Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘Open Boxed Poetry’ by Deanna M Culver

We’re all beautiful in our own way, be uniquely you!

 

About the Book:

Thank You for your interest in Open Boxed Poetry.

Open Boxed Poetry is about my own real life struggles and experiences that I have turned into poems to help myself get my thoughts and feelings out. I also share my poetry with others in hopes of helping people in some way find their own courage and strengths. The title is open boxed poetry because it’s myself opening parts of my life up that I stuffed away in the pit of my stomach because of so much terror, pain, confusion, isolation, and lonesomeness that I decided to take these sheets of papers that I’ve written many of my poems on that have been tucked away in a box for so long and utilize them to continue helping myself as well as hopefully to help others.

Some poems surround bullying, abuse, mental illness, to love, passion, and encouragement. I believe that each of us have our own stories we can either share or not share and that is our choice and for me I have chosen to share. I hope to inspire you with courage and help bring strength into your life to find your own peace within your heart to know that you matter, you are loved, and your story is yours to tell if you choose to so continue being uniquely you.

Your Courage is Your Strength and Your Strength is Your Courage.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Barnes & Noble

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I am a mom, grandma, volunteer, artist, writer, photographer, poet, actor, and producer amongst other things. I started writing poetry when I was a little girl and lost in this world.

The only thing I could do was write down my feelings and thoughts that I wasn’t sure how to express and get out of my head, that has brought me to the magic of poetry. It’s my way of dealing with these thoughts and feelings that I sometimes have no other outlet but poetry.

I eventually started learning more about myself and wanted to share with the world my courage and strength to keep going on the good days and the not so good days. I’d eventually like to publish a biography book about my life, children’s books, and a photography book in hopes of bringing peace, love, hope, joy, and encouragement to the world.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I usually write things down at times a thought or feeling comes to mind and save them so that I can come back to it and start writing poetry with those words. If I’m having a tough day the thoughts usually come naturally.

I like to edit my words during the nighttime hours while people are sleeping. I’m usually up trying to make sense of what I was thinking and feeling throughout a particular day. My hope is to learn and continue growing while keeping in mind that my words could possibly help someone else along their journey in life.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from life experiences and people I meet including, but not limited to, love ones, friends, volunteers, and the world around us.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I don’t always have a plan where the story is going before I start writing as it can carry me away to where I’m stuck for minutes, days, or weeks until a poem is finished. It all depends on the day, time, situation, and how I’m feeling at any particular moment. Sometimes a beginning, middle, and end can be mixed up in my mind and until I’m satisfied with what I’m writing about my poetry doesn’t get published online, in a magazine, or in a book.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My genre is directed towards children and adults. I’m in the middle of a children’s book with my granddaughter that we are hoping to have published in 2020. I write poetry that surrounds real life things, especially my own real-life experiences. In my first poetry book “Open Boxed Poetry” I’ve written about Volunteering, Love, Friendship, Bullying, Suicide, Mental Illness, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, and Addiction amongst a few other topics. To me poetry allows a person to have their thoughts and feelings flow while telling a story.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Because my first book is a poetry book there can be many characters. If I could make a list of characters for a cast they’d be:

Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Jami Gertz, Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Dana Owens (Queen Latifah), Leah Remini, Jim Carrey, Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, and Keanu Reeves.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I enjoy self-help books, magazines, online articles, and my bible.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve been reading my bible as I’m learning to trust in God and understand that I too am his child as I’m learning that he loves me just the way I am.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a favorite author however, if I had to pick one it’d be Dave Pelzer because reading his books has helped me to realize that I am not alone as I’ve been through some of the same things he went through growing up and I believe that we’ve broken the statistics and stigma surrounding many things that we had no control of growing up.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Believe in yourself for we all have a story to talk about rather we share it or not; It’s up to us. If you have a dream to write don’t let others dictate your thoughts and feelings as you write because no one can understand your story but yourself and you may just inspire someone else along the way.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I don’t have a particular social media site for my work; however, I usually utilize Facebook to market my poetry book (www.facebook.com/deanna.culver.77).

My first poetry book is published on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. I would love to have my book become an inspiration for others as I continue to write poetry as well as a few other books in mind. I’d really love to become an inspirational speaker and am hoping and praying that someday I can inspire others to continue believing in themselves and to share their story and words with the world.

