Author Interview with Richard David Bach

For the month of June, I bring to you an interview with author Richard David Bach, and perhaps a new summer read!

  1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

RichardDavidBach002_editedI was born in the Bronx, NYC, grew up (or was raised – a distinction I need to explore) in a working class family on the south shore of Long Island by a single mother after my father died when I was 13; went off to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY for a degree in Civil Engineering and an Air Force ROTC commission; spent two years on active duty designing and building a radar defense system in the Arctic; worked as an engineer in NYC for a couple of years and then accidently migrated to Portland Oregon when a friend and I came out here for a two week summer vacation and I never went back. (he did).

Not satisfied with an engineering career I went to night law school, graduated at the top of my class, joined Portland’s largest and most prestigious law firm, founded its environmental law practice group and practiced as the dean of Portland’s environmental lawyers until I retired in 2001.

My wife and I have four children, nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter between us, and spend a lot of energy being proud of them.

My genre is airplane books. They’ll get you from Portland to Chicago if you’re a fast reader … to Dulles if you need more time.  The four I have written and published in my Common Denominator Series are essentially thrillers with erotic and romantic overtones. Smart, good looking recovering-lawyer hero and even smarter and better looking kick-ass private detective heroine having a good time exploring mysteries and each other’s’ bodies.

  1. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

The short answer is that I’ve never really considered this to be a career.  Not long after I retired my youngest son gave me a new laptop for a birthday present and said: “You’re a great story-teller. Go write something.” So I did. A couple of days later some friends and my wife and I were having lunch and laughing over Nancy Grace’s latest tirade over a woman who had gone missing from a cruise ship. “What,” I thought, “if a serial killer is working the Love Boat?”

I went home, wrote the first and final chapters and then it took six months to get from one to the other and when I finished it was awful. I was a lawyer and I wrote like a lawyer … no adjectives or adverbs and a lot of telling instead of showing. So I began to take some courses in fiction writing at Portland State University, and gradually learned the craft – dialogue, scene setting, character development, etc. Thankfully, I didn’t have to learn grammar or vocabulary (as a matter of fact, in my early attempts I showed off a lot vocabulary wise and had to learn to write something that didn’t require the reader’s immediate access to a dictionary). And then, when I felt I was ready, I went back and rewrote the first book in the series (Common Enemy).

And after sending queries to all of the agents in the English-speaking world, I snagged an agent. She promised to find me a publisher, but when I received very few rejections (even though they were all nice) I realized that she wasn’t sending out a lot of submissions either.

At about that time the stigma on self-publishing was beginning to fade, and I liked the idea of eBooks, so I fired my agent and self-published Common Enemy for availability on Nook, Kindle, etc. While I was waiting for my agent to sell my first book, I continued writing the second and third of the further adventures of my protagonists, and published those as soon as they were ready.

I must admit that my venture into fiction has not been a great commercial success, but I’m not sure I ever expected it to be. I may have harbored some secret hope of becoming the next Lee Child, but I’ve read the statistics and know that my chances were slim. I’m not very good at selling, and have made few feeble attempts at social media marketing and inquiries to blogger/reviewers (such as yourself) but I’d rather be writing than sending out self-aggrandizing messages to strangers.

But I’ve had nothing but good reviews on Amazon & B&N and Smashwords, and that encourages me to keep on writing. I’m now working on a new novel – totally different genre and characters and once it’s finished (I’m about 2/3 through) I plan to look for an agent and try conventional publishing again.

Fortunately, my career in the law left me with sufficient resources to pursue writing without a desperate need to earn a living out of it, and I hope that won’t disqualify me from the pool of authors you “love to promote.” I can assure you that I am passionate about my words and characters and would be no more so if they hit the best-seller lists or became a movie.

  1. What was your biggest influence for writing your Common Denominator series?

This was a difficult question. Because I’ve never been particularly introspective it would be hard to pinpoint any specific influences on my writing (other than my cultural background and my political, religious and sexual preferences). But if I had to name two, they would be my love for good writing and my dislike of bad writing. I read good writing (interesting plots, fascinating characters and creative word use) with admiration and envy, and I read bad writing with the sure certain knowledge that I could do better.  Perhaps it was just hubris, but one day I decided to see if I could prove that boast I had made to myself.

If “what” influenced me is understood to include “who” then I have a short list: Lee Child, Neil Gaiman, John D. MacDonald, and Carl Hiaasen. Those are among the ones I try to be as good as.

  1. Now that you have a few books under your belt, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?

The process was amazing and worthwhile just for the ride. First, I had to learn to write fiction and unlearn everything I had been taught about legal writing. Then I had to learn to edit and proofread; then I had to learn about self-publishing and its benefits and pitfalls;    then I had to learn about formatting and ISBNs and … most difficult of all … marketing. And the best part is that ride is still going on. This may be a carousel and I may be going around in circles, but I’m still having fun telling my stories.

The easiest part is the writing and the editing … mainly because I’m merely the amanuensis for my characters. I give them a plot (“tell me about the time you …”) and they tell me the story. I merely write it down as they dictate into my ear. Editing is usually not a problem because my characters don’t always tell me everything the first time around and I have to go back and ask them to fill in the gaps. And very rarely do they say “take that out.” My edits usually add length and content rather than cutting back.

The hardest part is the marketing. I’m not a salesman and I find it difficult to ask anyone to buy something from me. I’ve got a very attractive website and I’ve done the social media route – Facebook and Twitter – and I’ve posted on websites that feature my genre, and I’ve sent out releases to local media and all my affinity groups, and I’ve paid a publicist to design a marketing plan … but somehow I’d rather be writing than selling. (Even though I would enjoy the income).

  1. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What is the title and what is it about?

My latest project (the first draft of which, by coincidence, I finished just last night) is tentatively entitled “The Progenitor.” Completely unrelated to my first four romantic/erotic thrillers, this is a family story with courtroom drama, pathos and some humor. My first shot at a logline would be:

“Rear Admiral Kester J. Bannerman II (USN Ret.) is the patriarch of a family with a long and distinguished tradition of military service. And when his only grandson is killed by an IED in Afghanistan, the Admiral will do everything he can to keep the frozen sperm his grandson left behind out of the hands – and the womb – of his granddaughter’s lesbian partner.”

Other claimants for the frozen sperm include the grandson’s estranged wife and an ex-girlfriend, and the legal battle (referred to in the local media as “SpermGate”) sets the stage for a family conflict with social, cultural and deeply emotional overtones.

The story emerged as my characters narrated it to me, so now I’m going back to make sure that the thread is consistent all the way through. I also have to to fill in some of backstories that I discovered as I got to know my characters better. (And pick up the typos). I hope to have it ready for prime time in another month or so.

  1. You’ve self-published your novels, but have you ever thought about becoming a hybrid author and trying for an agent?

Yes! I definitely plan to try the traditional publishing route for “The Progenitor” and I plan to look for an agent. I’ve been working on a query letter and making a list of the agents in this genre and their submission criteria, and as soon as I have the manuscript in decent form, I’ll start sending out queries. (If you could recommend an agent, I’d very much appreciate any advice or help along those lines.) As I said in an earlier answer, I had a less-than-satisfactory relationship with one literary agent, but I’m willing to try again.

I also thought I might send queries to some of the small independent publishers who will consider submissions from unrepresented authors. I’m hearing that this is a fertile field for new writers.

