Sunday Surprise


And it’s the first guest of the year! One more for the show! Ladies and gentlemen, please wlecome Wendy Rose Williams!

Where do you live and write from?

Seattle, Washington

Why do you write?

It makes me happy, brings new insights, and helps transmute energy for myself and others. Writing and publishing is an important part of my life purpose.

When did you start writing?

I began writing December 2012 to help process a rapid and profound spiritual awakening. Published my first non-fiction book December 2016.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write metaphysical fiction & non-fiction – books and short stories.

What does your writing routine consist of?

My writing routine varies depending when I have clients and speaking engagements scheduled. I like to do 4-hour afternoon sprints with my writing partner after having morning clients. I love to block off full days and even a week or two for full-time writing as I get deep into the energy. It’s most efficient for me to write in that manner vs. an hour a day. (I’m now self-employed – when I was working a traditional job, writing an hour a day on weekdays and more on weekends worked best.)

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

My strengths are taking complex spiritual topics and presenting them in a straight-forward manner that’s easy-to-understand and relatable for readers. I’ve developed this quality by working closely with test readers and incorporating their feedback. My writing has also improved by reading it aloud as I now record my books as audiobooks.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

My inspiration comes from my own spiritual experiences which I then fictionalize in a series called “The Flow.” The most interesting and universally applicable of my client’s past-life regression sessions form the basis of the “Regression Healing” non-fiction series. (I’m a hypnotherapist specializing in past-life regression, a Certified Spiritual Teacher and Reiki Master energy healer.)

Yes, I include myself in my stories in various roles.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser – slow

Tell us about your latest book
My latest solo book is about a broken-hearted ghost from Colonial America who refuses to go Home for over 300 years, and what it took to get her to the Light.

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Plimoth-Plantation-prequel-ebook/dp/B07TXXFPXQ

My latest short story, “The War Dog,” is about the unexpected events that occured when I fostered a dog 3 years ago.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Sent-Stories-Touched-Miraculous-ebook/dp/B081ZG5LQC

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I love being an Indie because I get to determine my product including the content, cover, pricing and timing from start to finish.

I’ve had two short stories published by Transcendent Publishing in multi-author collaborations. “Heaven Sent” was published 12/5/19. It was a great opportunity to have the publisher’s help getting to #1 in 7 categories internationally and to receive 76 reviews in less than a month’s time. I hadn’t known how to do a formal Advance Reader Copy process, how to do Facebook Live on launch day, etc.  All proceeds from the book benefit animal charities.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I’m excited to complete and share “Regression Healing II: Joe & Marilyn” in 2020.

“A Seattle hypnotherapist turns to past-life regression therapy to resolve puzzling memories that predate her birth. However, when she realizes she’s seeing the world from the point-of-view of Joe DiMaggio, she struggles to accept the famous ball player’s identity as well as the energy flow between them.

The hypnotherapist flounders trying to heal her experiences as the Yankee Clipper until a young woman struggling with overwhelming memories from the same timeline is referred to her for help. Her new client has significant recall from her past life as Marilyn Monroe, including as Joe DiMaggio’s second wife.

The present-day “Joe” recognizes she needs to step to the plate to help them both release the old energy. Can they forgive one another, compounded by the extra heat and scrutiny potential famous past lives are often subjected to?”

But first I’ll be publishing 3 short stories on Kindle:

“Jack’s Journey Home”

“The Car-Whisperer: Trust Your Intuition”

“Ramona Falls: A Path to Forgiveness”

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To write the truth, to the best of my ability, even when it’s painful to face at times and to share publicly.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Let go of ‘what will other people think,’ and set yourself free. Have FUN with your writing!

_______________________________

Find Wendy online:

https://www.wendyrosewilliams.com/

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s the last guest of the year! From the West Coast of the U.S. of A. please welcome Melania Tolan!

Where do you live and write from?

Portland, Oregon, USA

Why do you write?

Good Question… to clear my head, therapy, keep sane, because I love it!

When did you start writing?

Over ten years ago, when my husband told me to start writing all the crazy stories in my head instead of telling them to him. And then he bought me a laptop.

What genre(s) do you write?

Urban Fantasy mostly, but have some contemporary NA romance in the works.

