Monday, March 23, 2020

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Friday, March 20, 2020

Interview with spec fic author Richard Hacker

My special guest today is novelist Richard Hacker. He’s chatting with me about his new speculative fiction and book 2 of the Alchimeia series, Vengeance of Gimbald. It’s a cross of sci-fi, thriller, and historical fiction.

During his virtual book tour, Richard will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Richard Hacker, lives and writes in Seattle, Washington after living many years in Austin, Texas. In addition to the science fiction/fantasy novels of The Alchimeía Series, his crime novels ride the thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. Along the way, his writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests shuch as PNWA and ChicLit, and as a freelance development editor, he enjoys the opportunity to work with other writers. In addition, he is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review. Die Back was his first novel in the Alchimeia series.

Welcome, Richard. Please share a little bit about your current release.Battling evil through time and death.

Six hundred years after a fifteenth century scryer gains the alchemical knowledge to create a dark future in his own image, Addison Shaw inherits a destiny: to fight this ancient war that threatens all he loves with extinction. Using an alchemical pen, he writes himself into past lives, leaving his body in the present. Upon completion of his mission, he must die in order to break the link and return home. Addison, and his inking partner, Jules, are members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum. They believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.

What inspired you to write this book?
This might sound odd, but it started with a fountain pen. I was holding a fountain pen one day and my mind wandered to the power of words. Human beings have been naming things since the beginnings of language. It’s how we find our place in the world and in some cases I think, gives us a sense of control. Or at least the illusion of control. So, what would happen if a character had a pen filled with alchemical ink that when he wrote the name and a date for someone living in the past, his consciousness would be transported into that person? What would he do with that astounding capability? And as with most technology, what if someone decided to use the alchemy to acquire power and control time itself? How would the protagonist fend off this attack on the time continuum and reality as he knows it? And then I put the fountain pen down, pulled at the laptop, and started writing.

Excerpt from Vengeance of Gimbald:
This is an excerpt from a chapter early in the book. I’ve included it because I think it introduces the idea of die back and ripping, which happen often in the book, as well as a taste of the relationship between the inking partners Addison and Jules.

