The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Bette A. Stevens

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Maine author, artist Bette A. Stevens

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 Bette A. Stevens:


Bette Stevens author 2016

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

I’m a writer inspired by nature and human nature and tend to write stories and poems about those things that touch my heart and soul. You might say that I write initially for enjoyment and personal satisfaction. However, whether it comes to poetry, children’s books or adult fiction, I definitely write for my readers—hoping to share the things that inspire me and the lessons I have learned in life, without focusing on what readers want to hear.

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

First of all, keep a journal and write about all of those things that inspire you, even if only in a small way. Next, talk (Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?) to relatives about ancestors and about their own lives—jot down notes about these family stories.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

watchmanOne of my recommended favorites is Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (published posthumously/2015). To date, the 5-star ratings are at 32 percent on Amazon. Here is an excerpt from my review:

Powerful, Relevant & Thought-provoking!

I’ve read both of Harper Lee’s novels and loved them! Mockingbird three times over four decades. Watchman last week… In my opinion, Watchman is as relevant and controversial today as it would have been when it was written. Atticus Finch has not evolved into a demon/hypocrite; he’s just become human like the rest of us. Well-written, thought-provoking and timely

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

You bet! Reviews are gifts from readers. Although most of the reviews for my books are excellent, I appreciate the less than outstanding ones as well. After all, not every reader is going to enjoy everything that every writer publishes. Critical reviews help me take a closer look at what I’ve written and discover how certain aspects of the story or of my writing affect my readers. They’ve inspired me to take a closer look at my writing. Book reviewers rock!

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

Secrets in books? Sure, secrets are part of the mystery and magic of storytelling. You know, it’s that show-don’t tell tool that writers use to draw readers into the story and keep them turning the pages—the magic that makes readers want more even after the story ends. Those secrets are as varied as the readers who find them. After all, most of the books I’ve read are full of hidden secrets.

Do you Google yourself?

In 2010, I Googled my name before self-publishing my first book. Know what I found? To my surprise, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette Stevens (Windswept House Publishing/1997) was on Amazon as an out-of-print book. I had no clue that it was even listed on Amazon. I also discovered that there was another author by the name of Bette Stevens and decided right then that I would use Bette A. Stevens to distinguish myself when publishing my own books. Since that time, I Google my name a couple of times a year. Every now and then, I find an article on line that I didn’t know existed (sometimes even a review)—one that I can reblog on my website or use in marketing. So dear writers, don’t be shy. Google yourself every now and then!

What is your favorite childhood book?

mgHands-down—The Real Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes is top on my list. The pages of this book held treasures that lured me into the world of words. The playful rhythms, the delightful rhymes, the silliness of it all, made me fall in love. And, once I fell in love with words, I never fell out of it.

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 was a shy child and teen and spent a lot of time reading and checking out books at the local library. Knowing what I do now, I would have joined the year book staff and the newspaper staff in high school. I also would have kept a personal journal during my teen years and entered a writing contest or two.

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

Generally, it takes about six months to complete the first draft of a book. I would add another six months for beta reader input, revisions and editing before sending a finalized draft off to a professional editor. Meanwhile, I reread chapter by chapter, making notes on the print manuscript to compare with the editor’s notes/suggestions before making final edits—then, rereading once again and having a literary friend (one who has not yet seen the manuscript) read it before publishing.

About Bette:

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Find out more about the author and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

Connect with Bette:

WEBSITE/BLOG http://www.4writersandreaders.com

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

FB FAN PAGE https://www.facebook.com/authorbetteastevens.officialfanpage?ref=hl

Bette’s Books:

Inspired by nature & human nature bas books 2017

“A writer inspired by Nature and human nature!”
Bette A. Stevens

AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale (Children’s Literature/ages 5-11)
“This story about a monarch butterfly is a true gem and will inspire children for years to come.”

THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!
Integrates Math and Language Arts (Elementary-Middle School)
“Awesome and Creative!”

