Category Archives: Author Interviews

Alana Woods interviews CAROLYN ARNOLD, author of Assassination of a Dignitary

Carolyn Arnold is the author of four series and several novels so she has obviously been writing for a while. However, I’m new to her work, having just read and reviewed one of her standalone novels, ASSASSINATION OF A DIGNITARY. Apart from liking the story I was impressed with the level of detail that had me wondering how she knows so much about the criminal mind and weaponry. So I decided to ask her!

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Carolyn Arnold

Assassination of a dignitary

Alana: Carolyn, welcome. Before we get into the nitty gritty of your writing would you tell us something about yourself. For a start, American or Canadian? I ask that because your website gives little away, saying only that you grew up in a small town and now call Toronto home.

Carolyn: I’m Canadian, eh. But let me tell you a little more. I was born in Picton, Ontario and live in Southwestern Ontario. I’m a city woman with the heart of a country girl. If given the choice between a nice hotel and camping, the choice would always be the former. But there’s also got to be time in life to just walk around barefoot outside, dip my toes into the water, and stroll through the woods.

Alana: Full or part time writer? If part-time what else occupies you?

Carolyn: Thanks to my amazing readers I became a full-time author the summer of 2014. There’s been no looking back. I realize every day how I’m truly living the dream and am full of gratitude.

Alana: That’s definitely the dream! How many books have you written, counting those within the series?

Carolyn: That it certainly is. It’s getting to the point that I’m losing count, but I’ve written nearly thirty books.

Alana: You’re an internationally best-selling author. What’s the criteria? Do you have to sell a specific number of books in certain countries?

Carolyn: To proclaim myself an international best-selling author I’ve reached within the top 100 of my genres on Amazon in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. I’ve also hit best-selling ranks on Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble.

Alana: That’s one hell of an achievement! How many had you written before you hit the big time? Was it a case of being an overnight sensation or a gradual climb? Was it a particular series that swung it for you?

Carolyn: Wow, those are great questions. I published my first book, TIES THAT BIND, in May 2011. The movement at first was very slow. No one really knew who Carolyn Arnold was at all. By the fall of that year, sales picked up and continued to do so. Winter of 2011, I published two more books. But Ties that Bind was already working its way up the best-selling lists on Amazon.com. The book hit the top 5 in Police Procedurals on Amazon.com by the spring of 2012. I was moving thousands of copies a month.

Ties that bind

Also key to my continued success is writing series. Readers love it when they can become attached to the characters, knowing there will be more stories with them.

Alana: Does your background, where you grew up, what you’re familiar with, make it into your books in any way?

Carolyn: Absolutely. I don’t see how it would be possible to keep those things out, and I believe it’s those elements that make it so readers resonate with certain authors. There are definitely deeper meanings embedded in my books and this comes from me as I’m a deep person.

Alana: Okay, that has definitely got to be explained. What do you mean by ‘deep’?

Carolyn: Oh, I like to give thought to the more universal questions about life—the whys, the why nots, and the what ifs. Some people don’t ask themselves these questions or look within, but I think it’s important for us to all spend some time by ourselves in silence, journaling, and just Being.

Alana: Do all of your books fall into the police procedurals category or do you also write in other genres?

Carolyn: The genre I’m primarily known for is police procedurals. Two of my four series fall into that category. I also write a cozy mystery series and I just published a debut novel in the action-adventure genre this past November. Even with the latter, there is a police investigation going on.

Alana: You use the tag ‘POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™’ on your website. How did you receive that endorsement?

Carolyn Arnold website banner

Carolyn: Last April I attended a conference in Toronto with some powerful speakers on the roster. This included Raymond Aaron, Jack Canfield, and Loral Langemeier. A lot of the event was about branding. I came home and gave the matter a lot of thought. What made me stand out from other authors in my genre? What could I boast about specifically?

It came to me that I’d received many e-mails over the years from readers either currently serving in, or retired from, law enforcement. The feedback contained a common theme: I provided entertainment and accuracy. It was said that I got everything right from procedure to the interaction between my detectives and agents.