What does your writing routine consist of?

Oh boy, I wish I had a better routine. Mostly, I write when I can as I’m a mother and also work a full-time non-writing job. Either I get up around 3-4am in the morning, work-out for 15 min, make Irish Breakfast tea, and then write for an hour before I have to get my daughter up for school and start my other job. OR I wait about 30 minutes after my daughter goes to bed and write until 9pm.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I think my biggest strength is world-building, at least this is what I’ve heard from the editors I’ve worked with and reader’s feedback. I see these fantastic worlds and beautiful creatures in my head like a live 3d movie and then I have to know why does this place exist? When I write, I feel like I’m there and I’ve developed this ability by practice, practice, practice. Before I published my first fantasy short story three years ago, I’d already written over 1 million words.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Nature is my muse. Whenever I get stuck in a plot or feel like I’ve written myself into a corner, I go hiking or outside for a walk. The fresh air clears my head and the increased blood flow to my head which helps me work through story and get it back on track. Plus I live in the Pacific Northwest where the hiking is pretty spectacular.

My other source of inspiration is movies. I love fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings or Underworld, but then I can binge on Hallmark movies all weekend too.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I have tried to outline, but still end up improvising. Part of the joy of writing for me is figuring out what is going to happen next while I’m writing. If I know too much ahead of time, it kills the story for me. And my writing speed is relative. I get about 3-4 books written in a year, which for some that seems insane while others think that is too slow.

Tell us about your latest book

The Witch’s Sword is book 4 in the Silver Witch Chronicles. In this book, Everly Greene must complete her final mission, retrieving a magical sword that once belonged to an elven princess. She travels into the dangerous Otherworld where she faces elves who have other ideas. She is an abomination which they must kill and their magic is FAR more powerful…

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie all the way. I want to be able to control when the books come out, the covers, the contents, and the pricing. Also I love working independently and not being pressured by a publisher’s deadline.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Book 5! I’m currently writing the yet to be titled final book in the Silver Witch Chronicles and hoping to get it out in April of 2020. Then I have another witch trilogy coming late Fall 2020, with a couple of projects in between.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is to write better stories that have all the feels and the way I achieve this is by reading books with stories that I love and writing more. I’ve taken so many classes on craft and read craft books, but really the best way I learn is by doing. The more I write the better I get.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Like the Nike logo says “Just Do It!” Seriously, though… stop talking about writing and how great this story idea is that you have, sit your butt down and write it. It’s not going to be perfect, but keep writing.

___________________________

Find Melania online

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s another guest! Cheerful, busy holidays on this side of the pond, don’t we? But this guest is from the other side of the Atlantic pond – or is it an ocean? Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen please welcome J.L. Hendricks!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Southern California, near Disneyland and write from home. On occasion I have been known to head out to a Starbucks to write. I just got back from a month in Edinburgh Scotland and I wrote at a small café there called, Café Florentin.

Why do you write?

Because there isn’t another way to get those pesky voices out of my head. LOL Actually, I always have stories bandying about in my head and writing is the best way to explore those stories and see where the characters take me.

When did you start writing?

I started writing early 2016 and published my first book in April of 2016.

What genre(s) do you write?

I like to bounce around. I have written Clean Scifi Romance, Clean Paranormal Romance, Clean Urban Fantasy, and now I’m starting on Clean and Wholesome Cowboy Romance.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I wake up early, like about 5am get coffee, read my bible, and then get started writing. I get to write for about 3 hours before I have to start my part time job of assisting other authors with their author business.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I write clean books, which we don’t see enough of. And I like to write them in fun genre’s that are usually full of not-clean books. LOL And I feel that I come up with some really fun and lighthearted stories. When I read a book I do it to escape. So what I write is something that I would like to read when I’m trying to escape the serious nature of life.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration comes from all around. I love to people watch, which can lead me to making up stories about the people I see, and then that situations that I made up may end up in a future book. This year I’ve traveled to Edinburgh twice and that city as well as some other places in Scotland will be making a lot of appearances in my Urban Fantasy books for 2020. I also have a super secret romance about a couple who meet in Scotland. I can’t wait until I can find the time in my schedule to write that one out. Edinburgh provided probably 2 years worth of inspiration, maybe even more.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I do tend to write slow overall. I can times when I can’t keep up with my mind, because the story is just pumping out. But I also like to do a very loose outline, more like a few pages of beats. Then I let the characters and story tell me where to go.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book will be published Dec 26th. It’s the first in my new pen name, Jenna Hendricks. It’s set in Montana in a small town and it’s surrounding ranches. This is a clean and wholesome cowboy romance with a kick. (pun intended) LOL

If you like no-nonsense cowgirls, clean stories, and heartwarming attractions, then you’ll adore this contemporary Christian cowboy romance.

