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Author Interview: ‘The Thief and the Bastard’ by Kit McKinney

About the Book:

Claire has a secret – someone has stolen something very dear to her, and she has travelled from France to London to get it back. With a strange man named Jean by her side, she steals in order to survive, and to find what was taken from her. She is barely scraping by when she and Jean decide to steal from a more glamorous target – The Feather and the Wren. What she finds there, however, changes her life forever.

Duncan, a veteran-turned-entrepreneur, has a secret too – he is the bastard child of the licentious nobleman, The Duke of Argyll. Now, with the help of his friend and comrade-in-arms, Lord Thomas, he plans to find his family and take his place in society. That is, until a young French woman steals the only proof he has of his pedigree.

Thrust together by fate, Claire and Duncan find themselves battling with their attraction for one another. But can Claire help Duncan realise his destiny as an heir to the Argyll title? Can Duncan help Claire find what she is looking for? Can love help them find their way?

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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 been writing since before I can remember. When I was a kid, my parents had a particularly disruptive divorce, and I found solace in books and daydreams. The more I read, the more I wrote, and when I was in middle school, I decided to write my first book. It took me ten years to write and finish my first book, and by the end of it, I was exhausted. 

Throughout that process, I found the world of romance novels. My mother had given me a regency romance novel when I started puberty to teach me about the birds and the bees, and I was absolutely fascinated. It took until I had gotten married, written a few failing high fantasy books, and had my own child that I realized I could write what I loved to read. 

So I wrote The Thief and the Bastard, and I have to say, I’m hooked all over again. It took me years to write novels before I got into romance, where The Thief and the Bastard took me a month. I was just so inspired and in love with the process of it, I couldn’t put my pen down. That, and I was on my maternity leave. I decided from there that I would make romance more than a guilty pleasure, and really let myself enjoy my writing in ways I never had before. 

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

Where and when I write changes day to day, just as my life does. I wrote most of The Thief and the Bastard on my phone while I nursed my baby to sleep. The next book I wrote completely on my computer the few minutes I had between rocking her to sleep, and falling asleep myself. Now I make the time, and hope to continue that trend as I go back into the work force. For instance, this morning I wrote a scene while I made my baby eggs, and I’m writing this while she plays with blocks on the floor. Whatever happens, I’ll always find a way to squeeze a few words out a day. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

If I am completely honest, my ideas come from daydreams. I don’t daydream a whole lot anymore, but when I do, it’s usually me trying to find the mood for a book. If I’m having a hard time writing, I’ll set my work down and just sit there and ‘watch’ it unfold in my head, then figure out how to describe it from there. 

With Silk Sheets and Dark London streets, I literally just sat down and wrote, not bothering to think of what the story would be, or where it would take me. Every new scene would flesh the world out for me, and from there I would figure out how I wanted the story to go. It took me until about chapter three to have an idea of the world and whether or not I wanted to make the story a series, and I’m really glad I stuck out with it. So far the first three books are finished, and I’m three-quarters of the way done with book four.

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 really depends on the story, but as I was taking a shot in the dark, The Thief and the Bastard really dragged me along behind it. I usually have a general idea of the story, such as major plot points, and sometimes a particular scene or two, but I find that the more structure I have, the harder it is for me to write something quality. I feel too beholden to my plans, and can’t let the conversations happen naturally.

Dialogue between characters really is what drives my stories. I’ll sit down with an idea for a scene in mind, and then as the characters talk, I’ll realize that what I had planned wouldn’t work, because these characters would never say ‘X’, or ‘Y’, so I write it how I think they would speak, and go from there. If that changes the story, then so be it.

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

My books are historical romance, set in the Georgian era. I remember my first romance book, not really much what happened in it, but the fancy it bred in my heart at the idea of balls and bonnets. I have read contemporary, and I particularly like to read Scottish Highlander type stories, but for some reason when I sit down to write romance, I think historical London.

I think it might be the fact that the culture is so different from mine and that love feels a little forbidden in the time. Men could find themselves in affairs and understand their sexuality, but for a woman to know her own body was pretty taboo, which makes the whole thing that much more exciting. I’m not one to like things too risqué, so I think it scratches that adventurous part of me, the part of me that wants to be elegant and powerful and bad (in a good way, of course).

