Wednesday, August 31, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Pauline Spiegel from A Midsummer Night's Steampunk

1.       Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

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A very good day, Kathryn—may I call you Kathryn? I am most gratified that my author, Mr Scott Tarbet of the United States, has introduced us. As he has told you, my name is Miss Pauline Spiegel. I make my home in Princes Gate Mews, Knightsbridge, London, with my father, Ernst, Artificer to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria. I am a recent graduate of the Sorbonne, where I studied mechanical engineering, in furtherance of my apprenticeship with my father. I hope someday to inherit his artificer shoppe, the Golden Gear, whose mechanical confections delight the eye and mind of the cream of London, Berlin, and St Petersburg society. We undertake commissions for patrons royal and otherwise from around the world.

As you can see from the graduation portrait painted of me by delightful artist Egle Zioma, in appearance I am willowy, almost slight, not endowed with the blond good looks and feminine wiles of my childhood friend Clementine Hozier. My complexion is olive, my hair chestnut in color, and most difficult to tame, all the more so because of my penchant for riding abroad, on steeds both flesh and mechanical. In this I am frequently joined by my suitor, Mr Alexander MacIntyre, a secretary in Her Majesty’s household.
          What do you like to do in your spare time?

As I mentioned, I do enjoy riding, and walking in nearby Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park with Alex and Clemmie, and punting on the Thames and the Serpentine. I am, however, most enchanted by my work with automata and miniatures, and spend the majority of my time, both leisure and working, at this pursuit.
     What is your favorite color and why?

I am told that carnelian is the color that suits me best, though I could not begin to say why that is. I pay scant attention to matters of style, and rely on Clemmie’s advice in matters of wardrobe and ensemble.
     What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I have a particular fondness for kirschtorte, stemming, I think, from my childhood. My mother, in addition to her considerable attainments as an artificer in her own right, was an extraordinarily adept self-taught cook and baker. It seemed that cooking for my father and me took her heart back to her childhood in Bavaria.
     What would you say is your biggest quirk?

Oh law! I am chagrined to admit that I am most stubborn. Especially in matters mechanical, I will bulldog a challenge until I conquer it. This also manifests, I am afraid, in my relationship with my dear Papa, who more than matches me for native Germanic stubbornness. He is not enthusiastic about my attachment to Alex, insisting instead on an ancient (from before I was born) promise of marriage between me and the heir of the Spencer Churchill family, young Winston.
     What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Irk me! Law! Disgust, you might better say. Recalling the circumstances of my first meeting with my antagonist, Jack, remains quite distressing to me. His status of mere lackey to Dr Oberon Malieux excuses him and his actions not at all, any more than Dr Malieux’s subservience to Kaiser Wilhelm excuse his. Filthy, disgusting, cruel individual, this Jack.
I give you the following excerpt from Mr Tarbet’s telling of my adventures to illustrate:

As she watched, from slots in the forearms of the taller mech, long, razor-sharp bayonets sprang open. “You know, Bill,” he said conversationally to his companion, “I don’t recall nothing in the orders about not having a little fun with her before we takes her back.”
The shorter Enforcer snorted. “Jack, you’re just sorry you been refitted below the waist and can’t have fun with her the way you liked to before they put you in the madhouse.” He ground his mechanical hips at Pauline and flicked his fleshy tongue.
“Too right!” responded Jack. “She would have squealed so much better! But this will be fun enough for all of that.” His laugh became a high-pitched giggle.
There was the distinctive sound of the pump action of a shotgun chambering a round as a long barrel dropped forward from Bill’s chest, leveling itself at Pauline like a pointing finger. “I’ll hold her still for you. Just don’t cut her so deep she bleeds to death before the doctor has his chance with her. And don’t even think of taking no bits of her as souvenirs. Mayhap if you’re lucky, he’ll let us have her when he’s done.”
     What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Beyond doubt this must be my Alex. My heart is fixed upon him. I hope to share the rest of my life with him, in every way and in every circumstance. I dearly hope that my sweet Papa can be persuaded, and that I will not have to defy him.
          What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I would like your readers to know how fond I have become of Mr Tarbet in the process of telling him my story, and of him writing it down for others to see. He has become a second father to me. He speaks of me as he would a beloved daughter.
          If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

There is very little about my past that I could tell him that he does not already know. He also knows a great deal about my adventures that follow those told in AMNS. I look forward to working closely with him to tell more of that story.
          Ask me any question. I’ve always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I’ll answer the question at the end of this interview.

