Author Interview: Marian Allen

*I am very pleased to include an interview from Marian Allen on my blog.  Marian is the co-founder of Per Bastet Publications and is also an esteemed member of the Southern Indiana Writers’ group.  Please be sure to check out some of her work.

 

1)  How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I was always a writer. I think I was about three or four when I learned that writing was what I was doing, and that it could be a career.

 

2)  Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Not counting people I know personally:

Charles Dickens

Maureen McHugh

Kim Stanley Robinson

Connie Willis

Jerome K. Jerome

Ursula K. LeGuin

 

3)  What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Fairy tales, the Bible (gotta tell the truth, right?), and “ordinary” life.

 

4)  What genre(s) do you write?

Mostly fantasy, science fiction, and mystery, but I write some horror, some romance, some mainstream/literary.

 

5)  Do you have any current or future projects?

I’m currently working on revising a couple of previously published novels, organizing several short story collections, and looking forward to completing three or four books in a comic mystery series I started during various NaNoWriMos.

 

6)  Do you have an author website?

I do. My website is my blog, which has pages for each of my books and for the anthologies in which I have short stories, with excerpts from each.

 

7)  Do you have any blogs?

My blog/website is Marian Allen, Author Lady. I blog there every day. Every. Day.

 

8)  Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

I recommend they go to my blog/website. There are buy links as well as excerpts, and quite a few free reads there.

 

9)  If you could just feature one title, what would it be? 

Oh, gosh! Let’s say A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, because that one is available electronically, in print, and in audio.

 

10)  Do you have any pseudonyms?

Nope. Just me.

 

11) Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Reading, cooking, and eating. And Dragon’s Milk imperial stout.

 

12)  Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I don’t know how interesting it is to anybody but me, but I hunt morel mushrooms in our woods every spring.

 

13)  Is there anything else you would like to share?

Writing isn’t what you do; it’s who you are. Humans are story tellers by nature. We tell each other stories all the time, every day; we narrate reality to one another with dialog, whether we’re reporting to our boss how we fixed a problem, telling our husband about how what that ink pen he left in his shirt pocket put black splotches on the sheets, telling a new friend what a funny time we had with an established friend when we were young – we’re always telling stories. Fiction writers just tell the same kinds of stories about imaginary events and people.

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Author Interview: Jerri Keele

*I am very pleased to introduce, Jerri Keele.  Jerri is an avid Monkees fan and is working on the third book in her Davy Jones trilogy; all proceeds go to the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund.  Be on the loookout for Jerri’s first regular novel soon!

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

In grade school I began writing stories about my friends and our “idols of the day,” (because they changed frequently). The stories were in spiral bound notebooks and would be passed around to my friends during recess and after school before being returned to me to continue the story that night and repeat the process every day. This continued through middle school (called junior high school back then) and high school. However, I burned them all (it was close to a bonfire!) after I graduated high school. Oh, how I wish I’d kept a few.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

I am a HUGE fan of James Michener, but also Richard Adams’ book Watership Down.  For pure pleasure, I read Janet Evanovich, Mary Stewart, John D. MacDonald, and a wide variety of others.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Music is a great inspiration to me. Right now I’m working on the final book in a trilogy about the ghost of Davy Jones (of The Monkees), so I listen mostly to his music while I write. All of the royalties go to the charity that Davy’s daughters created to care for his rescued horses. Once the trilogy is complete, I would like to write about far different things, which would mean using other music. But also, nature inspires me. I live in Oregon, and the scenery is simply breathtaking at times.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

The trilogy is a cozy mystery/fantasy, but I’d also like to write general fiction and I have an historical fiction story that I began years ago. I hope to finish it in the coming years.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

“Starrling’s Flight” is an historical fiction piece, bordering on fantasy. It’s about a young Pagan girl in the 1600s fleeing from witch hunters. I also have a young adult story about a cat that is owned by a pirate in the 1600s. And lastly, I would love to rework my grandfather’s stories about a group of fairies with the most beautiful names, characters, and adventures.