  1. Was there any one influence that made you want to write?

I’m not sure there has been any one influence that made me want to write. I’ve always enjoyed writing … but writing with an objective – persuasion – which is what a lawyer’s writing is all about. And it was always a pleasure to come up with the exact right words and express your position in a minimum number of those words. (The old adage: “Sorry for the long letter but I didn’t have time to write a short one.). And a lawyer has to “tell” not “show” because the judge or lawyer on the other side might not be able to figure it out for himself or herself.

Fiction writing is so very different, and I think I may have always had a hankering to see if I could do both. The four thrillers I’ve published and this new novel have proved to me that I can (he says modestly).

So, if there was any single impetus behind my interest in writing, it would be my desire to prove myself to myself.

  1. Is there a genre that you would like to write? Something you would find a challenge?

Science Fiction … hard science, space travel and all that stuff, no fantasy or supernatural. I grew up on science fiction in the 50’s and still read some on occasion, but with all the technological developments since then – there is no more science fiction – it’s all coming true. I’ve never tried SF, though. I’m not sure I have enough imagination to create a whole new world or universe, and I’d be foolhardy to try to predict what humankind and the earth will look like 50 or 100 or 1000 years from now.

I suppose I could go through a list of genres and indicate why I would not want to try them:

Memoir: I have a terrible memory.

YA: It’s been much too long and I don’t understand them.

Military: I’m fast becoming a pacifist as I watch the middle east.

Espionage: I’ve read all the George Smiley novels but I know nothing of spycraft.

History: Requires too much research.

Romance: There is some in my first four novels.

Sex: There’s some of that, too.

Fantasy: I’ll leave that to you.

Supernatural: I’m a materialist. I believe in a universe made up of quarks and other physical particles and find it hard to accept the notion of a hidden world of spirits and magical powers.

  1. If you were given the opportunity to write a fan-fiction novel, who is the author you would choose, and what would be the book?

Your question caught me by surprise because although I had heard about people writing unauthorized versions of popular fiction, I had never heard the term “fan-fiction” and I had to google it. And I had never thought of doing it myself. But once you brought it up on my radar, it got me to thinking and my perverse sense of justice kicked in. If I were to do a straight “further adventures of” novel it would probably be something like a Lee Child/Jack Reacher thriller … but what I’d rather do is find an interesting villain or antagonist in some novel and tell the story from his or her point of view. (e.g. Let the old crone narrate Hansel & Gretel). If I find the one I’d want to do, I’ll let you know.

  1. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those?

I have two partially finished manuscripts that I got bogged down on and put aside while I wrote my latest (The Progenitor) and tried to market my first four Common Denominator thrillers. The first unfinished novel is tentatively entitled “Subprime” and revolves around the subprime mortgage market meltdown, and the second, untitled, tells the story of what happens when an ordinary couple wins the lottery. Maybe someday I’ll pull them out of the drawer and finish one or both.

Attached are my photo and the covers for each of the four books in my Common Denominator series of romantic/erotic thrillers.

Where to find Richard online:


Twitter: @Richarddavdbach



Where to purchase Richards book:


Barnes & Noble:



Special Guest Post! Lisa O’Kane and the Battle of the Boys!

I have a special post for you today. My dear friend Lisa O’Kane stopped by and brought with her the two main love interests in her debut novel ESSENCE. Things are a little crowded in here, so I’m just going to step over here and let them have the floor.


Essence-144dpiWe are here today to interview the two delicious love interests in Lisa Ann O’Kane’s ESSENCE. Ryder and Javi, welcome to the blog! What’s the first thing you want our readers to know?

RYDER: *Pipes up before Javi can* Hey Darke, and thanks a lot for hosting us. The first thing I want you guys to know is that you’ve been lied to your entire lives. The length of your life has nothing to do with the emotions you feel. The Essence theory is just a crock of shit.

JAVI: *Clears his throat and glares at Ryder* I’d like you to know there are some things in the world worse than the Essence theory. Like assholes.


Um… Okay. Well, thanks a lot for that. How about we shift focus? Why don’t you both tell me a little bit about the first time you met Autumn Grace?

RYDER: *Smiles at the memory* Red came crashing into my life a few months ago. She was beautiful, for sure, but I could tell she was broken, too. She’d lost her foundation, and she needed something to believe in. I wanted to help her.

JAVI: You sure did that, didn’t you, buddy? *Clears his throat* Sorry. Ahem… Autumn is impossible to miss. She has all this hair, and it’s like this red-golden halo or something. I’ve been watching her during meditation sessions in the Centrist temple for years, but I just recently found my first opportunity to talk to her.


Why do you feel like you’re a better fit for Autumn than the other guy?

RYDER: Simple. Javi coddles her, and he never challenges her to find out who she is when you strip away the layers. She’s strong, you know? A rebel. She needs someone who pushes her, who lets her test her boundaries but is also always there to catch her. That’s me, for sure. This clown can’t keep up with her.

JAVI: That’s because I don’t think she needs to prove anything! Putting herself at risk while chasing some stupid thrill isn’t going to make her into a better person. It’s just going to make her into a dead person, and I’m definitely not on-board with that.

RYDER: Red’s tougher than you think, Javi. And you’d know that if you’d ever let her breathe. *To Darke* I’ll put it like this. Javi represents Red’s past, and I represent her future.  He only sees what he wants to see when he looks at her.

JAVI: Bullshit, Ryder. You’re the one who only sees—


Ahem. Sorry boys, but can we save the fistfights for later?

BOTH: *Looking sheepish* Sorry.


You have both made yourselves at home in Yosemite National Park. What’s your favorite thing about the place?

RYDER: I have been living in the park since I was a little kid, and we have yet to conquer it. I dig that. There’s great free-climbing routes on El Cap, and the base jumping is sick from the summit. Plus, there’s snowboarding in Badger Pass, highlining from Taft Point and the Lost Arrow Spire… Every day’s got something new.

 JAVI: The Merced River’s my favorite; it’s just so scenic and relaxing. I could sit beside it and listen to the water all day. Also… We have shooting stars. You can watch them in the Meadow sometimes, and if you find the right blanket and the right girl to share it with… *Catches himself as he starts to drift* Well, let’s just say there are some beautiful sights.


Where in the park would you go if you could take Autumn on your dream date?

RYDER: I’d definitely nick some gas from my old man, borrow one of the Jeeps and drive her up to Glacier Point to watch the sun set. We could set up a tent back in the trees, cook some dinner over an open fire, and then… Well, it gets pretty cold up there at night. I can think of some ways I’d like to keep her warm.

JAVI: *Scowls and shakes his head* I would treat her with much more respect than that. My perfect date would be a long horseback ride to Mirror Lake followed by a delicious dinner at the Ahwahnee Hotel. We could read books in the library, go for a long walk in the Meadow… I’d let the evening take us where it wanted; I wouldn’t force it like some people.

RYDER: She doesn’t even like horses, you twerp. You’d know that if you paid attention.


Alright, guys. Well, we are almost out of time. In one sentence, what is one last thing you want readers to know about you when they pick up ESSENCE?

RYDER: This one’s easy: don’t judge a book by its cover.

JAVI: *Snickers at Ryder’s answer* I am definitely the good guy.


Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone , and we hope you have enjoyed our Battle of the Boys. Which one do you think Autumn should pick? Leave your comments below, and make sure to tune into the ESSENCE blog tour’s next stop on Monday, May 26th at My Bookish Ways (! Thanks for visiting!