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

When I describe characters, I actually go through and try to find actors or models who look how I want my character to look, and use that as a base for my character’s face. Claire’s appearance is based off of a beautiful French actress, Emmanuelle Béart. Duncan was originally based off of Adrien Brody, a man that I particularly find very alluring, but I eventually switched the actor as I wanted to use Adrien Brody for another character. I eventually found a picture of a man named Tony Ward, who is a Lebanese-Italian fashion designer that is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know if he would act the part well, or really much about the man at all, but he certainly has a great face that I found inspiring.

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

I love to read, and sometimes when I have issues with writing, I’ll sit down and read to find inspiration. One of the authors that I found really fun and chill was Wendy Vella, who wrote a supernatural regency series that I absolutely devoured. I also read an author named Minerva Spencer, whose saucy scenes I thought were particularly well done. I really hope that I can one day write eroticism in such a compelling way. There’s a particular scene in her story Outrageous, where the main male character gets in a fight, and instead of focusing on the fight, he flexes for his lady, which I thought was both hilarious and sensual. Outside of historical romance, I used to read a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon, and loved her supernatural series as well. I definitely think that I will do something historical and otherworldly for my next series. In fact, I already brainstormed characters and supernatural situations that I hope to explore when I finish this series. 

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

Sillily enough, I am reading The Crown and the Sceptre by Tracy Borman, which is a history of British royalty. I am also reading A History of the British Isles by Kenneth Campbell and the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. That might give hints to where I want to take my next series, but I really wanted to know more about the era and culture that I am writing about, as American culture has never been particularly good at educating people on other’s cultures and history. I have found the history books very enlightening so far, though I’m still far from the time period I write in. And I have also been enraptured with the stories of Sherlock Holmes, as I have only ever seen adaptations of the work, and hope to learn how to ravel a web of mystery like Arthur Conan Doyle can.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I honestly don’t have a favorite book, though I feel like I should sometimes. Books are much like music to me, my favorite song and book is different almost everyday, depending on my mood and what is interesting that day. My favorite books in that past have been The Giver by Lois Lower, Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Outrageous by Minerva Spencer, but right now I’m looking for my next favorite book.

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

Write for yourself. I don’t ever plan to make money off my writing, but I want people to read it. I self published because it was a dream of mine, and I enjoy it, not because I want to make a career out of it. I will try my hardest to make the most out of writing, but at the end of the day, I will write whether or not I have an audience. I love writing because it helps me cope with my mental health issues and it enriches my life. I love writing like I love eating. It’s something to enjoy and do every single day. So I write for myself. Beyond that, do your research so you know what to expect. Things change all the time, and what might be true as I write this will be different when you start. From what I have read, having a back log is one of the best things for a writer, so work on getting things out, make the cover of a book you want to read, read blogs, and follow your favorite authors. There’s a lot of great information out there if you just look. And good luck!

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

You can find me at:

Facebook: Kit McKinney, Kit McKinney Fan Page

www.en-gb.facebook.com/people/Kit-McKinney/100079066089609

Twitter: @KitMcKinney4

Instagram: www.instagram.com/KitMcKinney4

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Kit-McKinney/e/B09YS7GBN9

About the Author:

Kit McKinney is a mother and author from San Antonio, Tx. She has been writing since she was in middle school, and fell in love with romance as a genre in her early teens. After graduating from Texas A&M and giving birth to her first child, she decided to commit herself to family, love, and happily ever afters. Happy reading.

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Author Interview: ‘Rules of Falling’ by Leslie Tall Manning

About the Book:

From the award-winning author who brought you i am Elephant, i am Butterfly and Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town.

Erica O’Donnell is hardly the quintessential high school senior. She doesn’t have a driver’s license. She’s never been to a concert. Sports are out of the question. She doesn’t own a pair of heels. No boy has ever asked her out. All of this for good reason: Erica faints. A lot. And at the most inconvenient times.

Chronic fainting, also known as syncope, keeps Erica on the sidelines as the odd-girl out. Luckily, Lindsay Bennett hovers nearby to catch Erica each time she nose-dives to the floor. Lindsay isn’t only Erica’s best friend—for four years she’s been her savior.

But things are about to change.

When Lindsay breaks up with her boyfriend Adam to pursue a married man, Erica is intrigued. But as Lindsay’s relationship intensifies, Erica finds her own world spinning out of control: from covering up her friend’s affair, to hiding her feelings for Adam, to casting suspicion when a string of arson fires sweeps through the town.