Question for Me:

There is a great deal of pain evident in A River of Stones. Do you know this pain first hand, or do you write from your imagination? Does it feel like opening a wound, or more like sewing one closed?

Love this question. Yes, A River of Stones is based somewhat on my life growing up and my parents divorcing and my mother remarrying. Although the story is fiction, thoughts and feelings of this time in my own life are revealed through the main character, Samantha. How does a young girl feel about the divorce of her parents? How does it feel when another man wins the heart of her mother? Does she feel as if she's partially to blame for the separation of her parents, and how does she deal with the loss of a father? Does she withdraw? Strike out? Pretend everything is cozy when it's not? 

This book was a great healing book for me. It was also my first. 

Learn more about Pauline and her creator here: is Mr Tarbet’s author page.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday's are for Procrastinating?

I mean't to write today. Really.

But most of the day was spent in researching my upcoming trip and coming up with ideas for a forthcoming book.

So, I guess today was my research day.

Not all is lost, but I thought I'd write this quick post to tell you that I haven't forgotten about one of the most important things in my life.


Here's to tomorrow!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday's are for Writing?

Ever feel as if there is no time on Monday to do what you love most?

I feel it, too. 

After all of the wash, the picking up after the weekend, the phone calls and emails (I rarely check my emails over the weekend) you could just say I 'm aching to write.

Are you?

Discouragement can come easily, especially when we feel like there's too much to do and not enough time to do it all.

So don't.

Don't do it all.

Do what's necessary today, and leave the rest for tomorrow.

And write!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What it Means to Self-Publish

Used to be, self-published authors were looked at with a wary, squinty eye.

No more.

Or at least, rarely.

There are still those moments, but things have changed. 

The best news is that though some retail book stores still take issue with self-published authors, and even some libraries, there's still an entire arena of folks who are open to self-published authors and the books they produce.

Being self-published takes guts, and I love that. These authors not only have to know how to write their books, they need to find a good editor, beta readers before that, know how to market, get out of their comfort zone and do speaking engagements. They must - backing up - know what makes a great cover and how to glean fans through social media and one-on-one exposure.

Though the traditionally published author must put their best foot forward, the intricacies of publishing are frankly, missing from the page. Much is done for them and though much is still expected from their publishing house, they don't carry near the burdens and opportunities as an author who has been self-published. 

I should know. I have experienced both.

I love the fact that I can choose my book's cover and layout. That I can decide on my book's price, and don't have to check back 'home' before I take a step forward in a creative direction. I love it that I can make up to 70% on each of my books over maybe 12% with a traditional publisher. And I love POD publishing, where I can order the copies I wish at one time: one, ten, or a hundred. I don't have to order a thousand books and have them sitting in my basement. I can buy as I need books.

Who wouldn't want that luxury?

I realize, of course, that there are authors out there fishing for traditional publishing, and my thumb is up for them, because, after all, we're all unique.There are authors that choose not to worry over many of the options mentioned above. It's hard enough just to write the book, without thinking about everything else. 

But I'm glad I'm now a self-published author, and that I can assist other authors who want to be self-published on their book journey.

I can't think of anything greater.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wanted: Author Interviews, Character Interviews, Book Trailers

It's that time again to start thinking about the holidays. No kidding.

Come September, the rush is on to get those books out for holiday sales. Do you want to be a part of the rush? Let me know and I'll set up an author and/or a character interview with you.

So far, everything is scheduled out until October 10th, so anything after that is fair game. I usually post interviews on Monday's and Wednesday's with a Friday Flicks segment on, you guessed it, Friday's.

A am looking for authors in various genres to spotlight. Please send me an email at: and we'll discuss when we can place you. 

Things will be getting busy. Why not get your interview ready before the rush?



Monday, August 22, 2016

Need a break? Take it.

This past Saturday I needed a break. Things were very busy with my sister in town and because of all the planned family events, it was just nice to sit back and enjoy some music.

Granted, I was sitting on the lawn section and Josh Groban looked about as tall as my pinky finger, but the experience was heavenly. This is my third Groban concert to date and I loved being outside and listening to the music only Josh can send.

So, if you're feeling a big overwhelmed, a bit behind the eight ball, a bit stressed, take a few moments to just dream...

Friday, August 19, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: One Lane Bridge by Don Reid

    One Lane Bridge: A Novel by [Reid, Don]
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Neils Knudsen author of The Singing Stones of Rendor

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’m a 68 year old introvert with marketing issues. I’ve always preferred letting others stand in the spot light which makes showing off my work difficult. I’m still working on that problem. 