Second Chance Ranch is the first book in the touching Triple J Ranch contemporary Christian cowboy romance series.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing because at first I had no way to even approach the traditional market. Now, I’ve learned that unless you are Nora Roberts, you’re going to make very little. Most Trad Published authors have to work full-time jobs in order to make ends meat. I’m getting closer to supporting myself by self-publishing.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, there is an urban fantasy series that will publish sometime in the first half of 2020. It’s going to be a trilogy and I want the entire series completely finished and edited before publishing it so I can do the rapid release approach with it.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is work full time as an author and support myself. I don’t have to be rich, just make enough to pay my bills and put a little bit away for retirement. Basically, replace what I was making when I worked in Corporate America.

I am constantly looking at new ways to market as well as changing up what I’m writing based on what the readers want. I still want to write something that I’m proud of, but I have to mix that with what can sell.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Learn from my failures, re-evaluate and come back with something new.

_______________

A Ritual of Fire: An FBI Dragon Shifter Adventure (The FBI Dragon Chronicles Book 1)

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From this side of the pond again, please welcome Rebecca Pauliniy!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Bristol, in the South West of England, but I’m originally from Devon (even further South-West!) which is where lots of my stories are set.

Why do you write?

As a child, I always wanted to create my own stories, especially after reading books so quickly that I was always running out! As an adult, the characters and stories have just always been very keen to be heard.

When did you start writing?

I can’t honestly remember – I know that at the age of 7, when we were meant to writing about what we did at the weekend in English lessons, I was writing made up stories about my visits to Planet Odd!

What genre(s) do you write?

I started off writing young adult – probably because I was one when I started writing full length novels – and now write young adult, romance and women’s fiction. There’s always some romance in whatever I write though! I would love to write historical fiction one day, but haven’t yet found the historical period or the time to research!

What does your writing routine consist of?

There’s not much routine, if truth be told! I am a full time primary school teacher, and so write when I can around that. Often it’ll be an hour in the evening while my husband makes dinner, a few hours at the weekend and large chunks during the school holidays! I like to do writing sprints as I can easily end up procrastinating.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Hopefully writing characters people care about! I definitely find myself invested in the characters, so much so that even if I’m finished with a series, I’ll still daydream of ideas and end up writing short stories about parts of their lives. I think reading a lot helps with the character development!

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I definitely think there are parts of me in some of my characters, although I’m not always consciously doing so! A rebellious teenage character was definitely a way of having a bit of fun when I was very well behaved in real life! My current series was inspired by location, more than any particular event or character, and I’ve loved setting books in the seaside area where I grew up.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

When I get down to actually writing, I’m think I’m pretty fast, but the getting down to it can be hard! With a full time job and baby on the way, it’s about finding time to get the words out of my head and onto the page! I’m definitely more of an improviser, although I have started to write very brief chapter titles to remind me where I should be going, and to avoid getting lost halfway through the book – although I still sometimes go off on a tangent.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest published book is ‘The Worst Christmas Ever?’ which tells the story of Shirley ‘Lee’ Jones, a lawyer whose life gets shaken up just before Christmas when she discovers her husband is cheating on her. She makes a spontaneous decision to stay in the quirky, small-town of Totnes and finds friends, a career change and a new man who help to make it a better Christmas than she could have imagined. Available at: mybook.to/worstchristmas

The sequel is currently being edited, and the third is halfway complete, so there is lots more to come from this Devon series!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie – I like being involved in every element of the process, even if it means there is a lot for me to learn all the time!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m working on the Devon series, including a Christmas short story to catch up with the characters from The Worst Christmas Ever?. I’m also publishing the third in my young adult trilogy, ‘Camera Shy’,

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I would love to have people as excited to read my books as I am to read so many authors out there! To do that, I’m just writing, publishing, advertising – and learning as I go!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Get your bum in the chair and get writing! Or words to that effect You can’t do anything without getting the words on the page first.

