Latest News: Camilla is Taking a Vacation from MTA

Hello everyone!


(Nevada Beach – Lake Tahoe – Nevada – July 2021)

It’s that time again. About every 4 months or so, I take a month vacation from Meeting the Authors. I’ve made my way through the authors who completed the Contact form the last time it was open.

When I return around September 6th, the Contact form will re-open for authors and book bloggers who would like to be interviewed. If you have outstanding questions and answers, feel free to return them, and yours will be at the top of the list.

I will continue to be active on facebook, twitterinstagram, my personal blog, and in facebook groups. If we aren’t connected on those platforms, I’m happy to connect there, too. I’m incredibly behind on responding to author interviews and guest posts for myself, with appointments for myself and my two kids kicking into high gear. I’ll also definitely be slipping in some relaxing time!


(Nevada Beach – Lake Tahoe – Nevada – July 2021)

If we’ve not been properly introduced you can visit my MTA interview here …

Meet the Author: Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

Hope everyone has a beautiful August! – Camilla


(Nevada Beach – Lake Tahoe – Nevada – July 2021)

Friday with Friends: What’s More Satisfying than Doughnuts? – Spencer Stoner

Happiness, Satisfaction, or Doughnuts?

I’m a writer. That’s what I do. Three novels and one comic, along with a random seasoning of short stories can attest to that.

Over this last year, thanks to the extra time… given… to us by the world’s health scare, I have started three new novels and been endlessly editing another comic. Does that sound productive?

Don’t be too impressed. There is a reason I used the word “started” and not “finished”. Despite having extra time, I have actually found it more difficult to focus on my work.

I don’t think I’m alone here. Since I was given the opportunity to write this article, I have even been putting it off. I started to ask myself, “Self, why are you being so lazy?”.

“Well, lazy isn’t completely accurate,” myself replied. Then what is the best way to describe it?

It all comes down to why I do what I do, why you do what you do, what we do what we do. Ultimately, it’s because all of us want to be happy.

I don’t mean the just momentary, smiling wide happy like I get from eating doughnuts. I think I’m being inaccurate again.

A better word than “happy” may be “satisfied”. Getting what you want from the results of your actions. (Again, eating doughnuts may apply here but your waistline would likely argue.)

So what haven’t I been getting from my writing over the last year that I had been getting the years before? Oddly enough I think that, in the lonely work of writing, I found satisfaction in the interacting with people.

It started with the people in my head (who I have always thought were more interesting than I am). Then it became introducing them to people at book launches, signings, and conventions. That was the part that has been missing for the last year.

Several months ago, I joined an organization called the Fraternal Order of Eagles. “People helping people” was right on the sign in front of the building. It is a fine group of people I highly recommend you check out when you have a moment.

What does this have to do with anything I have talked about thus far? It will all come together in a moment.

The Eagles often run fundraisers for local charities. A short time ago, they were looking for ideas to do just that.

That was when I had a two birds with one stone moment. Okay, that may not be the best analogy in a group called Eagles but we’ll just go with it.

I remembered really enjoying going to conventions, talking to people, introducing them to my characters and their stories. I also remembered that it was a decent part of my income, selling the books I wrote that introduced said people to those that lived in my head.

And the Eagles meet in a nice, wide open building. Could we actually hold a convention there? It would be a small one (it’s a meeting hall and not a convention center, after all) to be sure, but it would be a chance to interact with people again!

It would also make money for a local charity. In this specific case an organization called Solace Tree. They provide grief counseling for children, teens, and adults. Truly a worthy goal, I hope you would agree.

Remember that “people helping people” thing? The Fraternal Order of Eagles thought a convention was a good idea. But wouldn’t holding a convention be kind of self serving then?

Well, as I have been asking people in the community if they will come to the convention that we have come to call Aerie-Con, I have been pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm that they have shared at the idea of a new convention coming to town.

So, is Aerie-Con self serving? In all honesty, I would have to say yes. But, after all, I am people, too! There is nothing that says you can’t enjoy yourself while trying to do some good in the world.

Actually, raising funds for Solace Tree is the stated goal of Aerie-Con but it is more than that. Humanity, no matter how nerdy or introverted, is still a social creature. So the convention is also bringing people together and this brings us back to the two birds with one stone!

To synopsize: in deciding to try and make others happy, I am finding myself becoming happier as well.