 

Do you have an author website?

I do, but it is pretty bare-bones at this time.

Jerri Keele Author

 

Do you have any blogs?

Again, I do, but I don’t seem able to find the time to update it very much.  Jerri Keele, Author

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

Amazon – all of mine (so far) are only in paperback form, because it brings the best royalty to the charity, Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation

 

If you could just feature one title, what would it be? 

Probably the current one I’m working on, which I have, until now, been keeping secret, “A Monkee In My Life.” But that’s for the future, so I’ll have to say the very first in the trilogy, “A Monkee On My Shoulder.”

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

No. I’m just plain me, just Jerri. J

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I love animals, especially cats, dogs, and horses. I have a friend less than a mile away who has a hobby farm that includes five wonderful horses. I have been given the freedom to come and go as I please, which gives me free horse therapy. I love just sharing a breath with them, or giving them a brushing and a carrot or apple.  At home we have three cats and two dogs, all of whom are spoiled rotten and provide free therapy on a daily basis.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I’m 59 years old, living in Salem, Oregon. I grew up in the Los Angeles area and was finally able to escape the big city down there and move to where it’s green, quiet, and full of wildlife and peace. I have a wonderful and supportive husband, a grown son and daughter-in-law, and our critters, of course.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Although I’m currently writing for a very small niche of readers (mostly The Monkees/Davy Jones fans), I hope to expand the audience with my other stories in the future.

 

*Please visit my Facebook author page: A Monkee On My Shoulder/A Monkee By My Side

Author Interview: Norah Bennett

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

That’s difficult to answer. I learned to love books at age 13. Maybe the though crossed my mind then. I’ve always written in journals, then academic writing, textbooks, then fiction.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Robyn Carr, Nora Roberts, Corinne Michaels, AL Jackson, Nicholas Sparks.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Life on the whole. I listen to the news, music, watch TV, talk to friends…I have a wonderful family. I am blessed with many encouraging and inspirational people in my life.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

Currently, I am finishing a novel titled, Six Months. Then, I plan to spend sometime make final edits on another finished novel, Forget Me Knot. Then, I will finish a project I started last year, Gravity.

 

Do you have an author website?

Norah Bennett

 

Do you have any blogs?

Norah Bennett Blog

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

Norah Bennett

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

My newest release Everything I’ve Dreamed Of

 

Everything I’ve Dreamed Of

By Norah Bennett

Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MR3847R/Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/everything-ive-dreamed-of-by-norah-bennett/

Kate Willowbrook dreams of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate’s dreams are replaced by nightmares when she witnesses a crime. Kate runs, never settling down or trusting anyone. Ten years later Kate discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and Noah Reed.

 

When Noah’s wife is killed in an accident, he buries himself in work and family obligations, believing he will never find love again until he meets Kate. The more he learns about her, the more he is drawn to her and his protective instincts kick into overdrive.

Noah is everything Kate has ever dreamed of, but his take-charge attitude is scaring up old demons she fought hard to bury. If they can’t find a way to strike a balance that satisfies both their deepest needs, they could lose their second chance at love.

 

Excerpt

Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”

 

Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she did, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man, with a killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard and fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.

 

Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his and he didn’t let her down.

 

“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”

 

Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her.

 

“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. see something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”

 

Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang, Killing me Softly. He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.

 

Kate dropped her gaze again as they began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain.

 

Special. 

 

Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of his world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor and a fickle one at that.

 

“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”

 

Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime.

 

Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance … a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”

Author Interview: Layla Cuevas

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I first knew that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven or eight years old in 2nd grade.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

My favorite authors are as follows:

  1. Ernest Hemingway
  2. Sandra Brown
  3. Judy Bloom
  4. Nicholas Sparks

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

My greatest sources of inspiration are my children, my grandchildren, and life in general. Seeing all types of people from different walks of life can give me inspiration.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I write romance/love, drama, and mystery. I also write children’s stories.

 

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I have a current project that I am working on and a few future projects gathering in my mind.

 

Do you have an author website?