Thinking on this led me to my trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Alana: Would you tell us in a few words what each of the series is about?

Carolyn: Brandon Fisher FBI Series: New FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher hunts serial killers on a team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit.

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Detective Madison Knight Series: A blend of Eve Dallas and Olivia Benson, Madison Knight is a feisty, chocolate-loving detective who will not let anyone—or anything—stop her from finding justice for murder victims.

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McKinley Mysteries: Romance. Humor. Murder. Whether a case takes the McKinleys undercover, off the books, or around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things … And they’ll be romancing it up along the way.

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Matthew Connor Adventure Series: Action-adventure books for the mystery lover. In this series, modern-day archeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor travels the globe with his two closest friends to unearth treasure and discover legends the world has all but forgotten. Indiana Jones meets the twenty-first century.

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Alana: Now for the question I promised to ask in my introduction. How do you seem to know so much about the criminal world and weaponry?

Carolyn: I have contacts who work, or who have worked, with law enforcement. If I have any questions concerning procedure or forensics I reach out to them.

Alana: And finally, can you say what you’re currently working on?

Carolyn: Currently I’m working on the final stages of edits with one manuscript while prepping another for a development edit with a professional. The fifth book in the Brandon Fisher FBI series, VIOLATED, is due out April 28th and is currently available for pre-order.

Violated

Alana: Carolyn, thank you for being my guest today.

Carolyn: Thank you for having me.

Carolyn’s bio: Carolyn Arnold is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Carolyn’s links:   Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Amazon

Take this link to my review of Assassination of a dignitary

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Alana Woods interviews MARY SMITH, author of No More Mulberries

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I’ve just finished reading Mary Smith’s novel, NO MORE MULBERRIES, a story about a Scots woman who marries an Afghan chap and moves to Afghanistan in the 1980s. It was such a good read I immediately wanted to discuss it with Mary; she said Yes to an interview, so here we are.

Mary Smith

Alana: Mary, welcome. I traditionally ask guests if they would talk a little about themselves first, before getting on to their books and writing. You were born in Scotland and apart from 10 years in Pakistan and Afghanistan you continue to live there, am I right? Would you describe where you live and tell us what keeps you there.

Mary: Thanks so much for inviting me, Alana. I’m delighted you enjoyed NO MORE MULBERRIES. I live in a small market town (pop about 4,000) in Dumfries & Galloway in the south west of Scotland. It’s a beautiful part of the country and although our hills are not as high as in the Highlands they provide a stunning backdrop to lush farmland, forests, and glorious beaches. It’s a magnet for artists and is a really vibrant, creative place to live with a strong sense of community.

Alana: The photos you provided certainly make me want to do a bit of wandering around there. I was watching Escape to the country a couple of weeks ago; it featured the area and mentioned a walk. So who knows! You work part-time as a journalist, what are the types of stories you encounter?

Mary: Over the years I’ve worked on a wide range of stories from local history, including articles on locals who became explorers or writers – what I call my dead famous series—to interviews with writers and artists living in the area. I’ve also written more hard-edged stories on the difficulties of our young people finding a house to buy or rent, heroin use, and domestic abuse.

Alana: It sounds like you’ll tackle anything.

Mary: I love the variety. My last three features were on a major research project into dying with the aim of ensuring everyone can have a ‘good’ death, an interview with the head of a local university, and a feature on a locally-based charity which works to open schools in Afghanistan.

Alana: Talking about Afghanistan … the 10 years you spent in Pakistan and Afghanistan, how did they come about?

Mary: Believe it or not initially I only went to Pakistan for a two-week holiday!

Alana: So you ended up staying?

Mary: No, that visit was just for the two weeks. While there I visited the headquarters of the leprosy programme which received funding from Oxfam, for whom I worked. I was impressed by the work being done towards controlling leprosy and wanted to contribute in some hands-on way. It was suggested I stay and start up a health education department. When I pointed out I didn’t have any medical qualifications they said that was okay, they would provide that.