I rise from the ground and the world spins. I close my eyes to make the carousel stop. When I open my eyes again, I catch something in my peripheral vision–a cop? No. Crap. An Incan warrior with a spear in one hand and a copper and wood shield in the other walking with purpose toward me. His copper chest armor clatters softly with his gait. He looks pissed. I drop the stone, reaching for the sword. If I’m in armor, shouldn’t I have a sword? I find the hilt in my hand, but before I can remove the blade from its scabbard, he speaks–in English.
“What are you doing?” He drops his shield and shoves me. Hard. I crash up against the wall. The man’s face is a scowl, nostrils flared. He bangs on my chest armor with a fist.
“Addison, what the hell are you doing?”
Jules? Crap.
“Come on genius. Speak.” She drives the point of her spear into the ground beside our feet.
I left Jules in Peru. This is the Jules from a different continuum. 2.0. Yeah, Jules fucking 2.0. “How’d ya find me J2?”
“I went by the house, mi amigo. If you’re going to ink without anyone knowing about it, you might try somewhere other than your study. And who the hell is Jay Two?”
“I don’t have to defend myself to you. You think you can just waltz into my house anytime you want?”
“I found you by a bottle of whiskey. Thought you were passed out until I saw the pen in your hand. God, you reek. Did you throw up on yourself?” She shoves me again, then paces away. “I told myself that my inking partner wouldn’t be stupid enough to drunk ink.” She turns back, glaring. “Obviously, I was wrong.”
“You stalking me now?”
She paused, her eyes fixed on me. “Why are you here?”
“I just had a loose end to tie up. That’s all.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.” She grabs my arm. “You ink a fucking conquistador five hundred years in the past to tie up a loose end? If Nikki finds out about this she’ll be tearing you a new asshole.”
“I just wanted to set something right.”
“First of all, Einstein, what is there to set right?”
“What’d you mean?”
“Maybe you should tap into Pizarro’s consciousness,” she slaps me repeatedly on the head, “to find out what the hell you’re doing. You did ink into him, you know. Pizarro has slogged for days through the mountains from the sea to this place.”
“Yeah, Machu Picchu.”
“Addison, we’re in Cajamarca, Did you also sleep through every history class you’ve ever taken?”
“Cajamarca?” This can’t be right. I need to be in Machu Picchu to save Jules. Well not Jules 2.0 going all ape shit on me, but my Jules. The Jules I left in Peru in another continuum.
She smacks my chest plate again, holding me against the wall. “Yes! Pizarro captures the Incan Emperor and it all goes downhill from there. I just got here a few days ago–wanted to be sure what I was getting myself into, waiting for you to show up in Pizarro–and I swear to God, if I eat another sweet potato, I’m going to puke.”
“Jules, just leave me alone.”
“Addison, you can’t do this. You’ve got to die back.”
I push her away. “Well, you’re here too.”
“The Spaniards hack my guy to death tomorrow morning. Pizarro doesn’t die until 1541. Do the math, Addison. Just being here could alter the time continuum. You know as well as I do that every mission we run is carefully planned. I don’t think emptying a bottle of whiskey qualifies as careful planning. Do you?”
I wrench her hands away. “Don’t you get it. I’ve lost too much, made too many mistakes. If I can set something right, I’ve got to try.”
She lowers her voice. “I don’t know everything you’ve been through, but you won’t talk about it. So, it’s a bit difficult for me to sympathize.”
“I don’t need your sympathy.”
“Fine. But whatever you’re up to, what do you think is going to happen?”
She’ll never understand. Not Jules 2.0. “I just wanted to fix it.”
“Addison, listen to yourself. Would you let me keep my mother from being murdered, knowing if I did, the continuum would shift in ways we couldn’t anticipate?”
“This is different.”
“How is this different? You told Nikki and me how things spiraled out of control because you kept trying to ink your way to a fix. Remember? You just managed to pull off a reset before you were nuked to oblivion and the rest of us were lost in time and space. So don’t tell me this is different.”
“Jules…” She doesn’t understand. She doesn’t know about Peru. “I’m not leaving.”
“You can’t, Addison. I won’t let you.”
With a suddenness I don’t anticipate, a blade flashes in the warrior’s hand as Jules slashes the side of her neck. The Incan’s carotid artery gushes blood. Our eyes lock.
“Sorry, Addison, but you know I’m right.”
I put a hand to her gaping wound, but there’s nothing for me to do. The warrior’s eyes fade and he falls to the ground. Jules has died back. What is she up to?
She’s going to rip me. Son of a bitch. “Jules! DO NOT…!”


Jules opened her eyes to the study, rubbing her arms to find some warmth against the memory of cold Andean mountain air. Addison sat motionless, still in an inking trance across the desk from her. Finding him in the study with a nearly empty bottle of whisky could have only meant trouble. IUI, Inking Under the Influence, was high on Nikki’s list of severely punishable offenses. So Jules had inked after him hoping to get him back before Nikki discovered what he was up to. Drunk inking. What, are we in high school or something? And what’s the deal with Pizarro? And who the hell is J2?
She reached into her backpack where she kept some makeup, a couple of energy bars, a small nylon shopping bag, her iPad, and a ‘rip kit’. Jules unzipped the black leather kit, spreading it open on the desk. Passing over a variety of cables, electrical plugs, and pliers, she picked up a stun gun. Checking to be sure it was charged, she pressed it against Addison's exposed neck and pulled the trigger.
His body, still seated in his chair, jerked, then collapsed over the desk. She put the stun gun back in the kit, zipped it closed and walked around the desk, where she slipped the kit into her backpack.
Ripped from the inking, Addison startled, clutching his throat. “Do not rip me, dammit! NO!” His eyes wandered as his mind, floating in an alcohol induced haze, tried to connect with the present. He took a deep breath, his gaze rising to meet Jules’, then he vomited across the desk.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on the third book in the Alchimeia series—untitled at this point. And I’ve got another project I’ve worked on and off over several years, a humorous science fiction story along the lines of Tom Holt’s novels, called The Bifurcation of Dungsten Crease. The initial draft with a different title was selected as best science fiction novel by the Texas Writers League way back in 2010. So I’ve come back around to it and will publish this year. Hopefully, Book 3 of the Alchimeia will be out in 2021.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I say in the third grade. Other kids were bringing various things to show and tell: steam engines, mice, grandfather’s watch. I brought short stories.

