Meet the Author: Seacity Rising by Elika Ansari

Today we welcome Elika Ansari to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Dubai, and ten other countries, and learn what a turtle, yoga, Masters Degrees, and Dexter’s Laboratory have to do with Elika’s writing journey. Grab your yoga mat and get comfy ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a writer, social scientist, and humanitarian professional. Other than writing my book, I have spent the past few years working in refugee camps across Greece, trying my best to lend a hand in bringing some semblance of normality to people whose lives have been turned upside down by international policies and politics. I love education and learning, and therefore have a small ‘collection’ of Masters degrees in the fields of International Relations, Anthropology, Development Studies and Cultural Narrative Studies from 4 different universities in Europe, and will soon be wanting to pursue my Ph.D. studies.

As to where I am from: I am of Iranian origin, born in Dubai, grew up in Europe, namely in Spain and the UK. I have lived in over 10 countries worldwide (so take your pick!), which is cool but at the same time perhaps a little overwhelming. At this point in time, I am spending the summer vacation with my family in Dubai.

My first book, Seacity Rising, was published by Black Rose Writing on June 6th, 2019 and is being distributed worldwide.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

A turtle, because they are such calm and spiritual creatures. I feel zen just by looking at one resting on a rock. But at the same time, I think they have a dimension of adventure that I feel only comes out when they are not being watched.

What are you currently reading?

‘Tuesdays at the Castle’ by Jessica Day George. It is an uplifting fantasy story about a castle that changes itself sporadically and three royal siblings trying to protect their kingdom from invaders. Enjoyable for both kids and adults alike.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I’ve been doing humanitarian work in refugee camps across Greece for the past two years. At the moment though, I am on a break, dedicating more time to writing, studying, and just being with my family.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

I have lived in over 10 countries worldwide.
Yoga gives me peace of mind.
I sing sometimes.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Tahereh Mafi, author of the Shatter Me series. I don’t really have any questions in mind, I just wanted a chance to tell her how inspiring and unrestrained I found her writing style to be. It’s commonplace to fall in love with a story, but falling in love with a style; that for me, is rare.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Summers, where my creativity was unleashed. I would create comic books, write up stories on my typewriter (yes, I had a typewriter XD), draw designs of theme parks, come up with songs and poems, ‘invent’ cleaning products, you name it. Every summer, I would undertake a different creative project, which made going back to school in September all the harder.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Dexter’s Laboratory, because I immensely enjoyed both Dexter’s and Didi’s worlds. Dexter was always working on nifty inventions which I would have loved to witness from up close, and Didi (whenever she was not messing with Dexter), was in her pink haven, playing on her own or with her friends and just being Didi.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

I would want to be Lo the turtle because it would be so cool to be the princess of Seacity Pond for the day. As Princess of Seacity I would mark an Earth Day, where all Seacitians would be instructed to volunteer to help clean Dark End, the part of Seacity pond where garbage keeps piling up and everyone except for Babak the frog seems to avoid.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

“Ms. Elika Ansari? Author of Seacity Rising?”
“Yes?”
“I came as fast as I could. The glaciers are melting, and the penguins are all drowning. The animals in your book were right. The black smog is consuming our world; it is real and it is happening right now. We need to do something. Can you help?”

Tell us about your most recent book.

‘Seacity Rising: A Tale of Unwatery Adventures’ is the first in a trilogy series, which touches on themes of friendship, self-development, trust, diversity, displacement, and climate change, as well as other important ideas that children (and adults!) should be familiar with.

Imagine your world is so incredibly small and sheltered, that you can only begin to fathom murmurs of adventures abroad in storybooks and legends of old. It may be a dull life, but it is certainly a familiar and comfortable one, and one that does not easily invite danger. That is, of course, until danger appears at your doorstep, and you are forced to leave your home behind searching for answers on how to save it.

Thank you Elika for joining us on MTA. It was incredibly interesting learning about your journey thus far. May our paths cross again at some point! –Camilla

Book Blurb:

When the underwater creatures of Seacity pond learn that their home is in danger, they decide to investigate further by doing something no one has ever done before – go up to land to seek the answers they need. An unlikely team of two royal turtles, a genius goldfish and a timorous frog are then assembled to embark on a series of adventures. Whether they are racing the fastest tortoise on earth, falling in love with native mice theatre, or bringing peace to warring ant colonies, each unique experience is taking the group
of friends closer to the heart of what is really going on. But will they make it back in time to save Seacity before the Winter’s Slumber?

Where to find the book:

Seacity Rising is available on Amazon, Waterstones, Blackwells, Foyles, Barnes and Noble, Thrift Books, and others!

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2lnRpvt

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jShBy3

Website / Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.elikaansari.com/

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/elikaansari/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19226072.Elika_Ansari

Instagram page: @elikaansari

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryam-elika-ansari-56b5685b/

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: Becoming One With The Universe by Al Duncan

Today we welcome Al Duncan to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Dunedin, New Zealand and learn how a wolf, an owl, John Lennon, and The Himalayas align to inspire the story of Al Duncan. Grab your travel gear and let’s go ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Life has been a very colorful experience to date. I’ve amazed myself by fulfilling a dream of becoming a self-published author of a book that resonates with so many. Even if they haven’t purchased it, the comments I receive on my author page are amazing. https://www.facebook.com/alduncanauthor1/ 

Looking back life has been an incredible, yet challenging journey which has given me the gift of not only believing in myself but also the ability to write from the heart. Even to the extent that many believe my writings are divinely guided.

I love the beach and am blessed to live directly opposite a beautiful beach in a quaint little beach house in Dunedin, New Zealand. I have worked in a myriad of positions from managing bars to Mentoring Youth, to saving the World with Greenpeace. All of it has lead to a purposeful point in life of creating a fulfilling lifestyle.

In which genre do you write?

Nonfiction. Inspiration. Spiritual.

How many published books do you have?

One at this stage. “Becoming One with the Universe – Inspirational Reminders, Signs and a Story”

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

I was blessed to cross paths with a very wise soul who truly taught of the magic of unconditional love. Unbeknown to me, my soul had enrolled me on a spiritual apprenticeship spanning 20 years. When my mentor tragically departed, a knowing spark eventually arose insisting the wisdom and knowledge be shared. It was like being handed a “baton of light”. It was up to me whether I chose or even had the courage to run with it.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I tend to become obsessed with my writing. It becomes 24/7 and everything I do revolves around it. Hence why it’s has been nice to have a break. I’m blessed to be able to write at the drop of a pen. Inspiration may flash through my mind at any time; hence my belief that there is no such thing as writer’s block. The flow comes and goes. When it goes, it’s simply time to rest and enjoy life in other ways.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

The wolf and the owl. The owl for its wisdom and the wolf for its incredible survival instincts.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

My ideal working space is varied. A lot of my writing I have done in South East Asia and Western Australia. So anything from a beach setting with an iced coffee, or hidden away in a little guesthouse room typing, formatting and editing away to all hours.  Ideally, I’d like a cool comfy funky chair that I can spin around full circle in for fun. A desk would be handy. And a fantastic view of nature for inspiration or so I can happily procrastinate.

