The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Cage Dunn

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Cage Dunn.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Cage Dunn:


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Original isn’t the goal. Nor is expectation. There’s a story idea, a germ or seed that wants to grow. It’s my job to find the best position for that seed, to give it the best ground and environment. To do that, I need to know where to place it in the busy world, and who wants to share this type of plant.

That’s the story. Once it’s out there, it has a life of its own. It can’t reach every single person, but for the people who read it and enjoy it, the story becomes part of their journey.

That’s the payoff. But if you’re not quick enough with the idea, it wanders off and finds another author who wants to play. Some people call it a muse. It’s not. It’s something that wants to have its say. It will resonate with the ones who need it, and share the value it holds.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

That emotion you’re experiencing? That huge meltdown? Write it down, guts and blubber and snot. It’s what you’ll need to recall in your story-telling life.

Keep going. Don’t let anyone block you on the way to writer-dom.

And be patient. It’s a skilled craft. It may take a few years and lots of practice, but it’s all worth it in the end. Keep looking for ways to improve your skills, to splice and dice with words and ideas; write and practice and write some more; aim to get the best possible story told in the best possible way. Your story, well told will be the result of an apprenticeship, and that takes time and consistency, practice and training.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Favourites change year by month by week. Under-appreciated is not a term I put with stories. Maybe it hasn’t had enough readers yet who understand it, or feel the depth of it, but if the story is strong enough, the right readers will eventually find it and speak of it and the word will spread. Time is the element that removes any control over this.

There are many stories I’d consider over-rated, over-analysed, and over-done, but that’s my opinion of them, and I’m only one reader. There are thousands of stories I have yet to read (or write), so my opinion on what’s under-appreciated will change with every good one I find, won’t it?

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Every single review or comment I find for my stories is one I read. Why?

Who is more important than the reader? The story isn’t for everyone, but sometimes the ones who found something different can open my eyes to an element I didn’t know about or consider. Everyone reads for something different. We all see, feel, experience life (and story) through our own perceptions. I can use that. I can make the next story more powerful if I take note of these responses. Reviews and comments, positive or negative, enable me to adapt and empower and grow. They’re very important to me.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yes, of course. Sometimes people find one thing and call it ‘theme’ but there are others, and if you know me you can see how I express it through the actions of the characters.

Do you Google yourself?

This is like asking: do you care what people say about your story? Of course! More often than not when people write something about me or my stories, I can take value from it.

I also like to know where I am in the world, who’s looking and why. If I’m looking for one of the stories, I like to know where they travel in the world, who they speak to, where they end up. It’s fun.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Anything with words in it. Truly. When I was a kid, I lived in the country and didn’t see a real book until I was eight or nine. The first one I picked up and read was in a school library. It was a magical journey through time and space.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Pester the oral storytellers to find out how they structure their stories. I was always swept up into their sounds and words without understanding why they had power. I’m not sure I understand even now, but I’m willing to learn. The power of words comes through the cadence and power of the voice speaking them (even if it’s in the head of the reader). And oral storytellers have a way of opening the mind with the first word, weaving hills and humps and mountains until you’re there, feeling the chill of the cold, the burn of the desert, the sting of the scorpion, before they give you a moment of respite. A short breath. And then it all starts again.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

One month to make the bones, and after that – well, it depends on dedication, solidity, level of research, and commitment. It’s hard work and requires habitual desire to sit and work and sit and think and garden and think and walk and think and read and think and … A writer is never not writing, but to put the words into their final position requires a lot of effort, research, and keyboard time. And again, and again, and again. One story does not end the need for the journey.

Where to find Cage

www.cagedunn.wordpress.com

About Cage:

Cage Dunn was born and educated in Australia, qualified in Professional Writing and Computing, worked in so many jobs the list goes on for too many pages – the time has come to share the words with the World. She hails from the scorching desert-like landscape of the West Midlands District of Western Australia; lived all over the startling and disparate country of Australia, worked at everything from sewerage collection to computer programmer; eventually graduated with a BA Comm (Prof. Writing) and Grad Dip Computing.