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?
Yes, I write full-time these days, but in a rather eclectic way. My day is usually divided into writing, music, drawing, cooking, and miscellaneous. So I reserve several hours each day for writing, usually in my study or I’m one of those guys you see at the coffee shop. I sing with a vocal jazz ensemble called The Offbeats, About an hour each day is used for rehearsal music. A couple of years ago I decided to re-awake my inner artist. I hadn’t drawn anything since I was about twelve and didn’t really think I could draw. I’ve been at it for a couple of years now and have gotten into urban sketching. Each day I try to either do some drawing at home, or go out in the field to do a sketch. And I absolutely love to cook. I’ve always got something going. I’ve recently gotten into bread baking.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm. I know folks who have to be in certain places or eating certain foods or drinking a double latte. I’ve made a conscious effort to write anywhere at anytime. I suppose the quirk would be that I will write anywhere at anytime. I’ve written on trains, planes, cars, buses; in coffee shops, restaurants, malls, churches, park benches, bathrooms, stadium stands; at all times of day and night. There’s a thing with urban sketching that you always carry a pencil and sketchbook with you so you’re always ready to draw. I try to keep the laptop close. You never know when an idea will come to you.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Yes and no. I had ideas. I first wanted to be a jazz trumpet player after seeing Louis Armstrong. Then I was going to be a writer, then a scientist and for quite a while I was definitely going to be a doctor.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Two things I’d like to add. First, the underlying message of the Alchimeia series is about courage and perseverance. When life looks hopeless, when everything seems to be turned upside-down, the people who make a difference are not superheroes, but people like you and me, who persevere in spite of the odds. And second, readers are the reason for the season. Without you, writers would be lonely people sitting in coffee shops pounding on laptops. With you, we become the tellers of fantastical stories, entertainers, philosophers, and poets. And together, a writer and a reader, we make magic. Thank you for sharing some of your life with me.

I hope you’ll check out Die Back and now book 2 of the Alchimeia series, Vengeance of Grimbald. Both are available on Amazon.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Interview with women's fiction writer Linda Rosen

Welcome to Monday, readers. My special guest today is Linda Rosen. She’s chatting with me about her women’s fiction, The Disharmony of Silence.

Linda Rosen, fitness professional turned writer, lives with her husband splitting their time between New Jersey and Florida. She was a contributor to Women in the Literary Landscape: A WNBA Centennial Publication for the Women's National Book Association and has had stories published in Foliate Oak and Crack the Spine, both in their online magazine and print anthology.

Welcome, Linda. Please tell us about your current release.
In her desperate quest for family, Carolyn Lee, fitness trainer and amateur photographer, is determined, against all advice, to reveal a shocking eighty-four-year-old secret that she has uncovered. It has the potential to tear lives apart, or to bring her the closeness and comfort she longs for. It all depends on how she handles it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love talking about the inspiration for this novel. It brings back wonderful memories. In 2009, I was sitting on a beach in Hilton Head Island with my sister-in-law and another friend. Roni, my sister-in-law, whose middle name is Carolyn (hence my protagonist’s name) was relating the story of what happened when she was preparing to sell her mother’s home, the home where Roni had grown up. There was a painting that had hung on the living room wall practically her entire life and though Roni didn’t have an empty spot to hang it in her own home, and no one else in the family wanted it, tossing the portrait or selling it in an estate sale was not an option. Roni came up with an idea and Googled the artist, found her living in San Francisco and decided to return the painting to her. Hearing that, I turned to my friend, Ingrid, who was relaxing on a sand chair next to me. We locked eyes. Mine were wide-open. Ingrid said, “What a great idea for a story.” I nodded and my mind took off in all sorts of directions. And, Disharmony was born!