Gradually peeling away layers of deception from those she trusts the most, Erica must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover truths—and how many people will get burned in the process.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Reviews:

“Manning has pieced together a web of events and characters with a perfectly elegant flow. What seems to be a modern coming-of-age tale, mixed with a slight bit of romance, quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery filled with betrayal and deceit…highly recommend.” ~ Amy Powers, Readers’ Favorite Reviews

“Rules of Falling gave me a lot of the same vibes as i am Elephant, i am Butterfly, and I am just as impressed with this book. Readers will not be disappointed!” ~ Jennifer, Book Sirens Reviewer

“Complex and sophisticated. Absolutely un-put-downable.” ~ The Prairies Book Review

Author Interview:

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

Thank you so much for the interview! As a kid, I was always making up stories and plays, and performing for my family. In high school I was involved in everything theatre and music related. Flash forward: I was in college as a theatre major, ready to graduate, when I took a play writing class. I was subsequently asked to direct the play and present it as part of the Day Reparatory Theatre program. During my final semester, I took a novel writing class, and it was like the flood gates opened and never shut! I have been writing for 22 years, both plays and novels, for adult and young adult audiences. And that very first play from college is now an award-winning novel called Knock on Wood. Sometimes life comes full circle!

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

YES!! I only write in my home office (situated in my little 1910 home) and only Monday through Thursday, from 11-2. I am very strict about this writing schedule. This is the best way for me to keep my writing style consistent. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Heck if I know! Ever since that first play, ideas pop into my head all day long! It’s a blessing and a curse. Most ideas flitter away. Some make it to a Post-It. If that Post-It makes it to a file, then it will probably stay there forever. But if it makes it to my desk, then there is a good chance it will eventually become a book.

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?

There are two types of writers: Pantser (flying by the seat of your pants) and Plotter (knowing exactly where the story will go). I am right in between. I think about the story and take notes for up to a year before sitting down to write. Once I know the beginning, the ending, some crucial scenes, some character names, and the title, I begin. During the first draft, all hell breaks loose because the characters start bossing me around. I take back control during edits. You know, killing a character, bringing in a new one…showing them, ultimately, who’s boss.

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

I am what’s known as the genreless writer. I love to dabble when I read, and I do the same when I write. I have written everything from contemporary adult fiction, to magical realism, to a musical. It’s difficult enough to build an audience as a romance, horror, or any other genre writer. But as a genreless writer, I have to work extra hard to not only build an audience for each book, but get those readers to read across genres. Many of my readers do this, but there are so many who would rather read a book that follows a strict genre format. That, my friends, is not me. I’d rather write what my heart dictates than follow the herd.

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

RULES OF FALLING, my latest YA contemporary novel, would make a great limited series, or so says Taleflick, the book-to-film curation service. And while I don’t usually put a face to my characters for my readers, as I want them to use their own imagination, I would cast the following: 

Erica, teen protagonist who suffers from chronic fainting: Sadie Sink 

Adam, hunky volunteer fireman who sees more in Erica than anyone else: Uriah Shelton kind of guy

Lindsay, the misguided bestie who gets involved with a married man: Amber Midthunder (Native American)

Mom, who is a bit neurotic when it comes to her daughter: Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Garner

Larry, antagonist and total creep: Someone like Alexander Ludwig

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

I work in the evenings as a private English tutor, so I end up RE-reading the classics over and over again with my students; however, some of my favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Mitch Albom, and Laurie Halse Anderson. 

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

I’ve just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Dark and sad, but a necessary read in today’s crazy world.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. This little book has layers! Each chapter can stand alone as a short story, as we meet all of the neighbors in one young boy’s life. At the same time, there is an ominous feeling hovering over the town, as there is a murderer on the loose. Bradbury does such a great job of juxtaposing the warmth of summer with a backdrop of foreboding. Also, the story takes place just before the Great Depression hits, but because the characters do not know this, additional suspense is created.

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

Well, that’s a packed question! I give talks on this subject, and they last two hours. If I had to offer two pieces of advice before someone sits down to bleed onto the page, I would tell them this: Do not make excuses for NOT writing; in other words, get your butt into the chair! Secondly, don’t let anyone EVER tell you that you CAN’T write. Everyone gets better. Maybe not your first book, or even your second. But you will get better. Remember that novel I wrote in college? It sits in a box under my bed. My literary agent has never seen it. I have grown as a writer since that first book. And you will, too!

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

Here you go. Stop by and say hello!

