Author Interview: Timothy Bateson

Author Timothy Bateson

Today I’d like to welcome author Timothy Bateson to my author interviews. Bateson is a writer who broke into the market in 2014, with three short stories being featured in Halloween and science-fiction anthologies. In 2016, Bateson self-published a re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, the first of a several stories set in the “Shadows Over Seattle” world, which he co-writes with his wife, Sandi. Bateson is also a blogger who often spotlights books and fellow indie authors, alongside his other interests, such as the Brain to Books Cyber Convention (HTTP://WWW.B2BCYCON.COM) events, falconry, journaling, quotes, and reading.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

Oh dear, I can only pick one? Okay, I’d have to say falconry. I’ve been interested in birds of prey since I was allowed to skip school one day and visit the school my dad taught at instead. I think I was probably around 12 or 14 at the time.

I was already fascinated by owls, but getting up close to them, watching them fly, and being given the opportunity to handle a Barn Owl and Harris Hawk was amazing. From then on, I’ve taken every chance I can to expand my experience and to fly as many breeds of raptor as possible.

The highlight of my handling experiences must be the day I was given the honor of handling and flying eagles for the first time. You gain a lot of respect for these amazing creatures when a 10-pound Martial Eagle lands on your wrist, you take two steps backward, and get an appreciation for how an aircraft carrier must feel.  And then you learn that each set of talons has the equivalent crushing power of an alligator jaw…

I challenge anyone not to be in awe at nature’s power and diversity.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Hmmm, this is a difficult choice. I think I’d take the opportunity to bring together all the indie authors that I’ve been working with in the last few years. I’ve met so many wonderful people through the online indie community that I’d love to see what kind of collaborations could come from getting so many creative people in one place.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee for the mornings, because I’m not even remotely human until that first cup of coffee is in my system. Iced Tea for pretty much the rest of the time, even though it surprised me when I found that I enjoyed cold tea, having grown up in England drinking hot tea.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on editing several urban fantasy short stories, as well as trying to finish my first novel. I’m also in the process of promoting my latest release “Evaline Transcendent”, my first science fiction story.

Book Blurb: 

Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.

The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?
Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At it’s core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.
Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Buying Link: 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve never really tried to define my writing style, because no two projects are the same for me. My urban fantasy stories have been compared to the Underworld series, but I see shades of Jim Butcher in there too.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

No matter what you write, edit happens!

I’m a great believer in letting the story flow as naturally as possible, and to keep writing and editing separate. This is an essential separation of tasks, because writing requires getting the ideas down on paper as quickly as possible without analyzing things too much. Editing is the process of taking what you’ve already written and fine tuning the details. Both writing and editing require very different skills and mindsets, so never attempt to do the two things at the same time.

This was a lesson I learned the hard way while trying to complete my first year on NaNoWriMo.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

I like to try and gain as many experiences as possible, because I think it makes us better rounded people. Do I use some of those to get ideas for writing? Sure, I think it’s hard not to, because no matter how hard you try there is always something of yourself, and your experiences in whatever you write. And that’s where they day-to-day experiences come in, because it’s the small details of everyday life that bring characters to life, and tie them to the people around them.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I want to thank you, Tim, for stopping by today and telling us about yourself.

Gentle readers, hop on over to one of Tim’s links and introduce yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

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Fair, Tested, Garden and More: Monday Blog Post

Bountiful Basket

Newest News:

The Northern Gila County Fair starts 4pm on Thursday September 7th and I’m so excited. So many new things are on tap this year, I just hope everyone comes either Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Things will be hopping all weekend.

The garden is in full swing. Now that the sun is out everyday, the tomatoes are ripening fast. I’m also still in the glut of yellow squash and peaches but now the green bush beans and yellow beans have joined the parade! I also harvested all of the apples from the tree, about 6 gallons worth. Some have already been turned into apple chips in my dehydrator. Some have been turned into apple sauce. I think I’ve given away a ton of peaches. Saturday night the elk attacked my apple tree. When I went out to water on Sunday morning, several branches were broken and I had to trim them off. Color me sad. The pears on the pear trees are looking good. They’ll be ready in September.

My editor and I have gotten together and he managed to get his review and edits of Tested to me. Yay!!! I’m not sure I can get to them now that fair prep is in full swing but I’ll do my best. It may be early October before the story is released.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or a $130 in Paypal cash? Drop by http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Summer Blockbuster Giveaway.

I’m setting up a mystery giveaway with about 20 other authors on BookFunnel.com. Book Funnel allows you to get your chosen story in whatever e-format you like and is easy to use. The giveaway starts August 19th and runs for one week. I received the link for the BookFunnel Giveaway. I’ll post that on my Facebook/ConniesRandomThoughts on Saturday and in this blog on the 28th. I’ll do another newsletter with the link, on the 19th. Stay tuned for more details and the link to use!