Excerpt from The Disharmony of Silence:
An hour later with skirts, dresses, shoes, and bags stuffed in boxes, I walked into the living room. My heart ached looking at the painting of the Victorian lady in the peach dress hanging over the fireplace. What was I going to do with her? I loved that portrait, but there was nowhere to hang it in my condo. She wouldn’t fit with the black-and-white photographs that filled the walls, some taken by me, some by Stan. Yet I couldn’t leave her. The lady in the dining room arranging fruit in a cut-crystal bowl was part of the family. It would be like disowning my sister, or maybe my grandmother. When I was a young girl I used to confide in her, even cry to her, as I would have if I’d had a warm, cuddly grandma. I remembered the time in high school when the boy I’d hoped would ask me to the senior prom invited my best friend. Home alone, I sat on the living room floor crying my eyes out, looking up at her as if she could hear me. And when I was younger, I’d complained to her whenever Dad made me practice piano. I sat on the bench in front of the piano telling her how much I hated playing “Für Elise,” as if she was able to do something about it.

I stood in front of the fireplace looking up at my lady. Just like Mom’s cameo, her expression was serene. She seemed so tranquil with the sunlight streaming through the window behind her. And then my mouth fell open. Pinned to the top of her ecru bodice was a cameo brooch. I stepped closer for a better look. With her up on the wall, I couldn’t see the small details clearly.

I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the step ladder from the pantry closet, and dragged it to the fireplace. Never a fan of heights, I took a deep breath, climbed up, and lifted the large rectangular frame off its hooks. It was heavier than I thought, and I held tight to it as I made my way back down.

I placed the painting on the floor and knelt down for a closer look. I was right. The cameos were exactly the same, even the little silver flower behind her ear. How come I’d never noticed that before? Why would I, though? She’s hung on the wall all my life. I guess I took her for granted. Besides, until yesterday, I hadn’t thought about the cameo since probably my sixteenth birthday. Mom rarely wore it. So who was this woman and who was the artist and why did she have the same exact brooch as my mother? If I’d seen it all over the internet, I wouldn’t have been so shocked, but this was the only image with the silver flower holding back a strand of hair.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Presently, I am writing a novel set on a hillside vineyard in the Hudson River Valley in the 1960s. It is upmarket women’s fiction, populated by a sisterhood of women, each who grows in her own way, as they break into the all-male fraternity of wine makers. I’m having a great time developing the characters, both male and female, with all their strengths and weaknesses, conflicts and struggles plus, I’m learning how to make wine!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In writers workshops I was told to call myself a writer, even though I hadn’t been published yet. I had written fitness articles for magazines and on-line sites, which gave me a by-line, and I was blogging as The Literary Leotard on, though it wasn’t until I had my first short story, Through the Peephole, published that I actually embraced the word writer, felt it in my skin. Through the Peephole can be found on my website along with other short pieces I’ve had published.

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 don’t write full-time, though I do try to write something every day, even if it’s just for an hour. My mornings are filled with either playing tennis or pickleball or teaching fitness classes. After that, I find my creative side kicks in and I write in the early afternoons, sometimes for several hours. There are times, though, that I take a morning off from physical activities and sit at my lap top writing, especially when my characters have been talking to me all night and I have to get them on the page. And, once in a while, if the house is quiet, I might skip dinner and get to my computer. So you see, I write whenever I can fit it in, or when my characters are nagging at me. I don’t feel satisfied unless I’ve written something each day.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have lots of papers and books on my desk and they must be in neat piles before I can start writing. Otherwise, I’m not really a neat freak.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fashion coordinator. Honestly, I’m not even sure what that is but as a young girl I thought it sounded fabulous. And, for a little while, I wanted to be Nancy Drew, not the author of the series Carolyn Keene, but the character.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes. I have challenged myself to meet with 100 book clubs, either in person or by Skype. I’ve found it fascinating when authors have come to my book clubs and talked about their journey writing the novel, their characters and settings, research, etc. I’d love to meet with my readers. We can even do the exercises Carolyn leads in chapter 3 and play the songs she uses. Contact me via my website.