Maybe that’s the secret. If you want to be happy, try making others happy. It’s even more satisfying than doughnuts.

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You can find out more about Spencer, as well as links to his books, on his website: www.authorspencerstoner.com

Aerie-Con will be held on August 20-21, 2021. You can find the event page on Facebook here:

https://facebook.com/events/s/aerie-con-2021-presented-by-th/1852143874993190/

To see Spencer Stoner’s previous interview on MTA, go here:

Meet the Author: Divine Intervention by Spencer Stoner

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  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Book Shelf: Rascal by Sterling North

Rascal by Sterling North

This was a beautiful and heartwarming story. Not a book I’d normally choose to read, but my son said I should read it. He’s in the habit of sharing his books with me, telling me that I would like it, or it just happens to be a story he would like for me to read. I very much enjoyed getting to know Sterling and his friend, Rascal. As I write this, I have just discovered that this is a memoir/autobiography of sorts. I assumed it was fiction! Now, I’m even happier I read this beautiful story. The perfect read for any person of any age, who wants to enjoy a great read about friendship and the freedom of childhood.

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To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla

Friday with Friends: Embracing Change – M.J. Mallon

Thank you for inviting me to your blog Meeting the Authors for a Friday with Friends chat Camilla, it is such a delight to be here again.

I have a new release, or should I say rerelease!

My debut novel has been re-released with Next Chapter Publishing, Bloodstone The Curse of Time #1. This YA Fantasy novel is primarily prose but each chapter starts with a short poem, so there are masses of poems!

Good grief, it has been an interesting and somewhat daunting experience relinquishing control of my book to someone else – especially as I’m republishing a version and if you are a control freak like I am… there are obstacles, difficulties and invaluable lessons to be learnt.

Metadata, title changes these all effect your novel and make the process much more complicated. But I am hoping that the initial niggles will be overcome and it will be worthwhile.

Change is challenging but sometimes you have to embrace change to move forward.

At least with the second novel in the Curse of Time series I won’t have this problem as Golden Healer will be all new, starting from scratch! Yeah. Good news I’ve just heard: Bloodstone is to be in the Ingram Catalogue with access to bookstores. And Next Chapter have also revamped their cover design process for these editions, with full sleeve covers that will look great on a shelf and attract the eye of potential customers.

I’m thrilled to announce I am also a contributing author in a new release coming out soon (Pandemic inspired,) with a winning poem contribution entitled Hope is and a short piece of writing about my thoughts about the pandemic. This is to be published by Chantelle Atkins, more about that soon…

With regard to Bloodstone, I have all sorts of plans, at the moment I am arranging an impromptu launch with the lovely author community.

I’ve managed to link the old reviews on Goodreads but sadly can’t do that with Amazon due to the title change and metadata issues which means I have lost over twenty precious reviews on Amazon on the original version! Ouch. All is not lost, some lovely friends are going to re-review.

So, if anyone can help, re- reviews and new reviews gratefully received for the new version!

Thank you, lovely peeps.

Blurb

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

Next Chapter Publishing – YA fantasy The Curse of Time series:

Bloodstone – The Curse of Time Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
UK Book Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloodstone-Curse-Time-Book-1-
ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/
US Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Bloodstone-M-J-Mallon-ebook/dp/B097QZBKNY/
Universal book Link: http://mybook.to/bstmm
And the 2nd in the series coming soon: Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2

Excerpt – Bloodstone – (The Curse of Time Book 1)

Sometimes notes can jar,
Music’s unexpected tunes,
Blended harmonies,
Driving out the sadness vibes,
Sweet silent stringed perfection.

The next day, after my memorable visit to the Crystal Cottage, I felt supercharged, buzzing with energy, ready for my pre-arranged band session with my friends. The crystals had triggered my creative energies. Today, I had music on my mind. Things were looking up, and meeting Leanne had given me hope that life could only get better.

My mobile rang just before I had intended to set off. I couldn’t believe it, it was
Ryder. I hadn’t heard a word from him since our last meeting. He surprised and
perplexed me by asking if he could join our band session. How could he have known our practice was today? I hadn’t mentioned it to him, yet he seemed to know about it. I couldn’t stop debating how odd this revelation felt. In the end, I agreed he could join us.