I’ve always been involved with writing in one fashion or another most of my life. I did some guest articles in my high school’s student paper, wrote what is now considered flash fiction for my mother’s various social clubs (she read them out loud, not me—I wasn’t fortunate enough to get her social genes—just her allergies). After a couple of years in college my draft number came up so I went out and joined the U.S. Navy where I was immersed in the bazaar language of governmentese.  The Navy has (ahem) boatloads of very passive phrases and I became (aaaahem) submerged in it.

Fast forward 6 years, one month and 24 days. Honorably discharged from the military I went back to college and then worked for the U.S. Army at the Deseret Chemical Depot at an industrial facility dedicated to the research and development of chemical warfare agents. More . . . much, much more governmentese. Fast forward another 24 years to retirement.

I had a bout with cancer and my wife had a bicycling accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. A normally active life became rather sedate and I bumped around trying to find something to do. My son suggested I write a book. It was a suggestion I had toyed with a few times but never took seriously.

For six full months a stared at a computer writing the worst stuff I could imagine. Fortunately, my wife has a degree in English and she plowed, blasted and pulverized my story (and me) until it was readable. After 500,000 words of garbage, loving every minute of it, I managed to learn the basics. I then joined the League of Utah Writers to commiserate with other writers. I had no idea there were so many wordsmiths out there. The next year, 2013, I received first place for the first chapter in my book, The Singing Stones of Rendor. In 2014 the book received the leagues coveted Silver Quill Award. That’s when I thought I might actually have some skill.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

My schedule revolves mostly around my wife’s needs. She no longer drives so I take her to her appointments and watercolor seminars and workshops. When her schedule is clear, I make time in the afternoon to write for a few hours, unless there are other unscheduled events like our kids and grandkids dropping in. Family is far more important to me than pounding out a set number of words.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

A small pad of lined yellow paper is my preferred note-taking device. Weird ideas, metaphors, idioms and a whacky turn of phrase are my favorite ways to develop a character or scene. If I’m watching TV I listen for those unique lines of dialogue that in my mind just fun. I realize my ideas of fun may be outdated, but I’m not writing for anyone but myself. If I’m having a good time, maybe my readers will too.

My main writing instrument is my PC. When my wife is in her water coloring  workshops I’m sitting nearby with my laptop.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is how the voices in my head tell me what to write. I can always trust my characters to figure out how to get something done.

My least favorite is marketing. However, if you don’t consider that part of writing then I guess it is editing my work for the umpteenth time and still not satisfied with the details. That’s when I go looking for some good editors.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write?

My son suggested a fantasy novel with an antagonist based on my cancer. The idea evolved into a trilogy that I’m still working on. It took four and a half years to write and publish the first book—that includes the learning curve to do creative writing. The second book, which I hope to publish in late August, took two years.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

You may have guessed by now that I’m a reticent marketer. What marketing I have done is limited to Facebook, my blog at and some online book events. At a recent event, I met our host, Kathy Jones, at the “Spring Into Books” event at the Viridian Center in West Jordan, Utah. I’ve spoken to some small press publishing companies who have expressed interest in the trilogy when it is done. I’ll probably tuck myself under one of their wings and hope they will guide me in that arena.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I’m wrapping up book 2 in the trilogy. Tentatively titled, “The Call to Empire,” the novel currently stands at about 110,000 words (about 360 pages) and should be out by late August or early September. If my muse (wife) and/or my editors say it needs more work it may take a bit longer.

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Do  you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes, I do. It is a prequel to the series and about half written. It is about the main character in first chapter of the trilogy, a witch with a particular skill you don’t see in other fantasy novels. At least none that I’m aware of. She dies at the end of that chapter. The book is a kind and powerful witch and the tragedy that turned her to anger and vengeance. It is also about how, even after death, one’s life can have a great impact on others.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Write it for the fun of it. Do it for yourself. Take an idea and run with it. So what if it doesn’t work, you learn through the process. Do it again. Don’t be afraid of writing junk. There is plenty of free, enthusiastic help out there to teach you. Join one or more writing groups. Toss around your ideas. Let them grow. Don’t worry about all the rules you are going to hear—that’s what editors are for. I don’t recall who said this, “there are three ironclad rules to writing, the trouble is, no one knows what they are.”

And, last but not least, develop a thick skin. Listen to the constructive criticism and toss the rest. The test? Knowing which is which.

My Question for you:
Do you consider yourself an introvert? Have you ever had trouble promoting yourself and/or your writing? If so, how did you overcome it?

