I Interviewed a Woman and She Nearly Killed Me. Here’s Why.

Shocking Finds

Today I interview Marin Yarthine, the main lead in Shocking Finds, a Finder’s Keeper’s novel. She has superpowers but isn’t quite up to Superwoman level yet. Or…is…she? Muwahahahahahaha .

S: In the beginning of the book, you were described as having the ability to move a Toyotal with your mind. What was that like?
Marin: Whoa, whoa whoa… if you’re gonna start with insane questions, I need another cup of coffee first. *sigh…
S: Can we get Miss Yarthine some more coffee. Okay… while we wait, why don’t you tell me about the Toyota?
Marin: Fine. But there really isn’t anything to tell. That wasn’t me. I may accidentally shock people, but I’ve never moved anything with my mind. And you can call me Marin. Besides… Kyland says my last name is actually de Platadreki.
(At this juncture I put down my recorder, cried onto my YouTube channel for no reason, then rechecked my questions)
S: Speaking of Kyland, he informed us that the first time he saw you, you were flipping a car through the air, managing to save your own life.
Marin:… (like in Final Fantasy when you know an imposter’s coming and you’ll have to fight its outrageously high HP)
S: Marin… are you alright? Ouch!
(The Interviewer dropped the now smoking recorder, and shook the sting out of his hand before picking up one of the spare recorders Kyland had suggested he have on hand.)
Marin: Sorry. *ducks to hide her flaming cheeks… I still have a lot to learn, and I guess no one has gotten around to telling me that part. Not that I can’t remember the moment vividly. It was the first time I ever allowed my anger to show, to reach the surface. I remember thinking that the anger, or some large power, was moving through me, flying off to bat the Toyota away. It was so strong that I got slammed backwards into the parking lot. And yes it freaked me out. But then, a lot of this magical stuff freaks me out.
(The Interviewer slowly placed the recorder on the table sitting between them.)
S: Sooo… Take us through your mind the first time you met Kyland. How do you
feel about him now?
Marin (A big smile on her face): I absolutely love that Fae. Don’t get me wrong, he drives me crazy… but he also gets me through all the changes in my life that would have sent me into hiding without him. When I first met the man, he was saving my faux-aunt. He didn’t have to do that, but he worried about how me. As for my part, I was in the middle of a nightmare, afraid my only family would die before my eyes. And still, my hormones – my previously thought dead hormones – perked up and took notice. But come one. Have you seen him? The man is absolutely lickable.
I even found him to die for when I woke up to find he had stolen my clothes. Don’t ask.
S (stunned): If you could have one additional enhanced sense you don’t currently
have, what would it be, and why?
Marin: Wow. Now that’s a horrible thought. I already have all five of the human normal senses. Plus the Fae ability to sense emotions. Well, I can sense them sometimes. That one is the most annoying. I mean, who wants to sense emotions without contexts. I guess it would be nice to sense curses and spells, like Kyland. Not only to I have enough curses to live with, that I am still trying to get rid of, but knowing if an attacker was under a curse would be helpful. I hate the loss of innocent life more than anything else about my new reality.
S: What is the best part of being a Princess now?
Marin: That’s a tough one. I’m not sure I even want to be a Princess. I’ll have to get back to you after I’ve gotten used to the idea. Though being noticed by those around me, being seen… even though it freaks me out a little, it’s nice to be a part of the crowd.
S: How did you feel when Lindal revealed her true nature?
(Marin flinched a little. Sparks started flying off her fingers, but one deep breath and the sparks died down. The recorder was still working, but the Interviewer gave Marin a moment to calm down by switching to a new recorder and handing off the current one to his assistant.)
Marin (looking off to the left): My heart broke. I was angry and lost, and I wanted someone to tell me it wasn’t true. It isn’t like Lindal even pretended to love me. She was just the only family I had ever know, the only acceptance no matter how abusive. And yes… I now know without a shadow of a doubt that the way she treated me was abuse.
(Marin feel silent. After a few minutes, the Interviewer decided to continue.)
S: What’s the Queen’s real name? We won’t blab to the whole world, promise.
Marin (Shaking her head): I’m sorry. What did you ask?
S: What’s the Queen’s real name? We promise not to repeat it.
(Marin opened her mouth to answer, but stopped and looked over the Interviewer’s head as a gruff male voice answered for her)
Kyland: I warned you what would happen if you strayed from the list of approved questions.
S: (trying to get over tingling electric shock): Sorry. I didn’t think that one would hurt.
Marin: It doesn’t matter. No one will tell me anything other than Queen de Platadreki.
At that point I tried to politely end the interview before a dude seven feet tall tried to kill me. All the lights in the studio exploded and I was thrown from my chair by another electric shock. Marin growled, “Mine!” and stomped from the studio, dodging the Fae medical staff they hand on hand for just this reason, and knew that Kyland would follow. That’s all the questions I got. The takeaway: sometimes it’s better to ask fewer questions, especially when your guests have superhuman powers and you don’t.
In the meantime, follow Marin’s journey and read this book before it hits the USA Today and New York Times bestsellers lists and those who haven’t purchased a copy will find out what it’s like to face a human who can electric shock you at will. And before Dogbert takes over the world 😉.