PURE TRASH (Short story adventure/MG-Adult)
“Filled with images and flavor only better provided by and ice cream cone”

DOG BONE SOUP (New England coming-of-age) MG-Adult)
“A fascinating literary study of poverty and family dysfunctional in the 1950 & 1960s… adventures and misadventures to the likes of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry”

 

 

 

 

 

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring D. Wallace Peach

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Oregon author, artist D. Wallace Peach

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 D. Wallace Peach:


book photo low low resDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Well, I hope that these are occasionally the same thing! As a reader, I’m often looking for originality, and I think that may be the norm for fans of speculative fiction. Unlike some genres where certain tropes define the form, speculative fiction is incredibly broad, and there’s no reason not to experiment. Even if that weren’t so, I would probably still honor my preference for originality. My stories feel organic to me, inspiration sparking on the inside and bursting like fireworks into my head as fully formed ideas. I’ve never sat down and said, “I want to write a variation of “The Hunger Games.”

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

I didn’t begin writing until I was fifty, so my younger self isn’t all that young. What I do wish is that I’d found the time and inspiration to starting writing twenty years earlier! I envy those 20-30-somethings who are carving out hours here and there to create. They’re so far ahead of where I was at that age (which was still figuring out what I wanted to do when I grew up). But life doesn’t work that way, and I’m happy to have started when I did.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

under novelHmm. This is a hard one. I’ll stick with fantasy and mention a series that few people are going to have heard of: The Legends of Dhanen’Mar by Peyton Reynolds. I loved the story, the characters, and her magic system just blew me away. I inhaled the books. She couldn’t write them fast enough, and there are 15 books in the series!

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

I browse them all and look forward to the day when they’re rolling in so fast that I can’t keep up! A big fat dream, that one. Anyway, yes, I read them. I do happy dances when I get good ones, and I ignore the bad ones with one exception – a bad review that gives specifics. I try to view those as prickly little blessings because if the reviewer made a good point, I can go in and make fixes. By the way, this was not an option when I was traditionally published, and it’s one of many reasons I switched all my books to indie.

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

Rarely. In my first book, I named flowers after relatives. My niece was the only one who noticed.

Do you Google yourself?

I did when I was starting out. The whole publishing/blogging adventure was so new and exciting. I haven’t looked in years. Hmm… maybe I should take a peek… make sure there’s nothing embarrassing out there!

What is your favorite childhood book?

As a little kid, it was Charlotte’s Web, the first book to make me cry. As a teenager, it was The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I credit Tolkien for my love of reading and my decision to write fantasy.

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’m not sure I would do something different as it relates to preparing for a career of writing. All my experiences, the sweet and the sour, the delightful and the miserable, the successes and failures, made me who I am today, and they feed my stories. Beneath all the fantasy elements, I hope that I tell human stories, and that requires that I endure and continue to endure a range of experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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

About six months writing full time. That’s my average, it seems, from start to finish. I’m a slow, edit as I go writer, and I do about 8 complete drafts with plenty of little edits in between. I wish I could write faster, but if wishes were made of silver, I’d already be rich.

About D. Wallace Peach:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

D. Wallace Peach’s Books:

Ready for a reading adventure?

The Sorcerer’s Garden
Sunwielder
The Bone Wall
The Melding of Aeris

The Rose Shield Tetralogy:
Catling’s Bane, Book I
Oathbreakers’ Guild, Book II
Farlanders’ Law, Book III
Kari’s Reckoning, Book IV

The Dragon Soul Saga:
Myths of the Mirror, Book I
Eye of Fire, Book II
Eye of Blind, Book III
Eye of Sun, Book IV

Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters: A Children’s Space Tale

Connect with D. Wallace Peach:

The Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com.

Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: @dwallacepeach

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

 

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Nicholas T. Davis

Nick Davis

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author, artist, musician and blogger Nicholas T. Davis

Nick and I graduated from high school together and I’m excited to have him participate in my interview series this week with his new book.

