Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Interview: ‘While Earth Still Speaks’ by Nancy Werking Poling

About the Book:

Elizabeth’s daughter, Angelica, has joined a cadre of eco-terrorists, and Mary (yes, the Holy One) has abruptly ended her “Operation: Earth Rescue” appearances at Elizabeth’s North Carolina farm. Now Elizabeth must discover her own calling, a passion worth risking her life for. It’s a journey into her own heart, and the adventure she embarks on is as unpredictable to her as it will be to the reader.

 

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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 a late bloomer. While I admire the energy and honesty of young writers, I’d like to think that added wisdom and insight come with age. Freed from the hectic demands of job and parenting, I have time to reflect on my own life choices/experiences and those of people I’ve come into contact with over the years (which includes characters I’ve encountered through reading).

Yet I’ve always been a storyteller—that is, ask me a question and I’ll answer with a story. And I’ve long recognized a good story when I’ve heard about someone’s experience. That happened with Before It Was Legal: a black-white marriage (1945-1987). I met Anna and Daniel thirty years ago and thought, wow, that would make a great book. They agreed to an 11-day interview. However, the book didn’t come out until 2017. It took me that long to figure out how to tell a love story that didn’t end with “happily-ever-after.”

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

I treat writing as a job. That is, I try not to schedule daytime activities. “Try” is the operative word here. Even though I’m an introvert I recognize the need for friends. But I limit engagements.

I’m neither a morning nor night person. Each morning I have to read the news and do a Sudoku before I get to my computer. That seems to get my brain in gear.

I’m lucky to have my own space, a quiet office that looks out on our wooded lot, distracted by little more than a male cardinal or nuthatch.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’m often inspired by weird stories that appear in the newspaper. In the 1990s I read a short piece in The Chicago Tribune that Virgin Mary visitations at a Conyers, GA farm, had ended. Until then busloads of people had been attending. I wondered, what would the woman who had channeled Mary do now? She had become irrelevant.

At about that time I was looking up a word in my dictionary and came upon a picture of Mary Surratt (executed as a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth). I started reading about her. As deplorable as her actions were, she was committed to a cause. I found that interesting.

In more recent years I became worried about the environment. How could I make my life and my voice count? I considered several options, one of them eco-terrorism. No, I’m afraid of dying. My imagination returned to the Mary visitations. What if Mary came to a contemporary woman with the goal of rescuing Earth from ecological destruction? What if the main character’s daughter became an eco-terrorist? How could Mary Surratt somehow get into the story?

Thus was While Earth Still Speaks inspired.

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?

A character forms first, and I’m pretty sure what her dilemma is. I write and write until she’s fully revealed herself. Sometimes that’s easy, sometimes it’s challenging. I end up throwing away a lot of the initial writing. At some point the story takes on a life of its own, often surprising me. I’ll read and ask myself, “Where did that come from?”

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

If my stories fall into any genre it’s probably women’s fiction—not to be confused with chick-lit.

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

I love this question. Meryl Streep as Elizabeth; Archie Panjabi (with added wrinkles and padding around the waist) as Mary.

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

Yes, I read. Being part of a book club, I’m introduced to books I probably wouldn’t read otherwise. For example, June’s book was Behind the Beautiful Forevers, certainly not a pleasant story but one that broadens my circle of empathy.

My favorite author is Anne Tyler. I love her eccentric characters. Reading her books makes me feel like I have permission to imagine quirky protagonists. Isabel Allende’s a favorite too, mainly because of all the authors I’ve heard speak, she seemed the most genuine.

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

In preparation for my next writing project, I’ve mainly been delving into non-fiction books about the South, particularly North Carolina at the close of the nineteenth century: the plight of North Carolina farmers, Jim Crow laws, and state politics. Last year I won the Alex Albright Non-fiction award for a piece about my husband’s grandfather: “Leander’s Lies.” I plan to develop that into a historical novel about Leander, a minister who deserted two wives and five children in North Carolina and married Wife No. 3 out in Missouri. I keep wondering, why did he leave?

9: What is your favorite book and why?

Giant, by Edna Ferber. I was very young when I saw Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean in the movie. I immediately checked the book out of the library. I don’t remember the differences between the movie and the book, but something in it touched a young girl’s heart at a deep level. Now as the mother of adult children and friend to many mothers like me, I appreciate the way each generation must map the future for themselves. AND how as mothers we must accept our children’s decisions.