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Author Interview: ‘Down in the Belly of the Whale’ by Kelley Kay Bowles

About the Book:

About friendships and family. For fans of LM Montgomery & Anne Shirley. Irrepressible, irresistible. Modern, classic.

Harper Southwood is a teenage girl who can sense when people will get sick—but so what? She can’t predict her best friend’s depression or her mother’s impending health crisis. Being helpful is all Harper ever wanted, but she feels helpless in the face of real adversity. Now, she’s got a chance to summon her courage and use her wits to fight for justice. Laugh and cry along with this cute, high-spirited teen in her astonishing journey of self-discovery, as she learns that compassion and internal strength are her real gifts, her true superpower.

What people are saying:

“Bowles . . . clearly understands the world of young adults. Her depiction of Harper—her anxieties and excitability; her inner and outer personas; her heightened sense of the importance of “now”—cannot fail to pull readers into a teen mindset. The story is increasingly dark, yet in the telling it neither wallows nor depresses. Harper is allowed strength in her vulnerability. For all her isolation, it is her empathy that makes her special. There is a message here but not one that is pushed beyond the pale. Bowles writes to engage and to confront yet always seemingly with the intent to uplift. The resulting novel, far from being a leaden treatise on teen suffering, spurns literary pretensions and strives instead to include Harper’s generation of young adults and give this group its due. Girls especially will relate, but there is room here for everyone. A sage, vivacious tale of people set apart and brought together.” —Kirkus Reviews (a Kirkus recommended review)

“Bowles’ writing is lively and fun, yet still grounded and full of depth. . . . This is a wonderful book that cleverly explores some powerful and painful emotions.” —Victor Catano, best-selling author of Tail & Trouble

“Tackles sensitive social issues with heartfelt emotion and tender wit. . . . Well-drawn characters and themes exploring the mysterious power of the unseen infuse this inventive, revelatory novel.” —Kathleen Gerard, author of the novels The Thing Is, In Transit, and Cold Comfort

“I have lived through a trauma similar to one described in this book, and Kelley handles it in a careful, tactful, and compas-sionate manner. She illustrates good role models for healthy families as well as a gentle treatment of dysfunctional ones. . . . dense with activity and drama, dealing with difficult topics that are on a teenager’s mind in a sensitive manner that includes a good dose of humor and healing.” —Laura H Kelly, author, contributor to the anthology, Things We Haven’t Said

“An enjoyable and captivating read.” —Brian S. Leon, author of Havoc Rising

“Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful, always true . . . Down in the Belly of the Whale is Ordinary People for a new generation.” —Jason Parent, author of What Hides Within and Seeing Evil

“Humorous and harrowing, romantic and revealing, and an honest true-to-life lesson about being a teenager in this most interesting of times. . . . definitely a must read.” —Shawn Clingman, English/drama teacher and director, Grand Junction High School.

“A fast-paced, yet heartfelt account of an average teenager whose life takes a series of sudden and unexpected turns. . . . Possibly the most important aspect of Down in the Belly of the Whale, are the messages that it conveys. Some of these messages are to be brave, even when you think you cannot be, that you belong even when you think you do not, that the person you thought you loved is not the right person for you, and that high school anatomy is as awful as I has I remember it.” —Timmie Quitugua, librarian

“This book literally had me crying. It was really good! . . . I would totally recommend this book!” —Erin B., teenaged reviewer and book blogger, NetGalley

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah (and in answer to your next question, no, I am not), but raised in a Western Colorado town called Grand Junction. Because I have MS and my body responds poorly to extremes in temperature (GJ gets really hot AND really cold), we moved to San Diego, The Finest City in America (it’s really called that!) and very temperate, in 2011. I have two sons—10 and 12 years old, and my husband is a high school teacher

I have always loved writing, the way words can be combined in so many ways to create so many feelings. Stories can go anywhere I want them to go. Unlike life, which is much harder to control. I’ve always liked messing around with words—stories for my Barbie dolls, captions for my yearbook—but I didn’t really start working on fictional stories and poems until my college creative writing class. I wrote a sci-fi story while listening to “Unforgiven” by Metallica (betcha didn’t know I was a Headbanger from way back), and my professor, Charles Clerc, thought it was good enough to enter it into an L. Ron Hubbard short story contest. I didn’t win, but the process of letting the story in the song inspire me to write a totally unrelated story was intoxicating.