Website: www.leslietallmanning.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8118702.Leslie_Tall_Manning

Amazon Books: www.amazon.com/Leslie-Tall-Manning/e/B00VRZ3FOK%3Fref

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Leslie-Tall-Manning-Writer/236448826562926

Twitter: @LTManningWriter

Instagram: www.instagram.com/leslietallmanning

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/leslietallmanning

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/leslie-tall-manning

Book Sirens: www.booksirens.com/book/SFBU8QK/L9BNVKW

About the Author:

Leslie Tall Manning is an award-winning novelist who writes about adults and teenagers craving independence and often stumbling into it headfirst. She especially loves digging into universal themes such as friendship, bravery, and self-forgiveness. Her previously published books have received 5-star reviews from Publishers Weekly; Prairies Book Reviews; Midwest Book Reviews; Netgalley; Novel Gossip; YA Books Central; Readers’ Favorite; Pickled Thoughts and Pinot; and the Story Circle Network. Manning’s awards include the Sarton Women’s Literary Award; North Carolina Author Project Award; Self-e Library Journal Selection; International Book Award Finalist; Taleflick Road to Development Finalist; Indie Brag Medallion; Story Monsters Certificate of Excellence; and the Firebird Literary Fiction Award. She spends her days writing furiously and her evenings tutoring young adults. When she isn’t crafting books, plays, or musicals, she enjoys taking care of her Victorian home and traveling with her artist husband. She is proudly represented by Uwe Stender at the TriadaUS Literary Agency.

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Author Interview: ‘Emma’s Fury’ by Linda Rainier

About the Book:

After a brutal and unnatural death, Emma is reborn as a Fury, a descendant of the mythological deities who were tasked with the judgment of man. They are tasked with protecting the delicate balance between humans and the paranormal world.

In the world of the Fury there is no room for the frivolity of human nature; no room for compassion or a need for love. To fall victim to such volatile emotions leads only to ruin and suffering.

In the shadows, darkness rises, endangering the tightly controlled world of the Fury. Emma must survive an intricate web of deceit and betrayal as the questions mount.

With the aid of her guardian, David, they must find a way to beat back the evil that threatens to devour them. 

Will her hope of finding her place in this world be dashed by the insurmountable odds?
Can she control the overwhelming emotions threatening to tear down her carefully constructed walls?

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Barnes and Noble

Author Interview:

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

An independent author from New Hampshire. I guess I’ve always described myself as a little kooky, with a rather dark sense of humor. For about 90% of the time, I’m probably pretty boring and shear chaos for the remaining 10%.

Like most authors, I grew up with a great love for story-telling. My dad would travel a lot for work and my mom would gather all the kids around, telling us stories or read to us at night. I think that had a significant impact on my life.

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

At night is when I find I am most efficient at writing. Throughout the day, I’ll be thinking about the story and what I need to get done. So when I sit down at night, I can quickly get to work.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I suffered from terrible insomnia as a child. My mind would never really slow down enough to fall asleep. I found listening to music helped, and it allowed my mind to wonder in a less active way. I’d imagine scenes that went along with the music. My current series was actually several years in the making. I had all the scenes I wanted to add and a reasonable order for them, but I just needed to find the last piece to tie it all together. The Furies were a perfect choice for my main character. I’ll also ask a lot of questions. By examining the issues, you can come up with some creative solutions. It’s like playing both sides of a chessboard.

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 a flexible plotter. I know how the story will end and all the major plot points that need to be there, but I allow for new ideas to pop up. Sometimes I’ll need to split a chapter in half because it’s too long. Other times I’ll realize that the plot or subplot needs more. I have a clear idea of the story but can adjust as needed.

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

Mythological urban fantasy. I learned about Greek mythology in high school and really fell in love with the subject. It really lends itself well to the fantasy genre and the fact that most of my pleasure reading it is typically fantasy that helps as well. The first story to really grab my attention was The Hobbit. Anything is possible with fantasy, whether it is dragons or robot, you can build whatever world you want.

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

Hmm. There are so many amazing actors, it is hard to say. I think the main character, Emma, would be the hardest to cast in mind. Perhaps Scarlett Johansson or Charlize Theron. The closest actor I can think of for David would be Jason Momoa and Mei li would be either Lucy Liu or Zhang Ziyi. Bastian, I think Gerard Butler and Thanatos would be Colin Farrell.

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

I read as much as life will allow. I definitely don’t get to dedicate as much time as I want, but if I’m really getting stressed, I attempt to read more because it relaxes me.

Wow. Favorite author? I have a fairly broad interest in books. I loved Dean Koontz, Shakespeare and George Martin. A good romance is always good as well, so I devoured a lot of Lindsay’s books.