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

I’m not sure there’s such a thing as “thinking about” it. It’s a drive that grabs you and you can’t do otherwise. For some, like me, it takes longer for all this drive inside us to bubble up and erupt. But when it does…

It sounds like a cliché, you hear it so much, but you’ve got to sit down at the computer or with a pencil in hand and just start. It’ll likely be crap at first, and you’ll ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” You won’t be able to help yourself, though.

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

I have a website: www.nancypoling.com, I’m on Facebook as “Nancy Poling, author,” and on Twitter @nancypoling.

A few years ago a hacker sent out a message through my Facebook page that I had lost thirty pounds through a miraculous weight-loss program. The grammar mistakes were the giveaway—plus acquaintances knew I hadn’t lost thirty pounds. I changed my password and went to a private setting. Recently I again established the public page at “Nancy Poling, author.”

For several years I’ve been blogging. I began to realize that all of my posts were political, which would get me all riled up while writing them. So I took a break and started an email list. For the next few months I’ll share scenes of the protagonist’s childhood that I decided not to include in While Earth Still Speaks.

About the Author:

I am a late bloomer. As a child I didn’t create stories nor did I dream of someday becoming an author. Yet I’ve long had other qualities associated with writers: I seldom follow directions and I’ve always been a daydreamer. Ask me a question, and my response is likely to be a long narrative that goes practically back to “In the beginning…”

Though born in Indiana, I was reared in Orlando, Florida, when it was still a sleepy little southern town. Yet my husband and I have lived in the Chicago area for more than twenty years. So I’m either a Midwesterner who’s been influenced by my southern upbringing or a Southerner influenced by midwestern ways. In December of 2008, to be closer to our children and grandchildren, we returned to the South, to North Carolina. The move further confuses my identity conundrum.

Friends think of me as having a positive outlook, but I can quickly create a list of negatives—things I DON”T do. I don’t cook. I don’t have a pet, nor do I want one. I don’t serve on committees. I haven’t adjusted well to technology (not even to the telephone).

I DO like sunshine and feel nostalgic for the days when we assumed it was safe to bake on a beach towel. I like time to myself. I like books. I travel every chance I get, and if I anticipate staying home for a while, I take trips vicariously through the Travel section of the New York Times. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2005 and 2008 my husband was invited to teach a semester in Seoul, ROK. We both came to love the country and its people, who taught us much about hospitality.

Finally, I treasure time spent with my husband, Jim, our children, and grandchildren.

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Author Interview: ‘Winter Flower’ by Charles Sheehan-Miles

About the Book:

From the bestselling author of Just Remember to Breathe and The Last Hour, a shocking and poignant story of a family on the brink of destruction and the transformational events that could bring them back together–or tear them apart.

Every day, Cole Roberts reminds himself that life wasn’t always this bleak. He was once passionately in love with Erin. Sam used to be an artistic and lively kid. They hadn’t always lived in a shabby two-room house in rural Alabama, where he runs a mediocre restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

That was before Brenna disappeared. It was before Cole lost his job and they lost their home.
Every day it gets worse. Erin drinks wine out of the bottle and spends her days with a tormented expression, searching the web for signs of their daughter. Sam hides in his room and rarely speaks. And Cole works himself to a stupor for a paycheck a fraction of the size of his old salary.

Until one day a phone call changes everything.

Winter Flower is at once a tragic tale of the disappearance of a child; struggling with gender identity; of the dark world of sex-trafficking and the transformation and healing of a family. Sheehan-Miles’s longest novel delves into the depths of family life–and how, sometimes, we can heal and find restoration.

 

What people are saying:

“Sheehan-Miles’s writing, as always, is brilliant. I love this author’s voice and writing style. There’s an honesty to his storytelling which I think is why he is so good at conveying emotions and is why, with every book he’s written, including this one, I find myself crying while reading his words.” – Feeding My Addiction Book Reviews

“I feel emotionally wrecked in the best way.” – Bethany, Talkbooks Blog

 

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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 first articulated that I wanted to be a writer when I was in early middle school. At the time I was reading a lot of Marion Zimmer Bradley (before she and her husband turned out to be child molesters), Philip Jose Farmer, Tolkien, Arthur Clarke. At that age I devoured fantasy and science fiction; I wrote my first book long hand in the seventh grade. It was a naked rip-off of MZB’s work. I had a lot of encouragement from great teachers and my parents.