I have loved writing since birth, practically. But I’ve only been writing to share since my first published short story—a horror story called “Wobegone” published in Crimson magazine in 2000. I’ve only been able to write full time since October of 2013.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I have a small “office”— AKA a chair—in the corner of my bedroom, complete with laptop and picture of my late father, bookseller extraordinaire. There is a schedule taped to the side of my dresser, laying out chunks of time for each writing project and each social media outlet. Seven days a week!

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I people-watch and eavesdrop. A lot.

In Death by Diploma, Emma was my college roommate and current friend, and Leslie is one of my closest friends and colleagues from Colorado. The other names are just random ones I pulled out of my…hat.

The storylines can come from anywhere, I guess—news, television, myths. I taught high school English and drama for twenty years, including mythology—one of my favorite classes to teach. You can get a lot of ideas from mythologies and fairy tales, plus it’s SO fun to tell those stories in the classroom.

POV is tough to decide. I experiment with it all the time—the Chalkboard Outlines series is third person attached, but the Foundation series (YA Paranormal) alters between first and third person. And the YA standalone Down in the Belly of the Whale is first person, present tense. I’ve never done second person—maybe that’ll be next!

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I am a total seat-of-my-pantser in that I am not organized at all. I wish I was. With the murder mysteries, I know the basics—who got killed (that happens in the prologue) and who killed them and why. All the other stuff I have to figure out as I go. For the YA, I start with the general idea of the character and what she or he wants the most and how I think they need to do to get it, and then…I go.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write cozy murder mystery and young adult paranormal. I am obsessed with mysteries/thrillers in my reading, and…well…I taught English and Drama for like 20 years, and the high school world is very interesting, the voices, the issues, it’s a lot of fun trying to tap into that mindset in my writing. I think, when I’m finished with the Chalkboard Outlines cozy series I might try a paranormal mystery series. Or maybe a YA paranormal mystery series? Who knows what will happen? I have a narrative non-fiction book—humorous self-help memoir—I’m trying to get an agent for right now. Maybe I’ll go the David Sedaris route, only with chronic illness?

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’ve been TRYING to get Melissa Benoist (Supergirl)’s attention for the past couple of years because I think she’d make a perfect Emma. Leslie’s tough: Charlize Theron? (we are dreaming big, right?) For the YA book Belly I need good teenage actors for Harper and Cora, but I really don’t know any teenage actors—got any ideas? I would love Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Garner to play Isabelle. Uncle Pasta is also tough—Ricky Gervais is funny but he’s too old. Same with Eddie Izzard. Sheesh.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

To Kill a Mockingbird is a perfect book, in my opinion. But there are so many others—books inspire me because of the way the author turns a phrase, paints a picture or makes me hungry for the next moment. East of Eden. Cat’s Cradle. Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Harlan Coben is the one who inspired me to write a mystery—I wanted to write something where the reader laughed a lot and didn’t know how the book would end. Dean Koontz has always inspired me because I think he’s such a great storyteller. My friend Shawn told me once to read TickTock because the rapport between the two main characters sounded a lot like my voice as a writer. I read the book and was so flattered to have a comparison made like that! Stephen King is, also, in my mind a genius storyteller. 11-22-63 had so many moving parts to it and he made them all come together in this amazing machine. Plus I feel he’s a romantic and a feminist and an optimist—all wrapped up in this word package that can scare the bejesus out of you. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series is a current favorite of mine—I wanna be like Jack. Seriously. He’s evolving in the series, I feel, in terms of ‘collateral damage.’ I don’t think Jack believes in that anymore, and the stories are reflecting that. I’d like to talk to Lee Child about this. 😊

I am obsessed with reading and wish I could do it more often. As it is I read whenever I’m the passenger in a car or right before my eyelids slam shut at night—mostly mysteries and thrillers, some YA and horror. Lately Frederik Backman and Liane Moriarity or for my book club we’re reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons!

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I have to read Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons for my next book club, which I remember as funny and touching when I read it for my Colorado book club like 12 years ago, so we’ll see how it feels on the reread. I love Frederik Backman (A Man Called Ove), and he has a book box of three—I still haven’t read the Britt-Marie one. I’m re-reading Dean Koontz Fear Nothing because I just got it on sale on my kindle—that’s a great way to get books you want to re-read, by the way—watch for the sales! I’m waiting for the new Liane Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers) to come to me on the hold list at the library—it hasn’t been on sale and I can’t spend a fortune on books, although I’d like to!