Alana: But you didn’t stay?

Mary: No. I came home but couldn’t settle and eventually wrote an application letter for the post. I knew they had been going to advertise and expected other, better-qualified people would have applied. However, I received a letter asking me to come as soon as possible. I signed a contract for three years, handed in my notice at work and headed back to Pakistan.

Alana: What did you do there?

Mary: I set up the health education department to help raise awareness of leprosy and spread the word that it is curable. After three years I signed up again but this time to work in Afghanistan where I established a health project teaching Afghan women to become local health volunteers.

Alana: So you were in Afghanistan for seven years? Is Miriam’s daily life in the book drawn from your own experiences?

Mary: Yes and yes. And also from observing what life was like for women in the rural areas of Afghanistan.

Alana: What has stayed in your memory of your time there?

Mary: I miss the excitement of new experiences and the colour and the sunshine. The hospitality of the people—in both countries—is something I will never forget. The adventure of travelling in central Afghanistan through amazing landscapes, over high mountain passes on bone-jarring roads will always stay in my memory. And a few less happy events will not be forgotten either—being caught in a bombing raid, or the time I was tied up by armed robbers in our house in Mazar-i-Sharif. The good memories far outweigh the bad. Oh, goodness, so much has stayed in my memory from those years—enough to write another couple of books I should think!

Alana: How about a series? NO MORE MULBERRIES was a lot of things including entertaining and emotional, but for me it was a real insight into the lives of people, particularly women, there. I imagine it has struck many readers that way. I’d love to gain more insight.

Mary: Very often when watching something on television about Afghanistan or reading in a newspaper, or even a novel, I find myself shouting, “But life for Afghan women is not ALL like that!” I feel very strongly that Afghan women deserve so much more than always to be depicted as repressed, downtrodden creatures, unhappily married to violent husbands. For sure, in some cases, this is true just as it is true in every country including mine. I wanted to show there are other aspects to women’s lives like having fun, enjoying a laugh with friends or taking delight in their children. I’d already written a non-fiction book but thought perhaps a novel would attract a wider audience. I was also interested in exploring what kind of problems a western woman would encounter if she was married to an Afghan man and if their marriage could survive.

No More Mulberries
Alana: Tell us about your other published works.

Mary: As I mentioned above, I’ve also written a non-fiction book. DRUNK CHICKENS AND BURNT MACARONI: REAL STORIES OF AFGHAN WOMEN is a memoir of the last three years I spent in Afghanistan. It describes the work I was doing and introduces the reader to some of the women (and their families) with whom I worked. I wanted to share my experiences of living in Afghanistan and, as I couldn’t persuade people to come and visit, I thought at least by writing about it I could give people an opportunity to be part of that life for as long as it took them to read the book.

I have a collection of poetry called THOUSANDS PASS HERE EVERY DAY which includes some poems about Afghanistan but also about where I live now and about family and childhood. I’m slowly—very slowly—working towards another collection.

My most recently published book is something quite different. DUMFRIES THROUGH TIME is a picture-led local history book with a ‘then and now’ format. I worked with a photographer who took photos of the places for which we’d sourced old images.

Alana: And you have two blogs, My dad is a goldfish: caring for a demented dad and Take Five Authors —would you discuss the ideas behind them both?

Mary: My dad is a goldfish is about caring for my dad, who had dementia. He died in December 2014 and I thought of not continuing with the blog but decided to keep on, though I’m blogging retrospectively. I’ve met some bloggers in a similar situation; some caring for a parent, some for a spouse and it has been good to feel connected with others. I think we all appreciate knowing we’re not alone on this journey.

Take Five Authors is a blog I share with four other writers. Some are traditionally published, some indie, and we put a new post up each week. This means each of us only has to blog once every five weeks. We blog about all aspects of writing and reading from new publications to overcoming the fear of writing; from saving public libraries to running writing courses. It’s a new blog and we’d love to welcome new followers to it.