Met a few people along the way, and every word she hears will contribute in some way to the knapsack of stories Cage carries around, ready to draw on whenever the stories are ready to become real.

Purpose in life: to tell stories, to publish stories, and to ponder . . . everything.

She writes speculative fiction, fantasy, contemporary/urban fantasy (www.cagedunn.wordpress.com) – and collaborates with other writers on stories, work, skills and anthologies.

You’ll find Cage in Adelaide South Australia, behind the sunny window where the ideas flow in with the sun, where the birds argue about territory, and where dogs and people wander at will. Cage writes and writes and weaves, until the story is ready.

Cage is a dreamer, an imaginer, an escapist. Some would say Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales. Yep. A storyteller.

Buy Cage’s Books:

kraken-sml

Who Will Rule Magic? Kraken, Dragon, Cat vs. Kangaroo, Cockatoo, Crocodile http://books2read.com/WhoWillRuleMagic

red horse -smla

Equine Neophyte of the Blood Desert http://books2read.com/EquineNeophyte

Agoness-e-covervsmall (1)

Agoness http://books2read.com/Agoness

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Stories in Shorts http://books2read.com/StoriesInShorts

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Dogs N Cats N us http://books2read.com/DogsNCats

 

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Lissa Dobbs

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Lissa Dobbs.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Lissa Dobbs:


Good Author Pic

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Even thought there really isn’t anything completely new, I try to be original in my writing. I want a world that’s a bit different from the norm, at least in some respects, but that readers can relate to.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Consider writing as a viable career instead of the hobby everyone else says it should be.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Feist

I love the works of Raymond E. Feist. Sure, there are some issues with the writing, especially in the later books of the Midkemia series, but his world and characters come alive in a way some others don’t. There’s depth to the books, and the earlier ones don’t gloss over the story.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I do read all my book reviews, the ones I see anyway. I love to see good ones, but I take the bad ones into consideration to see if there’s something I need to change in my work.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not really. There are a few names here and there that 80s fantasy readers might recognize, but nothing beyond that.

Do you Google yourself?

Nope. 😊

What is your favorite childhood book?

dorrie

The Dorrie the Witch series by Patricia Coombs. Those were my end-all, be-all favorites to the point that the school librarian would hold the new ones and let me be the first one to check them out.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I would locate some writing groups and workshops and attend those instead of music camp.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends on the book. Some of them flow, but others like to be contrary. Since I don’t write full time at this point, I also have to make sure everything else that needs doing gets done. Sometimes, as much as I would like it otherwise, the day job stuff just gets in the way and lengthens the process. I’m hoping to remedy that this year, though.

Lissa’s Books:

Life of a starRise of the Mad Gods: Life of a Star: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCT53HB

rise of somethingRise of the Mad Gods: Broken Treasure/For Love of Her: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W59CBNZ/

Aradia's Secret Book Cover

Aradia’s Secret: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSRKCXV/

Wolf in the Shadow ebook cover

Wolf in the Shadow: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HNNEHQE/

yuletideYuletide Sparkle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DIR26RG/

The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCV2S6L/

A Walker is Born final ebook cover

A Walker is Born: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E9A4LVK/

cronus attacksCronus Attacks: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ENYSHOE/

revenge of cronusRevenge of Cronus: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFD4CF5/

36060811Windows to the Soul: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074WHZJSJ

jerrung cavernJerrung and the Kwaad Cavern: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074VC2721

ol' jebInheritance/Ol’ Jeb: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071JSXY7J

blood of shadowsBlood of Shadows: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075FTW3P4

Connect with Lissa:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shadowwalkersofgrevared

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LissaDobbs

Website: http://www.lissadobbs.com and http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

Blog: http://shadowwalkersofgrevared.net

About Lissa:

Lissa Dobbs has always been an avid reader of horror and fantasy. From Dungeons and Dragons to comic books to mythology and folklore, she’s spent most of her life in worlds of ages past. She’s an avid follower of J. R. R. Tolkien, and H. P. Lovecraft, and she’s still waiting for her Hogwarts letter and her lightsaber. (How long does it take anyway?) If she ever needs rescuing, she hopes Dr. Strange is the one on duty.