What are you currently reading?

Haha well, funny one. I’m reading my own book for the first time from the perspective of a reader. I want to check out what this Al Duncan dude has got to say!

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

In the last 5 years, I have traveled throughout South East Asia and Nepal. I love exploring new places and discovering and interacting with new cultures. Right now, I’m in recharge mode back in New Zealand. Deciding on my next move in life and trusting the process, as well as integrating all that I have experienced in the last few years. And lots of nature hits!

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would love to sit, laugh and chat with the Dalai Lama. Cups of tea and biscuits shooting the breeze. Ahhh yes! I would ask him what his innermost thoughts were on the state of the world. What his beliefs are around humanities ability to turn it all around, and live the ultimate purpose of living as One. John Lennon would pop in to sing “Imagine”. And Bob Marley would sing “One Love” to end our time together.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

Hmmm, that’s a good one. Discipline. Wow yes, I’m a master of discipline now! Determination. Self-belief. And, how I overcame the many times I wanted to give up on it all. Also, as my numerology suggests I really do have inner gifts.

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

Inspiring …hmmm.  A 16-day expedition high into the Himalayas. 5100 meters. Stepping back in time to what the modern world has long forgotten. And the incredible experience of living one of the greatest analogies. The art of living life and fulfilling our dream one step at a time.

I experienced altitude sickness on the Larke Pass. The guide having observed our team for the last 9 days made the decision I had the inner strength to go the distance. I recall him taking a triumphant photo of me in front of Tibetan pray flags on the highest point. I was smiling; however, I was also well aware I had 9 hours of trekking through a snowy unforgiving wilderness. I could literally feel each step I took for the rest of that day. The insights were incredible in hindsight.

The absolutely amazing courage the human spirit has when faced with adversity is mind-blowing.  To the extent that when we recall these times, they are sometimes the greatest reminder that we are divine beings and capable of anything when we utilize our minds for its true purpose.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

Well, firstly I get nervous, hehe Following this is a process of finding my mojo and being in the zone. I surprise myself as to how I come across. I was recently interviewed by Mike Dooley, live on Facebook. That was a first! Yes, one of the dudes that were featured in “The Secret”. I also woo-hoo and jump around a bit to get my energy levels up. And if possible, a stroll in nature works wonders.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Life was simpler. Yet being a grown-up is almost a blessing in that we become aware we are at choice in whatever we do with life. And, anyway, my inner kid is still alive. I was scuffing through autumn leaves the other day in the park and woohoo-ing on a swing. I’m still a big advocate of a simple life.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

I can’t recall the name of the last one I watched. But a recent one was “A Dog’s Purpose”. The storyline was heart-warming, as well as tear evoking. I love inspiring movies. Put a dog in it, and it’s a must!

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

Yup Al, I chose you as I’ve learned not too many people would believe that penguins can talk. We in the penguin kingdom know you believe we can fly! Yes, one of our angelic penguins was the inspiration behind your children’s penguin book. The sombrero you ask Al? The Galapagos bro!

Tell us about your most recent book.

Becoming One with the Universe. Is just that. A process of becoming the most authentic version of ourselves. I would say for want of a better phrase it’s a self-development book with a difference. It has been referred to as what will become a reference book for years to come. My story of becoming is a part of the book. This is something I didn’t want to include, however, there was an intuitive insistence that this would offer the reader a more authentic and greater understanding of the content, concepts, insights, and inspiration shared.

A final word from Al …..

I am currently excitedly working on a new book. This book will have a different style but still packed full of inspiration, insights, fun, and intrigue. It’s an adventurous story of becoming, with an intriguing storyline based on a solo travelers insights with the intention to inspire people to go for their dreams. I also have a children’s book ready to go. I just need the right illustrator to cross paths with.

Thank you Al for joining us on MTA. It was beautiful learning more about your story and writing life. Al and I have known one another for more than a year and I’m so happy I was able to interview him. He is a deeply beautiful and kind human! Blessings to you Al! – Camilla

Extracts of a few key phrases from online reviews. (There are also many more on my author page.):

I found it a delightful read, thoughtful, entertaining, enlightening and REAL.

An amazing, amazing life transforming book. The best part of this book is the simplicity and ease with which Al ignites the readers’ minds. A must must read.

Within the pages of this beautifully written book, you will discover some of the most heart- warming and authentic words. Al will take you on a journey of self-discovery that is so comforting and puts your heart at peace.

This book has offered the best cognitive enlightenment I’ve received from the universe yet.

If you are on a spiritual journey, please read, re-read, reopen any page at any time and you will always find some very inspirational ideas, in such a depth, and with so much truth, that it all makes sense. This book, my bible, makes you think, question,realize, smile… and anything in between… such unique and beautiful writing!

Al’s humor shines in his writing, even with the darker subjects like death, I get a sense of peace.

Love it! It is one of the most inspirational books that I have read in a long time.

No matter what stage in life you are, this book will certainly be a keeper!

Beautiful and uplifting on so many levels. Comforting but at that same challenging. Familiar but giving depth and inviting the reader to ask the questions of oneself.

Where will you find “Becoming One with the Universe”?

Only a tap or seven away. Pretty much most online bookstores around the world. Shop around. Some have great discounts. Remember its 728 pages. Read it all or happily open any page for an answer to a question.

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jUsGhP

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jVUfaH

Australia Amazon: https://amzn.to/2llsDMv

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: A Daughter’s Truth by Laura Bradford

Today we welcome Laura Bradford as we travel to New York and learn how candy corn, Multiple Sclerosis, Walt Disney, and sea lions play a key role in Laura’s writers life. Grab some paper, crayons and sharpened pencils and get comfortable …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m what you might call a geographical mutt. I was born in New Jersey, but have also lived in Connecticut, Ohio, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, and now, New York.  I’m a mom (best job ever), a doorman for the family cat, a baking enthusiast (and fruits-of-my-labor eater), and a lover of all things chocolate. My “happy places” include Walt Disney World, the beach, and a small town called Tie Siding, Wyoming.

In which genre do you write?

I have written most extensively in cozy mysteries (amateur sleuth whodunits), but have found my way into Women’s Fiction, as well.

How many published books do you have?

