Friday, August 18, 2017

Interview with author Jody Summers

Author Jody Summers joins me today to talk about her supernatural thrillers, Dark Canvas and its sequel, The Mask Maker.

Bio:
Born in New Orleans, Jody Summers' life has been filled with unconventionality. The adopted son of a prominent Texas restaurateur, Jody grew up in New Orleans, Memphis and then Houston, learning the restaurant business while he built a career as a competitive gymnast that propelled him to a scholarship at the University of Kansas.

After college, Jody followed in his father’s footsteps owning, at one point, three 24-hour restaurant franchises along with four tanning salons in Tulsa. Finally leaving that business, he turned his entrepreneurial skills to everything from a patent in the Pet Industry to a Single’s website.

 
A restaurateur, a gymnast, a stunt man, an entrepreneur, a pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, and an accomplished martial artist for twenty-five years, Jody Summers has tried it all. Now he brings all those experiences to paper in his first novel, the supernatural thriller, Dark Canvas.

Welcome, Jody. Please tell us about Dark Canvas.
When artist, Kira McGovern mixes paints with the ashes of the dead, she discovers her extraordinary gift, but it also leads her to some horrifying crimes in this psychological thriller of a novel.

It seems innocent enough at first, thought Kira McGovern---mixing her dead mother’s ashes with paint to create a tribute painting. What a way to personalize and immortalize her mom’s memory! The idea so ensnares her that she forms a new business, Canvas of Life, to do just that for others. As she begins with her first clients, something inexplicable occurs: Kira experiences segments of the dead person’s life. In dreams and visions, she begins to receive images, some are gratifying, some unpleasant and some of them are downright deadly.

Sean Easton is a Kansas farm boy with a special talent he is just beginning to understand. His father, too, has recently died, but something sinister still lingers on the farm. When he takes his father’s ashes to Kira as a pretense to meet her, he not only falls in love but makes some startling discoveries about his own life as well, and as Kira begins to paint with Sean’s father’s ashes the real terror begins….

                                    Sometimes Secrets Don’t Stay in the Grave.

The sequel, The Mask Maker picks up where Dark Canvas left off and as a result of their previous experiences; Sean and Kira find themselves involved in a deadly chase for a unique and gruesome arsonist with unpredictable results.

I have another book I am about to release which is also a thriller, however with a bit less supernatural tilt than Dark Canvas. It is called The Mayan Legacy.

I am also finishing the first draft of Mental Marauder which is the third installment in the Dark Canvas series.

What inspired you to write Dark Canvas?
A lovely lady I had a chance date with was actually painting with the ashes of the deceased, cremains, as she calls them, and it occurred to me that as much as I’ve read (and trust me that’s a lot) I had never read anything like this before, and the notion of writing something new under the sun fascinated me so that I just jumped on it.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I believe my next endeavor will be a Sci-Fi novel tentatively entitled “The Amazing Enigma of Aiden Quiver. His name is an acronym that I will share with everyone at a later date.

Stay tuned!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
LOL. Somewhere AFTER I finished Dark Canvas. Even though I’ve written hundreds of poems over the years

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am currently making a living in the oil and gas business as a permit agent. Therefore, most of my writing comes early in the morning or is dictated when I’m driving. I hope for that to change in the near future.

I also have a number of producers evaluating Dark Canvas for a movie. Fingers crossed.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to change perspective frequently, even within a paragraph. I like offering the observations from more than one person in a scene while still keeping it abundantly clear who is speaking. This little quirk gives editors fits.


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had no clue as a child. Later, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.

The next thing I KNEW I wanted to be when I grew up was a writer….figured that one out at age 50.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My books are going to keep coming but as you can already tell in addition to the Dark Canvas series, I’m jumping genres, I already have a sci-fi plot that I mentioned earlier which I intend to tackle right after I finish the third book in the Dark Canvas series, which means later this year or early next year.

I already have the first draft of another novel, a religious thriller I plan to edit and finish entitled The Note from Christ.

I don’t plan to abandon the Dark Canvas series, though; I have plots in mind for at least two more in the series already.

As Robert Jordan, one of my favorite authors, said, “I intend to continue writing until they nail my coffin shut.” Which he did by the way with his brilliant Wheel of Time series.