Buy the book at Amazon HERE or at Barnes and Nobles HERE

Visit the author’s webpage HERE or the webpage for the Finder’s Keeper’s books HERE

toad photo: www.kissin993.com

Author Interview: Ann the Supreme Overlord

Ann Livi Andrews is the “Supreme Overlord” of the Support for Indie Authors Goodreads group, which she started in January 2015. The group has grown to over 3,000 indie authors bound by a desire to help each other. Here’s my interview with Ann about her debut novel, Hollow Towns.

S: You wrote in multiple viewpoints for this story, as opposed to just one person. Did that make the writing style more difficult, or was it a fun challenge?

A: Honestly they felt like two completely different stories as I was writing them. Yes, they do tie together, but Charlie’s personality is so different than Hannah/Lucy’s that it gave the first half of the book a vastly different feel than the second half – at least it did while I was writing it. My greatest struggle was in finding a way to put them together that wasn’t too confusing for readers. I knew they weren’t two separate books, but alternating between the two viewpoints would have given too much away too quickly.

S: To me, The Seven made the story more creepy. Your writing made them feel almost like…deities. Tell the blog reader (without too many spoilers) how these seven beings impact the story.

A: I suppose they’re a bit like a shadow government that many people have conspiracy theories surrounding. Only they’re not concerned with individuals. I’d go so far as to say that they don’t recognize anything in the singular form, which I hinted at with their reaction to Charlie and Madison at the very end of the book. Every action they take is merely a small step towards a greater purpose. As for the sense that they’re deities, I’m pretty sure they believe they are.

S: Near the end of your book, two characters talk about a possible war and whether they should participate or not. Without too many giveaways, where do you see the next book headed? Or, are you done with this story?

A: I wanted to be done with this story, but things don’t always work out the way we want them to. However, I’m excited to begin on the sequel because we’ll get to learn about this new way of life through Madison’s eyes as she experiences it for herself. In addition, we’ll learn more about The Seven and their plans for Charlie. And as Charlie and his team take on new missions, we’ll get to learn more about the environment they were raised in. As for the impending fight, they’ll have to decide whether or not they have a chance to make any changes at all by fighting.

S: Where do you get your inspiration for your writing?

A: Sometimes it’s a dream. Sometimes it’s a sentence that keeps repeating over and over again in my head until I write it down. Regardless, it never feels like something I’m making it up. It’s more like switching through frequencies until you get a clear signal on a story that’s already floating around somewhere. With Hollow Towns, I had an image of a girl waking up amid rubble with no idea of who she was, lightning flashing all around her. The story built from there due to my curiosity to find out what had happened to her.

S: Since you published this novel, what has the initial reaction been like?

A: Most readers have enjoyed it. I thought the change in perspective might frustrate a few people, but so far it’s been well received.

S: Which of the character’s perspectives was the toughest for you to write, and why?

A: Hannah/Lucy for sure. I couldn’t connect with her. I really don’t like her at all. I’m not sure if it’s her naivety or her stubbornness to keep pushing on, but she really irritated me. I had completed my first draft but after rereading it, I basically scrapped the entire first half of the book (Hannah/Lucy’s story) and started from scratch. I can honestly say that she drove me to drink.

S: What’s next for you?