With knowledge of things that ceased to be relevant two hundred years ago, she turned to writing to get some use out of the stuff in her head. Thus, was born the world of Grevared, a world that exists solely in a void space with no celestial bodies. There you will find her heart and soul and see just how many random interests she really has.

 

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Elle Boca

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with fellow Florida author Elle Boca.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directorypage.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Elle Boca:


eb elleboca headshotDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I strive to write something original and at the same time rewarding, enriching and entertaining. A tall order, I know! While superhuman stories have been around for years generally urban fantasy and paranormal fiction center around were creatures, vampires, witches, fairies, demons and or angels. As far as I know my Miami urban fantasy series about superhumans was the first such series set in Miami featuring superhuman characters. Likewise, I believe my Paris urban fantasy series was the first such series about superhumans. That is how I have tried to write something original and give readers what they want (even if they don’t yet know they want it).

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Start writing fiction earlier. Write more.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Anything indie that I’m reading at the moment. As an indie author I strive to give priority in my fiction pile to the work of fellow indies as often as I can and I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting indies. Runaway Smile and Musiville by Nicholas A. Rossis are children’s books I especially enjoyed (including the imaginative illustrations) although I don’t often read children’s books. I also liked his short story books. More recently I read Blood Ice and Oak Moon, a fantasy audiobook about witches and fairies by Marsha Moore

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes, I greatly appreciate the time and energy that each and every reader dedicates to reading and reviewing my books even those who occasionally don’t like them. I find frequently when that happens that the reader did not pay close attention to the description of the book. For example, someone whose favorite genre is romance or thriller since my stories are urban fantasies. Each review reveals something new. I don’t do anything beyond reading them and expressing my appreciation for their review whenever I’m in direct contact with the reviewers.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

There are secrets and clues that link the books in a series. There are elements in the book covers that relate to the story in the books.

Do you Google yourself?

Every so often I use the search engines and social media to find new reviews and mentions. I usually search for the book titles.

What is your favorite childhood book?

Hmm, I don’t know that I have a single favorite childhood book. When I was a child I especially loved Greek and Roman mythology.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I don’t know what that would be… I might have learned more about the craft. Perhaps I would read more and start writing at a younger age, but at the same time I think I started writing as soon as I was ready.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

While it depends on the book (some require more research than others and some are more emotionally charged than others), it takes me several months and up to a year between writing, editing, beta reader feedback and final editing, formatting and release.

About Elle:

Elle is the author of two urban fantasy series about superhumans called Weeia, the Unelmoija Series in Miami and the Marshals Series in Paris. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading. Elle makes her home with her king cat husband in South Florida.

Connect with Elle:

The author website address is https://elleboca.poyeen.com/

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon
Elle’s Books:

 

Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GVXU7YO/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00GVXU7YO&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20

Unelmoija: The Mindshifter – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ILGKCF8/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00ILGKCF8&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20

Unelmoija: The Spiritshifter (Weeia Book 3) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LDDXSBQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00LDDXSBQ&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=U3SJOC3UQP6CLWBF

Unelmoija: The Timeshifter (Weeia Book 4) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NRCDUHI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00NRCDUHI&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=VHI57KSORB53YOOE

Unelmoija: Paradox (Weeia Book 5) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U9W8EKC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00U9W8EKC&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=8fb356d23b7b11661c57b0970e53ed73

In the Garden of Weeia – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932534091/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1932534091&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=ONMPHK2ARGQWRWXW

Gypsies, Tramps and Weeia (The Weeia Marshals Book 1) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A01R5SI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01A01R5SI&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=Y7QGM7KITR2C63Y2

Weeia on My Mind (The Weeia Marshals Book 2) – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I8TZN42/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01I8TZN42&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=c6ec871a0648ef0f77c707c673d6f724

Smells Like Weeia Spirit – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XFMYWBV/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B06XFMYWBV&linkCode=as2&tag=simonandbaker-20&linkId=945f526ad1dcb586fcb26cd90e3fc359

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Stevie Turner

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with English author and blogger Stevie Turner.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Stevie Turner:


Stevie Turner

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try and be original, so as not to write just another version of something that has been written about hundreds of times before.  Of course I know that there’s probably nothing that hasn’t been written about by other authors, but there’s no harm in trying!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t go overboard spamming your books left, right and centre.  People do not want to know!