LisaAnnOKaneLisa Ann O’Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel ESSENCE. Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.









  1. Essence-144dpiAmazon (U.S.):
  2. Amazon (Canada):
  3. Amazon (UK): (This is a link to my author page. The link for my eBook won’t show up until my release date, apparently.)
  4. Barnes & Noble:
  5. Kobo:

Author Interview with Samantha Warren

A little late this month. Must be the heat. This month I bring you an interview with fantasy author Samantha Warren, who has a pet dragon – Anethesis!  How freakin’ cool is that!

So let’s begin… 

Hat-black glasses1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

I live in upstate New York, surrounded by cows and cats. I tend to stick to the fantasy genre (paranormal romance, contemporary, epic, etc), but I’m working on a zombie western right now, too.

2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

I didn’t know about any of the risks and struggles that came with writing when I started my first book. I really don’t know what made me start at that particular moment. It was November, so NaNo was on, and I guess I just loved the story so much, that I had to finish it.

3 Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What was the inspiration (if any) behind this story?

My most recent project is a zombie western. Someone on twitter posted about a dream they had where zombies attacked a wagon train. She said “Someone needs to write this book!” I immediately called dibs. Of course, it’s morphed a lot and no longer has a wagon train, but it’s still going to be awesome. [Considering the popularity of zombies right now, it should be! ~Darke]

4. What things influence your writing? And have you ever written them into a story?

I’m a big fan of fantasy, so I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books in that genre. It’s inevitable that whatever movies or books I’m hooked on while writing work their way in somehow.

5. What was the biggest surprise for you when you started NaNoWriMo?

It was actually easier than I thought it would be. And it was during NaNo when I realized I really wanted to be a writer. I was substitute teaching and I was sitting there thinking “I really want to get home so I can finish reading that story and find out what happened.” Then I realized it was my story and I hadn’t written the “what happened” yet.

6. You write in many genres. Is there one you prefer more over the others?  

It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I go through periods where I prefer one genre over the other. Right now, it’s my zombie western. It tends to coincide with the books I’m reading, especially if I’m reading a really great one.

7. I’m really interested in this zombie western idea. Would you mind explaining a bit of the world you’ve created?

Sure! It takes place just after the Civil War. There are bands of soldiers roaming the west, and one of them slaughters the camp of Little Bear and Summer Rain. Little Bear vows revenge and asks for help from the gods, but we’re all familiar with the phrase “Be careful what you wish for.” He gets his revenge, but gets turned into zombie in the process. Charity Banks is a transplant from the east coast and really hates the west. But when she gets turned into a zombie, she realizes she can manipulate the lesser-minded zombies and creates her own little army with a plan to rule the west and become a queen of sorts. The good guy, Connor McClane is sheriff of Lonesome Ridge, one of the towns Charity sets her sights on. But he’s not willing to go down without a fight.

8. What do you feel is the biggest drawback to the PR scene? 

The PR scene is really oversaturated right now, so it’s hard to make yourself stand out.

9. Is there one genre in particular that you would like to write? Something you would find a challenge?

This zombie western is a challenge. I normally stick to fantasy. So this will be a first for me. While it technically is fantasy, it falls more in the horror genre. I have trouble distinguishing the horror genre from other categories, though. When I was talking to a friend one day, they mentioned that 28 Days Later is horror. My response was “Pfft, that’s not horror.”

10. Was there any one influence that made you want to write?

There wasn’t one influence that really made me want to write. I never really considered writing as a viable option until about 2010. Then, for some reason that still is unknown to me, I decided to write Blood of the Dragon, my first full-length novel. It’s been an addiction ever since.






The Iron Locket links:





Author Interview with Christelle Delport

This month, I reach all the way across the ‘pond’ to the U.K and speak with Christelle Delport. Her new book White River Calling has the main character…well, I’m not going to give it away. After all, it’s her book.

So let’s begin…

CRDelport1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?
I was born and raised in Benoni, South Africa. My parents moved around a lot, so we never stayed in one place for very long. I am currently residing on a smallholding in Walkerville South Africa. It is just south
of Johannesburg.

What Genre do I write? I think I’m still trying to figure that out. I like to tell a story. My first book, Basics, is a sort of biographical fictional novel. The characters are fictional but everything that happened
to them, I got from stories real soldiers told me. My second book, White River Calling, is a fiction adventure story with a little hint of Science Fiction maybe. I have another book planned that is a detective murder
mystery. So as you can see, I don’t really have a specific genre as yet.

2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
At the moment I am only writing part time. I have a full time job in IT working for a cell phone operator. It does afford me the opportunity to test the water, so to speak. I don’t get to write as much as I would like. Writing takes time, and lucky for me, I have a very understanding partner who affords me the time to write when I’m not working. For the last year
and a bit, you can guess how I spent my lunch hour.

At first I send out a lot of queries with big dreams of becoming the next hot-shot writer, but reality struck and I received one rejection letter after another. Luckily I discovered the wonderful world of eBook publishing which gives anyone the chance to get published. I also quickly discovered my writing wasn’t nearly as good as I thought and that I still
had a lot to learn. I joined various online sites to learn more and improved my writing. There is a wealth of knowledge out there. One must only be willing to learn. Who knows, I still might be the next hot-shot writer.

3. What was your experiences like with Self-Publishing?
Publishing the book is actually remarkably easy. I studied the recommended style guide and made sure the book was setup according to the prescribed style, and, viola! Getting people to read it is a whole different challenge, and for a new writer, in that lay the difficulty. They first need to learn about me, the writer. You first need to build a reader base
and that takes time and patience. Almost everyone that reads one of my stories, whether it is a short story or a book, love it. That is a start and I’ll build on that.

4. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What was the inspiration (if any) behind this story?
It actually started out as a writing exercise. Something I do when I get stressed. I sit down and start writing, anything that comes to mind. I started with a guy in the desert, a guy with no memory, just to create a little bit of mystery. I didn’t want to put him in an ordinary setting, so I put him in the middle of a desert. But not an ordinary desert, it is actually in the middle of Arkansas. And there is a drought, a bad one, with no water in sight. So I started to work on some back-story for the
guy and came up with some pretty good stuff. Soon I had so many ideas and they grew. Then I started to write, and soon, White River Calling saw the light.

5. Was it difficult to write a character with no memory of who he is/was? 
No not really. When I did my planning for the character, I still worked out his complete back-story; I just didn’t share it with the reader. What was fun about it was that I got to develop the character right before the reader’s eye. Yeah, I know, you develop all characters, but they have back-story, a platform. For Sam, I had to build the platform within the pages of the book, and the setting where he ended up, largely determined that platform. He could’ve ended somewhere else, and then his path would had been completely different.

6. What do you hope readers will find interesting about this story?
First of all, the story. It is a really good story. There is romance, suspense, action, and even a hint of science fiction. The dynamics between the characters are interesting, and how they have to work together in order to ensure their own survival. The fact that a small town, that don’t trust strangers, have to rely and depend on one to save them. Will you survive if all your basics structures get taken away?

7. What things influence your writing? And have you ever written them into a story?
I often write short stories about every day events I see, or work them into a story. When it comes to a novel, I have a general idea of what I want to achieve, but let the story develop on its own. For me as a writer the story is just as exciting as it is for the reader, because I don’t really know how it’s going to develop.

