with others type.

Supernatural Delights and Wedding Antics can be downloaded from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com 

Club Coil: Exposure (Naughty Night-Reading Book 2) 

is available for download at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com 

Author Website and Twitter  

Author Interview. Nikky Kaye. 

1) You have published a number of books on Amazon.com, are you a writer with lots of ideas or have these been written over the years?
The short version is: both. I started reading romance in my teens, and by my mid-twenties I was really into it. I decided to try writing it myself, and got involved in the community, joining a listserv (RW-L), RWA, a local group, and doing lots of research. Within a couple of years I’d written five books, most of which had been requested by editors, and had a powerhouse agent. I took it very seriously and loved doing it. Ultimately, my stuff was too “quirky” for the market at that time, and graduate school derailed me. All that was a million years ago (okay, 18? 19?). It was a totally different landscape, publishing-wise.
I self-published one of those books this past summer as a kind of learning experience. I’ve since also published two more of those older books as a bundle under another pen name.
So since June 2016 I’ve published three novels (two under another name), two novellas, three shorts, and one non-fiction book (under yet another pen name). Everything except the three novels have been written since the summer.
I have a ton of ideas, and the biggest problem is deciding what to write and when.
2) When did you start writing and why do you continue to do so? 
See above. I’ve written professionally in different forms for years, from freelance journalism to academic articles and copywriting. My path to self-publishing started because I’d been hankering to write a book on traveling with babies and toddlers (I’d taken my twins on 20+ flights before they turned one). I sent out a proposal last year, but my agent retired and the market wasn’t strong enough for me to get a new one for that book. I decided to do it myself this spring. [Items May Have Shifted: How to Travel With Your Baby or Toddler, by NJS Kaye] The process was fun and intense, and reminded me how much I’d missed writing. I decided to try some sexy fiction.
At first my plan was to alternate erotica shorts with non-fiction titles, but I discovered that I was happier writing fiction (and it’s a lot less work). So then I just dove in.
When I released Once Should Be Enough in mid-August 2016 (my first new fiction in nearly 20 years), I knew very little about the current market in romance or erotica—it was just a story I wanted to write. So I’ve really only been self-publishing for (pause while I count on my fingers) four months? Ack. At some point I made myself a deal—I would give it six months and see what kind of progress I made, then reassess over Christmas. But frankly, I don’t think I could stop now. I’m enjoying myself too much. Much to the chagrin of my children, who got used to me being able to play with them much of the time, I could happily spend 12 hours a day writing now. So the hardest job right now is balancing everything.

3) What, or who, is the biggest influence on your writing?
Gah. I have no idea. There are authors I admire for their style, productivity, success, characterization, sense of humor, etc. I started writing fiction again this summer without actually having read a lot of what was currently on the market—I just wanted to see what my brain would come up with. To some extent the first new story I published, Once Should Be Enough, was an experiment. I was surprised to discover that my natural writing style aligned with a lot of stuff out there.
4) How do you choose the titles and cover art for your novels?
Much of the time, titles are the first things that come to me. I was like that with academic stuff too—often brainstorming the title and concept before creating anything else. My area of expertise was the intersection between entertainment and marketing; so often I’ll come up with a title and blurb first, like a high concept movie.
From the beginning of this process, I decided to brand myself and worked hard to come up with covers and other visual materials that would keep that branding consistent. Of course, that wasn’t really to market, which does make a difference. I’ve heard from people that they like my covers, but the reality is that if they don’t fit perfectly into the market and look more homemade (which they totally are, with Canva), then I’m not giving myself the best chance I can to succeed. So my covers will all be changing, as I now have a publicist who knows better.  
5) Have or do you write in many genres? Why is this?
I’ve struggled with straddling two genres—erotica and romance. It’s sometimes hard to tell what’s what these days. I wrote a blog post about it, in fact (http://www.nikkykaye.com/blog/Scattergories). You’ll find authors like Alexa Riley and books like 50 Shades of Grey cross-categorized in Erotica, Romance, and Women’s Fiction.
I had started with trying to write pure erotica, but the characters kept getting in the way. And then people said that the stories had messages in them. Huh? Okay. So essentially I’m writing erotic romance, for the most part. I’ve experimented with a few erotic shorts—all in different niches, but I find it hard to just do Tab A into Slot B.
One thing that consistently comes up in reviews and reader feedback is that my stories are funny. It’s not really planned or intentional, but I think it’s just the way I write. A few authors I admire have told me that the balance of heat and humor in my stories is really great, which is a wonderful compliment. Sex can be silly and fun, and people are just weird, hilarious creatures by nature.
A fan made a typo in an email to me a while back, and I loved it. She said I wrote “fuction.” So there you go, I write fuction. LOL!