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Didn't Get FrazzledIt’s got to be ‘Didn’t Get Frazzled’ by David Z. Hirsch, MD which I’m reading at the moment.   The author has my sense of humour, writes of a subject I’m interested in, and I found even (bizarrely) has the same names for his characters as I currently have in my WIP.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes I do read my reviews.  I promote the good ones and leave the bad ones there without commenting, as I’m sure every other author does as well.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Our past experiences always give us something to write about.  However, I leave it up to the reader to work out for themselves which parts of my novels are fiction and which parts are true.

Do you Google yourself?

No, because I receive email notifications when my name appears on Google, so I don’t have to search!

What is your favorite childhood book?

The Island of AdventureThe Island of Adventure, by Enid Blyton. In fact any of those ‘Adventure’ series, but ‘The Island’ was the first one I ever read.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Go to University and get an English degree.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I used to write them in about three months, but now it takes me all year as I’ve gone back to work part-time.  The trick is not to rush it.

Connect with Stevie:

Website:  http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Amazon.com:  http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU/

Amazon Author Page (worldwide):  http://bookShow.me/B00AV7YOTU  

YouTube:   https://goo.gl/E8OHai

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/

WordPress Blog:  https://steviet3.wordpress.com/

Audible:  http://goo.gl/sz1cXS

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?vpa=pub&locale=en_US

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/105747643789021738179/posts/p/pub

BookSprout:  https://booksproutapp.com/author/875/stevie-turner

About Stevie

Stevie Turner works part-time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital, and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival.  ‘A House Without Windows’ is currently being read by the director of a reputable film production company based in New York.

 

 

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Ken La Salle

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Ken La Salle, a California author, philosopher and monologist.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this conversation with author Ken La Salle:


Ken La Salle 073017

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I’d like to begin my answer by saying I’m not certain if people-pleasing is a quality any artist should have. I say that because, deep down, I feel like I’m a people-pleaser, by which I mean that I like to see my readers happy.

But the problem with this, and this partially carries over in my answer to the next question as well, is that art has very little to do with people-pleasing. Our job as artists is not always to please.

And so, I spent far too much of my early career trying to write what I thought would please my reader – and failing miserably because, again, that’s a misinterpretation of the job itself. Readers don’t simply want to be pleased and we know that because of all the ways books reward us in unpleasant ways: glorious sacrifices, meaningful defeats, disappointments, loss, and a little thing the more pretentious among us call “pathos.”

Meaningful art isn’t always pleasing. Realizing this, along with a few other things, I decided my time spent writing is best spent writing those stories only I could write, stories that nobody else was doing, stories that I knew deep in my gut… my stories. And because they’re mine and not a rehash of something else, they also more original, which is a reward in itself.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

When I refer to myself as my “younger writing self,” I feel I should come clean and admit that this covers a pretty solid 30 years of writing. For about 30 years, I spent far too much time in one pursuit I would never repeat again, which I like to call Publisher Pleasing.

Granted, this also includes agents… and editors… and cover artists… and even friends with opinions. I basically spent far too much of my life trying to make everyone happy. So, when someone suggested a change to one of my books, I went with it. When someone told me I needed to write a specific genre, I did. When someone told me to take the jokes out of my work, I removed the jokes.

As a result, I found that my work resembled me less and less. I didn’t like what I did quite as much. My writing career felt like less, worth less. Something was missing. It just wasn’t working out.

As if that wasn’t enough, I also found that publishers weren’t that interested in the end result. Agents shook their heads. And the many, faceless voices who always told me what to do were never there to stand by the finished product, as if they would say, “I told him to do that!”