8. Is there one genre in particular that you would like to write? Something you would find a challenge?
I think I am too young as a writer to really be concerned or classify myself into a certain genre. Maybe when I have ten books or more under my belt I’ll be able to answer that question. For now I write the story and see what develops.

9. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?
Of course the story has to be interesting. I read a wide variety of genre’s. I like to read a book twice. Once as a reader, just enjoying the story. Then a second time, as a writer, when I look at the reading and analyze the writing to see where it can help to improve my own writing.

10. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
I write because I love it, not to be a commercial success, although if that happens, I won’t sneeze at it. I like to share my stories with people and enjoy engaging people who read my books and to hear their thoughts and what they thought. It is tedious and hard work and it takes a lot of effort to put a readable book together. I will keep doing it as long as I
enjoy it.


To learn more about this author, please click the links below






Author Interview with E.B. Black

It is the middle of May, and once again I bring you another interview with a wonderful author. Maybe it’s the whole ‘spring romance’ thing, but my guest today writes romance. I see a trend beginning, but then romance is just that popular.

So let’s begin…


author1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

I’m a mountain girl. I moved to the mountains when I was young and still live there now.

Growing up around trees and snow, it’s no wonder that I love writing fantasy romance novels. When I walk around through the woods sometimes I feel like I’m in a fantasy setting, going on an adventure.


2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

My last two years of high school, I was home schooled. It made learning one of the most exciting things in the world to me. I helped my Mom plan my curriculum, decided what subjects and text books sounded the most interesting to me, and got to go on field trips and activities that I loved. I learned more in those two years of home school than I learned in all my years of public school.

I knew because of that experience that it’s easier to work if you love what you do. I was more likely to be successful in a field that I loved than doing something that I felt like I had to do. I wanted to be a writer so it would be easy to throw my whole heart and energy into my work.

I spent a lot of years of my life reading books on my own rather than doing my homework when I was in public school. I knew I had a passion for the written word and daydreaming.

I also hoped to have a career where I could be there for my family at the same time I was working. Family is extremely important to me.


3. What would you say, is the best thing about writing fantasy romance?

Most fantasy stories are about characters fated to save the world or go on an adventure. Most romance stories are about a couple fated to be together. Fantasy Romance combines the two. It allows characters to explore both a relationship and an adventure in an epic way together.


4. Is it difficult to keep your stories fresh and interesting?

Fantasy has so many possibilities. Literally, my imagination is the limit. It’s something I love about fantasy, there are so many new worlds and cultures to explore that there’s always something new and exciting to find.


5. What things influence your writing? And have you ever written them into a story?

There are two things that inspire my writing. One is other writers. When one of their stories touches me deeply, it usually inspires me as well.

The other things is experiences or feelings I’ve had in life. Also, people I’ve met.

One person who reviewed my novel, Medusa’s Desire, talked about the great sense of injustice in the book. Around the time I wrote it was when my house had burned down and someone I lived with had died, so I was feeling a great sense of injustice about the world at the same time because of that experience and some things I was watching my friends go through as well.


6. What books (if any) have influenced you over the years?

A lot of books have influenced me, it’s difficult to choose. The Harry Potter series really ignited my love of fantasy novels, though. And the Twilight series taught me that you can have both romance and fantasy/paranormal elements in a book and it still work.


7. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What was the inspiration (if any) behind this story?

I’m working on a lot of things right now. One story I am working on, I created based on a picture I saw on Facebook about how a bunch of women would like to read a story where the main character fell in love with them. I decided I’d give it a try.


8. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out? 

I have several of those. I know they will never come to light because I deleted them off of my computer. They were more practices for me. I became a better writer through them and learned a lot about what it takes to write a fantasy novel.


9. If you were given the opportunity to write a fan-fiction novel, who is the author you would choose, and what would be the book?

I would write Harry Potter fan-fiction from J.K. Rowling. I’d love to get to know that world even more and I’d love to find out what happens to the children of all the main characters. I imagine they go on their own adventure as well.


10. What advice would you give to a new author who wants to write?

Sit down and write everyday. Being a writer is about making the time regularly to write. You’ll get better automatically through practice, so don’t sweat it if you’re writing isn’t perfect.


To learn more about this month’s author, please click the links below.





Main web-site:


Links to Pandora’s Mistake:


Barnes and Noble:



Author Interview with Marlene Dotterer

Several years ago when I decided to take my writing seriously, one of the first things I did was join an online writing forum. There, I met some wonderful people, some of which I’ve interviewed here. Today I am proud to bring you my interview with Marlene Dotterer. She was one of the first people to read any of my work, and has become a good friend even though we’ve never met in real life. A situation I hope to change in the future.

So let’s begin…


1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

I live in California, in the East San Francisco Bay. I’m not a native – I moved here from Arizona in 1990. Never regretted it for a minute.

I write both science fiction and fantasy. I’ve read both genres all my life and I can’t really imagine myself writing anything else. It’s just how my brain works.

So far, everything I’ve written has a strong romantic element, which is also how my brain works. Relationships are such a big part of our lives, I feel it’s unrealistic to create a world that leaves them out.


2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

I’ve always liked creative writing, and tried a few times to start a novel, but somehow I made it to a grand old age without ever completing anything. Then I found out about Thomas Andrews and that time, when I started writing, I couldn’t stop.

Of course, finishing a novel is only the first step in pursuing a writing career. By the time I’d finished Shipbuilder, I’d learned a lot about the business. I was hanging out with several awesome writers at OWW (including you), and we were all working hard on queries and synopses. It just seemed like the logical thing to do.

But that’s not really why I wanted to publish. The thing is, I’ve had a lifetime of loving to read. Books took me to other worlds and gave me so many different lives to live in my head. I wanted my story to do that for people. That’s still my reason today, with every book I put out there.


3. Tell us a little about your Bridgebuilder.

Bridgebuilders is the sequel to The Time Travel Journals: Shipbuilder. When my Shipbuilder characters went back in time, they created an alternate universe, which has the same history as ours, but only up to the point of its creation. In this case, that was January 24, 1906. Their futures diverge, so the 20th century is different in the second universe. It’s also important to realize that the second universe is 100 years behind the first one (because the time travel was 100 years back in time.)

In Bridgebuilders, the characters in the second universe figure out how to build a bridge back to the first universe, so of course, they have to go there. Over there (which is actually “here,”  it’s our universe), the year is 2080, and climate change has caused all sorts of damage to the planet. So there’s a dystopian element to the book, with totalitarian governments and strict religious laws used to keep control of the masses.

The story has an ensemble cast: we follow the second universe scientists as they are held prisoner in the first universe, and we also follow a young physicist who is helping his even younger student escape from a forced marriage. There is a rebellion underfoot as well, that is trying to overthrow government control. All these paths converge in a desperate attempt to stop an insidious government attack on innocent civilians.

At its heart, Bridgebuilders is about people taking control of their lives and learning to create a just and free society.


4. What was the appeal about the Titanic story that made you want to create this new story around it?

Well, as you can tell from my description, Titanic doesn’t figure into this story at all! That’s the fun thing about time travel and alternate universes. You can do just about anything. Some of the characters in Bridgebuilders  are descendants of Casey and Tom from Shipbuilders. And the time travel researcher, Sam Altair, is back as his second universe incarnation. It can be a little confusing, but I’ve tried very hard to make it understandable within the story.

