Interview with author Natty James

Book: Audruhi

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

Hello everyone! I am Natty James, a rising author, screenwriter, editor, and proofreader well immersed in the world of creating works that lie in the genres of fantasy, fiction, romance, YA romance, adventure, paranormal romance, and more. I discovered my passion for writing at the young age of 11 where I fell in love with writing novels and carried my love for creating stories throughout my entire career.
From being bullied and teased in school throughout my entire childhood, both writing and reading became a natural escape and helped to fuel my imagination and creativity. It suddenly become clear that writing was a part of the calling God had over my life as I decided I wanted to introduce stories that featured more POC and diversity to audiences desiring to be uplifted and entranced by something unique that would fancy their psyche.
I currently have two stories published on the interactive storytelling app known as Episode where I have cultivated a total of over 27,000 reads and counting collectively. Outside of being a content creator, I am currently working on two novels and one screenplay where I am studying and learning all that I can to fully enhance my skillset and further my abilities in order to become one of the most prominent African American authors to date.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Audruhi’ book?

Oh goodness! Where do I begin? LOL. I would have to say it’s hard to say, especially since Audruhi is still a work in progress. This story, whose setting lies in a mythical world located within Africa, has characters that are native to the region of Kenya. Outside of that, the main characters live in New Orleans and then are thrust into this foreign world where all the mythical creatures of Africa reside. With that begin said, I would have to admit that world building and writing from the perspective of those characters, which live in places that I have never even visited yet, has been quite challenging for me. It has caused me to do twice as much research on New Orleans, Kenya, Africa on a whole, etc. so that’s been something that been a bit difficult as I desire to make the connection with readers to the setting itself as authentic as possible.
Overall, writing has presented quite a few handfuls of challenges as I have had to restructure my old writing practices in order to appeal to audiences on a wider scale. In the past, I used to believe that my old way of writing would automatically win the hearts of many, however I found that my habit of writing sentences that are long and lengthy has proven that I need a bit of practice in terms of my delivery.
For Audruhi, especially, since this story is a YA fantasy romance I want to be able to connect with readers who are fans of novels such as Harry Potter, Legendborn, Blood Like Magic, etc. As this is new for me, it has been taking a bit of time to grasp the concept of the plot, execution, dialogue, and many other factors that would go into making this story excellent. So, there has been this pressure on myself to do better and deliver this story in the best way that I possibly can in order to do it justice and move audiences with a unique storyline that they have yet to read about.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Oh my gosh! Stephanie Meyers, the author of the Twilight Saga, and J.K. Rowling have been my two biggest inspirations and role models when it comes to writing. I became obsessed with Twilight when it was first published and fell in love with the characters, the way Stephanie Meyers was able to write them so vividly it’s like we became to know them personally. My obsession with Twilight helped to encourage my imaginative process and come up with books that were tailored to the paranormal romance genres.
Outside of Stephanie Meyers and J.K. Rowling, I would have to say that one of my all times favorite influential authors would have to be Nicola Yoon. I was so inspired by her amazing magnitude of creativity and feel good, fun-loving stories for young adults that her work (Everything, Everything, one of my faves) encouraged me and motivated me to get back into the writing game after years of being on hiatus.
Other authors who are not as mainstream have had a huge influence on me as well. Tia Sirrah, the author of Unrequited and Broken is one of my favorite authors ever! Her book, Unrequited, is my absolute favorite book of all time. Other authors such as USA Today Bestselling Authors Shyla Colt and Koko Brown have had a tremendous impact on my writing career in terms of their intriguing plot delivery and outstanding writing styles.

Q4. What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

My favorite spot to visit in my country, the USA, would be New York. I love the fast-paced atmosphere, the food, the places to visit and sightsee, and I can go on forever lol. I was born there and moved to Georgia at a young age, so NY has always had a special place in my heart for that reason especially since there is so much life in the cultural arts there such as Broadway and other parts that make visiting fun and brings you that lively sort of joy.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

Yes. Yes. And YES! LOL. There is actually a whole lot to do before diving in and starting to write a book. I would say research is necessary, especially if you’re writing about a topic that’s foreign to you. Also, it helps to brush up on your skillset by practicing as that will help you to better your craft. Reading is also an essential beginning part that must take place before you consider writing a story in order for you to learn from those who have published before you.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Audruhi’ book?

OMG! LOL. I can’t even really say. Again, since Audruhi is still a work in progress it has not fully been written and I honestly can’t even state when I think it will be completed. I actually came up with the idea for Audruhi when I was about 14 years old and that was X amount of years ago LOL. I won’t say exactly how long ago, but it was a pretty long time ago. I mean, it’s nice that I’m finally taking the initiative to get the ball rolling on bringing this amazing story to life, but low and behold it has taken me a long while to get here.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Audruhi’ book to buy?

Readers who are interested in reading the novel can find Audruhi, when it is ready to be published, on applications such as WebNovel, Wattpad, Inkitt, Dreame, and in the future Amazon Kindle.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Audruhi’ ?