I'm definitely not an introvert, though I was a pretty shy gal growing up. Once I went to college in my 40s, however, and graduated, I decided that I would do all it took to get my books out there. Sure, I still get nervous speaking in front of groups, but I do it. And you know what? The journey has gotten easier. I can speak about my book in front of writers, readers, non-readers, even people I've just met in line at the supermarket. But this has taken time and a daring sort of attitude.

Learn more about Neils:

NWKnudsen's Knotty Corner Post


Monday, August 15, 2016


1.     Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Believe it or not, I hated writing growing up. I did win a few writing contests in grade school and was the only one from my grade sent to a district writing conference, but I never really enjoyed it because I felt like I was being forced to do it. It wasn’t until I started writing in a journal regularly in high school that I discovered that putting my thoughts on paper could be fun and therapeutic. But again, it took me another seven years after I graduated from college to consider writing a novel. I think it was my teen students that inspired me to write something they could one day read.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I participate in NaNoWriMo each year. It's National Novel Writing Month and you set a goal with thousands of other people to complete 50,000 words of a new novel. It’s hard to get around 1700 words a day for 30 days straight but I love how it pushes me to complete a novel.

3.     How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I write everywhere! Some people don’t believe me when I tell them I wrote over half of my last book on my iphone. I have a blue tooth keyboard and even use the dictation software on my phone to write. I’ve found that if I use my time that could have been wasted just sitting and waiting, I get a lot done. When I’m not writing on my phone, I have a laptop that is well-loved (i.e. super old) that I use in my home office. I’ve also been known to go to the local library or coffee shop when I don’t want interruptions.

4.     What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is living in a new world with characters I create. I love to write a new character and have them take on a life of their own. Because I’m a voracious reader too, I enjoy discussing my books with others and talking about the books like the characters are real people.

As for what I hate, I don’t like that I don’t have more time to write.

5.     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

My first book, Remembrandt, came to be because I’ve always loved the idea of espionage. Honestly, if I would have been gifted enough with foreign languages, I would have tried to join the CIA. Instead I write about a teen spy who uses her eidetic memory to solve crimes and rescue stolen pieces of artwork.

Remembrandt took me about six months to write and then another six months to revise. It was another 18 months before I found a publisher and another six months for it to be published. I wrote it in 2012 and have since completed four other novels and am halfway through a fifth one.

6.     What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Teaching and talking about writing is my passion. I go to schools to discuss writing and being an author. I also use social media and my website to keep people up to date on what I’m doing. I try and attend 2-3 writing conferences a year and do book signings to get the word out. I wish I had time to do more.

7.     What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

The final book in the Remembrandt series will be released November 2016 (Book 2 was entitled Van Gogh Gone). The title is Memory of Monet. It is suspenseful ending to the complicated life of teen spy, Alexandra.

I’m also in the process of obtaining a publisher for the contemporary fantasy series I’m working on. Once the Remembrandt series is out, I’ll be able to concentrate on these new novels.  

8.     Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I started an epic fantasy novel last year that I’m only about 50,000 words into and I’m absolutely in love with the story and characters. I’d love to finish it and get it into the hands of readers too.

9.     What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Anyone can write a story and everyone has some talent that can make their writing unique. I think the best place to start is to find the story you are passionate about and get it on paper. Attend some writing conferences to better your craft and meet people that are in the same boat as you. Form a writing group to help push and support you.

Learn more at:


A Question for me:

What makes your book different from others I have read?

Because I have published 10, the answer would vary depending on the book. But let's take my mystery series. They are typical who-done-it, but are without the bad language and scenes you wouldn't want your son or daughter reading. The main character, Susan, is middle aged, and sort of drops into her new role as detective - so you can imagine the things that she bungles. All of my books have an egg theme, and this egg theme, relates to the book titles.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Play Day!

My sister is in town from New York, so guess what? 


No real writing today, except for this small post, but a great day to take in the sights and smells that can be used in my writing tomorrow!

Here's to a spectacular day!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Kyle Welter from Kyle by Fire

1.      Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.) 

     My name is Kyle Welter. I’m from Midtone City in the Plains Republic in the country of North America. I’m 5’ 11” with blond hair that always looks like it needs to be cut. I don’t know why that is. I’m an only child due to financial issues. Kids are expensive (if you want to believe my parents complaining) and fire talents aren’t in demand. My dad had a hard enough time finding a job let alone securing a decent salary. I’m not even sure he uses his talent at work.