Shout Out:

Author Timothy Bateson

Keep your eyes peeled for the author interview on Wednesday with Timothy Bateson. I found out about Timothy when I did this winter’s Brains to Books online convention. It turns out Tim is from my hometown! I was so excited and emailed him immediately to be on my interviews. If you can’t wait, check out his website: http://timothybatesonauthor.weebly.com.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

My next public appearance will be at the Pine Fall Festival October 14th and 15th. On both days I’ll be in the Community Hall with a few other authors selling and signing books with the antique dealers. On Saturday besides crafters, is the annual chili cook-off. Saturday hours are 9am – 5pm and the chili cook-off starts at 11am. Be there at 11am. The chili usually runs out by noon. Buy a ticket, taste the chili, vote for your fav top three! My hubby is usually there with his version. Sunday the hours are 9am – 4pm. Lots of crafters will be there and the weather is lovely in October. Come on by and say hello.

In September I’m going to be at the Payson Flea Market. The details are still being worked out but this is a great event for picking up Christmas Presents and cool stuff for your house and yard. I’m inviting a couple of other authors to come to my space as well so there’ll be a lot of books to choose from. I’ll keep you posted on the date and times.

On December 9th I’ll be at the Mesa Book Festival. Get full details at https://mesabookfestival.com/. I’ll be in a booth with my author friend Marsha Ward. www.MarshaWard.com. Between the two of us, we have a large number of genre’s covered. Come get your Christmas presents and stocking stuffers. The festival runs from 2pm – 8pm.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Author Interview: Mary Ann Edwards

Author Mary Anne Edwards

Today I’d like to welcome Mary Anne Edwards. Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, will be released in June 2017, with at least five more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mary Ann.

 

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

I love to read. Yes, I know rather boring but I rarely get the chance to sit down and read. Before I starting writing full-time, I read a book a week. Now it more like a book a month.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

My mother passed away February last year. I’d like one more day to her how much I love her and how thankful I am for her support and influence.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else? Yes, please! I like coffee with lots of cream and no sugar. I also enjoy a good cup of hot tea. I LOVE diet Dr Pepper, too much. I’ve cut back from my 2 liters plus a day habit to one soda a few times a week. I’m drinking lots of water now. I purchased an infusion pitcher. I’ve made all sorts of water like Pineapple Jalapeno Mint to simple Lemon Mint water.

4. What are you working on right now?

My fifth book, Flirting With Time: A Charlie McClung Mystery, will be released June 30th. I’m currently working on the sixth book in the series, Good To Be Kind.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

Hank Phillippi Ryan, bestselling author and award-winning journalist described my style of writing this way, “It’s as if Agatha Christie wrote Hart to Hart.” My books are traditional mysteries with romance and fun.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Get a website or blog or both going right now. Start building your network before your book is released. Once your book is released you’ll have a fanbase ready to buy your book.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

My ideas come from music and everyday life. Tom Petty’s music gets my writing juice flowing for some reason. I guess his music is my muse. LOL!

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Facebook and Twitter are my two major hangouts but I have a website and I can be found on Pinterest and a few other places. Here are my links.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authormaryanneedwards

Website:  http://maryanneedwards.com/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryAnneEdwards/posts

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/maryanneedwards

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/maedwards58

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Edwards/e/B00HZ28TIQ

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzz9_nQ5yzE60nW-LMkgUQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mary-anne-edwards

Wiselike:  https://wiselike.com/mary-anne-edwards

Thank you so much for spending a little time with us today, Mary Ann. We really appreciate it.

And gentle readers, don’t be shy. Stop by Mary Ann’s sites and say hello!

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End of July: Monday Blog Post

Payson Book Festival 2017

Newest News:

Some updates from the Payson Book Festival. After digging into the stats, we had over 700 people attend the festival. That’s the 3rd straight year with 100+ attendee growth. Our new venue, the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino had the tables arranged so that it didn’t feel crowded, even with so many attendees. Feedback from volunteers, authors and attendees were favorable for the most part and I really thank everyone who filled out a feedback form. It makes it so much easier to figure out whether or not there was a problem when people actually tell us!

Bush Green Beans

I harvested 8 yellow squash on Friday. I’m definitely going to have to start calling friends and asking if they want some squash. The peaches are ripe and I have a glut of those, too! Hubby ate three of them (they’re small) for his morning snack on Sunday. Good thing we like peaches.

The editor emailed me, he’s having trouble getting the Tested file to me. I’ve sent an alternate email address so hopefully that will do the trick. I’m still looking for my First Encounter and Downtrodden files. Grrrrrrrr.

Giveaways:

Would you like to win free ebooks, other prizes, or a $130 in Paypal cash? Drop by http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/giveaways-and-prizes/ and click on the Rafflecopter link for the Summer Blockbuster Giveaway.