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 Nicholas T. Davis:


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

I try to be original but am always willing to listen to my readers if they think I can improve something in a story.

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

Write more often and learn good marketing skills early. Invest more money into my writing and become more prolific.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

MCThe Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. I always felt it wasn’t respected for the great piece of science fiction it is. The television miniseries failed to do it justice.

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

I read my reviews, and I deal with bad reviews by not giving in to criticism. You can’t let a bad review burst your bubble. If you write a halfway decent book, you’ll end up with more good than bad.

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

In either my science fiction series, or my fantasy series, I often use foreshadowing as a way to link a fact to the next book of the series.

Do you Google yourself?

Who doesn’t do this? There’s something about seeing your name on a link that gives you instant gratification.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I remember my mother used to read a lot of Richard Scarry to me when I was young. If there was one particular book I had to pick it would have to be The Cat in the Hat. Something about Thing One and Thing two causing trouble intrigued me.

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 have avoided some of my negative influences that caused me to put aside my writing and got a better education. I did take journalism, but because I felt the writing was too restrictive, I abandoned those courses. That, and college parties, that dragged me down in studies. I did later obtain an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies.

 

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

My first book took years to write, but once I got into the flow of things, I improved. My last book, Wizards and Warlocks, the second of my Joeseph Lynden fantasy series, took a mere four months, even though it was my longest.

Connect with Nick:

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Mr.-Nicholas-T.-Davis/e/B00KP3OKEE/

Blog: https://ntdavis18dotcom.wordpress.com/

About Nick:

Nicholas Davis is a first time science fiction writer who lives in East Syracuse, NY and has been writing off and on since he was 12 years old. Inspired to write by his seventh grade English teacher, and reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings motivated him to write his own stories. He has a daughter Kelly from a previous marriage, and a wife named Nancy. He has also worked days at a mental institution as a cleaner for 26 years. He is also a solo musician, and plays social functions occasionally, and likes oil painting as well.

Nick’s Books:

Bargo Lynden Series

Bargo Lynden: Wizards and Warlocks (Bargo Lynden Series Book 2)

Buy Link

Synopsis:

Bargo Lynden, Blacksmith-turned wizard embarks on a journey to destroy evil at its source by killing the evil sorcerer Garlock on Bereuka Island. He is assisted by his mentor, Galong, his cousin, Captain Joe Garkee, and his good friend, Barton. They enlist the help of the Shudolin Naval forces, who provide them with ten ships to sail to the faraway lands. They face giant birds, bats, and insects, treacherous weather, giant whirlpools, sea monsters, and even mermaids in their task.
At home, King Glam and the Shudolin are faced with a new threat, when Phillip’s half sister, Camilla, invades the castle with an army of Grassmen. Ang, believed dead, resurfaces, as well, forming a pact with her and King Glazar, leader of the Licarions. With just Lilly, Bargo’s cousin, and a town full of Woblos, they do their best to defend their homeland, but must eventually ask for the help of the Elven Kingdom to defeat the invading forces.
Bargo Lynden must fight to quell the conflict in the land, and eliminate the source of Garlock’s and Ang’s power. Join this second part of this mystical adventure of religion, magic, faith, romance, and a Woblo’s decision whether to give up the wizardry, and become human as his kind once was, or remain the most powerful creature in Elven history.


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Synopsis:

Bargo Lynden is a Blacksmith Apprentice from a land called the Shudolin, and belongs to a mythical race called the Woblos. He learns of Shala, father of their race, and how his people were once human, and changed into animals by a jealous Elven king, and the staff which will allow them to become human again.
He is called upon by the King’s Royal Guard to venture into enemy territory to rescue King Timothy, and Bargo’s cousin, Barlow, from an evil Elf named Ang, a disciple of the evil wizard named Garlock. An enemy race called the Licarions has recently invaded parts of the Shudolin, bringing the land on the verge of war.
The Royal Guard members are led by Glam, an Elf who is also an old time adversary of Ang’s. Glam introduces Bargo to a world of faith and magic, where a powerful stone and staff are used to defeat evil, and reveals the history of Bargo’s people, and the hidden gift within himself. The Woblo is faced to confront the wicked disciple himself, and use the staff, stone, and an ancient Elven sword as his weapons. He must choose between his friends’ lives or his own to defeat an evil spell on the land, and suppress a forbidden love for a human woman he has known since childhood.