___________________________________________

Find Rebecca online

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I did announce it, didn’t I? Here’s the first of the Holiday visitors to this blog! I met her in Edinburgh (where I unfortunately missed her tarot readings) and she was kind enough to answer my writerly questions… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marielle S. Smith!

Tarot for Creatives: 21 Tarot Spreads to (Re)Connect to Your Intuition and Ignite That Creative Spark (Creative Tarot Book 2) Kindle EditionWhere do you live and write from?

I grew up in the Netherlands, raised by a Scottish dad and Dutch mum, but I now live and write from Cyprus, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Why do you write?

I don’t feel right when I don’t. Nothing aligns or makes sense, I’m all out of sorts, and become impatient with life and everything and everyone in it. It’s not pretty… I have stories and knowledge inside of me and I just need to let it out.

When did you start writing?

I was always making up stories and writing little poems and such. I don’t know when it started; it was always there. I don’t know myself any different. The only thing that has changed over the years is that I no longer keep it a secret.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write mostly nonfiction at the moment, which springs from my day job as a writing coach and editor. I also co-write LGBTQ+ romance under a pen name, and I’m working on a YA fantasy series.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I try to write first thing in the morning, but depending on how much other work I have on my plate, it might become the first thing I do after dinner. Aside a few exceptions (because life happens), I do something writing related every day, whether that means writing new words, editing old ones, working on a cover or blurb. To me, it all counts, and as long as I get an hour a day in at the least, I am very happy.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Seeing the bigger picture and then bringing it all together, which is one of the reasons most of my editing work consists of developmental editing. I do a lot of outline critiques and it’s so easy for me to see how similarly separate story aspects can be linked.

Honestly, I have no idea how I developed this specific quality. My brain has always seemed wired to connect the dots. I used to become impatient during meetings of whatever kind because it often took an hour for the entire group to reach the conclusion that I already envisioned about fifteen minutes into the meeting. The moment I have all the necessary pieces of a puzzle, I’m there. It’s the same reason I spent most of my school-going years bored. And why I tend to win at Rummikub, I guess.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

My nonfiction inspiration I get through my coaching and editing work, and through journaling about my own writing practice. It’s all about listening intently and then providing what is needed (or trying to). That said, I have certain principles and beliefs about the world we live in, and a particular way of understanding our place within this world, and those are present in my work. The same goes for my fiction. I might not always explicitly comment on what’s going on in the world right now, but I will write the kind of world or society I would love to belong to.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I am a pantser turned plotter, but I’m not a rigid plotter: I always leave room for the story to surprise me. I’m either fast or slow, depending on the project. I’m fastest at nonfiction, and slowest at fantasy. And no, that doesn’t surprise me at all 😊

Tell us about your latest book

The 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner is my latest project. In it, I’ve brought together everything I’ve learned over the past few years as a writer and writing coach. It’s the ideal tool for the writer who is tired of being in their own way and ready to start digging for some honest truths about their writing goals and practice. It’s designed to help you get clear about your writing through consistent reflection, planning, and tracking. It also provides a safe space where you can figure out how to set goals that honour both your dreams and the reality of your day-to-day life.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

For me, indie publishing is the way. The freedom is everything to me. It’s not for everybody and that’s OK, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can write whatever I want and publish whenever I want. What’s not to love about that?

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I’m working on a new book in my Creative Tarot seriesSet Yourself up for Successwhich will be published the first of January. I’m also working on a book on imposter syndrome with fellow editor and writing coach John Robin, and I am aiming to finally finish a project called Representation Matters in 2020, which will be a book aimed at writers who want to include more diverse characters in their work. I’ve taught university courses on representation for almost ten years before I left academia behind, and it’s about time I put all that knowledge into something useful for fellow writers.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To leave a legacy I’m proud of, by publishing only books that are aligned with me and what I have to say.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Claim the title. If you write, you’re a writer. If that title feels too much for now, claim the verb. Tell the world you’re writing. You don’t have to share your work with anyone yet, but do yourself the honour and let them know you write.