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

I just finished reading “Letters from Italy” by Mario Dell’Olio, highly recommend. Right now, I’m reading “Nasty little cuts” by Tina Baker 

9: What is your favourite book and why?

“The Monk” by Matthew Gregory Lewis. It’s so well written examining human nature and all of its flaws. It’s dark and visceral and beautiful.

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

First, understand what success looks like to you. For me, having people read and enjoy the work is my primary goal.

Second, if you are looking to sell the book it’s going to cost some money, so budget early. Believe me, editors are costly. Even if you are going the traditional publishing route, you still want to send out a pretty clean manuscript. Indie publishing has even more costs associated with it. You owe it to yourself and your reader to put out the best book that you can.

Finally, two qualities are having a thick skin and patience. Some people will love your work, some may hate it. Learn to distinguish between hate and a constructive critique. We are always learning, always improving. So use all input to your advantage. 

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

Twitter: @ln_rainier

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lrainier

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lnrainierauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18712934.Linda_Rainier

About the Author:

Growing up in a small New Hampshire town Linda graduated from New Hampshire College with a degree in English Literature. From an early age she fell in love with the art of story-telling, especially the mythology. When the power would go out, which is a common occurrence in the winter, there would be many nights where they would sit and read or tells stories as a family. 

Each of our family mythos and tales of folk lore are significant in that it allows us, as a society, to connect with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. By studying these oral and written legends it gives us a window into the core of human nature.

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Author Interview: ‘The Mess in Her Womb’ by Dr. Chhavi Gandhi Juneja

About the Book:

Pranay Ahuja and Drishti Kapoor are quintessential young, happily married couple in their thirties in the Garden city of Bangalore. Their seemingly smooth ride through life is jolted by a hurricane when Drishti learns about her issues of infertility. With constant failures, miscarriages, and continuous In-vitro fertilization procedures, Drishti spirals into depression. The chase for the baby leads to a strained relationship with her parents, finding solidarity in the people with the same circumstances, and resentment towards people with pregnancy announcements. Understanding her deteriorating mental health and initial denial of the treatment, she diverts her chase from the baby towards mental peace.

This is the story of a woman who has everything everyone else wishes for, a loving husband, an extremely supportive set of parents, a blooming career, and financial security. In order to pursue what she can’t have, she risked everything she had. While drowning in the sea of sorrows, she finds solace in her best friend Naina, who like her, is trying to be pregnant through IVF, Mrs. Seema, a successful business owner and her next-door neighbor, and her boss and colleagues at her workplace.

In this contemporary fiction of pain, hurt, rage, disappointment, loss, love, and hope, follow Drishti and Pranay in their mission to find their purpose, rekindle the lost love in their relationship, and build the world they have longed for.

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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 Dr Chhavi Gandhi Juneja, and I am a doctor by profession and an author by passion. I belong to a small town in North India and currently have a blissful life with my Software Engineer husband in Bangalore (South India). A few months back, after serving for two years in the pandemic, I decided to chase what I have always wanted to do: write a book that creates a positive impact in people’s lives.

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

My favourite time is always in the morning and I have a corner of my couch with a table that gets me the best ideas.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas are inspired by real people and their emotions. I always try to make a story quite relatable.

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 form an initial framework but I am quite flexible. In case the initial plotline isn’t compliant with the storyline ahead or vice versa, I modify it slightly while trying to keep the essence of the story.

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

I mainly write contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, and medical fiction. Since I am a doctor and I like to make my story as close to reality as possible, these genres are where I can thrive.

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

Hollywood- Jennifer Lawrence and Sebastian Stan

Bollywood- Sanya Malhotra and Vicky Kaushal

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

I read a lot. My favourite authors are Cecelia Ahern, Robin Cook, Elizabeth Gilbert and J.K.Rowling.

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

I am reading 1984 by George Orwell which I am going to discuss in the book club called as “Elegance Book Club” and I am very excited!

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book shall always remain Pride and Prejudice because of Jane Austen, a feminist of her times, and the Harry Potter series because my loneliness of teen age was absolutely vanished because of that book.

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

Finish that book, get it edited well, and market it even more. There is no way your art doesn’t deserve any credits, you just have to work hard.