I do not have a website at this time, this is a future goal.

 

Do you have any blogs?

I do not have any blogs.

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

I do not have any of my personal work available at this time for purchase or to read.

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

“Do I Have to Say the Words?”

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

My real name is Lesley Crisp. My pseudonym is Layla Cuevas.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

My hobbies include photography and sewing. Oh, and baking!

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Something interesting about myself…. Well, I’m not sure. I have lived an interesting life! I love to read, I love to write! I wrote a story for President Ronald Regan and received a letter back from him with an autographed photo thanking me for the story when I was in elementary school. I won several awards for my stories and was recognized by the school district when I wrote the eulogy for my middle school counselor when he suddenly passed away. As an adult, however, I have written several different stories but have not taken that leap to publish anything yet.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am really looking forward to this opportunity! Although I do not have a blog and this is a new step for me, I am excited to learn more! Thank you!

Author Interview: Sylvie Stewart

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I come from a family of educators and voracious readers so I don’t know that there was ever a time I wasn’t dreaming up one story or another. Books are in my blood! I wrote my first novella when I was seventeen, but I didn’t publish my first work until last year.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

I love autobiographies and essays by comedians (David Sedaris, Tina Fey, pretty much anyone funny), and I have tons of romance idols: Kristen Ashley, Tara Sivec, Emma Chase, Julie James, Alice Clayton…I could go on forever. Then, there are the classics that make me swoon – anything by the Bronte sisters and definitely Jane Austen.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Music is a huge source of inspiration for me. Most of my books start with a song I can’t get out of my head. My latest release, The Spark, was inspired by the song “Kiss Me Slowly” by Parachute.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I’m a total sucker for Romantic Comedy because I like having all the feels – so that’s what I have to write!

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I’m working on the next novel in my Carolina Connections series. The working title is The Lucky One and it follows two characters we met previously in the series – Bailey and Jake. Their path to happily-ever-after is a bit bumpy, but it’s fun to watch them fumble a bit!

 

Do you have an author website?

Sylvie Stewart

 

Do you have any blogs?

No, but people can catch up with me on my FB page: Sylvie Stewart Romance

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

My books are sold on all major websites – Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo (purchase links at the end).

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be? 

The Spark (although, as soon as I’m done with my WIP I would probably change my answer to that one – lol!)

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

Aha! Sylvie Stewart is my pseudonym – cue mystery music

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I’m a total craft nerd, I love to read (naturally), and I’ve taken up kayaking since moving to North Carolina. It rocks!

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I used to work summers at the circus – true story! Also, I’m double jointed and I can’t burp.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Purchase links for The Spark:

Amazon

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

Scribd

Inktera

24 Symbols

 

Purchase links for The Fix:

Amazon

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU

24 Symbols

Inktera

 

Here are my links:

Facebook

Mailing List Sign Up

Review Team Sign Up

Website

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

Author Interview: Matthew Snee

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Early, like ten or eleven. 

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

Melville, Borges, Flaubert, Steinbeck.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Mostly every day moments with my family and friends. Art and poetry and novels inspire me, but it’s real experiences that people have that really strike me. I like telling people’s stories.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I fluctuate between pulp to literary, to somewhere in between. I also write a great deal of poetry.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

I’m working on a large, 200 page poetry book, as well as my next novel, “The Kalachthon,” about Sherlock Holmes.

 

Do you have an author website?

Matthew Snee

 

Do you have any blogs?

Snee’s Blog

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

Mostly on Amazon. I used to distribute my work for free, but I’ve kind of outgrown that, and also need to pay bills. 

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be?

It would be my new book, “The Year I Slept”. It’s what I’m most confident in.

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

No, not really, though some of my books are under Matt Snee, and others under Matthew Snee.  I changed to Matt a short time ago.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I write and produce music for fun.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I used to tour the country in a rock band.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

My new book, “The Year I Slept” comes out on February 20th, and can be found here.