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Find Marielle online:

Website

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Amazon Author Central

Book links to all Amazon shops can be found on this page

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I met her last summer in Edinburgh and was delighted to see she has translated some of her titles in English! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome C.C. Mahon!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in France, in Fontainebleau forest, which is 35 miles south-west of Paris.

Why do you write?

When I was younger, books saved my life. They were a haven from life. Now I want to create such

a haven for other people who might need it. And I can work in my PJ!

When did you start writing?

Like a lot of writers, I started young and wrote throughout school. Then I stopped because it wasn’t

deemed « serious » or « productive.» I’m happy to report that I stopped being serious and found

(again) the joy of writing a few years ago.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I sit in a chair or sofa with my laptop. My two dogs lie down near me, then the cat sits on my

keyboard.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I can describe people and settings with few words. I write short because I’m impatient, but at the

same time, I want to give a few elements of description. I think readers like those short descriptions

that let them imagine a lot.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I hunt for inspiration, run after it, and clobber it. I try to not put myself in my stories, because this is

not about me, but about the readers.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I outline but will deviate from the plan while writing.

I write reasonably fast, at 5k words/day.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest books in English are translations from my french best-selling series, « Club 66 ».

The action is set in Las Vegas, where a young woman—Erica—came to escape her past. After

changing her name, she opens a night-club for supernatural beings. All is well until Erica’s barmaid

is killed, and Erica has to find her courage to protect her team, and her new life.

The series is on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081D4XSK5

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I worked for years as a translator for trad pub, and do not want to go back there. I am 100% indie, and very happy.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m translating the 4th book in my Club 66 series and writing a stand-alone in French before writing the 6th and 7th Club 66 books (in French, then in English).

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I want to have happy readers who tell their friends about my books.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

« Finish what you’re writing. »

You can’t do anything with unfinished novels, and you learn so much by finishing a project.

Find C.C. online:

https://www.facebook.com/Ceeceemahon

https://www.facebook.com/ccmahonautrice/

https://www.instagram.com/c.c.mahon/

Sunday Surprise


And it’s the last guest for now. Another Eclectica Bundle author to close this series up for the summer. Hopefully more guests will show up in September. Meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Diana Deverell!

Where do you live and write from?

I live on a hilltop in the Danish village where my husband was born. The window in my writing space overlooks Helnaes Bay and the Jutland peninsula is on the horizon. Because of the perverse nature of my creative process, I don’t stare at that view for inspiration.

The story I want to tell never seems to take place where I actually am. Some scenes in my international thriller, Night on Fire, are set in this village but I lived in Oregon when I wrote them.

Now, I’m in Denmark and the legal thriller I just finished happens in the landlocked cities of Eastern Oregon and Washington. I guess that’s how my imagination entertains itself when I cut it off from other distractions.

Why do you write?

I want to take my readers places and give them experiences they may not have the opportunity to enjoy in real life. And of course, like others who’ve posted here, at some point, I’m always wondering: What if things take a surprising turn? During the Cold War, I worked behind the iron curtain as personnel officer at the US Embassy in Warsaw. My international thrillers draw on that experience, but my burning question was: What if, instead of falling in love with a military attaché working for a NATO ally, I was seduced by a Polish intelligent agent? With that twist, my heroine doesn’t spend her time pushing paper—she’s passionately fighting evil.

My legal thrillers are told primarily from the viewpoint of an appeals lawyer. She has the skills and passion to force a broken justice system to treat her clients fairly. In college and for a few years after, I earned my living as a legal secretary. I’ve worked in law offices in California, Massachusetts, and Maine. I understand the legal process and the lingo and I’ve spent countless hours researching appeals law to get my facts right.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My personal goal with my thrillers is to imagine a fairer and more just world than I face. On the legal thriller side, I have a loved one behind bars. My inmate has another five years to serve on her mandatory sentence of nineteen years and two months. I visit her whenever I am in the US. Fourteen years into this, I have to steel myself to go through the sally port, because I hate being inside that prison—and I’m there for only one hundred and fifty minutes per visit.

