The Sunday Spotlight, from @PoetTrandahl to @gemmasnowauthor

A big thank you to the following writers for contributing to The Sunday Spotlight this year, which begun on June the twenty-fourth with poet Nicholas Trandahl.

I don’t know about you, but I have learnt a lot from the responses the writers gave, and now know more about the person behind the super writing.
Do support these wonderful writers, and click on the writer’s name to go to their Spotlight post.

Nicholas Trandahl 


Book Available on Amazon




Linda M Crate


Her book of poetry My Wings were made to Fly is available on Amazon



Jess Mize

Book Available on Amazon 



Barnaby Hazen 

Book Available on Amazon



Jud Widing 

Book Available on Amazon



Nathaniel Barber

Book Available on Amazon



Rosie Accola 

Available (to read for free!) from Ghost City Press



Elaine McKay 

Book Available from Amazon



Steven Storrie


Book Available from Amazon 


Michael Ampersant 



Book Available from Amazon 


Elizabeth Hutchinson Bernard


Book Available from Amazon 



Marc D Brown 

Book Available from Amazon, Marc has two poetry collections on sale.


Caroline Webber


Book Available from Amazon 


Dane Cobain


Dane has a number of books available on Amazon. He has written thrillers, horror, and poetry. Driven is his latest book.



John Connor


John’s non-fiction read is available on Amazon 


Ethan Shantie

His book can be purchased from the publisher Ghost City Press 


Pat Furstenberg


Patricia had written many books for children, available from Amazon 


Isabelle Kenyon

This is Not a Spectacle can be purchased from Amazon 


Cooper Wilhelm

You can buy Cooper’s book at Amazon 


Gemma Snow

And Lovin’ is Easy can be purchased at Amazon 


Would you, and your book, like to be in the Spotlight in the new year? If so, give me a shout through social media.


The Sunday Spotlight with Erotic Romance author Gemma Snow @GemmaSnowauthor 

Why Do I Write? 

This is the question I’m asked more than anything, when I tell people I’m a writer. 

The short answer is, it’s who I am. 

The long answer is that I have a thousand stories just asking to be told, places to build, characters to make fall in love, to hurt and to heal. Writing is one of those things that makes me fundamentally me, and I honestly don’t know what I do would do without it. I’m very lucky, I come from a family of artists and dreamers, and I was exposed to and supported in my creative goals from a young age. I’ve studied at the hand of some truly remarkable writers and teachers, and I look forward to forever expanding my writing education. One thing’s for certain, writing may be a solo endeavour, but you don’t do it alone. 

At the moment, my new release, The Lovin’ Is Easy, book one in the Triple Diamond series is under my erotic romance pen name, Gemma Snow. I write under two pen names because I use my IRL persona for my journalism, and unfortunately romance is still fighting an uphill battle in terms of recognition and acceptance, despite the important role it continues to play in the publishing industry. I also have a historical BDSM novella, Leather and Gold, coming out soon, and I’m currently editing book two in the Triple Diamond series, Wild Flowers. 

Though I do write in several different genres, historical, contemporary, erotic, as well as fiction and journalism, one of the most important things to me is well-rounded, powerful and real female characters. To me, the term ‘strong female character’ is more to do with the idea that your characterization is strong, that the heroine or best friend or sister or mother is a fully-completed individual who has emotions and weaknesses just like real women do, because it’s so important to me to write real women. I also like to focus on healthy female friendships and to promote sex-positive and  body-positive themes in all my writing. I’m working towards more inclusive POC and LGBTQ characters, and I think it’s something that the publishing world as a whole is trying to better understand and strive toward. 

I’m ready for my closeup! It is funny, because as much as writing can be this romanticized idea– Paris balconies, Enlightenment style salons filled with intellectual, dry humor and debate, most of it is really just sitting alone in your office (*cough* bedroom) and writing. It’s not actually all that sexy.

That being said, being interested in everything really, really helps. I have a background in art history, a job in automotive journalism, a lifelong study of the Italian language and a love-hate relationship with baking. I’m a yogi, amatuer runner, audiobook junkie and proud Ravenclaw. I read constantly, love good TV and bad TV and live in a wild circus of a house with my parents, brother, boyfriend, dog, cat, and the rest of the neighborhood, who tends to walk into the kitchen and hang out. In many ways, the excitement of being a writer comes from inside. 