The prospect of seeing Ryder again thrilled me. Nevertheless, I wondered if this was the best time to get together. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends about him, but I wasn’t too keen on him meeting them now. He’d somehow taken the choice right out of my hands.

My mind journeyed back to the day I’d first encountered him. Ryder had appeared down a pathway that my mum had warned me not to travel on. My first experience with him had been swift, and he had disappeared just as fast. Then, there was that weird experience with the portrait of my dad turning into the haunting image of Ryder. I sensed danger. There was something different about him compared to other boys, eerie almost, but I couldn’t decide whether to trust him or to stay away from him. The threat from those other boys and their intentions that day had vanished with his unexpected but welcome arrival, and yet my concerns suggested he’d been shadowing me, following
me for some reason.

To see MJ Mallon’s previous interview on MTA, go here:

Meet the Author: Mr. Sagittarius by M J Mallon

More about MJ Mallon:

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. he has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and later she wrote a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

MJ’s motto is…

To always do what you Love, stay true to your heart’s desires, and inspire others to do so too, even if it appears that the odds are stacked against you like black hearted shadows.

Her favourite genre to write is …

Fantasy/magical realism because life would be dull unless it is sprinkled with a liberal dash of extraordinarily imaginative magic!

Her eclectic blog shares her love of reading, reviewing books, writing, and photography: https://mjmallon.com/

Articles:
https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/epnovember2020
https://lightboxoriginals.com/difficult-times/
https://lightboxoriginals.com/lollipop-leaves/
https://spillwords.com/the-magic-of-the-dragonfly/
https://sachablack.co.uk/2018/04/08/prologues/

Connect with MJ Mallon:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon
#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/
Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters

Kyrosmagica Publishing (MJ’s Imprint)

Pandemic Poetry: Lockdown Innit
https://mybook.to/Lockdowninnit

Poetry, Prose and Photography: Mr. Sagittarius
http://mybook.to/MrSagittarius

An anthology: This Is Lockdown
Kindle: mybook.to/Thisislockdown

Shorter version – Paperback: mybook.to/Thisislockdownpb

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Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Book Shelf: Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

Gods, ghosts, family secrets. What’s not to love? I so much enjoyed this fantasy tale of Jess finding her voice, and the courage to come out, and be herself. A page turner from beginning to end, with feeling like I was right there with the characters, as one of the invisible goddesses spying on their every move. Loved it!

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To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla

Meet the Author: Nerve Attack by S. Lee Manning

Today we travel to Vermont to chat with S. Lee Manning about how stand up comedy, the death penalty, photography, pumpkin pancakes, jazz, anxiety, fruitless arguments, fireflies, hide and go seek, living on Mars, Sesame Street, and a sombrero wearing penguin come together as part of Manning’s current and past life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, I moved to New York to become a writer, worked as an editor on a small magazine until I got tired of being poor and applied to law school. I had a legal career that spanned from a top tier law firm in New York to the Office of the Public Defender in New Jersey to my own practice.

I was also Chair of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and wrote the first draft of the legislation that abolished the death penalty in the state. Retired from the law, I am now concentrating on my writing, although I sometimes slack off with some of my hobbies: guitar, photography, and stand-up comedy.

I currently live in Vermont, in a little town called Elmore that no one’s ever heard of, half an hour north of the town of Montpelier, which is the smallest state capital in the United States, with my husband Jim and our cat Xiao, although I like to visit my son Dean in New Jersey and my daughter Jenny in West Hollywood, LA from time to time.

In which genre do you write?

I write thrillers, although my books also fit under suspense.

How many published books do you have?

As of September 22, 2021, I will have two published books.

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

I realized I wanted to be a writer when I was about seven and I read a book in which the author killed off a dog. I decided I was going to write books that had better endings. I immediately wrote a version of the same book but the dog didn’t die. I still don’t kill dogs – or cats – but people have to watch out.

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

A cat. Mostly because my cat is on my lap now and if I choose any other animal, he’ll be really pissed off.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

I like having an office with a lot of books around, which I already have, although I’d like a bigger desk and some bigger bookshelves. I suppose I could just get rid of books, but that just seems wrong.

What are you currently reading?

The Power of Poison by B.J. Magnani, a fellow Encircle Publications author.

What is your favorite season and why?