The Dimension Lapse Series

29355847

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Synopsis:

After being attacked by an unseen force, Major Jeff Walker, a Martian colonist is trapped in another universe via wormhole, and lands on an earth-like planet. Befriended by amphibian-like beings, they live in peace until an outside force threatens their way of life. They must join an intergalactic war against an evil race called the Tolarions, and a warmonger who calls himself Balta.
On a nearby planet, they meet a telepathic arthropod named Zarcon, who is a representative of the opposing peaceful Galactic Republic of Peaceful Civilizations. When his superior, Riona, double crosses the Republic and steals a weapon of mass destruction for unknown purposes, Walker and a band of misfits must stop him before he exterminates every race in the galaxy.
Meanwhile, the Tolarions have plans of domination and conquest. Walker is unaware, however, that the key to their survival lies deeply rooted in the human’s own historical past, and a man his grandfather once knew.


27031664

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Synopsis:

Angelica Avery is an astronaut and research scientist who travels through space and time to find her father, Physicist and geneticist scientist Dr. Louis Avery, AKA Akros. She meets Balta, an evil dictator who is determined to rule the galaxy, and the survivors of his wrath on the deserted planet of Tolaria. Cely is her trustworthy android, who assists her in survival. Jeff Walker is a former Martian, and a celebrated hero of the Republic of Peaceful Civilizations, and about to be married to his fiance, Lori Anderson, on his home planet of Ventros. Together they must defeat Balta and his alliance before he regenerates his race with clones, and recreates a powerful weapon. Angelica discovers things about her father that she never dreamed possible, and begins to realize he wasn’t the man she thought he was. Join the ordeal that Dr. Louis Avery’s daughter, Angelica must face to find out the truth about her father, and the man known as Jeff Walker. Her voyage sends her to far away worlds, tyrannical leaders, mind reading aliens, and brutal, savage customs. Can she stop an evil, diabolical monster from destroying everything her father worked for? Find out in the next edition of the Dimension Lapse series.


30361761

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Synopsis:

Join the continuing adventures of Jeff Walker, former Martian turned Ventrosion, and his crew as they travel through space and time to correct the catastrophes of the past, and restore a sense of order in a chaotic multiiverse.
Little Louis Avery is abducted by an alien entity right in front of his parents. He returns ten years later in an apocalyptic world to find he hasn’t aged, his parents have died, and his sister is much older than him. General Albert Carver is an overzealous investigator who runs special classified projects, such as Louis’ abduction, and the retrieval of an extraterrestrial craft which NASA possesses. He engages in immoral and inhuman behavior towards his prisoners and patients, even those close to him, all in the name of science, and orders from top chain commanders.
Walker again must stop a chain of events involving Dr. Avery and his daughter, Angelica which will change the future of mankind. With the help of Jeff’s grandfather, Major Thomas Walker, and a team of intergalactic soldiers, they must try to reverse a future of yet another attempted extermination of the human race. Will they be able to stop the systematic elimination in time, or will humans cease to exist in both universes?


Buy Link

Synopsis:

Angelica Avery and Jeff Walker have left their former lives to chase their adversary, Varloo, into yet another universe. They must stop him from creating a race of savage hybrids, and a device capable of the manipulation of matter itself. Along with them are Major Avery’s android, Cely, and one of the Republic’s best operatives, his good friend Batar.
The party of four sets out in search of the renegade Andronian in the Matari star system, where Zacharas is located. After leaving one of its moons, Maol, they are chased by a Zacharian slave trader named Garmoto, and are forced to resolve an incident with the Zacharians by negotiation. Captain Walker seeks to forge a treaty between the Zelorions and Zacharians, but falls short when Varloo interferes with their objective, as Angelica continues to seek the truth about her own past, and her father’s connection with the future.
This next installment of the Dimension Lapse multiverse takes the wormhole travelers to a new place and time, where everything they have come to know about their own universe has changed, and the past paves the way for a new future for all races. They face new people and challenges, and an old friend as well, who unlocks the key of compassion to insure his own kind’s survival.