Well, the book cover, illustrated by the wonderful @mystery.artistz, took quite a bit of time and detail. The goal behind it was to bring life to all the main characters by having them drawn together on the cover in a way that detailed each of their personalities. The pose was something I had in mind for a while; however it took a bit of back and forth with Mystery about certain aesthetics and styles that would be incorporated. God rest her soul! LOL. I know at times I wasn’t the easiest person to work with when she was drawing the cover, but it required a high attention to detail which she delivered with excellence. I had the idea going for the cover since I was a kid and she absolutely came through!
As far as the title goes, I literally started to throw around names in my head by taking a syllable from one thing there and another syllable from another thing here because I wanted the name of this character and this story to be absolutely unique. Since Audruhi is an African genie, I wanted his name to reflect the fact that he is this flamboyant, atypical, extraordinary character whose essence is an amalgamation of various factors that caused him to be made into the being he is.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

When writing I try to keep things fresh by throwing in things that the audience would least expect in addition to adding content that is guaranteed to keep readers engaged and on their toes by even stirring a bit of controversy. For example, in Audruhi, since it is a YA fantasy romance, there are parts of the story where the two main characters, Audruhi and Zarina, are pushed and tempted to go all the way in taking their romance to the next level of intimacy. However, since Zarina is still a teenager those boundaries, although they will be pushed and tested, will not entirely be crossed.
I try to keep my readers guessing and leaving some portions of the story to their imagination for them to visually process what they feel might happen next.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

I would say prepare to be amazed in a way that you would never think to be possible. This story is incredibly original and is not only set to keep readers on their feet with anticipation, but it’s also set to touch their minds and melt their hearts. Audruhi might also be the first of many books to come.

Interview with author Paola Giometti

Book: The Destiny Of The Wolves

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

Hi, I’m Paola Giometti, a Brazilian who lives in northern Norway. At 11 I was the youngest writer in Brazil and I write books related to Arctic nature, folklore and Scandinavian culture. I have already published 8 books in Portuguese, and The Destiny of the Wolves was translated into English and was published by Underline Publishing and soon its Spanish version will also be available. I am also a biologist with a PhD in Natural Sciences and I work in cancer research. in the free time I write, walk in forests and mountains, and study ancient Scandinavian magic.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘The Destiny of the Wolves’ book?

First the book was written in Portuguese. Writing and publishing The Destiny of the Wolves was a very complicated process. I had already published a book when I was 11, but I didn’t know anything about the literary universe. It was at age 30 that I officially published the book and it was a painful process as some publishers asked me who I thought I was to be able to write a book about wolves. They even said that I only sold books because I have green eyes and that my literature was very weak, that it would never be sold to schools. I don’t know how literature works in your country, Sassy, but in Brazil there is a huge bonfire of vanities and I had to keep my head firmly on my goal, otherwise I would have given up there. But in six months I sold 1000 books, alone and working in events. It wasn’t easy as I did most of the work myself promoting my book standing at 7 or 11 days, twelve hours per day, not having enough money to eat properly, and I was always sick afterward. I wore contact lenses like a wolf’s eyes and did artistic makeup to help me in this marketing process. It really was a lot of work. Today I have a publisher to support me and only this year they sold more than 25,000 books to schools and readers in Brazil.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

My biggest literary influences are the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, whose perseverance was able to publish his books in several languages and today has more followers on Twitter than JK Rowlling. JK Rowlling with Harry Potter, Tolkien with Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman with The Golden Compass, Rick Riordan with Percy Jackson, Dan Brown with all his books, Michael Ende with The Neverending Story, Bernard Cornwell with his series of historical books.

Q4. What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

I post a lot of landscape pictures on my Instagram and TikTok and also on Youtube so I’m guessing you’re asking about Norway, right? I believe the place I most enjoyed visiting was the Horseid valley located in Lofoten. You can only get there by boat, and you have to go up a mountain, reach the plateau and go down the other side, so you can have the view I’m talking about. From there, it is possible to see a wonderful valley, with a lake at its deepest part, and a small paradisiacal river that descends in steps towards the sea. Walking through this valley surrounded by high mountains, we get the impression that we are very small, and that we are in the house of the gods. Further on, we then see a kilometer of dunes to finally reach a beach with very fine white sand and super green water. All landscapes in Norway inspire me to create landscapes and universes for my stories.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

There is a long process between working on an idea and bringing it into a book. It needs a lot of research, references, and that makes your book more believable to the reader, even if we’re talking about a fantasy story. Structuring the text is important so that you don’t waste so much time after fixing the book’s problems, leaving unnecessary characters, objects and scenes. I always do a research and one big scripting process before writing the book.

Q6. Could you talk about your new book Symbiosa and the Threat in the Arctic from Nordika Publisher?

Symbiosa will be published in English in December and will feature the story of a girl named Emma who became very ill as a child, but who was saved by a mystical procedure called Symbiosa, which connected her soul with a falcon. At the same time that Emma was saved, she developed very good eyes. In the book I bring the Sámi people, one of the oldest peoples in Scandinavia, who are devoted to the forces of nature and have a great connection with reindeer, as well as being known for their fabulous mysterious chants called joikes. The plot also brings an investigation into strange events that have been taking place in the city of Tromsø, with missing people and people who think they are animals. Anyone who likes books of mystery, adventure and mysticism will certainly like Symbiosa and the Threat in the Arctic.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find your books to buy?

They can be found on Amazon and Abesbooks

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the cover and the title of your books?

Today, all covers are made by professional cover artists in the field of literature and there is a work in group to build this image. Usually the publisher puts me in contact with the artist and I tell the essence of the story so she or he can work creativity on it. My book titles are usually the last thing I create when I finish writing a book, as I already know the entire trajectory of my characters and the essence of the story. Even though I planned the book, the process of writing it does bring some changes along the way.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Different ideas and little explored usually bring me more satisfaction and interest in developing a story. I usually say that all the stories have already been told, and that the difference is the way they are told. I usually use the adventures I do in the mountains to make some new story born, as I see the stories written in the bark of the trees in the form of faces, just as I see my characters in the shape of the mountains and rocks. If I walk through a valley and realize that it could be in my story, my imagination, during the journey, I will put the elements of the story in the middle of the way, such as a castle of alchemist scholars, a portal among the trees, the “sound” of the northern lights and shapes, whether the northern lights are happy or sad… I sometimes draw maps based on the mountains here, marking territories for tribes made up of animals or other creatures. All of this is a way for me to feel that I’m adventuring very deeply into nature here and at the same time I’m brainstorming for a new book.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), can you share with your readers?