In my legal thrillers, I want my reader to feel how decades-long incarceration adversely affects both inmates and correctional officers. The soul-destroying nature is worsened when the primary goal of imprisonment is punishing wrongdoers rather than preparing them to return to society as productive members.

And I also want readers to share my heroine’s personal satisfaction when she brings mercy, compassion, and fairness to her clients.

When did you start writing?

A creative writing class I took in college encouraged me to believe I could learn to write good stories. The second was an awareness that I’d tell better ones if I had a little more life experience. I spent twenty-five years getting that “little more” before I began seriously writing fiction for publication. I was lucky and a New York publisher gave me a two-book contract and released my first novel in 1998. My good fortune ran out when my publisher was sold to another. In the downsizing that followed, I wasn’t offered another contract. By 2011, I had my rights back to those novels and started indie-publishing them and brand-new novels as ebooks.

What genre(s) do you write?

Primarily thrillers and mysteries, set in current time. I’ve written short stories set in the past and featuring young adults and even one with a robot vacuum as a protagonist. But for my longer work, I like to spend my time with a sharp, gutsy woman as she digs into a contemporary problem.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

I did not understand this piece of advice the first time I heard it: Reveal your character’s emotional history through the character’s opinion of the setting. But in several online workshops with Dean Wesley Smith I learned what he meant by that.

I saw that I should put my character in an interesting place packed with descriptive possibilities. She should experience that setting through her senses. What she sees, smells, hears, tastes, and feels triggers memories that are clues to her past. When I finally got it, I realized that I’d first recognized that technique in The Little Drummer Girl by John LeCarré, the spy thriller that hooked me on the genre. Instead of giving us big chunks of narrative back story, he slowly builds up Charlie’s history and the reader comes to understand and care about her.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I write as if I’m driving slowly at night, unable to see beyond my headlights, and constantly checking my guide books. I hit the million-words-published market last year and by now when do start a new book, I trust my subconscious to get me to a satisfying conclusion. Often it’s not one I anticipated when I began.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

I have two mystery titles in the bundle and each includes a bonus mystery. FBI Special Agent Dawna Shepherd stars in all four. Dawna was a college basketball star and she first appeared in the cast of my international thriller Night on Fire. Turns out, an FBI is very agent useful in thriller territory and she played a supporting role in two more international thrillers and my new political thriller, Bitch Out of Hell.

Dawna stars in sixteen published short stories, dealing with human trafficking, health care fraud, illegal sports betting, nuclear smuggling, and other not-homicide crimes. “Blown” is an entertaining spy caper that takes Dawna to Poland in hot pursuit of a renegade NSA contractor. The bonus story, “Polonaise,” is also set in Poland and has her protecting a witness scheduled to testify against a Warsaw crime boss.

In “Shaken, Not Stirred,” Dawna takes a break from busting bad guys to vacation in Mexico at SpyGirl Fantasy Camp with her pal, ex-Secret Service Agent Ladyshimarray Harms. My story answers the simple question: Does a hardboiled FBI agent ever get to have fun? The bonus story, “Hungarian Dance No. 5,”is the first published short story featuring Dawna and Ladyshimarray. They run into trouble during a teaching gig at the FBI’s international law enforcement academy in Budapest.

Tell us about your latest book

Lay Bare the Lie, my sixth Nora Dockson legal thriller, will be released on July 1, 2019. An ex-con, Nora pulled herself out of the gutter and became an appeals lawyer. She works only for convicted felons.

She’s sure her current client didn’t murder his wife. The jury was misled by testimony from an expert witness who reconstructed the crime based on bloodstain patterns. She’ll prove the so-called expert made leaps of logic incompatible with the latest forensic science.

But before she can started on the case, a family emergency pulls her back to her roots. Events spiral out of control. Instead of arguing in a courtroom, she’s struggling once again on the dangerous turf of her childhood. And this time she may not get out alive.

You can preorder this novel at the bargain advance sale price from your favorite ebook retailer by following this universal link.

For more about my books, visit my website http://www.dianadeverell.com/

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another Eclectica author! I met her and she’s the sweetest girl in the universe! 🙂 Can’t believe it’s been two years already since… And she was even in Nightly Bites Volume 2! Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Felicia Fredlund!

Where do you live and write from?