Nick’s Children’s Books

27024946

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Synopsis:

A bored and lonely cat who lives on a farm seeks a friend to play with. He doesn’t realize that one is waiting for him just around the corner.


32443622

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Synopsis:

Enjoy this fun tale about animals and how they solve their problems. Meet Whitetail the rabbit, Ollie the ostrich, and Carly the Kangaroo as they learn how to be clever to get out of danger, how important friends can be, and why it’s wrong to steal. Color the pictures, read the story, and most importantly, have fun!


Buy Link

Synopsis:

Enjoy this second edition of fun tales about animals and how they solve their problems. Meet Barney the beaver, Steven the squirrel, and Larry the lizard as they learn valuable lessons; such as too much of a good thing isn’t always the best thing, how important it is to save, and why it’s wrong to lie. Color the pictures, read the story, and most importantly, have fun!

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Billy Ray Chitwood

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Billy Ray Chitwood.

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 Billy Ray Chitwood:


brchitwood_1512250160_704

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

I would like to think I’m trying for both when I write. I write mystery, suspense, thrillers, romance, and other genres. I could do a better job of marketing, in pre-launching my books, getting beta-readers, reviews, and I’m working on those aspects of the writing world.

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

Start NOW honing your writing skills – If writing is something for which you have an affinity and love doing it, work it into your schedule.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

DCjcBeqVoAAKfYRIf you’re referring to my novels, it would be MAMA’S MADNESS.

everyone burns

If you mean another author’s novel, I would go with EVERYONE BURNS by John David Dolan – @JohnDolanAuthor.

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

Yes, I do read them. Obviously, I’m delighted with 5-Stars and 4-Stars! The bad review ‘stings’, but I don’t let it bother me too long. Usually, I immediately sit and write a blog post.

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

Unless I’m misinterpreting your question, I’m sure a few people who know me well would find parts of my narratives pointing to experiences in my life – however, I would hasten to say there is no attempt to hide secrets. Much of my life is inescapably part of my writing. To a fault, my sharing at times, particularly in the two memoirs I’ve written, can contain self-flagellation and shameful sections.

Do you Google yourself?

Sure, as a way to remind me an important date – birthday, anniversary, something on a ‘to do’ list.

What is your favorite childhood book?

tom sawyerTOM SAWYER.

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

Almost an impossible question to answer, as I would need an environmental change. Had I been in a stable non-mobile environment, I would have taken my childhood dabbling in poetry, songs, writing on a different course. Unfortunately, my early years were not conducive to a lot of nurturing.

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

Without Social Media, with steady daily writing, about six to nine months. Most of my fictional writing is inspired by newspaper stories about actual crimes and events. I’ve long had this fascination with the evil that occupies our world. What takes so much time are the re-writes, editing, proofing, et al. I don’t write complicated novels dealing with historical people and/or monumental happenings that need a lot of research.

About Billy Ray:

I’m a young man in an old man’s body, trying to catch up to myself, trying to find pieces of me I left back in a disconnected youth and the early years of manhood. I’m a stereotype of many in my generation who can play the ‘blame game’, yell ‘foul’, and ‘let’s start over’. But, we are what we are, the sum of all the scary kid-emotions we experienced, the gin mills and piano bars that became our sandboxes of pleasure – lotus eaters of the best (or, worst) kind, the love affairs that did not quite settle us down, the sad poetry and songs written in bars and motels along the way… A Dreamer! A Wanderlust! The world needs such fools as we to write our books, our poetry, our songs, to offset the madness that plagues the soul.