I love putting secrets in my books. Yes, there are a lot of them in The Destiny of the Wolves, but I’ll just tell you two of them. My family and I took many dogs from the streets and helped lot of dogs. We’ve had great packs. The characters are wolves inspired by my dogs: Kushi wanted to be the alpha, and after a few years she lost her leg. Dingo was a very clumsy and noisy dog, and Tuska was an old brown. I tried to give the behavior characteristics of my dogs to Kushi’s pack. The other secret is that The Destiny of the Wolves belongs to the Fables of the Earth series, and it was the first book published. However, it doesn’t matter the order in which the books are read, as they all connect and crossover with easter eggs that are revealed during the reading. Soon I hope to be able to bring the other books from the series into English, so that everyone can have access to these surprises.

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Book Is Available On Amazon

The Destiny Of The Wolves

Interview with author Destiny Hawkins

Book: The Descendants

Q1 – Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

Hello! My name is Destiny Hawkins and I am the author of a dystopian fiction series called The Descendants. I live in Cleveland, Ohio where I work on my book cover designing business, Vibrant Designs LLC, and spend my spare time either walking around in nature, or with my family.

Q2 – What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘The Descendants’ book?

I would say my key challenges were writing the more violent scenes, and explaining the terminology. When writing the violent scenes, I wanted to really get across the reality of the Lytonians so that readers could understand the actions and motives of the characters.

When it came to the terminology, there felt like no clear way to explain something like a Level 1 Soma Bright, and I didn’t want to give it all at once so I explained the levels, social classes and ability types as basically as I could. Those are the things that help make up the identity of a Lighter. Right, what does Lighter Mean? That is a person. Think of saying Lighter as calling someone human. They cover the majority of the earth, while Lytonians, A type of Lighter, only live within the walls of Lytonia. Then you have your Wild-landers, Defects, Vessels, and Depleters…but I won’t get into all that right now.

I wrote The Descendants five years ago, and I can still remember struggling over this part. Don’t worry though, continue reading and there’s a bit of repetitiveness in different ways to help readers remember & catch on. Eventually, they should be able to come up with their own favorite type of Lighter.

Q3 – What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

For The Descendants Series, I would say that Jeff Wheeler & Jonathan Renshaw influenced the more in depth parts of the series. I started the Descendants before reading Jeff Wheelers Harbinger Series and Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw, so the series wasn’t inspired by their writing. It was just that I had begun to have a deeper understanding of the art of writing. Where I used to only read for entertainment, I now enjoy reading for small messages, writing style, clever plot twists, and so much more. Both authors were great in these areas, influencing me to write with words that the readers could feel. I enjoy giving hints, insight, small messages, and even important information that I sneak in between the lines so readers won’t think too much about it until its relevant to the scene.

Q4 – What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

My new favorite spot to visit is Colorado, somewhere where there’s mountains. Recently, I took a trip to visit my boyfriend while he was staying out in Colorado for MMA training. I didn’t pay attention to location, but he took me to the mountains he’d been out to climb and wanted to show me what he saw. The mountains were absolutely beautiful, some either being all rock or having trees poke out from them. I had never climbed a mountain before, so I was fascinated by everything. There was even a particular silence that just screamed peaceful. Accept for when I could hear how loud the bees actually were.

The Colorado mountains are now special to me because they brought back memories of running through the woods with my siblings and having adventures in nature the way that we did. I wasn’t aware of how much I appreciated nature when I was a child. Back then, I was just in it, listening to birds chirp and hearing the leaves rustle. I guess I appreciated it all without knowing, because the mountains were nostalgic. Being with my boyfriend and experiencing that with him made my first mountain hike a beautiful trip.

Q5 – Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

I take my time before starting a writing session. Usually, I do a bit of cleaning, meditation, and some exercise to get things moving. I need to be in a clean space, and meditation helps focus my thoughts after a little working out. Not too much, but not too little.

Q6 – How long did it take you to write ‘The Descendants’ book?

The Descendants took about a month. I just finished the third book, which took about two years.

Q7 – On what all platforms readers can find ‘The Descendants’ book to buy?

As of right now, you can find The Descendants on Amazon.

Q8 – Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘The Descendants’ ?

Honestly, I can’t remember how I came up with the title. I think it just came to me. When I was working at this awful boring debt collection agency, we weren’t allowed to use pens and paper for security reason. We had these dry erase boards, so in between calls I just started getting creative and thought up The Descendants plot. There was no title yet, but I believed that once I put everything together, a title had just come to me.

As for the book cover, I wanted to create something that represented the story in several different ways including, cover color, background, fantasy elements, and character. Even the sparkles around the border mean something…and it doesn’t mean anything nice. Keep in mind that sparkles don’t mean a good thing in The Descendants. I did, however, stick by my slogan: Where beauty can be found in darkness. The beautiful sparkles read about in The Descendants are called Diamond Ashes.

Q9 – When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

When writing, I like to keep things fresh by sneaking in a little information here and there. That way there are always rising questions waiting to be answered.