To date? Thirty-three.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

Oh, I remember that day well. I was ten years old and playing at my friend’s house. It was raining outside and we’d exhausted all of our favorite go-to activities (Barbies, and back-up dancers–don’t ask). My friend pulled out a stack of paper, a box of Crayola Crayons, and some sharpened Number Two pencils in anticipation of the children’s books she suggested we make.  A few hours later, armed with my first self-written book in tow, I walked in my front door and told my mom I was going to be an author when I grew up.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

When I’m in the final push of a book, I crave a bowl of Brach’s Candy Corn and a tall glass of milk.  Not sure why, but if I don’t have those two things, the book isn’t going to get finished.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It would be a big, bright, sunny room with long billowing curtains (billowing because of the ocean breeze coming through the window of my ocean front writing room). There would be built-in bookshelves on the non-window walls–stuffed with the books I’ve written, my favorite books to read, and pictures of the people who make me happy.

I’d have a big desk to accommodate my laptop, my notes, and my bowl of deadline candy corn. Next to–and facing–the big floor to ceiling windows would be a big, comfy oversized/overstuffed chair where I’d actually spend most my time writing, plotting, dreaming…

Now let’s contrast that to my actual writing space, shall we?  Me, jammed into the corner of my old, tired living room couch with a stack of notebooks beside me and the cat curled up on top of the notebook I’m trying to consult.

But hey, a gal can dream, can’t she?

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

*I was one of 13 kids in my very small elementary school who had their appendix out within a 2 week time period.

*Thirty of my thirty-three books published to date, have been since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

*I can recite the old Big-Mac ingredient list (1970’s era commercial slogan for McDonald’s) backwards. Fast.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

The nugget that grew into A Daughter’s Truth, came to me in a flash while driving around Amish Country in Pennsylvania. I passed a quiet cemetery and found myself picturing a young woman, standing over a family member’s grave, staring down at a locket someone had left beside the simple gravestone. Right away I had to know who was buried there…who the girl was….what was inside the locket…and who put it there.   I simply had to write this story to find out.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would have a coffee date with Walt Disney. And more than actually ask him anything (although it would be fun to pick his brain), I’d like to show him (via pictures) how much joy he’s brought to families (including mine) by way of his imagination. I’m seriously in awe of everything that man set in motion.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

That I’m not as much of an introvert as I once thought–or once was. I always thought the life of an author was just about writing. That’s it. How wrong I was … When my first book was published, I was asked to give a talk at a library. I was terrified and it felt like I had a bag of cotton in my mouth the whole time I was speaking.  But somehow, along the way, I’ve actually come to enjoy getting out and talking at libraries and other reader events.

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

Ha!  Where do I start? 1) Would you like a breath mint? 2) We have guests–can you lick your nether regions somewhere else, please? 3) Do you really not get the notion that if you trip and kill me on the way to get your food, there will be no one to feed you?

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Wow. Tough question. If I’m craving fun, I’d say Walt Disney World (with the kids–who, by the way are now in their 20’s). If I’m in need of slowing things down a wee bit, I’d say Lancaster County (Amish Country) in Pennsylvania. In the late fall.   And if I’m in need of utter peace, I’m going with my friend’s home in Tie Siding, Wyoming. There’s something about standing on her back deck, looking at the mountains that makes you realize how really small you are and I think that’s a worthwhile reminder for us all sometimes. It’s very quieting.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on …

This is an easy one as I do this, from time to time, when I need a break.  I head down to NYC (it’s about a 50 minute train ride along the Hudson River) in the morning. I have breakfast at a favorite haunt on West 72nd Street, and then I trek across Central Park to the zoo and watch the sea lions do tricks for their food.  I know the names (and can tell them apart) of each sea lion they have and I not-so-secretly dream about getting out on the rocks with the trainers and tossing a fish into a sea lion’s mouth (and trust me, that is the only thing that could ever make me hold a fish–alive or otherwise–in my bare hands).

Tell us about your most recent book.

 A Daughter’s Truth is my 2nd Women’s Fiction novel, and it’s the book I’ve been getting the most reader written letters about. People are telling me it’s making them “feel all the feels.”  I think a lot of that is because at some point in life, we all find ourselves at a crossroad. Maybe we’re there because of illness, or a big change in life, or via other people’s choices (like Emma is in the novel).  But no matter why we’re there, we all have the same choice in that instance: will the moment define me or will I define the moment.

Thank you Laura for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was fun and interesting to learn more about your background. I look forward to adding A Daughter’s Truth to my to be read pile! –Camilla

Book Blurb for A Daughter’s Truth:

Emma Lapp tries to be the perfect daughter, to earn the loving embrace of her family and her Amish community in Pennsylvania. Yet she can’t quite win her mother’s smile—or her forgiveness for a transgression Emma can’t quite place . . .

Emma knows she’s a reminder of her mother’s greatest sorrow, having been born on the same day Mamm lost her beloved sister. The one bright spot has been the odd trinkets anonymously left at her aunt’s grave each year on Emma’s birthday—gifts Emma secretly hides because they upset her parents. But the day she turns 22, a locket bears a surprise that sends her on an unexpected journey . . .

Searching for answers, Emma travels to the English world and finds a kinship as intriguing as it is forbidden.  But is this newfound connection enough to leave behind the future she’d expected? The answers are as mysterious, and as devastating, as the truth that divides Emma from the only family, and the only life, she’s ever known . . .

Where we can find it:

A Daughter’s Truth is available in print, digital, and audio. It can be purchased via Indiebound.org, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, Apple Books, Amazon, and more.

Indiebound.org:  https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=a+daughter%27s+truth

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2G1VGfH

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YI2Cpi

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-daughter-s-truth-2

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41734713-a-daughter-s-truth?from_search=true

Connect with Laura:

Website:  https://www.laurabradford.com/

Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/laurabradfordauthor/

Twitter:  @Bradfordauthor

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-bradford

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Authors: He Walks in Dreams by Darcy Carson

Today we welcome Darcy Carson as we travel to Renton, Washington USA and  we learn how library books, Jerry Springer, and a dragon play a role in the writing life of Darcy. Put on your lipstick and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in rainy Renton, Washington. The weather gives me lots of time to stay indoors and write.

In which genre do you write?

The Dragons Return series is in fantasy romance. I love getting lost in a whole new world. Ohhhh, and I just signed a contract for an Irish historical romance. I get to create the past.

How many published books do you have?