Most important among the searching, I found Julie Anne – she’s there in the picture with me.​

I’ve written fourteen books, over three hundred blog posts, in search of those pieces left somewhere in many parts of the globe. You can preview my books on the next page. There’s even a Blog page…all my posts are not showing on this recently created blog page, but, if you want to read more, go to my official blog site and check out the archives:

Connect with Billy Ray:

https://www.billyraychitwood.com (Website)

https://www.brchitwood.com (My blogs are also on Goodreads.)

https://www.about.me/brchitwood

https://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

https://brchitwood.com

​https://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com

Billy Ray’s Books:

BOOKS OF MYSTERY – SUSPENSE – ACTION ​- CRIME – THRILLER – ROMANCE – MEMOIRS

FICTION (SOME INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS! – NON-FICTION – QUALITY READING

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Audrey Driscoll

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with Canadian author Audrey Driscoll.

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 Audrey Driscoll:


Audrey Aug 31 2014 Crop (2016_07_22 03_09_15 UTC)Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

The premises behind my books don’t come from any sort of rational intention to deliver a product to a target market of readers. They all arise from some mysterious conjunction of ideas in my brain. Some of them are probably more original than others.

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

Publish on Amazon sooner.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

underIt has to be Islands of the Gulf Volume 2, The Treasure. It’s the third book of the Herbert West Series, and the only one narrated by the main character of the series. All four books are in first person, but by other characters. In a sense, this book is the heart of the series.

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

AD: I read the good ones once. They make me blush. The bad ones I try to analyze, to figure out if there’s something I can learn from them.

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

Yes! Lovecraftian Easter eggs! My first book, The Friendship of Mortals, is based on a story by Howard Phillips Lovecraft. There are references in it, and in the subsequent three books of the Herbert West Series, that Lovecraft fans would recognize. There are also references to alchemy, both obvious and subtle.

Do you Google yourself?

All the time. I’ve found mentions of my books that I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. And it’s a good way find those suspicious free PDFs and blast them with Blasty.

What is your favorite childhood book?

JBRudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Not only did I read it dozens of times, I drew pictures illustrating scenes from it and made my friends act them out. I was obsessed with it for a while. Just the book, though; I didn’t want to watch the movies based on it because I was quite sure no movie would live up to the one in my head.

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

Learn about getting published so I would have had a track record by the time I started writing novels. That might have helped with getting traditionally published before self-publishing became respectable.

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

I’m definitely slowing down. I wrote my first novel in fewer than 6 months. The next four took a year or more. I have been working on my current work in progress for a year, and haven’t quite finished the first draft. Which means I’m a long way from done.

About Audrey:

Audrey Driscoll grew up reading books, and found she was as interested in how stories were constructed as in how they turned out. She worked out scenes and bits of dialogue in her head, and made her friends act out little dramas based on her favourite book at the time – Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

With that background, it was inevitable she would become a writer. It just took a while. After establishing a career as a librarian – first at the University of Saskatchewan and then at the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia – Audrey had a meaningful encounter with H.P. Lovecraft’s character Herbert West.

Audrey was fascinated by HPL’s corpse-reanimating physician and his friend the nameless narrator. The result was The Friendship of Mortals, which was followed by three more novels to form the Herbert West Series. Self-publishing became respectable and relatively easy just in time to rescue Audrey from the sad fate of the Unpublished Writer.

Audrey has recently published several short stories as supplements to the Herbert West Series, and is currently at work on a sequel.

Audrey Driscoll lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Audrey’s books:

Amazon.com:  https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.uk:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Audrey-Driscoll/e/B00J7X7QVC

Amazon.ca:  https://www.amazon.ca/Audrey-Driscoll-Books/

Apple:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/audrey-driscoll/id380553438?mt=11

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/”Audrey%20Driscoll

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

Connect with Audrey:

Information about Audrey Driscoll’s writing and her opinions on a variety of topics, including her other avocation of gardening, may be found by visiting her blog at:  www.audreydriscoll.com

Audrey is on Goodreads at:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4202146.Audrey_Driscoll

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring K.D. Rose

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with poet and essayist K.D. Rose.