An annual giveaway on the Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is over at midnight today! You can go to my author page or search for Troubled Streets, Mystery at the Fair, First Encounter, or A New Start. Use code SW100 to claim these books for free on the checkout page. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1 to browse all of the books on sale. Lots of great stories are ready for you!

Shout Out:

Author Mary Anne Edwards

Today’s shout out goes to author Mary Anne Edwards. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung. Mary Ann is my featured author on Wednesday’s Author Interview. Can’t wait? Check out her site at http://maryanneedwards.com.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

My next public appearance will be at the Pine Fall Festival October 14th and 15th. On both days I’ll be in the Community Hall with a few other authors selling and signing books with the antique dealers. On Saturday besides crafters, is the annual chili cook-off. Saturday hours are 9am – 5pm and the chili cook-off starts at 11am. Be there at 11am. The chili usually runs out by noon. Buy a ticket, taste the chili, vote for your fav top three! My hubby is usually there with his version. Sunday the hours are 9am – 4pm. Lots of crafters will be there and the weather is lovely in October. Come on by and say hello.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:

Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Author Interviews: Sherry Knowlton

Author Sherry Knowlton

I’m so happy, today, to present author Sherry Knowlton. Sherry is the author of the successful Alexa Williams series of suspense novels: Dead of Autumn, Dead of Summer and Dead of Spring.  When not writing the next Alexa Williams thriller, Knowlton works on her health care consulting business or travels around the world. She and her husband live in the mountains of South Central Pennsylvania.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Sherry.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

Reading, of course. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. My other interests include travel, photography, yoga and Pilates.  My husband and I do a lot of traveling.  In the past six years or so, we’ve been trying to visit remote and exotic places, recognizing that we aren’t getting any younger.  We’ve been to a number of countries in Africa, India, Indonesia, most of the Southeast Asian countries, Chile and Peru – with a few more sedate visits to Europe thrown into the mix.  We both also enjoy travel photography and exhibit many of our photos locally in Southcentral Pennsylvania where we live.  When I’m home, I attend yoga and Pilates classes at local studios.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

I miss my mother so much that she’s the obvious answer.  But, if I’m choosing someone among the living, I’d like to spend an afternoon with Bill Gates. Obviously, his major accomplishments are co-founding Microsoft  and growing the company to a huge, profitable corporation. But, I would like to talk to him about his post-Microsoft efforts.  I really admire the way that he and his wife, Melinda, have spent so much of their fortune in philanthropy, especially in projects to eradicate malaria, bolster family planning, and address other health issues prevalent in African nations and elsewhere.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Tea first thing in the morning.  Cherry Coke Zero during the day.  I’d really like to kick my Coke habit.  Everything I read says drinking soda is bad for me.  But, so far, haven’t been able to do it.

4. What are you working on right now?

My third novel, Dead of Spring, was just released on April 22. Now, I’m in the early stages of working on my next novel in the Alexa Williams, which will be titled Dead of Winter.  Although I’ve written a draft of the first few chapters, I’m about to begin my research which should take a month or so.  Also, as always, I’ll write a fairly detailed chapter by chapter outline of the book before I plunge into the serious writing.  My outlines are never hard and fast; they often evolve as I write.  But, I like to have a roadmap to follow during the first draft phase.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I write suspense with an element of mystery and a little romance.  Each of my novels also includes a historical subplot that intersects with the main, contemporary story.  My protagonist, Alexa Williams, is a strong character who has a propensity for stumbling into danger. All the books deal with hot-button social issues that you read about in the headlines and are important to me, personally.

I’m probably not my most insightful critic, so I’m not sure that I can describe my actual writing style.  I can say that I emphasize description, sense of place, and have been told that some of my romance scenes can be a little steamy,  The suspense is action-packed because my goal is to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Go for it.  I hope you enjoy writing as much as I do.  But, go into it with a willingness to learn.  I’ve done a huge amount of professional writing in my job – and before that high school and college journalism.  But, writing fiction required me to learn a whole different structure and style.  Don’t be afraid to take writing courses or seminars and benefit from expert advice.  A writing critique group and beta readers can also be helpful to obtain honest feedback on your work in process. And, above all, don’t become discouraged.  Writing requires inspiration, skill, and a huge amount of willpower.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

A little of both.  I’m in my sixties, so I’ve had quite a bit of life experience that I draw upon in my books. For example, I’ve used my travels, my work in government, and my participation in the Woodstock Festival of 1969 as fodder for my novels to date.  But, I also expand my knowledge with research, talking to experts and more.  My most recent book, Dead of Spring, deals with fracking, so I talked to a number of experts and did a tour of actual fracking sites in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

A lot of my ideas for imagery and plot points come from my everyday life. Things that I observe or experience can easily become the inspiration for something you’ll find in one of my novels.  An experience my husband and I had with Somali refugees in Kenya provided me with the springboard to an important scene in my second novel, Dead of Summer.  My frequent visits to the Pennsylvania State Capitol inspired me to set key events in my latest, Dead of Spring, in that historic building.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

www.sherryknowlton.com

www.facebook.com/sherry.knowltonbooks/

www.twitter.com/KnowltonSBooks

And you can buy my books at:

https://www.amazon.com/Spring-Alexa-Williams-Sherry-Knowlton/dp/1620068435

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-of-spring-sherry-knowlton/1125457948

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dead-of-Spring-9781620068434.htm

Sherry I really appreciate you taking the time to come and talk with us today. Looking forward to the next book!