A: I’m hoping to launch a paperback of my first four stories in my Rehab for Superheroes series titled “Meet Your Heroes.” This will feature an extended version of Crimson Mistress (this is the first story I ever published and I’ve known for a while that it needed to be rehashed a bit), Jack, Em, and Dakota. I also have a sequel to Hamlet that I’ve been working on for a few months now. If I could get those two out by the end of the year I’ll be happy. Then I’ll be wrapping up the full length novel of Rehab for Superheroes. My list only seems to get longer even though I’ve crossed quite a few items off of it.

visit Ann’s personal website HERE

Buy the book HERE

Author Interview: Robert Krenzel, A Veteran Who Helps Veterans

Today’s author interview is with Robert Krenzel, former Army officer who served in the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan with a specialty in Armor and Cavalry operations. He focuses on writing and helping fellow vets suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a serious problem that sadly goes untreated in too many vets. I spoke to him about his new book and his work.

S: You have some great military experience which suits you to write novels based on the battlefield. Can you tell me about how your experiences shape your writing?

RK: I think the equation goes something like this: Experience + Research + Imagination = Story. I have been around soldiers most of my adult life so my experiences with them obviously color my approach to writing about them. For example, I can’t write about British troops without balancing the research I have done (not all of it casts them in the best light) against the incredibly positive experiences I had with British troops in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan! On top of that there is a warm place in my heart for American troops; for one thing you never know what is going to come out of their mouths! In my upcoming novel there are a few scenes that are based on actual conversations I had with members of my tank crew in Kosovo. I think things like that add some color, warmth, and realism to my work…and I think they are a fitting tribute to my brothers and sisters in arms. Oh, and I know what it is like to be absolutely terrified, although that never really happened in combat (it was in an airplane).

S: PTSD is such a major issue, but one which unfortunately is not well understood by the public at large and is not well treated by the VA. Did you ever suffer from PTSD, and/or do you mentor other veterans, but in particular those who have PTSD?

RK: First of all, every war is different for every soldier, and PTSD is not something that goes away. I have seen and done things I would really have preferred to not have experienced, but I know men and women who experienced far, far worse. Yes, I have been diagnosed with PTSD, and it has been a rough road, but I am doing very well now. I try to help others, and I try to raise awareness of this issue in my books. I also support organizations like Invisible Wound, a non-profit founded by friends of mine, Adrian and Diana Veseth-Nelson. Adrian and I served together twice in Iraq; he was decorated for valor (a well-deserved medal, by the way), and experienced some horrific things along the way. Check out their FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/InvisibleWound (BW note: Consider supporting veteran organizations which work directly with vets, such as Invisible Wound)

S: Tell us your thoughts about the self-publishing vs. traditional publishing path for authors. Why did you choose your path?

RK: My genre is not one of the most lucrative, and I was spending more time trying to convince agents that my book was worth their time than I was making the book worth the reader’s time. I also think independent publishing has a tremendous future. To top it off, the process of publishing was both fun and rewarding!

S: Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, what was your experience?

RK: I have never attended a writer’s conference. The closest I came was taking an online course on writing improvement; it involved a great deal of writing and feedback from other writers. I really enjoyed the interaction with other authors and potential authors. That course was so helpful in fact that the opening scene of “Times That Try Men’s Souls” originated as a homework assignment. I got feedback from my peers, developed it further, and am very pleased with the results.

S: How do you deal with negative feedback about your writing? Do you get back more positive or negative feedback?

RK: I have been fortunate to get mostly positive feedback. What negative feedback I have gotten has been constructive; I have been able to learn from it and use it to improve my writing. I also bear in mind that no matter how well I write, not everyone is going to like my work. Many people do, and I love writing, so that is what really matters.

S: How many Gideon Hawke novels do you intend to write? And tell us a little more about Gideon.

RK: I will write until the story has told itself. I have ideas for several more books in the queue, and it was a very long war! As long as Gideon remains committed the Cause I will continue to write about him.

Tell you more about Gideon? I will give you a little teaser about “Times That Try Men’s Souls”: Gideon’s biggest flaw is that he is too protective of those he cares about. He is willing to take risks, but he holds back others who are willing to do the same. Let’s just say that causes conflict.

Check out Robert’s website and Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/GideonHawkeNovels

http://robertkrenzel.com/

You can find “This Glorious Cause” on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/This-Glorious-Cause-Gideon-Hawke/dp/1511465190   

Author interview: Francis Powell, the Interesting Chap

If you don’t know Francis Powell, you should. He is an interesting chap, a man who attending a British boarding school NOT named Hogwarts and, like Harry Potter, didn’t have a great time for the most part. He is published by Savant Books and was kind enough to speak with me.