The e-book is also available on Amazon Kindle, BN Nook, Kobo, Apple iBooks, 24symbols, Page Foundry, Scribd, Overdrive, Bibliotheca, and Tolino.

Thanks for being a guest today.

--- Blog Tour Dates
March 2nd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we celebrate the launch of Linda's blog tour The Disharmony of Silence. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book too!

March 4th @ A Writer's Life
How much does setting matter in a novel? Author Linda Rosen talks about this very subject over at Caroline's blog today. You can also enter to win a copy of her book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 6th @ 12 Books
Make sure you visit Louise's blog and read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

March 7th @ Lori Duff Writes
Be sure to stop by Lori's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 8th @ Bring on Lemons
Visit Crystal's blog today and you can read a review written by her daughter Carmen about Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. Don't miss it!

March 10th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Make sure you visit Anthony's blog today where you can read his interview with author Linda Rosen.

March 11th @ A Storybook World
Blogger Deirdra Eden spotlights Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 13th @ Lori's Reading Corner
Stop by Lori's blog today and you can read a fitness inspiring post by author Linda Rosen! She shares some tips about strength training while reading audiobooks. You can also enter to win a copy of Linda's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 14th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Stop by Linda's blog today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen. Don't miss it!

March 15th @ Choices
Make sure you stop by Madeline Sharples' blog today and read Linda Rosen's blog post about inspiring your creative self by getting outdoors. Don't miss it!

March 16th @ Reviews and Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog where she interviews author Linda Rosen about her book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 17th @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and join Lacey over at her blog today. She reviews Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 18th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog again today and read his review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. Don't miss it!

March 19th @ AJ Sefton's Blog
Make sure you visit author AJ Sefton's blog today and read a review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 20th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Looking for a new book to add to your reading list? Make sure you visit Bev's blog today and read her review of "The Disharmony of Silence." You'll want to add it to your list!

March 21st @ Bookworm Blog
Visit Anjanette's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 22nd @ 12 Books
Are you part of a book club? Author Linda Rosen shares fun activities you can do for your book club. Don't miss this fun, inspiring post!

March 23rd @ Cassandra's Writing World
Make sure you visit Cassandra's blog today and read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 25th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
What do you do if you are writing about a made-up setting? Make sure you visit Bev's blog today and you can read Linda Rosen's guest post where she shares her advice.

March 26th @ Lady in Read Writes
Stop by Vidya's blog today and you can read her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

March 27th @ Jessica Belmont's Blog
Over at Jessica's blog today, you won't want to miss her review of Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence. You can also enter to win a copy of the book as well!

March 28th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette's blog again today and you can read her interview with author Linda Rosen.

March 30th @ It's Alanna Jean
What does your writing space look like? Author Linda Rosen shares her tips for setting up your writing space over at Alanna Jean's blog. 

April 3rd @ Joyful Antidotes
Make sure you stop by Joy's blog today where she reviews Linda Rosen's book The Disharmony of Silence.

April 5th @ Teatime and Books
How much do you love revising? Does it spark joy? Linda Rosen shares her thoughts on the joy of revising over at the blog Tea Time and Books. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Interview with novelist L.T. Getty

Today’s special guest is author L.T. Getty. She’s chatting with me about her new steampunk-horror novel, Dreams of Mariposa.

During her virtual book tour, L.T. will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

L.T. Getty is a science fiction and fantasy writer who hails from the Canadian Prairies. When she’s not writing, you can likely find her driving an ambulance and dreaming about travel.

Wecome, L.T. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Dreams of Mariposa is a standalone Steampunk-Horror novel that follows Marie, a vampire daywalker who is sent to a village to learn about the goings on of a reclusive necromancer who has stumbled across an ancient temple with power the leaders of the masquerade desire for their own. Infiltrating society, she starts to fall in love with a human, something she is torn about because she’s spent the last few decades mourning the loss of her true love. This is not a romance novel, Marie is a villain-protagonist.