Gentle readers, don’t be afraid to check out Sherry’s sites. You’ll be glad you did.

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Author Interview: Devorah Fox

 

Author Devorah Fox and her pet dragon, Inky.

Today I’d like to welcome Devorah Fox. “What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of award-winning books including The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam literary historical fantasy series and several thrillers, she also penned Mystery Mini Short Reads and contributed short stories to popular fantasy anthologies. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with rescued tabby cats … and a dragon named Inky. Visit the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

Sleeping. Seriously, between running a business, writing new stories and promoting existing titles, and managing a house, there’s not much time for anything else. I do belong to two local book clubs and two writers groups. Occasionally, I paint. Our local art center has Wine, Whine, and Design nights. An artist guides us in creating an acrylic painting while we sip wine, eat snacks, and socialize. It’s very relaxing and three hours later, I have a finished painting, some of which have been even been suitable to display.

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Alice Marks, a dear friend, terrific writer and author, who moved to a distant state. Before she moved, we did enjoy spending afternoons eating cupcakes (so NOT on our diets) and talking about books, ours and everyone else’s. We’re still in touch of course, by email and snail mail, but it’s not the same. We miss the cupcakes!

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Coffee. I do try to develop an appreciation for green tea, since it has health benefits. But coffee. I even like coffee-flavored beer.

4. What are you working on right now?

I have three works in progress. One is Blood Guilt, a police procedural with a paranormal twist. Another is Dying to Get Hung, a cozy mystery featuring Candy Wadsen, the heroine of Murder by the Book. The third is a new adventure for Mercedes, otherwise known as the superhero, Lady Blackwing.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My stories feature memorable characters in whom readers really get invested. A common thread is that these characters are for the most part ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances and rise to the challenge, learning something new about themselves.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Write a lot. It’s a worthwhile habit to write every day. Plus it’s a lot like training a muscle. The more you write, the easier it gets and the more skilled you become.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

Ideas come to me, totally unbidden. Plot bunnies breed, well, like rabbits.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

email: devorahfox@aol.com

Website: http://devorahfox.com

Twitter: @devorah_fox   http://twitter.com/devorah_fox

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006L9BJAO

smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mbapub
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DevorahFox

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/devorahfox

authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/devorah_fox

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751371.Devorah_Fox

Subscribe to my email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/LrZGX

Thank you, Devorah for stopping by today. We enjoyed chatting with you.
Gentle readers, I think you’ll enjoy going to Devorah’s website and social media pages. Stop by and say hello to her!

 

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Author Interview: Colleen Mooney

Author Colleen Mooney and her dog, Meaux

Today we have Colleen Mooney with us. Colleen Mooney was born and lived much of her life in New Orleans before a job moved her to other cities.  She writes a cozy mystery series set in New Orleans. It’s called The New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles and the third book, Drive Thru Murder, was released in early April.

Since January 2017 Colleen organized a Sisters In Crime chapter in New Orleans, has been elected President and has a planned a Mystery Writers’ Conference for June.  She is currently working on her 4th book in the Brandy Alexander series.  You would expect her protagonist with a name like Brandy Alexander to be a stripper instead of the girl next door with a serious passion for rescuing dogs. Brandy has a way of being at the eye of every storm that seems to go through the city and we’re not talking about the weather.  In the city known as The Big Easy, Brandy Alexander’s life is like a Category 5 Hurricane. You have to ask, Is there anything in Brandy Alexander’s life that is not complicated? There’s no place like New Orleans to have a good crime!

Colleen was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in the Irish Channel along with just about everybody else in her family.  She says, “New Orleanians are a lot like boomerangs or homing pigeons.  If we move away, we always move back.”

Colleen worked in corporate America for twenty-one years before retiring and has lived in Birmingham, Atlanta, New Jersey and New York. She moved back to New Orleans every time before another corporate reorganization would transfer her to another city.

“My vacation and work related travels opened my eyes as to how different we are in New Orleans.  We are very different from the rest of the state, let alone the rest of the country. We have different laws, different food and the way we cook it, different weather, different things we celebrate and how we celebrate them. We even have a different language in some cases.  Everyone thinks New Orleans is all about a good time in the French Quarter or on Bourbon Street, but those of us from here know that’s only the tip of the iceberg, well, if we had icebergs.”