Only after years of making this mistake did it really sink in that, when it comes to my art, I am the only one who will stand by the finished product. I am the only one who knows what I’m going for. Propping bad, artistic decisions on the advice of others is the worst sort of delusion and, shameful as it is to admit, this took me a while to figure that out.

Last year, I decided to take a major step away from all of that and devote the next chapter of my life to being a truly independent artist, creating the kind of work I like in the way I like. And I kinda wish I could go back and tell my younger self to start much sooner.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

indian paintbrush coverOf mine? I’d have to pick Indian Paintbrush, the story of man who takes a long, hard look at his life and is not impressed by what he sees.

The-Pelbar-Cycle (1)In general? I’m going to go really obscure and mention one of my favorite fantasy series of novels, The Pelbar Cycle. (I know it’s not just one novel but the entire series deserves some love.) This is post-post-post-apocalyptic at its best from Paul O.Williams and delivered from a small publisher. The whole series is something special that you should read if you can find it.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Book reviews are really so integral to book sales, you kind of have to pay attention to them. Yes, I read my reviews. I am generally pleased but the negative review does pop up now and then.

Good reviews are easy to handle. They brighten a career that can often feel isolating, letting me know that there are some folks out there who dig what I’m doing. Then, the bad ones come along and squash any good feelings I might have.

Worst review I ever got was a one-star rating. No description was left, no justification, just a single star. And I was left to wonder what I had done to warrant this reader’s cold response. Was it, to employ an overused phrase, something I said?

But that review, every bad review, comes with the territory. Not everyone is going to dig what you do. But that is our opportunity, as artists, to remind ourselves why we do this, to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and not allow anyone or anything to stop us.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Understanding that I can’t give explicit examples without ruining any said secrets, I have to admit that there are a few secrets here and there. There are times when I like to tie my work together in different ways.

With that said, though, that’s not my focus. I like to get down to the story and don’t like anything, such as a reminder to seed that twist that may pay off in book three, to get in my way. If it works, and if the book needs it, I’m happy to oblige.

Do you Google yourself?

There’s a word I picked up early in my writing career and that word is: platform. Sometimes, it’s referred to as an “online platform.” Basically, it’s a word that publishers and agents like to use in place of “Are you a celebrity? Because we can sell books by celebrities.”

Publishers want you to do as much of their work for them as they can, which includes being a celebrity. There’s nothing “wrong” or “unfair” about this; it’s how they sell books.

So, yes. I got in the habit rather early of googling myself, checking my online platform, seeing if any new reviews are out, and so forth.

Is it egotistical and self-absorbed? Sure. Probably. But then, so is every other part of our social media lives, from attracting followers to seeing how many likes something got. We’re a society of self-Googlers; some of us are just more obvious about it.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I’m afraid I don’t have a very good answer to that one.

Naming my favorite childhood book feels very much like choosing my favorite childhood toy. I wouldn’t know where to start!

I wasn’t really a reader as a kid, so my favorite books were usually the ones with pictures: anything by Seuss, Silverstein, or Mad Magazine pretty much fell in this category.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Cliché time. Ready?

If I could have done one thing different, I would have believed in myself more.

But I’d like to emphasize that I would not have believed in myself with regards to how much money I would make as an artist. Rather, I would have believed in myself because of the fulfillment I would find as an artist. These are two distinctions that I often think get lost these days.

You often see stories about characters who lack the ability to believe in themselves and, once they do, they are miraculously successful. But confidence and determination do not necessarily lead to success. Confident, determined people still fail. On the other hand, confidence and determination do lead to fulfillment.

I didn’t begin my writing career until later in life precisely because I lacked confidence and determination. I let everyone else tell me why I would not succeed. What I didn’t possess, what I would certainly have benefitted from as a younger man, was the confidence and determination to live the life that would eventually make me much happier and more fulfilled.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From the time I lay down the first few words, I can finish a book in about 2-3 months.

Sounds pretty fast, right?

But what that equation does not include is all the time beforehand during which I lay out the story and work on the characters and refine, refine, refine just about as much as I can. I like to be as ready as possible when I sit down to write so that, when I do, I can just write it.