Also, along with my hero Dean Koontz, I love to read Clive Cussler novels and would love to write a story someday to emulate his style of fast paced action and adventure comingled with a touch of history.

Links:

Thank you for being here, Jody! 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Interview with romantic comedy author Brooke Williams

Author Brooke Williams is here today and we’re chatting about her new romantic comedy The Leftover.

Bio:
Brooke Williams is a former radio producer/host turned stay-at-home mom/freelance writer/author. She specializes in romantic comedy with titles like Accept this Dandelion and the upcoming The Leftover. She also writes blogs and web content for a number of clients. Brooke has been married to her husband Sean since 2002 and they have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

Welcome, Brooke. Please tell us about your current release.
The Leftover places a shy, socially awkward girl on a TV show similar to Survivor, only in a local manner. She doesn’t think she’ll do well and it shows! After mishaps abound, she starts to gain confidence. It’s a fun book with lots of contests, oh, and there’s a cute medic across the beach as well.

What inspired you to write this book?
I always watch these reality type shows and wonder what it someone more like me was on it. Someone awkward who wasn’t all athletic and confident all the time. That gets the wheels spinning in my head and the characters form!

Excerpt from The Leftover:


What exciting story are you working on next?
I have another short story coming out this winter called Another Backwards Christmas. I wrote Backwards Christmas last year about a town called South Pole, Alaska in which they do all of the Christmas traditions backwards. They hang Christmas trees upside down from the ceiling and they take presents TO Santa, that sort of thing. This story takes place in that same town with different characters. IT can be read after the first story or on its own.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still pinch myself when people ask what I do and I am able to tell them I am a writer. I guess I considered myself an author when my first romantic comedy “Wrong Place, Right Time” was picked up by a publisher. I considered myself a writer (freelance writer) when I started getting paid for writing jobs.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Not quite. I’m a mom first and my girls don’t always allow me much time, but I write as much as I can and somehow manage to get in over 200 blogs a month for clients. Writing is like breathing to me. It’s something I feel like I HAVE to do. I love it and I can’t imagine a day without it. That being said, I fully plan to make it my full-time career once my girls are both in school. That’ll be another year. Until then, I get by with what time they allow me!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write about as fast as I can think. People are amazed at how fast things come out and how quickly I type!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Video Quick Stop Girl. Back then, they had movie stores to rent movies, but there was also this little phone booth sized thing outside where you could drive up and ask for a certain movie. IF they had it, you could check it out. I thought that was totally cool and wanted to work there.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Writing, to me, is an escape from everyday stresses. I hope reading what I write does the same for you! If so, I’ve done my job!

Links:

-->
Thank you for being here today.
-->

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview with novelist Gerri LeClerc

Novelist Gerri LeClerc joins me today to talk about her new women’s fiction, Silent Grace.

Bio:
Pennsylvania native Gerri LeClerc lives on Cape Cod with her husband Ron. The medical background Gerri gained as a Registered Nurse is reflected in her stories, which explore the complex ways in which children’s health challenges affect the lives of the adults around them. A passionate reader with a lifelong love of classic romantic suspense and contemporary women’s fiction, Gerri is the author of Missing Emily, the first book in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, which appeared in early 2016.

Welcome, Gerri. Please tell us about your current release.
Sisters Beth and Patrice Hensen have taken very different paths in life. When Patrice’s drug addiction interferes with her ability to raise her 8-year-old daughter Grace, the always-responsible Beth assumes temporary custody. Settling into Knoll Cottage, the small home on Cape Cod Beth has recently purchased, Beth and Grace struggle to adjust. Just as their lives stabilize and their bond solidifies, fate steps in with surprises that test their hearts, souls and strength yet again.

What inspired you to write this book?
The nurse in me! Deafness and the conflict in the deaf community over to treat or not, has always intrigued me. I thought about how lonely a child with hearing loss must be, how she might misconstrue communication from others. How hard it must be for Grace to build trust in people.

How a handsome doctor and a loving aunt might help her hear again. (Must have romance in my story, too.) The second issue in the book is addiction to prescription drugs, which is so prevalent today. How easy it is to relieve Patrice’s pain in her difficult life with easily obtained drugs. And the toll addiction takes on those who love her.