Essentially, seventy years have passed since the story of Shipbuilder took place. If you read Shipbuilder, remember the epilogue, where in 1972, a just-graduated Sam Altair is summoned to Dunallon to talk to a very old Casey Andrews. She tells him about the time travel and asks him to help them research how it happened.

Bridgebuilders picks up the story from there.


5. I read the first book (and can’t wait to dive into the second btw) and with your story being an alternate reality, was it difficult to conceive how the world might be different due to your character’s mingling?

That’s a big question. I can say it was fun  to figure out how the world would be different. But yes, it was difficult, too. I’m a big picture kind of person, but the thing about writing a book, is that you have to show how point A becomes point B. The details are important. In Bridgebuilders, there are two worlds and both of them are changed because of the time travel. The second world has a different 20th century because Sam and Casey went back in time. I had to decide what would be different, so I had to think about how much two people could actually change. Not very much, probably.

What if you add Albert Einstein to the mix? Then start with a careful plan, attract investors, and build a strong educational system to back up the changes you make?

In this case, after seventy years, we have a world with advanced technology, an educated populace, and a high standard of living. It’s not a utopia, but we actually don’t spend enough time in this world to really explore it. Bridgebuilders just shows the outlines of it. Most of the action takes place in the first universe.

On that Earth, the year is 2080, so I had to think about what our planet might be like in 68 years. I chose a rather dystopian society, one that has been struggling with famines, wars, and pandemics as a result of climate change.

When the book opens, this world has not been affected by any time travel. But when Sam and Sarah figure out how to bridge the universes, our world is suddenly handed a technology that could really make a difference in their struggles. The question is, will the technology be used to oppress people or set them free?

[This is why you should never mess with the Temporal Prime Directive ~Darke]


6. The Titanic story has many fans, have you many any and did you tell them about your book? What was their reaction?

Bridgebuilders is not really about Titanic, so if anyone is expecting another Titanic story, I’m afraid they’ll be disappointed. But I have met many, many Titanic fans, especially when we went on the Titanic Memorial Cruise earlier this year. Oh yes, I told them about my book! The reaction has been all over the board. There is so much diversity in this group, because there is so very much diversity to the Titanic story. There are historians, scientists and engineers who are interested in the hard facts of the story – what really happened? This involves everything from the first conception of the ship all the way to the bacteria that are currently eating through the steel at the bottom of the ocean, and everything in between.

Sadly, most of these people do not appreciate fiction about the ship. Some of them were a bit defiant about it, too. One otherwise friendly fellow asked if I could go back in time and “never write this book.” Fortunately, no one suggested that I be thrown overboard!

But there were many people who do understand the need to fictionalize, and enjoy reading about the ship. Consider the reaction to James Cameron’s movie. It was huge. Those people love hearing about my book. I really hope they’ll like Bridgebuilders as much!


7.What books (if any) have influenced you over the years?

I’m influenced by books I want to read over and over, with characters I wanted to live with. Some of these are:

The Liaden Universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

The Pern books by Anne MacAffrey

The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon


8. What things influence your writing? And have you ever written them into a story?

Over the years, I’ve tried several times to start a novel. I never succeeded until I found out about Thomas Andrews and his role on Titanic. I was so inspired by him, that book practically wrote itself.


9. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out?

I do have a few. I have them on a thumb drive, which I usually manage to forget about. I doubt they will ever make an appearance. But I still think about some of the characters in those stories, and who knows? Maybe they’ll show up somewhere.


 10. What advice would you give to a new author?

Never stop learning. Always hire an editor.


Five for Fun!

1. If you could be any breed of dog, what would it be?

Probably a border collie. They are so smart, and great companions.


2. Is there one food/beverage that you can’t live without?

No, but there are several I don’t want to live without. Coffee. Chocolate. Wine.


3. Bungee jumping: exhilarating hobby or death wish?

Death wish!


4. What is your favourite movie?

I could not possibly narrow it down to one.


5. Question from Sithboy; If you were a Jedi, what colour would your lightsabre be; green, blue, yellow, red, or purple?

Using a lightsaber requires boldness. I’d go with red. [Red is a sign of a Sith. Bold woman! ~Darke]


Where to find Marlene online:

Twitter: @marlenedotterer

Links to Bridgebuilder and other books:



Author Interview; Colin Barnes

This month I am proud to bring you my interview with Colin Barnes. One of the few horror writers I know, and the only one I know who writes Cyberpunk, I met Colin online through mutual friends (one of the benefits of Twitter) and we quickly became friends. I’ve even had the pleasure of conversing with him about horror elements in stories, and how to achieve the maximum effect. Colin has just put out a short novelette entitled REBIRTH with Anachron Press. It is a prequel to his novel ‘The Techxorcist’, with the latter to be published mid-November.

So let’s begin…


1.   Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write? 

I’m from a over-populated town just outside of London in the UK, and I write in a variety of genres. I wouldn’t say I write in one specific box; all my stories tend to blur the lines and include elements from numerous genres. The main areas that I work in however would be Sci-Fi, Horror and thriller. Most of my work is on the dark side, but other than that I tend to just go wherever the story needs.


2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing? 

I’ve been writing since I was a small boy, and it’s always been in the background as I grew up. Around the year 2000 I was building a business in web development, and due to working from home started to write more and more. Eventually, I decided I’d rather spend more time writing than working (though writing is still equally as hard as my business ever was). I don’t worry about the uncertainty because it’s just too uncontrollable. I take a hybrid approach: self publish some work, submit to the small presses, and query agents/go the trad. route. I don’t see any reason to limit myself to just one strategy. I just care about writing, so I’ll look seriously at an opportunity that comes my way; whether that’s self publishing, or signing with a publisher (depending on the contract of course). So, to answer your question more directly, it was the hope of writing full-time that drew me to a career.


3. You write in several genre’s, are you influenced by the same thing for each?

Short answer is yes. The long answer is no. For the most part I don’t write in a single genre, in which I mean my stories tend to usually blur across a number of genres so that all my stories are effectively the ‘Colin F. Barnes’ genre, whatever that might be. In terms of influence, I take most of my ideas from talking with friends. I enjoy banter, often sillier the better. I treat it like word-idea-association. And from this banter—which usually ends up in a competition of top-trumps on outdoing each other with silly notions—ideas coalesce into a story form. Other times it’s a call for an anthology, and I’ll either have an internal conversation with myself (I’m not crazy, honest), or with a friend and something amorphous bubbles up from the dark depths.


4. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?

Yeah. Usually before, during and after writing a story. It’s a persistent thought process that for me is impossible to be rid of. It’s a side-effect of being a generally unconfident person. However, I take it as a good sign. If I were so confident about my work to not have these thoughts then I reckon I’ve not paid enough attention to improving my craft. That self-doubt is a barometer. If I suddenly lose that I know I’m in trouble. The self-doubt, although can be crippling, also keeps me honest, keeps me improving, and seeking ways to be a better writer. So my mind isn’t necessarily changed, rather it’s an ongoing push-pull process that keeps me in check.


5. Self-doubt is a strong element with writers. What things do you do to keep yourself motivated?

It’s a tough question to answer basically because I don’t think I do anything specifically to stay motivated, other than just a willingness to keep writing. Once a story is a finished, then the usual excitement of a new story starts over again so it becomes a cycle, or a habit.


6. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?