Add that in and we’re talking several years.

But 2-3 months does sound more impressive.

This interview has been a lot of fun because it asked a few things that these kinds of interviews don’t cover. Having done a few of these, I really appreciate that.

Connect with Ken:

Follow my writing career at www.kenlasalle.com

On Twitter at http://twitter.com/KenLaSalle

On Facebook at www.facebook.com/kenlasalleAuthor

And, on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/theKenLaSalle

Find Ken’s Work:

You can find me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ken-La-Salle/e/B004U6OFQ0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1514932856&sr=8-2

Audible: https://www.audible.com/search/ref=sr_sort_reviewrank?searchRank=reviewrank&advsearchKeywords=ken+la+salle&searchSize=20&searchRankSelect=reviewrank

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KenLaSalle

And, as always, at www.kenlasalle.com.

About Ken:

Author and occasional philosopher and monologist, Ken La Salle’s passion is intense humor, meaningful drama, and finding answers to the questions that define our lives. Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue collar roots, which have given his writing a progressive and environmentalist view. You can find a growing number of his books and performances available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Angela Kay

Welcome to the 2018 author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Angela Kay, a Georgia author and blogger that writes Mystery/Thriller novels.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this conversation with author Angela Kay:


Author Photo

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to do a little bit of both. It’s hard to write a 100% original story, but not impossible. As for delivering what readers want, I may write a scene and have a few people read it. If all of them say they hate it, I’m definitely going to put that scene aside and rework it, even if I like it. I want my readers to have a good experience while reading, so if the majority dislike any part of my book, then I’m going to figure out how I can rework it.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

“Everyone starts somewhere. Whether you decide to be an independent author or a traditional author, you have to know the same things. Learn to market early, make connections early, and research book editors.”

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Nothing comes to mind at the moment.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Every time I see that I’ve received a new review off Amazon, my heart begins to quicken. I don’t handle failure very well, but I’ve been teaching myself that even if one book fails, the others may not. I get annoyed if people were to leave a review and they don’t say why they don’t like it, or even when they don’t say why they love it. If reviewers who leave a review say they love it, it would help potential purchasers decide they want to check it out. Alternately, if they hate something about the book, I’d like to know because then I could devise my writing skills to conform with what readers like. For example, several people left reviews for my debut novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes, saying they loved it and that it was fast-paced all the way through. Two people left a review saying it was slow at times. I’ve contacted both, asking what about the book was slow. Neither would tell me. So, how can I learn to better my craft if they don’t tell me their entire opinion?

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No. I don’t really have secrets.

Do you Google yourself?

I didn’t until this question. Haha. And if anyone does, don’t confuse me with Angela Kay Austin!

What is your favorite childhood book?

When I was younger, I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley Middle and Sweet Valley High series. I owned every one of those books. Nancy Drew as well.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Get out more. I’ve always been extremely introverted. I feel that if I got out more, I would be more observant and be able to better write about my take on things I’ve seen or dealt with into my writings.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It depends on my mood and what I have going on. For my debut novel, it took seven years for me to complete, and ultimately publish. I had changed my direction so many times, I lost count. Because my book ended up a mess, I fell into depression and stopped writing. I don’t plan on letting that happening again! It took me less than a month to complete the first draft of my third and upcoming book. So, I would have to suppose that it would take me about a month overall. As long as I’m able to adhere to my word count goals, and life doesn’t get too much in the way, it’s doable.

About Angela:

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay always had the imagination and passion of a writer. She has written many, many short stories in her lifetime, most of which won’t ever see the light of day!

During college, her playwright professor had urged her to submit her one-act play to a 2009 playwright contest. To her shock and glory, she was one of 23 across the United States to win for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.

She’d begun writing her first novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes in 2009 during a Creative Writing college course. The first draft was well-received by her peers and professor. After seven years of writing and re-writing, the final draft of Manny Grimes became so unrecognizable and so different from the direction she initially went in. Finally, finding the nerves to show it to the public, Angela published it in 2016 with ThomasMax Publishing. A year later, she followed it up with a second book, Blood Runs Cold.