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Author Interview: Tammy Tate

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing in junior high school and wrote on and off until graduation. After that I put my writing on the back burner for many years and raised my children. Then I was a computer tech/consultant and then went on to become a police dispatcher. There was little time left to write. Four years ago, I picked it back up and now I have ten books published.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

My favorite romance author’s are Jeanette Taylor, Madeline Baker and my favorite horror author is Stephen King. I grew up on horror, mystery and thrillers so I have a passion for those as well which is probably why I have a hard time writing just straight sweet romance.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration? 

I usually listen to country western music when I write.

 

What genre(s) do you write? 

I’ve been married for thirty-seven years to the same wonderful man so I write everything romance because they say to write about what you know…LOL Writing romance comes easy and I write time travel, contemporary, and paranormal. I sprinkle in mystery and humor for good measure.

 

Do you have any current or future projects? 

I just finished up with three stories almost back to back. A contemporary romance called Reunited that is part of Code Redhead – A Serial Novel. My publisher is donating the proceeds to Children’s Cancer Research and I’m very happy to be a part of that. My publisher just released Valentine Vision another contemporary romance of mine and I released The Homecoming which is a paranormal romance. I have started part two of The Homecoming and part four of my Spirit Path series.

 

Do you have an author website? 

I use my fan page at: Facebook: Tammy Tate Author

 

Do you have any blogs? 

Yes. Blogspot.

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

At: Amazon

 

If you could just feature one title, what would it be?  

It would have to be The Homecoming. It’s a paranormal romance about shape-shifters in the Louisiana bayou. I made a book trailer and you can find it at: Amazon

 

Do you have any pseudonyms? 

No I have always written under my real name, Tammy Tate. Although, I have been asked if that was a pen name.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing? 

I like to swim, bowl, horseback ride, and take a motorcycle ride with my husband. I love to create book trailers. You can see some of my here

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

I hate dirty socks! If they made them disposable I would be a very happy woman.  🙂

 

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

When I wrote The Spirit Path, part one of my Spirit Path series, I wrote it for a journalism/short story class I was taking. I expanded on it and it became a short story, part two was a novella and part three turned into a full size novel. My fans have asked for a part four and I have decided to give them what they want 🙂

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Author Interview: Richard Stephens & Salty Tails

How old were you when you wanted to be a writer?

Richard: I fell in love with writing later in life. I was 48 when a friend talked me into sitting in on a writing class. I have always been a reader, and wrote for business, but had never ever considered writing anything for myself. After 2 classes I was hooked.

Salty Tails: I was born to write.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

Richard: I have so many favorites. Here is my short list: Janet Evanovich, Robert B. Parker, Jimmy Buffett, Daschiell Hammett, Nora Roberts, Rita Mae Brown, Lillian Jackson Braun…

Salty: ME!

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Richard: People. People never cease to amaze and amuse me. And then there are my three black cats. The true inspiration for Salty Tails and his cozy mysteries.

Salty: Humans. It’s simply amazing the trouble they can get into. And don’t get me started on their mating rituals.

 

What Genre(s) do you write?

Richard: Primarily romantic cozy mysteries, told through the voice of a sarcastic cat. Think a Rita Mae Brown with attitude on a sailboat. I have also published two short stories that are kind of a humorous Noir homage to the old detective writers like Robert B. Parker and Daschiell Hammett. Also told by a cat. A beer drinking cat named Rusty Nails.

Salty: Are cat’s a genre? And I am not sarcastic, I’m witty.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

Richard: Always. I am working on the fourth Salty Tails Mystery, currently titled, “Lobster Tales.” I am also thinking of writing a novel based on my Rusty Nails (Cat Detective) shorts. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m slowly working my way through a young adult book that centers around the western show horse world.

Salty: No! I’m working on Lobster Tails. He’s always taking credit for my work.

 

Do you have an author site?

Richard: I do! And thanks for asking.

Catnip & Dog Biscuits

You will find my blog, “Catnip & Dog Biscuits”, on there as well.

Salty: What he said, although I still think it should be named after me.

 

Where can people find your work?

Richard: All our books are available through Amazon.