The Lovin’ Is Easy, 

The Triple Diamond series (Book 1) 

Contemporary Erotic Romance (Ménage) 

Gemma Snow 

Book one in the Triple Diamond series. 
At the Triple Diamond, good things come in threes…
Madison Hollis never expected to find anything at the Triple Diamond Ranch in Montana, a surprise inheritance left to her by an uncle she’d never met. With her career as an event-planning manager for the Silicon Valley tech titans, a job that has pushed her straining engagement to the breaking point, she doesn’t have time for soul-searching.
But, out in the Montana summer sun before putting the ranch up for sale, Madison finds herself distracted by Triple Diamond’s sexy and oh-so-tempting ranch managers. Christian Harlow and Ryder Dean are best friends and total opposites, rebel country boy and pretty boy cowboy, and both are hot as hell.
Intent on loosening her reins, Madison gives herself permission to dive into an affair, surrendering to her desire for both of them. As she gets to know both Ryder and Christian and grows all too familiar with the feeling of them on her skin, Madison wonders if it will be as easy as she’d hoped to go home and leave them behind. But when an ugly secret comes to light, it might just send her running—if something, or someones, can’t convince her to stay …


About the Author

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories.  She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.

In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. 

Find her on

Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram


The  Sunday Spotlight, with poet Cooper Wilhelm @cooperwilhelm

Something about my writing:

I really like the idea of poetry as having someone else in the room with you. I focus a lot on loss and the idea of trying to build a little escarpment in the passage of time. Poetry can be a way of holding onto things, especially yourself. I have my first-full length book (DUMBHEART/STUPIDFACE) coming out in September and a lot of it has to do with that.

Something about me:

I like how poetry feels like an occult practice (I wrote a microchapbook about necromancy and breakups and Walt Whitman). I also do a radio show where I interview witches and other occult scholars/practitioners about the “dark arts.”

Social media and so on:

Twitter: @cooperwilhelm // instagram: @cbwilhelm //

Website with publications and stuff: /


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I started writing about 7 years ago – but seeing as I’m only 21, my writing style and content has definitely evolved! Writing has always been a way of formulating my feelings and often, a way of doing justice to them. At the moment, grief perpetrates my writing – not necessarily in a depressing manner, but as an inspiration to do justice to past happy memories. Next for my writing is the release of the extended edition of my first chapbook, This is not a Spectacle – a full anthology by this Xmas!

About Me: I’m based in Greater Manchester – although I am soon to move to Guildford…I have a passion for (other than writing) theatre and dance. My favourite writers are Sylvia Plath, Cornelia Funke and so many others.


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Katie, thank you for inviting me here! I was the student always scribbling a story on the back of her notebooks. And when there wasn’t enough time to read, I would be reading on my way to the bus station, a 15 min walk.

I find myself influenced by what I read, and I gravitate towards books that fill my soul, ignite my imagination and speak to my heart. Poetry and history, past and present, possibility and certainty. 

I write for children, mostly. Writing children’s literature is like having a good laugh with your best friend, it makes me happy. It is also a challenge, taking grownup concepts and wrapping them in bright, child-friendly packages. In an era of technology and terrorism, children need joy, books and imagination in their lives, more than ever before. Books make us human.
I write about friendship between unusual animals, about breaking barriers where friends are concerned. I write about diversity and about acceptance and love. And I write everywhere I am. In my car, at the semaphore light, a quick note in my notebook. I write in my head as I drive. I write before I fall asleep; some of my best ideas come to me in that no-man’s-land, when your body is suspended between reality and dreamland. Of course, most of my writing is done in my oasis, at my writing desk.

I have just finished a trio of children’s books depicting, in rhyme and with bright, happy illustrations, wonderful friendships formed between unusual animals. I have a few other stories bursting to come out on paper though. So excited! 

I live in South Africa with my wonderful family and our two dogs. Coffee fuels me. My family supports me. When I don’t write I love to read, read, read, drink coffee (again!), listen to music and dance. I am a big fan of “Gilmore Girls”, “Outlander” and “Frasier”. 

I am the author of “Happy Friends”, of the Amazon Bestseller “Joyful Trouble”, “Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles” (out October 31st), “The Lion and the Dog”, “The Elephant and the Sheep”, “The Cheetah and the Dog” (these three will have the Cover Reveal on October 31st at and will be released on the 12th of November)
I also write the Sunday column for and I am a contributor for the Huffington Post SA.