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

The best time for me to write is sitting at a table in the shade of a porch on the beach while drinking a martini, or at least a cup of coffee.  Someone would keep me supplied with food and drink while I kept my feet up, working away on a laptop.

Life being what it is, I -actually- do most of my writing using Dragon Dictate software while driving my hour-long commute back and forth to work. I squeeze in more words whenever and wherever I can.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Life. I write about the things that scare me, the people I feel compassion for, the fears I have for my future and my children’s futures. While I don’t write autobiographical fiction, often elements from my life make their way into books. Some of the elements of one of the main characters in Winter Flower came out of my experience of losing my career during the Great Recession and ending up running a restaurant in Alabama. Other elements are fictional.

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 often have a general idea of what the end of the story will look like, but I don’t always know how I will get there. As a result, I often end up having to rewrite the beginning or first third of a book, because characters or themes end up becoming far more important than I thought they would.

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

I’ve written in several genres, including military thrillers, romance, romantic suspense, espionage thrillers. But increasingly I’m crossing genres or writing outside of them. Winter Flower is a literary novel, with elements borrowed from crime fiction, suspense, family drama, coming of age, LGBTQ – I had a story to tell, and it mattered to me to get it right, regardless of where it lay in the genre and marketing spectrum.

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

I’ve not given this even a moment’s thought. I’m not very good at naming actors and actresses.

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

I love to read. I would say some of my favorite authors are: Colleen McCullough, John Irving, Pat Conroy, Stephen King and Andrea Randall (full disclosure: I’m married to her!).

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

I recently read On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. It was fantastic. I’m also reading the Mueller Report (digesting it slowly) and an early copy of Michelle Pace’s True Gold, which I believe will be released by Tule Publishing in July.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Just one? That’s impossible. But if I -had- to answer this, I would say it would be Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It’s 1000+ pages, amazing depth of character and history, and I’ve read it four or five times.

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

Focus on your art, not the market. During the two years I was a full-time writer, I spent too much time and energy worrying about the market, sales, advertising, promotion. It became a business instead of an art, because I had bills to pay. My writing suffered. I was happy to go back to work full time – it meant that I could focus on Winter Flower being the best book it could be, not the most marketable book it could be.

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

My website is www.sheehanmiles.com.

My Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/CharlesSheehanMiles and I post regularly there about works in progress.

I use Twitter way too much, where I post about politics, books, military stuff, and only about my own books on a limited basis. @CharlesEMiles

And of course, Goodreads:

www.goodreads.com/author/show/415636.Charles_Sheehan_Miles

About the Author:

Charles Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive, and is the author of more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America’s Future. He is a member of The Authors Guild and the Association of Independent Authors.

Charles and his wife Andrea live and write together in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He can be reached by email at Charles@sheehanmiles.net

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Release Blitz and Author Interview: ‘Esemtu’ by Karin Springer and Raphaela Springer

Title: Esemtu Vol. 1

Author: Karin Springer

Illustrator: Raphaela Springer

Genre: Fantasy / Young Adult / Sumerian mythology

 

About the Book:

Three university students get tangled up in a mystery murder. However, they realize that they’ll have to open their minds to the supernatural to solve this case. Soon, they find themselves dragged into a magic world of fantastic creatures, gods, demons and immortals, that will change their lives forever.

Join them in their thrilling adventure to uncover ancient secrets!

 

Our fantasy world is based on Sumerian mythology and we offer our products as well as a lot of background information on our website: www.esemtu.com

What people are saying:

“It’s so complex and felt so real! It spoke about issues I have somewhat encountered myself in my professional life and felt like a Dan Brown novel but not pretentious” – sailorwidogast (via instagram)

“The story is so interesting and you just want to know more! And the art is incredible too so that’s a plus!” – fadariass (via twitter)

 

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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 a big book lover and have been thinking of writing a detective novel since I was young. I tried once but didn’t succeed in the traditional publishing business and gave up rather quickly. When my daughter asked me to help her with her comic book, it was the second chance you sometimes get in life. And I must say, it’s much more fun for me to work in a team than being the lonely writer at his desk staring at a white screen.