Q10 -Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

As far as secrets go, I would say that the description doesn’t give the exact feel of how dark the story could go. I don’t make anything in the world exactly ugly, but beautiful. It’s just that there are some crazy things that happen in those beautiful places. And some of those crazy things may pull at your heart strings. It can get emotional, so I’ve been told.

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The Descendants

Interview with author John Reid

Book: The Forgotten Gun

Q1. Hello, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is John Reid, born in Scotland more years ago than I care to remember (73 years young) and am currently enjoying retirement with my wife of over 50 years Liz splitting our time between Scotland and Portugal. Now that I am finally retired, and both children grown up, I have had time to concentrate on writing and bringing the ideas that I have carried around for years to life!!!

My early years were spent in the army serving in the Royal Corps of Transport on a Short a Service a Commission, serving in both Northern Ireland and the Middle East. My working career began in management trainee positions and ended in CEO positions working in venture capital and fund management. I was fortunate to travel widely before the world became so accessible, seeing different cultures first-hand and learning as you go – there was no Trip Advisor in those days!! I’m still not sure of the origins of several meals to this day, but slow flights and hotels in deserts gave me plenty of time to read!!

I’m also delighted that I can use writing to benefit Sense, a, a great charity that supports anyone living with complex disabilities. For anyone who is deafblind. Sense helps people communicate and experience the world. The believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential, just as I do.

My only regret is that I waited this long to start writing, it has become a real passion. There are times when I wish I could type with more than finger though!!!

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘The Forgotten Gun’ book?

Starting. I had a blank piece of paper and an idea for a story that I had thought about for a lot of years, but once I got that first paragraph down it immediately started to flow, with a sense of excitement at finally getting the nuances and subtleties of the story down on paper. Each book has been referred to as a ‘screenplay’, and that is exactly how I write.

The central plot for “The Forgotten Gun” is based on something that I had often thought about and intrigued me as an idea – The idea that someone can be killed, it looks like a shooting, but there is no bullet or any obvious firing point. Woven around this central story is an introduction to the main character in the series – DCI Steve Burt. A decorated but disgraced officer with a final chance to save his career, hindered by an impossible case to solve a newly formed team of misfits to manage.

The success of every story is getting the characters right. I wanted to create characters most people could identify with. Real people doing a real job, but to never become boring, predictable or disappear as in some books. Every character has a story, and I try to make the reader struggle to predict their next moves.

I also wanted to show a working policeman doing his job 24 hours a day with no padding out of the story line with statements such as “the following week etc. etc. ” Real policemen work their cases each day and my readers follow their time-line.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I’m an avid reader and have a wide and varied reading history. I wouldn’t say that any author in particular has influenced my writing style, but there are many authors that I admire, and I respect every single author who has had the courage and commitment to get their words into print. I have a style all of my own and deliberately do not follow any formula or other authors works – it keeps it fresh, orginal and a pleasure to write.

There are a number of incredible series from the likes of Lee Childs and Ian Rankin, and my guilty pleasure of Rumpole from the Bailey by John Mortimer, and I hope that the DCI Steve Burt series can emulate these fine bodies of work.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

My wife and I live in both Scotland and Portugal. In Scotland our favourite spot is Loch Ness. The scenery is spectacular and you can still find places unspoiled by tourism and as nature intended. Finding lovely local bars, cafes and restaurants off the beaten track is one of our favourite hobbies!!

When in Portugal on the Algarve we enjoy walking the cliff tops and taking in the outstanding rugged, natural scenery with views out to sea. The choice of restaurants in the Algarve is incredible and my wife and I together with other friends enjoy eating out and trying different restaurants, all in the name of research obviously.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

I think I am lucky in that I have a very productive imagination.

In all seven books to date, with the exception of “The Forgotten Gun”, I have started with only a vague idea for a plot and have allowed the characters to write their own script. So in answer to your question – no. There’s not a lot to do. I find if I give the characters the outline of a plot they then take over and I follow. I know it sounds weird but that’s how I write.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘The Forgotten Gun’ book?

I had the idea for “The Forgotten Gun” for decades in my head. I was lucky in that my way of writing was instant. As I said I allow the characters to run the story. “The Forgotten Gun” took me six weeks to write and my wife another six weeks to proof-read.

On each subsequent book I always have a vague idea for a plot-line, and once I sit down and weave in a series of sub-plots, characters and intrigue the stories flow naturally, growing and evolving with the characters.

I find it really enjoyable, quite absorbing, and a relatively quick process. The stories keep getting better and better too, although my publisher might just be saying that!!!

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘The Forgotten Gun’ book to buy?

I confess that today’s communication technology is beyond me so I am grateful for my in house support. I am reliably informed that ‘The Forgotten Gun’ is available on Amazon and the Austin Macauley website as the main channels. Other bookstores are available.

We also have a dedicated website for the series – http://www.steve-burt.com – and profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if anybody wants to take a look.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘The Forgotten Gun’ ?

The book cover was started by our publisher and as a family we discussed it and came up with a few suggestions that were taken onboard. We wanted to create a mystery and not design a book cover that gave too much away. As to the title, as the story line evolves we could see only one title. The Forgotten Gun. The novel is after all about a gun that was forgotten.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

The simple answer is I don’t know. I devise plots with multiple layers of intrigue and find making notes surrounding the characters activity help me keep abreast of the action. Because the characters set their own agenda I feel the stories are always fresh. If I as the author don’t know what an individual character is going to do next, then the reader cannot possibly guess. It is always fresh and unpredictable.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

I am sure there are but giving too much away in the blurb would spoil it for the reader. All I can say is that the identity of the killer, the reason he has selected his victims and his means of killing all become clear towards the final chapters of the novel. DCI Steve Burt and his misfit team uncover a web of events the reader could never imagine. I have been told it is a real page turner.