Realizing how difficult it is to break into the whole writing scheme, Angela began a blog to help other authors, many of which deserve glory. Between her busy life and keeping up with her writing, she enjoys reading and reviewing books written by both traditional authors and independent authors.

Angela draws her inspiration from international bestselling author, Steven James, as well as Agatha Christie and James Patterson.

Aside from writing, Angela enjoys watching TV and movies. Her favorite entertainers include James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Mark Wahlberg, Bryan Adams, and Jeremy Camp.

Angela lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

Connect with Angela:

Facebook.com/angelakaysbooks

Twitter: @angelakaysbooks

Webpage: www.angelakay.org

Angela’s Books:

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Lyn Horner

Welcome to 2018 and my new author interview series. Author interviews will be posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Lyn Horner. Lyn is a Texas author that writes contemporary and historical love stories.

For those of you that have read my interviews in the past, you’ll find a new set of questions in this series. You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directorypage.

Now, please enjoy this conversation with author Lyn Horner:


Lyn in cat shirt cropped.2

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I like to give readers what they want, but melding two, three or more genres into one cohesive plot, as I enjoy doing, pretty much forces me to prioritize originality.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

LOL Despite my love of cross-genre stories, I’d probably order myself to stick with one genre. It would be much easier to market my books.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

Prince of FoxesPrince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. Published in 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Tyrone Power in 1949. I read it while in high school, and the story has stuck with me over the years. It’s an historical novel and a romance, the first I ever read. Likely unknown to most readers nowadays, this book sits on my bookshelf, inspiring me whenever I glance at it.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Reading reviews is a mixed blessing I indulge in once in a while. I try to ignore bad ones unless they offer constructive criticism, and I smile in appreciation for the good ones. I hardly ever reply to either good or bad reviews, leaving it for readers to judge which is most helpful.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

I always include mysterious secrets that are eventually revealed to all readers. However, sometimes I base plot ideas on aspects of my life that few readers are aware of. For example, in Darlin’ Irish, Jessie Devlin’s gift of second sight (the ability to see into the future) springs from prophetic dreams I experience as a young woman. In Rescuing Lara, Connor O’Shea tells Lara about his mother and sister’s disability, a real genetic disorder that runs in my family.

Do you Google yourself?

Very seldom. It takes time away from writing.

What is your favorite childhood book?

That’s a tossup between Lassie Come Home and Black Beauty. I love animals!

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself before. I enjoyed writing even as a youngster but had my heart set on becoming an artist. For that reason, I attended four years of art school after high school and worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor for a number of years. Unfortunately, my hands deteriorated due to the hereditary condition mentioned above, making painting and illustration more and more difficult. That, plus raising two young children, led me back to writing. Now, I wish I had pursued a college degree in English and/or journalism instead of art.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

A long novel such as my western historical romances takes me a full year to write. A shorter novel from 40 to 50 thousand words, such as my Romancing the Guardians series, takes five to six months. That includes weeks of research since the books are set in far-flung locations, which I thoroughly enjoy. Learning about other countries and cultures is fascinating!

About Lyn:

Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and several very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. She loves crafting passionate love stories, both historical and contemporary. Lyn also enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

The author’s Texas Devlins series blends authentic Old West settings, steamy romance and a glimmer of the supernatural. This series has earned multiple awards and nominations, including Crowned Heart reviews and a Rone Award nomination from InD’Tale Magazine.

Lyn is now hard at work on her paranormal-romantic suspense series, Romancing the Gaurdians. These books combine her trademark flashes of psychic phenomena with Irish folklore and a chilling apocalyptic theme. Along the way, readers are treated to thunderous action, terrifying suspense and sizzling romance.

Check out her author page: HERE

Lyn’s Books:

2015 Cover

Darlin’ Irish

US: Amazon    UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon     AU: Amazon

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Rescuing Lara

US: Amazon    UK: Amazon     CA: Amazon     AU: Amazon

Connect with Lyn:

Lyn Horner’s Corner (website)

Lyn’s Romance Gazette (newsletter)

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