Colleen loves to travel and do new things.  She is an avid Scuba diver and Underwater photographer, owned and raced sailboats in the Gulf of Mexico, Key West and the BVI. She has owned a  motorcycle and has skied Colorado, Idaho, California, New York State as well as the German and Austrian Alps.

In New Orleans, she’s been active in many Mardi Gras Krewes, Super Krewes, and organizations and has belonged to the Krewe of Cork, Orpheus, Iris, Tucks, Joan of Arc and the Halloween Krewe of Boo. Colleen says she has never met a parade she didn’t like.

She’s an ardent animal lover and the Director for a breed rescue, Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana for the last fifteen years.  She has rescued and placed over 300 abandoned or surrendered Schnauzers.  She loves to write, and writes about what she loves. Colleen says, “New Orleans is where it all happens for me.”

Let’s give Colleen a warm welcome and get started.

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is anything to do with or on the  water…sailing, diving, swimming, water skiing, tubing, sitting on the beach—anything. I can walk along the waters’ edge for hours.  My dad had me swimming before I could walk.  My mother was terrified of the water…guess who I took after?

2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?

Who would I spend an afternoon with and why?  Jacques Cousteau pioneered scuba gear to open up a world of adventure for the average person. He is a legend in his efforts to save the oceans from dumping waste and raise awareness on why we should protect them. I would ask how and what got him on that path. What adversities did he experience and how did he overcome them.  I’d like to hear his most exciting  explorations and how he discovered them.  When you consider his travels, his underwater filming of documentaries, his explorations and his equipment he designed and pioneered it all seems too much for one person. I’d like to know what he ate for breakfast (smle).

He was a unique individual that inspired me to find  a water world of adventure and excitement.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?

Not just coffee…coffee WITH chicory.  I’m a New Orleans girl.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the 4th book in my series, New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles. I have a working title but I don’t think that will be it when I’m finished.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My writing style is part plotting and part organic (pantser).  I have an outline but my characters don’t always follow it.  (smile).

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

My advice to someone beginning their writing career?  Don’t do anything like I’ve done because it seems most of it was wrong.  I don’t know what to tell anyone.  We all need to find our own path in life. What worked for me might work against someone else.  I draw a lot from my experiences and that of others since I’ll never live long enough to make that many mistakes on my own!

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?

Many of my ideas come from day-to-day life in New Orleans, which is to say, not a normal, day-to-day, life  All of my stories are grounded in real life events, characters or places that I fictionalize. A reader once wrote a review saying that my stories were preposterous and could not really happen.  She should see what I left out!

Here’s where you can find me:

Email:      colleen@colleenmooney.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ColleenMooneyAuthor

Website: www.colleenmooney.com

Twitter: mooney_colleen@twitter.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8548635.Colleen_Mooney

And thank you Colleen for spending a little time with us. Gentle reader, please take the time to visit Colleen on any or all of her social media. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

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Yellowstone Trip and Heat Wave: Monday Blog Post

Mammoth Hot Springs

Newest News:

So we went to Yellowstone National Park last week, that’s why there was no Monday blog post on the 12th. We arrived on Saturday, temps in the 50’s. Sunday we took a bus tour of the lower half of the park. Cold and rainy. Monday, hung out with my friend, JA Marlow, who works in Yellowstone, and the day was clear and sunny and hot! That is right up till 5pm when a storm blew in and it started snowing. Yep, 75 degrees to 32 degrees in about an hour and a half. Crazy.

Bison Calf Studies Us as we Drive By

We took a ton o’ pictures. I took a video of Old Faithful and a couple of other sites. Those will be on my newsletter so if you aren’t signed up for that, now’s the time. Loved the park. We had several run-ins with bison (not buffalo!), saw a coyote, a couple of antelope, elk, and magpie’s.

Along the Yellowstone River, This Fellow was watching the traffic go by.

I had watered the garden heavily the day before we left and when we returned home, the garden had done well even with the high temps. Peas are already flowering and a couple of pods are present. Beans, squashes and tomatoes are in good shape. One of the serrano pepper plants is down for the count but the other one has blossoms on it so I’m calling that a win. The potatoes and garlic are dying back. I pulled up my elephant garlic and it’s drying.  The regular garlic, in a pot, has also died back. After the elephant garlic is dried, I’ll pull the regular.

For my SciFi readers, I mentioned last week that I finished the edits on Tested, the fourth book in the Brown Rain series and sent it off to the editor. I should have that back in a week. I’m still thinking about the cover. I’d like to get a picture of a college administration building for the cover. What do you think?

Giveaways:

My multi-author giveaway is called Spring into Reading: Easter Giveaway is still running until the 20th. There is a grand prize PayPal card and multiple prizes from the participating authors. There’s still time. You can find the link to the Rafflecopter on my Giveaways page.