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The Forgotten Gun

Interview with author Jolly Walker Bittick

Book: Cape Henry House

Q1. Hello Sir, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Jolly Walker Bittick. I am named after my father and grandfather, but we each have different middle names. I was born in Denver, Colorado, but raised in rural western Washington. I served a term in the Navy as a helicopter mechanic, but have worked in numerous fields since, most recently as a communications editor for the Federal Government. I love to write and I also keep a daily journal to log the details of my day. As I entered my 30’s I realized that my life experiences are unique since I have traveled so much and lived in so many different places, so I decided to begin writing about the experiences and people I have met over the years.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Cape Henry House’ book?

The book is officially fiction, but based so much on true events that I had to make sure to protect the identities of people and certain locations showcased in the book. As this was my first publication, I was unsure how much detail I could include as it pertained to brands. Ultimately, I kept details as vague as I could in that realm, and tried to do so without taking away from the overall story. I did some general research and determined that protecting the military elements of the story was most important, and ultimately a few of the locations were real places but as they are no longer in existence I was safe to name them as they were in real life. Professional sports teams are mentioned in the story, but vaguely enough that there is no legal issue.
Second, the creation of the chapters was challenging. I originally wrote the entire story without any chapters and then decided that chapters would help readers, particularly those who would not read the book in one sitting. I feel like the chapters are aptly named and well placed, but the initial challenge of creating and placing them seemed formidable.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

First and foremost, Ernest Hemingway in general. I decided when I wrote this book that I wanted it to be written for those who do not read. Short, sharp sentences and raw details were heavily incorporated into the work to keep readers interested and compelled.
I also like author Harry Combs, and his western novel ‘Brules’ in particular. The opening to ‘Brules’ inspired the opening to Cape Henry House, and I also intend to use similar formatting in future publications (in fiction).

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Olympic National Park and National Forest. I am from the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington but I find it to be a place I prefer to visit as opposed to a place I call home full time. Anyone that has visited the peninsula is taken aback by its natural beauty and grand geography. It remains a wild place, and that by itself makes itspecial.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

There can be. A writer must have a purpose in writing a book, and at least a vague idea of what they want the story to be about. I have written material in the past that ended up with meaning different than what I was intending, and sometimes that is okay, but only if the writer can shape the work into something they can finish and produce for an audience. I take after Stephen King, who is known to sit down and start writing something without any outline beforehand of what the story will be about. I find my work is better when I write and get into the story myself, because it takes me on a journey as well.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Cape Henry House’ book?

Cape Henry House was written in six weeks. I contacted a few old Navy friends and discussed the story with them, and then I went about writing it. I had fun with it, so much so, that before I knew it, the story was completed.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Cape Henry House’ book to buy?

All major platforms, and most brick and mortar stores. The book is also available via box retailers like Walmart and Target. In particular:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google Books, Apple Books, Kobo, Books A Million, to name a few.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Cape Henry House’?

As the story is based on true events, it was an easy process to name the book as it is about a house on Cape Henry Avenue, a real street. My Navy friends and I have referred to the actual house as Cape Henry House over the years, the name was a natural fit for the book.
I went through a cover design service and was provided with five cover designs based on specifications I provided. Ultimately, the cover of the book was the image selected. It was far and away the best of the bunch.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Focusing on the plot of the story and using as few words as possible to describe the characters and events while ensuring that the word choice is sharp, this gives a jolt to the reader which naturally keeps them compelled to read on. For me as a writer, it is important that I enjoy writing the story. I had fun writing Cape Henry House, because as I wrote it, I was brought back to the real-life memories that form the basis of the book.
In other works, I follow the same blueprint. I make sure to apply my feelings and imagination to the writing so that it remains raw, raw in the sense that the person reading it can sense, smell, taste, feel, and apply themselves as so they are in the story as well.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

Two things:
Every character in the book is based (some more than others) on actual people from the days of the late 2000’s. In some cases, there is one character that represents more than one actual person, or multiple
characters that are extensions of someone I remember from the actual party days of the real-life house on Cape Henry Avenue.
The other thing: Nearly all of the wildest parts of the story are true. In some cases, it would be hard to imagine someone writing about such things without having seen or experienced it!

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Cape Henry House

Interview with author Robert B. Herring Jr.

Book: Scars of a Magician

Q1. Hello Sir, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

Author of three books, Scars of a Magician, a fantasy novel, Josh and his Superhero Booger Friends, and The Adventures of Olivia and Molly also a children’s book. I started writing short stories in a writer club in high school. I wrote in my yearbook that I wanted to be a writer one day, who knew sixteen years later I would publish my first book.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing Scars of a Magician’s book?

Keeping my manuscript in order with the storyline and names.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

I don’t have a book or author that influences me. I wanted to write a novel, so while I sat on a school bus waiting on a school chapter to be done. I started writing my story, but I eventually rewrote it. I’m glad I did.

Q4. What’s your favorite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

I live in the U.S. I don’t have one yet, but I hope to have one soon.

Q5. Are there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

Yes, because I had to plan out the events step by step.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Josh and his Superhero Bogger Friends’ book?

It took me about three months to finish the first draft.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find your books to buy?

Amazon and my website: robertherringjr.com but I soon will have it on kindle and more.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the cover and the title of your books?