Salty: Sell out.

 

If you could feature just one title, what would it be?

Richard: Another tough one. Let’s face it, writing, editing, & finally publishing a book is kinda like giving birth, (or so I’m told) so picking one child over the others is difficult. That being said, I hold a special place in my heart for Pirate Tales, since it was my first novel. But I believe that Vanished Tales is probably my favorite. I loved the way the relationships evolved, especially when I introduced the two girls.

Salty: Pirate Tails, it has the biggest picture of me on the cover.

 

Do you have any pseudonyms?

Richard: I guess you could call Salty Tails a pseudonym. Although he treats me more like a slave most of the time. I also write with Rusty Nails.

Salty: I sometimes use Richards name, especially when he leaves his credit card laying around.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Richard: I do, I love to sail, and taught it for several years, which anybody who reads Salty’s books will learn. I also enjoy cooking, hiking, playing guitar, and brewing beer at home. Of course drinking is fun to.

Salty: Sleeping, eating, sleeping, playing, sleeping, eating, sniffing catnip, eating, sleeping…

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

Richard: I spent a few years doing radio and voiceover work and have a small studio in my home. It’s something I really enjoyed. I’m currently using these skills to convert my books to audio, and ad voice to my book trailers.

Salty: Wow! Where do I even begin?

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Richard: We’re always looking connect with readers and authors a like. So please feel free to contact me or Salty. When not working on my own projects, I stay busy as a freelance blog writer and helping other Indie authors publish.

Salty: I’m hungry, I thought you said there would be snack.

 

Dark Harbor Publishing

Facebook: Richard Stephens

Facebook: Salty Tails

Facebook: Dark Harbor Publishing

Richard Stephens: Twitter

Instagram: salty.tails

Author Interview: Frank Destefano

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I was around 22.  I use to work long hours at a long Island hotel, and come home late. I use to watch hbo at night. I saw a lot of garbage movies and said i can write a story that is better.

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

A lot of my ideas cone fro. Movies. I always seem to find many of my ideas from them.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

THE movies

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I write science fiction, but tackling crime drama at the moment.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

YES follow up of The Dark Legend of The Foreigner. I have two that are currently on Amazon.

 

Do you have an author website?

NO i do not, but one is being worked on at the time. I do have a video on Facebook of The Dark Legend of The Foreigner

Do you have any blogs?

No

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

My current two Dark Legends can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Life Rich Publishing website

 

If you could just feature one title, what would it be? 

THE Dark Legend of The Foreigner. It was my first book that I had written.

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I love watching St.Louis Cardinal games on tv when they are on during baseball season.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I am a very family orientated person and enjoy all things related to tbem. You have one family, love them no matter what. Life is to short…

 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I had gotten a divorce because my ex was very abussive to me verbally. I had written the original Dark Legend twenty years ago. Going threw what i have and feeling extremley destroyed, bedides friends and family helping me my writting did wonders for me. You cant imagine what something as writting can do for someone even in their darkest days.

H

 

Author Interview: Mike Mullin

*I am very priviledged to include an interview with Mike Mullin on my blog!  Mike is the author of the acclaimed Ashfall Series, which includes Ashfall, Ashen Winter, and Sunrise.  Be sure to check out his website for more information.

 

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

At four, I wanted to be a firefighter (natch). Later I wanted to be a pro football wide receiver like Lynn Swann. That guy was indestructible! Then I went through a ballet dancer phase. (I had a crush on a ballerina, what can I say?) In high school I thought I’d be a newspaper editor. I even tried it out for a while, publishing and editing an underground newspaper titled The Middle Finger. I thought I might like to be a politician (puke!) until I served as a Congressional Page in the sausage factory that is Washington D.C. In college I decided I’d be a marketing executive. I actually did that one—it’s as soul-sucking as it sounds. I only decided to try to write and sell a novel about 8 years ago. I’m really enjoying writing full time. I can do it thanks to my extraordinarily patient and well-employed wife. She buys the health insurance. (Thanks, honey!) Maybe one or two of you would buy ASHFALL so I can keep writing? I love this career!