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

As I still have a full-time job, I’m writing most of the texts on the weekends but I love doing research work or thinking on how the story could continue in the early morning hours. My favourite place to write is an old desk in our living room.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Our story is wrapped in Sumerian mythology. I do a lot of research work and try to come up with stories, which are of course fantastic, but somehow match the facts. And as a big fan of any kind of crime fiction, a murder mystery had to be part of the first volume.

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’m starting with a very rough plan, that is aligned with Raphi’s expectations. From there, I take it to a kind of summary structured in chapters. If Raphi agrees, this text is then the basis for the final version.

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

In trying to incorporate Sumerian mythology into our modern world, I’d say we fall into the Fantasy genre. What fascinates me most is embedding the plot into a historic or mythological context. This setup also offers huge opportunities for an artist to create fantastic and fascinating worlds for our characters to explore.

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

Spontaneously I’d cast the main characters as follows:
Ross Butler as Ethan, Franz Drameh as Dave, and maybe Bonnie Wright as Isabella.

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

Yes, I read a wild mix of detective novels, preferably the classics from Dorothy Sayers, to Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh etc. I love the books of Julian Barnes, Paulo Coelho, the historic novels Ken Follet and sometimes old classics like Jane Austen or Hermann Hesse.

8: What book/s are you reading at present

“1848 – Revolution in Europe” for some background information for one of my short stories and “Murder in Midsummer – Classic Mysteries for the Holidays”

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers – for me this novel consists of so many layers, the detective plot, the love plot, the feminist plot, the world of academia – and I have a soft spot for Lord Peter Wimsey …

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

I think I could still need advice myself, the only thing I can say: if you really feel the urge of writing a book: don’t give up and find someone you can trust and who supports you in the creative process.

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

Our own website www.esemtu.com contains heaps of information and wonderful drawings and we are also posting regularly on Instagram @esemtu_official and Twitter @esemtu.

Excerpt:

 

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Author Interview: ‘Perceptions’ by Sam Mansourou

About the Book:

Criticizing religious influence, Mansourou comes out firing from the gate and doesn’t relent in this scathing treatment of mainstream religion and its effect on society. Rather than refer to religion in general terms, or acts in the name of religion, Mansourou attacks religious concepts and modern religious philosophy for their vacancy and limited influence today.

 

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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 Chicago, raised in L.A. I’m an English teacher and an author. I wrote a non-fiction book that I’m now promoting. I’ll be 44 in June. I like traveling and I just drove cross country twice after moving to Miami and being bored with that place after a while too. As far as writing, I have always appreciated good writing. I don’t really remember what got me involved. I just always appreciated the written word and wanted to create something like what I was reading and thought that I could.

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

Good question. I’ve been asked in another interview if there is a certain music in the background when I write, and I didn’t have an answer for that question either. I’ve always been writing so for me it is kind of like a timeless and placeless thing to do. When I was writing Perceptions, I would be in line somewhere and you’d have to write in a phone for later whenever a relevant idea comes up.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Another good question. I’m not sure. The idea for this book came about because I was doing research on my own regarding the God vs science debate and found myself always getting impatient with the theological side. Some ideas are great and appear to just roll out to you like a red carpet, and others you really have to work for.

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?

It’s tricky because I’ve attempted a writing project where the idea was great initially and there was kind of nowhere to go. You know how it is, you don’t want to compromise with a so-so ending to just patch on, so you drop the whole thing. Perceptions was all thought of before-hand as far as where it was going to go, but it was a luxury to me because it was non-fiction and I wasn’t in torment about an ending.

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

It’s nonfiction. I think it is a debate book, but it also has 339 citations. Right before I wrote it, I heard an interview while NPR was on one day. I don’t remember the name of the author and I don’t know his works but they asked him why he was retiring from fiction after so much success and he said fiction is great for itself only and had been mastered throughout the centuries already. When asked what he preferred in writing he said non-fiction. My fiction had already been published by a couple of literary magazines and I could have easily pursued that path, but instead dedicated my time to writing this non-fiction piece. I guess both genres are good.

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

That’s funny. The cast of Dead Poets or maybe the cast of No Country for Old Men.

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

Not like I used to. I used to devour thousand-page bios on people I was interested in throughout history. Homer and Hemingway are up there as far as my favorites. I used to think Shakespeare was just for line memorization as a kid, but now I appreciate him more.