Author Website // Amazon UK // AmazonUS

Huffington Post SA // Goodreads // Twitter // Facebook // LinkedIn


Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles: What happens when puppy is full of good intentions, yet his actions go wrong?

The Lion and the Dog: What a Wonderful World it is when a lion and a dog share a bond stronger than any animal or human rule.

The Cheetah and the Dog: The unlikely friendship between a wild animal and a dog or, when friendship bonds you it doesn’t matter what you look like.

The Elephant and the Sheep: Imagine a world where love and kindness can solve any problem.


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My name is Ethan Shantie and I’m from Potsdam, New York. As of late I have been publishing poetry, but I also write fiction and have worked as a freelance writer for Life with Films and New York States of Mind. 

I have released two books of poetry – a chapbook called “Poems for Danielle Steel’s Purple Prose,” (2013) through Many Moons Press in Saranac Lake, NY and a full length collection entitled “We Meet by Accident” (2016) through Ghost City Press.

“We Meet by Accident” deals in large part with loss, death, and how small events have a lasting effect on our lives. I have been working with Kevin Bertolero to release a Poetry Mixtape featuring many Ghost City Writers and plan to work on a new chapbook this summer. I have been writing poetry since 2008 when I studied at SUNY Potsdam under Pulitzer Prize nominated poet, Dr. Maurice Kenny. 

Some of my favorite writers include Stephen King, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Cormac McCarthy, all of whom have wonderful poetic voices that have influenced my own. 

In addition to writing, I play in an experimental punk band called Sunflo’er. We have released one full length LP, “1963,” (2015) through Magnetic Eye Records of Albany, NY. We have recently released a collection of three EPs, have been featured on two compilations through our record label, and are set to record a second full length album this summer. I play drums, sing (yell), and write lyrics for the band. 

Other excerpts from my collection can be found on my Instagram @ethansunfloer. My band can be found on Instagram @SunfloerNY, on facebook at and at 


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When did you start writing:

I started writing in High School, in Humble Texas.  (A place that is now flooded from Hurricane Harvey, unfortunately.  Bless them, and I’m thankful many people are volunteering in the Houston area to help out.)  My first piece was a science fiction short story. It was so trite that I later found out, perusing Writer’s Market, that everybody had the idea before me: see, it was a futuristic short story in which — surprise! — the last man and woman left after the space battle are actually Adam and Eve who then begin earth’s humanity.  What?!  I wasn’t the first to think of it?!   “No Adam and Eve stories,” is what sci-fi magazines were saying.

Why do you write:

I now focus on psychological and spiritual growth in my writing. My first book, “The Straitjacket of Perfectionism: how to stop chasing ‘perfect’ and finally achieve your greatest goals” is an example. It springs from my own experience in discovering how unrecognized perfectionism is such a killer of creativity. Using strategies to overcome perfectionism helps you actualize your dreams.

The book started out years ago as a lecture and workshop. It is so rewarding to see “the light go on” for people, when they realize how perfectionism has held them back. Folks are so appreciative to learn how to overcome those unhelpful internal standards.

What influences your writing:

I seek to have a conversational style, since I am writing nonfiction.  Although they are not influences in a sense, because I largely wrote my book before reading theirs, I am drawn to Brene Brown (Daring Greatly, and others) and Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking).

Which genres do you write in:

I write nonfiction self-help. In the 90’s I did stand-up comedy for a few years, so I wrote comedy then.  You can see a few minutes of my stand-up from about 15 years ago, if you search “John Connor – comedy” on youtube. You may have to scroll past videos about The Terminator….

Where do you write: 

I often write at Starbucks, where I just took this photo.  

I also have a desk at my home.  When I had kids at home, I was able to get chunks of writing done by getting a local hotel room for a couple of nights. I totally recommend it.  Just don’t get distracted by all the cable TV, the swimming pool, and the mini-bar…

What is next for your writing etc.: 

My next two books I’m working on simultaneously.  Well, dilly-dallying on, more accurately. One is called, “The Gold in Your Wounds: how our tragedies and hurts can be portals to new awareness and new life.”  The other is not titled yet — open to suggestions! — but it is based on my work as a hospice chaplain.  
Specifically, it is a guide for volunteers and non-professional church chaplains on spiritual care for dying congregants.