Fall. I live in Vermont. It’s the best. Gorgeous colors. Not too hot. Not too cold. I just love pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup, and we have the good stuff up here.

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

The idea for my most recent book actually came from my previous book, Trojan Horse. In Trojan Horse, my main character Kolya, an intelligence operative, was set up by his own agency to be kidnapped and tortured in a twisted scheme to stop a terrorist. Understandably pissed off, he quits the intelligence business at the end of that book to try to build a normal life with the woman he loves. For this book, I needed to think of something that would drag him back into the spy game. In various places in Trojan Horse, Kolya was either hallucinating or dreaming about his past, including memories of his childhood best friend whom he’d put in prison. I decided to use the former best friend and his relationship to Kolya as the means to entice Kolya away from his new life (which he hates anyway).

Can you play a musical instrument? If not, which instrument would you like to be able to play?

I can play piano – I love jazz, although I’m not very good, unlike my main character Kolya, who is an accomplished jazz pianist, and my giving him that talent and interest may fall into the category of wish fulfillment. I also play guitar, intermediate level.

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

I started doing stand-up a few years ago – and in 2019, I was a semi-finalist in Vermont’s Funniest Comic contest. I also play music sometimes. (See above.) Sometimes I take pictures. I love to read. I like to take walks and bicycle but only moderately strenuous, although I’m pretty good about exercising every day. I like to pet horses. I used to ride, back before I started having anxiety about, well, everything. I’m working my way to getting on a horse again. Someday. I also like to chill out in the evening with my husband and watch something on television, while the cat alternates between our laps.

What is your favorite time of day and why?

I love mornings, right after I finish that first cup of coffee. The day is ahead of me, full of promise, and I could achieve anything. In theory. Then I waste most of the day in fruitless arguments on Facebook – but that’s another story.

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve received lately?

Stop reading articles about Covid. My son told me that after I kept reading articles on new variants and worrying about whether I’ll have another book launch with the country on shut down. (My first book debuted last September.)

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

Immersing myself so completely in the universe I’m creating that it feels more real than the real world. Wait. That sounds a little weird. Okay, but I’m a writer. We’re expected to be weird.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What do you do to prepare yourself?

I reread parts of my novel and select the passages to read. Then I sit in a dark room with my cat and meditate on the meaning of life and how it doesn’t matter in the vastness that is the universe if I screw this up, after which I have a glass of ice tea or a cup of coffee and get on with it.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Long summer nights that seemed to stretch forever while I chased fireflies, played hide and go seek, and told stories on my porch. The excitement from everything seeming to be fresh and new.

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

Turn off the social media, go outside, and chase fireflies.

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

I’d probably turn into Kolya, because he is a much more complicated and interesting person than I am. What would I do as Kolya? Maybe play amazing jazz piano at a little bar in the Village and then when some Nazi starts going on about Black people or gays or Jews, quietly walk over, break his leg, and then disappear into the night.

Oh wait. That’s my next book.

If mars or another planet was livable, would you accept a one way ticket there? Why or why not?

When my kids were little, we used to watch Sesame Street together. My favorite song on Sesame Street was sung by Ernie:

Well, I’d like to visit the moon
On a rocket ship high in the air
Yes, I’d like to visit the moon
But I don’t think I’d like to live there
Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love
So although I might like it for one afternoon
I don’t want to live on the moon

(skip two verses)

So if I should visit the moon
Well, I’ll dance on a moonbeam and then
I will make a wish on a star
And I’ll wish I was home once again
Though I’d like to look down at the earth from above
I would miss all the places and people I love
So although I may go I’ll be coming home soon
‘Cause I don’t want to live on the moon
No, I don’t want to live on the moon

And that sums it all up.

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

He’s there because his home has melted, and he’s wearing a sombrero to keep the sun off. And he’ll ask: “Are you going to do something about global warming – or what?”

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the third novel in the Kolya Petrov series – and it involves neo-Nazis in Germany. That’s all I’m prepared to say at this time.

Tell us about your most recent book.

In my latest book, Nerve Attack, former American intelligence operative and Russian Jewish immigrant Kolya Petrov, still suffering from the aftereffects of imprisonment and torture, is reluctantly pulled back into the spy game when his childhood best friend, Dmitri, holds the key to stopping an attack with the deadly nerve agent Novochok. Doing so puts Kolya, as well as his fiancee Alex, at risk once again, as he struggles to trust not just Dmitri but himself.