Alana: I understand you have several projects currently underway. Do any of them involve a new book?

Mary: I want to publish My dad is a goldfish as a book. I’ve just started the process and have realised it’s going to be a bit more complicated than I first thought as the structure has to be changed. I don’t want it just to be a series of blog posts like journal entries, so I need to create something a bit more cohesive. I would like to think I could have it done before the end of this year—it was one of my New Year resolutions.

Photographer Allan Devlin and I have been asked to do another local history book featuring a different town and we’re starting the search for old photos and postcards.

And in case I feel I don’t have enough to challenge me, the other day I found the original manuscript for a book about my first six-months in Afghanistan – the first book which never sees the light of day!

Alana: Ah yes, we all have those. I have three!

Mary: There is quite a lot of material I haven’t used in my other books so I’m thinking of doing a major edit and getting it out there.

Alana: Mary, thank you so much and all the best with your endeavours.

Mary: Thank you so much, Alana. I’ve enjoyed our discussion – hope I didn’t ramble on too much.

Alana: Not even a hint of rambling, Mary. Loved listening.

Take this link to my review of NO MORE MULBERRIES

Mary’s links:  website   |    Amazon author page
Mary’s blogs:  My dad is a goldfish   |   TakeFiveAuthors   |   eNovelAuthorsatWork
Mary on:   Facebook   |   Twitter

Buy links
NO MORE MULBERRIES:  Amazon US   |   Amazon UK
DRUNK CHICKENS AND BURNT MACARONI:  Amazon US   |   Amazon UK
DUMFRIES THROUGH TIME:  Amazon US   |   Amazon UK
THOUSANDS PASS HERE EVERY DAY:  Amazon US   |   Amazon UK

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Alana Woods interviews: FALGUNI KOTHARI, author of Bootie and the Beast

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My guest author today is Indian-born, New York-residing FALGUNI KOTHARI. As I say in my review of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST, I was given a copy as a gift and because of that felt honour-bound to read it. Fortunately, I could report that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a bit off my beaten track in relation to culture and character backgrounds so one of the enjoyments for me was peeking into something new. Let me introduce Falguni and let her tell us about herself and her novels.

falguni kothari 516KB

Alana: Falguni, welcome, I’ve been looking forward to chatting. You call yourself a hybrid author. What do you mean by that?

Falguni: Hi Alana, thanks for having me on your blog and giving BOOTIE AND THE BEAST a lovely review. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading it.

I call myself a hybrid author for several reasons. One, because I am traditionally published with my first two books, but am going indie this November with the launch of my mythic fantasy series. Hybrid also because I write in several genres: romance, women’s fiction, fantasy and am trying my hand at romantic suspense next. I guess jumping genres would be more schizophrenic than hybrid, but that’s how I write. That’s how the stories come to me. Though, all of my stories have the common threads of South Asia and romance in them.

Alana: Before we get on to your books I want to ask about your dancing. I studied classical ballet as a child but you’re a Latin and Ballroom silver medalist as well as being a semi-professional Indian Classical dancer. Wow, is all I can say! You’re just going to have to give us a bit of background: how you chose the three types and why, and what you mean by semi-professional. Are they in your past or do you continue to practice them?

Falguni: I’ve always danced, and I think I always will. I love dancing as a form of entertainment as well as exercise. I learned Kathak, a classical dance from North India, through my childhood years, and as part of my dance class/study/experience I took part in elaborate stage musicals and international dance competitions with some success. But I never took up dancing professionally—as in paid performances or teaching. The ballroom and Latin dance is a fairly recent development, and I am still learning the craft. Though I seem to be good enough to win medals and accolades at amateur Dancesport competitions. ☺ I say that if I must get off my butt, I might as well dance.

Caption: Falguni didn’t have any Kathak dance photos but gave me these depicting moments in Latin and ballroom performances

Alana: You are Mumbai born and bred but now call New York home. Did you move there with your family as a child or with your husband after you married? Was there a particular reason for the move and are you living there permanently?