S: First tell us what made you want to be a writer and what prompted you to write Flight of Destiny.

F: I moved to a remote village in Austria. It was not far from Vienna, but a very oppressive and strange environment. I thought I should try writing a book. I launched into it…nothing came of it. I do many creative activities, painting as well as writing music. Writing lay dormant, put to one side. Then later, living in Paris at this point in time, via an advert, I made contact with a man called Alan Clark, who had a literary magazine called “Rat Mort” (dead rat).  I submitted four short stories for this magazine, encouraged by Alan, I began to write more and more short stories, and developed a style…When I had a stock of short stories, it seemed logical to try to put them all together and find a publisher.

S: Your novel is actually a collection of 22 short stories, but the kind of world you create is described as “reflections of a parallel, but darker, often fatalistic noir that proceeds quite independently by its own machinations to grind away at the grist of humanity for what appears to be no apparent reason.” I read some of your stories and they just drove me crazy, with how sharp you twist your writing, especially near the end. What was the motivation for your style?

F: I suppose I like the idea of writing  a short story in the same way a fisherman might fish, enticing and luring a reader then hooking them (I am against all forms of hunting by the way).  I suppose with my style I like to play a bit with the reader, lay false trails…to tantalize readers, and then at the end of the story turn the story around with his unexpected twist, which is the ultimate aim with this type of short story.

Like with other creative activities, painting for example, often a painter tries different styles before they truly develop their own style.  Sometimes this style can come about due to an accident, or coming across something that leaves a deep impression on  them…for example the painter Francis Bacon, in his early career had an obsession with Picasso,  his horrific images came about having bought a second hand book of diseases of the mouth, added to the fact that he greatly admired Eisenstein‘s Battleship Potemkin,‪ particularly the scene of the nurse screaming on the Odessa steps.  Why are my stories so dark?  Perhaps writing is for me a bit cathartic and I need to draw out my deep dark thoughts, some of which have been latent over a period of time.  I like creating and developing despicable characters…this seems to quite easily for me.   We live in this horribly cruel world, full of people who are oppressed, for one reason or another …and this runs through my stories.  There is a kind of social commentary that runs through some my short stories…One of the good things that came out of my education was studying Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray  and his character Becky Sharpe, archetypal  social climber. I think my stories are very “British” in character. It is true to say , I have many motivations behind my writing.

S: Would you ever experiment with a style of writing that isn’t dark?

F: I always love a challenge, but it might be hard, I have tried writing Children’s stories and even they turned out a bit “dark” however children seem to like dark stories.  To write a story, with a happy beginning, happy characters, and happy ending, it could be possible, I would have be very disciplined. I do a lot of blogging and enjoy writing factual articles, which require research.  It is great to learn new things.

S: You talked about Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss as having an influence on your writing. Was he your favorite British author, or did you have another one who influenced you the most?

F: I love the work of Rupert Thomson, who wrote “Dreams of leaving” as well as other books. I met him when I was a new student at Art College and he and his writing has made a long lasting impression on me.

S: We want to know: Why did you not enjoy your time in boarding school?

F: For me it was a bit like doing a stint in prison…in fact people sent to boarding schools, during the period I was there, easily adapt to prison.  There was twelve in a dormitory, you never have time for yourself.  You had to match all the conventions of such an institution or you would be become an outsider and quickly become the victim of all kinds of abuse.  Most of the boys were destined to join the military, or go into comfortable nine to five jobs…there were a few artistic/creative types, but these were few and far between.  Then there were the punishments, most of which are outlawed in this day and age.  Running up a hill, without a shirt, whatever the weather, then having a cold shower, was supposed to toughen you up.  If you were caught smoking for example you would be caned.  Boarding schools are supposed to be character building, but mine just affected me in this negative way.

S: Was your childhood an easy one, or a rough one, in your view? (minus boarding school)

F: My childhood was dominated by Boarding School, however I had some wonderful holidays in Cornwall. However compared to many childhoods, mine was not an easy one…

S: Have you ever been flattered by a comparison to a well-known author or by a review?*

F: An editor compared my work to a re-incarnated Edgar Alan Poe.

S:You have a traditionally published novel, although with a smaller press. Why did you choose Savant Books to publish your book?