I currently live in Japan, Kyoto to be more exact. This is also where I write, usually in my apartment.

Why do you write?

I write because I want to experience different kinds of lives. And I would love to live in a mystical world with magic, but alas, that isn’t possible, so I’ll do it through writing.

When did you start writing?

Somewhere in my teens. I was a bit late to reading, only starting to love it when I was about 11 years old, and then I needed a few more years to fall in love with writing.

What genre(s) do you write?

I tend to write a lot of fantasy, especially longer works. My short stories fall all over the map through from contemporary to science fiction, from horror to romance, and most things in between.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I’m not exactly sure how to answer this. I don’t have an overarching goal as a writer. I want to write a lot, hopefully find a lot of readers, and have fun.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Have fun. Otherwise get a job with an easier paycheck.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser. As to fast or slow, I’m not sure. I think my typing speed is pretty average and beyond that it is about the amount of time I spend.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

It is called Dear Brother and is about a young man trying to deal with the grief from the loss of his brother. I wrote it about a moment I had, dealing with grief from the loss of my mother.

Tell us about your latest book

Angel’s Demise is an urban fantasy short story. Coming out later this May. It is about a guardian angel desperately trying to keep her charge alive. It is pretty twisted and dark.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

A few. Several more short stories will come out this year. Plus two novellas: Commissioned Magic, set in my Riala City fantasy world that is about a painting magician who gets an unusual commission; and the other one is untitled currently, but is the first of several Guild Adventuress series stories (I have another two finished).

https://www.feliciafredlund.com/

Sunday Surprise


And we have another  Eclectica author! And I met him! Twice at least! On that faraway Oregon Coast where I’ll probably never go back… but whatevs. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome M. L. Buchmann!

Where do you live and write from?

A recent émigré from the dense forests of windy and wet Oregon Coast, I have returned to the land of my youth—Northwest to Northeast. I’ve planted myself on the North Shore of Massachusetts (that’s the chunk just above Boston before you fall off the edge of the map into the strange lands of New Hampshire and Maine).

Why do you write?

Family. And I guess, in an odd form, justice. I seem to have two core stories in all my stories. Second, family. Very rarely the family of birth, but rather the discovery of the second family, the one of adulthood is one of my favorite themes. Not just the nuclear family of spouse and kid, but that family of friends—chosen rather than connected by the accident of blood.

The First common story is far more prominent: I write about strong women. My romance motto is “Strong women and the men they deserve.” I was raised in a matriarchy and seem to always be surrounded by amazing women. Somehow, without my realizing it at first, that has been at the heart of every story I’ve ever written.

When did you start writing?

22 July 1993 (laughing). Oddly enough I know the exact day I began writing fiction because it ended up in a travel journal (pretty much the only time I journal). I had burned out of corporate America (flamed out is more like it). After losing everything (business, career, house, etc.) because of a business partner with a different definition of integrity than mine, I had set off on a solo round-the-world bicycle trip.

During my “Mid-life Crisis on Wheels” I was journaling during a flight from two months cycling through Japan to go ride across the Australian Outback—when suddenly it went sideways and I was writing a crazy fiction story. Cookbook from Hell, a romp of a fantasy, became my first-ever fiction effort, my first novel, and my first sale (it’s now redrafted with much better writing as Cookbook from Hell: Reheated). My career didn’t become full-time until 2012 (I took another plunge into corporate America first), but that is absolutely when I became a writer.

What genre(s) do you write?

I’m a born-and-bred SF/F fan. My first several books were solidly there. Then I wrote a thriller for the fun of it, then another because I loved it. Curiously, I finally sold the third thriller to a romance house. Suddenly I was “that male” who wrote romance. Military romantic suspense and contemporary romance have now spanned fifty novels and just as many short stories. Next? I’m heading back into thrillers and I’m curious how long it will take before I finally get back to writing a lot of SF/F rather than just the occasional story to keep myself amused.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I started writing to make the world a better place. I wanted to touch people and hold up ideals in ways that make me as a writer think about how to live better. Sometimes it’s a cautionary tale (much of my SF), sometimes it’s an over the top romance (because I totally believe in the strength of love and relationship). But if I can find a way to make myself a better person, then that touches the people around me (including my readers). Once I had a kid, that really came into clear focus for me. I want to make the world a better place for her, even if it’s just one story, one idea at a time.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

1) Butt-in-the-chair. 2) Have fun.