Falguni: My husband’s job brought us to New York around fifteen years ago. I’m not sure if we’ll be here permanently. I hope we retire in India.

Alana: Do you return to Mumbai at all? Do you miss it?

Falguni: I have lots of family in India still, and visit there quite regularly. My ties are strong.

Caption:  Falguni’s residence building in Mumbai overlooks a small woodland and peacocks come visiting every day

Alana: What do you like about New York?

Falguni: I like the pace of New York. Not so different from Mumbai. Both are fast, busy, sleepless cities. Crowded and frenetic. And then I like the differences between my two homes too—the whiteness of New York with the snow, seasons and people against the colorful heat of Mumbai.

Alana: Let’s move to your books. BOOTIE AND THE BEAST was published with Harlequin Mills & Boon and your first novel, IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORD FREAK was with a New Delhi publisher, Rupa & Co. But you say you’re publishing your next book as an indie author. What’s the reason for that?

Falguni: Oh, there are so many reasons for going indie, but the foremost one is time. Traditional publishing is a long process. It could take up to two years for your story to transition from manuscript to book, and that is if you’re lucky. I began to lose patience waiting for agents to get back to me with sensible publishing offers. And I became impatient with the lack of control a regular traditionally published author has. I figured as I’m still a newbie author (my career just starting) that I should experiment with alternate publishing paths now rather than later. Honestly, I got swept up by the whole indie revolution going on in the world.

Alana: It’s very hard not to be swept up by it, given that it makes publication accessible to everyone. How about tantalising my readers with a bit of BOOTIE and WORD FREAK story lines.

Falguni: Let’s start with IT’S YOUR MOVE, WORDFREAK. The book is about two people who connect online through a Scrabble game site, and after several months of competitive wordplay decide to take their ‘game’ offline. Aryan and Alisha go on a blind date and their online attraction explodes into a sexy, wordy and wordly affair.

In BOOTIE AND THE BEAST, two secondary characters from WORDFREAK find their happily-ever-after. Beauty Mathur is an Indian supermodel and a magnet for trouble. Krish Menon, aka the Beast, is a monstrously broody Indian ex-pat living in Dallas, Texas. He is Diya’s (Beauty’s) best friend’s brother (Alisha from WORDFREAK) and also Diya’s childhood crush and ex-fiancé. So when party princess Diya gets in trouble with her boss and needs a place to hide for a bit, Krish steps in out of loyalty and not a small amount of guilt, and offers her his home—or rather, the house he’s house-sitting for some friends. And proximity leads to intense friction and ultimately the fruition of their unrequited feelings for each other.

Huh, describing the gist of WORDFREAK and the BOOTIE has just reminded me how much fun these stories were to write … and read.

Bootie & the beast its your move

Alana: And the new book you’re gearing up to release in early November—will there be a finite number of books in the series or are you envisaging it to be ongoing?

Falguni: There will be seven books in the series. There may be a couple of spin-off novellas or novels about secondary characters, but the main series has a definite end to it. Slow in coming … but definite.

Alana: Would you give us a sneak peak into what it’s about?

Falguni: May I cheat and give you the blurb?

Alana: By all means.

Falguni: ‘On a muggy October morning, as Lord Karna peruses the Times of India on his iPad in his uber-protected Mumbai abode, he hardly expects an unannounced visit from the Gods, much less the cataclysmic tidings they bring him. By noon, Karna is saddled with the task of honing six delinquent godlings into demon hunters like himself—divine warriors duty-bound to rid the Human Realm of all evil asuras or demons. He is further flabbergasted to learn that one of the six is his own hitherto unknown offspring and—Holy Hell—inadvertently sired on a woman he loathes. Frankly, what can one expect in the dark Age of Kali?

In the days that follow, past and present paramours, secrets and mysteries pervade demi-god Karna’s supernatural world and even his tech-savvy sidekick, Eklavya, cannot make sense of it. Until, a centuries-old nemesis reappears with his vicious minions and vengeful intentions to destroy everything under Karna’s protection, especially his powerless human child.