The early reviews have been fabulous.

It was wonderful having you be a part of MTA!! Wishing you all the best and much success with your writing and future books! – Camilla

” Manning writes with such authority about the shady world and shifting loyalties of the intelligence community, it’s a wonder her novels aren’t riddled with redactions. At once terrifying, unpredictable, and all too believable, NERVE ATTACK will leave you breathless.” – Chris Holm, Anthony winning author of The Killing Kind.

” While enough backstory is imparted to allow this book to stand alone, Kolya’s foes are more relatable to the average reader in this second of the series: pain from the past—both physical and emotional, PTSD, and a begrudging distrust as Kolya learns that some ties may transcend betrayal. In a world where loyalties are split between his native land and the one that seemingly spurned him, the woman he loves versus the duty he feels compelled to fulfill, Nerve Attack is, surprisingly, an even more complex book than its predecessor and better for it. Another winner for Manning and her readers who I assume will share my anticipation for Book #3!” – D.M. Barr, author of Saving Grace—A Psychological Thriller and The Queen of Second Chances

From Kirkus Reviews: “a reluctant spy leads this taut, effective thriller.”

“A heady rush of intrigue and psychological inspection that weaves a cat-and-mouse game into an evolving new life.” Diane Donavan, senior editor, Midwest Book Reviews

Where to find the book:

Nerve Attack is available for preorder on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nerve-Attack-Kolya-Petrov-Thriller-ebook/dp/B0971255GC

Nerve Attack can stand alone, but if you’re interested in my award winning first novel, Trojan Horse, which introduces Kolya and his world, that is also available on Amazon in Audible, paperback, hardback, and Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/Trojan-Horse-S-Lee-Manning/dp/1645991024/

Connect with S. Lee Manning:  www.sleemanning.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sleemanning,

Twitter: @SLeeManning1952

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@sleemanning

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Here are a few suggestions on how to further support this author:

  • Comment on the interview
  • Share the interview using the social media buttons
  • Click through to learn more about the author and their book(s)
  • If interested, buy the book and leave a review

To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Meet the Author: Wolfe Trap by Matt Cost

Today we travel to Brunswick, Maine to chat with Matt Cost about how a video store, Fidel Castro, teaching history, jazz music, the Cuban Revolution, great advice, Jukebox Hero, and a blind pony come together as part of Matt’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Over the years, I have owned a video store, a mystery bookstore, and a gym. I have also taught history and coached just about every sport imaginable.

I live in Brunswick, Maine, with my wife, Harper. We have four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. I now spend my days at the computer, writing.

In which genre do you write?

I write histories and mysteries. Historical fiction and mystery.

How many published books do you have?

6. Joshua Chamberlain and the Civil War; At Every Hazard, I am Cuba; Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Mainely Power, Mainely Fear, Mainely Money, Wolfe Trap. I am under contract for Love in a Time of Hate, Mind Trap, Mainely Angst, and Mouse Trap.

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

I had an inkling I wanted to be a writer when I was eight, but this did not ignite into flame until my senior year in college when a Latin American History teacher got me excited to write a book about Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution. It was his sheer passion for the subject that burst me into flames.

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

My desk is in a corner of the living room, and I write with headphones on listening to jazz music. My wife and four kids and three dogs could be having a party behind me, and I wouldn’t know it.

What are you currently reading?

Celestine by Kevin St. Jarre

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

A story in the paper about a mother who was wiping the residue from her heroin bag on her infant daughter’s gums to get her to stop crying. While in the short term it worked, the end result was not good. This is the premise for Wolfe Trap.

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

Travel. I’ve been to Cuba, Iceland, Russia, and all over Europe to name a few places.

What songs hit you with a wave of nostalgia every time you hear them?

Jukebox Hero by Foreigner

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?

Robert B. Parker. Where did Spenser come from?

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve received lately?

Write true to yourself.

Share an interesting or funny story from your childhood.

When I was seven, I owned a blind pony. He used to get spooked by chickens and other sounds when I rode him. One day, startled, he took off running and I was unable to rein him in. We rode straight into a swimming pool. No ponies or young boys were injured in this incident.

You can have anyone fictional as your imaginary friend, who do you choose and why?