Something about you:

Hmmm, my passions and hobbies? Well, to the degree that you can be in love with an inanimate object, I am in love with my 12-string Martin guitar. My playing and singing is amateur, but I enjoy it, and my hospice patients and co-workers seem to like it, too.  However, I need to start learning some happy songs, because all the stuff I love to sing are melancholy tunes from the Neil Young, Carole King, Eagles canon, with a little Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd thrown in. Any suggestions, anyone? I also hack away at the drums, which is fun.

I live in Austin, Texas USA, and have been blissfully here for over 30 years.

PUBLICATIONS include some articles in The Huffington Post,

Unity Magazine, Austin American-Statesman and Austin Chronicle newspapers.

“Well written and entertaining, this book is full of helpful advice. I recognized myself in some of the stories – and I bet you will too! Don’t waste time criticizing yourself. Use your time instead reading this book and trying the tips within it!”

— Cindy Wigglesworth Author of SQ21: The Twenty- One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence 


“It would be bad enough if perfectionism kept you from trying only new hobbies, learning a new language, and joining your friends at karaoke. And it does do all that. But the real harm is that perfectionism prevents you from following your dreams, from attempting the deepest desires of your heart, because it carries such a great internal risk if you fail.

An example of this is if, say, you want to write a novel. You will likely stop writing it a third of the way through the rst draft. One reason is that you know you’ll be crushed if you send it around to the publishing houses and they all reject it. at’s because you have an internal sense that a great novelist is not only what you want to be, but maybe Who You Are. So the book either stays in your drawer or you tweak it here and there every few months. If you keep the book in your desk, it always “has potential” and might someday be ready to be sent out and published.

But the book’s never ready, is it? So your dreams, your deepest desires, remain on hold.

You and I know deep down that this is no way to live. And we don’t have to live that way. You can overcome chasing perfection and constantly failing to catch it. You can be someone who strives for excellence and who accepts mistakes and setbacks along the way.

The biggest mistake of all is to stop attempting anything in order to avoid making mistakes. Every ice skater, for example, falls down many times in the beginning. It is a given: You can’t escape falling while you learn to skate. Yet those falls aren’t failure, they are learning. As perfectionists, we make unrealistic assumptions about what our own standards of performance should be. So if we choose to ice-skate, we expect to be able to do a triple toe loop our first time out.

Come with me, and we will wrestle this inner perfectionist to the ground together. And then you’ll be amazed at all the creativity and bravery within you, just waiting to come out.”

–John Connor, The Straitjacket of Perfectionism

Follow John Connor on Twitter @connor_rev and on his author page on Facebook: JohnConnor.Writer


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@danecobain is in The SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT. He tells us all about life as a MUSICIAN & FREELANCE WRITER. 

Something about your writing:

I started writing when I was a teenager, beginning with songs and poetry and moving into journals, fiction and non-fiction. I write because I’m compelled to – I feel uncomfortable when I’m not writing and try to do it as much as possible. In terms of influences, I generally try to write books that I’d want to read myself, so I suppose I’m influenced by my favourite writers (like Graham Greene, Charles Bukowski, Terry Pratchett, etc.). I’ve just released an anthology called Subject Verb Object, which brings together contributions from eighteen different authors – you can find that at My next release will be a detective novel called Driven, which is currently going through edits. It’s a sort of 21st century take on the old school cosy detective novel.

Something about you:

I love reading, writing, making music and learning stuff. I play guitar and sing and find it to be a great way to unwind after a long day of writing. I live in High Wycombe, UK, with my girlfriend Becca and my cat, Biggie. He’s on Instagram and Facebook, you should follow him. I recently quit my day job to start up as a full-time freelance writer, mostly writing blog posts, ebooks and other stuff for marketers. 

I currently have six books on the market:


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When did you start writing:

I was a journalist starting in the ’60’s and I started my book Surviving Childhood January 1988!

Why do you write:

I love words and their ability to portray life.

What influences your writing:

People, places, memories.

Which genres do you write in:

Fiction, true life, semi-autobiography and bios.

What themes are in your writing:

Childhood, abuse, experiences, life in general.

Where do you write:

At my desk! 