Shout Out:

I have an interview scheduled to run on Wednesday the 21st with mystery author Colleen Mooney. Colleen was born and lived much of her live in New Orleans before a job moved her to other cities.  Back now, in The Big Easy, she writes a cozy mystery series set in New Orleans. It’s called The New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles and the third book, Drive Thru Murder, was released in early April. If you can’t wait to see what Colleen is up to, check out her website at www.ColleenMooney.com.

Where Will I Be?

Check my website, http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/where-will-i-be/ for my next engagements.

I’m a late registrant to the Westercon conference held this year in Tempe, Arizona. I’m scheduled to sit on some panels and I have a reading and some signings scheduled. I don’t know yet if I’m going to get a Dealer’s table to sell books but I’ll definitely sell books at my signings. I’ve never been to this con and it’s been going on for seven decades! I hope you can make it. Check out all the fun at www.Westercon70.org.

July 22nd is the Payson Book Festival. I have to say, this festival has turned into quite a thing. Over 600 people came to it last year. The tables have already been filled with over 80 authors. You can find out who is attending at www.PaysonBookFestival.org. The event is free to visitors and starts at 9am and runs until 3:30pm. Details about the location, video from last year, and more, can be found on the site.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve put sign-up gifts on both the regular and the Brown Rain newsletter sign-ups. That’s right. If you sign up for my newsletter you get a free story from me. Be prepared for fun and contests! Click on the video link for a short video from me. Hear what I’m working on. Join my “A” Team to be the first to read my books and hear what new books are coming.

Don’t forget to follow my blog, too. Different material goes in the blog as in the newsletter. You can share both, so spread the word!

Newest Book Release:Mystery at the Book Festival released June 1st and I’m pretty excited about it. You can buy it and my other books at: Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords, today! You can also see all my books on http://conniesrandomthoughts.com/my-books-and-other-published-work/. If you’ve read any of my books, please drop a short, honest, review on the site where you bought it or on Goodreads. It’s critical to help me promote the books to other readers. Thanks in advance.

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Author Interview: Kittly Boyes

Author Kitty Boyes

Today I’d like to welcome Kitty Boyes to the blog. Kitty lives on the coast of Western Australia. She has three amazing children and six gorgeous grandchildren. Her debut novel, The Sins of our Mothers; published in November 2015 had readers asking for more so she published the second book to the series; Her Father’s Daughter in March 2016. Stay tuned for book III. Her Brother’s Keeper. Out in 2017. 

Make yourself at home, Kitty!

1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favourite hobby?

I have a few so it’s difficult to decide which one is my favourite. I enjoy so many things life offers.  Is reading a hobby or a pastime?  I live for my next exciting book. There’s nothing quite like delving inside a world quite different to my own; where all my senses are alerted from laughing to feeling a little terrified or anxious hoping for the protagonists’ victory over an antagonist, yet knowing it must end with the good guys prevailing. Always. Yet the journey is what takes me there and moves me along. My real hobby, apart from renovation work and scrapbooking is writing.

2. If you had the opportunity – who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why.

Quite clearly for me my immediate answer is the family I’ve lost over the years. (Parents, two brothers and two sisters) I miss them and it’s more or less since losing each one, in particular my parents, that I’ve accumulated dozens of questions I want the answers to. Ahh, the thought of spending an afternoon with them conjures up familiar smells, old conversations and distant memories both good and not so good.

3. Coffee, tea, soda or domething else?

Coffee!  Iced coffee, hot coffee, cappuccino, espresso, with milk, black, instant, percolated, dripolated, pods or in cake. Coffee and walnut cake with a hot cuppa? Heaven.

4. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on book three to my series and revisiting the first two to make them the best books I can write. I wrote The Sins of our Mothers, published in 2015. I then wrote Her Father’s Daughter in 2016 but only due to people saying they wanted to read more about my protagonist Arina Perry.  At the time I didn’t think I had it in me to write another book, but I was pestered enough to give it a little thought at least. Then when I asked that all time question (What If) I had another story. Thus my third book is under construction, so far titled Her Brother’s Keeper and is almost ready.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I’ve got no idea really because I write in a number of different ways from letters to friends and family, an opinion on Facebook, a post to my blog sites, a children’s story for different ages, a couple of non-fiction  wellbeing e-books and then my novels. So it varies I guess depending on the situation in which I’m penning something. And even though it all comes from the same place, the style is always different.

6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?

Never give up!  Even though you may find that writing the story has its own share of difficulties, be aware that unless you can afford an editor and a graphic designer for your cover, which a lot of us can’t, then doing these yourself is very time consuming and has its own set of frustrations. Don’t give up! Ask for beta readers when your first draft is done. Edit, edit and re-edit until you’re almost sick of the sight of all those words, but continue because every single time you go over your book you find something else to fix, something else, even if it’s only the way you structured a sentence or two that when you fix it, you feel the satisfaction in making your story that much better each time. Come launch time, and you’re an indie Author (self-publishing to Amazon for instance) you need to find that other hat. The one that has Merchandiser Extraordinaire, Advertising Guru or World’s best Marketer on the brim. But never give up! Find a way to make it happen. If you’re filthy rich just hand your manuscript over to the experts and sit back to write your next exciting adventure. But even then be prepared for all the input needed here too. There’s never a dull moment that’s for sure.