I have three different books currently available. A romantic comedy written in the dark ages (The Trouble With Mother through Hardshell), a self-published paranormal about the magic police where a coven of witches track illegal magic users (Magic in the Air), and The Wild Rose Press fantasy romance (He Walks In Dreams), which is the first in a series about the return of dragons. Oh, and I used to publish a lot of fan fiction in KindleWorlds, but Amazon folded KindleWorlds. A shame.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

Does age 12 count? My mother was a librarian and she brought me any book I requested. Claimed she didn’t see my face until I was 18 and discovered boys.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

Hmmmm. Well, I used to write while listening to Jerry Springer shows. I know. I know. How could I do that? Believe me, I felt a whole lot better after listening to all the screaming.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

Probably a dragon. I had an invisible friend as a kid—Pepper-Piper. My very own dragon.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A friggin’ mess. I moved by office downstairs and found dozens of old manuscripts that now need to be keyed into computer. One of my goals is to clear off my desk.

What are you currently reading?

I usually read several books at once. One of them is by an English author, Catherine Steadman—Something in the Water. Also, Nora Roberts—Year One. I heard there are three in the series and can hardly wait to get my hands on them. Oh, I also like James Rollins whenever he has a new book out.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I do a lot of retail therapy and trips to local casinos.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Don’t know. Too many to pick.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I’m Queen of Denial. Stubborn. I hate going deep into my characters. My critique group keeps me on the straight and narrow.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot or to help you remember something if writing a memoir?

Aren’t I strange enough?

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

No. And I’m a panser when it comes to writing. I go around in circles waaay too often.

What is the most amusing thing that has ever happened to you?

One time I took drugs (legal, of course) to knock me out on a late night flight. One didn’t work fast enough, so I took a second pill. I do remember riding the luggage cart into the hotel lobby. Does that count?

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

No hype needed. As a kid I took a public speaking class to beat my fear. Plus, I used to host a radio show called Romance Review back in those dark ages. Speaking out and speaking my mind aren’t a concern for me.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Not having wrinkles.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Not my favorite place. Too flat and one dimensional. I’d escape.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do? If you write non-fiction or memories, what fictional character would you invite into your story and why?

The dragon, Naurd. Then I’d fly all over the world.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

That super hero one—The Avengers, End Game. I didn’t like it. Should have watched the previous ones first. It wasn’t a stand alone, like it should have been.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

Ole. Which way is South?

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

I just go with the flow. I’ve always had hunches and they have stood me in good stead.

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

Depends upon the individual.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

Being tenacious like a pit bull with lipstick. The answer is pretty self-explanatory.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Home… After a long trip. Nothing beats my own bed.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite places. Sunshine aplenty, cool nights, beautiful scenery and casinos.

Tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it.

He Walks In Dreams is a fantasy romance that takes place on an earth-like world. You’ll find an evil sorceress, a very arrogant dragon and two people desperately trying to deny their love…when that’s exactly what it will take to save them the fastest. It’s currently available on Amazon.

He Walks In Dreams went live on 5/22/19. The second in the series, A Woman in the Woods, is with my editor at the Wild Rose Press as I type.

Dragon by day, man by night. Prince Duran must break the evil spell or remain a dragon forevermore.

Princess Marina Hersher is on her way to marry the prince of Brenalin when her caravan is attacked. Dressed as her servant, she is knocked unconscious and is rescued by the dragon, Narud. He is a creature not seen on Feldsvelt for thousands of years. During the days that follow, Marina learns more about the dragon and finds companionship. Duran Abass is the high prince of Brenalin and is under a sorceress’ evil spell. Dragon by day, man night, he too keeps the princess company. He has a year and day to break the spell or remain a dragon forevermore. The princess knows nothing of this struggle, but learns to love them both. Together, Marina and Duran and even Narud, join forces to battle against the sorceress for their lives and love.

Thank you Darcy for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was fun learning more about some of the things that come together as part of your writer’s life. –Camilla

Where to Buy:

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FZJc81

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JhTgLU

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: The Reach of Shadows by Tony J. Forder

Today we welcome Tony J. Forder as we travel to Peterborough, UK and we learn how a slug, a guitar, patience, and a taxidermist  are all clues that come together to form Tony’s full time writer life. Grab your guitar and let’s get comfortably numb ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am married, live in Peterborough, UK, where my main series character DI Jimmy Bliss works and lives. I now write full time.

In which genre do you write?

Crime/Mystery/Action-Adventure Thrillers

How many published books do you have?

Seven to date – with number eight due in September. Four of the seven form the DI Bliss series, there are two from another series, and one stand-alone.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

When I was ten or so I read The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. Although I had no idea at the time – because I’d never read Lord of the Rings – I guess it could be described as a fat free version of Tolkien’s masterpiece. A sort of LoTR-Lite, if you will. This journey into another world within my own made me realise that you could write about anything, and all it required was imagination.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

I’d love my spirit animal to be an eagle or a bear, possibly even a penguin, but you don’t get to choose them – they choose you – and I strongly suspect mine would end up being a slug.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

Play music – I play guitar. Listen to music. Go for the occasional walk. I like a nice pint, enjoy some sports and like a TV show binge watch – especially Bosch. Somehow, though, I’m always writing, if only inside my head.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would love to have a chat with James Herbert. He and I grew up in pretty much the same area of London, had similar interests – like me he played music and was a decent artist. I’d like to ask him when he realised that someone from our kind of background could become a writer, because I think it took me far too long to take my writing seriously.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

That I am more patient than I could ever have imagined. I take a great deal of time with my characters and research, even though most of what you learn never reaches the page. My impatience is one of my worst traits, but even though I still don’t have enough of it to be a genuine plotter, there’s enough to allow me to do the things I need to do.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot?

I had to spend two hours on the phone with a taxidermist explaining to me how one might perform taxidermy on a human. His excitement over the subject increased so much I started to worry that he was going to hunt down a subject to practice on. It was fascinating hearing him expand his thought process to include the human form.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

I’d love to say it was something like Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, Search for a Hero by M People, or Lifted by the Lighthouse Family, but in reality it would probably be something more like Comfortably Numb, by Pink Floyd.

What do you miss about being a kid?

The lack of inhibition, the lack of fear, the absolute wonder with which I approached life, having just enough knowledge that I could enjoy what life has to offer, but not so much that it becomes a burden, the sense of adventure, and Spangles.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Roadrunner and Wile E Coyote. I love the thought of having anvils from Acme dropped on my head (I actually referred to this in my book Cold Winter Sun), falling off cliffs, being blown up by Acme dynamite, and running into fake tunnels only to confront real trains, and surviving it to do it all again the next day.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

I would be DS Penny Chandler, because I would love to know what she really thinks of her boss, DI Bliss.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

Sadly, it was John Wick 2 – on the advice of others whose opinions I will discount in the future.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

He is there to canvas support for a brand new Lantern Fish-based Mexican cuisine restaurant opening up in the area, and is looking for my views on the subject and whether I’d be interested in a takeaway service.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

Probably my ability to bounce back – there are many difficulties to overcome in life, but writing tends to throw up a whole new set of them and you have to pick yourself up sometimes and move forward.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

The Pure Land Meditation Centre and Japanese Garden is just about the most relaxing and beautiful place I’ve been to here in England. It’s a privately-owned house in Lincolnshire, whose owner has developed a stunning Zen garden which you never want to leave. That and Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club.