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     Anyway, I have friends, like my best friend, James, who tell me they wish they were only children. Ha! His three little sisters are loud and a little crazy but there are days our house is so quiet. It’s creepy. I’ll bet he never snuck out of his room at 12 years old in the middle of the day to make sure other people were still alive in the house.
     I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time around adults. This has fueled fears about fitting in. My ultimate goal in high school was to blend in. If you couldn’t pick me out of a crowd and we had class every day together for a year, I totally nailed it. That blew up in my face this year. Now I just want to get back to some semblance of that life. Running from murders is great exercise but terrible for the nerves.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a lot of that lately. But before this whole MAIM garbage, I played video games, hung out with my friends and watched tv. Nothing spectacular. Although during that stretch at the beginning of school this year where no one talked to me, I spent most of my time doing homework and practicing magic.

What is your favorite color and why?
When I was little, it was purple because the hero on Wizards of the Universe wore this awesome purple outfit that looked sweet with his golden wand. Since I have absolutely outgrown that show, I can’t say I have a favorite color.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
Lasagna and breadsticks. Every day. Yep. Sooo good.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?
Well, I have this nervous habit of running my fingers through my hair. But otherwise, you don’t understand the effort I went through to never stand out.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.
Their persistence. Of course it helps when you have hundreds of people chasing just one. One group gets tired or arrested, the next group picks up the chase.

The worry knotted his stomach so much he finally pushed his plate away and returned to his room. He couldn’t escape the suspense, the anxiety. He fell into the same groove with questions playing in his mind. The memories of the dance drowned him. How could he have let this happen? Could he be anything more than the boy who almost got her killed? His legs felt like lead. His life had gone from bad to great to worse. What kind of future did he have in store? Always living in the shadows, trying to keep one step ahead of MAIM?

“Augh!” he screamed. He leaned over the chest of drawers and banged his head on it a couple of times. So this is madness, he thought. How could he free himself? He rubbed his head and sat on the bed. Sleep. Sleep seemed like his only option. Yet, even as darkness fell engulfing his room, he lay awake staring at the ceiling. Even if they saved Jessica now, could they save her again later? Would they even try? They had a whole world to worry about.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Seriously? You want me to pick? If I don’t choose Jessica and she reads this, that won’t be good. James is my best friend. The title alone indicates importance. And then my parents. They’ve already been through so much. What would I do? It’s more like “What have I done?” The stitches up here on my head, yeah, that’s gonna be a pretty scar. I won’t even get into the broken bones.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?
I am awesome at the arcade game Dinosaur Hunt. Not to brag too much, but the top five scores are all mine. Nobody has beat one of my scores in over two years. That’s why it’s not the top ten. Someone named JJUHOH4 has spot number six. What? That isn’t what you meant? Well, I guess then you should know I’m a dog person. I’ve wanted one since I was five. My parents keep saying a dog is like having another kid financially so as I’ve stated already, getting one of those is never going to happen. At least not until I move out and get my own place. Then I am totally getting a dog.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?
Uh, is it really smart to openly criticize the man who LITERALLY holds my life in his hands? He’s almost killed me a bunch of times and I didn’t do anything to him! Telling him his book should have gone in a different direction because I’m a Democrat and totally would have supported MAIM openly is like picking out my own coffin. Which I don’t. MAIM is bad. Please don’t kill me.


A Question for Me:

Ok, my question to you: Do you love your characters so much that sometimes you cry about what you are putting them through?

You'd better believe it. In fact, a not too far distant character, Joy, really got me going. I had an ending all picked out, but she had a better one. The only problem? The problem was much larger than the one I'd picked out for her. I didn't want to do it, but in the end, I did. It only made: The Gift: A Parable of the Key, that much better.

Thanks for asking!

Learn more about Kyle and his writer here:

Monday, August 8, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Isabel Antunes from One Small Chance

Tell me a little about yourself.  

My name is Isabel Antunes and I live in Lisbon, Portugal. I have brown hair and brown eyes, and I like to wear nice shoes to work even though it’s not always wise.
What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like reading and going for walks around the city but my favorite thing to do is cooking.

What is your favorite color and why?

I’d have to say green because it’s the color of nature and fresh ingredients.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

This is hard to say. I love cooking and I love so many different foods, it would be impossible to say which one I love more. I love to recreate old dishes and put my own spin on them.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I don’t like premade or frozen food.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

My family is very important to me and I’d be willing to sacrifice my comfort for them.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I’d like readers to know that life goes on after the last line. It’s not the end.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Patience is a good thing and the best is worth waiting for.