Well-written prose is fairly high on my list. A good believable/logical storyline, preferably one that isn’t just a re-hash of something else, or is entirely made up for tropes and clichés. And likeable characters that I can cheer for. I’m not against unlike-able characters per se, but they have to have something likeable within their make-up that makes me want to see them succeed. I also like something deeper than just a good story. I enjoy ones that have several meanings, good use of metaphor, and a willingness to say something about the world.


7.  So many new writers are jumping onto social media. What do you think of this medium for writers?

I think it’s a good way of networking with other writers and learning how publishing actually works by following agents and editors. It’s utterly useless in selling books though, and it’s disappointing to see so many authors constantly spam their feeds with ‘buy my book’ messages. In the end I find myself un-following these writers as they don’t engage; they just continue to spam their book. If used correctly (to actually be social with people), there can be a great deal of value in it. I’ve found numerous publishing opportunities and made some great friends in the industry just by chatting with them. As soon as you start trying to actively sell to someone you piss them off. It’d be like talking to someone in a pub and mid conversation they force their product in your face and ask you to buy it. Authors: just don’t do it!


8. Have you ever entertained the notion of writing a story in one of the ‘hot trends’?

Sure. I think every writer has questioned whether they should try their hand at a hot genre. But it rarely works. Genres go in cycles for a start, and secondly, you still have to know the genre fairly well to be able to write it. Just because erotica or thrillers (or epic fantasy) are popular at the moment does mean it’s a trivial thing to switch and be able to write a convincing story in those genres. It doesn’t stop some though, but then those efforts are usually easy to spot. I firmly believe you should write what you’re most knowledgeable and passionate about; that will come out in the work and produce a better book. Though the writers who are solely looking at the market for money aren’t always concerned about producing a good book; they just want to rush anything out to try and grab some cash. It’s short-term thinking and won’t lead to a productive and fulfilling career in my opinion.


Places to find Colin online:




Author Interview; J. Lea. Lopez

When I decided to jump into the erotica genre, my biggest fear was getting all those naughty scenes done right. After all, if it doesn’t make you tingle it won’t make anyone else tingle. The first person I turned to was a writer friend from Agent Query Connect (AQC), J. Lea. Lopez. She was my naughty scene guru and instructed me on how to make my work better. I am proud to bring you this interview with her.

So let’s begin…

1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

Though I’ve lived in a lot of different places, I grew up in Easton, a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Every now and then a hint of that Eastern Shore twang sneaks into my voice, but not too often. I still consider myself a Maryland girl even though I’ve been living in Pennsylvania for five years now (currently just outside Pittsburgh). In fact, I get little pangs in my heart every time my friends from home post pictures of the Chesapeake Bay or bushels of crabs on Facebook.

As for my genre, I write women’s fiction and erotica. My stories tend to be character-driven and often feature young women in their twenties.


2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

When I first decided to seek traditional publication, I had no idea what risks or uncertainty there was. All I knew was it was a long shot! Of course, since I first made that decision over five years ago, I first had to go through a lot of growing and learning and realizing I wasn’t anywhere near ready when I thought I was. And now that I really am ready, the face of publishing is remarkably different. Still, here I am, hoping to be published traditionally while learning all I can about self-publishing and anticipating doing a little of that as well. I’ve always loved to write. I love exploring the drama of relationships and human connectedness. If I can do it well enough to get paid for it, that would make me immensely happy. If my novels are never picked up traditionally, and if I self-publish and flop fantastically, I think I would still write. Probably not as much, as I would have to devote more time to doing something that actually pays the bills, but as long as I have stories in my head, I’ll write them down.


3. With the ease of self-publishing, what is it about Traditional Publishing that still draws you to it?

One word: staff. The hardcore self pub evangelists will probably laugh at me for that, especially in terms of marketing. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “Debut authors get no marketing support. You’ll be doing it all yourself anyway,” I would be rich. And I’m not naive about the fact that I’ll still have to participate in marketing if I’m traditionally published. I don’t think I know any traditionally published debut authors (and I’m proud to say I know several) whose publishers brought nothing to the table in terms of marketing support. But really, it goes beyond just marketing. Having a traditional publisher means not having to worry about finding my OWN staff to do things for me.

I can hire a comprehensive editor, or a copyeditor before self publishing. I can create my own book cover or hire someone to do it for me. I can find every last possible ebook seller and make my books available with them. I can also go with CreateSpace or another POD publisher if I want paper books. And then I can hire someone to help me with publicity if necessary. The joy of going the traditional route is that, even though it takes forever (something I think traditional publishing can and should improve) there are people taking care of all of that stuff I just mentioned, on at least some level. I don’t have to worry about finding the editor, an agent already knows a bunch. I don’t have to agonize over cover art. There are people for that. The publisher will handle distribution for e- and print books. There will be a publicist or some sort of marketing team to take at least a little bit of the weight off my shoulders. Not to mention the fact that I’ll actually be able to get my book into brick and mortar stores. Sure, it may be for a few short weeks or months, but that’s longer than I’d have any hope of getting it there on my own.

Lastly, and this ties in with the next question, there’s still an aspect of legitimacy to traditional publishing. Self publishing is absolutely legit, don’t get me wrong. I WILL be doing it in the future, it’s just a matter of what and when. But with my erotica in particular, I would love to take it the traditional route for all the reasons I mentioned above, and also for that gatekeeper stamp of approval. I want the publishing industry as well as the public to acknowledge intelligent, well-written erotic works as something of value that actually exists!


4. Do you think, with the incredibly popular FS of G, that erotica will become more mainstream? 

Fifty Shades is really a double-edged sword, I think. On the one hand, it is bringing erotica into mainstream popular culture. Erotica was already a thriving genre, anyway. There were plenty of kinky erotic romances before FSoG, many of them better written. But now it’s somewhat more acceptable to discuss it in everyday life – even if it’s to degrade it as “mommy porn” or to pick apart what people loved or hated about it. People are talking about it. So that’s good. But I feel there’s a potential downside as well. With “mommy porn” the latest catchphrase being applied to anything with explicit sex lately, some readers may be turned off of books they might otherwise love. Some people might say “Mommy porn! Like Fifty Shades? Great, I want to read it!” but many others will say “Mommy porn? Like Fifty Shades? No way in hell am I reading that.” FSoG has become such a beacon… so synonymous with erotica and erotic romance in the popular consciousness that I’m afraid smart, savvy readers who might genuinely like my brand of erotica (or that of many other talented erotica writers) will never pick it up because of the perception of all erotica being like FSoG. I guess time will tell, but those are my fears.


5. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?

Hmm… I don’t think I’ve ever thought about giving up as in totally throwing in the towel and never writing again. It’s just never crossed my mind. I did have a period of a couple years where I didn’t really write anything. I was busy moving after college and adjusting to responsible adult life. (So boring!) But then one day I decided I couldn’t ignore this idea that had been rattling around in my brain, and I started writing it down.

That idea became the first novel I ever thought about trying to publish, and it’s that novel that I have considered walking completely away from once or twice. But I never did. I let it sit for a while and worked on other things, but I was still always thinking about it. It took a lot of hard work and heartache, but I finally whipped it into a shape I could be proud of. I sent only a handful of queries, then wondered if certain things about it made it unlikely (or less likely) to be picked up in the traditional way. So I thought I’d self publish. After spending lots of time learning and thinking about that end of things, I decided I wanted to focus more on erotica and I knew I couldn’t possibly devote the time and energy to publishing and marketing that first novel while diving into my next project head-first. So I said this is it, I really have to put this novel aside and leave it alone. So I did.