Tell us about your most recent book.

My current book is The Reach of Shadows and is book #4 in my DI Bliss series.

The Reach of Shadows

Recovering from injuries sustained in a road collision, DI Bliss is taken directly from hospital to a fresh crime scene and ordered to investigate the vicious stabbing and murder of Jade Coleman.

When Bliss realises the victim had reported being stalked, and that two of his own team members had been drafted in to take her statement, he is then given the unenviable task of interviewing both of his detectives.

Increasingly it appears that the stalker may be their killer. However, several other people soon become part of the team’s suspect list.

Bliss also finds himself being questioned about his own past, and has to battle to defend himself whilst continuing to investigate the vicious murder.

Soon more questions arise.

Why would anybody target the victim, Jade Coleman?

Why are the team unable to identify her close female friend?

And why did Jade recently leave her job without any explanation?

With his work cut out, and his team under tremendous pressure, can Bliss solve the case before more victims show up? Or will the shadows of his own past reach out to drag him under before he can succeed?

Thanks Tony for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was great to learn more about your writer’s life! –Camilla

Where can we find it?

It can be ordered from all online retailers, and can also be found in many branches of Waterstones. Book #5, The Death of Justice will be released in September. Thank you!

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LD1NdI

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JsG9Xa

More About Tony and Where to Connect:

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed, international best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, and If Fear Wins, are now joined by The Reach of Shadows, published in January 2019. The fifth book in the series, The Death of Justice, has now been commissioned and will be published on 9 September.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone serial-killer novel. Another book that was written as a stand-alone was Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. Before it had even been published, Tony had decided to write a sequel, and Cold Winter Sun was published in November 2018.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently editing a new novel, and has also started on Bliss #6.

Website: https://www.tonyjforder.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TonyJForder @TonyJForder

Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.co.uk/l/B01N4BPT65

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16166122.Tony_J_Forder

Bloodhound Books: http://www.bloodhoundbooks.com/tony-forder

Tony can also be found on Instagram

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

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Meet the Author: Turning Japanese by Mark Arnold

Today we welcome Mark Arnold as we travel to the London area and learn how making music, Don Quixote, a bunny, and David Bowie come together to nourish the neurons of Mark’s writing life. Grab your humor, secure your sanity, and let’s go ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a full-time writer who lives just outside London, having paid my dues as a software engineer for more years than I care to recall. I try to keep a healthy vein of humour running through my writing – without, hopefully, it ever being too overt. Flat-out jokes are a no-no. I have two new novels in the pipeline, as well as two books already published (of which more below).

In which genre do you write?

I’ve never felt that working in a single genre would be enough to nourish my neurons so to speak, so have tried to avoid the typical touchstones that genre writing demands. Of course publishers are desperate to crowbar writers into one or other for marketing purposes – and it concerns me that they lack the imagination to market in another way.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I make music that nobody listens to (which is worryingly similar to writing books that nobody reads) under the name Lovedust.

How many published books do you have?

Two: Turning Japanese, a literary comedy/adventure. And Tales Of The Forgotten, a collection of dark and humorous short stories, including some prize-winning ones.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

Reading Don Quixote helped a lot – realizing that a 500-year-old book could make me laugh out loud was a revelation. I still marvel at the wonderful, crazy sentences Cervantes cooked up. He was clearly pleasantly nutty, not unlike his main character.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

It would be a rabbit – well, more honestly a bunny. Still I try not to let my fluffy side stand out in my writing, as the result would be twee and sickly sweet! Good writing walks a thin line between brutal honestly and pathos/humanity.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It’s compact, simple and not overly adorned. The phone does not ring – and the skateboarder who passes down my road daily sounding like a jumbo jet (I genuinely often think a plane is landing!) is eradicated by earplugs.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

It would be David Bowie and I’d ask him if he’d like to work on an album with me. (Aim high, I say.) I was very upset when he died and it still saddens me to think of.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

‘Eye of the Tiger’, whilst beating my chest – that’s a joke, lest there be any doubt! More likely ‘Julie With …’ by Brian Eno. It’s very ‘floaty’, like a boat bobbing on a deep sea (which is what it’s about).

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

It would be trippy, with whirling pastel colours, like a dream I once had where I was flying over a weird and wonderful multicoloured cartoon world with spinning Tony Blairs (stylized like Andy Warhol portraits). Seriously, I’d like to go back there. It was truly psychedelic.

Tell us about your most recent book.

My latest novel is a modern-day Don Quixote, entitled Turning Japanese:

A nervous breakdown and the madness that ensues leads our hero on a crazed escapade in the Land of the Rising Sun. Convinced he’s possessed by the spirit of an ancient samurai warrior, he makes it his mission to rescue a remote Japanese village in peril – only to find himself embroiled in a conflict between Yakuza gangsters and a former POW bent on revenge for wartime atrocities.

Thanks Mark for joining us on Meeting the Authors! It was incredibly interesting to learn about the pieces that come together for your writer’s life. –Camilla

Where to find the books and connect with Mark:

Along with my short story collection, Tales Of The Forgotten, it’s available on Amazon –

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/30hW6pH

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JjcSiv

or visit Mark’s website:  http://www.verito.co.uk/markarnold.html

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Authors: The Girl in the Baker’s Van by Richard Savin

Today we welcome Richard Savin to Meeting the Authors as we travel to a village in the South of France and the seaside in the South of England. We’ll see how journalism, strong women, Bugs Bunny, and bears align to create the landmarks of Richard’s journey up to this moment in time. Slip on your driving gloves and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I started my working career in the City of London, training to be an underwriter; for me it turned out to be the world’s most tedious job. It was a compromise and after three years I quit.

From there I moved into journalism, my real love. Virtually the only channel available to most writers at the time was freelancing and so, as I was then involved in motorsport as an enthusiast club racing driver, naturally cut my teeth on articles for magazines like Autocar and Motorsport. From that stepping stone I landed a job as an agency journalist, working in the Middle East and Asia for a number of years before ending up as features editor on an education tabloid in Surrey.

In the 1980s I took a break from writing and threw myself into another of my passions: I opened and cheffed my first London restaurant, finally ending up with three.