6) Which method do you feel works best for sharing your work: workshops, festivals, social media etc.?
I wish I were more adept at social media. I’d never been on Goodreads or Twitter before I started self-publishing, and Facebook only infrequently in order to keep up with friends overseas. I’ve never been on Instagram. I’m still learning how to make connections with readers and other authors, but it amazes me how many blogs and review sites and networks there are out there for booklovers. As a reader, it’s fantastic, but as an author it can be a little overwhelming!
I decided to go to Indie RomCon this October, which was a great decision. I was really nervous, but everyone was so incredibly welcoming. I felt weird about even registering as an “attending author,” hoping that there would be a “fraud” section at the signing for my table. I still put a lot of thought into how I wanted to present myself and my books, and tried to be as professional and friendly as I could. I had a fantastic time and can’t wait to go back next year.
As for sharing my books (or getting more visibility), it’s a work in progress. I made a spreadsheet with 200+ review sites and book blogs that I contacted individually to ask if they were interested in reviewing my first new fiction (Once Should Be Enough). I also had the balls early on to email a few of my favorite authors and ask if they had any advice for someone starting out. One high profile author graciously referred me to their publicist, who was crazy enough to take me on as a client. I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop with her on my side.
I think you just have to find ways to put yourself out there. I’ve really enjoyed the experience I’ve had with some multi-author promos, as well as “read and review” groups on Goodreads. From the beginning I’ve had a mailing list and sent out funny, brief newsletters, even when it was just three people. Now it’s gone from 3 to (just checking) 2316 in a few months. Oh dang, I just realized I’m going to have to start paying for MailChimp! Hahaha!
7) What was the motivation for publishing your books?
It began just with that one non-fiction book. Obviously I’d always wanted to be published in fiction, but never made the time to sit down and finish something. Over the past few years I’d started a few projects—a literary thing, a young adult concept book, a few non-fiction things. Having young twins didn’t help. I was lucky to finish a meal, much less a book. Now they just turned six and it’s a lot easier to hypnotize them with the iPad or Lego so I can work. 
More than that, writing is a kind of creative therapy. It’s something that is just for me (and readers, obviously)—not for my kids, my spouse, or anybody else. I fall into the trap that I think a lot of women do, in doing things for other people and not taking enough time for myself. This is for me. 
Publishing them just seemed to make sense. I haven’t bothered to look for a new agent or anything. Unlike before, you might write a dozen manuscripts and they’d sit in a drawer somewhere. Now you can actually get them out for someone else to read and discover, which is awesome. Of course, that means that there are lots of books you can buy that probably should have stayed in the drawer. But the autonomy of it is amazing. I like the control I can exert (for the most part) over what I’m writing, when to release it, learning about the business and so on. Granted, it would be nice to make money from it (I’m probably literally making $0.12 an hour if I do the math), but I still am enjoying it too much to stop.

8) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?
What I love to read isn’t always what I write. My favorite author is Susanna Kearsley. I have been a Diana Gabaldon fan since 2004 but could never write anything like what she does. I love historical mysteries, and read a lot of non-fiction as well. I’m lucky in that when I read fiction, I can still lose myself in it. I’m not analysing it as market research or parsing the formula or beats. In romance, auto-buys for me these days are Vi Keeland, Lauren Blakely, Max Monroe, Penelope Ward, Lucy Score… But honestly, these are all writers I’ve only discovered in the last six months. I’m constantly trying new authors and I love that self-publishing makes it so easy to find and read new things. I’m still new to this game.
9) Other than writing brilliant books, what else are you passionate about? 
Passion? Hmmm. That’s a problem. I’m not a very passionate person! I know, I write it but I don’t live it. I’m BORING. I am possibly the only person in the world who looks forward to going to Las Vegas by herself to sleep and work on my laptop.
I suppose I’m passionate about movies. For about twenty years, my professional focus was Film. I was a professor, entertainment journalist, critic, screenwriter, policy wonk, and worked in motion picture and TV production, research, studio promotion, and even as on-camera talent. 
I also love art and museums. In another world I would have loved to stay working with UNESCO in Paris doing Cultural Heritage policy work.
Other than that, I love my children. I love traveling. I love napping. I love writing. I love reading.
10) Do you have any words of advice (or caution) for other writers?
Be honest. Be honest with yourself and with your readers. It’s hard to regret being sincere and genuine. Try writing different things and figure out why something works for you or how it doesn’t. Keep learning, about the craft and business, readers and their expectations. Have confidence in yourself but try to avoid narcissism. I’m always shocked and delighted when I receive an email from someone who read something of mine and took the time to let me know they liked it. Really, it makes my day.
11) What are your future ambitions for your writing? 
World domination. Oh wait, that’s the narcissism coming out.
In terms of practical matters, I’m just finishing a novel (about 75,000 words) that I’m excited/nervous about, titled No Excuses. It’s a kinky boss/secretary-type romance about learning when to take a leap of faith. Next up I’m writing a sequel to Once Should Be Enough called Twice is Too Much. Then I’m doing a short four-book series called The Billionaire Book Club, and another longer book tentatively titled Junk Punch. I also plan to write some erotic shorts as well—they’re like palate cleansers in between longer projects.  
That will take me from now at the end of November 2016 to probably March-April 2017. Beyond that, I’m not entirely sure! I’m always coming up with ideas, but I’m interested to see how these play out.
By next summer, at one year of self-publishing, my goal is to have put out at least four novellas, six short books, four longer books, and probably a dozen short stories. Hopefully by then I’ll have a good idea of what’s working and what isn’t!
Thanks for the opportunity to chat! I can’t believe it’s only been a few months since I started publishing, and I’ve gotten to meet so many fantastic people. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2017.

Download the stories of Nikky Kaye from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Twitter @readnikkykaye 

Website 

Author Interview. AK. Dawson.

​Hello.

Thank you for agreeing to answer these questions. 

1) I loved reading about Dan in your novel Alien Love Story. How did this unique story come to be and how long did this novel take you to write?
I’ll answer the easy question first: the novel took about three months to create, working for roughly forty minutes a day, which translates to around 91 cups of tea. When it comes to Dan and his story, I wanted to write something that I enjoyed working on and would want to read myself. So it’s a book written to please me, which is why it’s a surprise and a pleasure to hear that someone else liked it. Thanks!    

2) When did you start writing and why do you continue to do so?
I started writing in 1999, aged 20. The reason I continue, when there are probably more fulfilling things to do, is that I can’t stop. I just love having something to focus on. So I suppose it’s a release. Some people go mountain climbing. I sit at my laptop. Which is the same, only without the ropes and fresh air. 
3) Do you write in many genres or just the one? Why is this?
I’ve written all kinds of novels and short stories, in all sorts of genres. This is because when I have an idea for a story, I like to see it through. Also, I would get bored working on the same thing all the time. Though one day I’d like to find my ‘voice’, which is that elusive thing all good writers are supposed to have. And when I find my voice I’ll probably land in my genre. 
4) What was the motivation for self-publishing your stories?

I enjoy knowing with 100% certainty that the novel I’m writing will be published. I also like laying it out, designing the cover and seeing its little page on Amazon. It’s a fun process. I can’t remember my initial motivation for self-publishing, but it must have been because I grew tired of writing query letters to publishers – I’d rather spend my free time creating stories and developing my craft. 
5) Did you ever write ‘fanfiction’ when you were a child, using fictional characters from your favourite books or TV shows?

I’d never heard of fan fiction when I was a child. But I can assure you that if I had, my work would have all been MacGyver-based. 
6) Do you read? If so, who are your favourite writers?

Yes. I don’t have any favourites though. Or rather, I have so many favourites that I don’t want to list them, because I’d end up forgetting someone.
7) Do you have self-doubts or does your writing fill you with self-confidence?

A bit of both, but definitely more of the former. It depends on the time of day and where I am with a novel, short story or script. 
8) Do you believe in the common writing quote ‘write drunk and edit sober?

Yes. Get the first draft down and then edit it into shape. Or write methodically. Whichever works for you. The result is what matters. 
9) Other than writing terrific stories, what else are you passionate about?

My family. Biscuits. Books. Films. 
10) What are your future ambitions for your writing? 
To spend a large chunk of time on one particular novel and to figure out what semi-colons are for. 

You can read my review of Alien Love Story here or just buy your copy from Amazon.co.uk