Or… I tried. I still had the novel out with a couple beta readers when I made the decision, and the feedback I received from them (both agented/published and unagented writers) was just so darn nice! And encouraging! I’m still flattered and almost embarrassed at the praise and encouragement of “get this out there!” coming from my friends. Which is why I’m still dabbling with queries and contests for it. I’m not pushing it, and there’s no deadline or real sense of urgency with it this time (which is kind of nice) but when I see an opportunity to get it out there, I’m taking it.

So I guess you could say I can’t give up, even when I try my darnedest!


6. What books (if any) have influenced you over the years?

Eek! This is where I look like the illiterate writer, right? Or the overly confident newbie? It isn’t that I don’t read (though I haven’t as much recently as I would like to) or that I haven’t liked anything I’ve read. But I don’t think I’d go so far as to say any of them really influenced me in either writing or life. People influence me. Books… not so much. Gosh, that sounds bad, doesn’t it? *blush* Especially since I hope my words as a writer will have some sort of effect on people. If no one is influenced by what I write, that’s okay. I just want them to enjoy it.

That said (and now that I’ve had some more time to mull it over as I wrote that other stuff) I think maybe I have been influenced by Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. It isn’t similar to anything I write, other than including some really hot sex. I write realistic, mainstream stuff, not urban fantasy with vampires and lycanthropes and necromancers. But I read several of the later books in the series a while ago and was impressed with the way she wove sex into the plot in ways that were exciting and yet relevant, titillating and yet thoughtful. That’s something I hope to achieve as well, and something I wish was present in more fiction.

7. Speaking of sex, what is it about erotica that influences you to write in this genre? And how is it different from your Fiction writing?

Sex is fun. Whether you’re having it or reading about characters having it, there’s an inherent – ahem – pleasurability about it. I think I just made up a word. Anyway, there’s also a lot of emotion and depth surrounding sex. Sex is practically its own form of communication. If you stop and think about how much (usually) non-verbal communication has to take place for two people to successfully engage in sex, it’s pretty impressive. Holy crap I’m having an epiphany even as I write this.

Sex = dialogue.

If anyone’s ever heard me talk about how I write dialogue and what I think makes good dialogue, they’ve heard me say that dialogue is more than just the words that are said. It’s also the words that aren’t said, the intent behind the words, and how the characters understand (or misunderstand) what’s being said. People don’t always mean what they say or say what they mean. It’s exactly the same thing with the emotional and psychological aspects of sex in fiction. There is so much to be communicated in the kisses and gentle touches, the way a hand grips her hair with more force than expected, the way an otherwise alpha male might soften in his mannerisms… Sex in fiction is not just about the physical act and achieving orgasm. It’s about what is communicated and what isn’t, who finishes or doesn’t (and maybe why), how other issues are worked through using sex, how characters understand and misunderstand each others unspoken messages and intentions in bed.

As for how it’s different than my other fiction writing? It isn’t. Except maybe being even more diligent about word choice to avoid any unfortunate euphemisms. 😉 Other than that, I think erotica should be just as rich, complex, emotionally satisfying, interesting, and relevant as any other type of fiction.

8. What does your family think of your writing?

Dad: When do I get to read some of your writing?

Hubby: When are you getting a six-figure deal?

Everyone else is sort of indifferent, which is fine by me. A lot of them do know I write erotica (dad doesn’t haha!) but it isn’t something that comes up in a lot of conversation.


9. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?

I love emotional complexity. Relationships intrigue me. I also love a little bit of snark or quirky humor. It’s all about attitude


10. What advice would you give to a new author?

Never stop learning. Just as being an observer in life can give you great insight to use in your writing, being observant as a writer – to industry news and developments, the successful practices of those around you, how your favorite writers sculpt language, etc. – is always beneficial. There is always something to be learned. If you don’t think there is, chances are you can re -learn something by reading your favorite authors and books over again. Something to inspire and remind you why you love the written word.


Now here are 5 For Fun!

1. If you could be any breed of dog, what would it be?

Dachshund, because mine is so darn cute!

2. Is there one food/beverage that you can’t live without?

I don’t know about “can’t live without”… but I really really love mojitos.

3. Bungee jumping: exhilarating hobby or death wish?

Exhilarating hobby… for someone else!

4. What is your favourite movie?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! I love Gene Wilder in that movie.

5. Question from Sithboy; If you were a Jedi, what colour would your lightsabre be; green, blue, yellow, red, or purple?

Um… green! Or red. Green. I have a hard time deciding between those two colors of anything. Probably green, though. [Green is a good colour; Red means you’re a Sith. – Darke]

If you would like to know more about J. Lea Lopez or her work, please click the links below.

Erotic short story “The Reluctant Exhibitionist” (NSFW)


Mainstream short stories “The Haricots Verts” and “The Adventures of Sasquatch” in Spring Fevers Anthology.


Barns & Noble:



J. Lea can also be found at the following pages:




Author Interview with Mary Pax

Science Fiction will always be my first love. The first stories of mine that were published online were science fiction, and whether it be novels, movies or television show, I will chose it over fantasy any day. It’s nice to see more women are jumping into this writing this genre and it is with great pleasure that my guest for today is one of these women, Mary Pax, author of SEMPER AUDACIA, THE BACKWORLD, and the sequel STOPOVER AT THE BACKWORLDS’ EDGE.

1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from?
My roots are in Western New York, the Buffalo region. I migrated to NYC, then DC, then Portland, Oregon, and now I live in Central Oregon on the dry side of the Cascades. I love it so much, I feel like this area called me home. After growing up on the Great Lakes, I never expected to come to call the desert home.

2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
Writing is who I am. I have to do it. No matter the chaos surrounding us in the industry, I have to keep going.

3. What is your biggest influence for writing your stories?
Television and Oregon are my biggest influences. Oh, and all of the classic literature I’ve read.

4. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
I’ve written off and on since I was in high school. This time I stuck with it. Quitting isn’t an option. Don’t know what else I would do. Certainly nothing I enjoy as much.

5. Let’s talk a little about your recent project. Can you give us some details?
Stopover at the Backworlds’ Edge is the second book in the Backworlds series. Craze continues as the main character. He and the crew of the Sequi have settled on a dust ball called Pardeep Station. A ship comes in, on passenger enters his bar, and all havoc breaks loose from there. Official release date is July 23rd, but you may find it sitting on an ebook site here or there waiting to be announced.

6. Now that you have a few books under your belt, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?
The hardest part is marketing and building my beach. Most likely because I’m not very good at being patient and I’m not very outgoing. The rest of it I love: writing, revising, editing, formatting, cover design. Sometimes I get nervous about whether I’ll come up with great ideas for the next project or not. I have two more in the pipe for the Backworlds series, but fret over what will come after that. I’m sure something will occur to me before the time comes where I have to start fleshing the idea out. I hope.

7. I know you enjoy writing science fiction, but is there another genre you would like to write in? The Hetty Locklear series looks interesting.
I like weird. That’s not necessarily a genre. Maybe someday I’ll try my hand at some historically based literature. Maybe just plain literature. Definitely speculative fiction. The Hetty Locklear series is speculative fiction.

8. How do you handle negative/criticism of your work?
I’m getting better at shrugging it off. If there’s something constructive in there, I listen. My crit partners rip my stuff apart all the time, so I’m used to that. I like that they do, it makes the story better than it would be with only my input.

9. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out?

I wrote a series and the start of another series before I started publishing. They will see the light of day someday … after another heavy revision. But I think it was smarter to move onto something fresh. I no longer felt stuck in a rut or like I was spinning my wheels.

10. What advice would you give to a new author who wants to write science fiction?
Have a passion for it, and know the genre. It’s not a big market, so you really have to love what you’re writing.


For Fun

1. If you could be any breed of dog, what would it be?
Probably a labrador retriever. The always seem to have boundless energy.

2. Is there one food/beverage that you can’t live without?
Licorice. The black stuff. Yum.

3. Bungee jumping: exhilarating hobby or death wish?
A hobby for some, but definitely not for me.

4. What is your favourite movie?
Sense & Sensibility and the new Star Trek are my favorites these days.

5. Question from Sithboy; If you were a Jedi, what colour would your lightsabre be; green, blue, yellow, red, or purple?
Green. I have a laser pointer for giving star tours, and it’s green.

Mary Pax write mostly science fiction and fantasy. It calls to her. She started with more literary stuff [she is quite enamored with Jane Austen, Hesse, Tolstoy and Thomas Hardy], but a dude with a jet pack and blaster kept yelling at me, “Hey you! Over here. Remember your awe for Dune and 2001?” Oh yeah. Vonnegut and Bradbury, too.

She shares her home with her two cats and the husband unit. All love sci-fi. A great night is gathering on the couch to watch an old sci-fi movie. Her one cat seems to have a crush on Spock. The pointed ears maybe? She does confess to a continued obsession with Jane Austen. She’s awesome

Places to find Mary online:




boomtowncrazeWBHer latest book, BOOMTOWN CRAZE can be found at the links below.


Author Interview with Angela Addams.

Among the many writers I have met, I have connected with a few through our mutual love of gothic literature and culture. We love things that go bump in the night; venture into that dark part of human nature and create with the intent of scaring and tantalizing. While some shy away from this literature, we thrive in it, and it is with great pleasure that I bring you this interview with Angela Addams; author of the enovels GOING THE DISTANCE, GHOST BRIDE, and ASSASSIN.

So let’s begin…

1. Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?

I’m from Southern Ontario, Canada and I write erotic romance…usually paranormal in nature (although quite recently I ventured into contemporary) and urban fantasy.

2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?

I wouldn’t exactly call this a career, not yet anyway. I have a career (which is top secret 😉 that I love and that allows me time to write. I’ve always been a writer. From the time that I first learned how to print words, I was writing and sharing my stories. I guess I’ve always kind of considered it a hobby. Until about five years ago I hadn’t actually thought of pursuing publication…I kinda figured that was a dream for someone else, not really attainable for me. (I’ve had a very major bumps along my writing road that have impacted my confidence in ways). After finishing my first “novel” for a contest, I kind of shook free from the mistaken notion that I couldn’t have my dream and from then on have been taking it a lot more seriously. Got myself an agent (x2 –but that’s a whole other story) and have had a few stories published in that time.

3. Now that you have a few books under your belt, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?

The hardest part for me is getting past the opening scene. I always get the beginning rolling out in my head like a movie, so it’s super easy to write…then I realize I have to continue and I always have a mini-panic attack where I think…uh, how do I do this again? lol That’s when the plotting starts –just jot notes that are very rough –and the panic eases away so I can write.

4. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. Give us some tantalizing details.

Well, that’s a tricky question to answer. I’ve got a bunch of projects in the works right now. The one I consider “the major” project is with my agent. We’ve been working on it together for two years now. It’s an urban fantasy about a women who finds out she’s a witch because she’s being hunted by a vampire who wants her blood for more than just a snack. I’m also working on a novella and a spin off novel about a werewolf and a werewolf hunter…all of which are hot and sexy, I assure you 😉 I’ve also been experimenting with some erotica written in second person so the reader feels like they are actually there…pretty steamy stuff.

5. Let’s talk about erotica for a bit. Is there anything in particular that drew you to this genre?

What drew me to writing erotic romance was reading erotic romance. I really, really enjoyed devouring novels with lots of hot and steamy scenes and it made me mad as all hell if the author faded to black or diluted the passion. Reading erotic romance and writing it are two very different things though.

6. How do you approach writing those steamy scenes?

The first time I wrote an erotic scene it was…um…awkward. Getting the words right, making sure the actions matched the emotions and that body parts weren’t doing things they shouldn’t or couldn’t be doing was tricky. It’s gotten easier over time and with practice and I find myself exploring and experimenting more to up the erotic content of my work.

7. What does your family think of your choice for writing erotica? Have there been problems?

My family knows, but I’ve forbidden my mom and dad from reading my stuff…that’s just too creepy for me to handle. Everyone else knows and has read and thinks it’s great. It doesn’t bother them in the least that I’m writing about sex. I don’t let it be known outside of my close friends and family members though.

8. What advice would you give to a new author who wants to write erotica?

Hmmmmmm….write what you know? lol Just kidding…although it does help to have experienced some of the things you’re writing about…that and you need a vivid imagination for the things you haven’t. When it comes to erotica you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re writing; it should stir up emotions in you while you’re writing it and rereading it, otherwise I just don’t see how it will stir up emotions in your readers.

9. As a reader, what are some things that attract you to a story?

The characters…and sex…lol.
It depends on the genre, to be honest. If I’m reading urban fantasy then I am attracted to a strong female character who can kick some ass and still be super sexy. Paranormal romance…I’m looking for that delicious alpha male and and equally as strong female love interest. The story must be good, and the writing has to be better than mediocre. I think as a writer, I tend to nit-pick a little more than the average reader would so sometimes I have to put a book down that others can’t seem to get enough of.

10. Most writers have manuscripts that will never see the light of day. Do you have a few of those or will they eventually come out?

I have a few of those. I tried revisiting one, but it’s so bad that it’s really unfixable. The idea is good though…might end up reconstructing something using parts of the plot and character but otherwise starting from scratch. I have another ms that I wrote two years ago and then rewrote last year, then trunked thinking that it was just complicated for fixing. That year of rest has allowed me to come up with some ways to fix it and now I’m revising and loving it again, so we’ll see.

For fun questions.

1. If you could be any breed of dog, what would it be?
I would be a schnauzer…I freakin love their mustaches!

2. Is there one food/beverage that you can’t live without?
Yes, chocolate, rum, steak and french fries. Oh…you said one…okay, if I had to pick then it would be bacon. 🙂

3. Bungee jumping: exhilarating hobby or death wish?
I’d like to try it…at least once. I’d probably barf afterward but at least I can say I gave it a go. It’s safe right? *shrug* You only live once, better make it count, right?

4. What is your favourite movie?
Beetlejuice 😀

5. Question from Sithboy; If you were a Jedi, what colour would your lightsabre be; green, blue, yellow, red, or purple?
I pick purple. I like purple. (Does that make me evil or something? I really have no idea.)


Every day is Halloween for author Angela Addams. Enthralled by the paranormal at an early age, Angela spends most of her time thinking up new story ideas that involve supernatural creatures in everyday situations.

Well, until now, that is. Angela has recently expanded her creative repertoire to include contemporary erotica, because the written word is an amazing tool for crafting the most erotic of scenarios even if there are no werewolves in sight.

She lives in Ontario, Canada with her loving husband and children.






To learn more about Angela Addams, please click the links below.



Amazon Author Central:





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