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 K.D. Rose:


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

I think readers rely on writers to come up with ideas and writing that is original and by doing so, gives the readers what they want and often what they didn’t konw they wanted.

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

I would have gone the MFA route. I submit to literary magazines now, and in fact was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize for one of my poems. The more direct MFA route would have been helpful for literary output.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

 

I think great novels are forgotten over time. I still love my children’s novel “A Wrinkle in Time” for example and was so happy to see they are making a movie of it. I think all Philip K. Dick novels are underappreciated now. He was a genius in Science Fiction. Some people know this because they make movies of some of his work.

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

I do read them because I want to know what readers are thinking. It’s hard not to take negatives personally but all in all it is the reader’s experience, not the write’rs so I like to see the different perspectives.

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

I tend to like covert things so although I don’t officially hide anything to be found, I do write a lot of subtext and sometimes obscure references that only a few will either get or want to look up.

Do you Google yourself?

Nope.  🙂

What is your favorite childhood book?

PhantomWell having already given one away I’ll name the other one- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. It is another wonderful, too often forgotten book.

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 have started submitting earlier. You learn a great deal by submitting and when I started getting the “good rejections” where editors talk to you, it was very helpful. Doing that at a young age and getting professional feedback at a young age would be great for a writer.

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

Anywhere from a few months to a year. It depends on the book and the intricacies and whether I am also working on anything else.

About K.D. Rose:

D. Rose is a poet, essayist, and author. K.D. was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry for There are Species of Stars Yet to be Seen. K. D.’s book, Inside Sorrow, won Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Poetry. She has written books in multiple genres. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Word Riot, Chicago Literati, Poetry Breakfast, BlazeVOX Journal, Ink in Thirds, Northern Virginia Review, The Nuclear Impact Anthology, Stray Branch Magazine, Literary Orphans, Maintenant Contemporary Dada Magazine, Lunch Ticket Arts and Literary Magazine, The 2016 Paragram Press Anthology, Eastern Iowa Review, Bop Dead City, Santa Fe Literary Magazine, Hermes Poetry Magazine, Slipstream, Wild Women’s Medicine Circle Journal and The Offbeat Literary Magazine.

K.D.’s Books:

Inside_SorrowjpgebookInside Sorrow  https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Sorrow-Poems-Mourning-Grief/dp/148279182X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

kdrosecover600x900The Brevity of Twit  https://www.amazon.com/Brevity-Twit-K-D-Rose/dp/1530245877/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

erasingshadowscover

Erasing: Shadows https://www.amazon.com/Erasing-Shadows-K-D-Rose/dp/1512211796/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

atasteformystery

A Taste for Mystery https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Mystery-Two-Novellas/dp/1512280828/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I AM

I AM  https://www.amazon.com/Am-Poetry-Motion-K-D-Rose/dp/1491256060/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

FinalCoverHeavy Bags of Soul https://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Bags-Soul-K-Rose/dp/1475170629/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Connect with K.D.:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KDRose1

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

Website: http://authorkdrose.net/

Tumbler http://kdrose1.tumblr.com/

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US&trk=profile-preview

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/102870988804959230001/about/p/pub

The 2018 Interview Series Featuring Charles Yallowitz

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with author Charles Yallowitz.

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 Charles Yallowitz:


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

I try to be more original, especially when I’m writing the first of a series.  With my inspirations ranging from movies to television shows to books, I probably hit on what readers want more often than I realize.  Now, if we’re talking about taking specific suggestions then I take that on a case-by-case basis.  It’s rare that I deviate from my plan because of a request, but I will listen to what people like and hate.  For example, a character that people want to learn more about may get extra scenes in a future volume.  I don’t change the overall plot, but I will increase their exposure as much as I can.