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

Instagram: www.instagram.com/drchhavigandhi

Facebook: www.facebook.com/chhavi.gandhi.37

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/22316614.Chhavi_Gandhi_Juneja

Amazon Kindle: www.amazon.co.uk/Dr-Chhavi-Gandhi-Juneja/e/B09W9CY767

About the Author:

Dr. Chhavi Gandhi Juneja is a Clinical Microbiologist, an Infection Control Officer, and an up-and-coming author of the new novel “The Mess in her womb: A couple’s journey through Infertility.” After serving her time in the reputed laboratories and the hospitals of India before and during the pandemic, she got inspired by the resilience of the human race to survive in the adversities, but at the cost of mental peace and lucidity. The misconstrued decisions against the restoration of mental health and the complete obscurity regarding the importance of it, she took some time out to pen down her experiences with two stigmas ruling our society: Infertility and Mental Health.

As a dedicated healthcare worker, Dr. Chhavi has featured in the Doctors’ day 2020 edition of the esteemed Readers’ Digest.

During her free time, she enjoys a cozy cup of hot chocolate while reading novels by Cecelia Ahern or Nicholas Sparks.

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Author Interview: ‘Corporate Chastity’ by G.A. Wayne

About the Book:

Corporate Chastity: A Modern, Female-Led Romance flips the classic male-dominated corporate idiom on its head. The story is told from the point of view of a corporate professional whose life and career are shockingly altered when the company he works for is taken over by four stunning female corporate raiders. His long suppressed submissive sexual desires become the unavoidable hook to an entirely new career path. He is shifted to a “working from home position” under the strict monitoring of his demanding new boss. Control of even his sexual pleasure is quickly transferred to her by way of an elaborate metal chastity cage and a new world of rules and daily training.

Despite her emotionally distant, sexually focused management over everything he does, he grows to need and care for her in ways he never imagined possible. Her explicit desires bring his repressed passions fully to life, and he fears not being able to live up to her exacting standards. Ultimately, he is faced with a number of essential questions and choices: Can a virile, active man survive in a romantic relationship without sexual release? Can the aching pleasure of submission to a woman he yearns for overcome his most intimate physical needs? 

Beyond her unyielding principles, he must deal with a series of tests deriving from an underlying agreement between the four business partners, three of whom are sexually dominant women—with very different tastes—while the other is a charismatic ball of unrelenting sexual energy who becomes an intimate part of his new life.

Can real romance blossom in such a strange and intense environment, and if so, what form will it ultimately take?

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Author Interview:

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

When I was 14 or so, I found an old typewriter in my parent’s basement. I loved the sound of the keys, the feel of the motion, and—even more—I loved watching a story emerge line by line upward from the spool. I discovered the simple act of typing presented two different experiences occurring almost simultaneously: typing my thoughts one letter at time was a creative act, manifesting my thoughts into a physical object, running concurrently with the experience of discovering a fully-formed new reality as it shifted upward at each pull of the carriage return. 

Interestingly, I wrote my first erotica when I was 16 or 17. I didn’t know that’s what it was. I’d had this image in my head for a while, as teenagers do. When I started to type it, I remember how real it felt. I remember the story almost like it was a memory that happened to me, and the aesthetic from that feeling still informs my writing. 

I majored in philosophy in college, and that was a discovery, as well. I was planning on going into psychology or physics. The first day of my Intro to Philosophy class changed all of that. By the second day, I was sitting in the front row essentially having a conversation with the professor. My classmates took to derisively calling me Socrates. Throughout my education, philosophy classes were the classes in which I was “that annoying guy.”  

The two paths have merged: for me, each story I write is sort of free-flowing expression of a new way of thinking, a new way of looking at the world, a new set of procedures by which to understand and reach a previously unattainable goal.  

Once I connected the idea of writing to the idea of pursuing a procedurally detailed understanding of how the world works, longer and longer stories have just flowed. Understanding the feelings that drive actions, the desires that must be pursued, and the specific steps that lead from one goal to another brings me back to the childlike joy of sitting in front of that old typewriter each time.

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

I write professionally in a non-creative field, hence the pseudonym for my erotica writing. I spend a great deal of time in front of my computer. I think by typing, likely as a result of how I learned to write. I don’t outline. I don’t organize. I just write. In my professional writing, I have done it long enough to be able to feel what goes where without pre-thinking anything. The same is true, to an extent, with my creative writing. 

That being said, I work best on deadline. I purposefully sign up for all manner of short story competitions, so that I have absolute deadlines to meet. It’s amazing how efficiently a story comes out when I have only 48 hours to get it submitted. I love knowing that by the end of the weekend, I’ll have a whole new story to enjoy, a whole new world in my head.  