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

A Question for Me:

What is the best part of writing?

The best part for me is coming up with a great idea and then having the main character switch things around when I'm writing the book. I like the fact that I don't always know the ending and can experience the story as I'm writing it.


One city of two million people and only three months to find her. What are his chances?

Isabel Antunes is content with her life as director of the English Academy in Lisbon. Then she’s hit by a man on a bike—a man her boss just hired to be her assistant. Despite Simon Ackerley’s repeated assurances to the contrary, Isabel believes he’s after her position, but she won’t hand it over without a fight. As if dealing with him all week is not enough, he shows up at church as well. Her only solace is in writing to the pen pal she knows as “Elliot”.

Simon Ackerley told his father that he was moving to Lisbon for the job. But that isn’t the only reason. Simon is looking for Amélie, the pen pal he’s written for fifteen years. A woman he knows everything about—except her real name and address.
When the biking accident reveals that Simon’s prickly co-worker Isabel is the elusive Amélie, he knows he has to win her trust before he can confess his true identity. If only he could tell her the actual reason why he’s come, he’s sure Isabel would treat him differently. But she’s not ready for the truth.

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Friday, August 5, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: Marketing Your Book on a Budget

It's that time again!

If you missed the workshops in Tremonton, you might want to head over to Eagle Mountain tomorrow!


Idea Creations Press will be there putting on a workshop entitled:


And will you learn how to do that!

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Here's a book trailer to give you a little taste of what we'll be talking about at the marketing workshop. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’m a Software Developer in Test which is a fancy way of saying I write the software that tests the software that is delivered to customers. I live in Herriman and have been writing since elementary school. My older sister and I used to come up with elaborate plots together. She encouraged me to take creative writing when I went to high school. I found a real talent for poetry but my prose was a bloodbath of grammar and imagery. Thankfully, time and writing conferences have cured that.

I love to sing and do impressions/accents. I like a lot of sports – some to watch, others to play. I’m a Green Bay Packers and Utah Jazz fan. I love to read which also cuts into my writing time. I’ve also taken a liking to wood working since I released my first book, Kyle by Fire. I’ve gotten into pyrography (wood burning) and I make wands that I sell at all of my book signings.
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How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

My writing time is very hit and miss. With 5 kids and a wife that likes spending time with me, finding time to write is not as easy as I would like. More often than not, I write on weekends and at night. Occasionally, I’ll pound out some words on lunch. This is why my first two books took so long to publish.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I write on my laptop because I can type SO MUCH faster than I can hand write and I won’t even go into the legibility factor. I’m a focus writer so I really need at least an hour of uninterrupted time to write. I tried writing for just 15 minutes and the result was a carousal of plot and character. I do take notes and jot things down if I don’t have time to write but an idea comes to me.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I love getting lost in the story I’m writing. I outline because otherwise I know my plot would wander. However, I often have to revise my outline because as I write, my characters surprise me with what they do. Least favorite is editing. Mostly because going back through this story I think is awesome and seeing so many mistakes is kind of a downer. But I know sometimes, all I care about is getting the words down and that editing will fix the yucky-ness.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

When I got back into writing on a regular basis, it started with a small writing group of friends. We conducted a round-robin writing challenge where we drew 3 random words and had to write one to two pages of a story using those words. Of course I procrastinated until the day we were supposed to trade stories and started a story about a kid who had to study all summer because he got bad grades the year before. This was the premise for Kyle by Fire. It took 4 years to finally publish my first book and 3 years to do the second. My wife has dictated that I don’t have that long to finish book 

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Mostly author events and a few group marketing sales. I didn’t write my books with the idea of getting rich. I just wanted to make them available for people to read. Someday I hope to invest more time and resources to writing but right now I have family as a priority.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I just released book 2 of the Phoenix Cycle Series – Will from Ashes. I’m currently working on book 3 but have a lot of other projects in progress on the sidelines waiting for me to finish this story.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have multiple on the back burner. A story I wrote in high school called The Mysterious Prince is currently in re-write. It’s a story about the courting of a princess and one prince who steals her heart. I’m also excited about another fantasy story about Elves who were driven underground by dwarves. They concocted a plan for vengeance once they could rebuild their population but something has gone wrong.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Hone your skills. Attend writing conferences (there are tons in Utah) and join a writing group. I highly recommend The League of Utah Writers, All of the talent in the world won’t get you published. Someone with no talent can be taught to write a book well enough to get published. And even if you are oozing talent, it still takes effort to mold that talent into something people want to read. Don’t stop writing.