Spenser. I like his amusing, affectionate, but no-nonsense style.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently writing the first draft of the fourth book in my Clay Wolfe/Port Essex series. The first book, Wolfe Trap, came out June 23rd.

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

Wolfe Trap is about heroin being smuggled through lobster traps in a coastal Maine town. When a woman comes into the office of PI Clay Wolfe to hire him to uncover who sold the drugs that killed her grandbaby, he has no idea of the storm that is going to follow. The book is filled with a colorful setting and flamboyant characters. The plot twists its way through the underbelly of Port Essex, from hardworking fishermen to wealthy summer residents. The end is as shocking as the beginning and will leave the reader rapt within the pages.

It was great having you be a part of MTA, Matt. Wishing all the best and much success with your writing! – Camilla

More About Matt:

Matt Cost, from Brunswick, Maine, in the U.S., is the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of the Mainely Mystery series. The first book, Mainely Power, was selected as the Maine Humanities Council Read ME fiction book of 2020. This was followed by Mainely Fear and Mainely Money.

I Am Cuba: Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution was his first traditionally published novel in March of 2020. A second historical, Love in a Time of Hate, will be published in August of 2021.

Wolfe Trap was the first in the Clay Wolfe Port Essex Trap series. Mind Trap, will be published in October of 2021, and Mouse Trap will follow in April of 2022.

Over the years, Cost has owned a video store, a mystery bookstore, and a gym. He has also taught history and coached just about every sport imaginable.

Cost now lives in Brunswick, Maine, with his wife, Harper. There are four grown children: Brittany, Pearson, Miranda, and Ryan. A chocolate Lab and a basset hound round out the mix. He now spends his days at the computer, writing.

Where to find the book:

Wolfe Trap on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfe-Trap-Clay-Essex-Mystery/dp/1645991695/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=wolfe+trap&qid=1624628273&sr=8-2

Connect with Matt:

Website: https://www.mattcost.net

Twitter: @MattCost8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matt.cost.3/

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To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla, Founder and Host

Book Shelf: Star Crossed by Barbara Dee

Star Crossed by Barbara Dee

Started reading this last night. Read for most of today until I’d read all 277 pages. Felt good to lounge and read a full book in nearly one sitting, reading most of it outside on the deck. It’s been a beautiful day.

Lovely book, too! There’s nothing like a story you don’t want to stop reading. This is one I bought to read before passing to Lillian and Thomas. It wasn’t in the library’s digital collection for checking out. First time I’ve bought a brand new book in a really long time, and also first time in many years I’ve been able to buy a brand new book.

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To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla

Meet the Author: The Search for Summer by Chantelle Atkins

Today we travel to Dorset, England to chat with Chantelle Atkins about how creative writing clubs, Watership Down, gardening, people watching, dog walking, co-writing, and listening to music come together as part of Chantelle’s life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Chantelle, I’m a mother of four from Dorset, England. As well as being a writer, I run a community interest company called Chasing Driftwood Writing Group. We provide creative writing clubs for children and adults, as well as events, projects, online courses and workshops! My hobbies include gardening, reading, listening to music and walking my beautiful dogs.

In which genre do you write?

I write in both adult and young adult and in a multiple of genres. Dystopian, post-apocalyptic, family drama, mystery, crime, and psychological thriller, but I’d say the most common theme with all of my books is that they are all very character driven.

How many published books do you have?

I have thirteen! Five are standalones and the rest comprise a trilogy and a five-part series.

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

When I read Watership Down around the age of 10, I became so deeply immersed in the world the author had created, so in love with the characters and so addicted to reading, it just made me want to write too. I wanted part of that escapism, to be in control of characters and their lives, to create a world and direct it – it just seemed like pure magic to me and it still does.

I started writing my own animal-based stories around that time, all influenced heavily by Watership Down! I made front covers for them and write back cover blurbs. From there, it became a true addiction. As I grew older and got into different genres, they would then influence my own writing. SE Hinton was another huge influence on me as was Stephen King.