7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day to day life?

I tend to immerse myself. Once I get the initial plot thought in my mind I start writing and from there different ideas or better twists may present themselves both in my day to day thoughts doing chores or whatever but more so whilst I’m writing.

8. Where can we find you on the interwebs?

I’m all over the place, just open your computer and there I am. Haha. I would welcome it if you chose to join me on some of these. There’s always an opt-out if you get sick of me. If you were to buy a book and review it too, you’ll be my new best friend. Most are only 99 cents USD. For now. Until I get famous.

https://kittyboyes.com is my website

kittyb2153@gmail.com is my email address

https://kittyboyeswordpress.wordpess.com is my books blog site

https://booknook1blog.wordpress.com  is another blog site for readers and writers

https://www.facebook.com/kittysebooks  My Facebook page

https://twitter.com/kitty_boyes My twitter URL

My books on Australia Amazon 

My books on American Amazon

My books on Smashwords

Thank you, Kitty for such a lovely chat.

Dear readers, don’t be shy. Take Kitty up on a visit to one or all of her sites. You’ll be glad you did!

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Author Interviews: Linda Berry

Author Linda Berry

Today I’d like to present author Linda Berry, a new to me police thriller author. Linda, let’s talk about your book first!

Your latest mystery, Pretty Corpse, was recently released. Tell us about the story.

The year is 1999. A serial rapist is targeting teen girls in San Francisco. While on patrol, Officer Lauren Starkley discovers one of the victims, and she’s shocked to find out the girl is a close friend of her daughter. The case instantly becomes intensely personal. Because she isn’t a detective, Lauren is restricted from investigating, but she does so nonetheless on her own time. Lauren has an uncanny ability to find obscure clues and link them together. Her relentless pursuit of the rapist draws her deeper into his world. He in turn, starts getting closer to Lauren and her daughter. Lauren needs to lure him out of hiding, fast, before her daughter becomes his next victim.

 

You populate your novels with an interesting mix of characters. Tell us about that.

My stories reflect the range of characters each of us knows in real life. We all have people we admire, people who threaten us or are just plain luny. I like to keep a reader alert and surprised by creating several interrelated stories that and ebb and flow through the main story. We are all multi-dimensional, and have many stories happening simultaneously in our lives, and sometimes conflict erupts on many fronts. I like to get into those emotional tsunamis and explore a person’s breaking point, and how they deal with the challenge. Complex characters that are bitterly wounded or pathologically twisted are interesting to me. I like to contrast the most vile and repugnant aspects of human nature to the most heroic and noble, and throw some quirky characters in for good measure.

 

How did you research this police thriller?

To write authentically, I do extensive research. That doesn’t mean I let my fingers do the walking. I have to give a big thank you to the police officers at Mission Station in San Francisco in 2001, when I wrote this first draft. My research for Pretty Corpse came in the form of dozens of ride-alongs I did with various female patrol officers. I chose the night shift when the city was rife with criminal activity, and I got to see these courageous women in action. Several of my characters were inspired by the female cops I came to know, and also by the captain of the station, who gave generously of his time to help me authenticate my writing. Many of the side stories in Pretty Corpse are based on actual events relayed to me by police officers from Mission Station.

 

Where do you write?

I write in a sunny office in my home overlooking a canal and peaceful wooded area. I live in Central Oregon, a resort town in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains.

 

You were an award-winning copywriter and art director for twenty-five years, and worked part of that time for the film industry. Did that experience shape your decision to become a novelist?

Absolutely. I had the privilege of collaborating with talented writers and some of the best editors in the business. I love books and have been an avid reader my entire life. I wrote novels as a passionate hobby. In fact, my three novels released this year by Winter Goose Publishing are the result of my efforts spanning a decade. Now that I’m retired, I write every day. It’s so much easier to produce good work when you can keep your train of thought moving forward, and are not constantly interrupted.

 

What do you love most about your work?

I love the creative process itself—the challenge of developing and constructing plots that continually surprise the reader and hold them in a state of suspense. Writing is both a passion and a compulsion—a truly satisfying form of escape. My reward comes when a reader tells me they couldn’t put my book down and they talk about my characters as though they’re real people. Then I know I did my job well.

 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness comes to me in many forms. Appreciation of life itself is the foundation of happiness. I find this planet miraculous, from subatomic matter to the galaxies in space. I enjoy the beauty of ecosystems, how so many forms of life—plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects—the smallest creature to the largest, are dependent on each other for survival. My idea of perfect happiness is living on a healthy planet where people live together in peace and are trusted guardians of nature.