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My all-time favorite is A Wrinkle in Time, but man, there are SO MANY other amazing and wonderful books out there. Don’t get me started—I might never stop. I think this book is my favorite because there’s so much to it—it’s YA, and Sci-fi, and mystery (where’s dad? Now, where’s Charles Wallace?) and philosophy and religion all rolled up into 200 pages. So, so good.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I would just tell them never to give up, and never stop learning and trying new things. Also, and I cannot emphasize this enough: YOU HAVE TO READ. A LOT. People who tell me they want to write but don’t want to read are delusional and will never succeed. This is true, I believe, in any profession: the more you study and practice, the better you will get. The best musicians listen to all kinds of music and learn about the history of music, the best politicians study all types of governments and policies, and et cetera, et cetera. Hmph. I could rant about this for days. You also have to write, a lot, although I don’t ascribe to all of the people who say you have to write every day or this many words a day or X number of hours or whatever. You should figure out your own schedule and make sure it includes study and practice. Oh, and you absolutely have to work on a thick skin. Like, tortoise shell thick. There are always people who have nothing better to do than knock you down, and it takes a long time and many rejections to find your success, but if you take the ones who offer constructive ideas and help and use them, and throw the non-helpful douchebag ideas away, it’ll all help you get better.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My website: www.kelleykaybowles.com

My Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/Kelley-Kay-Bowles/e/B00JJ9T7AC

My BookBub Pages: www.bookbub.com/profile/kelley-kay-bowles and

www.bookbub.com/authors/kelley-kaye

My Facebook Author pages: www.facebook.com/authorkelleykaye and

www.facebook.com/KelleyKayBowles

My Instagram page: www.instagram.com/kelkay1202

My YouTube channel:

www.youtube.com/channel/UCVlte3qfP3gTpHOwjNjqDqg

Holy Cow! That’s a lot.

About the Author:

Kelley Bowles Gusich writes young adult novels under the pen name Kelley Kay Bowles. Kelley taught high school English and drama for twenty years in Colorado and California, but a 1994 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis has (circuitously and finally) brought her to the life of writer and mother, both occupations she adores and dreamed about way back when she was making up stories revolving around her Barbie and Ken dolls. Her debut novel, cozy mystery Death by Diploma (pen name Kelley Kaye), was released by Red Adept Publishing on February 2016, and is first in her Chalkboard Outlines® series.

Kelley has two wonderful and funny sons and an amazing husband who cooks for her. She lives in Southern California.

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Author Interview: ‘The Desire Card’ by Lee Matthew Goldberg

About the Book:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the organization behind The Desire Card gives to its elite clients – but sometimes the price may be more menacing than anyone could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street fuels his fondness for alcohol and pills at the expense of a family he has no time for. Quite suddenly all of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his job and at the same time discovers he almost certainly has only months left to live.

Desperate, and with seemingly nowhere else left to turn, Harrison activates his Desire Card. What follows is a gritty and gripping quest that takes him from New York City to the slums of Mumbai and forces him to take chances, and make decisions, he never thought he’d ever have to face. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and break his bargain with the mysterious group behind The Desire Card.

The Desire Card is a taut, fast-paced thriller, from internationally acclaimed author Lee Matthew Goldberg, that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires.

 

What people are saying:

“I couldn’t look away for a moment from Harrison Stockton’s thrilling train wreck of a life. Jeer at him, cheer for him, and maybe—just maybe—fall in love with him a little. Lee Matthew Goldberg has created a Bonfire of the Vanities for a new generation, and served it up with style, wit, and empathy. I guarantee you’ll want to devour The Desire Card in one glorious, heart-pounding sitting.” – Laura Benedict, Edgar nominated author of The Stranger Inside.

“Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Desire Card is a character-driven, enthralling thriller that introduces readers to a dark underworld powered by an equally mysterious organization loaded with as much menace as promise. Goldberg’s characters are well-formed, memorable and complex, adding humanity to a story that is sweeping in scale and remarkably focused. The Desire Card is the kind of book you think about long after you’ve finished it.” – Alex Segura, acclaimed author of Blackout and Dangerous Ends

“Careful what you wish form especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly-compelling, buzz-worthy new series. If you love your characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love, The Desire Card. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on Prey No More to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Love it!”
– Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author of The First Family and Mercy.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve always been a writer. As a little kid, I would write a book about my dog and a haunted hotel. After I got my MFA, I really saw it as a profession. I published a few stories in magazines and journals and then my first book Slow Down came out in 2015.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I usually write in the afternoons in Central Park from around April through November. During winter, I find an indoor spot, but I write best outside surrounded by nature. I have a tree that perfectly contours my back, and I’ve written all my books there. It’s great because you have people around, but there aren’t distractions. I’ll write there forever.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’m good at having a lot of ideas. Right now, I have a bunch on the backburner so when I finish one book; I’m able to start another right away. I also have a few series in the works so there will be sequels and more to write. I read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies and that helps spark ideas. I usually outline my books beforehand so when I start writing, I pretty much know where the plot is going.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Most of my books are written with an outline. My first book wasn’t and that one took about eight years so I like having an idea of what is going to happen. Although, I recently finished the latest book in The Desire Card series and decided to write that one with only knowing the ending. I had seen the documentary Free Solo and was really inspired about not having a net. It worked for that book in particular, but thrillers are tightly plotted and it’s hard without an outline.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

So, I’ve published only thrillers, but I’ve written in a few other genres. I have a sci-fi book, a literary novel and a young adult one finished as well. I like to challenge myself. Thrillers are fun and I will always write them. While character is important, you’re focuses on moving the plot forward at all times. It’s helped me for my other books too. Making sure that the plot is always engaging and the readers want to turn the page.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Great question! For the lead character Harrison Stockton, I think Paul Giamatti or Russell Crowe would be a good fit. For Naelle I’d go for Zoe Saldana and for Jay Howell think I’d go for Richard Gere.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read a lot. I love old writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Emily Bronte. I’m a big fan of John Irving and Paul Auster. I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen King as well. He’s great at moving plot forward.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Right now, I’m reading The River by Peter Heller. I loved the Dog Stars and the Painter. He’s a very precise writer with beautiful sentences. On my shelf, I have the new Dave Eggers book The Parade, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin and Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Probably the Great Gatsby. Even though that’s an easy answer, it’s just a perfect book. I’m very critical when I read, and with Great Gatsby, there is nothing I wouldn’t change. The sentences are gorgeous, and the characters come to life, even though the novel is so short. I try to reread it every few years.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

It’s a very tough profession. There is a lot of rejection and moments you want to give up. But if it’s what you really want to do, go for it. You have to know you have talent. Not everyone can write as a profession. Start sending your work out there and find people who will give you honest feedback. Go to conferences and meet people. Get stories published any way you can. Start a blog. Read a ton. Write what you love and because you wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My website is www.leematthewgoldberg.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeeMatthewGoldberg

Twitter: @LeeMatthewG

Instagram: www.instagram.com/leematthewgoldberg

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/Lee-Matthew-Goldberg/e/B00RPF06TS

I have three novels published and the second book in the Desire Card series coming out later in 2019.

 

About the Author:

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR from St. Martin’s Press with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG

His favorite authors are classic writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Hermann Hesse, Emily Bronte, W. Somerset Maugham and Raymond Chandler. For modern authors, he’s been influenced by Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, Denis Johnson, John Irving, and Paul Auster.

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Author Interview: ‘Shelter Rock’ by MP Miles

About the Book:

South Africa is under attack from all sides when Elanza, a politically connected heiress blinded by disease and looking for love before it is too late, meets a naïve English boy. Ralph, eighteen and innocent, has accidentally stumbled upon Elanza – and South Africa’s biggest secret.

When Ralph disappears into the darkest part of the Continent to walk home overland, a Swazi spy, the only black African agent working for the apartheid era National Intelligence Service, comes into both of their lives. Angel Rots is uniquely qualified for his official mission to find Ralph and a private mission to settle an old score, but in a pursuit from Cape Town to Cairo, Ralph is always one step ahead and Angel starts to ask questions. Why is this kid so important? What has he found? Looking for answers, Angel discovers a secret that challenges his own loyalties – and could change the course of history.