What is next for your writing:

2/3rd’s of the way through writing an adult book about an intricate love story (I’ll update you about this, hopefully within 30 years, lol).

Something about me:


reading, theatre, music




family, friends and life.

Country of residence:




Favourite writers/artists:

Nora Roberts, Harland Coben, Micheal Connelly, Jane Austin and Shakespeare.

Previous publications:

Short story called The Dream in a collection of authors from Avon.

Can poverty, deprivation and child abuse ever be overcome by sheer strength of character and willpower?

JILLY JAMES never realised that when researching a dull, historical project about caring, fostering and adoption in the early 1950s, she would unleash such turmoil. If only she had known that in delving into their past, it would be such a tremendous struggle to come to terms with her own. Did she want to face a deeply-buried memory and change forever her “idyllic” childhood?

Through her keyboard she weaves the true story of the Grigg children for a television drama/documentary series in the face of constant criticism and derision until it reaches an astonishing conclusion.

Caroline Webber worked in the newspaper and television industries for many years before leaving to take up a freelance career. Amongst many other activities, she wrote and directed for a well-known (non-professional) theatre company in Bristol. She was a co-founder & Editor of a paper campaigning for the rights of local communities which was fortunate in having many distinguished contributing columnists.

Surviving Childhood is her first novel.

Paperback 978-1-78719-064-1 £9.99

Hardback 978-1-78719-065-8 £16.99

To purchase Surviving Childhood, visit Amazon 

Review copies available on request – contact details below 

For interview, comment and information from New Generation Publishing, email: or call 01234 711 956


Blog  // Twitter – @Author_Bristol // Facebook  // LinkedIn 


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Marc, tell those that might be reading this when, and why, you started writing, and which genres you write in

I started writing poetry and little horror stories when I was around aged 15-16 years old. I had always loved music but couldn’t play an instrument or sing so I started writing sets of lyrics and as time went on they got a little more mature and poetic. Regarding the horror writings, I love scary movies and am a big fan of the teen slasher genre from the 70’s & 80’s – films like Halloween, Prom Night, Nightmare on Elm Street etc so I’ve always wanted to write a movie style teen slasher story to reignite that genre…that’s how I’d like it to happen anyway. (Fun fact – Aged 7 my big brother and sister forced me to watch Nightmare on Elm Street part 2, I’ve never been the same since hahaha.)

When was it you realised you had a talent for writing poetry?

In secondary school my English teacher really pushed me, she saw that I enjoyed writing and got me to learn to be as descriptive as possible, build a world with only words. (I’m still learning).

You have published two poetry collections, and I have noticed your development. How often do you write? Do you stick to a particular routine, or is it a case of when inspiration strikes?

It’s definitely a case of when inspiration strikes. I’ve tried forcing myself before and it’s terrible… it’s not real. That’s why I’m proud of my latest book ‘The Lost Art of Self’ it took just over 4 years to write…nothing was forced, everything was written when it was felt.

Your first poetry collection has been updated. What changes have you made to the book, and why?

Semi minor things really, when I first wrote it, I was that eager to put it into the world that I never got a proofreader…I was torn to pieces by a few so it had to all be checked over. Other than that, just updated social media details.

Who, or what, has been the biggest influence on your writing?

Music has ALWAYS been the biggest influence and always will be. I’m inspired by it all…from Chopin to The Doors to The Dillinger Escape Plan. I love music!

Which methods do you use to share/promote your work, and which do you find the most effective?

I only really use social media such as Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Twitter used to be the most effective when I started…I got into indie publishing while it was kind of new-ish/really taking over and everyone one wanted free books on Kindle promo days no matter what the genre. I once did a weekend promotion and got just shy of 1000 downloads…it was amazing! Nowadays I’m lucky if I get 30 over a weekend. I feel I’m going to have to start paying to be promoted now.

What are you hoping to achieve with your writing?

It sounds morbid but I want to create something, a reflection of myself to be remembered when I’m dead.

What are your future ambitions for your writing?

I want to write my first full length novel, a good horror story!

Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?

My wife and my two huskies, Misha & Mako. I like to go to the gym a lot with my wife. I also enjoy gaming, I love my xbox’s.

Finally, do you have any words of advice (or caution!) for fellow writers?

Get a proofreader! Never be afraid to go back and change things and like everything else…you only get out what you put in, so keep pushing yourself.


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