Like every writer, there are times when I can’t find a direction right away. My solution to that classic “block” is to simply pick setting and start writing without any specific direction. I know my brain wants to tell a story. I just need to give it access to my fingers and let it get started. Almost always, once I let that process begin, I can see a full-fledged story emerge into my consciousness; I can almost always feel where it will end up even during the early paragraphs. It’s just a matter of weaving through the signposts and hairpin turns of life, emotion, and essential needs to get there.  

When I get stuck in the midst of a story, I tend to solve the problem by way of dialogue. I think it’s my strength as a writer. Hearing my characters talk to each other tells me who they are, what they need, and how the plot needs to get them there. It’s also a great way to avoid the “telling instead of showing” problem (which is not to say that I throw difficult exposition into dialogue. It has to be organic, or it just sounds ridiculous).  

3: Where do your ideas come from?

For me, feelings follow details. Every moment in life is a part of a journey to somewhere. Any journey can be interesting depending on how wide a lens you point at it, what you focus on, and how well you edit the documentary about it. I have written lengthy stories that cover just a few minutes, and incredibly short stories that cover weeks, even years. 

I almost always start with a moment. A few words. A thought. Someone saying something. That beginning informs a world of possibilities to follow. 

One thing I’ve learned to trust is that I’ll bring the narrative flight in for a safe landing. As a matter of perspective, I like to think I can find the poetic context in most moments and interactions. So often I find the ultimate irony and importance of the story when I write the last line. I may have to go back and add some elements, twist some dialogue, or alter the plot a bit to connect the dots most organically. But I’m often surprised how well it all fell together the first pass through.  

That’s the part I love most: paying off that sense of where I thought the story might be going with that perfect ending that confirms I must have known what was going to happen all along.  

We are human. Stories about our lives express an inherent humanity if we let them. I try to trust that. Then I edit the hell of it. 

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 try to avoid having a plan. I might have a feeling. 

I learn from the characters and first moments of the story where it will end up. It’s not so much a question of destiny as it is a question of the specific details of causation. Beauty appears from the complexity of the process, even where the process seems linear. Chronology is, of course, linear. We all move forward in time toward some moment we call an ending. It’s only an ending for that story. It may be the middle of another. It may just be a flash of a memory for a completely different story. 

I love great intersecting plot stories: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern versus Hamlet, Beowulf versus Grendel, even The Wizard of Oz versus Wicked. I try to direct the energy of those fully formed competing narrative realities into my stories, where every character is the protagonist of their own life. I love those characters you pass by in a story that have so much going on you want to circle back and see where they ended up.

I try to trust that idea and let all those characters live full, rich lives on their own. I just point the camera of narration at a small window of time to capture a meaningful story. I try not to care about where it will end up, and I’m generally incredibly happy with where it did. 

None of us plan our final days, where or how we will die. There’s no predetermined plot. Yet, all of us bungle through interesting, meaningful stories along the way. The closer I can write to that reality the happier I am.

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

I write almost every genre, except horror. I don’t connect with horror at all. Horror hurts my soul. 

My first published work was a sweet, romantic short story about furry animals, and my first full-length published novel was an erotic tale about female domination. 

As I regularly do short story competitions, I am forced to try every genre. I am grateful to have found that outlet, and I am committed to it. The competitions, results, feedback, and stories I’ve written have taught me a great deal. I have discovered a few genres that I’m better at than I would have ever thought—political satire, for one. I’ve found that my personal focus on the procedural inner workings of life populates my satire with a light, unexpected tone that I really like. Who knew? 

I do love comedy, especially romantic comedy. I spent time doing stand-up. That has helped me understand timing and tone more than I thought during those nights when I was bombing in front of tired audiences at last call. Most importantly, I learned that you have to earn funny. It requires so many elements to fit into place perfectly, and you have to pay it off exactly right. Wording is critical. Timing is everything. Context and tone define what kind of laugh you earned only if you did everything else right. 

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

This is a bit of an awkward question in light of the context of my recent book. I just don’t see this story making it to the big screen, and that’s probably a good thing. Ultimately, I worry about trying to place any actors or actress into the context of my book without being disrespectful or overtly sexualizing them.  

In my opinion, mainstream movies have yet to portray the BDSM or D/s lifestyle in any realistic or respectful way. The characters are almost always irredeemably flawed human beings who fall into “kink” for all the wrong reasons: misogyny, low self-esteem, attempted recovery from trauma, etc. The interactions are often mechanical and meaningless. The point of such movies is—almost always—pure titillation with little understanding or exploration of three-dimensional people. From my perspective, BDSM and D/s involve (or should involve) deeply intimate connections between two strong people who understand themselves in ways many people don’t.  