From illegal nightclubs in South Africa to poachers in Zimbabwe and the Batwa pygmies of Burundi, from arrests in Uganda and drugged hit men in Kenya to thieving Sudanese nuns and a final confrontation in the bazaars of Old Cairo, no one would make it home without an angel watching over them. This pulse-pounding thriller will delight fans of espionage fiction as well as keen readers who see the parallels of the nuclear weapons threat in the book and modern day politics.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m from a small town in Dorset. Aged eighteen I escaped and walked alone through Africa from Cape Town to Cairo, the subject of much of my debut novel, Shelter Rock. On my return I studied agriculture, and then farmed in Dorset and Portugal before ending up trading fresh produce from other farmers around the world. Along the way I learnt to fly, teach scuba diving, and sail. For the past ten years I’ve lived in the beautiful British Virgin Islands on a yacht called Pacific Wave.

I have been writing for a long time, mostly articles, reviews, and yacht test reports for sailing magazines. My trip through Africa as a teenager thirty-five years ago has been stewing for that length of time until, four years ago, I was inspired to write it.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I live on a yacht in the Caribbean and don’t really work for a living, so I have plenty of free time. I’m very lucky. I spend my day doing something with the boat in the morning and then writing all afternoon, every afternoon, usually sitting on the deck in my trunks under a sun awning, looking over blue tropical water.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Shelter Rock is based on true events. In 1982, age 18; I walked alone from Cape Town to Cairo. It took six months, cost only £200, and I returned home with hepatitis and a fat worm living inside my toe. Everything that happens to the boy Ralph in Shelter Rock, the places he goes and the people he meets, is entirely true. I too helped pygmies burn down a brothel in Burundi, was arrested for spying in Uganda, and robbed by thieving nuns in Sudan.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I have a complete plan in my head, but without much of the fine detail so that there is flexibility to let characters develop along the way. With Shelter Rock it was obvious that it would be a journey from one end of Africa to the other, and this became the trunk of the tree that other branches could hang from.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

The genre is spy thriller. I guess what drew me to that genre is that as a one-time farmer turned fresh produce trader I had some involvement with intelligence services as I travelled the world buying salads and selling vegetables – excellent ‘living cover’. It is important though to make the distinction between spy masters working for an intelligence agency, and those spying. It helps to think less of Bond, and more of that guy behind the bar in a private members club, or that quiet girl waiting tables in a swanky restaurant. Barmen, waitresses, taxi drivers, receptionists, and travelling salesmen all make excellent spies. In fact, if you think of the person you know least likely to be a spy, he or she would be the best one for the job.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Protagonist Angel is a black African spy with a Cockney English accent and in my head there was only ever the magnificent Idris Elba, and out of character I would love Daniel Craig to play the evil Afrikaans antagonist Nels. For the mixed up South African blind heiress Elanza, Nicole Kidman would work perfectly. I saw her play a Russian mail-order bride in ‘Birthday Girl’ and she is brilliant with accents. Tom Hardy for agent Zac, obviously, and Colin Firth for his older boss Jumbo Cameron. Ralph needs to be naïve, English, and youthful – someone like Jeremy Irvine, the boy who followed his horse to war in Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

My world is the Caribbean sailing community and at every dock and in every bar cruisers leave books for others to take and enjoy – a swap thing. I get all my books this way, maybe fifty a year.

My interests are farming, flying, and sailing. My favourite authors write about those things. As a Dorset-boy I was brought up with Thomas Hardy. I love his tragic ‘country’ characters struggling with their passions in the South West of England. I love the prolific 1950s author Nevil Shute with aviation and engineering providing the backdrop for great characters that are how I would like to be – straightforward, trusting, honest, fascinated by aeroplanes, engineering, science and design. For sailing, nothing can beat Conrad.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

  1. A recent find at a marina in Trinidad was a technical book on astro-navigation, in French but I reckoned I could then kill two birds with one stone. It is heavy going.
  2. At a yachties bar in French Martinique I picked up an English language collection of O’Brian’s nautical-historical novels. I hadn’t read any before but as ever; it is the characterization that interests me as much as the boaty stuff.
  3. The latest John le Carre, because I’ve read everything else he’s ever written. I’m a fan.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. I’m not familiar with the academic world but he has great characters, it’s clever and very funny. I re-read it constantly and laugh.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Keep writing until you have faith in it. If you believe it has some worth, others will too.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

 Website – www.mpmiles.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/MPMilesAuthor

Twitter – @MPMiles_

Instagram – www.instagram.com/iammpmiles

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/18848250.M_P_Miles

 

About the Author:

MP Miles is from a small town in Dorset. Aged eighteen he escaped, and walked alone through Africa from Cape Town to Cairo, the subject of much of his novel Shelter Rock. After studying agriculture he farmed sheep and potatoes in England and Portugal before travelling the world buying and selling fresh produce, brilliant ‘living cover’ had he been spying for an Intelligence Service. He is a pilot, a diving instructor, and an award-winning chef. Mark started writing fiction four years ago, having for many years written sailing book reviews and yacht test reports (think Jeremy Clarkson of boats). A lifelong sailor he now lives in the Caribbean on-board a yacht called Pacific Wave.