Torn between his heavenly duties and earthy desires, can Lord Karna vanquish the Stone Demon this time around? Or will his flesh and blood—his own child—pay the ultimate price?

Soul warrior

Alana: Whew, I can see why seven books are needed. It’s a hell of a tale! Is THE AGE OF KALI what you will be concentrating on for the foreseeable future or are you planning to intersperse the series with other books?

Falguni: I have a women’s fiction story ready, which will come out sometime in April or May of 2016. I am a quarter of my way through a romantic suspense and will finish that before I spend the next several years finishing the AGE OF KALI series. I may need to write something different in between, just so things don’t get monotonous. Like I mentioned before—I’m a schizophrenic author. ☺

Alana: Have you decided whether to go traditional or indie with their publishing?

Falguni: With MY LAST LOVE STORY (the title of my women’s fiction story) I am definitely going indie. I have some interest from a couple of publishers for the romantic suspense, but no concrete offer until I finish the manuscript. So, we’ll see what happens with that.

Alana: Falguni, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thanks so much and I wish you much success with THE AGE OF KALI.

Falguni: Likewise, Alana. I have enjoyed answering your questions. Thank you for having me.

Falguni’s links:  Website   |   Amazon Author Page

Falguni on   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Goodreads

logo-falguni[5]

Take this link to my review of BOOTIE AND THE BEAST

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Alana Woods interviews: THEA ATKINSON, author of the Vampire Addictions series

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My guest today is THEA ATKINSON, author of many books, but for me specifically the VAMPIRE ADDICTIONS series because they’re the books that introduced me to Thea.

Thea Atkinson

Alana: Thea, welcome. Tell us something about yourself: who you are, your philosophy on life, what your day job is—you know, the little things. 

Thea: Ah, the little things … they tend to be so big, don’t they? Well, I’m a teacher in my day job, and my students (adults at a community college) always seem to be shocked when they discover one of my books (usually a freebie) and give it a read. They say I seem so quiet and unassuming during the day. Nothing like the person who would write such dark stuff. Grin.

I had an amazing childhood: two loving parents and three brothers. I think dealing with three scrappy boys on a daily basis really defined who I am as a woman. My husband says I’ve mellowed a bit since he first met me, so I guess his influence outweighed theirs. The spitfire comes out every now and then though!

Alana: Home is Nova Scotia, I believe. It conjures up images of a cold and wild Canada for me—no doubt a hangover from my reading as a child, but compounded by the fact that when I contacted you for this interview I found you out camping.

Is it something you frequently do? Why do you do it? Where do you typically go and what do you get up to while you’re out there?

Thea: So glad you get such a romantic image of the place! It’s every bit as wild as you think—and there are spots of such beauty you’d stop breathing for a moment. Cold is relative: we had a day this summer when it was 31 degrees.

I LOVE camping. Used to camp far more … even did a three-hour bike run a few years ago to a backwoods cabin in Kejimkujik with my best friend and our hubbies. It’s the best camping trip we ever took despite me falling off my laden bicycle and into a puddle (more like a pond from my perspective) and banged my knee up pretty bad. We still talk about the trip but, alas, no opportunity to repeat has presented itself. Actually, summers here are quite lovely and, if you can bear it, the true outback camping (so folks say) is wonderful. I must admit I glamp more than camp nowadays … the fear of a raccoon slicing open my tent at night keeps me from going all the way so to speak …

Alana: Heavens, I’ve always pictured them as cute little creatures. Are they dangerous?

Thea:  Oh no … but in the dead of night, a squirell is considered dangerous when a gal’s mind starts to weave a nice tale.

We have a bunch of friends who pop up their trailers in Keji every third week in August and we spend 10 days or so yakking, eating, swimming, kayaking, biking, and hiking … oh, and a few drinks along the way. I discovered spritz in Italy this summer and I must admit to enjoying a few during our “road parties”.