I imagine what I want and then try to sketch it out then send it to my artist to draw. My title comes from my character having issues with his family and reality, also being a street magician.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I have a big imagination that helps plus I do research and act my story out.

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Scars of a Magician

Interview with author Taea Edwards

Book: Grief

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Taea Edwards, I’m a full-time student at the University of Central Florida with a passion in writing and politicals. I dream of doing book-signings for my novels, strive to connect with readers so they feel less isolated in this crazy world, and aim to one day travel all over the world for my writing and humanitarian aid work!

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Grief’ book?

The biggest challenge I faced was poor organization. I started at a very young age (8th grade) and because I was evolving so much over the years I had to entirely redo the novel over four times, which stretched out the process by six years. I wouldn’t ever change the oitcome, however it proved quite challenging to fix and alter.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I would absolutely say Sarah J Maas was one of the greatest influences on my writing. I looked up to her for so long, and going to her book signing was one of the greatest turning points in my writing, because I knew immediately all I wanted was to be on the other side of that stage and signing table.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

I have not been to enough places consistently to have a favorite! I have always moved around and never spend more than a few years in any one place, so a lot of areas are nostalgic to me, but none is a consistent favorite as I haven’t been back to enough places! But any beach is always a safe haven for me!

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

I would say there is quite a bit to do before diving in, however there can be times when I will spontaneously add a new exceprt as well. For example, on the novels I have yet to write, first I need an idea (which comes quite easy for me), than a base plan for characters (they usually evolve on their own eventually, but a solid idea is still needed to start), and some decent plot lines/development plans for characters and plot. With those few things in mind, I generally let the idea sit for a minute as well, because I know over a few months’ time (whilw focusing on other novels), dozens of new ideas will come to me, which I can match to a certain novel, and build on it in that way beforehand so there is less revisions later on.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Grief’ book?

It took me (as previously mentioned) six years to finish Grief. This was because the final version and the original are pretty kuch entirely different concepts. I’d say to write the most recent concept took about 2 years max, however as I was younger I never wrote very consistently.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Grief’ book to buy?

Currently, it is not published yet, though once I do publish it the novel will be accessible on Kindle/Amazon, Audible, my personal website, and IngramSpark for sure, though I’m still looking for other places to add it to as well.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Grief’ ?

I have had the book cover for Grief in mind for years, as well as the next two novels. I am currently looking for an artist who cen help bring that image to life. As the trilogy centers around Amara and her development, I always wanted her to be a direct part of it, which is why I always wanted a half-face realistic drawing of her along the edge, each cover will have her primary emotion of the novel to show visual progress, and will have her magic slowly growing around her, as symbolism again for her progress throughout the novels. The title came to me as I was about halfway through writing the book. I’ve had it set for years, I can’t quite remember how it hit me, but I believe I had just finished writing the climax for one of the very early versions and the sheer agony and grief that would tie the readers to the pace was just so heavy, I knew nothing else would fit the description more.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I would say I keep things fresh by truly knowing the ins and outs of my own novel. By knowing every little detail of lore, backstory, history, charavter, in and out, it always leaves something else to pepper in or add that will for sure add to the story, so even if it is just a simple chapter of the characters having fun and takinf a break from the stress of their situations, they are leaving something with the readers. At least, that is what I hope to accomplish.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

Not quite secrets, but as all of mh novels take place in the same universe, there is a lot of different opportunities for crossovers, so readers should keep their eyes peeled for character descriptions, sayings, or visuals that may seem out of place… They might come up later in the series, or even in another world.

Grief

Interview with author Mihret Adal Gidi

Book: Hell Again

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Mihret Adal Gidi, born and raised in Ethiopia Addis Ababa. I would say I am quite a story teller who could not recall when exactly she started developing her love for literature, in general. But it would be fair to put it like; she is born for it. After all, writing is what makes me feel alive. As it defines me.
I have a totally free spirit with no imagination boundary, at all. Many around me would say I was quite a story teller; I used to tell stories even as a child. I was known for my writings at school; I used to participate in many medias and even present my assignments in quite unique manner, which got me my teachers’ attention; giving me recognition that I should consider writhing as a serious part of my life.
One cannot imagine her/his path. On that count, I used to think that I would be a dramatic artist who would bound herself with the love between her brush and her imagination weave of art. Fortunately, that part of my life; the rapacious thirst to art, is now benefiting me; I grow up to be an author who would also work on her book designing, artistically. I am also a cloth designer. I am a person whose soul belongs to art.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Hell Again’ book?

We all have multiple challenge working on every dream. Let alone writing a novel, even to write this very interview answer I realized that I am my own biggest challenge, primary.
I seem to face a hard time to decide on manners to present my given thoughts to anything. I have an obsessive behavior with over writing everything I write. I would go back to reading my own work and simply find it hard to satisfy myself enough with structures or amount of information in them For Hell Again, things were different; I was supposed to conduct research that would contribute solid touches to the story in ‘Hell Again’ and it was hard; to be able to acquire unbiased data regarding any religious aspects was challenging, for the story is more focused on the spiritual entities. I figured that every religion is the only religion that is right in the eyes of the believers.
The other challenge was the payment methods. Ethiopia has quite fenced in methods of payment; international money transaction is difficult for locals. Which means, it is hard to complete any international payments for any purpose and that almost drove me insane.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I love all writing of Poulo Cello, J.K. Rowlling, Chinua Achebe, Yismake Worku and Kate White. These are some among many authors that inspired me.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

Even though my country is with numbers of destinations, I would love to point out Dega island on Tana lake as one of my favorite places; for its amicable society and the tranquil feeling it fills the visitors with. It is also a place with most beautiful smell coming from the plants and fruits on the island.
Truth is, my favorite spot anywhere in the world, is a seat right next to my mother. She is my inspiration, my best friend and someone who is always there for me my entire life in every possible way.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

Usually, ideas come to my mind anywhere and at any time, but when it comes to writing, I usually put an effort to make sure that I am mentally ready to jot down anything. I love to conduct research over any topic before allowing my pen to meet my paper.
When it is an idea, I write it down just like that, but to have a constructed story I take my time; conducting research and mental preparation to have a fixed writing manner, the style I mean.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Bleeding Hearts Of A Butterfly’ book?