Excerpt from Silent Grace:
With sleet tapping at the window of her New Bedford, Massachusetts apartment, Beth Henson sat on the floor, packing a box of books. The phone rang with her sister’s unique ringtone and interrupted her off-key singing. Beth hesitated, pressing tape over the flaps of the box, and considered letting the call roll to voicemail. Instead, she wove her way through a maze of packed boxes, retrieved her phone and answered.
            It was a video call from Grace.
            “Mommy won’t wake up,” her niece said in her fragile voice, while she also signed at a frantic pace. “Scared.”
            “Is she breathing? Turn the phone so I can see Mommy,” Beth said, signing the main words. Grace understood and switched the phone’s camera to Patrice on the couch. Beth saw that she was breathing deeply.
            “I’m coming now, sweetie. Stay on the phone with me.” But the call ended. Beth must have signed wrong. She didn’t take time to call back. She grabbed her purse from the table by the front door. “Keys. Keys,” she said, dumping the contents on the floor. She scooped up the keys and left everything except her wallet where it landed. Grace had to be alarmed to use her voice. Beth was afraid she knew what it was; had seen it before.


What exciting story are you working on next?
While I work on book three in the Knoll Cottage trilogy, I’ve been busy revising another novel I wrote, A Marriage to Die For. It’s A suspense story about how an abused wife escapes her DEA Agent husband who promised to kill her if she leaves him. And how a raccoon that gets into your basement can lead to romance when the sheriff comes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when my friends began to read my first manuscript for me. I had such wonderful feedback and support. They saw me as a writer—and I began to believe it, too.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
My husband and I are best buds. We love to do things together—after many years of marriage! When I started writing, I became immersed in a surprisingly time-consuming effort. It’s not just writing, it’s a learning curve, it’s networking, it’s marketing. Everything takes time. So, I began to get up at 6 a.m. and work until 11 a.m. I’d sneak back to the computer if he was otherwise occupied later in the day. My husband’s on board now, and he’s learned to cook dinner—he likes to eat!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
St. Frances Cabrini. She’s my patron—it’s a long story. Her statue sits on my desk. And then Livia, my cat. She thinks she’s my muse. I think she is, too.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wore my mother’s nurse’s uniform for four consecutive years on Halloween.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks for being part of Lisa’s blog on my novel, Silent Grace. I hope you read it, and I hope you love it!

Links:

Thanks for being here today!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Interview with mystery author Edita A. Petrick

Mystery author Edita A. Petrick joins me today to talk about her thriller-suspense series, the Peacetaker. The premise (ancient myth of the Peacetaker) is established in Book 1.

Book 1 – Ribbons of Death is a suspense thriller;
Book 2 – The Harmony Scroll is action-adventure thriller;
Book 3 – The Byzantine Connection is a thriller;
Book 4 – Arachne’s Challenge is once again more of adventure-techno-thriller
Book 5 - Doomsday Hand is an adventure-suspense thriller

Bio:
I have been writing all my life and other than those couple of family members who occasionally look over my shoulder, no one knows I’m an author of 15+ books. Or that these are listed on Amazon.com, B&N, Kobo, iApple and a dozen other distribution outlets. One of my books is also being translated into Cantonese and Mandarin. These last few years, I’ve kept my ‘writing’ life and my other self totally separate because it is safer that way. I can be ‘me’ when I’m out there in the world, working, socializing, etc.

Please tell us about your current release.
Doomsday Hand – Book 5 of the Peacetaker Series has been on pre-order these last few weeks. Like the others in the series, it centers on a little known ancient charming myth that has a potential to doom the world. I’ve had great response from my readers to the series itself, and hoping this book will appeal to my readership as well. However, like all my books, the story is about people, their interactions, their problems and threats; the myths and legends merely serve as a vehicle for human stories that are in my books.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to craft a story where the male character, Carter, will be in mortal danger for a change. At the same time, I like to weave adventure through my stories and that involves travel and foreign locales.