 

What is your greatest fear?

Being impoverished, homeless, or mentally or physically impaired and dependent on others. I did undergo some terrible threats to my health six years ago. I had a bout of debilitating pain for about 8 months, which diminished my ability to enjoy life. I’m now completely recovered, and feel I’ve been given a second chance at life. The experience sharpened my awareness of how fragile life is, how it can be taken away in an instant, and how one might be forced to languish in pain for a period of time. It heightened my appreciation for the quality of life I have now, for every precious moment I’m healthy and independent.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Lack of patience. Sometimes I get caught up in the every day demands of life, and the illusion that I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.  I have to remind myself at times to live in the moment, address what is happening right in front of me, and listen to people, even when I feel I’m short on time. Giving another human being a few minutes of conversation can make a huge difference in that person’s life. Kindness goes a long way.

 
Who in your profession do you most admire?

I read everything, and admire countless writers, from journalists to screen writers to poets to authors. I especially love mysteries, and I read an average of two books a week. If the writing is solid, and the story is well-constructed, I’ll read it regardless of genre.
What is your greatest extravagance?

Disconnecting from the world. Getting out in nature with my husband and our dog in our motorhome. I love being on a lazy schedule and disconnecting from social media, where the only decision I have to make is when to eat and what hikes to takey. I can write in uninterrupted peace for hours at a time, surrounded by nature, sometimes listening to the gentle patter of rain, watching water drip off leaves. I love going to national parks, off season. We went to Bryce and Zion and Arches and the Grand Canyon two years ago. Last year we went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and this year we may be going to Yosemite.
On what occasion would you lie?

I don’t tell big extravagant lies, but I do tell baby lies frequently, mostly when complimenting people. For example: “no, your ass doesn’t look big in those jeans” or “you look marvelous” when in actuality, you look hungover, and you have stains on your shirt.
What do you dislike most in your work?

When I hit a brick wall and I have to stop writing, sometimes for days, while I process my story and play out different scenarios in my head. I never force the creative process. What generally helps me break through the logjam is reading. I’ll bury my nose in a good book, and before long, ideas start percolating to the surface. I also have a muse. My nail goddess, who’s held captive doing my mani/pedi for 2 hours, and I bounce ideas off her. She has a creative mind and has been a wonderful contributor to my stories for years.
When and where were you happiest in your work?

This current period in my life is the happiest. Now that I’m retired, I have the luxury of writing every day. I wake up eager to get to work. I take my coffee up to my sunny office and dig in. I believe I’m at my most happiest when my husband and I are traveling and we’re parked in a beautiful wilderness area and the peace of the place seeps into my bones. I can write with no interruption.
If you could, what would you change about myself?

I would take twenty years of physical wear and tear off my body. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I would change nothing. If I had to lose twenty years of life experience to be in a younger body, I would say no. I’m more at peace with myself at this stage of life than I have ever been.
What is your greatest achievement in work?

Having three novels completed and coming out this year, 2017. It’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment to see the culmination of years of work and endless rewrites in a physical book. Hidden Part One and Pretty Corpse are out, and Hidden Part Two comes out in September. I’m expecting my fourth mystery, Quiet Scream, to be out in December or January.

 

What is your most marked characteristic?

My friendliness, and my sense of humor. I have always had a keen interest in people and I’m a good observer, passionately interested in humans and the world around me. I’m an optimist at heart, and I’ve been blessed with a jolly spirit. I enjoy socializing but the greater part of my waking life is spent in solitude, writing, reading, and doing projects.


What is your most inspirational location in your city?

I like to get out on the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. We have a beautiful river, the Deschutes, that meanders through town and its character changes every foot of the way. There are many meadows, sagebrush flats, waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Cascade Range. The look of a wild river, the various sounds of water rushing, falling, cascading over boulders, is invigorating and soothing. Hiking clears my head of thoughts and worries and puts me in a state of peacefulness.

What is your best advice for beginning writers?

Write about something you love and then your passion will come out in your words. Write often, everyday, if possible. Read, read, read. I read one or two books a week, and I also watch movies and TV productions that tell good stories. I take notes. I have volumes of notes, and refer to them daily.

 

Thank you so much for talking with us today, Linda. I’ve already read Pretty Corpse and it was fantastic!

So, gentle readers, you can pick up Linda’s book on Kindle Unlimited for free right now or wait until the release, June 10th! You can find our more about Linda and her books at:

Linda’s Youtube trailers:

Hidden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-bNoFgaD9U&t=7s

Pretty Corpse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QHSvirTYdw&feature=youtu.be

 

You can also find her at:

https://www.facebook.com/linda.berry.94617

www.lindaberry.net

@LindaBerry7272

lindaberrywriter@gmail.com

 

 

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