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

My most recent book was the final book in a trilogy. It’s called The Holds End trilogy and in order the books are A Song For Bill Robinson, Emily’s Baby and The Search For Summer. A Song For Bill Robinson was based on a book I wrote but never finished when I was 16 years old. I found it in an old suitcase when I was sorting stuff out one day and just knew I had to finally finish it. It was all hand-written and I even found a notebook full of character bios, scene ideas and so on. It was just all there waiting for me to pick up again. So, I rewrote it and it then evolved into a trilogy! I do recall that I originally got the idea for the first book after watching the film The Commitments when I was 16. It inspired me to write a story about a grumpy and uncommunicative teenage boy who had a huge talent for singing. The unsolved murder storyline was new to me when I picked it up again!

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

There are so many things that are enjoyable and magical about writing, but if I had to pick just one it would be that because of writing I am never, ever lonely and never, ever bored. It’s impossible to be lonely or bored with a head full of ideas and characters, old and new. It’s impossible to be alone when these people are always with me. That’s a pretty nice way to feel.

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

This is a tricky question because although I love all my characters very, very much, I have given them very difficult and complex lives I’m not sure I would want to live! However, if I had to pick one, I think it would be Bill Robinson from the Holds End books as I am envious of his singing talent and I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, so I would get his gifts if I became him for a day. I would write songs, play the guitar and sing for an audience!

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

I would have to say being a quiet introvert who enjoys people watching has been very useful. I’ve always been one of those people who lingers around the edges, who shies away from noise and crowds, and I used to be ashamed of this. When I was a kid, people were always accusing me of being too quiet. I’d think, if I only you knew how noisy it is in my head! But the whole time I was watching and listening and noticing body language, tones of voice, facial expressions and all the things people say without actually saying it. I’d notice interactions between people, conflict, jealousies, passions and more and all of this has been invaluable for writing!

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on two projects at the moment. One is a YA post-apocalyptic 4-book series. I’ve written the first two books and I’m currently doing some edits on them before I start book three. I won’t publish them until the whole series is complete. It’s set in the village I live in and is about how a group of kids survive after a series of viruses wipe out the entire adult population. It’s about the natural world fighting back and the kids having to learn the new rules to survive it! I am also working on a YA trilogy with another author. I never imagined I would co-write books with a fellow author but my business partner, author Sim Sansford suggested it and we are in the middle of writing the third book in the trilogy. It has been so much fun! We each write a different character and send it back and forth, swapping messages as we go about what happens next. It has been a very raw and organic and fast-paced experience and I’ve loved it. It’s basically about a strange little town and two teens who discover they have superpowers. Not a genre I’ve written in before but it’s brilliant fun!

Tell us about your most recent book.

The Search For Summer the final book in the gritty Holds Ends series ties up the storylines set up in book one – an unsolved murder and a neighbourhood feud collide with a self-destructive teenage boy’s singing ambitions! There is a love triangle storyline too and plenty of family drama. It also has a very good soundtrack!

It was great to have you on MTA, Chantelle! Wishing you all the best and much success with future books, and the co-writing book. Sounds great! – Camilla

The Search For Summer

When Bill’s desire for the truth pushed Charlie into an impossible decision, he lashed out in horrifying fashion, stealing baby Gabriel and leaving Bill for dead.

Panic-stricken Charlie is now on the run with his three-day-old son. His hiding place reveals a mystery that will drive him further across the country.

Summer was involved with the set-up that pushed Charlie over the edge and she was there when he stole the baby…but where is she now?

As his band The Rebel Anthem attract a manager and a possible record deal, Bill has a lot on his mind. He cannot accept that Summer would run away and fears his own behaviour may have played a part in her disappearance.

In this dramatic climax to the YA trilogy, previous actions and decisions have consequences for all, while Bill and his friends must find Summer and baby Gabriel and finally bring a killer to justice.

Where to find the book:

Available in ebook and paperback on Amazon and other platforms

Connect with Chantelle:

https://www.instagram.com/chantelleatkinswriter/

https://www.facebook.com/chantelleatkinswriter

Website: https://chantelleatkins.com/

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Book Shelf: The phone booth at the edge of the world by Laura Imai Messina

The phone booth at the edge of the world by Laura Imai Messina

Absolutely beautiful and moving story inspired by Japan’s real-life wind phone. I enjoyed getting to know the characters as they moved through grief, forming solid friendships along the way. I am deeply moved by the idea of the wind phone, and how folks have chosen to use it to help process loss and grief. Incredibly heartwarming.

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To support this website and the author’s interviewed, visit Support MTA for suggestions. Thank you! – Camilla