Entirely it takes me around five years to complete ‘Hell again,’ with the researches I conducted to add as a recipe to the story. But it takes almost a year to get it published.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find your books to buy?

Austen Maculy, amazone, Good reads, ebay, Black Wells, Water Stones, Barnies and Nobles, Kobo, Hive… many more.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the cover and the title of your books ?

The essence of the story drives the title, in the end. As I mentioned, earlier, I have a vivid imagination and based on that I tried to work on it in as much as I can. But my primary challenge is myself that I was not satisfied with my work and other’s work of art; illustrating my mind. That is when I meet an artist, Selam Mekonin who developed my sketching into a water painting.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Clearly stating it, reading is the best mechanism to keep everything fresh. The more we read, the more we understand the options in hand.
When I say reading, I mean any types of books; fiction, non-fiction, motivational books… reading various types of books can expose us to acquire different methods of writing mechanisms. Besides, we have choices in what makes us feel happy while reading, but we should know the fact that there is no bad book. Every book come with different stories or materials that can benefit us in life; working life or our social/family life.
For writing fresh and updated or even, interesting story, I believe we should keep reading different types of books.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your
readers?

The book is full of secrets, secrets that unfolds with each chapter. Saying that, it is hard to point out one secret among many. I would only hope readers would enjoy the igniting curiosity in the process of the story telling.

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Hell Again

Interview with author Christine Meyers

Book: Tao’s Way

Q1. Hello Ma’am, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

My name is Christine Meyers, and my life has been an adventure filled with magic, imagination and love. From a young age I have had a backpack full of short stories that I wrote, mostly inspired from my dreams. As I developed more mature writing skills, I continued to utilize writing as a major expressive tool through poetry, short novels and journal entries. I dove more and more into the literature side of creative writing and fell in love with the concept of interpretation of literary works. As one who loves puzzles, I saw this as a mystery to uncover, reading through HP Lovecraft, Margaret Atwood, Plato, Taoism, Buddhism, George RR Martin and many more. I was addicted to uncovering what the author was teaching through the illusion of a story. This curiosity, and passion to uncover, opened something in me that I hadn’t felt in years. A desire to create, to express, to remember my childlike self. I remembered all of my favorite books growing up, and how they left such a major impression in my adult life. I carried those impressions with me for years, looking at the world through lenses I didn’t know I had. The art of storytelling, and the images to paint those words a live, are one of the most precious of gifts through time. Through my children’s books, I strive to create a magical adventure, that dives deep into the human experience in a light-hearted manner. Life is not all serious, and children’s book help to deliver a rich message, in the form of dessert. That dessert is delivered in my children’s philosophical/spiritual book series. These have no order to them, so they can be read in any way. I wanted to create a series that was connected, not by time, but through characters. Characters, and philosophical views, merge between books, creating an interconnected world of imagination, adventure and experiencing the magic in the world around us. I also wanted a way for adults to be introduced to these philosophical views in a new age way, so that as their children grow in discovering, they too can continue to grow and discover more of the world around them.

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Tao’s Way’ book?

I believe that anything that is done from the heart is not only a gift to share but also one that comes with many challenges. That is true for this book. The challenges that I faced with writing Tao’s Way came mostly in the after stages of the writing. Not to say that writing wasn’t challenging, as there was a 5 year gap between writing the story and taking initiative to make it into a book. The challenge there was myself, I wasn’t sure anyone even wanted to read what I had to write or that it was important and the self can be the biggest challenge we face in standing in the way of our passions. The beginning of writing creation is always so exciting, and everything is a spark because it’s bringing this idea that was imagined and birthing it into a real, physical thing to be shared. Once the story is created and out there, then comes the steps to develop it so that end product fits the vision aesthetically. Finding an illustrator to capture the images in my mind was the longest part of this process for me and the most challenging. As someone who didn’t have any background in the process, I assumed this would be easy, that the words I wrote would easily translate into images, ‘but I was wrong. I spent years finding someone who saw what I saw and could tell my story in picture form the way I desired it to be told. Platforms like FIVR were extremely beneficial in assisting in this process as well as the nitty gritty work, such as having the story edited and critiqued. The whole process presented many challenges, but challenges are just opportunities to grow and learn and so I really appreciated having to have gone through them because all of them really did strengthen my belief in the work as well as push me to commit further into making the end something tangible.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

With Tao’s Way, the book that most influenced me to write this story was the Tao Te Ching. After reading it, for the first time, I felt so connected to myself and the world around me in ways I didn’t know I even could be connected. This connection allowed me to see the world differently, more compassionately and peacefully and I thought “Wow, does anyone else know about this book? How can I share it with the world?”