What inspired you to write this book?
When I signed Tower of Obsidian, my first novel with Champagne Books, the publisher mentioned she wanted more steampunk titles. I’m not terribly well versed in Victorian Literature, but I did study classics like Shelly’s Frankenstein, Broker’s Dracula, and Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The paranormal elements came easily to me. I was working on other projects, but I slowly started to think about the gothic elements that I knew.

Excerpt from Dreams of Mariposa:
I spooked my horse while we travelled alongside a creek, but I managed to keep the gelding under control. It was Theo who was nearly thrown from his horse. Since Rosa and I preferred to keep no staff, the maintenance of the creatures was often something we did not do of our own volition.

“Steady! Steady,” he said. He quickly dismounted and petted her nose. “What is wrong?”

“Does she have a nervous temperament?” I asked. He shook his head.

“She is my uncle’s horse, and is all the more calm in her maturity.” He made clicking noises to soothe the mare, turning his attention to the started beast. Involuntarily, I reached out toward him, I wanted to feel his hair between my fingertips. At once the mare’s eyes widened, and she reared. Theo let go of her bridle and fell backward. I almost leapt at the horse to force her back, but she didn’t come down on him. Instead she galloped the way we came.

“Are you injured?” I asked.

“One who is afraid of horses shouldn’t be riding them,” he told me, rolling up almost effortlessly. He dusted himself off before he caught my eyes “A twelve-year old animal, and she still rides like the wind.”

“I shall fetch her for you.” It would be easy enough, once we were out of sight, to leap from my horse and run until I found the mare.

“Lend me your horse. I can recover my own mare,” he said. “You would leave a lady on the road, defenseless?”

“You and I both know you are far from defenseless. I shan’t be more than a minute, but each minute we delay only adds to the duration of this situation. She’s likely calmed down and eating berries. She knows my voice.”

“Help me down,” I said.

My horse was too slender a beast to pick up any real speed with two passengers, though my weight was negligible. Theo was no small fellow. I needed no help, but I knew how to play my part in my society and his. He put his hands about my narrow hips, and I put my arms around his neck, and slowly he boosted and then lowered me, ever in control. He had beautiful eyes, and I knew he could not deny mine as his gaze lingered.

“Is this yours?” a familiar voice broke the trance, and I glanced at Hilda, who had caught the mare.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have submitted Book 2 in my proposed Rogue Healer Series, and am working on Book 3, a high seas swashbuckling adventure. They’re a return to fantasy for me, in sword and sorcery.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been doing this so long I don’t remember really ‘starting’. I tried writing stories in elementary school; I think by grade 7 I started a novel. I know I finished a really bad draft of one before starting Grade 9. I never really thought about the title ‘writer’ more like ‘artist’.

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 write about a book a year – my schedule has been all over the place. I’ve never worked a traditional 9-5, as even when I was a service writer my schedule was not regular business hours. And by ‘book a year’ it’s not like I start in January and finish by Christmas. Typically, it’s more like I think about a project and write a little bit at a time. I might see an anthology I’m interested in submitting to, and take time away from the WIP to write a short. I might get another idea and hash out a scene, make notes. Typically once I commit to a novel, I try to commit to a timeline, and finish it based on the outline and what I propose the length ought to be, but when I write a draft I give myself leeway. There are exceptions; like I say I typically try to finish it even if I feel like it’s a failure, because I can always revisit it later.

My day job is a paramedic. I’m able to write when we have down time, so like I said, it’s irregular. I try to set myself goals, whether it’s writing or editing or whatever, and base it on time. If I know a project is going to be longer or more involved, I allot time for it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can rewrite something forever. That’s probably more common than not. I like to revisit novels via short stories, if only to flesh out a character or a place for myself with no intention of letting them be read by readers.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought we were more advanced in space than we were, so I wanted to be an astronaut. When I realized how limited in space we were and what all that entailed, I wanted to be a writer, a police officer, and a firefighter. I’m a first responder as a paramedic, as well as I keep on writing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Only that if they want to write, don’t get bogged down if you feel your work doesn’t belong or you don’t belong. Keep writing, make your art. I think if you chase the market and what’s popular you’ll always be behind on trends.

For the readers, let’s say that I will never promise you a happy ending, but I will try to write a satisfying story.


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