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Author Interview: ‘Playing Deep’ by Amanda Love

Play Series Book 1

About the Book:

After five years, Tyler has returned to his hometown – and to Jenna, the woman he left behind. He’s pretty sure she still hates him for the way he left – no note, no goodbye – just there one day and gone the next. But there are reasons he had to leave, why he had no choice but to let her go. The scars of his past run deep, and he knows that a man like him can never truly be worthy of the love of a woman as sweet and pure as Jenna.

When Tyler left, Jenna was devastated, and for five years she’s tried to forget him, to move on with her life and forget the feel of his mouth on hers, his hands on her body. But now he’s been pulled back to his hometown by tragic circumstances, bringing with him all the feelings she’s tried so hard to bury.

Will the past continue to keep them apart, or can they both find the courage to move on with their lives? Together.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I am a fun-loving, coffee-drinking, chocolate-loving UK-based author of Romance, YA & NA novels. I’ve loved all things literary since I was a young girl and was reading and writing before I went to school. I wrote poems and short stories from a young age but didn’t have the courage or confidence to share my work until a few years ago, when I wrote my first book, Playing Deep, Book 1 of The Play Series.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Favourite place – yep. My recliner chair in my lounge with my Chromebook! Favourite time – nope. Just whenever the creative juices are flowing. My family say I become glassy-eyed and non-responsive once I’m immersed in my writing – oops!

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Life. Experience. I always try to really put myself ‘inside’ the minds of my characters, to ‘feel’ what they are feeling so that what flows onto the page is a real and authentic as possible.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Both! I have a rough outline, but invariably, things do change. If a scene/chapter isn’t flowing as I’m writing it, then that’s usually a good sign that I’m not moving in the right direction, and usually my cue to change things up a bit.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I currently have 6 Romance/Steamy love stories. The first 5 books are part of The Play Series, steamy romances with each book focusing on a different couple, but there is an ongoing thread running through all the books. My 6th book, Molly’s Choice is a contemporary romance, the first of The Choices series and I am currently writing my 7th & 8th Books, which are YA, titled Flawless and Flawed, both of which will be released later this year.

I’ve always loved the romance genre, and love to create strong, female characters and their rugged, sexy male counterparts.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Ooh! Chris Hemsworth (the delectable Thor) and…um…sorry, lost my train of thought there for a minute – what was the question? Oh, yes! With ME as the heroine. What? Somebody famous? Sheesh, ok then, Margot Robbie, Ashley Benson, Liam Hemsworth (are you seeing the theme here?) Hugh Jackman (got to get him in there somewhere!), Elizabeth Olsen and Rebel Wilson (for the laughs – love her).

7: Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?

Oddly, not as much as I’d like as I’m usually busy writing. But favourite authors include Sidney Sheldon, Stephen King, M Leighton, Abbie Glines and Karin Slaughter

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Just one? Na ah! No can do. I love different books for different moods, so…basically I’m a book whore – I’ll read whatever tickles my pickle at the time.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write for yourself. Don’t write to become ‘famous’. Write what you want to write, not what you think you ‘ought’ to write. Immerse yourself in your characters and give them a real voice.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Website: www.kazlowe124.wixsite.com/website

Facebook – www.facebook.com/a.love124

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/l/B071NCSXV8

 

About the Author:

I am a fun-loving, young-at-heart, chocolate-loving, coffee-drinking, forty-something, mother-of-two with a cat called Monty, who has a moustache. Yep. A Kitler cat !

I’ve been writing since I was a young girl, poems, ditties, short stories, songs, and now romance books with a hefty dollop of steamy sex and young adult books with a twist.

If you like what I do, please get in touch and leave a review – I would love to hear from you.

 

Others in Play Series:

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