 

Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)

In young adult literature, my favorite authors are Richard Peck (particularly The River Between Us), Michael Grant (Gone series), Suzanne Collins, Chris Crutcher (especially Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes), M.T. Anderson (Feed is my fave), Gary Schmidt and Jerry Spinelli.

In science fiction I love David Brin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Alan Dean Foster, David Weber’s early work, Gordon Dickson, Philip Dick and Robert Heinlein.

 

In fantasy I adore Cinda Williams Chima, Kristin Cashore, L.E. Modisett, Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban, Tolkien, Lewis and Robert Jordan.

 

There are a zillion other authors I like—look me up on Goodreads here to see them all and talk books.

 

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

Reading, sleeping and living. First, I read voraciously and omnivorously. I will literally read an old phone book if nothing better is handy. (They’re a great source for character names.) I’ve read at least a few books in nearly any genre you’d care to name. I get a lot of my reading material from the library now, in part because all the 29 bookcases in my home are packed full. Reading also directly inspired Ashfall. Reading in Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 about the fearsome noise that eruption made inspired the early chapters of Ashfall in which Alex contends with the earthshaking noise of the Yellowstone supervolcano.

Second, I find that sleep is very important to my creativity. For one thing, I write better when I get enough sleep. I’ve known this for years, but there’s some new research that shows that when you feel sleepy, it’s because part of your brain is sleeping. Writing is hard enough without having any brain cells out of action. For another, I’ve trained my brain to work on plot problems while I sleep. As I drift off at night, I’ll review where I’m at in my work-in-progress and think about what I’m going to write the next day. Sometimes, I’ll wake up in the morning with a great idea. Many of the twists in Ashfall started this way.

 

Third, to write well, you must live well. Scenes in Ashfall involving greenhouses, goats and ducks were inspired by helping my brother’s family care for their small farm. When I realized that Alex would spend much of his time cross country skiing, I went to Oregon to learn how (and to visit Mount St. Helens). When Alex picked up a jahng bong, or bō staff, I enrolled in jahng bong lessons at my dojang. (I now hold a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo.) Without real-world experience in each of these areas, I wouldn’t have been able write convincingly about them.

 

What genre(s) do you write?

I write for young adults, which isn’t really a genre. The ASHFALL series is speculative fiction, but my next book, SURFACE TENSION, will be a YA thriller.

 

Do you have any current or future projects?

Yes, my next book will be SURFACE TENSION. It’s about a teenager who sees a group of terrorists causing a plane crash from the ground. He’s the only one who knows how they’re crashing planes, and they want him dead.

 

Do you have an author website?

Yes, Mike Mullin

 

Do you have any blogs?

I don’t blog regularly, but I do occasionally post news or giveaways here: Mike Mullin Author Blog

 

Where can people find your work?  (to purchase or just to read)

Your local library, independent bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and almost any other place you hunt books.

 

If you could just feature one title, what would it be? 

ASHFALL

Do you have any pseudonyms?

No

 

Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

I love lots of outdoor activities: hiking, bike riding, and canoeing, for example. I also spend a ton of time reading. I play computer games and have a weekly Dungeons and Dragons game I enjoy. (I’ve been playing D&D off and on since the early days of the second edition.) I love to cook. (And I’ve written one cookbook—it contains every recipe I mention in the ASHFALL books. You can get a free copy by visiting my website and signing up for my mailing list.) I also spend a fair bit of time volunteering as the president of my local library’s Friends of the Library group.

 

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Here are five fun facts about me:

  1. I keep a pet alligator in the guestroom bathtub. It’s really friendly with my wife’s three cats.
  2. I earned a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo in 2011.
  3. The broken arm I got in fourth grade was caused by an unfortunate run-in with a grizzly bear.
  4. I shelve my books in binary. You can find The Story of Edgar Sawtelle under 010110100101010.
  5. I’m not entirely sure what the word “fact” means, but I’ve got fun down to an art.