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

This is a tough one for me because my soul thrives off of adventure and I hold a lot of places near and dear. One of my most favourite spots in our country, I would have to say, is western Colorado (Telluride/Ouray/Durango). The magnificence there is what sticks with me. It feels like I’m in a magical wonderland whenever I visit those mountains and every hike is challenging but so incredibly rewarding with what nature has to teach, and what a gift to be part of something so beautiful. That part of the country reminds me that life and nature are powerful and gentle, and that we are a small piece of the magic all around us.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing a book?

I’ve always had quite an imagination so when an idea does present itself, I find it rather streamlined to write a story because I can see the scenes in my head as they are happening. Most of my ideas come from play, which for me is a very fertile place for the mind to create and grow. That being said, having that playfulness, the stories kind of write themselves and I feel more of a vessel to share them rather than to creating them.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Tao’s Way’ book?

As I said, it was a long process between writing and transitioning the words into a book but the writing portion was quick. I sat down with my idea and wrote it out. I eventually did have to edit and tweak the words because I began learning the protocols for children’s books with page lengths and word counts but the core of the book was solid and there for me to work off of.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Tao’s Way’ book to buy?

Interested readers can find Tao’s Way on amazon and Barnes and Nobles’ website.
https://www.amazon.com/Taos-Way-Christine-Meyers/dp/0578672820/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Taos+way+childrens+book&qid=1628718529&sr=8-1
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taos-way-christine-meyers/1137342789?ean=9781735746425

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Tao’s Way’ ?

The book cover for Tao’s Way really presented itself when I began working with the marvelous Sarah Leigh-Wills on illustrations. We had talked at length on what my goals were for the book and after chats, Sarah created the first round of images of my vision. We worked together on details such as I wanted the map to say “home” because that is what Tao’s whole journey was about, finding his way home. I also wanted Taoism visually represented which is why I asked that Tao was carrying the ying and yang symbol instead of a traditional sack on the end of a stick.
The title of the book comes from a play on words. Tao, means The Way, so I wanted the title to represent the Way of the Tao or the Way’s Way. Essentially meaning that we all have our own way to get through life and this was Tao’s Way.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

When I’m writing, I’m mostly writing to create a puzzle that is interlinked for the reader. I thoroughly enjoy bringing large, difficult concepts into simple forms and making everything connect back to the original idea. In this case, I wanted everything; the names of the characters, the scenes, the language, the actions, to tie together. The freshness came from me putting together this visual and verbal puzzle so that everything was the related to Taoism in a fun, interactive way that was not hyper obvious unless the reader knew, or dove a bit more into the philosophy itself.

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Tao’s Way

Interview with author Paula Smith

Book: Alice Shaken And Definitely Stirred

Q1. Hello, can you please introduce yourself? Readers would love to know more about you.

I am a primary school teacher who lives in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I am the proud mum of 4 sons and my favourite past time hobbies are going on country walks, cream teas and gin tasting (not necessarily in that order).

Q2. What were the key challenges you faced while writing ‘Alice Shaken and Definitely Stirred’ book?

I had originally envisaged my book as a rom com movie but not having a clue how to write a film script I set about writing it as a novel. I had the idea of a story in my head but actually getting my ideas down on paper was the most challenging part, particularly the first few chapters. However, the more I wrote and developed the story and characters the easier it became.

Q3. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I love Helen Fielding who wrote the Bridget Jones series of books and Catherine Alliott who also writes really charming romantic comedies. I am a huge movie fan and love all the Richard Curtis films, he is such a talented script writer.

Q4. What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

The Lake District. One of my sons lives in Broughton-in-Furness which is a charming village. There are so many beautiful places to visit that are within easy reach of Broughton: the alpaca farm at Lingholm Estate in Keswick, the boat tours on Windemere Lake and the steam train rides at The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.

Q5. Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing a book?

Well I had imagined the story in my head for some time before actually getting it down on paper. I had made lots of notes on the characters and thought about the various settings I wanted. I think planning is important but it is also important to be flexible. As I developed the characters I changed my mind as to how I wanted them portrayed or how I though they would react to different situations.

Q6. How long did it take you to write ‘Alice Shaken and Definitely Stirred’ book?

I had the idea for many years but it was the very first lock down back in March 2020 that gave me the time to focus on writing the story. I found it very therapeutic. None of my boys lived with me at the time so it was very hard not to actually see and hug them and spend time with them. Writing kept me focused and was a big distraction from COVID and the strange world we all entered into. I wrote it in about four months.

Q7. On what all platforms readers can find ‘Alice Shaken and Definitely Stirred’ book to buy?

They can order it from all book stores and Amazon. I have a link on my own website: paulatheauthor.net and there is also a link on Goodreads.

Q8. Tell us about the process of coming up with the book cover and the title ‘Alice Shaken and Definitely Stirred’ ?

My book is full of dream sequences and in one of them Alice the main lead, dreams about three James Bond actors turning up in her hotel room: the late Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. I thought aboutt their iconic drink ‘a martini shaken and not stirred’ and played around with this to end up with the title ‘Alice, Shaken and Definitely Stirred!’.
The book cover design was by Charlotte Mouncey who does lots of covers for The Conrad Press and other big publishers. She is a very talented lady who turned my husband’s idea of a front cover into reality.

Q9. When writing a book how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Many reviewers of the novel have commented how much they enjoyed the dream sequences with many of Alice’s screen idols such as Aidan Turner, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant etc so It allowed me to throw in lots of humour and how the dreams helped move the story along and keep an element of surprise in the book.

Q10. Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?

Well Alice is pursued by three men and she definitely ends up with one of them! As her Aunt Betty says ‘men are like buses, dear, there are none on the horizon and then three turn up all at once’.

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Book Is Available On Amazon

Alice Shaken And Definitely Stirred