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

Right now, I’m preparing for a couple of long flights to and from Europe so I’m taking a couple by Hemingway, one by Soroyan, Epic of Gilgamesh, and also A Man Named Dave.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Unfortunately, I don’t really have a favorite book. I know some people who swear on a certain book. I do like particular works by different authors and I do love certain passages like St Crispin’s Eve speech and how Homer describes the next morning’s appearance of the Sun. I do have one on the Forbidden City in Beijing that this lady I knew at a theater company gave me as a gift once 20 years ago. Of the books I have, that one is nice to read and look at.

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

I think that if you have an idea that you think is worthy and you can reasonably go about getting it on paper then you should. If it means giving up your job that you support your family with to focus on writing the novel you always wanted to, it’s not something that I think would be called reasonable by many.

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

I’m on Instagram, I have an author page on Goodreads and an author page on Booklife.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/smansourou1

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6510296.Sam_Mansourou

Booklife: www.booklife.com/project/perceptions-28959

 

About the Author:

Sam Mansourou is an English teacher and journalist. His fiction has been published in the literary magazines Empirical and Marco Polo Arts. This is his debut book.

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Author Interview: ‘An Open Wound: the apple orchard 2.0’ by O Persaud

About the Book:

An Open Wound is a wonderful collection of poetry, that delves into many topics of love and relationships. Persaud’s style creates a wonderful, colorful scene for the reader, draws them in with emotion and imagery.

 

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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 began writing as long as I could remember. When I was in elementary and middle school I used to make up silly short stories, or sometimes write love poems about girls that I was too afraid to talk to. I graduated to writing other people’s reports for money in high school, which led me to the University of Maryland where I studied English and creative writing.

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

I usually write in the middle of the night, hidden from my wife and five kids and the daily doldrums of my “day job.” I probably could write while my kids are awake, but they spend most of their time jumping on me, or yelling at each other because someone took someone else’s toy. Plus too many things on the honey do list to complete before my wife will let me bang away at the keyboard.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from a lot of places, but mostly from experience. Sometimes a friend of mine will say something in casual conversation and I’ll want to expound on it. Other times I’m mad at something and just need to vent. One time I was at Hooters with my 16-year-old son (he loves the buffalo chicken sandwich there) and I’ll looked on the back of a wet wipe pouch that had a profound question, “how fast is the speed of dark?” and that’s how I came up with my poem “The Speed of Dark.”

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?

When I am writing fiction, I always have a plan and usually start with the ending and work my way backwards, but when it comes to poetry, I just let it flow, I change things a lot and am always reediting. Why not make something better if you can? No matter how long ago I published. I guess I’m constantly experimenting.

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

I write both poetry and nonfiction, although my only fiction book out right now is a novella “Damaged Goods.” I do have a lot of material for three future novels. Whenever I hit a bump in the road, I switch to a different story. I have a few short stories too.

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

It would be a dream just to have one of my books turned into a movie. I don’t care who played in it.

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

I love Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, Baldwin, Conrad “The Heart of Darkness,” right now I’m on the second “Game of Thrones,” book (trying to overcome the withdrawal from the show and that anti-climactic season 8. The book is way better though, more characters and a lot more history of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. I’ll read anything, although I find myself reading a bunch of nonfiction too.

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

A Clash of Kings: A Song of Fire and Ice

If Beale Street Could Talk

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Alchemist… I love the philosophical twists and turns in that story. To travel around the world looking for something, never realizing you already had it.

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

Do it! Even if you start out writing to yourself, do it. Doesn’t matter how bad you think it is, you’ll start something and then think its crap (I still think all my stuff is crap as well as other people) but still go on. You might move onto a different project and come back a few years later with new ideas to make it better that you couldn’t think if when you were working at the time.

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

I have never been a social media type (guess that’s why I’m so hopeless). Although I am slowly learning. Right now you can find out about me on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, unfortunately I’m still a novice and therefore there’s not nearly enough information about me that there should be if I want to become successful. If you google O Persaud, I’m sure you can find all my books.

Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/O-Persaud/e/B07SMZPWK1

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorOPersaud

Instagram: www.instagram.com/o.persaud

Bonus:

I also wanted to add one of my answers about where I find inspiration for my writing.  There’s this site allpoetry.com where poets can go on and publish their work.  Sometimes we are given prompts to write about.  I received ideas about writing from there also.

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