Alana: Italy! That’s right. I remember you saying on your blog you were there for three weeks in July. I’ve been twice now: once in 2000 with my eldest daughter, and we stayed in a 17th century building a five minute walk away from the Largo di Torre Argentina that you mention—cats by the zillion! And two years ago my husband John and I were back there for said daughter’s wedding and I discovered Prosecco. Loved that you can keep drinking it with no ill effects. 

Thea: Spritz is my new favorite summer time refreshment. It brings me right back to Tuscany and sitting on a lovely balcony enjoying the view of the rolling hills. This photo is of me at Lake Iseo in Italy.

Thea in Italy 257KB Spritz in Italy 205KB

Alana: Let’s talk about your books. You’ve written so many! Tell us about them. Novels? Novellas? Series? Genres?

Thea: All of the above! LOL. I started out as what I hoped was a literary writer, but those books just don’t sell so I let them lanquish on Amazon. I have such an eclectic set of tastes and interests that I have a hard time sticking to one genre anyway so I mix it all up all the time—thus my brand of Fiction to the Left of Mainstream. I tried my hand at some light fantasy with hints of romance in the hopes of finding an audience. You’ll find witches and reincarnation themes, ancient Egyptians and black magic, and vampires and voodoo. I write what interests me, basically.

WITCHES OF ETLANTIUM was my first foray into fantasy and I based it on a character I had written for my blog streak a few years ago when I wrote a flash fiction piece for a blog every day for 30 days. The character of a witch being controlled by her megalomaniac father really intrigued me.

Waterwitch 309KB

CHASING DRAGONS was my last litfic offering, and I wrote it at a time when I was studying a bit about social justice. The character of J had so many dark spaces, I wanted him to find the light ones.

Chasing dragons 314KB

VAMPIRE ADDICTIONS was just fun. It still is. I fancy it’s more suspense and adventure than romance, but Magnus is just too mouth watering to resist adding a little steam. I love how Jade has evolved from a down-trodden, lost-her-self-esteem character into a woman who discovers her confidence was just flagging, not totally destroyed.

Vampire addictions 355KB

Alana: Why fantasy? Why vampires and witches?

Thea: I LOVE love love vampire stories, movies, series, and the like. I’ll watch the cheesiest story if it has a vamp in it. Same for witches … I have a few friends who have accused me of being the latter. LOL. I don’t doubt, if there’s such a thing as past lives, that I was one at some point—witch, not vampire.

Alana: Yep, I knew you meant that; past life and vampire being a contradiction in terms. As well as being prolific you’re also generous. You give away samples of your work on your website. What’s the reason behind that?

Thea: Purely in the hopes folks will enjoy them and keep reading. I’m no Alice Munro or Stephen King, so it takes a few freebies to interest folks in a nobody like me.

Alana: I understand you occasionally lecture on writing. How did you get into that and why do you do it?

Thea: Teacher by vocation and writer by heart. The match just seemed right. I wish I were articulate enough to say there was more to it. I have a feeling the reason has a lot to do with why I love both of those careers in the first place.

Alana: What are you working on at the moment?

Thea: Two things, actually. The next novella in my WITCHES OF ETLANTIUM series and book 3 in VAMPIRE ADDICTIONS.

Alana: I’m looking forward to that one. I’ve become very fond of Jade and want to know where she’s heading.

Thea: … and when I get stumped on one, I switch to the other. It keeps me moving ever forward.

Alana: Well, I wish you ever-productive days. Thea, thank you, it’s been lovely talking to you.

Thea: You’re too kind to say so, but the thanks is all mine. I’ve really appreciated having the chance to meet with you. Your questions were phenomenal and made me dig. I hope I gave you enough to work with; I’m the kind of gal who listens to someone else being interviewed and thinks: Now why didn’t *I* say something cool like that?

Alana: You were pretty cool today. 

Take this link to Thea’s freebies  |  Buy Thea’s books via her website  

Thea’s Amazon page

Links to Thea’s social pages: blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Take this link to my review of VAMPIRE ADDICTIONS

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