F: I guess I encountered Savant by chance. They showed an interest in my work.

S: For all our readers and writers who never got a book published with an actual publisher, take us through the process from the time they acquired your novel until publication.

F: It is a long drawn out process…for me it was complicated by the fact that I am British, my publisher American, so different spelling, grammar, ideas came into play.  E-Mails were sent over a period of three years, shaping a reshaping the book. I must say I was a real novice concerning this process of editing and polishing and proofing. A writer thinks about stories, and the precious sentences they have put in their book, a book publisher thinks about readers, selling books, reaching a certain market.
S:What are some future projects you’re working on?

F: At the moment it is full on promotion of my book Flight of Destiny.  I would love a follow up to it, I have reserve of stories lying in wait.

Follow Francis on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flightofdestinyshortstories

Watch his awesome video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlV2tHTnM4Q

Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Flight-Destiny-Francis-H-Powell/dp/0988664097/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Purchase from Savant books directly: savantbooksandpublications.com

My Interview With The Wynn Brothers

First, I want to give a big thank-you to Francis Powell, author of Flight of Destiny, for interviewing me for his blog. Check it out, and say hi to Francis! In the meantime, stay tuned for an author interview from him.

I spoke to Todd and Tim Wynn, co-authors of Trespassers, to talk about their sci-fi humor novel. Just picture the premise of aliens landing on earth and searching for that special something…only it’s not quite the something you think it is. Let’s visit the Wynn brothers world:

S: Let’s start with your book. What made you decide to write this book, as opposed to any other concept you and your brother might have had?

WB: Like most writers, we’re always juggling multiple stories and trying to decide which to focus on. In this case, it was as if the novel decided on its own. “Trespassers” didn’t have an outline or any characters in place. It just started with page one and took off from there. It started off so fun to write that we just stuck with it.

S: In Trespassers, you indicate that the real reason aliens might visit us is for vaccination purposes. I LOL’d on this. Give us the in-depth on how you came up with that as the real reason they come here.

WB: Well, the real reason they come here is for vacation, due to Earth’s natural beauty, which is a product of it abundant water supply. The reason they abduct Earthlings is to make vaccines to protect themselves from Earth’s microorganisms, similar to anyone who visits a foreign country. This idea came from simply asking ourselves why visitors from another planet would want to abduct a local. We knew we didn’t want it to be anything that we’d seen before, so the answer was a product of looking for something new and satisfying the needs of the alien vacationer.

S: Is the novel meant to be a stand-alone or part of a larger series?

WB: “Trespassers” is definitely a stand alone, but it’s a world that we could revisit. There are certainly ideas floating around for continuing the story and following these characters. We’ve also gotten many requests from readers for a sequel or even a prequel, so an expansion of this story is not out of the question.

S: What was your favorite/least favorite character to write about?

WB: Our least favorite characters didn’t make the cut for that very reason, and they’re not in the book.

As for our favorite, Bruner was always fun to write, because we were giving him so much to handle—too much for anybody. His success came through his ability to handle failure, and we gave him plenty to handle. But it also showed that he’s driven by his faith to this purpose that he doesn’t even understand, but he can feel it’s there, for better or worse.

S: Did you show this to anyone before publishing it? What was the response to your novel?

WB: We definitely believe in early readers. We don’t rely on them to edit our manuscript, but after we spend so much time with the characters and the story, it’s good to hear the perspective of someone who’s reading it fresh for the very first time.

For “Trespassers,” the response from the early readers was overwhelmingly positive, and we got some very helpful input that made the novel even better in the final edit.

S: If you could have added one thing to your novel that you didn’t in the final version, what would it be?

WB: We’ve learned not to look back on a finished work and not to second guess it. We’re happy with the final version, and we’re looking forward.

S: What’s next for you two?

WB: We’re currently working on a novel set in the Midwest during the mid-1800s. It’s filled with murder, tornadoes, and three strangers who come together to form a search party to track a wanted man into uncharted lands. And anyone familiar with our work will know to expect plenty of twists and turns that change the way we see each of these strangers.

Buy Trespassers here

Author Interview: Iffix Santaph

Back to the author interviews! Today we have Iffix Santaph, indie author, on his new middle-grade novel, Impulse, which is book 1 of 6 in the Forgotten Princess series. Here’s my interview with Iffix.