I live with my wife in the South of France, where we have a house in a village midway between the cities of Narbonne and Carcassonne, and in the South of England where we have a seaside apartment. We commute as the fancy and commitments take us, driving the thousand miles between the two. Driving has always ranked among the great pleasures in life so we rarely do the journey by air.

In which genre do you write?

I write across genres but with a tendency towards recent historical mysteries. In particular I find the thirties and forties an interesting period for the world. Two world wars were shaping social thinking and women were beginning to emerge as an independent force; slowly but it was there. I watched my sisters kick over the boundaries of convention, and as such I write strong, competent women into my plots.

How many published books do you have?

Four with two more scheduled for later this year. My first (non-fiction) was published in 1980 by Canongate: it was autobiographical and recorded my time in Iran during the opening period of the Islamic revolution. It is now out of print but still extensively available in university and public libraries around the world. The other three are all novels and written since 2015.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

Curiously as a child I used to fret over who would write the books after the grownups had died. I was at college when I first started to write. Things like short pieces for the college magazine. Occasionally these were controversial and I was not popular with my tutors. I had made up my mind that I wanted to be a journalist by the age of 17. I started out freelancing then later moved on to become an agency hack.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

Not sure I have one.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

No contest – a brown bear. Bears have such a sense of humour, especially when drunk. It’s not widely known but bears can get quite squiffy in the Autumn when fallen fruit begins to ferment into alcohol on the ground. I always include a reference to a bear somewhere in my novels. If it was good enough for Shakespeare then its good enough for me.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

A table, chair and a laptop.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve recently finished Sebastian Faulks’ ‘Where my heart used to beat.’

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

Cook, drive long distances and go for walks.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

The US Secretary of State for War who wrote to Orville Wright telling him he could see no future either militarily or commercially for his new invention: the aeroplane. I’d like to ask him what he was smoking when he came up with that one!

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

That I can actually get the job done.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

Not any longer; I did in my earlier life and it was certainly useful when writing the Iranian book.

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

Being alive.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

Nothing, I’m a natural blabbermouth.

What do you miss about being a kid?

I’ll let you know when I grow up.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Bugs Bunny – I’ve always wanted to be able to say ‘what’s up doc’.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

Red Joan – I like Judy Dench as an actor.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

You need treatment’; I’m hallucinating.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

No, everything is random.

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

What the hell are you doing here, I don’t have a pet, maybe I need help.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Anywhere by the sea – I’m attracted to water.

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Girl in the Baker’s Van: set in France in 1941, Evangeline Pfeiffer is on the run; her brother has been arrested by the Gestapo and now they want her. Taking the van from the bakery where she works in Alsace, she heads south for the Pyrenees and escapes into Spain. In Lyon she meets Grainger an SOE agent and asks him to help her get over the mountains. Grainger is reluctant; he has his own mission. Evangeline will have persuade him…

Thanks for joining us on Meeting the Authors Richard. It was incredibly interesting visiting a few of the landmarks along your journey! –Camilla

Where to Buy:

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LrQqFv

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xhSvM3

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Authors: How to Manage Your Manager: All the Credit, Half the Work by Milo Denison

Today we welcome Milo Denison to Meeting the Authors as we travel to Dublin, Ireland by way of Seattle, Washington. We’ll learn how career changes, an old typewriter, Ernest Hemingway, and a wolf play a role in Milo’s background and writer’s life. Grab your travel gear and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

To keep it short, I’ve worked in technology, photography, customer service, coffee, and numerous other jobs. I tend to say, I’m good at everything but not great at anything. however, the career changes have given me something to use in my writing.

I am originally from Seattle, WA but currently live in Dublin, Ireland.

In which genre do you write?

Mostly non-fiction.

How many published books do you have?

Two

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

As a child. I used to sit down at my grandmother’s old typewriter and write out stories. I would also write plays and have the neighbor kids act in them.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I don’t think I have one. I have my writing system but it is not quirky in any way.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

A wolf. Even though they are pack animals, I feel drawn to the lone wolf lifestyle. And they are cute and fluffy, and it makes me want to hug them. Except for the whole part where, if I did, one would bite my face off.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Depends on my writing mood. I have an office I usually write in. It is very clean and organized. No pictures and stuff. I can’t work in a disorganized or not clean workspace.

Sometimes, however, I will write from a coffee shop. I find that tuning out the people around me with a cup of tea or latte, a good way to write as well.

What are you currently reading?

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Fascinating book. Coming from many years in the business industry it makes me envious of the people who work or worked for Pixar.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I’m a photographer. I shoot families, headshots, stuff like that. I also act a little so you might find me in a short film showing up at an occasional film festival.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Jack Kerouac. I wouldn’t ask him anything, and we wouldn’t be drinking tea or coffee. I would just love to hang out in a quiet pub or bar, have a drink, and converse with him on all things.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

That I have terrible grammar. Personally when I’m writing everything looks great, then when letting people read what I just wrote, or stepping away and going back to it, I see all the errors I make.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot or to help you remember something if writing a memoir?

I’ll use music a lot. If I’m writing about something that happened I’ll play music relevant to the era or the situation. If not, I’ll play something that gets me into the right mindset. For example, today I was writing a story about a situation that happened to me 15 years ago, and I was playing the music that I would have been listening to at the time.

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

I journal but I’m very inconstant about it. I generally only journal when I’m feeling down about something. Or when I can’t think of anything to write about, I’ll journal to keep the brain juices flowing.

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

I don’t know if I have one specific. I have quite a few things that have happened that I’ve really enjoyed. Usually, these are around travel and the places I’ve been and people I’ve met. Zimbabwe and the animals for example. Or, the time I went to a Thai masseuse and thought I was supposed to strip naked but found out I was supposed to leave my shorts on when the girl came in and looked shocked.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

The tradition I picked up when doing theatre that I still do is I like to get to a venue well in advance before anyone arrives. Then just spend a few minutes on stage and just silently absorb the space.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Fun.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

GI Joe probably. It was super fun, action, and adventure. Although, Allura from Voltron was a hottie. So maybe Voltron.

If you write non-fiction or memories, what character would you invite into your story and why?

This might be a cliché answer, but probably Earnest Hemingway. He lived such as fascinating life that to bring him into one of my stories would be fun.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

Avengers Endgame. Because everyone else is watching it and felt I needed to be in the loop.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

He is probably there to offer some type of hallucinogenic that we would take before going on some adventure together.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

No. If they did I would be super pissed right now.

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

My desire to see the world. I’ve met some amazing people as I have moved around, seen some amazing places, and had experiences I never would have had if I didn’t have a desire for travel.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Since I’m originally from the US, I’m going to say, New Orleans. Great history, fantastic music, and wonderful food.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

Probably for a hike in the Cascades.