Of course, I understand it is hard to capture that level of subtly in an erotic context presented for entertainment purposes. I’m not sure I’ve done great service to the idiom in my story. As erotica writers, we feel compelled to focus on the sexy parts, certainly. I’ve tried to provide a sense of real interaction and developing feelings within that context, but my book is ultimately a story about inappropriate erotic attraction and interpersonal control. So, my characters may only brush alongside a sense of reality, but no one wants to get bogged down in the tedium of the main characters’ small talk about their respective family dramas over dinner, especially in erotica.   

I intend to continue to explore the best way to purse and express erotica, in both short and long form.

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

I read a lot. Not always fiction. My favorite days reading usually involve something light-hearted. I aspire to Douglas Adams. I love the tone, elegance, and playfulness of James Thurber. Robert Ludlum and Dan Brown are guilty pleasures. Aldus Huxley, Sinclair Lewis, and George Orwell inspired my understanding of satire. I love to sit back with a Malcolm Gladwell book and just enjoy thinking. I respect the classics, but I often fail in my attempts to fully appreciate them. Like Jazz or Blues, I wish I found them more enjoyable. I have been spending a good deal of time over the past years learning to play the piano, and I have yet to be able to cope with or understand either form.  

My favorite author will always be Shakespeare. I have performed in a few plays and read many of the others. Performing opened the world of what he was saying in a way I’m not sure I would have ever understood just reading them. The poetry is engaging and the characters deep, flawed, and inspiring. The comedy works no matter the era. The expressions of pain reverberate through time. I believe that Shakespeare is present in so much of modern fiction as to practically be considered an element of the syntax of our language.

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

The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann (non-fiction). I picked up the book out of respect for the tremendous metaphor of the title and have been drawn into learning far more than I wanted to.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Animal Farm by George Orwell, for a very specific reason. I was able to experience the book at various stages of my life; each time with completely different meanings; each time it added something different to my view of the world. It’s astonishing how prescient he was, and how sad it is that his brilliantly told tale couldn’t have remained just an interesting story about clever animals.  

It’s not the most enjoyable book to read, but I respect it as much as any. 

As for pure joy in reading, I will always return to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (The movie versions don’t even come close.) There is no way to fully appreciate and live in the deftness of Adams’ glorious language without reading his words again and again.

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

I think everyone should be a writer. Even as a matter of economics, if you want to enhance your career path, the better you write the more options you have in most fields you pursue. Every job I’ve had (beyond working at the local dry cleaning store, being a waiter, or delivering newspapers), being able to write improved my job quality, income, and enjoyment. Even just being able to manage grammar enhances job prospects. (Yes. I still struggle, too.)  

Throughout the slew of jobs I’ve held, I was almost always moved from having to do the awful parts of the job to being responsible for the more interesting parts of the job because I could express myself through writing. 

I will always recommend spending time learning the language. Grammar is just a matter of practice and learning some basis rules. Being competent is doable. Being good at it is a life’s endeavor. Most jobs operate by way of computer or internet these days. You must write to function. When you do it well, you gain traction to control whatever career path you choose. 

I now work exclusively from home as a writer. I can’t imagine going back to an office. I wish I’d paid more attention in school from elementary through graduate school. Maybe I’d have gotten here earlier. That’s really my only regret. There was so much amazing information I had access to, I wish I had watched more closely as it flowed by.

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

Unfortunately, I am the last person to ask about social media. I’m not on social media in any way. I respect people who are good at it, but I absolutely am not. I remember being on Myspace and the first iteration of Facebook (it took me forever to get off that site). I could never understand what was going on. I am very specific in what I want to spend time reading, and I don’t need to know that someone I met years ago just brought brownies to their office. Unless those brownies are on my front doorstep, I really don’t get the alluring of that information. 

That grumpy point of view notwithstanding, I get blogging. It’s very expressive and detailed. It is writing, and it is creative—plain and simple. I can also see how it creates a sense of community, business connections, and even occupational advancement. It’s just not for me. I am essentially an introvert. I can enjoy personal interactions in small, controlled bursts. Even just reading a response to a post of mine makes me anxious. Oddly, I experience great deal of joy in public speaking. But social media drains the life from my face, and nobody wants to be around for that.

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