Excerpt from Doomsday Hand:
            The man took out something from the inner pocket of his coat and flipped it open then held it out to him, across the glass strip.
            “I’m Inspector Dhaloub, Scotland Yard.”
            “Well, that’s certainly an honor and I can’t even reciprocate because you already know my name and probably everything else there is to know about me,” he said, wondering whether the French Sûreté was not far behind. Years ago, when he first met Greg in Cairo, the man had already acquired a crowd of followers, the humorless kind.
            “Not quite everything,” the Inspector said. “May I see some form of identification, please—a passport, perhaps?”
            Carter smiled, hoping the policeman saw nothing else but amity. “I don’t have it on me, inspector,” he said.
            “Then perhaps a driver’s license?”
            “I took the subway…tube, as you say here.”
            “Do you have any form of identification, Mr. Tanner?”
            He did, but not as Tanner. Well, there was no way to get out of the trap. If he insisted that he had no identification whatsoever, he’d quickly find himself at the New Scotland Yard, being fingerprinted because these days the British police were utterly humorless when it came to foreigners who couldn’t vouch for their identity with some form of official picture-bearing card. The King’s College issued a formal coded ID security card for all members of Stella’s family to assure them entry into the administrative building if they wished to visit their wife and mother. The card was three months old, certainly very recent, and would make any British policeman happy…except it was for Timothy J. Carter, resident of 21 Baxter Walk, Soho. Stella’s full name and academic title featured in brackets underneath his.
            “Mr. Tanner, may I see some form of identification?” the inspector asked, his voice still even but much colder.
            Carter nodded, and then fished out the college ID from the breast pocket in his windbreaker, handing it to the inspector who took it and stared at it for a long time.
            “You’re Dr. Stella Hunter’s husband then,” the inspector finally commented, his expression like his voice—inscrutable.
            “Yes.”
            “Welcome to London, Mr. Carter. Please give my best regards to Dr. Hunter. I have read quite a few of her academic papers, as well as her book with great interest. You could say that I’m a fan. Now, what is your relationship with Mr. Gregory Semple?”
            In his forty-seven years of life, quite a few of them spent avoiding people like this policeman, he’d learned one thing that served man best when dealing with the law: Make your answers brief and don’t volunteer what they don’t have to know.
            “We’re friends,” he said, smiling just right not to read anything into it.
            “Good friends?”
            “Good enough to spend some time together, having lunch.”
            “However, during your lunch he would no doubt address you—his good friend—as Ross Tanner. Interesting. When did you first meet Mr. Semple?”
            “About ten, eleven years ago.”
            “Where, if I may ask?”
            “Africa.”
            “An interesting continent. It’s the cradle of life and yet still full of mysteries.”
            He wondered what the Inspector was after, other than to draw from him the ‘mystery’ he already knew, so it would become a confession.
            “The world is full of mysteries, Inspector. Africa’s just one of the global continents that has what England obviously doesn’t.”



What exciting story are you working on next?
Three new books, actually. Book 6 of the Peacetaker series – Seals of Eternity. Book 2 of the Bree-Ann Carver Suspense Blog series, and Rimworld Legends, Book 2 of my sci-fi space-opera, Lords of the Winter Stars series. I’m one of those writers who doesn’t make notes or outlines or plot-sketches of any kind. I live with the story in my head. Eventually, times comes to start writing it.

Mostly it works for me…except when it doesn’t and I get ‘stuck’ in the story. It’s why I need to work on at least 3 books at any given time.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know about other authors, but I never consciously thought or considered myself as a writer. I write because I love it. It relaxes me. It gives me a sense of purpose. I like to ‘create’ characters through observation of people around me.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I WORK full time. I write whenever I’m not exhausted by living, working and taking care of family. However, since I work for a school board, I have summers off so that’s my ‘writing’ time – whether I feel like it or not. Any free time – holidays, vacations and such, I ‘push’ myself to work on something ‘in the drawer.’

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I talk to my characters as I write (it let’s me feel the ideas and dialogue) and basically ‘talk’ my way through the story. It works really well for me when I write ‘arguments and controversies.’ I get to be…everyone.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Archeologist. And I went into it at university but then my father persevered and ‘yanked’ me out of the ‘empty’ education and presto, I was enrolled in engineering. Practical, puts bread on the table. Has future. I spent 25 years working as an engineer, in mostly male-dominated field, and honestly, I don’t think it ‘built character’ or toughened me. I was already tough when I went into it and struggling at every turn of the career…would not be my first choice again, let’s just say that.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for your time reading my books.

Links:

Thanks for being here today!