If you don’t do the first, the writing never happens in the first place. And if you don’t do the second, the readers can tell. Oh, and if you’re sitting in the chair, your fingers must be moving (pounding them keys, dictating, whatever).

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Yes. Done them all. After 60 novels and 75 short stories, I can start with an opening sentence (my last one began with a character name and a dog). However, my current novel began with a 4-page synopsis, a 5-page set of character sketches, and another 20-pages or so of research notes. Some books fly; some I have to puzzle at for a long time before they start picking up speed. Overall, I’m on the slow side, but I make up for it by putting in a lot of hours.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Hitomi’s Path was a curious little work that I’m dying to turn into a world someday. The seeds were well planted before I ever wrote my first word of fiction. I spent two months riding my bicycle through Japan (not the cities, but the countryside). I rode from the very northern tip (Cape Soya, Hokkaido) down across Honshu and Shikoku to Kyushu in the south (the four major islands). I knew a fair amount about the culture before I went. Or rather thought I did.

My reading about Japan had stopped not long after the opening of the Floating Kingdom in 1854 by the “Four Black Dragons” of US Admiral Perry’s naval fleet. The Japan of today has so little to do with that Japan, and yet it does. That affront is still fresh in the minds of her people. Then I asked the steampunk question: What if Western culture had never been forced on the Japans and they never evolved past their pre-1854 technologic state while the rest of the society changed? In fact, what if it went back 1543 and their disgust with the arrival of the first Portuguese ships and the Jesuit missionaries? Where would they be after the 500 years since they had isolated themselves? And Hitomi’s world was born.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest novel was Big Sky Dog Whisperer, the ender to my Henderson’s Ranch series. Every title is stand-alone, of course, but it is definitely the culmination of that five-short story and three-novel world. At its heart it is a tale about a pair of tails 😊. It’s about two military war dog handlers who were literally blown out of military service. Stan has become a dog trainer for military war dogs on this Big Sky Montana ranch. Jodie’s dog was shattered by a mortar and suffers extreme PTSD. She and her dog travel to Henderson’s seeking help and get far more than they bargained for. http://www.mlbuchman.com/hendersons-ranch/

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Always! I currently have a US Coast Guard short-story series going and I’m tackling a techno-thriller. (Gonna be so much fun!) The best way to keep up is to subscribe to my newsletter. It will get you a free anthology of ten short stories that introduce you to my current worlds as well as reminders each month as I release a free short story and any other novel announcements. http://free-book.mlbuchman.com/ or hit my website at http://www.mlbuchman.com/.

Thanks so much for having me.

 

Short bio

M.L. “Matt” Buchman has over 60 novels, 70 short stories, and a fast-growing pile of audiobooks out in the world. M.L. writes romance, thrillers, and SF&F…so far. Three-times Booklist “Top-10 Romance Novel of the Year.” NPR and B&N “Best 5 Romance of the Year.” RITA finalist. As a 30-year project manager with a geophysics degree who has bicycled solo around the world, he is awed by what’s possible. More at: www.mlbuchman.com.

 

Random Friday


And the last author to answer my 6Q is workshop buddy Laura Ware. That’s all for the Portal Anthologies… but stay tuned for more Eclectica Authors! 🙂

Fantasy Portals Author Interview – LAURA WARE
1. What is it about portals that draws you to it?
A portal is a way into another world, something different and maybe exciting. To me, books are portals that lead us to different worlds.

2. What is your story in the anthology about?
My story is about a woman who’s a frazzled full-time mom. A portal offers her a chance to escape her world – but such an escape comes with a hefty price.

3. What inspired your story?
For one thing, I have been that full-time mom (grin). I am also a full-time caregiver at the moment, and I know the feeling of wanting to escape your life, if only for a moment.

4. Do you always write about portals? If not, what do you write about?
I write in a variety of genres. Some fantasy, a dab of sci fi, contemporary, and Christian fiction.

5. What should readers know about you?
I love writing stories! Hoping to get more out this year.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
Check out my website at www.laurahware.com. I am trying to update it, so please be patient with me.

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