S: Give us the inside scoop on Jendra’s relationship with Toby and Leon, her “just friends” friend.

I: Jendra is the doctor’s adopted daughter, and Leon is destined to be the next town doctor, so they see a lot of each other. Jendra has been searching the underground city for her father since he disappeared ten years earlier, and since Jendra is nearly expert at parkour and “not the sort to fall and bruise her ego”, Leon has been there to rescue her on many occasions. Beside this, the two “just friends” are more than close. There are some interesting secrets regarding Toby, though Jendra and he haven’t met before the ride on the ferry where Leon took Jendra to escape the “angry city dwellers” whose glares may or may not be all in her head. Toby is Leon’s cousin and a criminally-minded youth who dreams of being a pirate someday. In truth, though, Toby just knows that his father’s river ferry is getting old and will eventually be decommissioned. Toby might have been the perfect best friend for Jendra had he been six years older, but they cultivate a relationship closer to siblings, and Toby loves to drive Jendra nuts.

S: What was the inspiration for Tranoudor?

I: Actually, this stems to the top secret origin of the story itself. The story is loosely based on a fairy tale which featured characters who spent an abundance of time in caves, and as I endeavored to incorporate some of these details, I thought it would be fun to build an entire underground city which is slowly falling apart.

There were events in Tranoudor that I based on my own life. For example, I there were more than a few trips in my early life when I had the opportunity to explore caves, particularly in Minnesota and in the black hills. My love of waterfalls is based on the number of family trips we took to Niagara falls, though the waterfall in Tranoudor has slightly smaller. I once was traveling through northern Missouri where the bridge had been out and I needed to cross aboard a ferry. There was also a rickety old bridge in central Honduras that felt about to cave in, which proved to be the inspiration for another scene.

S: When I saw the Je’Raxs, I kept thinking Jurassic Park, especially with the timing of the movie. Will we see dinosaurs?

I: The Je’rax was more like a super-sized scorpion. Before I began to write the story, I approached a number of artists on the popular web-based community DeviantArt. I told them I would love to use their artwork as an inspiration for a roleplaying game; I was taking a break from my then 18 years as a sci-fi writer and attempting to learn to write tabletop games. And the response was incredible. I gathered a large collection of concepts. From these things, I learned who the arch-villain really was, I learned what my gwalfling characters looked like, I learned about the galaxy as a whole, enough to immerse myself in a really incredible world which I am very happy to share. There are a few dinosaur-like creatures in my bestiary. Impulse opens on Gavyn, the shadowman, who is essentially a sentient dinosaur.

S: Did you show this to anyone before publishing it? What was the response to your novel?

I: I actually had a number of beta readers who considered the project and were eager to read more. I showed it to a wide variety of potential agents, on the other hand, who sent the usual response. “This is a great story… for someone else.” So I decided that the someone else would be me. After all, if I had a group of betas who said “I’d buy this.” So I took a risk. I knew I had to start somewhere. If you ever take a real look at the publishing industry, it’s one gigantic circle that will make your head spin. You can’t be published without drawing and audience, and you can’t draw an audience without getting published. So now, when I pitch to agents, I can tell them “I have published Impulse, a middle grade novel, and this is my next project.” That means something. It’s an opening I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t jump into the publishing arena. Of course, I am always looking for a sincere agent. But one of the best things about being an Indie is knowing who I am and not having it taken away because the publisher wants a different story with flirtatious vampires I’m not willing to tell.

S: Which character was your favorite to write about, and why? Least favorite?

I: I loved so many characters when I was writing Impulse. Of course, Toby speaks to who I was at his age. I wasn’t criminal minded, but I was devious and to this day, I’m most content goofing off. It’s easier to write in his mindset. I am also really enjoying the evil queen. Part of enjoying the unlikeable characters is understanding what they’re so determined to accomplish. I know why she is who she is, and when the story reaches that point, I will be happy to fill in those details.

S: What’s next for you?

I: Impulse marked the first in a series of six books in the Forgotten Princess series. Deception is the second book, released in July of this year. I am nearing completion in the writing stages of Conspiracy, the third book, then I will be editing, sending to betas, editing, more betas, etc, etc, until October-ish, when the book will be released and I continue with Retrospect, Stratagem, and Nemesis to complete the base series. Also, as was evidenced last week when Teddy Bear Junction was released (a markedly different story for me), I hope to release an occasional children’s story or short story here or there as the opportunity arises. If those stories relate to Forgotten Princess, I will likely be releasing them on my website: iffixysantaph.com

Check out Iffix’s book at Amazon.