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

Maintain at least a functional level of confidence because it’s going to be a rough ride from beginning to end.  There will be days, weeks, and months where you feel like you’re not going anywhere, but you have to keep writing.  Giving up means all of the progress will disappear and you might never get a chance to try again.  Also, don’t listen to everyone with an opinion and try to add them all to your work because you’ll just make a mess.

lost swordsWhat’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

All the ones I wrote . . . Just kidding.  The first one that comes to my mind is the series that got me interested in writing.  ‘The Books of Lost Swords’ by Fred Saberhagen is a low magic fantasy with great characters and world-building.  I actually enjoyed it more than ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Narnia’.  This is probably an odd choice because my books are closer to Tolkien than Saberhagen.

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

I don’t read them as thoroughly as I used to.  Early on, I would pore over them and search for ways to grow.  This led to me getting depressed over the negatives and a little too prideful over the positive ones.  I’ve changed to simply taking them all in stride and gleaning whatever growth I can from them.  They still have an impact on me, but I’ve certainly tempered it to the point where I’m just happy that someone gave me a chance.

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

Not intentionally.  Occasionally, someone will pick up on a ‘secret’ theme or hint that I put in out of instinct.  I do enjoy foreshadowing, which not everyone picks up on.  Since I write primarily to entertain, I try not to do anything that could leave more casual readers, such as myself, scratching their heads.  At the very least, I reveal the core secrets to the plot when the time is right.

Do you Google yourself?

Not as much as I used to, but I just did because of the question.  Nothing really interesting since I have so many posts and books out that they fill up the first 2-3 pages.  Okay, not interesting to me because I wrote them, but other people should feel free to check them out.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I was a voracious reader as a kid, so I didn’t have a favorite.  I loved the ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ series, which I can’t seem to find any more.  Dr. Seuss was always a favorite with ‘You’re Only Old Once’ being the top of the list.  It’s not one of his more famous ones and it’s about an old man going to the doctor.  He gets all these tests and I can see now that it was a statement on the healthcare system.  As a kid, I just loved this one section called ‘The Pill Drill’ where it’s almost a song about all of the medications that the guy has to take.  My parents gave me their copy and it’s in my son’s library now, but he’s more of a ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ kid.

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

As odd as it sounds, I’d have made the decision to become an author at a younger age.  I loved writing when I was 7, but I was convinced to focus on other things that had a better chance of landing me a job.  When I turned 15, I realized that I loved telling stories and being an author made me happy.  I always wonder what would have happened if I had honed my craft at a younger age.  Can’t say I would definitely make the change though because it could also mean I’d never have created Windemere and written the stories that I love now.  I could have ended up an author who only writes books on pre-existing material like all the Star Trek and movie adaptation books I read as a teenager.  Not sure I like that idea.

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

This is a tough one because I do a lot of planning and outlining.  In fact, I spent 10 years doing preliminary stuff for all of my series.  So, there’s some funky math going on here.  I would say 2-3 weeks to prepare all of the character bios and outlines, which includes doing it for all the books in a series.  Then, it would be about 4-6 weeks to write the first draft.  1-2 weeks for every editing run with a few spontaneous checks of key areas that pop into my head.  So, I guess it takes a total of 3-4 months to go from beginning to end for a single book.  In my defense, I’m a fantasy author and not a mathematician, so numbers and I don’t get along.

About Charles:

Born and living in New York, Charles E. Yallowitz is the fevered imagination behind the Legends of Windemere fantasy series.  For nearly two decades, he has worked to cultivate a world of magic and colorful characters to entertain anyone who wishes to give his stories a try.  When not writing, outlining, editing, dreaming, or eating pizza, Charles is busy tending to a mischievous imp that he is partially responsible for.  One day he hopes to add a decent night’s sleep to that list, but he is not holding his breath.

Connect with Charles:

Legends of Windemere Blog

Twitter

Charles’ Books:

collage-2017-12-08Amazon Legends of Windemere Site https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078N7QQXB?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

Warlord of the Forgotten Age 2Warlord of the Forgotten Age Site

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078KHZFSS/