Tell us about your most recent book.

“How to Manage Your Manager: All the Credit, Half the Work”

A satirical look at being successful in a corporate environment told from the point of view of one who has done it.

Thanks Milo for stopping by Meeting the Authors. It was great having you here! –Camilla

Where to Buy:

Milo Dennison’s Website:  https://www.milodenison.com/

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J3ghCh

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FIhWLj

Connect with Milo:

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/milodenison/

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: The Truth Waits by Susanna Beard

Today we are joined by Susanna Beard as we travel to Marlow in the UK where we learn how dogs, swimming, Margaret Atwood, and falling down a crevasse fit together in Susanna’s life. Grab your swimsuit and let’s go …

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m Susanna Beard, and I live and work in Marlow, a beautiful town on the river Thames, not far from London, UK. I have a background in PR and marketing and started writing fiction around five years ago – I’m now writing almost full time. I have two little dogs, who get me up and out in the morning and keep me company while I’m slogging away and two grown-up sons, one in London and one nearby in Henley-on-Thames. I love tennis, skiing, my family, my dogs and my garden. I once fell down a crevasse!

In which genre do you write?

I write psychological thrillers.

How many published books do you have?

To date I have two published: Dare to Remember (2017) and The Truth Waits (2018). There are two more in the offing! (Watch my space)

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

When I was seventeen, I told my father I wanted to write a novel. He said: “You can’t write a novel – it’s far too hard. You have to do tons of research, and it’s much more difficult than you think.” I wasn’t hurt, because I know he had great respect for novelists; he just thought people like us didn’t do that. But it stayed in my head, and throughout a successful career in PR, I always knew that one day I’d give it a go. I suppose I don’t like being told I can’t do something!

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I swim regularly for fitness, and as long as I can get a lane on my own and get into a rhythm, I work out my plot issues as I plough up and down. I don’t know if that’s a quirk, but it works for me!

What does your ideal writing space look like?

It looks like where I’m sitting now – my office! It has loads of natural light, white walls, pictures of my boys, books and magazines, and two little dogs snoozing in their beds. My desktop is at exactly the right height, I have a proper back-supporting chair, a cup of tea always on the go and in the winter it’s warm as it’s right next to the airing cupboard.

I sometimes crave a beautiful view, like the sea, or a wonderful wild countryside scene, but then I think I’ll just sit and look at it and not get on with the writing. Though last summer, when the weather was beautiful for days on end, I took everything into the garden and wrote and wrote. Being outside (in good weather) is the best!

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading Days Without End by Sebastian Barry. Brilliant.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I walk my dogs, twice a day, by the river or on the common, or anywhere in the countryside. I swim, play tennis, socialise and have as many holidays as I can possibly afford! Oh, and I read lots of other people’s books, usually ones that are much better than mine, because they give me something to aspire to.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

It would have to be Margaret Atwood. I think she’s fascinating, and she has a lovely sense of humour. I’d love to hear what she thinks about what’s going on in the world today, and where she thinks it might take us. I think she’s very prescient.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I’ve learned that I can actually stand up in front of people and talk confidently – something I would have run miles from before I wrote my first book. I actually like it now! I would never, ever, have thought I would.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot?

This weekend I’m going to an event called Crime Scene Live at the Natural History Museum. You become a detective for the night and work with actual forensic scientists to solve a murder mystery! I’m so nervous, and so looking forward to it! (I’m taking my son, who’s cleverer than me, and will undoubtedly show up my agedness). I’m hoping to get inspiration and some practical understanding too!

Do you journal write or keep a personal diary? Has this helped with your published writings? If so, how?

No – I do neither. I had a diary at school but was hopeless at putting interesting things into it (it was a good record of the weather in certain years though). I’m much better at writing novels!

What is the most amusing, crazy or inspiring thing that has ever happened to you?

Apart from falling down a crevasse? I went to Australia and swam with whale sharks (they’re humungous, bigger than my sitting room and the biggest fish in the world), and also with manta rays and wild dolphins. It was the most fantastic experience; I’ll never forget it.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? Or, what do you do to prepare yourself?

I listen to Moondance by Van Morrison. It always lifts my heart, and makes me dance around the kitchen.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Not much – I’m just a big kid myself!

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Ooh Tom and Jerry – all that dashing about and finding ingenious ways to confound Tom.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

I saw The Favourite with one of my favourite actors, Olivia Colman. I thought it was brilliant, and I loved her portrayal of the mercurial Queen Anne.

A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?

“Hola conchita! Would you like a fajita?” (He’s going door-to-door selling Mexican food).

If you could ask your pet three questions, what would they be?

What IS it about fox poo that you find attractive?

Why oh why do you scratch holes in my carpets?

Why do you have to roll in the dirtiest, smelliest places you can find?

Which of your personality traits has been most useful and why?

Determination, without a doubt. I think there are many wonderful writers, better than me, who are deterred by the many unexpected challenges of writing and publishing. You need resilience and determination in spades.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

Cornwall (a western county in the UK) – it’s so full of wonderful things: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Fowey, St Ives, Pastow, Tintagel, Roseland, Philleigh, I could go on! (Don’t go in high summer though, go in spring or autumn when it’s quieter).

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

I would go and sit somewhere (safe) on an African reserve, in the shade by a waterhole a couple of hours before sunset, and watch as the animals come and go. It would be warm and sunny, with a light breeze, and I would have a hat, plenty of water, binoculars, mosquito spray, and a comfortable seat on a Land Rover (to make a quick escape if necessary). I would hope to see all sorts: lions, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, jackals…and…and…

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Truth Waits is a psychological thriller partly set in Lithuania. It follows Anna, a successful businesswoman who finds the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania. She is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.

Why Lithuania?

Because it has the most beautiful, unspoilt, mysterious beach on the Baltic coast (on the Kuronian Spit). It’s miles and miles of sand, swept into strange patterns by the wind, without cafes or bins or rubbish or people, with a dark, lowering sky and a horizon that goes on for ever. The perfect place to put a dead body!

Thanks Susan for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was wonderful learning more about you. I’m a huge Van Morrison fan too! And, now I’m left wondering about this whole falling down a crevasse incident!! It seems as if it all turned out okay! –Camilla

Book Blurb:

Anna has everything worked out – a successful company, all the comforts she needs and no ties. But when she stumbles across the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania, everything changes.

Anna is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.

When Will disappears without a trace, Anna is pulled further into the murky world of organised crime. Time is running out for them all, and there’s a killer out there who will stop at nothing.