Author Interview with John DeBoer

For the first in the Author World Tour series which I just made up now, I had a chance to interview John DeBoer about his new novel, Skeleton Run, published by Red Adept Publishing. This is a political thriller for those of you who are into political conspiracies an d a behind-the-scenes tour of how money affects the election process. I spoke with John about his debut novel:

S: Let’s start out with the inspiration for your novel, a political thriller. What made you choose Pennsylvania as the setting for much of the novel, and why?

J: Pennsylvania met the requirements I needed – reasonable proximity to the other locations, an important state electorally, and one with which I had personal experience. New York and New Jersey could have been used instead, I suppose, but their governors get a lot more national press than that of Pennsylvania, and I thought this might make my fictional governor easier to accept.

S: Was the villainous Wendell Logan modeled after any particular casino magnate? I keep thinking Sheldon Adelson, but maybe I’m wrong.

J: I kept thinking of Sheldon Adelson, too! But I wanted my Las Vegas billionaire to be younger and physically more robust.

S: Following up on Logan, why did you decide to give the reader a view into his head, as opposed to telling the story from the Doctor’s point of view?

J: One of the reasons I like to write in the Thriller genre is the freedom to get into the heads of the bad guys, to show their POVs out of the awareness of the protagonists. Nelson DeMille, Greg Iles, and John Sandford, among others use this device, which I think actually ramps up the suspense rather than mitigating it. In this particular novel, I use more POVs than my usual, but I felt I needed all of them for the story. My editor did make me eliminate one of them, though!

S: How long did it take you to write this novel?

J: More than six months, but less than a year, I think. I workshop my novels online. I write as I go, posting one chapter at a time. The back and forth reviewing/revising process this entails adds to the time, but then when it’s done, I end up with a fairly polished product – subject to my publisher’s editors’ input, of course.

S: Did you show this to anyone before submitting it for publication? What was the response to Skeleton Run?

J: Eleven other authors reviewed the novel from start to finish when I workshopped it, and all of their responses were very positive. I don’t let my wife read my novels until they’ve been published!

S: Which character was your favorite to write about, and why? Least favorite?

J: I had the most fun writing Logan’s character – ruthless, powerful, obsessive in his Machiavellian scheme – he represented evil self-fulfillment, and I enjoyed showing this. I also liked creating Granger’s character, beginning as a teenager and developing it into middle age. His personality was probably the most distasteful, but it made him the character he grew into.

Then we have the moral ambiguity of Luke Elliot, the hit man.  All are characters with flaws, tarnished in ways big and small, which make them more compelling as personalities. In one of my novels, The Flame, the antagonist – a femme fatale character in the vein of Matty Walker in Body Heat – actually got more print space than my good-guy protagonist. And in Skeleton Run, the narrator and putative protagonist, Dr. Dawson, though smart and able to rise to the occasion when push came to shove, has a less interesting character overall than those he must contend with. But since he’s a little bit of an alter ego for me (as are all my physician/surgeon protagonists to one degree or another), he also has to, by definition, be one of my favorites! Tom Webster, one of the boyhood pals of Dawson, has to be my least favorite character to write, only because I knew what I had to do to him, and that wasn’t pleasant.

S: What’s next for you on tour? your next book?

J: I’m about a quarter of the way through my blog tour, which will end on July 5. I’ve got interviews, like this one, guest posts, and reviews of Skeleton Run lined up to keep me busy until then.

My next completed novel, now titled, How Little We Know, does not yet have a publication date. A woman hiding from not only the mob via Witness Protection, but an incident from her earlier past,  meets Luke Elliot (the hit man from Skeleton Run) in Seattle, where he has gone to start a new life after a personal tragedy. Both have secrets to guard as they begin a relationship, in the course of which Luke has to call upon his past life to keep his love interest out of harm’s way.

My current WIP involves the ISIS threat to Americans and is tentatively titled, When the Reaper Comes.

S: Thank you for your time, John.

J: Thanks, Sam, for the interview.

I’ll post my honest review of Skeleton Run on Sunday.

Buy John’s book on Amazon by clicking HERE