Where to buy:

The Truth Waits is in all good bookshops and on:

UK Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J0NnCH

US Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IZyIrm

Connect with Susanna:

Website: http://www.susannabeard.com

email: info@susannabeard.com

Twitter: @SusannaBeard25

FB: @susannabeardauthor

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee

Meet the Author: Eat, Pray, #FML by Gabrielle Stone

Today we welcome Gabrielle Stone as we travel to Los Angeles, California and we learn how a unicorn, romantic love, Dee Wallace, being a foodie, and Robin Williams all play a role in Gabrielle’s life and how this book came to be. Pack your travel bag and let’s go ….

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m an actress/director born and raised in Los Angeles. I’ve always loved poetry and creative writing but I never considered myself a writer. That has changed considering I have a book out now. 2017 was an absolute tornado in my life and the only thing that got me through it all was writing it all down…in this book!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

I didn’t really realize I wanted to be a writer. My circumstances that prompted me to write Eat, Pray, #FML more or less happened to me. A shocking divorce after finding out my husband was having an affair with a nineteen-year-old for six months. Falling madly in love with someone new, only to be broken up with forty-eight hours before we were getting on a plane to Italy. Everyone in my life kept saying “you can’t write this stuff,” so, I did.

What is an interesting quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

I am a serious foodie. If I didn’t care about the shape my body was in, I would literally out eat most of the men in my life. I definitely didn’t hold back on my Europe trip (and paid for it when I got home). For the record, I regret nothing.

What is the most beautiful memory you have of something shared between you and your mother, Dee Wallace?

That’s a tough (but great) question. There are so very many. Were best friends. My mother has been the one constant in my life that has always shown up for me no matter what. So while we have a million light hearted and beautiful memories it’s the times where she had to help me pick up the broken pieces that truly matter the most.

For one, taking care of me when my father passed. I write about how strong she was at handling that whole situation in the book. When my high school sweetheart was killed in a car accident. My divorce. I don’t know how I would have ever made it through any of it without her.

What is the most inspiring advice your mother has shared with you to date?

-Again, THERE’S SO MUCH. If I had to pick one, it would probably be to not be a victim. If I hadn’t learned to not succumb to the victim-ness in situations I probably would have lost my mind a long time ago. It has shaped me into who I am and how I handle situations. This is the reason I am as strong as I am.

What would you choose as your mascot, spirit animal, or avatar and why?

A unicorn. Cause I’m freaking magical.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

I wrote Eat, Pray, #FML in a leather bound journal on my Europe trip. There were days I wrote in cafes, on beautiful balconies, in the Gardens of Versailles, long train rides, incredible restaurants, and beautiful beaches. Because of this I would say that anywhere with rich culture and beauty is my ideal space. I think I definitely got spoiled in that sense 😉

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

Robin Williams. What Dreams May Come is one of my all time favorite films. He had such a light about him that was inevitably taken over by the dark. He was one of the true geniuses of our time.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

Writing this book quite literally uncovered every deep rooted belief I have carried with me since I was a child. My fear of abandonment, how I handle intimacy, not feeling okay by myself. I have never learned or healed more than I did while writing this book. It was like therapy for me.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve done or experienced to help create a scene or plot or to help you remember something if writing a memoir?

This entire book is a collection of strange and ridiculous experiences that happened over a few months in my life. A divorce, romantic love story, a last minute solo adventure, sex, mistakes, growing, traveling to seven different countries by myself, and learning how to love myself. Every single thing on this adventure lead me to something I needed to either heal or learn. I came back from that trip an entirely different human, in the best way possible.

What do you miss about being a kid?

LITERALLY EVERYTHING. The simplicity of life, mostly. Not having any inhibitions or fear of being judged for things. Being a kid is one of the most pure and innocent times in our lives. I was always in such a rush to grow up and get older. While there are things I love about being an adult and my current life, I definitely miss not having a care in the world. And being able to eat whatever I wanted.

At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?

Don’t let anyone dim your freaking light.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

Ha! What a fun question. Probably Rugrats. I was obsessed. Or The Berenstain Bears. I had every book and VHS.

Do you believe things happen for a reason? Do you have an example from your own life to share why you believe this?

MY ENTIRE BOOK. From the moment I found out I would be taking this trip on my own, I knew it was all happening for a reason. I have always been scared to be by myself–the Universe delivered a clear way for me to go force myself to deal with that head on. Every single decision I made on that trip lead me to exactly where I needed to be. Every person that crossed my path crossed it for a reason. If I hadn’t have made certain decisions things would have ended up so differently, and I would not be where I am now.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

Somewhere out of the country, by the water, on a sunny day with a light breeze. Preferably with lots of pasta and lots of wine.

Tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it.

Eat, Pray, #FML is available now exclusively on Amazon in paperback and ebook! I love hearing what people think, during and after the read, and love sharing it on my social media, so please tag me and the book so we can see and share!

Thank you Gabrielle for joining us on Meeting the Authors. It was wonderful to learn a bit about your background and the parts that come together for the role of your life.

I am a huge Dee Wallace fan. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, the most memorable role for me of your mother, is the mom in the movie E.T. I loved that movie as a kid! It was not until about 7 years ago that I re-discovered Dee through a friend. I have been inspired and moved by her ever since through her newsletter and blog talk radio. And, her newsletter is how I heard about your book! Good stuff! –Camilla

Synopsis:

A year and a half into our marriage, I found out my husband had been having an affair with a nineteen-year-old for six months. I filed for divorce and left.

Two weeks later I met a man, and we fell madly in love. It was a fairy-tale romance for a month and a half, and he convinced me to join him on a romantic month-long vacation in Italy. Forty-eight hours before we were supposed to get on a plane, he told me he needed to go by himself. I was devastated. So, I had a decision to make. Either stay home and be heartbroken, or go travel Europe for a month by myself. And staying at home heartbroken? F%*k. That.

What does a woman do when her life has fallen apart and her heart has been ripped out and stepped on twice in two months? She goes on a wild adventure, makes some bad decisions, and does a sh*t load of soul searching. But most importantly? She finds out how to love…herself.

This is so not Eat, Pray, Love.
This is Eat, Pray, #FML.

Where to buy and connect with Gabrielle:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LrHeRv

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2J1egXc

Website: http://www.EatPrayFML.com

Social Media:
@gabriellestone
@eatprayfml

Book Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8m2K2LJJPE&t=3s

If it feels right and you have the time (and you enjoy the interview) please like or comment or share it. The nature of the online world … the more eyes that see it the more it will spread and benefit the author and the website! Thank you!

And if it feels the thing to do and you are inspired to do so, I would be deeply grateful if you’d like to “Buy Me a Coffee” … Camilla – Host of Meeting the Authors …

Buy Me A Coffee